May 08, 2014
By Jimmie Davis, Jr.
Special to the NNPA from the Miami Times
Upcoming hip-hop artists may find it challenging to get a DJ to play their songs or a mainstream media critic to review their music, but if they belong to Core DJs World Wide, they have nothing to worry about.
Recently, leaders of the group representing more than 500 of the nation’s most influential DJs, met with National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Cloves Campbell and a partnership was established that will give them access to approximately 200 Black newspapers. In turn, NNPA will have a strong connection with a new generation of readers.
“We want to merge the hip hop community with the Black media,” Tony Neal, CEO and founder of Core DJs World Wide said in an exclusive interview with the Miami Times. “Now we have two well-defined voices reaching the people.”
Core DJs World Wide instructs young executives on how to polish their talent and business skills. That was done during a 3-day that ended Monday at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel on South Beach amid celebrating the group’s 10-year anniversary.
A third – and perhaps most important – factor was Jineea Butler, president of Hip Hop Union. She was responsible for forming the union between Hip Hop Union, Core DJs World Wide and the NNPA.
“There was no type of conversation taking place between the Black Press and the hip hop community,” Butler said. “We have to support one another.”
In addition to creating the unique alliance, Butler is a columnist for the NNPA News Service, reaching nearly 19 million readers.
Whether you’re a DJ, singer, rapper or model – Core DJs is the team to belong to, because as the premier coalition of DJs, they have the inside track on the goings and comings of the industry.
Getting air play is the number one concern for rappers and R&B singers, and Neal has made this course of action relatively simple for his members. Throughout the conference, artists had opportunities to network and establish a rapport with DJ’s and producers.
Once the DJ’s listens to the music – the artist’s stands a better a chance of getting their music played in clubs and on the radio.
“I’m trying to push my entertainment career to the next level,” said Rapper Pedro “Bizz” Juan Julio, who travelled from Topeka, Kansas to attend the conference. “I want to sign with a label, so I can feed my family.” His debut CD is entitled “Count Me In”.
These days it takes more than charisma to get noticed by a DJ. Musicians have to promote their strengths through establishing what’s called a “brand.”
“Your brand is your image,” Bizz said. “It’s who you are.”
R&B singer and song writer Sincere Grant, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma performed his hot new single “Red Carpet Ready.” He has a very delightful CD that’s going to catch the eyes of a major record label. Don’t be surprised, because has a very productive future in the entertainment field.
There was also a “Wrap” Session moderated by George E. Curry, editor of the NNPA News Service and BlackPressUSA.com .
“The “Wrap” session was all about the role that the NNPA is going to play at bridging the gap between the hip hop community and the Black Press. “We are here to let the collective know that the Black Press is a means of communication that they need to take advantage of,” said Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., Chairman NNPA. “Our role as the Black Press is to give them positive exposure in the community they serve.”
Entertainer, Owner and CEO of Pack Rat Productions Sheryl Underwood is also a member of Core DJs World Wide and she says the gathering made a tremendous impact on the lives of individuals striving to get their foot in the door.
“I just love what I’m seeing here because there’s so much unity,” Underwood said. “This is how you select the next president.”
Neal, Butler and Campbell all agree that by utilizing the principles set forth during the civil rights era a movement has flourished where Core DJs Worldwide, the NNPA and Hip Hop Union is a powerful political unit.
“We have created a political interest group,” said Brooklyn Recording artist and Producer Jazo. “Musicians as well as members of the community will benefit from this partnership.”
May 01, 2014
Aries March 21 - April 19
Friendships and romantic bonds should provide a rich source of support and good companionship today, Aries. Conversation is likely to be light, covering general matters like current events and the weather, but this might be just what you need right now. Someone could introduce you to some new friends from far away who have some intriguing news of their own. This should prove a light, restful, and altogether very pleasant day. Enjoy!
Taurus April 20 - May 20
Today you might find yourself hosting an impromptu social event, Taurus, and more people could show up than you initially counted on. Don't worry about it, however. The party should be enjoyable for everyone even if the place is a bit crowded. Your visitors can look out for themselves. Among the unexpected guests might be an attractive, interesting person who could shape up to be a potential love partner. Relax and enjoy your day.
Gemini May 21 - June 20
A festival, rally, or other mass event could occur today in your community, Gemini. It could center on a social, ecological, or political issue. You could well decide to attend in the company of a romantic partner, and perhaps a group of friends, too. This event could prove exciting for you, although some of what you learn there might be unsettling. Take a notebook and plenty of pens. You'll want to keep a record.
Cancer June 21 - July 22
Career matters should be going very well for you today, Cancer. A sudden change regarding your work could catapult you into a position you've been hoping to reach for a long time. A rise in income could result. You've worked hard and done very well, so what may seem a lucky break to others is actually the result of intense, determined effort on your part. Enjoy your success and make the most of it.
Leo July 23 - August 22
A sudden desire to expand your horizons could have you and possibly a romantic partner considering returning to school, Leo, perhaps for an advanced degree. The school you're considering, however, might be located in another state or even a foreign country. Following through with your desire could require some careful planning. As a result, you and your beloved may have some intense conversations over the next few days.
