Dizzy Wright & Mark Battles Mar 8 – Chop Shop – Charlotte, NC

Dizzy Wright & Mark Battles Concert Flyer

Fly America Concert Flyer

It’s been awhile since I’ve attended a concert solo dolo. No complaints, I made acquaintances and thoroughly enjoyed my night with a tireless fist-pumpin’ fan by the name of London and a beautiful drunk Moroccan chick named Helen who traveled from Chapel Hill, NC. Waiting for entry, I observed the line of diverse looking individuals. One was sporting a self-made #FlyAmerica tie-dye tee. It seems to me that people who work the doors at shows love to be a hassle, then again, maybe it’s just me. Either way, karma made her way around when dude wasn’t even able to get into the doors himself, amused concert attendees jokingly stated “this is their way of letting you know, you’re fired!

Relieved from my wait, I walked-in to find Mark Battles & Derek Luh (pronounced Lou) during sound check. Running through small portions of their upcoming set on the venue’s sound system, it was apparent that an ordinary rap show just wasn’t what they had in mind for us. They all flew out to Charlotte, NC to turn it up.

Performers exited stage left and the audience was admitted. I quickly made my way to the bar for my usual buy at The Chop Shop, a long island iced tea, which I financially regretted once sober. Taking center stage first was DJ Fame, with an invitation into his world of Electronic Dance Music:

JT DESIST T Shirt Back

#FlyAmerica Twitter pic

Next up, Charlotte’s own T Malicious took the stage with assistance from a few of his ‘Young Kingz’ comrades: Reason and A Fresh. Let me not forget to mention, I went to high school with A Fresh ( he’ll always be Alex to me ) and seeing a bunch of girls screaming for him was just testament that not much has changed since our days at Myers Park. They appeared full of confidence and ready to show us just why they deserved their spots as openers.

Rockin’ a really dope “DESIST” shirt, Jay Terriani was one artist I felt got looked over. Even during the meet-n-greet, he just kind of stayed in the cut. however, the energy of his set picked back up once joined on stage by Mark Battles & Derek Luh for their performance of the “Fly America” theme song.

Derek Luh Photo

Derek Luh
Photo Courtesy of T. Curt

King F.A.M.E. might’ve been onto something when he referred to Derek Luh as “the hip-hop Justin Beiber”. I mean, he’s easy on the eyes and…he’s easy on the eyes. I felt like his set was too short; the only song I recall was his piano driven smokers joint “Blow It Out”.

Devvon Terrell Photo

Devvon Terrell Facebook Photo

Can’t stress enough how important it is for performers to say their name at least once during the performance, I had no idea who I was enjoying until I sat down to write this. Hailing straight out of Brooklyn was R&B singer, Devvon Terrell. Despite this particular song not being performed, “I Don’t Like Your Friends”, has to be one of my favorite tracks of his and it’s accompanied by some equally as impressive visuals:

“Best performance of the night” award would have to go to Futuristic. Alongside DJ Kode Break, He came out hype as fuck, told us a little bit about himself and his whereabouts, in brief: He’s from arizona and apparently, it’s illegal to have “Swag” there, they have “Sauce!” instead. The one thing that struck a chord in me during his set was the usage of the word: Nigga and his approval of the audiences cooperation. Who could forget the uproar surrounding Gwyneth Paltrow when she dropped the N-word on twitter? As African Americans, we feel entitled to use the word in everyday language amongst each other, but what happens when it’s in the music..Do we expect people outside of the culture to not say it? To me, it tells a lot about this current generation, the power of words, who can say them, and how much intent matters when they’re said.

Futuristic's Crowd Surfing Photo

Futuristic’s Crowd Surfing
Photo Courtesy of T. Curt

Taking precautions became imperative once they pulled out super soaker water guns, cans of silly string and began to stage dive. Bringing his hyperactive set to an end, dimmed lights set the tone for his intimate rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter”, which Futuristic titles “Listen To Me” which in my opinion is reminiscent of Childish Gambino. There’s always a first time for everything, Demrick managed to get kicked out of his first concert for smoking on stage. I suppose he took “I Guess, I’ll Smoke” too literally:

After a few crowd flicks with the fans, Derek Luh returned once more and got us all hyped up again with the “Battles Chant”, which brought Mark Battles presence to the stage. The night before the show, I dabbled into some of Mark’s music — Black Einstein. For someone who doesn’t feel he needs a co-sign, I’d say the notable list of guest features: Curren$y, Joe Budden, Wale, and King Los doesn’t hurt his reputation one bit. Leading into “Wake Up”, Mark was determined to get the crowd moving at all costs. Even if that meant flying home without his retro Patrick Ewing basketball sneakers.

