Born on the Southside of Chicago, and raised both there and in Minneapolis, Mic Crenshaw is a world class MC and poet now emerging on the national – and international stage.
As a youth, Mic was embroiled in the violent streets of Minneapolis, leading groups to physically confront white supremacist gangs that were emerging with the growing hardcore music scene of the mid to late ’80’s.
Eventually, Crenshaw had to escape the violence, leaving the music and activism he started in Minneapolis and moving to Portland, OR. In Portland, he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest. In 2001, Crenshaw won The Portland Poetry Slam Championship and went on to finish as a national finalist. The Portland Mercury called Crenshaw (with the Lifesavas) “two of the very best hip-hop acts in PDX”.
In 2009, Mic released his debut solo CD, “Thinking Out Loud”, which spent 10 weeks in the top 10 on College Music Journal’s (CMJ) National Radio Hip Hop Charts, peaking at number 4.
“Mic Crenshaw blends his smooth flow with a street-hardened attitude, effortlessly spitting rhymes over a menagerie of horns, drums and keys. Fifteen years of making music, helping those less fortunate and social activism has made Mic Crenshaw a force worthy of a new generation of listeners.” – College Music Journal
Crenshaw’s 2nd solo release, ‘Under The Sun,’ was released in the winter of 2010. Single ‘Yeah’ peaked at #2 on CMJ’s Hip Hop Charts.
“‘Under the Sun,’ serves up potent post-millennial rapping. Crenshaw’s flow ranges from a sensual ooze to machine-gun rapid-fire spitfire; and his musical backdrops are always masterfully creative.” – Billboard
In Portland, Mic’s community efforts have expanded locally – and internationally. He now is the Executive Director of the non-profit Education Without Borders (EWOB). After attending a Human Rights conference in Rwanda, he used EWOB to help setup and maintain a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. EWOB also helps education, music and art initiatives in Portland, as well as housing the local Books For Prisoners chapter.
Crenshaw is currently recording music for his 3rd album. The first single and video is set to be released in the Summer of 2012.
“One of the tightest rappers around… Crenshaw is the truth – spread the word.” – Davey D, Hip Hop Journalist/Historian –
“There is no doubt that Mic can contend with the likes of Chuck D, Immortal Tech, and M-1.” – WLUW, Chicago –
“Crenshaw is everything a truly ‘conscious’ rapper should be.” – Seattle Weekly –
“Mic Crenshaw is a pretty mythic character and this month releases a pretty mythic album.” – Portland Mercury –
“From the spoken word to the thought provoking songs, this album encompasses hip hop at it’s best!” – KSMT, Colorado –
“Portland rapper Mic Crenshaw comes hard and shows us what a dope rapper is really supposed to be about. This brother is definitely a front-line soldier who is fearless on the mic as well as him continuously pushing for social justice.” – Davey D Hip Hop Journalist/Historian –
“[Crenshaw’s] lyrics and backgrounds will satisfy anyone familiar with artists like Nas, Jay-Z, Mase, and Talib Kweli. Now, his music actually sends out messages that every listener should listen to.” – WVCW, Virginia