To say I love his paintings is a severe understatement. The man creates pieces that exaggerate and reflect how I view our culture and the people in it. I love it. It takes me to a place that instantly reminds me of growing up in Queens, New York, a time that spoke volumes to me without rhyme or reason. The energy put into his work captivated my attention, and I knew that this interview was long overdue. I’ve known Julian Greene through various social engagements, but for so long I wanted to pick his brain and learn how an artist of his caliber is inspired and motivated. Blessings came down when he agreed to discuss his journey, and today… I give you the talented and prolific Julian Greene from Petersburg Virginia.
I asked Julian when did he initially get into art, painting, etc. and how did it affect his life since then? He replied, “As the only child, I have always had the ability to utilize my imagination and create a world that would provide my own personal escapism. In doing this, I would create figures on paper and would develop my interpretation of life through the eyes of an observant child.”
So, who or what influences Julian the most when it comes to his work? Julian explained, “My main influences now are everyday life and circumstances. I am able to draw from my moods, observations and interactions when creating various pieces. For instance, being a barber/artist allows me the opportunity to interact with many people on a personal level. Getting feedback and perspective through conversation often times spark visuals that influence many of my artistic compositions.”
“There are quite a few artists whose work I admire. I’ll sum it up to say that I respect any artist that is capable of staying true to themselves and their audience. Any artist that can create and maintain a level of integrity in their work without compromise is worth celebrating.”
As an artist, people provide a lot of criticism and critique. What are some of the negative and positive feedback Julian has received in his experience? And how did he handle it? Julian explains dealing with negative criticism first, “ I honestly haven’t openly received any negative critiques in reference to my art. If there are any negative energies concerning my art, it hasn’t been brought to my immediate attention.”
However, he is aware of the positivity related to his work, “People normally embrace my art and encourage me to do more. I recently have been asked on several occasions to begin looking at ways to introduce art to the youth of my hometown Petersburg, VA. There has been a desire to fill the need to bring artistic creative expression to the area because the youth typically aren’t exposed to such undertakings that they can relate to.”
Having Julian provide his expertise and knowledge to our younger generation regarding art, would be an awesome endeavor. I definitely look forward to seeing how that progresses and possibly taking part with my children as well. As talented as he is, it would certainly be a necessity in our community to have him educate and mold young minds to tap into their creativity.
I asked Julian, Is there one impactful message for all of his pieces or does each art piece represent various messages independently? What is and/or are those messages?
Julian answers, “One main consistency that I use when drawing human figures is the focus on the mouth area. I believe that African American heritage offers such a strong story that must be told. So in essence, whether one of my pieces depicts a barber scene or a scene that focuses on adolescence, etc. they each have a profound message to share with the audience. In reality, any time you listen to a conversation of people of color, there is a strong sense of emotion whether joyful or full of sorrow. In essence, I believe that as an artist it is my obligation to capture that through my images.” I love it! In a recent conversation with Julian at a previous showcase of Artisan Café, we discussed the consistent depiction of the full lips, an aspect that I particularly love about his work.
So what is Julian’s favorite part about being an artist? “My favorite part of being an artist is the fact of knowing that I’ve been given a gift to communicate with my soul. Creativity stems from the soul. No matter how complex or simplistic the message, when an artist can bear his spirit in his work, the feeling is priceless. People often times look at the price of an artist’s work and determine its worth. However, that artist is considering all the elements of their personal devotion to conveying a message. That’s what determines the true salt of an artist and the value of the piece. That’s when you can see how committed an artist is to his craft and his audience.”
What are some of the obstacles he had to endure? How did he overcome or how is he overcoming them? Julian explains, “The majority of the obstacles that I have endured were self-imposed. As an artist, you are oftentimes your own worst critic. I am learning to go with the flow. Meaning, there is no need to force anything. When you back up and allow things to flow, the work usually presents itself. All you have to do is put in a tangible form. This method has proven itself to allow me to step back and see some of my more favorite pieces come into fruition. The flow of the work can instantly be seen. Believe it or not, a simple approach that I have learned to take is to just get up from the drawing table and come back with fresh eyes. This allows me to consider the best options to complete a piece rather than forcing a project and end up compromising the finished product.
Has there been any regrets when it comes to Julian’s career? Julian responded, “I have absolutely no regrets in my art career. Everything is a learning experience. There’s no such thing as failure. I used to wonder if I had started my career sooner would I be further along….. If I had done this, would that have happened…until I remembered that artists draw inspiration from life itself. Since life unfolds on its own in its own way, I wouldn’t change one thing.”
Where would he say he get most of his inspiration and why? Julian says, “Most of my inspiration stems from personal experiences as well as the social climate. Art normally imitates life and the same vice versa. The majority of my art represents the urban, black experience. Our culture has so many offerings that we take for granted. Case and point, our shades of ethnicity are a wonder in itself. How can a people with such much to offer not be imitated and feared. If only we as a people knew the impact on society that we have. From style, education, to historic significance… ours is a culture that must be documented and remembered in every possible way for generations to come. It just so happens that my duty is to capture these attributes through artistic expression. I just hope that my work will be remembered as offerings that were done while paying homage to my heritage.”
