Page 1

S O G MI THE C R E AT I V E ISSUE

39 Issue 39

1


MA1 Bomber $60

#WEAREUSA

1

MAGAZINE

T W E N T Y F O U R

|

S E V E N

|

S T Y L E

Issue 39

3


TAB

“91 /100” - WI NE E NTHUS I A ST

“DANGEROUSLY EASY TO DRINK... THREE OF US ALMOST FINISHED THE BOTTLE IN ONE SITTING; THAT’S HOW DELICIOUS IT WAS” - Cra f te d M a g azine

“COMPULSIVELY DELICIOUS” - T H E POUR F O O L


Issue 39

5


CONTENTS

TAKEOFF: jacket OFF WHITE top YRN CLOTHING pants YRN CLOTHING shades CAZAL

11

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

12

CONTRIBUTORS

14

IT’S ME, IT’S YOU, IT’S BLEU

16

THE 20 DO IT FOR THE GRAM

18

GADGETS CREATIVE CREATIONS

20

CAR A CAR STRAIGHT OUT OF THE FUTURE

22

TREND AVE

28

BODY

30

GROOMING

32

FUEL

38

TRAVEL

42

6

MAGAZINE

HIGH ART THE FANTASTIC FOUR THE ART OF LAYERING SCENTS ABG MEET ME IN #OKC

FEATURE MR. HOLLYWOOD AND THE GREAT DANCE TO LEGEND

QUAVO: jacket OFF WHITE top YRN CLOTHING pants BALMAIN belt VERSACE shades CAZAL


BLEUMAGAZINE.COM @BLEUMAGAZINE

FA S H I O N | H E A LT H | C U LT U R E ENTERTAINMENT | ART


TAB

CONTENTS 46

THE CREATIVES ARTIST NGUYEN SMITH: POLITICS THROUGH ART

52

FEATURE SCOTT MICHAEL FOSTER SAILS BACK INTO PRIMETIME / THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS

56

OP-ED BETH COHEN SAYS DROP THE ACT

66

FEATURE K CAMP CAPTIVATES A NEW SET OF LISTENERS

68

FASHION YOU’RE NOT INVITED

76

FEATURE TAKING TELEVISION BY STORM

80

THE HUMANS

86

FASHION ALL ABOUT THE HAT

92

SCORE FROM A BOSTON NATIVE TO PLAYING IN NEW YORK

94

FEATURE GET UP & DANCE

97

ICON LAURYN HILL

98

STOCKLIST

MIGOS | 58 RECOGNITION OVER FAME

shirt YRN pants YRN shades CAZAL

8

MAGAZINE


WE FOCUS ON HIV TO HELP YOU FOCUS ON

TODAY

Ask your doctor if a medicine made by Gilead is right for you.

onepillchoices.com © 2015 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. UNBC1839 03/15

Issue 39

Issue 38

9

1


MASTHEAD

On the cover MIGOS words ANGEL L. QUILES JR. photography DORIAN “SCOTTIE” fashion MICKEY ELLIS & RONI FRANCOIS TAKEOFF: sweater KENZO pants YRN CLOTHING shoe MAISON MARTIN MARCIELA shades FENDI QUAVO: jacket TOPMAN top YRN CLOTHING pants BALMAIN shoe TIMBERLAND shades FENDI

TEAM BLEU

THE BLEULIFE GROUP CHAIRMAN, CEO & PRESIDENT

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR ART & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER COPY EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGN FASHION EDITOR EUROPE FASHION EDITOR OFFICE COORDINATOR DESIGN ASSISTANT JR. COPY EDITOR

DÉVON CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON CARLTON BROWN ERICA VAIN ANDREW HORTON DOMINIC BIELAK RONÇOIS SEAN AZEEZ GARY DICKSON JESSICA GUSMEROTTI LARRYSE BROWN

EDITORIAL TEAM RAYMOND MORA KISHON SPRINGER DORIELLE JACKSON

DÉVON CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON

AD SALES

RIVERNDELL MEDIA 908.232.2021

TODD EVANS

ROBYN NISSIM

SALES & MARKETING LEAD 818.427.0873 ROBYN@BLEULIFE.COM

AKEEM MARTIN

SALES & MARKETING COORDINATOR 318.458.7200 AKEEM@BLEULIFE.COM

EDRIC ROBINSON YISREAL RICHARDSON BRIAN CAMACHO DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION SHAUNTAY PITTS KEENAN ALVES BRYANT LAW CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

GROOMING SPORTS COPY FITNESS FOOD & DINING ALCOHOL & SPIRITS

RANDY REED ANGEL QUILES LARRYSE BROWN JOE MORRIS CLIFFORD HUNT II ADONIS FRANK

FASHION EDITORS-AT-LARGE EDITOR-AT-LARGE CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

APUJE KALU, ALISHA CRUTCHFIELD LENOX MAGEE ANDRE JACKSON, DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS CYLE SUEZ, TERRANCE MIELE, ESTHER NEFF, DEREK BLANKS, DORIAN “SCOTTIE”, ANDREW PRISE FOR AQUASTONETHRONE, SAM ZACHRICH, VINCENT DOLMAN

BOMBSHELL TEAM

EBONY ALLISON, GLAMO, TANYKA RENEE, CATAANDA J, LONDON BURNS, MATIA PEEBLES, CORINNE CUTTINO, CHRYSTAL MILLER

INTERNS

GLADYS MEDAGALIA, AIESHA BROWN, CAMERON KING, GEO DAVIS

INTEGRATED BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

KIM J. FORD BRAND WHISPERER 973.580.4476 KFORD@BRAND-WHISPERER.COM

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

RANNON HARRIS (CHICAGO - MIDWEST)

LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS

THOMAS J. WILSON, ESQ.

NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION INGRAM CONTENT GROUP INC. 1 INGRAM BLVD. LA VERGNE, TN 37086 PHONE: 615.793.5000 SUBMISSIONS BLEU MAGAZINE 500 7TH AV, 17TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10018 INFO@BLEULIFE.COM

Bleulife Media & Entertainment Inc. | 119 West 24th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011 | E-Mail: info@bleulife.com | Online: bleulife.com Printed in Canada. Opinions expressed by advertisers, columnists, feature writers or other contributors are not necessarily the opinions of Bleu Magazine or its staff. All advertisements, photographs, text or illustrations are published with the understanding that the advertisers are fully authorized to have secured proper consent for the use thereof. Bleu Magazine shall not be held responsible for any errors, loss, expense or liabilities on advertisements accepted after the deadline. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or advertisement in Bleu Magazine is not to be constructed as an indication of sexual orientation of such persons, advertiser or organization. Partial or complete reproduction of an advertisement, news article, feature or photograph from Bleu Magazine is strictly prohibited as Bleu Magazine is a registered trademark. A $25 or 1.5% (whichever is greater) fee will be charged for all NSF checks. All rights reserved.

10

MAGAZINE


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Decisions have to be made. We always wish to make the right choices. However, we are all human and mistakes do happen. The only thing that can be done is preparation for whatever outcome your decisions yield. Regret is not an option. Disappointment; yes. Embarrassment; sometimes. Anger; maybe. But, absolutely no regrets. A little over a year ago we at BleuLife Media decided to take a few bold steps. First, we moved our offices into a more creative environment surrounded by tech startups. We needed to change the DNA of our business practices. Publishing is in a challenging space and many legacy brands are disappearing. So how do we stay relevant? By organically evolving with the new technology created everyday. We placed ourselves in a bullpen with cool companies whose founders weren’t even in high school when we started this brand. Second, we allowed anyone to give us feedback--from friends to former employees. We took no offence to what they said and considered all suggestions. Third, we changed the logo of our flagship brand, the one you are reading now, BLEU Magazine. Turns out you loved it! Even if you didn’t, we were okay with that. This is a partnership between you the consumer and we the medium. It is our mission to give you all things cool and fashionable. We make no apologies for wanting to please you. We never wanted to be like any other media brand. So, let me explain how we ended up with Migos on the cover: The truth is, I was very hesitant in the beginning. Then the creative team filled me in on why their fans love them. I couldn’t ignore their accomplishments and fan base while they shrewedly remained INDEPENDENT. They had No major record label paying radio to play their tracks. No huge PR machine trying to spin the press. Yes, there’s plenty of negative press out there about them. Guilty or not, the talent and business savvy is there.

Yolanda Adams “I’m Gonna Be Ready” I say a prayer every night, whatever I do, I’ll get it right. With no regret, no guilt or shame this time, no not this time. Once I surrender, I won’t dare look back, cause if I do, I’ll get off track. Move ahead in faith, and patiently await your answer, what will it be. Sight beyond what I see. You know what’s best for me. Prepare my mind, prepare my heart. For whatever comes, I’m gon’ be ready.

We spent the day with two members of one of today’s most popular trios in music. Open the windows, pick up some Visine, slide on your Versace, and enjoy your latest installment of BLEU.

Issue 39

11


CONTRIBUTORS

Raymond Eugenio

Cyle Suesz

Jessica Gusmerotti

Ray is a creative professional, a visual storyteller and a public speaker. Through his work, he tells stories whether he’s using photos, film, social media or a stage as his medium to communicate. Three years ago, Raymond made the move to New York from San Jose, California. Through his journey in the big city, he’s learned plenty of lessons but the best one he can share is this: “No matter what you decide to pour your full self into, go at it 100%. You won’t know that what you’re doing is what you’re meant to do until you fully commit. But who am I to speak? I’m just a California transplant that loves to tell stories.”

Suesz is a New York City-based fashion, nightlife and commercial photographer whose nightlife work has been highlighted by the underground community. While working commercially during the day, he always makes time to keep his eye exercised by shooting creative work in his spare time. Cyle was trained professionally at the Art Institute of Charleston where he earned his BFA in Photographic Imaging.

Gusmerotti is a budding graphic artist currently living in Brooklyn, hailing from Rochester, New York. Jessica has a passion for many creative outlets and spends her free time writing, designing and exploring the newest artists in the music scene. Both her artwork and writing have been featured in BLEU Magazine as well as by New York start-up AptDeco. Recently, she earned her Associate’s degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and plans on pursuing a degree in their Advertising Design program next.

Lenox Magee

Do r i a n “ S c o t t i e ”

Gary Dickson

Dorian is a full time student and photographer based out of Greensboro, NC. He’s a junior at North Carolina A&T pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication Systems with a concentration in Media Design. The visual arts and photography are his passions. As a creative visionary, Scotty aspires to work full time in entertainment and advertising. His biggest inspirations in the realm of photography are Russell James, Terry Richardson, and Mario Testino.

Dickinson is an aspiring barber who is making waves in the media industry through the media scenery. He is originally from Schenectady, New York. After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in communications he decided to take a leap of faith to move to the Big Apple. After two short years of making his footprints in New York City, he is proud to say his decision to pursue his career in media has yet to fail him. BLEU has given him the opportunity and the platform to excel and for that he is forever grateful.

@rayma zing

@l enoxma g ee

Known affectionately by his friends as Lex, Lenox Magee is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he majored in journalism. The former Editor-in-Chief for 360 Magazine, a national fashion/lifestyle/culture/ music magazine, and former Arts & Entertainment Editor for N’Digo, is currently the Editor-at-Large for Bleu Magazine, a national LGBT publication, freelance journalist/ columnist for RedEye Newspaper in Chicago and currently a freelance writer for many national outlets. Lex worked as a radio cohost/producer for Windy City Radio, was a part of the Windy City Media Group and has done work for WVON and WBEZ - Chicago Public Radio. 12

MAGAZINE

@ cy le sue s z

@ in t h e e ye s o fs c o t t i e

@ j e s s g us m e r o t t i

@ M r. S m o o t h12


Issue 39

13

Issue 38

1


IT’S ME, IT’S YOU, IT’S BLEU

Nile Rodgers Honored With BMI Icon Award at the 2015 BMI R&B/HipHop Awards Broadcast Music, Inc.®, (BMI®), the global leader in music rights management, presented the BMI Icon Award to GRAMMY-winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger and guitarist, Nile Rodgers, at the 2015 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards. The star-studded event celebrates the songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs of the previous year.

