Bleu Magazine Issue 31- Mack Wilds

Page 1

the the


Young Young & & Fly Fly issue issue








42 ARTFUL LIVING: DEX JONES Tribal tactics

54 cover story Mack wilds best of both worlds.

66 SPOTLIGHT: TIFFANY EVANS & candice glover winning voices

68 FEATURE: Wardell Molloy The Song Whisperer

72 Bombshell CYn santanta father forgive me

76 FEATURE: andRe hall The golden boy

90 ON THE RISE you ought to know


bleu magazine @bleumagazine

fashion health culture entertainment interviews



INSIDE 10 IT’S ME, IT’S YOU… NIck cannon cover release party and ABout last night

30 FUEL flavor flashback

36 TRAVEL no balls required

78 PROFILE photo op

82 FASHION: nexus

16 THE 20 web to watch

40 OP-ED gotta be the shoes

18 GAGDETS handheld homies

46 TREND AVE. spring in layers

20 ride life in the fast lane

The other side of the game

92 MANCAVE survival kit

50 FASHION: by way of bushwick

26 BODY digital armor


95 ICON: harry belafonte

60 FASHION: motion is the notion

The og of triple threats

28 GROOMING cuttin' up

page 70: cyn santana


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keith major photographer Favorite quote: As told to me by an older creative..." Think about what these new tools can be like in your hands " What I'm jamming to: YasinGaye Where else have we seen your work? My Black Is Beautiful Proctor and Gamble Ad campaign, EBONY magazine, Seventeen magazine Social Media handle: @KeithMajorPhoto

alisha crutchfield stylist Favorite quote: "LIVE every moment, LAUGH every day, LOVE beyond words." Where else have we seen your work? You have seen my work in magazines such as Glamour, Nylon, Essence, The Source and on red carpets worldwide. Who is your celebrity spirit animal? I have been told (assessed) that my celebrity spirit animal is Kristen Wiig.. Hilarious! Social Media handle: @stylewisenyc @stylewiseacademy @sparrowcollection

gary allen writer Favorite quote: "Pain builds character. If you weren't writing you would be? Somewhere singing a love song to room full of music admirers. Who is your celebrity spirit animal? I think it's Ryan Gosling 5. Social Media handle: @Gary_Allen_2




the bleulife group

Publisher & Creative Director DéVon Christopher Johnson

Chairman, CEO & President DéVon Christopher Johnson

Managing Editor Reginald Larkin Art Direction & Design Nia Blackmon Digital Content Manager Erica Vain Fashion Market Editor Chris Sandford Fashion Editors-At-Large Alishia Crutchfield, Apuje Kalu On the cover: Mack Wilds. Photography by Keith Major Fashion by Alisha Crutchfield turtleneck sweater William Watson

Assistant to the Publisher Gary Dickson

pants AKOO boots Calvin Klein watch ice-watch

Bleu TV Producers Terrell Allen, Shawn Thomas Contributing Editors Larrsye Brown, Owen Duckett, Darryl Glover, Cataanda J, Dorielle Jackson, Contributing Writers Gary Allen, Jasmine Aspinall, Kiara Gillette, Kirsten Lewis, Kent Olden Contributing Photographers Elton Anderson, Eric Charbonneau, Calvin Evans, Keith Major, Patrick Nerée, Bernard Smalls, Naj Wareham, Sinem Yazici Interns Ebony Allison, Nicole Blonder, Yvette Brown, Yisreal Richardson, Edric Robinson

Brand Ambassador Rae Holliday Account Managers Todd Evans @Rivendell Media 908.232.2021 Loren Bates 347.564.8042 Media Relations Janelle Langford @Suite PR Brand Coordinator Carlotta Harrington Integrated Brand Partnerships Kim J. Ford @Brand Whisperer 973.580.4476 Brand Marketing Manager Cheryl Singleton @Circa2001 Legal & Business Affairs Thomas J. Wilson, Esq Golenbock Eisman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP Newsstand Distribution Kable Distribution 212.705.4627 Submissions Bleu Magazine 262 West 38th Street New York, NY 10018

Bleulife Media & Entertainment Inc. | 262 West 38th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10018 | E-Mail: | Online: 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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publisher's letter

Photo by Deidra Braz

"Happy" by Pharrell Williams Because I’m happy Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof Because I’m happy Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth Because I’m happy Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

My mother is obsessed with Pharrell’s Oscar nominated smash hit, “Happy”. She sings it in the car, hums it at the table and even asks strangers to “turn it up” when it is playing. To me, it is just a song. To her it is an anthem for beating the odds, having a dream career and overcoming cancer. When you look at it like that- then of course “Happy” has a place. But I personally didn’t feel the emotional connection for myself. So I would tease her during her sing-alongs. However, after several renditions by my mother, the message of the song found a narrative for my own life. Most notable line was “room without a roof”. True creativity has no limitations. Exploring new ideas and concepts gives me life. I’m thankful for my mother’s triumphs. Without them she would have not been able to provide me with the platform to stretch my imagination to endless possibilities. We all have the opportunity to be greater tomorrow than we are today. Be HONEST. Be YOURSELF. Be HAPPY.

Because I’m happy Clap along if you feel like that’s what

And of course, read Bleu.

you wanna do DéVon Christopher Johnson @devonisbleu


its me, its you, its bleu

Nick Cannon, Dorian Graham and Hen Roc

Nick Cannon

nick cannon cover release at stk New York, NY February 11, 2014

Photography by Bernard Smalls

DĂŠVon Johnson, Sharen Carpenter and Nick Cannon

Jasmine Sanders and guest


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DĂŠVon Johnson, Claire Sulmers, Legendary Damon, and Marquis Phifer

Michael Ealy, John Legend, and Screen Gems' Clint Culpepper

Director Steve Pink and Producer Will Gluck

about last night after party at Sayer's Club Los Angeles, CA Februaury 11, 2014

Regina Hall and John Legend

Photography by Eric Charbonneau

T.I. and Kevin Hart

Michael Ealy and Regina Hall


the 20

The Digital Shows Every Guy Should Be Binge Watching Right Now There’s no shame in saving money whenever possible, and that goes for the cable bill as well. Guys left and right are cutting the cord and using streaming services like Netflix and Hulu+ to their advantage. Thousands of movies and shows make it virtually impossible to not sit down, grab a (insert alcoholic beverage of choice), stuff your face and binge-watch to your heart’s content. Navigating those thousands of titles can be difficult, but don’t worry Bleu’s got you covered. Here’s a list of the best digital, streaming, and web series you don’t need cable to enjoy.


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pursuit of sexiness (YouTube); east los high (Hulu); losing it (Yahoo); spoilers (Hulu); orange is the new black (Netflix); roomie lover friends (YouTube); hemlock grove (Amazon); house of cards (Netflix); behind the mask (Hulu); the couple (YouTube); the awesomes (Hulu); burning love (Yahoo); the misadventures of awkard black girl (YouTube); derek (Netflix); alpha house (Amazon); misfits (Hulu); Betas (Amazon); black actress (YouTube); arrested develoment (Netflix)



Nokia 2520 $379.99 Has a high resolution, Full HD display with the best outdoor readability so you can use it anywhere under the sun.

tablet talk. When Sam Sparro wrote his 2009 jam, “21st Century Life,” I doubt he foresaw tablets becoming so commonplace. Tablets have changed the way we interact with the world around us. Selecting the device for you may become difficult, but fear-not your Bleu Bro has selected some note worthy tech. Why struggle with a choice when we’ve made it for you?

Surface Pro 2 $899.00 Providing incredibly fast performance, longer battery life and the ultimate business tool.

Google Nexus Tablet 10 $399.00 With super high-resolution display, multi-user support and HD content with the best Google apps.


