Hip-Hop is a culture that thrives on self-expression and individuality and emceeing is an art form created to add a voice to that self-expression and individuality. This is the mindset that Mikhael Sampson had when he started The Elements at Richland Northeast High School in 2002. This originally was the first high school hip-hop club in Columbia, SC. The mission of The Elements was to teach and promote the nine elements of hip-hop in a positive way through emceeing, dancing, deejaying, graffiti art, poetry, and singing. The most influential part of The Elements was a group of six emcees which included Mikhael, who took on the name Mike S. The Prophet 13. After graduating from high school in 2003 The Elements rap group was reconstructed with his brother and some of their friends. The Elements now consists of Mikhael Sampson (Mike S.The Prophet 13), Tim Cokley (Author Penzwell), Brian Conner (Open Mike Night), and Marcus Thomas (Soul Speak). Each member possesses a unique style and brings their own element to the table.
The Elements liken themselves to those founding fathers of the hip-hop culture that utilized their music not only as a way to move the crowd, but also as a way to release bent up pressure and deliver a powerful message. In a day and age where hip-hop is in a constant war between cookie-cutter commercial artists and those that choose to explore their own uniqueness, The Elements strive to be the pure definition of a throwback hot beats and hot rhymes that also make you think.
This mixture of energy and a positive message has earned the Elements many opportunities. They have performed locally throughout Columbia and at such events as Columbia's own Apollo Talent Competition, The Hype in Birmingham, Alabama at the University of Alabama Birmingham, the Coca-Cola Jam Fest (where they took first prize), "Non Stop Hip-Hop Live" at the New Brookland Tavern, the University of South Carolina's Late Night Carolina several times, the University of South Carolina's Battle of the Bands, becoming the first hip-hop act to win (not an easy feat to say the least),the College of Charleston, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Columbia College, Benedict College, Furman University, Parallel Worlds (an artistic soul event), the Three Rivers Music Festival, several other schools, charitable events, and venues across several states and in conjunction with several local, mid-major, and major artists. The Elements penned a song for Alveda King, the daughter of A.D. King, the brother of the late Dr. Martin Luther King and performed for the King family in Atlanta, GA. The group has also opened for such well-known national recording artists as Kanye West, 112, Kutless, Chingy, Arrested Development, Lupe Fiasco, Ghostface Killah, The Foreign Exchange, Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Dead Prez, and several others.
The Elements are a mixture of the many styles of hip-hop sound but they have an uncanny ability to blend them together seamlessly. Currently, The Elements are working on their reunion project set for release in 2014 and blazing whatever stage they can step foot on in and out of state.