Hip Hop Artist, entrepreneur, and activist, Faybeo’n LaShanna Aja Mickens, better known by friends and fellow music makers as “Likwuid”or “Likwuid Stylez”, has made a commitment to use her gift of song to change the negative portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. Born in the suburbs of Columbia, South Carolina, Likwuid was always a member of positive change in her community. An accomplished athlete and honor student, Likwuid swept through the state performing on various stages and speaking to young people about the importance of education and self-love.
With a stage show and lyrical presence that stands out like a sore thumb, Likwuid pushes the boundaries of music. There is now music production or group in which she is a member that does anything “regular”. “I dream when I rhyme and I strive to create snippets of heaven when I perform- everything is boundless. Freedom is what I breath and elevation is what I aspire to capture with every show.”
Upon moving to New York City, Likwuid immediately jumped into NYC’s independent music hip hop scene. Her reputation as a Jump-Off TV Battle Winner and becoming only the 2nd woman to win NYC’s legendary EOW Emcee Challenge propelled her career to international stages. While touring in Asia, Likwuid landed a feature on MTV Asia, H20 on Demand and a headlining spot on Chivas NY Music Hip Hop Tour. Likwuid soon joined forces with fellow musicians Baxter Wordzworth and Raydar Ellis to establish the group Rebel Starr (http://www.myspace.com/rebelstarrmusic and http://www.rebelstarr.com/) creating the NeoQuantumRetroMusic sound that would land the group on tour with artist such as Talib Kweli, Bow Wow, Lyfe Jennings and in publications such as URB.com, Rap Fanatic Magazine, as well as a brief stint on MTV’s TRL. Rebel Starr was even caught on the big screen within MTV’s film catalog in the national released movie “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom”, with their single “Back Again.”
Likwuid is also a member of the all female music conglomerate GNU (along with AtLas’ and Kween Kash). The groups sound has landed the women performances throughout east coast college campuses and with a slot on Brooklyn Bodega’s Shown N Prove (presented by CMJ and YUME). With all of her multiple endeavors, Likwuid’s heart is embedded in her passion for the art of hip hop. “When she raps, you can hear her love for the music in her voice,” says nationally syndicated radio personality Charlemagne the God (Wendy Williams Experience), “Likwuid let’s her mind and soul, not her body, dictate her destiny.” She spends her Saturdays teaching Hip Hop Writing techniques to high school visual artists at the Cooper Union Saturday Arts Program. She has also conducted seminars at BAM and various Youth Conferences and High Schools.
In 2006, along with childhood friend, Lynnette Doby, and new found comrade, Nadia Dale, Likwuid decided to form a company with the aim of empowering women by promoting progressive ideas and images for women of color. “For women to attain the respect that we deserve, we must celebrate our champions and give support to our weakest links. Misogyny is another plague that, unfortunately, has poisoned our society, our minds, and our music. Instead of talking about the problem, we at Royalty Media Group provide the “Queendom” (http://www.royaltymedia.net/) to offer a solution. This website is about getting our voices heard and celebrating our champions as business minded and artistic spirits” says Likwuid as she describes the growing company website known as a hub for fashion, music and the arts.
Likwuid has received countless awards and recognition for her music to include DiscMakers/Taxi Top Artist in the Southeast (IMWS) award, the Power 94.3 Freestyle Battle Champion, Charleston Idol Award, and numerous showcase winnings. She has been featured in BK Magazine, WACH 57, Hot 103.9, Rise Up Radio, Rago Magazine and online mediums that are too numerous to name. Her words and experiences have been published in the powerful book Girl Drive written by Nona Willis-Aronowitz and Emma Bernstein.