#GuestBlog: The Incredible Creations Art Meets The Runway (Recap) by Tony Bonez Sinatra

Last month, Saturday June 27, 2015 I attended one of Baltimore City’s small nit clothing line’s fashion shows as a stand in for Taylor “Doc” Walker, as she was unable to make an appearance as requested by the Incredible Creations.
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The rain poured in the city of Baltimore while I found myself soaked on the bus stop, waiting for M.T.A bus to take me across town for the show. I was making my way to Eastern Ave to The SkyLoft Gallery to attend The Incredible Creation’s, Art Meets The Runway Fashion Show, an event hosted by Jerrell Gibbs and Milly VanderWood of the brand best known as Incredible Creations.

To be honest, I’m not a fashion expert. But I was thoughtful and was filling in for a friend due to her having to attend a Family Reunion. I mean what’s more important than family time, right?

I arrived at the designated time the event was scheduled to start, which was 7 pm but the show hadn’t started yet. I entered the Sky Loft Gallery to see chairs assembled in an orderly fashion throughout the venue creating a runway in the middle of the room. Hand painted portraits covered the walls .The DJ was posted in the back by a bar that was serving free hors d’oeuvres and drinks; mostly snacks that looked like something that could be found on Pinterest and a tasty punch mixed with ginger ale. The fact that the venue looked good, and the food was free, I could tell that I was going to enjoy this a lot more than the average events I usually attend in Baltimore. I usually attend Hip Hop events such as open mics.
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I arrived to my seat, which had a free Incredible Creation sticker on it and a flier for the event. The DJ kept spinning a lot of current music, such as Future, Meek Mill, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. As I waited for the event to begin, more and more people started to show up. Everyone dressed so nicely, it almost made me feel out-of-place with my hoodie and varsity jacket on. But still, it didn’t matter to me because I was there for free. Haha.

Before the actual show was kicked off, we were blessed with a performance from a local Female MC from Baltimore named Jai. I had never heard of her before this night and she stuck out to me a lot more than the average female rapper. She told stories of her relationships in a way which was unfamiliar to me. I couldn’t tell if the song was about a guy or a girl and her vocabulary wasn’t too shabby. She kept it real without being the average Baltimore artist rapping about “life in the trap.” I absolutely hope to hear more from her in the future. Maybe at another Incredible Creation event?

The show had finally started with a collection of urban wear from The Incredible Creations and L.H.D.Y.

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The clothing that showed off on the runway were very good looks for the summertime wear. I’m not too big on clothes, but they had a lot of male items I took interest in. There was a Natty Bo long sleeve shirt fitted for women that I really wanted to get for someone I knew. I felt like she might have looked nice in it if I got it for her. I always liked to see women in sporty fashion, and a lot of the outfits they showed for women had that early 90’s, but still modern-day, type of feel to it.

 

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While in the male category, a stylish red polka dot tank top caught my eye. I wouldn’t mind sporting it myself this summer. It’s something about the design and the pocket on the top that made it stand out to me .

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They showed out at least 15 different designs.

The show took intermission and at that time I had already been there 3 hours, and it was getting late. The rain from earlier had caused me to become sick. So you could say that may have been my own inflicted downfall from enjoying such a well put together event. I mean, I seriously sat in the pouring rain waiting for 2 buses and the show I sat soaked in the AC. I regret leaving so early but the show made me want to attend the next event these guys’ll throw. The change of scenery definitely made me want to start attending more venues outside of rap. When the Incredible Creations throw an event, I suggest you take a time to attend because they’re adding a bit more for people; they’re offering culture to the local Baltimore scene.

I’d just like to say, “Round of Applause for The Incredible Creations.”

What do you think about The Incredible Creations Fashion Show? Did it look worth the wild? Leave your comments below.

Have you seen Doc’s natural hair style done by Shanae Thomas? Read Fashion Forward: Doc’s Spontaneous Vintage Hairdo on Doc’s Castle Media.

