Letter from the Editor, Dedicating this issue to a person who means the world to me. She’s been there since day one, since the magazine was literally a thought. And she’s been there to support it from thought, to creation, through struggle, through abandonment, through rebirth, through growth, without ever missing a beat. One of the most genuine, loving, compassionate, driven, honest, loving women I’ve ever come accross and somehow I was blessed with her as a friend. A true accountability partner who will never let me fail and I’m pretty sure will love me through all my dumb decisions. Happy Birthday Niki Escobar aka Niki Makes It Happen aka First Lady Niki. My love for you knows no bounds! Sincerely, Your friend for life, Rachelle Ford
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In This Issue: Blog Spot
04 FANCY SAYS:
11 21 22
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CHILDREN & DEPRESSION NEGUS IN FLORIDA: THE MYTH OF THE UNEDUCATED BLACK MAN TRUWISDOM: BACKPAGE: THE FRONT DOOR TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING? PARENTING FROM PRISON: CLASS IS IN SESSION TRAVEL WITH CORNELL: PARIS
HISTORY OF THE DJ A.O. : MUSIC FOR THE CONSCIOUS MIND DJ SAMORE’S TOP 5
Top 5 Records of the month of August 2016
DJ KHALED: LIFE THRU SNAPCHAT
VAKARUI: WHEN FASHION IS A LIFESTYLE
Hair: HAIR BY NAKISHA C. Nails: It’s All About The Pink MEN: Pink = Girly? Since When? FASHION: Pink Pearl Boutique
In The News
13 IN THE NEWS
Life/Relationship 36 DO BLACK LIVES MATTER
WHEN THOSE BLACK LIVES ARE GAY? REAL ONE: I NEED ANSWERS
DJ DEMP SPINMASTER VIANI DJ QUEST DJ DUCE DJ SAMORE DJ KRYPTONITE DJ M EAZY DJ G BOX DJ SHOWTIME DJ SMOKEY DJ JOHNNY RICH DJ NIZZLE DJ 3MO DJ RIFIK DJ A.D. DJ HITMAN DJ K.O. DJ SAVVY
Beauty of The Month SH’LISA HOOD
Misconceptions About Children and Depression One of the most common responses to hearing that a child has depression is, “But what does he/ she have to be depressed about?” This statement reveals two major misconceptions. One, is the lack of understanding about clinical depression. It is not the same as the “blues” or “down” moods that everyone has from time to time, which may actually be caused by unhappiness with one’s job, home life or other factors. Clinical depression may resemble these emotional dips, but it is much more pervasive, long-lasting, and life-threatening. It is not necessarily caused by an event or state of affairs in a child’s life. The other misconception, is that childhood is a carefree, trouble-free period in our lives. How many people can say that they didn’t worry about peer acceptance, grades, or parental expectations? Adults often forget that children are powerless and have no control over their own lives. This can be a frightening and frustrating state to live through day after day.
10 ways to help.... 1. Recognize that clinical depression is a disease. Internalizing this fact will help your child in two ways. One, it will hopefully keep you from blaming yourself or your child. This is no one’s fault. Second, if you think of depression as a disease instead of a choice your child is making, you won’t say anything thoughtless like, “Why don’t you just pull yourself together,” or “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” 2. Don’t freak out. This will definitely not help your child. Clinical depression can be successfully treated more than 80% of the time. As long as your child has a good doc-
tor and supportive parents, he or she has a very good chance of recovering. Notice that last part – while everyone with depression really needs a good doctor, supportive parents are absolutely critical for a child with depression.
7. Don’t be afraid of the “S” word. You may be afraid to ask your child if they are having suicidal thoughts, assuming that you will put the idea in their head. Don’t worry. Either they are already having suicidal thoughts, in which case it may be a big relief to talk 3. Do your homework. Read up about depression – symp- about it. If they haven’t, talking about toms, causes and treatment. The more it openly will allow them to bring the you know, especially about treatment subject up again if this changes. And options, the more effectively you can please note that even children youngadvocate for your child in the health er than 12 do commit suicide. care system and at school. 8. Encourage your child to socialize. 4. Let your child know that it’s okay Even though someone who’s depressed may shun gatherings, be to be depressed. Children tend to hide things from par- persistent. Contact with friends and ents that they think will upset them. family provides a support system that Make it clear to your child that noth- is essential to someone with depresing they could say is as upsetting to sion. you as being unable to help them be9. Encourage your child to enter thercause they’re afraid to hurt you. apy. Talk therapy, especially Cognitive Be5. Talk to your child frequently. This sounds like a tall order. Any parent havioral Therapy, can help your child who’s ever asked, “How was school?” break out of negative and self-hating and got the response, “Fine” knows thought patterns that are generated that children can be reticent. And by depression. when someone’s depressed, talking is often the last thing they want to do. 10. Be patient. Provide some low-stress, low-distrac- This won’t turn around overnight. tion opportunities, like taking a walk If you feel like you need help coping or preparing a meal together, for your with the situation, you might want to try individual therapy or family counchild to talk to you. seling. 6. Be your child’s advocate in the health care system. Make sure that their doctor is knowledgeable, caring and someone who really listens. Take charge your child’s treatment. Ensure that your child keep appointments and takes the prescribed medication. You may have to be tough and persistent, but treat- Fancy is a writer, event host, and ment, either medication or therapy or mother residing in SWFL. both, is the only thing that will make
Negus In Florida
The Myth Of The Uneducated Black Man
The Black Man in America is a lazy, uneducated criminal and statistics prove this to be true. Not a black myth, just a black fact. Colloquial laced “Ebonics” driven conversations would explain why most of them are in Jail and not in college. In fact, I heard that there is more black men in jail than there are pursuing degrees. Ask President Obama he will tell you what I say is true. How many black people did he see at Harvard? In 2007 a young Senator by the name of Barack Obama was quoted by the Washington Post, now famously stating, “we have more Black men in prison than we have in our colleges.” An absolute astounding declarative statement which originated from a 2000 report from The Justice Policy Institute titled Cellblocks or Classrooms? The Funding of Higher Education And Corrections and Its Impact on African American Men. The now infamous Obama statement has been widely used for nearly a decade in various publications and broadcast to illustrate the prison industrial complex and highlight the decreasing investment in higher education and the increasing investments in more prisons. All valid points that hold much truth but also insinuate or imply that perhaps more black men end up in jail or prison as opposed to post-secondary institutions, and as a result are less edu-
cated or educated inadequately thus making them unsuitable for colleges. But could the statement be FALSE Or UNTRUE [I wouldn’t dare calling the sitting President of the United STATES a liar] or maybe only half-truth at best? The report stated that in 2000 more than 761,600 Black Men were under the jurisdiction of federal, state, or local penal system while 603,032 Black men were enrolled in higher education. As I dig deeper, it has become evident that not only is this statement no longer true but probably was never true at all, at least not entirely. Cellblocks or classrooms only seemed to list black students who attended “degree-granting” institutions only if they were enrolled in the fall semester, according to BJS. National Prisoner Statistics Program, Federal Justice Statistics Program, National Corrections Reporting Program, Survey of inmates in State and Local Correctional Facilities and National Inmate Survey 2010 as reported by Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education System, Enrollment Survey 2000-2010, from 2000-2010, the total amount of black men in jails/prisons has fluctuated 829,200 in 2000 to as high as 870,800 in 2008 all the way down to 844,600 in 2010. The number black men enrolled in Postsecondary Education in 2000 was 717,491 and has steadily increased every year for the next decade. Notably in 2010,
there were 1,341,354 Black men enrolled in post-secondary education, which is nearly a half a million more than the reported 844,600 reported incarcerated. Myth debunked, a million more Black Myths and Stereotypes that plagues us to go. Is there a prison complex that unfairly targets and railroads black men? According to statistics and personal analysis, I would argue Yes, but does that discount that we are “educated” Or intelligent(which is not the same as educated)? I would say emphatically OF COURSE NOT, as rapper Jadakiss once said, “I know dudes doing life bids in jail and that are way smarter than them white kids in Yale.” Statistics will normally tell whatever story the author is trying to convey to the reader, but the fact remains, if we do our own research, and educate ourselves, it will be hard to be enslaved by myths and skewed statistics. Truth is, I write to you every month, and I have never been to college, and have never been to jail. But statistics won’t tell you how DOPE I am, or how black I am. Sincerely Yours, ankh my heart and hope to Die, A self-educated Blogger, Writer, and Negus with Attitude Jus’ Black
Backpage: The Front Door To Human Trafficking? Backpage is the worldâ€™s largest classified ad company with 431 U.S. cities and another 444 worldwide and according to Dawn Hawkins, executive director for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Backpage posts one million sex ads per day.
of all suspected child sex trafficking cases have a link to Backpage and according to the Justice Department, more than half of known victims in the U.S. are younger than 17. Some are young as 7.
Backpage has prevailed in state courts on the grounds that the Communications Decency Act protects them from prosecution for the criminal wrongdoing of their customers. They maintian that they merely provide a forum for free speech in the form of advertising. Law enforcement has testified that Backpage frequently removes ads posted in connection with sting operations. And that in many cares, parents have identified their children in Backpage ads and requested the agency remove them, are often met with an automated response stating ads wonâ€™t be removed until multiple users request a specific ad be removed multiple times. Backpage have encouraged their users to use anonymous payment methods, making it virtually impossible to trace traffickers. In December 2015, Backpage sued the Department of Justice to prevent the enforcement of a new anti-trafficking law. Written by Gaye Clark for thegospelcoalition.org. Gaye Clark is a cardiac nurse in Augusta, Georgia, and as a parttime correspondent for World Magazine in the area of Sex Trafficking.
BlogSpot Parenting From Prison
Class is In Session Greetings Men!
It is with hope, although the body is encapsulated, your mind can roam free. I pondered how many of you, were compelled to do the assignment in the last article. Was it difficult to strip yourself EMOTIONALLY buck naked and be honest about things? Did anyone’s child respond and if so, how did it make you feel? I will share with you when my children point out something in me, it stings. I question what could I have done or said to make it better or soothe their disappointment with me; then I come to the realization I can only march forth. It goes for you too, even if your child response was hurtful; you can only move forward. As I stated in the first article, this is not to degraded or belittle you; it is to encourage, support and give you tools to stand in your rightful place as a Father. It was my desire to have the book list ready and some discussion questions, I understand your ability to get the books may not move as fast as you need them to. I have decided to make the book list for three months, and I will switch up! We are going to get straight down to the point and dive into the assignments for this month!
