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ROOTS OF FUNKAMENTALZ

Wade Colwell-Sandoval and Baba Oyadare Ranson III first came together in 1993 as contracted motivational speakers in Southern California  with Rebuild L.A./Up With People's Project Pride. After finding common interests in music and social issues, they formed the hip hop group Poetic Souljjazz that same year.  They recorded their first album "Things are Changing." The next summer, Wade and Ranson organized the Spectrum of Life in Tucson, AZ  which brought 100 youth, over half on intensive probation, together for a nightly gathering for six straight weeks during the summer.  The purpose of the program was to create a youth written, produced and performed musical that would depict the real issues in the community from a teenage perspective.  The end result was the show "Livin Inside Out" that drew accolades nationally and was identified in the US Congressional record by Senator Dennis De Concini as a model for educational reform. In 1995, Wade became a certified secondary level teacher and Ranson continued to balance multiple production projects from arranging music for hip hop artists, television programs, film compositions, sound libraries and radio spots. In 1997, after only two years in the classroom, Wade identified a major gap between what was being taught in the classroom and what students were choosing to be involved in outside of school. Wade approached Ranson with a proposition to create music, namely "real" hip hop, to engage the learning potential of the nation's youth. Ranson immediately understood the connection and contributed his creative ingenuity to form Funkamentalz that very day. The two immediately jumped in the studio and recorded a Geography song called "Worldside" that contained the name of every single country of the world (196 to be exact).

Since then, Funkamentalz has been instrumental as a resource for community leaders, organizations and schools providing social and academic based music and facilitations around the world. The newest evolution of Funkamentalz action is (MC)2 - a rite of passage journey to prep and propel a new generation of oral tradition musical catalysts. The rest is history that is still being written.

 

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Wade Colwell-Sandoval

Co-Founder/Teacher/MC

 

Kwira!

 

I would like to honor the three who most influenced the artistic journey I have chosen. First, my mother Catalina, a visual artist who connected me to my indigenous roots through her depiction of native cultures in her works. Next, my father Paul - a writer/musician who a demonstrated to me that music is a universal language that can build bridges of understanding between people. Finally, my grandfather Anthony Quinn - a legendary actor whose courage, persistence and resilience helped him to overcome obstacles of poverty and lack of opportunity. 

 

Flashback to the early 80’s... in middle school I was exposed to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message”- a groundbreaking song that depicts the realities and struggles of inner-city life. I was inspired and mesmerized by the musical hook, the straight-talk, and the inventive rhythm-based lyricism. Plus, my interest in the song’s storyline helped me to make the mental connection to the potential for hip hop music to be a vehicle for wide-scale social awareness and positive change.

 

Fast forward to the 21st century... I have continued to reinforce my view of the transcending qualities of music and creative expression thru the many life situations I have been blessed to experience. Today I am a lyricist/MC/spoken word poet, teacher, performer, presenter, youth advocate, facilitator, consultant and most prominently, the co-founder of Funkamentals – a group formed to inspire higher learning, enrich cultural awareness and raise social-consciousness in young people through the medium of hip hop music. The extensive amount of content that can be expressed in a hip hop format has made it possible for us to create music incorporating advanced math, the periodical table of the elements, the countries, currencies, and languages of the world as well as life topics that can help spark a curiosity for youth to engage in the conversation and process of social transformation.

Today I stay on it

 

see personal website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baba Oyadare Ranson III

Co-Founder/Producer/MC

 

 

Baba Oyadare Ranson III is blessed with a unique and powerful gift of artistic expression.

 

His work generates from an intense passion that burns inside him to share his social and cultural consciousness with others through art.  He is a practitioner of multiple artistic disciplines, which include music, art, and most recently, film.  His music, film, and performance productions press technology beyond traditional boundaries and because of this, he has been labeled an iconoclast with a unique voice in the postmodern global Hip Hop village.

 

Ranson was born into the social activist environment of Oakland, CA then made the signifiant cultural transition moving to Tucson, AZ with his family. His advocacy for community issues remained strong as he has been prolifically involved in producing creative projects for community building throughout his young and adult life.

 

Ranson brings to the table seventeen independent label releases and five major label credits. He has produced music for HBO's Chris Rock Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Showtime original movie The Fixer, Jenny Jones, and other popular television programs.

 

As a result of his travels abroad, which include living on two continents (North America, Australia), Ranson is multilingual and conversant in English,  Spanish,  and is currently studying French, Ga and Yoruba. He lives in Denton, TX with his wife Dulce.

 

see personal website 

Contact / Booking
Wade Colwell-Sandoval / xochiyolotl@gmail.com 
Baba Oyadare Ranson III / redbuffaloboy@aim.com 

© FUNKAMENTALZ / EST. 1997

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