D’Angelo and The Vanguard Present Black Messiah

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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.

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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
 

NYE Recap – Erykah Badu @ The Fox Theatre Oakland

New Years Eve has always been a nervous feeling me. Pondering plans on how I’m going to spend my last few moments of the year gives me anxiety; hell if you’re indecisive like me making plans in general will give you anxiety. While I juggled the club idea, couch potato idea, or the secret destination idea my thoughts brought me back to music. What better way to bring in the New Year in my hometown of Oakland, California with one of my favorite artists of all time, ERYKAH BADU. It was the perfect night to celebrate, dance, reflect, and of course scream and cry tears of joy and excitement.

Photo by Reesa

My best friend and I were front row in the newly renovated Fox Theatre and stood there for hours just five feet away from a phenomenal crowd pleasure, Erykah.   She was mid “yaaaayoooo” when the clock struck midnight and I couldn’t even wish everyone blowing up my phone Happy New Year cause of the musical trance she had put us in. Balloon drop, countdown, confetti, the beat drops, but no New Years kiss this time.  Just happiness and excitement for a new beginnings and another chance to be great!

photo (13)

I’ve grown to hate writing concert reviews however I couldn’t pass up on this one.  So, instead of a long drawn out description you probably won’t read, check out these moments I’ve captured:

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Erykah9 Erykah10 Erykah5 Erykah

Photo By Reesa

photo by Reesa

Photos by Reesa

New Year, New Me, New You, New Us.  .  . .Can you say that again?

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.

Seph Ade x Love Acoustically (EP)

With Valentine’s day being around the corner, some may be avoiding the love in the air but I seem to embrace it.  I came across an artist out of Maryland, Seph Ade who may change your mind about this often hated holiday. After listening to his EP “Love Acoustically” I found my love for music tickled by this beautiful talent. The EP was release late December of 2010 and has been quite the buzz around the Maryland area.  Seph Ade uses his acoustically abilities and his soft voice to serenade your emotions and leave you with a feeling of desire whether you are in love or looking for it.  I thought I’d share his talent with you, in hopes to make your week worth while.

released 28 December 2010
Guitars: Seph Ade
Bass Guitars: Alvin Fisher II
Drums: William Asiedu
Recorded and Mixed by: Kevin Alexander of Freeline Music Group at WMUC Studios, College Park, MD

Exclusive: Moe Green talks Bay Famous, MC Hammer & XXL

This past Monday I had a chance to sit down with Vallejo rapper, Moe Green, over Arizmendi pizza and what I thought would be just an interview turned out to be a very interesting conversation of goals, aspirations, and wisdom from an aspiring artist.  Born and raised in Vallejo, California, Moe Green has given the bay area quite a buzz.  With his debut album “Rocky Maivia: No Title Match”, Green shares to the world his thoughts and makes a statement with his performances.  Moe Green has been featured in XXL’s September issue for “Show & Prove” and has been recognized by KMEL’s freshmen 10 for 2010.  But he doesn’t stop there, Moe Green wreaks success and if you don’t believe him he will be sure to prove it to you.

Reesa: Where did you come up with the name “Moe Green”?

Moe Green: one day I wanted to paint my S. Carter shoes (when they were hot) so I flipped it around to “G. Carter” which is short for Greg but then I later changed it to Moe Green when I was listening to some God father samples and he was like “I’m Moe Green”. So I ran with it.

Reesa: When did you start wanting to pursue yourself as an artist?

MG: Seriously, when I was 15.  That was the first time I went to the studio.  I would always write raps in class during SSR (sustained silent reading) and just play around on my computer and one day my friend, this big rapper dude, read them and told me that I should start rapping.  He invited me to the studio. And that day we did 17 songs in four hours.

Reesa: Wow. You did all of that?  I want to hear some of those.

MG: No you don’t. They were crap (chuckles) I wasn’t rapping on beat, or had any flow, I had words but you can definitely tell that I have evolved as an artist.

Reesa: So I heard your latest project “Rocky Maivia” and I really do like your music and support you as an artist. When I saw you over the summer, I was able to capture a different perspective of bay area artists at the Fresh Steps event in Oakland. I like how you were really serious about what you were doing and you had the audience going.

MG: Really, thanks. I change up my set every show.  I take so much pride on the shows because that is an artist’s calling card.  So every show I critique myself and make sure it is perfect.  The Out Crowd consist of my homies, and whoever supports me they come out and get me hype and make it possible each show.

Reesa: I told you what I think makes you stand out as an artist amongst your peers. But in your own words, what do you think makes you stand out as an out?

MG: I just told somebody that I play off the guilty pleasures.  I was recently chillin’ with some people and backstreet boys came on and I knew all that words and it messed them up. They were like “How do you know all the words to backstreet boys?!”  I don’t care, I’m just me.  I want to represent that REAL human being.

Reesa: What are your influences?

MG: E-40, especially his son Droop-E. I’ve known him since this first day of pre-school. But as a kid I was really into MC Hammer.  He’s an entertainer.  My mom would not let me buy CD’s with parental advisory labels but E-40 was an exception.  That’s where I get my entertaining influence.

Reesa: You remind me of Mase kind of.  I remember him in the 90’s really just entertaining his audience. Putting on a show. I saw your interview with XXL in New York. How was that experience for you?

MG: It was dope; I can’t wait to go back. I love it out there. We were staying in the heart of Harlem and I met up with some kats that I knew. I met Dame Dash and had three shows.  There were a lot of bay kats showing love out there.  The New York crowd likes to post up but I was able to get the crowd moving. After that I performed a dope warehouse party.

Reesa: Now that your project “Rocky Maivia” has been released, what kind of feedback or responses have you been getting thus far?

MG: Surprisingly I’ve been getting a lot of love.  Kats in the barbershop were playing my music, and my stuff is not really hood music that they would normally play.

Reesa: Do you put yourself in the category as a Bay Area artist?

MG: I’m an artist first.  I don’t want to be just Bay Famous.  My patnas and I call it Bay Famous, where you do shows every week and you’re just popular out here.  I don’t want to be known as just that.  But at the same time I want the Bay Area to notice me and give me that respect as I move forward.

Reesa: Do you feel that you have gained respect out here yet?

MG: Yes. I’ve got a lot of respect for my peers like Erk da Jerk, The Jacka, Mistah Fab, the Locksmith.  It’s kats that I listened to that are noticing what I’m doing and now I’m on their level.  Cause I definitely used to listen to their music on the radio and now I’m doing shows with them. It’s dope.

Reesa:  like the song/video for “KIM” because it really defines you as an artist shows us that you are an every day guy with a hustle to follow your dreams. So, tell me a day in the life of Moe Green?

Moe: I wake up at 2:30 in the morning, throw clothes on and smash to Fairfield and go to work (FedEx) until about 8 am then I come home and yell at the Monique Show for a while.  My studio is set up at the house, so when the house gets quiet I vibe out. I might dose off to sleep a few times. But no really, I’m constantly doing things like 24 hours days, working and doing my music.  If you ever see me at Monday Soul just know that from there I go straight to work.

Reesa: Your grind does not stop. What your motivation to keep going?  A lot of people will hit rock bottom with a hustle like yours. What makes you not give up?

MG: The fact that I don’t want to work at FedEx or sell fried chicken forever. I just don’t want to get caught up in a job; my parents always worked really hard and never really did what they were passionate about.  I don’t want to get caught up in that so that what keeps me going.  I want to enjoy what I’m doing for a living, and have fun all day.

Reesa: So what are you working on right now? Any Next Steps?

MG: I’ve got some shows lined up. And I’m actually working on this idea of my own TV show. I’m working on a page for video footage and to show my personable side even though I don’t like being in front of the camera and photo shoots.

Reesa: You should get used to all that, cause everyone is going to want to see you.  Kudos to your XXL page.  You were representing for Vallejo tough!

MG: Yeah, just like Wale put on D.C. I’m putting on for Vallejo!!

Reesa: What words of advice do you have to other aspiring artists who are working to achieve their goals?

MG: Just don’t be afraid to be you. If you work a job don’t be afraid to say it.  I really liked what Janelle Monae said during her acceptance speech at the Soul Train Awards, “Don’t be afraid to be who you are”.  That was a good speech, artists go through the same stuff.  Don’t be afraid to love what makes you unique.

Let him prove it you:

http://www.superduperdope.com

http://www.twitter.com/MoeTheDreamer

http://www.facebook.com/MoeGreen

Keon Supreme x His Musical Breakthrough

Acceptance and Change are the words that I can use to best describe Keon “Supreme” Hall, an aspiring artist from Claremont, California.  Growing up living under a Jehovah Witness household, Keon has always seemed to stand out with creating his own identity.  At the age of 17, Keon reached a breaking point and decided to change his outlook on life, by developing his love for music. “My mother accepts me because I’m her son, but she’s never heard my music,” he explains to me about his relationship with his mother and the choice he has made. With his new mixtape entitled “Supreme” Keon shares his life-changing experiences and enlightenment.  In my opinion his featured song “Love Me Again” best describes his character as an artist.  When telling me about how much emotion was put into his words and relationship with his mother, I knew that he was passionate about his artistic ability to express himself through music.

“Dark, Enlightening, and life changing” is how he describes his mixtape but if I were to give my own take I would call it a breakthrough.  He spits versus that some young men like him can relate to as well as anyone who shares a love for Hip Hop.  After speaking with him it only made since that Keon is studying History in college because he stresses his vision to change the world.  With book knowledge, personal experiences, and the ability to musically express oneself, Keon Supreme is on his way to making his career a staple in today’s Hip Hop.

“Believe in yourself even if no one else will” –Keon “Supreme” Hall

For more information on Keon Supreme visit:

http://www.twitter.com/keonsupreme

http://www.keonsupreme.bandcamp.com

Nneka- Viva Africa

The Nigerian German artist Nneka shows out for Africa for the FIFA World Cup.  I discovered her on Afripop.com and she’s a hit.  Not only is she representing for her native country but she also has GOREGOUS hair!  With a heart as big as her Afro she started her career in 2005 with her debut ablum entitled “Victim of Truth” released in the UK. she created buzz in the British media and then went on to releasing an album in the US “Concrete Jungle” which is just as soultry as the last.  Nneka is very talented and I hope that you enjoy her music just as much as I do.

Why Don’t You Love Me?

The queen of writing every girl’s anthems, Beyonce, takes a backseat as her sister Solange writes the song “Why Don’t You Love Me” and releases the video on twitter for all her fans to see.  Of course Beyonce is taking a break, however, whether she’s in the studio or not you will not forget about this diva.  If you haven’t already here is the 50’s inspired music video to “Why Don’t You Love Me”.