Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Hillmatic" Showcase in Chapel Hill

When it comes to the HipHop History of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is one of the foundation landmarks. With venues such as The Local 506, Cats Cradle and the now closed Jack Sprat, the town is rich with monumental events. In the forefront of this history is Kevin "Kaze" Thomas, as one of the few OGs still pushing and repping the HipHop Culture of this predominately college run town. 

The 1st Annual "Hillmatic" Showcase promises to deliver a peek into the past, present & future of Chapel Hill's talent.  20+ years of HipHop in the Hill! Most emcees I've met and/or worked with reminisce about "Microphone Mondays", the legendary beat battles with Apple Juice Kid, Erv Ford, Khrysis and Skaz, the HipHop Nation TV show and Sunday Night Sessions. Everybody who was anybody emerging from North Carolina's Underground scene came through the Hill at some point in time... J.Cole, TYFU, King Mez, Jozeemo, JGunn, K-Hill, 9th Wonder, Little Brother, Kaze and many more. This "Hillmatic" event promises to deliver a major celebratory night of good music, undeniable talent and unforgettable history. Performers include JSwiss, No9to5, Well$, Fluent, Kaze, and special performances by SkyBlew & The Digidestined Band and J Rowdy & The Nightshift band.

In the words of Kaze:

Wow. The city with so many contributions, hosted moments, and talent instrumental in the Carolina#HipHop Movement its unreal. UNC HipHopNation. TYFU. Sankofa. Haxoba. Underbrush. Dj Pez. Birthplace of the ORIGINAL Apple Chill.The many shows Shaw and Uzi did at Cats Cradle that brought stars within reach. They put us on those shows. L in Japanese. Phonetic. A Typical. LowKey. The MC battles w/ me, Phonte, JGunn, and Jozeemo. HipHopNationTV. Microphone Monday. The legendary Beat Battles. Who gonna win? Erv, Slack, Apple Juice, Dirty, Khrysis or Skaz? Dj Flash and Izzy Nice killing shit. 9th was there. BigDaddyKane. ButtaTeam too. Fayettenam and Durham in the house. But they'll let you know that for sure. Cole was there. So was Nerv. SundayNightSessions. Mez was there. We all were. Every week. Bishop holding it down. Big Darrian at the door. Dr. Katz establishing HipHop curriculum at UNC-CH. Freestyling in The Pit continues til this day. Pierce Freelon and Apple Juice taking BeatLab worldwide. Damn homie I could keep going on and on. But that's what AUG. 22 is for. #HILLMATIC

Don't miss out on is looking to be a yearly festival of North Carolina's music history!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Major Green "Stay Tuned"

If you live anywhere near Raleigh, North Carolina, you have SEEN the name Major Green! When it comes to Marketing himself and his brand, Jabre Green knows exactly what he's doing. He's not only the Artist "MAJOR GREEN", he's also the mind and hands behind iKandi Productions, a Multi-Media Company that handles Engineering, Production, Recording, Photography, Events, Graphics and T-Shirt Pressing. With his wife, Shariah Green, by his side, all I see is a winning combination. 

"Stay Tuned" is a well-tuned flow of catchy hooks, strong lyricism, and high energy production, with DJ Cen City (one of the most prominent Indy supporting DJ's in the area) on his hosting job. This is one of those CD's I can pop in, ride to and find myself rapping along with after the first spin. Make sure you catch the video for the intro track, Power, and go check out Major Green on the stage at the 2015 Durm HipHop Summit this coming weekend. 

@major_green (IG)
@MajorGreen_ (Twitter)
@DJCenCity (IG)
@DJCenCity (Twitter)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"IStruggle" by Novacain featuring Jozeemo & Oace Spades

In times of Civil Unrest, there are still glimpses of Unity, Brotherhood and Concern for our neighbors around us. The daily struggles for Independence, Validity and Justice run deep through our Black communities while the news is rampant with acts of Violence, Injustice and Misuses of Power by our Authority figures. It is long past "the time for change" because the necessary changes have to start within oneself first.  "IStruggle" draws us through the desired unity needed between not just our city, but our neighborhoods. You can't lead a people, if you can't first learn to direct yourself.  

