The Power Behind the Machine Music Panel during the BET Awards Weekend was a knowledge-infused experience where developing artists and musicians heard insights from several music business leaders in the industry. Held at Crowne Plaza in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the panel’s central theme was enlightenment and education: about the community, about an artist’s musical brand, and about the ever-changing music business. The panel was held to benefit the Challengers Boys & Girls Club Foundation. Event Coordinator/CEO of HustleGurl Entertainment Helecia Choyce noted the importance of keeping a positive work ethic, attitude, and having the inner city youth involved with extra-curricular activities and networking opportunities.
Some of the panelists included executive Talent Scout Mike Robinson, who in his career has also worked diligently to create a platform for the urban youth community.
“At the end of the day, it’s about keeping yourself relevant.”, says Robinson.
Other panelists included President of Urban Network Digital Arthur Miller. Miller stressed the importance of having an education while in the music industry, becoming knowledgeable on streaming services and having showmanship during live performances. His advice on live performances was to focus on “visuals first, lyrics second, and vocals third.”
Hip-Hop psychologist Dr. Niama T. Malachi shared her background that led her to her passion to empower communities and build a rapport through the studies and influence of Hip-Hop music. She Dr. Malachi, who also released her book, Hip-Hop State of Mind, provided some encouraging words of wisdom.
“If the doors aren’t open, it’s all about timing. It may not be your door right now, so don’t force yourself into that door.”
“Hip-Hop gave us a platform where we all see the world similarly…” – Rev. +Al Sharpton
The moderator for the heated panel at the Paley Center was co-anchor and Editor-at-large of Oprah Magazine, Gayle King. The panelists included FUBU Entrepreneur Daymond John, Hip-Hop Pioneer Fab Five Freddy, Reverend Al Sharpton, rapper Nas, and founder /CEO of Translation, LLC and author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, Steve Stoute.
Guests including Jerry Seinfeld, editors from Ebony Magazine, and Harlem fashion stylist Dapper Dan were some if the many figures who gave their input during the panel’s Q&A. With an introduction from the creator of the Video Music Box himself, Ralph McDaniels, the discussion provided a lens on how Hip-Hop developed as a critical influence in politics, mass media and dug deeper on the interesting distinction between rap and Hip-Hop music.
“Hip-hop is Sugar Hill Gang…Rap is an easy song laid over a drum machine…”
“With hip-hop you celebrated who you were. You could be yourself and be alright.” – Reverend Al Sharpton
“Hip-hop is still developing as an art form…” +Steve Stoute
Some of the later topics discussed in the panel included the usage of the N-word in Hip-Hop and its context, and also that the beauty in hip-hop lies in respecting the artists in who they were and the stories of the streets which they conveyed.
“It’s a misnomer to reduce hip-hop to one word…No one knows where to draw the line of the word N**** in Hip-Hop.” – Rev. Al Sharpton
Catch Part 2 and the rest of the 4-part series airing tonight until Thursday at 11pm only on VH1.
Check out the rest of the photos from the event.
To kick off Mother’s Day weekend, Alex Martin celebrated her 40th Birthday with her mother, +Whoopi Goldberg at the Bowery Hotel on Friday night. The stylish event was filled to the brim with taste-makers and celebrity guests in the music, fashion and entertainment industries. Friends new and old alike including reality stars Love & Hip-Hop’s Tahiry, Basketball Wives‘ Jennifer Williams and Po Johnson of Lala’s Full Court Life also showed love and support for Martin.
|Host/Personality Freddie B & CEO of Creative Jenius Agency CJ|
|Fashion Stylist Nole Marin|
|Rae Holliday & Mecca|
|DJ D Nice|
|Derek J & Alex Martin|
|MC Roxanne Shante|
|Host/Comedian Freddie B|
|Author/Coach Dee Marshall|
|Makeup Artist Karen Dupiche & Whoopi Goldberg|