Culture

Why Chicago is Way More Dope Than NYC

The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, The Media/Fashion Capital of the World. As you’ve probably guessed by now, I am not talking about Chi-Town. I am speaking of the city that people say dreams are made of, New York City.

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting the concrete jungle. I’ve always dreamed of going to New York, living there, I even applied for a few jobs. To be able to visit was like a dream. During my visit I was shocked to see how much better Chicago is.

I got inspired to write this piece after my visit and stumbled across this article,“33 Reasons Chicago Kicks New York City’s Ass”. Here, I take a few reasons from them but speak on other ones as well.

1 PIZZA

As Chicagoans, we know how to lay it on THICK when it comes to our pizza. This seems to be a foreign land in New York. Not to say that their pizza isn’t good, but you have to eat about 3 slices just to get somewhat full. And what they think is deep dish, is actually deep crust. I’ll give it up to them when it comes to there pizza shops being on almost every corner, which cannot be ignored, in addition to the food stands that come in handy.  When you’re in the Chi, Giordano’s will have your stomach satisfied with one bite from its’ packed slices, the same goes for Beggar’s. NYC’s measly pizza pie cannot compare to our fulfilling slices.

2 SKYLINE

That’s right, our skyline. New York has something that Chicago does not have, which is multiple skylines. But what Chicago has that New York doesn’t is beauty. Our skyline has symmetry and buildings aren’t just placed in random places, When you look at our city in the night sky, it's a picture perfect moment, something to be appreciated. The way that everything is placed in New York, you’d have to have a million eyes to see anything. Picture a cool summer night at the lakefront, looking out and seeing that Chicago skyline. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.  

3 TRAIN SYSTEM

Riding the New York train system is an experience like no other, because it was so CONFUSING. I don’t understand how a platform has two trains that go in the same direction. What they do have a leg up on is the full plastic seats, while Chicago uses fabric on its public transit. (terrible idea and possible they reason why there has been an influx of bed bugs) However, Chicago’s subway system is much more easy to navigate with our color lines. When you get on a CTA platform you know that a train is going one way or the other, which eliminates the confusion by 200%.

4 SANITATION

Of course Chicago is cleaner. When a city is void of alleys and puts their garbage curbside in front of their home, that’s a recipe for disaster. I mean, I was in Times Square and visited a Chase Bank where there was loads of trash on the floor. I’d never seen anything like it. Cleanliness counts for something and New York is definitely losing that competition. I was just happy I didn’t any infamous NYC rats during my visit.

5 PEOPLE

The people in Chicago are much more dope than the people in New York. We are way nicer. Who says that just because you’re focused on what you got going on that you can’t say excuse me or sorry when you're in someone’s way? One thing about Chicago is that we are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, even NYC has admitted it.

Some of the dopest people of the culture come from Chicago. I mean, when you have Chance The Rapper how could you lose? NYC may have Jay-Z, but we all know that Kanye has shaped the culture so much more.

NYC may be the birthplace of hip hop and the media capital of the world, but Chicago is the trendsetter. Chicago is the wave and we are the future.





Premo Shuts Down Union Station,For The Color Me Bad Fashion Show

Mostly known for their premier night life events, PREMO House shut down Chicago’s Union Station for the Color Me Bad (CMB), Season 19 Fashion show.  

CMB is Chicago's premier and most sought after fashion exhibition for millennial youth brand, models, and fashion enthusiast. CMB 5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY Spring fashion exhibition was held March 23, 2019.

The CMB team celebrated with w highly energized and  inspiring showcase of fashion and arts. The event featured Chicago’s hottest models, who slayed the runway. The models were dressed in Chicago's most promising up and coming fashion designers and stylists' latest threads.

The CMB brand was founded by Myles Grio with long time business partner Manny Treo after finding a void in Chicago for competitive fashion design that can viral the likes of the urban NY fashion week. Now serves as Co-Coordinator and Creative director. 

“CMB changes the way Chicago view fashion. Everyone thinks of New York, but Chicago got it poppin’ too”

Galore Arleeza, former runway model who is now retired is crushing behind the scenes logistics for the CMB brand. Serving as the Co-Coordinator she executes at a high level and has a niche for finding talent.

The Lead stylist for the CMB event was Amer G. She’s responsible for breaking up and coming designers in to the main stream fashion scene in Chicago. Amer challenges designers to meet tough deadlines and production requirements to make it into this gaudy show. 

The CMB's team most nationally known member is Cartlon Spencer. A certified celebrity stylist and trainer. His cliental includes Keke Palmer, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, Love and HipHop Atlanta Lil Scrappy and more! He whips models in shape from average to “slay Bish” 

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the streets. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live , what is happening."    - CoCo Chanel

The CMB season 19 fashion was pure amazing and it no doubt that season 20 will be bigger and as much anticipate as this one. Chicago is coming to make a statement in the fashion world, and Color Me Bad will be one of the forces to make it happen.

