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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Power 15: Players To Watch in 2015

2014 is now behind us and for some, it brings about a whole new focus! 

Last year's list brought about more hits than misses. So when it came time to go about this list, it was hard! I mean the list changed more times than Mississippi weather! What I can say is that I was pretty dead on last year and I had a hard time narrowing it down to 14! (So don't be surprised to see something extra this go around) Midway to the end of 2014 showcased a few artists, tastemakers & key players that may shape up a powerful 2015. It was a long list of players that came across the table...but without delay, here's your Power 15

Find out the 15 Players you should be watching in 2015 below.

Strongarm - Producer

Strongarm has been a very instrumental part of the Hip-Hop scene in Jackson for a long time. So it was only a matter of time before he took his talents to a bigger market. Now based in Texas, Strongarm has taken the Lone Star state by storm and people are taking notice. Ice Age Head Honcho Mike Jones ("Still Tippin'" & "Back Then") has recently enlisted Strong's talents to his new Mixtape Money Train which is receiving major buzz on the blogs and other media outlets. The sky is the limit for this Chairmen of the Board. Keep your alert on high as Strongarm is far from slowing down!

Songs To Hear: "3 Grams" from Mike Jones Money Train

Keyone Starr - Singer

As written by Ray Rogers from Billboard:

And then there’s the story behind Keyone Starr, the unknown 23-year-old who sings alongside Grammy winners and platinum sellers on Uptown Special. One of her cuts is a soul workout that interpolates the stutter-step beat from SOHO’s house classic “Hot Music.” Of another Keyone track, “I Can’t Lose," Ronson says, “We wanted a young Chaka Khan on it, but there just wasn’t anybody coming to mind. Jeff was like, 'We’re going to drive down to the South, we’re going to call it the Mississippi Mission, and go to the churches.’ It was a wild idea that became a reality.”
Filming the journey as they went along, Ronson and Bhasker drove up the Mississippi River over the course of nine days, from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Jackson, St. Louis, Little Rock, and up to Chicago. They scouted choir singers at churches, local community centers, and side rooms of sports bars, where “Lil Wayne would be blasting through the glass doors,” Ronson says. “People were trying to sing as loud as they could over the music that was coming through. We saw so many great singers.”
In Jackson, at Mississippi State University, they found Starr, a preacher’s daughter with a big spiky earring. She'd been shunned from her church after getting pregnant. “She just looked so badass. I remember thinking: it would be awesome if this one could sing really great,” Ronson says. “She just opened her mouth and she had it instantly. I’m so drawn to singers with rasp and something broken in their voice, where you really hear the rawness.”
Of course, Ronson’s description of Starr’s voice could easily be applied to his former muse, Winehouse. Her passing in 2011 left a big void that Ronson is still trying to process. “I’m going to think about her for the rest of my life,” he says, as the psychedelic strains of “Daffodils,” a trippy collaboration with Tame Impala, wafts through the speakers. “There are things on this record that I think she’d like, and others she’d fucking hate.”

So be on the lookout for more from Keyone Starr!

Songs To Hear: "I Can't Lose" from Mark Ronson's Uptown Special

Coke Bumaye - Rap Artist

Coke Bumaye is a straight up bully on the mic and it's time that people recognized it and understand that! From his Translation Series and other projects, Coke has not let off the gas and will soon be a force to be reckoned with! Be on the lookout for more from Coke Bumaye!!

Songs To Hear: "You Gotta Luv Me" from Coke Bumaye's Americaz Nightmare

Full of Flava - Photographer

If there's a major event or big show in the City of Jackson, you can bet your last that this Photographer will be somewhere in the mix...capturing the moment! If you ever in need of quality photos, give him a call! If you're important enough, he'll find you!! Just kidding...but seriously though, watch him work the scene this year!

Tira D - Rap Artist

This up and comer is making waves on the Hip-Hop scene and is staking her claim to be one the premier femcee's in the game! With a couple of projects under her belt, she has the potential and the wordplay to go as far as the bars will take her! Don't sleep on this youngster! Get in tune with Tira D!

Songs To Hear: "Lose My Mind" from Tira D's Prelude II

DJ Young Venom - DJ & Entrepreneur

Violator All-Star DJ Young Venom has made a name for himself in the Greater City of Jackson. From his parties (90's Party & RPM) to his events, (4 The Record) he has set a standard for quality entertainment. So it was only right that he took his passion and share it with the world. Last year, Venom opened OffBeat which is the quintessential hub for Comic Book lovers & Records Diggers alike! If you know Venom, then you know he moves on his own accord. So with that being said, this is why Venom is on this list! Go support your locals and more importantly go support one of Jackson's youngest business owners!

