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THE OLYMPICS FROM OUR VIEW MUSIC FROM KAFINAL | VISIT WASHINGTON DC - EXPLORE OUR HISTORY BRIDESMAID DRESSES WE CAN WEAR AGAIN | TOP 10 CHARTS & MORE!


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMERS

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LAWRENCE FISHBOURNE

A ‘SPIKE’ IN POPULARITY CONTRIBUTED BY ELECTRONIC URBAN REPORT

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t’s time we recognize Spike Lee as exactly what he is – a truly great American filmmaker who, in all likelihood, is transitioning into one of the most vibrant patches in his career. With the exception of the supremely flawed war film “Miracle at St. Anna” in 2008 and the mess that was “She Hate Me” in 2004, Lee’s work in the 21st century has been just as great as his arresting early work – films and documentaries the equivalent of his masterpieces “Malcolm X,” “Do the Right Thing” and “Crooklyn.”

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SPIKE LEE

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SPIKE LEE

“25th Hour” remains one of the truly under-appreciated American films of the last decade (Roger Ebert agrees; read his Great Movies entry for it here) and “Inside Man” is a crackling, winking throwback to the great crime films of the 1970s, with Lee again making great use of his longtime collaborator Denzel Washington alongside some welcome new additions to his acting stable (we’d love to see him develop something for the great Chiwetel Ejiofor). Even more accomplished than his film work, though, has been his work in documentary features. Lee has used the medium to chronicle the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina (“When the Levees Broke” and “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise”) one day in the life of basketball’s greatest modern superstar (“Kobe: Doin’ Work”) and the career of a true sports icon (“Jim Brown: All-American”), all in his trademark style. They’ve been worthy additions to a rather spectacular career. There couldn’t be a better follow-up to his great recent work than “Red Hook Summer” – a return to the Brooklyn streets explored in “Right Thing,” with a screenplay by Lee and the great James McBride (the author of “The Color of Water”) an appearance by Lee’s character Mookie and, best of all, starring the amazing Clarke Peters, who provided the soul for “The Wire” as Det. Lester Freamon. What a combination. In a year that will see new films from other A-list American directors – including Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson – Spike Lee’s newest joint should be right up there in the Oscar race.

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WELCOME

REMEMBERING THE NEGRO LEAGUES

REMEMBERING THE NEGRO LEAGUES CONTRIBUTED FROM ELECTRONIC URBAN REPORT

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REMEMBERING THE NEGRO LEAGUES

Anyone familiar with baseball knows the story of Jackie Robinson – the courageous man who integrated America’s game, in the face of overwhelming adversity and pressures. It’s a story that’s passed into legend, and is even about to get the Hollywood treatment. However, it’s important not to overlook the men who came before Jackie Robinson – the men of the Negro Leagues, talents as great and grand as anyone else who has walked onto the diamond. Playing before the age of SportsCenter and the internet, their achievements are mostly restricted to the record books and the imagination, but they still deserve a place among the legends of the game. With the 2012 Major League Baseball All Star Game set to be held in Kansas City, the location of the Negro Leagues Museum, there will undobutedly be a renewed focus on the accomplishments of the Negro League stars. Here are five names you should know from the era: JOSH GIBSON – Gibson is one of sports’ truly compelling and tragic stories. In another era, Gibson might have been regarded as the greatest baseball player of all time – greater than Ruth, Cobb, Mays, or anyone else who came before or afterwards. Stories of his prowess are legendary; some claims have him hitting an astonishing 962 home runs during his Negro League career, including eightyfour in 1936. To put that in perspective, last year’s National League home run champion (Matt Kemp, one of baseball’s shining African-American stars) hit 39 for the whole season. Tragically, Gibson died of a stroke at the 35; his plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame gives some insight into his astonishing talent. COOL PAPA BELL – The man with one of the greatest nicknames in professional sports history, “Cool Papa” Bell’s legendary speed – think Rickey Henderson + Usain Bolt – was such that fellow legend Satchel Paige claimed that he could “turn off the lights and be under the covers before it got dark.” BUCK O’ NEILL – One of the most revered men in the history of baseball, O’Neill was a towering figure in the game from the late 1930s until his death in 2006. At one time a sweet-swinging first baseman in the Negro Leagues, O’Neill became the first African-American coach (for the Chicago Cubs) in Major League Baseball and inked Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock to his first contract; after a career in scouting and coaching, he became a champion for the Negro Leagues, helping to induct the league’s stars in to the Cooperstown institution. Visitors to Kansas City should head to the Negro Leagues Museum, which O’Neill helped open! BULLET ROGAN – Another fabulously-nicknamed Negro Leagues Star, “Bullet” Charles Rogan possessed a fastball befitting the moniker, as well as an extraordinary bat. He was a mixture of Justin Verlander and Matt Kemp, able to mow down a team and bash them with his hitting skills in the same afternoon. SATCHEL PAIGE – Truly one of the most fascinating men to ever play the game, Paige is still regarded as one of its pitching icons; despite only playing a few years in Major League Baseball, his Negro League and other baseball accomplishments (supposedly throwing 300 shutouts and winning over 1500 games in his career) were enough to enshrine him in the Hall of Fame.

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AUGUST 2012 | NO. 014 CEO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VP & CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

NATASHA VON CASTLE DOMINIQUE RAPHAEL L3 GROUP OF COMPANIES - KEVIN SMALLS PAIGE HARRIS

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ADVERTISING ADVERTISING & PROMOTIONS MANAGER CHRISTINE HALL ADVERTISING ASSISTANT TERESA MAGLOIRE CIRCULATION CIRCULATION/MARKETING DIRECTOR RICHARD NEILSON SINGLE COPY SALES MANAGER NIGEL COLLINS “L3” (ISSIN 1020-2000) is published monthly (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec) by L3 Group of Companies, 123 blank street, Scarborough, ON L1R2H2. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Copyright © 2011. Title “L3” registered CAN Patent and Trademark Office. Printed in Canada. MANUSCRIPTS AND ART: The Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or negatives. SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES (CAN) 1-289-217-2800 or l3magazine@hotmail.com. SUBSCRIPTION RATES and Possessions: 14.95 CAD/Year plus applicable taxes. SUBSCRIPTION PROBLEMS call 1-289-217-2800 or email l3magazine@hotmail.com.


WELCOME

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Natasha Von Castle

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The past few weeks have been unprecedented for Jamaica and Jamaican culture. We are celebrating 50 years of Independence from Great Britain, and, due to this being an Olympic year, our star athlete, Usain Bolt, is muraled in the famous city of London, and his image lit up Parliament. Not only Bolt, but each of our athletes are currently being profiled in age old publications such as Time, as well as the world’s ‘source for information,’ CNN and NBC. Considering how far we’ve come – from imported labour to international acclaim (in Sports, Entertainment, Sciences and more), I can imagine our forefathers and foremothers, the ones who fought for our freedom and independence being proud just as we are. Snoop Dogg, who now calls himself Snoop Lion, recently announced that he is Bob Marley reincarnated and that he is now pursuing a career in Reggae. His first album, recorded under the artistic name Snoop Lion, was announced along with his documentary about his transformation which will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. The announcement was made at a press conference in New York with Rohan Marley present who, according to Snoop, has the full Marley family blessings. Unlike the Jacksons, I can’t see the Marley’s airing their dirty laundry. Like our nation of spirited people who sometimes do not agree, I find it hard to believe that all the Marley’s are in favour of this – Snoop having Bob’s spirit reincarnated in him, but that’s beside the point. Bob Marley reincarnated in Snoop? Why would the spirit of Bob choose Snoop over his own children (although one can make the argument that by right he’s already reincarnated in his children)? Why would he choose Snoop over incredible talents such as Protoje, Jah 9 or touch a group such as Further Notice? Why would Bob leave Jamaica, the country he loved so much, and who loved him, and go to the United States of America and choose Snoop? Why? The discovery of one’s Spirituality can put one on a high and I think that’s what happened to Snoop when he went to visit the Nyabinghi. So high was Snoop, he heard the roar of the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah and confused that to be the voice of Bob. Snoop is an aging rapper whose appeal with the genre that made him famous has waned. Also true, the younger generation consumer in the US has a waned interest in him too. Of all the genres popularly consumed, Reggae is one that appreciates and promotes its’ elders which is where I think Snoop is trying to fit in. I do believe Snoop and his Wife have been touched by the Rastafari faith; beyond that, Snoop, intentionally or non-intentionally, is a Trojan Horse planted among us. This plant is a swift movement officially announcing its intent to water down the Jamaican culture via the music because, we are the most powerful voice on the planet. The shame is that we see Snoop as a lamb….


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WE GOT THE

GOLD! 100 M

USAIN BOLT - 9.63 sec SHELLY-ANN FRASER-PRYCE - 10.75 sec

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ON THE SCENE LUKIE D JAPAN TOUR!

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ON THE SCENE TORONTO JUNIOR CARNIVAL!

