“Love’s Dope…”  Sicari Speaks on his recording


It’s a little surreal looking at your accomplishments, successes, failures, lessons-learned, life experiences… while examining the impacts you’ve had on people and evaluating if your contributions manifested in the way you envisioned them. With that in mind… I pulled out a throwback mix I did about 6-years ago that I called “Love’s Dope.” I am currently listenin’ to it and am very proud of what’s behind the music.

Let’s see… I had come back to live in Detroit for the third time in my life. I was crashin’ at my grandmother’s house. I turned her basement into a lab where I prepared for dj battles and stored about 5000 records while I was getting on my feet. I had a cool job at a non-profit in Southwest Detroit where I could work and give back. I remember how moments in my life inspired me to record themed dj projects such as this one. I used to challenge myself by thinking of a theme and without planning a session I would hit record then dig in the vault and spin. No edits… No stops… Just me, my records and the drive to be creative within the chosen context of inspiration. All vinyl… No studio. I love being able to say I can do that.

“Love’s Dope” is a blend of soulful songs that inspire and reflect upon the different types of emotions we all go through while loving someone. It’s also what I refer to as a “Break Ups To Make Ups” set where all the songs apply to some aspect of being in a relationship. At this time I was really inspired to do these kinds of themed mixes.

I followed the DJ Sicari method of speaking with my hands by pulling songs with vocals or compositions that melodically embodied exactly what I felt a love story should. I let my selections tell the story.

The “Together We Can Make Something Happen” intro breaks down to an old school rap from a brotha trying to convince a sista to choose him so they can build something greater than themselves. Deep for an intro right?… Wait til you hear the rest of the mix! The songs to follow allude to different phases in building, enjoying and ending a relationship… but with class.

I used rare mixes and original Hip-Hop samples to show the depth of my collection. I also picked deeper album cuts to stay original. At this time I was a heavy crate digger in Detroit and was influenced by other djs in my collective that shared the same values of record collecting. I remember diggin’ with Slo Poke and constantly being schooled on samples he’d find.

While Listening to “Love’s Dope” today… I can hear my appreciation for 9th Wonder, Little Brother, Dilla, Classic Jay-Z, Common, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and Biggie whose original samples were used while telling this story. Some of the other songs that stand out for me are Midnight Unltd’s “Lost For Words”, Ike and Tina’s “Game of Love”, Joe Bataan’s “Woman Don’t Wanna Love Me”, One Way’s “Get It Over”, Rasputin Stash’s “Oooh Baby”, O’Jays “Crossroads of Love”… so many dope songs related to loving someone.

I’m posting this to share it with the world once again because I enjoyed listening to it today and hope you will enjoy it as well. I put it out as a podcast some years ago after touring with Invincible and Finale for some of the people I met on the road. They enjoyed it…Lol! I rarely put out my mixes but I think I’ll move in the direction of posting them so people can hear DJ Sicari’s diversity and development. Stay tuned… and remember always move out of “Love…” Peace!

Sicari Speaks on Red Bull Music Academy’s “Motown to NewYork” Featuring Paul Riser event at the Magic Stick.

This particular night at the Magic Stick was extraordinary in many aspects. First, visionary Paul Riser orchestrated an amazing Detroit music awareness performance encompassing original Motown musicians and current Detroit Hip-Hop artists bridging the gap between both movements. Our brother Bryce exceptionally hosted the night and shaped the event with anecdotes and commentary that enlightened audience members. “21st Century… Detroit Industry” was the theme of the night where viewers had the pleasure of witnessing Detroit’s historic musical legends embrace Hip-Hop expression thru improvisational performance. I was completely blown away by the beautiful and positive vibrations of compositions performed. I can’t express the importance of music in my life and how the spirit of the melodies played tonight left the audience with no choice but to feel good and enjoy the performance.

I didn’t know what to expect when they called me to dj the event. I knew Paul Risor’s legendary status and the collective resumes of some of the musicians, but I really didn’t have a clue about the type of performance they prepared. I was told Young Guru was going to scratch Jay-Z vocals over Motown classics. Since Young Guru became ill during his SXSW appearance and wasn’t able to show, the event changed earlier that afternoon (Deja Vu).  I kinda felt the same feelings from Dilla Day Detroit, no offense, but we really didn’t need him.  The Detroit Recordings roster of upcoming Hip-Hop Artists stepped in and provided a new Hip-Hop perspective for the evening. Bryce, being the host, was very clear with the intentions of the event organizers valuing “bridging the gaps” between classic Motown R&B cultural values and current Hip-Hop cultural expression. It seemed there were points of learning engagement for all parties participating in the event. Some of the musicians hadn’t heard the compositions being performed and some audience members hadn’t witnessed orchestral Hip-Hop expression. Sounds like a win-win. I figured I was called to open the event because of my ability to play across various genres of music in a Hip-Hop way, but I absolutely didn’t know I would be setting the tone for a historic Detroit music performance.

