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Independent Voices


EDITORS Efehi Ogbebor Kaymar Haye Amanda Mester

ART DIRECTORS Efehi Ogbebor Kaymar Haye ART DESIGNERS Efehi Ogbebor Melanie Kearns WRITERS Amanda Mester Christina Ledesma Jason Thomas David Padilla Arthur “AC” Copeland PHOTOGRAPHY Kaymar Haye Beau Reyes Hannah Griffith John Policarpio Christy Amezcua STYLIST Chaz Dennis Reiynne Dekora ADVERTISERS’ INFO RAWWATER.NET CALENDAR MODELS Kaley Tukes Jeremy Giovinazzo

For inquires on writing, modeling, ordering, advertising..etc contact us at: RAWMAG@RAWWATER.NET LOS ANGELES RAWWATER 849 South Oxford Avenue, Suite 402

Editor’s Note

So I’m on another tangent that doesn’t really have anything to do with this issue. The other day, my 2 year old lil girl picked up my iPhone and unlocked it then proceeded to place it on her ear and uttered “Hewwoo?” That got me thinking two things. One, I need to put a pass code on my phone and two, wow, she saw the device on the table and knew that it was a phone. Of course she should know seeing myself, my wife and numerous others on their phones as well but when I was 2 and if I came a cross a device like this, I’d be clueless. Most people pre- 2007, when the iPhone was first introduced, would have been clueless as well and that’s only 5 years ago. How long we have come in 5 short years, back then a smartphone meant a Palm Pilot, now it’s the 4GS this and Android that. Furthermore it had me thinking about my daughter’s future, what will she be into when 1


Los Angeles, CA 90005

she hits her 20s? What kind of technology will be around? Will medical advances be made where cancer, AIDS, or HIV will be no different than the common cold? Will Tupac and Biggie be the James Dean and Elvis Presleys of their generation? Will hip-hop, in general, fall into the shadows from the mainstream, giving way for another genre to reign supreme? And back to the phone thing, I remember growing up, if I wanted a female’s number, I would be receiving the house number and when I call I would hope to God that her dad didn’t answer. Nowadays with kids practically getting cell phones as preschool graduation gifts, there’s not going to be a way to screen who your kids are talking to. Like I said, I’m on a tangent. But it is 2012, and all we can do is worry about 2012, and election year (cough) OBAMA (cough), the first time in 25 years that the Clippers look poised to run LA, and a big year for Là Raw magazine and Los Angeles Rawwater. So stay tuned and Enjoy. ED














39. VERBS 45.




















119. FOH











Rachel Wright






Ever since Young MC’s “Bust A Move” beat out Public Enemy’s classic record “Fight the Power” for the Best Rap Performance Grammy in 1990, the hip-hop community has been giving the Grammy Awards the side eye, the crooked eye, and the evil eye (Seinfield anyone?). In other words, some of the Grammycommittee’s selections have often been confusing and dumbfounding. Over the years, the hip-hop artists who go home with Grammy hardware aren’t the faces the hip-hop community respects or admires. Often the artists who move mass units and produce songs with crossover appeal (Coolio, Nelly, Sir Mix Alot) hear their names called come Grammy night instead of legendary artists such as 2Pac, Nas, Busta Rhymes, and the Notorious B.I.G. If you would like to have a good chuckle, take the time to look at some of the rappers than have been nominated for a Grammy. It sure tickles the shit out of me. A few times they have gotten it spot-on (Lauryn Hill, Outkast, Kanye West) or they’ve at least gone with safe picks (Eminem, Missy, Lil Wayne). Not to say other awards get it right with recipients or even nominations. One recent random hip-hop award show had a best female artist category that might have been the worst compilation of nominated musicians ever. That being said, the Grammy Awards recently paid homage to hip-hop’s history with the “HIP-HOP: A CULTURAL ODYSSEY” exhibit at the Grammy Museum, which was open from February through May of 2011 ( We were lucky enough to get a chance to connect with the woman in charge of “spearheading” the Grammy Museum’s hip-hop exibit, the Grammy Museum’s Education Coordinator Nwaka Onwusa, a southern California resident who used to have to sneak to get her Hip Hop fixes at school when she was young. “Kids in my class had already memorized EAZYE and Public Enemy. So I would listen to the music at school with friends,” she states. Currently Nwaka is working on an exhibit which will focus on Public Enemy. “They are celebrating their 25th anniversary next year and the exhibit will go up in late January to celebrate and honor Public Enemy’s achievements,” says Nwaka. Here is what else we were able to discuss with her.