Dizzy, Mark & Shawnice Photo

Dizzy Wright, Sativa Jones & Mark Battles, Mar 8th, Chop Shop
Charlotte, NC – Photo Courtesy of T. Curt

Am I the only one who thinks Theotis Beasley and Dizzy Wright share an uncanny resemblance to each other? It’s probably because they smile so much, haha. Anyhow, around this time I was getting a bit antsy and took a trip to the ladies room where I got caught up in conversation with Helen about the importance of diversity. Random? Right. Therefore, I didn’t catch much of the Sin City representative’s performance. From what I gathered, he performed “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, “Step Yo Game Up” and I can only hope “World Peace” from his latest tape, The Golden Age, was amongst those few. At the end of the show, most of the performers functioned with fans who purchased VIP tickets. This included a few cyphers, autographs, photographs and a humorous conversation with them about my recent Dom Kennedy review. Although, this is only my second reviewed show, rest assured, these guys currently hold the title for the hypest show I’ve been to this year. ‘Sound Travels’ is just an attempt at bringing you all along on my concert escapades, but more often than not, you would’ve had to been there to reciprocate this amount of energy. No word on when Fly America will be back in the Queen City, but they do plan on re-visiting. If you weren’t at this show, you definitely missed out. Let us hope another show in Charlotte, NC sees fruition and when that time comes, we support and leave them feeling even more loved than before.

I miss Charlotte already!
Mark Battles

Introducing Voices From The Community

Voices From The Community Avatar

Charlotte Community Radio is proud to introduce our second confirmed show: Voices From The Community with Bridget B..

She’s been delivering up two hours of jazz and international music here in Charlotte for a little over two years and volunteered at KBOO 90.7FM, a community-based radio station in Portland, Oregon, producing and hosting shows for close to five years so we think she might be a great fit for our internet-based community radio station. Oh yeah. She’s also the project manager for the station and she’s leading the charge on building this thing we’ve got goin’ here. 🙂

Bridget B. Sullivan

Feel free to hop on over to her site where she has several blog posts. You can listen to her shows via iTunes, Mixcloud or directly from the VoicesFromTheCommunity.co main page. On March 31st, our first beta testing day, you’ll be able to hear her live and soon you’ll see her blog post entries appearing here as well.

Join Us! Let’s Build It Together!

Press Up Next to view 2016 show recordings.

Dom Kennedy Feb 9th – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC

Dom Kennedy June 2013

Dom Kennedy June 2013 – HitsOnHits.com Photo

In 2008, you couldn’t keep me away from 2DopeBoyz.com. I was the type to stay up until wee hours of the morning for a delayed mixtape release and then skip school the next day because I was too tired. Simply put: Meka and Shake were my ears guide to a lot of artists, especially from the West Coast. It’s not hard to miss Dom Kennedy’s charismatic flow nor the influence inner city LA has on his music. He has the ability to make every single day in LA sound like the best day of summer vacation and if I remember correctly, it was “Watermelon Sundae” off his debut, 25th Hour, which first caught my ear.

Despite releasing Get Home Safely—his sophomore LP in October, Dom is known for smooth summer soundtracks that elevate everyday events. With 6 solo mixtapes and 2 albums under his belt, he’s made quite a living off Other People’s Money (his label imprint) and many would say his first appearance in Charlotte, NC has been long overdue.

If you follow me on twitter (@its_Shae) then you might’ve seen my less than impressed remark about the crowd and the invisible stick up their asses. Yes! I know everyone came to see Leimert Park’s Finest, but opening acts are nothing new, so I couldn’t understand why people grew so impatient and close minded to new emerging sounds. I continuously must remind myself that this type of behavior isn’t just subjected to hip-hop; I heard Angélique Kidjo dealt with a similar situation at her recent show in Charlotte as well.

Opening acts are there to fill time while people shuffle in. No shame in that though, because it’s all about working your way up, gaining exposure, building audiences in different areas and putting yourself in a better position for future gigs. It’s a great opportunity, but sometimes (for whatever reason) the performance may not be reflective of the sound. First to take the stage were Charlotte, NC artists: Nevermind, Elevator Jay, Shome, and Senior collectively known as Hornet’s N.E.S.S. If you’re somewhat into the hip-hop scene here then you’ve surely heard about at least one of these individuals. If not, better late than never:

MasterMinds feat Lotta & BanksontheBeat (Prod x BanksontheBeat)

Though there were few technical difficulties, the guys kept it together the best they could. Keeping their energy alive, Banks brought out fellow Yachts member Frais for some assistance during the performance of their collaboration: Magic Johnson. Fayetteville, NC native Lotta rocked the stage for a bit until Shome re-appeared with a solo of his own, performing the Wister D!ce produced cut “Bourbon and Canal”.

