2004-2011,El Genius recorded and performed primarily in Omaha, Nebraska.Although a lifes dream it was time to expand and explore. Meeting Carlos Gutierez (C-Los) and Isaac Ramos (Sac Masta) at an ASCAP festival in Hollywood, California El had finally found 2 credible and dedicated partners in rhyme. Together it was decided that the operation would continue in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. July 17th we hit the road... The Long Ride 3 Coming Soon
El Genius By MarQ Manner The hip-hop scene in Omaha was once considered more of an afterthought and a genre that Omaha musicians could not compete in on a national level. A lot has changed in recent years with hip-hop artists from Omaha reaching out beyond this city, putting out quality records and mix-tapes, and putting out some of the more high-quality videos that anyone from any genre in town has produced. Over the years some of the â€œundergroundâ€ or â€œindieâ€ hip-hop artists have made a name for themselves on live stages, but the artists more in tune with what is happening on the charts and radio have kept to themselves, their studios, and have not branched out. More and more of these artists are getting the opportunity, and making those opportunities happen for themselves and branching out not only in town but well beyond. Omaha hip-hop artist and producer El Genius is one of those making things happen. I recently interviewed El Genius in his space inside Make Believe Studios in South Omaha. I found him to be confident in his ability, knowing exactly what he wanted, and having a plan to make that plan happen. His plan was streamlined, well thought out, and unlike any that I have heard from any other artist or musician of any genre. He was not talking about groundbreaking things; he was just talking about common sense plans that could actually work. El Genius will be releasing his new CD â€œThe Long Ride IIâ€ on June 7 on iTunes and at other outlets. El Genius will have a CD release party on June 9 at 415 in the Old Market as part of Hip-Hop Revival Episode XII. For more information go to elgenius.com. Shout! â€“ Tell me how you got started? El Genius â€“ I have ben rhyming since I was 12 years old, and I am almost 29 now. I donâ€™t even remember too much before that time. I just did it because I was curious if I could do it or not. I just got progressively better. I have always believed in myself and I have been coming up like nobody has, especially in rap. So we started off recording on like tape decks, and I donâ€™t mean like reel to reel, but like cassette tapes and we grew from there. I just had a passion for it. Even when I went in the Army that was something I could lean back on. It was an escape from reality for me. Shout! â€“ When were you in the military? El Genius â€“ 2000-2004-I was overseas when 911 happened. I was in Kuwait. Shout! â€“ Do you speak about your military experience in your lyrics? El Genius - Oh yeah- definitely. A lot of it, a lot of the pride in my music comes out from my time in the military. I take a lot of pride in what I do. You know that. Shout! â€“ When did you first start to put out music? El Genius â€“ I dropped The Long Ride in early 2007. Then we rode that little wave and that is when I first came out and was doing shows and meeting people. From 08 to 09 we put out the Big 3 mix tape with ASO and King James. Shout! â€“ What did you do to prepare for The Long Ride II? El Genius â€“ I went to Portland and Seattle to get away from everyone for a while. I have a producer out there, two actually. I was working with the guys from Max Bâ€™s crew also. As far as the recent indieâ€™s go he is very important. This is one that I started with E. Babbs right before I went to Portland. Then I went to Portland and Seattle and that is when I did a lot of production for it and I wanted to find a place where I could record. I have my own studio at home. I was working out of there for a year-that is when I recorded a lot of music. I have the Gothic City Chronicles mix tape coming out-that is actually coming out with the album and that will be a freebie. That is all original from the ground up to the last sample. It is my s**t. No usual mix tape bullshit. Shout! â€“ You seem to do a lot of the music and take care of the business yourself. El Genius â€“ Yeah big time, from start to finish I donâ€™t have to go outside for anything. I like to micro manage shit. I am pretty much in house from the initial idea to the final output besides the mass production. When it comes to making a beat for a visual purpose or a track I can use my business degree. A lot of those people are just hood ass mfâ€™s that do not have the business aspect down and they go nowhere. Some have been someone where and they wonâ€™t go there again because their money is not there. This is a business and if you donâ€™t realize that you are an idiot, you just another knuckle head. Shout! â€“ So what is your business plan? El Genius â€“ I want to go with the regional market and then overseas, because that is important. You have your regional support and your overseas support and that creates a national support. Itâ€™s impossible to reach any major labels without going through all the channels. If you donâ€™t have a lot of money already these cats donâ€™t want to deal with you. So this is just blow up when you show up. Especially now because everyone wants to be a rapper or artist. I just use strategic hustle. Shout !- Explain â€œstrategic hustle.â€ El Genius â€“ It doesnâ€™t guarantee no win, but you learn from it. Even if you lose, you win from it. I donâ€™t want to be forgotten. I feel that I am too talented to be forgotten. I am 28. Imagine when I am 35? That is another 7 years for me to strategic grind. Imagine where I will be then? I am one of the cats who has the keys to where he lives, and that is not just the door to my house but this town. Not too many people can say that. Shout! â€“ Did you collaborate with anyone on The Long Ride II? El Genius â€“ One was recorded with Lindsay Donovan (Omaha song-writer), â€œThe Callâ€ she is on the keys. This album ainâ€™t like anything that I have ever done before. It is like a real string heavy and a dope ass album. Shout!