From his humble beginnings to where he now sits as a Veteran underground artist in the entertainment field.
Brainwash moved to Stockton, California in 1988 and began an underground music career at a very young age. Naturally gifted with talent as a musician, Brainwash began playing drums in the elementary & middle school band before picking up the mic and recording his debut underground tape, "Stockton's Most Wanted", as part of a group called Stockton 187 with other members
DJ Mista Vicious, DJ Gangsta D, Boss, KillaGram, Shaun Da Mac, A-Bomb, Walnutt & Plan B.
The following year, Brainwash (then known as "Da Kid" - which was a nickname given to him because of his childhood interest in notorious outlaw Billy The Kid), decided to go it alone & recorded/released his debut solo underground tape - 1990's "Welcome 2 Stockton", on his newly formed indy record label, X-A-Q Shunn Muzick. At just 13 years old, Brainwash was already getting recognition for his talent and hustle. He followed that tape up with another in 1992, "Poltergeist", one with his new group SMC, called "Stockton Mafia Click" in 1993 and his final underground solo tape "Death Around the Corner" in 1994.
In 1993, after connecting with another local rapper, Koid, and a group called Da Bomb Threat (consisting of Stockton rapper D-Cal and San Mateo rapper/producer 8-Ball) - Brainwash was born and the "Da Kid" moniker fell away. When Da Bomb Threat changed their name to Black Rhino, 8-Ball also became "Crazy-8", and the group released their debut studio album, "Point Blank Game" in 1995. This motivated Brainwash to really up his game from underground tapes to getting into a real studio and knocking out an actual album. So Brainwash & 8-Ball, who clicked-up especially close, got to work on one of the most groundbreaking legendary classic albums in rap music history - 1996's "Skitsofrenic".
Using his horror-movie rap style he first experimented with on 1992's "Poltergeist", Brainwash decided to delve deeper into that subgenre of hip hop a bit for his debut studio album. He also wanted to still do more traditional reality / street rap (also known as so-called "gangsta rap"). Trying to combine both styles would be difficult though, so he devised a concept in which he'd be afflicted with a split personality disorder with the 1st half of the album (called the "sewaside" on cassette tape format releases) being 7 tracks about gruesome murders & sick shit you'd see in a horror flick - set to beats based primarily on flipped themes from scary movies while the 2nd side (called the "hamaside" on cassette tapes) would feature 7 more traditional rap styles - "gangsta rap lyrics over heavy baseline & moog style beats" (as one magazine critic explained). The cover concept would reflect this as well, with Brainwash shown wearing a ski mask & gloves, along with dark clothing - one hand holding a large knife while the other held a Mac-11 - and in the background, piles of bodies (the pic taken from the Jonestown massacre). The title would also reflect the concept - "Skitsofrenic".
When "Skitsofrenic" was complete, Brainwash was offered several record deals but after doing the math on what he could earn doing it all on his own, after watching Black Rhino do it and seeing how several Bay Area artists like E-40 were doing it, Brainwash officially established his X-A-Q Shunn Muzick record company as an underground & independent factor by releasing the album himself, initially pressing up 5000 units & driving up and down the West Coast (from L.A. to Washington and back down again), with 8-Ball - stopping in every city between, ripping out the record store page from the phone booth pages and going into the shops to put his units on the shelf himself on consignment deals, ensuring no one would make as much on his art as he would.
Following the success of "Skitsofrenic", Brainwash was approached by a writer from Saturday Night Live & Conan O'Brien's late night show, Ronny Wyatt, who was beginning work on an independent film project of his own and wanted to use Brainwash's hit single "Slippin' In The Darkness" in the movie. Brainwash agreed, and even came down to read for a small part in the movie himself and after the cast realized his natural talent, they decided to offer Brainwash the starring role instead. So, in 1997 - Brainwash, in his first acting role, would star as "Quasi" in the Regrettable Productions film "Lost" (for which Brainwash also contributed a few songs to the soundtrack as well). Unfortunately, Brainwash & D-Cal had a falling out by this time and as a result, he had stopped hanging with them - even 8-Ball. This has been said to be one of Brainwash's biggest regrets, having lost touch with Ball for these next couple years. As Brainwash's fans were appreciating his award winning acting performance, they were also clamoring for new music as well. To appease them, he released an underground CD called "Razor Blades & Bloody Bathwater", which featured a bunch of previously unreleased tracks recorded over the prior few years - all of which dealing in the "horror movie rap" genre that he had so well established with the first side of the "Skitsofrenic" CD a year earlier.
The following year, Brainwash still hadn't gotten into the studio to release any new music yet so he followed up the "Razor Blades..." underground release by dropping another similar project - 1998's "Politics", which featured more previously unreleased tracks recorded over the prior few years - this time dealing in the more traditional reality rap that the 2nd side of "Skitsofrenic" dealt with. He also still had the movie bug in him, so he decided to try his hand at filmmaking himself and wrote/directed/produced/co-starred & did the music for his own independent feature film: 1998's "Smoked Out" (a comedy about a couple pothead loser buddies and their adventures to find dope over the span of a few days in Stockton). He enlisted friends & family, along with a couple pro-actors he met while doing "Lost" in 1997, and released the movie on VHS that year as well as dropping a CD called "Left 4 Dead" (Da Undaground Shit) for his bro & artist Koid, who had been incarcerated for the last couple. This project included music Koid had recorded over the prior few years and featured appearances by Brainwash, Lunatik, Mr. Peebodee & Koid's long-time producer Joey "J. TRU$" Cordero.
