The Six Degrees of Vernon K (2012 Editorial)

The Six Degrees of Vernon K
By Brandon Kolby Jacobs

The Jacksonville music scene has always been an enigma…

Primarily because the majority of those in it seem to have some sort of family or social ties to one another. Samir manages the urban events at the Plush Entertainment Complex and happens to be Bigga Rankin’s nephew. Bigga stopped throwing bottles at me because he knew my sister Karla, who used to date Lil Bodie (Big Bodie’s little brother… and Big Bodie is a member of Bigga’s Cool Running’s Crew) not to mention Bigga knew my brother-in-law Materon aka David Thomas from around the way.

These sorts of intermingling connections can best be referred to as the Six Degrees of Separation or a Human Web. Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.

Such is the case with Vernon K. Johnson of D.I.M.E. (Dollars In Music Entertainment) who has been making moves in and around the Jacksonville scene of music and entertainment.

DJ Tru Story (left) Vernon K (right)

Entering the market as a promoter, Vernon's influence can clearly be seen. Allow me to elaborate:

I.                    Vernon K. Johnson- The CEO of D.I.M.E. and head of marketing for marketing for Lex Promotions in northern Florida
a.      Kandice Jacobs- Sister to former W.A.T.S./ New Blood Founder Brandon Kolby Jacobs who was a college friend of Vernon’s, helped in the early beginnings of D.I.M.E. 

Brandon & Kandice Jacobs

                                                              i.      Brandon Kolby Jacobs- Former CEO of New Blood Entertainment, former W.A.T.S. founder, former member of Team Tay Dizm, and Editor of Brandon was inspired to be involved in the music business by watching D.I.M.E. meetings that were conducted in his house.
1.      Rodger Reiter- Former assistant to Russell Simmons and Benjamin Chavis and Co-Founder of W.A.T.S. along with Brandon

The now highly recognizable photo of Rodger & Brandon @ TJs DJs in 2004

a.      Terri Sherman- A native of Jacksonville. Terri has worked in numerous capacities from working with Derek Washington of Upstart Entertainment, to managing artist, and general music consultation. Terri met Brandon through Rodger and obviously Brandon knew Vernon through Kandice and they all work every closely together now.

                                                                                                                                      i.      Swordz- Currently under Terri Sherman’s management. Vernon has also been influential in the resurgence of Swordz’s career.
b.      Grand Prix- Upon returning from Tallahassee, Grand Prix was introduced to Brandon through Rodger and Prix has gone on to form very strong business relationships with numerous members of this web, most recently Back Door Music…

Vernon K, Brandon Jacobs and Grand Prix @ the 2007 DJ Melange 

2.      D. Whiteboi- Integral part of the expansion of New Blood Entertainment into Jacksonville. D currently works in the studio where Chris Slade (Vernon’s Brother) records…
3.      Pat Benoit- Co-Founder of W.A.T.S. and former employee of TJ Chapman’s now defunked TJ’s DJ’s. Pat has promoted for many of the same artist as Vernon, due to their inter-related business partners in south Florida.
4.      Marcus Homer- A former Pointblank teen promoter, Marcus got his first opportunity to be the “front man” under New Blood Entertainment and their events. When Vernon called Brandon about potential promoters for his Twisted Sister Friday Night, Marcus was recommend. Marcus has gone on to retire, unretired, and retire again… all along leaving a slew of successful events in his path.

5.      Da Woodz Boyz- Breaking through into the college entertainment scene in 2008 (mostly by ruining Brandon’s event’s by throwing their free house parties on the same nights) the Woodz Boyz was a collection of popular men on campus who operated in many ways like a fraternity (with their own grip, their own stroll, etc). They aggressively made their mark until they disbanded in 2009. Before their breakup, the Woodz Boys threw one of the largest college parties in recent memory with Vernon at Twisted Sister.

