Doc’s Thumbs Up: Boutzie “Intoxico” ft. Jimmy Apoet & FLuX

Baltimore artist Boutzie arrives on the indie music scene with her new single “Intoxico,” a track meant to show the woes of partaking in the various choices of recreational activity.

Indeed, this isn’t your ordinary turn up “let’s pop a molly” type of hip-hop song. Many tracks I come across usually praises the “glorious” life of drugs and living in the fast lane. But this submission doesn’t quite get you hopping out your seat ready to twerk or even imagine yourself in a room full of “Thots” ready to “pop-off,” like an average 2 Chainz song. Instead, it inflicts a self-conscious feeling. Thoughts like ‘why do I even do this drug or condone this behavior’ pops in your head while listening to it.

With lines like ‘Oh it’s murder, the conceivable thoughts that’s unheard of…,’ I’m unsure if I’m suppose to feel a little dark inside for wanting to take that shot of Jose I commonly do.

Sheeeeeesh. Should I chill or what? *Pours shot down kitchen sink drain*

Intoxico features Baltimore artist Jimmy Apoet and Baltimore artist and producer FLuX, both very talented emcees and previously highlighted on Doc’s Castle Media. With a talented group like this coming together to spread common awareness in this very unique way, a person could already tell this may even spark a movement.

So…Where does Boutzie come from?

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This isn’t the first time Miss Boutzie has graced Doc’s Castle Media presence. Last February, she was featured as a Baltimore Blogger in my 2014 Blogger’s Rundown Series as the inspiring Briana Ragler, and what a surprise to see she has another hidden talent. Girl can sing?!?! Who knew?

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Thumbs Up:

I love the eery feeling that comes from hearing “Intoxico.” Though it makes me question my lifestyle, its “read between the lines” call to action is rewarding not only to me, but also in generation that prides itself in doing illegal and very questionable recreational activities. With depicting the dark truths of how being intoxicated can overtake your body in mesmerizing, without a care, sense, maybe there is a chance to push these unconscious motives that I have for the song in others; subconsciously just suck the “turn up” out of their little unruly bodies.

I sound like I’m 75 years old. Believe, I do turn up. *cough cough*

Let’s be for real here. If more artists can take part in pushing songs like this, people would walk around second guessing what they do for fun. It might not be a guarantee to resist but it leave space to ponder. I like when people are made to think.

This new sound from Boutzie makes me anticipate what the visuals, if there should be any, may look like for this eerie track. I see darkness, lots of slow motion shots, and maybe a creepy church bell? I guess, we’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think about this song? Leave your comments below.

Have you seen the last Doc’s Thumbs Up post? Watch Hazmat Remi’s “Evolve” Official Music Video on Doc’s Castle Media.

Q & A with Alumni Marketing Group

The Blogger’s Rundown has yet to come to a halt. I had the chance to interview one of Baltimore’s inspiring promoters as an addition about his event promo blog Alumni Marketing Group, which is stated on the AMG Facebook page as “an entertainment marketing guide connecting young professionals and artists globally through Social Media.”  While interviewing founder Cortez of Alumni Marketing Group, I learned he’s someone that has a passion to help those who might not have an opportunity, like many of Baltimore’s “A-list” artist, at exposure to an audience. Alumni Marketing Group is different from previous blogs I’ve featured on Doc’s Castle Media because Cortez provides a service unlike the others. He’s work is more active in event management while his sites showcase what is expected at his events if someone should attend.

As I’ve talked with Cortez, we discussed how Alumni Marketing Group began, what his initial goal for his AMG blogs is, what the two most popular events hosted under Alumni Marketing Group are, and what to look forward to from his company. His company, along with his blogs will amount to change tremendously in the art scene. I can’t wait to see what new things will come out of what he’s doing for this city.

 

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Doc: Where did the idea to create a blog for the Alumni Marketing Group start?

Cortez: The idea involved just being on social media and being able to utilize social media applications so it could help me put my brand out to an audience that I’m targeting. So essentially, what I did was brand myself using the Alumni Marketing Group’s network, and I was able to use different search engines so I can be able to publish the content that I distribute to my readers and audience.

