TwentySomething Promo Image, 2010
|Birth name||Jabari Miles Evans|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Years active||2000 – present|
Duck Down Records(2007-present)
|Associated acts||Kidz in the Hall, Double-O, Boot Camp Click, Donnis, Estelle Swaray, Masta Ace, Camp Lo, Travis McCoy, Just Blaze, Black Milk|
Life and career
Evans grew up in the South Side neighborhood of Chicago. The son of mental health experts, Dr. Robert Evans and Dr. Helen Evans, Naledge displayed lyrical ability at an early age and by fourteen he had become a member of a local Chicago-based rap group called FFC (Famous From the Chi). In addition to his early musical accomplishments, he demonstrated an interest in academics, writing and publishing a book entitled “The Straight Jab” at the age of 16. Upon his graduation from Luther High School South, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, where he majored in Communications with a minor in Sociology. At Penn, Naledge became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. While attending college he met classmate Michael Aguilar, a hip-hop producer now known as Double-O. The two began working together and formed the hip-hop group Kidz in the Hall.
Kidz in the Hall
In early 2007, Kidz in the Hall created a song entitled "Work To Do" in support of democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who has ties to Naledge's hometown of Chicago. They were among the first artists to support Obama in their music. The song features a sample from The Main Ingredient's version of the Isley Brothers original of the same name.
In November 2007, Kidz in the Hall were officially signed to Duck Down Records, an independent label started by founding members of the Boot Camp Clik. The duo's second album, The In Crowd, was released in May 2008, with the lead single "Drivin' Down the Block," which samples Masta Ace's song "Born to Roll" for the hook and contains an interpolation of Outkast's "Elevators (Me & You)" on the bridge. Many other tracks on the album use samples and interpolations of early 1990s hip hop, including their song "Snob Hop" featuring Camp Lo which uses the hook from Black Sheep's song "Flava of the Month" for the chorus. Their song "Blackout" was featured on the soundtrack of Madden '09. The group's most recent album Land of Make Believe was released on March 9, 2010 and features guests MC Lyte, Just Blaze, Chip tha Ripper, Donnis, Amanda Diva and co-production by Just Blaze and Picnic Tyme. The album was declared the most "commercially viable" album the group has made thus far and received an XL rating in XXL Magazine.
Naledge is also planning to come out with a solo album in the near future. He was quoted by rap website Hiphopdx, "My solo album is still in the process of being put together. I’ve been busy with shows, but I have some tracks in the works," says the rising MC. "I got beats from 9th Wonder, Black Milk, Double-O, Pete Rock and [two or three from] Just Blaze. Just Blaze has been my ‘yes man,’ okaying tracks for the album."
Naledge has released solo work in the past, having dropped the mixtape Chicago Picasso on June 30, 2009. The mixtape was in anticipation of the release of his solo album. It was hosted by Mick Boogie RTC and DJ Timbuck2, and featured guest artists include Chip Tha Ripper, Jay Electronica, Mickey Factz, Bun B, Curren$y, with production by Double-O, Analogic, Picnic Tyme, Nez & Rio, and many others. The first single off the mixtape, entitled “Star Struck” (produced by Sa-Ra and featuring Rus Soul), was released on May 6, 2009.
In September 2010, Naledge announced on his Facebook Page and Twitter account the release of his second upcoming mixtape " Twentysomething LP" hosted by DJ Moondawg on September 10, 2010. He also announced an exclusive preview of his mixtape on iTunes on September 7.
In 2012, Naledge has created his company (Brainiac Society), with hope of helping local artists have a creative outlet to have their work heard. Additionally, in 2014 Naledge received his master's degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work. (link) Aside from music, Naledge frequently speaks as guest lecturer at high schools, colleges and universities in the Chicago area and he is committed to doing community service within around the South Side area where he was raised.(link)
(with Kidz in the Hall)
- Studio albums
- School Was My Hustle (2006), Rawkus Records
- The In Crowd (2008), Duck Down Records
- Land of Make Believe (2010), Duck Down Records
- Occasion (2011), Duck Down Records
- Detention (2007), Major League Entertainment
- Geniuses Need Love Too (2008)
- "The Professional Leisure Tour" (2009) LRG
- Semester Abroad (2011)
- "Wheelz Fall Off ('06 'Til...)" (2006), Rawkus Records
- "Drivin' Down the Block" (2008), Duck Down Records
- "Love Hangover" (2008)
- "Take Over The World ft Colin Munroe and Just Blaze" (2010)
- "Jukebox" (2010)
- Music videos
- "Wheelz Fall Off ('06 Til...)" (2006)
- "Drivin' Down The Block" (2008)
- "Love Hangover (feat. Estelle)" (2008)
- "I Got It Made (Reebok Classic)" (2009)
- "Jukebox" (2010)
- "Will Rap For Food: The Mixtape" (2006)
- "The Crown Jewel" (2007)
- "Chicago Picasso" (June 30, 2009)
- "Naledge Is Twenty Something" (September 10, 2010)
- "Night At The Elysian (With Tony Baines)" (2012)
- "Chicago Picasso 2" (2012)
- "Brain Power" (2013)
- "Brain Power 2" (2014)
Chicago Picasso 3 (2016) Twenty Something 2 With DJ Moondwag
- 2004: "Love Me" (Just Blaze Remix) (Janet Jackson featuring Naledge)
- 2012: "Stand Up" (Yung Berg featuring Naledge)
- 2012: "The Sandlot" (Jordan Hollywood featuring Yung Berg & Naledge)
- 2012: "Nah Mean?" (A.J. Crew featuring Naledge)
- 2016 Yung Berg That N***** Ain't do nothing Featuring Naledge
- Evans, Jabari (2007-02-18). "The Straight Jab by Jabari Evans".
- Evans, Jabari. "About Me".
- The Pennsylvania Gazette (2008-12-24). "Gazette, Alumni: Notes".
- Adaso, Henry (2007-12-11). "Kidz in the Hall Record Rap Anthem for Obama's Campaign". rap.about.com. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- XXL Staff (March 9, 2010). “”.
- Hiphopdx staff (2009). "He released a solo mixtape".
- Wiley, Andra (2009-05-06). "New Naledge !! Star Struck (Produced By Sa-Ra)".
- "Jabari Evans". 2006-06-11.
- "That's That...: Kidz In The Hall - We At It Again". That's That. December 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
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