MORE FROM THE EVENT

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@bellacraze 🙌🏽💪🏽🙌🏽

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To Write Your Self A Love Letter, hosted by Kia Smith

A few weeks ago rising Chicago journalist Kia Smith hosted her “Write Your Self A Love Letter” event.
#WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge Started 3 years ago, it was inspired by a class assignment that transitioned into a blog post, then social media challenge, and now an event. It is now a tri-monthly seminar where Kia Smith will facilitate a workshop with different groups of people across all ages. The March 17th event was extra special because It was Kia Smith’s 25th birthday. 

The amazing event had both men and women In attendance from all demographics. Each person expressed their feelings in regards to self love and the obstacles it presents. Insecurities, self doubt, depression has no gender nor color. It was interesting to hear how people from various walks of life dealt with these things.

“What you think of me is none of my business” - Kizzie Bennett

We put too much emphasis on what others think. To love yourself is to have confidence in who you are, becoming comfortable in your own skin. When you are worried about others opinions, you forget about the only opinion that matters. Your own.

“Even God is a gentleman he doesn’t force himself on you” - Fekissa L. Ducker

Peer pressure is one of the major causes for self doubt and insecurities. Often we let the influences of our community force us to neglect our true identity. To love yourself Is too understand who you are, figure out that part and everything else will flow. Never force anything, love and relationships should be natural.

“Self love may be selfish sometimes and it may be lonely sometimes, and that is perfectly fine. But use those same feelings to empower you to teach yourself and others how to love you at the end of the day.” -Shionda Carlisle

Before you can assist others, you have to make sure things are in order internally. Can’t help anyone unless you're ok. At the event guests talked about lending their energy to others, and not leaving any for themselves. Which can become draining. Make time for yourself, read, exercise, live, laugh and love yourself. Protect your time and energy. Give yourself what others expect you to give them.

In conclusion, the event was amazing. The energy that was presented was something that was must needed personally. Kia’s mother deserves acknowledgement as well, it was something about her presence that enriched the environment. The way she spoke, the “game” she provided was stellar. Shoutout to kia’s mom, you’re awesome. The event concluded with audience writing a personal love letter. Didn’t have a chance to participate in writing a love letter at the event, therefore I would like to share it with you below.

Dear Cody,

I understand you work hard and want to succeed in life. Leaving a legacy is very important to you. But Cody you must take time for yourself, your family. Enjoy the love that people have for you, enjoy the love you have for yourself. You are an amazing person, well at least I think so lol. Keep spreading positivity, keep spreading information, keep empowering and don’t forget to love. You are dope.

PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

Trae Moe - The BlackmARTket

A simple hobby turned into a forever passion when we talk about the story of Chicago’s own Martrae “Trae Moe” Godard, a writer, film director and the creator of The BlackmARTket. The BlackmARTket hosts a wide range of variety of content such as movies, commercials, documentaries, short films, and other dynamic content. Trae Moe started with documentaries, titled “The ART Of ....” highlighting individuals who have inspired Trea in someway and/or is making a good impact on the world. Its unique name originated from the actual definition of the Black Market, creating its own entities, and incorporating Traes’ whole name, Martrae.

 

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When you think about it, Nowadays all people want to do is be a videographer, not a film director. No one wants to actually take the time out and film raw footage and turn it into a documentary or even a movie.

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BnjLdyGlpKJ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=f2arhfza010f

It all started in Trae’s early teens where he wrote for fun about all his experiences. Then shortly after it progressed into creating short films. In high school Trae was involved in radio t.v, which lead him to producing football highlights for his classmates. He then discovered that creating films is what he was made to do. When Trae went to Tennessee State for college, he took a step back from film and received a degree in Health Care & Administration. But he still knew film is where he belonged.

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BpwI8kkFnbB/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ncds8lnsmtrn

 

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Today Trae is currently still managing working in the health care field & working on his documentary series. Which leads us to March 30th, The BlackmARTket hosted a very dope event. The night was filled with meeting the team and sharing their hard work with the world. The team premiered NEW CONTENT from their documentary series, Highlighting rapper and comedian, Koporate.

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They also shared a special announcement. On April 14, 2019 The BlackmARTket team will be hosting The BlackmARTket Red Carpet Edition. Where you can walk the red carpet and get caught up on all 3 episodes in just one night. How dope is that! 

 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blackmartket-red-carpet-screening-tickets-59089251542?ref=eios

Website:  https://www.blackmartket.com/

Women's History Month: Donnie Nicole Smith

In honor of the last day of Women’s History Month, I would like to give a special shout out to Mrs. Donnie Nicole Smith.

