The Greatest Pretender EP Indiegogo Campaign

Announcing The Greatest Pretender EP Indiegogo Campaign! Today marks the day that I’ve decided to go to family, friends, and fans to help me release my new EP with CLASS. The goal is to raise $1300 with the funds going to the mixing and mastering of the project, and the release and promotion of my music video for the new single, “40 Acres.”  Donors will receive various rewards for their support, including an exclusive beat made by me!!!  Head over to the Official TGP Indiegogo Campaign page now to bring this EP to life!!!

CLASS IS THE LIFE

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Archie Green's The Greatest Pretender EP. Coming Fall/Winter 2013.

Archie Green’s The Greatest Pretender EP. Coming Fall/Winter 2013.

Archie Green – 40 Acres [Prod. by Randall Thomas]

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It’s finally here!!!  The first single from my new EP, The Greatest Pretender. “40 Acres” is a story about my upbringing, my trials, my blessings and my true determination to make it as an artist.  I chose this image because it is a sign of true CLASS, with young African-American Debutantes & Beaux taking part in a traditional Cotillion Ball.  A Cotillion is a formal ball that serves as an event where its young participants and their accomplishments are presented to their respective communities.  As a member of Jack & Jill Of America, taking part in the annual J&J Cotillion was a celebrated tradition of the many affluent African-American families in my community growing up.  Produced by the homie, Randall Thomas.

#CLASS

Cough Up A Lung…Where You From…Hold Up You From The ‘Burbs?

Drake Brings Out Kanye West at 4th Annual OVOFest

Drake Brings Out Kanye West at 4th Annual OVOFest

Last night, Drake pulled all the stops when he brought out numerous surprise guests to his 4th Annual OVOFest in his hometown of Toronto, Canada.  Drake brought out numerous surprise guests and performers, as is customary with the OVOFests in the past.  This year he brought out Lil Wayne, Big Sean, J. Cole & Miguel, The Weeknd, & French Montana.  Drake also hosted a few reunions at the festival as well, shocking the packed Molson Amplitheater with performances from the female Hip-Hop/R&B troupe, TLC, as well as a very rare reunion performance of Diddy & Ma$e.

But the most shocking….most epic….most goosebump infused moment of the night (hell, possibly of the year) was when the OVO General brought out none other than Yeezus himself.  Although I was not in attendance at the concert, when I finally watched the clip below of Drake bringing Kanye West out as a surprise guest, I seriously got chills.

I would argue that this moment is next to the Jay Z/Nas moment back in ’05.  Time and again people have wondered whether or not Drake and Ye have been at odds with one another.  Let’s face facts: love him or hate him, Drake is coming for the top spot in Hip-Hop.  Kanye and Jay have both ruled the rap world for years, and let’s also be honest about the fact that either one or both are your favorite rappers’ favorite rapper.  So it comes to no shock, that in spite of the fact that Drake is competing with Ye, he still has the utmost respect for the Louis Vuitton Don and even goes on to state that Kanye is one of the reasons he became a rapper.

Now can I be honest for a moment?  If it wasn’t for Kanye West I would probably not have thought that me becoming a rapper could be a reality.  You must remember, before Ye came onto the scene every rapper repped the ‘hood (emphasis on ‘REPPED’ because not all of these so-called thugs actually come from meager beginnings).  Jerseys, baggy and saggy jeans and super gaudy chains were the uniform for the popular rap acts of that era.  Then in walks this ‘arrogant,’ ‘producer-turned-rapper’ from middle-class America wearing a popped collar polo, and a fuckin’ backpack.  The College Dropout proved to be a classic, just like Ye predicted, but it was also revolutionary.  For the first time, one of the most popular rap acts in the music world, didn’t talk about killing people.  No fables of how hard it was peddlin’ drugs to make ends meet.  Instead there were stories of that shitty job he worked at folding display clothes at The Gap.  And who could forget the now legendary tale of how Ye got signed on the album’s closer, “Last Call.”  

Kanye West – The College Dropout

 Ye opened the door for that black kid from the suburbs that not only wanted to rap, but also could hang wit the best of them.  Then comes Aubrey Drake Graham.  This half-Black/half-Jewish kid from Toronto who got his start playing the wheelchair bound heartthrob, Jimmy in Nickelodeon’s tween show, Degrassi.  About a decade ago, the previous sentence would definitely not have been describing who some are starting to call one of hip-hop’s new emerging “Rap Gods.”  But…much to the chagrin of many stubborn-ass old head hip-hop fans, it’s true.  So fuckin’ deal with it!  Drake got his start on the mixtape scene, using his funds from his acting career to pay for studio time, as well as video shoots to propel his music career.  Drake, like Mr. West, didn’t come from the hood or try to front like that was the case.  In fact, after watching a long-lost MTV Cribs’ish clip of the then teenage actor from T-Dot giving a tour of the suburban home that he shared with his mother and grandmother, it’s quite clear that Drake definitely didn’t start from the “FINANCIAL” bottom.  But Drake also opened doors, this time for those privileged Black kids from the suburbs whose parents basically supplied them with more than enough growing up.  Drake’s debut album Thank Me Later, and his 2011 follow-up, Take Care, were chuck full of tasteful rap party anthems, as well as tales of (sometimes self-imposed) solitude.  Both albums made Drake a superstar.

Drake – Thank Me Later

So why the hell did I take the time out to write up this blog post?  I’m glad you asked.  This fall there’s another Black suburban kid who’s going to try his shot for respect in rap.  He just so also happens to be the author of this blog entry.  My life’s story is somewhat like Kanye’s, but very much like Drake’s.  I too came from an upper-middle class upbringing.  Both of my parents were in my household.  Not only was I a member of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of Jack & Jill, but I was also a Beau in the Cotillion and was elected teen president my senior year of high school.  “So what?!” some of you may say, “what you gettin’ at Archie?”  What I plan on doing is finally telling that story to the world.  I plan on representing that same demographic of rap fan, but explicitly.  An advocate of education (with 2 degrees now, I might add), I talk about my years at Morehouse and NYU on record.  I also talk about what it was like driving my pop’s BMW to prom.  Not to gloat, but to simply tell OUR story.  The story of the ‘Token Black Kid’ in the predominantly white school you may have attended growing up.  The story of the black kid whose parents also took him on vacations almost every summer growing up (and, NO, I don’t mean roadtrips to visit family down south).  It’s a story that I’m proud of, and I know that others like me are proud of.  And after this great moment in hip-hop last night, I’m quite positive that the world is finally ready to embrace the new rap elite as well.

Archie Green’s The Greatest Pretender EP. Coming Fall/Winter 2013.

What Is CLASS?

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What Is CLASS?

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to start blogging again.  It’s been a while since the world has heard from me in editorial form.  Some of you may remember my blogging days at SoulerSpace! back in my college days.  Well, times have changed since my SoulKlap days.  I now go by my GOVT’ name, ARCHIE GREEN.

Many of you know my brand/lifestyle which is CLASS is the Life.  However, I’m also sure most of you don’t totally know what I mean when I make that statement.  I’d have to say that my CLASS lifestyle was first inspired by Mr. Ouigi Theodore, Creative Director of Brooklyn-based and nostalgic urban clothing brand, Brooklyn Circus.  It was also inspired by the likes of Mr. Joshua Kissi and Mr. Travis Gumbs, co-founders of the fashion/lifestyle Men’s blog, Street Etiquette.  CLASS was initially inspired by their style.  It was a return to the essence of what style was for a Black man in America.  Whether it was the driver caps that “The Bearded Man” (Mr. Theodore’s nickname due to his trademark beard) donned, or the brogue boots matched with cuffed jeans & cardigan sweaters that were available at the BKc website; it could also have been inspired by the now legendary Black Ivy post by J. Kissi & Travis at Street Etiquette which notably had graduates of Black Ivy league colleges and universities including my alma mater, Morehouse College.  The looks themselves were of CLASS and dignity.  There was no sagging of the pants, there was no flashy Jordan sneakers, or emphasis on brand name items in these gentlemen’s wardrobe.  It was basic, yet elegant.

Ouigi Theodore

Travis Gumbs & Joshua Kissi of Street Etiquette

However, what I realized was that CLASS is more to me than just style.  CLASS is the way that you treat a woman, it’s the way you shake someone’s hand, it’s also the way you look someone in the eye when you are engaged in conversation.  CLASS is Miles Davis & John Coltrane.  CLASS is Marvin Gaye & Stevie Wonder.  CLASS is Martin Luther King, Jr. & Malcolm X.  CLASS is Billie Holiday & Lena Horne.  In other words, CLASS is rooted in the rich heritage and history of what it used to be, to be Black in America.  Back when we treated our elders with the upmost respect.  When it was more fashionable to wear a freshly shined pair of hard bottoms than the latest Jordan sneaker to drop (although I still have 4 pairs that I can’t seem to let go of).  When having an education and constantly learning was cool.

Miles Davis & John Coltrane

MLK & Malcolm X

CLASS stands for: Creatively Learning to Achieve Sustainable Success.  I’m an advocate for learning.  I’ve got two degrees now to prove it!  There’s not a day that I wake up that I don’t learn something new.  In fact, I always feel weird if my mind isn’t stimulated in someway shape or form throughout the day.  Knowledge is power.  The mind is a terrible thing to waste.  The two previous terms, though cliche to many, are factual. It is my life’s mission to continue to motivate, inspire and encourage people of all walks to Creatively Learn to Achieve Sustainable Success.  The medium from which I do this at the present date is through my music.  But I’d love to engage in public speaking, or write posts like this one to push the CLASS brand/lifestyle to the world.  CLASS is style and manners, and dignity and all that jazz.  However it is also a responsibility that we all have with the brain that God gave us all at birth, to use it to chase our dreams, succeed and pass it on.

So the next time someone asks you, “What is CLASS?” feel free to give them ARCHIE GREEN‘s definition.

ARCHIE GREEN

ARCHIE GREEN

CLASS is the Life.