How Warner Bros' "Joker" Creates Conversation on Mental Illness (Spoiler Alert)

We have had a week to digest the masterpiece that is Warner Bros’ newest film “Joker.”


That’s right, I said masterpiece. Hopefully if you’re reading this then you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the film. The film was officially released last week on October 8th.There has been lots of controversy surrounding its release.

The uproar comes from the film’s historic significance, a culture where we have seen things like copycat killers and the glorification of mass shooters. The devastating incident in Colorado back in 2012, where 12 people were fatally killed during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” has been a big focus surrounding this topic.

The movie itself takes us into a world that we never knew we needed. We get to see Joker before he is Joker. Looking at Arthur Fleck’s life and the events that create the monster we know him to be. Despite what you thought you knew about the villain, the 122 minute film gives insight that shows you there is really two sides to every story.

 With the  amount of people who have portrayed Joker, we see multiple ways the character can be manipulated. In Joaquin Phoenix’s take, the Joker has a mental condition in which he has an uncontrollable laugh that seems to happen in the most inappropriate situations.

The fact that the film dropped during mental illness awareness week (October 6- October 12) showed major significance. Joker was an outcast in the time he lived in, but today he could thrive. In 2019 mental health is a top priority and victims of mental illness have found a safe place in today’s climate.    

“Joker” helps us to understand that there are inner battles others face that you may never even realize. You may ask yourself, “If humans just treated each other like humans would such killers even exist?” This is not to give an excuse for anyone who finds consolidation in murder, but it is a big “what if” to ponder on.  

 Rotten Tomatoes rated the film a 68% but reviews from moviegoers tells an opposite story. What critics are failing to realize is that anyone who leaves the theater after seeing “Joker” will leave wanting to be a better person. You really are forced to step back and examine yourself. 

I believe that “Joker” will win movie of the year for 2019. This is a film that makes you think and one you have to discuss with everyone who sees it. Having a conversation not only how the age gap between Joker and Batman seems tremendous, but also the mindset of the arch nemesis. 

The sensitivity of society today combined with recently gained knowledge on mental illness allows for us to see what people around Joker couldn’t see back then. We empathize with him, we feel hurt for him, and disdain for those that cause him harm. We become his protectors as we watch him go through his evolution


The saddest part of it all was that Joker was battling it all alone. I can safely say that all of our hearts dropped when reality showed us that Joker had fantasized his romantic relationship with his neighbor. It makes you wonder if having at least one person in his corner could have made the slightest difference in his life.

These conversations are necessary. Art is a reflection of life and what we decide to do with it is up to us. What are your thoughts after seeing “Joker”? Did you leave the theater feeling changed or wanting to make a change?

Xtreme Kustom's Car & Bike Fest 2019 was lit!!!


This past weekend was the Car and bike fest in south holland at South Suburban College. Hosted by XTreme Kustoms Wheels, Dtlr, Power 92.3 & yours truly Whats The Word. Hundreds of people came out to see some of the rawest rides, that cruises the streets. There was lots of food venders and plenty of good music. The event also hosted a contest with many different categories. Categories such as Loudest sound systems, Fastest engines & etc. 

View this post on Instagram

🌟 inna makin

A post shared by JUSTaimHIGH💔 (@justaimhigh_) on

From the fancy and exotic cars to the spicy and loud bikes. We had some of the dopest people hit the stage. From Spardo , Nia Kay, Lyric, Cheaneall truu the list just goes on. Overall the event was very dope & peaceful. Other then the heat everyone enjoyed themselves!


Chicago Celebrates Honorees at Independent Music Seminar

On Monday July 1st, The Rainbow Push Coalition hosted the Independent Music Seminar in collaboration with SuperGrindR. The night was full of special guests such as Waka Flaka, his mother Debra Antney, Chicago’s own Bo Deal, and many others.

