Interviews

Interview: Adam Hale Talks Local Hip Hop Scene and Beyond

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$5 Over 21 / $10 Under 21

Music Mind Productions is a full-service, event planning and promotion company that was started by Adam Hale. In 2002, Music Mind Productions put on their first show at Headliner’s Music Hall, and since have evolved into a company that offers major services in artist development and graphic design through some of the best production outlets in the region. Hale has put on showcases around the Southeast, but in the recent years has focused on shows hosted at Columbia’s own New Brookland Tavern – one of the oldest running venues in the state. New Brookland Tavern is notorious for taking South Carolina artists’ “performance virginity”; by this, I mean that many artists, including myself, take their first steps onto any stage at New Brookland Tavern. Within these walls, there’s a sense of heritage and new generations blended together with blood, sweat, and music. It is this among many other reasons, why Hale chooses this spot to host his shows.

Hale has taken several roles of the industry; primarily he’s a promoter and fan, but over his career, he’s taken on roles as an: artist, manager, stage hand, security, and agent. He’s learned from experience in these roles, that there’s a severe epidemic of lack of collaboration within the Hip Hop industry of South Carolina. He says, “I believe the steps of change lie in the hands of the artists and visionaries who have the desire to make it better by putting their egos aside and working with others. To me, THIS is the biggest flaw!”

Over the years, Hale has had the opportunity to work and network with hundreds of artists and bands. Over the last year, he highlights six individuals that he believes have stood out from the rest: “Fat Rat Da Czar holds his throne as the Don of the industry; he’s always reinventing and perfecting himself and his brand. Sympl, of Greenville, SC, has toured with some of Hip Hop’s finest and has put in work for nearly two decades. Wyze Mindz is definitely one of the most underrated acts in the region; they’re ill and constantly work to blow crowds up. H3ro is a good kid who’s obviously passionate about what he does; there’s evidence of a tremendous amount of focus and hard work in his projects. I totally see Adelfi Music Group as up-and-comers who are working to establish something long-term; they’re young but there’s definitely a lot of potential there. Last, but certainly not least, Blind Fury; he’s not only overcome incredible obstacles – the man’s a lyrical freak of nature! As far as people that motivate me, Dave Britt, with Solid Entertainment, Vance McNabb and Travis Maynard, former managers of 5 Point Pub, Trae Judy from Music Farm, and Charles Wilkie, the Lefty at the Washout frontman. These are some of Columbia’s entertainment power hitters that make plays from behind the scenes.”

Adam believes in “Diversity Through Music” – it’s a theme that he reflects through every show he puts together. From heavy metal to hip hop shows, his main focus is to develop the bands and artists into unique representatives of their state, as well as offer an alternate perspective of the scene for everyone.

On July 19, 2015, Music Mind Productions teamed up with Seven Sense for a showcase that brought together some of the region’s leading performers including: 2Slik, DhD, and Wyze Mindz. Headlined by the local hero battle rapper: Blind Fury, the showcase also catered acts to Columbia all the way from Toronto, Canada and Los Angeles, California.

2Slik brought the Corner Squad with him for his debut performance. 2Slik set the night off to a hot start; his quick and deliberate rhyme schemes torched the mic and had the audience vibing throughout his entire set. Until he mentioned it, nobody would’ve guessed it was his first show.

DhD hit the stage at 9; the “young hippy” had a 20 minute set that was stacked with trippy beats, predominately coming off of his most recent mixtape: “The Return of Fvckin Hippy”. He set featured: Nique the Geek, Marko Hurtt, and even his own, older cousin, ‘DannyBoy’. The 18 year old emcee, although the youngest performer, gave the rest of the artists a run for their talent.

The Wyze Mindz were next; Unknown and Apacolypse turned New Brookland up with an oldschool, dirty south vibe. The duo performed with passion and concentrated emphasis of delivering a message: Specifically, “Real men do not talk sh*t on a computer; they make their points face-to-face.”

Following the Wyze Mindz were the D&D Sluggers. Definitely the most unique and unusual act of the night, the D&D Sluggers combine an electric guitar with soulful vocals and… a Nintendo DS? I thought I was tripping, but my eyes were not deceiving me. To explain the sound, one would have to imagine playing a guitar that made tones involving video game sounds, and rapping and singing over that. The music was both creative and entertaining.

Perhaps the highlight of the night, and almost stealing the spotlight from Blind Fury, was Maya Killtron from Toronto, Canada. Killtron blends pop, hip hop, dance, and electro music into her very own genre. Altering between the microphone, keyboard, laptop, and violin, Maya Killtron blew the audience out of the water with her first note, and held us in the air until her last breath. She started her set with a few old-school soul cover songs – highlighting Tina Marie’s music. After her cover song performances, she enlightened us with her original songs.

Fresh Kils, is the headlining act for the D&D Sluggers and Maya Killtron’s tour. This individual relies on sounds of his MPC to create his art. He provided the venue with some dope electronic, hip hop, and EDM tracks.

Coolzey, our friend from Los Angeles, gives a vibe of stoner-punk freedom and Californication. Influenced by multiple genres of rock, pop punk, and rap, the emcee delivers massive waves of dope bars per verse that create images in the listeners’ minds. His most recent project is an album called: Hit Factory.

Last but not least, the headliner, Blind Fury had to remind everybody whose state they were in. What he lacks in sight, he makes up for double in sound. Every syllable is projected fluidly, and every word is announced dynamically. Blind Fury notes that through these showcases, he continues to take note of the people who line up to open for him.

The show on Sunday drew between 40 and 50 people, and although it was a small crowd, the audience was devoted on showing their support for every act. This was the goal for Adam, and no word could describe the evening better than: “success”. The quote that comes to mind is from Bob Marley’s classic song, One Love: “One love, one heart… Let’s get together and feel alright.”

Keep up to date with the Music Mind Productions’ future showcases and events by liking them on Facebook; or if you’re in need of personal event planning, utilize Adam’s established skills and services.

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