This plant would have experienced this sunrise whether I was there to prove it or not. Photo by Evan Brockett.
WHERE ARE THE JOBS?
ART OF SQUIRTING
11 YEAR WAR
NYC’S BIG GAY WEDDINGS
GREEDMONT 1-YEAR LATER
Editor’s Letter What do you do when you’re given no opportunities? You create your own. That’s exactly what we’ve done here at Greedmont Park one year ago and it’s proving to be one of the better decisions we’ve made in life. We were just a creative collective that wanted to document the indie subculture we were submersed in. Now it seems that the indie subculture is the mainstream. But maybe we just made it that way. In the short amount of time since we’ve decided to go print, we’ve helped to break many artists that are continuing their rise to success (Yelawolf, The Drums, Cyhi da Prince, etc). We’ve also had some megastars in their own right reach out to us like Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Damon Dash, A-Trak and Uffie. However, though we are obsessed with music, we’ve managed to cover some pretty interesting stories from creatives like Melody Ehsani and socialites like Brian Patrick Davis. And our readers love it! Yes, all 30,000 of you around the world who enjoy what we have to say. This issue is the BIG issue and we’ve got some big names and people doing big things. We get a first look at the big debuts from Kreayshawn, Iggy Azalea, and T. Mills. We introduce you to the next big artist in the visual art world. We delve into the Big Gay Weddings in NYC. We even learn some tricks on how to make an, ahem, “big splash”. So we hope you’ll stick around for another year because we’ve got even bigger tricks up our sleeves. TEAM GREEDMONT
FOUNDERS Corey Davis, Aaron Ware EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lola Smalls ART DIRECTOR Corey Davis MUSIC EDITOR Zimbabwe Kev FASHION EDITOR Destiny Manifest MARKETING + PR Lola Smalls SALES DIRECTOR Carl Gillispie COVER ART BY Corey Davis CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brittani Austin, Corey Davis, Spencer Greene, Dennis Joseph, Tirrell Hill, Joshua Hooper, Isabella Ofume, Austin Thompson, Lola Smalls, Space Williams CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Evan Brockett, Lauren Cowart, Corey Davis, Ashley Havis, Artem Nazarov CONTRIBUTING ARTIST Kevin Bongang, Blunt Fang, Corey Davis, Alicia Ball, Kevin “Mr. Soul” Harp COPY EDITORS Nauziela Alexander, Meghann St. Clair ADVERTISING + SUBMISSIONS firstname.lastname@example.org
This is one half of one second of a trip on the lower level of the Verranzano Bridge, from Brooklyn to Staten Island, taken from the back of a school bus. Photo by Evan Brockett. 10
WORDS BY LOLA SMALLS ART BY TOYIN ODUTOLA
Artists generally have this stigma of being too free-spirited, genius in their work but crazy in their mind, overly sensitive of their own artistic capabilities but entirely over-analytical of otherâ€™s abilities, art snobs who are anti-art nobs and, also, incessantly broke. There is a perception that artists are walking contradictions--gifted in their craft- but ironic contradictions nonetheless. Your mother probably told you to never date a painter. Your father probably shied you away from choosing art as a profession. Well, Toyin Odutola is none of the above and your parents have never met her.
“My parents were gritting their teeth when I told them I wanted to study art. They said ‘You can not be serious. How are you going to get a job?’,” Odutola said. Her Nigerian parents were weary of the young artists choice to pursue a career in the arts probably for the same reason most parents fear their children entering the art world: instability of income. But for Odutola, now in the final year of her MFA program at California College of the Arts, she’s eased her parents worries by launching her career to successful critical acclaim with features in Italian VOGUE and celebrity clients such as Solange Knowles. The dedication to her mastery is ever apparent in her works by the excruciating detail to lines, proper representation of figure, depth, movement and expression. Her work contains elements of hyper-realism and explores the old adage of beauty being beyond skin deep. It is rare that we find an artist of our generation whose work is capable of speaking volumes on our culture in a series of 11” X 14” pen and ink portraits. Toyin Odutola challenges criticisms of culture, confrontations with race and identity, and perceptions of beauty through her portraiture work. Not only do you find her work captivating and marvel at its resounding artistic value but it clearly translates as a strong social and cultural statement. “I had to really fight for this work because... especially when you’re going to art school and you’re the only one...,” she trails off for a bit to recollect her thoughts before continuing, “Well, let’s be honest: when you’re black and you go to art school you’re most likely one of the few black people in school. And, you’ll have critiques and people will just not get it. They won’t be able to penetrate the work. And I had to often fight for it and I had to be stubborn,” Odutola said. She discovered pen and ink style while in undergraduate studies after receiving an assignment from a figure drawing professor who insisted on the use of a specific $35.00 pen. Her undergraduate budget couldn’t afford that pen so she substituted with a generic black pen that can be found at places like Wal-Mart and completed the assignment. Her professor thought it was outstanding and had no clue she hadn’t used the $35.00 pen he requested. But it was another figure drawing class she would take in her second year of undergraduate studies that had a profound impact on what would become her signature style. “The professor decided to do an assignment and said, ‘Why don’t you break up the human body into planes? You know, into sections.’ So when you see a crevice or when you see a curve you make that into a plane so you actually make the body into divide into landscapes; which was really interesting to me. At first I thought,
‘How the hell am I going to do that? How do you do that?’ because up to that point I had always seen the skin, in particular, as a flat plane. “Sure enough, I started working on the assignment and I struggled. And the professor’s like, ‘keep working at it, you’ll get it’. Then it just exploded after a couple of weeks and I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop breaking the body into components. I went completely full throttle with it,” Odutola said. Upon graduating, Odutola found herself wanting to explore this technique more and continue to develop her skill in this technique. “I thought to myself, I want to make this darker. I want to kind of explore what my skin color feels to me and I want to do this technique to do it. And no one had ever really done it before. Every time I would ask professors or when I was in the Yale Norfolk [Summer Residency for Art & Music] school, no one ever told me what this meant. They didn’t really understand it,” Odutola said. But through her perseverance to this technique, she was able to define what this meant on her own. Though she doesn’t claim to have begun working exclusively in this style in 2004 it was around this time that she began to carve out this niche for herself. By 2009, it got really dark with her just working with a black image and recently she’s began to explore more color within her work.
“Everyone knows that famous Malcolm X quote, right? That we are multiple colors as black people? You know, we’re not just black and white. There’s no contrasting stigmatic, binary tension that’s always happening which was what was reflecting in my work. And there was a lot of anger in that work,” Odutola speaks of her progression into color. And while her work does celebrate a beauty in blackness, it also unleashes the beauty in the human race. Her portrait subjects often come from a variety of cultural backgrounds which is something not everyone realizes about her work. “The other day I got a comment on my blog where somebody said, ‘you should do commission work but I’m a white person so I don’t know if you would do a white person’. It just really kind of floored me because immediately this person was thinking I was divisive. It was inherently racist because they immediately assumed that my work was divisive. “So the fact that I am black and I just do this work they assume that this is just going to be black people that I am doing. They don’t assume that they are the norm. They just think that they’re other all the time. So them being white, they just assume that ‘oh, it’s different for me’. And it really ticked me off a little [...] It’s like the
moment I inject this black ink, you immediately go to them being black. Even when they’re not,” Odutola said. The truth is that, for the majority of her works that are not self-portraits, the portraits are racially ambiguous; they could be anybody. This is what makes Toyin Odutola such a profound artist; she is able to speak to you, through you-- or at least her visual representation of you-whoever you are. She is creating work that is universal meaning the statements translated through the piece could relate to anyone alive today. Everyone has felt the awkwardness of personal space being invaded as portrayed through her piece entitled “Encroaching”. It is this connection that she is able to establish between herself, her work and you, the spectator, that aligns her so closely with the artists she admires such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall and John Singer Sargent. Now being represented by the Jack Shainman gallery in NYC, Odutola is quickly on her way to becoming one of the shining stars of the art world. Her artistic resonance can not be denied. Toyin Odutola dares you to accept her, appreciate her work and pay her for it as she continues to push boundaries. Indeed, Toyin Odutola is unlike any other twentysomething artist you’ve seen and, my guess is, once she gets to the top, she’ll be there for quite some time. 13
WORDS BY SIMON DUVAL ART BY BLUNT FANG
Blunt Fang, formerly known as Negashi Armada and founding member of trendsetting Atlanta rap-group Supreeme, is a lot different from when we last saw him. He spent some time living in the Bay Area, became a father, and went back to his hometown of Atlanta to raise his family and undergo his rap transformation. After disbanding nearly a year ago from his Supreeme high-school chums and pursuing different career paths, Negashi has reinvented himself as Blunt Fang.
