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*Press Play: I Look Up/ Capital P album review by DJ Layne Luv

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“….so where’s he from?” …”Delaware”…”The State?” ….”haha nah bro the city, right there from your state Ohio” This is how Capital P was presented to me via a constant DM on IG through his business partners. I must admit that for a few months, I didn’t follow up as well as I could have. Being a music critic and state manager for all of Ohio with The Fleet DJ’s, I tend to get a lot of submissions regularly. However, after I had a phone conversation with Byrd and Jamezz Bonn (Divine Engineering), I instantly felt a connection. They insisted that Capital P was the one that was going to make noise from Ohio. So I invited him up to the studio to kick it wit us just to see how he vibed with my crew. So one Wednesday, he came up to the WTMH Studio and right there on the spot, we said we were going to premier his single on our live Workout Wednesday broadcast just to see how our audience felt about his work. The single they submitted was El Hombre. I will testify, from the very first note we heard from that song, we were believers in this man’s music.

Being in this business for a while, a DJ hears a lot of music, so it really takes something special to keep an artist’s body of work from going in the pile and moving on. If you listen to Capital P’s / El Hombre first, you will be fooled into thinking he’s just another trap rapper no matter how great the song is. But when you play his entire album of Capital P/I Look Up  you’ll bear witness to artistry coming from the Delaware city. It will actually blindside you of how good Capital P really is. One of my favorite songs of the project Tuck It In takes you into the mind of a person that has seen a lot of ups and downs and of someone just trying to make sense of the world. The live guitar on this songs helps the listener drift from a stressful day into a bliss of funkdefied melody. It may actually be one of my most favorable tracks on the project.

Throughout the album you can hear the pain in the rapper’s voice. It’s a beautiful pain like that of a Bob Marley meets the rap-from-the gut-flow like Tupac Shakur. Not to even try to compare the Delaware rapper to these Legendary figures, it’s just that you can hear the same determination to change the minds in his songs. The song Good is a perfect example of that determination. As he says in the song…“I’m a get it till I’m good” the listener can truly understand Capital P will not stop until he sees some success for his labor. Once again I have to go back to the erie guitar riffs that wail, to paint the picture of a rapper with a big gift trying to push this sound out of his small city.

State of Mind you can hear Cap P making a statement. He is getting the listener to understand that the happening that go on in big cities happen right there in the city of Delaware. He wants the audience to not underestimate the crime and violence that happen where he is proud to be from. As the heroin epidemic continues to stay on the rise in Ohio, he is sounding the horn the same way Grandmaster Flash did with “The Message” when he said, “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under” State Of Mind takes you on a day in Delaware where anything can and will happen.

Tell You What… I’m predicting will be a “ladies” summer song for 2018 in the Midwest. It’s a melodic song where the rapper tries on his vocal skills for size and delivers nicely. It’s always been a formula for rappers to come out with the radio song right before the summer. This is that song. When Cap P actually played that song for me on my radio show, I asked him “So when do you come in on the song?” they all laugh and he says “That is me through the whole song” I’m like “That you singing?”….and he grins . That was another time when I became a believer in his music.

Overall, I give this album a high rating because of the production and arrangement of all the songs. It’s a solid project! You can tell time was taken on the mixing and mastering of all the songs. When I listened to this entire album, it’s like reading a book. The content has to be just as exciting as the title. I Look Up is just that exciting to listen to.

****

Out of 5 stars I would give it 4 based on production and lyrical content….5’s are given for classic albums and only the rest of the world can give him that. Let’s see if I Look Up is a game changer for OHIO.

-@DJLAYNELUV

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[Web Series] DJ SAMORE TOP 5 W/ LORD ROSSI

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New week, new episode of the DJ Samore Top 5 show. She talks about the headlines, top 5 records on urban radio, according to radio industry charts , mediabase and bds, and spotlight that next record. This week DJ Samore chops it up with Lord Rossi from the Hustle Gang camp. He talked about his upcoming projects and new waves just released “For the Love of Money”.  Watch it here!

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[Web Series] DJ Samore Top 5 Episode 50

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This week of the DJ Samore Top 5 web series on the Innovative Black Station; DJ Samore counts down the top 5 records on “urban radio” based on mediabase and bds reporting charts. She cover the hottest events in the Atlanta Streets including the Black Panther movie premiere , and interviews Hustle Gang member “Dopeboy Ra”, and spotlight indie artist Al Blaze black history theme song “Power of the Ancestors” . Check out the episode here. 

