Internationally renown trumpeter Farnell Newton plays, composes, and teaches us a thing or two about music and social media.
Internationally renown trumpeter Farnell Newton plays, composes, and teaches us a thing or two about music and social media.
In March of 2014 we brought you a message from Alan Bell who at the time was an inmate at Columbia River Correctional Institution. We were working on a documentary on recidivism and the impact it has on the families of those locked away and the community as a whole. The project is a work in progress but here’s a short clip where we combined Alan’s previous interview with one of his lady Becca recorded prior to his release.
I am truly excited to bring our readers this man’s first interview since his return to the Rose City. I first encountered Libretto in Matt Dishman Community Center’s weight room. He was one of those brothas that you might get a head nod from, or possibly a fist bump, but certainly not someone you would walk up to between sets to engage in chit chat. Not to say he was or isn’t approachable, he just went about his work with such focus and intensity that you knew interrupting his flow for trivial conversation was prohibited. It felt like you really had to have something profound to discuss with this man, which in hind site makes sense considering the content of his rhymes.
I wasn't surpised at all to learn that he was a skilled and accomplished emcee. If he employed the same focus to his craft as he did his workouts this man was a problem! I imagined him in a dark room with only the faint glow from the bulb of a shade-less lamp filling notebook after notebook with precision bars.
After a long hiatus, I, like many others were left wondering if we’d heard the last of the Slum Funk Beast. Fortunately for us all he blessed us with this interview to separate the man from the myth and continue his journey to legendary.
503tv: For those that may not be familiar with you can you give them a short introduction?
Libretto: Indeed… my name is Libretto aka Bretto or Kokanut Brown… ha ha. I am a Portland, Oregon transplant originally from Watts, California… I landed here in the late 90’s.
1/5th of the Hip-Hop Super Group the mighthy Misfit Massive. Which includes myself, Rev. Shines, Wolveryne, Sly Da brown Hornet and the Lifesavas.
503tv: You left the scene in the midst of creating great music. Would you care to explain your absence?
503tv: Any thoughts on the current state of the Portland Hip Hop scence?
Libretto: The scene is very vibrant, lots of new artist and talent. I think the creative capabilities in the town are numerous, but tapping in to that source of energy to create a sound is key for the the city of Roses.
503tv: What are you currently working on that the fans can look forward to?
Libretto: I have currently just finished recording a project for Liquid Beat Records entitled “Gangsta Jazz 2:The Album” We are in the process of mixing it down and gettin it ready for release on audio cassette and free digital download.
After that, the loooong awaited release of my sophomore album “Captain Crook….” is prepared for release on Th3ory Hazit’s WetWork label.
With a new remix and video of the already released 12″ single “Ride to Dat” Feat. Guilty Simpson along with “Good For Me” Feat. Vursatyl of the Lifesavas.
503tv: At this point in your career what if anything do you feel you have yet to accomplish?
Libretto: Ummmm, hmmmm I would say a world tour, a series of videos…ha ha. At this point in my career I still havent shot a video yet. ha ha…. which is crazy! Other than that, just moving at least 100,000 plus units independently and making the a dent in the mainstream with pure, uncut, raw Hip-Hop Rap music. We got seeds to water beloved, and the corporate music world is supposed to be out for the money, but there is a responsibility to the children as well. We gotta put big budgets behind good music, not just “hot” music with no moral.
Sekoynia Wright moved to Portland in the summer of 2009. She moved here to try something new and on her own. She learned about KBOO Community Radio from a fellow KBOO volunteer family member and have been volunteering at the radio station since 2010. Overall….She’s been in community radio since 2007. The radio show she has on KBOO is called EarToTheStreets of Portland and it airs every first and third Thursdays every month (every other week basically)….starting at 7:00pm.
Sekoynia and I sat down in the KBOO studios on this sunny Sunday afternoon and had a great conversation. Her energy was easy going yet passionate, speaking to her was like talking to an old friend. I’d like to thank her for the opportunity to share 503tv with her listeners and I look forward to collaborating in the future.
We’re happy to have had the chance to interview the Guyana-born Champagne Duane. Raised in Florida, he relocated to Portland to pursue his artistic gifts. Prior to the release of his album I thought this would be a great time to introduce him to our viewers.
503tv: For those that may not be familiar with you can you tell them a little about you?
Duane: Well, I’m a Portland transplant originally from Florida. Shoutout to Dade County! I moved out here 9 years ago for the footwear industry to fulfill one dream of becoming a shoe designer. I’ve worked for several brands and designed for a number of athletes, namely Dwyane Wade. I got back into music about 3 years ago. It started off as just entertainment, but I started feeling the growth, and it made me feel like I should keep going.
