J'Adore Sports Issue

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(pronounced Jah-Door)


the sports Issue




Floyd Mayweather Jr.

cover images BY: Steven Khan Grooming: Alex LaMarsh Stylist: Lyndzi Trang Suits: Mayweather's Own

Besides Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s gloves, there’s more than meets the eye. J’Adore goes a few rounds with the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.


Black Execs in Professional Sports

Parity comes slowly for black executives in Professional sports, but throwing in the towel is NOT an option.


Oscar De La Hoya: Stay Gold

With numerous successful business ventures including his highly lucrative company, Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar ‘The Golden Boy’ De La Hoya still shines.

Shower shot: Pants: Elmer Ave. Belt & Holster: Engineered by Remy

84 86 87

Playing in Different Arenas

Six black athletes in non-traditional sports.

The Allied Athlete Group

AAG Foundation Awards Gala features a galaxy of athletic legends and entertainers who love to give back.

Etan Thomas: Forward Thinking

NBA’s ‘Gentle Giant’ Etan Thomas leads the league in social awareness.



the sports Issue

Departments 14

image BY: Kenny Sweeney




Real Life

14 Redemption: Black in America 2 16 Tourette’s Syndrome: “I Can’t Help It” 17 Michael Vick: Lessons Learned? 18 Fly Guy Chronicles: 4 Tips When Her Best Friend is a Guy 20 On the Move

life & style

22 Health and Fitness: Discovering Ground-breaking Secrets to Weight Loss 23 Sex Exercise 24 Food & Sports: The Best Eats in Top U.S. Sports Cities 28 The Dish: The Veteran Vegan 29 Cold One … 01 30 Hip Sips 32 Still Smoking 34 Beauty & Grooming 38 Smell Goods 39 Guilty Pleasures

mODEL CITIZENS 42 Rick Mora 44 Kaitlyn Gillis 46 Caesar Valdez 48 Katherine Guevara 50 Crème De La Crème: Alysha Young 52 Casting Couch: Marcus Aurelius

image BY: Justin Hyte





54 The Mixed Art of Fighting 56 More Than a Film 58 Athletes You Need To Know 60 Shane Sparks: Gladiator Style 61 Tarrus Smiley: Back to the Roots 62 Jahdan Blakkamore: Ready To Rise 64 Game. Style. Match.: The Best Dressed Athletes 66 Wifey Material 68 Prince: 1999 and Beyond

HAUTE FASHION 88 Fashion How To 89 Watch This 90 Stepping Out 92 A Gentleman’s Game 100 One Night Only 102 Winter Break


106 Flawless Victory 108 The Tech Side 110 The Wheels of the Future 112 On the Reel 113 Top 10 End Zone Celebrations of All Time 114 Music Reviews 116 Book Reviews 118 The Last Page




CEO & PUBLISHER Courtney Francis & Taneish Leslie President Leon Minott Vice President David Gilmore EDITORIAL Executive Editor - Dennis Malcolm Byron ASSOCIATE EDITOR - Tedra Coakley COPY Editor - Andrea Irvin Associate Editor - Lauryn Boone Editorial Director - Jasana Alleyne Deputy Editor - Shawn Jackson Fashion Director - Linh Nguyen Beauty Director - Alex LaMarsh STAFF & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dawn Alicia Montgomery, Evita Robinson, Lakeisha Williams, DeWayne Rogers, Montayne Farrar, Kathy Harris, Simeon Gant, D. Kevin McNeir, Angela P. Moore-Thorpe, Ginger Halliwell, Tera Thomas, Ty Reynolds, Laura Turner, Robert Littal, Robert J Mair, Tashir J. Lee, Ale Sharpton, Andrea Janise, Ezinne Ukoha; Erica McRae, Imani Pope-Johns, Emerald Lavender, Pharoh Martin, Tony Gaskins Jr., Kimberly Walker, Tianna Faulkner, Molly D. Kenner, Eric Payne, Rational Chaos, Ronda Racha Penrice, Sia Tiambi Barnes, Bernard Wilson marketing/ADVERTISING Dante Simpson, DSA MEDIA GROUP dsimpson@dsamediaonline.com, 646.417.8198 ext. 704 ARCHITECtS Creative Directors - Taneish Leslie, Jasana Alleyne & Elese Patterson Executive Assistant -Michol “Nikkie Santoro” Gardner Art Director - Fran Sherman Graphic Designer - Byron Harris Photo Editor - Alex LaMarsh PHOTOGRAPHERS Anne Park, Mark Sacro, Paul Lawson, Milkman, Anthony Amadeo, Ricardo Louis, Dennis Malcolm Byron, Mike Cooke, Mykeon Smith, Earl Randolph, Maicol, Reggie Bates, Kid A, Kenny Sweeney, Derek Blanks, Justin Hyte, Steven Khan, Rhotogenic, Kenneth Townsend, Leticia F. PRODUCTION DIRECTORS Taneish Leslie & Alex LaMarsh promotions Elese Patterson, Rohan Sutherland of Genesis Marketing & Promotions (561) 859-7552 Neishon Leslie of Presidential Touch PUBLIC RELATIONS Nakia Hicks Vision Media Management, LLC, (347) 423-2692 JADOREMAG.COM Web Designer - Laura Turner Webmaster - Digital Images NEWSSTAND SPECIALIST John Blassingame (609)655-3667

J’Adore Magazine and jadoremag.com reserve the right to update and change this disclaimer at any time. The opinions expressed in the editorial, article, and interviews published within this publication and on our website, www.jadoremag.com, are solely the opinions of the writers and do not represent the opinions of the J’Adore Magazine staff. All Web site design, text, graphics, the selection and arrangement thereof, and all software are © 2006 - 2008 J’Adore Magazine. Permission is granted to electronically copy and to print in hard copy portions of jadoremag.com for the sole purpose of information or personal entertainment. Any other use of materials on jadoremag.com, including reproduction for purposes other than those noted above, modification, distribution, or republication without the prior written permission of J’Adore Magazine and jadoremag.com is strictly prohibited. All other trademarks, product names, and company names or logos cited herein are the property of their respective owners, and any use of their material is hereby gratefully acknowledged. Sources, authors, dates, etc. are specified whenever and wherever possible. J’Adore Magazine makes no claims to any non-original properties and utilizes material whenever courtesy is allowed or implied. Except as specifically stated on this site, neither J’Adore Magazine, jadoremag.com, nor any of its creators or other representatives will be liable for damages arising out of or in connection with the use of this site. By using links provided on jadoremag.com that lead to sites other than the J’Adore Magazine, you agree to hold the Publisher of J’Adore Magazine from any liability resulting from your use of those sites. This is a comprehensive all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, or loss of data. J’Adore Magazine distances itself from content on non-J’Adore Magazine web sites and is not responsible for the content on the sites to which it links.

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Publisher's Letter

Good Tidings J’Adorians!

image BY: Derek Blanks makeup: Tierra Burrell Hair: April Jackson Styling: Betrice Benbow

I trust you are all well. I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the holidays. This is my favorite time of year, despite the cold weather. It’s a very magical time, with the chance to reflect on the past year and prepare to embrace the new. The holidays always seem to bring everyone together—lots of sharing and caring. It’s also a great season for fashion and, with our Haute Fashion department, we didn’t let you down. Fashion expert Ezinne Ukoha gives the do’s, don’ts and how to’s for the winter and an avant-garde fashion spread guides you on how to remain fashionably warm during the winter months. In this installment of J’Adore, sports are the featured theme. We covered as many genres as possible—from basketball to boxing, football, skating, fishing, swimming, poker and the list goes on. Most athletes are businessmen and women outside of their respective sports. Some are company and foundation owners working with different charities to give back to the community. Most of us aren’t privy to some of the work these athletes do, which is why J’Adore has decided to highlight and acknowledge some of these individuals (see our Real Life, Entertainment and Feature departments). Also, don’t forget to check out our Lifestyle section. We have a confession from the former mistress of an NFL player, a great new Vegan recipe from former basketball player John Salley, Ludacris debuts his new cognac, while Dr. Mignon Marquina gives ground-breaking secrets to a healthy weight loss diet. In J’Adore Xtras, we give you the 411 on the newest games and gadgets, cars and books, as well as a tribute to some of the athletes who lost their lives recently. As you know, we are a bi-monthly publication and this is our last issue of the year. This year has been a wonderful one for us, as we enjoyed producing and sharing J’Adore with the world. I thank God for his many blessings that he has bestowed upon us and I pray he continues to bless us all. I’ve learned a lot in 2009 and by the grace of God, I’ll be able to implement all that I’ve learned in 2010 to make J’Adore even better than before. Don’t forget to check us out on the Web at www.jadoremag.com for more interviews and exclusive footage. I thank you all for your love and support. Until we meet again, have a safe holiday, always give thanks and be blessed! Happy Holidays!

Taneish Leslie Publisher J'Adore Magazine

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on the web

Here is a sneak peek of what J'Adore's Web site, www.jadoremag.com, has for you:

The full Floyd Mayweather Jr. interview and exclusive video footage of his photo shoot! • Hugging the Road: Cars to bring in the new year • The Colts' Dwight Freeney: Watch your back • Plus sports celebrities, grooming and beauty tips, Suite Spots, opinion pieces and lots more!

Redemption Redem

real life


words by: David Gilmore

Several months ago, veteran CNN anchor and special correspondent, Soledad O'Brien, presented in two parts, “Black Women and Family” and “Black Men in America” as CNN’s Special Report: “Black In America.” In our review, as well as a large

segment of the viewing audience, we felt and responded very clearly in the blogosphere that the attempt to examine and report the successes, failures, struggles and complex issues faced by Blacks in America was incomplete in part one. It should be noted that at the time, there was no indication that there was to be a follow-up to this presentation. My opinion was that the separate, two-hour segments fell very short of a fair representation of the black experience in America, forty years after the historic Poor Peoples’ March on Washington and the very climatic “Dream” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Like the first presentations, parts three, “Today’s Pioneers” and four, “Tomorrow’s Leaders” were played in the same format and hosted again by O’Brian on subsequent evenings. Although I don’t have the viewing statistics, I would imagine it was seen by millions since it was promoted as the follow-up to its predecessor to answer the many critics like me. I begin with stating that this was, by far, a better and more reasonable presentation. Not that the other wasn’t representative of fact, but it was just too negative and lacked balance. I found that these stories were very informative, wholesome, positive and left me feeling good about what some of our community is about. For the continuing saga, O’Brien reported from Brooklyn, N.Y. where humanitarian Malaak Compton-Rock, wife of comedian Chris Rock, has created “Journey for Change.” “Journey for Change” is an innovative program aimed at expanding the limited world and life exposure of inner-city, economically disadvantaged teens. O’Brien and Compton-Rock traveled to South Africa with over two dozen teens for two weeks of volunteer service in shanty towns and AIDS orphanages. The result was improved confidence and experience, which transformed these kids’ perspectives on life and the meaning of giving. This will be an ongoing

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activity with a follow-up component to monitor and guide these impressionable youths as they navigate their adolescent learning processes. O’Brien also had an extensive interview with one of our previously featured subjects, media mogul Tyler Perry and a rare tour of his film studios in Atlanta, Ga., Perry talks with O’Brien about the importance of control and creative vision. He certainly does come across as a model for success via determination. These stories inspire viewers with modern day heroes living everyday lives. We saw a heroic oncologist who continues her research in Detroit and Ghana, despite the doctor’s fears about her own recent biopsy. O’Brien also profiles community organizers from across the country who are creating progress at a local level. From an innovative Chicago health clinic that uses barbers to encourage black men to seek the medical care they need, to the founder of the “Black Marriage Day” project who works with couples in 300 cities to help develop strong, healthy families, this segment profiles people working to make a difference. My favorite is Principal Steve Perry from Hartford, Conn., who founded a year-round magnet high school that sends all of its graduates to college. “These stories are not just inspirational, they offer approaches to pressing

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mption “These stories are not just inspirational, they offer approaches to pressing issues that viewers are facing and can adapt to their lives.”

issues that viewers are facing and can adapt to their lives,” said Mark Nelson, vice president and senior executive producer of CNN Productions. I had an opportunity to speak with several of the CNN staffers who said there wouldn’t have been an opportunity for the second series if the first had not been done and, by industry standards, been so successful. The second documentary in the two-night series focuses on people who are developing black leaders for tomorrow. John Rice’s “Management Leadership for Tomorrow” mentors talented black professionals to help them rise to positions of power and success in America’s companies. This and other examples were and continue to be the stories we need to see. Although unfortunate and somewhat

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undesirable, there are negative stories, but presented in the proper context, sensitivities’ and balance, I think we can appreciate and absorb the intent and dissemination of this information. It has been recently announced there will be a series for the Hispanics in America also. The question begs, in the light of equal opportunity, will there be one for Asians in America? Also, why not organize a series on being white in America? I wonder what the white people experience is. I think it’s a fair question since we needed to know what it means to be black in America. Why not reverse it as well? J


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real life


the power of

Tourette Syndrome:

"I Can’t Help It."

Words By: Shawn Jackson

“I can’t help it.” These four words have sometimes been the bane of my existence because I’ve had to explain and clarify

what causes me to twitch and yell. How many times have you heard someone say these words and not believed them? For many people with Tourette syndrome, it can be a hard pill to swallow when someone doesn’t believe that they can’t control the movements or vocalizations that this syndrome causes. As a person

Did you know…

Did you know there are a number of professional athletes who have to deal with Tourette Syndrome while making great plays? Check it out:

David Beckham Soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy

living with Tourette, I can tell you that what you see in the movies, for the most part, is not a true representation of what the syndrome is. I suppose for anyone to understand what Tourette is, you must first understand what it’s not. Tourette Myth #1: ‘It’s that thing where you cuss all the time.’

Coprolalia, the complex vocal tic that has been sensationalized in the media such as in the movie Not Another Teen Movie or in the serial Vlog of “The Tourette Guy,” is actually a rare occurrence in those with Tourette syndrome and is attributed to fewer than 15 percent of Tourette sufferers. It’s characterized by outbursts of racial epithets, swear words and, or other socially forbidden words or phrases. Contrary to popular belief, Coprolalia, especially the racial epithets or derogatory swear words, are not aimed at anyone and are almost completely random and usually cause embarrassment for the Tourette sufferer when in a public environment. Tourette Myth #2: ‘People with Tourette are mentally ill.’ This is one of the more major myths concerning Tourette. While it’s true that some who suffer with Tourette have other disorders such as ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder (OCD) and, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette itself is not a psychological illness, but rather a syndrome. The physical cause of Tourette is an overproduction of certain neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and is a hereditary disorder, though how it is such isn’t completely understood. Tourette Myth #3: ’If they can control it, then it’s not involuntary.’

This is one of the hardest things to explain properly, but in my experience and from what I’ve read of others living with Tourette, it’s completely involuntary and I only have very limited control over my tics such

as suppression of them or masking a tic to look like something else. In suppressing my tics (as with others) it will cause them to worsen later on. Think of it as if you’re rolling toy car back (the kind that is propelled by a rubber band) to build potential energy. When you finally release the car and all that potential energy is released, it then becomes kinetic energy. In the same way, when I suppress my tics, over time that “stored energy” must come out sooner or later and when it does it is worse than if I had not suppressed them in the first place.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson) LSU basketball star and former NBA guard; now 40, he is currently playing pro ball with Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia).

Tim Howard Goalkeeper for Everton Football Club

Tourette Myth #4: ‘A ren’t they all mentally retarded or something?’

One of the more commonly held and believed misconceptions about Tourette sufferers has to do with their intelligence and it’s been noted and studied that while some may have learning disorders, they’re no less intelligent than the population at large. In fact, some studies suggest that some with Tourette have not only enhanced cognitive control (control over movement) but also have exhibited higher IQ levels than their parents, while other studies show that 76 percent of children with Tourette only have faster motor control and ability than their non-Tourette or Tourette plus ADHD peers. There are certainly more misconceptions and assumptions about Tourette that need to be addressed, but I trust these answers will assist in spreading the truth about this challenging disorder. To read the rest of “I Can’t Help It,” visit J’Adore’s Web site at www.jadoremag.com. J

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Steve Wallace NASCAR driver

Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg Motocross rider

Eric Bernotas U.S. Olympic Skeleton team

michael vick lessons learned?

truth words By: David Gilmore

Because of Vick, 27 new laws passed at both the federal and state levels to increase punishments against dog fighting


he Michael Vick dog fighting situation is about to be old news. If I may be so bold as to predict, he will recapture his fame and wealth in the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles as a sports story. In spite of all the naysayers, he has been reinstated. While we wait the passage of time to heal the self inflicted wounds of dog fighting, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback sensation has made an attempt to rectify his terrible deeds. As a human interest story, he made an alliance with the Humane Society and given a platform to speak out against dog fighting in part to repair his image but, more importantly, to bring more attention to the issue and the ugliness of this so-called sport. As a result of the publicity and subsequent conviction of Michael Vick, there have been 27 new laws passed at both the federal and state levels to increase punishments against dog fighting. The crime is now a felony in all 50 states. law enforcement is now sensing that this is a crime the public won’t stand for. They have increased their enforcement of the law, stepping up raids and following tips all over the country. The question still arises as to Michael Vick’s sincerity to the cause. I don’t know if it really matters at this point. He’s paid his debt to society with his incarceration, he’s lost a lot of money and stature, and he’s said all the right things to put himself back on track—isn’t that enough? I think we need to sit back and

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watch and see how this story unfolds. I believe in some circumstances, when allotted a second chance, we have to see how it plays out. Hopefully, others will see the unfortunate events of Michael Vick and take it to heart and avoid making the same mistakes. I don’t know how many other convicted felons can come out of jail and be given the same opportunity. Playing a professional sport and reaping the profound benefits is an honor and a privilege enjoyed by few, and should be cherished for the gift and privileges associated to it. Some choose to squander the spoils and act in appropriate ways as we have seen, but for the most part they’re the few. The challenge is to be smart and protect yourself at all times, in and out of the ring of life. When you leave the arena and do something stupid, the haters are out to get you and make an example of you. Your riches can only help you but so much. The thing to remember is that it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. J


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real life


flyguy chronicles


t ips when her best friend

words By: The Fly Guy

is a guy

Relationship expert Fly Guy discloses the secrets to maintaining with your partner. So here’s the scenario: You meet a woman, think she’s wonderful and subsequently work to pursue something meaningful with her. And by all accounts, things are going really well between the two of you. She’s smart, funny, goal-oriented, grounded … basically any and everything that you could possibly hope for in a mate. There’s just one small problem: Her best friend is a guy. Now you may be thinking, Well, what’s wrong with that? To be honest, a lot. It’s rare to find a man that’s actively looking for female best friends. (Find me one, and I’ll find you a liar.) More often than not, those types of relationships develop as a result of some failed romantic pursuit. Either he wanted her, she wanted him, or it fell in line with the latest trend of couples breaking up and trading in their “His and Her” t-shirts for BFF bracelets. With all of that unspoken gray in the equation, a man is faced with two distinct choices: He can either (a) walk away and let them continue to be best friends, or he can (b) fight for his place as the number one man in her life. I’d like to discuss the latter with my 5 Dating Tips For When Her Best Friend Is A Guy.

Step 1: Show no signs of jealousy

So her best friend is a guy–a guy that actually likes women. When she initially reveals that her best friend’s name is Tony and not Tonya, expect her to search for any signs of displeasure in your demeanor. Why? Well, the last four men that she dated didn’t take it too well, so she’s expecting you to react like them. But you know better. So stay cool, and even acknowledge your relief that she has good people in her life. Now is not the time to fight this type of battle.

Step 2: Uncover their history

Casually ask her questions about the origins of their friendship. Did they used to date? Did he make a move only to get placed in the friend zone? Have they ever made any occasional drunken mistakes? Once you gather the proper background information, you can then begin to assess his mindset. After all, your main concern is his intentions, not hers.

Step 4: Find him a girlfriend

Is it just me, or are 95 percent of all male best friends single? (The other five percent are in rocky relationships that could end at any moment.) That’s a problem in itself. You don’t need him laying around waiting for her to cry on his shoulder. No, he needs a woman of his own. So hook him up with an acquaintance. You can even suggest that the four of you go on a double date. * Note: Step 4 only becomes a viable option when you’ve followed Step 3 and have developed a nice rapport with him. (See, there is a method to my madness).

The Fly Conclusion: Take his place The final step often proves to be the toughest part for men. Some men expect their woman to scale back the “best friend” relationship without being offered a better alternative. That never happens. If Step 3: Be nice you aren’t comfortable with him being such an important part of her There’s no sense in acting like you disapprove of his presence in her life. life, then pick up his slack. Those types of objections immediately place your significant other on the deBy giving her everything that she needs in a male companion, their fensive, ultimately bringing the pair closer as she feels compelled to defend his relationship will naturally change. Friends of the opposite sex often honor. Trust me: going down the angry road and sleeping with Paris Hilton have fill voids in the lives of their single friends. But she’s no longer single, more in common than you may initially think. (Both are wrong, and when you so the only person that should be “filling voids” around these parts is do it anyway, you pay the price down the road.) you. (I can’t go there with you guys … my grandmother may reading Instead, take the road less traveled by getting to know him. This approach this.) So do you get what I’m saying? provides you with a clearer sense of why she values his friendship. Good.


DeWayne Rogers is the author of The Fly Guy Chronicles, your in-depth guide to love, relationships and j’adore jadoremag.com everything hazy in between. Love advice may never be the same.  www.flyguychronicles.com

real life



on the

Real estate expert Ryan Assad addresses the current status of housing market in the U.S. and how professional athletes deal with finding a new home


words by: Dennis Malcolm Byron Jr.

ith stimulus initiatives instilled by the government to combat the numerous foreclosures

and simultaneously encourage Americans to buy property, an analysis by an expert in this field is always warranted in this volatile U.S. housing market.

Having a career backed by 13 years of experience in selling real estate including a recent induction into the RE/MAX Hall Of Fame in 2008, Ryan Assad proudly serves as the relocation council for Allied Athletes Group. Along with providing his expertise in the current status of the housing market, Ryan addresses some of the challenges professional athletes go through during their career regarding finding a place to live. J’A dore: What is the current status if the housing market?

Ryan A ssad: Right now, the market is still going through some tough times. The summer market saw good activity and sales. This is still continuing through the fall season, but the prices are still down and the offers we are receiving on our listings are lower than we would like to see. It is still a strong buyer’s market and who can blame them for trying to take advantage of it. The patient buyer can get

unbelievable deals right now, especially on new construction. Many builders are now working with their banks to unload their current inventory homes and lots at rock bottom prices. I recently spoke with a builder in a gated country club that has a custom home that has been sitting on the market for two years. He has spent $2.3 million on it and he is working with his bank to try to get $1.7 million for it. As you would suspect the higher end homes that are $1 million and up are being hardest

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hit. Right now, pricing a home properly is the most important factor in it selling. Buyers are looking for a deal, not just buying a home at market value. What are your thoughts on the $8,000 First (New) Home Buyer Tax Credit in the 2009 Stimulus Package? One of the best stimulus ideas has been the $8000 first time buyer tax credit. This has really spurred a great deal of home purchase activity in the

first time buyer market which has been fantastic. Unfortunately, it is set to expire in December. There is an effort to try to convince Congress to extend it, which would be great for the recovery of our market. What do you think will happen when it is over? When the stimulus ends, I don’t know. Based on what I have observed, the stimulus package has only had a nominal effect on the market. So much of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money given to banks was never loaned out to consumers, so we did not see the results I think many people expected. Right now, a big problem we have is that deals are getting harder to get closed, even if you agree on terms. Things such as appraisals and the new rules surrounding them have caused a real headache for agents, sellers and buyers. Also, how to use all the foreclosure and short sales as comparables has made it difficult to truly value normal market price sales.

Let’s switch gears. Discuss your affiliation with A llied Athlete Group. I have been affiliated with Allied Athlete Group for about six months as one of their three residential real estate partners and it has been a great asset to my business. Michael Stone (CEO) and his team have been a great resource for information and referrals and they are passionate about the mission of the company. They truly value their athlete members as well as their professional business partners. All of the Preferred Partners go through an extensive background checks and in-person interviews to be sure they are the best, most experienced and ethical professionals that their athlete members can trust. Recently, I received a referral from an out-ofstate agent that has a professional athlete client that is moving to Atlanta. My affiliation with AAG was a deciding factor in the athlete choosing me to represent them in their move to Atlanta.

Do pro athletes usually buy or rent since their careers often involve a lot of relocating?

In the past, most professional athletes have chosen to buy homes and condos. While the market was good, they could always sell them if they got traded or wanted to move. In the past 12-18 months we have seen a large number of professional athletes that have decided to rent homes or condos instead of purchasing. In fact, an agent friend of mine that is a new home sales agent at a very exclusive country club told me that they are seeing more athletes looking to rent than to buy right now, which is a new trend. I believe that they are often worried that they will be traded and have to move to another city and do not want the burden or expense of having to sell an expensive home in a slow market. Also, with the high end market slowing down, many high-end home owners have chosen to go ahead and buy their new home and are renting their old home. We are seeing a lot more inventory of

The patient buyer can get unbelievable deals right now, especially on new construction. Being affiliated with AAG, I am sure you can shed What can we expect regarding the housing market in 2010? I am cautiously optimistic. I think much of the success of the market in 2010 is tied to the jobs market. If the private sector starts to create jobs and people start to feel secure in their current jobs, the market will begin to recover. If jobs are not created, I believe we will see a continuation of the sluggish market and distress sales. My opinion is that we are probably at or near a bottom price-wise, but it will be a while before prices start to increase. I certainly hope I am wrong, but I am yet to see the catalyst that tells me that the momentum is swinging back in the right direction. That being said, I believe it is a fantastic time to buy a home. Prices are back at around 2002 levels and there are great deals to be had. My buyers that are looking now are getting great buys at prices we have not seen in years. The key for buyers is that you have to have great credit and a good down payment. The days of Adjustable Rate, interest-only mortgages with average credit are over.

some light on what professional athletes demand when looking for a home?

Regarding professional athletes, some of the things that I find are common requests and desires in their real estate purchases are gated neighborhoods for privacy and exclusivity, pools, workout rooms, home theaters, beautifully finished terrace levels and golf courses in their neighborhood. Also, several baseball players that live locally have batting cages in their backyards. Most of their requests are very similar to the wants and needs of today’s high level business executives, with quality of construction and materials being most important. Creating a great lifestyle is always the goal for today’s professional athletes.

beautiful $1 million+ homes coming on the market for rent. These athletes no longer have to rent older, dated homes; they can now find beautiful, newer homes that builders and homeowners are glad to rent during this slow market. Is there a certain agreement they make sure of in case they get traded when buying a home?

