Mic Crenshaw

Mic Crenshaw Bio

"In total, Mic Crenshaw’s music is not only a collective of juicy jams and skillful rhymes.  This guy has made his mark on culture. Now it’s time that he garners critical mass to spread his positivity to the world at large." 

- Billboard

Born on the Southside of Chicago, and raised both there and in Minneapolis, Michael Crenshaw is a world class MC and poet who has emerged on the national - and international stage.

As a teen in the late 80's, Mic was embroiled in the violent streets of Minneapolis, leading groups to physically confront white supremacist gangs that were enforcing their will at local parks and social scenes.

After beating back the neo-nazis, the violence remained, both in the streets and from authorities.  Crenshaw decided it was time to escape it all and moved west to Portland, OR. 

Crenshaw says, "I wanted something new. [At the time] my ties with the streets were still pretty strong, and my social life involved drinking and fighting. I was ready for a change."

In Portland, he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest.  Beginning in '94, Crenshaw was the front man for the beloved Portland live Hip Hop band, Hungry Mob. 

In 2001, Crenshaw won The Portland Poetry Slam Championship and went on to finish as a national finalist.

The Portland Mercury writes, 'Mic Crenshaw is a pretty mythic character... (with the Lifesavas) two of the very best hip-hop acts in PDX”.

 

In 2009, Mic released his debut solo CD, "Thinking Out Loud", which spent 10 weeks in the top 10 on College Music Journal's (CMJ) National Radio Hip Hop Charts, peaking at number 4. 

 

"Mic Crenshaw blends his smooth flow with a street-hardened attitude, effortlessly spitting rhymes over a menagerie of horns, drums and keys. Fifteen years of making music, helping those less fortunate and social activism has made Mic Crenshaw a force worthy of a new generation of listeners." 

– College Music Journal 

Crenshaw’s 2nd solo release, ‘Under The Sun,’ was released in the winter of 2010.  Single ‘Yeah’ peaked at #2 on CMJ’s Hip Hop Charts.

"'Under the Sun,' serves up potent post-millennial rapping.  Crenshaw’s flow ranges from a sensual ooze to machine-gun rapid-fire spitfire; and his musical backdrops are always masterfully creative."  

- Billboard 

In Portland, Mic's community efforts expanded from the local - to the global. At the close of a Human Rights conference he attended in Rwanda, Crenshaw was confronted by local activists.  They said that in America there are computers and they need his help to get them computers.  As a result, upon returning to Portland, he enlisted help from an educational colleague, Morgan Delaney.  As a result, Globalfam was born.   

Globalfam is now a full entertainment company, record label and lifestyle company in one.  It houses and produces Crenshaw's music. As well as, partners with the non-profit Education WithOut Borders (EWOB) to manage the community projects that Crensahw and Globalfam are involved in.  Crenshaw now serves as EWOB's President.

Seven years later, the request for computers has blossomed into a full computer education center in Burundi, Central Africa.   Over 800 people have received training, and the center is now expanding, generating revenue and creating jobs by adding a computer repair shop.   It is 100% locally managed and staffed.  EWOB and Globalfam, along with its supporters, have been the sole outside sponsor. 

EWOB helps education, music and art initiatives in Portland and their work in Africa, as well serving as an umbrella for the Portland Books For Prisoners Chapter.  Crenshaw is currently the Political Director of Hip Hop Congress and the Lead U.S. Organizer for the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. The Caravan toured six African cities in 2012 and will tour 10 cities between Cape Town and Cairo in 2014. The Caravan engages each city with a show in the city center, a Hip Hop Symposium and a free show for the youth in a township or ghetto. Crenshaw was invited to be part of the Caravan after playing the Shoko International Festival in Harare Zimbabwe in 2012.

 

The Shoko Festival 2012- Crenshaw played in the Glen Norah Township, Zimbabwe with Zim's legendary Ba Shupi.

Crenshaw is currently recording music for his 3rd solo album, releasing the first single 'Superheroes' ft. Dead Prez. 'Superheroes' peaked at #2 on Rapattacklives.com singles chart.

Following the release of the single, Crenshaw and Dead Prez teamed up again to create an amazing video with 109 Salmon.  Check it out!

   'Superheroes'  ft. dead prez  Music Video

"One of the tightest rappers around... Crenshaw is the truth - spread the word." 

- Davey D, Hip Hop Journalist/Historian

Prior, Crenshaw released a Rock/Hip Hop EP entitled Bionic Metal, featuring his debut Music Video 'Free My Mind'.  For the video, Crenshaw took to open road atop his Harley for some sensational shots of the picturesque Northwest. 

"Free My Mind" Music Video

By Mic Crenshaw ft. Ray Frazier

"This Is my ode to getting into the wind and letting it go. Growing up in Chicago and Minneapolis, Black Bikers were part of the sub cultural landscape and my own family. Settling in the Pacific Northwest and becoming a rider myself, this video captures the feel of the open road in one of the most picturesque places to ride. Two wheels down, a rock jam with Hip Hop sensibility. A Hip Hop jam with Rock flavor. Enjoy!!!" MC

Directed by AJ Wone, Music Produced by Elwood, Globafam 2013