Virgo August 23 - September 22
Some new ideas for expanding your horizons on some level could come to you today through an unexpected source, Virgo, possibly even dreams or visions. If an idea does come through a dream or flash of insight, don't write it off as crazy. It probably warrants some careful consideration, if nothing else. Some research is definitely called for, and possibly consulting with people in the know. Think about it!
Libra September 23 - October 22
Ideas for a new enterprise, which could be anything from a party to a vacation to a new business, could have you spending a lot of time on the phone today, Libra. You'll need to consult with people who know about what you want to do and at least lay the groundwork for making solid arrangements. Some of what you hear may be confusing, but don't be afraid to ask for an explanation. Go to it!
Scorpio October 23 - November 21
Have you been thinking about getting fit by investing in some exercise equipment? If so, Scorpio, this might be the day to actually go out and get it. Don't be surprised if friends, relatives, and neighbors all want to come over and try it out. Health and fitness are very much on your mind right now, so you might also want to pick up some books on whatever discipline interests you the most.
Sagittarius November 22 - December 21
Your curiosity and creative energy may be stimulated today by information you receive from books, documentaries, or conversations with people familiar with the field you're exploring. As a result, Sagittarius, you could come up with an innovative new project that keeps you and some colleagues busy for a long time. But don't worry - this enterprise should be full of surprises and therefore anything but tedious. Go to it!
Capricorn December 22 - January 19
A female visitor could come to your door today with some interesting, useful information, Capricorn. It might involve anything from stock market trends to a forthcoming wedding to occult and metaphysical matters. Whatever it is, you'll find it captivating, and might just sit and listen to your guest for quite a while. By the time she leaves, your mind may well be spinning. Take a walk to clear your head or you'll be awake all night.
Aquarius January 20 - February 18
Today your relationships with just about everyone - friends, relatives, colleagues, and romantic partners - should be going very well, Aquarius. Your communication is good, and your ability to see the other person's point of view is clearer than usual. This might be a bit disconcerting, as it could conflict with your viewpoint, but bear in mind you don't have to agree with others to learn from them. Enjoy your day.
Pisces February 19 - March 20
Relations with colleagues on the job could be very cooperative today, Pisces, probably because you're about to complete a project of some kind that could result in higher income for everyone. Communication should be open and honest, and for once you'll probably be able to reach everyone you phone without having to leave any messages. Go with the flow and all should be completed successfully. Onward and upward!
May 01, 2014
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Being Black, brilliant, and radical is hard in 2014. Imagine life being Black in the early 20th century.
‘Hard” is actually a ‘diplomatic’ word to refer to lynchings, blatant discrimination, and ungodly behavior inflected upon African-Americans during this era.
Enter Paul Robeson, the first African American valedictorian of Rutgers University and an All-American football player for the school. Robeson, an incredibly brilliant artist, dared to challenge the status quo and his courage led to a documented, yet often forgotten, period of American history.
Daniel Beaty aims to give us a fresh awakening about Paul Robinson in the production, ‘The Tallest Tree in the Forest,’ now playing at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles.
Beaty, who opened the one-man show on April 19, delivers a captivating synopsis of Robeson’s life. His presentation not only shares known facts about Robeson’s outrage towards the insults, disrespect, and ‘benign neglect’ endured by Black Americans, but also discloses his profound disappointment about the ill treatment of Jews, Irish, American Indians and others affected by this peculiar approach to U.S. justice.
“I believe Robeson epitomizes the artist-activist. I think it’s a shame that he is not remembered in American and world history to the degree that he should be. Though he had some controversial politics, he made huge, huge contributions. I wanted to explore his life to be able to honor those contributions,” said Beaty, who also wrote the play.
The two-hour performance traces Robeson’s childhood, academic honors, artistic career and persecution by the U.S. government. Throughout the show, Beaty reveals his uncanny ability to depict the voices of various characters in Robeson’s life. He delivers rapid-fire conversations between Robeson and his wife, Essie, various media critiquing his plays and the attacks of U.S. senators during Robeson’s appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956.
Beaty also sings powerful renditions of popular Robeson standards such as “Ol’ Man River,” “The Joint is Jumpin,” “Get on Board Lil’ Chillun,” and “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.” In addition, Robeson’s rumored infidelity gets exposure as well.
“I believe that if you really want to put a character into the social discourse, you can’t do hero worship. No human being on earth is perfect and if you tell a story of a perfect human being, people will become skeptical about what agenda you have that you’re leaving out truths about the person,” noted Beaty in an L.A. Watts Times interview.
“I think, ultimately, when you see a human being and their complexities, you actually can evaluate and value their contributions more.”
Without a doubt, Paul Robeson vividly comes to life through Beaty’s portrayal. Audience-goers will be enlightened and possibly amazed that one individual could achieve so much in the face of insurmountable challenges.
“‘The Tallest Tree in the Forest’ is an exceptional play. The ease at which Mr. Beaty was able to transition between characters transported the audience to those pivotal times in the life of Paul Robeson and of Black America, his connection to the Jewish community and the working class,” said Pam B., who attended the opening night show.
