“Look at where we at….we here,” DOE said to no one in particular. It was minutes before he took the stage at the National. He was in front of a hometown crowd and for a brief second, he was standing alone. His high school classmate and friend Wes Tatum had just led Against Grace through a energizing performance and after about 4 hours of rock bands – the only artist left to perform was the hip hop musician/mogul representing the Burg.
I didn’t confused his self-talk for nerves. It was clear to me that DOE was not nervous. He was humbled. He was taking it all in. If you’ve ever seen him perform before you’d know that he is a seasoned performer. His performances are high-energy and he carries a strong stage presence. But this night was different. His name was outside on the marquee – DJ Foot was on duty – and there were a lot (a lot) of D.O.E. shirts in the audience. They had come out specifically to see him. This show was different – it is exactly where DOE The Paperboy wanted to be. It’s what he has been working for – it wasn’t nerves it was just a realization that he was where he wanted to be. And he was about to rip the stage.
The show itself was a bit of a blur..DOE pulled out all the stops and spared no expense to make his performance one of the best of his career. I had several favorite moments but none better than DOE pulling a dedicated young fan/and fellow emcee out of the crowd to go toe to toe performing one of DOE’s tracks. It was an amazing moment during a hip hop show – you just don’t see that type of support for a so-called” local” artist…that moment is what superstars do. It was unique and really cool.
DOE also brought out one of my favorite artist, Ms. Proper, to rock with him on stage. Ms. Proper holds it down not only for RVA (though she has recently relocated) but she holds it down for female emcees. I was glad to see her rock the stage with DOE -and get ready because it is set to happen again this year at the Fall Line Fest in September (more on that in the coming weeks).
To wrap up the evening, I will finish by highlighting what I think the key to DOE’s success is – it’s his motto: Drive Over Everything. It’s well documented that he has been through some challenges but it’s his drive that pushes him forward and keeps him focused. The ability to create your own path is a rare trait. DOE has that trait and has been using it forge a new way not only in hop hop but in everything he does. There was a moment at the end of the show where it looked like DOE was just going to break down – like he wasn’t going to be able to continue – the emotion of the evening had gotten to him but then he held his head high – pounded his chest and pushed through. Stay tuned – DOE is still pushing and there is much more to come.
This Saturday, DoethePaperboy will be headlining the The National with his friends Against Grace. I caught up with Mr. DOE Nation himself to get his thoughts on the upcoming concert. More on that in a minute – I’ve followed Doe’s moves for about two years now and I’ve seen first-hand what he’s done – not only to build his fan base – but also to build his business and brand. I believe Doe’s grind moved into overdrive in early 2012 when he hooked up with Soul Live Media and dropped two of my favorite videos, Picasso and If I Had It. The more I learn about Doe Nation the more I understand that he is much more than a musician, he is a entrepreneur with a hustlers spirit. Check out my interview below with a true Grindaholic: DoeThePaperboy.
Saturday is a big show – you’re at the National with Against Grace, tell me how did the two of you link up?
I’ve been rocking with Against Grace for 4 years now – Me and Wes went to school together (Petersburg High School), so I always knew him. We just ran into one another at a Show in Petersburg – at a Spot Called Wabi Sabi. We exchanged numbers and later found out we have great chemistry and the rest is too be written.
I can tell that you are very excited about Saturday night, what makes this upcoming show special for you?
This show marks about 3 years since I headlined with Against Grace back in 2010. They are my favorite band so I’m really looking forward to their performance. And also this is a chance to bring everything we offer as a team into a great venue for more exposure.
For those who don’t know about you, it’s not just about music, tell me about the DOE movement you have going right now?
Right now we have been afforded the opportunity to be branded and marketed under AINIGRIV ADORN. Ainigriv is just VA backwards – so we think opposite – and Adorn is beautiful – so Va beautiful. Being under such a great company D.O.E has been able to create a sneaker, watch, jewelry and countless other pieces of apparel. The movement has been worldwide for a while now and has been seen represented in many countries outside of The United States. We will continue to make the brand more powerful, that’s our bargaining power.
