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Not Just Black Business, it’s Good Business: Connection of Bill Ross, Booker T Washington, & Butch Small

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Last night, Detroit Seafood Market was filled with some of Detroit’s most charismatic, intelligent, and successful civil servants, faith leaders, and entrepreneurs. I joined this mix of stars to honor the legacy of Bill Ross. Mr. Ross was retiring from the post of leading the Booker T Washington Business Association for decades.

The organization was founded by the Peck family. Their initiative built a platform for Black business people to gather, share, learn, and build together in Detroit.

From selling studio time to rappers, till now leading my marketing firm, Mr. Ross has always been a supportive voice of insight and encouragement. I’m still applying lessons he taught me years ago today.

Last night’s event is a contradiction to all negative perceptions about Black business in Detroit. Successful giants of Detroit business like Tony Stovall (Hot Sam’s Clothing – Detroit’s oldest clothing retailer), Alan Young (of Alan Young & Associates CPA), and Linda Davis (of RL Graphics Print & Design) all gathered as Chuck Stokes (Spotlight on the News WXYZ Detroit’s ABC affiliate) emceed the event.

In the shadows of stars, I look up to, were my peers who are now wielders of social influence and industry. Ken Harris (President of the National Business League – which was founded by Booker T Washington), Karinda Washington (Chief of Staff Office of Partnership & Engagement at U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and Donald Webb (of IT Guys Networking & Cyber Security) are people I’ve shared laughs, lessons, and sandwiches with, are now providing opportunities and resources in abundance. The value of the Booker T Washington Business Association connections I made in 2004, has always come to fruition.

Booker T Washington’s perspective towards achieving human rights for Black people in America can be theoretically polarizing throughout the Black community. Years ago I discussed this with my mentor and the leader of the Detroit Nation of Islam Dawud Muhammad. Minister Dawud impressed upon me to honor the work and practicality of Booker T Washington. He urged me to seek understanding in the building of Tuskegee University to gain value in Washington’s legacy.

The semantics of his more conservative and apologist attitude towards racist White Americans should not devalue the gateways to opportunity Booker T Washington developed for Black people in America and the American south.

Tuskegee University began as an agricultural gem that expanded to produce world leaders in medicine, engineering, and design. Washington’s understanding of practical problem solving, accessing needs, and knowing the value is why Tuskegee has been feeding, teaching, and building Alabama since it broke ground. Developing methods of molding bricks from Alabama clay was the foundational method the university was built.

My love for hip-hop relates to the creativity and drive behind finding value in what others won’t and don’t.

As the Regan administration cut funding for arts and music in public school, the advent of the DJ and rapper was created.

Many people look up to Sylvia Robinson (Sugar Hill Records) and Russell Simmons (Def Jam Records) as the prototype for a hip-hop business leader, I look up to Carl ‘Butch’ Small of World One Records.

Butch Small is a world-class drummer and percussionist who has toured the world with George Clinton, the Four Tops, and many more (I called him to receive his blessing to share this, and he’s actually on tour now). Small is also the father of Carlos Small who is DJ Los. In 1988 DJ Los and EZ B released the ‘Untouchable’ record which was the first vinyl I ever remember a Detroit rapper made.

Butch Small saw the interest of his son and the Detroit community in hip-hop. He also knew that Detroit recording studios rejected the art form and looked at the music as a trend and not a culture. The city Motown Records and Berry Gordy built the ‘the Sound of Young America,’ neglected the rhythms and spirit of hip-hop.

Butch Small took his experience of years working with Sylvia Moy, Don Davis, and Norman Whitfield and applied to hip-hop.

World One Records opened a studio on 6 Mile in the heart of Detroit Westside. The architects of Detroit Hip-hop built their sound within those walls. The legends I love like Kaos & Mystro, DJ Los and EZ B, DICE, and Nikki D all crafted their artistry under the guidance of Butch Small. The other Detroit hip-hop artist at the time all followed the formula World One Records built. Merciless Amir, Awesome Dre, Smiley, Black Man & Kid Rock (when he was wearing Adidas jumpsuits and not confederate flag shirts), Detroit’s Most Wanted, and AWOL all were given access to studios, stages, and radio play because of the vision of Butch Small.

Seeing opportunity in the passion, creativity, and potential of others is the link between Bill Ross, Booker T Washington, and Butch Small. We should all look to be gateways for bigger stages, larger crowds, and louder messages for the visions of others. For if Ross, Washington, and Small were afraid of ruining their reputations, not being aligned with purpose, or only gratification generations of families would be experiencing a lesser quality of life.

