Dear Music Lover
The time has come to officially roll out our Truth to Power Project. The full-length triple LP won't drop until Record Store Day, June 12, but with Leon Bridges and Keite Young's fantastic cover of Pastor Barrett's Chicago Gospel classic "Like A Ship" making its way out into the world, we wanted to share about what got us here. There are so many things on the horizon, and we want you with us on this journey.
We called this the Truth To Power Project because we believe that the more that we engage with one another openly about the deceitful history of White Supremacy in America and the chaos, havoc, and sadness it has wreaked in so many communities, the better chance we have of ALL people moving closer to unity and prosperity. We cannot accept how many people have been hurt and held back by this racist ideology.
When we all speak truthfully and directly about what got us here and hold those in power accountable, we’ll have a better chance of getting where we need to go. We're not a charity or nonprofit, but rather a creative collective supporting those in our community who have been most negatively impacted.
We have a long road ahead.
Luke and Skin of Eastwood Music Group met at Bill's Records in the late 80s, where Skin shopped and Luke worked. They connected through underground hip-hop and house music, ignited by both the message and how it grooved. It shaped their worldview and has rewarded them several times over. Now, 30-years later, both their appreciation for Black culture and their friendship are going strong.
Skin would become an active participant in the DFW hip-hop music scene as a creator, an endeavor that enriched his life in immeasurable ways. If it wasn't for the great passion stirred by Black music and culture, then Luke likely wouldn't be a co-owner of one of the greatest record stores in America.
But how do you take appreciation for a culture that has shaped this nation so profoundly and express it on a local level? Marching in protest of injustice is powerful and visceral, but how do we encourage the kind of consistent, sustained engagement that starts from the ground up, person to person?
We decided to do what record labels do and put together a project in support of the issues that meant the most to us. We asked artists who shared our values to join us in hopes of raising funds we could give directly to those carrying the weight of centuries of systemic racism: unequal education, lack of opportunity, judicial bias, unhealthy food and living conditions, restricted access to capital - DAMN.
It's overwhelming, but standing by meant complicity in this bullshit.
But we weren't naïve. We knew there were great organizations already doing this work, so we would support them by spreading their message, helping fund their operations, whatever we could do. We knew that compared to the scope of the issues, our funding will be a drop in the ocean. But where music can really create change is by engaging people, connecting, then bringing them along with us.
What if this project connected people with organizations in their community where they could donate more than money, but their time and energy on a consistent basis? What if it changed the way they saw their communities? What if people across the country brought this movement into their own cities? How big of a wave could those ripples create?
When we started asking for help, the unified energy of so many amazing people was invigorating.
We riffed with Paul Levatino (EarthxTV) and Nazanin Fatemian (Music Forward). We chopped it up with Keite Young, who ended up as an Executive Producer on the record. We asked old friends like Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas) and S1 (Kanye/Beyonce) to get involved. We were vibing with people like Leon Bridges and Sput Searight (Ghost-Note). Before long, even long-shot out-of-towners like Holy Hive, Ghost Funk Orchestra, and BadBadNotGood told us they were in too!!!!!!
Then two amazing organizations, The Dallas Mavericks and First Com Music with the Universal Music Production Group, joined to lend us some philanthropic muscle. Sports and music, athletes and artists. Two arenas where people from across every divide can come together, and two groups of people who inspire all of us in some way. It was a perfect fit.
And as this all unfolded (during a pandemic, mind you), Luke brought in the great people behind Record Store Day to add some additional promotional savvy to the vinyl release.
Honestly, we’ve barely scratched the surface of all that’s transpired since last June. Hell, just the last few weeks have been bonkers. Labels, managers, engineers, artists and more, all coming together, donating their time and talent. It’s been beautiful.
And when the Brass Tacks Collective team came on to help us organize, strategize, and execute this project, something we already knew was special took shape in ways we never imagined.
DAMN, we have a lot to tell you! There’s so much more to come: events, merch, music...all to benefit Black-Owned businesses and nonprofits throughout DFW. And this is the proverbial opening bell.
We're making some noise for change and hope it inspires you to get involved. Thanks for rolling with us. It’s gonna be an amazing ride.
Love and Respect,
The Eastwood Music Group