Next Generation Talent Agents Tay Smith and Christopher Young Celebrate Black History Month at J Pervis Talent Agency
Atlanta – With its fiery hip hop music scene, Tyler Perry’s production studio and its preponderance of reality shows, Atlanta has been heralded as the new Black Hollywood. Cradled within this number two market for film production are two gentlemen working diligently behind the scenes, quietly positioning themselves as the market’s newcomers for representing talent. Talent agents, Christopher Young and Tay Smith are noticeably the hardest working, African American TV/film agents in the entire southeast area. A dynamic duo, working under the banner of the J Pervis Talent Agency, Smith and Young have created a vortex of synergy that is fueling theatrical bookings with new flair and fresh faces. The agents are celebrating Black History Month with a mission to continue to further the brand of the agency.
As a team, both Smith and Young come from backgrounds steeped in creative management, insightful career directing and incredible music production. A Trenton, NJ native, Christopher Young is an industry veteran with two decades under his belt. He is credited with discovering and developing Grammy Award winning artist, Johnta’ Austin as well as mega producer Garrett Hamler, better known as Sean Garrett. Johnta’ Austin has written songs for Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige and Aaliyah, while Garrett is famed for producing more than fifteen number one singles in the first seven years of his start at producing music. Young has served as general manager for NBA star Tyrone Hill’s All Net Records, and was product manager and A&R executive at Pastor Creflo and Taffi Dollar’s Arrow Records. Young held his own as the head of his Tricycle Records label and his management firm, Triple Threat Management.
Tay Smith founded and headed his own music production company, Yungsta Entertainment based in North Carolina. As a young teen he ran a staff of producers, artists and writers. Quickly gaining traction with lead recording artist T-LyriQ, Tay’s Yungsta Entertainment became the talk of the city, positioning him as the “P-Diddy” of his town. Upon taking a trip to uncover the booming music scene of Atlanta GA, Smith kept hearing about Young and his legend. Making it his goal to meet Young, he finally tracked him down and established a mentor/business advisor relationship. The business arrangement proved fruitful and lead to deeper inroads in the music world.
In 2012, the two decided to make a change and move into television and film. They were extended an opportunity to join the team of Joy Pervis and Jayme Pervis at the J Pervis Talent Agency in 2013. In less than a year, Smith and Young have branded their savvy and style for signing talent. New signings have included actor Columbus Short (“Scandal”), WWE wrestler, David Otunga, hip hop artist/actor Zane “Lil Zane” Copeland, T.I.’s son Messiah Harris and “R&B Divas” reality star LaTavia Roberson.
“I was amazed when I realized there were so few African American agents working in Atlanta. The talent pool here was looking largely to Hollywood for representation. With aggressive mentorship from the agency, Smith and I are determined to change that. We are committed to our clients and recognize that we are the eyes and ears for our actors in terms of actual work and bookings,” explains Young.
“Per our music business accomplishments, Chris and I look forward to making colossal waves in television and film. With so much production now taking place in the South, it only makes sense to be able to provide talent with expanded choices for representation here at J Pervis,” adds Smith.
“As talent agents, our team takes a unique approach toward working with the clients. We look beyond just booking work to actually honing and crafting careers,” adds Young. “Tay and I have years of experience working closely with talent on the management side, so we understand the needs and concerns of our clients. We work with them as a team to create career longevity and brand building, offering advice, counsel and our expert insight on matters.”
Tay Smith and Chris Young may be reached at the J Pervis Talent Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com . Be sure to follow the pair at Twitter and Instagram: Chris is @ceomgmt and Tay is @taysmithent.
Luscious Maven Pole Dance Studio Raises the Libido for Valentine’s Day With “Pantychakra: Intimacy Building for Couples” Forum and More
For over five years, studio owner, instructor and performer, Heather West has successfully championed the fine art of living lusciously with her Luscious Maven Pole Dance Studio. This Valentine’s Day, West will raise the libido as her North Hollywood based studio plays host to a series of events for singles and couples alike. “Pantychakra: Intimacy Building for Couples,” hosted by West and Dax Mahan, a striptease workshop taught by Byron Quiros, Miss Selenia’s Ultimate Fantasy Performance Workshop and Sioux ZQ’s Exotic & Lap Dance classes are only a few of the treats she has planned for those who love to love. Luscious Maven is located at 11135 Weddington St. #113 in North Hollywood, CA.
“Pantychakra: Intimacy Building for Couples” held on Sunday, February 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., is a special studio highlight event being offered for free to loving partners. Hosted by Heather West and her mate, Dax Mahan, the duo will divulge their daily practices and rituals for keeping the flame of sexy intimacy alive while juggling parenting, work, chores and errands while inviting tips in this open forum presentation.
