Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check Out Some of Liberated Muse's Hottest Stars This Weekend

I met Dee Stone last year when she participated in last year's Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. She is a warm and quirky lady and has vocals that are to die for. She and the following women will be performing this Saturday, May 2 @ the Capital Hill Arts Workshop in Washington DC for a benefit celebrating the HOMECOMING of Saartjie Baartman, the black woman known as the Hottentot Venus.

Visit for details on the event. It's a pay as you can pay scale which is great for those trying to scale back in the face of this trying economy.


Mahoganee is a talented singer who is head of the Diva Militia and works actively in the community to mentor young girls. She writes original pieces which address various issues in our community. One of her most memorable songs is an ode to the survivors of Katrina.

Chaquis Maliq

Chaquis Maliq performed in the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest in 2008 and I can't wait to see her on stage again. Her beautiful voice is reminiscent of Chaka Kahn meets Stephanie Mills.

Jade Foster

Jade Foster is the poet featured in the above Jesse Boykins song. Founder of the Black Church Maraca, Jade is a prominent area poet who has been published in several books and performs regularly throughout DC and beyond.

Empower DC Says FUNK FENTY

Empower DC is a grassroots organization in DC whose mission is to enhance, improve and promote the self-advocacy of low and moderate income DC residents in order to bring about sustained improvements in their quality of life.

Given the current tumultuous political climate in DC, Empower is organizing an upcoming event that rally people together to protest initiatives by the current Mayor Adrian Fenty who is perceived by many long-time residents as DC as a betrayer of the people.

The event is called Funk Fenty and will take place next week. Catch the details below:


Concert & Rally to Save Public Property &Protest Fenty's Attacks on Chocolate City Residents & Workers


4-7 PM

FREEDOM PLAZA - 14th & Penn Ave, NW(rain date May 8th)

Live Music By Local Rock/Funk Bands:



DC Hip-Hop/Go-Go on the Wheels of Steel:

DJ Earth 1ne (Classic Hip Hop LLC,

Mental Salvation Radio,

NOI)DJ Soyomore to come...stay tuned!

Speakers and solidarity action to stop Fenty's policies including:-

  • Save 11 DC Public School Fenty Wants to Give to Developers-
  • Save the 15 Parks and Rec Child care centers Fenty wants to close-
  • Save the public mental health care system that Fenty wants to privatize-
  • Protest Cuts to public services, and attacks on city workers and public sector unions

CALL EMPOWER DC for more information (202) 234-9119

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spearheading the Next Stage of Hip Hop

On June 12th, Words Beats & Life, Inc. (WBL) will be holding the second annual 3-day event known as The Teach-In.

The Teach-In is a meeting of like-minded individuals designed to outline the tools and resources necessary to develop curriculum, programs, and work (artistic and scholarly) based in hip-hop culture. The teach-in will also address how to retain and attract high caliber hip-hop artists, scholars and educators by building sustainable organizations. Words Beats & Life, Inc. (WBL) is spearheading the next stage of development for the field of hip-hop education by creating a strategic development plan for excellence, scale, and sustainability to strengthen the network of hip-hop based youth-serving organizations.

Visit the registration page for "Remixing the Art of Social Change: a Hip-Hop Approach National Teach-In." From now until May 1st, early registration is available for only $15. For that $15, each registrant will get all of the following:

  • Entry to teach-ins and Executive Summit

  • Annual subscription to Words. Beats. Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture

  • Admission to the Bootleg Festival: Independent Films, Mixtapes and Hip-Hop's Underground Economy

  • Copy of the Counterbalance: The Impact of Hip-Hop in Communities and Classrooms

  • and Waived submission fees for PSAs/student shorts at Bootleg Festival.

Visit the registration page at

Liberated Muse Productions will be up in the house. Check out some of the noted performers, scholars and activists who helped plan this event:

Dominic Painter, Executive Director, Midnight Forum Junious Brickhouse, Founder/Director, Urban Artistry Muna Shami, Independent Scholar Candace Carter Smith, Youth Track Coordinator Jabari Exum, Founder, Congo Square Kaajal Shah, Capacity Building Specialist, Fair Chance Fred Joiner, Independent Artist & Poet, American Poetry Museum Johonna McCants, Director, Visions to Peace Project Nelson Bennett, Founder, Verbal Armageddon, Inc. Ishmail Reaves, Co-Chair, Crescent Moon Nights Peter Krsko, Executive Director, Albus Cavus Weusi Baracka, Executive Director, Sol y Soul Kymone Freeman, Director, Black LUV Festival Billy Buntin, Founder, Jared A. Ball, Ph.D., Professor, Morgan State University Ashton Wingate, Marketing Coordinator, WBL Simone Jacobson, Cipher Director, WBL Mazi Mutafa, Executive Director, WBL Dr. James White, Board Chair, WBL and H2A

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Travel the World Without Leaving DC: Passport DC

As a world capital, Washington, DC presents unique opportunities to learn about and engage with world cultures through the wonderful event Passport DC. This spring, Cultural Tourism DC invites Washingtonians and visitors to cross borders and break down barriers, traveling around the world all from within the District’s boundaries.

