Issuu on Google+

(

Special Edition

Styles P Freeway

Janelle Monáe’s

Talk About Hip Hop -N-

Style:

Violence

A How To Guide

Jeantrix The Superheroes

Harvey Averne

of Fashion

Photos by

Johnny Nunez

iPad Mini

vs

Microsoft Surface

Mutemag.com

Skyler

Stonestreet

A Little

Taste


PUBLISHER Mute Media, LLC.

co-founder / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Theron Cook

senior editor David Nazario

writers Ashlee Chanelle Yasmein James David Nazario Manny Guzman Brett Burkhart Erica Roane Sana Malik

photographers Johnny Nunez André Wright Jr. Jenea Hall Myk Jones Brian Heller Lexi Johnson

............................................. CONTRIBUTORS Edna Garcia-Dipini – Public Relations Tracy Olivieri – Public Relations Olivia Diaz - Marketing / Advertising

............................................. ADVERTISE advertising@mutemag.com

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! mutemag.com twitter.com/ mutemag facebook.com/mutemag instagram: mutemediallc

© Copyright 2013 Mute Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of Mute Magazine may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from Mute Media LLC. For prermission requests & reprints of articles, please email info@mutemag.com.


contributors

photography by Theron

Cook 10

03

Contributor: Ashlee chanelle Hometown: Reading, PA Tasks: Writer/Public Relations

Contributor: Olivia diaz Hometown: Poconos, PA Tasks: Marketing/Advertising


L

R

photography by Sana

Malik

MuteHead letter

W i t h t h i s i s s u e , l i ke a l l i s s u e s , we a r e s t r i vi n g to g i ve o u r r e a d e r s t h e b e s t i n te c h n o l o g y, f a s h i o n a n d a r t w h i l e ex p l o r i n g t h e way s t h a t t h e s e c u l t u r e s h ave b e e n i n f l u e n c e d by m u s i c . T h i s i s w hy we a r e e c s t a t i c a b o u t a l l o f t h e g r e a t a r t i c l e s w i t h i n t h e s e p a g e s . N e e d l e s s to s ay, we l ove w h e n f a s h i o n m e e t s m u s i c (J a n e l l e M o n a e , p a g e 11). We a l s o l ove w h e n we c a n p r ov i d e i n s i g h t o n w h i c h t a b l e t w i l l g i ve yo u t h e m o s t b a n g f o r yo u r b u c k ( i Pa d M i n i v s . M i c r o s o f t S u r f a c e , p a g e 12). Fu r t h e r m o r e , wo r k i n g w i t h t h e a l way s h u m b l e a n d f u n , S k y l e r S to n e s t r e e t wa s o n e of t h e m a ny h i g h l i g h t s o f p u t t i n g t h i s i s s u e to g e t h e r. At M u te we va l u e a ny a r t i s t w h o c a n m a ke a n a m e f o r t h e m s e l ve s by p r o d u c i n g h i g h q u a l i t y m u s i c while also taking care of their business, hence the r e a s o n w hy t h e l ove l y S to n e s t r e e t wa s c h o s e n to g r a c e t h e c ove r o f t h i s i s s u e . S k y l e r i s a f o r c e to b e w r e c k i n’ w i t h , f r o m h e r u n d e n i a b l e s t y l e a n d u n i q u e s o n g w r i t i n g s k i l l s , to h e r n a t u r a l a b i l i t y to c o m m a n d yo u r a t te n t i o n i n a ny p h o to g r a p h s h e i s c a p t u r e d i n ( t h i s m ay b e w hy Po l a r o i d e n l i s te d t h e

h e l p of S to n e s t r e e t a n d h e r m u s i c to s e l l o n e of t h e i r l a te s t c a m e r a s). O n e of t h e b e s t t h i n g s a b o u t h av i n g c r e a t i ve c o n t r o l i s t h a t yo u c a n l i te r a l l y d o w h a teve r yo u wa n t! W i t h t h a t s a i d , t h i s t i m e a r o u n d we d e c i d e d to “ R e w i n d ” b a c k to a fe w of o u r m o s t m e m o r a b l e i n te r v i e w s t h a t yo u m ay o r m ay n o t h ave h a d a c h a n c e to c h e c k o u t o n m u te m a g .c o m . I n c l u d e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n a r e i n te r v i e w s w i t h H i p H o p ve t s , S t y l e s P a n d Fr e e way w h o s o u n d of f a b o u t w h e t h e r o r n o t H i p H o p m u s i c p r o m o te s v i o l e n c e , a n d a n i n d e p t h l o o k a t w h a t i t to o k f o r l e g e n d a r y p h o to g r a p h e r J o h n ny N u n e z to p a t h h i s way to f a m e . We wo u l d l i ke to t a ke t h i s t i m e to t h a n k eve r yo n e w h o h a s h e l p e d u s o n o u r j o u r n ey to c o m p l e t i n g t h i s i s s u e . B e s u r e to v i s i t u s o n t h e we b a t w w w. m u te m a g .c o m .

Publisher's Music Title: Don’t speak Artist: NO DOUBT

$3.99

T h a n k yo u f o r p i c k i n g u p a c o py o f M u te M a g a z i n e a n d we l c o m e to t h e M u te U n i ve r s e ! L i ke a l l o f t h e i s s u e s t h a t we h ave p u t to g e t h e r, t h e r o a d to h av i n g a c o m p l e te d p r o j e c t h a s b e e n b o t h a l o n g a n d r e wa r d i n g o n e . We h ave l e a r n e d a l o t a l o n g t h e way, w h i l e a l s o b u i l d i n g l a s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h a m a z i n g a r t i s t s , p h o to g r a p h e r s , s to r e ow n e r s , m o d e l s , f a s h i o n d e s i g n e r s a n d c l o t h i n g brands.


20

Cover Story

Skyler Stonestreet A Little Taste (Exclusive Interview)

08

Departments

14

HONOR

18

EVENTS

19

DRESS

28

RATE RELEASE photo by Brian

Heller

OUTRO

47


Fashion

28

32

Jeantrix

The New Superheroes Of Fashion

My Album Is Coming Out... And By The Way I’m Gay!

33

Rewind

FEATURES

40

JOHNNY Nunez (Interview)


Buy

HEAD MESSAGE

V i s i t M u t e m ag . c o m to o r d e r exc l u s i ve M u t e Merchandise

10

07

Mute’s Choice photography by Theron

Cook


Buy

photography by Theron

Cook

Y u nG Ki ngs

&

Y u ng Qu e e n s @Yu n g k i n g s @Yu n g q u e e n s

Wr i t te n by A s h l e e C h a n e l l e M u te r e c e n t l y c a u g h t u p w i t h J o s e G a r c i a , f o u n d e r of s t r e e t we a r b r a n d Yu n g K i n g s a n d Yu n g Q u e e n s . J o s e t a l k s to u s a b o u t w h a t i t ’s l i ke to d e s i g n c l o t h i n g f o r r oya l t y, a n d w h a t ’s i n s to r e f o r t h e f u t u r e of t h i s f r e s h n e w c l o t h i n g b r a n d .

Mute’s Choice


M : Te l l u s a l i t t l e a b o u t y o u r s e l f a n d y o u r b a c kground? Is clothing design something you’ve alw a y s w a n t e d t o g e t i n t o? Y K : M y n a m e i s J o s e A c eve d o a n d I ’m Pu e r to R i c a n . I g r e w u p i n R e a d i n g P. A ., a n d my p l a n s i n l i fe we r e a l way s to d o s o m e t h i n g i n t h e f a s h i o n wo r l d . M : W h e r e d i d t h e Yu n g K i n g s & Yu n g Q u e e n s i d e a c o m e f r o m? H o w d i d y o u c r e a t e t h e b r a n d a n d n a m e? Y K : Yu n g K i n g s a n d Yu n g Q u e e n s c a m e to m e a s a n a m e t h a t m e a n t “ n e w l e a d e r s”. “ Yu n g ” a s s o m e t h i n g n e w a n d f o r eve r yo n e , t h a t ’s w hy we to o k t h e “o” o u t of t h e wo r d “ yo u n g ”. “ K i n g s” to m e s i g n i f i e s a l e a d e r, w h i c h i s s o m e t h i n g we d e f i n i te l y n e e d , n e w l e a d e r s to m a ke s u r e t h e f u t u r e i s p o s i t i ve a n d b r i g h t . M : T h e f a s h i o n wo r l d i s f u l l o f u p a n d c o m i n g d e s i g n e r s . H o w d o y o u s e t t h e Yu n g K i n g s & Yu n g Q u e e n s l i n e a p a r t f r o m e v e r y o n e e l s e? W h a t m a ke s Yu n g K i n g s & Yu n g Q u e e n s s t a n d o u t ? Y K : We’r e d i f f e r e n t b e c a u s e we h ave t h a t wo r k e t h i c a n d s p e c i a l to u c h f o r f a s h i o n t h a t i s s o n e e d e d r i g h t n ow. We p ay a t te n t i o n to d e t a i l , w h i c h m e a n s t h a t we c h e c k o u r wo r k t h o r o u g h l y f o r a ny m i s t a ke s b e f o r e the final hang tags are put on our clothing.

Y K : M a r ke t i n g t h e b r a n d h a s n’ t b e e n e a sy b u t we’ve r e a c h e d o u t to a l o t of p e o p l e w h o h ave h e l p e d u s o u t t r e m e n d o u s l y. A l o t of o u r s u c c e s s h a s b e e n b e c a u s e of s o c i a l m e d i a o u t l e t s l i ke , I n s t a g r a m , Fa c e b o o k a n d Tw i t te r. We p o s t o u r p i e c e s o n t h e s i te s a n d g e t fe e d b a c k f r o m t h e a c t u a l c o n s u m e r s; i t h e l p s u s k n ow i f we’r e g o i n g i n t h e r i g h t d i r e c t i o n . M : T h e Yu n g K i n g s & Yu n g Q u e e n s l i n e i s d o i n g v e r y w e l l i n t h e R e a d i n g , PA a r e a . D o y o u p l a n t o ex p a n d ? D o y o u s e e t h e l i n e b e i n g a r e g i o n a l , statewide, or even global brand? Y K : We a r e d e f i n i te l y t r y i n g to ex p a n d , t h e wo r l d i s o u r l i m i t! We wa n t to h ave Yu n g K i n g s a n d Yu n g Q u e e n s i n a s m a ny r e t a i l s to r e s a s we c a n . We a r e g o i n g to c o n t i n u e wo r k i n g h a r d to ke e p m ov i n g o u r b r a n d f o r wa r d w h i l e ke e p i n g i t f r e s h a n d d i f fe r e n t . M : W h e r e d o y o u s e e Yu n g K i n g s & Yu n g Q u e e n s i n 10 y e a r s? Y K : Te n ye a r s f r o m n ow Yu n g K i n g s a n d Yu n g Q u e e n s w i l l b e s o l d a l l ove r t h e wo r l d a s t h e n u m b e r o n e c l o t h i n g b r a n d i n t h e f a s h i o n wo r l d ! ! !

