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Master Class: Duane DaRock by DJ Layne Luv

Duane DaRock Long Way

Napoleon Hill goes on record with his book Think And Grow Rich telling the reader the very day he was sent on a mission to seek out the most successful people in the nation at that time, and develop a formula for how they became that way. The proposition was set by steel giant Andrew Carnegie. The two things I took from that fateful encounter is that successful men act quickly and change their minds slowly. 2nd, is belief,  will take you further than you can ever imagine. My point is, had Napoleon Hill let the knock of opportunity pass him by, by not recognizing a jewel (opportunity) handed to him from greatness, he might have robbed the world of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time inspired by his book. In July of 2017, in a conference room in Raleigh North Carolina, filled with DJ’s and radio personalities, I also felt the knock of opportunity when I heard the story of Duane DaRock…as told by Duane DaRock, and my journey has not been the same since. When he told the story of being homeless, I was at the time on the verge of being homeless and I didn’t know how I was going to get to North Carolina, let alone eat while I was down there. But one week before his breaking point…his life changed. One chance meeting with a legendary rapper solidified his place in music history. Ladies and Gentleman… Legendary Producer Duane DaRock.

SO: Mr. DaRock, so glad you could join Straight Official today. When you spoke at the Fleet Music Conference this past summer, you had something different to say vs, just talking about the music business itself, you wanted to drive home positive energy and vibrations. What made those things the forefront of your message?

DD: Well I’ve known about the power of vibration since I was 4 years old and the gift that came with that was being in tune with the vibrations of the universe and whatever you think about you bring about. The game changer for me was when my grandfather died when I was 12, that’s when I jumped in the music business which makes 32 years being in the music game. I will solely accredit the things I’ve accomplished in this business based on it being all about positive energy, good vibrations.

SO: So where did determination play a factor in your will to make it in the music business?

DD: Like I said I knew at the age of 12 what I wanted to do, so I let nothing or no one take me off of that path. So in 93′ I started producing records with the help of a man by the name of Steven Brown. He was a jazz musician. What happened was, I couldn’t find anyone to make beats for me being that I was from the Boston area. So I learned what I could until eventually I became self contained until the fateful day I met Big Daddy Kane. From there I started producing beats for Digable Planets, Kool Moe Dee, Rakim, LL Cool J and the list goes on.

SO: I know the story , but for those that need to hear this, tell the inspiring story of how you met Big Daddy Kane.

DD: Ok so I was homeless. My girl kicked me out and I was bouncing from place to place and I was starving. I was starving to the point my homie said I needed to go get some food assistance. I got all the way there and something came over me and I said NO! I’m dope…I’m dope. I went home to make some rice because it’s all I had to eat….as I’m pouring the rice in the pot, a jar from the cabinet falls and breaks into the pot of rice. I pick out the big pieces but mind you the little pieces are still in there, I literally ate glass that night. This sparked not only a fire but a fearlessness in me. About a week later, I went to the Big Daddy Kane concert on a mission to let Kane hear my beats. I tell the security that I’m one of Kane’s dancers. Security wasn’t having it. So as fate would have it, a fight broke out distracting security and so I ran. I didn’t know where I was running to, but I ran right into the back of Big Daddy Kane. I told him what I did and he listened to the beats. While he’s doing this, I can see security coming to get me. And in true Kane cool fashion. He gives this look to say, “Can’t you see he’s with me?” The very next day I’m in the studio with Kane and I’m officially in the music business. But let’s be clear…I’ve been homeless even two other times after that. I’ve made money, lost it, made it again. It was a clear lesson from God to stay humble. The Lord giveth and he taketh away.

SO: You and Jadakiss seem to have a trusting working relationship. How did that come about?

DD: I met Jadakiss through the actor Duane Martin. I did a song for a movie called Hustle and Heat. Duane Martin and Jadakiss both played in that movie, so through working together, we just kept building until eventually we ended up doing the song Letter To Big with Faith Evans which ended being the main song on the Biggie movie. But let me backtrack. I met Faith one night because I was hungry and I listened to my craving and went to Fat Burger. What I thought was a craving, was in fact that I was being guided by the vibrations. When I saw her, I told her about my studio, she came back and heard a couple tracks and that night I penned the hook to Letter To Big.

SO: What do you say to the theory that people sell their souls to get into the music industry?

DD: First of all, your soul is not for sale, so you can’t literally sell your soul. But I will say that when you go against who you are to gain some sort of stardom or unearned favor, you are then going against who you are morally and that’s why you see the heavy drugs and heavy drinking because some people in the industry have made deals that compromise who they were, so they drink to escape their now reality. You can be in this business without succumbing to the tricks of people trying to tap into your inner core of who you are. But thats why you have to operate on a high vibration so you can recognize and avoid that trap.

“When you link with demonic forces for superficial gain, you go against the will of God and that’s what selling your soul means to me.” -Duane DaRock

SO: Who’s responsible for how you ethically move throughout the music business and keep your integrity?

