Friday night I spent another night at The Broadberry. The Broadberry is quickly becoming my favorite music venue in RVA. This time I was there for JellowFest 2014. JellowFest was the inaugural showcase for Jellowstone Records, the new RVA based record label created by Reggie Pace and Devonne Harris. I thought I knew what to expect walking into JellowFest but I learned a few things Friday night that I’d like to share with the Cheats Movement family via the always authentic Cheats Movement photos and commentary.
1. Jellowstone Records is a family
You hear this a lot about record labels, “We’re not just a label, we’re a family.” Well, with Jellowstone, I believe it. It’s not only that they seem to genuinely love, respect, and care for each other. You can tell just by hanging around Jellowstone artists that they enjoy working with each other, creating together, and are happy when others in their family succeeds. Leadership always starts at the top, and you get this vibe the most from Reggie, Devonne, Marcus, Kelli, and it goes through everyone I spent time with on Friday. It was a true family feel – some real Cadillac Records X Chess Family Sh**. I have no doubt that that family atmosphere will allow them to create special music – as long as that feeling last.
2. A Count Bass D X Jellowstone Record needs to happen.
My brother Ohbliv hit me to Count Bass D a minute ago but seeing him perform live at Jellowfest was one of the special moments of the night. He killed the crowd a few times. And he fits right into what Jellowstone is doing with independent quality music. A Count Bass D X Jellowstone record needs to happen and it needs include the entire Jellowstone family. You can’t put that quality music in a box.
Please believe that I judge hip hop harshly because that’s what I know more than any other musical genre. For example, Butcher Brown is dope but they could play just about anything and I would be like, “they’re talented musicians” because I really can’t judge that type of sound with knowledgeable comment. Hip hop is a different story. And I put lyrical content at a high premium – AKA bars. So with Count Bass D in the building holding it down for hip hop, I was a little apprehensive on how the Jellowstone MCs bars would hold up…but then stepped in Marcus Tenney. I’d heard him rhyme over studio records but that’s different from rocking live – I mean studio editing can make Rihanna sound like Yolanda Adams, but we know the truth. The multifaceted Tenney he proved that true hip hop bars is in his bag of tricks. He has a stage presences, worked the crowd and delivered well. I will say – just so we don’t go overboard with the love-fest. Whatever that first song was (you know what I’m talking about) hold that joint until you get it right live. I was worried for a moment but then you guys rocked the house. S/O to the Pace Cadets
“When he pulled out the mirror, I was done,” for a Morris Day fan, that could have been the best moment of Jellowfest. Kelli Strawbridge is infectious with his energy. Doesn’t matter what he’s doing, that brother could be making omelets for breakfast, and watching him, I’d probably start cracking eggs my damn self. I think he could very well be the best front man in all of RVA. And the music, I think KINGS success really depends on how much time they have to dedicate themselves to making the music and pushing that project over the many other projects they have. KINGS has that Daptone soul feel and will defiantly find its place in Jellowstone but I have high hopes for bands like KINGS because if they break, Jellowstone will have turn the corner for sure.
5. Butcher Brown can do no wrong.
Not much I can say about how Butcher Brown gets down. They are dope. You have to hear the music for yourself. Their drummer is bananas.
Family in the building – S/O Armando AKA Mighty Monde #WESEEIT
That’s it. That’s what I learned at Jellowfest. I think the most telling part of this story is that I didn’t stay for NO BS! BRASS which is one of my favorite band (not just in RVA – one of my favorite bands – period). But to me this night was more about what Jellowstone is creating, the vibe, the family, the feel. I know what NO BS! is going to do…learning about what the rest of the movement is doing has got me excited for their future. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I was joking with Reggie…Jellowstone is loading up like No Limit Records back in their hey day. I love it. #WESEEIT
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