Mac Miller : 100 Grand Kids (Official Music Video)

This video may have dropped nearly 9 months ago, but it was easily one of the best music videos of 2015 in my opinion.  Mac Miller has been in the rap game for quite sometime now, and like wine, he is only getting better.  He has come a long way from being easy mac with the cheesy raps.  To be honest, I was far from a Mac Miller fan when I first heard him in 2012.  Since then, he has really matured as an artist and made a lane for himself.  100 Grand Kids is track straight off his most recent album, GO:OD AM.

The video starts off with Mac Miller’s face rapping as the moon, to what we can only assume is a children’s play of Romeo & Juliet.  The juxtaposition of Mac rapping some questionable lyrics with a bunch of school kids is an interesting concept.  It is hard to not Mac after seeing how genuinely happy he is when filming with his posse of child actors.

When I first saw this video, I was not a fan.  I was annoyed by the play and thought it was a lame video… I misjudged this video terribly.  The first and second part of this track might as well be two totally different tracks but he executed it perfectly.

I am a huge fan of this song because of how the beat seamlessly transitions into one of the hardest verses of 2016.  It also pays homage to P Diddy & The Bad Boy : Bad Boy For Life (one of my favorite tracks of all time).  It transitions with Mac Miller leaving the theatre to the school parking.  Once in the parking lot, Mac doesn’t hold anything back.

The damp parking lot with the lighting makes an ominous vibe followed by some mad inspiration bars.  Whats more classic than an old school car hooked up on some crazy hydraulic lifts?  For anyone out there chasing their dream, its hard to not relate to this track.  My favorite, stand out bars were:

“Cause fools worried about a wave, I’m a NAVY seal
Come with me, I can make your life change for real
Always had a dream of stuntin’
It ain’t nothing unless we runnin’ sh**
Just a young motherf***** with a plan
Thought I was the man”

Be sure to check out Mac Miller’s other tracks here:

Website: http://www.haveagoodam.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MacMiller
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/larryfisherman

 

 

Chance the Rapper : Angels (Official Music Video)

 

Chance the Rapper is one of the biggest rappers on the planet without an album or support from a major label.  I have always joked that Chance the Rapper is the superhero that Chicago needs, and after the Angels video my dream, came true.  In the video, Chance the Rapper is literally flying through the windy city.  This song was a collaboration among Chance and The Social Experiment and directed by Austin Vesely.  

If you know a lot about Chance the Rapper and his extracurricular activities, then you know how true the song title “angel” is.  Besides being a rapper, Chance has done more philanthropic acts for Chicago than people would think from a rapper.  Chance is more than just a musician, he is an activist that genuinely wants to improve the lives of people in Chicago.

“I got my city doing front flips,
When every father, mayor, rapper jump ship
I guess that’s why they call it where I stay
Clean up the streets so my daughter can have place to play.”

Chance started #SaveChicago in an effort to curve the constant violence in the city.  The campaign resulted in 42 hours without a gun related murder which really says something about Chicago.  In addition, Chance raised $100,000 to help improve technology in Chicago’s public schools.  I feel as though this song and video really embodies everything Chance has worked towards.  There are a lot of Chicago rappers that leave the city the minute they get a check but no Chance.  Chance is one of the most genuine and lovable rappers in the music industry today.  In fact, calling him a rapper is discrediting him, he is an artist with a vision and a plan to make this a better planet.

With Chicago’s staggering violence rate and poor conditions, Chance is a real outlier.  He constantly preaches positivity rather than promote violence like most of the music from the south side.  

