Friday, August 17, 2007

Heineken's Kicks Off Red Star Soul Tour with Independent Achievers, Chrisette Michele, & Common

Since it's beginning in 2006, Heineken's Red Star Soul has been satisfying the thirst of soul music enthusiasts and the hunger of soul music artists for success and recognition through its Independent Achiever Award. According to those awarded demonstrate the "integrity, hustle, drive and achievement and make a positive impact in their community."

This year's recipients are an interesting mix of hip hop soldiers, musicians, and entrepreneurs that have worked behind the scenes to lay the foundation of the sounds that not only make us dance but think too. It's conscience hip hop--intelligent, aware, and sometimes political. At a private reception held recently in Los Angeles, I talked with some of the 2007 award recipients present about their music and why they thought they were chosen to receive Heineken's Independent Achiever Award. Take a listen.

Representing the west, here's Los Angeles' Antonio Delgado, aka The Voice. This Rhodes Scholar is more than book smart. He's quite sagacious in the ways of the world.

For this thespian, musical greatness runs in the family. Representing Chocolate City of the east here's one of D.C.'s finest, Renaissance Man, W. Elllington Felton.

When this Chi-town producer started in the game, rapper Common had "sense," and thanks to his skills, Kanye West got his first degree in hip hop before becoming a "College Dropout". Repping the midwest is a man who's talents are not hard to identify; No I.D.

And representing Cleveland's much loved and dearly missed Teddy Bear, Gerald Levert, was his father, Eddie. When asked how accepting the Independent Achiever Award continued Gerald's musical legacy this was his response.

To see a full list of Independent Achiever Award winners click here.

Heineken Red Star Soul kicked off its tour with an invitation only concert headlined by Grammy winner Common and R&B songstress Chrisette Michele, at Boulevard 3 in Los Angeles. MCLyte, Malinda Williams, Derek Luke, and Tichina Arnold were just a few of the celebs that came out to enjoy the show. Before the concert I asked Michele how she would describe her sound.

Celebrity Arrivals:

Derek Luke and wife Sophia

Brian Hooks

Tomiko Fraser

Red Grant

Omar Epps and wife Keisha of R&B group Total

Malinda Williams

Earl Cole

Enjoy a taste of Heineken Red Star Soul

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