4th ANNUAL SOURCE360 FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE
REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
Multi-Faceted 2017 Event Hosted Concerts, Block Party,
Pivotal Sessions on Cannabis, Community Policing, Tech,
Media, Music Marketing, and
The State of Hip-Hop
*(New York) – The 4th Annual SOURCE360 Festival & Conference was recently held in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y. Once again, SOURCE360 brought together members of the local community, artists, business executives, media mavens, performers, and other creative professionals to further the conversation around the cultural benefits, political significance, social applications, and artistic value of Hip-Hop culture.
SOURCE360 created a profound and powerful laboratory for new music and ideas. The multi-faceted event featured concerts, a block party, and pivotal sessions designed to address myriad issues and crafts¬ as well as to entertain, educate and inspire.
The SOURCE360 opening events took place at the historic Brooklyn Borough Hall. “We presented more business and public policy panels at Borough Hall because it is a public governmental building and in the spirit of public interest, it was important and appropriate to show the impact of the culture on public policy and public safety in that space,” notes L. Londell McMillan, executive producer of the SOURCE360 Festival & Conference.
On Thursday, the daylong SOURCE360 Tech Hackathon, in partnership with Blue 1647 and Digital Girl, Inc., drew high praise from parents, educators, and attendees. The Hackathon gave kids from grades 6-12 the opportunity to apply their passion to technology. Local college students were drafted as student mentors to aid the process of learning about tech applications while fostering an atmosphere of giving back to the community, a major theme and highlight of SOURCE360.
The SOURCE360 Speaker Series also kicked off in the landmark Borough Hall with Tech: New Age of Digital Music, Marketing & Making Money, a pivotal session that offered the jam-packed room an extraordinary inside look at new age technology and commerce with an A-list panel of business and creative experts, including Kedar Frederic of TuneCore, Corey Llewellyn of Digiwaxx, Yomi Desalu of BET, and Wendy Washington of This Is Dope!. Moderated by Lisa Evers, host of Street Soldiers and FOX 5 TV, attendees were educated on tech entrepreneurship, pathways to distributing and marketing their product or content, and other essential tools for success.
SOURCE360 invited key members of local law enforcement along with community representatives for the timely Thursday session, Community & Policing: Innovative Solutions to Increase Trust, moderated by Coss Marte, a formerly incarcerated man who reformed his life to become an inspirational entrepreneur.
The panel included Assistant Chief of Patrol Brooklyn Borough North Jeffrey Maddrey, NAACP’s Brooklyn Chapter President L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, and the founder of NYC Together Dana Rachlin.
The panel covered current legislative issues—including stop & frisk, body cameras for officers, right-to-know policies—as well as a discussion on whether police union advocacy creates more animosity within the community at large. This powerful session seemed to open up much-needed opportunities for dialogue and ongoing resolutions.
“I think there are certain issues of public safety and public policy that people with a Hip-Hop mentality and inner-city insight can resolve,” says McMillan. “There is a core competency issue; a lack of cultural competency within certain halls of power that don’t take into consideration cultural and Hip-Hop insights, and this perspective can be innovatively helpful in reforming and protecting the community.”
Another notable part of the Speaker Series on Thursday was Business Opportunities and Regulations of the Cannabis Industry, moderated by Gia Morón of Women Grow.
The panelists included April Walker of Walker Wear, Rani Soto of I Deserve Canna, Kassandra Frederique of New York State Drug Policy Alliance, and Marvin Washington, former New York Jet player and Super Bowl veteran.
The panel addressed pathways to entrepreneurship in addition to reconfirming marijuana’s benefits as an aid to health and wellness.
On Friday, all Speaker Series events were held at BRIC Arts|Media House and addressed a series of panels on Hip-Hop’s infiltration into visual media—from film and television to fashion and beauty.
The opening session, Glam Factor & How To Make It Work was presented in conjunction with the SOURCE sister brand, HerSOURCE. The panelists included Monica Veloz, Kahh Spence, Destiny Moore, Marshalle Crockett, and Andrea Fairweather. The group discussed and emphasized the fact that women have always been a vital part of Hip-Hop culture, influencing a boom in beauty and fashion trends and the economy.