Michael Stone at AAG told me that they do not offer those clauses to players. They are on their own to sell their homes if they choose to move with a trade. Also, the individual teams do not have any sort of relocation programs or home buyout plans for the players (unlike most high level corporate executives). We talked about AAG being an agent of change for professional athletes and this is something that we feel should be addressed for the benefit of the athletes. For more on Ryan Assad, please visit www.ryanassad. com. Allied Athletes Group’s Website is www.alliedathletegroup.com. J

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Life & style



Health Fitness Discovering Ground Breaking Secrets to

weightloss J'A dore Magazine: Dr. Mignon Marquina, the word is out. You have a better, more effective way to lose weight and remain healthy. Your specialty is Bariatric Medicine. What exactly is it? Dr. Marquina: Bariatric Medicine is the study and management of overweight and obesity. Within the field of bariatric medicine you have the non-surgical treatment of obesity and [being] overweight and then you also have the surgical treatment of [being] overweight and obesity. Even when people choose the surgical intervention to treat their obesity, that treatment has to be complemented with some lifestyle behavior changes. So, people aren't even off the hook if they get surgery. They still have to do the work of changing their nutrition and changing their lifestyle. That's the only way the surgery's going to work. It seems that A mericans are more overweight, even obese, than ever before. In your professional opinion, why is it that so many people struggle with being overweight and obesity?


re you stressed out over diet and exercise? Chances are you answered “yes” to that question. Americans are spending billions of dollars to be thinner and healthier, yet we’re larger than ever and we’re suffering from weight-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol at alarming rates. J’Adore Magazine had a sit-down with the talented and successful Dr. Mignon Marquina to find out about being overweight, obesity and the myths of weight loss

words By: Molly D. Kenner

You know it's very interesting. What I believe from the research is [that] a part of the problem is inadequate eating habits and the fact that people are so busy today. People have very tight schedules. We are running around and we don't take time to prepare our meals. As a result, we don't know what we're going to eat. We've been out of the house since 8 a.m.. We know we're not going to be back until 7 p.m.. We have no food with us. We haven't planned anything. At 3 p.m. we're usually starving and what's available? Typically, what's available is fast food. Healthier items, like salad, on fast food restaurant menus, frequently have the same calories as the general items on the menu. For example, there's a particular fast food restaurant that offers the luxury of a salad. That salad has 700 calories, 300 of which are from fat. That's the same calorie breakdown, including fat calories,that you'd get in that restaurant's cheeseburger. Your

patients have gotten truly amazing results with your

weight loss procedures.


is the prime candidate for your

method of weight loss?

You know that's surprising. I'd say the average person I see in my office with complaints of being overweight or obese are women from age 30 to their 60s. I see men in their 40s. To read the rest of the interview, visit us on the Web at www.jadoremag.com. J




Kegel exercises are one of the most well-known tools for words by: L. Raquel Peterson improving female sexual performance, but they actually eed a reason to get into shape? How about a phenomenal sex benefit both sexes. Consisting life! Studies have shown that people in great physical shape of deliberate contractions of the have some of the best sex lives. Excellent physical health aids pubococcygeus muscles of the sexual performance by allowing increased blood flow to sen- pelvic floor muscles, kegels help sitive areas (increasing stimulation), boosting energy and maximizing both sexes avoid urinal incontinence, a problem that increases your orgasmic capacity. If you find the concept ludicrous, please keep in mind fitness is comprised of three ma- as we age. jor parts: endurance, flexibility and strength. People in excellent physical condition possess Women can “kegel” before, higher levels of overall aerobic endurance, muscular strength and flexibility, which all aid in during and after pregnancy sexual intercourse and reduce the risks of injury during sexual activity. Additionally, studies to prepare for childbirth and have shown those out of shape have less sexual motivation than their buffer counterparts. maintain vaginal elasticity. Furthermore, a toned physique also improves self-confidence in the bedroom. Additionally, kegels can help While the general “instruction” for reaching maximum fitness potential is to “eat clean tighten the vaginal canal, and exercise correctly,” there are specific things you can do in order to begin developing into a lean, mean sex machine. Of course, this is for your information, and is not medical advice. improving erotic sensation for both the woman and her Check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness plan. partner. Many women credit kegels for improving the ease Pilates Yoga Weightlifting of achieving intense multiple Pilates is a core-based series Many profess that yoga (which For men in particular, impleorgasms. Men who practice of exercises emphasizing balmeans “union”) is a fantastic menting a consistently kegels may have a hard time anced development of the tool for sexual performance. challenging weightlifting finding devices to assist them, body through core strength, Much like Pilates, Yoga routine not only increases but regular kegel practices help flexibility and awareness in orstrengthens the “union” of the muscle strength and stamina, them sustain stronger erecder to support fluid movement. mind, body and spirit, improvit improves blood flow and tions. Additionally, men can Creator Joseph Pilates stated ing balance in the body with allows them to sustain chaltreat benign prostatic hyperplathe five basic principles behind strength and flexibility through lenging positions. Ever had sex sia (BPH) and prostatis. his method of exercise are con- the performance of poses upside down while standing? The easiest way to recognize trol, concentration, centering, or postures which each have Heavy weight lifting skyrockwhat a kegel feels like and how flow and breathing. Based on specific benefits for the user. ets testosterone levels in men, to perform it is to stop and start a mind-body connection, this However, yoga followers admit increasing their sex drive. As a the flow or urine midstream highly adaptable program is that the practice is more spiriman ages, or adopts poor lifewhile using the bathroom. Once successful for a wide range of tually inclined than most other style practices, testosterone you have located the muscles individuals. Most notably, for exercises. Yoga deeply recoglevels can drop and decrease simply tighten and relax the our needs, Pilates builds stronnizes sexuality as a necessary the libido as a result. In fact, muscle over and over, around ger core (abdominal) muscles component of who we are as low testosterone levels have 200 times a day (or more). needed to help sustain sexual well as the powerful effect it even been linked to erectile These are basic kegels, but movements for extended possesses between lovers. In dysfunction. Certain exercisthere are many variations. To lengths of time as well as the fact, a certain category of yoga es are said to affect sex drive aid with practice, women can ability for deep, sustained known as Kundalini is partially more than others will, includpurchase kegel exercisers such breathing which oxygenates devoted to increasing sexual ing bench presses, lunges, back as Jade Eggs (www.jadeeggs. the blood and increases blood energy and awareness, ensquats and pull-ups. com), which are available online, flow. hancing the sex life overall. as well as in specialty shops.


words By: L. Raquel Peterson  j’adore


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Life & style



& the best eats in top U.S. sports cities Words by: Andrea Janise


very great sports town has a regional dish that’s just as popular as the athletic squads associated with that city. From trying to slam down an “Almost Famous” in the Steel City to challenging yourself to finish a slice of deep dish pizza in Chicago, here are some famous hot spots to chow down and cheer on your favorite teams recommended by the locals of four die-hard sports towns.

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sports Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Known for having the most “winningest” year in 2009 is not the only thing the Steel City has going for it. With the Steelers’ Super Bowl title and the Penguins’ Stanley Cup under their belts, you may wonder if there’s something in the water of the ‘Burgh’s connecting three rivers that gives these athletes that heir of domination. Or could it be the food?

The Breakdown: During the early 1900s, the population of Pittsburgh began to grow. Settlers of Jewish, Polish, Italian and Slovakian decent took up residence in sections of the city and introduced new foods and traditions. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to walk into a Pittsburgh diner and see Polish pierogies (doughy pockets filled with potato and cheese), Slovakian Haluski (fried egg noodles sautéed with cabbage) or an Italian meatball hoagie on the menu. So next time you visit the Iron City, grab a hoagie, a pierogi or a sandwich with the works at one of these spots the locals put at the top of the list:

The Scouting Report:

Primanti Brothers 46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 www.primantibrothers.com Primanti Brothers are famous for their “Almost Famous” sandwich stacked with fresh sliced meat, coleslaw and French fries in between two slices of hearty Italian bread. This Pittsburgh staple has wooed customers since the 1930’s and continues to serve long lines of hungry patrons 24 hours a day.

The Original Hot Dog Shop

3901 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 A definite Pittsburgh landmark, the “O” or the “Dirty O” as it is affectionately termed, has been serving its fair share of hot dogs, twice fried French fries and Italian meatball hoagies in its modest storefront for almost 50 years. Pierogies Plus 342 Island Avenue, McKees Rocks, PA 15136 www.pierogiesplus.com For the most authentic Polish pierogies and Haluski, visit Pierogies Plus about 10 minutes outside of the city. Can’t get there? No worries. They will ship their “made from scratch” pierogies anywhere in the U.S.

Buffalo, New York

The arrival of wide receiver Terrell Owens in Buffalo really gave this upstate New York sports team a much needed adrenaline shot, but the city’s namesake chicken wings–Buffalo wings–has always kept the city’s pulse pumping strong.

The Breakdown: During the mid 1960s in a Buffalo restaurant called the Anchor Bar, owner Teressa Bellisimo whipped up something special; she deep fried chicken wings, tossed them in hot sauce and served them to her late night guests. These wings quickly gained popularity throughout the Buffalo area and became a household name nationally and abroad a few years later. Buffalo-style wings are deep fried (sometimes breaded) and coated with a buttery cayenne pepper

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sauce, usually served with celery and blue cheese to curb the spiciness. Although these fiery wings can be found in just about every sports bar across the U.S., locals say that you can’t get them anywhere as good as you can in Buffalo—but where? You can’t lose with the following:

The Scouting Report:

Anchor Bar 1047 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209 www.anchorbar.com The original recipe was crafted here. Need we say more? Duff’s Famous Wings 3651 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY 14226 Duff’s is Anchor Bar’s closest rival to having the best wings in Buffalo. Known for delivering wings to the table smoking hot and fast, Duff’s remains a favorite to many Buffalonians. Cole’s 1104 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222 www.meetmeatcoles.com A Buffalo staple since the 1930s, Cole’s Restaurant serves their tasty wings with quality beer to wash it down. So if you’re looking to pair an ale or lager that will balance out the spiciness of the wings, Cole’s will give you plenty to choose from.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With the Philadelphia Eagles’ addition of the infamous Michael Vick and their overall volatile quarterback situation so far in 2009, sports fans around the world are staying tuned to see what will

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Life & style


top row, left to right: primanti brothers, hot doug's, abner's bottom row, left to right: anchor bar , gino's east

happen next in this sports soap opera. Regardless, one thing that won’t change in the City of Brotherly Love is, well, the love for its world famous cheesesteaks.

The Breakdown: In the 1930s, Italian immigrant Pat Oliveri decided to add another menu item to his self-operated hot dog stand. He crafted a sandwich made with thinly sliced beef and sautéed onions tucked in a sub roll and served it to his customers. Increasingly gaining popularity, he later added provolone cheese to it and thus the “cheesesteak” as we know it was born. It must be noted that Pat Oliveri (founder of

Pat’s King of Steaks) wasn’t the only one in Philly making this sandwich, but he is credited as being the first. These days, you’ll find that many Philadelphians like their cheesesteaks with Cheez Whiz (melted American cheese) which characteristically permeates throughout the sandwich, ensuring cheesy goodness with every bite. While Pat’s King of Steaks and its famous rival Geno’s (across the street) garner a lot of media attention by cranking out thousands of cheesesteaks weekly, be sure to check out these “Illadelph” favorites as well.

The Scouting Report:

Jim’s Steaks 400 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 www.jimssteaks.com Some say it’s not a real Philly cheesesteak unless the paper bag your handcrafted steak is placed in is seeped with grease. It may sound a bit alarming, but this is actually a compliment! And if it’s a “real” Philly cheesesteak that you’re craving, then it’s

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recommended that you head to Jim’s. Ishkabibbles Eatery 337 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Ask the locals where to go for a cheesesteak and Ishkabibbles is at the top of their list. Credited for originating the chicken-cheesesteak, this Philly dive has quickly become a favorite in the hearts and stomachs of many. Abner’s Cheesesteaks 3813 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.abnerscheesesteaks.com Located in University City, this college town diner is a proud supporter of surrounding learning institutions and helps ensure that their patrons have succulent cheesesteaks in hand while watching their favorite college squads battle it out.

Chicago, Illinois

Bulls, Bears, White-Sox and Cubs…oh my! With the Bears’ recent unfortunate loss of star linebacker Urlacher for a year with a dislocated wrist, all eyes are on new quarterback Jay Cutler. No matter the

outcome of the 2009-2010 season, one thing’s for sure in ChiTown–hot dogs and deep dish pizza will always be the city’s champions.

The Breakdown: According to many food historians, Chicago’s deep dish pizza was first constructed in the early 1940s at Pizzeria Uno. Both Ike Sewell, the founder of Pizzeria Uno and their original chef, Rudy Malnati, claim to be the inventor of this hearty Italian pie. With such a rich history, Chicagoans are lucky to have access to this Midwest specialty consisting of a thick crust baked in a round 3-inch pan layered with mozzarella cheese, Italian meats and crushed tomato sauce that’s baked casserole style that demands a fork, knife, and one heck of an appetite! Chicago-style hot dogs are a whole other story. Originated in the late 1920s, these specialty dogs are completely different from the ones you find at your everyday backyard BBQ. Start with an all beef hotdog in a poppy seed bun and add mustard (definitely no ketchup), onions, dill pickles, tomato wedges and top it off with celery salt. This combination works so well that many natives won’t eat hot dogs any other way! For a taste of authenticity, visit these eateries known for serving up Chicago’s finest pizza and dog delights.

The Scouting Report:

Gino’s East of Chicago 633 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60610 www.ginoseast.com Opened in the 1960s, Gino’s is still considered to have the best Chicago-style deep dish pizza in the city. With flavors so good, customers come from far and wide to sample their specialty.

On the side… When All-Pro Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight

Pizzeria Due 619 N Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 Founded by the owners of Pizzeria Uno to handle the overflow of the original eatery, this 50 year-old restaurant is just as popular as its first cousin and uses the same recipes.

Freeney was asked which sports town was his favorite to

Hot Doug’s Dogs 3324 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 www.hotdougs.com Get ready for an all day event, because Hot Doug’s always has a line out the door and around the corner and justifies it, according to the locals and television shows worldwide. With its flagship hotdog– the original Chicago style dog and a list of several interesting variations, Hot Doug’s is a definite must-see (and taste) when you come to Chi-Town.

block is a new restaurant with food that you have never tried. I mean it’s

For more eateries and specialties discovered by food writer Andrea Janise throughout the nation, visit www. jadoremag.com. J

eat in, he said he had to go with the Big Apple. “I am going to have to say New York. The reason why is because you have so much variety, so many choices, so many places you can eat. Every block, by block, by block, by block… From the standpoint of quantity, you can find anything you want in New York City. Regarding specialties, well, of course you got your New York style pizza which is like the top one for me. That would be the one, but then after that, it just depends on the place I am going to eat at. The City is just so cultural, so you’ve got great Thai places, great Chinese places…that’s it, man. You can’t go wrong in New York.” - As told to Dennis Malcolm Byron

Life & style


Dish The Veteran Vegan the

Former NBA star and Fox Sports host John Salley doesn’t want any beef.

words By: Kimberly Walker

Towering over most people at 6’11,” you probably wouldn’t expect funny man, John Salley, to be a diehard vegan. Since 1991, the co-host of Fox Sports’ The Best Damn Sports Show Period, has been living clean and organic. High cholesterol at age 27 forced John to put his diet into perspective. “I was eating improperly. People started saying things like, ‘Well, it’s hereditary.’ It’s only hereditary because tips you and Dining out? Etiquette all of your family eat the same food. It was oversaturated, overcooked and undereveryone should know. cooked processed foods.” Only Salley’s diet is currently vegan, as he admits to still having leather seats in his car and sporting leather sneakers, but he’s in the process of hooking up with a company that makes everything out of bamboo. As for his family, Salley states, “Inside my house there’s no flesh and I do the cooking. I do need to be honest, though. From 1991, all the way up until now, food that was good for you tasted like cardboard. Now, in 2009, it tastes like the bad stuff, but it’s the good stuff.” You might be taken a back by Salley’s no nonsense approach to a vegan lifestyle, but he doesn’t care about being stamped as ‘extreme’ while getting his point across. Of course, he injects a little humor, but the fact still remains that he’s trying to save lives. “The first thing I say to people is, ‘How is it expensive living my lifestyle?’ A $1 meal is the most expensive thing that you can put in your body. That one dollar is going to cost you thousands of dollars of physical damage. I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday and I bought a week of vegetables and it came up to $86.” He warns against buying processed foods in bulk from your favorite nameless warehouses to save a buck. “This is my thought process. After buying and eating all of those processed foods, all of a sudden, your kid that’s 10 years old is obese and you have to buy bigger clothes. You now have to go to the doctor and get medicine because he has ADD. You’re losing work taking [him] to the doctor. Now, your child has diabetes, too. Now the child’s getting picked on because of low self body image. You now have a whole negative vibe in your house because of the negative stuff you put in your refrigerator. Now, what’s more expensive?” Would you like your household whipped into shape? Salley has been rumored to be in talks to do a cooking show on The Food Network, but we could only squeeze a few tidbits out of him just yet. “The food that I’m making on this cooking show is quick and I don’t say “vegan.” I say “natural and organic.” People act like you’ve said Vulcan or something when you say vegan, because they don’t know what it is.” Salley, who has only gained four pounds since 1991, says “Idiots can try. If you’re going to do it, do it! When we wanted a change in government, we just made it. You want a change in your lifestyle? You want to be fit? Do it!” Now would probably be a good time to head to Whole Foods. J

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'hoppy' holidays cold one...01:

Happy Holidays? Nope! Try Hoppy Holidays! Arguably, the best time of the year for beer is during the fourth quarter and there’s a sleigh full of new seasonal beers that are coming down our chimneys this year. Here are few that are delivered in the “bopper” size, 22 oz., for your personal enjoyment. Well okay, maybe give a friend a pour if you are in the giving mood. Prost! words By: Ale Sharpton Clipper City Brewing Company’s Mutiny Fleet When it comes to tantalizing the ol’ pie hole, Maryland has more than unbelievable lump crab cakes. The brilliant minds of the Clipper City Brewing Company continue to rep Baltimore and beyond with some hilariously named brews (check out the Holy Sheet! Über Abbey Ale, 9% ABV) that also bring smiles due to their potency and high quality since 1995. Well, Sisson and master brewer Ernesto Igot are at it again, warning it up the winter months with the new release of their Mutiny Fleet – four strong brews that may be a part of a crew, but certainly have their own swagger in the glass. While I have always give major props to Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin (8.0% ABV), here comes Heavy Seas’ The Great Pumpkin – Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8.5% ABV) and it’s no joke. Loaded with “secret spices” and yes, pumpkin, this tasty beer is certainly giving Weyerbacher some competition. The Heavy Seas Prosit! – Imperial Octoberfest (9% ABV) boasts its perfect balance of malt sweetness with three varieties of bittering hops. Speaking of hops, the Big DIPA – Double IPA is a triple-hopped masterpiece and at10.6% ABV, you can expect a sweet element to make sure those floral cones don’t monopolize the taste buds. And to round out the quartet, the Fleet couldn’t be complete without influences from the Belgian monks; hence, the Yule Tide – Belgian Triple completes the booty. Miss out on these Clipper City specialties and fear being whipped with a cat o’ nine tails! www.ccbeer.com The Great Divide Brewery’s Fresh Hop and Hibernation The Great Divide Brewery launched two highly anticipated brewskies to complete the 2009 season. The invigorating Fresh Hop, a 6.1% American-style pale ale, takes its name seriously due to the refrigerated truckload of just-harvested hops that are immediately brewed for a spirit-lifting floral aroma and strong notes of citrus on the palate. Then there’s the highly acclaimed 8.7% ABV winter warmer, Hibernation, a malty, English-style strong ale that has become the biggest winter tradition since caroling. Trust me, the Divide guys rep the beer capital of the U.S. to the fullest! www.greatdivide.com The Great American Beer Festival Oh, and after finally drying my river of tears from missing Denver’s Great American Beer Festival– the biggest brew event in the nation with more than 49,000 attendees and 495 breweries in competition this year– because I was out of the country, I painfully found out who won what. By state, Colorado brewers garnered the most medals, followed by California and Oregon rounding out the top three. The following are three of the most prestigious GABF awards so look out for these breweries’ products and see if they truly earned their gold medals. The GABF 2009 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards: Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Coors Brewing Company, Golden, CO, Dr. David Ryder Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD, Robert Malone Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO, Dry Dock Brewing Crew Visit their Web site at www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com to find out the full list of medal winners. All I know is I’m going next year so try and join me in the Mile High City for 2010’s GABF!

Life & style


hip sips

for the holidays

words By: Dennis Malcolm Byron

< 1800 Tequila They had me at ‘stopper.’ Have you seen the commercial with Sopranos star Michael Imperioli pouring a shot of 1800 Tequila in its own stopper by simply flipping the bottle upside down? You have to admit, in this new wave of arty liquor packaging, the top doubling as a shot glass for the 100 percent blue agave tequila is pretty inventive and resourceful. Speaking of “arty,” 1800 is also decking the shelves during the holidays with their second annual installment of the 1800 Tequila’s Essential Artists Series starting November 2009. After receiving 15,000 online submissions,11 designs were chosen, along with a rendition designed by world renowned Shepard Fairey and his Studio Number One (Fairey did all of those “Obey” and Obama “Hope” designs) to pimp out the 1800 bottles. There’s no doubt that these various designer bottles containing 100-proof tequila will capture some eyes in bars and upscale liquor stores throughout the U.S. With rapper Rick Ross and Tony Soprano’s nephew as spokespersons, 1800 Tequila aims to muscle out the competition and look good doing it. www.1800Tequila.com

Absolut Boston > Par-Tea time! Absolut is undeniably an icon when it comes to brilliant marketing and making vodka extra hip since the days of way back. Continuing the limited edition “Cities” series, the Absolut Boston is the third metropolis following its Absolut New Orleans and Absolut Los Angeles predecessors. Boasting notes of black tea and elderflower to reflect the rich American history of Beantown, Boston suitably shows a lot of love for the Red Sox and their stadium’s infamous left field wall by designing their rendition of Fenway Park’s “Green Monster” for the signature clear bottle’s background. Said to be a great mixer with everything from grape juice and ginger ale (Absolut Boston Homerun) to lemon juice and simple syrup (Absolut Boston Tea Party Martini), even Yankee fans might give this new Absolut flavor a whirl. www.absolut.com

< Kahlúa Spiced Holiday Nog Shake up the tradition Set to warm up the holidays, the world’s top coffee liquor is reinventing the way egg nog should taste with their rendition of this seasonal sipper. Available through December, Kahlúa’s 2008 version of the Spiced Holiday Nog made so much noise, they had to bring it back. This liquor’s concoction of 100 percent Arabica premium coffee, cream and those traditional winter season spices will make this ready-to-drink beverage sold in 1.75L bottles a hit to festively bring in the New Year. Kahlúa also has their limited edition Kahlúa Coffee Cream made with natural cream to sip on the rocks or spice up that boring cup of coffee. If you want to show off your skills in mixology, make a Kahlúa Cognaccino. Combine one part Kahlúa Coffee Cream, 1/2 part Amaretto and one part Martell V.S. Cognac with a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg and everyone will be singing carols. www.kahlua.com

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Ludacris ‘Conjures’ up a new cognac Chris “Ludacris” Bridges has his hand in several trendy ventures and his latest moneymaker is Conjure Cognac. Luda launched his new spirit during his annual Labor Day celebration aptly called LudaDay Weekend. The witty lyricist teamed up with Birkedal Hartman, creator of award winning cognacs and a fourth generation wine and spirits producer, to create the drink which boasts a highly selective blend of thirty to forty Eaux-Di-Vie (Brandy). “It’s very sophisticated and it represents wealth, but more importantly, in the midst of a recession, it’s the same price as all the other VS, but it has XO’s and VSOP’s mixed into it,” Bridges stated in an exclusive interview. “That special blend makes it a better quality product for a lower price. That’s definitely why it’s the gentleman’s drink.” Conjure boasts hints of vanilla, rich toffee and spice for a long lasting oak finish. Loosen your tie, dim the lights and grab a glass. - Kimberly Walker

Cognacs: Mind your P’s and…O’s, V’s and X’s So you see a lot of letters in the second half of the alphabet characterizing cognacs that might make you get your head scratching on (or have you pretend you know what they mean). Well here is the official Hip Sip breakdown plain and simple:

VSOP: Very Special (less commonly 'Superior') Old Pale, where the youngest brandy is stored at least four years in cask, but the average wood age is much older. XO: Extra Old - Average upwards of 20 years.

VS: Very Special, or termed ‘three stars,” where the youngest brandy is stored at least two years in cask.

Basically, the longer in the cask, the more expensive it is. Got it?

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Life & style


smoking still

Entrepreneur Sean Williams and his Primer Mundo Cigars are lighting up the cigar industry.Dining out? words By: Dennis Malcolm Byron Etiquette tips elaxing at the posh Highland Cigar Co. in the everyone should know. burgeoning district of Atlanta, Ga.’s Inman


Park, the distinguished Sean Williams sits back in a leather chair, activates the blue flame from his personal torch and lights a Primer Mundo Cigar. As the thick cloud of smoke thins into the air, Mr. Williams nods in appreciation because this “stick” maintains the quality he anticipated. What makes this slow puff even more rewarding is that Williams owns this cigar company so he expects nothing less. Although it is a noteworthy feat to be one of the only black owners of a cigar company, Williams doesn’t boast this accomplishment. Instead, he wants to be recognized as an entrepreneur. He wants the world to experience his superior cigars and indulge in their rarities, such as Peruvian tobacco and the extraordinary Rosado Oscuro wrapper on his Black Label series. After playing football for the legendary football coach Eddie Robinson for Grambling State University and later graduating from Southern University in his hometown of New Orleans, Williams’ extensive background in sales prepared him for exploring the cigar industry. He traveled the world to find the best tobacco and actualized his dream to be the owner of a cigar venture. While pairing Woodford Reserve Bourbon with his Red Label Criollo Maduro, Williams discusses his eventful four years of establishing his Primer Mundo brand, garnering critical acclaim and some basic rules J’Adore readers need to know regarding cigars. J’A dore Magazine: Talk about your passion for cigars, how you got started with the company and your product.

