Once again, on a quest to be the hardest working videographer in the city, I ran into a show on U st, in which Black Alley SHUT DOWN Liv Nightclub in Washington DC. The crowd was amazing, the drinks were flowing and everyone was having a great time. If you happen to be in the U St area on a Sunday evening/night, Liv is def the place to be.
Little known fact, I am a former member of Black Alley and recorded my first (unreleased) solo project with the band as well (back in my singing days). For more information contact myself at Brandon.Best@gmail.com
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Yesterday I ran into a crowd at the BLVD in Largo, so logically I wanted to check out what all the hype was about, and I ran into quite possibly some of the most amazing cars that I have seen in a while. From what I was told they were shooting a video for their car club, Flying Low Car Club located in Hampton Park Blvd. If you are more interested in the car club check out their facebook page www.facebook.com/flyinlowcc I'm sure you will like what you see.
Life, Love & Lyrics
Life, Love & Lyrics
Saturday, August 21, 2010
For those of you who don't know, I recently purchased the new Canon EOS 7d camera. It is a $2,000+ cam that does HD video as well take excellent quality pictures. This is something I put together for a homie of mine named G-Two. It's a behind the scenes footage of a music video that he is recording. The video is going to be crazy! Check it out!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
There are very few words that could describe Stevie Wonder. For over 47 years, Stevie Wonder has amazed audiences in a fashion unfathomable to the average human being. He has written 54 Top 40 songs in the US as well as being the recipient of 25 Grammy's and a Lifetime Achievement Award. However, Wonder's accolades don't stop there. Stevland Hardaway Judkins (Stevie Wonder) impact far outreaches music. Throughout the duration of his 47 year career, Wonder was an influential political activist. He was also a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Some of his work included an effort to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday (1980).
Last night I had the pleasure to see Stevie Wonder perform live at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. The show was hosted by the Pollin family, the long-time owner's of the Wizards organization. As many of you know, Abe Pollin, past away not too long ago, and his family wished to give back to the community. With that thought in mind, the Pollins put together a FREE private concert in which they would celebrate the "working people" who made the Wizards Organization what it is today. They sent out tickets to teachers, the fire and police department, as well as social work agencies in the city.
The arena was packed as Stevie Wonder sang multiple renditions of his most famous songs. By the end of the night Stevie Wonder sang over 2.5 hours of GREATNESS. There were no intermission, no breaks, just 2.5 hours of utter amazement. There wasn't a face in the crowd that wasn't smiling, and if there was someone without a smile, it was only because they were singing the words to their favorite song.
With over 30 Top 10 songs, its no WONDER he could sing 2.5hours of hits! Sometimes we take artist like Stevie Wonder for granted instead of seeing him for what he is... A LEGEND, AN ICON, and quite possibly the most INFLUENTIAL MAN left standing.
One of the worst days in my life was when I heard the news of MJ's passing, and the fact that I never had an opportunity to meet him, or see him live only made that moment worse. However, yesterday was one of the best moments in my life! But even more memorable was the 7 year old boy that was allowed to run around and dance near the front of the stage, well past the restricted zone. The security guards didn't tell his parents to keep him behind the line, they just let him dance, and have fun! I think that was the vision the Pollin's had in mind when they created this event (in less that 3 weeks). That child's life will never be the same... and neither will mine. Thanks Pollin's and most of all, thank you Stevie Wonder. Thank you for allowing me to see what GREATNESS looks like. I'll never forget that day.
Friday, March 26, 2010
After a little bit of work, I've finally launched www.officialbbest.com
It's the official website to get anything related to BBest, inclusive of merchandise, Life,Love&Lyrics Events and more. Check it out whenever you get a chance!!
BTW www.officialbbest.com release party on May 8th!!!!! With live performances by yours truely, Let it Flow, and Suttle Thoughts!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
So this year I decided to do something a little different for Valentine's. Go out with my best friend! Instead of going through the drama of having unwanted pressure, why not go out with someone who I know I will have fun with. Yeah, it so happens that my best friend is a 5'7 model with an amazing smile... but with all of that out of the way, I knew it would be a fun drama-less night.
We went to Bravo-Bravo, a spot on Connecticut Avenue to see Kindred Family Soul and Bella Donna. Bella Donna, an all female band opened the show with a series of covers. They had a great sound, but it was just so different to see an all female band. I mean they were good too! I'm definitely going to make sure I see more of them in the future.