The standing-room-only session Lights, Camera, Action: Hip-Hop Culture In Cinema & Television was moderated by noted photographer Johnny Nunez and featured filmmaker Benny Boom, pioneering artist and executive producer Roxanne Shanté, writer and filmmaker Thembisa Mshaka, Revolt executive Rahman Dukes, and actors Dorian Missick and Eden Duncan-Smith.
The group discussed ways in which those steeped in Hip-Hop culture are now being allowed to tell their own stories at a time when there is an explosion of interest in these narratives. The panelists also discussed aspects of Roxanne Shante’s upcoming biopic, set to star Nia Long and panelist Eden Duncan-Smith.
The SOURCE Latino: Bridging the Gap Of Hispanic & Urban Culture panel acknowledged the role that Latinos and Afro-Latinos have played in the history and culture of Hip-Hop, especially within the pillars of graffiti art and break dancing, in addition to music.
Moderated by Len. Boogs of Power 105.1/Sirius Shade 45, the panel included Cyn Santana (Love & Hip-Hop), musicians Max Santos and SP The Producer, as well as a live performance by Latino Hip-Hop artists Mr. Paradise and Melly Mel, the session served as a reminder of the contributions of the Latino community and a call to a more unified approach moving forward.
One of the hottest “tickets” at the conference was the SOURCE360 Master Class Power Talks with Debra Lee, CEO of BET, and Master P, CEO of No Limit. Held at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center stage, a relatively new theatrical space in downtown Brooklyn, the game-changing revealed how these two very different executives are part of the same culture but arrived from different directions, though they share many commonalities.
The two shared jewels of wisdom about business, keys to achievement, Hip-Hop culture, and balancing the drive for success with maintaining a rich family life. The event was live-streamed through all social media channels, offering the public a chance to witness and be inspired by the personal journeys of these two inspiring moguls.
Taking It To The Streets
Saturday’s final installment of the SOURCE360 Speaker Series panel was The State of Hip-Hop: 40 Years and Now Leaders of Pop Culture, moderated by L. Londell McMillan, which was held outdoors at the Block Party.
The panelists included Charlamagne Tha God of The Breakfast Club, Deb Antney, artist manager and TV personality of Love & Hip-Hop, and Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian.
The group engaged in an honest conversation about how Hip-Hop is faring regarding creativity, style, media exposure, and its impact on the community in general.
The panelists also discussed what artists and other creatives can do to give more to listeners and the next generation of creative talent.
Taking It To The Stage
The SOURCE360 highly-anticipated and celebrated performances of up-and-coming Hip-Hop artists got a chance to showcase their skills Friday night at the Unsigned Hype session, while the Mic Check: Gen Next sessions featured popular on-the-comeup stars Casanova, Jay Critch, Quadir Lateef, Phresher, Chris Rivers (son of the late Big Pun), Axel Leon, and others.
Kids, families, and the general public were able to enjoy a day of outdoor activities and live performances at the SOURCE360 Block Party, held Saturday at Brooklyn’s Rockwell Place.
The awesome gathering, sponsored by Toyota, offered an array of activities, including a photo booth and a jumbo video screen for attendees to watch themselves doing them. In addition to performances by local dance troupes, an art exhibition by Peace for Heart, there was a Kids 360 talent show for ages 16 and under. Also hitting the stage were King Combs (son of Sean Puffy Combs), C.J. Wallace (son of the late Notorious B.I.G.), Donshea Hopkins, Kyla Imani, and Renee Neufville from ‘90s duo Zhané, and more. Later Saturday evening, Brand Nubian presented a performance of their classic hits at BRIC, along with some entertaining battle rap performances.
Saturday night’s planned tribute to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep, who passed away earlier this year, morphed into an open mic tribute that embraced the talents of those in the audience. As special guest DJs spun classic tracks from Prodigy’s recorded output, attendees were invite to share words, wisdom, and rhymes inspired by the late Hip-Hop star, turning it into a truly all-inclusive salute.
