Tag Archives: SEATTLE

[No Fake News] Seattle Mayor Found Guilty of Child Abuse by Portland CPS…

 

 

mayorchildabuseAn Oregon child-welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.

The investigation by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) of Jeff Simpson’s allegations determined them to be valid — meaning the agency believed Murray sexually abused Simpson, the records show.

“In the professional judgement of this caseworker who has interviewed numerous children of all ages and of all levels of emotional disturbance regarding sexual abuse, Jeff Simpson has been sexually abused by … Edward Murray,” CPS caseworker Judy Butler wrote in the May 1984 assessment.

Murray, elected Seattle’s mayor in 2013, last week repeated in an interview with The Seattle Times that he never abused Simpson, and he underscored that prosecutors had decided decades ago not to charge him.
“It was Jeff’s emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson wrote.Still, the newly disclosed records reveal that a Multnomah County prosecutor withdrew a criminal case against Murray because of Simpson’s troubled personality, not because she thought he was lying.

“We could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case — of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. However, this in no way means that the District Attorney’s Office has decided Jeff’s allegations are not true.”

Unlike a criminal case, CPS child-abuse investigations determine whether “reasonable cause” exists — a lower standard of proof than for criminal cases, but still meaning the abuse likely occurred. In Oregon, about 10 percent of child-abuse reports annually have in recent years been deemed to be founded.

The newly obtained records, previously thought destroyed, provide the clearest picture yet of the investigation of Murray, then a paralegal who had worked as a counselor to Simpson and other troubled children.


A letter to The Times
 sent Saturday night by Murray’s Portland lawyer, Katherine Heekin, stressed: “Oregon’s Child Protective Services is supposed to err on the side of believing a child’s accusations. The agency is not responsible for judging sex abuse cases. It merely investigates allegations of sex abuse. In contrast, law enforcement is responsible for determining whether or not a crime may have happened. Here, there was no indictment, no charges filed, no conviction, and no crime.”The documents, released to The Seattle Times this month by Oregon’s Department of Human Services, also contradict public statements in recent months by Murray and his lawyer contending investigators had debunked Simpson’s allegations at the time as false.

Murray said last week he had never been told of the CPS finding and would have appealed had he known. The Seattle Times provided him copies of the newly released investigative records Tuesday.

In an interview Thursday, Murray and Heekin questioned why Oregon officials kept the records without informing Murray. They also disputed the importance of the documents.

“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” said Murray. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”

Murray said his previous comments that Simpson’s allegations had been discredited were based on his lawyer’s impressions about the decision to drop the case. He said he learned from the documents that the case was withdrawn before a grand jury could vote whether to indict him.

“I feel even more strongly that my statement was correct because (the criminal case) was withdrawn,” Murray added. “ … That is unusual because we all know people get indicted and they get indicted pretty easily. As I said, one of the attorneys told me you can get a ham sandwich indicted in the grand jury.”

The withdrawn case included another foster parent Simpson had accused of abuse.

Murray pointed to statements his attorneys collected and submitted to investigators from people who had known him or Simpson. They included other foster parents who described the youth as sometimes violent and impossibly difficult to care for.

Oregon officials previously said records of the investigation had been purged, but located them in April under a newer computer-tracking system. In releasing the typically private information to The Times, that state cited, in part, a provision of public-records law that allows disclosure “to protect children from abuse and neglect.”

The finding by CPS supporting Simpson — who had been abandoned as an infant and later lived under Murray’s care for nearly a year and a half as a teenager — prompted Oregon child-welfare officials to decide that Murray should never again be a foster parent, a June 1984 report shows.

The abuse finding — the result of a required administrative investigation — remains in effect and could still prevent him from being a foster parent in Oregon, officials said.

 

Jeff Simpson, who says as a teenager he was sexually abused by Ed Murray, his foster father for a time, is seen in April in Oregon. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)
Jeff Simpson, who says as a teenager he was sexually abused by Ed Murray, his foster father for a time, is seen in April in Oregon. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

 

“Thank you, Jesus”

Murray, 62, a longtime Democratic state lawmaker and gay civil-rights leader, has attacked the credibility of Simpson and other men who say he sexual abused them decades ago. Murray has suggested the claims are politically motivated.

The scandal led Murray to drop his re-election bid. The mayor has said he’ll serve out his term, which ends this year.

Simpson, 49, who abandoned an effort to sue Murray in 2008 due to statute-of-limitations issues, was happy when reporters told him last week that the CPS report backed his claims.

“Wow, wow. Thank you, Jesus,” he said.

Simpson added that he and his attorney had tried to find such documents, but were told none existed.

The Times first published details about Simpson’s claims in April when a Kent man, Delvonn Heckard, made similar accusations against Murray in a sexual-abuse lawsuit. Heckard withdrew his lawsuit in June, saying he intends to refile after Murray leaves office.

Shortly after Heckard sued, Murray’s attorney Robert Sulkin attacked the lawsuit and Simpson’s allegations, saying Simpson’s claims had been “completely debunked” and “found to be false by law enforcement.”

Janet Hoffman, the Portland attorney who defended Murray in 1984, said in an interview in May that Portland prosecutors were “very hard-nosed” and must have been “thoroughly convinced” the allegations were “totally false.”

The records released this month show otherwise. Along with the prosecutor’s letter and the CPS assessment, a state foster-care specialist wrote in a summary:

“Mr. Murray allegedly sexually abused the foster child in his home over a long period of time. Although he was not indicted, the Protective Services department feels that the allegations are true, as does the district attorney’s office.”

A police report shows two witnesses also told a detective they were aware of allegations that Murray had abused Simpson and were willing to testify before a grand jury. A high-school friend of Simpson and the friend’s mother told the detective Simpson had spoken to them about Murray’s alleged abuse before telling social workers and that they had overheard a three- to four-hour phone call between the two.

Two foster fathers accused

Simpson, who grew up in group and foster homes, met Murray at the Parry Center for Children in Portland where Murray worked as his counselor in the late 1970s. Murray remained close with Simpson after the boy left the center.

At the time, Simpson had extreme emotional problems. Child-welfare records described him as a “heavy street kid” and “one of the agency’s most difficult children.” Murray was considered a stabilizing presence whom Simpson called “Dad,” the records show.