Detroit Ain’t No Joke

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In 2015 I partnered with comedian J Bell to launch the “I’m Scared of Detroit” Comedy show. On an early fall night over 225 guests joined us. J Bell, Darius Bennett, Josh Adams, and CP all delivered performances on subjects like sex, economics, history, and of course Detroit.

From the success of last year’s show we’ve decided to make the event annual. Sunday October 30, 2016 at Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium 5401 Cass Detroit MI at 8pm is the 2016 “I’m Scared of Detroit Comedy Show.” Click Here for Tickets

I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the strength in the voice of a comedian. The parallels between rapper and comedian are closely wound. The opportunity comedians have to discuss social, cultural, political, and personal subjects is powerful. As a rapper I’ve challenged myself to mix unique takes on the collage of life. Legends like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Joan Rivers all stretched the bounds of where audiences expected performance to be, and entered the realm of genius.

Opportunity is the biggest divide that exists between artists who have become household names, and those who are not. Blue Collar Cities like Detroit full of talented performers, lack stages and promoters that provide better opportunities for performers. “You have to leave Detroit, make it there, then come back,” and “You get the big name from somewhere else, cause that’s who Detroiters want to see,” is what I’ve been told. I believe there is a lack of promoters willing to invest the time, money, and creativity in delivering performances that feature artists who are Detroiters.

“I’m Scared of Detroit” is a provocative title. In developing the show with J Bell we wanted to title the show to intrigue an audience and leave an impression (in example: Detroit is Different!). The next goal of building this show was to select the talent.


Josh Adams and Darius Bennett star in the 2016 web series ‘Dead Wrong.’ ‘Dead Wrong’ is a comedic parody of the AMC series ‘The Walking Dead’ which features the fallout of a zombie apocalypse taking place in modern day Atlanta. ‘Dead Wrong’ jokingly has a take on the zombie apocalypse taking place in Detroit. Comedian CP is the Detroit born actor/ comedian who’s landed a TV series on TBS featuring his puppet character ‘Reggie Bo.’ The TBS series starring Comedian CP will be airing soon. Precious Hall is a Texas born comic who is currently has a big buzz growing around her comedy in Los Angeles. Precious is one of the stars of the upcoming BET stand-up comedy series ‘Pretty Funny’ that highlights the performance of Black women comedians. Also my partner for this show J Bell would be performing. Bell is the co-host of the Open Mind Mic Thursday Night series at They Say Restaurant in Downtown Detroit.

Sunday Night October 30, 2016 at 8pm join us all for the 2016 “I’m Scared of Detroit” comedy show. It will take place at Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium 5401 Cass Detroit

Click Here for Tickets




Sweet Love Interview with Karen Dumas on 910AM

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Saturday October 15, 2016 is the day to join me for the ‘Sweet Love’ tribute concert to Aaliyah, Anita, and Aretha at Tony V’s Tavern 5756 Cass Detroit at 8pm (WSU Campus). Tuesday October 11, 2016 Karen Dumas welcomed me (Khary Frazier), Sweet Love emcee Kristina the Glam Tech, and Sweet Love Vocalist Angela Davis on her 910AM radio show the Pulse (airing M-F; 4p – 7p).

Click Here for Sweet Love Tickets

Detroit is Different with Focus :HOPE

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Bill Wenzell is one of the organizer’s of ‘Eleanor’s Walk.’ Eleanor’s Walk is an event that honors the legacy of Eleanor Josaitis. Josaitis was a co-founder of Focus :HOPE. Focus :HOPE is the Detroit organization built from the ashes of the 1967 Rebellion in response to the racial tensions and social disparities throughout Detroit. Upon foundation Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis built the organization providing better quality foods to the predominantly Black populous of the Linwood/Oakman neighborhood where Focu :HOPE resides (also my neighborhood as a child and now). Today Focus :HOPE provides training, child care, food, and many other services/ support for Metro Detroit. ‘Eleanor’s Walk’ is an anchoring event bringing together Focus :HOPE’s support base and others annually in the fight against social inequities.

Eleanor Josaitis was also one of my mentors and friends before her passing in 2011. My relationship with Josaitis is still encouraging today. Her wisdom and humility towards understanding the importance of developing consideration for others challenges me constantly. As she often spoke of significance of the people before the mission. Even in our friendship her interest in hip-hop was rooted in what I taught her about the art through my music.

