From left to right: Mind Seed Engineer Edwin Hackett, Artist Ernesto “E-Shame” Reyes, Village Life Entertainment 5 Founder - CEO, Haqq Shabazz pose outside of Mind Seed Studios in Oakland. Photo by Carla Thomas.
By Carla Thomas
With a passion for the music industry and a drive to unify independent artists, Amir Abuhaqq Shabazz, founder and owner of Village Life Entertainment 5 LLC is taking his vision to the next level, after working with industry giants like the late Tupac Shakur and East Oakland’s Too Short.
Currently managing four main artists and signing more, as an affiliate of Mind Seed Records, “Haqq” Shabazz is turning his 20 plus years of experience into a viable platform by acquiring the state of the art Mind Seed Records studio. With his current roster of artists Jazz JLP, Rap J-Loc and R&B Dancer-daughter, Brea Nicole Shabazz, his ability to empower new artists is already set in motion.
“I want to give back to the community and give young artists a road map to success,” he said.
While laying tracks in the studio, Shabazz is currently the executive producer of the cd “Shameless” for 28 year old family friend Ernest Reyes. “His stage name is “E-Shame” and he’s the great nephew of the chief of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation that owns and operates Cache Creek Casino of Brooks, California,” he said proudly.
At Inner Scope Records, Shabazz worked with Tupac in the early 90’s and started his own label Ham-A-Lot Records and later Lock Records which produced compilations generating sales across the nation.
The graduate of Oakland Tech attended San Francisco State University and plans to offer top of the line multi-media, video and audio recording. The nationally renowned owners of Mind Seed Records, Edwin and Joann Anderson, have graciously offered to support his efforts to propel the independent artist community with their company as a central factor.
“I want to show how hard work along with structure and resources can make the difference,” he added.
Through his own trials and tribulations he has garnered the wisdom and resources to teach aspiring artists how to cultivate and create by choosing networking over ego-tripping and independence above an industry eager to exploit newcomers. With a vehicle like Mind Seed, aspiring artists can further advance their production, marketing and distribution strategies to the masses, taking full advantage of technology to sell their high quality wares rather than from the trunk of their cars.
“I have experienced my own personal success and I want others to enjoy that freedom from the usual exploitation that happens in this industry.”
Shabazz acts, writes and has participated in several documentaries. His exposure to the entertainment business began early on as he accompanied his mother Constance Hewitt on the Motown Review road tours with her half sister Mary Wilson of the Supremes.
One of seven children, the Oakland native boasts siblings ranging from bishops to the general manager of one of the largest steel and tool corporations of the nation.
His Muslim faith, family and organization are the biggest factors in Shabazz’s success. Along with wife Beverly of 35 years Shabazz has high hopes for 16 year old daughter Brea Nicole who shares a similar passion for the industry. The Bishop O’Dowd High School honor student plans to dance her way to the top. And with dad’s wit and resources she plans to rise within the ranks of a new generation of independent artists with a fresh mind set from Mind Seed.
Village Life Entertainment 5 offers a wide range of music genres including jazz, classical, R & B and hip hop.
Shabazz has also experiened and survived the travails of the streets. He is a survivor and wants to teach those same survival skills to the next generation.
“My company will continue to show that the right leadership, tools along with great talent will generate excellence. If you operate at that level, it’s creates an open forum for new artists to collaborate and support each other, instead of being side tracked by divisive forces in the industry.”
Check out VLE5.com. To reach Carla Thomas, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-816-7493.