Dame Dash: Gotta Respect His Hustle!

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A native of Harlem, USA, Dame Dash was an early pioneer of marketing and branding; in terms of hip hop. Enter Roc-A-Fella, alongside rapper/businessman Jay-Z and business partner Kareem Burke, the ultimate tri-fecta!

Even after the dissolution of hip hop’s premier clique, Dash still represents the true essence of what it means to hustle. Dame Dash has faced numerous setbacks during his professional career as well as personal life. From broken marriages to losing his love, Aaliyah; these experiences would have crushed the average man. Dame’s “never quit” mentally is prevalent in virtually every word he speaks, which certainly needs to be emulated by others. Not too many in his industry have such a high level of perseverance and focus. Even with the legal issues he has faced, D. Dash manages to come out on top or at the least break even.

Dame Dash is an experienced director, actor, film producer, writer, record executive, media proprietor and entrepreneur. This is quite a number of accomplishments for one person. When not spending quality time with loved ones, Dame Dash is consistently building and maintaining his various brands. Dash founded DD172, a media collective which encompasses: America Nu, a magazine; VNGRD79, a web design firm; BluRoc Records, a record label division. It also includes an art gallery. He curates a visual streaming platform, similar to the likes of Netflix, through his Dame Dash Studios imprint. Dash offers quality products and services for sale from his Poppington brand site.

Whatever you do don’t count this man out or doubt his drive or ambition. Dame Dash is sure to show you that he doesn’t just talk-the-talk but he can walk-the-walk.

Here are some important links:

https://www.damedashstudios.com/

https://www.poppington.com/

http://www.dd172newyork.com/

http://duskowineandspirits.com/

The T-Shirt Biz: Where Did I Go Wrong?

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At an early age, when I was first able to pick up a pencil, I became fascinated with drawing. During my teen years, I wanted to be a comic book artist but unfortunately fate had a different plan in mind.

There were real life experiences that forever altered the path to my original dreams. These life occurrences previously mentioned consisted of bad relationships, health issues, as well as insurmountable debt; among other things. I still kept determination and perseverance on my mind to get me to the next level.

In the earlier part of my adult years, while attending college on Staten Island, I became inspired by a hip hop group to get involved with fashion. With me being more in control of my destiny, I decided to pursue my interest in clothing primarily printed t-shirts. At the beginning, I had a business partner with whom I formed a clothing label other than the one I have now. We eventually parted ways due to some creative differences.

Fast forward years later, I made my first attempt to strike out on my own with another fashion label. It never worked due to a lackluster name. Then came my solo project number two which ended up being the next miss. That didn’t stop me from creating until finally I came across a name I could get behind.

I had an epiphany…”Rhorie Drey Brand”. It flowed so perfectly and there was such a positively proud air about it. That lead me to add “Strength – Leadership – Focus”  as a tagline to promote self-empowerment. Through all the adversity I’ve faced I knew my new brand had to convey a positive message to inspire others.

There are many lessons I learned throughout the entire process of building a brand and being an entrepreneur. With whatever business you plan to start, make sure you do some homework on the subject matter. This is key and instrumental in making the journey to success move much more smoothly. Come up with a strategy from start to finish of how you plan to build your brand. It’s important to also have an endgame whether you plan to license your business or sell it outright. Insure you trademark, copyright or patent your idea to prevent thieves from jacking your vision.

Here are some starter links to help you on your way:

https://www.sba.gov/

https://www.trademarkengine.com/

https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.us/entrepreneurs-home

https://www.legalzoom.com/

https://www.customink.com/

https://www.copyright.gov/

http://www.ooshirts.com/

 

The Race Conundrum: Blacks vs. Everyone

*READ WITH CAUTION…THIS POST MAY INFURIATE AND OFFEND SOME!*

 

You are probably looking at the title thinking “why so negative?” or “why he think like that?” But if you are a black man or black woman, you’d be questioning too why all of the other races hate us so much? It’s a shame because we even hate ourselves. Let me explain…

The year is 2020, racism hasn’t really gone anywhere. As a matter of fact, it’s back stronger than ever somewhat primarily due to the internet and social media. In this day and age, every disaster, catastrophe or brutal slaying seems amplified. I won’t dare put all the blame on the internet or social media even though it appears that way. These digital platforms can be great, helpful tools to promote a new product or connect with someone on the other end of the planet. How does the saying go…one bad apple can spoil the bunch?! Basically, you have plenty of misguided, mindless drones in the world who are sadistic in character. Some individuals don’t know any better or possibly don’t care because they are heartless. I say that to say this, in terms of race, these statements are all relative.

