Stephen Piner and Jamir Shaw, co-founders of Dope Shows in Philadelphia. (Dosage Magazine)
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Philly born and bred, Stephen Piner and Jamir Shaw are a vintage Bernard Hopkins one-two punch. Both men virtually sat down with The Black Wall Street Times to exclusively discuss their upcoming 5-year Birthday Bash and much more.

Co-founders of Dope Shows, in only a matter of years they’ve filled a void that has seemingly lasted a lifetime.

Before its 2017 founding, Jamir mentioned the lack of  “star power coming into the city on a consistent basis.” Not only a former school Dean but also a party promoter, Jamir knew a thing or two about how to put on a good time in an orderly fashion.

Dope Shows is a must-see

According to their site, “Dope Shows is a boutique-style concert promotional agency that offers an authentic immersive environment within the urban culture.” As crusaders against all things basic, both Stephen and Jamir knew they had to make Dope Shows actually dope. In his former party promoter role, Jamir recalled the difficulty in getting people out to a special event unless a big name was attached.

Yet something tells me “big names” aren’t a problem for Dope Shows.

Gunna. Lil Durk. G Herbo. Lil Baby.

These stars will be performing at Dope Shows 5th Annual Birthday Bash at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, April 3, 2022. And you never know who else might pop in.

Some might consider their rise to be meteoric, but according to Stephen, formerly in banking and real estate, this was the plan all along. “It’s definitely a big deal. We’re appreciative of the support from the community. We look forward to having it every year and bringing the best talent we can annually.”

Dope Shows’ mission is to create fun, unique, “once in a lifetime” entertainment experiences while building long-lasting relationships with clients. They partly accomplish this organically by providing local rising talent an opportunity to open before established headliners at their Birthday Bash.

Great minds think alike

Collaboration for the duo is huge. Often relying on each other’s expertise and insight, they acknowledge the importance of building Dope Shows together and admit it may have not happened without the two of them.  Stephen mentioned, “when you’re trying to grow something bigger than you, collaborative efforts are important to grow the business. It’s a plus.”

Their collaboration goes beyond the concert stage. Jamir and Stephen also visit local Philadelphia schools to be the example that was rarely set for them. Stephen recalled a story from his youth of seeing Jay-Z perform at TLA. It’s a memory he’ll always have and wants Philly kids today to have that same connection with their favorite artists.

When asked how they arrived at this point, Stephen stated emphatically, “Putting our head down and doing the work every day.” He continued, “we were willing to put the work in daily, success comes with that. Being present. Present in the culture of hip hop and if we stuck with that, we knew something would come from it.”

Jamir reiterated their mentality has always been to reach the people. From traveling to providing artists showcase opportunities to speaking to the next generation, Dope Shows is Philly-based but globally-minded. So much so in fact, Jamir and Stephen announced they will also soon launch their own music label, Dope Records. With years of established rapport in the industry along with a proven track record of knowing what the people want, the future couldn’t be more Dope.

 Tickets for the upcoming Birthday Bash can be purchased here. 

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Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...