10

M : W h e r e d o y o u d r a w i n s p i r a t i o n f r o m? W h a t influences you? Do you have any designers who inspire you? Y K : I d o n’ t r e a l l y h ave a ny d e s i g n e r s t h a t I f o l l ow o r l o o k u p to. I b a s i c a l l y j u s t s i t d ow n , s t a r t d o o d l i n g o n my t a b l e t o r l a p to p, a n d g o f r o m t h e r e . O n c e I h ave a d e s i g n I s e n d i t o u t to a fe w p e o p l e to g e t f e e d b a c k on it and continue from there. M : Te l l u s a l i t t l e a b o u t t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f y o u r clothing? Do you do ever y thing yourself or do y o u h a v e o u t s i d e h e l p? W h a t g o e s i n t o t h e a c t u a l designing? Y K : We b u y o u r c l o t h i n g f r o m s eve r a l m a n u f a c t u re r s , a n d o n c e we g e t t h e m we d o a l l o f t h e d e s i g n s o n t h e m , f r o m s c r e e n p r i n t i n g to a l l o t h e r p a i n t s we wo r k w i t h to t r y to c r e a te s o m e t h i n g d i f f e r e n t . M y h e l p c o n s i s t s o f D a r l e e n C a r t a g e n a (ow n e r o f Yu n g Q u e e n s), J o r d a n R o d r i g u e z (C o - D e s i g n e r a n d S t y l i s t), a n d S te p h a n Fa i n s ( Pu b l i c R e l a t i o n s & M a r ke t i n g). M: Besides the actual creating and designing, it t a ke s b u s i n e s s , m a r ke t i n g a n d p r o m o t i o n t o m a ke a c l o t h i n g l i n e w o r k . H o w h a s t h a t ex p e r i e n c e b e e n f o r y o u r c o m p a n y, a n d h o w h a s s o c i a l m e d i a helped you with promoting your brand?

09


BUY After collaborating with some of the best known brands in the world, retro sneaker maker New Balance has started to work with a different kind of designer, the customer. Starting at $140, Newbalance.com provides customers the opportunity to select from 23 different colors to customize each part of their sneaker, from the toe wrap to the logo base. Currently only available in two running styles, the US933 and the US574, buyers also have the option to add an embroidered message on the heel of their sneaker giving them the freedom to design a pair of kicks that are as unique as they are.

Android Homme – The Propulsion 1.5 by Android Homme Androidhomme.com


Janelle Monáe’s

Sty e

Wr i t te n by El e e s h a Fe r g u s o n

A How To Guide

T h e m a r r i a g e o f m u s i c a n d fa s h i o n h a s l o n g b e e n a b e a u t i f u l o n e, a n d w i t h a n a r t i s t l i ke J a n e l l e M o n á e t h i s c r e a t i ve a n d i n s p i r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p wo n’ t e n d a ny t i m e s o o n. W i t h s o m u c h p o i s e a n d s t y l e t h i s e c l e c t i c t u xe d o we a r i n g l e a d e r h o l d s s o m u c h p owe r i n h e r s m a l l f r a m e.

HEAD MESSAGE I n t h e wo r d s of J a n e l l e M o n á e , “ p e r fe c t i o n i s t h e e n e my of g r e a t n e s s ,” s o m a ke t h i s l o o k p e r fe c t l y i m p e r fe c t , m a ke i t yo u r s ! V i s i t j m o n a e .c o m to s t ay u p to d a te o n a l l t h a t Janelle has going on.

To p p i n g t h e c h a r t s w i t h h i t s l i ke “ T i g h tr o p e” a n d “ We A r e Yo u n g ”, M o n á e h a s e a r n e d s i x G r a m my n o m i n a t i o n s . A l o n g w i t h t h o s e G r a m my nods, the songstress is also held in high regard a m o n g s t t h e fa s h i o n wo r l d s i n c e s te p p i n g o u t i n h e r s i g n at u r e b l a c k t u xe d o. L u c k i l y f o r u s , J a n e l l e h a s s h owe d u s t h e b e s t way t o t a ke c h a r g e i n a p owe r s u i t w i t h o u t l o s i n g t h at fe m i n i n e f l a r e. B e l ow i s yo u r t h r e e s te p g u i d e o n h ow t o c h a n g e yo u r l o o k i n t o a t i m e l e s s r e n d i t i o n o f J a n e l l e’s m e n s we a r i n s p i r e d s t y l e. S t e p1: Pu r c h a s e t h e r i g h t s u i t o r t u xe d o a n d m a ke s u r e i t f i t s . O f f t h e r a c k m i g h t n o t wo r k , s o a b i t of t a i l o r i n g m ay b e n e e d e d. D o n’ t b e a f r a i d t o s wa p o u t yo u r t r a d i t i o n a l b l a c k p a n t f o r s o m et h i n g m o r e t r e n d y, o r eve n a w h i te ve r s i o n o f t h i s classic.

10

11

Step 2: Yu p! yo u g u e s s e d i t , t h e c l a s s i c w h i te b u t t o n - u p. t h i s c a n t r a n s f o r m yo u r e n t i r e l o o k . S t i c k i n g w i t h t h e c r i s p b u t t o n - u p c a n g i ve yo u r l o o k a m o r e m a s c u l i n e fe e l. B u t , t h i s i s n’ t yo u r o n l y o p t i o n. Tr y a d d i n g a s i l k b l o u s e o r a m o c k t u r t l e n e c k , but be sure to stick with solid colors. S t e p 3: A c c e s s o r i ze, a c c e s s o r i ze, a c c e s s o r i ze! Fr o m t h e s h o e s t o t h e t i e c l i p, m a ke s u r e t h e s e ex t r a s ex p r e s s yo u r p e r s o n a l s t y l e. Ta ke yo u r p i c k of c o l o r f u l n e c k t i e s t o g i ve yo u r l o o k a p o p of c o l o r. A f l owe r b r o o c h o r a d i a m o n d e n c r u s te d t i e c l i p i s t h e p e r fe c t r e p l a c e m e n t f o r a n e c k l a c e. S u s p e n d e r s p l e a s e! Tr y a d d i n g a p a i r o f fa u x l e at h e r o r p o l k a d o t s u s p e n d e r s . Ke e p t h e s u s p e n d e r s s l i m t o avo i d b u l k i n e s s . T h e f i n a l a c c e s s o r y i s J a n e l l e’s fa m o u s s a d d l e s h o e s , w h i c h c a n e a s i l y b e exc h a n g e d f o r a n ox f o r d , w h i c h eve r yo u p r e fe r. To s p i c e i t u p, t r y a m et a l l i c o r s t r a p py h e e l to add height.

@j a n e l l e m o n a e


iPad Mi ni

S

Microsof t Sur face n e we s t ve r s i o n of W i n d ow s , W i n d ow s 8 . T h e n e w O S d r i f t s away f r o m t r a d i t i o n a l n av i g a t i o n t h r o u g h t h e u s e of a p p s to m o r e eye - a p p e a l i n g ‘l i ve t i l e s’ t h a t u p d a te c o n s t a n t l y w i t h n e w a n d r e l eva n t i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h a t t i l e . T h e S u r f a c e a l s o a l l ow s yo u to d ow n l o a d a ny W i n d ow s p r o g r a m a n d g a m e s i n c l u d i n g M i c r o s of t O f f i c e . A l s o, f o r t h o s e p e o p l e w h o s hy away f r o m t a b l e t s b e c a u s e t h ey l a c k a n a t i ve key b o a r d , T h e S u r f a c e d o e s i n c l u d e , i f yo u p ay f o r i t a t l e a s t , a key b o a r d t h a t c o n n e c t s to t h e b o t to m of t h e b o d y.

Wr i t te n by M a n ny G u z m a n S o yo u’r e i n t h e m a r ke t to b u y a n e w t a b l e t , h u h? We l l yo u’ve p i c ke d a g r e a t t i m e to g e t yo u r f i r s t t a b l e t b e c a u s e t h e m a r ke t i s l i te ra l l y s a t u r a te d w i t h g o o d q u a l i t y t a b l e t s t h a t s o m e m i g h t c o n s i d e r “ l a p to p r e p l a c e m e n t s .” To d ay, I w i l l b e c o m p a r i n g t h e i Pa d M i n i to t h e n e we s t a d d i t i o n i n t h e t a b l e t m a r ke t by M i c r o s o f t , t h e Microsof t Sur face. I ’l l p r e f a c e by s ay i n g t h a t b o t h o f t h e s e tablets are useful for all types of productivity one m i g h t e n c o u n te r i n h i s o r h e r l i f e . B o t h a r e s l e e k a n d l i g h t we i g h t , s o t h a t yo u a l way s h ave yo u r wo r k o n t h e g o. O f c o u r s e , i t ’s i m p o r t a n t to n o te A p p l e’s d o m i n a n c e i n t h e t a b l e t m a r ke t h a s n o t b e e n u s u r p e d by a ny o t h e r t a b l e t i n t h e i n d u s t r y s i n c e t h e i n c e p t i o n o f t h e i Pa d s o m a ny ye a r s a g o. I n f a c t , s o m a ny h ave t r i e d a n d f a i l e d , t h a t I ’l l g o o u t o n a l i m b to s ay A p p l e’s d o m i n a n c e i n t h e i n d u s t r y w i l l c o n t i n u e to g r ow f o r ye a r s to c o m e . T h a t b e i n g s a i d , i t ’s n eve r a b a d t i m e to r ev i e w t h e l a te s t “ i Pa d K i l l e r ”. T h i s t i m e t h e s u p p o s e d killer is the Microsof t Sur face. I n e a r l y 2013 , M i c r o s o f t r e l e a s e d t h e S u r f a c e to t h e m a s s e s . T h e c u r r e n t r e t a i l p r i c e i s $ 4 9 9 f o r t h e 3 2G B ve r s i o n , a n d u s e s M i c r o s of t ’s

T h e t a b l e t ’s s c r e e n , o r s h o u l d I s ay, i t ’s s u rf a c e , i s a 10.6 ” C l e a r Ty p e H D s c r e e n d i s p l ay, a n d w h i l e i t m i g h t n o t h ave t h e c l a r i t y of A p p l e’s r e t i n a d i s p l ay, t h e S u r f a c e d o e s a g o o d j o b a t d i s p l ay i n g v i b r a n t a n d b o l d c o l o r s . W i t h t a b l e t s , b a t te r y l i fe i s especially impor tant, and in this regard, the Sur face f a i l s m i s e r a b l y i n c o m p a r i s o n to t h e i Pa d M i n i. W i t h a c o n s e r va t i ve e s t i m a te a t 4. 5 h o u r s , t h e S u r f a c e i s n ow h e r e n e a r t h e i Pa d M i n i b a t te r y l i f e w h i c h s t a n d s a t 10 h o u r s . N e e d l e s s to s ay, yo u m i g h t h ave to b r i n g yo u r c h a r g e r w i t h yo u i f yo u p l a n o n d o i n g s o m e exte n s i ve wo r k ! O f c o u r s e yo u p r o b a b l y wa n t to k n ow w h a t t h e s p e c s a r e; h e r e t h ey g o: •

