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.*

Summer Soul Session Vol. 2

On Friday, June 24, three artists are hitting the stage for a performance you don’t want to miss.  LivSuite Presents Summer Soul Session Vol. 2, featuring Lauren White, Chris Turner, and Ife’.  These artists are an eclectic mix of R&B, Neo-Soul, Jazz, and Funk. 

Lauren White has performed with great acts, such as Chante Moore, Anthony Hamilton, and Will Downing.  Her first solo album, “The Biography”, debuted in November 2009, and her next album is set to be released later this summer.  This Washington, DC native has been described as dynamic and commanding and her performances are “guaranteed to keep the listener entertained, engaged, feeling like they are a part of the experience.”

“Love Child” Chris Turner decided at the tender age of 4 he wanted to be a singer, just like his father.  This Oakland, CA native has been performing most of his life.  Past affiliations include the SF Jazz High School All-Stars and GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble.  Chris has been on tour with Gwen Stefani, Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkson, and Bilal Oliver.  Currently working on his first full album “LOVEchild”, Chris was selected in February of this year by BET Music Matters as an “Artist to Watch”. 

Not only is Seattle native Ife’ a singer and songwriter-she has also started her own company, Crescendo Entertainment.  Her hope for Crescendo is that it will be “the conduit through which I not only create and produce various projects that I’ve been wanting to bring to life, but also will allow me to use my creative expression to help uplift people in their lives.  It starts with music, but that’s really only the foundation; it’s my platform to share my gifts with the world.” 

As you can see, this show on the 24th is going to be filled with wonderful talent, and if you’re in the DMV, you definitely don’t want to miss it.  The venue for Summer Soul Session Vol. 2 is XII Restaurant and Lounge, located at 1123 H Street NE, Washington, DC.   Advanced tickets can be purchased now for $20; they will be $25 at the door.  Bring your man, bring your girl, or just come by yourself.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

 

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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Southern Girl Album Review: “7”

If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook, you know I’ve been talking about this album incessantly since I’ve had it in my possession, which has only been since Tuesday.  It’s very rare nowadays that you find true musicianship from people that haven’t sampled a track.  Mint Condition, a band that has been together for 20 years, has done that just that. 

Mint Condition has delivered a phenomenal album with their seventh-LP aptly titled “7”.  It goes with me EVERYWHERE, moreso than Janelle Monae.  As a musician, I appreciate those who play anything.  And the great thing about this band is that you have true artistry, and everything blends together perfectly.  Another great thing is that lead singer, Stokley Williams, sounds just like he did 20 years ago on “Pretty Brown Eyes” and “U Send Me Swinging”. 

The opening track “Can’t Get Away” is a great opener and highlights Stokley’s great voice, guitarist Homer O’Dell, and keyboardist Jeffrey Allen.  My favorite tracks are the opener, Stokley’s duet with Kelly Price in “Not My Daddy”, and the last track “Twenty Years Later”.   The total album gives you R&B, funk, and a little neo-soul.

This album gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.  This album is a classic and should be added to your music collection.  For those in the DMV and Baltimore area, Mint Condition will be performing in B-more on May 7.  And for those of you attending Essence Music Festival, they will be performing in New Orleans on July 1.  I’m tempted to go visit them in Baltimore, but my “auntie” Madeline is trying to talk me out of it.  If you have the album, what do you think?  And if you don’t have it, go get it!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Way Back Wednesday- Hip Hop Part 2

It’s long overdue, but here is Part 2 of my old school hip hop post.  I named some great songs last month, and I’m here to give you some more!  Enjoy!!!

1. “Me, Myself, and I”- De La Soul

2. “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”- Ghetto Boys

3. “Tha Crossroads”- Bone Thugs N Harmony

4. “Ruffneck”- MC Lyte

5. “Woo-Hah! Got You All in Check!”- Busta Rhymes

6. “Around the Way Girl”- LL Cool J

7. “We Got Our Own Thang”- Heavy D and the Boyz

8. “Slam”- Onyx

9. “Renee”- The Lost Boys

10. “Push It”- Salt N Pepa

Now, these songs are in no particular order.  Just some of my favorites I wanted to share, help you reminisce, and all that jazz!  I know I missed some, so what are some of your favorites?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!