This song is powerful! Salute and Respect to the artists, Novacain, Jozeemo and Oace Spades

@Jozeemo (Twitter)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

AR Wings Feat. Myles & Tre "Chasing Money"

The Blu Roc Records/Money League Records/Dusko Boys Movement has been sweeping through North Carolina, lead by Music, Business & Fashion Mogul, Dame Dash, with his 2 right hand partners, JBlack (President of Blu Roc Records) and Bootsie (CEO of Money League Records) putting their stamp on everything they touch. The music group being heavily pushed by this movement are Money League Artists AR Wings, Myles & Tre (hailing from New York and North Carolina).

The song, "Chasing Money", which fits perfect with the Team's lifestyle, released the coinciding video soon after. Video is Directed by Damon Dash.

When it comes to work, this empire of soldiers gets it done, not tomorrow, but yesterday! Follow the #NewNorth


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Seven Da Pantha "The Rider" Official Video

Seven Da Pantha - A Rider from Otrocity on Vimeo.

It's been a minute since I've actually seen the homie, Seven Da Pantha, so I'm glad this came across my timeline and I took the time to watch. The track flows with a nostalgic beat (Produced by Kwest), the content is heartfelt with facts and issues facing the Black Community everyday (Directed by Otrocity). 

"A Rider" is someone who is not afraid to stand up for their beliefs, one that will stand beside his fellow man in action and fight for a positive change, and be the leader of such a movement when called upon. I've seen Seven be that person within the Indy scene, for his partner, Apostle (Anthony Adams), and other artists. 

Word is that Seven is leaving the East Coast and setting up residence out West. Come celebrate his journey next Thursday, July 16th, at Deep South Bar (430 S. Dawson St. Raleigh, NC) where he will give us his last North Carolina performance on the Power Of The Tongue Showcase, Presented by SpringHill Productions (K-Hill & Azon Blaze). 

@Pantha_Politix (IG)
@SevDaPantha (Twitter)
POTT Showcase

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chriz Millz & Ola Cola Da Don "Replay" Official Video

Chriz Millz & Ola Cola Da Don teamed up on an upcoming project, "Digital Trappin", scheduled for release next month (July 2015), making the Summer of 2015 a HOT one for these Fuquay-Varina/Raleigh, NC Artists. "Replay" boasts a slamming beat (Produced by Ricky Racks) and NBA inspired street slang riddled lyrics that move the listener to bounce to this track. Add in fellow artists Buddy Klein & Lil Bruh and you get over 6 minutes of nonstop Hip Hop action...

Keep posted on the Album Release Party, July 2015.

@MrMillyNC (Twitter)
@Ola_Cola_Da_Don (Twitter)
@OfficialLilBruh (Twitter)

Chris "Lil' C. Corleone" Peterson is an American Singer/Rapper 
hailing from Smithfield, North Carolina. His recently released Mixtape,
"So Far Faded" (Hosted by DJ Wispas & DJ Arab) is a smooth riding
collection of remixes and original tracks. Lil' C. Corleone highlights
his ability to sing then drops some mastered lyrical content on his 

"My mission is to make it, be persistent and patient...Ain't nobody 
gonna give it to you, you just gotta take it..." comes from Track #8,
"For Me" and it gives the best representation of Lil' C's drive to be a big
player out here in this music game, and nobody is going to get in
his way! 

@LilCCorleone (Twitter)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Get To Know "Fluent"

If you live and play around Chapel Hill, North Carolina, you probably know or have seen Aaron "Fluent" Russell in some of the popular hangouts. I watched Fluent get major props and exposure for both his "Supreme Victory" and most recently dropped "Supreme Victory 2" Albums, but wanted to offer a little more about the man, the artist, Fluent.

So, let's talk...

Where does Fluent call home?

I'm originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but I moved to North Carolina in 1999/2000. I went back to Ohio for a year when I was 19, and returned to North Carolina. I consider Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham my home now. 

At what age did you start showing an interest in music? And what drew you to HipHop?

I was interested in music from as early as I can remember. Back in Cincy, I was in a school band and could play three different instruments. My biological father was a vocalist in a big band called "Midnight Star". He wasn't around much when I was growing up, but I believe that music is in my veins, genetically. When my mother remarried, her husband Elijah was a musician. We had guitars, a piano, and all sorts of instruments around the house. Even though my stepdad wasn't doing music professionally, I would get to jam with him and his friends. My mom bought me a Rakim tape when I was like 9 or 10 years old. That's when I realized I wanted to rap. 

