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Made In The DMV - 757 Session

Made Sessions 757

August 3rd, 2021, Spotify released their exclusive new series entitled, ‘Sunday Dinner,’ presented by Frequency. The first installment of this series, produced by Day Day of BYT.NYC (Bright Young Things), features a star-studded ensemble, representing various regions of the DMV (The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia).

The following is the official press release which explains the intent behind the ‘Sunday Dinner’ concept and how it coincides with the Ripple Effect: DMV playlist, even though the representatives at the table, like Push for instance, may already have a playlist they use to highlight artists that have made some noise around the 757, specifically.

About Spotify Frequency Sunday Dinner: DMV | Full Documentary ad

VIDEO Spotify Frequency Sunday Dinner: DMV | Full Documentary TV commercial 2021 • This documentary film is a celebration of Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) and the Black artists driving music culture forward. Over dinner from KitchenCray and Ohhs & Ahhs, we gathered Rico Nasty (PG County, MD), Ari Lennox (DC), Backyard Band’s Anwan ‘Big G’ Glover (DC), Pusha T (Virginia Beach, VA) and hosted by Spotify’s Black music editor, Domo Wells (Glenarden, MD). Frequency’s Ripple Effect playlist series uplifts Black Artists from a regional scope to amplify their cultural power and value beyond their cities. - advertisement spot 202

DJ Domo hosted this dinner to introduce the Ripple Effect playlist to the DMV in a creative manner and simultaneously start a dialogue between some of VA’s highest-ranking generals, in efforts to express the importance of unifying the DMV as one entity, without taking away the unique traits that make each of the various regions special. These creatives gathered to share their thoughts on how to usher in more of the national spotlight onto such an abundant talent pool. By stressing their point of unification, they are trying to show the DMV a path to ample opportunities that may not be available to some of the smaller markets. This couldn't be more evident as you go around DC and see some of the ad spaces of artists on the playlist, being posted up at various bus stops. Also, it was dope to see that Domo enlisted DMV photographer, @MadeNChynna to shoot the event. The Bowie State alum has certainly established herself as a certified shooter.

Listening to someone that is held in such high regards, the way Slim Charles is across the DMV, trying to convey the importance of music and its presence in the community, is something that leaves you inspired, knowing that the OGs are looking out for the future torchbearers around the way. The sentiment behind this hit even harder when I remembered that Ari had just mentioned how she got her start in the local church choir.

Everyone sitting around the table agreed vehemently with Rico Nasty, as she expressed her disappointment in the lack of places to record in the DMV. She also mentioned that local high schools and trade schools could be doing a much better job of training young artists in courses such as music production and engineering. Getting these resources to those on the ground level is really what will lay the foundation of what Push mentioned.

Push brought up an important point, being that even the biggest names in the area have yet to establish an extension of their success, which would allow them to implement an additional route of creating tours and setting today’s price, for the next wave of talent. There is no secondary market, outside of the national tours that come through, that would allow the DMV’s own to travel the area’s best venues, in hopes of expanding their reach in the region, outside of their perspective cities. With two states and the Nation’s Capital all backing the top acts coming out of the region, instead of each region battling it out separately, there is an incredible amount of untapped potential just waiting to explode as some sort of DMV music renaissance.

Once the Ripple Effect: DMV playlist dropped, outside of all the love people were showing, a lot of comments seemed to reflect that some people wanted to resort to the antiquated way of thinking, regarding the actual makeup of the DMV. Basically, a lot of kats tend to think that the 757 and Baltimore (some mentioned RVA and NoVa) were not part of the DMV. This is where Byrd comes in and she could not have had more impeccable timing with the Made In The DMV – 757 sessions.

Angela Byrd, the mastermind behind the Made In The DMV movement, set up the 757 Made sessions to take place Aug. 4-6, at various locations around the Norfolk and VA Beach area. So, now we #DownSouth slanging, muzik with these hustlas. This event kicked off with an in-depth panel discussion, moderated by Domo Wells, which echoed the messaging behind the Sunday Dinner convo; the importance of unifying the DMV. I was hyped just to be there, being that the last time I tried to attend a Made event, which Teddy Riley and the hommie Vivid Dope were both set to speak at, it ended up getting canceled due to the beginning of the panini. Looking around at the crowd of people in attendance, I recognized almost every person. From being around the area during house parties at ODU, to the DJs playing local venues on the beach, and of course the way we set it off during SITW, it was inspiring to see how truly dialed in everyone was. These people were all here because of how seriously they take their crafts and are all looking to progress and put on for the 757.

