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#ST. MILLIE 8 #CALEZ 9 #MONSTER MIKE 31

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#WWNNN 22 | Dae Jones ★ Brook

ASA (SAUCE GANG) 10 PMARTT- C O M I N G T O A M E R I C A 2 8

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# IN THE MIX Dj Gemini Jones 42 | DJ ELZ 44

# MUST PRESS PLAY 18 THE KINGPENS Present #ChurchSox & Jordans

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Greg Owens 45

# INDIE UNIVERSITY 13 License Your Music Power of the Spilt Sheet Indie Musician Tips: Do's and Dont's 16

# KUSH V.S. PILLS 36 # STRIKE A POSE 56 | 70

Urban Wasteland 58 GENE

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#DOIN’ IT RAW 50 # KEEP IT 100 52 # MUFFIN IN A JAR 48 # PASSPORT 33 # WTF? 28 # RESOURCE 72 # RIDDIMS 32


PUBLISHER’S NOTE TOINE TRACKS

MR. TRACKS

Founder | Brand Manager |

Layout Design PHONE 773-669-7802 EMAIL ToineTracks@gmail.com

This issue explores the limitless mindset behind creativity and originality. It breaks the boundaries between trap music and hip-hop culture. Eventhough we are Chicago based, here at LeveL-Up! we do our best to deliver a variety of music, art & fashion with an insight of the industry and passionate entrepreneurship. Marketing programs and creative elite independency is the new way to brand the arts globally. Exlpore our archive, download our app, and subscribe to receive a print copy of LeveL-Up! Magazine. Without further adue, we present to you; Issue 6. - Mr. Tracks

WEB yourbrandattraction.com PHOTOGRAPHY | JOAN VEENSTRA

EDITOR’S

NOTE

BRITISH TRACKS

BRITISH TRACKS

Co Founder | Editor-in-Chief |

Health Coach PHONE 312-685-2465 EMAIL Levelup.editor@gmail.com WEB therawscout.com

Issue 6 baby! It's unbelievable how far we've come and what is to come in the future. Chicago is not only on the map, but notable artists with various styles and flavors are springing up everywhere. I feel like a kid at Christmas. Our goal for this issue was to reflect the beautiful collaboration that is happening in our city as well as highlight some dope ass talent. If we didn't stop, we would probably have over 100 pages. This industry is never ending with an exuberant burst of creativity I’ve personally witnessed. I feel so proud to be part of this revolution and I can't wait for you see our passion on paper! Enjoy! If you think we’re rad, rock wit us at: level-upmagazine.com - Mrs. Tracks


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Cover Work by Toine Tarcks Photography by Dante Alexander

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FOUNDER/PUBLISHER Freddie W. (Toine Tracks)

MODELS Ashley Snow Atiyya Joseph Gabrielle S. Pickens Jaclyn Nicole

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF British W. (British Tracks) ASSISTANT INTERN Vinessa Gabrielle ★ ★ WRITERS Kimberly Shine ★ ★ ★ Sparkle Rucker ★ ★ STYLISTS Tyaisha Robinson ★ ★ ★ ★ Owner/GENERATIONStyle Image Co. HAIR Sharnell Junious ★ ★ MAKE UP Megan Oseku ★ ★ ★ ★

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Cameron Derby Dante Alexander

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Pg# Back Cover | 56-57

ISSN# 1938-2308 Coypright © 2013 by F.Williams/Founder LeveL-Up! Magazine is Trademark & All rights reserved. Printed in United States of America

Pg# Cover | 2 | 6-9 | 22-23 | 29

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Joan Veenstra

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Contact: levelup.editor@gmail.com Office: 312.685.2465

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LEVEL-UP! MAGAZINE…. Using our artistic minds to represent the unique sub-culture of art, music, and fashion, LeveLUp! Magazine is the voice of the youth. Using #LEVELUPMAGAZINE our motto, “where underground is mainstream” we interpret our culture through the sharpest lens and embody the true art of creation.

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M E LI N : ST. I L I A M ER N .M T G N I IA NA MA ES R; S ES A E W _ M AN AY NAG Y_W J I A @ A M AMJ @I

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ASA

Play

SAUCE GANG CEO You’ve heard his track with King Louie, “Stupid Cash” (Racks) blasting on GCI. It’s shade wearin,’ styrofoam cup holding cool cat ASA. He’s destined to spark a music revolution in the Midwest and beyond. This new movement is all about being “turnt” up but toned down. Imagine fist pumping without the jumping or ADHD antics. As oxymornoic as it may sound, the music of the future promises to get you fucked up on chill mode. Mentally stimulating your mind with lucid dream-like rhymes and beats, ASA is a voice speaking to a generation that is constantly seeking that next new wave of good music to bump. Two mixtapes deep, ASA’s tracks are more than an ear full of empty rhymes and not-about-that statements. From the instruments to the lyrics and melodic sing songy

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harmonies, Sauce Gang’s CEO is creating a genre all for himself. The sound is called ocean 808’s and is ASA’s interpretation of smooth, faded, lay-back-in-the-cut type beats and vocals. Far from your average on the corner trap music, ASA’s style is comparable to that of a younger Jay-Z with an ability to gain fans with his versatility and branding tactics. His brand, Sauce Gang is backed by his rowdy right hand man, Jim “saucey” Bean

WHAT IS......

and quiet but about business manager Lil’ Ward. Don’t expect the crew to be mosh pittin’ it up or running around on stage like wild goons. The Sauce Gang vibe is refreshing and memorable of the classic laid back smoke & ride Chicago sound that we all grew up listening to. ASA’s latest creation; Superficial is an interesting blend of story-telling, partying, and drink mixing. Keep it sauce Chicago. #stupidcash.

and provide a postivie means for their artistic expression and Hopefully the first thing that interests. Sauce is like the comes to your mind when you super hero that smashed swag hear sauce isn’t of the the mild over the head. It’s a brand that sauce variety. The Sauce Gang translates over to the way of life movement is spearheaded by for these youngstars. Hell yeah, young one ASA who decided to they like to party and drink, but take his musical talents who doesn’t like to have a good seriously and create an time? It’s about time everybody impressionale brand that would chilled out and left the gun play make him and his crew money for the ok corral. #thatssauce

SAUCE GANG

#SAUCEGANG

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Click Here. Play


BY @TOINETRACKS DESIGN BY DARRELL GILBERT

â˜Ľ An informative entertainment education section that coaches readers on all aspects of branding.


SEARCH...

MUSIC LICENSING

PUBLISHING | COPYRIGHTS | ROYALTIES

BY @TOINETRACKS REFERENCES:

THE TOINE TRACKS SHOW.COM YOUR BRAND ATTRACTION.COM

License Your Music A great example of a successful music licensing approach can be seen with the success of the Kool Kids. Not only did they start out their career on a commercial, they have independently made a living by corporate sponsorship and music licensing deals. For one time placements, an artist can expect to receive anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 for their master rights. If you want to license your song, it must be registered & published/copyrighted. Music licensing is insanely competitive. Branding yourself professionally to attract the right people while providing high quality music is the key. YOULICENSE.COM serves as a marketplace for artists and those seeking music. It’s a really easy way to conduct business and catch the attention of music supervisors. Another benefit of licensing is it’s a great way to break out as an artist in an unconventional way. The licensing approach separates you from the competition and encourages an artist to focus on pushing that one “hit.” Imagine the benefit from one song vs. making mixtape after mixtape and not reaching the awareness you set out to reach.