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S I S T E R S O F TO DAY A N D TO M O R R OW

SISTERS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW’S 5th ANNUAL NATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FOR GIRLS SOT: SETTING OUR TONE

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etting Our Tone (SOT) was the theme of Sisters of Today and Tomorrow’s (SOT) 5th annual national leadership conference for girls which took place July 1T0th to 12th at Auburn Avenue Research Library, in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

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S I S T E R S O F TO DAY A N D TO M O R R OW

ThIs empowerment conference enlightened and enriched the lives of all involved; as professional women, men and girls from all walks of life shared their stories, and listened to the stories of the girls in attendance. “It was amazing to see how the girl’s outlook, attitude and actions were transformed during our ‘Sisters Circle’,” said Carla Morrison, Founder/Executive Director of Sisters of Today and Tomorrow. “And when Egypt got up from her seat and walked across the room to comfort the young lady who was crying, something special happened within the entire group that was unexplainable,” said Morrison. The organization starts a new chapter, as Sisters of Today and Tomorrow has positioned itself to be the go-to organization for girls across the country. “We are positioning our organization to handle gender specific programming, focusing on self esteem, education, health & fitness and careers/entrepreneurship, for organizations, schools and communities,” stated Carla Morrison, Founder/ Executive Director of Sisters of Today and Tomorrow. From CBS Radio Personalities Egypt Sherrod, Mo Ivory and Da Da to Atlanta City Council members Joyce Sheperd, Kwanza Hall and Keisha Lance Bottoms to Turner Broadcasting’s Kendall McEachin, Nationwide Insurance’s Kim Braud, who is also the founder of “Fabulous Friends in Philanthropy, 100 Black Men of America’s Dwayne Crawford as well as Visual Artist Michele Wood and Author Walter Dean Myers; the girls who were apart of Sisters of Today and Tomorrow’s conference were exposed to leadership in a way like no other, as well as culture and history during our landmark tour of Auburn Avenue and Atlanta City Hall. Including the Sisters of Tomorrow Conference, “Sisters of Today and Tomorrow” hosts three signature programs, where girls from partnering organizations/schools and communities, that sign-up to be Friends of SOT, will get to participate. “We also come into organizations, schools and/or communities to facilitate workshop series,” said Morrison. “Friends of Sisters of Today and Tomorrow” are organizations, schools or communities that fund a partnership with us to provide gender specific programs to the said group’s female population, bridging the gap where some may fall short. We are the solution to programming and marketing needs and it started with our 5thAnnual leadership conference for girls,” said Morrison. For more information, log onto: www.sistersoftodayandtomorrow.org

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T H E H O L LY R O D F O U N D AT I O N

ANASTASIA SARADOC

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T H E H O L LY R O D F O U N D AT I O N

DESIGN CARE FOR THE HOLLYROD FOUNDATION THE JASMINE BRAND

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he 14th Annual DesignCare Event happened in Malibu. The event, launched by actress Holly Robinson and her Husband Rodney Peete, is an annual summer event that was established in the 1990′s to help raise funds for the HollyRod Foundation. The foundation was created to help families with members that suffer from either Parkinsons or Autism. This year, we spotted a number of A-listers like Tracee Ellis Ross, Melanie Brown and Stephon Belafonte, Arsenio Hall, Paula Abdul and Shaun Robinson. Take a look at the star-studded turn out in support of this incredible cause. www.hollyrod.org

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REGGAE SUMFEST

2012 AT REGGAE SUMFEST! HEIKE DEMPSTER

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he 20th staging of Reggae Sumfest 2012 in Montego Bay, Jamaica coincided with the celebrations leading up to Jamaica’s 50s independence anniversary on August 6. Under the motto “Looking Back - Moving Forward” Sumfest was dedicated to celebrating the legends of Reggae music, introducing young talent and showcasing the best and hottest Jamaican artistes in 2012. Dancehall Night opened Sumfest 2012 with the usual hype and energy. The first night is traditionally the most popular and this year Dancehall Night did not disappoint albeit the absence of big names such as Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal or Mavado. The night overall showcased quite a mix of artistes from the dancehall divas Tifa, Spice and Stacious to singer Romain Virgo, who seemed slightly misplaced on dancehall night but nevertheless delivered a strong set performing songs from his two albums.

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REGGAE SUMFEST

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REGGAE SUMFEST

Khago, Konshens, Kiprich, Aidonia and I Octane delivered some of the most outstanding and talked about sets while Popcaan and Tommy Lee both took to the stage as individual artistes this year rather than accompanying Vybz Kartel. They both held their own as Popcaan is currently one of the hottest dancehall acts in Jamaica with many hit songs to boast. Tommy Lee, dressed in full black with mask and trench coat, had the crowd in his home town of Montego Bay on his side and he later described his experience as “Wonderful, wonderful, crazy! It was insane!” What would Dancehall Night be though without the veterans! Elephant Man delivered in true Energy God style by turning up the heat and vibes in the venue. He took things up several notches. Wearing a diamante studded shirt of the Jamaican flag Elephant Man’s performance was a party and a true celebration of Jamaica and one of the country’s pride and joy, Dancehall music. Bounty Killa and Beenie Man, who closed Dancehall Night, are both a must on the Sumfest stage and as expected their sets did not disappoint. Lady Saw was officially crowned Queen of the Dancehall, wearing a custom Gavin Douglas Gown and ironically on the same stage in Montego Bay that saw her banned from performing in the parish due to lewd lyrics and behavior on stage in 1994. Asked about how it feels to be crowned Queen, Lady Saw said “Very funny. Why? Because I was banned from performing here years ago and now I am crowned so it’s very funny but it’s very special, too. I feel special and I am laughing. To be crowned right here tonight is a wonderful feeling . It was long overdue and I really appreciate it and I appreciate the fans coming out. There were so many people who came out from early to witness this so that was nice.”

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REGGAE SUMFEST

International Night 1 belonged to Shabba Ranks. From his arrival in Jamaica a few days prior to the event Shabba was the talk of the town. People from across the island flocked to the venue to see Shabba live on the Sumfest stage after an 18 year absence. As the crowd sang along Shabba delivered hit song after hit song including “Mr. Loverman” and “Twice My Age” for which Cherine Anderson joined him on stage, adding some extra spice to the set. Trey Songz had the ladies weak in their knees for International night. The noise level rose tremendously during his performance and one could hear his female fans singing along, eyes either closed or glued to the artiste, whose charisma on stage is undeniable. Wearing stripy knee socks, black shorts and a black wife beater Trey incorporated Jamaica 50 into his set, acknowledging the important historical mark and winning over many additional hearts.

Also noteworthy on International Night 1 were performances by Tessanne Chin and a magnificent Tarrus Riley, whose stage presence, music, smile and connection with the audience made for one of the best performances of Sumfest 2012. The special Jamaica 50 tribute honoring the legends of Reggae music closed off the night with some of the best music ever produced in Jamaica. From John Holt to Leroy Sibblies and the Mighty Diamonds to Yellowman the legends delivered and connected Jamaica’s musical past with the present and the future.

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Saturday Night, also dubbed International Night 2, had a little less initial buzz but patrons knew they were in for a special performance by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. The youngest son of Bob Marley has had an exceptional career to date with the releases of his albums “Mr. Marley,” “Halfway Tree,” “Welcome to Jamrock” and “Distant Relatives” with Nas. GongZilla as he is respectfully called, took to the stage, his floor length locks flying and delivering a string of hit songs from “It was Written” to his latest singles “Affairs of the Heart” and “Set Up Shop.” Before Damian Marley young artistes like Cecile’s brother Q-Ban, as well as Conkarah and Raine Seville took the stage, followed by Protoje and the Indignation Band. Chris Martin also performed a strong set just before the second international artiste, R. Kelly. Bunny Wailer brought International Night 2 and Sumfest 2012 to a close with his Skatalites and Wailers tribute. Wearing all white with a sequined vest in red, gold and green Bunny Wailer performed to the real Reggae fans who remained in the venue as the sun started to rise. Seeing the joy in Bunny Wailer’s eyes as his love for Reggae and his fans lit up his face was a very special experience and a perfect end to another successful staging of Reggae Sumfest 2012.

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REGGAE SUMFEST

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W H AT I S K A R E E Z A

WHAT IS KAREZZA? SARAH ROBINSON

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new form of sexual intercourse targets emotional intimacy rather than physical satisfaction; it’s called Sex without an orgasm. Plenty of women are familiar with it, though not by choice, but sex without orgasm could be a blessing in disguise for unsatisfied lovers. A new form of intercourse called karezza is sweeping bedrooms across the continent, and there is no climax at the finish line. Far from it, the new relationship craze focuses on affection over orgasm. The big “O” isn’t the point. In fact, it’s discouraged. It’s described as a more “spiritual” way of making love; “love meditation.” But is it as satisfying without a grand finale? Matt Cook, a 51-year-old publisher from Virginia who spoke to ABC News about karezza, said his sex life is more exciting than ever after 25 years of marriage.


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“It creates a deep feeling in a relationship that is very difficult to describe -- much deeper than conventional sex,” said Cook. Cook is one of many men who have embraced karezza as a means of overcoming addiction and emotional challenges, as well as helping to heal marriages. Despite appearances, many who practise karezza insist it adds a new spark to their relationship and sex life. And though a more prolonged and emotional form of sex may seem stereotypically geared toward women, a counsellor who uses it to help couples heal relationships reports men are generally more excited about karezza. “The people most interested are men,” Deb Feitech of Portland, Maine, told ABC News. “It’s very radical for them, but they are finding the emotional intimacy far outweighs any of the thrill of the chase and the mating mind.” Dr. Alice Bunker Stockman first used the term karezza in 1896 when she wrote a book by that name, taken from the Italian word carezza, which means caress. Stockman was a Chicago obstetrician and early feminist who promoted “male continence”, essentially, abstaining from orgasm, though she included women as well out of equality. The theory and teachings of karezza were carried on again in Marina L. Robinson’s 2009 book, Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow. “Orgasm really isn’t in our genitals, but actually between our ears,” Robinson said. According to Robinson, karezza keeps the hormone dopamine from crashing - a feel-good chemical the body produces in anticipation of sex that sinks almost immediately after orgasm. But if there is no orgasm, the body won’t experience the same type of crash - similar to a withdrawal - following sex. “It kind of never ends,” Cook told ABC. “ Why would I want to give that up for a 15-second orgasm?” Would you try karezza? How do you feel about the practise?

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TRAVEL TRAVEL

PROJECT X: THE MIXTAPE LIVICATED TO PHILIP ‘FATIS’ BURRELL

Download here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?f5n9hfkfypp5anx

Listen here:

http://soundcloud.com/kush-i-com/xtm-nation-presents-project-x

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BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES YOU’LL WANT TO WEAR AGAIN AND AGAIN SARAH ROBINSON

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t’s wedding season, and if you’re one of the unlucky bridesmaids, your wardrobe and wallet are about to take a hit. Sneak a subtle suggestion to your bride with one of our picks, suitable for work and play – dresses so classically stylish and versatile, you’ll actually want to wear them.

Le Chateau, $110

If the bride doesn’t mind you wearing white, this is a great choice for a beach or relaxed wedding. The classic colour is dolled up with bronze beading and detailing, adding visual interest but keeping the overall look simple. Paired with a blazer it’s perfect for work, but it’s easily dressed up with statement earrings or accessories and sexy shoes. Available at Le Chateau

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BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES

Topshop, £55 ($87 Can.)

