Culture

Top Cultural Impacts Of 2017

trump_daywithout_ap_img.jpg

The number should come to no surprise seeing that  Donald Trump being elected effected not just urban America culture but the world. The 45th President has shown what many feel he's an incompetent commander in Chief. Seeing how almost everything on this list had involved President Trump in some way proves the powerful impact he has had in 2017.

2. NFL PROTEST/Colin Kaepernick

In 2016 Colin Kaepernick risks his NFL playing career by kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness about police brutality. It was said that league owners blacked balled him, and wouldn't sign him, quarterbacks with extremely fewer skills were signed Over the Kaepernick. In the beginning, very few stood with him, but in 2017 the protest grew and he had the NFL on the fence.  President Trump spoke against all players who protested by calling them "ungrateful son of B**tches". 

Trump's comments didn't sit well with Players, as a result they join Kaepernicks protest, causing the league to lose ratings and endorsements until they address the issue of Colin K. Celebrities such as Jayz, Cardi B, P.Diddy and others Also used their platforms to assist the QB.

3. CARDI B

What a year for the Afro-Latina hip-hop artist. Reppin the Bronx Cardi B showed the world if you put your mind to something anything is possible. The Love And HipHop star smash single Bodak Yellow went crazy on the charts. Not only did she become the first female hip-hop artist to have a number 1 hit without a feature since Lauren Hill, she shocked the world when her boyfriend Offset from the Migos proposed. It's like God gave her all the cheat codes in 2017.

4. #MeToo

This topic, I must admit is a very sensitive subject. Seeing that it deals with sexual misconduct. In cases like this, it's a hard providing an objective opinion because you will never know a complete truth. It's 3 sides to a story, yours, theirs and the truth. I feel deeply sorry for those in Hollywood or anywhere who were sexually abused. You shouldn't have to please people to get to achieve your goals that's a complete abuse of power. On the flip side things get tricky like in the Bill Cosby case, why wait 30 years to confront a person? Are these allegations about money?  No one really knows, but for those big shots like Harvey Weinstein, justice needs to be served. 

Some background on the #MeToo via Wikipedia:

"Me Too" (or "#MeToo", with local alternatives in other languages) spread virally as a two-word hashtag used on social media in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein. The phrase, long used in this sense by social activist Tarana Burke, was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, who encouraged women to tweet it to publicize experiences to demonstrate the widespread nature of the misogynistic behavior. Since then, the hashtag has been used by over 500,000, including many celebrities.

5. Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper impacted the Culture in a major way. He was the first artist to win a Grammy off a mixtape. Chance was able to take advantage of the streaming system to be considered for the highest award for American musicians. His 3 mixtape the Color Book which featured the hit single "No Problems" won 3 Grammys in 2017.  It seemed if the music came second to his real work, philanthropy. He gave Millions to his hometown of Chicago public school system in hopes of reformatting a flawed educational system. He actions helped him become the youngest winner of the BET's humanitarian award, a guest host of SNL, and a personal relationship with President Barack Obama.

6. BIG BALLER BRAND

2017 was the year for entrepreneurship, a lot of people stepping out on a leap of faith starting their own brands within the Culture. So it's hard not to recognize the Brand that stole the Media this year; The Big Baller Brand. Lead by their very confident father Lavar Ball, 3 hoop stars from Chino Hills, California to the Basketball world by storm. 

Lonzo Ball was the best guard in the nation at UCLA and drafted 2 by the Los Angeles Lakers. Younger brother  Li'angelo and Lamelo were high school standouts. The father Lavar was a media favorite, he went on rants on how his sons were better than NBA superstars, and how he could beat Micheal Jordan in his prime in a 1 on 1.  The family built a million dollar athletic wear line which included signature gym shoes that sold for $495. It wasn't all good with the family this year Lonzo was criticized for not having a great rookie start, Li'angelo was arrested for stealing while in China, Melo was removed from high school because of coaching issues. The family had an Up and down year, but can't mention 2017 without saying their name.