Man in the Mirror Assignment
1. First, you cannot look at yourself in a dirty mirror! Stop comparing yourself to those who have disappointed you. You as today do not look at where you are and who you were. Look at where you can go!! 2. Do you believe in that adage; Monkey see Monkey do? Or better yet, do as I say not as I do? Is it your perception that bad decision making is hereditary? Can you be real with yourself and say, the cause of your incarceration is due to the fact your parent or parents were in and out trouble.? 3. I am a firm believer in making a plan, write down your goals of being a sound father. What do you want to accomplish in rebuilding or even making stronger the bond with your child(ren)? It can be as simple as you will write weekly, you will call weekly, you will seek help for any past ghost which hunt you. 4. Although it may be a challenging task, write a letter to your child’s custodial parent and ask for their forgiveness. Ask them to forgive you for being physical absent in the child(ren) life. Be sincere and genuine. Write your child a letter too, apologizing for your absence, ask for forgiveness. In Cornell University Parenting Pages, it states: “Communicate that it is not your
child’s fault. Frequently children blame themselves for their parent’s behaviors. Take the time to assure your child that they are not to blame for whatever actions led to your incarceration.” If possible, maintain high-quality contact with your child during incarceration (this will be a cleanser for you also). If you get a negative response, don’t allow it to knock you down; keep marching forth in your goals. 5. Lastly, forgive yourself. Accept the past is the past. Acknowledge to yourself what mistakes you have made and now you are working on what we will call a re-do. I know, I just gave you a lot, nonetheless, there is work to be done and pussy-footing around it, won’t do!
stain 4. The Magic School Bus Series by Joanna Cole 5. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 6. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate 7. Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard and James Marshall 8. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault 9. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell 10. The Little Engine that could by Pipper Watty
1st through 3rd graders 1. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech 2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare 3. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis Part II. 4. The Lion, the Witch, and You are to now, write your the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis child and ask them to pick 5. Whoosh! Lonnie Johnout a book and read at the son’s Super-Soaking Stream same time. Even if you can’t of Inventions by Chris Barget the book, ask your child ton, to a during a phone call or a 6. Roll of Thunder, Hear letter discussing it. My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor 7. Beautiful Moon by TonPre-K to Kindergarten ya Bolden Readers 8. I Am Latino: The Beauty 1. My Dad Loves Me! by in Me: by Sandra L. Pinkney Marianne Richmond) 9. Lupita’s First Dance: by 2. I Stink! by Kate McMul- Lupe Ruiz-Flores len 10. The Ugly One by Le3. The Berenstain Bears se- anne Statland Ellis ries by Stan and Jan Beren-
3rd through 5th graders 1. The Lion with no Roar by Cornell Bunting 2. Letters to My Daughters Letters to My Sons by Rachelle Ford and Desmen Johnson 3. Stella by the Starlight by Sharon Draper 4. The Giver by Lois Lowry 5. Loser List by Holly Kowitt 6. Clock Without a Face Scott Teplin 7. Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen 8. Clementine and the Family Meeting Sara Pennypacker. 9. My Rotten Life David Lubar 10. Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan 6th through 8th grade 1. The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson 2. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 3. A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar 4. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud 5. Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper 6. Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang 7. The Iliad of Homer by Barbara Leonie Picard 8. The Man Who Freed the Slaves: The Story of William Wilber by Audrey and Herbert Lawson 9. Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret by Tim Kehoe 10. Series: Starring You! A Making Choices Book 9th through 12th grade 1. The Hoopster, Hip-Hop High School, Homeboyz Series by Alan Sitomer 2. Noble Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer 3. The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler 4. A Child Called “IT” by Dave Pelzer (Memoir) 5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Fiction) 6. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood
Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai, co-written by Patricia McCormick (Autobiography) 7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Science Fiction/Fantasy) 8. Hoops by Walter Dean Myers (Fiction) 9. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 10. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Fiction/Short Stories) 11. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Fiction) I do realize I just gave you a buffet of books; I wanted to make sure you had a wide variety to ask your child to read. If you like, you may contact me at Ford Johnson Publishing P.O. Box 62344 Ft Myers, FL 33906. With Hope, Candace Michelle P.S. Dads play a critical role in their children’s literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills. This article includes a few suggestions to help fathers strengthen their literacy connections with preschoolers. Works Cited Cook, E., & Dunifon, R. (n.d.). Incarcerated Parents. SpringerReference. Sparks, S. (2015, February 24). Parents' Incarceration Takes Toll on Children, Studies Say. Retrieved July 25, 2016, from http://www.edweek.org
Black Excellence Travel With Cornell In one of my most recent visits to Europe, I stopped in Paris, the capital and most populated city in France. Paris is both a commune and department, and forms the center and headquarters of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region. I was told that this city was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. By the 12th century, Paris was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading center, and the home of the University of Paris –one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the center stage for the French Revolution and was an important center of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today.
Most of France’s major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France’s major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération. My first time coming to Paris was back in 1999, I was about 19 years of age modeling for pulse. I had the opportunity to take part in a runway show, and my aunt had come over from England to watch the show and to see me before I headed back to Jamaica. After the show we went to hang out with some of my co-workers at the Le Batofar which is well known in the Parisian nightlife scene and it’s definitely one of a kind. So we went on board the boat to discover a bar, nightclub, restaurant and concert hall all on one boat. The music was mainly electronic but they played hip-hop, underground and rock music. My aunt mingled with the crowd, while I and two of the female models took a seat in the corner to talk about upcoming jobs and who likes who. Everyone had fun that night.
Paris is the home of important museums and cultural institutions, including the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre. Paris is also home to the Musée d’Orsay – noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in the Pompidou Centre –the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. Paris is also known for its fashion, one of the reasons I’m so in love with this place – particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week.
The next day we took a tour of the Louvre Museum. From the Winged Victory of Samothrace to the Mona Lisa, every artwork had a story to tell and I was tuned in, it was beautiful. It was a two-hour tour in English; we started at the Ancient Greek section, and then discovered the Italian Renaissance wing and the tour finished with some 19th-century French paintings. My aunt was admiring a masterpiece by Botticelli. Everything about Paris was awesome. I get a relaxing feeling from the people and the calm atmosphere. As I think of my next trip and what it entails, I can’t wait to share my experience with you guys, until then ,ciao. Cornell Bunting, author of Lion with no Roar, travels all over the world and shares his experiences with the readers of Ford Ent Magazine.
History Of The DJ
I know this might seem like a stretch, but I am going to call Thomas Edison the first DJ ever. He certainly didn’t rock parties like the DJs we know today, but it is safe to say that his invention of the phonographic cylinder paved the way for future Disk Jockeys everywhere. The phonographs that followed Edison’s invention were eventually mass produced. This became the first time in history the general public was able to purchase and own recorded music. Prior to this, if you wanted to hear music you would have to play it yourself, or listen to someone else play it live. The next leap for DJs occured in 1906 in Stockton California.At the the age of 16, young Ray Newby became the first person ever to play a song over radio. It was not radio as we know it today, instead it was a small transmitter with short range.By 1910 radio broadcasting had become main stream. At that time radio program was a mix of dramas, comedies, news and some music. The music programmers were known as record men, not disk jockeys. The term disk jockey was first heard in 1935, it was a reference to a radio announcer named Martin Block. Block had a radio show called “Make Believe Ballroom” where he pretended to broadcast from a ballroom, playing all the new and popular dance songs. In 1943 the DJ first made his move from the radio to live performance. This credit goes to Jimmy Savile. He was England’s version of Casey
Kasem, he was a radio and TV personality who hosted the BBC’s music chart show “Top Of The Pops”. It was in Otley, England when Savile organized the first DJ dance party, where he played jazz records. Savile also claimed to be the first person to ever use two record players to keep the music going, however this is not a verified claim. In the years that followed; radio personalities were making live appearances at dances, sock hops and other social events. Often the radio DJs would appear with bands, others with just records and sometimes a combination of records and a drummer. The drummer would play a beat while the records were being changed. In 1947 the first discotheque opened in Paris, this lead to many more opening throughout Europe and the US. There was another very important movement taking place during this time in Kingston Jamaica, known as the The Jamaican Sound Wars. It began in the 1950s, when various promoters would build huge walls of speakers, load
them on a truck and take them to various parks and jam. Although the size and the volume of the sound systems were important, what really mattered was who had the hottest, newest songs. A unique addition to the sound battles was the introduction of toasting. In Jamaica, the person playing the record is know as the “selector”, the person on the mic is not the MC, but the DJ. So in toasting, the selector would play tracks for the DJ to rhyme over. Toasting, is what would eventually help bring Hip Hop to life. Two important events happened in the early 70’s. In 1971 an audio engineer by the name of Alex Rosner build what would be considered the first DJ mixer. The mixer is the piece of equipment that sits between the two turntables and allows Djs to seamlessly mix two records. This gave the DJs additional creative freedom and help the disco scene grow. Djs now held residence at nightclubs around the world. Djs as we know them today began to have followers and fans. The value of the DJ was now understood.
