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Birth nameTajai Massey
Also known asTajai
Born (1975-04-21) 21 April 1975 (age 44)
OriginEast Oakland, U.S.
GenresAlternative hip hop
West coast hip hop
Years active1991–present
LabelsClear Label Records
Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings
Jive/BMG Records
Associated actsSouls of Mischief

Tajai Massey, known by the stage name Tajai (born April 21, 1975), is an American rapper and producer. He is one of the four founding members of the Oakland, California-based underground hip hop group Souls of Mischief and, with Souls of Mischief, a part of the eight-person, alternative hip hop collective Hieroglyphics. He is also one half of the hip hop duo Rap Noir. He is a vegetarian.[1]


Born in Stanford, California, Massey moved with his family across the San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California when he was 2 years old. With a professor for his mother and sysop for a father, he was in a well-educated household where he got started computer programming at an early age. He and fellow Souls of Mischief member A-Plus experimented with the Commodore 32, Commodore 64, Apple IIe, and Apple II, among others.[2]

He graduated from Stanford University in 1997 with a BA degree in anthropology.[3]

Massey graduated with an MA in architecture from the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design in 2014 and became an architectural designer for Sabi Design•Build starting on October 2014. In May 2017, he was part of a group that acquired the Hibiscus Garden Hotel in Lagartero/Santa Catalina, Panama.

Massey is a father of two.[2] He speaks English, Spanish, and Swahili.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Souls of Mischief[edit]

In elementary school, Tajai met fellow Souls of Mischief member A-Plus, and the duo began their nascent rap careers.[5] Tajai eventually introduced A-Plus to future Souls of Mischief members Phesto and Opio, and the group formed in high school before releasing their debut album, 93 'til Infinity on Jive Records in 1993.


After Tajai and the Souls of Mischief were dropped by Jive, the group was incorporated into the Hieroglyphics in 1995, at the urging of Del tha Funkee Homosapien.[3]

Tajai has contributed to all six Souls of Mischief albums, as well as the three Hieroglyphics studio albums. He has also produced or performed on solo projects of various Hieroglyphics' members.


In 1999, Tajai and the Hieroglyphics' then-webmaster StinkE, formed the conceptual group SupremeEx, which released an enhanced CD, Projecto: 2501, and in 2005, released the album Nuntype.


Tajai is also a member of Crudo, a new project featuring Mike Patton and Dan the Automator, who made their live debut in 2008.

Rap Noir/Trap Noir[edit]

Tajai is also a member of Rap Noir, a hip hop duo with producer Unjust from Chosen Few. In mid 2017 they released their first single "Let it Rain." They released their debut album "Rap Noir" in 2018. Tajai also collaborated with produce Harris the Know-it-all to release a remix album called "Trap Noir."




  • Power Movement (2005)
  • Power Movement Remixes (2005)

With Souls of Mischief[edit]

With Hieroglyphics[edit]

As Rap Noir[edit]

  • Rap Noir {w/ Unjust} (10-31-2018)
  • Trap Noir {w/ Harris the Knowitall} (10-31-2018)



  • Sleeping Giant
  • Machine Language


  1. ^ PETA2 kicks off “Sexiest Vegetarian” contest with Matt Skiba, Dan Yemin, Davey Havok, MacKaye
  2. ^ a b https://mag.citizensofhumanity.com/blog/2015/12/10/souls-of-mischief/
  3. ^ a b StinkE (1996-07-18). "Phesto Interview". StinkE Productions. Archived from the original on 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
  4. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/tajai-massey-676891111
  5. ^ "Tajai Interview". Gorilla Movement.com. 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
  6. ^ https://tajai.bandcamp.com/album/hood-famous

External links[edit]