‘SkyBreak’ Documentary OFFICIAL Trailer

I’m so very proud to be able to present this to y’all. After talking about and posting some of the teasers over the last month or so, here is the official trailer for my upcoming SkyBreak Documentary.

Film by Digital Café
Documentary Website

Studio Campfire Stories: Platinum Pied Pipers “Stay With Me”

The Summer of 2004 was a pretty interesting time in my life to say the least. I had just released my first ‘pro pressed’ album, Passion & Definition in July, was playing some shows here and there, meeting kats in the Detroit scene who I had been a fan of for years. I had also been let go from the Medical Supplies Sales job I held for a year, and as a result I became a full-time musician (until I moved East in 2006). I had some die hard supporters, thinking I was doing something… But looking back on it, I was just beginning to pay my dues hadn’t even really begun to get my feet wet musically. Anyway, with all of the new kats I was either meeting, running into, or working with around The D, I had yet to meet Waajeed. I always had people telling me, “Man, you gotta work with Waajeed,” yet, I hadn’t even met the brotha yet. Of course, with the way everything else was just kinda ‘falling’ into place, I simply assumed we would run into each other at a venue one night (which actually happened at the Carbon Lounge in Hamtramck… and we said ‘what up’ in passing). Oddly enough, it was actually my homegirl introducing me to his girlfriend at the time after running into her at Buffalo Wild Wings that did it – If I remember correctly, the two of them went to high school together. Weird? Yes… But, I happened to have a copy of Passion & Definition on me (as I always did back then) so I passed it to her to give to him. The next thing I knew a few days later, I got a phone call from Waajeed and we agreed to get up one day at his spot in Downtown Detroit just to meet up. And now that I think about it, that instance was probably the first and only time that I have ever gotten a call back from passing material along to someone… in HOPES of a call back. OH, I take that back…. I actually met 14KT, Buff1 and the rest of the Athletic Mic League the same way back in 2002. They called me back to back after I hit them with a copy of Zo! Presents… A Canvas For The Adoration of Music at an Athletic Mic League/Subterraneous show in Ann Arbor. So, I guess passing music along comes through every now and then, huh? Maybe…

Anyway, I ended up taking a trip to Jeed’s spot in Downtown Detroit and we chopped it up for a good hour or two about music in general… Including the hustle, the passion behind it, and the bullshit. We hadn’t planned to work on anything that day but I guess higher power saw things a bit differently. During our entire conversation, I was sitting at a suitcase Fender Rhodes just messing around on the keys until finally Jeed was like, “Ayo, you know what? Let me see if you’ve got something for this joint real quick.” I was sitting there with the “oh damn” face on as I was partially put on the spot… I’m good, no pressure, right? So he played the joint he was talking about and all I hear is a stripped down track with nothing but these swinging ass drums with this seductive voice on top of it. That was IT….

Me: “Who is THAT?”

Waajeed: “Tiombe Lockhart, a singer I’m working with for the new album.”

He then proceeded to explain to me the meaning behind his newly formed group, Platinum Pied Pipers and even broke down some of the album’s concept…. but I was all into this track that I was hearing. After listening through the song, I told him to start it over so that I could feel my way around what she was singing. By the middle of the song, I knew I had something as Waajeed said, “Aw man… we’ve gotta record that!” Right then and there, he started the joint over and I proceeded to record the bass part via the Rhodes…. and recorded another pass with just the chords and it became the foundation for this new song. Jeed was so hyped up about it, he started talking about turning it in to Ubiquity (Records) (PPP’s label at the time) and knowing that they would love it, etc…. I was kind of excited, but the music “industry” had already warped me so, even by 2004 that I wanted to see proof of things happening.

Sure enough, he turned that joint in and Ubiquity really took to it. Waajeed hit me up one day telling me that they were considering it as the first single. Word?… Whatever man, I’ll believe it when I see it…….. Well, a couple months later, I was in Record Time in Ferndale, MI flipping through copies of “Stay With Me” 12″ vinyl singles.

Funny how things happen when creativity comes into play. Even now when I hear this song being played in a venue, I always think back on how everything seemed to line up just right in order for it to happen and come through the way it did.

(Not So) Fun Fact: The crazy thing about this song that no one really knows about is Waajeed gave me a “Co-producer” credit on it. So if you happen to own one of the first pressings of the 12″, you may notice that it reads:

“Produced by Waajeed, Co-produced and keys by Zo!”

But Ubiquity wasn’t having it and they pulled the “Co-produced by” recognition and gave me credit for playing keys only… Despite their silly shit, Jeed and I still joke about this story to this day

“Maaan, I met this dude…. two hours later we did ‘Stay With Me!'”


