Biography
Producer, DJ, and rapper Insight (born Andre Todman) lived a peripatetic life as a child owing to a calypso artist father who performed with his band throughout the Caribbean. Born on the island of St. Thomas, he migrated to the United States at the age of five with his family, which eventually settled in the Boston area. An introverted musical prodigy, Todman had taught himself to play the piano by the time he was seven, but his world was turned upside-down in 1982 upon hearing a song by the rap group the Sugarhill Gang. The young virtuoso forthrightly plunged himself into the hip-hop world entirely, spending hours alone in his bedroom learning--again on his own--every facet of the genre by deconstructing songs and sounds and then building them back up in his own image. In the process he also became an electronics wizard, a skill that would eventually manifest itself in his cutting-edge music. As Insight Todman began to make a name for himself in the burgeoning Boston rap scene of the late 1990s. He particularly became an in-demand producer and DJ, and included among his early credits was fellow Bostonian Mr. Lif's first single, the underground classic Triangular Warfare. Todman would go on to contribute tracks to projects by KRS-One, Edan, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Big Daddy Kane, among others. At Boston's 2001 Nemo Awards, Insight was voted Best New Hip-Hop Artist. He completely fulfilled the promise such an honor bestowed on his debut solo outing, released conjointly by Brick and Landspeed Records in 2002. The ambitious, double-disc Update Software v. 2.5 was a multimedia labor-of-love comprised of one side of proper songs and another of experimental beats, videos, and a simulated SP1200 sampler game, designed by Todman himself, that allowed listeners to "remix" Insight songs. On the side, he continued to provide tracks to outside artists and to record with his side project, the quintet the Electric Company. At the outset of 2003 Insight released his second Brick album, the Crooked Needle on a Square Record LP, a vinyl collection of previously unreleased, exclusive, and instrumental tracks. ~ Stanton Swihart, Rovi



 
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Insight
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