7. JAYZ 4:44

Beyoncè's lemonade album shocked the world, as gave us insight on the issues that she and Jay-z were facing. The album addresses HOVs infidelity with "Becky with the Good hair". The album was a complete success. Fans waited for Jay-Z respond, and he the Hip Hop icon blessed us with the amazing body of art; 4:44. The album didn't only address the situation with Beyoncé but the lingering conflict with Kanye West. He song "Kill Jayz" and an interview Hov did with Rap Radar provided more information on the beef. This album was great for the culture because it showed men that you can too be openly vulnerable and still be Masculine. It also addresses economic depression and being true to self. 

8. HURRICANE DISASTERS

Hurricane Irma and Harvey really did some damage, especially to those in Houston and Puerto Rico. Hurricane Irma: Damage mapped. The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, affecting an estimated 1.2 million people. Irma, now downgraded to a tropical storm, reached the highest, category five status, and packed sustained winds of up to 295km/h 

Hurricane Harvey, which dumped an estimated 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana, looks to be one of the most damaging natural disasters in U.S. history. Flooding continues toaffect large areas of Houston, Beaumont and other areas of Texas

 

9. GET OUT THE MOVIE

(Via wikipedia) Get Out is a 2017 American horror-thriller film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It stars Daniel Kaluuyaas Chris, a black man who visits the family of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams); at their home, the servants are black and act strangely. Bradley WhitfordCaleb Landry JonesStephen RootLakeith Stanfield, and Catherine Keener costar.

The film was well-received by critics, with particular praise for Peele's screenplay and direction and Kaluuya's performance, and was chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of the year, and it grossed $254 million worldwide on a $4.5 million budget. At the 75th Golden Globe AwardsGet Out received two nominations: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for Kaluuya.

10. UNITE THE FIGHT RALLY

(Via Wikipedia) The Unite the Right rally (also known as the Charlottesville rally) was a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, from August 11–12, 2017. Its stated goal was to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.Protesters included white supremacistswhite nationalistsneo-ConfederatesKlansmenneo-Nazis, and various militias. Some of the marchers chanted racist and antisemitic slogans, carried semi-automatic riflesswastikasConfederate battle flagsanti-Muslim and antisemitic banners, and "Trump/Pence" signs.

The rally occurred amidst the backdrop of controversy generated by the removal of Confederate monumentsthroughout the country in response to the Charleston church shooting in 2015. The event turned violent after protesters clashed with counter-protesters, which combined with the subsequent vehicle-ramming attack left over 30 injured.

V I O L A T E D

April is known for many things, but most importantly it is known for Sexual Assault Awareness month. In the short film Violated, director Ashleigh Brown explores the topic of childhood sexual abuse and creates a powerful visual that will leave you feeling empowered and has been causing lots of conversation on social media. We got a chance to chop it up with Ashleigh where she discussed her inspiration, future plans in independent filmmaking and finally feeling free.

What inspired you to create this film?

“What inspired me to create this film was being a survivor myself. I think as women we paint ourselves out to be the victim and I made the conscious decision a very long time ago that I was not going to be a victim. I was going to live my life and be happy regardless of what happened to me at a very young age. I wrote the poem maybe a few years ago and then a visual came to mind and it was a combination of what I had gone through in past relationships and what I had seen other women go through in their relationships. Basically, I just wanted to bring that to life.

How are you looking to change the world of independent cinema with this film?

“I really wanna change independent film making by letting people know you don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment or a big budget to make art. I think it was Ava DuVernay who said on Twitter one day that all you need is a camera-- whether it be your iPhone or a raggedy camera you have. As long as you can shoot and have good lighting you can bring your story to life. I was sitting on this project for a while, then one day one of my good friends who is a very skilled videographer/photographer and I were talking about it and I asked her to help me. The actors I used (Pierre and Gabrielle) were phenomenal and did it for free because they believed in the project and we used my friend’s Jeffrey’s house. What I really want to tell people is that you don’t need a budget to shoot anything. All you need is a concept and people who are willing to work with you and a vision.”

How important is it to you for black women to tell their own stories?

“It is extremely important for Black women to tell their stories. I think we’ve been silenced for so many years but we are the type of women that don’t have to be silent. We are so strong and I always tell people that I’m strong because I stand on the backs of the women who come before me. I come from so many women who raised me who just exemplify strength so it’s important for us to tell our stories because otherwise we’re silenced. I don’t think it’s fair because when you look at history, a lot of things would not have happened if it were not for Black women. If you look at every movement that has changed the world, Black women were the center of it. It is important for the world to know who we are, to see us in all our glory, all our dysfunction, and all of our beauty. So it’s very important for us to tell our stories because that’s how this world was created essentially.”

