Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Substantially involved in a number of different disciplines -- social activism, theater acting, and spoken word poetry -- Michael "Mike-E" Ellis always discovers ways to incorporate all into his uplifting, Afrocentric hip-hop. The Detroit-based MC was actually born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and moved to the U.S. when he was three years old. Before he launched a full-fledged rap career, he could be seen gracing several television commercials and heard doing many voiceovers for radio. However, Ellis found a national audience for his lyricism on HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry in 2004, and he returned to the show as a favorite newcomer for later seasons. His unique and diverse experiences fully prepared him to begin releasing music through his Wendemé Creative imprint. In early 2007, Mike-E headed up the Afroflow tour sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Targeting historically black colleges and universities, his concerts furthered the cause for tobacco prevention and cancer awareness, but also promoted his AfroFlow LP, which arrived later in the year.