Who is Blunt Fang? Blunt Fang is a Folk-Hero, Celebrity Feminist Activist, Fashion Icon, and overall Rock n Roll Rebel. Heavily inspired by epic pop icons like Stevie Knicks, Howling Wolf, Burning Spear & Cam’ron; as well as racism, religion, sexual fetishism, tumblr, facebook and hand drawn cartoons. Tell us about “Crystal Power”... “Crystal Power” is a weird ass video, I have no grand message that I’m trying to portray about drugs. I think they don’t want to legalize weed because it would interfere too heavily with the pharmaceutical companies and the government’s profits. I know after seeing that video everyone thinks I’m some wild, demonic, meth-addict rapper. But other than a scrap here and there, a blunt everyday, and an occasional Xanax, I keep it pretty tame. I mean, I’m a fucking dad now, I can’t be trippin balls and not knowing what the fuck going on. What is Crystal Power? I don’t fucking know I was high as heaven when I made that song. My girl was preggers with my son at the time and I was watching a lot of those anti-meth ads on TV. What can we expect to hear on your album? I’m finna release a fire ass EP in October on cassette tape with Big Blonde Records called Dogheart! The full length BFF (Blunt Fang Forever), will be out on Christmas. I produce all the beats as usual. BFF will be the well-rounded lyrical pop-rap masterpiece ya’ll been waiting on. 14
There’s a huge contast in lyrical content from Negashi Armada to Blunt Fang of today, why is that? As far as for the lyrical differences, I guess you’re talking about the black nationalism and lesbian fetishism? All that shit’s been there all along, but the group I was apart of, Supreeme, had a much more cleaner direction than I do as a person. I also care a lot more about the world and my freedom now that I’m a parent. I’m trying to elevate you, whereas Negashi Armada was just trying to impress you. Supreeme was more about getting hoes, being good at rapping and having fun. Blunt Fang is about warrior women, demonic leaders, a valiant fallen young demi-god, too much weed, and too much information at a young age. We’ve heard rumors about you signing a deal with Adult Swim, can you address that? I was on Cartoon Network as a child so that would makes sense. But I’ve also heard rumors about me and Donnis’ girlfriend from way back, which wasn’t totally true. In 10th grade there was a rumor I died on 9/11. But your boy is still alive and still not fucking Donnis’ girlfriend and is still unsigned. Who are some of your style icons? My style comes from Gambit From The X-Men, Cole Trickle from Days of Thunder, Erik Lensherr, King Tut and Master P in I’m Bout It. If you could have a super power, what would it be? Super Power? I’d get infected with an STD that made me shoot light painlessly out my dick instead of semen when I came.
return of the
skydiving roaches by corey davis
for more on Atlantaâ€™s art scene visit greedmontpark.com 15
This mischievous group of underage, pot-smoking cartoons, the Skydiving Roaches, laughed their way into our hearts and fucked us with a funny bone only to leave fans high and dry and begging for more. After becoming an overnight YouTube sensation and revolutionizing the world of comedy, right at the pinnacle of their success, Brian, Kelly and Cory went on a mysterious three-year hiatus that left everyone scratching their heads. When they suddenly started receiving a rainforest of fan letters, they decided to make a few appearances in the the last few issues of Greedmont Magazine. Now we finally found time to sit them all down to talk about their career, forthcoming projects, and the very thing they seem to love most, Mary Jane. It was a humid day in Cincinnati when I arrived at a local recording studio where groundbreaking musicians have been recording for almost a decade now. SDR has spent the last few years here, deviously working on their new EP. Kelly and Brian arrive first, but still fifteen minutes late. Brian mumbles something that sounds like “Hey” as he stumbles into the room. Obviously he partied a little too hard last night. A more collected Kelly greets me politely, sits in the chair across from me and grabs a joint that was tucked behind his ear. He pulls out a butane lighter that looked like a wrench and lit the joint. Finally, Cory walked through the door toting a 3-foot bong just as the spliff began to rotate around the cypher. The room grew foggy with a thick cloud of potent smoke and once I saw that the weed was taking affect, I figured it would be a good time to began the interview. So how are you guys feeling today? KELLY: Dude, I’m actually a little too high right now. CORY: Pretty good. Just been putting the final touches on this EP, I think everyone’s excited to see what we’ve been working on. BRIAN: I got a fucking hangover, how long is this going to take? Don’t worry it won’t take long. Where have you guys been for the past few years? B: You know soaking up the spoils of our success. Drugs everyday, girls every night. You know, living the good life. K: Even after being famous and still failing to lose my virginity, I fell into a deep state of depression and cut everyone off, even Cory and Brian. C: And we just couldn’t do the show without him. I was happily in love with Penny and Brian became the most popular kid in school. K: It was during this dark period I discovered my new love for music and I started making beats. C: One day he called me up, showed me his beats and we decided we was going to form a rap group. Don’t you think that’s a little cliche? B: No, I think you’re a fucking asshole. Next question please. What can we expect from the Skydiving Roaches EP? B: If you had to put it in a genre, I would call it heroin on ice. K: It’s pretty amazing, we’ll be releasing our first single soon. Kelly, why are you green? K: Uhh, I don’t know, I wasn’t born this way... C: But we think it might be a genetic dysfunction, where all the weed he consumed turned the melanin in his skin green. K: Girls hate it. 16
Do you guys resent the guy who created you or do you feel like he’s God? K: Yeah definitely. Why am I so goddamn short? And why did I have to be the green one?! I just don’t get it C: I wouldn’t go as far as calling him God, he’s more like a sperm donor. How did it feel to just be a sketch? B: Well that’s a stupid question. K: I dunno, it’s like I felt a little incomplete. How did it feel to go from a cartoon to a comic strip? B: It fucking sucks. It’s like going from the NFL to the WNBA. I know the US stock market is in shables but Jesus! Prodigies have to eat, and this isn’t helping. K: Well, it’s not really that bad. I’m glad that people are still paying attention after all this time.
How much weed fo ya’ll smoke everyday? K: A lot. C: A whole lot. B: Yeah it really helps us cope with all the stress of success, you know it’s not really that easy being famous. When is the last time you heard from the pedophile from the cartoon? B: That dude went straight to prison after the last episode. K: But he still sends us letters from jail. Brian, you recently had your first threesome, how was that? B: Pretty crazy, man, it was like a yin-yang of pussy, all on my mother’s bed. How many times have you caught herpes? B: I never had herpes, there’s no cure for that, dickwad. But I’ve had the clap once or twice. This guy’s an douche, this interview is over. Let’s go guys!
for more on Atlantaâ€™s art scene visit greedmontpark.com 19
WORDS & PHOTOS BY ARTEM NAZAROV
RUSSIA: I was interested in heading to a high-security prison to photograph some of the prisoners so I could send the photos to their families. It took nearly two weeks to complete the series, using an old prison blanket as the backdrop.
They all kept pretty quiet and a lot of them declined to have their picture taken because they were afraid of cameras. I wasnâ€™t given their case files, but I knew why a majority of them was in jail. Mainly for drug charges, others for violent crimes, murder or sexual assualt.
RUSSIA: My father is heavily involved with a church and I thought it would be cool to spend a couple days in a monastery. These monks arenâ€™t allowed to be photographed because it involves sinful issues with pride and vanity, but I was granted permission.
MONGOLIA: During the winter, I travelled to Mongolia from Russia and hired a minivan with a translator to spent a week with the Nomads. There was no electricity or running water, they live completely off the land.
GUATEMALA: A non-profit agency called Outpost Ministies hired me to photograph the students of a school they built in a small Mayan village. Iâ€™m curious on what goes on in the world around me. I really love people, everyone has a story to tell. Next I plan on doing a series on semi-truck drivers, what an amazing sub-cluture.
Where are the Jobs?
