Hope all is well with each and every one of you. It has been quite some time since I have reached out and it has been even longer since I have released some music! I am finally releasing my solo album Naledge is Power and I want to let you all know the deal with it and how to be the first to purchase it.
As many of you may or may not know, I spent the last two years on a journey to continue my academic career and obtain a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. I finished that degree this summer and during that time I spent much of my time researching how the musical artform of hip hop builds self-esteem, racial identity, self-concept and pro-social behavior in inner city youth (particularly those that are African American). From that research I decided that I wanted to found the Brainiac Project, a nonprofit organizational partner whose mission is to promote viable recording arts careers to at-risk youth via workshops, mentorship opportunities, educational support and providing access to recording studio experience.
Due to my work with TBP I was given a grant by the city of Chicago to work with youth over at Little Black Pearl in a teaching capacity and help mold their arts entrepreneurship program. Additionally, I was given a unique opportunity to get my new music and visual arts project of my choice potentially funded through the 3Arts award program.
3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and focus on their creative process.
3Arts recognizes that art is essential to the wellbeing and vibrancy of our lives. Art fuels, expands, and deepens our intellectual and emotional capacities while helping us envision and communicate new possibilities and paths. It has the power to bridge gaps between us, help us see the world in which we live from a fresh perspective, and urge us to reflect on what it means to be human—here and now. Behind every work of art that sets this in motion is an artist. 3Arts is dedicated to the artists whose work shapes, shifts, and touches our lives.
The project that I have chosen to embark on is a short documentary and book project entitled “Naledge is Power : The Social Work of Hip Hop.” The Social Work of Hip Hop is an abbreviated examination on hip hop and its impact on African American Youth in Chicago. Working with ProfessU.com a website dedicated to the positive in hip hop and pop culture connecting them both to education, I will paint a vivid picture of hip hop and the advantages of this particular genre to assist African American youth. Additionally, supporters of this project will receive (among other things) my solo album of the same name (Naledge is Power) as a reward.
3AP is an online crowdfunding platform that allows everyone to invest directly in the work of Chicago artists. You can pick the projects that inspire you and decide how much to contribute -- $5.00, $50.00, $250.00, or whatever you wish. Unlike other crowdfunding programs, 3Arts does not charge a service fee to the artists and our organization contributes 1/3 of each project with a matching grant to help artists gain traction and leverage donations.
THESE MATCHING FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY 3ARTS, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE JOYCE FOUNDATION FOR PROJECTS BY ARTISTS OF COLOR. YOUR DONATION TO “NALEDGE IS POWER” IS TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
Funds from effort will be used for productions costs, camera, lighting and sound equipment rental, modest stipends to cover transportation and lodging costs, enter film festivals, etc. I am in the process of finalizing location shoot and participants. The reward – The Music- will be mixed and mastered by January 2015. Please visit 3arts.org on this Friday, December 5th, 2014 through February 1, 2015 to find out more about the project, donate, receive your copy of my upcoming album and other really cool rewards. Thank you in advance for your support.
Raised on the East side of Chicago. Globally Local. Cheers!