Starting Thursday, April 30, embassies will throw open their doors, drawing in visitors to experience the music, dance, crafts, and cuisine of their nation. Cultural Tourism DC will coordinate the following embassy activities Thursday, April 30 - Saturday, May 9

Click HERE for more info. Thanks to Liberated Muse member DJ Vinnie for posting info on this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obama-- The Lesser of Two Evils Says Actor Danny Glover

Danny Glover is the epitome of a performing artist who practices the art of being socially conscious. This video is indicative of his active participation in our social and political processes, building awareness and promoting the idea of the public being more active in what is going on in our government.

The interview above was taped prior to Obama's election but speaks to issues being raised now regarding Obama's commitment to his campaign promises. Find the video HERE.

Kudos to Omar Akbar aka Labtekwon for posting this on his Facebook page to share. Visit his fan page HERE

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Multifarious: An Authentic Contemporary Art Production

(In photo: Marquita "Storm" Siler and her partner at the 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest in Washington, DC on July 26, 2008. Photo by Khadijah Ali-Coleman)

Liberated Muse Productions is a proud supporter of Authentic Contemporary Art and its founder Sharon Burton who is a member of our Liberated Muse network. Sharon is at it again, planning another amazing event, featuring the artwork of a local artist and poetry and prose from two local poets who are doing big things.

As part of the Multifarious exhibition, featuring artist Heather Schmaedeke, Authentic Contemporary Art is hosting an evening of poetry and prose. A portion of the sales going to CARE's I Am Powerful Campaign.

Date: Friday, May 15, 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Space 7:10 at Kefa Cafe
Street: 963 Bonifant Street
City/Town: Silver Spring, MD

Amy Jackson is an established poet, artist, and author, having six poems published in the US and Europe, with three solo and six group poetry performances from 2001 to the present. She is currently wrting three novels and was a National Novel Writing Month Contest Winner in 2006.

Visit for more information.

Marquita "Storm" Siler is a local entrepreneur, poet, and author of "Dreams in Motion: A Collection of Poetry and Short Stories". She was a featured author at the 2008 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest ( and is a proud new mom-- which hasn't slowed her down a bit. With several irons in the fire, Marquita is a one woman tour de force.
For more information visit

RSVP to this great event by clicking on the Facebook page HERE

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Liberated Muse Member Events Coming Soon

(In photo: Binahkaye Joy. Photo by Elen Awalom)

Binahkaye Joy shares an evening of interactive dance journeys, featuring The Mother Project, New Orleans!, Lifelines on 57, and Bootyism.
Live music by Manatho "Shumba" Masani on Mbira and Eric Maring on Tabla.
Advance tickets online @

Friday May 1, 2009 @ 8pm

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

545 7th Street, SEWashington, DC 20003@ Eastern Market Metro

Visit Binahkaye on Liberated Muse by clicking HERE

On Friday, May 1, 2009, Liberated Muse Member Diallo Sumbry of the Adinkra Group
is bringing Hip Hop to U Street!
Almaz Restaurant @ 1212 U Street will come alive with a live concert
featuring a live performance by SKILLZ

+hosted by Asheru & Maimouna Youssef
Other performances by:

+DJs RBI & MarcNfinit on the Main Level

+DJ Mel B EZ on the Second Level+additional performances by:

Doors @ 9 pm
Ladies Free b4 11 pm
Fellas $10 b4 11 pm

The Saartjie Project PRESENTS

A Juried Artist Showcase & Benefit Commemorating the final return home of our heroine and namesake, Saartjie 'Sara' Baartman

In May 2002, Saartjie (Sara) Baartman's remains were flown back to her homeland, South Africa and laid to rest almost 200 years after she was taken in 1810.

"Her story was forgotten for centuries... but slowly she has been rediscovered, by women in South Africa, in England, in the United States...they have written plays and poems, made films and speeches telling her story in the hopes of reclaiming her torturous past..." - unknown

Join The Saartjie Project for an evening of great music, poetry and performances by dynamic women and girls using "art as a catalyst for self- expression, re-definition & healing".

