#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.

Baltimore_Skyline

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.

lifemusic

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.

YTube Vid of the Week: Why You Should Read The Alchemist by Bmore’s Hip-Hop Artist Gillateen

Now, as an advocate of my personal reading movement with my little bookshelf in the comfort of my home, I would recommend some good self-help books to a few of you. But I’ve been slacking on my reading, and have taken a stab at listening to other people’s suggestions about books that they feel are awesome reads.

This week’s YTube Vid of the Week is a dedication to all those people who seek purpose in their life. It’s for all the folks who inspire to achieve something but need that little pick me up of encouragement to do what has to be done for reaching where they want to be. Looking at Gillateen’s growing success tells me the book works magic, so I’m going to get me a copy of the book, too.

How did Gillateen do with his book review? Did he convince you to read The Alchemist? Leave your comments below.

Did you see the hilarious Helloflo Moon Party commercial? Read YTube Vid of the Week: Helloflo Moon Party on Doc’s Castle Media.

Music Highlight: Quinn Shabaz “Day One” ft. Jimmy Apoet & Leon Dominick

Ever met a rapper that seems to have a song for every moment in a person’s life? I call those people trendy rappers because they have music for everything, even songs for when you feel the urge to smack someone. This week’s music highlight is Quinn Shabaz.

Meet Quinn Shabaz:

image

Quinn began rapping in 2005. That may seem relatively recent being 9 years ago, but he’s musical experiences stretches back to his elementary school days, as he began playing the saxophone in the 3rd grade. By the time he graduated from middle school, Quinn was able to play the saxophone, the drums and the guitar. Like many of other great musicians, Quinn also was apart of his church’s choir. He spent 4 years singing for his church, while he focused on his writing skills until 2012 where he released his first musical project “Alternative Thanksgiving”  with long time friend Leon Dominick. The following year, Quinn released his first solo project “Love&Hooligans” and not too far behind dropped his 2014 mixtape “Good Heart, Bad Habits.”

With only two solo projects under his belt, Quinn is showing us a job well done. When tuning to Soundcloud to find a song to share with my readers, I chose to share the most played. “Gator” is a song about pimp slappin a bitch. I can’t put it any simpler than that. Ha-ha! So if you’re in one of those moods full of pure frustration and can’t seem to let the tension go, I’m sure “Gator” can help with that. Check it out:

But that’s not what I wanted to highlight in today’s post. I wanted to share Quinn’s music video “Day One,” which includes two previously featured artist on Doc’s Castle Media, Jimmy Apoet and Leon Dominick. It’s a song about true friendship and hanging out with people who’s been around since the beginning. I’m talking about those best friends you wouldn’t trade the world for.

Did You see my cameo? Ha-ha!

I really loved what Quinn did by taking it back to those celebratory cookout days in this video. It symbolizes a moment that everyone should experience when people spent time with their loved ones. I’m sure some of you had that experience this week, spending some time with your Day One’s during this Labor Day weekend.

Quinn Shabaz is definitely worthy of this week’s Music Highlight shoutout! I enjoyed every bit of his latest album. To hear more from him, follow his soundcloud at Quinn Shabaz and listen to his earlier works at the War Drumz Audio Art Reverbnation’s page.

The best moment to play Quinn Shabaz’s “Gator” is when…. Fill in the blank sending your comments, below!

Another favorite from “Good Heart, Bad Habits” is Cruise Control. I added the single in one of my fashion videos for Boulevard of Chic. Read Lights, Camera, Fashion! Recap of Boulevard of Chic’s Fashion Show on Doc’s Castle Media.

The Music Highlight: Tony Bonez Sinatra “Mask Writter” Music Video

Yet again, I bring you another War Drumz Audio Art artist straight from B-More city. This time around it’s Tony Bonez Sinatra.

This is his latest music video for his single “Mask Writter.”

I like this song because it reminds me of the music I grew up on. You know know 90’s babies love when they hear something that sound similar to anything 90’s or early 2000’s related. Tony Bonez’s music reminds me of some old Redman and Method Man hits. Check out the assets of the video! Can you tell it’s Baltimore? Stand up!

