+ JO JO
MEN’S FASHION + ENTERTAINMENT + FITNESS + CULTURE
TALKS label drama, making music, and her quesT FOR
GROOMING Tips to get a picture perfect smile
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Barry Floyd Shawn Carter Peterson R ed d Foxx & Many more
A MAJESTIC ESCAPE
BUDDEN JOE t t ’ ’ n issn IS AN A*%
MEN’S FASHION + ENTERTAINMENT + FITNESS + CULTURE
TEAM BLEU DéVon Christopher Johnson PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rae Holliday EDITOR
Reginald Larkin MANAGING EDITOR
Erica Vain ONLINE EDITOR
Carlton J. Brown ART DIRECTOR
Kersten Stevens SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Owen Duckett Khalifiah Harris Rich Philip Kent Olden Larrsye Brown Prince Riley
“Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots I give a holler to my sisters on welfare Tupac cares, and don’t nobody else care And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot When you come around the block brothas clown a lot But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up” “Keep Ya Head UP” - TUPAC
FOOD & DRINK EDITOR Travis Jenkins ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Regi Booker CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Shawn Thomas Amber Kennedy Cortney Cleveland Lamont Wilson Tami Hawk CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Patrick Neree Kata Scatmari Elton Anderson Seth London Brian Taylor Johnson Benny Haddad INTERNS Terrell Allen Larryse Brown Nia Blackmon
BLEULIFE MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT DéVon Christopher Johnson CEO & PRESIDENT LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS Thomas J. Wilson, Esq. Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP ACCOUNTING Aaron T. Smyle Smyle & Associates, LLC
It is said the number thirteen is bad luck. Even in the building the Bleu office is located there is no thirteenth floor. Friday the 13th was the scariest movie when I was a child. So obviously the year 2013 wasn’t on my looking-forward-to list. Luckily for those of us who loath the awful number before fourteen and after twelve; it only happens every 100 years. Yet, here we are. In the first quarter of the year, the United States economy is experiencing a comeback. Housing prices are rising, banks are lending money and the stock market is breaking century old records. Are we wrong about this number? Could the most hated number give us the much-needed relief from the struggles we’ve faced over recent years? If so, I am not prepared. Many of you are not either. We probably assumed this year would be at best just like all the rest. Success comes to those whom are prepared for the opportunity. There are a million clichés I could reference right now. I’ll just choose one of my favorites, “the glass is half full, not half empty”. This could be the best year ever. It’s not too late to make the best of what’s to come. Let the legend of the number thirteen inspire you to redefine what it means in your life. I know what Bleu has in store. We will continue to grow and make an impact in the lives of all those we reach. We will be bold and assured in our choices to deliver dynamic content and imagery.
MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS Mecca Moore ACCOUNT MANAGERS Todd Evans Rivendell Media (908) 232-2021 Kim J Ford Brand Whisperer (973) 580-4476
A new year begins everyday.
DéVon Christopher Johnson
NEWSTAND DISTRIBUTION Kable Distribution Services 14 Wall Street, Suite 4C New York, NY 10005 Phone: (212) 705-4627 SUBMISSIONS BleuLife Media & Entertainment 262 West 38th Street, suite 1206 New York, NY 10018 email@example.com
Photographed - Patrick Neree Styled - Lindsay Driscoll Blazer/Vest - H.E. Mango Shirt - Bar III
Bleulife Media & Entertainment Inc. 262 West 38th Street 12th Floor New York, NY 10018 E-Mail: Info@Bleulife.com. Online: Bleulife.com Printed in the USA. 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 advertisrs are fully authorized to have secured proper consent for 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 or any person or advertisement in Bleu Magazine is not to be constructed as any indication of sexual orientation of such persons, advertiser or organization. Partial or complete reproduction
“It was all a dream I used to read Word Up magazine Salt’n’Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine Hangin’ pictures on my wall Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl I let my tape rock ‘til my tape popped Smokin’ weed and bamboo, sippin’ on private stock Way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack With the hat to match.”
Florida native, Brian Harris, is an editorial, event and commercial photographer, specializing in celebrity and event photography, with a colorful and energetic style. Harris is the Lead Event Photographer for PopWrapped Entertainment Group, and Harris’ own UrbanXPhotography is highly sought out in Hollywood, New York, Orlando and beyond, collaborating closely with clients, management teams and businesses to create a memorable and highly recognizable image.
C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist. She is based in New York City where she perfects the art of living a fierce life and empowers her readers to do the same through self-improvement, entrepreneurship, and cultural criticism. Her writing appears in online publications including Black Enterprise and a monthly business column on Madame Noire. She is at your service on Twitter (@ CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Lamont Wilson hails from Los Angeles, California. A recent graduate from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University. He is a huge sports enthusiast that believes competition will bring out the best efforts in anyone. A selfproclaimed sneaker head and an avid video gamer, Wilson writes the Healthy eating habits that you can adapt for the Health and Fitness section.
Elton Anderson is a Miamibased photographer but loves to travel for the perfect picture! He enjoys classic style, with a youthful twist. Anderson is a self-proclaimed Nikon user, an Apple lover and Nike Fanatic! There is beauty in everyone and everything.... my goal is to capture it. Anderson focuses his lens on capturing pop innovator, JoJo.
“Juicy” - The NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
I had so many posters on my wall growing up, that I forgot what color the wall was before I started hanging them up. I popped so many cassette tapes that I began to purchase two at a time when my favorite artist dropped a new body of work. When I opened up my monthly Word Up and Black Beat magazines, I would completely escape into a world of Rap, Hip Hop & R&B. For those few hours nothing in my then worry-free life mattered. I would take a flight out of my room in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and end up amidst the lives of all my favorite artist. Then life happened. As each year passed, the realities of this thing called life made it harder and harder for me to escape. The same journey’s that took me away for hours were now limited to a 22 minute train ride. My first class flights were now interrupted by computerized voices announcing my next stop. And my means of deportation were now replaced by blogs, ipads and Instagram. So why take on the position as Editor of Bleu? Simple, I want that old thing back. I want to be a catalyst in taking our readers on a trip. A trip similar to the trips I took as a teenager. A trip that ends once you put this issue down. A trip that if only for a few moments, helps you to escape your worries. From the minute you open up these pages, I want to be a part of your journey through the luxurious ride we’ve provided. Next Stop, Bleu Boulevard. @RaeHolliday #BeBleu
Bombshell 35 - HARD NEWS
9 - CONTRIBUTORS
37 - ARTFUL LIVING
10 - EDITOR’S LETTER
41 - TREND AVE
13 - IT’S ME, IT’S YOU...
61 - FEATURE: BARRY FLOYD
15 - THE 20
63 - CTZEN
17 - GADGETS
64 - JARVIS
19 - CAR
69 - FEATURE: SHAWN CARTER
25 - HEALTH / FITNESS
71 - HEAROS, VILLAINS...
27 - GROOMING
83 - ON THE RISE
29 - FUEL
85 - MAN CAVE
8 - PUBLISHER’S LETTER
87 - BLEU LIST 11
IT’S ME, IT’S YOU, IT’S BLEU
ASCAP 3rd Annual “MORNING GLORY”
BREAKFAST RECEPTION HONORING 2013 STELLARAWARD NOMINEES
MOVIES EVERY GUY SHOULD SEE.
The Skin I Live In
The Dark Knight
City of God
Get Him to the Greek
Stand By Me
Full Metal Jacket
The War of Roses
Anchorman ISSUE 24
GADGETS 3M Streaming Projector by Roku solutions.3m.com $300.00
TOP PICKS WORKING SMARTER, NOT HARDER
that is was this issueâ€™s gadgets are all about. Synergizing the office and home allows you to accomplish more and spend time focusing on what is really important. You need the right tools to get the job done, but you need smart tools to get the job done efficiently.
Lockitron Lockitron.com $79.00
Eastern Collective Textile iCables easterncollective.com $14.00 Celluon Magic Cube Laser Projection Keyboard and Touchpad Amazon.com $118.00
Nest Learning Thermostat store.nest.com $249.00
LX2 Wearable Video Camera Amazon.com $139.88
Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker fitbit.com $59.95
Camelbak All Clear Water Bottle camelback.com $99.00
SpareOne Emergency Phone Spareone.com $69.00
Jambox Customizable Speaker jawbone.com $199.00
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Words - Terrell Allen
Beauty is redefined with the BMW M6 Gran Coupe. As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the beauty in this car will not only catch the eye of its beholder, it will catch the eye of anyone. The aesthetics of this car can be found in both the exterior and interior of the car. The combination of its siblings, the M5 Sedan and the M6 Coupe created what BMW is presenting as the all-new BMW M6 Gran Coupe. The M6 garners top notch speeds reaching heights of 0-60 miles-per-hour in just 4.1 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles-per-hour, just to name a couple of the many all-star attributions to this car in respect to its speed. The four-door coupe is made unique among others of its class by its bonded-in carbon fiber composite roof panel distinctive of the M6 Coupe. Inside the Gran Coupe is Alcantara trim, a sportier, three-spoke steering wheel and upholstered with leather wrapped seats. The gargantuan muscle of the engine is the focus of this vehicle on the road and the most advanced that BMW has ever developed. While remaining in the same gene pool of the M5 and M6 the high-torque 7-speed M-Double Clutch Transmission (M-DCT) sends power uninterrupted to the innovative Active M Differential, which in turn perfectly balances power between the rear wheels. The engine boasts has the highest output ever generated, which provides a meaningful balance between ultra-high performance and fuel consumption. The development of the 4.4- liter twin-turbo V-8 engine resulted in fresh intensity to a new powerful M car experience for its owner. Like a traditional BMW M model, the engineâ€™s operating behavior is characterized by traits such as immediate throttle response and linear power delivery. Details as minor as advancement in break technology cannot be glanced over. The brakes have been upgraded with massive rotors in the front and the rear in addition to six pistons calipers. The driver has customization options in choosing between an M1 mode for a sportier setup and the M2 mode for track duty, all with a simple flick of a button by a finger conveniently located on the steering wheel. Space is the key word for this car with its four-plus-one seating arrangement. It comfortably seats four adults in luxury, and offers a maximum capacity of 5, while providing comfort for the passengers and driver alike. Drivers may want to know that with desirable characteristics in one vehicle rather than following the rules of practicality the sticker price will run up to nearly $110, 000.