This romantic soft pink A-line is so versatile, you’ll be able to wear it to work and about town long after your friend says ‘’I do.’’ The heartshaped cutout in the back is a cute, themed touch, without being over-the-top. The modest neckline won’t draw attention away from a bridezilla, but the ribbing and flattering cut will keep you from looking frumpy. Available at Topshop

Topshop, £36 ($57 Can.)

This is a sunny choice for an outdoor wedding. The flower detailing is a subtle reference to the nature setting, while the colour will stand out in a crowd. It’s an innocent fit, almost sundresslike, but the sheer lace at the waist makes it a bit more risqué. Available at Topshop

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FASHION

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES

Banana Republic, $150

Ah, the LBD. Classic cut, classic colour, classic go-to dress for just about anything. Provided your bride doesn’t find black morbid, this is your best bet for a dress you’ll be able to wear again and again. It’s so reliable, it could almost be boring if it weren’t so beautiful. Available at Banana Republic

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Topshop, Banana Republic, £36 ($57$155 Can.)

This Thisisdress a sunny is like choice a breath for anofoutdoor fresh air wedding. without The being flower overly detailing trendy.isThe a subtle colourreference is a perkytochoice the nature for summer setting,and while willthe flatter colour allwill skinstand tones. outItinis aalso crowd. a versatile It’s an innocent cut for different fit, almost bodysundresstypes. The like, bandbut at the the sheer waist lace will slim at the andwaist accentuate makes ityour a bit figure, morewhile risqué. theAvailable subtle detailing at Topshop at the bust and neckline will draw the eye up to your face and away from any body insecurities. Available at Banana Republic


BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES

Topshop, BCBG Max£55 Azria, ($87 $328 Can.)

This One of romantic the sexier softdresses pink A-line of theisbunch, so versatile, this is you’ll one tobe avoid ableiftoyou’re weardealing it to work with and a bridezilla— about town long you will afterdefinitely your friend steal says the‘’I spotlight do.’’ The in heartthis shaped number.cutout If the metallic in the back fabric is weren’t a cute, enough, themed touch, the fitted without cut and beingattention-drawing over-the-top. Thedetailing modest neckline will ensurewon’t plenty draw of eyes attention will be away on youfrom at thea bridezilla, wedding, and but any the ribbing other event and flattering or night out cut you will keep wear you it to.from Available looking at frumpy. BCBG Max Available Azria at Topshop

Le Chateau, $225

This dress is all about quiet elegance. It’s beautiful enough to wear out to a formal event again in the future, but casual enough to throw on for a night out with the girls. The sheer material is sexy while the flowing cut of the shoulder and the metallic detail along the bottom add visual interest. Available at Le Chateau

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BEAUTY TIPS

BEAUTIFY WITH BAKING SODA! KRYSTAL YEE FOR MONEYVILLE.CA

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f you use natural, environmentally friendly products, you probably already know about the power of baking soda. Not only can this powder deodorize refrigerators, clean tough spots on your stove, and unclog plugged drains, it can also be used to replace many of the expensive store-bought beauty products that we use on a daily basis. Here are four ways you can add baking soda into your beauty routine:


BEAUTY TIPS

Brushing your teeth

Using baking soda to brush your teeth is one of the most popular DIY methods to whiten your teeth naturally. I’ve been wearing braces for over a year, and since I occasionally drink coffee and tea, my dentist suggested mixing baking soda with toothpaste in order to help keep my teeth white. Just squeeze toothpaste onto your toothbrush as usual. Then, sprinkle some baking soda on top and start brushing. I use the baking soda mixture once a day in the evenings, and brush with regular toothpaste in the mornings and afternoon.

Scrubbing your face

A few months ago, I ran out of my face scrub. Instead of buying another bottle for $45, I decided to try a homemade recipe instead. With its mild, gritty texture which is gentle on the skin, baking soda is an ideal way to exfoliate. I used a small amount of baking soda to regular face-wash, and used as I would with a normal face scrub. It also works well for the rough skin on your elbows, knees, and feet.

Washing your hair

I cringed when I first heard about people using baking soda instead of shampoo. It was something I never thought I’d try, but every time I went to the drug store to buy shampoo, I couldn’t help but stare at the list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, and the price I didn’t want to pay. Last year, I decided to give it a try, along with apple cider vinegar to use as a conditioner. I was surprised at how well it worked during my one-week experiment, and I plan on using it again when I get back to Vancouver.

Making deodorant

I am allergic to the aluminum found in many deodorant brands, and the natural, organic brands are usually quite expensive. I haven’t tried to make deodorant sticks before, but I have a few friends who have been making their own deodorant for years. I found this TLC recipe on Pinterest, and plan on testing it out as soon as possible.

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WASHINGTON D.C.

THE HISTORY AND VIBRANCY OF WASHINGTON D.C! CONTRIBUTED

With its impressive monuments and museums, its stately government buildings and mansions, Washington DC is easily recognizable as the United State’s capital city. The city is mainly based on government and everything from museums to mansions bring millions of tourists each year. Washington DC is the second most visited city in the United States (after New York) and is among the top travel destinations in the world.

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WASHINGTON D.C.

ANACOSTIA Just across the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, Anacostia is a historic AfricanAmerican neighborhood. The neighborhood, named after its Native American inhabitants, dates back to John Smith’s arrival in the New World in 1607. Of particular interest are the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the Woodlawn Cemetery and the Anacostia Museum: a Smithsonian Museum showcasing African-American culture.

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WASHINGTON D.C.

ADAMS-MORGAN Popular with the young, hip crowd, Adams-Morgan is considered one of Washington’s most colorful neighborhoods. Though it is primarily home to Latinos and West Africans, the neighborhood is brimming with people of many backgrounds. It’s a great place to find ethnic restaurants and with its mix of nationalities, Adams-Morgan is one of the most interesting and cosmopolitan neighborhoods in the city. The cultural diversity is evident in its quirky shops and offbeat bars and clubs. CAPITOL HILL “The Hill” is known not just for the imposing U.S. Capitol , but for its interesting blend of government buildings, Victorian row houses, restaurants and shops. The Capitol dominates the neighborhood; the Supreme Court of the United States, the Library of Congress and Union Station are other prominent buildings. You’ll also find Eastern Market , one of the city’s oldest farmers’ markets and the Folger Shakespeare Library , which features theater, chamber music, baroque opera and other performances.

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CHINATOWN Chinatown is a small neighborhood that is easily accessible by Metro or foot from downtown Washington. The neighborhood is marked by the colorful Friendship Archway and many of the city’s Asian restaurants and shops are here. Chinatown is the site of the popular Chinese New Year’s Day parade. DUPONT CIRCLE Washington’s gay neighborhood is popular for lively nightlife, exceptional restaurants and funky shops. With its historic townhouses, art galleries and theaters, Dupont Circle is a great place to explore. At the circle, three of the District’s major avenues—New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts—converge. With its large central fountain and shade trees, the circle is a great place to sit and watch the crowds or enjoy lunch. FOGGY BOTTOM Once called Funkstown (after a German immigrant), Foggy Bottom has an institutional and bureaucratic air to it. It’s the home of the Department of State , the Kennedy Center , the Watergate Hotel complex and George Washington University . Foggy Bottom derived its name during the late 19th Century when smoke from the neighborhood factories and the swampy air of the low ground combined to produce a permanent fog along the waterfront. GEORGETOWN Trendy, fashionable and fun describe the atmosphere in Georgetown , Washington’s oldest neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood of tree-lined streets and handsome brick houses, but it’s also home to Georgetown University and is a popular place to shop, take in dinner and a movie, and, of course, enjoy the nightlife. Busy M Street is lined with trendy boutiques and upscale stores, restaurants and bars. SOUTHWEST/WATERFRONT The eastern shore of the Anacostia River is home to Arena Stage , Benjamin Banneker Circle and Fountain, and L’Enfant Plaza . The waterfront runs several blocks along Maine Avenue SW with piers, sailboats, yachts, fishing boats, seafood markets and restaurants to explore. ALEXANDRIA & ARLINGTON These distinct Virginia communities across the Potomac River from Washington stand apart from other local areas. Alexandria’s history stretches back to 1699, long before Washington DC was formed to become the nation’s capital. Old Town Alexandria boasts hundreds of restored buildings—homes, churches and taverns from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Visitors can walk along cobbled streets and visit the revitalized waterfront. Arlington, on the other hand, is clearly part of contemporary Virginia. Arlington boasts many major attractions including: Arlington National Cemetery , the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and the Pentagon .

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MISS AUGUST 2012


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I N T E R N AT I O N A L A F FA I R S

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DJs WE LOVE TO HEAR SPIN AND YOUR EARDRUMS WILL FALL IN LOVE TOO! OLIVA LEWIS

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I N T E R N AT I O N A L A F FA I R S

DJ SNYPAYUSH FROM JAPAN! When it comes to the skill and precision used to make mixes, DJ Snypayush is ranked as one of the best. Mastering the language of music, Yush moves freely between genres, and has become known for his remixes. Often combining mixed genres such as Hip Hop and R&B over Dancehall and Reggae riddims, Yush has developed a following of fans who request his mixtapes and remixes. Always willing to explore and exchange ideas where music is concerned, Yush is developing a network of music fans worldwide! Here’s Yush in his own words!

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D I G I TA L D OW N L OA D S

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L3’S

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CHARLY BLACK 8 “Claaaaaty Again” PATEXX 9 “Wine n Go Dung” BAMI FT. 10 JAH PRESSURE BUSS PIPE “Poppin”

FT. 11 JLOGIX FIRE LION “Party Hard”

ALISON HINDS 12 “Baddy” TIFA 13 “Hold On”

1 2 3 4 5 6

KONSHENS

“Ah So Mih Tan”

CHAM FT. O

“Tun Up”

LADY SAW

“Sunshine”

16

TANYA STEPHENS FT. MARCIA GRIFFITHS

KING ALI BABA FT. OCTAYNE

GYPTIAN FT. TIDAL

20

“Back Way”

POTENTIAL KIDD “Yah Suh Nice”

“Give It To Me Baby”

RAYMOND WRIGHT

“Want Love”

17 18 19

CHAM FT. O

Charts are based on the most active DJ downloads via the L3 Music Distribution service.