SONGTRUST.COM Music rights can be a complex system of copyrighting, collecting royalties, and tapping into licensing opportunities. If you’re not registered with a performance rights organization like ASCAP, you can register and license your music to collect 100% royalties with Songtrust. This online music publishing service streamlines the music right’s process and pays the artist when their song is played, streamed, and downloaded on the internet and radio. 14 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

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The Power of The Split Sheet Music Split Sheets help maintain healthy business relationships throughout your career. When you go into the studio and work on any music idea(s) or projects, be sure to keep this document handy. You should always have a contract or some form of documentation protecting any and all of your interests. A split sheet in the music industry only reveals the split of the ownership in a particular song. Visit my site to download a sample http://thetoinetracksshow.com/ MusicBusinessForms

Split Sheet (Royalty/Song Rights)

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Song Title:

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Date in which the work was completed: The Recording/Master holder: Studio Name: Studio Address:

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Studio Phone Number:

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Writer/Composer:

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Writer ownership % Lyrics: Affiliation: ASCAP BMI SESAC (Circle one) Writer/Composer Signature: __________________ Date:________________ Producer/writer of music:

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Publishing %:

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Writer ownership %: Music Affiliation: ASCAP BMI SESAC (Circle one) Sample: YES NO (Circle one)

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Album & Artist where sample originated: Writer/Composer Signature: ___________________ Date:________________

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Note: If there is a 3rd party or more writers/recording artists who are entitled to a % of publishing & writer ownership, list these parties’ information as well. This is just an example. adjustments may be needed.

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Indie Musician Tips: Do's and Dont's By: Sparkle Rucker (@screamsparkle)

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owadays, independent artists have more power and opportunities than indie artists had before them. Now, indie artists can utilize the internet and various technologies to educate themselves about the music industry and business. As a result, many artists find themselves playing multiple roles in their careers. Many artists are in charge of the creation of their music as well as their own branding and marketing. In today's world, the most successful artists are artists as well as intelligent businessmen. Here are a few tips that artists can use while developing themselves and their brand:

# Do:

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TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE (You can't please everybody!)

A mistake that many artists make is trying to target "everyone" in their music. When asked about their target audience many reply "my target audience is everyone, I want everyone to feel my music..." Wanting the world to love your music is understandable, but trying to target multiple audiences at the same time often proves to be unsuccessful. Try to target one audience; if they love it, the rest of the world will follow. Targeting a specific audience increases your chances of

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obtaining loyal fans because they feel directly connected to you and your music since your music is made to appeal to them. Surround your marketing around the audience you are targeting. Take Tyler the Creator for example: his target audience is the audience that many artists either forget about or are scared to target. Tyler created his fan base by targeting the social outcasts and rebels. You will never find him making music about loving Jesus or helping one another (basically any PG13 acceptable thoughts). While doing this, Tyler has gained many critics, but a massive fan base as well.

# Don't:

IN D

THINK YOU WILL GET FAR WITH JUST GOOD MUSIC. Truth is, music is only 10% of your career; the other 90% is business. Ever too often, artists feel like posting great music and hoping an important person likes it and will get them where they want to be. This is a huge waste of time. Without a team, a budget, and a plan of movement, the majority of the time your music won't move past the internet. You need a team. You need to focus on marketing and branding yourself. You have to be prepared to invest a little money into yourself. With today's leaders in the music scene do you really think great lyrics and talent got them where they are now? (it's sad, but true). The

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difference between the many talented indie artists who have great music but no advancement in their careers and the (perhaps not as talented) artists who succeed in the music industry is the business they conduct. The next time you ask yourself "how on Earth did he get a deal and I'm way better than he is?!" Â consider the amount of effort put into the business side of your career versus the music making. You can have great music, but without great business you will only be 10% closer to your dreams.

Don't:

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EXPECT ANYONE TO INVEST IN YOU IF YOU DONT INVEST IN YOURSELF. Simple. If you don't invest money in yourself don't expect anyone to want to buy your CD's or pay to see you in concert. Unconsciously, audiences are attracted to artists who appear to put a lot of money into their craft. Thats why we love the artists with the great clothes, who have top notch- professional music videos, professionally recorded music, promo materials (shirts and such) - really anything that shows that the artist has put money into their careers. No one wants to support someone who doesn't support themselves - period.

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INTERACT WITH YOUR FANS PERSONALLY.

Attend as many events as you can. Perform at as many venues as you can. Show your face as much as you can. You want people to recognize you when they see you or hear your name. Speak to your fans personally on social media networks. Take pictures with fans. Give away free things at performances. Make your fans feel valued. If they feel valued, they will support and add value to you and your brand.

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# Don't:

POST MUSIC ON YOUR PAGE 50 TIMES A DAY. The more you have to advertise something the less valuable it becomes. Seeing the same song posted on your page five or more times is a turn off. After seeing something so much the audience gets tired of seeing it and even forgets the importance of it. Post music or such on your page every so often- make it seem exclusive and valuable.

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# MUST PRESS PLAY Dope Ass Tracks! Play

Play

Louisiana bred indie artist Troof has a message for all the copy-cat rappers out there who drown the internet with mixtapes and meaningless lyrics, he’s “glad to be slept on.” Southern gentlemen meets artistic hip-hop head, Troof’s latest mixtape Glad 2 B Slept On is a beautiful expression of real music mixed with poetic stanzas, and skits. Having put time and dedication into

Play

Religion ★★★★ @WEARECHARLIERED

Play

The First Agreement ★★★★ @DizzyWright

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molding his music, Troof’s not shy to admit that he’s a perfectionist with his content and that he would rather earn a fanbase through originality. His latest project is remniscent of the days when Rap City was poppin’ on BET. When you listen to his music, you can easily tell that he comes from a musically inclined background. Don’t expect him to sound like anyone but Troof. TRUTH.

Play

#GreenLightLife ★★★★ @ConnorEvans

Play

The Mad Writer ★★★★ @LOrangeMusic


Play Play

A PARTY AINT A PARTY!

Most known for his high powered performance on X Factor, this young emcee respectively known as the Astronomical Kid aka Brian Bradley is at the top of his game with his refreshing innovative lyrical approach known as true hip-hop. Wowing millions of viewers since his debut, it’s not hard to see why so many people are intrigued by his music. It started with the popular track “Stop Looking @ My Moms,” to his recent signing to LA Reid’s Epic Records label and the release of his two latest banging tracks “Methods” & “Deadbeat.” The sky is truly the limit for Astro.

Play

Penelope ★★★★ @HonaCostello

Name two things that make you get turnt up when you hear a track... hmm.. let’s see, #1 the beat and #2 the lyrics. Right? Well, if you ever danced in your Jordans, you’ll definitely be rockin’ to the latest mixtape released by homebred Windy City songwriters & vocal producers THE KINGPENS #ChurchSox&Jordans. This lyricallyheavy tape reveals Chi-town talent in a more versatile light, including many artists that are slept on by the masses of indie fans who are partaking in the trap music trance. #ChurchSox&Jordans is the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde of mixtapes released in 2012. It’s a “poo poo” platter of tracks that can be bumped from Chicago all the way to Miami. You get rauncy club tracks lead by @MushMillions & @MarcForbesMusic all the way to techo rapper @NaPalm and then some R&B goodness by @JoiseKidBella, @ItsKayeFox slapped with a little alternative rock @AMberRenessSings to fill the void. Even Mickkey Halsted makes his apprearance. It’’s 2013, versatility is the new trend. Get ya pen game up!

