Armed with keys, bass, drums, and an emcee, The Beast makes revolutionary music – revolutionary in its genre-defying compositions, imaginative lyrics and political content. Tapping into the rich wellsprings of a conscious musical tradition, one could think they were listening to Bob Marley, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Gill Scott Heron or Public Enemy, at any point during a Beast performance. Infusing the best in jazz composition and improvisation with Hip-Hop poetry and soulful grooves, The Beast is North Carolina’s own independent revolution. Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly conscious, The Beast creates music to engage/enrage one’s mentality, and impassion all bodies to get up and move.
Hailing from the city of Durham, The Beast started as a chance encounter between Pierce Freelon (of local hip hop duo Language Arts and the Blackademics blog) and his old high school friend, drummer Stephen Coffman. In deciding to hold a casual jam session with local bass phenom Pete Kimosh and award-winning jazz composer Eric Hirsh, they had no clue what journey was in store for them. The musical connection and spontaneous creation that day were so powerful that one year later, entire pieces of music and lyrics remain unchanged from their original, improvised form.