As I re-listen to this AZ "Doe or Die" album awaiting the concert this Friday, I really had to take a step back and be proud of my homies. In a few short weeks, with a few timely conversations and events, they're showing the general public what we've known all along. They recently welcomed Oddisee to Richmond to a sold out crowd, interviewed him and the legend Bobbito Garcia. Now they are about to welcome AZ into town. This isn't some fluke though, that guy Mr. Cheats, he knows what he's doing. If you want to know what's going on in Richmond, politically, socially or musically he's the man to talk to. So it comes as no surprise that he's assembled a collection of his friends, musicians and passionate fans alike that dictate what goes on in the RVA hip hop scene. Anyways, I could ramble on, but it's only appropriate a crew like that welcomes an artist like AZ to town. A casual hip hop fan would say he just accompanied Nas on a few tracks but he's actually a legend in his own right, who had an uncompromising style that never pandered to the mainstream crowd. If you don't believe my words, watch the recent documentary on BET, in which his album is analyzed and praised by his own peers. If Raekwon, Nas and Foxy Brown shouting you out isn't enough, Rakim is the one narrating his story and that speaks volumes. This Friday, Karmalifee has the privilege of covering the Richmond leg of AZ's Doe or Die 20th Anniversary Tour with DJ Doo Wop. Make sure you're in the building, supporting the right people building up the community, get your tickets here.
Today, a few of Richmond's favorites will converge on East Main Street for the Season 1 Premiere of "The Evolution of Noah O". Sponsored by RVAMag and shot through the lens of Shirod G and MorePastries, the upcoming webseries is a journey into the world of one of Richmond's premier rappers. Rather than make the story solely about him, he actually uses this new platform and established personality as an opportunity to engage and explore Virginia's rich creative culture. In this episode, Noah and company take field trips to Williamsburg and get lost in the Slave Pit, home to one of Virginia's most famous rock bands, GWAR. The festivities this evening will be free and family-friendly, with all ages welcomed. It will be DJed by OkayDave, hosted by none other than The Cheats Movement. To complete the experience, you can obtain a collaborative tee by Dream For Purpose and Noah's label, Charged Up Entertainment which will also be released to the general public at the event. Make sure to attend and tell em TomTom sent ya.
Behold! The Midnite BBQ returns, the wildly popular event concept has resurfaced just in-time for the summer. This Friday, May 27th marks the second edition and I have to be completely honest with you, I been kickin' myself for not attending the last one. Starting off with the basic premise of "no burgers, no hotdogs", they make sure to cater to the food lover in you and at the same time give new meaning to the word cookout. I mean, how can you go wrong with food trucks and good music at night? Sponsored by Budweiser and supported by folks like MLK2Madison, CupsetDC and Every Blue Moon, this event is a guaranteed good time! If you don't believe me, watch the accompanying recap video. You can find info and buy tickets for the upcoming event via the MidniteBBQ website.
Today on #MusicMonday, I actually have no music but an event for you. First of all, I'd like to take some time out to thank the folks at The Cheats Movement for bringing Oddisee, one of my FAVORITE acts into town. Second, they were able to bring Radioblitz on board. If you frequent this blog, you know Radio is no stranger, so that's why this week as part of the buildup to the show, we have started the #WeekOfTheBlitz! Over the course of the week, we will be posting on our social media and the site our favorite Blitz tracks and moments. Stay Tuned! Oh, and get your tickets to the show!
Stop The Violence Movement was created in response to the increase in youth violence in Caroline County. With an impressive turnout from last year's introductory event, this year is about expanding the concept, initiating and engaging a conversation between the community, its leaders and lawmakers along with providing outlets to youth so that they will not just turn to violence, drugs or other negative choices.
There are two major compenents to this event. The first portion is called "A Conversation with Community Leaders." The goal is to provide an open dialogue with parents, youth, and community leaders. The community leaders include local elected officials, sheriff, pastors and other influential leaders. The idea is to create an intimate conversation with one another, to tackle multiple issues the county is facing. Those involved will work in a small group setting and answer questions related to the community. When complete, hopefully everyone will leave with a better understanding of one another, and also ways to help enhance the community. It starts at 10am and ends around 12pm, located in the EOC room.
The second part of the event, is the Creatives Career Fair. This part of the event is dedicated especially to the youth!! Individuals whom graduated from Caroline and other professionals with unique career fields, will be creatng poster boards highlighting the year they graduated from high school, university attended, and career/profession that are currently in. It is intended to be a fun and interactive event to show the youth of Caroline how successful they can be if they stay focused. It is also created to show the the different professions that are not usually highlighted in career fairs. Ages from (12-18) are encouraged to attend, along with young adults (19-21). This event starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm, located in the auditorium.
In addition, music will be played and we will also have a voter registration booth setup to help people register to vote this election year.
If you haven't yet, I'm slowly losing respect for you. I'm not normally a brunch and day-party type of guy but I might have to forego that for this upcoming event. Master Playlist Curator Michell Clark and Social Connoisseur Britt Wright have joined forces to create "Views From the Grits". Obviously a play on words, I assure you this party is one you don't want to miss. If you've ever been to any of Michell's events, his ability to navigate the music landscape may only be rivaled by actual DJs and vinyl collectors. Britt on the other hand, has created a name for himself through his "Curation" event series that has become in the DC/Baltimore area is set to tour the east coast later this year. Their upcoming event is set to take place at The Manor in DC the weekend of Broccoli City Festival. I have recently learned that tickets to the brunch are sold out but make sure you don't miss out completely and at the very least attend the day party. Oh yeah, don't forget to tell them TomTom sent you.
On April 30th, the Broccoli City Festival returns to town and our good friends at One Love Massive have sponsored a stage with some of our favorite local acts on display. STEFisDOPE who we also know very well here at Karmalifee, has been blessed with the opportunity to host this stage after a successful run with Ayescold at last year's Trillectro. Along with these acts, local legends like Rare Essence and upcoming impressive talents like Pinky Killacorn, Reesa Renee, Nag Champa, Brain Rapp & Nature Boi will grace the stage and there will even be a portion of Trap Karoake. The lineup on the main stage features features Future, Jhene Aiko, The Internet, Anderson .Paak, BJ The Chicago Kid, & Sango. The main goal of the wildly popular festival is actually not the music but moreso creatively engaging the community engagement with their blend of healthy living and environmental sustainability. As it currently stands, they recently sold out of purchased tickets but you can find out how to "earn" your tickets on their website.
Washington, D.C. – Michelle Izquierdo, Indigo Wakatama, Will Watson, Vanessa Smith and Shawn Lindsay are pleased to announce their collaborative curated art exhibition Color Theory. The event will be held at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring on March 26 from 5-11 p.m.
Color Theory represents a collection of work connected by color harmony. From Izquierdo’s fascination with patterns and different textures to Lindsay’s focus on the female body, each artist will rise to the challenge of giving broader context to how colors are used. You can buy your tickets for this event here.
WASHINGTON, DC: Soul & Ink, the premiere live screen printing business in the DC area, will be hosting a launch party to celebrate their first streetwear collection on Saturday April 2, from 7-11 pm at Nomad Yard Collectiv. Soul & Ink co-founders Frankie and Sherry Meneses are honored to partner with selected artists from the DMV and beyond on the curation of “KRU 2016: The Artist Collection.”
Soul & Ink has collaborated specifically with artists known for their strong, clean signature styles that they admire and respect for their art and the messages consistently expressed through it. For now they are focusing on limited edition shirts that will debut online starting April 1st. They hope to later expand their e-commerce shop to feature apparel, prints, accessories, and more.
The designs will be featured online, as well as at select events that Soul & Ink will participate in throughout the year. This collection is an effort to uplift, spotlight and support artists in the DC area. In effect, it is only apropos that they chose to partner with Nomad Yard for the launch party, whose mission involves providing access to quality vintage, a space for ongoing dialogue designed to strengthen the community, innovative exhibitions, stylized pop-ups and a new generation of retail – all centered around community.
The moniker KRU is an alternative to the English word CREW, but beyond that and more importantly it is meant to pay homage to the spirit of the Liberian Kru people who vigilantly refused to be captured into slavery and have history in the DMV area - resisting settler's efforts to control their trade in Maryland. The Kru were known for their skills in navigating and sailing the Atlantic. Their history is one marked by a strong sense of ethnicity and resistance to occupation.
In the same vein, Soul & Ink considers all artists participating in this collection to be modern day rebels, renegades, and freedom fighters in their own right - adamantly dedicated to manifesting their own destiny, representing culture and freedom, while blazing trails along the way. Together through this collaboration, they are able to represent and celebrate the myriad of subcultures and history of DC that makes it such a vibrant community today.
KRU 2016: The Artist Collection
April 1st at www.soulandinkcrew.com
Cita Sadeli CHELOVE
Saturday, April 2, 7-11pm | All Ages Welcome
411 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Suggested donation of $5* | Pay what you can | Tickets required upon entrance
No cash exchange at the door | Credit card donations accepted
*A portion of the proceeds will go to Nomad Yard | #saveunionarts #saveDCarts
Live Screen Printing
Soul & Ink will be printing a rotating set list of select pieces
from the KRU Collection throughout the evening.
Select Participating Artists
Audio & Visual Performances
#KRU2016 | #soulandinkcrew
In a few days, I will be volunteering for something special. A good friend of mine, Ari Squires, is conducting her very own women's empowerment conference. This creation of hers, Release the Chains, has been exponentially growing for some years now. In a short time, it has evolved from its humble beginnings in our hometown to an in-demand event with nationally and internationally recognized speakers speaking on subjects such as finance, relationships, business and personal development. Her two-day event will take place in Springfield, VA just minutes away from DC. The mission is simple, the purpose of Release The Chains is to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and couples to collectively explore and discover their unique passion, purpose, position and power. The conference provides a dynamic environment for participants to engage in a variety of training, empowerment and networking opportunities. Her influence and character though cannot be explained in the confines of this blog post. I'm sure she knows by now, that I love volunteering her events because it truly is a privilege to work with her. She's been more patient with me on my own personal growth and never fails to pass her wisdom and strength onto me. It's been nothing short of amazing seeing someone you know transform from owning a local dance school and doing community work with the kids to turning herself and her brand into a household name. If you don't already have plans for the weekend, make some with me. I promise it will be a rewarding experience.