Born on the Southside of Chicago, and raised both there and in Minneapolis, Michael Crenshaw is a world class MC and poet who has emerged on the national - and international stage. As a teen in the late 80's, Mic was embroiled in the violent streets of Minneapolis, leading groups to physically confront white supremacist gangs that were enforcing their will at local parks and social scenes. After beating back the neo-nazis, the violence remained, both in the streets and from authorities. Crenshaw decided it was time to escape it all and moved west to Portland, OR. Crenshaw says, "I wanted something new. [At the time] my ties with the streets were still pretty strong, and my social life involved drinking and fighting. I was ready for a change."
In Portland, he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest. Beginning in '94, Crenshaw was the front man for the beloved Portland live Hip Hop band, Hungry Mob. In 2001, Crenshaw won The Portland Poetry Slam Championship and went on to finish as a national finalist.
In Portland, Mic's community efforts expanded from the local - to the global. At the close of a Human Rights conference he attended in Rwanda, Crenshaw was confronted by local activists. They said that in America there are computers and they need his help to get them computers. As a result, upon returning to Portland, he enlisted help from an educational colleague, Morgan Delaney. As a result, Globalfam was born.
Globalfam is now a full entertainment company, record label and lifestyle company in one. It houses and produces Crenshaw's music. As well as, partners with the non-profit Education WithOut Borders (EWOB) to manage the community projects that Crensahw and Globalfam are involved in. Crenshaw now serves as EWOB's President. Seven years later, the request for computers has blossomed into a full computer education center in Burundi, Central Africa. Over 800 people have received training, and the center is now expanding, generating revenue and creating jobs by adding a computer repair shop. It is 100% locally managed and staffed. EWOB and Globalfam, along with its supporters, have been the sole outside sponsor
EWOB helps education, music and art initiatives in Portland and their work in Africa, as well serving as an umbrella for the Portland Books For Prisoners Chapter. Crenshaw is currently the Political Director of Hip Hop Congress and the Lead U.S. Organizer for the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. The Caravan toured six African cities in 2012 and will tour 10 cities between Cape Town and Cairo in 2014. The Caravan engages each city with a show in the city center, a Hip Hop Symposium and a free show for the youth in a township or ghetto. Crenshaw was invited to be part of the Caravan after playing the Shoko International Festival in Harare Zimbabwe in 2012.
Since 2012, Mic has released 3 EP’s expanding his musical presentation into metal and other rock inspired sound. The EP " Superheros"(2014), which features Dead Prez on its title track solidified Mic's place in Hip Hop worldwide and as an activist/educator. Bionic Metal” (2014) features signature wordplay in line with motivating sonic backdrops . Hope and Danger (2016) heightens the introspection and critical analysis of race, class and culture in modern society. Mic recently released a new project entitled "EarthBound", which explores out modern social condition through the lens of ecological responsibility, economic violence and the sociopathic tendencies of our political landscape.
Mic will be on the March 10th episode of My Real Portland.