In 1999, Brainwash had returned to the studio and knocked out his 2nd official studio album, "Posthumous", collaborating with new artists like Mad-Cel along with ones he had woked with in the past, like Koid & J. TRU$ (of the new wave hip hop group Planet Mongrel), and some new artists of Brainwash's - including Rickochet and the jazz-fusion band Four Feet Projects (consisting of piano/saxophonist Jake "Snake Bite" Rushing & guitarist Chad "The Token White Boy" Dorado, among other musicians) and another guitarist named Rich Daddy Rich. Brainwash was expanding his musical horizons and signing artists to his newly re-christened Sykadelik Entertainment label. It was also this year when Brainwash reconnected with 8-Ball, who was just coming off a very high level of success of his own following Black Rhino's release of their 2nd album, "Paper Route", which BLEW-UP all over the country. Unfortunately, Brainwash had also gotten mixed up in some shit that would result in him having to spend some time incarcerated from 1999-2002.
Following his plea agreement in court, Brainwash was released on bail prior to his official sentencing hearing, to get his affairs in order and he quickly tried to collect his music for subsequent releases, leave instructions for those he had left in charge while he'd be gone and so forth - the result of this quick attempt to get business handled was that things got mixed up and everything was pretty much a mess after he surrendered himself to begin serving his sentence. In his absence, Sykadelik was left to be run by Brainwash's long time music manager/lawyer & occasional production partner, Vic "the Jew" Goldstien, and he was supposed to release 2 compilations as well as Brainwash's spoken-word poetry release & a greatest hits CD.
One of the compilations was called "Eclectic Fusion" and was supposed to feature a wide variety of musical genres and diverse artists that Brainwash had signed or had been affiliated with, in this experimental project which would feature some rap, some rock, some jazz, some hip hop, some punk and some spoken word - opening the door for Brainwash's spoken word CD, "Cocktail Napkin Poetry", which was a great departure for Brainwash, artistically, so it had to be handled right - if at all. Brainwash had stated that most of that spoken word CD had been recorded while tripping on acid and during a terrible personal time for him (the same time in which he landed in legal troubles) and didn't even actually want that release to come out after thinking more about it, but the gears were already working and it hit stores before the compilation did and confused the hell out of his fans. To make matters worse, the "Eclectic Fusion" compilation wound-up coming out with a few songs that were intended for the more-gritty-rap compilation (the 2nd of 2, called "Stockton City Limits") but that entire project was shelved and some of the songs crossed over in the mix to "Eclectic Fusion" on accident and long-story short - the "Eclectic Fusion" compilation was a mess and the "Stockton City Limits" compilation didn't even come out. 2000 was a trainwreck on all accounts.
In 2001, in an effort to minimize the damage done by Brainwash having released nothing but spoken word the year before (infuriating his rap fans), Sykadelik released a hodgepodge collection of tracks from a variety of genres that Brainwash had been experimenting with in the past - including rap - for the clusterfuck CD called "Reanimated", which has been called by Brainwash "the worst piece of shit I've ever done and one that never shoulda been released." Even so, the project did have some highlights - like the collab track with Koid called "Money Green" among others. But nevertheless, Brainwash's career had started to resemble the mess that his personal life had already become. The final release to hit stores during Brainwash's absence was the "Hits & Contracts" CD, which was supposed to be both a "greatest hits" and a sampler of at least 1 song from every Brainwash release - including his 3 underground tapes before "Skitsofrenic", along with a couple bonus tracks of songs from his vaults. The project was yet another disaster.
Following Brainwash's return home in 2002, he struggled to get his life straight again and wound up sinking into a nasty drug addiction that would control him for the next couple of years and further continue his spiral out of control. The only bright spot in that time frame would be the novel he wrote (mostly while incarcerated, then finished & published upon his release) called "This Thing of Ours" - a fictional tale loosely based on his actual brief journey into the criminal activities that led him into his current situation. The novel was very well received and his writing was praised by literary critics everywhere.
In 2003, still avoiding music, Brainwash had decided to re-edit his 1998 movie "Smoked Out" and released The Director's Cut DVD of it. He also launched a graphic design company called Paradox Designs with a local airbrush artist, and together they were supporting their drug addictions and fueling one another's demise by combining his airbrush artistry with Brainwash's computer-based graphic design skills and although they forged a pretty successful little company, doing T-shirts and a wide variety of custom projects, it was clear that Brainwash needed some kind of intervention. He hadn't spoken to Koid or 8-Ball in years and out of the blue one day, Koid got a hold of his boy & tried to push him to get back into music again, in an effort to help him get through all the shit he was dealing with. After some reluctance, Brainwash decided to give it a shot and got back into the studio - recording/releasing 3 underground CDs in 2004 - "Sympathy for the Damned", "Euthanasia" and "Rebel Without a Cause". Although these weren't his best works, they were original and creative and really incredible little pieces of art in their own right when you really listen to them. Brainwash was back, but he had some demons to overcome first.