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Asus VivoTab Note 8 $329.00 Its slim look, IPS high-Definition display and stylish aesthetic design give it pride of place in any business or educational environment

Acer Iconia A1-830 $179.99 Multimedia, thin and compatible.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 $499.00 Has crystal clear HD viewing quality with a big screen, multi window for multi-tasking, great for business with Air Command, Smart S Note taking, and action memo.

Nook Barnes & Nobles $119.00 No Glare, great for reading books, magazines, newspaper, etc & long lasting battery. Samsung Galaxy Pro Tablet $499.00 Fast Download, Business and Office work compatible.




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As spring rolls in, layers are naturally removed and beauties hit the streets. There are few objects that can inspire the emotion of men like that of his sports car. With her smooth flowing curves, sweeping hips, stunning come hither front/back ends and that glamorously decked-out interior, these beauties are the sexiest vehicles on the planet. Our picks for this spring evokes the passion of its owners and envy among rivals.

2014 Corvette Coupe Price- $51,000 Top Speed- 200mph Engine- V8 Exterior Hood extractor directs air from the front grille up through the forward-tilted radiator and out of the engine compartment.

2014 Maserati Granturismo Price- $126,500 Top Speed- 285 mph Engine- V8 Exterior “A powerful elegant body, moulded onto the mechanics with Majestic Extertis.” New, more pronounced miniskirt convey air flows towards the rear axle. All LED Rear Lights- The front features a long engine hood that culminates in the oval grille. Interior “Finest Poltrona Frau Leather for seats" Adjusted seats electronically. Multimedia functions can be controlled through the button on the steering wheel. Technology/ Safety Maserati Stability Program (MSP)- Advance electronic system reduces torque and triggers the breakes to stabilize the car.

Brake cooling Z51 Performance Package includes dual brake ducts that transport air from the front grille through the wheel wells to effectively cool front brakes and expel heat. Powertrain Cooling- Dual rear quarter panel intake vents, also included with the Z51 package, guide airflow to cool two separate heat exchangers. Interior Nappa Leather- Free from imperfections and soft to the touch, its smooth, natural grain dismisses the notion of synthetic textures. Safety Prevent- 4-wheel antilock brakes to help you stay in control. Respond- Automatic Crash Response, built-in sensor that automatically connects with OnStar Advisor. This will allow emergency help to arrive at your exact GPS location.

2014 Cayman S Porsche Price- $ 63,800 Top speed- 175mph Engine- 325hp You aren’t the cozy type, but you do appreciate the value of comfort and convenience. Everything is focused on one goal: advancing with a blend of sport and comfort. Technology/Safety Braking System- Four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed brake calipers. This design means that, not only are the brakes extremely resistant to deformation, they are lightweight for a particularly fast and sensitive braking response. Enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM)- Sensors continuously monitor the direction, speed, yaw velocity and lateral acceleration of the car.



TECH SUITS 2014 is ripe with technology that syncs your healthy lifestyle with smart devices. Fitness has never been so convenient. This batch of clothing is sure to encourage healthy habits.

Men Airism Short Sleeve Tee Shirt $12.90 Feels soft and smooth against skin and absorbs and releases excess moisture to keep skin dry.

Nike Sweatless Hooded $120 Water resistant fabric that offers lightweight protection and blocks out wind and rain.


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Nike Pro Combat Hypercool Vapor Power Compression $90 Feature compression zones and foot stirrups for a tight supportive fit and strategically placed mesh for ventilation.

Supernova SMT Jacket $80 Breathable, lightweight climaproof wind protection, with FORMOTION, which follows natural movement for better fit and comfort.

Shockwave Long Tight $45 Made from Climalite fabric that wicks away sweat, they feature techfit design, which focuses muscle power, UV protection and flatlock seams. Men’s Heatgear Armourvent Fitted Short Sleeve $59.99 Fitted, Iso-Chill fabric that helps dissolve body heat making the fabric cooler. With mesh panels that deliver breathable, light, stretchy, durable, fast drying fabric that wicks away sweat from body along with an anit-ordor technology



Making the

A wise Ron Burgundy once said “I am a man! A man who invented the wheel!” Such proclamations could only come from a man with well-groomed facial hair. No shaving method requires more skill than the 5 O’ Clock shadow. Bleu has assembled the justice league of shaving tools to aid in the quest for the perfect shave.


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Wahl 17pc Lithium Ion Complete Grooming Kit

the Art of Shaving bocote wood straight razor $285.00 (

$39.95 ( Most complete and powerful set of grooming tools you will ever own.

Perfect tool for a crisp outline on your 5 O’clock Beard.

Conair I-Stubble Model GMT900R $65.95 (

Andis Headliner 12 Piece Complete Home Trimming Kit

Creates a red carpet-worthy look in minutes with technology so advanced it make style look effortless.

$56.00 ( Ideal for trimming beards, mustaches and cleaning hair from ears to nose.



Cuffing season isn’t just for the fall and winter months. After a series of restaurant dates, changing the romantic pace during great weather is a must. Spearhead the idea and be confident in knowing that there’s an art to man-ning up a picnic and gaining cool points from your significant other. Enjoy the day and feast on easy-to-prepare bites and unisex cocktails for a good time.

Crackers and Pesto Cream Cheese Spread Prep Time: 15 minutes Whole-Grain crackers of choice 2 tablespoons of pesto 8 oz. of cream cheese Cold chopped topping of choice (ex: veggies, olives, nuts, sliced fruit, and olives) Step 1: Make sure cream cheese is at room temperature and mix it with the pesto, stir until both are combined. Step 2: Refrigerate and place cold toppings right before serving.


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Croissant Club Sandwiches Prep Time: 10 minutes 1 cup of chipotle sauce Turkey bacon strips 8 large croissants, split 8 romaine lettuce or spinach leaves 1 pound thinly sliced deli honey turkey 1 avocado 1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices (cut each slice of tomato in half so slices will fit onto the croissant). Step 1: Spread chipotle sauce evenly. Step 2: Peel and cut avocado. Layer the lettuce, place turkey, avocado and tomatoes equally over the bottom croissant halves; replace the tops of the croissants and serve.

Black RosĂŠ Prep 10 minutes 1 pint of fresh blackberries 5 ounces simple syrup chilled 1 bottle dry rosĂŠ wine, chilled 9 ounces vodka 6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice Ice 12 slices of lime

Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana bites

heat just until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.

Prep Time: 3 hours 45 minutes (includes freezing time) 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons canola oil Any topping of choice for coating bananas (such as crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, toffee bits, chopped candy bar of choice, any chopped salted peanuts of choice, or toasted shredded sweetened coconut) 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Step 2: Place each topping in separate dish, line baking sheet with foil and lay banana slices on foil.

Step 1: Stir chocolate and oil in heavy small saucepan over low

Step 1: Place the pint of blackberries and simple syrup in a large pitcher and muddle the fruit. Step 2: Place ice, add wine, vodka and lime juice, stir to combine.

Step 3: Use fingers or treat stick, dip 1 banana slice in chocolate, coating completely. Shake off the excess chocolate over bowl containing chocolate. Step 4: Drop dipped banana in 1 topping, sprinkle more topping over banana to coat; transfer to foil-lined sheet. Step 5: Freeze until firm, about 3 hours before serving.