Nick Nando

Nick Nando CloudMusiq.com Photo

Next up was DMV representative, Nike Nando. I was floored when I got word that he’d be in attendance because I’ve been a listener of Nando for quite some time (since TheCarryOut2). He commanded the crowd’s attention as soon as he stepped on stage. Drawing us in one-by-one, everyone became all ears once he began spitting an undeniable freestyle over no instrumental; just him and a few slick metaphors. After a few oohs & aahs, his self-titled track “Super Nike Nando” blasted through the speakers, which I don’t feel was the best song to perform. However, he hit the nail on the head with “World Domination” from his latest release #SPRDLV.

Skeme Photo from xxlmag.com article

Skeme – xxlmag.com Photo

Not having heard Skeme’s latest album “Ingleworld”, I’m unsure as to what songs were performed and will go do my homework on the matter. I had high hopes that he would join Dom at a later time to perform “Play On”, but instead they blessed us with “If It Don’t Make Money”. With great delivery, tight production and involvement with the audience more than any of the other performers, he easily created a solid performance that I spent the whole time dancing to.

While everyone awaited the arrival of Leimert Parks Legend, DJ Ngenius kept the fresh West Coast tunes slappin’. You couldn’t help but notice the huge blue, green and red stripped OPM flag that draped over his set up. Before we knew it, it was showtime!

DomK8 Photo Taken by Frank 151 at Irving Plaza January 28th

DomK8 @ Irving Plaza, Photo By: Frank151 on January 28th

For a moment I started to imagine the crowd and what it might look like through the eyes of Dom Kennedy. I mean, it must be one hell of a sight to see hundreds of people packed under one roof and chanting your lyrics word for word. He opened the show the same way he opened the album, with “Let’s Be Friends”. He’s mentioned before that this was the first song he recorded for Get Home Safely and was in fact the foundation for the project. His set was around a hour long and he flew through tracks like: my type of party, south central love, still calling, gold alpinas, the crowds favorite “17”, and even went as far back as “1997” and “When I Come Around”. Would I recommend attending a Dom Kennedy show? Well, if you don’t mind all the songs being performed similar to recorded versions in a live setting or feeling detached from the whole experience then yeah, go ahead. Again, he might’ve excited the fans but I’m just a casual listener and I appreciate when a musician can give me something different than what I can experience on a CD. That being said, his performances of “Black Bentley” and an acapella rendition of “5 Yr. Theory” that wrapped up his set were the two tracks that stuck out to me the most.

Many thanks to the organizers: Nameus, MindBonics, AlexxKGray and F4mily Matters; The Fillmore and Dom himself for gracing the queen city during this tour. In a sit-down with ABlackTV, Dom even mentions Charlotte on his list of “ top 10 shows OF ALL TIME”. You check out that interview + the remainder of Get Home Safely’s tour stops after the jump:

2/25 Santa Cruz CA @ The Catalyst
2/26 Sacramento CA @ Ace of Spades
2/27 San Francisco CA @ Regency
3/1 Vancouver, Canada @ Fortune Sound Club
3/2 Seattle WA @ Showbox at the Market
3/3 Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
3/6 Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
3/7 Tuscon, AZ @ the Rialto Theatre
3/15 Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues

Introducing Sound Travels with Shawnice Stratford

Sound Travels with Sativa Jones

Charlotte Community Radio is proud to introduce our first confirmed show: Sound Travels with Shawnice Stratford, aka Sativa Jonesa tiny buddha with a vast love for music.

As a volunteer programmer, Shawnice wants to assist the station in every way possible. “That includes, spending time doing work that aims to benefit the community. My focus will be heavily on the up and coming, independent scene, because my generation (Generation Y) is now and happening. “Respect the old; embrace the new” is a statement I really want to keep in mind because I definitely want everyone to feel welcomed and find something that they can resonate with. I’m the fresh new ears on the block informing the community on all things music. “Let the music of your life give life back to music.””

About Sound Travels:

Shawnice Stratford aka Sativa JonesSpring of 2013, I wrote my very first concert review on Flying Lotus, Teebs and Thundercat at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina. Then came along summer, I was asked to create an article about the seven benefits of attending live concerts. Those two pieces are the foundation of Sound Travels. With the raw energy live shows provide, you get to visualize not only the music, but the musician in a different fashion than normal. Centered around live and recorded music, festivals, their culture, art and more; Sound Travels will help shed light on new artists and sounds to a community of avid fans with discerning taste.

Forget all of the stress of the day that followed you here and focus on the music. You’re here now – right where you want to be. My name is Sativa Jones and to be honest, it all started with a highdea.

My first post will be out tomorrow.