If Julian could give advice to any up and coming artist, what would it be and why? Julian teaches us, “The best advice I can give is to never stop learning your craft. Always seek ways to make your current project better than the previous one. This will keep your mind fresh as well as your devotion to your craft. Never be afraid of rejection. It’s a part of life and it will happen.
Also, try to find your niche. This approach will help you focus on an area that would be a good fit for your creativity. It is also important to know your market. When you are able to establish a target group, your chances for success are higher. You can never be all things to all groups, so locating a set that you best identify with is crucial. Also, while maintaining an identity in a set market, don’t be afraid of experimentation in technique. Most artists who take chances are the ones that have the best outcomes.
Lastly, I would suggest networking with individuals who can shed fresh input into your work. Never be afraid of constructive criticism. Constructive criticism gives a new perspective of how the audience may view your work. It could prove to be highly beneficial to the success of your efforts.” Speak that thing! That was wonderful advice, some of it I’m going to use for myself as well.
Julian’s website is currently under construction, but you can still follow and support him at his Facebook Fan Page: Bearded Ancestor-the Art of Jay Greene
Contact him today for a customized piece for your collection at firstname.lastname@example.org
From comments posted on social media to conversations had at the salon and barber shop, Richmond Virginia has been buzzing about a reality project called, “The Real Baby Mamas of Richmond”. It was made evident that a lot of people wasn’t going to like the idea of several women banning together to share their testimony on single parenting, while representing RVA without a few folks making some noise. I must admit, initially I was concerned about whether this was going to be a mockery of African American women bashing their child’s father and acting a fool. With the travesty of Shawty Lo almost getting his own show with all the baby mothers he has, I wasn’t prepared to support anything that was going to make us look bad.
However, I watched people commenting on the project, making false judgments about what they were going to see and cyber bullying these women, when the show hadn’t even dropped yet. Expected to air June 10th at 9pm, the cast of ladies have been spotted taking photos and doing interviews all under the watchful eye of the public. It’s true that ratchet (some use to describe ghetto/hood behavior) does sell. Nevertheless, the ladies urge that their project is nothing ratchet, it’s their life. So why so much controversy around their reality show? Well apparently, people are up in arms about the fact that Pumpkin, the creator of this project decided to call it the Real Baby Mamas of Richmond. The term Baby Mama has long been used to describe the mother of a child to whom you are not married nor in a relationship with. You had a baby with her and now you must either co-parent or continue to provide her with child support. During our interview, the ladies stressed that they did not aim to celebrate the fact that they are Baby Mothers, but bring to light that this is a situation that affects many women, and they just want to share how they survive day to day.
Mostly quiet and reserved, some not as social as others, the cast gave me their nicknames on the show which I guessed was meant to reflect their personality. My impression of the women during our sit down conversation and taped interview, was that although they seemed defensive to the idea of being labeled and ridiculed online, that they honestly just want to change their situation. You can’t fault someone for wanting to make a way out of no way. Let’s be real, who would be banging down a lot of your doors begging to give you a reality show based on your struggle if that’s what would get you out of the struggle in the first place? I’ll wait. So this woman decided “I’ll do it myself, and I’ll bring a few understanding women with me for the ride”. That’s inspiring in itself. She made her own reality show, now it’s just making sure that her project has a message. Because without a distinct message that will resonate with audience to be more positive and to seek a better life, it can and will get thrown in that bucket of “ratchet-ness” and stay there.
From haters and naysayers to supporters, many people feel some way or another about this representing Richmond. Many have commented that Richmond women don’t look like the ones depicted in the project, bringing to light that people can be judgmental about your physical appearance without even knowing your purpose. During the interview another good point was brought to light, if you felt that you were a better representation of what single parent mothers look like in Richmond Virginia, then why didn’t you attend the audition? Pumpkin stated that she had many inquiries of women interested in being a part of the show, even now many women have expressed a desire to join the cast, yet only so many people actually showed up. We all know individuals who wait until something becomes successful or until it’s a guarantee hit, before they decide to participate. I think it would be a crying shame not to share your testimony as a single parent, if it could inspire some other young woman doing it all by herself… and you technically can do it yourself like the cast of RBMOR are doing. *hint*
Most of the judgment comes from people who aren’t in their situation. Having multiple children with different fathers, shouldn’t automatically categorize you as a hood chick with no future. However, let the internet thugs tell it, they snatched the pic, post it on their page and go to town, laughing and ridiculing these women about their story before the show even aired. I had a few people I know personally try to justify their judgmental comments, and my questions was politely, “Do you know them?” Everyone has a story, and yes we have our full of reality show drama, but just maybe it’s not meant to hurt or hinder… just maybe it’s about to make a difference in how we see each other. Who can say only a certain type of woman can get a reality show, why can’t some of our most struggling brothers and sisters share their journey as well, regardless of their fashion style, personal appearance, and the title of the project? The definition of coming up is trying to progress from where you are to something better. That’s a struggle for everyone, not just the people in your circle. They deserve the same opportunities as the rest of us, a chance to try to come up and make a change for their children, regardless of their address or family tree.