Play

Closed Mouf Don’t ★★★★ @PHENOM18

Play

PLAY

The Idea of Beautiful ★★★★ @Rapsodymusic

TheComp ★★★★ @IbnInglor


e g a l l i V e h T

@Alex_Wiley

“We rap really, really good,” is the motto and once you hear their experimental and politically incorrect rhymes, you’ll know why they’re such a prominent sound in the indie scene. As seperate entities, they hold their own with mind boggling styles and immense crews. Collectively, The Village is a collaborative mix of young emcees who have found a creative niche to make their mark. Most known for their “Dollar Please” track, the mixture of their styles is like no other. Alex Wiley, master emcee who makes mad funny jokes about grandmas and signing hella boobies; Monster Mike, the laid back rhymer who can flow on about any track and use his versatility to keep you tuned in; & Kembe X 2012 Smoker’s Tour artist with an explicitly witty & heavy Mars flow are showing the city that talent is in collaboration, not seperation. After the Ruby Hornet endorsement and their turnt up Digital Freshness: Under 21 Edition performance; they’re some of the youngest jet setters dominating the independent music scene. #turnup #fuckitimfamous @Alex_Wiley |@michaelokeke197 |@KEMBE_X 20 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


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#WWNNN

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The Big Broski @ThreeEyedSinSai

#WWNNN #WWNNN #WWNNN #WWNNN #WWNNN

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He’s Sin, the big brother figure of WWNNN with an immense imagination when it comes to rhyming and producing hits. Bringing a fresh outlook on group rap, Sin’s good guy demeanor mixed with tru school wit is an undeniable way to break through the indie industry. The notably newest artist to be promoted through AEMMP Records & Ruby Hornet you’ll be hearing his unique voice hitting the atmosphere. The dopest kids hail from the Chi.

The Bachelor @ jBruceAlMightyy

A fan of Casey Veggies and Joey Badass, J Bruce wants to bridge the gap between new and old, being the neutral rhymer who’s confidence can be heard in every track he spits on. Mastering the art of coolness, J Bruce rhymes un-orthordox. His flow is like an east-coast midwest mix of dopeness.

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The Kid Wit Beats @Dot9_WWNNN

He may be the youngest in the crew, but it’s Gearz’s precise creativity and focus that’s taking WWNNN through this new dimension of music. Using old school audio samples, and mixes, Gearz goes far beyond the norm of the average beat. Remniscent of Kanye West, his inspiration is the product of a classical era that we can’t get enough of hearing.

The Experimental Rhymer @ micvittorio

Mike Matthews brings a comedic flavor to the WWNNN crew’s dynamic. He easily defeats his opponents with his humorous and effortless ability to smile and carry on with his crazy rhymes. Don’t let the smile fool you, Mike’s ready to squash all the fakers with his super blunt flow and personality.


VA Play

★★★★ SHENANIGANS @swagpuffs

For a freshman EP, Shenanigans is a well done example of where a little bit of creativity and high school popularity will get you. With hella jokes, it’s hard to take these kids seriously. Bringing decent rhymes and a genuine flavor within the indie music scene, a hobby that they’ve done such a great job showcasing may grow into a career. Tracks like “Go Outside” “We Get It,” “These Trees,” & “Wumbology” represent how well the Swag Puffs “gel” not only as a crew but as friends who like music, jokes, and shenanigans. #really #suburbankidsraps #whoknew

East Coast SWAG: SUBURBAN STYLE What do you get when you mix hyper high school kids from the burbs with the internet and something to say? Super duper pillow puffy swag or just simply Swag Puffs. With this era being all about lyrical swag, it isn’t strange that a group like Swag Puffs are using their quirky creativity and frat boy antics to make people laugh or cringe or shake their heads in confusion. Self producing and recording their own tracks including their latest album Shenanigans Swag Puffs are definitely marking their territory in this industry. On the verge of college, the Swag Puffs have used the majority of their high school career to make music and funny ass (high quality) videos to pass the time. To be honest, they’re rhymes are pretty decent, not that they care if you like them or not anyway. Better known as Grizzy Fizzy, Papa Fleisch, J-Po, Ace, & Brown Bear, they may not know it, but their music is creating a niche market all its own. Their interpretation of pop culture and music is directly influenced in their desire to make rap a hobby from the cozy suburbia they’re from. Swag Puffs are in rotation. Check it out.

LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2012


NUWBIA


# WTF? Dedicated to the random and ridiculous things our eyes must witness, WTF is a blood raw take on trends that scream STOP NOW! We expect people to disagree and that’s fine. WTF is not hatin’ it’s about looking at a trend and analyzing the historical factors that influenced the trend to be “hot” today. We many even inspire you to ask yourself, “what the hell am I doing?!” Don’t get me wrong, if you about that life, then be about that life 100% of the time. For the rest of us, enter: Article #1 of WTF? 5 people don’t like this

Ashley Snow I personally wish the young man of our culture learn that this look is just dumb. I won't lie as a teenage girl I was attracted to the "Bad Boys" who sagged their pants but as I've grown and matured this look is simply mediocre and embarrassing! I don't want to marry someone who doesn't know how to look presentable and wear a belt. Hell you don't even have to wear a belt but I def don't want to see your draws I get enough views of draws changing my son i don't want to see a grown man's underwear!! get it together young people. You can def be cool with pant on your butt and a nice outfit .. that's your size!!

Vinessa This reminds me of a picture I uploaded a couple weeks ago. I was emphasizing the fact that its not in style anymore!! It seriously needs to stop, even songs are being made about boys pulling their pants up.http://ow.ly/igPWw this is the link lol its a must see. I hate guys who show their drawers! i dont want to see that and we can tell if you wear the same underwear more than once lol

Joani If u are in your own home that's one thing but at work or church or at the store no thank you.

Beke Zela Come on now fellas, you can go to a thrift store and get a belt for 69 cents.There's no point in sagging. You can't be taken seriously. You can't walk, run, or get a woman. There's no kind of swag about it. S.he W.ants A. G.entleman.

Aaminah EL I just had to tell a brother, while in my car and he was walking to a gas station from a barber shop...okay, i yelled out the car, "If you pulled your pants up, you wouldn't have to hold them".

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YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE WEARING A SKIRT! STOP ADVERTISING YOUR ASS! Some call it swag, others call it trendy. The media has made it even more popular by portraying every mainstream artist on magazine covers and television shows doing it. This pant sagging phenomena that I’m talking about is as common as women wearing leggings these days. Am I the only one disgusted at how so called “thugs” dress? I just wanna know one thing….. why do you think anyone wants to see your faded fruit of the loom anyway? I’m just saying, you might as well just walk outside the house with your boxers on. *What really confuses me is when I see sagging with a belt! WTF?* What if one day you HAD to run really fast? Guess you won’t be getting away eh? Here are some reasons why we’re so over pant sagging: #1 it makes you look dirty!  #2 it’s awkward as hell! Especially when you’re with family & around children *or with a whole bunch of guys who are shirtless....*  #3 it’s an open advertisement for everyone to see your bits Right now, I have to smh at all the failed attempts for some of us to make excuses for this mess. Every trend we see in mainstream culture has a historical implication. A “style” just doesn’t drop from the sky. The whole cycle of pant sagging begins during the colonial period of slavery. During that time, male slaves were given oversized clothes to discourage escape. The physical restrains of oversized clothing were seen as a punishment to the men who were forced into this kind of humiliation. After hundreds of years, the slave mentality is still alive as men are volunteering to have their pants be loose.  Now let’s fast forward to the 80’s & 90’s. Before the prison jumpsuits made their debut, incarcerated men were made to dress without belts and shoelaces due to the “threat” of suicide. After leaving prison, many men sagged their pants as a symbol of their jail “stripes.” Suddenly, some of our favorite rappers began sagging their pants. Ice T was one of the first to use the pant sagging trademark as gangsta. Let’s not forget about Kriss-Kross who backwards sagged! Although we’re far from the 90’s, pant sagging has gotten disgustingly out of hand to the point of soft porn. Men of all shades have participated in the madness of this so-called trend. My next question is, what’s next? Skirts?