There is an aristocracy consisting of the wealthy 1% – 2% of the Earth’s population who wants nothing more than to see Black people erased. For whatever reason, it is a permanent and systemic agenda within humanity whether one believes it or not. The genocidal extermination of an entire culture and/or civilization has been in process for centuries. Guess what? We are also contributing to our evolutionary decline on this planet. Heard of Black on Black crime? Yep, it exists wherever a concentration of Black persons reside whether in the US and internationally. I bring all this up because it concerns me and it should also concern you too. With the murders and marches, if you weren’t aware before let me be the first to tell you this is a wake-up call! I’m going to make a disclaimer…I’m not advocating violence matching op-positional violence. That final decision is up to you as an individual with a brain.

I’m merely presenting you the reader with a situation for you to analyze and respond accordingly. Excuse me if all this appears negative as well as unsettling but it is the reality of things happening today. Some of our own Black celebrities and politicians are almost content with the way things are because they don’t want to rock the boat. To the credit of several Black public figures, many well-known parties have stepped up in the name of racial equality. But, only after a multitude of public executions have occurred consisting of either innocent or unarmed Blacks. Let us pay respect to those we lost in the struggle – Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando CastileBreonna Taylor, George Floyd and many others. May their souls be at ease and we honor them in peace. Sorry to rattle your cage but the battle is far from over!

Unbeknownst to everyone, there are alternative lifestyle groups riding the back of the civil rights movement to further their objectives. Not because they just love and support Black people; rather they understand their goals can not be sustained on their own merit. Black people…I implore you…stop being everyone’s red carpet!

Solutions you might ask…I got you! Attend town hall meetings, send letters to your Congressperson, make sure you vote in elections, apply for entry-level positions in your town’s local government, become a community organizer, write a letter to the President if you have to, and if you’re a parent start with your children. Make your voice be heard both literally and figuratively!

GOD SPEED and blessings to all those who are truly in the fight…for our survival!

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Pure Audio Greatness: Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap (The Album)

“I’m not gonna portray someone who acts like he’s been down with his music since Day One but I do recognize that I was definitely sleeping on Nipsey Hussle’s rap skills.”

~ @dre_from_jerz

#RDFB gives props to a legend in his own right and he was also an inspirational community leader, Nipsey Hussle! Now, it wasn’t Nipsey’s foray into the hip hop world that first caught my attention. Rather, he had a really interesting, classic interview earlier on in his career in which Hussle discussed owning property. Many rappers at the time, and even now, would say they want the money, cars and women instead of a house or stocks. Nipsey Hussle was truly ahead of his time when it came to rhyming and entrepreneurship. Which brings me to his first major studio release, Victory Lap, released on February 16, 2018 through All Money In No Money Out and Atlantic Records. From start to finish, the album exuded Nipsey Hussle’s persona and that was a good thing. The pure audio greatness which came be, Victory Lap, brought you closer to who Nipsey was as a person and someone who deserves recognition. Bottom line is Nipsey Hussle’s premiere industry opus should be listed with the greats such as The Notorious B.I.G. and the emphatic Tupac Shakur. Make sure you include Victory Lap as a part of your music collection!

Just sayin’…

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “Why are human beings are so inherently evil?”

Are you a free thinker and have you ever sat back wondering why are human beings so inherently evil? It would seem that ever since mankind came into existence we were, for the most part, primal savages!

When it involves survival instincts and procreation, the alpha male would seek food, shelter and a mate. Nature almost predominantly groomed societal standards in terms of survival of the fittest. At our core element, human beings are similar to wild animals and maintain a raw, unbridled disposition. We are prone to violent and lustful behaviors when left uninhibited. If an actual real life PURGE ever became a reality, everyone of us would be in grave danger.

Psychologists find themselves in a baffling state trying to figure out why part of the world’s populace commit such heinous acts. There is foreign as well as domestic terrorism, murders, robberies, sexual assaults and lewd public conduct. Is it a mental defect or are these types of actions innately programmed into our DNA? It wasn’t until the average person developed cognitive thinking patterns that we as a people were able to live with some civility. Even in a somewhat civilized, modern society there is an unimaginable amount of heathenistic variables.

Some of us can’t seem to shake our demons and strive for a better way of living. Those voices in our heads appear to have a strong hold on our psyche.

It is up to you as an individual to fight temptation and find your purpose. Nothing truly meaningful is ever handed to you in life.

This is one to grow on…

 

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Colin Kaepernick: The Revolution Will Be Televised!