DD: HAHAHAHA make sure you put this in there. And put my laugh in big bold letter too. There so many artists today that wouldn’t have gotten where they are without the people they shitted on, pimped and played. A lot of ghost writers and ghost producers will never see the light of day. They receive no credit and are getting robbed regularly. But these are they same people responsible for the success you see in today’s artists. A lot of people at the top…stole their way to the top. There are a lot of wolves in this industry, but I consider myself a lion. A Lion moves gracefully and knows it rules that land. A Lion commands and takes what he wants when he is hungry. A wolf plots, plans and preys on anything weaker. A wolf is constantly looking to devour, a Lion attacks only when necessary .

SO: What’s your final word for today’s up and coming musicians?

DD: When you’re tapped in to your inner guidance, it will tell you what you need to do. Stop saying “I’m chasing my dreams.” If someone tells you to “Chase your dreams” smack the shit out of em. Anything you are chasing is obviously running away from you. The words you want to use is that I’m attracting my reality…I am manifesting my dreams. You’re talking about the guy that was homeless three times yet Kevin Hart used my song about struggle to be the main song for his movie. It can happen for you if you believe in yourself. I’m Duane DaRock and I stand by what I’ve said.

@DJLAYNELUV

@DuaneDaRock

@StraightOfficialMag

@StateOfHip_Hop

@FleetDJs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[FEATURE] David Banner: 601 comes to the 614 by DJ Layne Luv

David Banner Lecture Ohio

Sept 27th 2017, Jackson Mississippi rapper David Banner calls up 106.7fm The Beat in Columbus Ohio and receives some disturbing news. He was told that a rumor circulating the city was that he would more than likely not show up to the lecture event Speak Your Truth Summit. Shortly after the interview Mr. Banner went right to Instagram to confirm that he indeed was coming to our city and that he was proud to come to our town. Within that one minute video, you saw integrity, compassion and a deep rooted southern pride to always keep your word no matter what it costs. All qualities of being a real man.

If you have grown with David Banner like I have since the hit song Like A Pimp ft Lil Flip or major production credit on T.I.’s monumental album Trap Muzik (2003), then you know that the 2017 David Banner is not the same one we know from 2003. Of course David Banner always told well rounded stories, such as Cadillacs on 22’s referencing the death of Emmett Till and other misfortunes in his home state, but after 2006, we started to see a change and conviction in his approach to music. Maybe it was those Katrina waters of 2005 that destroyed his beloved state that brought about the enlightenment. Go back in time and remember how pissed he was when the world witnessed with it’s own eyes that the President of the United States George W. Bush didn’t give a damn about the poor and disfranchised in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and of course the city hit the worst New Orleans. This was his family that was suffering and he was the only voice fit to sound the alarm in the time period to speak about his state of emergency. (pun intended)

The Great Malcolm X said in his autobiography…once the light is turned on inside you cannot turn it off. Well Mr. Banner’s light continues to shine brighter and brighter as he brings awareness to the plight of being Black In America especially in the southern states. When Straight Official caught up with Banner…I had a lot on my mind. I was extremely perplexed. I witnessed and reposted the murder of Patrick Harmon of Salt Lake City Utah on my Uptown Weekly Instagram page. Not to mention being close to the case of Timothy Davis in Columbus Ohio. In that particular situation, by all means, we are grateful that young man is still alive. However, with strain and intensity in my eyes, I told Mr. Banner…”Sir, there’s a lot of people that don’t know….but I know you know….Please shed some light on how long we have to endure these horrendous acts in front of our face as we standby appearing to be helpless.”

Understand I come to piss people off and make them uncomfortable. Because pain brings about attention quickly. Listen, a warrant, smoking weed, running, none of that is justifiable in killing someone. I’m not just talking about black people. Whatever color they are, if they are not directly posing a threat to a police officer and they’re just running away, my friend there is no reason for anyone to get shot. See, white people have gotten black people to think like them, so when we see someone jammed up by the police, the first thing we think in the back of our mind is ..damn what that n***a do? Now unless that man (Harmon) was wanted for murder, then shooting him doesn’t make any sense. You see, we also have to stop echoing their bullshit media commentary, just like in the Kaepernick situation. They wanna say kneeling is a disrespect to our troops. Well, the last time I checked, America treats it’s troops like shit. So as I’ve said on many stages, the only way to get “the power’s” attention is either by the loss of money or the loss of life.”

I spoke with David Banner for about 15 more minutes, and then it was time for him to get whisked away to the stage for his lecture. As he stood before the crowd he commanded everyone to turn off their cell phones from going live at his show. His reasoning is that he feels African Americans already give away too much for free. “We have to start getting paid for our talents and gifts” he states. He also said in front a semi-light audience “If folks wanted the experience, they should have brought their ass to the show.”