I had the pleasure of working with Donnie while I was a member of her and her husband, Che Rhymefest Smith’s nonprofit organization Donda’s House in 2014. The organization, which now goes by the name of Art of Culture, Inc. allows creative youth a chance to explore their talents, giving them access to various opportunities and exposure.

Those who were unfamiliar with the organization may recognize the name Donda’s House after an internet beef between Kim Kardashian and Rhymefest broke out on Twitter. The back and forth caused the name change, after it was said that fellow co-founder Kanye West didn’t give back to the organization as much as he should.

Now with a fresh name, a rebranding, and a new website Art of Culture Inc. is pushing its mission of cultivating creative potential.   

I am proud to say that I had the chance to work under Donnie’s guidance as a teen. Donnie has so much experience and wisdom under her belt. From being a Chicago Public Schools teacher, the executive director of a nonprofit, and most recently the CEO of her own company.

Donnie has been selected by Ebony Magazine as one of their Ebony Power 100 Award Recipients in the “Woman Up” category for her work with Art of Culture, Inc in 2016. She has also received the “Courage” Award from New York University’s Hip Hop Education Center in 2015. These are only a couple examples of the acknowledgement that she has received for being an amazing individual. For the entire list click here.

Donnie is the definition of Black Girl Magic because she flawlessly and unapologetically executes her dream. She works with the youth and inspires them to go after what they want. She has built her own legacy and continues to put the work in for herself as well as others.

We honor women like Donnie Nicole Smith today and everyday. For more on the latest on Donnie and her work visit her website. https://www.donnienicolesmith.com/  










The Rise In Women Media

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to shed light on a group of women who are on the rise in the media industry. These women are unique in their own way and determined to be successful.

Breespecific

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Media personality and entrepreneur Bree Specific, is definitely one to look out for! From hosting events to being a radio personality on Power 92.3, to even having her own youtube channel, she’s got her hands on a little bit of everything. All that she has accomplished, and will accomplish, justifies that Bree is on her path to success! Bree is all about positive energy and bringing joy to others. Her most recent endeavor is the launch of her own candle line Specific Sense, so make sure to check out that. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrSCdp25oJGf3eba7TrdEjw

 http://www.breespecifics.com/

https://www.breespecifics.com/scents/ 

Shei 

Project management and brand consultant Shei is the girl to go to if you need stuff done. She’s more behind the scenes but she still carries a very important role in the media industry. Being a creative director, event planner, and project manager gives shei the ability to share and speak her wonderful knowledge. Shei is outspoken, fearless, and a perfectionist. But that’s what makes her such a great person to have in your corner.

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“What you put in is what you get out of it;” meaning you have all the control.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BucYI3-FJef/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=12rcvmqu2gcuf 

website: https://www.shutupshei.com/

Pretty Riot

Blog writer and media personality Pretty Riot is out here working! Being the only female host on Illanoise radio allows her to speak out for our ladies and be heard.

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Blogging taught me how to understand being in the media. But radio taught me how to have the courage to voice my opinion.”

She also has a small instagram segment called “TwoPrettyPennies” where she speaks nothing but the truth.

 https://www.instagram.com/prettyriot/p/Bu61tA1gpyl/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=3ugjvcwf4kbg

Even though her journey is nowhere being over, She feels that all her accomplishments have been rewarding and she is eager to keep going.Pretty Riot has a lot of things in store for the world but most importantly make sure to look out for her new book “Note To Self” you don’t wanna miss out.

Am I The Only One

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Living in two different states definitely did not stop the grind of Am I The Only One. Sorority sisters Tamika & Iesha created a blog that jump started their journey and lead to the launch of their podcast. Judging by their success distance is an obstacle that you can overcome when you are determined. Tamika & Iesha are a dynamic duo you definitely should look out for.

website: https://www.amitheonly1.org/

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BueNn_kFm37/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1r6arias3i1h9

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 PortiaKing
Anything involving content creation, Portia King has her hands on it all. She’s involved in production, hosting events, panel discussions & is the creator of Maven Muse, a series highlighting important artist and influencers. Portia is currently working on her media training course for up and coming artist, entertainers and influencers. Portia will be providing knowledge on personal branding & media etiquette. Portia is a boss in so many ways.

Website:https://www.portiaking.com/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqVNqNNlJSi/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=qp1hn22rz5p9

Shaneikaspeaks

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Event host & Content creator shaneika is out here killing the game! Randomly landing an interview with Drew Sidora lead her to who she is today.


