Monday, August 25, 2008

THE BLACK MALE HANDBOOK: A Blueprint for Life -- Edited by Kevin Powell


Edited by Kevin Powell

Available in Stores September 9th

From Writer, Activist, and 2008 Democratic Congressional Candidate KEVIN POWELL comes a "Must-Read" Guide and Call-to-Action for Black Boys and Men to Redefine Their Manhood for the Greater Good of Themselves, Their Communities and the World
Bad news surrounding the fate of Black boys and men is frequently reported in the media. They're not graduating from high school. The numbers of Black men dying as a result of violence perpetuated by another Black male continues to increase in alarming numbers. The consistently growing numbers of Black children being born to single mother households is at a crisis level in the Black community. Everyone is offering the reports, but no one seems to be offering any answers or, more importantly, guidance and solutions. THE BLACK MALE HANDBOOK offers a collection of intimate, deeply personal and prescriptive essays by influential Black men on surviving, living and winning.

As seen on

Friday, August 22, 2008

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Presents TRACE Black Girls Rule Launch Party

TRACE Black Girls Rule Launch Party
Guest editor Spike Lee Attended and a Blazing Blue Carpet
Featured Keri Hilson

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE spotlighted TRACE Black Girls Rule Launch Party on Tuesday, Aug. 19 in the meatpacking district. This annual issue featured guest editor Spike Lee, who showed up at this blazing blue carpet event. Singer/song writer Keri Hilson graces the cover that is proclaiming and reclaiming what those in the industry have come to realize—black girls truly do rule.

Throngs of paparazzi and glamour seekers showed up to the soiree to see and be seen. Those who were on the elite guest list, entertained those who were not, by stopping by the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE blue carpet and giving the fans the wave or the smile they were seeking.

TRACE’s editor, Claude Grunitzy, was the “proud papa” of another successful cover party celebration and he definitely enjoyed himself with guests Homeschool/Atlantic Records UK recording artist, Estelle, celebrity spinner, DJ Saigon, Mark Baptiste and throngs of models and New York City style divas. The models were not the only style icons that made an appearance. The venue was styled out with BOMBAY blue, and a VIP pour played with the guests’ pallets as they sipped on complimentary beverages such as the Sapphire Collins and the Sapphire Madras, all made with the premium gin--an alternative to the old vodka standards.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE was proud to honor the accomplishments of TRACE magazine and its daring, true approach to beauty.

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is the best selling super premium gin in the United States. The combination of its ten unique botanicals, vapour infusion process and authentic British heritage secure BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as a leader among gins, as well as a symbol of style and sophistication. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE strongly supports inspired adult individuals who create passionate work in design, film and other artistic arenas. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE & Rick Ross Partner For Charity.

Kudos to Rick Ross for his charity work. The sad part is that if you were to Google this even you would only see the negative. This event was peaceful and everyone had a great time!
Thanks to Rochelle Hill, Precision Plus communications for sending this info over for me! Ya'll know that SheNotes LOVES the kids! :-)

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Hosted Rick Ross Charities Party at B.E.D.
The Benefit Supports the Distribution of Free Backpacks for Students and
Complimentary Health Screenings for Families

Miami Beach, Fl. - BOMBAY SAPPHIRE spotlights Rick Ross, Slip N Slide Records recording artist, for his support of the communities in need. Through its sponsorship of the benefit party, which took place on Wednesday, Aug. 6, more families will be able to receive free health screenings and more children will receive backpacks and school supplies to kick off the school year. Rick Ross Charities was able to serve over 2,000 children and families as a result of this year's efforts. That night, Rick Ross gave an impromptu, 45-minute performance (after jumping up onto the highest bed) of mostly all of his songs, which the fans loved him for. The crowd joined in and sang along in the background. Of course, he came with celebrity friends, including Webbie, Mass Pike Myles (of Ross' own label Mayback Music), Torch and recording artist Brisco of Poe Boy Entertainment. Even White Boy from VH1's " I Love New York 2," was in the house.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE rewarded Ross' hard work and quenched his thirst and those of the fans with a VIP cocktail hour presentation featuring specialty drinks, such as the " Miami Breeze" and the " Sapphire Collins." But more importantly, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE supported positivity and Rick Ross' community service efforts and was honored to highlight his accomplishments by sponsoring the good ol' fashioned, fundraising, fun jam with MCs on the mike. Awareness and support of this nature, from hip-hop and rap fans, is greatly needed.

