dead prez is the revolutionary hip hop duo comprised of emcees and activists M1 and Stic.man.
dead prez’s music is the convergence of hip-hop with socially-conscious street level politics and community empowerment, social justice and Pan-Africanism. The duo maintains an ethical stance against corporate control over the media, especially hip hop record labels.
dead prez’s debut album, 2000’s Let’s Get Free, was the introduction to dead prez’s style, a sonic and thematic bridge between hip-hop and socially-conscious street level politics and community empowerment. With their most popular single to date, “Hip Hop”, the album was well-received by critics, and included intense political diatribes featuring prominent black activist Omali Yeshitela, as well as “Animal in Man” – a retelling of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The instrumental version of their song “Hip Hop” was used as Dave Chappelle’s entrance music for his show on Comedy Central, and can be heard on every episode. The popular video game SKATE also features the song “Hip Hop” in their sound track. In 2001 they collaborated with The Coup, another politically active hip hop outfit, to release Get Up.
The duo quickly built a fan base due to their engaging stage performances. They’ve been known to ignite dollar bills and toss apples into the audiences, declaring that they must eat healthily.
In 2002, dead prez contributed to Red Hot + Riot, a tribute to the music and work of Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti, that raised money for various charities devoted to raising AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. They collaborated with fellow hip-hop artists Talib Kweli, Jorge Ben, and Bilal to remake the famous song by Fela Kuti, “Shuffering and Shmiling,” for the CD. Also in 2002, dead prez released the independent mix tape Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape Vol. 1, followed by the release of Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape Vol. 2: Get Free or Die Tryin’ (2003), Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape Vol. 3: Pulse Of The People (2009), and Turn off the Radio: Vol 4.: Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz (2010). Sampling hits by artists such as Aaliyah, Drake, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z the group infused their political ideals into the melodic confines of popular songs. Commenting on the project, Stic.man said, “We took the popular songs that we love because of the hot sound or the melody or whatever and made it relative to Black people’s struggle.” In 2003, their song “Hell Yeah” was featured in the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack.
In 2004, dead prez released Revolutionary But Gangsta (Columbia Records).
dead prez were featured in the film Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, in 2006.
In June 2006, the cable movie network Starz In Black began airing an original documentary called dead prez: It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, directed by John Threat. The hour-long documentary featured live footage and interviews with dead prez. It also featured interviews from Kamel Bell, owner of Ankh Marketing and son of incarcerated Black Panther Herman Bell; Fred Hampton Jr., son of Black Panther Chief of Staff and Spokesman Fred Hampton; and radio personality Davey D. Among the topics discussed in the documentary are the inadequacies of the public education system, minority entrepreneurship, and social revolution.
Dead prez released a mixtape entitled “Pulse of the People: Turn Off Your Radio Vol. 3” on June 23, 2009. The mixtape is hosted by DJ Green Lantern. On Mother’s Day 2010, dead prez released “The Beauty Within,” a remix of B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ #1 single “Nothin’ On You.”  Additionally in 2010, dead prez released a mixtape with DJ Drama entitled Turn Off the Radio Vol. 4: Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz. The album is available for free download on their website, and they announced this release was their ten year commemoration of their most well known and commercially successful album Let’s Get Free.
Their other releases include:
- 2006: Mixtape album titled Can’t Sell Dope Forever released in tandem with former 2Pac collaborators, the Outlawz, urging their joint following to find creative ways to make a living.
- 2006: M1 releases solo album titled Confidential.
- 2008: Stic.man digitally released his solo album Manhood (Boss Up Inc) and his song “Faithful Lover” appears in Vivica Fox’s 3 Can Play that Game (Sony Pictures).
- 2008: Stic.man produced and co-wrote three songs (“Sly Fox”, “We’re Not Alone” and “Untitled”) on the legendary Def Jam recording artist Nas’ latest untitled LP.
- 2011: Stic.man released his second solo album The Workout.
Stic.man has authored and co-published four books: Warrior Names from Afrika, The Art of Emcee-ing, Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering The Warrior Within, and most recently The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy with his wife of 15 years Afya Ibomu.
Stic.man is also featured in the film The Black Candle, narrated By Maya Angelou.
M1 played the lead role in the independent film New York 21: The Black Panther Party-New York Chapter and Struggles of Sundiata Acoli (Field Up Productions).
M-1 joined the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement in Chicago for three years, stic.man remained in Florida.
Prior to the release of their debut album in 2000, they had already contributed songs to film soundtracks and made featurings on high profile albums. Their first recorded song, “The Game of Life (Score)” appeared on the 1997 soundtrack to the film Soul in the Hole. In 1998 their song “D.O.P.E. (Drugs Oppress People Everyday)” was featured in the movie Slam. Also in 1998 they were featured on the skit “The Rain and the Sun” off Big Pun’s album Capital Punishment, and in 1999 were featured on The Beatnuts’ song “Look Around” off their album Musical Massacre.