1979 (age 38)
Vallejo, Solano County, California, United States
Turf Talk (born Demar Bernstine in Vallejo, California), is a Bay Area rapper at the forefront of the hyphy movement. His unique style of delivery has earned both local and national acclaim. Turf Talk is the protégé and cousin of platinum-selling Bay Area pioneer and legend E-40, and is signed to his mentor's Sick Wid It/30/30 Records.
Although born in his now native Vallejo, Turf Talk moved to Southern California at an early age and grew up in Pomona, Los Angeles and later Rialto, in San Bernadino. He was expelled from school during his childhood and spent a period of home learning during which he started to write rhymes.
Turf Talk told UK-based rap periodical Hip Hop Connection that he "came from living in hotel rooms.. for four to five years". The rapper returned to the Bay Area in 1999 to pursue his career under cousin E-40 in Vallejo. He is now based in Millersville, Vallejo.
Turf Talk quotes his influences as "E-40 and The Click, Too Short, and then The Dangerous Crew, and Mac Mall"
Originally rapping under the name Killa Kane, Turf Talk would first appear alongside Mac Shawn, another younger cousin of E-40, on the compilation CD Worldwide Bosses & Playas in 2001. His breakthrough came in 2003 performing the hook for the MTV-aired E-40 track "Gasoline", B-side to the single "One Night Stand".
Turf Talk would go on to appear in three tracks on E-40's 2003 album Breakin News as well as cement his growing reputation in the Bay Area's new movement by guesting in style on the official remix to The Federation's seminal hit "Hyphy".
In 2004 Turf Talk released his highly anticipated debut album The Street Novelist featuring his mentor E-40, The Federation and a range of Sick Wid It Records' artists. The CD included the Rick Rock produced smash "It's Ah Slumper" and one of the final guest appearances of the legendary Mac Dre.
In 2005 Turf Talk released Turf Talk Brings The Hood: Colabilation part album, part compilation of tracks recorded with both long-time and up-and-coming Sick Wid It Records collaborators. The CD included the popular local hit "Turf Talk Iz Back".
In the early hours of Thursday July 14th 2005, Turf Talk suffered several shots to the face from a low caliber pellet shotgun, after being apparently targeted leaving a recording studio in Tuolumne Street, Vallejo. He was treated at the Sutter Solano Medical Center and made a quick and full recovery.
On July 30th, 2005 at the Masonic Center on Nob Hill, San Francisco, Turf Talk was announced as New Artist (Rookie) of The Year 2005 in the inaugural Bay Area Rap Scene (B.A.R.S.) Awards. He beat strong competition from both Mistah F.A.B. and Ya Boy.
Boosted by the signing of mentor E-40 to Lil Jon's multi-platinum BME/Warner imprint, Turf Talk announced plans to release his new studio album West Coast Vaccine: The Cure in 2006, featuring almost exclusive production by rap heavyweights Rick Rock and Lil Jon. The CD has since been delayed to early 2007.
In 2006 Turf Talk secured further exposure by appearing on E-40's BME debut and Billboard 200 success story My Ghetto Report Card as well as MTV's Hyphy music insight My Block: The Bay. His influence on the Hyphy movement was featured in Hip Hop magazines The Source and XXL.
In the summer of 2006 Turf Talk extended his cross-genre, national and international reputation after being invited to feature on the DJ Shadow Hyphy-influenced new release 3 Freaks. This led to an MTV music video alongside Keak Da Sneak, as well as a supporting role in a tour of Europe and Japan.
The tour climaxed with a performance in front of over 25,000 at the Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park on June 23rd, Turf Talk appearing alongside Bay Area emcees Mistah F.A.B. and Nump, in a line up which included worldwide superstars such as Massive Attack, Pharrell, Gnarls Barkley and Damian Marley.
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