Monday, March 7, 2011

Phillip Morris (Chicago) - The Same Ones and Zeroes

Chicago born and raised, Phillip Morris has been described as “one of the ultimate word smiths of hip-hop (Skope Magazine).”

Lacking any desire to fit into any hip-hop constructs, Morris’ focus on the vernacular, the message, and the music, distinguishes him from what many claim is the dire state of contemporary hip-hop. His reputation in Chicago’s internationally known music scene is of a well enunciated, articulate, fun, and engaging performer that entertains diverse crowds with complex rhymes and electrifying stage performances.

Beginning in 1998, Morris’ interest in music and words flourished into a passion for learning and refining the hip-hop art form. Intelligent word-play and flow are skills that Morris will first admit did not come “naturally” to him, as many other hip-hop artists like to claim. Ultimately however, it was this humility that opened his ability to not only engage in the nuts and bolts of the music, but to redefine the hip-hop genre on his terms.

When he became a father at the age of twenty, he took it upon himself to infuse his music with a progressive and positive message with aims to make an impact in the world that his children were now a part of. Using hip-hop as a vehicle in speaking out against injustices around the world while challenging political correctness and ignorance, Morris’ work moves the listener to re-evaluate their roles as American and world citizens.

Performing at anti-war rallies, pro-marijuana marches, youth violence benefits, and other progressive gatherings across Chicago and the Midwest, Phillip strives to surround himself with progressive thinkers who take it upon themselves to improve society in a peaceful and thoughtful manner.

His sense of humor and performance range is also captured by the video for his hit, Mister Morris. Chowing down ramen noodles in thick glasses and occasional pelvic gyrations, coupled with Morris’ effortless and widely appealing flow made Mister Morris an official selection of both the Midwest Independent Film Festival and the Chicago International Hip-Hop film festival in 2009. Additionally, the Mister Morris video hit selected movie theaters across Chicago, and was nominated for best music video at the Best of the Midwest Awards (BMAs) held by the Midwest Independent Film Festival.

Morris’ talents have been underscored in the 2008 documentary I am Hip-Hop (directed by Geoff Harkness) and will be featured in the upcoming documentary Roof Top Hip-Hop (by Oliver Holmberg). Morris has also opened for notable acts like Dead Prez, Anita Tijoux, and Souls of Mischief.

Innovative. Cerebral yet accessible. Sociopolitically conscious. Appealing to and supported by hip-hop heads and non-hip-hop listeners alike.
Those who are yet to listen will soon be addicted…

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