He then passed out his CD #Godbox to the entire audience, and then had enough time to play snippets from two songs for the appreciative crowd. He proceeded to break down why conscious music may not sell the way mainstream music does. “One reason muh fuchas may not buy ya shit is cuz it ain’t jammin. Just because your music has a message in it doesn’t mean it should suck.” As he states that Godbox is one of the most important albums to hip hop in the history of it, only the keepers of this culture and art form can co-sign that prediction. And just as we saw of 4:44, #Godbox did not have the nightclubs in mind this go round, but instead another project to wake up the minds.

After the show, David Banner showed true southern hospitality and shook as many hands and took as many pictures as he could with those that had to wait patiently almost two hours for the rapper/producer to take the stage. And he also gave many kudos to the organizer of the event Ms. Tomiqua Perry for her hard work and determination. 

Lastly at David Banner’s request he wanted me to quote him saying “This is the first time I’m saying this to Black America on your article brother. Don’t be afraid, they are killing us anyway so continue to stand and speak out against injustice. They’ll kill you for obeying the law, (Philando Castile) so don’t be afraid. We have been so conditioned to be afraid of white people. I’ll say this for the first time too, most black people praise white people more than they’re own religion. They’ll cheat on their wife, kill another brother, lie, steal, do everything that bible told them not to do, but will not take a stand against wrong-doing white folks. Use that, don’t take that out, quote quote mutha fucha hahahaha. Because we have to address our conditioned mentality for change to  happen as well.”

Thank you Mr. Banner for coming to our city and opening up the minds to Speak Their Truth. And be sure to pick up #GodBox on all streaming outlets (iTunes Tidal, Spotify etc)

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@DavidBannerLikesPictures

@Stateofhip_hop

@FleetDJs

 

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[PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT] SLIM HOOD #CHAR-LITT

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#ITSJUSTWORK. You may have seen the hashtags floating around social
media, there to indicate that no matter how hard it may get, or how high
you achieve, it’s all a part of the grind. This exemplifies Slim Hood, one of
Charlotte, NC’s most prominent producers, and his brand, Platinum Plus
Recording, who have set out to make their hometown, the next hotbed for
hip-hop and R&B artists.
Born March 16, 1987, in Charlotte, NC, Michael Warlick, p/k/a “Slim Hood,”
knew music was his destiny at an early age. Michael became highly
influenced by the music his parents listened to, especially his father, who
would play all kinds of music for Michael and his brother, on their many
road trips. This gave Michael time to digest music on a deeper level, and
was the motivation behind his pursuit to learn more about the art. In an
attempt to get a feel for what it was like to actually make music, Michael
joined his school’s band and began playing the trombone. This gave him a
sound structure and helped build his understanding of music theory and
instrumentation.
During a family trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, Slim’s cousin Jason played a song
for him that Jason and his friend recorded, which really intrigued Slim. After
inquiring about who made the beat, Jason told Slim it was his friend that
made it using a program called FL STUDIO. After returning from the trip,
Slim purchased some equipment and set up his studio in his mother’s living
room, using his bed room closest as a vocal booth. He later teamed up with
some peers from high school and began producing for them. Realizing they
had real skills, they formed a group and dropped their first mixtape called
“Renegade” which saw Slim record and mix the whole project himself. This
quickly grew Slim’s name and skill and would be the start his something
bigger.
After hearing Slim’s production, another local producer by the name of Nick
Grant, asked Slim to show him some production tricks. Slim and Nick
quickly joined forces and collaborated with two artists, Dirty Face Devin and
Jermaine the Juice. Nick and Slim would go on to produce the artist’s first
mixtape entitled, “Eastside’s Crunkest.” The mixtape was heard playing in
every car after school. Unfortunately, Dirty Face Devin passed away while
at baseball practice due to a heart condition. After the sudden death, the
group tried to continue but without Dirty Face, things were not the same.
Eventually the group would split, although Slim continued to produce music
for other local artists and decided to take his production from his mom’s
house and go public with it. From that decision came Platinum Plus
Recording Studio, which is rooted in Micheal’s polished skills and one-of-akind
ear.
With a wealth of experience and extensive production knowledge, Micheal
knew early on that his natural talents would carry him into a bright future.
A willingness to keep evolving and provide a world-class experience
continues to be the driving force behind Micheal’s mission and vision.
Micheal Warlick has quickly become one of the first producer/engineers
Charlotte, NC artists call on for their next hit record.
Slim Hood decided to create a brand that would allow him to stand out and
represent the quality of his work.

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[PRODUCER] AUDIO JONES IS LIVING HIS DREAMS

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Get to know Miami producer/ songwriter Audio Jones. He is the songwriter and producer for Trina’s new song “Situation” featuring Lil Wayne on her upcoming 6th solo album THE ONE. His production credits extend from Pusha T to Gunplay. Audio Jones is just a Carol City kid living his dream.

