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Lucid Ones sits down to learn more with Southwest Detroit artist Isreal Keys in a documentary style fashion. Eleven minutes of breaking down the motivation & struggles the Blind Color Ent. artist has experienced give an inside look into the life & times of Isreal Keys.

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Dame Black Releases “PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS” (Artist Interview)

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Uncle P:  You have a serious buzz around the release of your latest release People under the stairs. With a title like that, what was your thought process around this project?

Dame Black: Well thanks to all the people who supported the movement and, the Dame Black brand first they’re one of the main reasons for the big buzz surrounding the project. So The People Under The Stairs is actually one of my favorite movies I had to mention that but, I used to be in the streets trapping and, what not an 90% of my content is street so I looked at the people under the stairs as the clientele. I took the movie and, flipped the perspective into a dealers view. I wanted to still reflect the movie as well so I used the actual movie cover as well and, flipped it to once people hear the EP they’ll definitely understand the similarities and, the references.

Uncle P: So when did you realize you wanted to make something out of that film? After watching it a few times or did the tracks inspire it all?

Dame Black:   I guess it came with the creative process of how I put together projects. The movie was definitely in the back of my mind but, I guess it was after the first song I knew how I wanted to sculpt the Ep. I try to give the fans a full meal to break down art, music, visuals, poetry, streets, all that exist with in this project so in short lol yea the tracks inspired me.

Uncle P:  What was your favorite song and what has the public gravitated to so far? What did you learn from having listening sessions?

Dame Black: I dont really have a favorite to tell you the truth and, there’s a reason. I dont have a favorite out of any music I put out yet…. Only because I know I have alot more greatness in me to achieve musically so I guess im still waiting on a favorite. As far as the listening party I learned alot and, s/o to the muzik shop for hosting the party but, wow it was amazing! I learned good music and, humility will definitely bring alot of great minds together. Thats the biggest thing I learned from that I could go on for days but, I would say thats the most important lesson I learned from the listening party.

 

Uncle P:  What was it like working with one producer for a entire Album? Can you share how it went down
Dame Black:  S/O to Aaron Green hes responsible for every beat on the EP hes an amazing producer which made it easy to put this project together check him out on IG @AGmusic1989. If I can recall im pretty sure it was Ub who tagged me in a IG post to a beat snippet on AG’s page. I heard one beat and, was amazed I loved his sound an feel so I checked out more beats on his page and, was convinced on the spot that I wanted some tracks from him. After I bought at least 3 tracks I was in album mode but, I wanted to bring that old feel of hip hop that I remember back one artist working with one producer feel. Im real big on the essence of hip hop even tho my content is street based I feel thats where hip hop came from anyways… I continued to search his catolog and, I asked him to do a couple special samples for me until I felt I had a complete body of work and, thats how the EP came together.
Uncle P:  How would you describe AG sound?
Dame Black:  AG is almost undescribable he’s so universal as a producer its crazy! Leaving the description up to me tho I would have to say he’s so soulful saying that he plays instruments as well its just a taste of soul its like grandmas cooking. I definitely would have to say his strong point to me is soul music he makes beats you can feel in your soul some of his beats I dont even want to rap to I can just ride and, vibe to them.
Uncle P:  The music scene is like the wild wild west right now, whats been your experience trying to gain exposure in the crowded space of music?
Dame Black:  Thats a good question I would say for me its just easy being me my artisty comes from a truthplace so im just focused on being the best dame. Im not into gimicks or jumping on bandwagons or co-signs and, its alot of that going on alot of artist not being who they really are. I really think that changes the game alot and, makes it hard for true artits like me to break through but, all my recent buzz has comes from all organic work, quality music, and, me being the best dame I can be for my fans and, supporters.
Uncle P:  Who you feeling right now musically? If somone was reading this interview and hadn’t heard a record yet, whos vibe would you say is similar.
Dame Black:   AG is almost undescribable he’s so universal as a producer its crazy! Leaving the description up to me tho I would have to say he’s so soulful saying that he plays instruments as well its just a taste of soul its like grandmas cooking. I definitely would have to say his strong point to me is soul music he makes beats you can feel in your soul some of his beats I dont even want to rap to I can just ride and, vibe to them.
Uncle P: What can we expect from Dame Black over the next year?
Dame Black: More and, more music lol I work hard and, I love putting out quality work for my fans so more music first. Im actually in album mode now working on another project with Sapiano Sounds as we speak. More dope artwork s/o to bryan gower on all my artwork hes the genious behind the Ep cover. Dropping more visuals s/o to mino shot dat on my recent drop the Kevin Garnett video on DetroitRap.com now. Ill definitely continue to keep people intrigued in my artisty with creative roll outs dope promotion s/o to my manager Ub hes a big driving force behind all that and, more. But im just gone keep grinding being humble and, putting out good music I think next year is MINE!!! Respect the scorpion.
Uncle P: You plan on getting out and touring any? How you plan on moving around the Midwest? Who do people contact to do some business with Dame Black?
Dame Black: S/O to my manager Ub again he put a dope concept together called “The pull up plays” and, the concept to that is we pulling up wherever rocking the stage. We get the dates in to the shows and, we give our fans acess thru flyer and, social posting then we pulling up and rocking the stage which is a “Pull up play”. Im definitely looking for bigger stages and, a bigger touring situation to reach more fans with the music but, for now we putting in all organic ground work trying to reach as many live bodies as possible which is a foreign art in todays game internet is the big thing. For anyone looking for verses, show booking, touring opportunities, etc… Contact my manager Ubadah McConner at   Beat6teen@gmail.com. Thanks for the interview I truly appreciate yall at DetroitRap.com s/o to Uncle P for all the help as well 6/21/22 I bring yall a true classic The People Under The Stairs Ep produced by Aaron Green (AG). Check my artist page out on FB Dame Black@ Facbook and, check all my latest content out on YouTube, Itunes, Spotify, etc…..