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“Like Mih Mate”

“Superstar”

7

PATEXX FT. LIQUID 14 “More Rum”

SHABBA RANKS

“War”

KAYLA BLISS

“One More Chance”

I-BRILLIANCE

“Greatest Lover”

JESSE ROYAL

“Modern Day Judas”


TOP 10 CHARTS

RICO VIBE’S

RICO VIBES TOP 10 VIDEO PICKS FOR AUGUST Compiled by Rico Vibes

1

DAMIAN MARLEY

2

KONSHENS

3

CHAM FT. O

4

MR. VEGAS

5

ELEPHANT MAN FT. LADY SAW

“AFFAIRS OF THE HEART” “AH SO MIH TAN”

“TUN UP”

“BRUK IT DUNG”

“SIDUNG PON IT”

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ROMAIN VIRGO

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JEMERE MORGAN

8

JAH SUN FT. PEETAH MORGAN

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D. MAJOR

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“I KNOW BETTER” “SUNSHINE GLOW”

“HEART OF A LION”

“THAT’S WHAT LOVE’S ABOUT”

WYRE FT. GRAMPS MORGAN &. PEETAH MORGAN “GUARANTEE”


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NEWS

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D’ANGELO, MARY J. BLIGE AND CANADA’S MELANIE FIONA ON TOUR! CONTRIBUTED

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ollowing D’Angelo’s performance at Bonnaroo, Mary’s performance at the 2012 Essence Music Festival, and a stand out performance at the BET Awards, R&B superstars D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, and Melanie Fiona will hit the road for a co-headlining U.S. tour. So far, six East Coast dates have been announced for the “Liberation Tour,” but Blige tells Rolling Stone that the run will be 20 dates long. The first announced date of the tour is Aug. 18 in Virginia Beach, and tickets are currently on sale through Live Nation. For D’Angelo, the co-headlining tour marks another step in his comeback following a long hiatus. He played his first U.S. show in over a decade when he surprised Bonnaroo last month, and after performing at Essence Fest, the singer is booked for Jay-Z’s inaugural Made in America festival in September. Melanie Fiona, who ‘wowed’ audiences around the world with her soul moving performance at the BET Awards held in July, was added to the tour. When she spoke to Michael Riele at the New York Post, she said she’s “super excited to be going on this tour!” Below are the announced dates for the D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige and Melanie Fiona Liberation Tour: Aug. 18 — Virgina Beach, Va., Farm Bureau Live Aug. 19 — Wantagh, N.Y., Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach Aug. 21 — Boston, Bank of America Pavilion Aug. 23 — Holmdel, N.J., PNC Bank Arts Center Aug. 26 — Washington D.C., Verizon Center Aug. 29 — Miami, American Airlines Arena L 3 M A G A Z I N E . C O M | J U LY 2 0 1 2

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COOLIE GYAL RIDDIM UMI Records L3’S RATING 4.1 OUT OF 5

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hen Blak Diamon began promotions for the Coolie Gyal Riddim on Twitter, we got excited. The projects that UIM Records and Blak Diamon become involved with are usually smash productions. The Coolie Gyal Riddim is no exception. Trust us! Whether you prefer the lyrics raw, or the radio edit, the energy contained in this riddim is infectious and was composed to keep the ladies engaged on the dance floor with the men welcoming the visual delights. One of the biggest surprises on the riddim is to hear the Queen of Dancehall Soul, Cherine Anderson handle the riddim like child’s play. Her song “Haffi Come Back” is a statement to women and on behalf of women who wish to make a message clear: no matter what, my man comes home to me every night. Showing off her vocal dexterity, Cherine proves yet again why she is well worth the trip to a concert hall to hear her perform. On the flip side, Popcaan’s chune “Coolie Gyal” (which named the riddim) is rated as one of the favourites by radio DJ’s, especially in Florida and Boston, as the artist celebrates the beauty of the female physique. Rhythmically, UIM perfectly assimilates the sounds of India with the sounds of the Caribbean making it impossible for any listener to keep still. This is a definite add to your iPod , especially if Dancehall is your groove! iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/coolie-gal-riddim/id525195531

CONTRIBUTED

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MUSIC REVIEW

KAFINAL

Falling in Love L3’S RATING 3.5 OUT OF 5

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ith a new image and new sound, Kafinal makes his global debut with the song “Falling in Love.”

Falling in the category of Island Pop, the song is about a man who has met the woman of his dreams, and is eager to share his thoughts and feelings about her. Known for performing cover songs such as Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Kafinal’s first step into original material is a good one. Music, which Kafinal describes as “soul-filling,” presents him with the opportunity to entertain the best way he knows. Having been influenced by the greats in various genres he is grateful for the blessing of music. He is the first to express that he is a fan of music in its entirety and has easily been influenced by all genres he has been exposed to. Among his favourites are Bob Marley, Whitney Houston and of course Michael Jackson; who many Torontonians can attest to seeing Kafinal re-incarnate with each impersonation. He also has much admiration for artists with good interpretation and charisma such as Beres Hammond. For Kafinal the sky is indeed the limit as he builds on the exposure and fan-base he has garnered taking it to the highest level. He promises to continue to put out excellent music with the best production quality. Lyrically he is definitely on his way as he has already released not only “catchy” but very relevant content. His latest project, “Falling in Love” with this he takes his fans on a romantic journey, showing his gentler side and warming his way into more hearts. Look out for more from Kafinal—2012 Preview the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po1gtQTp-rI

CONTRIBUTED

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MUSIC REVIEW

STRINGZ HAS A HANGOVER!

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t the age of 22, “Hangover” is not the kind of song you’d expect to hear from a young entertainer from Nigeria, but the catchy beat to which the song is made, and the slick delivery of the lyrics quickly make you understand why this song is as popular as it is! Stringz, who is a solo artist as well as lead singer for the famous Nigerian group known as Full House Crew, has much to celebrate and chooses to do so through song.

CONTRIBUTED

L3’S RATING 4.0 OUT OF 5

After surviving a fatal car crash that took the life of his best friend, and left him in the intensive care unit for ten months with a broken arm and fractured skull, Stringz was away from music for 3years. With his return, the young artist is taking nothing for granted and is treating everyday as something to be enjyed to the fullest. In addition to “Hangover,” Stringz also released the single “Umbrella.” Both songs are receiving incredible airplay in his home of Nigeria, across Africa, the UK and North America. Hangover was produced by one of the youngest producers to represent Naija, Pheelz fromHit Factory Studios. Known for his sick beats and engineering skills for the new generation of Elite African artists (Olamide, Steel, Maye Hunter, Ella, D’swade, Dolla Billz and more), the Hangover track is hailed as a fusion of Afrobeat, Jazz, Azonto and a little Dancehall. On the mixing and mastering side, industry veteran engineer Ozzie of Triple O Productions (2Face Idibia, Darey Art, Alade, Faze, Destiny Piz and more) ensures that the final sound is air tight. Stringz is an artist whose sound we are definitely feeling. He is driven by the passion for music and life's experiences, and is spontaneously set to string music from the root where it has lost its focus and redefine it the Naija way Connect with Stringz on Twitter >>> @iamstringz

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MUSIC REVIEW

THE EVOLUTION RIDDIM

Hemp Higher Productions CONTRIBUTED

L3’S RATING 4.2 OUT OF 5

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ust in time for summer, Riga and JahNaton from Hemp Higher Productions release the Evolution Riddim which is a live instrumentation and celebration of Reggae music.

Staying true to the spirit of the genre which inspires them, the duo use the fundamentals to accomplish a feel good and flowing riddim perfect for a casual day with friends and family. Featuring a nice change up to the vocalists we normally hear, Riga and JahNaton include French Artists Sir Samuel ft. Messager (Aucun Répit) and Tiwony ft. Misyé Sadik (Awété Pléwé Penn), as well as familiar voices Cali P and Gappy Ranks. Both artists sing about their ladies; Cali P telling his love that she’s the “Sweetest Thing” thus making female listeners wish that they were his girl, while Gappy Ranks tells his girl that she’s his Princess. “Treat Her Like A Lady” becomes a blueprint for male listeners and how to treat their significant other. Gappy’s nice touch of using the analogy of Royalty (Kings and Queen / Princes and Princesses) paired with examples of what men should do for women also help to ensure the riddim stays on repeat. Voices to definitely keep an ear for, and talent we think will have a lasting impact is Randy Valentine and Masicka. Both artists reach deep in their well of authenticity which is performed on their chunes respectively. Randy’s vocal smoothness on “Over and Over” make him a believable artist. When he sings the line ‘we can do it over and over,’ we are sure he has a surplus of female volunteers. Masicka spreads positive vibrations singing “Why Me Ah Work” as he acknowledges the hardships, but gives thanks for what he has. Hemp Higher Productions is not new to the world of production. Some of their previous riddims include Moonlight Riddim, Ovaseaz Riddim, and the Burn Up Riddim. For the authentic and live Reggae vibes the Evolution Riddim brings, we say yes to Riga and JahNaton! iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/ch/album/the-evolution-riddim/id543587452?l=en

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sought the U.S vocal Carring realized influen and ne from m this go depths faith i decision Christia Jahman perform credits Shabba

THE MUSICAL STYLINGS OF JAHMAN CONTRIBUTED

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ne of the most prominent and sought after voices of Reggae music in the U.S. Virgin Islands is the raspy vocal stylings of Jabari “Jahman” Carrington. At an early age, he realized that he wanted to be a positive influence despite the many obstacles and negative stereotypes he endured from many. As a means of achieving this goal, he began to explore the depths of Reggae music and sought faith in Rastafari, a controversial decision that went against his Christian upbringing. Jahman has been writing and performing for over a decade, and credits Steel Pulse, Bob Marley, Shabba Ranks, and more recently, Mad Cobra, Sizzla Kalonji, Buju Banton and Notch, (formerly of Born Jamericans) as his musical influences. He has represented the U.S. Virgin Islands at countless Reggae concerts and festivals throughout the Caribbean and the United States. In recent years, he toured the East Coast for six weeks with Richie Spice, opened for Morgan Heritage at the Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas, and performed at the star-studded Tempo Turns 2 event in St. Croix. Since his musical career began, Jahman has released four studio albums—Poverty Struggle, Reggae International, Life As An Artist, and most recently Rasta Endure. His albums are laced with tracks featuring poignant lyrics, enticing vocals and catchy hooks that uplift the youth, celebrate women, embrace Rasta Livity, and encourage righteous living. He is currently working on his fifth project, which is due to be released this Fall. Jahman is always reinventing his image and his sound, and continues to demonstrate his versatility with this upcoming album, which will feature some of his latest singles, including The Rain, Just For You, and Dead And Gone. Coupling his robust involvement in Reggae music with a higher meditation has kept Jahman grounded; helping him to overcome many challenges and acquire a resilient spirit on and off the mic. Jahman has the voice of a lion and a style all his own, that guarantees this humble soldier of Jah many more blessed years of success. Watch Jahman’s video for “Hurry Up” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKoiknznI2o

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NEW RELEASES

NEW RELEASES

LOG ON NOW!