I’ve had conversations with several people about this project, expressing that as long as it’s not what a friend of mine affectionately calls “Coonery Bafoonery”, I can’t be mad at them. I wouldn’t want any black woman to get on a platform that thousands or millions can view and make a mockery of a lifestyle that many other black women struggle with. Please just make sense, just be real, and understand the influence you could potentially have on your supporters. I just stress that in the end, the message should be a positive one. The ladies mentioned that viewers tune in everyday to watch Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta and New York, Basketball Wives, & 16 and Pregnant, all reality series that have been described as ratchet as well by most of the general public. Yet and still, people tune in weekly to watch the madness and be entertained. So why aren’t they supportive of these women sharing their journey as single parents in a city that has been notoriously described as being unsupportive? Weird, huh.
Well time will only show and either prove you all wrong or not, however The Real Baby Mamas of Richmond is coming on the air, and honestly a few of you have already decided to tune in. Don’t front! Whether you are spectating to watch them fail or to truly support them, realize that every second counts as you give them the ratings they need to be successful and to change their situation for themselves and their families. Which I believe is basically what this is all about, they want to make a difference in their circumstances. They strongly stated that their intention is to do nothing more than be constructive, and that’s exactly what we need to see. With everything going on in the world, we can’t seriously accept anything else.
I can’t wait to see what unfolds and I truly pray that this project does inspire many mothers (single or not), because everyone’s testimony can bring light to someone.
Check out their Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealBabymamasOfRichmond
Their Official Website: www.therealbabymamasofrichmond.com/
Giving Rock a serious twist, singer/song writer Urica Rose has been described as “this generations answer to the reinvention of Rock”. Loving her alternative look I decided to reach out and pick her brain on her personal style as well as her career in music. Born in Texas, but raised in NYC from a very young age, Urica learned the ways of New York City & its eclectic vibe. At age 16, she honed into her inner talents and realized she had an extraordinary harmonious gift. Urica is inspired by legends, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and Aretha Franklin and describes her own vocals as a passionate, blues filled rawness, seasoned with an ample dose of “Rock”. Evolving more as an artist, Urica quickly expanded her musical aptness by assimilating the skills of the guitar. ATL audiences were the first to be mesmerized by her distinct sound. Urica Rose discovered her niche… Rock & Blues. Urica Rose will catapult this phenomena into “The New Generation of Rock”.
When asked how does she describe her style, Urica answered, “I never put much thought into it, it pretty much happened when an extreme thought came to mind. Due to everyone thinking I looked as though I did R&B or something subtle. I said now the statement will be clear.” It is clear that she is no basic R&B chick at all, which is why I love her style.
Since she is a transplant out of Texas, now living in New York, Urica says that because she left Texas at such a young age, she can’t even admit to being aware of fashion and style at the time. Do you remember the days, when that didn’t register to you? Lol, I sure do.
Now Urica also spent some time in Atlanta as well for a short time, so when asked about the obvious differences in style between Atlanta and New York, she answered “I lived in both Atlanta and NY in my more fashion conscious years so it would be easier to compare these two. I always admired how the girls in Atlanta wore their hair and experimented with colors etc. Then I always loved how New York girls dressed and put their style together. So I fused the two.”
“I’m more of a boutique, custom design type of girl meaning my stylist and I at times sit down and draft up ideas and this may result in an outfit.”
So what is Urica’s awesome beauty routine, she states “I don’t have much of a beauty routine. I focus on getting a lot of rest and drinking plenty of water.”
So what are the beauty and style items that she can NOT leave home without? Urica admits, “Lipstick and Eye liner!!!!” Girl, don’t I know it. LOL
So because Urica is so unique and stylish, I wanted to know what advice would she give to young aspiring artist and beautiful young women just like herself, she confidently proclaims “Be yourself, people will like you when it feels more authentic” Love it! Simple truth to live by.
Her new single “Ain’t No” is topping all of the CD Baby rock charts one by one! In just under a week, Urica has achieved #1 spots on the Alt Rock, Pop Punk, Metal, Punk, and Rock charts! This means that this week “Ain’t No” is one of the top selling singles above all of their releases! Watch “Ain’t No” music video below:
Urica Rose said: “The song is about a girl that’s at the end of her rope with everything and everyone she taking a stand against it all. It’s a very empowering song built with a lot of raging emotions. She sat back for a while and let things happen until she couldn’t take it anymore and then she explodes and tells the guy she is in a relationship with “Ain’t no way you gonna treat me like whatever.” At some point we all go through that relationship were you will do anything for a person no matter how they treat you. At some point we all have to say enough is enough and stand up for our self.”
Make sure to check her out and support her:
MetalHaze Bio: http://metalhazeent.com/uricarose
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow @GaptoothDiva
Temeka Brown is a 27 years old biracial female from Richmond Virginia. She says, “I have always wanted to model since I was a little girl was always practicing modeling to music in my room pretending like I was on a runway.” It took Temeka years for her to get the strength and the courage to try out for modeling. She admits, “I figured hey it’s never too late to start. I love working as a counselor and modeling on the side. I have no kids and want to pursue graduate school later this year.” Temeka stands “5″7″ and has been modeling for a couple of months but has done several fashion shows and photo shoots such as Ashely Stewart, Ivie Rose Boutique and DashA’veri Vintage & Thrifted Redesigns, to name a few.
