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Motor City Cribs

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The online bio of Detroit hip-hop artists Stoopz and Breeze is implausible. Bob Stoopz, the duo's producer, was "raised by wild German shepherds on the streets of Farmington Hills [and] had to learn how to play the keytar at a young age to make ends meet." Drew Breeze, the duo's emcee, was "signed by Disney to be a dancer on Kids Incorporated. After turning to hard drugs, Breeze found himself back in Detroit, where he turned out hookers, sold crack and robbed banks."

According the bio, their new album Turn Up the Smooth is "the story of Stoopz and Breeze's exodus from Detroit to Miami, and their rise to the top of Dade County's criminal underworld. Along the way, they tangle with female drug lords, sell cocaine to Dan Marino and party with Shalamar." If that's not enough, the pair claims to have traveled back in time to the late '80s — to a Miami Vice set.

There, it was Stoopz' chance encounter with Miami Vice theme composer and keyboard badass Jan Hammer that provided the musical impetus for the pair's album. Studying with Jan inspired Stoopz to use Hammer's smooth yet futuristic tones to build tracks for Breeze so the rapper could lay down the nitty-gritty about South Beach's underside.

After making it big in Miami, Stoopz and Breeze decided to return to present-day Detroit to share their yarns from the pastel age.

Since they've arrived, the two have been living it up on a top floor of the Pontchartrain Hotel, overlooking the Detroit River. (Yes, this part is not fiction.)

"I'll be honest with you," Stoopz confesses, "I'm in it for the girls. And chicks dig the Pontchartrain." Breeze concurs. "When we go out of town we like to live it up — nothing less than the finest for us. Stoopz and Breeze be ballin' out of control."

You can check out Stoopz and Breeze's music at www.myspace.com/stoopznbreeze. Their new album Turn Up the Smooth is available on iTunes and at CD Baby. Stoopz and Breeze will perform Friday, June 19th at the Berkley Front, 3087 12 Mile Rd, Berkley. Rumors that Stoopz & Breeze are respectively Hugh Whitaker and Leaf Erikson might be true.

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