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[Web Series] DJ Samore Top 5 @ Fox Theatre ATL

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Episode 48, DJ Samore weekly countdown show, counts down the top 5 records on Urban Radio according to mediabase/bds. She also lets you know what’s hot in these Atlanta streets, spotlight that next record to chart and who to look out for major and up and comping. This episode feature spotlights from new record from Kendrick Lamar and Sza and A Boogie’s Say A. Watch the episode here.

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[Web Series] DJ Samore Top 5 is back 2018!

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The DJ Samore Top 5 web series on the innovative black station. DJ Samore informs you of the top 5 records on the radio based on the Urban Mediabase and Neilson BDS radio reports. The top 5 pop urban headlines, the top 5 music tv film news, and top 5 hottest things going on that week in these Atlanta streets. She also let’s you know what will be that next radio hit and spotlight upcoming independent artist. Check out the first episode for 2018 season here.

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Hey Young World! The Paragon Project by Delayne Whiteside

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Have you ever been to a high school talent show and as the performers did their thing,  you knew that the potential was there in each and every kid, but the talent still needed to develop? Or let’s say you went to a high school musical and you were able to distinguish the high schoolers that took their craft seriously as opposed to the ones that needed that drama credit to graduate? Well that wasn’t the case when it came to the students of Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center last Friday. This vocational school in Columbus, Ohio offers career study in business and health, however the school is mostly known for it’s Performing & Visual arts. On Friday Jan. 5 2018 I was invited by The Maroon Arts Group to come check out the cd release for The Paragon Project. The students were chosen based on their talent and skill to contribute to this project. TPP is the  brainchild of Dr. Tony Anderson, that happens to be the assistant principal of Fort Hayes. Dr. Anderson is a part of the growing number of professionals that have played a major part in the Hip Hop industry in their younger years, and are now making contributions in education with the experience of their former music backgrounds. Anderson spent years on the management side and the production team of Hip Hop band The Roots before they went to late night television with Jimmy Fallon. He also received direct tutelage from the late Rich Nichols, (official manager of the The Roots.) Jason Rawls better known as J. Rawls, producer for hip hop greats such as Mos Def & Talib Kweli, is another hip hop icon of Columbus Ohio that just received his doctorate last year, and he has plans in the future of opening a grade school with a hip hop based curriculum. Kudos to them!

Anyway, getting back to the experience. Upon entering the auditorium of the Columbus Performing Arts Center on Franklin Ave., I was amazed at the turnout. There were people willing to stand in the aisles because the place was packed. “We were blown away by the turnout, I mean, we did all the due diligence in terms of marketing, but nothing prepared us for the wall to wall standing room turnout, the kids were definitely moved by it.” says Dr. Anderson. I walked in on a cover performance sung by MyKesha Corbin “Love On The Brain” originally performed by pop artist Rihanna. The crowd roared with excitement as the student body, that took up the first three rows, cheered her on. The next performance returned me into the b-boy of yesteryear. TPP did a cover of “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan and I commenced to pop locking right there in the rows. From there, the audience and I had one thing in common…we knew these kids were special and that was just the warm-up.

After a brief intermission filled with networking and fine cuisine provided by Willowbeez SoulVeg vegan eatery, the students took to the stage to present their original music. Mind you, being in this business for 21 years, I can usually tell the difference between locally recorded music and industry production. I was astonished. Every track I heard felt like it belonged on the radio or in a motion picture score. What was more intriguing was the videos that told the stories behind the songs. Each student received a chance to interpret the song for the listening audience. One particular song resonated with me. Get Back To Me by Abby Deneke is on constant repeat in my playlist. Not only is the song remarkably written, the production and arrangement would give SZA or Kehlani a run for their money. The song talks about making a decision to separate yourself from something or someone you love to regain yourself and your focus back. “Sometimes we love something too much and we end up losing ourselves. I wrote this song based on something personal I was dealing with, and creating it served as a bit of therapy for me” says Deneke. The next song I enjoyed off of the cd was “We Go High”. It’s a fun song with a house tempo by Pia Monagan. The songs takes it’s cues from the Michelle Obama speech during the 2016 presidential campaign. Monagan cleverly infused Obama’s speech into her song. “We really invested in breakout sessions and presented round table discussions to get the kids to open up and be themselves. That allowed them to move freely in their craft.” says Dr. Anderson 

DJ Mr. King from Power 107.5fm (WCKX) hosted the evening and was quite supportive of the youth. “I wanted to come from behind that curtain and start dancing with them” say King. One parent said “Their level of talent is unbelievable. While some children are thinking about new outfits or the next party, these kids work tirelessly to hone their skill and continue to advance. If they stick with it, their dedication will take them far.”