In November 1982, a court designated Murray, then a 27-year-old paralegal for a public defender’s office, to become Simpson’s foster father. The teenager lived with Murray in two Portland apartments until March 1984, records show. Social workers noted some problems, but they called Murray the most successful foster parent Simpson had ever had.

Simpson first alleged sex abuse in April 1984, a few weeks after he’d been removed from Murray’s care due to drug abuse and behavioral problems. The upheaval in Simpson’s living situation weighed on him; two days after being moved to a group home he slashed his wrist, cutting a 4-inch gash in his left arm.

When a social worker interviewed Simpson, asking if he’d ever been sexually abused, Simpson told her a foster parent had abused him years earlier. When she asked if he’d been abused more recently, Simpson wanted assurances his answer would remain confidential, the records show.

“After being reassured … that it would, Jeff acknowledged that his foster father in his most recent placement also sexually abused him,” a social worker’s report on the alleged abuse states.

CPS assigned Butler to assess the allegations a few days later. Simpson was surprised and reluctant, saying he thought what he told the social worker would stay private. He eventually told Butler about the alleged abuse in an hourlong interview.

Simpson said the abuse began in 1980, when he was 13 and spending a weekend with Murray. The abuse continued after Murray became his foster father and lasted until he left Murray’s care at age 16, Simpson said. At times, Murray paid Simpson $10 or gave him drugs for sex.

“Jeff stared at the floor and appeared to be very depressed,” Butler wrote. “At times his voice would shake as he described his disappointment when Ed Murray, whom he had trusted and seen as the only consistent adult figure in his life, began a process of sexual abuse.”

Jeff Simpson is seen in a high-school yearbook photo. Now 49, he was happy the CPS report backed his claims.
Jeff Simpson is seen in a high-school yearbook photo. Now 49, he was happy the CPS report backed his claims.

 

Case withdrawn

Simpson gave a second interview a day later with Butler and Portland police Detective Dave Foesch. Simpson told the detective that Murray sometimes warned him that if he told anyone, he’d be removed from Murray’s home and sent to an institution.

When the detective asked if Simpson was willing to help prosecute Murray, Simpson responded, “No, he is my father,” Foesch, who has since died, wrote in a police report.

“It was then explained to Jeffrey that Mr. Murray is not his father and that a father would not do these things to his son,” Foesch wrote. “Jeffrey then thought about it for a while and agreed that he may possibly be able to save some other child from suffering the same indignations.”

The next day, Simpson, Butler and Foesch testified before a grand jury, Butler’s report states. Meantime, Murray, unaware of the allegations, called Simpson’s group home several times, demanding to speak with him and threatening to sue when he was denied contact, Butler’s report states.

After testifying to the grand jury, Foesch called Murray to inform him of Simpson’s allegations and set up an interview. A lawyer for Murray later told Foesch his client was “too emotionally upset at this time to be interviewed,” the detective’s report states.

Murray changed lawyers several times before settling on Hoffman, who soon provided statements to investigators from people who knew Simpson and Murray, and did not believe the allegations.

Murray also reportedly took a private polygraph, but “since the exact results were not released to the D.A. my assumption is that it was inconclusive,” Butler wrote in the assessment. She noted Hoffman described Murray as “coming out ‘Real good’” in the test.

Murray and Hoffman said last week they didn’t have records of the polygraph results.

Simpson, who state foster reports show was prone to lying, stealing, using drugs and running away, presented problems for the district attorney in proving the case. About a month after the allegations emerged, the prosecutor’s office withdrew the case against Murray and the other accused foster parent from the grand jury.

But in her CPS assessment, Butler found Simpson believable. She noted he’d expressed concern that his claims would ruin Murray’s career, and had “no motive to make something like this up” because Simpson knew he’d likely be placed in an institution and never allowed to live with Murray again.

“It is unfortunate that the criminal justice system chose not to act in this case simply because a conviction of … Mr. Murray would probably be the only way of mandating (him) in to treatment for … sexual deviancy,” Butler added.

A few months after the investigation ended, Murray left Portland and moved to Seattle.

 

Mayor Ed Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosaki, right, leave a May 9 news conference at which the mayor ended his re-election bid.  (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Mayor Ed Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosaki, right, leave a May 9 news conference at which the mayor ended his re-election bid. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

 

“Those records exist”

Simpson said Friday he didn’t remember accusing the other foster parent of abuse when he spoke with reporters earlier this year, saying that was probably because it didn’t compare to what Murray allegedly did to him.

“It upsets me that I didn’t remember,” he said. “I’m not trying to be deceitful or anything like that. It hurts my validity.”

The other man was Simpson’s foster provider for about a month, the records show.

Simpson is one of four men who have publicly accused Murray of sexual abuse decades ago when they were teenagers. Heckard claimed Murray started paying him for sex in 1986, when Heckard was a drug-addicted 15-year-old. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also separately allege Murray paid them for sex as teenagers.

In May, Murray’s personal spokesman, Jeff Reading, provided The Times with copies of several statements from people who supported Murray when Simpson first made his allegations in 1984.

Reading said he was providing the information because “there is an existing body of evidence that rebuts and contradicts what Jeff has said.”

The statements were given by people who had counseled or taken in Simpson and described him as emotionally unstable and Murray as having tried hard to help.

One couple, who took Simpson on weekend outings, told a Murray defense investigator Simpson didn’t respond well to discipline and in his early teens “seemed to be very obsessed with the fear of being a homosexual.”

The couple believed the boy’s sex-abuse allegation “was nothing more (than) Jeff acting up” and “striking back” for “some form of rejection.”

Another statement, from a counselor who had worked with Simpson at Murray’s request, said the teenager previously had claimed sexual abuse.

The counselor said “he recalled a telephone call in which Jeff alleged that Ed had forced him into sex and paid for it,” he told Murray’s defense investigators.

The counselor dismissed Simpson’s claim, saying “he did not believe that allegation at the time, and found it to be completely irrational.”

