2012 Article by Reno Tahoe Tonight

June Cover Photo Joseph Dubon
Text Oliver X

On the eve of the 2012 Speak Your Mind Festival, we caught up with visionary event founder/promoter Daniel Hubbard to get the skinny on the ever evolving culture fest and see what all the hype’s about?

Reno Tahoe Tonight: Speak Your Mind continues to grow each year. What’s on tap for the festival this round?

Daniel Hubbard: One of the best showcases of 775 Hip Hop you can catch. We have a mixture of all the acts you’ve been hearing the buzz on around town and a few you might not have. We’ve always focused extra on music but this year catch more B-boys and B-girls, more live painting, more DJs, more local hip hop businesses, as well as other vendors. Hip Hop changed the life of all the participants that make Speak Your Mind come alive and we want everyone to know. Our goal is to raise community awareness by showcasing our own positive side of Hip Hop for the City to enjoy. Commonly, the more marketable and glamorized side of Hip Hop is the general public’s perception, but on June 24th you can experience a lot more.

Reno Tahoe Tonight: What effect has local radio support from Wild 102.9FM’s Dotkom and Buddha and others like SWAG 97.3FM had on the Truckee Meadows’ hip-hop scene?

Daniel Hubbard: It’s amazing to have the support we’ve had for years from the Bombshelter and the more recent support from SWAG. It’s harder than you think, even with the technology today, to reach your fan base over a city of various preferences. Both radio stations help supply one of the best feeds from our studios to the public’s ears. I sometimes feel we are spoiled to have these tools to help hip hop growth in the 775 that so many other markets lack but we earned the spoils. The radio stations want to play the local artists, the people want to hear them.

Reno Tahoe Tonight: More and more national acts are adding Reno to their routing, but is there an element that’s missing in this scene in your opinion?

Daniel Hubbard: I don’t think national acts or venue programming alone will grow a fan base. They are just another amazing tool the 775 offers the hip hop scene. We are in Nevada and everyone loves gambling references. All these tools can be viewed as placing another bet at the casino. The more bets with the higher risk you place, the more chances you have to hit it big. When a local artist does a show with a national act, introduces themselves and hands them a CD with a business card, they just placed a bet. When they perform a great set at a venue, they have placed a bet. When they get a song in rotation on SWAG or the Bombshelter, they are placing more bets. From each video released, mix tape dropped and battle participated in, we are placing more and more bets. We all see these bets paying off, and soon we’ll see someone hit the jack pot.


Z-MAN (San Francisco, CA)

Z-Man is a Hip Hop artist and painter from the San Francisco Bay Area. A charismatic emcee from the Bay Area, Z-Man is best known for his unusual flow, extensive slang dictionary, and comical, party-centric tales. In 2004 he released the album, Dope or Dog Food, on Hieroglyphics/Refill Records. He got his start as part of the group, 99th demention, and has been a frequent collaborator with artists in a collective called “Gurp City”.

He is known for his distinctive contributions to San Francisco’s underground slang, having introduced words such as “mainey” and “rellie” into popular use in the bay area hip-hop crowd. He is also notorious for his bizarre and often comical and/or offensive alter-egos.
Beyond being an MC, he is also an extremely talented painter with a broad body of acrylic on canvas paintings that portray cartoonish hybrid creatures in vibrant, bold color schemes that often have thematic references to Black culture. He paints all of his album covers and tee-shirt designs, and has painted and drawn many album covers for other hip hop artists.

THE BAYLIENS are a new wave cutting edge hip hop group from California. The group consists of Spaceman Cell and Enzyme Dynamite and is backed by DJ True Justice. Known for innovation and electrifying performances that have landed them on the same stages as artists such as Lil Wayne, FloRida, Pitbull, Zion I, Living Legends, Too Short, E-40, NeYo, Sean Kingston, The Pack, Tech N9ne, Atmosphere, Murs, Slaughterhouse, Danity Kane, and many more.