LA RAW: Where are you from? Where did you grow up? I am a native Californian; grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the Inland Empire (Fontana to be exact) when I was 8 years old. How did you get involved with the “HIP-HOP: A CULTURAL ODYSSEY” exhibit at the Grammy Museum? During a meeting my Director challenged the staff to think of new exhibition ideas and the topic of hip-hop came up. I asked for permission to spearhead the project and he approved. From there I began my journey in reaching out to various artists and then collecting artifacts to assist in visually conveying the story I was trying to tell. What is your job description/role with the Grammy Museum?

My actual job title is Education Coordinator. The Museum has a small staff and an ambitious Director who allows willing and creative people cultivate their skills with projects like creating exhibits etc. How were the artists/pieces for the hip-hop exhibit chosen? Essentially, the objective of the exhibition had to be determined. When I started the project, I knew I wanted to focus on the West Coast, highlighting artists like Run-DMC, LL Cool J, the Cold Crush Brothers, and Afrika Bambaataa, so I went after those artists and items. Because the Grammy Museum and most all museums are educational institutions, it was agreed that we highlight the past and major influences that have catapulted hip-hop into the major force that it is today. How do you feel the Grammys have represented hip hop over the years? It is fair to say that there was blatant speculation and major hesitation to make a place for “Rap” in the Grammy world; but things have gotten much


better and hip hop is America’s new sound, it’s everywhere. The Grammys have done a good job in recognizing the genre. How were you exposed to hip hop? Wow! Well I grew up in an extremely strict Christian home and me and my sisters could only listen to “secular” music by sneaking or at school or a friend’s house. I was exposed to hip hop when I lived in LA. Kids in my class had already memorized EAZY-E and Public Enemy. So I would listen to the music at school with friends. Favorite hip-hop artist from the past and present? This is a hard one. I love the Watts Prophets and the late Gil Scott-Heron because their messages are still true even today and I must throw Kurtis Blow and Public Enemy into the mix. And artists of today (this is difficult too, so I’m going to name 3 yet again and mix it up), Little Brother, Blu, and Eminem. How do you feel about modern hip hop? I try to listen to everything, but when you say modern, some of the messages in the music I can’t really get with are either objectifying women, talking about drugs or sex. But I feel that there is a healthy selection of hip hop to choose from. Favorite albums of the past year? My favorite album his past year has to be Lupe Fiasco (Lasers); good listening all the way through. What previous work experience led you to your current position? Music has always been a major passion of mine and I still aspire to be an educator when I grow up. So the Museum was a magnificent fit. It was a true random occurrence how everything happened but I’m glad it did. A true blessing. Are you involved in the upcoming Grammy Awards? I am not on the voting committee for the Grammy Awards. However, at the Museum we do have something called Grammy Week celebrating the nominees from various categories and I do have involvement in that process. How do you think women are represented in hip hop? and in the music videos. I think it is important that someI feel that women are still being objectified in the music thing be done about women’s portrayal in the music any time you hear a young girl who can barely add and subtract talking about “dropping her panties.” That message is disheartening. And yes the same can be said about some of the messages that are being told to young men. But to answer your question, for young ladies who take those negatives words as their own truth it most definitely makes me want to take action. How do you think the Grammys represent women? I personally feel that on a mainstream level, there are not many women who are highlighted. Right now we mainly have Nicki Minaj as the leading lady in the genre. The category itself has been dismantled because of the lack thereof; but I think it there is a major uprising of powerful women the category will be back. JT








I discovered the last time I spoke with VerBS, the once-fledgling local rapper has established a formiAsdable fanbase throughout Los Angeles and elsewhere, having toured with Murs and rapped everywhere

from your neighbor’s basement to the House of Blues. More than a year later, VerBS is as humble as ever, and as verbose (or maybe VerBoSe) as he is on the mic, in conversation you are reminded that he is just a cool ass motherfucker who happens to be really good at this rapping shit. In fact, when I ask him what he’s been up to since our last interview, instead of a boastful list of accomplishments and personal accolades, VerBS coolly answers “Man just rappin’, rappin’, ridin’ my bike, workin’ a job, doing shows, still trying to be a rapper and stuff...” However, when I ask him about recent artists who have inspired him, he is quick to applaud a plethora of other artists and their work. Now becoming as well known for his dedication to his bicycle and red beanie as well as his lyrical wordplay, VerBS is forming an instantly recognizable persona - that guy you always see at seemingly every rap show in L.A. One might expect that his avid bike-riding provides him with a trove of inspiration from which to draw, but in reality, he is just “trying to have super hero legs.” Instead, “sexy bitches” and his brain provide the stimulation for his lyrics, which makes him even more approachable than ever. Here is a taste of VerBS, in his own unpretentious words.