What was the hardest part about making this film?

“The hardest part about making this movie was me getting out of my own way, me not believing in myself. Something in my spirit let me know that this had to be done. I had to tell this story for my own healing and for the healing of other people who had been through a situation where they had been victimized, touched inappropriately, or abused. It was basically just me not believing in myself. But once I got over that, my videographer Briannah was like you just need to do it. I think me getting in my own way was the hardest part about me making the film, but now that I’m getting so much positive feedback from women about how this story has helped them and how the visual brought back so many memories for them and how this film helped with their healing process as well, I think that was the most gratifying part of it all. It let me know that I need to get out of my own way when it comes to anything. I know now that I can do whatever I set out to do.”

What can we expect from you in the future?

“What you can expect from me in the future is that I have a documentary on Black fatherhood that will be out in June. I have all the footage for that I’m just in the process of editing it. I also wrote a comedy script for another short film with one of my good friends named Brittany, and we hope to shoot that in the next couple of weeks. I am also working with a rap artist by the name of Rob Hayes (who is also my cousin) and we are going to do a short film about him and his music career. So in addition to working full time and being a musician, I’m just trying to put out projects for as cheap as possible cuz I ain’t got no money! (laughs). I’m just hoping to make art that people can relate to and inspire other people as well.”

You can watch Violated here and keep up with Ashleigh Brown:

N.Finite Hands Charity Drive 2016

The goal of N. Finite Hands is so that each person would not only know a blessing but be a blessing. Also giving the opportunity for each individual to think enough of those around them who are not as fortunate to be that helping hand. What we possess in our hands is charity and
by working diligently to share that to the world; the amount of people we are able to reach is N. Finite!

Last year’s fundraiser was such a huge success, raising over $3000 in donations. Through hard work and commitment, and a common goal in mind they were able to provide over 500 hundred people, 150 families with meals just in time for the Christmas holiday season. 

This year N.Finite Hands charity launches its second annual holiday fundraiser which took place in the Roseland neighbor located on Chicago's Southside. With the help the of G.R.O (Guide Right Organization) the group was able to secure a location to continue their service. The group raised nearly $6000 for this year's event. The toys and food put many smiles on the families faces.

Dreams Bigger Than Texas Book Release

 Phot Cred: Cody Mack

Phot Cred: Cody Mack

Rahkal Shelton has a successful career in media that took her from WGN to CNN, but she will be the first person to tell you the road wasn’t as clearly painted for her as people would imagine.  

Born into a world filled with drugs, promiscuity and insecurities her story had been written for her based off what society described people born in poverty as “hopeless.”  Rather than settle, Shelton decided she was going to rewrite her narrative and use her story to inspire others that no matter what your circumstances you face you can overcome them.

“Dreams Bigger than Texas: A Story of Purpose, Perseverance and Growth Into Womanhood,” is the “coming of age story” of a woman who was told by her mother “You bet not bring no babies in this house” and to make sure you “Get yo GED” to becoming a powerhouse in media. She is wears many hats, but the most important hat she takes full responsibility in wearing is mentoring the youth of Chicago and uses her story to inspire.

Craze Productions Presents: College Craze NIU

1 midwest college party tour makes it second stop on the College Craze Tour in Dekalb,IL For Northern Illinois University Homecoming. The Event sold out with over 1500+ students in attendance ] Video Shot By: Gary Hankton, Steve Acecedo, and Jarret Frazier Edited By: Cody Mack Music: Young Chop ft.

GETTING TO KNOW DANI D

What’s your favorite radio station? It better be 107.5 WGCI because on-air personality Danielle D’Arceneaux (aka Dani D) brings the tea, inspiration, and hot topics that will give you life. Having a zest for speech, Dani D is no snooze when on the radio. Her sincere personality and conscious response places her in a league destined for success. However, never allow her cool demeanor and charming personality fool you, she takes her career very seriously. There is no short cuts or half stepping when it comes to prepping for her time on the air. She even admits that being a radio personality is more than just a career.

Radio is my lifestyle, all day and night”, Dani D said.