SOURCE360 Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
The excitement wrapped on Monday, August 14, with a Legends of Hip-Hop live outdoor concert featuring Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Das EFX, and Special Ed. The free outdoor show kicked off at Brooklyn’s Wingate Field and was presented in partnership with the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams as part of the Wingate Concert Series. This community-oriented celebration of the history of Hip-Hop proved a fitting close for the dynamic four-day gathering. Thousands attended this event.
The 4th Annual SOURCE360 Festival & Conference hit its marks in embracing diverse audiences, showcasing every aspect of Hip-Hop culture—including arts and culture, music, film and television, fashion, business, and digital technology—and spotlighting the incredibly vibrant arts and business community of Brooklyn.
“Hip-Hop is now 40 years old, so it must be both more responsible and better appreciated as the global force that it is,” states McMillan. “SOURCE 360 is pioneering a creative and innovative expression of Hip-Hop love. We are thrilled and excited to bring this package of content and community celebration to people in a way where they can receive the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture and the love that Hip-Hop can generate—not just the music and business—but the culture too. We’re changing the conversation. We’re repositioning the perspective because Hip-Hop is like anything else, it’s how you use it that makes the difference in the world.”
To read recaps, view photos, or get more information about the 4th Annual SOURCE360 Conference & Festival, please visit: www.thesource360.com.
‘Tyler Perry’s Ruthless’ on Paley Front Row – Brand New Discussion with the Cast TONIGHT
*New York, NY – The Paley Center for Media today announced the latest selection to its acclaimed Paley Front Row Presented by Citi series: BET+’s Tyler Perry’s Ruthless.
This exciting program will publish just in time for the midseason premiere of the smash-hit series on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Verizon Media’s Yahoo Entertainment starting tonight at 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST.
“When Tyler Perry and BET present a television series you know it’s going to be riveting, entertaining and addictive,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “Ruthless once again proves why Tyler Perry is continuously recognized and praised for his trailblazing work.”
Ruthless follows the story of Ruth Truesdale who finds herself and her daughter entangled in the dangerous Rakudushis cult. At first an enthusiastic member, Ruth soon sees the cult for what it is, but must continue to play along with ways of Rakudushis until she can find a way to free herself and her daughter from this dire situation. The Paley Center will present a conversation with the cast ahead of the show’s midseason premiere on Thursday, November 26 on BET+. Joining in the conversation will be series stars Melissa L. Williams (Ruth Truesdale), Matt Cedeño (The Highest/Louis Tyrone Luckett), Lenny Thomas (Dikhan), Blue Kimble (Andrew), Yvonne Senat Jones (Tally), and moderator Tonja Renée Stidhum, Staff Entertainment Writer, The Root.
Paley Front Row Presented by Citi brings televisions fans all the best behind-the-scenes stories of today’s top television shows.
For more information, please visit paleycenter.org.
About The Paley Center for Media
The Paley Center for Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The Paley Center’s premier programming sponsored by Verizon can be viewed through Verizon Media’s distribution channels, including being featured on the Yahoo Entertainment channel, as well as [email protected] presented by Citi on the Paley Center’s YouTube channel and the Paley Center’s Facebook page. The general public can access the Paley Center’s permanent media collection, which contains over 160,000 television and radio programs and advertisements, and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry. For more information, please visit paleycenter.org.
The Lippin Group/Los Angeles
U of Kansas Professor’s ‘Groove Theory’ Explores Blues Foundations of Funk
*LAWRENCE. KS — What makes funk different from soul, R&B or rock music? Why is it worthy of academic study? And how do you write about it seriously while still capturing its musical vitality and humor?
Tony Bolden, University of Kansas associate professor of African & African-American studies, answers all those questions and more in his new book, “Groove Theory: The Blues Foundations of Funk” (University Press of Mississippi).
Bolden riffs on the etymology of “funk,” the epistemology of blue funk and examines avatars of what he calls “black organic intellectualism” from Duke Ellington to Gil Scott-Heron to D’Angelo. Funky women like Chaka Khan, Betty Davis and Meshell Ndegeocello finally get their due, too.
