The Mad Rabbi and DJ/Producer Bussy Bownlow combine to form Pens & Needles, the most promising new group emerging from the southeast hip hop scene. After recording (and independently releasing) their smash hit debut EP (A.R.C.O., Dotted Line Records, 2003) and satisfying hip hop fans nationwide with their powerful live performances, the two have developed an on stage chemistry and collaborative genius that can't be matched. Bussy's well-rounded arsenal of turntable skills and melodic orchestrations are the perfect backdrop for the Rabbi's intricate wordscapes and commanding presence on stage.
As part of the NC hip hop community, PNN has certainly made their mark as a force to be reckoned with. Born in Queens, NY and raised in Greensboro, NC, wordsmith the Mad Rabbi is known for his uncanny ability to engage even the most finicky crowd and convert them into die-hard PNN fans. A writer at heart, his style is an amalgamation of street-smart lyricism, socio-political commentary, and spoken-word poetry. After holding down many backyard ciphers, he was introduced to members of Third World Citizens (an informal crew of hip-hop artists, founded by spoken word revolutionary Monte Smith.)in 1995 and soon after joined the collective. He remained with Third World Citizens for several years, simultaneously fronting a progressive rock/hip hop fusion group called The Ghetto Schled. After a move to Asheville, NC, the Rabbi quickly found himself immersed in the local music scene. From performing at the Smush Factor (a local hip hop concert series) to touring nationally with fuck/ska outfit Strut, the Rabbi has solidified himself as one of NC's premiere emcees. In a review for his single ?Can't Complain?, Urb magazine called the Mad Rabbi ?one of the hottest prospect out of NC since Michael Jordan." Producer/DJ Bussy Bownlow makes the beats and cuts the records. His diverse production, and skilled orchestrations are the signature of PNN's unique sound. Mr. Bownlow's body of work includes the whole of their debut ?A.R.C.O., the bulk of their second project, "1.618" (including the now classic "50 Ways to Fuck a Fat Girl", "Now", and "Patriot Act"), and the entire new project, ?Free Lunch?. For next level beats and scratches, few can match Bussy Bownlow's commitment to excellence. PNN has performed with the likes of Jurassic 5, Tame One, Akrobatik, J-Zone, Immortal Technique, Cage, Masta Ace, Little Brother, Blueprint, Mr. Dibbs, OC, Breez Evahflowin' (who is featured on ?1.618?), Louis Logic, Tanya Morgan, Pack FM, Mr. Dibbs, Zion I, Z-Man (of Heiro Emporium & One Block Radius), Adeem, Glue, Grand Buffet, Blueprint, DJ Vadim, Abstract Rude, Scienz of Life, and DJ Soundmachine. Currently, PNN are hard at work promoting two projects, their debut album "1.618", and the follow up ?Free Lunch?. The duo is currently touring, playing select dates across the country, and are planning a national tour after the release of ?Free Lunch?. After a recent move to Raleigh, NC, Pens & Needles are poised to bring intelligent, meaningful, but still hilariously entertaining hip hop back to the forefront, where it belongs.