HEALTH & FITNESS
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT... so eat right! Words - Lamont Wilson
As we enter the second quarter of the New Year we have more people breaking their commitment to the gym and their “new” healthy eating lifestyle. The hype for most people to shed those extra pounds were to: A. Get right for spring break B. Looking good for the summer time C. Maybe both Whatever the reasons, the act of losing the weight or altering one’s diet is not as difficult, as it would appear. I’m about to put you on to eight practical easy and efficient ways to lose that beer belly and get right and keep it tight.
The key to a healthy diet is making sure you eat the right foods. Any basic food pyramid you look at will have the order of what food you should consume and how often. Cut back on the fried foods and eating late night. Remember losing weight is a marathon and it’s not a sprint. Progress will take some time, but it is worth it.
Some people may feel they have an eating problem. The problem is they can’t wait to eat. Adjust to eating some unhealthy foods occasionally. It’s okay to cheat on your diet, but not all the time. Eating in the middle of the night will undo all the work you have done throughout the day by putting the weight back on.
Most people including myself grew up being a Flintstone’s kid. Vitamins are essential in supplementing key nutrients that we may not get in a meal. Adding a multi-vitamin regularly to a diet will be beneficial towards weight management. Many vitamin manufactures have different vitamins for different lifestyles of people: there are sports vitamins for the more active person, or labeling for plus 50 for women, which would give women who are over 50 key nutrients they need.
Don’t give in to temptation. Weight Watchers is a program where people can plan meals accordingly. Some people feel that Weight Watchers consists of waiting and watching the timer on the microwave to strike zero. Essentially, healthcare professionals will recommend people should eat when they’re hungry, and not because they want food when they see others eating. At the bottom of the food pyramid there’s a tiny section of snacks, candies and fried food that we can eat once in a while. When trying to manage your weight it’s okay to have and give into your cravings, but not all the time.
The old saying of an apple a day can keep the doctor away is true and when adopting new healthy eating habits the saying becomes crucial. A fundamental diet will start and end with fruits and vegetables. They’re packed with nature’s goodness along with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your body running at optimal levels. The key to choosing the right fruit or vegetable is by color for example the darker the vegetable or fruit the more nutrients it has and the healthier it is for you.
GIVE ME SOME SUGAR “Give me some sugar.” We all have heard that phrase before and we may not have heard it in regards to eating, diets or weight management. But not all sugars are bad it’s about reducing the amount of “sweets” or snacks a person will eat. A sugar rush and a sugar crash can adversely affect weight goals, so I advise to look at the labels and actually be mindful of the amount of sugar is in the foods you’re eating. This will be advised to be eaten at moderation and the weight manager’s discretion.
The building blocks of the body. Last but not least the final ingredient to a better, healthier lifestyle is adding protein to your diet. Protein is equivalent to electricity running through the body like electrical circuits. Lack of protein will cause a weaker immune system, which would cause sickness and your body having trouble to fight it off. Many body builders will have to add more protein to their diet to increase size to their body and fuel their workouts, so if its good for somebody that can pull a truck with their bare hands, it should be of some use for somebody trying to get out of bed in the morning.
The word “Carbohydrates,” may scare people who are trying to change their diet and eating habits and the term “Good Carbs” may seem foreign. Good carbs are found in wheats and whole grains, which would provide your body with sustainable energy throughout the day and wouldn’t give you a 2:00 p.m crash. An unknown fact about carbs that many people may not be aware of that it has some benefits to your heart and certain cancers, so by eating more breads, pastas the better for your body.
“So Fresh, So Clean.”
Sensodyne Fresh Impact - $5.49
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“Ain’t nobody dope as me I’m dressed so fresh so clean Don’t you think I’m so sexy I’m dressed so fresh so clean I love when you stare at me I’m dressed so fresh so clean” So Fresh, So Clean Lyrics by
The technology in the OralB Pro-Health Gentle Clean Toothbrush provides gentle but powerful cleaning. Extra soft bristles bend and flex easily at the gum line for gentle cleaning, while still removing up to 90% of plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
Extra Whitening toothpaste breaks up stains to get your teeth whiter. Like other Sensodyne toothpaste products, when used every day, Sensodyne Extra Whitening toothpaste relieves sensitive teeth by building a protective barrier that blocks the pain caused by hot, cold, sweet and other contact triggers and it keeps it from coming back. It also leaves a fresh, clean feeling in your mouth.
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BreathRx Anti-Bacterial Mouth Rinse - $12.99 Wash away bad breath. BreathRx mouth rinse isn`t your ordinary, everyday mouth wash. Its dual-action power attacks odor-causing bacteria at the source and neutralizes their awful foul-smelling odors.
Purifying toothpaste from BreathRx gives you all the features of your regular toothpaste and much more It has a clean mint flavor and a cool blue look. This refreshing minty gel does everything a regular toothpaste does.
BreathRx Tongue Scraper - $5.99 These gentle tongue scrapers significantly reduce bad breath by sweeping away the food and debris that feed odor-causing bacteria on your tongue and in your mouth.
BreathRx Anti-Bacterial Tongue Spray - $9.89 Use it daily with scraping to kill and remove bacteria that produce VSCs. This concentrate has more active ingredient (ZYTEX™ and Cetylpyridinium Chloride) than Breath Mouth Rinse. (2oz) (2 scrapers)
Closys Oral Rinse - $12.99
CloSYS is pH balanced and alcohol free, so it works gently but effectively. And unlike alcoholbased formulas, you get the clean without the burn.
The active difference between CloSYS and other oral rinses is its ability to eliminate the Volatile Sulfur Compounds that cause bad breath and the harmful bacteria that create them, without any burning or irritation.
INGREDIENTS 5 oz Absolut Peppar 2 oz Bloody Mary Mix, my favorite is Major Peters Bloody Mary Mix ¼ tsp Worcestershire Sauce ½ tsp Raw Horseradish ¼ Lime 1 Celery Stalk Build this drink in a tall glass by adding the vodka first, then the Bloody Mary Mix. Dash the Worcestershire Sauce and Horseradish on top. Garnish with a lime wedge and celery stalk ItsBestServedHot.Blogspot.com/p/cocktails.html
SHRIMP N GRITS
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco) 1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp 2 bacon slices, chopped 1 cup frozen chopped onion ¼ cup frozen chopped green bell pepper 1 ½ teaspoons bottled minced garlic 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided 5 cups water 1 ½ cups uncooked quick-cooking grits 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon salt ¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Combine first 3 ingredients; set aside. 2 Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp mixture, broth, and 1/4 cup green onions; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. 3 Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter and salt. Serve shrimp mixture over grits; sprinkle with cheese and remaining green onions. indulgy.com ISSUE 24
BARBADOS A place for FAMILY, HISTORY, and CULTURE Words - De’Von Christopher Johnson
Christ Church, Barbados — Crystal clear water rushes up the shoreline as Nathalia, 12 and India, 8 plays along the beach. Not far away is their mom Dionna Goodman watching the girls as she reclines back to catch a few rays of the almost perfect sun. “Stay where I can see you” she yells, “The water is getting rough”. “Don’t worry mom we are fine,” the girls reply. Ocean views and hot sun are not new to this family who moved to Barbados from Miami, FL just three years ago. After the housing market flattened with no immediate sign of hope , Scoot Goodman, originally of Baldwin, NY, moved his family to the island. “My parents are from here and I have relatives on the island,” adds Mr. Goodman. Wanting their children to have an excellent education and a quality way of life were the main motivation of the family’s move. Island living is not much different then living in the states according to the clan. “Things are just done on a smaller scale here,” says Mrs. Goodman. “The island only has about 235,000 residents.” Mr. Goodman is an entrepreneur with several kiosks in malls back in the states. He travels twice a month to check on his businesses. Mrs. Goodman is a part time deejay. She originally started it as a hobby while the kids were in school. However, she has been developing a following around the island. She has hopes of becoming the go to female DJ for “all things cool” on the island.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/barbados_01.shtml - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbados - http://www.visitbarbados.org/bajan-heritage.aspx http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_literacy_rate_of_Barbados - http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_literacy_rate_of_Barbados#ixzz1taja5Ehr
Last fall the Today Show host, Matt Lauer, paid a visit to the island during his “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” segment the network had been filming across the globe. Tourism is the main industry that fuels the economy. Exposure like that benefits the entire population. Many of the locals were still excited from the visit, even at five months after that the subject comes up in social chatter. They see it as an opportunity to celebrate their culture while boosting economic growth. When the English settlers arrived the island was actually empty. The island had been inhabited by various indigenous populations and then other European settlers who passed it up for bigger islands in the region. According to accessbarbados.com, in 1625 Captain John Powell landed and claimed the uninhabited island for England. Two years later his brother Captain Henry Powell landed with a party of 80 settlers and 10 slaves. More settlers followed in their wake and by the end of 1628 the population was around 2000. Barbados remained part of the British Empire for over 300 years. Much of its success as a colony was a result of the sugar and rum trade. It was seen early on as one of England’s crown jewels. Unfortunately, with the sugar and rum industry came at first indentured servitude and then slavery. An increased demand for sugarcane meant a constant flow of free labor to be imported from West Africa. The population demographics shifted from majority White to majority Black, and still remains the same today. By 1834 Barbados became the first nation in the world to abolish slavery. However, it remained under British rule until 1961 when it achieved self-government. Barbados then became an independent sovereign State within the Commonwealth on November 30th 1966. The Queen is the Head of State of Barbados while the people of the island elect their own Prime Minister, who runs the Government. As a constitutional monarch, The Queen, by convention, is not involved in the day-to-day business of Barbados’s Government, but she continues to play important ceremonial and symbolic roles, says royal.gov.uk
Linton is responding to the criticism that artist like him and international superstar, Rihanna get for recording pop music. He feels that traveling is a natural progression of anyone with as much education that citizens of the island . The island itself boosts support of such artist leaving to “,spread the word” of all the talent present. Invest Barbados has been instrumental in supporting Hal Linton in his journey becoming a recording artist. Invest Barbados is the government agency responsible for unleashing the export potential of the indigenous services sector and helping to develop and manage the Barbados Business brand. “Basically you have an island of really smart and talented people,” adds Linton. “We are are lucky to have a government that supports the arts and wants us to make a mark globally” Barbados is small compared to some of the more popular islands in the Caribbean. However, it is rich and full of pride and culture. New residents and old love it’s charm. The people are proud to call it home, even when they are thousands of miles away. All is not lost to those who leave to pursue careers. They are considered as world ambassadors, showing the world the greatest of the island and its people.
