Friday, August 27, 2010

Rankin County's Only Weekly Open Mic Night Returns Sat. Sept. 4th

Beginning Sat. Sept. 4, 2010, Rankin County's only weekly spoken word and open mic night returns every Saturday from 6-8p.m. to Appetizers Restaurant (3000 Hwy 80 E * Pearl, MS).

Hosted by award-winning spoken word artist and multi-media personality C. A. Webb, the program is open to poets, singers, authors, musicians who want to share their skill in a family-friendly environment.

Webb began the open mic night in 2007, and the weekly event has hosted authors and even Def Poetry Jam poet C-Bone Jones. Future guests include author Ed Slack, M.D., author/poet April Mahoney aka Nouveau Spice, author Joseph Henderson, author Tommie Watkins and author M. Salahuddin Khan.

Admission is free with great food discounts available. For more information about Spoken Word Saturdays, contact Cyrus Webb at, 601.896.5616 or visit

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MS Native Presents A Decade Of His Voice In Sept.

Before he started a BOOK CLUB, he was on TV. Before he was on TV, he was on RADIO. Before he was on radio, he wrote and DREW for others...But before he wrote and drew for others, he did it for HIMSELF.

On Thursday, September 30, 2010, Mississippi native Cyrus Webb presents "MY VOICE: A Decade in the Arts, 1999-2009." This will take place at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS).

"I'm excited about this event," says Webb, 35. He feels as though many who may know him for just his work in promoting literacy or being on the radio will be able to see the full picture through this event. "This is my first art show and poetry reading in 4 years, and I'm excited to share with people what I have been doing over the past few years as well as over the past decade."

MY VOICE will begin with an art show at 4p.m. featuring some of Webb's work from 1999-2009. The public will be able to walk through his life and chronicle year by year what he had done, how his work has evolved and where he is headed in the new decade. At 6p.m., Webb will host a poetry reading featuring his most popular work from the past decade, as well as new work that has never been heard before. The crowning achievement for Webb during the evening will be the release of his new poetry chapbook MY VOICE: The Compilation.

Admission to the entire day's events is free, and the public is encourage to come out and celebrate one of Mississippi's native sons.

For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at, 601.896.5616 or visit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dem Raleigh Boyz: Creating Art With Rhyme, Skills and Drive

by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Magazine

It all began while they were together on the high school football team at Raleigh High School in Mississippi. One day in the locker room Darrell Ashley aka GB approached Chris Ervin aka Dj Down South and asked him about his love of music and where he was trying to get in making it a career. DJ Down South then invited GB to record at his home studio. Some time later while working on GB's Debut album 'Tripnosis' and Dj Down South's mixtape 'Get to Know Me vol. 1', GB invited his long time friend Russell Clark aka Big Blaze to a recording session. After seeing that they all had the common goal of taking their dreams and making them a reality, they formed the group Dem Raleigh Boyz.

Now with a real drive and determination to succeed, Dem Raleigh Boyz is ready to do what it takes to get themselves heard. They took out time from their recording to talk about their influences, where they see themselves headed, and how they are getting the word out about their music and creating a solid fanbase without radio play.

* Thanks guys for taking out the time to talk with me. I know you all are busy, but I'm sure our readers will appreciate this opportunity.  Who would you each say are your influences?
Dj Down South: Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Jimi Hendrix, Augustana, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Tupac, and Bone Thugs -N- Harmony. I grew up listening to 50's, 60's, and early 70's music as a kid. I have a lot of respect for that music and the artists that contributed! I still listen to those classic tracks and some of my favorite songs are from that era.

Big Blaze: There are many great artists out there, But in an attempt to keep a unique sound, I try not to be influenced by them. Our generation says they want to be unique and different, But a lot of today's artists still share the same sound.

GB: I would have to say the ones that influenced me the most was Bone thugs -n- Harmony, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, T.I, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, an Emenim. I think having an eclectic ear contributes to Dem Raleigh Boyz unique sound, and versatile lyrics. Just being open to multiple genres and having respect for their art.

* Music is something that is seen by many as a unifying force. What does music do to you all, and how is your sound different?
Dj Down South: Music brings out the best in me, I love everything about music. I love learning new instruments, listening to new music and helping out other unsigned artist. I give a lot of my time to help young kids who show interest in the arts by volunteering my time so they become more confident in their talent.