“My first interview ever was with Drew Sidora and that interview changed my life.“- shaneika 


You may know her from the radio segment “Tuesday’s takeover show”. But now, shaneika is the CEO of shaneikaspeaks. She provides a segment called “speaks pick of the week” where she performs a platform for the underdogs in the music industry. And Let me not forget,  shaneika is the creator of the annual event “Issa vibe”. Issa vibe highlights the top 5 underdogs that is chosen from “speaks pick of the week”. ISSA VIBE is one of the hottest events in the Midwest! Be on the lookout for ISSA VIBE 2019!

 https://www.instagram.com/p/Br1GUucFl9L/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=17j4bp0aens2s

 http://shaneikaspeaks.com/

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Cocoloso
Cocoloso! And we aren’t talking about the drink! We’re talking about the blogger who highlights Chicago talent as well as features news, business, art, and more. Currently Cocoloso is working on her 7th installment of the Blueprint Artist Showcase series, where artists can submit their music and perform in front of their peers. Cocoloso will also be dropping new interviews and documentaries that you want to keep an eye out for.

website:  http://cocolososays.com/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh7s5oqFOSk/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1dp1hkhr740bc 

Nitty Knockers

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Nitty is a creative strategist. She gives identity to brands. In other words she creates the graphics, websites, and content for her clients . Nitty also optimizes brands with marketing and things of that nature. So if you want take the beginning steps towards business development, she’s ya girl! Right now Nitty is collaborating with brands to do giveaways to help promote their businesses.


“Wanting to be there for the voices unheard. It's so much good news, music and small business out here and I'm dedicated to exposing it all!”- nitty 


Nitty is on the grind! Watch out!

 https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs1o4_9AJJ_/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=anl0kc1hy5g9

website:  https://www.nittysknocker.com/

Kiasmithwrites 

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kiasmithwrites is all about blogging and being a journalist. She’s been blogging for about 7 years and her craft for writing continues to grow. Kia also is a host on a podcast called Soule Sista. Not only is she a blogger but she also has written short stories, poems, and even songs. Writing for fun, turned into her writing for passion. When Kia writes she makes sure that it’s relatable to the reader. And she has a way of keeping the reader's attention. Kia is definitely out here making the right moves to fulfilling her passion. Be on the lookout for Kia.

 https://instagram.com/kiasmithwrites?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=i8utyw8igidu

 Briafachon

Broadcasting journalist Bria fachon is another one to look out for. Not only is she featured as a radio personality on power 92.3 radio station, she also is a real estate agent and the founder of BF Cares a community organization dedicated to serving the community. Bria is currently working on her YouTube channel, which is a segment highlighting the positive things that come out of Chicago called “On the Go”.  Bria says networking played a big role in where she is today! At the end of each show she says 

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“Make it a good day or not, the choice is yours.”
Meaning, life is what you make it , it’s all on you.

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BvIEnYBngvU/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1uu854d1rfs2y

 Website: https://www.briafachon.com/

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjWOAT0T6A0FIzTo7IXm7g

Bomb And Bossy

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Covania Washington also known as Bomb and Bossy is a social media marketing agency who lead brands to success. They focus on market trends and opportunities to help spread the word on social media. Just imagine someone being dedicated to getting your work to go viral. Bomb & bossy is definitely one to be on your team. 

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BvMgSp5lmME/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1bpeixrnw3o5z

website:  https://www.bombandbossy.com/

All these women have 4 things in common. They used their resources and networked, by not being afraid to put themselves out there. They believed in themselves, and didn’t take no for an answer. They didn’t give up. And lastly, they all are strong African American women from the city of Chicago who knew they could make a positive impact on the world.

Meek Mill: Motivation Tour Chicago

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Meek Mill brung the heat to Chicago at his Motivation Tour Friday evening (3/8/19), at the Aragon Theater. The night was definitely full of surprises. Brooklyns very on Meli started the show off right by hitting the stage. Meli brung out Chicagos very own 600 breezy. And that was just a warm up. 

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Shortly after Kash doll had the ladies going wild. From her very remarking stage appearance to Bringing out special guest Ari who created the “Ice me out” remix

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Eat me out and ice me out. @kashdoll 👅💎😻 #CHICAGO

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and Drezzy performing their song “Chanel slide”.



That’s not it , Meek hit the stage and the whole room lit up. Meek mentioned that Chicago had the best crowd thus far on his tour. And he wasn’t lying, the energy was definitely out of the roof.


“Chicago was crazyyyyyyyy they took the crown for best crowd”.

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Meeks biggest surprise of the night was when he brought out Fabulous and Jacquees  the stage. Everyone was in shock.

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Chicagos’ very own Lil Durk was also apart of the motivation tour but unfortunately couldn’t hit the stage due to legal issues so meek played a special tribute to him and had the crowd going crazy as if durk was there.

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The motivation tour was lit lit . Chicago loves you meek.

Top Cultural Impacts Of 2017

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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.