Block Scholars is the indie Hip Hop musical collaboration between NOBULL (Bennett Baskerville; Bronx, NY) and Slimdog of Slimdog Productions (David Bell Jr.; Akron, OH), with the pair rapping their way through some of the freshest Hip Hop beats around. Originally a three-piece featuring 2mental (Nathan Andreas; Philadelphia, PA), the group first met each other through Myspace and mutual friends in 2005. Home now in Colorado Springs, CO, the rap act is heavily influenced by an eclectic mix of music ranging from Biggie Smalls, 2Pac, Madlib, Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Prince to even Jazz, Opera, Rock and Classical music. They are also considered a “triple threat” because collectively they can write high quality lyrics, produce and perform their own music.
Block Scholars & Slimdog Productions have ranked on independent music site charts such as IACmusic.com, Garageband.com (Song of the Day) & mp3unsigned.com over the years. Block Scholars received the 2011 "Excellence In Songwriting" Award from The 18th Annual Billboard/Starmaker 360 Worldwide Songwriting Contest for placing in 3rd out of 1000s of entries in the Rap/Hip Hop genre, plus being finalists for (R&B/Hip Hop) and semi-finalists (Unsigned Only) categories in the 2010 International Songwriting Competition for the song "Time Machine", both of these contests known for being the two of the best songwriting competitions in the world. Block Scholars were nominated for Best Hip Hop Artist/Song from Hollywood Music In Media in July 2010 & January 2011 for the songs, "Flossin'" & "This Is For My People (The Rhythm Of A Scholar)" respectively, selected as one of the “Next 1000” artists to watch for in 2009 by URB Magazine, and were named the 2009 KIAC Open Songs Competition Winner in Hip Hop for their track, "Livin’ In Tha’ Jungle ft. 2mental". They also have received the “Collective Works Honor” from SongOfTheYear.com in 2009 for high scores on multiple works in that contest.
Besides shows around their home base of Colorado, Block Scholars have also performed at festivals such as The Denver Post’s Underground Music Showcase, Gorilla Productions’ Hip Hop Takeover and the Neon Reverb Festival in Las Vegas. In 2010, Block Scholars released the "Weather The Storm Compilation" album featuring 2mental on Maganatune.com; only the 2nd Hip Hop group to do so, "You Can’t Fight Us ft. 20/20" on the Coast2Coast mix tape The Showcase Vol. 52 hosted by DJ Stupac and on the UGH mix tape Undergrond Hustlas Vol. XX hosted by Ron Jeremy. Collaborating with Derelict, NOBULL has also worked on their track, "Heart ft. NOBULL of Block Scholars" on another Coast2Coast mix tape.
The group’s next album, "From Zero To Hero", will be released in 2011 featuring the award winning songs, "Time Machine" & Hollywood Music In Media nominee "Flossin'". Block Scholars Music Group LLC. will release in Winter 2011, "Block Scholars Music Group Presents: If You're Not The Lead Dog Vol. I" featuring collabs with Block Scholars/Slimdog Productions and the hottest indie artists/producers in the game. They are gaining more fans and recognition in the industry, and hope to reach and teach with good storytelling and music – two things that are sorely missed in today’s mainstream hip hop.
You can also hear more of Block Scholars music along with works with 2mental on, "Slimdog's Slimdizzle Fo' Shizzle Show" podcast at: www.slimdog.podomatic.com
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We like to thank all the listeners and publications who have taken the time to listen, comment & review our music.
Here are some:
"Whoa... nice opening. Powerful. I like this.
This is good. Nice arrangement. Nice. The groove is great. I'm missing a hook though. I'd like to be into this more than for the groove. I'd love for there to be a solid hook. Even so, I could see myself coming back to this track more than once...We don't even make the offer to artists who don't meet the caliber we can hear in your music. We'd say this music is perfectly capable of competing in the current market..."
- PRE SCREENING TEAM AT CWE MEDIA, NYC. On Block Scholars song, "By Any Means ft. 20/20". Charlie Walk is the former President of Epic Records and now is the founder of Charlie Walk Entertainment. In his three years at its helm, Walk transformed Epic from a traditional record label to a progressive, multi-faceted entertainment company with a fearless approach to innovation. During his tenure, Walk maintained Epic as a creative haven for superstars such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ozzy Osbourne, Duran Duran, Tori Amos, Good Charlotte and George Michael, while also pioneering pop culture trends and cultivating edgy new sounds with the signing of artists like The Fray, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston and Sara Bareilles. 11/1/10 -
"Our second hip hop artist on Magnatune, but the first in quite a few years. The Block Scholars impressed me with the quality of musicianship, production and lyrical content..."
- FROM JOHN BUCKMAN, CEO and founder of Magnatune.com 2/12/10 -
Thanks for submitting the material for the evaluation.
WOW - great job David! These songs are as strong as anything on the radio in the rap genre.
All of the bases are covered - music, lyrics, rapping, beats, etc... I am very impressed.
The lyric "loose lips sink ships" ("Livin' In Tha' Jungle ft. 2mental") made me smile, as that's a common expression for one of my favorite Uncles. It made me think of him. So that was cool. :-)
I only have good things to say about your music. You are doing a great job and if you keep working hard to get it out there from Colorado to the world, the sky is the limit..."
- FROM EUGENE FOLEY of Foley Entertainment Inc., consultant/advisor to over 40 Gold/Platinum Record & 3 Grammy winning artists/producers. One of the most respected consultants/authors in the music industry, evaluating Block Scholars songs; "Livin' In Tha' Jungle ft. 2mental", "Never Repented ft. NOBULL/Knife Star/Vagabond" & "Lyrical Extermination". www.FoleyEntertainment.com
"There’s some knowledge you can’t get in school, it comes from experience. Block Scholars use lessons learned from their personal trials and tribulations to teach the masses through their music. Having blessed the raw funky production of Slimdog on previous collabs, MCs NOBULL and 2mental officially united with the producer in 2008. The result is a group that hopes to use their allegorical street tales as an instrument of change. The head-nodding beats are a nice bonus..."
- BLOCK SCHOLARS, "LIVIN IN THA' JUNGLE" Reviewed by Dan Vidal URB.COM 3/10/09 -
"The Block Scholars are a hardcore Rap outfit hailing from Colorado Springs. For us, they really came out of left field, and we were pleasantly surprised when their music ended up in our in box last week.
So far what we have heard is a wide array of various songs, in various styles, all put together extremely properly.
There is a lot you need to know about these hustle hard motherf***ers (including a dope Podcast they do), So we will be unveiling it over the course of this month, in fragments.
But for now..."
- THE COLORADO RAP REPORT 3/16/09 -
"Music Comments: David Bell, Jr. bangs out high tech and an instrumental foundation on his large cd. It's about the rough and tumble hustle of the street, full of harsh thoughts and conscious hip hop chops. The ep has deep and timely lyrics about keeping it real. The highlights on these tracks occurs when he gets into the musical quality of the melodies, with techno backbeats and deep vocals to back his message...We look forward to receiving more tunes where this came from!"
- A&R SELECT HOLLYWOOD 3/26/09 -
Block Scholars LP & "From Zero To Hero" coming in 2011...