Terrell X

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Terrell X, A.K.A. Carnage The Executioner, believes that music has the incomparable power to improve the quality of our lives in countless ways. He sees it as his calling to promote the honing of abilities that allow us the opportunities to express ourselves, while identifying and strengthening our unique voices. Terrell’s constant quest to learn leads him to view himself — and participants — as both facilitators and students in constant states of artistic growth. Terrell doesn’t call himself “the expert.” This is part of what keeps him humble, enabling him to welcome the mutual exchange of knowledge and positive energies.

Terrell X has spent 30 years making music, performing live as a one-man band, touring the world, sharing stages with musical icons, and working with both youth and adults from various socio-economic backgrounds. He has a gift for producing intense, thought-provoking music and establishing strong, healthy relationships. 16 years of teaching Human Beat Boxing/vocal percussion, song writing and composing short stage plays in theater settings has helped Terrell build an impressive artist resume. Under his stage name, Carnage The Executioner, his most extensive touring period saw him traveling on roughly 15 U.S. tours between 2012 and 2020. But his reach extends all the way to Europe (5 tours between 2011 and 2013), and Asia (1 tour in 2018). Terrell nurtures leadership skills building, speaks in favor of social justice/human rights, and encourages us all to consider the well-being of animals. He was given the Kenny Feldman Animal Advocate Award as a vegan/plant-based lifestyler in Fall of 2021 by CAA (Compassionate Action for Animals), in affiliation with Twin Cities Veg Fest. While receiving his award, he was featured as a guest speaker and live performer – which was also his first time performing at the annual Veg Fest event. Terrell was featured on the front page of Minneapolis City Pages with an in-depth cover story in September 2012, where he was referred to as “The Best Rapper (and Beat Boxer) You Have Never Heard Of” — while also receiving high praise for his 2012 Respect The Name album. Terrell was ranked #8 in the “Top 20 best rappers from MN” in 2012 by City Pages. His Worth The Wait album was listed as ‘One Of The Best Albums Of 2011’ in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In that same story, Terrell was said to be “…busy proving why he should be called the most skillful emcee in MN.” Furthermore, Star Tribune made the claim that “Carnage’s mouth might be the best drummer in town,” in reference to his Human Beat Boxing skills.

More About the Artist

Terrell X’s all-ages and all-skill-levels Human Beat Boxing courses are designed to help participants from all walks of life become comfortable with stepping out of their comfort zones to TURN THEIR BODIES INTO INSTRUMENTS. His courses bring about the realization that ANY sound made using the body as a tool of some sort to produce music, is beat boxing. The human body is the instrument that no one needs to own a device or know how to read music in order to play. Since we are unable to lose or leave our bodies at home, beat boxing ensures that we always have our instruments with us! On the first day of residencies and workshops, Terrell offers glimpses of how various music genres, technology and world happenings have influenced beat boxing via Hip-Hop culture as a whole. From the beginning, participants will get an extremely interactive, constantly-moving account of how the art form continues to advance. Terrell’s live performances incorporate all residency and workshop subjects to form a presentation that shows how years of dedication and sacrifice can lead to a music career that continuously gives back to itself. In turn, participants and attendees will visualize themselves as fully capable of benefitting from making decisions to build their crafts, as they identify the rewards that can come out of setting goals and taking chances. 

Program Offerings


Human Beat Boxing & Vocal Percussion: Your Body Is An Instrument

Terrell X’s adaptable Human Beat Boxing & Vocal Percussion: Your Body Is An Instrument residency is a one-of-a-kind experience. It features fun exercises delivered with a no-judgment approach. All are welcome to enjoy topics and activities that include:

  • Beat Box Basics: Where did it come from?; How does it fits into the basic structure of Hip-Hop culture?
  • Passion & Proper Position: getting bodies moving; boosting awareness of body part/mouth movements; producing sounds similar to those made by professional Human Beat Boxers.
  • Beat Box Vocab: identifying sounds and motions by name; developing and increasing skills in complex vocalization and intricate phrasing.
  • Conscience and Confidence: raising comfort levels in public speaking and live performance; displaying potent stage presence.
  • Strength & Stamina: building breath-control and improving timing; learning how to count “bars” and measures; holding the rhythm and taking control of their bodies.
  • Leaders Follow, Too: identifying social cues; exploring teamwork through collaboration in music composition.
  • Let’s Perform!: learning how to operate instrument technology (microphones, foot pedals/looper); composing music with the body from scratch.

