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Featuring dual MCs as well as a full band, Flobots are a progressive rap group from Denver, CO, with a political conscience, musical chops, and a powerful live show. Influenced by progressive rappers such as the Roots and Common as well as alternative hard rock bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Tool, Flobots were founded in 2005, comprised of MCs Jonny 5 (born Jamie Laurie) and Brer Rabbit (born Stephen Brackett) -- who originally met in elementary school -- along with musicians Andy Guerrero (guitar), Mackenzie Roberts (viola), Joe Ferrone (trumpet), Jesse Walker (bass), and Kenny Ortiz (drums). The group released its debut recording, the seven-track Platypus EP, in October 2005. Their debut full-length, Fight with Tools (2007), followed a couple years later. Flobots inspired a strong following in the Denver region and found themselves opening shows there for national acts such as Public Enemy and the Fray. In 2008 the group was offered a major-label recording contract by Universal Music Group, which re-released Fight with Tools on its Republic subsidiary. March 2010 saw the release of Flobots' sophomore studio effort, the Mario Caldato-produced Survival Story, which demonstrated a heavier rock edge and featured a guest appearance by Rise Against's Tim McIlrath on the single "White Flag Warrior." In 2011, on the same day the Occupy Wall Street movement began, the socially conscious band announced they would be releasing a new album, making good on their promise with the arrival of The Circle in the Square in 2012. ~ Jason Birchmeier