Suggested Donation: $20

Your donation help ensures that The Saartjie Project is able to "infortain" the international artist & social justice community at the 2009 Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) International Conference in Minneapolis.

Date:Saturday, May 2, 2009
Time:8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location:Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Street:545 7th St. SE (Eastern Market Metro)
City/Town:Washington, DC

Learn about PTO @ http://www.pto.web/.
Visit the Saartjie Project on by clicking HERE.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend Delights in Washington DC


Saturday, April 11, 200910:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Anacostia


The Anacostia Cherry Blossom Festival and Art Walk promises a full day of fun for the whole family, including a tree planting and dedication ceremony, exhibitions, live jazz, African dancers and drummers, workshops for youth, and much, much more!Featured activities include:

*Cherry tree dedication in Anacositia Park (Good Hope Rd. SE entrance). Honoring; Councilman Marion Barry, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation's CEO/President Butch "Albert" Hopkins, and Anacostia Activist Philip Pannell. 10am-11am.

* A jazz concert featuring The Young Lions

* Cherry blossom mobile and charcoal drawing workshops for kids as well as face painting

* Exhibitions galore, including Honfleur Art Gallery's current show, Cross and Ladder, featuring the works of Darren Smith

* The African Heritage Dancers and Drummers

* An art and craft market featuring local independent crafters.

*Eric Whitehead presents a sneak peek of Anacostia's NEW JazzNSoul Cafe with SamO & JFC, Earl Carter, Glenn Arnett & more! Supported by R.E.E.L. 4pm-11pm.

* Face Painting for Kids

* Photography Show

* and other exhibitions throughout the Historic Anacostia corridor!

Event InformationLocation: Historic Anacostia Corridor, from the 2200 block of Martin Luther King Avenue, SE past the "Big Chair" and along to the 1200 block of Good Hope Road, SE


Got Kids? If so, you can find a whole host of things to do with them now that the weather is getting warmer. Click HERE for some of the free things to check out during the day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Support the Prince-ly Philanthropist: BUY INDIE TODAY

I admittedley start my work day by getting on Facebook to get a whiff of what folks are talking about and this note posted by hip-hop journalist Davey D was something share-worthy. I picked up my Target-sold Prince CD this past week and really enjoy it. What is so impressive is how he uses his celebrity to promote his label artists, giving them an opportunity to be heard.

Check out the story below.

Smiley urges support for singer's new album following generous donation.
(April 8, 2009)

*Tavis Smiley sent a thank you letter to folks who attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of his State of the Black Union, as well as the Gospel Brunch and Prince concert in Los Angeles held to benefit the Tavis Smiley Foundation.

While informing supporters that the recent fund-raising efforts have brought in almost $225,000 to fund the development of young leaders, Smiley made a point to single out Prince for donating proceeds from his Feb. 28 show at The Conga Room to the cause.

Smiley wrote:

As is common for some philanthropic individuals who donate to charitable and worthy causes, Prince is one of those people who won’t tout his contributions. He just doesn’t do it. He gives to give. In our case, Prince not only donated his time but covered all expenses for the show and mysteriously enough we received another donation matching dollar-for-dollar the six-figure concert proceeds. Guess who?

By now you may know that he has released a new phenomenal 3-CD set, "LotusFlow3r," which showcases yet again his musical genius. The CD is available exclusively through Target stores nationwide and retails for $11.98 and is slated to reach No. 1 in record sales this week.

Because Prince has carved a creative niche for himself to own his music and to market directly to the public, this project does not have the traditional support of radio or a record label. Hence, you may have not heard any of the CD tracks on your local radio stations. But these circumstances should not prevent the public from hearing about or accessing the work of an artist who is perhaps the greatest of our time.

So I’m asking you as our friends to take a minute to check out his CD for yourself at a Target store or visit Target online at

And in addition, later this month Prince is scheduled to be a guest on my television show on PBS to discuss his CD and the challenges facing independent music artists pursuing their right to self-determination. Prince has given to our youth and I need your help to give a little back to him.

Thank you again for your support and for your consideration.
Keep the Faith!

Tavis Smiley

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Indie Label Snatches Up DC Grammy Nominee, Kokayi (That Rhymes. Cool)

New York City Independent hip hop label, QN5 Music, has signed Washington, DC’s Grammy-nominated emcee/singer/producer, Kokayi, to its official stable of innovative artists and producers. Pronounced “Ko-Kah-Yee” (or KOKE for short), this 202-native takes his name from the Swahili word meaning “to summon the people”.

Musically self-sufficient and versatile in ways that the QN5 roster is known for, he produces his own music, writes his own rhymes, sings from the gut and is self-taught on several instruments. A prime example of QN5’s New Hip Hop aesthetic, Kokayi joins the label as an in-house producer and artist who will release the sophomore follow-up to his independently released 2007 debut Mass Instructions.

