Kaze Releases First in Flight with SRC/Universal “Fresh” DJ Whoo Kid-hosted Mixtape and 9th Wonder-produced Single Seven New Videos Coming from 2009 Loud.com Winner

Kaze Releases First in Flight with SRC/Universal “Fresh” DJ Whoo Kid-hosted Mixtape and 9th Wonder-produced Single Seven New Videos Coming from 2009 Loud.com Winner

Raleigh, NC — North Carolina has undoubtedly built a reputation for raising quality artists in an era that values independent spirit. Singer/songwriter Kaze (pronounced Kah-zee) has been working fervently for several years to create his own legacy, helping to broaden the global perspective on the Southeastern sound. As one of the first Loud.com contest winners and signee to Steve Rifkind’s SRC imprint, Kaze’s year has already been full of steps in the right direction.

On September 8, 2009, Kaze will unveil his mixtape project First in Flight hosted by DJ Whoo Kid of Sirius Radio and G-Unit. Kaze’s new SRC/Universal single “Fresh” is featured, with production from fellow NC native 9th Wonder and catchy vocals from Mr. Mohalyn. Additionally, Kaze will unleash a series of seven videos from the First in Flight project, and will be touring throughout the East coast.

A consummate performer, Kaze recently graced the stage at the Rock Steady Crew 31st Anniversary concert in Newark, NJ, followed by an amazing experience with De La Soul for their 20th Anniversary show in Chapel Hill, NC. On August 30, Kaze will head to Kinston to share the stage with Jadakiss and Young Buck for yet another rousing show.

Recognized in lyrical circles as one of Hip Hop’s premiere freestyle artists, Kaze is one of the specially invited guests for Red Bull’s “EmSee Challenge” in Atlanta on September 25. Other notable performances for Kaze this Fall include the North Carolina Car and Bike show on September 6, the A3C Hip Hop Festival October 1-3 in Atlanta, and an appearance at the notorious End of the Weak freestyle challenge in New York on October 25.

With original production on all but one track, First in Flight offers a well-rounded view of Kaze’s incredible talent, from writing strong hooks and verses to rhyming and singing. His ability to fuse multiple concepts into his music gives Kaze a unique style that few artists can create on their own, and producers 9th Wonder, Jake One, Erv Ford, Gotti, Gyphted, The Dem and E. Jones accentuate the mix on First In Flight.

“This project is a catalyst to re-introduce myself as both an emcee and singer/songwriter to long-time fans,” explains Kaze, “and to bring my voice to a generation of fans who know that music is multi-dimensional. My style is a combination of soul, jazz, symphony, rock and pop, expressed as Hip Hop music.”

“I’m proud to have come up through the ranks of the underground,” he continues. “My goal is to make the hottest quality music out – I want people to genuinely respect me as an artist. I have grown, and I’m representing a second coming of the South, different from what the world thinks they know about us. I’m focused on taking it to another level!”

First in Flight track list

01. 919 Fashion – prod by Erv Ford
02. Whatever U Wanna Do – prod by Gotti
03. Best I Ever Heard
04. Get Shut Down ft. Fluent the God, AK Slaughter – prod by Erv Ford
05. Day in the Life – prod by Gyphted
06. Need It To Go – prod by Gotti
07. The Grind ft. S.S.P. – prod by The Dem
08. Fresh ft. Mr. Mohalyn – prod by 9th Wonder
09. They Don’t Know – prod by Jake One
10. Diamond Life – prod by Erv Ford
11. Reminisce – prod by E. Jones
12. Blowing in the Wind – prod by Erv Ford

Kaze’s Upcoming shows

8/30 – Kinston, NC @ Lenoir County Fairgrounds w/ Young Buck & Jadakiss
9/06 – Fayetteville, NC @ NC Car and Bike Show
9/12 – Roanoke, VA @ Awful Arthurs
9/18 – Winston-Salem, NC @ Elliot’s Review – Rock the Block Afterparty
9/20 – Fayetteville, NC @ The Bee’s Nest – Underground Sundays
9/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Red Bull EmSee Challenge
9/25 – Chapel Hill, NC @ The Library
10/01- 10/3 – Atlanta, GA @ A3C Hip Hop Festival
10/16- Greensboro, NC @ The Clubhouse w/ Kotix & Ed E. Ruger
10/25- New York, NY @ The Pyramid – End of the Weak
10/31- Sylva, NC @ Big Rick’s

ABOUT KAZE

Kevin “Kaze” Thomas (pronounced Kah-zee) is a versatile entertainer who captures the spirit of groundbreaking Hip Hop artists. In early 2009, Kaze was announced as one of the top two winners of Loud.com’s MC contest, which earned him a deal with Steve Rifkind’s SRC Records.

