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.



“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!


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.