Some of the same statements were included in the state foster records released to The Times this month. The CPS investigator considered them before making her finding.
“He got angry at every foster parent that he’d ever been involved with,” Murray said.Murray said the CPS report doesn’t accurately reflect what happened, noting other important records from Simpson’s foster file and the D.A. inquiry that no longer exist would illustrate Simpson’s destructive behavior.

In interviews, Simpson has acknowledged his troubled youth, drug problems and lengthy criminal record, including a 10-year prison term.

He also has signed several waivers to allow authorities to release his private counseling and other records.

In June, after Heckard withdrew his lawsuit, Murray held a news conference at City Hall to declare he’d been vindicated. The mayor also told reporters the media hadn’t gone far enough in seeking information that would demonstrate his innocence in the Simpson case.

“All those records exist,” Murray said. “Also, that a prosecutor and grand jury investigated it and didn’t pursue it, all those facts exist.”

When reminded Thursday of his statements criticizing the press for not pursuing more records, Murray responded: “But you cherry-pick records. You cherry-pick records.”

In the Saturday night letter, Murray’s attorney Heekin also said, “The Seattle Times … seeks to reinvestigate the case, to take the place of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office, act as judge and jury without a full vetting and disclosure of the facts that were available to law enforcement in 1984, rewrite history, and mislead the public.”

 

Mayor Ed Murray is seen in May during a visit to The Seattle Times. Last week Murray disputed the importance of newly released records from the state of Oregon. “The system vindicated me,” he said. “They withdrew the case.”  (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times)
Mayor Ed Murray is seen in May during a visit to The Seattle Times. Last week Murray disputed the importance of newly released records from the state of Oregon. “The system vindicated me,” he said. “They withdrew the case.” (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times)

 

Speechless.

Stay Connected w/ Me! I’m BACK ON THE BLOG YALL!!!

 

 

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SRE Media Group Announces NEW CLIENTs: @WhoIsParker x @ThaRealSK19 |#HIPHOPISBACK

In today’s music,  you can’t tell Hip Hop from EDM and Pop Soul these days. Not taking away from these electronic pulse seekers, but some of us crave the deep 808, head-banging, lyrical mind bending journeys, emcees have been known to take their listeners on for decades.

This NEW MUSIC TUESDAY, I am happy to introduce you to SRE Media Group’s new clients:

Under Management | @WHOISPARKER:

@WhoIsParker | Bio
@WhoIsParker | Bio

@WhoIsParker Official Website 

@WhoIsParker on Soundcloud 

@WhoIsParker on Facebook 

@WhoIsParker on Twitter 

Publicity/PR | @THAREALSK19:

@THAREALSK19 "Kardinal Rule" Now on iTunes
@THAREALSK19 “Kardinal Rule” Now on iTunes

Born in Las Vegas, SK 1-9 fell in love w/ the city lights, 24 hour hustle, and both the celebrity and high roller lifestyle. Later on in his childhood he moved to a small town in Louisiana called Newellton, where he was brought up listening to Melodic Blues Rhythms and the Dixie Sounds of New Orleans.

As a teen, SK 1-9 moved back to Las Vegas, and then California, and that’s where he found his passion for music. Listening to the heavy street anthems of NWA, Eazy E, and Tupac. SK 1-9 found that rap music was a way to speak out against social ills, and that it kept true to the pulse of the Black Community and their intense relationship with the police.

SK 1-9 used rap music to express himself. He was immediately signed to a production company, while struggling in the belly of the streets. The deal eventually fell through, and SK 1-9 found himself hustling on the streets to survive. Then he moved to Hawaii with his brother, who was in the military. In Hawaii, SK 1-9 worked harder on his music. Performing before large crowds on the island.

After spending a few years in Hawaii, SK 1-9 decided to take his talents to hip hop’s mecca New York City. Where he now resides.

In 2010, he released the “War Baby” mixtape and distributed it in the markets he lived in. It did extremely well with sales for an independent project of it’s kind. In 2012, SK1-9 dropped the street album “Blood On My Sleeves” and it’s still charting well on Reverbnation.com. And, now in 2014, SK 1-9 released the highly anticipated “KARDINAL RULE” available now on iTunes.

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@ThaRealSK19’s Official Website

@ThaRealSK19 on Facebook 

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SRE Media & PR Group merges Public Relations with innovative techniques of Digital and Social Media Marketing. Providing our clients with crucial interactive PR. Communicating directly to their target audience in real time. Keeping a light roster, we ensure that our clients receive 1 on 1/hands on management. These days anyone can be a blogger, however we have the credentials and education of true journalism. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, an independent artist, a large firm or a major superstar, we give ALL of our clients our utmost respect and attention. We are NOT the agency that will tell you many yeses and just what you want to hear. We pride ourselves with integrity and lend our constructive criticism when needed.

So, when you walk out that door, you are camera ready!

It’s more than just media to us.

Image is EVERYTHING.

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For Booking, Contact:

(@ThaRealSK19) Akeem Shabazz

shabazzakeem@gmail.com

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For Press Inquiries:

SRE Media Group

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Seattle Indie Emerges at The Seattle Sound Music Awards #SSMAs 8/9

#SSMAs | 8/9 at Seattle’s Historic Columbia City Theater

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

It’s been along time coming for Seattle Independent Musicians. Primarily for those who master the urban culture of R&B and Hip Hop. Taking a back seat to the Seattle Sound known worldwide as “Grunge” or “Alternative”, The Seattle Sound Music Awards (#SSMAs) provides a platform for Soul and Rap Artists reigning for the Pacific Northwest.

Join Us SATURDAY 8/9 for the 2014 #SSMAs !!! #ImSoSeattle
Join Us SATURDAY 8/9 for the 2014 #SSMAs !!! #ImSoSeattle

Join us as we honor contributors to the Arts and Culture community of Seattle. Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the historic Columbia City Theater .  An exclusive Press Reception for Nominees, Honorees and VIPs kicks off at 6:00 PM and the Awards Ceremony starts at 8:00 PM. Advance tickets are available online at www.SEATTLESOUNDMUSICAWARDS.com. NOTE: This is a BLACK TIE AFFAIR.