Sean Williams: I smoked a cigar for the first time a few years ago. While on a cruise, one of my friends who was big into cigars at the time suggested that we go to the piano bar and fire up a couple of sticks. I had never smoked a cigar before, but I figured I’d take one for the team. I stepped to the bar, ordered a snifter of brandy and selected a Fuente from the countertop humidor. An hour later, I was enjoying my brandy and the cigar, but more importantly, enjoying the fellowship with my dudes. That’s really what hooked me. I got it instantly. It wasn’t so much about the cigar as it was about the process and the ritual that goes with smoking a cigar. When you light up a cigar, you’ve made a decision that this is where you’re going to be for the next hour or so. You’ll be sitting down relaxing, reflecting, thinking, talking, planning, strategizing or doing

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absolutely nothing, but whatever it is, it requires you to hit the slow motion button for a minute. That’s what hooked me. After returning from the cruise, I would go into shops picking up a variety of all kinds of stuff. Most of the cigars I bought at the time were based on Cigar Aficionado ratings and whatever the shop owner recommended as most new jacks do. I would smoke a lot by myself in my office at home because at the time I didn’t have any friends that were into cigars. I decided I would start a cigar group to get other cigar lovers together at cigar-friendly spots. In planning a pretty big event, I hit up a few manufacturers for cigars to feature at the event. One of the companies that passed on the opportunity was Los Blancos Cigars. However, in this process, I created a dialogue with Co-owner David Blanco about my interest in doing a cigar. I would spend money on cigars in a wide spectrum of price ranges and I would enjoy many less expensive cigars just as much as I did very

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expensive cigars. This made me really wonder what went into the price of a cigar and if I could put a premium cigar on the market at a reasonable price. In talking with Blanco, he explained his family ties to Nestor Plasencia, who is one of the largest growers of tobacco in the world and a manufacturer of a number of cigar lines for many boutique brands. After looking at the opportunity to get in the game with some major players, I decided I better make a run at it. I headed down to Nicaragua in January of 2006 and spent a week there blending my Criollo Maduro (Red Label) and Connecticut Shade (Blue Label) cigars. I went down a year later to blend my Rosado Oscuro (Black Label). What are the differences with these cigars? I try to bring something a little different to the market with my cigars. I like to work with different wrappers and unique tobacco varietals. I use a rare Criollo Maduro wrapper for my Red Label and I use Peruvian tobacco in both my Red and Blue Labels, which is a tobacco that isn’t very widely used. With my Black Label, I use an extremely rare Rosado Oscuro wrapper as well as a little Panamanian tobacco in the blend, which, again, is something that’s rarely used. These blends have gotten me great reviews in outlets such as Cigar Press Magazine, Cigar Snob Magazine, StogieReview. com, CigarLive.com, StogieGuys.com and others. What is the climate like for an A frican A merican who owns a cigar company? The industry has been good to me. I certainly have gotten my share of raised eyebrows, but I supposed that’s to be expected. There just has not been anybody at my level in the industry that looks like me. With that being said, everybody that I’ve met in the game has been more than welcoming and extremely helpful. I’m literally friends with many of the other

manufacturers in the business and we all network and support each other as much as we can while maintaining healthy competition among each other. After three years in the business, I’ve developed some strong relationships and a support structure of sorts. The biggest scrutiny that I faced early on was just that I was some new cat trying to make my way into the business. There have been hundreds of cigar companies that come and go, especially during the boom of the late 90s. Cats that have been in the game for a while are naturally skeptical of most new companies, but my race wasn’t an issue at all inside the industry. I don’t believe that I was the first African American to do his own line. I may be the most prominent at this moment, but I do know of two others. One is a line called Barrington House owned by a Jamaican brother up in New York named Barrington Adams. The line is made in Jamaica. He’s a real cool cat. He actually supported the last big event I did with my cigar group. He sent a bunch of sticks down and actually came down from New York to attend. There is also another line that I just found out about a couple of days ago. It’s called Rumba. I believe the guy’s name is Marc Edwards, but he goes by Marco Suave for the cigar line. The line is produced in the Dominican Republic. It’s time for some schooling. What are the rules for cigars in general? How do you light one? Do you keep the band on? When do you ash it? Things like that.

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The most important thing to do when getting ready to enjoy a cigar is to light it correctly. If you don’t, it can burn uneven or burn too hot. When lighting a cigar the flame should not actually touch the cigar. You should toast the foot of the cigar with the heat of the flame, but not the actual flame. After toasting the foot for about ten seconds, keep the heat at the foot while taking a few puffs to bring air into the cigar. Once enjoying the cigar, you can either keep the band on or take it off. That’s strictly a personal preference. You should puff on the cigar every 45-60 seconds. If you puff too much, the cigar burns hot and it can char the blend and hurt the flavor profile. Most true cigar smokers smoke the cigar down until they have to take the band off and smoke a little further. I personally smoke a cigar until my fingers can’t go anymore if I like it. When cigar lovers see a half-smoked cigar in the ashtray, they assume that the person did not enjoy the cigar. So if you’re not going to finish a cigar, take the band off unless you want to put that cigar maker on blast. Is there anything else you would like to leave our aspiring cigar aficionados? The big thing is to give a lot of sticks a try. It’s important to expose your palate to different profiles and complexities to get a handle on what you really like. Also, don’t get caught up in a name or a price as an indicator of how good a cigar should be. There are a ton of lesser known boutique brands that are making some terrific cigars. To find Sean Williams’ Primer Mundo Cigars, visit www.primermundocigars.com and select the calendar page to access the retailer list to find the closest shop carrying his product in your area. Also, visit www.jadoremag. com for the entire interview with Sean Williams. J

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Life & style

ls beauty T

words by: Alex LaMarsh

his holiday season, we’re all looking at our wallets and wondering where to look for the best gifts for the ones we care about for the right price. Well, I decided to help you conquer the gift beast with some of my top selections of beauty and grooming gifts this season. I tried to keep it simple and looked for the best buys for the price and quality. Hopefully, you’ll find something just right for your special someone. < The leading authority on the treatment of skin of color, Dr. Susan C. Taylor, created Rx for Brown Skin which caters to the needs of darker skin tones. This winter give the gift of great skin to someone you love with this great set. It includes a 3 oz Bright and Clear Cleanser, 3 oz Bright and Clear Toner, 1 oz Bright and Clear Moisturizer and a 1.5 oz Naturally Flawless Advanced Botanical Brightener. Learn more about these products online at Sephora. com or RxforBrownSkin.com - $55

< Ole Henriksen’s great gift set Three Little Things is a small package with a big bang. It contains the Truth SerumCollagen Booster, Sheer TransformationRenewing Creme and Invigorating Night Gel-Firming Treatment. Olehenriksen.com - $70

< Calvin Klein has released their big splash for the holiday: Fashion’s New Face Mesmerized Collection. Cover all your cosmetic bases in one gift set with Splendid Color Nail Enamel in Indigo Blue, Delicious Pout Flavored Lip Gloss in Orchid, Delicious Luxury Crème Lipstick in Mesmerized, Runway Radiance Illuminating Cream in Golden Glow and Tempting Glimmer Sheer Crème Eyeshadow in Snakeskin Silver. Sephora.com - $39

< Bliss is offering a Season’s “Treat”-ings package which would be a great gift for a stocking stuffer! It includes full sized bottles of Blood Orange + White Pepper Body Butter and Hand Cream, along with Blood Orange + White Pepper Soapy Suds. Sephora. com - $35

> Jeune d’ âge means “young of age” in French. The kind folks at jeune d’ âge are bringing you luxurious, yet sensible and conscientious skincare without parabens or synthetic fragrances at a discounted price. So give the gift of youth to the woman you love with this wonderful gift set. Learn more about these products online at jeunedage.com - $95

< For those of you shopping for a lady with a taste for the glimmer and shimmer of jewels, Estee Lauder has the ideal gift for her that she will treasure for years. Estee Lauder released their limited edition solid perfume compacts and powder compacts. These compacts are more jewelry than makeup or perfume with all the Swarovski Elements. EsteeLauder.com - $49 -$350

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^ Tarte Cosmetics has created the ultimate eyeshadow palette for the holidays. Your girl likes shimmer, vivid color and sassy packaging? Well, look no further than the Tarte Cosmetics Femme Fatale Refillable Natural Eye Palette. TarteCosmetics.com - $44

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grooming < If the man you’re shopping for is into grooming and hygiene products, then he probably knows about the GroomingLounge.com, where you can find all kinds of great men’s products, tips and advice. Check out the “Hangover Helper” set. It contains everything a man could want after waking up from a long night. The set includes: Nickel Morning After Rescue Gel, Menaji 911 Eye Gel, Supersmile Mouthrinse, Molton Brown Black Pepper Body Wash and Aspirin (for that morning after headache). GroomingLounge.com - $100

> Does your man like glitz? Does he like glam or tattoo-inspired clothing? Then my bet is he will totally dig the Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier Love and Luck Man Gift Set. The gift set includes: 3.4 oz Eau de Toilette Spray, 0.25 oz Eau de Toilette Spray, 3.0 oz Hair and Body Wash and 2.75 oz Alcohol-Free Deodorant in the bold and modern scent of the Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier Love and Luck Men’s Fragrance. Sephora.com - $75

^ Bliss has done it again with a great stocking stuffer with a gift set containing some of their best sellers: Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash, Bliss Lemon+Sage Soapy Sap, Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter, Bliss Lemon+Sage Supershine Shampoo, Bliss Lemon+Sage Conditioning Rinse and Bliss Lemon+Sage Soap Slab. BlissWorld.com - $25

< For the man who loves his hair, Jack Black presents the Jack Black Hair Care Essentials Set that includes: True Volume Thickening Shampoo with Expansion Technology, Basil and White Lupine, True Volume Revitalizing Conditioner with Expansion Technology, Basil and White Lupine and Body-Building Hair Gel with Grapefruit and Ginger. GetJackBlack. com - $45 < Men who shave hate ingrown hairs, so if you care for him, The Art of Shaving has come up with an entire system for the thoughtful giver. This set even offers a DVD with expert advice on the causes, prevention and relief of ingrown hairs. The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Kit includes: Ingrown Hair Night Cream, Ingrown Hair Tweezers, The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave system and the educational DVD mentioned above. TheArtofShaving.com - $75

< Oily skin is embarrassing, so this holiday season, Dermologica has created this gultimate gift set for this. The Dermalogica Oily Skin Set includes: Dermal Clay Cleanser 1.7oz, Multi-Active Toner 1.7oz, Oil Control Lotion .75oz, Skin Prep Scrub .75oz and a Refining Masque (sample). GroomingLounge.com - $35

> Is the man you’re shopping for a world traveler, jet setter or always on the road? Molton Brown offers the ultimate travel kit for men in a beautiful leather case. The Molton Brown Globe Trekker for Men includes: Papain Daily Facial Wash 50ml, Supershave Olibanum 50ml, Ultra Light Bai Ji Hydrator 50ml, Amino Therapy Revitalizing Eye Treatment 10ml, Vitamin Lipsaver 7ml, Cleanshine Quillaja Hair Wash 100ml, Bracing Silverbirch Body Wash 100ml, Bracing Silverbirch Body Scrub 50ml, Recharge Black Pepper Body Wash 100ml, Re-charge Black Pepper Body Soother 100ml. MoltonBrown.com - $135

 j’adore


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Life & style


KennyAdams words By: Lala Shanturn

Exquisite Locks, International and The International Hair Alliance


adies, we all need to make this man our best friend. Kenny Adams is the founder and owner of Exquisite Locks, International and The International Hair Alliance. If you don’t know the name, you need to learn the product. What began as a hobby in import and export became an industry-changing business. Kenny’s companies are providing women with the highest quality hair and lace wig products on the market right now. If you thought all lace front wigs were created equal, then you obviously have not checked out www.exquisitelocks.com. J’Adore caught up with Kenny Adams to find out why his products stand above the rest. The International Hair Alliance is a membership based organization where members pay a yearly fee and receive drastic discounts on hair. Normally a 16” four ounce pack of hair retails from $120 to $200. Under the International Hair Alliance, that same package of hair will only cost you around $47. When it comes to lace front wigs, “We’ve changed the game,” Kenny states. “We have a line called Genetics that is only offered through salons. With this custom lace front wig line you are able to pick out your hair, the lace material and your color if you want the hair dyed. Generally, for a lace front wig [it] takes about nine ounces of hair to get what is considered 100 percent volume by industry standards. We give you 12 ounces instead of nine, so that you can have the hair cut and styled to your specifications. We don’t believe in sending you an already styled wig. Even though we take measurements of your head, everyone’s head and face is shaped differently.” Kenny and his team at Exquisite Locks, International and The International Hair Alliance go the extra step in making sure your lace front wig experience is top notch by providing extra hair so that you are able to go to a salon and have a professional cut and style based on your facial structure. This gives you a truly custom lace front wig experience. So, whether you are going to purchase readily available hair products or their Genetics line, Exquisite Locks International and The International Hair Alliance have stepped up the hair game. The process of selecting your own custom designed lace front wig is very simple. With the Genetics line, a 12 ounce hair kit is sent to an approved salon in your area. In the kit, are bundles of hair, selections of lace materials and the six measurement points for creating your lace front wig. The measurements, hair and lace selection are sent back to Exquisite Locks International where it is handcrafted per your specifications. When you receive your custom crafted lace wig back from them, you take your design to the approved salon where they install, cut and style your newly designed creation for you. Not only that, but Kenny’s company is the only hair product company that currently offers hair at salons on consignment. That allows salons to make money on inventory without having to come out of pocket for it up front. This is definitely taking the hair game to the next level. For more information on custom lace front wigs and membership to The International Hair Alliance, visit Kenny Adams online at: www.exquisitelocks.com and www.theinternationalhairalliance.com. If you want a chance to win your own custom designed lace front wig or other hair products, subscribe to J’Adore Magazine online. J

The process of selecting your own custom designed lace front wig is very simple.

With the Genetics line, a 12-ounce hair kit is sent to an approved salon in your area. The kit includes bundles of hair, selections of lace materials and the six measurement points for creating your lace front wig. The measurements, hair, and lace selection are sent back to Exquisite Locks International where it is handcrafted per your specifications. When you receive your custom crafted lace wig back from them, you take your design to the approved salon where they install, cut and style your newly designed creation for you. Besides these services, Ken’s company is the only hair product company out there that currently offers hair at salons available on consignment. That allows salons to make money on inventory without having to come out of pocket for it up front. Now that's taking the hair game to the next level!

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Life & style



words By: Robert J. Mair

Sports Celebrity Colognes

It seems like every day I see an ad for a new celebrity fragrance. I guess it’s no surprise, since celebrity endorsed scents reportedly account for more than 6 percent of the total fragrance market. In past issues, J’Adore’s Smell Goods column has kept you up-to-date on releases from celebrities Sean Combs, Usher, Jay-Z and more. Not to be outdone, sports superstars are continuing to leave their mark in the world of fragrance, as well. In 1997, Michael Jordan Cologne had one of the most successful fragrance launches in history, with a reported 1.5 million bottles leaping off store shelves in the first two weeks. That same year, Michael Jordan Cologne nabbed two FiFi Awards (it’s the Oscars of the fragrance world). Not one to rest on his accomplishments, Jordan for Men debuted in 2000 and 23 following in 2004. Soccer star David Beckham has utilized his star power and sex appeal to successfully market a host of fragrances, including Instinct, Signature and Intimately. Regarding the latter (and maintaining the competitive trend of athletes representing award-winning colognes), Beckham’s Intimately won Fragrance Foundation’s fragrance of the year in 2008. As noted in the J’Adore anniversary issue, in the past, Beckham had reportedly favored Creed’s Erolfa fragrance. Now that he’s touting his own line of colognes, I wonder if he still dabbles in old pleasures. Visit the beckham-fragrances.

com Website to view the full line of men’s and ladies fragrances marketed by the soccer phenomenon and his wife Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham. New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter is another sports megastar who’s not at a loss for sheer volume of fragrance releases. This four-time World Series champion’s debut fragrance, Driven, hit the market in 2006. The Driven fragrance, marketed by Avon, has outsold any other men’s fragrance in their product line. Driven earned a FiFi Award in 2007, exactly ten years after Jordan’s honors. Fittingly, Jeter is endorsed by the Jordan sportswear brand as well. The Driven fragrance line has spawned no less than seven variations, which include, Driven, Driven Black (which also won honors in 2008), Driven Limited Edition and a brand new Sport version. The entire fragrance line including skin care products can be explored at www. avon.com/derekjeter. As celebrity fame comes and goes, it will be interesting to see which of their fragrances have the substance to survive the test of time.

Notes for Nose: Do you know the difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum? Simply, Eau de Toilette has an extract concentration of 8 to 12 percent, while Eau de Parfum has an extract concentration of 12 to 16 percent. The Parfum versions are more expensive because their concentration levels of extracts are higher which, in turn, make them last longer on the skin. To add, since you don’t need to use as much, it will last longer on your dresser as well.

 j’adore


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guilty pleasures T

words By: Eric Payne

Infidelity: To jump off or not to jump off? It’s better you stay put.

oo often we are left scratching our heads in bewilderment when the media breaks yet another all too typical

“Didn’t they know better?” we ask ourselves from the comfort of our own lives. But think about it: when things are good between you and the one you love, it’s easy to spot bumps and potholes in the married lane. From the coworker of the opposite sex who’s always asking you images By: Faith out for drinks during happy hour, despite your ring finger’s hardware, to the random stranger whoAmbrose, catches your eye and SweetFX Studio actually smiles at you and entices you to return a grin. It’s all in a day’s work when all is well, but when your relationship travels onto shaky ground, those random weekly and sometimes daily distractions can cause you to pause and consider jumping off–into the arms of another. story of infidelity involving a public figure.

According to the New York Times, about 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women under 35 say they have been unfaithful to their spouses. And almost everyone admits to having a sexual fantasy that involves someone that isn’t their “other half.” Eventually, infidelity can evolve from these fantasies into the realm of the real when emotional and even spiritual needs aren’t being met at home. It’s all downhill from there with careers, children and even life itself being the price one pays for straying. It’s easy to pass judgment when we see others stumble down this path, but when you consider the thinking behind it, things become evidently clear. Look before you leap Typically, “jumping off” suggests leaving a place of certainty and diving head first into the unknown. Adrenaline junkies do this all the time. They put their faith in a bungee cord, a parachute, a set of wings or sometimes nothing at all to ensure that they will live to see another day. Sometimes it works, but when it doesn’t, the consequences are messy and deadly. The same is true for someone who is married. Personal livelihood, family and life can be at stake when you jump head first into the arms of another. Reportedly, two to three percent of children born in the U.S. are the product of infidelity. Seventeen percent of divorces are caused by extramarital affairs. Bringing home an STD or worse also increases with promiscuity. In the end, there’s no price that can be placed on broken homes and parentless children.

‘I have it under control.’ When it comes to affairs of the heart, no one is in control, no matter how much someone may convince themselves otherwise. There are many things people do to exert some degree of control over their jump off. They have liaisons with people younger, older, dumber or uglier than themselves. They pick improbable partners– people of other ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic classes, or lovers for hire. In essence, people cheat with strangers and in doing so, leave themselves open to the whims of individuals they neither know nor understand, no matter how much biblical knowledge they may gain during an affair. And in the Internet and cell phone age, there’s no such thing as a clean break-up, except for those rare occasions where it’s mutual. Sadly, many of our elected officials and scandalous celebrities are prime examples of what happens when you bring a stranger into your life and prove that the more lopsided the relationship is, the higher the chances are for exposure, unnecessary drama or worse. The stakes are high when it comes to living life in the married lane. Sometimes “accidents” do happen when the flesh is weak and temptation is strong. But before making the conscious effort to walk to the edge of the cliff and jump off, consider the following: • Have you done your part to make your marriage work or are you the problem? • Does your spouse know there’s a problem? • Is a jump off actually going to make things at home better or worse?

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• Is a temporary fix worth putting your heart, career, kids and maybe even your life at risk? • If nothing is wrong and you’re just out for new thrills, go to a mirror and ask yourself how you’d feel if you knew your spouse was doing the same to you. Two headaches aren’t better than one ere’s a thought: “Why trade what might be one headache for two… or three or more, depending on your prowess and the depth of your pockets?” Try giving your all until you have nothing left to give to the one you pledged your love to. If you’re a parent, consider the unconditional love you give your kid. If you gave your spouse a mere taste of the same brand of love, jumping off would probably never cross your mind–no matter how rocky the road. We all know the old saying,” look before you leap.” There’s no real harm in looking, as long as that look doesn’t last too long. But leaping is bad business when it’s into the arms of another outside of your marriage. You truly don’t know where or how you’ll land. In the end, it’s just best to honor your vows. J Eric Payne writes about life from the married lane, love and happiness, kids and everything else–the good, bad, ugly and in-between on his award-nominated blog, www.makesmewannaholler.com

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Life & style


guilty pleasures images By: Faith Ambrose, SweetFX Studio

confessions of a

mistress In part one of a candid interview, J’Adore enters the mind of a professional athlete’s mistress.

words By: Rob Littal

With the tragic death of NFL quarterback Steve McNair, a lot of eyes were opened to the covert side of some professional athletes’ lives. It’s a side that exposed the fact that some pros are not monogamous. It also disclosed how some women can be swept off their feet by fame and fortune.

People wonder how such indiscretions make the wives of these athletes feel, but the story presented here offers a different perspective. This is an account from a young woman who isn’t the “wife,” but claims to be treated as such. How does she feel knowing that in the eyes of the “first wives club,” she is perceived as less than a lady and in many cases, a home wrecker? That “her man” has a wife and kids at home, but still reaps the benefits of dating a millionaire celebrity? Obviously, her entire existence is affected both positively and negatively. The following is part one of an interview from a woman who was once a mistress of a NFL player for almost five years. Names have been changed to protect those involved, but the relationship is real. Meet “Tina” and her account of an affair with an athlete.

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J’A dore: How do you feel about people who refer to mistresses as “whores,” “marriage wreckers,” “manipulators,” etc? What do you say to them?

Tina: I understand why they use those terms. Most people don’t see a mistress as a woman just like themselves. Some mistresses are all those things; there are some women who target married men. I can’t speak for those types of women. I can only say who I am. I am a Christian, God-fearing mother, sister, daughter, niece and friend. Was I wrong for loving a married man? Yes! However, I don’t know any perfect person; my sin is just a little different. It’s no smaller or bigger. It’s different. I never saw myself as a woman who would accept sharing a man, but it happened. I didn’t know for almost two years [that he was married] and once I found out, I know this will make no sense to you, but his marriage wasn’t real to me. Our love was real; I dealt with who I knew him to be. I don’t know who he was when he was at their house, but inside our world, he loved me and wanted to be with me, but because of timing he had married her before our love came. He married her because he was tired of whoring around. His grandmother was dying and thought she was a good choice. He never thought real love existed, so how could he plan for it? I wasn’t a monster; I didn’t sit home and think of ways to get him to leave her. No, never! I loved him and love isn’t selfish, so my love for him made me want to remain cool with the arrangement. I made the decision to not be all over town with him because I knew the hurt of hearing about him creeping. Hell, he was cheating on me, too! I was crying the same, if not more, tears than his wife when I would catch him. I dealt with the truth of knowing he was in her bed minutes before waking up early to cuddle with me at our home every morning. What

are the pros and cons of being the mistress

instead of the wife?

There [are] no pros. I guess for whores, the pro is the money and the trips without the stress of commitment. But for me, there were no pros. Money and things, I would have gotten from any man I was with. Sure, he was on a different level, but I would have never been with a bum. Cons? You lose your self-worth. You begin to second-guess everything you know about yourself and you start believing that this is what you deserve–being someone’s second or secret lover. You learn not to trust

anyone. Girls become your friend just to meet the men you know and talk about you. Men, once they know you have accepted the role as a mistress in your past, they treat you as such. You really have to reprogram yourself after you find the strength to end it. Share some of the things that he provided for you while you are in the relationship.

I quit my job a week into our relationship. He provided everything! I’ve gotten a new car every year. I currently drive an Audi A8 2008. I have a two bedroom condo in midtown Miami. I also own my own company, which was started with money he provided. My daughter has been in a private school since 2005 and, again, I haven’t worked since 2004. I started my company at the end of 2007 but all my bills have been paid up until December 2008. How did it finally come to an end and could you share the conversation recently you had with his wife asking you to come back?

I sent him an e-mail. After trying to forgive him for sleeping with my close friend, I just couldn’t. I stayed up and cried and wrote him a simple note: I can’t do this anymore. Please let me go. He has written, called and I’ve seen him, but loving him was killing me. I don’t have anything else to give, so it’s not even something I think about. Yes, I miss him; I have lonely nights, but I pray for strength and press on. His wife loves him and because we had been in this situation so long, she knew when we were having problems because he was a terror at home. She called me recently to tell me she was worried about him; he is just staying in his office and not leaving the house. He told her I wouldn’t see him and with all the changes he is making in other areas of his life, he feels like I abandoned him like he was played. She asked if I would please take his call and at least explain why I left so that they could start the new phase of their marriage, a marriage just between the two of them. Please read the interview with “Tina” in its entirety online at jadoremag.com. J Rob Littal is the founder of BlackSportsOnline. com, a Web site that covers sports and entertainment in both written and video formats.

 j’adore


jadoremag.com 

model citizen


The Final Four

What do you get when you fuse sports and J’Adore’s hot models? A swimmer, boxer, soccer player and runner that score big in the eye candy league words by: Erica McRae images by: Kenny Sweeney Makeup & Hair: Alex LaMarsh Styling/Props: Lyndzi Models: Rick Mora, Cesar Valdez, Katherine Guevara & Kaitlyn Gillis @ Models International www.mi-agency.com


Sport: Boxer



ox in

What obstacles have you faced while being Native American in a European modeling market? The European market is structured around the Caucasian image—men and women who are white. It is tough to find a place for a long-haired brown guy. It is still that way today. The doors have opened up a bit for the Asian and the African American, but not for the Native Warrior.



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As a graduate from California State University, what is your response to critics that say models are dumb? To respond to a critic’s opinion about models and intelligence would be dumb. People are allowed to have their own views, even the ignorant. Looking back at how you began your career with various photo shoots, which lead to commercials, TV shows, films and now appearances in the 2009 Native American Men's Calendar, what was the most memorable and exciting moment for you? I think my most memorable and exciting experiences would have to be as an actor, working on the set of the blockbuster movie Twilight. The second runner-up would have to be auditioning for the movie Apacolypto with Mel Gibson. He is an amazing actor, whom I truly respect. I did not get the part but meeting with Mel was very rewarding as an actor.



I heard that you produce and advise musicians, what is your favorite genre of music and whose album are you currently playing in your car? Music is a huge passion of mine. I have managed, produced and mentored everything from death metal to Latin jazz. My favorite music these days is house music and hip hop and the CD in my car is a house mix by my current project DJ Chris Getz, grandson of jazz great Stan Getz. Aside from modeling, you’re a photographer. Where do you draw your inspiration from? I draw my inspiration from the sea. The ocean plays a big part in my spirituality. The ocean has the power to sustain life and destroy life. The ocean serves as a border, yet has no borders. The ocean is strong and it is weak. The ocean inspires me to seek out the unknown. You have a piece of artwork titled “A Perfect World.” If you lived in a perfect world, what would your ideal reality consist of? The word “perfection” is an oxymoron. Nothing in life is perfect because life is subjective. So, the answer to this question has to be answered as a primitive man. A world that is free of struggle, a world where there is plenty of food, drink and women. A world with sand, surf and sun. After life as a model, what are your career plans? It is sad to think that I would not be a model forever, but I do have a college degree in Communication and if I am not going to be able to work in front of the camera, I definitely want to work behind the camera, somewhere in production. I truly only desire a career in the arts.

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Sport: Swimmer

Where are you from and how long have you been modeling professionally? I’m originally from Orange County and I currently reside in Ventura County. I’ve been modeling professionally for about four months now and have truly enjoyed the many experiences I’ve had along the way. What do you do to maintain your flawless figure? I’ve been taking hikes around the area and recently found some hot springs fairly close to town. I play softball on two slow-pitch, co-ed teams and also take my dogs out to the park or just stroll around the neighborhood. You have a fresh look, what are some of your favorite beauty products? Thank you. My absolute favorite product I’ve used recently is Philosophy: Kiss Me Lip Gloss. Something helpful for daily use is the very light sunscreen from PCA Skin - ReBalance SPF 45 and Pur power foundation SPF 25.

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Were you involved in sports as a child, if so which sports did you play? I’ve played softball for 13 years and have been to the National Junior Olympics twice, where we placed third and fifth in Santa Fe, N.M. and Aurora, Colo. When I was younger, I played soccer, volleyball and tennis for short periods of time. I loved the games, but I always excelled in softball and it’s my first love.