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A sit down with Director Diego Cruz Interview

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After getting back the bio for Director Diego Cruz, I surprisingly discover i had come across this talent early in his career. It was 2014 when him and a group of friends put together a short horror film. It was then he decided to get into making music videos and sharpening his skill sets. It was late 2015 when he started working with Icewear Vezzo who was quickly building a buzz nationally.

It was over the joint  “MoonWalkin” that i first got acquainted with Diego. Unfortunately it was not the exchange i would have preferred to have with a talented person i knew was on his way to big things. But i completely understood his reason for disbelief and being frustrated. You see his video was nominated for Video of the year, yet he was not a finalist for Director of the year. Seems a little off right?

I dont really know if what i said pissed him off even more, but he left it alone and came back year after year with a undeniable presence in awards voting. Unlike music producers which often have a tag on the track so you know who did the beat, you dont exactly see artist out here giving video directors props. Knowing he deserved to be on that list of final nominations, he had fell victim to the popularity contest that fan voter awards are plagued by.

See at the time everyone had seen Diego Cruz work, but wasn’t familiar with the name. Well that soon changed as Diego was plastered on all of the hot artist coming out the city. It got to the point where if you didn’t have a video directed by Diego you wasn’t really serious with this music thing yet.

We will fast forward to the presence and get the conversation started.

 

Uncle P: Before anyone attempts to put you in the Local Box, where we all start somewhere but let’s familiarize the people with the National acts that are apart of your portfolio at this point.

Diego:   National Acts that are currently on my portfolio are, Gucci Mane, Joyner Lucas,  Joell Ortiz, Fredo Bang,  Fabolous, Westside Boogie, Benny the Butcher ( Video is unreleased )

 

Uncle P:  What has life been like since winning your Underground Hip Hop award as a director?

Diego:  After the win, it was just like before, great. I just had an extra little spice to it, because it does really feel good being acknowledge by my city and peers. I love Detroit, and everything about. There’s no city like ours.

Artist really started approaching me differently when it came down to the creativity of the videos.

