South Main Saturday Series: Sarah Jaffe, Son of Stan, and Ice Eater
I’m sure everyone knows by now, I have a vested interest in a little bar on the Southside, Shipping and Receiving. I do a little accounting for the bar and the building among other things. The first Saturday of the Summer Series, I found myself cocktailing the VIP section for the Sarah Jaffe event.
Day of, the place was all a buzz. This was once of our biggest events full of sponsorships and other moving parts. I helped as needed, but the owners and management had planned this event to a T, I honestly can say I wasn’t needed much.
Event starts with Ice Eater. My Lord, this band is amazing! I hate to admit I always seem to miss their shows. Jordan Kline, they’re keyboardist/synth player, is an amazing Vinylist and I have attempted to hire him for a handful of shows (hopefully one starting soon at S&R!). The lead singer is the right amount of eccentric, has a heaping amount of stage presence and talent, enough to lead this band to stardom. If you can consider me a fan before ever hearing them live, you can say I’m a MEGA-FAN after Saturday.
Same is true with Son of Stan. I have always seemed to miss their show! Boo! Jordan, the lead singer/guitar player, is also a DJ/Producer, and has won a Grammy for his work on a blues album. This band has been all the buzz in DFW for quite a while. Son of Stan put on a stellar performance and I have got to go see one of their shows as a pure spectator, possibly at this years Homegrown Fest in Dallas.
Then Sarah Jaffe took the stage and luckily the drinking in VIP slowed down enough for me to go stage side. I’ve never seen her perform and I heard her say a few times how drunk she was. To be honest, I would have never noticed she missed lyrics or sang off key had she not had said something. Whether this was her worst performance (so I was informed) or not, you can tell this lady has talent oozing from her pores. She lives and breaths greatness. I had a great time watching her and so did most of the people around me. To be honest, seeing as I have a vested interest in Shipping & Receiving, I was more happy with the fact the place was packed and the bar had a line out the door than whether Sarah put on a top notch performance or not….just being honest.
This show definitely set a precedent for all shows coming up. If they are even HALF as amazing as the Sarah Jaffe/Son of Stan/Ice Eater line up, it’ll be worth every penny.
Make sure you keep up with the Saturday Series featuring top acts with 2 great local bands, and then there’s the Friday series for only $2 starting this week with all local bands. Awesome stuff going on at Shipping and Receiving!!!
DFW NORML interviews Copywrite
While in Fort Worth for a performance, Copywrite sat down with the Executive Director of DFW NORML and myself and gave a candid interview on his thoughts on the state of Marijuana Laws in Texas and the United States. Copywrite is definitely an easy person to talk to and this interview could have gone on forever. Not only is he a talented and a highly respected artists, but this guy is very well spoken and articulate.
Find out how old he was when he first smoked cannabis, the reasons behind his first hit and his favorite strand along with some more politically based questions When ask what he thought about why hemp continues to be illegal even though you can’t get high off of it, Copywrite says, “They’re afraid of not being able to make all of the money on it if they do make it legal or they just don’t want the problem fixed. A moron, I’m a drop out, I can see they can fix things in the government. These people are far more educated than me so there’s got to be a real reason they don’t want it to be out there, a real reason they don’t want it to happen.”
Just for the record, Copywrite, I don’t think you’re a moron! Great person to kick it with, enjoyed the interview even though I’m a bit camera shy (was not prepared for this one!) and ya’ll look out for a special DFW Norml Track by Copywrite.
Peep the video Here
Follow Copywrite at the following:
To Find out how to get involved with DFW Norml visit our webpage, www.dfwnorml.org
When I joined this scene over a year ago, I noticed how lacking the state of hip hop was in Fort Worth. I quickly figured out that we had a ton of talented and hardworking artists in Funkytown. It bothered me that these artists were bringing in maybe 20 to 30 people on a Wednesday. I was perplexed. I had to figure out what was wrong. I started going to Dallas a little more often including some major shows, observed and participated on the fan level. It became quite apparent how accepted it was that Fort Worth more than willingly drives to Dallas but the opposite wasn’t true. In all honesty, what was there to drive to Fort Worth for? I had a desire to change this.
Through a lot of preparation and promotion, The Funkytown Showdown was born. What an event! One of the first Hip Hop shows at Lola’s full of Hip Hop heads that not only was successful for those involved, but successful for the bar as well. Fort Worth was ready. Then the Writer’s Block Tour 3 months later, also at Lola’s, brought more than a few people from Dallas to Funkytown. Dallas was willing to drive!
We had no entry level place to “try out” new acts in Fort Worth. Red Goose had a short little go, Froggy’s tries but most of the shows are a little to “Street” for my crowd. The Cellar had a few shows for a while, but after some exaggerated accusations, that is no longer a Hip Hop friendly venue. As of lately, my mission has been to secure a chill, laid back spot with a good bar in Fort Worth to cultivate Hip Hop.