After Brainwash had sold a bunch of these CDs around California, one of them got to a friend of 8-Ball's, who had long since relocated to Las Vegas and wound up getting a copy of "Sympathy..." sent to him. He immediately reached out to Brainwash & told him to come out to Vegas, where Ball had been doing some big things. Upon Brainwash's arrival, Ball knew something was wrong - as Brainwash had lost over 100 pounds and looked sick. He confided in his mentor that he was deep into dope and doing bad. Ball (who had now dropped the "Crazy-8" nickname and after breaking up with D-Cal years earlier, decided to start using the group's name as his OWN name - becoming publicly and professionally known as The Black Rhino, though he would always just be 8-Ball to Brainwash), decided to intervene in Brainwash's situation and told him to move to Vegas and he'd help him get back on his feet, get off the dope & get back into doing his art. Brainwash was still, by far, the dopest artist that Ball had ever worked with and he knew underneath all the trouble that the talent he recognized 11 years earlier was still down there, and in 2005 - Brainwash, now clean, went on one creatively with (and without) Ball there to inspire him - recording NUMEROUS projects and releasing them all on his now re-formatted Sykadelik Entertainment label. In 2005, he dropped the underground releases "Lyrically Speaking", "Leftovers", "Quatrains" & "Entropy", before putting out his 3rd official studio album (and best work to date): "Current Events". Brainwash was back...
The following year, in 2006, Brainwash released the best album of his career (his 4th official studio album), "Amnesia", which solidly planted him back into the industry as a factor once again - with that project going international and garnering much attention worldwide. He also put out a few underground releases that year, including "Sleeping Thru The Mourning" and Social Insecurity's "Mood Swings".
In 2007, Brainwash dropped a handful of underground releases including "Birth Control" (Leftovers V2), "Multitrack Minded", "Face the Music" and "The Anarchist Cookbook" (Hits & Contracts V2), and then out of nowhere announced his retirement from the game as he planned to move again, this time to Arizona, to start a family with his long time girlfriend and open some businesses out there that weren't involved in the entertainment industry. No one understood the move at the time but Brainwash had decided that he did what he set out to do and his creative juices how now run dry, so it was time to quit while he was on top...
Brainwash remained out of the spotlight for the next several years, but his fans kept his name alive on chat sites and he would often still get fan mail from fans all across the planet. He decided, in 2011, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his "Skitsofrenic" album, to release a 15th Anniversary Edition of the CD, in a limited press, for the fans. All this did was get the fans clamoring again for new music, but Brainwash wasn't interested at the time... He was content where he was in life and returning tot he studio wasn't an option for him then.
The following year, tragedy struck and 8-Ball passed away. This broke Brainwash's heart and you can feel his pain on the 2012 song, "Rest In Paradise" (RIP Rhino) that he and another long time friend N-Sane (of Mental Illness) did (featuring Big Juice) in memory of his fallen mentor. Brainwash played the song for closed loved ones but only did it in memory of his brother, not for commercial release. In fact, that song didn't get major play for another 4 years - when it was included as a bonus track on the 2016 "20 Year Anniversary Collectors Edition" release of the "Skitsofrenic" CD that Brainwash dropped that year. The only other project he had done prior to that was a very limited press of a CD called "The Washgate Tapes" in 2015 which included almost all of the tracks from Brainwash's 3 underground solo tapes from 1990-1994, compiled together on one disc for the true fans. This CD sold out quick and the fans went nuts with it - some even re-selling them on eBay for $99+ a piece. It was clear from that + the fan's reaction to the "Skitsofrenic" 20 Year CD in 2016, that Brainwash was still in high demand...
It would take several more months before Brainwash was ready to attempt to record any new material but in early 2017, he hit the studio again (for the first time in a decade) and began work on his new album... Which, it's strange to say (since he's released so many underground CDs), is only his 5th official studio album release! But now, in April 2018 - the album is done and available now! It's, by far, the best work of his career. This album is incredible and the fans are going apeshit over it already!
Aside from "Amygdala" - Brainwash has some underground accompaniment CDs to follow, featuring more of the music done for the "Amygdala" project that didn't make the final cut. Be on the lookout for "Ominous", "Purgatory" and "Chemical". There are other projects on the horizon as well, including a collaboration album with singer/rapper Mad-Cel (called BRAIN-CEL), a greatest hits collection called "Sykadelikacies", a remix project called "Past Tense", a collaboration album with rapper/producer The Black Rhino (called THE BLACK/IRISH), a special edition underground release just for the fans of Brainwash's early 90's psycho style called
"A Brush With Death", and much more!
The Sykadelik Relic has returned to reclaim the throne....