With his new single “Fresh” produced by 9th Wonder, an upcoming mixtape entitled First in Flight hosted by DJ Whoo Kid and a street album slated for early 2010, Kaze is bringing his years of hard work to the masses.

Hailing from northern Virginia and eastern North Carolina, Kaze spent his youth memorizing lyrics of Hip Hop legends like LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee and making karaoke-style tapes in his garage. Despite his passion for music, Kaze set out to earn a college degree to ensure his business would be in order. During his studies at the University of North Carolina, Kaze discovered his ability to freestyle and fully arrange songs.

After college, Kaze expanded his horizons by creating Hip-Hop Nation, a nationally-broadcasted television show. Still working on his musical aspirations in his free time, he began to seriously consider a career change. He released the self-produced project Spirit of ‘94 to his budding fan base in North Carolina, and the album’s success inspired him. After selling thousands of copies independently, Spirit of ‘94 was picked up by BCD Global Distribution for placement into Transworld-operated stores like FYE.

The single “50/50 Amp” received airplay on college and commercial radio stations across the country, and charted Number One in college radio. Kaze peaked at #11 on the Rap Network in March of 2004, a chart tabulated by spins from the tastemakers of college radio. By 2005, Spirit of ‘94 was picked up by Boston-based Brick Records and by Japan-based label Handcuts Records, giving the smash album worldwide distribution.

Kaze’s reputation as a dynamic performer and intensely defiant battle MC grew, and he expanded his career by performing shows with the likes ofCommon, G-Unit, GZA, Dead Prez, Camp Lo, Little Brother, DJ Muggs, Method Man, and The Clipse. He also worked with an array of developing artists like S.S.P, Jozeemo from East Durham, Young Flu, and North Carolina’s Princess Shelly B.

Kaze created a strong following with fans from all types of ethnic backgrounds and cultures, and was able to give them diverse collaborations with artists like Nature, Royce the 5’9 and O.C. He also created an exclusive project with 9th Wonderentitled Spirit of ’94, Version 9.0.

To this day, those fans who supported Kaze early on are a big part of his inspiration, and new fans help to keep him motivated. “Doing what I love is the ultimate reward – creating that vibe, making people move and have fun,” he says.

“The people I meet are the reason I do what I do. Hip Hop crosses all boundaries, and has made some of my best friends. With the internet, you never know who is listening or watching from where. The tours and shows let me reach out and touch that part of the game that is still human, and see that impact my music may have had on someone. I appreciate that my fans feel that I’m here to bring the hot sh*t back, that I’m the one.”

As fans spread the word about Kaze and mixtapes like Enemy of the State and Word on the Street garnered him more praise, Kaze signed toRawkus Records in the spring of 2007 as one of the Rawkus 50. He released the critically-acclaimed album Block 2 the Basement. Taking a risk, Kaze entered the highly-publicized Loud.com MC contest in 2008, and ultimately landed a contract in early 2009 with SRC/Universal.

“Finally having a major label situation is the most rewarding part of my career thus far,” says Kaze. “This lets me know that all of the hard work was not in vain. All of the grind through the years, shows with no one in the crowd, open mics, passing out flyers, being told I wasn’t hot enough, times I wanted to quit… I had to persevere a lot. You do it all with no promise that it will ever happen. It’s like I’m back for the first time. To still be standing here as an artist with the opportunity of a lifetime is a blessing.”

With a strong personality and unique style, Kaze reigns as a tested mic battle champion and regularly lights up stages nationally. Ingenuity and originality characterize his rhymes, while his words promote political consciousness, address personal trials, and celebrate the passion of Hip Hop.

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