Spaceman cell is an emcee, dj, and also has many ties in the fashion world. He is a frequent featured model on www.Karmaloop.com which receives 4 million hits per month. Enzyme Dynamite is part of Target stores and 5 Star Mead school supplies nationwide promotional campaign that has him featured on over 10 million 5 Star Mead products in Target stores nationwide. DJ True Justice has an album titled “The Man of Steel” that is distributed with Universal Music.

The group has toured all over the west coast as well as New York, Germany, Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan, and Amsterdam. In 2007 they had a song hit the radio called “Bubblegum” that helped established their name. Since then they have had various songs spin in radio station mix shows all around the United States.

OKWERDZ (Stockton, CA) “A certified beast” – The Source Magazine
Born and raised in California’s central valley in ’murder capital’ Stockton, CA; Okwerdz, known to his fans as Okweezy and friends as Brian Peeples, utilizes a distinctly west coast swagger and an off-the-wall style unique to himself. He is able to simultaneously remain catchy and straight-forward with understandable and creative hooks and song concepts while delivering them in a dizzying array of complex patterns and rhyme schemes.

His style has proven to be quite influential to rhyme slingers worldwide, and Ok has always prided himself on being ground breaking. A genuine freestyle phenomenon, he is considered one of the most prolific and dominant battle emcees in the history of the west coast. He was one of the first Cali emcees to compete in Scribble Jam, was a runner-up in the legendary Rocksteady Battle in NYC, and has shared the stage freestyling with icons such as Supernatural and Juice.
His 2008 dominant return to the battle scene caught the attention of The Source Magazine, who later honored Okwerdz with the coveted “Unsigned Hype” (Same honor bestowed to legends such as Notorious B.I.G., DMX, Eminem, etc) in the March 2009 Issue and again with “Unsigned Hype Alumni” in the December 2009 issue.

PAWZ ONE (Los Angeles, CA)
Robert Perez aka Pawz One was born in the summer of 1982 to a lower class family in Compton, California. His birthplace was home to the legendary hip-hop group N.W.A. and the vivid images painted by Ice Cube and Eazy-E became the backdrop to his early childhood. Drugs, gang violence and poverty were always present and faced as a daily reality. His outlet for expression was writing short stories and poetry that would later develop into music. His first encounter with hip-hop came from break dancers setting up radios on cardboard to practice on his street. “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash played as the soundtrack to his own environment and it embodied all that he has seen on a daily basis. Once introduced to LL Cool J’s music he became completely submerged in the culture.

In the years to follow Pawz One would suffer through many personal hardships that would go on to build his character. The deaths of close family members, the loss of his father to AIDS and his mothers’ ongoing drug addiction. Left unguided as a teenager, bad decisions lead him through many correctional facilities. Maintaining his love for music and art; both became more vital and he would use them to vent his trapped emotions. Surrounded by the gang lifestyle in and out of jail, he decided to lead rather than follow.

Expressing himself as a graffiti artist helped him establish a name and reputation but his poetry allowed him to voice his inner affliction. An aspiring musician and friend of his said Pawz’s poems sounded like song lyrics and advised him to pursue song writing instead. Crafting lyrics became the desired outlet he never would have imagined and the ability to turn thought and emotions into verses came natural. Holding true to the influences he picked up from legends such as Nas, Big Pun and Eminem. Pawz prides himself in pure lyricism and not material driven rhymes.

Local Headliners
Apprentice (Richie Panelli), age 36, is co-founder of Dorm Room Muzik, Connartist Clothing, and The Reno Business Group. Panelli, a former Division 1 athlete who holds a Doctoral Degree in Audiology, has been an active participant in the local music scene for the last ten years. His 2009 production of 6:01 A.M.: A Working Class Opera (a musical inspired by songs written by Panelli), opened to a sold-out audience at the Pioneer Theatre for the Performing Arts with musical accompaniment by the Nevada Opera Orchestra. His sophomore album “the Red Balloon” was chosen as the Best Solo Hip Hop album of 2009. Panelli’s latest release, “The Calm,” collaboration with Cody Rea and Sean Hill, was named one of the four best local albums of 2011 by the Reno Gazette Journal. His most recent video release off of “The Calm,” titled “America” has recently received national attention.