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Out of the many fashion photographers you’ve worked with, who is your favorite? I’ve really enjoyed all of my shoots. The photographers have been great and I’ve learned so much from working with all of them. Out of photographers I have had the opportunity to shoot with recently, my most enjoyable shoots have been with photographer Jerome Duchange.

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Would you ever do a modeling reality show? Yes. I find the interactions and relationships that develop between the participants amazing. Who is your favorite shoe designer? Cole Haan.


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Is the modeling business really as competitive as it seems and what do you plan to do to stay on the surface? It is competitive, but not as cutthroat as people would have you believe. I plan to keep an open mind and push myself as hard as I can. It’s all really about how strong you are inside, whether you can take constructive criticism in an optimistic way, how you handle rejection and your ability to just keep on pushing through to the next level.


I understand the modeling industry is fast paced, so where do you see yourself in two years? It is fast paced, with quite a lot to grab onto at first. I feel that as long as I keep up the working hard, I have every opportunity to make something of myself. If all goes as planned, I will be overseas continuing to achieve much success, which I strive for on a daily basis.

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CeasarValdez Sport: Soccer

How did you get started in the industry and how long have you been professionally modeling? I was 16 years old and someone asked if I would model in a fashion show, which was in a church and no one under 60 years old was in the crowd watching. It was a lot of fun. I have been modeling professionally for 10 years. If you hadn’t become a model, what profession would you have pursued? Acting at a younger age and possibly architecture. Where do you see yourself in four years? In the big screen, producing, acting and participating in producing soundtracks for films. When you’re not modeling, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Fitness, martial arts and writing of all sorts, such as poetry and screenwriting, as well as singing. Who are some of your favorite designers? Prada, Bottega Veneta, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Burberry. Are you a dinner and a movie type of guy, or do you party like a rock star? A bit of both–life is a balance. What is your definition of success? Love, happiness, comfort and liberty. Has anyone in the industry asked you to change your look, if so, how did you feel about it? I would for a shoot, but in general I would not because I know how to market myself. What do you do to stay in shape? Swimming, sprinting, weight training, martial arts and plyomerics. So far, what has been the highlight of your career? A photo shoot in New Zealand on a plateau in the mountains and it was not about that money, but about the experience and the amazing sight.

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How did you get discovered and what were your emotions as you booked your first gig? I got discovered at a modeling and talent event held at the Universal Hilton Hotel. The first gig I booked came to me as a complete surprise, due to the fact that it was my first audition ever. Nonetheless, it was a fabulous and amazing surprise.

Since you’ve been in the industry, what model stereotype has proven to be true? I really dislike stereotypes, but if I have to choose a modeling stereotype that has proven to be true, it's that most models are skeletal skinny. I, myself, am a thin young lady, but I keep it up with a lot of cardiovascular workouts and healthy eating habits. Some of these girls just look ill. What are your on-the-go fashion must haves? I have four fashion must haves that accompany me at all times. The most important is my sun-block lotion (I am not a big fan of sunburns), sunglasses, a scarf and four-inch heels. Are you a Victoria’s Secret or boyfriend’s t-shirt kind of girl? I like to play on both fields. At night, I like to play the Victoria’s Secret girl, but when the sun comes out, I am more than happy being the boyfriend's t-shirt kind of girl.



You have a very exotic look. What makes you stand out from your competition? As clichéd as it sounds, I believe that it’s my genuine personality and my passion for the art of modeling.

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What animal best embodies your character and why? The animal that best embodies my character is a leopard. Leopards can easily adapt to any habitat and they are capable of killing prey much bigger than itself. How would you define self-confidence? I believe self-confidence is being able to try new things, whatever it may be and not being afraid of failure. If failure does result, learn from it and try again.

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crÈme crème de la

model citizen


I’m a very active person overall. I love to dance. It’s a great form of expression. It just feels right–the movement and the connection. I also love acting and theater. You get to be someone else and explore a character and no one can judge. I love taking class and learning how to develop different objectives.


aspirations: I hope that I will be able to stay consistently busy in the entertainment industry. I will be known as a threat beyond threats that will accomplish everything I try. My goal is to eventually get to the level where I could be in a movie alongside Will Smith. He’s very versatile and I would love to emulate him. Second, to be financially stable and support my parents as they have for me so many years. I want to travel and be very cultured. I want to maintain my sense of happiness for life and not take anything for granted.

MEASUREMENTS: 32-27-38 LOCATION: Born and raised all over Orange County, but currently reside in North Hollywood.

best features: I like so many designers. There’s only one I really dislike but I won't say because I've worked for him before. Ha! My favorite would be Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and I can’t make up my mind on the last one.

ETHNICITY: Black, Spanish, German, Irish, Black Foot Indian and Cherokee Indian.

Favorite past time: I love watching movies, I like to rent movies and I love going to the movie theater. I usually rent because once I watch a movie, I clearly already know what’s going to happen so I won’t watch it again. My favorite movies are A Beautiful Mind and Mean Girls. Also, I love being with my family. They’re very supportive.

Turn Offs: People that talk about themselves too much. If you’re that amazing, I would be able to tell on my own. Also, I hate feet, all feet. I don’t care if they’re baby feet, don’t touch me with your feet. .

Favorite Food: I have a horrible sweet tooth. I usually crave candy and chips like Hot Tamales and Hot Cheetos—I indulge in these cravings often. Mexican food, I’ll eat it all, especially nachos.

Favorite Quote: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ~David Brinkley

What’s Next? I’m hoping that I will graduate with a degree in advertising within the next year, that’s my main concern for now. For now, I am auditioning and striving for that next ‘amazing’ thing.

Images by: Ken Townsend

Makeup: Tia Jackson-Young hair: Joshjarie Gibbs stylist: M & A Style Photography Assistant: Time Hale Production Assistant: Stephen Townsend Production coordinator: Jacqueline Thomas

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Marcus Aurelius

words By: L. Laura Turner

Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.

—Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor (r. A.D. 161-180)

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he film industry is very competitive. Everyone wants to be the next hot producer, director or screenwriter. I admit to such aspirations myself. To be in a position to understand what it takes to not just be in this business, but make it in this business is what makes this article so inspiring. Everyone knows how difficult it can be to make it in Hollywood as an actor, so one can only imagine what it’s like to make it as a director. With that being said, how does a seemingly obscure actor direct a film that gets into the Action on Film 2006 Film Festival at the last minute, literally, and win? Then go on to direct the next major action flick with an A-list cast including a cameo by Jackie Chan and his son, and backed by none other than Bey Logan and The Weinstein Company Asia (Dragon Dynasty)? One would assume he’s the son of someone famous. Nope! His name is Marcus Aurelius. And yes, before you ask, that is his birth name. He may not be a Roman Emperor, but it may be very possible he’s channeling the energy of one. Moving to L.A. to begin a career in entertainment, Marcus knew that he wanted to do “something” in the entertainment industry. Born Marcus Aurelius Daniels, this burgeoning film producer was possessed with an unshakable desire to create without being held by boundaries or restrictions. At a young age, Marcus was around entertainment. He began frequenting the Capitol Theater in Miami every day after school from 3 to 11 p.m. where he would sit and just watch films. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho “scared him so bad” Marcus says. “I couldn’t wait to get back into the theater the next day to watch more movies.” He was so addicted to film that he worked a deal out with management that he would come in and sweep the floors in exchange for a free pass to watch movies. Mind you, Marcus was only 7 at the time and began acting while in the fifth grade. He later learned about drama and decided he wanted to give it a try. “I took drama all through junior high and high school. I just had some real extraordinary things happen for me,” Marcus recalls. “I was invited to come to L.A. for the summer and stay with Flip Wilson and I told him I wasn’t sure if my mom was gonna let me go. I handed the phone to my mom and told her it was Flip Wilson. She told me, ‘Boy, stop playin’!’ and hung up the phone. Well, he called back and she answered the phone and realized it was really him.” After a series of events, he was raised by his grandmother, Grace Robinson. She was a very important person in his life. He was then later adopted by Flip. Being raised by the television icon further fueled Marcus’ love for wanting to make movies. When asked where the desire to direct came from, Marcus states, “I just wanted to be


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a working actor. I didn’t want to direct. It started out with me just writing a project that could be a vehicle for me as an actor. Then I wrote and developed it and I was searching for a director for it. I had this one guy on board to direct it and at the 11th hour he backed out. So, in order to keep things going, I had to step up and direct it. That turned out to be a blessing for me.” Marcus wrote, directed, and produced his latest film Almost Related in 2006. “Almost Related is an action packed, erotic comedy thriller that profiles the obscure intricacies of ancestral Japanese assassins,” states the synopsis on IMDb.com. Marcus had no budget for the film and did pretty much everything himself. When he finished the film, he took it to the Action in Film 2006 Film Festival. However, his wasn’t submitted like everyone else. Marcus went to the film festival, walked up to the doors and simply told them he had a film he wanted to enter. Thinking he was just a late entry, they entered his film. The result? Marcus took home an award for 1st Runner Up for Best Director in the process. This feat from an unknown in the industry perked the attention of a very powerful entity–The Weinstein Group Asia

(Dragon Dynasty). Intrigued by the manner in which Marcus Aurelius has made his way through the industry, Bey Logan of The Weinstein Group Asia (Dragon Dynasty) asked Marcus if he could duplicate what he did with Almost Related under one of their new production companies. For those who don’t realize how major that is, The Weinstein Company has released such films as, The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, The 5 Deadly Venoms, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Supercop and An Empress & The Warriors just to name a few. To be a seemingly unknown in the film industry, make high budget films on low budgets and suddenly become aligned with a partner that puts out $33M grossing films, is truly a significant advancement. The upcoming film project is still under development, but Marcus is in talks with the likes of Jackie Chan as well as his son to play parts in the movie. Being shot in China, the movie is sure to be a continuing showcase of Marcus’ passion to create great films. According to the public relations firm, Executive 1 Media Group, “Marcus consistently

keeps them scrambling– he makes moves so fast we call it the ‘Aurelius Effect.’” His award-winning film Almost Related has brought him to the attention of Hollywood. So much so, Spike TV has agreed to air a world premier version of Almost Related on their network In the near future. With all of his accomplishments it is safe to say that action film has a new director and Marcus Aurelius is his name. For upcoming news, video clips, and links on Marcus Aurelius, The Weinstein Company Asia (Dragon Dynasty) and Bey Logan subscribe to J’Adore Magazine Online at www.jadoremag.com. J

I just wanted to be a working actor. I didn’t want to direct. It started out with me just writing a project that could be a vehicle for me as an actor.

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e The Mixed Art of

fighting The sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is an exciting, fast-paced, heart-pumping adrenaline rush for the fighter, as well as the spectator. It’s a well organized, heavily advertised

and easily accessible sport, attracting new fans, while satisfying the old hardcore fans as well. Perhaps that’s the reason MMA is arguably becoming Americas’ favorite combat sport. But what exactly is MMA? Well, by definition, it is a full contact combat sport that displays many different martial arts and fighting techniques in an organized competition. Everything from Muay Thai and Greco-Roman wrestling, to boxing and Jiu-Jitsu are all on display simultaneously during almost any match. As well as Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo, Jeet Kune Do, other forms of kickboxing, Savate, Sanshou and many more. It is the culmination of hard work, the sharing of ideas and techniques, better kinesiology understanding and dedicated training camps. Incredibly disciplined athletes with tremendous respect for each other and the sport match their skills and intent to impose their will on one another. It’s art, entertainment and a way of life. Many say the beginning of MMA started with the master Bruce Lee and his creation of Jeet Kune Do around 1967. JKD is translated as the “way of intercepting the fist,” and is more of a philosophy, a way of life and on-going process of self-discovery as opposed to a specific style. Everyone’s Jeet Kune Do will vary because of its principles. It’s all about taking the best parts of different styles and disciplines, and discarding the rest. Adapting, learning and growing certainly is the essence of MMA today, and since Mr. Lee, many have advanced these ideals for the preservation of the sport. The Gracie

Words By: Rational Chaos

family is a perfect example. In 1925, Carlos Gracie opened the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academy in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. It was advanced by his younger brother Helio Gracie. By 1978, when Helios’ oldest son Rorion Gracie traveled to the United States, it was a greatly recognized and respected martial art. In 1993, Rorion introduced the world to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and changed the way we look at fighting and competitions. Royce Gracie, Rorion’s brother, was the smallest and most unassuming looking man in the entire competition. Regardless, he won, beating journeyman boxer Art Jimmerson, grappler Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau, who was the Savate World Champion at the time. Gracie succeeded with brandishing the greatness of his family’s Jiu Jitsu. Originally created to introduce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world and settle the debate over which martial arts style was superior to the other, the UFC is now the premiere MMA Association. The UFC has grown from its days of style versus style to each fighter being trained in multiple disciplines, causing them to be extremely well-rounded competitors with the ability to fight standing up as well as on the ground. Growing from its single elimination, one round with no time limit matches, to the five minute rounds per match we see today, MMA continues to evolve. For instance, there’s a debate on how to score each round. Currently, MMA uses a 10-point system as in boxing. However, many believe this is a hindrance because it doesn’t account for take downs, take down defense, submission attempts or counter moves to those attempts. You can’t score a knockdown like a takedown for many reasons–one being that you can have more than 10 takedowns in

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a round and that could leave a fighter with a negative score for the round, which is impossible. This adds to the debate on which sport–boxing or MMA–is more exciting. Some say boxing because its history in this country will never be replaced by MMA. Some MMA fans believe that because boxing is already a part of MMA, it will naturally be absorbed into it, but the debate goes much deeper than that. The popularity of boxing does seem to be on the decline, while the MMA continues to flourish. Take for example the two sports’ main reality TV shows, The Contender and The Ultimate Fighter. While both started in 2005, Contender seems to be losing steam, completing only four seasons and possibly going into a fifth, while Ultimate Fighter is going into its 10th season, boasting some of MMA’s biggest names in its roster. Not to mention the fact that the fifth season of Contender takes a backseat to the second season of The Contender Asia: Muay Thai, which is set to be shot in Singapore later this year. The number of MMA organizations has definitely increased since 1993. In addition to the UFC, you have K-1, W.E.C., I.F.L., Showtime’s EliteXC and of course, PRIDE Fighting Championships to name a few. Pride, based in Japan, was one of the largest, with 10 years of operation in forty countries until March 2007 when Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, coowners of Zuffa ENT which also owns the UFC, bought them out. Regardless, in pay-per-view (PPV), boxing still holds the title. The 2007 De la Hoya/Mayweather fight garnered 2.15 million PPV buys, still the largest PPV event ever. The recent UFC 100 fought July 11, 2009, is the biggest MMA event to date. No official word on the exact numbers yet, somewhere between 1.5 and 1.75 million buys, which still leaves it fourth on the alltime PPV scale with boxing still holding the first three spots. Notably, however, due to the UFC 100, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez was rescheduled to avoid going head-to-head on the same night. Then there is the very popular question of who would win in a fight–a MMA fighter or a boxer? But is this really a fair scenario? True, a boxer would probably lose to a MMA fighter in a MMA match due to the amount of rules boxing entails and usage of solely fists, but can a MMA fighter beat a boxer in strictly a boxing match? Perhaps there is no right or wrong answer, only preference. And who’s to say both can’t be enjoyed equally? The bottom line here is that MMA is not a fad. It’s here to stay. From television, to movies, to martial arts schools of all kinds growing in number and membership, we can see its influence in cultures globally. When martial arts mastery and philosophy meet with our ideas and curiosity–especially at a time in our world when people are open to new ideas and concepts like never before–it seems to be a perfect match. J

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e Coach Dru and team in huddle


morethanafilm Director Kris Belman and Coach Dru chime in on the real significance of More Than A Game, the documentary about the journey of LeBron James and his friends to manhood.

Kris Belman did what many filmmakers do following their dreams. As a film student at Loyola Marymount, Belman was ready for “Lights, camera, action!” He just didn’t know

that his hometown of Akron, Ohio would serve as his launching pad. The buzz about the teen basketball sensation LeBron James was so huge that Belman couldn’t miss it. But it wasn’t basketball greatness that piqued his curiosity. Belman was immediately struck by the deep friendship LeBron had with his teammates. When Belman approached James Dru Joyce II, better known as Coach Dru, about filming his star players for a short for his school, it’s the story of friendship that got him through the door. Seven years later, More Than A Game documents the story we would otherwise not see.

More Than A Game poster

words By: Ronda Racha Penrice photos Courtesy of Lionsgate

I kind of felt like this film had the opportunity to analyze the stereotypes and what those boys

were doing and what coach was doing.

Kris Belman

Nurturing his son’s dream uncovered his own passion. “Most of my life, well my adult life anyway, I had always been involved with the youth. I was the youth director at our church before I became a basketball coach. I’ve always enjoyed working with young people.” Although “coaching was something I wanted to do right out of high school, I kind of got sidetracked. [Working with the boys] just help redefine for me what my life purpose would be.” More Than A Game is special not because basketball purists can witness a young LeBron with pure raw talent. Again, that’s the least of the film’s concern. It’s a family film full of great life lessons about coming together and staying together. Coach Dru says one of the biggest lessons he’s learned from this journey is: “If you remain focused on the plan, if you believe in the plan, if you talk about it, if you work at it, then those dreams–that vision–it can happen.” More Than A Game is proof positive. More Than A Game is showing now. Please visit www.morethanagamemovie.com for more information. J

From day one, Belman was never interested in the LeBron story. Instead, he wanted to “hopefully break the stereotypes with athletes [and] with males as far as what it means for male bonding, to have friends and to be masculine” Ultimately, Belman says, “I kind of felt like this film had the opportunity to analyze the stereotypes and what those boys were doing and what coach was doing. I thought that was kind of a refreshing tale and it was very important for me to make that a large part of the film.” Still, even he was surprised by what he found. “I didn’t know how close they were, how deep their friendship went and how important that would be going forward,” admits Belman. In More Than A Game, the bond between Coach Dru, his son James Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton, Willie McGee, Romeo Travis and LeBron James is what shines through even as they strive to be recognized as the nation’s best basketball team. And Coach Dru is largely responsible for creating that environment and setting that example. “Throughout this whole thing, basketball just turned out to be the vehicle and that’s what we’ve always talked about; basketball is a vehicle. You need to use the game, don’t let it use you. You really need to figure out how you can make the most out of your life and use what you’ve been given and these guys were given the game of basketball.” Helping his son realize his love for basketball also changed Coach Dru in important ways. “At that time in my life,” he recalls, “I was really struggling with ‘what is my purpose?’ I had a great job in corporate America but it was very unfulfilling. At the end of the day, I said it to myself so many times: ‘What have you done that really matters? What have you done that’s of value?’”

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James Dru Joyce II aka Coach Dru


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athletes You Need To Know words by: Tony Gaskins Jr.

He’s received praise from world-famous celebrities including, Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks, along with critical acclaim for his book,

What Daddy Should Have Told His Little Girl. Motivational speaker and author, Tony Gaskins Jr. has influenced millions globally with his passionate delivery during speeches and written words of inspiration. Being a fan of J’Adore Magazine, Gaskins was happy to inform readers of three young athletes who are destined to make a major impact in the world of sports. Jantell Lavender

The Future of Women’s Basketball Jantell Lavender is more than just a name. In a few years she’ll be a brand. Standing at 6’3”, this young lady is dominating in more ways than one. If you look at the course of her life, you have to agree that she was destined for greatness. She picked up a ball for the first time in seventh grade, when a lot of athletes start in elementary school and still never reach her level of play. By the time she was in eighth grade, she realized that this is what she was born to do. Fast forward eight years and she’s now one of the Top 10 female basketball players in the country. And she’s only a junior in college. After two more years of competitive college basketball, only the b-ball gods will have the words to describe her. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but any true basketball fan has to respect a sophomore season averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. That’s what the greats are made of. We are watching history in the making every time Jantell Lavender touches the court. In the grand scheme of things, she is still a baby, but has experienced so much growth and maturity in her game. Two years ago, she played on the U.S. U-19 team and this summer she played on the U-21 team. This year, they traveled to Serbia and she helped the U.S. bring home the gold medal.

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“The experience is life changing in my opinion,” Jantell says. “You learn to appreciate the lesser things in life; things you take for granted in the U.S. I had the opportunity at 20 years old to go out of this country and be around other collegeage athletes from 120 other countries. I would not trade that experience for the world.” Every fan of women’s basketball has their eyes on Ms. Jantell Lavender. They’re witnessing her ascent to greatness. It’s inevitable with the way she is going, but in speaking with her I learned that she is much more than a phenomenal athlete. She’s a thinker–very deep and articulate–while at the same time, funny and fun-loving. She attributes her wisdom to her mother. Jantell is definitely the complete package and the type of athlete the world needs. She is the one a young girl can look up to on and off the court. Although Jantell could be seen as a shoe-in for the next level, she doesn’t take anything for granted. While in college, she is pursuing a Sports Marketing degree and building a firm foundation for her future. Ultimately, she plans to play in the WNBA and overseas after college and top it off as a basketball coach after she’s decided to hang up her jersey for good.

Justin Forsett

‘The Preacher’s Son’

Many say the NFL means “Not For Long.” Well, Justin Forsett knows all too well the meaning behind that acronym after being bounced around a couple times in the league. He was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and then released after an injury. He was then picked up by the Indianapolis Colts and later waived by them also due to injury. Eventually, he ended up with the Seattle Seahawks once again. Evidently, this was quite a roller coaster ride for the young pro. Justin isn’t your typical young man. His parents are pastors and he was raised to believe in the unseen, do the impossible and in a sense, he’s doing just that. As a product of the small town of Mulberry, Fla., many wouldn’t expect much from Justin. He was doubted and denied many times in his life. Being 5’8” and under 200 pounds, numerous critics said he was too small, too slow and too injury prone. Despite said the words of discouragement, he kept going. Now he is in the rotation for the Seattle Seahawks as a running back, and returning kicks and punts. It’s just the beginning for Mr. Forsett. “I plan to play in the NFL until my body says ‘No,’ and then I’ll probably move on with my life and work with the kids,” Justin says. Justin coming this far has only been by the grace of God.

He is a firm believer in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and he gives Him all of the credit for his success in life. “When others said ‘No,’ God said, ‘Yes,’” he says. Justin feels that his calling to the NFL has much more significance than just to play ball. He feels that it’s a call to responsibility and it’ll give him a platform to speak into the lives of those who will come after him. This young man has a head on his shoulders unlike any other 23-year-old I’ve met. He’s rooted and grounded and he knows exactly what he wants out of life. Also, grasp this: he is deeply in love with his fiancée and saving himself for marriage. How many 23-year-olds do you know that have made a decision like that in their life? When looking at his life and following him on Twitter for a month leading up to this article, I’ve noticed that he lives what he preaches. He isn’t fake or phony in any way. He’s the true definition of a role model and someone every parent would be proud to have their children look up to. I’ve never seen a man with Justin’s type of faith fail, so be prepared to see him soar to heights others never thought possible of him. This preacher’s son has a sermon of his own, so get ready. To link up with Justin, visit him at www.twitter.com/JForsett.

Amber Smith

Still Standing

Rarely will you meet an athlete with a story as moving as Amber Smith’s. All before the tender age of 20, Amber lost her cousin who was her best friend and her father. Her dad put a basketball in her hand at the age of 4, when most little girls were walking around holding a teddy bear. As she grew, the game grew and basketball became her middle name. Then a twist of fate happened and at the age of 17–she lost her father. At that moment, it was like the game lost all its meaning and the weight of the world was dropped on her shoulders. How can a young girl go on playing the sport when the person that introduced it to her had to leave this Earth? Amber, despite the pain, kept moving forward after this tragic loss, but only to lose her cousin a short time after. In the midst of the tragedy, there were many triumphs. As a high school athlete and team leader, Amber led her team to two State Championships. That’s an amazing accomplishment for any athlete. She went on to sign with the University of Kentucky, a Division 1 school in the SEC. Amber attributes her basketball genius and skill to her high school coach, Rashad Tyler. “He taught me most of what I know. He shaped me into the person and player that I am today. He has a great knowledge of the game and he has transferred that over to me. I

have a much better understanding of the game because of him,” Amber says. Amber went on to start her freshmen and sophomore year as the point guard for Kentucky. She is a very team-oriented player and puts the squad’s goals before her own. Her primary objective for this upcoming season is to help her team become the SEC champions and move on to the NCAA tournament. For her, Amber says it wouldn’t be too bad if she made the SEC first team, but of course, that’d just be the icing on the cake. Outside of Coach Rashad Tyler, Amber gives all the praise to God and her family for sustaining her all these years. With God and her strong mother, she was able to make it through all of the ups and downs. Amber says without her family, she would be nothing and they are the motivation behind her drive and tenacity on the court. She’s doing it to make them proud. After her college career is complete, she would like to move on to the WNBA and eventually become a collegiatelevel coach. If you’d like to connect with Amber, she welcomes you to follow her at www.twitter. com/A_Smith_24

To find out more about Tony Gaskins Jr., visit www.tonygaskins.com and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tonygaskins

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Shane Sparks: Gladiator Style The arena of dance isn’t just about art; it’s about a blood, sweat and tears sport with revolutionary competitors, like the awardwinning, multi-talented Shane Sparks.

words by: Sia Tiambi Barnes

The field of dance is no different than that of football, for someone like Shane Sparks. When the

feature film You Got Served opened at number one at the box office Super Bowl Weekend 2004, the world knew America’s thirst for glad-

iator-style sports. Actors Marques Houston, Megan Goode and Steve Harvey all helped to give life to the world of street dance competitions and Shane, as co-choreographer, was recognized with a 2005 BET Award and an American Choreography Award for his behind-the-scenes part. Shane is now an Emmy-nominated choreographer for his work on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, which ended its fifth season this summer with 9.3 million viewers. Three days later, the fourth season of MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew opened with 2.3 million, on which Shane is a judge. Kneepads, basement rehearsals and Cincinnati, Ohio battlegrounds–teen clubs and skating rinks–were his only formal training for such an outstanding career. “I was that guy that had kneepads on up under his suit going to church. I was that guy that had wrist bands and glasses and chains and stuff up under everything he wore, because at any given moment I was going to battle somebody and that was my mentality,” recalls Shane. “For certain people, dance was our football.” Like many sporty youngsters, Shane had a bit of a soccer mom. “When I was younger, my mother would say dance for everybody, every time people would come over. I could remember specifically getting on the floor doing a forward roll, rolling on my side and people started to clap. That was probably the first time I ever got praise for something.” By the time he was 20, Shane had moved to Los Angeles and was dancing and singing as part of a Jodeci-like group that was signed to the now defunct Warner Music Group subsidiary, Giant Records. There, he was also drafted to work as a dance teacher–a side hustle he still enjoys. “I learned how to sing background, lead. I learned how to produce music, write songs. I learned so much in that process, it gives me a different angle on doing choreography ... There [are] sounds in these songs that can be expressed. Most people dance on the downbeat. As you get sicker, you learn to dance just to the hi hat and sometimes you dance to the bass line, or the chords, or the lyrics. Then you start to dissect that song and you’re expressing that song a little bit better.” Shane’s musicality and ability to teach, may well be his most formidable gifts. Coming from a raw-talent, hip hop world, he breaks technical dancers with the intricacy and passion of say, an Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. “It’s almost like when the tailback has the ball, he doesn’t have time to really think about what he’s going to do, he’s just reacting. But because he’s so good at it, you don’t realize that when he jukes to the left, he’s looking to the right to try to fake you out.” Though Shane may be juking to the left, becoming known worldwide through hip hop, he’s set his vision beyond the one genre. “I’m not a hip hop choreographer, I’m a choreographer. I’m an artistic director.” This fall, just as football season is getting underway, he will be in New York City gearing up to go head-to-head with Super Bowl Weekend 2010, as co-choreographer for the national tour of the musical Dreamgirls. “It’s definitely something that’s really challenging to me and I’m really, really, really excited to be a part of something so big coming from a hip hop point of view, you know what I mean? I’m giving it my all.” J

clothing: Charles Lynch (Beige dress); NOIRSOUL (Red dress) Jewelry - Divalee Designs, divaleedesigns.com Model courtesey of HD, The Agency

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Back to the Roots

words By: Sia Tiambi Barnes

Tarrus Riley:

Reggae singer Tarrus Riley may be a new outbreak in the U.S. with his LP "Contagious", but he’s already won awards, recorded two previous studio albums and is being lauded as a revival of the roots reggae that Diamond-selling Bob Marley made popular. Though humble, he hopes we all catch the fever, no matter if we’re black, white or ‘whatever nation.’