Byron Quiros, dubbed “L.A.’s Hottest Male Trainer 2014,” will reinforce lusciousness when he presents his “Valentine’s Strip Tease Workshop” on Friday, February 6 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. This fun yet sensual workshop will teach easy to learn, flirty choreography. Quiros promises steamy seduction with sass and class for all who attend.
Veteran Luscious Maven instructor Miss Selenia will bring the sexy every Monday during the month of February from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with her Ultimate Fantasy Performance Workshop. This class invites participants to explore their sexy alter ego through exotic movement, choreography and dance combos on and off the pole. In addition, Miss Selenia is offering a Valentine’s Performance Workshop on Saturdays during the month of love from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The workshop will include learning a performance feature danced to En Vogue’s version of the song, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and will incorporate chair, pole and light strip tease.
Aerial artist Sioux ZQ offers exercise mixed with fun during her Exotic & Lap Dance classes every Saturday from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. during February. Her slow and sweat-inducing warm-up is designed to build up an arsenal of seductive moves while working the abs, buns & thighs.
As Heather West expresses, “Love is at the root of everything luscious, so February is a really meaningful month at the studio. We put special emphasis on making Valentine’s Day beyond memorable. Whether you have a partner or not, learning the art of sexy is an expressive form of exercise that just makes you feel good! I am personally very excited about our ‘Pantychakra: Intimacy for Couples’ forum. After five years, Luscious Maven is expanding the definition of the luscious lifestyle to encompass more than just dance. It’s all about taking the full spectrum of dance into our daily lives.”
West’s Luscious Lifestyle mantra, a mind, body and soul wellness philosophy, has been the central focus of her Luscious Maven Pole Dance Studio and embraces the highest potential for health and vitality through dance, movement and community. The studio, a home to a world of pole, burlesque and exotic dance, has recently expanded its outreach with co-ed classes and a broader range of instructors who offer their independently stylized classes and visions.
For more information about Valentine’s Day events or classes offered at the studio, go to http://lusciousmaven.com/ or call the studio at (818) 824-4091.
Columbus, OH – Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for all things sex and love. Certified master sex expert educator and sex and relationship coach, Nikki Ransom-Alfred, knows this all to too well and is releasing her new book “30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky” for lovers looking for adventure. An expressive and well-articulated guide for improving one’s love and sex life, “30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky” is also the perfect nightstand book for boosting bedside manners!
But why does sex have to be wild, rough, and kinky? As Nikki explains, “The opposite of wild, rough, and kinky is tame, soft, and clean. Tame and clean sex equals boring sex and who wants to be bored out of their mind in the bedroom? Boredom kills a sex drive and is a recipe for disaster in your relationship actually.”
“30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky” offers visual art alongside clear descriptions for a variety of creative sexual positions guaranteed to spice up romance. Nikki also provides detailed tips for enhancing love relationships as well. The guide is an overall reflection of the consultations she provides during her workshops, lectures and in private consultations.
Nikki Ransom-Alfred is no newcomer to the sex game. She travels around the country teaching sex education and enrichment with a variety of presentations and seminars rated from PG-13 to XXX. The wife and mother of a “blended” family of seven, she has studied under Dr. Ava Cadell at Loveology University and holds a Master Certification in Sexual Behavior as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. She is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists and has assisted and advised individuals and couples from around the world toward achieving sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
Nikki’s goal is to eliminate the stigma associated with sex and position the act back to its origin as a beautiful bond between consenting adults that offers incredible physical, mental, spiritual and even psychological benefits. The sexpert has authored the e-books “69 Ways to Keep Your Man & Keep Him Happy” and “69 Ways to Please His Penis.” Her work has appeared in the erotic anthology “Drink, F—, Sleep,” by New York Times best selling author Karrine Steffans.
She opens “30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky,” with the following admonishment, “I want you to have sex…and not just the regular boring vanilla sex either…I want you to have the steamy, sweaty, wild, powerful, borderline animalistic type of sex. The kind of sex that sends you into a state of euphoria, the kind of sex that’s so good that it brings tears to your eyes, the kind of sex that solves every problem and releases every ounce of stress in your body with each toe-curling stroke.”
If one reads and follows the advice and visuals in “30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky,” Valentine’s Day may never be the same!
Nikki Ransom-Alfred is available for speaking engagements, seminars, and workshops. She will be offering her special brand of Valentine’s Day advice at Hustler Hollywood in Monroe, Ohio on February 11th and Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 13th.
