Christylez “The Human Beatbox” Bacon

Photo by Yacouba Tanou

Photo by Yacouba Tanou

Christylez Bacon (pronounced: chris-styles) is a GRAMMY Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. As a performer, Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

With a mission towards cultural acceptance and unification through music, Christylez is constantly pushing the envelope – from performances at the National Cathedral, to becoming the first Hip-Hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, composing and orchestrating an entire concert for a 12-piece orchestra commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institute, or recording a Folk/Hip-Hop children’s album.

Visit Christylez Bacon’s website for more information about his work:

Photo by Joshua Yospyn

Photo by Joshua Yospyn

Christylez on Inspiration

“My community really helped me. When I was in high school, I was rhyming, making beats and records at this program at Martha’s Table [in Washington, DC]. My mentor was influential in showing me the ropes. I would hang out with him and his wife and we would always eat together because I was the ‘hungry youth.’ I watched him do the artist thing, teach workshops at Martha’s Table and sell his CDs. In my community, when a person quits or loses their 9-5 [job], we celebrate and embrace that because 9 out of 10 times that job was not where their heart was. Not everyone knew what kinds of seeds I was planting and where I was investing; we had multiple hustles. My community showed me the light.”

Christylez on Music

“Steely Dan, a group from the 70s, stays in rotation. I love their work. I listen to a lot of Jay-Z. He is one of my favorite right brain/ left brain combinations in Hip-Hop. He’s both in the artistic and business side and that’s what I want to do. As I am operating my own small business, I do a lot of that. I become a sponge- whatever I consume it becomes a part of me. It comes out in my work.”

Christylez on Legacy

“I love entertaining people and making a living doing that. I’m at my happiest when I’m connecting to people from different places and connecting those threads musically. I love collaborations. A lot of what I’m doing now is a reflection of what’s to come. I hope to build a bridge between my music and the enhancement of people’s educational experiences.”

Videos is a cutting-edge online magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. The site offers a platform for young adult perspectives, profiles inspirational visionaries and artists, and serves as an online community for change agents who are like-minded. Founded in 2011 by Rahiel Tesfamariam, Urban Cusp highlights voices, ideas and images not commonly found within mainstream media.