2013 has been a busy year for VoiceOfRzn Management and affiliated label, Definition Music LLC. Upon reflection, we view this as a crucial year for building upon a lot of our core foundations. Rather than just giving everyone a quick list of releases and projects, we figured we’d also drop some insight on why these projects are important in a larger scheme of things, in a way that attempts to blend all of our various company perspectives into one. So here we go: Hopefully, this review will give you an idea of where we’ve been, and what we have planned for the coming year(s).
As a team, our first major project of the year was the release of VoiceOfRzn represented/Definition Music artist HuntorPrey’s “Motion Sound Picture” EP. Years in the making, this record solidified HuntorPrey extremely well in his base of Toledo, OH. HP had already been building a momentum in the spoken-word and hip-hop scene, as well as the local community in general through humanitarian efforts. This EP, it’s layout and show production collectively built HuntorPrey a strong grassroots movement within his community, a respect among the elite artists in his region and a growing fan base that continues to connect at a very organic level. HuntorPrey is currently at work on his full-length follow-up, which looks to grow that grasroots connection into a wide range of new areas. If you haven’t heard the release (fully produced by Ill Poetic), click on the links below:
Above is HuntorPrey’s debut video, “This Way”, filmed and edited by David Damen// of our partners at Arris Productions (who you may recognize from Ill Poetic’s videos “Gone” and “Numb” from 2012). The record draws inspiration from the Ohio blue-collar work aesthetic and did a really great job of setting the tone for Huntor’s EP and overall vision. Check out the EP below:
Huntor’s EP is a loose conceptual album and set up in the format of a motion sound picture, hence the name “Motion Sound Picture”. Not that our opinion is relevant since he’s a part of our camp… but we really dug how Huntor was able to build a conceptual record without forcing the songs into the concept. They just occur naturally within their own worlds but stick to the overall theme. We also love seeing Huntor take a typical verse off the record and slow it down to a spoken word level, re-twisting patterns, emphasizing key points and rebuilding concepts on an acoustic level. Huntor is the first artist to release a record on the re-launched Definition Music label besides Ill Po, and it’s been a really exciting and challenging opportunity to assist in building additional artists into a self-sustaining level.
After releasing Ill Poetic’s “Synesthesia Yellow” EP late last year, we were faced with the task of building a band that could actually play the shit he recorded. Thankfully, we had been working with a phenomenal drummer Don Carlos (Fisher) for years, as well as building with a few other amazing musicians who were also willing to contribute to our cause. By Summertime, we had amassed a 9-piece band, which size would be built mostly for local/regional and festival events. Because of this, 2013 was the first year since 2006 in which we did not put a national tour together for our flagship artist, Ill Poetic. We spent the year learning quickly (and sometimes failing at) how to structure a large number of musicians to re-imagine his sound toward a live experience. Such a large co-op is not something we currently have the benefit of touring with, but it has been a crucial learning experience for us, was definitely worth the time spent off the road, and excites us even that much more to get back on the road soon.
“Stack The Deck” first took shape at Ill Poetic’s “Synesthesia Yellow” release party last November, 2012. The venue, Troubadour Performing Arts Center, was the most unique space we’d ever come across in Columbus. The vibe, experience and crowd that evening was unforgettable and genuinely special. It was the first event we’d thrown that felt truly organic. All parties decided immediately that this had to continue. VoiceOfRzn President, Micshon Harper, dubbed the event “Stack The Deck”, first because we provided 2 floors of various music experiences, but also because we view this event and venue as the destination point for top tier musicians and artists across genres, and are effectively “stacking the deck” with raw talent with each showing. We threw 2 of these events this year, both in June and November and they’ve grown tremendously ever since. The feedback we’ve received from the crowd has been mind-blowing and we feel blessed to a part of something that has such an organic and magical feel to it. Additionally, it feels great to have an event where people can come see our brand develop and try new ideas before taking them out on the road. We’ll definitely continue growing this out over the next year.
This past August, VoiceOfRzn & our partners Arris Productions dove into the crowd-funding arena with our “A Part of the Art” Campaign. Designed to raise funds for the final video from Ill Po’s “Synesthesia Yellow” EP, we wanted to see A) How much we could make friends, family and fans a part of our actual creative process, and B) get an idea of actually how our support translated financially. It’s easy to say you have a million followers on twitter, but we needed a real test to see if fans were invested enough in our ideas to help sponsor them. Though we didn’t reach our projected goal, we were able to raise enough money at strictly a fan level (no sponsor or business contributions) to proceed with the video. Beyond shooting this video, this idea was very important in showing we have a support system in all of you. For all of you who ended up contributing $5 to $500 a-piece, you really won’t have an idea of what your contribution meant for at least another six months or so, but just know that it goes waaay beyond this video!
