PUBLISH E R ’ S L E T T E R
THERE ARE LEVELS TO BEING LEGENDARY. Life is a journey and all of our paths lead to greatness. Whether or not we’re going in the right direction is a different story, but the great news is that we all have access to getting there. You won’t find a guaranteed map, blueprint or car service to get there, but good old fashion work will drive results. With that in mind, this issue was created to help you lace up your shoes and refresh your walk. As a publication for the Millennial generation, we have the understanding that everyone will be at various points of becoming a legend. Our first dual issue represents the two different stages that you can be at: A living legend or a legend in the making. The wonderful Ms. Gladys Knight has had a 60+ year career in the entertainment industry and manages to stay passionate and still keep going. Even when she’s accomplished so much, she realizes that her work is not done though she could have
a seat (at say, Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken and Waffles) and feel great about all that she’s done. Releasing new music after all these years proves that she has more than “Just a Little” work ethic…she has a lot. Brandy Norwood is a young legend in the making with 20+ years under her belt in the entertainment industry. Life has given her some interesting twists and turns, but all roads have lead to successful runs with TV, Broadway, music and more. She’s the empowerment story that shows that even when you don’t feel like you’re sittin’ on top of the world there is still so much ahead. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Being legendary does not happen overnight although it may seem that some people do in the millennial generation. We live in a time where you can be insta-famous, but don’t get caught up in the microwave society when you’re worth the quality baked in an oven…over time. Legendary status not only takes time, but it takes commitment even when bad things are happening. The goal should not stop at getting in the room; it should include staying in the room. Being legendary means stepping out of your comfort zone, constantly reinventing yourself, trying new things and tapping into new talents. Whether you’re at or approaching a level of Gladys Knight or Brandy, your running list of accomplishments have started and it’s never too late to step up to the plate. Feast your eyes on the upcoming pages and get ready to feed your inner legend with the tools you need to cross the finish line. Ready. Set. Go. With love,
6 Features: Game Changers Millennials in Music
18 Features: Faith, Family, Friendship MADE: Season One
Features: It Girl Files Product Review IT GIRL FILES
26 Pop Culture & Style
Audiobooks for the
Eight Audio Books Every Millenn
MADE BY: Katharine Shindoll
As millennials, we’ve grown accustomed to instantaneous information and ever-evolving technology; it’s normal for us to learn a new operating system every few weeks and it’s truly impossible for us to imagine a world without computers, digital files or portable databases. Yes, technology has made life easier and streamlined how the world stays connected, but this change of pace has made it easy for us to disregard “slow-entertainment.” Slowentertainment is a term coined-by-me to explain why watching The Sopranos takes an extra cup of coffee and why sitting down to read a paperback book seems like a true commitment. If action doesn’t occur within the first 10 minutes, it’s hard for me to keep watching a television show and by the time I decide which book to read, I only have a spare 10 minutes to enjoy half of the first chapter; this realization culminates with a reluctant re-shelving of the book. So, to remedy my lack of reading, the best of the slow-entertainers, I’ve taken to downloading audiobooks and listening to the famous pages while I work, cook, clean and relax. Because winter is around the corner and because multi-tasking is the millennial way of life, I figured I’d compile a list of my favorite audiobooks, each of them perfect for different reasons, and encourage my fellow millennials to pick up their long-lost reading habit to distract from dropping temps.
POP CULTURE SELF-IMPROVEMENT
nial Should Download This Winter
“What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Oprah Winfrey is a powerful force and I am certainly on board with whatever she puts out into the universe. Honestly, if I am going to take life advice from anyone, it’s going to be Oprah. Stemming from her popular O Magazine column, this book transforms her life lessons into practical and important life lessons for us all.
“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed & Bernadette Dunne After watching the motion picture adaptation of this autobiography, the first thing I did was order a copy for myself on Amazon. This incredible story is both inspiring and heart-breaking and perfect for filling the silence, after all, that’s how the novel came to be.
“Yes Please” by Amy Poehler
In addition to playing the best pregnant lady on earth in both Baby Mama and numerous SNL skits, the woman knows how to make me laugh. Given that the weather in Chicago (and most of the continental US) is going to plummet in the coming weeks, I want nothing more than to curl up in a blanket and laugh. If I can laugh while cooking dinner too, bonus points.
“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki
Haruki Murakami books can be a bit intimidating. The prolific author is known for long, philosophically dense novels about life. This book isn’t that. Written from Murakami’s point of view, this novel dives into the author’s love of running and what that love has taught him. Funny and introspective, it serves as a wonderful introduction to the works of this world-renowned author.
POP CULTURE SELF-IMPROVEMENT
Audiobooks for the Motivated Millennial (cont.) “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins
I’m a sucker for suspenseful novels and The Girl on the Train is definitely a nail-biter. Deemed the next Gone Girl by several literary critics, this book is a murder mystery gone wrong. Make sure you listen with a cocktail!
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
This novel is one of the best books to ever be published and there is a reason it’s on almost every recommended reading list. Though I’ve read it twice, I never tire of the story and each time I pick up the book I feel like I learn something new about the characters -- a perfect choice for daily commutes.
“Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman This book takes you on an in depth tour of how your mind works. It’s fascinating to listen to hear how and why you make the decisions that you do. Daniel Kahneman takes groundbreaking research and distills it into anecdotes that are sure to entertain any reader.
“The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Sixth Extinction earned a spot on the President’s 2015 must-read list and I’m looking forward to digesting it this holiday season, however sobering it might be. Kolbert’s non-fiction masterpiece documents the earth’s modern extinction trend and outlines causes alongside harrowing statistics about our planet’s flora and fauna. This cut-and-dry book may not be for everyone, but the eager biologist in me can’t help but recommend scientific eye-openers.
