Baltimore

Jason Brown, keyboard; Lavar "Topix" Green, drum machine; Salim Heggins, MC; Sean "Sinseer" Davis, bass

2005

hip-hop

Jay Dee, Ron Carter, Big Daddy Kane, Sonny Cheeba

The band looks to hip-hop from the '80s and early '90s for inspiration in crafting its own brand of smooth, live hip-hop. Its most recent album, Hip-Hop Revisited, came out last year.

"One of the things that grabbed us was it was balanced," Heggins said of vintage hip-hop. "It showed a lot of the different faces of life. ... That balance that really reflected a realistic version of life was attractive."