REDESIGNED, REFRESHED, VARIOUS ARTIST

Penthouse Riddim

VARIOUS ARTIST

Jump for Jamaica

RELOADED & RELAUNCHED

CONNECT WITH L3 VARIOUS ARTIST

DARQ

Pennie Wallie Riddim

So Manry Times Before

MIRIAM SIMONE

VARIOUS ARTIST

Follow My Dreams

Sexxs Tape

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THE LYRICIST KNOWN AS MCITY SOLO

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city Solo is a hip hop recording artist, songwriter, performer and motivational speaker. His musical style is a dynamic mix of modern pop and hip hop, with a distinctly Caribbean flavor (a tribute to his proud Trinidadian culture). Born Khalyil Rouse Bakel, the developed a talent for writing lyrics at a very young age. His style was primarily influenced by the music of his older brothers and sister which ranged from New Edition to Wu Tang. In addition, the suburban environment provide him with the opportunity to explore new genres saying, “the added bonus of going to an all white school was that I was almost forced to listen to Nirvana and Green Day, but that’s why I can make good music now because I understand all types of music.” The first rhyme Solo remembers writing was a bar for his brother’s nick name, “my name is Homey D. Homey D. clown instead of giving you a smile he’ll give you a frown.” It may not sound that hype now but Solo explains, “It was mad hype at the time” laughing proudly as he reminisces over his lyrical beginning. In his teens, Solo did his first battle against Greg Page (Biz) which broke him out of his shell. In that classic battle, he defeated Biz who was known as one of the best lyricist in the Montreal area. “Battles are no longer my style; I’ve already established myself as a hip hop artist and I have nothing to prove to anyone.” Solo’s primary focus now is his music. He spends most of his time listening to a wide variety of musical genres, writing lyrics and thinking of new creative ways to express his art. When asked what he plans on doing different in rap he simply explains “ I just plan on bringing back the reality of things, too many people are trying to put out a {Black Album} before they put out a {Reasonable Doubt}.” Catch Mcity Solo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HGS0NhyUSM

CONTRIBUTED

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THE SELF TEACHING OF A.J. VENTURA

CONTRIBUTED

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.J. Ventura does not hesitate to let people know he is a twenty-four year old self taught Producer/Songwriter/ Artist/Engineer/Drummer/Keyboardist. His passion and love for music came at the age of four when he started playing the drums. Being a native Virgin Islander, Ventura was first exposed to the genres Soca, Reggae, and Calypso. He then took on the task of being the youngest Drummer of the Pan Connection Youth Steel orchestra at the age of 7, and his abilities blossomed since. In the eleventh grade A.J. formed his own band called Xtaushun. In that setting, his leadership skills developed as he was elected Bandleader while also being the Lead Keyboardist, programming rhythms and being a vocalist. The band won two back-to-back road march titles in 2003 and 2004 for St. Croix’s Crucian Xmas Festival with the popular songs, “Energy” and “Gasoline.” Xtauhsun has opened for Major Artists in the music industry such as Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and the Asylum Family, Beach Boys, Nina Sky and others. With his developed musical maturity, A.J. has begun exploring and producing other Genres such as RnB, Pop, Hip Hop and Dance music. A.J. has worked with many artists in the Virgin Islands and abroad such as Jalena, Pressure Buss Pipe, Xpress Band and Deanna Brown. A.J. has also worked with popular Soca artist Skinny Fabulous, and was featured on the artists Carnival hit “Spirit of Carnival.” Currently pursuing a career in music production, and having a substantial amount of professional music credits, this young artist knows that music is the only way to go. The love, passion and dedication he has for his craft will only take him to the top. He often says “Music is the voice of life, and at some point in time we all resort back to music to heal us.” His motto is God first and everything else after, and through his music that message resounds! Connect with AJ via Twitter >>> www.twitter.com/aj_ventura

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FROM CALIFORNIA TO JAPAN IAKOPO

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CONTRIBUTED

akopo, was born in Fountain Valley, California but spent much of his life growing up in Samoa, where his passion for music was kindled. When still in high school, Artists such as Peter Tosh, Anthony B, Sizzla, and Bob Marley, influenced Iakopo to produce his first hit album ‘’Let Your Light Shine’’ in 2006. The singles “Let Your Light Shine” and “Love Jah” made it to the top of reggae charts in the US, Hawaii, Polynesia, Asia and Europe. On top of that, ‘Let Your Light Shine’ sold 2.000.000 Downloads in the UK. This lead to Iakopo sharing the stage with influential artists such as Israel Vibrations, Eeka Mouse, Junior Reid, Midnite, Collie Buddz, Messenga Selah, and Tribal Seeds. The second album as Keys of Creation ‘’Born To Win’’ featured the Single ‘Heart of Polynesia’, which won him the International Music Video Award for World Music, as well as being another #1 hit. It’s still considered as an anthem by Polynesians worldwide. His success got Universal Music Japan interested in Iakopo and then working with him on a compilation CD featuring famous Hawaiian artists. This first project led to a collaboration with Infinity 16 on the single ‘Bounce’. Released September 28th 2011, it was the top sold single for two weeks and top single on Japanese mobile download charts. Currently, Iakopo is working with internationally acclaimed producers Don Corleone and Citizen K on recording his first EP, due to be released in July 2012. It features Iakopo’s diverse skills as an original artiste. Iakopo released his first single on LionzShare ‘FLY’ on December 12th 2011. It rose to be the top featured single on reaggeazion.jp, Japan’s biggest reggae related website and download store. He followed this up with the hot party tune ‘VIP’ on February 2nd 2012. His latest single ‘Remedy’, released on March 23rd 2012, has Jamaica’s top female singer Fiona adding beautiful backing vocals. ‘Remedy’ is still in daily rotation on Hawaii’s biggest radio stations Q103 and Island FM 98.5, as well as #2 on Betelnutradio. Recently, Iakopo has released the single ‘Hot Summer’, which is played on radio stations worldwide. And he has just recorded a track with Lukie D. It surely is going to be a ‘Hot Summer’ for Iakopo! When asked what keeps his musical fire going, Iakopo replied, “I have to share my music... Music is the universal language of the soul that brings people together and can provide healing transformation. It did for me and I hope to now share what was given tome with others”. Iakopo is on Twitter >>> @Iakopo

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hances are you’re not familiar with Cassandra O’Neal by her name, but we assure you, you are familiar with this hot talent for the way she ‘tickles the ivories!’ Cassandra O’Neal, is an American musician, composer and producer and is the youngest child born to the late Rev. Ernest A. O’Neal and Janet Pricilla O’Neal in Copiague, New York. Showing her musical potential at a young age, she began playing the piano by ear and with perfect pitch, at the age of 3. Throughout her adolescent years, she nurtured her gift with formal classical piano training, playing in the church and by listening to all types of music, including New Wave, Rock, Pop and R&B. In 1991, Cassandra moved to Los Angeles, California and shortly thereafter began touring with American Gospel singer, Daryl Coley, scoring her first big break in the music business. O’Neal then became a staff musician at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop Charles E. Blake. She later released a gospel instructional DVD entitled “Wheatworks Productions Presents…West Coast Piano: The Ultimate Gospel Piano Master Class Featuring Cassandra O’Neal.” With her incredible ability to blend the spirit of Gospel with the precision of Jazz and the energy of Pop music, O’Neal grew to work with many of R&B, Pop and Gospel music’s biggest acts, including P!nk and her Party Tour in 2002, 98 Degrees, Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers, Helen Baylor, Avant, Chanté Moore, and the 2005 Sisters In The Spirit Tour featuring acts such as Yolanda Adams, Sheila E. and Martha Munizzi. She was also named Musical Director for Macy Gray (2004–2007) and Mary J. Blige joining Jay-Z on the Heart of the City Tour in 2008. Adding to her credit, O’Neal has played keyboards on various recordings such as LeAnn Rimes’ “What a Wonderful World,” “So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross,” BabyFace’s “Grown & Sexy,” and Mindi Abair’s “In Hi-Fi Stereo.” O’Neal has also performed on various television shows such as The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Tonight Show, the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, and the 36th NAACP Image Awards. O’Neal was also co-writer of several songs on Macy Gray’s comeback album, BIG. O’Neal worked on the Soundtrack of the 1997 Comedy Film, The 6th Man, adding keyboards and vocals to the song, “Deeper Than Blood” performed by Sovory, which was a contributing factor to the Soundtrack charting at No. 33 on the Billboard Top R&B/HipHop Albums chart. O’Neal also played keyboards on the Dreamgirls: Music From The Motion Picture Deluxe Edition Soundtrack. O’Neal joined Prince in his highly acclaimed band, The New Power Generation, alongside long time members, Morris Hayes on keyboards and John Blackwell on drums. O’Neal’s first performances as a member of the NPG were at the Grand Palais and La Cigale concerts in France back in October of 2009. She has since appeared on Prince’s 20Ten Tour, Welcome 2 America Tour, the 2011 Montreal Jazz Festival Special Performance, and the recent Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 Tour that introduced the first NPG Music & Arts Festival, with a lineup of special guests such as Larry Graham, Maceo Parker, Chaka Kahn, Raphael Saadiq, Janelle Monáe, Nikka Costa, and Paloma Faith. Prince and the NPG are headed down under this summer with the Welcome 2 Australia Tour 2012 kicking off to sold-out arenas in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

