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PREMIERE PREMIERE ISSUE ISSUE OF OF BOMBSHELL BOMBSHELL

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MANNY MANNY MONTANA MONTANA GRACELAND’S GRACELAND’S FUNNYMAN MAN FUNNY

BOW BOW WOW WOW F F O O L L A V I SURV T T S S E E T T T T I I F F THE

SEXY BEATS SEXY BEATS

4 FEMALE DJS FEMALE DJS YOU SHOULD KNOW YOU SHOULD KNOW

KATTWILLIAMS WILLIAMS KATT

SLAPSTHE THETRUTH TRUTH SLAPS

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TYLER LEPLEY TYLER LEPLEY K ARREUCHE TRAN KARREUCHE TRAN & & MORE MORE ISSUE 26

bleumagazine.com

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BLEUMAGAZINE.COM @BLEUMAGAZINE

FASHION HEALTH CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEWS


TEAM BLEU

BLEULIFE MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Publisher & Creative Director DĂŠVon Christopher Johnson

CEO & President DĂŠVon Christopher Johnson

Art Director Raphael Davison

Legal & Business Affairs Thomas J. Wilson, Esq. Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP

Editor Rae Holliday Managing Editor Reginald Larkin Online Editors Jelani Hasan, Dorielle Jackson, Erica Vain Copy Editor Namisha Joiner Contributing Editors Larryse Brown, Owen Duckett, Deandre Gray, Kent Olden, Rich Philip On Cover, Bow Wow: Photography by Patrick Neree Styling by Kwasi Kessie Assistants Necat Akman & Stephanie Middleton

Assistant to the Publisher Regi Booker Contributing Writers Terrell Allen, Summer Alexander, David C. Butler, Ryan Lyons, Eliza Ramos, Keithan Samuels, Shawn Thomas, Lamont Wilson Contributing Photographers Robert Anthony, Clarence Clark, Que Dong, Brian Highbee, Justin Henry Jemerson, Kevin Liebigt, Shervin Linez, Seth London, Ricardo Louis, Kimberly Metz, Patrick Neree

Accounting Aaron T. Smyle Smyle & Associate, LLC Social Media Manager Kersten Stevens Account Managers Todd Evans Rivendell Media 908-232-2021 Kim J Ford Brand Whisperer 973.580.4476 Newsstand Distribution Kable Distribution Services 14 Wall Street, Suite 4C New York, NY 10005 212-705-4627 Submissions BleuLife Media & Entertainment 262 West 38th Street, Suite 1206 New York, NY 10018 info@bleulife.com

Interns Nia Blackmon, Kim Davis Brianca Minerve, Tyrell Turner

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 advertisers are fully authorized to have secured proper consent for the use thereof. Bleu Magazine shall not be held responsible for any errors, loss, expense or liabilities on advertisements accepted after the deadline. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or advertisement in Bleu Magazine is not to be constructed as an indication of sexual orientation of such persons, advertiser or organization. Partial or complete reproduction of an advertisement, news article, feature or photograph from Bleu Magazine is strictly prohibited as Bleu Magazine is a registered trademark. A $25 or 1.5% (whichever is greater) fee will be charged for all NSF checks. All rights reserved.

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PHOTO BY PATRICK NEREE

“Who do we think we are? I don’t know about y’all, but I feel good tonight. There’s something in the air tonight. You know, everyone needs someone to look up to. Why shouldn’t it be us? Who do we think we are?” JOHN LEGEND, “WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE?”

There are many ways to express the excitement I have about reaching the 7th Anniversary of Bleu Magazine. I am humbled by the accomplishment. However, the publications’ achievements are not mine to own solely, there are shoulders and arms that have carried the BRAND and ultimately myself forward. We took our time with this issue. (My apologies to the distributors.) We wanted to make it right. There was a time as a new publication we made certain accommodations to please those who offered their unsolicited opinion about what a magazine for men of color should look like. Those days are long gone. We do what we want. How we want. There is what everyone else does, and the Bleu way. They say seven is an unlucky number. (I still don’t know who exactly “they” are) Bleu instead acknowledges it for what it really is—a milestone. With faith, determination and an unwavering desire to break boundaries we have arrived. But we are not stopping here, there’s more greatness in store. For now, check out what we have inside for you. Bow Wow shares the journey that has placed him on the BET’s #1 rated 106 & Park. It was an honor to have the chance to sit with the Pastor and First Lady of FCBC in Harlem NYC for an interview. We tried our best not to use profanity in this issue. There are 20 summer music classics you shouldn’t live without, back to campus fashion any guy can pull off, and of course the premiere insert of bombshell Magazine by Bleu. We dedicate this issue to Trayvon Martin. In his honor we will continue our mission to show the world the full scope of men that look like him, and me, and you. #BeBLEU DéVon Christopher Johnson 9


PHOTO BY ROBERT ANTHONY

CONTENTS CONTENTS

BLEU BOMBSHELL Karreuche Tran talks about staying out of drama and keeping a peace of mind. 14 IT’S ME, IT’S YOU…

Highlights from OWN’s Tyler Perry premiere; Zoe Saldana meets the press.

16 THE 20

Enjoy the sounds of summer with these top 20 classics.

18 GADGETS

This month is all about channeling your inner square.

20 CAR

Feel the sting of the 2014 Chevrolet Stingray.

26 HEALTH AND FITNESS After workout binge.

28 GROOMING Scruff to suave.

30 FUEL

Bleu indulges…

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32 OP-ED

Pastor Mike and Dr. Lakeesha are here to save your soul.

36 WORLD CITIZEN Next stop, Germany!

40 ARTFUL LIVING For the life of art.

52 COVER STORY

Bow Wow seizes the throne.

64 FEATURE: MS DRAMA Candice has a lot to say.

66 SPOTLIGHT: CHIPZ Young heirs pave their own path.

67 SPOTLIGHT: TYLER LEPLEY

OWN’s new leading man.

68 BOMBSHELL: KARRUECHE TRAN Happy and humble.

76 FEATURE: KATT WILLIAMS

Look who’s laughing now.

78 PROFILES: FEMALE DJS When sexy meets music.

90 SCORE

Ray Edwards pulls no punches.

92 ON THE RISE

Meet fresh faces Georgia Reign and Manny Montana.

94 MAN CAVE Char-kings.

97 ICON: BILL COSBY America’s funniest Dad.


EDITOR’S LETTER

“Everybody looking strange, saying, you changed; like you work that hard to stay the same.” JAY-Z “GRAMMY FAMILY” FREESTYLE

People love to say “you’ve changed”. Well isn’t that what life is all about? Let’s be real, we all want success right? We want to live a life of purpose, a life that we can look back on and smile with pride. Well how is that possible without change? Life is short and if you spend that short time in one place you live a wasted life. Change is not always about a physical change of location or switching the color of your hair, but it also can be a change of mind. If you are in a situation you may be unable to change, switch up your mindset and then maybe you can find a way out. If you are looking for a way to make your dreams come true—but so far it’s just not working, change your tactics. Don’t be afraid to change into exactly who you really are! While reading this issue remember to be as innovative and new as those featured in Bleu. It’s easy to follow the pack, but doing your own thing is a lot more difficult but way more rewarding. #BeBleu We are all works in progress that are in need of change. You will probably never be perfect, but only with change can you get BETTER. So next time they tell you “you’ve changed” look at them with a smile and say, “I did. Maybe you should try it too.” Rae Holliday

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CONTRIBUTORS

BRIAN HIGBEE, PHOTOGRAPHER

KIMBERLY METZ, PHOTOGRAPHER

Brian is equipped with an eleven-year career in Graphic Design. Early on, he picked up a camera and began shooting photos for his commissioned graphic design projects. It soon became obvious that photography held far more appeal than graphic design ever did, so he left home and his occupation contentment in pursuit of his passion. His talent was quickly recognized by Vogue Korea, Universal Records, EMI Records, Anomaly, and Serino/Coyne Ad Agency were quick to follow. brianhigbee.com

California native, Kimberly Metz, is a fiercely versatile photographer who can accomplish any style desirable with a playful wit and humanitarian essence. She possesses a determined and dedicated artistic spirit, and with the explosion of digital, she and her crew provide retouching, composting, graphics, and layout in-house. Behind the lens is her ultimate creative passion. Her work has appeared in every major magazine from Vogue to Wallpaper. kimberlymetz.com

ELIZA RAMOS, WRITER This self-proclaimed apprentice of countless endeavors originates from a business news world. Former “Radio & Records” News Editor, Eliza Ramos thrives on expressing the human condition as she explains it “through creative verbiage.”

DAVID BUTLER, WRITER

RYAN LYONS, WRITER

David Cornell Butler, Jr. is a native Marylander who is a self-described music lover and hopeless romantic. His first novel, Songs in the Key of Heartbreak is the first part of what is intended to be a three-part series chronicling one man’s journey to truth, life, and love. Facebook/Twitter @TheRealDCBJ

Ryan Lyons is a Maryland native with a passion for the unadulterated fun of the 80’s. A freelance writer, Ryan enjoys providing coverage of music and fashion. Lyons cites “late 80’s fashion in respect to icons like Run DMC and Hip-Hop,” as his inspiration. His love for all things hip-hop is highlighted in his interview with Rapper, Bow Wow. Lyons’ explores the Ohio native’s experience as the livest host on TV and his aspirations.

