The series stems from the company's goal of empowering Jackson artists and teaching them to be self-sufficient, he says. By performing together, both local and touring artists are able to expand their network, with the end result being a sort of exchange program where Country Cousinz participants can help set up shows for each other in their hometowns.
"It's an opportunity for artists in Mississippi to really market themselves against artists from other markets that are already a little more grounded," Carolyne Cole, creative director and event coordinator for OurGlass, says. "... Even though Mississippi is known as the birthplace of American music, people still don't really know about the indie scene or the hip-hop scene here. They know about blues and things like that. I think this is an opportunity to say, 'Hey, we have artists here that can do the same thing or do better things than artists from cities that are bigger.'"
The debut featured local hip-hop artists Dono Vegas, Ray Kincaid, Vitamin Cea and Timaal Bradford, as well as rising Tennessee rappers Soulman Snipes, Be Howard, Crisis 901 and Jason da Hater. The follow-up, "Jackson vs. Louisiana," took place Nov. 10 and featured Jackson artists T-Lo Da Champ, Cadillac Pac, Yung Jewelz and DevMaccc, alongside Louisiana emcees Kaye the Beast, T.K. Osaze, Joe Scott and Nefa Records.
Franklin says they plan on continuing the series in bimonthly intervals, with the next installments being "Jackson vs. Alabama" in January and "Jackson vs. Arkansas" in March. They expect to announce more soon, he says, and he hopes that, as more people learn about the showcases, they will be move to a monthly or even weekly format.
"We want this to be that oasis, where the artists who have really been chomping at the bit to get onstage, this is the place for them to be able to do it," Franklin says.
For more information, find OurGlass Media Group on Facebook.