POP CULTURE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
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Rhymefest MADE BY: KRIS D. WILLIAMS & AJ LINTON
What makes a game changer? A Grammy? A Golden Globe? An Academy Award? What about starting an arts based organization in your hometown to provide inner city youth in urban communities with key tools to make it in entertainment? Rhymefest is a Chicago native that has gone on to achieve these great successes, but weâ€™re more inspired by how heâ€™s using his platform to provide opportunities for others to accomplish more than he ever could.
THEPOP ARTS CULTURE GAME CHANGER
GAME CHANGER MADE: What is your definition of a game changer? RHYMEFEST: My definition of a game changer is somebody who shares their own truth. Not the truth that they think people want to hear based on the last person who was successful saying it. I believe that a game changer is a unique mind that knows how to galvanize people around an idea that is not unique but has a creative way of coming to a conclusion. MADE: As a game changer, you’re one of only two MC’s in history (Besides Common) to have the honor of winning an Oscar, Golden Globe and a Grammy. What comes to mind when you hear that? RHYMEFEST: I’m not very good with vanity and while I appreciate the honor of the award when I hear that, the only thing that comes to mind is how can I pivot this opportunity into providing opportunities for others. How can I pivot this opportunity into another opportunity to push forward my life’s mission? These awards are just inanimate objects that have symbolism, so how can we pivot that symbolism into someone else’s reality. MADE: What is your life’s mission? RHYMEFEST: I want to redesign and recreate the way we see community. The way we treat and speak to one another. In addition to the way we look at power. I believe that the only true power a person can have is the power to empower others. If you can empower other people then they can live without you and carry on the ideals and ideas that were birthed through you. My mission in life is to empower others and re-design the unlearned. MADE: You’ve grown the collaboration known as marriage with your wife Donnie to a partnership running Donda’s House, Inc. in Chicago, IL. The work of Donda’s
POP CULTURE GAME CHANGER
House, Inc. was designed to provide instruction for the arts to youth in parts of Chicago that is underserved. How did you make Donda’s House, Inc. the voice for arts in urban communities? RHYMEFEST: In education right now, the big term is STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] and we believe that the term that we all should be using is STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Math]. We look at our schools and notice that they’ve taken away the arts programs. The arts have been neglected and that’s the one thing that gets the parents to come out to the schools. We have to recreate the way we look at education in our society. Donda’s House, Inc. fills in the gap for those aged 14-24. Donda’s House, Inc. isn’t for those who want to get famous. It’s for those who can’t think about anything but their art. We teach an array of courses and promote from within the ranks. If you graduate from Donda’s House, Inc. you can get a job with Donda’s House, Inc. as a teacher if you show those leadership qualities. Donda’s House, Inc. is a premium arts program whose power comes from the young people that we serve and the other entities that we collaborate with like Second City, Kenneth Cole, Common and Lupe Fiasco. Donda’s House, Inc. is what our broken leadership left behind and forgot about in our schools. MADE: With so many storylines in your life, your recently released documentary titled “In My Father’s House” is inspired by your own truth about reconnecting with your estranged father. Why was that message so important for you to share with the world? RHYMEFEST: I didn’t know my father growing up. My mother was 15 years old, so mom and I grew up together. Growing up my mom would always point out the house my father grew up in on the block. She would say, “There’s the house your father grew up in.” As an adult,
I said to myself, “Yo, I’m going to buy that house for my kids as an inheritance that I never got.” I’m buying dad’s house to me was kind of like, “Yo, I won. I beat you.” When I purchased the home I didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t understand the spirits in the home. The only person who could quail the spirits of the home was the man who fathered me. So I went on this journey to go and find him. When I found my father, he had been homeless for 30 years. What I learned is these things that we blame our parents for we don’t really know their story or journey. Finding my
father and finding that he’d been homeless for 30 years squashed the theory that he had ran out on me. He didn’t run out on me, he fell in a hole. I learned that now though my father couldn’t save me because he fell on hard times, I could save him. What I learned was the power of forgiveness and love. What I learned is that I wasn’t the best father and went on this journey because as a grown man I didn’t have confidence. I had to go on this journey to find my father to now realize the journey was to find myself to be complete as a human being.
Need some inspiration? Follow MADE on @mademagazineus on Instagram
POP CULTURE GAME CHANGER
Millennials in Music MADE BY: KRIS D. WILLIAMS & BENJI AIRD
CLIFTON ROSS III You may remember Clifton Ross III as one of the top three finalists on BET Network’s competition show “Sunday Best All Stars” season eight. This Detroit native and Howard University alum has had the opportunity to share his music both nationally and internationally. He shows us that all things are possible and to never give up on your dreams by coining the phrase “complete every assignment.”