If you’re not familiar with our campaign, catch the video above and be on the look out for another round of updates. And if you contributed, be on the look-out for your perk in the mail shortly.
During the “Part of the Art” campaign, we released a lot of incentives and goodies to bring some press attention to our idea. One of which was the release of the “Synesthesia Yellow” Instrumentals. We had been waiting to release these all year, as a lot of these songs have tons of live instrumentation and vocals from an array of talented artists, some of which are from the famed Ohio Funk era of the 1970s and 80s. This release served as a great platform for folks to listen to some amazing keys, horns, vocals, and experience the “Synesthesia Yellow” tracks in a whole new light. Check them out here below if you’ve been sleeping!
This was an exciting year for us. We tried out a lot of new ideas in a lot of areas. Some worked, some didn’t (or more so worked in ways we hadn’t foreseen; even better). As we move into the new year, we have to say we’re excited both artistically and from a business-standpoint on figuring out new ways to push our envelope in new directions. We’ve been working hard for years now to establish a strong foundation and reputation for top-tier quality music, product, events, creativity and business acumen. Earning this has allowed us opportunities to pursue creative ventures we’d never thought possible; including upcoming more diverse and quality releases on the Definition Music label, increased touring, consultation, and representation by VoiceOfRzn Management for both existing & new artist; new directions in upcoming art and presentation from Ill Poetic; and of course continued help materializing visual representation of our brand from our friends and partners over at Arris Productions in between their full length feature film releases. We all…VoiceOfRzn, Definition Music & Arris Productions… look forward to building with many of you further, and hope you keep riding with us throughout the new year. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store!
#BeCool #VoiceOfRzn #2014
"Stack The Deck"
Saturday November 23rd
Pre-Sale tickets available HERE
VoiceOfRzn is proud to present the next installment of our “Stack The Deck” event, an intimate experience at the famed Troubadour Club.
"Stack the Deck" grew organically last November out of the release party for Ill Poetic’s "Synesthesia: The Yellow Movement", and from there, has evolved into a collage of eras and genres, calling to memory a blend of 1920’s Harlem Jazz clubs, Philadelphia’s Black Lily, and Ohio’s heyday of Funk, mashed together with influences of the Columbus hip-hop scene.
Not to be confused with your typical “grown & sexy” event, this will be an evening of mind-blowing music & talent, good company, drinks and food; a brand new experience set to a nostalgic atmosphere. An evening of top-shelf music from top-shelf artists spanning multiple genres, drawing in genuine music fans that contribute an amazing energy to complete the experience.
This is our 2nd “Stack the Deck”, and our third event overall at the Troubadour Club. Join us for an unforgettable evening, featuring some of Columbus, Ohio’s top artists:
..and a very special presentation of JG The Juggernaut’s “The Ness” (currently a Thursday staple of spoken-word & party at “Zanzibar”) with special guests Yungg Soja, Cosmic Bluu, Kennisha Johnson & more.
Come and let your Soul Twerk.
Pre-Sale tickets available HERE (w/ free mixtape download of the artist’s music)
Saturday November 23, 2013
Doors at 9pm
21 & Up
$8 Pre-Sale, $10 at door
Five years ago I was given the opportunity to work with a remarkably driven, and passionately talented artist by the name of Ill Poetic. Initially a just a friend, we embarked on a journey together to steer his career to meet up with his dreams and goals. I guess I saw a piece of my dreams in his, and the rest is history.Through this process over the years Ill Po has become more family than friend, and even more of a partner than a client. So it is with great pride and happiness that I announce today the kickoff to a new chapter in our journey together!
THE ILL POETIC “SILHOUETTE” INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN!!
We have worked so tirelessly putting the small pieces of the puzzle in place to take Ill Poetic to next, that it is a great pleasure to finally show a full view of what can be through the execution of this Indiegogo campaign to the masses. I ask that you take the time to review the following links in full, share as you see fit through your choice of Social network, Donate if you’re so inspired, and get perks for you efforts. Either way, we appreciate your support. We hope to make you proud.
VoiceOfRzn Presents: Stack The Deck - https://www.facebook.com/events/518530271542312/
A 2-floor multi-genre musical event, featuring an amazing array of top-tier artists, ranging from Jazz, Funk, & Folk, to Soul, Hip-Hop, & Spoken Word. Including A Dance Party, and even an amazing Instrumental set. Trust us, #YouDoNotWantToMissThisEvent!!! #VoiceOfRzn
BUY PRESALE TICKETS HERE: http://stackthedeck.bandcamp.com/merch/stack-the-deck-ticket-download-combo-special
When: Sunday, June 9th 2013
Where: The Troubadour Club
2997 East 5th Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43219
Sponsored & Approved by: That’s Dope!
