Hip-Hop is a culture that thrives on self-expression and individuality and emceeing is an art form created to add a voice to that self-expression and individuality. This is the mindset that Mikhael Sampson had when he started The Elements at Richland Northeast High School in 2002. This originally was the first high school hip-hop club in Columbia, SC. The mission of The Elements was to teach and promote the nine elements of hip-hop in a positive way through emceeing, dancing, deejaying, graffiti art, poetry, and singing. The most influential part of The Elements was a group of six emcees which included Mikhael, who took on the name Mike S. The Prophet 13. After graduating from high school in 2003 The Elements rap group was reconstructed with his brother and some of their friends. The Elements now consists of Mikhael Sampson (Mike S.The Prophet 13), Kevin Sampson (The Visual Kid), Tim Cokely (T-Coke), Brian Conner (Open Mike), and Marcus Thomas (Soul Speak). Each member possesses a unique style and brings their own 'element' to the table. The Elements liken themselves to those founding fathers of the hip-hop culture that utilized their music not only as a way to move the crowd, but also as a way to release bent up pressure and deliver a powerful message. In a day and age where hip-hop is in a constant war between cookie-cutter commercial artists and those that choose to explore their own uniqueness, the Elements strive to be the pure definition of a throwback... hot beats and hot rhymes that also make you think. This mixture of energy and a positive message has earned the Elements many opportunities. They have performed locally throughout Columbia and at such events as Columbia's own Apollo Talent Competition, 'The Hype' in Birmingham, Alabama, the Coca-Cola Jam Fest (where they took first prize), 'Non Stop Hip-Hop Live' at the New Brookland Tavern, the University of South Carolina's Late Night Carolina, the University of South Carolina's Battle of the Bands, becoming the first hip-hop act to win (not an easy feat to say the least...), Parallel Worlds (an artistic soul event), and the Three Rivers Music Festival. Recently the group opened for national recording artist Kanye West at the Colonial Center in Columbia, SC. The Elements are a mixture of the many styles of hip-hop sound but they have an uncanny ability to blend them together seamlessly.