“Christylez Bacon offers well-written tales and observations about everyday life that flow smoothly over jazz-influenced tunes” – Curt Fields, The Washington Post
(Washington, DC) – Grammy® Nominated Artist and Southeast-Washingtonian Christylez Bacon announces the February 2014 release of “Hip-Hop UnPlugged,” his first studio album post nomination. In celebration, the artist plans a blowout concert on February 22, 2014, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center beginning at 9:30 pm. He will be joined by the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra and the Sweater Set.
Christylez Bacon wrote, arranged and orchestrated “Hip-Hop UnPlugged” to represent the essence of a live performance with real musicians, in contrast to what he sees as a pop landscape that pushes mostly electronic and synthesized music. The bulk of the instruments present on this project are acoustic, even down to the human-beatbox. It’s so named because it represents Bacon’s thoughts, musically and intellectually, specifically as a result of the artist not owning or tuning in to the TV or radio for five years, thus … unplugged.
“Unplugging Hip-Hop means breaking down the art form to the essentials of creating music and story-telling. I’m composing new music, without the use of samples, which bends the tradition. This is why I called my genre Progressive Hip-Hop; making progress on the genre and taking it to new places,” says Bacon.
“The District has a rich music tradition and I see myself as expanding it,” says Bacon. “To me, this project shows my growth not only as a musician, but also as a person. Unplugging for me represents allowing quiet in order for your true voice to ring through. The voice on ‘Hip-Hop UnPlugged’ takes on social issues and my own personal struggles.
For “Hip-Hop UnPlugged,” Bacon worked with local contemporary folk duo, the Sweater Set, for the harmonies. “I bend the genre further by including diverse voices on the album, which helps to re-imagine Hip-Hop as a genre,” says Bacon. “The essence of Hip-Hop is in the story and we evolve that story with new voices.”
“Hip-Hop UnPlugged” is a five-song CD to be released February 22. The album features instrumentalists from the jazz world on horns and string musicians from the classical world, adding various colors and timbres to the project with a little bit of the Go-Go swing.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
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.