Born and raised in the Twin Cities to NuyoRican parents, emcee, singer, and songwriter Maria Isa is celebrates her cultural diversity through music and political activism. In 1992 she started her performing arts education at El Arco Iris Center for Arts, forming Raices in 2002 with other advanced students to conserve their ancestral Puerto Rican folklore music. Following her nomination in 2006 for the Minnesota Music Award's Best Hip-Hop Artist category, she released her first independent album “M.I. Split Personalities” in May of 2007, and later her sophomore studio project, “Street Politics.” Maria performs in the Twin Cities, Puerto Rico and nationally.
Los Nativos formed in 1996 and was one of the original groups in Rhymesayers Entertainment. The St. Paul duo of Felipe Espinoza-Day (Felipe Cuauhtli) and Jermain Ybarra (Chilam Balam) produce music with a conscious message, integrating Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Tejano, Mariachi, Salsa and Cumbia to deliver a style all their own. Los Nativos was nominated by the Minnesota Music Awards for Best New Band in 1996, Best Hip Hop Group in 1999, and Best Hip Hop Recording in 2003. They perform locally and nationally.