We all know that 2020 has been on some other shit this time around and most recently, COVID-19 is kicking the world in the balls. We’ve got whole cities on lock down, social distancing and self-isolation not to mention a host of people out of work, concerts and events cancelled and the like. So, it’s taken a bit of agile thinking but we have still been able to access the art and craft of hip hop entertainment through streaming services, social media and most recently and most notably the LIVE Instagram beat battle between DJ Premier and RZA (read a full breakdown of that session here).
Now, Eddie Ortega and X-Faktor Entertainment are taking it another step further with the newly established ‘The Quarantine Concert Series’ which is going to be accessible via YouTube in the coming days. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Eddie ahead of the first concert to gain some insight into what we can expect, how it all came about, what it means for the industry and artists and much more.
Quick recap for those who may not know who Eddie Ortega and X-Faktor Entertainment. Eddie has been in the music game for a couple of decades both as an artist and as a businessman and promoter. He started out doing some horrorcore rap under the name X-Plicit. He then got a little crew together, started to get a bit of a rep around some of the local record labels, taught himself to engineer and took it to the next level with promotional work. He would pack venues with hundreds of people coming to local shows with just local, underground artists but has also put on shows with headliners such as Lil Scrappy, Pretty Ricky and others.
After losing some of the passion, working himself into the ground and just the whole scene losing some of it’s momentum, he stood aside and suffered through some pretty dark times. Suffering severe depression and having some pretty dark thoughts, some divine intervention saw five emails hit his inbox right at time he was considering a comeback to promotion and reconnecting with the joy he found through that. Enter a resurgent Eddie, some business partners and a new found lease on life and X-Faktor Entertainment was born.
Fast-forward to now. ‘The Quarantine Concert Series’ is the brainchild of Eddie Ortega and came about because he is always working and wanting to ensure his name and the names of his artists are always out there. And you can understand why. He has a great reputation for being a top tier promoter with a keen focus on the artists he represents and the culture, so to deliver something the this series, be able to record these shows as well as value add to them by bringing in artist interviews and unique / exclusive content to the show was a path he wanted to forge for everyone. Being that X-Faktor had some real momentum before the coronavirus took hold, Eddie wanted to find a way to keep building that, keep riding that and since he wasn’t working his ‘regular’ job and had no shows and events to promote – he also wanted to keep himself sane!
Over the next ten weeks or so, people are going to have a weekly concert delivered to them via Facebook and YouTube (so make sure you are following and subscribed to X-Faktor Entertainment on both social platforms) which is also going to include some insight in to the artist with interviews hosted by Icewater. The series kicks off THIS FRIDAY April 17th and Raw Side Hip Hop were lucky enough to catch a sneak preview of what’s in store. We won’t give much away, but clear your schedule, grab a bourbon or beer, get the speakers pumping because you’re in for quite a show. This is literally the next best thing to being AT a show, but also with the benefits of being backstage.
We want everyone to follow the rules, the social distancing, the self-isolation etc as well as to stay safe and sane during these tough times. Eddie and the crew at X-Faktor Entertainment and all the artists involved have just made that a little easier in the coming months.