Mikal Amin also known as The Hired Gun is an interdisciplinary hip-hop artist and educator manifesting music and message since 2000. A veteran of eleven international tours including extensive work as a State Department Cultural Ambassador through the American Music Abroad program, and as the Artistic Director for the Harlem Biennele “Our Better Angels” project in 2012. The Brooklyn resident has implemented master classes, cultural workshops, lectured and performed in over nine countries on five continents including Nepal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Brazil, France and at such institutions and festivals as Arca Theater (Czech Republic), Columbia and Fordham University, Alliance France, Palais De Tokyo (France), Shoko International Hip-Hop Festival (Zimbabwe), Hip Hop Kemp (Germany), Azgo Festival (Mozambique), The Bushfire Festival (Swaziland) and The Lourve. The founder of Fresh Roots Music, and co-founder of Re:Education and Say Word Entertainment, he currently serves as a program manager and curator for Brooklyn Academy Music, and Hip-Hop arts facilitator for the Cyphers for Justice at IUME, Teacher’s College (Columbia University)
In 2009 he was recognized as one of URB magazine’s Next 100 (along with DRAKE and ASHER ROTH) and 90.3 radio, The Voice of Harlem as 2009’s “Best New Artist on the Come up”. The three time Freestyle Mondays “Off the Head Game show” Champion, 2016 End of the Weak MC Challenge finalist and 2016 “Best Flow” “emcee of the year” and “emcee of the month (February)” medalist for “Da Spittin in da Whip” series, Mikal Amin’s performed with or featured on records with artists such as Rob Swift, Slick Rick, Fat Lip, J-Live, WordsWorth, Homeboy Sandman, Breezevahflowin, Qwazzar of Typical Cats and The Last Poets. Recent performing highlights include hosting the 11th annual “Restoration Rocks” concert with DJ Spinna, Les Nubians and Talib Kweli and The D.C. Based Social entrepreneur Hip Hop challenge, “Pitch and Flow” featuing D-Nice, M.C. Lyte, Stretch Armstrong and Toni Blackman.
In 2008 he released “The People’s Verses” a critically acclaimed album recognized by taste makers with various cuts and music videos from the album getting exposure and being selected for year end awards. In 2010, his collaboration album “Skillz to Take Brazil” w/ former 3rd Party member, Rabbi Darkside, and DJ Zajazza paired him w/ international artists from France and Brazil. As a soloist Mikal Amin released two EP’s “The Hits and Pieces” in addition to the full length “The People’s Verses” he released “#niceguysfinish” in 2015 w/ co-collaborator ZQ.
A cultivator of the culture, he’s the curator of the highly popular BAM Poetry presents, now re-branded as “Word. Sound. Power.” their exclusive springtime Hip Hop/Spoken Word performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
A scholar and essayist he is published in the peer-reviewed journals “Word Beats & Life” and co-editor of “Hip-Hop Language Arts: Thematic Textual Analysis” on Street Smart Press. and taught Hip-Hop pedagogy and anthropology at the African Diaspora Conference in Brazil, The Shoko Festival in Zimbabwe, The University of Dortmund’s “Hip-Hop” school and numerous American colleges and universities.