Friday, October 28
There are competitions for almost every type of artist -- singers, rappers, bands, musicians -- and now an upcoming competition is offering Producers a chance to win cash, prizes and bragging rights ... while helping music industry professionals build their network.
The Track Meet is a day-long event that includes a Producer Beat Battle, an Artist Showcase and an Industry Networking Party.
Producers from all over the region will battle each other one-on-one, track for track (hence the name), in a playoff style until one producer is left standing. The winner will receive the grand prize package.
In between rounds, the event will feature a musical showcase of area artists, plus special guest performances. After the event, industry professionals including those in media, music, promotion, etc will get together for some face-to-face social networking.
The TRACK MEET is set for Saturday, November 12th, and will be held at minicine on Texas Avenue in downtown Shreveport.
Registration for Producers will take place on site. To submit your contact information and bio, or get more information, please email TheTrackMeetII@gmail.com.
Artists interested in performing should also contact Anthony "Moose" Harris Daniels, at the same e-mail, in advance.
Monday, June 13
In a time when rappers are a dime a dozen, it’s nice to come across an artist that stands out from the crowd. Russell Kelly, aka R.Dot, is one of those artists.
It’s not just his babyface (he looks much younger than he is), or his frat-boy swag (funny, stylish, charming … and always down for a good time) – the Shreveport native is an artist who possesses a tireless work ethic, potent lyricism and a positive attitude that eludes most in this industry.
A Fair Park High alumnus, R.Dot began his rap career when he walked those hallowed Indian halls.
Starting first as a dance group member, he parlayed the popularity into another aspect of entertainment … dropping freestyles and CDs to anyone who’d listen.
Years later, R.Dot is well known in the city, as a solo artist and part of two popular rap collaborations. His most recent claim to fame was becoming the first champion of the 318 Cypher, a newly formed rap competition based in Shreveport.
The 318 Cypher is where I first met R.Dot. He was there representing his group 40 Karats and standing in for a member who couldn’t attend that night. Several months and rounds later, he fast became a Cypher favorite and ended up taking the title for 2010.
As the event moves through its 2nd cycle and R.Dot’s reign comes to an end, I thought I’d sit down with him for a Black Music Month exclusive. I wanted to delve a little deeper into the musical mind of a creative individual who is consistently chipping away at this tough industry, and slowly making his mark.
This is a just a brief look into his past, present and future --- R.Dot: The Man and The Music.
M: TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD RAP MUSIC ... WHAT WAS THE FIRST SONG YOU REMEMBER?
R: I have no idea, but I think the first rap song I ever liked was "Hay" by Crucial Conflict. (Laughs) I know the irony of that one. I remember asking my mom to buy the tape and playing it over and over until I could say all the words on my own to the instrumental.
M: WHO WERE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS GROWING UP?
R: Cash Money the entire label, Jay-Z, Tupac, Beanie Sigel, and Bone Thugs
M: WHAT ABOUT THEM MADE YOU A FAN?
M: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITES RAPPERS NOW (AND WHY?)
R: J. Cole and Lupe Fiasco. They raised the bar for lyricism and good music.
M: LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR LYRICISM, WHAT WAS THE FIRST RAP YOU EVER WROTE ABOUT?
R: I have no idea. I think it was a song I did to the PAC man beat when Lil Flip and DSR freestyles were hot.
M: HOW HAS YOUR SUBJECT MATTER CHANGED SINCE THAT FIRST TIME?
R: Well, it's no more pop trunk on trash cans and toilets and shit. (Laughs) I kinda just matured so everything I talk about now I have actually experienced and can put into perspective. I have a lot more to talk about now.
M: I KNOW YOU'RE WITH 40 KARATS NOW, HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF A GROUP?
R: Actually no. I started off as part of the All-Stars. We actually started as a dance group and eventually start rapping just because it was fun.
M: WHEN DID AN ALL-STAR EXCLUSIVE BEGIN?
R: All-stars was the name of our dance group. Since that couldn't be copywritten an All-Star Exclusive was born. We became 40 Karat affiliated a couple years later.