Detroit is the home of culture creation, meaning… “Everything we think we need…We already have.” I said the same thing after Dilla Day Detroit. I think the beauty of this event was actually once again witnessing Detroit discover and value it’s gems. I think Detroit often takes it’s musical contributions for granted because we’re one of the world’s leaders in musicianship. Just a few weeks ago, a friend told me Detroit has the most musicians per capita in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan. That’s powerful…Especially when there are very few music programs in the public school system of today.

I also believe this event was necessary for music fans to see the potential of conscious Hip-Hop over “real” instrumentation. My favorite part of the event was the surprise Bryce presented members of the orchestra by breaking down particular sectional arrangements as loops and overlapping them creating new compositions utilizing Hip-Hop music creation approaches. It was definitely something to see.

It was great to see the Detroit Recordings roster of artists shine during the event. Artists such as Sage, Sirius, Akilah, Dave Word and Kane held down the stage and poetically accompanied orchestral compositions with their rhythmic Hip-Hop expressions. Others were invited to participate as well during the “Foundation” style open mic that was spontaneously implemented. Koko Butterfly, Malik Austin, Monica Blaire, Prophet and Drew39 were a few of the participants that also blessed the mic with their vocal talents.

And to top all of this off… legendary Detroit producer Nick Speed founder of the Nick Speed Orchestra and accomplished Hip-Hop producer was the accompanying dj scratching ambient sound effects highlighting emotions captured in each composition.  I told you this event was epic.

Overall, this beautiful night is another one for the history books. I am so humbled and honored to spin for this Motown meets Hip-Hop event. It was perfect in serving it’s purpose of raising the consciousness of the people utilizing real instruments and exceptional Hip-Hop talent.

21st Century…Detroit Industry!





SICARI SPEAKS about TheFoundation of 5e Gallery presents: Born In Flames Tour 2012!

Last night @ The Old Miami The Foundation collective hosted a monumental event celebrating the wonderful talents of our Queens and Kings. What I love about The Foundation is the way we challenge our Hip-Hop community to evaluate how we value women in our creative expressions. Battling any media machine is an overwhelming task, especially when we engage our supporters once a week and media pumps destructive messages 24/7, but the beauty of this event is it meets people where they are and  values personal growth and development.

The event began with the Michigan Raw Beat Battle (Created by Mixo… Hosted by Supa Emcee… and Sponsored by It was an amazing and perfect event opening.  Some of our cities most talented upcoming producers showcased their compositions head-to-head for a cash prize. I’m so proud of the Detroit Music Production community for pushing the limits and continually adding to their knowledge bases. I was blown-away many times during the beat battle and look forward to the next one. After the winner Sacramento Knoxx was announced, everyone showed true sportsmanship and love congratulating all battle contestants that participated.

Immediately following the Michigan Raw Beat Battle was a lovely jaw-dropping performance by Tamar Kali. What I first loved about it was…. it started on time lol! Secondly, we haven’t had a performer of Tamar’s notoriety as a feature at the Foundation as of yet. Seeing her on stage with her band was the moment I reflected on all the hard work, organizing and energy the Foundation collective invested in making this happen. Words cannot express how humbly blessed I feel to work with so many real and wonderful women that love Hip-Hop. The fellas that support the Foundation are equally as instrumental in it’s success as well. It’s a beautiful thing to see.   Tamar performed Afro-Punk style songs with her 5-piece band of guitars and drums. The crowd was was blown away by her vocal talent and the energy the band brought to the stage. It was a complete honor to have Tamar Kali grace the Foundation stage.

After the battle Lori from Female Sneaker Fiend presented her book Girls Got Kicks!  Her book is filled with wonderful images of women that collect and love sneakers. and Bob’s Classic Kicks were our sponsors for Girls Got Kicks and each donated a fresh pair of kicks for the Foundation Female Sneaker Fiend raffle.  Jason the owner of Bob’s Classic Kicks came out to support as well. I look forward to further collaborating with and supporting our sponsors on other sneaker related events.

Immediately following Girls Got Kicks was a dj set by’s creator Wajeed. He alone with his globally celebrated artist persona could have been the feature. I look at Wajeed as one of Dilla’s proteges. Wajeed is my brother and watching him create his movement and  travel the world producing and performing his music independently is one of the greatest inspirations. Wajeed and Saadiq created Platinum Pied Pipers a term that represented beautiful music (before R. Kelly stole and tainted it). PPP’s first album, Triple P, is a classic Detroit Hip-Hop album! I play one or 2 songs off of Triple P every time I spin today! Wajeed being the producer of this album spinning at the Foundation was something I’ve wanted to happen for quite some time now. He killed it with an Electro-party set that got the ladies movin’! You know I love to see the people dance. I can’t stand events where people are too cute to move. I really appreciated Wajeed’s presence at this event.