Life As A Black Baltimorean After The 2015 Baltimore Riots

Waking up on April 28, 2015 was the most surreal feeling I’ve experienced in my 23 years of living. To open up my eyes at the crack of dawn after tossing and turning caused by the Baltimore riots happening blocks away from where I laid my head that night, how could anyone feel any other way?

Two days prior to probably one of the most shocking riots to ever happen in history, I spent 7 hours writing about my frustrations towards the riots in Downtown Baltimore. In opinion essay on Doc’s Castle Media, “The ‘Real’ Revolution Will Not Be Televised. #ILoveBaltimore,” I speak from an emotional standpoint on the ways I believe Blacks should move forward after the major breakthrough of riots on Saturday, April 25th. I’d hope it’d be a message to calm people down from seeking to destroy more of our city as my blog reached over its average viewership.

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My words may have reach quite a bit of individuals but as this week started, I see that my efforts may have not made much of an impact. Monday morning at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, only 5 minutes away from my job, was rioted by a huge group of young people immediately when dismissed from school and lasted for hours that day.

Rioting eventually turned into looting and destroying of historical neighborhoods. People who once had jobs along North Avenue and Mondawmin Mall are now without employment, and as riots made it across East Baltimore later that night, near Monument Street, again around the corner from where I stayed that evening, a senior center was burned down, leaving older people who were anticipating to move into a new home suddenly without one. To top it off, our mayor grounded the entire city. So we have to be in our homes by our 10 o’clock curfew.

Baltimore is a mess. The city I’ve known all my life is scorned from which the world believes is because of police brutality against 25 year old African American man Freddie Gray. But our story is deeper than the surface. It is now that we use everyone’s cameras as a tool to let you in on the scoop.

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Words cannot express how I feel about what happened in my city. I’m not a fan of the media like I once was before, especially as I’ve watched events that day come to pass. There’s a media circus in my backyard reporting from Penn-North subway station, now internationally famous for our CVS that burned down on its corner.

Come on, now! Just the other day I bought a chocolate Snickers bar out of there. I’ll never be able to do that again.

We’re never getting some of those shops back. It’s hard to have hope for the restoration of CVS or any of those other buildings due to the the reputation of reconstruction in Baltimore. We’ve waited YEARS for our government to rebuild the hundreds of vacant buildings and shops damaged from the Martin Luther King Jr. riots in 1968. The only reconstruction we’ve ever seen has been to our pothole infested streets, and I swear, we can’t improve the pavement on Charles Street anymore than it is.

Geeze! Does all our tax money go to that street?!

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In the minds and hearts of many people here, it’s second nature for citizens to want to walk outside to see what’s happening for themselves, rather than to watch the news nowadays. The world’s painted picture on television is far from what we’re experiencing. A trust barrier is broken for many who relied on national news stations to give us the 4-1-1 on events occurring during the week. So the local news and social media is our only best friend during this time.

The media from outside of Baltimore lacks an understand of the type of people who live in Baltimore and the lifestyle that we see on a day to day basis. It’s like the media’s way of looking at us is similar to viewing through a microscope. They’re looking to find where all these horrid problems and rioting behavior could be stimming from. But the people who experience the lifestyle of living in here will always have a better understanding and a better way of explaining what’s going on.

Poverty is one of the hardest struggles a person can try to shake in Baltimore City. With a phrase like “The struggle is real,” which is often recited in Baltimore’s Black communities, it models the hard knock situations we see as being seriously rough to live through. When we say this phrase, almost everyday nonchalantly, we as black Baltimoreans adopt an “It is what it is” attitude, learning to also desensitize and quiet ourselves from what’s really happening. Well, Baltimore’s tired of being quiet now.

People who are publicly judging my city worldwide are failing to understand. Even I feel uneasy each time I come into the realization of what’s happening to us sometimes. Tuesday evening, I walked passed a reporter from Russia and another from London. Like whaaa?! These people don’t even know that just 2 weeks ago I was frustrated from fighting to be heard because of Baltimore’s crab in a barrel reputation.

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Our youth isn’t afraid to make a change. I think of how some of those kids who were rioting were doing so to scream out they were fed up. Some of those kids had no home before they rioted. Some of them go to school everyday to get away from their daily worries of not having something to eat once they leave school. Some of them were angered because they were stranded without transportation to get home due to the police shutting down the bus lines and subways before school let out. (But that’s another mystery in itself I won’t get into.) And I admit, some of them were just following the crowd. But to see our kids act this way, hurts the most because they are innocent. They’re the one’s we’re trying to protect from “the struggle.” But we can’t.

Baltimore needs change and everyone knows now. I’m so proud of us. We made a stand for so many things this week. We’re fighting police brutality, racial profiling & systematic racism, bad publicity and corrupted governmental policies not only for us, but for our entire country, we’re making a statement. My feet are suffering from it and I don’t mind it all. I have a bigger hope for my city, though I may doubt our government’s follow-up as an African American woman who’s part of the working force striving for success and a better Baltimore. But I’m glad to have seen a better side, finally! I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Rest In Peace, Freddie Gray. You’re gone, but you are not forgotten. Your name will be in history books along with our city. Change will surely come for us and our country.

Kat Dahlia Shows Baltimore Lots of Love at Baltimore Soundstage For My Garden Tour

On Sunday, November 16, 2014, hip-hop artist Kat Dahlia stopped through Baltimore for her My Garden Tour to give us a little preview of her debut album My Garden.

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It was my first time seeing Kat Dahlia perform and she definitely came through and showed us the best of what she had while on stage that night.

Kat Dahlia’s line up during her set consisted of a few familiar songs, which any Kat Dahlia fan would easily know and sing the words to. The energy of the crowd that night was awesome, though the audience was a little tight nit. It was what Kat described to be “small and intimate.”

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The performance set included a playlist of her songs Crazy, The High, and more of her classics. As she performed, she painted a picture for her listeners, giving everyone the back story to her love life, and ultimately explained to everyone what each song to her album stemmed from. It was very interactive as she asked people if they’ve ever been through what she’s gone through and if they understand heartbreak how she has. She also performed covers to Lauryn Hill’s “Zion” and A Great Big World’s “Say Something.” But the crowd absolutely turned up for her popular debut single, “Gangsta,” dancing and singing every word of the lyrics.

Kat Dahlia brought with her a band of men from different cultures. She stated with a settle giggle, “My men come from all over.”

A bass player from cuba…

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A white man who showed us his smooth skills on the piano and guitar…

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And a black man who let us bump while banging on the drums…

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The night was at its best.

While I spoke to a few people at the concert before Kat blessed the stage, I asked them how they’ve got familiar with this musical goddess. Lots of people said they researched who she was using Google and found some of her videos posted on YouTube. Since then, they’ve kept up with what she’s been releasing. Cool!

Doc’s Castle Media ran a contest for dedicated readers and fans of Kat Dahlia a few days before the concert. Two lucky winners got the chance to see Kat Dahlia free with a special guest.

Ms. Brittany

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Mr. Anthony

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I hope both contestants enjoyed themselves at the show. I was secretly spying on them while I was there to see if they enjoyed. I would hate it they’d went and they didn’t have fun. Haha. I think the mission was accomplished.

Baltimore showed Kat Dahlia so much love that evening. I hope she comes back to our charmed city once the album drops to give us sort of delayed encore so more people can get in tune with this refreshingly new style of hip-hop, which she refers to as ….

What’s your favorite Kat Dahlia song? Let us know in the comments below.

Have you read about the last concert Doc attended at Baltimore Soundstage?  Read Shoutout to Baltimore Punk Rock Band Ballyhoo For Setting off Halloween The Right Way on Doc’s Castle Media.

Win Tickets to See Kat Dahlia This Sunday Nov. 16

This Sunday, November 16th, Kat Dahlia’s coming to Baltimore Soundstage and Doc’s Castle Media is running a contest to get you some free tickets to come see her perform!

Do you know Kat Dahlia?

She’s coming to show Baltimore what she’s all about, and hopefully, what she’s has in store for her debut album “Garden,” set to release January of 2015. I can’t wait! Can you? As a celebration for her new release, Doc’s Castle Media giving our most dedicated readers who are Kat Dahlia fans two reserved tickets to this Sunday’s show!

Do you know Kat Dahlia? If you’re able to answer all four questions correctly, you’ll qualify for two free tickets to see the beautiful and very talented Kat Dahlia. So here’s how it works…

If you answer all four questions below correctly, you’ll receive an email from Doc’s Castle Media congratulating you, along with more information for how to obtain your free tickets. So are you ready?

Who is Kat Dahlia?

Also, this Sunday, see Baltimore recording artist 4thQu perform for the first time in front of a live audience.

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4thQu has a reputation of choosing the anonymous path of exposure as he pursues his musical career, which means there isn’t many chances we get to see the kid perform. Talk about building up suspense. 4thQu has done just that for quite some time. So it’s a must see to watch him perform ahead of Kat Dahlia.

Check out one of my favorites from 4thQu! Listen to Nostalgia by 4thQu, below.

Would you like more contest like this under Doc’s Castle Media? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

*THIS CONTEST ENDS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2014 AT 7:30 PM.

Read about the last time I visited Baltimore Soundstage: Shoutout to Baltimore Punk Rock Band Ballyhoo for Setting Off Halloween The Right Way on Doc’s Castle Media.

Shoutout to Baltimore Punk Rock Band Ballyhoo for Setting Off Halloween The Right Way

This Halloween, I did something I’ve never done before.  I attended an 80s/Halloween Dance Party, also reggae/rock concert, at Baltimore Soundstage hosted by Baltimore’s own punk rock group Ballyhoo.

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Courtesy of HFS 104.9 Alternative Rock and CBS Radio, I experienced my first rock concert and 80s Dance Party, all in one night. How great was it that the stars of the evening are from Harford County, Maryland, just a jump, hop, and a skip from Baltimore city.

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My natural high from the evening’s festivities started when I heard about Chipotle Mexican Grill’s yearly Halloween special, three dollar meals for anyone dressed in costume. Of course, since I was working for HFS 104.9, I wasn’t dressed to walk in Chipotle to get some grub. But please believe, I worked out some magic and found an Annabelle (view preview for film) mask in the CBS company vehicle to take up on the offer. I was hungry and determined. I was not going to wait until next year to get some $3 Chipotle.

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I knew I was going to have a good night. Halloween’s so weird. People are so happy to impersonate others. They find anything to dress up as. At the party I’ve seen all types of costumes. From 80s hipsters to zombie princesses, people were creative in creating their costume for this annual bash. It was HFS 104.9’s duty to grant prizes to those party goers who were best dressed while they signed up to win tickets in our station’s contest for a future concert.

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See more pictures of people’s Halloween costumes on HFS 104.9 Website

It definitely was different from what I’m use to. I’m always attending hip-hop showcases and shows. It was like breath of fresh air to be taken out of what I’m use to and see how another audience, or group of music lovers, listen to what they enjoy.

I haven’t listened to punk rock, or basically any music genre other that hip-hop, pop & R&B, in a while. When growing up, I had a rock music phase in the 10th grade, simply jamming to a range of rock music from indie rock, alternative, and heavy metal. It was a period when Sony MP3 players were popular, and I had the classics from Fallout Boy, Bullet From My Valentine, Paramore, and Killswitch Engage on a playlist. I don’t know whatever happened to me keeping up with my collection of music. But that breath of fresh air was amazing.

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Tribal Seeds was the opening act for Ballyhoo. They’re a reggae band from San Diego, California. The lead singer of the group sounds similar to the Marleys. So it was cool to hear the sounds he contributed for my ears that night. I’m not use to listening to too much reggae. But it was enough for everyone to get their hips swaying and head bobbing for the night. All I needed was some rum punch to set it off. Too bad I was working.

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Ballyhoo rocked out something simply awesome. They played out the rest of the night quite well. The crowd suddenly gotten fuller and became ALIVE. I’m sure by this point, majority of the audience might have been drunk after going to Baltimore Soundstage’s bar multiple times.There were 2 extra bars created to serve the growing crowd. So it was “TURNT,” for real!

See more pictures from the event at HFS 104.9 Website

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Ballyhoo turned up during mid-party as a reminder that Halloween night was just beginning. There will be plenty of time to spare once the concert was over for many people who’d participate in the Fells Point and Federal Hill Halloween tradition. But for that moment, Ballyhoo had everyone’s attention. The venue’s ora completely changed, and I was enjoying feeling like I was partying during the wee hours of the morning when in actuality, they hopped on stage at 10:30 pm. My favorite memory of the night was when the bass player started playing the bass and my butt was jiggling on my seat. It was so loud and funny. My coworker and I were laughing so hysterically about that. Of course, I’m simple for getting enjoyment from that. Haha.

The crowd was really into their performance; waving lighters, singing along to the music, and dancing. I could tell people really were enjoying themselves. For Ballyhoo, this was another successful Halloween showdown and a night well spent in their hometown.

I’d love to have the chance to work at another rock concert. Better yet, I would love to be invited to an indie rock concert outside of CBS. I’m very active in the hip-hop scene but I wouldn’t mind dabbling in the festivities of other genres of music. I’m not aware of many venues that host these concerts or many of the Baltimore indie bands. (If you know of any, please be sure to list them in the comments below so I may invest some of my time getting to know some of the Baltimore indie bands.)

I also met a friendly hip-hop artist while working at Ballyhoo’s concert. We talked for 15 minutes exchanging music and I made sure to get his contact information because the songs he let me hear were awesome! Anything that sounds better than a rapper on a trap beat is going to catch my attention and his sound is far from trap music, maybe a little dubstep is what I’ll call it. Below, is a song from Duck Meyer’s Soundcloud. Please take the moment to listen to his track and leave some feedback in the comments below.

Would you like to see more indie bands on Doc’s Castle Media? Send me links, submit some of indie bands from the DMV that you like. Doc’s Castle Media welcomes all!

Are you a frequent visitor of local clubs and restaurants in Baltimore? Make sure to read Doc’s Venue Review for Club 347 on Doc’s Castle Media.

Does Club 347 Even Have A $10 Spending Minimum? (Venue Review)

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Last night, I attended the 2nd Recrd Breakrs event hosted at jazz club, restaurant and bar Club 347 for a networking event created specifically for local artists to meet with Baltimore bloggers and other media. I attended with my artist and we mingled with people at this event for a total of 25 minutes.

The night started off smooth with nice soothing jazz music. I jammed to lovely rhythms and live music from Lia Songbird & Fmajor and DJ Trelly Trell. The networking event was beautiful itself. But I wasn’t too pleased with the service from the waitresses or owner of the venue, that’s if he can be labeled as the owner because I’m not sure.

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I sat down and started speaking with my artist about a possibility of using Club 347 as a spot for future performances, when it wasn’t even 2 minutes later that one of the waitresses walks up to our table and asks us, “Could she get us something?” We told her “no, thank you,” and that’s when the commotion began.

“There’s a $10 minimum because tonight the club is open for free,” said the waitress who looked to be only 5 feet tall, a little on the thick side, and had long blonde tracks of weave.

We replied saying that we weren’t told about the minimum and the flyer didn’t specify it. We knew that the event was meant for networking, and that’s what we were there for. We were there to participate in the cause of supporting local talent.

The waitress walked away from our table on a mission. A mission that would start a chain of events that was completely unnecessary and could have been avoided if things were communicated slightly different. Little did we know the waitress after leaving our table went to her supervisor on a snitching spree.

Five minutes later, a guy who looked as if he’s of another nationality,  probably of somewhere of Eastern culture, like Middle East or Asia, walks up to my artist and signals with his fingers to follow him out the door. My artist follows him out of the club, where he is told there is $10 minimum and if he doesn’t have it, he’ll have to leave. Now heated, my artist walks back into the club to tell me we have to leave. I refused to budge because that night was not about the negativity. There was something positive happening around me, and I wasn’t for letting that guy ruining my night if the event was advertised as free. I wanted to be apart of the positive things happening. So we stayed inside.

We continued to mingle with a few folks. I met other artists who shared flyers for their event, which is below…

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…and the same waitress approaches us, a second time, reminding us of the club’s $10 minimum charge. My artists look to me with an expression on his face that told it all. He was too through, ready to turn on his “niggerdom” trait, a characteristic I refer to as pure ignorance and disregard when someone feels they’ve been disrespected. So I told him we weren’t staying there long. Then I proceeded to continue enjoying the music of the band.

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I moved around the club and started talking to some people, who I’ve spent time speaking to online but never officially met in person, as my artist mingled with the group of artists who were sharing their flyers with others. While I’m on the opposite side of the club, my artist witnesses those who were passing out flyers be told they couldn’t give them out at the event by the same Asian looking guy.

What?! This is a networking event, sir! This is how these artist are choosing to share what they do. How could they be forbidden of this right if the event was specifically for that?! Did this guy not know what was going on? Did he not get the memo that there was a live meet and greet event happening in front of him?

As the night continues, I sit back down at my original table. The waitress comes to me again to tell me, “My boss wants me to remind you of the $10 spending minimum.”

WTH! Am I the only one not buying anything?! This minimum wasn’t specified. How many times is this going to happen? To my surprise, this happened 4 times throughout the night. Look, I may be free loading from the experience happening in your club, sir and ma’am. But isn’t that what I’m there for, to experience a night of great music and meet some awesome people within the Baltimore hip-hop scene,  (cough, cough) and for no charge?

The fourth time was our last time. My artist stormed out and went to the car before I caught on to his whereabouts. I had to call his cell to get the idea that we just weren’t welcomed by the owner. We had no money. We couldn’t be there. So I met up with him at the car 3 minutes behind him.

Even as I get home to share my experience on Facebook with my friends because some of them were still enjoying the atmosphere, they tell me that the event was absolutely free. They were lost, also, at the reason for why I was treated like that. It was twenty-five minutes; 25 minutes of a man showing me his pure greed.

Why were we singled out? Why were we followed around the bar continuously reminded about a nonexistent mandatory fee? Were we truly the only two who didn’t buy a drink? If so, well damn!

I’m upset because I felt like I was singled out for not having money. It was embarrassing. It made me more mad as I thought about why I couldn’t pay $10, even coming to the event straight from work. I guess, that damn 9-5 of mine can’t support me attending even the FREE events and that’s truly some genuine bs!

I’m on a come up, seriously. I budget the events I attend under Doc’s Castle Media often. The ten dollars in my pocket that night was actually to go towards my attendance to Baltimore Crown Awards this Saturday. I’ll still be in attendance since I didn’t break down to give into a greedy old man.

Instead of creating a scene, which I absolutely felt like doing after being treated that way, I chose to avoid any further embarrassment to myself and my artist by writing why I’m not going there again. I don’t want to be that one customer who the owner feels is okay to single out. I don’t want to feel ostracized. I damn sure don’t want to spend the same amount of time spent driving there inside of the club, again. So there you have it. My artist won’t have the venue for future shows, and I won’t be writing about this club in future post for other artists, either. So greedy guy, thanks for my first experience in Club 347 and bringing me out of my writer’s block.

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VOTE NOW for the Baltimore Music Awards Nominees

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The polls are now OPEN.

I want you guys to know that your participation in this voting process truly matters!

There are many folks like me who want to reward talented people who strive to get recognition for their artwork. Diamond K has put a lot of effort in creating an annual celebration in the Baltimore hip-hop scene. This year is the 4th Annual Baltimore Music Awards, here to honor all those hardworking and very talented artists and entrepreneurs for their great contributions to hip-hop culture.

If you take the time to cast your ballot and spread the word about any of the music awards ceremonies I’ve shared to Doc’s Castle Media, you are making the conscious decision to improve the way people view the DMV. We can make a difference with the attention and participation of the masses. So take your time voting for who you believe deserves each award. Research who you see. Listen to some of their work. Be active, not idle, in the decision to put this region on the map.

Vote NOW!

VOTE NOW!

VOTE now!

VOTE vote VOTE!