WORDS BY AUSTIN THOMPSON ART BY KEVIN BONGANG
Michael Hamilton is a 20-something year old with no job. Michael has been looking for work for months now and so far has had very little luck. Instead of getting married, buying a car, buying a house, or beginning the road toward the “American Dream”, Michael is living in his mom’s basement surfing the internet wondering where it all went wrong. Today, Michael’s story is not uncommon. Since, the economic crisis began in 2008, unemployment has been higher and more persistent than anytime since the Great Depression. Current projections estimate that jobs will be gone at least until 2017, unless there is dramatic action. What does this mean for young people? We are witnessing a generation of young adults who are either not working at all or are working jobs that pay so little they are forced into long-term debt. The ideal of monetary success where each generation manages to do better than the one before it is looking like less and less of a reality for many youth. 26
Unemployment is ridiculously high in general for people young and old. The official unemployment rate for the country is at 9.1% and the real unemployment rate is much closer to 15%. The reality is that there are simply not enough jobs for everyone looking. There is only about 1 job for every 6 people. But the unemployment rate for youth ages 16-to24-years-old remains double the national rate at 18.1 percent. The rate for people over 25 is only slightly better. When you break unemployment down by nationality it gets even worse. AfricanAmerican unemployment is worse than it has been in over 27 years at 16.7 percent. In some urban environments, the African-American unemployment rate is as high as 40 percent! College graduates, smothered in student loan debt, are also feeling the pain of unemployment or underemployment. Wages for students who graduated from college in 2010 were lower than they were a decade ago. No one spends thousands of dollars and 4 years in college to work the cash register at Walmart Super Store, but under the current economy this is a reality. Increasingly, it’s the only jobs available in many areas pay low-wages, with no benefits or health insurance. In many cases, even these jobs are hard to come by. For example, in 2010 only 6 out of 100 applicants for jobs at McDonald’s were hired! Perhaps, the worst part of the whole story about youth unemployment is that young people did not create this crisis at all. In 2008, it was Wall Street and corporate greed that crashed the economy and led to the mass unemployment we see today. Because of the actions of a few greedy rich bankers and executives working with corrupt politicians millions of people are suffering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. What does all of this mean for the so called HipHop generation? What does it mean for Hip-Hop culture? For starters the lack of jobs will require the creativity and “on-the-grind” mentality that has characterized Hip-Hop since its humble beginnings. Whether or not this energy is channeled into formal entrepreneurial activity
or other criminal activity (robbing, selling drugs, or selling sex) will depend on each person. However, we can make an estimated guess based on the streets as they exist today that the record number of youth incarcerated in America’s prisons will only get worse due to lingering unemployment. The good news is, there is a simple way out of this jobs crisis. Wall Street and the companies who crashed the economy in the first place can pay for it. The rich are richer than they have ever been, in part, because after they broke the economy in 2008 they received over 1 trillion dollars in bailouts and new tax breaks from the government. U.S. corporate profits are at record level highs even though millions of young people are struggling to make ends meet. This is literally an example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Corporations in pursuit of easier profits are shipping jobs overseas to China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea and Eastern Europe where they can pay their employees less money and exploit them. Some of these workers do so in oppressive sweat shops for almost nothing. The U.S. government has the power to stand-up to the corporations and tell them to stop shipping jobs abroad and tax the rich to create new jobs. But politicians who run the government also happen to depend on the same big companies to fund their campaigns for re-election year. Instead of holding big business accountable for wrecking the economy and still raking in record profits, politicians in Washington D.C. are giving gigantic new tax breaks to Wall Street and the super-rich. In order to pay for these give-aways to the wealthy, politicians are cutting services like health care and education for low and middle-income people.The record high youth unemployment is likely to remain unless young people take to the streets in massive numbers and demand politicians tax Wall Street and the rich and create jobs here in the United States. In Egypt, earlier this year the world witnessed a movement lead by youth demanding real change. It will take a similar movement here to turn the economy around and put people before the profits of the rich. The choice is ours.
AND THE 11 YEAR WAR WORDS BY RICHARD ISSA ART BY KEVIN “MR.SOUL HARP
It was the spring of 1991. I remember this one Wednesday morning in Ms. Jeanette’s 1st grade class as if it’s happened yesterday. Our class was told to get out a pencil , then we were each handed a sheet of this ugly yellow-greenish paper we always used. Our assignment was to write a letter to some member of the United States Army that we had been assigned . I wrote the letter as I was told. I recall telling him to be brave,keep fighting, a few “Go U-S-A”s in there (or something of that nature). A few months later, towards the end of the school year, our class received a letter from our soldier. Our teach read it to us out loud and everyone was so excited that this mystery soldier had written back to us. I ,on the other hand, was kind of confused. Lost in all the patriotism and such that was going on due to our involvement in the Gulf War was the fact that there was another war going on across the Atlantic Ocean. A war that no one seemed to care about at all. I don’t remember ever seeing coverage of it on the television. There were no stories about it in the newspapers and my class wasn’t going to be writing any letters to anyone involved. The war I am referring to is the Sierra Leone Civil War, also known as The 11 Year War. This war took place from March 23,1991 until January 18,2002 took a country that was already in pretty bad shape and all but destroyed it and its people. Still, 20 years after this war began, the majority of people in our country still don’t even know that it even happened. As some people actually might know, mostly thanks to a few rap songs and the movie Blood Diamonds starring Leonardo Dicaprio, the country of Sierra Leone is very rich in diamonds. Many countries around the globe have had to deal with what is called the “resource curse”. This curse is basically when a country that is rich in some kind of natural resource tends to have less economic growth and in some way shape or form develop worse than countries with less resources. This is definitely the case when it comes to Sierra Leone. Due to many corrupt leaders,the country has never benefited from the million upon millions of dollars that are made by these diamonds.
You take this curse of diamonds, add one corrupt ruler after another and in a nutshell you have the reasons that this war started. The 2nd ever prime minister of Sierra Leone was man by the name of Siaka Stevens. When Stevens came into power in 1968, Sierra Leone was a democracy by constitution. Seventeen years later when he stepped down, Sierra Leone was a one party state and in terms of GDP,one of the worst countries in the world. Under Stevens’ rule the majority of the government officials were corrupt, the treasury went bankrupt and the country would just get worse,and worse with every year he was in power. But the government hit absolute rock bottom when then education system was destroyed leaving children that didn’t come from the wealthiest families to roam the streets aimlessly all throughout the 1980s. These children would later become major players in the next 11 years, in ways that no one could have possibly imagined. Later, after reaching adulthood, with no kind of stable background,education or trades, they would go on to be part of a rebel army known as the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) who took over the country and destroyed it. I am the child of two parents who are originally from Sierra Leone. Agnes Ruth Bockari, my mother, was born in Sierra Leone in a small village by the name of Lwawa. She lived there until 1973 when she moved to the United States looking for a better life. Besides the feelings I sensed as a child and the emotions I witnessed, there has never been any kind of direct conversation between her and I regarding her thoughts on the 11 Year War. “The 1st thing that came to mind when I heard about the war was my mother and father. I am over here, my parents are in West Africa. The safety of my parents was the first thing that came to my mind” said my mother when I asked what her 1st thoughts were when news of the war broke. I can remember the amount of stress that seemed to fill the air of our home every single day throughout the years that this war was going on. It was a feeling that had to be felt in the home of every Sierra Leonean that lived here in the United States. A feeling of helplessness, that they were here in this country searching for a better life while our family and friends were back home living
in fear and terror due to the foolishness and greed of many men. I remember the mood of the room when we received a letter from back home that was written by a family member, not knowing if we were about to find out someone is missing or dead. I will remember these feelings for the rest of my life. But even with this feeling of helplessness, hope was never lost. Hope that everyday would be the last day of the fighting and destruction. Hope that Sierra Leone would one day see peace and families could be reunited. Hope that one day Sierra Leoneans who live here in the United States would one day be able to travel back to the country they call home. The common ground that everyone I spoke to about the war was that they had family back home. So when I asked if at any point during the 11 years of conflict they lost hope of the war ever ending each and ever person answered with a very strong “Never!” There was no way with parents living in that country would they ever lose hope that one day they’d be able to speak with them again and most importantly see them face to face. There has always been one aspect of this war that has bothered me way more than it seems to bother anyone else who has heard my opinion. As earlier mentioned, this war started very close to the time the United States became involved in the Gulf War. Throughout my years on this Earth I have seen the United States come to the aid of multiple countries going through civil wars and minor as well as major conflicts with other countries. The question I have wondered for most of my life is “Why did the US military not come and save the people of Sierra Leone?” When I was younger, this made zero sense to me. We have the greatest military on this planet. This 11 years of war could have been taken care of in one year if the United States would have just come and saved the day. That’s the way it works in other countries and in movies right? Ideally that is the way it all works out but that is far from how it went. As the war went on and on....and on help was received from the United Nations as well as the British military. I stress that the war went on and on because this help didn’t come until 1999. If you are not good at math that is 8 years after this war began. During the talk with my mother I asked how she felt about the lack of involvement and help
from the US in Sierra Leone and she stated “Well, my country was under British rule. So since they were there helping I personally had nothing against anyone,because we were getting some kind of help. America only puts its hands in places where it has interest. Where they can gain something. They can not gain anything from my country. so they were not really involved. But I honestly hold nothing against them because we were being helped by the British military.” To my surprise this is the feeling that many people from Sierra Leone share. Despite all of the greed, crooked rulers,brainwashed soldiers and lack of help from world powers, peace was achieved in Sierra Leone. It took multiple tries and a lot of players involved but it happened. I’ve been told that in the capital of Sierra Leone which is Freetown there is a sign that reads “Na Wi Country” which translates to “this is our country”. Regardless of how poor it is,how many dreadful things have happened in its history, Sierra Leone is now for the most part, a more united country. Just by looks alone one would not be able to tell that anything positive has happened in that small country but if you talked to people there you may hear different. During the years of war, people were forced to come become more spiritual, to believe in something in hopes that they would live to see a day where their country was in peace. I was told that people can now talk about ordeals they went through for 11 years and when they would tell the stories they would be smiling and laughing. When asked how could they laugh about something like that an elder answered “My child, if we don’t laugh about it, you never would have met us again.” he is basically saying that if they were to be angry about the past and hold on to the negative things that happened, they’d never have the moral and will to move forward to try and get past all the events they lived through. That elder was my Grandpa Issa who has seen that country go through just about everything for almost 90 years. There is absolutely nothing good about war. It can and has ruined countries for hundreds of years. But just as my people had hope for 11 years that they would see peace in their homeland, I have hope that one day Sierra Leone will become a great country that people travel to from all over just to visit and see with their own eye that this na wi country and it is more than anyone has ever imagined.
