Music has always been a part of Jamale “Saine” Brown’s life. Especially rap music.

SOUTH BEND — Music has always been a part of Jamale “Saine” Brown’s life.
Especially rap music.
“I was born into hip-hop music. It was all around me,” said the 29-year-old South Bend resident.
When Brown, who can play drums, percussion, trumpet and piano, is not working on music, he’s working out of his house as a barber.
There’s a long history of musicians and singers who initially worked as hair stylists — legends like Little Richard and George Clinton, for example, as well as R&B singer Anthony Hamilton.
Brown sees a connection between the two pursuits, with his work as a barber and musician as artistic endeavors, like painting.
And it’s Brown’s creativity as a rapper that prompted Michael Blanchard, his cousin and mentor, to ask him to write a theme song for “Da Teachas,” a podcast that Blanchard co-hosts.
Blanchard, a South Bend native, said he and his fellow host, Houston-based counselor Rick Wallace, use the podcast to highlight grass-roots organizers working on solutions to community problems, often at their own expense.
The podcast made its debut in October, but Blanchard realized it needed an introductory song.
So he reached out to Brown for help.
Brown, who has been a member of a local rap group called Universal Souljas since 2007, agreed.
The two discussed what the theme of the song should be and the issues that should be stressed.
“I called him up and said, ‘This is what I want,’ and I also sent him the work of a lot of Black empowerment scholars, like Dr. Amos Wilson and Carter G. Woodson,” Blanchard said.
Brown used those materials for inspiration and created a 90-second rap, also titled “Da Teachas.”
Blanchard liked the song and asked his cousin for a longer version that could be released as a single. “Da Teachas” was released on streaming platforms on Jan. 31, just in time for Black History Month.
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The goal of the song is to promote a message of responsibility and empowerment, and to connect contemporary rap to the kind of hip-hop that Blanchard listened to in the 1980s, when groups like Public Enemy were popular.
The song touches on themes of unity, support and the pitfalls of materialism. “Together, we are the answer,” one line says.
“We are trying to get back to a time when we are not hyping our people up to do damage to each other,” Blanchard said. “We are trying to hype them up to join together economically, spiritually and socially to repair our community.
“It was strategic to release it during Black History Month because a song like this can bring people together and educate people, and I view it as an extension of what I am doing.”
Jamale “Saine” Brown works in his home studio in South Bend, where he wrote the theme song for his cousin’s podcast, “Da Teachas.”
Brown attended Clay High School but moved to Maryland, where his sister lived, after his junior year, hoping for a fresh start. He admits that he didn’t always stay focused and fell in with the wrong crowd. He later returned to the area and reached out to Blanchard, who now works in Florida and often visits South Bend.
“He’s always been there listening and willing to give me any help that I needed,” Brown said. “Even with my shortcomings, he was there and has always been there, and we would have deep conversations about life, my finances, maintaining credit and things like that.”
Brown started playing the drums in elementary school, following in the footsteps of an uncle who played in several bands. He eventually learned to play the trumpet, piano and other instruments.
Brown has always been musically curious — not willing to just stick to the music that was popular among his peers. He’s a music historian who knows about the pioneers of rap.
That has impressed his cousin.
“He is not only a student of music … he’s a student of music history and he knew about all the pioneers of rap, like DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash,” Blanchard said. “I thought that I would have to explain all of that to him, but I didn’t.”
As for “Da Teachas,” Brown hopes it inspires listeners.
“I listened to the podcast when it first started and that kind of gave me a thought process as far as the need for a good opening song,” Brown said. “I wanted to bring a positive message to the opening.”
Email South Bend Tribune reporter Howard Dukes at
Follow him on Twitter: @DukesHoward
“Da Teachas” Single Track Released on 1/31/2022

“Da Teachas” Podcast

Da Teachas

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