Follow and Connect with Temeka Brown…
I always loved Temeka’s bubbly spirit and her humility, she is such a beautiful young lady. I can’t wait to see her continue to blossom in her ambitions and do amazing things in the future.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, or to be featured on GaptoothDiva.com connect with me via Twitter @GaptoothDiva
This Thursday March 28th at 8pm, I will have the pleasure of attending a listening party for our girl, the beautiful and very talented Lela Bizz (www.LelaBizz.com) at 2 Beyond Recording Studios (3414 Semmes Ave. Richmond, Virginia 23236 – right next door to the acclaimed Antonz Barbershop & Beauty Salon)
Lela has been working diligently to drop not only an EP of songs that she has written and created herself, but also a mixtape of covers as well. I had the pleasure of asking her a few questions about her style and her music recently and I just couldn’t wait until after the event to share with you what she had to say. If you follow her on Twitter or on Facebook, Lela exemplifies a playful yet seductive style that is as bold as her performances. She always has such a bright and positive spirit every time I see her around RVA. I’m excited for her new projects expected to release, and I believe that you will be also.
I asked Lela how she would describe her personal style. She stated, “I would describe my fashion taste as classy risqué. I like to (think of) it as being daring. I love timeless pieces, I love putting things together.” That’s awesome. From her eclectic choices to her quirky/sexy selections, I can see that she is a risk taker, and we all love a bold and daring style personality.
Lela lists three things as her must haves before ever leaving the house, 1. ModGyrl lippies/ ModGyrl lipstick, 2. Scarf (She ties it as a hair bow), and finally 3. Nerdy glasses or a pair Sunglasses. I’m starting to think this is the universal uniform for all of us these days, because I literally have all that in my purse at this very moment. These are amazing choices for an amazing fashionista, for sure.
Lela doesn’t attribute her style to any favorite designers, but admits that she loves a good thrift shop.
However, when it comes to her favorite cosmetic brand, it’s no surprise that she exclaims, “I’m a ModGyrl all day!”
When asked which trends were currently her favorite now, Lela states, “I love looks from the 90′s., Mom jeans and tied up button ups blouses, and I love polka dots as well”. Lela also explains that she doesn’t necessarily hate any trends, “History repeats itself so I tend to have an open mind with fashion”, she stated.
If you are a supporter of hers on Instagram and Facebook, Lela often post many pictures of her progress through out her insanity workouts and healthy eating. Such an inspiration to young women who want to improve on their bodies and health, she advises, “Beach body workouts are the best! Insanity was the ONLY workout that I have done and seen results. I worked out before, pretty frequently, but it’s something about insanity that pushes you to new heights!” Lela also mentions that she is currently a Beach Body coach and that she goes hard for Insanity. She plans to do Chalean Extreme next. You can check her out at www.beachbodycoach.com/Bizzybfitness
So when it comes to her music, she takes it extremely seriously. I remember seeing her doing covers on Youtube back in 09, and she has only progressed since then. She was even featured on GaptoothDiva Radio back in March 2011, bringing a genuine talent that was respected and adored.
When asked how her new EP and her mixtape differ from past projects that she has worked on, she stated, “The mixtape is all covers. I have never done a mixtape with all covers before. (In addition)The EP is a collection of songs, that I feel represent exactly who Lela Bizz is! If you didn’t know who I was, The Ep would explain all of that in 7 songs.”
When asked which track does she say describes exactly where she is in her life at this moment, Lela explains “If I had to pick one… I would say, “Would’ve Known Betta “. That song speaks to me!” Therefore, who has influenced this artist throughout this whole creation process, Lela attributes Jazmine Sullivan for embodying so much emotion in her music. “I feel I really embodied my emotions in that song. I feel Jazmine does that with every song she does!”
Lela Bizz says that the people who understand her music the most are the individuals that have fell in love and fell out of it! She says that her songs are based on true events, and that what she speaks to.
So, what can we expect from Ms. Lela Bizz after this scheduled listening party March 28th ? She informed us, “I’ll be touring and promoting!” The hard work never quits and that is truly motivating.
Check out the official Lela Bizz website: www.lelabizz.com
From the moment I decided to launch DashA’veri, I knew I would have my hands full. From styling the outfits, coaching the models on how I wanted the clothes displayed, to ensuring that I don’t explode with anxiousness and excitement, there was no way I could do it all by myself. I needed someone to take pictures that not only showed a passion for his or her craft, but also exemplified humility and a love for creativity as I did.
I reached out to Jay, of Amor Jay Photography (https://www.facebook.com/AmorJayPhotography) a young woman I went to school with back in the day. She has covered amazing events such as fashion shows, live performances, couple’s announcements, and nightclub events. Her work is steadily depicted in various publications and she shares her progress on her Facebook fan page (Amor Jay Photography). I wanted to be sure that that when I communicated my goals and intentions, that she would be able to pilot my vision into a successful launch for my website. I was impressed with her work and I think you all should check her out and support this talented human being in her endeavors, as she is taking pure passion and self-education and turning it into the career of her dreams.
