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Kurtis Kahleel

Biography

Jamaican Performing & Recording Artists

Date of Birth (DOB): 9/4/65
From: Jamaica
Best Known for: Early Pioneer of Hip Hop Music "Fresh is the Word"

Bio: DJ Kurtis Mantronik was born Kurtis Kahleel, 4 September 1965, Jamaica, West Indies to a Jamaican mother and an Arabic father. At age seven his family moved to Canada, and then he moved to New York as a teenager. He became interested in rap after seeing a DJ scratching, and decided to buy himself 2 turntables to try in out himself. In 1983 while working at the Downtown Records Store he met a rapper by the name of MC Tee (b. Tooure Embden), they cut “Fresh is the Word” together and got it played at the Roxy. Kiss FM in New York put the record into heavy rotation and they had a hit.

They duo performed at the UK Fresh hip-hop festival at London's Wembley Arena in the summer of 1986, but were dropped by their label Sleeping Bag the follwing year. Mantronix appeared to have run out of fresh ideas and were quickly overtaken by a new generation of rappers/studio maestros. In the late 80s Tee signed up to the USAF, to be replaced by two stand-in rappers, Bryce Luvah who happened to be the cousin of LL Cool J ) and DJ Dee Mantronik's they hit the UK charts in 1990 with the singles "Got To Have Your Love" and "Take Your Time", featuring the vocal sheen of Wondress, reaching number 4 and number 10 respectively. By 1991 Kahleel was branching out into soul and R&B horizons he began to produce for others, notably English vocalist Paris, Mica.

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