How did you discover your love and spirit for business?
My passion about all we are doing is fueled constantly by our worldwide support system. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been told that this movement is for the greater good. The ability to maintain just comes from self determination, the will to be successful, and understanding that failure is character building.
What’s next for you and your team in 2013?
2013 and beyond – we’re going to explore new markets and make a greater effort to focus on community involvement.
Come out to The National this Saturday to see the entire DOE movement live. Doe will be headlining with Against Grace – DJ Foot will also be in the building on the ones and twos. The show starts at 7 PM.
It was definitely NOLA in RVA Friday night at the National. The Rebirth Brass Band took the stage and brought Mardi Gras to Richmond. I love New Orleans jazz and gospel music. I go out of my way to catch a show from Trombone Shorty or the Lil Rascals Brass Band and to have Rebirth, 30 years in the game and the only brass band of its kind to win a Grammy, in RVA…it was a can’t miss show.
Rebirth performed with the energy and skill that makes you understand – there is only one place in the world that could produce this type of sound – New Orleans. New Orleans is the brass band equivalent to Nashville for country music. It’s the place that births musicians with an appreciation for jazz, gospel, swing, soul, hip hop and country – and the city mixes them all together like their signature dish gumbo.
Every Rebirth songs have a classic NOLA sound. The band played tracks from their 2012 Grammy Award winning album, Rebirth of New Orleans and their insanely popular compilation, Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band. They gave a tribute to NOLA great Professor Longhair with their cover of, “Go To the Mardi Gras” and killed their anthem, “Do Whatcha Wanna.” My personal favorite song of the night was their cover of, “Cassanova.”
I was so proud that the crowd at the National was packed with music lovers. I have to admit I was worried the RVA may not coming out in large numbers for NOLA jazz. Again, I was wrong and Richmond proved to be a better place than I could ever imagine.
It was a party baby!
“Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood, Ruff Ryders, and of course, This is not a F-in Game,” all chants synonymous with the legendary rapper DMX. The Grand Champ took the National stage last night to a very enthusiastic crowd. X did not waste any time going right into the string of hits that made him one of the biggest emcees of the late 90′s and early 2000′s. He performed nearly all of his popular songs from his 7 albums, normally performing one or two verses from each song while the DJ kept the pace moving. X, the ultimate showman, showed tons of energy – despite saying that he had just gotten off of 3 planes. He interacted with the crowd, often joking with members in the audience, pulling women on stage (yes he did), and he even poured a bottle of Hennessy on the front row. To the dismay of National security, at one point X climbed on the large speaker system on the side of the stage to launch into the Ruff Ryder Anthem.
He controlled the stage at every moment with ease. He ripped through songs like: “Get At Me Dog,” “Who We Be,” and “Party Up.” He slowed it down with, “Slippin.” As always, X ended the show with a prayer and left the crowd chanting for more. Also, S/O to the homie Black Liq and The New Juice Crew for always representing RVA on stage. The man works hard.
Charged Up Ent. ripped the Charged Up Cypher Live in at The National. Yung Yankee, Official Freeze, Yung Fred, Jus B Chill, Oh!, and Black Lyric. S/O out to the C.U.E team: HipHopVA, Chubbs, Noah-O. If you haven’t seen the original Charged Up Cypher video filmed by Smoothmatic — Check that out asap on youtube.
The Carolina Chocholate Drops cover of Hit’em up Style is amazing (see for yourself). They are great live and really brought their style to the National. If you can see them in the future…DO IT!
I can honestly say that I had never seen anything l ike what Sleigh Bells did Friday night. It was the most hyped I’d ever seen a concert crowd. The show was short but if it went any longer there would have been serveral heart attacks in the crowd.
The multi-talented [and super beautiful] Rhiannon Giddens lays down the vocal and newest Chocolate Drop Beatboxer Adam Matta kills it at the National.