1. Audio Jones…how did you come up with that name, it’s hella catchy?

Thanks, honestly me and boy Dopexgold was sitting in the studio chillin and he out of no where started talking bout how his name going to be Sanchez Mora so I said shit imma change my name too and then came Audio Jones lol.

2. How did you end up working with Trina? And what was that experience like?

Well that’s  a long story…but I was once part of a production Duo called Snatch & Grab who was being managed by Kd s/o Kd btw who works with Trina. After the break of the production team I stayed working with Kd and it led to me getting placements as Audio Jones starting with her single from 2013, “Back 2 business.”

Over the years I kept consistent with submitting material and led me to making a placement on her upcoming Album “The One” producing a track I wrote, produced and featured on called “Situation” feat Lil Wayne. The experience of working with Trina is amazing. She is so cool, I mean down to Earth, funny and likes to enjoy herself every session. Every session is full of good times, jokes, good company and all other ingredients for a good time lol. Over all it’s humbling. I’m a kid from Carol City and living my dreams.

3. What’s one jewel of advice for up and coming producers?

Get Hot! Build your demand. The more you are in demand the more leverage you have.

4. What artists have you worked with and what projects are you currently working on? I’ve worked with Trina, Ice Billion Berg, Gunplay, Pusha T, Emilio Rojas, Lecrae, Joe Budden and Brianna Perry to name a few. Currently I’m working on a production album full of different collaborations and features. I just started but presume to work on this for the year. I’m looking forward to releasing music as a producer.

5. How can people find you online?
@audiojones twitter and IG and to hear more production www.soundcloud.com/audiojones

6. What’s your definition of a hustler? A mover, a shaker. Someone who putting this with that and making it happen.

7. Any shoutouts? S/o Kd management s/o my business partner Othagod And the Behindthescenekings and shout you guys out for shining light on the producers thanks.

8. Can you tell us a lil bit about where you are from? I was born in Miami, raised in Carol City. I come from a multicultural ethnic background being half Latin and half African American. I started as a singer and was signed to a couple independent labels like Circle House with Abebe Lewis then I was signed to independent label “S.G.S “which was heavily Affiliated with Zoe Pound s/o Blind and during that time I had a single as an artist named Prince Ty which featured Trick Daddy called “So Ghetto. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out for me and I had to reinvent myself and so forth. I started producing.

 

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[MUSIC] BENNY FAME: A BLEND OF 2PAC & CHRIS BROWN

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Benny Fame of Worldwide Reality ENT. is gonna take you on a swerving journey  with “SEXY OUTTA SPACE ,” produced by Doug Grigsby (Michael Jackson, Levert, Teen Marie and more), “I DO IT” and “V.I.P.” just to drop you a few game changers from HATE TO LOVE exclusively on DATPIFF.

The full project is produced and arranged by Benny Fame. He style is vicious and smooth. My personal two favorites are “STORY OF MY LIFE” and  “FLY GIRL.” Below is a self-produced music video for “I DO IT.”

Get to know Benny Fame on this one on one for STRAIGHT OFFICIAL MAG.

1.What is your name and where are you from?

Benny Fame from Philadelphia…I have lived in Florida & Texas.

2. How would you describe your music?

A mix between 2Pac and Chris Brown.

3. What is hip-hop to you?

A full expression of one’s feelings at the moment…good or bad.

4. Can you tell us about your past projects and what you are currently working on?

Currently on Datpiff I have “”Hate to Love mixtape…I am working on new Ep coming soon.

5. What’s a hustler?

Person that gets thru any situation.

6. How can people reach you online?

Email bennyfame215@gmail.com instagram:@Benny_fame

7. What do you think will make you stand out as an up and coming artist?

I produce all my own music and I am a walking encyclopedia of music from the 50s to current music and in all genres from rock to rap…I feel this will reflect in my music and help me stand out.

8. Any shoutouts? Shout out Da Front Porch …Noble Prince Hart…Worldwide Royalty…and my mom

 

Booking info: hursh@dafrontporch.biz

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[PRODUCER’S CORNER] VSTs!!!

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Before, I’ve covered DAW programs. To recap, DAWs are Digital Audio Workstations, and they are used from making beats to recording songs. Now, I am going to cover VST plugins. VST, or Virtual Studio Technology, has been the future for some years, if that makes sense.

VSTs serve a very wide range of purposes. One main purpose producers use them for is to lay unique sounds on beats. Engineers may use VSTs with the mixing of vocals. Some creators use them for both of the said purposes. Me personally, I use them for any purpose, depending on the situation. I will cover the use of VSTs when recording on another day. In a producer’s world alone today, VSTs are the bread and butter.

Omnisphere

This has to be my favorite VST today. The VST itself has to be around 70 GB alone, but it is all worth it. I literally haven’t been through all of the sounds this one has, not to mention newer expansion packs are being released. If you want that unique sound, get this one.

