"You cant stop the music," says Washington, DC's own Asheru (born Gabriel Benn), an artist who has, since the beginning of his recording career, taken the independent route. Asheru is best known as part of the group The Unspoken Heard, and as a founding member of the Brooklyn based label, Seven Heads Entertainment.
In addition to this, he has created an umbrella, Guerilla Arts Ink, LLC, which is also home to his Educational Program "Educational Lyrics" or EL, which produces the magazine H.E.L.P., his Arts-in Education program Project NOMMO, and his publishing company, Arbor Day Publishing (ASCAP).
Over the years, Asheru has had the fortune of traveling and performing all over the United States, Europe, and Japan, both as a member of Unspoken Heard, and more recently as a solo artist. He has also recorded with some of the best emcees and producers in the game, such as J-Live, El Da Sensei, Lone Catalysts, Grap Luva, Pete Rock, Geology, DJ Khalil of Self-Scientific, DJ Spinna and many others.
Asheru also had several critically acclaimed features on several 2004 releases, such as the Halftooth Records compilation, You Don't Know the Half, The Sound Providers LP, An Evening with the Sound Providers, and Jazzy Jeff's Hip Hop Forever.
Asheru used the publicity that he garnered from these stints to release 12 Black Moses b/w B.M.I.G., songs featured on the 2004 Unspoken Heard/Seven Heads release, 48 Months.In January of 2005, Asheru released Insomnia Vol.
1, a collection of 26 tracks of collabos, exclusives, and unreleased material. Vol. 1 features hometown comrades Kev Brown, Oddisee, Ken Starr, The Black Lincolns, and Grap Luva, as well as appearances by Talib Kweli, Lone Catalysts, Sound Providers, Usef Dinero, and others, and mixed by DJ Roddy Rod of Maspyke.
Aaron McGruder, creator of syndicated and highly acclaimed The Boondocks comic strip tapped Asheru to co-create thematic songs for the animated Boondocks TV show, which premiered on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim on November 6, 2005.
His theme song for the show can be heard every week. He also preformed other vocal and musical contributions with The Black Lincolns, and Unspoken Heard partner, Blue Black throughout the first season.
With critical acclaim, the show has launch Asheru into a fan base that he wouldn't have otherwise had. As a promotion for the television show The Boondocks, in early 2007 the Mixtape series Hip-Hop Dock-Trine was begun with the first volume produced by Dub Floyd.
Other contributors to the mixtape included J Dilla (R.I.P.), Talib Kweli, Common, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Jean Grae, and many more.A second Hip-Hop Docktrine mixtape has been released in late 2007. It's a 2 "disk" series and was exclusively released for free online download from the Hip-Hop Dock-Trine myspace page and from Asheru's Myspace page.
Asheru was busy in 2007, his EP 3 Stars, 2 Bars was also released exclusively from his Myspace in CD format only.http://www.asheru.comhttp://www.ilike.com/artist/asheru
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