I recognized the Xchange shop, located off Granby in downtown Norfolk, from previous projects that Ahmad Davis had dropped and just being surrounded by the illest kix and Iverson jerseys, really made for a dope backdrop. Byrd brought together an all-star cast for this one. Including herself, Domo, Batman, Young Crazy, Niyah Nel, Ahmad, Kimberly Selden, Traci Selden, Quinelle Holder and even some of the artists including Gabe Niles, all sparked interesting and helpful dialogue. As an RVA head, it was incredibly special to hear from Michael Millions, especially on 804 day! Just having so many different people who represent for the various companies and brands such as Spotify, MCA, Recording Academy, Darknight ENT, Kazi, Made In The DMV, and what seemed like every position from intern to A&R, content curators, event coordinators, to the artists, producers, DJs, and management, representing a gateway to nearly every major label, is just an atonement to level of work that is being put in, across the entire DMV.

Even between the call to action and all the dope advice, one of the things that stuck out the most had to have been right after Byrd reiterated some points that Gabe may have missed. Crazo put it simply, as he explained that when he was out on tour around the country or even other parts of the world, when he is asked where he’s from, he had to stop saying the 757, because people not from the area, associate the DMV as one. So, when you are telling people that you sell out Origami or Lunasea and the 757 has your back, they look at you like, ‘That’s kewl and all, but how does the DMV as a whole embrace yew?!’

After a quick networking session, everyone exchanged info, left Xchange, and headed to a local pizza spot for dranks and karaoke (shout out Cogan’s). This was dope as hell and just helped set the vibes for the next couple of daze. Idk if the people that were in there before us had any idea of what was about to happen on the karaoke stage, but Shaolinn (Vivian just dropped and has not left rotation, shout out Heriwave), Gabe, Carter, and the rest of the kats signing up, were not doing any more of the Kerry Underwood joints we walked in on.

The night before was a historic night in hip-hop. August 3rd, 2021, may go down as the biggest massacre to happen on a Verzuz stage. THE LOX perfectly executed the game plan they had previously laid out with fellow collaborators, ItsTheReal. Dipset almost didn’t even make it to the ring with Killa’. Unbeknownst to the ‘Set, that had set the tone off rip. In one of the greatest demonstrations of lyricism and pure performance, Mr. Top 5 Dead or Alive and them D-Block boys, put on an absolute clinic of how to approach a Verzuz situation. This of course was the topic of discussion while passing joints and talking shet. We dipped out somewhat early to get some rest in before the upcoming sessions that were happening the day after, but not before breaking the ice and getting comfortable. Ben and I ended up staying up for hours in his studio to prepare some beats, though.

Thursday afternoon, Ben and I were pulling up to the studio, laughing to ourselves about how all the best studios we had been in, were all located in random spots, off in the cut. This was no different and ended up being exactly the case. As we had only been given an address, we had no idea we were walking into the legendary, Thomas Crown Studio. Thomas Crown had been owned and operated by nonother than VA legend, Timbaland. Timbo the King! Wanted to take this time to shout out current owner and the kat patient enough to engineer both sessions, Josh Haddad. We all were thankful for the hospitality.

As people were starting to file in, the aux was getting passed around for producers to share beats. Soon as Byrd gave the green light, green was getting lit right, up until we left. Special thanks to Batman for making the call and sponsoring the session with a few cases of Ingenious Gin, which is a Black owned and Veteran owned spirit out of Suffolk, VA. The photogs were getting set up; shout out @theecmo and @britirock7 for the dope Made recap video and access to the pictures. Super appreciate y’all and Brittni was bumping some of her beats as well!

Soon as we got settled in, it seemed to be more productive to take advantage of both studios in the building, so, the work rate was split. Andrew Hypes (DJ, producer), Terell (Red Cup Gang, lyricist), Intalek (Beach Boy lyricist), Coco Mamba (Rum & Coke, artist), and Era Hardaway (War Wounds, lyricist) all hit the side studio to make head way on a track, before everything crashed out in that room.

In the main room, Coladapen, a Baltimore producer that made the trek down, back-to-back daze, was playing some hard beats on the bigs, while people were busy writing. Supa Trippa (Monsters, DC) and Mike Wavs (producer, RVA) linked and put out a crazy bass heavy banger. Supa Trippa still has me quoting that one, ‘If I’m such a weirdo…’ The Wlthyyy Bounce was also introduced. This one had some lyric changes throughout the day, but still one of my favorite beats, especially the way it had a section that just fell out towards the end. Salute to Wlthyyy, #TheRageKing (producer 757) for that one. The first session ended on such a high note, when DJ Domo came through and coached up one of the 757s most promising stars, Tyler Donavan (9th Nimbus, Cloud Boy) and had him talking some shet on the outro of a new song he produced and did the vocals on. All I can say about that one is, Don’t Forget To Breathe…

We all reconvened at the studio at 9pm for the second session. Even Andrew Hypes, who had just played a DJ set at the beach. John Stacey aka Black Santa (also, on the Heirwave Music Playlist with Shaolinn) came through, dripped out in Driptized Clothing, and brought a few of his artists with him. DFrost (lyricist, owner of the first Black owned nail salon in VA), Tim Ricks (singer, owner of Driptized Clothing), and AJ Rios (multi-instrumentalist, producer). Soon as they stepped in the room, they got the cypher going real quick. Everyone jumped in until we were all looking at each other like, ‘Sick, now get in the booth!!!!!’