- What about touring? A lot of local hip-hop artists do not tour. El Genius- If the numbers arenâ€™t right then I am not doing it. If they are I will. Shout â€“ Are there any tracks that mean anything in particular to you? El Genius â€“ A lot of them, canâ€™t say one particular. There is some where I just want to have fun and have an easy beat and just murder it. (he starts rapping over a track at this point). Shout! â€“ You seem to have found a new focus since you have returned from your travels. Why did you leave? El Genius â€“ At the time I didnâ€™t know. Something was compelling me to just leave, leave, and leave. I have noticed I follow a pattern where I am driven to a point of self-destruction. That was one those points, where I couldnâ€™t get over things and that just made it more complicated. I was just far away from home when I shouldâ€™ve been at home taking care of business. I just spent like a month up in Harlem slumming. Shout â€“ Harlem isnâ€™t the same as it once was, is it? I mean The Clintons had space there. El Genius â€“ Are you kidding? The apartment I was in was smaller than this room; we were in the other part of Harlem. Itâ€™s so dope, itâ€™s like the black American Mecca. Itâ€™s like where black is beautified. It was great to make a record there. I was recording by where KRS 1 was first starting off. You know how the Muslims go to Mecca every year? We should go to Harlem every year, real talk-I really believe we should.
FourSquared Posted on 04/20/11 in MarQ Manner, Music, No Comments This year I wanted to talk with and about some of the people behind the scenes who are helping to make the music and events happen in the Omaha area. This past week I met up with Josh Ginsburg whom along with Monte Maxwell (El Genius) runs Psquared Media. Ginsburg has stepped up as a promoter, producer, and manager in the past couple of years. In an effort to bring some variety to the Omaha stages he has many events slated for Omaha venues in 2011. I met up with Ginsburg at California Taco this past week to discuss these events and his role in the Omaha music community. Ginsburg started working in the community with a very different venture.â€ I started when I was 18, to be honest with you, with a group called People for Growth. We knew a couple of lawyers, and we wanted to provide lawyers for people with minor drug offenses. We did a lot of debates and things like that that. Everything changed when I had a daughter, so I didnâ€™t want to continue with that. I knew Monte, and I started hanging around with him and going to shows with him, and it just spread into what we are doing now with our own shows. We have now done 140 shows in four yearsâ€. Some of his upcoming events include hip-hop star Lucky Luciano at Sokol Underground this Friday April 22. That show will also feature Stylo, Latin Threat, Romero, El Genius, and Mista Soull. Ginsburg along with Surreal has also booked The Waiting Room Lounge on Wednesday, April 20 for the 9th Annual Omaha 4-20 show. This show will feature Funk Trek, Lightning Bug, MO Caius, Mars Black, Boba Lue, and DJ E. Babbs. Psquared Media will also be hosting a trio of ongoing club nights at various venues around the city. On the third Thursday of every month, Ginsburg will be hosting â€œThe Slo-Motion Monthly Music Seriesâ€ at Elite Lounge. This night will feature a wide range of hip-hop, r & b, and acoustic songwriters. I asked Ginsburg about the event and if it is an open mike night. He said, â€œNo, I book the artists. This is one of the things we wanted to do, we wanted to provide another stage for local artists and the hip hop community.â€ Anotherr ongoing event will be happening at T-Henrys called â€œDowntown Sounds,â€ which will feature a mix of rock bands and hip-hop artists not only from Omaha, but from around the country. On this event Ginsburg said, â€œWe are bringing back a lot of the stuff that Surreal was doing with the mixed shows at The Ranch Bowl, where Surreal was mixing up the rock acts with the hip hop artists.â€ The last series is one that Ginsburg has been doing for over a year now, and that is the â€œHip-Hop Revivalâ€at 415. . â€œLast year we did it for 10 months in a row at the 415, and we did 10 to 15 emcees every night. It was once a month, and we started doing it on a Monday, and it ended up being Thursday nights and packed. You can follow all of these events and get dates at elgenius.com. Besides booking events, Psquared media has gotten into recording, networking, and managing other acts. Psquared has recently set up shop inside Make Believe studios and has been booking blocks of time with acts there. On his studio work Ginsburg remarked, â€œWe are the most affordable professional studio in Omaha. We have made it to the point where we are not competing with basement studios, but competing with the bigger studios.â€ One of his main focuses is the music career of his business partner El Genius, who I will be talking with next month prior to his CD release. When asked what the future holds for the two he said, â€œUltimately, my goal is to be where I am handling the business side of thing, and Monte can handle the music. Monte has a business degree as well, he is a smart guy. With PSquared Media I am all business, and I am not going to take a step back. We are just setting ourselves a part.â€ MarQ Manner has been involved with music in Omaha his entire adult life â€“ from managing and booking bands to a 15-year run as manager at Homerâ€™s Records to writing a local music column for the past 10 years. Currently, Marq is the Music Nominating Chair for the Omaha Arts & Entertainment Awards.
