Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just Another Day: Started In New York

Just Another Day:  Started in New York
by Renee Batson

This day was unlike any other day...and it all started in NEW YORK!

April 12/15 was the day I left to go from Canada to New York City. 
Now, I have been to New York several times before but on this occasion it was vastly different from the times before. 


From the moment I got off the plane I connected with Brooklyn hip hop artist SKANKS.  SKANKS is an artist I had met through a mutual associate, CASH BILZ, who is affiliated with super group BANKAI FAM. BANKAI FAM is a hip hop crew based out of Brooklyn and crown heights area.  I compare them to the WU TANG of this generation. Their music takes you back to the boom bap essence of hip hop.

Mike Fuego

Skanks allowed me on the first of many rides.  First stop was to meet with MIKE FUEGO & ELIJAH.  I didn't think on this day I would get the chance to get on the mic, but, God works in mysterious ways which led to my vocals being dropped on Elijah's album PARTY IN THE GHETTO.  That was only one great moment, nothing could prepare me for what I would soon be witness to.  As we chopped it up and had business like conversation, Mike said to me that he wanted me to hear something before we were about to leave.  Of course I'm always down to listen to creativity and artistic expression.  The one thing I remember Mike saying was that he wanted to put together an LP like NAS' classic ILLMATIC album.  Now my immediate reaction was that his record needs to be razor sharp to be able to meet that standard. 

Well let me tell you, from the first beat drop, to the first word, to the first verse, to the hook and story-line, Mike Fugeo got me.  All I heard was ILLMATIC in a new rhythmical form.  His delivery and concepts were what I would call SICKSTREETNEWYORK; on point with no static.  That was day I got to see  pure brilliance at work!  But that was only the beginning!

Ave Boyz

DAY 2 brought AVE BOYZ into my vision.
I have known EBURNA for a minute.  Upon seeing him he introduced me to several others which included super producer CHYNO ON THA BEAT, and then he introduced me to the street flow styles of FATAL CASHFLO. These artists make up this amazing squad, which is not limited to just the three.  They incorporate everything that is the BRONX and hold each other down like family.  LOYALTY OVER EVERYTHING is the motto.  True to the street, these lyricists are the voice of their hood.  Their concept for their newly released mixtape is pure genius.  They took elements of the movie JUICE and created their own soundtrack; pure, real, raw, and straight hood.  Even something as simple as walking the streets with these guys was surreal.  So much love the streets have for this crew, it was remarkable to see.  All this talent in one place it's not hard to see why the BRONX hip hop scene is still on fire...it's the place where hip hop started and it will never end, it will only re loop and start back from the beginning. 

DAY 3 started at 5 am on the A train off to an audition at the APOLLO THEATER.  Didn't think I would make it there considering I fell asleep on the train and missed my stop.  Luckily I managed to make it there. 149th person in line, standing in the rain waiting to get a chance to be in this historic venue. 
It was evident right from the get go that with the amount of talent in the room my chances of being chosen to be on APOLLO LIVE would be slim to nothing.  I continuously went back and forth as to what I should sing and could not decide what would work best.  I met up with PAULIE BRYAN, who I was introduced to through ROBERT JACKSON aka C STYLES. Paulie explained that he has been working for the APOLLO for several years which in turn has allowed him to help the talented artists that he is familiar with.

Performance time was intense.  I have auditioned for other shows as well but this one was much different then the others.  Needless to say I made the wrong song choice.  I decided to choose my own song called "HIP HOP (lost the love)" instead of one they are familiar with.  In the end I did not get chosen, but all was not lost because now I know what I need to do the next time.  Just being in that theater was like I had just touched and breathed in greatness, and that was gratifying enough for me.  I learned a lot on this day as it became one more experience that I have conquered. 

The following day I met up with EBURNA again in the Bronx.  We chopped it up for a bit before I was to head over to meet up with C STYLES who was hosting a coat drive charity event at THE PARIS LOUNGE in HARLEM.  On this day I met some individuals that I had been talking to on line and assisting with booking their artists for interviews on my show.  I felt as though I was accomplishing all I set out to accomplish within that moment and man did it feel good.  After meeting with the ones I did know I got the pleasure of meeting legendary DJ SMITTY ROCK, who I came to know more of but that's another story for another time. got the pleasure of performing a little something while there.  That was invigorating in itself, freestyling and performing with a live band.  Just another highlight in this journey.

DAY 4 I finally got to meet CASPERELLI DA VELLI out at his spot in the Bronx. VELLI and I have known each other for years but did not officially meet until now! 

The mission on this day was to do a radio interview for SUPER STUPID SATURDAYS on DON'T PLAY RADIO. The interview went real well and Casper was a pleasure to work with.  We talked, freestyled and discussed how we can work together to make things happen in the world of hip hop and multimedia.  After recording the show I assisted Velli in formatting the show so it transitions smoothly. After all was said and done the show sounded dope. I haven't got the chance to do many interviews so this one was a nice look for me. 
Casperelli Da Velli

DAY 4 & 5 my last few days in New York were spent with me venturing out and taking photos of various areas. Now most people would take pictures of landmarks and places that are well known but I look for areas in which I find beauty.  Parks, subways, buildings, structures are things I find interesting. Testing different angles and focusing on images that all have a story within itself. 

When it came time to leave it was like leaving home. A place that is so busy, filled with so many sounds and images. There is no other place quite like it which is why I am madly in love with NEW YORK!!!

Other Photos Taken from Renee Batson's Experience.  

Younique Yellow Status Presenter Jaime Staine 
"Check out the Makeup and Beauty Products from Younique."

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