Ben Sharpa http://www.pioneerunit.com/artists/ben_sharpa/- Planetary Assault member, freestyle MC, live hip hop music artist, producer and lyricist; a ruling MC figure on the South African hip hop music scene for the past 12 years.
Born in the ghetto slums of Soweto, Johannesburg, Ben Sharpa has built himself up as a ruling figure on the South African underground hip hop music scene. He has been involved in hip hop rap music as a freestyle MC, performance artist, producer and lyricist for over 12 years.
In 1999, Ben Sharpa relocated to Cape Town to redefine himself and explore new territories, which proved very beneficial to his crusade in creating an environment which would allow many more individuals to appreciate and respect hip hop music as an African art form, a culture and more than just a game or ghetto bred lifestyle.
Sharpa is a founder member of the legendary crews, GroundWorks and Audio Visual. Recognized as a veteran in hip hop music, he uses the art of MC rapping as a medium of expression in the areas of social awareness, creativity and street life in general.
Ben Sharpa has also traveled and toured the UK, in London sharing the stage with music artists such as Immortal Technique (June 2005), Jonzi-D (June 2003), Black Thought (August 2001), Mr. Len and Gene Grae (May 2001). He regularly tours South Africa spreading his hip hop rap propaganda amongst youth and elders alike.
In 2002, he joined other well-known Johannesburg music artists Krookd the War Monger and AK-1 in establishing an independent music publishing company called Concentration Camp Publishing (now known as Con Camp). The entity has worked with over 20 MCs and producers and having released two albums (GroundWorks Demolition: The MeStory and Concentration Camp’s Pavement Special vol.1). Both of these albums were produced by Ben, with Demolition: The MeStory having been co-produced by Gemini.
In 2003, Ben Sharpa won a national freestyle MC battle sponsored by a local cellular network (MTN). This not only gave him notoriety and country-wide exposure, but also gave him an opportunity to travel to London where we would meet superstar rap music legend Eminem during the artist’s Anger Management tour. In June-July 2005, Ben Sharpa was involved in the Flight 5065 Vertikal Cipher in the UK; a historic event hosted by Café Direct and established as a run-up to the Live-8 concert in the UK.
In June 2006, Sharpa headlined alongside Wordsworth (United States) and Jonzi-D (UK) as part of the Tri-Continental Hip Hop Fest - an historical, three-city hip hop music tour that was held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Youth Month in South Africa.
Ben Sharpa is also a founding member of the performance crew for the annual Hip-Hop Connected lyrical theatre event held at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town every September (South African Heritage Month).
In his precious spare time, Ben enjoys listening to music, crafting dope beats, working out, partying, building computers and smoking ism.
In 2007, Ben Sharpa’s debut album ‘B. Sharpa’ is released, and it is expected to have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on the South African underground hip hop rap scene as it sets a new standard in production and sheer skillz. Get your flash mp3 players ready - SHARPAGANDA is on the loose!