We are Tha Shadoz. 6 time Grammy Ballot nominee's!
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” Victor Hugo. Tha Shadoz new album, “The Struggle Continues” will open up a wealth of powerful and energetic music. Music where you will come into the world of two duo rappers living in Baltimore city, dealing with heartache trying to find love, and trying to teach their people the truth about their culture.
Tha Shadoz grew up within a musical background. Their mother, aunt, and grandmother were all singers and that rubbed off on them since a child. They began their musical journey by admiring Michael Jackson, specifically the song Thriller. That began their musical journey into a path they would soon call a career. After Michael Jackson, they were shown the latest R&B and House music of that time by their father. They were introduced to Boyz to Men, Jodeci, and Keith Sweat among others. At this point in their young lives, Tha Shadoz thought they were singers which their parents quickly explained to them the talent of singing has passed them by. So Tha Shadoz was introduced to Hip Hop and the various Hip Hop artists of that time. From the ages of 11 and 9 years old, Tha Shadoz would study every Hip Hop song on the radio by taping each radio show. They quickly became fans of late greats such as Biggie Smalls and 2Pac; and other artists like Kris Kross, KRS One, Public Enemy, Run DMC, and Bone Thugs. In addition to becoming fans of these Hip Hop artists, they studied their musical styles for years. At those young ages their late Uncle Alvin Frazier helped to push their musical skills to another level. He taught and challenged them to create lyrics that moved people. In addition, he challenged Tha Shadoz to look at their priestly history within the Scriptures, and when they did, they knew that they had self-worth within a world full of different prejudices and hardships.
Tha Shadoz, who grew up on the east side of Baltimore’s low incoming housing communities, quickly discovered that music was a way to release stress and help other people feel better about their current conditions. So they began to write music at the ages of 12 and 10 years old. After being involved in local area gangs and gang activity on the east side of the inner city of Baltimore, Tha Shadoz decided they wanted more out of life after experiencing a near death experience where they were nearly murdered in a gang style altercation within a local housing community in Baltimore city. During the altercation, Tha Shadoz was targeted by a rival gang when they were on high school premises during the school’s night time homecoming party. They were attacked mob style, robbed, nearly stabbed and nearly shot by at least twenty five men who were using satanic slurs. Tha Shadoz was able to fight off being stabbed, but they succumbed to the multiple individuals attacking them at once. Even though this was Tha Shadoz high school homecoming and even though the school had on-duty police officers there; the police informed the school to stay put while Tha Shadoz was beaten to near death conditions. Typically this occurs when the situation is too violent for the officer’s to police. That’s where they experienced an unbelievable wonder while waiting to be shot to death. As Tha Shadoz was laying on the ground, looking at two of the gang members aiming their guns, getting ready to shoot them, and talking satanic slurs directed at Tha Shadoz, they saw a large dark image, (larger than 8 feet) suddenly appear directly behind the mob of people hidden in the darkness. This image moved its hands so violently you can feel the wind from its movement. It then released a loud screech. This screech was so loud it stopped all of the gang members, police, paramedics, and students in their tracks. This made the gang members run away without shooting Tha Shadoz. Between 5 or 10 minutes later, when the situation was clear, the police came over to ask the details of what happened. No one saw that image again.
After seeing how corrupt these low income areas are; especially with how situations as these were policed, and how many of Tha Shadoz friends were being murdered or jailed each week, they wanted to get out of those areas. That near death experience made Tha Shadoz want to do better and not become another statistic within low income housing communities popularly termed as projects and ghettos. So they worked as hard as they could to take their musical talents to another level. Feeling bitter that they should’ve been killed, and the police didn’t want to help protect them, had pushed them to become isolated and immersed in music for years. So one day they decided to try out for a local talent showcase. Within the tryouts of that showcase, Tha Shadoz caught the eye and ear of every person in attendance including their soon to be manager at that time – Frances McIver. Frances McIver quickly became another powerful woman in Tha Shadoz lives next to their mother, grandmother, and aunt. She signed them to an artist development deal in hopes to develop their talent and get them off the streets. She taught them stage presence, and she also challenged them to write better and more powerful music. Frances McIver was responsible for getting her son, KD signed to Mo Town records under the R&B group named Prophet Jones. She brought the same preparation she gave her son to all the artists she developed at that time. Those who were serious about their careers listened to the criticism and worked on their crafts which was what Tha Shadoz did. Under Frances McIver, Tha Shadoz performed at various places like the Apollo, University of Baltimore, Dru Hill Park, and they toured with local organizations like the Baltimore Believe tour to name a few. During the Baltimore Believe tour, Tha Shadoz fought through constant critical and sometimes unfair biases against rappers, jealousy and competition among artists and producers to become one of the headline acts. But that was not enough; Tha Shadoz grew tired of talking about violence and a lifestyle that they no longer wanted to live. So after various trips up to New York with Frances McIver’s son KD, and being in various conferences with three independent record labels, Tha Shadoz decided to change their lyrical content to better fit their lifestyle. Tha Shadoz believed their music can be even more powerful if they put more knowledge within their lyrical content.