Doc: Are you the only one involved with the updating of your site?

Cortez: Yes, I’m the sole proprietor of everything.

Doc: Oh, alright. Do you plan on bringing anymore people on?

Cortez: Certainly. That’s what a brand is. It’s Alumni Marketing Network. I’m always looking to bring on new people to the team.

Doc: Okay, so I’m aware that you have two blogs. You have a Blogspot and a Tumblr. Is there a specific reason for why you have two?

Cortez: I’m using two to capture different audiences. Social media is one of the trends now. I think anyone who’s involved in small business should have it.

Doc: Do you get most of you followers from Tumblr because I know a lot of people who use Tumblr? Is that where you post the most?

Cortez: Yeah, I would say I post the most frequently on Tumblr. Blogspot, I usually update sparingly.

Doc: So I guess Tumblr would be your primary?

Cortez: Certainly, that where I do most of the posting.

Doc: What kind of events do you promote on your blog?

Cortez: Right now, my sole service line is individual artist showcases. That involves scouting local talent where I’m able to give them the platform to showcase their music. Addition to doing the showcases, I’m also involved with the visual arts aspects of entertainment. So I work with local film makers, as well, and help them scout talent and promote their casting calls.

Doc: I don’t really know too much about the directors or videographers scene but that’s nice to hear that it’s people out there.

Cortez: Yeah, certainly. Baltimore, I think, is one of the most upcoming… Well, we’re late in terms of where we’re at in the entertainment industry. But I think Baltimore is on the rise in terms of providing these types of things for the urban community.

Doc: So do you promote events outside of the Alumni Marketing Group? I know you do the Monumental Mondays. Do you do anything else other than your Monday showcase?

Cortez: I also do a Saturday event. It’s once a month. I call that the Saturday Spotlight, where artist also have an opportunity to come out to the venue. It’s more so like a happy hour event but if artist would like to showcase, they’re more than welcome to come out. I try to do it at least once a month.

Doc: So Monumental Monday’s is every Monday?

Cortez: Yes, when we originally started it, it was a weekly event. But I was still building the brand and we had some minor setbacks. So I had to cut back from doing it weekly. Monumental Monday’s started in September 2013. So we ran it from September to December weekly; every week. Then we cut back in the beginning of the year because of the turnout. But now, at this point we’re starting to do it weekly again.

Doc: and then the Saturday event is monthly?

Cortez: Yes, Saturday’s event is what I try to do once a month. It’s a daytime event. That’s one of the trends that’s going on around the town now.

Doc: Oh really? Daytime events?

Cortez: Yeah, they call them Day Parties.

Doc: Oh, I’ve never been to any day parties so I probably come to that. Do you have any important events that people should know about in the month of April?

Cortez: Right now, I’m working with a local film maker by the name of Frankie Jones. He’s one of the guys that I’m a subordinate of. I’m helping promote his casting calls for his films. He’s actually trying to do a short film monthly.

Doc: Every month? Really?

Cortez: Yeah, every month. He’s doing short films to help build his brand. So be on the lookout for casting calls on the blog or from our street team. We’ll be putting the word out for talent to come in and cast for these positions.

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Doc: Okay, how do people notify you for permission to perform at your shows?

Cortez: I’m best reached by email. I have a heavy social media presence. If you’re on social media through Twitter, you can find us by the hashtag #MonumentalMondays or you can use the hashtag #MonumentalMusic.

Doc: Can people submit events to you? If they had an event, do you post it on your blog to promote their event, or do you do solely your events?

Cortez:  Well, at this point, I’ve networked with people around the city. But I’m willing to build relationships with other people, like event host and planners. But at this point, I haven’t received submissions for other events because we haven’t built a solid foundation in terms across promoting each other’s events.

Doc: What is your most popular event that you throw?

Cortez: At this point, it’s Monumental Mondays because we’re branding ourselves not just in Baltimore. We’ve reached a market and have had artist perform from as far as California. So I think it’s one of our most notable events at this time. It’s a great opportunity for these artists to showcase their talents to our followers and listeners.