Reno MC/Lyricist troupe Black Rock City All Stars also features DJs, Fire Performers, producers, dancers, and artists. Members include Metaphysical, Dove, Tampa Riggins, Jenes, Hot Steez, Danny Spade, Dialect HD and YOU!

Within its half decade, Mic-Rob has caught on expediently. While many new talents strayed towards cookie cutter music that trades quantity for quality, Mic originally from L.A., emulated talents, such as Slum Village, Nas and even The Dogg Pound in slow-crafted, conceptual music. Like the golden era icons, Mic-Rob, while quietly creating his debut album, has focused on making sure their live show is well…live. With all of his endorsements and props, Mic-Rob reminds his fans that this is by no means an overnight success.

Local Artists
KnappSacc is one of the most well respected emcees in The Biggest Little City. From his work ethic to his dedication to Hip Hop there is no limit to what he can achieve as an artist. His hit single “Game Over,” along with radio hit “Higher,” will be available for free download on both www.iTunes.com and www.amazon.com and his debut album entitled “Dedication,” will be released this summer.

Anonymous Jones formed in late 2011 with key members of Status-FLO, NoBody Really and Knowledge Lives Forever–Locus, Yosh and of course Knowledge. The mission was simple: MAKE GOOD MUSIC with a message that gets people rethinking the situation and of course having fun doing it. And they’re hitting every side of the form. From a straight traditional braggadocious rap steez that can, at times, come across coarse, to a more mellow introspective flow with cool harmonies (Locus and Knowledge sing throughout the record) and smooth hooks to back up most tracks–plus a few skits and a party track (or two) on the forthcoming full length effort, untitled at the moment. Find Anonymous Jones on Facebook!

The ROYAL thumb is a mystery. All we know is that it consists of two main characters, Pisco and Shawn price. Both artist have worked together before and share a common thought about the way music makes them feel. Together they are the ROYAL thumb. They invite you to share in the beauty of wonderful sounds and a great time. If you love hip hop and great vocals royal thumb is your one stop shop.

775’s newest Live Performance Hip-hop Band consists of Mecca “Lord mecca ICU” Hernandez (vocals), Carlos “C-Los” Chavez (vocals), Vinny “Dirty Wine” Welch (drums), and Sam “Shaggy” Hutchens (bass), Forming in 2012, Influenced by the Hip-hop band “The ROOTS”, there main goal is to bring Aggressive/Uplifting Hip-hop together with live instruments, They intend to keep the music Live, Passionate, and Raw and all for the 7-7-Fever!

DeSaint is an upcoming singer/songwriter who prides himself on his versatility. He has stepped into the R&B/Hip-Hop/Pop genre and his career is starting to blossom due to his determined attitude, extreme work ethic, and undeniable talent. DeSaint has two new music videos releasing, one shot with director Chase McMullen out of Nevada, and the other with Ryan Spencer, a director out of L.A. In addition, he has a new mix tape dropping soon! Check him out!

MoMatik is one of the most amazing female emcees to ever grace the streets of Reno, Nevada. Her rhymes are laid with precision and vividly capture one’s mind. MoMatik has dedicated herself to sending a positive and uplifting message through her music. Her debut album is available on both www.iTunes.com and www.amazon.com and look for her sophomore album set to be released later this year.

Venomous Ink is an unsigned Reno based hip hop trio comprised of J1Three, Elsewhere and Dani D known for their creative concepts, unique rhyme schemes and punch lines. They focus on all aspects of hip hop culture and press to bring to light the raw and natural aspects of emceeing without highlighting gimmicks and trends. They’ve toured Nevada, California, Idaho and Arizona performing with artists Xzibit, Nelly, Wu-Tang, E-40, Too Short and many others.