About Rick Ross Charities, Inc.
Rick Ross Charities, Inc. is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3), founded by Rick Ross in 2006. Rick Ross Charities' mission is to strengthen the lives of today's at-risk youth from all backgrounds and create diversity by providing solid resources through education advocacy, mentoring programs and financial resources to deserving students. Rick Ross is committed to having Rick Ross Charities, Inc. serve as a catalyst to inspire positive change by creating and supporting programs that uplift the well being of todays youth. Rick Ross Charities provides community support through various programs and projects such as the annual " Rick Ross Be Out Day", Thanksgiving turkey giveaways, holiday gift giveaways, a college scholarship fund financial seminars and a host of others.
About B.E.D.
B.E.D. has attracted South Beach's creme de la creme as well as leading celebrities from Paris Hilton, Simon Rex, Shaquille O'Neal, Jamie Foxx, Wilmer Valderrama, Lennox Lewis, John Mayer, Scott Storch, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Will Smith, Larry Johnson, Timbaland, Johnny Knoxvillle and Gwen Stephanie. The new and improved B.E.D. is proud to show off its enhanced look and boasts all that South Beach has been craving in the social and gastronomic scene. For more information, please call 305.532.9070 or visit
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is the best selling super premium gin in the United States. The combination of its ten unique botanicals, vapour infusion process, and authentic British heritage secure BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as a leader among gins, as well as a symbol of style and sophistication. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE strongly supports inspired adult individuals who create passionate work in design, film, and other artistic areas. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Should You Pay For Press???

I found this article to be very interesting. I found it on the Unsigned Underground site Check it out!
Would love to hear your feedback on paying for reviews and press?? I personally don't agree with it but it happens.
Press Clips: How to get a good one?
Should a review be free or should you pay?
By:Darryl Gregory

In the scramble to get your press kit completed you want to have several essential things included: a good head-shot or picture of the band, a snappy description of your album, a short bio and some press clips. Ah the press clips. Where do they come from and how do you go about enticing some unknown author to write something nice and constructive about your tracks? Can just anybody write something about your work? Does it matter if the byline of the author is Rolling Stone or Podunk Weekly? And, should a review be free or should you pay?

So how do you get a decent review of the music that you have just released? After spending a year in the studio and thousands of dollars you don't want to have some bozo just say something like - Nice effort-. You want substance and you want a review that you can pull a nice blurb from to put on the front of your press releases and you website. So where to turn? Chances are, unless you have a really good PR person with connections, you're not going to get a review from a major publication for your first or second album. So here are some simple, easy places to look for a review.

You may be living with, went to college with, or work with a reviewer and you didn't even know it. Those same people are probably your fans as well, so why not ask them for a quick review? The best reviews I have read come from fans because if I really want to know whether a CD is going to be good, I'll ask someone who really knows the artist. There is usually space on the pages of digital distribution sites (like CDBaby, iLike, etc.) for your fans to write a quick review, so why not get yours to write a few? It's free and your fans will be flattered when you ask them.

Another free source for a music review are bloggers and podcasters. There are a lot of people out there trying their hands at both and they need material. Often bloggers and podcasters are one in the same so they can play your music and write a review. If you ask one of these new media people to review your work, look at theirs first. Read a few of their reviews to see if they 1, can write well and 2, are generally positive. You don't want to send your CD to a curmudgeon who just wants to cut things up. Also send your CD to a reviewer that understands your genre of music so they can say something insightful.

Seeing my name in print, ink print that is, is still exciting to me. Don't totally focus on web-based media as they are still a thin slice of the pie. Try to get your CD reviewed or at least mentioned in a print periodical that can be passed around and accidentally picked up at the doctor's office.

Your local newspaper is a great resource for reviews. You can often just call up and speak directly to the writer and ask them for a quick review. Local papers love doing articles on local talent. I live in a small town in Connecticut and I have been in the local paper several times with out really trying.