Doc: Thank you for interviewing with me.

Cortez: No problem, thank you.

 

To see Cortez’s Alumni Marketing Group blog, visit amnep.tumblr.com.

Did you read the last Blogger’s Rundown post with Amirah of AmirahRashidah Blog? Check it out on Doc’s Castle Media.

Q & A with AmirahRashidah

Are you a music lover? I found another music blogger in Baltimore that could possibly address your craving needs for the love of hip-hop and R&B. I interviewed AmirahRashidah Blog’s very own Amirah Muhammad as another addition to my Blogger’s Rundown. It was a fun experience, indeed. I’ve known Amirah personally for quite some time now, and I’m pleased to say she such a wonderful person to talk to. I can always expect a conversation full of laughter when spending it with Amirah.

This interview was not like others as I had a special appearance from Shareese Williams, former beauty blogger of Doc’s Castle Media. She joined in my interview with Amirah to ask a few questions about Amirah’s love for singing. (Special audio is at the end of this post.) Amirah, Shareese, and I spoke of how AmirahRashidah started, Amirah’s plans in the future for her music blog, her participation in Janelle Monae’s Instagram contest, and her passion for the art of music alone. I learn a lot about AmirahRashidah, though I also am a contributing writer for her site, as well. It’s good to be refreshed on someone’s vision. She’ll reach a lot of success in the future. I’m definitely rooting for this one.

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Doc: What’s the story behind AmirahRashidah? Where did it all begin?

Amirah: It all began in 2008. I started another blog, a personal blog, called Amirah the Uncool. Yes, I was into Lupe Fiasco. (Laughs) It became more of a blog where I posted music instead of  for personal. I decided to take Amirah the Uncool to the next level by creating AmirahRashidah. I started that in 2012.

Doc: Awe, okay. What is your motive to keep AmirahRashidah going?

Amirah: So I have a huge passion for music. I sing and actually play two instruments. It’s something I’ve always loved. Eventually in the future once I get my law degree, I want to practice law and protect the rights of musicians and their work. That is what keeps me going. I have a good ole fan base and people to go to and say, “Heyyy, you need representation? I got chu!”

Doc: Right. It gives you more experience, too. So how many contributing bloggers do you have for your site currently?

Amirah: I have, right now, four. But three are active. That includes you.

Doc: (Laughs) Yes.

Amirah: (Laughs)

Doc: Are you looking to have more contributors soon?

Amirah: Yeah, I’m definitely looking to have more contributors.

Doc: Is there a way anybody can contact you about that?

Amirah: Yes, please. Hit me up at amirahrashidahblog@gmail.com.

Doc: In the meantime, do you accept guest bloggers

Amirah: I do. I do. They may contact that same email, as well.

Doc: So what made you decide to use your name as the name of your site?

Amirah: HA! Me and my lack of creativity. (Laughs)

Doc: (Laughs)

Amirah: I had Twitter before I had changed my blog name to AmirahRashidah and I just liked that name. It rang so I ran with it.

Doc: Okay, cool. I mean, I would have done the same thing.

Amirah: (Laughs)

Doc: I like my middle name. I use to use it a lot on stuff. So yeah definitely see what you were doing. (Laughs) Do you accept submissions from local artists?

Amirah: I do. I’ve actually posted a couple of submission for some local artists. I’ve done an interview for a local artist, too. I’m always looking for local artist to submit to the blog.

Doc: They do the same thing; email to amirahrashidahblog@gmail.com?

Amirah: Yup, same thing.

Doc: But with all of those emails coming to you at one time do they must have a specific subject line so that you can organize it differently?

Amirah: Yeah, with any email you send it should be like that. (Laughs)

Doc: (Laughs) I know but some people are oblivious to that. Sometimes they don’t. They just think they can contact you on anything and be like, “Hey! I got that fire!”

Amirah: I got a couple of those and I was just like, “NEXT!” (Laughs)

Doc: See? (Laughs) I like when people are specific so it can be filed somewhere nicely, you know.

