San Diego's Dennis Shea personifies the idea of hip-hop culture, the one with four elements: rapping, DJing, breaking, and graffiti. So, as an emcee with a B-Boy pedigree who came up learning how to scratch and paint -- he's a purist with unified roots.
"[I] started rapping in high school during my Footsoulgerz era. We were pretty much an all-element crew. B-Boy after school, then practice cuts, and go painting after nightfall," he says.
It's the kind of philosophy KRS-One teaches, where rap is something you do while hip-hop is something you live -- and with the handle "BBoy Mansini," a reference to his break-dancing background, it's also one Shea's internalized.
A renaissance man, he established himself as a premier B-Boy after winning Freestyle Session (an international breaking competition that began in San Diego) in '97, '99 and again in 2002. Two years later, he solidified his reputation as an emcee with the release of his first official rap project, 2004's "BBoy Mafia" mixtape.
Since then, he's kept busy and in September, Mansini delivered his latest EP titled "The Man the Myth" -- eight tracks of straight-no-chaser boom-bap with production courtesy of Bas 1, DJ Etc, and J-Supreme.
It's an undiluted effort, with no need for smoke or mirrors: "[It's] just me putting myself out as a solo artist; a glimpse into my world as a B-Boy emcee. Just me -- no image or extras needed."