Big Blaze: Music brings out the full spectrum of emotions in me. Music also brings me peace. That's what music is meant to do, inspire people to feel emotions and motivate them to do great things. I encourage everyone I meet to pick up music, because the only way music will survive is by being passed from one generation to another.

GB: Music is my way of expressing my feelings and having a good time. I love the feeling I get when people run up to me an ask me if I could get em a Dem Raleigh Boyz cd or if me an the boys would do a track with them.

As three individuals, I know you all have your own personal style and personalities. How has it been coming together and working as one unit?
Dj Down South: It came really natural, as we continued to work in the studio we constantly hung out getting to know each other better and better. We all became inseparable and in that came the music became smoother and we are constantly improving.

Being from Mississippi myself, I know that the South is sometimes guilty of sleeping on its own. How are you getting the word out about yourself, your music and building on your career?
Dj Down South: Our agent has been hard at work, unlocking various promotional opportunities. We get as much love as you would expect out of a small town in Mississippi. We are always meeting new people that love our music and get the word out to their friends and family. We always show our appreciation to them. We love all our fans!

Radio play is another sensitive subject for some artists, especially independent ones. How is the internet helping you overcome what might be a slow process in that area?
Dj Down South: It's not how good you are, it's who you know. Radio has been a real challenge for us over the years. Our favorite line we got was from 99.7 WJMI, "We are here to play popular music, we are not here to make you popular." That didn't sit too well with my agent either (laughs). We currently use various internet resources to get our music out there such as ReverbNation ( and Soundcloud (

For some the recording process is the highlight of success for an artist. Others see performing in front of a live crowd as a crowning achievement. What about each of you?
Dj Down South: For me it is the whole experience in music, writing, recording, and performing. I love it all.

Big Blaze: I'd have to agree with DJ Down South. I love the whole process from finding a beat, writing a verse, recording it, and performing it.

GB: I would have to say I love everything about the music industry but I'm more about performing for my fans an givin them a show to remember I mean I owe it all to them an my lord an savior.

* When people hear your music, what do you hope they say about you as artists?
Dj Down South: We hope they see us the way we see ourselves, not as Rappers but as Recording Artists. The term 'Rapper' has become so bland and one sided. We see our music as art not Rap or Hip-Hop, not that there's anything wrong with Rap and Hip-Hop. We just don't see ourselves being limited by a genre where a lot of the time people have a predetermined expectation, regardless of the artist.

What single is the group promoting right now?
Dj Down South: For our debut album 'Last Road Out' we are promoting Celebrity Life, Punk Kid Ft. NeyNey, and I Don't Mind.  As for our 2nd CD that is in the works we are promoting Dat Kush Ft. Lil Wayne, Surf's Up, and Leave the Keys.

What advice do you have up and coming artists trying to break out as well?
Dj Down South: As we said earlier, It's not how good you are, its who you know. It's tough to grab that concept at first, but its true. Meet as many people as you can and keep in contact. Do not give up on your dreams. Live your life your way and smile often!

Thanks again for talking with us. How can our readers find out more about you and your music?

KINESIS: Using Passion For Music To Teach By Example

by Cyrus Webb

Mississippi continues to give birth to some of the best and brightest in the world of entertainment. At the age of 25, Mississippi native Keith "Kinesis" Cole is showcasing the skills and discipline it takes to be good at whatever it is he pursues. When it comes to setting priorities, at the top of the list---third only to his love for God and his two daughters---is his love for making and performing good music.

"With music I am able to express myself and talk about the things I see everyday," he says. A native of Dekalb, Mississippi, Kinesis has been working on his craft for quite some time. "I think I was in the fifth or sixth grade when I started writing music and figured out that I had some real skill."

Though he has admired several artists over the years, Tupac, T. I. and Young Jeezy have been the main Hip Hop voices that Kinesis has been drawn to. "Since I rap, I don't really listen to alot of rap so I won't try and emulate what I hear," he says. "I listen to alot of R&B, but I respect the artists out there doing their thing."

As with any choice that a young person makes, the response has been mixed when it comes to the support Kinesis has seen in pursuing music. "Some of the family does support me," he admits, "but some people think that what I'm doing is a waste of time. I have a college degree, and they think I should be using it."

That degree was obtained at Jackson State University and was supposed to be the doorway for him to become a teacher. For Kinesis, though, he feels as though he is a teacher of life through his music, not just to the world but other young people around him, including his daughters.

