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Ground Up


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Ground Up is a hip-hop trio based out of North Philadelphia. The group is made up of Azar and Malakai, two MC’s and a producer, Bij Lincolns (Alex Azar, Malcolm McDowell and Bijan Housiarnejad). Azar and Malcolm met in the summer of 2008. They shared a love of rapping and the spoken word as well as a strong desire to change the sad state of the music industry; particularly hip-hop. With the help of Bij Lincolns’ musical prowess, Ground Up was formed.

In the fall of that year, the two rappers released their first mixtape, Grand Opening; a compilation that cemented Ground Up front and center in the Philadelphia hip-hop scene as well as establish Bij Lincolns as a legitimate and thriving producer. Without taking a breath, the trio was back in the studio, recording their sophomore L.P entitled Best Friends Vol. 2( a follow-up to Azar’s first solo mixtape, Best Friends Vol.1.) Anticipation grew and the album was released in the Spring of 2009. Attention began accumulating and online copies were relentlessly downloaded. With an exponentially growing fan base, the group took their show on the road; scheduling shows at Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, Rutgers University, and West Chester to name a few.
Integrating gritty beats, witty wordplay, and a raucous environment, Ground Up has packed nearly every venue and has turned the heads of even non-hip-hop listeners. Whether they are playing a Block Party or in a frat house basement, Ground Up grasps the attention of the audience and never seems to let it go.


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