 

Uncle P:  We notice the depth of the videos you direct, how difficult was it to turn down doing the typical video shoots and demand more creativity from the artist you are capturing on camera?

Diego:  Turning down the typical Run and gun video has been and still is an ongoing battle, it’s usually more of a time thing, but I have run into artist that really don’t want to do that because they feel their brand and audience won’t appreciate it. I still catch myself doing run and gun videos, I just approach from a creative point of view, concepts and storylines are always about immersive experiences, so if I can costume the same feel with a run and gun video then it’s a mission accomplished, so over the years it’s been better. Most artist that hire me know what they’re getting into with me, cause now the first words are, I want a treatment.

 

Uncle P:  How was the experience working along side Gerard Victor? Who i might add won the very first Best Director award from the same Underground Hip Hop awards you were celebrated at.

Diego:  Gerard is definitely like a brother to me, he was the main source of my inspiration during my early career, we get confused for all the time as well, which is funny. We definitely have that little brother big brother mentality, even down to disagreements, but at the end of the day, that’s my family. I’m grateful our paths crossed, and we learn from and inspire each other all the time, we’ve collaborated on videos and share our videos sometimes to get some feedback from each other.

 

 

Uncle P:  Have you done everything you wanted to do when it comes to directing music videos?

Diego:  I don’t think I’ve done everything I wanted to do. I’ve been directing since 2014/15 and it feels like I’m just getting started. I want to start tackling music videos on a bigger scale. I watch music videos all day everyday, from different directors and genres.  I see the scale of these projects and tell myself, it’s only a matter of time before I’m taking on a music video that has six figure budget or larger.

 

Uncle P:  How often do you present your ideas for a video to a artist only for them to not understand your vision?

Diego: All the time, it’s funny because I pick out photos as references for treatments to display my ideas, only  to show them a music video and be like “ just like this” then they see it in motion and understand. So sometimes it feels pointless to write out a treatment, but I still do it. At the end of the day it helps me as well.

 

Uncle P:  How long will it be before we can expect a film from you?

Diego:  Soon. I don’t like to speak on things before they’re done, but it’s long overdue that’s all I can say. It’s going to be something I just drop on social media. No announcement, nothing.

 

Uncle P:  What can we expect in the next 5 years from Diego Cruz.

Diego:  Bigger videos, Films, just a lot of creativity. We have so much talent here in Detroit that sometimes we don’t even see ourselves. Expect greatness and showing the world Detroit is a force that can’t be stopped.

 

Uncle P:  If you could leave a little something for those who have followed your career and could use a word of knowledge or inspiration?

Diego:  Don’t be afraid to evolve and adapt. As a creative that’s always been my biggest obstacle. We want things a certain way we forget life itself is art itself and it changes. Evolve your art, adapt to circumstances. Always have an open mind to learn because you meant something from everyone and everything.

 

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Interview with Detroit’s own “Floss alot”

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If you have followed or been involved with the music scene in Detroit over the last 2 decades or so chances, are you have heard of, or rubbed shoulders with Floss alot.

If your new to the small circle of Detroit tastemakers, you may not know that “Floss alot” was once a artist and founder of Young Boys Intertainment in the mid 90’s. By the year 2000 Floss alot had released 2 albums and features from the likes of The GAME, Styles P and Jada Kiss along with Royce da 5’9”

 

In 2009 Floss alot started the Rosay Boyz where 300 + artist grouped together to represent the brand. Overseeing the movement of that magnitude taught Floss how to work with and guide multiple people with different goals, work ethics, and personalities. this gave him the experience to do business at a high level.

 

It was 2015 when Floss alot decided to form what would be the foundation for the future Federation Music Group. FMG would go on to mentor, manage, and advise artist, and other music professionals both in and out of Detroit Michigan. Securing deals with iconic brands such as Apple Music, Roc Nation/Def Jam, 300 Entertainment, Puma, Beats By Dre as well as the NBA Detroit Pistons franchise Floss alot is no stranger to corporate boardrooms and getting things done.