CASSANDRA O’NEAL’S INFLUENCE THROUGH PIANO! CONTRIBUTED

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LOVE

LOVE ADVICE

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LOVE ADVICE

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sing a unique blend of Reggae with Soul and Dance music, we have the sounds and vocals from the artist called Shango Trex. His voice is soothing and can be hard hitting and was discovered when he decided to follow a friend to cadet rehearsals where his passion for singing developed. Singing vocals with the group The Matchmakers, Shango began to take himself seriously as a vocalist. He cultivated his voice singing at the neighborhood church which paved the way for the artist to work with White Squall Band and Ninja Force Band in his early years. In 20 years of performing, Shango has graced the stage with Reggae greats such as Gregory Isaacs, the Crowned Prince of Reggae Dennis Emmanuel Brown, Luciano, Frankie Paul, Garnett Silk and Beres Hammond. Shango eventually settled in Japan after many years of touring. Singles such as “For Your Love,” “One & Three,” “Tell Me,” and “The Touch” have done well with listeners as he pleads for the trust of a love interest. The use of horns throughout this collection is a testament to Shango Trex’s early musical training and passion for the instrument. Additional live instrumentation and strong production is credited to famed producer and performer Ed Robinson. The up tempo “Ghetto Girl” and “Writing On The Wall” shows the artist’s lyrical versatility, while “Our Glory” is a traditional tribute to Rastafari, among the faithful. Shango Trex’s personal favorite, “Fi Di Youts Dem” highlights his passionate feelings about the suffering of children around the world. While the love of music is his reason for becoming a Reggae artist, Shango Trex has a greater mission than topping the Reggae charts, “This is a vehicle to get me to what I really want to do. There are 30,000 children dying of starvation everyday in Africa and worldwide, so this is my vehicle to do something about it.” Named by a Yoruba Priest who was impressed by his vibrant performance, Shango is intent on spreading love, light and Rastafari through the four corners of the globe. “No matter what obstacles we face in life we must stay strong, stay positive and strive for peace,” Shango shares. Shango Trex the Album truly showcases this artist’s talent for soul stirring lyrics and soul soothing sounds. Using his appreciation for R&B, Jazz, Ska and even Hip Hop, he skillfully weaves together the personas of crooner, prophet, and rudie all within the same CD.

WHO IS SHANGO TREX?

CONTRIBUTED ALLYSON IONE

For more information >>> www.shangotrex.com

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OLYMPIC CEREMONY OF LONDON OLYMPICS: REVIEW DAVID ROONEY OF THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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enneth Branagh, J.K. Rowling, Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, David Beckham, Paul McCartney, Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II were among the eclectic featured cast of director Danny Boyle’s wild and whimsical Olympics opener.

Details of the $42 million opening ceremony of the 30th Summer Olympics were cloaked in secrecy, but it was a no-brainer that Danny Boyle, the genre-hopping director who was a key figure in the Cool Britannia wave of 1990s cultural reinvigoration with his first films Shallow Grave and Trainspotting – was never going to settle for standard-issue pomp and pageantry. If Zhang Yimou’s dazzling Beijing opening in 2008 was about automaton-like synchronicity and majestic spectacle, Boyle’s epic opera of social and cultural history was a vibrant work of unfettered imagination that celebrated a nation, but even more so, its people.


LY R I C S

FRESHMAN CLASS OF 2012

The three-hour ceremony was the brainchild of Boyle, with the creative consultancy of Stephen Daldry, two Brit directors who have successfully straddled film and theater. And that twin embrace of fluid cinematic visuals with magical stagecraft was evident above all in the sensational first hour. If the meaning behind some of the imagery was occasionally baffling and the focal points too numerous to absorb in a single television sitting, the overall impact was that of a mesmerizing ADHD banquet. The key note of any Olympics opener is a celebratory one, but Boyle injected playful irreverence, unexpected humor and even darkness. From the puffy fake clouds suspended over the arena, acknowledging the U.K.’s infamy as lousy-weather capital of the planet, to the mischievous inclusion of the Sex Pistols’ doing “God Save the Queen” in the filmed intro, whimsy played more of a part in the proceedings than solemn sense of occasion. The biggest surprise was an actual acting cameo from Queen Elizabeth II herself. A real sport, she greeted a tuxedo-clad Daniel Craig as he marched up the corridors of Buckingham Palace trailed by the monarch’s pet corgis: “Good evening, Mr. Bond.” A sly switch with a body double followed as they boarded a chopper, with “H.M.” dropped into the Stadium on a Union Jack parachute to the 007 theme music. Genius! But by far the most striking work was the brilliantly conceptualized live opening, broken into three parts labeled The Green and Pleasant Land, Pandemonium and Frankie and June Say Thanks to Tim. The three parts were cast with a multiethnic crowd heavier on Joe Public volunteers than rigorously drilled professional performers.


Before the kickoff, farm animals milled in pens on the grassy fields of a village green, as agricultural workers tended their veggie patches, a waterwheel slowly turned, maypole dancers twirled and cricketers in period uniforms played a gentlemanly match. Dominating the visual field was a replica of Glastonbury Hill. Its grassy slopes – dotted with dandelions and daisies – evoked the British pastoral tradition with a simplicity that grew even more beautiful as the show progressed and the hill became home to the flags of the 204 participating countries. While different songs represented the various regions in this segment, a lone boy soprano singing William Blake’s verses to “Jerusalem” set the serene tone. Boyle then turned somber with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, heralded by Kenneth Branagh in top coat and tall hat, playing pioneering British civil and mechanical engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Accompanied by dozens of drummers, Branagh read the “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises” speech from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which was the inspiration for Boyle’s Isles of Wonder title and the show’s incorporation of dreams as a central element. As the farmers and villagers rolled up the turf, the scene made way for towering smokestacks that sprouted from the ground as the arena filled with factory workers, suffragettes, war veterans and – incongruously – a troop of Sgt. Pepper figures in brightly colored satin military jackets. Thematic cohesion wasn’t always a strong point but with so much to amuse the eye, who’s complaining? Blacksmiths toiled away at their furnaces to forge the Olympic rings, which were then hoisted above the stadium, raining down a shower of sparks in one of the show’s more awe-inspiring moments.


This nod to paradise lost was one of Boyle’s boldest strokes, illustrating that Brit patriotism has an infinitely greater variety of shadings than the rah-rah American equivalent. An extended tribute followed to – wait for it – the U.K.’s National Health Service. Mike Oldfield played “Tubular Bells,” while what looked like hundreds of volunteer nurses and medical professionals took on dance duty. The segment effectively tapped into Britain’s rich tradition of children’s literature via a celebration of Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was largely financed by royalties from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (an excerpt from which was read by J.K. Rowling). The naysayers in the divisive U.S. debate over universal healthcare might want to spend a moment contemplating the heartfelt pride that obviously went into this segment. As kids were tucked up under illuminated duvets, their bedtime reading conjured up villains from Cruella de Vil, to Captain Hook, to the Queen of Hearts, to Voldemort, all of them eventually banished by a flock of Mary Poppinses swooping in under flying umbrellas. In amongst all this was a nod to the British film industry and its depiction of sports. The iconic Vangelis theme from Chariots of Fire was led by Rowan Atkinson in Mr. Bean guise, hammering away at a single synthesizer note while dreaming of his own athletic glory. This managed simultaneously to provide a daffy centerpiece while acknowledging the vital role of British humor in the popular culture – fart joke included.


The final part of this opening trilogy will no doubt be the most discussed, and while enjoyably messy, it was perhaps the least suited to stadium/television presentation. Basically a story of an average family in an average house, it evolved into a romance between two teens out on a Saturday night, Frankie and June. Their blossoming love served to illustrate the growing impact of social media in a bow to British web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. Projections on the house were a wonderful sampling of TV through the decades. While the storytelling wasn’t as lucid here as elsewhere, the music was a blast. Music supervisors for the event were Karl Hyde and Rick Smith of electronica outfit Underworld, who have had a long association with Boyle spanning from Trainspotting through his acclaimed National Theatre reimagining of Frankenstein last year. Among the pearls of the evening, galvanizing use was made of The Clash’s “London Calling” and The Jam’s “Going Underground.” But the Frankie and June chapter also served as a decade-by-decade salute to the British music industry that will no doubt cause a stampede on iTunes. From The Who and The Rolling Stones through The Kinks and The Beatles and then on into the glam-rock years with Mud, David Bowie and Queen, the choices were terrific. The Specials popped up, as did more Pistols as we moved into the punk era (what other country in the world would have the self-irony to include “Pretty Vacant” on its Olympics soundtrack?). Then came New Order, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soul To Soul, The Eurythmics, The Prodigy and Amy Winehouse. Bliss! There were plenty of glaring omissions of course: No Tears for Fears or Duran Duran from the ‘80s? No Blur or Oasis in the ‘90s bracket? No George Michael or Elton John or Kate Bush? And no Dusty Springfield??!! Are you kidding me? But personal gripes aside, the musical accompaniment that threaded the invention of the steam engine through to the arrival of the World Wide Web was tremendous.


