D’Angelo and The Vanguard Present Black Messiah


D’Angelo came out with one of my favorite albums last year and I wrote a review for it in my local newspaper. Here’s an except:

This month, people of all walks of life organized protests in the Bay Area, taking over the streets, freeways, and city halls in solidarity to fight against police brutality and racial profiling against people of color. Against this backdrop, D’Angelo released Black Messiah, a highly anticipated album with a timely message.

I had just come from a weekend of marching in Oakland when D’Angelo shocked the music world with the long awaited album. It was 14 years ago that he gave us his soulful R&B album Voodoo, so new material was long overdue.

Best known for his gospel roots and soul influence, D’Angelo’s quieter career period wasn’t a completely silent one. He started playing new instruments that helped develop a band, the Vanguard, for his new sound on Black Messiah.

Check out the full article on The Richmond Pulse here.

Labor Day Weekend in the Bay Area – Events

San Francisco Skyline from Berkeley Hills, Oakland Bay Bridge and San Francisco Bay

If you’re going to be in the Bay Area and looking for something to do with your extended Labor Day weekend, check out some of these events that may be of interest. A lot of people my age don’t know where to look or go so I decided to put together some events that have been lingering in my inbox. I’m no entertainment concierge but I do know where to find some fun. Who knows, you may even catch me at a few of these events 🙂

P.S. If you know of any social events catered to young professionals and/or art, culture, and music friendly, let us know in the comment box!

Dancing Under the Stars: Free Dance Class & Party
Date: Friday, August 30, 2013
Time: 8:30 pm
Location: Jack London Square, Oakland Ca.
Free! For more info click here
Doin’ it at The Phoenix Hotel
Date: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Time: Noon – 7 pm
No cover, to RSVP click here
DopeOnly Presents: Cool Water (Day Party)
Date: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Time: 3-8 pm
Location: The Rock Steady, Oakland, Ca.
For more info & to RSVP click here
Open Canvas at the Independent: Hosted Bar
Date: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Time: 9pm -12 am
Live Painting, Music, Warhol to Jay-Z Inspired.
Free! To RSVP click here
Oakland’s 3rd Annual Pan African Family Reunion 
Date: Monday, September 2, 2013
Time: 10 am – 10 pm
Location: Mosswood Park, Oakland, Ca.
Friend and Family event, live art for the youth, Music, Food, Games, Dance, and More!
For more info please visit the Facebook page here
Hiero Day: Free Hip Hop Music Festival
Date: Monday, September 2, 2013
Time: 11 am – 6 pm
Location: Linden Street Brewery, Oakland. CA
Live Peformances, Food Vendors, and more
Free! To RSVP click here
Monday Soul Featuring Adrian Marcel
Date: Monday, September 2, 2013
Time: 9 pm
Location: The New Parish, Oakland
$15 for tickets online here

Erk Tha Jerk x Nerds Eye 2

Check out the second instillation to Nerds Eye View, from Bay Area’s own Erk Tha Jerk.  I’ve been an instant fan since I returned to the Bay Area and this project is far from a mixtape. I’m surprised the brotha gave this away cause I could definitely see his fans paying a pretty penny. Anyways, I’ve been on hiatus this whole weekend (not by choice) so this west coast artist brought me the flavor in all angles of hip hop.  Not to mention appearances from other dope bay area artists.  Take a listen for yourself and enjoy your weekend 🙂

Download link—–>> HERE

Come to his album release party for Nerds Eye 2, August 1st at Bay Area’s upcoming musical hangout Monday Soul at New Parish in Oakland. RSVP to ContactMondaySoul@gmail.com doors open at 10:30 pm. Show starts at 11:30 pm!!!

Reesa Speaks Goes “Dope Only” with Rod Campbell -The Creator

If you have been to concerts in the Bay Area, or attended any events that have showcased arts and culture you might have seen someone wearing an “Oakland USA” or “Dope Only” logo.  I’ve always wondered what the meaning was, so when I came across the creator I had to share it with you. Rod Campbell is an Oakland native that is the man behind the brand that you see.  He describes it as “an interest in all things, fly, fresh, and raw”.  The hip-hop culture has used the term to describe just that so he stamped it with the “only” to make it his own.

Dope Only was created the summer of last year from his pilot project called Oakland USA.  “People understand what lives within them so that’s where Oakland came from.  Dope only is the greater umbrella”. Rod has built a foundation in his own hometown networking with local entrepreneurs like himself. He makes sure to use his marketing and savvy techniques to produce a business and develop a team that he works with to promote through out the bay area. Artists like Nate, Esinchill, Ryan Nicole, DJ D Sharp, Kmaxx, and DJ Toure’, just to name a few are representatives.   Dope Only currently endorses a weekly Monday showcase called “Monday Soul” where local artists perform and young and affluent music lovers gather at the New Parish in downtown Oakland.  Dope Only has been worn on known names like Andre Ward, Raphael Saadiq, Dwayne Wiggins, Too Short, Richie Rich, and even Shamar Moore.

