Saturday, January 16, 2016

RUN DMC, Hip Hop and The Grammys

"I just got  call from the Grammys!! They shocked me! We're the first rappers to get this award!! Shock!" @RevRunWisdom

The Recording Academy, a.k.a the Grammys made Hip Hop history this year by honoring the legendary RUN DMC with the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016.

RUN DMC was created in 1981 and was one of the first rap trio to have commercial success. In 1993 RUN DMC popped on the scene with their debut 12 inch single, "It's Like That" with "Sucker MC" on the B-side. The following year RUN DMC was the first rap group to appear on MTV, the first international video music channel. In 1985, RUN DMC released "King of Rock" and it went GOLD! Their most successful album "Raising Hell", sold 3 million in the same year it was released. In 2004, RUN DMC was honored at the first VH1 Hip Hop Honors and in 2009 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the last three decades, RUN DMC has made history across many spectrum, and have sold millions of records world-wide. This year, they hit another milestone. On February 15th at 8pm, the world will see RUN DMC grace the stage to receive their Lifetime Achievement Award at the 58th Annual Grammys Awards.

"Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege to honoring those who have greatly contributed to the music industry and culture. Run DMC exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come."-Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Oakland Restaurant Week

Tomorrow begins the 6th Annual Oakland Restaurant Week presented by Visit Oakland and American Express. Oakland Restaurant Week runs from Jan. 14-24, over the next two weekends foodies can take full advantage of prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus ranging from $20-$50. The promotional price reflects up to 25% off regular a' la carte items.

Oakland restaurants are a part of a thriving hospitality industry in Oakland restaurants and hotels generate close to $10 million in sales tax revenue a year and with revenue steadily rising. At the end of 2014, Oakland had 900 restaurants, employing about 13,500 people.

Oakland Restaurant Week made national headline this year in USA Today as one of the Best 10 Local Food Scenes in the nation and the only destination representing California and the West Coast.

Oakland and Bay Area diners look forward to this event each year, because it gives them a chance to get out and try something new, meet new friends and sample some of the tastiest cuisines Oakland has to offer.

For more information, please visit:


Saturday, November 7, 2015


We love all things thought provoking and Issa Rae Productions brings it with Stages an intriguing piece that reveals itself as the film moves along. Choice and chance are both covered in the film.

Written by: Will Catlett
Produced by: James Bland, Will Catlett, Marti Hines, Jahmela Biggs and Ciji Michelle Campbell
Edited by: Bahiyjaui Allen
Music by: Phillippe Pierre
Directed by: James Bland

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

So you think you can sing? Kelly Rowland and BET to form female supergroup

Kelly Rowland and BET set to document the road to stardom for a group of superstar entertainers. Please see the flyer below for specific submission details. Singers, dancers, and entertainers are encouraged to email audition requirements to


Thursday, October 8, 2015


Atlanta rolled out the welcome mat as the 2015 All 3 Coasts Festival (A3C Festival) kicked off last night. The festival commenced with performances by Atlanta’s pedigreed rappers T. I., Jeezy, and Travis Porter. The Atlanta office of Film and Entertainment held a kick off mixer featuring a panel with Brian Knott co-founder of A3C Festival and A3C General Manager Mike Walbert. You42 Atlanta Music Heritage Award recipient Shanti Das, was also at the event. Follow the hashtag #A3C15BPE or check out websites for more information on the A3C Festival.

    Travis Porter - Tune Core Live
Photo cred: A3C Festival

                           Shanti Das
Photo cred: A3C Festival

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hip Hop Lives Here: A3C

Cali is knocking on A3C's door. Check often for information and education from the 11th Annual A3C Festival and Conference in Atlanta, GA.  Wanna go? Use the code A3C15BlackPearlEnt for a special discount.

Friday, August 28, 2015

5 newbie music industry lessons learned from #SOC

Straight Outta Compton chronicles the life of Rap mega group N.W.A. who went from the bowels of Compton to superstar status crafting a genre where the elements still exist today. From the clothing, the cars, and the music -the movie is an 80s baby Hip-Hop dream. We don’t want give away the movie for those who haven’t seen it, but there are important music industry lessons you can learn from watching the film.

Lesson 1: Watch the company you keep
When the genius of your talent is recognizable to others you’ll begin to take meetings with those who’ll want to help you. If you are experiencing some level of success on your own, consider keeping things in-house until duties become too overwhelming and you must hire someone. Before you hire, vet the staff. Get references, interview current and former clients, and research past projects for success. Don’t fall for slick words and empty promises. Start working on a trial basis and put expectations in writing. If you’re getting good results, consider extending the trial for a longer period of time until your employee becomes permanent staff.

Lesson 2: Don’t work without agreements
As you know, one of our favorite sayings is, “if it’s not in black and white, it doesn’t exist”. It’s important to obtain and sign production split sheets, contracts, band agreements, etc. before you begin working with someone. Doing so creates an air of transparency that brings an ease to partnerships. There’s nothing worse than collaborating with someone and having a conversation about splits after everything is done. In addition, depending on what went down during recording, you may not remember saying you gave someone 50% writer’s credit. With that being said, don’t give up your goods for free. Get the paperwork done.

Lesson 3: You can’t speak legalese
It is always important to read every document you are signing and more important to understand what you are signing. Even the simplest of contracts can bring despair if you don’t fully understand what you are reading. Years ago we had to fight to get a client out of a ridiculous contract where they received no money from sales. On top of that it was for multiple projects. They basically worked for free. Hidden in simple, but important language, the client signed their career away.  All contracts should be looked over by a lawyer. Refer back to Lesson 1 for important steps in finding a good attorney.

Lesson 4: Sign all the checks
It’s very important at all levels to have an accounting system. Like your checkbook, you should keep a record of every transaction related to your business. If you are just starting out a simple Excel sheet to record your expenses, tax withholdings, and profits will do. If your business is profitable but you’re not quite ready for an accountant or bookkeeper, consider using business accounting software. If you chose to enlist the help of a professional, you’ll still need to go over all transactions with a fine tooth comb. Don’t be afraid to ask for an accounting at any time to see where you’re funds are going. One way to ensure this is to sign all the checks! Scrutinize every item on an invoice. Make sure what you are paying for is essential to your business. Constantly review your budget and remove excess items. Seek vendors who can offer the same or better quality at lower prices. Make sure you are putting something back into your business in the form of education, marketing and promotion, or better equipment. Make sure savings are a top line item in your budget.

Lesson 5: Be patient
Keep working at your craft and soon you’ll be noticed. Enjoy the process of creating something new-of sharing your point of view with the world. Wear your uniqueness like a shiny suit. Don’t fall into the trap of being a copycat; it won't get you any further. When you get to the point where you feel your efforts are not working, keep going; another door will open. One thing to keep in mind is that instant success is really not that instant. It can take up to 10 years to hit commercial success. The thing we’ve learned is that, when it’s your time, it’s your time.