for anyone that wonders who the people are that actually pick up flyers on tables in restaurants or on trees, look no further than me. it was from some micellaneous bed-stuy stump that i found out about bedford box office, brainchild of shawn lawrence james. through his music showcase, dope, slj has broken artists, like j.cole and zoe kravitz, before their stars shot into the stratosphere.
it was through showcases that i was introduced to artists like sza and denetia + sene well before they were it kids of the internet. although seen by some as an antiquated practice, i love showcases and hope to see a resurgence. check out shawn’s thoughts on the music industry and the artists you need to be obsessed with.
Bedford Box Office is a place where dreams come true, and also where fronting ass industry niggas die. I used to be a music journalist and I remember picthing J. Cole to XXL’s “Show & Prove” section. At the time, he didnt have a deal and just dropped “The Come Up” mixtape which we used to bump in the Stuy every day. The music editor at the time said he liked his music but he “didnt have a buzz”. I used to get that a lot, and it confused me because I thought the point of doing write ups on artists (i.e. “Unsigned Hype”) was to create the buzz. I thought it was mad corny that they were scared, so I stopped writing and did my first DOPE August 27th 2008 with J. Cole and Shyvonne as the headliner and never looked back. With the flood of artists dropping music nonstop online, previous DOPE artists stood out because they all were really, really talented.
dope will be going down again on monday, june 29th, 7pm at the new bed-stuy venue, c’mon everybody, featuring ginette claudette, katrina bello, mega, rent money, and tangina stone. tix are $10 at the door with a side of good vibes.
prep yourself with one of my fave dope mixes below.
*editor’s note: after what felt like a million years, the film ‘dope’ is finally out and screening at bam. go support this black excellence!