My favorite scenes of the video where Chance rides on top of the Chicago Transit Authority train.  It was like Chicago gave Chance the key to the city for the music video.  My second favorite scene was the ending with the choreographed dancing between him and Saba.  Hip hop has become so dry lately, it is great to see actual dancing in videos rather than whole crew too intoxicated to move.  Chance the Rapper is a force to be reckoned with, and I believe he will accomplish a lot in his lifetime in both music and philanthropy.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chancetherapper?lang=en
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper
Website: http://chanceraps.com/

Chavis Chandler : TLOTLB (Official Music Video)

This is a little bit of a throwback, but on Sept. 3 2014, Chavis Chandler released the visuals for his flame track, The Legend of the Leather Britches.  This track was produced by Stereo Symphony and shot / cut by Fresh Flix TV.  Ever since this came out, this has been my personal anthem and a great confidence boost.  This is the type of song that you listen to while working out or approaching that honey you have had your eyes on for a couple weeks.  

This video was shot extremely well, there are so many distinct scenes that all flow together seamlessly.  One of the most distinct scenes to me, is where he is rapping with nothing but a beautiful Michigan sky in the backdrop.  It really creates a drastic shot with such vivid colors.

My favorite scene, hands down is at 0:25.  If you look closely, there is an older woman smoking a cigarette in the background.  This left me with more questions than answers.  Who is this woman?! How is she in a rap video?  Why is she in a rap video!?  It is very rare in the hip hop world to see a rapper kicking it with a “distinguished” women in a music video.  It is a definite change of pace from the typical rap videos jam packed with video vixens.  

If The Legend of the Leather Britches does not get you amped up or feeling a little bit too confident, then I do not know what to tell you.  Chavis Chandler’s tightly worded lyrics accompanied by his melodic flows create a very pleasurable auditory experience.  This is the type of music you can crank up to 10, bump your head, and forget the world.  My favorite line is hands down,

“Chavis f***ing Chandler that’s my government name,
Nothing made up, no one made us,
b**** we bout to change the game
And i ain’t waiting on hands out,
I’m still gon get it.”

Every time I hear those lines, it sends shivers down my spine.  This is embodiment of true, genuine hip hop.  Hip hop has become a staple to today’s youth because it preaches messages of that independent, do it yourself spirit that anyone with a dream can relate to.  In the words of Kanye West, “Is hip hop just a euphemism for a new religion, the soul music for the slaves that the youth is missing.”

If you have ever met Chavis Chandler or seen him perform, he does not have a persona, he is simply just Chavis Chandler.  I saw him perform at The Pyramid Scheme over the summer and he is just as high energy in real life as he is in this video.  He gets real animated and active when telling a story nearly exactly like the video.  If you were a fan of this track be sure to follow Chavis Chandler and check out his other tracks.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CHAVISCHANDLER/about
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/chopchophoe
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CHAVISCHANDLER

Skizzy Mars : I’m Ready (Official Music Video)

On March 11. 2016 Skizzy Mars debuted his official music video for “Im Ready” featuring Olivver the Kid produced by none other than Michael Keenan.  This previously unreleased track is fresh off Skizzy Mars debut album “Alone Together.”  The music video was filmed on the rooftops of NYC and directed by Daniel Regan.  The album dropped April 11th and has been on repeat ever since.  Having spent some time in NYC, this video really nails the New York Fuckin’ City vibe!

To anyone who hasn’t hear a Skizzy Mars song before, this is a great introduction to his library of music.  Skizzy and Olivver have collaborated before, on the track Time with G Eazy from “The Red Balloon Project.”  Their sounds flow perfectly together creating the perfect mood to vibe with some honeys.  I am praying for an entire collaboration project between them.  You can dance to this album in the club and stumble home to this album.  If you’ve ever been in love or had your broken (probably the latter) then there is no way you can’t relate to this.  If you don’t think about the girl that got away after this track, you’re missing your heart.

Alone Together is the harlem rapper’s first album.  This album encompasses all Skizzy Mar’s misadventures and heartbreaks into one catcy and melodic project.  Skizzy Mars can seamlessly switch from rapping to singing which is a great bonus when listening to it with the honeys.  This album tells a story of a lonely stoner looking for love while also avoiding in none other than New York City.

