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iEKNOWS Makes You Fall In Love With Hip Hop At His First Headlining Show

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For the past year, I’ve been noticeably absent from a lot of shows. In the beginning, there were very few shows (if any) that you wouldn’t find me. As time went on, I lost the joy of attending them and slowly but surely stopped. I believe that once you’re forcing yourself to enjoy something, you should probably remove yourself until you arrive to that place where you enjoy yourself again.

It’s interesting. From the beginning, I had a vision for what I intended to do and to a certain extent I’ve hit a glass ceiling on that. Every artist wants to feel like they’re important and like they deserve every moment of your time just like every other one does on soundcloud. I get it, we all want to be heard.

However, the ones that remain humble and work the hardest that keep my attention. Enter iEKNOWS.

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(Photo by Saucy Photography)

Last Friday, I was proud to attend iEKNOWS’ first headlining show, 1 FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE SHOW. I don’t really remember the first time I was able to catch his performance. It was probably over a year ago, but he always gives his all regardless of who shows up. These are the kind of artists that I truly enjoy writing about. These are the kind of artists that you truly hope make it because we just need more genuine people with real messages.

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(Photo by Saucy Photography)

At the beginning of his set, the audio from his short video, Rock Bottom Is Beautiful, played. For those who have hit “rock bottom” or breaking point, it’s certainly a relatable piece. Personally, I can relate to this with what I’ve been through so to hear something so personal was refreshing. It reminded us all this journey will push you to places you’ve never been but you’ll be grateful when you reach the end of the tunnel.

From there, we moved into a few tracks from his recently released project, Rolling With The Punches. While independent, iEKNOWS’ rollout of his long awaited project was a slow but steady release. While teasing us with a few freestyles here and there, there was no obvious rush to the process. In my opinion, that’s a great thing. Too often, artists get caught into this warp of appeasing their fans and trying to meet “industry standards,” whatever those may be. He does a great job of keeping the focus of his audience while knowing when and how he should release his music.

One of sweetest moments of the night was the acknowledgement he gave to his mother. It’s always a nice moment to not only see a crowd come out for an artist, but when their family comes it makes the moment that much more heartfelt. Out of all of the songs performed, Paris Dream’n was another track that was certainly a standout record.

It doesn’t matter if you’re chasing the corner office or the spotlight on a stage, at some point you’ll find yourself somewhere in between you dreams and your reality. Paris Dream’n speaks to that and reminds us that we’ve either been there, will be there or are currently there.

Not only was his set phenomenal, but his supporting acts leading up were also outstanding. The Mike Wilson, Bria Zhanae, Mave Jome, and 98KB set the stage hyping the crowd up for a one night only show you had to be there to experience.

Here Are 6 Music Events You Should Not Miss In Orlando

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(Event: 1LV by @LocalTrash. Photo Credit: sublimediablo

The city of Orlando, Florida is often (and that’s putting it lightly) overlooked when it comes to talented musicians, or better yet, a place to find these talented musicians perform. However, Orlando has several “diamond in the rough” events that consistently deliver stellar overlooked artists that deserve some attention. While the culture is a small culture, the talent pool is massive and underappreciated. The local community of Orlando works extremely hard to present their art to the public and deserve to be seen and heard.

What: Respect The Mic

Where: Café Annie, 131 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Price: $10 and up

For over two years, Leon “OrangeisMedia” Orange, Jr. has placed his heart and soul into creating an outlet unlike any other “open mic” event. Over time, it has grown to be a weekly soulful event to look forward to hearing spoken word, live performances and a live band by the name of ‘Fish & Gritz’. If those factors alone aren’t enough to make you come out and see it for yourself, spotlight singer RaOndria Johnson tears the roof off every single week with her ability to connect with the crowd and get everyone dancing and singing along. It’s hard to predict what you will receive when you attend because every week offers a different theme and appeal. If you prefer a seat in the front of the action, you can reserve a table prior to arrival. For more information, vist OrangeIsMedia.com.