Magazines are still in circulation last I checked and there a few that do reviews of indie musicians. Again, check to see which ones review your genre of music and then usually you can check their website to find out where to send a copy of your CD for review. The ones that immediately come to mind are Performing Songwriter, Alternative Press, Paste Magazine, and Blender. To find more, do a search at

Now here comes a question that I can't seem to resolve in my mind because I am part of the conundrum. Should you pay someone to write a review for your CD? How much is a review worth to you in dollars and cents? And does a review that you pay for carry any more cred than a review written by a friend?

I recently came across a new site where, for $34.95, you can have an experienced music writer pen a 500 word review. A few of the writers on this site had had articles in Creem and Rolling Stone so you would expect their writing standards to be quite high. So in essence you are hiring a professional writer and not your brother-in-law Sid who never finished a term paper.

Here is where I get into the fray: I write reviews for and yes, I get paid to do so, not a lot, but I get paid. Because is an eZine and a resource for indie musicians and a place to post mp3's you get more for your membership fee than just a review. Yet, it is still a paid review and the rule of thumb at this eZine is that no one gets trashed. I try to find constructive criticisms that point out a CD's weaknesses and yet don't make it sound like the artist is incompetent. The whole idea is to help the indie musician, not to stick daggers into them with nasty phrases. But I ask myself sometimes when I do get a clunker to review: Would I be more ruthless if the person wasn't paying for this review?

I feel that, like anything else in this business, you really have to do your homework and spend some time researching avenues for your music to get reviewed. There are services like that will, as their name suggests, submit your music to many more outlets than you can. You can also hire a publicist that can use their connections to get a review for you. Then again, here you are paying for it and who has cash these days? I just did a Google search on the words: indie, music, review. The search came back with over 900,000 related sites, so I'm sure that there is someone in there that would be willing to give a free review that you can use.

Good Luck!~


Unsigned Underground is all about the indie artist and the music waiting to be heard. Please subscribe to the podcast and support the artists by purchasing their music, going to their live shows and telling your friends you heard 'em here on Unsigned Underground!

Happy Listening & Peace,

Darryl Gregory, Blue Cave Studios

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Songstresses

Summer Songstresses
Dominga Martin

Girls just want to have fun and this Summer and beyond, the ladies are taking over the music scene. Press play on some of these new releases and those who continue to rule the radio.

Hailing from the Westside of London, Estelle broke out with her debut album Shine after signing to Grammy winner John Legend’s Homeschool Label. Her hit single “American Boy”, featuring Kanye West continues to invade music charts all over the world including the UK. Check out Estelle in the new Levi’s campaign “Unbuttoned” and as one of the stars participating in the Candie’s Foundation fall/winter campaign.

Keri Hilson

Ms. Hilson made her mark as the writer behind numerous hits including “Take Me As I Am” (Mary J Blige) and Brittney’s come back hit “Gimme More.” She made her singingsong writer debut with super producer Timbaland’s video “The Way I Are” and joined the Pussycat Dolls in his savvy track “Scream”. Now it’s her turn! Her current single “Energy” is burning up video-waves, paving the way for her debut album In a Perfect World…this September.

Janelle Monáe

Bad Boy has a new Bad Girl and she’s an Atlanta native that goes by the name Janelle Monáe. When she received an inquiry on Myspace by Diddy himself--of course she didn’t believe it was him! As fate would have it, he found her and offered her a deal. Her Afro-Punk feel is both chic and electrifying. Release date: August 12th.

Little Jackie

Giant Step’s new artist Little Jackie is a fun blend of sass and style. The hip-pop sound is a combination of singer-songwriter Imani Coppola and programmer Adam Pallin. Together, their July release The Stoop is perfect for cruising to the beach or chillin’ at a cook-out. Songs “Black Barbie” and title track “The Stoop” are catchy and full of attitude.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams has come out with a banger! Tracks like “Hungover”, “Stop this Car” and “Thank You” are ‘odes to the independent woman mantra Destiny's Child set out to create. However, Ms. Williams is trailblazing into a lane all her own. Poppy, clubby and slick are a few words that describe this unexpected release. Although her August release has been pushed to October, she is bringing the heat just in time for winter.

As seem's newly launched section called BLACK LIFE...only a few weeks old. !

PLUS, lots of other cool stories. Check back every week and comment!!!

Dominga's other links