Jay, the owner and photographer of Amor Jay Photography started in 2006. Her grandfather passed away when she was 11, after which she decided to get into taking photos with One Time cameras. She felt that life is too short; therefore, you never know when you will see someone again. She decided to carry a camera in her possession, to ensure that she was always able to capture those special moments with her friends and family.
Jay gives thanks to her friend Darrell Skinner aka S.M.N, who helped her receive some of her first photo shoot opportunities and who really encouraged her to absorb herself deeper into photography.
Since the day she began, she has done live shows, private photo shoots, engagement events, weddings, etc…
Jay says, “My favorite subject to photograph is landscapes. I feel with landscape subjects, it’s all about nature and nothing is more beautiful than the world around us.”
Check Jay out at Amor Jay Photography: https://www.facebook.com/AmorJayPhotography
I had the awe-inspiring pleasure of meeting the co-owner of Mama J’s Kitchen, the actress and model, and the acclaimed creator of the “It’s Only (a) Natural” Documentary”, Yolanda Lee. In her beauty, classic demeanor and affirmative spirit, we discussed her choice to shave her head. We also touch on how the controversial opinions behind her decision led to a must-see documentary that will be screened here in Richmond.
Sitting with Yolanda, who has had a wonderful career in modeling and acting, now working in one of Richmond’s favorite family oriented soul food restaurants with her husband, you immediately realize it’s more than beauty. Her captivating conversation about rebelling against the norm and doing what made her happy is a revelation within itself. She expressed that she too experiences those “ugly days”, days where she doesn’t feel at her best physically and succumbs to the same insecurities that any woman would endure on a regular basis. However, it is her strength and her ability to fight through that stigma that helps her. She also jokes that despite having virtually no hair (due to her having it shaved on a frequent basis), she still experiences bad hair days. We laughed at the concept, but the reality is at least for her… it’s only natural.
I wanted to talk to her because so many women want to take that leap in the world of less stress, the world of natural hair, but that are stopped by fear. The fear isn’t from the technique of maintenance or care, but by the acceptance of the public, their peers, and ultimately men. I loathe the idea that we can’t be ourselves because of what the people who claim to love us, might think. Yolanda extinguishes that negative thinking, with her bold mane that highlights her fierceness inside and out. She faced adversity and rejection from those closest to her, but like with anything… they eventually came around. Often times people place their own insecurities, limitations, and fears upon us, when in reality they are saying “I could never be that brave or courageous.” Yolanda understood that, and it appears that her choice survived the test of time.
In the previews to her documentary, you see Yolanda having candid conversations with both men and women about hair and how hair is attached to a woman’s femininity. People have their opinions about her decision to shave her head, and she faces some obstacles in her modeling career as well. All the while going through what most average women would break from, she perseveres and vows to learn how to swim. If you are a black woman, you may understand the challenge behind swimming, water, and how we fret messing up our hairdo’s and weaves. Nevertheless, Yolanda marches on and to the beat of her own drum as she faces some rejection and some support in her plight to highlight are we are indeed attached to our tresses. Even within the natural community, some stigma is still attached to length, curl pattern, and thickness, somehow placing people further into a box in some way. Yolanda sheds light on how no matter what it’s always more important to be yourself in order to reach true happiness.
It was truly an exciting experience to sit down and talk with her. She expressed that although her title pretty much says it all, she recently learned that there are some people that honestly have no choice to be natural or not. Some people are plagued with illnesses and disease that make it difficult to grow their hair or alter it in any way. I think we both agreed that this documentary and her conversation could also be an encouragement to them as well. No matter what you decide to do with your hair, if it something that the majority isn’t doing or accepting of, you will get stares, questions, comments, and unsolicited opinions. The overall purpose isn’t to have a ready-made explanation of who, what, and why you look the way you do. The purpose is to be so confident and secure within yourself that you can handle it, regardless of where it’s coming from.
I say that an average woman couldn’t handle some of the opinions spewed at Yolanda, because it’s true. However, I always applaud women who strive for extraordinary everyday, and she definitely fits that mold. I can’t wait for the Richmond screening of “Its’ Only (a) Natural”, because I believe we all can take something positive from watching her journey unfold. Whether you are in the midst of the big chop, considering transitioning, or you’re just dealing with natural insecurities that touch us all, you should especially make it your business to check out this awesome project directed and produced by Yolanda Lee and Richard Lewis. You probably have had a chance to check out the restaurant and love their soul food, now it’s an opportunity to get a glimpse into her perspective and learn to love the soul that is… only a natural.
It’s Only (a) Natural Preview:
It’s Only (a) Natural Preview Part 2:
Support Yolanda Documentary: http://igg.me/p/295568/x/1895918
Like the FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Its-Only-a-Natural/212932615384968
I promised I would share some of my inspiring colleagues and friends, and I brought you someone from the crème of the crop. Zenobia Bey also known as Z Bey is promoting her project “Crab Out The Barrel”. Aside from being the Founder of the well respected, Community 50/50, she is also a Lyricist and Poet. I’ve been inspired by her movement since the days of Revelationz at Sunset. She is a profound artist and remarkable activist, whose goals are to unite the community, bring a positive message to the people, motivate, and educate the children. When most seek to profit off the streets by any means, Zenobia exemplifies qualities of the most diligent Samaritans.