We i g h t: 9 0 3 g

S i ze: 13 . 5 m m

S c r e e n: 10.6 ” C l e a r Ty p e Fu l l H D D i s p l ay

P r o c e s s o r : I n te l C o r e i 5 - I v y B r i d g e

B a t te r y L i fe: 4. 5 h o u r s

S to r a g e: 6 4 G B , 128 G B

M ov i n g o n , n ow we w i l l t a ke a l o o k a t A p p l e’s n e we s t i Pa d , t h e i Pa d M i n i. T h e n a m e s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s i Pa d i s i n d e e d m i n i i n c o m p a r i s o n to i t s b r o t h e r, t h e i Pa d 3 . W i t h a s c r e e n - s i ze of j u s t a b o u t 7 i n c h e s , t h e i Pa d M i n i i s a b o u t t h r e e i n c h e s s m a l l e r t h a n t h e i Pa d 3 , w h i c h h a s a s c r e e n s i ze of 9. 5 i n c h e s . T h a t b e i n g s a i d , w h a t t h e i Pa d M i n i l a c k s i n s i ze , i t s u r e d o e s m a ke u p f o r i n p e r f o r m a n c e a n d c o s t . T h e t a b l e t c u r r e n t l y r e t a i l s f o r $ 3 2 9 f o r t h e b a s e l i n e 16 G B s e tu p. A n d w h i l e t h a t f i g u r e m i g h t s p o o k s o m e p e o p l e away, i t ’s i m p o r t a n t to n o te t h a t yo u wo n’ t g e t t h e p r o c e s s i n g p owe r f r o m a ny o t h e r c o m p a r a b l e 7- i n c h t a b l e t o n t h e m a r ke t to d ay. To s u m i t u p i n a s e n te n c e , t h e i Pa d M i n i i s a s l i m m e d d ow n i Pa d 2. A n d


w h i l e i t s s c r e e n r e s o l u t i o n i s o n l y 10 24 x 76 8 , yo u wo n’ t b e d i s a p p o i n te d i f yo u a r e a l r e a d y a p r o u d ow n e r o f t h e i Ph o n e 5 o r 4 s w h i c h b o a s t s a r e t i n a d i s p l ay s c r e e n w i t h t h e c l a r i t y s e e n o n a n i Pa d M i n i. Yo u a l s o wo n’ t b e d i s a p p o i n te d w i t h t h e A 6 c h i p i n t h e i Pa d M i n i , a s i t i s f a s t a n d p owe r f u l e n o u g h to h a n d l e a ny t h i n g t h a t yo u t r y to t h r ow a t i t . A n d w h a t a b o u t t h e b a t te r y l i f e yo u m i g h t a s k ? We l l, t h a t i s a g o o d q u e s t i o n i n d e e d. A c c o r d i n g to to A p p l e’s ow n we b s i te , t h e i Pa d M i n i i s c a p a b l e o f u p to 10 h o u r s o f wo r k i n g o n t h e g o. Te n w h o l e h o u r s; n ow t h a t i s i m p r e s s i ve ! C h a n c e s a r e i f yo u c h a r g e yo u r i Pa d a t n i g h t , i t w i l l h ave t h e n e c e s s a r y j u i c e to l a s t yo u a w h o l e d ay o f i n te n s i ve wo r k a n d p l ay ! T h e o n l y d r aw b a c k to t h e i Pa d M i n i i s t h a t i t d o e s n o t i n c l u d e a n a t i ve key b o a r d , w h i c h yo u w i l l h ave to p u r c h a s e yo u r s e l f, e i t h e r f r o m e B ay (c h e a p l y ) o r A p p l e (ve r y ex p e n s i ve). S o h e r e a r e t h e d e t a i l s yo u w i l l n e e d to m a ke a n i n f o r m e d d e c i s i o n: •

H e i g h t: 7. 87 i n c h e s ( 20 0 m m)

W i d t h: 5 . 3 i n c h e s (13 4.7 m m)

D e p t h: 0 . 28 i n c h ( 7. 2 m m)

We i g h t: 0 .6 8 p o u n d ( 3 0 8 g)

B a t te r y L i f e: B u i l t- i n 16 . 3 - wa t t- h o u r r e c h a r g e a b l e l i t h i u m - p o l y m e r b a t te r y. U p to 10 h o u r s .

C h a r g i n g: V i a p owe r a d a p te r o r U S B to c o m p u te r sy s te m .

F i n a l l y, yo u m i g h t b e wo n d e r i n g w h i c h o f t h e s e t a b l e t s I m i g h t r e c o m m e n d to yo u . I t ’s h a r d n o t to a d m i t t h a t M i c r o s o f t ’s S u r f a c e i s a b r e a t h o f f r e s h a i r to t h e t a b l e t m a r ke t w i t h t h e

i n n ova t i o n s t h a t i t h a s , b u t i t i s a l s o i m p o rt a n t to n o te t h a t t h i s i s s t i l l M i c r o s of t ’s f i r s t a t te m p t a t c o m b a t i n g A p p l e’s d o m i n a n c e i n t h e t a b l e t m a r ke t . S o w h i l e t h e r e a r e g l a r i n g e r r o r s , i n c l u d i n g t h e h o r r i b l e b a t te r y l i fe , I a m s u r e M i c r o s of t wo n’ t g o away q u i e t l y i n to t h e s u n s e t a s m a ny o t h e r t a b l e t s h ave g o n e . T h ey a r e h e r e to s t ay, a n d i n a fe w ye a r s t h e S u r f a c e m i g h t t r u l y l i ve u p to i t s n a m e a s a n “ i Pa d K i l l e r.” S o of c o u r s e , t h i s m e a n s t h a t I a m n o t o n l y r e c o m m e n d i n g t h e i Pa d m i n i, I ’m wo n d e r i n g w hy yo u h ave n’ t g o n e o u t a n d b o u g h t o n e ye t ?

10

13


Written by Yasmein James MUTE: Please introduce yourself. KI: Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I lived in Pasedena most of life. I am a cancer survivor. I am also a woman who just loves to sing and write and express herself through the art of music. MUTE: How did you pull through your troubles with cancer? KI: Honestly, faith in God. That is really what got me through. It’s really so strange because when I start to explain that, people in the industry say ‘you know what Krys, I understand you have faith in God and he pulled you through cancer, but you shouldn’t be talking about it so much because they are going to tell you that you are a Gospel artist or something like that.’ That is not the message I am trying to relay. The message I am trying to relay is that no matter what genre of music you are, it’s okay to talk about what you have been through, and what got me through cancer was God. So honestly, it was really tough to endure things physically and I needed spiritual support and God surrounded me with amazing people. I had to do my music. Music was such a huge outlet when I was really sick. What would make me feel better is sitting down and expressing myself through song. I came out with a lot of songs while I was going through cancer. I came out with a lot of material and a lot of concepts, so it was a growing experience musically as well. MUTE: What was your inspiration while working on Reflections? KI: Well Charlemagne (Charlemagne is a popular radio and TV personality) is a really good friend of mine and he is just a really hilarious dude, he cracks me up. Some people love the brutish type of sense of humor, I do. I love a vulgar sense of humor. I think it’s hilarious. He said ‘I think you are so incredibly talented and underrated, and I want to do a mixtape with you, and I will bring in my boy Dj Frosty.’ So I was like ‘definitely’. Dj Frosty is doing his thing right now; he is in South Carolina and I think Philly, I have to look it up. He is a talented Dj, very talented and humble dude. Charlemagne is like a big brother to me. I always ask his opinion. Do you like this song? Is it wack? Because he is so blunt, he will just tell you. He has


10

15

Krys Ivory

photography by Andre Wright

Jr.


never shot down any of my songs, but he always gives me his honest opinion about certain songs, where he would hear it and whether or not it’s top 40 or urban. So it was actually Charlemagne’s idea to call it Reflections because after listening to my story and listening to my music, he knew I had storytelling ability. So we put together the mixtape. We did the mixtape with Debby Dev, she is from Kade A, a really close friend of mine. She breaks down my whole story and the mixtape. I really go into dialogue so people get to see a piece of my life versus just music. You get to rock with my music and you get a testament. I think that is a double whammy. MUTE: How has the West Coast influenced your music? KI: That’s easy. I am a West Coast girl to the fullest. I am such a Cali girl it’s ridiculous. I grew up on Dj Quick, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, all sorts of music, artists from the ‘60s and ‘70s era, Teena Marie, Anita Baker, Temptations, Jimi Hendrix, all sorts of music. I love all genres, Joni Mitchell, even Kate Nash at times, not all the times, but at times, I love her though. West Coast music is my musical foundation, point blank. MUTE: When can we expect the album and what can we expect to hear on the album? KI: Album is going to be released in Japan first because the single did really well out there. I am also working on my album in the U.S. too. You can expect a lot of conviction, real life experiences and you won’t hear no 123, ABC bs. I am going to be singing from my heart. It’s going to be very catchy, and you are going to want to dance. MUTE: What albums are you listening to right now? KI: Right now I got Dwele in my car (in LA), a lot of Jimi Hendrix, I love Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin. I love Drake, I think Drake is really dope. I love Kanye. I just want him to come back as the Kanye he was before, I think we all do. I love Kanye, he can do no wrong, but let’s talk about Kelis. Kelis is my boo. I just feel like Kelis cannot do any wrong. I really love her. Rafael Saadiq and Kelis, those too. They are special to me. They are really special to me. MUTE: Are you working on any other projects? KI: Oh absolutely. I have been in the studio with so many artists, just keep an ear out. I don’t want to say too much because it’s always little things and stuff like that, but I might be on several hooks coming to radio soon. I am real excited about that. I have been working real hard. When I am not singing, I am writing. I can write my tooshie off. So I am

working on other projects as well for other people, but my main concern is me. MUTE: In five years…. KI: Oh I love these, I just love these. In five years, I am going to sell millions of records. I am going to go triple platinum (laughs). I am going to be a huge sensation. I am going to have huge movement. It’s going to be called the Ivory League Movement and its going to be touching different people lives. MUTE: What advice do you have for aspiring artists? KI: I tell them that you are going to fall down and you are going to smack your face on the concrete at least 50 times. It’s okay, cry, wipe your tears away and get back up.


r u s I o Y n dA Virus a B M u te h a d a n o p p o r t u n i t y to c a tc h u p w i t h a u t h o r, m u s i c p r o m o te r a n d I n d e p e n d e n t M u s i c P r o m o t i o n s f o u n d e r, J a m e s M o o r e to t a l k a b o u t h i s l a te s t r e l e a s e , Yo u r B a n d i s A V i r u s - E x p a n d e d E d i t i o n. Fu l l o f i n s i g h t f u l p o i n te r s a n d t i p s , Yo u r B a n d I s A V i r u s - E x p a n d e d E d i t i o n i s a g r e a t r e a d f o r a ny a r t i s t l o o k i n g to get a leg up on the competition.

