Category Archives: Dallas Underground Spotlight

Truth In The Booth @ Kaotiktrax Studio

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to visit producer Kaotik at his studio here in Dallas for the Truth In The Booth competition, and I must say it was a great experience and not at all what I expected. For one, I’ve never been in a studio before. This may be hard for some to believe being as though I know a lot of artist, but it’s very much true. For some reason I expected it to be a lot more tense. Maybe because of all the negativity I see on a daily basis on Facebook regarding Dallas Underground and some of the beefs here. Plus I know sometimes people can get in their feelings over these competitions. However, the overall vibe I got from everyone there was “we’re here to create, learn, and support” all while sharing some laughs. The fact that some of the artists stayed behind for at least a hour or two after the winner was chosen says a lot. Everyone was networking, playing beats for each other, and bouncing ideas off one another. It was really good to see so much positive energy being passed around.

The beat that was chosen for this weeks Truth In The Booth was Fabolous – Breathe produced by Just Blaze. That beat alone had me excited! Most of the hip hop/rap I like is from artist/producers up North so this was perfect. The winner of the contest receives $100 and sometimes other perks as well. I know usually I go into detail from start to finish, but this time I would rather spotlight each contestant.

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TripleDSavvy

The first artist to enter the booth was TripleDSavvy. In my opinion his flow matched the beat a lot more than the others. Kaotik stated in our grouping after announcing the winner that TripleDSavvy could have easily blended well on the song with Fabolous and I couldn’t agree more. His lines that stuck out to me was “Nigga Fiji so we really see thru, watered down like he drowned in the pool. I show my ass, I’m a clown and a fool. But too cool, how I know? Cause I still wouldn’t argue with you”. I also liked how he included something that had to do with breathing (oxygen tank) into his lyrics. He set the tone just right for this competition.

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Dallas Dollas

Next up was Dallas Dollas who was a virgin to Truth In The Booth. For a first timer I thought he did good. At first I wasn’t really feeling it, but afterwards finding out that it was his first time it kinda changed my perspective. I imagine that it’s hard to get up in front of people who are a little more seasoned in the competition. After seeing how everything worked he stated that he’d definitely be coming back to win. His line that caught me was “Stand up in the chest, one foot on they neck. Applying pressure every chance I get. I bet I make it hard to (Breathe). Like you niggas can’t share my air, it’s kinda thin when you way up here”

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Apollough The Strvnger

Ok so now we have the actual winner Apollough. He came fully prepared for the night with his word play and switch up of flows. It amazes me that this was only his third win. I told him that listening to him I would have thought that he was a veteran at Truth In The Booth. I was impressed by his overall delivery period. It was clean cut, no mess ups, from beginning to end. He seemed so comfortable and confident and that’s how it should be. Go in there like you KNOW you’re going to win! On top of all that he looked like he was having fun in the booth. His lines that stood out to me was “Apollough the stranger, danger. Use the pen to release my anger. In the booth on my worst behavior. Droppin bars on em like a anchor. Cling to em like he need a savior. Base knockin, might wake the neighbor. Tidal wave when I’m kickin flavor. Godspeed when I’m chasin paper.” When he finished the first thing Absolut said was “Man he’s a writer!” YES INDEED!

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Lokee The Emcee

Then we had the seven time winner Lokee The Emcee who unexpectedly showed up to compete. The Chicago native had a rough start but he pushed through on the third try. Lokee is known to kill it on the first try, not sure what had him choked up this go round. To his defense he did say that he wrote it on the way to the studio, so maybe he wasn’t as prepared as he usually is. Initially there was question on whether it was 16 bars because that is the requirement, but Kaotik quickly let everyone know that it indeed was. Lokee rapped so fast that he completed his 16 bars quicker than everyone else, so it left us feeling unfulfilled especially with the way he closed his rap. Nonetheless his word play and his speedy flow makes him stand out from the rest. My favorite lines were “Lokee be out runnin everybody on the track like a race. I get the monkey everyday like I was living in the movie Planet Of The Apes. I’m like a shooting star when it come to makin music, in other words I’m outta space. If I put my banana in her split, I bet I can leave her bussin like grapes.” Lokee stated that he plans on going again next Sunday to claim the title back and get back on a winning streak. I can’t wait to see what he has in store.

