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| Culture |

Black Violin: Hip-Hop and, Yes, Strings

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Yes, violins. Yes, hip-hop.

Kev Marcus and Wil-B, the hip-hop string-playing duo known as Black Violin, are tired of explaining what they do to the incredulous and sarcastic.

It doesn't look like the 24-year-olds — both former FIU students — will have to do much more explaining. The last few months have been a whirlwind for Black Violin — from an Asian tour with Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda to work on upcoming albums for Lil' Kim, Paris Hilton and other Scott Storch projects. "People are calling us for things now," Marcus said, "rather than us trying to prove ourselves to people."

One recent call came from CSI:NY. While Marcus couldn't say much about the episode, set to air Nov. 1, he said Black Violin would play a role in the opening scene. The scene transitions from a performance of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly — featuring a suicidal lead actress — to a "blue train party" in a subway car featuring Black Violin and a DJ. Needless to say, the opera star and a character at the train party die less-than-ideal deaths in the episode.

In the subway scene, so engrossed in their rearrangement of a Puccini score, Kev and Wil-B are oblivious to the girl who drops dead in their presence. "We're still jammin', we don't even know what's going on," Marcus said.-Rob Jordan

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