Queen of Chicago Hip Hop Radio,  Barbara “Bam’’ McDowell moderated the first half of the seminar, the power of women in entertainment panel. The panelists included Mizay Entertainment CEO, Debra Antney; Philanthropist, Angela Stanton-King; and Entertainment Attorney, Brenda Robinson. 

This panel was highly informational and interesting. The main takeaway points were how to protect yourself in the entertainment industry, validating yourself, and speaking things into existence. 

National best-selling author, Angela Stanton-King, spoke about her life in prison. Giving words of encouragement to everyone in the audience, I learned of the prison reform work she has done. 

Brenda Robinson, who is a Chicago native from Roseland gave advice of giving back to the community you’re from. She also talked about how Chicagoans don’t have to leave the city to become successful.

Debra Antney spoke on how unity in the Black community is needed now more than ever. “There is strength in numbers” she shouts to the audience. She also spoke about her work in artist management and her Hip Hop roots.

The Masters Class seminar was moderated by Rolling Out author, Christal Jordan. The panelists for this included recording artists, Waka Flaka and RTS Management founder Bo Deal; his artist El Hitta made an appearance. The highlights from their talk included using your gift to get away from the hood life, saving money, and putting your city first.

The cucumber challenge was also brought up. Waka and Bo were asked to give their thoughts, they spoke on the importance of daughters having fathers in their lives.  

Waka gave Chicago major love when he talked about the city being one of the first to rock with him during his mixtape days.

The night was jammed pack with knowledgeable people who used their experience to drop gems. Jesse Jackson even made an appearance and gave words of wisdom.

Check out more photos from the night below!

F Is for funny, fourth and Fantastic, Comedy Night A Success

Whats The Word had the pleasure of attending the fourth annual comedy night presented by MiHiChi and Troy Pryor. F is for funny was an event worth attending and one created solely for the community. All of the comedians were Chicago natives who brought their life and relatable experiences center stage.

The evening started with a bang! Singer Gifted Keys serenaded the crowd with a soulful song about following your dreams, entitled “next to blow”. The song’s message laid the tone for the evening and served as the perfect soundtrack for the comics and creators. Following your dreams is something that everyone on the stage had the courage to do.


The event was hosted by Michael Issac and starred Joey Villagomez, Em Brown, and Calvin Evans. Although the female comedian Just Nesh, wasn’t there as advertised her presence was certainly felt. The event featured both a recorded video message from her as well as one of her video skits featuring Michael Issac. The clip was very creative and served as an interactive segment for the event.

The featured comedians were all unique. Although they were diverse their similarities like growing up in the city allowed them to seemlessly connect to each other as well as the audience. Joey Villagomez, the south Chicago native told relatable jokes like grocery shopping at Whole Foods and being Mexican in the city. Calvin Evans on the other hand vented about missing Chicago, past relationships, and his family. Finally, to close the evening, Em Brown spoke of his kids, dating women, and his job at the pawn shop.

Overall, the show was a success. The purpose of it, as stated by the creators, was to create a platform for black and brown comedians. The event also served as footsteps towards a bigger dream. The creators spoke on their aspirations to build the comedy night into a televised show.


#SHEMatters : Black Women's Expo 2017

Freedom, responsibility, happiness. That’s what I amongst many whom participated encountered walking into the 2017 Black Women Expo at McCormick Place, Downtown Chicago. The three day weekend event highlighted the power of black women within the community of Chicago expanding to a nationwide tour. From Chicago, To Atlanta, and Washington DC these black queens produce the expo to encourage and support that spread of commerce within the black community. Amongst big name sponsors and partnerships, like Walgreen’s, My Black is Beautiful, and United Airlines, small independently owned business exhibit their products, encouraging networking opportunities between owners and investors. One of the main purposes of the expo was to inspire and teach people about the industries that black women have and are currently dominated in, outside of the typical beauty market that black women are stereotypically assumed to only succeed in. Now in its 23rd year, the Black Women Expo has elevated to new heights including a celebrity line up of panelist and performers whom all expressed their queen within.

