“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/