When I moved to NC I discovered an emerging HipHop scene.  Seeing all the local venues supporting artists and letting them express themselves inspired me to want to pursue  my career as a Hip Hop artist.

Who are some of your mentors, influences and role models when it comes to your music?

The Golden Era of HipHop was my teacher. It taught me the structure of writing songs, building choruses, etc... Nas' ability to tell stories with his records has always been influential, and Fab's versatility is definitely something that's been a model for my own music. His records are consistently laced with songs for the club,  the streets and women...they appeal to everyone, and that's what I want my music to do too.  

When I was in high school a friend of mine was doing an internship at Zoom Culture and through him I was introduced to Kaze, Ak Slaughter & Ray Bucks. I was a wild kid in the streets getting into all sorts of trouble. Those guys saw the potential in the raw talent I had. They recruited me for a new label they were starting and together we formed the Soul Dojo. This was one of the first Independent movements in the RDU area making noise. Other members included K Slack and K Hill.

You've released 2 great projects in the past year, laced with some Major features, and entirely produced by J.Cardim. What motivated you to go "all out" on these two projects?

I think I started to go all out once I got back from touring Europe, Spain, and France in 2008. The things I saw over there changed my perspective of the music. I knew at that point my craft could take me to the majors. I just had to come up with a plan of attack. I knew that if I invested everything I had into my music, that there was no way I could lose. With my own money combined with investors, I was able to have huge marketing campaigns. Fortunately,  I was able to collaborate with some of the biggest artists in the game. Shouts out to Nipsey Hussle and Action Bronson too. We did those records for "SV" right here in NC, organically. Nip brought me right on the tour bus to record "Hustle Till I'm Ballin". That was love. Me and Action knocked out the "Medallion" record right after his show at the cradle. Salute to those guys. With beats from J. Cardim, It was a no brainer.  I've been working with him for years. And people are just now seeing the fruits of that hard work.  We started working on the Supreme Victory series in Los Angeles back in 2012. We've been making noise every since. A lot of artists don't understand that you have to go all in. Even if that means you go broke doing it.  If you believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. That's what I live by. And that's why success is certain.

Tell us what drives you...Fluent, the Rapper?

My love for the music drives me. It's in my veins. Also my will to succeed.  To overcome adversity and show NC that anything is possible with calculated moves. I want people to see that you can make an impact from here and make big records while being an Independent Artist. All you have to do is believe in yourself. Sometimes when people see you doing these huge things it's hard for them to grasp it because they feel like they know you. Or came up with you or whatever. Questions like, how is this possible? How is he doing it? Etc... The answer is that that very drive I possess, is what has me in the position that I'm in today. Look at how Nipsey Hussle, Troy Ave and other Major Indy artists, including me, are doing it. This is possible with hard work and I want that top spot. I'm always in competition with myself. In my eyes, I'm only as hot as my last record. That pushes me to be great.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In Life and with your music?

In five years I see myself being one of the biggest artists in the game. And through my imprint, Supreme Regime, Independently I'll be one of the most successful in the circuit. Like I said, I'm pushing myself to be better daily, so it's just a matter of making sure I spend every day making decisions that will get me to where I want to be both in life and music. 

What is "SOTC" and what does it mean to you?

SOTC (Sound Of The Culture) is a collective that consists of Kaze and myself. I would say it is the continuation of what Soul Dojo was. SOTC is family. It is also a platform for new up and coming artists who have the same goals of success and unity within the state. SOTC is HipHop. It's R&B. It's Pop. It's Rock. It's House.  The culture is about diversity. That's what this movement is about. The whole spectrum.

I want to thank Fluent for letting me share a little more about who he is to the fans, and introduce him to those that may not know him, yet...Check out both "Supreme Victory" and "Supreme Victory 2" today! 