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Colin Kaepernick first gained notoriety and national attention as an NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. Late in his football career, Kaepernick searches for a higher calling and began taking up activism for racial justice.

Albeit, at this juncture, it is unclear as to what Kaepernick’s objectives are considering that he still seeks to be a quarterback for a pro football team. The reason I made the preceding statement is that most would have given up and moved on from their football aspirations. It is disconcerting to be brought on to a premier football team such as the San Fran 49ers only to be let go because you don’t “fit” their criteria.

I’m not sure if Colin Kaepernick knew what a powerful message he was sending to others at the time he decided to sit during The Star-Spangled Banner in 2016. Many ignorant minds took offense to him sitting or kneeling not even caring for the true nature of the protest. Plenty of pro football attendees believed that it was far worse for Kaepernick to upset tradition more so than to shine light on the mistreatment of Black Americans.

Colin Kaepernick has donated to many causes which benefited those who have suffered at the hands of rogue law enforcement. Kaepernick has even garnered support of a major brand such as Nike, even though they only looked to capitalize off the experience.

My only questions to Colin Kaepernick is where do we go from here after the kneeling, charities, enlistment to a new pro football team? I respect the man’s perseverance but how do we evolve this movement into something much greater?

It is just a thought to ponder…

A Phoenix Rising: An Interview with singer Gail Campbell

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Click image for video

Intro: What’s good everybody? I’m blessed to have the opportunity to interview a strong woman and a powerful songstress…Ms. Gail Campbell!

RD: (opening) Let me first say that it is an honor to have you as the first woman interview for our blog…your presence here is much appreciated!

GC: Hey Bro…. It’s a pleasure to be here… Thank you so much for having me…

RD: How are you doing today?

GC: I’m well…. All of my gigs have been canceled because of this health crisis…. But other than that… I’m so blessed…

RD: What is your mood like at this time?

GC: Mannn…. I’m grateful…. It’s been a great year… and I’m so looking forward to what’s in store…

RD: What was it like for you growing up?

GC: Well…. I had a complicated upbringing…. I had a lot of love …. But we also had a lot of hardship….

I don’t imagine that my life was drastically different than many individuals who grew up in Newark…. Newark is a complicated city…

RD: Where are you originally from?

GC: I’m originally from Newark, Irvington, and East Orange…. Lol… The TriCity…

RD: When did you realize that you had a love for singing/music?

GC: I didn’t realize I had a love for music… because Music was always a part of my life… I come from a family of singers, and artists… So I didn’t see anything special about it… It was just what we do… who I am…. I’m just beginning to realize how special music is and how blessed I am to be one of God’s instruments…

RD: Was your start in music traditionally like other singers…in the church?

GC: No… I wasn’t really raised in the church…. My introduction to music was Heatwave, Blue Magic, Earth Wind and Fire, Aretha, Ella, and Run DMC….LOL… I found the Lord as an adult… and the church definitely helped me find my voice….

RD: In one word, what “title” would you give your musical style?

GC: Avantgarde

RD: What is the source of inspiration for your songs/music?

GC: I’m inspired by brave artists like Basquiat…. by Stanley Ipkiss who is also the PRODUCER of my album BLOODY WATERS…. I’m inspired by the greats like Janis, Muddy, Mahalia, I’m inspired by artists who were ahead of their time…like Kelis…

RD: Would you say that you write a majority of the lyrics or is there a collaborative effort when it comes to content?

GC: I wrote every word of my album except Chops Tha Savior’s verse on OVERDOSE…. I love writing…I know that one day I will have to collaborate on a song…. I think it will take some serious strength for me to put down my ego and accept another person’s input….lol

RD: Who are some of the music producers you’ve worked with in the past until present?

GC: I’ve worked with my Uncle James Mitchell who is a Dope PRODUCER…. I’ve worked with Moises Laporte…. I’ve worked with Ali Sudani… and a few others on joints that I’ve featured on…. but THE SUPER HUMAN PRODUCER STANLEY IPKISS is the PRODUCER of my entire album BLOODY WATERS…. He was hand picked by God to produce this album….

RD: Which one(s) would you say is your favorite music producer(s) to collaborate with?

GC: Each brings a different feel…. For what I wanted to do on BLOODY WATERS, Ipkiss was the man….. When I want to sing a beautiful heartfelt ballad, James is it…. If I’m on the Neo Soul vibe Ali got it…. But it just depends in what my heart wants to sing…..

RD: Which other artist(s) have also worked with and who else should we look for, out of your camp?

GC: I’ve worked with Wise Intelligent of the LEGENDARY PRT, Double O, Tha Savior, Swerv, Vicky Martin.. All if which are a Damn Problem!!!… meaning they are the best in the business….