BUT I DON’T PLAY GOLF Experiencing the Westin La Cantera; no club required

Words by DéVon Johnson

I’ve never thought of myself as a “resort guy.” Normally when I travel I like to take the non-traditional path to experience a city. Authentically experiencing a new city, country or culture has been the most rewarding. So, when the opportunity to visit San Antonio was presented I immediately cleared my calendar. San Antonio might be one of the most underrated cities in the United States, although it is the 7th largest city by population. My last visit was spectacular. From the river walk to the Alamo, I was intrigued by the cultural diversity and rich history. Spending time with the community and experiencing their daily routine was fun and relaxing. Much different from my home city, that takes the top spot in size, New York. This trip is going to be a little different. My accommodations are at The Westin La Cantera Hill country Resort. Yes, that is a lot of words. “But I don’t golf,” I recall explaining to my travel companions. Their shoulder shrugs and laughs motivated me to discover my own path while on this trip.


ur Publisher took a recent trip to one of his favorite cities, San Antonio, TX. Like most of his travels, he has taken a unique approach to experience the culture. While the rest of his travel group was out putting on the green, he found personal escapes in food, activities and cultural attractions.


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Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with golfing. I’ve done it in the past and my relatives play all of the time. It is just not for me. I’m sure there are many of you reading this story right now that feel the same way. Which is why taking this trip was such a great experience and one I am glad I didn’t shy away from. La Cantera is not just for golf enthusiast. The entire family or group can have fun. I did. The property is breathtaking. Just a short ride from downtown San Antonio and local attractions, it is the perfect location. After check-in and a quick switch of my watch to the Central Time Zone, I headed to dinner at the award winning Francesca’s at Sunset. The views

san antonio

TO SLEEP: The Westin La Cantera 16641 La Cantera Parkway San Antonio, TX 78256 TO GRUB: NAO 312 Pearl Parkway, Suite 2104 San Antonio, TX 78215 Pearl 200 E. Grayson Street, Suite 210 San Antonio, TX 78215 HELP PLANNING:

are captivating. Overlooking the hills and golf course your eyes will dance around as the sun retreats for the night. The menu is just as exquisite. From locally sourced food to Texas inspired cocktails there is no surprise why it was the recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond Award. With a full stomach and relaxed mind I headed over to Steinheimer’s Lounge for a nightcap. I ordered what looked to be the popular drink of the night, Pear Lemon Drop Martini. The main ingredient is Texas’ own, Cinco Vodka. The next morning, as the lobby filled with men and their clubs hitching a shuttle down to the green, I hopped on the jitney to The Shops at La Cantera. Before I go on, let me be clear. I like sports. If I had a set of clubs, who knows, I may have taken a few swings. But since I didn’t, shopping seemed to be the next appropriate activity. Lucky for me there are shuttles every hour. The drop off is at San Antonio’s first Neiman Marcus, which anchors one end of the indoor/ outdoor 1.3 million square feet shopping grounds. The heat was not too kind, however, the mall is beautiful and provides shade along

the stroll from shop to shop. Just under an hour later it was time to head back and rest up or my afternoon activity. The rooms are very quiet and peaceful. Waking up from such a relaxing rest to head over to Six Flags Fiesta Texas was a challenge. Like the trip to the mall, the park is only a short ride on the complimentary hotel shuttle. There are several themed rides and a waterpark. The Super Krypton Coaster is the largest steel and floorless coaster in the southwest. Six Flags fails to disappoint, whether you’re an adult having fun or children seeking a thrill, the park has plenty to offer. The last few days of my visit to La Cantera were filled with spa visits, lots of eating and visiting local attractions. There is plenty to do for the entire family. I recommend calling the hotel ahead of time to ask about any special activities going on outside of the world class golfing. I’m already planning my next trip to San Antonio. I will definitely stay at The Westin La Cantera again. I think I will opt for one of the casitas this time. This time I plan to bring my golf clubs. (So what I’m borrowing them from my uncle) ★

San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau Post Office Box 2277 San Antonio, TX 78298 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park 2202 Roosevelt Avenue San Antonio, TX 78210 MUST GO: SeaWorld San Antonio 10500 SeaWorld Drive San Antonio, TX 78251 Six Flags Fiesta Texas 17000 IH-10 West San Antonio, TX 78267 The Alamo 300 Alamo Plaza San Antonio, TX 78299 TO CASH OUT: The Shops at La Cantera 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 6698 San Antonio, TX 78256




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san antonio



FOOT FRENZY Words by Yvette Brown

The latest trends have never been so dangerous...literally. Fights and repeated offenses have been amongst the trend of standing in line for the latest fashion threads... especially sneakers. So what is it about these threads that leave their fans in such an uproar?


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amma Blue Jordan 11's injected the holiday season with a unique brand of fervor and anticipation. Sneaker heads from far and wide lined up to obtain these coveted shoes. Shoe retailers created a line and ticket system to appease collectors turned foe. As the anxiety hit its peak and the hours ticked away, the only thing it came down to were the tickets that guaranteed you the hottest pair of sneakers talked about, with that it led to determination. According to a New York Daily News article, anarchy let loose at Footlockers, Nike stores and local sneaker shops from California to the Bronx. YouTube videos show people breaking out into fights over attempted robbery or to skip the lines to beat the rush once those shop doors open, but the question is why? Why are we subjected to violence over a pair of sneakers and is this the only trend people are willing to fight for?

Samantha White, 18, is a waitress at Dallas BBQ’s, but looks forward to her second income from selling her freshly bought Jordans, “Usually my parents buy my Jordans for school, birthday gifts and Christmas or anytime a new pair come out,” White said as she pointed to her new 11s. “I wear them about twice so they don’t get too worn out and then I take a picture of them and sell them for about $10 above what my parents paid.”

The Jordan world is very broad when it comes to their fans. You have the Jordan fiends, who know every release date and own just about every pair. Then, there are the Jordan collectors, who admire the sneaker as more than just a shoe. Lastly, we have the resellers, who are looking to make more than what they spent. This answers the question of what types of people wait on these wrap-aroundthe-block type of lines when the latest Jordans drop.

Daniel Boehler, 16, a Jordan fiend explained to me that it’s a fashion trend much like “women have bags and heels, men have sneakers and hats. There have been times where I went without lunch for a few days and had to walk home and to school because I had no money,” he continues, shaking his head as if remembering those hungry days, “My Jordans are my babies and it’s just something I gotta have.”

Neophyte Jordan collector Joshua McClellan, 21, stated, “I would never wait on line for a pair of sneakers, if I end up having to wait to get them, I will. You hear too many things on the news about those lines, but I collect them because it’s something I own.”

Meeting these sneaker fans raised a question, aside from sneaker stores, do these chaotic lines exist for other retailers? Turns out that the Abercrombie & Fitch on 5th ave tend to have many tourists that stand on lines that extend down to 6th ave.

Another collector, Charles James, 28 said, “The only reason I stand in line to collect Jordans is because it’s something I can be prideful of, to know I worked hard and at the end of the day I got some fresh kicks of every style to style-out in, then I see no problem.”

Brendan Gill, 25, a manager at Abercrombie said, “We try to control [the lines] as best as we can, we’re only allowed to let 300 people in the store.” One would assume lines that extend that far would equate to bargains, but Gill dismisses such thoughts when he says, “This is our flagship store, so nothing is on sale here, everything is full price, but most of our customers are from overseas, so our things are cheaper than in Europe.”

Much like any other collector, it’s understandable why Jordan collectors would go so hard, its ownership, but it also doesn’t require you to stand on these lines. According to ESPN, “In 2012, the Jordan brand sold $2.5 billion worth of shoes at retail…Air Jordans made up 58 percent of all basketball shoes bought in the U.S. and 77 percent of all kids' basketball shoes.” If anything wouldn’t it be best to buy it from these resellers online? Which leads me to my next set of Jordan fans…the resellers. Resellers are the type of fans I could never understand, why stand on a line to buy these expensive sneakers only to resell them after a few times of taking pictures of them on Instagram?