The second important event to come out of the early 70s is the birth of Hip Hop. Born out of the gang violence in NYC during the 1960’s, B-Boys battles slowly began to replace gang fights. At the center of these battles stood the DJ. The first of these DJs was DJ Kool Herc. Herc, of Jamaican descent took the same idea of the Jamaican sound wars to the Bronx. Here he would bring the sounds to the parks, and rec centers and throw parties where the b-boys would go battle. Followed by the likes of Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash these pioneers developed a new way of spinning records, similar to the parties that were happening in the disco scenes, these street parties had all the action based on the dance floor and not on the stage. The Djs would keep the party going by assuring that the music would continue playing by mixing one song into the next and by looping the percussion breaks in the song (where the term breakdancing comes from). In the mid 70s Grand Wizard Theodore accidently discovered the scratch on the record. This opened up the door to turntablism, which would eventually become a sub genre in DJing. MIxing and scratching slowly became more important than looping breaks for b-boys and b-girls. Shortly after this, the MC came into play and the beautiful relationship between MC and DJ began. The 80’s were witness to great growth for DJs. Advances in technology gave DJs even more tools to enhance their creativity. DJ mix shows became a norm on many radio stations in large markets. The DMC competition was born in the mid 80s. The DMC hosts heats in cities around the world. The winners of those heats then compete in regional, followed by national and finally a worldwide champion is crowned. Djs began to replace bands at weddings, sweet sixteens and other events. We also saw the birth of the
mixtapes during this time. However, the biggest move for the DJ in the 80s is the move from playing someone else’s music to producing their own songs. Early Hip Hop DJs who also produced their own tracks included Afrika Bambaataa, Marley Marl, Eric B, Dr Dre and many more. Outside of Hip Hop a new movement came out of Chicago known as house music. House music is credited to Frankie Knuckles who is still recognized as one of the best DJs of all time. Following the Chicago House movement is Detroit Techno, these two genres would eventually lead to what today is known as EDM. Technology has always been a driver in advancement for DJing. Since the 80s there has been leaps in growth. With the digital era aspiring DJs do not have to have a huge collection of vinyl records in order to be ahead of their competitors. Today software allows novice and amateur DJs to perfectly mix two songs together with little effort. Internet radio has made it possible for anyone with a broadband internet connection to broadcast their mixes. DJs today break new songs, DJs create the party mood at clubs everywhere, DJs play your first song at your wedding. Countless of kids stay out of trouble because they are in their bedroom DJing instead of on the streets. DJs play the soundtrack of your life. Respect the DJ.
Angel Soto CEO Benton Entertainment
Multiple Locations Throughout SWFL
Book Of The Month: Dear E, Are You Listening? - Emmanuela J. “What comes easily at first you will always pay a price for later.” is an excerpt from the newly released book on Amazon, ‘Dear E:Are You Listening’. Way before the flexing and filters, and way before being a Miami stripper was a hobby for attention, and your so called real “homies” didn’t mind betraying you by writing false statements, and way before waist trainers even existed, there was a Haitian-American girl in Florida, naturally shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, personality like set-if-off, and a heart sweet as pink moscato (once you get to know her), she survived it all. They call her LaLa. Emanuela Joseph, was your everyday girl in an urban community. Trying to do better, become better, and live better. She dealt with the cards handed to her the best she could. Getting through the rough patches as a convicted felon, domestic violence survivor, and finesser, pushed LaLa’s pain into passion by using her natural gifts to ceate a legit enterprise for her and her family. No doubt there were mistakes she’s made, like many of us, but LaLa put the past behind her and placed it in a book to help others, who feel like she may have felt many times growing up, voiceless. Using her entrepreneurial platform and book to inspire women to begin a new journey of being bold, brave, and bossy. Dear E: Are You Listening is a 3 part series book of LaLa’s heartfelt confessions to womanhood. Part one of her real life stories was just released this Summer. There’s no topic unmentioned, no situation not dealt with, and no question left unanswered in this book. So if you want a good read besides the scripted Love & Hip Hop scenes on blogs, get on Amazon and download Dear E: Are You Listening? LaLa is a mother, entreprenuer, motivational speaker, and author who currently lives in Atlanta. But if you want to catch up with her and her real talk sessions make sure you connect with her on Instagram @emanuela_jbook and on Facebook @RealTalkWithE Written By: Nicole Narae
In The News Rapist Cop Sentenced to Probation
She’d called the police to report her teenage daughter missing and hours later Maleatra Montanez was being compelled by the responding officer to have sex with him in her living room. The veteran cop initially forced the mother of four to perform oral sex, and then ordered her to get a condom from an adjacent bedroom. When she returned, Thompson demanded she turn around-looking right at her newborn son — while he raped her from behind. Thompson was arrested and criminally charged in March. In December 2015, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct for having sex with Montanez — and another woman in three unrelated incidents — while on duty. He was booted off the police force and sentenced to three years of probation under the agreement. Source: nydailynews.com
Riots In The Streets of Milwaukee
According to CBS, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has activated the state’s National Guard to help police in Milwaukee “upon request” in the wake of riots touched off by the fatal police shooting of a man who allegedly was carrying a handgun as he fled a traffic stop. Fueled by outrage over the fatal police shooting of a 23-year-old man on the city’s predominantly black north side, protesters took to the streets of Milwaukee overnight, clashing with officers, looting stores, and setting several fires.
Two Football Coaches FIRED following SFM High School Sex Scandal.
A sex scandal at South Fort Myers High School earlier this year has led to the removal of the school’s head football coach and an assistant coach. Back in May, a 15-year-old student had sex with several boys - including some football players - in a school restroom. Some of the boys even recorded the acts. Recently, Head football coach Anthony Dixon and assistant coach Nathan O’Jibway were relieved of their coaching duties. The Lee County School District is not saying specifically why Dixon was fired, but the parent of a former football player said he coached her son on what to say to police. Dixon, who was hired last year, was also fired from his job in security while O’Jibway is keeping his position as a P.E. teacher. An unidentified mom states the real reason for the firing is due to the actions of coach Dixon the day after the incident. Her son and others met the coaches after school and were told to write a statement about what happened. She said Dixon then ripped up the statement in front of them.The parent said Dixon then allowed players to give a second statement in front of police, but parents were never told in advance. She said at that point Dixon had coached players on what to say and picked certain players to tell the truth and take the fall. Source: NBC2
Benzino Shooter Found Guilty
Gai Scott was found guilty on Thursday of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was arrested in 2014, after shooting his uncle, the hip-hop artist and reality TV star Benzino during a funeral procession. Benzino, whose real name is Raymond Scott, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Source: DAILYMAIL.COM
48 Pounds of Meth 22 Pounds of Cocaine
Gibsonton - Federal and local law enforcement arrested a man in Gibsonton with 70 pounds of narcotics. According to arrest reports, 18-year-old Jesus Barrera Guerrero had 48 pounds of meth and 22 pounds of cocaine. The DEA isn’t talking about the investigation, but according to arrest documents, agents arrested Barrera Guerro at the Circle K gas station at 12140 US 41 South in Gibsonton. They found 22 pounds of meth in his car. Agents then searched his home in nearby Eastwood Estates. Inside, agents say they found 26 pounds of meth and 22 pounds of cocaine. It’s not clear where the drugs came from, but according to the arrest report, Barrera Guerrero had a Texas driver’s license and claimed to live in Mexico. Source: abcactionnews.com
Naples Man Steals $2.2Million
A 49-year-old Naples businessman with a lengthy history of fraud and financial crimes pleaded guilty Thursday to 14 counts of wire fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft. According to an FBI press release, Jeffrey Ihm assumed the identities of corporate executives and used fake email addresses and documents to obtain financing from banks. Using the scheme, Ihm received $2,234,681 in fewer than 18 months. The maximum penalty for each wire fraud count is 20 years in federal prison. Source: News-Press.com
a s I n o i h s a
F n e Wh
I wanted something that stood out, that was elegant and classy. Not just everybody else. Most people just make urban wise. I want diversity. To reach up a brand and decide to sell clothes, all genders and cultures together. just trying to make a quick buck. I wanted to come up with something Tell us about the brand. Did you start that was going to stick around for with one specific item or did you jump awhile such as Gucci, Louis, Givenchy. in the game with all these different So I came up with Vakauri Paris. Their names kind of hold their brands also categories? as well as the creative designs. But the I kinda dove in head first. I started with name is something I really wanted to the t-shirts and started with promocatch people’s attentions. First of all, tional parties like yatchs, jet skis and when someone sees it, they’re gonna events like that. And something I nevlike it before they even know how to er did was gave away my tshirts. You pronounce it. So automatically they’re never see Gucci giving away tshirts or gonna stop and ask about it.“ skinny jeans or cuff links etc.. and I’ve - Mazayah Legend Andrews, Owner followed the same path. I wanted the brand to be more upscale but still able So the name was intentional? “ I wanted to go on different path than
e l y t Lifes
to relate to alot of different cultures and genders as well. So I really dove in head first and decided to do everything at one time. It’s really alot on my plate but it’s working. I decided to make everything. You’re gonna make your own brand, you can’t just make a tshirt, you have to throw in the jeans to go with it, and the shoes. I have 3 new pairs of shoes coming out next year. I also made designer bags, real leather, gold plated. And how long have you been in business? Since last year. It started in 2005 but it was just an idea. And in 2015, 10 years later, despite a lot of different things
and procrastination. I just went and did it. I put everything I had into it. I do see your Vakauri Paris line has the scale of justice, can you tell us about that? That came out because something happened to a family member named Corey Jones, from Boyton Beach,FL. He was wrongfully killed by a police officer. His car broke down on I95, he called AAA and he called his brother ,which is my cousin, TJ Jones, to come and help him. He was shot multiple times.Vakauri really stands for a lot of different things and one of them is justice for a lot of minorities. I love how you were able to introduce that into your line and justice now becomes a conversation piece. Is fighting social injustices something you’re fully involved in? There’s a lot of different ways you can speak out and do different things without being criticized or critiqued. Sometimes people wear stuff and don’t even know what it means but it can mean alot to another person. I get
a lot of Caucasians that come into the ary 2017. I had it up from the beginstore wearing the sweater and for us ning of last year and I took it down minorities knowing what it means, it about 2-3 months ago. means a lot. They may not even know it. But to see that is a good thing. It’s just another way to get the message out without hindering or going into a stereotype of your business. Tell us about your stores and where they are located. We have two stores now. One in-line store that’s at the StoneCrest Mall in Atlanta, GA and we have a kios in the Cumberland Mall. We’ve also gotten 3 more offers from different malls, and we’re just looking at volume and prices right now.
Any advice to anyone wanting to start a clothing line? First I would say, go all in. And also, the main thing I must say is: the name. You don’t want to minimize your cliDo you also have an online store? entele. I’m trying to live to be rememRight now our website is under con- bered. I want my legacy to be passed struction and won’t be up until Janu- down to my kids.
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It’s all about the Pink
Retailers everywhere have collectively assigned the color pink to be girly and to represent femininity. From pink curling irons, pink razors, pink tool sets (which I have by the way), marketers have embraced that pink = woman. But it wasn’t always this way. Matter of fact, even dresses weren’t always assigned to girls. In 1884, Franklin D Roosevelt has a portrait of him dressed in his girly sunday best. In 1927, retailers and publications such as Time magazine, Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago all encouraged parents to dress their boys in pink being that color was foud to be a stronger than the daintiness of blue which was preferred for boys. It wasn’t until the 1980s with the prevalence of prenatal testing and parents being able to know the sex of their unborn child, and being able to shop in advance of baby’s arrival, that consumerism really kicked in and manufacturers randomly decided they liked pink better for girls, but it truly could have gone either way.