Mr. Bacc Atit

Just when we thought we were done and on our way to deliberation, one last contestant came running in. His name was Mr. Bacc Atit. His energy in the booth was CRAZY (in a good way). His delivery unfortunately wasn’t the best. You could tell that he had good lyrics but he was going so fast I could only catch bits and pieces of it. Hopefully he’ll be back this Sunday to try again because he was going in.

Again I had a GREAT time at Truth In The Booth this past Sunday and I wouldn’t mind going back again. Special thanks to Absolut for being so welcoming and allowing me to be a guest judge. She’s so cool y’all, so cool. And thanks so much to Kaotik for having me as well. I really love what you guys are doing with Dallas underground artist, giving them platforms to showcase their talent. Truth In The Booth especially helps with keeping them on their toes. That experience I’m sure sharpens their skills, helping them to be ready to go whenever and in front of whoever. Also I want to add that Kaotik and Absolut also have a monthly event called Rage On The Stage where artist can come and compete for money and other prizes. To be apart of these competitions you can contact Absolut via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ABSOLUTDEMIZE. I hope you guys enjoyed my review, don’t forget to like and share 🙂 Check out the links below…

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Kaotiks Mix Of Truth In The Booth

 

Lokee The Emcee –

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOJaLyeKLnxct2VzCcKI5Q

https://www.instagram.com/lokeetheemcee

https://www.facebook.com/tony.edwards.1441810

Apollough

http://www.instagram.com/apolloughthestrvnger

TripleDSavvy

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9MTSawVr5LHt9MNU1alZiw

http://www.instagram.com/_tdsavvy

Mr. Bacc Atit –

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5-sewhqNjqFbdUruxpIWLA

http://www.instagram.com/mrbacc_atit/

https://www.reverbnation.com/widget_code/html_widget/artist_6189662?widget_id=55&pwc%5Bincluded_songs%5D=1&context_type=page_object&spoid=fan_4467655

Wild’Out Wednesday @ Murphy’s Lounge

WildOutWednesday

 

This past Wednesday I was invited to attend an event called Wild’Out Wednesday at Murphys Restaurante & Lounge by two time award winning host Spaceship Ohayses. Not only did he host but he also performed at the event. This particular Wild Out Wednesday was a little special because they were having a contest for Best RnB Song in which the winner received $250. The judges were Kia D of We Talk Radio, John Grier owner of Dtown Coney Island, Rapper Honey Banks, and Marlo Matthew of Young Vet Photography (mystery judge). Even though I was in work mode I still had such a great time meeting the artist and just really enjoyed the atmosphere. Murphy’s is located in the North Dallas area and serves African and American dishes. Their open mic night is Wednesdays and their Grown and Sexy night is Friday’s. Also on Saturday’s they have a live Reggae band perform. I arrived exactly at 11:00 when the contest was supposed to start and already there was a large amount of people that were arriving at the same time. The place was packed when I got inside, so much that there wasn’t anywhere else to sit except for way in the back by the pool tables. Don’t get me wrong they had plenty of places to sit, they were just all taken. The booths looked comfortable, the pool area looked cool, and the stage was a really good size for performances. They also have a nice patio area if you wanna go outside and talk or smoke away from everyone else. The only thing I didn’t like was the tv above the stage was left on during the performances. All eyes should be on the artist not what’s going on behind them. I didn’t really like the big mirror behind them either. I felt like there should have been a big banner that said Wild’Out Wednesdays, Open Mic Wednesdays, a black curtain or something like that. Other than that the scenery was pretty nice. Oh, there also were so minor issues with the mic in between performances but they quickly resolved it and it didn’t really interrupt the flow of things. GO DJ Lady Ja-Roq did her thing on the ones and two’s while Spaceship entertained the crowd. As far as how the artist did, I’ll start with the winner and then tell the Top 5 artist (including the winner) that I really enjoyed. These Top 5 artist are who I feel like really have that “it” thing about them. Some of them were contestants and some were regular performers.

