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Parents dream of their children growing up to be Doctors, Lawyers or Naval Academy Grads. KANGOL’s father was no exception. As a Haitian-born New York City taxi-driver, KANGOL’s dad urged his son to go to college to pursue one of these goals, but KANGOL had other plans. As he says, “After many years of watching the JACKSON FIVE, SYLVERS, OSMOND BROTHERS, and TOM JONES, I knew what I was destined to do”. In his case, KANGOL made the right choice.
KANGOL’s career as an entertainment entrepreneur began as a breakdancer for the Super Producing team/R&B Band FULL FORCE then he joined the legendary Rap group WHODINI as a breakdancer; within months, he, and his group U.T.F.O., became the number one Rap and Breakdance act in the country. While “Roxanne, Roxanne”, their phenomenal Top 10 single screamed up the charts, U.T.F.O. was voted best Rap group at the Urban Music Awards and scored featured spots on Don Cornelius’ Soul Train, the Phil Donahue Show and performed live for actors Dustin Hoffman and Tony Danza. U.T.F.O. was the first Rap group to perform at The World Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, where they opened for legends Hall & Oates and The Temptations’ Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin.
KANGOL is the first Hip-Hop product endorsed Rap artist, through his official sponsorship from KANGOL HEADWEAR. The nickname KANGOL was acquired from neighborhood friends as a “nod” to the many KANGOL hats he owns and wears. But KANGOL hats are not the only hats he wears; KANGOL balances his time between Producer, Composer, Performer, Artist Manager, Songwriter, President of Kreative Entertainment Group (his music production company) and CEO of Done Right PR (his public relations firm). In addition, KANGOL is popular on the highschool and college lecture circuit, providing incite on fatherhood, the state of Hip-Hop and the ins/outs of today’s music business. This Brooklynite has been a featured speaker at Harvard University, and has received a proclamation from the City of New York for being the first Haitian in Hip-Hop Music.
KANGOL’s musical accomplishments reach far and wide. In addition to his success as a member of U.T.F.O., KANGOL has scored several hits as a writer and composer. Beginning in 1985, KANGOL had a featured song on “LISA-LISA and THE CULT JAM with FULL FORCE’s” platinum album. He also managed and produced WHISTLE, including the international hit “(Nothin’Serious) Just Buggin” in collaboration with Howie Tee. The distinct whistling sample from this track can be heard scratched on Will Smith’s and other various recordings. KANGOL also produced baseball superstar DARRYL STRAWBERRY’s rap record “Chocolate Strawberry” and SCOTTIE PIPPEN’s Sega CD Rom “Slam City.” His other hits include U.T.F.O.’s Number One Rap Album, “LETHAL”; featuring the rock band ANTHRAX on the title song; WHISTLE’s remake of HEATWAVE’s “Always and Forever,” and producing gigs with GERARDO, 7669 and CHERYL“PEPSI” RILEY. As KANGOL continued to balance his many careers, he shared his talents with Female R&B groups “3LW” and “BLAQUE”, Latin/Pop group “C-NOTE,” who both coincidentally recorded a remake of KANGOL’s “Right Next To Me.”
As the lead member of the classic rap group UTFO, Kangol has pioneered this culture as theFIRST in many areas of Hip-Hop:
. FIRST breakdancer on a national talk show (Phil Donahue)
. FIRST breakdancer for a rap group (Whodini)
. FIRSTHaitian-American Rap Artist
. FIRSTrap/breakdance group member
. FIRST Rapper to rap in Pig-Latin (“Roxanne, Roxanne”)
. FIRST studio recorded Rap Beef (“Roxanne, Roxanne”)
. FIRST (and only) rap song to accumulate over 25 remakes/answers in one year’s time
. FIRST rap group to record an R&B love ballad (“Fairytale Lover”)
. FIRST rap group to perform at The World Famous Apollo Theater (as we opened for Hall & Oates)
. FIRST group to integrate Rap with Reggae (“Pick Up The Pace”)
. FIRST rap group to challenge Michael Jackson for #1 on Billboard (“BAD” vs. “LETHAL”)
. …and surprisingly, Kangol Headwear played a major role in one of these milestones by enabling me to become the FIRST Product Endorsed Hip-Hop Artist when former Kangol Headwear President Reg Borgia finalized the agreement that later inspired the formalRunDMC & Adidas relationship.
Life after rapping & breakdancing has led Kangol to becoming an award-winning songwriter and music producer for various Pop/R&B artists and film documentaries. For the last three years my unbelievable resume took an amazing twist. I’ve attached a few video links below to vividly describe my new journey but before you view the links below, allow me to spoil the surprise by saying, I have founded a movement designed to bring awareness and to raise funds for fight against breast cancer. The incredible part of this movement is who my supporters are: Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg, L.L. Cool J, Ice-T, Lauryn Hill, Kid Rock, Missy Elliot, Shaq, Flava Flav, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Method Man, RZA, Swizz Beatz,… and many, many more (Attached please find a jpeg with a few of my supporters).
The movement is called “Mama Luke” and is now recognized as Hip-Hop’s largest charitable movement. My life after recording music has still found ways to make me FIRSTagain:
. FIRST Hip-Hop Artist to receive an honor from the American Cancer Society
. FIRST Hip-Hop Artist to forecast the weather on local television news
. FIRST Hip-Hop Artist to organize/host a televised telethon for an illness
KANGOL’s existence as a member of the Hip-Hop community speak volumes to the uninformed who believe Hip-Hop is synonymous with crime, gangs, drugs, jail time, child abandonment, child support, baby-mama drama and/or any form of negativity. He is proof that those aforementioned unfortunate subjects do not define a Hip-Hop artist and are the furthest from his character. For the record, KANGOL does not smoke, drink, gamble, nor has he ever done any drugs. The only record in his exsistence you can pull from a station will be found in a radio station as opposed to police station and the only reason why his rap sheet is a mile long is because he has one of the longest-playing rap songs in history. Other than that, KANGOL is a father of three sons who are aspiring recording artists and they “can sing, rap and dance in just one show” just as well as their dad.
The links below document the fact that “I have given my fans a lifetime of extended music and today my wish is to simply extend their lifetime”. Mama Luke: “We’re All About Winning” (NY1 News):
KANGOL is notorious for re-inventing himself. Besides writing and producing songs, he has recorded voice-overs for various MTV commercials & animations, jingles for NY’s HOT 97 and written his own column entitled “Yo KANGOL,” which debuted in Black Beat Magazine and was later revived on AllHipHop.com. The column was designed to answer music related questions for up & coming artists nationwide. He later embarked in the world of cinema and scored his first independent film entitled “Nightmare” which later won an award for “Best Movie Score”. This workaholic then went on to score the independent motion picture “The Other Side of Hip-Hop” which included an original song written and produced by KANGOL which featured his son’s R&B group “Project: Plan B”. He continues to go “Hollywood” (which just may become his new nickname) with his featured role in HBO’s “The Lost Book of Rap” as character Professor Firestein scheduled to premiere in Summer 2013.