The excitement was palpable Thursday, March 28, 2014, at Edward R. Murrow High School when rapper and former student, Joey Bada$$, returned to his old stomping grounds. The return represented a lot of hard work and effort finally coming to fruition.
In November of last year, Akomplice Clothing, The J Dilla Foundation and Joey Bada$$ joined forces to release a limited edition capsule collection. The collection was sold in stores all over the world with 100% of the profits being donated back to the community through the purchasing of instruments for underprivileged schools. One such school was Joey Bada$$’ high school in Brooklyn, NY.
With the capsule selling out, it gave Joey the opportunity to give back to his school and encourage music education in a new group of student. The artist toured the building with the school’s principal saying hello to teachers and students that he once shared the same halls with. The day ended with Joey visiting the music room. The current students, played a few pieces for Joey, and then they all participated in opening the new equipment, which included new keyboards, beat machines, CPU music programs and more.
“It felt great visiting my old high school,” said Joey. “On behalf of the J Dilla Foundation and Akomplice, I was able to give back to my high school some music production equipment. My wish is that the kids who share the same musical interest that I did take advantage of the opportunity and utilize the equipment to make timeless and creative sound.”
To make this possible, Akomplice melded the posthumous talents of J Dilla (partnering with the J Dilla Foundation) with those of the burgeoning Brooklyn emcee, to create the one of a kind capsule. Purchasers were treated to a t-shirt and crew neck, which paid homage to the hallowed producer through an angelic cloud-graphic of J Dilla’s face cleanly printed across both. They also received a 45 record exclusive which contained an unreleased Dilla beat dubbed “Two Lips” on Side A and an unreleased Joey Bada$$ track over the aforementioned beat on Side B as well as a beautiful newspaper/poster containing a candid interview with Dilla’s mom, “Miss Yancey”, Joey Bada$$ and Akomplice co-owner, Patrick Liberty.
“It was truly amazing to be a part of this project, the convergence of two musical generations and artistic mediums gave the project depth and soul,” said Mike McCarney co-owner of Akomplice Clothing. “Yesterday we donated the equipment to make an entire recording studio at Joey’s old high school, next we go to Detroit.
The group plans on using the rest of the profits to help service other schools across the United States. Together they are working to foster a more creative, innovative and exciting atmosphere of music education in schools today; one school at a time.
More pics below…