When it comes to music that gets you firing up your car, music that puts you in that club mood, makes you want to dance all night, and still have that excellent hip hop sound included, then all you got to do is get some KEYRINGZ in your play list. KEYR.IN.GZ (ACRONYM FOR KEYRydazInterNationalGameZ) has established themselves as a group to be reckoned with and most of all heard around the world. Stay tuned for the future!

Trevercrow rhymes about everything. during childhood, he wrote poems and drew cartoons on the walls of his home. Crow feels most inspired while watching movies. Once he played 30 shows, he began to see girls dancing to his music and kids waving their hands in the air—a trippy experience for Crow. Crow’s newest album “keep the pace” drops June 24th–featuring sleep, sahtyre and maclethal. Crow hopes to be remembered for his lyrics. Paraphrased from a bio written by Bio Basement

Velly Vell and Friends came about a month ago when Velly got his friends together to rock some songs at a friend’s birthday party just for fun. After rocking a full packed show and not totally sucking, they decided to take music a lil more serious by doing more music and shows. The crew is GUMP with mucho estilo, NVRmyned with contrasting wordplay, DJ A-Mills with raw original turntablism and Velly Vell with his energetic stage presence!


Junes and Libs are The Halve Two. Grown in Carson City, planted in Reno, Nevada, these childhood friends bring a fresh, unfiltered perspective to hip hop music. Their first independent release in 2010 is titled “Take It Home EP.” Known for their up-tempo, energetic live shows, Junes and Libs rhyme with as much cadence and style as they do emotional conviction. They have a melodic, lighthearted way of expressing the good times and the bad in a truly genuine fashion.

Tha Infamous $ is fast making some serious headway in the hip-hop scene around Reno. The seedy elements of his past have rendered him a perfect addition to the Hip Hop scene. He won an award at the 2012 Reno hip-hop awards for his song “Reno Dopeness.” Recently dropped a mix tape labeled: “Tha 9 Dayz Of Chronika Pt 2” on 4/20; and is currently in the studio for his latest: “The Item-9 Mix tape”.

Meet George Vargas he is one of the many talents behind Item-9. George is a pro skater, who has had a profound impact on Reno because of his talents on the board. George has been filmed in a few trick tip videos to help the beginner. George always has a smile on his face, and is always making the people around him laugh. He also gives it his all with everything he does.

ITEM-9 (Photo of Item 9 Co-Founder Chase McMullen)
Item-9 Clothing is a relatively new company that is based out of Reno, Nevada. We strive to bring you the best bang for your buck, and as always we are continuously bringing you the sickest designs around. Our clothing lines are focused around extreme sports enthusiast, primarily skating. Item-9 was founded by Chase McMullen and Donovan Giudici. They have had a direct impact on how our company has developed. Come check us out at Item9clothing.com!

Davey Jones Click; an up and coming Hip-hop group from Carson City. The group has three emcees: “DaveyJones”, “JaO.”, and “BennyBig”. With influences from the bay area and underground music they come with an upbeat, lyrical, party sound. Although new to the 775 hip-hop scene, DJC has worked with local names such as Dan Hubbard, LateNightProductions, and TreverCrow. Opening for artist like Roach Gigz and partnered with Roasted Royalty, DJC plans to take their music as far as possible.

When Matt ‘PlanC’ Cohen was about 22 he was in a club and watched the dj for about an hour completely spellbound. It was like watching a ballet the way he moved from record to record seamlessly. It was on that day he decided he wanted to be like that but knew he could do it better. 9 years later he has performed with hip hop legends ranging from Chali 2na to Too $hort.

The Lord has given me a heart and passion for the lost. A desire to see thugs and gangsters delivered into new life through Jesus Christ.Before knowing Christ, I was spiritually dead and desperate for change. I wasn’t an approachable person, but a faithful Christian came up to me and shared with me the Good News. I rap the Gospel so that the lost can be found, saved and redeemed just as I was.

