Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wise Words From A Wise Man [Interview]

Ladies and gentlemen presenting Jersey’s own, Davon ‘Wise Vega’ Brown. Just beginning his rap career a year ago, Wise Vega has been writing at a very young age. Creating a split personality in his name, his name Wise displays his conscious rap side, attacking all of the world’s struggles through his lyrics and Vega, which is his mother’s last name displays his cocky raw side. Getting ready to release a double mixtape, College Kid and Mindstate88 in May, Wise has recorded almost eighty songs since he began a year ago and will begin shooting videos for the world to see him and vibe out to his songs. In addition, Wise has been performing and competing against other rappers in New York City at the Webster Hall in downtown Manhattan. His most popular lines, “You can call me what you want, a rapper or writer, professional shit talker…” That line simply describes the his music and the direction he’s going in with each song, “That’s basically what it is. I don’t care who you are, Talib Kweli or Fabulous that’s basically what you’re doing.”

His favorite song on the album is Piranha, which was written when Wise was on his low point and decided to go in full effect after he heard the hook his producer wrote which fit his situation like a glove, “Everything that was going on at that time was in that song. It was really perfect.” As far as looking for a deal Wise is looking for the best situation possible, perfecting his craft, performing his work, and in the midst of releasing his double mixtapes in May, this young artist has the world a his feet waiting to be formally introduced.

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

King Of All Kings, Selassie [Interview]

People gathered at a small West Philadelphia bar in anticipation for Selassie’s farewell performance. The Philadelphia rapper by way Ethiopia was now heading to LA to expand his career and follow his dreams of a successful music career. Many friends began smiling and were excited to see which songs off his album he was going to perform, as strangers kept a neutral Philly facial expression and refused to show any interest until Selassie could prove himself. Dressed in a burnt orange shirt with an imprint of his face in all black in the middle, that purposely resembled his mixtape cover for marketing purposes and a plain black fitted on his head. Fresh and ready to start his show, he grabs the microphone and spits his rhymes for the last time in Philadelphia.

At the age of 11, Selassie picked up his older brother’s rhyme book and rapped his lyrics to his older cousin and her friends; the reception he received was immense. “ It made me feel so good, that I decided to pursue a career as an emcee. Becoming a rapper helped me find the one thing – that I was great at writing. After years of perfecting his craft Selassie decided to make the ultimate move three years ago, the Philadelphia native left Philadelphia for Los Angeles with only $300 to his name, taking the chance of a lifetime in pursuit to expand his rap career and further educate himself about the music game, ”A doctor goes to Medical school, a lawyer goes to Law school. So I thought I should do the same, and that’s when I enrolled at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles.”

His stage name, Selassie which comes from his deceased father Haile Selassie Fekadu, who was also named after the great Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, who was believed to be the second coming of Christ by Rastafarians. Selassie wasted no time and began networking and building a studio in his home producing and recording non-stop. His latest mixtape is called Mind on Pluto, which explains his state of mind, “The state of mind I’ve always been in, which is so far left that I feel foreign to today’s common man. His favorite song on the freshman mixtape is “Aurora Borealis,” which he plans on making it his intro to his mixtape, “It really gives you a view of my world and really sets the tone of the mixtape.”

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Atmosphere – “Just For Show” [MUSIC]

Here is the first track released for Atmosphere’s upcoming album “The Family Sign”, set to hit stores April 12th. Please visit them here to download this track along with pre-ordering the album. If you’re unaware of these guys I would absolutely suggest checking out some of their later work with hits like “Trying To Find A Balance” and “The Waitress“.

Box Office – “Chances” [MUSIC]

Box Office is a 4-man melodic rock band from the suburbs of Bellville, South Africa.  Their influences include Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Billy Talent, Muse and Radiohead.  Although the band officially formed in 2006, their first show wasn’t unitl 2008.  Check out their music and a list of summer venues they’ll be playing around Cape Town…

Listen Here

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Ryan Wickersham – “Firecracker” [VIDEO]

The name Ryan Wickersham seems to arise more prolifically on the Central Pa music scene over the last few months. After a ringing endorsement from a close friend, I felt compelled to check this guy out and I’m certainly glad I did. For a young man who can’t legally drink, Ryan brings a mature, soulful sound that is beyond his years. Ryan, who released his debut album, “Bottom,” a little more than a year ago, will be performing at Niko’s in Lebanon, PA on Friday, March 4th. You can find out more about Ryan, as well as information on future events at his facebook page. The following video is Ryan performing “Firecracker” off his debut album:

 

Kyle C. Stilley | Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC | kyle@musicwithoutlabels.com

Black Market Riot – “Machine [MUSIC & NEWS]

 

Black Market Riot is an alt-indie punk rock band that formed in 2008.  The four men are from Stellenbosch and Somerset West, and have played at various venues in South Africa, including winning the mystic Boer Battle of the Bands in 2008.  Their first EP, “Box of Dreams” was released in 2009.  “Machine” was the first single from their album…