BAM! Tuesdays at Embargo on 8th and Calhoun will be dedicated to Hip Hop. We will start every other week to help build an audience starting March 11th. From 7pm to 2am there will be hip hop music and we will touch on all 4 elements: Graffiti/Art, BBoys/BGirls/Dance, Emcees/Rappers, and the DJ!! One week we will dedicate to the music, having a DJ play some of the best of Hip Hop and music that inspired Hip Hop. One week we will have a freestyle competition with the help of local Cliff Watkins. I am hoping to have one week dedicated to Break Dancers/Bboys/Bgirls and have contacted Studio 74 and Jen “’Bout it” about helping with that night. And lastly, a show full of new local performers that RJ Treekiller will line out. And each of these shows I would love to showcase art.
What you may have noticed is I’m reaching out to others for this project. This isn’t “mine”. It’s Fort Worth’s. It’s ours. It’s YOURS. So what if Dallas may always be bigger and prettier. It’s probably the same as what Tacoma is to Seattle, what New Jersey is to NYC. It doesn’t mean we can’t give Fort Worth a good buzz and maybe bring some of those Dallas big wigs out to pay a visit and take notice. It’s going to definitely take more than just one person, or even 3 for that matter.
This is an open invitation: If you are interested in getting involved in the #817HipHop Movement, feel free to message me AND come to Embargo starting March 11th.
DFW Presents: For the Love of Hemp Hop at Club Dada, Deep Ellum
“For the Love of Hemp Hop” at Club Dada, Dallas
DFW NORML’s first fundraiser for 2014 and 2nd annual Hip Hop show was booked for Friday, February 14th and cleverly named “For the Love of Hemp Hop”. Groups and performers were booked and it promised to be a good night.
Weeks leading up to the event, Executive Director, Shaun McAlister, posted on social media for all the local emcees to submit their best “smoking” music for a promotional CD we would put out at the event. We were FLOODED with some really great tracks, but only 20 could make it. It was a close call. The promo CD really helped create a buzz amongst the hip hop community itself. Out and about at different events, performers would tell me either a) they submitted a track and thank you or b) they didn’t make the deadline and were super bummed. I love how DFW NORML has become such a respected brand amongst the music community.
Night of, people were out and about in Deep Ellum! My normal parking lot was packed, but luckily I got one of two spaces left. I arrived to the venue, set up the door procedures, worked out the minor details with the staff and performers and “For the Love of Hemp Hop” began! Wrex Washington always does a great job emceeing our events, so I communicated with him the line up and let him do his thing.
From 9pm til 1am a steady flow of people came through the door. Surprisingly, a lot of very attractive, well dressed ladies. I’m used to Hip Hop being mostly a male sport. Assasinate and DJ Tums of KuThroat Ent started out the night with a little mood music and a few scratches on the Turntables.
Kye Yote was the first performer. He came up and did a great set. His music has a main stream appeal, talking about the struggles of coming up as a musician. Good stuff. He even had a radio edit version of his CD for me to play on The Southside Pirate. He’s a rather new face for me in Dallas, but if he keeps up his grind I’m sure we’ll see him on some larger bills. Perfect opener to get the mood of the night going.
Next Up, Gloat Entertainment. I had only heard about this group because of NORML, and they were one of the first acts booked. The group consisted of three members, one who is also in The Boxer’s Brain. They did well playing off the audience, interacting with each other and put on a great 15 minute set.
Then, Wrex Dub spit a few tracks with a freestyle. Girls were up in the front dancing, the whole crowd bobbing to the beats. We had started a bit late, so all the acts went up fairly fast making up time. Wrex did a great job of getting the groups on stage in a timely manner and the DJ’s were on point with the tracks.
Loose Temper hopped on stage next. These younger cats always come with a huge group of supporters. Another group I’ve only been familiar with because of Norml. They have that newer Little Wayne/Wocka Flocka sound with a few trap beats so a little more on the mainstream side. You can’t deny when performers bring numbers through the door AND they’re not AS annoying as Little Wayne so probably someone I’ll end up booking in future shows. They’re tracks on the Chronica CD and the For the Love of Hemp Hop CD were pretty decent, check them out.
Then straight from the 817 and with a newly released Mix Tape, Fort Nox. I have heard SO MUCH buzz about this old school group and had yet to see them perform. I see a few of the members out and about at other local shows, supporting and I know they play at Froggy’s and Sandaga quite a bit. I’ve been bummed to always miss this group and were excited when they agreed to the Norml event. They put on a classic Boom Bap Hip Hop show with great flow, rhythm and that old school feel. The ladies stayed in the front and the crowd continued to dance.
Adriel aka “WordLife” is one of the best when it comes to branding. He has dubbed himself “King of All Fresh” and is never lacking in the merch department. I visited with them outside before their set and a group of young adults were each picking out different shirts and each bought something. He mentions a lot of blue designs he’s about to pick up stating, “I usually design stuff around my shoes. I’ll want stuff to match so this time, it’s blue.” WordLife & Accomplice and crew take the stage. There’s about 4-5 guys in the back acting as “Hype” men, all dressed in KOAF clothing. About two tracks in, this white chick does a very bad job of twerking right in front. Never in my career in hip hop have I had a show with anyone doing anything close to twerking. She apparently REALLY enjoyed her some WordLife and even gave Accomplice knuckles a few times… WordLife is sponsored by Raw Papers, so he took the time to hand out some Raw lanyards and papers. Telling you, King of All BRANDING is what he should call himself!
