The Upful LIFE Podcast – Ep.076: AGENT 23 – Granola Funk Express [mc/educator/Grammy-winning artist – SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO]


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Agent 23 aka Cactus aka Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, welcome to The Upful Life Podcast! A founding member of pioneering Asheville-based live hip-hop collective Granola Funk Express (GFE). A progenitor of “family hip-hop” with his Secret Agent 23 Skidoo project, which took home a Grammy in 2019 for Best Children’s Album. Cactus is a published author of several books, and a prolific educator around the country for kids of all ages and backgrounds.


  • 0:00 – episode 076 preview
  • 3:30 – iamavl – thank you for the sponsor
  • 6:30 – The Upful Upfdate
  • 12:40 – introducing Agent 23 aka Cactus
  • 16:10 – interview w/ Cactus [95min]
  • 1:51:30 – afterglow, Vibe Junkie JAM 


From train-hopping, to Rainbow Gathering kitchens, to rap cipher’s at Phish festivals, this conversation is a colorful strut down memory lane for any GFE fan. And my man makes sure to spread the love around the krewe. Similarly, Cactus takes us through the birth of his daughter Saki, her transformation into MC Fireworks, and the heights their inspiring hip-hop connection took this beautiful family. These days, 23 and his ‘Secret Agency’ collaborate with students and symphonies, to wed classical music, global indigenous instruments, and storytelling to the elements of hip-hop. Cactus has also evolved into a successful educator, bringing hip-hop into the classroom as a multi-faceted teaching device.



Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is an internationally touring, purple velvet tuxedo wearing family funk phenemenon. Combining the positive, primal power of hip hop with the surreal storytelling of science fiction, 23 Skidoo has concocted a potent potion that wows family crowds across the planet.

After a decade of touring nationally as a rapper and producer in Granola Funk Express, he released his first kids’ hip-hop album in 2008. The ingredients of his magic spells include reverence for the boundless mindstates of young children, respect for the culture and DNA of hip hop, funk and soul music, and a deep belief in the power of the imagination to change the world in positive ways, both personal and universal.

At the 59th Grammy Awards in 2019, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo won Best Children’s Album for his record Infinity Plus One. At the 57th Grammy awards [2017], his record The Perfect Quirk was nominated in the same category. Book Weirdo Calhoun and the Odd Men Out won Silver at the 2014 Moonbeam Awards.


Vibe Junkie JAM 

“Dreamland Theatre” Agent 23 feat. Adam Strange


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Theme Song: “Mazel Tov”– CALVIN VALENTINE