Coors Light Coldest Artist Live Show

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On Thursday, June 2, the city of Baltimore, MD was able to experience musicianship at it’s finest.  At Sonar, Coors Light hosted a show featuring new artists, seasoned vets, and of course, some cold brew at the Coors Light® Search for the Coldest National Tour featuring N.E.R.D. and Pac Div.

During the Spring of 2011, Coors Light hosted the Coldest Artist, a competition where they were looking for new, raw talent.  The winners of the West and Midwest competitions were able to meet and perform in Baltimore; they also served as the pre-show to one of hip-hop’s greatest musical acts, N.E.R.D.

The first performer, Billa Camp, hails from Chicago.  Billa has a nice flow and is a great lyricist.  He’s a combination of Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Lil’ Wayne.  If these three artists were to ever think about collaborating, they only need to research this rapper to see how it will turn out, and they would be pleased.   None of the 3 songs he performed were dance tunes, but they will easily be club tunes that you would hear on the radio.

Seattle, WA native Joe Ed from Eclectic Approach performed two songs.  The first song, “Brother”, was dedicated to his brother, and he chose Sonar as the venue to perform this song for the first time.  The song deals with substance abuse and how one’s addication not only affects that person, but also their loved ones.  “Cool”, the song that brought him into the competition, was very rock and is reminiscent of Maroon 5.  The great thing about this song is that it highlights the uniqueness of Joe Ed.

Pac Div is a hip-hop trio from Los Angeles, and they are opening for N.E.R.D. on their summer tour.  All three members are hype men and feed off of each other’s energy while performing.  The great thing is that they were able to keep the audience engaged the entire time they were onstage.  This group will definitely go far in the music industry. 

The main event for the evening, N.E.R.D., did not disappoint.  Performing old and new songs, Pharrell was stunned into silence once when he began performing and the audience sang along with him.  Chad was very laid back, as usual, but frontman Pharrell Williams had enough energy for them both.  Shay Haley was able to hold his own against Pharell.  The members of N.E.R.D. are able to feed off of each others’ strengths during their live performances and allow each man to have his light.  And live instrumentation is always appreciated during shows.   The audience sang along to almost every track and probably surprised themselves with how many songs they knew.

Coors Light has created a great event with the Coldest Artist Live Shows.  They are to be commended for putting together a great show with artists who are creative, unique, and are able to appeal to the masses.  Thanks to Gypsy Soul & Soulcial Grind PR for allowing your fave Southern Girl to attend.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

*To see all photos taken at the event, go here.*

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Interview with an Emcee

This weekend I was able to speak with Young General, a rising emcee based in Chicago.  Young General’s new mixtape, “Hip-Hop 4 Adults”, will be released today.  Check out our interview below.

Elle: How long have you been in the music business?

Young General: I’ve only been doing this professionally for about a year and a half, but I was always close to hip hop as a fan and recreational emcee before I got serious.  So I’ve been rapping since high school, but just recently decided to make music my business.

Elle: How did you get started?

Young General: I started on the battle circuit in Minneapolis, MN (my hometown) and also down at Florida A&M University when I was in school. I did a lot of rapping there, and it just progressed into something larger.  The music didn’t really get big for me until I got to Chicago and plugged into the hip hop scene there; the market in MPLS is so small that it’s hard for an artist to find outlets for hip hop. 

Elle: What can your audience expect from your mixtape?

Young General: ”Hip-Hop 4 Adults” (HH4A) is really a collection of music I’ve been working on for about a year and half, and it’s just like it says-grown-up music.  A lot of people think that the title of the mixtape means the lyrics and content are going to be explicit but it’s just the opposite; it’s more about thoughtful/clever lyrics that describe what it’s like to be Young General today.  Hopefully people will feel like they know me when they listen. I try to be honest and share some of my experiences when I write.

Elle: Who are some of your musical influences?

Young General: Jay-Z was the first hip-hop artist I really attached to when I was younger. “Reasonable Doubt” is STILL my favorite hip hop album, ever.  I’m also a big J. Cole fan. I feel like hip-hop needs what he brings to the table as an emcee.  I also really enjoy The Roots, Ludacris, Currency, Bun B, etc.  I am also a huge Jazz fan; I really like to listen to jazz to relax. LOL.

Elle: What do you use for inspiration?

Young General: I use my life for inspiration. I try to write based upon the lens I see through and not someone else’s.  I find that normal life brings enough adversity, ups, downs, etc that I don’t need to fabricate anything-just telling the truth the way I see/saw it is enough.  So, my life inspires me to write and make music. What motivates me is that I see people who I consider my peers making money and progress through music everyday!

Elle: What else do you have on tap for 2011?

Young General: Lots!  I’m dropping Hip-Hop 4 Adults Vol. 2 in May with an album dropping in the Fall…so this is just the beginning! 

Elle: How do you stay relevant?

Young General: I stay relevant by keeping up with what’s current.  If you have an understanding of what’s going on in the world your music will reflect that.  I also try to do a combination of local events in Chicago as well as national events in cities like L.A., New York, etc.

