June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” (2 Corinthians 1:8 NIV)
When the depths of your soul are crying, but your face is dry.
When your heart is under attack, but you aren’t dying.
When you are young, but your tears are old.
When you’ve never had asthma, but you can’t catch your breath.
When you’ve never been in…
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MPCMI.com gets an inside perspective on the latest event promotions group to grab major attention in Tally from its head man in charge
The definition of a good party should always have certain elements involved. Music and interesting people usually are the common thread that ties these elements together. Brad Kimmons, as leader of the Booty Pebbles movement, is putting a much needed jolt into the Tally party scene with outside-the-box approaches. One minute, you’ll notice a billboard promoting a big fairgrounds EDM event, and the next minute you’ll hear of a house getty that rivals a young Jamie Foxx-esque shindig.
In a relatively short amount of time, Booty Pebbles has not only become a go-to staple for college ravers but upstart establishments alike. When asked about the impact the brand has had on his business, Halftime Pie Pub owner Jason Crabb explained “[Brad is really good about] getting his people in here… Making sure they pass out flyers, etc… I don’t know if we could have done it ourselves, per se. Like finding DJs for pool parties; he already had a reputation, based on the amount of people coming [to his events]”.
Just before the next installment of their latest party series Rave Cave, we give you a glimpse into the mind of Booty Pebbles:
MPCMI.com: How did you get started promoting events?
Brad Kimmons: Well, I came to FSU to study Sports Management and figured I try to promote boxing matches, since I was previously trained as a pro fighter.
MPCMI.com: You’ve been very busy over the past three months… Tell me the concept behind Booty Pebbles
BK: Basically, I was up late with a couple of friends one day, and we had an idea for how to throw some parties during the summer. At the time I had been working for the Strip selling tickets into night venues, and got to know the party kids in that particular scene. In early November after an event I collaborated on it was suggested by someone to have a cereal-themed nightlife group and make some money off of it. I was like ‘Heck Yeah!’ cuz we could have big house parties and get DJs we were friends with to play. Plus, I knew people would have a good time.
At first we were going to name it ‘Porn Flakes’ but decided that having the word porn included wouldn’t be good for flyers. After about 30 minutes I just yelled it out like a shot from the dark ‘BOOTY PEBBLES!’ and it felt like fate…
We then started a Facebook page, but didn’t have a locale for our first one. [Shortly thereafter] a girl I met randomly at a liquor store hit me up and asked me to throw a party. So it was all perfect timing. Even though it was raining [on the night of our first party] a couple hundred people came out.
MPCMI.com: It seems that social media has definitely assisted you in being able to get information about your events to people so that individuals can find out about things you do involving public business establishments…
BK: It’s definitely helped me. I can just go on Facebook, put graphics up, connect other people to my events, etc… It’s really easy to just put out there ‘Hey, I’m having a party tonight!’ and get the word out.
MPCMI.com: What’s next for your brand?
BK: Good question. I just got a phone call from someone about doing some cross-promotions in Orlando. So I guess branching out to different cities, and trying to take the idea and bring more people into it. More pool parties [this summer] man, and just continuing to do my thing!
If you were at the Colors Of The Wind Music Festival, then don’t miss out on Rave Cave 2. Among the DJ’s spinning will be Trill Trax and DJ Schizo. Be on the lookout for more parties and dope events from your neighborhood promoter very soon, as well. Just don’t forget to prepare your sweet hind parts and skip the milk!
MPCMI.com gives a first-hand review of the newest hot spot in Tallahassee, Florida-HalfTime Pie Pub
Competition is abound when it comes to Tally sports bars. Breaking into the market is no easy task, which is why Jason Crabb is building a unique staple as owner and operator of HalfTime Pie Pub. A TCC graduate, Crabb got his restaurant experience working as general manager for a major franchise in town.
Having lived in the area for over seven years, the laid-back entrepreneur has coupled business marketing lessons from his DECA days with real life working knowledge as a starting point. MPCMI.com was fortunate enough to steal some time away from Crabb, getting a tour of HalfTime and a succulent sampling of its eating options. Here’s what we found out:
MPCMI.com: How long has HalfTime been operational in T-Town?
Jason Crabb: We opened up on New Year’s Day for the FSU/Oregon game, which was not so great for Florida State, but was great for us-we were very excited!
MPCMI.com: Since your introduction to the market in the winter, to now in the beginning of the summer season, how have things been reaching out into the community?
JC: Well, we’ve been doing pool parties, [I’ve partnered with event promotions consortium] Booty Pebbles-things have been going pretty well. It’s all about getting your arms out there and driving them in, and you have to be out there to do it.