I have been a huge fan of Skizzy Mars since a friend recommended me “Douchebag” way back in 2012.  That song caught my attention immediately, creating a fan for life.  I even had the opportunity to see him in Lansing last spring.  It was his first headling tour in his career.  He has come a long way from “being G Eazy’s lil bro.”  Every single project Skizzy releases has gotten better and better.  He has really found a unique sound that no one can replicate.

This is only Skizzy Mars third video, Skiz has mentioned in previous songs how he feels about videos.
“I wanted people to hear me, way before they saw me.”
I find it interesting that an artist that has been around so long has so few videos.

Skizzy Mars is a great example of an independent artist making waves without a label.  With over 240,000 Soundcloud followers and 171,000 Twitter followers it’s obvious he’s got mad support.  Skizzy learned to use social media to gain momentum and fans rather than signing to a major label.  He’s been racking up a million views in less than 24 hours for the past year.  Seeing as he has his own label, Penthouse Music (PHM) the sky is the limit and there is no limit on his creativity.  Skizzy Mars believes that he has the potential to change the music industry and I have to say that he might just be that man.

 

Triple Threat Militia : I Need It Now (Official Music Video)

On March 29th, Grand Rapid’s very own Triple Threat Militia released their debut visual, “I Need it Now.”  This is the Triple Threat Militia’s first official music video.  This iconic video was directed by David Brooks & the video stars Shabazz, Prophet, and Tas the Rebel with a cameo from the whole militia as well.  Triple Threat Militia has definitely stepped up the visual game with this one.  With everyone making videos these days, they really set the bar on the production value and quality.

My favorite scenes in this video are Shabazz wilding out in the smoked out car.  There is also a long detailed story about the trouble shooting the smoke scene if you ever get the chance to act Shabazz.  The lighting with the smoke looked truly cinematic.  After talking with guys, they said they hauled a smoke machine all the way to the shoot.  They were not playing games on this video.  The beat flows effortlessly with the visuals, so there is never a dull point through the entire video.  With each location and scene, so unique and striking, it paints a picture of a day with the militia.

I cannot praise these guys enough. I met the Militia through Shabazz around August this summer and we’ve been collaborating ever since.  The Triple Threat Militia initially got their start performing in the underground punk / rock scene as the only hip hop group.  They were performing in basements and punk shows a couple years ago.  Nowadays, Shabazz is a regular opener and performer at the Intersection and won Mike G’s “Hip Hop Heavy Weights.” Needless to say, Shabazz and the Militia have been making a name for themselves in recent months.

Interestingly enough, the “party scene” was after a summer show at The Upper Room.  I was at their show at the Upper Room and after the show was over, we had an impromptu video shoot at our house.  It was half an after party and half a music video shoot.   There are a couple shots that made the edit and if you look really hard you may just catch ya boy in it! I am in the background in a black long sleeve when Shabazz raps in the house. I have always wanted a cameo in a music video, and I guess I can scratch that off the bucket list!

To other musicians and artists trying to get their name out there, I highly suggest you don’t skimp on the visuals and follow suit! Videos are everything and this video a testament to that!  You need to tell a story with the visuals that cannot be told with simply an audio track.  You need to paint a picture! That is enough preaching for one blog post.  If you enjoyed this video be sure to check out Triple Threat Militia in the links below.

Follow them here:

Triple Threat Militia:
https://soundcloud.com/triple-threat-…

http://www.vimeo.com/davbrooksiv

 

Rosewood 2055 : Black Chrome” (Official Music Video)

Rosewood 2055 is one of Grand Rapids most aspiring rap groups in the scene right now.  Rosewood 2055 formerly “The Action Figures” consists of emcees Marq Beyond and Kysean Bell.  They’ve toured Europe, racked up tens of thousands of views and released a series of original music videos.  They’re a staple and icon in the Grand Rapids music scene and gaining attention from across the globe.  In addition, nearly every track they drop is picked up by a blog.  If they’re not on your radar then you need to rethink how effective your musical radar is. 