Wr i t te n by D av i d N a z a r i o M U TE : H o w d i d y o u g e t y o u r s t a r t i n t h e m u s i c industry? J M : I l e a r n e d o n t h e j o b by p r o m o t i n g a r t i s t s l o c a l l y o n a f r e e l a n c e l eve l . E a r l y o n , I f o u n d t h a t m u c h of t h e p r o c e s s wa s s i m p l y a b o u t b u i l d i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d t a k i n g e f f o r t to r e a c h o u t i n a h u m a n way, a n e ff o r t a n d m i n d f u l n e s s t h a t i s g e n e r a l l y n o t p a r t of o u r t i m e s . S o m e o f t h e t a c t i c s I u s e d wo r ke d we l l, a n d o t h e r s I l e a r n e d f r o m . T h e m i s t a ke s we r e t h e m o s t va l u a b l e , b e c a u s e ove r t h e ye a r s I l e a r n e d w h a t n o t to d o; w h a t a r t i s t s wa s te t h e i r t i m e o n m o s t , b e c a u s e I ’ve d o n e i t my s e l f. T h e c l a r i t y o f t h o s e r e a l i z a t i o n s l e d to t h e Yo u r B a n d I s A V i r u s s e r i e s . I s t a r te d I n d e p e n d e n t M u s i c P r o m o t i o n s (w w w.i n d e p e n d e n tm u s i c p r o m o t i o n s .c o m) f o r m a l l y i n 2010, a s a way of wo r k i n g s o l e l y w i t h m u s i c w i t h d e p t h a n d m a k i n g s u r e eve r y a r t i s t g o t r e s u l t s . I t to o k r e s e a r c h to m a ke t h i s h a p p e n , b u t I ’m h a p py to s ay t h e c o m p a ny i s g o i n g we l l , a n d I ’m a f a n o f eve r y a r t i s t I wo r k w i t h . M U TE : Te l l u s a b o u t Yo u r B a n d I s A V i r u s - E x p a n d ed Edition. J M : Yo u r B a n d I s A V i r u s – E x p a n d e d E d i t i o n i s my a t te m p t to p u t eve r y t h i n g I k n ow a b o u t m u s i c p r o m o t i o n i n to a c l e a r a n d u n d e r s t a n d a b l e b o o k . I t ’s ex a c t l y w h a t I wo u l d l i ke to r e a d a s a n i n d e p e n d e n t a r t i s t . W h i l e t h e r e a r e m a ny exc e l l e n t r e s o u r c e s o u t t h e r e , a n d I ’d r e c o m m e n d s eve r a l o f t h e m , I wa n te d to r e l e a s e s o m e t h i n g f o r t h e D I Y a r t i s t w h o c a r e s a b o u t t h e m u s i c f i r s t a n d f o r e m o s t , a n d b e l i eve s i n t h e i r wo r k e n o u g h to p r e s e n t i t to t h e wo r l d t h r o u g h a va r i e t y o f s t r a te g i e s , i n c l u d i n g h i r i n g s t r e e t te a m s and freelancers. S i n c e my m a i n ex p e r t i s e i s i n p r e s s , a n d p r e s s i s p a rt i c u l a r l y a n a r e a t h a t s e e m s to h ave a l way s f r u s t r a te d a r t i s t s (a n d m a ny p u b l i c i s t s a p p a r e n t l y ), I wa n te d to m a ke a l a r g e p a r t o f t h e b o o k f o c u s e d o n t h a t a r e a . I f yo u t h i n k o u t s i d e o f t h e b ox t h e r e a r e p l e n t y of way s to b u i l d yo u r s t a t u s a s a m u s i c i a n o r b a n d .

T h e m a i n u n d e r l y i n g t h e m e i s a l s o a b o u t a tt i t u d e . I s yo u r b a n d a v i r u s , w h a t m a ke s a v i r u s c a tc h o n? I s i t u n d e n i a b l y, ove r w h e l m i n g l y s t r o n g s o t h a t i t t a ke s ove r a ny t h i n g within sight? Or is it complaining about its l i m i t a t i o n s , t h e m u s i c i n d u s t r y, i t s f l i g h t y f a n b a s e , e tc .? T h a t ’s n o t v i r a l . V i r a l i s c o m p l e te l y, n e u t r a l l y c o n f i d e n t . M U TE : W h y d i d y o u d e c i d e t o c r e a t e a n exp a n d e d v e r s i o n? W h a t m a ke s t h i s e d i t i o n d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n? J M : I d e c i d e d o n t h e ex p a n d e d ve r s i o n b e c a u s e I fe l t t h e o r i g i n a l b o o k wa s l i m i te d a n d q u i te s h o r t . M o s t of t h e n e w i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e ex p a n d e d ve r s i o n c a m e d i r e c t l y f r o m my ex p e r i e n c e r u n n i n g I n d e p e n d e n t M u s i c Pr o m o t i o n s , s o i t ’s ex t r e m e l y t i m e l y a n d r e l eva n t f o r i n d e p e n d e n t a r t i s t s . M y g o a l wa s to m a ke t h e n e w b o o k ove r d o u b l e t h e l e n g t h of t h e f i r s t , a n d I a c h i eve d t h a t . A l s o, I wa n te d to i n c l u d e o t h e r p r ofe s s i o n a l p e r s p e c t i ve s o n to p i c s I ’m l e s s f a m i l i a r w i t h , s o I i n te r v i e w s t a r p r o d u c e r s ( S t u a r t E p p s), m u s i c v i d e o p r o m o t i o n C EO’s ( A n d y G e s n e r of H I P V i d e o P r o m o), A & R ex p e r t s a n d b l o g ow n e r s ( K a t i e O’ H a l l o r a n of I t h i n k i l ove i t .c o m), Po d c a s t /r a d i o p e r s o n a l i t i e s (J u s t i n Way n e of t h e J u s t i n Way n e S h ow), a n d m a g a z i n e /m u s i c c o m p a ny C EO’s (C r y s t a l L e e of Va n d a l a C o n c e p t s). I t r e a l l y m a d e f o r a g r e a t l e a r n i n g ex p e r i e n c e a n d i t wa s f u n g e t t i n g to k n ow a l l of t h e f o l k s i nvo l ve d. I t ’s t h e i r k n ow l e d g e t h a t r e a l l y m a ke s t h e b o o k e s p e c i a l l y va l u a b l e . M U TE : I n t h i s b o o k y o u g i v e a r t i s t s e v e r y t h i n g t h a t t h e y n e e d t o m a r ke t a n d b r a n d themselves as independent ar tists. Do you think it is best for all ar tists to go the ind e p e n d e n t r o u t e? J M : N o t n e c e s s a r i l y. O n l y a r t i s t s w i t h t h e r i g h t wo r k e t h i c a n d a t t i t u d e c a n m a ke t h i s a p o s s i b i l i t y. B e i n g i n d e p e n d e n t i s n o t a b o u t u p l o a d i n g yo u r a l b u m to B a n d c a m p. I t ’s a b o u t a c t u a l l y g o i n g d e e p w i t h i n yo u r s e l f a n d c o m p l e te l y r e m ov i n g a ny a t t i t u d e s t h a t a r e

10

17


h o l d i n g yo u b a c k . T h e n , i t ’s a b o u t r e a c h i n g o u t a n d d o i n g t h e wo r k . I t t a ke s h u n d r e d s o f h o u r s . M a ny a r t i s t s wo u l d b e b e t te r o f f f i n d i n g a p u b l i c i s t o r p r o fe s s i o n a l te a m t h a t t h ey t r u s t a n d c o l l a b o r a t i n g i n t h a t way. I t ’s t h e s a m e a s a ny o t h e r i n d u s t r y. A p o r t i o n of p e o p l e w i l l d o f i n e o n t h e i r ow n , b u t t h e p e o p l e a r o u n d t h e m w i l l h ave n o i d e a t h e wo r k t h a t i t t a ke s . T h a t b e i n g s a i d , i f yo u t h i n k l i ke a n o u ts o u r c e r, o r a n e n t r e p r e n e u r, yo u c a n a c h i eve i t , a b s o l u te l y. M a ny a r t i s t s s hy away f r o m t h e te r m e n t r e p r e n e u r, b u t i t o n l y m e a n s yo u wo r k h a r d . I f yo u’r e n o t w i l l i n g to wo r k h a r d f o r yo u r m u s i c, yo u m ay n o t b e t h e “ t r u e a r t i s t ” t h a t yo u t h i n k yo u a r e . M U TE : W h a t i s t h e s i n g l e m o s t i m p o r t a n t p i e c e of advice you have for someone tr ying to break into the music industr y? J M : We l l , g i v i n g a d v i c e i s t r i c k y a n d I o n l y l i ke to d o i t w h e n a s ke d…. b u t I ’ve b e e n a s ke d ! S o I ’d s ay, i n o r d e r to t r u l y g i ve s o m e t h i n g to t h i s wo r l d , l i s te n to yo u r s e l f, n o t yo u r e g o, yo u r d e s i r e s , a n d s o o n , b u t o n a d e e p e r l eve l; b e t r u e to t h e s i l e n c e w i t h i n . T h i s w i l l o f te n m e a n N OT g o i n g by i n d u s t r y o r m u s i c a l ex p e c te d s t a n d a r d s , b u t b l a z i n g yo u r ow n p a t h . D o s o m e t h i n g b o l d . S t a n d o n yo u r ow n . A l way s l e a r n , a n d b e k i n d to eve r yo n e a l o n g t h e way. D o n’ t i m p e r s o n a te a nyo n e , p e o p l e w i l l g e t a

HONOR

c h a r g e f r o m yo u o n l y i f i t ’s w i l d l y o r i g i n a l. M U TE : W h o a r e y o u l i s t e n i n g t o r i g h t n ow ? J M : I t ’s a l way s a m i xe d b a g . L a te l y, I ’ve b e e n o n a L e d Z e p p e l i n k i c k , a n d “A c h i l l e s L a s t S t a n d ” h a s b e e n t h e s o n g f o r t h e t i m e s . I ’ve a l s o l i s te n e d to a l o t of D j K r u s h , D e f to n e s , S q u a r e p u s h e r, G a r y C l a r k J r., J a n e l l e M o n a e , K a r n i vo o l, Pu s c i fe r, C h a r l e s B r a d l ey, e tc . I a l s o te n d to l i s te n to a l o t of t a l k s f r o m p e o p l e l i ke J i d d u K r i s h n a m u r t i a n d R a m D a s s . B eyo n d t h a t a n d t h e h u n d r e d s of m u s i c a l s t a p l e s , D av i d B ow i e h a s a n n o u n c e d a n e w a l b u m s o I ’l l b e ve r y exc i te d to h e a r t h a t . M U TE : W h a t ’s n ex t ? A n y m o r e b o o k s i n t h e wo r k s? J M : We l l, I ’m exc i te d to wo r k w i t h a l o t of g r e a t a r t i s t s t h i s ye a r, i t m a ke s my d ay-to - d ay e n j oya b l e . A s f a r a s o t h e r b o o k s , I d o h ave a c o n c e p t f o r a ve r y s i m p l e n e w o n e a n d w i l l m o s t l i ke l y s t a r t o n t h a t w i t h i n a f e w m o n t h s . Fo r t h e m o s t p a r t , i t ’s g o i n g to b e I n d e p e n d e n t M u s i c P r o m o t i o n s p r e s e n ti n g o u r “ m u s i c w i t h d e p t h” to t h e wo r l d. T h a n k s f o r h av i n g m e !