AM: Has your creative process changed since our last interview? Where have you grown the most as an artist? My raps continue to advance the more I read and live and experience shit...I like to be in the studio when I write new stuff...but I’m constantly freestylin’ and playing wit styles and imitating raps styles I’s like a fun game...I sing more and I’ve been whistling on my records lately. It’s a great time. AM: Are there any recent records/videos/performances you’ve seen that have resonated with you on an artistic level? These dudes called OverDoz are really awesome and their videos have ultra inspired me. My homie Calmatic directed alot of them..the shit is pretty gangster yo. Also the new Danny Brown is incredible; he’s one of my favorite rappers right now. The new Phonte [record] is like a fucking amazing 43-minute-opus of that dude’s’s just so good! Ther e’s this really cool artist I’ve seen live called Low Leaf. She plays the harp and beat machine and keyboard at the same time....and she’s ultra hot. This dude from Colorado named Catch Lungs, I’ve been bumping and my homie Zeroh the Blqbrd. He’s the truth right now. AM: Describe to me your perfect day in LA Cuddlin’ and smellin’ a hot chick that I like from 2 to 3am and it not being weird for me to hit her up that late...and me coming through...that would be tight As you can see, VerBS is always keeping it real and simple, in the best way possible. Fans can look forward to the third installment of his transformative artistic creations, the Progress EP 3: Manifest Awesome, as well as Leaps and Bounds with Intuition (with whom he created the L.A. hip-hop collector’s must-have, the Buzz EP). VerBS also has projects in the works with Alpha MC, the other half of Red Foxx, and has been spending a lot of time with Breezy Lovejoy and the Block Cheddar squad, recording what is sure to be an earful of fresh cuts. Let’s go. 43



Hannah Griffith




YancyCarpe Deron Diem Yancy Deron, a native to the City of Roses, was only eight years old when he started writing his first lyrics through poetry. It was dad’s role in the local choir which first ignited the musical spark in Yancy, and it was only a matter of time before he was listening to the radio. Using dad’s old tapes as a canvas, the young Yancy embarked on his first musical creation - the dubbed-over radio playlist. Eventually, he would combine his lyrical prowess with a musical ear, and partake in the ubiquitous lunchtime freestyle session at school. High school also introduced him to his future musical partner, Jacob (of Intricate Sound), who invited him over to fool around with recording software. The anger and regret of watching a father drink away his problems inevitably created within Yancy a desire to express his inner turmoil, which was only exacerbated by his mother’s 1993 breast cancer diagnosis. Now, with a healthy mother and a sober father, Yancy has triumphed over tragedy and emerged with an impressive list of accolades, including performing at the Cleveland Hip Hop Awards, performances with Dom Kennedy and Fashawn, co-founding Aktiv Music Entertainment, his own mixtape (Sweet Sixteens), and most recently, an ambitious 2-part project called Live Now|Die Later.


ive Now, the 8-track EP and first half of the project, serves as an ode to the dreamers and bastions of legacy through uplifting lyrics and energetic production. A slightly terrifying and visually provocative video for the single “Anti-Haterism� has become a viral sensation, showing up on all of the hottest music sharing blogs. The project will come to complete fruition in February 2012, when part two of LN|DL is released via a 10-track EP drops, fittingly titled Die Later.


