First, to my family and contemporaries who are out front showing their support for me speaking about the predatory practice of “polling”: Thank you and I love you all! I Michael Jackson mean it! Please know that while this polling bullshit is preventing Chocolate City from regularly seeing its favorite, and the best, funk, rock, and soul hip-hop acts at venues that truly have the best sound systems and stages, with your help and advocacy, a movement is officially underway to change this shameful dynamic in the nation’s capital. I’ve received your e-mails, texts, tweets, Facebook likes, and the rest. It strengthens me to continue on in pursuit of removing the elements that have prevented Chocolate City’s best, original, and ground-breaking independent ROCK musicians from being seen by the masses at the best area venues for doing so. Artists like Elikeh, Kokayi, Nea Posey, the Package, Tamika Jones, Deborah Bond, the Cornel West Theory, Mello-D and the Rados, Farafina Khan, Violet Says 5, Enoch the 7th Prophet and DJ Earth 1ne, Konshens and His State of Mind, Asheru, Labtek One, Sounds of the City, the ELs, Mambo Sauce, Princess of Controversy, Bambu Station, Machetres, Mustafa Akbar, Pure Light Seed, W. Ellington Felton, Poem-cees, Doc Knight and the Hipnotics, N’Digo Rose, Noon:30, UnInterruped, Devine Nature, Allison Carney, Bilal Salaam, and so many other local, veteran, professional artists (so sorry I cant name you all right now!) are not regularly featured in D.C.’s best indie-music venues… and they SHOULD BE! My family, this trend will gradually come to an end. Please stay tuned… and get ready to rock!
Second, to my detractors upset with me for addressing this predatory practice of polling at certain venues to determine a band’s worthiness to rock within its walls–instead of according to real talent: Your personal attacks are nothing to me… especially from anonymous sources. That said, I want to thank all my scene “friends” for lashing out in response to my calling you out on your actions and complicity in allowing this polling shit to take root in Chocolate City in the first place. Now that I know you think I “suck,” don’t “draw but 8 people,” am an “uncle tom,” along with not having any appeal to anyone, I guess I should just call it quits—according to your lovely suggestions.
But the problem is that I wholeheartedly disagree with your righteous sentiments, and can easily, very definitively, prove why. Now, I could do so via another blog where I lay out my personal list of accomplishments and trail-blazings as an indie musician in Chocolate City–representing hip-hop’s side of the genre pool no less. You know, we’ve never received proper respect in our own hometown-like how the fellowship of D.C. Hip-Hop is responsible for the revitalization of the U Street corridor. I’d actually have to talk about it in the manner my fellow hip-hop heads and I lived it. But that would only arouse your ire more, I’m sure. Besides, my detracting friends, associates, contemporaries, and other industry fellows, you already know me well, don’t you? Well, I can respect that. I’m especially honored that most of all you do know that I am a musician, which means I’ll do all the talking and proving of myself on the big stage. Which brings me to…
Third, a battle of the bands, anyone? How about somebody set up a battle of the bands at one of the best live performance venues in town: Black Cat or 9:30 Club? Yes! We can call it Head-Roc’s “Mouth” vs. the D.C. indie music scene’s ruling class of polling implementers and supporters. You “pollers” (I couldn’t resist!) can put up two of your best bands, and I’ll bring out mine, Godisheus. That should make things even enough, eh?
The winner of “battle of the bands,” by some fair way to be determined (hey, how about an end-of-the-night “poll” based on who rocked the hardest?), takes all the door money. Yes, we will play for money. Remember, I claim to be a professional musician, which means playing music is how I claim to earn my living. I have bills to pay and mouthes to feed. I say venues should hire people like me to entertain the patrons willing to spend their bucks to experience the best live music in town. What? You say different? I’m washed up? I’m old news? Well, young bucks and old rivals that support and benefit from these venues’ polling practices, prove it!
Lets just say we do it at the 9:30 Club: The place will be packed for sure to see an event of this magnitude and significance. If we can put 1000 folks in the house at $10 a head, there’s a $10,000 potential take on the night. The “draw” will be the controversy itself, which alone should make that kind of turnout possible.
The controversy is this: I say that my indie ROCK band, Godisheus, will kick any “Poll-er” practioners favorite local bands in a two-on-one competition that empowers music lovers determine who’s worthy to get paid for being a D.C. indie musician. I talked to the mastermind behind the sound Godisheus generates, Dwayne “Super Bad III” Lee. He says to tell the “Poll-ers” to go over their bookings from last year at any of their venues, and select their favorite local “draw” band to play against Godisheus for “who deserves what” bragging rights—-in a poll taken by the gathered masses. I like that.
Somebody reading this can make that happen.
Friend, foe, or neutral opportunist… Holla Black! This one will create juicy, good publicity for our indie music community, don’t ya think? In the end, everybody will get what they deserve… one way or another.
More on why “polling” is complete bullshit soon! In the meantime, which of you “pollers” wants to battle?