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Photography by Cameron Derby

PMARTT COMING TO AMERICA FROM AFRICA TO CHICAGO My story is beyond, I’ve come a long way man.” After moving from the warm, sunny skies of Africa, the then 10 year old PMARTT was in for the culture shock of his life. After braving the cold, and getting acclimated to huge puffy coats and snow ball fights, one of the first things that made him feel at home was when he experienced that classic beat-on- thetable freestyle cypher that Chicago is best known for. Staying in the background with no knowledge of English, PMARTT would sit in the cypher at school and just nod his head to the rhythm. So intrigued by hip-hop, PMARTT’s passion for music motivated him to create his first track in his native language (French). “I locked myself in my parent’s basement 30 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

for like a few months, they thought I was crazy, I would come home, go straight in the basement on the computer, they would call, never, never; PMARTT wouldn’t answer.” Unbeknownest to his parents, he was tapping into his talent as a budding emcee. “I’m just a guy setting an example from the country I come from. I’m trying to put the country on the map.” His E.P. The Foreign Affair is a representation of just that; his African roots, his American experiences, and his love for French. Having a clear, definitive style that’s just different, he’s jetset for success. With his expertise in branding and networking with new talent, PMARTT is a unique international artist with a plan to get you on his level. Question is, are you ready? #oui oui


Live Area 7.5 X 10.375

“He raps hella go o d”

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Monster Mike

1/3 of The Villag e

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He’s gritty, he’s a misfit, and he raps really good. Seriously, he raps like he’s been back a few times. Part of the experimental rap trip flourishing in Chicago, Monster Mike; 1/3 of Chi town’s finest, The Village isn’t apologizing for his blatant emceeing. Hailing from the low end of the Chi, he’s catapulted himself into the who’s next to blow from the underground circle of new age emcees. His immense crew of Stain Gang and The Village sets him apart in the newest category of music that the youth have created. Musically, his personality is intricate, laid back, and all about having a good time minus the guns. In a league all his own, Mike mixes his music with electronic beats, hella nasty bass, and the legendary Chicago sound that really can’t be explained in words.

#Photography by: Dante Alexander

HOMEGROWN


#RIDDIMS EVERYTHING REGGEA MON!

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Ms Tenza YEA MON!

KeNtext God Quam MON!

@TENZAFOSTER

facebook.com/kentext.godquam

If you didn’t know, you betta ask somebody, dancehall queen and bosslady Tenza Foster is an international reggae/dancehall sensation spreading her roots all over the world. At the pinnacle of her career and touring all over the world from Italy to Austria all the way to Africa, Tenza’s music is full of color, passion, and most of all that remniscent dancehall flavor that originated in Jamaica. Currently residing in Slough, UK, Tenza’s on her grind with a catalog of wicked dancehall mashups and club bangers. Currently in the lab concocting her next masterpiece, the bosslady keeps shelling out mad hits like “Out n Clean,” “Solid as a Rock,” “Badmind,” “Waistline Crazy,” and the list goes on! #wickedcrazy

Born in Bronx, and raised in PA, KeNtext God Quam’s hip-hop roots go all the way back to the days of Afrika Bambaataa. He’s got what you call a “poetic soul, glow flow” with a sleugh of old school inspiration and hints of Rasta rolled into one. Having a life-long commitment to the art imitating synergy of hip-hop, his status is nothing less of an emcee. By the age of four, he was making up dances and songs; three years later, he became a b-boy on the streets of New York. GodQuam’s diligence and passion for this expression of music can be heard in his lyrics and seen in his past collaborations. He’s performed with the likes of Dead Prez, RedMan, Dougie Fresh, and more #watchhowitsdone

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Taj Weekes & Adowa facebook.com//tajandadowa

“ I don’t know if I started music, music started me.” Soulful and fifth dimensional thought provoking lyrics; St. Lucia born Taj Weekes and his band Adowa have brought forth a conscious soul rising spirit to the Caribbean and diaspora. Soft spoken, humble, & a lover of change, Taj unifies the sounds of his various influences along with humanitarian vibes to create uplifting reggae. His latest album A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen is a tribute and dedication to the many lives that were taken in Katrina, Haiti, & Chile. “Rain, Rain,” & “Janjaweed,” are reminders of the passion and connection to peace that Taj represents.


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# PASSPORT

JAMAICA COOL MON! FEEL THE VIBES

Clear skies, warm, sparkling water, and white sandy beaches; Jamaica is calling. It’s something about the Caribbean that no other place in the world has and being in Jamaica will absolutely sweep you off your feet. If you think the only awesome part about the island is the weed, you’ve definitely been living in a cave somewhere. Known by the locals as “Mo Bay,” Montego Bay, Jamaica has the most

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beautiful, pristine waters and beaches the whole island of Jamaica has to offer. Surrounded by endless miles of sun and beautful cliffs, the low-key islandy vibes of Montego will leave you feeling like you’ve always belonged on the island. In my bias opinion, no matter how long your stay; it will always feel like your trip was too short. It’s said that “once you go, you know” and I second, third, and fourth that statement. Coined as one of the thousand places to see before you die, taking a vacation to Jamaica is not only extremely worth it, it’s affordable


# PASSPORT Montego Bay, JA Popuation: 2.5 million Known for: it’s pristine beaches Weather: Warm, rainy in spring Travel Season: October— Mid December Fun Activities: Snorkeling, Kayaking

pass port proj ect To inspire young people, starting with to get ToAmericans, inspire young passports, travel and participate in global people, starting with culture.

Americans, to get - Kenji Summers passports, travel and participate in global

culture.Kenji Summers

thepassportproject.com

and will be such a memorable experience for years to come. Before you begin imagining youself on a warm island, don’t forget about your passport! It’s not the early nineties anymore, and you need a passport to go just about anywhere except Puerto Rico. After you’ve done all that hard work of getting your passport and then booking your trip, you’re there and it’s time to party. That’s the thing about Jamaica that I learned quickly; they don’t whimp on hospitality! Be prepared to feel like royalty from the moment you get there. With all the beautiful sun and festivities, one thing that is always on tap are the drinks. I’m not talking watered down bar drinks either. Case in point, the potent Bob Marley Remix. If you’ve never been to Jamaica and you ask for a Bob Marley Remix, you’ll definitely feel the affects of pure 151% proof rum in the morning. Magically mixed to resemble the green (grenadine), red,(creme de banana) and yellow

(creme de menthe) of the Jamaican flag, the Bob Markey Remix is the official “welcome to Jamaica” drink that is genuine to the island. If you’re not trying to lose your room keys, opt for the local beer; Red Stripe. It’s something about drinking Red Stripe in Jamaica that makes it taste even better! After you’ve worked up an appetite get ready to jerk! Spicy, vibrant, and flavorful, their jerk chicken(and sauce) is not for the weak hearted. If jerk isn’t your vibe, the beautiful array of fresh, succulent, tropical fruits adds to the variety of Jamaican culinary art. Food is served traditional style with rice and beans and colorful vegetables with many options for vegetarians and vegans. Relaxing is encouraged but exploring is even more fun. If you’re up for it, hop on the glass bottom boat and snorkel among colorful fish and coral, it’s one of those experiences that beginner swimmers can even get into. No matter what you choose to do, live music and good vibes are sure to keep you satisfied, full of bliss, and relaxed. LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2012