While he discusses the musical forms involved — such as James Brown’s groundbreaking rhythmic concept of being “on the one,” i.e., emphasizing the first beat of a measure — for Bolden, funk is a cultural aesthetic as much as a musical style. Contrarianism – obstinate opposition to conventionality, even within the confines of the Black community – is one of its most important characteristics, he asserted. So, too, are honesty and authenticity. And of course, there is the party-hearty “pleasure principle” propounded perhaps most notably by George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic fame.
“Funk is the outlaw among outlaws,” Bolden said.
In “Groove Theory,” the author also places great importance on the physical elements of funk, particularly dances like the Funky Four Corners and Funky Broadway.
“Whereas conventional Western philosophy has normalized the notion that the mind and body are polar opposites … sensuality is intrinsic to the epistemology of funk,” Bolden wrote.
As per the book’s subtitle, Bolden draws a direct line from an early form of African American vernacular music – the blues – to funk.
He writes in the introduction that “my central argument (is) that blues and funk are not just musical forms; they are interrelated concepts. And blues is ‘like the nucleus’ of rock as well as rhythm and blues, which includes soul and funk.”
Bolden said “Groove Theory” needed writing because no one had previously explored the roots of the concept of funk. He credits Rickey Vincent’s 1996 book “Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One” and a couple of others, but he felt more work needed to be done.
“My question is why?” Bolden said. “How do we explain the fact that the music came to be known as funk? And in exploring it from the standpoint of intellectual history, I’m exploring the history of the concept itself. And in the midst of that, I find out … the extent to which the term was controversial and there were real stigmas attached to it.”
Things changed during the Civil Rights Era, said Bolden, who is editor of the KU-based Langston Hughes Review.
“It’s not until the stigma of Blackness gets questioned that the stigma attached to funk is questioned enough,” he said. “The term is embraced by Black youth culture, and it’s the dancers who do it — and the people. It’s a street thing that happens.”
If funk was presaged by jazzers like Horace Silver (“Opus de Funk”) and Donald Byrd (“Pure D. Funk”) in the 1950s and early ’60s, it came into full, glorious flower in the 1970s with Parliament-Funkadelic topping the charts and filling stadium concerts. “Groove Theory” charts funk’s rise, along with the music’s continuing influence on contemporary Black music makers.
Sure, early rap sampled plenty of classic funk recordings. But funk’s ongoing influence is even deeper, Bolden wrote.
“Kendrick Lamar, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Childish Gambino, Lizzo, Anderson Paak and other contemporary artists have engaged the concept in recent years,” he said. “This raises the question: Why? Given the precepts of funk — unvarnished truth; contrariety; unabashed pleasure; and implicit predilection for reciprocity—such interest may exemplify, on some level, dialectical responses to troubling conditions.”
KU News Service
Her Rolled Up Sleeves Represent the Work to Be Done: Illustrator Kadir Nelson on His Inspiring New Yorker Cover ‘Election Results’ (Video)
*Illustrator Kadir Nelson talks about capturing some semblance of hope in his new cover for The New Yorker’s Nov. 23 issue.
The image shows a young girl of color – a blue flower in her natural hair – holding an American flag and looking forward with a smile brimming with confidence. The image appears to honor both the generations of young Black girls who now see themselves in the nation’s first female and African American vice president, Kamala Harris, and the untold legions of Black women whose political activism was the sling-shot that got Harris and President-elect Joe Biden into the nation’s highest office.
“What’s most important is communicating the feeling behind the image, and, in this instance, less is more, Nelson says in an interview with The New Yorker about the image. “The sole figure forces the viewer to focus on the idea that I’m trying to convey. That idea is about hope and promise, but it’s also about work—the work it took to achieve the results of this election, and the work we’ll have to do in the months and years to come. The blue iris flower in the girl’s hair represents hope, and her rolled-up sleeves gesture to the work that needs to be done.”
“I hope the world will safely open up once again after the pandemic has passed,” he continues. “I hope for certainty and finality with our recent election and for a peaceful transition. And I hope that young girls around the country and the world will learn and accept that there are no barriers they can’t overcome. Sometimes all we need to know is that what we want to achieve is possible.”
Nelson is known for painting African-American icons who have inspired him, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., baseball star Jackie Robinson and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
Below is a CBS News interview with Nelson from April 2020 about his work offering inspiration during this pandemic-filled election year.
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