For more than thirty years, Cognito has contributed immensely to the propagation of Hip Hop culture— from concert promoter to FatBeats record store operator to touring the world as a member of the underground group massinfluence. Most consistently, Cognito is known for documenting legendary hip hop artists such as Mos Def, De La Soul, Talib Kweli, MF DOOM and Kanye West on both still and video media. He has filmed MF DOOM for the Gorillaz live DVD, documentaries on both Talib Kweli and Goodie Mob, a music video for rock diva Nikka Costa, and presented his photographs captured while on tour with Mos Def in a well received gallery show at Los Angeles’ HVW8 Gallery during the month of February 2010. His work has been featured as cover and editorial photos in national magazines Spin, Frank 151 & XXL.

Cognito at Fatbeats ATL, c.1996

Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Cognito, c.2009

A Connector

Cognito is well known within the Hip Hop community for his ability to connect artists for significant collaborations. Examples include his roles as A&R for the Black Eyed Peas’ remix album “Renegotiations”, bringing Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Large Professor and DJ Jazzy Jeff to the project. Cognito also worked as consulting producer on the recently aired documentary on music sampling entitled “Copyright Criminals,” securing Pete Rock, De La Soul, Mr. Len & Bobbito Garcia for their priceless insight. Cognito has recently used his experience and knowledge of Hip Hop’s history and community, to serve as moderator for the RedBull Academy’s Redbull Music Sessions and at UCLA’s panel discussion on the “Digitalization of Hip Hop.”

A Collaborator

Cognito is the co-founder of Frolab.com, a marketing, design and production collective of “Frolaborators” and online destination that celebrates music, art, design and Afros! Frolab’s mantra “Pick Fros Not Fights™” has been spread worldwide to encourage “afronistas” & “afrolisionists” to embrace and not resist their own individuality. He co-produces and serves as host for the highly anticipated yearly Los Angeles events “SoulSlam: The original Prince & Michael Jackson Tribute” and “Wonderfull: A musical tribute to the sounds of Stevie Wonder.”