Broadway Blake
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Broadway Blake

Newark, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Newark, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Hip Hop




"Broadway Blake: Building A Platform For Newark Hip Hop"

Most heads with any sort of hand or ear to the Jersey scene has heard of Broadway Blake. Born and raised in one of Newark’s toughest neighborhoods, Blake — like many of his peers — needed all the inspiration he could find. Luckily hip hop was the escape that provided him that. He came in the game with a strong mixtape run, followed by a solid indie release, Broadway Empire. He’s currently to work towards Broadway Empire 2 while contributing as a member of the buzz worthy LiFECREW collective.

More notably, though, Blake has transcended the everyday hustle and worked to develop a platform for talent to connect and be heard — offline. Vibes In The City held weekly in the heart of Newark, has become a successful series, thus far running for over year.

“I started Vibes In The City because I felt like there was so much talent in Jersey, but not enough opportunities,” says Blake. “There’s not enough outlets and platforms where the artist can build and network on a regular basis.” As an artist himself, he understands the frustration of having to go “out of town” to feel like your moving your career forward — especially when you have to consider travel and living expenses. “It’s a lot of money for starving artists to get a foot in the door.” He initially wanted to build something locally; something that artists felt like they were getting value from by building their network and fan base.

“I also thought it would be perfect for us to have a home where we can practice our craft — even if it was just once a week,” Blake also notes. “Luckily, I’ve been able to build it with people who have a similar vision for it as me. For a long time Jersey had a stigma of not wanting to support our own, so we wanted to be one of the outlets that broke that wall down. I had the idea for Vibes In The City in my notebook for at least 5-6 years, and I would always go back to it and tweak things based on other events I would attend.”

Once Blake found the perfect location, everything fell into place, and Vibes In The City was born on January 6th, 2016. Since then it has become a “haven” for artists in the community. However, it beginning to branch out further than even Blake had initially imagined; “through our social media presence, we have been able to attract artists from all over the world — including Brazil, Miami, Milwaukee, Philly … that’s just to name a few.”

“To date, we have been going 70 consecutive weeks, and every day we think of ways to evolve it make it more beneficial for artists, fans and our independent scene as a whole.” What started as a goal to have a weekly hub is always evolving in concept, and Blake and his co-founders have lofty goals for its future. “Why not Coachella? Why not Afropunk Fest? Why not Made In America or SXSW? Of course, we’re talking about five maybe even 10+ years from now — but why not think as big as possible? Thanks to the endless amounts of talents and creative minds we’ve been able to meet through Vibes In The City, the plans are unlimited.”

If you’re in the Tri-State, drop by Vibes In The City any — or every — Wednesday; if you’re an artist, get at Blake and be a part of - Riley

"Envert Ent. Article"

In the heart of Newark, New Jersey’s downtown arts district just feet away from historic entertainment venue, Newark Symphony Hall is a budding fairly new restaurant and event space, La Rouge Restaurant & Lounge. Despite being a newer establishment sandwiched in-between so many landmarked establishments, La Rouge is building their name in the underground music scene with joint partnerships most notably being home to Newark’s premier open mic series, Vibes in the City.

Nearing the staple event’s 3rd-year anniversary, I had a chance to attend a Vibes in the City open mic and chat with its founder Broadway Blake about its founding, the future for the showcase and much more. Read the full interview below!

Vibes in the City has been a staple event in the underground music scene with artist traveling from far and vibe to perform. How did it all start?

“Thank you. Thank you. I am an artist and I know a lot of artists but to be completely honest, there wasn’t much planning that went into launching [Vibes in the City]. I was having a conversation with a few friends about .”

You’re not just an event organizer! You are also a recording artist yourself. How was it stepping back from the limelight? How do you manage to create your art while curating the art of others?

“I won’t lie it is hard! Since starting I have had to take a step back from working on my solo music but I am slowing getting back into writing and recording. What has helped me the most is being passionate about [Vibes in the City] and helping the artists that entrust us in being a platform for them and their music.”

The arts and entertainment scene has been well documented throughout history with many stars becoming a household name. However, in recent times New Jersey’s music scene has gone largely unnoticed or unrecognized in mainstream media. What are your thoughts on the music culture throughout the State?

“The music scene is alive and well in Jersey! There are several open mic nights and places to perform to get your name out there and we aren’t as organized in the way other cities are which helps push their artist forward. But having a strong support system and consistency is key! Which is why we pride ourselves on our consistency. In our 3 year history, we’ve only canceled [Vibes in the City] twice both of which were due to snow storms in which New Jersey was in a State of Emergency.”

The push to artist independence is more prevalent now more than ever. With so many artists performing as part of the Vibes In the City, what advice do you give to those seeking to pursue music as a full-time career?

Genesis Val Leon
Taking A Page From The Book of Genesis, Val León
“We have a huge database filled with all our of past performers this helps us promoted their music and help them network amongst each other. Collaborate on music, etc. Also, we assist as much as we can. For example, artist etiquette such as preparing a performance track for shows and more. But to answer your question, my advice would be to protect your art and retain ownership!”

You and your team have celebrated a huge milestone, with over 150+ showcases. What’s next for Vibes in the City?

“We’ve built our community here [in New Jersey] even reaching out into New York and Philly. Moving forward the team and I are working on expanding and producing more events for artists outside of [Vibes in the City] with the help of sponsorships.”

Stay connected with Broadway Blake across your favorite social media platforms including Instagram and Twitter! Are you interested in performing or sponsoring Vibes In The City? Connect with the team on Twitter and Instagram. - Flisadam Pointer


Broadway Empire



“I just wanna be ya favorite rapper”. That is the statement that defines Jersey’s newest rising artist Broadway Blake. In a time when artist portray bigger than life images, Blake makes it clear that he is by the people and for the people. Blake knows how it feels to be influenced through music so he looks to provide the same sense of hope to anyone he can connect with. “The same type of influence I use to get from my favorite artists is the same type of influence I wanna provide to another kid who feels like it’s no way out.” states Blake. “They didn’t only inspire me to be a great artist; they inspired me to be a leader.” Being born and raised in one of Newark’s roughest neighborhoods, Blake, like many of his peers needed all the inspiration he could find. Luckily hip hop was the escape that provided him that. 

Naturally, after a strong run on the local mixtape scene that included If Not Me Then Who? mixtape series an a few slew of other projects, Broadway Blake decided to follow up with his indie release Broadway Empire featuring the classic feeling single "Dope Flow" and "Shorty Story" a song influenced by Nas "Black Girl Lost" and Tupac's "Brenda's Got A Baby" . Now he prepares his follow up project Broadway Empire 2. “I use to think a label would hear about this rapper from Grafton Ave Projects and come get me out of here, but I’ve learned that you get out what you put out, so now I’m just working harder than ever. I wanna bring that feel back of why we fell in love with hip hop. Hard work and good music usually wins."

Band Members