MPCMI.com: It definitely seems that, as HalfTime’s owner, you’re being very aggressive. You’re taking stratagem normally used for clubs in collaborating and co-sponsoring events. The “Club Pub” night is a perfect example. What made you want to do that?
JC: I’ve always wanted my own place-I don’t know if you’ve been to 4th Quarter Bar and Grille, but I wanted to own a bar that personally I would want to go to while I was in college and wouldn’t have to worry about riff-raff. You have people in there who care, which is us, and then great customers. And I wanted the best of both worlds. You have business people who come in for lunch-you’ve got TVs in here they can watch during their meetings or whatever, and at night you can come in and chill with your boys.
That’s where the “Club Pub” concept came from. How do I get [patrons from both genders] in here? Then I thought, “Hey, get a DJ and set up a dancefloor!” Alot of places are one-trick ponies. Here, we can do so many different things, whether it be a fight night, bikini contests, beer pong contests (similar to A.J. Sports Bar’s Flippin’ Tuesdays). It all started from ideas me and my brother had on what we would want, and how we would want to do it.
MPCMI.com: It’s obvious that your aim is to make HalfTime a place where people can have a good time, but tell me how folks will satisfy their stomachs along with getting a buzz?
JC: We have good pizza. We make everything from scratch; nothing is pre-cooked. We do the prep ourselves. Before we opened, we looked at all the other corporate brands and their prices. [We then tried] to go lower, just like with our prices on alcohol. I’ve been to tons of bars, I know what they charge [smiles]…
While the chill vibe and array of TVs, pool tables and corn hole boards will entertain, the food is just as intriguing. Plus, pizza isn’t the only delectable item on the menu. Hearty chicken spinach wraps will satisfy any appetite, and the “Boom Boom” wings are absolutely delightful.
With a quaint location right next to Tallahassee Community College and down the street from FSU, Halftime Pie Pub is destined to become the new “cool” hangout this summer. Stop on in for a game-or two!
Tallahassee properly ushers in new beginnings along with joyous endings on a lively First Friday at Railroad Square Art Park
Recycle4Haiti Fundraising Campaign Launch
Acquiring a physical building for your newly minted 501(c)(3) is indeed
something to celebrate, which is exactly what founding member Carolyn Pompilus and others did while jamming out to some Haitian tunes in the non-profit’s headquarters off Industrial Drive.
Recycle4Haiti, started by students at Florida A&M University, has an admirable current objective of providing clean drinking water for a Haitian primary school. By collecting recyclables in town, the organization aims to provide financial assistance domestically to the country. Inside of their offices hold plaques of the many civic acknowledgments their members have received from the city, as well as beautiful artwork native to the western portion of Hispaniola.
Pleasant Pleasant at Proof Brewing Company
It’s not easy to find a band that both your girlfriend and grandfather can tap
their feet to. Enter Pleasant Pleasant, an American fusion band (mixing funky-rock and hip-hop influences) with Florida State roots that simply serenaded patrons inside Proof during a three-hour evening set.
Rhythm guitar player and singer Nate Wattz helped open their show with slick rhymes and mellow crooning; the group was so effective in keeping their audience satisfied that they received encore requests. Proof’s awesome ambience was a perfect venue for the collective, with corn hole boards scattered on the outdoor lawn and mini-bar station near the concrete stage set-up.
Goldie Sound Recording Studio Opening
Nestled off in the upper western corner of the art park lies a potential gold mine for local and talented musicians. Music engineer and Tallahassee native Adrian Dickey, having worked with Atlanta megastars such as Usher, Monica, and Jeezy, is taking on a new endeavor as owner of Goldie Sound.
While explaining the reason for setting up shop in Railroad Square, the Full Sail graduate and infamous PatchWerk Studios alumni stated “I definitely wanted to bring something back here…This is an artsy vibe/community; it’s right dab in the middle of the city-both colleges. I thought there wasn’t a better place to put it, since there’s nothing else like it here”.
In addition to the many musical and community initiations, the atypical display of expression First Friday party-goers are accustomed to also enamored the masses. Local artist KIP gave a thrilling performance using a handpan just in front of The Other Side Vintage well past dusk that drew equal bewilderment and amazement from passers-by.
May’s edition of First Friday will be one to remember, and is just another sign of the many exciting developments taking place in Florida’s capital city.
P.S. Tend to get hungry after a late-night near College Town? Look no further than Yosties, a new chili parlor next to All Saints Cafe. Their “ATW” dogs are delicious, and if you’re really feeling adventurous, give the owner’s specialty-pepperoni rolls-a try.