Pink = Girly? Since When? Up until the 1980s, gender specific color wasnâ€™t that big of a thing. But with the prevalence of prenatal testing and parents now being able to know the sex of their unborn child, manufacturers were now able to individualize clothing and accessories for children in specific colors. Individualizing items translated into a bigger profit. Now a mother who went shopping for her baby girl, strollers, car seats, clothing, who is now pregrant with a boy, feels pressured to purchase all new items for this new baby. The choosing of the color pink for girls was not a calculated move. As before that time period, publications and manufacturers encouraged the color pink for boys, deeming it to be a stronger color and chose blue for girls, declaring it to be more delicate and dainty. Consumers preferred otherwise thus creating a society where pink began to relate to feminimity. But anyone who knows anything about anything, knows that real men wear pink.
Pink Pearl Boutique Presents:
All Things Beautiful
Whether youâ€™re looking for a complete outfit or a piece to complement your look, Pink Pearl Boutique in Clewiston, FL is the place you want to visit. With the newest trends and hottest accessories, itâ€™s a guarantee you will make a statement soon as you step into the room. Check out some of our favorite pieces below:
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Beauty Of The Month
Sh’Lisa Hood “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
Photo by: Rich Olson Agency: BMG Atlanta
Music For The Conscious Mind
First, I have to ask, why are you called A.O. It stands for Agency Operative. Agency stands for Agent Geared for Emissary to Navigate through Critical Conditions without Yielding. Operative basically short for Secret Agent. Add those all together and its Agency Secret Agent. My record label is: Agency Headquarters, so, overall the name just pretty much matches the title.
I dropped a full length project in 2011. And I recently I dropped an album last year. And right now, I’m in the middle of working on another album and hopefully I can get it done by next year.
And what has been the response so far from the public to your music. I would say the response so far is different. It’s not the same formulated material that every one is so used to How did you come up with that acro- seeing I would say that its definately nym. standing out above every body else Growing up, looking more at my self. so it’s mostly its been positive, always Looking as my own inspiration. I was been a good look. People who are thinking more like you have to moti- more in tune with artistry of music vate yourself. More so then looking up and seeing out it all comes together. to others. So I grew up to be the per- Not really doing something that imisonality I wanted to be. And I wanted tates what’s already been done. This to be a superhero. kinda of response is what makes me keep going. And if you were a super hero, what would your power be? You mentioned your music has a more I would say my special gift would be of a positive consciousness message invisibility. Not being seen, but being to it, do you heard. Not being around but presence feel there’s a still felt. welcome for your type of Let’s translate that into your music, music? what would you say your unique pow- I believe it er with your music is? is. Especially I would say, more of the intellectual, with the enmore of the conscientiousness, more v i ro n m e n t of the understanding, more of search- and how ing for answers, more so asking ques- everything’s tions. I would say those are the con- been going tents within my music. with all the violence and And how long have you been doing police brumusic? tality I just I would say I’ve been writing lyrics think that since like 12. But I would say profes- the mindset sionally as far as starting a label and of where taking on big projects I would say America is about like 6 years now. I dropped my at now, I first single in 2010 and ever since that think people
are more so looking for someone they can relate to more so than hearing everybody else continue to do the same things. People are looking for music that comforts them instead of something where they have to imagine to be in a better place, so it’s easier for me to really stand out. What is your goal with your music? What do you want people to walk away with after listening to your music? Definately a sense of pride, a sense of dignity, a different set of mindstate as well to. I feel like with all that’s going on, also a sense of direction. My message, why I continue to do music is because overall giving you the message, giving you the advise that I was given. I feel like me sharing that with the world, it’s giving them a sense of direction. www.TheAgencyHeadquarters.com
Top 5- August â€˜16 1
Dj KhaledFor Free
Usher ft Yung ThugNo Limit
Dj Khaled- Do You Mind
KELANI - CRAZY DIGGY SIMMIONS - FEELS LIKE
For more on the urban experience and dj samore , check out sourbanentertainment.com and Da one radio on dadecountyradio.com over 40k loyal listeners on the radio station, monitoredbyradiowavemonitor.com. monitored by radiowavemonitor.com
Living Snapchat Life With In considering and, God forbid, consuming the entirety of DJ Khaled’s music, one cannot separate the man’s private life from his work. In fact, Khaled does not have a private life. The 40-year-old DJ (whose given name is Khaled Khaled) has seen resurgence in his career because of his use of Snapchat, where he documents just about every aspect of his life through “stories” in the app. The concept of his latest album, “Major Key,” stems from Khaled’s sayings on Snapchat. Also known as memes — reoccurring text phrases juxtaposed with corresponding or ironic images — these sayings often make little sense, but they fascinate the masses. Whether it’s his keys to success (accompanied by the key emoji), touching his flowers or pointing his phone at a statue of a lion and yelling, “LION! All hail to the most high — the lion order,” Khaled has found a way to give birth to an empty vocabulary that he invites his fans to reappropriate. Despite the proliferation of Khaled’s Snapchat memes throughout the lyrics of the album, there are nonetheless impressive performances. Jay Z delivers a strong throwback performance in the first track, “I Got the Keys,” featuring Future, who appears on several songs in the album and enchants listeners who don’t think his rapping sounds like someone gargling cough syrup. Other heavy hitters, like Nas and Kendrick Lamar, are at their best in songs like “Nas Album Done” and “Holy Key.” Both rappers’ lyrics often concern racial justice and “racial economic inequality,” which Nas explicitly says in “New Album Done.” The beats, created by Khaled, are elaborate and complement the lyrics, but almost every
otherwise satisfactory song is ruined by yelling self-promotional sayings like “We the best!” Big Sean is perhaps the standout performer of the album, which is significant, given that he’s featured alongside rapper Kendrick Lamar. Some of his most powerful lyrics in “Holy Key” are, “Father help us, police doing target practice with real bodies / Mommas in the streets, crying, standing over a still body / Niggas over stressing, we under investigation.” “Major Key” suffers from a case of diminishing returns in its guest appearances. Khaled is mistaken in his belief that adding another Nicki Minaj, Future, Chris Brown, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Drake or Lil’ Wayne will make the album better, when the star solo performers cancel each other. In his Snapchat confessions, Khaled speaks in grandiose terms of wanting to be “iconic” and “legendary” by making “a statement” with his music. Khaled is a social media pioneer and a solid DJ, but he cannot exist at the intersection of the two. So, please, DJ Khaled, put your phone down, and think twice before you add “anotha’ one” to the mix.
Jake Lahut interned as a reporter for the Albany Times Union this summer, worked as a researcher at The New Yorker for Mark Singer since February 2016, and will be the Features editor of the Wesleyan Argus this year and editor in chief of Arcadia Political Magazine. www.JakeLahut.com
Respect The DJ
DJ Demp Demp Week Turns 20
When did you decided to tour as a DJ instead of staying with the radio station? It wasn't about staying with the station or not, I started touring around 95/96. My first national tour was with GhostTown DJs...So So Def..I’m a member of Ghost Town DJs. That was in 96.
the city started calling it Demp Week. It wasn't something that was planned. It just sorta came together because of who I was and the city I was in. I have all different types of events. I do stuff for the community, for all age groups. Things to get people involved. I do different events, things people would like I.e. fashion shows, comedy shows, celebrity basketball games etc….Whatever I can fit during my 7 days. We have artist showcases, artist panels, all sorts of different things. . What can we expect from the 20th anniversary. I can’t really say what to expect because I'm still in the planning process, but I can say I'm going hard. 20 is a milestone to anything that you do. And I did it crazy big for 19 so I gotta outdo that for 20.
You have worked with Trick Daddy, Uncle Luke, Juvenile, Lil Flip, David Banner as well as others, what came to mind when you experienced your first tour? I was thinking, this is what I wanna do, this is the life. Being able to be outside your city and still being able What got you into DJing and how did to do what it is that you love to do. you get your start in radio? That was more like a stepping stone. Pretty much having to provide music for the parties I was going to and the Being able to travel DJing for an artdifferent events. And I started radio by ist is different then DJing in a club. It’s being the premiere DJ on a mixshow a whole concept. Once I did my first When you are not Djing and traveling on a radio station WBFF 89.7FM, col- one, I knew, that’s what it was. all over, what do you like to do as a lege Radio and also doing guest appearances on the FAMU station and I What advice would you give some- hobby or to pass the time? one who was trying to take similar I play a little golf on my chill time. I like moved up after that. quiet time opposite of my DJ time. steps as you with their DJing skills? You rented out clubs instead of get- Master your craft. Know what you’re ting hired, what made you take mat- doing. Go hard and be the best at Tell us your thoughts on the importance of the DJ in the music industry. whatever you are doing. ters into your own hands? We’re the ones who gives music to When I first started throwing college Tell us about DempWeek. How did people whether its thru radio or the parties I started noticing my name would be larger on the flyer then the you come up with the idea and what club. Music moves you and we’re resort of events occur during that sponsible for that feeling people get. rest of the info. So I started thinking they might just need me for my name. week? So once I figured that out, I figure the The thought process started in 96 hell with getting paid, I can throw my when I was on tour. It was a celebra- Twitter: @DjDemp tion. Me celebrating my birthday and Ghostown DJs own parties and get the whole door. Core DJs coming off of touring. A lot of things made me celebrate. Another DJ from
Respect The DJ Nationally Reknowned Award Winning DJ
In this industry, it’s rare to see passion beyond the fame for a particular craft. With Spinmaster Viani you get just that! All passion. Ford Entertainment Magazine’s Man of The Year and Favorite DJ spends all of his free time in the studio, rocking one of his various pairs of headphones, foregoing any other forms of entertainment such as tv or movies, lending all of his focus on the sound. Having worked with multiple well known artists, Spinmaster Viani is extremely precise with his music selection which you can clearly experience during his mixes as he spins multiple genres effortlessly, from Hip Hop, to House, to Euro to Reggae etc... In a world filled with reality tv shows, photo-shoots, and social media platforms that offer everyone an outlet to be an instant star, with Spinmaster Viani, it’s all about the passion. He chooses to remain fully entwined in the music, and focused on his craft. This D.J., a New York Native who got his start at life from the bottom in the Bronx, has an ear for intricate music, but he’s not focused on the spotlight.