Amirah: Yeah, on my website, I have a contact form. But on there I also have if you’re submitting music, make sure you email me at this email. You could use either or.

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Doc: Alright. Umm, I recently saw some promotion on your Instagram about something new coming this summer to AmirahRashidah. Do mind letting us in on the scoop with what’s going on with that?

Amirah: Yeah, I’m so excited! Umm, I decided to do a video platform for AmirahRashidah, which it’s going to be called AmirahRashidah TV. I hope to have interviews mostly with local artists because they’re nearby. I’m not traveling too far. (Laughs) I ain’t getting paid for this yet.

Doc: (Laughs)

Amirah: It’ll be interviews and just random discussions about what’s going on in music. I’ll even have my guest contributors and bloggers do videos, too.

Doc: So you’re blog isn’t just for local artists. It’s for others too?

Amirah: Yeah, it’s for national artist and indie arts.

Doc: That’s good to know because people will be all over it. Do you have a favorite local artist?

Amirah: Ahh, lord! (Laughs) I so want to give the political correct answer.

Doc: (Laughs)

Amirah: My favorite local artist just might be this producer by the name of eu-IV. He does really well at mixing up R&B tracks. It’s this one track where he covered SWV’s Rain. He transformed it and I loved it. He’s one of my favorites. It’s another person. His name is Jonny Graham. He’s a Jazz musician. He plays trumpet and writes his own music. He gets people to sing on his mixtapes and albums. I like him, too.

Doc: Have you written about them on your blog?

Amirah: I’ve written about Johnny. I haven’t written about eu-IV yet. But I’m actually about to do an interview with him. Look out for one in April.

Doc: You should do a video interview of him.

Amirah: I know. If I do it then it’ll be pushed back to the summer to be on AmirahRashidah TV.

Doc: Is AmirahRashidah TV just interviews?

Amirah: It’s interviews. If we can get concert footage, concert footage.

Doc: …if it’s legal. (Laughs)

Amirah: Yes, legal footage. (Laughs) I’m not going to get in trouble for people posting stuff they not supposed to be posting. And…conversations about what’s going on within the music industry. I know you like to rant about certain things. (Laughs)

Doc: Yeah, I like to rant.

Amirah: (Laughs) So it’s a good platform for that, too.

Doc: Okay (Laughs)

Amirah: I can see you doing a video or two. “I just hate how R&B…” (Laughs)

Doc: HA! I like music rants. People listen to me. Hey, sometimes I make a lot of sense. But thank you for doing this interview with me.

Amirah: Thank you!

 

This is the point where beauty blogger Shareese Williams jumps in. Ha-ha!
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Shareese takes the initiative to ask when Amirah will be dropping an album and doing a collaboration with her. Listen to what she says…

To view some of Shareese’s work, follow her on Instagram at @Uhhh_Shareese.

Did you read my last Blogger’s Rundown Interview? Check out my last interview with Shae of the UncommonRealist.

Q & A with Rebellious Rebel

As an addition to my Blogger’s Rundown spree, I’ve had the opportunity to interview fellow Baltimore Blogger Briana Ragler, founder of RebelliousRebel, this past Friday. It was a wondrous meeting. We discussed what inspires her to write, where she got her edgy blog name, her secret to RebelliousRebel’s success, and other cool questions that gives more insight into her fashion and lifestyle blog. I enjoyed the time spent indulging in getting to know more about her blog, and I’m eager to work with her in the near on a project that’ll change Baltimore city, for sure. Briana is definitely someone who’ll provide an impact for this city with her generous attitude for picking up people’s spirits. It is my pleasure to introduce to all my Doc’s Castle Media readers the Q & A of RebelliousRebel.

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Doc: What inspired you to start RebelliousRebel?

Briana: Well, three years ago I had lost my father in my first semester in college. I didn’t take time off to deal with the grief. I just sucked it up and came back to school right afterwards. I spent the year doing a whole bunch of dumb stuff, and just doing everything while seeping deeper into depression. At the end of 2011, I finally got myself together. I decided to start a blog just to share my story and to help other people who were going through what I went through, as far as dealing with depression. It has now gone from talking about my issues to becoming something more like a creative safe haven for other people.