“People haven't always been there for me but music always has” Taylor Swift. During this time, Tha Shadoz had their first breakup simultaneously with their then girlfriends. The eldest of Tha Shadoz, Uriyah found his then girlfriend in the act of cheating, and he later learned that she became pregnant by that same guy. Uziyah, the youngest of Tha Shadoz found his girlfriend cheating by looking on social media on a tip from an unnamed person. During that time, Tha Shadoz mother – Shirlette – was hospitalized with complications from Lupus. Since their mother was hospitalized for years at a time when Tha Shadoz was 8 and 6 years old, this was an all too familiar feeling that haunts them to this day. After this life changing situation, Tha Shadoz decided it was time to step down from their performance career to create new, more powerful music. Little did they know, it would take some time to build up a great portfolio of music again. During the time they stepped down, many people were angry at Tha Shadoz, and they thought they were making a bad career move, but Tha Shadoz didn’t care because they knew they were going to come back better and stronger. Their bad luck in women continued as Tha Shadoz entered into their respective relationships with other young lady’s. At that time, Tha Shadoz signed a one album independent deal with Tate Music Group to distribute their album called Emunah. Unhappy with the production, timeframe, and lack of promotion with TMG, Tha Shadoz started to create another project based off two of their mixtapes called Alef-Bet. During this time, they also signed a deal with a respective promotional company, and that promotional company assisted them in releasing their promotional album called Alef-Bet. The Alef-Bet promotional album showcased how Tha Shadoz can mix their energy and passionate lyrics with hip hop and R&B. It included handpicked songs from Tha Shadoz first two mixtapes (Bet’Al and Alef) they released underground. After the release of Alef-Bet, Tha Shadoz found themselves in a familiar situation. Both of their relationships became rocky and were crumbling to a bitter end. Uriyah of Tha Shadoz learned that he was once again cheated on, and Uziyah was dealing with an Ethiopian woman whose family was racist towards “Blacks” in America, and she wanted him to be converted to Islam (which he was not doing).
“The biggest preacher doesn’t have as much followers as one rapper” – Farrakhan. Still hurting from dealing with broken relationships, Tha Shadoz learned that their aunt had passed away suddenly from Diabetes. A day later, Tha Shadoz got news that they were nominated to the ballots of the Grammy’s 3 times for 2013. Their song “Too Good to be True” which featured Woody Rock previously from Dru Hill was nominated for Best Song; meanwhile, “Believe That” and “Too Good to be True” was nominated for Best Rap Performance. With all 3 ballot nominations coming from the release of their promotional album Alef-Bet, Tha Shadoz decided to continue to work hard towards a better project that would detail their painful plot within the world and environments they lived. As Tha Shadoz came to a short-term solution with their then relationships, they found themselves in the same predicament later down the line. Tha Shadoz quickly realized that the young women they were in a relationship with did not value them. Uriyah learned that the woman he loved cheated on him again, and Uziyah’s woman left him because of Islam and Ethiopian racism towards the “Blacks” in America. At this point, they were about 50% complete from their new album entitiled The Struggle when they decided to open up and speak about their failed relationships. During this time, another independent label saw Tha Shadoz music and wanted to sign them to a one album deal. Tha Shadoz was wary of this contract offer after the experience they had with Tate Music Group. But after countless conversations with the A&R’s in that label, Tha Shadoz decided to give it a shot. They ended up releasing their album The Struggle one year later on that independent label; however, they were still looking for the promotion they needed to put them over the hump.
At that time, Tha Shadoz learned that they were nominated again to the ballots of the 2014 Grammy’s from the same promotional album entitled Alef-Bet. Their song “Truth Gone Rise” featuring their cousin Lor Dollaz was nominated for both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Their other song “Gonna Get em Back” was nominated for Best Rap Performance. Yet Tha Shadoz still wanted to push for more. So their next album entitled The Struggle Continues will be more intimate, more polished, and they will showcase a variety of skills that may not have been tapped into before.