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MKE on the rise- June 2014

Front cover of Land By The Lake compilation CD
Front cover of Land By The Lake compilation CD
Cover art by DeChazier Stokes-Johnson

Welcome to the first of two editions of MKE On The Rise for the month of June. For those of you unfamiliar with this segment of my column, MKE On The Rise is a monthly section of my Milwaukee local music column where a different band, artist or other important element of the Milwaukee local music scene is highlighted. To date I have written about a live band, the hip hop scene and a local venue. For the subject of this edition of MKE On The Rise, I have chosen Milwaukee's own Rizenhower Studios.

Rizenhower Studios is a Milwaukee-based studio and rehearsal space operated by recording artist and Milwaukee native Ralph Williams III aka Rizenhower the Great Poupon. Another Milwaukee native, Derrick Holt aka DSCRIBE serves as co-producer and resident studio engineer at Rizenhower Studios. DSCRIBE, currently living in Oakland, California, is a graduate of UW-Madison and the Omega Recording Studios’ School of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences. Rizenhower, a special education teacher by day at Milwaukee Public Schools, is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee. Both men have had a life-long appreciation for the arts and a strong connection to the city of Milwaukee.

Rizenhower Studios has been the home to Rizenhower the Great Poupon since 2011. Recordings completed at Rizenhower Studios include Rizenhower's 2013 release "Long Climb To The Bottom" and the massive multimedia collaboration "Land By The Lake". The collaborative project includes a compilation CD that is available on DSCRIBE's own website, released in May of 2014. In addition, a series of music videos is in production for each track. From the humble beginnings of the concept, the goal of “Land by the Lake” was "to promote and help foster a healthy collaborative environment for all artists in Milwaukee." according to DSCRIBE.

DSCRIBE and Rizenhower served as executive producers on "Land By The Lake", a project involving more than 25 of Milwaukee's finest MCs including: Rizenhower The Great Poupon, Yo-Dot, $killz, Blax Intellect, Dana Coppafeel, SPEAK Easy, Kia Rap Princess, Meccah Maloh, Godxilla, L.O.G.I.C., Escape Artist, Mr. Entertainment aka T Rock, Kale Noel, MoG, Tay Gutta, Mad Static, Da Beast, Mistaloo Meff, MonMon, DJ Willie Shakes and DSCRIBE, who also served as producer. In addition to being executive producer on "Land By The Lake", Rizenhower the Great Poupon served as a featured performer and a studio musician.

Despite releasing "Land By The Lake" just last month, the gentlemen at Rizenhower Studios have made no plans to kick their feet up and relax. Scheduled for release in 2014 are "Curry In The Garden" by Rizenhower the Great Poupon and a collaborative effort between MoG and DSCRIBE titled "Kinda Evil?", proving that as a team they are always looking to move forward.

Helping to bring back the spirit of collaboration and community are strong themes within the walls of Rizenhower Studios. "The ability to foster a healthy collaborative environment for all artists in Milwaukee is vital to the success of Milwaukee's music scene. A collaborative atmosphere is good for the artists, the art, and the city as a whole," DSCRIBE said.

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