“To spread peace, love and freedom thru the power of words and music,” perfectly describe the mission of the artist known as Madgesdiq. This one time basketball prodigy, who received a full ride scholarship and attended Georgetown University before transferring to and then graduating from the University of Oregon has since crossed over, (no pun intended), and now uses his passion for writing and love of music to inspire and entertain others.
After a brief professional career, which took him to several countries around the world, including Brazil and Portugal, Madgesdiq set out on a new journey, one that would eventually lead him back to his childhood hobbies of writing and music. “I’ve always been attracted to the beauty of words and the power music, but growing up in an athletic family and loving the game as I did, I devoted most of my time to it, leaving my love for the arts to wait until its destined time.”
That destined time came in 1998 when Madgesdiq picked up a pen and began writing again. He soon came to realize that he had rediscovered his passion for the arts and committed himself to the nurturing and mastering of his craft. The 6 foot 3” inch, Portland Oregon native, who recalls as an adolescent how he used to dream of rocking mics while pacing his bedroom reciting the lyrics to L.L Cool J and Rakim songs, has since seen those dreams come true, and now finds him self moving crowds and sharing the stage with such Hip hop legends as KRS-ONE and Chuck D, internationally known independent acts such as Lyrics Born, Zion I, the rising Somali star K’naan, saxophone extraordinaire Mike Phillips, and the prophetic sounds and vibes of reggae sensation Midnite. Madgesdiq has also performed at Alonzo Mourning’s Zo’s summer groove, the Northwest World Reggae Festival, the Seattle Hempfest, Music Fest NW as well as other festivals and fairs. He has also appeared on the Lyric Café, which aired on BET J.
Although proven and capable of holding it down solo or with a DJ, Madgesdiq has recently linked up with some talented and passionate musicians to amplify and heighten the power and sound of his live performance. He is now accompanied by Rod Nightingale on drums, Steve Amen on keys, Newel Briggs on guitar, Malcolm Lewis on sax and Marquay Seamster on Bass. Fittingly calling themselves The Freedom Train, this group of eclectic personalities, who now all reside in the Portland area have come together to create a show that is enlivening, captivating and down right entertaining. The performance not only satisfies your soul for the moment, it resonates with you, leaving you asking, “When is the next.”
When not gracing the stage or in the studio recording, Madgesdiq can be found in the hallways, classrooms, and auditoriums of local high schools and other organizations and institutions working with the youth of his community. Combining his love of the arts with his love for teaching and inspirational speaking, Madgesdiq uses his creative talent, his life experiences, and down to earth conversation to connect with the youth of today, encouraging them to pursue their dreams, while stressing upon them the importance of accessing the knowledge and potential they posses inside, fueling them with the desire to use their talents, gifts, and opportunities for the benefit of themselves and others.
It was back in November of 2002, that Madgesdiq independently released his first LP, fittingly titled “The Rebirth”, and saw “Dreamz”, the lead single off of the album climb to the Number one slot on several college hip hop radio stations across the country. He then went on to sign with an up and coming label out of Portland and released his second album, self titled, “Madgesdiq”. This album, featuring such songs as Top Of The Line and Poetic Justice displayed the growth and maturity of the artist, but after failing to see eye to eye with the label, they decided to go their separate ways.
Back on his own, Madgesdiq was undaunted and continued to hone his craft and gather enthusiast by releasing “All I Wanna Do” and “Music Is Life”. These two mix tapes saw Madgesdiq tap into a more energetic and personal side of his being and kept the streets abuzz, anticipating the day of his next release.
Ttaking his art form to paper, he self published and released a book of poetry titled, Steppin’ Out. This collection of poems which chronicles his journey towards freedom and truth, not only served as a catharsis for the author, but as a source of inspiration for others as well. His willingness to openly discuss his pain, his fears, his faith, and his aspirations truly resonate with the recipient, enlivening the spirit to the point that one feels compelled to take a deeper look inside themselves and a closer look at the world in which we live.
With each new appearance, doors continue to open for the charismatic emcee, who now offers music lovers his third LP, “I Wanna Be Free.”
This soulful and spiritual offering while staying true to its roots of hip hop is truly a hybrid of several musical genres including Soul, R & B, Reggae, and Jazz. The album is full of positive energy, creating a feeling of Nostalgia, but at the same time it is truly original and unique in its’ sound. Madgesdiq can be found passionately delivering messages of love and purpose on tracks like “Forbidden”, “Love is the key” and “This is my life”, or gracefully addressing political and social issues as captured on the title track, “I Wanna Be Free”. Oh yeah, and by the way, Madgesdiq is sure to get your adrenalin flowing on the reggae/hip hop club banger “Pump ya fist”. This anthem, which serves as a call for all followers of Rastafari will most certainly have you doing exactly what the track suggest regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs. When asked about the album, he softly and without hesitation states, “this is truly my best work to date, and for those of you who love music with a message and a positive vibe, you will most certainly be satisfied.”
It is safe to say that Madgesdiq has successfully made the transition from stand out athlete to entertainer and with his positive energy, universal message, and his powerful presence, he will most certainly move the masses while shining his light upon the world.