POP CULTURE IN MUSIC MILLENNIALS
InspireU MADE BY: TREIVA WILLIAMS
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF VH1’S LOVE & HIP HOP FRANCHISE Inspiration by definition is something or someone that moves, motivates or pushes you to do, create or even continue on. Life and the world as we know it offers up endless sources of inspiration in every day that we are graced to be alive. What I have learned over the years and have very recently come to appreciate is that not all sources of inspiration look or feel good. But what I know to be true is even the difficult days and difficult people we encounter in our lives can move, motivate or push us to do more, be better and create. When I look back over my life and all I have experienced, good or bad, and the people I have met, good or bad, then I can identify the very point at which I was inspired to change, move on, do more or do better. I work in a very controversial and sometimes demonized segment of entertainment; reality TV. For those on the outside looking in I understand how this arena can seem anything but inspiring. But my journey has taught and demonstrated to me time and again that nothing is as it seems. The shows I produce and the talent I encounter to document the stories of provides me with inspiration in so many ways. There are times when I am inspired to recognize the “me” in them or their story and that recognition pushes me to speak or demonstrate what I know is needed or missing in them. Those words or actions that I desperately needed and sought after when I was in that place always come to mind when connecting with their stories. There are journeys that I am in a unique position to see from angles not normally afforded to everyone. When I encounter journeys rooted in brokenness and disillusionment that appear to audiences at large as poor judgment or down right ratchet, I am inspired to approach 14
POP CULTURE INSPIRATION
and handle them with respect, grace and empathy. I’ve learned that every lesson that I learn doesn’t have to be derived from my own personal experience. I can be an audience to someone else’s bad judgment, misguided direction or poor decision and be inspired not to go down the same road. I’ve also accepted that I am a source of inspiration to others. My mistakes, missteps, brokenness and my triumphs are and will inspire someone to do better or just not replicate my mistake. When flowing in your purpose or gift, the question of what fuels inspiration to continue comes up a lot. The question of inspiration for me is translated into the WHY I do what I do and who I do it for. Now of course I am greatly inspired by leaders in my field, those who are in positions I strive for. I am also greatly inspired by people in my family – their wrongs and their rights have served as great inspiration throughout my life. My children and my children’s children are an endless fountain of inspiration every day. Then there is the amazing collection of women in my circle and heart. Their past experiences, their present situations and future opportunities inspire me profoundly. Iron sharpens Iron. But if I’m being truly honest I have to say my greatest inspiration is derived from those who allow me to document and follow their journey, no matter the path they are on at the point of our interaction. My inspiration, or the “Why?”, is in knowing that someone was going to get the “job” and be in the position; but understanding that my willingness to do the job makes the difference. Who inspires me to be great a woman? A black woman in TV? All of the versions of myself that I encounter in producing and telling stories. The me that I was, the me that I am, the me I could’ve been and the potential me are my inspirations to do, be, create and continue.
INSPIRATIONAL APPAREL WWW.MADE-MAGAZINE.COM/MERCHANDISE
MADE Magazine seeks to elevate and inspire the millennial generation, and it starts here. Visit our website to join our community of dreamers, motivators, creators and doers.
MADE BY: OM
Getting to know yourself is the best thing you can do for you. Pa sions based on your roots, and unveil your le
THE BRANCHES Write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes on the branches. These can be personal, communal, or general to all of mankind. Think both long and short term.
THE LEAVES Write down the names of those who are significant to you in a positive way. Your friends, family, pets, heroes, etc.
THE TRUNK Write your skills and values on the trunk. Write down my values starting at the base of the trunk and then transition into listing your skills.This is natural progression from roots to values to skills.
THE ROOTS Write down where you come from on the roots. This may include your hometown, state, country, etc. This may also include n the culture you grew up in or an organization that shaped your youth. 16
e of Life
articpate in the â€œTree of Lifeâ€? exercise to discover your true pasegacy as you plant the seeds of your future.
THE FRUITS Write down the legacies that have been passed on to you. This can be material, such as an inheritance, but most often this will be attributes such as courage, generosity, kindness, etc.
THE FLOWERS & SEEDS Write down the legacies you wish to leave to others on the flowers and seeds.
THE GROUND Write down the things you choose to do on a weekly basis on the ground. These should not be things you are forced to do, but rather things you have chosen to do for yourself. 17
apher: Kat Morgan st: Atiba Newsome & Hair: Dante Blandshaw a: Renny Vasquez ts: Taylor Gimbel & Rafael Clemente
Photographer: Kat Morgan Stylist: Atiba Newsome Art Direction & Hair: Dante Blandshaw Mua: Renny Vasquez Photo Assistants: Taylor Gimbel & Rafael Clemente
CONVERSATIONS WITH R&B LEGEND:
BRANDY MADE BY: ROBIN AYERS
Brandy Norwood has crossed boundaries in Entertainment and is the quintessential R&B artist of our generation. Many of us have grown up watching
Well, Brandy is all grown up now and
Brandy blossom as an artist and actress
since she’s my real-life girlfriend, I wanted
on television. For some you may have even
to open up a casual conversation with
felt like she was one of your girlfriends in
this mega superstar to show her fans how
the 90’s when she played Moesha on her
personable, charming and funny she really
hit sitcom or when you watched her “I
Wanna Be Down” music video.
INSPIREU POP CULTURE SPECIAL: COVER STOY
This young music icon is still as talented as ever. Since our interview she has gone on to perform the lead role of Roxie Hart in the Broadway musical Chicago and soon we will see her, yet again, on our television screens weekly as she plays the lead on her own sitcom, Zoe Ever After. I’m proud of Brandy and as her friend and fan I hope after reading our interview that you love her just the same! Enjoy! R: It’s something new going on. B: You think so? R: Yes, everybody sees it. You’re so confident now. What is it? What’s going on? What did this year do to you? B: Well, after turning 35 I really embraced the new thing in my life. Being older and wiser. I’ve come through a lot. I’ve had my ups. I’ve had my downs. I’m just enjoying my life now. R: I recognize that you own that and it shows in everything you do. In your performances now you’re just a whole different person. B: Yeah, I love the stage. I had to come through a lot with the stage thing because at one point I was very, very full of stage fright. I was a mess before I got on stage, but now it just feels like that’s a place I can let go and be free. You know, let all nineteen of my personalities come out on stage. It’s fun. I love to sing and connect with my fans, so it feels good. R:
Well, it definitely shows.
Also your new
look…does that have anything to do with your confidence? You’ve been cutting your hair and
Then you’ve grown up and done so much on TV.
doing different things.
You’ve played Chardonnay on The Game and
B: I just love trying different things. I love seeing
of role is ideal for you now?
what I can look like. I love the fro. I love the short cut. I love the twists. It just feels good to be different sometimes and not be afraid to embrace
that’s the most feisty we’ve seen you. What type
B: Thea was the first time. I actually would love to play a singer, like a Diana Ross or Whitney
fifteen or sixteen different people. It’s great!