On his own, he’s already managed to tour the world and snag the aforementioned Grammy nod for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for his collaboration with vocalist Wayna. What’s equally impressive, is his prolific output. Kokayi is keeping busy on multiple fronts with appearances on forthcoming QN5-releases as well as several side-projects already in the works – including a joint-project with producer Sharkey entitled Dastardly and a full-length project with his Afropunk band, The Caesarz.

"Honestly I pour everything out on a song. It allows me to free myself from any inhibitions,” Kokayi says of his approach to music. “If I can move people that say they don’t like hip hop, than I know my job is done.”

“I’ve always been extremely proud of the roster I’ve assembled under the QN5 banner and I’m highly selective of who we work with – but when I heard Kokayi’s Mass Instructions album, I was floored,” says QN5 label founder, Tonedeff. “This is a cat who seamlessly blends genres without so much as flinching and brings his own unique sound, slang and vibe to the table. His talent won’t allow him to play by the rules, so QN5 is definitely the perfect place for him.”

Also on the QN5 label is hip-hop sensation Substantial, currently on a European tour. Substantial is a featured performer in the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, a Liberated Muse Production.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April Celebrates Jazz & Poetry

(in photo: Poet Saul Williams)

Jazz Appreciation Month is every April.

Jazz is a primarily American musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note.[1]
From its early development until the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music.[2] The word jazz began as a West Coast slang term of uncertain derivation and was first used to refer to music in Chicago in about 1915.

Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop.

As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles.

How poetic then that Jazz Appreciation shares the same month with the celebration of Poetry. Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.

Celebrate this month by becoming a member of and joining our group Poets with Promise and share your love of poetry through a share of your art.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Tickler: A Sneak Peek At Some of the Featured Performers @ the 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest

The 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest will announce next week all of the main acts to grace the stage at the premiere outdoors summer festival which will take place on Saturday, July 25 in Washington DC's Marvin Gaye Park. Here is a sneak peek at some of the slated acts:


Substantial is back again this year after rocking the mic in 2008. This MC is top notch talent and is currently on tour in Europe.

The 5th L

Socially-conscious and lyrically gifted, this group, a staple of Baltimore culture will grace the stage representing the unity of artists up and the down the beltway.

The Infinite Soul Music Family

Last year, Infinite Soul Music first lady Anonamas graced the stage at the debut of the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. She is back, this time with her boys, representing true hip hop of DC.

Teisha Marie

Bringing all of her loveliness to the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, Teisha Marie is a DC Princess amassing fans to claim her Queendom. This is one of our favorite videos. Period.

Stay tuned for the full roster...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marvin Gaye Has His "Way" in Washington DC

Oh Marvin, oh how we love thee.

Marvin Gaye will immortalized on the streets of Washington DC. Celebrating his life, not his death, the Ward 7 area of Washington DC-- Marvin Gaye's hometown area-- had a dedication ceremony today where the 5200 block of Foote Street in Northeast Washington is now Marvin Gaye Way. This street is the street along the perimeter of the Marvin Gaye Park named after Gaye only a few years ago. Marvin Gaye, Motown's golden child known for such classic songs as "Let's Get It On", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", "What's Going On" and dozens upon dozens of other songs was shot to death 25 years ago, the day before his April 2 birthday. His life inspired songs written and performed by such top performers as Diana Ross, Teena Marie, and Spandau Ballet.

The Marvin Gaye Park now located on Marvin Gaye Way is the site of the annual Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest which will take place this summer on Saturday, July 25, 2009. The Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest is a Liberated Muse Production. Headlining acts this summer include Bomani Armah, Head-Roc, Labtekwon, Teisha Marie and the 5th L. We are SO excited about the street's name change and will make sure folks are aware of this new landmark change. How sweet it is!

Have You Seen This Man?

All Liberated Muse'ers, we encourage you to be on the look-out for this man. He may try to add you as a friend and once you accept his friend request, he will bombard you with music from the disco era and b-side carnival tunes. He will also spam your profile with self-portraits like the one above and invite you to meet him at the local river dance show. Several members have brought him to our attention and we thought we would pass the word!

Just joking!!!
The above was just our way to get you started on your day of April Fool's Day pranks. The above caricature is actually a fun drawing of one of my favorite actors, Steve Buscemi, that was found online on this awesome blog called Chumpmonkey's Electronic Cartooniorium run by animator Don Pinsent.
Did you get pranked today and pull off a fun prank? Share with us your good ones...Happy April 1st.