Unlike the Goodman’s, recording artist Hal Linton was born on Barbados. He still considers it home but calls himself a “, citizen of the world”. Linton is also a writer and producer that has worked with many American music artists. “Of course soca and calypso are the heart of the Bajan music seen,” says Linton. “However, we are not secluded from the rest of the world. We are definitely influenced by American culture.”
OP - ED
How an Ex-Convict Is Transforming the Lives of Others Words - Shawn Thomas
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. It’s an overly used cliché that many remember from some point in their childhood. However, the saying doesn’t seem so clichéd when stories of the mafia, conviction, and prison are brought into the picture. There is nothing cliché about meeting a man who was beaten and tortured, not by inmates but by prison guards when locked up. There is nothing cliché about meeting a man who can share stories about his involvement in the mob and then turn around and share with you the moral consequences of turning our backs on our youth. There is nothing cliché about meeting a man who is not just a so-called bad guy turned good, but instead, is a living, breathing example of success and triumph. No, there’s nothing cliché about these things or Larry Lawton’s other stories, which aren’t for the faint of heart. They are stories filled with heart-wrenching emotion and strong-willed determination to beat a system that has wrecked havoc on more than just one life. Behind the tough exterior of a man who’s spent time in the Navy SEALS, was convicted of crimes, and dealt with nightmares in prison you wouldn’t even want to imagine, lies someone who is trying to make sure no one else ends up like he did. But none of this should be misconstrued as a feel-good story based on sheer luck or a “come-to-Jesus” moment. Even according to him, “Don’t think prison changed you. You’ve got to change yourself.” Chance has had very little to do with Lawton’s success so far, and if it weren’t for his own self-confidence, much of the change he’s made probably wouldn’t exist right now. Instead, determination is the tool Lawton’s used to begin his own self-journey and build his campaign for the youth of today. Turn to any number of channels and you can find him speaking about his work with children, but this isn’t some hidden means to fame or some reality star clutching on to the last 10 seconds of their 15 minutes of fame. No, Lawton is using his book and his interviews as a vehicle for change in America’s youth. In his own words, “Our youth is our future,” and they are an investment that we must bank on. It is because of this that Lawton has dedicated a large chunk of his life to working with adolescents, stating “I’d like to keep kids out of jail. That’s my end goal. I don’t care what color you are; I don’t want to see you in jail.” Lawton goes on to share some choice words for his own generation, who he believes has a false notion that they know what’s best. “People my age will look at a kid, and he’ll have a weird haircut and they’ll say ‘Look at that f*cking kid.’ And I don’t look at it like that,” he explains, “I look at that kid and see an innovative; someone making a change or a statement or whatever. And I say, you know what, that kid is going to be a leader. He’s not going to follow like a little robot down the road. That kid is the one we’ve got to get, and once that young man starts making good choices, he’s unstoppable.” He goes on to
reminisce about how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both innovative thinkers who didn’t follow the straight and narrow, and it’s obvious just how much Lawton wants to empower today’s youth. His way of empowering? Telling them to take risks. “My goal is to tell young people: Make the right risk,” Lawton professes, “Be a risk taker. Be a Bill Gates.” You could say that Lawton is someone who took risks himself. Ending up in prison was never on his agenda as a child, but he took it and made something amazing out of it. Now, Lawton is taking what he’s gotten and applying it to the system that put him there in the first place. You see, advocating for children isn’t Lawton’s only concern; he also isn’t afraid to speak his mind on what’s wrong with the prison system. Lawton identified with much of what Harry Belafonte said during the 2013 NAACP Awards in speaking out against the state of our prison systems in the U.S. “There is no rehabilitation in prison. They’ll tell you that from day one. Tortures and abuses go on everyday,” he says with a deep type of seriousness that only comes from experience. None of this sits well with Lawton and is the basis for his ideas on how to positively impact what happens behind those cement walls. According to Lawton, there are accreditation committees that are used to inspect prisons and keep them accredited. However, the prisons know when the committees are coming and clean things up to keep themselves out of trouble. Cleaning things up even includes sticking the bad prisoners underground. With all of this happening, Lawton knows that “nothing get’s changed.” Despite this, he has a well thought out plan on what could be done to keep prisons from constantly pulling this off. This plan includes an independent group that goes in and inspects prisons, and by “independent”, Lawton means someone like himself. “I can have the authority to go into any prison at anytime and inspect it. Once I go to the prison, I’m not just there to fire people. I’m there to see the truth.” It’s quite an aspiration to have for an ex-convict to go back and make the place he came from better for others, but it is exactly this that makes Lawton such a stand-up guy. Holding no resentment or hard feelings towards authority figures who many would say deserve that and more is just one of the many ways in which Lawton has proven himself as a changed man who hopes to spread that same change as far as he can. “I’m not bitter at all. It’s just terrible what goes on,” he says in a voice full of forgiveness and hope. Lawton knows that his experience isn’t a singular, solitary case, and if anything, it almost seems that without that experience he wouldn’t be able to do everything he does today. In terms of what Lawton’s end goal is with the prison system, he only had these words, “I hope to change it one day, somehow. I hope I really do. I won’t quit trying, that’s for sure.”
J.T LISS Words - C. Cleveland
If you talk to J.T. Liss about his work, the thing you walk away with is a sense of synergy. No facet of his life exists in solitude; everything feeds off one another. So, it’s no surprise that he isn’t just a photographer, but a photographer for social change. Liss considered himself an advocate for social change long before he picked up a camera. He majored in social work in college and has worked in residential facilities for abused children. Life in the trenches, face-to-face with society’s most neglected ills, had a major impact on him. “I wanted to do everything I could to help,” he said. “Going into teaching and you have 30 kids in front of you, sometimes in the palm of your hand; it’s a very humbling experience. I’ve always wanted to help empower them.” The quality of his work masks that Liss’ journey in photography began just three years ago on a street in East Harlem. Walking to and from a gig as a schoolteacher in the Bronx, headphones blasting, he felt a growing urge to capture the world around him. After a quick trip to Jersey to grab his mom’s point and shoot, Liss didn’t stand a chance: he was hooked. Despite his love for teaching, taking photos took over. “I had this outlet with photography. It would ignite something within me,” he said. “It’s an overwhelming feeling to push myself and see how far I can go. I just jumped. It wasn’t pretty the first year… It’s definitely a hustle for sure.” Don’t get it twisted. Liss didn’t abandon the causes and kids he holds dear. He’s still in the classroom, teaching photography now. Proceeds from online sales of prints at J.T. Liss Photography for Social Change go to organizations like B.E.A.T that teaches hip hop skills like beat making and break dancing to inner city kids, and Hug It Forward, a non-profit that
builds homes for the homeless in Guatemala out of recycled products. He also regularly holds events to raise funds and awareness for their missions. Liss calls his original inspiration home. “EL Barrio is alive!” he said. “116th on a Saturday is hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been there. You walk down the street and it’s so many different things going on.” If you bump into Liss on the street, you’ll probably find him with headphones still blasting, camera in hand. Music is a huge influence on how he shoots and what he writes about. He’s a poet, too. Poetry didn’t start out as a companion to his photographs, but it naturally worked its way into the mix to better convey his message of art advancing social good. For Liss, constructing an image is a lot like putting together a puzzle. Music sets the mood (Nas focuses his lens on people, while Sigur Rós turns his view toward the sky), poetry expands the story, and technology melds experiences together. The latest evolution of Liss’ work has him layering up to five images on top of each other. Creating a ‘through the looking glass’ effect with double images and sometimes triple and quadruple exposure. With all the influences running rampant in his mind, I wondered what kept the photographer centered. “The belief that I’m exactly where I need to be as long as I keep creating,” Liss said. “Every time I create an image, or write a poem, I’m one step closer to where I need to be. If I keep doing that I’ll get there. I can’t stop.”
Perry Ellis By Duckie Brown
Maison Martin Margiela
3.1 Phillip Lim
JOE BUDDEN “I
was popping Mollys all summer. When I was doing it, I hadn’t slept in five days. It has a lot of side effects, a lot of side effects,” states Budden in his signature gravely tone. The love and Hip-Hop star’s ongoing struggle with drugs is not something that he hides from. Since the release of his debut single “Pump it up,” in August 2003, Budden has become the source of curiosity for many people in the hip-hop community.