Jenni Rivera 19 9 9 - 2 012 Je nni Rive r a wa s a n A me r ic a n sing e r- so ngwr ite r, ac tre s s, te levi son p rodu ce r a nd e ntre p re ne ur.

Albums: Jenni La Gran Senora Parrandera R e b e l d e Y At r ev i d a More


EVENTS

From left to right

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Hip Hop Artist Mic Stew (Photo by Jenea Hall) Hip Hop Artist Bun B (Photo by Jenea Hall) Hip Hop Artist Redman (Photo by Jenea Hall) Vocalist Jennifer Kinder (Photo by Theron Cook) Hip Hop Artist Joell Ortiz (Photo by Jenea Hall) Artist Sandi Turner (Photo by Theron Cook) Vocalist Matt Bailey (Photo by Theron Cook)

Black History Month Exhibition Rohrbach Library of Kutztown University Main Floor 2/12/13 3pm - 5pm Paintings by Theron Cook with author David Nazario reading from his book, “I’m David, Christianity is Goliath: Why Love Is More Important Than Religion”

10

19


10

21

SKYLER S tonestr e et

Written by Brett Burkhart Talking to a pretty girl for the first time over the phone is always a daunting task, especially when that pretty girl is Skyler Stonestreet, a singer-songwriter whose songs have appeared on One Tree Hill and the newest camera launch for Polaroid.  Having already called Skyler once from my home state of Pennsylvania, for our 11:00 a.m. interview without considering the fact that she was in her home state of California, where the time zone is three hours behind, I mistakenly called her at 8:00 a.m. Needless to say, my nerves were pretty much shot. Waiting for her to return my call felt like waiting for the principal in his office. I knew I had messed up, I knew I deserved whatever was coming to me, and I knew that it wasn’t going to be pleasant.

photography by Brian

Heller


When my phone finally rings, I almost hope it isn’t her, but that’s her number on my phone, and it’s time to face the music. As my thumb slowly slides over the answer bar, the questions in my head begin. “Am I ready for this tongue lashing? Will she tell me to go to hell right away, or make me suffer through an entire uncomfortable interview? What is about to happen to me!?” I finally answer, and when Skyler says hello, her voice has the slightest bit of rasp to it, making the pit in my stomach even bigger. So, how bad was it? Did she make me, a grown man, cry? Not even close! I apologized profusely, and she laughingly accepted. She openly answered all my questions with in-depth elaborations further alleviating any nerves I had built up waiting for her call. Ms. Stonestreet has the talent and charisma to go as far as she wants in the music industry, and her sense of humor and humility make not rooting for her utterly impossible. Mute:  Do you consider yourself part of any genre? Skyler: I think I’m growing more and developing into a poppier sound, so I feel like I’m going into that realm of music, and I’m excited about it! It’s just, you know, taking me a while because with the more resources that I have, I get poppier and poppier… but it’s been developing and getting there.  I can see myself getting into that realm completely, but making it not like the same old same old. I want to have a little more substance…does that make sense? Mute: One of my favorite songs of yours is “Hello Heartbreak”. It’s about heartbreak, but it’s upbeat. Is it hard to write like that? Is it hard to write about something that was painful in an upbeat way or is that kind of how you naturally get through things? Skyler: I kind of like disguising songs a little bit. Like if it’s a sad song, making it a little happier sounding or if it’s happy, you know, putting it in sort of a slow way -- like I do that a lot. It’s nice too because, you know, if you have an upbeat song like that, I mean, it’s not going to be that exact thing, you know? It’s going to be this like happy pleasant sounding thing but then you dig a little deeper and it’s like ‘Oh, maybe that’s not a happy song.’

like everything’s right there. There’s sad songs, sad words…I like a little bit of hidden meaning. Mute: That’s awesome actually! I don’t think most people in pop really think like that. Do you know what I mean? I think most people are like ‘just put it out there’. I’m not trying to put you in a corner here, but do you think that most pop singers write “the easy way” whereas you’re trying to make it a little bit, not difficult but as you said, layered? Skyler: I, I think I do. I mean I think a lot of people are afraid to, you know, not be completely up front, like, I mean most pop songs don’t, you don’t really have a question when you’re listening there’s always, it’s always really clear, like a clear message, and I’d really like to change it. I’d like to change the format a little and make it my own because, you know, I feel like everyone says ‘I want to be unique, I want to be unique, and I want to be different’ but I feel like you need to figure out a way that works for you that, you know, that you love, and I definitely love having a couple questions in there. Mute: This is a bit of a hard question, so take your time with it. If you can’t answer it right away don’t worry about it. It’s kind of a lofty question if you don’t mind. If your fans could sum you up in one word or phrase, what would do you hope they would say? Skyler: That is a hard question. (laughing) Mute: I know. If you want to come back to it, I’m fine with that. Skyler: I would hope they would say I was genuine with my writing and sincere because that’s the kind of thing I’m trying to put out there. And I would hope that they would say I’m not taking myself too seriously, like I am a human being, and I’m trying to make music and I definitely don’t want to ever, like, look down on other people or have, like, you know, the common kind of diva behavior, like I just, I don’t want to do that. I hope they would see that.

Mute: So you’re kind of taking people on a ride that they don’t know they’re about to go on.

Mute: Well I would say calling me back after I called you at eight in the morning, I would say that’s not diva behavior so I think you’re on the right path already.

Skyler: Yeah, and there’s a few layers so it’s nice to give people a little bit of… mystery, you know? It’s not

Skyler: Ok, good! I’m so glad! I was worried!(laughing)

10

23


10

25

photography by Jenea

Hall


Venture

Mixx Boutique

Wr i t te n by Tr a c y O l i v i e r i

J u l i a C a s t r o c a m e to t h e U n i te d S t a te s f r o m C o l o m b i a 2 2 ye a r s a g o. I n 20 07, a f te r g r a d u a t i n g w i t h h e r A s s o c i a te s D e g r e e i n B u s i n e s s f r o m Pa c e I n s t i t u te i n R e a d i n g , PA , J u l i a o p e n e d u p M i x x B o u t i q u e i n We s t R e a d i n g . J u l i a b e l i eve s t h a t o b t a i n i n g h e r d e g r e e g ave h e r t h e c o n f i d e n c e s h e n e e d e d to o p e n u p h e r ow n b u s i n e s s . “ I h o n e s t l y d o n o t t h i n k w i t h o u t t h e d e g r e e I wo u l d h ave h a d t h e c o n f i d e n c e ,” s ay s J u l i a . “ T h e k n ow l e d g e o n h ow to d o a b u s i n e s s p l a n , a s we l l a s o r g a n i ze a b u s i n e s s to m a ke i t s u c c e s s f u l g ave m e t h e f o u n d a t i o n .” O p e n i n g M i x x i n 20 07, J u l i a k n e w i t wo u l d n o t b e a n e a sy t a s k . D u r i n g t h e p r o c e s s , s h e c o n t i n u e d to wo r k a f u l l -t i m e j o b a s a l o a n of f i c e r a n d a l s o wo r ke d a s a f r e e l a n c e s t y l i s t a n d b u ye r f o r a s m a l l b o u t i q u e . O n to p o f a l l o f t h i s , J u l i a wa s a l s o r a i s i n g t wo te e n a g e r s a s a s i n g l e p a r e n t .  Fo r t u n a te l y, s h e d i d h ave s o m e o n e w h o c o u l d wo r k i n t h e b o u t i q u e to h e l p o u t w h i l e s h e wa s b u sy wo r k i n g o t h e r j o b s . “ I f yo u l ove w h a t yo u d o yo u d o n’ t m i n d t h e h a r d wo r k ,” s h e ex p l a i n s . D u r i n g t h i s t i m e , i t wa s c o m m i t m e n t a n d d e d i c a t i o n to h e r d r e a m t h a t ke p t h e r g o i n g . T h i n g s we r e n o t e a sy f o r J u l i a i n t h e b e g i n n i n g , b u t s t i c k i n g w i t h it and being patient, a flourished business soon d eve l o p e d. At M i x x, s h o p p e r s w i l l f i n d a va r i e t y of f a s h i o n s t y l e s , a c c e s s o r i e s , a n d m e n’s a n d wo m e n’s c l o t h i n g .  A s o f r i g h t n ow, t h e b o u t i q u e c a r r i e s t h r e e b r a n d s:  D e s i g u a l, ( A c l o t h i n g l i n e b a s e d o u t o f B a r c e l o n a ), M i l l a, a m o r e c o n s e r va t i ve l i n e o u t o f L o s A n g e l e s , a n d P r e s s, a l i n e k n ow n f o r being casual and af fordable. Prices for the pieces s t a r t a t $ 20 .0 0 d o l l a r s . “ I wa n t c u s to m e r s to c o m e

i n to t h e b o u t i q u e to f i n d s o m e t h i n g d i f fe r e n t , t h i n g s t h a t t h ey n o r m a l l y wo u l d f i n d i n a p l a c e l i ke N e w Yo r k , s a i d J u l i a . “ C l o t h i n g t h a t i s u n i q u e , w i t h q u a l i t y, a n d s t i l l a f f o r d a b l e .” B y t a s te f u l l y d e c o r a t i n g t h e s to r e i n e a r t h to n e s a n d r e d h u e s , J u l i a h a s c r e a te d a wa r m a n d f r i e n d l y a t m o s p h e r e w i t h a n o r i e n t a l f l a i r. B a m b o o p l a n t s , s t a t u e s of B u d d h a a n d I n d i a n G o d s a l s o a d d to t h e d é c o r i n t h e s m a l l s p a c e . J u l i a wa n t s M i x x to r e m a i n s m a l l i n o r d e r to h ave e a c h p e r s o n’s s h o p p i n g ex p e r i e n c e f e e l p e r s o n a b l e a n d f a m i l y o r i e n te d.  “ I wa n t c u s to m e r s to fe e l c o m f o r t a b l e a n d l i ke f a m i l y w h e n s h o p p i n g ,” s ay s J u l i a . “ N o m a t te r w h a t yo u a r e we a r i n g w h e n yo u c o m e i n t h e s to r e , eve r yo n e i s t r e a te d t h e s a m e .” K n ow i n g f i r s t h a n d h ow i m p o r t a n t i t i s to l ove w h a t yo u d o a n d t h e h a r d wo r k t h a t g o e s a l o n g w i t h ow n i n g yo u r ow n b u s i n e s s , J u l i a i s a l way s l o o k i n g f o r n e w d e s i g n e r s w h o wo u l d l i ke to fe a t u r e t h e i r b r a n d s i n h e r s to r e , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e t h a t r e s i d e i n R e a d i n g , PA and the surrounding area. Julia encourages d e s i g n e r s to i n t r o d u c e t h e i r p r o d u c t l i n e to h e r s o i t c a n p o s s i b l y b e s h owc a s e d a t M i x x. “ Wo r k i n g to g e t h e r, h e l p i n g o n e a n o t h e r i s w h a t i t ’s a l l a b o u t ,” s ay s J u l i a . Fo r u p c o m i n g b u s i n e s s ow n e r s , J u l i a of fe r s a p i e c e of a d v i c e , “ Ta ke t h e c h a n c e o r yo u w i l l n eve r k n ow.” J u l i a a l s o a d v i s e s t h a t n e w b u s i n e s s ow n e r s b e s a f e , d o t h e i r r e s e a r c h , a n d u t i l i ze r e s o u r c e s , especially those that are out there for new e n t r e p r e n e u r s .”