Rod in the Streets

Dope Only and Oakland USA clothing comes in the form of hoodies and t-shirts.  There are different colors that are customized and individually selected.  When learning more about the brand, I gathered that it’s almost an official approval if you were caught wearing one- you are officially dope at what you do whether it be in music, art, or entertainment.  Rod Campbell plans to expand the brand beyond just clothing and recognition to campaigns catering to youth development and networking.  This summer he plans to bring his business to Oakland ‘s annual “Art & Soul” festival and plans to work on future expansions with San Francisco and other major cities outside the Bay Area.

Rod Campbell’s best advice he could give to aspiring entrepreneurs, “Don’t be afraid to get your feelings hurt.  You are going to get a lot of doors slammed on your face but when you do find one that opens go through it.”  He has definitely followed his passion and has created a brand that will continue to open a lot of doors.

Think you’re “Dope Only” material?  Check out the official website for more info here.

Monday Soul at The New Parish

Mondays are now the hottest days of the week thanks to The New Parish in downtown Oakland. Every Monday The New Parish teams up with a group of local up and coming artists to put on a weekly event entitled “Monday Soul”. Soul is the perfect way to describe this event as artists with great talents grace the stage and the crowds brings confidence and a good time to the Bay Area.
Monday Soul was originally located at Air Lounge and was moved to the New Parish this summer by JE Media Company founded by Jackson Elis (better known as M. JE), Jareem, and DJ DSharp. These young gentlemen collaborated together to build a platform for aspiring bay area artists specializing in Hip Hop and R&B to showcase their talent in front of a respectable crowd every monday from 10 pm-1:30 am. Artists like J. Myers, Samm, Erk Tha Jerk, and the R.O.D project are amongst the many that share a relationship with the hosts to perform each Monday.
I was immediately drawn in by the New Parish’s lightly dimmed red lights and the diverse and expressive crowd that came out on a MONDAY to share their love of music, to enjoy a signature cocktail and comfortable conversation with their peers. I couldn’t picture a better place for such a soulful meanng. The house DJ (DJ DSharp) kept us vibin’ and head rockin’ to the sounds of James Brown, Common, Drake, and even Slum Village. The guest artist of the evening was the gorgeous recording artist Deja Bryson, Bay area’s own, that graced the stage with backup singers and dancers performing her hit single “I’m Power”. Making sure that she interacted with the crowd, Deja brought audiences to the stage and sang current Bay Area Anthems to keep us interested throughout the night.
Monday Soul is not just another party, what’s interesting about this production is that they value entrepreneurial endeavors as well as community efforts. In retro respect to making sure this event is worth your while, The New Parish provides memberships for $15 to have free entry, discounts, and updates on all events. Monday Soul has also partnered with Oakland Tennis and Macy Gray’s media group “Fusicology”. So ladies and gents, there is no reason why you should be sitting at home watching re-runs on a Monday night when you can enjoy an evening with the up and coming, best looking, well oriented, and influential people at the forefront of today’s Bay Area music.

For more information please visit http://www.thenewparish.com & http://www.twitter.com/MrJE

and Email ContactMondaySoul@gmail.com

MondaySoul with “London”

Last night I attended New Parrish’s “Monday Soul”, a lounge where young bay area artists showcase their talent in front of respectful crowd.  My four years of absence from the bay area have brought me hard to believe how much musical talent has progressed over the years.  I was never into the “Hyphy Movement” so I’m glad R&B and true hip-hop artists are becoming the forefront of our Area. The performer that stood out to me the most and reminded me of a better looking “Kid Kudi” was the artist London.

London, formally known as Noel Franklin Jr. is an Oakland native that started to discover his musical talent as a child in the church.  After going away to college in Atlanta, he became very successful in the music industry and landed a deal with Key Players Music Label.  As he performed last night, I noticed how he rocked the crowd with a bay area swagger like no other. Swaying side to side on the stage and interacting with the audience, you could tell he owned the stage.  London’s hit single “Action” amongst many other songs have a R&B, hip hop, and soultry sound that catches your ears and your heart.  His new video for “Back to the Way” addresses relationships that we are all common with these days. To be honest,  I’m just ready for him to REALLY take off! Check out the video, links, and his mixtapes and tell me what you think!