Born Omar Riley to a reggae singer named Jimmy Riley and a nurse named Lavern, Tarrus’s manifest destiny to create, as he calls it, “healing music,” was written into the stars. From an early age, he was experiencing the studio life–watching how things operate and the rehearsals it takes. He taught himself the keyboard and percussion instruments, penned his own lyrics and, still a teenager, recorded for his father’s Love and Promotion label. His mother suggested he take on his zodiac sign, Taurus, ruled by the element Earth, for a stage name. As his remedial practice evolved, so did his tenor and the now “Tarrus” went from deejaying over dancehall beats (Jamaica’s equivalent of rapping over a hip hop track) to what is now his third album, considered a roots reggae revival and ironically titled Contagious. “My album is about love in every different way you can say it. It’s here to break down the walls of discrimination and segregation and all those things ... music has to have a little bit of message, you know and at the same time make you feel good,” Tarrus explains. And then, in all the persuasive purity of a voice that won him Best Male Vocalist and Best Song at the 2008 International Reggae & World Music Awards, he says of the paradox of his album’s title, “We want love to be contagious, so help me spread it why don’t you?” Roots reggae is a subgenre distinguished by its lyrical content involving social issues and often from a Rastafarian perspective. It was made popular by Bob Marley in the 1970s, just about a decade after the nascent of reggae. Like the title track, which samples Bob Marley’s “Coming in From the Cold,” Contagious firmly sprouts from the revered legacy, occasionally adding a contemporary dose of Tarrus’s own

roots– dancehall. “Roots [reggae] is the foundation ... reggae music from when it started. Most of the time the message is just positive and it uplifts your spirit.” Even when approaching issues like gun violence on “Living the Life of a Gun,” domestic violence on “Start A New,” or just general non-peace behavior on “Why So Much Wickedness,” Tarrus prefers questioning over condemnation, opting to make people think rather than compromise his ability to make people “feel good.” “Instead of the war take a look and/ instead of the violence read a book” he croons on “Let Peace Reign.” “It’s all about equalize and justice,” Tarrus informs. “I don’t have to come and bash the world and knock the world about everything that’s happening. Them have a conscious and them know what them do.” For the already awakened, Contagious contains remakes of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Robin Thicke’s “Superman.” Regarding connecting to his audience, songs like, “It Will Come (A Musician’s Life Story)” on which Tarrus sings, “Baby, one day you will overstand/ I’m only a man working hard for my family/ And though rewards may not come right away, have some faith/ This I know, it will come” really speaks to his fans. One realization that Tarrus holds dear to his heart is his ability to prove the medicinal power of love. Though feeling the effect of the gruel of traveling and just hours before the show at his North Carolina stop, he says, “I just love the people. Anywhere we are and the people have good vibes, that’s my favorite [place to be].” J

Tarrus Riley on sports… In addition to music, Jamaica is world renowned for its athletic exports: the 1988 Olympic bobsled team that inspired the movie, Cool Runnings; NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing; and the world record holder for the fastest man, Usain Bolt. “Yeah man, Jamaica rule sports, you know,” says island native and reggae singer Tarrus Riley. “Jamaica conquer every sport, even the bobsled team and the ice don’t fall in Jamaica.” For him, the constant motion of passing, dribbling and shooting required of his favorite sport, basketball, is the same rule that runs the music game. “You just have to be active, you have to move and you have to be busy. Unless I’m meditating, I don’t like to be too slow.”


e Jahdan Blakkamoore:

Ready to Rise words By: Sia Tiambi Barnes

Here, in the United States, we usually import our reggae, checking it at the customs of New York radio before declaring it mainstream. With Jahdan Blakkamoore, however, we get homegrown reggae that pays homage to stateside CaribbeanAmerican culture. He may originally be an immigrant from Guyana, but only a true Brooklynite has a skit about dollar vans on his album

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What’s happening is that all cultures are coming together because they started from the same origin anyway ...there’s a musical, spiritual, social and universal revolution happening now on our planet.


t’s difficult to categorize Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut solo album, Buzzrock Warrior. It has a clear reggae twang, but his flow is so hip-hop with a little bit of R&B. There are moments when you feel like you’re listening to Beenie Man, as his thoughts tease revolution of the body (“Kundalini – bedroom yoga”) to feeling like you’re listening to a Jamaican Mos Def, demanding revolution of the mind (“We go ‘round payola”). It’s one of those albums that, like the Rastafarian that he is, blurs the line between divine law and man’s law, the personal and the universal, so boldly and so effortlessly, it’s bound to be epic—if only we recognize him. Jahdan grew up an immigrant in Brooklyn, N.Y., surrounded by the diverse sound vibrations of “reggae, mento, soca, calypso, jazz, R&B, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll.” By the time he was 12 or 13 he says, “I started just bugging out with my own voice.” Reggae was his main “riddim” and over the years he became an internationally known deejay (reggae lyricist) with his band Noble Society. In the U.S. he became known for collaborations with critically acclaimed hip hop artists like, DJ Premier, Dead Prez, Bootcamp Clik and Afu Ra. So, when it was time to produce Buzzrock Warrior, he knew it would have to be “genre-bending.” “What’s happening is that all cultures are coming together because they started from the same origin anyway ... there’s a musical, spiritual, social and universal revolution happening now on our planet.” Buzzrock is his contribution to the revolution. “I’m a musical warrior. I believe that the pen is mightier than the sword any day.” If he simply had to categorize it, though, it would be, “Dubstep, grime, jungle music. Children of reggae,” he says, “like hip hop— multicultural babies. Jahdan describes his own multicultural evolution on “Come With Me,” a track with a haunting bass line and hook that lures the listener “on a journey” from Guyana to Canada to New York City. When he finally arrived in Brooklyn, he says, “I was just in awe. I remember just being like, ‘Wow this is such a big, huge place with big, big buildings.” Were the streets paved with gold like you were told? “No,” he said laughing. “I quickly found out the harsh realities of social living in the States. You’re never gonna stop being on this paper chase and you need to have like two or three jobs if you’re gonna have a car and a house and be able to provide for the day to day.” It’s funny how the stereotype of Caribbean-Americans having multiple jobs is true, not only of them, but of all of us. Even with his international success, Jahdan keeps a second job, except now, instead of it being a telemarketer, it’s being business-minded about his music. He insists on being a soldier for this cultural revolution. “Success is the only option, failure is not an option and upward spiraling is the only thing for me.” Or, as he says on “Broken In Brooklyn,” an anthem to being liberated from these recessiondepression times, “The pressure makes me feel vulnerable/but I was born a rebel/so me more sensible/I got to make moves on a higher level.”

Imported Goods: The Sport of Cricket

Originating from England, cricket is a bat-and-ball sport played on a field with 11 players per team. They’re dressed in protective gear because, like America’s favorite pastime, baseball, the ball can be delivered at speeds of more than 90 mph. Around the world there are 104 member countries (including the U.S.) in the International Cricket Council and the next Cricket World Cup (not yet an annual event) is scheduled for 2011 in Mumbai. While growing up in New York City, reggae artist Jahdan Blakkamoore didn’t have as many people to play cricket with as in his native Guyana. “Cricket is a big thing in GT (Georgetown, Guyana),” he says. NYC’s police department now has an organized cricket league implemented to help improve police-immigrant relations. Growing in popularity, this year the NYPD Cricket League had 10 teams and 170 players from all five of the boroughs. Matches are played in Brooklyn and Queens.

Read more about Jahdan atwww.jahdan-buzzrockwarrior.com. J

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Game. Style. Match. The Best Dressed Athletes words By: Kimberly Walker


he words “fashion” and “athlete” aren’t exactly synonymous, but in recent years, a few of the sports world’s phenoms have been rocking threads that made the red carpet take notice. Allow J’Adore to pay homage to the best dressed athletes from the fields and courts worldwide, and provide tips on how you can “steal” the look.

Chris Paul

Anna Kournikova Anna Kournikova is a great example of how to perfectly translate edgy and sporty both on and off the court. The Russian tennis champ has a penchant for seductive black dresses that cling to her washboard stomach and showcase just the right amount of cleavage. Not too many women can pull off a mini with a mid-drift-bearing top without raising a few eyebrows, but Anna’s lean, modelesque frame compliments this frequent outfit of choice. Even sans the racquet, she can make her K-Swiss sneaks look just as good as her favorite stilettos. Steal the look: Use accessories to add subtle touches of color to a sexy black halter dress. Swipe on a muted red lip and you’re out the door.

David Beckham There was nothing sexy about soccer until David Beckham literally kicked it up a notch with his signature bad boy style. Typically seen with the first few buttons of his shirt open, Beckham’s look is nothing less than machismo magic. Residing in the sunny hills of Los Angeles, David likes trendy tanks and tees with distressed jeans by day and for dinner with his wife Victoria, nothing less than a slim-fitting Hugo Boss suit will do. He’s as versatile with his hair as he is with his attire. Both his faux hawk and low cut Caesar buzz are enough to make you forget that he’s married. Or, wish that he wasn’t. Steal the look: Try a black button up shirt tucked into a pair of slightly fitted slacks. Remember to show a little chest by leaving a few buttons open.

Venus Williams

When it comes to style, many pro athletes tread the fine line of gaudy, but, not NBA point guard Chris Paul. He exudes ‘perfect gentleman’ from head to toe with his crisp, collared Ralph Lauren Purple Lable shirts and finely tailored suits. During his downtime, you might catch the New Orleans’ Hornet in a colorful polo and a pair of True Religion jeans. What gentleman would be complete without his scarf in tow? Paul accessorizes with simple, classic scarves to add a little creativity to his polished look. The court general has also been spotted traveling with the Louis Vuitton Damier canvas toiletry because, of course, he has to carry his toothbrush in style.

Venus Williams is a strong, striking force in the tennis world, but off the court, she opts for soft, feminine ensembles. Plunging necklines are among her favorites, as they accentuate her beautiful neckline. She’s definitely a fan of the silhouettes of the 1960s and 70s. With her fashion design degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Venus created her sassy, sporty line, Eleven. The line was created to inspire women to be chic and confident. Venus’ new found confidence on the red carpet has definitely shown this year as she’s not afraid to wear bold colors and prints like the beautiful peacock inspired gown she wore to the 2009 ESPY Awards.

Steal the look: Get a striped Polo shirt with a matching baseball cap. Dark-washed denim will make the look complete.

Steal the look: You can’t go wrong with a dress with an umpire waist. Opt for a funky print (animal, decade-inspired) and fun, flowy fabric.

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et’s face it, we see the male athletes doing their thing on the courts and fields throughout the year, but who do they go home to once the games are over? Considering all of the women these chiseled gents get flocked by on a daily basis, the public wants to see the wives that put all of these temptations to a halt. After looking at these hot “better halves,” we kind of see why.

Here are some of the hottest wives of today’s professional athletes that prove marriage ain’t so bad!

Vanessa Bryant Considered to be the most famous wife of an athlete in the U.S., Vanessa has stuck by her man through thick and thin. With Kobe seemingly more dedicated than ever, this couple and their cute daughters make a great team.

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words By: Robert Littal additional words By: Dennis Malcolm Byron


Gisele Bundchen They always say the star quarterback always gets the hottest girl in school right? Tom Brady took that to another level when he married Gisele, who many consider the most beautiful supermodel in the world.

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Pilar Sanders When the reality show Pilar & Deion hit the airwaves, most people expected Deion to be the star, but it was Pilar who stole show. Showing women everywhere you can be a wife, mother and businesswoman, while still being on primetime.

Kendra Wilkinson Hank Baskett squared off against Hugh Hefner and won. How many men could say that? The former playboy model and Indianapolis Colts backup receiver were recently married, and Wilkinson said she will no longer pose nude. Picture that! Carmella Decesare T.O. is still trying to figure out how Jeff Garcia pulled this former Playboy model., Carmella was a spectacular catch, which makes this quarterback look great!

Tamia I will continue to say that Grant Hill’s greatest achievement was nothing he did at Duke or in the NBA, but marrying the beautiful and talented songstress Tamia. Candace Parker Parker’s the only wife on the list who’s a professional athlete. Getting her shine in the WNBA, it can also be said that she’s a more accomplished basketball player than her husband, Sheldon Williams. Eva Longoria Rumor has it that even before Tony Parker knew who Eva Longoria was, she had her sights set on him. She claimed her prize and they’re considered a power couple in both sports and entertainment.

Brandi Garnett The most low profile wifey on the list, but this young lady is definitely one of the most beautiful wife of an athlete in the world. We doubt that the sailor-mouthed KG is throwing out too many profanities while with this beauty.

Adriana Lima NBA player Marko Jaric hasn’t lived up to the hype yet, but off the court, he scored big time with this Brazilian model. Whoa!

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prince 1999 and beyond “Say, say two-thousand-zero-zero party over, oops! Out of time!” This is what Prince has been up to since 1999! Music journalist Bernard Wilson chronicles what one of the music world’s most gifted musicians has been up to since 1999.


pioneer. A visionary. A musical genius. These are only a few of the words we can think of when we hear Prince. A multi-instrumentalist and self-producer (among other titles), he has always been extremely protective of his music. Ever since he decided to take matters into his own hands back in the mid-90s, Prince Rogers Nelson–or The Artist Formally Known as Prince as he was called at some point–has been just as busy as in the 80s, if not more so contrary to mainstream assumptions. The 51-year-old Minneapolis, Minnesota native has consistently put out quality material and has toured the world, yet the question still arises: “What’s Prince up to now?” Not everybody can provide a straight answer. Always ahead of his time, Prince has simply proven that there are no rules to the game and that as long as he keeps and nurtures the passion for what he does, there are no limits to what he can accomplish. Let’s take a look at a few of his numerous accomplishments since the theme year of one of his greatest hits, “1999.”

words by: Bernard Wilson

1999 • With all the pre-millennium tension in the air, The Artist releases the EP 1999: The New Master. • After bitterly leaving Warner, The Artist surprised many by returning to deal with a major label, Arista, in time for the Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic album featuring collaborations with Chuck D, Eve, Ani DiFranco, Gwen Stefani and Sheryl Crow. • At the annual MTV Video Music Awards, the network did their best to convince The Artist to perform “1999,” which he declined. Instead, he choose to introduce his “new favorite group,” TLC. • The pay-per-view special, Rave Un2 The Year 2000, is broadcast on Dec. 31 and features some very special musical guests such as Lenny Kravitz, Larry Graham, George Clinton and The Time.


• Having used the infamous male/female love symbol for the better part of the last decade between 1993 and 2000, Prince announces he is going back to using his real name. The love symbol is still very present on merchandise, album artwork and even in the shape of a guitar. • Rumors surface about a possible Prince and The Revolution reunion, which would have consisted of a tour and a new album tentatively titled Roadhouse Garden. Ultimately, it never sees the light of day.


• On Feb. 14 Prince launches NPGOnlineLtd.com later to become NPG (New Power Generation) Music Club, an Internet subscription site where fans can have access to new as well as previously unreleased material and also interact with each other. • Available online at first, the spiritual jazz-influenced The Rainbow Children is officially released on Nov. 20.


• Prince releases his first live album, the three-CD box set, One Night Alone… Live!, compiled from performances on his One Night Alone Tour when he was promoting The Rainbow Children. • Around this time, Prince gets more involved with the NPG Music Club going as far as inviting fans to pre-show parties, sound checks and providing a tour of his Paisley Park studio where devotees are encouraged to jam with the man himself.


• Prince releases the instrumental funk and jazz-fused project, N.E.W.S. The album contained four songs appropriately titled “North,” “East,” “West” and “South.” The album featured long time saxophone player Eric Leeds, Rhonda Smith on bass and drummer John Blackwell, who are featured regularly in his touring band for years to come.


• On Feb. 8, Prince opens the annual Grammy Awards and he plays a medley of hits, including a duet with Beyoncé on the performance of “Purple Rain” and “Crazy in Love.” • A week later, Prince reunites with Wendy Melvoin on The Tavis Smiley Show to perform a stellar acoustic rendition of “Reflection,” the closing cut from his upcoming Musicology album. • In March, Prince becomes one of the youngest living artists ever to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first year he was nominated. He also steals the show during an all-star tribute to George Harrison on the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” • The album Musicology is released on April 20, wrongfully considered by the masses as a comeback because Prince never went away. The record is handled by Columbia through a one-album deal, which defines the way Prince is to do business throughout the rest of the decade. The album goes Top 5, proving to be his most commercially successful since 1991’s Diamond and Pearls. The chart position is partly attributed to the fact that for every ticket sold for the upcoming tour, Prince gave the record away as part of the package; these copies in turn qualify for chart consideration. It features the singles “Musicology,” “Call My Name” and “Cinnamon Girl” (not to be confused with the Neil Young song of the same name).

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e • Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Prince arranged to have special “Purple Tickets” in copies of 3121. The lucky winners were flown from all over the world to attend the official launch party of the record at Prince’s Los Angeles home. • Prince receives the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award for his adventurous pioneering use of the Internet. One must not forget that he is one of the first musicians to have made his music exclusively available online. • NPG Music Club closes its operations stating it must re-evaluate itself. • In November, Prince opens a night club in Las Vegas at Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino called 3121, where he is slated to perform every weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. The engagement lasts until April of the following year.

• Prince launches the 96-date Musicology Live2004ever Tour in the U.S. and Canada that runs from March to September, becoming the highestgrossing tour of the year in America pulling in $87.4 million and is attended by 1.47 million people.


• On Feb. 13, the awards keep coming in and Prince takes home the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance with “Call My Name” and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for Musicology. • Prince teams with another musical genius and plays guitar on the ultra funky Stevie Wonder single “So What’s The Fuss.” • In September, Prince records a couple of new songs in response to Hurricane Katrina. “S.S.T.” and “Brand New Orleans” are released via the NPG Music Club to wide acclaim. • Prince signs a one-album deal with Universal Records. • 3121.com is launched as Prince’s official website. • On Dec. 13, NPG Music Club releases “Te Amo Corazon,” the first single of his upcoming 3121 album. The music video is notably directed by actress Selma Hayek.



• Prince puts out “Black Sweet” as the second single from 3121 on Feb. 2. • On Feb. 4, Prince is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live for the first time since 1981 (not counting his appearance on SNL’s 15th anniversary special in 1989). He plays an electrifying show-stopping version of “Fury” and “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed”–a song he co-wrote with his latest protégé, Tamar. Both songs are featured in 3121. • About a week later, Prince performs at the annual Brit Awards in London, England. For this special occasion, he is joined by none other than Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman and Sheila E. They play “Te Amo Corazon,” “Fury,” “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy” to raucous applause. • 3121 is released on March 21 and becomes Prince’s first US #1 debut ever. The album eventually goes gold topping 500,000 copies in sales.

• In January, Prince wins the Golden Globe for Best Original Song with “Song of The Heart” which features in the animated hit film Happy Feet. • On Feb. 4, Prince performs an unforgettable show during the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Miami. The set list comprised three songs from Purple Rain (“Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m A Star” and “Purple Rain”) and a medley of covers, which included versions of CCR’s “Proud Mary,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and Foo Fighters’ “Best Of You.” (During the performance especially during the song Purple Rain, it actually did rain creating one of the most memorable halftimes in Super Bowl history. The event was broadcast to an estimated 140 million viewers worldwide making it his largest audience ever. • In May, Prince announces he is going to take residence at London’s 02 Arena that summer. Billed as the Earth Tour, it is initially planned to be a seven-night affair but due to overwhelming demand, it is augmented to an extra 15 additional dates making it 21 nights in total. Tickets are priced 31.21 pounds and includes a copy of Prince’s as-yet untitled album. • The British The Mail On Sunday newspaper announces that it struck a deal to give away Prince’s new album Planet Earth for free with every copy of an upcoming edition of the newspaper (July 15 Edition). The move really angered local record store retailers, music distributors and mainly Columbia records which went as far as refusing to distribute the record in the UK. The record company did however handle the LP throughout the rest of the world. • The 21-night stint in London begins on Aug. 1. Prince reveals he and his band rehearsed 150 songs for the dates. The set list includes a variety of classic hits, new songs, hidden gems and cover versions. • In late December, 3121.com mysteriously fades to black online.


• On April 9, it is announced that Prince will headline Day 2 of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. • Prince is the musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno just ahead of his Coachella performance. He debuts his new song, “Turn Me Loose.” • On April 26, Prince pulls all stops at Coachella playing an extensive impeccable set. Several special guests were in hand for this occasion such as The Time’s Morris Day and Jerome Benton, Sheila E. and Chaka Khan, but the night’s most talked about moment was when Prince treated everyone to a spectacular rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep.” • In October, the book 21 Nights is released. It documents Prince’s

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remarkable London 02 Arena residency during the summer of 2007 and features photography from Randee St. Nicholas. Also included in the set is the CD “Indigo Nights/Live Sessions” culled from after-show performances at the 02’s Indigo Club. • In December, Prince debuts four new songs at LA’s Indie 103 radio show. At the same time, a couple of new websites see the light of day such as mplsound.com where he continues to preview new material. • In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Prince states he intends to release three new albums in the next year.


• On Jan. 3, lotusflow3r.com is launched with the promise that fans will be able to: “Watch Videos and Exclusive Content” and “Buy music, concert tickets and more.” It also features teaser snippets of three upcoming tracks from the new albums. • On March 24, www.lotusflow3r.com went live. For the fee of $77, fans could download all three new LPs; two Prince albums; Lotusflow3r and MPLSOUND respectively; and Exiler, a new album by protégé Bria. A t-shirt and early concert ticket access were also promised with the package. The threeCD physical copy of Lotusflow3r was released on March 29t through an exclusive deal with U.S. chain store Target. • Lotusflow3r was described as a guitar-based album, while MPLSOUND is more of a throwback to his signature 80s funk sound. Its first single “Chocolate Box” features none other than former A Tribe Called Quest alumnus Q-tip. Exiler, conversely, is a smooth soul oriented disc with all lead vocals performed by Bria. • To ensure album promotion, Prince took up residency on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for three nights performing one song from each record every show. He also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On March 28, Prince plays three backto-back shows where he performs at three different venues with three different bands in the Los Angeles area. The shows are set for Nokia Theatre, the Conga Room and Club Nokia. • Despite only being available online and through Target, Lotusflow3r debuted at #2 on Billboard Top 200 albums chart. • On April 27, PBS broadcasts Prince’s appearance on the The Tavis Smiley Show. He gives one of his most open interviews in years where he discusses just about anything that is on his mind. • On May 28, Prince returns to The Tonight Show as the penultimate musical guest during Jay Leno’s final week of his tenure as a host. He performs a splendid version of “Somewhere Here On Earth” that has the crowd begging for more. • On July 18, Prince plays two shows in one night at the 43rd edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The performances of “Little Red Corvette” and “When Eye Lay My Hands On U” were added almost instantly to the video vault on www.lotusflow3r.com. Prince played two further dates on August 13 at Salle Garnier in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

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Grooming: Alex LaMarsh Stylist: Lyndzi Trang Suits: Mayweather's Own

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. and still undefeated

Words and Interview By: Dennis Malcolm Byron images BY: Steven Khan


he unraveling of the taped hands. The constant deep-tissue massages. The innumerable hours in the whirlpool and saunas. This daily routine is necessary for the boxer’s body after years of squaring off against opponents who have one goal in mind: to see its physical

demise. And even for the undefeated, six-time world

champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who earned his “Pretty Boy” nickname from his impeccable defense that kept his face virtually unblemished, the physical demands took their toll following his 39th professional fight. Shortly after stopping the then undefeated light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in the 10th round on Dec. 8, 2007 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Mayweather shocked the boxing world. At the age of 30 and at the peak of his career, the flashy, outspoken and confident welterweight champion retired to preserve his well-being and handle the business side of things with his company, Mayweather Promotions. After all, his current alias, “Money,” wasn’t given to him in vain.

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What I bring to the table is excitement

and charisma because I’m different. Mayweather’s career could have been a book full of chapters that captured his blinding punching speed, accuracy of a surgeon, feat to set the record for most pay-per-view buys for a boxing match (2.4 million households witnessed his victory over Oscar De La Hoya) and six world championships in five weight classes. This would be enough to label him legendary. But like the great ones in sports, including Michael Jordan in the NBA and the NFL’s Brett Favre, Mayweather felt there was more to achieve. On Sept. 19, 2009, Mayweather re-entered the ring after almost two years in grand fashion at the age of 32. He was once again victorious by punishing the then 50-4-1 Juan Manuel Márquez in every round leading to a unanimous decision. Afterwards, the consensus from boxing enthusiasts and analysts stated that Money is still at the top of his game. Now 40–0 with 25 by knockout, Mayweather is aware that there are a couple of lions named Manny Pacquiao and “Sugar” Shane Mosley pacing in the boxing jungle, hungry to break the goose egg in his loss column. And like a true champion, Mayweather claims he’s the best and welcomes all challengers, but at his pace. His status and accomplishments earned him the right to choose the road his career will travel down. During J’Adore’s photo shoot in a luxurious suite in one of the most posh hotels in Las Vegas, Mayweather is happily brandishing the custom wardrobe he constantly switched up on the set. Although he is legitimizing the second aspect of the “Pretty” moniker, Mayweather is adamant to dispel the misconception that he’s solely ostentatious. While he likes the finer things in life, he loves to give. Besides the charity and community work he does “hands-on” throughout the U.S., he has plans to send millions of dollars in medicine to various countries in Africa.

Read on as Mayweather talks about the responsibility of being a celebrity, what he would do if he was the boxing commissioner for a day and his overall aspiration to be a champion inside and outside the ring. J’A dore Magazine: The boxing world certainly missed you during your nearly two-year exit from the ring. What were the benefits of stepping away?