Find her on Facebook under her company Naughty Angels by Nikki, on Twitter @thekinkywife and on the web at http://www.nikkiransom.com/home.html.
“30 Sex Positions and Tips For Getting Wild, Rough, and Kinky,” can be found online at Amazon.com and wherever eBooks are sold.
Atlanta – Every actor dreams of that career-defining role, the one that lands him in a blockbuster film alongside big Hollywood stars. Well when actor Stan Houston was initially offered his ‘big break’ to read for the role of the racist antagonist Sheriff Jim Clark in the now Oscar nominated film, “Selma,” he actually turned it down twice, and with good reason. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, Selma is a historical period piece that covers a critical episode in the civil rights movement. As a resident of Coffee County in the Southeastern area of Alabama, Houston actually lives in the same small town where Sheriff James G. Clark lived and died. Houston felt the dynamics of playing such a controversial role might just be too close to home. He eventually read for the role, and in a move showcasing director Ava DuVernay’s dedication to authenticity, he was selected.
Houston has been acting professionally for six years now. “Selma” is his most significant booking to date. His larger than life portrayal of Sheriff Clark has garnered him international attention and acclaim. Performing directly alongside Oprah Winfrey, who plays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper, Houston’s fiery, mean and unapologetic stance as Clark has left audiences stunned in hushed awe.
One of the film’s most riveting reenactments is the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” demonstration, where police viciously attacked over 500 non-violent protestors with teargas and barbed wire laced billy clubs, under direct orders from Sheriff Clark. Houston’s cold-blooded portrayal has even garnered him a nod from AwardsCircuit.com at “Best Villain” of 2014.
As predicted however, his superb acting and rendition of the legendary sheriff has been a mixed bag of blessings. While the world is lauding his acting ability, accomplishments and feats, some of his neighboring town folk are less than happy.
“There have been a few negative comments from people here locally where I live but I tend to ignore the ignorance of some people who should know better. Overall things have been great!” expresses Houston. “Playing Sheriff Clark was emotionally and physically taxing. I would not dare stay in character after the director said cut because I would have gone nuts.”
“I was still holding on to my reservations playing Clark until one life changing moment,” he reveals. “We were rehearsing the courthouse scene for the first time before we went to set. It was the first time the cast had seen me in character as Clark. I look over and saw some of the cast crying. I lost it. Ava DuVernay, our director, came over and gave me words of encouragement and we continued on. After rehearsals, all the cast gathered in a circle for a word of prayer. Actor Coleman Domingo prayed for God to lift me up and give me strength to play this role. I really lost it then. Each cast member lined up and embraced me and gave me such support. You really felt the presence of God in that room that day and all the love just flowed over me. I was 100% committed to the role after that moment. I knew I had the cast as my family there to support me.”
Houston began his acting career in 2008 and has appeared in numerous independent projects as well as projects for HBO and the FX Network, including the HBO comedy series “Eastbound and Down.” His most recent role was playing detective Donald Bray in the story of the West Memphis Three in “Devils Knot,” working alongside of Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon and Stephen Moyer. He appears in “A Free Bird” on Hulu and Amazon and just finished filming, “South of Hell,” a new gothic drama coming to WEtv later this year.
“It is such an honor and to be a part of ‘Selma.’ My wife is also actually a friend of some friends of Annie Lee Cooper’s family, the role played by Oprah. So participating in the production really just hit home for me on so many levels. I believe the viewing of ‘Selma’ is necessary for all of us to realize what these brave American patriots did for everybody, not just one race. Without their struggles, where would we all be today? It is important to realize where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and how much further we need to go as a country. Working with Oprah was unbelievable, and in my eyes, our director, Ava DuVernay is a genius. She has tapped the heart of this country with this film. My character was a pretty bad guy, but I’m happy to have been such a visceral part of the movie. Hopefully I opened some eyes and helped to bring about change!”
See Stan Houston in action in this brief clip: \"Selma\" clip .
Atlanta – Actor Clay Chappell is no newcomer to the big screen. As a working actor, he has landed some prime bit parts in several major films. He played a councilman alongside Dennis Quaid in the remake of “Footloose” and did a scene with Robert Duvall in the Billy Bob Thorton directed “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.” But his brief appearance in the cinematic drama, “Selma,” a historical period piece distributed by Paramount Pictures, has been heralded as the showstopper which may just define his career. In “Selma,” Chappell plays a southern registrar opposite Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, a Black women seeking to vote in 1965 when racial discrimination made voting very difficult. The scene, only a minute in length, sets the tone for the entire film, and is Oprah’s only speaking role in the movie.