Nexus

This VST comes in second place in my book. Since the early 2010s, you have heard this one in many hit tracks. Although this VST is aging, it still serves its main purpose. If you’re a trap rnb, or edm producer, this one is for you.

Those are the 2 I’m covering today. See you next time for more.

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614 Radio Legend: Kevin “The Man About” Townes by DJ Layne Luv

kevin townes TLC

Blogger Sidenote: This is a very special blog post for me because, most people think my musical passion lies solely in DJing. While this is true, however, most that know me, know that I have a white-heat adoration for the occupation of radio & broadcasting.  To provide a bigger fun fact, although my followers know that Tom “The Fly Jock” Joyner is my current radio idol, my aspirations of wanting to be a disc jockey started with a gentleman by the name of Walt “Baby” Love and his show entitled “The Countdown”. I used to sit and listen to him every Sunday by the window seal.

Now I don’t know where you might be from, but but back in day in Columbus Ohio, if you were a radio disc jockey, you were THE hometown celebrity to be. You were “The Man” or Woman, and had much “juice” in my city. Names like Kirk Bishop, Eddie Saunders, The Nassau Daddy himself Bill Moss (CapSoul Records), Les Brown, Mike Reeves, KC Jones, and Mel Griffin ring bells in the city of Columbus to this very day. Unfortunately I can’t name a lot of female jocks because as James Brown put it best…it was a “Man’s World” back then. When acts would come to town like The Whispers, The Temptations, The Bar Kays, and The Commodores the jocks would get as much attention from the ladies as the headlining acts.

This leads me to the gentleman we’re spotlighting in this blog. I came to know this guy about three years ago. He would always support my internet broadcast as if he had a vested interest to see me win. Eventually I just bonded with his spirit. Shortly after, I was able to witness him in action doing an internet show on Jamz.com. But this is not just a story about one man’s journey in radio…this is a story about a man’s fight for his life, for his legacy to be remembered, and to let the world know that Kevin Flemister aka Kevin Townes cares about the City Of Columbus, it’s rich history, and the business of entertainment.

Kevin Townes grew up in the Lincoln Projects on the Southside of Columbus. He is a graduate of South High School Class of  1984. During his teenage years, he became heavily influenced by the live broadcasts hosted by hometown legend Kirk Bishop at the Eastside skating rink. Through methodical planning, Kevin and some of his friends decided they would host a replica skate parties in their community recreation center (Barack). The venture proved to be more successful than the gentlemen thought. People from all over the city were coming to the recreation center to attend the skate parties. That provided the push for Kevin to dream about becoming an on-air disc jockey.

Nothing short of a Howard Stern movie….Kevin went on to attend Ohio University. During his freshman year, Townes got a job on the South Green Campus at the college radio station called WSGR. Townes moniker at that time was Kool DJ Kev! The thrill for Kevin was short lived after he grew bored of his responsibilities at the WSGR. To Townes, he felt like he could do more and wanted to do more with his career. After a year and a half of frustration Kevin dropped out of college altogether.

Following his instinct, he returned to Columbus and an old friend by the name of Frank Kelly was starting up an independent community hip hop radio station called CTNT. But what gave the station it’s claim to fame was, while other stations would only play top 100 R&B and safe hip hop…. CTNT was playing rap records like LL Cool J Rock The Bells, UTFO Roxanne Roxanne, and Run DMC Rockbox. “And we weren’t just playing the singles…we were playing the album cuts too!” said Townes. Anybody from that era knows that you could only get that station through a cable receiver, however, tapes of the mix shows were in high circulation and duplication around the city.

In 1987, Townes went from CTNT to the Columbus Hip Hop infamous Z103 (Sunday Night At The Raps). Through diligence and loyalty, the program director took a liking to Flemister. Once a spot opened up, Kevin was asked to do live overnights. While Kevin was working, he noticed that the city looked to him to find out where all the cool places were to go, and all the events that ruled the night. The town was his, even if it was for that 4 hour brief air shift….thus the name was born…Kevin Townes. Kevin liked the freedom he had to develop himself and play the songs he wanted to play to set the tone for the city that evening. It’s so important to document that, because corporations will never allow that kind of freedom again. The reason for this, is that they don’t want the city getting too comfortable with a personality, less they get fired and don’t welcome the replacement with the same love & respect and above anything else….lose loyal listeners.

In 1990, Townes radio world came Full-circle when KC Jones asked him to come over to 1580AM WVKO to host Blue Monday. A radio tradition in Columbus established and popularized by the late great Kirk Bishop. Of course they were big shoes to fill, but Kevin did it his way and the city loved him for it.