AM: What do you want people to know about you musically? Firstly, that I’m new talent, with a vision and movement I want people to understand. My music and the movement (Live Now, Die Later) work together, but they are two separate entities. LNDL is set out to eliminate your extinction and inspire you existence. Life. Everybody on this planet that’s making moves for yourselves, even if you’re a doctor or lawyer or gangsta, as long as you’re bettering yourself, my music can relate to you. In terms of rapping, I’m a real ass nigga that don’t give a fuck about what’s going on or what’s trendy. I’m a real simple mothafucka, but songwriting and rapping is more than a hobby for me now. When it comes to this music shit, that’s what I do. Music is forever changing and I’m set to bring you many elements of it. AM: What’s the difference between Underdogs and the latest record? This record is a completely different realm of music. The Underdogs was more like my footprint on where I fit in at the time. This latest record is more about an actual movement. The music is dedicated to life. From “Anti-Haterism” to “Drugs and Alcohol,” there are different views on life being told; but within that lies a balance. AM: Do you think you’ve progressed as an artist since we last interviewed? How so? I’m more focused. FixedGearFocus. Everything is about concentration. I definitely know where I am in life and this artistry. Last time, it was more of like a freshman type of feel. I know I had the flow, but now I’m actually directing it towards something of substance. The whole emotion thing…I love to shift emotion and give you that feeling, and on the next record give you another feeling. The previous record we was just set to put music out, now it’s about the progress to success.





John Policarpio







That Sounds Intricate


Jay Q, also known as Intricate Sound, is a producer from Pasadena we first interviewed a while back. Working side-byside with Yancy Deron, Jay Q has been steadfastly putting together the music behind Live Now|Die Later, switching from “up-beat tempos to dark beats with strings and muffled drums” on the regular. He takes pride in his versatility, which prevents him from “sticking to one lane” while maintaining a signature sound. Currently, the LN|DL project is Jay Q’s priority, but he is also working on beats for other artists, including a 16year-old hip-hop artist, Craig Gillespie (who is featured on “Pasadena,” the anthemic track honoring their hometown on Live Now). He is also working with Bianca Leonor, another artist featured on the record, as well as handling an upcoming project on a film score. Here is what the music man had to say about past, previous, and future sounds. First, tell me things you want people who are reading the interview to know about you as a producer; things like where you get your inspiration from, the message you want to send through your music, and what your creative process is: I want people to know that I create what I want. whatever Jay Q is feeling, he is going to create. I’m not going to necessarily stick to a specific guideline verbatim; I’m going to make what I’m inspired to make at the moment. That’s what i want people to know. And even though every track is versatile, there may still be a key element within the track that will let the listener know, “maybe Jay Q/Intricate Sound made that.” I get my inspiration from all kinds of elements. I may hear a euro pop song or a rock song, or even the sounds of ambiance around me. I’ve been around machines making noise in a somewhat rhythmic pattern, which inspired me to make a beat, believe it or not. During my creative process, I lock myself in my room and sit at my workstation and create until I make something good. And if it sucks, I either scrap it or save if it has some potential, then I start something else. There’s no particular order in which I start. Sometimes I start w/ drums, sometimes with a melody...I just work with whatever comes to me first. Sometimes I sit down


with an idea or melody that I recorded on my phone while away from home. Many times I’ve started with a complete blank, a blank canvas, with nothing on my mind and just bang on the keys until something sparks. I just do it, basically. There is no formula to it...not ‘til it gets going. Once it gets going, then I’ll go and clean up the drums and stuff, but in the actual early creation phase, there is no set blueprint. In terms of your production, what are the differences between The Underdogs and LN|DL? Well, there are similarities and differences worth mentioning because with both of them I wanted to show my versatility as a producer, but in two different ways. Underdogs was more of a radio-ready project. If we were “on,” you could have played more than half of those songs on the radio, and yet each would have had its own feel to it. I wanted to tell people “hey! we’re here, we’re just starting {at least to you guys},

and we’re good!” I had everything from sampled tracks with energetic drums, to slow Southern tracks. Each track had it’s own voice, and it was enough to speak to different age groups, from high school on up to college grads. With LiveNow, i think we cared a little LESS about what people perceived of the music in terms of what a hit is; whereas with Underdogs we took it into consideration a lil more. Live Now|Die Later is 100% “I Do Me.” If it bangs it bangs, if it’s dark, it’s dark. You feel me? I just created. Created, created, created. And in the end, if it fit Live Now’s theme, the song went on it; if it fit on Die Later’s theme, it went on there. Live Now shows as a producer, my ability to create something good that doesn’t necessarily sound like what everyone classifies as a good track these, “ok it has this element, that element, that element, like such & such’s song, so it’s a good record.” I just did what I wanted.