Words - Amber Kennedy / Photographer - Patrick Neree / Stylist - Lindsay Driscoll / Assistant Stylist -Teddy Altifois
Budden an open book on his relationships and drug use remains an enigma. We hear more about his personality from his ex-lovers and cast mates than we actually see on the show. It would appear that season three of the Mona Scott produced Love and Hip –Hop could easily be renamed “All about J Bud.” Budden is connected to every cast member and appears to be the tie that binds everyone. He was quoted saying in an interview with Hot 97“Everything Joe Budden related is transparent; every bar, every verse is transparent. Now you’re just getting a picture to go along with it. Any time I can broaden awareness, I have nothing to hide.” Listening to lyrics of the track “Castles ,” from the ‘No Love Lost,’mix tape one gets a sense that Budden is a man, who is exercising his demons when he spits “ You’d probably tell me I’m a fucked up nigga/ You got it wrong/ I just won’t be fucked up wit ya.” Joe can be found candidly discussing his relapse that broke 14 years of sobriety from drugs. His parents were also drug users each having 20 plus years of sobriety. Joe admits to using molly and being up for five days straight. He says that Molly makes you hallucinate, and sometimes when things are not going well in your life you want that escape. He has also spoken about not remembering whole summers and the people around him not knowing him because of his drug use. With the show Joe allows fans to peer into his life as he battles this devil. He is now sober with the help of his mother and his ex-girlfriend Tahiry. His story is relevant in a time when drug usage is being glorified in songs such as All Gold Everything by Trinidad James chants “Poppin Molly/I’m sweating” and Diamonds by Rihanna, the roc nation princess sings “As we moonshine and molly, feel the warmth, we’ll never die.” What these songs aren’t highlighting is what really happens when your on drugs. Love and Hip Hop shows Joe’s family and everyday life being affected by his choice to use drugs. His mom said “, a lot of people can get clean, but it’s more important to stay clean, its a choice between life and death”. Famed ex-girlfriend, Tahiry told the Breakfast club “It affected me, it hurt me, I’m watching it happen. I and his mom are real close. I’m not with him, but I don’t want him to pop some pills and die.” She continues on and states “we have a lot of history a lot of hurt and pain. have all kinds of baggage, Chanel and ish.” She concludes with “I’m over Joe, been over Joe.” Another Love and Hip-Hop cast member, who appears to have caught Budden Fever is Raqi Thunder, a former Sirus personality. When discussing Joe’s place on the show or if they have a sexual history, Thunder states “Joe Budden is on the show because of me. I’m the top dog. I am not going to be sleeping on those target sheets.” She proceeds to discuss his connection with drugs when she says “Joe to me is always on something.” Love him or hate em it would appear that Budden certainly has a way with the ladies. Despite his battle with drugs and public romances Budden always seems to come out on top, proving many who have pegged him as a one note rapper wrong.
Jacket - Jean Shop / Scarf- Hugo Boss / Jeans - Diesel 51
Looks like Joe has chosen life, and has decided to help others as well. Along with making his struggle with drugs public, he has also been very vocal in his interviews about not glorifying drugs and showing younger people that there is nothing glamorous about drug usage. Beyond the interviews Joe has been taking his message to local community centers as well. He believes there are not enough people speaking out about drugs and that someone should. One can not tell the story of Budden without discussing his relationship with Tahiry. Known for her voluptuous shape and vivacious personality, Tahiry seems to be one of the few people to understand the rapper. These two were a couple for five years, and were well known for their public roller-coaster relationship. Despite Budden’s relationship with 21 year old, Zumba Instructor, Kaylin Garcia . There appears to be an undeniable chemistry between Tahiry and Joe. All is well between these two “friends” until Joe refuses to do a song with Tahiry because his current girlfriend is uncomfortable. But prior to this Joe stood up for Tahiry against another Love and Hip Hop cast member Raqi Thunda. This constant back and forth between them being friends and more than friends is definitely a huge reason why audiences tune in week to week. With so many of his personal issues on front Street, I had to ask Joe if he ever regrets having his personal life out for the public to see? He says, “I try not to live with regret, as long as you live with them you’ll die with them” He is pretty much an open book. This season shows him as more than a rapper he is a man who has many conflicting sides, loves his family, and the women in his life. What’s next for Joe beyond Love and Hip Hop? He is currently in the studio with Slaughterhouse working on their sophomore album, which follows up Welcome to Our House released last year. Joe has also partnered up with his friend Aristotle for a clothing line entitled “By Any Means” which is available on Karma-Loop. Joe became a part of By Any Means clothing because he believes in the message behind it, which is resilience, perseverance and following your dreams. It’s safe to say that with all the recent drama in the news and blogosphere the upcoming Love and Hip Hop reunion is sure to be an interesting one. Joe is currently beefing with Consequence, what happened there? Are he and Tahiry back together? And if so what happened to Kaylin Garcia? After all is said and done Joe’s life may be complicated but its real. Just like a normal person he has sides to him that are in conflict, but it’s obvious he’s trying to do better. At the end of the day he just wants the people watching to see he is a genuine guy, regardless if you agree with him or not. He is who he is whether the cameras are rolling or not. Ultimately that’s why we will be tuning in...
Jacket- Hugo Boss / T-shirt- Alfani / Jeans- Jean Shop
I’m e m l l e t bly a b o r p d ’ t it o g u “ You o Y , igga n p u d e ed k c u f a fuck e b n’t o w t s u j I wrong, .” a y t i w p u
Sweatshirt- By Any Means / Hat- First Class / Jeans - Jean Shop
N - LAW Seth London focuses his lenses on Alica Key’s brother, Cole Cook and Swizz Beatz brother, Andre Leon King as they sport this seasons premiere looks. Men’s fashion is taking on a life all its own and Cole and Andre show us that they are not just brothers in –laws , but brothers in style.
Styled - Sequin Lee
Watch - Nooka / Jacket and Shirt - Versace 55
Shirt - Jil Sander America Inc / Hat - Zara ISSUE 24
Shirt - SIR NY 57
Glove - Ninh Menswear / Shirt - CK / Jeans - DL1961 Premium Denim ISSUE 24
Top - Dejuan Hightower
Top - Agency V Showroom / Designer - Henrik Vibskov / Watch - Red Light PR - Designer - Nooka
Barry Words - Terrell Allen
For the past couple of years hit sit-com,“The Game,” has created a gateway for Barry Floyd to enter the homes of millions across the nation. Floyd, commonly known by his screen name, Tee Tee, has become the witty, smart mouthed assistant that lightens up the television screen with the comedy that he brings to his character. Floyd went from being behind the camera to in front of it becoming an integral part to the cast. His story however does not stop short at just being a character of, “The Game,” but has just been one of the many heights he approached upon his breakthrough venture into the television industry. Floyd has remained himself and his skill of making people laugh has never left his side making it easy to draw in any audience via on screen or in person.
Bleu: How did you get into acting and describe the first moment you wanted to take part in acting? Floyd: I moved to L.A. from Philly to do some screenwriting. I went to Temple University and got my degree in Media Arts. When I moved to L.A. I started off as a production assistant and hopped around a bunch of different shows and I ended up on the set of, “Girlfriends,” created by Mara Brock Akil the same person that created, “The Game.” At the time they were shooting, “Girlfriends,” and “The Game,” at the same time and one day on set during a rehearsal I had to stand in for another actor who wasn’t there. The casting director was there and she asked if I ever thought about acting and I said I never had, I wanted to be a screenwriter. She asked me if I wanted to audition for his role on, “The Game,” for the character, Tee Tee. I went in, I auditioned for it not really thinking I was going to get it, but I took it seriously and gave it my best and ended up with the part. I kind of just fell into it. Bleu: Does Tee Tee the character reflect you as a person? Floyd: Yea a little bit. I guess we have a similar sense of humor. Tee Tee, is a better and bigger person than me because he put’s up with a lot more than I would from his friends. I do bring my comedic style and sense of humor to the character. Bleu: How did you make that adjustment from being behind the camera to in front of the camera? Floyd: I’m use to it now. When it first started happening it was weird, like people knowing me when I didn’t know them. People just coming up to me and asking for pictures and stuff, that was weird to me at first but now I’m use to it and I’m enjoying it. I’m always gracious when people come up and it’s because of them I have a job pretty much. If they didn’t care about my character or they didn’t care about the show I wouldn’t be where I am so I am always very gracious when people come up to me on the street, I am very appreciative.
with your finances, your money has to last you until the next gig happens. That was the biggest challenge for me from going to this 9-5 then working when the phone rings. Bleu: Outside of acting I read you enjoy screenwriting. Tell me a little about that and its significance. Floyd: I did a show on the Internet called, “PurpleStuffTv,” and I was the head writer. We shot a pilot for it and still shopping it around. I’m also always writing things on the side. I never gave up my goal for being a screenwriter even though I’m an actor, so I’m kind of an actor/screenwriter. I’m always writing my own projects on the side trying to get them in front of the right people and talking to the writers. I’m still a writer at heart. If you were to put a gun to my head and told me I had to choose one or the other, I would have to go with writing because I that was my first love. Bleu: What projects are you currently working on? Floyd: We just wrapped up taping The Game. I also have a voice over gig and have been doing a lot of voice over projects mostly for commercials and working my way up hopefully for cartoons and video games Bleu: Who would you love to work with on future projects? Floyd: Samuel Jackson! I really look up to him because I remember being a kid he was in every random movie or TV show like he never turned down a job and he’s always working.Even now he’s always working and he is everywhere. Craig Robinson! I met him before and he is really cool and funny, I would love to work with him. Denzel! Just saw, “Flight,” and it was amazing. He rarely … forget that, he never disappoints and as an actor I would love to know what his process is on set. Twitter: @Barry_Floyd Facebook:Barry Floyd Instagram: @Barry_Floyd
Bleu: What challenges have you faced while being on, “The Game?” Floyd: The biggest challenge for me was making the transition from production assistant to acting. The money in acting is much better, but as a PA I had a job Monday through Friday, and knew that every Friday I was going to get a check. With acting, again because it is such a fickle business, you have to be real careful
Words - Reginald Larkin
Boy bands are back and unless you are a hermit, there is neither rhyme nor reason why you haven’t heard the music of today’s brightest stars. English bands One Direction and The Wanted would appear to have a monopoly on the game, however all that is about to change, meet Ctzen.