 

Javon

The winner of the contest was Javon The RnB Teddy Bear and I must say he came PREPARED honey. During his performance he passed out roses to the ladies (I got one too but I’m so mad I forgot it) and basically serenaded us with his sexy song “Are You Busy”. I could tell that he had a following already just from the way the ladies rushed to the front of the stage and sang along to his song. His song sounds like something that should already be playing on the radio. Hell it may have been played before and I just missed it. It definitely had me wishing someone would text my phone and ask me was I busy lol. Not only was his song good, and he showed great stage presence, but the Rnb Teddy Bear was dressed niiiice from head to toe. From what I was told the judges based the scores off of stage presence, appearance, crowd response, and song choice. Even though Javon seems seasoned and some may have felt like it was unfair because he had a big following, I still see why he won. He did his thing. It seemed like a big group of people left after he performed but that didn’t stop the place from being live and turnt up.

 

 

Ok and now for my Top 5 performers in no particular order:

 

The Nature Of Nate

 nature-nate-001First off I appreciate any artist that can spit good with no music. I loved this guy’s confidence, style, flow, and his music sounds good and goes with the current times. Something about him reminded me a little bit of J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, not sure if there’s any influence there, but I see similarities. To me his music is the type that people who are not just from the south would enjoy. He kept my attention and I absolutely think he has that “It” factor and should be signed to someone’s label. I found out from his twitter that he’s affiliated with New Money which is Lil Twist’s label under Lil Wayne’s Young Money. Seems like he’s been at it for a while. Hopefully soon he gets his big break.

https://soundcloud.com/naturenate_1

 

Wade

 

Wade

OMG Wade! A worthy contestant! Ok first of all, he teased the hell out of us because he started off his set by singing “Untitled” by D’Angelo acapella and although I liked his original song that he performed, I wanted some more of the type of singing he started off with. He was giving me a mix between Anthony Hamilton and Bilal. The lyrics to his original song go “Life it can take toll on a man, feeling helpless it’s like it takes the soul from a man”. The fact that he chose an uplifting song that tells brotha’s and sista’s to keep going and keep pushing, lets me know that he isn’t in this just for fame or money. He has a message to give to the world, especially those who are struggling or who have been thru the struggle. Wade not only is talented but he is relatable. He got emotional during his performance and almost made me tear up. I’m thankful to have been able to experience a little bit of the start of this guy’s journey. Keep Pushin My Brotha.

https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.wade.5832

 

Brandon Kareem

 

Brandon Kareem

Another contestant and seasoned artist who has been around for a while and was dressed sharp. His song “Thrilla” is catchy and is off of his album Life, Love, and Liquor. It’s one of those songs that makes you bob your head and rock/wind ya hips :-P. I really enjoyed his performance. He’s got a great voice and had great stage presence too. Check out his music below…

https://soundcloud.com/brandonkareem

 

Nar’Kiss

 Nar'Kiss

I loved his energy! He just went hard to me. I liked his look as well. He got off stage and got down in the crowd and just really engaged with the audience. He wasn’t the first performer to do that that night but I still give him kudos for it. And who doesn’t have trust issues? One of the songs he performed spoke on that, so not only was his song relatable but it was catchy as well. He has an impressive flow and the crowd seemed to really enjoy him too. I really can’t think of a known artist to compare him to, which is a good thing to me.

https://soundcloud.com/narkiss-bizzy-fly-guy-hardimon

 

As far as the other artist, here are my thoughts of them individually.

Kada the Great – He was a little stiff and his music sounded a little dated to me. It was an okay performance. Not bad but okay.