“My main priority is generation next, in that we have got to begin to set those positive example s for generations next. If we stick together to support one another in our communities than our communities will flourish.” – Vivica A. Fox

Friday commenced as the first day of the Expo were vendors and sponsor anxiously prepare for the weekend’s festivities. The divisions of the expo include the thought provoking seminar and workshops addressing issues within the African American community, as well as a teen summit to address today’s African American youth. Throughout the expo included Local and national celebrities and notables, like Actress Vivica A. Fox and Real Housewives of Atlanta Star Kandi Burruss, for others to engage with. While the main stage filled up with local artists from Keyanna Spears to international Artist like K. Michelle, the exhibition floor was the jewel of the expo displaying a 3 day showcase of all goods. These goods and services provided by sponsors, like Luster’s Hair, State farm Insurance, and iheart Media enhance and diversified each attendee social experience.

A Candid Conversation with Vivica A. Fox, MC by WGCI’s Frankie Robinson.

A Candid Conversation with Vivica A. Fox, MC by WGCI’s Frankie Robinson.

A Conversation with Kandi Burruss, MC by WGCI’s Kendra G

A Conversation with Kandi Burruss, MC by WGCI’s Kendra G

The enriched need for inclusion at the Black women’s expo makes the marketplace very diverse, attracting an audience from the hearts of 5 year olds to the gracing ages of 50+. The expo partly attracts their audience through strategic media campaigns within radio, television, digital, and social media markets.  However, within each market traditionally are media partnerships done to enhance awareness of the expo. For example, in 2016 the expo had media partnerships as well as sponsorships with Chicago iHeart Radio stations, V-103, Inspiration 1390 Am, and Hip – Hop and R&B station 107.5 WGCI were each organization can advertise goods while brand promote to the black consumer simultaneously in the radio market. The same thing happened in 2015 with local television news station ABC-7 news Chicago, covered media of the expo throughout the 3-day event displaying on the evening news as well as on their website. This year the station took part of panelist discussion through representative Reporter Evelyn homes taking part of a social justice discussion examining issues within the Chicago community. What’s cool is how many of their participants are members of the City of Chicago Communities, enhancing how this event is usually the hottest new talked about in the city of Chicago. At the Black Women’s expo, all minds can uniquely interact with the different partnered sponsors and vendors, giving space to an open-minded experience for new and former participants.

“The people that are on the air, that people watch every day come out and it just gives the public a chance to see them face to face and not just on a screen. It’s great for our community for them to see the people they watch every day on TV. “– Donna Williams, Expo representative for ABC 7 News Chicago.

Merry Green, Founder of The Black Women’s Expo, emphasizes the importance of spreading education as well as enhancing commerce within the black community through the expo. A pointed emphasized by her as well as the expo is the value of marketing to the black consumer. The tour of the black women’s expo is set to continue mid- summer as they stop at Atlanta, GA on July 28- 30th and continue to the final stop this fall in Washington, DC on September 20th- 23rd.

Check Out An Interview With Dreezy:

Watch Taylor Bennett's Short Film "Broad Shoulders"

Chicago native Taylor Bennett and brother to Chance to the Rapper has released a short film, Broad Shoulders, named after the album he released in late 2015. The film is a 13-minute love story that weaves in tracks from the project. 

"In Chicago, a young couple’s relationship ignites," reads the film's description. "After a night of mistakes, embarrassments, and understanding the boy must choose what is right for him and if what's been done can be forgiven." 

Watch Video Below:

B.Bandz Debuts “How I'm Coming” Mixtape & New Video “Wonderful Feeling” featuring Atlantic Artist DLow & Nia Kay

The new #FreshPrince of Chicago B.Bandz sets the tone for his debut project with new video Wonderful Feeling ft. DLow. Directed by Class Clown Films, the video kicks off with B.Bandz playing a live video game with his girl while each character dances to "Wonderful Feeling," in a parody of 90s video game Mortal Kombat. Each scene describes the lifestyle of B.Bandz and keeps it engaging with cameos from major dance tastmakers such as King Imprint, Team Nue Era and Kandi Reign. With the mansion as the back drop, B.Bandz & DLow turn up the energy of the visual dancing and creating a perfect synergy in the main performance scene. While the typical video from new artist encourage a negative perspective, Wonderful Feeling subtle story line gives the audience a preview of what to expect from B.Bandz. His major T-up on this visual shows he is up next in the rap game.