Doe Hicks - Rap Artist

Doe Hicks has made a name for himself as being one of the most spontaneous figures in the Jackson Hip-Hop scene. The self-proclaimed "Black Jesus" has set trail of fire with singles "No Booty Pads" & "One X". Now with new music in the works and other ventures, don't expect to see Doe no place else but the top! Be on the lookout for more from Doe Hicks!

Songs To Hear: "One X" from Entergy Twins

Durdy Costello - DJ/Producer & Director

Durdy C has conquered the Club Scene for a few years in the City of Jackson. He's created and broke some of Jackson's hottest records. If he's not traveling back & forth across the country, you can find him on BDAY 99.1 on JUSA Radio with DJ Dream, JT of 45 Music & Benz every Friday! This man is literally a Jack of all Trades and it will only be a matter of time before we see his name in neon lights! Watch the wave that is Durdy Costello! If you're lucky enough, you may be able to catch a ride!

Songs To Hear: "Heat" from OG Maco

Renee Lee - Rap Artist

Renee Lee can hold her own with the best of em when on the mic. She's as deadly as a Black Widow spider with her delivery and wordplay on beats. So why is she on this list?? It's simple...she will own any record you put her on and she's ready to prove she belongs in the forefront! The Merc Music affiliate is currently working on a new situation and is set to release a new project this year! So take my word and get in tune to Renee Lee!

Songs To Hear: "The Product Speaks" from Renee Lee's The Prelude

Sidney Conley - Photographer

Sidney Conley is the 'Young Gun' with nothing to lose! He has an incredible portfolio and if you don't believe me, just go checkout his credentials! There are some photographers who just snap pictures and then there are some who captures art. Conley has a wonderful view on how he sees the frame in living color. Get familiar with man before it's too late!

Tricky LT 45 - Rap Artist/Actor

Tricky is a seasoned Veteran on the Hip-Hop scene in the City of Jackson. His lyrical content and delivery could match the caliber of some of the industry's best! He's released numerous of projects and has now added acting to his repertoire. He's been featured in a few stage plays and recently starred in the Independent Film Mentee which made it to the Silver Screen! There's no slowing down for Tricky! If you want 45, you can catch him on somebody's Radio or TV Screen! Stay Tuned for more with Tricky & 45 Music!

Songs To Hear: "Boot" from Tricky's One Hot Summer

Savvy & Gutta Boy - Rap Group

This 2 Man Combo consists of Wordsmith Savvy & Producer/Spitter Gutta Boy. On the latter part of 2014, they've started to create some momentum as they've currently been on Tour and is geared to release some new material later this year! Stay on alert as these 2 juggernauts plan on dominating 2015! Stay Tuned

Songs To Hear: "Dope Boy Chronicle Pt. 1"

DONO Vegas - Rap Artist

Vegas has been applying pressure as of late! Last year, he released 2 Mixtapes simultaneously and has plans on releasing new material this year! Currently he has been based in Chicago where he's been linked with the Bandkamp Collective. Expect great things from the Valley Street Don. He will definitely be one to watch this year!

Songs To Hear: "MS River 2" from DONO Vegas's Mississippi River

Meezy aka Lil Mal - Rap Artist

Meezy has been widely known around the City of Jackson from his earlier days of throwing the biggest High School Parties! Now, the Young Boss recently joined forces with DJ Finesse and is set to release his 5th installment from the Live From Shady Oaks series. Be on alert for more from Meezy!

Songs To Hear: "Right Nah"

Hershey Blakk - Producer

Hershey Blakk has carved his way in this Jackson Music Scene! He's behind some of the City's biggest smashes as well as produced for some Industry's well known and hottest acts!! You can sleep on HB if you want to...this cat is a Young Gun on the Rise! Be on watch for Hershey Blakk!

Songs To Hear: "Dance In That" from Hollywood Luck

The $yndicate - Rap Group

To close out this list, I give you The $yndicate. 5 Artists, 2 Producers & 1 DJ...seems like a force of mass proportions right? This well assembled team will be something to watch! If you don't believe me, then carefully watch and see the moves being made collectively as well as individually! No more words! Just Watch!

Songs To Hear: "3AM In Da Jack"

Now there's this year's Power Players for 2015! But as promised, I have a special package! Here's 2 more bonus Players I've added to the list:

J-Wonn - Singer

This Young Gun has been traveling all over and letting people know 'He Got This Record'! With much promise, J-Wonn will be someone to watch this year!

Songs To Hear: "I Got This Record"

Candace Coles - Singer/Songwriter

This is the only person on the list that isn't from the Jackson Music Scene. So with that being said, I'm proud to introduce Candace Coles! This L.A. Songbird has a voice and sound that is reminiscent to Chrisette Michelle. Don't get it twisted though, she can carry her own and will be something to watch! She's opened for Keyshia Cole and a few of the industry's major acts. With a new project on the way, keep CC on high alert!

Songs To Hear: Fingerpints EP

This now concludes this Special Edition installment of!

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