2010 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards Live Music Nominees Show airs live January 8th 2010 on channel 620 and KETV Best Hip-Hop/Rap Conchance El Genius Jamazz Mars Black Surreal The MC Best New Artist El Genius Itâ€™s True Jes Winter Band Little Black Stereo Mitch Gettman Best Rock After The Fall Box Elders Cursive Ladyfinger (NE) Rock Paper Dynamite Best Hard Rock Bloodcow Emphatic Narcotic Self Paria Screaming For Silence Best Alternative/Indie Anniversaire Daniel Christian Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies Itâ€™s True Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band Best Singer-Songwriter/Adult Alternative Midwest Dilemma Ember Shrag Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies Adam Hawkins/Itâ€™s True Matt Whipkey Best DJ Brent Crampton Neal Duffy/W.E.R.D. Kobraklye/Kyle Richardson Chris Massara Spencelove Best Folk/Roots/Americana/Bluegrass Black Squirrels Matt Cox Brad Hoshaw Filter Kings Outlaw Con Bandanna Best Soul and R&B Funk Trek Voyager Lucas Kellison & The Assembled Soul Satchel Grande Son Of 76 & The Watchmen The 9â€™s Best Gospel HG Filled Heidi Joy No Better Cause Sacred Heart Freedom Choir Salem Baptist Voices Of Victory Best Blues Backers Blues Barkin Irons Sarah Benk Matt Cox Kris Lager Band Son Of 76 & The Watchmen Best Jazz/Standards/Easy Listening Matt Amandus Prairie Cats Pat Higgins Trio Heidi Joy Luigi Waites Best Ethnic/World Music Ellis Island Rhythm Collective The Turfmen Sabor Son De Llano Best Cover Band Girl Drink Drunk The Lizard King ME2 Secret Weapon Song Remains The Same Album Of The Year Black Squirrels, Paying For Your Pleasure Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies, self titled Cursive, Mamma Iâ€™m Swollen Matt Cox, My Last Dollar Matt Whipkey, Instant Heart Artist Of The Year The Black Squirrels Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies Cursive Itâ€™s True Little Brazil
What up World been in Portland for a few days checking out the scene. Infiltrating i guess you can say Big up to all my Midwest Kings! Keep the pen flying Boys! anyway will be in Phoenix Late March then probably shoot Thru to Colorado to check out DJ Shor-T's Birthday Bash Whew we loggin some miles huh Ginny?!? Pick up that Big 3 mixtape Big City Lights! available @ myspace.com/elgenius just send me a message and ill send you a free copy! 20 tracks featuring King James ASO and many more! Also The Much Anticipated El Genius Experiment will be in stores Winter 2009 Stay Tuned via itunes, rhapsody and cd baby. Stay Tuned G
Well in December 2007 i went to Miami and had a sit down with Scoe Walker (Suave House 2) and "Rad" Dimanche(Bad Boy). The meeting went very smooth and my music was well accepted! That was 3 weeks ago! What does the Future hold for me??? Anyway im really Grinding Hard to continue to build my name, knowledge, and reputation. All the while increasing my pockets a lil.. I guess Errthang is going Good Merry Christmas to me :) G