Any recent records/videos/performances you’ve seen that have resonated with you on an artistic level? Um...not recently, but Ryan Leslie’s videos were always a huge inspiration to me. His YouTube channel beat-making videos. His videos spoke so loud to me it was ridiculous. Not only were the beats amazing, but his energy and passion and showmanship behind ‘em, were all like “wow.” And this was at a crossroads in my life where I was finishing college and deciding between corporate America or persuing my passion, and watching his videos spoke right to me. It was a push of motivation I needed at that time..but as far as recent, not really. Only because I’ve been engulfed in my own realm for the entire creative process of LN|DL. It was either self-motivation, or feeding off of Yancy’s energy and vice versa, like “man, go make a beat, or dude, finish your song..” AM


David Kwock







In our previous feature on friend and fellow go-getter J. Hyphen, he told us he wanted to upper cut us with his drums. Not much has changed on that front, and he continues his work with a pretty formidable squad, including Raven Sorvino, Thr33zy McFly, and Trey Billie, even launching a collective mini tour.

than ever, he is working with M ore Chikotiq, a friend and producer who

makes up fifty percent of The Formula. Together, the two played the role of Executive Producers for Sorvino’s debut album, Paper Girl. That particular project was Hyphen’s first time playing a highly integral role in the creation and cultivation of a full record, he tells me. “From creating the soundscape the album would follow, to marketing, creating videos for the album, photo shoots, its all been great and I can’t wait for you guys to hear what me and Chikotiq have in store.” Additionally, the two have been working with Trey Billie on his music, as well as with four talented singers (Veronica Elaine, Camellia, Mir, and Iris Leonardo), cultivating and creating a sound for their respective projects. Hyphen has been honing not only his musical repertoire since the last time we spoke, but also his photography shit. He frequently shoots fashion editorials for the Look & Listen, an unassuming yet expressive blog (I see you, Neijah). In terms of progression in his creative process, Hyphen places as much importance on emotion has he did the last time we spoke. More specifically, “you just have to relax and follow the music. If you try to make music, you won’t. I’ve learned to just follow the strings and percussion in my head.” Another inspiration cruising around his head is the “Tomorrow Man Theory.” Hyphen says it is crucial to “do for yourself today what you want the man you are tomorrow to benefit from. There’s a lot of little things that go into living and making music, and I’ve learned that putting them off only makes things worse. From working out and staying healthy, to mixing and doing paper work, I’m thinking about the man I want to be. Its hard because its engraved in my soul, but I’m almost there.” AM



The Kaymar






Billie the Kid pt.2 Searching for the Phrase that Pays

Since the last time we checked in with Trey Billie, he has been picked up by new management, and he has been actively seeking out an eclectic variety of artists around L.A. with whom to collaborate. Most notably, Trey’s writing skills were showcased on Candyman187 & Snoop Dogg’s “High Off the Fame,” which landed on Billboard’s Top 25 Dance/Club charts and earned considerable radio play in thirty states.


he collabos with Candyman haven’t stopped, as Trey was approached by his writing team to continue working on Candyman’s project Tomorrow Never Comes. Trey tells me he is still wet behind the ears, and this is his first time working on a fully budgeted project of this magnitude, but absorbing the experience is only aiding his progression as a solid, well-rounded artist. Working sixteen hours a day and six days a week has Trey locking down ten verse/hook combos on a daily basis. As of yet, Jim Jones, Too $hort, and Richie Rich can be added to the impressive list of artists Trey has worked with. About this experience, Trey says “I don’t really have much to complain about.” When you are surrounding by the platinum plaques of music you listened to growing up hanging on the walls around you, “motivation is not really an issue.” Trey’s most recent project, called Billie the Kidd, earned its name from his previous La Raw feature, and we are all very proud of him! After nearly four months of consistent studio living, the project is now in its final stages of post-production. He has also been busy working on a collaborative project with the Bassheadz Production team, as Kushed Out features tracks with Huss, Crakk, and Dale Danja. Of course, he continues to work with another La Raw artist, producer J. Hyphen. Trey credits the producers with much of his success, telling me that without them, “I wouldn’t have shit.” Included in his current arsenal are two fully recorded original albums slated for release at the end of this year and early 2012. The hardest working man in showbiz took time out of his uber-hectic schedule to share me his current thoughts and aspirations. Check the rhime.