In ’92 Kevin lands himself back at Jack Harris aka Papa Jack’s 106.3fm and the station is going through the transition because Power 106 is setting up to be ran by Bluechip Broadcasting with Frank Kelly and Warren Stevens signed on a program directors. Once Corporate got its hands on urban radio….everything changed and not for the good. The jocks were told what to play and what to say. It’s riding in a Dodge Charger with a 4 cylinder engine…what’s the point LOL? But that didn’t stop Kevin’s hustle drive. He also hosted a Hip-Hop television video show called Music Video Avenue from ’93-’96

In 1996, Kevin’s world crossed paths with a young man from Louisville Kentucky. The man from Louisville would change how Columbus Ohio would hear urban radio forever. Enter Paul Strong. On the drive to Columbus, Paul heard Kevin’s Sunday broadcast, and decided Townes had the chops he needed for his show. The deal was offered and from that point, he became the pioneer and original member to what is now known in radio history as The Power Morning Crew. After Townes stint with Power, he did other things, but that was the last time he did radio on that grand of a scale.

The Original Power Morning Crew

But the true story is where Kevin found redemption and where he really found out what he was made of as a man. In 2013, Townes was experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. After a number of misdiagnosis, it was finally discovered that Kevin had a leaky heart valve and caused his health to decline tremendously. Kevin Townes could have chose to be private about his affairs, however he had the same epiphany I had when it came to social media…it was media…which meant he could use that platform to tell his story and be an encouragement to others.

Procedure after procedure Kevin would ask for the prayers of his followers right before a surgery and would always say encouraging words to his friends after overcoming each trial. As we acknowledged his fight to live, Kevin also inspired hope in other people though his videos of promoting heart health awareness and spirituality.

Kevin is no longer working in terrestrial radio. But for everything he’s been through, and continuing to go through, he remains in good spirits and when he can, whether it’s internet radio or a Facebook video, he lets you know that HE IS STILL KEVIN “YOUR MAN ABOUT” TOWNES! 

Follow him on Facebook

under: Kevin Flemister-Townes

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@StateOfHip_Hop

@UptownWeekly

 

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[420] Green Crack and a Surprise

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Ok. Before we get started with this review, let me give you all a disclaimer. THIS STRAIN IS FOR WAKE AND BAKE ONLY! Now that is out-of-the-way, let’s begin.

With a name like Green Crack, a normal person (bud toker only) would be like “ehhhh…nah.” Trust me, there’s no cocaine and baking soda in this. The smell is oh so lovely, fruity, and a bit earthy. The fruity smell alone has lured me into giving this one a try. The buds I’ve had required the use of a grinder. My choice of ingestion was, of course, an organic hemp raw paper.

I’ll describe the 1st pull of smoke as this: OHMYGODTHISTASTESSOAMAZING! Very fruity taste and the classic pungent smell that makes people stop in their tracks and say “someone is smoking pot somewhere.” After around 8 – 10 minutes, I wasn’t feeling anything. Nothing. Not a thing. I said to myself “no, this can’t be disappointing…”, and then it hit me. Zero couch lock, heavy cerebral effects, strong euphoria, and, read this: VERY SHARP FOCUS! After my joint was done, I just wanted to keep myself gainfully employed. I cleaned my house, did laundry, and began making beats from 11pm until 10am the next morning! If you are a creator, this strain is for you! Speaking of those beats, you can listen to part 1 of my Spring 2017 beat collection, trap/drill edition below! If you are interested in using any of these beats, contact moi at workwithtylenol3@gmail.com .

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The high typically lasts around 4.5 hours if you just had one session. Let’s revisit the disclaimer. DO NOT SMOKE THIS STRAIN AT NIGHT UNLESS YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DO OR SOMEWHERE TO GO! WHY? I’M GLAD YOU ASKED! YOU WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP! YOU WILL BE MAD AT YOURSELF! Other than that, happy toking!

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Exclusive! DJ Layne Luv Chops it up with The Legendary Large Professor

Large-Professor Promo Pic

When you become a journalist, you quickly come to realize that not all interviews are created equal. When I came to know the one they call Large Professor, I’m sure I stereotyped him along with the rest of the world. He didn’t look like Run DMC, Ice T or KRS-One. But he didn’t have to because before his release, The Native Tongues featuring A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, helped us to embrace difference in Hip Hop. So when we saw the intelligent hoodlum from Queens on our tv set, it made us pause to get past the Poindexter glasses to listen to what the rapper really had to say. Not to mention, with songs like “Looking At The Front Door” “Fakin The Funk” & “Live At The Bar B Que” you couldn’t deny his raw talent. Who knew that he would go on to be a fraction of the dynamic production squad that would produce THE hip-hop classic Nas’s Illmatic. Large Professor is the name you mention in certain hip hop circles when you want to impress high ranking hip-hop scholars.

While watching certain Hip Hop documentaries such as ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes Life, Memories of Paul C McKasty & Nas’s Illmatic and a host of others, you’ll notice that they don’t get Large Professors inputs because of what he’s heard, they look to get his input because he was there. Right smack dab in the middle of The Golden Era. Right in the midst of New York’s comeback. Right in the midst of the beef between Jay and Nas. He’s always honored as being a dope lyricist and a phenomenal producer. To snag an interview with him is like a Jedi grabbing wisdom from Yoda.