M: A DANCE GROUP? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? DO YOU STILL KNOW ANY OF THE DANCES?
R: Funnest thing ever. We competed and won a couple competitions. We also got booked to go dance at different venues, clubs, and parties. I no longer dance.
M: HOW DID YOU GO FROM DANCING TO RAPPING?
R: Easy. We used the same group. You spend enough time around people you discover more talent.
M: BACK TO YOUR GROUP NOW, HOW DID YOUR 40KARATS AFFILIATION COME ABOUT?
R: Well, we worked on a couple tracks and the more music we made, the more we saw potential to come together as a group and make it happen.
M: EVER SOUGHT OR HAD A RECORD DEAL?
R: No, had a couple offers for some distribution packages but nothing concrete.
M: WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A GROUP MEMBER, AS OPPOSED TO BEING A SOLO ARTIST?
R: Pros would have to be promoting and networking is easier with a group. It's also cool when we hit the road.
Cons are getting everyone on the same page and working with everybody's schedule.
M: WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF EACH OF YOUR 40K COUNTERPARTS?
R: That Guy Dwayne - is a marketing mastermind. He also mixes, masters, directs video and produces.
Killa Cam - "The thinker" is a more laid back member. His delivery, along with vivid story telling verses, make him one of the best lyricists to do it. He also produces and does video editing.
PakMann- The group comedian. He always keeps you laughing. He's also got some of the best wordplay in the game.
J. Locc- The "hook king" is a phenomenal singer/rapper. He writes songs and produces as well.
Joe Feezy- A.k.a. Hype Man of the Year, is one the more lively characters of the group. He gets us motivated and ready to work.
M: NOW THAT YOU TOLD US ABOUT YOU? – WHERE’D THE NAME R.DOT COME FROM?
R: (Laughs) People used to call me R. Kelly because of my initials. That got old quick, so I shortened it to R. (R.Dot)
M: YOUR STYLE IS KIND OF DISTINCT -- A CONFIDENT FLOW AND POTENT PUNCH LINES --- WHAT HAS SHAPED YOUR STYLE OF RAPPING?
R: My style was shaped by my influences in music mixed with what I have seen. I just try to relax and have fun and let the words come to me.
M: WHAT'S YOUR WRITING PROCESS -- DO YOU WRITE TO BEATS OR COME UP WITH VERSES AND GET CUSTOM BEATS?
R: I actually write verses without beats. I write hooks to beats and go from there.
M: WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE (OR HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO MUSIC)?
R: I always wanted to be a psychiatrist and musician. Music was always incorporated in some way.
M: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY -- WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MISSING FROM HIP HOP TODAY?
R: Loyalty. Fans won't buy support artist, artist won't support artist, and nobody is true to the music.
M: WHY DO YOU THINK FANS DON'T SUPPORT ARTISTS AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO?
R: Technology. It's not that fans don't support. It's just that technology has advanced so much that it's just other ways to get the music. But with good artist go to a concert and see that true fans will come out every time.
M: WHY DO YOU THINK ARTISTS DON'T SUPPORT EACH OTHER?
R: Greed. Everybody wants to be the best, and at the end of the day this is a business. So they get more concerned with that aspect and less focused on the actual music.
M: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE NEGATIVITY OF THE INDUSTRY (HATERS, DOUBTERS, ETC)?
R: I don't. If I hear or read negative comments it's really in one ear and out the other. As long as the music comes from the heart, somebody is gonna like it.
M: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LOCAL MUSIC INDUSTRY? WHAT ARE THE GOOD AND BAD SIDES OF BEING A LOCAL ARTIST IN SHREVEPORT?
R: I think it's that tag along that sets music back. I never made music on a local scale. I'm not shouting out hoods or any of the because I see myself as a mainstream artist. The good thing about it I guess is that it makes you a star locally. The bad side is that doesn't sell records.
M: ON A GRANDER SCALE, AS FAR AS YOUR MUSIC APPEAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU BRING TO HIP HOP THAT IS UNIQUE?