According to film critic, Derrick Bang (http://www.davisenterprise.com/arts/movies/selma-the-march-resonates-anew/ ) “the scene with Oprah is a “landmark cinematic moment: a scene destined to be memorialized, and oft resurrected, for decades to come.” Chappell’s performance has been highlighted on talk shows across the country, including “Ellen,” “The Tonight Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Barbara Walters,” and “The Today Show.” Not bad for an actor who has been working since 1996 to secure more than five lines in a film!
Chappell originally auditioned for the role of one of the klansmen in the film, but was asked by casting director Cynthia Stillwell to come back and read for the role of the registrar for the film’s director, Ava DuVernay. After doing so, Chappell was asked back but couldn’t make the third audition and thought maybe he had lost further consideration. When his agent at J Pervis Talent called him a week later, requesting a table read, he remained hopeful. DuVernay offered him the part after the read, informing him that she had considered hundreds of actors from Los Angeles and New York, but he was her choice!
A native of Swainsboro, GA, now residing in Bogart, GA, Chappell’s southern accent is beyond authentic. In “Selma,” he plays a man who is pugnacious, mean and unapologetically racist, nothing like the charming southern gentleman he is in real life. In fact, Oprah assured Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” the he was indeed “a really nice guy!”
“As an actor, this has been an amazing ride. My wife and I went to Los Angeles for a screening, gala and gospel brunch at Oprah’s house. I had to pinch myself at one point. I was dancing alongside Oprah, Sydney Poitier, Magic and Cookie Johnson, David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay. Some of my favorite actors even came up to me and told me how much they liked our scene and validated my performance. My wife and I commented that we remembered when we were the caterers at these events and now we are actually guests. It’s all pretty unbelievable!” cites Chappell.
“Everyone asks, ‘what’s it like to work with Oprah.’ I actually wasn’t very nervous. ‘Selma’ is such a monumental film. I really believe it should be required viewing for everyone. So as an actor, the depth of the role and the magnitude of the film really took over. I asked God to relax me and let me do my job. It also made it easier when Oprah invited me over for lunch with her and the cast a few days before our scene. She was great! I love Oprah!” adds Chappell.
Chappell is hoping his role in “Selma” will help to continue to land him more good projects. When not acting however, he teaches junior golf, co-owns and operates the Athens Area Junior Golf Tour and Oconee Junior Golf League and is busy with his wife and two children.
His next film is yet another small but pivotal role in the HBO movie “Bessie” starring Queen Latifah, coming out this spring. With the popularity of his appearance in the landmark production “Selma” however, Clay Chappell’s face is one that the audience will be sure to recognize.
View Clay Chappell’s performance is “Selma” at \"Selma\" clip
Atlanta, GA – Music, modeling and acting are among the top three career goals for many in the entertainment field, but it is a well known fact that only a small percentage actually make any real headway in all three pursuits. Up and comer Drew Stephenson will not tell you that he is different, but he will show you with his persistence, determination and dedication. So much so that the young actor just stepped off the USA Network’s newest television drama, “Complications,” and is now celebrating landing a recurring role on one of television’s top suspense series, “Vampire Diaries,” on The CW. Stephenson will play Collin, an integral character to the show’s plot, on two consecutive shows, starting January 22, 2015.
A second generation Jamaican, Stephenson was born in Brooklyn and currently resides in Atlanta. The handsome young looker initially got his start in the business eight years ago as a fashion model, booking gigs like the Sean John anniversary fashion show and print ads for Ashley Furniture, Belk, and Wingate.
His resourcefulness and strong work ethics have inspired him to travel internationally to Europe and Jamaica with a goal of broadening his horizons. His modeling agent recognized his resolve and savvy and helped him secure an acting agent almost three years ago. Stephenson then honed his skills and technique with lessons and workshops to better position himself in auditions.
A talented musician as well, Stephenson plays the trumpet, piano, french horn, and tuba. With passion as his ultimate propellant, Stephenson acknowledges, “I am humbled, yet emboldened by these television bookings as I start this new year. As an actor, model and musician, a lot of people compare me to Prince early in his career.”
“They always ask me what can’t I do. I simply reply that with God by my side, there is nothing I can’t do. I realize I have an opportunity and obligation to immerse the audience in my world be it acting, music or modeling even. Through my work, I totally envision myself as a humanitarian at heart, using art as a vehicle to heal,” offers Stephenson.