MPCMI.com gives a quick review of two splendid events recently involving Tallahassee artists, the Smoke and Mirrors Pop-Up Art Gallery along with The Spitta Soiree Freestyle Battle
Smoke and Mirrors
Interactive expression highlighted this four-hour “artgasm”, as patrons inside newly opened ShiBui Gallery at Railroad Square were enticed not only by glow-in-the-dark DIY stations and mirror-based drawing easels, but sprightly sounds from newcomer DJ Ashe. Local artist KIP‘s wood collection provided a wonderfully pragmatic foundation to the hippie sensualness of Miami painter Jasmine Dukes.
KIP presented wooden carvings with the likeness of ancient figures along with present-day musicians such as Chance The Rapper and Joey Badass. The meticulous detail in each face blended well with the intensity of abstractness given by Miss Dukes’ work. Her acrylic masterpiece featured a nude version of herself in the womb metaphysically surrounded by related objects representing personal experiences.
Spitta Soiree Freestyle Battle
Put on in collaboration with Raleigh, NC artist Cesar Comanche as part of his Building Bridges Tour with local collective Vintage Tux, the rapper’s delight was hosted by FAMU 90.5 WANM Radio Host Backpack Beatz at Yianni’s-a staple of “Tallahassee’s Strip” venue scene. In a close contest with Capital 6 member Intricate, unknown spitter “Beast” took the crown and $150 grand prize.
Notable attendees were, but not limited to, Tallahassee maven Calvin Wilson aka Sevenchakra, and Mobile, Alabama transplant Ro-Thoro. Standout performances included an eclectic set by local femcee Raspy Rapz, a retro shot of adrenaline via Roanoke, VA rapper Poe Mack, and usual slivers of brilliance by groups Capital 6 and Vintage Tux.
As the collegiate spring semester winds to a close and graduation approaches, the local scene for artists is actually set to start hitting its stride. Based off synergic activity such as these two recent events, the forecast appears to be heading for another muggy and magical summer in Tally.
Florida State student Ben Yang speaks to MPCMI.com on his musical background and the nuances of electronic dance music in the capital city
Ariel “M-P” Bedford
By the time you read this, chances are you’ve already experienced one of his sets. Psychology major Ben Yang, as one-half of the duo High Beams, more than likely has gotten you amped at a venue/house party within the last few months with his scintillating mix of hip-hop and “EDM”. Recently Yang sat down with us and chatted about the newest Tally late-night crave:
Ariel “M-P” Bedford: So Ben, let’s talk about what made you get behind the boards…
Ben Yang(of High Beams): I started doing music way back when I was young. My whole family does music, actually. My mom plays piano, organ, double bass… My dad plays violin-they actually met in orchestra! Like, I grew up in the green room of an orchestra hall. I’ve been around it my whole life; I started playing piano when I was 8. Did competitive competitions, got sick of it… Taught myself how to play guitar, [did that for] a few years… Once college came around, I started DJing. Once I figured out how to do that, the next step was to spin my own beats instead of other people’s, you know? It kinda snowballed from there. I started on Logic Pro, and then I switched over to Ableton because I found it so much easier to work with.
M-P: So initially when you were practicing/messing around with other people’s material, what were you most enamored with?
BY: Definitely EDM. When EDM/Progressive House got popular, with all the euphoric chords. I was into Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia, alot of the old guys that have been around for awhile and just started blowing up. During my freshman year around 2011 EDM started getting big in Tallahassee. I was there at the forefront of it, and that’s why I started DJing.
M-P: What do you feel is so unique about the EDM scene here in Tallahassee?
BY: The EDM scene in Tallahassee is interesting because there’s a profound nightlife here. You’ve got clubs like Encore and Coliseum-competing for business-that are benefitting from the EDM cash cow. In the early years it was a competition as to who could get the biggest bookings [between clubs for major artists]. It’s kind of built up on itself to where you’d see three shows a week. You’d see Felix Cartal, Afrojack, and Carnage all in the same week. You’ve had some high-caliber DJs coming through Tallahassee [and the city’s reputation] has been built off of that. DJs and booking agents across the country started looking at Tallahassee as a big scene where they could make alot of money with their shows.
M-P: Because Tallahassee is such a transient community with many South Florida transplants as students/residents, does that make it easier for EDM to grow in the town?
BY: Yeah, absolutely. I’m from South Florida myself, and I can definitely see some of the Miami influence here. There’s just been huge development as far as residential areas, new venues/clubs… Just because of how big the nightlife and EDM has blown up in recent years. For me as a college student, while being a producer and DJ, I couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity [with my music based on the situation] to make my dreams happen. I think alot of producers and DJs see the same thing here in Tallahassee.