Most of the time the best stuff never happens in accordance to our script…

Me and Waajeed in D.C., August 2006

Soul Power in NYC… With Phonte & Waajeed

So since The Foreign Exchange was already in town to do the show at Merriweather Post Pavillion Saturday evening, Phonte and I decided ahead of time to go ahead and try to lock down some BoltBus tickets and roll up to New York to go and kick it with the brotha Waajeed for the day.

First on the agenda was to check out the newly released documentary Soul Power, which chronicles the 1974 mega concert that was held in Zaire, which included James Brown, Miriam Makeba, Bill Withers, The Crusaders, B.B. King, The Spinners, Celia Cruz, and many others. I’ll just say that it’s a must-see film for all musicians and music lovers. The concert footage was excellent and the way we were positioned in that tiny movie theatre, it damn near felt as if we were there – They had everything sounding so crisp… Definitely worth the time and money. I’ll be online ready to pick up the DVD when it’s released. 

Immediately following the movie, we hit up the 
BBQ’s spot on 23th and 8th cuz you know kats can’t get together without eating up every damn thing known to man.

The ‘Sticky Wings’ were on the menu and I was advised to take advantage. The waiter suggested I get a Hennessey Colada to wash it down with… I hesitated at first because I wanted one of their margaritas – Plus, I was kinda thinking like, ‘The hell are y’all putting Hennessey in a damn colada for anyway?’ …but I got one. The joint was actually pretty good…it came with a shot of Henney on the side too, which I happily took care of. Check the plate of waings though, licks faingers while eating å la John Witherspoon…

The BoltBus ride home was cool besides the fact that a kat came and sat in the seat next to me smelling like he had bathed in garlic butter. UGH… 

All in all… good times in NYC.

With PPP In Chicago @ The Shrine – 07.02.09

Well… Hit the airport for our 45 minute flight to Chicago and got to O’Hare and found a limo pulling up for us. Oh word? We were in there taking pictures like we’ve never been anywhere before… Gotta enjoy yourself right? Hahahahaha.

Anyway, we pulled up to the hotel, checked in… got grub, and hit the soundcheck. The check was long as hell, but once they got the sound locked in, it was a wrap and it was sounding good. Toward the end, in walks Muhsinah and fellow ELs member SlimKat78 to set up and check as they were scheduled to go on before us.

We had a looong time of waiting around at the hotel before we were to return to the spot to perform, so I got a workout and a pre-show meal in before we had to jet up. Once we got to the Shrine, we were informed that the place was pretty much packed out, which is ALWAYS good news. Now, once the show started…it went smoothly, until the end when they cut our set a song short because the club was about to close in 10 minutes. Can you say horrible time management? Damn man, it didn’t feel good to leave the crowd hanging like that. On top of that, the after the show piece when I like to get out there, mingle, say ‘what up’ to everybody who came out was eliminated as security was wanting everybody to leave immediately. It was confusion… but a great show once again.

On the Road With PPP in Detroit @ CityFest – 07.01.09

Our West Coast trip in March wasn’t enough… Waajeed, Coultrain, Monica Blaire, Sydney Driver, and myself had to get back up again and roll through a couple more spots before it was all said and done. The first stop this time around was the spot where three of us call home, Detroit where we played at CityFest opening for De La Soul on the main stage.

Because of the early flight, I stayed up all night (surprise, surprise) and arrived at BWI Airport at about 4am. Delta was obviously having problems checking folks in, because despite the fact that I was there 2 hours prior to take off, by the time I got checked in, went through security, and got to the gate it was 5:50am …my flight left at 6am.

Once I landed in The D, Moms came to scoop from the airport and I got home and passed out on the couch. When I finally woke up, I checked outside and made sure I said a prayer for the bad weather to hold off until we played… Well, the weather held off during soundcheck, that was no problem. But soon after that, it started to POUR. We were scheduled to go on at 7pm and because of the downpour, the people got outta there for a minute. The rain held off for a little while once we did get on stage and the soundman had us sounding real good up there. The rain started to come back down in the middle of us playing “Stay With Me.” The thing that got me was, once the rain came back…the people stayed – how ’bout that?! I think that said a whole lot about the crowd and support group that we have back home, kats hung with us out there and I am very appreciative of that. Moms, Pops and my younger sister came out… popped open the umbrellas and enjoyed themselves – even took pictures for me. After the show, my family came back to the trailer and kicked it for a little while with the entire group, the brotha Maestro of Silent Riot stopped through, along with Mudd of 5 Ela. Everybody was just crackin’ jokes, talkin’ shiff and having a good time.

I ended up rolling to Champps with the family to get fat and have some drainks, in which I had two… We closed the night out by laughing at Shaq & Cedric the Entertainer’s Comedy special, which was HILARIOUS.

On to Chicago….!