20140423-012727.jpg
About the Artist:

Tony Bonez started rapping at a very young age as a result of dealing with poverty during his childhood. Music became his getaway from all the issues that revolved in his life. But it wasn’t until the early 2000’s, he started writing his own rhymes and joining cyphers at school which helped gain him much respect as a fierce MC who is not to be messed with. Inspired by Redman (see, I told you it was something familiar about his style haha), Tony took up the name KidBlaq, and was later signed to an underground label Monsta Money at age 19 and took up the name Tony Bonez but shortly left to join a group known as DaUnion. A year later Bonez parted from the 4 man group after issues amongst the group and went solo. Over time he encountered SmokingAces counterpart Fly Fonzarelli. They instantly clicked. Fly introduced Bonez to the Baltimore hip-hop scene on a whole new level. Bonez since then has gained experiences with some of Baltimore’s top artist including learning from Skarr Akbarr, battling King Los, recording with the late Smash, Tiara Laniece and Yea Lano. More recently, Bonez has taken on the position as the sixth addition to the War Drumz Audio Art music label.

20140423-011945.jpg
Earlier this year, Tony Bonez released his first EP Welcome to the Boneyard: The Rise. The mixtape is composed of 13 tracks that’ll get your head nodding to the beat for sure. My favorite track is “Do Ya Like” mainly because I love the sample of Adele in the song, but he speaks volumes in an audio picture about being intimate with a woman. I’m a woman so…do you catch my drift? Ha-ha! I’m sure he has more goodies to come along with the rest of what he has to offer. What do you think?

To hear more from Tony Bonez Sinatra, be sure to follow him on Twitter at TonyB0nez, Instagram at LongLiveBoneyard, and Facebook at TonyBonez Sinatra. Don’t forget to check out his EP Welcome to the Boneyard: The Rise on Datpiff.com.

Do you like this music artist? Leave your comments below.

Do you have what it takes to be the next music highlight? Send me stuff! You might just become the next highlighted artist on Doc’s Castle Media.

Q & A with The Industry Blogger

The fourth addition to my Blogger’s Rundown is Malika Muhammad, founder of The Industry Blogger. I had a joyous time meeting this bright young woman. While taking the time to get to know her, I’ve learn how much drive she has to become a well renown journalist in the very near future. At our little meeting, we discussed her interest in writing a print based blog, her goals within the next 5 years, who’s her inspiration, and what local artists she supports in Baltimore. I also learned we share lots of common interest. I can’t tell you how cool it is to meet another person who shares that same passion as me. I get excited about it. Ha-Ha! Both of us are inspired journalist seeking to go far with our blogs. I know that if Malika keeps striving while doing what she does best, she’ll absolutely reach her dreams. I look forward to doing some collaboration with her in the future.

20140308-125545.jpg

Doc: Tell us the story behind your blog, The Industry Blogger?

Malika: So it all started last year, July of 2013. So I’m really new at this. I looked at the Baltimore scene and was like, “It’s so many talented people out here.” But nobody would know that because we all have this stereotype of Baltimore artists or people in Baltimore, period. I was like, “I’ma be the one who lets everybody know that we’re not just talking about weed or being in the hood.” I want people to know that we can actually play instruments and put together well-formed lyrics, something that’s with a message. I met a whole bunch of bloggers on the way. So I realized I wasn’t alone in this. After that, I was like, “Oh, man!” (Laughs)

Doc: (Laughs)

Malika: But then I thought it was a great thing. I’ll just unite with them and we can bring Baltimore up together. It’s better to do it with a team anyway.

Doc: Alright, that’s cool. So where did you get your name from?

Malika: I did so much brainstorming. I thought of doing something simple because I was thinking about it too much because I had a cupcake business, too. So I was thinking of some names for that, also.

Doc: You still have that?

Malika: Umm, it’s like on the side. (Laughs)

Doc: (laughs)

Malika: If someone wants cupcakes, I’ll say, “I’ll make em for you,” but not really. (Laughs) But for the Industry Blogger, I was listening to Kendrick Lamar. You know the song where he’s like, “I’m effing the industry hard?” (Referring to Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe)

Doc: Yeah, I know what song you talking about.

Malika: I was listening to that. I just love that word. I like the word Industry. It’s powerful to me. Then I chose to name my blog Industry Blogger. When I put it together, I wanted it to happen fast. But I’ve been brainstorming for months before July for my blog. But I just needed a name so I decided the Industry Blogger and I would market myself with it. That’s how it came about.

Doc: Oh, wow. Would you consider your blog kind of like a print journalistic type of blog? Because I know of multiple blogs that have video or just post a song? What would you consider yours to be?

Malika:  I want to say it’s a mixture. But I mainly want it to be print journalism. I don’t want people to say that I’m just a blogger. I think people lose credibility being label as that because they may think they can blog about anything like they gossip. I don’t want to be labeled as a gossiper. I want everything I post to be truthful and honest. So I would say it is more print journalistic.

Doc: I agree with you. That’s how I want people to view my blog. A lot of people do think of bloggers as gossipers. Is there anyone that you draw inspiration from, like a famous reporter?

Malika: Yes, first it was Sherrie Johnson. She was on ABC2 News. She’s been promoted doing other things now. But that’s on a local basis. Karen Civil is another one. She’s like the main person I look up to. I’m always on her page. I just love her. I’m always on her Instagram or her website trying to see her next move. I’m not trying to mimic everything that she’s doing. I’m just really inspired by her because she meditates. She’s spiritual. She’s a woman. That’s why I want to be kind of different from her. I want to angle myself off her but not so much as people saying that’s another Karen Civil.

Doc: Right! She’s like a model to you. You want to do your own twist. Originality! So I read your blog about supporting Baltimore artist and I loved what you said about it. You know as far as people supporting people, and it inspired me to write a blog myself.

Malika: Oh really? Thank you. I’ll have to check that out. (Laughs)

20140308-125957.jpg
Doc: Yeah. (Laughs) You talked about artist that lacked originality and they’re always copying other people who are already in the Industry. Would you say that there’s at least five artists here you would support?

Malika: Yup. I definitely would say Chris Bivins. He’s from Howard County. I like Jayverse. I put him on my blog. Umm, Solution. He’s with Teamwage. He just went solo. Blizz. I don’t know. I have so many people. (Laughs) I like Gillateen and Lonnie Moore. I should have named him (Lonnie) after Solutions.

Doc: Oh! That’s good that you’ve named five. Are you open to collaborating with other bloggers in the DMV/Baltimore region?

Malika: I am. I didn’t think of that at first. Remember, I thought I was the only one because I didn’t see it at first. But of course, I must didn’t do enough research then. But I do. We can write together or umm…

Doc: Guest blog on each other’s posts.

Malika: Right! I would love to do that. I actually quoted something about that for people to submit articles to my page. If you’re smart, everyone knows that takes more work off of you.

Doc: Exactly! So do you know anybody in particular that you would want to write for? Any local blog sites?

Malika: Umm, the only two blogs that I’ve become really acquainted with is TruDat and Vivid Visions. So we can do something together. That would be cool. But I haven’t research many bloggers. I just had seen Ryan tweet bloggers. So that helped me a lot.

Doc: Yeah, I know! That helped me out, too.

Malika: (Laughs) I was like, “Okay, I’ll look at all of these.” But those two. If I could do all of them, I would. I think that’s the problem. We need to keep supporting each other and stop being against each other.  At the end, we are all competitors. But still.

Doc: But still, it would help each other out.

Malika: We’ll all be getting our name out there.

Doc: Exactly! What would you like for your blog to be remembered as?

Malika: Hmm, that’s a great question. I just want people to see that for me I wanted to start at the base of hip-hop. I want people to know that it’s not just on the surface, where we’re just posting videos or links to music. I want people to get in deeper into it. I want them to experience what hip-hop actually is. I don’t want people to say that I’m just a blogger that blogs about music because I like it. You have to actually be hip-hop. You have to study it.

Doc: Like actually go to the events; support the people who you’re posting about.

Malika: Yeah, I definitely want to be seen as a person who supports local music, someone who’ll tell you the history of it on the spot. I just want to be known as someone who’s really in tuned with the culture all together.

Doc: So where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Malika: Awe man that question. (Laughs)

Doc: (Laughs)

Malika: Five years from now, I would still want to do this blog. I want it to be bigger than what it is now. I want it to lead to bigger opportunities. So if that means leading to being a personality on TV or radio, and I’ve actually tried radio before…

Doc: Did you like it?

Malika: It was okay. (Laughs)

Doc: (Laughs)

Malika: I would say I like TV better. People think that’s odd. But I like TV better. I would like to do radio, TV, and writing in the future. I want to be a person who’s multifaceted. I want to do a little bit of everything. I want my own business. In five years, I don’t want to be working for anyone but myself. I’m just putting that out there.

Doc: Okay, I get you. So do you take submissions from hip-hop artist?

Malika: Yes, I do. That’s how I get most of my content. I’ll post my email on one of my social media sites or I have them submit on my submissions page on my actual blog. I’ll take anything, mixtapes, songs, if you want a bio written. I do it. Some people even text me because I put my number out there all the time or some will email me. All of that is on my blog.

Doc: But you prefer people to submit on your form on the site?

Malika: Yes, because it’s much easier. It’s better organized.

Doc: So they’ll just go to your website and they’ll submit.

Malika: Yup.

Doc: Okay, that’s it. That was the last question. Thank you for being a part of this.

Malika: Thank you.

To read articles by Malika Muhammad, visit her blog site at theindustryblogger.com.