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Taking two years off, I think it helped. It gave my body a chance to heal, it gave me a chance to grow–grow mentally and grow closer to my family. It was a good two years. It’s just when you do sports your whole life without having a long vacation or a long break. I think my body needed a vacation. After that, I was just happy to get back and display my skills. Well the ‘display your skills’ goal was obviously a successful mission. How would you break down your return fight with Juan Manuel Márquez? My break down is, you know, a lot of things. I am not going to talk bad about Márquez. It’s still a big argument [who is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter] out there I think. He could be the No. 2 guy pound-for-pound, but it’s still a big argument. I heard it through the grapevine. I don’t really read too many negative articles, but I’ve seen a lot of positive articles about me out there and I really appreciate it. They said I’m back ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound and that’s a great thing, but it’s not really where you rank at, it’s how you go out there and perform and what you bring to the table. What I bring to the table is excitement and charisma because I’m different. You know, a lot of fighters go out there and when you see the fight you say, ‘Well I’ve seen that style before.’ But when you see me, you see a unique style, but with that style you also see a dominant force not only in the boxing ring, but whatever he sets out to do in life.

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The boxing business is a wild business. Well it was impressive. Now let’s address the serious buzz about you fighting M anny Pacquiao next.

Well, I don’t really know my next fight. We don’t know who my next fight will be against. If it’s against Pacquiao, then that’s what it is. I’ll do what I’ll do best and that is to go out there, perform, be smart and be sharp. The bottom line is they all want to fight Mayweather, but the main thing is sitting back relaxing and enjoying my short break and getting back in the gym and working with my team again. You mentioned relaxing. What does that entail? Oh man, I love to sit in the hot tub, I love to sit in the steam room, I love to travel and go to different countries, hang out with my kids and with my mother. Just do my own thing, you know? Just do my own thing.

Well, no matter what, there is always respect for what you have accomplished. Which boxers have you always had that respect for? All the great ones. All the great ones I take my hat off to them because they laid the foundation for me. Without all of the champions that went out there and fought hard and still fought for a strong cause and just did a lot of great things for the sport of boxing, I probably wouldn’t be where I am at today. I am thankful for all of the past champions that went out there and ‘done what they’ve done’ in the sport of boxing. Is there one in particular who would have been the ultimate match up with you?

Aaron Pryor. Yeah, Aaron Pryor because he was undefeated also. He was undefeated 30 something and zero and he was a beast! If he was in my era, that would be a super fight. That would’ve been a hell of a fight!

During this relaxation, have you ever reflected on that one fight that meant more to you than any

Speaking of your era, let’s make Floyd the box-

of the others?

ing commissioner for a day. What is the first move?

All fights mean a lot because they are at different fights at different meters. Even like with the Oscar de la Hoya fight. The world waited to see two fighters of such high magnitude meet up at the peak of their careers. But then Márquez was a guy who Manny Pacquiao was ducking for a third fight, but [Márquez and I] had a chance to meet up. Then there’s Ricky Hatton. He was known in the U.K., but when he did fight here, he was trying to build a fan base in the U.S. but it didn’t really jump off like he wanted it to jump off. So when he fought over here a couple times, he helped bring some of the U.K. fans over, probably about a couple thousand fans, but once he met with myself, Floyd Mayweather, it was a different ball game. That’s when 20 to 30 thousand fans came over to see a fight of that magnitude. So it was crazy. My fan base is crazy! I just think that when you are doing bad, they don’t have nothing to say, but when you’re doing good, they have a lot of negative things to say. It comes with the territory. You know negative energy in general makes me get stronger. That’s why I try to surround myself with positive energy.

I would make sure all of the past champions are able to get a check every month–all of the champions who opened up the door for guys like myself. In my heart, those fighters deserve checks every month and health benefits.

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Deep. Besides boxing, you also have an interest in the music scene. Compare the music game and boxing industry.

The boxing business is a wild business. The music business is cutthroat also, so you have to be careful with your surroundings; it works like that in both fields. Boxing is up and down. One day you’re up, next day you’re down. In the music business, everything is basically on the Internet and boxing is on pay-per-view. I was in 4.5 million homes at $50 or $60 a pop to generate over $300 million in the sport for 90 minutes. It’s just unreal. God don’t make mistakes, so I am where I am at for a reason.

Let’s switch gears. You have expressed a love for traveling. You know J’A dore loves travel, so what are some of your favorite getaways?

I love to travel. Love it! I like to go to Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas. I love to go out and chill by the water, get massages on the beach, eat by the fireplace on the beach at night, sit by the fire pit with my friends, have drinks. Actually, I don’t really drink alcohol, but you know, I may have a couple of glasses of orange juice, some soda, talk amongst my friends by the fireplace and be thankful for the position that I am in, that I am able to travel around the world and have the finer things in life. What are some other things that the masses don’t know about you?

The main thing I like the best is feeding families and feeding the homeless and less fortunate. I feel good when I go home and do that. I give thanks to God that I was able to go out and have enough money to feed them every week or give back to the homeless youth; that I am able to go talk to them and give pep talks so they can start on the goals that they want to accomplish in life. Do you see a lot of other celebrities and sports figures do the same thing?

A lot of celebrities do it, but they don’t go and do it hands-on. They don’t give it to them hand to hand–from my hand to their hand. I do it because it motivates them to get out of the position that they are in. It motivates them to go out and want to look for a job. There is nothing like giving Have you been to A frica? Actually no, but I met a woman on the plane coming from Atlanta and the great thing about that is she represents the AIDS Foundation and she was on her way to Africa. Well, I told her that me and my team could get with her and go with her to Africa. I said I can come out of my pocket with a lot of money, but I would like to maybe do some type of show in America and raise something like $3 million worth of medicine for African people who are HIV positive. Is there anything else you want readers to know?

Continue to support this magazine. It’s a great magazine, so subscribe so you get it every month. Don’t just pick up that one issue! Be sure to follow Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he continues his mission to remain undefeated in and out of the ring. J

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black execs in professional sports words By: D. Kevin McNeir

Parity comes slowly for black executives in professional sports, but throwing in the towel is NOT an option.


f you’re ever near a playground, a gymnasium or riding by one of your town’s baseball fields, you will inevitably hear youngsters bragging about how they can soar

like former Bulls legend Michael Jordan, run through a line of defenders like that team-hopping standout wide receiver Terrell Owens or hit a ball to the moon like the Cardinals’ Albert “The Machine” Pujols, who is on a pace to eclipse Hank Aaron’s career home run total. But even if these aspiring “superstars” beat the odds and become successful college athletes, the numbers are not in their favor for ending up with professional careers. Still, with hard work, a determined spirit and a little luck, some are able to make it. But what happens after they can no longer play the game? Some disappear into obscurity, while others parlay their bucks into private businesses. And then there are those who remain in the sport–seeking to climb the ladder within the managerial and executive branches.

This story takes a cursory glance at blacks that are finding success as decision makers and power brokers in the field of professional sports. After all, when it comes to the pros, the bottom line is not the color of the players, the coaches or the owners. What really counts is winning and winners, as history has proven, come in all shapes, sizes, sexes and races. Consider the following short, but impressive, list of names: Bill Lucas, Ozzie Newsome, Emmitt Thomas, Hank Aaron, Kevin Clayton, Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Bob Johnson, Omar Minaya, Tony Dungy, Reggie Roberts, Ray Scott and Earl Lloyd. What do they all have in common? Unless you’re truly “old school” or a die-hard “sports junkie,” some of these names may mean absolutely nothing to you. But in the annals of professional league sports, each man has risen within his representative sport to an executive

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position–sometimes even becoming the first black in his particular job. To further answer the question, consider this: while pennants, trophies, rings, trips to Disney World and other ostentatious forms of victory may have eluded some, each has made a significant contribution to their game and served as an example of what blacks can do when given a chance. So what’s the common factor, besides being men of color? All have served or currently serve as vice-presidents,

managers, coaches or general managers for a professional sports team. And in the case of Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), he holds the highest seat in the front office position as the owner of the New Orleans Hornets–a team that has yet to post a winning season since its move from Charlotte and one that Johnson apparently hopes to sell because, well, he’s losing millions in a city hit hard by the financial crisis. Lloyd and Scott, both NBA coaches, are an interesting

When given the opportunity, blacks are fully capable of

assuming leadership in the executive offices of professional sports.

set of bookends. I recall during my early childhood in Detroit, watching Lloyd and then later Scott, assume the helm for the Detroit Pistons as their head coach. Lloyd, who was the first assistant coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA), holds the distinction of being the team’s first black coach. But after a dismal 20-52 record in the 1971-72 season and starting the next season “0 and schedule,” he was fired and replaced by Scott–the first time that a black coach succeeded a black coach. However, both men would impact the development of two basketball stars–Dave Bing and Bob Lanier–who would eventually earn their place in the Basketball Hall of Fame. As for winning, that would be several decades later before a young, afro-wearing, bell-bottomed guard from Indiana University named Isaiah ended the team’s 41-year drought, leading the “Bad Boys” to successive NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.

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Ironically, the starting five of the Pistons 1989 and 1990 teams have done pretty well for themselves in terms of front office positions. Thomas, first the head coach for the Indiana Pacers back in 2000, later moved on to take over the New York Knicks. However, last spring he was fired, ending his career in the Big Apple with a dismal .341 winning percentage. At one point he also held the title of team president, but whether he will have any official position when the season opens later this year is anyone’s guess. Bill Laimbeer, the center for the championship team, has gone on to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and bested the league several times as the head coach of the Detroit Shocks. And his “roadie” is another “Bad Boy” Rick Mahorn, a colorful sports figure from back in the day who could brawl with the best of them. Laimbeer and retired NBA baller Reggie Theus are assistant coaches for the newly appointed Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coach Kurt Rambis, who used to play and coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. Joe Dumars, the other guard on that famous Pistons tandem, remains with the organization,

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f steadily ascending the ladder since his retirement to his current role as Basketball Operations Vice President. Numbers for black players climbing–not so for execs of color In a recent report by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports released just days after America elected its first black president, it was noted that the numbers of African American head coaches in major college football was decreasing from a “high” of eight in 1997 to only three in 2005. Compare that to the 58 percent of student athletes that are minorities and it’s clear that in terms of diversity and inclusion, there is still a lot to be done. “While the percentages are slightly better, the general picture is still one of white men running college sport,” said the report’s coauthor, Richard Lapchick. “Moreover, they do not reflect the diversity of our nation where we have elected an African American as president for the first time.” But the news is not all bad. As some black players in college sports hung up their cleats, put down their gloves or realized that basketball would become simply recreational pleasure, many were given the opportunity to work for professional teams in a variety of entry-level positions. Some that made it to the big leagues would follow similar routes upon their retirement. To add, with hard work, many of them are earning impressive wages and having the time of their life. “Baseball has always been a passion of

Bill Lucas

mine,” said Ronnie Richardson, 27, who joined the Atlanta Braves in 2004 after graduating from Albany State University where he was a four-year starting outfielder. He is currently assistant director of player development. “Every kid that plays the game in little league wants to play at its highest level–the major leagues. I faced the tough decision to either chase my dream of playing pro baseball or start a career. I embarked on a search for a challenging career that would allow me to combine my passion for baseball and utilize my business degree. Looking back I know it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Baseball has given a lot to me and I am grateful each and every day that I am able to continue to strive for my goals as it relates to my career.” Terry Pendleton has been one of the Braves’ greatest players and a key in their turnaround in the early 1990s, from the worst team in the league to a pennant-winning franchise the following year (Pendleton would take home MVP honors in 1991 as well). He has been the team’s hitting coach for the past eight seasons. He says that since he first began his professional career in 1984, he never felt that race was a factor that hindered him from taking advantage of opportunities. “When I was with the St. Louis Cardinals, I think we were one of the leading teams with black players on the ball club,” he said. “And there were a number of black coaches so I never felt there were limitations. I saw black coaches with other teams [too] and when I

Terry Pendleton

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came to the Braves we had black coaches–I didn’t feel like race played into it at all.” Pendleton went on to say that despite the low percentage of blacks in the front office in professional baseball, he remains encouraged. “I believe that each kid, individually, needs to make the effort to go after his or her dream,” he said. “If it’s to be an executive in Major League Baseball, then I think they need to go after that. If they work hard enough and if they’re committed to achieving that goal, I don’t believe anyone can stop them.” Pendleton concluded, “Sometimes you have to work for that opportunity and wait for that door to open.” Sometimes it only takes one to encourage hundreds of others as Richardson remarked when referring to William “Bill” Lucas, the first black general manager in Major League Baseball–a position he held from 1976 until his sudden death at 43 years old in May 1979. Lucas, a FAMU graduate, served as an officer in the Army and then played six years for the then-Milwaukee Braves in the club’s farm system. In 1965, after an injury ended his career, he joined the Braves front office and moved from one position to another, patiently climbing the ladder. His widow, Rubye Lucas, spoke to J’Adore about the impact that baseball had on both of their lives and the legacy her husband left behind for other players to follow. “Luke was highly intelligent and he believed people were people regardless of race, creed or color,” she said. “He was

ronnie richardson

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a man of honesty, determination and high integrity. He faced each obstacle as a learning lesson and used that experience as one more step to achieve his goals. He respected everyone and in return, demanded the same respect at all times. In the early years, he often spoke to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about his inner feelings and as a result, developed a keen sense of what is important and what to overlook. Dr. King and his dear friend, Dick Cecil, often told him to remain focused on his goals and to always keep his eyes on the ball. Luckily, Atlanta’s motto was: ‘A City too Busy to Hate.’” One thing about Mrs. Lucas is that she became just as much involved in opening doors for minorities as her husband. In fact, she has worked with Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who is now the senior vice president for the Atlanta Braves, on several projects that she says has made a real difference for young children and developing players–all of whom have greater opportunities now and the positive models of Aaron and Lucas to emulate. “The Atlanta Braves organization, in my opinion, was one of the first teams to give African Americans an opportunity to be a major part of the decision-making process in the front office,” Mrs. Lucas continued. “I became a member of the Board of Directors, along with my good friend, Hank Aaron. The two of us, along with the Braves’ front office, implemented a program to train minorities for front office positions. Today, the organization continues to provide this training for minorities. Of course I strongly believe there is always room for improvement. How do we get better if we decide enough is enough? Any person or organization must always continue to strive to achieve higher goals.” Beware of becoming a ‘VICK-tim’ Today, millions of young boys and girls dream about becoming superstars in professional sports and as we all know, there is lots of money to be made. American sports are an estimated $300 billion industry that has assumed a place of great influence and prestige in the global market.

Since 1947, when Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, black athletes have come to the forefront, particularly in the sports of football, basketball and baseball. But despite the glamour and the “bling,” which influences so many young stars to consider foregoing college in order to enter the fraternity of professional sports, the reality is most will never make it. As Gary Sailes observes in a must-read essay, “Betting Against the Odds: An Overview of Black Sports Participation,” he writes, “of the approximately one million high school football players and 500,000 high school basketball players in the United States, about 150 athletes make it to the National Football League (NFL) and approximately 50 will sign a contract with the National Basketball Association (NBA) team annually. The odds of a high school football player making it to the NFL are about 6,000 to 1 while the odds of a high school basketball player making to the NBA are about 10,000 to 1.” Sailes goes on to say that far too many African American males buy into the dream of instant wealth and stardom–in effect betting against the odds. As they forgo the opportunity to earn a college degree in order to “go pro,” these young American gladiators often become casualties, lacking educational skills to fall back on should their dream fail to materialize. It seems that some begin to believe they are actually the fictionalized “black macho man” created by the media and fans, allowing their egos to move them to make seriously fatal decisions. Referring to the recent fall from grace experienced by former superstars like Michel Vick, Rae Curruth, Coley Corey and most recently, Plaxico Burress, they are certainly exceptions to the rule. There are others in the professional ranks that continue to move into the front office by leading lives of integrity and working as hard

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as they possibly can. New York Mets General Manager Minaya, Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome (the first black to assume that position in the NFL), former Indianapolis Colts head coach and current Vick mentor Tony Dungy, Atlanta Falcons Assistant head coach Emmitt Thomas, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Kevin Clayton, Chief Diversity Officer for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are the kinds of individuals who continue to prove that when given the opportunity, blacks are fully capable of assuming leadership in the executive offices of professional sports. “My husband was often known to say, ‘Always have integrity, have determination and never give up,’” Mrs. Lucas added. “Give respect and demand respect in return. And never forget those who have helped you on the way up; you may just need them on the way down.’” D. Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist who has devoted much of his career to writing for the black press including The Atlanta Voice, The Michigan Chronicle, the Grand Rapids Times and N’DIGO Magapaper. He is the senior editor for an online magazine (Centre Stage, www.gbmnews.com) that features stories on theatre, dance and the arts. He is currently working on his first book – “Growing Up Motown.” J

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Oscar De La Hoya:

stay gold With numerous successful business ventures including his highly lucrative company, Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar ‘The Golden Boy’ De La Hoya still shines. words By: Theresa Crushshon


t an early age, Oscar De La Hoya was a visionary, a kid with a dream. Growing up poor in gang-infested streets and crack houses in East Los Angeles, this dreamer became one of the biggest names in the boxing history.

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I had beautiful dreams when I was young and my family

taught me to think about a good future.

When he was a sixth grader at Ford Boulevard Elementary, De La Hoya wrote an essay about what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told his teacher that he was aspiring to be an Olympic Boxer. It would seem that this made sense—his grandfather, Vicente, father, Joel Sr., and brother, Joel Jr. were all professional boxers. Unfortunately, his sixth grade teacher thought he was just being a funny guy, a kid goofing off on an assignment and punished Oscar by making him stay after school. In his biography, American Son (It Books), De La Hoya provides touching memoirs on this experience. He writes, “I started crying, telling her, ‘I’m not kidding. That’s what I want to be…’ When I was 12, I had this poster from the Olympic Games–I don’t even remember where I got it–and I signed it ‘Oscar De La Hoya, ’92 Olympic Gold.’ I still have that poster today. Around my family, that became the goal: Oscar goes to the Olympics.” While his classmates laughed at his untraditional professional goals of becoming a world-class boxer, his father, Joel Sr., who worked as a warehouse clerk for a heating and cooling company, had his little De La Hoya in the gym training for years. Both father and son knew that he was going to have to work hard to achieve his dream and make that poster signature a reality. De La Hoya, now 36, was very ambitious at an early age. He stated, “I had beautiful dreams when I was young and my family taught me to think about a good future. They taught me that hard work pays off and that’s what happens.” He also stressed the importance and luck of having the right people in his corner who were fundamental to his success today. De La Hoya’s boxing record is Herculean. He won his first world title at the age of 20. Two years later, he won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight title. His victories continued in the boxing area with a series of impressive wins. In

his career, De La Hoya had only six losses with 39 wins out of 45 fights. His amateur career included 223 wins and 163 by knockout. During the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, he won the boxing gold medal for the United States. He has defeated 17 world champions and has won ten world titles in six different weight classes. “Winning the 1992 U.S. boxing gold medal was the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life,” De La Hoya reflected. “Because of the medal, I have all what I have right now. The gold medal was the international passport to the best things in my career.” De La Hoya has generated more money than any other boxer in the history of the sport, with an estimated $696 million pay-per-view income. In 1995, De La Hoya was Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” and in 1997, he was Ring Magazine’s top-rated Pound for Pound fighter in the world. Tickets to his prized fights have sold out in hours. According to De La Hoya, “record level pay-per-view sales coupled with a loyal fan base and technology were instrumental in my career. Without a doubt they helped me to build my name in boxing. I know that without boxing fans and technology, my career wouldn’t be like it is.”

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De La Hoya was the host of Fox Sports Net’s reality-based boxing show, The Next Great Champ and he’s received a Grammy nomination for a selftitled 13-track pop music CD released in 2000. “Ven A Mi (Run to Me),” the Spanish single written by the Bee Gees, was the number one song on the Billboard Latin chart. He is also the founder and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which was launched in 2001 as a national sports promotional firm where boxers of tomorrow are molded in all aspects in the arena of professional boxing. Oscar owns the majority of the company and partners with other fellow pugilists including “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Bernard Hopkins and others. To date, the Los Angeles-based company promoted the most lucrative fight in the history of the sport: De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather on May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas. Although Mayweather won by split decision, De La Hoya was certainly not a loser business-wise. In 2006, De La Hoya started to shine in the world of publishing by teaming with Simon and Schuster and releasing a children’s book titled, Super Oscar, which received the 2007 Bilingual Children’s Picture Book of the Year award. This was followed by American Son in 2008. Other recent business ventures include a Spanish-language boxing show on HBO, Boxeo de Oro, a clothing line and various merchandising deals. Also in 2001, De La Hoya married Puerto Rican actress and singer Millie Corretjer in a private ceremony in Puerto Rico. They have two children, Oscar Gabriel De La Hoya Corretjer and Nina Lauren Ninette De La Hoya Corretjer. On April 14, 2009 De La Hoya announced his retirement from the sport. Since his departure from the ring, De La Hoya says, “I am currently enjoying the life along with my family in Puerto Rico and also taking care of my promotional company.” The boxing champ said during the closing of the interview, “Thanks to all my fans and the entire people who were very instrumental on my boxing career.” With all of the successful business ventures coupled with his dedication to help the careers of future boxers, De La Hoya remains golden. J

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f playing in

different arenas Six black athletes in non-traditional sports words by: Ronda Racha Penrice

As much as millions love LeBron or love-to-hate Kobe, basketball isn’t the only sport in which blacks excel. Neither is football, track-and-field, baseball or

boxing. Venus and Serena have followed in the gigantic footsteps of Althea Gibson, the first black tennis player to win Wimbledon, and Tiger Woods has simply blazed trails in golf that pioneers like Lee Elder, the first black golfer to play in the Masters, could never have imagined. But there are many other sports to conquer and these six athletes have left their imprint on sports few of us have ever dreamed about. J’Adore couldn’t do a sports issue without introducing you to a few players you’ve probably never heard of. It just goes to show that history doesn’t stay frozen in the past but keeps evolving around us. Even in sports. Dain Blanton

Sport: Beach Volleyball Laguna Beach, Calif. native Dain Blanton is winding down his beach volleyball career with the AVP Tour as he concentrates on becoming a sports broadcaster. But what a career it’s been. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Blanton and partner Eric Fonoimoana scored gold. When Blanton returned to the Olympics in 2004 in Athens, he became the only two-time U.S. male beach volleyball Olympian. In 2008, the Pepperdine University alum, who led the volleyball team to an NCAA Division I Championship in 1992, was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

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Shani Davis

Sport: Speed Skating Chicago native Shani Davis leads the pack when it comes to speed skating. At the tender age of 23, Davis won gold and silver medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. At age 17, Davis became the first U.S. skater to make the World Junior Team and, at age 22, he was the first U.S. skater to make all three World Teams in one season. In March 2009, Davis, 27, set two world records in the 1000m and 1500m on his way to becoming the World Cup Champion in both arenas. The World Sprint Champion for the first time in his career, Davis is also the World Single Distance Champion (1500m).

Dain Blanton (www.dainblanton.com)

Cullen Jones

Kim Jones (www.kimjonespool.com)

Sport: Swimming

Michael Phelps may get all the glory but he isn’t the only U.S. Olympic swimmer making waves. In fact, Cullen Jones helped Phelps to an Olympic gold medal as one-fourth of the 4x100m freestyle relay team that set a world record. The Bronx, N.Y. native who was raised in Irvington, N.J. and now trains in Charlotte is the first African American to ever hold or share a world record in swimming and just the third to ever make an Olympic swimming team. Very much in the water, Jones, 25, set the American record for the 50 meter freestyle at the U.S. National Championships in July 2009.

Kim Jones

Sport: Billiard (Pool) Born in Torrance, Calif. but raised mostly in Seattle, Howard University alum Kim Jones is breaking her way to success as part of the Women Professional Billiard Association (WPBA). In June 2009, the current Atlanta resident became the first African-American female to compete in the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship in Manila, Philippines. As one of the top 50 women pool players in the world, Jones, who is under 40 and previously competed part-time as a professional before re-dedicating herself to pool, is one of the sport’s rising stars.

Ishama “Ish” Monroe

Sport: Fishing

As a child in Ann Arbor, Mich. fishing with his family, Ishama “Ish” Monroe, who now resides in Hughson, Calif., never imagined he would become a pro fisher. For more than a decade now, Monroe, the first African American to ever win a Bassmaster Elite Series event, has been on the circuit troubling the waters. A Bassmaster Elite Angler, Monroe, 35, who lists hiphop as his favorite music, has even hosted his own show, Yo Ish, for ESPN for the past two years. So far, in his career, Monroe, who has several sponsors including Cocoons Eyewear and Yamaha, has made nearly a million dollars competing.

David Williams

Sport: Poker

Although his career has been marred in some controversy involving cheating and accusations that he starred in a porn video, David Williams continues to shine on the poker circuit. At the 2004 World Series of Poker, the Texas native finished second, the highest ever for a black in a WSOP event. Williams won his first WSOP bracelet in 2006 and, in June 2009, he placed fourth in Limit Hold Shootout at the 40th WSOP 2009. All and all, Williams, 29, has earned nearly $7 million in poker, including online tournaments, and shows no signs of folding.

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Shani Davis (www.shanidavis.org) Cullen Jones (www.cullenjones.com)

Ish Monroe (www.ishmonroe.com) David Williams (www.davidwilliamspoker.com)


f The Allied Athlete Group AAG Foundation Awards Gala features a collective of professional athletes and sports legends who give back.

words By: Jonell Witt


embers of the Allied Athlete Group [AAG] Foundation are elite athletes who have entertained millions of sports fans throughout the years on the playing field and in courts throughout the nation. Today, these same athletes are making a positive difference through a more powerful platform, the AAG Foundation, which helps benefit urban communities with a variety of philanthropic endeavors. The inaugural AAG Foundation Awards Gala, featuring appearances by the legendary Julius “Dr. J” Erving, former NBA star Eric Snow and his wife DeShawn, and current pro golfer Stephen Green who collectively celebrated the community outreach efforts of AAG while recruiting other athletes to help carry the torch. The stellar weekend also included a charity golf event and cocktail reception.

