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KNO'BODIE: "I already have service with AT&T, and they were looking for talent and solo artists to turn in a video for ‘Elevate Young Black Voices,’ said rapper Kno'Bodie. “I was like, ‘That’s the type of music I make, to motivate, and to inspire black people.’ So, I dedicated a lot of my time to making a song to get into this.”
June was ‘Black Music Month’ and to celebrate, AT&T and Blackberry teamed up with CeeLo and the Goodie Mob to uplift four young musical artists with the ‘Elevate Young Black Voices’ online talent contest at the Playhouse Nightclub in Hollywood where the selected finalists were allowed to open for Goodie Mob at their ‘Age Against The Machine’ album release concert.
‘Elevate Young Black Voices’ was a contest where applicants uploaded a video of themselves performing to www.att.com/voices.
"We're passionate about inspiring and encouraging people to pursue their ambitions, and we're thrilled to see this program come into fruition," said Adrian Faull, vice-president of Channel Marketing at BlackBerry.
The four selected winners, Justice Ami from Palmdale, California; Kno'Bodie, from Inglewood, California; Rahkua, from Jackson, Mississippi and Eveready, from Kansas City, Missouri, opened for Goodie Mob’s ‘Age Against the Machine’ album release party in front of a packed crowd.
“My roommate posted the link on my Facebook, and I just submitted,” explained Rahkua, a 24 year old Rhythm and Blues singer.
“I got a call a few weeks ago and they told me that I was going to be opening up for CeeLo Green and Goodie Mob for their album release party. And here I am. It’s been amazing! It was really a dream come true.”
The Playhouse Nightclub was set up with a red carpet, on which the winning performers, as well as VIPs and other celebrity guests, walked before professional photographers and other media personnel. Inside the club, the four winners performed, one by one to a supportive crowd. The free event, advertised on Eventbrite.com, garnered over 5000 RSVPs and attendees formed a line that stretched down Hollywood Boulevard.
CeeLo, mentored the four contest winners before the event at the Boom Boom Room Studio.
“[CeeLo advised me] to be consistent, to be different and not to try to be like everyone else, stay focused, be determined, and be patient,” said contest winner, Kno’Body who sung his song ‘Overcome.’
Goodie Mob, consisting of rappers CeeLo, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo, all from Atlanta, Georgia, reunited and produced a new album ‘Age Against the Machine,’ due to be released August 27.
“You can expect what you’ve always gotten from us,” said Big Gipp, “just being courageous, pushing the envelope, as far as music is concerned, and staying us, that’s all.”
Goodie Mob, with the help of Outkast and the rest of what is known as the ‘Dungeon Family’ helped set the stage for what is now southern Hip Hop, or ‘Dirty South’ music, a term made famous on Goodie Mob’s first album, ‘Soul Food.’
“It’s pretty impressive, when you think about it, you know,” said CeeLo.
“So of course, amongst ourselves, we are advocates of variety, honesty, optimism…We encourage these things. So, to have this much music coming from our region, and to be a prominent, as we are, it’s completely commendable.”
For more information about the ‘Elevate Young Black Voices Contest,’ contest rules or the contestant’s videos go to www.att.com/voices. Information about the new album ‘Age Against the Machine,’ can be found at www.goodiemobmusic.com.
Courtney Garcia contributed to this article.