Instead, he keeps his sights on the turntables, the bpms, and making sure his audience has a truly profound experience. He describes his time in the booth as his hideout, his own world. And he shares that part of his world with us daily. Whether though the airwaves spinning for prestigious radio stations, or leaning above turntables and a mac, surrounded by strobe lights reflecting off swaying, sweaty bodies, Viani gives his whole heart to his craft. Apart from his love for music, our favorite DJ is also a business man. As the owner of multiple nightclubs from Las Vegas to New York, to our very own V Lounge here in Ft Myers, Vianni is no stranger to the night life - and the success it brings. Starting his ventures of multiple club ownerships from his very early 20s, this owner of an exclusive collection of shoes, high end watches and cars, is an excellent example of how much you can accomplish when you truly follow your passion, and the wealth you’re able to accumulate and being able to live in multiple states, when that passion is focused.
Respect The DJ When you first started DJing, did you always aim for radio or is this something that happened along the road? No I actually started djing for myself. I was an athlete in school and always wanted music to listen to before games or events. That led me to making mixtapes for friends, then to house parties, clubs and then radio. How long have you been a Radio DJ? About 14 years on commercial radio. And 2 years before that, on college and underground radio back in Orlando. Give us a brief radio tour on how a song gets placed in rotation and how its decided how often it will be played. First of all I do not handle or decide what songs are played on the radio. That’s what we have a program director and music director for. There are many ways a record gets added. The most common is when a record gets big on the streets and radio just has to play it because its so big. Sometimes radio stations find records that we believe in and take a chance on it. For local artists the process is to sub-
mit your song to the music director and either set up a meeting or a call to find out if your song is good enough or ready for radio. Once the song gets on the playlist it comes to me as the DJ to play on air.
Apart from being a radio DJ, you’re also a Core DJ, Club DJ, producer, and hold countless other titles, what were some of the steps and struggles it took to get where you are now in the music industry? One of my biggest struggles early on was just basically getting people to believe in me and give me a shot. I had to figure out ways to get my foot in the door with out “taking the front door”. I would get a job as a bouncer at the club but then offer to DJ a set here and there until people noticed that I was a decent DJ. With my production I basically had to just make remixes and find an artist that I believed
promo material, mixtapes etc.. to get the word out What is the biggest miscon- about the record and get ception artists have about people to hear it. Once that record grows on the street radio play? That everyone in radio take and build a foundation the money for radio play. I don’t artist then has a story for believe in it and its illegal! the record and can bring it Money will not make me to radio. compromise my sound. I don’t even like to except Should radio play be a contips at clubs to play a song. centration for these artists or a last thought? Describe, based on your You shouldn’t make music knowledge and experienc- for radio. You should just es, what the path SHOULD make good music and let it be for an artist on his grind move on its own legs. A hit Radio should be your last is a hit. step unless you just have Out of all the titles you jugan undeniable hit record! gle, which is the most reAfter recording a record, warding? why? an artist should have peo- I love being on the radio ple that he can go to for an and connecting with peohonest opinion on a track. If ple. It has given me the opthey like it then he can send portunity to do things I nevit out to DJs and get their er thought I would be able opinion. Some will like it to do. and some won’t. Some will play it and some won’t. It’s What is the importance of a up to the artist to work the great, smoove relationship record on the streets and between an artist and a DJ? give the DJ a reason to play There’s no artist without it. The artist gotta make cds, the DJ in to showcase my tracks.
Respect The DJ
thing I’m accustomed to anymore.
How was that transition from radio to DJ? It was difficult, I’m not gonna lie. Radio has always been a strong point of mine. But it had to be done, it was a point in my music career that if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be a DJ today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a DJ, what area are you representing? From York City, PA. It’s about 45 minutes away from Baltimore, MD. Been doing this thing for about 3 years now. Started out doing radio back in 2011 before I became a DJ. Started networking with people, took some time off came back, did some more radio work, quit that, and for the past 3 years I’ve been doing nothing but mixtapes.
Is radio something you eventually want to go back to? Yeah. I still do my little radio thing. We do private events. Its just something I love and enjoy doing. I love radio, but this mixtape game is where I’m at right now. And it’s my strong point and I just feel real comfortable in the game right now. Tell us a little about your mixtapes. What can someone anticipate when they hear you’ve dropped a mixtape? In today’s industry, everyone is always gonna hear the south sound. The Uzis, the savages, the Young Thug’s, the Futures. I just try to incorporate that into one. I get criticized alot for not doing any New York mixtapes this is because the music to me isn’t good anymore. I called the year for the south music. Although I appreciate a classic New York record, but its not some-
What’s up? What’s up? Hey, we are working! I’m actually on my way to a networking event right now then I gotta work at midnight. We working.
And that’s the thing I can personally say about you is that you are always on the move, you’re always doing something. Give us a little background of yourself as a DJ. When and what got you started. I can finally say we’ve been in the game 10 years. It all started at FAU, junior year, with my radio show and then we started DJing on campus. Years later, we on started with 102.3 and was able to learn the professional side of things from DJing to running as a personality and now we’re looking at bigger and better things. And I know you’ve been in the mixtape game heavy, if you’re speaking to someone who’ve never checked out one of your mixtapes, what can they anticipate? They’re gon get whats gonna be hot in
about 3 months. They’re gonna get all the new jams before anybody else. How do you find those jams before anybody else? That’s the DJ/Radio side of me because we always get new music and seeing what’s hot. And the labels, they send music directly to you. And if they’re hot, I’ll go head and introduce it to the people early so when they hear it on the radio, they’ll remember they heard it first with DJ Samore. I know you recently put a record together and got on your DJ Khaled ish, can you tell us about that? Yea, its called “we working”. I did it some time ago but its finally making noise. Now I’m thinking about remixing it with some more dope artists. It was amazing putting the record together. I’m trying to be on a my female DJ Khaled. If he can do it, I can do it too.
What’s missing right now in New York music from your perspective? Originality. Everybody’s trying to sound the same, which is cool. But at the end of the day originality wins the game. That’s why the south has been running this game for over 15 years now and New York hasn’t really come back because New York is trying to ride the wave that the south already created. Instead of going back to the traditional roots of New York Music and just making good records. What projects do you have coming up? I have the OJ the Juiceman Mass Class mixtape that’s coming up. That’s gonna be a really good project. I’m gonna drop my first album at the end of the year called “Cosigned by DJ Duce” its a breakoff of a mixtape I did last year called “The Power of the Cosign”. You’re gonna hear a good decent bunch of records on that album. www.djducemixtapes.com
Respect The DJ DJ Samore What projects you’re currently working on? We got a mixtape we got coming out with Diggy Simmons. It’s official. What you know about it 4. We’re about to work on the Hot Indie 16 mixtape that we’re gonna put out for A3C in October. We got the radio show, the top 5 spotlight in Ford Ent Mag, Dade County radio, and you can look out for 2 more syndicated radio stations. You’re gonna have to stay tuned for those announcements. www.Sourbanentertainment.com
Respect The DJ DJ Kryptonite
always looking for the next new record that nobody’s thinking about. So I can be the one to say I helped break that record. That’s my mind frame on mixtapes. I got a pretty good cosign behind me with DJ Frost, Charlemagne the God, Dj Imprint, so whatever I need they always got my back to help push out my mixtapes.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re located. Dj Kryptonite and I’m located in Columbia, SC right now. Pretty much mixtape DJ, Strip club DJ. Little bit of everything.
What do you look for specifically in music? What catches your attention? Anything that’s different. I don’t want to hear the same sound. Atlanta’s got its own vibe, Florida’s got its own sound. LA got its own, I can’t really explain it. You know when you can’t really explain it, that’s what I’m looking for. Something you don’t find on the radio, something that don’t sound like everything else. What’s gonna be the next hot sound.
You also mentioned you are a mixtape DJ, tell us a little bit about what you put out. When I do mixtapes, I kinda want to give them a good balance of new music but more importantly any indie artist that don’t get the shine on the radio. So I’m
Speaking of music, what is your take on the state of Hip Hop right now? I think Hip Hop is fine. It’s ever changing. You have to think like, when I was growing up my parents were like “what’s this Master P you’re listening to? This is trash, this
DJ M Eazy
Let’s start from the beginning. How did you come up with DJ M Eazy? My nickname as a child was Mook and that name kinda stuck with me growing up and a friend of mine, he started lil Meazy and then he called me M Eazy and it just kinda stuck. So it was a nickname way before I was a DJ. I was about 13, 14 years old. And when I became a DJ I just took a nickname I already had. Why DJ as a profession? I was already into music growing up. I played instruments throughout middle school and high school, I played drums and piano. I have an older brother, and
is garbage.” And now you have people like Young Thug and Future and the music is still selling, people are still buying. The music is changing, Hip Hop is changing, it’s not going to stay the same. People are changing, the world is changing. Tell us about your latest work and what you got coming up Latest work would be “Stupid Dope Summer vol 2” mixtape me and my homeboy Hypeman Coop, we do those every summer. We also got Feed The Streets coming out on labor day. www.ItsDJKryptonite.com
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my brother used to do it as a hobby and that’s how I got into DJing, hanging around him. And it was something I wanted to learn and he taught me the ins and outs. After I learned it, it was something I wanted to pursue for myself. Then later on I had the opportunity to work as a DJ at a local skating rink. The other DJ called out one day, I was the last option, I told my manager “I know how to DJ” that’s how I got my first opportunity. It was something that worked out for me and something I enjoyed to do. Explain the role you feel that DJs play in the circulation of music. I still think to this day,the DJs play a major role when it comes to getting the music out from up and coming artists and breaking new music from artists already in the industry. Granted we live in a society now where it’s so easy to catch things on the internet, but I also think the DJ will always be important. Especially for the up and coming artist, it’s the DJ that’s going to break your record. It’s the DJ that has
that following, so when you go to events or even radio, wherever you try to go to get your music played, you have to go through some type of DJ. And that DJ is going to have a following and those are the ones you want to get your music to, those are the ones, those are the ones that will help you spread your music faster. Not just to the listeners but to other DJs and other people in the industry. So I feel like having that network of DJs is very important. Any upcoming projects? I put out mixers and mixtapes all the time via my soundcloud and my mixcloud websites. But I do have a new project coming out very soon. I also have an artist that I work with out of Atlanta. We do have a project coming out very soon. My artist name is Black and the project is “Turn The World Black” and that will be out very soon. Social Media: M_Eazy Soundclound.com/DJMeazy
Respect The DJ
Before we get started with anything, it was something interesting that you told me about you, that’s actually your name (G Box). Tell us about that. I spent alot of time trying to figure out what name to come up with. DJ this, and DJ that. And I just kept it simple. My last name is unique in itself, Box. So I just used my first initial and last name and kept it simple.