Saban Theatre In Beverly Hills

1

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

2

3

4

August 28th, 2015

(1) Universal Music Publishing Group accepts the BMI Publisher of the Year award from BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Writer/ Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton (2) BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill (L) and recording artist Snoop Dogg (3) Recording artist Rick Ross (4) Recording artist B.o.B (5) Recording artist Justine Skye (6) 2015 BMI Icon Award recipient Nile Rodgers autographs signage during the 2015 BMI R&B/HipHop Awards (7) Recording artist Sevyn Streeter (8) Recording artist Tyrese (9) (L-R) Recording artist DJ Mustard, BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill 2015 BMI Icon Award recipient Nile Rodgers and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton (10) Recording artist RJ, DJ Mustard and recording artist Choice

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

5

6

7

8

9

10

Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

14

MAGAZINE

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI

Lester Cohen/Frazer Harrison-Getty Images for BMI


2

1

Photo by Jean Merine

10th Anniversary Lincoln Park Music Festival Bleu Magazine Official Media Partner

Photo by Tony Alvarez

4

3

Photo by Jean Merine

Photo by Tony Alvarez

5

6

BLEU Magazine was in the house as Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District marked the 10th Anniversary of the Lincoln Park Music Festival. They pulled out all the stops to ensure the public enjoyed the annual celebration of spirit and dance. In July, the Lincoln Park Music Festival took over the city of Newark, New Jersey with a blitz of events leading up to this free 3-day music experience. Check out some of the pics!

Carrino Provisions, Jersey City, New Jersey

July 21st, 2015

Photo by Tony Graves

Photo by Tony Graves

7

Photo by Jean Merine

8

(1) Sebastian Mikael performs (2) Syleena Johnson from TV One’s R&B Divas (3) Anthon Smith, executive director, Lincoln Park Music Festival with Sebastian Mikael and Kitab Rollins (4) DJ Kyle rocking the house (5) Rémy Martin, official spirits partner of the BLEU Magazine hosted Jazzy Soul Series event starring Sebastian Mikael as he debuted his BLEU Magazine cover (6) Jeff Brown, market manager, Northern New Jersey, Rémy Cointreau USA, Inc. and Anthony Smith, executive director (7) Kitab Rollins of NJPAC and “Kitab’s Kitchen” with team Rémy Martin (8) Kim J. Ford, president & ceo of Brand Whisperer Marketing with Sebastian Mikael and Gary Dickson, Bleu Life Media (9) Make Noise Recordings’ Vivian Green performing her chart breaking hit “Get Right Back To My Baby” from her latest album Vivid (10) The incomparable V. Bozeman of Fox’s hit TV show Empire slays the 10th Anniversary Lincoln Park Music Festival Jazzy Soul Series grand finale (11) 211 Media Group on the roof

Photo by Jean Merine

11

9

Photo by Derrick Seawright

10

Photo by Tony Graves

Photo by Tony Alvarez

Issue 39

15


O

O IT F R T E

M A R G

H

D

THE 20

We all look at Instagram for inspiration and sometimes we need that little push to be more creative. Our staff scoured instagram for users they found both inspiring and aspirational. The people featured live their lives through their passions which include graffiti art, fashion design, clean eating and other various creative outlets. We all need to be inspired and motivated to get out there and take over the world. These creatives do just that. Just do it for the GRAM one time!

@TAN CA M E R A / Visual Artist 61.8K Followers

@O HSHI TSA D / Tattoo Artist 197K Followers

@MI IGHTY / Designer 16

MAGAZINE

@N ATE .CA RT Y / Model 8903K Followers

@CHE TTI _ O F F I CA L / Singer 1556K Followers

4587K Followers

@ W I S H 4 C E S / Graffiti Artist 71.8K Followers

@ C O R E YWAS H / Fashion Artist 7176K Followers

@ S E A N F R O M T E X AS / Tattoo Artist 118K Followers


196K Followers

32.2K Followers

@ FA I R CLOTH_SU P P LY

@ SP E NCE R D L E E / Artist 27.1K Followers

@EXIT21_MUSIC / Singers

@ HOW NO SM / Artists

@ STE P HA NE THA K I D 225K Followers

248K Followers @ O NE HU NG RY M A M I / Health 63.5K Followers

113K Followers @SUETSA I / Artist

20.3K Followers

@ B I Z R O N E / Artist

@ N AT UREL / Artist 88K Followers

4738K Followers

186K Followers

@ M O R GA N DAV I DS O N / Artist

@HOMME BOYCO / Fashion

@SNAPSONF IRE / Fashion 28.7K Followers

Issue 39

17


TAB

CREATIVE CREATIONS WORDS BY JESSICA GUSMEROTTI

Creatives come in many forms. Artists, writers, dancers, singers, actors…the list goes on. Although creativity may come from our imagination, certain tools--a ballet dancer’s pointe shoe or a painter’s brush--help us to connect the mind to the canvas. Whatever the canvas, these gadgets are meant to not only ease, but to enhance the creative’s process.

SMART NOTEBOOK CC CONNECTED The creative process is condensed into simple steps with the Smart Notebook CC. Hand-drawn sketches are instantly turned into fully workable digital files. When drawing on the notebook’s pages, users directly connect to the Adobe Creative Cloud app. Drawings are turned into jpg files and eventually converted into SVG files. The 5”x8 ¼” book itself is a hard cover with rounded corners, a red bookmark ribbon and ivory colored, acid free paper. $32.95

ARTIPHON INSTRUMENT 1 ZUTA LABS FIRST MINI ROBOT PRINTER Zuta Labs has created the first Mini Robotic Printer. It is outfitted for dayto-day life with a rechargeable battery and the ability to connect directly to smartphones and PCs via WiFi. Because of its mechanical design, the user is not limited to a specific paper size. This portable printer is a modest 10.2cm in diameter and 7.5cm in height, weighing in at 350 grams. Cartridges last around 100+ pages and it prints at a speed of 1 to 1.2 pages per minute. $199.00

The Artiphon Instrument 1 allows anyone to create an array of music with instruments and affects anywhere in the world. It allows you to take your music app capability to the extreme by putting the control into your hands and go far beyond the touchscreen. It has the capability to transform its usage from the guitar to piano to drums and even to the violin. The Instrument 1 is also fully MIDI-compatible, working with hundreds of apps including Garageband, ThumbJam, SampleTank and Animoog. The Instrument 1 connects to any Mac or PC via USB for software control. Preorder

18

MAGAZINE

THE LEVEL The Level is a work platform that elicits subtle, constant movement below the feet to increase the user’s range of motion and heart rate. This keeps both the heart and brain active, letting creative energy flow easily. With a forward-thinking physical design and inner mechanics, it offers both fitness and health benefits. The Level also uses all eco-conscious material in the fabrication process, making it GREENGAURD certified, making the Level a functionally, aesthetically, and environmentally conscious product. $289+


FUJIFILM X100T The FujiFilm X100T puts the entire control of creating quality pictures into the hands of the photographer. FujiFilm is armored with the advanced technology of the world’s first electronic rangefinder, a high-quality fusion of optics and electronics, and film style simulations. The FujiFilm still manages to give the photographer all the control of a traditional camera by using dials that allow users to see settings at a first glance, even if the camera is off. This intuitive and easyto-use camera is great for beginner and professional photographers. $1,299.00

SAMSUNG GEAR VR INNOVATOR EDITION FOR NOTE4 Ever dream of being transported to an entire new world? Whether it’s in a videogame or imaginative images, the Samsung Gear VR Innovator can take you there. This virtual-reality experience offers 360 degree panoramic views with easy to touch controls. Navigate through a virtual world and select content with a combination of head movement and touch controls. Games and applications are available via the Oculus VR App Store. The Gear VR Innovator is compatible with Samsung Galaxy Note 4. $199.99

PINNACLE STUDIO

NEW MATTER 3D PRINTING

Owned by Corel, the Pinnacle Studio 2.0 lets users do basic editing as well as advanced enhancing to their photos and videos. It offers voice recording, titles, transitioning and sound effects. Users can arrange and edit to their liking. Pinnacle Studio also gives users the option to save their creations to a local video file or allows users to directly upload to Facebook, Youtube, Box and Vimeo.

The New Matter 3D Printer dubs itself as “the most user-friendly printer ever.” Simplicity is key with the New Matter, as seen in its modest design, low-maintenance and high consistent 3D printing. The New Matters 3D printer helps you to create your masterpiece with fused-filament fabrication that uses a nozzle diameter of .4mm. Sizing in at 383mm x 340mm x 295mm, any house, apartment or room has the space for this innovative printer.

$7.99

$399.00

Issue 39

19


CAR

WORDS BY GARY DICKSON

the 2015

LAMBORGHINI HURACAN LP610-4

The new 10 cylinder, Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 is making its way to the public’s eye. With a redefined image, kick a** V10 engine and comfortable interior, there is no way you wouldn’t want to make this automobile your “baby.” Just imagine yourself with a firm grip behind the wheel, accelerating at 202 mph through curvy slopes. This supercar is capable of reaching 65 mph easily in 3.2 seconds. Now that’s exciting! We expect all Lamborghini’s to have a bit of “muscle” behind its magnificent appearance, but what we don’t expect is its slippery windshield designed to repel bugs from the front glass completely. Many understand the feeling of leaving a car lot with a brand new car, but only a few will understand how it feels to leave with the Huracan. So choose wisely…the LP610 speaks for itself!

Price: $265,880 Engine: 5.2L V10 Horse Power : 602 HP Top Speed: 202 mph Tires & Wheels: Steering - Electromechanical power steering, optional LDS steering with variable ratio Front tires - Pirelli 245/30 R20 Rear tires - Pirelli 305/30 R20 Front wheels - 8.5J x, 20’’ Rear wheels - 11J x 20’’

Safety & Braking: Brakes - Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system with vacuum brake servo unit, six-piston calipers at the front, four-piston calipers at the rear Air Bag - Full-size dual-stage front airbags, full-size lateral airbags Exterior: Frame – Made from hybrid aluminum and carbon fiber Body - Aluminum and composite outer skin Mirrors - Electrically controlled to one’s preference


turtleneck PLAC bag PIKOLINOS coat LACOSTE

22

MAGAZINE


TREND AVE

HIGH ART DonChristian discusses his sensitivities while wearing the season’s key topper photographer CYLE SUESZ fashion editor ANDRE JACKSON model DONCHRISTIAN

D

onChristian Jones is an artist and he’s sensitive about his shit. This was his destiny from birth. The signs? 1.) His name is DonChristian 2.) His uncle is a Soul-singing legend from the 1970s. And now, when he’s not trekking to Uptown Manhattan from his Brooklyn apartment for our photoshoot, Jones finds himself either painting murals, producing music, managing Camp & Street artists or working on his own debut, full-length LP due out next year. “I am [sensitive] towards the fact that my art is very emotionally driven and time sensitive,” Jones says. “So often I feel the pressure of time and wanting to have something be representative of that moment in time and that feeling. So I’m sensitive to hoping that I convey what I truly mean.” Take his upcoming art exhibition with longterm collaborator and friend Sean Theodore. The project will see the 25-year-old delving into the rapidly gentrifying Black street vendor culture and the erasure happening there via his own graphic text-based murals all hosted at Philedelphia’s Painted Bride Art Center beginning December 4.

my art is very emotionally driven and time sensitive

For the purposes of our shoot, Jones means to drive home this season’s return of the turtleneck. Whether worn as a statement piece like PLAC’s fuzzy white boucle rollneck (www.PLAC-official. com) or as a shirt and tie substitute such as Perry Ellis’s sleek merino version (www.PerryEllis.com), it’s an enduring wardrobe addition. When you go to find one of your own, make sure to consider a blue version, as true as Lacoste’s cable stitch sweater (www.Lacoste.com). Definitely grab a version that, when unrolled, reaches your neck like Oliver Spencer’s oatmeal colored donegal style (www.OliverSpencer.co.uk). From there, bunch it down and fold it neatly because it’s the wearer’s choice. And at the end of the day, style is your path to forge.

Issue 39

23


TAB

turtleneck PERRY ELLIS suit CALVIN KLEIN coat COACH

24

MAGAZINE


turtleneck LACOSTE beanie PERRY ELLIS jacket THE ARRIVALS trouser MATIERE shoes PIKOLINOS

Issue 39

25


TAB

turtleneck OLIVER SPENCER jacket OLIVER SPENCER pants CULT OF INDIVIDUALITY

26

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

27


u

BODY

THE FANTAsTiC FOUR WORDS BY KEENAN ALVES

FOUR EXERCISES FOR THE OVERALL PHYSIQUE AND STRENGTH. We’ve all been to the gym on those days when it is super crowded. We think that it would be impossible to get a “good” workout with, what seems like, all the equipment being utilizied. We asked our video guru, Keenan Alves, to come up with a possible solution to this problem. He recommends picking one machine and maximizing its use. Here we spend 45-minutes with him. Follow along and stop complaining about crowds.

1

o CHEST PRESS The chest press uses a lot of muscles in the upperbody but mainly works the chest and triceps. These push muscles can be very helpful in situations outside of the gym.

28

MAGAZINE


2

q DEADLIFT One of the most effective fat burning exercises is the deadlift. Although you are mostly using your hips and hamstrings, you recruit the use of all of your muscles in the deadlift. It also corrects your posture and improves your cardiovascular endurance when performing more than 10 reps.

G

3

BACK SQUAT This is one of the main exercises in building overall strength and body definition. The back squat is one of the best exercises (besides the deadlift) which pushes testosterone throughout the whole body thus enabling you to see change faster. Women should not let the word testosterone scare them. Men and women both have testosterone, but just have different levels. So no one should be scared to touch the weight, because weighted squats will not make you bulky. Instead, it will help you to cut down on body fat percentage and promote weight loss at a notable rate.

4

0 OVERHEAD PRESS This exercise helps you to work on shoulder strength, definition, and roundness. This exercise is good for many athletes who use there shoulders a lot in physical activities, such as boxing and basketball.

Issue 39

29


THE

ART OF

L AY E R I N G SCENTS words RANDY REED photography TERRENCE MIELE props LIFE VINTAGE AND THRIFT

Layering scents doesn’t have to be complicated. It is important to choose a scent that is compatible with others and that will keep you fresh throughout the day. Simplify by preparing yourself for changing temperatures and updating your grooming arsenal for the months ahead. Check out these fragrances that will work for you rather than against you.

30

MAGAZINE


Molton Brown

The Art of Shaving

Black Peppercorn Body Wash $30 Made in England

Ocean Kelp Pre-Shave Gel $25 Made in the USA

This warm, aromatic fragrance leaves your skin thoroughly clean. The masculine, spicy scent will add some pep into your normal grooming routine. Made with Madagascan black peppercorn oil, coriander and basil, it will help improve the skin’s texture while keeping it moisturized.

This water-based gel is lightly scented and refreshing. It works well with electric clippers and helps protect against razor burn. Consisting of marine extract and essential oils, it allows for a close and comfortable shaving experience without leaving any residue.

moltonbrown.com

Jack Black

Epic Moisture™ Extra Rich Hydrator $32 Made in the USA An invigorating scent that will lift your senses with ingredients such as organic green tea, omega 6, coffee seed oil, Shea and Capuacu butters. This lightweight body lotion nourishes the skin and provides continuous hydration thorough out the day. getjackblack.com

theartofshaving.com

Avere La Barba Rugiada Beard Oil $55 Made in Italy

Inspired by all things nature, this subtle, refreshing scent is not overpowering and is perfect for any occasion. This concoction is made with radicchio, argan and sunflower oils, which help add moisture to, protect and soothe the skin. This formula will strengthen the hair and make your beard look and feel radiant. averelabarba.it

Issue 39

31


FUEL

A B G

words by Cliff Hunt of Culinary Cliff, LLC cocktail recipes & images courtesy of mixologist Adonis Frank

F

all into the real flavors of the season with these warm, spicy, seasonal tastes for your tongue. As you get ready to bundle up for the brisk breeze, sip your hot spiced drinks in the morning, or layer your fashionable piece for a night in the city, make sure to swing by your local eatery or supermarket to include these delectables in your regimen of foodie prowess! Right now is the perfect time to include {A}pple, {B}ourbon (yes, the good brown) and {G}inger into your menu! Fuel up with a fun {G}inger carrot cake that kicks up your normal bore of a classic dessert. Let’s just say--the islanders of Dominica teach it best--It’s a showstopper and you don’t need a mixer. (Who has time for all of that, right?) Dive right into a fun dish--courtesy of the trusted Food Network--of a honey mustard and {A}pple chicken recipe. A pretty simple recipe with hearty ingredients for flavor that will surely leave a lingering sweet smell of apples in your home and heart. Hopefully it’ll also provide plenty of leftovers for you to enjoy with friends and cocktails. Oh, and we can’t forget the {B}ourbon! Here’s the fun part: Make or find drinks that include both the {A} and {G} of the season. Listen, bourbon with apples and/or ginger work together like your favorite singing duo or a tie with your best suit. Don’t worry if you need help--our mixologist, Adonis, has crafted some nice libations for you to sip into the season. And remember to live right and eat well!

* Ingredients

H O N E Y M U S TA R D CHICKEN AND APPLES

•8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (2 to 2 and 1/2 pounds) •Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper •2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil •1 large onion, cut into large chunks •2 cooking apples (such as Cortland), cut into chunks •1 cup low-sodium chicken broth •2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard

Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, then transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Add the onion and apples to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Mix the broth with the mustard, then add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, in the skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast until 32

MAGAZINE

the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Mix the butter and flour to form a paste. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken, apples and onion to plates. Bring the pan juices to a simmer, whisk in about half of the butter-flour mixture and boil to thicken, 2 minutes. Continue to cook, adding more of the butter-flour mixture as needed to make a slightly thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/honey-mustard-chicken-and-apples-recipe.html?oc=linkback

*

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos of Food Network


BOURBON GINGER BLISS Ingredients

•2 oz Bourbon (or Whiskey of choice) •0.5 oz Cointreau •1 oz Agave Nectar •Freshly -squeezed ginger lemonade •Splash of pineapple juice Shake & serve over rocks with a ground nutmeg & pineapple leaf garnish.

GINGER CARROT CAKE Ingredients •1 and1/2 cup sugar •3 cups all purpose flour •1/4 cup freshly grated ginger (not powdered!) •2 teaspoons baking powder •1 teaspoon baking soda •2 teaspoons salt •1 tablespoon vanilla •1 teaspoon cinnamon •1/2 teaspoon nutmeg •4 eggs, beaten •3 cups peeled, grated carrots •1 and 1/2 cup vegetable oil •1/2 cup water

Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour or spray 2 8 inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy. (If using butter and flour, tap out the excess). Mix together flour, sugar, and spices in a large bowl. Add lightly beaten eggs and oil, grated carrots and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Pour batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven until cake tester or toothpick inserted in center is nearly clean when removed, approximately 25 minutes. Allow cake to cool, and then remove from pan and frost with cream cheese frosting. Or you can opt to place in a few slivers of candied ginger and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for garnish.

APPLE DANDY Ingredients

•2 oz Bourbon (or Whiskey of choice) •.5 oz Rosemary Simple syrup •.5 oz lemon juice •Cranberry Juice •float Grenadine •Splash mango nectar Shaken & served over rocks with diced apples & mint leaf garnish

Issue 39

33


TRAVEL

meet me in##okc WORDS BY LENOX MAGEE

O

H OKLAHOMA CITY OF WONDER! Set in

the cradle of the Great Plains, it’s home to professional basketball franchise Oklahoma City Thunder. Though never turning its back on its cowboy heritage, it has become more than a cow town, with a bustling city life and developing economic landscape. Often abbreviated OKC, Oklahoma City is geographically located in the center of the state and is the cultural and political capital of Oklahoma. The city will be forever memorialized as one of America’s landmarks of domestic terrorism—it is the location of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

OKC is the ideal spot for a weekend of fun and reflection. We must admit that we had our doubts about Oklahoma City symbolizing fun, trendy and hip. Boy, were we wrong! New construction in Oklahoma City has crowds stampeding once-abandoned warehouses that have now become beacons of entertainment and interest. These new districts boast restaurants, shops and nightlife spots. Discover the sights and sounds of the Old West in Stockyards City, get a massage and some love at Sole’renity Spa. Watch horse races at Remington Park, have dinner at Cattlemen’s (try their calf fries or lamb testicles), and culminate your evening in historic Bricktown.

#'

HERE S OUR GUIDE...

where to crash...

AMBASSADOR HOTEL 1200 N Walker Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73103 (405) 600-6200 Historically elegant yet completely modernized, the Ambassador is the city’s most unique new hotel. Experience luxury in Midtown Oklahoma City in this upscale art deco boutique hotel. Its stylish and spacious rooms offer a mixture of modern and traditional furnishings, as well as city views, marble-countered bathrooms, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, an outdoor pool and a rooftop bar and restaurant. No need to Uber around OKC because the Ambassador offers complimentary local transportation in a luxury car…Fancy, eh? The seven-story, U-shaped art deco building has retained its 1920s-era architecture and charm. With 54 abundantly laid out guest rooms and state-of-the-art amenities, this boutique hotel is a gem.

38

MAGAZINE


ARTESIAN HOTEL 1001 W 1st St. Sulphur, OK 73086 (855) 455-5255 This relaxing clean casino resort gives 100% great hospitality. Located about 45 minutes outside of OKC in Sulphur, Oklahoma, The Artesian is a oneof-a-kind hotel with a rich history and offers a distinctive hospitality experience for the discerning traveler. Built in 1906, this classy casino hotel is just outside Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It was a hotspot for celebrities, politicians and trendsetters until it was destroyed in a fire in 1962. The new Artesian restores one of the region’s most beloved hotels to its former glory. Offering plush rooms and suites that exude elegance and charm, with vintage-style furnishings, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. In addition to the casino, the hotel offers one of the best world-class spa facilities in Oklahoma (I’ll get into that later), an indoor/outdoor pool, and a fitness center. It also hosts trendy retail stores, a sleek restaurant and a bar/lounge. The hotel staff unapologetically pampers its guests and makes them feel like VIPs. The decor of the hotel is gorgeous, complete with a piano in the lobby and fresh flowers throughout; you’ll be sold just walking through the main entrance.

WHERE TO EAT

PACKARD’S NEW AMERICAN KITCHEN 201 NW 10th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73103 (405) 605-3771 One of Oklahoma City’s most exciting new restaurants, Packard’s is known for turning out modern variations of American staples, both from the kitchen and the bar. The Bloody Marys may be some of the best you’ll ever sip. Located in the historic Packard Dealership building, Packard’s New American Kitchen is immersed in the heritage of Oklahoma City’s historic Packard uilding. During the building process, the restaurant restored several elements of the original Packard Dealership which really brings the historical and cultural space to life. The menu is a modern take on classic American favorites using locally sourced ingredients and house-made breads. The Mac and Cheese, Sweet-Chile Glazed Salmon, Pork Chops served with Jalapeno-Cheddar Grits and the Filet served over a Red Wine-Balsamic Demi are to be indulged. Service is quick, prepared well and nicely presented.