The Paragon Project project is being well received by a number of media outlets around Central Ohio and across the nation. Dr. Tony Anderson is dedicated to seeing his students learn not only their craft, but the music business as well. He says in closing “Rich Nichols (RIP) manager of The Roots was my mentor. He was so wise, not only about the business, but his philosophies dealing with life were awesome. He taught me things no book can teach you about this industry. Little pieces of information he dropped on me I still use to this day. I’m  just looking to impart that same wisdom into my kids. I’m very proud at what they have accomplished” 

The Paragon Project is a great musical investment. It is now available on all streaming sites. And for all you  music snobs, it will be a great way to brag, knowing you may have a piece of artistry before any of these artists actually become rich and famous.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@TheParagonProject

#AsSeenInColumbus

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[Web Series] DJ Samore Top 20 of 2017 Wrap Up

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The DJ Samore Top 5 Web series, countdown the top 5 records that hit on mainstream radio weekly on the Innovative Black Station Network. So with the wrap up of 2017, she puts together her top 20 records of 2017, and recaps music and current events of 2017. Each episode features music industry players from artist, songwriters, producers, og djs , business people of 2017. Check out the 4 part series right here.

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Let’s Talk About Haven: Soul Singer Renee Dion speaks to DJ Layne Luv

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How do you really interpret being a fan of an artist you know personally? And how does one explain that fanship when you are involved in the inner circle of the artist movement within that city? Can one speak objectively without bias? I’ll try my best. I came to know of this female sultry soul singer by way of a poet I used to date. From her introduction, I grew to know of all of the players within that artsy scene from Wali Crowder (poet), to B Jazz and The Liquid Crystal Project to DJ Krate Digga (eclectic DJ) to Lawrence Lemon (dancer extraordinaire). But around 2011, Columbus Ohio was buzzing by the release of Eric Roberson’s Mr. Nice Guy. Of course the city of Columbus has an adoration for the grammy-nominated singer, but the talk was more that of his generosity, almost an ode if you will, to the place that continues to give him so much love. Roberson included most of the artist aforementioned on his project, and from there I started to hear more and more about the songstress they call Renee Dion who was also a feature on Mr. Nice Guy.

With each project released, with each live performance, I became more of a supporter of Dion’s movement. Even witnessing her sing the national anthem for our 44th president Barack Obama was nothing short of amazing. In 2014, she dropped her project Moonlight off at my radio show, and my crew at the time and I were blown away at the maturity of her sound. We played every track for the entire show. By that time Dion was gaining momentum on the music scene….then all of the sudden “POOF” she disappeared. For a year and a half I would see her appear at a few music events around town or see her with her students from my window at that bank I was working at. (she was a school teacher at a school next door). But still no spark of music until around the end of October 2017. I started hearing from her chief supporter (her husband) she had a project coming out. He showed up at the club passing out her project to all the DJ’s but I was on the set and by the time I got done, the project was sold out. I ended up having to wait for the release date to hear it, and believe you me it was worth the wait. Haven put me in a trance from the first track I played.

I’m the type of person that believes everyone has a path and I follow good energy, so when I heard that my long time friend Jonathan Baker helped out on a lot of the arrangements for Haven, it made perfect sense why I was drawn to this project. Baker is an extremely talented genuine guy. I also felt that Dion was coming from a personal place. She’s a private person, but if you follow her life on social media and in real life…you know she’s in love and she’s been in love for quite some time. A story that is very rare in this day and age. Dion and her husband Artist Eric Jefferson don’t do it for the vine either, their love story is real. Those that listen to Haven can feel that story in the songs. So if you are in love, looking to be in love , or you just simply have questions about it…you can use Haven as to what that looks like.

I caught up with the songstress and I wanted her to break down some key elements of this masterpiece. Without further adieu …..Renee Dion…..

