The Blessings are Real makes a mark within Flint’s Rising Music Culture

The Blessings are Real makes a mark within Flint’s Rising Music Culture

Flint has hundreds of churches that swell with faithful followers weekly. Faith is a part of the fabric of its daily life and something that recording artist Joe Brown believes helps differentiate, if not elevate, his hometown.

“Lifting up” is something that comes natural to Brown, who presents a unique mix of Christian rap and R&B within his own music and in collaboration with fellow artists under The  Blessings are Real (TBAR) banner,  a Christian music company that he owns and operates.

Musical artist and The Blessing Are Real Founder Joe Brown says it  feels good to be recognized for doing positive work in the community.  One of his songs helped to prevent the suicide of a young fan. It’s this kind of response that buoys Brown and fellow artists to keep TBAR’s music in the public eye. Photo by Stephen Lemon

Brown describes his own music as inspirational, uplifting, truth-telling and transparent. His wife and fellow musical artist has her own style, according to Brown.

“I have more of a contemporary type soul, hip-hop-ish feel to my music,” Marilyn Brown says.

In addition to his wife Marilyn, artists represented under the TBAR label include Just a Servant,  King Walker, Larry Lowe, Zay Ramos and J’Mez Johnson.

Each of The Blessings are Real artists have their own unique vibe. TBAR recording artist Marilyn Brown is known for her contemporary type soul, hip-hop-ish style. Photo by Stephen Lemon

“We do a variety of styles and all the artists perform under their own names,” says Brown, who feels “humbled to be considered among those who are a part of Flint’s rising music culture.

“It feels good just to know that we’re being recognized for doing some positive work in the community, as far as changing lives just through music,” he says. “We’ve been going as a company for almost four years and to get the recognition we have in this amount of time is very humbling and just feels good.”

Although Brown’s company has been in existence for less than half a decade, Joe Brown has been making Christian music since 2010. Along with performing vocals, he plays the drums. He considers his greatest achievements in music to be the lives he’s helped change.

J’Mez Johnson,  the vice president of The Blessings are Real, and an artist, writer and engineer notes that every new recording artist and the growing fan base behind them helps build momentum behind the city’s resurgence. Photo by Stephen Lemon

“One guy heard one of my songs. He was on the verge of committing suicide. He heard one of my songs and said when he listened to it, it made him think about his life and what his life meant to him, what it was worth to still live and be around other people,”  says Brown, who is still “growing and expanding” his music’s potential.

“It’s just the beginning,” says Brown. “I haven’t even scratched the surface. Flint hasn’t caught the gist of what’s about to hit them. I plan on taking the city back.”

Brown is not alone in that effort.

J’Mez Johnson,  the vice president of The Blessings are Real, and an artist, writer and engineer for the label stands behind Brown and efforts to uplift this city he loves.

It’s artists like Flint native and nationally renowned spoken word artist Mama Sol that are helping to align city residents behind messages of hope and healing. Photo courtesy of Mama Sol Music

“I feel like my music has had a big impact on Flint,” says Johnson. “The Brown’s have really supported the music since day one.”

And it’s that kind of support that is transforming the city.

“Every new recording artist and the growing fan base behind them helps build momentum behind the city’s resurgence,” says Johnson.

Although Brown relates most to his Christian roots and music and fellow TBAR artists, he considers Mama Sol, Nicholas Hill, Lydia Seale and Akeem Brown to be among Flint’s talented and influential artists.

Among his most memorable performances is his appearance with musical artist and producer Shani Womack, according to Brown, who describes Womack as a sensational storyteller..

Flint supporter and recording artist Shani Womak (front) paints a picture with her music and is a part of the growing group of musical influences behind the city’s resurgence. Photo courtesy of Shani Womak

“She’ll make you visualize everything she speaks in her music, just from talking, because she paints pictures with her music,” he says.

The Browns believe in collaboration and would like to see these and other local artists come together to do large shows to increase the unity, peace and love even more so in Flint.

“I’d like to see our music be more positive music and really change the atmosphere and what is being said about Flint out there,” Joe says. “Some people have a negative view about what they see in Flint. But they are only looking at it from the outside instead of coming to get to know the people for themselves.”

Editor’s Note:

To learn more about Small Shops sponsor Metro Community Development, the originator of the BizBox Small Business system and other small business support programs,  call 810-767-4662 or  visit: metrocommunitydevelopment.org

Lead photo: The Blessings are Real Music Group consists of King Walker, Just a Servant (JAS), Zay Ramos, J’Mez (Johnson), Marilyn Brown  and Joe Brown (left to right). Photo by Stephen Lemon

 

 

 

 

 

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