The heart of WA is Black Grenade

Black+Grenade+Entertainment+Sarah+Rogers+and+Lemuel+Cannonier+posing+with+their+band%27s+symbol.
Black Grenade Entertainment Sarah Rogers and Lemuel Cannonier posing with their band's symbol.

Black Grenade Entertainment Sarah Rogers and Lemuel Cannonier posing with their band's symbol.

Meghan Rochelle

Meghan Rochelle

Black Grenade Entertainment Sarah Rogers and Lemuel Cannonier posing with their band's symbol.

Wyatt Simmons, Staff Reporter

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The party is here.

That’s what Lemuel Cannonier, founder of Black Grenade Entertainment wants Ellensburg to know.

Black Grenade Entertainment has been hosting Reggae and Underground hip-hop in Ellensburg since 2015, and the inspiration of starting the company came from a nickname given to Cannonier during his younger days.

“It (inspiration of the name) was a reputation on a soccer field,” Cannonier said.“I’m short and powerful, so I was always the black grenade.”

It was his reputation in soccer and a tattoo he got that helped inspire the entertainment company.

“I got a tattoo that my mom disliked a lot, she said ‘if you don’t do something with that, I’m gonna rip your arm off,” Cannonier said jokingly.

Cannonier’s love of music came from his Jamaican roots.

“My father played in a reggae band and my mom loved to sing with me,” Cannonier said. “It was instilled into me that it was destiny to be in some sort of music field.”

This love for music is where he came up with the idea to start the entertainment company.

Cannonier works at U.S Bank in the CWU SURC, the job provides the flexibility for Cannonier to make beats and promote the business according to Cannonier.

After the Black Grenade’s first reggae event, Cannonier partnered with Sarah Rogers, who assisted in the promotion and organizational structure, according to Cannonier.

Black Grenade events showcase reggae remixes and underground hip-hop, while also providing opportunity for  up-and-coming artists.

When looking for artist to perform at Black Grenade events, Cannonier is looking for new artists looking for a chance to showcase their talents.

“The outcome (for the artist) is an audience for them to have, so they can express themselves to the audience members who love hip hop,” Cannonier  said

Cannonier not only believes in mentorship when it comes to music, but helping individuals improve overall.

“Our goal is to figure out what you want to do and polish that goal,” Cannonier  said.

One underground hip-hop artist that Cannonier has helped give a platform to is Selah, Washington artist  Coaster, who has performed at Black Grenade events since early 2016. “I ventured out on my very first headlining tour, they [Black Grenade] booked me for my tour stop in Ellensburg.” said Coaster,“It means a lot to me for any promoter to book me especially when I was fairly new to touring.”

Black Grenade plans on expanding to different parts of the country, but they also want to stay in Ellensburg, because as Sarah Rodgers put it, Black Grenade entertainment is in the “Heart” of Washington.

One goal of the company is to run an event in Ellensburg called “One Heart,” and to bring in a bunch of up-and-coming reggae and hip-hop artists, giving them a platform and an audience to perform in front of.

Rogers said, “We have a lot of different things to give as one heart, we don’t just have music and love to give, we have our goods [to donate for a raffle].”

Their next event will be Nov. 16 at Pounders Bar and Grill. They look to continue spreading love and bringing the community together through music.

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The heart of WA is Black Grenade