SO: Hey Renee, considering I just interviewed a musician you know well Ill Poetic and him taking 10 years to finish his project, and knowing it took you a few years to complete Haven, explain how difficult the process is to bring about a project with the musicality both of your projects possess.

RD: Oooh wee! (laughs to self) well after Moonlight I sort of hit a brick wall and I had to ask myself the question all artist get to a point of asking. Do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to let this go and just stop? I then made a decision, and with my mouth I told my husband…”I’m done with music” and from there was an almost immediate shift in my life from health problems to personal relationships.. things were just off. Speaking to that, I learned that when we abandon our purpose and what God has given us to do, things will shift and things can change until we find that path again. So as I stated, I was going to walk away but something kept bringing me back to it, and more and more I began to  find inspiration. I was finding inspiration everywhere, from listening to my best friend T. Wong evolve to lyrics just coming to me out of no where…and I started thinking to myself like “Are we done?” So my husband and I turned one of our bedrooms into a recording studio and I began to tinker around, and from that, the creativity started flowing …like if you ever saw the movie with Bruce Leroy …I had the glow (we both crack up) but when I started to show these songs to Jonathan (Baker) …first of all this man is truly talented, but I truly love his musicianship, so when he began to add his musical flavor, that’s when Haven started coming to life.

SO: If I could give this album a positive critique, you sound the most confident on this album than your previous projects. Songs like Uno (I really like that song btw) have your signature sound, but you can also hear growth and confidence in these songs. What made the difference on you taking risk vocally on this project?

RD:  I would say, when you take ownership and responsibility from other people’s hands, no slight to any other producer I’ve worked with…but once I had to sit in this studio and hammer out these songs myself, and I had to figure out production nuances and truly trust myself to express what was coming from my heart, I would say the confidence to elevate happened organically from those experiences. If you really want to know who Renee Dion is…Listen to Haven. 

SO: Considering we’re saying goodbye to 2017…We had a number of bare-your-soul albums from music’s royal family The Carters. 4:44 setting the tone for truth in music. Listening to Haven you can hear these songs coming from a real place. Did your husband inspire those songs?

RD: Well, honestly speaking the entire album is about him. But it’s also about me, my relationship with God and my relationship with people. When it comes to my music, I’m attracted to really beautiful sounds, so sometimes the music can stand on it’s own and overshadow the lyrics based on the sounds I prefer. However on this project, if you stripped the production and listened to just the words, you’ll hear my vulnerability, my fears, my questions and me dealing with myself. I’m still continuing to learn how to be a wife, and my husband is still learning to be patient with me as I find my way, as I am with him and these thoughts are what come out in the music. Life is about continual self discovery.

SO: It seems like your songs speak to women in love or looking for love. In a time where trust in relationships is a rarity and often times scary, what would you say to those women looking for love in 2018?

RD: Wow that’s a deep question and loaded hahaha but I’ll try to answer. I’ll say this to my single women waiting for love. Don’t lose your affection, don’t lose your vulnerability by being guarded. What do they say, “you can’t receive a blessing with a closed fist”, so you have to remain open to love no matter how great the potential of you being hurt again. With each experience there is a lesson until you reach the destiny God has called you to reach. The problem lies for most people is that they look to all sorts of media like Facebook and Instagram and the wrong outlets for guides to relationships. However that is so far from the truth of what love really is.

Listen, people look at my husband and I funny because wherever they see me they see him and vice versa. If he has a showing I’m right there, if  I have a singing engagement he’s right there as my No. 1 supporter. And it’s not based on a level of insecurity. Our presence is a sense of protection in this crazy world. Furthermore, we enjoy each others company. I sometimes go to events and there are married women and men showing up to events by themselves and wonder why they get involved in single activities. Don’t get me wrong our marriage is still work but it’s less work when you work at it and stay in tune with your significant other. Recognizing and dealing with things when things are off are another way to build strong relationships. But people have to be willing to let go of pride and ego to accomplish that. Communication is Everything. Eric is my husband and I protect him and his art just like he does for me…that’s the best advice I can give Layne.

SO: Where can people purchase your music and what events do you have going on right now?

RD: So they can purchase the music on iTunes and we just did Healing Haven and The Black Infinity a few days ago but those events and more are the many things to come in 2018. Just follow me on Instagram and Twitter under @ReneeDionMusic and please visit my web page reneedion.com

SO: Thank you so much for spending the day with us. Haven is definitely a instant soul classic.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@StateOfHip_Hop

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