On July 17th, 2015 they released the visuals to their song “Black Chrome.”  This track is off their “HEY! EP” with features from Statik Selektah and Guilty Simpson [link at the bottom]. The “HEY! EP” has 11 tracks and has clocked in over 78,000 plays on Soundcloud.  Rosewood 2055 has been gaining momentum and making hits, so its only a matter of time before they’re a common name.  Once again the visuals were shot by none other than Andy Miller of Orange Cap Pictures with production from Mozaic.  Andy Miller has definitely locked himself down has Grand Rapids go-to music video director.  This video is shot in black and white in an abandoned building on the westside of Grand Rapids.  They chose the perfect environment to represent the mentality of “Black Chrome.” Andy Miller (director) plays with scenes with multiple clones of both Marq Beyond and Kysean Bell which prevents the eye from ever being bored.

One of my favorite parts of Rosewood 2055 is the perfectly executed flow swaps that I feel like current hip hop is missing.  Marq Beyond’s tough an deep voice contemplates Kysean’s energetic flows.  It’s reminiscent of early 90’s style with that new school style.  There is no debate that this genuine hip hop.  I recently saw Rosewood headline at one of the most legendary Death House shows in previous weeks.  The Death House was filled to the brim talent from across the state.  Rosewood shared the stage with The Seventh, Waldo, Shabazz, Supakaine, and Slum Village.  The vibes and energy at their most recent concert was truly an experience to share.  It was great to see up and coming Detroit rockstar Supakaine to perform in Grand Rapids.  In addition, it was historical to be able to see Detroit’s very own Slum Village in such an intimate venue.  I’d like to give a big shout to Rosewood 2055 for bringing Slim Village to the 616!

In conclusion, Rosewood 2055 had better be added to your que or artists to follow, otherwise you’re missing out.

Cop the “HEY! EP” here: http://www.audiomack.com/album/rosewood2055/hey-ep-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rosewood2055?lang=en

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rosewood2055

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgfpkQczqzZa451rEDjgIjQ

“Grand Rapids Showcase” Event Re-Cap

 

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On February 20th, I had the pleasure of attending “The Grand Rapids Showcase” hosted and organized by the beautiful Shay-Lynesse.  This night and event was dedicated to showcasing talent from across the city of Grand Rapids.  At the moment, Grand Rapids has a thriving local music scene in a variety of musical genres.  This event was very personal and special, because it was about true talent and art, rather than a hype-drug fueled show.  The Grand Rapids Showcase took place in the East Hills Business District at the well respected, Richard App Gallery.  The Main/East Gallery is where the musicians performed and this area boasts 1300 square feet.  The event brought in a wide variety of people from different ages and backgrounds.

If you’re at all involved in the local music scene, you’ll know the flyer was stacked with talent from the 616. The bill included KYD KANE, MONDO, Lusso Brown, Shabazz, Yaijah K, BAMFOMANIA, and Tasha MaCK. The most incredible part of the show was how talented every act was, and the support they received from the crowd.  The crowd was wildly accepting of every performer.  This event really created a sense of positivity and support from the Grand Rapids community to those brave enough to perform.

My top three favorite performers were MONDO, Tasha MaCK, and Shabazz. I had never heard of MONDO before this event and chatted with him before the show without any knowledge he was a performer.  Once MONDO grabbed the mic, everyone in the room was all ears.  The youth were getting extremely amped up and energetic from his performance.  I even caught some old heads in the back bumping along with every bar. After his performance I asked him how the show went and he said, “The show went great and I loved the energy.”  He followed that with informing me of his upcoming show March 4th at the Death House,

After a short intermission I was able to squeeze to the front with my camera and capture Tasha MaCK tug the heart strings of every listener in the room. Her performance was TV worthy, so if you haven’t heard of her yet listen before it’s too late.

