Madness Before the Classic


A few weeks ago during my Music 101 segment, I interviewed multi-platinum producer Russell “Block” Spencer. Known for his success with Ciara, Young Joc, Gorilla Zoe and During our discussion, Block shared that there are way too many artists who expect something for nothing. Block commented that many aspiring artists say,“If I had this.. If I had that.. then I could be successful.” 

Hearing his words, I began to ask myself, “What if a group of artists decided to eliminate their excuses and put for the effort to make their dreams come true?” I guess my words found credence in the universe in the form of the Madness Before Classic Concert. Madness Before Classic was definitely a signature event that preceded the 75th Magic City Classic weekend. 

Featured performers on the bill included local rappers Who is Real featuring Alicia Renee, KK x Rapture the Rapper, The 1st Ladies of Baker Gang, King Katwell, Q Dot Davis, Cutt Dog, Pete Eazy, IAM Black, Corey Savage and recent college graduate Fred Cole. 

The widely anticipated show was sponsored by Atlanta based Sta Real Entertainment in conjunction with Birmingham based Q Dot Davis Promo and The Nick Rocks. The concert showcased their collective views on social justice, freedom of speech, and domestic violence. 

After hosting the very popular event, Street Scholar gave me an exclusive interview where he made bold remarks about how major record labels are spending their money. 


“I like to believe we ARE major artist .. We just don’t have the budget backing our dreams!” ~ ImStreetScholar

I believe that Street Scholar understands the powerful dynamics of vision. Vision doesn’t have to wait on people to get out of their emotions and feelings. Vision and purpose is dictating by God. Our jobs are to simply walk the vision, God’s job is to supply the resources to  the vision. 

Although there is much that can be said about the show, I want to feature on just a few of the acts that stood out to me that evening. 

Who is Real kicked of his set with a provocative parody using Ricky Smiley’s lead character, “Lil Darryl.” In his signature song, he stated, “Have her slobbing at the mouth like Lil Darryl” as he explains her behaviors after giving him oral sex.

King Katwell revolutionized the atmosphere that night by making them aware that Domestic Violence is a real issue in our community and that we needed to talk about it to prevent another female looking her life to such things.  His impromptu poetry slam stole the when he performed his signature track about Domestic Violence, Enough is Enough. Katwell’s message was so powerful that young people still should be alarmed if they see a man with similar behaviors as Ike Turner, or Ray Rice, or Chris Brown. AndreTheBlogger says RUN BIT*** Safety First! With his bold mantra, “Enough is Enough”his spoken word ideas to a classic single. 

Q Dot Davis took a background role in the show but definitely was another crowd favorite. Performing his tune, “On Da Potion” you couldn’t help but notice the fact that young white girls were dancing and semi-twerking as Birmingham’s most visible rapper graced the stage.


Although Christian rappers KK & Rapture The Rapper definitely didn’t fit this line-up, they gave the most memorable performance of the evening. Expressing the message of God’s redemption, the duo gave new meaning to the terms “Crunk Gospel!” The highly charged tunes displayed two individuals who were unapologetically sold-out for God by doing kingdom work.

For major promoters who spent thousands of dollars on acts like Bell Biv Devoe, Mint Condition, Jagged Edge, and Dougie Fresh, it probably seemed as if this group of local artists had gone mad to think they could have a successful event while these veterans artists were hosting shows throughout the city. Madness Before Classic proved to be a success if you look at the grand scheme of things. Admission was charged to enter the venue (The Nick Rocks), drinks were purchased from the bar and merchandise was sold at the concert. So I would have to say, money was made. I definitely hope that each of the rappers will continue to push their brand to high heights as we move towards 2017. 

Dedicated in the memory of rapper Shawty Fatt

Andre J. Thomas is a 5x Award Winning producer for the hit show, College Talk. Andre is also a contributing blogger for Black Moguls Magazine, GumpTown Magazine, BeatsBangBlog, The Birmingham Times and SwurvRadio.

You can listen to #AndreTheBlogger on The Joe Lockett Show 101.1 FM & 1260 AM WYDE (Alabama) on Saturdays from 4pm – 7pm CST. You can read more stories by Birmingham’s Favorite Entertainment Blogger at

All rights reserved Gumptown Magazine, Copyright 2016


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