Doc: Aww, that’s cool. I didn’t even know that. Wow! So where did you get your name from? Is that how you came up with it?

Briana: In a way (laughs)…I grew up in the church so everything that I was doing was not considered “holy,” as church folk would say, and I usually Rebel a lot against myself and things that I feel like are trying to keep me trapped. So I looked in the dictionary and saw the word rebellious and said, “Okay, I need something else to go with this.” So I was like, “Okay, RebelliousRebel!” I’m rebellious and I’m a Rebel. When I started it back then, it was about me and how I rebel against certain things. But now, it’s kind of turned into a thing where I’m not conforming to needs that I believe aren’t conducive to my well-being or to other’s well-being.

Doc: Okay, so how long have you been blogging? Like four years?

Briana: I’ve been blogging since 2010. I had another blog. I stopped blogging with that when I went to Hood College. So I’ve been blogging for about four to six years, on and off. I decided to stick with this one.

Doc: Well, it seems like it’s doing good.

Briana: Yes, it’s getting there. It’s not quite where I want it to be. (Laughs)

Doc: (laughs) How do you want RebelliousRebel to be remembered? What do you want people to know you blog as?

Briana: I ask myself that question all the time, even when I feel like getting rid of it. Sometimes I go through stages where I don’t feel like blogging. Someone said to me recently that my blog is a creative safe haven for individuals who create or need to find some type of inspiration. At this particular moment, I don’t know what I want it to be remembered as. There are so many things that go through my head sometimes. But I think when it’s all said and done, like if I decided to end the blog, I want it to be remembered as a place where someone who went through some hard issues decided to create a blog to express herself, and what she went through has, in return, blessed others. I don’t know. I go through this question every day (laughs).

Doc: (laugh)

Briana: Remember it as a creative safe haven for EVERYONE. If they feel like they can’t always put themselves out there, it’s there. I don’t know. We’ll probably come back later, in the future, with another story about this (laughs).

Doc: (laughs) Alright! So you’ve answered my question for what’s your initial motivation to keep blogging then.

Briana: Right now, it’s really about the art. Now, I’m getting to understand the concept of trying to keep my life personal. I try to keep certain things private because you know the Internet. Anyone can read anything. I was going to stop blogging in December. Take a nice long, permanent 6 month break. But what’s keeping me blogging is the people who come to my blog who are interested in the arts. They come to my blog and read it, or a person who has an issue with their body. Like someone said to me yesterday, “Oh my God! You’ve just inspired me to keep loving myself because you post pictures of strong women on your blog.” I’m like, “Okay, let me keep blogging because it’s inspiring people to be better and it’s a place where artist come to get inspiration when they’re not producing anything.” I keep RebelliousRebel up to keep those people inspired.

Doc: OH! Wow! That’s beautiful! So you’re just being an impact for people?

Briana: Yeah, I’m learning to be less selfish. I use to be selfish with my gifts and my talents. I didn’t share because I been through a lot of rejection as a kid. But now that people have blessed me so much, I feel like it’s my purpose and duty to give back in any way I can. It may not be with money. It may not be with donations. But it’s just with my words. If I give out kind words, I will in return be blessed and that person will be blessed. I just want to inspire people to be better because we’re all in this world trying to become better people.

Doc: I feel the same way. I want to be better and set an example for others. That’s why I write. Next question, have you thought about guest blogging for other blogs?

Briana: Hmm, I’ve done a guest blog post for my study abroad program, which is Kappa International. I don’t have a problem with doing it. I like writing for other bloggers because they give topics and that gives me time to research and experience something different from what I write about. I’m always inquisitive. I’m always wondering and wanting to know how come and what for to things. I’ve had people ask me to do a guest blog post. But I don’t want to commit to doing anything because I have too many factors going on right now, like school and trying to prepare for life when I graduate from college. But I’ve thought about it, and I would do it in the near future. I’d even have people guest blog for RebelliousRebel because I run out of ideas (laughs).

