By Wesley Martin
Last Saturday night, November 3, teens packed into Pine Forest High’s gymnasium for the pilot episode of the “Flamin 8 Countdown” which will air on Blab TV. Both local hip-hop artist Big Bone (Sk8board) and national hip hop artist Lil Chuckee of YMCMB made an appearance.
“Flamin 8 Countdown is a music video television show that is based off of the Billboard Top 100,” said Elrico Tunstall, CEO and founder of Jumpoff Productions (the show’s production company).
“It’s also a chance to talk to the youth,” Tunstall continued, “to give them a chance to stop the violence – using them music to get their attention but having a message behind the whole show.
When asked why he decided to begin this type of adventure, the former Los Angeles executive said that the two believed in his vision.
“It’s a chance to put our city on the map,” Tunstall said. “Letting the world know that we’re here and that we’re doing something positive for the youth instead of the negativity that gets showed.”
Phlow Smith, 23, a host for Flamin 8 and a local hip hop artist, says being involved in this project is inspiring.
“To see something like this come out of Pensacola, or the Gulf Coast period, is very inspiring because I know a lot of people look to make it out this area but don’t make it very far,” Smith said.
Smith, who originally was drawn to the project due to the many networking possibilities, says he asks the questions he feels viewers want to know and questions he feels will help viewers.
“The main thing I had in mind was the kids and how they could benefit from it,” Smith said.
Tunstall said he hopes that becomes the allure of the show: popular and engaging music with segments devoted to real issues.
On Saturday, Lil Chuckee informed fans that he was a Straight-A student who was focused and disciplined. He encouraged his fans to excel in school.
“Learning and school is very important,” said the 17-year-old New Orleans native.
Tunstall says the next filming on Flamin 8 will occur on December 1 at West Florida Tech.
Beginning January 2013, recording will take place every two weeks at various high schools within Escambia County. The pilot episode will air during the second week in December. Blab TV is located on channel 6 for Cox Cable subscribers. For more on Jumpoff Productions, please visit: facebook.com/JumpoffProductionsllc.