Napoleon Maddox

Napoleon Maddox (b. Springfield, Massachusetts, ca. 1973) is a hip hop vocalist from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a proficient rapper, beatboxer, and singer, and leads the socially conscious group IsWhat?! (formed in 1996 or 1997). Unlike most hip hop artists, Maddox generally performs with acoustic instruments, including double bass and saxophones. With IsWhat?!, he has toured the United States and Europe.

He has recorded with Hamid Drake and also toured with the New York City-based duo Transmitting (Jane LeCroy and Tom Abbs). He has worked with Ming+FS and Karsh Kale.

Maddox also works supporting or is a member of Sotto Voce (featuring Roy Nathanson, Tim Kiah, and Sam Bardfeld), Burnt Sugar Arkestra, and JC Hopkins Biggish Band.

Between 1994 and 2001, he hosted The Social Factor, a hip-hop/urban issues radio program, on WAIF in Cincinnati. The show featured live and pre-recorded interviews with personalities such as Spike Lee, Channel Live, Jurassic 5, Rahzel, The Roots, Jay-Z, Big Jaz (Jaz-O), Group Home, Mos Def, Watts Prophets, The Last Poets, Burning Spear, and Souls of Mischief. The phone lines were open for on air call-ins regarding current events, community affairs, and political discourse. The show also featured the music of such groups as Self Scientific, KAM, Steel Pulse, Natural Resources, Gang Starr, Ras Kass, Nina Simone, Lester Bowie, Boogie Down Productions, Nas, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.


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