Kush VS Pills ARE YOU SMOKING PESTICIDES? The last time we visited marijuana, we uncovered the veil that big pharma placed on our eyes regarding the safety of medications versus the therapeutic and healing benefits of weed. Not only is the sensi being used to treat terminal illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, and MSD; to name a few, it’s low key being used in major pharmaceuticals unbeknownest to the general public. As the war on marijuana saga continues, we at Kush v.s. Pills want to present another important point for you to analyze about Mary Jane: LEGALIZATION & PESTICIDES. Yes my friends, it’s time to think about the implications of legalization, the use of pesticides, and how it affects those who use it regularly, medically, and sparingly. Let’s be honest, weed is a cash crop market making it a highly accessible and enjoyed stimulant for millions of people across the planet. Last year, it was estimated that over 15 million Americans were smoking marijuana and those statistics are ever increasing. From music videos to popular movies, weed is part of our culture. We know all the wake-nbakers out there can attest to this; as most weed 36 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

smokers are highly functional; even Presidents have alleged to “trying” it. Although its been illegal for over 51 years, recently, legalizing marijuana has become a major topic across mainstream and independent news sources in America. On the West Coast, Washington and Colorado have already legalized it’s use and legislation is moving forward. Legalization is actually proving to be a lucrative market for these states as they will be able to control the taxation on the commodity. In Chicago, where weed is illegal, the money/manpower/and force used to penalize offendors has gotten extremely out of hand and it can be assumed that Illinois won’t be showing favoritism to legalizing anytime soon. In July of 2012, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel re-evaluated marijuana policies and decided to pass an ordinance that tickets (instead of jailing) offendors between $250-$500 for possessing up to 15 grams or 15 joints. A day after the law was passed, the Chicago Police Department conveniently intercepted eight tons of weed. To make Illinois marijuana penalities even more messy, this newly enstated ordinance hasn’t proven to be a solution to the costly & lenghty court and jail time that first time offenders receive. It’s also been noted that racial profiling for weed offenses is a rampant action by CPD. According to the July 2012 issue of The Chicago Reader, if you’ve ever been arrested for possessing marijuana and you happen to be melanin rich, you account for 79% of arrests, 89% convicted, and 92% jailed for “low level posession.” With so much legislation and the need to control weed, our era is similar to that of the alcohol prohibition. Because it’s illegal, the source and cultivation of street weed is “seedy.” The innocence of weed is what makes regualr users ask “what’s the big deal? People don’t die from using it and it seems to only induce the munchies.” Something that most people fail to


think about is the source from where their weed has come from. The illegal stigma and miseducation about weed rarely produces knowledgeable dealers. When was the last time your weed man busted out crop reports for you and explained in detail the strain and THC levels of the bud you just bought? It’s a lucrative market and most sellers are not experts; just middle men. But wait a minute, you say. “It’s not rocket science right? It’s a plant, it grows, and then you smoke it. Right?” Wrong. While it may be that simple to many of you readers out there, smoke on this; the majority of marijuana that makes its way into your blunt is commercial grade weed that has either been contaminated with pesticides, laced with heroin, or is abundant in harmful chemicals. So what are pesticides? According to the US Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA), a pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for: preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. In 2010, PBS published (Pot: Not so green after all, 2010) in response to the large number of grow operations taking place in Humbolt County, Northern California.“Pesticides are used all over this place, they actually have two backpack sprayers,” says Patrick Foy, officer of the Dept of Fish & Game in Central California. The medical marijuana economy is estimated to be worth over $14 billion and has influenced a surge in home growing operations due to the high demand of weed in potent strains. Many home growers who get into the business are easily swayed to use pesticides in their operations. These pesticides are readily available in grow shops across California and have a direct link in affecting the health of whoever uses it, especially medical users who already have weak immune systems. The origins of weed comes from two major sources, California grow houses & Mexico. While California is a major source of marijuana; the majority of the weed smoked in America is commercial grade and a large chunk (80% to be exact) of it comes from Mexico. Conscious growers are few, originating in what weed conniseurs call the emerald triangle. It

is among the noted prestigious farming operations where buyers know how the weed is grown, cultivated, and who profits from it. In June of 2011, Jude Joffe-Block of Fronteras reported on the origins of weed in Where Does Pot Come From: Domestic Growers or Mexican Cartels? Her interview with Bea Kilmer, co-director of Drug Policy Research Center (RAN) in LA shed light on the new wave of high quality, local weed that’s more available than in the past. With the exception of the Emerald Triangle, Kilmer’s reserach has supported that Mexican cartels are supplying the majority of our weed here in America. Did you know? There are no laws or guidelines for residual pesticide levels in medicinal cannabis. Cannibus is not considered a food item by the FDA, therfore, it is not being tested for pesticides by the FDA. Smoke responsibly.


LEVEL-UP!MAGAZINE #ISSUE 6 | 2013

The lens of the creator: Seeing through the eyes of APJ Anyone can say they’re a videographer but when you’ve got skills like APJ, you can really call yourself a videographer and throw in the film director title while you’re at it. APJ’s calm, and cool demeanor is seriously a facade; for APJ is a beast in his representation of life and art. A certified film graduate from Columbia College, his fresh, yet classic style of cinematic storytelling is what makes his short films and videos so unique. Using his weapon of choice, the Cannon 7D APJ’s motivation to become part of the arts was according to this brilliant videographer, an intrinsinc gift that has always been there. “Growing up, I always had a kinda crazy imagination so I used to draw comic books, and that’s what got me into film.” A super movie buff, he’s inspired by some of the best; Spike Lee, Tarantino, & Martin Scorsaysey. Using angles, layers and framing, he takes simple concepts and creates #intricately #amazing #visualcrack #apj.

APJ FILMS Artist Catalog: Twista Sasha Go Hard 42 Keez Phenom Drew Yung QUE BILLAH + more!

PHOTOGRAPHY | JOSHUA SMITH

APJ FILMS Aaron Perkins Jr.

Director Editor Cinematographer 38 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

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PHOTOGRAPHY | JOSHUA SMITH Play

RELLO DREAMERS EP ★★★★★

@ChKarmaDreams Motivated. Focused and dreaming in lyrics, EP Dreamer’s was the realest shit we heard in 2012. Bringing that storytelling style back to music, Rello is first in class with passion & dedication to hip-hop.

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PHOTOGRAPHY | JOSHUA SMITH

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BARBIE TRAP 101: BROKE DUDES NEED NOT APPLY Not your average grungy female rappers, Dae Jones and Brook have created a whole new image of the sexualized Barbie Doll that raps and still looks pretty at the same time. They may look dainty but aint nothin soft about their rhymes of broke n*****, pretty misses, and their bedroom game. Self coined as the female Jay- Z and Kanye West of the underground, thse two divas are debuting their first mash-up mixtape; Kit Kat Factory this Spring 2013. Not only are they “cooking bars,” the ice cold Windy City meets gritty New York rhymes are sure to please fashionistas and trap boys alike. Juxtaposing soft melodies with hit em hard lyrics, Dae and Brooklyn are proof that female emcees are popping up around the indie scene more than we thought. Clad in stilettos, short shorts, bright pink lipstick and candy coated fingernails, 40 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

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their pop star glam girl style will appeal to a wide range of listeners and yes, I’m pretty sure, haters. While being able to hold their own as artists, as a team, they’ve seamlessly created a Barbie trap movement that is a force of not only one, but two unique styles that go together like greens and cornbread. Recently, more female artists are aligning their goals with the trap music genre as a way to differentiate themselves and widen their audience. It may be a smart move for some; as most rap music is consumed by males, females are holding their own in a male dominated genre. Dae Jones’s recent switch to rap is dangeroulsy genius and shockingly catchy. Out of her cocoon, her emergence into a sassy hair flipping diva is a refreshing twist on her past r&b soft side. She dances, she sings, and she raps, bringing a triple level of diversity to the movement. The most recent pivoting point in her life; the birth of her now two year old daughter, has had her on grind status with her music and message. Whatever it is that