Stephenson’s career is destined to ascend. His long-term goals include directing and scoring his own projects. In the interim, audiences have a chance to see this future star grow and glow as he lights up the screen and continues to forge his path to success! Follow him at www.itsdrewstephenson.com .
NOTE TO MEDIA: For interviews contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soulful Singer/Actress Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley Stars in Tyler Perry’s New DVD Release, “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned – The Play”
New York – The very talented and soulful singer and actress Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley has been wowing audiences in Tyler Perry’s stage productions for over a decade now. Audiences who remember her in “Madea’s Big Happy Family” and “Madea Gets a Job,” know that she leaves her heart on the stage every single time! In her starring role in Tyler Perry’s latest release, “Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned – The Play,” on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and Video on Demand from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Riley does not disappoint. Playing a successful, single woman who has it all, then almost loses it behind a man, Riley keeps viewers riveted with an engaging performance and her soaring singing ability. Filmed in front of a live audience, Riley originally toured with the popular, sold-out show in more than 50 cities across the U.S.
Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley first burst on the music scene in the late ’80′s with her torching classic “Thanks for My Child.” Unlike many “old school” artists however, she has remained relevant and continues to build her brand and platform. Her inclusion in over ten Tyler Perry productions, including stage plays, DVD releases, film cameos and soundtrack credits are only the tip of the iceberg.
The Brooklyn native’s own homegrown vehicle, “Black Velvet Mondays,” a musicians’ and singers’ jam session and showcase at New York’s legendary Village Underground venue, has gone international as part of her “The Black Velvet Experience” agenda. The Monday night event has been going strong for almost 10 years now and streams live at http://www.TheVillageUnderground.com. Riley recently took her show on the road to Paris providing a cross-cultural music connection overseas and is in talks to go back to Paris as well as to London.
Cheryl is also enjoying additional notoriety with her inclusion on Full Force’s new music project “Full Force: With Love From Our Friends.” She joins industry notables Tisha Campbell-Martin, Sheila E., Regina Belle, Vivica A. Fox, Blair Underwood and Malcolm Jamal Warner, just to name a few, on the production. Dubbed a “true skool all-star album,” from the group that produced her first hit, Full Force is also the pioneering group behind an endless string of genre-busting classics for the likes of James Brown, Selena and Bob Dylan, as well as Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake and The Black Eyed Peas. Riley’s single, “Thank You For Leaving Me” with Meli’sa Morgan, is a debut release from the CD.
Cheryl Pepsii Riley is also releasing a new solo project in January 2015 entitled “Still Believe.” She wrote and co-wrote all of the recordings as well as executive produced the project on her independent record label, SodaFace Records.
“I am so grateful to Tyler Perry for his continual faith and belief in me! Being a part of his journey has absolutely been a major inspiration for me on my own journey. I am incredibly and truly humbled. The opportunity to play the lead in one of his stage plays and star in a role that allows me to really stretch as an actress, gives me a forum that helps facilitate my purpose here on earth, which is to motivate and encourage others by using my God given gifts,” expresses Riley.
“I am also beyond thankful for all those who lovingly support my career. It has been such a blessing to have fans that have been with me since the late 80’s to now, along with a whole new generation who show so much kindness. It really is something to know that there is such diversity in the people who appreciate all my endeavors, be it musical or theatrical. I don’t take that lightly or for granted. I will always push to give my absolute best of who I am because they are a huge part of why and how I get to live my dream! Because of them and so much more, I still believe!” reveals Cheryl.
Check out Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley at http://www.cherylpepsiiriley.com/.
View the trailer for “Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned – The Play,” at \"Hell Hath No Fury….\" trailer
North Hollywood – It has been three years since busy television executive Lea Walker decided to moonlight as an aerial fitness studio owner. Her Aeriform Arts center has since literally taken off, with hundreds of students testing the conditioning feats of aerial hammocks, lyra, aerial yoga, hanging silks and pole dance. To celebrate her success, Aeriform Arts will present “The Elements” a student showcase and party on Saturday, November 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Aeriform Arts is located at 5625 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA. The event is free and open to the public. Bad Kitty, the number one name is pole dance and fitness apparel, is the official event sponsor.
The evening will include performances by students as well as teachers, a special appearance by Karmagraphy, Los Angeles’ premier Bollywood fusion dance company, music, food, drinks, raffles and more. Performing instructors include Tamysen Malles on trapeze, Jane Rose on aerial hammock, Peppa Pou performing a pole dancehall piece and Candice Cane on pole.