Houston. I would love to play a role like that. I’ve
R: Okay so, so much to talk about. You’re such an
the Blues. I don’t think it should ever be done
amazing singer and actress, but let’s talk about acting quickly. We go way back with you, right? Since the TV show Thea? Was that the first time?
I love the stage. I had to come through a lot with the stage thing because at one point I was very very stage fright. I was a mess before I got on stage, but now it just feels like that’s a place I can let go and be free. It’s fun, I love to sing and connecting with my fans, so it feels good.”
POP CULTURE SPECIAL: COVER STOY
always wanted to do the remake to Lady Sings because that’s a classic, but something like that. Like a period piece. That would be ideal for me because I would get a chance to play a singer.
R: Let’s talk about this beautiful voice. What do you think
Whitney. She was almost unattainable it seemed like.
about the title of people calling you the “Vocal Bible”? Is that pressure?
B: She was the dream. But it still felt like you knew her. Like even before meeting her, it felt like she was a big sis
B: It’s pressure, but it’s beautiful. It’s flattering. It feels
or someone I could call on the phone. She always had the
good to be acknowledged as a singer-singer. So many
grounded energy about her. When I first saw her, I was like
singers have so much respect for me and love for me and
‘Oh my God, I want to be exactly like her and do everything
they always express it. And that feels amazing. That’s
she’s doing’. And my dad just made all of that seem real
why you sing! That’s why I love the art because it is for
because he put me in church; he put me in all the choirs
people to connect with people and for people to recognize
and on the stages in front of the congregations. They were
that in me is special. “Vocal Bible”…Like, kinda big though.
like my first audience. That was where I was able to get comfortable and build my confidence. And then seeing
R: It is big, but it’s somewhat of the truth and I say that
Whitney, I was just like ‘Okay, this is what I want to do.’
because I wonder if you can recognize when other artists jack your style. Can you hear it?
R: Well, I just want to tell you how amazing you really are. Just watching you grow, your spirit is beautiful and I’m
B: I hear it. I definitely hear the influence in different
glad you’re owning it and walking in this new confidence.
artists, but again, they pay homage and show respect. So
Represent for all of us. Keep doing it.
when people are showing you respect, go ‘head on and jack. You can jack if you showin’ respect, but don’t jack
B: I will. I will keep trying my best I promise you that.
and then not… R: I love you, Bran. R: That’s real talk. I heard you say that your dad was the first one you saw in church?
B: I love you too, Robin.
B: Yeah, he was my first hero.
R: Your dad wowed you and of course moving on to
IF I WERE IN YOUR SHOES... ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTERTAINERS
Find your passion in life and pursue it. Study and become knowledgeable because it’s a difficult and competitive industry. Persistence and dedication will lead you to success, but always stay true to yourself and never compromise!”
- Drew Sidora Actress
G70 LEGENDARY CONVERSATIONS WITH
G L A D Y S
K N I G H T
MADE BY: AJ LINTON
What does it take to become legendary? Style? Grace? Personality? Talent? Seven time Grammy-Award winning songstress Gladys Knight can tell us all something about that. She has built an amazing legacy of music that is to be commended. The Empress of Soul sat down in a candid conversation with MADE Magazine to discuss her faith, amazing journey and new music after 60 years in the music industry.
POP CULTURE SPECIAL: COVER STOY
IT GIRL FILES
I never did it for the glitz and glamour of the business. I never sang a song for a Grammy. We performed for the love of it.
MADE: What qualities and characteristics do you think it takes to become legendary?
GLADYS KNIGHT: In order to be legendary in my opinion, you have to have longevity. It takes perseverance, hard work and time. Unfortunately we live in a microwave generation when it comes to time. People don’t want to pay their dues, they want it right now and they are willing to give, do and sell anything to get there quickly. If I could offer a piece of advice it would be do not be amongst the talented ones that get swallowed up due to quick fame; pace yourself, learn the craft you want to be legendary in and don’t sell out. MADE: MADE Magazine primarily caters to the millennial audience of 18-35. How would you describe yourself [personally] between those ages? GLADYS KNIGHT: I was very mature. I was married and had my first child at age 17 and second child at age 18. I think back in my day girls between those ages were so much more mature than a 17 or 18 year-old of today. I started my family so young and we really struggled in the beginning being in the Entertainment business, but because my mom knew music was
POP CULTURE SPECIAL: COVER STOY
my calling she stepped in and helped us out a lot. Unlike young parents of today, I didn’t party and didn’t stay out late; I sang, I left and came home to get my kids. Raising them right at that age was #1 priority for me. Millennials are so brilliant and talented, but some of the things that they choose to do with their lives are just detrimental to all the success and longevity that they could have. I only talk like this because I care. If you want to attain certain things in your life start getting ready now. MADE: How did you remain grounded in such a jaded industry? GLADYS KNIGHT: My faith and strong family influence. My father instilled scriptures in us from childhood. As I grew older in each
stage of life I found myself wanting to learn more and more about God and connect to him. The most important lesson in life is to realize we are all meant to be his disciples here on Earth. I just want to use my influence to be a LIGHT and let people know that HE’s coming back soon. MADE: With 67 years in the industry and new music on the way, can you talk about why it’s important for you keep going? What is the inspiration for you? GLADYS KNIGHT: I never did it for the glitz and glamour of the business. I never sang a song for a Grammy. However, we [Gladys Knight & the Pips] knew that in other people’s eyes and where we needed to go having such awards would serve as a vehicle to get us in the door. We never did it for the money. We performed for the love of it. For me it was not about continuing to attain more fame that came with the package of popularity. I continue because I truly enjoy it, I respect and love connecting with people. That’s one of the things I love about this generation, the innovation. I love social media and I love the immediate contact it provides to those that love and support me. Also, the energy of today’s music is so astounding to me. We can’t stay in yesterday. Time moves on. If you want to stay relevant [as I do], you’re going have to update the sound. So, I listen to my young ones without comprising my rules and standards. The inspiration for my upcoming album is one that I absolutely love. When my protégé Avehre brought me the song Just A Little [current single] I told him, “You know how long I’ve been waiting on a dance record?” and we just had the best time in the studio and I felt good about it. I have a moniker now; it’s another level for
POP CULTURE SPECIAL: COVER STOY
me musically so its #G70 and I feel blessed at 72 years old to still be able to do what I love. MADE: Since you’re a legend, it’s only right that we play a quick Legendary questions game. GLADYS KNIGHT: Sounds good to me. I’m ready. MADE: What food dish are you legendary for making for your husband? GLADYS KNIGHT: A lot of dishes, but specifically my squash casserole and my sweet potato casserole. MADE: Which one of your legendary songs is your favorite to sing live? GLADYS KNIGHT: You just had to throw legendary in there. I would have to say that I love all of the music because they were simply gifts and blessings to us that became legendary like “Midnight Train to Georgia”, “You’re the Best Thing” and “Neither one of us”. There are some songs that were not hits that really stand out to me like “Part Time Kind of Love” and “Overnight Success”. Songs that were not legendary, but the stories were so amazing that they touched me personally and spiritually. MADE: What is your favorite memory from attending Oprah’s Legends Ball? GLADYS KNIGHT: My favorite memory was that I received an invitation. It was the most beautiful invitation I have ever received and I can’t even express how amazing it was. I would have never dreamt that I would be invited. It was such a surprise. It’s one I will cherish forever.