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IT’S ME, IT’S YOU, IT’S BLEU

OWN’s Sneak Peak of The Haves and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor 1

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1. Paris Fawundu from FLOSS; 2. Zulay Henao, Palmer Williams, and Patrice Lovely; 3. Anissa Rochester and guest; 4. Tika Sumpter; 5. Jay Ellis; 6. DJ Gyvis; 7. THATHN Cast: Angela Robinson, Renee Lawless, John Schneider, Jaclyn Betham, Crystal Fox and Tika Sumpter

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Star Trek: Into Darkness Zoe Saldana Q&A 1

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1. Amanda Seales; 2. Smokey Fontaine, Liris Crosse and Chuck Creekmur; 3. Myx Moscato; 4. Rae Holliday and Gabriel Williams; 5. Tionna Smalls and JasFly; 6. Zoe Saldana and Lola Ogunaike; 7. Zoe Saldana Shannon Lanier.

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20 Summer

To 20

Classics California Girls (1965) The Beach Boys

The Message (1982) Grand Master Flash & the Furious Five

Maria Maria (1999) Santana

School's Out (1972) Alice Cooper

Summer Time (1992)

Summer Love (2006)

The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Justin Timberlake

I Don't Want to be a Player No More (1998) Joe

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The temperature has finally risen and now it’s time to listen to some of your favorite warm weather tunes to officially get you ready for the summer.

Summer Girls (1999) LFO


TAGLINE

Girlfriend (2002) N’Sync

Let Me Love Love You Down (2008) The Ghost Town Beatmakers

Shake It Like a Tailfeather (2003)

Chickenhead (2001)

Nelly Ft. Diddy & Murphy Lee

Project Pat

Never Dreamed You' d Leave in Summer (1971)

Sippin on Some Syrup (2000)

Stevie Wonder

All Summer Long (2008) Kid Rock

Project Pat, Three 6 Mafia, & UGK

So Fresh, So Clean (2001) Outkast

Long Hot Summer Night (1968)

Trippin (1998)

Jimmie Hendrix Experience

Total

Dear Summer (2005) Jay-Z

Shawty Swing My Way (1998) KP & Envyi


GADGETS

It’s Hip to be Square

Round shape devices often feel geared toward the consumer of the lady persuasion, and can make a guy feel a tad bit unmanly. This month we are featuring gadgets that any man would be proud to show off to his bros. Sit tight and enjoy the next wave of gadgets in their most sporting shape yet.

iPad/iPhone/Android Docking Station with Speakers

$99 , Sharperimage.com

CamOne Infinity

$250, Camonetec.com

Nexus 7

$199, Googleplay.com

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Lytro Light Field Camera

$399, Target.com


GADGETS

Logitech Washable Keyboard

$40, Logitech.com

Pebble E-Paper Watch

$150, Getpebble.com

Solar Charging iPad Case

Samsung Chromebook

$199, Sharperimage.com

$249, Google.com

Plumen Light Bulbs

$30, Plumen.com

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CAR

2014

CORVETTE STINGRAY Swimming With the Sharks In Murky Waters, the Stingray Rises Through the Shadows Words by Terrell Allen 20 BLEUMAGAZINE.COM


Like the ’63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and aweinspiring driving experiences. It can only be imagined that the Chevy engineers were rocking to Jay Z’s Black Album when they created the 2014 Corvette Stingray. It has this grand finale feel; coupled with a vintage exterior that recalls the ’63 Sting Ray. “The best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences,” states General Motors North American President, Mark Reuss.

The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today’s advancements in design and technology. The makers of the new Corvette Stingray have not disappointed car fanatics. Carrying the name of Stingray leaves this vehicle with quite the legacy to live up to. The fine craftsmanship of its interior and exterior undeniably connects driver and car.

Interior Highlights include: q <_QZUbZ ZMaQ_UMY` U[OYbPU[S SQ[bine aluminum and available carbon fiber trim. q 9\_Q O\[[QOaQP P_UcU[S Qe]Q_UQ[OQ

through the smaller-diameter steering wheel and two new seat choices. q -PcM[OQP aQOT[\Y\SUQ` U[OYbPU[S

standard dual, high-resolution information screens and available color head-up display. Exterior Highlights include: q ?US[Mab_Q YUSTaU[S U[OYbPQ` PU`aU[Otive frosted light-emitting diode daytime driving lights, high-intensity discharge headlamps and indirect-LED tail lamps. q /M_N\[ ¢NQ_ T\\P M[P _QZ\cMNYQ

roof panel enhance front/rear weight balance.

Premium materials including genuine aluminum and available carbon fiber trim. More connected driving experience through the smaller-diameter steering wheel and two new seat choices. Advanced technologies including standard dual, high-resolution information screens and available color head-up display.

The Stingray is a car made for the prying eyes of friends and foes alike. After all, this automobile made the automotive industry pause and take note.

Signature lighting including distinctive frosted light-emitting diode daytime driving lights, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and indirect-LED tail lamps.

Signature lighting including distinctive frosted light-emitting diode daytime driving lights, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and indirect-LED tail lamps.

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HEALTH & FITNESS

Post-Workout Junk Food Need a bite after a hard day at the gym? Not in the mood for a nasty protein bar or one of those yummy green drinks with particles floating in them? Try out these for size. A little bit of junk food after a workout never hurt anybody.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate, or Milk period, is the basis of every protein shake. Milk contains 75-80% of protein and about 25 grams of carbs. The perfect mixture for a good recovery.

Ice Cream

With a wide variety of flavors, who wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t resist this tasty treat? Your trainer probably, but did they know the sugars help promote muscle building and prevent protein breakdown? So after your next workout, indulge!

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Taco Bell Fresco Buritto

One of the healthier options on the menu, Taco Bell’s Fresco Burrito offers low calories and a decent amount of protein at 17 grams.

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Your favorite college dinner just became beneficial. This sticky little number is jampacked with protein, as much as 30 grams, and 60 grams of carbohydrates that refuel your maxed-out muscles in no time.

Chicken McGrill

Shocked? Yeah, so are we. With 420 calories & 32 grams of protein, the McGrill isn’t a bad option, especially if you are looking to bulk up. If you like Mickey D’s, the key word is “grilled.”

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GROOMING

Fresh Face, Fresh Body From scruffy to clean to 5 ‘o clock shadow & back again, you’ve got to know what works for you. Ranging from body scrubs to face wash, these quality products have you covered-literally.

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GROOMING ĂŞ Shave Start up Kit White Tea

$55.00 (eshave.com)

ĂŞ Shave Shaving Cream Verbana Lime

$22.70 (eshave.com)

Art of Shaving Facial Wash

$25.00 (artofshaving.com)

Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque

Art of Shaving Overnight Balm

$23.00 (saks.com)

$45.00 (artofshaving.com)

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub, 8.4oz

$20.00 (saks.com)

Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleansing Pads

$6.99 (aveeno.com)

Nivea Original Replenishing Post Shave Balm

$4.74 (walmart.com)

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FUEL

LOBSTER ROLL Originated in Conneticut, this buttery, seafood sandwich is no longer only ordered in fancy restaurants; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even a staple meal sold by street vendors.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

4 (1 1/2-pound) cooked lobsters or 4 lobster tails or 1 1/2 pounds lobster meat

Step 1: Remove the meat from the lobsters, chopping any large chunks into bite-size pieces.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Step 2: Put all the bite size pieces in a bowl, combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Step 3: Place lobster salad in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the salad to absorb the flavorings.

2 inner celery stalks and leaves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 rolls, split and lightly toasted Melted butter, for brushing

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Step 4: Toast the roll in a toaster oven then brush cut sides of the rolls with melted butter and fill with the lobster salad.


PHILLY SMASH Peppery rye whiskey meets up with a mishmash of seasonal berries in this frosty sipper.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey

In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle berries with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients, pack glass with crushed ice, give a quick stir and garnish.

