"With slammin’ poetry, precise beats, and DIY authenticity, Czarnik is an inspiration to young MC’s everywhere."
-Claire Ashton, Bitch Magazine
"Her musicality is inclusive enough to envelop folk, jazz and pop sensibilities in loops and live instrumentation...Czarnik may not be out to set the world ablaze as a female counterpart to Eminem, but she'll fire up listeners to grab notebooks and microphones and set their observations to sounds not beholden to any commercial R&B radio format."
- Jamie Lee Rake, Shepherd Express
“…Stated on the first track, 'Thunder Summer Storm,' this is 'a new feminism coming straight from the grind.' Melissa’s words cover many vexed topics: abortion, negative images of women in the media, the current worldview of Americans, oppression, classism and others. As a woman today, I seldom hear these messages on mainstream radio. I appreciate that Melissa also noticed this gaping hole and is striving to fill it…”
- Julie Strand, Riverwest Currents
Melissa Czarnik is a burgeoning poet and emcee hailing from Milwaukee, WI. Czarnik recently released her first solo album, Strawberry Cadillac in the Summer of 2008. When asked why she named her album Strawberry Cadillac, Czarnik responded, "because a Strawberry Buick just wouldn't cut it."
Czarnik's 17 track, Strawberry Cadillac, is the product of a year long project which focuses on issues of social justice, relationships, and the struggle that goes along with the two. Mixing her interests in poetry and Hip Hop, her song diversity exemplifies a strong influence of artists such as Lauryn Hill, Ani Difranco, and French songstress, Edith Piaf.
Her style is a powerful mix of poetry, precise delivery, and conscious content in a voice that ranges from sweet and playful to in your face and commanding. She has a unique flow that separates her style from the usual biter rappers, and leaves each song on the album sounding diverse from the other. The music that backs her up is the product of producer Eric Mire, a classically trained composer and pianist with decades of experience in both classical and popular mediums. Together, Mire and Czarnik have founded Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, a label that prides itself on delivering conscious, original, and innovative music to it's listeners.
Strawberry Cadillac blends live instrumentation with beat machines, electronics and guest appearances by some of Milwaukee's most talented musicians. Collaborative appearances include, but are not limited to; Robin Pluer's vocal stylings on Rue Lafayette, Robert Figueroa of Nabori's latin percussion on Garden of Eden, and Maurice Cotton of Cotton Gin Music Productions' keys on Thunder Summer Storm and production of the Happy Song.
Thought provoking content is the foundation of Strawberry Cadillac. After spending two years in AmeriCorps as a Volunteer in Service to America and Public Ally, Czarnik worked for social justice in areas such as poverty, k-12 education, the environment, and predatory lending. Her experience in these jobs is directly reflected in her lyrics.