Last but not least, The Boxer’s Brain. They always put on a great set, kind of the country side of rap if there even is such a thing. If there’s not, The Boxer’s Brain just invented it. It’s a mix of a full band with two Emcees, clever word play, thought provoking lyrics, and music that makes you wanna get a little rowdy and maybe drink and smoke a few. These guys are really cool, bring out people who support, and have become a Norml favorite.
We ended the night raffling off more items including vape pens, glass pieces and a few Norml hoodies. Shaun wore a storm trooper helmet the last 30 minutes or so while giving out items. He asked me to say something and darn it, I’m cool as a cucumber until someone hands me a mic. Then my throat closes, stomach knots up and I feel all the eyes on me, burning a hole into my existence…. I need to get over that I guess. Baby steps. Luckily I think everyone was a little tipsy and otherwise so no one noticed my lack of stage presence. One can only hope. Shaun takes the stage and does another passionate speech about legalization that only he can do. This is why he is the Executive Director, guy has a passion for this cause and relays it in a very motivational way.
We had an amazing evening. I know we raised a lot of money at the front door, I’m sure the merchandise sales were just as good. Everyone enjoyed themselves, a few people were introduced to Norml who may not have been otherwise, and we showed Dallas why we are one of the top branded, if not THE top branded, NORML Chapter in the nation. Gets me a little excited to think about the things we are able to do for Texas Legalization because of events like this.
I want to personally thank all the artists who were involved and DONATED their time for the cause. A big thanks to DJ Assasinate and DJ Tums because they held down the decks all night, standing for long amounts of time and keeping the party atmosphere going! Thank you to Club Dada for having us, Adam Hess for helping with the volunteers, Chris Dobson for having my back all night and Shaun McAlister for being such a great leader. Special shout out to the media, especially Jerad Akin, for getting the photos and videos up so fast!!!
Great start to a great year FULL of amazing events! Next up, 4/20 at Club Dada again with the guys from Demonic Chronic Film Festival!!!
For more information on how you can get involved with Norml, go to www.DFWNORML.org.
Writer’s Block Tour @ Lola’s Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas
My first big show under Ghostlight Concerts was on the first Wednesday in February. Tay Spewcataclism aka Spew helped me with the line up featuring Playdough, one of my local favorites and named top 50 underground artists by a Hip Hop Blog/Online Magazine, Grey Matter, Muenster, Birds Eye Blues, Spew and the KutThroat DJ’s, Assasinate, Spiderman, Centrifik, Tums and Uno. Dope ticket. $10 presale and $15 at the door, you couldn’t lose.
Night of, I had some unexpected expenses come up. That should just become expected… Got the tour booked at their hotel and even did a pre performance interview with both Ras Kass and Copywrite with DFW Norml. I asked some of the same questions I did in my blog so it was a little less organic. I could tell Ras was a little uncomfortable. The lady at the hotel was being very unpleasant towards him, to all of us, really. I let them be and headed to the venue, stopping at Salsa Limon on my way. Love that place….
I already had texts and calls from an old class mate, so I had a feeling the show was going to be okay. I get there to at least 30 people standing around. Not too shabby. I caught up with an old friend as Muenster began to perform. He always does well, getting on the “stage of the stage”, encouraging the audiences to get involved. Birds did a great set, doing all the favorites and a couple of new ones. Spew did probably the most energetic set I had seen him every do….or since the Funkytown Showdown which COULD have been the last time I’ve seen him rap. His Matt & Kim remix is my favorite and it definitely got the vibing crowd dancing.
Grey Matter takes the stage and Mario gets on with this leopard print faux fur jacket. At some point he tells the audience, “You know you like it.” In true Grey Matter form, they put on a dope show because #GreyMatterIsDope.
While all of this is happening, Copywrite and Playdough are filming for a video out by the notorious “Smoking Lady” on Lola’s patio. That made me feel like the coolest girl in Fort Worth Hip Hop, to have one of my events at one of my favorite Fort Worth’s spots featured in a Copywrite/Playdough video. My mentor and “supervisors” for lack of a better name, Jamie and Aaron Knight, came out to check out the show. Aaron tells me, “I don’t like it, you’re more popular than me right now.” Silly guy :) EZ Eddie D from KNON arrives and gives me a little treat from Dude, Sweet Chocolate (OMG the truffles were AMAZING!!!). Joel from Too Fresh and other Dallas movers and shakers were in attendance. It was definitely the cream of the crop type of crowd and the vibe was like a family reunion.
