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April 4, 2013
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Kid-hop show benefits School of the Arts

The King of Kid Hop — internationally known Secret Agent 23 Skidoo — will entertain families during a special Saturday morning dance concert at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.

A portion of the income from ticket sales will benefit the Nevada City School for the Arts.

Combining wordplay, storytelling and a positive message on top of thumping drums and sophisticated multi-instrumental pieces, 23 Skidoo — aka “Cactus” — speaks to kids and parents without condescending.

North Carolina musician 23 Skidoo toured for a decade as a rapper and producer across America, sharing the stage with Run D.M.C., Mos Def, Talib Kweli and the P-Funk All Stars.

When 23 Skidoo dropped “Easy,” his debut Kid Hop album for and with his daughter, Saki, aka MC Fireworks, then age 5, the idea struck a nerve with listeners and cemented a path.

“I’ve always been rapping in a positive way; I have a vivid imagination — lots of pictures, lots of stories — and to be completely honest, sometimes the grown-up hip-hop world expects a lot more grit, expects you to fit into a certain mold. I was always struggling against the walls of that mold,” 23 Skiddo said.

What I’m doing now is nice because there’s no image of hip-hop in the kids’ world; not many people are doing it. So I can create and do whatever I want. There’s a lot of freedom in it.”

Between that first Kid Hop album and his sophomore release, “Underground Playground,” 23 Skidoo has scored four No. 1 hits on SiriusXm satellite radio, garnered glowing reviews from Time Magazine, USA TODAY and NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

The popularity of 23 Skidoo has led him to rock sets at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, The Irving Plaza, LEGOLAND and The Smithsonian.

His efforts to promote reading led him to the post of official spokesman for the New York City Library Summer Reading Program during 2010/2011. He called for cooperation and spoke out against bullying and landed a feature spot on the Grammy award-winning album, “All About Bullies…Big and Small.”

After two albums on the Los Angeles-based kids label Happiness Records, 23 Skidoo pulled off a successful fundraising campaign with Kickstarter to record his third album and launch his own label. In May, “Make Believers” will be released as the first project on Underground Playground Records.

As a producer, 23 Skidoo drew from some of his favorite retro styles, combining golden age hip-hop with funk, soul, surf rock and even swing to give the recording a timeless feel.

As a writer and vocalist, 23 Skidoo draws inspiration from his daughter’s own trials and challenges of growing up, along with life lessons that everyone can relate to. He always remembers to add plenty of fun to the mix.

His wife, Brooke, aka BootySattva, is featured on all three albums along with 23 Skiddo’s daughter, Saki, now 10 years old.

Each album grows more complex, and the newest recording, “Make Believers,” has a depth and sophistication rarely found in the family music genre.

Saturday’s show begins at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $12 for adults, and are available through the Center for the Arts Box Office and at BriarPatch Co-op.

For more about the show, go to http://secretagent23skidoo.com.


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The Union Updated Apr 4, 2013 02:12AM Published Apr 5, 2013 04:00PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.