It’s no secret that Gradschool’s Spree Israel, Redstorm, Koop and C-Note P has strong backgrounds in the Hip Hop, Spoken Word, an R & B field. Gradschool has explored every avenue in the music field individually. They have performed with a lot of the industries most talked about artist, an the most popular venues in the hip hop market. Determined to survive on the streets of Chicago without having to step away from what they do best Rap, Sing Spoken Word and Produce Music. Four friends decided to put their talents together to speak to the world about a subject not new to anyone. Violence! “The plague that won’t go away” four angry musical fathers decided to let the world know to “Put The Guns Down”, after reading an article in a 2008 issue of The Chicago Defender News Paper, About Maya Lyons the 11 year old girl murdered on the streets of Chicago. Gradschool let the world know they have graduated from the nonsense of the streets and you can too, through their most talked about release “Cease Tha Fire” The Message Volume 1. The project featured some of Chicago’s most prominent entertainers, and narrated by the most profound civil rights leaders of our time such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Malcolm X. Now while the focus was to put a message out in a way today’s youth could relate to. It was a big shocker when their music caught the attention of everyone, age was not a factor. They discovered a totally new sound and gave birth to Gradschool Entertainment “Spree Israel, Redstorm, Koop and C-Note P”. Gradschool soon decided that something was calling them in a direction that’s been familiar to them all of their lives but has not been visited in a while. Gradschool step into a Church not far from their home and Studio, They were welcome with open arms. Four friends that spent many days in open mic bars, surviving from sales of their CD’s caught up in many of the street activities gave their lives to the lord on that day. Gradschool shortly caught the attention of many ears with the release of their first gospel album A New Beginning. Named after their church home New Beginning. This CD is a must have. Gradschool’s ministry is supported by everyone they come in contact with. Such as Mel Jackson “Actor”, Pastor Corey Brooks “New Beginning Church”, Darryl King wycu 102.7 and Todd Stronger “Cook County Broad President”.
Chicago has been the home of the legendary Chicago Bulls, The Blues, Gangster Al Capone, and the list goes on. But Chicago has not claimed the crown of a musical powerhouse. Flashing back to 1996, a young producer by the name of Spree Isreal started his mission to make tracks and found out his position was not behind the boards but behind the mic. He developed his skills over the years and came and left ciphers like a ghost. He ran across an old friend who was also a rapper who saw much more in Spree’s talent than others did. His rapping friend put Spree in the studio and found that this raspy voiced, 79th street native did much more than just rapped but demanded the attention to be heard. Soon after, Spree dropped his debut album on the independent label Grilla Records entitled “The Vision” that displayed the experience of a young hustler in the streets of Chicago devoted to ripping the mic apart and leaving nothing to question about him and his co-horts that plainly stated HE CAN SPIT FLAMES. The album got street credibility and sold throughout the Midwest states. One artist claimed Spree as “The Ambassador of the Streets.” Power 92.3 Chocolate Jock Tre let Chicago know during a Friday night power hour that Spree is without a doubt hot and one of the top five MCs in Chicago. At this present time, Spree is more than ever focused and determined to bring his city a platinum plaque. Spree and a longtime friend teamed up with a premiere independent party promotion company called Trendsetters 085 Entertainment and, with this collaboration, created a more powerful buzz for Spree by throwing events and showcasing Spree’s talent to crowds reaching one thousand in attendance. He is now working harder than ever in the studio creating a second masterpiece of groundbreaking music to come out of Chicago. Spree’s mind and soul are ready to show the world what he’s built of and to create history as one of Chicago’s most
C Note P
Paul Richardson was born and raised in the heart of the City of Chicago, Englewood. C-Note P started writing and singing at the young age of just 8. One of his biggest influences was Michael Jackson who he could imitate very well. C-Note P journeyed into singing, songwriting and producing at an early age, and it soon paid off as he and his cousins Steve, Tobar, and Jive Recording artist Donell Jones formed a group called Porché. Porché caught the attention of several music industry executives, and the group signed with Laface Records. C-Note P co-wrote songs for Donell Jones’ first album “My Heart” and for the trio R&B group 702. C-Note P has performed with a host of other artists, The Manhattans, Al Hudson, One Way, Tina Marie, and The Enchantments. C-Note also preformed on the “Where I Wanna Be” tour with Donell Jones. I wanna be tour.
Darren Redmond, CHICAGO, IL – September 1, 2004 – On the tongues of spoken-word poetry aficionados nationwide, you will hear the name of author, poet and motivational speaker, Redstorm, the winner of Chicago’s Best New Poet Award (2004), who was featured on “Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry” (HBO Television; September 12, 2004, 11:00PM Eastern). Redstorm’s appearance on HBO coincided with the release of his book Finder of Lost Souls (Ebony Energy Publishing, ISBN: 0-9755092-2-5).
The Chicago Sun-Times venerates, “Redstorm is to poetry what John the Baptist was to Jesus, a purifier. His words leave no stone unturned.”
“Red Storm is beyond buzz-worthy! His words are a testament of all people in struggle. He's a true wordsmith,” commented BruceGeorge, Co-Founder of Def Poetry Jam.
Stan Lathan of Simmons Lathan Entertainment & Media Group states, “Red Storm spits the truth. He is truly a Def Poet.”
Bor Redmond, Red Storm’s poetry is not only urban observations but from the author’s thirteen-year prison experience. Born and raised on the Eastside of Chicago, 79th Street where he still resides, Red Storm attended
Horace Mann Elementary and South Shore High School. Many wonder how such a gifted writer who came from a solid foundation ended up in prison. Well, Redstorm simply chose at the time to run the gritty Chicago streets and became involved with gangs and drugs at an early age. Since his release from prison in July 2002, Redstorm took the poetry scene, literally, by storm! He has since performed across the nation, his image and poetry was utilized in a television PSA for The Cease Fire Program/Chicago
Police Department; he has appeared at the National Hip-Hop Summit Chicago 2004; and visited a
number of universities and schools including: Howard University Youth Symposium, Northeastern University, South Shore High School, and Hyde Park High School. Redstorm has also made it a poignant duty to assist in reforming drug addicts and gangsters by visiting institutes such as Hull House Drug Prevention Center, the Juvenile Detention Center, and the Cook County Department Of Corrections Div. #2.
Larry Vivians, inspired by his brother from Compton California, Koop started his rap career at the age of ten. He grew up watching movies like “Krush Groove,” “Electric Boogaloo,” and “Disorderly”: influenced by pioneers to the urban culture and the hip hop community, and his performance is strongly reflected by just that. Pursuing his desire and love for the art creating music, he and a friend formed a group called R.A.G. TIME, while working at a music store. Listening to various artists of different styles, Koop molded his craft creating music of all genres. R.A.G. TIME parted ways to pursue other desires in the music industry. After leaving the group, Koop was blessed with a chance to be part of Chicago Recording Artist Casper’s Promotional team. Casper authored “The Cha Cha Slide.” Eager to succeed as a solo artist, Koop trained with a relative, No Love, and various other producers in the city of Chicago. Koop learned sound recording techniques that later became very useful.
Koop recorded with and for many of Chicago’s up and coming artists, including Caraché Da God, Major Payne, Chi Blizz, Cheba, Spree Isreal, C-Note P, Big Nasty, No Love, Red Storm, and many others. Koop has a very strong relationship with many of Chicago’s elite venues where he has performed, such as the Negro League Café, Funky Buddha Lounge, Jokes and Notes, The Mirage, Crocodile Lounge, The Premier Entertainment Center, and etc.