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Azeem has been a regular on the Bay Area poetry and hip-hop scene for over a decade. In 1994, his first band Telefunken was featured on the compilation Groove Collective on OM Records. Azeem’s real break came in 1996 at an open mic reading where he would test his mettle against fifty of the best poets in the country. To his own surprise, he won the contest and was invited to perform on the world famous Lollapalooza Tour, sharing the stage with George Clinton, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Beastie Boys, to name a few.

Later that year, Azeem caught the eye of Bay Area legend Michael Franti, who hired the Oakland emcee to compose songs for the second Spearhead album. After writing six songs, Azeem traveled the world with the band.

In 2000, Azeem released his first solo EP Garage Opera (Heratik) as well as contributing a track on Afro-Mystik’s Future Tropic. Azeem followed up with the full-length album Craft Classic (Stray). The album’s single “Rubber Glue” earned the No.1 spot on the CMJ radio rap chart. In early 2004, Azeem was the front man for Mayhemystics (Wide Hive), a mixture of live music and spiritually charged lyrics, which was nominated for a California Music Award. At the same time, he released his LP Show Business on Bomb Hip Hop.

Last June, Azeem joined the ranks of Bay Area talent like Living Legends, Crown City Rockers, and Zion I when he teamed up with DJ Zeph for the album Rise Up. The single “Play the Drum” topped the charts in Europe and Australia and became a bonified indie hit. This led to touring Australia with Talib Kweli, along with numerous shows in the US and Canada.


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