Shining the Light: How Wale and EBM Hope to Change the World of Art
(AllHipHop Features) “I”m good in D.C.” The lyrics of a song Wale chose to preview at his Blue Friday event rang throughout The Blind Whino. Yet, these words did more than fill his hometown crowd with the necessary excitement for his fifth studio album, SHiNE.
This statement, instead, hung like a weight holding an ironic sense of reverence in a building that used to be a functioning place of worship. The respect this artist generates is because during his tenure, Wale has taken the extra steps needed to fully represent for the DMV area. From infusing the genre of Go-Go into his music to showing support for acts such as Chaz French and Will Tha Rapper, Wale has emphasized his love for Washington, D.C. (as if his Redskin’s chain wasn't enough). Along with his affection for his hometown, Wale is also one of the more successful businessmen in Rap. His unconventional collaborations with companies like Villa, The Washington Wizards, and The WWE, prove his professional prowess. So, it seemed only a matter of time before Wale took this natural grasp for business and art and combined it with his affinity for Washington, D.C.
Every Blue Moon is the result of this combination.
While the reference to “Moon/Moonz" has been present in Wale’s music throughout his career, EBM (Every Blue Moon) was officially establish as a company in 2015. “We are an Art Collective,” EBM Creative director and Merchandise Coordinator, Vic Ojo explained. “We put together events to highlight all forms of art, specifically in the DMV area.”
Blue Friday is one of these events.
This event was held the day after Thanksgiving aptly garnering it its name. Similar to other EBM events, Blue Friday placed emphasis on spotlighting art and talent. At the venue, the collective showcased visual art from DMV artists, Trap Bob and Third World. EBM also highlighted music from local performer Ras Nebyu of the Washington Slizzards, while showing their eye for nationwide talent by inviting Brooklyn Rapper Dyme-A-Duzin to perform as well.
This was the second year of the event which the EBM team are looking to make annual. Utilizing the brand of Wale and the success of events such as Blue Friday, EBM has expanded their reach into almost every form of art imaginable. The collective has recently collaborated with D.C. streetwear brand, Solbiato, as well as holding an annual “1/1 Concert” on the first of the year at The Filmore in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland.
With Every Blue Moon, Wale has not only showed his dedication to Washington, D.C. but also projected his love for the mediums of art. In its short existence this collective has built a strong following that could aid in their lasting impact. The hopes for EBM are clear.
“It is 97 percent possible that we will become a label,” Ojo said. “But, not just a record label. It will be a label for artists with a different subsections for the different forms of art produced.” This unconventional approach to managing careers coincides with Wale’s own path to stardom.
The DC artist entered Rap with no prior lane or outlet and succeeded in every way possible. This track record combined with his infamously fiery passion (sorry Matt Delvin), should leave Rap fans optimistic about the success of EBM. The creation of this collective is Wale’s understanding of his power and presence in Rap. Through EBM, he is using his platform to better the vantage point of the DMV to the world. Wale knows that it is only Every Blue Moon that someone gets a chance to “SHiNE,” however with EBM, he hopes to make those moons appear more frequently.