MADE BY: AJ LINTON
Deitrick Haddon could possibly be dubbed gospel musicâ€™s most unique Masterpiece. He continuously proves Proverbs 18:16 to be true by creating a brand that includes movies, reality television, preaching and singing. Make no mistake about it, his brand not only encompasses the professional but expands personally as well. Through growing his family and business, Deitrick shows there are no limits to what God can do with your gift. 26
POP CULTURE FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP
MADE: We believe that you are one of the original trailblazers for the young voices in the Christian community. How has having your own uniqueness helped you with your career?
MADE: You have a growing family! Congrats to you and your wife Dominique on a new baby boy who you call “Lil Deitrick.” Since you have 3 children now, what has fatherhood taught Deitrick the man?
DEITRICK: I believe my unique style and sound in gospel music has been the key to my longevity in this business. Because you can never figure me out, I’m always fresh in the mind of people whether it is by swag or approach. It has been a big blessing to see 20 years later that I’m unwilling to become tapped out like many gospel artists. My mindset to keeping my mystique is being able to re-invent myself and keeping my sound relevant to what’s happening in today’s culture.
DEITRICK: Fatherhood has taught me patience and compassion. I was so driven and it taught me to slow down, enjoy the moment and take in the blessings that I already have. Sometimes, you can work so hard to achieve more and more that you disrespect what you already have and what God has done for you. I look over at my kids and tears begin to flow because I never thought that fatherhood would be for me.
MADE: As an artist, preacher, actor, producer, reality TV star, husband, father [am I missing anything] – How do you stay inspired and creative in each of the hats that you wear? DEITRICK: I’m inspired by the dream that I had years ago and I always keep that dream and vision before me. I say to myself “This is not yet what I see for myself in my dream, so I’ve got to keep working. This isn’t the big picture; this isn’t what God showed me.” So until I see myself standing in that moment that I had in a dream years ago, I’ll never stop working until I get there. I remember a time maybe 5-6 years ago where I felt like I was tapping out and I needed something new to be inspired by. I told God I needed something fresh to testify about and that I needed a new fire. I didn’t know then how God was going to answer my prayer, but when I went through my test and trials it gave me a new fire. I can now say that the storm was the Perfect Storm. That storm was the light that ignited the fire in me for where I am right now. So, that was my inspiration. I don’t really get my inspiration from the exterior so I pull from within. I pull from my relationship with God and my family. I learned a long time ago not to get my validation from people. You’d be surprised how people change and flip on you. Friends change, people change just like the seasons but if you pull from within and your relationship with God that’ll inspire you to keep going by doing what God has called you to do.
POP CULTURE FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP
MADE: What has your marriage taught you about love and laughter? DEITRICK: I can really say that Dominique is my soul mate. It is not a lot of work at all to be with her, we’re around each other 24/7 and we never get tired. Every day is amazing and life is good. When you find the one that’s really for you, it’s not a lot of work and doesn’t require much. The way we are when we are on camera is the way we are in life. Nothing fake about it. We have fun and really enjoy ourselves. MADE: Switching to another hat that you wear, let’s talk about your television show “Preachers of LA”. What is the thing you’re most excited for people to learn about the Christian community from your show? DEITRICK: My whole life has been committed to God from preaching to singing at a very young age yet I managed to mess up really bad due to fornication. Even though we are men of God that really love God, we make mistakes. Sometimes good people make bad decisions and I was very deliberate in sharing my testimony on that show. I thought the culture was ready for truth. It was time to let people know that God is God and I wanted to show human beings actively doing God’s will. When you’re called by God you have an obligation and responsibility to lead people whether you’re on a mountaintop or in rock bottom. I had to realize that call didn’t leave me because I hit rock bottom. That same call that he gave me when I was
10 years old was still on me when I messed up. I’m more qualified now than I have ever been because I was in the valley and that more than anything was what I wanted to display on the show.
Howard University Homecoming Long time friends Asha May, Lance Gross, Estelle and others at the tailgate events.