JHENE AIKO WORDS BY COREY DAVIS
What are your thoughts on this new wave of R&B music from artist like you, Frank Ocean and the Weeknd? I’m really excited for it. It definitely wasn’t intentional, I had no clue about either of those artist when I was recording. For me, this mixtape was very personal. I don’t know how to label this new style of music we’re creating, but I like to call “it Young Adult Contemporary.”
What was it like working with B2K? It was fun because we were all young and I knew most of them prior to being in a group. It never felt anything like work, just good times.
We sense another westcoast takeover, with artist like you, Kendrick Lamar, OddFuture, Kreayshawn and Lil B. How does this make you feel? Its just timing, a lot people in LA can get really comfortiable, it’s easy to grow complacent. Now, people are getting tired of the same thing. What’s crazy about all of the people you just named is none of our music sounds the same. It’s all different and there’s no unified sound, like most of the other movements in music.
What is your ideal date? Somewhere to eat, I love thai food. If a man can keep me feed, thats all I need. You don’t have to have a nice car or nice shoes, just cook for me and take me out, it doesn’t even have to be fancy. And I’ll be fine. And the arcade, Im a kid at heart so I like doing fun stuff.
What inspires you? Growing up, I was inspired by my grandparents who were Buddhist, but everyone in my family pretty much studied a differWhat was the response like for Sailing Soul(s)? Did you ex- ent religion. So when I was young I really got into spirituality, pect it to attract so much attention? which probably inspires me most, especially after having my I really didn’t have any expectations. At the time I just felt like daughter. In the future you can expect more of my songs to be recording. So I did it without thinking about any marketing or about life, death and spirituality and less about relationships. attracting new fans. So I was totally surprised at the number of people who liked it, I can really appreciate all the love and sup- Are any of your songs inspired by your daughter? I think all of them are in a sense. She taught me how to be more port it’s been attracting. honest and more brave.”You vs. Them” is one of her songs. Your music seems to be heavily influenced by rap, what is There are also some influences from her on “Space Jam.” But the relevance of rap in the world of R&B? there isn’t one song that is particularly dedicated to her yet. That’s just me being me, I grew up on 90’s R&B and hip-hop. Everything has to be perfect. Tupac, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Aaliyah, Mary J. Blidge, Snoop Dogg and a lot of Westcoast rap. Even today I listen to more Can you tell us about your first love? My first love, I probably wouldn’t call it “real love”, especially rap than anything. after learning what real love is from my daughter. Everything What was it like working with Kendrick Lamar on “Growing before that, I was just playing around. I was 13 when I had my Apart”? first kiss, first date and boyrfriend .He was 3 years older than That song pretty much kick started the whole mixtape. I had al- me, so he didn’t really take me that serious. But my original ready recorded “higher” and “spacejams” on garage band. We ideas on love were kind of idealistic, you know, that this feelwas already friends, but then his management said it would be ing would last forever and I would never need anybody else. a good look if we did a song together. I just remember hearing We were together for a year and then the following year it was the beat and instantly liking it, I came up with the hook, I don’t mainly him trying to get away from me. even think I had to write it and he was so good, it inspired me. We were super compatible while working together, we even What kind of guys do you like? had jotted down similiar notes and concepts for the song. Af- I have a few real preferences... Be like funny, patient and conterwards I wrote the whole Sailing Souls mixtape, except “July” siderate. Someone who will take the time to really try to underwhich was an older song written by Micah Powell. A lot of peo- stand me and understand each other. But the main thing is a ple was asking me to put that song on the mixtape, so we did. sense of humor, just make me laugh!
What was it like growing up as a biracial child in LA? It was great, I love LA because of all of the diversity. I grew up right outside Baldwin Hills on Rodeo and LaBrea. Then I moved to inglewood, then I moved again. Of course I witnessed the gang violence and all of that, but I love this city because I was born here. And I love how many different climates there are in LA. One second you can be in the dessert then the beach then all the way up in the mountains.
How would you define your personal style? I just like being comfortable, you might catch me somewhere and I might not be wearing shoes. I might wear something for 2 days in a row. So I can appreciate other people’s style, and taking time to coordinate an outfit. But for me, I just dont care about that type of stuff. I’m a tank-top-and-underwear type of girl. I call it “real life wear.” Whats in the future for you? At the end of September I plan on releasing an EP called Souled Out on my website. I also might do a collab project with H.O.P.E. Currently working on booking shows everywhere, everyone stay updated through twitter and tumblr! I’m heavy on my internet game.
When did you write your first song? I was 5 years old but I really couldn’t spell yet, so I had my mom sit down and write my first rap for me. Meanwhile, my What’s on your ipod? older sister was in a group who was signed with Chris stokes. I Section 80 by Kendrick Lamar, Nostalgia by Frank Ocean, Man continued writing and when I was 12, he started presenting me on the Moon 2 by Kid Cudi and Watch the Throne. along with the B2K situation. But I was just a kid having fun, it wasn’t a big deal to me at the time.
WHITE GIRL MOBBIN’ It seems like Kreayshawn blew up overnight, literally. In less than 12 hours the visuals for her song, “Gucci Gucci” had gone viral. Now everyone’s favorite facebook status and twitter post is, “one big room full of bad bitches.” Kreayshawn, a film school dropout is getting attention from her unique style of dress to her use of the word “nigga” on twitter. She went from being Lil B’s home girl and video director to being nominated for her own MTV Video Music Award.
INTERVIEW BY SPENCER GREENE PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ARTIST
Kreayshawn is a thrift store shopping, tatted up, pint size hipster chick from Oakland, CA. The daughter of a punk rocker, Kreayshawn is a white girl with the ultimate hood pass. Even artists such as Lil Wayne and Trey Songz have a remix to “Gucci Gucci”. Not many white girls can make a track that you can blast through your speakers while riding through Oakland—or any hood in America. With all of her buzz and pending accolades, people are still doubtful. Admittedly, she seems like an artist that won’t spend more that 15 minutes in the spotlight; which is longer than it took for her to become famous. Whether true or not, her 15 minutes are just starting. I received a call saying I had exactly 15 minutes to speak to Kreayshawn, followed by 4 calls afterwards. The first call from a Columbia records representative telling me they were running 10 minutes behind schedule with the interviews. The 2nd call was from her publicist reiterating that I had 15 minutes and the interview had to move along quickly. She had been doing interviews all day. I thought she would be tired and annoyed from doing back-to-back interviews all day. When she got on the phone, she greeted me with a, “Hello sir, how are you?” Besides the fact that the word sir makes me feel like my dad, I was surprised at her greeting. I was expecting to find a female version of Tyler, The Creator. I was prepared for random outburst, tons of curse words and vulgar language. Instead I found a person serious about their art, from music to film to style. As the countdown began with her label representatives and publicists, I began asking questions quickly. Greedmont: Congratulations on your VMA nomination Kreayshawn: Thank you Greedmont: The video for “Gucci Gucci” went viral in less than 12 hours. Do you think this helped with your VMA nomination?