R: Versatility. I have tracks for every genre of music. My album may go from from a hot club banger to a jammin’ alternative track. I just mesh well with music.
M: WHAT OTHER AREAS OF MUSIC ARE YOU INVOLVED IN -- DO YOU PLAY INSTRUMENTS, PRODUCE, MANAGE?
R: I play about 6 instruments with my main being the violin. I produce beats, I ghost write, mix and master, and consult as well.
M: SO YOU’RE THE REIGNING CHAMP OF THE 318 CYPHER, HOW'D YOU HEAR ABOUT THE EVENT, AND WHAT MADE YOU ENTER THE COMPETITION?
R: I actually entered because someone else in the group was supposed to do it and asked me to compete in their place.
M: WHAT WAS YOUR CYPHER EXPERIENCE LIKE?
R: It was fun. I got to spit with other hot lyricists in the city and show what I could do.
M: HOW DO YOU THINK IT BENEFITED YOU AS AN ARTIST (OR CAN BENEFIT ANY ARTIST)?
R: Of course, as an artist any exposure helps. It also got me some new fans and followers. That plus the networking was more than worth it. Also the prizes, if you win, can really make a difference.
M: HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WON THE CYPHER FINALS?
R: I’m really conceited so I was like "Yea, nothing to a boss" lol but that's just my personality. As an artist you should feel like the best anyway.
M: HOW HAS THE REACTION BEEN SINCE YOU WON?
R: Well mixed, there's the one side that congratulates and appreciates the flow. There are those who say, well I still don't see it and there are those that wanna beat me now. But for the most part I've been getting good feedback.
M: ARE THERE ANY LYRICISTS IN THE CURRENT RUN OF THE 318 CYPHER THAT YOU THINK HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING THE TITLE?
R: Truthfully any one of them could do it. I like a couple of them, they just have to believe in themselves and make it happen.
M: WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM YOU AND YOUR GROUP(S) THIS YEAR?
R: Nothing but jam after jam. 40 Karats “Dream of Mine” about to drop. An All-Star Exclusive “Chill Music” on the way. My two solo projects are coming too – “No More Losses” and “R. Dot Com”. Also “Something for the Summer” Mixtape coming soon … so stay tuned.
M: WHAT MAJOR (OR LOCAL) ARTISTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLAB WITH?
R: Major artists -- Lupe Fiasco, Kanye, Outkast, Jay-Z, J. Cole. Local -- anybody who wants to work.
Find R.Dot on the Web: Twitter (@RDotThaMan); www.youtube.com/40karats
To Book R.Dot, email: email@example.com
- Check out the Final Round of the 2010 318Cypher (that R.Dot won) below, and find more videos and info about the 318Cypher on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube (or email them).
(R.Dot photos by: mahogani media, see more photos HERE // 40 Karats photo courtesy of 40 Karats)
Friday, May 13
So we've moved all the info about your favorite SBC happenings to our Facebook page!!! Please join us at www.facebook.com/mahoganimedia!
You can also follow us on Twitter (@mahoganimedia) and/or Check our video work at www.youtube.com/mahoganimedia!
Thanks to all who have (and continue to follow) ATSBC and Mahogani Media. We're making moves and will upgrade this site soon! Until then, join us on Facebook!
Monday, February 28
At the start of each new year, millions of Americans make a resolution. Usually top on the list -- Lose Weight. In an effort to keep their resolution, some people join gyms, some sign-up with well-known weight loss companies and others take matter into their own hands and concoct their own program.
Now months into 2011, some of those same people who had vowed to lose weight are now back on the couch with their trusty Oreo cookies. But for those still in the fight or wanting to get started, I enlisted some help from a man who's helped hundreds, maybe even thousands, of area residents fight the battle of the bulge.
His name is O.
CEO of "Body by O", this Air Force veteran and certified personal trainer has been whipping local residents' bodies into shape for over a year now. And in that short time he has become to the go-to-guy when you not only want to shed pounds, but want to learn about healthier living.