Sleepy – I think he was the first to jump in the crowd and engage with the audience. He set the tone as far as performance goes. To me his music sounds good, kinda sounds like that southern ride in your car with the speakers blastin type music. He danced the whooole time lol.

Dmoney –  I really liked his energy and performance. I just wish I would have seen him by himself. He seemed to grab my attention more than the people he was on stage with. Outshined them in a sense.

Mann – It wasn’t too bad I just didn’t feel like he gave 100%. I heard it was his birthday.

Just tha Music – His music sounded slightly unfinished and his voice during his performance a little monotone. I do however think it was great that he had cd’s to pass out afterwards.

A.C.E.E. D – He carried his group that night. I really feel like he is one of the top performers and he has that “It” factor as well. He has that raw talent and he got the crowd rockin. His voice and sound kind of reminds me a lil bit of Lil Boosie. And btw not everybody can pull off the baseball cap, hoodie, and sneaks look. His confidence and stage presence was on point.

Willie Boi – Good music and good looking, but lacking in the stage performance. I’m not sure if being smooth is his thing and that’s what the lack of energy was about or what. But the good thing about the lack of energy was that I got a great picture of him.

Double R – Yaaasss him and Spaceship went AWF! One of the top performances too. They did a GREAT job getting the crowd back hype in the middle of the contest. The type of energy that make you wanna crowd dive and take your shit off. Flow was ridiculous!

3riple D – “You showed me love, but I was never willing. Put a condom over my heart and fucked yo feelings” Man nice lyrics and nice touch with pulling the lady on the stage to act out the song. The only thing I wasn’t feeling was the wardrobe.

2KN8 – He had nice flow and sound and I liked is song. I liked how they mixed Monica’s “Don’t Take It Personal”. I thought he was cute too. The only thing I didn’t like is how much he moved around the stage. There is a such thing as too much energy.

Reisso – I heard Spaceship say before he brought him on stage that he hustles hard on his social media to get his name out there. So I was a little disappointed that he didn’t seem to take his performance serious, so neither did I. I’m not sure if there was too much alcohol or weed, but he just seemed to be too sure of himself when the performance wasn’t even worth the memory on my phone. I have footage but I’m not even gonna upload that.

Lastly Doctor Zeuss – I actually had a private conversation with this guy because I felt like he needed some encouragement after his performance didn’t go so well. My honest opinion of him is that he has the look, his music actually sounds dope, and when his confidence was up his flow was nice. You could tell that he was nervous and he couldn’t seem to shake it. What I didn’t like was his team did not know his song and didn’t do a lot to help him when he got stuck. They were on the stage for support but other than that didn’t back him up. I wish this guy the best of luck on his journey to becoming a better artist and performer.

Overall I had a good time and I’m thankful for the invite. I look forward to the next time I go to Wild’Out Wednesday. I hope that the artist learned a little about themselves from the videos I recorded. One thing I would like them to take with them is that whenever you get up on that stage and grab the mic, that is an opportunity to gain a fan. Take your craft seriously and put forth 100% because you never know who is watching. Also, if you have a crew and they get up on stage with you, they should know your songs. If somebody is there recording, the artist should not only engage with the crowd but also with the person that’s recording. Get all up in the camera face. Know your identity so that whatever you’re attempting to pull off doesn’t seem forced. Each time you perform see if you can get someone to come and record your performance so that you can see for yourself what you need to work on.

 

Here are the videos of the top 5…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peep the videos from all the performances on my youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjsWvjatg9aVDyCnKl3VI_g

 

Don’t forget to like, share, and comment. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Alsace Carcione Takes Home The Title of DDFW’S Master Of The Mic

Listen I am still hype from this past Saturdays DDFW Master Of The Mic contest! I didn’t even know anything about the show until the week of because I hadn’t been on social media for like a month. I also had no idea that this contest had been going on for months and this show was the last one with 6 finalist. Mark Spits and Madame Mims represented Fort Worth, Pudge Brewer and Ritchy Flo represented Denton, and Alsace Carcione and T. Lindsey represented Dallas. Celebrities D.O.C, Dorrough, and Erykah Badu were the judges. I wasn’t even going to do a review for it because I mainly went to show support for Alsace and knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay for the entire show. But I’m just so happy about her win that I had to make a post.