How did you get started with DJing? That just came from a childhood love of music. When I was growing up it was one of those situations where I played sports and I listened to music. My dad’s house was more like the party house in the town, off of Southern Illinois and all his friends used to come over and hang out and party and he used to tell me to go inside and change the music. DJing professionally, it’s been about 5 years. But I’ve always thrown parties and I wish someone would have told me earlier that “hey, you can get paid being in the club every weekend.” It’s just one of those things that came kinda natural. As long as I’m making progress from it and things are changing I’m going to continue doing it. And I love people and I have fun doing it. Is there a specific genre of music you tend to stick to? I cater to any crowd that books me. Speaking to alot of veteran DJs, they tend to stick to their own lane. Me, I kinda wanna do everything. I’ve done everything so far except for a Bar Mitzvah.
Can you tell us your opinion on the state of music right now? Is there a big different between the music from 2016 and say, 2006? It is. Just from when I was like 16, listening to Tupac, NWA, Jay-Z, Mob Deep. The music, maybe it’s the delivery that is different. I can’t even say the beats are the same. This hip hop 2016 is completely different than the 80s,90s and 2000s. It’s less lyrics and more noises and sound effects. You had people like ‘Pac who was speaking scriptures out of the Bible and out the Qoran and now you have guys that say Skrt and they got the hottest songs in the street. And I’m not knocking it. You gotta ride the wave. That’s why there’s alot of artist you don’t hear about to because they couldn’t’ ride the wave. But I do think somebody needs to come to the rescue quick. Who? I don’t know. Social Media: DJ G Box ATL www.GBoxEntertainment.com
Respect The DJ ing in the clubs it kinda blossomed into everything we’re doing today.
DJ Showtime How long have you been in the DJ world? I would say for probably now 16 years. I started young, I had a piano and a drum set and I ended up selling my drums and I bought a set off turn tables. The way I was brought into the scene, in Chicago, everything was all about break dancing and spray painting. So when it came to DJing I didn’t want to learn the basic blending music and just playing records. My thing was all the cutting and the scratching and the competition side of DJing. So for my first 8 years, I wasn’t old enough to get into any clubs or anything, so the first 8 years I got to focus on being competitive and once I was old enough to start work-
Tell us about Table Mannerz Djs and how it started? It started right here in Ft Myers. It really conspired because I got 2 offers to get with another group. Some of my mentors, including Zaytoven, their advice to me was why not start my own. I was actually on my back porch when we decided we’re gonna go full throatle with this. We have about 120 DJs and about 10 guys overseas and from every else you can think of. We have a really awesome group of guys. The movement itself, its a new coalition. One of the fastest growing and one of the most powerful. What role does DJs play in music nowadays? I think the Djs play a major role still to this day. Sometimes DJs are kinda overlooked. Some DJs take their responsibilities, some don’t. But I think we’re still in charge of setting trends. I think people appreciate more when Djs get creative with what they’re doing with the music as well than
Tell us a little bit about you as a DJ how long have you been in the game? I’ve been DJs since 2001. So we’re roughly talking about 15,16 years now. My stronghold on the game is that I’m versatile and I can DJ any genre of music. My stronghold is really Latin music though. What is the secret to longevity in this game? You have to be passionate about it. You have to love music. You have to have a love for the music game. You have to have an ear and a heart to feel music.
How do you discover new music? I seek out a lot of music, I’m constantly on YouTube, checking out pop artist, freestyles, especially the reaggaethon artists. But a lot of my music come from record pools and stuff like that. And the stuff that are not in record pools, I usually reach out to the artist themselves and ask them to send me their tracks. How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop, do you feel as though the music is just simply evolving? I actually feel like it’s going backwards. I feel like it’s a revolving back into a space it was before. The little John and Eastside Boys space where it’s all about making the crowd get crunk. Nobody is dropping the 16 bars that make you sit back and say “let me rewind, I didn’t catch that.” A lot of these new rappers, it’s almost like it’s a trend to be in the studio. Everybody wants to talk about how much mon-
just sitting and pressing play. What are some of the projects you have out right now? We just released the official Gucci Man chopped and screwed. We have a series called the Street Recipe, I just did one with project Pat and the one before that we just did with TK and Cash, I’ve been working with them for a few years actually. I just did a project with Zaytoven and Digital Dope called “Where Would The Game Be Without Me?” That one went crazy, it was on Billboard and pretty much every outlet you can think of. That was all unreleased stuff, some Gucci Man stuff, some 2Chains, it was a blessing to be a part of a project like that. Upcoming, I have a whole CD that I’m doing with Chanel, with Young Money, it’s called Sex Recipe and following that, I have a project with DJ Scream and I also have a project with Zoey Dollars. Those are all a matter of 3 or 4 weeks from each other. www.ItsDjShowtime.com www.TableMannerzDJs.com and Digital Dope Radio (App)
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ey they’re spending in the studio. But it doesn’t matter how much money you’re spending in the studio, if what you’re putting out is not worth the money that you spent. I feel like the game is really saturated right now. Back in the day the record pools, will send you one or two emails a week. And now these record pools are sending you 5 6 emails a day with music. Tell us about any projects are currently working on. Currently working on a project with DjShowtime that is going to revolutionize the game as far as Latin music goes. Tell us about the importance of being part of a DJ coalition. It’s about unity. There is strength in numbers. The more we all stick together, the way we push each other, the further we can get. Facebook.com/partyharddjs
other DJs. Some DJs like to be in their own space and just work. I like the crowd’s attention to be brought towards me and keep them going throughout the night and looking to you for that energy and feed off of it.
DJ Johnny Rich
From a Djs perspective, tell me about an artist who falls off and make a comeback vs the ones that don’t. It boils down to the person themselves. Alot of people will fall off and disappear and fall back because they When I hear your name I think of the don’t have the energy. And a lot of cartoon Johnny Bravo. Are you as ani- people take it as everything happens for a reason and I’m gonna take this mated and full of life? Well, I mean yes. I try to be like that. and I’m gonna run with it and come There’s 2 sides to DJing, there’s the back better than ever. music side and there’s the showman side and I try to embrace both sides Do you feel like in music all it takes is skills and talent? Or do you feel like with the same energy. the actual drive and grind is more imExplain the showmanship part to me portant? My main goal is to build an image I think there needs to be a balance of for myself and try to stick out. From the 2. Because you have to have that
Respect The DJ DJ Nizzle
Tell us about being a DJ. DJing is what I originally moved down to Florida to do 11 years ago. It’s a very important part of my life. What about DJing that is so important to you? I always grew up around music, I was in percussion and marching band which gave me the mechanics to easily transcribe over to DJing. So then I also like to have fun and being in a party atmosphere and the DJ is kind of guy that guides the vibe of the party. I like the energy and that back and forth.
I was about to ask that, there are so many different type of DJs, mixtapes, radio, etc...is club DJ your preference? Yes. Even private parties at a friend’s house with just a bar and speakers and a sound system. So it’s not necessarily clubs. It’s the party atmosphere. I also do weddings as well. I had a DJ explain to me that being a DJ is almost like a therapist. Do you agree with that notion? I would say yes and I would take it a step further and say its almost like a dance. The crowd is almost like a woman if you will and they expect you to lead and at the same time give them the freedom to let go and it feeds on itself. So if you’re in sync with the crowd and you’re in sync with the people, you can lead them in songs they might not know or have considered before or forgotten alongside the popular songs every body wants to hear.
Respect The DJ drive and the ability to push on. You’re not just going to walk in to Atlantic Records and say here’s my mixtape. You have to push for them, you have to show them you’re the next big thing to blow. So you gotta have both. You can’t make it in this game with no talent. Unless you’re going to be a one hit wonder. Tell me what role does the DJ play in an artists’ career in regards to longevity. As far as longevity, I think its a really crucial part to an artist. You see more and more artists reaching out to DJs more often now. It’s not like it was in the 90s where artists can sell CDs and that’s how they’re making their money. Nowadays, it’s people sitting in the club and the DJ drops a song and people pull out their phones and are like “wait what is this song?”. I think the DJs play a crucial part. www.DJJohnnyRich.com
How do you go about discovering new music? I have my friends. Its more or less I have one friend that just happens to always find the songs that 3 months from now are gonna be popular and its almost like he picks the lottery in songs. And then I have other DJs and they tell me what they like or I just happen to come accross an artist that I’m thinking of or I just go out and look. There’s so many different ways that I come accross music that I couldn’t specifically tell you one set thing that I do that guarantees that I’m going to find something that’s brand new that every body likes. What role does the DJ play in the music industry? We are the direct connection to people. A DJ can make a song popular just by introducing it to people and if enough people start to like it then it spreads like wildfire. Social Media: DJ Nizzle35
Respect The DJ DJ 3MO
booked to do a teen party and he asked me to tag along. So we get there, he had the music, but it was like he was playing the wrong thing at the wrong time, it was just way too old and I was just like “alright, cuz let me jump on real quick”. I didn’t know anything about the whole process of DJing, I just knew what songs to pick, so I would just point at the songs and he would load them up. So we started doing that and the crowd was rocking with it. So from then on, people started to ask me, calling me asking me to come DJ at their parties, and from then on I started DJing ever since.
What’s the name 3mo all about? Really the name 3mo just came from, I have a thing I do when I get behind the turn tables, I like to pull it up 3 times, depending on how hot the song is. And I used to do that when I started DJing at the YMCA and from then on it was like “3mo times”, “3mo this”, “3mo that” and from there it be- Is club DJing your main focus, or do you do radio and mixtapes as well? came DJ 3mo. I do mixtapes. My latest mixtape was with my artist Burga. “33Days Later”. When did you get started? I started DJing when I was around 16 The clubs, I also do. And mobile DJing years old which is roughly 9 years now. too, just about everything. Good cousin of mine, he used to do adult parties and one day he got
I love that you’re actually accomplishing a goal that you’ve had and been working at since a young age. Oh yes, it’s always been a dream of mine to DJ. Like my grandpa used to tell me, find something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life and I feel like I haven’t worked in years. Music is just an amazing thing, it can make you have the best day of your life turn into the worst day and same way you could
Want to elaborate on that? Ambition-wise, you have the artists that wants it and is doing anything and everything to get to it and everything that they think about is music. It’s like, they live it and breathe it. And they invest in themselves and are dedicated to it.