“I’m ecstatic that Aeriform Arts has solidified its presence in the aerial arts community within these three years. Our studio provides a non-judgmental, co-ed environment for everybody and body type to come and explore these wonderful skill sets. Our instructors are not only well recognized in their respective fields, they are also amazing and very supportive. Our students run the gamut of young to older, male and female, large and small. In addition to classes, we host workshops and special events at the studio,” cites Walker. “Overall, as a fitness agenda, hammock, silks, lyra and pole have leaped into mainstream awareness. They are no longer a novelty or perceived as just for performers and I believe Aeriform Arts has been instrumental in growing this awareness.”
Aeriform Arts is open daily and is located at 5625 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA. Fly the friendly skies at Aeriform Arts at http://aeriformarts.com or call 818-980-AERI (2374).
Hip Hop Heroes Digital Underground Celebrate 25 Years by Crowdfunding New Film and Music with Indiegogo Campaign
“D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground
the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur”
Next year, 2015, pop music’s hippest heroes, Digital Underground (D.U.), will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut, earth shattering, multi-platinum album “Sex Packets” which featured the runaway hit single “The Humpty Dance.” In preparation for the occasion, original founder and D.U. member Chopmaster J has joined forces with filmmaker and director Abdul Malik Abbott (“Streets is Watching,” “State Property”) to produce the documentary “D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur”. The celebratory effort will be supported via a rewards-based Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that fans can get involved with and join by visiting http://igg.me/at/D-U-Days.
Along with a series of orchestrated music releases planned to commemorate as well as revive the group’s positioning in hip hop, Chopmaster J will be releasing “Sex Packets II” featuring new versions of D.U. classics written and produced by S.O.T.U. (Sun Of The Underground) and featuring an all new D.U. lineup; and unveiling the “D.U. Days’” soundtrack which features, from Chopmaster J’s archive collection, exclusive never before heard tracks of the late Tupac Shakur.
Recognized as one of the first hip hop bands, Digital Underground included Chopmaster J, Shock G, Money B, DJ Fuze and the then 18-year-old Tupac Amaru Shakur. The group’s meteoric rise to fame in the early ’90′s was accentuated with chart topping hits like “Doowutchyalike,” “Freaks of the Industry,” “Same Song” and “Kiss You Back.” The band made waves with their colorful and costumed attire, animated stage antics and innovative dance styling and moves.
Digital Underground is best remembered for turning hip hop on its proverbial head and invading the realm of pop with their 1990 pivotal Grammy nominated release “The Humpty Dance.” “The Humpty Dance” climbed all the way to #11 on the pop charts, #7 on the R&B charts, and #1 on the Billboard Rap Singles chart. In 2008, “The Humpty Dance” was ranked #30 on VH1′s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and #65 on VH1′s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s in 2007. The song was selected in the musical reference book, 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download and nominated for Best Rap Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards. “The Humpty Dance” is one of the most sampled songs recorded by a hip hop/rap artist. Shock G and Money B performed as “Digital Underground” at the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2010.
The group’s contribution to history has tentacles that reach even further though. From their 12 inch drop, “Doowutchyalike” to their debut album “Sex Packets,” D.U.’s music unfastened a door in hip hop that was previously non-existent, mixing mad merriment, mayhem and sex with rhyme, rhythm and rap. Factor in the detail that rap music’s biggest legend, Tupuc Shakur, started his music career with the group as their roadie, dancer and emcee and the D.U. legacy is all but cemented in the annals of pop music history.
The crux of the anniversary celebration, the feature length documentary film, “D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur,” will chronicle the turbulent times of the hip hop super group. Chopmaster J and Abbott plan to take the viewer on a historic tour recounting D.U.’s rise and fall. The film will recount a time when the mega rap tour was in its heyday. From sold out US tours, to Tokyo sex clubs, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the young irreverent hip hop band from the San Francisco Bay Area traveled to every corner of the world entertaining millions of eager pop and hip hop music fans.
Filmmaker and director Abdul Malik Abbot
Abbott, who directed, co-wrote and edited the platinum-selling, short film / music video “Streets is Watching,” and directed the underground hip hop cult classic, “State Property,” both starring hip hop icon Jay Z, believes the documentary will play a crucial role in music history. “The movie is about the rise and fall of a would-be hip hop dynasty during the ‘Golden Age of Hip Hop,’” he explains. “But more importantly, the film features the birth of the career of music giant, Tupac Shakur. Fans who contribute to the Indiegogo crowdfunding effort will play an important part in helping to document this significant time in pop culture.”
“This project will be a must have for any true hip hop head,” adds Chopmaster J. “The inclusion of some of Tupac’s never before released first recordings are alone worth the price of admission!”