Here are our NOMINEES & HONOREES:

2014 #SSMAs Community Contribution Honorees

Marcus Trufant | Greg Lewis | Shawn Kemp

Hip Hop Oscars/Rap (Male) – 

Raz Simone | Da Big Dime | The Physics | Parker | Black Stax

Honoree – Sol 

Hip Hop Oscars/Rap (Female) – 

Lady P | SynSay | Gifted Gab | Jus J | Julie C

Honoree – Blacc Sapphire

808 Award/Best Producer –  

Jake One | Vitamin D | Beezie 2000 | Mike Wingo | JC Flow

Honoree – Tha Bizness (Dow, Henny & Kuddie)

Board Beast/Best Engineer – 

DJ Phinisey | Jakael Tristram | Kip Beelman | DJ Roc’Phella |Justin Armstrong

Honoree – Kevin Gardner

2014 Soundbite/Best Studio –

Platinum Reign | Beezie 2000 Productions |Electrokitty Studios | Undercaste Studios | Bad Animals Studios

Best Female Vocalist – 

Tiffany Wilson | Mary Lambert | Dice | Heather Gin | Jennifer Newberry

Honoree – Choklate

Best Male Vocalist – 

JD Smoove | Rocky Sandoval | Blakk Soul Music | Kalieb Nash | Mycle Wastman

Honoree – Ray Dalton 

Mix Master Award/Best DJ – 

DJ Swervewon | DJ Don Gee | DJ Equis | DJ Doxx | DJ Iceman

Honoree – DJ B Mello

Album/Mixtape of The Year – 

Prano Tha Don ” Salute The Real” | J Pinder “Careless” | Raz Simone “Cognitive Dissonance”| J-Key “Who’s Looking” | Braggy “Bragging Rights”

Buzz City/Best Media Outlet – 

Juice Radio/Fresh Juice | The Justified Juice | Shigg Says Radio | Girl E Time TV | The Weekly Volcano

Honoree – The Stranger

Pen Me/Best Songwriter –  

Tobias The Owl | Clem Rishad | Grynch | Ronnue | Reji Lefluer

Best Band/The Backline Award – 

 Goodie Bagg | Ancient Robotz | Triple Treat | CT Thompson | Klyntel

Blacktop Award/Best Promoter – 

 G Prez of Presidential Media | Jamar Jones of First Class Ent | Taniko of Triple R Entertainment | Greg of Money Team Music Group | Marlon Turner of Urbel Seattle

Honoree – Steve O of Ocean Records 

House of Hip Hop & RnB/Best Venue – 

Showbox |Columbia City Theater | Studio SevenClub Sur | Tia Lous

Be apart of this unprecedented event! Find Complete Details @ www.SEATTLESOUNDMUSICAWARDS.com !!!

#SSMAs2014

-Lady Scribe

c/o SRE Media Group

@SHeReAdYeVenTs on Twitter

@LadyScribe on #IG

Seattle Indie Raise Their Voice Against Violent Crimes #CEASEFIRESeattle

BrownaLe at #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
BrownaLe at #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the residents of Seattle-Tacoma. Everyday we hear multiple reports of shootings, stabbings, murders and more. It’s hard to feel empowered during these times, yet the two cities have managed to come together to raise their voices against violent crimes.

BrownaLe Rocks Against Violence for #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
BrownaLe Rocks Against Violence for #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

On Sunday, May 25th, #CEASEFIRESeattle honored not only military fallen soldiers, but those who have fallen due to senseless deaths in our streets as well. Joined by Community Members, Civil Rights Activists and Indie Artists willing to spend their holiday weekend bringing awareness to a much needed conversation. How do you take your streets back? Some say by occupying them. And, therefore we did just that!!!

Tacoma's Peeriodic Table  Jams for Justice! #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
Tacoma’s Peeriodic Table Jams for Justice! #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

Columbia City Theater was filled with the positively energetic and conscious mind. Ready to set the stage in remembrance and dedication to getting active in our underserved communities. Outreaching to high risk youth and supplementing Summer Programming to engage the idle spirit.

Sir. Jesse Hunter asks, " Would you cross the street if you see me?" #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
Sir. Jesse Hunter asks, ” Would you cross the street if you see me?” #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

A sincere thanks to #SSMAsFoundation, Greater Friendship Baptist Church, SRE Media Group, Charko Hunter, Sir. Jesse Hunter, Eddie Rye, Jr., DJ Understanding, Rozzvile, B Cole, Prano Tha Don, Mr. Benjamin, Heather Gin, Peeriodic Table, Reji Lefluer, Da_Vid, B Queen, Prep, Just J, Priest Masterson and BrownaLe.

Mr. Eddie Rye, Jr. of Urban Forum Nothwest | #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
Mr. Eddie Rye, Jr. of Urban Forum Nothwest | #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

Your commitment to our community’s mission to STOP THE VIOLENCE is tremendous and will not go unnoticed!!!

@FlyBeUnique, @HeatherGin & @RejiLefluer Raise Their Voice Against Violent Crimes!!!
@FlyBeUnique, @HeatherGin & @RejiLefluer Raise Their Voice Against Violent Crimes!!!

Find More Event Pics on Facebook | Click Here!!!

If you would like to get involved in our upcoming events, we are always needing volunteers, please email: sremediagroup@gmail.com 

Just J, BrownaLe, Prano Tha Don, Childsplay Kidd & B Cole | #CEASEFIRESeattle2014
Just J, BrownaLe, Prano Tha Don, Childsplay Kidd & B Cole | #CEASEFIRESeattle2014

Jah Bless Our Journey!

@LadyScribe on Instagram

@SHeReAdYeVenTs on Twitter

[New Music Tuesday] Get to Know R&B/Pop Princess HEATHER GIN

 

Heather Gin Releases NEW Album 'Passion'
Heather Gin Releases NEW Album ‘Passion’

Just getting started a little over 3 years ago, the lovely Heather Gin is no beginner when it comes to making music. Quiet as it’s kept, she started playing piano at the age of 4 and can play the guitar and flute as well.

Heather Gin Performing Live at Seattle's Barboza
Heather Gin Performing Live at Seattle’s Barboza

I had the opportunity to attend Heather’s album release party last month at Seattle’s Barboza Night Club in Capitol Hill and was pleasantly surprised w/ the indie movement. The venue was filled w/ 206 pioneers in the indie scene and highly energetic music lovers. The Pop Princess came out blazing w/ a live band supporting her every move. “Smooth” and “Sultry” are just a few words off top that describe her delivery. But, don’t get me wrong, Heather turns it up w/ tracks like ” Jump” and “Can’t Enough”.