M-P: If had to characterize your sound, how would you describe it?
BY: I feel like I’m still developing it. I would say that currently my sound is dynamic and constantly changing. Like, on my Soundcloud I’ve got a house tune. I’ve got a trap tune. I’ve got an electro-house tune. I decided when I started producing that I wanted to be able to do any type of genre so I couldn’t be pigeon-holed into one specific type of groove or rhythm. My goal personally is that I wanna have that specific sound, where someone-like you when a person says “Yo, that’s definitely a Flume song, that’s a Skrillex song”. I want one day to have people like “Yeah, that’s a High Beams song”. I’m really partial to 808s, hip-hop and trap influences. When I first started producing, I listened to alot of Hucci. His first EP Novocane was really tight. It kind of inspired me because it was simple yet it hit hard, and I feel I take alot of influences from that. There’s this guy Wavy out in New Zealand whose got some really cool beats, too… I love deep house. It all really depends on the vibe of the room that I’m spinning for. I try to be as dynamic as possible. It’s not about playing a specific type of music, it’s about reading the crowd and feeling the energy of the room as to what type of music everyone is digging.
M-P: It’s interesting you said that since I just found out that you were working with a local hip-hop artist by the name of Omega Crimson-tell me how that came about.
BY: I linked up with Crimson through a friend of mine J Cruz of EthniKids. J Cruz has been my mentor; he’s taught me alot about producing. He’s introduced me to lots of people and put me on game about plug-ins and samples…. He’s the Yoda to my Luke Skywalker…[Laughs] He’s taught me the force. The EthniKids are a supergroup of dope producers who make awesome tunes. Whenever I’m making music I’m vibing with them. J Cruz works with alot of rappers, including Crimson. I think the first time I met Crimson was at this party called Bando… I listened to Crimson’s set, and he just had the flow. I really liked what he was spitting, so I just gave him my number and was like “Yo, let’s make some beats”.
M-P: To me some of the most innovative EDM music has a strong hip-hop influence. Or when people talk about the subgenre EDM-Trap with “trap hip-hop” interpolation. Do you feel there should be more collaborations amongst EDM producers and hip-hop artists?
BY: I really think it depends on the artists. Like you said, guys like Waka Flocka and Lil’ Jon have cashed in on the EDM scene. You hear their ad-libs and vocals on a ton of [EDM-Trap] tunes. As far as all popular hip-hop artists inevitably going to EDM, I don’t necessarily see that happening as an absolute. I think it depends on each artist’s vision on what they want to do. The hip-hop artists who are doing EDM, I just think it’s a smart business move on their part because they know it’s popular and it’ll make money. At the same time it’s about staying true to what type of music you’re trying to push personally rather than a paycheck at the end of the day.
M-P: Getting back to something you mentioned earlier-the crowd. Considering how fast the tempo is generally with EDM music; most of the time you’re talking about a higher BPM rate versus say older house-what’s the process of actually judging a crowd and knowing when/how to change it up?
BY: Chase and I do alot of opening gigs [as the group High Beams]… We’ve opened up for [artists such as] Caked Up and GTA. Typically with an opening set you’ve got to play at a lower BPM, like more mellow music. Like deep house and tech house stuff. An opening set for me doesn’t have alot of frequencies because those tire out the ear. If you’re playing hard style at, like, 10pm it’s just not a good look. The way I select my songs is based on the time of the night. Say I have a 10-1130pm set. At the beginning I’ll start as low as maybe 115 BPM. From 1030-11pm I’ll ramp it up gradually to 120-and I’ll end on 124. Even then like 124 is pushing it for an opening set. But let’s say if I have a headlining set you’ve got a little more leeway because people have been drinking and down to go a little harder. It just really depends on your slot of the night, but it’s not unheard of to drop chiller tunes at the end of the night. It depends on your connection with the crowd; it’s kind of hard to put into words-I go with my gut feeling whenever I’m DJing. It’s really about developing this inherent connection with the people that are listening to your music. It’s kind of like an unworldly thing.
Pretty cool notion that your next potential clinical practitioner could help you through a depressed state by prescribing some raw tracks to download. Especially if they were created by him. Listening to newer cuts like “Bae of Pigs” or “Brass Knucks” provide a neat glimpse into all the influences Yang speaks of. Big band instrumentation, orchestrated horns, and Gucci Mane “YEAH!” adlibs. Be on the lookout for Ben with his partner Chase at spots besides Menace Beach in your neighborhood real soon.