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Team Alliance

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Straight out from the underground comes Team Alliance, a hip hop group whose in-your-face lyrics and unique blending of personal heritage and hip-hop culture are shaking up the earth with each new track. Equipped with an arsenal of powerful rhymes, Team Alliance delivers an incredible show of verbal finesse in true thug passion, generously providing to the rap community what many recent hip hop teams have been lacking: versatility, intensity, and raw skill.

Formed back in 1996, the emergence of Team Alliance resulted in the chance
meeting of Staten Island locals Agent Lead and 1MT (One Man Terra). Always an aspiring rap artist, Agent Lead has been immersed in the scene for many years prior to his eventual establishment back in 1995. He owes his local fame largely to Hot 97 FM, a well-established rap station on the East Coast, where his talents were noticed by their "Furious Five Mic Check? radio show. After honoring him as an in-house regular on the show, his popularity culminated only two years later when the same station was featuring his promos for a different (now off-the-air) program, "Home Jams." For three consecutive months, it was his music that opened the show.

During the time that Agent Lead was trying to establish a presence and make local connections, 1MT was too busy hustling his way through life. Always at work on some scheme to make more money than the next man, he often used his verbal dexterity as the tool for his success. A lover of words in any form, 1MT harnessed his verbal prowess to produce song lyrics, as well as poetry and prose. Though it was true that his true passion was rooted in the art of rap, 1MT never took this aspect of his words seriously until people began to tell him that he possessed real skill.

The deal to form Team Alliance was forged when these two young men met in a local Staten Island record shop and exchanged rhymes for the first time. At that fated moment, their decade?s-worth of rhyming experience fused into singularity as both recognized the potential for something much larger. Defined by the duo as "street poetry? East Coast hip hop with a twist of life," Team Alliance?s style quickly gained them local acclaim, as the duo sought with fervent passion to produce heavy rhymes from their makeshift basement recording studio. Since that time, Team Alliance has grown both in number and power, as the two founders expanded their versatility by welcoming into the family additional group member Lil Kore -- another local hustler of Staten Island, who, by the age of ten, had already steped within the world of hip hop. Three years later he had a demo already under his belt, and was using his musical talents to support himself after leaving home at the young age of fifteen. Being no stranger to the ways of the street, Kore turned to hustling and drug-dealing to support himself and his 18-month old daughter, all the while furiously writing songs to carry himself along. ?I used to write because it was the only time I could feel completely at peace with myself. Sometimes it?s like a drug that calms me, other times it?s the strongest weapon I could ever muster,? notes Kore, who cannot forget the death of his father at the age of seven, nor the street life of his tattered past.

Carried predominantly by the force of their words, the crew is reliant less on expensive studio equipment and more on their shared drive to create, to rhyme, and to rap. "Every kid that kicks a verse believes he?s an MC," claims 1MT. "If you rhyme, then you rhyme, that?s all good, why not go and write some nursery school books? Being an MC is about so much more than that! Unless you put your heart into it, unless you?ve rocked a crowd, and unless you?ve been able to drop a verse to whoever, whenever? don?t call yourself an MC."

Team Alliance has done all of that. Their presence, both onstage and off, combined with their understanding of how to "play the game," are what distinguishes Team Alliance from those hip hop groups who simply play a character, and places them with those who actually possess it. "Be yourself and be proud to represent where you are from," asserts Agent Lead, displaying his unabashed pride for his Italian upbringing. Having their roots in both Italian and Irish culture, all three men are more than eager to discuss the incongruities of their own heritage versus that of the hip hop mainstream. "Our heritage is definitely important to us, and it is reflected in the kind of hip hop we produce; it enables us to approach the rap world from angles that are both new and unexpected ." It seems quite appropriate that in the midst of a new millennium, this new hybrid of hip hop is making a place for itself within the rap community, and can only expect to hear more blazin? joints from Team Alliance in the years to come. This fresh new group remains hard at work, confident that their talent will carry their rhymes to the masses, as all of them chant in unison: "Team Alliance will stand tall. Platinum waitin? to happen!"
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
keep more money, stay indy.

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