DMV-based, Bronx-born educator and Hip Hop artist Shane Yansi is proof that positive hip-hop can — in fact — reign supreme without sacrificing quality or impact. “I try to show my students you can make good, hard hiphop without having to go negative,” he notes. Heavily rooted in the golden era, he’s managed to assimilate contemporary aesthetics to create catchy accessible music. “I grew up during the golden age of Hip-Hop,” he says. I had my two Technics 1200s, a Gemini mixer, a Pioneer receiver, and Cerwin-Vega speakers in my bedroom.” He released several songs years ago under a different moniker but was recently persuaded to pick the mic back up. “I’m influenced by rappers who are saying something lyrically worth remembering,” he notes, pointing to acts like KRS ONE, Rakim, Mos Def, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole as artists he admires. His latest song “We Celebrate LIFE” is his first [official] release as Shane Yansi. “I’m currently in my home studio working on a five-song EP which I’m titling Weapons Are Made of Vibranium,” he reveals, citing a summer release date. “Growing up in the Bronx that’s not something that you really think is a possible career path,” he says of his Math teaching career, adding “Students occasionally attempt to freestyle battle me, so they keep me on my toes!”
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