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motivates Miss Jones, she’s definitely become a rolling stone. With her raspy voice and grity New York girl attitude, not to mention her strikingly bright blonde hair, Brooklyn is an undeniable gifted emceee who rhymes and rides beats like a pro. It’s rare to hear a female emcee like Brooklyn, especially in the Chicago indie arena. She’s bubbly and fun but rips beats serial killer style. Oh my. Brooklyn’s style compliments Dae like a meal of peas and carrots which is what makes both her and Dae’s combining styles so impactful. Brooklyn’s rhymes “go hard” so to speak and her pretty girl atittude completes it. Utilizing the cult following of Chief Keef and other major male rappers, Dae and Brooklyn are using remakes to showcase their lyrical talents, raunchy imaginations, and nonsense for broke dudes. Currently hosting and performing at several showcases in the city, the bestie duo is aiming for the crown. Wherever it is. They’re coming for it. #KitKatFactory #BARBIETRAP LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


#IN THE MIX

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Trim Size8.25 X 10.75

PHOTOGRAPHY | ISRAEL REZA

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#IN THE MIX Dj Gemini Jones @DJGEMINIJONES

djgeminijones.com An indie artist’s dream, DJ Gemini Jones is at the forefront of the hottest shows and events in Chicago. This 22 year old turn table artist never had plans on becoming a DJ, it sorta just found her. “When I was younger, I wanted to be the next Missy Elliot, I wanted to be a producer, then I wanted to be like Hype Williams..” With a goal in mind, Gemini Jones headed to WGCI and interned with some of the hottest DJ’s in the city (DJ Timbuktu & DJ VDub). She started deejaying parties and her career took off from there. Her twin abilities on the turntable are phenomenally hip and relatable to the young audiences she caters to. Favoring indie underground, reggaton, rap, reggae, and a dash of r&b, most recently, she’s been endorsing her very own artist and former Bad Girl’s Club roomie Luccie Vee, representing WolfPackGang. The movement is real, get in the mix.

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@ElzTheDJ Self coined the Kanye West of DJ’ing, small town Texas bred DJ Elz is among the newest of young ground stompers hustling their talents in the big city. From old school to dubstep, Elz brings forth a new- age “crowd pleasing” and hipster style of mixing. His musical influences are a blend of two genres; hip-hop (Kanye West & Jay-Z) and old school favorites like Maze, Frankie Beverly, Michael Jackson, and James Brown. With a rich musical inspiration, Elz became inspired to share his passions with the world and took to DJ’ing in high school. Since, he’s been involved in several major events; Latex 2k12, Radical Something, College Mayhem 3 in Texas & the list continues. Don’t piss off the DJ, this guy has connections.

PHOTOGRAPHY | JOAN VEENSTRA

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Greg Owens @GregOwens614 With the influx of trap music flooding the ears of millions, Greg Owens is doing music his way. It seems like positivity is a rare gem in the indie scene but this Ohio native and music love child continues to boast about having a great day and loving the vibes of life. He’s been debuting his well rounded catalog of music since he set foot in Chicago to attend Columbia College and blazed his first performance at AEEMP Records’ concert his first semester with hit single “Popular.” Don’t expect any wannabe tough guy acntics from him either. His motto of staying true to thyself is what has led him to create dayin-the-life experiences in his tracks and videos. His catalog is strict with feel good music and a definitive “going against the grain” type attitude. Seeking more opportunities, the Ohio native is building bridges with various artists and producers hitting the scene here in Chicago. With a combination of tenacity and a strong background in music, there’s no plan B for him. “If you have an ultimate goal, it’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A.” He’s set to debut his first album Young, Black, & Gifted this Spring 2013.

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PHOTOGRAPHY | JOAN VEENSTRA LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


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#Muffin in a Jar

Tips for settling down: You’re never too young or old to find your soulmate. While it may sound like a cakin’ it up public service announcement, everybody deserves to have their soulmate; someone to confide in, make you laugh, and create memories that last a lifetime. You may like the party scene but it’s definitely not the right place to find “the one.” Check out these sweet tips for settling down. #TWITTER IS YOUR WORST ENEMY: Social media and relationships don’t mix! If you’re discussing when you’re going to share “in a relationship” on your page, or you’ve become a tweet stalker, you’ve already fallen victim to the game. Chill out on the virtual hook ups and connect eye to eye. #CLIQUES ARE DEAD When you find that special someone, you don’t always have to include your friends in everything you do with that person. You may have met your friend before but you should always spend QT time with your boo. # KEEP YOUR CHASTITY Even if you can see yourself with this person for years to come, you don’t have to give it all up right away. If that person can’t rock with you on keeping it 1950’s, then you may not have found the right person.

# GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE Do something that you’ve never done before. Sky dive, scuba dive, rock climb, travel, just get out and have a good time. Being adventurous with your mate builds a strong connection. #MAKE IT SPECIAL, FUCK VALENTINE’S You don’t have to wait for a holiday to show affection. Be random. Surprise your mate with flowers or a special date. Trips to the zoo are fun. #SHACK UP BEFORE MARRIAGE If you really want to know how life is before getting married, play house. This is the best way to determine how strong your relationship is. #COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY Sports and gossip aren’t the only things you can talk about. Have mind sex. Be a good listener. Share your thoughts, dreams, and passions. Open your mind to new ideas! #HARDSHIPS The test maker that measures the companionship, nourishment, and the mental stability of each other. When things get rough, talk your problems out with a little ganja and some sun. 48 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


PHOTOGRAPHY | MARTIN A. BARKER


H E A LT H Y E AT I N G

#DOIN’ IT RAW therawscout.com

Once you start to feel energetic, you will magically start eating more greens and fruit.

If you’re new to the vegan movement, don’t let it overwhelm you! It’s all about having fun with your food and learning about healthy alternatives to the Standard American Diet. Lately, the vegan movement is getting stronger as hundreds of people are waking up and taking charge of their own health. In our society, it’s so common to take a pill for everything that the dependency on a magic solution has become a major downfall of our culture. Fad diet schemes and dangerous plastic surgery procedures prevail among the affluent elite while the majority of the society lives on fast food and processed junk that is touted as “healthy.” Going meat free is as trendy as “going green” and you will instantly feel a major difference in your body once you start making changes to your current eating habits. So if you’re interested in taking your health to the next level, tune in and enjoy the results! Vegan FAQ’s: What can I do to start eating healthy? EDUCATE yourself and just do it! Most health journeys begin on January 1st and by February, many people forget all about their goals. Educating yourself is the first step in learning about the benefits of eating healthy. Don’t be afraid to try a cleanse or smoothie feast. Incorporate a green smoothie into your day. 50 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

It’s expensive to eat healthy right? Meat and highly processed foods are more expensive than good ole fruit and veggies. If you calculate how much a gallon of milk costs + a few pounds of meat + a box of your favorite cereal, you’ll realize that you’re paying about $20 bucks for food that your body can’t properly digest. Not only are your pockets paying for it, so is your body. How can I buy local/organic produce? Begin to research co-ops in your area. Most co-ops cater to their chosen neighborhood by providing local and organic foods. When shopping at large grocery chains like Jewel, Trader Joe’s, or Whole Foods, always look at the label. If the label begins with a (9), it’s organic. Always go for local food that is in season! If you’re eating watermelon in December, you can be sure that it’s not local which means that it is not fresh! Eat in season. Are highly processed foods contributors to cancer, diabetes, & high blood pressure? It’s uncomfortable to think that you, yourself could be the cause of body discomforts and dis-ease. As the master of your domain (your body), day to day, you control what you put into your vessel. The truth is, highly processed foods like meat, chips, cakes, cookies, and candies are more harm than they are good. When I say disease, I’m not talking about a virus, I’m talking about the dis- ease of natural bodily functions. Highly processed foods come from corn + wheat and are made using soy, corn syrup + canola oil. When we eat these “dead” foods, our blood becomes thickened and the amount of oxygen that comes in is very minimal, therefore causing dis- EASE.


