Lets give a warm welcome to the Sunshine Boys of underground Hip Hop, Epidemic aka Hex-One & Tek-Nition.
Hex-One aka Christian Ortega was born in Columbia but at an early age his family moved to Elmhurst, Queens (you KNOW we had to get QU in there somehow!!). Hex's influences are varied. His father used to 'rhyme' using a traditional form of Columbian improvised call-and-response style comedy which he brought with him from South America. He and his buddys would hang out droppin rhythmical smarts at parties and social gatherings and the young Christian, suitably impressed, would constantly be asking his dad to 'kick a rhyme pop'. This would probably be his first experience of rhyme performance. Growing up in the borough of Queens added his next layer of influence. In his early teens the hard, cold East Coast 'boom bap' style permeated the 'musical part of his brain' and he took that with him when his family relocated once again to Hollywood (the MORE glamorous one) in Florida, just north of Miami.
Within the space of 2 days, 2 young cats moved to Hollywood, FL. One being our boy Hex, the other, one Edwin Canela (aka Tek-Nition). Edwin had grown up and lived just south of Miami in Homestead, which, if you know your Sunshine State geography is hemmed in by the Florida Everglades on the west, the Atlantic Ocean on the east and is the last city you pass on the way to the Keys. Both cats had been born in the same month (April) of the same year 1989 and showed up at the same new school, Hallandale High School, within a couple of days of each other. You could say both were misfits - in a new neighbourhood, both came with different musical influences from most of the other kids there. At this point they had both played around with rapping and writing rhymes and once they realised the other was a fan of the art of mc'ing and Hip Hop culture in general, they began to hang out. They would perform at lunch times in the cafeteria, trying out new verses, dropping them over instrumentals. They honed their craft over a couple of years and in 2006 put together a series of verses over their favourite Hip Hop beats which they eventually ending up 'shelving' like Ikea.
After a couple of years working on music, frustrated by the sound quality and his lack of recording expertise, Hex moved to Arizona to pursue a degree in sound engineering. He qualified in 2010 and immediately hooked up with a beat maker he had worked with in the past, 5th Element, to recreate the mixtape with original beats. That joint, which they worked on for a few months, was their first release 'Illin Spree' which they dropped on CD and digital in 2011 on their own label Mic Theory records. Soon after that drop, nourished by the positive feedback, they began work on their follow-up project 'Monochrome Skies'. They were put on to a Luxembourg- based producer (has HE ever lived in Queens? MUST have!!) called Jesse James through a mutual 'online friend' and instantly dug his sound. After receiving about 5 solid beats from Jesse the boys realised that they could work with this dude on a full album of material. Given the vast distance between the artists, they worked on the project via the internet and dropped the release in 2012. 'Monochrome Skies' while still being an 'underground' Hip Hop project, received huge support on the internet from fans of the genre which reached our ears some time that year. Now enough chat of exotic climates and more Queens references - peep the reel:
A1 Stay Golden
A2 Da Basicks
A3 Past the Margin feat Estee Nack & Purpose
B1 Why Not
All tracks written and performed by Hex One & Teknition. All beats produced by Jesse James. Recorded, mixed and edited by Hex One. Scratches by Dj Tha Boss. Recorded in 2012. Courtesy of Mic Theory Records.
Price is £14.99 + shipping (6.50gbp in Europe or 8gbp in USA/Oz/Asia)
So heres the scoop - There will be 350 copies pressed ONLY.
The first 75 copies are on Silver and Clear mixed colour vinyl
The next 75 are on Blue and Silver mixed colour vinyl
And the remaining 200 are on traditional black vinyl