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Black Wall Street: Underground is an extension of #BackAlley, the cultural and entertainment exhibition of the Black Wall Street: Homecoming. It presents an opportunity to explore the arts and the talents of artists in our community. 

Royce 5'9"

"Nine Nickel"

Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5′9″, is an American rapper from DetroitMichigan. He is best known for his longtime association with Eminem as well as his solo career, recording primarily with producers Carlos "6 July" Broady and DJ Premier, as well as ghostwriting for the likes of Diddy and Dr. Dre. Royce is one half of the rap duo Bad Meets Evil with Eminem, one quarter of the hip hop group Slaughterhouse with Joe BuddenJoell Ortiz and Crooked I, and one half of the hip hop group PRhyme with DJ Premier. The editors of About.com ranked him No. 30 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007).[4]

In an interview with DJ Vlad on YouTube, Royce stated that his only early stage name prior to the "Royce" nickname was R-Dog, which "didn't even last a year".[5] He moved to Oak Park, Michigan when he was 10 years old, later acquiring the nickname "Royce" during high school after wearing a Turkish link chain with an R pendant resembling the Rolls Royce symbol. Royce's name comes from his height, 5 feet 9 inches. However, the numbers have been in his life numerous times as he "found his calling" as a rapper in 1995 and in his song "Tabernacle" he discusses his grandmother dying on the fifth floor of a hospital and his first son being born on the ninth. Similar instances suggest that his name has numerous meanings besides his height. He started rapping at age 18, influenced mainly by Ras KassRedmanTupac ShakurThe Notorious B.I.G.EshamDetroit's Most Wanted, and N.W.A.[6]

J Gunn

"No Sleep, Just Dreams"

Joshua Gunn, p.k.a J. Gunn, has been a fixture in the NC Hip Hop Scene for over 15 years. Since the age of 7, he has been penning his own rhymes. Starting off as a very young battle emcee, he went on to garner over 200 Freestyle battle victories. He has been winning titles and money with his craft since the age of 9.

Transitioning from the battle scene to a well-rounded artist, Joshua Gunn came under the mentorship of Public Enemy’s, DJ Terminator X, who managed and helped him shape his skill set for the international stage. He reflects on the maturity and growth he had obtained as an artist during this time. Through the tutelage of Terminator X, Joshua Gunn was able to share stages with the likes of the Fugees, Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy; he grew as a performer and a song writer but a major record contract still slipped his grasp, nonetheless he persevered and continued to solidify his following.

G Yamazawa

"Carolina Bar-B-Que Sauce with the Slaw"

National Poetry Slam Champion. Cultural Diplomat for the Department of State. Kundiman Fellow, Team Backpack certified. G YAMAZAWA has been featured on ABC, NBC, NPR, PBS, and has toured over 200 universities both domestic and internationally. With notable performances at the Sundance Film Festival and the Pentagon, G continues to challenge the American perspective of race & culture, poetry & rap, and the phenomena of the human condition.
G's debut album "Shouts to Durham," charted at #37 on the iTunes top 100 rap albums, and is currently working on his sophomore release.

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