How I'm Coming Mixtape Links & Description: 

LIVE Mixtapes http://indy.livemixtapes.com/mixtapes/42062/b-bandz-how-im-coming.html

Datpiff - http://www.datpiff.com/B-Bandz-How-Im-Coming-mixtape.818337.html


New Chicago Artist Boi Floyd (Scud Nation Ent) Drops Debut Single "Maserati Dreams"

Southside englewood native Boi Floyd drops debut street single “Maserati Dreams”. Sampled by famous throwback “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” By Rose Royce, the catchy, nod-worthy release showcases the effortless rhyme ability of Boi Floyd, with a unique tone and his distinctive stand-out voice. “Maserati Dreams” tells of how Floyd has gone from days of dope dealing, hustling, and living the street life, dreaming of better days, to making his dreams a reality and taking time to appreciate the fruit of his labor. With lines like “I don’t waste time putting money down” and “They worry i’m like Curry, i’m a f*****g shooter”, Boi Floyd paints a vivid picture throughout the single, knowing the worth of how hard he worked, flipping his hustle from the streets to dope hooks and verses.



Dreezy Releases Video For "Wasted"


Chicago rising princess Dreezy drops her video for her single "Wasted" from her debut album NO HARD FEELINGS. The video is very relatable, I know many of you have had situations where the liquor has gotten the best of you and led to some late night text. ladies receiving those text might be good for in the beginning, but after a while more is needed, as portrayed in the video guys don't realize whats real until its gone. The visual also featured G-Herbo. The Video reached 500,000 views on Youtube in 2 days.

Watch The Video Below:

Chance The Rapper Shares “Bathtime” Playlist


Music is as important as cleanliness. Chance the Rapper obviously believes so! When he’s not appearing in Kit-Kat commercials or touring he’s taking time to recharge and he’s doing so with a bathtime playlist that will help you not only cleanse your spirit but the rest of you.

The rapper shared a link to Apple Music playlist titled “Yup,” on twitter Monday (December 12), and ordered his fans to take some much needed “me time” as he instructs his fans "Get in the tub, press shuffle, and treat yourself.” He also adds, “I been neglecting myself, not taking care of me,” he wrote. “I take a shower everyday. But when is it bath time? Now. Enjoy a bath every once in awhile.”

The 26 playlist is filled with different genres from r&b, rap and gospel with artist ranging from Frank Ocean, Gucci Mane, Kirk Franklin and of course Chance himself.

Stream the playlist below:


BeeKay Drops New Visual For "Down From Here"

Saucin' 📷:@planaritypictures

A photo posted by Brandon, King. (@whoisbeekay) on

BeeKay is truly "up next" in the Chicago hiphop scene, he has been featured on publications like Chi Bangers, Rising Hype,The Chicago Reader and much more. He's worked with such talents as"The Boy Illinois" and "Dave Coresh" just to name a few. His new video"Down from here", channeling the ups and downs of his musical journey. 

Watch The Video Below:

Creative Artist and Producer Lord Haiti Debuts “Keep It Playa” ft. UCOBY

He's back, Chicago's rising producer Lord Hati has a new track.  After unveiling the musical gems from his latest project “OMS (On My Soul)”, Lord Haiti has just debuted the single “Keep It Playa” featuring UCOBY. When listening to Keep It Playa”, one can envision themselves riding in an old school Cadillac, cruising through the city streets on a chill night, vibing and rapping about the hustle and bustle of making something out of nothing.

