Messiah’el Bey is an author, composer, electronic musician, DJ, filmmaker, music producer, and poet from Hempstead, Long Island. Bey’s involvement in music began at an early age. His mother, Pearline Brown Thomas was a self-taught pianist, whose musical compositions caught the attention of several leaders in the music industry in the late-1940’s. During his youth, Bey began to study the keyboard and was offered his first recording contract at the age of fourteen.
During the early to mid-1990’s, Bey founded the legendary rap group Gras Ruts & So Speshal with longtime friend and music producer Paul Leiba. The group featured on many public access television shows in the tri-state area and were the first to perform in several underground New York City clubs that refused to play rap music at the time. Eventually, the buzz created by the group caught the attention of major networks and record industry executives. However, due to the changing direction of rap music at the time, Bey resigned from his role as a lyricist to focus on his love for music production and poetry.
Similar to his interest in music, Bey’s history as a writer developed when he was a child. His third grade teacher escorted him to the principal’s office after reading a story he wrote for a homework assignment. Bey thought he was in some sort of trouble, as the teacher called his parents from the principal’s office. In turned out that the teacher was so impressed by his story that she wanted to start a school newspaper and offered Bey the position of junior editor-in-chief. Bey, however, wouldn’t pursue writing seriously until his adult years.
Bey wrote poetry as a child and was even urged by his elder brother Noah to pursue getting some of his work published. Just before his rap group’s demise, Messiah’el began the practice of recite his spoken word compositions over hardcore breakbeats. Bey theorized that the art of spoken word would expand if it was recited over modern forms of music.
Bey began his work as a performance poet in the late 90’s, and since this time he has made numerous appearances at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, City College, ABC No Rio, and other venues. Bey has shared the stage with Dead Prez, Common, and many others. In 2000, he released “Ghetto Wars Part 1: The Glass Onion” a compilation of some of New York City’s finest poets over hardcore groves produced by Messiah’el Bey (Messiah Sun) and Hennessy. The Ghetto Wars album features included Caridad de la Luz (La Bruja), Nathan P., Ngoma, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, and others. In 2003, Bey formed El Fuma, a collaboration with fellow poet Qiniso Mdhladha (aka “Charleston Chu”). Their only album, “Naked Bones,” featured political and social satire created with spoken words and twisted beats produced by Bey and Mdhladha. In the years that followed, Bey has author several books on mystical and shamanic thought. Messiah’el is one of the few spiritualists initiated in ancient Mesopotamian spirituality, Shinto, and founder of a distinct form of ethno-shamanism called the Art of Ninzuwu.
Bey has worked in collaboration with Steve Berson on the first two Warlock Asylum albums, Kiss of the Immortal and There in America. Bey dropped spoken word on a brand new track produced by Kaiyzer & Paul Lipsey’s for their latest mixtape “Kaiyzernomics 2013 – The Final Curtain Call” – track #25 “Splash (They Keep Changing the Game)” – that you can now stream and download for free here. Check it! In 2017, Messiah’el released the solo album, iWealth eSoul, under the Warlock Asylum name. The album features eight instrumental tracks composed and produced by Bey. More information about Bey’s music and other activities can be found on this website’s menu.