Supreme Victory

Supreme Victory 2

@FluentTheGod (Twitter)
@BlackKennedy (Twitter)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ron Beatty "Heard About Me"

Let me just start this post with saying I'm a fan of Ron Beatty (formerly known as Chedda Chapp). He helps to define the mind, drive and ambition of the "Independent Artist". Ron has been one of those artists that keeps you believing in big dreams and the "never give up" philosophy. After his last project, "The Empty Theater", Ron moved to Atlanta, seeking more recognition, more opportunity and more outlets to share his music with. His mentors, since early on, are the same people that played a pivotal role in J. Cole's early career. Brion Unger (Nervous Reck), Noland Hicks & Bobwire. Nerv also produced for Cole's latest album, "2014 Forest Hills Drive". 

Ron Beatty just released the 1st single and video from his upcoming album, "Manifest Destiny", and I love the visual backdrop and the content in his lyrics. "Heard About Me" leaves it all on the table about his struggles with his music career. Ron pulls us into his mindset, and I'm sure a lot of other artists will relate to this track. After listening to the words in this song, I'm looking forward the full project because I have a feeling going back to using his government name, Ron Beatty is ready to let the world know exactly what he has to say...About music, life and his future. 

@ronbeattync (IG & Twitter)
Life's Grand

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Is Dame Dash Doing In & For North Carolina?

Dame Dash is in North Carolina? Why? What's he doing here? Is he signing artists? 

These are all questions floating around me, hitting my phone and inbox.  All I can reply with is "he's working!" If you have followed Dash's movements since way back to the Roc-A-Fella days, you have seen his name pop up in numerous places, whether it be through TV interviews, blog sites, radio or newspapers. He has NEVER stopped working! I'm not even sure if he can count how many businesses he's either helped launch, or launched for himself.  He's definitely not someone who sits around and waits for others to do things for him. So, back to the question "What is he planning on doing for North Carolina?"

So far, he's set up residence near Charlotte, relocated his Poppington Art Gallery to Albemarle, bought a factory in Albemarle to manufacture his clothing line, hosted club parties, held wine tastings for his new Dusko Blu wine, and spoke to the public through several radio stations and the NBC 17 morning program My Carolina Today. Dame has also been Directing movies, with 2 releasing in the past month, "Too Honorable" & "Loisaidas", both were Executive Produced by Kanye West. What he seems to be most passionate about at this point in his life though is Educating others with the knowledge he learned from the Entertainment business and Life in general. Through his own Poppington Academy, Dame is setting up seminars throughout North Carolina, with the 1st one happening tonight at his Art Gallery in Albemarle.  These settings put him "one on one" per say with the audience. He speaks and then takes questions from those listening, with his main goal being to encourage those who want more to "Invest In Yourself". Don't let what you want in life be hindered by anyone, including yourself. 

Finding a way to be his own boss has allowed Dame to move the way he does, to open shop wherever he chooses, and to share his experiences with other future entrepreneurs.  

Damon Dash is the CEO of BluRoc Records, but has placed one of his closest friends, Jermine Lloyd (aka J Black), in place as President of the label, and partnered with another long time friend, Bernard Riggin (aka Big Bootsie), who is the CEO of Money League Records. This team of grinders is seeking new talent among North Carolina's borders, as well as other areas. Are they "creating an Industry" here? Only time will tell, and the receptiveness of those in the Independent music scene. 

I've had the opportunity to speak some to Dash, and to see the excitement he gets about starting something new, and as the CEO of my own Entertainment company (TaraMarie Entertainment LLC), President of Groundbreaking Music Group, Public Relations for King F.A.M.E. (Marcus Legette) and PR for Kaze (Kevin Thomas), I am hopeful that the Economic AND Industry boom that may come of this "BluRoc/Dusko Blu/Money League" movement through our state is going to be one of the major pieces of the puzzle that we have been lacking. 

@duskopoppington (Dame Dash-IG)
@DashDamon (Dame Dash-Twitter)
@raquelmhorn (Raquel-IG)
@t2g_clothing (J Black/BluRoc-IG)
@iambigbootsie (Money Leaugue-IG)
@poppingtonart (Poppington Art Gallery-IG)
@damondashstudios (Movies-IG)
@groundbreakingent (Groundbreaking-IG)
@iamkingfame (King F.A.M.E.-IG)
@kaze4letters (Kaze-IG)
@taramarieentllc (TaraMarie Ent-IG)