Last but not least was Shabazz, the event closer.  I know from multiple experiences that “Bazz” knows how to shut down a venue and this was no different. After the show I asked Shabazz about the experience and he said. “The crowd showed great energy and it was a lit performance. Its always reassuring to see all the people getting down to the music and vibing out.”  This was one of three performances Shabazz had scheduled for the month.  It’s safe to say Shabazz is always scheming and working.

Overall, this was one of the most intimate shows I’ve attended in Grand Rapids. The emotions and environment shared in this space was a great experience for anyone involved.  The energy was incredible and the room was filled with support and positivity.  I cannot wait for future events hosted by Shay-Lynesse and I highly suggest anyone reading this attends as well.  Be sure to watch the recap video and audio cast!

 

Waldo : Search (Official Music Video)

         If you have never heard of Waldo and no, not the one with the red hat, then this is that Waldo you’ve been looking for, and the search is over. Waldo is a prominent rapper from Grand Rapids with a fast track to the big leagues. In addition to being in the local music collective AGO, he is also on Soulection’s roster. Both collectives are power musical power houses in their own sense. In the Grand Rapids area, AGO is the premier group. If you haven’t got a track with anyone from AGO in Grand Rapids then you aren’t on the scene. Soulection is a record label and radio show filled to the brim with underground talent from across the globe. They’ve recent received their own show on Beats1 with Apple Music and travel the globe sharing “The Sound of Tomorrow.” On top of that, Waldo is sponsored by Soundcloud and is frequently seen on the homepage of their website.

On January 16th, 2015 Waldo released the highly anticipated visuals to the song “Search.” This video was directed by fellow AGO member and co-founder, The Seventh and shot / edited by Orange Cap. The track was also produced by one of their in-house producers, Mozaic. Mozaic really killed this track, the production sends shivers down my spine every time this pops up in my que. This piece is a great example of execution on every level of the collaboration. Search was going to off Waldo’s EP, Summer Child but unfortunately, Waldo decided not to release it. However, Waldo has been teasing us on social media with the title of his next project, Onto Better Things with a 2016 release date.

The entire video is shot in black and white with tremendous editing. The transitions are executed flawlessly. The tone to this video is very trippy and abstract, with constant reality warps. It’s a very dark video that would remind one of a militant. Prior to this video, Waldo had kept a very low profile, he had joked about laying low like Osama (hence the beard.) This video compensates the confident flows of Waldo. As far as cameos go, this video is loaded with fellow AGO members. On the rooftop, he can be seen with DJ Nard (his own DJ), Arturo (stylist), and The Seventh.

Having met Waldo for myself, he is definitely an artist that Audio Kitchen is always keeping our eye on. If you met Waldo on the street, you would never think he is one of most prominent rappers in the West Michigan area, the man oozes charm and charisma. He is one of the most humble people I’ve met with an even greater work ethic. With his debut album coming this year, we believe he has the potential to make XXL’s Freshman List 2016. This year is going to be the beginning of Waldo season.

If you vibed with this track, be sure to check out Waldo and AGO on social media.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/waldoago
Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/user/waldodadon
YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/waldoago
Bandcamp: http://agomusic.bandcamp.com/

Nych G : Coat Tails (Official Official Video)

Nych G is an aspiring emcee from Grand Rapids, MI who just released the latest visuals for the song “Coat Tails,” off his latest project titled “UP & @ EM.” Mr.Kooman took care of the production on this track. Having “Coat Tails” be the first release for his new project has us anticipating this project immensely. The music video was self directed by Nychlas Guyton and filmed and edited by Orange Cap Pictures. Orange Cap Pictures is one of the most creative videographers in the Grand Rapids area right now, having created visuals for both AGO’s (Astronaut Gang) Waldo and The Seventh. It’s safe to say that Orange Cap Pictures is one of the premiere videography groups in the Grand Rapids area.