MADE: Your new album Masterpiece is everywhere November 6. What can we expect on this new project? Any classic DHaddy hits? Any “He’s Able” type tunes? Features? DEITRICK: This record Masterpiece is the epitome of my life. Through this album I wanted to share the message that through the good, bad and ugly in your life God is going to use it for his glory. It’s all going to culminate to be a masterpiece. We are all God’s work of art so don’t get caught up on your mistakes and keep pressing forward because there is a bigger picture. All I can say about this record is that it’s DOPE. It’s the best record that I’ve ever produced. What’s most important to me is to help people that may still be in the middle or their test or storm. On this album, everything is on purpose: the beats, melody, track list and lyrical content. I also have a couple surprise features on the way like Jeezy and Charlie Wilson. It’s going to be one of the best records out. MADE: What is the song that ministers to you the most from your upcoming album? DEITRICK: That’s a hard question because every song is my favorite. There are a few that stand out for me and those songs would be Running because it truly reaches beyond the four walls of the church to meet people where they are. Then there’s my testimony song, The Perfect Storm. MADE: Finally, from an original trailblazer (you) to up-and-coming trailblazers, what advice would you give Millennials about pursuing a career in Gospel music? DEITRICK: It’s an amazing situation, if you are called to it. If you are assigned to spread the message stand firm on your assignment. This can be a hard business so stay true to you and how you approach your call. Go hard and don’t back down.
POP CULTURE FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP
Photography by Airdograpy.
Highlights at Howard’s HOMECOMING
SEASON ONE [ON YOUTUBE]
THE POWER PLAYLIST FOR THE DYNAMIC MILLENNIAL
MADE IN AMERICA The Great Debate in America’s Pop Culture
JAMEL FRANKLIN Pop Culture / Politics Enthusiast
The Great Race
“Made in America with JamelF” is a bi-monthly video column, uniquely composed of a blend of American pop culture and politics from a millennial’s view. Striving to entertain, educate, and enlighten “Made in America with JamelF” is a bold, cutting-edge series aimed to shift mindsets and broaden perspectives. Subscribe to MADE Magazine’s YouTube Channel for new episodes of “Made in America with JamelF.”
POP CULTURE WEBSHOWS
A Guide to Self Improvement
KRIS D. WILLIAMS Entrepreneurship Strategist KrisDTV is a satirical webseries about the journey to self-fulfillment. Kris D. Williams guides twenty-somethings on a road to discovering their true passions and tapping into their innate talents. Through reflections of her past self and confessions of the lessons she learns, Kris shares her rules to gaining the ultimate success in life: true happiness. Subscribe to MADE Magazineâ€™s YouTube Channel for new episodes of KRISDTV.
RULE #1 TO SELF-FULFILLMENT:
Change Your Mind
POP CULTURE WEBSHOWS
The Beauty of Product Design
BENJI AIRD Product & Tech Guru Hosted by Benji Aird, a training Survivalist in case there are any zombie attacks or disruptions in social or political order, Da Product Guru is a new webseries that focuses on the formfunction, and beauty in product design. Products include consumer electronics, leather goods, and tech gear. Subscribe to MADE Magazineâ€™s YouTube Channel for new episodes of Da Product Guru.
POP CULTURE WEBSHOWS
Faith,Family, Friendship The Essentials of a Balanced Life
AJ Linton Relationship Expert
Faith, Family and Friendship are the foundational principles for a healthy personal life. Through personal interviews with friends in the Entertainment industry, AJ shares the stories of impact players who have been able to juggle relationships throughout their success. Subscribe to MADE Magazineâ€™s YouTube Channel for new episodes of Faith, Family, Friendship.
POP CULTURE WEBSHOWS
HIP HOP DEMOCRAT HIP HOP CULTURE ON HD
TODD WALTON Hip Hop Culturalist
HHD on MADE is all Hip Hop, all the time. Taking a dive into one of the world’s most celebrated modern cultures, we look into the history, impact, and influence of Hip Hop all over the world. Join MADE’s resident “Hip Hop Culturalist” Todd Walton and get in-tune with the past, present, and future of Hip Hop.
POP CULTURE WEBSHOWS
CHICAGO VLOGGERS! IF YOU HAVE GREAT CONTENT AND NOT-SO-GREAT GEAR... COME TO FAME TO PRODUCE YOUR VLOG “MADE at FAME” is a new revolutionary program for social media enthusiasts who currently produce addictive content focused on fashion, arts, music and entertainment (FAME). This program supports the visions of millennials by helping them create next-level digital content and providing them with the opportunity to distribute their content on MADE Magazine. Whether it is a style tutorial or an opinion segment, “MADE at FAME” provides that special touch needed to catapult the careers of the web’s rising stars.
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the melting pot of Millennials
It is a given fact that millennials are advocates for valuing self-expression, independence, and diversity much more than the previous generations. As millennials, oneâ€™s well-being and unique identity is placed first as a main priority.
MADE BY: CHELSEY LITTLE
What We SEE
What We DO 85% of US millennals own
smartphones, engaging with their device about 45 times a day.
90% of millennialsâ€™ smart-
phones are equipped with Wi-Fi accesbility. US millennials are always able to obtain WiFi access from coffee shops, libraries, restuarants, and more.
POP CULTURE POP CULTURE
WHERE We GO Majority of millennials utilize their traveling as an opportunity to seek new ideas and inspiration for personal or career aspirations. Extended travel ventures create a moment to pause, reflect and experience the world in a new perspective.
What We WATCH Contrary to traditional cable viewers, millennials often watch their favorite television shows online. Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and Amazon stand as some of the prime entertainment mediums for the millennial population.
What We BUY More than half of the millennial population shop online for products, accessories, clothing, foot wear and more. When shopping online, millennials often share their personal information in return for customer benefits such as coupons, discounts, etc.