Live Music sets by a Stacked Deck of Renowned Ohio Artists:
** Jared Mahone
** Ill Poetic
With Special Guests:
** Jai Carey
** JG The Juggernaut
** Jon Rogers (Maggz)
** DJs Dommy Styles & Krate Digga #InDaMixx
BUY PRESALE TICKETS HERE: http://stackthedeck.bandcamp.com/merch/stack-the-deck-ticket-download-combo-special
A few months ago, VoiceOfRzn threw a show for the first time at a little-known, out-of-the-way, speakeasy, Columbus’s Troubadour Club. We initially chose this venue because upon an accidental visit there last summer, we really felt a special vibe to this venue, something out of a 1920′s Harlem Jazz Era. Thankfully, it seemed as if everyone at the event we eventually threw there felt that vibe too. We received a LOT of amazing responses from those who were in attendance, and a lingering question of “When will you have one of these events again?”.
Well… We’ve been working hard to figure out how to keep that unique & special vibe, but up the ante and bring in some new energy as well. We didn’t want to turn this into “just another event”, So…we decided to raise the bar for you and “Stack the Deck”!
For anyone who is a follower of any of these acts on the bill, you know that each one individually is undeniable in there own lane, show and prove each time they’re onstage, and is worthy of their own headlining event to which their die hard fans will move heaven and earth just to be in attendance. Well… we’ve put them all together on One Stage! So, it goes without saying that this will be a Monumental evening of which you will surely kick yourself if you miss it.
#GetYourTicketsToday HERE: http://stackthedeck.bandcamp.com/merch/stack-the-deck-ticket-download-combo-special
As a consulting company, one of the clients i’m most proud of having the opportunity to represent through VoiceOfRzn are the guys over at Arris Productions, a production team focusing on Music Videos, Film, and Commercials, run by my good friends Danny Rogers and Ronnell Elkins. Don’t sleep on these guys if you are in need of professional, high quality visual projects that break the mode. Their credits include over 20 Music videos, Film Festival Award winning Short films, Reality TV shows, and several Independent full features.
Recently, Arris has undertaken an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to help finance their upcoming film project “FRiEND” along with partners over at Step Off Productions and co-producers at Spook Show Entertainment. The film chronicles the the various sides of bullying from both the prospective of the Bully & the Bullied, exposing the vicious cycle of Child abuse & Bullying in the hopes of educating youth on the cause and effects of such behavior. Producer Tony Bumgarner’s #1 goal with this film is to save a life.
In recognition of the superb effort the Arris team has done getting fans & supporters behind this film, “FRiEND” was featured on the Indiegogo home page today!!! (A big deal if you know anything about Crowd-sourcing). So, I thought i’d drop a line of Congratulations!! and a word of support to their cause.
So please, check out their campaign at: www.indiegogo.com/friendthemovie and donate in exchange for various level perks, while Helping stomp out #Bullying and #ChildAbuse! http://t.co/sB2nIMKUKf
Step Off Productions and Arris Productions just got the news that our film FRiEND is now featured on the Indiegogo home page!!! We didnt do this alone though. With help from our co-producers at Spook Show Entertainment and fans we are finally making noise. But were not even close to being done! If you hate bullying, was a victim, or maybe guilty from being a bully. Please help this project. We know we have something that will touch many lives. Tony Bumgarner's #1 goal with this film is to save a life. So please help us do exactly that.
Up next!!!!!….We’re off to Cinci this Saturday, 3/9 for HipHopReggaeFunk at Mainstay Rock Bar, Featuring Ill Poetic, Junya Be & Wazali, Those Guys, and CitOak. Stop through if you are in the vicinity! Free Show! BigUps to Far-I-Rome Ntukogu for putting the night together. Looking forward to the set with Carlos Fisher Jay Bybo StevensDani Angelica Lee Evan Oberla Kenneth D. Eaddy ! #ColumbusInvasion #VoiceOfrzn
Ill Poetic, the prolific Ohio emcee/producer, has joined forces with EMPIRE Distribution, signing a digital distribution deal for his Definition Music imprint. On October 16, 2012 he releases his long awaited new EP Synesthesia: The Yellow Movement via this Definition Music/Empire Distribution platform.