Greedmont: Recently, Lil Wayne remixed “Gucci Gucci” which has further propelled the song’s success. How do you feel about other artists remixing your work? Kreayshawn: I think it’s all-good. The first person to tell me Wayne had done my song was my grandpa. He called me like, “Wayne dissed you!” I said, “what!” “Wayne dissed you! He dissed your song!” I checked it out and I had to let him know, “Papa, this is an honor.” Greedmont: “Gucci Gucci” was also featured in the season premier of HBO’s Entourage. How has everyone’s reaction been to that? Kreayshawn: Great! I thought it was cracking. Popping scene. That would be a scene that “Gucci Gucci” would be playing. Everyone partying. Greedmont: Can we expect to catch a Kreayshawn acting cameo this season? Kreayshawn: That would be cool. You know I’m an actor. I can act. Greedmont: Really, I didn’t know that. Kreayshawn: I didn’t know that either She was being cool and witty, but serious at the same time. Creatively and artistically, she’s determined to do whatever she wants. That’s why it wasn’t a big deal for her to make the switch from film school and videographer to rapper. Greedmont: So far, most of your videography has been around music. Are there any feature length films, shorts or documentaries we can expect in the near future? Kreayshawn: [There is] a lot of stuff I want to work on as far as film. I think I need more time to work on music first then I can go back to film.
Kreayshawn: Of Course
Greedmont: How did the opportunity to shoot the Red Hot Chili Peppers new video come about?
Greedmont: Did you ever see yourself as being the type of artist that would be on MTV?
Kreayshawn: I submitted a treatment with a bunch of others. Mine got picked. It was really fun
Kreayshawn: Nah I never really saw it. I’m an in the moment type of person. Record deal, MTV, I never dreamed of it.
Greedmont: What’s your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song?
Kreayshawn said her friends always thought she would be famous. People told her growing up that she was going to be pretty big one day because of her style and personality. To her, it’s just interesting to see how rapidly things are happening.
I wanted to get a breakdown of her group, White Girl Mob. She met her fellow members, V-Nasty and Lil Debbie at age 15. V-Nasty grew up in Oakland with her while Lil Debbie lived a few cities over.
Kreayshawn: I think the new song is pretty slapping.
Greedmont: Can black or Latina girls join the White Girl Mob? Or is it just for white girls? Kreayshawn: Nah, anyone can be in White Girl Mob. It’s really just to push Girl Gang. You don’t have to be White to be in White Girl Mob. You don’t even need to be a girl.
“RECORD DEAL, MTV, I NEVER DREAMED OF IT.”
Greedmont: If feminists chose to adapt “I’ve got swag and it’s pumping out my ovaries” as a national slogan, how would that make you feel? Kreayshawn: Women need to embrace what’s coming out their ovaries I finished the interview in 14 minutes. I was afraid her publicist would hang the phone up in my face if I went a second over 15 minutes. We ended the interview talking about her 15 minutes of fame, which are far from over. “I think I’m gonna be in the game for a while,” Kreayshawn said. She reflected on the feedback she has gotten so far and expects her album to make a huge impact. She’s had a successful summer with “Gucci Gucci”. If her album does just as well, she’ll definitely be in the game for a while. When it comes out, I’ll be listening to it in a big room, full of bad bitches.
T. Mills WORDS BY ISABELLE OFUME Eminem, Ashter Roth, Mac Miller, Kreayshawn, and now T.Mills. Five white artists from the top of my head. I rather not put them on the same line, knowing the different style each artists brings to the table but it seemed essential. With the last three artists coming to light this year, music has finally took the step that it needed. Not only a necessary step but also put out a little something different for the ears to listen to. Most of them were the type of songs you repeated over and over to get the lyrics down (or maybe just Googled) and others that you just called your friends over, just so they could witness greatness. Travis Tatum Mills (AKA T. Mills) was the average kid that started the band in his garage with a bunch of friends with the same idea. Or so we thought? This band concept wasn’t for Travis. Solo was definitely a go go. T.Mills ﬁrst solo show kicks off at the Warped Tour which also validates his spot as a force to be reckoned with. This Southern Californian rapper, first gained stream with the song Stupid Boy. His songs are about the type of life he’s portraying. T.Mills cool guy attitude puts the fans at a spot to follow. His videos come out as natural as he is without the stress of ever faking it. Changing things up with his recently released song, She Got A, the fun party music mixes up with the great-love-of “Hip-Pop” which is what T.Mills likes to call his type of music. Being obsessed with Hip-Hop from the on-start, Bone Thugs in Harmony, Big Sean, Biggie, Kanye (the artists he would actually love to collaborate with, being that he’s “one of the biggest ‘Ye fans” ) and a whole lot of others are the talented stars that influence his music. And not limited to Pink Floyd and indie bands like the Teenager. The broad music taste is absolutely the inspiration that comes with this new taste of music all the fans (Pop fans and Hip-Hop heads) are really fascinated by. Bringing two separate genres together, the statement “music really does bring people together”. Not following his obvious genres (pop-punk and hardcore), which an on-looker would consider his type music (a bit stereotypical I must say), Hip-Hop is what he started with as a kid at the age of 7 and recently got into because he felt they were “so generic”. He just the dude that wants to be different and not really follow, it hasn’t really been his thing. T.Mills has played for almost every Warped Tour date and was his first show as a solo artist, which is some of the highlights of the Warped Tour. A pretty huge stage to call his first. Having performed rain and shine, the stage has become home to Travis. “Montreal, Canada”, being one of the favorite places he’s has performed, was his first show across the border and “they were a lot of fans and they all loved it”. Social media has been another big platform for the spread of his music. With the promotion and networking done courteously via T.Mills. Although, the indie label Uprising Records shouldn’t have much credit for as T.Mills states. Social network, according to T.Mills has been a “power” which was the “bases of how I started this project, if it weren’t for social network I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it weren’t for the internet”. T.Mills, remains active throughout Twitter, Facebook, and even the highly addictive Tumblr. Remaining connected to fans becomes one of the most important thing to Travis. Talking to them, getting to know them, and listening to them has been the reason he’s got as far as he has with his music. The hit song, “She Got A”, when it reached Vevo with the official music video received massive hits on the first day, and ever since then I’ve been addicted. The song was actually one of that free verse, “free style” type deal that gets started with just a beat and hopping into the booth to spit verses and then the song was DONE. “I’ll just go off on the top of my head”, T.Mills says during an interview. The song really spotlights T.Mills “hip-pop” music that he talks about and the lifestyle he lives. His music without question, speaks for itself. Recently, signing with Sony Music, T.Mills will soon go from the artists blogs talk about to buzzworthy spotlight. Producer Neal Pogue (Outkast and Travis Barker) says that “He’s creating his own lane and will prove to be one of the most important artists of his time.” No understatement in that statement. 39
FROM AUSTRALIA WORDS BY LOLA SMALLS
Let’s be honest, when you think of immigrants in the United States, you think of Latinos stealing jobs, Asians stealing education and Middle Easterners plotting terrorist attacks. Why would you think anything other than that? Those are the stereotypes perpetuated daily in news stories, on television shows and in films so it must be true. You certainly do not think of a blonde bombshell ferociously rapping original lyrics over Chris Brown’s platinum single “Look At Me Now”. Well, that’s Iggy Azalea for you. The Australian-born artist is an anomaly who constantly defies expectations while setting new standards. She calls her music Ignorant Art and refers to herself as the new classic-- her idiosyncrasies are shrouded in ironic statements--but that’s what makes you love her as a person. You love her as an artist because she delivers witty punchlines and can go bar for bar with the best of them. Just a few days before she was set to go back to Australia to handle residency business, we had the chance to speak with Iggy Azalea and discuss immigration, music videos and hip-hop. “Every time I come over, they just harass you like a terrorist. I hate coming over the border!” Iggy Azalea opened up in her cute Australian accent. “That’s why I work so hard. I’m like ‘I need a record deal!’ so I can just stay here. I just want a visa so I can get cable!” I laugh. “Wait, immigrants can’t get cable?,” I ask dumbfounded. “They make you pay a deposit and it’s like $800. I’m not paying $800 just so I can watch VH1’s Top 100 countdown of the 90’s,” Iggy Azalea explained. Quickly, I realize that her wit extends past her lyrics; she’s funny. She’s trying to finalize her status here so she can stay for longer periods of time but didn’t want to go into too much detail to prevent being Googled at the border (yes, they do that). I can’t relate to that but I’m sure that M.I.A. feels her pain. Iggy Azalea exudes originality. Admittedly, it may be easier for her to do so because she’s Australian and I’m not sure if we’ve ever heard an Australian rapper before. There is no one to really compare her to here in the United States. Her flow is reminiscent of Salt-N-Pepa in their heyday with a slight hint of Shawnna though she cites rappers like Tupac and Andre 3000 as her lyrical influences. She knows that she’s got sex appeal and she uses it to her advantage. Her face is always flawless and she is sure to always show off her long blonde tresses. She’s coyly sexually suggestive; she’s not quite as blatantly raunchy as Lil Kim or Foxxy 42
Brown and she’s definitely not a tomboy. In her video for “Two Times” she’s wearing a black turtleneck, a sexy blue and white checkered milkmaid mini skirt and black thighhigh socks but the camera is focused on her black “magical undies” which display a stop-motion cartoon that correlates to her lyrics. She’s a tease but her viewers can’t help but fall for her. We began discussing her one minute long video for “Look At Me Now” which she created all on her own on her laptop. “I just don’t want to do shit that rappers are supposed to do. Why can’t I look like a robot in a video? That would be fucking cool,” said Iggy Azalea, “I just think it’s all cliche and it’s all been done before. There’s nothing that hasn’t been done before.” “That’s why Tyler, The Creator won last night [at MTV’s Video Music Awards], I really feel like. Because he’s just doing his own thing. He doesn’t stick to what he’s supposed to do. You know what I mean? Fuck that. That’s boring now. Everybody has seen the video where it’s A+B= fucking C and that sucks,” Iggy explained. Her videos certainly don’t follow any formula; they are incredibly creative. She’s incredibly creative. She has keen business sense for this industry. Iggy Azalea realizes this is not the same hip-hop of her childhood, understands what it means to work hard and, most of all, believes in keeping her art unique. She does what she feels is necessary to isolate herself from the competition, even if that means creating videos on her laptop. In fact, up until her most recent release for her original track “Pu$$y”, Iggy created all of her videos herself on her laptop (which have collectively garnered over 20,000 views). It is this unique approach to marketing herself that caught the attention of Interscope management, which she was initially uneasy about, but ultimately was convinced to relocate to Los Angeles. “I didn’t believe that it was them [Interscope]. I thought it was some pervert guy trying to email me,” Iggy said. Her management was persistent though. They began contacting her friends online as well, including DJ DiBia$e, and leaving them with their contact information. This went on for awhile before Iggy responded. “Eventually I was like, you know, I’m going to call this person because they won’t stop leaving me alone. And so eventually I ended up moving. But I thought he was some kind of total stalker,” Iggy said.