White explains her mentality when she says, “I can wear them a few times and once they become played out and a new pair come out everyone will have forgotten all about the old pair, they’ll all be trying to sell them at the same time with no luck. I sell them while they’re still fresh and relevant, people will pay anything and I make profit off of that, so why not?”

Abercrombie hostess, Amelia Stuart-Dilley, 20 says, “The manager has the most stressful job when it comes to the lines because he has to keep track of how many people are coming out and in with a counter-clicker. Black Friday is always really busy for us and this summer projections are a lot higher, so we’re expecting longer lines.” Clearly, Jordans don’t seem to be the only trend when it comes to waiting on long lines. The announcement of new Jordan releases expected this year, it makes one wonder how these fans will be able to stand their ground on these lines. ★


artful living


realism Words by Reginald Larkin Photography by Dex Rob

“I don't sleep. I stay up all night. I watch movies. I listen to one song over and over again. I read comic books. I think. I browse the Internet. These things will hopefully invade my dreams if I do fall asleep.� Dex Jones says of his creative formula. The Brooklyn native found that his experimental nature has generated a plethora of visuals that stimulate a Varity of emotions. The artist spoke to Bleu about his journey, creating striking visuals, and what the future holds.


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dex jones

Where are you from? Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in Canarsie which isn't really one of the most popular or represented neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It's inconveniently far from everything and there isn't much of anything to do there. But that's where I'm from. I rep it proudly even if no one else will. But I have actually done some of my best shooting in Canarsie. As a shooting location, it's actually one of my best kept secrets.... well until now. Where did you study photography? The bulk of my studies in photography was independently done on my own but I was introduced to it in college. I was required to take two photography courses in my Advertising Design major; one was film and the other was digital. I didn't do too well in those classes. But of course, I did appreciate the art. My grades on assignments were terrible. I think I just had a lack of interest in the rigid and somewhat contrived ways I was expected to learn the techniques. I always say that the best thing those classes ever did for me was give me a reason to buy a camera.

Once I had my camera I could pursue my passion for photography in the way I saw fit and in my own time. Once I left college, I did a lot of practicing and just learned what I was capable of behind a camera. And when I felt confident enough, I started my introduction to the world as a photographer. How did your passion for art arise? It's funny, I think I just recently realized that I've wanted to be an artist since I was a little boy. It all came in phases. One year you'd ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I'd say, "an animator for Disney" and the next year I'd say, "an architect." And it went on like that. I started drawing comic books when I was in the 6th grade. In my little circle of friends, those were the kinds of things we did; draw. I wanted to be a pianist as well until for whatever reason I felt like I wasn't good enough or perhaps I just got bored. But the point is I did a lot of experimenting as a child. Art and science was my thing. Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist but we won't talk about that. That's another conversation.


artful living

What inspires you? What inspires your work? That's always an interesting question. I think that any and everything inspires me. The most obvious thing would be anything that looks good of course. Colors, fashion, the style of someone's hair, a person's physique are all things that inspire me. Then it could be something as abstract as a song lyric, a dream or an ideology. It could be an international tragedy, a culture, a film, or the verdict of a jury in a federal case. And then there are your randoms. Like an old man sitting on a milk crate on the corner with a bunch of pigeons in bird cages. You just feel lucky that you have your camera by your side on an occasion like that. Or you feel like an idiot when you don't have it. But as an artist you have to be alert for all the inspirations around. They're all you have. For me, a consistent inspiration is the genius in simplicity most particularly found in the past. Old album covers for example; they're usually just one photo. A lot of them are so simple. Just a portrait or two of an artist. No bells or whistles. But you can't stop staring at them. They're iconic. Without a doubt my best photography will always have that quality to it. How do you get into the mindset to create? I don't sleep. I stay up all night. I watch movies. I listen to one song over and over again. I read comic books. I think. I browse the internet. These things will hopefully invade my dreams if I do fall asleep. I'm either saturating my mind with more and more media or with solitude. I also look at my own work a lot as well. I shake my head at all the things I did wrong and it makes me want to shoot something else in hopes that I do it perfect the next time. What artists do you idolize? I purely idolize dudes like Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier and Sammy Davis Jr. for almost no reason at all. They were just cool cats to me in their heyday. Respectable gentlemen, those guys. Aside from that, this going to be a random assortment of people but I admire people like Jean Michel Basquiat and Dave Chapelle. In addition to doing excellent groundbreaking work in their respective fields, they also have stories that have served as inspiration to me. They both recognized and pursued their passions relentlessly from a very young age and that is no easy task as an artist. I also admire Spike Lee for his quality of film making against all odds. When we speak of photography however, Saddi Khali is a personal friend of mine whose work I consistently look up to. I know we each have our own voice and eye but I wanna shoot like him....but I DON'T wanna shoot like him, ya know? My very first experiments with nude photography were molded from his work until I found my niche. That's my brother. He's got that genius simplicity thing I was talking about. What has been the most fulfilling thing for you as a photographer? There's nothing quite like seeing your work hung up on gallery walls with people crowding around it. My work is like my kids. They're my


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dex jones

children. And it's always good to see them succeed. At some point they need to move out of the gallery and make it into a book. But that will soon come. What was the best photo you ever took? What would you consider the worst photo you took? I'm not allowed to play favorites with my kids. What has been your favorite creation thus far? I have a couple favorite shoots. The first is one I did for a group exhibit I was featured in, dedicated to to the life and complex persona of Fela Kuti. I took those shots specifically for that exhibit and it was the very first time my work had been displayed anywhere. So I wanted to make sure things were perfect. It's my largest collaboration to date with 8 models, a make-up artist, a fashion designer, jewelry designer, and 2 locations shot over the course of 2 days. The other creation is a series I like to call The Dandettes (Dandy Lioness) which was a shoot that I randomly put together for a film crew that wanted shoot a short web documentary on me. It features two women dressed like very fine and stylish gentlemen with a feminine twist. It was styled by Kia Chenelle who I credit really for making the shoot as successful as it was. She modeled, brought a perfectly beautiful wardrobe and introduced me to a stunning model in Oluwatoyin Pyne. What's your dream photoshoot, event, or artist to work with? Respectfully, I like to keep my dreams to myself. ★


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The urban gentleman's trek into to the world of ready to wear is most accessible in Brooklyn's edgy Bushwick neighborhood. 'The Bush' has become a hub for fashion, culture and innovation. Such concepts are personified in the fashion exploration.


WAYof BUSHWICK Photography by Sinem Yazici Fashion by Pe'a Monique & Chris Sandford



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cover story

Where the Things Are Mack Wilds Lives Up to His Lyrics

Words by Kent Olden Photography by Keith Major Fashion by Alisha Crutchfield for StyleWise


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mack wilds


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taten Island born and bred, Mack Wilds has made a career out of bringing his perspective on the world to any project he takes on. First introducing himself to the masses with his first name, Tristan, Wilds made his name household as we felt for his struggle as Michael Lee, a middle school student catapulted into a life of drug dealing, on HBO’s The Wire, then again as ladies loved to love him as 90210’s Dixon Wilson, a California teen who moves in with his adopted family in Beverly Hills. Also starring in what can be considered controversial movie roles such as Dakota Fanning’s love interest in The Secret Life of Bees, and the ill-fated 2nd Lt. Ray “Ray Gun” Gannon in George Lucas’s Red Tails, Wilds continued to build momentum for his fans. Then, Tristan switched gears, and the household name he established in his roles switched right along with it… "Cuz we livin’ it like we own it." That’s the song that introduced the world to Mack Wilds, the R&B alter ego of actor Tristan. With a tune timed just right and lyrics liable to be stuck in your head, Own It has the makings of anyone's perfect theme song. This song is just different. The more you hum it, the more you want to know the lyrics. The more you learn the lyrics, the more you actually sing them. The more you sing them, the more you realize ‘This is… me.’ You wonder how the story plays out; you have to see how it ends. And just like that, you're tuned in to New York: A Love Story. Reemerging as Mack Wilds to fit his R&B persona (his birth name is Tristan Paul Mack Wilds), Tristan appeared to seamlessly jump from the screen to the studio, never missing a beat…literally. With a voice no one ever expected to come from a known actor, much like the first time we heard Jamie Foxx serenade through song, Wilds exploded onto the scene and became a Grammy-nominated golden boy shortly after the release of his debut LP New York: A Love Story. “It means so much,” says

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Wilds, about his recent nomination. “It’s a huge accolade just to be recognized by the Recording Academy. It means people are actually listening to my music, and they actually like it.” Only a week and a half out of being immersed in the golden night of the Grammys, Wilds admits he’s still coming into the full realization of the impact of the nod. “But I haven’t really been out there yet to fully understand what it means to be ‘a Grammy-nominated artist.’” It’s quite apparent that the impact is there, though. “Of course it’s been a transition,” says Wilds, about his jump from acting to music. “People have been taking to the music in a great way. It hasn’t been too much of a battle.” Not completely giving up on the craft that made him famous, Mack does have plans to return to acting, however, frames his focus on the music… for now. “There are things that I like to pop my head in to, so you never know when you’ll see me anywhere.” No full-on TV shows or movies in the works, but the music is definitely coming full force.

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Giving the world some real world insight into love and relationships with his own music, Mack says “I think with music, it’s always a real recognizes real type of thing. I think people recognized that [the album] wasn’t contrived, or fake. It was real. It was appreciated.” Giving the theatrical feel of a Broadway musical from start to finish, New York: A Love Story’s opening track leads in with an overture that sets the stage for the story to come. “I mainly just wanted to pay homage to Wu-Tang in my own way,” says Wilds, discussing his approach to the lead track Wild Things. “I was trying to recreate Wu-Tang’s Ain’t Nothin to F*ck With, but adding elements to give it that theatrical tone.” Like the opening of a movie, Wild Things sets the tone for the musical movie. We’re introduced to the story’s characters, and listen as their lives play out in our eardrums. We hear an entire love story play out, set to the sounds of New York City: the ups, downs,

"Everyone’s trying to be the next Denzel or Will Smith or Jay Z. I just

wanna be Mack Wilds."

mack wilds

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lefts, and rights of love. We see a guy who meets a girl in Henny, and starts to fall for her in Own It. Magic tells of his courting of the girl because she’s what he wants. Keepin’ It Real lets us all know that we’re not alone when we find new love that gets tampered with by the ex who stands in the way of your next, or that hater ass friend that doesn’t want to be single all alone. Don’t Turn Me Down lays out our lead man’s heartache of rejection from his new boo, which leads to those oh so hated drunk dials to his ex (which we ALL do…don’t act). In The Sober Up, he sees that backtracking to the ex ain’t the way to go, and the story plays out like any other love affair would. And it comes full circle with the closing track, Duck Sauce. “That came about because of me and Salaam arguing…I wanted to a track of me just rapping,” Mack reminisces about making the closing track. “We found the dustiest beat we could find and just did it, and it was like ‘Aight cool…that’s the end of the story. Life goes on after that.’” “Everyone’s trying to be the next Denzel or Will Smith or Jay Z. I just wanna be Mack Wilds.” Mack Wilds stands boldly on his uniqueness and individuality. With a strong confidence in his signature sound and an insatiable love for the streets that saw him through, Mack Wilds sets a goal of pushing the creativity envelope in the music industry while he takes on topics that no one else may want to touch. Remembering muses and mentors like Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, and Jack White (from the White Stripes), Mack confidently molds himself in the trails blazed by “The Greats.” With a mini tour kicking off March 30, 2014 in Washington DC, Mack Wilds has one thing to say on making a name for himself in the music industry: “This is only the beginning.” Already seeing where he’s coming from, we can wait to see where he’s going, as he takes us on a trip to where the wild things are… ★

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mack wilds

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For more information on Mack Wilds, please visit Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @MackWilds, and on Facebook at!




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Motion is the Notion Photography by Naj Wareham Fashion by Chris Sandford

Spring is all about movement. Whether that be the rise of new flowers or the fluidity of April showers; rejuvination is among us. Our Spring style reflects that as we adorn ourselves in muted pastels, crisp whites and hibiscus florals. Get out and enjoy the change of seasons. The Bleu man that's in motion stays in motion.

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jacket & pants Tom Ford shirt A.P.C. shoe Bally shade Balenciaga


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shoes Tom Ford sweater Maison Martin Margiela blazer DKNY shorts Dior Homme shades Balenciaga belt Calvin Klein


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shirt Marc by Marc Jacobs pants Comme Des GarÇons; shoes Tom Ford hat Bailey of Hollywood bag Prada



Tiffany evans From Star Search to Star Power Words by Kent Olden

First getting her big break as a pint-sized performer on Showtime at the Apollo, Tiffany went on to win it all on Star Search, beating out future American Idol contestants Lisa Tucker and David Archuleta. But Tiffany Evans is grown now. She’s a mother and a mogul-in-themaking, leaving her mark on the industry through directing groundbreaking music videos, producing her music her way, and delivering real life-inspired lyrics with her powerful and melodious voice. "You know I really draw from my own experience," says Evans about the power that dwells in her voice when she sings. "Especially if it’s a song about love or pain or something like that." Drawing from personal perils as well as those experienced by close friends, Tiffany brings the real back to telling the stories of living, loving, and losing in this game. "I want people to know that whatever I’m singing about is something I witnessed or have been through myself, and it’s just as real as any situation they’ve had to deal with." But a voice like Tiffany Evans's doesn't stop just in the recording studio. It goes beyond the microphone and calls the shots. A little lady with a lot to say, Tiffany has started her own entertainment company, Little Lady Entertainment. "It’s actually not a label just yet," says Evans, "although I want it to be eventually." After parting ways with Matthew Knowles, and then Columbia Records soon after, Tiffany had a decision to make: go off to another label and "go through that whole process again," or take advantage of the opportunity to learn the business for herself. Choosing the latter, Little Lady Entertainment was born, letting Tiffany sing her songs her way.

Photographer: Calvin Evans

Releasing her latest EP 143, in early 2013, Tiffany is glad to see how supportive her

fans continue to be. "I was so excited to release it, and that made me very nervous." However, letting her nerves get the best of her made it that much sweeter when 143 was received with the love that's hidden in the title. "It was EVERYTHING to my fans!," says Evans. "I just wanted to let something out to speak toward love, and how I want to be loved, and how anyone should be loved." As the story with most celebs who get their shot at stardom early on in life, Tiffany's love for the music, however, hasn't kept her free from the dreaded 'child star curse.' Ironically, it was those ups and downs that fueled the fire to ignite the music that was to come. "It’s kinda crazy because I’d have to say that I’ve gone through my fair share of the ‘child star curse,’" says Evans. "A lot of it wasn’t really publicized, and I think that’s the difference between me and any other child celebrity." Proving to be a blessing in disguise for Tiffany, being able to go through those struggles privately allows for the stories to be told through the music in a manner that lets Tiffany let go while helping someone who just may have needed to hear that breakup song in the process. "I actually haven’t said anything yet (I’ve been keeping it a secret), but I’ve been working on some new music. All I can say is right now is I’m very excited with the direction we’re going in, and we’re really pushing that with some of the songs. I can’t wait for everyone to see the visuals, and I hope everyone is excited for it when we finally start releasing tracks!" No one else could've said it better. Excited about what Little Lady Entertainment has in the works, Tiffany Evans lets us know to keep our eyes peeled for what this pop princess has up her sleeve! ★

candice glover A Star on the Rise Words by Gary Allen

With a powerhouse voice and undeniable determination, Candice Glover is inspiring fans to never give up on dreams. From small town beginnings to music stardom, this Beaufort County, South Carolina native is proof of how far believing, being comfortable and confident in oneself can take you. Proof of Glover’s iron will is her crown as the season 12 winner of American Idol. Although the judges sounded off extreme praises and predictions of her winning the competition, the humbled singer did not absorb it with arrogance. “I was so blessed to make it through every round. When you get cut twice you never expect to come back and win the whole thing.” Candice is actually the first female to win since Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks. Candice began singing at the age of 4 and became more serious about her passion within her junior year of high school. Never taking formal vocal lessons, she listened to her favorite artists to learn their styles and techniques in order to find her own unique voice. Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Jazmine Sullivan, and Aretha Franklin are just a few of the artists Candice took note of. Glover mentioned that more recently people have been telling her that she has some similarities to the great Anita Baker, another singer she admires. Their music and technique helped mold her voice into a force strong enough for a duet with the powerful songstress, Jennifer Hudson, on the season 12 Idol stage. In a roller coaster competition where there were weeks of being in the top 2 as well as the bottom 2 performances, Candice was able to win over the American Idol audience. She shut the Idol stage down week after week with

amazing song choices, vocals, and stage presence. “People connect with you through music and your performance”, says Glover. With each performance and song encompassed with an inviting energy and personality, she has allowed everyone to become just a little closer to her throughout her journey. When asked what advice she would give future Idol contestants she replied, “Take as much time as you can to learn yourself. Don’t sing something that you think people want to hear. Sing exactly what’s true to your voice”. Never wanting to be placed under one category or genre, Candice Glover describes herself as a soul singer. Her favorite topic to sing about is love. Glover’s debut album Music Speaks listeners will enjoy the different sides of love, but will also be able to relate to the feelings this singer emotes. “Music comes before lyrics for me”, says Glover. She is an artist that believes in singing from the heart and a place of experience. Candice dives right into the music with the soul-stirring anthem “Cried”, written by one of her favorite artist, Jazmine Sullivan. Glover also described “Guy Without You” and “Forever that Man” as songs that resonate with the artist and echo past experiences. Boasting husky commanding vocals that you can’t ignore, Candice Glover’s raw talent places her in the forefront of her peers. Winning American Idol was just the beginning of the great path in which her career is heading. Glover hopes to get into acting in the future, as well as start a foundation for teen girls dealing with confidence and self-esteem issues. Seeming to have her heart in the right place, and a phenomenal talent, Candice Glover will be a household name. ★



Wardell Malloy The Man Behind the Music Words by Jasmine Aspinall Photography by Naj Wareham

Casually dressed, with an opaque smile, surrounded by a drape of black cashmere to cover up his ailing cold, including a few coughing spells Wardell Malloy’s presence is felt. The distinct realization sets in that you’re in a room with a man who is responsible for many of the songs you hear on the radio, ranging from artists like Chris Brown to Lady Gaga. His keen ear in finding that certain something within a hook or melody has been embedded in him since his early days growing up in the cold streets of The Bronx, NY. “For as long as I can remember music has been a part of my life from a little kid,” said Malloy. “My mom had a huge, huge album collection and she would always play music; music was always in the house. So I grew up on it and it just became a part of me from childhood, to teenager, to adult. I knew that music was going to be a part of my life.” Malloy’s early experiences were crucial in molding his insticts. Honoring his gut has led to a catalogue of hits. “I always say that the executives within these labels should always treat the audience as if they’re a lot smarter than what they are,” he said. “I really feel like we put music into this box and it’s so much out there that people really gravitate to if you give it to them.” Wardell serves as the Executive Director of writer-publisher relations at BMI, a steadfast company dedicated to ensuring that “songwriters, composers and music

publishers are accurately compensated when their copyrighted work is performed publicly.” BMI celebrates individuality. The 75-year-old company maintains an “open door policy” for aspiring and ambitious songwriters and composers alike. The BMI roster boasts notable and influential artists including Eminem, Lady Gaga and Rihanna just to name a few. Surrounded by a number of gifted artists, Wardell knew that sonically he didn’t have the voice to be an artist. “The thing about it is I knew I loved music, but didn’t know what I could possibly do with music,” he said. “I did know I couldn’t sing it!” Malloy’s passion for music found expression through an internship at Atlantic Records in the A&R department. It was in this moment when he said, “Okay this is what I want to do, I want to be involved in finding talent and helping to nurture talent because I always felt that was kind of a natural gift to me.” A fine tuned ear isn’t a common gift. Being right has gotten Wardell pretty far and GRAMMY Award winning songwriter, Claude Kelly would attest to that. “He found me when I was not doing anything. I was in the studio just writing hoping that someone would hear my stuff and he’s almost been like a sounding board, an A&R, a manager and all this stuff in one,” said Kelly who’s written for Britney Spears and Toni Braxton. “So it’s not a lot of people that are that hands on with the actual creative process and making connec-




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tions with songwriters and artists.” He went on to describe Malloy as a, “triple threat in my pocket.” Wardell’s willingness to develop new talent has generated a breeding ground for amazing music. “When I met Claude he was in the studio doing some demos with some producers, but didn’t have a placement or anything like that and was a little discouraged. I worked with him really closely and a lot of what we do at BMI is to help to promote our songwriters within the industry. Our songwriters are our artists so just having those people when I’m in those meetings to say ‘hey here’s somebody you need to check out’ and kind of waving that banner for them so that they could have the opportunity that the people before them had.”

The idea of ushering in opportunities to those less privileged is not only his work philosophy, but also within his philanthropic efforts as an active Director on the Board of The Community Outreach Christian Ministries and Harvest of Hope, an initiative to provide aid and resources to displaced foster children located in New Jersey. Alongside his music endeavors Malloy channels his energy into young people who are not given the same opportunities he had. “The young people, I feel like we have to grab a hold [of] the young people. Young black boys need to see another black boy from the Bronx is doing stuff,” said Malloy. “I had no clue I could do or what I was doing and now I’m doing stuff and we need to see those kinds of things.” ★




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cyn santana

our favorite cyn

This voluptuous, Chipotle loving Latina has proven to be more than just a good woman to look at. Her relationship with quick-tempered Erica Mena has showed. Her fierce and bold attitude. Cyn's new body is giving us life and the rollercoaster ride remains a lustful, romantic and strong symbol of just who Cyn Santana is.

Photography by Patrick NerĂŠe

Photography by Patrick NerĂŠe Fashion by Jonathan Guerra Hair by Mayra Larubia Make-up by Whitney Coss




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cyn santana

For more pictures of Cyn visit



andre hall Love Thy Neighbor's Family Man. Words by Edric Robinson

Tyler Perry and Oprah are a match made in sitcom heaven. The pair’s collaboration birthed two of the Oprah Winfery Networks (OWN) most lucrative shows. The Have’s and Have Not’s and Love Thy Neighbor. The latter produced one of comedy’s budding stars, Andre Hall.

the role of Danny,” says Hall. Tyler Perry then invited Hall to read the script in Atlanta, Georgia and the rest is dust in the rearview. “That first disappointment turned into my first role on a sitcom - all I can say is God is good,” praised Hall.

Playing the role of Danny Harris, Hall cites this opportunity as a continuation of blessings and dreams fulfilled after moving to Hollywood to pursue acting years prior.

After the show’s debut last year, Love Thy Neighbor drew in over 1.65 million viewers, making it the second highest rated debut in OWN history. The show is Wednesday night’s number two original cable series and rated third in series for African American audiences, according to the Nielsen Company.

Growing up in Indiana with U.S. Navy parents and three brothers, Hall describes his upbringing as a standard midwest lifestyle, equipped with a dog, baseball and a white picket fence. Not shabby at all, but the actor says he struggled with fitting in amongst peers due to his mixed race background. “My mother is black and my dad is white. Sometimes I wasn’t fully accepted by my black peers when the “white boy” in me came out and vice versa,” Hall explains. He seemed to have taken it all in stride and spoke of it with a hint of maturity showing that he is comfortable with himself. While studying at Purdue University and later at Marian University, Hall studied biology, but decided to leave early to start his career in Los Angles as a model while taking acting classes. Hall attests modeling is more serious than it looks as he states, “Just like acting, there are thousands of people fighting for the same job. People who look like you, or are a little taller than you - just tons of competition.” After developing a tough skin in the modeling world, rejection and persistence became more like bedfellows than facts of life. The budding star recounts the moment he found out about the Love thy Neighbor audition. “I was a valet, parking cars one day when my agent sent the information about an audition for a Tyler Perry show,” said Hall. He first auditioned for a character on the OWN drama, The Have and Have Not's. “I thought I did really well and was a little bummed after not receiving a call back for it, but then I was asked to return to audition for


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Just like his favorite sitcoms of the past; Growing Pains, Who’s the Boss and The Cosby Show, the ablity to relate seems to be one of the causes for the increasing fan base and overall success of the show. Like Danny, he considers himself a big idealistic dreamer who looks for the good in everything, and has an undying love for his mother, or as he describes it, he’s “a pure momma’s boy.” Even Danny’s taste in clothing shares some similarities with the actor. Whether he’s rocking casual form fitted shirts and slacks or tailored suits for work, it’s always well put together and clean. “I believe there is nothing like a well tailored suit. My favorite at the moment is this Hugo Boss suit that fits like a glove,” Hall shares excitedly. When shooting, Hall admits to spending over 90% of his time with the cast and considers his cast mates as family, which translates straight to your TV screen. This family atmosphere according to Hall is set by the show’s director, writer and producer Tyler Perry. “He’s very encouraging, [he] lets us experiment, and knows when to let us go at it and pull back a bit.” Put all these qualities together and you may get a portion of Andre Hall, a true easy going family guy, living his dream as an actor with a strong family and cast by his side. “Trust and spread your wings is what Tyler Perry always tells me, and I think I’m doing just that more and more.” ★


Words by Reginald Larkin

Capturing the moments and seconds that define our lives is a skill that few can truly boast. Bleu Mag caught up with three New York based photographers who are interrupting life through the lens of their cameras. Bound by their love of the visual these three are diverse in their method and inspiration. Get to know them a little better as they put down their cameras and share their stories.


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liss Where did you study photography? I am self taught. I studied basic photographic techniques in the beginning, through books and tutorials, but found that experimenting with unconventional methods, making mistakes, and taking chances worked best for me. How did your passion for art arise? My passion for art came the moment I moved to NYC. It affected me in a way nothing else ever had. I can't draw for shit, but I was always a visual person. Photography just seemed to happened. I called my mom, asked to borrow her point and shoot, took a bus home to Jersey, hugged her, told her I loved her, headed back to New York and that was it. A year later I resigned from my job as a 4th grade teacher to embark on my new career as an artist.

often, but it's part of our genetic make up. It's how our souls survive. Individuals like Brian Kirhagis, Dex R. Jones and James De La Vega remind me of that daily. What was the best photo you ever took? What would you consider the worse photo you took? The best image I ever created? It's hard to say. I have produced artwork at many different stages of my life and each one has meant something special to me. They have told stories of my journey, commented on social issues, and ultimately led to my growth as an artist, so In some way they all are. The worst photo I have ever taken? A drunken selfie at 3 in the morning. That or wedding photography, ha. Sometimes you have to take on gigs you don't love in order to keep the dream of what you love alive. What has been your favorite creation thus far?

What artists do you idolize I don't necessarily idolize any artists, but I have so much respect for the NYC art scene and the individuals hustling day in and day out to make it happen. It's not a glamorous lifestyle and it certainly doesn't happen over night (whatever "it" means). Success is relative and rejection is

My favorite creation has been converting my work to canvas. I am either behind the camera or in front of a computer so to be able to hold on to something tangible is a completely different and intimate experience. It makes the artwork real.





How did your passion for art arise? Photography was something that came into my life as a beautiful, yet very random talent I didnt know I had. Life is interesting like that. I always thought I would be a teacher or something lol

of mine such as Josie Zetina, Dezirae Bradley, Rob Lee, Mel.D.Cole, Texas Horatio-Valenzuela and Kwesi Abensetts. I just appreciate good meaningful work. What is your best picture you’ve taken? What is your worse?

What inspires your work? Day to day life inspires me. Everyday I learn something new about myself & that comes from experiencing life on a day to day basis. Overcoming fears & taking chances has contributed a great deal of inspiration to my growth as a person & as a visual artist. The main thing that inspires my work is emotion

I don't think I have a "Best or Worst" photo that I could think of. Although I know I haven't always taken the most perfect pictures in my career lol, I think everything is a work in progress. There's always more to learn. I'am a proud student of my craft and I like to find ways to utilize the available opportunities to gain more knowledge. What is your dream photoshoot?

Whose work do you Admire? I love the works of Gordon Parks & Jamel Shabazz. I absolutely idolize their work. I'm also a huge fan of the work of some photographer friends


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My dream photoshoot would have to be with the Obama Family. As an African American woman this is history happening right before my eyes. And not only that, I absolutely adore Michelle & Barack Obama.



Where did you study photography? I was raised around art, from my father being a Landscape/Portrait photographer to my aunt being a painter. But I took photography seriously once I got into the photography major in high school. What inspires you? What inspires your work? Im inspired by photojournalism. They capture the perfect moment which isn't behind a white background and make you believe and feel whats going on. I like to capture images on location, you have nothing but color and shapes and angles you can work with to capture those perfect portrait like candids. How do you get into the mindset to create ?

I take out my notebook and start free writing horizontally, vertically, any direction. It may appear as chicken scratch but it is a completely legible blueprint for me. This blueprint is the skeleton for creative process. What artists do you idolize? The actor Lance Gross believe it or not has a way with describing emotions. Even the head shots! He wows me every time. What's your dream photoshoot, event, or artist to work with? I dream of having Steve McCurry's job for just one day. He has a universal language that you can only read through his photos and you understand it plus more.



ne us Quilts, stripes, leather and tweed. This season is all about the intersection of patterns and rich textures. Alisha Crutchfield takes the Bleu readers on a journey that traverses the world of fashion.

Photography by Keith Major Fashion by Alisha Crutchfield and Raytell Bridges- for StyleWise


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coat ZARA shirt & pants William Watson



shirt INC International Concepts pants FadedNYC by domo tie Barney's watch ICe-Watch

shirt & jacket William Watson pants Keiko and Khari belt Calvin Klein shoes Bar III



shirt Nick Graham jacket American Boy new York pant FadedNYC by domo


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shirt William Watson blazer Calvin Klein




Behind every Super bowl ring and championship team there is a coach whose leadership heralds his players to victory. This month we are breaking down five of the NFL’s most memorable coaches by analyzing their stats coach by coach. These unsung heroes are responsible for some of the most epic moments in the league and its only right we pay homage.

Anatomy NFL Coach of the


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Bill Belichick New England Patriots Games over .500: 94 Super Bowl Wins: 3 Overall Championships: 3 Conference Championships: 5 Division Championships: 11 Mike McCarthy Green Bay Packers Jim Harbaugh San Francisco 49ers

Games over .500: 37 Super Bowl Wins: 1 Overall Championships: 1 Conference Championships: 1 Division Championships: 4

Games over .500: 25 Super Bowl Wins: 0 Overall Championships: 0 Conference Championships: 1 Division Championships: 2

John Harbaugh Baltimore Ravens

Tom Coughlin New York Giants Games over .500: 28 Super Bowl Wins: 2 Overall Championships: 2 Conference Championships: 2 Division Championships: 5

Games over .500: 28 Super Bowl Wins: 1 Overall Championships: 1 Conference Championships: 1 Division Championships: 2


on the rise

Kyle Shedrick Between the Strings Words by Gary Allen


ost music enthusiasts seek out artists who are undefined, and create inviting and relatable music. Kyle Shedrick is an artist who fits that model. His love for music and limitless style has definitely caught the ear of various audiences. Kyle Shedrick was born in Buffalo, NY. Due to circumstances out of his control, he was sent to Clinton, South Carolina to be raised by extended family. It was here that Shedrick attended school and his roots in music began. After high school Kyle attended Benedict College, a Historically Black College in Columbia, South Carolina. During his undergrad years Shedrick served as a member of the college's gospel choir in which he learned about music theory and live performance. However, it was the studying he did on his own that helped develop his sound. “I studied a lot of R&B and independently studied classic jazz because I admired the courage and skill jazz musicians had for improv and scatting” says Shedrick. Kyle has a natural tone that’s welcoming to the ear. Within his raspy, yet soulful voice, listeners will find traces of artists he idolizes such as Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Lauryn Hill. Kyle also hopes to one day work with artists like Jay-Z, Janelle Monae, and Chris Brown.


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Coincidentally when asked what song currently released he wished he had recorded, Kyle responded with Fine China, which is by Chris Brown. Kyle Shedrick’s music is inspired by sincerity. His current EP Who I Am, released in early 2014, deals greatly with understanding oneself and wanting people to accept this new understanding, whatever it may be, within love and love lost. Shedrick says, “I believe these particular themes reflect and express me personally because these are the reoccurring themes in my life.” With a personal fulfillment of completing his debut EP, this type of inner truth will be relatable for his listeners. Kyle Shedrick’s music and talent are reared in hard work and dedication. This is the same advice he says he would share with other up and coming singers. “If you believe this is what you were purposed to do then don’t quit. Keep pushing. Keep praying. Continuously work on your craft.” His work ethic and amazing voice is going to keep listeners wanting for more. In the near future Kyle will be working on a music video, radio placement, collaborations, and features. Kyle Shedrick is an artist that is well worth everyone keeping an ear out for. ★ Shedrick’s EP is currently available on iTunes.

austen jaye Which Skin is the Right Skin? Words by Yvette Brown


lack&Sexy T.V. has another a hit webseries: Yellow. The show starts with main character Austin is a docu-series about “the pleasures and problems of the light skinned black man.” While the series is not completely based off of Austen Jaye’s life, there are a few tidbits that Austen admits are factual. “[The show] is closer to fact,” said Austen. “The first episode when she calls me Butterscotch, that actually happened,” he explains being thrown off when the women he was dating had called him Butterscotch, describing it as “new” having never been called that before to describe his complexion. “Because I wasn’t always brought up with this whole light-skin, dark-skin [mentality], I didn’t first see it until I got older, seeing how people were acting towards each other because their complextion, I wasn’t offended,” said Austen about being called Butterscotch. Let’s take a minute to reflect though; Austen has also starred in the Black&Sexy series, RoomieLoverFriends as Tamiko’s escape from her complex relationship with her roommate. He’s also appeared in Hello Cupid as Cassius’s cousin. Cassius and Austen entertain the cupid’s leads on a

double date. Austen’s character carries the similar story line into his new series. “Yellow was a project that Numa had come to me with and she [said] ‘I want to do this project and you have to be willing to laugh at yourself’ and I was like ‘well, that’s not a problem,” says Austen about he signing on for Yellow, Numa Perrier is the creator of Yellow. Numa explained the concept of the show and with that, he was on board explaining his own life experiences to her and what he has gone through as a light-skinned black man. Yellow’s concept is something that world often faces within the African-American culture between light-skins and dark skin. Whose shade is better and hashtag teamlightskinned or hashtag teamdarkskinned. “When it comes to light-skinned, dark-skinned, even though it’s huge in the black community, it’s huge across the board,” said Austen explaining the controversy between the two complexions. “I remember somebody calling me, a friend of mine, after watching the second episode and she was saying, ‘Wow, this is real.’ Austen doesn’t look at the controversy as one being attractively inferior to the other and as a light-skinned man himself he jok-

ingly admits, “There’s a lot of ugly light-skinned people, but there’s a lot of ugly dark-skinned people, it’s across the board.” While the show has only aired two episodes, many are drawn to the show in a sense where Austen believes it is because people want to follow the transition of his character as well as the Black&Sexy team to see where they go next.` ★



GONE FISHING Living in an urban jungle can be interesting to say the least. This spring we encourage you to take a break from city life and take your talents to a greener backdrop. A little fresh air never hurt anybody and communion with nature sooths the soul.

Shakespeare Contender Big Water Rod And Reel Combo $39.99-$59.99

TaskOne Multi-tool iPhone Case $79.95


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Malibu Two XL Anglerr $1,049.99

UCO Arka LED Rechargeable Lantern $69.95

Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 Tent $599.95

Black Pine Hunta’s Classic +35 Sleeping Bag $69.90


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Tina Knowles


Supreme Pizza

Yoko Ono

Completing Marathons

Louisville Cardnials

Jordan Dunn

Vintage Jewelry

Zack Posen

Daenerys Targaryen

Nike Sneakers


Colin Farrell

Tiffany Diamond Earrings


Channing Tatum





Nicki Minaj

Drew Barrymore

Scion FRS

The Hills




Anita Baker

Crusty Crab

Tamar Braxton

Captain America

Blonder Family

New York Knicks

Adam Sandler

American Horror Story

Lil Wayne

David Gandy

Family Guy


Jimmy Fallon

Andy Warhol

MAC Cosmetics

Emma Watson

Nae Nae

Design Essentials

Victoria Beckham

Robo Cop

Delta Airlines

Kendall Jenner




B Spa

Sunglass Hut

Anna May Wong

Pottery Barn



Emily Van Camp

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Harry Belafonte Activist. Actor. Musician Words by Yvette Brown

Harry Belafonte, a New York native, profound, award-winning actor and sophisticated musician, this 86-year-old man has lived a rewarding life. Belafonte was fascinated with the world of acting since the 40’s after attending a performance of the American Negro Theater. He began to study at the Dramatic Workshop and appeared in many American Negro Theater productions, but ended up being noticed for his voice after impressing Monte Kay, who offered Belafonte the opportunity to perform at a jazz club called the Royal Roost. The 50’s is when everything began to take off for Belafonte, his musical style changed which led him to Broadway, at the early age of 16, which led to a Tony Award for performing his own songs in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. His acting career had officially begun after his first movie Bright Road, but what really led him to stardom was his role in the film Carmen Jones, Belafonte received an Academy Award nomination. The success of Carmen Jones not only made him a star in the acting field, but he also became a music sensation. Belafonte released Calypso after signing with RCA Victor Records, which ended up being the first album to sell more than one million copies. Although, he took a break from the big screen, that didn’t stop him from appearing on television shows like The Muppet Show. Belafonte also used his name to help the world by helping with the project of the hit single We Are the World, raising millions to provide famine relief in Ethiopia. Belafonte changed the way we hear music and showed us that passion brings success. ★


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ANSWERS Diagnosed with HIV and not sure where to start?




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