San Francisco Revolutionary Poet and Activist Sellassie has carved his niche as a leading progressive voice in San Francisco Bay Area Hip Hop. His latest record, Sins of Your Forefathers created a street level buzz about this upcoming emcee and the Independent Artist Series, We All We Got + 2Racks Rap Contest, that he created and produces with partner Inhouse Talent, has distinguished itself as a premier outlet for independent artists. Sellassie is an alternative in today’s hip-hop, proof that there are young black artists that can make music that is creative, street and smart. Bringing a fresh perspective to the game, Sellassie stands firm to his message, has a charismatic presence and is evidence that not every rapper raps negatively, glorifying drugs, guns, women, money or their ego. Masterfully articulating the struggle, Sellassie’s art is poetry on hip hop beats, music that identifies with scholars and people in the ghetto alike. Sellassie is a confident emcee, riding on substance and ideas instead of gimmicks and guise. This past year has set the tone and foundation for the many dynamic projects and advancements Sellassie has planned.
With an acclaimed debut release, I'm Tryin' to Make a Livin' Not a Killin', and strong follow up, Sins of Your Forefathers, Sellassie is focused on taking his music to the masses. The latest album was written this past year to address the realities of ghetto life as seen through the eyes of Sellassie. Although inspired and motivated from reading hundreds of books, Sellassie is self-taught and came up on the streets. Sellassie's lyric is rooted in a deep comprehension of the world around him. He writes on domestic and world politics, international relations and community needs, corporate thuggery and the obstacles independent artists face. He has seen first hand the problems that his music addresses. He has seen black on black crime, he has lost many close friends to homicide, he has seen the drugs and money destroy his community, and has witnessed the decay of Independent Bay Area Hip Hop. One of the highlights of the album, sure to be a next Bay Anthem, is called “Stop Hatin’ in the Bay,” which speaks directly to established and up and coming artists that feel that they need to compete with one another to be successful. For Sellassie fans who are used to his rough, articulate revolutionary sound, the album will feature “Did I” and “You’re To Blame.” The listener takes a ride with Sellassie, San Francisco's next rising son, thru 17 thought-provoking and inspiring tracks, coming direct from a young thinker, writer and poet. In a commitment to truth and justice in an industry of destructive messages and payola scandals, Sellassie’s mix of non-traditional beats and clever rhymes easily set him apart from the rest. Masterfully articulating the struggle, he has a contagious rawness. In nearly a decade of writing rhymes, Sellassie’s passion for poetry and truth has grown into his art, an art dedicated to exposing truth and taking a stand.
Inhouse Talent and Sellassie’s independent artist series, WE ALL WE GOT + 2Racks Rap Contest produced 70+ successful events in just over the last year, and is truly revolutionary, fulfilling its design to expose interesting and determined artists, showcasing more than 400 independent emcees and singers, to cultivate relationships, and build community among independents. Now in over 15 markets, the series was created out of Sellassie’s frustration of the current climate of Bay Area’s Hip Hop community. There is a real culture of non-support, Sellassie calls it the “crab in the bucket mentality” where independent artists pull each other down instead of supporting one another. There is a lack of good opportunity for emerging artists to be seen and heard and WE ALL WE GOT is determined to fill this gap. The series has really grown and now has a sister-event, The 2Racks Rap Contest, where the hottest upcoming emcees perform original songs competing for a $2000 cash prize. The first contest was in Los Angeles in November 2010 with 2011 productions in San Francisco, LA, Pasadena, Honolulu, Chicago, Brooklyn, NY, Atlanta, Orlando and Austin during SXSW. Independent artist created and produced for independent artists, Sellassie is creating a movement where upcoming talent can gain exposure and experience. With the pulse of the streets and the heart of the people, 2Racks Rap Contest is determined to pack clubs with new music and cultivate a thriving environment for the independent artist.
Sellassie has also contributed to several social, community and political causes, performing at the Power to the Peaceful Festival, the ANSWER coalition’s 9th Anniversary of the Afghanistan War & Occupation protest, the 7th Anniversary of the War in Iraq protest, Oscar Grant Rallies and fundraiser, among others. His music is a reflection of his promise and dedication to social and political issues that plague his community and the world as a whole.
Taking full advantage of everything in his grasp, Sellassie is promoting his album, producing the growing and successful live music series and rap contest, organizing and continued political involvements, and new projects and affiliations. Sellassie has independently created a vast catalogue of over 300 songs to inspire his community. Sellassie brings light and knowledge and his music is revolutionary. He has shared the stage with many great artists, Saul Williams, San Quinn, Michael Franti, Ziggy Marley, Mos Def, The Goodie Mob, Canibus, Dead Prez, Rebelution, Goapele, Pep Love, Kev Choice Ensemble, The Jacka, Cormega, Planet Asia, Mr. FAB, Ise Lyfe, Deuce Eclipse, One Block Radius, Lyrics Born, Baldhead Rick, Queen Deelah, Netta B, Lee Majors, Bayonics and Zion I among hundreds of independent artists on the WE ALL WE GOT series including Ms. White, JenRo, Audible Sol, Machetero, Opey, They Rich and Lady Doe. Bringing a fresh perspective to the game, Sellassie stands firm to his message, has a charismatic stage presence and is aimed, ready and shooting for a stellar 2011.