Considering this radio lifestyle, it’s no surprise to learn that this 25-year-old has been involved with radio stations since college. During her undergraduate years at SIU, she crafted her on-air skills with a student-run radio operation called WIDB.net. Within three years she went from being the on-air personality with two co-hosts, to being the general manager of the station in her last year of college. Dani D wasted no time to show and prove her capabilities while maintaining her studies in broadcast journalism.  

 While still working at WIDB.net, she joined 101.5 CIL-FM street team in Carbondale, IL. She said, “A girl in one of my radio television classes was looking for street team interns, and I was like ‘hello’ [Laughs]. So I applied and was picked to join the street team.” This was a great achievement to obtain because for over 38 years 101.5 CIL-FM has been Southern Illinois #1 Hit music station. With her name now waving through both campus radio and within the city of Carbondale, Dani D still seek to achieve higher heights.  

In 2012, she landed a marketing/promotion internship with WPWX Power 92 in Hammond, Ind. This urban contemporary radio station, which serves the Chicago area, opens the door of endless opportunities for her career.  Though the opportunity was great, she had a tough decision to make.

“One thing people don’t know about me was that CIL discussed giving me a part-time position during the time I was offered the internship with Power 92,” she said.

Granted, a part-time position with a radio station while in college is a great investment, but when you place it next to an internship with Power 92. Then it’s Game Over. In fact, Chicago rank No. 3 in the Top 50 media markets in the country.

During her last year in college (2013), Dani D kept in contact with Power 92 and was offered a producer position with a gospel station called The New Rejoice 102. This station essentially shared the same company as Power 92. As a producer, she gained a deeper appreciation toward the hustle and grind in delivering a dynamic show. “I grind hard and didn’t complain,” she replied, “I think that’s what people like about me.” Less than year in producing gospel music, she was approached by the program director of Power 92. He expressed that he would soon have her on the air.   

Consequently however, she was given another producing position at Power 92. But she never complained or became discourage. Instead she took the producing position with the same integrity as before. “Everything, I think, was a test,” she said, “to see how hard I would go and how bad I really wanted it.” Notably, she succeeds and was given a 2-6 a.m. radio show she named After Hours With Dani D, every Saturday.

“It might seem like nobody is listening at that time, but it is,” she said.

Impressively, she took advantage of being the station’s only on-air personality for Hip Hop and R&B. In efforts to engage the audience, she would ask her listeners to ‘check-in’. She expressed that people like to hear themselves on the radio. So she asked listeners to call the station and tell everyone, who was listening, about themselves. Alongside that, she created a “No Sleep Challenge”, which kept listeners tune-in to learn how to win her secret giveaways. This interaction was effective because she developed a level of friendship between herself and listeners.

 “The people, who stayed up, were totally up for the challenge and didn’t hesitate to let me know by calling in or commenting on social media," she said, "I was so thankful to have faithful listeners and supporters at that time of the morning.

[Laughs] Things got ‘ratchet’ while people were headed home from the club. But that’s what made the show great!”  

Up until this point, Dani D was content with her vast wave of success with Power 92. Her career was definitely taking flight, which is rare to accomplish right after graduating college. She secured a daytime slot, which was from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Those seven hours helped enhance her on-air skills, as well as, communicate to a larger audience. So you can only imagine her glee of surprise when she received a mystery phone call from WGCI-FM Chicago.

“It was the assistant programming director, and he was like I have an opportunity for you,” she said.

Though she wasn’t anticipating to leave Power 92 so soon, she gladly accepted this new opportunity to work with WGCI, owned by iHeartMedia Inc. Creditably, she always profess her gratitude to Power 92 and the influence it had on her career with WGCI.

That seven hours is how WGCI heard me, so I’m thankful”, she said.  

As of today, Dani D is still with WGCI. However, expect more moves from this ambitious young woman in the near future. Hopefully, reading her story inspires you to go out there and conquer your aspiration. Or take notes from her experience on how to achieve your dreams. In reading her story, you can see that Dani D has her eyes set on succeeding higher heights. Each opportunity she gains surpasses her last. Make a mental note of that and apply it to everything you do. In the meantime, make sure you tune-in to listen to Dani D on-air Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Better yet, check out her #Standoff episodes with co-host Trey White on WGCI.