Heather Gin Getting Warmed Up at her PASSION Album Release
Heather Gin Getting Warmed Up at her PASSION Album Release
We had to ask Miss Gin a few questions about her music career, here’s her responses:
How old were you when you first knew you wanted to sing? This was Heather’s response: 
 
When I was around 14 years old when I sang in church as the youth group praise leader, I really started getting into singing and playing guitar.  I formed an all-girl band at school with fellow classmates playing guitar and singing. We would hang out and write our own songs and learn how to play popular songs from our favorite bands. We got to perform at school functions and parties and had a lot of fun.  I was also involved with the school band, marching band, jazz band, and choir.  I don’t think I could have been any more involved with music than I was growing up. At home I continued taking private piano lessons, performing at several concerts, recitals, competitions, and went through strenuous training, passing all 10 levels of OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association) Piano Syllabus.  I had to practice a minimum of 7 hours a week every week and it took a lot of work and discipline.  Trust me, there were times I wanted to quit but my step-mom didn’t let me!  But I never thought about taking music any further than church or doing it as a hobby until late 2009 when I was exposed to the recording industry from my involvement with a start-up recording studio venture. My life changed after that and I was determined to learn everything about it and be involved, whether as an artist, writer, producer and/or engineer.
WE LOVE HEATHER GIN!!!
WE LOVE HEATHER GIN!!!
Has your family been supportive during your career? 
Not much, my dad and step-mom have very conservative Christian views and would never approve of any music that wasn’t Christian. My mom and all of my siblings are outside of Washington State, as far as Atlanta and Washington D.C., so they don’t really follow what I’m doing too closely, other than liking a post on social media related to music.  However, growing up as a child under my parents’ roof, they did financially support me through 12 years of private piano lessons. I consider that a blessing and will always be grateful for that. Piano was the grassroots of my music career and nobody can take that away from me. 
Heather Gin w/ Sir. Jesse of SRE Media Group
Heather Gin w/ Sir. Jesse of SRE Media Group
Have you come across any cultural barriers?  
Well, like I just mentioned, religious cultural barriers is something that prevents me from gaining support from my parents or sharing the joys of my success in my music career, but the biggest barrier between my parents (and when I say parents, I’m referring to my dad and step-mom who raised me), is the generation gap between our different cultures. They’re first generation Korean-Americans, so being 2nd generation, I’ve grown to be emotionally and mentally detached from a young age.  When I went off to college, they didn’t want me to pursue music anymore and to focus on my education, but music had always been a part of my life.  I was never able to let it go, so I ended up getting a double major in Sociology and Music to satisfy that need as well as continue being involved with music at my church. Other barriers I’ve encountered since I’ve been doing music, is related to being a female in the industry. People are so judgmental, and there’s a double standard between men and women. A man can be assertive and self-promoting, and I guess to sum it up, somewhat narcissistic when it comes to his music career and still be well-respected and likable for it.  This gives them advantage in the industry in many ways, including their art being more valued and praised and as a result, getting paid for it more often than not. Being a woman on the other hand, you sometimes get the opposite reactions for being assertive and self-promoting.  First off, my music and my art is often overlooked, and I’m either viewed as an object, or the even worse, told that I’m displaying actions of being an insecure woman, seeking validation, setting thirst traps with my image, or just trying too hard to impress people etc. when in fact, I’m just promoting myself as an artist, my image, my music, my art, my passion and having fun doing it. I think it’s a blessing to find your talents and purpose in life, so please don’t knock me for going all out and living out my dreams and doing the best that I can. I’m an independent, strong woman and not afraid to express myself and show my sexuality. I was even told once that I should remove all my photos from social media and only have a couple up so that nobody looks at my pictures anymore and just goes straight to the music. If I were a man, would someone be telling me this?  It’s unfair sometimes, but it is what it is.  It’s a complicated subject but gender barriers is something that we all face, no matter what profession.  I’m sure you can relate to what I’m saying, as a woman in the industry. Don’t get me wrong though, being female definitely has its pros too, but anyone that knows me or has worked with me, knows that I take this seriously and work hard at it. I wouldn’t change anything in the world and I love being a woman. People’s opinions don’t really matter much but I do listen to constructive criticism. I can filter out what’s helpful versus what’s hateful.
Heather Gin Gettin it In w/ Her Stylist @FlyBeUnique
Heather Gin Gettin it In w/ Her Stylist @FlyBeUnique

How has your experience been, being an artist in Seattle, WA? 

I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with some very talented producers early on in my career, such as Vitamin D and Kuddie Fresh, as well as talented artist collaborations with Neema, SPAC3MAN, and Romaro Franceswa.  But what really got my music jump started was that I was able to purchase a home studio and put together a production team with songwriter/producer Michael Kidd and recording/mix engineer, Kris Stiell.  We work very well together and produced nearly 70% of the tracks on my new album “Passion” from my home studio located right in my bedroom!  Overall,  it wasn’t that difficult for me to fit into the Seattle music scene, but I do realize that it takes time to win over people and gain a solid following. Since I’m fairly new to the scene, I know I still have a ways to go and need to put in a lot more ground work before my career can really take off.  In the meantime, I’m still working on me, my craft, honing my sound, gaining more exposure, networking and building my brand.

 What are the pros and cons of being an artist in the Pacific NW? 

Pros – the hip hop scene is a small-niche community and everyone who’s active either knows each other, or there’s only like one degree of separation between people.  People in the industry in general have showed me love early on, but I really think it’s because I came out with people like Vitamin D backing my production.  As a result, people were more curious and open to meeting me and seeing what I was about, and when they finally got to meet me, they realized that I’m down-to-earth and a genuine person.  Cons–I’m not exactly sure where I fit in with the local hip hop scene as a pop/rnb artist.  Perhaps I need to leave my current situation and hit different scenes, network outside of my circle, but it’s hard to meet new people and develop the trust I have with the current team I work with within the hip hop community.  To be more clear on the issue, I’ve been asked to perform at several rap shows, some a little too gangster for my style and image. I couldn’t even find any pop artists to open up for me at my album release party earlier this month so I had rappers open up instead, with the exception of Dice. Another issue that I’ve faced is that sometimes I feel that people outside of Seattle show more love—not the industry folks, but the listeners, crowd, fans in general. I’ve travelled to New York with my music and have gotten a lot more love and respect from random people than I have here in Seattle.  I’m not exactly sure what that means and it may be too early in my career to really understand it, but that has been my experience so far being an artist here.

