From September 4 to September 22, 2017 five hip hop artists traveled to Casablanca and Meknes, Morocco as part of the Next Level program. MC Shasta “Klevah” Matthew, Dancer Edson “Bboy House” Magana, DJ Zephyr Ann Doles, and MC Tarik “Konshens The MC” Davis joined team manager Kane Smego to perform for audiences and collaborate with local artists to promote cross-culture exchange and conflict resolution. The team is part of a larger Next Level cohort of twenty American MC’s, DJ’s, beat makers, and hip hop dancers leading exchange programs across the globe. You can read more about the artists here. See more videos of the team performing here.
Edson “Bboy House” Magana is a Mexico City-born street dancer in the art of breaking, popping, locking, and house dancing. He is a practitioner, student, and educator/lecturer of hip hop culture and its communities.
Now residing in Arizona, Bboy House is on a mission to leave the universe better than he found it. He has travelled globally planting seeds of awareness to develop programs, events, and longevity for youth. He is co-founder of Furious Styles Crew, an organization that creates collaborations and networks of socially engaged work.
Due to his strong roots in hip hop culture, dance, and foundations, Bboy House has had the privilege of competing, judging, and hosting numerous dance battles around the world. He also has a Master in Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Sociology from Arizona State University.
Zephyr Ann Doles is a teaching artist and DJ working to use art and musical practice as a vehicle for social activism. As a DJ, she draws from a global influence of styles and musical histories to create new cultural narratives through sound.
She has worked with Danny Krivit, Tony Humphries, J.Rocc, Karriem Riggins, and others. As a teaching artist with a background working with youth, Zephyr Ann recognizes the power that is tapped when young people find new mediums through which they can share experiences and connect with others.
Tarik “Konshens The MC” Davis is a hip hop artist, songwriter, educator and youth advocate from Washington DC. He is currently an Advisor on the Grammy Chapter Board, Voting Member of the Grammy Recording Academy and Grammy Museum Teaching Artist. He is also the MC of “Classically Dope,” which merges hip hop lyrics with classical arrangements.
He recently performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and has been featured on Fox, ABC and CBS networks and Washington Magazine. As an artist and innovator, Konshens The MC stands at the forefront of the evolution of hip hop.
Shasta “Klevah” Matthews is a hip hop artist from Champaign, Illinois. A true student of the culture, Klevah speaks, creates, and lives through hip hop. She uses her gift to speak bluntly about her less-than-perfect background and communicate on issues that affect the world today.
She is also a member of two art collectives, TheGr8Thinkaz and Mother Nature.
Kane Smego is spoken word and Hip Hop Artist, a National Poetry Slam finalist, and educator. Originally hailing from North Carolina, he has performed and run programs all across the U.S., and abroad on five continents.
As a recording artist, Kane has featured on Grammy Award-winner King Mez's debut album alongside production by J. Cole and Soundtrakk, and topped the Spotify Viral 50 billboard in May 2017 featuring on the song North Cackwith G Yamazawa. The music video for the song appeared on “BET Jams”, and went on to win Best Music Video at the Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem, NY.
Kane’s one-man show, Temples of Lung and Air, premiered at Playmakers Repertory Company in 2018 and fuses rap, poetry, beatboxing, and storytelling in a work of hip hop theater.
During his time in North Carolina, Kane co-founded the award-winning youth arts nonprofit, Sacrificial Poets. He seeks to inspire youth and adults to tell their own stories, and challenges them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken and written word. A native of Durham, NC, Kane currently resides in Los Angeles, California.