RAPPER. SINGER. SONGWRITER. ACTOR. ENTERTAINER. RENAISSANCE MAN…
Karl “ Dice Raw” Jenkins is a mainstay of the Philadelphia Hip-Hop Scene, and most commonly associated over the years as a principal songwriter/collaborator /producer for The Roots.
At the young age of 15, the legendary Roots crew first took Dice Raw under their umbrella, when their production member, Kelo, first discovered him at a local talent show. Little did they know, Dice had already begun his music industry career at age 13, when he worked in California for New Edition offshoot, Bell Biv Devoe. Dice Raw’s debut with the band came on their classic, “The Lesson, Pt. 1”, and soon after, he made a name for himself with cameos on “Episodes” and “Adrenaline”, where his hard-hitting style complemented the heady rhymes of Roots leader, Black Thought. Dice Raw has made several guest appearances on several mixtapes. He made an appearance in fellow band member and beatboxer Scratch’s first solo album, Embodiment of Instrumentation.
In 2000, Dice Raw released his solo debut album, Reclaiming the Dead, on MCA Records. He also recorded vocals for the entrance theme of WWE superstar, Kung Fu Naki. The track is titled “Kung Fu San”, and samples Carl Douglas’ Kung Fu Fighting, available on Voices: WWE The Music Vol. 9. In 2011, Dice Raw co-wrote, rapped, and sang on several tracks of The Roots acclaimed Undun album, including the celebrated “Lighthouse”, “Make My” featuring Big K.R.I.T., and “One Time”, featuring Phonte.
Additionally, Dice Raw has been in the studio working on his own material. In May 2010, he released his first solo single in 10 years entitled “100” off of his 3-part solo project, The Greatest Rapper Never. The single is a digital release and was made available on iTunes. In August 2012, Dice Raw offered the fans a sampler of sounds to come with his well-received The Greatest Rapper Never: The Mixtapes Vol. 1, including a feature from Raw Life artist, Rone, and 13 tracks of Dice’s diverse songwriting and rap flows. He is now working on part 2 of the The Greatest Rapper Never trilogy, set for release in Fall 2012 and featuring Black Thought, Raheem DeVaughn, and more.
Dice Raw was also part of the now-defunct group, Nouveau Riche, along with the Philadelphia Hip-Hop collaborative, The Money-Making Jam Boys. He continues to expand his touch on new music through his label, Raw Life Records. Under Raw Life, he is developing the new generation of the Philadelphia/Roots dynasty via artists such as Rone, Mazon, and Yazz The Greatest. He is currently expanding his talents into Hip-Hop theater and web/TV-based, multimedia content.
In 2014, Dice Raw has taken on the cause of Black male incarceration in America with his magnum opus, “Jimmy’s Back” – [iTunes link]. The highly acclaimed concept album inspired by New York Times bestselling book “The New Jim Crow” is a lyrical odyssey through the plight of the prison system, told musically by Dice Raw and a cadre of excellent MC ex-felons. Most recently, the album debuted as the stage play “The Last Jimmy” at Philadelphia’s coveted Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. He also has plans to release a book in the near future, and was an instrumental contributor to The Roots’ 2014 album, “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin”, released in May 2014.