1/2 oz. Averna 1/4 oz. lime 1/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1) 4 fresh, seasonal berries Crushed ice Tools: muddler, barspoon Glass: Old Fashioned Garnish: skewed raspberry, 2 drops of mezcal

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OP-ED

LET

CHURCH SAY AMEN THE

WORDS BY DE’VON JOHNSON AND SUMMER ALEXANDER

In Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, actor Denzel Washington plays the popular character, Frank Lucas, who shoots a man on a bright sunny day in Harlem. The fatal shot to the head happened in front of many pedestrians, however there were no witnesses. It was the late 70’s and early 80’s, and this neighborhood was heroin’s pulpit. Police corruption and fear forbade residents from speaking up about crime. Survival was the only priority. >>

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HARD NEWS

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“I

t was tough out here back then,” says William Allen, a community organizer and professor at John Jay Community College of Justice. “I was a young boy, but had to learn how to think like a man.” The coffee shop where Lucas (Washington) frequented in the film has since closed its doors, as have many businesses from that era. Drugs plagued Harlem. It was a war zone. Many didn’t survive, and those who did have been affected for life. Nonetheless, the Black Church thrives. Although not a traditional business, the charge for this entity to give hope and ease despair is an investment in the restoration of Black America. First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) is one such beacon. Resting on the southwest corner of Saint Nicholas Avenue and 116th Street is the destination of salvation to many as well as a designated landmark. Before becoming a church, it was the Regent Theater, built in 1912 and designed by architect, Thomas W. Lamb. It is situated diagonally across from the famed Graham Court building built in 1899, and for Generation X’ers, it is less known for its architecture, yet more for

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its depiction of ground zero for Wesley Snipe’s character, Nino Brown’s drug empire in the 1999 film, New Jack City. The infrastructure shows its age. Religion doesn’t always bring in the cash to maintain the church’s exterior. What happens inside is presumably most important. There is no ticket booth. No velvet ropes. Just the sound of voices lifted in praise and worship. Voices so strong that the scaffolding erected on the sidewalk for the eventual exterior upgrade, shakes. Upstairs in the center balcony, stage left sits a man with great influence. He possesses a cool and commanding presence. Today he’s having a photo shoot in preparation for another Dream Center event. FCBC’s Dream Center is a catalyst for Harlem’s residents to develop and cultivate their dreams. “Man, this place was run down when I got here,” Pastor Michael A. Walrond Jr. explains. “You couldn’t find a comfortable seat up here for anything.” Until four years ago, the balcony had seating leftover from the grand theater days. They were old and

unpleasant. Only the tourists dare to brave the climb to the top. There is a hint of joy in his voice when he speaks of how it was. He didn’t arrive with a task to beautify a building. He simply took a job as Pastor nine years ago. “My job is to empower people to be their better selves,” adds Walrond. Since then a lot has changed following the arrival of Pastor Walrond and his wife, Dr. Lakeesha Walrond, in July 2004. There are more members in the church, the demographics of the neighborhood have changed, and Harlem has undergone a cultural facelift. The sanctuary is a hot bed of activity as the room is full of people chasing children, snapping pictures, talking on cell phones, and prepping for wardrobe changes. FCBC is no stranger to helter-skelter. True to its seemingly congested schedule there is another interview taking place in the balcony across from Pastor Mike.

“MY JOB IS TO empower people to be their better selves.”


“The Dream Center was a vision of my husband’s; he was teaching us about the difference between LIVING AND EXISTING.” “When my husband was called to FCBC, there were about 300 people on the roll and there would maybe be 100 people that would show up for church on Sunday,” says Dr. Lakeesha Walrond. Dr. Walrond serves as the church’s First Lady and Executive Pastor, and today she is functioning as her husband’s other half as she is conducting an interview of her own. Her pastoral journey began in 2006 when the board of trustees appointed her to the position of executive pastor once the committee realized the senior pastor needed help during the church’s expansion. “I never envisioned myself being a pastor or a pastor’s wife. In fact, when I was growing up, women were not allowed in the pulpit.” She releases a chuckle. In six years, the once elementary school principal has helped the church’s membership surge. Focused on building disciples that will transform the world, these young members have been the driving force behind one of the church’s biggest projects to date- The Dream Center- “a transformative space designed to awaken dreams.” Focused on empowering multi-generational visionaries and dreamers through various mechanisms, the center also provides classes and instills the overall belief that anything is possible. “The Dream Center was a vision of my husband’s; he was teaching us about the difference between living and existing.” The Dream Center follows its statement proclaiming that they are. With all that is new, the need for a place of worship remains, and the Walronds couldn’t have come at a better time—Not because church attendance is now at an all-time high, or because of the renovated sanctuary or the building of the church’s separate entity, The Dream Center a few blocks away. They could not have foreseen such a positive transformation in less than a decade. “We are not operating alone, for it takes all of us,” Dr. Walrond proclaims. The sentiment is shared by Dorothy Clark, an ongoing member who has witnessed five different Pastors head the church. “I am pleased and happy to be apart of this awesome place,” she says. Let the church say Amen. BLEULIFE.COM 35


WORLD CITIZEN

GERMANY The unexpected summer vacation Written by Shawn Thomas

WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF GERMANY, they think of a place sullied by Hitler or divided by the Berlin Wall. They don’t see the quiet, still, and beautiful winters or the warm, colorful, open summers free of the concrete and glass of U.S. major cities. No, the thought of a country that cares about its natural resources and utilizes as many environmentally friendly options as possible doesn’t come to mind, nor do decadent dishes that come in portions larger than life. So, before believing any preconceived notions tainted by history and politics, let’s take a look at what Germany really has to offer the casual summer traveler. >>

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BLEULIFE.COM 37


WORLD CITIZEN

SCHLOSS THIS CENTRAL EUROPEAN GEM goes beyond just the bratwursts and Volkswagens pop culture has made synonymous with Germany to include a culture that’s embraced high quality standards while also adopting a “work to live, not live to work” mentality. They also have castles… yes, castles! I mean, who doesn’t like castles? Stories of knights and princesses are long-lasting imprints of our childhood, and Germany gives them to you within the walls of its awe-inspiring castles. Some of the most magnificent and exceptional constructions of man can be found in various German cities resting atop hills and mountains. The view from any number of these castles, whether it be Lichtenstein Castle or the fairytale-inspiring Neuschwannstein Castle is astonishing. However, before running to the first castle seen, Germany has much, much more to offer and it doesn’t come in the most obvious form. While the draw of Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt include remarkable landmarks from your high school history classes, the real key to enjoying Germany is to go beyond the major cities. A visit to smaller towns and cities reveal that everyday Germans have much more culture to offer. Spending a day in Heidelberg can bring out the kid in you with its giant castle fortress or it can evoke your romantic side with the authentic cobblestone and boutique restaurants that litter its streets. Or spending an afternoon in Rüdesheim’s vineyards overlooking the Rhine River is more than guaranteed to have you feeling great.

FREUNDE VON FREUNDEN IF YOU THINK English is an insurmountable barrier that could keep you from taking advantage of the country, in Germany you have nothing to worry about. With English basically being a second-language for most Germans, finding your way around shouldn’t cause too much panic or trouble. In fact, Germans, like many New Yorkers, get a bad rap as being strict, stern, and severe, when in all actuality, they can be some of the most helpful, funny, and friendly people you’ll meet. Or maybe you’re afraid that you’ll be the only American in Germany? Rest assured that the nearest American can’t be too far away with U.S. Army and Air Force bases located in the German cities of Wiesbaden and Kaiserslauten where one can find tax-free shopping, traditionally American restaurants, and a general sense of life that’s meant to keep even the most patriotic American from getting too homesick.

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FROM GERMANY TO FRANCE! BEING IN GERMANY also puts you in a prime position to make a few other trips in and around Central/Western Europe. The Netherlands’ infamous Amsterdam is a hop, skip, and jump away depending on where you are in Germany. Many just get in a car and make the less than 6 hour trip there to engage in, uh, good ole-fashioned recreation. If that’s not your cup of tea, take a train to France, which lies on Germany’s western border. Within a couple of hours you can be in the French countryside or on the Swiss Alps; its all up to you.

BRATWURST AND BEER OF COURSE, before venturing to these other great locations, it only makes sense to try out some of the food that Germany has to offer. Germany’s cuisine isn’t as exotic as say the food of Brazil or appetizers of Japan, as much of German foods include selections such as pastries, breads, potatoes, and dumplings. But what they lack in the unusual they make up for in the portion. The Germans may not be known for amazing food because it is the beer that draws some of the largest crowds. Germany is the only country where you’ll find a vast collection of beers made from the finest and most natural ingredients. In fact, the Germans pride themselves on their beer selection so much that they hold a 16-day celebration for it called Oktoberfest. So if beer is right up your alley, you may want to shoot for a trip to Germany in late September or early October. The Germans know what they’re doing, and you should trust them when it comes to traveling anywhere in Europe. Summer may not seem like the best time to visit the often forgotten country of Germany, but it’s guaranteed to be a summer vacation you won’t forget.

Opposite page, top to bottom: Lichtenstein Castle located in Baden-Württemberg; Heidenberg city in southwest Germany by Nadia Sultana. This page, top to bottom: German locals; Erdbeer rhabarber streusel, traditional German rhubarb pastries; Berliner Kindl Brauerei beer; Young women drinking traditional German beer.