I’ve had the opportunity to sit with her and her team, as they discussed their passion to teach and motivate children through the art of Hip Hop. They broke down each aspect and shared their knowledge willingly. Her idea to relate to the public, using a medium that the majority can relate to, shows she is more in touch than we can imagine. Her skills only prove that she is rightful due the title of influence among various generations.
For more motivating interviews, follow me on Twitter/Instagram: @GaptoothDiva
I worked with Rae last year, at an Unforgettable Woman Fashion show and she immediately blew me away. Her personality was so positive and she smiled the entire time. While some of us were frantically rushing to change in and out of our outfits, just to run on stage for two minutes. This girl was as calm as a cucumber. Her bright eyes and warm spirit, made me want to share her story. I thought she was too beautiful a person to keep her away from my audience. You need to be inspired by her.
Her given name is Rachel Williams, but she often goes by Rae Williams. She is a young aspiring Full Figured Model from the Maryland area. Along with being a model, she is also a full-time junior at Towson University studying to receive her degree in Creative Writing and Public Relations. Rae realized her passion for modeling as a teen;, and has been committed to making her dreams a reality since high school. However, she has faced many challenges, such as her height. Many photographers and events in her area are not appreciating the fuller figured model demographic. Despite these challenges, Rae slowly but surely rises and continues to gain experience and work.
To her advantage, she has the support of her entire family and the majority of her friends who are always in the background cheering her on. The majority of Rae’s work comes from the New York area, where she soon hopes to reside. Rae has had the honor to be featured in Skorch Magazine, Fashion News Avenue Magazine and Bella Noir Magazine, and in Plus Boutique Eddy&Bri’s catalog website. Along with many other accomplishments, she has an extremely bubbly personality, and loves to laugh and have fun. Rachel enjoys trying new things and pushing the boundaries of her success.
Rachel has faced discrimination, being the victim of fraud and being underestimated by photographers and casting directors. Rae pushes past adversity and the hardships of being a young adult pursuing her dreams because she not only wants to make a name for herself. She also wants others to see that it can be done. She firmly believes that anything is possible if you work hard enough and do your absolute best. The obstacles that are faced are just tests to see how hard you are willing to work, and if you can continue to push pass the tears. Rachel continues to work hard no matter what obstacles she faces because she believes in herself and she has the support from her family that propels her to continue trying.
I believe that Rae is an amazing example of perseverance. In an industry that can be discriminating and often snide, she continues to work toward something she wants. If she can do it, then we know that many more can as well.
Contact Rae Williams to network or connect:
Model Mayhem: www.modelmayhem.com/1672050
Last week’s interview with Professional Producer and Engineer, Amzi Jackson of Untitled Music and Media, went exactly as I hoped. We not only got to listen to his craft, work worth being admired, but we also received his feedback on that state of independent music. I was impressed that he was able to express his thoughts without holding back. He was the epitome of a true professional, wanting nothing more but for his business to succeed and to leave a lasting and positive legacy that, his family could be proud of.
I now understand how hard it is to walk a path, in what seems like isolation. Amzi described how he does things differently, not really looking to his right and left worried about the intentions of his counterparts. His goal is to remain positive and only do things from the heart. If only more people could adopt those motives, I wouldn’t feel so much like a vigilante, trying to stop ignorance and crime on the internet. LOL. He made me feel as if, no matter what there would always have to be a balance. With positive intentions and actions, come some people who feel the opposite. It is not our responsibility to stop them or change them. It is our job, to get out our visions and ideas the way they were blessed to us. We should worry about nothing more than touching the lives we were meant to touch.
Speaking of being touched, I couldn’t help but mention the project that he worked so hard on with BlackRVA, Wake Up Everybody. This music video ignited my passion to stay positive and continue to walk down this path. Its people like Amzi, BlackRVA, and many others that let me know I’m not alone in wanting to see my community, my generation, and everyone do much better than we’ve ever imagine. That’s why giving up is not an option. We all can continue to be the Baddest Creative Motivation!
Follow Amzi Jackson, Untitled Music & Media LLC at www.twitter.com/UmusicPro
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Turkey day is the Day after tomorrow, and we all know what that means. It means family togetherness, lots of food, and an opportunity to put your Christmas wish list on the table. For most people, it won’t be all hugs, kisses, and cranberry sauce, so GaptoothDiva Radio’s I’esha GaptoothDiva and Boonyevilla are going to give you some great tips and advice on how to handle this year’s Thanksgiving drama. We want to motivate you to not stab your long lost cousin or that uncle that just got out of jail, in support of family love and inspiration. Listen as we tell stories from past thanksgiving dinners, and how we plan to bring the love and blessings back to the table.