I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO SHIT THAT RAPPERS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.
Currently, Iggy Azalea is working on her first mixtape which is aptly titled “Ignorant Art” and a collaboration mixtape with Y.G. (of “Toot It and Boot It” fame) entitled “1990” where they’re rapping over reworked hip-hop beats from the early 90’s. Her solo project is slated for a mid-September release and her collaborative project with YG is due out in early October. In the future, she wants to collaborate with artists like Kendrick Lamar (“I want to make Kendrick get ignorant!” she says) and M.I.A.
innovate them and create something that will itself be classic in 10 years. She’s defying the so-called formulas of success, going against the grain and is intent to succeed in this industry by doing so.
She’s a hip-hop traditionalist with a penchant for lyricism who writes her own raps. You wouldn’t think any of that by looking at her. Hell, you wouldn’t even think that she rapped just by looking at her. But once you hear her discuss her love for hip-hop you can probably surmise that she’d be a fan of Native Tongues artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes, or; MF Doom, Tupac, OutKast, Jay-Z, backpack rappers or anyone considered as a rapper’s rapper.
Iggy Azalea possesses some profound thoughts on the current state of hip-hop and that’s mainly due to her not focusing on the current but focusing on the future. People may hate her because she wants things her way but she truly believes in the new classic. She’s serious but not that serious. She’s not even offended by your opinions of her. Whether you like it or not, Iggy Azalea is here; donning the flyest vintage fashions and caressing a microphone with lyrics that make you feel uncomfortable and make you laugh in the same bar. Ignorant Art is her renaissance, her masterpiece, so you can put your paintbrush down.
The new classic is hard to explain. Essentially, Iggy Azalea wants to take all the classic elements hip-hop,
“That’s why everyone says hip-hop died. Not because everyone started rapping about whatever they were rapping about but because everyone found a formula and stuck to it. And then we ate it so much we got fucking sick of the taste,” Iggy Azalea explained.
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nicole words & photos by Corey Davis
Whats your vice? Self indulgence. Favorite place to party? Meatpacking district. Best trick to cure a hangover? Bloody Mary What do you do when nobody else is watching? Schizophrenia. Craziest place you ever had sex? Williamsburg Bridge bike lane. (Sorry Mom.) Sex, drugs or rock and roll? Drugs & Electropop
BY DENNIS JOSEPH
A relationship? In the summer? FUCK THAT! There’s way too much partying to do, beaches to visit, alcohol to drink... Who in the hell wants to be tied down? Caking on the phone? No thanks. By the time you’ve stumbled home after all that liquor, you’re too drunk to care about it. Fun times, right? Yeah. Fast forward to September. More and more of your friends are entering relationships. Partying was cool, but its slowly getting colder. Jackets, boots and scarfs are all creeping back out. Not to mention everyone isn’t hanging out like before so you’re spending more and more time at home, alone. Remember all that late night caking that wasn’t a big deal before? Companionship? Well, it’d be nice now that all your friends are too busy with their bf’s and gf’s huh? Plus as much as you may cuddle up with Netflix and a snuggie at night, you can’t date either one. That my friends, is the moment you realize cuffin season might just be for you. Don’t worry, you aren’t the first either. Many others come to this conclusion. Think about it, when does it seem the majority of those “Hey stranger” “Long time no talk” “I miss how things between us used to be..” texts start rushing in? Definitely not during the summer. That’s single season. It’s Fall. And this year, Fall lands on a Friday. Friday, September 23rd to be exact. That marks the official start to the new Cuff Season. This year we’re going to do things a bit differently. Well just as how we got you out, we can get you back in. Now I did say that Cuffing Season starts Sept 23rd, but you can’t walk up to someone and simply say “we go together”. It requires time. Effort. A young lady must be courted. The point of this guide is to get you prepared LONG BEFORE the thirst rush starts. The ones who tell you to start preparing late Oct. are setting you up for failure. Taking the early route will not only provide you with more options, but also raise your chances of a successful cuff. By the time the thirst rush comes along, you would’ve already been on at least 3 or so dates and even had a few late night calls essentially shooting you to the top of the list. As you may have noticed, each week is color coded to indicate the level of urgency. Green being the least severe and obviously Red being the most critical. That first weekend in Sept. is a make or break weekend. The summer is coming to an end and there’s at least one more big party/BBQ weekend. Labor Day. You now have the perfect excuse for your 1st ‘date’ like meeting. Invite her out to a BBQ. A party. Beach. Something. Use the holiday to YOUR advantage. Her last big event of the summer ending with you is a plus. No one really wants to hang around the house, so if she doesn’t have plans and you seem sincere, she’s probably going.
Remember it is a long weekend, no need to be in her face first thing Tuesday. A text to see how she’s doing is cool. No date the following weekend either. Just stick to building up a rapport via conversation. Slow and steady. No need to overdo it unless she’s giving off signs. Things go well? Start throwing in Good mornings texts. The rest of the calendar should be rather straight forward. If you were able to at least loosely follow the steps up until the start of Cuffing Season, you would have had: 1. Two dates (The option of a 3rd is possible during the no date week, but don’t push.) 2. Went back and forth via text a few times and also sent the infamous “Good Morning” text to which you would have gotten a reply each time. 3. Talked atleast 2x on the phone with one of them being a long late night cake call. You know the ones. The “Oh shit look at the time. It didn’t even seem like we were talking for so long..” calls. Congratulations for making it this far. You’re already on the last lap, now its time to secure the win. All that’s left is to make it official. October unlike September, is a very part is open-ended month. Meaning I can’t tell you exactly what to say and when to say it. No two people are the same. This is where judging from all the signals you’ve been getting, you’ll have to figure out exactly when is the most appropriate time. I will however implore you to do so prior to the heavy #thirstrush. The thirst rush is usually around the time the majority of guys from her past start getting into their feelings heavily and begin sending those “hey stranger” texts and making phone calls professing their love in larger amounts. It begins around the 8th of Oct and concludes towards the end of the month. Be warned, it may start slow, but the colder and later into October we go, the stronger the rush gets. The most dangerous week falls between October 24th – October 29th. This is known as #MarvinsWeek. Coincidentally, Drake’s “Take Care” album drops October 24th. The sheer amount of Marvin’s room texts will be unimaginable. Your best bet is to wrap this this on a Friday. “I really like how things have been going between us. How would you feel if..” You have 3 weekends in which to do so. Pick what works for you. Preferably the weekend before the thirst rush reaches critical levels. If all goes well, you would’ve already sealed the deal and both parties have embraced the Cuff. All those “I miss us” texts from the following #marvinsweek will fall on deaf ears. She’s focused on you and only you. 57
The Art of
By Kitty St. Valentine In honor of hurricane Irene I was asked to write about squirting, also known as female ejaculation. When I was approached with this subject I have to admit I knew that I was going to have to do a little research. How to you approach a “how to” topic when people don’t even believe it can be done? I had to find a way to narrow it down. So I figured that the real question is how to make the big splash, how to make it rain, gush, splash waterfalls, etc. So with some interesting discussions with friends, and somewhat scholarly research I will attempt give you some facts and tips on female ejaculation.