Nych G’s newest music video is a true cinematic experience. It’s not just him and his 10 boys rapping and smoking out in a basement. He takes you throughout iconic areas in Grand Rapids while planning what we believe to be a heist. One of the most notable locations used was the Wealthy Theatre in the heart of East Town,Grand Rapids. He also visits the legendary “Yesterdog” that is a premier landmark in Grand Rapids, having been around for decades and an appearance in American Pie. The video begins with Nych G leaving his classy bachelor pad and cruising with his crew. The scenes of Nych G in front of the Wealthy Theatre are some of my personal favorites. The steady movement of the camera accompanied by the eeriness of a rainy evening provides the perfect setting to the jazzy instrumentals. The weather in the video is true Michigan weather, a sloppy mix of rain and snow adding to the reality of living in the Midwest. When listening to this song, one can not help but feel extremely hopeful and optimistic of the future. Which leads us to believe that Nych G is here to stay.

Nych G visits a variety of friends and fellow collaborators in the hot spots of Grand Rapids throughout the video. In the video, he links up with his sponsor and local clothing brand, Green Mitten LLC and spots local emcee and personal friend Ajax Stacks. The video ends with Nych G and the entire High Rise / Green Mitten crew getting ready to commit a heist. It includes Nick Slater, Danny Green Mitten, Ajax Stacks, and the rest of his crew. This video did an excellent job portraying Nych G’s mentality as well as matching his witty lyrics.

Overall, Nych G’s newest visual is extremely refreshing and caught my eye immediately. After watching this video, it’s definitely safe to say, that he is on our list of emcees to watch. If you were a fan of this song and video, be sure to check Nych G out on all his social media accounts, listed below. If you liked this article be sure to like and share it!

SoundCloud – Nych G
Instagram – SpellitRightNychG
Twitter – Nych G
Pandora – Nych G
SnapChat – NychG Credits

What Technology in Public Relations & Advertising Means To Me

Technology in advertising has provided anyone with an idea, the proper platform to express and promote their idea. Prior to the internet and advances in technology, billboard ads and print were the largest and most effective method of spreading a message, however now people are connected to everyone else in the world by the click of a finger. It is a globalized world where everyone is connected whether they like it or not. In the advertising and public relations world, one must try to communicate a message with as many people as possible. Excluding a certain demographic or target market could negatively impact a company in unimaginable ways. Prior to today’s modern technology, people could only spread messages via word of mouth and even that had limited capabilities.

To me, technology (specifically the internet) is the great equalizer.  Everyone has access to the internet, and everyone has the possibility of interacting with anyone and everyone.  Technology has also changed and altered the way in which humans receive information.  We are exposed to tens of thousands of ads a day, whether its a billboard, a pop-up ad, or a shirt someone is wearing.  Consequently technology has encompassed all of that into one platform. You could be wearing and promoting a Nike shirt, while sharing Nike gear online as well. Little does everyone know, but everyone is an advertiser.

However, as much as we embrace technology, I feel as though we should be a bit abrasive to these changes.  Technology has limited human interactions, and provided companies / corporations an intrusive window into everyone’s life.  As great as technology is, it has its negative aspects as well.  Technology has given advertisers some of the largest and most personal libraries of data without permission or restriction.  I feel as though people have negative reactions to advertising when it feels intrusive and unethical. This feels condescending and patronizing to the people we are supposed to be selling a product or idea to.  People want to buy things to satisfy their needs and feel good rather than feel tricked. Feeling tricked by an advertisement is one of the most embarrassing feelings to me. I want to create authentic ad campaigns that resonate with people in a powerful way.  I want to be able to create ads and campaigns that speak to generations. I don’t want to simply pander to target markets, I want to speak to them in a way that is more than just selling a product.

Advertising and public relations posses the ability to change the way people perceive, understand, and experience the world around them. With that being said, advertising carries some serious clout and power in the world. This is a very powerful tool that in my opinion should be used for cultural shifts rather than just selling a product. People do not realize how strongly advertising and public relations affects our day to day lives in the most miniscule ways. In conclusion, I want to create advertisements and campaigns that positively benefit society.