Crowdfunding participants can donate $5.00 and become a part of hip hop history while collecting unique D.U. memorabilia! Monies raised will support the completion of the documentary for a 2015 release.
As the lyrics from “The Humpty Dance” advise “stop whatcha doin’” and go to http://igg.me/at/D-U-Days now to help recapture this legacy in hip hop history! Also check out Digital Underground at www.HipHopEarlyDays.com or www.dudays.com .
View official video for “D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur,” at D.U. DAYS: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur [Official Video] .
Pole Dancing Isn’t Just For Strippers Anymore, Everyday Women Take the Stage at the Amateur Pole Art Showcase End of the Year Shows
Comments OffPosted in Popular PostsOct 16, 2014
Los Angeles, CA – Everyday women will prove that the sport of pole dancing is no longer just for strippers when they take the stage, in costume, at a historical bikini bar on Sunday, October 26 during Amanda Leigh’s Amateur Pole Art Showcase Pre-Halloween Party. Held at the World Famous Cheetahs Club Hollywood, show time begins at 8:00 p.m. and doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 at the door. Cheetahs is located at 4600 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. Final year-end dates include Sunday, November 2 and Sunday, December 7, with more dates to be announced for 2015.
Leigh, a pole dancing student and successful entrepreneur, has been producing and hosting the Amateur Pole Art Showcase for the past year. Many of the performers are doctors, lawyers, executives, teachers and mothers who take pole classes for exercise and self-empowerment. Due to the popularity of the event, it is held once, sometimes twice monthly due to a consistent standing room only reception!
Leigh says, “The Amateur Pole Art Showcase is like music’s version of an open mic night. On one hand, it gives women an opportunity to apply what they learn in pole class before a live audience. Some are performing for the first time ever in front of people. On the other hand, it gives women the opportunity to live out their fantasy of dancing at a strip club.
Performers can have that experience in a safe and supportive way because the audience is full of friends and family members, both male and female, cheering them on and tossing money on the stage, as they express themselves through an amazing mix of art, athleticism, and sometimes erotica.”
Amanda’s own personal pole dance journey led her on a mission to empower women. A former anorexic and food addict, she found that even after years of medical treatment and other self-help modalities that cured her food issue, she couldn’t fully recover from body dysmorphic disorder. Pole dance lessons taught her to love and appreciate herself and her body in new ways. An avid pole dance enthusiast now, her Amateur Pole Art Showcase serves to bring the art of pole dance to a broader audience.
“The Amateur Pole Art Showcase is bringing pole dance as an art and sport into the mainstream,” Leigh says. “There is still an association with stripping when you say that you pole dance. There is nothing wrong with stripping. It’s a job. We are pole dancers though. Many people don’t know that pole dance is a sport and an art like gymnastics or ice-skating. I put my showcase in a venue where women typically strip so people can see the difference. Yes, it is hard for some people to conceive, but I guarantee you that when they come to the showcase they will completely understand. “
For ticket information and performance sign up details, contact Amanda Leigh at email@example.com.
Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/therealamandaleigh .
Actress Janet Hubert Visits Orlando to Mobilize Women to Vote in the Midterm Election During Black Women’s Roundtable “Don’t Count Us Out Tour”
Orlando, FL – From dangerous Stand Your Ground laws to voter suppression schemes, the state of Florida is known for a host of issues that negatively impact the quality of life for citizens in communities of color. Actress, producer and activist, Janet Hubert, will talk about the importance of voting to combat unjust laws and the overall need to stay healthy, wealthy and wise during the Florida Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) Don’t Count Us Out Tour. The event will be held Saturday, September 13, 2014 at the Doubletree by the Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.
Sponsored by the Florida Coalition on Black Civic on Participation (FCBCP) along with Orange and Osceola County Black Women’s Roundtable, the goal of one-day event is to bring together national and local experts for roundtable discussions designed to educate, uplift and motivate women and girls to vote and/or urge their family and friends to vote in the midterm election. Tickets are free for 15-18-years-olds and $25 for adults. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information call (321) 285-6297 or visit www.fcbcp.org.
“Black Women’s Roundtable is conducting this tour through the state of Florida to mobilize women to get their communities to the polls and send a clear message – DON’T COUNT US OUT,” said Salandra Benton, convener of FCBCP, a local affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. “In Florida we are constantly fighting for our rights – that’s why we’re so excited to welcome actress Janet Hubert to speak during the luncheon. Ms. Hubert epitomizes a strong black woman on the screen and off. She has been a shining example of an artist/activist who understands the power and significance of their celebrity and uses that position to empower others.”
