Music & Clothing Business:
Twice Thou (M. Antonio Ennis):
Began as a successful hip-hop artist with the internationally known and notorious rap groups The Almighty RSO who later changed their name toThe Undisputed MadeMen.
He's been signed to major record labels Tommy Boy, Epic, Virgin, Def Jam, Restless/BMG, RCA and Interscope.
He's written hooks for and recorded hit songs with platinum artists Faith Evans, Dionne Warwick, Montell Jordan, Monifah, Monica & Pink and has also featured on songs with Ray J, Master P, Big Pun, Mase, Mobb Deep, Nas, Dogg Pound and Tupac Shakur’s group Outlawz among many others.
His hits “One In Tha Chamba” and “You Could Be My Boo” have made it onto Billboards Hot Rap Singles Chart at #15 and #5, respectively.
His CORI-friendly clothing business (Antonio Ansaldi Clothing Company) has employed local at-risk youth as it supports and sponsors social causes. Since the Grand Opening in 2001, he's given back to the community through events like his annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaways and the Aids Awareness campaign that encourages youth to practice safe sex.
In 2004, he wrote a hip-hop song titled "I Play Dirty" that influenced over 800 local high school students to get diagnosed for HIV/AIDS.
The first year in business he received the prestigious “Small Business of the Year" award from DBEDC/Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. His brand consistently develops compelling new designs that have generated a world-wide customer base and has been featured in blockbuster films like Paramount's “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson and “Save the Last Dance”/ Julia Stiles, Warner Bros. “Exit Wounds”/ Steven Seagal & DMX and “Torque”/ Ice Cube & Martin Henderson, plus countless independent movies, sitcoms, videos, reality TV & award shows.
His clientele list of satisfied celebrity customers include Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Willie McGinest, 50 CENT, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and JaRule just to name a few, as it literally reads like a "whose who" of the Hip-Hop, Professional Sports and Entertainment industries.
When the economy crashed in 2007 it financially affected his walk-in customers. In 2009, after 10 years of service in his resident community he had to close his flagship boutique, an iconic retail outlet that only carried Antonio Ansaldi products and local private labels, it was also the birthplace of the now infamous "Stop Snitchin' " t-shirt and the imminent controversy.
As business slowed down, a few of his tenants lost their jobs and he soon fell behind on his mortgage. As did millions of homeowners in America, he'd find out he was a victim of Bank of America's predatory loan practices that targeted communities of color.
In April 2011, he went to City Life/Vida Urbana (www.clvu.org) as a homeowner in foreclosure seeking help and found a support system like no other. After falling in love with City Life's ‘Sword & Shield’ method of fighting back against Big Banks, he soon began to volunteer his time whenever members were needed for direct actions.
While being involved with the movement for only 5 months he used his story as the poster-child and helped organize 3,500 national activists on September 30, 2011 in what would turn out to be the biggest protest in history against Bank of America at their headquarters in Boston, MA.
Empowered and refreshed by the movement, he started to write songs about the big banking crisis and subsequently recorded a music video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phh6Ea8t9eQ) and full-length album titled “The Bank Attack” (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/twicethou).
His leadership qualities, commitment to fighting for social change and numerous rallies that he MC'd prompted City Life to offer him employment in November 2011 to be the Canvassing Coordinator and a Lead-Organizer.
As an organizer with the grassroots non-profit City Life/Vida Urbana, he brings an amplified hip-hop voice to the movement with a special interest to motivate & edify the youth. He also works as a coordinator sending Canvass Teams out to knock on doors and let families facing foreclosure know that they don't have to move out just because the bank sent a 'Notice to Evict'.
He reassures misinformed families that, "You didn't do anything wrong, you were targeted and you're victims of owning homes in communities of color. You're underwater because you can't make payments on a mortgage that's twice the amount of what your home is actually worth. A loan modification with Principal Reduction would fix that, but you gotta stand up & fight back because only a judge can evict you!"
Mentorship - 4PEACE Foundation:
Antonio is a founding member of the anti-gun, drugs, gangs & violence group 4PEACE. An unlikely partnership formed in 2005 with his life long enemy and fellow hip-hop pioneer, Edward "Edo G" Anderson at the height of record level homicides and violence on the streets of Boston.
“We’re living proof of solutions to the problem”, says Edo.G.
“We used to be enemies that didn’t like each other at all, our crews had beef and when we crossed paths violence usually popped off, It was a cycle of violence for many years”, says Twice Thou. Time and maturity has healed the wounds of the past. They’ve put their differences aside for the betterment of the youth in their community. Their anthem “Start Peace” and music video filmed in the Suffolk County House of Correction at South Bay with blessings from then-Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral helped to disseminate messages of peace with 'Impact Player' inmates and quell the violence between feuding gang members on the street at a crucial time. They continue to be highly-regarded keynote speakers at jails, high schools and community centers for using their story to change lives.
For more in-depth info: View EPK (Electronic Press Kit) @ vimeo.com/3394399
As a father, business owner, lyricist, mentor, community organizer and self-proclaimed "Recording Activist" , he has a renewed focus to stimulate and activize the youth with words of hope, social change and leadership through visual art, edu-tainment, fashion design and music.
His record company, The BuyBack Initiative/Music Group's objective is to purchase foreclosed homes from banks or investors then sell back to the former owner at the real market value. By initiating this venture, TBI/MG aspires to partner with Private Investors/Donors to help families drowning in debt with underwater mortgages stay in their homes.
Portions of the proceeds from "The Bank Attack" project are donated to The BuyBack Initiative/Music Group and City Life/Vida Urbana.
(Your purchase of "The Bank Attack" CD is a direct investment into The BuyBack Initiative/Music Group's mission to purchase foreclosed properties from banks or investors then sell back to the former owner at the real market value to help families stay in their homes)