The more pedestrian elements included a tribute to the fallen, with a somewhat stale modern-dance routine to “Abide With Me.” And the Parade of Nations is a format too set-in-stone to play with, though there was some fun to be had with the bizarrely random juxtaposition of national teams with odd musical choices – China with the Pet Shop Boys? Poland with Fleetwood Mac? Fiji with The Bee Gees might have been someone’s attempt at a haiku. On a side note: What’s with those tacky gold-trimmed white tracksuits on the Brit team? And watching athletes endlessly texting, tweeting and taking photographs on their smart phones did make me wonder if they weren’t somehow separating themselves from the actual experience of being there. The lighting of the torch was preceded by an appearance from The Arctic Monkeys, one of the better live musical elements, doing “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” (why not?) and a cover of “Come Together.” This served as backup to the stunning image of a squad of cyclists wearing illuminated wings to represent the doves at the early Olympics in Ancient Greece. The much ballyhooed Paul McCartney closing slot was a rousing sing-along to “Hey Jude,” which added some sentimental value but was otherwise fairly standard Superbowl halftime stuff. The concluding fireworks (backed by Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse”) were, for once, truly spectacular, making the Macy’s July 4th show look like a bunch of kids with sparklers. One of the big secrets of the event was who would light the torch, which traveled its climactic leg up the Thames on a speedboat piloted by David Beckham. (Only the addition of a pouting Victoria could have made this more sublime.)


But in a moving choice, rather than a single figure to light the torch, a group of young athletes in line for the next Olympics was chosen, pushing the “Inspire a Generation” theme. Each nation’s copper petal was lit before they came together to form a gorgeous fire flower on elevated stems. There’s been much talk about the collective gloom in Britain over the past year, with the economy in the toilet, crippling austerity measures being imposed, a hacking scandal exposing deep-rooted media corruption and a crisis of political faith. It was no doubt a well-considered choice to cut Britain’s captains of government out of the picture, with the exception of a cheesy CGI-animated Winston Churchill statue in the opening film. In an interview during planning, Boyle had said, “This is for everyone,” and in that sense, the show will likely be received at home as a welcome tonic. In his wild, wacky and often hilarious Games kickoff, Boyle kept his promise, delivering something unique that acknowledged the nation’s people and its innovative creative spirit more than its leaders or its past as a grand empire. The director’s stock got a major boost when he won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, but this audacious show should bump it even higher.


LY R I C S

FRESHMAN CLASS OF 2012

LJ LEELA JAMES JENNIFER MENSTER

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f you’re in the Soul circuit, you know that there aren’t too many voices from the younger generation who carry the poise, elegance and class like the Soul ladies of the 70’s.

The genre is one that has most of us using YouTube to relive memories from yester-year, of which some were created before we were event born … until Leela James. By surprise, Leela James has captured our hearts and souls with her truly authentic Soul music expression. So genuine and real at what she does, it’s hard to believe she’s not the daughter of Etta James, Millie Jackson and Betty Wright. Biologically, that statement would be impossible, but musically, Leela James is.

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L3: Your voice is so refreshing in that you truly personify Soul Music for the 2012 listener. Why do you think your connection with the genre is so strong?! LJ: I think I have connection with the genre of Soul Music because I’m just a soulful person and soul is all in my bones, I have no choice but to have a soulful singing voice. Even though your album ‘My Soul’ was released in 2010, you’re still getting a lot of mileage from it making it, in our opinion, a timeless modern day classic. Are you proud of that status? I’m so very proud of “My Soul” album, I worked really hard on it as I have with all my albums and I’m glad it considered a classic. It’s good music, and good music lasts. Your music is hailed as ‘baby making music!’ How does it feel to be, in essence, be a ‘Soul Mother?!’ I guess it’s a compliment that my music is hailed as “baby making music,” as being somewhat responsible for the blessing of life being created is awesome! Being called a ‘Soul-Mother,’ that’s a new one but I like it … we can work with that! It’s not easy to bear your Soul to millions of people worldwide. How did you begin the songwriting process on your album and were you ever scared to really let people truly come in to who you really are? No, I wasn’t scared to let people come into who I truly am as a person nor as an artist. When writing my music for my albums, I feel I do my best when I’m able to be completely open and sincere about my feelings. I’m always willing to go ‘there’ and I want my fans to go there with me. We’ve read about your musical influences such as Al Green, Mavis Staples, Etta James and the Mighty Clouds of Joy just to name a few, but have your younger admirers reached out to you to tell you how much you’ve inspired them? I have heard from other people, not just the younger ones. It makes me feel pretty good that my younger fans look to me as inspiration as I look to greats like Etta James, Mavis Staples, and Al Green. We noticed that your fans keep you active, especially on YouTube where your singles receive thousands of spins – hundreds of thousands. Your fans (up to a week ago from doing this interview) have commented by saying things like “only just discovered this woman … she’s fabulously talented!” Have you been able to build a fan base from social media such as YouTube?! I have absolutely been able to build a fan base through social media in addition to the fan base that I already had and that’s incredible. What or who are some of the people who inspire you outside of music? Outside of music, my mother inspires me and my best friends and Michelle Obama. Your tribute album to Etta James came out on July 31st. Were you excited about putting this project together? I was very excited about my tribute album to Etta James as I feel that she was an incredible artist deserving of such homage and I had a great time working on the project.


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You’ve performed to huge audiences around the world. Is there any 1 thing that you’ve noticed about all the audiences you’ve performed for? From performing all around the world, I’ve noticed that music is a universal cord that affects people everywhere and connects people in ways that can’t truly be explained. In essence, when your music is good, it’s for everyone and everyone can feel it, no matter how old they are or where they are or what color they are. Does it ever ‘wow’ you that you perform in countries that don’t speak English but they understood your music and message. It always wows me to perform in countries that don’t speak English but know the lyrics to my songs, that’s a wonderful, humbling feeling.

I AM ALWAYS WILLING TO GO ‘THERE’ AND I WANT MY FANS TO GO THERE WITH ME TOO.

On a more humorous tip, if you sing with this much Soul, do you cook a mean pot of Soul food too?! I sing with Soul, and yes I can throw down in the kitchen and make a mean plate of Soulfood! What general advice can you give our readers on Life, Love and Lyrics?! The advise I would to readers would be to “write the lyrics of your life in the form of a love song and live it to the fullest”! Make sure to connect with Leela James on Twitter >>> @LeelaJames


LY R I C S

NM NO MADDZ


TRICIA ‘ZJ SPARKS’ SPENCE

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t was a nice sunny Jamaican day and Bob Marley Museum had quite a number of tourists scampering all about the property, after all it was home to one of, if not, the biggest star out of Jamaica on a global level. This is where I would finally get a chance to interview, quite possibly, one of the most animated group of artistes that I have ever met. Sharp, witty, but very business minded, No-Maddz and I were finally going to be able to hold a reasoning. Evie, Sheppie and O’nie were a tad bit late, but Birdie was early, you know what they say, the early bird catches the worm. We had a deep, but lively discussion before the other members arrived and when they did the ground shook. They had jokes for years, it took me a while to get them settled, after all these men were great storytellers. The eclectic group is comprised of Sheldon Shepherd aka Sheppie, Everaldo Creary aka Evie, Chris Gordon aka Birdie and Oneil Peart aka O’nie. I had got wind that the group had formed an alliance with Digicel and I decided to pry early in the interview.


TS: So how did the alliance come about with you and Digicel? ONIE: Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t even know. They just thought that the group was different and out of this world and that we could move them to the next phase. The campaign says “Run It” and anyweh wi go wi run it (Translation: anywhere we go we run it) [He chuckles wildly] Evie you not getting away, I hardly hear you speak and I have seen you all over the place. Is it that the Digicel folks discovered you over at Jamnesia (located in St Thomas, in Eastern Jamaica and a popular haunt for live music and beach parties) cause that is one of the venues you frequent. EVIE: Give thanks for Jamnesia cause it’s like the University for live music, gotta big up Billy Mystic and his family. A lot of us pass thru there like Raging Fyah, Jah 9, Protoje and so on. Yuh see once yuh a do positive music (translation: once you are exuding positivity) people wi see and full dorse it (translation: people will soon take note and endorse you). You have a lot of youths out there in the arts and all they need is the support. So hopefully, from this, other corporate entities will take note and give them their support. We have been doing this for a while; we do a lot of corporate shows, but in terms of being signed on to a campaign with a corporate entity, our first one was with Puma. It was interesting, especially since we had been doing so much work inside the island. We got the Puma Campaign from outside the island (he giggles) and that was cool. That goes to show our “Internationalness!” Yeh dat was awesome, how did you guys hook up with PUMA? BIRDIE: Well, what I want to say is that they came and they saw and they were amazed [We all burst out raucously with laughter] . We got a call that Puma was on the island looking for a band and were invited to audition; they auditioned almost every band on the island, Raging Fyah, Rootz Underground, I even saw Fab 5 there. A week before that, Evie had bought a mobile [motor car] and it had a Puma sticker on the back, so when we got a call that Puma was here looking for a band, we thought alright, well the omen is already here so we were sure it was ours to get. We got there and they said ok you have a song so sing, so we started humming “pu pukku pu … (the song is called Rise Above Profanity) and they were sold. From there, things went on from just wanting a band to an endorsement, we travelled the world with Usain Bolt and did some shows here and there, we even did South Korea. That was a good thing, plus we got some funds from them and we used that to tour Europe.


