Cactus of Asheville Based GFE
Performing Music as Agent 23 and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
He is a man of many names and many talents. His friends call him Cactus, he raps under the alias "Agent 23" and he has recently been making a splash in the kid's music scene with his "Kid-Hop" music as "Secret Agent 23 Skidoo."
Cactus has been making music since 1994. He started rapping with his friends who would later become the well-known Asheville band, GFE. Cactus is still traveling and recording with GFE regularly. The band recently finished recording a new album "Broken Time Machine" which is scheduled to be released this fall. As a whole, GFE has about fifteen records under their belt including four solo albums by Agent 23.
Six years ago, Cactus' life changed completely when he and his wife Brooke had a baby girl. At the age of six, Saki is now the inspiration for the rhyme and is quite the rapper herself. After discovering that there was a major void in the kids music scene (good hip hop) Cactus got to work recording a family friendly hip hop album that can be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo was born and the people responded. Not long after the release of his first kid-hop album, "Easy," Skidoo reached number one on the kids XM radio charts.
The album stays true to the authentic old school "Golden Era" style of rapping, while tapping into the magical mentality of a kid. Skidoo touches on important topics such as developing individuality, using your imagination, and not judging others. Agent 23 explains that kids are more in touch with the ethereal world that all artists draw from. "Kids think in primary colors."
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo aka Dad, was amazed by how quickly his daughter Saki picked up the basics of rapping and he began writing lines for her into his songs. In the song "Family Tree" Saki takes the spotlight as her and 23 rap back and forth finishing each others lines and playing off of each others rhymes. I’ve seen the song performed live several times, and Saki never misses a beat. 23’s wife Brooke even has a line in the song. They perform this and other songs live at many different venues all over town. They also travel as a family to do shows. They have already been booked to perform at Kidzapalooza in LA in June of 2009.
Cactus and Saki are now working on a new Secret Agent 23 Skidoo album. Cactus has also written a kids book, and a screen play, which will hopefully become a children’s television series. You can find out more about Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and how to purchase his music at www.undergroundplayground.net. The video for his song "Gotta be Me" can be found on YouTube.com. GFE is also on the web at www.granolafunk.com.
Photos of Cactus and Saki by Mike Belleme
About the Author / Photographer - Mike Belleme
Mike Belleme is a freelance photographer living in Asheville North Carolina. His work strives to invite the viewer into the lives of unique people. Through the stories shared by these individuals we may learn from their insights, mistakes, or ways of thinking.
Mike is experienced in many areas of photography work ranging from portrait to editorial to commercial table top photography and is available for local or travel assignments.
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