And just when we thought it was over…  came a glorious performance by Invincible. This topped of the night! Especially since Invincible is Foundation family and was one of the stake-holders at the table when we created the Foundation. Invincible brought her lyrically powerful performance and closed the show with conscious content and high energy.  Once again the people expressed how blown-away they were by yet another amazing performance. I can imagine being a supporter at this show and being very pleased. There were so many excellent performances. I am humbly grateful to be a part of such an empowering socially-conscious Hip-Hop movement.

The Foundation of 5e Gallery happens every Tuesday at the Old Miami 9p $5 cover. See you there!

Next week is 3/13 day  featuring Gwen Nation!





Okay World…  it’s blog time! In the words of one of Detroit’s Hip-Hop Kings, The theme for this years’ Detroit Dilla Day is “Don’t Nobody Care About Us… All they do is doubt us… Til we blow the Spot!” Salute Phat Kat for prophetic lyricism.

Those words generously sum up the current social-economic Detroit as well as the globally recognized Detroit entertainment culture. In short… that really means “WE” are responsible for celebrating our own and/or even ourselves.

For the first time in Detroit Hip-Hop History our city finally celebrated the life and contributions of James Dewitt Yancey aka J-Dilla monumentally! I am so honored for 5e Gallery’s role in the organization and implementation of both the event at the Fillmore and the following Youth Dilla Day event at the Virgil Carr center. I must say I am blessed to work with a gifted team of phenomenal individuals that were called to organize this years’ Dilla Day Detroit. It was an extraordinary event promoting “Unity” amongst artists, families, and generations of Hip-Hop heads.

Unity begins with one… meaning get yourself together before trying to help others, or even better… Know Thyself! I can’t stress how relevant that simple statement is in life. When organizing an event of this magnitude it’s very important for each individual to be honest and transparent with his or her intentions, expectations and abilities. You Must be able to Trust your team. We knew this road would be one of bumps, bruises, scrapes, burns, scraps and wars, but we also new the purpose and the importance of preserving the Legacy is greater than all of us put together. We honestly put down all egos and got to work.

The 3rd Dilla Day Detroit event (the first two previous events being held at 5e Gallery) in Detroit’s history will be archived as the day we, as Detroiters, stood together as a community and celebrated our heroes! That is so powerful. We showed the world that we didn’t need anyone outside of our city to validate “US” on all levels. We pulled this event off without sponsorship (with No Money)! Our teammates met with countless wealthy individuals and companies that will remain nameless from all walks of commerce (music industry to urban economic development) and each of them were turned off once we stated that the legacy is priceless and is not for sale. It will stay in Dilla’s family forever to benefit his Great Grandchildren’s Great Grandchildren! Because of that stance and our integrity, the event at that point became a total grassroots Detroit community movement.

Dilla Day Detroit also proved to the world that Detroit can and will unite under a righteous cause. 5e Gallery being involved, in the trenches every step of the way doing what we call in-house “the work” makes us very proud of Dilla Day Detroit’s success and what it means for our city.

What people fail to realize is “Dilla has already done “the work” globally!” Everywhere I go outside of the U.S. or even places in the states like Cali, Albuquerque, Hawaii where ever… They hail J Dilla’s production as the epitome of Hip-Hop music. In Japan, when I asked anyone what genre of music fans liked, they didn’t even name a genre they all said J Dilla or Detroit Hip-Hop; standing as its’ own genre. Because of J Dilla’s creative achievements, Detroit Hip-Hop is a recognized type of Hip-Hop that stands alone around the globe. He truly is the greatest to ever do it! (No BS…Foreal!)

I see the value of Detroit art, creativity and musicianship very similar to the diamond of South Africa, the people who truly own it didn’t recognize it’s value until it’s taken from them by someone else.”  But unlike the diamond, “WE” got our globally recognized shine back before it was too late… and we did with the monumentally  successful 3rd annual Dilla Day Detroit!

Now, we as a community carry the responsibilities of preserving, protecting and righteously stewarding it’s future.  Like I said earlier, This Legacy is Priceless and I love 5e gallery’s role in the unification of Detroit through a much-needed “Rebirthing” process.

Next entry I’ll speak on this from the DJ perspective and breakdown that experience… #MONUMENTAL

In a minute y’all! One Love Detroit!

