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ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: It's time to discuss concert safety

Recent events have given me the jitters when going out to see live music

Masquerade Hell.5a0f0ac02f9ee
Photo credit: Joeff Davis/CL File
OUTSIDE THE CLUB: The entrance to the Masquerade's Hell venue in Underground Atlanta.

Two people died, and two people were injured, as the result of a shooting at a show at the Masquerade on Nov. 12. The headliner for the show was Los Angeles-based hip-hop artist Cousin Stizz. This is a hip-hop column, but this week I'm focusing less on the musical genre and more on something that has affected all music fans, from country to pop to rap.

Monday night, as I prepared to attend a concert, I checked my phone for an update regarding another local show that ended in tragedy less than 24 hours earlier. I usually get jittery before heading out to a show out of pure excitement for the music. This time my jitters were a result of paranoia. I watched as people were searched before being allowed to enter the Tabernacle, silently judging whether or not I felt security was being thorough enough."I'm just making sure you don't have any guns or knives," a woman said, grabbing at my bag and using her flashlight to poke around inside. I assured her I did not and she confirmed as much.

It's unclear how someone was able to get a gun inside of the Masquerade ahead of Sunday night's shooting.

An ABC News reporter posed the question to the venue's talent buyer and vice president, Greg Green, but he didn't get an answer.

"I don't have anything to say other than it's an ongoing police investigation," Green said. "Thank you for the call."

Over the years, security has long held a considerable presence at the long-standing Atlanta music venue that has hosted shows by everyone from Nirvana to Method Man. There's always a thick complement of beefy dudes wearing Masquerade security shirts at every show. If a fight breaks out in the pit, they shut it down within seconds every time. But now that guns have taken the spotlight as America's favorite fetish item once again and it seems that everyone is armed now uncertainty permeates any large social gathering.

Even when it was announced a few days later that Jonathan Bautista, 23, was charged with two counts of murder over the shooting, there are still no answers.

On Monday night, less than 24 hours later, I was attending an anniversary concert for indie-pop-turned-mainstream-pop artists Tegan & Sara in celebration of their album, The Con. The album, a cult favorite of sorts, was popular 10 years ago among angsty teenagers and twenty-somethings. The twin sisters have become queer icons, and earlier this year they launched a charity that aims to support and mentor LGBTQ girls and women. Proceeds from the ticket sales during this tour will be donated to the Tegan and Sara Foundation. This was an emotional, sentimental show that was supporting a good cause, but I couldn't stop thinking of the ways in which someone might be inclined to sully the experience.

Such is the life of a music fan in 2017, or any human being who dares to venture outside of their home, for that matter.

When one of Tegan & Sara's band members reminisced about playing at the Masquerade in the past it was clear he hadn't heard the news about this week's shooting. There are countless shows a week in Atlanta, held at various venues with varying degrees of security. The number of violent deaths that have occurred at live shows across the country in the past few years are statistically uncommon. But they're terrifying and thus they feed my anxiety. One life lost at a show is one life too many.What happened at the Masquerade seemingly followed a confrontation between fans. In 2016, a T.I. concert in New York ended with one person dead following a shooting backstage. And then there are the terror attacks such as the 2015 mass shooting at Paris' Bataclan concert hall while the Eagles of Death Metal performed, a bombing following Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester earlier this year, and, most recently, the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.There have been many debates about what could (or couldn't) be done to prevent mass shootings such as the one that occurred at the country music festival in Las Vegas in October, including enacting stricter gun laws. Country singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw recently told Billboard they believe it's up to the NRA and our government to enact "common sense" gun laws in hopes of preventing future mass shootings from occurring. While stricter gun laws likely wouldn't have prevented many of the attacks listed above, it is certainly a conversation we should be having. We also should be discussing music venue security, too. Music fans should be focused on whether or not their favorite artist is going to bring out a special guest or sing their favorite song, not on the possibility that they might not make it out of the venue alive.

We should be having these discussions loudly, and, there's no better time to discuss this than right after a tragedy has occurred.

Atlanta rappers J.I.D and EARTHGANG play Vinyl Nov. 21. It's the final show on their Never Had Sh!t tour.

6lack's first show at the Tabernacle has already sold out, but the Atlanta artist has a second show on Nov. 26 with breakout R&B singer Sabrina Claudio serving as the opening act.

Lil Uzi Vert performs hits from his mixtapes and new debut album Luv Is Rage 2 at the Tabernacle on Nov. 28.

Watch as spoken word artists and rappers compete in a friendly battle against one another during Poetry vs. Hip-Hop. Anthony Hamilton's backup singers, the Hamiltones will also perform.

Jewel Wicker is an Atlanta native and award-winning freelance reporter who has been covering the music industry and hip-hop in Atlanta since she was a college student at Georgia State University. In her spare time, she loves to eat lemon pepper wings and debate the validity of your favorite artists.



More By This Writer

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Last week I returned to Edgewood to meet David for an interview at Edgewood Pizza. The Savannah-born singer lives nearby and says it’s one of his go-to spots to grab a drink and a bite to eat. He’s there so much, he’s been in talks with the chef about possibly opening a restaurant together. Although It’s unclear if that will come to fruition, for now, David is preparing for the release of his latest album, Hello Like Before: The Songs Of Bill Withers.

David will perform about three songs from the new project, as well as other songs from throughout his catalog at Mable House on Sept. 22, with Gregory Porter and Avery*Sunshine. He has back-to-back solo shows on the calendar at City Winery Dec. 29-30.

After having his own songs compared to Bill Withers throughout the years, David is tackling some of the legendary singer’s greatest hits and a few deep cuts on Hello Like Before. The album arrived Sept. 21 via Shanachie Records, and is named after one of David’s favorite Withers songs. “He’s just saying some cold shit,” David says.

Hello Like Before was inspired by David’s live covers of Withers’ songs, and by live shows by groups such as ATL Collective who played a tribute to Withers in January. David compared recording the album to acting, saying the beauty in recording music created by someone else is that he didn’t have to dig into his own emotional wounds to create the content.

David met Withers when he was touring with India.Arie early in his career. He doesn’t have a personal relationship with the singer but he says he recently received a note of approval from Wither’s daughter saying she loved Hello Like Before. For David, one of the most rewarding parts of releasing this project now is having the chance to give the 80-year-old Withers props while he’s still alive. As the R&B community continues to grieve the loss of Aretha Franklin, who died in August, the sentiment is especially poignant.



In August, David introduced the album with a cover of “Lovely Day.” While his version of the song features more prominent strings, stylistically, it doesn’t stray too far from the original R&B staple. On “Use Me,” the familiar riff is still in place but David adds a few rap-like adlibs (“aye”) into the mix for good measure. The singer most effectively blends modern and traditional influences on songs such as the opening number “Grandma’s Hands.” The song retains its acoustic feel before percussion and organs kick in. David says he tried to “modernize” his covers without jeopardizing the integrity of the music itself. “I love innovation and I love tradition,” he says.

David and his band recorded the music for album in two days, and it took about two weeks to lay down the vocals for the songs at 800 East Studios. David credits the ease of the project to his relationship with his team, including Eddie “Gypsy” Stokes who has worked with David since working on his first demo. “It felt like the peak of our powers,” David said.

David also went on to say he doesn’t know what he’ll do next once promotion of Hello Like Before is over, although he’s gotten back into acting, appearing on shows like “Greenleaf,” and doing theater in recent years. He’s consulting on his cousin’s charity AWOL, an arts and tech program that teaches life skills to at-risk youth at Wheat Street Baptist Church. David has had a long career as a touring artist and that will likely continue. He’s always working on his own music so, perhaps, fans will get to hear some of that, too.

Whatever it is he works on next, it’s safe to say David won’t stray too far from his Edgewood neighborhood and his favorite hangouts for too long.

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped."
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Last week I returned to Edgewood to meet David for an interview at Edgewood Pizza. The Savannah-born singer lives nearby and says it’s one of his go-to spots to grab a drink and a bite to eat. He’s there so much, he’s been in talks with the chef about possibly opening a restaurant together. Although It’s unclear if that will come to fruition, for now, David is preparing for the release of his latest album, ''Hello Like Before: The Songs Of Bill Withers''.

David will perform about three songs from the new project, as well as other songs from throughout his catalog at Mable House on Sept. __22__, with Gregory Porter and Avery*Sunshine. He has back-to-back solo shows on the calendar at City Winery __Dec. 29-30__.

After having his own songs compared to Bill Withers throughout the years, David is tackling some of the legendary singer’s greatest hits and a few deep cuts on ''Hello Like Before''. The album arrived Sept. 21 via Shanachie Records, and is named after one of David’s favorite Withers songs. “He’s just saying some cold shit,” David says.

''Hello Like Before'' was inspired by David’s live covers of Withers’ songs, and by live shows by groups such as ATL Collective who played a tribute to Withers in January. David compared recording the album to acting, saying the beauty in recording music created by someone else is that he didn’t have to dig into his own emotional wounds to create the content.

David met Withers when he was touring with India.Arie early in his career. He doesn’t have a personal relationship with the singer but he says he recently received a note of approval from Wither’s daughter saying she loved ''Hello Like Before''. For David, one of the most rewarding parts of releasing this project now is having the chance to give the 80-year-old Withers props while he’s still alive. As the R&B community continues to grieve the loss of Aretha Franklin, who died in August, the sentiment is especially poignant.

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In August, David introduced the album with a cover of “Lovely Day.” While his version of the song features more prominent strings, stylistically, it doesn’t stray too far from the original R&B staple. On “Use Me,” the familiar riff is still in place but David adds a few rap-like adlibs (“aye”) into the mix for good measure. The singer most effectively blends modern and traditional influences on songs such as the opening number “Grandma’s Hands.” The song retains its acoustic feel before percussion and organs kick in. David says he tried to “modernize” his covers without jeopardizing the integrity of the music itself. “I love innovation and I love tradition,” he says.

David and his band recorded the music for album in two days, and it took about two weeks to lay down the vocals for the songs at 800 East Studios. David credits the ease of the project to his relationship with his team, including Eddie “Gypsy” Stokes who has worked with David since working on his first demo. “It felt like the peak of our powers,” David said.

David also went on to say he doesn’t know what he’ll do next once promotion of ''Hello Like Before'' is over, although he’s gotten back into acting, appearing on shows like “Greenleaf,” and doing theater in recent years. He’s consulting on his cousin’s charity AWOL, an arts and tech program that teaches life skills to at-risk youth at Wheat Street Baptist Church. David has had a long career as a touring artist and that will likely continue. He’s always working on his own music so, perhaps, fans will get to hear some of that, too.

Whatever it is he works on next, it’s safe to say David won’t stray too far from his Edgewood neighborhood and his favorite hangouts for too long.

''[https://creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped|Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.]''"
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Last week I returned to Edgewood to meet David for an interview at Edgewood Pizza. The Savannah-born singer lives nearby and says it’s one of his go-to spots to grab a drink and a bite to eat. He’s there so much, he’s been in talks with the chef about possibly opening a restaurant together. Although It’s unclear if that will come to fruition, for now, David is preparing for the release of his latest album, Hello Like Before: The Songs Of Bill Withers.

David will perform about three songs from the new project, as well as other songs from throughout his catalog at Mable House on Sept. 22, with Gregory Porter and Avery*Sunshine. He has back-to-back solo shows on the calendar at City Winery Dec. 29-30.

After having his own songs compared to Bill Withers throughout the years, David is tackling some of the legendary singer’s greatest hits and a few deep cuts on Hello Like Before. The album arrived Sept. 21 via Shanachie Records, and is named after one of David’s favorite Withers songs. “He’s just saying some cold shit,” David says.

Hello Like Before was inspired by David’s live covers of Withers’ songs, and by live shows by groups such as ATL Collective who played a tribute to Withers in January. David compared recording the album to acting, saying the beauty in recording music created by someone else is that he didn’t have to dig into his own emotional wounds to create the content.

David met Withers when he was touring with India.Arie early in his career. He doesn’t have a personal relationship with the singer but he says he recently received a note of approval from Wither’s daughter saying she loved Hello Like Before. For David, one of the most rewarding parts of releasing this project now is having the chance to give the 80-year-old Withers props while he’s still alive. As the R&B community continues to grieve the loss of Aretha Franklin, who died in August, the sentiment is especially poignant.



In August, David introduced the album with a cover of “Lovely Day.” While his version of the song features more prominent strings, stylistically, it doesn’t stray too far from the original R&B staple. On “Use Me,” the familiar riff is still in place but David adds a few rap-like adlibs (“aye”) into the mix for good measure. The singer most effectively blends modern and traditional influences on songs such as the opening number “Grandma’s Hands.” The song retains its acoustic feel before percussion and organs kick in. David says he tried to “modernize” his covers without jeopardizing the integrity of the music itself. “I love innovation and I love tradition,” he says.

David and his band recorded the music for album in two days, and it took about two weeks to lay down the vocals for the songs at 800 East Studios. David credits the ease of the project to his relationship with his team, including Eddie “Gypsy” Stokes who has worked with David since working on his first demo. “It felt like the peak of our powers,” David said.

David also went on to say he doesn’t know what he’ll do next once promotion of Hello Like Before is over, although he’s gotten back into acting, appearing on shows like “Greenleaf,” and doing theater in recent years. He’s consulting on his cousin’s charity AWOL, an arts and tech program that teaches life skills to at-risk youth at Wheat Street Baptist Church. David has had a long career as a touring artist and that will likely continue. He’s always working on his own music so, perhaps, fans will get to hear some of that, too.

Whatever it is he works on next, it’s safe to say David won’t stray too far from his Edgewood neighborhood and his favorite hangouts for too long.

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.    K.T. Terrell LOVELY DAY: Anthony David's 'Hello Like Before' celebrates the music of Bill Withers.                                   ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: Celebrate legends while they’re still alive  "
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Thursday September 27, 2018 12:50 pm EDT
Anthony David’s latest album, ‘Hello Like Before’ covers the songs of Bill Withers | more...
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  string(5081) "From Harry Belafonte’s 2016 Many Rivers to Cross festival to Atlanta’s installment of Afropunk, this city has seen its share of festivals attempting to bridge the gap between social justice and entertainment. In many ways, Many Rivers did bridge the gaps between generations, but it struggled to stick to its overall theme. I’m a huge fan of Ty Dolla $ign, but the rapper’s explicit set, featuring songs like “Zaddy,” wasn’t exactly a good fit for a social justice festival. And it certainly felt out of place alongside powerfully political moments captured during sets by Common, John Legend, and Belafonte.

For much of the weekend, the Black Lives Matter signage displayed throughout the festival grounds, felt more like an opportunity for social media photos than it did a serious vehicle for effecting change.

Likewise, Lou Constant-Desportes, Editor-in-Chief for Afropunk’s online publication, recently resigned. In a Facebook post, Constant-Desportes accuses the company of practicing, “performative ‘activism’ dipped in consumerism and ‘woke’ keywords used for marketing purposes.”

His resignation came amid reports that a woman named Ericka Hart, her partner Ebony Donnley, and their friend Lorelei Black were kicked out of the Brooklyn festival because one of them wore a shirt with the hand-written message, “Afropunk sold out for white consumption.”

The festival has since apologized in a statement that says: "We are sorry that Ericka and Ebony feel mistreated. That was not, nor has it ever been, our intention. We have supported Ericka and her activism for many years. We celebrate her voice, her activism, and her Black body. She is a part of our Afropunk community."

But the accusations aren’t new. While I certainly enjoyed the inaugural Afropunk Atlanta festival, longtime fans of the festival, which was founded in Brooklyn in 2015, have expressed displeasure for years. Most complaints center around Afropunk increasingly catering to mainstream audiences and artists, making the punk fans of color feel as though they, once again, have been pushed out of their sacred space.


Festivals won’t always get it right, but I am genuinely excited to see how a popular local festival could utilize its platform and star power to effect change in the communities it serves.

A3C Hip-Hop Festival & Conference will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, which is no small feat for a festival. In a market where festivals come and go, A3C has remained a staple in the hip-hop community, not just because of its live shows, but also because of the executives and influencers that attend each year to participate in lectures and workshops. From NPR journalist (and former CL Culture Writer) Rodney Carmichael to Tuma Basa, YouTube’s director of urban music, A3C is a networking and developmental paradise for anyone involved in the genre.

In recent years, the festival has facilitated conversations beyond music business with the Action Summit. Billboard reports this year’s summit will feature discussions on police brutality, racial profiling, mental health, and more. Five Action Summit finalists using hip-hop music and culture to advance social justice in underserved communities have will pitch for $10,000 at the Action Summit on Fri, Oct 5 Finalists include Byron Young, MD (The Hip-hop Mentoring Cypher Sessions), Sage Salvo (Words Liive), Quyionah Wingfield (Cool Moms Dance Too),
Selah Guru (Supreme MCs Rule Hip-hop Expression Program), and Ragz Bruland (FlexIn FlexOut).

Talib Kweli, Killer Mike, Shanti Das, Trae the Truth, Dr. David Wall Rice, Representative Bruce Franks, Jr., and more are scheduled to participate in the the two-day summit, which will be held at the Auburn Ave Research Library for African American Studies.

“Hip-Hop and justice have often gone hand in hand, and A3C wants to underline that,” Mike Walbert, A3C’s executive director, said in a press release. “Our Action events are our way of paying tribute to this powerful current in the music we love and to help support the music makers and lovers who use this power to do real good in their communities.”

This year, the festival’s A3C Action Accelerator will provide four non-profits with the opportunity to participate in a bootcamp that will teach activists how to manage, sustain and market a nonprofit before placing them in front of a panel of judges who could grant them $10,000 in funding for their initiatives. To coincide with the festival’s overall mission, all of the nonprofits incorporate music into their programs, utilizing the artform to educate and improve the wellbeing of participants.

In today’s political climate, it’s not enough to put up woke signs on your festival grounds or to host an hour-long panel with influencers. If festivals and media companies want to show they’re dedicated to social innovation, it means less marketing of their own brands and more support of grassroot initiatives. A3C certainly has the right idea.

Read more Atlanta Untrapped. "
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  string(5256) "From Harry Belafonte’s 2016 Many Rivers to Cross festival to Atlanta’s installment of Afropunk, this city has seen its share of festivals attempting to bridge the gap between social justice and entertainment. In many ways, Many Rivers did bridge the gaps between generations, but it struggled to stick to its overall theme. I’m a huge fan of Ty Dolla $ign, but the rapper’s explicit set, featuring songs like “Zaddy,” wasn’t exactly a good fit for a social justice festival. And it certainly felt out of place alongside powerfully political moments captured during sets by Common, John Legend, and Belafonte.

For much of the weekend, the Black Lives Matter signage displayed throughout the festival grounds, felt more like an opportunity for social media photos than it did a serious vehicle for effecting change.

Likewise, Lou Constant-Desportes, Editor-in-Chief for Afropunk’s online publication, recently resigned. [https://www.facebook.com/lou.constantdesportes/posts/2014673338553063|In a Facebook post], Constant-Desportes accuses the company of practicing, “performative ‘activism’ dipped in consumerism and ‘woke’ keywords used for marketing purposes.”

His resignation came amid reports that a woman named Ericka Hart, her partner Ebony Donnley, and their friend Lorelei Black were kicked out of the Brooklyn festival because one of them wore a shirt with the hand-written message, “Afropunk sold out for white consumption.”

The festival has since apologized in a statement that says: "We are sorry that Ericka and Ebony feel mistreated. That was not, nor has it ever been, our intention. We have supported Ericka and her activism for many years. We celebrate her voice, her activism, and her Black body. She is a part of our Afropunk community."

But the accusations aren’t new. While I certainly enjoyed the inaugural Afropunk Atlanta festival, longtime fans of the festival, which was founded in Brooklyn in 2015, have expressed displeasure for years. Most complaints center around Afropunk increasingly catering to mainstream audiences and artists, making the punk fans of color feel as though they, once again, have been pushed out of their sacred space.


Festivals won’t always get it right, but I am genuinely excited to see how a popular local festival could utilize its platform and star power to effect change in the communities it serves.

A3C Hip-Hop Festival & Conference will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, which is no small feat for a festival. In a market where festivals come and go, A3C has remained a staple in the hip-hop community, not just because of its live shows, but also because of the executives and influencers that attend each year to participate in lectures and workshops. From NPR journalist (and former ''CL'' Culture Writer) Rodney Carmichael to Tuma Basa, YouTube’s director of urban music, A3C is a networking and developmental paradise for anyone involved in the genre.

In recent years, the festival has facilitated conversations beyond music business with the [http://www.a3cfestival.com/action-summit|Action Summit]. ''Billboard'' reports this year’s summit will feature discussions on police brutality, racial profiling, mental health, and more. Five Action Summit finalists using hip-hop music and culture to advance social justice in underserved communities have will pitch for $10,000 at the Action Summit on Fri, Oct __5__ Finalists include Byron Young, MD (The Hip-hop Mentoring Cypher Sessions), Sage Salvo (Words Liive), Quyionah Wingfield (Cool Moms Dance Too),
Selah Guru (Supreme MCs Rule Hip-hop Expression Program), and Ragz Bruland (FlexIn FlexOut).

Talib Kweli, Killer Mike, Shanti Das, Trae the Truth, Dr. David Wall Rice, Representative Bruce Franks, Jr., and more are scheduled to participate in the the two-day summit, which will be held at the Auburn Ave Research Library for African American Studies.

“Hip-Hop and justice have often gone hand in hand, and A3C wants to underline that,” Mike Walbert, A3C’s executive director, said in a press release. “Our Action events are our way of paying tribute to this powerful current in the music we love and to help support the music makers and lovers who use this power to do real good in their communities.”

This year, the festival’s A3C Action Accelerator will provide four non-profits with the opportunity to participate in a bootcamp that will teach activists how to manage, sustain and market a nonprofit before placing them in front of a panel of judges who could grant them $10,000 in funding for their initiatives. To coincide with the festival’s overall mission, all of the nonprofits incorporate music into their programs, utilizing the artform to educate and improve the wellbeing of participants.

In today’s political climate, it’s not enough to put up woke signs on your festival grounds or to host an hour-long panel with influencers. If festivals and media companies want to show they’re dedicated to social innovation, it means less marketing of their own brands and more support of grassroot initiatives. A3C certainly has the right idea.

''Read more [https://creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped|Atlanta Untrapped]. ''"
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  string(5624) " A3C Finalist Strip  2018-09-13T18:22:53+00:00 A3C_Finalist_strip.jpg     The Action Summit gets it right + Afropunk’s dilemma 9004  2018-09-13T18:20:06+00:00 ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: A3C and social justice initiatives chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Jewel Wicker  2018-09-13T18:20:06+00:00  From Harry Belafonte’s 2016 Many Rivers to Cross festival to Atlanta’s installment of Afropunk, this city has seen its share of festivals attempting to bridge the gap between social justice and entertainment. In many ways, Many Rivers did bridge the gaps between generations, but it struggled to stick to its overall theme. I’m a huge fan of Ty Dolla $ign, but the rapper’s explicit set, featuring songs like “Zaddy,” wasn’t exactly a good fit for a social justice festival. And it certainly felt out of place alongside powerfully political moments captured during sets by Common, John Legend, and Belafonte.

For much of the weekend, the Black Lives Matter signage displayed throughout the festival grounds, felt more like an opportunity for social media photos than it did a serious vehicle for effecting change.

Likewise, Lou Constant-Desportes, Editor-in-Chief for Afropunk’s online publication, recently resigned. In a Facebook post, Constant-Desportes accuses the company of practicing, “performative ‘activism’ dipped in consumerism and ‘woke’ keywords used for marketing purposes.”

His resignation came amid reports that a woman named Ericka Hart, her partner Ebony Donnley, and their friend Lorelei Black were kicked out of the Brooklyn festival because one of them wore a shirt with the hand-written message, “Afropunk sold out for white consumption.”

The festival has since apologized in a statement that says: "We are sorry that Ericka and Ebony feel mistreated. That was not, nor has it ever been, our intention. We have supported Ericka and her activism for many years. We celebrate her voice, her activism, and her Black body. She is a part of our Afropunk community."

But the accusations aren’t new. While I certainly enjoyed the inaugural Afropunk Atlanta festival, longtime fans of the festival, which was founded in Brooklyn in 2015, have expressed displeasure for years. Most complaints center around Afropunk increasingly catering to mainstream audiences and artists, making the punk fans of color feel as though they, once again, have been pushed out of their sacred space.


Festivals won’t always get it right, but I am genuinely excited to see how a popular local festival could utilize its platform and star power to effect change in the communities it serves.

A3C Hip-Hop Festival & Conference will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, which is no small feat for a festival. In a market where festivals come and go, A3C has remained a staple in the hip-hop community, not just because of its live shows, but also because of the executives and influencers that attend each year to participate in lectures and workshops. From NPR journalist (and former CL Culture Writer) Rodney Carmichael to Tuma Basa, YouTube’s director of urban music, A3C is a networking and developmental paradise for anyone involved in the genre.

In recent years, the festival has facilitated conversations beyond music business with the Action Summit. Billboard reports this year’s summit will feature discussions on police brutality, racial profiling, mental health, and more. Five Action Summit finalists using hip-hop music and culture to advance social justice in underserved communities have will pitch for $10,000 at the Action Summit on Fri, Oct 5 Finalists include Byron Young, MD (The Hip-hop Mentoring Cypher Sessions), Sage Salvo (Words Liive), Quyionah Wingfield (Cool Moms Dance Too),
Selah Guru (Supreme MCs Rule Hip-hop Expression Program), and Ragz Bruland (FlexIn FlexOut).

Talib Kweli, Killer Mike, Shanti Das, Trae the Truth, Dr. David Wall Rice, Representative Bruce Franks, Jr., and more are scheduled to participate in the the two-day summit, which will be held at the Auburn Ave Research Library for African American Studies.

“Hip-Hop and justice have often gone hand in hand, and A3C wants to underline that,” Mike Walbert, A3C’s executive director, said in a press release. “Our Action events are our way of paying tribute to this powerful current in the music we love and to help support the music makers and lovers who use this power to do real good in their communities.”

This year, the festival’s A3C Action Accelerator will provide four non-profits with the opportunity to participate in a bootcamp that will teach activists how to manage, sustain and market a nonprofit before placing them in front of a panel of judges who could grant them $10,000 in funding for their initiatives. To coincide with the festival’s overall mission, all of the nonprofits incorporate music into their programs, utilizing the artform to educate and improve the wellbeing of participants.

In today’s political climate, it’s not enough to put up woke signs on your festival grounds or to host an hour-long panel with influencers. If festivals and media companies want to show they’re dedicated to social innovation, it means less marketing of their own brands and more support of grassroot initiatives. A3C certainly has the right idea.

Read more Atlanta Untrapped.     Courtesy A3C ACTION TEAM: A3C’s Action Summit finalists are Quyionah Wingfield (from left), Sage Salvo, Selah Guru, Ragz Bruland, and Byron Young.                                   ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: A3C and social justice initiatives "
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Article

Thursday September 13, 2018 02:20 pm EDT
The Action Summit gets it right + Afropunk’s dilemma | more...
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  string(50) "ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: One MusicFest comes back crunk!"
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  string(76) "J. Carter’s festival expands, while honoring urban music’s greatest hits"
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  string(5983) "The inspiration behind the ATL crunk set at this year’s One Musicfest came from an unlikely source: The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise.

“At first I was like, ‘Ain’t no way in hell there’s a crunk set on that cruise,” says One Musicfest founder Jason Carter, recalling the moment he overheard an acquaintance singing the praises of what sounded like the highlight of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” host’s Miami-based ocean liner party cruise.

For Carter, the tales of crunk on the high seas sparked memories of Atlanta artists who were determined to break into the mainstream, even if they had to throw a few elbows and bust a few heads to get there. He started thinking deeply about that rich mid-’90s to mid-aughts legacy of booming 808 beats and pep rally chants immortalized by the likes of mainstream hits such as Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ “Get Low,” Trillville’s “Neva Eva,” and Ying Yang Twins’ “Salt Shaker.”

“You forget all the music that era and time had,” Carter says.

To create a set that honored the crunk era, Carter enlisted long-standing Atlanta hip-hop fixture DJ Nabs. With decades of experience, including working with Kris Kross, Ciara, and Ludacris and hosting Hot 97.5 FM’s “In The Lab With DJ Nabs” — one of Atlanta’s most popular urban radio shows in history, according to Carter — Nabs wrangled the most influential crunk artists for the set in a “couple of hours.” As a result, One Musicfest’s crunk showcase features performances by the YoungBloodZ, Ying Yang Twins, Trillville, Kilo Ali, and the Eastside Boyz. It’s a show honoring an important part of Atlanta’s musical legacy, though. There’s no telling who else might show up, and surprises are inevitable. During a press conference in August, Nabs said he’s worked to make it the “most amazing Southern hip-hop show you’ve ever seen.”

Carter and Nabs are both well-versed in the many iterations of Atlanta’s ever-evolving rap music scene, from the 1995 Source Awards when André 3000 declared, “The South got something to say,” amid an escalating beef between East Coast and West Coast rappers, to DJs refusing to play Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz for fear it would incite a riot. Carter says both eras encompass the same underdog spirit. “It was our voice trying to talk over everybody else,” he says. “We were young, and we just had this energy. It felt rebellious.”

The One MusicFest founder went on to say that he believes it’s important to honor the “collective spirit” that helps Atlanta continue to thrive and continually reinvent itself. This has made previous One MusicFest lineups, headlined by the likes of Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland collective in 2015, and the 2016 Dungeon Family reunion so powerful. It’s impressive to think that Carter has just scratched the surface when it comes to honoring Atlanta music. With So So Def heading out on the label’s 25th anniversary Cultural Curren$y reunion tour this year, perhaps the festival will host an encore set for the Atlanta collective in 2019? Carter says there’s a list of artists he’s looking to have on stage, but he’s honest about some of the obstacles he faces when trying to create the perfect lineup. “Some of them just want entirely too much money,” he says. “Maybe we can come to a happy middle ground.”

Below the surface, the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise and One MusicFest have more in common than one might realize — they both strive to create a stage for a wide range of urban acts. During this year’s two-day One MusicFest, other performers touch on a wide range of styles, from George Clinton and Parliament’s revolutionary R&B to Big Sean’s hook-driven hip-hop anthems. 2 Chainz is also on the lineup, replacing rapper Cardi B, who is still at home adjusting to motherhood. “I could never find a festival that embraced all breadths of urban talent and artistry,” Carter says of his vision for One Musicfest, which boasts the tagline “Unity Through Music.”

According to Carter, attendees range in age from teenagers to 40-year-olds. As the crowd headbangs to Trillville’s “Some Cut,” some spectators may include those whose first introduction to hip-hop happened during this underappreciated era, as well as anyone who was moshing in the pit back in the crunk heyday. Just like 2 Chainz boasts a diverse audience, so do the Eastside Boyz and George Clinton.

Carter sees the festival as an unlikely bridge between these audiences and the other artists on his lineup. “Prejudices slowly start going away, and folks connect with brand-new people and new energies at festivals like One MusicFest,” Carter says.

This year also sees One Musicfest expanding to two days and moving to Central Park in the Fourth Ward West neighborhood. Carter says the festival moved to Lakewood Amphitheater after it outgrew various locations, including King Plow Arts Center, Park Tavern, and Historic Fourth Ward Park. Now, the festival has outgrown Lakewood. In addition to having seats at the main stage, which Carter notes doesn’t have the traditional festival feel, he adds, “You lose a bit of the energy when you put it in a controlled amphitheater space.” .

In addition, the seats alone, Carter says, made expanding to a two-day festival too expensive: People who paid $130 for a seat during the day-long festival would’ve seen their price double to $260 if the festival added an additional day.

Moving to Central Park also plants the festival in the heart of the city. “I think it has a lot of things that will make sense to the consumer financially and geographically,” Carter says. “Hopefully we can make it our home for the next few years.”

Where better for the kings of crunk to reclaim their throne?

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped."
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“At first I was like, ‘Ain’t no way in hell there’s a crunk set [[on that cruise],” says One Musicfest founder Jason Carter, recalling the moment he overheard an acquaintance singing the praises of what sounded like the highlight of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” host’s Miami-based ocean liner party cruise.

For Carter, the tales of crunk on the high seas sparked memories of Atlanta artists who were determined to break into the mainstream, even if they had to throw a few elbows and bust a few heads to get there. He started thinking deeply about that rich mid-’90s to mid-aughts legacy of booming 808 beats and pep rally chants immortalized by the likes of mainstream hits such as Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ “Get Low,” Trillville’s “Neva Eva,” and Ying Yang Twins’ “Salt Shaker.”

“You forget all the music that era and time had,” Carter says.

To create a set that honored the crunk era, Carter enlisted long-standing Atlanta hip-hop fixture DJ Nabs. With decades of experience, including working with Kris Kross, Ciara, and Ludacris and hosting Hot 97.5 FM’s “In The Lab With DJ Nabs” — one of Atlanta’s most popular urban radio shows in history, according to Carter — Nabs wrangled the most influential crunk artists for the set in a “couple of hours.” As a result, One Musicfest’s crunk showcase features performances by the YoungBloodZ, Ying Yang Twins, Trillville, Kilo Ali, and the Eastside Boyz. It’s a show honoring an important part of Atlanta’s musical legacy, though. There’s no telling who else might show up, and surprises are inevitable. During a press conference in August, Nabs said he’s worked to make it the “most amazing Southern hip-hop show you’ve ever seen.”

Carter and Nabs are both well-versed in the many iterations of Atlanta’s ever-evolving rap music scene, from the 1995 Source Awards when André 3000 declared, “The South got something to say,” amid an escalating beef between East Coast and West Coast rappers, to DJs refusing to play Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz for fear it would incite a riot. Carter says both eras encompass the same underdog spirit. “It was our voice trying to talk over everybody else,” he says. “We were young, and we just had this energy. It felt rebellious.”

The One MusicFest founder went on to say that he believes it’s important to honor the “collective spirit” that helps Atlanta continue to thrive and continually reinvent itself. This has made previous One MusicFest lineups, headlined by the likes of Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland collective in 2015, and the 2016 Dungeon Family reunion so powerful. It’s impressive to think that Carter has just scratched the surface when it comes to honoring Atlanta music. With So So Def heading out on the label’s 25th anniversary Cultural Curren$y reunion tour this year, perhaps the festival will host an encore set for the Atlanta collective in 2019? Carter says there’s a list of artists he’s looking to have on stage, but he’s honest about some of the obstacles he faces when trying to create the perfect lineup. “Some of them just want entirely too much money,” he says. “Maybe we can come to a happy middle ground.”

Below the surface, the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise and One MusicFest have more in common than one might realize — they both strive to create a stage for a wide range of urban acts. During this year’s two-day One MusicFest, other performers touch on a wide range of styles, from George Clinton and Parliament’s revolutionary R&B to Big Sean’s hook-driven hip-hop anthems. 2 Chainz is also on the lineup, replacing rapper Cardi B, who is still at home adjusting to motherhood. “I could never find a festival that embraced all breadths of urban talent and artistry,” Carter says of his vision for One Musicfest, which boasts the tagline “Unity Through Music.”

According to Carter, attendees range in age from teenagers to 40-year-olds. As the crowd headbangs to Trillville’s “Some Cut,” some spectators may include those whose first introduction to hip-hop happened during this underappreciated era, as well as anyone who was moshing in the pit back in the crunk heyday. Just like 2 Chainz boasts a diverse audience, so do the Eastside Boyz and George Clinton.

Carter sees the festival as an unlikely bridge between these audiences and the other artists on his lineup. “Prejudices slowly start going away, and folks connect with brand-new people and new energies at festivals like One MusicFest,” Carter says.

This year also sees One Musicfest expanding to two days and moving to Central Park in the Fourth Ward West neighborhood. Carter says the festival moved to Lakewood Amphitheater after it outgrew various locations, including King Plow Arts Center, Park Tavern, and Historic Fourth Ward Park. Now, the festival has outgrown Lakewood. In addition to having seats at the main stage, which Carter notes doesn’t have the traditional festival feel, he adds, “You lose a bit of the energy when you put it in a controlled amphitheater space.” .

In addition, the seats alone, Carter says, made expanding to a two-day festival too expensive: People who paid $130 for a seat during the day-long festival would’ve seen their price double to $260 if the festival added an additional day.

Moving to Central Park also plants the festival in the heart of the city. “I think it has a lot of things that will make sense to the consumer financially and geographically,” Carter says. “Hopefully we can make it our home for the next few years.”

Where better for the kings of crunk to reclaim their throne?

''[https://creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped|Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped].''"
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  string(6520) " Music Untrapped2 1 14  2018-09-07T00:27:56+00:00 Music_Untrapped2-1_14.jpg     J. Carter’s festival expands, while honoring urban music’s greatest hits 8815  2018-09-07T00:16:40+00:00 ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: One MusicFest comes back crunk! chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Jewel Wicker  2018-09-07T00:16:40+00:00  The inspiration behind the ATL crunk set at this year’s One Musicfest came from an unlikely source: The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise.

“At first I was like, ‘Ain’t no way in hell there’s a crunk set on that cruise,” says One Musicfest founder Jason Carter, recalling the moment he overheard an acquaintance singing the praises of what sounded like the highlight of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” host’s Miami-based ocean liner party cruise.

For Carter, the tales of crunk on the high seas sparked memories of Atlanta artists who were determined to break into the mainstream, even if they had to throw a few elbows and bust a few heads to get there. He started thinking deeply about that rich mid-’90s to mid-aughts legacy of booming 808 beats and pep rally chants immortalized by the likes of mainstream hits such as Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’ “Get Low,” Trillville’s “Neva Eva,” and Ying Yang Twins’ “Salt Shaker.”

“You forget all the music that era and time had,” Carter says.

To create a set that honored the crunk era, Carter enlisted long-standing Atlanta hip-hop fixture DJ Nabs. With decades of experience, including working with Kris Kross, Ciara, and Ludacris and hosting Hot 97.5 FM’s “In The Lab With DJ Nabs” — one of Atlanta’s most popular urban radio shows in history, according to Carter — Nabs wrangled the most influential crunk artists for the set in a “couple of hours.” As a result, One Musicfest’s crunk showcase features performances by the YoungBloodZ, Ying Yang Twins, Trillville, Kilo Ali, and the Eastside Boyz. It’s a show honoring an important part of Atlanta’s musical legacy, though. There’s no telling who else might show up, and surprises are inevitable. During a press conference in August, Nabs said he’s worked to make it the “most amazing Southern hip-hop show you’ve ever seen.”

Carter and Nabs are both well-versed in the many iterations of Atlanta’s ever-evolving rap music scene, from the 1995 Source Awards when André 3000 declared, “The South got something to say,” amid an escalating beef between East Coast and West Coast rappers, to DJs refusing to play Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz for fear it would incite a riot. Carter says both eras encompass the same underdog spirit. “It was our voice trying to talk over everybody else,” he says. “We were young, and we just had this energy. It felt rebellious.”

The One MusicFest founder went on to say that he believes it’s important to honor the “collective spirit” that helps Atlanta continue to thrive and continually reinvent itself. This has made previous One MusicFest lineups, headlined by the likes of Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland collective in 2015, and the 2016 Dungeon Family reunion so powerful. It’s impressive to think that Carter has just scratched the surface when it comes to honoring Atlanta music. With So So Def heading out on the label’s 25th anniversary Cultural Curren$y reunion tour this year, perhaps the festival will host an encore set for the Atlanta collective in 2019? Carter says there’s a list of artists he’s looking to have on stage, but he’s honest about some of the obstacles he faces when trying to create the perfect lineup. “Some of them just want entirely too much money,” he says. “Maybe we can come to a happy middle ground.”

Below the surface, the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise and One MusicFest have more in common than one might realize — they both strive to create a stage for a wide range of urban acts. During this year’s two-day One MusicFest, other performers touch on a wide range of styles, from George Clinton and Parliament’s revolutionary R&B to Big Sean’s hook-driven hip-hop anthems. 2 Chainz is also on the lineup, replacing rapper Cardi B, who is still at home adjusting to motherhood. “I could never find a festival that embraced all breadths of urban talent and artistry,” Carter says of his vision for One Musicfest, which boasts the tagline “Unity Through Music.”

According to Carter, attendees range in age from teenagers to 40-year-olds. As the crowd headbangs to Trillville’s “Some Cut,” some spectators may include those whose first introduction to hip-hop happened during this underappreciated era, as well as anyone who was moshing in the pit back in the crunk heyday. Just like 2 Chainz boasts a diverse audience, so do the Eastside Boyz and George Clinton.

Carter sees the festival as an unlikely bridge between these audiences and the other artists on his lineup. “Prejudices slowly start going away, and folks connect with brand-new people and new energies at festivals like One MusicFest,” Carter says.

This year also sees One Musicfest expanding to two days and moving to Central Park in the Fourth Ward West neighborhood. Carter says the festival moved to Lakewood Amphitheater after it outgrew various locations, including King Plow Arts Center, Park Tavern, and Historic Fourth Ward Park. Now, the festival has outgrown Lakewood. In addition to having seats at the main stage, which Carter notes doesn’t have the traditional festival feel, he adds, “You lose a bit of the energy when you put it in a controlled amphitheater space.” .

In addition, the seats alone, Carter says, made expanding to a two-day festival too expensive: People who paid $130 for a seat during the day-long festival would’ve seen their price double to $260 if the festival added an additional day.

Moving to Central Park also plants the festival in the heart of the city. “I think it has a lot of things that will make sense to the consumer financially and geographically,” Carter says. “Hopefully we can make it our home for the next few years.”

Where better for the kings of crunk to reclaim their throne?

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.    Courtesy One MusicFest DON’T START NO STUFF WON’T BE NO STUFF: YoungbloodZ head up One MusicFest’s crunk showcase.                                   ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: One MusicFest comes back crunk! "
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Thursday September 6, 2018 08:16 pm EDT
J. Carter’s festival expands, while honoring urban music’s greatest hits | more...
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  string(4889) " While not yet a household name, Marzeratti has worked behind the scenes for some of Atlanta’s most prominent artists. Now he’s branching out on his own. The Ear Drummer Records producer’s credits incldue hit songs such as Future’s “Turn on the Lights,” 2 Chainz’s “No Lie” and Kelly Rowland’s “Kisses Down Low.” Most recently, he co-produced The Weeknd’s “Try Me” from the singer’s 2018 EP My Dear Melancholy.
 

CL recently caught up with the Atlanta producer to talk about his work with artists like Rae Sremmurd early in their careers, developing new talent and the inspiration behind his upcoming project.

How did you get into producing and working with Ear Drummer?
I was producing already and I had a mutual friend P-Nasty who had met Mike WiLL Made-It and started working with him. He told Mike about me. Basically, after I had that first conversation with Mike and sent him five of what I felt was my best tracks at the time, we ended up doing a lot of stuff together.

You produced some major songs pretty early in your career, including Future’s “Turn on the Lights.” What was that like as a newcomer?
Now looking back on it it’s like, ‘Man, I really did something monumental for these guys,’ but back then it was just like, ‘Hey, I’m new at this. I’m creating. I really think these artists are dope.” I really thought Future was dope. Being the person who was a part of his biggest single at the time is just so unreal now that I think about it.

And, you worked with Rae Sremmurd early on, too.
I found them through their DJ. His cousin is P Nasty, so he was on us for the longest like, “Hey, you guys check out my boys.” Finally, we checked them out and sent them a beat. We never released it, but they did a song to it. They ended up splitting up for like a year, and when they came back, that’s when we started working on their first album.

What was it about them that stood out to you back then?
They could just rap and sing and go on for hours. Everything they were coming with was just super creative. They would change their voices. Swae Lee was doing English accents. Nobody in our generation was really doing anything like that at the time. Even Slim Jxmmi, his flows...nobody knew but he was actually a singer at the time, too. He ended up being more of a hard rapper, but those two together? Whew.

What’s been one of the standout moments of your career so far?
My favorite moment was being in New York and doing “Beach is Better” with Jay Z. We kept playing records and we came upon “Beach is Better,” and he was like, “Whoa! What’s this?” And Mike basically told him we were giving this to Big Sean but he hadn’t responded. Jay Z was like, “Alright, we’ll give him 5 business days. If he doesn’t reply, I’m going to sew it up.” That next week, the project dropped, “Beach is Better” is on there and it was trending worldwide. That moment was crazy for me.

Did y’all always intend on making “Beach is Better” a short song?
I think we’ve all talked about it being longer and maybe revisiting. I think Jay was like, “Let’s just leave it as it is.”

Who is your dream collaborator?
I’d have to say CeeLo Green. I really love CeeLo. He’s another one of my inspirations. I just met him recently. I froze up. That was one of those moments in my career I was actually starstuck and couldn’t find the words to tell him. 

Any new productions you can tease?
Me and Mike collaborated recently and we have this record coming with School Boy Q and Kendrick Lamar.

You’re also working with a new artist, NR? What can you tell us about him?
I don’t want to compare him to anybody, but I would say he’s like a black Sam Smith. Dude can really sing his ass off. We’ve just been working on this real dope project just to bring the R&B feels back. There’s no rapping going on or rap/singing, it’s just pure R&B, guitars and pianos. We’ve just been locked in for the last two months getting it done. We’re trying to drop the beginning of October, end of September.

You’re also readying your own project. Are you rapping or singing?
Both, but mostly rapping.

Have you always intended to branch out as an artist? 
Definitely. 

Who are some of your influences for your upcoming project?
Rick James, even though he’s not a rapper. Old Dirty Bastard, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, Andre 3000, Pharrell. Those are a few of the artists who inspired me to put my foot forward and actually venture out into being an artist. 

It sounds like you’re not going with the recent trap trend but something more classic. Is that accurate?
Yeah. Really weird, abstract and eclectic. It’s all over the place.

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped."
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''CL'' recently caught up with the Atlanta producer to talk about his work with artists like Rae Sremmurd early in their careers, developing new talent and the inspiration behind his upcoming project.

__How did you get into producing and working with Ear Drummer?__
I was producing already and I had a mutual friend [[P-Nasty] who had met Mike [[WiLL Made-It] and started working with him. He told Mike about me. Basically, after I had that first conversation with Mike and sent him five of what I felt was my best tracks at the time, we ended up doing a lot of stuff together.

__You produced some major songs pretty early in your career, including Future’s “Turn on the Lights.” What was that like as a newcomer?__
Now looking back on it it’s like, ‘Man, I really did something monumental for these guys,’ but back then it was just like, ‘Hey, I’m new at this. I’m creating. I really think these artists are dope.” I really thought Future was dope. Being the person who was a part of his biggest single at the time is just so unreal now that I think about it.

__And, you worked with Rae Sremmurd early on, too.__
I found them through their DJ. His cousin is P Nasty, so he was on us for the longest like, “Hey, you guys check out my boys.” Finally, we checked them out and sent them a beat. We never released it, but they did a song to it. They ended up splitting up for like a year, and when they came back, that’s when we started working on their first album.

__What was it about them that stood out to you back then?__
They could just rap and sing and go on for hours. Everything they were coming with was just super creative. They would change their voices. Swae [[Lee] was doing English accents. Nobody in our generation was really doing anything like that at the time. Even [[Slim Jxmmi], his flows...nobody knew but he was actually a singer at the time, too. He ended up being more of a hard rapper, but those two together? Whew.

__What’s been one of the standout moments of your career so far?__
My favorite moment was being in New York and doing “Beach is Better” with Jay Z. We kept [[playing records] and we came upon “Beach is Better,” and he was like, “Whoa! What’s this?” And Mike basically told him we were giving this to Big Sean but he hadn’t responded. [[Jay Z] was like, “Alright, we’ll give him 5 business days. If he doesn’t reply, I’m going to sew it up.” That next week, the project dropped, [[“Beach is Better”] is on there and it was trending worldwide. That moment was crazy for me.

__Did y’all always intend on making “Beach is Better” a short song?__
I think we’ve all talked about it being longer and maybe revisiting. I think Jay was like, “Let’s just leave it as it is.”

__Who is your dream collaborator?__
I’d have to say CeeLo Green. I really love CeeLo. He’s another one of my inspirations. I just met him recently. I froze up. That was one of those moments in my career I was actually starstuck and couldn’t find the words [[to tell him]. 

__Any new productions you can tease?__
Me and Mike collaborated recently and we have this record coming with School Boy Q and Kendrick Lamar.

__You’re also working with a new artist, NR? What can you tell us about him?__
I don’t want to compare him to anybody, but I would say he’s like a black Sam Smith. Dude can really sing his ass off. We’ve just been working on this real dope project just to bring the R&B feels back. There’s no rapping going on or rap/singing, it’s just pure R&B, guitars [[and] pianos. We’ve just been locked in for the last two months getting it done. We’re trying to drop the beginning of October, end of September.

__You’re also readying your own project. Are you rapping or singing?__
Both, but mostly rapping.

__Have you always intended to branch out as an artist?__ 
Definitely. 

__Who are some of your influences for your upcoming project?__
Rick James, even though he’s not a rapper. Old Dirty Bastard, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, Andre 3000, Pharrell. Those are a few of the artists who inspired me to put my foot forward and actually venture out into being an artist. 

__It sounds like you’re not going with the recent trap trend but something more classic. Is that accurate?__
Yeah. Really weird, abstract and eclectic. It’s all over the place.

''[https://creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped|Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.]''"
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  string(5395) " Marzeratti  2018-08-31T16:57:55+00:00 Marzeratti.jpg     The Weeknd, Future and Rae Sremmurd producer readies his own project 8616  2018-08-31T16:44:40+00:00 ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: Marzeratti steps from behind the scenes chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Jewel Wicker  2018-08-31T16:44:40+00:00   While not yet a household name, Marzeratti has worked behind the scenes for some of Atlanta’s most prominent artists. Now he’s branching out on his own. The Ear Drummer Records producer’s credits incldue hit songs such as Future’s “Turn on the Lights,” 2 Chainz’s “No Lie” and Kelly Rowland’s “Kisses Down Low.” Most recently, he co-produced The Weeknd’s “Try Me” from the singer’s 2018 EP My Dear Melancholy.
 

CL recently caught up with the Atlanta producer to talk about his work with artists like Rae Sremmurd early in their careers, developing new talent and the inspiration behind his upcoming project.

How did you get into producing and working with Ear Drummer?
I was producing already and I had a mutual friend P-Nasty who had met Mike WiLL Made-It and started working with him. He told Mike about me. Basically, after I had that first conversation with Mike and sent him five of what I felt was my best tracks at the time, we ended up doing a lot of stuff together.

You produced some major songs pretty early in your career, including Future’s “Turn on the Lights.” What was that like as a newcomer?
Now looking back on it it’s like, ‘Man, I really did something monumental for these guys,’ but back then it was just like, ‘Hey, I’m new at this. I’m creating. I really think these artists are dope.” I really thought Future was dope. Being the person who was a part of his biggest single at the time is just so unreal now that I think about it.

And, you worked with Rae Sremmurd early on, too.
I found them through their DJ. His cousin is P Nasty, so he was on us for the longest like, “Hey, you guys check out my boys.” Finally, we checked them out and sent them a beat. We never released it, but they did a song to it. They ended up splitting up for like a year, and when they came back, that’s when we started working on their first album.

What was it about them that stood out to you back then?
They could just rap and sing and go on for hours. Everything they were coming with was just super creative. They would change their voices. Swae Lee was doing English accents. Nobody in our generation was really doing anything like that at the time. Even Slim Jxmmi, his flows...nobody knew but he was actually a singer at the time, too. He ended up being more of a hard rapper, but those two together? Whew.

What’s been one of the standout moments of your career so far?
My favorite moment was being in New York and doing “Beach is Better” with Jay Z. We kept playing records and we came upon “Beach is Better,” and he was like, “Whoa! What’s this?” And Mike basically told him we were giving this to Big Sean but he hadn’t responded. Jay Z was like, “Alright, we’ll give him 5 business days. If he doesn’t reply, I’m going to sew it up.” That next week, the project dropped, “Beach is Better” is on there and it was trending worldwide. That moment was crazy for me.

Did y’all always intend on making “Beach is Better” a short song?
I think we’ve all talked about it being longer and maybe revisiting. I think Jay was like, “Let’s just leave it as it is.”

Who is your dream collaborator?
I’d have to say CeeLo Green. I really love CeeLo. He’s another one of my inspirations. I just met him recently. I froze up. That was one of those moments in my career I was actually starstuck and couldn’t find the words to tell him. 

Any new productions you can tease?
Me and Mike collaborated recently and we have this record coming with School Boy Q and Kendrick Lamar.

You’re also working with a new artist, NR? What can you tell us about him?
I don’t want to compare him to anybody, but I would say he’s like a black Sam Smith. Dude can really sing his ass off. We’ve just been working on this real dope project just to bring the R&B feels back. There’s no rapping going on or rap/singing, it’s just pure R&B, guitars and pianos. We’ve just been locked in for the last two months getting it done. We’re trying to drop the beginning of October, end of September.

You’re also readying your own project. Are you rapping or singing?
Both, but mostly rapping.

Have you always intended to branch out as an artist? 
Definitely. 

Who are some of your influences for your upcoming project?
Rick James, even though he’s not a rapper. Old Dirty Bastard, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, Andre 3000, Pharrell. Those are a few of the artists who inspired me to put my foot forward and actually venture out into being an artist. 

It sounds like you’re not going with the recent trap trend but something more classic. Is that accurate?
Yeah. Really weird, abstract and eclectic. It’s all over the place.

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.    Myles Harris TURN ON THE LIGHTS: Marzeratti worked with Future and Rae Sremmurd early in their careers.                                   ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: Marzeratti steps from behind the scenes "
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Article

Friday August 31, 2018 12:44 pm EDT
The Weeknd, Future and Rae Sremmurd producer readies his own project | more...
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  string(60) "ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: There’s more to Atlanta music than trap"
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  string(63) "Demo Taped spreads love and positivity through electronic music"
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  string(67) "__Demo Taped spreads love and positivity through electronic music__"
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  string(4260) "“Insecure,” the opening number on Momentary, the latest EP from singer/songwriter Demo Taped (born Adam Alexander), sounds as though it were conceived for an urban youth choir. The organ arrangements and lyrics such as “You claim your love is pure/You try to reassure me lately/I think I've been going crazy” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in any black church. It’s no surprise the song was written by a preacher’s grandkid.
Alexander’s grandfather, Dr. Cameron Madison Alexander, is the longtime pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, which was founded by eight former slaves in 1877. The church is an Atlanta landmark, one that requires a pastor with both an understanding of Christianity and charisma enough to captivate a dedicated congregation. Growing up, Demo Taped studied his grandfather’s ability to capture people’s attention. He watched his father lead a band and play bass. He led solos in the choir, a responsibility he once resisted but now considers his entry into performing live.
The 20-year-old singer is a refreshingly positive voice in electronic music, offering honest reflections on topics such as anxiety and masculinity over bouncy productions. While readying a new single and working on a new EP, Demo Taped took a few minutes to talk about how he hopes to bring attention to Atlanta’s DIY music scene, the influence of growing up in Atlanta, and where he sees himself going from here.

You grew up in a musical city in an era when Atlanta wasn’t known for gospel music. How did that influence you?

I still have a lot of friends that are rappers or rap producers, and I grew up around a lot of people who liked different stuff than me. Now I’m into hip-hop and rap, but for a while I really wasn’t. I was into Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic rock. I would get kidded because I wasn’t listening to what everyone else was listening to. At first I felt alienated, but when you’re doing your own thing, it doesn’t matter. I got into electronic music, and that’s when I found my voice.

Do you get nervous when releasing music that’s tied to personal experiences?
I was kind of afraid of that but I got over it. Now, when it comes to personal stuff I think it’s just my duty as an artist to be as open and to reach as many people as possible.

What high school did you go to?
I went to a couple different ones. I went to North Springs for my first year of high school. I did online school for a little bit, and then I went to Galloway. Galloway was my last school, and they told me to leave because they said I should be pursuing music.