The perfect prototype of an enterprising person, Yung Damon! is successfully emerging amongst a generation of trap rappers, blank music, and blah music with crafty lyrical talent like no other in his class. Growing up in Savannah, GA Damon was isolated from rap music. Restricted from the vulgarity and profanity of rap, he instead listened to R&B greats like Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Tevin Camplbell, Brian McKnight. In spite of the early exposure to classics like “Footsteps In The Dark”, his sharp writing ability was actually recognized and applauded in school when given poems and short stories as writing assignments. In 2003, he began to rap as a hobby with his [younger/older] cousin, JR. The two would challenge one another’s word play, freestyling over downloaded instrumentals or songs on the radio. “I was better than he was… he stopped rappin,” says Damon as he thinks back. “My work ethic was stronger too, so when I realized I had this skill I started trying to make something more of it.” It’s this non-stop hustle mentality that motivated Yung Damon!, also known as Fly Deezy, to study and practice with a committed dedication to perfecting his craft.
Thirsty for creative inspiration that stretched farther than the all too familiar street life he observed on a daily basis, Dame exposed himself to diverse genres of literature and movies, allowing him to verbally illustrate hood life with a unique rhythmic cadence, quick wit, and clever sense of humor. With a grind stronger than a steel mill, the budding rapper eliminated the dependence of others and began schooling himself on engineering music so he could lay down tracks whenever he felt the need. “Once I learned how to count and stack bars, make hooks, bridges, it took my writing to a more professional level. Then he got out of control with it… recording like two or three songs a day!” Dame says. His hard work ethic and dope tracks caught the attention of his brother-in-law, Melvin, who stepped in to assist with making headway in the music industry using his former marketing experience and industry connections. Their efforts scored a meeting with the ill producer Ninth Wonder to discuss producing tracks for Yung Damon. This then lead to an opportunity MCs dream of. Wonder connected Yung Damon and his manager at the time with Jay-Z who just happened to be in Atlanta during the time of his famous comeback in 2006.
On a search for fresh, new talent Jay-Z ear sampled Dame’s music. Recalling Hov’s response, Yung Dame says, “He kind of smiled and said I reminded him of a young Jay-Z.” With confidence, energy and much heart, Fly Deezy forged ahead, performing at more than 30 shows in many of Atlanta’s most popular venues; Club Crucial, Royal Peacock, Scores, Throw Backs, and was even selected to showcase the Sweet Auburn Festival. In 2007 the late Savannah, GA rapper of Hellaflow Records, Bugga, was impressed with Yung D’s material after visiting his myspace page and reached out to him. They kept in touch and in 2009; Bugga took Dame under his wing. Bugga groomed, worked on his image, and managed the business side of things then began their collaboration on a mix CD release. The untimely and unfortunate death of his mentor months later affected Damon immensely. After a 4-month break from writing, Screwww, CEO of Hellaflow, reached out to Yung Damon! To pick up where he left off, more determined than ever, he headed to Atlanta and recorded 60 songs over a one-month period. “Bugga’s death made me go harder, I went back to the lab to revamp the mixtapes and added more tracks that I felt would help keep Bugga’s legacy alive.” While in the ATL, he was fortunate to record among influential artist like Young Jeezy, Lil’ Boosie, Boo Rossini, Young Buck, Blood Raw, JW, and more. Yung Damon! has opened up for many acts such as Webbie, Yo Gotti, Bun B, Juvenile, Travis Porter, Lil’ Ru, Mac Bre-Z, Future and Dolla Boy of Playaz Circle. Now Yung Damon! has emerged from the lab and has hit the pavement hard – dropping early releases, flooding the streets with promotional CDs, underground mixed tapes, and lining up performances – all to create a buzz for the long anticipated drop of his first self-released album Exclamation! Set for 1st quarter 2011. Yung Damon! was the feature artist of the month (August 2010) on Hotmusicspot.com. He is featured in the unsigned hype section on Digimixcast.com. In addition, he is featured on blog sites such as crunkshit.com, pyrexmuzik.com, wordofsouth.com, ink-drop.net, greenhitz.com, tindeck.com, iseepassem-sav.blogspot.com, hiphopup, hiphopmixtape.org, lyrical accountant, CanHipHop and more.
Today on GaptoothDiva radio we have something special for you. Not only is the team ready and prepared with a guest that will have you on the right path to get your money right. We also have some super inspiration for you up and coming artist. Tune in because you know we always have a crazy time on GaptoothDiva radio
The entire purpose of the book is to demonstrate exactly how you are already empowered to deal with the financial corporate bullies you run into daily.
Harris Glasser’s philosophy is to “Serve The People” by both educating and showing you exactly how you can defend yourself successfully against the abuses of corporate bullies in their attempt to take your money.
The book itself guides the reader with actual numbered steps to follow with true stories of those that followed it and got their desired results, The free monthly “Updates” give you actual ways to spend less on the things that you currently spend your money on and the result is holding onto more of your hard earned money.