PASSION Album Release Party at Seattle's Barboza
PASSION Album Release Party at Seattle’s Barboza

Do you write your own material? If not, who contributes? 

Both, I write my own and have co-written with Michael Kidd.

Tell us about your team…Who do you work w/ and why? 

I work with Vitamin D and Kris Stiell, and in the past Michael Kidd. I also work with a team based out on the East Coast called The Debonaire Group under Ryan Davis. I work with the people mentioned because they’re not only talented, but solid people to work with. You run across a lot of flaky inconsistent, unreliable people in this industry and can get burned left and right if you fall for the BS. Luckily, I came into the business with seasoned veterans schooling me in how the industry works, so I learned quick. Plus, being an independent woman, you learn to fend for yourself as it is and gain a sick intuition that protects you from making bad, costly decisions. A lot of woman and young girls come into the industry naive and desperate and that’s never a good look.  I’m not easily impressed or mislead by people who aren’t about what they say they are. I trust and respect the people I work with and feel blessed to have met them.  They’re like family now.

Heather Gin x Renowned Producer Vitamin D
Heather Gin x Renowned Producer Vitamin D

What are your plans for Summer/Fall 2014? 

Well since I just dropped my first full-length studio album “Passion” I’m focused on doing more shows and getting my name and music out there.  Last summer I spent a lot of time recording in a hot booth. This summer, I’m ready for some action want to work towards gaining more public exposure.

Any advice for an up and coming indie artist? 

Build yourself a solid dedicated reliable team that believes in you! From production to marketing, promotions, street team, graphic designer, PR, bloggers, etc. This is key to success–we can all learn a thing or two from how Macklemore made it.  I’m still working on filling the gaps within my team, including a publicist, but I’m assessing the situation and trying to figure out what the next move is in filling the gaps with the right people in order to move in the right direction. You also need to believe in yourself and never give up, despite the criticism that will come your way.  Last but not least, engage with your fans as best as you can. This is all stuff that I’m still working on too, so it’s not like I know everything or have it all together, but everything is a working progress and nothing happens overnight.

What can your fans look forward from you this coming year? 

In addition to doing more shows, I’ll be dropping new visuals off the album. We already wrote a music video treatment last week and are now in the process of working out the details, coming up with the budget, and coordinating dates to shoot.  I’m also currently working with Roc Nation producer, Jahlil Beats, on a new record. I’m really excited for this one—I can’t really say too much right now but doing my first record with a mainstream producer is a dream come true!

Had to get the selfie in at Heather Gin's Media Day :)
Had to get the selfie in at Heather Gin’s Media Day 🙂

Download Heather Gin’s PASSION on iTunes NOW!!! Click Here!!!

Follow Heather >>>

 

#SupportSeattleIndie 

@Lady Scribe

SRE Media Group on Twitter

RHOA’s Porsha Williams Gets Arrested for Bitch Slapping Kenya Moore

I hear Porsha ends up wailing on that ass w/ Kenya's own wand lol!
I hear Porsha ends up wailing on that ass w/ Kenya’s own wand lol!

Honestly, it was a long time coming. How many times can Kenya talk about someone’s Husband, Mother, Children, Friends, Careers, Animals and whatever else she can think of, without expecting to get her ass whooped?

I continue to stay down w/ #TeamTwirl, but I sincerely rock w/ Porsha. She may be slow on the witty responses, but she stands firm in what she believes in and I respect that.  so, here’s the get down on the RHOA Smack Down:

Porsha Williams of the Bravo network’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is facing a charge of battery after fellow cast member Kenya Moore told police she was attacked during filming of the upcoming reunion show.

ATL police were called to the Biltmore Hotel on 3/27, where Kenya told an officer that Porsha assaulted her.

Although, Kenya was unable to fill out a statement at the time because of filming, an arrest warrant was issued later that day.

On, Wednesday evening at the Fulton County Jail, Porsha turned herself in and was released that night. The charge against Ms. Williams is a misdemeanor. Thank GOD!!!

Lookin' good girl, even for a mug shot!!! Go head!!!
Lookin’ good girl, even for a mug shot!!! Go head!!!

I know her former husband Kordell Stewart is happy she didn’t beat his ass!!! And, we all know he deserved a grandiose bitch slap!

I knew there will be a time, when Kenya will meet her match...Only so much Porsha could take! #PopOffDotCom
I knew there would be a time, when Kenya will meet her match…Only so much Porsha could take! #PopOffDotCom

Well, hear that Porsha claims the battery charges are unfounded and that she looks forward to clearing her name. Plus, she plans to contest the charge and file aggravated assault charges against Kenya.

This is not over to say the least. Stay tuned!!!

Check out the sneak peek of the RHOA Reunion Special, airing this Sunday, April 20, 2014 on VH1.

A Clip of Porsha’s Warning Shot to Kenya | RHOA Reunion (Season 6)

-Lady Scribe

@SHeReAdYeVenTs on Twitter

New Music Tuesday: “SAC IT UP & SERVE It TOUR” w/ Westcoast’s Own T-NUTTY

S.M.G and Nuttfactor Records in Association with Hooyawit Ent//Push Promo Presents:

ft T Nutty, Braggy Nation, Tyrone, & Town Bidness
ft T Nutty, Braggy Nation, Tyrone, & Town Bidness

The “Sac It Up n Serve It” Tour 

w/  The Flowmastermouth himself…T NUTTY

Kicking Off in Vancouver, WA at Avenue Lounge

Thursday, November 14, 2013 – 9:00 PM 

Featuring Braggy Nation, Tyrone and Town Bidness.