AAG Foundation founder and former NFL standout Reggie Howard said numerous professional athletes defy the conventional stereotypes that paint an unflattering portrait of them as egomaniacal, self-absorbed and pampered prima donnas. Instead, they frequently get involved in community in programs that educate and edify communities nationwide. But until recently, many of the professional athletes’ individual efforts have often failed to make a significant or sustained effort in the long run. The AAG Foundation provides a platform where those efforts can be harnessed into a more long-term time frame. “The AAG Foundation was based on our mission that we wanted to empower athletes to impact communities through education and social development,” Howard said at the banquet in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead district. “We felt that if we could give guys the resources and the knowledge and the platform where

they could go out and be community leaders, then we could help them by training the athletes.” Erving, one of the board members of the AAG Foundation, says the organization “has a commitment through its mission to help young people from all walks of life in various endeavors including education, recreation, social development, life skills and leadership development.” Another important aspect of AAG is that a dedicated staff works to maximize the giving efforts of the athletes while steering them away from questionable or dubious community campaigns. “We found that people were out there trying to do the right things, but they had people out there misrepresenting them, Howard explained. “What we want to do is give them the vehicle where they can get the things done and do things that are on their hearts without anything going wrong” For more information, please visit www.alliedathletegroup.com. J

Award Recipients: Athlete of the Year: Alonzo Mourning Lifetime Achievement: Hank and Billye Aaron Spouse of the Year: DeShawn Snow Spouse of the Year: Ashley Brown Collegiate Athlete of the Year: Rennie Curran High School Athlete of the Year: Tessa Holt Parents of the Year: Char and Sam McNabb, parents of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

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Etan Thomas:

forward thinking NBA’s ‘Gentle Giant’ Etan Thomas leads the league in social awareness words By: Tianna Faulkner


ducation alone is not always enough to inspire today’s youth. In order to excel in

their studies and possibly continue on to be some of the world’s greatest leaders, students today are usually involved in some form of the arts. Whether it’s theater, music or dance, the arts have proven to be a key factor in helping students, across the country and worldwide, improve and maintain good grades. Even with learning a second or a third language, the visual, technical, performing and literary arts has proven scientifically that youth who participate in these activities indeed have higher grades. Published author. Activist. Poet. Well-known blogger. These are titles that commonly describe an intellectual scholar, thinker, teacher or even a theologian, but a basketball star? There’s got to be a joke or hidden agenda, right? Fortunately for Dedrick Etan Thomas, also known as the “Gentle Giant,” there is no gimmick. The 6’9”, 256-pound forward-center for the Oklahoma City Thunder is recognized in the world of sports for his rebounding abilities and defensive prowess. Thomas has a unique story of his own, demonstrating that there are some athletes in the NBA who are just as brilliant as they are talented. In addition to basketball, Thomas has made it known that he’s very passionate about the community and realizes his overall purpose in the world. Not only has he been called to play basketball, but he’s a highly regarded author, public speaker and positive role model for the youth. Throughout his career, he has addressed high schools and prisons across the country to encourage America’s young people–especially those within the black community. Not known to hold his tongue for anyone when he passionately expresses what he believes in, Thomas was one of several celebrities to speak at the anti-war rally in 2005, held in Washington D.C. That year, Thomas also released his first book titled, “More Than an Athlete: Poems by Etan Thomas.” It included works that emphasized how his generation was not confined to a box, a definition or a label. In 2007, he spoke again during an anti-war rally on Sept. 15 in the nation’s capital once again. In addition to his league play, poetry writing and community activism, Thomas, 31, grew up in the Midwest.

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Fortunately, that never kept him from his Harlem roots, where each summer he, his mother (a school teacher) and his brother would travel to experience the theater and literary arts. Alongside defending his goal against the NBA’s best, he is also a regular blogger with the Huffington Post. He takes on controversial topics such as the death penalty, abortion, the GOP and racism, posing questions such as, “Can Prejudice Be Justified?” From sending talk show host Bill Maher an open letter questioning his Religulous film, to the unfair prison sentence of Michael Vick, Thomas evidently refuses to sugar-coat his thoughts. In his blog titled, “Not New Rules But New Questions,” he asks: Why is it okay to send a 17-year-old child to fight a war (that we should not have even started in the first place) but not okay for another child that same age to play in the NBA? Thomas graduated from Syracuse University in 2000, where he was picked by the Dallas Mavericks and later signed up to play for the Washington Wizards, the team he has been playing for until recently. This “Gentle Giant” is also known as “Miracle Man.” During the Wizards’ 2007–08 NBA season, he underwent open heart surgery after discovering that he had a leaking aortic valve during a routine check-up. On Oct. 29, 2008, a year after his surgery, Thomas returned to play for the Wizards, where he scored 10 points and had eight rebounds during his first game back. While youngsters with big dreams want to be “like Mike” and other legendary ballers, some will hopefully emulate Etan Thomas. He’s a great example of what can happen when children are exposed to the various facets of the arts and encouraged to creatively express their beliefs. Through his stirring blogs, riveting poetry and memorable speeches, Thomas aims to broaden their horizons and offer them a bigger world filled with endless possibilities and success. For more information about Etan Thomas, visit the Oklahoma City Thunder Web site at www.nba.com/ thunder.com. Also, visit the Huffington Post’s Web site at www.huffingtonpost.com/etan-thomas to read Thomas’ blogs. J

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fashion haute fashion



Suited and Booted

Fabulous ways to rock the winter season

We’re getting ready to usher in the winter and the seasonal party invitations are slowly cluttering your mailbox. It’s time to be armed and ready to make your stunning entrance and hit your fashionable mark every time without a single miss. Don’t panic if you don’t have anything to wear. Luckily, there are a variety of options that are guaranteed to keep you looking effortlessly fab and chic all the way through the holiday season. words By: Ezinne Ukoha

‘Tis the season to always be ready to hit an after-work party or honor last minute invitations. The trend for this winter calls for bold colors and unpredictable patterns. The navy “Bandeau” dress from Topshop ($90) is just the attire you need to make a bold statement at any festivity. Pairing it with the chic “Bow” detail bag ($250) and Resin bracelet, both from Marc Jacobs will certainly add a level of romanticism. If you’re really determined to take a dip in the splurge pool, then be prepared to be the “Gossip Girl” of the night when you walk in rocking the sporty, but surprisingly elegant lace up Manolo Blahnik for Band of Outsiders peep-toe booties ($955). To keep warm and snug, the wool Swing Coat from Burberry ($1295) will allow you to roast in style. Dresses are fun, but nothing beats a cool pair of nice fitting pants. The wool blend ones from Obakki ($260) will definitely not disappoint, plus they have the right amount of edginess, featuring leather-trimming details on the pockets and inner leg. All you need now is a pretty girly blouse to compliment your “unisex” themed lower half. The Short-Sleeved

Ruffle Top from French Connection ($128) is the perfect color and texture to complete your look. The Silver Quilted Wide Cuff Bracelet from Armani Exchange ($34) would be a great addition to this outfit and would also help accent your blouse. And if you are lucky enough to score a big end of year bonus for a job well done, it’s only fair that you reward yourself with your very own pair of Christian Louboutin studded peep-toe pumps ($995). They are so ravishingly sexy they would make even Carrie Bradshaw cry out in ecstasy. You can still take it up a notch with the Appache Applique Clutch from French Connection ($98). The good thing about this accessory is that it’s both practical and functional due to its roominess. And it just happens to be great looking. The Black Belted “Ivy” Fur Hooded Coat ($415) is snazzy way to fight off the unforgiving winds that howl throughout the season. Patterns are also in style this season and they provide a fun and innovative option for those of you who never play it safe. So, if you’re looking for a stylishly quirky dress to add some playfulness to your look, the Paisley Silk dress from Marc Jacobs ($1,080) will fulfill all your needs. It sports a couple of well-implemented details, like the hidden back zipper, pleated neckline and the slightly

ruffled side hems. The green and pink color combo is also bright and festive. Perfect for the holidays! Accessorizing this dress can be so much fun. The Reversible Three Buckle Leather Waist Belt from Melamed ($200) would add a funkiness and almost bohemian energy while accentuating your fabulous waistline. The Marine Zipper Slouchy Boots from Bokier ($595) or the Burberry Glossy Grain Belt Boot ($995) will, in their own way, heighten your diva quotient. You can polish your look by rocking the gorgeous Hima Mongolian Rose and Taupe Lambskin Vest from Antik Batik. The colors are yummy and the self-tie ribbon feature is both feminine and “tres chic.” Don’t forget to pay attention to those long, toned legs of yours. For those of you who are tight fanatics like me, Hue Studio has a great array of colored opaque tights that are reasonably priced. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous and money is no object, then go for the Crushed Velvet Leggings from Moschino ($585). They would be fantastic with your favorite pair of riding boots. Don’t let the arctic weather ice over your ability to be inspired. Stay cool, chilled and stylish!

Watch Sports this Watches

words By: Robert J. Mair

While everyone is big on the diamond-encrusted timepieces, J’Adore is making sure our readers don’t sleep on some slick, multidimensional sports watches that can also prove time is invaluable

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Are you looking for a watch that can handle your active lifestyle? Just as in dress watches, there is a wide range of looks, features and prices that define the sports watch category. For the outdoorsman who favors hiking and rafting, the Casio Pathfinder is a good choice. This model features a titanium case and band, 200 meter water resistance, thermometer and a solar-powered battery source. Then, there are the “ABC” functions of the watch: an altimeter for measuring your ascent and descent, a barometer for predicting the weather and a compass to keep you on track. The Tissot T-Touch Expert is also a stand out in this category, encompassing the key features of the Pathfinder, while adding some “tech-appeal” by virtue of its touch screen functions. If your active lifestyle is more on level ground, i.e. the track or gym, try a Nike Triax or Timex Ironman Triathlon. These inexpensive watches will do everything from track your lap time to monitor your heart rate, depending on which model you choose. If you have Michael Phelps aspirations and need to track lap time in the pool, try a Zoggs Lap Pro or Speedo Fastskin. Planning deeper pursuits? For scuba diving, Citizen, Seiko, TechnoMarine and Luminox have fine dive watches to suit your needs. However, if you can spare the bucks, go for an Omega Seamaster. It has the rare ability to double as a dress watch (just ask James Bond). Mentioning deep wallets, for those who desire a prestigious sports watch, try a model from the Rolex Oyster line. Like the Omega, these watches are designed for divers and sportsmen, so don’t be fooled into thinking these watches require a suit because of the Rolex name…unless it’s a rubber suit, of course. Tag Heuer is no stranger to the luxury sports watch arena. They have partnered with sports legends, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Jeff Gordon and the Formula 1 double world champion, Fernando Alonso, in designing high end sports timepieces. Tag is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Monaco, which is associated with Steve McQueen, who sported it in the 1970 movie, Le Mans. An unprecedented four versions of the Monaco have been released this year, including the Monaco 1969 Original Re-Edition and the Monaco 24 Concept Watch, inspired by Le Mans endurance race cars. Tag Heuer calls the Monaco 24 Concept Watch “the R&D team’s most daring creation to date” which, for Tag, is saying a lot. To get a jumpstart on future watches that will drop jaws, take a look at this futuristic piece with the blue and orange stripes of Gulf Oil at www. tagheuer.com.


Until next time… J

1. Casio pathfinder 2. monaco 24 concept watch 3. tissot t-touch expert 4. Omega seamaster 5. tag heuer 6. nike triax

 j’adore


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haute fashion


stepping out Evelyn Lozada, fiancée to NBA star Antoine Walker, makes a name for herself in the world of fashion as coowner of the upscale designer shoe store, Dulce, in Miami, Fla.


Words By: Tedra Coakley images By: Chelsea F. Franks

velyn Lozada, is the co-owner of the high-end designer shoe store, Dulce, in Miami, Fla., where DSquared, Sigerson Morrison, L.A.M.B., Givenchy and Mystique are just some of the designers she provides. After a visit to her store and conversing with her, patrons will realize that Evelyn is more than a businesswoman. She’s very down to earth, a mother who instills good values in her daughter and reaches out to help those in need. This Puerto Rican beauty, affectionately called "Eve" by her friends and family, hardly looks her 33 years. She’s funny, she’s warm and like most women, she has a love for shoes. Fiancée to NBA veteran and free agent Antoine Walker, Evelyn is stepping out of his shadow in six-inch heels and making a name for herself.

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J’A dore: How did the idea for Dulce come about? Evelyn Lozada: Actually, we knew this gentleman who owns a high-end shoe store in New York. He came to me with the idea of wanting to franchise and open up a shoe store here in Miami, but at the time, I wasn’t ready to do that. I have a daughter and I was dealing with that and I was waiting for her to finish school in order for me to move down. If I went and opened up a store with him, that means that I would’ve had to have been here in Miami a lot and I couldn’t do that. So, then, that whole idea always stuck in my mind and then my partner and I spoke about it. Where my store is, I live maybe 15 minutes from here and there’s a bunch of bridal shops and restaurants; it’s such a beautiful avenue. I remember saying to myself, I would love to have a store here. I would always come here wanting to spend money, buy shoes … Coming from New York, I could never really find that store that had everything. That’s the reason why I decided to open up a store. I’m like, Oh, okay, well let me open it up. Maybe it’ll work. And it’s been good for us, so thank God.


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Most of the people that live here go to the Neimans, the Nordstroms. We wanted to be different. We wanted to have designers like Gianmarco Lorenzi—not too many people know about that designer. His shoes are amazing, but you can’t find them everywhere, so we wanted to be that store where you can get different stuff. How did you come up with the name? You know what? We were actually going to call it Shoe Candy and then we decided, no, we just wanted to have one name kind of like Gucci. ‘Dulce’ in Spanish is actually ‘candy,’ so we just decided to call it Dulce. We were going back and forth and then my partner said, ‘Dulce.’ She was actually the one that came up with it and I was like, ‘I love it!’ When Dulce first opened, what was that like for you? We kept having a whole lot of issues. Where our store is located–anyone who’s opened up a business here or is familiar, knows that it’s a nightmare opening up a business here because of comity. The space that we rented, it’s owned by the city, so there’s no way of going around it. You need to do everything by the book. We were very excited because the first day we opened up, we had one woman that came in here and spent $6,000 and that was the very first day and we were blown away. I was telling my partner, ‘I don’t know, but I think today’s a great day.’ We opened up with a bang … It was good for us. How would you describe Dulce? Right now, I would say that Dulce is—and not just because I own it, but from people that come in—the hottest shoe store. We have bridal shoes, which is key, because here on this avenue where the store is, they’re a lot of bridal shops. And bridal shoes can be hit or miss sometimes. Honestly, if I wasn’t the owner, I would probably be one of the best customers here because we definitely have different, sexy, high. But I would definitely say that Dulce is one of the hottest shoe stores in Miami. What’s

your take on sports and

What’s it like being engaged to someone who is always on the road and always in the spotlight?

Honestly, it’s difficult at times because everything you do and everything he does is under a microscope. That’s one of the difficult things. Traveling is difficult as well. He’s a very good dad to my daughter. That’s probably the more difficult part, him being on the road. Even when I’m not with him and I’m here in Miami, a lot of people know that that’s my fiancé. Everything you do, you’re being stared at all the time. That’s probably the most difficult—being under the microscope all the time. There’s a possibility that you and Shawnee O’Neal (Shaquille O’Neal’s wife) will be doing a reality show together. What can viewers expect from that? I can’t really give any details because two networks are kind of going back and forth as far as who is going to pick up the show. I can say it’s not going to be like the Atlanta housewives—that’s pretty much based around drama, even though we love it. I’m not going to lie, I watch it. It’s pretty much based around NBA wives and the positive things that they’re doing outside of their husbands. Like, I have my high-end shoe store. Another wife owns a known gym in Chicago and Toronto called Flirty Girl. So, it’s to show the positive side of it—to basically show that we’re not just shopping every day and that we raise our children. I think one of things the show will show is, yeah, we like to have a good time, but we also take care of our homes and take care of our children and we don’t have nannies and stuff like that. It’s interesting.


One thing that I found, being engaged to an athlete and being with him for over a decade, [is that] we tend to be under the microscope a lot. There’s always a sense of reputation from professionally to personally, so I find that whenever you go to the game or events and stuff like that. The wives have the means to be able to buy anything that’s beautiful. From my experience, a lot of the players and wives were always very, very fashionable, but it had a lot to do with human pressure and being stared at all the time.

 j’adore


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your favorite fashion trend for


OTKs–Over-the-knee boots. That’s my favorite fashion trend for fall. And also, I was a Navy kid, so I’m loving how the ripped up, distressed jeans are coming back, so they’re definitely my fashion trends for fall that I love, love, love right now! For more information on Dulce and their extensive selection of shoes, visit Dulceshoes.net. J


a gentleman's


haute fashion

Jacket Billy Reid Shirt John Bartlet Jeans General idea Boots Vintage Riding boots

images by: Justin Hyte Art Direction - Sophy Holland Fashion Stylist - Harold Jay Melvin Fashion Asst - Tara Denman Hair/Makeup - KT Wedlund Model - (Raymond Swainson @ Click)

Jacket general idea Pants Top Man Shirt Shipley and Halmos tie Paul Smith Shoes Duckie Brown for Florsheim

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haute fashion


Coat Burberry pants Billy Reid Shoes Duckie Brown For Florsheim Shirt TOPMAN

Pants Billy Reid Shoes Billy Reid

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haute fashion


Suit and shirt Shipley and Halmos Tie Thom Brown Shoes Billy Reid

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Jacket General Idea Pants Moschino Shirt Shipley and Halmos Shoes Billy reid

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haute fashion


Trench Coat By general Idea T shirt By ADAM Lippes Pants J.Lindeberg Shoes Louis Vuitton

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Jacket TOPMAN Tie Paul Smith Pant TOPMAN Shirt GUCCI Shoes Vintage

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haute fashion

hf Images By: Chelsea F. Franks Models Josephine Baker - Ashlee Desire Dorothy Dandridge - Lisa Perry Billie Holiday - Tia Alexander Fashion Stylist LSC for 4Season Style Management Hair Stylist - April Treadwell Fashion Assistant Zeyshunne Wilson


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1 Photo 1: 125th Marquis  Josephine wears Vintage Velvet Dress - John Meyer, Earrings -Laundry by Design; Bracelets -Cara; Handbag- Betsey Johnson, Hat - Anna Swank; Hosiery - Givenchy; Gloves - La Crasia; Shoes - Model's Own  Dorothy wears Dress - Vintage Calvin Klein; Earrings - ABS by Allen Schwartz; Hat -Vintage Christian Dior; Bracelets - Citrine by the Stone; Handbag - Hosiery - DKNY; Shoes - Nine West  Billie wears Dress - LSC Closet; Hats- Anna Swank; Earrings - Ben-Amun; Gloves - Stylist's Own; Handbag - Vintage Chanel; Shoes Ruthie Davis Photo 2: brownstone steps  Billie wears Dress - Laundry by Design; Bracelets & Earrings - Ben-Amun; Necklace - Gloves - La Crasia; Fur Stole - Stylist's Own; Shoes - Walter Steiger Photo 3 - Alley & Steps of Cotton Club  Josephine wear Creme Gown - Tiki Glam; Necklace - Stylist's Own; Earrings & Ring - Monies US; Bracelets - Gloves - La Crasia; Hosiery Givenchy; Shoes - Nine West


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4 Photo 4 - Gate Mount Morris Park  Josephine wears Vintage Velvet Dress John Meyer, Earrings -Laundry by Design; Handbag- Betsey Johnson, Hat - Anna Swank; Hosiery - Givenchy; Gloves - La Crasia; Shoes - Model's Own Photo 5 - Mount Morris Park Steps  Dorothy wears Silk Dress - Vintage Calvin Klein; Earrings - ABS by Allen Schwartz; Hat -Vintage Christian Dior; Handbag - Hosiery DKNY; Shoes - Nine West Photo 6 - Brownstone Doorway  Josephine wears Dress - J. Cottongim for Twistology; Gloves - La Crasia; Bracelets - Viktoria Hayman; Necklace - Ben- Amun; Hat Vintage Flying Saucer; Shoes - Stylist's Own Photo 7 - Cotton Club  Dorothy wears Black Silk & Chiffon Gown - Victor Costa; Necklace - Kenneth Jay Lane; Earring - Ring - Betsey Johnson; Gloves Stylist's Own; Shoes -Calvin Klein

haute fashion

winter hf

images by: Ken Townsend Make up: Tai Jackson-Young Hair: Joshjarie Gibbs M & A Style - Stylist Prod. Assistant: Stephen Townsend Photography Asst : Tim Hale Production: Keith Vallot Prod. Coordinator: Jacqueline (“Jacks”) Thomas Models: Bria Myles, Suelyn Medeiros and Alysha Young above: White Bikini by VS $90 Necklace by Crimson&Clover $200 Navy Bikini by Crimson&Clover $250

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left: White Monokini by Aguaclara $120 Bracelets by Louis Vuitton $250 each Gold Bikini by French Connection $90 Scarf by Alexander McQueen $535 Jewelry Stylists Own below: Navy Stripe Bikini by Jean Paul Gautier $350 Hat Stylists Own Shirt Stylists Own Watch by Rolex Bracelet by Louis Vuitton $145 Yellow Bikini by Crimson&Clover $150 Bracelets by Kitson $120

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haute fashion


above: Bikini by Luli Fama $150 Shorts customized by Crimson&Clover $200 Studded backpack by Bess $425 Pink Monokini by Aguaclara $120 Shorts by Seven for All Mankind Jewelry Stylists Own Bikini by Luli Fama $150 Shorts customized by Crimson&Clover $150 Jewelry Stylists Own right: Turquoise Bikini by Luli Fama $140 Cover Up by Matthew Williamson for H&M $75 Jewelry Stylists Own

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left: Alysha - White Bikini by Aguaclara $120 Wrap/Cover Up Stylists Own Jewelry Stylists Own below: Bria - Bikini by VS $90 Scarf by Trina Turk $120 Jewelery Stylists Own

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x guys and


flawless v i c t o r y

words By: Shawn Jackson

Reindeer Games


very now and then, each holiday season, we make our lists a little longer with perhaps some extremely hopeful nuggets that Santa will bless us with. But this year that list is going to be harder to make as there were some truly exceptional pieces of interactive software from some of your favorite development houses. Some of these games we have already covered, but think of this as a “Best of 2009 Holiday List.” Now let me share with you my Christmas wish list. Hey! Wait, where are you going?

The Conduit

Platform: Wii High Voltage Software was up to something early last year when they began work on The Conduit, and now seeing the fruits of their labor, we see they were truly ahead of the pack. No other game developer had attempted to take advantage of the Wii’s graphical capabilities until the majority of the industry saw what HVS was doing. Graphics aside, this FPS’s controls are quick and responsive, the online multi-player modes are plentiful the sound quality is top notch.

street Fighter 4

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 Taking the standard Street Fighter formula and adding updated cel-shaded graphics, online play and that same yet enhanced game play we’ve all come to know and love and you have the recipe for a new Street Fighter experience. Downloadable content in the form of stages and costumes are a definite plus.

Shadow Complex

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade Based in the world of the Orson Scott Card novel, Empire, this game brings back side scrolling action to big gaming and impresses with a tight visual package and an engaging storyline. With deep and classic game play, Shadow Complex is a must download for XLA.

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Other Recommendations:

Software (top) Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 – PS3 (ABOVE LEFT) Dead Space Extraction – Wii Hardware (ABOVE RIGHT) PS3 Slim (left) Wii MotionPlus

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tech side



words by: Shawn Jackson and Robin McCool

All I want for the holidays


’was the night before Christmas, and all through the hive, not a Blu-ray player was stirring, not even a Hard Disk Drive. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of digicams danced in their heads. He spoke not a word but was a workaholic and filled all the stockings with the LG Chocolate. To his team he gave a whistle as he sprang to his sleigh, while checking the winds on his BenQ display. But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, “Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!”

Samsung CL65

Like almost everything in life, new things pop up and render old things obsolete. A new digicam has come along to really put the pressure on others to outdo it. Sporting 12.2 MP, a SchneiderKREUZNACH lens, a 3.5-inch touch screen (capable of displaying 1,152,000 pixels), the ability to record and output 720p HD video. With the included HDMI output, showcasing HD video of your son’s birthday or that second anniversary on your TV is that much easier. But they didn’t stop there. Samsung saw fit to add Wi-Fi connectivity to the camera so now you can upload your pics to Facebook, Picasa or Photobucket and your video to YouTube. There’s even added DLNA support for streaming to HDTVs. A GPS chip even geotags your pics so you’ll know where each one was taken. That’s a convenience some of us can use, isn’t it? Look for it selling at $399.99.

BenQ V2400 Eco Monitor

This 24-inch panel displays images against a LED-backlit panel at 1080p with a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of an alleged 5,000,000:1. If you love the earth, you will love to know that the plastic shell is made up of 28 percent recycled materials and the panel itself, rather nicely, features a 36 percent reduction in power consumption. That’s less than a CCFL display. AMA (Advanced Motion Accelerator), Senseye+Photo Image Technology (sharpens images, corrects blurs and does away with jaggies) and a screen resolution of 1920x1200 (WUXGA) rounds out this curvaceous package.

Sony BDP-S1000ES

The stakes are raised and the challenges remain high constantly as innovations and new features are presented in each new product that’s pimped for consumer dollars. Utilizing Super Bit Mapping (dithering/noise shaping technology),Precision Drive HD technology (correcting and preventing disc wobbling), Sony’s HD Reality Enhancer (sharpens moving edges) and Sony’s Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology which brings a standard DVD movie up to 1080p resolution, the S1000ES brings a lot to the table. And that’s not all. A 4 GB External RAM is included, Wi-Fi capability (802.11N/G/B/A) and DLNA support help to round out this $700 package. Of course, BD-Live is there and so is support for a range of disc and media formats (DVD, CD, MP3, JPEG, etc). There’s more to this BD player (like the audio capabilities) but for now that should whet your appetite for something new.

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Hitachi 2 TB Deskstar 7K2000 HDD

This internal Hard Disk Drive from Hitachi is a beast. With a capacity of two terabytes, it certainly isn’t the first one to come to market. However, what it uniquely brings to the table is speed. Operating at 7200 RPM, it puts to shame other similarly specified HDDs. Additionally, it employs a 32MB cache and 3GB/s SATA interface, making it the fastest out there. Two more things: it’s quiet and low power consumption. With its Hitachi Voltage Efficiency Regulator (HiVERT™) and being Halogen-free, chalk one more device up for the eco-friendly crowd to swoon over.

LG New Chocolate BL40

LG Electronics is not one to sit idly by and let everyone else take the spotlight when it comes to new consumer technology. This new iteration of the Chocolate line has 1GB of internal memory which is expandable via a slot for microSD cards (up to 32GB capacity), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0 (microUSB). The EDGE/GSM/GPRS and WCDMA/HSDPA standards are supported along with a 5MP camera with video recording at 720 x 480 at a rate of 30 fps. An optical Schneider-Kreuznach lens with Autofocus and flash makes the cell phone feel like a real digicam. The touch TFT display is the most noticeable thing which measures at 4-inches wide. Its resolution comes out to 800x345 pixels and displays over 16 million colors. Navigation via A-GPS and Google Maps cartography help to complete this package (though more is obviously included). It’s one highend piece of candy to drool over.

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD Webcam

If your PC is up to spec (minimum 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU), then maybe this HD webcam from Microsoft will convince you to finally get on Ustream and talk the mundane details of your day to anyone who will listen (unless you do other things on cam). The LifeCam utilizes a USB 2.0 connection to stream 720p (1280x720) widescreen video at a speed of 30 fps across the net in a video chat or for recording whatever you like. With auto focus, 4x digital zoom, a noise canceling microphone and ClearFrame technology for smooth video. If $80 isn’t too much, then get this and start uploading to YouTube or Facebook or have that video meeting with your co-workers while you’re vacationing in Cabo San Lucas.


x hugging the road T he W heels of the

future BMW’s new concept car goes green with futuristic swag

words by: TrillAli

Over the last few years, we have all been inundated with the go green revolution. With the automobile industry under heavy scrutiny to produce more fuel-effi-

cient vehicles, eco-friendly cars are becoming essential to it. BMW has recently relieved itself of its Formula 1 responsibilities to dedicate more energy into developing greener and more efficient automobiles. With its latest offering, BMW is quickly becoming the innovator in designing the green, fast and futuristic cars of tomorrow. The Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept was recently introduced to the world at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. Popularly called “Vision,” this jaw dropper has a design influenced by a Formula 1 race car, puts out 163 horsepower with a 6-speed clutch transmission and looks like something you would see in a Batman movie. The design is so appealing that actor Christopher Lloyd would abandon his infamous DeLorean in a heartbeat to get inside the Vision. The Lamborghini-styled Plexiglas door panels give the exterior a futuristic flair. The front grill and trim of the car illuminates a Hawaiian Punch blue color that adds to its sleek look.