What progress have you made in your creative process? Any new lessons you’ve learned? Been learning alot more as a collaborator, which I feel is bigger than just rapping or songwriting itself. It’s the whole element of bringing the “Missing Piece to the Puzzle.” Anything successful is never really done or completed by yourself, you could start writing a whole magazine but it would probably be incomplete without a full team of packaging and promo around it, and it’s the same with music... At home you get to write the whole song by yourself, now it’s a team of people pitching ideas, picking the best one, then deciding who sings, who raps, when/where/and at what time, so it’s just different than doing whatever the hell you feel like doing, and I feel like the music is gettin’ better because of it. So I just wanna send a special shout-out to everyone I either have or presently work with. We try new sh*t every day, and sooner or later we’ll get it right! And one short, sweet, Captain Obvious lesson that I learned: Start the song off with somethin’ tight, like real dope, or an actual quality song might never get heard, sold, or even listened to by fans. Can never replace your first impression, gotta be the “Phrase that Pays” and that will take you to the money. Any records/videos released recently that have influenced you? One thing I’ve noticed and am stupid for not noticing before, is that it doesn’t matter what you do. There’s an element in music of “never been done before” which people really appreciate and which keeps things entertaining, and genuine music fans appreciate that. Business is the opposite so they just want to make money off of things they already sold before because it’s proven to sell, so music and business have a natural clash. After being in L.A. the last decade, I hear about artists like Tyler the Creator for years and have good friends like Krys-shun that work with him, but seeing him win an VMA that was launched from a video like “Goblin,” he has now became the standard for how to produce quality for your fans on a realistic budget. For me, it just stamps out the fact that you have to be creative, he and others have been doing those things for years, but people don’t follow creativity...they follow success and the most creative success they can find. So when you get enough support for your creativity, then people will follow. A good record I’m happy about is seeing J. Cole go #1 for a while with the Cole World album. I met him a couple years ago at LMU but it has nothin’ to do with that; it’s the fact he did a full rap album with dope lyrics, deep concepts, and was still commercial enough to sell and pull it off. It’s good quality music. Plus I heard “the only man that hates on another man’s time is one that don’t have it comin’ for himself”... so I’m genuinely happy for that dude. Are there any recent experiences in your life which have altered your perspective or influenced the music you want to work on in the future? Yeah, after working with a bunch of different artists recently, whether in writing or just rap sessions in general, you learn the differences between each person and what they have specialty wise that makes that artist special, and that’s your gift. ‘Til this point, I never really paid attention and just made music. I always assumed it was just

the lyrics but now I’m realizing it’s everything but, the words just have to describe the situation. It’s really the voice, performance and everything but the lyrics, so it just made me run back to the studio and do all this weird shit vocally that other people can’t really get away with or don’t even try. So that’s what kind of stamped my confidence out and told me I have an opening in this game, I don’t really question it anymore. I just do it and whatever happens, happens. Describe to me your dream concert lineup, living or dead. First off this is weird as f*ck by the way...but If I was born in Heaven and became the same MC, I would wanna open the show up with a Big, Heavenly rockin’ ass band! Not ‘cause I think I’m tight, cause there’s no way I would try to compete with the acts on after me, and I love performin w/ live instruments... We would just rock out, spit hot flows and give ‘em everything I Had. Next I would have to bless ‘em with Jimi Hendrix and his crew, to just freak the whole scene out, and remind people about amazing musicians and let ‘em feel the music. Probably would have to let Bob Marley rock next, give the scene a good irie feeling and let everybody know we were there in peace, not to mention he got hits on hits on hits. Bein an 80s baby, and being that I grew up in the 90s, I would have to Let B.I.G. rock next. To this day, he is still one of my favorites, and it’s crazy to see where many of the biggest acts now still rip their style from. To hear him spit “Juicy” live would be worth whatever price of admission into Heaven. Headlinin’ the show would have to be 2pac, no doubt or question. ‘Til this day, I feel he is still the artist that had the biggest impact on our culture along with the music. To see that intensity live is priceless, somethin’ about an artist who means every word. He always spit everything like it was his last. I was never fortunate enough to see it live....I guess that’s what makes it a dream; it’s just something I know everybody would feel, hands down. No question. Anything else here on Earth is not really a dream, just a grind. Hopefully one day I’ll meet somebody that books me a show with the likes of Lil Wayne or Kanye. Just know if they do, I’ll be ready for it. Trey’s ultimate goal is to create a sound that bridges gaps on an international level, and he is certainly on the right track. Perhaps one of the most indelible lessons he has learned thus far is that, in the music industry, there are no overnight connections or relationships; creative processes can take years to come to fruition, which requires immense patience and dedication from all of those involved. The “being creative on a schedule thing” can be quite arduous, but as the old adage goes, all good things take time. It is hard to consolidate the spontaneity of creativity with the restrictions created by a strict schedule, but as Trey states so eloquently, “fuck it, we’re doing it.” AM 95