What is your goals as DJ, or have you reached your goal already? I haven’t reached that point already. I’m trying to have my hands in every form of art of DJing. I’m trying to perfect that. I’m trying to get to the point where I go somewhere and people recognize me. I’m really trying to be a symbol and an idol to the younger generation. That’s the goal that I’m trying to reach and I’m ain’t there yet tho. www.Burga321.com From your perspective as a DJ, what Social Media: @DJ3Mo makes a great artist?
Ive always wanted to ask this question, DJ Rifk is that short for Terrific? I knew that was gonna come, which DJ put you up to asking this? (laughs). The real thing is my grandfather was Italian and I don’t know why but he called me his little Rifik when I was a little kid. Even when he was mad at me. So when I was 18, I changed my last name to his last name to keep it alive and when it came to seconds of him passing away that I decided that, that would be the perfect name to be my DJ name.
The ambition and the drive.
have the worst day and turn on the radio and hear that song that reminds you of a memory that turns it into the best day of your life. Music is just so powerful that it’s just nothing else I wanted to do. What role do you feel the DJ plays in music? At this point in time I kinda feel like they run it. There’s just so much music out there that the DJs are the ones who are able to show people and keep them in touch with what’s going on and they’re the ones who bring the music to people, they’re basically the outlet. You can have a lamp sitting in the room and electricity in the wall, but until someone connects that, nothing happen and that’s basically what we do. We connect the vibe of music to the crowd. Any current projects you’re working on? I own my own studio, I own Rif’s house. So when I’m not DJing and working with music, I’m recording people. Besides that
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I try to make time for my girlfriend Brandi and for my family. I’m extremely busy, I work 5 nights a week. So other than studio recordings and working at clubs almost every night I kinda try to enjoy life too. Don’t take it for granted because it could be gone in any second. Having a great girl by my side has helped me alot. A girl who loves music and can see my talent and can push me, it’s something I’ve needed and it’s finally here. Social media: @DJRifik
Respect The DJ
from and seeing growth continuing to set goals and work at them. And when you see yourself achieving those goals it motivates you to keep pushing, and to keep growing. Never be content. Stay humbled. Always stay Growing up with traveling musicians, positive and good things will happen. obviously music had a great influence And that’s pretty much how I stay foon your life. How does that translates cused with it. If you allow anything to distract you or take away your focus into your DJ work? People want to be taken on a jour- you’re only hurting yourself. Rememney when your DJ. It’s always nice ber who you are doing this for, and to not hear the same old same old. that’s you. I’m going to ask you the obvious ques- So it’s good to know your route your tion. Dj A.D. The A.D. Stands for what? way around music. Different genre of What project are you currently workIt’s really my initials. It’s Aaron Dan- music. Went to play and what to play. ing on? iels.I just made it A.D. Everybody calls How to play different songs etc...it will I’m working on building my own radio me A.D. anyways. make you stand out as a DJ. A lot of show with TableMannerz DJs called times when you’re DJing, you’re tell- the Roundtable. Breaking new music, When did you step into the DJ game? ing them the story of somebody’s life. interviewing artists, having topic disActually I grew up around music. My People love that. cussions. parents were traveling musicians. They played with The SOS band. My How do you remain focused on posi- www.djad478.com father played the bass, and my moth- tivity in this game? er played the flute. So music has been Just looking back on where I come a part of who I am forever. I fell in love with DJ Ing at a early age. As a teenager, I’m 32 right now. And I started taking it seriously around 2009 which is when I started getting serious gigs.
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Your name as been around for a minute, how long have you been in the game? I actually started DJing and making mixtapes in the late 90s and then I started doing clubs in 2003 and the rest is history. Now what are you mainly focused on right now? Right now I do clubs but I would say my biggest focus is radio. I do a show for the 704Djs syndicated radio network. The 5 oclock traffic jam Monday thru Friday and that’s syndicated. Myblockradio. net, myk93.com and hot1079Fm and mybeat97.7fm in Charlotte North Carolina. Also, Hustle Hard radio on Digital Dope radio. I’m tryna get it in on the radio shows right now. From a DJs perspective, what is the secret to longevity in this game? For me myself personally, it was sticking to what I wanted to do and not really letting anyone else try to mold me or form me into what they wanted me to be or
what they wanted me to play and just really tried to keep up with the trends, the music, and keeping my ears to the streets and see what the younger crowd was listening to, what’s hot on the internet and not necessarily on the radio. What is the importance of DJs banding together? There’s always more strength in numbers and I feel like when DJs come together and help each other out good things always happen. Alot of times its a very cut throat business, so anytime you can kind of connect and network with a group of people that are wanting to help you out as long as you’re willing to add to their movement its always a good situation. What are some of the signs that someone is not a true supporter? I can’t really say, I guess it goes on a case by case basis. As far as DJing, as I look at it is, I just don’t sell myself short as far as money situation. If you don’t feel like
you’re getting the respect you deserve, then I say it’s time to get out of that situation. Are you still making mixtapes? I’m getting ready to kinda get back heavy into the mixtape circuit. I have a new mixtape I’m about to put out with DJ Showtime and TableMannerz. That should be hitting the streets and online in the next few weeks. Social Media: DJHitman239
Respect The DJ would say Dancehall and Hip Hop for sure. Any event that I play, I always throw in some old school Hip Hop and some Dancehall.
Tell us about your name: DJ K.O. Does the K.O Stand for something? Well K.O. is actually my initials: Kevin Octave. They used to call me K.O. in high school and college. Tell us about your DJ life I’ve been DJing for about 4 years now, I actually started when I was in the Air Force and I was deployed in Abu Dhabi. What genre do you prefer? My family is from the West Indies So I
Tell us about your position as a DJ, what sets you aside? In the midwest, a lot of DJs stick to one or two genres, I try to cover every single genres. I try to incorporated any genres to every set that I do. That sets me apart because I can cover any lanes. I’m very versatile. Tell us about the role of the DJ in music. Being in the digital age where music is so available. I think anybody can go on any social media site and find music. I think our role is to basically introduce local artists or new artists or artists that people kind of miss or fall through the cracks. DJs and artists go hand and hand. What does it mean to you to be a part of Table Mannerz DJs? When I first started, Griff Gotti out of Ft
First tell us a little bit about your name and where you’re located. Well the name, DJ Savvy itself, it just came about...I went by a couple of other names for a few years back and I decided I wanted to do something different because that’s just the way I like to be and I just heard people talking about computer savvy and tech savvy, and I was like I Dj and I’ve been doing it for a long time, so why not just be DJ Savvy and it just stuck. And alot of people, they felt it, so I kept it. Coming from Chicago originally, right now I’m in Jacksonville, NC by way of the military. What is the secret to longevity in this game? What is the secret to keeping your passion alive? I would say just staying on top of what’s current. That’s one way to keep yourself out there. If you lose touch, especially nowadays, it’s gonna be rough on you. I just wanted to stay in tune and that’s what I still do. Because initially I was do-
ing house music, I didn’t make the transition between Hip Hop and R&B til actually 2003, having a background in House music, branding and all that, I was able to pick up pretty quick. I have a good ear for music so it wasn’t that hard. I just chose to stay relevant. Being a DJ in the club and everything, I was able to keep up with alot of the current music at the given time. Being that you’ve been in the game so long, can you speak on the changes you’ve seen in music? It’s been quite a few changes, I would say maybe just in the delivery in Hip Hop. As far as from the days of Naz, Tupac and everything. Now you got Migos. And everybody speaks on what’s going on today as far as the youth not being in tune with what Hip Hop really is but my thing is I always say, you meet someone everyday and they know something you don’t. So we can also learn something from these young guys. Because this is the state that the music is going in. As long as you know
Myers, I’ve been following him since he moved from New York, and I always said if I was going to start DJing I would follow him. And he actually introduced me to DJ Showtime. Being a part of Table Mannerz, I’ve gotten alot of gigs just from being a part of Table Mannerz, and as a group we’re a very unique group of DJs. We can be in any part of the world and we’ll rock. That’s something I take to heart. What projects are you currently working on? I DJ in 3 different states throughout the weekends, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado. That’s my rotation and I put maybe 1500 miles every 3 weeks on my car with traveling. And I also have my radio show called “Live from the Mile High” where I play what’s hot and what’s current out in Denver. I do have a couple of events coming up in California with another Table Mannerz DJ. And I also do a day party every Sunday here in Denver with another DJ where we showcase a lot of local artists. Social Media: ThatBoyDjKO
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where your heart is in the game and that you still hold true to form with somethings. But like I said, you gotta stay current nowadays, and that’s just what I do. I don’t bash. It’s alot of music I don’t like but I mean, I deal with it because it’s just what it is but I would never bash an artist for what they do. You just have to come to term with the times and just move on. Where can the readers find you online? My social media is all Official DJ Savvy
SWFL’s Hot Spot
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Photo Credit: Adrian Mata Photography
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his start in the business many years ago. Owning multiple clubs, from Las Vegas to New York, Spinmaster VIani knows just the right formula to provide a superior experience. Hosted by some of the areas greatest DJs, spining a variety of today’s hottests sounds, no matter the genre, V lounge should be your destination for any occasion.
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Do #BlackLivesMatter when those black lives are gay?
Are you next because you’re black? Are you next because you’re gay? With the help of camera phones, social media, and infamous hashtag documentation of police brutality is at an all-time high! With recent documented deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both unarmed black men shot and killed by police while being videotaped by bystanders then released on social media, many people have had enough. Followed by the killing of Korryn Gaines, a black woman who was shot and killed inside of her home by police officers. She filmed her traffic stop hours before her life was taken. People across the nation have taken a stand to let the police force know, BLACK LIVES MATTER! Another tragic massacre that happened this summer, June 12th, 2016 a gunman by the name of Omar Matten opened fire at Pulse Nightclub killing 49 people then himself. Many of those shot were of Latino or Black decent. The world was decorated for almost a month with rainbow flags. But why? Didn’t God want to kill off all homosexuals? Wasn’t this an act of God? Why must we mourn the death of those sinners? If they weren’t at a gay club, they would’ve been alive. Right? Why when unarmed and innocent melaninated people are killed by those who are sworn in to protect in serve isn’t there some kind of national remembrance? Why do they just deserve a #JusticeFor hashtag?
