Tres Records presents the debut album from Giant Panda, “Fly School Reunion”. Giant Panda is a group composed of the ethnically diverse Chikaramanga, Maanumental, and Newman (with DJ Superbrush 427 and Sir Kado). After the success of GP’s independently released 88 Remix (Ukenjam 12” 2003) and their critically acclaimed Tres debut, With It (Tres 12” 2004), the time has finally come for the crew to show their full colors to the listening public. Though “Fly School Reunion” might be perceived as a throw back to a simpler, and arguably better time in Hip-Hop, it is more than just a practice in old themes and techniques. “Fly School Reunion” is Giant Panda’s celebration of what made those times special and what they feel needs to be reclaimed in order to advance the art form they practice and love. With production by Giant Panda’s Chikaramanga, Newman, and Sir Kado, as well as outside help from the up and coming Milhouse Scoop and the legendary Thes One of People Under the Stairs (who mixed the entire album in his analog studio), “Fly School Reunion” is guaranteed to please the B-Boy preservationist and the forward thinking listener. The Thes One produced lead single, Superfly, exemplifies Giant Panda’s ability to balance the past and the future through music and rhymes. With Diggin in the Tapes, Racist, Classic Rock, and the tribute to GP’s favorite era (and a favorite group), 90’s, GP exhibits the sophistication of diligent students ready to evolve their medium while maintaining a healthy sense of humor Already gaining worldwide recognition from their past releases (XXL-Chairman’s Choice, HHC- Single of the Month, URB-Next 100 2005), the table is set for Giant Panda to serve their full-length platter. A cohesive 16-song journey, “Fly School Reunion” is Hip-Hop the way it is supposed to be done.
About the Artist
To the animal kingdom, a giant panda is the symbol of resilience for species pushed to extinction. To the recently synthesized and comically mundane world of Hip-Hop, Giant Panda is the rare group that symbolizes the power of using traditional methods to stay innovative and funky. Hailing from various spots around the globe, Giant Panda was formed around a childhood friendship, chance meetings, and an inside joke. Los Angeles is where the Pandas call home, but it all started when Maanumental and Newman started building on the teatherball courts of their Seattle elementary school. Newman would end up in So. California for college, where he met Chikaramanga and DJ Superbrush 427 who were roommates through out college. It is in this dorm (which was the center of the local scene) where Giant Panda would begin to take form. However, it would take a few years (and a few groups) before they would move to the heart of L.A. and adopt Sir Kado's (Maanumental's brother) nickname (for Chikara, Maanu, and New) of Giant Panda as the name they should've been all along. It is Giant Panda's dedication to fresh beats, lyrics, flows, and stage shows that gained them the respect of their peers (People Under The Stairs, Cut Chemist, J-Live) and the release of "88 Remix" (12inch UKJ-001 Dec. 2003) that gave them approval of their elders (Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Brother J). Although "88 Remix" was only pressed in limited quantities, it reached the high honor of "Single of the Month" in Hip-Hop Connection magazine. Their next release, "With It" (12inch TR396-002) also recieved a great reception from DJ's and critics alike. Among many reviews, "With It" was reviewed by Chairman Mao in his "Chairman's Choice" column (XXL Jan/Feb 2005). With a feature in URB's Next 100 (April 2005), it seems that the perfect time has arrived for Giant Panda to release their debut album, "Fly School Reuion". The overwhelming amount of support and respect Giant Panda has received confirmed that their desire to stretch out without getting thin and progress without forgetting where their art came from is the right choice. While quality Hip-Hop becomes a rare product to find, Giant Panda stand to be a constant reminder that it will stay in existence