Detroit is Different with Dine Drink Detroit

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Scott Rutterbush has become a go to source for Detroit restaurants & bars. About 5 years ago Scott embarked on ‘Dine, Drink, Detroit.’ ‘Dine, Drink, Detroit’ is an event every October which gives you an opportunity to check out a series of Detroit restaurants. For the reasonable price of $15 you get the opportunity to get a taste of one of the 31 restaurants participating in Dine Drink Detroit 2016 (all the restaurants are listed below). Go out get a drink and some eats on Dine, Drink, Detroit next week! Scott shares what led him to start ‘Dine, Drink, Detroit’ with me. Also he talks about the official launch party which is Monday October 3, 5pm -11pm at West Riverfront (behind Detroit’s Main Post Office). The launch party will feature 65 vendors with drinks, food, and music. I’ll be performing with the my partner in stage drummer Alex White!

If you’re interested in attending the Dine, Drink, Detroit Launch party you can receive 20% off your $15 ticket today by entering promocode: DJKharyFrazier. Click Here to purchase your ticket today


2016 Dine, Drink, Detroit restaurants/bars: BATCH BREWING COMPANY 1400 Porter, THE BLOCK 3919 Woodward, BOBCAT BONNIE’S 1800 Michigan, CHARTREUSE KITCHEN AND COCKTAILS 15 E Kirby St Suite D, COLORS DETROIT 311 East Grand River, CUTTER’S 2638 Orleans, DOWNTOWN LOUIE’S 30 Clifford St, FIREBIRD TAVERN 419 Monroe, GOLD CASH GOLD 2100 Michigan, GREEN DOT STABLES 2200 W Lafayette, HARRY’S DETROIT 2482 Clifford, HURON ROOM 2547 Bagley, JOHNNY NOODLE KING 2601 W. Fort Street, JOLLY PUMPKIN 441 W Canfield St, KATOI 2520 Michigan, LA FERIA 4130 Cass, MERCURY BURGER & BAR 2163 Michigan, MUDGIE’S DELI 1300 Porter, OTTAVA VIA 1400 Michigan, PARKS & REC DINER 1942 Grand River, PJ’S LAGER HOUSE 1254 Michigan, REPUBLIC TAVERN 1942 Grand River, RUSTED CROW DETROIT 78 W. Adams, SLOWS 2138 Michigan, ST. CECE’S PUB 1426 Bagley, STARTER’S BAR & GRILL 4501 Woodward, THE BLOCK DETROIT 3919 Woodward, THE RATTLESNAKE 300 River Place, TIJUANA’S AUTHENTIC MEXICAN KITCHEN 18950 Ford Rd, TOWNHOUSE 500 Woodward, TRAFFIC JAM & SNUG 511 W Canfield

Detroit Fireworks

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Detroit is Different has a goal to share a mix of the many perspectives of Detroiters to provide a better context of what Detroit means to Detroiters. The Annual Detroit Fireworks (Freedom Fireworks) celebration taking place tonight, is one of the most monumental events for Detroit. Annually the Freedom Fireworks brings together hundreds of thousands of Detroiters every year. Today I offer a collection of stories about the Freedom Fireworks. Quintessentially Detroit this 8 minute feature has stories of Family, Fun, the tragedy of violence, and more.

The Detroit is Different Fireworks piece features: Writer Sylvia Hubbard, PC/Pick-up & Lawrence Technology Owner Tom Lawrence, Hip-hop Artist Sheefy McFly, Cabresto Tequila Owner Antonio Lopez, Hip-hop Artist Nick Speed, Hip-hop Artist Big Gov, Comedian Josh Adams, Moonlight Mixer Owner Steve Coy, and Glam Suite Owner Kristina the Glam Tech.

Tribute to Attorney Jeff Edison on 40 Years of Service

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A series of tributes taken from the Celebration of Jeffrey L Edison, Esq. 40 Years of Service Friday May 6, 2016 @ Bert’s Warehouse Theatre 2739 Russell Street. The event was hosted by Shaakira Edison, Family, and Friends.  The event was filled with fun, live music, and dancing. In the heart of Detroit’s historic Eastern Market Attorney Jeff Edison Esq. partied the night away celebrating Justice, Equality, and Humanity.

AutoMoto 2016 Film & Art Festival

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The AutoMoto Film and arts Festival is held in Detroit Michigan annually in the spring. Jeremy Cable and Mark Macinnis sit down and discuss the 2016 AutoMoto Film Festival. The festival began in California and now belongs to Detroit. Featuring films about cars and the stories connected to autos. It is an event that embraces all the incredible aspects of our emotional attachment to all things Motoring. It’s rich history being told through the visual, auditory and written arts, aiming its message directly at the romantic soul of the motoring enthusiast. Check out the interview with Jeremy and Mark.

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