So you reinvested into the group? BIRDIE: Yeh man, we ah young yute ennui [translation: we are young] and wi neva come yah fi retire [translation: we are not here to retire]. We always used to joke that we would just pack our bags and head to London and say we are here to play or we play for food, enuh, but we ended up in Germany doing the same thing (Laughter erupts again), in Essen. Essen is the city for Food and the Arts, so that was a good sign and we give thanks for that. You guys have been together for a long time, something that is unusual in Entertainment especially amongst black men in Jamaica, cause we can be so divisive. How long have you been together? SHEPPIE: We’ve been together formally as No-Maddz since 2000 from Kingston College Days. JCDC started a new category called Dub Poetry Ensemble, which was an experiment and we entered; Peter Heslop our tutor, told us about it and said we needed to find seven (7) members. I had always been entering Dub Poetry as a solo performer and I was always winning my category, so this was like great news to me; from there we began scouting for members. Myself, Everaldo, Shane Fitzgerald and Ericado Gayle [the latter two are no longer in the group, Gayle currently resides in England] were sitting around in the canteen thinking about names and Shane frivolously said “why wi doh call wiself Nomads” (translation: why don’t we call ourselves Nomads). I processed it and said “ah chu enuh , yuh know say wi a nomads doh” (translation: you are on point, we really are nomads). We are from the ghetto where we don’t have much, you don’t really have anything at times so you are always wandering, you have to go outside of your zone fi look it (translation: always trying to find a way to be better). So that was one aspect of the No-Maddz, the wandering nature, but we are different though. We were coming with music, theatre, energy, Dub Poetry and a difference, so we had to stylize our No-Maddz. We played on the word so that you get that there were no mad men in thegroup, in the sense that we are not insane, but we madly creative. We played on it and turned the word into a poem; that is where it started. Our first performance was at Merl Grove High School at the Karram Speid Auditorium where we were doing the Schools Drama Festival; we had won it that year. No-maddz ran out with four members and had the place in a frenzy. Further on as we grew, Birdie was always winning Festival as a youngster and O’nie was always winning Dialect and then one year he entered Dub Poetry and we saw that he could hold the rhythm as well. O’nie was never a music man at K.C. (King’s College) and now his voice is remarkable and his ears amazing and now he plays almost every instrument like it’s his main instrument. When he touches the guitar you say “yeh that’s his instrument “and then he touches the keyboard and you say “yeh that’s his instrument”, then you see him on the drums and you say “what the hell, he plays every instrument well.” So it’s that kind of energy O’nie has; nothing


to something. He and I used to always go to Mello Go Roun (an Artistic Festival), me doing Dub Poetry, him doing Jamaican Dialect. We found the seven members and after High School we all moved into a house together and it was there that we realized that this what we really wanted to do. Birdie was living overseas at one point, he would come and go, but even when he was overseas he was still saying No-Maddz. He was even spinning music in Indiana and No-Maddz music too. We have been involved in a lot of different things; every money that we would make we would put it back into the group. For example, when I would make money from my acting career and from commercials I would put it back into the group, cause no one corporate really knew us then, so they wouldn’t sponsor us. We would pay for everything out of pocket, lighting, sound et cetera. Peart would always ask about the money, the sugar and I would always say, let us build this. The prize with No-Maddz is that we don’t make testosterone get the better of us because that happens easily where you have men and men working together; of course, we have points where we disagree, but what we do is to agree to disagree and move on, because nothing is stronger than the group itself. I man as a solo entity is not stronger than No-Maddz, so why go around it [translation: If I decide to work alone, I am not stronger than the group and I realize that, so I say group]. (They all make sounds of approval on that statement). I am going to ask each of you, what you think it is that holds the group together; 12 years is no easy feat, especially given that you are not traditional artistes and Jamaica can be a very rough place to break into Entertainment. O’NIE: I can’t speak for everyone else, but I think it’s the mere fact that this was something new. Now, there was a time when I had gone solo, but I couldn’t forget the group; performing with them gave me a freedom on stage that I could not achieve and enjoy by myself. When I would perform by myself it was more pressure, but in the group there’s a support system and I feel more free-flowing. Right now, I have to tell you I love performing in the group more than I do by myself. They might not know this, but if the group were to break up, I don’t know what I would do with myself because this is what I want to do. The only other thing I could do is to teach. The group has a synergy; I have known them for a long time and the energy together just keeps getting stronger and stronger. I think that’s it. Diamonds form better under pressure and diamonds shine better under pressure, so give thanks for the pressure we faced. EVIE: Pressure mek diamonds and you always haffe a pree diamonds; if pressure not applied to peas you can’t get them to eat. (Sheppie chimes in “yeh you haffe pressure the peas so you can get the protein” and every one laughs) SHEPPIE: The first poem we did for JCDC that we won with was called Pressure and we got 100% in both the Regional and National Final; first ever in the history of Jamaica Festival and that still stands today. Birdie you flew away, no pun intended yet you came back; what compelled you to return? BIRDIE: I don’t know; I just think I was born for this. Dem obeah mi, dem tie mi [translation: they worked Black Magic aka Voodoo] (Again we all laugh up a storm). I think it’s the trust and the sense of humor. I remember when I just joined the group, I was always serious with the bad boy demeanor and they laughed it out of me. I have a gift for recognizing what is true and I realized that the group was true. It was not about me leaving, but then I got a full scholarship to study overseas with the opportunity to live in Los Angeles. I lived in California, Indiana, New York, and Georgia so I exposed myself to different aspects of America, so that experience enabled me to bring a different spice to the group. Evie came to my graduation and he was a star; No-Maddz was the biggest thing. It was at Huntington College in Indiana, it was nice. It was like a vacation. I got my First Degree in Mass Communication and Film there. I’m not straying c’mon.


One of the things that I really love about this group is that you are from the ghetto and a lot of persons associate Jamaican artistes from the ghetto with patois and ignorant behavior, but you have shown that it’s not where you are from, but where you want to go. Reasoning with you all, you display a high level of intellect; how important is reading education and elocution. SHEPPIE: Read a book and trod on; give you mind a lift, breathe, take a whiff. Babylon can’t catch us you know, we too swift. I have always heard, if you want to hide things from a Black man then put it in a book. So that made me curious about the book thing since then. I love stories, so I write a lot, but reading fuels my writing. The international language of trade and commerce is the English language and if you are going to study the business you have to know that and know how to use and twist the English language. So, we buy books and we share them. Look, Birdie is reading the Alchemist, that’s my book. Evie how important is elocution? EVIE: What is that, what is elocution? I explain. EVIE: Good, you see what I just did? They don’t encourage that amongst the youths, so they are afraid to ask questions. The best thing is when you don’t know, but the worst thing is when you don’t know and you don’t know how to. Now that makes you feel caged, it makes you feel afraid, it makes you feel dunce because you don’t know. So when you don’t know it’s the best thing, but ask because it is through asking that you learn. You will find out that life is a learning process, experience teacheth wisdom, it makes you aware and awareness is wisdom. I read books to support the direction in which I want to go. See what I just did, I am stressing on a point to make things clear. (Again we all laugh). I just want to say this though, unity is power. I don’t know and I can’t know everything, but if everyone would unite 7 or 10 billion of us, that would be 10 billion heads that would be one big head (he pauses and I guess it dawned on him what he just said and says to himself “can you imagine the size of that head”) [His tone and almost druken cadence in speech will grab you everytime]. That would be a superhead!!! EVIE: Yeh (laughing loudly while saying it), that would be a superhead!!! O’nie, Evie spoke about learning and Sheppie spoke about you mastering many instruments, how did you learn to play them all so well? O’NIE: Reading; that is where it starts. It was about going to the book store and buying the books that would teach you how to play those instruments. As a former teacher, cause I taught for nine (9) years, as young as I am; teaching made me realize that reading would carry you through the world and the more you would be able to manage on your own and I made sure my students got that. A man will hide things from you in writing. You have to read. It’s simple. You have to teach the youths from they’re young that reading is important, so they can unlock their minds and realize their potential.


You all keep mentioning the word unity, you have a lot of persons who love to chat about unity but they quietly or overtly practice division. Before you all came, I was chatting with Birdie and he was saying Bob Marley is quite possibly our best artiste not strictly in terms of his music, but his marketing machinery and team. Birdie said Nomadic music is a movement and that you are intelligent and not thinking only about yourself, but you are thinking about other upcoming Jamaican acts and making them global. Why, why are you so much about unity and being so inclusive? Birdie is so passionate he resumes, reiterates and expounds upon his earlier points. BIRDIE: Is really why not; everybody wants a taste of the Jamaican cream. This morning I woke up and someone from the Philippines wrote something, I wasn’t sure what they had written, but I think they saw our video and was trying to write something they saw in it. I don’t want to come here and not establish something that thousands of Jamaican youths can eat from. Jamaica needs to have more than just some small studios, we can have a proper industry. A lot of great musicians pass through this every day. This is a creative nation. I am not dunce, give thanks, we all went to Kingston College. Too much of our youths have died by the guns already. We got our break so we are going to do it wisely and do it right. We are here at the Bob Marley Museum today because he did it right, so why wouldn’t we want to do it right, why wouldn’t we want to learn from his example and improve upon it. We are always following that North Star; we are putting in the work from now. You will be performing at Reggae Sumfest on the night that R. Kelly will be performing, how do you feel about that? (this interview was done prior to Sumfest, 2012) O’NIE: It’s cool we live here, we know the market. My main thing is just about getting on the stage. I don’t care how many persons are there, even if it’s only the chairs that are there, I love performing. R. Kelly is one of my favorite artistes. R. Kelly, D’Angelo, Anthony Hamilton and so on. I bring their (referring to the other members) attention to music videos all the time. You will be performing in London for the Olympics, a lot of Dancehall acts are probably wondering how the hell that happened? SHEPPIE: You never know what a man doing behind closed doors, how much work he is putting in to get a particular job. Last year we came up with a proposal called ‘Sort Out Yuh Life’ and shopped it to various sponsors and to both Governments, but we were always too early. We were putting forward that we could be the face of Jamaica. We got sponsorship to do certain


things, like the music video and bus backs, but it was either about us doing a lot locally or us being the agents of sending the message throughout all corners of the world and we opted for the latter. It was a lot of back and forthing and then we got a link to Rob from AEG and the link told him he had to hear No-Maddz; he gave us a listen and we got a direct invite. We made the O2 independently by being assertive. When we go Europe the other day from Stuttgart to Essen, you know how many hours that? We knock on Summer Jam door, pon the big door and the big dog, the big Greyhound ah bark come outta di bomboclaat place (he mimics a dog barking the profanity). Joseph ‘Still Cool’ Grant , the original singer of To Be Poor Is A Crime took us to the organizer and said you have to see these guys. We organized a show at Creative Dorf and he invited a lot of press in Germany and that created a ripple effect. From that we got on to a lot of festivals and outside shows. We just put in the ground work 111 days. Evie, what’s happening with No-Maddz for the rest of the year? EVIE: We gonna keep doing what we do, being adventurous with the music and putting in the work. What do you have to tell the readers of L3? EVIE: So great there will be a debate on how great it is. O’NIE: We will take you to a place you have never ever seen. BIRDIE: Live airborne. SHEPPIE: Breadfruit is the new bread baby. No Maddz is on Twitter >>> @NoMaddz *Due to unforseen circumstances not present at the time of this interview, No Maddz did not perform at O2 as planned


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L3 MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2012 | NO. 014  

Canada's Leading Caribbean Urban Magazine!

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