Successful Fayetteville Musical Artists Who Sacrifice Theirself and Avoid the “Town Mentality”

Rakeem Jones

If you really appreciate something, you’re willing to sacrifice yourself to keep it.

For example: Spending Christmas in Atlanta was not part of my plans. However, I sacrificed time with my family to attend a three-day independent music showcase hosted by Authentic Empire Music Group.

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LaVour “Boomman” Sanders, the group’s founder, offered independent musical artists a range of gifts and incentives, including a record deal, $100,000 and a diamond pendant and necklace to Florida artist AG Lotti. . Sanders, who is a former independent artist himself, also helped Georgian Kwame Brown, who records as Foogiano, sign a deal with Atlanta-based rap icon Gucci Mane’s label. Brown was recently featured in Fayetteville-based WCCG ​​104.5’s The Count Up with Dee Dowdy.

Sanders understands the commitment and sacrifices required to succeed. Authentic Empire attributes Brown’s success to her own willingness to sacrifice and resilience.

When we hear “sacrifice” in the context of music and art, we immediately think of money. However, successful people also sacrifice time, effort and even well-being.

DaeQuan “Kutta” Hawkins of Fayetteville-based MOET City Productions made sacrifices when establishing his musical footprint in 2012. Like Sanders and his role model, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Hawkins grew from being a performer from recording to executive and helped cultivate other artists.

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Another example is Fayetteville artist Morray, whose hit, “Quicksand,” recently made it to hip-hop legend Jay-Z’s 2020 list of favorite songs. Some would like to criticize Morray as an “overnight” success, but he put in the work.

He was featured in an independent film shot in Spring Lake called “Something’s Gotta Give,” which also starred Wavvy Jonez, known for the hit USA Network show “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Biggie.” Morray and Jonez, along with Grammy-winning artist J. Cole (Jermaine Cole) from Fayetteville are living proof that sacrifice can pay off.

However, the mentality of many members of the Fayetteville music scene prevented the movement from growing as a whole. Cole, in his 2016 release “For Your Eyez Only”, describes this obstacle as the “City Mentality”.

Those who suffer from the “city mentality” don’t believe in seeing the big picture or delayed gratification. Those able to help build Fayetteville’s music scene are reluctant, as many artists lack the determination and mindset to grow. Also, artists are not using local resources that are available to them, such as the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council, which provides artist support grants to help with their projects.

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Meanwhile, artist pride divided the scene into social classes, with some artists acting as if they were “running the town”. Too many artists are like some of the city’s politicians and religious leaders – they’re reactive rather than proactive. Before COVID-19, they could be seen in local nightclubs displaying stacks of cash. But many of them have done nothing to improve the community they are supposed to “lead”.

There are exceptions, of course, to include Domininque “Hollywood Hemi” Reeves and Ronnie C Rouse. During the 2018 hurricane season, Reeves gathered members of his company Deadplay Entertainment and visited Pine Forest High School with pizzas for those using the school as a shelter. Rouse, owner of Green Room Media Works, offered free beats to local artists to boost voter registration.

For years, Hawkins has partnered with community advocate Marc Sweezy and Greenville club owner Glen “G-Wood” Edwards Jr. for the Sponsor-A-Kid Kickz initiative that provides three single-parent households with products from Foot Locker to Cross Creek Mall. In Georgia, Sanders recently unveiled plans for AE University, a property outside of Atlanta that serves as a hub for artist services for Authentic Empire artists and those in need. help with resources.

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Currently, a collective is working to erect a multimedia complex in Fayetteville that adopts the same concept as Sanders; one that serves as a community center for youth ages 10-18 in low-income areas.

Hello Boomman. ALWAYS LEAD WITH LOVE. Hello to all activists who become active. Peace.

Rakeem “Keem” Jones is a community advocate and father of three from the Shaw Road/Bonnie Doone area of ​​Fayetteville.

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