Whether they're signing up for his now-popular Boot Camp or hiring him for one-on-one training, SBC'ers are proud to show off their Bodies By O.
During our brief interview, O shared gave some tough love advice on getting (and staying) fit and dispelled some of the most common weight loss myths. Take notes!
ATBSC: I wanted to list a few myths about losing weight and get your take on them … Is that okay?
O: Shoot …
MYTH #1: YOU CAN TURN FAT INTO MUSCLE
TRUTH BY O: No, you cannot. Fat and muscle are two totally different tissues at the cellular level. You can't turn cotton into steel!
MYTH #2: YOU CAN EAT WHAT YOU WANT AND WORK IT OFF LATER
TRUTH BY O: The quality of calories you intake will dictate the quality of your physique. Who puts 87 Octane in a Bentley?
MYTH #3: EXERCISE ALONE WILL GET RID OF BELLY FAT
TRUTH BY O: It doesn't matter how many sit-ups or crunches you do, in order to get rid of belly fat, you have to diet. The more fat you intake, the harder your body has to work to get rid of it. (To burn a pound of fat, you have to burn 3500 calories). So again, you have to make sure your diet is composed of quality calories.
The more fat you intake, the more saturated fat your body will hold. Carbs are 1st source of energy, fat is 2nd source. Not enough carbs means fat will be the source of energy. So you have to have a balanced diet .
When it comes to your diet and weight loss, its Caloric intake vs. Caloric expenditure -- In order to burn fat off, you have to burn more calories than you take in ....
MYTH #4: YOU CAN TRAIN TO REACH YOUR GOAL AND THEN STOP
TRUTH BY O: In order to maintain an ideal, you have to maintain. Duh!
I have people trying to lose weight, gain weight, train for academies, tone, etc. People have to understand that a training regiment is based on a specific goal.
(In relationships) The first thing people complain about is "You did all of this to get me and don't want to do what it takes to keep me" … [It's the same with fitness/weight loss] .... You have to maintain!
MYTH #5: IF YOU'RE NOT SWEATING, YOU'RE NOT WORKING OUT
TRUTH BY O: Sweating is not necessarily an indication of exertion ... It's your body's way of cooling itself. You can burn calories without sweating. You can expend thousands of calories in the winter without sweating. [Actually] It's easier to reach fitness goals in the winter because people feel like they have to sweat so they push harder.
ATSBC: Great advice, I definitely learned some things … Now let's talk more specifically about fitness. I wanted to ask what the Top 3 things are Men and Women want to change about their bodies when they come to you. Let's start with Men …
O: Number one for men is ABS. They want that tapered look … definition in their abs. You have people on TV (like Tyson Beckford and Trey Songs) showing their physique … and people want that. Social media ideally dictates what we want …
ATSBC: What's 2nd and 3rd for Men?
O: CHEST or PECS, and then ARMS/SHOULDERS
ATBSC: Well that explains why men are so defined up top and have bird legs on bottom, no leg work!!!
ATSBC: Ok what about women, what's the number one thing they want to change?
O: [Actually it's the same as men] The stomach or midsection. But they come wanting to just lose their stomach and you can't just work out your stomach! Your body burns fat [so you're going to lose it in other places as well].
In my Boot Camp, I get the results I get [with my clients] because I do my research. My training is three-dimensional: DIET, CARDIAC TRAINING (your heart has to be in shape), and SCULPTING (Fitness Training).
ATSBC: Sounds like a well-rounded plan. And from what I heard the results are phenomenal and manageable! So what are the #2 and #3 things Women want to change or sculpt?
O: Number 2 would be Their BACK or ARMS and Number 3 would be their Butt or their Legs.
ATSBC: Okay. Well now give us a little advice, what are the best ways to tone up these popular parts?
O: Here's the thing -- Everyone is different. Your thyroid controls your metabolism … So there's no one cure for everyone. I look at my clients and find a happy medium that will help them all.