Playdough takes the stage and of course does another flawless performance. I have written about him a few times, so if you haven’t read about or seen a performance, feel free to go back a few blogs. Playdough never misses the opportunity to thank me for my kind words, and this Wednesday was no different. I tell him like I do every time, I just write the truth. A few people asked me who he was after his set, even days after, and I was more than willing to share one of my favorite MCs.
Next up, Copywrite. White boy got skills and energy! A razor sharp performance!! His rhymes aren’t as “clean” as Playdough’s, but they are real and to the point without all the materialistic garbage modern day emcees use to sell records. One of my favorite songs he did that night was, “Sometimes I envy my best friend for being dead.” Heavy song, but how many of us have felt the same way? I have since downloaded a few more of his albums and I really dig this artist on many levels. He’s a very versatile artist appealing to old hip hop heads and youngsters alike. With both Copywrite and Playdough on Man Bites Dog Records, I see good things for that label’s future. Copywrite should be coming back out in May so if you missed him this go round, you have another chance.
Then my brother from another mother, Ras Kass. The whole show this cat was sitting by the bar, signing autographs, taking pictures and just BEING with the audience. He gets on stage, and puts on a great performance. In between songs he takes a few moments to clown on Jerad telling stories of the other night when we took him out for drinks. Then he talks about Ariel being like a sister to him…. he really just connected with the audience by being his down to Earth and personable self. He even started to do “Nature of the Threat” does about 1 minute of the song and says “Hey man, I wrote a paper on this stuff man. I stated a thesis and proved it but I got got to say how I feel NOW. We all the same.” Props on even remembering a minute of that track! He pulled Playdough on after his set to do some freestyling while he rolled a Bugler. THEN Ariel busts out some bars that were unbelievable. Perfect ending to a great night!
At the end of the night, everyone was happy. Everyone had a great time. The vibe was nothing but lovely. Ras came up to me and says, “It was really cool you called me your brother from another mother because I feel like you’re my sister. I grew up with sisters, and you’re just so cool if any N**** try to mess with you I’d be like, ‘Yo, you can’t fuck around with Callie, she’s too cool.’ Man, you’re so good, you have this goodness inside of you that just shines through and makes you so beautiful. I just want you to know that. You’re so good, it’s beautiful.” I tell you, I couldn’t quit smiling after that. What a compliment!!
Ariel posted something after the meet and greet to the effect of #HipHopsLittleSis and to be honest, that’s how I feel most of the time. I grew up in a period where rappers degraded women. It was all about hoes, sluts, pouring champagne on half naked strippers; back that ass up, I like big butts, rump shaker and all the other “stereotypical” booty shaking songs. Since joining the DFW hip hop scene, I have had nothing but respect from all of those involved- DJ’s, Emcees, Promoters, Photographers, Artists- EVERYONE has treated me as a dignified lady. I’m sure dressing like I do (not too scantily clad) and presenting myself in a way that is to be respected helps. I must say that I am proud to be a part of the DFW Hip Hop scene as a female, as a fan, as a promoter and everything in between.
Thank you again, to all of those involved in this event!! It was one for the books. #OneLove!
Dam Funk @ Red 7, Austin and Dam Funk @ Crown & Harp, Dallas
It was announced that Dam Funk was coming to Crown and Harp in Dallas. He’s another artist on Stones Throw Records and has recently released a project with Snoop Dogg, so when I found out I was unable to attend due to prior obligations, I was a little bummed.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I have made a nice business friendship with a promoter from Houston, Hector of Lunaface Promotions. I had mentioned I wasn’t able to make the Dallas date, so he invited me to the show in Austin Thursday before. My nanny was available to travel (makes all the difference), found a cheap hotel, and a Thursday in Austin was set!
Traffic in Austin SUCKS! It took us almost an hour just to cross central Austin. Got the kids and nanny settled, got ready faster than ever before, and headed to Red 7 only a few minutes away. I don’t know Austin so I was thankful that it was close to 35. After looping around once, I found a spot at a meter and walked not too far to the venue.
Austin is a little weird. Definitely not the vibe or the crowd I’m used to. My 25 year old brother, Levi, lives in Austin, so he was able to join me. The first band up was an interesting ensemble called Electric Attitude, a 7 piece band including saxophone, trombone, trumpet, drums, guitar, and bass. Their sound was very complimentary to Dam, a little jazz, a little funk and R&B. I was digging it.
Finally up, Dam Funk. He took the stage and I went to the side area where the promoters and previous artists stood- away from the crowd. Dam started out slow, easing the audience into his groove, playing records with funk beats. He picked up the paste as the crowd started vibing, singing along. He dropped a few Snoop tracks, then came out from behind his turntable and keyboard and performed, singing for the audience. For the life of my I can’t find the track on his Bandcamp but I totally dug it. The crowd was really into the music, everyone moving to the beat and shaking their hips. I suspect a lot of babies are made to Dam Funk records….
Besides Dam Funk totally kicking butt, I couldn’t help but think how much better the show would be at Crown and Harp. For one, the stage was set up about 3 feet high, therefore there was less intimacy between artist and audience. Second, the vibe just wasn’t Crown and Harp. I don’t know Austin, this wasn’t even my brother’s scene so it wasn’t that “home pub” feel Crown and Harp has for me. And I think the people in Dallas are just a bit friendlier.
