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Andrey Vladimirovich Menshikov (Russian: Андре́й Влади́мирович Ме́ньшиков, born 30 June 1977, in Moscow), mostly known under his stage name Ligalize (Russian: Лигалайз), is a Russian hip hop artist and a former leader of the Legal Busine$$ band. Ligalize was also a member of D.O.B. and Bad Balance.
|Birth name||Andrey Vladimirovich Menshikov|
|Also known as||Liga|
|Born||June 30, 1977|
|Origin||Moscow, Soviet Union|
|Genres||R&B, Hip hop|
|Labels||Intelligentny khuligan Productions|
|Associated acts||D.O.B Community, AERO Skwadra, Legal Busine$$, Bad Balance|
Menshikov was born July 30, 1977 in Moscow. Hip-hop came in 1993: Legalize and Ladjack organized the project "Slingshot". He called himself "Legalize" because that was the name of his first group. Slingshot was a more serious project. They began by rapping in English, as the Russian language did not seem appropriate for rap, and recorded their first underground album.
Slingshot was the main part of the "Department Of Bastards" (D.O.B.). The founder of this group is Sir-J, whose background included the experience of living in neighborhoods of the Bronx. Legalize participated in D.O.B.'s recording "Rushun Roolet", an English-language rap with a hard underground sound.
In 1996 Legalize went to the Congo. Africa became his home after a year there. There Legalize worked with the French-speaking hip-hop group AERO Skwadra. According to him, life in the Congo and communication with local rappers were enriching experiences that broadened his views on what could be rap. A year later, civil war broke out in the Congo. Foreigners were evacuated, leading Legalize to return to Moscow.
In Moscow Legalize completed work on the album "Мастера Слова" ("Masters of Words"). For this album, Legalize rapped in Russian. The album featured his easily recognizable voice and unique style, rich in imagery and vivid metaphors. Legalize quickly became a leader in the Russian hip-hip scene. Currently, his prominence in underground hip-hop has begun to flourish in the mainstream.
The breakdance team Jam Style & Da Boogie used his a capella rapping for two tracks, "Вы Хотели Party" ("You wanted a party") and "Все Вместе На Месте" ("All together on the spot"). The first of these was a real hit, used in rotation on video channels and topping the MTV hit parade. This success attracted the attention of producer Alexander Tolmatsky, who created the record label and concert agency Miksmedia Mediastar. This was the first hip-hop company in Russia.
Project "Legal Busine$$" (Легальный Бизне$$) with N'Pans seemed more attractive than just a solo MC Legalize. In general terms, the project looked like this: a talented Russian MC (Legalize), colorful black MC (N'Pans) and capable DJ (DJ Ton1k). The group launched the hit "Пачка Сигарет" ("A pack of cigarettes"). Using a track chorus Victor Tsoi, led to intense opposition from some fans of the deceased singer, but the hit turned out a hundred-percent level. As for the borrowing - Puff Daddy used refrain from Sting's song for his track "I'll Be Missing You ", and all reacted to this with full understanding.
In 2000 was released album of Legal Busine$$ - "Rifmomafiya". The album received strong, clearly demonstrating skilful and metaphorical manner of Legalize.
In 2001 Legalize left Moscow and in Prague he crossed with a young rappers from the command P-13 (П-13). They record an album "Провокация" ("Provocation"), considered as one of the first albums of battle rap in Russia. Prague period lasted just over a year, and yet the Legalize is back. "Without roots, without a listener, I does not mean anything." - He says - "All the global plans connected with Russia."
In autumn 2002 Legalize returned to Moscow and took over the leadership of hip-hop project label D & D Music, a new company of Tolmatskogy. League skillfully returned to his interest in public loud disrespect against his former team-mate Vlad Valov (SheFF). The track "Доктор БлеFF" ("Doctor Bluff") addressed very serious charges, had no analogues in Russian hip-hop. All other thesis that took place in the Russian hip-hop, fall short of "Doctor bluff" no quality, no on has aroused interest.
Despite the fact that the Liga of hip-hop for over ten years, he still had in an asset or as a solo album. In 2006, the long-awaited solo album finally saw the light. The album is called "XL".
- Salut Frum Rusha (Unreleased) (1994)
- Rushun Roolet (1997)
- Мастера Слова (Masters Of Words) (2000)
- Короли Андеграунда (Kings Of Underground) (2004)
- Legal Busine$$
- Рифмомафия (Rifmomafia) (2000)
- Bad B.
- Каменный Лес (Stone Forest) (2000)
- Новый Мир (The New World) (2001)
- Ligalize & P-13
- Провокация (Provocation) (2003)
- XL (2006)
- Liga'MIX (2009)
- Провокация Mixtape (Памяти МС Молодого) (Provocation Mixtape - R.I.P. MC Molodoy)' (2009)