L.A. Symphony


East Coast,Party Rap,Underground Hip-Hop


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For nearly a decade, LA Symphony built an iconic underground following with a rap style that walks the line between purist and pop. With such a strong foundation in place, this multi-ethnic group--featuring CookBook, FLYNN Adam, Sharlok Poems, UNO Mas and Joey the Jerk-continues to be innovators of their scene. Skillfully crafting a positive lyrical foil to the violence and materialism of their hip-hop peers, LA Symphony (which represents the City of Angels from East L.A. and Long Beach to downtown and the Westside) pulls back the veil and reveals what's inside the heads of these urban street poets.

The group originally came together through mutual friends and by meeting up at the same hip-hop functions. Though each person performed as a solo artist or with another outfit, the group started doing their own open mic freestyles and eventually decided to release a collaborative project as LA Symphony. Their indie debut, 1999's Composition No. 1, quickly charted on CMJ, Hits and mp3.com, which soon led to an official record deal. In 2001, the group recorded their follow-up, Call It What You Want, with producers will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas, Mario C (Beastie Boys) and Prince Paul. As the single "Broken Tape Decks" started catching traction, the group performed at such high profile events as the NBA All-Star Jam Tour and L.A.'s annual The Night Hip-Hop Stole Christmas. However, coming back from NYC after shooting a Levi's ad for a national print publication, the band got disconnection messages when they tried calling the label. On the eve of their proper debut, LA Symphony's label shut it doors and held the group in contract for another two years.

Undeterred, LA Symphony shifted its attention back to the underground by releasing mixtapes, singles and the hush-hush bootleg The Baloney EP. At the same time, the group did shows with the Black Eyed Peas, Xzibit, Clipse, Good Charlotte, Public Enemy, Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, among others, in addition to playing the Vans Warped Tour and a festival for L.A. radio giant Power 106. Finally, with contractual restraints shed, LA Symphony compiled recent material for the 2003 disc The End Is Now, featuring the prophetic single "Gonna Be Alright." The End Is Now ultimately set the table for the group's new disc, Disappear Here, which is their first commercially released album written and recorded as one cohesive whole.

In 2007, the group released a mixtape called Unleashed. Despite their collective success, LA Symphony decided to put the group on hiatus in 2009, so that the members could focus on their solo careers. Cookbook and Uno Mas continue as Cook & Uno, Sharlock Poems continued to work on his record label, and Flynn Adam beefed up his solo career on Gotee records while also hooking up with long time friend Pigeon John to create Rootbeer.

From their creative vetting process to their everyman populist message, LA Symphony clearly stands out from the hip-hop pack. CookBook concludes, "When you go against the norm, you're definitely taking a chance, but we think it's more important to give hip-hop fans another choice."

Listen to L.A. Symphony Here


Album Title Year Label
Composition #11999Eartube Empire
Call It What You Want2001Squint Entertainment
Big Broke L.A. EP2001Squint Entertainment
Baloney EP2002Independent
The End Is Now2003Gotee Records
Less Than Zero2005Gotee Records
Disappear Here2005Gotee Records
Unleashed2007Syntax Records



Los Angeles


United States

Record Label:

Syntax Records

Christian Label:


Years Active: