Hopping On That Train Back to 1990s

Not too far in the distant past rested a decade where a lovely young writer was born. That young writer’s name was Taylor, know to many of you as Doc. The decade was the 1990s. Oh, how I miss my childhood years so much.

I may have literally been a baby growing up during this decade, but there are so many things I’ve experienced as a child growing alongside a mature family, I think I can luster up at least 3 things a lot of people my age and older may relate to that we all might miss. So here they are, the things I want to bring back from my years of retro.

My favorite things I’d bring from the 90s would be…


 

Music has always had my heart, man.

The Box

The best music channel in the world is of the past. Forget about MTV. The Box was the best because they played variety with little to no commercials and absolutely no teen pregnancy shows. MTV has always been a little picky with what they wanted on there channel, in regards to music, and always remained mainstream. When The Box was around music lovers could see their favorite underground artists if they wanted. Of course, the music industry was very different then. But what I loved the most about The Box was the option to see what music videos were coming on next during the music breaks. WHY DON’T THEY DO THIS ANYMORE?!

Equivalent to The Box today, we have MTV Jams and MTV University, which can be found if you have Verizon Fios or Comcast Xfinity. These channels are “okay.” But I prefer a more organic and original feel for music. Too much of the same thing turns me off, so you can imagine how much time I spend watching either channel. If MTV Jams and MTV University were combined, they’d probably scratch the surface, but only the surface. Can we please bring The Box back?


 

The Cassette

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I use to listen to the radio all day just to catch my favorite song to record on an audio cassette, and not just any audio cassette. When I didn’t have a blank tape available, I would rummage through my room to find an old “storybook” tape, which originally had Disney bedtime stories on it, and shoved some notebook paper in the top holes, close to where the tape could be found, so I could re-record over its boring stories. Talk about desperate to get a song! My only issue doing this was the radio dj talking through the tracks and the unwanted radio edits. If it wasn’t a Ludacris or DMX song, I’d hate to not hear what the artist was really saying. The struggles of downloading music was too real then. But it was worth it.

Now, life has made it easier to hear my favorites anytime I want. I can simply go to Soundcloud and YouTube with a swipe and click of a finger on my phone. Just type it into the search box and voilà, it’s there! But I do miss the struggles of getting my song from the radio. I knew every song that was played on air.


 

I’m a cartoon fanatic!

Saturday Morning Cartoons

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Remember waking up early on the weekends to watch cartoons like Johnny Quest, Goosebumps, Bobby’s World, or Digimon Digital Monsters? I use to dread getting up in the morning for school during the week. But when Saturday rolled around, I was up watching cartoons right on time while I ate breakfast. Cartoons from my past could be the reason I’m so animated today because I still watch them. I recently rewatched the entire first seasons of Jackie Chan Adventures and Digimon Digital Monsters on Netflix. All it did was make me upset that I had to get ready for work later that day.

I feel so bad for kids today. They don’t get to have that Saturday morning experience like I had. The moment the clock struck noon, I was already outside hanging with my friends afterwards. Of course, going outside is another thing kids don’t experience, but that’s another story. On top of not having the Saturday morning cartoons to wake up to, kids rarely have a good variety of cartoons to choose from. Broadcast networks like The CW, FOX, and CBS rarely show cartoons, unless it’s the holidays. Plus, Every time I’m channel surfing the tv guide, I find marathons of the same cartoons running for hours on cable networks. It was never like that while growing up on 90s cartoons. There were too many that needed to be aired.


 

There is so much more that I can talk about that I’d bring back from the 1990s. But this blog post would be entirely too lengthy. So I literally shared with you the first three things that came to mind. Haha! What do you think you’d bring back from the 90s? Let me know in the comments below.

ALSO, this post is part of a local blogger competition The Mobbies, sponsored by Baltimore Sun and Creative Alliance. I’ve been nominated for three categories: Best Music Blog, Best Personal Blog, and Best Label Defying Blog. Thanks, Guys!

Voting begins November 3rd! I’d like to ask all my loyal readers to please add this date to your calendars to participate in the voting process and visit this link when voting begins, Baltimore Mobbies.  Thanks for all for always reading! I have to do something special for y’all.

#NewBaltimore Or #OldBaltimore? We’re All Crabs!

It’s official. I’m convinced that the entire Baltimore hip-hop scene is confused about what creating a “New Baltimore” should be about.

This post was originally meant to be a recap of #NewBaltimore2, an artist showcase event that took place last Saturday in Baltimore. But that obviously changed as the event, itself, changed unexpectedly. The event was scheduled to be from 7:30 pm to 3:00 am, but ended up shutting down approximately around 12:15 am, leaving some music fans disappointed that they didn’t see who they were anticipating to watch perform that evening. BUT that’s not what I want to highlight in this blog. I want to talk about the event’s mission and if it was truly met this weekend.

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This was the second #NewBaltimore event. The first event was held around the same time last year and sponsored by the same people, DaCornerStore. I attended both events and have stated my opinion for both via social media. I will NOT be discussing how I’ve been scolded for my opinion on both events. I will say that people’s decision to attack me further pushes me to write why I believe we’re all still crabs looking for an exit from the rusted old barrel.

But as this topic of New Baltimore vs. Old Baltimore starts buzzing in the ears of people here, I want to emphasize my stance on the topic as a supporter of all art that comes from my fellow Baltimoreans. I attend all art events big or small; exclusive to the public or open to the public. I do not look to discriminate. I’m simply there to practice my art like many others who go to these artsy shows. I support everyone because I’m tired of this city’s talent being continuously overlooked. We deserve some recognition!

First, I want to say how proud I am of the turnout for #NewBaltimore2. There had to be around 200 people who showed up to support good music. I was even more proud to hear people in the crowd singing the lyrics to some of these artists music. It was all love and there was a lot of it. That’s something different from what I usually see while attending shows. I applaud the promoters for that.

So what’s circulating about this “New Baltimore,” (& I’m going off of what I’ve heard from talking to other artists on Twitter and Facebook) #NewBaltimore is here to provide a platform for the new, younger generation of artists, in Baltimore, as opposed to the older generations or vets in the city’s scene, who are said to have more chances and opportunities for their music be heard.

All of Sunday, I watched a few of the younger artists in Baltimore expressed their concerns, openly over Facebook, about how they’re not having the opportunity to “shine” alongside veteran artists due to a lack of support from those who throw, plan, and promote hip-hop events. Some say promoters are bias when choosing who to include in showcases and its unfair that they aren’t getting support similar to the veterans. But I say, this shouldn’t be a thought in anyone’s mind, at this point, because we all aren’t shit. (Excuse my French) But I believe it’s this state of thinking that’s causing a huge ruckus about what’s happening today. It’s when people dislike seeing other’s doing better than them that they make this artsy thing become a competition when in reality no one’s even signed to a major record label.

The controversy that comes with #NewBaltimore starts with its title as it points to the attention of something new happening within Baltimore. But what’s really new? I didn’t know that #NewBaltimore was meant to be a door for the newcomers to break into the hip-hop scene, rather than being about the attitude of people in this city, which is what we should be focusing on.

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Everyone’s attitude is the same. We’ve proven this Saturday that we’re crabs, still, because why is it that we show up to this showcase and not the other numerous showcases in Baltimore that has new talent each day. Did we really come to hear some good new music or was it the names on the flyer that drew us in? Were we, as artists, really there to check out the competition because these performers have reserved spots in a show while some of us in the audience aren’t? Some of us only get to perform one song at Love and Hip-hop Open Mic Night held at St. Mary’s Restaurant.

The attitude of local artists has to change if we’re seeking to be recognized. ALL artists need to reframe from placing themselves on pedestals and for once, in this hard knock city, and learn to truly support. Aren’t you tired of lagging behind other cities’ reputations as society portrays them to be places of progression when we have an abundance of fresh new sounds right in our backyard and the potential to be as great as the people who come out of Atlanta, LA and New York?

Come on, now. Majority of the people at #NewBaltimore have made some dent in the hip hop scene here. So I asked myself this question when I left. “Taylor, when’s the last time you’ve seen any of these people at an open mic? If they claim they love hip hop so much, why is it so hard to support someone else’s event? Why are they showing up because they know who’s throwing this event instead of celebrating the art?” I have not seen one person that I saw at #NewBaltimore at any other open mic in Baltimore. Eargasim, Monumental Mondays, Be Free Fridays, Love and Hip-Hop, the list goes on and these venues are ghost towns each week. Answer that! We’re not encouraging the artist at these events. We’re not pushing for something new.

I guess #NewBaltimore really opened my eyes to how many crabs we’re dealing with, even with the entire city knowing we’re stuck in a barrel. It’s not people who aren’t artist we should worry about getting to these show. First, we need to worry about living the lifestyles we glorify and speak of. We need to be changing our attitudes and supporting talented people regardless of their names. We need to come together, then encourage others to come out to support.

But I’m just a blogger and my words have no value because I’m not an artists myself. At least that’s what some of these new artist say. I’m just tired of writing about the same thing. Seven months later, I’m still saying Baltimore Is Too “Cliqued” Up to Have Supporters. I shouldn’t be scolded for what I’m observing. My observations aren’t far-fetched. There isn’t a new Baltimore, not yet. We still have time to create it.

But what do you think? Am I wasting my breath? Will we ever escape this barrel? Will the newcomers and the vets come together? Will artist support these other showcases around the city? Let me know in the comments below.

Have you read my last music highlight? Read Music Highlight: Quinn Shabaz’s Day One ft. Jimmy Apoet & Leon Dominick on Doc’s Castle Media.

Nominees for 2014 Maryland Music Awards Are In

So the nominees for Maryland Music Awards have been revealed!

Were you aware of the Maryland Music Awards? I know I wasn’t. There has to be a better way to be informed about such things. I found out about the awards through reading another blog. But I didn’t hear any more reports about this newly found music celebration until I started doing an extensive Google search. I wonder why they didn’t include the people who commonly write about independent Maryland artists for this selections process, or why they didn’t send word out about it to the local magazines and bloggers.

Nominations are already in! Here’s the video announcing this year’s nominees.

I don’t know any of these artists. Do you? Haha. I guess, the show will meet it’s purpose by promoting awareness of each of these artists. But come on, I know hip-hop artist in Baltimore with more buzz than any of those who were mentioned.

I look forward to more of these award shows. But for the next go round, lets add some more artists that I can actually vote for in the next show. I wish all the current nominees the best of luck in their journey to being the first to win a Maryland Music Award.

To read more about the Maryland Music Award, check out their site here.

How do you feel about the Maryland Music Awards? Will you be tuning in to watch it? Leave your comments below.

Did you see the last Music Highlight? Read Quinn Shabaz Day One ft. Jimmy Apoet and Leon Dominick on Doc’s Castle Media.

#SoIFlowLive Recap w/ Graffititech & Greenspan

So what did you miss last night? Well, if you didn’t notice me spamming your Instagram, I attended SoIFLowLive artist showcase held at the brand new Play Hookah Lounge.

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The event was hosted by the lovely JanaeTru, blogger for the notorious TruDat Blog. She did an awesome job hosting last night’s festivities by keeping the crowd laughing and ready for the evening’s honored guests.

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This Wednesday at SoIFlow, it was all about Baltimore’s own music producer Graffititech and Bmore hip-hop artist Greenspan. Each of them brought some oomph to the night.

The night began with Graffittech. Instead of having the event turn into a strictly a listening party for his set, he decided to be a little different, and brought an entourage of artists with him to perform over his beats.

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In honor of one of hip-hop culture’s legendary artist, Graffititech also allowed the audience to take a listen to his 13 year anniversary tribute to the beloved Aaliyah. We rocked out for a minute for his tribute had Bmore written all over it. He remixed Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?” by giving it a homey sound and we danced to a brand new “Baltimore Club” song in remembrance of her. (Take a listen to the track.)

Following Graffititech came DJ Blaqstarr. As one of the event sponsors, he blessed the stage with his musical graces. Years of his musical expertise showed him to be transparent because we could all tell this guy put in a lot of work to be where he is today. All we can do is respect this man for what he does.

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Greenspan wrapped up the night for us. Along with him came Al Great and Ashley Alexander. All three of these great talents actually whipped me back into shape after being blown away by the hookah I was sharing with Janae. Janae was a little blown away up there hosting, too, as she mentioned the hookah gets her a little dizzy. It’s all good tho. Ha-ha!

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There was also a buffet included with the ticket purchased for the event. It didn’t have much but after tweeting that I hadn’t eaten all day, that plate of chicken and salad saved my life. Then when I turned around and I saw some banging jewelry by New Vintage By Sam and wished I had some more money.

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I’m steady shaking my head at myself because I was literally a starving artist last night.

Though the night was amazing, I can’t help to fathom why there wasn’t more people there to savor the experience with me. Once again it was artists supporting other artists. The artist-to-fan ratio was whack.  I’m glad to see we got each others back out here in Baltimore. But we still need to bring out those crabs who only want to watch me post from my Instagram account. Haha! A change is coming Baltimore, indeed.

Never the less, I enjoyed my time at SoIFlowLive and I highly encourage others to support. SoIFlowLive is every Wednesday at the Play Hookah Lounge from 7-10 pm.

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Based off what you see, did I convince you to come out to more local hip-hop events? Leave your comments below.

Did you see the other Aaliyah Tribute via another Baltimore artist? See Maryland Rivers Tribute to R&B Legend Aaliyah on Doc’s Castle Media.

#TheMixx 2014 Recap… If You Missed It

What an electrifying Monday yesterday turned out to be as I attended The 2014 Mixx Music Festival hosted and sponsored by The Keenan System and Downtown Locker Room.

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Directly across the street from Morgan State University, artists from all over the DMV area came together in live performances to wake up MSU students from their summer slumbers in preparation for tackling another school year filled with all nighters, term papers, and dreaded finals. Who’s ever ready to leave their summer freedom for that?!

There were live performances from both familiar faces and some new. But I have to say the most sensational had to be from Malik Ferraud. The party began when he brought an entourage of other local artists with him onstage to put on the best performance of the night.

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Don Trunk stole the show for a little sec., too.

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Lor Scoota also put on an exceptional show performing his infamous hit “Bird Flu.”

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Other performers who rocked the stage last night were as follows…

Maya Milan
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Dee Dave
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Visto
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and Pop.
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For it the be the first day of school, it definitely didn’t feel like it. The energy of both the performers and the crowd was phenomenal, and at the same time quite peaceful. That’s why it’s no telling exactly why festivities were cut short by the police. This crowd, full of mature young adults, quietly and respectfully cleared the field at the request of the officials. I guess, it was too live for a Monday. But it’s looking up with great possibilities for next years Mixx Fest.

Baltimore is on the rise! People are opening up their support for local talent, don’t you think? Would you attend next years The Mixx Fest 2015? Leave your comments below.

Did you know that the Beat Auction is today? Get the details about the beat tour on Doc’s Castle Media.  

Lights, Camera, Fashion! Recap of the Boulevard of Chic’s Fashion Show

What a great feeling it is when I can say that I’ve completed another task from my Bucket List. Last weekend, I participated in my first fashion show. Boulevard of Chic asked me if I was interested in participating in their 2nd fashion truck rally, which took place on the Rash Field in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

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It was an honor to be apart of a fashion show that seemed better suited for the people and by the people. In a professional runway show, it’s apparent that the show isn’t for the people. The average person can’t be spotted at show like it. But at the Boulevard of Chic’s show, anyone can be seen there. The people spotted at last Saturday’s event most likely supported venues there by purchasing something from their tents. So to be wearing something that someone probably bought by the end of the day, I felt honored and pleased to know that the show was of good use to onlookers.

I worked my stuff in what I was provided. My make up for the fashion show was done by Candace Tingen of Metamorphose Industries LLC. She did a wonderful job. She also does professional makeup artistry for bridal, film, print, and any other special occasion a girl should look spazzy for. So if you’re seeking someone with professional work experience, check out Candace. The outfit I modeled, which is shown on the picture above, is from Hannah Mone’t, which is Maryland based fashion retailer that caters to women of all shapes and sizes, from small and petite to curvy and chic. So if you’re into that funky type of style, Hannah Mone’t is the place for you.

There were a lot of other nice clothing lines and small businesses that participated in Saturday’s show, check some of them out in the video below.

Do you like the song in this video? Make sure to download “Cruise Control” by Baltimore hip-hop artists Quinn Shabaz. Listen to Quinn Shabaz’s latest mixtape “Good Heart, Bad Habits” on Reverbnation.

Did you see all the goodies from the 1st Boulevard of Chic Fashion Truck Rally? Read Fun at Baltimore’s 1st Fashion Truck Rally on Doc’s Castle Media.

Doc Participates In The Boulevard of Chic’s 2nd Fashion Truck Rally

Today is a big day for me. I’ll be participating in a fashion show. Yay! This fashion show is in promotion of all the fashion trucks that’ll be at this weekend’s truck rally event for Boulevard of Chic.

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This is the second Boulevard of Chic event I’m attending. The first event was held earlier during the spring. This one is different because it’s adding a new addition to its truck rally that didn’t take place at its first in April: the Boulevard of Chic’s fashion show.

BOV is all about supporting local DMV small businesses so they’ve picked a few local lines and some local bloggers to help kick off a good show and catch the attention of some of Baltimore’s savvy shoppers while they shop at the Rash Field in the Baltimore Inner Harbor this Saturday afternoon. I’m so excited to participate in another one of their events.

If you’d like to see a great line up of bloggers model some of the DMV most popular fashion trucks attire, come through and support the Boulevard of Chic 2nd Fashion Truck Rally. I hope to see you there!

Visit:
Rash Field in Baltimore Inner Harbor
(Near Key Highway)
12 pm to 7 pm

Would you shop from a mobile fashion truck? Leave your comments below.

Did you read about the last Fashion Truck Rally by Boulevard of Chic? Read Fun at Baltimore’s 1st Annual Fashion Truck Rally on Doc’s Castle Media.