Music Artist: Blaqthoven (Born: Anthony T. Ransom)
Blaqthoven's Deep Music Roots
The year is 1967. Three brothers out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, form a band, utilizing a lifetime of musical influences learned in their father's Pentecostal church. Ten years and countless live performances later, the trio -- Charlie, Robert and Ronnie -- have moved on to Los Angeles, where their first smash single, "Shake", reaches number four on Billboard's R&B charts, garnering national recognition. The world witnesses the birth of a whole new sound – a funky, Sly Stone-influenced brand of R&B cultivated by those three brothers, known to us as the Gap Band. Music history is made.
Meanwhile, back in Tulsa, Charlie's sister gives birth to her first son, whom she names Anthony T. Ransom. The boy grows up a child prodigy in a house filled with gospel music, courtesy of the C.O.G.I.C. and his late grandparents, Bishop Ow Wilson and Irma D. Wilson, the former Minister of Music for the state.
Anthony's life undergoes major changes. Hugely influenced by his Uncle Charlie, whose close relationship to his sister keeps him a constant presence in his nephew's life, Anthony strives to make moves of his own. After living in Dallas during junior high, he moves to Los Angeles and attends Fairfax High School. He develops strong connections to the streets of L.A.’s west side, where the harsh realities of inner-city life threaten to lure him away from his dreams.
The start of Blaqthoven's Music Career
However, destiny prevails, and at age 17, Anthony's career as a songwriter begins, with a number of songs recorded on the Gap Band's soundtrack for Leon Isaac Kennedy's Penitentiary III. Two years later, through the group Four Deep, of which he and his cousin are both members, he writes and produces the title track for Christopher Williams' acclaimed soul album, Changes.
Blaqthoven is born
Over the next decade, Anthony continues to struggle with the trials and tribulations of life, caught between the streets and the vicious divide-and-conquer tactics of the music industry. Malicious workings of record executives and beef with the group's manager lead to Four Deep being dropped from their label, and a painful split. Refusing to be deterred, Anthony relies on his well-earned reputation and his own judgment to provide him with creative outlets, remaining independent and solo. Inspired by what he deems the unique genius of a versatile, classical music giant, Ludwig Von Beethoven, he dons a new moniker for a new direction: Blaqthoven.
At a time when making hit records often has little to do with knowing about music, Blaqthoven stands out from the crowd, convinced that he has been chosen to deliver a message through music.
Some of Blaqthoven's best work:
Adamant that his skills as an artist and a producer are equally important, Blaqthoven moves into the realm of hip-hop, carrying within him the essence of veterans who brought us smash hits like "Burn Rubber On Me", "You Dropped the Bomb On Me", "Outstanding", and the soulful ballad "Yearning for Your Love". You may think you've never heard of him, but chances are that funk-driven, melodic jam you were last bouncing to came, by hook or by crook, from Blaqthoven. His impressive list of production credits includes tracks for hard-hitting West Coast rap artists like Dr. Dre (vocals on the hit single “Kush”), East Coast artist Talib Kweli (“How You Love Me”), Strong Arm Steady’s “Can’t Let It Go” and “Got Beef”, Tha Alkaholiks, Tha Eastsidaz, Kurupt, and many more.
The rarity of a talent such as Blaqthoven's – not only in the broad range of instruments he plays, and the unique sound created by building on lessons learned from his uncles, but together with insight gained through his on life experiences on America's inner-city streets – is exactly the stimulant for which weary souls have hungered.