Human Beat Boxing, Rapping & Performance Techniques

Terrell X’s Human Beat Boxing, Rapping & Performance Techniques residency brings participants into the often misunderstood realm of Hip-Hop and Rap Music. It explores a few of the key elements that contribute to Hip-Hop’s cultural relevance. This residency is customizable and will cover the following:

  • A brief Hip-Hop origin story
  • The phenomenon of Human Beat Boxing music creation 
  • Incorporation of instruments into beat boxing with foot pedals and hand percussion instruments
  • Song structure and arrangement
  • Rhyme writing drills and how to choose potent content
  • Preparing recorded compositions for live settings
  • How to hold a microphone on stage and vocal projection
  • The importance of sound-checking before live performances
  • Working the stage, engaging the crowd and displaying confidence

Note: can be full day workshop – 3-5 hours / 1 week (5 days) residency / 2 weeks (10 days) residency / in-person instruction / virtual instruction


Human Beat Boxing Is FUNdamental!

Terrell X is out to show the world that Human Beat Boxing is FUN for everybody. His Human Beat Boxing Is FUNdamental! breaks down into this 1-day-long list of engaging activities:

  • Welcoming and introductions/ice breaker: “What I Like About Myself,” “Sound Circle” group rhythm/building.
  • Discussion: what is Human Beat Boxing? History and Q&A.
  • Interactive discussion; exercises showing how/why the body is an instrument. Participants will ask and answer questions as they make sounds with their hands, mouth and feet.
  • Exploring group beat boxing: call-and-response rhythms, repetition, trading the phrase, “word boxing”.
  • Components of mouth drums: “Cover Your Mouth!” technique, “hi- hat,” “kick drum,” “snare drum,” “drum roll,” “Pass The Phrase,” “Walk The Rhythm.”
  • Reflection: questions, further learning, microphone and pedal demonstration.

Note: can be full day workshop (1-3 hours) / in-person instruction / virtual instruction


Man & Machine(s) Live Show

Terrell X’s Man & Machine(s) Live Show is more of an experience than just a live performance. As a music fan and absorber of sound since childhood who started beat boxing at age 10, Terrell, the MAN, has a memory bank filled with artillery to draw from. He’s a self-trained entertainer and song writer who cannot only brag with the best of them, but can bring the festival energy, then switch to telling moving stories at the speed of sound. Terrell, the MACHINE, can also perform for hours — with or without the use of words! He prides himself in almost never using pre-recorded backing tracks live, while he composes music from scratch, and effortlessly uses MACHINES — the technology of looping and effects pedals, which he refers to as “The Constructicons.” He enhances his voice and vocal percussion components to craft unique, highly impressive live performances for all ages, backgrounds and occasions. From interactive dance parties with emphasis on call-and-response tactics, to sets of instrumental music (welcoming to non-verbal and limited-mobility attendees also), Terrell uses his original material, improvisations and spot-on re-creations of popular songs to make sure there’s never a dull moment. Book The Executioner, charge your phones up to record videos, and see what all the commotion is about!

Note: 30-90 minutes / in-person and virtual performance / accessible to non-verbal and limited-mobility participants / all-ages and family/friendly

Materials Needed for Residencies, Workshop and Performance
  • In-person: power sockets to plug personal instrument amplifier and pedals into // adequate space for participants to move around // paper and writing utensils upon request. 
  • Virtually: adequate visual and sound on participant’s end // internet access, paper and writing utensils upon request. 

“Terrell X has been a friend and colleague of mine for over eight years. Don’t let his stage name, Carnage The Executioner, intimidate you! Terrell is hard working and completely devoted to his craft. With children, he is absolute magic. He has a special way of connecting with and relating to children and adults — and can easily put himself on other people’s maps, enabling him to relate and instruct to each individual group or person. Terrell can turn a group of skeptical students into a group of Human Beat Boxing enthusiasts! Everyone who comes in contact with him is left feeling inspired and energized.”

Jodi Seiger, Life Coach and former owner of Rhythm & Shoes Dance Studio

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.