Othello & DJ Vajra, Active Balanced ft. Now On & Mayer Hawthorne  
Othello & DJ Vajra
Active Balanced ft. Now On & Mayer Hawthorne
USA 12inch 
Label: Colemine Records
Release Year: 2009
Style: Hip-Hop & R'n'B
  Active Balanced ft. Now On & Mayer Hawthorne (Street, Instrumental, Acapella,)  
  Same Team Suckas feat. Theory Hazit (Street, Instrumental, Acapella,)  
  Othello has been rocking live and making a name for himself since 1998. Having toured the US, Europe, and Japan, Othello has been on the summer-long Warped Tour, shared stages with De La Soul, People Under the Stairs, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Galactic, Chali Tuna, One BeLo, Ying Yang Twins and countless other local and national acts. He has sold over 20,000 records around the world, and has released a variety of projects as a solo musician, with his bands The Blacknotes and The Hypnotics, and as 1/3rd of the Northwest based hip-hop super crew Lightheaded, alongside partners Braille and Ohmega Watts. With a commanding stage presence, honest lyrics and a seamless delivery, Othello is an MC with a heap of soul and a career that will stand the test of time.

One of the best all-around DJs in the music scene today, DJ Vajra (pronounced "VAHJ-rah") has earned a place among the industry's elite. Whether it's through competing in some of the biggest battles in the world, dropping a killer mix set, or touring the globe showcasing his unique blend of turntable tricks and party rocking. He has rocked shows all over the world, including gigs with Arrested Development in London, The Roots in Amsterdam, De La Soul in Paris, a Blue Note tour in Japan, and all across North America with A Tribe Called Quest on the 2K7 Bounce Tour. Crowds have been amazed by his live performances, sharing the spotlight with such legendary acts as RUN DMC, Digable Planets, Common, and Mos Def. Vajra's main goal is to continuously push the envelope of what can be done live on stage with the turntables, while still keeping the party on fire!

Othello and DJ Vajra met in 2004 while Othello and The Procussions were on tour in Japan. At the time Vajra was DJing for the group. He and Othello discussed getting together on a project and they finally broke ground in the summer of 2008. Othello came through Denver on tour where they met up, exchanged ideas, listened to beats and got a feel for the direction of the project. They recently finished their first full-length LP together, The Required Taste, and this 12” single offers a sneak peak of what to expect from the rest of the album. The Required Taste represents Vajra’s production debut, and both cuts here demonstrate that he’s more than just a phenomenal live DJ, but an extremely competent producer as well. Othello’s verse on “Active Balanced” is well supported with features from progressive hip-hop trio Now On and an extremely catchy hook from Mayer Hawthorne. The B-side, “Same Team Suckas”, is nothing but straight up funky, high-energy hip-hop. While Othello and featured artist Theory Hazit both put down dope verses, perhaps their strongest showcasing is when the two trade back and forth during the third verse.
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