Sidenote: As fate would have it, energy is real, and whether good or bad, it transfers. The day of our interview, I was not having a very good day, but I had already rescheduled the interview the day before, and there was no way I was going to stall The Legend a second day. So I set all of my recording equipment up the way I normally do and wait until Large Pro calls. As we’re going thru the interview, I’m hearing my mixer shorting. I’m sweating, and I almost break down because in all things, I love to present professionalism and I don’t want him to know something is wrong. After 6 minutes, my mixer shorts out completely and I had to go super old school and write everything out short hand. After 11 min we both agreed it was time to take what I had and make it work. Never the less it was a classic interview, and I would have even appreciated 2 minutes with The Legendary Large Professor.

OTT: First of all can I say, what a privilege it is to have an exclusive interview wit da hip hop god, but seriously I want to thank you for all you’ve done for this culture. I want to start off by talking about the love you get overseas vs. the love you get on your homeland. As I follow you on your page, I’m always seeing someone fly you out to do a show overseas. There are many stories of artists like yourself that are rockstars in the UK, Africa and especially China & Japan…why is that?

ExtraP: Well that’s simple. As with anything that is rare is treasured. Those countries didn’t get to see Hip Hop in it’s truest form on a regular basis. At home, you might see me and Mr. Cheeks hangin out on a corner at a bodega or in a club. You have people in America that actually watched us grown from nothing to somethings. Over there, all they have is what they see on tv. They know that Hip Hop started in America, so they pay homage to that. They collect and take care of the records we made that are classics to them. The US is just so used to seeing one artist after another; we can get a little spoiled. And furthermore, we don’t even carry ourselves like that at home. Cats over here might see us in the park and be like “Boom, yo there go Large Professor” and just leave it at that. As to over there, a cat may be in awe because it’s not every day you gonna see a cat like Raekwon just randomly walking down the street.

One more thing, they cherish their history over there. For example, overseas, they keep their historical buildings alive. Over here we can have a monumental building today, and it will be a parking lot tomorrow. But there they keep their traditions alive as the same with Hip Hop.

OTT: With your legendary status in the game, Large Pro…how do you stay so humble? I mean you still touch the people in a way like you never had hit records and like your name doesn’t ring bells in this culture.

ExtraP: Yeah, but see the whole thing about it, with you saying that, be clear, It’s About The Culture! It’s the culture that keeps me humble because this is what we do! Just like families have family traditions to it’s just certain things they do as a family. Nobody’s a star at the family table right? That’s what it is in Hip Hop. In fact, people look at you strangely when you on that. This is what we relay when we’re in a place like Australia. It’s like, I’m no different than you, I just have a story to tell.

OTT: We know you for being in the legendary group Main Source, but you are a legendary producer as well. When you’re are producing, do you get into all the latest gadgetry or do you like to keep it classic?

ExtraP: Akai MPC 1000 is my weapon of choice man. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can still nerd out on you if the conversation calls for that, but if you’re not a producer, then I’ll just keep it simple and say MPC. Hahahaha.

OTT: As I follow your page and Mr. Cheeks page, I see a lot of Queens rappers unifying lately, such as recording, doing shows together and just altogether hanging out. What sparked that?

ExtraP: Whoa! Be clear…Like there was never a time where that didn’t happen. Just yesterday It was me, Cheeks and Nas in the studio building. Through that building can come a session, through that session can come a song or a single. You just never know. We come together for the music man! It’s like wine tasting amongst brethren. It’s like sitting on stoop do0-wopping. We come from the same place, so we’re always going to have that connection.

OTT: Large, you were on the Beats Rhymes and Life documentary. Considering Tribe is from Queens, what are your thoughts on the memory of Phife Dawg.

ExtraP: Dang man….ummmm what can I say. Phife was……Damn man…..Phife was what I call The Perfect Trooper. He the type where you look at him like, you he knows where he’s headed and how he wants things to be. A level headed person. Real cool cat. Phife was my guy. Damn man…The Perfect Trooper that’s all I want to say about that.

OTT: Lastly Large….20, 30 years from now, what do you want your legacy to look like?

ExtraP: I can’t answer that B. I’m still adding to the culture. It would be a different story if I was done but I’m not. Right now I’m still creating; I’m still digging, still doing shows and still building my relationships like no one even knows my history. People can have their opinions about the culture, but if you’re not actively adding to the culture then what’s the point? People can say this and that about what I’ve done and what I haven’t done, but to the people that know me and love me…..I’m just Large P man.

@PLargePro

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@UptownWeekly

@StateOfHipHop

 

 

 

 

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@DJLayneLuv Chops It up with Buddy Wike of 90’s R&B Group Intro Pt 1.