Known as Luck Pida I’m a Reno, NV resident, Brooklyn, NY native so I get love coast to coast. I take my life and my music very serious. High energy performances, high quality lyrics, and an all around good feel when you’re around me. I’m always trying to take it up a notch and elevate my position in the music world to national. I produce a lot of material very versatile style like no one else. YouTube me.

Originating from Philadelphia, PA hip hop artist Concept brings a vast variety of topics and talents. Breaking through with his hit single “Aliens” (Awarded Music Video of 2011 at Reno Hip Hop Awards) Concept gears up for his debut summer release; “Lip Service” which covers numerous topics such as personal struggles, social and political commentary, drug addiction, the pursuit of happiness, and death.

Out of South Lake Tahoe, Logic One started freestyling and writing poetry at 15. By 18 he began writing songs, which led him to join groups of friends who shared the same passion for music. Splitting from these groups he began to focus as a solo artist. “So Hip-Hop” released in late 2011 and “Hip-Hop Addict” in 2012; with a full time job Logic One manages to make music and do shows along with J-Swizz.

Conniving lyricists “Scruples”, “Launchpad” and “Face” compose the hip hop collective known as SMEAR TACTICS. Formed in the summer of 2010. With their aggressive sound and energetic live performances, the trio began receiving accolades throughout California. Smear Tactics began taking their sound to a new level, and solidified their reputation as the premier live hip hop group in California. A force to be reckoned with and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.


Wild things, consisting of Alex Ross (moral), Tyler Greaff (mk ultra), Kyle Lysdal (goonie) and Lynwood Slip (gk), are an underground hip hop group from Reno NV that does everything themselves. They focus on writing timeless lyrics over beats that won’t soon be forgotten. Their style is born from the roots of hip hop but puts a new age spin on things. Keep your ears open for the name. Wild Things.

At 19 years of age, hip-hop artist T-mell, put his faith in Jesus Christ. T-mell has now dedicated himself to making music for the broken-hearted and the poor in spirit. His goal is simple; bring hope to the hopeless. His message can be summed up by the following; love, grace and faith. Through his faith, the same love and grace that God shared with him, T-mell now wants to share with other people through hip-hop.

Dash was born and raised in California between Seaside and Marina. He attended and graduated from Seaside High School and then moved to Reno, Nevada in 1996. A year later joined the group, Element and from here became part of the Digital Underground family. Currently Dash is a member of the group Gutta Men and the rest is history. Foot born and raised in Seaside, California. Attended and graduated from Seaside High School. His first endeavor was to form the group Black Blastards with D.J. Splice, which then transformed into The Black Soups with Malik and his brother Jacob. His current project is Gutta Men with his nephew, Dash.

From an early age Knowledge, born Chariell Smith, was blessed with the gift of crafting words. Often describing herself as a writer first and a musician second, Knowledge starting writing songs at the age of 12 and making Hip Hop music at the age of 16. With a household filled with R&B, Gospel, and Soul music, and the Rock and Folk music she picked up while attended private school, Knowledge developed a very unique ear for music.

Rene Mincey aka DJ Mince was born in So Cal, but grew up in Truckee,CA. This is Mince’s 3rd straight SYM Festival as this accomplished DJ, producer, and beatboxer looks to continue to spread music throughout the community. Mince is a member and Co-Founder of “A Blurry Shot” with Rob Zsiga, it has been his mission to show a different perspective of sound in hip hop.

Established in 2008, A Blurry Shot is a culmination of Sound, Video, and Clothing generated by DJ Mince, Rob Zsiga, and Al Royal that gives a point of view experience into the Reno Hip Hop Scene. Winners of both Live Solo and Group Performance Videos 2011 for Apprentice and Element, creating a first-hand perspective into the Reno Hip Hop Culture.


Hey I’m Lonny Noble Aka Dj Dr.Morefiend!! I’m a local artist here in the Reno/Sparks area. I would call my self a turntablist because my focus is scratching and beat juggling. Kepping the roots with actual records.