Hip Hop or Hip Pop? MADE BY: MIRANDA PLOSS
What happened to the unity and power of the Five Elements of Hip Hop? Breaking turned to twerking, graffiti got overpowered by the selfie, DJs have been reduced to nothing more than a glorified hype man, MCing lost its art and knowledge has almost completely disappeared. Hip Hop has gone mainstream. Instead of keeping to its ideals it has allowed pop culture to consume it, virtually washing away all that made it unique and powerful. It was once the voice of the subjugated and seemingly powerless. It advocated for the truest and rarest versions of ourselves. Now Hip Hop is little more than a gimmick employed by those who want to be down with the “Urban” crowd. I was raised on Hip Hop. Music was always present in my home. From R&B/Soul to Opera, there was always something playing. My two older brothers loved Hip Hop, so of course I loved what they loved. As a result, by the time I was 2 years old I was doing my absolute best to recite Tribe lyrics. By 5, I could recite Biggie and Pac with ease. At 10, I had fallen off the wagon and fell for B2K and for some odd reason thought Lil Fizz had a nice flow, but I learned the error of my ways. My brothers kept me conscious with their endless hip hop quizzes and personalized mixtapes. In that span of five years I subconsciously witnessed the beginning of the deterioration of Hip Hop. One of the few true American art forms began to transform in front of my eyes. The elements of a culture so beautiful, that the world tried to brand as ugly because of their jealousy and lack of understanding, began to whither. The clever, creative and lyrical stories about the struggle to maintain 40
POP POPCULTURE CULTURE
and grow amongst the pressures of poverty, systemic oppression and everyday life issues got replaced by elementary raps about money and hoes. Now, don’t get me wrong there were songs and artists that focused only on “party rap” even in the golden era of Hip Hop, but they were definitely a minority in a time where artists honed their craft while speaking about the many experiences in our community. By the time I was a pre-teen, Hip Hop had been permeated by flash pan artists whose only aim was to do what it took to make money, even if that meant perpetuating negative stereotypes and promoting a culture of materialistic consumption. At 15, I was in retrograde. I had grown tired of watching and listening to artists talk about how much money they had and what they bought and who they were screwing, which in most cases was malarkey. So, I only listened to albums released in 1985 -1999, with some exceptions…of course. I stayed current with new music and gave credit to the people that were preserving the legacy of Hip Hop in their artistry. I understood that some artists had to become a blend of lyrical and elementary in order to suite the desires of their labels and the masses. I didn’t, and don’t, like it but I understand. So artists like Ludacris became exceptions to my retrograde playlist.
In 2006, when Ludacris dropped “Grew Up A Screw Up” featuring Young Jeezy, I was horrified that many of my friends didn’t realize Ludacris had sampled Biggie in that song. One friend in particular named Isaac, who claimed to be a fan of Hip Hop because he knew about mainstream artists at the time and how to use LimeWire. He obviously didn’t know anything because he argued to the point of turning red that Luda didn’t sample Biggie and that he just distorted his voice on the track. In that moment, I wanted to knock him out. I reframed, but I realized that I was somewhat of an anomaly and that soon with the then current trend of Hip Hop there would be more and more people who are unable to hear the ghost of legends echoing on the tracks of (new) artists. I realized that the art form and the culture I was raised to love and cherish was dying a slow death at the hands of pop culture and the microwave generation. At 20, let’s just say things didn’t get better. Between reality TV and the wave of party bangers that flooded the ears of the masses we can safely say that time frame was an L for Hip Hop.
Hip Hop is still more Pop than it should ever be. Rap artists like Young Thug and Travis Scott are publicly dismissing the plight of African Americans and issues of social injustice. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians are profiting from the appropriation of Hip Hop culture. Now more than ever we need reestablish what Hip Hop is and bring back the knowledge of self and community that was so deeply rooted in its origins. In order to reverse the deterioration of Hip Hop we are going to need a massive shift in consciousness and a serious focus on knowledge. Artists like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Raury are obvious exceptions. All bring different insights to the table and they do it in a way that demonstrates their dedication to their craft and their message. They give hope of a strong future for Hip Hop. Let’s spark a discussion about what we call Hip Hop and what we as a culture allow ourselves to consume. Share your thoughts with @MadeMagazineUS on Twitter.
However, as I approach 24 I can’t help but notice a sublime phenomenon. Even though likes and retweets still have control over who’s hot and who’s not, artistry is once again coming to the forefront of Hip Hop. Millennials are beginning to embrace the pure elements of Hip Hop in large numbers and setting their standards for what qualifies as artistry high. But… we still have issues. The world still associates stereotypical views of African Americans and Latinos with Hip Hop. Television and reality shows like Empire and Basketball Wives only glorify lifestyles that are very loosely, if at all, based in reality. Mainstream artists are still glamorizing materialistic wealth and values that will likely in no shape or form elevate or progress our culture. POP CULTURE POP CULTURE
The Wardrobe Guru Hi Everyone! My name is Nichole Alabi and I am a Personal Style Blogger, a Fashion Buyer, and a Wardrobe Guru! I have spent years buying for some of the world’s most recognizable brands and I’ve learned that buying for millions of women is just like buying for one! Join me as I help you build a chic, smart, wearable wardrobe in 15 minutes or less using basic items that can last for ages.
ENTREPRENEURSHIPENTREPRENERUSHIP POP CULTURE STYLE
EPISODE 1: THE BASICS
EPISODE 2: MODEL STYLE-OFF DUTY
POP CULTURE STYLE
POP ENTREPRENEURSHIP CULTURE STYLE
Love the light in you and not your name in lights. One yields respect, the other yields smoke and mirrors. - GooGoo Atkins
@IAMHDIDDY STYLE MEMPHIS NATIVE, Harrison Crite is making it BIG in the BIG apple. He has styled notables including Lilâ€™ Mama, Jacque Reid, Bevy Smith, and more! Check out his style tips for this season.