 

As of late Floss alot has started creating more opportunities for artist to be seen and heard while also getting some advice from playmakers that artist need to know and network with. The Momma I Made it concert series has provided quality venues for artist to show what they can do performing live in front of fans, executives, and their peers with a valuable prize package for winners. The Panel is a one-on-one performance in a conference room or studio with special guest radio djs, label execs, and media professionals all there to provide useful feed back and build unity amongst the Detroit music industry.

 

Uncle P: How do you think your experience as a artist shaped the business person you are today?
Floss alot: Well Starting off as a artist showed me the process of making music and opened my eyes to the down side of the business when people was either over charging me or wouldn’t plug me in certain situations so i had to build my own relationships to get things done but at the same time i was building my own system to be able carry out my plan plus for other artist .
Uncle P: What was Floss Alot the artist like?
Floss alot: well i first tried to sign a few artist (rod dae & bathgate from rock bottom) when i couldn’t get that done  my best friend kay kay suggested i become a rapper because at the time i had a bigger image than most rappers that was out at the time i was driving a GS 300 lexus a bmw 740il  and a yukon denali i had alot of jewelry a few chains and a ice out rolex and remind you this was 1996 so when i decided to become a artist i hired some of the best in the city to help me get the job done including rod dae & bathgate so me as a artist i wanted to be the best at it i locked myself in the studio for a year and worked on my craft we brought in singers , drummers and guitar players i wanted everything to be on another level .
Uncle P: What were some of the high moments and biggest challenges putting together a brand to represent so many creative artist.
Floss alot: well one of my high moments was performing at Cobo hall as a artist myself  “best feeling ever” but my biggest challenges putting together a brand to represent artist was probably getting each artist to believe in my vision because most artist know what they want but don’t really know who they are as a artist and another high moment was getting the deal with roc nation / def jam with a co-sign from Big Sean that was a big moment but what i learned quick was just because you get the deal done doesn’t  mean your going to be successful but at that moment is when the real work and dedication kicks in
Uncle P: Over all, what did that experience teach you?
Floss alot: I learned in the industry its a hurry up and wait game you gotta have patience doing million dollar deal and keep a small circle cause everybody don’t have the same motives
Uncle P: What exactly is Federation Music Group?
Floss alot: FMG is my partners Shannon , Rico and myself came together in 2015 with over 20 years of experience to build a power house label,  in the last 5 years we were able to close deals with roc nation , puma, Detroit pistons , beats by dre and apple music
Uncle P: What is the best advice you can give to aspiring artists looking to take their career to the next level?
Floss alot: build a team you can trust cause no artist can do it by themselves and put the work in cause there’s no shortcuts in business
Uncle P: What is one of the biggest myths that artist hold on to that could very well be holding them back.
Floss alot: thinking a label should sign them before they put the work in
Uncle P: At what point in your career did you realize you were ready to do business with the corporations you have already managed to do deals with?
Floss alot: well over the years of doing business you learn that its a system to doing business “supply & demand” and you have to ask yourself do you have anything of value with sales or worth to it to be able to do business once i establish worth then i set out to do deals base off that worth
Uncle P: Talk to us a bit about the newest platforms you have curated the “Mama I Made it” concert series and “The Panel”
Floss alot: well mama i made it is set up for the concert side of the business such as open mic , concerts or tours for up& coming artist to get exposure and the panel is more of a one on one sit down with 3 to 4 music exec , djs or promoters to listen to your music and give feedback and direction and educating each artist while giving exposure to each platform

Uncle P: If you could leave us with some gems, who were some of the people you admired on your journey to becoming who you are today, and if you could have a sit down with anyone living in the world today who would that be.

Floss alot: well ill have to give that to my best friend kay kay (R.I.P) cause he is the reason i became an artist and got into the business he was the first person that believed in me

and a few gems – remember its a business what you put in is what you get out of it and makes sure as a artist you build yourself as a brand 50 cent once said he made 10 million off music but a 125 million off of vitamin water

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