The interior is made of Kevlar and is designed to make you feel like you’re in the cockpit of a G-5, fully equipped with a 3D digital display that resembles the latest version of “Flight Simulator” and BMW night vision. This concept is a combination of technology, with an economical engine, aerodynamics and sustainability. The top speed for the Vision is 155 mph and a zero to 60 acceleration time of 4.8 seconds. This hybrid gives you the performance of the M series, with better fuel performance and less emissions than you see in many compacts. The car gets 62.2 mpg, emitting an earth-friendly 99 grams of carbon monoxide per kilometer, which is

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sure to please the needs of those going green. To achieve this, the Lithium Polymer battery pack recharges in 2.5 hours, with a driving range of 31 miles. Electric drive on the rear and front axle allows the Vision to drive with no noise or emission. To keep the vehicle lightweight, designers used lighter materials like carbon and left out brackets and other components. The car is laced with a compact 1.5-liter direct injection 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which is nestled between the rear seat and axle. With a super futuristic look, the Vision has everything—except the flux capacitor necessary for time

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travel. Director of the BMW Design Group, Adrian Hooydonk is hopeful this technology will be available for consumers very soon. He recently stated, “The goal of this vehicle is to show where the company should go. Many of the technologies we have in this vehicle will be possible in the near future and some of them we already have in production.” Although this is a concept car, hopefully this technology and efficiency will be present in road cars in the near future. If this vehicle is setting the tone for sports hybrids, perhaps, one day we can all finally say, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” J

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words By: Shawn Jackson


Caught On


Imagination has been something most people consider child’s play, but without this blessing, we wouldn’t have half the things that make us go, “Ahhhh.” With that said, let these films and DVD releases stir up your creativity and inspire you as we enter the New Year.

Star Trek – Nov. 17

The most successful Star Trek movie to date is coming to DVD/Blu-ray in single and multi-disc releases. Chockfull of bonus content, especially the multi-disc releases, you’ll see deleted scenes (such as what happened to Nero between the time of the destruction of the Kelvin and Spock Prime’s entrance from the black hole), deep indepth looks into the re-imagining of Star Trek, a gag reel, Star Trek D-A-C free trial game for Xbox 360, an inventive and ground-breaking tour inside a 3-D holographic representation of the USS Enterprise utilizing a ebcam, and a digital copy. The Blu-ray version will have exclusive content via BD-Live (ability to access NASA news on the exploration of space), more in-depth looks into the all peripheral things that make Star Trek the movie it’s known as today and a Starfleet Vessel Simulator. Beam me up, Scottie! Up –Nov. 10 This Disney movie, from the minds behind Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc., chronicles the adventure of a lifetime for an elderly man (Carl Fredricksen voiced by Ed Asner) and a young boy, Russell (voiced by newcomer Jordan Nagai) who take off into the skies via an old house. Yes, a house.

The elderly man had always wanted to take off with his wife of many decades, but when she passes, he finally decides to go through with it. What he doesn’t count on is an unwitting stow-away in the person of a young Boy Scout. Some of the bonus content includes two shorts, alternate takes on the death of Charles Muntz (voiced by Christopher Plummer) and eight documentaries that are Blu-ray exclusive. The sky’s the limit for imagination and Up proves how a dream can provide the adventure you’ve always wanted. In The Movies... 2012 – Nov. 13 This disaster epic to end all disaster epics comes from the devious mind of Roland Emmerich (Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow) and looks to be a visual spectacle of the end of the world. Taking inspiration from the Mayan world-ending “prediction” of 2012, Emmerich and Harald Kloser craft this global adventure that stars John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, John Billingsley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, George Segal, Morgan Lily and Danny Glover as President Wilson.

Ninja Assassin – Nov. 25 From The Matrix to Speed Racer, The Wachowski Brothers have been as important to the re-imagining of the cinematic experience


as a select few other film-makers. This aptly titled film follows Raizo (Korean superstar, Rain) from a young orphan to one of the deadliest assassins in the world, trained by the secret Ozunu Clan. When Raizo’s friend is murdered by the Clan, he turns his back on them and becomes a target. At Interpol, Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) links a series of political assassinations to the Ozunu Clan and becomes a target herself. Now both on the run, Raizo and Mika must outwit and ultimately bring down their hunters. Look for some mind-blowing fight choreography and special effects in this one. The Princess and the Frog – Dec. 11 Disney is finally featuring a black princess in the age-old tale of a prince who was turned into a frog and the young woman who must free him from his magical bond with a kiss. Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose, is the woman who must give the enchanted frog the kiss, as they are led on a mystical, yet funny adventure through the bayous of Jazz-Age Louisiana. Other vocal talent includes John Goodman, Terrence Howard, Oprah Winfrey and Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen. Avatar – Dec. 18 Told entirely in 3-D Computer Generated Imaging (CGI), James Cameron’s epic that was four years in the making and over a decade in planning makes you forget that the worlds you see before you are not real. The attention to detail and photorealism are unheard of and previously unseen and help bring the story to the fore instead of the visuals. This original tale tells of the struggle between the militaristic humans and ecominded Na’Vi. Part message, part action and all story, Avatar looks like it will inspire viewers to do what few films lay claim to: think.

Sports Movie DVD Recommendations Remember the Titans The Longest Yard (1974 and 2005) Angels in the Outfield (1951) We Are Marshall Cool Runnings

• The next Wolverine movie is being written by Academy Award winner Christopher McQuarrie, screenwriter for The Usual Suspects, and will follow along with the established Mark Millar storyline of Wolverine and his time in Japan where he essentially became a samurai. • Kick-Ass, the limited comic series created by Mark Millar and shown at Comic-Con San Diego in July to raucous applause, looks like it will have a distributor sometime soon. At press time, there was a bidding war going on between various studios for the rights to distribute the film to theaters. • Predator is getting a reboot. In the latest line of film reboots, executive producer Robert Rodriguez has brought on board Nimrod Antal as director. Not much is known about the film at press time, but filming was slatedto begin on Sept. 28.  j’adore jadoremag.com


Top 10 End Zone Celebrations of All Time words By: Rob Littal

1) The Funky Chicken’ by Billie ‘White Shoes’ Johnson Before the NFL became the “No Fun League,” it was routine for players to celebrate in the end zone, but not one quite celebrated like Billy “White Shoes Johnson” who is considered the father of modern day end zone celebration. Often imitated but never duplicated, when the name Billy White Shoes Johnson is mentioned everyone starts doing the knee-flapping “Funky Chicken.” 2) ‘Pull out your Sharpie’ by Terrell Owens There’s so many to choose from with T.O. including “The Star” in Dallas, “The Usain Bolt,” “The Poms Poms” (my personal favorite), “The Ray Lewis” imitation or the “Fake Spygate” camera. But the one that really put him on the map was pulling out a Sharpie and signing a ball after a touchdown–a classic moment in end zone celebration history. 3) ‘The Proposal’ by Chad Ocho Cinco Before he became legally Ocho Cinco, Chad Johnson had many memorable TD celebrations. The “Tiger Woods,” the “Hall of Fame Jacket” and who could forget the “Riverdance.” But the most creative of all was after a TD, Chad ran to the sidelines and proposed to a Bengals cheerleader. She said yes by the way.

4) Primetime’ by Deion Sanders How cool was Deion Sanders’ end zone celebration? People were doing in the club and it had its own name: “The Primetime.” Whenever Deion picked off a pass or fielded a punt, everyone stood up because if he took it to the house the show was about to begin. With Deion, there were a lot of shows.

7) ‘The Dirty Bird’ by the Atlanta Falcons The Falcons had one magical season in 1998 when they went 14-2 and made it to the Super Bowl. That season also birthed a signature touchdown dance called the “Dirty Bird.” Many people assume it was started by running back Jamal Anderson, but in reality it was tight end O.J. Santiago that created the dance.

5) ‘The Icky Shuffle’ by Icky Woods Some have been trying to figure out for years what exactly the Icky Shuffle is. A shuffle to the left, a shuffle to the right and a spike. Who knew it would be a dance sensation that would spark a music video and a rookie running back into superstardom? Even people in other sports were doing it, including NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip after winning the 1989 Daytona 500.

8) ‘The Bob and Weave’ by the Saint Louis Rams This end zone celebration was the one that caused the NFL to ban “group celebration.” I never really understood the name because it looked more like they were playing craps instead of bobbing and weaving.

6) ‘The Lambeau Leap’ by the Green Bay Packers Leroy Butler started it spontaneously after returning a fumble for touchdown by leaping into the stands. Since then, after almost every Green Bay touchdown a player jumps into the stands. The aforementioned Chad Ocho Cinco did it in Green Bay as well. Only one problem…he plays for the Bengals. Luckily, he bought seats for a few of his fans who welcomed his version of the leap after scoring six.

9) ‘The Fun Bunch’ by the Washington Redskins The “Fun Bunch” consisted of a group of Redskins wide receivers and tight ends in the early 80’s highlighted by Art Monk and Gary Clark. Every time one of them scored, they would do a group high five in the end zone. 10) ‘The Spike’ by…everyone! In 1965, New York Giants wide receiver Homer Jones decided to come up with his unique way to celebrate a touchdown. After he scored one that season, he threw the ball down hard to the turf. After the game, a reporter asked what he termed the act and Jones replied: “The Spike.” With that the legend was born.




words By: Montayne Farrar

Jay-Z – Blueprint 3     

The question everybody wants to know is, “Did he top his last album American Ganster?” or “Does he still have it?” With his skathing athem, “D.O.A. [Death of Auto-Tune]” to “What We Talking About” where Hov addresses rumors and hayters and features Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun, I must say a big “Yes!” to both questions. Blueprint 3 is very impressive. “Thank You,” produced by Kanye West and No I.D. has to be my favorite track off this release. In fact, it probably should have been the first song for a more powerful impact. It’s interesting to note that there are a couple tracks on here that Hov goes back to the old school routine of shout outs like MC’s use to do back in the 90s. On “A Star Is Born” featuring J. Cole, Jay recounts the stars hip-hop made and pays homage to fellow legends like Diddy, Ludacris, Outkast and Wu-Tang Clan, who are the true stars of business. This type of song shows that he’s not as self-absorbed as most people assume, plus his new protégé J. Cole holds his own. On “So Ambious,” Pharrell sings “The motivation for me, is dem telling me what I could not be/oh well/ I’m so ambitious … ” Jay-Z and Pharrell once again prove their chemistry is has the right formula for success. Speaking of chemistry, the homie Timbaland also laces Jay with some more futuristic artistry on “Venus Vs. Mars” and “Off That” featuring Drake. There were rumors that the latter wouldn’t make it, but alas it has. The cool thing is while there are varied producers on this release, they all maintain a cohesion regarding the soundscape. Hov got a two-for-one special on a number of tracks including “Empire State of Mind,” featuring Alicia Keys and “On to the Next One,” featuring Swizz Beatz, a definite club banger. Swizz is still the man at the party tracks and Hov seems to have the most fun on the stellar producer’s composition with lines like, “Hov on that new sh*t/ n*ggas, like how come/ n*ggas want my old sh*t/ buy my old album” and and then proceeds to tell you how he had Oprah in the projects drinking quarter waters. While I’m not a fan of the released singles so far, I must say “Real As It Gets,” featuring Young Jeezy is right up there with classics like “Big Pimpin’” and “Snoopy Track” when it comes to quality guests. Just when you think he’s done changing the style, Jigga comes with the classic EMPD back and forth with Kanye on “Hate.” This is a true hip-hop album in the sense that it’s different without trying to be and that’s what the game has truly been missing. The creativity and lyrics of the 80s and early 90s that made you fall in love with the music is all on this release. In the vein of the song, “D.O.A.,” I want to send a moment of silence to mediocre rap of the past few years and welcome the return of quality.

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2     

The long-awaited Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 has finally emerged from the classic chamber of the Wu. It feels like 1995 all over again and Chef has once again cooked up something marvelous that has the potential to be the record of the year. This set is starts off with words from Clan advisor Papa Wu and immediately goes into an ill J. Dilla track (R.I.P.), “House of Flying Daggers,” featuring Rae’s partner in crime, Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Inspectah Deck. They all deliver some of the best verses of their lives and demonstrate why the Wu was running the late 90s. Speaking of J. Dilla, he is only one of numerous contributors to OB4CL2 which sets this apart from the first, where we only had Nas. This release has the largest roster of guests on any WU album and they all fit perfectly. From crooner Lyfe Jennings on “Catalina” and Beanie Sigel on “Have Mercy,” to Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Scam Jones, Necro and The Alchemist on production. Of course, the RZA is still at the helm and has found a way to craft the same flavor of the first “purple tape,” but still adding enough innovation to avoid sounding dated. You will immediately notice the large amount of appearances by Inspectah Deck, who has almost as many appearances as Ghost, which is also a first. On songs like “Means Streets” and “Kiss the Ring,” he boldly makes his presence known to all. Sparks fly when Rae and Ghost are doing their thing; check “Criminology 09” where RZA freaks one of his vintage beats, changing it ever so subtlety and they absolutely kill it, Then there is “New Wu,” featuring Method Man.” This is such a soulful track with that “Can it be so simple” flavor to it but will get you out your seat throwing your W’s up for sure. The wordplay on this one is amazing. I can’t even quote one verse without fear of leaving something out. Just go get this. As Meth says, “Tell friends it’s that symbol again!”

Jessica Mauboy – Been Waiting    

“Running Back” featuring Flo Rida is the stuff that R&B is made of, with the Jeezy-esque ad libs to boot. The Australian singer has found a way to stand out in the sea of pop clones. On songs like “Been Waiting” where she laments why her and this guy should be together, the vocals are amazing; there’s great arrangement here. On the single “Burn,” she shows her diversity over a track strangely reminiscent of Rida’s “Right Round.” She shows a lot of range on this release on ballads like “Back2U,” to even more club friendly songs including “Up/Down,” that reflects the vibe of a new age Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. The old school feel makes this project a winner thanks to the production by Kwam’e, The Polka Dot King. This debut, much like Lady Gaga’s last year, has staying power. Give her a listen and see for yourself. There is also a DVD that comes with this album containing videos for her first five releases and is a must have.

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jade Harrell – Class Reject    

The album covers says it all. This album has so much attitude. Jade’s voice is truly amazing. Songs like “Into the Music” featuring Bonifide are refreshing and overall kind of reminds you of Kelis’ first album. Evidently, this must be the year that lyrics and vocals are making a return; It looks like the A&R’s are finally catching on. “Rain” featuring Stefan the Scientist is a simple raga-inspired pop spiritual song—it’s risky, but pays off in the end. “Don’t Leave,” “King of My Heart” and “Only Human” showcase Jade’s writing skills. “You and I” takes chances with music; it is weird, quirky and synthesized, but works. With sudden changes to the tempo and the ray gun sounds, this track is so crazy that you have to love it. “Say Goodbye” also has that classic Neptunes feel that is only found on Kelis’ first and second albums. Actually, this would be considered a 2009 version of Wanderland in terms of production, which again is a very good thing. Jade Harrell is another young lady to look out for. Her sassy attitude and ability to try other sounds should make her stand out as rookie of the year. This is one Class Reject I’d like to sit with at lunch.

Kaye-Ree – Endless Melody    

Who says music is dead? I’ve been following this young lady for a minute now and like anyone who hears the German and Persian musical vessel known as Kaye-Ree sing once, her album is instantly desired. In the title track “Endless Melody,” you are catpulted into a instant ease. Her voice is so calming and warm and blends so well with the music. It commands your attention. My favorite song (and yours, soon enough) is “Reality.” Kaye-Ree rocks the guitar loop from Cru’s classic track “Just Another Case” with the hook, “Reality is not always nice, but it open your eyes/ it’s better than lies … ”— such powerful words. “Every Lil’ Thing” and “Day ‘n’ Night” are a true testimate to her songwriting ability and arrangements on the tracks are amazing as well. You would swear the youthful Kaye-Ree was a veteran singer. Not since Aya’s album, Strange Flower, have I found a CD that I couldn’t stop telling people about. Many people try to do acoustic music and fail miserably, however, Kaye-Ree has found a way to blend that sound with mimialistic and sparse instruments in such a way to make them infectuous; case in point, “Speak Your Mind.” This is a very light track, but the subtle instruments are like background singers to her accoustic guitar. This album will be released in the U.S. in late fall and you must have this for your sanity.

G-Rell – IMac Town’s Finest    

I saw G-Rell perform in several cities including Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte and N.Y. His stage show was superb as the crowd was always into the performance. By the end of the set, they knew the words to the songs. His style is West Coast with a hint of southern charm from his Macon, GA hometown. He had a very successful debut by Indie standards with his EP, Robbing Season. He worked with artists like Haitian Fresh from Wyclef’s camp and Blood Raw from CTE. With the release of Mac Town’s Finest, G-Rell shows he is no doubt a lyrical wordsmith with an ear for music. Unlike most releases where one or the other dominates, he has an excellent balance. On songs such as, “My Struggle,” “We Ride,” “Real Talk” and “GA,” he is truly on his game. I like “GA” because of the way it flipped the “Moments in Love” sample. The highlight of the album has to be “Hands Up (I’m Sharpe Remix).”This song captures the feeling of summer and it’s backed by a very live track, complete with horns. A self-described “real artist” (first and foremost), which has become a lost art in today’s music, he is on the right track to become one of the greats and I don’t use that term loosely.

Amanda Blank – I Love You    

Ms. Amanda Blank, a rapper and singer from Philly, has finally released a full-length CD titled I Love You and I can honestly say you will love her back. “I might like you better if we slept together” is the hook to the risqué dance hit, “Might Like You Better.” On “Make It Take It,” a funky punk track that feels like a girl anthem ready to explode, she tones down the explicit lyrics a bit. This album kind of made me think of girl group Vanity 6 or if Fergie and Gwen Stefani merged together, they would form Amanda. Songs such as “Make-Up” and “Shame on Me” are prime examples that are very popesque, but straight raw and funky at the same town. On “Lemme Get Some” featuring Chuck Inglish from The Cool Kids and “Something Bigger, Something Better,” Amanda’s raps show that she is also one of the “cool kids” with much attitude. So what makes her different? “DJ” and “Big Heavy” answer that. Ms. Blank has such an odd sound that’s one part glam chick and one part Lady Gaga. You wouldn’t be surprised to see her dancing in the club by herself without a care in the world what people think. Her somewhat racy lyrics further define her appeal. “A Love Song” is her rendition of LL Cool J’s classic “I Need Love” and certainly accomplishes its mission of sound memorable. I Love You is a good release, but this is not for the prudish.

Foreign Beggars – United Colors Of Beggattron   

This is the third album from the British group Foreign Beggars. It’s packed with a crazy hip-hop influence and continues to artistically maintain the Brit-hop movemen–as I like to call it–and it’s really picking up steam. On the Beggars’ new release, this collective brings some of the Dirty D’s (Detroit) best underground heads with them like Phat Kat, whom you may know from the Slum Village and the late, great J. Dilla collaborations, as well as some of South Africa’s best artists like Ben Sharpa. These cats rip tracks that range from pop dance tracks like “Shake It” featuring Nosia to the deep bass, grimy track “Prove It” featuring Guilty Simpson, also a Motown rep. There appears to be a major buzz circling around London for these guys and after hearing their new stuff I see why. “No More” featuring Kashmere and “Don’t Dhoow It” featuring King Knut have some excellent production, while “Breakfree,” featuring Audra and Kai Nishita and “Keepin the Line Fat,” featuring Graziella are very commercial songs, which is odd for such an underground group. “Safedrian” an instrumental track that’s crazy smooth and is also an ode to underground music styles of the past that allows the Beggars to showcase their production once again. Some tracks are without featured guests and that’s when you actually get them doing their thing like on “Get A Bit More” with its drum and bass tone. You kind of wish more of the album had that flavor. “Keep It Coming” stands out as the sole reason you need to hear this release. The fact that they are so random, but manages to keep your attention makes this release worth a listen.

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reviews words By: L. Raquel Peterson


New reads you have to check up on!

Pull Your Pants Up and Be a Man! Book By: Bernice Harris


his inspirational publication is a tool designed to empower young urban men across the nation. Written to inspire thought and change, Pull Your Pants Up! seeks to provide readers with a sense of power to plan successfully for life through making sound decisions. This book is also helpful for any young man who has gotten off track with his life and wishes to turn it around. Readers are given exercises and tools to examine the importance of family, community and relationships with others. Written in simple language, the 75-page book has a read and reflect format that provides space for parents, teachers and mentors to have life changing discussions with readers about the material. The foreword written by actor Malik Yoba (Why Did I Get Married?, New York Undercover) is a seamless complement to the message.

The Buzz: When Celebrity Gossip Goes Wrong Book By: Stefanie Newell


reakout author Stefanie Newell serves up The Buzz (Write One Publications) on a hot platter for all who love gossip, internet forums and spicy storylines. Set in Chicago, the novel follows life of Ebony Jenkins, a persnickety sister who flips her deceased father’s insurance settlement into an enviably successful lifestyle. Having grown up taunted and teased by former classmates, at twenty five, Ebony has no problem showing off what she’s since accomplished. The newly polished fly girl now owns the most exclusive salon in Bronzeville, has a beautiful daughter who stays laced in the best threads, drives a hot car, owns the most exclusive wardrobe and shares a stellar home with her sexy boyfriend, Buzz, an aspiring rapper/producer who’s been catching the eye of several hot executives. It seems Ebony has done well for herself and is on top of her game. Unfortunately, humble beginnings haven’t stopped Ebony from becoming incredibly shallow, conniving and, at times, downright trifling. Between heads at the salon, trips to the mall and nights out at the club, Ebony exerts an excessive amount of time on gossip sites spreading false information, negative commentary and spiteful opinions about celebrities, and at times, even her friends. Ebony’s superiority complex ultimately destroys her relationships with those closest to her, and displays the inner workings of a woman that’s actually trying to overcompensate for her childhood and a lack of self esteem. Things get crazier when Ebony’s manipulative, stank ways push Buzz to the edge and he calls it quits– right when his career begins to skyrocket. Feeling slighted, Ebony works hard in an attempt to get Buzz back- not because she wants him, but because she feels entitled to his potentially lavish lifestyle–she “made him,” after all, so why not, she justifies. In the middle of trying to reconnect with Buzz, Ebony discovers that he’s not only moved on, but he’s rumored, and sighted to be seen with a hot new artist from the Chi: the petite songstress Arika, whom Ebony already has an established vexation toward. Refusing to lose her man to what she considers a “talentless carbon-copy,” Ebony delivers up the most trifling scheme ever in an effort to show up Buzz, Arika and anyone else who dares question, challenge or attempt to outshine her. However, at the end of the day, several of Ebony’s own skeletons pop out of the closet and she learns that you can only reap what you sow. Newell’s novel is an interesting, thrilling, humorous experience that will have readers loving the story and hating the hell out of the main protagonist. The perfect anti-hero, Ebony’s a refreshing break from the normal sweet character. She’s provoking and exciting, but in a way that will have you ready to break her neck. Her persona reeks of the all too familiar stank, hate filled online personalities seen on many well known gossip sites, but at the same time, like the good skanky gossip she sends, you just can’t seem to stop reading- even when you feel you should. This book is a definite must read for anyone who loves or hates the gossip circuit.

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Friends and Fauxs Book By: Tracie Howard


izzling author Tracie Howard turns up the heat in this sequel to her hit novel Gold Diggers. Second generation gold digger Gillian Tillman not only worked her way into mega movie producer Brandon Russell’s bed, but married him, and with his help, maneuvered a great role in an Oscar winning film. Unfortunately, things go awry when scandalous pictures surface, threatening Tillman’s marriage and career. As if things couldn’t get any worse, more trouble abounds among her social circle, leading Tillman to wonder exactly who her real friends are.

Pure Paradise Book By: Allison Hobbs


ure Paradise salon discreetly offers its discerning clients a more erotic menu behind closed doors. Milan, the salon’s proprietor, manages a personal roster of exclusive men and women who cater to her desires while her business brings in abundant revenue. While she seems to have it all, Milan is far from satisfied. She desires handsome former football player Hilton Dorse with an irrational passion, one that drives her to neglect one of her most lucrative benefactors and coming close to losing everything she has. This erotic thriller leaves nothing unturned in delivering one of Hobbs’ best stories.

The Best American Sports Writing 2009 Book By: Leigh Montville and Glenn Stout


n exciting annual anthology featuring 2009’s best writing in Sports, this edition features 25 of the best articles from over 350 national, regional and special publications which highlight the sports world in all “its drama, humanity and excitement.”

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he sport of boxing can be traced back all the way to the 3rd millennium B.C., when depictions of fist fighting were illustrated on elaborate carvings that employed both the rage of its combatants and the satisfaction of its spectators. For thousands of years, it has been captioned as perhaps the most brutal of all competitive activities, but has yet to die in the minds and eyes of those who subscribe to it. Alive and well at this juncture in its hallowed existence, boxing has worked to break color barriers and even uplift humanity in its most celebrated examples. Most recently, the pay-per-view match between Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez served up an opportunity to view boxing on its grandest stage. While it was branded with preliminary shows and pre-fight fodder, the life and death qualities of the sport emerged. Once considered the biggest draw in sports, the image of Mike Tyson as a spectator was just that; a screenshot of a man who’d conquered the most dominant weight class there was, to a mere mortal who is working to better his life once again. For obvious reasons, it was difficult to imagine the theoretical death of Mike Tyson, much like it was the actual passing of his peers in 2009. Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest, they were all battle tested warriors, kindred spirits that died unexpectedly. At 57 years of age, Arguello was once considered the most explosive Nicaraguan boxer ever to live. His battles with Aaron Pryor were classic and also marked the immovable obstacle that would end his career. Sadly, the three-time champion was found dead

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upon allegedly committing suicide this past July over riffs with the Nicaraguan government. Arturo “Thunder” Gatti’s death, only ten days subsequent to Arguello’s, remains a mystery. While on vacation with his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, the two-time Canadian born champ was found unconscious in their hotel room, apparently beaten over the head and then strangled with a purse that belonged to her. Unable to explain how and why she was with him for ten hours without knowing he was dead, Rodrigues was taken into custody. Nearly a month later, Brazilian police ruled it a suicide and released Rodrigues. Canadian officials however, reopened the case. Perhaps the most tragic and avoidable boxing death this year came when Vernon Forrest’s life was taken by another man (or three) in an apparent gunfight. Forrest was said to have pulled up to a gas station in his Jaguar when another vehicle armed with weapons and three assailants, attempted to car jack the four-time champion. Once considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport, largely for his two victories over “Sugar” Shane Mosely, Forrest went out fighting. He gave chase with his own loaded pistol, but was ultimately gunned down by a semi-automatic weapon from a ruthless killer behind the trigger. Mourning the loss of phenomenal athletes is never easy, but remembering them is. R.I.P. to some of the best to ever do it.

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