 

 

Black Market Riots is losing its’ bassist, Nico Mans soon (he’s moving to the United States).  If there are any bass players in the Stellenbosch or Somerset West region, the band will be holding auditions, for more information click here.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Dirty Skirts – “Homewrecker” [VIDEO]

The Dirty Skirts are an alt-indie rock band comprised of Jess de Tolly on lead vocals and guitar, David Moffatt on guitar, Passion Paliaga on bass and Markie de Menezes on drums.  They have built an impressive underground following since releasing their EP in 2005.  The first full length album, “On a Stellar Bender” was released in 2007, with “Homewrecker” being one of their biggest hits.  The band has toured at SXSW in the US, along with countless festivals in South Africa…

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Lyrically Born To Be Great [Interview]



At the age of fourteen Kenny discovered his jones for rapping, but music had been in his blood long before the thought of his existence. His youthful father, who was an amazing base player was named “Toomuchbase” because he would rip a lot of James Brown cover songs, which had got him noticed by Kenny’s maternal grandmother who was a singer in the group, Norma and the Heartaches.  Though passionate about his music, Toomuchbase had his eyes set out for Norma’s daughter and later married her. Like most artists, college was an option that he pursued for a year, but then took the wise words of his professor who encouraged him that a degree will help, but if there are other certain opportunities, take it. Not motivated by fame or money, Kenny just wanted to be able to be the rock for his family who inspires him to fulfill his family’s musical destiny, “My family never really made it. Outside of just having a good job, no one has hit that big money to where you can do stuff for your family. Everyone has a ‘cash counter’ in their family, an uncle or aunt with money, but not us. I want to provide for my family and community.”

 

The rapper describes his music as Urban Heavy Metal, which is also his Mixtape title, which is a mixture of Hip Hop, R&B, and Rock and Roll. This genre of music isn’t new to him, but apart of a generation who accepts everyone for who they are from the Gagas to the Beibers,“ I call it ‘Urban Metal.’ It’s all urban music in one. It comes with a lifestyle and the younger generation accepts anything… no more racism, gay bashing, and everyone is equal.” His perfect example of his genre would be Kanye West’s, All of the Lights single, where different artist from different genres came together and blended their styles in one song, which was epic. His album will contain songs you can dance to and creative lyrics that the streets can respect.

After performing to a receptive crowd at the Walnut Room in Philadelphia, Kenny is preparing to release his mixtape entitled, Urban Metal by July 4th, declaring his own independence. During his show he performed a song called Translucent, which explains his stance in the competitive rap game as a lyricist, “Translucent means you can see through it sort of. Some people can see me, but you can’t see me rappin’.”

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

AVIATORZ Are Ready To Take Off [Interview]


The Aviatorz are a duo from West Philadelphia that has been rapping for almost eight years. Mike V and Shizzy, were both solo acts, that merged after an independent label they were signed to liked their sound as a duo. The group combines many genres to create their sound, “We don’t do gansta rap, we don’t do gangsta rap. We do commercial rap.” Just a chance to be heard encourages the group to chase their dreams of one day going mainstream and have a voice. The group usually does three shows per month and even had the chance to tour across the nation and open up for comedian, Cedric the Entertainer, fortunately enough, the group had an investor who also invested the Cedric’s tour which helped expand their name.

The group wants to be the first successful rap duo from Philly, patiently waiting for their turn grinding every chance they get. There are promoting their album called, The Departure, which has many fun tracks that gives a distinct sound, looking for success on a major standing apart from State Property and Young Gunz. Their new single, I’m Wavy, is a lay back and cool sound that they produced a year and half ago, “it’s a fun track and describes the type of music we do. We got a lot of swag on it.”


Now the duo is searching for the best possible deal but first plan on creating a much bigger buzz than they have now, “We want a deal to come to us, we’re not looking for it we’re trying to make one.” A year from now they want to make major connections and are hoping to have a deal, and possibly getting the best deal ever. You can check out the Aviatorz rhymes with the rest of the world on their YouTube Channel, and by their persistence they are not too far from their goal.

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @merebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Niskerone – “DRS Virus Switzerland Studio Mix” [MUSIC]

Niskerone, also known as, “king of the underground Drum & Bass Jungle” (Cape Argus) was a former radio host turned DJ.  After hosting a show on UCT for two years followed by one year at Mutha FM, Mark Stevens combined his DJ skills and knowledge to become a sensation himself.   In 2006 Steven’s became Niskerone and  began performing regularly at Fiction DJ Bar in Cape Town.  His night at Fiction quickly became South Africa’s biggest Drum & Bass night.  Niskerone is performing regularly at different venues in Cape Town, check him out…

 

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC