H-TOWN RAP BATTLE IS MORE THAN JUST A BATTLE

by Petrice

The H-Town Rap Battle hosted by Doughbeezy is a much needed and long overdue showcase for Houston rap artist and industry networking.

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Journeying to the Preston Theater in downtown Houston every other Sunday, local talent sign up to showcase their lyrical skills. There are 5 rounds, and the winner from each round compete against each other to see who will advance to the championship battle.

THAT IS WHERE IT WILL GO DOWN IN H-TOWN! The list of awards for the champion range from free studio time, free beats from top Houston producers, to a feature in a magazine.

Did I mention there is no fee to compete or attend? Well it ain’t! It’s like going to a FREE networking event with FREE entertainment. Believe me when I say you should be there. Whoever the brainchild is and team behind putting this event together seems to have gotten it right.

H-TOWN STAND UP, and show the world that we can come together and support each other in the art of RAP. #htownrapbattle #doughbeezy #rapmusic #houstonrap #khdashtv

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THE SUFFERS COME HOME

by Petrice Douglas

suffers-4The Suffers at House of Blues in Houston – photo by JoBrea Neal

The beginning acts were too good for me not to give attention to in this review.img_9723Ishi – photo by JoBrea Neal

Let me start with Ishi who I had never heard of prior to the show. I knew that the music had to be something different by the looks of the band, and I was rightfully surprised. The lead vocalist looked like ZZ Top borrowed clothes from Willie Nelson who borrowed clothes from his Native American friend who borrowed a few accessories from George Clinton. As weird as it sounds, it was actually very intriguing and fit well with the performance. The style of music was just as blended with a bit of pop, disco, techno, and folk coming together to make one incredible sound. I have not heard it put together like this, and it seems like Ishi has scientifically mastered this form of art. A fusion of music that I REALLY like and want to hear more of it.

jmsn-1JMSN – photo by JoBrea Neal

Another opening talent that I am a new fan of is JMSN. This guy put out so much soul! The depth of his voice filled the house as he crooned out songs from his new album “It Is”. JMSN is as talented on the guitar as he is vocally, and hit us with a few moments of guitar solos. Bass player Taiki added some funk to the soul that kept the crowd funkyfied (funkyfied – new word that I made up to describe the feeling I was feeling at the time). Something else that was a first for me and very eye catching was the design of the drummer’s cymbal. It was cut into a long spiral shape and hung down to the floor. It was so unusual that I just wanted to jump on the stage and hit it one time. Give it up for the bad ass drummer with the bad ass cymbal!

WELCOME HOME TO THE SUFFERS! It was awesome having you home if only for one night.img_9873photo by JoBrea Neal

KAM! KAM! KAM! Did you have to kick it off with “Gwan”? THAT’S MY JAM!

You have to be hard of hearing or just plain old stupid if you do not feel the high power of music while listening to The Suffers. I am so fascinated with The Suffers from Kam’s vocal ability  and infectious tone to the band’s instrumentation skills. No instrument over shadows the other, and they have the perfect marriage of soul with a big band sound. Kam’s powerful voice commands attention with every word. Pulling from her soul, she ejects heartfelt emotions that are so free and uplifting. It was like I was watching my best friend performing on stage because she was real and personal when speaking and transitioning from song to song. Telling us how the group has been touring full time for the last two years with 400 plus performances in that time span, and that they no longer make excuses when it comes to creating new music. YES! I am here for that y’all. They then gave us a bonus of musical magic with their new song “I Think I Love You”……..oh yes I do.

The night continued to be one big happy soulful jam fest. We all enthusiastically took in every ounce of musical energy The Suffers cast upon us. At the end of their performance the love didn’t stop, and the band mingled and took pictures with fans and friends while The Waxaholics kept the music going.

ENCORE PLEASE!

Tamar (Smack Lips) Braxton

Tamar and JoBrea of K.B.C.C. Radio

Tamar and JoBrea of K.B.C.C. Radio

You may be wondering why I’m three days late putting up this review? Well, that ain’t yo bizness!

Here’s the business:

Yaass! Let’s start with that all the way turned up DJ Mister Rogers. He had the crowd going crazy no matter where you were from or when you were born. My new favorite deejay played requested music, gave shout outs, and mixed it all together just right while keeping up with Twitter requests.  I’m talkin’ from Al Green, Betty Wright, TPac, We Are Toonz, Biggie, Miley Cyrus, Drake, and Lorde. I honestly thought he was only going to mix a few minutes until an opening act came out, but it turned out he was the opening act. I was so happy, and if you were there you saw my happy dance.

The show was a sell out and had been sold out as early as April of this year. I cannot count how many disappointed people I saw at the ticket booth begging for a ticket. So a note to Tamar’s staff to book a larger venue the next time she comes to the H, cause we be in there (smack lips).

Now for all the Tamartians (smack lips), I don’t really need to tell you that she did her thang! Tamar opened with “She Did That” and was gettin’ down with the get down along with her dancers. Her set list was combined with relationship advice. If you are single, beware of the scallywags and those cool talkers who can talk the drawers off Jesus (smack lips). My heart smiled as she displayed her undeniable love for Vince and how he makes her feel like the “Prettiest Girl” in the world while video clips of the happy couple and others played in the background. The fun part of the night was when seven fans from the audience got a chance to get their shine on and sing “Love and War” on stage with Tamar to close the show. Not to crush anyone’s dream, but some of them may want to start dreaming about taking voice lessons (smack lips).

Set design – Rotating background stage that doubled as a video screen.

Band’s look – No band, but dancers. Two guys and two girls that were well in sync and never out shined each other. The guys did a nice “make me want to scream while I ask the Lord to forgive me for these ungodly thoughts” dance.

Sound – Sound system was a little choppy and off, but Tamar did not let it hold her back. Her vocals were powerful and passionate.

Side note – Tamar is real with the fans, and gave hugs to everyone that attended her sound check and meet and greet. She took time with them to let them know how much she appreciates their support and never rushed anyone along.

(Smack lips) I just had to do that one more time! True Tamartians understand, so you betta get in on this.