Dam was very nice, took pictures with everyone. I didn’t talk to him much because I was tired at this point, my feet were killing me and I was just ready to go to bed. So back to the hotel I went.
Some unfortunate events happened Saturday, freeing my evening to see Dam Funk in Dallas. My boss, Gina, had the night kid free so I talked her into going (very easily I might say!).
The Dallas night was co produced by Too Fresh at Crown and Harp so the line up was solid. We arrived to the event around 11pm and JT Donaldson was up spinning 45’s. A perfect intro for Dam Funk, Dallas style. I love it when a DJ does an all 45’s set! Not only is the selection harder to choose from, takes some extra skill in handling the records, but it’s from that Boogie/Funk/Soul era. There’s always some nostalgic record that plays that gets the crowd moving.
As I said, the people in Dallas are friendlier so I made some new friends within the first hour. Dam Funk took the stage and did pretty much the same set. However, when he came out form behind the turntables and keyboard, he was IN the audience. Everyone danced around him, getting into the music, moving back and forth. Everyone pressed up in the crowd, getting as close as they could to the “King of Boogie Funk”. He ended the night with spinning some Easy E and Too Short. It was coincidence because Gina and I were just talking about those two artists in particular on the way to the show. Dam continued to spin records until 2am. He took a few cameos and since I had gotten a picture taken the night before, opted to leave when the music stopped. He was even more amazing the second time around. If I could see him a third, I probably would.
Crown and Harp is the perfect venue for DJ’s and the like. The upstairs has an intimate atmosphere and fits enough people to semi comfortably dance a little, if the music moves you. Moody and his bartenders are attentive, fast and courteous. And when Too Fresh is involved, you know the show will be a good one.
Comparatively, I enjoyed the Dallas stop more. Maybe I don’t know Austin that well, but the few times I’ve been “out” I haven’t been that impressed. Give me Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, and the Near Southside any day. It’s nice to visit an out of town music scene to really see how amazing your own city’s scene is. And DFW has it going on!!!!
If you missed the Dallas show, Too Fresh was nice enough to record the whole night. You can catch it on their SoundCloud page and get your groove on.
Writer’s Bock Tour Meet and Greet at Casa de Legends
In November, I joined the Ghostlight Concert team. My first offer sent out as their new “Hip Hop Talent Buyer” was for the Ras Kass + Copywrite tour. They had an extra free day on Super Bowl Sunday, so I took the opportunity to include a Meet and Greet in the DFW area. Cesar was more than happy to host it at his house, and a Super Bowl Meet and Greet with Ras Kass and Copywrite was scheduled at Casa de Legends with DFW Norml, Bum Theary, Too Fresh, and HH4YN sponsoring.
Day of had me stressed out! Not gonna lie. Everything I needed cost more than budgeted, it was rainy and cold, I didn’t have a keg pump and my sitter called me with car problems. Darn you, Super Moon!!! So after a lot of stressing and freak out moments, everything worked itself out. *Whew*
Cesar’s house is set up perfect for a house party. He has hosted several over the last few years, and before I ever attended one had heard great things about. When you walk in, you’re greeted with amazing artwork hung and displayed everywhere. The living room is a nice open space joined with the kitchen, turn tables set up with a big screen TV and little Tvs methodically arranged.
People started arriving, Ozmel spun some tunes, people were drinking, Spewcataclism cooked Pho…it was looking like a nice little shin dig. Oz did a great job of song selection for the beginning of the night, a little slower paced and jazzy.
I’m on door duty most of the night, and after waiting for what seemed like forever, Copywrite walks through the door. My girl, Ariel, was standing beside me and in true A-Star fashion, she tells Copywrite, “Sir I’m gonna have to ask you to turn around and put your hands on the wall.” He was a little surprised but did as she asked. He looked a little bewildered as she “patted him down” then he goes, “Girl, You’re tripping,” and walked off. Way to make an impression, Ariel :) Ras and the rest of his crew strolled in without being accosted…. Ariel likes the white boys.
They came in and started mingling. I introduced them to the different sponsors and Cesar, owner of Casa de Legends. By this time the Super Bowl game was going on a few people watched the rest mingled while Bilal did an all vinyl set.
I got a chance to sit down and talk to Copywrite, let him know I’m the Director of Operations for DFW NORML and what our organization was about. ”It should be legal,” he says. Pretty basic first response of 100% of the people I speak with. ”It pretty much is decriminalized everywhere now, right?” he asks. ”Like if you get caught they usually just let you go. I know in Ohio it is.” I gave him a smile and said, “Not in Texas.” He says the most he’s been given on tour was an 1/8th, top 3 favorite strands are Chem Dog, Cherry Pie and Girl Scout Cookies.
Around 8pm Ras started inquiring about local bars. He doesn’t drink beer or smoke, and we had no liquor at the house. I was the only one with a car big enough for him and his lady friend, so Ariel and I took one for the team and volunteered to take Ras Kass bar hopping. I was in a rush that day so I had no time to clean out my car. Ras was nice enough even help me. We contemplated where to go…Arlington has no good bars except of the topless variety and I wasn’t trying to pay $5 a beer to see some boobies. The only other places I knew to go (where he wouldn’t leave DFW thinking we’re wack) was in Dallas or Fort Worth….so….Near Southside it was.
On the way to the bar I decided to get the interview started. Chris, the intern at DFW NORML, had requested I ask a few questions for him. The first, should weed be legal. And of course, the answer was “Yes.” Next, “What has hurt people more, prohibition or marijuana?” He stated that even though prohibition of alcohol was WORSE, prohibition of marijuana has definitely hurt people, especially black people. Perfect response for a lead into the next question, “Do you think that Marijuana Laws are like modern day Jim Crow laws?” Yes, it could definitely be considered that because when a white person gets caught versus a person of color, who gets the lighter sentence most of the time. Then Ariel asked what he thought of the state of music today, if he was happy or disappointed. Gist of his answer was, he loves music. It’s going to have its ups and downs. He’s happy with what he’s doing in music right now. He spoke a bit about the past and I brought up the song “Nature of the Threat.” He said, “It pissed you off didn’t it?” No, it didn’t, I just didn’t think he’d like me seeing as I was white and considered “the threat”. He goes on to say, “I stated a thesis and proved it with facts. I also wrote that ten years ago, and I had a lot more anger back then.” Fair enough.
We arrived at Shipping and Receiving and NO ONE was there. No worries, all about the company you keep. Ras asked me what I drank, ordered the first round. We ordered food, chilled to the laid back vibe of the music and talked. After a while, Ras loosened up and it was shots for everyone! He was nice enough to pick up the tab when we left.
We hit Boiled Owl tavern, and it was smokey and crowded as usual. We grabbed a booth and I grabbed a pitcher of PBR. This is one of the first times I didn’t really know anyone at Boiled. Weird. But once again, company you keep. Jared showed up and we proceeded to enjoy the evening. All night, Ras was taking jabs at Ariel like she was his little sister, saying “Sorry, I grew up with 4 sisters, I’m just giving you a hard time.” He was friendly, respectful, intelligent, and just an all around really cool guy.
On our way home Ras joked about tying Ariel’s hair to the seat like he used to do his sisters. At one point he even attempted it!! We were jamming to some Bodega Brovas and Ras says “Turn it Up!” Cool. He liked it. So we’re driving home and Ras busts out his lap top and asks to plug it in. Puts on the first track “Turn it UP!” he says again…aight…and after every knew song, “Turn it UP!!” haha dude I didn’t turn it down after the last time, haha. Dropped Ariel off and Ras gets in the front. Tells me, “You want to hear the song I did with Snoop?” Um…DUH?!? He played that one (an awesome track!!) with another one featuring Adele. He tried to say “It’s alright, it’s not brilliant.” Sounded fairly brilliant to me.
Dropped him and his lady friend off at their hotel and took my tired butt home. This day/night was nothing like I expected it to be. The artists were humble, down to Earth, respectful, gave compliments freely, and just connected with us all on a very genuine level. Cesar’s house always has a great vibe, so that I was expecting. But even some of the people who were on the guest list, contributed toward the event and one person even gave me $20 “For the Cause”. Another associate I’ll be working with in the near future called me after I left. ”I have that $50 for you.” I had forgotten what he was talking about. ”You said you might have needed $50 to help out on the event.” His name wasn’t on the flyer, it was past point of promoting sponsors. Man, it doesn’t get much better than that in a music community!! I told him I actually got it covered but thanks!!! The thought alone meant a lot.
I almost didn’t do the Meet & Greet because of several factors…. especially since I’m having them back out on Wed Feb 5th for a show that actually has guarantees tied to it. Had I not done it, I wouldn’t have been able to get to know Ras Kass as well as I did or Copywrite even for that matter. We made a solid connection, exchanged personal digits, and I even got some free beats sent over from local beatmakers. I have some good stuff in the works with both artists ALREADY!! Excited to see them perform Wednesday at Lola’s in Fort Worth!!!
Lunaface Presents: Gunplay at Trees, Dallas
You know I’m enjoying my involvement in NORML when it means going to music events to represent. DFW NORML was a sponsor of the Gunplay show at Trees, so I donned my green hoodie and headed to Dallas.
I arrived a little before 10pm and parking was hard to find in Deep Ellum, not to mention it was super cold so I wasn’t trying to park too far away. After driving around a bit I chose to park at a meter rather than my normal $5 pay to park by Cafe’ Brazil. Last time I’ll ever do that one…
The Gunplay show was not as packed as the Wacka Flocka show just four days prior. This crowd was the more stereotypical hip hop/rap crowd versus the young Abercrombie & Fitch crowd of Wacka Flocka. Makes you wonder.