Doc: (laughs) That’s why I have them. I run out of ideas, too. But have you thought of any particular blogs that you would guest blog for?

Briana: I would really, really, really love to guest blog post for ProFresh Style and Bleed for Fashion just because I can relate to their blogs more. I mean, there are some other blogs. But I’m talking about blogs that have a greater impact that I would love to guest blog post for. Those are the only two that I manage to continue reading. I’ve read those five years ago. Its years later and I still follow them. I would guest post for them if they’d decided to. Those are the only two I’d blog for because a lot of blogs are mostly about fashion and there aren’t enough life blogs. Profresh Style and Bleed for Fashion are kind of like life and fashion blogs in one. It’s another I follow, Fashion Worked. I’d blog for them too. But yeah, I’m just hoping for a chance (laughs).

Doc: (laughs) So I recently saw a video on RebelliousRebel for your outfit of the day. I wanted to know, do you plan on continuing to bring us funky videos like your last one?

Briana: Uhh…Before that one, the last outfit of the day video was over the summer. When I shot this one, it was with the same videographer. It was just on the whim. It was because I just felt like it that day. I’m going to see. But I don’t want my blog to be solely about fashion.

Doc: What else do you want your blog to be about other than fashion and lifestyle?

Briana: I want it to be whatever. I really blog whatever that comes to my mind. There is no set theme for my blog. One day you could read a post on love. Another day you could read a post on what I think about on issues happening in Russia. It’s a melting pot of everything. Since I have people who follow me on Instagram who ask can I do some fashion post, I try to honor their requests. You probably will see more outfit of the day videos. But because of the funds, you won’t see as many. Secondly, weather is playing a factor in those videos, too. It’s too cold to shoot outside. I’m trying to wait until March. After the 21st of March, you’ll probably see mad (meaning more) videos. So hopefully, but I’m living that broke college student life right now (laughs).

Doc: (laughs) It was real funky. I liked that. Do you mind sharing the secrets to your success?

Briana: Can I be honest?

Doc: Sure.

Briana: I don’t feel like I’m successful yet. I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential. I was always one of those kids where people asked me, what do you want to do in life? I’d always say I don’t know. It’s kind of still like that because I’m not entirely sure what it is that I really, really want to do. I’m just going with the flow. I guess people look at it like “Oh, she’s successful because she stuck it out through college. She didn’t dropout.” But the key to my success is keeping my connection with God because I trust him with everything in my life. I really don’t know how I got to this point. I don’t always make the best decisions. When it comes to certain things, I don’t always trust my instincts. I trust in God, and he leads me in the right direction. In the field I’m going into, there are a lot of snakes. There are a lot of people who’ll take credit for things that they didn’t do. In ten years, you can interview me again and I’ll probably have a better key. (Laughs)

Doc: I’m pretty sure you’ll still say God.

Briana: I probably will! (Laughs) But I’m a free spirit when it comes to just doing things. With college, I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to work. But I come from a church family, and they were like no. That’s your ticket out. Even with blogging, I don’t know anything about how to have a successful blog. I just do what I do. I don’t think there are keys to being a success. I think being a success comes in different ways, like finishing college is one and overcoming depression is another. It’s all in what you believe in. If there were keys to success, I’d probably be a lot further than where I am.

Doc: Are you open to collaborations?

Briana: Yes, I’m always open to collabs. I don’t believe in the word team. I don’t believe in groups but I’m open to collaborations. I love sitting down with people and we’re all shooting out ideas. It doesn’t matter who you are.  If you’re welder and want to collaborate, it’s whatever. I’m always down. I just did a collab with For Rent Shoes in Baltimore, the how to style. It was a big deal for me because it was my first real business thing I could put on my resume. Yeah, I’m always down to do it but not with everyone. I don’t want to put my name on everything because everyone is not who they claim to be. But if someone wants to, they can just shoot me an email and we’ll talk.

If you’d like to read more from Briana, check out her blog at rebelliousrebell.blogspot.com.

To read the last Blogger’s Rundown, read Doc’s Q & A with Vivid Visions.