Hip-Hop fans may recognize the name Ill Poetic from his recently buzzed-about video “Gone”, though others may remember him for his 2007 national debut The World is Ours. A lot has happened in five years, as Ill Poetic kept busy expanding his sound and reach. He went on to create 3 mash-up records (gaining national acclaim from sources such as Portishead and elite media outlets), and production under such national acts as Slum Village, Illogic & Blitz the Ambassador, as well as sound-design and score an award-winning independent film. All the while, he continued touring; building a foundation of loyal fans and respect from his musical peers. With the support of EMPIRE’s distribution and marketing machine, he is looking to showcase his sound and voice to a wider audience.
EMPIRE has been behind many of the last years’ stellar Hip-Hop and R&B releases, including Kendrick Lamar‘s “Section.80″, Snoop Dogg‘s “Stoner’s EP”, Phonte‘s “Charity Starts At Home”, Crooked I‘s “In None We Trust”,ScHoolboy Q’s “Setbacks” and The Foreign Exchange‘s “Authenticity”. With a strong roster including Fat Joe, N.O.R.E., 9th Wonder, Too Short and Slum Village, Ill Po will be in good company at EMPIRE.
“I’m pretty excited about this opportunity and extremely thankful to the folks who helped make this happen.” says Ill Poetic. “We’ve worked our asses off these past few years to present something we feel is very special. We’re happy and amazed that Empire has hopped on board to make this vision a very real possibility.”
Bravely undertaking a completely new creative process for Synesthesia: The Yellow Movement, Ill Poetic has meticulously crafted a unique new sound, shedding the typical hip-hop producer aesthetic he was once known for. Inspired by his hometown’s Ohio Funk legacy, he dives flawlessly into rich and layered production, live instrumentation, vocalists, talk boxes, and exciting new song-writing structures.
Backed by this bold and innovative sound, Ill Poetic has begun to push his career in a fearless new direction, creating an EP he describes as “a journey into the highs and lows of following your dreams; a soundtrack to the imagination”.
Ill Poetic was invited to rock the 2012 OHHA at the Aladin Shrine Aud. this past year. Decided to show up with a full band backing him of some of Columbus’ finest musicians. Including Carlos Fisher (Drums/Ill Atmospherics), Jay Bybo Stevens (Keys/The Sound), Angelica Lee (Vocals/L.E.S Crew), Evan Oberla (Trombone/The Evan Oberla Project).
It was something serious! Had a lot of fun working with The OHHA board, BottomLine Management, and Power 107.5 on this project. And, collected a gang of contacts.
If you were there and caught the set, let us know what you thought. Feedback is a gift.
Ill Poetic | Numb
Produced and Directed by
David Damen //
Ronnell Elkins //
Edited and Colored by
David Damen //
Ill Po & David Damen //
Additional Footage provided by
Special Thanks to the additional artist who contributed messages, art, and scribbles to the introduction animation. From ages 2-40, kids to adults, actors to friends, you all added such a unique touch and identity to the project. The end result was so much more than expected. I wish I kept a record of everyone who helped but you know who you are. From the bottom of our heart thank you.
Special location thanks to
City at Power107.5
Rest In Peace Maurice Sendak
Your books will forever keep us children at heart and inspire our work.
Original Composition “Infitum” by Flying Lotus.
Download “Numb” at http://illpoetic.bandcamp.com/track/numb
Sometimes, you just gotta get “Gone”.David Damen // + Walter Nini presents Ill Poetic | Gone Produced by Ill Poetic Directed by | David Damen // + Walter Nini Edited by Walter Nini Chris Cloud Additional Vocals D’Yenna Dukes Camera Operators Walter Nini Chris Cloud Appearances by Mr. Dibbs Rare Groove Apryl Reign Huntor Prey BJ Digby (Holmskillit) Dj Tree Sharp One Juice Lee Manik D Nati Kid (Animal Crackers) Jarvis Tubbs Becca + Nadia Burling Mc Forty Additional Footage Skribble Jam 2003 Cincinnati Riots 2001 (Courtesy of ‘Panic City’) Addition Photography provided by Ill Poetic Special Thanks Dive Bar Selectas Choice www.illpoetic.com www.arrisproductions.com www.walternini.com www.voiceofrzn.com www.soundrzn.tumblr.com “Gone” available at http://illpoetic.bandcamp.com/track/gone Watch the Making-of Documentary “A Piece Of Our Soul In The Road” HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBNFKZsocXM&feature=player_embeddedwww.illpoetic.com www.arrisproductions.com www.walternini.com www.voiceofrzn.com www.soundrzn.tumblr.com “Gone” available at http://illpoetic.bandcamp.com/track/gone Watch the Making-of Documentary “A Piece Of Our Soul In The Road” HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBNFKZsocXM&feature=player_embedded