First of all I think I need to clarify what the liquid is... when we think of ejaculations we think of the way the male ejaculate looks, creamy and white (god willing). So all things being equal you would think we share the appearance ejaculate. Not so! Well not all the way so. According to the stanch experts at Wikipedia female ejaculate is the “expulsion of noticeable amounts of clear fluid by human females from the paraurethral ducts through and around the urethra during or before orgasm.” For some who have experienced this for the first time one might have thought that she peed on her mate or they might have thought they were peed on. Yikes talk about an uncomfortable conversation (girl did you just pee on me?) So just imagine that you were feeling so great, so amazing, that a liquid came out of your body without much warning; then thinking that you might have accidentally peed on your partner, or worse your partner judging you for such an action. The shame of an incident like this can have a woman holding back forever more in your sexplorations. (Men can you imagine your ejaculate being shameful and trying to hold it in… that would be tough, huh). The way women experience sexual pleasure is vast and varied (breast, neck, ass). One of the most recognized origins of pleasure is the clitoris. There’s somewhere within there’s a not so illusive region called the g-spot. We’ve heard of this… some have experience pleasure from this. It’s one of those things that if you know where it is then you can utilize it but if you haven’t some might not miss it. The g-spot plays a significant role in squirting action. The g-spot is “erectile tissue that surrounds the urethra, running parallel to the upper wall of the vagina” (Gallagher & Kramer 2005). In other words it’s the spongy feeling at the top of the inside of the pussy. If you stick your finger in and go right, left, down and up you should feel the difference when you go up. To stimulate this area you can start by making “cum (pun intended) here” gestures with your fingers while in the vajayjay. I have to say ladies; this is something that you will have to be in tune with your body on. In other words your orgasms and ejaculations are your responsibility, at least learning how to is. It’s going to take some stick to it-ness, some inner exploration, as well as some purposeful movements on your part to make this happen. Now it’s time for some logistics if you are in search of your squirt. First of all you will have to decide on how you will go about doing this, solo or with partner. Remember when I was saying that your squirting might have embarrassed you. You might need to take a little time to yourself to get reacquainted with your body. Find out what pleases you, where your
g-spot is, where the feeling is coming from, how to deal with it when it comes and then PUSH. You must push out the squirt. This is an active practice, which might be good news for partners of lazy lovers out there; at least in the beginning when you are learning and getting used to doing it. If you’ve blocked your body from doing this it will take some untraining of both your mind and body to get your ejaculation on. This is the reason why I suggest going it alone at first, because frankly figuring this out might not be that sexy as you learn which positions work best for you. I found at first that being on all fours was easier than being on my back…at first. I recommend going solo mostly because your partner will be so turned on that you’ll probably end up fucking, reverting back to old behaviors and not getting to what you were there for in the first place. Once you hammered down the how, you can ask a partner to join in the fun and have a splish splashing good time exploring more positions and possibilities, If you’ve never done it before, you can try either going solo or with a partner. “Miss Kitty, why come people who’ve never done can have someone there and I can’t,” you might ask. Well it’s simple. Sometimes unlearning bad behaviors is harder than learning them from scratch. You still will have to work at it and learn your body, but because pleasure is pleasure – learning in the context of a sexual experience could be rewarding. If you’re going to start practicing using your (or someone elses fingers) make sure to clip your nails and make sure they are clean. Use the pads of your fingers. NO scraping up the vagina walls please and thank you. While you are learning you might want to have towels underneath you as there might be some added wetness (god willing), this isn’t imperative but whatever makes you more comfortable. Also just because you’re going to be concentrating on the g-spot doesn’t mean you have to ignore the other ways/regions you receive pleasure. Toys and water based lubricants can enhance the experience and when exploring can make it last longer. Don’t get discouraged. This may take longer than your average masturbation session – if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. As with almost all things regarding sexual pleasure for women, it’s important to free your mind. Free your mind of can’ts and what someone will think and you will think of yourself. It will allow you to do exactly what will make you happy. I know it’s easier said than done but just try to do it one thing at a time. Once you learn how to do this you will feel empowered by your own body. Then you can stunt on these hoes for real! 59
Oh New York, how we love thee! The wonderful forty-five minute train rides from the Heights to the inner city, the expensive bars, and more than a million people rushing to beat buddy next to the them- none the less, the Big Apple insinuates an aroma of ‘true love’, says Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. If you followed the first movie to the HBO sitcom, Bradshaw creates a blissful yet blind picture of women moving to New York City to capture true love in its most innocent form, and you’ll just know it when it happens! Love is, indeed, taking over the city. NYC is one of the most prominent cities in this country yet alone the world. From the dramatic incidents of 9/11 to one of the fashion murder capitals to foreign tourists always in admiration of this popular location- New York and other supporters that push for equality of love are rejoicing from the impact of such a large movement. Now let’s make this clear that the words flowing on this paper are not words of anti nor pro same-sex privileges, but in sight from a political and revolutionary observation. 60
BY BRITTANI AUSTIN I’m just for people achieving their personal freedom in whichever aspect deemed necessary for that individual. It’s July 24, 2011—you decide to take a breather around the block of the neighborhood. Can you imagine the different types of high energy surrounding the streets, filling the pavements with excitement of something new? Now, can you also imagine that same energetic feeling you absorbed while turning the corner and guesstimating how much couples rushed to the alter to say “I do”? Men and women of all ages finally saw the opportunity to wed their long lasting partners, some relationships of only a few years, while some companionships that lasted up to decades. People Mag highlighted a four-page spread strictly for gay couples that decided to tie the knot after years of subtle love affections, as far as claiming the title of ‘marriage’ is concerned on July 24th, that’s the day the good ole’ apple saw change.
Door and Mace are now a newly-wed couple that have been together over 61 years before officially having the privilege to make it a union. The two men were also one of the lucky couples to be featured in People. Gay America just wants to live in their own world of great spirits which permits justice, so America the beauty is letting that freedom ring for this commnunity. There’s something about the time we are currently living in that’s calling people in leadership positions to carry the torch a little differently than the common norm, and that’s OKAY! Human rights are speaking volumes toward the beginning steps of something that could be evolving. Sometimes we hate it when there are two sides to a story which is a majority of the time, but opponents will continue to play for the other team. Just as there are many proud patriots who are exuberant with happiness to witness an alteration to our government system, we are also walking amongst some neighbors who keep a disgusted perspective with this particular issue. Driving down the street you see determination told on signs of powerful messages. One sign tells a quick story pleading for self-rights promised to the people, while another sign screams desegregation and non-equality. A stand for a peaceful union has my good intention. We are living in a colorful society in modern times. Things are shaping into new forms away from traditional customs and who’s to say its a negative motion. As much as confliction homosexuality can cause some people, progression has taken leaps around this civil rights issue. Within three years the Republican Party still neglects welcoming marriage equality, the supporters ratio increased by six percent. Small numbers indeed but doors are being knocked on and presidents are reading printed acclamations asking for same-sex marriage rights. The entire world is physically living to witness
greatness in terms of revolution, people fighting for what’s theirs. With some promise being shown to the people and with so much critique on President Obama, the 2012 elections should be interesting. With New York just being NY, the impact from this historical marker has a voters sway in the upcoming 2012 presidential elections. More victories of legalizing same-sex privileges seems like and upcoming event to take place again, but with Obama flowering around a firm decision on his take on gay marriages, Mr. President might run into some problems in the near future. I mean he only has a few more months to give the issue his charming smile, but you know people are seeking immediate answers- statements. So what’s your co-worker thinking about when it comes to this juggling issue? What’s the person’s take behind you in line at H&M on treating these civil unions equally to tradition of man and woman? I hate that society presses so much emphasis on deciding teams, but more than likely that person supports the legal action of same-sex marriage. The American thought process of accepting homosexuality has crossed measures- Just last year more than half of the country opposed the idea of legalizing the issue, but how quickly things change. Now more than half the country thinks it is okay to finally accept a union between two same-sex partners. It’s definitely a brighter sun gleaming down in the northeastern region of the States. How soon can we expect this motivation of a wildflower to keep its momentum running into other locations on the map? Only time can unfold all truths. “I can’t stop crying. We did it kids,” says a proud Lady Gaga of New York’s passing law legalizing gay marriages. Progress, freedom of speech and liberty is in the hands of the American people.
