Category Archives: Music!

Music History and Talent in Overtown

Photo Credit: Edgy Elacin of Tip of the Edge Photography
Photo Credit: Edgy Elacin of Tip of the Edge Photography

Today with the popularity and influence of hip-hop music, Overtown has hidden talent in music, art and variety entertainment that brings exposure back to their community. Through the rise of technology advances, musicians have found a way to promote themselves through D-I-Y advertisement and bringing their online presence to life. Meet LaRoiya D. Jackson who loves rapping, known for her popularity, and being recognized for her music as “Kocane Blak,” in which started off as a joke by a schoolmate, but used to her benefit and it worked as a stage name. As a 23 year old female rapper and writer of music, she has been inspired by the history and culture of her own community in which she grew up in, alongside listening to Bone Thugs n Harmony and Easy-E’s music. By the fourth grade, she wrote her first rap book and has archived them since 2008 up until now. By the age of 13 she was recording and by 16 she was doing local live performances. Her voice recognition grew popularity when she started recording voice message raps for herself and her friends from school, to the streets, social media and even her hair clients. You can find her videos and music on YouTube, Sound Cloud, Fun For Mobile and other music download sites. Her dream is to work with Lil Wayne, Rhianna and Miley Cyrus and says she’s currently expanding her music into pop and dance so she can give her fans what they want. With the support of her sister, boyfriend, local community plus satisfying herself and as she puts it, “the man above,” she truly believes this is her time and her dreams are unfolding as planned. Being born and raised in Overtown has it perks and one of them is being apart of a musical history and legacy that prepared the path she’s on musically.

The community of Overtown is one of the oldest neighborhoods within the original boundaries of the City of Miami, but customs and laws segregated Overtown. It first began as “Colored Town” at the turn of the 20th century. Residents of Overtown were subject to Black Codes, which became Jim Crow laws that restricted the civil rights of black people in every phase of life throughout the South.

”Overtown was economically isolated, repressed and yet thriving,” says Marvin Dunn, historian and author of Black Miami in the Twentieth Century. “People were forced into a community of self-sufficiency and, to some degree, independence.”

Black entertainers who performed on Miami Beach could not bed or board there because of restricted social and racial segregation laws. However, Overtown became the home of The Lyric Theater, which is located in the district known as “Little Broadway. “ Little Broadway’s reputation for black entertainment and music was recognized through jazz and gospel acts. In the past, Overtown had entertainers like Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Aretha Franklin that held an audience interest in their community.  Sam Moore of the legendary soul duo Sam and Dave, who hit the charts with Soul Man and Hold On, I’m Comin’, grew up in Overtown, who made it as a local and national talent.

Miami’s Making of an Independent Rap Artist: The Introduction of Jalax!


About Rap Artist:   JALAX

Photo Credits:
Photo Credits:

Introducing Miami’s independent and self made rap artist Jahari Oliphant-Williams as, Jalax. What makes this young man and emerging independent rap artist interesting, is that he captures a quick response with just about everyone that hears his style of music, and his listeners approves and applauded him for his new age unique lyrical style and beat combination, including his great grandmother Jewel Oliphant who stated, “He can rap and I like his music.” His artistic talent was noticed at an early age in pre-elementary school by one of his teachers who recommended that his parents place him in a specialized performing arts charter school because she thought he would excel better in an arts educational environment. As an experience and enrolled student of two different performing arts elementary schools in Tampa, FL, he was exposed to the arts, performing art and the entertainment educational experience. When he arrived to middle school, he participated in the drama club at Benito Middle School in Tampa, FL and tapped into his hidden talent of memorization. The talent sparked the emergence of being able to memorize scripts, which was noticed by his parents and encouraged by them to expand into other creative ways.

While a high school student, he turned his focus to learning the skills of a culinary arts program, and gained entry and acceptance in the newly Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, in Miami, FL. In 2012, after graduating from high school with honors and experience as a ProStart culinary arts student, he moved to Miami, FL and lived on South Beach with his mother for almost three years. This new environment and lifestyle motivated him to embrace what he was exposed to an inspired by with the hip hop celebrities and club scenes on South Beach. Jalax explained that, ”Creativity is everywhere,” and it shows that the South Beach and Overown community’s have been a special experience to his exposure as a local resident.