To be Continued…

The Foundation All Stars Opening for this Year’s Hip Hop Congress Midwest Summit 2012: February 3-4 w/ Big K.R.I.T., The Narcicyst, OneBeLo

Hip Hop Congress has announced the lineup for its Eighth Annual Midwest Summit, an internationally recognized event dedicated to connecting Hip Hop culture to youth education and empowerment. To be held at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor on February 3rd and 4th, the event is partnered with Detroit’s 5e Gallery, along with a number of other educational programs designed to help advance Hip Hop as a powerful global culture.

A star-studded lineup will be featured at the concert on Friday, February 3, including Big K.R.I.T., The Narcicyst, Maimouna Youssef, OneBeLo, Tree City, The Foundation All-Stars and dj lajedi. The following day will feature panel discussions, artist workshops and a special presentation by the Black History 101 Mobile Museum.

Other event sponsors include University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach; the Office of Multicultural Academic Initiative’s Gear UP!; the Neutral Zone teen youth center in Ann Arbor; and the Rising Scholars program in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Hip Hop Congress is an international organization of community activists and Hip Hop culture creators, providing tools and resources for local chapters to be able to connect with a global network of groups and individuals. Hip Hop Congress is a 501(c)3 Non Profit Corporation with over 30 different chapters across the United States and overseas.

This year’s Midwest Summit will focus on the goals of connecting Hip Hop culture participants with the issues of youth empowerment, education, social justice and community action. Representatives from throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, California, New York, Canada and more will be in attendance.

The presence of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum will help the Midwest Summit tie into the educational goals of U of M’s celebration of Black History Month throughout February. With a focus on the historical elements of Black culture, the museum has become a national treasure through its tours to universities, community centers and places of worship, bringing a unique view of history to the people.

In 2011, Big K.R.I.T. became an international breakout star, receiving countless year-end accolades for both his solo and collaborative work. OneBeLo is regularly cited as one of Michigan’s greatest independent emcees, and his latest release L.A.B.O.R. has been hailed by the critics as a top album of the past year.

The Narcicyst is an internationally celebrated emcee and intellectual, noted for his university appearances and his acclaimed appearance on the pivotal song “#Jan25″, which became an anthem of the Arab Spring. Grammy-nominated singer Maimouna Youssef is currently supporting her debut album The Blooming, a soulful exploration of rhythm and melody that has been beautifully received by critics.

Dj lajedi is a member of 5e Gallery’s The Foundation, celebrating women in Hip Hop, and is a breakout artist to watch in 2012 with an upcoming international mixtape featuring all female artists. She is also the deejay for OneBeLo and The Foundation All Stars, a collective of Detroit-based women hip hop artists that came together through 5e Gallery’s weekly Tuesday event The Foundation.

For more information,

Posted by Common Breath


We are continuing our Fundraising efforts towards renovating Our New Space.


Over 50 Members Of Detroit‘s Urban Music Community Featured

In Another Star-Studded Music Marathon To Mark A Grand Opening And New Beginnings….

$50 for 5e is a unique presale, developed in collaboration with Detroit Hip-Hop artist Invincible’sEMERGENCE Media, which will allow 5e supporters to

pre-purchase ticket packets that include 10 event admissions and 5 drink tickets for the low cost of $50. These tickets are for use at our new venue location.

5e Galleryis the first Hip-Hop cultural venue of its kind to offer ongoing pre-sale tickets and the community investment ethic doesn’t end at ticket entries. 5e Gallery coordinators Sicari Ware andPiper Carter plan to build in input and involvement options to insure programming will meet the needs of 5e‘s community members. As Ware says, “It’s important to involve community in every step of the process. The venue should have a relationship with both the surrounding neighborhood of Corktown, as well as the Detroit artistic community which it serves. This approach allows for involvement in the development stages so that those communities can help shape the vision of 5e moving forward.”

5e also aims to expand their work to focus on healthy living when they move into their new location. This will be embodied by new services such as a raw juice bar and backyard garden, which will provide some of the vegetables for the juice bar.

The May 15th launch event was the first time ticket packets were available and all purchasers received free entry to the 12 hour music festival. Patrons who could not afford the $50 packet were asked to donate $5 for 5e, in the spirit of the Gallery’s existing online donation drive. Amongst the 50 artists performing at the event were T3 (of Slum Village), Miz Korona, jessica Care moore, John Arnold and Invincible. The new 5e Gallery is located at 2661 Michigan Ave in Detroit.


If you’d like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview with Sicari Wareand/or Piper Carter, please call Hubert Sawyers III at 313-802-4075 or e-mail Hubert at

Below is a copy of the Article we sent to Time Magazine about The Campaign.

Thank You, We Appreciate You!

If you are interested in donating to our current campaign or learning

more about our current needs, programs and events, you can find more

information or make donations through PayPal online at:

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