Attack the Block Review Sometimes a movie comes along that not only captures the cultural zeitgeist, but touches your heart and inspires you to ‘believe’ again in something bigger than you. And then there are movies that come along that are so badass that it slaps you with it’s dick, bends you over a barrel, jizz laser beams of awesomeness all over your face, and then for some reason, it then slam dunks a puppy. Attack the Block would fall in the latter of those two examples. While ATB is not likely to have any life affirming messages, you can’t take away that this movie is fucking AWESOME! The creators of the of this movie have successful done the impossible. They’ve seamlessly cross mutated the comic hi-jinx of ‘the weed’ movie such as Friday with nail biting suspense of a top-notch sci-fi/ action/ thriller at the level of District 9, while at the same time dropping a
WORDS BY JOSHUA HOOPER
bone-rattling social commentary that rivals if not surpasses the intellectual depths of say HBO’s The Wire. This movie has all of that and more. The story is pretty simple, a teenage gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion, and insanity ensues. Once the exposition of the movie is set up it just goes, slowly building momentum at every step up the way, and delivering non-stop entertainment at ever turn. Attack the Block is a fun ride, that never gets old, and is constantly creating new ideas to keep you engaged and giving you what you want, a good time at the movies. Attack the Block is definitely the best movie of the year that most people won’t see. VERDICT: This movie is Brilliant! Grade: A+
WORDS BY SPENCER GREENE
In November 2010, the legend Dr Dre stated he was excited to see the new talent coming out of the west coast, specifically Kendrick Lamar. Lamar, the rapper who recently said the late Tupac Shakur visited him in a dream and told him to keep his music alive. Now there are probably a dozen rappers a day who say they’re inspired by Tupac (hence “Tupac Back” – Meek Mills). But it seems to make sense once you listen to Kendrick Lamar’s album, Section 80. There’s a reason why Dr Dre, a producer who worked closely with Pac, expressed his excitement towards Kendrick Lamar; He got a chance to hear Section 80 before the world. It’s an exciting album, from start to finish. His lyrics come off hard and aggressive on some tracks, while on others he rides a smooth beat. He seems to possess the spirit of Compton in 1988 with a fresher lyrical flow, giving the feeling of a new west that the OGs can still believe in. Every track is introspective and revolutionary, lyrically complex yet simple to sit and listen to and can easily be described as riding music. The album opens with “Fuck Your Ethnicity,” one of the many tracks where Lamar takes on the role of an activist/ gangster/intellectual. He rhymes fast and energetic, opening the album with excitement. From there the album goes on a ride through Compton with Lamar driving, speaking on anything that comes to his mind. Tracks like “Hol’ Up”, and “Rigamortus” show Lamar flowing over looped horns and drums, allowing him showcase his lyrical ability. Other tracks like “Poe Man Dreams,” and “Kush and Corinthians” show him rapping over soulful keyboard chords and old school drums, letting him explore his spirituality and other thoughts. His concept songs, “Tammy’s Song”, “No MakeUp”, and “Keisha’s Song”, displays his storyteller ability while “Chapter Six”, and “Blow my High” are laid back tracks to sit and chill while listening to. Samples from Pimp C in “Blow my High”, allows you to see Lamar gets his musical influence from more than West coast artist.
Section 80 Review
be the voice of the generation effected by the crack epidemic of the 80s, the young adults today born and raised in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s packed with social consciousness, gang related references, and aggression. The album closes in the same nature with “Ab-Souls Outro”, and the first single, “HiiiPower” produced by J Cole. Ab-Soul, Lamar’s label mate rhymes angrily over a be-bop inspired beat that sounds like Art Blakey on the drums with Miles Davis on horn. Lamar and Ab-Soul sound like 1976 poets standing on a street corner speaking directly to the community; a song that would’ve been perfect for a Gil Scott-Heron feature. As he begins to speak to on the track, Lamar says, “I wrote this cause I was ordered too,” referring to his dream of Pac speaking to him. At this moment, the comparison between Pac and Lamar is evident. Pac’s ability to be a diverse artist as far as content is something that Lamar also has. He can easily make songs to make you think and raise social awareness, yet still provide fun music to relax to. With this release, Lamar proves to be a innovative artist, reaching the #1 spot on itunes for Hip Hop/Rap, which is great especially for a independent album. The album is easy to listen to all the way through without skipping. There’s no “song for radio” single on the album. There’s no moment where he dumbs down his lyrical content. Section 80 is quite possibly the best Hip Hop album of the summer.
“Ronald Regan Era” seems to display the revolutionary nature of Section 80 the best. Lamar proves to 63
WORDS BY SPACE WILLIAMS SPENCER GREENE TIRELL HILL
FEFE DOBSON A year has passed… and our favorite edgy, pop, rock, emo chic singer/songwriter FeFe Dobson finds herself on the brink of a musical breakthrough. Her album “Joy,” that was released shortly after her interview with Greedmont Park a year ago, officially reached “Gold Status” in her native Canada in June of this year. Driven by the cult success of songs like “Ghost”, “Stuttering” and “Cant Breathe,” the last of which she recently won her first SOCAN award for, are some of FeFe’s most recent crowning achievements. On the tail end of that success FeFe seems more poised than ever to bring what she calls her, “rock and roll based music with pop driven melodies,” to the masses, the believers and the disbelievers. With a merciless tour schedule in the states, and overseas it’s clear to see that the indie artist is still paying her dues but more focused than ever. FeFe’s journey as a recording artist has not been an easy one, due in part, to her walking away from a major label deal in her late teens due to creative differences. A defiant act like that takes a major “I do what I want!” attitude and that’s another reason why Greedmont Park goes hard for FeFe! We expect nothing but continued success for FeFe and everything she touches to turn into little gold gramophones. (*HINT HINT* at the Grammy nominating committee) She’s a natural at this… no fancy choreography, smoke and mirrors needed, and the naturals always have artistic longevity, or at least in this case we’d like to hope so. 64
YELAWOLF We’ve been long time fans of Yelawolf over here at Greedmont. Since we’ve last caught up with him, he’s been making major moves. When we interviewed him just a year ago, He was touring with Wiz Khalifa, recently signed to Interscope records, and riding the success of his Trunk Muzik mixtape. Since then he’s graced the cover of XXL Magazine twice. Once along side his Shady Records, and as a member of the controversial 2011 freshmen class; sharing the cover with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Big Krit, Cyhi Da Prynce, and Lil B amongst others. With more attention from media as well as fellow artist, Yelawolf has been jumping on tracks with other artist and performing. He jumped on Big Boi’s single, “You Ain’t No DJ,” from his album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. Coming off of the 2011 Vans Warped tour, the next thing up for Yelawolf is the release of his debut album, Radioactive, set to drop September 27th, 2011. The first single from the album, “Daddy’s Lambo”, has Yelawolf back in his Trunk Muzik element, rapping about girls and car. This time he traded in the Box Chevy for something a little expensive with extra horsepower. Like the transition from Chevy to Lambo, Yelawolf is moving up fast.
BRIAN PATICK DAVIS Brian Patrick Davis better yet known as “The Black Socialite”, sat down and updated Greedmont Park with a few things that he’s been up to since the last time we’ve talked with him. He goes from updating us on upcoming projects, blogging, and moving into his very own house. “As far as upcoming projects, I’ve been working on a girl group with my business partners. I don’t wanna give away too much, because we’re still in the beginning stages of it all. I will say, though, that it’s going to be different than anything that’s out right now. It’s been an interesting process. It’s been fun. It’s been a lot of in-and-out of the studio, late nights and photoshoots. But it’s been really good.” Davis also explains to us his intake on his personal blog (One Boy Revolution) and that he had to put things on halts as far as his personal blog goes. “I’m still gonna’ work on it, eventually. My main focus right now is keeping things fresh and together at Concrete Loop. We just recently were in Los Angeles for the Blogging While Brown, and that was amazing. My boss, Angel, just put out a book and that’s been going really, really well. It’s amazing to see the response of other people and how much respect they have for her.” Last but not least, Davis tells us where most of his time has been. “Most of my time, lately, though, has been devoted to his new house that I bought. I bought the house earlier this year, and it needed a lot of work. So painting, moving stuff in and out, packing. All of that. It’s crazy because I’ve never really had to move my whole life before. When I moved out of my parent’s house, back in the summer of 2004, I didn’t have a whole lot to move but clothes. And it was a condo, so it was kind of easy. But with this house, I had to make sure everything was perfect.”
Pitchfork Music Fest
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY HAVIS
PHOTO BY BRITTANI SENSABAUGH
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