Who: TSA Showcase

Where: Location may vary

Price: $15 and up

TSA Showcase has built quite the reputation of consistently “doing it for the culture” with their vast amount of local showcases featuring top talent. Unlike the average showcase, TSA sets themselves apart from others by handpicking their talent from previous shows in an effort to plan each show. In the past, a few notable TSA Showcase alumni include Marco, Marcellus Juvann, LB, Swamp Posse, Kim, Palmer Reed and so many more. Check out their next upcoming event featuring SKYXX, iEKNOWS, Moe Waveyy, Moody, Kaiydo and Creativeangel on November 28th at Backbooth in Downtown Orlando. For more information on their upcoming events, visit them here.

What: The Sesh

Where: Doc’s Streetside Grille, 1315 S Orange Avenue #1F, Orlando, Fl

Price: $3 and up

The Sesh is an opportunity for local artists interested in performing music, networking and enjoy a cool, relaxed vibe. The event allows artists to build a following while showcasing their talent to other local artists like themselves and the music community. Here, you can be yourself and showcase your ability to sing, rap, dance, perform a comedy skit or anything that showcases your special talent. The open mic event allows you to sign yourself up to perform an hour prior to the event if you’re interested in giving it a try. The Sesh occurs every first Wednesday of each month in the heart of Downtown Orlando.

What: My City Mondays

Where: The Social, 54 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida

Price: $10 and up

For over five years, My City Mondays has given countless opportunities to rising artists to perform for prominent artists including 2 Chainz, Future, Meek Mill, and many more. In addition to the live performances, the event offers a more than generous happy hour with specials every month. Founder, Preston “PK” Prathers offers an impressive platform for artists to gain opportunities that otherwise would not be offered within the city. Prathers throws the monthly event on every first Monday event with a different theme and feel from producer battles, R&B showcases and of course, hip-hop. The next opportunity to attend will be this upcoming Monday on November 9th and will include an opportunity to compete to perform for Yo Gotti and Young Jeezy during The upcoming Annual Florida Classic Weekend. Orlando’s Newest Hip-Hop Radio Station 104.5, Street Runnaz, Bank Boyz Society, Merrim Live and Royalty Entertainment Group present this event. For more information, visit them here.

What: Niko & Friends (Pop-Up Show)

Where: Random locations

Price: Free

Brazilian born, Orlando based hip-hop artist NIKO IS contributes nothing but good vibes with his traveling pop-up shows around the city of Orlando. Signed to legendary Talib Kweli’s label, Javotti Media, Niko keeps a level, humbled approach to delivering his music and giving other local artists the chance to share his platform. His pop-up shows are randomly announced the day before and typically involve other local talent, a live band and other surprises for the culture. While I can’t specify exactly when these spectacular shows happen, I can tell you to follow the artist to catch his next show by his twitter handle, @nikohigh.

Who: Dope Entertainment

Where: Orlando, Tampa, or Miami

Price: $15 and up

Dope Entertainment is more than a promotional company, but a facilitator of bringing underground as well as popular mainstream artists to Florida. Co-founders, Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler, began their journey in 2010 with their first show with Curren$y and Rick Ross in Tallahassee, Florida. Since the beginning, the two have followed a formula of booking your favorite acts and bringing their tours all over Florida. But, why are they included on this list? Not only are they responsible for bringing artists like Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg and others but they’re also giving local artists a chance to share the stage with these artists. Any local artist will tell you, it’s not easy to get someone to take a chance on you and place you on a stage with popular artists. However, while Dope Entertainment focuses on bringing tours that otherwise wouldn’t come to Florida, they are also giving back to community by expanding into their own hip-hop festivals like Rolling Loud and TakeoffxLanding. The two festivals brought out a total of over an astounding (estimated) 9,000 hip-hop fans. Simply put, if you’re a fan of hip-hop music then you should never (and I mean never) miss the opportunity to attend a Dope Ent show. Make sure to check for their upcoming shows here.

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