ENTERTAINMENT POP CULTURE STYLE
TOP 4 FASHION MUST HAVES SLEEVELESS VESTS are fall’s chic must have. It works with a simple short sleeve tee shirt or thrown over your favorite coat creating a trendy 3-piece men’s wear inspired look paired with a pant or skirt.
BLACK BIKER JACKETS are essential! They just work. On your lazy days throw it on with a favorite pair of ripped denim or motor pant. On your glam days try it with a lace dress with sheer accents or a mermaid silhouette.
EMBELLISHED BELTS always bring a little party to any outfit. This season try pairing it as a layer over a sleek trench coat or knee length flowy cardigan sweater. Go for big and chunky belts to create a synced waist.
OVER THE KNEE BOOTS will get you through the cold weather weather in style. This year opt for color instead of the go-to black. Neutral palettes will create clean and chic looks. POP CULTURE STYLE
Margaret Williamson is the Managing Partner alongside her husband Brandon for the “Elevated Lifestyle Brand” PRSVR, located in Chicago, Illinois. You’ve seen their custom apparel on Nicki Minaj, Teyana Taylor, Meek Mill, Fabolous and FOX’s Empire. However, it’s the balance of fashion, motherhood and being a CEO that makes her an IT GIRL.
ENTERTAINMENT POP CULTURE IT GIRL FILES
It Girl FILES
MADE BY:AJ LINTON
MADE: You’re founded on successful principles that not only speak to your life but to others that follow you. Talk to us about why you and your husband [Brandon] founded the company on the strong principles: Passion, Resilience, Sacrifice, Values and Respect… Margaret: My husband and I originally started the brand based on the French interpretation of preserve, which is persévérer. You’ll find in French that their words are put to action “to-do” something. As we continued developing the concept we wanted to make it simpler for our audience to search us so we shortened it to PRSVR. As we continued looking at the name we began to personally define what preserve meant to us. From there the principles ‘Passion, Resilience, Sacrifice, Values and Respect’ came about. After that, we focused on building those principles through research daily. We found that focusing on those fundamentals would essentially help us define what role success would play in our business. MADE: When referring to PRSVR as an “Elevated Lifestyle Brand”, what does that encompass? How have you been able to come up with such a distinct style and brand? Margaret: When we decided to become an “Elevated Lifestyle Brand” we didn’t want to be boxed which is what happens a lot of times in this business. We wanted it to cover all aspects of what we would become. We use
POP CULTURE IT GIRL FILES
premium materials and deliver a high level of quality, but we don’t consider ourselves a high luxury brand. Distinctness helps you stand out and it was a way to convey what we wanted. Even with the clothing we wanted to create pieces that would take you throughout your entire day and make you feel empowered when you put them on. It was important to us that our customers felt stylish and comfortable wearing our apparel. MADE: You have an array of classic items from clothing to footwear, luggage to accessories. Take us through your creating process. Where do get that inspiration to stand out? Margaret: Inspiration definitely comes from the life that I envision for myself. It is said to “Dress for the position that you want, not the position that you’re in.” Brandon takes inspiration from everywhere, especially music. A lot of our leatherwear will remind you of 90’s Hip Hop and it’s intentional. We like taking classic pieces and making them current. We also have this uniqueness to what we offer. We like to ask ourselves how did we make it different and how did we make it better? And we give credit where it came from. MADE: What advice would you give aspiring fashion-prenuers in business?
I want people to look at me and say she’s got “IT!” Faith, Family and Focus.
Margaret: The biggest thing would be to figure out why you’re doing it and what’s your end goal. Next would be to start with who you know including family, friends and social media. And come to the realization if they don’t want to help you don’t mess with them. Lastly, know that it’s going to be really hard so be sure that this is what you want to do and stick it out. This business comes with a lot of high highs as well as low lows.
MADE: What do you believe has been the key behind your success? Margaret: All credit must go to the most high, GOD. He’s the only reason we’ve been able to get this far. Also having confidence and a clear vision has been very key in our success. Pick a starting point, go for your dreams and work to make it happen. Stay true to your brand and don’t lose your specialness. MADE: You’re a wife and mother? How do you manage being a mom-prenuer? Does any work-life balance occur? Margaret: That’s the one thing that’s great about what we have here. We have our son “B2” here with us all the time. We have a playroom in our store with a couch just for him. It’s difficult because I know there are certain things that fall through the cracks because we spend more time here [at the store] than at home. All in all, you have to find the right teammate and for me that’s
POP CULTURE IT GIRIL FILES
- Margaret Williamson Brandon so it makes everything worthwhile. There’s nothing like sharing success with your partner. MADE: What’s next for your personal brand? You were recently signed to a talent agency. How do you stay committed to your personal goals with such a growing business? Margaret: It’s something you have to have a conscious decision to commit to. I made a personal choice to put it in on the back burner for the last 3 years. I realized that I wasn’t going to be an asset to this business unless I feel good about myself and what I’m passionate about. You have to try at something so why not try something you love. MADE: What does being an “IT GIRL” mean to you? Margaret: Being an “IT GIRL” to me means setting an example. It doesn’t mean perfection. It doesn’t mean that the “IT” that I have is greater than the “IT” that you have. It’s about trying to identify the uniqueness that’s in you. That’s the kind of “IT GIRL” I want to be. I want people to look at me and say she’s got “IT”! Faith, Family & Focus and that’s what I want to embody.
Eyewear Product Review by
We took a stroll down to Georgetown in Washington, DC, looking for the perfect frames. We brought back 2 pairs and 30 days later, here is our review.
We gave them between 1 and 5 stars in the following categories:
Eyewear OVERALL STYLE: 4.5 FIT: 4.0 CUSTOMER SERVICE: 5.0 COMFORT: 3.2 PRICE: $250-$375
POP CULTURE PRODUCT REVIEW
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