10

27


J t

Styled by

Jeantrix

jeantrix.com

photography by Jenea

Hall


Jean trix

DRESS

Th e S u p erheroes Of F a s hi on

Written by David Nazario When cousins Muhammad Abdul-Basit (Homm) and Deric Crawley (Nyce) decided that they didn’t want to wear what was being sold in clothing stores in their hometown of Philadelphia, they joined forces to design a pair of sneakers, sneakers led to a matching shirt. Soon after, the duo began creating customized jeans; when people started to take notice of their unique pieces, Jeantrix was born. It was 10 years ago when Homm and Nyce began looking to superheroes like Batman, Superman and Spider Man as inspiration for their clothing line that they describe as “3D Couture Pop Art”. According to the fashion designing cousins, it was natural to incorporate their love of comic books into their clothing line. Trash and nature have also been inspirations. “Every collection is a different chapter in the comic book,” explains Nyce. And although corsets complete with spiked chains, masks and skull heads, and jackets with letters protruding out of them have made people wonder how these unique pieces are made, it hasn’t stopped them from purchasing the one of a kind garments. “We want people to wonder how we make stuff,” explains Homm. Not afraid to push the envelope, Nyce and Homm take pride in the fact that most people find their pieces are more shocking art than wearable fashion. Nyce, the more talkative out of the two, explains the advantage of this. “Our specialty is to always have shock value. With every collection we try to have one or two pieces that will make people say, ‘wow they took it there.’”

10

29


r u t u Co Ar 3D op P


re rt

10

While shock value sounds like a great way to entice fashion fanatics and potential customers, one has to wonder what qualifies as shocking these days when Lady Gaga is wearing meat as a dress and transforming herself into a chain smoking, greasy man in order to get folks talking. In Gaga’s defense, there was a method to her madness, and a message of consciousness associated with her stunt. This is the same ingenious approach taken by Homm and Nyce. “We want to make people think,” explains Nyce.  What better place to make people think than at a presentation in New York City on 9/11? Homm and Nyce used their fashion show to spread a message of world peace and religious tolerance by using males wearing turbans in their show. With major markets in New York and LA, it won’t be long before Homm and Nyce realize their dream of being featured in Vogue Magazine and dressing big stars like Madonna. (The fellas name MJ as the celebrity that they would have most liked to see rocking one of their one of a kind pieces.) If you see something you like, there’s plenty more where this came from. Go to www.jeantrix.com for a further look at the brand and all it has to offer.

The artwork featured on the left is entitled “Mental Strength”, and is featured in the music video for “Needed To” by Hip Hop artist Young H. Skyline. “Needed To” was produced by Stackz Beats. Artwork by Visual artist Theron Cook

t h e r o n c o o k a r t . c o m

31


$ $ $$

$ $ $

$

w h a teve r t h ey c a n to s e t t h e m s e l ve s a p a r t f r o m t h e r e s t . W h e t h e r i t i s a g i m m i c k , t h e i r c l o t h i n g c h o i c e s , o r l y ri c s , t h ey n e e d s o m e t h i n g to m a ke t h e m u n i q u e . A l l of t h e s e t h i n g s c o m e i n to p l ay w i t h t h e i r m a r ke t i n g p l a n a n d c a te r i n g to a c e r t a i n a u d i e n c e . I f yo u d o n’ t s e l l r e c o r d s , e i t h e r yo u r a l b u m w i l l g e t s h e l ve d , o r yo u w i l l g e t d r o p p e d - bye bye m u s i c c a r e e r ! I t s e e m s a s t h o u g h s h o c k va l u e w i l l g e t yo u to t h e to p of t h e c h a r t s , eve n i f j u s t f o r a m o m e n t; a f te r a l l , eve r yo n e i s l o o k i n g f o r t h e i r f i f te e n m i n u te s of f a m e .

My Album Is Coming Out... And By The Way I’m Gay! I n t h i s d ay a n d a g e yo u’d t h i n k t h a t c o m i n g o u t o f t h e c l o s e t wo u l d n’ t b e s o s h o c k i n g , b u t d u e to p o l i t i c s , t h e l aw a n d c o n f l i c t i n g o p i n i o n s a n d p e r s o n a l b e l i e f s , i t s t i l l i s . W i t h g ay r i g h t s i s s u e s constantly being in the news, bills being passed o r d e n i e d , t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y a n d t h e i r p l i g h t f o r e q u a l i t y i s a wo r l d w i d e i s s u e . S o i t i s n o s u r p r i s e t h a t eve r yo n e wa n t s to k n ow w h e r e c e l e b r i t i e s s t a n d r e g a r d i n g t h e s e i s s u e s . B u t , h a s i t c o m e to a p o i n t w h e r e t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y i s b e i n g ex p l o i te d? A r e a r t i s t s b e i n g g e n u i n e w h e n s u p p o r t i n g o r c l a i m i n g to b e a p a r t o f t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y, o r i s t h i s a l l a b i g s c h e m e c o o ke d u p by t h e i r r e c o r d l a b e l? T h e b i g q u e s t i o n i s: W i l l b e i n g g ay h e l p yo u s e l l r e c o r d s? Fr a n k O c e a n to o k to h i s b l o g to “c o m e o u t ”, c o i n c i d e n t a l l y r i g h t b e f o r e h i s a l b u m , C h a n n e l O ra n g e wa s a b o u t to d r o p. S o m e c o m m e n d e d h i m f o r d o i n g s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s s o h a r d to d o w h i l e i n t h e s p o t l i g h t , w h i l e o t h e r s t h o u g h t i t to b e a p u b l i c i t y s t u n t a n d m a r ke t i n g s t r a te g y. S o m e f a n s a p p l a u d e d h i m , w h i l e o t h e r s s to p p e d l i s te n i n g to h i m a l to g e t h e r. T h e r e i s n o d e ny i n g t h a t O c e a n g a i n e d p u b l i c i t y a n d a t te n t i o n , i n c l u d i n g 131,0 0 0 c o p i e s o f C h a n n e l O r a n g e s o l d i n i t s f i r s t we e k , a n d a 2013 G r a m my n o m i n a t i o n f o r A l b u m o f t h e Ye a r. B u t yo u h ave to wo n d e r : Wo u l d Fr a n k ’s C h a n n e l O r a n g e h ave d o n e a s we l l h a d h e n o t c o m e o u t t h e closet right before releasing it? T h e s a m e c a n b e a s ke d a b o u t a r t i s t s w h o s h ow c o n s t a n t s u p p o r t a n d c a te r to t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y, b o t h i n t h e i r m u s i c a n d w i t h t h e i r p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n s . Ta ke f o r ex a m p l e , M a d o n n a , C h e r, o r L a d y G a g a . L o n g t i m e s u p p o r te r s a n d a d vo c a te s f o r t h e LG B T c o m m u n i t y, t h ey h ave d eve l o p e d h u g e f o l l ow i n g s a n d a r e l o o ke d a t a s i c o n s . T h o u g h n o t g ay t h e m s e l ve s , t h e i r p u b l i c i ze d s u p p o r t o f t h o s e w h o i d e n t i f y a s g ay o r b i s ex u a l d e f i n i te l y d o e s n o t h u r t t h e i r i m a g e o r a l b u m s a l e s . N ow t h r ow “c o m i n g o u t ” i n to t h e m i x , a n d t h a t ’s a w h o l e o t h e r t h i n g . A l l o f a s u d d e n t h e c e l e b r i t y a t h a n d i s “d i f fe r e n t ”, a “ h e r o”, o r a “ f r e a k ”. B u t i s t h i s a b a d t h i n g?

