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A regular feature in which esteemed D.C. rapper Head-Roc shares what’s on his mind.
Have you ever been Robert Foore? I know what you’re saying: “Who the hairy peach is Robert Foore?” Well, “Robert Foore” is the hypothetical construct that my band GODISHEUS has assigned to the experience of actually having been ‘robbed before’ as professional indie musicians struggling to earn a living here in our beloved Chocolate City. And that’s right—we wrote a song about it!
I invite you to take a listen to the in-process creation of the track “Robert Foore.” When we take it into the studio there are bound to be changes—some drastic, some subtle, but changes nonetheless. This is your chance to listen, download, rock, and feel the passion of the first version. Yeah y’all, Im-a take the sting off the lyrics in a few places because I am determined to see GODISHEUS be as hugely successful a rock star band as possible.
As soon as someone who can help make that happen hears the line, “Black rock stars on the grind for years/Trying to make a lil’ Paper that’s what they fear, Yeah!/Don’t be afraid call out their name/So we can boycott the motherfuckers outta the game,” … nuff said!
With some tweaking, I’m predicting this one could be a nationwide indie music anthem that all professional starving artists will identify with—especially people of culture rocking in culture-less environments! So, let’s have some fun with it, eh? Okay, I realize at this point, some of you may be asking, “What is the reason behind producing a song about being Robert Foore—Heady, what are you talking about?” Well, funk it, I’m gonna say it: I don’t know how it is in your hometown, but venues that fancy themselves as playing host to local live performances in D.C. really aren’t doing much to support those nights. Putting our local musicians’ names in their City Paper ads isn’t enough. And no, posting on the various online social networks isn’t either.
Who designs fliers and prints them while at the plantation and on the Man’s time and dime? Who beats the streets to place them ever so strategically in the appropriate areas at the indie music shops, coffee houses, bars, clubs, schools, community centers, and on streets signs and cars?
We do. And hey y’all, you know what? That’s work!
Who shows up to play their hearts out, on a sunny or rainy day, to a crowd of 20 people who paid $10 to come hear great music? And more often than we like, we do all that funking promoting and only 20 people show up . And even if only half of the 20 in the house are fans and the other are half walk-ins, so what?
They all come out for entertainment purposes, right? Eats, drinks, and beats, right? Venues got the eats and drink, and we have the beats! Now, the question is: How much is it worth to a venue to have the local professional musicians come in and supply the beats on an advertised night?
At the end of the day, all I’m saying is, I believe there should be a more equitable, symbiotic relationship between local live performance venues and the local musicians working to earn a living. I also think that it’s time to address this issue here in Chocolate City particularly, because there are some great artists here who deserve more support from within the D.C. metro area entertainment establishment. This is a conversation starter, so please go ahead and express your opinions. Let’s have some fun, shall we?
Head-Roc is a founding member of legendary D.C. hip-hop crew 3LG, WAMMIE award-winning solo MC, and frontman of the hip-hop/funk/rock group Godisheus. Godisheus performs tonight as part of the Tip the Band concert series at Asylum, 2471 18th Street, NW; and on Thursday, June 25 for Art Unplugged at Helix Lounge, 1430 Rhode Island Ave., NW.