Featuring Monmouth University graduates from the class of 2024, the EP symbolizes the creative potential nurtured within Monmouth University’s Music Industry Program, chaired by Specialist Professor Joe Rapolla. The release date, June 19, 2024, holds additional significance as it coincides with Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the emancipation of African Americans and honors the ongoing journey toward freedom and equality. This release pays homage to the rich cultural heritage and resilience of the African American community in celebration of Black Music Month, blending soulful diverse narratives with a deeper message of unity and progress.

“M.A.D.I Volume Two” is a unique compilation that weaves together an eclectic variety of genres—from soulful R&B and Hip Hop to Indie Rock and Alternative Rap—with an ambient introduction that resonates with listeners of all backgrounds. Monmouth Artists for Diversity & Inclusion aka M.A.D.I inspires students from different backgrounds to unite together to share their talents and personal experiences in a highly creative and educational way.

Each track tells a story, exploring themes of longing, joy, heartbreak, and reconciliation. This EP is the first to be executive produced by an independent artist featured on Blue Hawk Records, Asad Whitehead, aka Kid Ace, a 2024 graduate of Monmouth’s Music Industry Program. Whitehead also served as the president of Monmouth’s Black Student Union for the past two years and was the recipient of a diversity and inclusion grant through Monmouth University’s Intercultural Center; via the Diversity Innovation Grant and the Office of the Provost, which promotes university-wide shifts towards diversity, inclusion, and respect while fostering a sense of shared responsibility for enacting equity across our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administration, neighbors, and alumni.

As Kid Ace, aka Asad Whitehead, shares, “the expression of art is a holistic outlet for people to express themselves beyond just words. As an independent artist, I have been crafting my own music for over eight years. Music has been one of the biggest aspects of my life that has made me who I am today.” Kid Ace’s featured song, “Sundown,” expresses his deep sentiments in concluding the EP. Kid Ace shared, “Creative expression means deeply connecting and touching individuals by being transparent in my art and delivering my emotions and life experiences through songwriting.”

The EP also features fellow graduates Asia Jones and Justin Ume aka UMÉ. Steven DiPietro aka Stevie 808, a Senior in the Music Industry program, is also a co-collaborator with Justin Ume for their song titled “I Swear.” The theme of the EP was inspired by each artist’s own version of creative expression.

“M.A.D.I Volume Two” is an intimate take on matters of the heart, capturing the intricate emotions and experiences that define our relationships. It opens with an ambient intro titled “Reminisce,” featuring Cash-Luv Productions, produced by Keith Cashmere and Kevie Luv, a talented production team who is passionate about creating unique and innovative sounds; followed by “You Changed” by Asia Jones. Asia explained, “The inspiration behind ‘You Changed’  is myself recognizing through personal experiences when to walk away from a relationship or situation that is not suiting me. I want to inspire others to do the same and to heal while becoming the best version of themselves, women especially!” Whether you’re reminiscing about a past romance, reveling in the excitement of a new love, or finding solace in a moment of heartache, “M.A.D.I Volume Two” offers a soundtrack that speaks to your soul.

Other collaborators on this project include Dillon Schindler, Ian Spencer and Nick Semanchik. Both Dillon and Ian are  2024 graduates of Monmouth University’s Music Industry program.  Schindler is also a co-founder of M.A.D.I and was featured on M.A.D.I Vol. One, which was recognized with a New Jersey Gubernatorial and Senatorial Proclamation. Semanchik mastered the EP and is a recording/mixing engineer based in Asbury Park, New Jersey, who works at Lakehouse Recording Studios, managed by Ashley Hill. Nick has worked with artists from Interscope, Atlantic, and Epitaph, as well as many local independent musicians.

On the faculty side, both M.A.D.I Vol. One and Vol. Two have also been co-founded and driven forward by Professor Rashida Scott-Cruz, who has taught the business of music at Monmouth University’s Music Industry Program for eight years.

Join us on this heartfelt journey of all the independent artists featured on “M.A.D.I Volume Two,” a soundtrack to your most intimate matters of the heart. The EP will be available on major streaming platforms on Juneteenth 2024.