BRAGGY NATION
BRAGGY NATION
TYRONE
TYRONE
TOWN BIDNESS
TOWN BIDNESS

Also Joining the Tour:

Lace Leno – Dezit Ease – Liq Sto – Young Lifez – Dubb 20 – Tru Game – Frank Loc

$10 Advance Tickets | #Text4Tix (206) 730-9858

November 14th, ’13

Avenue Lounge

9115 NE 117th Ave

Vancouver, Washington

November 15th, ’13

Guido’s

5611 3rd Street

Ferndale, WA 98248

November 17th, ’13

Golden Dynasty

247 Park Ave N

Renton, WA 98057

If you’re a lover of Hip Hop, ESPECIALLY, #Westcoast Hip Hop, you need to be in the building!!! 1 or all 3 of the above dates! Don’t hear about it, be about it!!!

Bless Up!!!

@LadyScribe

@SHeReAdYeVenTs on Twitter

SRE Media Group | Public Relations & Artist Development Firm

Seattle Seahawks RUSSELL OKUNG DOES IT AGAIN w/ THE 2ND ANNUAL BACK 2 SCHOOL INITIATIVE!!!

Russell & his Mother handout backpacks to the youth.

On Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, it was a great site to see. 400+ children, running around Edmonds Family Fun Center, getting their haircut and styled, riding rides until near exhaustion, full service nail salon for the little girls, Spiderman & Batman face painting for the little boys and food for every child.

I had an opportunity to volunteer last year as well, and although the venue changed from Tukwila to Edmonds, the turnout was fabulous! Seattle Seahawks Russell Okung’s Up Foundation provided transportation via Starline Luxury Coaches for needy families, with pick up

Tialer Maxwell, PR for UP FOUNDATION
from Garfield High School in Seattle’s Central District. Plus, to show how dedicated the foundation is to their annual commitment, they flew out their Public Relations Rep, Tialer Maxwell, for 24 hours, to ensure that EVERY detail would be handled personally by someone who was invested in their mission.

This wasn’t just your regular backpack giveaway. Included in the backpacks, were not only Paper, Pens/Pencils, and Erasers, but Toiletries as well, which are desperately needed for young men & women coming of age, returning back to school.

Marlon Turner of Urbel Ent, picking out the best “Dougie” dancers 😉

DJ Sketch & Host Marlon Turner kept everyone on their feet, dancing and participating in contests, w/ Bike Giveaways for the kids w/ the hottest skills and smooth grooves for the parents 😉 While Girl E Time TV, grabbed interviews from unexpected families and staff to get their take on the event.

Gerri of Gerri Creative Salon & Spa, located in Seattle, WA.

A sincere thank you goes out to Gerri Creative Salon & Spa, Ms. Pepper, and Kimora Lee Hair!!! Without more than a moments notice, you lovely ladies rose to the occasion!!! Big ups to ALL the Volunteers, Barbers & Stylists who donated their Labor day Sunday to give back to their community. I wish I knew all your names, but please know that you were apart of something sooooooooo spectacular and amazing! These children are going back to school w/ pride and confidence, all because of YOU & THE UP FOUNDATION!!!

Volunteers for this special event!!!

Thank you Russell for staying true to your GIVE BACK task!!!
We appreciate you greatly!!! Now, bring us home the SuperBowl title!!!

Russell Okung taking pictures w/ young fans 😉

For more information on The Up Foundation, check out their website at http://upfoundation.webs.com !!!

Jah Bless Our Journey!!!


-Lady Scribe
@SHeReAdYeVenTs / @FUTURETRIPPIN

GETTING TO KNOW VINCENT BRANTLEY OF HOPELESSLY IN JUNE…

Detroit, Orlando Brown, Vincent Brantley (L to R)
Detroit, Orlando Brown, Vincent Brantley (L to R)

So, it was the end of a Hollywood week. Although, I was born in Inglewood, this SEA to LAX kicked my ass trying to keep up w/
BET AWARDS celebrity parties EVERYWHERE!!! I mean, I promise I was trying to still toast it up @ Rolling Stones for the official awards afterparty w/ Fabolous and DJ Clue, but ya girl had to throw in the towel and head to the hotel. In hindsight, I must say, I am so happy that I did, because that’s how I ran into Mr. Brantley. Sooooooo, smooth, just laid back lending an ear to child actor Orlando Brown, flowing a hot 16.

Actor / Producer / Director...Vincent Brantley
Actor / Producer / Director…Vincent Brantley

You know me, I had to chime in to see what was going on and they all graciously invited me into their circle and told me about their upcoming projects, including the movie HOPELESSLY IN JUNE. See, Vincent failed to mention that he was not only the director, but he starred in it too 😉

It was a sweet surprise, because once I got back home to the SEA, I rented it via Amazon and it’s now one of my favorite movies. Especially, living in Seattle where the dating scene seems hopeless among the
28+, Urban Professionals
, so it was a refreshing point of view.

Here’s a quick summary of HOPELESSLY IN JUNE:

Dating in Los Angeles has been cruel to Daleon Myers, a financial analyst from a staunch Baptist family. But hope emerges when he falls in love with June Flowers, a successful businesswoman whose family is an extremely liberal Hollywood couple. It will take a lot to help them overcome their cultural differences and find the love they both have so long desired.

HOPELESSLY IN JUNE...NOW AVAILABLE on DVD!!!
HOPELESSLY IN JUNE…
NOW AVAILABLE on DVD!!!

So, when you have an opportunity to slow down from your grueling work week, take a moment out for yourself and/or make it a great date night and pick up HOPELESSLY IN JUNE!!! You will be glad that you did!!!

Vincent Brantley on the set of HOPELESSLY IN JUNE
Vincent Brantley on the set of
HOPELESSLY IN JUNE

VINCENT BRANTLEY BIO:

It was a summer night in Los Angeles. Two teenagers followed a
brown classic Mercedes Benz into the parking lot of an all night
chicken spot on Crenshaw Blvd. The teen in the driver’s seat was
producer/songwriter Vincent Brantley the son of a south central
record store owner. Vincent sat watching as top music executive
Jheryl Busby of MCA records exited his car. Quickly grabbing his
boom box, Vincent approached the music mogul and began to
perform for him right there in the parking lot. The song was “Cool it
Now”
and it was soon to become the number one song in the
country performed by R&B group NEW EDITION.

