Kickstand Productions Presents!
Qwel, Offwhyte, Dove Rock, Robust, DJ Ellis
Qwel is an underground rapper, originally from Chicago, Illinois. Qwel is also the co-founder of an underground rap crew called Typical Cats, with Denizen Kane,Qwazaar, DJ Natural, and Kid Knish. Qwel has been featured in interviews and performances all over the world, including the US, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Japan. His current label is Galapagos4.
“Local rapper Qwel has earned a reputation for his distinctive lyrics and his outspoken views on controversial topics, both as a solo artist and as a member of Typical Cats, a group that coalesced around Hyde Park’s WHPK in the late 90s and gained an underground following with the release of a self-titled debut in 2001. Since then Qwel has put out a flurry of albums, EPs, and singles (at least 17 total, all on Galapagos4), touching on subjects ranging from commercialism to creationism, and his style has been described by J. Edward Keyes for Rolling Stone as “occupying[ing] the same bleak terrain as Francis Bacon paintings or The Dark Knight . . . Old-school attitude with a manic edge.” - Sam Adams, Chicago Reader
Playing off the fact that his birth certificate reads "white" when he certainly is not, Filipino-American Ryan Fernandez chose the name Offwhyte when he began performing around Chicago in the late '90s. The rapper had moved to Chicago from his native Alabama to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was there that he formed the cutting-edge underground rap label Galapagos4 with the help of Jeff Kuglich and graffiti artist JASH. Upon Offwhyte's graduation, both he and the label would both move to Los Angeles. In 2000 he would make his debut with the critically acclaimed Squints. Two years later his sophomore release, The Fifth Sun, would be distributed in the U.K. by the renowned label Peacefrog. A brief move to Switzerland would find him partnering with DJ Reezm and En Sayne for the 2004 EP Crossing the Potomac, released on the Ish label. Offwhyte came back home -- to L.A. and Galapagos4 -- for the 2005 EP Bow to the Sceptor, his most politically charged effort to date. A grittier sound and a bit of reggae appeared on his 2007 release, Mainstay. ~ David Jeffries
Dove Rock is a modern vocalist with the ability to transcend genres and wrangle attention from even the most discerning listener. Her first foray into music, a 12-inch single entitled "Alone in Love", was a breakout Freestyle hit that has gained hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
A Chicago native, Dove began performing through workshops hosted by Young Chicago Authors. She then became a teaching artist for the acclaimed organization, where her work became a springboard for features at venues such as the Chicago Historical Society, Subterranean and L.A.'s Knitting Factory.
Following the self-released EP, Sylvia Plath Easy Bake Oven, Dove Rock returns to the scene with her Galapagos4 debut "A Pretty Way of Saying Ugly Things". Its poignant, bittersweet narrative is complimented by the vintage sonics of Jackson Jones
A veteran of Chicago’s burst in underground hip hop, Robust is known in the Chi town scene for his past collaborations with groups such as Scam Artists and The Molemen. His 2000 independent release "Freelance Gynecologist" got attention worldwide from fans and critics of dope punchlines and humorous rhymes. Soon Bigga would appear on projects like Sage Francis’ "Still Sick Urine Trouble" & Qwel’s debut "If It Ain’t Been In A Pawn Shop, Then It Can’t Play The Blues", where he showed his growth into a more serious lyricist.
After success with 7" single "Flibbertigibbit" (also on Meaty Ogre’s recent "Leo vs. Pisces"), hip hop was definitely ready for Robigga to step up the game. Enter "Potholes In Our Molecules", the brand new full length on Galapagos4.
Things get very serious on this deep album, as Robust bares it all from the inside out, with his intricate flows & creative rhyme schemes intact. Of course he comes off with some humor, wit & straight rap savvy as well. The supremely crafted beats, handled mostly by Meaty Ogre & east coast producer Prolyphic, create a solid moody backdrop to keep your head stuck on nod. Dreas, Maker, Sun Spark & Bless also contribute heat to this 17 track album. Here’s to life’s flawless imperfections, flawlessly perfected as hip hop potholes.