N owa d ay s ,

it

seems

ar tists

are

doing

H of s t r a U n i ve r s i t y s o c i o l o g i s t , V i c to r P. C o r o n a , Ph . D. g ave M U T E h i s t h o u g h t s . “ I d o n’ t t h i n k t h a t t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y i s b e i n g ex p l o i te d , s ay s C o r o n a . “ R e g a r d l e s s of a n a r t i s t ’s p o l i t i c a l a g e n d a t h e i r p o p u l a r i t y w i l l n o t b e s u s t a i n e d i f t h e i r m u s i c i s n’ t s u c c e s s f u l i n t h e c l u b s a n d b a r s t h a t a r e a c o r e f o c u s f o r t h e g ay c o m m u n i t y. I f t h e m u s i c d o e s n’ t s u s t a i n a p a r t y c r owd , t h e D J s wo n’ t p l ay i t a n d t h e p r o m o te r s wo n’ t b o o k t h e p e r f o r m e r s , m u c h l e s s o r g a n i ze a l b u m r e l e a s e p a r t i e s , t h e m e n i g h t s , a n d s o o n . B u t t h e q u e s t i o n of a p e r s o n’s a u t h e n t i c i t y w h e n i t c o m e s to t h e i r a c t u a l b e l i e f s i s a d i f f i c u l t a n d u l t i m a te l y f u t i l e o n e to a s k . I s Pr e s i d e n t O b a m a s u p p o r t i ve of t h e LG B T c o m m u n i t y j u s t to g e t t h e i r vo te s? A r e R e p u b l i c a n s g e n u i n e l y s u p p o r t i ve o f C h r i s t i a n va l u e s o r d o t h ey j u s t wa n t t h e i r vo te s? ” C o r o n a h a s a p o i n t , we c a n n eve r t r u l y k n ow i f a n a r t i s t i s b e i n g t r u t h f u l i n w h a t t h ey p u t o u t to t h e m a s s e s . We h ave to t a ke t h e m a t f a c e va l u e . B u t h ow m u c h of “ t h e m” d o yo u t h i n k we a r e we g e t t i n g , a n d h ow m u c h “ f l u f f ” i s c r e a te d b e h i n d t h e s c e n e s a t t h e r e c o r d l a b e l of f i c e s? C o r o n a a g a i n m a ke s a g o o d p o i n t , “ I t ’s i m p o rt a n t to r e m e m b e r t h a t h ow a p o p p e r s o n a i s c r a f te d c a n d i f fe r d r a m a t i c a l l y f r o m a r t i s t to a r t i s t . H ow a n a r t i s t ’s c a r e e r i s b u i l t i s c o m p l ex . T h e m a n a g e m e n t te a m m ay b e s e p a r a te d f r o m t h e c r e a t i ve te a m a n d b o t h m ay h ave c o m p l i c a te d r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h t h e r e c o r d l a b e l i t s e l f. B u t u l t i m a te l y t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y l i e s w i t h t h e r e c o r d i n g a r t i s t . T h ey c o n s t i t u te t h e m u s i c p r o d u c t .” W h a t C o r o n a s ay s i s t r u e , i t i s a c a s e to c a s e b a s i s . S o m e a r t i s t s h ave m o r e p u l l a n d c r e a t i ve c o n t r o l t h a n o t h e r s , w h i c h a l l b o i l s d ow n to t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r a c t s . C o r o n a a d d s , “ R e c o r d i n g a r t i s t s a d o p t i n g a d vo c a c y r o l e s i s n o t h i n g n e w. B o b D y l a n , B i l l i e H o l i d ay, J o h n C o l t r a n e , Pe te S e e g e r, A n i D i Fr a n c o, a n d R a g e A g a i n s t t h e M a c h i n e a r e j u s t a f e w a r t i s t s a s s o c i a te d w i t h p o l i t i c a l p r o te s t . T h e S p i c e G i r l s a n d o t h e r f e m a l e p o p g r o u p s f o c u s e d h e av i l y o n ‘G i r l Powe r.’ M o r e r e c e n t l y, K i d R o c k wa s a s t r o n g s u p p o r te r of t h e M i t t R o m n ey c a m p a i g n . Fe w p e o p l e s e e m to a s k i f t h o s e a r t i s t s ex p l o i te d t h o s e c o m m u n i t i e s a s a m a r ke t i n g to o l. G ay s , l e s b i a n s , a n d o t h e r s a r e d i ve r s e i n t h e i r o p i n i o n s towa r d m u s i c, p o l i t i c s , a n d h ow to b e s t a d va n c e t h e i r i n te r e s t s . M y u l t i m a te h o p e i s t h a t eve n t u a l l y a r t i s t s’ s ex u a l i t y wo n’ t m a tte r a t a l l, a n d p u b l i c f i g u r e s i n a ny i n d u s t r y wo n’ t fe e l t h e n e e d to m a ke g r a n d d e c l a r a t i o n s a b o u t t h e i r p r i va te o r r o m a n t i c l i f e .” T h a t wo u l d b e a p e r fe c t m u s i c wo r l d , wo u l d n’ t i t ? A wo r l d w h e r e p e o p l e j u s t l i s te n e d a n d ex p r e s s e d t h e i r opinions strictly based on the music.


REWIND

?

Does Music Influence

Violence

Wr i t te n by D av i d N a z a r i o T h e d e b a te w h e t h e r m u s i c h a s t h e p o te n t i a l to i n f l u e n c e v i o l e n t b e h av i o r i s o n e t h a t h a s ex i s te d f o r m a ny ye a r s . Pe r h a p s t h e a n swe r d e p e n d s o n t h e i n d i v i d u a l. W h i l e t h e i d e a t h a t m u s i c i n f l u e n c e s v i o l e n c e i s s t i l l u p f o r d e b a te , t h e f a c t t h a t v i o lence has influenced music is not. Without a doubt v i o l e n c e h a s c o n t r i b u te d to t h e wo r l d t h a t we l i ve i n , t h e r e f o r e a f fe c t i n g t h e m u s i c t h a t we l i s te n to. W h i l e b o t h v i o l e n c e a n d m u s i c h ave b e e n a r o u n d l o n g b e f o r e R o c k n’ R o l l a n d H i p H o p, t h e s e g e n r e s r e c e i ve t h e m o s t s c r u t i ny f o r t h e i r “ v i o l e n t ” l y r i c a l c o n te n t . D e p e n d i n g o n w h o m yo u a s k t h e l y r i c s f o u n d i n b o t h R o c k n’ R o l l a n d H i p H o p c a n l e a d to s u i c i d a l te n d e n c i e s a n d a g g r e s s i o n . D e s p i te t h i s , t h e ar tists accused of using these violent lyrics most t i m e s c l a i m t h a t t h e i r m u s i c i s s i m p l y a r t i m i t a ti n g l i f e . T h i s i s n’ t g o o d e n o u g h f o r a l o t o f p e o p l e . S o m e c r i t i c s fe e l t h a t c e r t a i n a r t i s t s a r e g l a m o ri z i n g v i o l e n t i m a g e s i n o r d e r to s e l l r e c o r d s . W h o’s r i g h t ? W h e n s o n g l y r i c s c o m e i n to q u e s t i o n a s t h e influence behind school shootings and violence t h a t p l a g u e s t h e s t r e e t s o f c i t i e s l i ke L o s A n g e l e s a n d Ph i l a d e l p h i a , f i n d i n g a s o l u t i o n to t h i s p r o b l e m n o t o n l y b e c o m e s ve r y s e r i o u s , b u t s o m e t h i n g t h a t m u s t b e l o o ke d a t c a r e f u l l y a n d f r o m m a ny a n g l e s . H av i n g s a i d t h a t , l e t ’s b e r e a l a b o u t t h e wo r l d t h a t we l i ve i n . V i o l e n c e i s a n d a l way s h a s b e e n p r eva l e n t i n t h e U n i te d S t a te s . Fu r t h e r m o r e , t h e p r a c t i c e o f u s i n g v i o l e n c e to a c c u m u l a te we a l t h a n d p owe r i s t h e n o r m . Fr o m t h e p r e - c o l o n i a l p a s t to t h e s o c i a l s u b j u g a t i o n o f A f r i c a n s , to wa r s b o t h p a s t a n d p r e s e n t , A m e r i c a k n ow s s o m e s h i t a b o u t v i o l e n c e . Fr o m T V to f i l m , to t h e v i d e o g a m e s t h a t o u r c h i l d r e n p l ay f o r h o u r s a t a t i m e , t h e p o p u l a ri t y o f v i o l e n c e i s ve r y ev i d e n t . W h e t h e r i t b e J o h n Way n e a n d To ny S o p r a n o o r 5 0 C e n t a n d Q u e n t i n Ta r a n t i n o, v i o l e n c e c a n b e ve r y e n te r t a i n i n g . T h i s i s p r o b a b l y o n e o f t h e r e a s o n s w hy i t h a s b e c o m e s o s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e . Fo r g e t r i g h t o r w r o n g , b e c a u s e i t i s w h a t i s , a n d s h ow s n o s i g n s o f c h a n g i n g a ny t i m e s o o n . N o t to m e n t i o n , s i n g i n g a n d r a p p i n g a b o u t v i o l e n c e i s a p r ove n m o n ey m a ke r. Ta ke t h e p i o n e e r s o f g a n g s t a r a p, N .W. A . f o r ex a m p l e . N .W. A , d i d n o t c o m e i n to t h e g a m e a s g a n g s t a r a p p e r s . T h e i r f i r s t d e b u t i n 19 87, N .W. A . a n d t h e P o s s e, wa s f o r t h e m o s t p a r t a p a r t y t h e m e d a l b u m t h a t r e c e i ve d m i n i m a l s u c c e s s . I n 19 8 8 , N .W. A . r e l e a s e d , S t r a i g h t O u t t a C o m p to n

w h i c h wa s f i l l e d w i t h t h e p a s s i o n of Pu b l i c E n e my m i n u s t h e p r o - b l a c k m e s s a g e . T h ey a d d e d a fe w m o r e g u n s a n d s o m e m o r e v i o l e n c e , a n d t h e r e s u l t wa s a s u c c e s s f u l album. Had their hood changed that much i n a ye a r ? Pr o b a b l y n o t . W h e t h e r i t wa s t h e record label or the group members, someone to o k n o t i c e to t h e f a c t t h a t b o t h v i o l e n c e a n d c o n t r ove r sy a r e m a j o r s e l l i n g p o i n t s . T h i s p i vo t a l a l b u m wo u l d g o o n to c h a n g e H i p H o p i n d e f i n i te l y. B u t l e t ’s g o b a c k a l i t t l e f u r t h e r. I t wa s t h e ‘70 s , a n d a c u l t u r e wa s b e i n g to b e b i r t h e d i n t h e s t r e e t s of t h e S o u t h B r o n x . Wo r k i n g c l a s s A f r i c a n A m e r i c a n s a n d Pu e r to R i c a n s b e g a n u s i n g t wo t u r n t a b l e s a n d a m i c to r o c k t h e p a r t y a n d l a te r d e p i c t t h e p l i g h t of m i n o r i t i e s s t r u g g l i n g w i t h n e g l e c t f r o m t h e g ove r n m e n t , p ove r t y a n d r a c i s m . O r i g i n a l l y, t h e m a j o r i t y of R o c k n’ R o l l a n d H i p H o p a r t i s t s a t te m p te d to i n s i g h t s o c i a l c h a n g e w i t h t h e i r m u s i c . Fo r J o h n L e n n o n t h e v i o l e n c e of t h e wo r l d wa s r e f l e c te d i n h i s m u s i c . Fo r G r a n d M a s te r F l a s h a n d t h e Fu r i o u s F i ve , “ T h e M e s s a g e” wa s a way to te l l t h e wo r l d a b o u t t h e c o n d i t i o n s of t h e i n n e r c i t y. B y t h e l a te ‘8 0 s a n d e a r l y ‘ 9 0 s , t h e U n i te d S t a te s D e p a r t m e n t of J u s t i c e s h ow s t h a t t h e ye a r s p r i o r to 19 9 4 h e l d a d r a m a t i c i n c r e a s e i n v i o l e n t c r i m e s i n A m e r i c a’s yo u n g p o p u l a t i o n . D u r i n g t h e s e ye a r s , H i p H o p wa s o n i t s way to b e c o m i n g a p a r t of m a i n s t r e a m c u l t u r e . Fr o m 19 9 2 t h r o u g h 19 9 6 , t h e d e b a te a b o u t v i o l e n c e i n H i p H o p i nvo l ve d b o t h c o n g r e s s m e n a n d p r e s i d e n t i a l c a n d i d a te s . B y n ow Pu b l i c E n e my h a d a l r e a d y m a d e a tte m p t s a t i g n i t i n g s o c i a l c h a n g e w i t h t h e i r music and their message, and De La Soul wa s p l a t i n u m a n d p l ay i n g o n t h e r a d i o. T h e s e d ay s , t h i s i s n o t t h e c a s e . T h e r e a r e n o D e L a S o u l’s g o i n g a ny w h e r e n e a r p l a t i n u m a n d t h e p r o - b l a c k m ove m e n t p r e s e n t i n Pu b l i c E n e my ’s m e s s a g e i s n ow h e r e to b e f o u n d . N e e d l e s s to s ay, t h e r e a r e a n u m b e r of p e o p l e a n d s o c i e t a l i s s u e s t h a t n e e d to b e considered when talking about violence and m u s i c; h e r e a r e a fe w of t h e m . I s c o r p o r a te A m e r i c a to b l a m e? H a s c o r p o r a te A m e r i c a c a p i t a l i ze d o n t h e v i o l e n t i m a g e s a n d g l o r i f i c a t i o n of w h a t h a p p e n s to t h e p r o j e c t s w h e n t h e g ove r n m e n t d e c i d e s to d o a p r o j e c t ?