New Kingdom Nola Darling VerBS SatiliteRok Yinka Diz Trey Billie Yancy Deron The Boogie

Mickey Taelor The Vespertines Stegosaurus Marvel The Gr8 Kevin Sandbloom Black Party Politics Soul King Willie Rage









Ruminations Upon Social Networking So I deleted Facebook. Apparently, it’s the end of the world. I was told “lol you’ll be back in a week” etc but it’s been several months now and I’m certainly not itching to reactivate. How is my life different? Well, it isn’t. I don’t get invited to anything anymore and I haven’t seen my friends in months - I’m ok with this. It’s better than thinking I’ve got hundreds of friends just a click away when really I don’t. If I’m alone in this world, I want to know it; I prefer not lying to myself. My music isn’t getting any attention at all, but it never really did, plus I haven’t made anything in months and months. Facebook didn’t help, and not having one isn’t hurting, or maybe it is and I just don’t know it. Regardless, I don’t care. There’s no future in music, not for me anyway. Why did I do it? Now there’s the million dollar question. Initially, I was trying to get a better job and I was told to delete all my social networking profiles, or at least remove anyone I didn’t want to answer questions about. I went through and, hesitantly, began deleting friends that were posting stupid/illegal/annoying shit. Love you guys but yeah, I love to be able to feed my daughter more. I figured, my real friends hit me up in real life anyway, so it doesn’t matter if we’re connected online, right? Soon after that, some “estranged family” decided to use Facebook to try and fuck with me. I figured I should delete the whole thing then, because the people I really want/need in my life know where I live and have my cellphone number, right? Right?? Then a week or so later, I got some devastating news – through Facebook of course. One of my friends committed suicide. My heart broke. I went to his Facebook page to see if there were any clues, say a little goodbye, something. His page simply said “add as a friend.”Apparently I deleted him, and now I lost him, forever. It’s hard to describe the combination of pain/ guilt I felt at that moment, but I deleted Facebook that night. I got a couple texts about the funeral services but I couldn’t make it due to short notice and not being able to miss work. I became depressed. A couple

weeks later, a friend that lives out of state asked me if I went to the funeral, which of course I couldn’t. She asked me if I knew anything about what led up to it. She knew more than me. Turns out when they found him, alone in his apartment, his computer was on. The last thing he did before leaving it all behind was check Facebook. I was convinced deleting my page was the right thing to do. I’m not sure this illusion of constant connectedness is really benefiting us. It makes people lazy when maintaining relationships; we don’t give them the energy they require in an environment wherein things shouldn’t require more than a single mouse-click. We don’t have each other’s addresses, we don’t send cards, we don’t talk on the phone, we just have Facebook. We haven’t had a conversation in months, but you did click “like” on my post so it’s kinda like we’ve talked right? I think we’re supposed to disconnect. Maybe we’re supposed to lose our childhood friends. Maybe we’re supposed to forge headfirst into the great and scary wilderness of the real world without the security blanket of social networking. We won’t ever be anything more than the stupid teenager we were in freshman year of high school without this severing of ties and I’d bet there are resurrected friendships and infidelities due to (temporarily) rekindled flames in equivalent numbers. Where in the fuck are we going to be in 10 years when people can’t stay off Facebook during a regular 8 hour work shift or an hour-long lecture in college NOW? Is clicking “like” on a few random posts and sending half-hearted birthday greetings to people whose birthdays you wouldn’t remember on your own really worth your future? If Facebook is making an unbearable life bearable, maybe it’s time to delete it so you can confront that discomfort head-on and remedy it; if not now, when? We’ve only got a few years left before we’re stuck in a life we don’t want and can’t fix, and for some of us, it’s too late already. “Click ‘Like’ to share this post on Facebook” - fuck outta here. Peace.




LÁ RAW was created by individuals who decided that their interests, visions, and political views were lacking in the world of print so here...

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