The Woodz Boys in 2009 @ Lux

6.      UNF Greek Life- Because of the relationship between Brandon and Vernon many of the fraternities and sororities began to gravitate towards D.I.M.E. as has been shown by their ability to maintain a very solid portion of the college market in attendance of their events. D.I.M.E. currently has events with all members of NPHC on UNF’s campus at their new Friday night location-- Tera Nova.
b.      Chris Slade- Being the brother of Vernon speaks for itself. Chris has released several mixtapes over the course of his career with mixed reviews. Partu the Cool was released in the spring 2010 with very positive reviews across the board.

Chris Slade (left) and DJ 151 (right)

c.       Maurice- Longtime friend of Vernon’s who has been a significant figure in D.I.M.E. and partnering company Wallstreet Promotions. Maurice also worked for as a founding member of the original makeup of Point Blank Entertainment.

Wallstreet (left) and Maurice (right)

d.      Wall Street- Partnering company with D.I.M.E., founder Ben Parker has also, like Maurice, been a long time friend and one of the founding members of Point Blank.
e.      Point Blank is viewed as the dream of Ivory Orr, but many people who have come and gone make up Point Blank’s legacy. Point Blank is now arguably the largest and most successful promotion company in Jacksonville… a company that Vernon had a significant hand in during its beginnings.

                                                              i.      Ivory Orr- CEO of Point Blank, Ivory and Vernon went to college together at UNF where the entertainment aspirations began.

Ivory & His Wife in 2005

1.      Pretty Ricky- Originally coming from a dance background, Ricky began is promotional career under D.I.M.E. and later moved to Point Blank where he has become a prolific DJ and manager in his own right.

a.      Back Door Music- Like Point Blank, Back Door Music, is a collection of members of the entertainment community brought together by Pretty Ricky.
b.      Yung Trap- Managed by Pretty Ricky, many say Yung Trap is the hottest rapper in Jacksonville, second only to the currently incarcerated Young Cash.
(from left to right) Ivory, Yung Trap, Young Cash, and T. Pain

2.      Leo Moxley- The apprentice to Ivory, Leo has unquestionably made a significant impact through his ability to reclaim a college market that was at one point turning away from the Point Blank events.

3.      J-Floyd- A crucial member of the Point Blank camp as it stands today, J-Floyd (along with Roger For Mayor) fill the void that was left in Maurice’s departure from Point Blank.

4.      Rude Boy DJ’s- Helmed by DJ Rick Rude (who is the brother of one of Ivory’s “Chosen Few” group members) they have made their mark by breaking into the clubs through Point Blank events.

                                                            ii.      Roger For Mayor- One of the few surviving members from the original collection of Point Blank Entertainment, Roger played basketball at EWC and has since established himself as an infallible member of the Point Blank family.

                                                          iii.      Chris Francisco- One of the initial business partners of Ivory Orr in the structuring of Point Blank Entertainment. Chris has also been the president of the alumni committee of the University of North Florida
                                                           iv.      DJ D-Money- Another original member of PBE, D-Money has gone on to a successful career in his own right.

1.      Fireman DJ’s- A collection of Northside DJ’s who got their start in the strip clubs and working under D-Money in major venues. They have since become members of the Cool Runnings DJ’s that Vernon is known to service music to.
2.      DJ Cap
                                                             v.      DJ 151- A close friend to both Ivory and Vernon. 151 left Point Blank in 2009 to focus more on his career and has since moved on to pursue his goals in California.

f.        DJ Tru Story- DJ for many of Vernon’s events, a DJ for numerous Woodz events in their hay day, Tru Story hails from Detroit, but has made Jacksonville his home and has grown to be very successful.

Clearly, Vernon’s impact cannot be denied and as seen here, many people owe their careers, their business relationship, etc to knowing Vernon in some capacity or another… this is just a small example of his influence.  Much like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, there’s no question that when it comes to Jacksonville, FL., there’s definitely only 6 degree to get to Mr. Vernon K…