Sometimes dope nights make it all make sense. Great performances last night with an even better crowd and energy. Plus, more importantly, we raised enough to almost send another student to the 2018 summer program. (We'll make that happen though. Stay tuned...)
Anyway, thanks everybody who was a part of making the event a success and from the performers John Willis, Dazz & Brie, Arkansas Bo, The Realest YK, Asylum, Osyrus Bolly, Philli Moo, Tawanna Campbell, and SeanFresh. Also, to Bijoux and Dee Dee Jones with the Tomorrow Maybe musicians Corey Harris, Paul Campbell, Dre Franklin, and Lucas "Cool Hand" Murray. Plus , host Keith Glason and DJ Code Red.
Last but not least salute to Tonya "Fly Yo" Higgins, Miracle, Deja, Cici, and esp Kalan Horton for the help making the night flow.the host. thanks to The Rev Room and clapped hands to our sponsors Onebanc and ACANSA.
No matter the attire, keep a cool-like squad...
Song from 2016's The Legacy Project. The song is on all major streaming services or listen HERE.
Product of SDS Films /// Story by Epiphany Morrow & Kenneth Bell
Good times at the State Fair, The Delta Made Festival, and the Lost 40 Festival. Plus, I had my folks Tomorrow Maybe, Papa Leo, and DJ Greyhound join me for a few. #FAM
I'm far from perfect and far from where I want and plan to be, but I respect my journey. Even more so, I try to learn from past successes and failures not to just improve my future steps, but to aid others in their walk as well. Given such, it was a pleasure to speak to these young men in Pine Bluff.
Transitions are hard, man.
You can breakup with your lady because she got too cozy with one of the homies*, but sadness is gonna come when you realize you miss her Netflix account and conversations. Or you can autograph the paperwork and inspire “white flight" for your new crib in the burbs, you when realize you’ve been a hoarder for a decade+, packing becomes the bain of your existence. In the end, change comes with a one-time toll and progress comes with a daily tax. It’s why we get stuck in holding patterns because when analyzing the costs we decide chillin is more so in our budget.
I’m no different...
For the past decade plus, I’ve been known mostly as an “emcee”. I proudly graduated from the “so are you picking up this tab or is we running” camp to proudly reppin the term as both an artist and a career. Emcee’n has been a conduit to creative design, entrepreneurship, marketing, teaching, speaking, and diplomacy. Also, far beyond jobs, it also lead a brotha to activism, community development, and philanthropy. I may have never stood on a table in a Miami club with shades on pouring out premium liquors I endorse w/ a model-turned physicist under my arm and coconut oil on my chest pieces; but I swear I have had one of the craziest, weirdest, dopest, adventurous careers. Still...my days of being known as an “emcee” first are coming to a close.
Enter the transition...
Let me clear this up first: I’m not “quitting” music. (We all know rappers never retire.) However, a “career in music” is no longer the objective. The goal is to more seamlessly integrate hip-hop content, culture, and events with cause based work and community building. Think music, visuals, writing, and other creative content that directly aids causes and initiatives in the community. Now think if there were ways to get other creatives involved bringing in their A-Game. Now scrap the corny, heavy handed, or unsustainable ways you’ve seen it done before and we’re close to envisioning the same thing.
So, what’s the plan, Piph? Glad you asked. I have a pretty cool-like idea of where we're going and how past successes play into it, but I’m not ready to share all of that yet. I’m unsure of how long the transition will be, so this post may gone tomorrow, 2 months from now, or like 2 years. Just know that despite the missed stadium tour goals I had as emcee, the current vision somehow only got bigger. I have a say-so on the world, more than the other way around. I hope some can relate. Regardless, preciate ya’ll being down for the ride...
*NOTE: This is not what the Dogg Pound meant by "aint no fun". And truthfully, even what they meant isn’t dope. Only thing I like that’s community is uprisings, meetings, and Ethiopian food.
I had my song, "Zone Out" in "Tyler Perry's: Boo2". (An oldie, but goodie.) Haven't heard it yet? Take a listen HERE or check out the video below.
Performers say whether "1 or 1 million you put on regardless", but some shows are just more epic than others. Preciate Hendrix for the invite, Lizzo for letting us open, and Rachel for the shots.
Huge preciation to A3C for asking me to be a panelist at their A3C conference in Atlanta, GA for the topic of "Business Beyond Music". Salute to Dame Ritter (Still Movin/MEC) for making it happen and the other panelists "President" Gomez and ScottyATL. Plus, I got to see Nas perform for my 1st time. Not mad at all...
Ask some of your folks to come through and kick it for a video? Sign me up bruh.
To check out the album in full, why HERE you go....
Shot & Directed by Kenneth Bell
Special thanks to Matt White for usage of White Water Tavern
A brotha (that’s me) has his song, “Too Late”, placed in the “Teach Us All” documentary on Netflix. It's about "the social justice movement aimed at providing equal access to quality education for all students in America". S/o to Sonia Lowman for making it and choosing my tune and Ava DuVernay for supporting it under Array. (Salute to Woo and Bradley too.)
Haven't heard it? Check it out HERE.
Had to stop through DC in July to for orientation and to meet my Next Level Team. What is this Next Level you ask? And why did they mess up and choose a brotha? Well let me copy/paste their words real quick:
This collaborative international exchange program engages underserved communities in six countries around the world and uses artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences.
So, w/ that said, I'll be off to Myanmar in 2018...
Back for the final Legendary Flow Friday for awhile. It's #6 as I roll on Pete Rock and CL Smooth's "TROY".
A cultural community event with free breakfast, books, reading time for the little ones, and workshops & sessions for the older youth. A partnership between jUSt and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library & Learning Center that is focused on the lil folks, but open to the big lil folks too. (Key Word: COMMUNITY)
It's time for Legendary Flow Friday #3 as I take a stroll on Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" instrumental...
I linked up w/ "Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe" to premier a new song from my upcoming "CELEBRATE" album. I would like to say it was part of some grand promotional scheme, but really we entered NPR's Tiny Desk Contest, which we definitely lost. (However, it was to Tank & The Bangas and they're pretty dope, so que sera (sp?)....)
I'm tired of the fight...
“One of Arkansas’ best bands” and “great hip-hop ensemble” are phrases often used to describe the collective known as Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe. However, although they are deserving of both titles, these descriptions have proven to be far too confining. The creativity, discipline, and showmanship that BPTM put into their jazz, soul, funk, and rock infused hip-hop experiences will soon have them recognized as one of the best bands… period.
*Yeah, I wrote this myself. Sounds dope doesn't it...
For the second week of the program, the student traveled abroad to Costa Rica to immerse themselves in the culture, meet peers, and take on social service projects.
Eight stellar high school students from underserved communities were chosen to take part of Global Kids-Arkansas. For the first week, they were given special instruction, interactive challenges, and field trips to open their eyes on what an active global citizen means.