Intro Album Cover

The early 90’s still brought about a plethora of R&B singing groups. The funny thing about the R&B groups of the 90’s, is that they started to separate themselves from the Jheri curl & sequin suits era. Out of the blue, you started noticing singers wearing baseball hats and jerseys. When they would show up to perform at shows, you thought groups like Jodeci were going to sing not rap. This new style brought about a coined term from Sean “Puffy” Combs called Hip Hop Soul. All of the sudden, the radio was filled with songs that had “The Funky Drummer” sample with singers that had church harmonies in the background.

In the summer of 1993, I was in Virginia. Boyz II Men and Jodeci were still preparing for their sophomore releases, and besides SWV blowing up the airwaves, this blaring tenor was coming from the jeeps screaming “I Want To Be The One…Leeeet Me Be!” Now R&B songs sounding like church songs were nothing new, but this voice sounded like no other. It was the legendary Kenny Greene pleading with the Hip Hop soul gods to be the next voice. And for the next year, he was. Songs like Come Inside and Don’t Leave Me were on a number of slow jam mixtapes.

This story has a common thread among singing groups as with any story on UnSung. The rise to power where you are riding high, to the tragedies of that same star power waining because of the gravity theory, what goes up must come down. From the lack of enthusiasm of the labels marketing to group members going in different directions, it’s just the natural progression of singing groups. However, the unsettling thing is, that 90’s lead singers were passing away around the turn of the century at an alarming rate like an omen or curse. Tony Thompson of Hi-Five, Dino of H-Town, Left Eye of TLC, Orish Grinstead of 702 and unfortunately the group Intro was not spared that fate. Kenny Green passed away in 2001 from complications of the disease known as AIDS. Since then, the group has gone through some lead singers, that didn’t prove successful until they came up with the lightbulb conclusion that Kenny simply could not be replaced and so Intro decided to take the music in another direction while still keeping the core sound and audience.

Buddy Wike the original and founding member of the group tells Part 1 of this Amazing story as On The Table takes a closer look at what happened to the group Intro.

OTT: Thank you so much for taking out your time to speak with us. How did the group intro come about?

BW: Thank you so much for sharing your platform with me. Well, we have to go back to Fort Bragg North Carolina when I was in the military.  I met Kenny Thomas, and he told me about this kid named Kenny Greene that could sing real good. He knew I played piano and figured there might be something we could come up with. So we ended up linking on a Sunday writing a bunch of songs. We started out recording rap and house songs for a small indie label. Ned Pdub Brown was our lead rapper in the group. I was doing the tracks, Kenny was doing the background and lead vocals and Nelson was doing backgrounds and rap parts. Soon after that, next thing you know… Desert Storm/ Gulf War broke out and I ended up being deployed. Long story short, while I was in the desert, someone sent me a tape of Lalah Hathaway, and it was all I played. What struck me was, that Lalah reminded me of Kenny a great deal. While I was there, I kept saying, “If I ever get back in touch with dude, we’re going to make something happen.” Once I got back in town, it took about six months, but we linked back up and started working. Through another friend that used to dance with Kwame, I linked up with Jeff Sanders that could dance real good. I couldn’t dance that well but Jeff brought me along. Through that particular chemistry and hangin out, we became a group. We all had the same vision. TO BECOME STARS!

OTT: So tell us how super producer Eddie F of Heavy D & The Boyz found you guys…

BW: Hahaha. What people don’t know is, Heavy (RIP) found us first and then sent us to see Eddie. This was way before Heavy started managing groups like Soul IV Real.

One night Jeff took us to this club called The Red Zone in New York, and on our way, we had been singing Peaceful Journey, (RIP T-Roy) one of Heavy’s songs. It just so happens Heavy D was there that night, so when we saw him we were just like “This is our chance, what better time than to just sing for him right now!” He really dug it. He took our number and told us to call Eddie F because he had a production company called The Untouchables. So when the next week came around, we thought we were gonna meet with these corporate heads and listen to demo tapes all day. Nah, Eddie was real chill. He told us to wait in the studio while he ran to Sam Ash. Once he got back, we sang for him; we were in the studio with Jeff Redd the very next day doing the remix to You Called and Told Me.

So the day after that, we went over to Eddie’s house, and when we walk in, there’s this girl sitting on Eddie’s couch. I’d never seen her before, but she was mad cool. We said “Wassup” …she said “Hey guys what’s up” and from there, we ended up writing and collabing on a lot of songs. From that point, Eddie puts us in the studio with her, and we pen and record 3 to 4 songs with her. That started the birth of what is known today as Hip Hip soul, and what became of those sessions was the album we all know. What’s The 411? and the lady I’m talking about is none other than Mary J. Blige…….

This concludes Part 1….Please check in next week for Part 2 of this Amazing story!!!

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@BuddyWike

 

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