Issue 39

39


KITCHEN NO. 324 324 N Robinson Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 763-5911 There is a certain brightness that welcomes you when you arrive in this seasonally inspired café. It’s a craft bakery and coffee curator all in one. Kitchen No. 324 is all about bringing OKC’s downtown neighborhood fresh choices and authentic hospitality. No. 324 is the actual address, but the story goes beyond its 1923 brick and limestone structure. It was once home to an airline company owned by sooner Paul R. Braniff. Rumor has it the aviation pioneer would buzz over his house daily just to let his wife know he was home for dinner. No. 324 shines with its abstract take on Fried Chicken Pot Pie, Short Rib Ragu Pappardelle Pasta served with Shishito Peppers and the hand carved Petite Filet. Although the plush cafe & bakery offers locally sourced sandwiches and desserts, the desserts truly satisfy. The No. 324 Chocolate Mousse is a group dessert served with fresh whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Other “must try-s” a slice of the Coconut Cream Pie, the Banana Brown Butter Cake and the Red Velvet Cookie. They will have to roll you out of there after you take your last bite.

WHERE TO TURN UP AND MEET A BOO

COPA 2200 NW 40th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73112 (405) 525-0730 Do your best twerking or Nae Nae at this vibrant gay club in OKC. The lively two-level dance club, part of the Habana Inn complex, is a fun and popular place for dancing, drinks and cute boys. The Copa host a variety of events, including amateur strip contests, drag shows and male dancers.

40

MAGAZINE


WHERE TO GET YOUR SPA ON UDANDER 131 Dean A McGee Ave., #105 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 605-0313 Udander is truly a place to exhale. From the front desk to the therapy room, everyone is kind and helpful. Udånder is a Scandinavian steam and sauna spa set in a downtown urban setting of OKC. The facility includes an aromatherapy steam room, a dry sauna, soaking tubs, a communal relaxation area, massages stations, three treatment rooms and a locker room with showers. Co-owner Andrea Mason’s friendly staff will not be the only reason you return. Its clean and relaxing ambiance fully lives up to the service rendered.

SOLE’RENITY SPA 1001 W 1st St. Sulphur, OK 73086 (580) 622-8128 The path to complete wellness begins here. Hands down, we’ve dubbed this one of the best spas in Oklahoma. Located in Sulphur, Oklahoma at the Artesian Hotel, Sole’renity offers a place where you can center the essence of your being. Owner Rhonda Mordecai and her staff connect with you on a personal and spiritual level. It’s a moving experience filled with laughter, tears and hugs. This spa provides restoration and healing to the mind, body,

spirit and soul through holistic and therapeutic treatment. It splendidly replenishes personal and family wellness, rejuvenates joy and satisfaction levels in life, and revitalizes well-being. And, Sole’renity’s facials and massages will take you to a pampered space that you haven’t been to before. If you want to unwind and rejuvenate your body, do so with an invigorating massage and a luxury facial or detox. You will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t stop by Sole’renity Spa. We can’t wait to come back here for another full day of wellness, pampering, love…and hugs.

WHERE TO BE A WINO THE RUSTY NAIL WINERY 218 W Muskogee Ave. Sulphur, OK 73086 (580) 622-8466 The Rusty Nail Winery is located in an exquisitely restored 19th century saloon-style building. Originally constructed in 1906, this former hardware store inspired the name of The Rusty Nail. Located in Sulphur, OK, The Rusty Nail produces privately labeled wines right on its premises...And they

are absolutely delicious. Each wine has a uniquely designed label named after a shoe, which features a rusty nail as the heel. Peep Toe, The Little Black Pump, Cinderella’s Slipper and Dorothy’s Ruby Red are crowd pleasers. The Rusty Nail continues to cultivate creative new wines that will make you feel like you’re in the capital of Wine Country. Make sure to stop by and raise a glass with friends, or enjoy a personal wine tasting brought to you by The Rusty Girls.

Issue 39

41


FEATURE

MR. HOLLYWOOD

AND THE

GREAT DANCE TO LEGEND WORDS BY YISRAEL RICHARDSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY QUEENA YAN

42

MAGAZINE


IT’S 4:00PM, A SUNNY SEPTEMBER DAY IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA AND THE ENERGY

of the city is as high as the sun that blazes over the metropolitan mayhem. The sticky, sweltering humid air--thick as nectar--brings the temperature to a high 88 degrees. Although the weather may be warm, it’s not as hot as the choreography taught by the industry’s go-to guy, Jose Hollywood. Known for working with fan favorites such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, the former dancer-turned-choreographer leads a master class full of dancers that can only hope to have a career like the New York-raised uptown ruler of the dance floor. Sultry hip-hop sounds of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” begin to play as ad-libs that sing, “You used to, you used” echo through the sound system. A bass as heavy as bricks falling from the sky ripples vibrations against hardwood floors. Beads of sweat boil above Hollywood’s brow, soaking the inner brim of his “I’m straight outta Dyckman” hat. Dressed in an amor of his adidas track suit and white t-shirt, the creative choreographer demonstrates a series of eight-counts, hitting every beat provoked by the very music growling at his innate senses. The laces of his retro Jordan’s (number elevens) slice through the air with every turn, galloping, doing a dance of their own. Living his dream and displaying what dedication and discipline can do, the elite visionary of dance says, “Hollywood takes the time” among other things.

Issue 39

43


44

MAGAZINE


What's your personal definition of dance? I define dance as the voice of the music through body movement. It is the soul’s rhythm. In detail, describe the most challenging factor in transitioning from dancer to choreographer. It wasn't challenging to me because I did them both equally and everyone knew it from the beginning..so it was fairly easy to COMMIT to [choreographing] full-time. How do you balance life, love, friendships and career? I balance all four by dedicating time to each of them. You could never be too busy for anything you make time for. You've worked with countless artist over the years. Which one has been your favorite thus far? Honestly, I would have to say Rihanna. She just has a special aura about her, not to say that the others don’t. But you simply feel it and see it when you're around her. Who haven't you worked with that you would love to work with in the future? Hands down, Jennifer Lopez. She's dope and I absolutely love her. I think I could help cultivate something wonderful with her. She's also a major inspiration to me.

Issue 39

45


artist

nguyen smith :politics through art People around the world express political issues in different ways. Some like to write articles. Some voice their opinions through broadcast media. Others communicate their messages through art. Artist Nyugen Smith, a high school teacher from St. Peter Prep, uses his personal experiences and travels to communicate his political opinions to the people of the world. words RAYMOND MORA photography ESTHER NEFF

46

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

47


48

MAGAZINE


“Ultimately, artists are the historians of their time; they tell their story about what’s going on.” Issue 39

49


B

orn in Trinidad, Smith lived most of his childhood with his younger brother, grandmother, aunt and two uncles. He describes his upbringing in the Caribbean as a regular childhood-- his family ate together, went to church and visited other points of interest in Trinidad. His grandmother worked at the University of West Indies as she simultaneously took responsibility for caring for her grandchildren and maintaining the home. A lot of Smith’s family were artists in differing ways. “A lot of people in my family were art markers. Many had carvings of wood--horses, birds and different things like that,” said Smith. “We’d often go into rooms across the Caribbean and find their hand carvings. Horses are really popular, I don’t know why. My uncle use to carve. My grandfather is a cabinet maker and a carpenter. Some of the furniture that we used he actually made--like the bed we slept on. Some of the furniture in the living room he made.” Though Smith didn’t really get into art seriously until he was in college, he remembers drawing stick figures. He drew so many of them and often showed them to his uncle. One day his uncle gave him the task of drawing an unfinished man. A transformation had occurred from that point on and he soon moved on to drawing other difficult pieces. “I don’t remember my first drawings or things like that, but I use to draw wrestlers,” Smith recollects. “I use to watch the WWF all the time and I use to draw my own wrestling characters. I was doing that for a while.” After he completed the beginning stages of his artistic development, he started to focus his artwork on the impact that colonialism had upon West Indians. He describes the creation of those pieces stemming from the psychological connections he has to

50

MAGAZINE


the culture--food, language and architecture--in these particular spaces. These spaces are affected by colonialism and Smith uses his art to describe them. His perspective--as he stated before--is based on bureaucracy in different countries and its citizens not respecting the rulers. “I think that my perspective is one that combines a lot of my personal interests such as bureaucracy,” said Smith. “What does it mean to govern a place? What does it mean to have to manage a space where the majority of the population is most likely not in accordance with you as the ruler or not in concert with the idea of being ruled. What does it mean for a people to be subjugated?” Subjugation means to gain control of something or a group of people by using force. Smith’s art work reflects the slaughtering of people by their own governments and how people suffer psychological trauma as a result. His work tells of social injustices throughout the world. His pieces don’t simply pop into existence. He does his research. He see himself as a historian of his time. “I figure it’s really important for me to be a voice and also be a part of this history of dialogue about what’s going on in the world. Ultimately artists are the historians of their time,” said Smith. “They tell their story about what’s going on.” Smith teaches art and history to high school students. He occasionally teaches drawing. He believes that artists have the responsibility to transform the lives of the young: “Art is transformative; it has the power to change. Art has the ability to investigate topics in a way that other fields can not… and don’t. I think some of the bigger questions we must continue to ask ourselves are ‘What does art do?...What can art do?’”

Issue 39

51


FEATURE

Scott Michael Foster Sails Back Into Primetime ABC’s Blood & Oil Bad Boy Opens Up INTERVIEW BY ERICA VAIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT CLAYTON

Before dissecting the interestingly flawed character Wick Briggs in Blood & Oil, actor Scott Michael Foster worked consistently in amazing series like Greek for ABC Family, Once Upon a Time, and Californication. When Blood & Oil premiered, it received stellar reviews. We caught up with one of its stars, Scott Michael Foster, for the inside scoop on what to expect from the new hit show and life of as a dope Hollywood actor. Blood & Oil is ABC’s newest drama that chronicles the life and times of an oil baron and his family who struck it rich as the result of the building of an oil mine in North Dakota. Tell us about Blood & Oil. It takes place in modern day North Dakota where an oil boom is currently going on. Don Johnson plays Hap Briggs, the oil baron, who sort of controls the town. All the other storylines revolve around him and his control of the oil and the respect he commands in the town. All of the characters revolve and evolve around him.

“There is not a whole lot of prepping; we are really creating.” How much are you like your character? Not much! He has a bad relationship with his father. He is a bit of an outcast who is cut off. He makes rash decisions without thinking them through. He has got a lot to prove. There is an exciting journey for him this season and possibly for the rest of the series. Viewers get to see him grow up and make choices for himself. They are not always the best choices; in fact there are going to be some pretty bad choices. But he’s standing up for himself and whether that makes him a good or bad guy, we don’t know yet. So what was it like preparing for this role? Honestly, it’s just really good casting. The whole cast is really perfectly fit for the characters. I can’t speak for other people and what they have done to prepare for these roles but the writing is done really, really well. I kind of just click in and understand who Wick is. There is not a whole

52

MAGAZINE

lot of prepping; we are really creating, you know what I mean. Especially in a new series when you don’t get scripts until the last minute, so you don’t have a ton of time to prepare. A lot of the time it’s simply who I think he is in my mind and hopefully the writing will kinda relate to that. You can have discussions with writers all you want, but a lot of this stuff happens last minute. What is the one reason everyone should check out Blood & Oil? The cast. The cast is incredible! It’s honestly one of my favorite casts that I’ve worked with…not only because they’re all extremely talented, but they all are extremely nice people. The chemistry between everyone is really incredible. Also we are shooting in Utah and it’s beautiful here. The scope and range of the sets are huge--it’s beautiful. You get to see a great cast and great locations.