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ARTFUL LIVING

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LeRone Wilson Beeswax Artist Extraodinaire WORDS BY DE ANDRE GRAY PHOTOGRAPHY BY OWEN DUCKETT

A

s I sit in my studio apartment contemplating on what questions to come up with for someone whose gift is so profound, nervousness takes over my entire being. LeRone Wilson has been likened to some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest artists. So what do I say to someone who is arguably considered genius? Taking a couple of deep breaths, I slowly come up with a few questions only to scribble them out because they seem too bland and generic. Then it hits me! I decide to take my journalist hat off and simply ask him questions I want to know as a fan. I want to be as prepared as possible for our 10 a.m. interview, so I review my notes over and over again until I am pretty confident. I know everything from his education at the University of Illinois at Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Art and Design, where he received his BFA, and his 2011 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Award. That is only the tip of the iceberg. In 1999, he won the Best in Show Award for the Nineteenth Carroll Farris Simms National Black Art Competition and African Exhibition at the African American Museum in Dallas, Texas. He has done this all while being a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, as well as being a devoted husband and father. The time has come for me to dial his number and begin the interview. After a few rings I hear his voice. >>

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ARTFUL LIVING

“My inspiration comes from my spiritual belief...because of my faith in scripture.”

Dre: Mr. Wilson? It’s De Andre Gray of Bleu Magazine, how are you? LeRone Wilson: I am great man, feeling blessed. How are you? D: I can’t complain. Are you ready for the interview? LW: Yes Sir.

sider that a spiritual experience as well because although I was in a shelter, I was basically there to help other people. I was still selling art, but I wanted to show the families in there that you can still keep a positive attitude and it is important that you keep your faith in God and persevere.

D: Great! I am a huge fan of your work. How did you know that you had a gift for creating art? LW: I was always able to draw. My parents were artists, so I just always played around with it whenever I could…it just basically started out as a hobby.

D: That’s beautiful man. Now you make sculptures out of beeswax. That’s amazing. What is that process like? LW: This method came from Egyptians. Wax doesn’t breakdown. So, I basically use resin, pigment, carnauba, and beeswax. I mix the carnauba wax with the beeswax, and it makes it a little harder.

D: What inspires you to create art? Do you wake up and have an urge to create, or is it a little more complicated than that? LW: My inspiration comes from my spiritual belief because a lot of things that I create now, in regards to spiritual things that come to me, is because of my faith in scripture. My reputation for what I try to convey in my work deals with God, and I wanted to make my art in reference to Him.

D: My favorite sculpture of yours is “The Future.” What were you trying to convey with this piece? LW: Looking at who I am as an artist, creating pieces way beyond what we typically see in a gallery, I knew I was a star because I was like, ‘Wow! I’m making art, and it is actually selling.’ I was winning art shows and beating out 4,000 artists in Miami. To me, that was saying something. So I said, ‘Well, let’s just create my star, so it can be something that people can actually feel.’

D: Now I read that while you were trying to make it as an artist, you hit a little financial roadblock and had to ultimately move your family into a Bronx shelter. Tell me what that experience was like, and how did you persevere to become the great artist that you are today? LW: Well, that was just a spiritual walk that I was on, and at that time unfortunately, we had a little bit of difficulty with our housing and had to move. And we moved to places where it wasn’t too good for a family to be in. We were in a hotel for quite some time, and then my money ran out. So, we moved into a shelter for eleven months. I con-

D: We here at Bleu want to congratulate you on your MoBiA (Museum of Biblical Art) show in New York City. Can you tell us about your “Glory #1” piece that you will be showing? LW: The art piece reflected a biblical and spiritual reference in my work. The light is very translucent, and it was sort of a testament to God’s presence with me.

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D: Mr.Wilson, do you have any closing remarks? LW: I’ve been through the fire, and I was never burnt. I want my work to represent just that. God Bless.


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utside of the CBS Broadcast Center, rush hour begins to create tension in traffic. 9 to 5’ers hail for yellow cabs, and the sun begins to gently set on a city that illuminates in the dark. The world’s livest audience is just about to do their daily countdown of music hits. Tonight, eccentric performer, Janelle Monae, plans to debut the video for her single “Q.U.E.E.N.”, a collaboration between herself and sister in soul, Erykah Badu. While the new hosts of BET’s 106 & Park scramble around with stylists, and the audience impatiently awaits an exciting evening, it still begs one question: with the inception of new media, is 106 & Park still a relevant fixture for a new generation of HipHop fans? It’s about 6:30p.m., and Monae rolls out in a sexy white tight fitting suit, excited to debut her new video to the 106 audience. Dozens of lights reflect over the hot pink studio and glare over the audience. Bow Wow’s feet dangle off the couch in retro Filas. The new host’s comfortability and constant flow of jokes make for a magnetic atmosphere. Over loud screams and chants, Janelle Monae slides up on the couch and leans into Bow Wow, faintly describing how proud she is of him. He returns the compliment. Once the camera is back on and they premiere the “Q.U.E.E.N.” video for the first time to the public, Monae excitedly knocks off her pumps and jumps on the couch, singing her new song, lifting

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the crowd’s spirits simultaneously. It seems that Bow Wow has come full circle, once seated on the couch as a guest, and now he’s running things. “I’m the guy that’s the ball of energy,” Bow admits. “I used to see things as a fan and say I wish they did this or that. It’d be more fun.” Often seen actin’ a straight fool for the audience at home and in the stands, Bow Wow knows first hand what the experience at 106 has been like, and he’s adding his own print to the show’s legacy. “106 is definitely important because then nobody would be selling records,” he defends. “It’s cool to have 11,000,000 hits on You Tube, but sometimes out of that 11,000,000, it’s still a lot of people that never seen your shit.” Looking at the success of independent rappers and musicians, it’s intriguing to see the game from both angles. 106 & Park has played musical chairs with its hosts after the exit of Terrence J. and Rocsi, but the viewers seem to be taking a liking to the new host. In 2000, they sprouted a successful show with its first hosts, Free and AJ (who cried upon his emotional exit), and they also managed to add Rap City’s Big Tigger along with Julissa for a season in 2005. With almost 14 years on air, the show has developed a viewership that has allowed it to thrive in spite of its predecessor TRL’s cancellation. A big part of its likeability doesn’t just reside in its ability to spoon


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IT’S COOL TO HAVE 11,000,000 HITS ON YOU TUBE, BUT SOMETIMES OUT OF THAT 11,000,000, IT’S STILL A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT NEVER SEEN YOUR SHIT.

feed entertainment and new music. It’s been a resource for a generation that might not be as hip to the news. It’s a platform to speak on what’s affecting the black community and a right of passage for most Hip-Hop artists. Between the new style and the interaction with social media, everything is moving forward for a new generation of viewers. Bow Wow—an Ohio-born young mega-star with ambitions of becoming the next Will Smith—grew up a fan of the show and came from a background in show business. Bow Wow’s diverse changing roles from YMCMB rapper, to actor, father,

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and hopefully someday a producer. For him, it’s not about worrying whether someone respects his craft because eventually they’re going to have to respect his movement. He’s had little mix-ups with the media, but he seems to be growing up, taking advice from his O.G.’s like Snoop Lion (formely Snoop Dogg). “When Snoop talks, I listen,” Bow Wow says. “I might have the ego with everybody else, but when they talk, I’m always going to be the little homie.” Outside ventures aside, for some, 106 doesn’t necessarily represent upward mobility within the black music sector, but Bow Wow explains, “I’ve seen

some of those guys that get millions of views. They shy up because it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. This ain’t in front of the desktop uploading shit. This is the big leagues.” Many remember those ‘Freestyle Fridays’ and classic battles like Jin vs. Sterling, which has now morphed more into performances that can also be judged by the audience or stand-in judges. Whatever the case, 106 & Park has become a representative of how far Hip-Hop culture has come; a mesh between Pop culture and what it is on the street.

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FEATURE

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the

DRAMA unfolds WRITTEN BY REGINALD LARKIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK NEREE

Drama is defined as, “vivid series of events, a dramatic

Having gained a following through her public access

state, effect, or quality,” and Candice Williams, christened

television show and Sirius radio show, Drama set the world

Ms. Drama, couldn’t have chosen a more fitting pseudonym.

ablaze when she called her cast mate, Vivian, “El Racheto” or

Viewers of VH1’s The Gossip Game know that she has been

“The Rachet One.”

involved in her fair share of drama on camera.

Chock full of courage and personality, Drama has positioned

At the beginning of the interview, Ms. Drama assured me

herself as the person you tune in to watch weekly. Bleu

that “the drama (that she is identified with) comes from

Magazine caught up with the media maven to discuss her

what we discuss in my interviews.” She then added, “I don’t

most memorable interviews, the role of women in the media

like to mix my words. I like to be direct.”

industry, and what brought her to the gossip game.

Describe how you first became interested in journalism. I love the interview aspect of reporting, which is a conversation. I wanted to be an interviewer to tell intimate stories and convey that story; I’m called the truth teller. I can be aggressive. I believe that if someone is comfortable with you, it will open up the floodgates. I approach my interviews as a way to use my psychology skills. How would you describe your interview style? My interview style is conversational. I’m a big believer that you should approach each situation with honey rather than vinegar. What have been some of your most memorable interviews? I get different things from different interviews. The most thoughtful interview that made me emotional and concerned about the person, I

would have to say [was] Big Pun’s widow, Liza Rios. She was living in a shelter, and I essentially broke the story. G. Dep of Mobb Deep is another memorable interview. He admitted to using PCP and afterward turned himself in to a police precinct and confessed to a murder. What attracted you to The Gossip Game? I didn’t know much about the show. When Mona’s camp reached out, I thought I was interviewing another reality star. I was never really big on putting myself out there. Genuine and great things come to you in an organic way. They asked about Ms. Drama, and I was candid. I was very “tell it like it is.” What advice would you give young women trying to break into this industry?

