Seeing music as international, multi-generational, and multicultural, and as a redemptive and healing force, he joined with his backing group, Medicine for the People, anchored by horn player and Berklee School of Music graduate Max Ribner and percussionist Hope Medford. Together they began making what has been called "thump-hop," a percussion-heavy, rainbow-envisioned mix of styles and approaches that is at times as much spoken word as anything else -- a sort of 21st century medicine show for the mind and soul.
The group's debut album, Dark as Night, appeared in 2013, and debuted at number six on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. After the follow-up, 2014's On the Verge, SideOneDummy
released the group's third album in 2016. Titled Hoka, it reached number 72 on the Billboard 200. A year later, the band's leader released a more personal solo album, My Name Is Bear, under the name Nahko
. Calling it a "prequel," it consisted of songs written mostly before he assembled his group. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi