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coffea Interviewed

COFFEA is a minority and womanowned business. As well as teaching by example, we strive to be used as a networking tool to provide people with an outlook on who is doing what in their community. We also work with non-profit organizations such as The National Hook-Up of Black Women to promote literacy. We began business in November 1, 2009. Our staff was small, but dedicated. Currently circulated in the Chicago-land area, we are now involved in projects to broaden our readership. We focus on entrepreneurship and promoting community awareness. Mission: “COFFEA� magazine is for the young adult from all cultures. The magazine has a commitment to focus on and give examples of rising leaders. Much like the coffee plant, it exemplifies strength and the ability to withstand all severe obstacles. It will produce seeds of knowledge and compassion to inform the community about upcoming issues and exclusive events, be entertaining or political, that will affect the world culture in the future. It will also focus on influences of the past affecting the present. It will encourage



young adults facing the same issues in becoming educated and remaining aware. Its ideals will feed the minds of new leaders who will lead with the help of wisdom and faith.


Contents These pages are filled with some highlighted interviews from past issues. Some are just reminders of those we have featured. Enjoy!

Lisa Price 2010 Project Mayhem 2011 April Sutton 2012 Jason Mimms 2012 Fred King 2009 Robin Kelly 2010 Lady “E� 2011 UB Rodriguez 2012 L.Y. Marlow 2012 Gentry & Simon Phoenix 2009 James Anthony 2012 Rotimi Akinosho 2012 Terrell Humphrey 2011 Nicole Richardson 2013 Preston Heights 2013 Megaton Crush 2010 Caneil Oliver 2010 PJ Morton 2010 Robyn Booker 2010 Tina Stinson 2011 INERD Clothing 2012 Nicole Clarke- Springer 2012 Terri White 2013 Leon Rogers 2012 Four- Sixteen 2010 Really Doe 2009 for more info on each article or photo please contact us at


Background: Coffe’ Summers Coffe’ Summers was born and raised in Joliet, Il with both of her parents. Her mom was an English Teacher and her dad a Steel Worker. She has written short stories and poems that have lead to numerous awards. Coffe’ also grew up playing the piano and the clarinet. She graduated from high school with honors and began college that same summer at Tennessee State University for Architectural Engineering. After two years, She returned home due to changing her major to Business and obtained her Bachelors at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Coffe’ then began taking numerous college courses to further her career in the Graphic Arts and even Teaching until enough was enough. She’s always wanted to deal with growing someone’s business. For as long as she’s remembered, Coffe’ has always been on the other end buying the latest magazine the night before school so that she can trade info with her friends. she continued to buy magazines and started reading online. She found herself tired of the same thing. Then it came to her, COFFEA. Starting new as a single parent, Coffe’ began studying magazines and had the official launch of COFFEA in November 2009. The mission explains it all. We hope to alter the thinking of the aliterate. To insure the success of those entering the future reading is very essential.



Thank You First and foremost I would like to thank eveyone for getting this book and showing so much support and love. This has been a wonderful journey and a mission of self discovery. I would like to thank my parents for letting me be just as crazy as I want to be, Roscoe and Deborah Summers. Thanks to my partner in crime , my son Cayden. Without being able to see his face and hear his voice everyday only God knows where I would be. Thanks to my sister Iisha and my sisters from God; Chelsea, Kahndra, Brandy, Crystal, Cristi, Tonya, Katina, Joclyn, Tanaye, Adia, Diane, and Akiya ( may she Rest in Love). Thanks to my brothers from birth Kevin and Brian. Thanks to my brothers from God Audi, Todd, Donnis, Wendall, Anthony, Danko, Vincent, and A.J. Thanks to my crew that keeps me motivated Ebonie, Brandis, Versie and Dalkira. You ladies let me know it’s time to work. Thanks to all the contributing writers that have been there Ashante’ Travis, Bria Parkman, David Turner, Chanel Hemphill, and Sharmonique Robinson. Special thanks to all the photographers and editors as well. The list can continue to run all the way off the page full of thanks and appreciations. Everyone I have ever come in contact with from my teachers that were more like parents to my college family , who to this day, invites me over for dinner miles away. Words can not describe the amount of knowledge that I have received from all of them. I’ve learned when you have sleepless nights of inspiration and ideas running through your head, the only way to fulfill your destiny is to act on them. God has brought me to a place of no return and the only way left to go is full speed ahead. This book is dedicated to the two women responsible for the image that is me... My Granny ( Lillie M. Dillon) and my Big Ma ( Tomora Summit) “ the wind beneath my wings “




Lisa Price COFFEA believes in spotlighting those who have made it. They are truly an inspiration and we find it an honor to get the chance to display their journey and their success. In this issue we chose to spotlight Lisa Price, the creator of Carol’s Daughter. Carol’s Daughter is a complete line of hair and body care products made with love and natural ingredients. For as long as she can remember, Brooklyn native Lisa Price has had an inherent love of fragrance. Lisa’s mother, Carol, always encouraged her to use her knack for mixing essential oils and her innate feel for fragrance to create gifts for her family and friends. Inspired by her mother’s words, Lisa began whipping up products right in her kitchen that were an instant hit with loved ones. In the early 1990’s, she branched out and sold her homespun hair and body care products at local flea markets and craft fairs, turning her longtime hobby into the start of a career. Lisa’s unique recipe of natural ingredients, a little luck and a lot of love turned her at-home enterprise into a highly successful business within a matter of years. Staying true to her roots, Lisa opened the first Carol’s Daughter boutique in the cozy confines of Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. The store’s instant success led to appearances of Carol’s Daughter products on top national television shows, including The Today Show, The View, Rachael Ray Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. The loving care and attention given to each Carol’s Daughter product spoke to viewers and helped make Carol’s Daughter a household name. The brand achieved a new level of stardom as Carol’s Daughter garnered celebrity fans like Jada Pinkett Smith, Erykah Badu, and Chaka Khan, or as Lisa refers to them, “friends of the family.” The brand’s loyal following and the generosity of celebrity investors paved the way for the development of a Carol’s Daughter flagship store in Harlem, putting the brand on the map in one of New York’s most diverse, exciting neighborhoods. Even after 15 years of success and expansion, Lisa still pours her heart into every Carol’s Daughter product. Each one is still made by hand—just now with a lot more hands. The products continue to evoke the brand’s heritage of love, family and nature through carefully chosen ingredients and fun names with meaningful associations, from Tui (pronounced “twee”) Hair Oil to SweetHoneyDipChocolageBrownSugah Body Scrub. Today Carol’s Daughter products can be found in Carol’s Daughter retail stores and internet site, Sephora, Macy’s, Dillard’s and on the Home Shopping Network. Family and love are words that resonate with Carol’s Daughter. From the brand name and its products to the delicate care and attention mixed into each recipe; its heritage is a treasure trove that Lisa has set out to share with the world.


Project Mayhem Knowing each other for over 15 years, Project Mayhem has formed a family. Their style is a breath of fresh air that the industry has definitely been holding their breath for. They can be compared to classic groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, lyricists like Common & Mos Def , and entertainers such as The O’Jays. Thier chemistry reflects them also. Project Mayhem has made a name for themselves by opening up for many and having been featured in various magazines. They feature three that actually perform; Ishbah, Paypa, and Lennon and their singles “Lo Sweatas”, “Go Ill”, and “Just Chill”. You can check out their skills on Youtube and Myspace. We were honored with a segment of their time to ask a couple of questions. We will break out the family album and share what they had to tell us about their roles in Project Mayhem.

Together: What can your fans expect from you in the future? A lotta heat......we just wanna continue to give people that real music and I feel that’s what our fans expect from us. We have the Middle America Ep coming soon and Lennon will release his first solo mixtape entitled; The Figure Four Leglock. How do you guys explain your style? We’re real students of the music culture so our influences come from everywhere but it has a lot to do with where we are from.......the west side of Chicago, there’s no place like it. We just go into the song process knowing that we wanna create something that the listener hasn’t heard before, meaning something other than the recycled stuff that you hear on the radio everyday. Our style is Mayhem!! It’s that old b-boy sound mixed with the uptempo party rocking beats of today.

What’s one thing that help’s your group’s bond? What helps us bond is that fact that we were friends before rap. The ability to keep it real with each other. Everybody in life has disagreements but its how you deal with it is the key. Each group member answered separately: Name, hometown? Ishbah. West Side Chicago. What thing people will be surprised to know about you? That I’m an artist... literally. I can draw and paint. Describe the element that you contribute to the group? I’m the guy that keep the ego’s in check(laughing). Including mine.

Where can people find your music and videos? Itunes,,, Myspace. com/Lennon617 & Creativecontrol Tv & Also, Amazon and Rhapsody

If, there were a soundtrack produced for the movie of your life, what would be the number one song? (any artist- any song) Wild World by Cat Stevens

Who would you guys love to work with? Artists, producers, etc? I would definitely love to work with Kanye, that goes without saying, The Wu, Jeezy, Mos Def, Timbaland. ....Ski Beatz, he’s a producer that I feel compliments our style. But we make music so it wouldn’t be limited to Hip Hop artist or producers either.

One word that describes you? Flavor! Name, hometown? Paypa, Bellwood(western suburbs)


What thing people will be surprised to know about you? That I’m not as crazy as I seem sometimes. Most of the time I’m just venting because I’m misunderstood. Describe the element that you contribute to the group? I bring relateability to the group. People relate to the things I say. When your flow or delivery is way above average and they believe you, you got a winner. If there were a soundtrack produced for the movie of your life, what would be the number one song? Too High by Stevie Wonder Name, hometown? Lennon, The Go Ill What thing people will be surprised to know about you? That Dane and I are twins. Describe the element that you contribute to the group? I think I’m the voice of reason in the group, the calm one. Ish and Paypa are the wild ones. If, there were a soundtrack produced for the movie of your life, what would be the number one song? (any artist- any song) Frou Frou Let Go, that’s one of my favorite songs ever!!! One word that describes you? Great!



AprilSutton “Sutton Strong is my superhero fitness alter-ego. When I get up & start the day, I truly ask myself whose life will I change today? When you think of a super hero, you think of someone good fighting against evil. Having the power of transforming someone’s body is a huge responsibility. I honestly give my life to others. I’ve been expanding my social networking to spread on to others how having a healthy lifestyle is so important. If I can do it, you can do it too!” ~ April Sutton

What inspires you live a healthy lifestyle? My family history inspires me to live a healthy lifestyle. Just to name a few examples, diabetes, heart failure, breast, skin, prostate cancer & high blood pressure. It’s actually rubbed off on my family members. I’ve trained my aunt & uncle. My mother wants me to train her soon. Ill be training my younger brother for his first bodybuilding competition come January! When did you know that personal training would be something you would have a passion for? I actually was trained for a month by a natural bodybuilder. It was a great foundation that got me into training. My friends & family started to notice great changes happening to my body. Then I all of sudden I was getting request for trainer & I wasn’t even a trainer yet! I loved the questions & the advice I was giving! I had found my niche. How often do you go to the gym? I go to the gym 5 to 6 days a week. I do a lot of strength training & plyometrics. When it comes to train for my competitions, I do two a day. In high school did you do any sports? I played basketball, tennis, and track & field during high school. What is one thing you do or say to make people comfortable training with you? I joke & smile when it comes to a new client to train. I

break the ice. I ask them a lot of questions to get to know their lives better. My clients tend to stick with me for years if we have a friendship as well as a business relationship. Have you competed in any pageants? If so which ones? I’ve never competed in any pageants, but I do fitness competitions. I’ve competed in NABBA & Musclemania. Why is so important for you to teach a healthy lifestyle? It’s so important to teach a healthy lifestyle because there are so many people overweight, unhealthy, insecure, dying, diseased & etc. I think of myself as a superhero changing & saving lives one day at a time. It’s like paying it forward. If I spread my healthy lifestyle to others they will spread it to many more. The obesity rate went down 1% in the U.S which is great news for me. I must be doing something right! Haha Could you please share one important tip to those that would like to start getting in shape? A tip for those that want to get in shape is to set a realistic goal. Goals that seem so far away can get discouraging right away. What is your favorite workout? My favorite workout is plyometrics. It’s a form of explosive exercise. Designed to produce fast & powerful functions of the nervous system. It’s just something about it when I do it. All muscle groups can be targeted.I feel like Im an advance athlete once Im done with the workout.


What is your least favorite workout? My least favorite workout is stretching. It’s so slow & boring. There is a great purpose to it & everyone should do it however. I like to do workouts that shows a lot strength & that is not one of them. Name two people that you admire the most? The 2 people I admire the most is both of my parents. Ilene Sutton & Richard Sutton. I admire them for the sacrifices they have made for their family. They are very wise & compassionate people. They worked their butts off & it shows in me now. What music do you like to listen to when you are working out? I have a universal play list of music for different types of workouts. If I’m doing cardio, I’ll actually listen to house music or techno. If I’m doing heavy lifting, I’m listening to some hardcore rap. I listen to Kanye, Jay Z & Drake on repeat the most. How can someone go about training with you? Someone can go about training with me either by email, facebook, referral or just a simple phone call. What is your twitter/facebook? Follow me @suttonstrong or like my Facebook page Suttonstrong.

JASONMimms Striking friends and innocent bystanders with incurable laughter, Chicago-bred actor Jason Mimms’ natural talent has been infectious from the start. Introduced to theater at only age 10, he was eager to perform constantly for anyone who would watch. Not before long, Jason would take a full time stab at acting. He received his degree in Theatre Arts from Clark Atlanta. It was here that Jason impressed audiences with his dramatic role as the lead in “Othello,” and other plays like “Fences,” and “Joe Turners’ Come and Gone.” Not a limited talent, he has made appearances in Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” “Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming,” and “Chicago Code.” He also has several commercials to his credit. It was Jason’s comedic shtick, however, that had viewers wondering just how far he would go in his recurring role on B.E.T.’s Hell Date Season 2. An actor to watch, Mimms has his eyes on L.A. and sees nothing less than success.

What areas of the Arts are you involved in? I’m an actor and I have trained for about 15 years. I grew up in Chicago and began my training in performing arts under the Direction of Peter Chatman at the Chicago Theatre Co. for 10 years. Afterward, I went on to Clark-Atlanta University to continue in theater arts. Who can you compare yourself to? Where do you get your inspiration from? Definitely Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier. They’re icons. Partly because when I first began training my teacher told me to study them to help with different roles I was cast for. I studied them so much growing up that I started to emulate them and their styles until I grew into my own. But, naturally, my family is the most important support in my life. My mother, father, brother, Jeff, cousins and, our foundation, my Grandparents. We’re very close-knit and they support me greatly. Lastly, and probably most powerfully, I’m inspired by my craft itself. There’s so much of life to portray and I get high off the thought of waking up to do what I love to do, perform.

Who have you had the honor to work with? If you could pick anyone, who would you choose to work with? Rain Forest Films Director and Bounce TV Network CEO Rob Hardy, Tyler Perry, James Dubose of Dubose Entertainment (B.E.T. Hell Date), Producer Sharon King, and mentor Richard T. Jones. Rob and I have continued to work here in LA. There are so many awesome players in film, it’s difficult to choose, but, I would say Denzel Washington. He’s my inspiration! Of course, I don’t exclude other actors of rank like Will Smith, Don Cheadle, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Leonardo Dicaprio, Spike Lee James Cameron, Michael Bay. Man, working with any of these power players would be a dream in reality! Where could someone see you perform or purchase some of your productions? I can be found on screens, big or little, in my latest. I have a few things lined up for this year and the next, including commercial, TV and film roles. You can find some on my site or youtube. You’ll also see personal projects I’ve created through my company Black Canvas Productions. Itunes has a few episodes of my season on Hell Date


Season 2 for purchase. You can also stay linked and view work through my site www.jmimms. com and Youtube pages and . Or, hit me on Twitter, @jasonacts4reel and Facebook, Jason Mimms. How did your company begin and what is the next level? It just sort of happened. Some college friends and I entered a film competition in 2007 and we decided to name our group. Black Canvas Productions sounds good, don’t you think? We had a rough start as we learned production and post production of film but were able to increase members and grow to new levels of creativity and execution. BCP is set to establish itself as a premier film production company dedicated to creative and diverse perspectives in independent film. We’re set to begin pre-production on a few new short films over the next few years; I AM LOYAL, The Composition and, collaborating on a film called 26. We’re celebrating our 5th year! Let’s GO!


FREDKing Fred King has always been a COFFEA favorite. He has time and time again been there with excellent photos for each issue. The photo to the right in an example of what he is capable of. Thanks Mr. King. What made you decide to enter in the world of photography? I have always been fascinated with taking pictures. My mother was a hobbyist. As a child, I would borrow one of her cameras and shoot just about anything. I loved to setup my toys and take dozens of action pictures. Before the digital age, it would take days to have your film developed. I couldn’t wait to pick them up and see how the shots turned out. When did you begin to take it seriously? I volunteered to shoot for the Illinois Jr. Miss pageant one year. The event coordinator was a good friend of mine and her daughter was participating in the pageant. I was still a hobbyist at the time. I captured some incredible shots of contestants dancing, leaping into the air, and accepting their crowns. I took 4 rolls of film and delivered them to the coordinator to be developed. When the pictures came back, nearly every image was too dark. All of the motion shots were blurry and some pictures were completely black. I was totally embarrassed. That’s when I began to take my photography seriously. I immediately began studying composition and lighting techniques. I vowed to never let that mistake happen again. What areas does your photography cover?( what projects or events?) I specialize in the areas of fashion and glamour photography. I grew up a fan of Patrick Nagel’s artwork and I try to bring his cutting edge style to life in my photos. I’m still a hobbyist at heart so some days you might catch me shooting in the club, other days you can find me on the beach shooting with my girlfriend, who is also a photographer. My moto is “Have Camera, Will Shoot”. What tips do you have for someone looking to make this a career? Invest in your equipment. Don’t buy the cheap stuff and expect to Photoshop your way to perfection. It’s not going to happen. Your reputation is directly related to the quality of the products you deliver. Good quality starts with good equipment. Who/what would you like to work with or photograph? You can pick up any magazine these days and find a 4-6 page layout featuring the latest fashion trends and accessories. I’d like to work with more clothing designers and high fashion models to create those editorial style layouts. Wedding photography is also on the horizon for me. Contact info for bookings: Fred King King Vision Photography



ROBINKelly It was an honor for COFFEA to have a chance to interview a great candidate for Illinois’s State Treasure, Robin Kelly. for any questions or if you would just like to show your support to Robin Kelly , the mailing and campaign info is below.

What intrigued you to enter into the world of politics? I decided to run for office because I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of the residence of the 38th legislative district. I also wanted to help bring change and a new direction to the South Suburbs. How has everything changed since you ran for State Treasurer, if at all? Family? Friends? Before I declared for Illinois State Treasurer, I had a full life that kept me quite busy. Since declaring, it has gotten even busier. Having the support and assistance of my husband and adult children has made all of the difference. I do not get to spend as much time as I like with friends, but I do know that they are rooting for me and they have been some ofmy best volunteers. Growing up, what do you see yourself doing as an adult? Because of my commitment to children and my desire to see their positive development, I thought I would be a child psychologist. What are your hobbies and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Some of my favorite things to do are travel, go to the theatre and to read. I am also a huge sports fan, so when I get a moment I enjoy catching a game, even if it is listening to it on sports radio. In a daily mission, COFFEA tries to promote literacy. What is one of your favorite books and why? As I said earlier, I love to read – especially autobiographies. It is very hard for me to pick a favorite book, but I have enjoyed, The Last Lecture, as well as From the Heart, Eight Rules to Live By, written by Robin Roberts. What the books

have in common is the message that no matter what adversity you face, you must stay positive and focus on what is important. What message can you give to young women on how to stay focused? Life is full of distractions, and it is so easy to lose sight of your goals and get off the path that you desire for yourself. My advice to any young woman who is struggling to stay focused is to write down your goals, and to review them at least once a week. Keep these goals some place that are easily accessible. As you sacrifice and make difficult decisions a visual reminder is a great way to keep yourself on track. I will give you a word . Tell me the first thing that comes to mind. A. OBAMA? Pride and Determination B. EDUCATION? The Key C. LOVE? My family D. MEN? Diverse and Complex E. FRIENDS? Blessed to have great ones How do you think someone could become more aware of the financial state of their city and state ? The best way for people to become more aware of what is going on in their state and city is to obtain information from a variety of source. Read a variety of newspapers, attend community meetings, and if you feel passionately about something contact your representative. What can people do to help? I do not want people to just talk about making a difference I want them to get involved. If everyone volunteered just one day a year in their community, it would create a great benefit.


What are some things you would like to see different in schools? State Government? Community? I would like to see a more equitable education offered to students across the state, regardless of their zip code. By ensuring that children receive a quality education they will be able to compete statewide, nationally and globally. One of things that must be improved in government is communication. Regardless of political party elected leaders have a duty to effectively and honestly communicate with one another. Only though communication can we make progress and truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve. I would also like our state government to begin thinking about the long term consequences of the problems that we are currently facing. No longer can we have quick fixes to issues like the budget, pensions, and economic development. The thing that I believe will benefit our community the most is more public participation in the political process, and more volunteers in the community. ROBIN KELLY Campaign Address: 156 Towncenter Drive Matteson, IL 60443 Mailing Address: Friends of Robin Kelly P.O. Box 6953 Chicago, IL 60680 Phone: (708) 382-0643



LADY”E” Lady “E” is the newest class act to Hip Hop since Lauryn Hill. Her diverse talents in song writing, singing, and emceeing is well respected. An “angel in disguise” she has become by kind heartedly getting the scoop from celebrities and prosspects in the industry. Born and raised in Joliet “E” discovered a rare love for rap. Influenced by Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, and Selena she embraced their skills labeling them her sisters in music. “E” recorded her first mixtape in 2001 “The Class Act”. The project was poorly recorded and received harsh criticism but that only drove “E” to improve. In 2005, she released another mixtape “The Class Of 2006” dedicated to her fellow classmates graduating from high school. In 2006, she linked up with local producer Shane Jackson to record a serious of well known Lady “E” songs; She can’t do it, Tight Dress, and Badd Chick. In early 2007, she joined a new indie label H.A.F Music which included En2rage, AJ Ryme, DoM J and Chandrika. She focused on a new and improved sound on her project “Real Face”. “E” improved her skills by giving her fans more of her emotionally. In 2008 she parted ways with H.A.F Music. In 2009, she launched an online talk show for local artist “Ease Dropping” partnered with AJ Ryme. She interviewed local and main stream artist. She is currently ready to drop “Thrill of the Chase” mixtape September 17, 2009. This feminist, role model, talk show host, rapper, singer, and model is an all in one special gift to Hip-Hop. “I want to make feel good music, music you can relate to and have fun playing. I’m not a thug misses or a stripper rapper ;I’m that girl in the middle. The girl in the middle never has her say until now. I respect my black sisters, and it’s my duty to respect all people in my music. If you have a chance to speak to the world and influence them like every great person has you better say something worth hearing.” In 2008 “E” created a internet show called Ease Dropping. She interviewed and featured everyone from Big Sean, Kathy Harris, Jeremih, Keezo Kane, and Malik Yusef. In 2011, she took her show to a new label and got it placed on a cable network.

Did you always have a love for music? explain I always had love for music. When I was 5 my mother and I would listen to her old 45 records on her record player. Sounds from the Jackson 5, Isley Brothers, and Earth Wind and Fire caught my attention. I grew up on great old school music and that influences my new school- old school sound today. What did you want to be when you were a child? I started off wanting to be a teacher. I was such a teachers pet in grade school. Once that math got harder, I dismissed that dream. By the time I reached Jr. high school I knew I wanted to be a superstar. I didn’t want to just be known for music. I wanted to be known for a lot of great things all at one time. What is your signature style? what makes you, you? A signature Lady “E” style is classy with heels. I take pride in presenting myself as a lady at all times. I’m a fan of colorful pumps, long beaded necklaces and brooches. Polished and lady like at all times even to check the mail.

Why do you enjoy doing a show about ease dropping and What is the show all about? What is the future of the show? I always had little talk shows as a child. I would put on a show for my mother and friends every other day. I decided in 2008 to try interviewing artist, such as myself, for us both to get exposure. I didn’t think I would love hearing other people talk so much. It’s the stories of motivation and dedication that touches me the must. Ease Dropping is about me hustling even eaves dropping on conversations to get the people I want for my show. It’s a strategy just to get the major interviews I want. Ease Dropping is also about positive people doing positive things may it be entertainment or just being a stand up person with a compelling story. The Ease Dropping show has a huge future because it’s positive. The show will be airing this fall and I am very excited. Where would you like to see yourself in a few years? In a few years I hope to be a mobile. I would like to have three or four successful business ventures. I would love to see the Ease Dropping show established


with high ratings. Must of of all I would love for people to hear more of my music internationally. Is there anyone that has made you star struck? I normally don’t get star struck, but meeting Pooch Hall at my last fashion show had me screaming. I was so flattered because he is such a down to earth guy and it’s great to see successful people still humble. I also felt nervous when I saw Big Sean for the first time. I came to support him at a show in 2008. What made me so star struck was that I knew he would be as “big” as he is now. Big Sean is one of my favorite rappers. What advice would you give someone your age that is just now starting out? My best advice is to never sit on your dreams and talents. God blessed you with gifts for a reason so open them up and use them. The hardest thing is to focus on a dream when people around you think it’s a waste of your time. Only you will know what’s best for you. Challenge yourself and block out negative people.


UBRodriguez Radio personality UB Rodriguez has all entertainment and community covered...from the streets of Chicago to the red carpet in Hollywood, to one-on-one interviews with A-list celebrities including Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Mike Tyson, Drake and many more. He is also a blogger with his finger on the pulse of all entertainment and politics, delivering the latest happenings on the radio and the web. UB Rodriguez is a music and entertainment news enthusiast. His show can be heard weekday afternoons from 2 to 6 on 107.5 WGCI Radio in Chicago, as well as on the iHeartRadio application for your phone, and online on his blog at UB Rodriguez has strong Chicago roots. He was born in Miami by Cuban-born/Chicago raised parents. He studied radio, journalism and psychology at University of Miami, Miami Dade College and Miami Lakes Tech. He started his broadcast career in Miami. He also worked in San Francisco, Dallas, West Palm Beach and San Antonio. Read more:

What was your first job in radio? My first commercial radio station was WHQT-FM in Miami. It was an Urban Adult Contomperary station, similar to Chicago’s V-103. When I say “commercial station”, I mean a non-paid public or community station...where I was actually getting paid. Prior to that, I hosted a Jazz show on a Public Radio station in Miami.

stops before coming to Chicago. I call it my “radio education tour”. After college, and working four years in Miami, I left Miami and hit the airwaves in San Fransisco, Dallas, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, then Chicago.

Who was your favorite guest to interview? Drake

When did you join 107.5 WGCI? I joined WGCI April 2008.

What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize this is it? I was always interested in being on a stage. Wasn’t sure what kind of stage: acting, tv, radio, singer...I just knew I needed to be heard. As a kid of mocked TV reporters and anchors and thought of becoming a DJ, for fun! The defining moment was when I realized that I could actually make a career out of what I thought was just going to be a hobbie, DJ!

What’s the best thing about Chicago music in your opinion? The passion for the city. Artist from Chicago rep the city more than any other city I’ve lived in. Sends chills down my spine when I’m out of town and hear the Chicago references in the music. Chicago music goes way beyond the current artists played on air...We have a long list of musicians like Chaka Khan, Minnie Riperton, ChiLites, Earth,Wind & Fire & Peter Cetera, just to name a few.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Working out, juicing for health, going out to eat, traveling, partying!

Where are you originally from? I’m originally from Miami, Florida. My parents were born in Cuba, left as teens to Chicago, then to Miami to start a family. Did you ever think that you would get this far to be able to accomplish a career in radio? Oh yes...I was determined. I made some career

What’s the best part of working at WGCI? My we relate. Other then yourself, who is your favorite radio personality? Rick Party


Have you ever gotten star struck? Not yet...But I know it’ll happen one day!

Do you have any advice for inspiring broadcast students? Yes! Go to school. You don’t need a degree to be in radio, but I suggest school because it’ll make you better prepared and well rounded. You’ll get the foundation in school. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Still on the radio and hosting my own television show. I also want to open up my own business outside of radio. Perhaps a juice bar or restaurant. In 5 years, I want to be halfway down with my book, an autobiography. What time can we tune in to 107.5 WGCI to hear you live? Weekdays, 2-6pm


L.Y.Marlow COFFEA had the opportunity to sit down and ask the founder of SAVING PROMISE, L.Y. Marlow, a few questions about the foundation. We recognize domestic violence is a very important issue that is not addressed enough. We ask that you take time to visit her site and see how this affects everyone. Thank you.

petrator. It usually raises anger when the abuser is aware that he has a protection order. The protection order does not fully protect the the victim. It is very diluted. Judges, officers, and social services need to be fully trained and laws need to be very detailed about what needs to be done. Address it from the top down. Overall, we need to better serve our policies to address victims and perpetrators from all angles to assist each end and be sure to address it on a national level.

Who do you want this message to reach? Anyone who is at risk of being a victim or being a perpertrator.. Everyone.. as many people as it can because we are all affected by it (domestic violence). Predominantly the ages 16-24 are highly affected statisticly.

What did you dream of becoming before this became your priority? Do you ever think of still pursuing this dream? My dream was to be an engineer at IBM (previous position). While focusing on my professional career, I found a lump in breast that was benign, but I still became very sick. It was creating stress. The doctor instructed me to reconstruct my life. I left my job and remembered that I wanted to write poetry since I was living. A writing coach told me to write what I know. I wrote color me butterfly ( book before saving promise) and started the vision to start a greater need of saving promise. COLOR ME BUTTERFLY went to win 8 awards and the national best book of the year award. I wanted to write and give back to the community. Writing is my passion, Saving Promise is my purpose.

How is Promise now and what are your goals for her? Promise is very well, she’s asleep in the back seat as we speak. Because my daughter is in a place where she is well, and mom and dad is finally in a placewhere they are parenting not in a relationship. My wish is that she will grow up and understand what it means (domestic violence and foundation). They were invloved in those situations because we didn’t talk about it . She will be equiped with the right tools because we will talk about it. More importantly her story will be used in a way to show people they relate knowing that that it is not just to save my Promise but “Promises’” of the world.

Where do you see the foundation in 5 years? Every Walmart, Target, local grocer , and everywhere (possible). It needs to be as visable as the pink ribbon. The purple butterfly will be as prominent as the pink ribbon.

What can others do to help? Learn about domestic viloence , raise awarenwess, secondly people can learn about SAVING PROMISE the organization . We are being the first to change the awareness as high as the cancer awareness with Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness. They can learn to support the organization and maintain it nationally. Domestic violence is having the same impact that breast cancer has on our society. It (SAVING PROMIISE) will be the first of its kind. They can also give to all organiztions smiliar to SAVING PROMISE.

Do you have any regrets? Do you believe everything happens for a reason? No regrets. I empathize and wish they wouldn’t have to have gone through that. However, I whole heartedly believe in karma and destiny and believe often times we are put in a situation to use what we learn to serve in a way to help others. (refers back to) Tyler Perry did an interview discussing his abuse and they asked does he still hold anger. He answered, u can allow what happen to dictate your life or u could use it to help others and strengthen you.

How do you suggest someone to get a friend who is being abused help if they don’t recognize it? First become educated about it. Make sure they understand what is happening because lots of times they put themselves and their friends at risk. Get in touch with a local hotline or the national hotline 1-800-799-safe and ask for help from an expert. They will give safe advice for very sensitive situations. I can’t stress it enough, be educated about it. Try not to be heroic. Talk to them in confidence. A safety plan helps create a way to exit the situation carefully. Police want proof, children need to be safe, and are you financially able to leave. 7 to 9 times the person returns to the relationship because they do not have a safety plan.

Will you be releasing any more books? Have you thought of making instructional videos/dvds? Yes, more books under Random House to come. Three books are committed til 2013 from Colorblind (2012), and Butterfly Garden 24 months after that. Videos are in discussion after I was approached by a director to do a documentary about Color Me Butterfly and saving promise . Everything is in the works now. We will introduce saving promise as a program to educate through a series of dvds and written material to empower people abused in general. The bulk of the saving promise brand is built around empowerment. Domestic violence is the only one on the incline because we keep fixing half of the problem. The best way to help people is through empowerment related through one’s own personal issues ( “pain body”).

Could there be any new laws in place to protect people from each situation being fatal before it’s too late? Professionally speaking … devolop a national action plan to the white house ( Lyn Rosenthol ) our social services in broken. Assess the current legislation first. An order of protection should be in place nationwide, from national to counties and all over the map. There needs to be better laws to protect and better legisialation against the per-

How could some contact you for speaking engagements? Website Media Center…Speaking event random house contact. To inquire about a possible appearance, please visit or contact Campbell Wharton at 212-572-2296 or


Gentry &Simon Phoenix

Joliet based artist Gentry; a true representative of the Mid-West, is no stranger to the entrepreneurial hustle of an independent artist. Collaborating with artist like Simon Phoenix and producers such as the innovative John Boi, and Catmandu the Chemist, he is a true representation of good music. Gentry has surrounded himself with a team that works diligently on every track ensuring that “Street King” isn’t just an Album, but a movement. Although no stranger to the Game, with underground release like, “I’m Here Now” and the “Get Fresh Committee” mix-tape Gentry is evolving as a separate entity; Establishing a style like no other. With his charming personality inimitable delivery and one of a kind stage deliverance Gentry is truly Hip-Hop at it’s finest. “The best thing to happen in the 80’s since Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’” is how this rapper explains his birth. Midwest homegrown Simon Phoenix will definitely pull you into the world of this hood--savvy businessman every time he steps behind the microphone. Raised on the streets of Joliet IL, Simon Phoenix grew up the youngest of his mothers two boys. Growing up in a single parent household, he used music as a way to escape the gang violence and temptation of the fast money life style of the streets. But it wasn’t long before the temptation grew and the lifestyle took him in. Charged and convicted of 2 counts of armed robbery and sentenced to six years in the Illinois State correctional facility, this would groom him into the man that he is today and aid him in writing the ongoing soundtrack to the movie that is his life. Collaborating with producers such as Se7en Lee, T Feezy, Johnny Danger, and artists like Kinfolks, Raw Footage, GFC, and Gentry, he has released numerous independent projects such as “Street Demon” (volumes 1 & 2), and “Live From The G Building’” Phoenix has also performed at various venues ranging from neighborhood parties, to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino In Ft. Lauderdale. With his confidence driven lyrics and rare motivation that Phoenix possess, its only a matter of time before he becomes a household name world-wide. “I don’t define my music and my music doesn’t define me”, ~Simon Phoenix~ How did you guys meet? We actually met (at this local producer’s house) John Boi’s. I had started to venture out for a new sound and everybody was saying I needed to mess with John Boi. So I found’em ,but John and him were long term friends. So I met both of them at the same time. They put me thru a tryout. They made me do features on 3 songs in 1 day to see how long it took me to write my verses. LOL! What made you decide to enter in the world of entertainment? My uncle Catmandu, him , and my other uncle DJ Ttroney G they been doing it since I was a kid in elementary school. Catman use to say , “ nephew spit something for me”. I was into basketball real tough, so I use to just laugh like, “ I’m cool , I’m playing ball when I grow up”. He would just laugh and say , “ OK, but you’re gonna be the coldest rap dude around one day being around us all the time. I had some homeboys my age that were getting down around the way when I got a little older. It was Reggie, Fred, and Pooh, they called themselves the “ESC”. I had features on a couple of their songs just because I was around, but I never took it seriously. My uncle heard the songs like, “ Yea boy, you finally coming around. I’m waiting on you”. He stuck with it until he finally convinced me to drop my first album in ’06, “I’m Here Now”. Rest in Peace “Catmandu”.

When did you begin to take it seriously? I started taking it serious when I started on my first album. I would put out a song in the hood here and there and everybody would say,” I’ll give you $5 for that one song or $10 or $20 for the cd right now. I was like it’s that sweet huh? By the time I put the album out ,it was getting around that I was rapping for real, and from the songs I was leaking, people were already waiting to see what I could do. I sold 1700 copies in just my area alone. I was like oh yeah it’s time to make it happen. What is the best part of performing? Um, for the most part of performing for me is watching the crowd vibe to my music. Plus I was a class clown so the whole “getting on stage” thing and “putting on a show” is what’s happening. What can the average person expect when popping in a GFC CD? To hear one of the best cds they ever heard until the next one drops. LOL! For real though. What type of music , beside your own, do you like to listen to? I listen to everything to stay in tune with what’s going on in the industry. The only way to stay a step ahead, is to know


what to follow! What other projects is GFC working on? We got my mixtape Midwest Monster, my album Streetking, and Simon Phoenix’s mixtape Street Demon Vol.3 Thriller Edition. Who/what would you like to work with in the industry? Snoop Dog, Jeezy, T.I., Luda, Scarface, Bun B (R.I.P. Pimp C), Common, Mos Def, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Kanye ( with his stuff together cause he goes hard on everything no lie), Dr. Dre, Swiss, Shawty Red ( he keeps Jeezy stuff bumping), Fabulous, Lil Scrappy (I love that dude’s energy on stage), Jadakiss, and last but not least my guy Busta Ryhmes! How far would you like to go in this profession? As long as it lasts!!!! In one word describe GFC. Supercalifragilisticexpiali(dope)Bi#@*! Contact info:





ames Anthony, an Atlanta based photographer specializes in fashion and editorial spreads. Born Anthony James Johnson in Queens, New York, he realized he had a passion for the arts early on. Having experience in entertainment from the small to the big screen, he decided to try his hand in photography while attending Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia.

Attending a motivational speech with guest speaker, Kevin Powell, Anthony was inspired to take his hobby and turn it into a profession. In 2006, he relocated to his hometown where he began working at Vibe Magazine. While at Vibe, he was exposed to multiple photography styles which helped him to improve his craft. In 2007, he returned back to Savannah University to graduate with a BA  in mass communications. Upon graduation, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where he began developing a strong foundation for his photography business. His works have been showcased in such publications as Vibe, Ebony, Mute Magazine and various others. James Anthony can be found today traveling across the United States shooting various models and celebrities.

What motivated you to enter into the world of photography? I had a handheld digital Kodak camera and started playing around shooting a friend of mine in the streets of Savannah, Ga. I took some shots in black and white and fell in love with the images. That’s where it began. What is your most memorable moment? My most memorable moment was attending the book release and signing for a state representative who used my image as her book cover. To see my work blown up on billboards and flyers and on the cover of hundreds of books was an amazing feeling. What role does photography play in your life? Photography is my stress reliever. Although it can be demanding, it feels good to be able to have a creative outlet and share my vision and creativity with others. What type of satisfaction does your career give you? The satisfaction my career provides is the freedom of being a creative entrepreneur. Describe yourself in one word? Ambitious Who influences your style or signature way of capturing each shot? When I first began photography Tarrice Love was a big influence. I had never seen anyone express their creativity the way he did. I have since learned not to look to other photographers so much, but more importantly become inspired by the actual model and ideas i conjure in my own head. Where can someone expect to see your work in the future? My work can be seen in upcoming issues of Kontrol, Rolling Out, and Jet magazines. As well as upcoming album and book covers.


ROTIMIAkinosho With only three major songs released nationwide within a 1-year period, Rotimi has done what few independent artists can only dream. Born and raised in New Jersey, Rotimi Akinosho, became driven by his love for music. As he gears up to drop his debut project, “The Resume,” singer/songwriter, Rotimi is ready to make his mark. Driven by passion for music and his knack for knowing how to engage his fans – it is no wonder why Rotimi has quickly become the much-buzzed-about R&B newcomer. After several years of growing as an artist and perfecting his writing skills, “The Resume” is undoubtedly a great introduction to a multi-faceted artist who has slowly cultivated a devoted fan base – awaiting the release. Rotimi Akinosho makes his acting debut portraying Darius in the STARZ Original series “Boss.” He came to an open audition in March 2011 in Chicago for the role and from his first reading, captivated Safinia and Van Sant with his naturalness in front of the camera and his ease at handling complex dialogue. What was startling to the filmmakers was that they discovered his “Boss” audition was Akinosho’s first acting audition.

Having found your voice at 15, what gave you the vision and drive to turn it into a career? I think after I won the Apollo competition. I realized that I could pursue a career in entertainment. Did you find it difficult balancing school and performing? Did you feel there would be a time when you would have to choose? Absolutely, most people focus on music full time and here I was at Northwestern University trying to balance the rigorous curriculum and recording music. I o sacrifice the college experience and whenever I had free time I would utilize it for music. Although you were in theatre, how did it feel gaining a role on a major network? A dream come true! When I was casted I thought back to my college theatre days and how it aided me landing my first role on “Boss”. How is it working with such an experience actor as Kelsey Grammer? So Amazing!! His work ethic is inspiring. Being in his presence and getting advice from Kelsey really helped me out. I became a sponge studying my cast mates, using this opportunity to become a better actor! Who are your inspirations when it comes to your singing? Michael Jackson, Ron Isley, Boys II Men and the list goes on! All introduced me to R&B. Also, when I was


young my parents played Garth Brooks and Bob Marley’s music, which has played a huge part in my song writing. When you first met Jay-Z, what was going through your mind and what did you learn from that experience? At the time I was in a musical group with his nephews. We were called NBH “Natural Born Hustlers”. We actually were very good haha. But Jay always wanted to hear our new music and felt like it was his duty to mentor us. He told me that my voice was very powerful. How would you describe your sound? My focus on authenticity separates me from the pack. I believe that every record has its own REAL individual story that people can relate to. I strive to sing/perform with passion every note and kill every stage I perform on. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Movies? Being a respected figure, Inspiration to many, Movies, Grammy Awards, Oscars there is just so much to accomplish and with God’s good grace it will all happen. I will give you one word and you tell me the first word that comes to mind: A. Love….. Passion B. Family…..Love C. Success….Hard work D. Obama….Great E. COFFEA….Amazing

curriculum and recording music. I decided to sacrifice the college experience and whenever I had free time I would utilize it for music. 3. Although you were in theatre, how did it feel gaining a role on a major network? A dream come true! When I was casted I thought back to my college theatre days and how it aided me landing my first role on “Boss”. 4. How is it working with such an experience actor as Kelsey Grammer? So Amazing!! His work ethic is inspiring. Being in his presence and getting advice from Kelsey really helped me out. I became a sponge studying my cast mates, using this opportunity to become a better actor! 5. Who are your inspirations when it comes to your singing? Michael Jackson, Ron Isley, Boys II Men and the list goes on! All introduced me to R&B. Also, when I was young my parents played Garth Brooks and Bob Marley’s music, which has played a huge part in my song writing. 6. When you first met Jay-Z, what was going through your mind and what did you learn from that experience? At the time I was in a musical group with his nephews. We were called NBH “Natural Born Hustlers”. We actually were very good haha. But Jay always wanted to


TERRELLHumphrey Designer. Entreprenuer. Graphics. No Sleep. All words to describe Mr. Terrell Humphrey.

What made you decide to enter in the world of media design? Explain exactly what you do. I became fascinated with media design actually around my junior to senior year in high school. I was curious to know how was it done and how I could learn how to do it. So I looked up some colleges that had programs that specialize around that field. And the journey then had begun. I am a digital content creator and C.E.O of T3DPRODUCTIONS. The title of a “digital content creator”is covering most aspects of media. These aspects include website design, graphic design, logo design, 3d animation, and broadcast/ visual effects. At T3DPRODUCTIONS, our focus is to provide fast, rich high quality work for all of what our company specialize in. When you deal with us, you are not going to want to deal with no one else. When did you begin to take it seriously? Did you see yourself doing this as a child? I begin taking this career seriously in 2007. Coming from a degree in computer animation back in 2003, The job market in my field was very limited. So working jobs here and there, the turning point came when I got a phone call from vocal coach Ankra Ra,(the former vocal coach of Diddy’s Making the Band 4). He needed me to redo his logo, a flyer ad, myspace, which was later turned into a website. From then on it really became a serious thing,

What areas do you cover with your craft cover? (what projects or events?) Currently my business works with the hit singing group, bad boys own “DAY26”. I also handle the web and media content of the DAY26 official fan club that is coming out, which is called “DAY26OFC”. I have worked with triple platinum singer/songerwriter Keyshia Cole and Manny’s entertainment label “Imani”. I try and reach businesses(s) all across the board. If you need the work, T3dproductions is on the job. Lol What tips do you have for someone looking to make this a career? YOU AINT SLEEPIN!! LOL. But no for real, find what you want to specialize in, and know your Craft!! Like any field you always have to be on top of your game. For ex. Find out about new software programs, updates on current, and what’s hot out now that attract more clientel. It’s a 24/7 job but if you are passionate about it then it’s all worth it. Where would you eventually like to take this? My vision is to be a media mogul. And it will happen. I’m confident on it. I want to have my own building. Where we handle animation/effects for full featured films, whether 3d or reality. Just to be respected as that person that on the top of his game. And that is the best at what he does always


Who/what would you like to work with? Aww Man. Let me see.... Some people I would like to work with would be Will Smith, Stan Lee, George Lucas, Sanaa Lathan just to name a few. I would also like to work with some movie/ animation companies. I always wanted to work with those movie companies like Dreamworks and Pixar and Overture and etc … Its going to happen, its going to happen.. lol If someone was to do a promotional ad about the movie of your life, what would it look like? Oh I like this Let’s see it would be sort of a timeline design. It would be a recent picture of me holding out my hand with my logo “T3D”. On the left side of me have a young version of me with a pencil and sketch book in my hand drawing. And on the right side of me showing followed by a little older version of me working on a computer showing me doing some computer designing. Around the main pic somewhere it would have abstract designs of aspects of media I do. For instance something representing 3d animation,design, and effects. Very Artsy. T3DPRODUCTIONS Terrell Humphrey Digital content Creator/C.E.O



NICOLERichardson flawless - without a flaw; “a flawless gemstone” unflawed, perfect - being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish; “a perfect circle”; “a perfect reproduction”; “perfect happiness”; “perfect manners”; “a perfect specimen”; “a perfect day” Nicole Richardson is definitely making sure everyone is blinded by her light. She is the creator of Flawless Beauty. COFFEA had the honor of interviewing her to give our readers just a little inside peak of what to expect next from Nicole. We discovered that she is extremely humble and lets her work speak for itself. She was hesitant on doing the photoshoot but as we all know its very hard to hide such a light so bright. So without further adieu, we introduce to you Nicole Richardson. What did you dream of becoming as a child? As a child I never thought about what I wanted to be. I always had leadership instincts and knew that I wanted to be a leader; I just didn’t know what field I wanted to take the lead in. I guess I never thought about jobs until I was around sixteen. When I was sixteen I began to recognize the people around me who were business savvy and who followed their passions. My mother was one of these people, she taught me to always do what I love. Business wise she taught me how to accept constructive criticism & if I want something badly that I should go after it. She also says that only I can stop myself from being successful. When did your love for beauty begin? My love for beauty began when I was in second grade and would play in my mother’s makeup. I always was interested in makeup but never really started to embrace my love for beauty until I was a teenager and would get my makeup done for non-profit parties that I hosted and for school dances. I loved to get my makeup done because it not only enhanced my natural beauty, but every time I got my makeup done it was a different work of art. Where did you study your craft? I went to school at Makeup First in the city of Chicago when I was nineteen. After that I started taking classes at Kryolan where I earned several certificates for beauty makeup, wedding makeup, and editorial makeup. Recently, I graduated from Pivot Point Academy in Bloomingdale, IL where I got my aesthetician license. Currently, I am attending classes at Muse Beauty where I am learning new techniques that are popular trends such as, airbrush makeup, bridal makeup, editorial makeup, and commercial makeup.

Who was one of the people you enjoyed working with? Staff? Client? And why? I don’t have any staff members, but I have a great team that I collaborate with on different projects. All my team members have different strengths and backgrounds that come together to make the project a success. As far as my clients go, working with each client was a different experience. Working with some clients was very specific, they were direct in what they wanted their makeup to look like and set their standards high. Other clients were more open to letting me do my own creative work. I enjoyed working with cast members from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop New York because they were humble and they collaborated with me in doing their makeup. They knew what they wanted to look like and told me their vision and then I used my own touch to make their vision come true with my own twist of what I thought their vision was. Michelle Williams of Destiny Child was very humble as well I felt like she was one of my girl friends; she gave me encouraging words and great advice. I recently had the chance to work on Rapper Chingy recent projects with Mike O Images. What does “Flawless Beauty” stand for? Flawless Beauty represents an attractiveness that is bold, flawless, and vivid. I picked this name for my business because all women want to feel good about how they look. I am satisfied when my client looks in the mirror and their eyes light up with happiness because they feel flawless after I enhanced their beauty by either bringing out their eyes, defining their eyebrows, or highlighting and contouring the structure of their face. What is one tip you have for someone’s skin care who applies make-up daily? I recommend that you never go to sleep with makeup on. Cleanse your skin twice a day using a cleanser or


face wash, use an exfoliating product, and then follow the cleanser and exfoliating product up with a great moisturizer. What do you have planned for the New Year (2013)? My goals for 2013 are to take on more cliental and to sign with an agency. I would also like to work on makeup for special effects and travel the world doing makeup for several different avenues. I would like to go to LA, Europe and work on commercial and editorial makeup up and I also would like to go to New York and do makeup for fashion week. I also am excited because this Thanksgiving I will be starting to travel more with my work. I am going to St. Martin to do makeup for a wedding party and I can’t wait for the change of scenery so I can get inspired and use my creativity even more. What has been the most difficult part about being a female entrepreneur? I haven’t ran into any big issues being a female entrepreneur in the makeup industry, but one thing that is difficult as an entrepreneur is getting over booked and having to decide what clients I can take and what clients I have to say no to. It also is difficult being an entrepreneur because not everyone takes my job seriously because I am self-employed. Some people look at make-up as my hobby and want me to do jobs for free, but they fail to realize that this is my career and how I pay my bills. How can people contact you for bookings? To take a look at my work readers can follow me on Instagram @flawlessbeautybynicole and they can add me on Facebook at Flawless Beauty by Nicole. For booking information you can email me at website will be up before January


PRESTONHeights Born in Joliet, IL independent filmmaker Preston Heights studied film and attended Columbia College in Chicago for three years before dropping out due to high tuition cost not being able to afford the private institution. This would never defeat his dreams to one day become a filmmaker. Several years later he would go on to create an opportunity to write and direct not to mention produce his own first feature independent film. Unable to succeed in the corporate arena in finding his true passion and vocation all roads led back to his first love “filmmaking”. After being released from a steady job of over two years which had been his longest, he vowed to never again work another job at age 29. He decided with five full length feature screenplays already under his belt that he would write a short film and produce it himself. He relocated from Phoenix to Los Angeles to live out his God-given dream and souls desire to become a filmmaker. Using money from his invested 401k, unemployment along with his savings he ventured off to Tinseltown. Like many others living in Los Angeles with dreams and aspirations to be a writer or director he would soon find it hard to open doors of opportunity to write and direct films. So he decided to take the independent route and create his own original films about what he envisioned seeing on the silver screen. Originally his debut self-financed film entitled “The Path Not Taken” was only intended to be a short film, but through guerilla-style filmmaking and improvisations he had created a feature length film. Preston denotes one of the reasons that he decided to finance his own film and take matters in his own hands was because “No one would give me a chance to direct a film with no previous works established other than student films in college, so it was evident I had to do it myself”. He elaborated “I see many films being put out every year that don’t have anything pertinent to say so instead of complaining Ill just make my own”. In November 2011 he flew back to his hometown Joliet, IL and assembled a cast and crew of people whom he knew and some he did not know to help him with his first feature film. He used locations of family and friends along with local businesses that would allow him to film at no cost. In just four days unbeknownst to him he would finish shooting a 80 minute film. Working tirelessly and effortlessly 10 to 12 hours ,in just four days he completed filming the 36 page script. His desire for being a filmmaker isn’t the status quo “To be rich and famous” rather it is to use storytelling as a way to change the lives of others through visual and verbal concepts leading to heartfelt convictions. Filmography: 1999 Early Edition (TV, Extra) 2000 Ghetto Celebrity (music video assistant director) 2001 That’s the way love goes (writer, director student short) 2001 Ali (Extra) 2012 The Path Not Taken (writer, director, producer)


When and why did you decide to go into the film industry? I was a SR in high school and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after high school, I was in class one day my SR year and I read a article in the paper about two guys that attended Columbia College in Chicago who were filmmakers and how they sold their script for $1.2 million dollars. It inspired me and captivated me to follow my passion for film. What obstacles did you face with writing your first script and was this your first movie? Writing my first script was really easy even though I had never written a screenplay before. I watched the movie 8 mile and I wrote my own version of my life story. This is my actual first FEATURE FULL LENGTH film that I have written, directed, and produced. I have done short student films in college, but never had the chance until last year 2012 to produce my own film. Do you find yourself reminiscing about your childhood when writing? Provide details.. I find myself reminiscing about my childhood when I am writing something that makes me reflect on my own childhood, it’s kind of nostalgic , EXAMPLE when I wrote my first full length script I called “Growing Up” which has not yet been produced I had to draw on all my personal childhood experiences to actually write and tell my story. Who has been the most influential person in your life? What part do they play now? My family, but primarily my mother. My mother plays a big part because without her I wouldn’t have been the person I am today because of how I was raised, things I heard, saw, etc. She plays a big part now because I am constantly always mindful and even critical about what she thinks of my work. I never want to offend her in anything I put out.

Jeramain Hite Describe your character and the importance of him in the film. (Without giving the film away) Well my character name is Gerald “Big Head” Jenkins. He plays a big-time drug dealer kingpin flashy type whose jokes all the time. I’m running the show but all in all I’m a fun round the way guy who made a few bad choices in life and forced to make a decision that could change his life and others involved in his circle. How did you feel being involved in this project and how did you get the opportunity? From the start, hearing about the film, I was all into it and even more excited once we got into shooting it. My character was really made up, but by the director seeing how passionate I was about the film he let me “do me” which I appreciate him for the opportunity. As I graduated from high school, I remembered putting in my yearbook that I wanted to become a film director. Well I got to be in a movie which was just as good. The opportunity came from being a part of a comedy group called “FEW BLACK DUDES AND A CAMERA”. S/O to all the members ‘cause had we not been doing comedy we would have never been giving the opportunity to do the film. Do you have any other projects you are currently working on and is it in film? The start of “FEW BLACK DUDES AND A CAMERA” SEASON 2 and possibly more movie roles to come. Also, we’ll be working on the documentary of “The Path Not Taken”. All in All the experience was great and I look forward to working with Preston Heights on the other future films and I just wanna say thank you for making this happening. And I’m out, DJ BIG WORM!

What advice would you give someone who may be where you were five years ago? Follow your dreams. 5 yrs ago I was working a job that I didn’t love or dream about doing for the rest of my life. Do what you love and love what you do. If your heart ain’t in it, then it ain’t the job for you. Passion pays off and it will overtime. I love what I do making films. Money isn’t always everything but lucky for me this field pays handsomely LOL.


Jason hampton

(main character terelle)

Have you ever done any movie or acting roles before? Not Really! The closest thing to it that I could think of would be the sketch comedy skits I was doing with “A FEW BLACK DUDES WITH A CAMERA!”. There was no script. It was basically all improv. How did you go about getting the starring role in this independent film? How did you decide this was something you wanted to commit to? I had originally called Jason to get some feedback on our skits and promote our application since I knew he studied film in school and could provide some constructive criticism. A few days later he called me and gave me some feedback then went on to tell me about the film and asked would I be interested in auditioning for the role. I didn’t think he was serious at first and said sure. We exchanged emails and he called me like five minutes later and asked had I received the script that’s when I knew he was serious! About half way through the script, I knew I wanted to do it! Being from Joliet and having experienced some of the same situations as Terelle does in the movie made me really comfortable with the role! Also understanding the message J.P. was trying to get across to the youth made me want to take on the role even more! What do you have planned for the future? Any new roles and more projects? Right now I’ve been busy with work and taking care of home, but once everything is in order, I would like to pursue acting more seriously. I’ve talked to a few people about some potential projects, but I don’t like to count my eggs before they hatch. So hopefully this film will draw some more attention and bring some more opportunities.


MegatonCrush Megeaton Crush was created from two founders : Adkins and Roberto. Their vision was to go into business doing what they love; writing and drawing. Read about how the two friends decided on this life long journey.

Where did the idea originate from? Adkins: From repressed feelings of rejection and inadequacies while growing up in a society that tells you one thing but sells you the exact opposite. Well, that and the fact that it always felt natural to write. I’m a visual person too. I’ve read comics here and there when I was younger but it wasn’t until college that I fell hard for them. So when presenting the ideas that were beaming back and forth in my skull, it made sense to combine words and art. It was kind of a “duh” moment. Sometimes I’m oblivious to the obvious. But Berto’s been chewing on comics since before I ever met him in junior high and I knew he’d be down. I was thinking: Instead of reading comics, we should be writing them.

content but since I cant draw my way out of a paper bag we had to find some chaps that would. Adkins scoured the planet or the Chicago land area for willing participants in this little project and the hunt still continues. Adkins: Yeah, Berto and I do the writing but we were able to score some sic artists. Because MEGATON CRUSH is sort of an anthology, we decided that having different artists would be more appealing and strengthen the book overall. I mean, it’s like getting two fortunes in your cookie instead of one. In this case, you’re getting four distinct styles. Who and what have you modeled fir this project ? What’s so different about this comic?

Roberto: To be honest I have been a fan of comics all of my life. Adkins and myself threw around the idea of co writing something but we weren’t sure what. We came up with a lot of strong ideas in our minds anyway and couldn’t just pick one. Both of us being fans of Heavy Metal, which is basically a comics magazine for adults thought it would be cool to do our own graphic novella full of as many stories as space allows.

Adkins: Going back to the look of M.C., the fact it features four different artists automatically sets it apart from most indy comics out there. Each artist is doing their piece a little different from each other. Some are on Photoshop while another is doing it old school with comic board, pencils, and inks. On a side note, its amazing to see the scripts we wrote being presented in such a range of visual talent.

Who are the founders and operators of this project?

Roberto: Well we like to think that its full of original ideas and interesting stories that fans of not only comics but Sci-Fi and fantasy will enjoy as well. You know what I think not just nerdy fanboys will enjoy this but everyone can. 90 percent of movies these days are stolen from comics anyway. Why not?

Roberto: Well I would like to take sole credit for the idea of writing comics with Adkins but to be honest if I remember correctly we were watching television at my moms place for a bbq or something and he threw out the idea working on a project together. He was all “You wanna write comics with me for a living?” and I was like “Ok.” And that was that a life long pact that neither of us can back down from was agreed upon. Adkins and I basically came up with all the ideas and writing

What type of stories will rise out if your comics? Adkins: The stories themselves are so varied; there are violent scenes with zombies, robots, barbarians, and giant Godzillaesqe monsters. But we contrast all that by slowing it down for


introspective takes on a marriage that’s on the verge of falling out, a man considering the consequences of his inaction to a blatant social injustice, and an alternate U.S. history where dueling is still prevalent today. I know the things that personally inspired me while writing were 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1984, Children of Men, and so many other sci-fi stories, so you’ll get a whiff of those ideas peppered through out. MEGATON CRUSH attempts to cover everything. Except superheroes. Where did the idea of the name come from? Roberto: Well this one was really all mine but I wish I had a much better story for it. Adkins basically called me and said “What should we call the magazine?” and I thought for a little while and called back and said “ What about Megaton Crush?” I also remember him saying “ You mean like a bomb?” and I was like “No, but I guess it is a bomb!” He loved it, I loved it and basically I just like both if those words. When and where can someone pick these up? Roberto: Hopefully anywhere you can buy comics and online when we get that ready. If you find a copy you let us know where you got it. Adkins: Look for the first issue of MEGATON CRUSH around mid April. You’ll be able to pick it up at Amazing Fantasy Comics in Lockport, Brainstorm Comics in the Bucktown area, and Graham Cracker Comics in downtown Chicago for now. Buy it, read it, and tell you what you think at megatoncrush. com.


CANEILOliver My first time seeing spoken word was on Def Poetry Jam. At that time, I was not feeling it at all. I guess it was because I did not understand the culture. Two years later, being able to witness this art in person, I was blown away. Until this day, I really don’t know the difference between seeing it done on TV versus seeing it done in person. I knew at that point that I wanted to be a part of it. Hip Hop was really my main focus. Being in the game for almost twenty years, slowly but surely, easing away from Hip Hop to do spoken word and trying to learn the basics. I really felt that spoken word could help me become better lyricist. It was so difficult in the beginning because everything that I wrote was sounding like a rap instead of spoken word. I felt that I needed to get out on the scene more to get a better understanding of the art. It was so much to learn about spoken word. I learned that it was much more than getting up on stage and opening your mouth. It took awhile for me to learn the craft and how to master my pieces (how to say them). I remember praying to God and asking him to restore my gift, in return, I would do my spoken word for Him. Therefore, I started falling in love with spoken word; writing and performing at every event possible. When I first released my CD, God’s Favorite, I was receiving so much support, it was unbelievable. At that time, I was not traveling or doing any of the things I’m doing now. I did manage to make it to Atlanta a few times to perform and to do radio shows. It was overwhelming to me because I felt that life could not get any better than this! I continued to grow as an artist, learning how to manage myself in a professional way, networking and building relationships with other people who had major connections in the industry. In January 2008, three months after my CD released, is when doors starting opening from all angles. I began doing, at least, four radio shows, in other states, per month. My CD was in heavy rotation. I started having the opportunity to travel out of state and able to go places I never imaged in life; California, Denver, Washington, Virginia, Maryland, and the list goes on. I was still back and forth traveling to Atlanta performing at different events and was even blessed to appear on a TV show. After that, so many other states followed, and I found myself doing radio shows, receiving more TV appearances, along with appearing in various magazines and newsletters. At this time, I was still a full time employee, working nine to five. I had a lot of vacation time but I was not being truthful to the company because of my deep passion for spoken word. I felt that every opportunity lead to another. When the vacation time ran out, and various opportunities kept arising for me to travel all over the United States, I was left to make a life changing decision. Therefore, I made up my mind to quit my job and do what I love. I submitted my all to God and I trusted and believed that he would provide all my needs to continue to spread his word and reach souls. Now being in this game for almost five years, it is a complete blessing. However, I’m still learning the art and I still consider myself a student in the game. The sky is the limit. When you stay focused on your dream and keep God first anything is possible. Radio Appearances: 107.5 WGCI Chicago, V103 Atlanta, 1480 WYZE Atlanta, 89.3 Gospel Sunrise Indiana, 1590 WGPL Baltimore, 90.3 FM Harlem, 88.1 FM Hampton, Miss Kitty Underground Internet Radio Show Houston, blogtalkradio. com, Lush Radio, the Hitman show, Beatbox Radio station IIT Chicago campus, SNRadio UIC Chicago, Kismet on blogtalkradio, The Wild Wunz Radio show DePaul University Other Media Appearances: People’s TV, Comcast Channel 24 Atlanta, Comcast channel 19 Chicago, Off the Alley, Breaking the Chain, Comcast Aurora Channel 10, Aurora, IL Beacon News paper, Biz Net Market online newspaper, EMagazine, 316 magazine Theatre and Cafe’s: Devil’s Prayer , All For Love, Sugar Hill Club, Atlanta’s Underground with R&B singer Jahiem, Brooklyn, NY at the Spoken Word Café, Mocha Match & Red Café of Atlanta, Kasbar, The Barn Yard & First Temple Church of God in Christ all in Denver, Colorado, Mike & Mikes in Los Angeles and Chaparral High School in California

“I remember praying to GOD and asking him to restore my gift, in return, I would do my spoken word FOR HIM.” 41



PJMorton Take a brief glance at a child prodigy’s journey to success. PJ Morton is well known for his talent and his deep roots in the ministry. We were fortunate enough to be able to ask a couple a questions about his future plans. When you are raised as a preacher’s kid, the burden of expectation bestowed upon those labeled PK’s can be overwhelming. For young, gifted and blessed musician, producer and entrepreneur PJ Morton, there were no such obstacles known as labels. The only expectation he conformed to was following his own heart and dreams to fully discover his gift and love for music. Over the years the accomplished New Orleans native set himself apart to create melodic stories of love and life as he worked with India. Arie, Erykah Badu, Jermaine Dupri, Monica and LL Cool J. Now with his own fifth album release on S.O.S. Music entitled Walk Alone, PJ continues to share his heart, experiences and stories with the masses. Walk Alone is a deeply personal album entirely written, produced and performed by PJ. The highly anticipated concept album symbolizes the breadth of PJ’s self-expression as well as his creative choices with music beyond the confines of labels. “In the state of the world I feel alone because of the way I choose to do music with true instrumentation. Creating stories and lyrics with meaning feels like a minority not a majority.” Born into a musical and ministering family as the middle child and only son of Bishop Paul S. Morton, PJ’s journey has always reflected his desire for self-discovery and introspection. “My father and family always allowed me to be me, and music was my outlet for creativity.” Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. is also the founding, presiding Bishop of one of the fastest growing ministry movements in America, the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International. The prodigy has been playing the piano since the age of 8 and his first song placement came at 15 with gospel group Men of Standard. Simultaneously, PJ became an independent publisher when his father co-signed for the creation of 2PM Music, which represents two Paul Morton’s. Committed to his craft, PJ utilized the proceeds from his publishing deal to reinvest in himself by creating a band, hitting the road and connecting to one fan at a time. By 2003, the Morehouse College marketing graduate made an indelible mark having won a Grammy Award prior to graduation. He subsequently released his first album with his group Freestyle Nation which fostered a further awareness of major label independence. Describing his music as “soulful pop,” PJ proclaims is a trick answer. Desiring his music to exist where the soul and heart of the music aren’t bound by genres, yet still be palatable to a popular audience. One of PJ’s most soulful creations came in 2002 when the songwriter wrote for India. Arie. “Interested” garnered PJ a Grammy Award for the production of the record. He also penned for gospel singer DeWayne Woods. The testimony PJ articulated in “Let Go, Let God,” catapulted up the charts for a record seventy weeks, rewarding both gentlemen with awards and accolades beyond their own expectations. As PJ recalls, “I knew that was God’s hand on everything because there was such a synergy.” Synergy has proven to connect PJ with some very talented people. The Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award winning songwriter/producer caught the attention of internationally recognized, Oscar Award winning composer AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire). AR tapped PJ the vocalist to contribute “Sajna” to the soundtrack and movie for the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat, further broadening PJ’s mainstream appeal. Now with four albums and multiple collaborations under his belt, his company Song Of Solomon (S.O.S.) Music is a true representation of PJ’s creative journey. “Music is the focus and everything else comes from that. Song of Solomon in the Bible are loves songs from a believer. I want to represent that and take music back because there’s not a platform for artists that are believers. Either you have to be gospel or whatever else you are labeled.” The Atlanta resident took time to open his heart and express his philosophy on the matter in his self published book, Why Can’t I Sing About Love: The Truth About The Church Against Secular Music on Name Sake Publishing. PJ invested seven years as a labor of love before he began to grasp the biblical aspect of his songs. Finally his light bulb moment drew him to connect the dots on the page in a labor intensive three weeks. He describes the process a, “my passion. It’s what I had lived, so I found new connections in the Bible that would lead me 44

to the next thing, so it wasn’t hard to write.” Just as PJ’s life observations are clearly articulated in book form, the same is true of his songwriting and production capabilities as they reflect an organic and authentic experience. “More than an autobiographical writer, I’m a storyteller. I like to watch people and observe life and then I sprinkle some of myself in there.” Instantly captured by the title track “Walk Alone,” the instrumentation builds in intensity to eloquently express the sentiment of solitude on the universal journey toward self exploration. As the drums pound, PJ’s reflections are clear and relatable. His ministry is steeped in non-traditionalism as he practices what he preaches. “I’ve always felt the way you live your life and the choices you make are far more effective than talking.” With this album Walk Alone as with his entire body of work, PJ Morton is very clear and direct. “I want people to know it was a calling. It wasn’t just me bucking the system. It was always about loving God, having a relationship with God, being a Christian and having a life without the guilt of being bound to what people consider to be religious…Love is my constant message. I believe it can genuinely change the world.”

When you began writing music, what was your inspiration ? My inspiration was just the need to actually say what I felt the music I was playing was saying. As a child , did you ever pick up any other hobbies? Basketball but I stopped growing so I knew I couldn’t go much further in that. Lol How did it feel being so young working with such big names in the industry ? Would you list SOME OF the people you ‘ve worked with? I felt honored that my gift was being noticed by some of the greats. I’ve worked with India Arie, Jermaine Dupri, Erykah Badu, Monica, Kiki Sheard, Dewayne Woods and Jagged Edge. Who would you like to work with? Stevie Wonder What type of impression would someone have of you if this album was the first time they heard music from you ? That I’m musical and that I have a passion for telling great love stories. What should someone walkaway learning from your book ? They should walk away being confident in knowing the truth about love songs and not the religious rules that have been taught. What were your influences when writing THE BOOK? All the people that fought that fight wanting to do something other


than gospel music and still loved God. I will give a word , tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Obama? Leader LOVE? Heals PAST? Growth FRIENDS? Priceless FUTURE? Limitless TIME? Work EDUCATION? Advantage What should your fans expect from you within the next 5 years? More music and more growth. COFFEA supports literacy , what message would you like to send young adults about the importance of literacy ? It’s one of the keys of life. I believe that it’s necessary. What do you think is necessary for children today to succeed ? Education and confidence in themselves. Have you ever done theatre /movie OR would this be something you would like to try ? I haven’t but after I’ve made more of the mark I want to make musically I’d love to do some stuff like that.



ROBYNBooker Robyn Booker has been dreaming of being an hairstylist ever since she was a child. Let’s see where her inspiration comes from. What did you dream to be when you were a child? When I was 12 yrs old of began to dream of being a hairstylist. What is one thing people should know about you ? One thing people should know about me is that I’m passionate about my career. Where did it all begin? Styling hair? Opening your own salon ? It all started when I was around 12 years old. I surpassed many struggles and then began to see my dreams clearly. I started out doing braids of family and friends. My mother attended beauty school when I was young which inspired me to be a hairstylist. As I braided hair I practiced styling my own hair. I was my first client. I would be in the mirror creating for hours until the style perfectly fit my face. Ladies would stop me at 14 years old asking who did my hair. I would say kindly oh,I did but I only do mine. That didn’t last long at all. So, of course I then became the next kitchen hairstylist. As you can see they didn’t let me off that easy. Now, here I am 18 years later changing images of many people. I attended cosmetology school at Cannella in blue island, Illinois after high school to receive my license. God has truly been a blessing in my life. I must say I absolutely love what I do. Through the years as a stylist, I had a desire to be a salon owner and educator. I worked along side of some of the best hairstylists and barbers in the city of joliet.The 1st salon to ever give me a opportunity to offer my services was tiff’s beauty and barber salon in Joliet. Denise (Tiff) Dickerson being the owner and operator. She was the best and had the best and busiest salon in the city. I was very inspired by tiff. I always knew I would own a salon when I was younger. I always dreamed I would be bigger then where I was. I dreamed of being a successful hairstylist and salon owner. I knew I would motivate and inspire. In 2004 my vision came to life…. The hair café salon 5 years ago I operated a five chair salon and in 2009 god blessed me to be in business five years and expand with a fresh vision. The hair café has created new job positions, expanded services, added amenities for clients and staff, and education opportunities. Who are some people you wish to one-day work with? I would love to work with Tyra Banks, Beyonce and opera to name a few. These ladies are always inspiring people young and old to follow there dreams no matter what you go through and that’s what I believe. Their very humble and go beyond to help others. They give me inspiration to just do it!

How does running your own business affect your life socially? Omg! It effects my social life majorly. I say this because when you become a business owner there are many requirements of you. I put business before pleasure. I wear many hats and I must stay grounded. At times I’m so busy working, I have less social time. When networking events, shows or functions take place I have social time because my time is carved out for that. There’s always work to be done. Is it important to have a support system when following your dream? What do you feel are alternatives if someone doesn’t have the support? It important to have a support system because it gives you the fuel and motivation to go for what you dream. If there’s’ no support in place for you, I recommend building a spiritual relationship with God. He has carried me through many obstacles. You also have to continue to motivate yourself by reading and believing in you. Talk with people who share the same goals you have in place for yourself. You can also seek out a mentor to help you focus better. Where could one see you in about 5 years? What are your future plans? One could see me educating and beautifying people all over the world. I have a gift of changing images and inspiring while doing so. I could be seen working behind the scenes of movies and with celebrities. I also have the desire to motivate aspiring cosmetologists to go for it! I’m here to serve and where god plants my feet I will be. There’s no limit to his abilities. Some of my future plans are to travel the world launching my educational classes entitled: the Robyn Experience. During the Robyn Experience classes, students and seasoned stylists will receive education, the latest styling techniques, motivation and for some, rejuvenation. There will be a section dedicated to hair knowledge featured on my website: There will be info on how to save your hair tips, step by step dvds and more. I will be the top educator consistently reaching out to students and advanced stylists. You may even see me on tv you know Vh1, Mtv, Bet who knows….. For the last couple of questions let us help the readers out a little. How does someone know that his or her hair has been over processed ? When your hair is over processed, it’s dry at the ends, has split ends, it’s course after a relaxer and haven’t always been that texture, stays frizzy and has no life to it. How can someone prevent hair loss ? You can prevent hairloss by taking care of your hair, never color your hair more then 6 to 8 weeks at a time, avoiding tight braids, add calcium to your diet to strengthen your hair


follicles, have a healthy lifestyle, get sleep and eat heathy foods. The best results would be to go natural, no side effects no chemicals. What is an important tool or product to use in daily hair care? An important tool is the ceramic iron. Keeping moisture in your hair is very essential to daily hair care. Always follow up with conditioner after shampooing and use leave in prior to applying heat for protection to your hair. When growing the hair natural , what is the best way to maintain moisture ? When going natural, using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is essential when your is dry to maintain a healthy head of hair. After shampooing and conditioning use a leave in conditioner and light moisture cream to retain the moisture into your hair. This will give you nice shine to your hair. What are some necessary beauty tips someone should consider first thing in the morning? First thing in the morning of course wash your face and brush your teeth, Lol. Use Aveeno moisture if you have normal skin. Apply a small amount to your face. Then apply Mac makeup which would be to your skin tone and add Mac eyeshadow to add spark to your day. Lip gloss from bath and body works it gives a great shine. Pop on some nice earring and perfume. D&G light blue is my choice. Now for you natural ladies: I recommend a fresh face with a little drop of Aveeno moisture and B&B lip gloss. See…. Your beautiful! What are some respectable products one should use? What ingredients should they avoid ? Some respectable products to use Dudley, Indigo, Namaste, Kera Care, Mikal Dlay and BBD. All professional products and can be purchased at my salon, The Hair Café Joliet, 300 S. Larkin ave Joliet, Illinois 60436. You can find us online at and email us at ROBYN BOOKER The Hair Cafe 300 S. Larkin ave Joliet, Illinois 60436



TINAStinson The young girls coming up today are in my opinion are exposed to so many things that destroy and rob them of their innocence at alarmingly early ages. With an accumulation of so much technology and internet access it’s hard for the parents to keep their children from being exposed to a lot of sexually suggestive & negative media. For that reason I feel that it’s important for young girls to have positive female figures in their lives that can lead by example and offer advice when needed. I think it’s important for young girls to have some type of role model in their lives to open conversation up about issues that affect them, and the consequences of the choices you make. Sometimes if they are discussing things with only their fellow peers, there’s a chance that the wrong advice or answers may be given to them.

Where are you from? I’m from the Peach State’s beautiful city of Atlanta, GA!

American men come together and break through the Fashion Industry and achieve the success that they accomplished! Seeing them succeed and many of the other urban lines that broke into Where is your company located? the market is certainly inspiration that, if they did it, then I can My company is located here in my hometown, Atlanta, Ga. too! I feel that my vision for my company is very unique and has I design and create all of my garments and handbags in my a wide range of looks and creative facets that will be sure to draw sewing studio and send all of my products out to the local in people from all walks of life. boutiques and sell online. I’m looking forward to expanding the line to other cities really soon by exploring the option of My handbag line, which is an extension of the clothing line, manufacturing some of my popular styles. started about a year ago. I started out making only one style which was the deCrea Duffle Bag. I became very fond of making the Contact Info: handbags because it allows me to play around with a wide variety Website- of fabrics, ornamental beading, and so many other creative ideas. Email- Over one summer break in college I did an internship at a fabric Twitter- showroom that exposed me to what seemed like an infinite amount of fabric that I learned of. The local interior designers would Why did you begin designing? sometimes ask me to help select and coordinate fabric choices I come from a very artistic background. I was always drawing, for some of the most exquisite homes in Nashville. I think that painting, or attempting some type of craft project growing up. experience really broadened my horizon, and influenced my style I began sewing around the age of 10 when I started playing quite a bit to using fabrics that I hadn’t been exposed to. A lot of around on my mom’s sewing machine making Barbie Doll those interior fabrics work great with the style direction of my clothes. My mother and her sister did a lot of sewing and both handbags & accessories. would teach me how to sew. My grandmother also sewed, and my great-grandmother was a self taught & simply gifted tailor What can one expect from just hearing the name of your company? that lived in Florida. So I guess you could say it’s in my blood. What does the name mean? I made my first dress in my Home Economics class in high deCrea means “Of Creativity”. The “de” means “Of”, and “Crea” school and wore it to a school dance. is short for “Creativity”. The name came to me by way of a conversation with my aunt who created the name back in the day What are some of your influences? when she contemplated starting her own clothing line. When she Well, of course I love to look at some of the styles from lines told me what it meant, I knew right away that it was the perfect like Chanel, Fendi, Christian Dior, and all of the other great name for my line! So as you can see God works in mysterious designer labels that have been around for decades. But I also ways because I was having a difficult time thinking up a name grew up in a time that birthed what we loosely call “Urban for the line at the time and had no idea that she had previously Clothing” which included lines like Phat Farm, Baby Phat, thought about starting her own line. I wanted a name that had no FUBU, Karl Kani, Cross Colors, and Roca Wear to name a few. biases in gender, race, religion, or anything. I felt that the name One of my strongest influences was FUBU because it touched deCrea fully encompassed who I truly am, and could easily work a special place in my heart to see a group of young African well in a women’s market, men’s market, and even children’s, accessories, or jewelry.


How long have you been doing this and what motivates you? I started the line while still attending Tenn. State University where I would experiment around with creating different garments. Since I was working with a shoe-string budget as a student, I ordered some simple iron-on labels that I would place in the back of all the various garments or anything else I made. I would make things for fellow students on campus from time to time for pageants, parties, or different events. When I would drive back to Atlanta to visit for the weekends I started visiting the local boutiques and began to form business relationships with some of the shop owners in an area in Atlanta called Little 5 Points. It is a well known area in Atlanta that’s famous for its plentiful collection of eclectic shops, boutiques, and restaurants. I have never been the type of person that waits on an opportunity to find me, I seek them out. I felt that if I wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, then surely I needed my clothes to be in actual stores. Plus the shop owners I dealt with were mostly AfricanAmerican female entrepreneurs that liked my spunk & and were supportive because they saw me trying to do something positive and get my own. Quite naturally I wasn’t able to completely focus on establishing the line, until I graduated from college and opted to dedicate myself completely to developing my skills, and establishing my business. What audience are your designs geared to? I would say that deCrea has a little something for everybody. Our male and female audience includes a very broad age group of young adults to early seniors that love the creatively unique style trends that make my designs stand out. You’ll be sure to see a lot of classic silhouettes and pieces made from interesting colors & fabric prints, especially animal prints which are my favorite, that you don’t normally see used in the way I do. I think our audience is definitely the trendy & style –conscious urbanprofessional that needs good clothing and accessories for the workplace, church, dating, or any other special event.


INERD Clothing The Line... was founded by “Mister iNerd [himself]” also known as “Fresh” in August o9 on the venture of creating his own clothing line that would match his unique taste and style to the fashion word.

What inspires you to move forward in life? Life in it self because you’re put here to live and I plan to do that and much, much more. What is the definition/mission statement of iNERD? iNERD is a statement in its own and can be seen how you see and carry yourself fashion wise. How did you come up with the name iNERD? Funniest question that everybody ask me because the answer is even funnier. I actually thought of iNERD from an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Lol! It was the episode where Spongebob was trying to impress Sam “The Squirrel” and he was dressing up in like hundred different outfits and still she didn’t like him. She thought he was crazy for it. So when it really came down to it, she was more attracted to his own skin rather then him trying to portray himself as something he wasn’t. So from there I thought of a nerd who everyone always misunderstands, but if you really think about it they are the only individuals in the world that are really comfortable in their own skin. They never try to be something that they’re not. It’s better to be your own person than to act like someone your

not. iNERD – brief but never simple. Describe your personal style? Personally my style is really unpredictable and can change at any moment. Lol! But on a regular day I’m a laid back jeans, tee, and snapback swagg type of dude. What kind of apparel do you carry? iNERD carries a lil something for everybody. From your baby brother to your skateboarding uncle. Trust when I say it, it has already been proven…. Where do you see your business in 5 years? In 5 Years I see iNERD coming from a brand to a trademark that reaches out to everyone not only through clothing, but through media. So I’m sure I can work a handful of stores in 5 years of hard work. Do you have any other business ventures? Man that’s a long story because I’m known to have so much on my plate that I already have a doggy bag full on the side. I actually have an iNERD media company that that’s partnering with Valair Management. It is a music management


company right here out of Chicago, IL. Aside from that, I also look forward to starting a nonprofit organization that gives back to the community. I’ve had the pleasure of working aside Phresh Media on multiple toy drives out of NY and the American Cancer Society. If any celebrity of your choice could endorse iNERD who would it be and why? To endorse me it would have to be Pharrel because honestly I think the bro is a genius when it comes to business and marketing a brand. Plus, that’s one of my favorite artist/celebrity. Where can we purchase iNERD clothing? You can purchase iNERD Clothing directly online at my online store – http://store.Inerdclothing. Com & all local stores listed on my site @ www. How may we contact you? You can contact me with any questions at or Twitter me at www. or iaminerd

NICOLE Clarke-Springer Every girl dreams of being a dancer. They are given dolls that are portrayed as ballerinas. The dream very seldom becomes true due to finance, lack of support, and failure to actually putting the amount of work needed in. According to Wikipedia, “dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting”. It also has been a form of communication for centuries. It provides one with a sense of confidence and structure. Famous dancers include Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., Martha Graham, Catherine Dunham, Patrick Swayze, Anna Pavlova, Micheal Jackson, and many others. Using professionals and family as inspiration, Nikki Clarke Springer grew as a rose through concrete. She has been dancng since the age of three. Her passion and skill surpassed her peers and opened doors for her to embrace dance as her career, hobby, and craft. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A Dancer

I performed at the Penumbra Theater and studied at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. I’ve also been blessed to teach at Western Kentucky University, Chicago State University as well as act At what age did you begin to dance? At what age did you know that as Summer Program Director for Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre. dance was something you wanted to pursue? It’s a wonderful opportunity to plant the same seeds of love that Well, according to my mother I began dancing at a Billy Preston were given to me. concert in her womb while she was approximately 6 months pregnant!! But my first instructor was my aunt Renee Spinks at the At this point of my life journey, I enjoy creating movement. I’m age of three. I then studied at Kelly’s School of Dance. I was then strengthening my voice as a choreographer. It’s my goal to set spotted in a show by a Joliet Ballet Society board member and she works on professional companies. To date I’ve been fortunate to suggested I audition for the school. I don’t remember having an have two works performed by the Deeply Rooted Dance Ensemexact thought as to “this is what I want to do”, it seems it’s always ble. I have a work entitle Dounia that will premiere in New York just been a given. It’s in my DNA. My aunt was a dancer and her in March and in Chicago in December. mother wanted to dance. How important is family and education to you? Who inspired the love of dance? Family is EXTREMELY important. I was blessed to come from My aunt Renee was and still is my inspiration. She nurtured the a family who were in the arts - dancers,singers, musicians, poets, seed that had been planted in my DNA. photographer- all who understand and support the idea of dreaming and bringing those dreams into fruition. I was raised to believe Who are some of your favorite performers? that all things were possible through Christ. So, if this is what you Some of my favorite performers/dancers/choreographers are Elana want to do, then let’s go! My family jumped in head first-parents, Anderson, Kevin Iega, Jeff and Gary Abbott from Deeply Rooted siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins!! You want to produce a sumDance Theatre in Chicago, Il. Desmond Richardson from Complex- mer program for kids in Joliet? Let’s go!! My mother sewed cosions. Donna Wood, Renee Richardson, Matthew Rushing, Deborah tumes, my aunt choreographed pieces, my sister wrote poetry, my Chase-those old school Ailey members. I also love and adore old brothers and cousins were on headsets backstage moving props musicals!! You cannot sleep on a young Liza Minnelli-LIZA with and my uncle was the photographer-you name it we did it as a fama “ Z” honey!! ily! I was raised to believe that I was filling my God-given space in the earth. You have to just step into place and the rest will come. What type of dance can you do? We all have roles to fill. My mother taught me to be brave and My training is classical ballet/pointe. I also teach the Horton and keep moving while being afraid.. My father taught me to move Graham technique as well as jazz. through the fear in my spirit. To remember from whence my help comes. In essence my family has taught me how to be “fearless”. What opportunities has this given you? Who have you worked I hesitate to use the word “fearless”. In this profession there will with? Who do you wish to work with one day? always be the sense of “fear”. Fear of the unknown, of not getting Dance has presented me great opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to the part you want or even bigger-fear of rejection as you open and dance with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre as a child. I’ve worked bear your soul as an artist to the world-and do it night after nightwith artist such as Jeffery Osborne and Roberta Flack. I’ve per- only to have it analyzed and criticized . formed and toured with the Deeply Rooted Dance Ensemble under the artistic direction of Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott. Danced Education is important. I don’t necessarily mean education in the for Katherine Dunham (as well as be the model for the statue traditional sense. It is important, yes. I graduated as an Arts Addedicated to Katherine Dunham located on Jefferson St. in Joliet, ministration-Dance major from Butler University. Did I need a Il). Also performed with the Clifton Brown Dance Ensemble in dance degree from a university to become a dancer? No, but what Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to working with Jennifer Holiday, I did need was a solid dance education. I was blessed to have


that solid training from Claudette Soltis. That education is and was the basis for all that I have done and still do. As an African American dancer I went into many auditions with a “leg up” on many girls because of my solid ballet technique. If I had to give any advice about education is would be “know your craft and know it well”. That education alone will take you farther than you think. As far as getting an education to have something to fall back on, I have two trains of thought on that. Yes, it’s wise, but if you have the thought of “falling back” on something, doesn’t that mean you think there’s a possibility of failure? It’s the “real job” mentality. Many people ask “what’s your real job?”. I generally have to laugh and tell them “the last time I checked my land lord did not ask if his rent check was being paid by money from a ‘real’ job!!” Do what you do not for the money but for the love of it. Because you can’t see yourself doing anything else. Because you were called to do it. Do it so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. Then you’ll be doing it enough to support yourself in this world. How should someone interested in pursuing dance prepare? Someone interested in dance should first enroll in a solid dance school, one that offers a strong ballet and modern program. Ballet is a strong base for dance. But it is also extremely importantespecially for black contemporary dance-to enroll in African dance/Dunham classes as well. It wouldn’t hurt to have tap in your repertory as well. What are you doing now? Now, I am doing more choreography and teaching. I’m preparing to get back on stage again. I miss it. When you create works and teach as much as I’ve been blessed. too many times you find the need to reenergize the soul. That process for me is performing. I also have a loving husband-Dennis and two beautiful girls-Sophia and Sydney. How many different regions or countries have you preformed/ trained in ? I’ve been over the United States as well as Istanbul, Turkey performing.


TERRI White Superwoman!!! On an average day you see hundreds of people going about their daily task and think nothing of it. You interact with some and slightly notice others. If you were actually able to learn more about those people, you would learn that some of them are real life super heroes. After meeting Terri White I would like to recognize her as a Superwoman! Although she doesn’t fight off the bad guys, she exhibits an extreme amount of intelligence, talent, and strength. Terri was born and raised on the south side of Chicago; however she has been blessed with the opportunity of living in several other areas in the United States such as New York, Georgia, and Washington. She also lived overseas in Europe. At the early age of 14 she was employed in Germany as an International Telecommunications Specialist. By 16 Terri had graduated high school and went on to study Cosmetology; which led to becoming a Licensed Independent Hair Care Professional at 17. Acknowledging that furthering her education was important she later enrolled in College. Over the years she has studied Retail Merchandising, Business Administration, Computer Information Technology, and Business Management. Although she has obtained three college degrees (with honors), she hasn’t stopped there. Terri is now studying to become bilingual and contemplating going even further to obtain a PhD. During those same college years Terri managed to squeeze in some time to become a wife and full-time working mother of two. As we all know being a wife and mother are full-time jobs just by themselves. Her professional resume includes positions in retail management, customer service, and tax accounting office manager, just to name a few. Currently she is working in change control management for a Fortune 500 company as well as the business manager for a popular photography company. You’d think there wasn’t enough time in the day to do all of those things but with loving support from her family she manages. By the end of the year Terri will be able to add author and entrepreneur to her resume as well. She has several writings in publication but her first official book will be out this summer, and her online hair and beauty company will launch its grand opening this fall. I have no idea how she manages to handle all those responsibilities in a twenty four hour period and continues to stay sane but she has proven it’s possible. When I asked her how she does it, she simply stated, “I am a Mother, Wife, Chef, Teacher, Doctor, Business Manager, Working Professional, Lover, Accountant, Author, Chauffeur, Housekeeper, Stylist, Psychologist, Woman of God, Queen ...I am every woman. There are many other women that do the same or more just to get by and they go each day unrecognized. This is what makes them a Superwoman and so am I!!!”




LEON Rogers

If you were to ask Leon Rogers “Who is Leon Rogers?” there’s no doubt the person described would be down to earth, talented & driven to make his mark in the world. And I couldn’t agree more. Continuously finding ways to build on his resume’ the comedian, morning radio jock, actor, self proclaimed sports junkie & sneakerhead has been taking DJing courses over the past 8months and may soon be spinning records at your favorite nightspot. For a man with so many job titles, the one he’s most proud of is being a father. That couldn’t have been more clear when he plugged his youngest daughter’s youtube web show (Autumn’s Fun Facts) & his oldest daughter’s love for Japanimation during this interview. Although comedy is his passion, it’s been radio that has taken much of Leon’s time lately. It has been six years in radio for Leon, but it wasn’t until April 1, 2009, Clear Channel’s urban radio station WGCI offically replaced the syndicated Steve Harvey morning show by introducing its listeners to “the Morning Riot” comprised of Tony Sculfield, Leon Rogers & Nina Chantele. Which at the time was thought to be just another April fools prank played by the station on its listeners turned out to be very much a reality. Today the reality is The Morning Riot reaches 369,800 radio listeners weekly. (Source: May-June-July 2010 Chicago Metro Arbitron, P6+ Average Weekly Cume, Monday-Friday 5 a.m. to 9 a.m) Who were your comedic influences growing up? My family, I know you hear a lot of comics say that. But I got a very disfunctional family. We all do. But it’s some characters in my family; Like my Uncle Danny, my Uncle Albert and I just drew from them. Plus I was the only child so I was always entertaining myself. My dad used to think I was nuts. I’d sit in my room for hours talking to myself and writing. At what point in your life did you decide that comedy was the right career move for you? I would have to say it was in 1994 when I was in the military. I was always the class clown, one that kept everybody laughing. So, it was so many guys that were like “dude have you ever thought about doing comedy?”. So I said when I got home I’d try it. I got home, got a regular job fixing computers at the Board of Education, and started doing open mic nights. After a couple times I thought, ok I might be alright with this. But I was still scared to jump in the water. Then I ran into Michael Colyar who’s another Chicago comedian. I went up to him like “yo Mike, I’m an upcoming comedian. I’m trying to do comedy”. He looked me right in the face and said “ I don’t care about you trying to do it, do it”. So I jumped in and hit the ground running. And I’ve been doing comedy full-time since “96”. Discribe your first show as a standup comedian. Man, I’ll never forget it and Tony Sculfield, who I work with, brought me up on stage. It was at All Jokes Aside’s Wednesday Ameutur Night. My girlfriend, my Mom & Dad was there. I’ll put it like this, have you ever watched the Bulls play and Ben Gordon goes 0 for 13? It was one of those nights. Everthing I’m throwing up is clanking. I sucked all night so I’ma get’em with this one. So I get to the last joke: blah,blah,blah,BAM! I go to the punchline and nobody claps. Then I hear my Dad go, “I came all the way down here for this sh#!”, and the crowd loses it. I don’t know if they were laughing cause they think it’s part of my show or cause this old man just went off. When I got off the stage; Damon Williams, Tony Sculfield & George Wilborn came up and was like “ you got some funny material. You just don’t know how to deliver it”. Which takes me

back to something Bernie Mac said, “comedy is 10% material & 90% how you tell it to people. You can take the simplest story, but if you engage in it and lock people into you, they wanna ride with you. When do you know you’ve make it as a comic? Let me get this straight. You’re not a true comedian til this stuff starts paying yo bills. When you know you have to book shows to eat; you part of the grind. If it ain’t paying yo bills it’s not yo job; it’s a hobby. What do you say to those who might feel your situation is different because you work at WGCI ? The comedy grind got me here. I used comedy as a launching pad to get in radio. If this shit stop tomorrow then it’s back to my grind. How was it transitioning from standup to radio? For me it came easy; Because I like to talk. Also once I started dabbling in radio, I went on to the Illinois School of Broadcasting. And they still owe me my diploma; talking about I missed too many days. But I’m working on a morning show in the third largest market in the nation. They can give a brother his diploma. Stop using me and telling all the lil black kids this the school Leon Rogers went to. Sorry I had to vent a lil bit. But the toughest part for me was toning down my brand of comedy. In radio everything is timed. Now in comedy everything is timed. The difference is they may give me thirty minutes to talk. In radio you get a minute to talk. And there’s also the clean factor. We know you’ve had a few small acting roles in a couple of flims. Do you see yourself pursuing more of a career in acting? Yeah, I was in both barbershop 1&2. It was cool working with Ice Cube, Ced and those guys. But I think the Tuskegee Airmen movie was the best acting experience of my life. Shout out to Courtney Vance, Lawrence Fishburne, and Mekhi Phifer. It was some heavy hitters in there. But I think the greatest thing for me was talking to real Tuskegee Airmen. To me that’s more mind


blowing that meeting a Jay-Z or any other star. To meet guys who actually flew those missions and have them on set giving advice to all the actors on how to be them. That sh#! is crazy. I mean I’m talking to a dude that’s in the encyclopedia. It don’t get no colder to me. I want to do more movies, but radio ties up a lot of my time. There’s also the age factor. The older you get, your window closes. Me, my man Tony Sculfield & Deion Cole working on a few scripts now to make something happen for ourselves. And shout out to the Tate brothers who talking about coming back to Chicago to flim more movies here. I want to be part of that movement. I don’t have to be in front of the camera; I can be behind it. What role/character would you want to play if the opportunity presented itself? I would want to be in something dealing with a political movement; like the Barack Obama story and I’d play Dr. Cornnell West, with the glasses & the monster fro, and I’m just dropping knowledge on muthaf#!$&* while I’m endorsing Barack. And of course an action movie. I actually want to remake the Dirty Dozens and put a spin on it and make it a dramedy; where there’s a lot of action, drama, but also kinda funny; sort of like Dirty Dozens meets Miracle at St. Anna. It’ll be an all black unit with maybe one white boy and he ain’t the leader. It’ll be funny, but also have some parts you want to cry on. Why not a comedic role? Because that’s the layup. I can be silly all day. If you’re a true artist you want to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. When you think about it some of your biggest serious actors are comics; Jamie Foxx, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks started as a standup comic and now Monique has an Oscar. You’re a father of two. If your daughters decided to follow your career path would you encourage them to do so? My thing is if that’s what you want to do, then do it. You have to encourage creativity in children. If a kid is creative and it’s something they want to do, encourage that shit. That’s the problem now with kids, we give them no options.




Four- Sixteen

Four Sixteen’s objective is to marry all new media with stunning visuals as well as a strong technological backbone, creating Music Videos, Commercials, Photography, and Web designs, all the while inspiring and encouraging the company, the artist, and the viewers to not settle for less. Four-Sixteen began to flourish when they merged Four-Sixteen and AE Surreal (two very talented companies). FS set to create film/video productions and photography along with web design. In 2007, Four-Sixteen created LevelUp, which allows clients to easily update what was previously a headache and keep a welldesigned layout. In 2008, Four-Sixteen released it’s first major website. An interactive website which included video, animation, and special fx. This flash based website also included the LevelUp Software, and then known as O Infinity. This website won a couple of awards. Four-Sixteen even gained attention in France. In 2009, Four-Sixteen continued to grow and made it an emphasis to capitalize on the hometown Chicagoans, landing a contract with the top radio station’s, WGCI, personality Leon Rogers, an artist on Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, and Bad Boy artist Willie of Day26. But Four-Sixteen made in a point to not just work with the music industry no matter how successful. Four-Sixteen also landed deals with Beimeni, a high-end real estate agency in Chicago, Positive Entertainment, an entertainment company dedicated to promote family and youth events in the inner city of Chicago and now the nation, and the firm Arbed Consulting. But Four-Sixteen’s biggest deal came when the papers were signed to manage WNBA star and Olympic Gold Medalist, Candace Parker. This brought Four-Sixteen into the national spot light for certain. Four-Sixteen’s works for these and other clients includes, Film and Video productions including music videos and commercials, high end photography shoots, and managing a clients Online Image. Four-Sixteen also produced music videos and short films. The short film “Papi Chulo” produced by Four-Sixteen has been accepted to multiple film festivals across the country. Who are the founders of this company? Villian: “We are of course, me & JR Strickland- if you can say that. It kind of was a strange relationship we met in class freshman year of college, and we hated each other. I was not sure whether it was natural competition because of the whole idea that we was the only black kids but either way we didnt like each other. So one day remembering that I had his number from a project we were forced to be partners on in english class. I called him and asked to borrow $10 dollars so I could go to my home town and visit. He was the only person out of like my 8 so called friends that let me borrow the money. From then on it was a good friendship I found out he had a company he started called Four-Sixteen at the time I was professionally modeling @ (Shirley Hamilton), and had a design thing going called aesurreal so eventually through a lot of mud we merged and became Four-Sixteen. One of the Smartest moves in my life. Not sure if Strickland agrees lol! But we found out that his passion was Film and mine is Photography.” Strickland: “Yeah, I guess it was one of the smartest moves of my life too. The best part about that story is Villian and I merging under Four-Sixteen because Four-Sixteen is not JR Strickland, it is the idea of following your dreams. I know it took a lot for Villian to get rid of AESurreal and do it under the name I’ve already had instead of a whole new name, but that just shows the principles we live by. It is a lot better for people to come together, under one name. That way you all have an outlet. It could have gotten real messy doing things any other way. There comes a point where you say, I’ll be real successful on my own, and they’ll be real successful on their own, but we’d be more successful together. And from then on it was a no brainer. We’ve grown into handling media for high end companies as well as start up. We work with Millionaires and Zeroaires. It’s all about your dream and you strive to be the best.” How did the idea come about? Villian: “Well in the midst of a heavy argument, me and Strickland had split probably between the years 06 & 07 or something

like that- basically over control and creative issues. But before the argument we were still running separate business entities I had gotten rid of aesurreal and started my design boutique called Villian design and he still had Four-Sixteen. So after our split I moved from Chicago (I love Chi) back to my hometown to get some peace, and I had to come to my PR’s graduation and just happen to get the feel- and felt like I should call Strickland and make amends. He had previously contacted me but Im like I dont wanna talk to him (still not sure what I was so mad about)! After that a week later we went to chill for a bit and was like you know what we should join forces and come under one house and it should be Four-Sixteen.”

“taking film to the next level.” Villian’s AESurreal tag was “dream it.” And once we put it together it became Four-Sixteen “taking dreams to the next level.” That is what we stand for. So much so that we’ve grown into a nice size staff and even fellow director Jonny Diaz decided to hop on board and do his projects under FourSixteen. I just want everyone to realize that once you put your ego aside and work together, you can get so much more done. All of us should not have seperate titles when working together. We can all represent FS or Four-Sixteen and put a lot of quality into that name so that when people here it or see your name attached to it, they can instantly think, great work.”

Strickland: “The idea came when we decided to follow our dreams. I majored in Film and Video with a concentration with in Directing from Columbia College Chicago, but they Columbia did not help me out. They rejected me from two key classes that I applied for, even though I had a 3.0 GPA. So my mentality instantly became this. School is way overrated and it’s better that you do it on your own. I only finished because I was so close to finishing. From then on I realized while it would be nice to get help from others, they do not care about my dreams and my life like I do. I saw that Villian was on the same page. This man had his company legalized, business cards, web sites, and was just doing whatever came to mind, and getting great responses from it. He started showing me somethings he knew and I showed him some things I knew. Once we got over seeing each other as a threat it was smooth sailing. Well almost. The two major setbacks were “The Disaster” and “The Argument” almost crushed Four-Sixteen. But those times you really find out if you want to do this or not. Villian has been doing Photography since forever, so how was schooling going to help him. Wouldn’t it be better to just find your own clients and do it. We all have to remember we are artist. So just do your craft the best that you can and you’ll be good. That in no means mean that you get to stop studying, it just means, don’t rely on others to “teach you.” I’ve had 1 marketing class, but a million priceless marketing encounters on my own. Sorry, I got a little sidetracked. But the idea behind Four-Sixteen became chaising your dream. My previous tag was Four-Sixteen

Who would you be honored to work with? Villian: “Hmmmmmmmmmm, I know right here anybody smartass would say - God. But I wont say that I will say: Jesus, Daniel Day Lewis, Yul Brynner, Leonardo Davinci. And of course my mom and Strickland.”


JR:”Honestly, whoever wants to be the best.” Who have you worked with ? I mean we worked with alot of people just to name a fewCandace Parker, Comcast, Arbed, Will(Day26), Malik Yusef , Leon Rogers(WGCI), Noivak Music, Beimeni LLC, Positive Ent. Are you involved with any community organizations or projects? We make sure we volunteer by shooting video or photography for the community as well as speaking engagements when we are asked. Please submit general company info and contact info? Four-Sixteen Productions LLC JR Strickland Film Director (not J.R.) Villian Photographer Jonny Diaz Director

REALLYDoe Always being a lover of music, Really doe explains growing up across the street from a dj heavily influenced this. The dj would give him mixtapes of music that hadn’t even been released yet. It wasn’t until high school that he began freestyling. He is a lover of all genres of music also and would in the future be fortunate to work with artists like Gwen Stephani, Alicia Keys, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Beyonce’. The release of his debut album First Impressions, is like showing the world his heart. This new sound is his character, his life, and explains him as an entertainer. He is the “ Real Deal “. He is Really Doe. For the Chicago native Really Doe, the ten years it has taken to maximize his full potential as a recording artist has been well worth the wait. Really Doe began his musical journey in the mid 90’s with former G.O.O.D. Music labelmate and best friend GLC. Combined with the young and fledging producer Kanye West, they formed the group the Go Getters. With their 1998 hit record “Oh Oh Oh” the group gained notoriety in Chicago. “Once that record got put into rotation at WGCI, we took off,” says Really Doe. “Then Kanye started getting some attention for his production. After he got signed to Roc-a-Fella, he promised that he was going to help me and GLC out.” True to his word, Really Doe’s big break out came when he appeared on West’s sophomore album Late Registration on the song entitled “We Major” featuring Nas. “I remember ‘Ye called me up and asked me to blaze this joint with him and Nas. I dropped what I was doing to go over to the studio. A few hours later we had a hit!” Sticking with that winning strategy, Really Doe asked West to return the favor and appear on “Plastic” which hit the streets in late 2008. With its hypnotic beat and hardhitting verses, “Plastic” featuring Kanye West, has gone on to create major buzz on music blogs and websites for Really Doe’s much anticipated first solo release and given fans a taste of what to expect from the lyricist. Staying within a family environment, Really Doe is signed to Kanye West’s longtime marketing director Griffin Guess’ Cartel Records Produced by Guess as well, Really Doe’s debut album entitled First Impressions will address a litany of topics that range from personal struggles of growing up in Chicago to the current political landscape and all that falls in between. When asked about Really Doe, Guess responded, “Really Doe’s lyrical ability and thought process in how he composes each verse and hook is something I have never heard.”



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A complete book of the last 4 years of interviews featured in Coffea Magazine.