Get ready to meet Crown and the M.O.B.
The group, which blends rap and a full band, are slated to perform throughout the 2015 ESPYs awards on Wednesday night. But who exactly is this brand-new group and what’s their musical history?
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s ESPYs house band and their music:
1. Crown Was Born in NYC and Raps About His Life
Crown was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up just blocks away from his biggest influences – Jay-Z, the Notirous BIG and Big Daddy Kane. But while he was influenced by those other artist’s styles, he stays true to his roots and produces music based on his life and own experiences.
He discussed his life growing up and ho it affects his music with Yahoo earlier this year:
I was thinking about my early childhood, stepping over crack vials, living across the hallway from a crack house, seeing violence and police corruption. But regardless of what’s in your past, don’t be afraid to expect what’s a head of you.
Since breaking onto the music scene Crown has opened for the likes of Faolous, Lil Kim and Trey Songz.
2. The Group Just Released a Brand-New Single
Crown and the M.O.B. released its first single and EP “Love My People,” in October last year to positive reviews. The music blended Crown’s rap with the big-band feel of M.O.B’s instruments, creating an upbeat and personal sound.
The group released its first full-length album, “All Rise,” in May.
3. Crown Watched Last Year’s ESPYs & Wanted to Perform at the Show
Crown told ESPN that he watched last year’s show from his own in Southern California and was moved during Staurt Scott’s speech upon receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. He wanted to be able to participate in an event like that.
This year he, along with his band, are getting just that opportunity and the group couldn’t be more excited. He wrote on his Facebook:
It has finally hit me. Im overjoyed at this opportunity to step foot on the ESPYS stage in front of sports Icons and Legends to showcase our sound. Tonight, the world finally gets to hear ALOT of Crown and the M.O.B music.
4. M.O.B. Stands for Messages of the Blues
The band, which has been backing Crown since the group’s inception, helps create a fuller sound during performances but while they’ve been together for years, M.O.B. also boasts its own impressive resume.
Message of the Blues, based out of Venice Beach, California, has played with everyone from Dr. Dre to Justin Timberlake.
5. Crown Has Been Counting Down His Favorite Sports Moments Ahead of the ESPYs
Crown has not been shy about expressing how excited he is to perform on the ESPYs and, to document that, he’s spent the better part of the last week leading up to the awards staging his very own top-five countdown.
Crown has posted videos on his Facebook page announcing his selections and, on Wednesday, proclaimed Mariano Rivera being relieved on the mound by Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite as his top moment.
The other four selections on the list? From No. 2 to No. 5: the David Tyree helmet catch, Reggie Miller’s eight points in 18 seconds, Mike Tyson being knocked out by Buster Douglas and Odell Beckham Jr.’s catch.