In the history of Hip Hop, few artists have had as great an impact on the development and progression of the art forms lyrical style as Rakim. Universally referenced as one of the Masters of the Microphone and an influence and inspiration to his peers and followers alike, Rakim first exploded onto the scene with the release of iconic “Eric B. Is President” in 1986 with long time collaborator Eric B. The single marked a turning point in the Rap world – raising the bar for future emcees and revolutionizing the way rhymes are delivered to this day. No serious discussion of the music’s greatest performers is held without a deferential accounting of his achievements, and no serious rap artist grips a microphone without channeling some of his legend. Now with twenty-five years at the top of Hip Hop’s Greatest list, the Long Island, NY native not only continues to record for himself, but also works with young artists signed to his own record imprint, Ra Records. With recent tributes in 2012 such as being named the #1 Lyricist of All Time by The Source magazine, receiving the coveted BET Lifetime Achievement Award and being nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, two original music projects, his first feature film role and sold-out international tours keeping the world’s eye on the one many call The GOD EmCee, Rakim Allah continues to lead where others just follow.
New York City-based Teddy Rafael Mendez, aka DJ Tedsmooth has been the force behind some of the hottest remixes, many of which can be attributed to taking already hit records to the next level. Regularly endorsed by radio and his DJ peers, his remixes can be frequently heard on air and in clubs around the world. Included among them are, Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” K Michelle’s “V.S.O.P” featuring Jadakiss, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” and Miguel’s “Adorn” featuring Diddy and French Montana. In 2012, he delivered Beyonce’s “Love on Top” which was lauded as one of greatest remixes ever made. Tedsmooth’s skill goes far beyond a DJ. The artist, producer, and songwriter is responsible for co-writing and producing Lumidee’s Billboard Hot 100 tune “Uh Oooh,” The Voice of Harlem’s classic “No Music,” and has also produced records for other artists with the likes of Grafh, Busta Rhymes, Styles P, and Vado. He has been a staple of the New York City club scene for nearly three decades.