503tv: You came onto my radar when one of your supporters submitted your “Worst” remix video featuring Elin Skei. That post got hundreds of hits on day one, many of which from overseas. Any idea why it’s such a hit internationally?
Duane: Part of that may have to do with the following in Europe I picked up due to TF-1’s involvement in Vegas Baby 2. TF-1 is France’s largest TV station. Elin’s also got international ties as well. She and I have an EP coming out Friday the 13th before Valentine’s Day.
503tv: You’re dropping your first full project this year. Tell us a little about it and why we should be checking for it?
Duane: My album is called ‘A Toast’ and it’s basically a salute to the sounds that inspired me growing up. Anyone who grew up in the 90s is a huge fan of some really classic hip-hop. So as a fan, I wanted to tribute and contribute to the music that shaped me. My influences are pretty clear. I’ve also got some exciting features on the project from amazing local talent like Jonny Cool, Jarrod Lawson and Saeeda Wright to some more known artists like Big Pooh and Talib Kweli- who sits comfortably in my top 5. But ‘A Toast’ is going to have something everyone can relate to. I think it really shows my versatility. Be prepared to move though.
503tv: If you could collab with any NW artist who would it be and why?
Duane: Sir Mix-a-Lot. I like big butts too… On a serious note, there’s lots of talent in Portland I rock with. I’m ready to work with anyone out here. Let em all know.
503tv: Where would you like to see your music career in five years time?
Duane: In general, I just want to get to a point where I’m consistent, evolving, and still inspired. Specifically, tons of radio play obviously, international shows and collaborations with some of my heroes. I’d like to have created my own brand of hip hop, where I can always make what works for me and not rely on what the current trend is.
Blossom is someone that has come onto my radar fairly recently with the release of her single “Jah Bless” Produced by SHK THT. That first impression left me wanting to hear more and that wish was granted with the release of her EP Eclectic Garden. I wanted to catch up with Blossom in the midst of such positive momentum and introduce her to our readers.
503tv: For those that don’t know, who is Blossom?
Blossom:I am a neo-soul- jazz influenced r&b singer song-writer! Whoo! Say that 3 times fast. I was the lead player in a steel band orchestra with my family for years. I used to be a ballet/jazz dancer – started back up singing for money and was in a girl group for a year in LA until the city tried to steal my soul. Moved back home and started over.
503tv: I understand you’re from Trinidad. How does that influence your music? How the hell did you end up in Oregon?
“That’s Mook bruh!” was my guy Dre’s response when I asked who that was gassing in his car stereo. That day we slapped Mook’s mixtape on repeat and I became a fan of the spitter. Here we are a few years removed from that car ride and I wanted to check in to see what’s been good with Mook lately.
503tv: For those that aren’t familiar with you can you give us a little background on you and your rap career?
Mook: Well i’m most def not new to the music industry I’ve been around in the shadows on the underground scene.
In 2003 I featured on a record produced by Missy Elliot signed with Jamma records owned by Joe Jackson. In 2004 I ventured out on my own working with crush records then signed to odds records in 2007 writing & producing the group album Dem Boyz . Now I started my own entertainment company called Cash Over Everything.
working with Bmaja engineering on my current projects coming out.
503tv: Looks like you’ll be heating up the winter with a mixtape dropping December 14th followed by your album in January. What can fans expect from your new projects?
Mook: My fans can expect nothin but the best out of me & real feel good music that’s going to impact our region.
503tv: From your social media activity you seem to be supportive of most music coming out of Portland but is there anyone in particular that you’re especially feeling?
Mook: Well the artists I been really working wit most is Bj the Voice aka Struggle, illmaculate, Don Kapone, Myke Bogan, Vinnie Dewayne, T Dot Tyme, Non-Stop, Lex Luger produced a track and plenty of more hot artists.
503tv: If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive who would it be?
Mook: If I could work with anyone rite now I would say is Bosko & e40.
Mook: Aside from my mix tape & album dropping I have an upcoming clothing line called cash over everything coming real soon
And I also am sponsoring my son line its an non profit organization called Prince Geavano in honor of heart disease & awareness so there is much to see coming from Mookaveli so be on the lookout!
We’d like to thank Mook for his time, I’m juiced for his upcoming mixtape and album and you can bet we’ll be posting that fire on 503tv The Blog.
If you’re a reader of our blog then there is a good chance that you’re familiar with Ray “Lightning Jr” Lampkin also known as our Hood Super Hero. Ray’s story is somewhat cliché when it comes to the black community. Super talented kid from the hood excels at sport, gets complacent, loses drive, falls in with bad crowd yada yada, we know how that story ends. Fortunately for Ray and the city of Portland his story is still being written. He got his life together, got in shape and is currently undefeated as a pro. One of my proudest moments was watching my guy do work on ESPN.
The champ relocated to Florida by way of Arizona to conduct his training with some of the best in the sport. I’m excited to say he’ll be headed home to fight for the Jr Welterweight NW Title on November 7th at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville Oregon. He’ll be the main event for “Fight Night.” The 503tv crew, our friends and family will be in attendance and we want to invite our readers to join us. I caught up with the man during a break from his training to ask a few questions.
503tv: How has your training camp been?
Ray: Training Has been great.. working out really hard and training alongside World Class fighters.. Working with a New Staff of coaches Coach Gil Gastelum outta Tucson Arizona, Coach Herman out of Miami Florida with his world class boxing program
503tv: I know you love the City of Roses, has taking your show on the road been tough?
Ray: Traveling the world has been kinda difficult being away from family, my kids i’ve been in states where i have no family members. .. its times i be lonely and question my decision to leave home.. But its a sacrifice that i have to make to get where i need to be and to be able to provide for my kids later in life…
503tv: You’re headed back home to fight for a title in front of your family and friends. What type of things are going through your head?
Ray: Coming back home for a fight is great for my family and friends to see me in action before i take a long journey on the road for my career and at the same time me personally its kinda nerve racking with the possibility of losing or getting caught with a lucky punch… But at the same time it ignites me to work hard and train like i never have in my life..
Here we have this young man in one of the most masculine sports and yet he is still confident enough to be open about his doubts and fears. Kinda hard not to like this guy right? Ray you are more prepared physically and mentally than you have ever been! I know you want to put this dude to sleep in front of your people but don’t take too many unnecessary risks. Go out there and execute your game plan and you will be victorious!
[Editor’s note: I made a conscience decision not to mention Ray’s pedigree because he has earned his own respect in the boxing world. However, it helps to know that he was born for this!]
My guy Sam Thompson convinced me to play in his adult league held at the Salvation Army about a year ago. After not picking up a basketball in a couple years I reluctantly agreed. My reward was to get matched up against Germaine Jordan in one of my first games. Let’s just say we had to reevaluate our strategy and put someone else on the kid, but not before he hit us for 30 plus points. I mean, I held my own but where the hell was the help defense?! I digress, since that day I’ve made a point to find out who the high flyer is and I’d like to introduce him to our readers.
503tv:Tell us a little about your background, Who is Germaine Jordan?
Germaine: I am a Portland kid youngest boy out of 7 I have a Lil sister…. My mom died when I was in 10th grade so my dad & step mom Pernell & Ashley Brown raised me.
503tv: What is your basketball resume?
Germaine: I got cut from Wilson high school freshman & sophomore yr… As a junior played Junior varsity & started varsity as a senior… I was first team all league and runner up for MVP of the PIL but Brian Morris got it that yr… I then went to play at LCC (Lower Columbia Community College) where I average 18 &9 and also won nwacc championship my first year… Second year went back to the finals where I came up short… I played at Dillard university for one year… I then took a break from ball… I then played in the ibl for three years which this year I was averaging 27 11 & 5 and won most improved two yrs in a row… I finally signed my first over seas deal in umeå which is in Sweden. My current contract was made possible because of my teammate Omar krayem who knew my abilities and put me in a position to show the world.
503tv:How has life overseas been treating you?
Germaine: I love it out here everybody speaks English & the community loves me out here… Couldn’t pick another country to have played for my first year its a blessing I give all praise to god my family who kept me focus and believing In me.
503tv: There has been an increase in gang violence in the city lately. Any message for the community?
Germaine Jordan:I hope our community can come together and show these kids that’s there’s more than violence… I try to be the best role model to my kids Dominick Branch, Demarius Branch & Joseph Adair-Jordan. I hope one day my kids can walk down the street without having to worry about a bullet flying there direction. Please stop the violence. God bless the world.
Germaine: The goals I have is to break records in Europe and try to win a championship my first year
Well there you have it, another member of our community actively pursuing his dreams and setting an example for where hard work can land you. In his case Sweden..for now. He’s also given back through coaching our youth, what’s not to love? Salute!