Lord Haiti produced a track that is nostalgic of 90s Hip-Hop and R&B, with a resemblance to the funkadelic style of OutKast “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik”, accompanied by the smooth lyricism and unmatched bars of fellow artist, rapper UCOBY. With rap bars that portray life on the come-up and a flow that compliments the music with such finesse, this single reminds us to keep working, keep calm, and keep making naysayers jealous. Check out this dope groove, “Keep It Playa” today!

To learn more about Lord Haiti, visit: http://www.lordhaiti.com/

Hiphop Artist Breeze Spreads Good Vibes With "Henny And The Homies"

Saturday night, Whats The Word TV engaged in vibes at the Music Garage. Henny and the Homies was definitely an evening of dope sounds. Powered by The Shipmates, the event headlined Are You Afraid of The Dark, the latest project from West side Chicago rapper Breeze. It also featured performances from other Chi-town artists such as Trip Heavy, B Rill, Van Go, Mika Luciano and more. The night also featured sounds by Chicago DJ Just One.

What’s The Word caught up with Breeze to talk about his inspirations in music and Henny And The Homies:

Bree Specific: Can you tell us about the platform for Henny and the Homies? Is it different form ordinary listening parties?

Breeze: “I’ve seen a lot of artists do listening parties which seems to be the new trend. [ Henny and the Homies ] serves that same purpose just in a different way. So I decided to actually perform an entire body of work live. In order to give an understanding of what it is. Alongside giving my homies, my rapper and singer homies a platform to showcase their talent in front of different crowds.”

Bree Specific: Are You Afraid Of The Dark is your latest project, What influenced the title?

Breeze: “ Of course it’s popular 90s Nick Shows, I’m a super nostalgia. I like throwback Nickelodeon and it fits the October theme you feel me. More over, it’s representative of someone being afraid of what it takes to succeed. The different things you may possibly go through on your journey to the top. Is it something you’re afraid of? Is there something that makes you timid where you’re not stepping out on faith […] you know? That’s where I got the title from and what it means to me. “

Bree Specific: Where do you see yourself musically in five years?

Breeze: “ [….] somewhere being nationally and globally recognized for what I do you know what I mean. Producing major projects for not only hip hop artist but r&B artists perhaps, poets, and different genres alike.. Hopefully I have at least one you know highly distributed album out. I’m picked up by the masses and received well by audiences to develop a fan base that will allow me to prepare myself to the next platform, like I said is global notoriety . Being some sort of influence and motivation to someone coming from my side. “

As live music and performances flowed throughout the night the atmosphere also flourished. Henny and the Homies was just that. Every performer blessed the stage in one room among supporters consisting of all positive energy. A second room with a window looking to the stage served libations and networking among music lovers and other creators. Sounds were given by DJ Just One who rocked the Music Garage during the event.

As the night went on the crowd maximized and Breeze touched the stage encouraging attendees to embrace the atmosphere while sharing his story throughout the end set. His persona tells the life of a Chicago guy turning a passion into a lifestyle, supporting his homies, and continuing to grow through his experiences while figuring out the ins and outs of life. He interacted with the crowd and created a presence that they all will know as Breeze. He rapped through tracks like Nobody, Mitch Richmond, and other songs from the Are You Afraid of The Dark track list.

Overall,  Henny and the Homies was a vibe. A Saturday evening well spent with music lovers, supporters, and great creators all pushing towards elevating their passions and supporting those who support their craft. You can follow Breeze and all of the performers from Henny And The Homies on social media below. Be sure to check out Are You Afraid of The Dark by clicking here

Breeze- @theactualbreeze

Van Go- @vangochicago

Meech- @ovaeastmeech

B Rill- @brillrnb

Weasel Sims- @weaselimsran

Chief B.L.- @chiefbl

Jae Haze- @jaehaze_ran

Mika Luciano- @mikaluciano

Brugie B- @brugieb

Tripp Heavy @trippheavy

Singer Brill Performing at Henny and The Homies

Singer Brill Performing at Henny and The Homies

Henny And The Homies packed out

Henny And The Homies packed out