Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Seven Videos Of Black Violin (African American Hip Hop/R&B/Classical Music Group)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about Black Violin and showcases seven YouTube videos of this music group.

Selected comments from two of these videos' discussion threads are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the Kev Marcus (Kevin Sylvester) and Wil B (Wilner Baptiste), members of Black Violin, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all others who are featured in these videos.

"Black Violin is an American hip hop duo from Florida comprising two classically-trained string instrumentalists, Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, who go by the stage names Kev Marcus and Wil B, respectively.

Kev Marcus plays the violin and Wil B. plays the viola. The two met in high school, went to different colleges, then later reconvened to create the musical group Black Violin. They play a variety of music (relying heavily upon classical music), but are often categorized as hip hop because of the changes to the rhythm and beats. This mingling of hip hop and classical sensibilities is what is generally thought to give them their distinctive style.[1]

The duo current performs with DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes.[2]


Origin Florida, United States
Genres Jazz, Hip hop, Funk, Classical, Modern classical, Fusion
Years active 2004 – present


Black Violin clinched the Showtime at the Apollo 2005 Legend title, of which Sylvester said:

"After we won the Apollo, which is the hardest audience on the planet, we knew there was something there...The hard thing was to package it so that people would give us a chance, because we were doing something that nobody had ever seen. Every time we step on stage, we had to prove it over and over."[6]

Black Violin's popularity has risen with their performance accompanying Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and by performing on the same bill with some of the industry's biggest artists, such as Wu-Tang Clan, and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.[2] The two men are also avid producers and writers, having worked with Kanye West, Tom Petty, Lupe Fiasco, Aerosmith, among others.[7] Most recently, they made a star appearance on "Angelina Ballerina," on the Public Broadcasting (PBS) network."[8]

Furthering their notoriety, Black Violin were invited to play at the Kids Inaugural Concert, one of the inaugural balls for United States President Barack Obama, in 2013."...

Example #1:Black Violin ( 2nd Performance Apollo Amatuer Night 2005)

Rmasai, Published on Jan 17, 2009

Black Violin wowing the audience with their funking unique hip-hop version of some popular hits. Great Performance.
Here are some comments from this video's discussion thread (This comments are presented in chronological order with the oldest dated comments given first, except for replies. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only)

1. Angel Kitten, 2009
"these guys are CRAZY WICKED! keep up the GREAT work love the sound"

2. Rmasai, 2010
"The group name "Black Violin" is derived from the influence of a famous jazz violinist, Stuff Smith; six months before Smith's death, he recorded a solo album entitled Black Violin. The duo decided to name their group after the music of the most inspiring violinist they had ever heard."

3. hkfan1980, 2010
"i know they appeared for a 3rd time but did they eventually win for good? :D"

4. Rmasai, 2010
"Yes, they were crown the champion for that season."

5. Jason Winn, 2010
"The order of the songs is as follows:

1. They Reminisce Over You by Pete Rock and CL Smooth
2. Juicy by Biggie Smalls
3. [cant remember]
4. Yeah by Usher"
The title of song #1 is also given as "T.R.O.Y."

6. joewhales91, 2010
"the third song was michael jackson "rock with you" "

Example #2:
Black Violin ( 3rd Performance - Apollo Amatuer Night 2005 )

Rmasai, Published on Jan 17, 2009
Black Violin electrifying the audience on Showtime on the Apollo Amatuer Night. Great Performance.
Black Violin performed the same songs that are listed above. Presumably, they also performed these same songs in their first Showtime At The Apollo show. There's no YouTube video for that performance.
Here are some comments from this video's discussion thread (This comments are presented in chronological order with the oldest dated comments given first, except for replies. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only)

1. claritycentral, 2009
"TALENT TALENT TALENT... oh and did I forget to say bad."
"my bad" = African American Vernacular English term meaning "excuse me" ("I apologize")

2. John JohnnyArt Pavlou, 2009
"These guys totally rock! That's all. Having said that, and having been so programmed by my racist culture, I, a white man, still have to accept their talent and accomplisment through some kind of filter. You have to fight your own ingrained racism. Music, thankfully, is color-blind. Enjoy it!"

3. Rmasai, 2010
"No this is not a violin competition, this is Showtime at the Apollo Amateur Night. There are all kinds of acts performing, mostly singing, dancing, and musicians performing against each other."
This is obviously a response to a question, but that question is no longer found on that discussion thread.

4. SniperkingSogeking04, 2010
"O__O Normally I dislike Hip-Hop but this is amazing! I'm impressed to see how they cleverly integrated Hip-hop with Classical like Nuttin But Stringz! 5/5 from me!!"
Here's information about "Nuttin but stringz" from
"Nuttin' But Stringz, also known as N.B.S., consisted of the duo Tourie and Damien Escobar who both play violin.[2] The musicians from Jamaica, Queens played a blend of classical music, hip-hop, jazz, and R&B.[3][2]"
Here's more inforamtion about "Nuttin But Strings" from
Then, in 2004, the Escobars competed in “Amateur Night” at the Apollo Theater. They made it to the final round and
became an overnight media sensation, appearing on the CBS Morning News, the Today Show and Jay Leno. In 2006, they released the GRAMMY-nominated album, Struggle from the Subway to the Charts, but Damien says it wasn’t until their ascent on NBC’s America’s Got Talent —where the duo came in third—that people really “got them.”....
Damien Escobar from that duo now performs solo

5. a, 2010
"They aint better than "Nuttin but stringz""

6. Hipp's Daughter, 2018

Example #3: Black Violin - "A Flat" (Music Video) (2012)

Black Violin, Published on Oct 17, 2012

Black Violin's new single "A Flat" off of their highly anticipated Sophomore album "Classically Trained" produced by Infamous. Video was directed by @WileyAbbas shot in Brooklyn NYC. @BlackViolin

Example #4: Black Violin performs "End of the World" w/ The Imperial Symphony Orchestra (2014)

Black Violin, Published on Feb 18, 2015

Black Violin performs End of the World LIVE with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra in Lakeland, FL (October, 2014). KevMarcus (@kevmarcus), violin; Wil Baptiste @wilbaptiste, viola; Nat Stokes @nathanimal_reallife, drums; DJTK, turntables. Filmed and Edited by:

Example #5: Stay With Me - Black Violin (Sam Smith Cover) 2014

Black Violin, Published on Jul 15, 2014

Directed by: Imani Shakur
Filmed at: Peermusic Los Angeles
Performed by: Black Violin
Vocals: Wil Baptiste
Violin: Kev Marcus
Written by: Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes

Example #6: Black Violin - Stereotypes

BlackViolinVEVO, Published on Aug 31, 2015

Example #7: T&L 2016: Black Violin

NBPTS, Published on Apr 1, 2016

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