You have to work twice as hard than those who probably came through those ill opportunities. As a woman, this is a man’s game, but [it] does not mean that can’t change. A lot of people come into this industry by which they know. If you are coming with just your name, you have to work twice as hard. When you hear a “no” take it as “not now.” If you hear “wait” take it as, “it’s coming soon.” How would you describe the sisterhood in the entertainment industry? Well, I don’t know if there is a sisterhood. The best way to describe sisterhood is you wish your sister well. I don’t see that in this industry. I find that there is a lot of backstabbing based on the insecurities of a lot of women. I believe that if you show up, stand up, and constantly present yourself as a woman of value, you’ll get where you need to go.

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SPOTLIGHT

CHIPZ COOKIES From DJs to entrepreneurs, friends Boogie Dash and Luke Pascal make their own baked treats that even rapper Jim Jones approves of. WORDS BY SUMMER ALEXANDER

WHAT INGREDIENTS do you need to make the perfect cookie? Successful parents, a well-known last name and access to celebrities may not be what come to mind when you think of this snack. But, this recipe has helped young entrepreneurs, Boogie Dash and Luke Pascal to go against the grain and make a name for themselves outside of their parents’ empires. The two young men were both born and raised in New York City, with backgrounds in fashion, music, and hospitality. Dash is the son of fashion and music mogul Damon Dash, while Pascal calls the owner of the Bryant Park Hotel, Dad. Together they have mastered a mix for the perfect cookie— Chipz Cookies to be exact. Dash and Pascal’s appetite to create a successful name for themselves outside of their parents’ famous shadows has come in a bite-sized form that is having a large impact on the food world. At 21 years old, the friends, who are also DJs and music producers, have created a way of life and are slowly changing the face of the dessert business.

PHOTO BY OWEN DUCKETT

Chipz Cookies comes in five flavors: Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, Ginger, Chocolate Chip & fan favorite Blackout (Dark Belgian Chocolate with White Chocolate Chips.)

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Where did the name Chipz come from? Boogie Dash: We wanted to build a brand, and that was like our whole thing... we have this great cookie with no brand. We had a bakery, Columbus Bakery, and their icon was this little toasty guy with little hands, and this bakery is where the cookie came from. We were going to use that, and then I figured it made no sense because it was toast and bread and not a cookie. So we decided to look up Frosted Flakes and Tony the Tiger and all those guys…we wanted to do a character that kind of mimics that… (what) kids can connect to. How would you describe your roles? Luke Pascal: We pretty much share the same role. On a day-to-day basis it’s like getting everything done, promoting it online and making deals. We’ve each made major deals. He’s made a deal with Roseland ballroom, and I’ve made a deal with Fairway. We both play the same role, we’re both the owners, we’re both the CEOs, we’re both marketing guys… whatever job there is, that’s us.

When you guys first started the business did you experience any obstacles? LP: The hardest thing I did in creating this business was creating a barcode. Have you faced any difficulties as the business grows? BD: The hardest thing to do is to get hundreds of boxes of cookies from Queens to New York City on a budget. What has been your biggest success so far? BD: Getting into Fairway (grocery store) was a huge deal. Now we are in Zabars and in a bunch of delis. So we keep adding notches to the belt. Who’s tracking the sales and looking at the number? Unison: We do, we do everything. In 4 years, when you’re 25, where do you see this business? BD: To be bigger than Tates (bake shop). LP: It’s still very small right now, this is just cookies. This will turn into a lot of things. It will turn into a store and stuff, a brand, [and] a cartoon.


SPOTLIGHT

TYLER LEPLEY An up and coming actor who urges us to never stop dreaming. WORDS BY D. CORNELL BUTLER, JR.

IT’S RARE YOU GET AN OPPORTUNITY to sit down with a budding star who has the “it” factor before he has arrived. I recently had cause to sit down with emerging and preeminent actor, Tyler Lepley, to ask a few questions about his background, how he found his passion in acting and where he finds his motivation. In a very revealing interview, Tyler discusses what it’s like to find a passion while still trying to find oneself and sheds light on some of his upcoming roles in film and the small screen. As Tyler spoke with Bleu, his hopefulness resonated throughout the interview as well as his dreams to make a difference. PHOTO BY KIMBERLY METZ

D. Cornell Butler, Jr.: You have a degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University, and then you found your passion in acting. What was the defining moment that made you charter an entirely new course for your life? Tyler Lepley: I had success at an early stage; I was a guy [that] went to school on scholarship for football with hopes of going to the NFL. The acting was a passion that developed very quickly. I moved to LA, decided I would be a personal trainer, and worked with high-end clientele. One of them decided I would be good for a role and set me up with an audition. I was always good at everything I did, like football, but when I got my first “no,” the spark was lit to pursue it even harder. It was a burning

desire to find my path in life—to discover who I was. You are starring in two large projects, Baggage Claim with a powerhouse ensemble cast and an OWN Tyler Perry television drama, The Haves and The Have Nots, slated to debut this summer. What are the differences between Curtis in ‘BC’ and Benny in ‘THAHN’? Series regular as Benny, and one was a guest role, as Curtis. Curtis didn’t know what was gone until it was gone, and we’ve all heard about the 80/20 rule. He had his 80 and didn’t even realize it. Benny is a series regular. We are the stereotypical family as the Young’s, the have-nots. As Benny, I am growing up in a single-family home.

Benny is the glue that holds his family together in ‘THAHN’. Were you able to draw from your experience as an only child in Philadelphia as an inspiration for Benny? The stakes are higher as Benny, but I went through the same things in the inner city. I was lucky to have a character that I connected to. I enjoy playing Benny.

is always someone better than I in the pursuit of perfection, no matter how unattainable that is.

What do you hope to accomplish through your acting career? I want to live, I want to learn, and I want to love. I want to make my mark on the world through an inspiration.

You can catch Tyler currently in Tyler Perry’s The Have and The Have Nots on OWN and in Baggage Claim, set to debut in theaters Fall 2013.

Any parting remarks for our readers? I urge people to never stop dreaming. That’s where the root of everything is. It can’t become a reality until you dream it first.

Where do you find the strength to continue when you face rejection? Until I am the best, my job is nowhere near done. There 67


Model Karreuche Tran is all about peace, love, happiness, and no drama.

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Written by Larryse Brown Photography by Robert Anthony Hair by Suzana Hallili Make-up by Nikki Oxley Styling by Alisha Crutchfield Swimsuit Swiyyah Couture Shoes Red Kiss shoes @BDonnas

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BLEU BOMBSHELL

Within 5 minutes of talking to Karrueche Tran, I’m thinking I could sit down at a bar and have a drink or two with this woman. She possesses a kind of down-to-earth quality that resonates. Although she can’t say she’s hopped on the indulgence of television shows such as Scandal and Game of Thrones, you could easily pull up a chair and live, laugh, and cry with the girl. She seems to have an affinity for connecting with people. Tran’s rise to prominence came at the expense of her private life. Her highly publicized love triangle with singers Chris Brown and Rihanna, to the more recent speculation of an on-again relationship with Brown, Karrueche’s story has been on the forefront for all to see. She is an oddity in the entertainment world as she is beautiful without being vain; glorious and strong spirited without being demeaning. She oozes the vibe of the pretty girl in high school who was head of the cheerleading team, intimidating to some, only to have a conversation with her and find that she’s disarmingly sweet. Self-love is the theme influencing the 25 year old, who makes no excuses and no apologies about growing into the woman she is and coming to new revelations about what our society suggests is to be expected of women. Tran speaks matter-of-factly about the age 25 as a milestone year. “I used to say that at 25 I’d be married, with kids, 70 BLEUMAGAZINE.COM

have a career and I’m not prepared for any of that! I look at my life now and I would have never thought I’d be in this position—this way. But the person I am today, I’m perfectly fine with that. I look at it as, those are the struggles that God wanted me to go through. I thought I would have gotten a degree from a four year college and did everything the way they tell us to do. I didn’t. But I do have these other amazing things that I count as blessings.” Just one of these blessings includes her background in fashion that led to the creation of her own fashion line The Kill Society, financially initiated by then-boyfriend, Chris Brown. When her and Brown were together, he was in the midst of starting his own line (Black Pyramid) and spoke with Karrueche about creating another fashion line. “He knew that I had an appreciation and love for fashion so he gave me the green light to do a full-on line. When we first started, it was going to be mainly a street line, but once we found a direction, we went somewhere else with it.” The name The Kill Society decidedly represents a line through a name that is intriguing, strong, and fierce. The Kill to which Tran refers to as her baby, is set for release when the self-proclaimed “perfectionist” says every detail and design is at its best. “Everybody’s asking me what’s up with the line but it’s still in production, it’s still in the oven right now cooking,” she jokes.


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I STRONGLY BELIEVE IN

AND HAPPINESS. I BELIEVE THAT HAPPINESS PLAYS A MAJOR PART IN LIFE. Tran’s personal style follows one simple rule: find what works for your body. “I want to say that I’m simple. I try to stick to blacks, whites, greys, neutrals, but lately I’ve been experimenting with a lot of colors.” Her style is relatable and attainable which adds to her charm. “I LOVE shoes! I could go to Target and find some amazing shoes,” she laughs. “I want to create a line that’s more timeless. I’m not into the trends and what’s going on at the moment because trends change all the time. I want to create something lasting.” A typical day in Karrueche’s life is waking up at her L.A condo that she shares with her best friend, and leaving to run errands that include working out and picking up fabrics. Although Karrueche takes part in party hosting, the budding designer is a homebody. “Usually, after I go out to do what I have to do, I’ll go home and relax, cook a meal, have some wine.” Karrueche’s easy going approach to life permeates her beauty regime and diet. She uses anything and everything Kiehls. Her workout routine? Runyon Canyon. She, like many California dwellers take part in their regular cardio via a 3040 minute hike of the trail located in the Hollywood hills. At the beginning of each session, she does an estimation of 50 squats. What’s her diet? It’s non-existent. “I love junk food— no, I just love food! Thank God I’m able to do that without gaining any weight,” she references to her petite frame.

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WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS

Beauty regimen or none, Tran isn’t exempt from the pressures of the imposed ideas of beauty and admits to facing her own insecurities. She references her petite frame again, this time losing the laughter behind her voice. “I’ve been insecure about my body. During my situation, I lost more weight and I wasn’t eating much. I wasn’t myself. Today, the industry is run by these curvy and voluptuous women whom I love, but it’s hard for women like me. Men are more attracted to curvy women. I had to really learn to love my body and love me for who I am. Karrueche declares “Confidence is key” even though “Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to be done up. I think, ‘Damn, I don’t want to go out because I know they’re going to take my picture’ or you get insecure thinking, ‘Why did I

wear this?’” My hunch that she was on a steadfast path to self-love and acceptance was affirmed when she proclaims, “Love yourself for who you are. It’s what lies within you that makes you. I respect everyone. I like to keep it that way. I expect that in return.” She has a self-preserving philosophy that is simple and has proved to carry her through thus far. It’s her positive spin on otherwise grim situations that would have the best of us spiraling into a bleak abyss. Apart of Karrueche’s attitude is keeping herself grounded. “Right now I’m chilling. I’m not getting caught up in the bullshit or just being out too much-I’m not in the club every night. I’ve had people approach me saying that they commended me for my positivity and how I kept a level

head coming out of the situation I’ve been in. I feel like a lot of people can relate to what I’ve been through. My story has been put in the forefront for everyone to see. I don’t want to be known for just what the world saw me going through. I want the world to see how I went through a tough time at one point in my life, put on my poker face, and kept it pushing. I’ve heard ‘Damn that’s kind of fucked up’ and ‘I wonder if she’s OK.’ Then, I came and showed them that I was.” Her philosophy is simple when she states, “Where there is love, there is life”. The Mahatma Ghandi quote is one of her tattoos. “I strongly believe in love and happiness. I believe that happiness plays a major part in life. Be happy with yourself. Period.” 75


FEATURE

KATT WILLIAMS Slaps the Truth Words by Kirsten Lewis Illustration by Nia Blackmon

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IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT “BIG THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES” and this statement couldn’t be truer in the case of comedian Katt Williams. Recently, he has been spending his time traveling doing his stand-up routine, but now he is taking his talent back to the big screen. Katt will be starring in the fifth installment of the Scary Movie series, Scary Movie 5 with the likes of Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, Terry Crews and personal friend Snoop Dogg. Scary Movie made its mark on the comedy world in 2000 and has continued to spoof some of the most popular horror movies, reality stars and television shows. For the Scary Movie followers, you know that you can expect the envelope to be pushed a little more every movie, and Katt is here to assure the fans that they will not be disappointed with Scary Movie 5.

What does it feel like to be back on the big screen? It feels really good. I don’t think I’m ever really tall unless I’m on the big screen. Is there a different energy for you when you are on a movie set as opposed to your stand up shows? The energy of working on this particular movie was a lot different than most in general. There are so many people that are just capable in this movie. It’s one thing if you just had the Weinstein Company, that would really be enough, but then you add David Zucker, Malcolm Lee, the incredible cast and the good writing. It’s a situation where your job is as easy as hitting your mark and doing what you do best. Do you perfer to work in an ensemble cast or solo? Ensemble is great! Seeing a big list of people and how great each person is individually, it really put comedy pressure on, and that’s a good thing. How do you find your groove in a large cast?

It was really fast-paced because it’s not your average comedy, it’s a spoof, which automatically means more comedy. So it wasn’t so much of everyone being in a room together, it was moreso everyone taking their turn at bat. Describe your expereince working on Scary Movie 5. I can say as a fan that before every movie you’re wondering how it is possible for them to top what they’ve already done. Each time they create a different dynamic. The creators are also very good at waiting for the appropriate time to do another one. There is definitely a lot of appropriate material out right now for spoofing (Laughing). That’s exactly what I was thinking. The most important thing is that, as a script, it was funny. Generally that’s not the case, usually you’re trying to figure out what you are going to put in it to get the laughs and it wasn’t like that. It was really about trying to keep up. What should your fans expect from you in this film? My relationship with my fans is that

I really don’t like to spoil it for them. They should be assured by my name on the marquee that I’ve given them the best interpretation of funny possible. I will say that, I do not die. After the success of Scary Movie 5, what can we expect from Katt Williams this upcoming year? Well, I’m actually happy that anyone wants to see him. Scary Movie is the barometer to make sure that is actually the case. Sometimes as human beings we think that we are more popular than we really are, but if the people want to see me, the easiest thing for me to do is show myself. It is important for me to make sure the projects are perfect when I jump into them and Scary Movie was one of those projects. There are a few more things that are upcoming, so I’m excited to be back on the movie saddle again. Before we end, can I get you to comment on the Last Friday movie rumors? Yes, I’ve heard the same things you’ve heard, and I can assure you that I am not the hold up.

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PROFILE

hey miss dj keep playing my song The mainstream music industry has come a long way from the days of DJ Spinderella (DJ/rapper and member of the hip-hop group, Salt-N-Pepa). She is one of the few to come to mind , when I think of women DJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of the 90â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. 2013 has found women pulling no punches when it comes to pursuing a DJing career. Bleu brings you a one-on-one Q&A with the four ladies both American and European who are building brands. These ladies may prefer different genres, but they all share a genuine passion for music. >>

Words by Larryse Brown

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PROFILE

duffle bag divas Photography by Justin Henry Jemerson

How long have you been a DJ and what started you into the business? We have been spinning for three years. We had always dreamed of working in the music industry as A&R’s for a record label since we were young but the music business has changed so much. We were sitting in our living room one day and basically out of nowhere came up with the idea to DJ. From that moment up until today we have been obsessed. Where are your favorite spots to DJ? Supper Club & Roxbury in Hollywood and Ten Lounge in Orange County, California. What are the pros and cons to your profession? Cons: Late nights, early flights, and technical issues. Pros: We are our own boss. We are paid to travel and play music. It doesn’t get any better than that!

What are you top two go-to dance songs when you DJ? “We Found Love” by Rihanna or “Motto” by Drake. What was the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were on the job? We did a gig at the X-Games. They had our turntables set up at the top of a ramp so while we were spinning they were doing BMX tricks all around us. It felt like we were spinning on a trampoline. Basically complete chaos. In DJ Mag’s published list of Top 100 DJs there is a lack of woman. Why do you think there is such a lack in the acknowledgement of women in this business (In Europe/America)? Up until recently DJ-ing has been a man’s world and pretty much still is. Most recognized DJ’s are producers. Most producers are men. When women get into producing their own tracks they eventually will be more

recognized. Up until recently, women DJs have not yet really produced any projects in the mainstream market. Without doing this, it’s hard to make a mark in the business, especially as a woman. If you could give any advice to women who are just beginning a career in becoming a DJ, what would it be? PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Also, find your own lane and never listen to anyone who suggests changing up your style. In the beginning of your career, be ready to not only be a DJ. If you really want to make a name for yourself be prepared to be a promoter, graphic artist, sound engineer, accountant, social media expert, booking agent, etc. Your brand is your business.

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PROFILE

Photography by Kevin Liebigt

karla kenya How long have you been a DJ and what started you into the business? About 3 years ago. I loved listening to Casey Casum. That’s what inspired me, so I pursued to become a journalist and radio host. I started out as a beauty editor, then slowly transitioned into writing about music. I fell in love with the Berlin club culture, so I moved there, started hosting at a young local radio station, while spinning at home. My first DJ gigs came through my radio job. Where are your favorite spots to DJ? I have played at many cool clubs and fancy venues. But there’s nothing like playing on the beach. The ocean waves, hundreds of people dancing beneath the sunset and that perfect moment after you’ve dropped the right song and everyone is feeling the vibe. That is magic. 80 BLEUMAGAZINE.COM

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten on being successful in your field and who was it from? My Mentor said to me once: Be honest about what you want and THEN go for your goal. Do you want to be an artist, do you want to make money or do you want to be famous? All three aims are different paths, but only one will make you happy if you face the true nature of your ambition. What was the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were on the job? Not when I was on a job per say, but the night I won EMI’s She Can DJ Contest was pretty crazy. a) I did not expect to win and b) I had a radio show to host the next day on the other side of the country. So I was all packed up standing by the exit door with my case, ready to sneak out and catch the last train. So when the jury called

my name, I dropped it all, I couldn’t believe it. I walked up on to the stage wearing my scarf and big jacket, and my first on screen reaction was: “Shit, I’ll miss my train.” If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? Stevie Wonder. He is the greatest songwriter, instrumentalist, producer of our time. I met him in Cali once. Maybe I should have asked him to collab then but I was stuttering because I was so nervous, I’m glad I came out to say, “Nice to meet you sir.” Hahaaa! If you could give any advice to women who are just beginning a career in becoming a DJ, what would it be? Ask yourself one serious question: Am I ready to work? If you are, work on your skills every day, do your research, listen to new music on a regular basis.


PROFILE

lauren flax germouse” was next and I was like ‘OH YEAH TOTALLY!.’ So Casey gets on the mic and gets 10,000 people to chant “DANGERMOUSE! DANGERMOUSE!” Then all I know is the sound started to get lower and they cut Casey’s mic and out came the giant mouse head (Laughter). I still think it’s hilarious. Plus, I randomly met Dangermouse at karaoke in Japan and he was pretty amused by the story. In DJ Mag’s published list of top 100 DJs there is real lack of women. Why do you think there is such a lack in the acknowledgement of women in this business (In Europe/America)? I’m not exactly sure but it is definitely why I am a bit more of a feminist in the studio. Well, I’m more of a feminist in real life these days as well thanks to Romney (Laughter). But I do call to women before men when it comes to collaborations. I have so many unbelievably talented female producer / musician / singer friends whose presence should be known, if it isn’t already.

Photography by Shervin Lainez

What are the pros and cons to your profession? I absolutely love my job. I look forward to DJ-ing even more these days because I’ve mainly had to focus on the live shows with CREEP. DJ-ing is like a vacation now (laughter). I can’t really say that there are any cons, to be honest. What are your top two go-to dance songs when you DJ? 1) MK - Burning (February 2012 mix)

2) Wally Lopez + Ron Carroll - Love N Music feat. Ron Carroll (Original Mix) What was the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were on the job? Well, I used to DJ for Fischerspooner which was such a fun experience. Casey and I were in SF playing some festival in a sold out arena. We had a bit too much to drink by the end of the show and we confused the next act, which was “Deadmaus” with “Dangermouse”. Casey even asked me if “Dan-

If you could give any advice to women who are just beginning a career in becoming a DJ, what would it be? Gender means nothing. You can be great if you just keep practicing and perfecting your craft. Never stop learning and please try to remember to take risks. Fear is the enemy but there is nothing to gain unless there is something to overcome.

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Campus Casual

Bleu g

i ve s t h e g r a d e o n collegiate fashion.

Photography by RICARDO LOUIS Styling by CHRIS ANTHONY and REGI BOOKER

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left to right: Pants SLATE & STONE Sweater SLATE & STONE Shirt CRAFT ATLANTIC Boots OFFICINE CREATIVE Bracelet TATEOSSIAN Shirt HAWK & DUMAR Pants HAWK & DUMAR Vest MARSHALL ARTIST Watch FLUD Boots OFFICINE CREATIVE Jeans PUBLIC SCHOOL Tank SABIT Messenger bag STYLISTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S OWN Sweater SLATE & STONE Watch FLUID Boots HUGH&CRYE

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Top Sunglasses MYKITA Shirt MARSHALL ARTIST Watch NOOKA Jeans ADRIANO GOLDSCHMIED Bottom Sweater HAWK & DUMAR

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Left Sunglasses MYKITA Shirt MARSHALL ARTIST Watch FLUID Jeans ADRIANO GOLDSCHMIED Right Shirt SABIT Watch FLUID

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Sweater BELLEROSE Shorts PUBLIC SCHOOL Boots OFFICINE CREATIVE Watch FLUD Bracelet TATEOSSIAN Messenger Bag STYLISTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S OWN

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left Blazer ALL SAINTS Shirt ALL SAINTS Hat SABIT Pants ALL SAINTS Watch NOOKA right T-shirt AKOO Jacket ALL SAINTS Pants J BRAND

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Blazer LIFE AFTER DENIM Shirt CRAFT ATLANTIC Pants SLATE & STONE Boots OFFICINE CREATIVE Watch FLUD

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JAofCall K TRADES

release In his first interview since his fensive End from the Atlanta Falcons, De k with Bleu Ray Edwards agreed to spea NFL. Magazine about his life postWORDS BY WHITLEY GARD

NER

PHOTO BY QUE DONG

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SCORE

E

ver since Edwards was drafted to the Minnesota Vikings in the 4th round of the 2006 draft, his career has been mired with controversy both on and off the field. From suspensions levied by the NFL for violating its steroid policy to disagreements with coaching staff, it has been a long road for the talented Defensive End. After four consecutive seasons, where he averaged 33 tackles and 6.6 drafts with the Vikings, Edwards decided to hold out of the off-season for a better offer. Unfortunately, no offers were made. After being unceremoniously released by the Vikings, he went on to sign a five-year, $30 million deal with the Falcons. Two seasons later, he was cut from the team after being labeled a “bad locker room player.” Edwards’ free agent lifestyle has left him with a lot of time on his handstime he spends with his son, founding a nonprofit, starting his own clothing line, and modeling, as well as starting a professional boxing career. When asked about his family, Edwards stated, “My biggest goal for my son is to just have him be successful in whatever goal he sets for himself. I want to help him be successful, and I want to make sure he doesn’t have to go through what I went through as a kid.” Edwards not only ensures success for his son, but he also started The Halo Project, a nonprofit that focuses on keeping sports in schools by providing funds to help schools purchase sports equipment and hire coaches. The Halo Project will wrap up its first event in December by hosting a Christmas shopping spree for Atlanta’s youth. The organization also made a donation to the South Atlanta School’s athletic programs, and Ray looks forward to teaming up with the Boys and Girls Club of America to further his philanthropic work.

“Sports has always been an escape for me. I came from the ghetto. Going out on the field not worrying about where my next meal was coming from and just having some fun was my escape from the bad stuff in my life. I want to give that escape back to kids.” In addition to his community efforts, another big part of Edwards’ life right now is clothing and modeling.

“Sports has always been an escape for me. I came from the ghetto. Going out on the field not worrying about where my next meal was coming from and just having some fun was my escape from the bad stuff in my life. I want to give that escape back to kids.” Edwards’ T-shirt line, True Ink, displays crosses and inspirational messages to motivate and keep those who don the gear hopeful. Edwards’ line is accessible to both men and women. “True Ink is something that I decided to do when I was facing a lot of negativity from a lot of people. It can be hard to stay positive through that.” The entrepreneur has hopes of getting his product on store shelves this coming spring, but in the interim, you can get True Ink T-Shirts right now by visiting Ray’s website at rayedwardsjr. com/apparel If the shirts’ inspirational messages don’t get rid of the negativity in your life, you can always follow Ray’s advice for dealing with haters.

“Welcome all haters. Treat them like fans because that’s what they are. If someone is watching my every move and offering opinions, that person isn’t a hater to me, they’re a fan.” On the heels of his T-Shirt line, Edwards is making his way into the fashion industry with a project called 1050 Fashion.“We used to call it 1050 Modeling, but we had to change the name. A lot of people thought it was a modeling agency, but it’s not.” 1050 Fashion is set to be an online platform designed to connect models, designers, and stylists with the rest of the fashion industry. Edwards hopes to have a magazine and calendar for 1050 Fashion, and his sight is set on a successful modeling career.“If anyone needs a good model, I’m here. I can be the face of anythingCalvin Klein, you name it. Modeling is something I was always told I could do. People always thought I could be an active sportswear model.” Indeed, Edwards’ manages to remain picture perfect in spite of his other athletic ability- boxing. Ray started professionally boxing in 2011 during the NFL lockout, and since then, he has gone 4-0 and won in the Heavyweight division against TJ Gibson and Cory Briggs. He also had a victory in West Fargo, ND that had internet aficionados running wild after the video was released. All in all, he has had his ups and downs, but maintains his confidence and works towards his future. When it comes to his past in the NFL, Ray doesn’t seem to have any bitter feelings about being released from the Falcons.“As a free agent, I feel free,” Edwards explains. “ The sky’s the limit, and you never know what can happen. As far as my return to the NFL, that’s up to them. No one has contacted me or my agent, but you never know what can happen.” 91


ON THE RISE

GEORGIA REIGN PHOTO BY CLARENCE CLARK

Georgia Reign rebukes the notion of ‘failure plaguing’ numerous musicians. She is insistent on being an artistic force to be reckoned with. Following a stint with a now defunct girl group, the ATL native is focused on solidifying a multi-faceted solo career. As a preface to this ambition, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter imprinted her name in industry books as co-writer of Chris Brown’s “2012” off his Fortune album, and she is set to leave her mark anywhere the eyes can see. “I just want to be everywhere,” she openly proclaims. “In the magazines, on the T.V. screens, [and] on tour.” Currently, Georgia’s new collabo, “Feel Like a Woman,” with Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter Adonis Shropshire, (branded for his work with Usher and Jennifer Lopez), has already triggered an online buzz. Proud of her independent grind, Georgia works seemingly relentlessly on Raheem DeVaughn’s indie label, 368 Music Group, and for her own company, Georgia Reign Ent. In the midst of making moves and writing tunes, the Southern singer took a moment to speak candidly to Bleu about her industry beginnings, inspirations, Raheem DeVaughn, and more. How did you get started in the music industry? I was in a group signed to Babyface. I decided to go solo and met my producer, Adonis. He kind of introduced me to writing for different artists.

As a ghostwriter, how do you feel about not getting credit when a song becomes a hit? In this industry, you have to go with the flow and pay your dues. I will just say it’s starting to pay off. I have no regrets for ghostwriting. How did you link up with Raheem DeVaughn? I was writing in the studio with Adonis, and we got a call saying that Raheem was coming into town. He was looking for songs for his new project, “A Place Called Loveland.” He ended up coming to the studio. We wrote a few songs. He liked them, found out that I was an artist and we’ve been on ever since. Are there any other artists you’re working with right now? Kevin McCall and Raheem’s project. I’ve been writing for few artists with projects that are about to drop. What’s one song you’ve written that’s most personal to you? On this Dope Boyz Luv Me mixtape, I have this song called “No Baby.” It’s about jumping into a relationship, falling in love, and then eventually you find out that you guys aren’t the perfect match. Will there be any features on the mixtape? Shawty Lo, Kevin McCall, Raheem DeVaughn, Duke Gutta, and others. -BY KEITHAN SAMUELS

Listen to the Georgia Reign's new single "Sucka" on stupidDOPE.com 92 BLEUMAGAZINE.COM


ON THE RISE

MANNY MONTANA PHOTO BY BRIAN HIGBEE

“The guy is like my angel,” utters Manny Montana about Tony Sepulveda (SVP Warner Bros. Casting Division). “He basically started my career,” continues Montana. The road to stardom has not always been an easy one for Manny. The former football player dislocated his arm about eight times before he threw in the towel and headed to his hometown of Long Beach, CA. While at home, he enrolled into Long Beach State University, where he pursued journalism acting and caught the acting bug. Montana hasn’t looked back since, and now stars in USA Networks critically-acclaimed Graceland. Manny plays the role of fun-loving, prankster, FBI agent, Joe or Johnny Tuturro who is a young surfer from the streets. Montana sits down with Bleu to discuss Tupac, Graceland and what the future holds for Hollywood’s budding funny man. How do you want to be remembered when leaving an audition? I want them to say O.K. we found that part. I want them to say, “Shit what the f*ck was that.” I’ve been on the other side of the audition and I’ve seen actors that come in and try to do too much, instead of just letting it be about their work and let their talents speak for themselves. I want to just come in, be nice, and do my job; do something that no one else has done.

Have you ever shot a scene that challenged the dynamic with your family? (Laughter) Yes, literally a small co-star part. The first shot is me having sex with this girl. I’m only nude from the top, and you can see her back exposed and my grandmother called all her friends to watch this episode. “You know they call it Hen house,” she commented. My grandmother was not happy to see me in this light. She didn’t speak to me for two weeks after that episode. Interested in doing Latin television? The Spanish is so-so, I grew up living in a time where we were taught to live right in this American world, so I didn’t speak much Spanish here in the States, but I love the culture. I don’t agree with anything that separates humanity by compartmentalizing Latin, Black or Asian groups of any culture. What’s your all-time favorite television show? It’s a tie between The Wire and Saturday Night Lights. I ended up doing a show called Chicago Code and my buddy, Matt Laurie, was on it. I didn’t know him at the time. List some of your acting role models. Tupac (Behind my dad, he’s my hero). That dude inspired me so much. Mos Def, anything he does. I wish he would act more. Keith Ledger was the fucking man. Daniel Day-Lewis, he’s a stand-alone. -BY ELIZA RAMOS

Catch Manny Montana on Graceland airing on USA Network, Thursdays at 10PM 93


MANCAVE

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8. Kenmore 4-Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill $299.99, sears.com

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Weber Genesis E-330 6531001 Liquid Propane Black Grill $799.00–$969.88, weber.com

5. Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 2-Burner Model# DGP350SNP-D $323.00, amazon.com

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10. STOK™ Quattro 4-Burner Gas Grill $299.99, target.com

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LANDMANN Island Propane Gas Grill $2,199.99, homedepot.com

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BLEU LIST: ISSUE 26

Bionic Six

Bishop Loughlin

Chicken & Waffles

Inspector Gadget

Quinnipiac University

Peach Cobbler

Jem

iPhone 5

Banana Pudding

Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers

Topman

Apple Butter & Toast

The Gary Coleman Show

Cheesecake Factory

Fried Fish & Grits

Super Friends

Body Party

Rasheeda Buckner

Richie Rich

St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub

Elizabeth Braddock

Gilligan’s Planet

Virginblak.com

Ororo Munroe

Defenders of the Earth

New York Knicks

Scott Summers

Robotix

Derrick Rose

Bruce Wayne

Galtar and the Golden Lance

Abbie Mitchell

Clark Kent

The Gary Coleman Show

Arna Bontemps

Rick Grims

Duck Tales

Edward M Brooks

Don Draper

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Francis E Rivers

Lena Horne

Snorks

Hattie Mcdaniel

Marcus Garvey

Turkey Wings & fried Cabbage

Jackie Robinson

Tony Stark

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

Keyshia Cole

Carol Danvers

Apple pie & Vanilla Ice cream

Keri Hilson

Ray Edwards

Potato salad

Ciara Princess Harris

Chanel Iman

Mac & Cheese

Prince Michael Jackson

Young Dro

96 BLEUMAGAZINE.COM


ICON

Bill Cosby

America’s Favorite and Funnniest Dad Words by Larryse Brown

KNOWN FOR jello, colorful sweaters , and his political perspectives, William Henry Cosby has infused himself in almost every facet of pop culture. Growing up in Philadelphia, I wondered if Cosby ever knew the phenom he himself was destined to become. Born July 12 in 1937 to Anne Pearl COPYRIGHT SIMON SPRATT and William Henry Sr., Cosby Jr. was one of four sons. Bill found that he possessed a flair for comedy in many of his classes. When he wasn’t cracking jokes, you could find him working two jobs and playing basketball. His congested schedule eventually took its toll and Cosby failed the tenth grade. Not one to sulk on his failures, Bill picked an apprenticeship as a shoe shiner, after this brief stint he joined the Navy. Upon completing his equivalency diploma and scoring a track and field scolarship to Temple University, Bill seemed to be back on track with his education plans. While in school, he honed his comedy skills on his customers at a local bar called Cellar. The increase in his tips from making patrons laugh encouraged the Jello man to pursue the stage. He lined up gigs at clubs in Philadelphia and soon was off to New York City, where he appeared at The Gaslight Cafe

starting in 1962. He lined up more up dates in Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. He received national exposure on NBC’s The Tonight Show in the summer of 1963, which earned a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, who released his debut LP Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow... Right!, the first in a collection. The Warners Bro. contract was only the beginning as Cosby ventured into film and television. Little Bill, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and The Cosby Show were a few of his many televised exploits. The Noughties saw a very different Bill Cosby when the laughs stopped. Bill became a socioeconomic critic and his target was the black middle class. Cosby began a dialogue that forced many to hold a mirror to their financial practices and methods to which they lead their households. It was these types of discussions that allowed Cosby to transcend stardom and wield a political power that likes had not seen from a celebrity in recent years. Bill manages to embody what so many strive for in an effortless and intentional manner.

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BLEUMAGAZINE.COM @BLEUMAGAZINE

FASHION HEALTH CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEWS


This issue is dedicated to

Trayvon Martin February 5, 1995â&#x20AC;&#x201C;February 26, 2012

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Profile for Bleu Magazine

Bleu Magazine Issue 26- Bow Wow  

Bow Wow

Bleu Magazine Issue 26- Bow Wow  

Bow Wow