As a result, Jalax evolved in mid 2012 as a local independent artist, while being a full time culinary arts management student, plus working part-time, emerged with the support of local rap artist Fresh Aire, who has successfully drop his latest mixtape online October 13th of this year, which falls on Jalax’s birthday, titled “Urban Time Capsule.” Even Fresh Aire has been able to independently make three mixtapes and four music videos for his tracks, and now plans to come out with an album said, “Jalax is an artist who is eager to learn and get better with his craft. He is always striving for the next song to be his best work.” This exposure from local rap artist Fresh Aire lead Jalax to professionalize recordings, and lead him to an opportunity of working with local Miami music composer Bradley Davis stated, “Jalax writes lyrics very well and he has vision and awesome word play.” At the beginning of establishing his sound, he worked with Madd House Productions by KP.

Local Independent rap artist and music composers in Miami’s new music scene has proven that the underground hip hop scene is getting noticed with the help of social media and digital technology options for independent artist creating and keeping a fan base that can be self managed. This is supported by Jalax as he stated, “Live life and don’t let nobody stop your goals.” This affirms his beliefs about being successful in the rap music business and his future goals to make an album, while finishing his mixtapes. As an added value to his music business journey and career, he mentioned his mother gave him Don Passman’s, All You Need to Know About the Music Business book as a Christmas gift. Now he has gained the attention of his barber who is also a local Miami EDM Rap Artist known as, The Profe, noticed Jalax  music style and personally invited him to be apart of his team.

The image of developing artist like Jalax is centered around him building a brand and this is why he says,” Fashion is me, I’m fashion forward.” He believes that he has a unique look, which helps his personalized niched image as a branded hip-hop artist in the local Miami music scene. His style is influenced by artistry and styles of other hip hop artist like Wiz Khalif, Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Big Sean  and ASAP  Rocky.

A Recap and Return of Revolt Music Conference


On October 16th thru the 19th of 2014, Revolt Music Conference was launched in Miami Beach at the exclusive Fountainbleau Hotel where music industry business executives, artists and influencers gathered together for the purpose of navigating the music business traditionally and through digital technology, powered by music business education. The CEO of Revolt TV Keith Clinkscales said on http://prnewswire, “The purpose of the REVOLT Music Conference is to network, learn, and take advantage of the opportunities to be close to the industry’s biggest names.” As an All Access pass holder in 2014, I was given the opportunity to experience this first of its kind music conference. It was a packed field of people networking, special events and invitations, speeches, nightlife parties, pool parties, showcases and a mix of celebrities, artists and conference goers under one roof and for one purpose, to experience Revolt Music Conference first. The Revolt Music Conference is a good annual event to attend for those people who have any interest in the music business as a whole, especially for the local market of Miami and the beaches because it is so much musical talent and street performing that comes out of Miami and South Beach. Sean “Diddy” Combs stated on http://prnewswire, “I’m a resident of the City, I spend time off the beach in neighborhoods like Overtown and Little Haiti, and says that Miami is all about music, creativity, and entrepreneurialism.


Sean “Diddy” Combs is the Chairman of Revolt TV and he carries a load of experience in the music industry with special emphasis on the hip-hop and rhythm/blues music genres. On October 15th thru the 18th of this year, Revolt Music Conference returned to Miami Beach’s Fountainbleau offering an All Inclusive, All Access, Weekender and Revolt Nation ticketing package. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Merging of Music, Technology and Innovations.” With a house full of international guest interested in getting what the trends are in music, learning the business of celebrity and engaging in panel discussions that break down topics in the music industry by keynote speakers and influencers, this will be the talk of the town. In welcoming the event to the City of Miami Beach, Sean “Diddy” Combs was given a key to the City and celebrated officially declaring “Revolt Music Conference Day,” as October 15th, from Mayor Phillip Levine. Combs said on http://prnewswire, “The conference is about investing in yourself, if you’re interested in the music industry, or if you’re interested in the media space, digital, if you’re a creator, this is where all that comes and merges together.”