Many years later, after multiple platinum successes, and many accolades in the music industry, Vincent realized he needed another avenue to create. He moved his North Hollywood studio into his house and signed up at a local Jr. College for some refresher classes. Unsure of his path, his thinking was sparked by a theatre professor who was astounded by Vincent’s performance in a two man play. She suggested he get an agent right away. But it would be three years of working nonstop with some of Hollywood’s most notable acting coaches before he would start to make his moves. Feeling empowered by his training, Vincent knew that starting at the back of Hollywood’s proverbial line was not in his character. So he began developing his own material, adding screenwriting and directing to his studies. But it wasn’t until his mentoring relationship with
Emmy Award Winning director Michael King, and well known actor/director Mario Van Peebles that his potential began to crystallize. The full exhibition of his talent can be best seen in the recently completed feature film “Hopelessly In June” written and directed by, and starring, Vincent. Some of the notables appearing alongside Vincent are Keith David, Ed Asner, Peter Jason, Tiny Lister Jr., and Ella Joyce.

HOPELESSLY IN JUNE is now available on DVD!!!
OWN IT TODAY!!!

-LADY SCRIBE
@SHeReAdYeVenTs / @FUTURETRIPPIN

KAZY D Returns to Seattle to Host SEATTLE’S GOT NEXT July 18Th at COLUMBIA CITY THEATER!

KAZY D Returns to Seattle to Host SEATTLE'S GOT NEXT!!!
KAZY D Returns to Seattle to Host SEATTLE’S GOT NEXT @ Columbia City Theater!!!

Born in Texas. Raised in LA, Kazy D joined the United States Navy and was introduced to the town by being stationed in Washington. He started Badd Dawg Records in 1995, and was one of Washington State’s 1st Nationally Distributed Rap Artists. Acclaimed Producer Funk Daddy & Seattle’s Underground Majors, DMS dropped the same year. A lot of Seattelites do not know, that Kazy D was an Original Master P/NO LIMIT Affiliate w/ 50,000 units sold!

An accomplished emcee with over 80 cd features, Kazy D left Washington after seeing that the entertainment options were extremely limited. “My CD’s sold on the street hand to hand, w/ no radio play.”, he says. “I find that radio play in Texas and the South region, comes much easier. Shows are more plentiful and they pay more. Seattle has talent but few outlets.”, Kazy explains.

He continues on to say, “I prefer production by Seattle area producers, hands down! However, most Seattle rap acts tend to adhere to an underground sound. This is a mistake, in my opinion. Northwest radio seems to follow the trends instead of setting them, an epic fail. Hip hop’s foundation is regional music presented to an expanded audience known in the biz as a breakthrough hit or crossover. Without a platform for local music the Northwest will continue to be nonexistent. I left Seattle in order to continue to do what I love & get paid for it. As a bi-coastal HIP HOP artist I’ve managed to stay current somehow lol.”

Kazy D aka Blockstarr, released underground classic,
“A LETTER FROM THE GRAVE”
in 1995, which sold 12,000 units and was heavily bootlegged. In 1998 he released a double cd entitled, “NATIONWIDE DOUBLE UP” in conjuction w/ Skyline Records w/ 8,000 original units sold. The album featured, 187 Klick. Kazy D returned in 2004 w/ “CHAMPAGNE WISHES KAVIAR DREAMS” featuring, CBO, SPICE 1, C LOC, JT BIGGA FIGGA, BABY BASH & 187 Klick and 15,000 original units were sold.

After a brief hiatus Kazy D returned in 2010 w/ “STREET TAXES”
(The Million Dollar Mixtape)
this album featured, Chalie Boy, Kinfolk Kia Shyne, Baby Bash & more! After the breakthrough success of radio, mixtapes and mixshow singles: HAVIN VISIONS & LOUDLIFE, KAZY D is currently performing Nationally and Internationally!

Now’s he’s back to usher Seattle’s Urban Sound in Breaking her NEXT URBAN STAR!!!

SEATTLE’S GOT NEXT
Showcasing Seattle’s Urban Music Scene
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Hosted By: KAZY D, LADY SCRIBE & ROZZVILLE !!!

w/
DJ MOUSE WAYNE Holding Us Down w/ The Puget Sound Soundz!!!

Featuring:

MR. FOTHUTTY / JD SMOOVE / UN THE RHYME HUSTLA / JON SALT / BLAZER BLAZE / LOUD MONEY ENT /MR. PJ / L CIZZLE / BIG DIME / RENO RED / SPUNG / CHEVY SHANN / CASH CAPONE !!!

Plus, a Special Dedication to THE TOWN w/ Appearances & Performances By:

ROZZVILLE / SQUEEK NUTTY BUG / EDAWG / MR. BENJAMIN / SKUNTDUNANNA / GANGSTA NUTT / BLACC SAPPHIRE / DON P / HO PO & a Few More Surprises to Be Announced!!!

Seattle’s best kept secret is the vibrant Urban Music Underground. Filled w/ Hip Hop, RnB, Alternative Soul & Jazz Artists…It’s becoming more and more difficult to keep this growing scene under wraps.

@SHeReAdYeVenTs is one of many, waiving the emerald green flag overhead, drawing worldwide attention to their backyard! Suggesting to all Tastemakers, Movers & Shakers to come see what the buzz is all about!!!

You’ve heard from the South, You’ve heard from the East & Midwest, now it’s time for the Pacific Northwest to show what’s been flourishing due to all this rain we are globally known for 😉

Many nights spent in studios, songwriters jotting down crucial lyrics on everything from a mead notebook, back of an envelope, to a napkin, serious about their craft.

I invite you to take time out of your busy schedule,
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 8PM, to show your support for
Seattle’s Urban Artistry!!!

@
Columbia City Theater
4916 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118
21+/$10 ADV/$15 DOS
Tickets Available Online via Brown Paper Tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/253713

For General Questions & Booking Info, Please, Contact:
SRE shereadyevents@gmail.com

Breaking Seattle's Next Urban Star
SEATTLE’S GOT NEXT

“Seattle’s Got Next” In The Subject Line.