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Creating & purveying independent music & culture since 2003.  We're crossing borders and genres with new artists and new records.
Creating & purveying independent music & culture since 2003. We're crossing borders and genres with new artists and new records.
278 backers pledged $21,074 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Say Word Entertainment: 15 Year Anniversary Expansion. project video thumbnail
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The centerpiece of the all-new Say Word merchandising: our motto of inquiry on t-shirts, buttons and stickers.
The centerpiece of the all-new Say Word merchandising: our motto of inquiry on t-shirts, buttons and stickers.

Say What?

Say Word Entertainment is a 15-year old grassroots record label and events production crew. Since co-founded in 2003 by 3rd Party (Farbeon, Mikal Amin Lee, Rabbi Darkside), Say Word has been known for its independent approach to records, events and touring. As we prepare to celebrate 15 years of existence, we are re-launching the brand anew in 2017 with a commitment to expansion and elevation. And we need your help on our continued mission to:

  • Provide a platform for artists that we love as creators, cultural emissaries and unique voices of uplift and expression.
  • Curate performance experiences and safe/brave spaces that encourage personal freedom, community building and liberatory discourse.
  • Operate profitably, mutually beneficially and holistically by partnering with like-minded entities to produce the highest quality product, while supporting micro-charities with 5% of non-music merch sales. 

The funds raised here on Kickstarter will finance the vinyl pressing, publicity/promotion, video production and merchandising for the 4 upcoming releases from our new Artist Roster. 

Say Who?

BLACK FIN

Tanaka Chiriga is Black Fin, straight from Zimbabwe with rap sounds crafted by stone and dust. He creates music and visuals that draw upon a life traversing a cultural identity often misunderstood and misrepresented in popular culture. His intention is to scrape away the layers, revealing the essence of what it means to be Zimbabwean with a deep connection to Hip Hop. His 2015 mixtape, HOKOYO, is a multimedia web-based visual and sound project that offers a free album download. Visit Black Fin online.

THE GRAND AFFAIR

The NYC duo The Grand Affair is Ms. Anne, originally from the California Bay Area, and Too Deep, hailing from Queens, NY. The two met in 2012 at a music rehearsal in New Orleans and have been inseparable since. Through Gulf Coast hurricanes, cross-country tours and life-building, they've developed an infectious blend of smokey jazz vocals and New York Hip Hop that transcends genres. The Grand Affair released their debut EP, Organic Love Magic, in 2015. Now they have teamed up with Say Word Entertainment and plan to release their follow-up project, Cerulean Blue (LP), in the winter of 2017. Learn more about them here.

RABBI DARKSIDE

Rabbi Darkside is a Hip Hop MC/DJ/Beatboxer/Educator, first appearing on wax and in NYC Public School classrooms in the year 2000. His movements and music aim to incite empathy and empowerment through social justice education and creative freedom. His prowess as a multi-elemental artist has led to 15 international tours, cultural exchanges, collaborations with a wide array of classic and respected artists, an album that topped CMJ Hip Hop charts, headlining the Blue Note Jazz Festival and winning every NYC freestyle battle in the new millennium. You can find him on MTV’s “Made,” Okayplayer, New York Times, the Today Show, CBS Early Show, HipHopDX, 2DopeBoyz, Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" and the Village Voice. Darkside is currently a professor at The New School (NYC). Find out and hear more here.

Say Word Intern

Part of our sustainable growth plan includes onboarding an intern, for whom we will have a $500.00 stipend. It will be an open application process for interested folks 25 and under. The Say Word Thought Bubble advisory board will help us choose our intern. 

You

We are redefining what it means to be an independent, people-powered music business. This is your chance to partner with us at the outset of this relaunch. And like the song says, “we can’t do it without you.”

Say When?

The schedule of releases for the new Say Word Artist Roster
The schedule of releases for the new Say Word Artist Roster

Say Why?

“Revolutionary Philanthropy.” This organization is an organism: living, breathing, growing. We are committed to fueling our life organically and independently. This is tricky in a clickbait capitalist society where money equates to influence, and the concept of “selling out’ has disappeared. We understand this. And we are simultaneously dedicated to our vision and ethos. At a time when upstanding institutions that freedom-fight are being threatened at every turn, we must exercise our voices of change with dollars. As revolutionary philanthropy emerges as a tool against neo-con neo-fascist discriminatory designs, we are asking you to invest in our quest. Moving with haste and fearlessness is imperative. So we are asking you to speak with your investment and join the crew. 

Say How?

