Nonchalant DJ and hip hop powerhouse Aquil Charlton is a pioneer of youth-minded social entrepreneurship. As mrAquil of Animate Objects, the emcee shores up the group’s muted retro-tinged beats with cerebral, literate rhymes. Aquil divides his time spitting rollicking witticisms and empowering his community of young urban artists. A politically outspoken community organizer, Aquil is always searching for new ways to communicate and further dialogue using the arts. As co-founder and former Executive Director of The Crib Collective, Aquil helped young leaders create, launch, and sustain social change programs. In 2011, he joined the FEW Collective for a US-State Department-sponsored cultural exchange in Pakistan, where he collaborated with Kathak dancer Nighat Chaodhry and famed qawwal The Sabri Brothers. Currently, Aquil is a consultant, helping Chicago nonprofits develop innovative youth programs. He is also devoting much of his time to his creative endeavors: working on a new album with Animate Objects, due to be released in Spring 2013, and a solo project he plans to release the following Summer.