Check out our guest Harris Glasser at http://www.claimfinancialhealth.com/
Born in Fayetteville, NC, Q Baby, a very diverse HipHop /Pop /Alternative Rock artist, started rapping at the age of 14. With influences like; Lil Wayne, Drake, Jay-Z, Green Day, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, she was definitely destine to have her own distinct sound. After moving from the small town of Statesville, NC in 2004 on a basketball scholarship to Southeastern Louisiana University, she started performing at talent shows and venues in order to horn her craft. Due to her non-stop dedication and total commitment, by the age of 19, she became an experienced performer in Baton Rouge, LA. In 2005, she excelled in her career after she started opening for well-known artists such as C-Loc, Kevin Gates, Gotty Boi Chris and Sissy Noby.
Victimized by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and unforeseen family matters, she later moved back to North Carolina. In March 2010, after being selected to open for Young Money’s recording artist, Nicki Minaj at Visions Nightclub in SC (which Nicki cancelled, and Q Baby being the professional that she is, performed anyway), it drastically changed her career. As a female rapper, it was that life changing professional event that unleashed her electric guitar thumping “Persona of a Rock Star” monster into the music industry who shell rock your soul forevermore.
Check her out at www.mamyworld.com/qbaby
Tonight it’s going down on GaptoothDiva Radio. We are talking and discussing the music industry’s high and lows with former Bad Boy recording artist and songwriter, Mark Curry. Mark Curry is the author of Dancing with the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop and we have read the book and are fully aware of the trials and tribulations Mark Curry has endured. Now he is with us this evening because he has an updated version of the book and he is also selling an e-book version of it as well. Listen in as he talks about his journey of being an artist to being an author.
Watch this video bio of his Movement:
Houston, TX – Hip hop’s favorite international dancing diva certainly takes dancing with the stars to a new level … and location! Choreographer Lauren N. Outlaw just recently wrapped her third series for one of Europe’s hottest reality shows, “Star Akademi” filming in Istanbul, Turkey. Displaying the hottest moves to a viewing audience of millions more than eager to watch, Outlaw has creatively positioned herself as the face of hip hop dance overseas!
With this season of “Star Akademi,” Outlaw’s talent is now cemented across 35 countries, including Spain, Italy, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada. A production of Endemol, one of the world’s largest production houses (known for their hits such as “Deal or No Deal,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and “Fear Factor”) “Star Akademi” is a mainstay of European television, much like “American Idol” in the United States.
For the show, Lauren served as not only choreographer but also as dance teacher, holding daily classes in movement, staging and performance for the show’s contestants. Her added duties entailed concept and choreography for all the live weekly performances in addition to on-camera appearances. Just imagine the challenge of teaching complicated hip hop routines to students who barely speak English. Yet Lauren has continued to remain undaunted. Her winning spirit has catapulted her to success.
“To have the opportunity to return to Europe and film one of the most popular reality series there has been beyond amazing. The interaction with the production company, the contestants and the fans has been simply overwhelming. The love for all things hip hop is so gratifying to experience. My dance techniques have been embraced and appreciated beyond measure. I’m excited to return home and continue to spread the love with several new endeavors I have planned!”
A Tampa, Florida native, now residing in Houston, TX, Outlaw has been dancing since the age of six, having studied and trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, tumbling and cheerleading. Outlaw attended Fayetteville State University initially, completing her studies at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Psychology and Dance. While attending UCF, she owned and operated her own studio, Butterfly Danzers, Inc. a dance company that provided over 300 underprivileged youth with professional level dance classes at affordable prices. A brief stay in New York garnered her certification at the Hip Hop Dance Conservatory & Broadway Dance Center.
Now back home in the states, Outlaw is looking forward to choreographing more artist’s videos, shows and tours and even tackling commercial and film ventures. She also plans to release an exercise dance video that allows participants of any age to benefit from a maximized workout while having fun. In addition, Outlaw will continue to teach and consult high school, college and professional dance teams, as well as judge dance and cheerleading competitions nationwide.
As “Star Akademi” continues to play across screens throughout Europe, Outlaw will continue to serve as a reminder of the universal power of performance art, spreading the legacy of hip hop, a culture that knows no boundaries. A true entertainer, Lauren N. Outlaw is indeed a dancing star! Check out her grooves at http://www.mzoutlaw.com .
I was wondering if they were any media personalities out there who like me, wants people to see the positive in everything. Maybe they touch on the gossip a little, but it’s only to teach a valuable lesson, not trash anyone or their life. Well, I think I found that someone in Lewis Marklin Mash. Lewis Marklin Mash is a former host of weekly comedy sketch program, ADHDtv, and current host of Icon News.
Icon News is a news biography show featuring celebrity’s passions for humanity and the causes they are involved in. Lewis utilizes the modern gift of Skype and therefore is able to conduct interviews in the comfort of the celeb’s place of choice; be it home, studio or their favorite restaurant. Via this media, the celebrities are able to be themselves and with Lew’s sheer talent of making them at ease, they are able to open up and show their true personality.
Lew’s vision is to highlight celebrity’s passions while giving us a window into their day-to-day life and most importantly, inform us of their humanitarian efforts. Whatever their cause, Lew is able to get at the heart of their efforts. It’s a show with substance, compassion and an entertainment edge.
Icon News will be debuting this fall on Dish Network as well as other cable networks including Tuff TV, America One Network, select CBS stations in larger cities and some other networks soon to be named!
For more information on Mash go to www.atomiclawn.com