Now many people hate when you compare the gay struggle in America to the black struggle, I am one of those people. Before we open our mouths to admit our sexuality, the first thing they see is the color of our skin. Therefore, judgements are already being made. The big question, “What if you’re black AND gay?” Are you discriminated against because of your sexuality or are you racially profiled because of the color of your skin? BOTH. Imagine what life is like living as an openly gay black male in the time of today. You have to watch out for the police, the church, and society. Join me while I discuss the hardships that Jarvis Barnes turned to advantages being a black and openly gay man in AmeriKKKa. Jarvis Barnes is a 28 year old Coordinator of Federal Grants and Athletics at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where he is a native. “I grew up in ‘the hood’. I watched my mom work two jobs to finally move us into a middle class neighborhood so she could give us a better life. Even though we were able to move, the majority of my family still stayed ‘on the other side of town’. Barnes attended Lee Middle School and graduated from Dunbar High School in 2006 as the senior class president. “I was always the funny guy. I was the guy everybody wanted to be around, even though I was popular, I was very closeted.” Growing up in the Dunbar Community, Barnes said his sexuality was something that was never talked about, but people just knew. “I never told anybody out of my mouth I was gay, I had a boyfriend in high school and everything.” As Barnes grew older, he got tired of living as a closeted gay man. At the age of 16, he came out to his mother in a very heated argument. “I would bring my guy friends over, you could clearly tell they were gay, my mom would
always find something to say. When I would forget to be masculine at certain points in my life, my mom would also drop hints. One day she said, ‘If my son was a punk, I’d put him out.’ ‘Ain no punk gonna be staying at my house.’ At that moment, I finally broke my silence to my mom.” Barnes details the coming out story, “I said, ‘Is there something you want to ask me?’ Finally she did, ‘Are you gay?’ At that moment I was able to proudly say, ‘Yes, I am.’ That moment the argument went into a full breakdown crying session. She grabbed me and immediately starting praying. She thought this was something that you could pray away. We cried for hours.” Contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t the first time that someone tried to ‘pray the gay away’ over Jarvis Barnes. He admitted to not having anyone to talk to and even had thoughts of suicide while growing up. Even after he came out to his mother, the thoughts of suicide never left his head. Barnes decided to also open up to his pastor of his longtime church, St. John First Baptist Missionary Church. He became a part of the praise and worship team as well as created a committee to become an outreach coordinator to get in contact with people who haven’t been to church in a while. “I loved my church. We hardly, if ever missed a Sunday. I would sing, dance, and just praise God. I’ve been a part of that church since I could remember. When I finally got the courage to tell my pastor I was having feelings for the same sex, it didn’t go quite as I planned it. As soon as I told him, he remained calm but was very stern in his beliefs that homosexuality is not of God. He immediately started to pray over me.” Barnes says this pastor was like a mentor to him. For quite some time, Barnes’ mother & church tolerated his sexual orientation but never fully accepted it. “My mom and I had a very
rough patch in our relationship, we didn’t see eye to eye for a long time. With the black church, homosexuality is seen and tolerated but as always nobody wanted to talk about it.” After a rough coming out, Jarvis was ready to get the hell out of Fort Myers. He was accepted into Florida A&M University (FAMU) where he attended the School of Business Industries earning his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration specializing in marketing. “Once I got to college, I STOPPED CARING! I was away from home and could really be who I always knew I was. Now, back home I would see the gay men that would be street walkers or people who were very heavy in the scene, I didn’t go to college to play. I knew I didn’t want to be one of those guys back home, I felt as if I needed to prove myself, especially to my mother. I wanted to show her, LOOK MA! YOUR GAY SON DID IT!” Barnes said his college experience was an amazing ride for him and enjoyed every minute of it. He was able to travel to places such as New Orleans as well as New Mexico. “I felt like me being a black gay male, I added so much diversity to whatever group I was in.” But with diversity, comes controversy Barnes is very involved in community awareness of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has taken off since Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida February 2012. Zimmerman who was a neighborhood watchman followed Martin halfway home because he felt Martin was ‘suspicious’. When Martin confronted Zimmerman about following him, it came to blows ultimately leading to Zimmerman shooting Martin killing him dead. Zimmerman was found not guilty. “That was what really caused me to become awake. I was adamant about not letting those two strikes, 1) Being a black man in America 2)Being a gay black man in America, stopping me from moving forward. Yes, I have felt discriminated against because I was black but again, I
felt like me being gay in some situations got me a pass. I always felt as if I added a different component to whatever I was a part of.” Barnes has noticed a major shift in how he moves throughout the day in more recent times. “I am scared shitless of the police. I was always a law abiding citizen and very adherent to the police force. But now, baby! I’m double cautious. Anybody who knows me, knows I don’t do jail. It seems as if now, I can go to jail for just about anything as long as I’m black. That, which is what I won’t tolerate. Not only am I cautious, I am very alert.” Now, here we have a young black man who identifies as gay. His mother doesn’t agree with his sexuality, the system doesn’t agree with his skin tone, and the church... well, here’s what the church had to say. “This happened not too long ago. Again, everybody who knows Jarvis, knows Jarvis is gay. The pastor knew about it and many of the congregation knew as well. I was absent from a meeting where I was brought up in discussion. Well, not me per say but my sexuality because of the recent disclosure of my engagement.” Remember that boyfriend we mentioned earlier, well yep that’s his finance! Jarvis Barnes and Gilbert Judge plan to get married very soon after being together for 10 years and engaged for 1. Judge proposed to Barnes September 18th, 2015, Barnes birthday. Now back to the juicy stuff! “When I returned back to church, I was blindsided by a member who told me about the meeting. I was so hurt... Here I was feeling like this was my family but they all hated me and disconnected from me simply because of my sexuality... I felt so uncomfortable and out of place that Sunday, I have yet to be back. How can I go to a place that is supposed to exude love and compassion but i don’t feel accepted, comfortable, let alone welcomed? That day is the day I decided to leave the church.” Barnes felt the need to address Pulse shooting, “When the shooting at Pulse Nightclub took
place, Mikey I cried. That was a place that I have been too. That was a place that people of a community that I belong went to feel safe. That community allowed me to feel accepted, safe, and let me be me unapologetically. I was in total shock... I couldn’t imagine that happening and when it did I’ts like, ‘That could’ve been me. I wasn’t the only one who thought that either, my mom called me to check on me. Right then and there, I knew we were finally on the same page. It made me feel so good to hear her voice after such a massacre.” Barnes ended the discussion of homosexuality in the church with this, “I don’t have to go to a physical building to have a relationship with God the higher power. Being black AND gay, there’s no way I would’ve made it through without His grace and mercy. Every day when I wake up, I tell God, ‘Let thy will be done’ then go on about my day.” All in all, Jarvis Barnes is truly a vessel. He continues to be himself no matter what hardships he faces. “I feel as if I have to be a voice because there’s someone out there just like me. They could be going through what I’ve been through or are exactly where I’m at today. I feel as if I have to be involved with the community because I am part of the black community, the black men who have been murdered by police look like me, my friends, and my family. The black women who have been murdered by the police, look like my relatives as well as friends. Yes, it’s hard but I won’t let that stop me. Whether you hate me because I’m gay or because I’m black, I won’t let that stop me. I had to prove myself to my mama. My mama! Who do you really think you’re going to stop?” Jarvis Barnes promises to not only be an ally to his LGBTQ peers but a brother to his community whether its nationally or community based, he stands in his truth with his fist up. “After the storm don’t we all see that little gay rainbow?” - Michael Lamb
I Need Answers... I recently went to an event and the topic was “What question should you ask a potential mate” and the panelist said she had 3 questions: -Do you live with your mother? -Do you have a car? -How many children do you have? and how old? And more recently, while hanging out, a friend told me that I asked too many questions and it felt like he was being interviewed. My response was, how else are we supposed to get to know each other. Are we supposed to date, spend the days, observe each other, not ask the important questions and 6 months to a year later finally find out the answers we seek and realize we’re not right for each other? Who got all that time to waste? I have questions! And I have more than 3. - Are you married or attached in any way romantically? -What is your HIV status? -When’s the last time you got tested? -How many sexual partners do you currently have and do you guys use protection? -What are your dreams and goals? -What kind of work do you do? -How did you get in that line of work? -Do you have any siblings? -Are your parents alive? -What’s your relationship like with them? -What do you look for in a woman? -What qualities are must-haves? -Have you ever lived with a woman? -What motivates you? -What special talents do you have? -Have you ever been arrested? -What’s your stance on discipline? Time outs or whoopins? -Do you like a take charge kind of woman or for a woman to follow your lead? -At what point in life will you be ready to sit back and enjoy? -What are your hobbies? -Do you believe in God?
-What’s your parenting style? -What’s your love language? -What are your views on marriage? -What attracts you abou tme? -How do you usually handle stress? -How do you usually handle conflict? -What are the top 3 of your life? -When’s the last time you were in a relationship? how did that end? How long ago? -I’m absolutely in love with ___________. -What’s your impression of me? -Do you like to cook? -What’s your favorite food? -What’s your favorite color? -What would you do with your life if money was no issue? -Would you like to be famous? -I’m absolutely obsessed with ____________. -What do you love about your closest friend? -What do you fear? -What makes you happy? As I type up these questions, I realize, wow, I’m going to be single forever. No one has time for my shenanigans. But here’s the thing about me. Life is short and I hate wasting time. If we have chemistry and attraction, and potential I want to know how far we could go. My goal ultimately is long term. I’m not saying I’m ready to settle down right now, I’m saying I have alot to offer to the right man and I would hate to waste all that energy on the wrong one. But my big sis Candace tells me patience is key. Have patience and to eliminate expectations. And the hardest part of all, allowing time and actions to tell me about a person. Ain’t nobody got time for that. But for the right one, I guess I just might.
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Published on Sep 6, 2016
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