Supa Trippa, John Stacey, Terell, Lek, and Tyler all crushed a track. Everyone did their part, and it was on to the next one real fast. The Wlthyyy Bounce was straightened out. Carter from RBLE showed up and laid a verse out. The whole time, everyone was rolling up, playing beats in other private rooms. We had a drummer, piano rotation between Hypes, AJ, Ben Egan (keys, Ben and Friends) and Black Santa. Andrew blessed the room with the FIFA beat one more time and that’s when Gabe Niles (Sunni & Gabe) dropped this unreal beat. Whatever he sampled was just pure dope, tropical island love, that sounded like it was made to be in an episode of Narcos. Had everyone going crazy, right up until the end of our allotted time. That’s when Gabe reminded the room that the day after was First Friday in downtown Norfolk and that he was DJing on one of the stages and that Ben and Friends would be rocking out on the mainstage. Ben also mentioned that any of the lyricists in the room were welcome to come out and jump on the mic, which ended up working out nicely.

So, First Friday wasn’t technically a Made In The DMV event, but the majority of kats that had been a part of the sessions over the last few days, all made their way downtown. Norfolk had closed 16 blocks of Granby St., to include 31 business that were all allowing people to purchase and leave with their food and alcohol and consume it in the streets, among the festivities and venders. This was the first time, First Friday happened, since the start of the panoramic and it really ended up being an amazing event!

Gabe had the far end, near the venders, all shuffling and sliding. The Spirit of Norfolk in the background of the closed off street Gabe was on, made the perfect backdrop as he brought the sundown. Everyone that started over at Gabe’s stage eventually made their way down to the main stage for the second set of Ben and Friends.

The crowd was stoked to hear the funky jams being laid down live. I overheard so many convos as I was sliding around, in regard to how impressive the band was. DJ Baby Brett who had opened for the band, was also doing the set break on the mainstage. After another upbeat, dance heavy, set from Baby Brett, the spittas all started showing up. Ben, an ODU alum and Virginia Beach local, organizes a different group of musicians, usually depending on the city they are playing in. As of late, they have been utilizing Lunasea as their home field, where they perform every Thursday night. Ben was on the Keys, Reyes was behind the kit, Justin had the percussion setup, Jason, a Grammy award winning saxophonist, Steve on guitar, Jack on the Bass, and EJ was singing. AJ sat in on keys for a minute, while John Stacey, Tyler Donavan, and Vince Jones of RBLE, all jumped on and off the mic. Its impressive to see these artists go from writing in their element in the studio, to now freestyling with a live band that improvises, in front of a crowd of 3,500. Stacey ended the set on his 22 Two’s tip, and the crowd said, “YES YOU CAN!” and we’re gone.

I feel like Byrd really put a battery in the back of everyone associated with this 757 Made session. Just grabbing drinks with everyone after the shows and at the after-hours spot, the vibe and buzz was at a different level. Like someone just dropped off the keys, unlocking a whole new level of work and you better believe that the city by the sea, is about to be flooded!

Again, huge thank you to everyone that put this on or was a part of it. I apologize if I forgot to mention anyone. Shout out everyone behind the scenes, especially the wonderful event staff that laced us with a golf cart! Domo has been setting up Ripple effect playlists for Texas, The Bay, NWP, and New England. I’m sure some sort of Sunday Dinner convos will take place in those areas and I’m genuinely excited and curious to see if those areas have some type of Made style session, to help promote it all. I can honestly say that because of these Frequency Ripple Effect playlists, I haven’t used Spotify this much since Budden left. We will be working with a lot of these artists to promote their solo projects, get their back stories out to the people, and give them all a platform across the DMV, via The MSQ Shop. I hope Byrd will allow me to come through to the next session and be a fly on the wall again. I can’t express enough, how grateful I am to be in the room watching y’all create just a little bit of something magic, out of nothing. Be on the lookout for the music that was produced during these sessions. It was some fire and I get somewhat upset when I have some of these songs stuck in my head, but all I have is the beat as a reference track!!!!!!!

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