R AW F O O D C H A L L E N G E eat raw for a week and feel results

ies h t o o m s n e e r g Monday Orangey Kale 1/2 bunch of dino kale 6-7 oranges juiced 3-4 bananas (ripe) Blend until smooth.

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Tuesday Tangy Apple 1 bunch red leaf lettuce 2-3 bananas (ripe) 1 cup chopped apples Blend until smooth.

Wednesday Green Banana 2 pounds of bananas (ripe) 1/2 pound romaine lettuce Blend until smooth.

it ’ s th e gr e en s m o o t hi e c hal l e ng e ! Green smoothies are a great way to incororate greens into your day. Greens are so vital because they contain minerals, enzymes, and most importantly, CHLOROPHYLL. When eaten raw, yes that means uncooked, greens are instanly absorbed and assimilated into energy. No more getting coffee to feel awake, greens are far more powerful! Start showing your body some love! Indulge in health, and most of all, keep it fresh! The green smoothie

challenge is a chance for you to make an impact on your health! Make a green smoothie everyday, either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s pretty simple; you need to grab some fresh fruit and greens, a blender, and motivation. Ask a friend to join in on the fun and most of all, document your journey and find other like minded people to share with. Smoothies are best fresh. Make time to prepare your smoothie in the morning or after work. therawscout.com

Thursday Pinapple Spinach 2 cups spinach 2-3 cups pineapple 2 bananas Blend until smooth.

Friday Peachy Green 1 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh peaches) 1 cup baby spring mix 1/8 cup parsley or cilantro 2 cups water 2 tbs lemon juice Blend until smooth.


# KEEP IT 100

THERE’S A WAR AGAINST VIOLENCE BUT IS OUR FREEDOM AT COST?

2nd Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

2012; it was a year of violence and confusion as Americans experienced the most fear harboring mass shooting incidents to date. Mainstream media’s representation of these incidents were so contradictory, that there are still holes in the evidence from Sandy Hook. Do you ever ask yourself; what if these mass shootings were a symbol? A symbol of a bigger picture that we’ve overlooked? It doesn’t matter what political party you’ve chosen to side with or who your favorite President is; it’s about becoming aware of what’s happening and how these decisions being made affect the entire society. The following article may cause you to research the truth and uncover some revelations that may have been hidden to you before.Once you go into the matrix and begin unraveling the cords, you will surely unveil the bigger picture that lies ahead.

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In light of the most recent tragedy in Newton Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary; on Janurary 25, 2013, with a group of bright eyed school children to back his plan; President Obama presented to the nation a list of 23 Executive Orders for “Gun Violence Reduction.” According to Joe Biden (VP), these orders were to be the solution to reducing overall violence here in America “by banning military-style assualt weapons and high capacity magazines.” So what type of tragedies will these orders be preventing? Well, that’s where we get to the grey area because the memorandum to reduce violence doesn’t exist. The majority of Obama’s executive orders are putting millions of dollars into federal control over the purchase of guns by law abiding citizens. Most criminals aren’t members of the RIAA, so these orders directly affect the average family or individual’s right to bear arms. What’s happening here is something very familiar among political insiders who have been studying politics for some time now. It’s called THE PROBLEM REACTION SOLUTION. The model is a simple cycle that almost always ends with a solution chosen by the ruling power; aka the “corporation.” The future of guns and the ability to protect a constitutional right is at stake.


# KEEP IT 100 Problem/Reaction/Solution? RESEARCH. THE. FACTS.

The Plan to Reduce Gun Violence (compiled from www.whitehouse.gov) #Require background checks for all gun sales. #Strengthen the background check system for gun sales. #Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons. #Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. #Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets. #Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime. #End the freeze on gun violence research. #Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response. plans, and more nurturing school climates. #Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people.


STREAM YOUR EVENT WITH ALIVELOOK.....

Play

"If you can't be there, be here at ALIVELOOK.com"

“Through our managed webcasting Services ALIVELOOK can handle the complete productuion of your live webcast.”

Duane Davis These days, everything is about the visuals. YouTube, webinars, and live streaming are the trendiest ways to give and receive information, no matter where or who you are. If you’re looking to expand your network and your brand on an international level, look no further than ALIVELOOK. Led by CEO Duane Davis, the D.C. based company is interpreting the need for high profile businesses to have an online presence. When ALIVELOOK released it’s services in 2007, they literally hit the ground running, connecting with clients such as Mercedes Benz, IMG, & Black Enterprise to name a few. These companies were looking for strategic ways to gain a broader and younger audience while introducing their present fans with live streaming options. W i t h a n e x p e r t i s e i n t e c h n o l o g y, ALIVELOOK became a major source for that need. Covering the hottest high profile events, like IMG Fashion Week, The Black Entreprise Conference, & BET Black Girls Rock (backstage), ALIVELOOK is expanding their well known services along 54 | LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013

with their knack for connecting with strong brands that have an established fan and client base. ALIVELOOK connects the bridge between a broad audience who may not be able to make it to an event but who still wants to participate in the festivities of their favorite brand’s event. ALIVELOOK’s on-demand style event coverage is an amazing addition to any major brand’s campaign. Staying at the cutting edge of technology, their time is now. With the newest advent of mobile streaming, fans have seamless capabilities to access live streaming events on smart phones and iPads—all while on the go. Taking all of the elements of this ondemand marketing, ALIVELOOK continues to showcase their capabilities and uniqueness to the competition. Have no doubt, if you’re interested in making ALIVELOOK a partner, make it worthwhile. Duane’s best advice is to strengthen your brand with a strong team and message. #getthealivelook


S

wank Public Relations (Swank PR) is a customized PR agency that tailors to clients needs, public relation services, creative branding and marketing, resource & patnership building, client relations and social media awareness. Our niche is tailored to each client’s need with individually specialized services as well as catering to their demographic, maintaining relations (Swank PR) is guaranteed to produce high-standarized results and contribute to the client’s growth.