What was the deciding factor in him not pursuing a "regular" job after college? Kinesis says that in 2007 he started to get real serious about music and building his brand as an artist. "I would spend all of my spare time on recording and promotional material," he says. "I was willing to give up so much, because I felt like God was going to give me all that I wanted. I just had to show that I had faith in myself. I wanted it so bad, and I was willing to do whatever it took."

One person who was in his corner in the beginning may not be around to physically see what he is accomplishing now, but Kinesis knows they are proud of him. That would be his mother who passed away on September 11, 2002: the same day his first daughter was born. "She was always in my corner," he says. "My mom was a big supporter of anything I did." That makes his making it in the music industry that more important.

Over the past few years Kinesis has laid the groundwork for a career that is reaching not just out of his hometown of Dekalb but the state of Mississippi altogether. He has performed in shows and had the privilege of hearing his music on the radio. What has it been like for him? Two words: a blessing.

"Each experience makes me even more hungy for this," Kinesis says. "When I am on stage or in the booth, I feel like I have won a championship when I finish. It's the kind of feeling you want when you are doing something you love."

Currently, Kinesis is promoting the singles "Ready to Ride" and "Clothes Off", and has joined Shadow Play Entertainment's literacy initiative called HIP HOP AND BOOKS which encourages reading among lovers of Hip Hop and R&B. "You have to give back," Kinesis says. "Organizations like Hip Hop and Books allows artists like me to stand shoulder to shoulder with others doing what I love and promote something positive like reading. Without the ability to read, you're lost. As a father, I realize that even more."

Speaking of his children, when asked about how he hopes his two daughters see Dad the Entertainer, Kinesis understands the balancing act he and other artists have to do. "I want them to be proud of what I do," he says. "I'm an entertainer, but I think I can also be a role model in the way I treat myself, my family and those around me."

Find out more about Kinesis at!/profile.php?id=657878252&ref=ts or To schedule interviews, appearances or events with the artist, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Monday, August 2, 2010

(August 2, 2010) News From Shadow Play Entertainment

What a year it has been for Shadow Play Entertainment and its various subsidiaries. Month after month has been full of activity, and August seems to be no different. Below are the most current updates:

* Conversations Book Club has chosen "The Skinny On" series as its selection of the month for August 2010. Created by Jim Randel, it is the perfect set of books to address many of the issues Americans are dealing with from day-to-day. For details, visit

* CONVERSATIONS LIVE RADIO: After celebrating its 7th year on the radio in July 2010, Conversations LIVE Radio will bring you over 50 guests during the month of August 2010 that will span the arts, entertainment and current events that you have been hearing about. To see the full listing of guests, click this link:

* (Sat. Aug. 7, 2010) Bestselling authr Roy Glenn will travel to Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties on Sat. August 7, 2010 to promote his newest book. For details of his schedule, visit this link:

* (Tues. Aug. 10, 2010) Motivational speaker and author Shay Olivarria will be in Mississippi on Tues. Aug. 10, 2010 sharing ways to make the best use of money using her book MONEY MATTERS. For details of her visit, click here:

* (Saturday, August 14, 2010) ---- Shadow Play Entertainment will be hosting its next Hip Hop and Books Literacy Rally on Sat. August 14, 2010 beginning at 4p.m. at Smith Park (302 Amite St. *Jackson, MS). The free event will include performances by Mississippi's own Unik, Spida, Young Boi Hulk as well as special guests Joey Calendar and Pryce of Brite Mic Ent. from Oakland, California and Hip Hop and Books newest spokesperson Bigg Marv. For details visit this link:

* The Hip Hop and Books Literacy Campaign welcomes its new National Spokesperson, Bigg Marv. Known to many as the cousin of rap superstar M. C. Hammer and one of the co-stars of the hip reality show on A&E HAMMERTIME, Marv has been making moves promoting causes he believes in. Currently he is the President of the teen-driven non-profit HODGE PODGE, and will be traveling the country promoting the importance of reading and staying in school. For more details, visit

* INSPIRATIONAL CONVERSATIONS'S NEW ONLINE HOME: The newest member of th Conversations radio family has been the creation of "Inspirational Conversations" on Sunday mornings at 10:30a.m. EST (9:30a.m. CST/7:30a.m. PT). Hosted by Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder, the program is designed to give listeners a message and motivation as they head into a new week. You can now keep up with the show, hear from the hosts and listen to past episodes online at

To stay abreast of all the most recent news with Shadow Play Entertainment, visit You can also contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.