“I received a history as well as a life lesson about Robeson’s accomplishments, victories, struggles, determination and commitment to his (Robeson’s) ideals and beliefs despite the persecution in his fight for equality for his fellow man no matter the color of his skin,” she observed.
Although Robeson lived a fascinating life, it ended in near obscurity. As Beaty exposes Robeson’s last years, he reveals a broken, depressed and tired old man, finally worn out by the long fight for right.
Beaty is a talented actor, singer and writer who delivers a memorable performance. When this production ends, he begins his next project, this time on the big screen.
“I will be shooting my first film this summer, ‘Chapter and Verse.’ It deals with the issue of mass incarceration and a man who is out of prison after 10 years trying to find his way in the world.”
‘The Tallest Tree in the Forest’ runs until on May 25 at the Mark Taper Forum. For tickets, call (213) 628-2772.
April 24, 2014
LAWT Contributing Writer
Radio co-host Tammi Mac of “Mac & Amiche,” Los Angeles’ #1 urban radio show on 102.3 KJLH brings her titled one woman show “Bag Lady” to the theater this May.
The witty and funny radio host will be giving us another side of her as she brings every emotion to the surface. Debuting May 2-11 at Stage 52 on 5299 W. Washington Blvd Los Angeles, CA, Mac leaves no subject to the imagination as she reveals surviving molestation, to baby momma drama and much more.
It was on a flight to LA that Mac and her best friend Michelle came up with the idea of “Bag Lady.” Discussing their bad relationships, they started to compare who had the worst relationship.
“I had an epiphany thinking were comparing bad relationships, but the one thing that we had in common in all of them is we’re in them, so were they really bad relationships because the men were bad to us or were they bad relationships because we were bad to ourselves,” Mac stated.
Mac feels it’s our own personal baggage that allows us to continue to get into bad relationships and make repeated mistakes.
“‘Bag Lady’ forces women to look at themselves as to what they could be doing wrong to get into bad relationships,” she states.
While others may write a memoir on their personal struggles, Mac is putting it all in a show turning her battles into a performance.
“I am actress so that is the number one reason I decided to do it on stage. The core of me, is that I am a story teller, I believe because of my empathy for people. God has given me a gift of storytelling, to tell other people’s stories, but tell it from a perspective where people can hear the story and not judge but only look at the story as maybe a lesson or maybe an internal thought process of what is happening in their own lives.”
Not to be mistaken, her show doesn’t so much tell the story of abusive relationships but the abuse women do to themselves.
“Bag Lady” is not about the bad men in my life, it’s about the bad decisions I have made in my life that have caused me to pick bad men,” said the actress.
On not casting another actress to play her, “No one can tell my story better than I can. There will never be another actress who can do this play better than me because it’s my story.”
This isn’t Mac’s first introduction into theatre nor is it a transition into the field.
“Most people see me as a comical, quick witted radio host. A lot of people aren't aware of the theatrical skills that I've obtained through schools and workshops.”
Mac who is a formally trained actress with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre and who has also trained with the infamous improv school, The Groundlings enjoys both radio and acting.
“Radio is my best friend, acting is my love. They both kind of intertwine because when I’m on the radio I have to tell stories and because you can’t see me I have to make them so compelling that you want to hear it even though there’s nothing visual there,” Mac said.
“I’m a huge part of the theatrical world, I have yet to really sink my teeth in film and television. I recently had a film Don B. Welch ‘The Divorce’ released on DVD. It’s a great film, I’m excited for the opportunities he has given me. I do a lot of Don B. Welch and Brandi Burks productions, they're really good at giving upcoming actresses opportunities to showcase themselves in different roles in each project as well as honing their craft.”
Mac, who is looking to forge her own path in Hollywood, hopes to land her own show or role in a big budget film one day.
With so much going on, one wonders how the multi-talent handles juggling so many hats.
“The best model I ever heard was the Nike advertising campaign ‘Just Do It,’ you can’t think about it.”
Mac who doesn’t think about juggling anything states, “It’s all entertainment to me. My best day is when I get up a 7am and go on an audition in Santa Monica, then do a voice over gig in Hollywood, go on another audition, then turnaround and rehearse my show then go to work on the radio for four hours. Host something later on that night and get home at 1am I love every part of that!”
“Bag Lady” is not only a representation of her personal life but a way of aiding other women who are battling the same issues.
“I didn't pay for the show, I had over 200 hundred dollars contributed to a kickstarter campaign for the show that’s how I knew it was living proof that the show was bigger than me, it was God's show. God telling me to tell the story not for me but for other women.”
Not stopping at theater, “Bag Lady” will become a web series, shown on her YouTube channel, Tammi Mac TV. “Bag Lady” takes individual stories of real life women and puts them into movie form. There are four series. “No Male,” “Joy Ride,” “Viagra” and “Duck Tape” are all different stories that every woman faces and goes through in a string of relationships.
Subscribe to Tammi Mac TV to watch “Bag Lady” as well as “The Divorce” on Netflix.
For show times, ticket purchases and to keep up with the latest from Mac visit www.tammimac.com and follow @mstammimac.