RD: Do you prefer to be an independent artist or is your goal to sign with a major label?

GC: I wrestled with that thought a lot…. I mean, who wouldn’t want a machine behind them helping them CONQUER this industry…. But I also love the idea of being my own boss, having complete control, getting all my money… lol…. I’m just gonna continue to pray about it….

RD: What is something about your music you’d like people to know that they don’t already know?

GC: Hmmmm….. We that BLOODY WATERS is one one part of my musical expression…. There’s so much more to who I am as an artist….

RD: When it comes to your sense of style, would you say you tend to wear major brands or do you consider yourself a fashion maverick?

GC: Definitely a fashion maverick…. I like to mix and be creative….

RD: What are your favorite colors to wear?

GC: I love all the colors of the rainbow…

RD: Speaking of fashion, have you ever heard of Rhorie Drey Brand or Rhorie Drey HEF?

GC: Yes I have!!!!…. and I’m definitely here for it!!

RD: If given the opportunity, in what ways would you help or give back to your community?

GC: I love my people… I love my community….. I’m an advocate…. anything that needs to be done or said regarding my people, I’m down for whatever!!!… Always have been, always will be…

RD: What motivational or inspirational words you like to give to the next generation of singers/artists?

GC: Go hard…. Don’t compare yourself…. Do you because no one can beat you being you!!!!

RD: Is acting in a movie on the horizon for you?

GC: I’ve actually done a couple of small roles…. and I’m working on another role right now…

RD: Would you mind blessing us with a (video) a capella freestyle?

GC: I’d love to…

RD: We truly appreciate you coming through on this interview…do you have any other kind words for our viewers?

GC: Yes. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!!! PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT AND SHARE WITH OTHERS THE INDIE MUSIC THAT YOU LOVE…I LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH!!!

There you have it, everyone! The amazing and gracious…Gail Campbell “A Phoenix Rising!”

Black Lives Matter: Look Beyond the Mantra…

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Although, I would to have agree that Black Lives do Matter but in actuality All Lives Matter! It’s only my opinion that “organized” marches and “staged” sit-ins are outdated yet still effective forms of protest. The major concern would have to be who is really backing and behind the movement of Black Lives Matter? You may call one a conspiracy theorist but is the B.L.M. movement being tailored for us or is it truly grassroots in conception? Some would argue that such a thought is irrelevant. “We all have to start from somewhere.” Ponder this, would you support a watered-down cause that’s financed by rich white elites and/or ran by individuals living alternative lifestyles using blackface as a front? Is there perhaps a secret agenda being quietly injected into the theme of what we witness in mainstream media. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with standing up against oppressors in the face of racism, prejudice, and injustice. All I am saying is think first before you hop on the social justice gravy train…all that glitters may not be black gold!

Stay woke…

New Fiya! Vid Pick: King P.I.B “I’m Me”

With a banging beat and a smooth delivery, King P.I.B. brings you cinematic vibes in “I’m Me“. The young soldier, out of New York, speaks on topics relative to his everyday struggles and his drive to make it. The production on this track is tight and his flow is solid. Don’t kid yourself if you haven’t seen it yet, you are missing out on what’s sure to be a hit!

Click the image below to view the music video!

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An Open Letter to Mr. Kanye West

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Dear Mr. West,

I truly hope you take the time out to actually read this. Much respect to you and what you’ve contributed musically and to hip hop as a whole.

Yes, I am an admirer of your talents and a fan of your production work. I’ve always said to myself, “If I ever were to produce beats I’d want to be like Kanye!”

Although I don’t know you personally, I’ve picked up on the fact that things seem to be a little “off” with you over the past few years. Maybe it’s the emotional as well as pivotal lose of your mother (R.I.P. Dr. Donda West) or it could be another underlying issue that we don’t know about. This concerns me because no one in your camp appears to be addressing this fact or even trying to help you stay grounded.

When you spoke at the White House to our current President, that showed courage and bravery to reach out on a platform at a time in which no one else was willing to do so. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t agree with all of the stances our present leadership is taking but what you did was inspiring. My only comment being that your words and thoughts could have been a little more focused and articulated.

As an individual who coincidentally is trying his hand in fashion as well, I hear and understand your viewpoint in regards to acceptance from the fashion world. How I see it though, you possess so much power and potential to stand alone; you can make your own mark on the industry. You do not need to get the green light from them because Kanye West is a brand unto itself.

May this open letter meet you in good spirits! God bless you and your family.

Sincerely,

Anonymous