But here's one piece of advice that applies to everyone: FAST FOOD WILL GET YOU FAT, REAL FAST.
ATSBC: Okay so if everyone's different but there's a happy medium, what is the best way for anyone to get the results they want when it comes to fitness?
O: The best way to get the [fitness] results you want, is to find an expert to train you.
The best way to condition yourself nutritionally is to go back to the basics. I teach my clients how to lose weight naturally without a bunch of products, because you (can be) dependent on them.
ATSBC: Speaking of which, what do you think of these Weight Loss programs like Weight Watchers or Slim Fast, are those good ways to lose weight?
O: Because Health/Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry, everyone's trying to get that dollar. People are spending money for erroneous instruction and the programs are too long, too hard or unrealistic.
With my program, you may spend a grip [on quality food] but I make the difference up with low-cost training.
O's "low-cost training" has had his phone ringing off the hook in recent months with the debut of his Body By O Boot Camp. The fee for personalized fitness? Only $50!
The four-week camp is client-friendly with classes offered multiple days (even on Saturdays) and multiple times each day (6 am, Noon and some evenings). O requires that each client attend at least one class a day but they are welcome to attend all of them.
When O's Camp first started in September 2010, he had about 60 in his class, now his class(es) are filled with nearly 500 Boot-campers working their butts off for a Body By O.
The next Boot Camp starts April 5th. To sign up or get more information on personal training, call O at (318) 458-9515. You can also find him on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
-- O of Body By O is AFAA Certified Since 2009, Expert Rated Personal Trainer Certified Since 2010, And Air Force FAM Monitor Certified Since 2001. He Will Complete ACSM Certification this year, and will finish his BS In Community Health With A focus In Kinesiology.
-- Photos (excluding lead photo) are Courtesy of:
Monday, January 17
Valentine's Day is usually a day this Single Chick dreads ... but this year, I'm putting my talents to use to make this an extra special day for others!
I'm calling this my LOVE STORY promotion :)
I love telling stories of amazing people and why not tell stories of people in love for this special holiday?
So now I'm looking for a few good couples to tell THEIR Love Story, and how they keep the romance alive in their relationships.
You can tell about how you met, how you survived the good and bad, about your wedding day ... WHATEVER. Tell us why your Love Story should be told!!
- Must be 100 Words or LONGER
- Must be submitted by Jan. 30th at 5 pm
You can write it together or just one of you can tell the story. But make sure you e-mail it MAHOGANIMEDIA@GMAIL.COM
- Free Couples photo session from Mahogani Media
- Profile/Spotlight on ATSBC during Valentine's Week
I can't WAIT to hear your stories! For once, I'm excited about V-Day :) So get to writing!!!
Saturday, January 15
Ok, so I'm a couple weeks late but the arrival of 2011 has had Mahogani Media quite busy with upcoming projects.
The end of 2010 snuck up on me, but there are a lot of great memories. Check out my end-of-the-year blog HERE.
(And subscribe to that blog to follow me, mahogani, throughout the year. I'll have posts on entertainment, events and anything else of interest to me :)
Also check out how my friends, the band FRONT COVER f/MARK SCROGGINS, ended the year:
They competed in Boomtown Casino's Battle of the Bands Finals on Dec. 29th. I wasn't able to attend but my iShoot318 crew got some shots for me. Check ALL of them out HERE.
I hear FC got robbed of the win (against 2 other bands) but they're still amazing to me and all the rest of the fans. You can see clips of FC doing their thing at our YOU TUBE CHANNEL :)
I rang in the New Year with friends at a private gathering, but most of the SBC braved the chilly temps to bring in 2011 at one of the local nightspots. Check out some shots from Around The SBC on NYE:
You can see ALL the NYE photos HERE.
To all our readers, fans and supporters, we hope 2011 is treating you well so far. We're revamping and reconstructing this page (as well as our business) but STAY LINKED for new and exciting things: Hot Pix, Interesting Articles, Exciting Events and MUCH MORE.
Happy 2011, This is going to be an amazing year! :)