Elle: Can you tell us a little about your upbringing, personal life, etc.?

Young General: I have strong Midwest roots being born in Detroit and going to high school in Minneapolis.  Growing up in Minneapolis its hard not to gain appreciation for the arts and a diverse music selection. Minneapolis was where I really got into freestyle rapping and battle rapping; there are a lot of really dope underground emcees in that area. After I graduated high school I attended college at Florida A&M University-that was where I really got into commercial hip hop as well as “Down South” music and the underground groups in the South.   After leaving school with my MBA I moved back to MPLS, but eventually ended up in Chicago, and the rest is history.

Elle: Do you produce also or are you strictly a lyricist?

Young General: Mostly I’m just an emcee, but I do a lot of arranging and executive production as I tend to have a good ear for what I want as a finished product.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for true producers who actually create the beats; some of the stuff that you hear these days is amazing.

Elle: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Young General: Yeah just that I believe strongly in networking, if you are involved with the music business in anyway please reach out to me so we can find a way to work together.  The further I get into the music industry the more I realize all we have is each other, so get at me!

I would like to thank Young General for allowing me to feature him on “Southern Girl in the City” today!  Be sure to check out Young General’s site today at 6 pm when his mixtape is released.  You can also find Young General on Facebook and Twitter.  This emcee is doing big things, so be sure to stay on the lookout and show your support.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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What’s Hot in the Streets

For some reason, I always find out about things that are going on in the city (and elsewhere), but I don’t do a great job of sharing that with you guys.  Mainly because I’m selfish, hate crowds, and like to keep the good stuff to myself.  But I realized it’s not right to be selfish (most of the time), so today I’m sharing some events with you guys that will be going on in the DMV.  And most of them are FREE!

In case you didn’t know, my birthday is next month, and to start Birthday Month off right, tomorrow will be the commencement!  First, Ryan Leslie, one of my favorite singers and an awesome live performer, will be at The Park.  The event will is free; you just have to register here.   The Park can get crowded pretty quickly, so make sure you arrive early!  The next stop on my tour will be the Gentleman Jack-Arts, Beats, and Lyrics event.  Blending hip-hop, paintings, and photography, this is sure to be a pretty cool event, and I’m excited to attend.  When you register, you can bring a guest, but all attendees have to be at least 21. 

Lastly, just so you can get ready, for my friends in Atlanta, Benevole, Inc. is taking their successful fundraiser on the road.  Walk-A-Mile (in Someone Else’s Shoes)-Atlanta will be taking place on Saturday, April 30 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.  To find out more information you can check out my previous post here and you can find out more about Benevole, Inc. on their site.  If you or your business are interested in serving as a sponsor, feel free to send me an e-mail. 🙂

That’s it for today!  What events are going on in your city?  Or what events did I miss that are happening in the DMV?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

One of my favorite Ryan Leslie songs!

Way Back Wednesday-An Ode to Hip Hop

 

Some of the greatest who ever did it

 

I do not claim to be a hip-hop head by any means, but I have some favorite artists, and one of my favorite movies is “Brown Sugar” starring Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs.  Not sure if that’s a great representation of a hip-hop movie, but I like it. *shrugs* In any event, I’m really disturbed by the current state of hip hop music.  And I sometimes wonder if it’s the evolution of our world and culture that has sexualized and sensationalized the bling and hood lives.  I also wonder if Biggie and Tupac were still alive, would hip-hop have evolved to its current state?

What happened to the days of “Krush Groove“, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo“, and other great movies?  And lest we never forget some of the greatest hip hop artists, Run D.M.C., Fab 5 Freddy, OutKast, N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, and countless others. I wonder what types of movies would be made with today’s artists.  I can just about imagine the tomfoolery we would see on the big screen if these types of movies were left in the hands of Wacka Flacka Flame, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Souljah Boy, and the like.  Just listening to the lyrics sometimes hurts my ears, even if I like the beat.  Hip-hop is more than some lyrics over a hot track.  Hip-hop should inspire, elevate, and tell stories.  Now it sells sex and “Pretty Boy Swag”.   I search high and low for quality hip-hop artists to listen to, such as Common, Kanye, Jay, Talib Kweli, and The Roots.  The really sad part is that some of these artists don’t always become mainstream phenoms until they do something like star in a movie or become the house band of a late night show.  Don’t get me wrong-those are definitely great things-and as long as their message is getting heard, I really have no objections.  

So, to hip hop… I hope just as fashion has come full circle, I hope you come full circle, too.  I’m waiting for the day when quality hip hop will become the norm and not the odd man out.  I look forward to the day when I can see you on the big screen again and hear you on the radio.   In the meantime, I’ll continue to search you out on the internet and purchase your albums when they’re released. 

A True Fan,

Elle

My favorite song by Biggie, and my quote my freshman year in high school, “Sky’s the Limit”

Even though ‘Pac isn’t in the video, this is one of my favorite songs by him, “Smile” with Scarface

Lastly, my favorite ‘Pac song, next to “California Love”, “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”