__Did you pay attention or just brush it off? 







__
I’d been an all A’s student my entire school career. After I released my first project in 11th grade and saw the traction it was gaining, I was like, “OK. Time to invest fully in music.” I stopped doing high school stuff. We were allowed to have computers at Galloway, and I’d literally just have headphones on, making a new song while the teacher was talking. After a while they said maybe you should pursue music. It doesn’t happen often that an educational institution encourages you to go the creative route. That was really cool. That was like the defining moment. 

What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?
I’m working on another EP right now, and I’m really digging deep for this one. I’m doing a lot of thinking and writing. I want this to be really special. The last album was more a stream-of-consciousness project. That’s how I went about writing for it. I wrote all these things I liked and disliked and things I loved. I wrote it all out and corralled it into a project. This upcoming project, I’m thinking more ahead of it. I’m really planning it out. 

To what do you attribute your optimistic outlook?
I want to see more positivity in the world. I think it’s important for me to use whatever voice I have to spread love and good energy because that’s needed. It’s important for young black kids to see a smiling black male living a carefree life. I think it’s really important to put that out there to show it’s possible. 

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped. "
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(4363) "“Insecure,” the opening number on ''Momentary'', the latest EP from singer/songwriter Demo Taped (born Adam Alexander), sounds as though it were conceived for an urban youth choir. The organ arrangements and lyrics such as “You claim your love is pure/You try to reassure me lately/I think I've been going crazy” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in any black church. It’s no surprise the song was written by a preacher’s grandkid.
Alexander’s grandfather, Dr. Cameron Madison Alexander, is the longtime pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, which was founded by eight former slaves in 1877. The church is an Atlanta landmark, one that requires a pastor with both an understanding of Christianity and charisma enough to captivate a dedicated congregation. Growing up, Demo Taped studied his grandfather’s ability to capture people’s attention. He watched his father lead a band and play bass. He led solos in the choir, a responsibility he once resisted but now considers his entry into performing live.
The 20-year-old singer is a refreshingly positive voice in electronic music, offering honest reflections on topics such as anxiety and masculinity over bouncy productions. While readying a new single and working on a new EP, Demo Taped took a few minutes to talk about how he hopes to bring attention to Atlanta’s DIY music scene, the influence of growing up in Atlanta, and where he sees himself going from here.

__You grew up in a musical city in an era when Atlanta wasn’t known for gospel music. How did that influence you?__

I still have a lot of friends that are rappers or rap producers, and I grew up around a lot of people who liked different stuff than me. Now I’m into hip-hop and rap, but for a while I really wasn’t. I was into Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic rock. I would get kidded because I wasn’t listening to what everyone else was listening to. At first I felt alienated, but when you’re doing your own thing, it doesn’t matter. I got into electronic music, and that’s when I found my voice.

__Do you get nervous when releasing music that’s tied to personal experiences?__
I was kind of afraid of that but I got over it. Now, when it comes to personal stuff I think it’s just my duty as an artist to be as open and to reach as many people as possible.

__What high school did you go to?__
I went to a couple different ones. I went to North Springs for my first year of high school. I did online school for a little bit, and then I went to Galloway. Galloway was my last school, and they told me to leave because they said I should be pursuing music.

__Did you pay attention or just brush it off? 
~hc~       b      ~/hc~






__
__I’d been an all A’s student my entire school career. After I released my first project in 11th grade and saw the traction it was gaining, I was like, “OK. Time to invest fully in music.” I stopped doing high school stuff. We were allowed to have computers at Galloway, and I’d literally just have headphones on, making a new song while the teacher was talking. After a while they said maybe you should pursue music. It doesn’t happen often that an educational institution encourages you to go the creative route. That was really cool. That was like the defining moment. __

What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?
__I’m working on another EP right now, and I’m really digging deep for this one. I’m doing a lot of thinking and writing. I want this to be really special. The last album was more a stream-of-consciousness project. That’s how I went about writing for it. I wrote all these things I liked and disliked and things I loved. I wrote it all out and corralled it into a project. This upcoming project, I’m thinking more ahead of it. I’m really planning it out. __

To what do you attribute your optimistic outlook?
__I want to see more positivity in the world. I think it’s important for me to use whatever voice I have to spread love and good energy because that’s needed. It’s important for young black kids to see a smiling black male living a carefree life. I think it’s really important to put that out there to show it’s possible. __

__''[https://creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped|Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.]'' __"
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  string(4806) " 1200px Demo Taped  2018-08-16T20:36:42+00:00 1200px-Demo_Taped.jpg     Demo Taped spreads love and positivity through electronic music 8247  2018-08-20T05:00:00+00:00 ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: There’s more to Atlanta music than trap chad.radford@creativeloafing.com Chad Radford Jewel Wicker  2018-08-20T05:00:00+00:00  “Insecure,” the opening number on Momentary, the latest EP from singer/songwriter Demo Taped (born Adam Alexander), sounds as though it were conceived for an urban youth choir. The organ arrangements and lyrics such as “You claim your love is pure/You try to reassure me lately/I think I've been going crazy” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in any black church. It’s no surprise the song was written by a preacher’s grandkid.
Alexander’s grandfather, Dr. Cameron Madison Alexander, is the longtime pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, which was founded by eight former slaves in 1877. The church is an Atlanta landmark, one that requires a pastor with both an understanding of Christianity and charisma enough to captivate a dedicated congregation. Growing up, Demo Taped studied his grandfather’s ability to capture people’s attention. He watched his father lead a band and play bass. He led solos in the choir, a responsibility he once resisted but now considers his entry into performing live.
The 20-year-old singer is a refreshingly positive voice in electronic music, offering honest reflections on topics such as anxiety and masculinity over bouncy productions. While readying a new single and working on a new EP, Demo Taped took a few minutes to talk about how he hopes to bring attention to Atlanta’s DIY music scene, the influence of growing up in Atlanta, and where he sees himself going from here.

You grew up in a musical city in an era when Atlanta wasn’t known for gospel music. How did that influence you?

I still have a lot of friends that are rappers or rap producers, and I grew up around a lot of people who liked different stuff than me. Now I’m into hip-hop and rap, but for a while I really wasn’t. I was into Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic rock. I would get kidded because I wasn’t listening to what everyone else was listening to. At first I felt alienated, but when you’re doing your own thing, it doesn’t matter. I got into electronic music, and that’s when I found my voice.

Do you get nervous when releasing music that’s tied to personal experiences?
I was kind of afraid of that but I got over it. Now, when it comes to personal stuff I think it’s just my duty as an artist to be as open and to reach as many people as possible.

What high school did you go to?
I went to a couple different ones. I went to North Springs for my first year of high school. I did online school for a little bit, and then I went to Galloway. Galloway was my last school, and they told me to leave because they said I should be pursuing music.

__Did you pay attention or just brush it off? 







__
I’d been an all A’s student my entire school career. After I released my first project in 11th grade and saw the traction it was gaining, I was like, “OK. Time to invest fully in music.” I stopped doing high school stuff. We were allowed to have computers at Galloway, and I’d literally just have headphones on, making a new song while the teacher was talking. After a while they said maybe you should pursue music. It doesn’t happen often that an educational institution encourages you to go the creative route. That was really cool. That was like the defining moment. 

What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?
I’m working on another EP right now, and I’m really digging deep for this one. I’m doing a lot of thinking and writing. I want this to be really special. The last album was more a stream-of-consciousness project. That’s how I went about writing for it. I wrote all these things I liked and disliked and things I loved. I wrote it all out and corralled it into a project. This upcoming project, I’m thinking more ahead of it. I’m really planning it out. 

To what do you attribute your optimistic outlook?
I want to see more positivity in the world. I think it’s important for me to use whatever voice I have to spread love and good energy because that’s needed. It’s important for young black kids to see a smiling black male living a carefree life. I think it’s really important to put that out there to show it’s possible. 

Read Jewel Wicker’s Atlanta Untrapped column every week at www.creativeloafing.com/ATL-Untrapped.     Savana Ogburn CHURCH CHAT: Demo Taped learned to be comfortable in front of crowds while performing at his grandfather’s church.                                   ATLANTA UNTRAPPED: There’s more to Atlanta music than trap "
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Monday August 20, 2018 01:00 am EDT
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