I got to Tree’s at 8:30 and the place wasn’t quite packed yet but the DJ already had people on the dance floor pop locking, break dancin, and dropping it like it’s hot  having a good time. After finding out the time that Alsace would be going on, my company and I decided to go across the street and eat some nachos at Fuzzy Taco’s (YUM 😛). We hung out there for almost an hour trying to pass the time then headed back to Tree’s. By then more people had packed in and a fella by the name of Mike Lackey was on the stage beat boxing and warming the crowd up. He did a good job, I have no complaints. But hey guy if you’re reading this, I would like to see more videos on your instagram page!

My company and I sat back and watched more people pour in and take pictures in front of the huge Master Of The Mic background. Different races, different styles, different ages, different everything was in the building. The place was filled with artist and people who loved art. It was quite a unique crowd and I loved every bit of it. My company, who is very picky about music, bobbed his head to DJ Snoopi’s mix and gave me the look of approval. The first act to hit the stage was Pudge Brewer from Denton. Unfortunately he didn’t hold my attention. I won’t say he was bad because I don’t think that at all. I was running into people that I knew and also chatting with my company so my attention just wasn’t fully on the stage.

Around 10:30 Alsace came full force starting her set off with a cover of “Killing Me Softly” and who else would be more appropriate to sing along other than her music partner Diva Sol. She then followed up with “Ain’t Goin” hyping the crowd up even more. THE BAND…OMG I mean they were amazing!  Even the host gave them their props.  I looked over at my company who was seriously enjoying “Black America” and “Been Grindin” (his fav) bobbin his head. Oh but when she did “Time Travel”…let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t have video footage for it because I was singing and dancing hard the whole time. And I saw you Alsace up there jiggin lol. The audience was absolutely feeling it too. Diva Sol went into straight up Rock Star mode during “Been Grindin” and started swingin her braids. Girl do you have whiplash after that lol? There was no surprise that she performed the song “Have Mercy” dedicated to her mother who is battling cancer, being as though this was such a special moment for her. As I watched Alsace take over the crowd, I couldn’t have been more proud of her. By the end of her performance both me and my company looked at each other and said she’s got this. 

Next up was Madame Mims, who to me seemed like she got a bigger introduction than the previous artist, but that’s neither here nor there. Her style is different and maybe even a little eccentric. It was something that I think I would have needed to listen to before seeing it performed. Honestly transitioning from Alsace to Madame Mims had me feeling like my high was coming down. And I’m not just saying this because I’m a fan of Alsace. A performance is a performance regardless of who I’m familiar with and not familiar with. It just seemed like a slow start. Like when you’re watching a movie and you’re like COME OOOON GET TO THE GOOD PART. I will say she had a nice flow though, there is no denying that. I left shortly after so I didn’t get a chance to see her full set and I hate I missed the others as well. My company really wanted to see some of the other male artist but it was getting late and he had work in the morning so we had to burn out. When I woke up the next morning and saw the good news I literally shouted.

Even though I didn’t get to see the other acts, I’ve seen the hard work Alsace puts in day in and day out to reach her goals (in her personal life and as an artist). That, along with the way she captured the crowd while going from one sound to the next and transfered her energy and emotion into the crowd, was more than enough for me to feel that she deserved the title of Master Of The Mic. The first ever to be exact. Congratulations again champ 🙂

To the other finalist reading this, so sorry I missed your performance and congrats on making it to the final round. Hopefully I’ll get to catch you guys at your next show. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Terrence because I have been seeing all the buzz online about him.

I know usually I post the videos below via Youtube but I have actually already posted them on my Facebook page so you can head over there and check them out at http://www.facebook.com/shelly80sbaby2
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like, comment, and share 🙂