“I knew I wanted to be an actor by age twelve.”

Did you always feel that acting was what you were meant to do? When I was a kid I wanted to be a few different things: I wanted be an architect, a singer. But acting came in middle school as an extracurricular thing and I sort of stuck with it. The big plan was to go to Broadway and be a Broadway actor. I knew I wanted to be an actor by age twelve. What project has been the most fun to work on in your career? Probably Greek because I am still friends with all those guys and gals. We all stay in touch. That was a lot of fun because we basically got to pretend we were in fraternities and sororities in college without having to do any of the school work. So many shows have been fun, I must say, but that [project] was the most fun. Especially given the fact that for many of us it was our first job and it was very exciting. What is a dream project for you to work on? I want to do more films. I have done independent films, but no one ever sees them. I want to get into some movies that people will go see. If I could be picky about it, I would love to be in Star Wars. They are going to make 9 of those movies and if I could just be in one, I’d be happy.


Issue 39

53


54

MAGAZINE


The Gospel According to Jonathan McReynolds WORDS BY LENOX MAGEE PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEREK BLANKS

He’s the artist who “puts everything on the table” both in his music and real life. The 26-year-old gospel/contemporary-Christian music artist will make you believe not only in his lyrics but in his heart. Jonathan McReynolds, a Southside Chicago native, has changed the game for gospel singers and he’s bringing quite the following with him. He’s inspired by such gospel greats as Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, Smokie Norful, Israel Houghton. He even finds muses in the R&B greats Stevie Wonder, India Arie, John Mayer and Paul McCartney--all add to his non-traditional gospel style. “I feel like God knows who I am,” he says. “He knows my strengths and weaknesses and He wanted me to do this. What humbles me is that I know this is what God wants to do in this season of my life.” His compelling first album, Life Music, showcased a welcoming sound with lyrics that got the message across without being preachy. His music is truly defining. “In high school you’re looking for an identity; you’re looking for something to separate you from everyone else, and singing just became my thing. God really had a plan for me,” McReynolds reveals.

His sophomore project Life Music: Stage Two, is currently at the top of the charts with a focused goal to touch hearts and minds. Life Music: Stage Two continues to defy expectations in inspirational music as it explores faith in everyday life. He gives credit to the hip-hop community--particularly Common--for teaching him to understand how a message can truly be relayed through music. “The hip-hop artists do it as well as anybody,” he says. “Why can’t I use my gift of expression through music and actually have a message that is worthwhile. I owe a lot to Chicago for that.”

“[God’s] giving me the opportunity to shine, to point people to Him.”

“…I know this is what God wants to do in this season of my life.”

The Stellar Award-nominated recording artist collaborated with India. Arie on the popular song “Whole,” a grace-filled and inspiring melody that speaks to the heart. India.Arie described his music as “moving” after the two collaborated. “How is it working with India? How is it working with a living legend who changed the songwriting game, who pioneered a niche, who I’ve admired most of my life? [laughter]...Surreal!”

With a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Popular Music at Columbia College in Chicago, he discovered his contemporary gospel sound. McReynolds even set up a small studio in his dorm room to take time between classes to write and record music. It is that dedication and love for music that birthed The Very Unofficial EP by Jonathan McReynolds.

There is absolutely no stopping McReynold’s tremendous talent and the “Gospel Guy” is privileged to represent Christ through his music and in his personal life. “I want to make music that actually does something, music that makes a difference and has a message—something behind it other than just being good music that has its time in the spotlight and then it’s gone and people forget about it,” he says. “I’m deemed a representation of Jesus Christ on earth. The more notoriety I get, the more I’ll pay attention to how well I’m representing Christ because somebody’s life might really depend on it.”

“I got a good response from friends coming in and out of my dorm room who were just hanging out and listening to my stuff,” McReynolds recalls. “I saw how [my music] was affecting other people. Now I see how it affects the youth; I see how it affects young Black men like me. [God’s] giving me the opportunity to shine, to point people to Him.”

Go forth, Jonathan McReynolds and change some lives.

Issue 39

55


56

MAGAZINE


beth cohen says

drop the

ACT! words EBONY ALLISON

Through an unfiltered lens, New Jersey native Beth Cohen says her book, Drop the Act, It’s Exhausting, offers readers an unapologetic journey through meaningful life experiences as she sees it. The book’s eight chapters explore her testament on relationships, parenting, race, careers and self-esteem.

BE TH THOM AS COHE N WITH MICHELE MATRISCIANI

“P U

FRE E YO U RSE LF FRO M Y OU R SO

-CAL

T- T O

LED

GET HER ” LIFE

out topics for open discussion. “I’m not telling people what to do, but I feel like I’m opening a can of worms and simply discussing them among friends,” Cohen shares. The mother of two says the book chronicles the truth of all things in her life. At age 39, she feels her diverse life experiences have given her a unique perspective. “I’m biracial (her father is Black, her mother is White), my parents are divorced, I married a Jewish man, have dealt with race and religious bias, and have encountered situations which would make me the poster child for substance abuse,” confesses Cohen. “There’s a great deal of truth here. No act or gimmick. My favorite chapters happen to be the ones that focus on judgement, race relations and self-esteem. I believe everyone will be able to connect to something in this book,” adds Cohen.

“no act or gimmick” Although she basks in the radiance of being an accomplished writer, she admits that producing a book of this magnitude was not even a thought ten years ago. “After struggling to find accurate resources during my first pregnancy, I decided to journal my experiences so that I could share them with friends and family,” Cohen says with her raspy-layered voice. “I basically wanted to give my girlfriends the real deal. I didn’t leave anything out--even things like pushing out a kid and taking a shit,” laughs Cohen.

The book’s 186 pages promise to bring the grit and honesty of Cohen to her readers. She has a true down to earth persona and takes on the role of a friend sharing genuine issues and experiences. Whether it’s her adoration for friends who don’t try to change her, or her peeve for people who put on an air with their ostentatious acts, Cohen keeps it real in an extremely relatable way. “It was important for me to create something that someone could just throw in a bag and finish in two days. It’s a quick, great read. You may laugh, cry, learn a lil’ something and hopefully walk away thinking twice before you pass judgement,” declares Cohen. “I’m proud of it.”

Years later, with the catalyst of a business partner and the help of an agent and another professional writer, those journaled notes would become the beginnings of chapters in the book where Cohen lays

Issue 39

57


TAB

RECOGNITION OVER FAME WORDS BY ANGEL L. QUILES JR. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DORIAN “SCOTTIE” STYLED BY RONI FRANCOIS SPECIAL THANKS TO: LVL XIII STUDIO’S (ATLANTA) @LVLXIII ATTOM SHOP (SWITZERLAND) @ATTOMSHOP

58

MAGAZINE


TAKEOFF & QUAVO: jacket OFF WHITE shades CAZAL

Issue 39

59


QUAVO: jacket TOPMAN top YRN CLOTHING pants BALMAIN shoe TIMBERLAND shades FENDI

TAKEOFF: sweater KENZO pants YRN CLOTHING shades FENDI


Trap music is a sound laced with earth shattering bass, and cinematic synthesizers. At its core, it is a biographical tale of what rappers in the south have witnessed, experienced in struggling urban areas; it’s a story of sacrifice. It’s music that digs through your soul and makes you want to dance. The freshest crew to take the torch of this genre of music into the new generation is Migos. Twenty-somethings Takeoff, Quavo, and Offset comprise this group whose music has been saturating parties, strip joints, clubs and bars all across America.

T

HE ASCENSION TO STARDOM FOR THE RAP

trio has not been all peaches and cream this year for the rap trio. They recently got into a bit of trouble on the campus of Georgia Southern University where they were caught with weapons and drugs. Offset, the cousin of Quavo, is presently doing time in jail because of it. “ Everyone gets slapped on the wrist,” said Quavo in an interview earlier this year for Rolling Stone Magazine. After spending a little time with Migos, one can immediately notice why they are becoming successful, and are now worth over $3 million, according to Forbes Magazine. For starters, they are immensely competitive and full of confidence. Once during an intense game of 2k16, Quavo lost to Takeoff. Quavo seemed not too pleased about it. When asked who was the best at the game, Quavo fussed, “Well I just lost” However, you got the sense that he couldn’t wait to go back at it again with his band-mate. “Back At It Again” is a fitting slogan for this threesome. They lay down more tracks than are in a woman’s weave. Chances are that venturing out to a public meeting space will include a Migos track bumping in the background. Their competitive spirit rubs off on everyone they work with as well. They have had some of the best collaborations in hip-hop in 2015--“Black Bottles” featuring Rick Ross, “Amazing Amy” featuring Lil Wayne, and “On The Floor” with The Game. In all three of those songs, the featured artist spit one of his best verses in 2015 as the Migos crew also turned it up and out in top form. The chorus to “Amazing Amy,” which is an ironic love song about a promiscuous woman they can’t seem to forget, was one of the funniest hits in hip-hop of the 2015 calendar. “Wayne created that man; he’s a genius,” says Migos. Subsequently, when it comes to collaborations, there is one that they felt surpassed all others: “Our song with Chris Brown was our favorite because our chemistry was amazing,” Exclaimed Migos.

Migos’s brilliance in the studio is uncanny especially when one witness them in the process of creating their music. They do not write anything down when they are in the booth. “Everything comes from the dome; we go straight in. We have a 15 minute rule: Come in with a song or get the hell out the booth.” Their studio sessions are like old-school jam sessions where nothing is rehearsed. If someone creates a great idea they feed off of that energy and add the elements needed to create greatness on the fly.

T

HEY PARTY AS HARD AS THEY WORK. THE

young group frequents Magic City--one of Atlanta’s premiere strip club venues--quite often. However, they don’t have any bias against any cabaret in America. “We like the strip clubs. We like to see all different types of girls.” They have also used the strip club as a forum to shoot their vibrant videos. The Migos gang is also known to be heavy club spenders. “The most we’ve spent at a strip club was $10,000 at KOD,” stated Migos. In the immortal words of Lil Wayne, “They don’t tip, they pay bills; people call them Buffalo.” If you’re a dancer and Migos is in your town, you may want to visit Baller Alert website to find out where they will be hanging out. New York hip-hop artist French Montana is an individual that you may likely find the group hanging out with, in and out of the studio. French Montana and Migos have developd a good friendship which has transcended into some pretty successful musical collaborations. “We go crazy man, we have fun. We go to the studio and lock in all day until the sun comes up.” Has French has ever taken them to La Marina, the popular summer restaurant lounge with plenty of eye candy in the Washington Heights section of New York? “French takes us everywhere man,” said Migos. To the fans who are looking for a Migos and a French collaboration--don’t worry, it’s on the way.

“Our song with

CHRIS BROWN

was our favorite because our chemistry was

amazing!”


E

VEN THOUGH MIGOS HAVE

plenty of hits, they do not always receive recognition from everyone in the hip-hop game. Hip-hop mogul Snoop Dogg said on his GGN show while interviewing 50Cent and G-Unit that Future and Migos “all sound the same.” Oftentimes words of that nature cause a rift between different factions in the hip-hop community. According to Migos, “We just want to make music to keep our fans happy and keep them in the right spirit so that they can always support us.” These men are not only hit makers but they exude a class reminiscent of Derek Jeter. The south has been pumping out good music for years. What makes Migos unique besides their rhythmic flows and funny hooks is that they respect their predecessors. “We listened to Master P, Silk the Shocker, The Hot-boys, Tip, and Gucci,” the band concurs. Subsequently, one east coast rapper they really respect is

Busta Rhymes. “We like Busta Rhymes, from the jewelry down to the way he is as a person. We couldn’t really understand what he was saying, but he was such a character; you wanted to look at all his videos,” states Migos. Featuring beautiful jewels in music videos is something that Migos and Busta have in common. It is no secret that rappers are entrepreneurs. It’s an expensive lifestyle and a rapper can’t stay stagnant in the hip-hop game if he or she wants to stay present and in the limelight. Consequently, Migos has created its own fashion line called Yung Rich Nation (YRN). Yung Rich Nation is also the name of their first studio LP. The album, as expected, was a success. However, what is more impressive is the clothing line’s success. “It’s doing good right now, we got into foot action and city gear. “Online we are sold out,” say Migos. They started with upper body wear but now are putting more focus into their jeans collection.

shirt ZARA jacket ZARA pants TOPMAN shades CAZAL shoe TIMBERLAND

62

MAGAZINE


jacket BARBARA I GONGINI pants ZARA shades CAZAL

“Everything COMES from the dome; we go straight in. we have a 15 minute rule: come in with a song or get the hell out the booth.”


TAKEOFF: QUAVO: jacket STAMPD jacket MARCELO BURLON top HOOD BY AIR top OFF WHITE pants YRN CLOTHING pants YRN CLOTHING jacketMAISON STAMPD shoe MARTIN MARCIELA shoe MAISON MARTIN MARCIELA shades FENDI FENDI shades shades CAZAL

64

MAGAZINE


“Most definitely it makes it easier to work together because we are a family.”

T

HE MIGOS GANG IS NOT ONLY A RAP GROUP,

but they literally are family. In addition to the family ties between offset and Quavo, Quavo is also Takeoff’s uncle. This dynamic could be the basis of conflict in some groups and make it difficult for group members to work with one another. But in the case of Migos, the setup “most definitely makes it easier to work together because we are a family,” exclaimed Migos. The camaraderie in their music and the electricity they create on stage is the reason why they have loyal fans. Though the group is not signed to a major label, they continue to make

music that fans love. Moreover, they do not have any trepidation about making music with non hip-hop artists. Asked if they would consider taking on projects with artist such as J-Lo or Pit-bull? They replied, “Most definitely. We have to pay our respect.” These men have been going at this music thing for a while. They are focused and determined. They are young, prolific and their love for music makes them a force to be reckoned with. All they need now is for their incarcerated brother-in-arms, Offset, to be freed from jail and a new chapter will begin.

Issue 39

65


TAB

KC

AMP

CAPTIVATES a new set of

LISTENERS 66

MAGAZINE


Rapper/producer K Camp is solidifying a bright future for himself as he continues to top the music charts and make sure the world hears what he has to offer. The Atl anta rapper has a bright future ahead of him. Since 2008, he has produced hit after hit including “Party All Night,” “Oh, Let’s Do It,” “Cut Her Off,” and his l atest masterpieces, “Lil Bit” and “Comfortable.” He released his debut album, Only Way Is Up in September 2015 and it peaked to 4 on the U.S. Rap charts. The XXL’s 2015 Freshman Cl ass MC spoked with BLEU about his new single, his debut album, his musical sound and more.

BLEU Magazine: Let’s talk about your single “Comfortable.” K Camp: Umm, my producer Big Fruit played the record and we knew that we had a hit on our hands. We finished the record that same night. The energy and the creative input behind the single were great. The record is just smooth; we just wanted something more mellow for the next single.

K Camp: It really wasn’t a break up; they were just doing their own thing. I guess I was the only one that still enjoyed rapping. I guess I was the only ambitious one out of all the guys. After the group split up, I just kept going at it-writing rhymes and just working on my flow. It started off as a hobby. I just stuck with it.

BLEU: Do you think the single was a hit banger for the summer?

BLEU: What do you believe Interscope Records saw unique about you--K Camp the artist?

K Camp: Yes, most definitely. We received so much positive feedback once the single was released. It was a top-ten on I-Tunes. It’s a good look.

K Camp: I believe the label did [see something] because I wouldn’t be signed to their label if they didn’t. I believe in them and they believe in K Camp. We have a good relationship so it works out perfectly.

BLEU: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were chosen to be a part of XXL Magazine’s 2015 Freshmen Class?

BLEU: Let’s talk about the single “Cut Her Off” featuring 2 Chainz. What was it like working with 2 Chainz?

K Camp: I believe that it was management that called and told me about XXL. It is a blessing that I am on their list. It’s a blessing that the magazine recognized my art work as a rapper.

K Camp: There was a situation that I was going through at one time with this chick and it just didn’t work out. So that was the concept behind the song. And 2 Chainz’ verse on the song was crazy. Everyone can relate to the song title--most guys have cut a chick off for some reason. You know what I’m saying?

BLEU: I see that you were born in Wisconsin and raised in Atlanta? How did that play into you developing your own musical sound?

BLEU: What can we expect from your debut album?

K Camp: I am a country boy. I started working on my sound by just being in the booth every day working on my flow. I didn’t want to sound like just anybody. That was my mind set, as far as being a rapper. I was just making sure my flow was where it needed to be. I just wanted to make sure that I was giving it my all each time.

K Camp: Just great music; I just want people to really listen to my music. It is officially done and I would have to say it’s my best work, this album. I want the world to hear it because I did my job and I just want people to tune in. I keep it real on the album and my sound is still growing. But fans will enjoy it, most definitely.

BLEU: Who were some of your greatest influences? K Camp: I say coming up, I was heavy on the Hot Boyz, UGK, Snoop, Jeezy, Big, Pac, T.I. and Outkast. It was people like these that played a major role in my rap career. I just admired them as artists when I was young. BLEU: Would you say you were more eager to start a rap career once your group, HBC, disbanded?

And after all of the grinding and working, I landed my deal with Interscope Records. Interscope recognized my talent and it was the right deal for me. At first, I didn’t want to be signed because I had previously been signed and it didn’t work out. I had a hit single, “Party All Night,” but I felt like I wasn’t receiving the recognition I needed; I felt some type of way. But, I just kept going at it until I landed my deal with Interscope.

BLEU: Any up coming projects? BLEU: How did you land your deal with Interscope Records? K Camp: I just was an independent artist at the time, just working [on my brand] and building my audience in the South. I was trying to get booked for shows because I just wanted to be heard and seen. I was just working and grinding. You have to keep working to make your dreams become reality.

K Camp: I might drop out another mixtape; I don’t know. But right now it’s the album. That’s the main focus. But who knows--we might turn it up a lil’ more.

Issue 39

67


FASHION

YOU’RE NOT INVITED

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW PRISE WORDS BY EDRIC ROBINSON

68

MAGAZINE


THE SEXIEST PART OF ANY CITY IS ITS NIGHTLIFE. Legendary Damon,

as he is known as, can be considered by many to be the Hitch of Nightlife. He connects varying realms of people to unique places and to other individuals they wouldn’t normally be connected to. It’s about 7:30P.M. on a slightly chilly autumn Thursday night in Chelsea, New York City. As he prepares to man the door at a Cavalli & Desaronno event, a line of about 50 guests has started to build on one side of the Milk studios building. Wearing a black pulled-back fedora, black trousers, and black boots, his multi colored silk shirt is buttoned to the neck. He is adorned with gold

jewelry and a metallic gold bomber jacket sits perfectly under an open double breasted black coat. Damon is known as much for his eccentric style (consisting of, but not limited to, furs and diamonds) as he is for his audacious parties. While others huddled around him seem anxious, he does not. He’s done this many times before. From an outsider looking in, his job tonight seems simple enough--check guests off the list and usher them into the event. But as he explains; this represents one of his many talents. Damon has been throwing parties and helping clients throw parties since he was 16 years old in Detroit, Michigan.

Issue 39

69


70

MAGAZINE


t’s an unreal world. From the sexy lighting, to the furniture and models which make up the ambience--I mean this event has ballerinas dancing on platforms,” Damon laughed. “But I try to be as real as I can be in these manufactured environments.” At age 19, Damon moved to NYC and took on his first event. He undoubtably has continued to grow throughout the years and has expanded his circle and event repertoire. Beyond the glitz and glamor, fashion and parties, one thing he seems to be fully aware of is his larger role as a connector. “I like to think of myself as a cultural curator. I bring great people from all walks of life together that might not necessary be in the same room otherwise. All roads lead

I

back to me. If you met so and so you probably met them because I introduced you in one way or another,” Damon states. According to author Malcolm Gladwell of The Tipping Point, sprinkled among every walk of life are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are Connectors. Damon realized this early on and used his love for events to connect others. Many seem to adore him. His Instagram account, @LegendaryDamon, has over 26 thousand followers. Perhaps it’s his invisible veil that seems to envelope him and let’s others know, he walks to the beat of his own drum. Among some of his notable celebrity friends are Kelis, Lil Kim and Janelle Monae. There’s a genuine nature that totally contradicts the aesthetics of the first impression. One friend,

Issue 39

71


Jenay Alejandro calls it his “Midwest values.” “He has great morals and is extremely hard working. Damon is able to merge so many industries and I think he really likes seeing people work together,” Jenay beamed. ith his events, the stories and experiences run endlessly. From angry crowds pushing through barriers trying to get into the venue, to one guest who allegedly cried after being told she was not on the list. “My parties are very authentic because of the people. There’s also great music. Everyone is actually dancing, and everyone looks great,” Damon reveals. As friend, Mike recalls, “I used to work for a fashion photographer and would see Damon at various events. I started to realize that if he was there, this was the party to be at.”

W

72

MAGAZINE

Out of all the events he throws year round, his birthday party is by far his favorite. “I’ve ridden in on a white horse, flew through the ceiling, I was an aerialist one year. Last year Lil Kim and I came out in a spaceship and Jussie Smollet sang “Happy Birthday.” This year will be equally amazing; it’s the one time of the year I get to focus on myself entirely,” Damon says. Damon’s name has become synonymous with having a great time in the city. TV personality Bevy Smith allegedly calls him the empresario of nightlife. Whether he’s throwing a Sunday evening party in LA, or a ‘No Basics Brunch’ with Claire Sulmers and Ty Hunter in Harlem, his lists are the ones everyone wants to be on. Yet it doesn’t seem like he lets any of this get to his head. “We can’t take this too seriously. I always say, ‘It’s just a party people.’”


Issue 39

73


74

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

75


FEATURE

Taking Television By Storm WORDS BY KISHON SPRINGER PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM ZACHRICH

Growing up in a dysfunctional household, Ta’Rhonda Jones knew that she would be so much more than her surroundings predicted. Living amidst the crime-infested streets of Chicago, she refused to be another stereotype. Ta’Rhonda was raised by her grandparents and lived in a household with eight other siblings. She had a normal childhood. She was very active in her community and played almost every sport while enrolled in school. Ta’Rhonda refused to listen to people who thought she would be like her parents or people who thought less of her as a person. She was determined to break the cycle already set in motion within her household. Ta’Rhonda knew she was something special and she stuck to what she believed in. “I’m what the world was missing.” Ta’Rhonda knew she wanted to be an entertainer. She originally wanted to be a rapper, singer and fashion designer. She also had an interest in acting but she thought it would be difficult to achieve.

76

MAGAZINE


T

a’Rhonda and her older brother use to go to the studio and record their music. They developed a good relationship with the engineer at that studio, which subsequently lead to him referring Ta’Rhonda for a casting of a new, up and coming television series with Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. He thought Ta’Rhonda would be perfect for the casting. At the time Ta’Rhonda was going through a rough spell at work. She had recently had money stolen from her by a work colleague. She thought she would lose her job due to the manner in which she reacted to the situation. She wasn’t happy at her job anymore and wanted to get out. The casting was the perfect opportunity she had been waiting for. “I don’t even remember writing down the phone number [of the casting contact] because I had said to myself that I wasn’t going to call. But I said to myself, ‘You know what, let me call this number.’”

Ta’Rhonda attended the casting with the initial intent of trying out for the role of Tiana, the love interest of Hakeem. But the casting director looked at her and said, “I think I may have something else for you.” Ta’Rhonda thought that she was being blown off… until she got the call she had been waiting for: “You got the role, clear your desk off.” Some may say it was faith--Ta’Rhonda received a role tailor-made for her. Porsha is the assistant to Cookie (Taraji P Henson). Porsha is a very carefree, free sprit, and sassy girl. Ta’Rhonda went to the casting trying to get away from a job she hated and ended up being casted in Empire, one of the most popular TV shows of the new millennium. Starting her journey as a new actress among veterans wasn’t the easiest experience for her. “I went in with this wall built up, because I heard things about this person and that person. But in reality everyone was so down to earth and supporting.” Since the show blew up, Ta’Rhonda’s life has changed completely. This is the life she always wanted. She has always wanted to be an entertainer. She worked toward her goal and she landed the blessing of a lifetime.

“I went to the bathroom and the paper fell out of my pocket, I don’t even remember writing down the number because I said to myself I wasn’t going to call. I picked it up and said, ‘You know what, let me call this number.’” Issue 39

77


S

he feels good knowing that people accept her for who she is and accept her very unique personality. Everywhere she goes people recognize her no matter how much she tries to disguise herself. What is Ta’Ronda’s favorite part of the fame? “A lot of young girls look up to me. Growing up my younger siblings and my friends looked up to me because I was always a positive person. But to have people who know me from scratch nothing, tell me that I inspire them--it gives me butterflies; the feeling is indescribable.” Stemming from such a humble beginning, Ta’Ronda has so much wisdom to share. She loves the fact that she can inspire others to shoot for the stars. Ta’Ronda lives by her two mottos: “Lay down your own rules and steal any opportunity that comes your way…and be you. I was so different than everybody else throughout my entire life. A lot of people couldn’t accept me for my individuality, and for the first time in my twenty-six years of living I dropped everything at the door of that casting room and was able to be myself; for the first time I was accepted.” Off screen Ta’Rhonda is a free-spirit. She loves indulging in good food and spending time with her family. Besides acting, Ta’Rhonda is still very interested in fashion. She went to school for fashion design and is constructing designs that are set to launch next summer. She describes her style as vintage chic. Ta’Rhonda also likes to record and write music during her free time. She knows she has many other dreams and she is working to achieve them all. But at the present, Ta’Rhonda is having the time of her life on TV. “I don’t live for tomorrow because it’s not here yet. I’m not worried about yesterday because it’s gone. I’m only worried about today and today only. I live in the moment and I think people forget to live in the moment.” Ta’Rhonda Jones is a talented actress and a great role model. The world has not seen the last of Ta’Ronda Jones.

78

MAGAZINE


“I don’t live for tomorrow because it’s not here yet. I’m not worried about yesterday because it’s gone. I’m only worried about today and today only. I live in the moment and I think people forget to live in the moment.”

Issue 39

79


THE HUMANS

Human -noun 1. any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens. 2. a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species: We humans are worth more than two lines in a dictionary. We are complex creatures full of immeasurable possibility. All of us unique on our journey of self-discovery and peer admiration. At times, the media is filled with the worst of us. We choose to celebrate the best of us. Every issue will highlight the new cool kids: those everyday people doing amazing things. Or simply living their best life possible. Bakers to bankers, painters to pastors, our differences make us rise above all other species of the animal kingdom. We are not just human because we walk upright on two feet. Indeed we are human because we use those feet to take steps that push the boundaries--of love and creativity, of intelligence, of governance, of civility--further into the deep trenches of the universe. We typically utilize a mere fraction of our brain’s potential during the course of our lives. Let’s push the levels of creativity even further by sharing stories of those already expanding the world around them.

80

MAGAZINE


COREY CAMBRIDGE

What do you do? Rapper ll Songwriter ll Host What makes it worth it? What makes it worth it is that you’re able to effect the lives of other people through doing something you’re 100% passionate about. It’s not always easy but it feels great to see people enjoy something that you enjoy doing. Tell us about your roots and your background. I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia in a middle class neighborhood. I was in a band in college for 4 years and toured all over the east coast. Once the band broke up I knew that I needed to make a change and get out of Virginia. Many opportunities started opening up for me in NYC and I knew this was the place I wanted to call home. Armed with four duffle bags, a tax return check and a $10 bus ticket I hopped on a Chinatown bus and never looked back. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? This year on Halloween night when I was asleep in bed, I heard a mouse get caught in the mouse trap. One second later I hear this terrible sqwealing noise and the mouse trap sliding though out the floor of my apartment. THE MOUSE WAS STILL ALIVE! I woke up in horror and ran to my next door neighbors. I asked for a broom and dustpan as I explained my situation and my fear of mice. My neighbor not only got a dust pan for me at 1 am, but also came into my apartment and got rid of the mouse for me. Who says New Yorkers aren’t nice? If you had a superpower, what would it be? Is time traveling a super power? If so, that would be mine! What inspires you? One thing that really inspires me is watching biographical documentaries on successful people. I love learning about peoples failures and triumphs. It keeps me motivated and focused on my own dreams. I rarely watch TV shows or movies for strictly entertainment. I love to be entertained by things that help me learn and grow as a person and as an artist. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Wayne Brady 2015 is the year of the …. ....unexpected.

Issue 39

81


SERGIO WONDER

What do you do? I am a men’s sportswear designer. What makes it worth it? Oddly enough, situations just like this where people are interested in knowing more about my motives. It only reminds me that the goal is so much bigger than what I think it is. Tell us about your roots and your background. My parents are Jamaican and Irish but I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? There was point when I thought that I was gonna have to move back home to Miami because I had nowhere to stay. I was terrified at the thought of being unable to fully flourish in such a marvelous city as New York. If you had a super power, what would it be? I think the ability to move at the speed of light would be a pretty awesome attribute because I’d get an enormous amount of work done. Where do you see yourself five years from now? By 2020, I’ll still be in NYC maintaining the vision of providing fresh fashion to the cooler kids. I’d love to say that I’ll be married with a couple kids and dog by then, but this city is full of every kind of surprise. Who do you look up to? Russell Simmons, K. Roosevelt, Pharell Williams, and of course Cindi Mayweather (Janelle Monae). To me, they’re all authentic trailblazers who have made a lane for themselves and wouldn’t conform to the standards of the industry. What is the most challenging part of your career? I have a terrible habit of second guessing myself, so trusting my process can be pretty tough. But I have to remember that designers are praised for their specific perspectives in fashion.

82

MAGAZINE


JARRETT COBBS

What do you do? I am Vice President of Strategy at Team Epiphany. What makes it worth it? I think the corporate culture that we have developed at Team Epiphany is what makes it worth it. Agency life is hard and, from the outside looking in, the work we do appears to be a lot more glamorous than it actually is. Being able to come to work everyday and say that I genuinely enjoy the company of my co-workers and the atmosphere that we have created is truly a blessing. Many of my peers can’t say the same about their work environment. Tell us about your roots and your background. I’m New Yorker that was born and raised in the Bronx. I went to the Collegiate School in upper Manhattan for high school. I attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I have lived in New York for practically my entire life except for two years. One was spent living in Norwich, England and the other was spent in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? The Last thing that scared the hell out of me was my niece’s graduation from high school. It made me reflect on how quickly time is moving.

What inspires you? My parents inspire me. My father is a really amazing person. He is from a coal mining town in West Virginia. He came to New York on his own and got into books and eventually the publishing world. As he got older he started dealing in rare and used books. He has always been and continues to be on this endless quest for knowledge. My mother is equally amazing. She was a registered nurse for 30 years at one of the most intense hospitals in the Bronx. She continues to help others and visit the sick in her retirement. They were able to maintain their marriage for 48 years, all the while raising me and providing me with some of the best education that money can buy. Their dedication to giving me the best possible life and their ability to deliver upon that promise has been nothing short of a miracle. Who would play you in the movie of your life? Michael B. Jordan. 2015 is the year of the.... …awakening. I think this was the year where lots of people were forced to--at the very least--consider what it is like to live in the shoes of others.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? Time travel/teleportation.

Issue 39

83


JESUS APONTE

What do you do? I have been a professional licensed, award-winning barber for over 10 years. What makes it worth it? The passion I have had for the craft since I was a young kid. Tell us about your roots, your background. I am a Puerto Rican from Bushwick, Brooklyn. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? Making the move to California. I didn’t know what I had coming to me. If you had a superpower, what would it be? My super power would definitely be my hands. That’s why they call me Blessed Hands. What inspires you? My kids and my family are my inspiration. Who would play you in the movie of your life? My younger brother would definitely play me in a movie. 2015 is the year of the.... …is the year of the takeover for me.

84

MAGAZINE


DOUGLAS BRUNDAGE

What do you do? I am presently the Vice President of Strategy at Team Epiphany. What makes it worth it? Being a creative capitalist. And working with the best team in the game. Tell us about your roots or your background. I was born and raised in Greenwich Village in New York City as an only child. My parents are completely brilliant and the most well-read people I’ve ever met. I’ve been a writer and an actor my whole life. Now I am an accidental marketer. What was the last thing that scared the hell out of you? When someone broke into my apartment. If you had a superpower, what would it be? I would say mind-reading, but in reality knowing what everyone thinks about you all the time would probably be pretty depressing. So I will go with teleportation--being able to pop over to Bali for a weekend or Berlin for dinner would be an unbeatable skill. I would lose out on airline miles, but it’d be worth it. What inspires you? Art. Nothing in the world is as difficult as writing poetry. Reading it can always remind you how insignificant your problems are. Who would play you in the movie of your life? A young James Spader. 2015 is the year of the …. …underdog.

Issue 39

85


TAB

ALL ABOUT THE HAT All clothes worn are B-Side by Wale and sneakers provided by Puma. photography VINCENT DOLMAN photography assistant ABBIE LEEK fashion SEAN AZEEZ fashion assistant DANNY WALKER

86

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

87


TAB

88

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

89


TAB

90

MAGAZINE


Issue 39

91


TAB

FROM A BOSTON NATIVE TO PLAYING IN

New York

words RAYMOND MORA

Michael Cox Thoughts on His Recovery in the Offseason, Playing for the New York

SCORE

92

MAGAZINE


N

o one expects an injury during a regular season game early in their NFL career. Unfortunately, Giants running back Michael Cox fractured his lower left leg in the Giant’s loss against the Seattle Seahawks last year, the very first injury of his professional career. Ten months later, Cox is looking to make a full recovery and get back onto the field next season, all while pursuing a few other interests. Boston native Cox played high school football at Avon Old Farms Prep School. In three seasons, he rushed 2,400 yards and signed a national letter, ensuring him a spot to play for the University of Michigan. In 15 games, he posted 162 yards and two touchdowns for Michigan. He then transferred to the University of Massachusetts for one year and lead the team by rushing 715 yards and scoring five touchdowns. The dream of a lifetime came to fruition during the 2013 NFL Draft when the New York Giants selected Cox in the seventh round. He recalls being very surprised by the pick. “I was very happy but kind of surprised. I didn’t think the Giants would have drafted me because I barely talked to them beforehand,” Cox said. “Then out of nowhere, they end up calling me and I become a Giant. I was overjoyed. It was my dream to play in the NFL and I was given the chance to fulfill that dream. It was definitely a big accomplishment for me.”

Despite his newly grown New York roots, Cox is still a Patriots fan at heart. Now in his third year playing for the Giants, he admits rooting for the New England Patriots during this year’s Super Bowl and was happy they beat out the Seahawks. He also mentioned that he loves playing for New York since it’s close to his hometown. He recalls his close friends back home criticizing him for playing for New York, but they all became fans of Big Blue over time. Playing under the leadership of Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin has pushed him to be a more focused player on the field. Cox loves Coughlin’s style of coaching and tries to do the right things to avoid getting into trouble. He also loves playing with Giants’ quarterback and two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning. He respects his greatness and appreciates any advice he shares.

was injured last November, but says he likes to think positive during this recovery process. Cox had plenty to share when speaking about the Giants’ running game. He likes the addition of Shane Vereen and what it does to the core of the teams’ running backs. Overall, the Giants have a number of runners to help out the offense. He knows finding a spot on a team’s line of first stringers is difficult, but realizes that it’s all a competition at the end of the day. “It’s definitely hard to get on the field, but that’s with any team in the NFL. There are always going to be players fighting for a position,” Cox said. “The way I look at it--it’s competition and it’ll just make you better. You just have to be on your game.” Cox not only plays the running back position, he’s a kickoff returner as well. He believes he performs well in both positions and hopes to continue making improvements. While Cox maintains a healthy lifestyle and studies the game of football as much as possible, he stays busy in another arena: modeling and fashion. As a child, Cox modeled for a couple of years. Cox stopped for a good while and picked it back up recently. Luckily for him, playing for New York opened up big opportunities for his modeling career. He hopes to continue his venture into the fashion and modeling world all while playing professional football. In fashion, he’s open to all brands and styles. “I like skinny jeans and certain sweaters,” said Cox. “I’m probably more into accessories though, especially watches and hats.” His main focus this third year of him playing for the Giants is contributing to the team’s dynamic offense in hopes that the Giants can make another run for the Super Bowl. “The Super Bowl is definitely in the cards when looking at Giants teams of the past and what they’ve done when they’re the wild card team,” Cox said. “But the hardest part is making it to the playoffs. Obviously the playoffs are very difficult. If the team can make it to the playoffs, we can win the whole thing for sure.”

During the offseason, Cox works on being at 100 percent for the start of the upcoming season. Cox says he’s been working out his core muscles and his legs, putting extra emphasis on his injured leg so he can get it to where it needs to be for the next season. He remembers being frustrated when he

“I didn’t think the Giants would have drafted me because I barely talked to them beforehand,...” Issue 39

93


FEATURE

GET UP & DANCE R

ising star on the New York City nightlife scene, Olivia Dope, is setting her sights on global domination of the 1s and 2s. She’s been traveling across the nation spreading the gospel of hip-hop meets R&B meets pop. With an infectious smile, she can command any room to hit the dance floor and join her “rhythm nation.” We caught up with her off the heels of her latest gig in the ATL to discuss all things DOPE! words DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS

94

MAGAZINE


If you’re looking for the next hot new female DJ in New York City, Olivia Dope should be on your radar. After working with a number of big names in the industry (e.g. Russell Simmons and Lil’ Kim), DJ Olivia Dope is definitely on the rise to stardom. Olivia is an up and coming DJ on the New York City entertainment scene. She has performed for such clients as Shaggy, Mac Miler and Chris Brown. She exhibits a keen ability to blend different genres such as hip-hop, R&B and reggae, catching the attention of artists like Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora. What sparked her artistic prowess? Dope was inundated by the arts at a young age. With humble beginnings as a classically-trained dancer at the age of 3, she was surrounded by the arts and the music

Dope.” According to Dope, the name took on a life of its own where it has changed the meaning of the word “dope.” She plans to use her music and image to spread positivity. “You’re gonna hear ‘no’ a lot and you have to have thick skin to deal with that because ‘no’ comes a lot more often than ‘yes’; even when you hear ‘no,’ just take it as a blessing because that means that ‘yes’ is gonna be so much better than each ‘no’ that you’ve heard,” says Dope. “In the creative field, because you’re [playing] to the beat of your own drum, you’re not going to a job where they’re telling you what you’re gonna do. You’re telling everyone else, ‘This is what I have to offer.’ So everyone else has to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ There’s a good chance people are gonna say ‘no’ before thy hear what you have to offer.”

YOU HEAR ‘NO’ “ WHEN JUST TAKE IT AS A BLESSING.“ scene of New York City. Growing up on the streets of Brooklyn, music was always the driving force behind Dope. Influenced by Black female DJs Jazzy Joyce, Salt-n-Pepa’s Spinderella and Cocoa Chanelle, she looked to them for inspiration. She was also influenced by rappers Junior Mafia, Biggie Smalls, and Lil’ Kim during the ‘90s. That exposure was where she found her calling to DJ. With her friends teaching her how to mix different genres together, she developed the ability to hear a good mix and eventually learned how to put a good mixed together. Having the instinct of a dancer--where mixing things together came naturally to her--, she eventually started getting requests to DJ parties and events around her neighborhood. One of those events was an after-party of fashion designers The Blonds where Lil’ Kim was a special guest. “It was kinda like a 180 because growing up in Brooklyn in the ‘90s you hear about Junior Mafia, you know about Biggie, you know about [Lil’] Kim. So to go from being that 10-year-old where the first CD that I brought was Junior Mafia’s Conspiracy Theory, to now nineteen years later and be able to DJ for one of the artist I admired for so many years,…it was a surreal moment.”

With the rise in popularity of EDM (electronic dance music), DJs like Skrillex and David Guetta, both on Forbes list of the world’s highest paid DJs, are becoming more prevalent in the music industry. According to CNN, EDM is becoming one of the fastest growing musical genres of the past ten years. Dope believes the growing number of DJs has a lot to do with the party scene nowadays. “We’re in an age where the club is the place to be. A lot of artists are doing club appearances…so when people go to these clubs, they want to hear the hottest tracks and the hottest music. Now the DJ is the star; the DJ is now on the same playing field as the artist. Just as the artist is of a certain caliber, artists want to make sure that the DJ is a part of their brand, is of a certain caliber. As for the 29-year-old, 2016 sounds like a good year with career building and goals for the future to be realized. “You always wanna build your career. You never wanna get comfortable. You wanna keep striving. I never think of actual goals because things come along that aren’t front-of-the-mind goals…and that has always been a blessing.

She first came up with her stage name in college where her friends told her she looked like Kerry Washington. After Scandal came out, her friends would make jokes on social media sites calling her “Olivia Pope,” which was later transformed into “Olivia

Issue 39

95


BLEU LIST

96

MAGAZINE

R.I.C.O

Y-3

#StopRacism

Afro Punk Festival

Jeff Staple

soulreflectionz.com

Sauconys

Coltrane Curtis

Rap Genius

Leather

Kreesha Turner

LearnVest

Cleveland Indians

Air Max 90’s

Conscious Step

Illuminati

Tidal

Bape

Baecation

Apple Music

Givency

DOPE The Movie

Bike Life

Mason Martin Margielas

Kehlani

DWMTM

Puma

Dogfood Music Group

Supreme

Big Apple

Anderson Paak

Chance the Rapper

Made In America

Tommy Genesis

Michael B. Jordan

Stephen Curry

Bbymutha

Underground_NYC

NBA2k16

DCM 2017

Jimi Hendrix

Fashion Week

HXV

HONY

Hermes

Wara From the NBHD

Drake’s body

Balenciaga

Tesla Boy

@hannahbronfman

Kanye West

Allied Tattoo

Straight Outta Compton

Libra

Jamie xx

Martha’s Vineyard

Alexander Wang

Popcann

Rayven Justice

Balmin

Travi$ Scott

Date ‘n Game The Movie

Tackma

Vince Staples

NY Yankees

XO

Damien Hirst

Samsung Galaxy s6

OVO

Jesse Boykins III

Nike.com

Jordan

i-D Magazine

Girls with Curls

Future


ICON

LAURYN HILL WORDS BY EBONY ALLISON

With all due respect, a person should not call himself an icon unless he has the ability to leave a lasting impression on a culture that transcends countless generations. Whether through art or pure intelligence, anyone who has the ability to change the way one thinks should rightfully be dubbed an icon. So respectfully speaking, Ms. Lauryn Hill embodies and exudes all aspects of these attributes. No one else in this decade will have the chance to say that they were the lead vocalist in the highest selling

rap group of all time (though the group was more of a fusion of rap, hip-hop and reggae)—a.k.a. The Fugees. Becoming the first woman and hip-hop artist to win five Grammys for her first solo project will undoubtedly be a tough act to follow. However, rattling off her accolades isn’t always necessary as her achievements--without question--will forever be held in the highest regard. Her voice is just as tranquilizing as it is powerful and through the rawness of her music, Lauryn Hill has been able to change

the way a society thinks. Holding on to everything that was true to her-from her look to her sound, sporting and basking in her natural beauty while encouraging other women to do the same--Hill’s music was manifested to uplift, motivate and influence. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, her first solo release, still has the same effect on people today as it did 17 years ago. Nearly 20 years later Ms. Lauryn Hill has yet to be emulated. Her gifts are ones that only she possesses.

Issue 39

97


STOCKLIST

sweater OLIVER SPENCER

PLAC www.plac-official.com LACOSTE www.lacoste.com/us PIKOLINOS www.pikolinos.com COACH www.coach.com/shop CALVIN KLEIN www.calvinklein.com/shop/en/ck PERRY ELLIS www.perryellis.com THE ARRIVALS www.thearrivals.com MATIERE www.matiere.com OLIVER SPENCER www.oliverspencer.co.uk CULT OF INDIVIDUALITY www.cultofindividuality.com OFF WHITE www.ssense.com YRN CLOTHING www.yungrichnation.com TIMBERLAND www.timberland.com CAZAL www.cazal-eyewear.com

98

MAGAZINE

BALMAIN www.balmain.com/en_us/ VERSACE www.versace.com ZARA www.zara.com TOPMAN www.topman.com FENDI www.fendi.com GUCCI www.gucci.com PRADA www.prada.com BARBARA I GONGINI www.barbaraigongini.dk KENZO www.kenzo.com HOOD BY AIR www.hoodbyair.com MASION MARGIELA www.maisonmargiela.com PUMA www.us.puma.com B- SIDE www.b-sidebywale.com STAMPD www.stamped.com


Subscribe // bleUmagazine.com

FASHION . ENTERTAINMENT . CULTURE VOL. 2 N O16

>>> FASHION:

THE VERY BEST OF SPRING... DENIM, ACCESSORIES, COLORS, LAYERS AND MUCH MORE

TOP 20:

ESSENTIALS FOR TODAY’S

URBAN MAN

TRAVEL NASHVILLE: MUSIC CITY USA

ICON:

MARC ANTHONY

> MIGUEL > NIGEL SYLVESTER > TIA MOWRY > BRANDY

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

THE ASCENSION OF A STAR

THE MUSIC ISSUE

jussie smollett

SEBASTIAN MIKAEL +

Shameik Moore InkMonstarr Ice Cube

36

U.S $6 - CANADA $7

JEREMIH 37

LIL DURK BIBI BOURELLY JORDAN BRATTON SHABBA DUE

38

1 year/6 issues for $19.99


TAB

IT MAKES SO MUCH MORE THAN A STATEMENT

THE NEW 2016 LEXUS ES Leave a lasting impression with the 2016 Lexus ES. Its available Mark Levinson* Premium Audio System, Panorama Glass Roof, and Lexus Safety System +, make every appearance a true arrival. luxuryawaits.com/ES | #LexusES Options shown. *Mark Levinson® is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc. ©2015 Lexus.

100

MAGAZINE

Bleu Magazine Issue 39- Migos  

Migos

Bleu Magazine Issue 39- Migos  

Migos