Words - Kent Olden
MAKE A LITTLE ROOM… FOR
Fresh off a stint on season 2 X-Factor, Calvin Seabrooks , Parker Wright , Kelechi Kalu , Russel Francis , and Patrick Hartigan comprise the five-man musical movement. Following their performance of En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go,” L.A Reid states “Great song. Great arrangement. I really liked it.” It appears that their careers have been on the fast track since receiving such great feedback.
Jarvis Re-Ups with a Return to the Spotlight
Bleu Magazine recently caught up with the musical neophytes to discuss life post changing their name, developing their sound, and the Grammys.
Don’t call it a comeback; he’s been here for years. With his debut single “Radio” taking over airwaves in 2004, R&B recording artist,Jarvis has been established in this game since before he even set foot in high school. Going from a bright-eyed teen singing about young love to becoming the man he is harmonizing about how his love keeps him young, Jarvis’s journey through the music is seen in every lyric and felt with every note. Experience an industry roller coaster of sorts, Jarvis learned hands-on the ups and down of the industry and used that experience to make his art. And now, finally coming in to his own, Jarvis’s sultry voice lets us know that he is still here, so we all should just Make A Little Room… EVERYONE REMEMBERS YOUR 2004 DEBUT RADIO WHEN YOU WERE JUST STARTING HIGH SCHOOL. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT NOW? It feels good just to know that all of my hard work and persistence is starting to pay off. It feels great. I was very young, and I’ve a lot of growth since then musically and vocally. I’m more well-rounded now, not like I wasn’t then, but I was young so I sang like I was young….everything was childish and kiddy. Now I have a more adult feel and you can hear my journey in my music.
How does feel to be an American Band in a sea of UK bands? CS: It feels great actually; it feels great to be the only American singing group. We are Five different people with different interest. KK: We like to think of our sound as universal. We are pretty much a melting pot. We are all from different parts of the United States. Coming together and being one, that’s what Ctzen is all about. What made you select the name Ctzen? CS: The name Ctzen came from a Stevie Wonder song, Sir Duke. From the first line “Music is a world within itself and that we all understand.” We Gravitated to that line because everyone can be a citizen in the world of music. PW: We took out the “I” in citizen. Who influenced your sound as a Group? RF: We love the greats Stevie Wonder, Brian Mcknight , Boyz II Men , and Prince. KK: Some more of our inspirations include Adele , Janelle Monae , N’ Sync , Justin Timberlake , even Pharrell.” Our Sound again is universal.
What is one song you would love to cover? CS: We would love to do any song from the Bruno Mars album, but we would love to do Gorilla, Moon Shine, Natalie, Young Girls. He took inspiration from Sting and The Police. He tells a great story. KK: We are excited about the Justin Timberlake album! How did it feel to be included in the Grammys, so early in your career? PW: The Grammys is the pinnacle of most artists’ career. To be involved with any event surrounding the Grammys is dreams come true. Describe the experience performing for the X-Factor judges. KK: we are so grateful for and humbled by our X-Factor experience. I get chills just thinking about us performing in front of industry greats Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, and L. A. Reid!
IN 2012 YOU RELEASED YOUR INDEPENDENT MIXTAPE HEARTACHE. WHY WAS THAT NAME CHOSEN, AND WHAT STORY DOES HEARTACHE TELL TO YOUR LISTENERS? The name came from my relationship with music; being passionate about it like a first love. I use it as a metaphor [for] a relationship with my career: the ups and downs of it and all. The story is just a little bit of my journey and my growth. I give a variety of sounds to show what I can do. It’s a prequel to the Cardiology album. MAKE A LITTLE ROOM IS MAKING MAJOR SPLASHED IN R&B RIGHT NOW. HOW DID YOU COME TO CHOOSE THAT AS THE LEAD SINGLE FROM THE MIXTAPE? Well it came because a Chattanooga radio station started to play it and we didn’t know, but it got a lot of positive feedback from the fans, so we just embraced it and pushed it.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR PROGRESSION FROM RADIO TO MAKE A LITTLE ROOM. HOW HAS JARVIS GROWN MUSICALLY FROM THEN TO NOW?
WHAT WAS THE FIRST SONG YOU EVER SANG IN PUBLIC? HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE? It was Kissing Game by Hi-Five. The experience was great. I got my nerves out and people enjoyed it. It made me feel good. That’s one of the main reasons why I do it. Troop’s All I Do was another favorite. You know The Jackson 5 did that first, right? Troop redid it, and that made it more popular.
AS IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US, THINGS DON’T ALWAYS GO AS PLANNED. YOU STARTED OUT WITH SO SO DEF, TRANSITIONED TO DTP, AND NOW YOU’RE ON THE ROSTER WITH CAPITOL MUSIC GROUP. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE DETERMINING FACTORS IN YOUR LIFE THAT HAVE KEPT YOU FOCUSED ON THE TASK AT HAND AND THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL? What kept me focused the best is hearing myself get better over time and knowing that I wasn’t staying stagnant. Everything was getting better: my style, my sound, my voice…everything. At times I didn’t know what to do or where to go, and I would just take it out in the studio. I was always working toward something. Seeing myself getting better [just] made me better.
IF YOU COULD REMAKE ANY SONG, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Wow…that’s a really good question. There’s so much good stuff out there, and I would want to gratify the original if I did it. I would really leave everything how it is because that’s how I would wanna hear it. I’m a fan of a lot of different songs, music, and artists, and I just love to hear them in their vintage.
THAT BEING SAID, TELL ME HOW IT FELT TO WATCH YOUR VIDEO FOR “MAKE A LITTLE ROOM” DEBUT ON E! NEWS AND MTV JAMS THIS WEEK. It felt great…I didn’t get to see it, but I heard about it, [and] just to know it happened, and people called and tweeted with love and support, was great. Progress is being made and the feedback is all positive. People enjoy what I’m doing and it’s great.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT FROM JARVIS? Just to continue to work the single and the mixtape. The album is coming soon. That’s really the next thing to be expected. Just getting out there touching the people and letting them know that I’m here with a new look and new sound.
Radio was just about a sunny day and Make A Little Room is about a relationship and what all goes with it. It deals with real life things and living life, growing in the industry and learning.
IT’S PRETTY COMMON NOWADAYS FOR RECORDING ARTISTS TO JOIN THE RANKS OF HOLLYWOOD STARS AND SHOW OFF THEIR ACTING CHOPS. HAVE YOU EVER CONTEMPLATED MOVIE ROLES? IF SO, WHAT TYPE OF MOVIE WOULD YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR DEBUT IN? No I haven’t but I would like to get into it in the future. Right now I’m just focused on music. If I did, it would be like comedy or action. I like horror too. Acting would be a dream come true [for me], but I just want to record an incredible album right now.
SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF WITH THE FANS THAT NO ONE WOULD KNOW UNLESS THEY ASKED. I’m really, really, REALLY goofy…a little bit. I just like to have a good time. I’m all over the place and a lot of people don’t know how crazy I am until they see it…and then try to get away from me! >laughs<
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD? Just let all my fans know they can find me on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Everything is @JarvisTheArtist. My website is www.JarvisTheArtist.com. The Make A Little Room video is on YouTube, and the Heartache mixtapecan be downloaded from www.livemixtapes.com.
Tran lucent Brown ugar Words - Amber Kennedy / Photographer - Elton Anderson
Jojo came on the scene in 2004 at the age of thirteen with her hit single “Get out Leave”. Fans were blown away with the thunderous voice that came out of such a small frame. She returned in 2006 with the hit single “Too Little Too Late” lifted from her sophomore release ‘, The High Road.’
Fans did not hear from Jojo again until 2010 when she released her mixtape “Can’t take that away from me,” the break out single was “In the Dark” where she sings about having a lover that she only has a physical relationship with, and feeling conflicted about it. June 2011, introduced the world to a very different JoJo through her cover of Drake’s “Marvin’s Room,” which became a viral hit. Noah “40” Shebib, the original producer of the drake crafted cut, heard Jojo’s cover and produced her single, “Demonstrate.“ On her 22nd birthday Jojo released her latest project ‘Agape.’
with Wood stock and Janet Jackson’s velvet rope tour playing on the T.V in the background. “It was important to me to take my fans on a 30 minute journey, it’s all about living in the moment and enjoying the ride” The result is a project that is cohesive with a clear story of who Jojo is now. She is paving her own way and not asking for permission. She has come too far to return to her former self. There are people who want to hear this new voice and her mission is to make sure they do. Ultimately she a normal girl in her 20‘s trying to find her way through love, life, and knowing herself.
JoJo shows us that she is ready to take charge on this new release. Agape is a thirty-minute voyage into the woman she has become. The music is reminiscent of the 90’s when R&B ruled the scene, with its melodic beats and hypnotic lyrics. Jojo states she strived to be “transparent and expose her fans to who she really is.” She takes no prisoners and if a few F bombs have to be dropped in the process so be it.
Many would be interested to know how easy it is to talk to Jojo, she’s charming, humble and unassuming. We spoke about her inspirations, love of music and what she wants for the future. Jojo goes by the name of transluscentbrownsugar on instagram, which pays homage to one of her favorite singers D’Angelo’s hit song “Brown Sugar.” Translucent refers to the kind of music she is focused on making.
Even with all of its strength what is most endearing about ‘Agape,’ is Jojo’s vulnerability. The introduction of ‘Agape,’ finds by explaining it took twenty-two years to find herself and how now she trusts her own voice to speak for her. What does she have to say? Well In “Take the Canyon,” she talks about rendezvousing with a secret love, in “White Girl in Paris,” she talks about living a life without the pressures of the people in her life asking for favors, and feeling truly free. In “We Get By,” she talks about the optimism she feels though she is dealing with trials and tribulations with her current label. In “Can’t handle the Truth,” She sings,“ If you could handle the truth, I’d never lie to you. So busy loving yourself leaves no room for anyone else.”