I found Word Life & Accomplice set up in the merchandise area. These guys know how to brand themselves. Word Life, the self proclaimed “King of All Fresh”, had a table with sweatshirts, T-shirts, girlie Pink T-shirts, lanyards, hats, flyers, CDs, stickers and two stand alone banners with Word Life on one and Accomplice on the other. They were the only performers there that night with a merchandise table. Their crew all had “KOAF” shirts, the K an assault rifle with the barrel pointing up, and light sparkled from various pieces of jewelry. This is the third time I’ve kicked it with Word Life, Accomplice and company at a show, and these guys are always nice as well as respectful. Ladies, if you happen to go to a Word Life show, most likely one of the guys in the crew will buy you a drink. Just saying.
Before Word LIfe and Accomplice performed, I ran into Slim Gravy. I took the chance to get a thumbs up picture with him. He commented on my Green NORML hoodie and I was able to introduce him to what the organization stood for. I suggested that someone in NORML do an interview with him and the other half of A.D.d.+ on their views of marijuana laws, and he agreed. People really like to talk about this stuff on the record!
Word Life and Accomplice asked me to join them on stage during their performance, so I did. They put on a energetic 15 minute set while the audience vibed along. The guys in the crew threw out T-shirts, CDs, and other merchandise and were the only performers to do so the whole night. Word Life even threw out Raw Papers, a sponsor, along with a rolling tray. Like I said, these guys know how to brand themselves. Word Life & Accomplice performed one of my favorite songs I bump in the car, “Roll Out”, which has a rhythm to it that sticks in your head. Word Life and Accomplice have a marketable style, sound, and are on that next level thinking. I see big things for this duo.
After the set, Word Life and I headed upstairs to the green room to see if we could get a meeting with Gunplay. I had met with the the owner of Lunaface Productions, Hector, earlier in the night and made plans to work on a few shows in the future. Hector was nice enough to give me a VIP bracelet which got us pass security person #1. Word says, “I’m following your lead,” as I headed toward the door. It opens, Hector is inside, waves me in and Word follows. In normal form, I start talking business with one of the performers and road managers. After a round of pictures, I request an interview with Gunplay regarding the reformation of marijuana laws. He agrees, but it has to be after the show. We’re asked to leave by the road manager so that Gunplay can get ready to perform so Word Life and I went back downstairs.
Gunplay goes on and does a killer 30-45 minute set. He had a style and swagger that was contagious and the crowd ate it up. His sound had the Southern Drawl with a little Miami Spice. He rapped about haters holding him back (unsuccessfully of course), and other gangster type topics all to some very catchy beats and hooks. After doing some research, I see that Gunplay is a new up and coming solo star, and I remember Hector talking about putting him on tour fast “before I can’t afford him anymore.” He had about 100 or so supporters in Dallas with 3-4 more cities left on the tour in Texas and Louisiana. He just signed with Def Jam Records and his new solo album should be dropping this year.
After the show, Word Life and I somehow managed to get passed some hard core security hoops. The rest of his crew weren’t so lucky… but that didn’t stop us! Once back in the green room, as promised, Gunplay granted me an interview.
He appeared to be more calm and relaxed post show, and we stood in the middle of a smoke filled room. ”What’s your views on the reformation of marijuana laws?” He goes on to tell me the same thing 99% of people seem to agree on, that if alcohol and cigarettes are legal, then so should marijuana. Most green given to him on tour, he says, “In Amsterdam they gave me a quarter pound once!” When asked his top 3 favorite strands, “Green Crack, God’s Gift, and Sour Diesel.” At this point his Road Manager interjects and he agrees, “Blue Dream has got to be on there too. Sour Diesel or Blue Dream.” The interview stops here because the show ran late and everyone is ready to hit the hotels.
I thanked everyone, and headed to my car. I parked at a meter earlier and had stopped three different times, changing my mind and finding another spot. When the car wasn’t in spot #1 from my memory…I started thinking it had been towed. To make a long story short, it took me a heck of a long time to figure out where I parked and I worried for way too long about imaginary towing expenses!! I am a creature of habit, in downtown Fort Worth I always park in the same garage. I will adopt this theory in Deep Ellum as well and park in the lot behind Cafe Brazil, as I always do. No more saving $5 for a meter!!!!
Another successful night in the Dallas Music scene with more connections made.
Video and pictures on Callie Dee Presents
Anonymous asked: Do u sign people for
Do I sign people for what?
Wacka Flocka Flame at Trees, Dallas
I was asked to represent DFW Norml at the Wacka Flocka Flame show at Trees in Dallas. DFW Norml was a sponsor and we would be running a merchandise booth.
Came to the venue during load in only find out that due to zoning restrictions, our group was unable to set up a table. No big deal, we decided to hang out and see if we could get in to meet Wacka Flocka Flame. Last year, our Executive Director, Shaun McAlister, did a video’ed interview with Wacka Flocka that went really well. Glenn, the promoter of Top Shelf, said that most likely we would be able to do that again.
