The Official Bio

THE OFFICIAL BIO- You may have caught a glimpse of it on Showtime at the Apollo. The future Golden Era of Hip-Hop was introduced on a national stage. Known for their exciting high-energy stage performances and humorous lyrical content, Below Tha Surface restores the fun element of Hip-Hop. They take a fresh step outside the boxed-in style of music that has made Hip-Hop so monotonous and avoid the expected subjects of materialism, sexism, and thugism. Instead, Below Tha Surface takes a fresh, balanced approach and explore different topics that range from rebellious political overtones to songs that are more humorous in nature. BTS acts as a “from the people, for the people” type of Hip-Hop group. The vibe of this Urban Crossover group is fun and approachable, but edgy.

The group consists of two members, Mala (pronounced May-Lay) and C-Rel. They are a self-contained group that write and produce all their own material. Originally from Oklahoma City and St. Louis, respectively, the duo moved to Atlanta a few years ago to leave their imprint on the diverse ATL hip-hop sound and the rest of the world. Once in Atlanta, the group gained a strong following by winning local talent showcases. This buzz led to scoring performances with the likes of Run DMC, Lil Jon, and Nappy Roots, amongst others. Their tremendous talent and appeal caught the eyes and ears of one of Atlanta’s largest Urban radio moguls, who went on to manage the group. Below Tha Surface soon scored appearances on Turner South and a Spike TV reality show.

In the Fall of 2006, they released their song “Sooner Girl” via their MySpace page. That song led them to be the 1 Indie Hip Hop group in Oklahoma on MySpace, and “Sooner Girl” began to get radio play. An instant hit, that song was repeatedly the most requested song of the day on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s number one Pop station, K-HITS (106.9FM). With over 70 spins a week, “Sooner Girl” cracked the Top 100 National Radio Play on Media Base. This wasn’t the first time their home state supported them though. At the end of 2004, their song “Sooner Bounce” flooded the airwaves in Oklahoma City. It was such a popular song, the Orange Bowl Committee in Miami, FL asked Below Tha Surface to come perform it at the FedEx Orange Bowl National Championship.

Following their performance at the 2005 Orange Bowl with Ashley Simpson, JoJo, and Big Boi (from OutKast), Below Tha Surface independently released their debut cd “Push Play.” The cd featured Fish Scales from Grammy-nominated Rap group Nappy Roots. The first single, “Southern Belle,” was picked up by Turner South for a TV promo.

To spread the word on their album, the group hopped in a car and traveled throughout the Southeast promoting “Push Play” through performances and street teams. The duo was so aggressive in the Atlanta area that they got arrested for hanging their own posters and sentenced to community service. Their influences include everybody from old school artists like Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, and Run DMC to fellow Atlanta artists OutKast and Ludacris. Mala’s production sound is influenced by the musical likes of Timbaland, Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Neptunes, and Lil Jon. Below tha Surface promises to usher in a new Golden Era of Hip-Hop where music, style, and individuality rule. C-Rel states, “Below Tha Surface is a MOVEMENT. When you step into the realm of below tha surface, you can be yourself and free of labels.” Mala adds, “We mainly have fun with it. BTS gives you music you can party to, sometimes laugh at, but at other times, it can stimulate your thoughts.”

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