“I was not raised to recognize color, and I moved around so much that I have been exposed to so many cultures.” Translucent is also referring to the absence of color. After all why should the guys have all the fun? Jojo is representing female blue eyed soul in a way similar to her counterparts Adele and the late Amy Whinehouse. In her cover of Marvin’s Room she sings that“ she bets his new girl isn’t crazy like she is.” Admitting to being crazy is the last thing women want to do, out of fear of appearing unattractive. JoJo does not have that fear. She mentioned artist like Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse being a big inspirations because “they were not worried about being perfect, they told the truth without worrying about what they looked like”, Other than crazy, when asked to describe herself in a word she chose “sensitive.” “everything about me is sensitive, I love hard, I play hard, and even my allergies are sensitive!” Along with Mitchell and Winehouse she cites Musiq Soulchild and Jill Scott as inspirations as well.
‘Agape,’ was recorded at her friend Austin Brown’s studio, in Los Angeles. She described the experience as “organic,” with days spent writing
Imagine my excitement as a Philadelphia native to hear that she is a fan of the neo-soul scene, she exclaimed “I love Philly!!“ It has such history and culture. Jojo knows a lot about culture as she has traveled all over soaking up inspiration. She loves meeting new people and having conversations about music. Her tour dates take her all over the world, and in her live performances her inspirations can be heard as she covers songs ranging from the late Aaliyah, to Amy Winehouse,to Rihanna. No conversation with Jojo is complete without discussing the elephant in the room. Where is her latest album? Where has she been? At the moment she is dealing with a very sensitive issue with her current label. After so many promised releases and pushed back dates, Jojo has become exasperated with her label. Under her current contract she does not have the creative license she needs to grow and take her fans on a journey of who she has become. This is why ‘Agape,’ is so important. Jojo has been very vocal with her frustrations and when asked if that has affected her negatively with her label, she responded that she doesn’t think it made a difference either way. “My fans deserve to hear where I have been and why.” With millions of records sold in her career, and current challenges Jojo has been forced to redefine what success means to her. “Success is being able to impact people, performing, and happiness has now become being proud of the work that I present.” Five years from now she sees herself empowered free of baggage, releasing albums, and on a world tour. Agape is definitely a step in the right direction, #teamjojo get ready because Jojo is indeed “translucent brown sugar,” and now that she has taken control her future has become so clear.
BY THE MAESTRO Shawn Carter Peterson
Does Everything He Takes On Well
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women, merely players. Words written centuries ago by the world-renowned William Shakespeare, no truer description outlines the passion for performing that is displayed by Shawn Carter Peterson. A jack of all trades, so-to-speak, SCP (as he likes to refer to himself) has mastered the world of music as a concert pianist and video director, takes pride in his academics as a Vassar grad (with time spent at Morehouse College), and is attacking his acting at full force as he stars in the upcoming sci-fi thriller The Host. Well-spoken, well-balanced, and well-rounded, Shawn Carter Peterson is well-deserving of the accolades coming his way. Now, with the premiere of his new film The Host nearing, SCP sits down with Bleu Magazine to talk about his love of the limelight and overall passion to perform Words - Kent Olden / Photographer - Benny Haddad / Grooming - Travisean Haynes TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE MOVIE THE HOST. The Host is something from Stephanie Meyer [from Twilight fame]. It’s her next jump into the film world. The earth has been taken over by aliens that look like silver slugs, and they take over human bodies. They take over the world and have hosted in most bodies except for a small group. My character “Wes” is a part of that group. They form their own community and live. One of the hosts infests another member of the community, “Melanie,” who has fallen in love with another host, and her character is conflicted. The thing is the host is there but Melanie is still there, so we hear both voices from her. It’s a life or death situation for her because, although Melanie is still showing through the infestation, she’s still has a host inside of her, so no one knows if she can be trusted. There are a few side stories that touch on love and family (Wes comes in with family)…it’s just a good story to watch unfold. WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS SCRIPT? Aside from it being Stephanie Meyer, I wanted to be a part of something that big. I’ve never done sci-fi before, so it was a double challenge being that it was such a huge project and my first sci-fi anything. It was like being a big kid just getting paid to play. There’s no way to say no to that! TELL ME WHAT TYPES OF THINGS YOU DID TO PREPARE FOR ‘WES.’ Wow…well, I had to kind of get into the mindset of what it’s like to have your own community be invaded by foreign beings. It’s a common story in the human existence, and I had to reconnect with that: it’s a danger to have your home, your space invaded. It was mostly mental prep, so I sent my mind to a place where I could relate. WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT ACTING WAS WHAT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO DO? Actually, I’ve always been a performer. I started playing piano at age 4, doing concerts and all that. I didn’t start acting until 10, and I decided to audition for a school production of Peter Pan in 7th grade. I landed the lead role and just fell in love. I went back and forth between concert pianist and actor, but at the end of all of it, I just wanted to perform. Performing just comes naturally for me, so I never really have to choose. It’s weird because sometimes you have people that tell you to focus on one thing, but it’s not true for everybody. I have to do what’s good for me and everybody else be damned! WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST FULFILLING ROLE SO FAR? I directed and starred in a short film about Bob Marley a few years ago: The Untitled Bob Marley Project. I always wanted to play Bob Marley, but the process I went through to create the piece forced me to get clear with what I wanted to do with it: rehearsals, dialect coaching, fact checking, studying his speech…it was really emotional. I was afraid people wouldn’t share my vision. Once I went through that process and put it all together, I was very proud of it. It was fulfilling to recreate a character and put my own spin on it. ARE THERE ANYMORE UPCOMING PROJECTS WE CAN LOOK FOR FROM YOU? I just shot an episode of Hart of Dixie on the CW, and an episode of Southland which airs the third week of March. I shot a film in Louisiana called The Starving Games, which is a spoof of The Hunger Games. I played Red Foo from LMFAO, and that’s debuting later in 2013.
WHAT DO YOU GENERALLY LOOK FOR IN THE ROLES THAT YOU TAKE ON? I look for diversity. I look for things I haven’t yet done. I look for something that speaks to me. When I read the script for Hart of Dixie it just popped. I said “I need this.” It just looked like it was gonna be fun…I’m kinda quirky and I talk to myself sometimes >laughs< and I just got tickled when I talked about it with myself. Whatever it is and I feel it, I have to do it. Whether it be comedy or drama or anything, it has to be felt. WHAT MAJOR ROLE WOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY IF YOU COULD CHOOSE? There was a musician named Jellyroll Morton and a play written about his life Jelly’s Last Jam with Maurice Hines. I saw the play a while ago and I was just enthralled by it. He was a musician from Louisiana and he was a pianist, and the marriage of my piano skills and my acting would be perfect. That’s the ultimate performance for me. I always wanted to do a period piece, but something like The Prince of Egypt, or something about, like, Mali and all their philosophy and science and culture. I always wanted to play some ancient prince or the king of sh*t! I always have to think of how I would be cast, so I always keep that in mind. I used to always be put up for the black guy roles and the drug dealer roles, but that’s not how I read on camera, so it doesn’t really work. A lot of roles I go up for now are those racially ambiguous roles where the producer doesn’t necessarily know what type of race they want. But when you’re giving the opportunity to do something you wouldn’t have otherwise done, that’s where the work comes. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL IN ACTING? WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM SEEING YOUR PERFROM? I want people to be emotionally moved, whatever that means. I that is, my character] don’t necessarily have to be liked, but I want to invoke some type of emotion in the people. I always wanna do good work, and be respected for that work. I don’t have to be a star, but I want to be seen as one of the best artists out there. SUM UP YOUR ACTING IN THREE WORDS. Do it well! At the end of the day, whether I’m playing, acting, singing, cooking, or cleaning, I never wanna do anything half-assed. When you’re given the opportunity to do something, whether someone is gonna see it or not, you should put your all in it. What you put into the universe is what you get back: you do mediocre stuff, you get mediocre stuff back, and I don’t want that. I want what God has for me. ANYTHING TO ADD? I’ve spoken to new artists/actors in the business and I always say it may be hard, but always be true to yourself. Giving them what they want won’t always let them see you and your light shine. Just do you. Shawn Carter Peterson is the founder of Maestro Entertainment. He also directs music videos, short films, and has directed a few television pilots. For the latest on SCP updates, follow him on Twitter @ShawnTheMaestro and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ scpfanpage.
BLEUPRINT Heroes, villains and sidekicks have always been on the forefront of comic books. But it’s often the mysterious personalities and geniuses behind the characters that evoke the brains of the audience. So I got a chance to chat with Jheremy Raapack, David Finch and Sanford Greene, some of the great artist behind characters such as Batman, Superman and The Justice League of America. And I received the chance to ask them random questions about their not so simple profession. Their expertise opens up a whole new world to those who may know everything to nothing about comic illustrating. I now present… Words - Tami Hawk
Q: In a recent interview with MTV, you stated how your work was going to become more urban. Do you think you will produce more minority characters after Rotten Apple? A: Yes, actually the plan and part of my mad scientist mind is that I’m creating characters within the Rotten Apple world. I have these two brothers called the Bronsen Brothers and their minority characters. I have these two guys whose names are Hezekiah and Jeremiah. They have these biblical names, but when you see them they don’t look like the names; one is a big muscular character with tattoos. These two are brothers and they have these swords that possess the spirits of their mother and father. When they want to bring forth their abilities and power it comes from their weapons or essence of their ancestors…I have this other minority group called The Horn. Their nine sisters who have a spirit in each of them that connects them. They basically protect the entire continent of Africa…Everything from riches to famine, whatever facet that there is, there is a sister that represents that. From what’s good to what’s bad about Africa they encompass that.
Q: Who would you say is one of your favorite/inspirational comic illustrators? A: Right now it’s a toss-up between Al Williamson and Jim Holdaway. They’re both European and started illustrating around the early 1900s. One of my favorite African American illustrators is a guy named Denys Cowan. He’s a comic illustrator who was hired by BET to basically produce several animated series that was going to be launched early last year for BET…Denys C., probably right now, is one of my biggest influences. He’s very knowledgeable. As a matter of fact, he and writer Dwayne McDuffie started a comic label called Milestone Comics, back in the early 90s…they had the distribution power (DC Comics) of a major company with their properties…So, in a sense, I’m taking notes from how them did that because that was unprecedented. You didn’t see minority anything on that high of a level, especially during that time period…they came along and kicked that door down and all the guys like me came running behind, through the door like yes! Another illustrator I have to mention is Brian Stelfreeze, this dude is absolutely insane. (In a good way) He does a lot of comic work and fine art.
Q: With the success of your projects, how do you find time to connect with your audience regularly?
A: I rarely use my blog anymore but through tweeting, Facebook and I just got an Instagram account and I’m like in love with it. I know I’m a little behind, don’t judge me. So I‘m doing the Instagram thing and within a day or so I got a couple hundred followers. And I’m like wow this thing is quick. You put something out there that’s interesting and people want to know about it, they want to see it and they want to be a part of it. So mainly between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and sometimes even Skype I can do meetings, workshops…all through these social media [outlets]…
a ton of African American artist, they’re just not up on this level yet. Some of them are emerging, a lot of young guys, but there’s like a seven to ten year time period where there’s a jump in the number of minority creators. Back in the days, like with the Milestone creators, there were only about five guys and then outside of that there was about two or three artist. But after them, about every five years there was a little more, and a little more. Its 20 years later since they came out so there’s a lot more… we all at some point saw what they did and it inspired us. So there was a wider range because they were visible… For more information and updates follow Sanford Green on twitter @sanfordgreene and Facebook: Sanford Greene.
Q: As an African American male, how does it feel to be one of few comic illustrators? A: In the grand scheme of things, everything is dominated by white males, but what isn’t. Anything, except athletics, is still a white male dominated field; whether it’s acting, honestly even in music… It’s a little bit of both when you say “one of few,” that is a little skewed when you’re seeing it from a upper echelon point of view. There’s ISSUE 24
DA VID FIN CH
Q: What is your favorite thing about comic illustrating?
A: I love so many aspects about drawing comics that it’s a bit tough to narrow it down to one thing. But I think the most rewarding part of the job is getting a script from a great writer and having the responsibility to bring it to life. Comics, like any storytelling medium are about story first, and I feel privileged to work with great writers like Geoff Johns and Gregg Hurwitz.
Q: As a prominent and successful illustrator, writer, penciler and cover artist, what is something that you would like to share with your audience? Including but not limited to up-and-coming artists? A: I absolutely love my job, and everything about it. Even the deadlines. I feel very lucky to do what I love every day, and I hope that it comes through in the work. So I would say, for artists, or anyone out there: find your joy, whether it’s your work or play, and devote your energy to it. If you really love it, don’t give up when it gets tough, and you’ll be rewarded for it; whether financially, or just out of the sheer satisfaction of pursuing your passion.
Q: Being a native of Canada, do you think that it played a major role in contributing to your career? A: Illustration is truly an international job now with the internet playing such a prominent role in what we do. I work with people from all over, and I like to think that my own Canadian perspective brings a little something different to my work. Also, I feel lucky that I can work right here in this great country and my kids have all the opportunities that growing up here allows, but I can still collaborate with people around the world.
Q: What’s next for David Finch? A: I’m drawing Justice League of America with Geoff Johns writing, and I’m working on a short film that I hope to have wrapped by summer. Comics are such a visual storytelling medium that I feel like the experience has been pushing me to want to try to branch out to film. It’s another creative expression, and another challenge, which I always enjoy. For more information on David Finch, visit www.dfinchartist.com
Q: How did you get into the profession of comic illustration?
comics. Nowadays I work directly with publishers without an agency.
A: Since I can remember, I’ve always been in love with comics since I was a child. I knew the career would follow me when I became an adult…
Many negotiations are done by email. The virtual path opened doors for artists from around the world.
The magazine ‘Wizard’ was a great incentive for me to enter this profession, when it began to be published here in Brazil. Living in Brazil was the biggest difficulty 15 years ago. The only way to work for the American market would be through an agency of artists, but with the advances and availability that the Internet has provided, I was able to have access the comics industry. Unfortunately, I have never been to a comic convention to show my portfolio to editors personally. My first professional job was with Big Publisher Marvel comics. I managed to work through an agency of Brazilian artists. After that I never stopped working, more and more opportunities came, and since 2010 I have been an exclusive artist of DC
Q: Who was your favorite character growing up? (Either to draw or to marvel at?) A: Until 8 or 9 years old, I read a lot of Disney comics, but at the beginning of adolescence I had access to American comics. Batman was and is my favorite character. The film Batman, by Tim Burton, opened my mind to look at comic stores, so I started my collection. In no time I had the opportunity and the realization of a dream. I drew Batman Arkam Asylum: Unhinged and Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight. I like it for the reason that a character who is not defined by his powers to solve the problems, but uses of intelligence and knickknacks to subdue the enemy.
Q: What is the inspiration for your favorite, top three works? (settings, people or characters themselves)
Q: As an artist, I think your detailing is great! How often does it take for you to complete a piece?
A: Related to comics, I know a lot of people would say ‘Batman Dark Knight’ by Frank Miller and Watchmen by Alan Moore, are greatest the writers, two great works that have changed many aspects to see heroes. But my favorite works of all time are Beserker by Kentaro Miura, it grabbed me with its history of Gatts; Griffith and Caska’s drawing is highly detailed and disturbing screenplay. My second book of inspiration is Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, because I love zombies and he is an excellent writer. Finally, one of my favorite anime’s is the Laputa In The Sky, animations (anime) by HayoMyizakai. I’m a big fan of his of his works (anime are full of energy that can carry me for this universe.).
A: Well, I always enjoy detailed work. I’m just picking up a taste for this kind of art, which one, reflects on what I do. Detailing each panel, each page takes a long time, but this varies from what the script asks. The time it takes varies with what is asked on each page, people, scenarios and other things. It can take a long time depending on what each page has to show. Sometimes I spend up to 3 days to complete a page, working 12 hours a day. For more information and updates on Jheremy Raapack, visit www.raapack.deviantart.com
FASHION Grey Blazer - Zara Red Pants - Zara Dress Shoes - Hugo Boss Red Tie - Zara Polka Dotted Shirt - Dolce & Gabbana
Photographer - Bryan Taylor Johnson 75
Hat - Zara Grey Sweater - Zara White Dress Shirt - Club Monaco Black Leather Tie - Zara Pants - Adam Levine sold by Club Monaco Suspenders - Club Monaco 77
Black Sweater - Diesel Trousers - Adam Lippes for MANGO Black Boots - Hugo Boss 79
TEN e l y t S f o S P V M
ar Words - Whitly G
Athletes are the new hottest topic on the fashion scene. Today the male athlete is closer to the fashion world than ever. These guys are appearing on the covers of magazines, designing their own lines and setting trends for men everywhere. They’re so hot even their cheerleaders are getting some buzz.
Carmelo is without a doubt the King of neutrals. Carmelo rocks neutrals as if he were born in them. He mixes neutrals brilliantly, and when he goes with a pop of color it’s magical. Carmelo’s accessory bff is certainly his glasses. He goes with larger frames even for sunglasses, and it always works. Keep tabs on him if you’re looking for a great pair of shades for the spring.
CRISTIANORONALDO While still a newbie on fashion street, Cristiano is sizzling. His golden skin, big brown eyes, that trend-setting spiky hair and his designer obsession is hot-hot-hot. He loves his labels and we love him for it.
Shaun is a fashion underdog, but his fashion is one worth note of. Shaun seems to really have fun with his styling. He can pair an open flannel shirt with leather pants and sunglasses, but somehow it works for him. Shaun has a clothing line for boys in Target and the mini-men are eating it up.
Dwayne Wade’s hat swag is too sexy for TV. A guy who can rock a fedora or a fitted clearly knows his way around a closet. Dwayane’s preppy swag is inspirational and his edgy street style is legendary. I mean, the guy rocked a leather hoodie once and it worked. What’s cooler than that?
David is one to watch in the world of men’s fashion. Men want to dress like him and woman don’t mind if they do.Being married to fashion queen V (Victoria Beckham) might have something to do with David’s fashion achievements. But what really matters is David rocks a suit like no other and he has killer hair to boot.
Larry can rock a pocket square unlike anyone in the NFL. His cool braids and awesome accessories make Larry the most uniquely dressed man in the NFL. He’ll wear a colorful suit and tie, hipster black framed glasses and top the look off with diamond earring the size of small children. Way to go, Larry. You’re too cool for us humans.
BROOKLYNNET-CHEERLEADERS Even though these uniforms have not been received well from everyone in the fashion world, the fact that anyone cares about NBA cheerleader uniforms is worth taking note.
Who doesn’t love Lam-Lam? Lamar is probably the best dressed man in the Kardashian clan. Sure Rob is doing well with his socks and such, but Lamar’s easy style makes him amazing. Lamar has a laid back style, but it’s so chic. Lamar’s best dressed in cool t-shirts, fitted jackets, slightly slouchy pants and of course a really nice Rolex. Lamar is easily the coolest Kardashian.
Tom Brady has made big improvements. He’s come a long way since the baby-Bieber haircut and good boy jeans. Perhaps making babies with supermodel Gisele Bundchen inspired a more sleek and sexy side of Tom. Tom is the face of UGG Australia: For Men Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 campaign.
After making an appearance on Fashion Police where he confessed that he loved fashion and would love to start a line of his own, a fashion stud was born. Ryan totes fashion forward outfits and can pair a slouchy pant and fitted leather jacket like no other.
ON THE RISE
HANNE BERRIT Words - Kirsten Lewis
SQUARE OFF Words - Owen Duckett The rhyming continues with a Dynamic Duo stepping on the scene. Hailing from Harlem NY, Square Off Ent. is coming to the Hip Hip world with something to prove. “Taking names and kicking ass” with Being an offspring of not only the famous Hip Hop artist ,Doug E Fresh and seeing what the Hip Hop world had to offer, their lyrical skills are sharper than a two edge sword. Coming from a small planet called Harlem and being raised in the Hip Hop scene at an early age they share a common ground with young and experienced. They sure do represent their set well. After a studio session we had the opportunity to sit down and get and 1 on 1 well, 1 on 2.
What is it like to be a Duo rap group? It makes things kinda easier its like having two brains pause but we compliment eachother i think groups in the past didnt do to much interacting were all about that . What’s the inspiration to your lyrics on this album? This album is everything we been going threw everything we been feeling the space that were in musically evolved were more advanced different topic an were telling the story of rite now its classic timeless. If you weren’t rapping what would you be doing? we probably would be doing something related to music in the business some how we love so we have to be apart of it. Who would you like to collaborate with? Of course ny legends like jay an nas theres a couple young niggas thats nice i could see us doing some music with we fuck with kendrick wiz a couple niggas.
What can we expect from your upcoming project? You can expect greatness an a change in music people wont be scared to be different touch different topics use different sound samples producers just not sticking to the same thing expect a tour cause you gonna wanna hear this shit in stadiums an feel the live aspect of music. Do you think you have an advantage because your a rap duo? Kinda we could jump niggas when its a problem lol if my brother got a problem then i do to no fair ones kid. How long have you guys been a duo? For about two years now we went from 4 to 3 to 2 but rite now were in out best space musically an mentally were ready to take over the game.
Based on Harlem’s background do you feel you fit in with the Harlem roster? Harlem is a planet in itself everyone in harlem has theyre own personality so its hard to say what our sound is but we definitely set the tone for a harlem nigga you could ask any niggas from harlem that not the niggas that made money an moved to jersey an miami an La an shit you gotta ask a nigga on the corner cause we still out chea lol. Who did you grow up listening to? We grew up listening to alot of classic shit lox nice an smooth cool moe d big daddy kane jay z nas eminem 50 we grew up on alot of shit we listen to music from old school to new till this day my ipod is filled with old albums we hardly got any new niggas on there.
Danish native now Cleveland, Ohio resident, Hanne-Berit Hahnemann is a classical violinist with a growing love for the hip-hop music culture. Starting at a very young age Hanne-Berit showed promise as a musical artist and since then has been building her career. Traveling around the world since grade school, performing in venues like Carnegie Hall and receiving recognition from royalty such as the Queen of Denmark are only a few of the accomplishments she has obtained throughout her career. After a lifetime of playing classical violin Hanne-Berit is now broadening her genre range and is releasing her first single which is heavily influenced by hip-hop music. In her recent transition in music style from classical to hip-hop there can only be more success to follow.
When did your career playing the violin begin? I started when I was really young, I was 6 years old and even though I am the only musician in my family my father and his family members were very artist and very much into music. They would play music all day long. I remember my father waking me up sometimes in the middle of the night and dragging me downstairs if he heard something on the radio like Nancy Wilson or Mahalia Jackson. Was there one particular event or person that encouraged you to strive forward and make a career out of your talent? It was one of those things where it was always there; it wasn’t one event or one person. The older I got it became more serious. I won some competitions and got some prizes, I did some stuff on the radio and I was in the newspaper and it just became that all of a sudden I looked at my life and I was a violinist. By the time other kids in high school were thinking about college and what their major was going to be nobody even asked me it was just already there. It was very obvious that I was a violinist and this was going to be my career.
What event or accolade signified the peak of your career? Getting an award from the Danish Queen was very satisfying accomplishment and I’ve had the opportunity to play for her several times but getting an award was a big thing for me. Was there an artist or a song that propelled you to try your hand at playing the hip-hop genre? One day I was just like “sure I can, why not” I just had an epiphany the violin can be what ever you want to make it. Dream hip hop artist to collaborate with? I would love to do something with Machine Gun Kelly, he’s from Cleveland and he is fantastic. I love his edge and his passion in his music and he uses his platform to talk about things that are socially relevant and personal to him. The one thing you’ve learned about yourself through your music? Never limit yourself. That is something I will never do to myself again. Make it happen if you have a desire and you see an in just go for it and make it happen. It is only a limitation if you make it one.
3 words you would use to describe your music? Thoughtful, I put a lot of thoug-ht into what I do. It’s not really a word that describes the end result but it definitely describes the process. In my heart I feel like there is an edge to my music and I hope that translates to my audience. Definitely very diverse because I play a ton of different music. What can your fans look forward to in 2013 from Hanne Berit? I have a new single called Opus One. It is called Opus One because it is my first single and this is like a way that Beethoven cataloged his work so I thought it was a good title because I see myself bringing these two worlds together. It is produced by my good friend and amazing singer/songwriter Antoine Dunn. We’ve actually recorded two versions of the song, my single, which is the instrumental, and another that has a rapper on it that is titled “It’s On.” They are very different but both have the same underlying theme. You can purchase the song on iTunes the release date is February 26, 2013.
X-Table by Kibisi www.kibisi.com
It has been said that the right desk will inspire you to create and complete the task at hand. Here at Bleu we couldnâ€™t agree more. Finding the perfect work station is vital to the creative process. You have to feel good about the piece and that is why we have selected a few, desks that are sure to inspire.
StudioDesk by BlueLounge www.bluelounge.com
Q20 by Holmris Office www.holmris.com Vu.Vu.Vu. by Ballabio www.emmemobili.it
The List ISSUE 24: Pharrell
Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr.
Alicia Augello Cook
That Grape Juice
M6 Gran Coupe
Ruby woo lipstick by Mac
Aubrey Drake Graham
Onika Tanya Maraj
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr
JOHN ELROY SANFORD Sweet Potatoe Fries
New York Kinicks
Cameron Jibril Thomaz
Dragon Ball Z
Kimberly Michelle Pate
John David Jackson
REDD FO Words - Larryse Brown
(December 9, 1922 – October 11, 1991),
better known by his stage name Redd Foxx, was best known for his starring role on the sitcom, Sanford and Son. Sanford and Son premiered on the NBC on January 14, 1972 and lasted for six seasons. Foxx’s character Fred G. Sanford, was a tribute to his late brother. Foxx was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised on Chicago’s South Side. His mother, Mary (Hughes) Sanford Carson from Ellisville, Mississippi, was half Seminole Indian. His father, Fred Sanford, from Heckman, Kentucky, was an electrician and auto mechanic, who left his family when Foxx was four years old. Foxx was raised by his mother, his minister, and his grandmother. He briefly attended DuSable High School with future Chicago mayor, Harold Washington. In the 1940s, he was an associate of Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X. In Malcolm’s autobiography, Foxx is referred to as “Chicago Red, the funniest dishwasher on this earth.” Foxx earned the nickname due to his reddish
hair and complexion. His stage surname was taken from baseball star , Jimmie Foxx. During World War II, Foxx dodged the draft by eating half a bar of soap before his physical, a trick that resulted in heart palpitations. Foxx gained notoriety with his nightclub act during the 1950’s and 60’s. “They say I can’t say a certain word at the end of my routine, so I’ll say it in the middle” says Foxx, “I lost a lot of jobs.” Although he may have shocked and offended some with his language, Foxx gained more than he lost when he moved New York City. Foxx performed in a plethora of Harlem spots including: Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, Small’s Paradise, Harlem Theater and Jimmy’s Chicken Shack. Foxx’s influences has rippled throughout the generations and include Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Andrew Dice Clay, Jamie Foxx, Bernie Mac, Nipsey Russell, Bill Cosby, Michael Douglas, Michael Jackson, Chris Rock, and Anthony Anderson . The impression that Foxx has made on comedy is immutable.
In an interview with Pat Morita, otherwise known as, Karate Kids, Mr. Miyagi, he prefesses Foxx as his mentor and recounts Foxx’s good deeds and his pay it forward attitude. Morita recalls the story of his serious encounter with a rarely serious Mr. Foxx in which Morita asked to burrow $7,500 from Foxx under a vow to pay him back. Foxx gave him the money and rejected his offer to pay him back asking only in return that Morita instead pay it forward to the next person once, he makes it. According to those who knew him, generosity was as much a part of his legacy as his stamp on the comedy industry.“I don’t mind giving my money away,” Foxx declares. “I like to help people out whenever I can. I have it to give away. I have more than enough.” Whether it’s Foxx’s charitableness or his curse- infused rants on the stage, Foxx has blazed a trail way for the greats in entertainment. After almost 3 decades after his death Foxx continues to keep us laughing, yes, but even more, Foxx continues to keep us captivated, entranced and inspired.
FASHION HEALTH CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEWS 89
Ó CUESTION TEQUILA CUESTIÓN. EVERYTHING.
ASK YOURSELF THIS
Ó CUESTION WHEN WILL I TRY IT? AGED IN JACK DANIEL’S AMERICAN OAK BARRELS MORE GOLD MEDALS THAN PATRÓN
CUESTIÓN TEQUILA IS MADE OF THE FINEST BLUE WEBER AGAVE AND IMPORTED THROUGH NASHVILLE, TN. CUESTIÓN EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT TEQUILA. LEARN MORE AT CUESTIONSPIRITS.COM 91