Black Panther Black PantherFrom the moment that Michael Eric Hill was born, he was different. Brooklyn hospital doctors told his parents that he would only live three weeks. A thyroid condition his mother had was believed to have been passed along to her son, but Odie Hill had faith. She not only believed her son would survive after spending three weeks hooked up to tubes in the hospital but being a deeply religious woman, she also believed her son was meant for nothing less than greatness. Raised in the neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn amidst such artists as Spike Lee, Chris Rock and Rakim, Michael was surrounded by an undeniable energy that he could not escape. At an early age, hip-hop not only found its way into his home but into his blood. Throwing concerts for his toys by gathering them around the portable turntable in front of his Spiderman poster in the living room, young Michael would play a mixture of songs by U.T.F.O., Roxanne Shante, Rod Stewart and Rick Springfield. This varied selection of records would stay with him and help him develop his production and deejaying style in the future. However, it was not until the day his brother brought home the Run-DMC record “Sucker MCs” that his life forever changed. Michael Hill later took on the name DJ Black Panther and began releasing Monthly underground hip-hop mixtapes at a time when independent music was not at the forefront. He was determined to carve his own path in the music industry. DJ Honda took notice to his tapes and started buying them directly to sell in Japan, furthering Panther’s name as well as his brand. After the release of a double mixtape, Panther had enough money to buy what would become his production weapon of choice, the MPC 200XL. In 2003 Black Panther put out his debut album “The Darkest Night Ever” on Third Earth Music. All 17 tracks received nothing but positive feedback and publicity from his fans and critics. The well-known website www.Allhiphop.com featured him in the “Breeding Ground” section and Elemental Magazine, Urb, XLR8, www.undergroundhiphop.com and more all agreed that a fresh new talent had emerged. In 2005, after getting back behind the turntables at clubs Panther hit the studio to work on his sophomore album, “My Eternal Winter”. The project proved to be not just a follow-up, but also a step above. “My Eternal Winter” has generated a lot of buzz for Black Panther through reviews and interviews from around the world. The second single from “My Eternal Winter“, entitled “The Half“, featured Grammy Award-winning songstress Maya Azucena and peaked at the number 2 position on the internet music charts. Also with the release of the album, “My Eternal Winter” Panther started his digital music label Manekinekopro, which has released music from Respect Tha God (Perverted Monks, Jeru, Afu-Ra). Respect single “I Rap 4” recently topped the Charts on all the industry gauges (Rapattacklives, recordbreaker.com), Heatmakerz latest Release “Ra Jah Ru meets The Heatmakerz” also found a home on Manekinekopro. And most recently Manekinekopro records has been responsible for the ReEmergence of the legendary emcee NINE (Whatcha Want, Make or Take). Panther released “Shots Fired” by NINE(Brand Narcotic/Manekinekopro). However, do not get it wrong Black Panther is still very much a recording artist and he is Hard at work on his third offering entitled “The Soul Eater”, pack with surprises and his ever-evolving sound. The future holds many musical endeavors, and you may ask what is next? A full-length album with the Grammy Award-winning singer Maya Azucena will be a great start.