Kindred finally hit the stage with their usual classics like "Far Away From Here" and "Where would I be." They had the whole place rocking! I mean there were probably three people not partying, and they worked security. Did I mention that the female singer was from DC (bonus points) and she was pregnant (bonus points) and they brought me on stage to sing a lil Curtis Mayfield "Diamonds in the back, sunroof top.... you know the rest (BONUS POINTS).
So what started out as a fun little outing with a friend, turned into a great night!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Check out this article I wrote for www.dmvunplugged.com
With urban music sale volumes experiencing monumental decreases, its a wonder why anyone would aspire to become a Hip Hop or R&B artist in 2010.
The truth of the matter is, according to last week’s Billboard charts, only two Hip Hop artist (Jay-Z & Eminem) surpassed 1 million record sales, while no R&B artist with the exception of Beyonce, reached that plateau. Even artist such as Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Rihanna and 50cent failed to reach platinum status by several hundred thousand sales.
JeezySome may suggest that the quality of Hip Hop and R&B has declined over the past two decades, while others believe the market is over saturated with free music being leaked by artist and labels. Even social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter have been blamed for the low numbers, claiming that the ease of access has detracted from the artists’ mystique, thus resulting in a decreased motivation to purchase an album. The truth is, there are many factors that led to the downfall of urban sales, but none better than the mantra used correctly by Young Jeezy “It’s a recession erybody broke,” which has also negatively impacted the purchasing patterns of urban music’s the target market.
Labels are no longer taking risk, so pretty safe to say that the days of being “discovered” & landing a multimillion dollar contract are over. Quality music no longer equates to success. Labels have become impatient and are unwilling to work with artists to develop their brand. Its crazy to believe that if the Fugees released their debut album today [Blunted in Reality (1994)], they may not have been granted an opportunity to refine their sound, eventually leading to the birth of one of hip hop’s all time greatest groups. For those unfamiliar with the Fugees debut project, it peaked at #62 on The Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums of 1994, failing to land a Top 100 spot on the national billboards.
So the question remains, why be an urban artist in the year 2010, especially with the knowledge that marketing & promotional costs are high, with little to no guarantee of a significant return. The answer is quite simple and could be summarized in four key words: love, impact, freedom & expression. Do it for the LOVE of the art; for the IMPACT you will have on others; and for the FREEDOM or EXPRESSION. To passionate artist, the acronym of these four key words says it all. Music = L.I.F.E.
The intent of this article is not to discourage urban artist from being entrepreneurs or following their dreams, but if you look at music as a “side hustle” or a way to get rich quick, then you should probably consider pop or country, its a much smarter business investment. The facts are simple, the target audience of the urban market is a only subculture of the American population. This is exactly why you see artists such as Eminem and Jay-Z with songs that would be considered pop. In order to make the big $$$ they have to reach a broader audience. Do you think Jay-Z would sell a million records reppin Marcy Projects? The answer is no, not right now. But if you expand on that idea and title the song “New York” and add a few names like Sinatra, and include the Knicks and Yankees in the song, you now have a song that can relate to people of all socioeconomic and cultural subgroups. So while “reppin your hood” will always have a place in your heart, if you are doing this for the hustle, make music for the kids in the suburbs.
I’m not saying this to detract from urban music, I will always love Hip Hop and R&B. I will also continue to support it by purchasing CD’s & merchandise from the artist I respect. I love Hip Hop & EVERYTHING it stands for, because through Urban music gave me L.I.F.E. So give me a backpack, 1000 CD’s and a microphone, and I’ll see you at the next open mic!
Notable Record Sales 12/29/09-1/5/10 Soundscan
Taylor Swift – Fearless – 5,330,091
Taylor Swift – Big Machine – 4,621,051
Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream – 3,099,223
Beyonce – I Am Sasha Fierce – 2,659,051
Nickelback – Dark Horse – 2,533,107
Lady GaGa – FAME – 2,389,976
Black Eyed Peas – E.N.D – 1,787,340
Eminem – Relapse – 1,734,043
Kings of Leon – Only By The Night – 1,708,935
Jay-Z – BP3 – 1,514,281
Zac Brown Band – Foundation – 1,348,638
Miley Cyrus – Time of Our Lives – 1,212,186
Carrie Underwood – Play On – 1,182,518
Twilight Saga – Soundtrack – 964,097
Jason Aldean – Wide Open – 958,836
Alicia Keys – Element of Freedom – 769,963
Rihanna – Rated R – 497,382
Trey Songz – Ready – 438,909
Mary J. Blige – Stronger with Each Tear – 388,806
50cent – Before I Self Destruct – 350,631
Chris Brown – Graffiti – 231,599
Gucci Mane – State vs Radric Davis – 190,604
Young Money – We Are Young Money – 182,762