After getting some pizza down the street at Serious Pizza, we settled in for the show.
I’m 31 years old. I have been listening to “Rap” and “Hip Hop” since my early teens. I’ve seen the genre go into some really weird directions and this show was on that list. Now, perhaps I’m just old and stuck in my ways (even though I’d like to think 30’s really isn’t THAT old). I just don’t get the allure of some of these acts.
The place was PACKED! The show sold out, and most of those attending had huge “X” on their hands. It amazed me the crowd this tour brought and had me thinking…what can I do with my promotions to bring these types of kids out to my events?? They came out in packs of 4-6, each dressed in AE and A&F and the like. These kids got $. So, I went up to the special VIP/Artist area we had access to and observed.
Most of the acts were fairly unmemorable for me. Almost all had vocals playing lightly in the background which always distracts me. Its hard not to notice and for me its almost the equivalent to lip syncing. One duo jumped around the stage banging their heads around for a really long length of time. At one point, a frat boy look alike got on stage and took his shirt off and danced along with this duo, swinging his shirt around. At one point, the duo had bumped speakers, wire, the DJ table over and over security tried to ask them to leave. They did not, instead kept jumping around aimlessly, banging their heads, to the point one of the security guards tried to drag them off. It was kind of a silly display to be seen at an event, but mind you the crowd had A LOT of under 21 attendees…. Maybe jumping around aimlessly is the new “thing”.
Casanova Kris took the stage in regal style. When the curtain came up, you see CK sitting on a throne with two dudes on either side, arms crossed body guard style. Beside them were two attractive ladies in booty shorts and stockings. He starts his number and very shortly one of his hype men start throwing $1 bills into the audience. This definitely got this young crowd going, everyone jumping at the opportunity to score $1. The ladies had choreographed moves to go with every song, which was a nice change from the earlier acts. At one point, a beautiful German Shepard was brought out and another one of the entourage sporting a huge “dog attack” glove. When the dog saw it, he immediately lunged toward this guy, biting him. Dude with glove swung the dog around until CK gave command for dog to sit. All of this was definitely a decent display but it distracted me from really listening to the lyrics and the beats. So I took the opportunity to watch a few videos on his website. Casanova Kris has a sound and look that is marketable. And his display at this show and left an impression on me enough to look into him further. Interested in keeping an eye on this guy.
Last but definitely not least, Wacka Flocka Flame. I’m not familiar with his music, but I have heard a lot when I announced that I would be attending this event. People were telling me to be careful, how his shows in the past had violence break out, he used to be part of a gang, and to read plenty of books before I came. So I had a lot of bad expectations. What I saw was a very loved performer put on a very humble and down to earth show for his fans. He interacted, shook everyone’s hand he could reach, had the audience singing almost every lyric of every song with him, and even finished the show IN THE CROWD. He told security to back off, took his wireless mic and floated threw every corner of the audience. If you were downstairs, you had the chance to press your sweaty body against Wacka Flocka for a seriously cool photo opp. I got anxious just watching him do this, he was one brave soul right then! He gets back on stage, leaves, and returns with a champagne bottle he shot out into the crowd in true rapper fashion. I’m sure whoever got the shower was appreciative…people were looking hot and crowded by the stage. He finishes a good 45 minute set and then curtains close.
The DFW Norml crew and I hung around until we were allowed into the green room. After what seemed like forever, we were let in. Immediately we were greeted with a room full of promoters talking marketing, strategy, European publishing check and the like. Our crew gave Wacka Flocka a couple of Norml T-shirts and our picture with him. He was very gracious and even said, “Man it feels like my birthday, I’m getting presents and shit.” We sat in on an interview and I was able to ask his views on Marijuana Reform. He says, “I don’t think minors should be able to use it, but if alcohol and cigarettes are legal, so should weed.” I must say, even though Mr. Flame appears to be somewhat of an air head…the guy is smart. When asked what tips he would give to someone to make it to the next level, he says, “You know, some people have the talent but their mind ain’t right. You gotta get your mind right. You need to know what a lawyer is, what an accountant is, how to get publishing earnings. Not everyone is ready to go to the next level.” It was also pointed out that he is vegan, his comment on that, “I went to the doctor and he said I needed to take blood pressure medicine and I’m like Man, I’m only 27. So I did it the healthy way. I lost 45lbs since last April and the doctor says I’m healthy now, everything is good. Man, all that shit ain’t good for you.” His favorite snack, apples. We hung around a bit longer to hear him tell stories of traveling to Japan, a near fight that almost broke a year long violence free streak at a show, and some more marketing from some promoters.
Wacka Flocka Flame hung around and took pictures for well over an hour that I watched, and I hear he helped close the place down. I say this all the time, but any artist who is this humble and down to earth after finding fame has a special place in my book.
Although this isn’t the normal type of event I usually attend for pleasure, it was a great opportunity to connect with some other people in the local music industry. Sometimes we have to go outside our comfort zones to grow. Wacka Flocka Flame is huge for some reason, and we’d all be fools not to take notice and learn something.