The $20,000 we raise here on Kickstarter will fund the release and promotion of our next 4 releases. It is budgeted across the 12 month calendar that these releases will span. It will be the foundational money for the regenerative revenue stream fueling our continued expansion. We have the team assembled. We have the machines in place for vinyl pressing, publicity, multi-media production and independent touring. These are tried and tested and evidenced as successful. Our growth plan includes booking, distribution and merchandising partnerships. With this campaign, we are establishing the Say Word Vinyl Buyer’s Club, the Say Word Thought Bubble Advisory Board, an all-new t-shirt/slogan campaign, and the Say Word Road Show: our collective touring venture. The success of our Kickstarter galvanizes the vision instantly. 

Thank you for your time.

Yours in gratitude, 

The Say Word Family

Just added: exclusive 5-panel hat collaboration between Say Word x New York State of Mind Clothing
Just added: exclusive 5-panel hat collaboration between Say Word x New York State of Mind Clothing

 

 

Risks and challenges

Let's hear our artists' responses in their own words:

Rabbi Darkside: "The risk is in complacency and resignation. Settling on the idea that this how things work and this is how they are. I don't accept either of those for a second. And I don't think you do either. So let's combine our resources to build our future and reshape the world. The risk is in surrendering our capacity to change. If we don't build coalitions we are missing opportunities to strengthen. The risk is in thinking someone else will do it for us. The risk is having something to say and being silent."

Black Fin: "I am currently living in the small town of Masvingo, Zimbabwe, and finding resources to create has been challenging. I used to record demos on my cellphone but it was stolen about a month ago. After some searching I've located a small studio in the township that has a decent setup. Now I need a consistent internet connection to share files and collaborate with the team in America. I'm currently getting around this by using the free local university internet. It's pretty reliable (if you catch it at certain times!). Since I've been connected, production pace has picked up. It takes a lot of improv on a daily basis out here, but in the grand scheme, they're just little obstacles."

The Grand Affair: "Our biggest challenge is having an adequate roll out before hand, and substantial promotional push as our album is released. So much goes into the recording, mixing and mastering process that by the time it’s ready for the world, there are little resources left to properly promote it. Our fans and friends are already going to hear the music, but with funding, it will allow a far greater audience the chance to hear what we are up to. "

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    Say Word Starter Kit

    Sticker & Button & Thank You Wall & Digital Download of Say Word Sampler

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    Digital Album Download

    Upcoming Digital Release of your choice + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Vinyl Album

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    Human. Right? T-shirt package

    T-Shirt + Upcoming Digital Release of your choice + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Say Word x NY State of Mind Hat Package

    SWE x NYSM Hat + Upcoming Digital Release of your choice + Say Word Starter Kit

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    VInyl & T-Shirt

    T-Shirt & Vinyl Release of Your Choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    2 Vinyl Albums + T-shirt

    T-Shirt & 2 Upcoming Vinyl Releases of Your Choice (Digital Downloads included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Vinyl Buyers Club + T-shirt

    T-Shirt & All 4 Upcoming Vinyl Releases (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Dinner Concert

    2 tickets to dinner and concert, prepared and performed by the Say Word Family, location TBD + T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your chouce (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Ms. Anne Singing Telegram

    Ms. Anne Singing Telegram delivered to person/place of your choice (NYC only). T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Too Deep One on One Beatmaking Workshop

    Sampling & Beatmaking workshop with Too Deep. You’ll get busy together in the lab. Plus T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Custom Song Selector

    You in creative collaboration with Say Word. You pick the topic, the recipient, the prompt. Song will be emailed to you in hi-quality format. Your choice to keep it for yourself or have us stream it. Say Word retains copyright ownership. Plus T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Say Word Concert On Demand

    Say Word Ent on demand: concert with The Freestyle Pyramid in your office, school or living room in NYC (outside NYC add transportation costs). Plus T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Portrait Painted by Ms. Anne

    Portrait painted by Ms. Anne. You choose the subject. 32”x40” or smaller. Plus T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Rabbi Darkside DJ Services

    Rabbi Darkside will DJ your event (transporation not included). Plus T-Shirt & Upcoming Vinyl Release of your choice (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

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    Say Word Creative Consultation

    Say Word Creative Consult and Production. Music Video (soup to nuts) or Website or Branding Makeover, chaired by our design chief/videographer, Tafadzwa M. Chiriga. Plus T-Shirt & All 4 Upcoming Vinyl Releases (Digital Download included with Vinyl) + Say Word Starter Kit

    Includes:
    • All 4 Upcoming Vinyl Releases
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    Say Word Thought Bubble Membership

    You are our visionkeepers. Our cypher of change agency at the design level. Our advisory board.

    -Invite for 2 to the Say Word Weekend Retreat: Artistic retreat + concerts + jams + facilitated meditation (meals and lodging covered; transportation not included)
    -Bi-monthly teleconference chats

    Includes:
    • All 4 Upcoming Vinyl Releases
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Funding period

- (30 days)