Hubert is best known for her role as the sassy and witty, “Aunt Viv,” in The Fresh Prince of BelAir, but in recent years the award-winning actress has gained a reputation as a producer, activist, and author, penning her own memoir, Perfection Is Not A Sitcom Mom, and the children’s book JG and the BC Kids. She has advocated for many years on health issues, and even addressed representatives on Capitol Hill. She also served as an ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation and worked with the U.S. Surgeon General to implement better nutritional education for young girls. Currently Hubert is touring the country performing her self-produced one woman show, From Broadway To TV…Now Back To Me.
“We are bringing together women and girls of all ages to share problems and information, support each other in sisterhood, and organize so we can work collectively in our struggle for economic security and justice across the state and nationally,” adds Diana Johnson, chair of Orange County Black Women’s Roundtable.
In addition to Hubert, speakers include: Desmond Meade, president of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and state director for Faith in Florida, Live Free; Sheena Rolle, Florida State Voices; Kionne McGee, author and Miami Florida State Representative, District 17; and community activists, Debra Francis, Greg Jackson, Gail Gardner, and Nedenia Thomas.
Florida Black Women’s Roundtable convenes BWR network gatherings throughout the state. The nonprofit, nonpartisan group is an affiliate of the Washington, DC-based Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network, an intergenerational women’s policy network of the NCBCP. Convened nationally by civil rights leader, Melanie L. Campbell, BWR stays at the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women and girls and promotes health and wellness, economic security, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.
NOTE TO MEDIA: BWR conveners and Janet Hubert are available for interview. To schedule an interview contact Edrea via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 770.961.6200.
PHOTO CREDIT: James J. Kriegsmann Jr.
Los Angeles – When the fingers of Isha Love glide across the piano, a dazzling cascade of melody rushes forth spraying the atmosphere like the mist from a waterfall. “Jars of Waters,” her new offering, is a fluid tapestry of 14 luscious piano solos that pour sweet liquid libations for the soul. With ten gospel-tinged jazz originals and four unique interpretations of traditional spiritual hymns, Isha Love’s “Jars of Waters” is a tall refreshing glass to drink from.
A classically trained pianist, Isha Love emerges on the music scene as a source of “living water.” With “Jars of Waters,” Isha hopes to share and spread ever-abundant love. The inspirational solo performances on the CD transcend genres, riding the waves of jazz, classical, gospel, worship and pop. Whether she is surfing across the keys, like a boogie board bouncing above the ocean or rafting quietly down the river’s bank, tickling the ivories like a paddle propelling the current, her compositions shower light and shimmer with the presence of love.
Isha reveals that she only composes when she feels led by the Spirit. In fact, each track from “Jars of Waters” emerged from a series of compelling visions she believes God used to guide her musical journey. Song titles like “Rain On Me,” “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” “There is a Fountain,” “Living Water,” and the title track “Jars of Waters” reveal her personal plunge to sacred depths.
“One day as I was praying,” Isha reveals, “I saw a large field with hundreds upon hundreds of empty jars. God stood at the beginning of the long line and was holding a pitcher. It contained water and God was pouring the water into the jars. He explained that the many jars represented the songs that I have within me, that are waiting to be filled – and told me that the water that fills the jars are His Spirit. During the vision, God explained that when the jars are filled with Living Water, each becomes a completed song anointed by Him. Each song is one of these ‘jars of waters.”
Growing up in South Korea, Isha began playing piano in kindergarten. In high school, she realized that music was her life’s calling. Though proficient in classical music, she gravitated towards jazz and moved to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston as a jazz and piano performance major. During that time, a friend introduced her to a church whose congregation was largely Jamaican and Isha began playing gospel music for their weekly services. Isha then started playing more worship services at numerous African American churches, where she developed a unique jazz/gospel style. She continues performing at many different churches and venues to this day.
Upon moving to Los Angeles to pursue her career, she quickly became a versatile full time session player and performance artist and booked gigs for TV commercials for companies like Honda and Nike. Andrea Crouch, Kim Burrell, Frank McComb, Lisa McClendon and the female contemporary urban jazz collective Jazz In Pink, featuring keyboardist Gail Jhonson and violinist Karen Briggs, are just a few of the talents she has shared the stage with.
Isha Love’s “Jars of Waters” is a beautiful baptism of healing sound and wonder. Take a dive and receive holy refreshment at www.IshaLove.com and on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jars-of-waters/id915192471 and at CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ishalove .
Quench your thirst with Isha Love at Isha Love promotional video.