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n a b r U

LEVEL-UP! MAGAZINE PRESENTS

PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH KINDIG STYLING BY TYAISHA ROBINSON

MODELS ASHLEY SNOW | ATIYYA JOSEPH

HAIR BY SHARNELL JUNIOUS DESIGNS BY ELIZABETH SMITH FASHION & CARMEN CARLISLE | MUA MEGAN OKUESA

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d n a l e t s a W AIGN P M A C NG I L E D tyle S O N M O I T A ER N E o . G C h it W e g a I m

Sex & the City meets Urban Wasteland

Play

Fashion is an industry that breaks barriers and makes conscious and unconscious statements to the viewer as a means to influence a way of life. Urban Wasteland is our statement. Inspired by premonitions of the future, supported by real urban wastelands, abandoned factories, and open spaces where nature has taken over, even in the most toxic of situations; we’re taking fashion to the next level. Urban Wasteland isn’t just a fashion spread with pretty models in gas masks, Urban Wasteland is a message that we feel needs to be shared; especially duing a time where our environment is suffering from pollution and astronomical levels of toxicity. Our mission is to bring awareness to environmental issues while at the same time featuring models, stylists, designers, and photographers in raw uncut landscape scenes such as the one photographed in the following pages. Our goal is simple, to raise your awareness and get your creative juices flowing as to how you can utilize abandoned space to bring back the beauty in nature. This movement is a global force that takes us away from the tall buildings and swanky shiny floors of hotels to the concrete jungle. The gas masks represent a future that may oneday be reality. For our first installment, we scouted out an abandoned cement lot to introduce our theme “Sex & the City Meets Urban Wasteland.” It’s all about pink lipstick hues, and flowy bright colored fabrics - influenced by the popular HBO series Sex & the City. What was once an abandoned space, became the first backdrop for our movement. The following pages represent the brave souls who rocked a gas mask and looked so fabulous doing it. Photographs were taken by Elizabeth Kindig: a down-to-earth farm girl who loves nature and fashion. She loves using natural light and creating scene-like photographs. The shoot was coordinated and styled by CEO of Generation Style Image Co. | Tyaisha Robinson. Her ability to style a variety of shapes, sizes, and personalities proved to be genius. Having her own personal sense of style, Tyaisha’s motivation is connected to the passion she has for making people feel good about themselves with garments that accentuate their personalities and bodies. #shestylesforaliving


n a b r U d n a l e t s Wa

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Urban Wasteland

Sex & the City meets Urban Wasteland MODEL | ASHLEY SNOW With major versatility and a mean Tyra banks “smise,” Ashley Snow has catapulted to the top her modeling career over this past year. Representing herself as a well-known catalog, runway, and fashion brand, she’s building her career rather quickly. When we told her that she would be rocking a gas mask, she gladly accepted. If this were Sex in the City, Snow would represent Carrie; acting as a chameleon in the fashion industry with an edgy twist.

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Urban Wasteland

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Sex & the City meets Urban Wasteland

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Sex & the City meets Urban Wasteland MODEL | ASHLEY SNOW MODEL | ATIYYA JOSEPH

Atiyya; her name means gift and believe it or not, modeling was not the first career she would’ve chosen to pursue. Nonetheless, she’s been building her portfolio as a promotional model for Hennessy and doing runway shows all while finishing her senior year of college. Flawlessly, she transformed into character, even rocking 5 inch heels and a gas mask. Did we mention the heavy shot gun in her hands?


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Urban Wasteland

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Sex & the City

meets

Urban Wasteland Chicago MODELS | ATIYYA JOSEPH

ASHLEY SNOW

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Urban Wasteland

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Sex & the City ATIYYA JOSEPH meets Urban Wasteland

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G abrielle

Pickens

Photography

Jayy Harmon Jayy Harmon Imagery

Stylist Tyaisha Robinson Generation Style Makeup Megan OKuesa Beat Face Beauty Designer Khojo Vintage & Generation Style LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


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#RESOURCE Classified section for designers, DJ’s, videographers, photographers, stylists, etc. #PHOTOGRAPHERS

Online vintage boutique’s sole purpose is to create a name

Bitty Fotos

for itself one day at a time. For the true fashion addicts Rehab'd Vintage features hand picked one of kind pieces

bittyfoto.com Twitter: N/A Email: dotdot.foto@yahoo.com Website:

that will stand out in any crowd. Join the movement and

Dante Alexander

Joani Veenstra

Website: damatthproblem.tumblr

Website: jcphotoservices.com

Twitter:

@damatthproblem

Email: dalexshoots@gmail.com

Dominique Shepherd Website: dominiqueshepherd.jux.com Twitter: @domigotsoul

dominique.shepherd@colum.edu

Elizabeth Kindig Website: elizabethkindig.com Twitter: N/A Email: talktome@elizabethkindig.com

Twitter: @JCPhotography5

joan@jcphotoservices.com

Krystle Nicolas ikanddesigns.carbonmade.com Twitter: N/A Email: ikand.designs@gmail.com

Martin D. Barker Website: martindbarker.com Twitter:

@martindbarker

Email: martindbarker@gmail.com

Jayy Harmon

10 Photos!

Website: www.jayyharmon.com Twitter: N/A

Twitter: @10photos

jayyharmonstudios@gmail.com

become a junkie for dope fashion. @REHABDVINTAGE

Website: 10photosdreamchaser.net Email: tenphotos@ymail.com

We promote positive outlooks while in negative circumstances. We promote goal setting and achieving true wealth while recognizing what has already been done and creating something better. @FUISWORLD

Joshua Smith

APJ Films

Website: joshsmith.virb.com

Website: apjfilms.com

Twitter:

@bit_visuals

joshua.smith.freelance@gmail.com

Mindless Icon Website: bellacoke.tumblr.com Twitter: @bellacoke

mindlessiconphotography@gmail.com

#VIDEOGRAPHERS

ToineTracks Media Guy Website: level-upmagazine.com Twitter: @ToineTracks Email: ToineTracks@gmail.com

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Twitter: @ajfilms Email: bookapjfilms@gmail.com

#MAKEUP ARTISTS

Megan O Website: beatfacebeauty.com Twitter: @knowitalldoll Email: mokuesa@yahoo.com

Joann Boznos Website: joannboznos.com Twitter: @joannboznosMUAH Email:

jobosnos@gmail.com


#RESOURCE See Your Classified AD

Here #RESOURCE office: 312-685-2465 Email: level.editor@gmail.com

Indie-Art Media is an Arts Entertainment and Media Production Company that specializes in both the Commercial and Independent Industries. IAM is dedicated to enhancing and nurturing clients of all mediums. Comprised of a multitude of professional Partners and Affiliates, Indie-Art Media fulfills the needs and vision of each client through a highly skilled team of creators and entrepreneurs. Indie-Art Media thrives on fulfilling community and commercial needs. As a result, we have established a hub for clients and artists to network, collaborate and hone their artistic abilities.

T: 708-439-0690

Generation Style image Co. is the premier fashion image lifestyle consultant. We believe that fashion sets the tone, and when executed flawlessly it exudes the confidence which demands attention. Whether literal or not, we sell a lifestyle and an image. Email: Tyaisha01@gmail.com

#STYLISTS

#DESIGNERS

French Vendette’

James Townsend

Website: frenchvendette.com

Website: archertownsend.com

Twitter: @VendetteCouture

Twitter: @archertownsend

FrenchVendetteCouture@yahoo.com

customerservice@archertownsend.com

# HAIRSTYLISTS

Doobie Clothing

Krystal Landfair

Website: doobieclothing.com

Website: Salonseven22.com

Twitter: @doobieclothing

Twitter: N/A

Krystall@salonseven22.com

Lisa Scott Website: http://www.lhcstudio.com/ FB: Lisa

of “LHC Studio”

Email: LHC.Studio1@gmail.com

@generation_S2

doobieclothing420@gmail.com

Urban Knowledge Website: urbanknowledgetees.com Twitter: @urbanknowledget

urbanknowledgetees@gmail.com

Twin Beats Enterainment LLC Premium beats Prodution for our next music project

www.twinbeatsmusic.com www.youtube.com/twinbeats www.soundcloud.com/tbentertainment tbentertainment2007@gmail.com LEVEL-UPMAGAZINE.COM VOL 2 ISS.6 2013


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LEVEL-UP! MAGAZINE Where Underground is Mainstream

LEVEL-UP! MAGAZINE ISSUE 6 | THE YOUTH STAR EDITION  

Issue 6 of LeveL-Up! Magazine Da Youth Star Edition is a collaborative expression of music and fashion expression that we captured, document...

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