10

33


REWIND FREEWAY / STYLES P: VIOLENCE & HIP HOP

H ow a b o u t t h e p a r e n t s , t h o s e w h o s h ow n o i n te r e s t i n t h e l i ve s o f t h e i r d e p r e s s e d o r u n u s u a l l y a g g r e s s i ve te e n s? O r i s i t t h e p o l i t i c i a n s , t h o s e w h o r e c e i ve c o r p o r a te f u n d i n g f r o m r e c o r d c o m p a n i e s w h o g l a m o r i ze v i o l e n c e i n o r d e r to s e l l r e c o r d s? A n d l a s t b u t n o t l e a s t , h ow a b o u t t h e a r t i s t s , t h o s e w h o t a ke n o r e sponsiblity for the violent images d e p i c te d i n t h e i r m u s i c . To t h i s d ay t h e d e b a te whether or not music can influence p e o p l e to a c t v i o l e n t l y i s s t i l l g o i n g s t r o n g , b u t d e s p i te t h i s , m u s i c w i l l c o n t i n u e d o i n g w h a t i t h a s a l way s done. Among other things, it dict a te s m o o d s a n d evo ke s e m o t i o n s . M u s i c e n te r t a i n s . I t c r o s s e s b o u n d a r i e s , p e r p e t u a te s s te r e o t y p e s a n d h a s t h e p o te n t i a l to i n i t i a te c h a n g e . We h ave n o c o n t r o l ove r t h a t . M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y, we d o h ave c o n t r o l ove r w h a t a n d w h o we c h o o s e to s u p p o r t a s c o n s u m e r s a n d f a n s . We d o n’ t h ave a l l o f t h e a n swe r s , b u t we a r e c o n t i n u i n g t h e c o nve r s a t i o n , b e c a u s e w i t h c o nve r s a t i o n c o m e s understanding. R e a d h e r e a s t wo o f H i p H o p’s f i n e s t , Fr e e way a n d S t y l e s P sound of f about their opinion on v i o l e n c e a n d H i p H o p. (Inter view by Erica Roane) M U TE : W h a t i s y o u r t a ke o n t h e violence that is taking place in Philly right now? Fr e e w a y : I d o n’ t h ave t h e a n swe r s f o r i t . I j u s t k n ow t h a t i t ’s a p r o b l e m . We n e e d to d o s o m e thing about it because it af fects eve r y b o d y. I t a f f e c t s b o t h s i d e s; l aw e n f o r c e m e n t a n d p e o p l e o n the streets. A little while back my c o u s i n g o t k i l l e d by t h e c o p s

b e c a u s e t h ey t h o u g h t t h a t h e h a d a g u n . We g r e w u p to g e t h e r, u s e d to we a r the same clothes and all that shit. M U TE : D a m n . I ’m s o r r y t o h e a r a b o u t y o u r l o s t . A s a r a p a r t i s t f r o m P h i l l y, d o y o u t a ke a n y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e v i o l e n c e? Fr e e w a y : I d o n’ t t a ke a ny r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t . W i t h my m u s i c, I ’m n o t t h e t y p e o f a r t i s t s t h a t ’s l i ke ‘G o s h o o t e m’ u p, k i l l eve r y b o d y.’ W i t h my m u s i c, I t r y to g i ve yo u b o t h s i d e s - t h e r i g h t a n d t h e w r o n g . Eve n i n “ W h a t We D o,” I ’m te l l i n g yo u t h e s h i t t h a t I wo u l d h ave to g o t h r o u g h i f I wa s i n a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . I f my f a m i l y i s f u c ke d u p, I ’m g o n n a g o o u t t h e r e a n d d o w h a t I h ave to d o. I ’m n o t te l l i n g yo u to d o i t . M U TE : D o y o u t h i n k t h a t t h e r e’s a cer tain mentalit y that is prevalent amongst Black males from the a g e s o f 18 - 3 5 t h a t a t t r i b u t e s t o t h e v i o l e n c e? Fr e e w a y : [18 - 3 5 ], s h i t i t ’s eve n yo u n g e r ! Yo u g o t 13 a n d 14 ye a r o l d s r u n n i n g a r o u n d s h o o t i n g u p eve r y t h i n g . I t ’s h a r d to p u t t h e b l a m e o n o n e s i t u a t i o n; t h e r e a r e a l o t of s i t u a t i o n s g o i n g o n a r o u n d t h e c i t y t h a t ’s c o n t r i b u t i n g to t h e v i o l e n c e , l i ke t h e w h o l e “ O p e r a t i o n S a f e S t r e e t s” t h i n g . N i g g a s t h a t wa s h u s t l i n g c a n’ t h u s t l e n o m o r e . I ’m n o t c o n d o n i n g h u s t l i n g , b u t t h ey c a n’ t d o w h a t t h ey we r e d o i n g s o t h ey h ave to f i n d o t h e r m e a n s to g e t m o n ey. T h ey m i g h t b e t r y i n g to r o b p e o p l e o r r u n i n banks. Another thing is the whole crack epid e m i c . W h e n I wa s c o m i n g u p, t h e r e we r e a l o t of s i n g l e m o t h e r s t h a t we r e o n c r a c k . T h e i r k i d s d i d n’ t h ave a e n o u g h o f a f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e w h e n t h ey we r e g r ow i n g u p. I f t h ey c a n r u n ove r t h e i r m a m a s , t h ey f e e l l i ke t h ey c a n d o

w h a teve r t h e f u c k t h ey wa n n a d o. M U TE : T h e m i n i m u m w a g e income level amongst Blacks i s l ow e r t h a n t h a t o f w h i t e s . If the income level was h i g h e r f o r b l a c k s , wo u l d t h a t contribute to ending the v i o l e n c e? Fr e e w a y : I t c o u l d g o b o t h way s . S o m e p e o p l e a r e j u s t to o l a z y to g o o u t t h e r e a n d g e t a j o b. S o m e p e o p l e m ay n o t h ave t h e e d u c a t i o n . A l o t of p e o p l e h ave d r o p p e d o u t of h i g h s c h o o l. M ay b e f o r t h o s e p e o p l e w h o we n t to s c h o o l a n d h ave a n e d u c a t i o n i t ’s e a s i e r. B u t I k n ow p e o p l e o u t t h e r e t h a t we n t to c o l l e g e a n d t h ey s t i l l n o t wo r k i n g i n t h e f i e l d t h a t t h ey wa n t to. M U TE : W h e n p e o p l e l i s t e n to your music, where do you think they should draw the line bet ween enter tainment a n d r e a l l i f e? Fr e e w a y : I ’m n o t s i t t i n g h e r e te l l i n g p e o p l e to s h o o t s o m e b o d y i n t h e f a c e , s o yo u d o n’ t h ave to wo r r y a b o u t t h a t w i t h my m u s i c . [ M y m u s i c] i s s t r e e t b e c a u s e t h a t ’s w h e r e I ’m f r o m a n d t h a t ’s w h a t I ’m g o i n g to r e f l e c t , b u t a t t h e s a m e t i m e , i t ’s n o t to o h a r s h . M U TE : W h e n y o u c r e a t e y o u r material, are you speaking f r o m ex p e r i e n c e s f i r s t h a n d ? Fr e e w a y : I ’m a r e a l i t y r a p p e r so I rap about things that I go t h r o u g h o r t h i n g s t h a t I ’ve s e e n firsthand. I rap from the hear t. T h a t ’s w hy I t h i n k p e o p l e l ove


HEAD MESSAGE Fr e e way ’s l a te s t a l b u m Diamond In The Ruff is in s to r e s n ow a n d f e a t u r e s p r o d u c t i o n by B i n k ! , J a ke O n e a n d J u s t B l a ze . T h e a l b u m a l s o fe a t u r e s g u e s t a p p e a r a n c e s by Wa l e , N e e f B u c k a n d M u s i q S o u l c h i l d.

Freeway 10

35

photography by Andre Wright

m e , b e c a u s e t h ey c a n f e e l my m u s i c . Yo u c a n p u t my C D i n a n d v i b e to i t . Yo u c a n f e e l w h a teve r it is that I am going through a t t h e t i m e . Eve n i f i t ’s n o t m e d i r e c t l y [ I ’m r a p p i n g a b o u t] yo u c a n te l l t h a t I h a d a f i r s t h a n d fe e l o f t h e s i t u a t i o n . M U TE : W h a t w a s y o u r l i f e s t y l e l i ke b e f o r e y o u s t a r t e d rapping?

Fr e e w a y : I t ’s l i ke a C i n d e r e l l a s to r y. I wa s i n t h e s t r e e t s; I d r o p p e d o u t of s c h o o l . I wa s h u s t l i n g a n d b a s i c a l l y t r y i n g to g e t m o n ey. I h a d c a u g h t a c a s e , p o s s e s s i o n w i t h i n te n t to d e l i ve r. T h e c o p s l i e d o n m e a n d s a i d i t wa s m o r e t h a n w h a t i t wa s . I wa s r hy m i n g d u r i n g a l l of t h a t . B a s i c a l l y, w h e n I wa s o n t h e r u n I wa s s t i l l t r y i n g to p u t [ t h i s m u s i c] s h i t to g e t h e r. I g o t w i t h [ B e a n i e] M a c a n d s t a r te d f u c k i n g w i t h R o c - A Fe l l a . I we n t to N e w Yo r k a n d f l owe d

Jr.

f o r J ay, c a m e b a c k a n d I wa s b a c k i n t h e s t r e e t s . I g o t l o c ke d u p, t h e n I g o t c a u g h t u p w i t h t h e c a s e t h a t I h a d. I h a d a d o a c o u p l e m o n t h s i n j a i l. T h e n I wa s o n h o u s e a r r e s t . R i g h t a f te r t h a t I we n t i n t h e s t u d i o w i t h M a c a n d s t a r te d r e c o r d i n g T h e D y n a s t y a n d T h e R e a s o n. T h e n we d i d t h a t “19 0 0 H u s t l e r ” t h i n g , a n d I t ’s b e e n f u l l s te a m a h e a d f r o m t h e r e .


REWIND Written by David Nazario While speaking his mind, and of course, “blowing it” in the process, Styles opens up to MUTE about his thoughts on violence and Hip Hop. MUTE: How do you feel about violence in Hip Hop? Do you feel like there’s a correlation between violence and Hip Hop? Styles: Nah cause there ain’t no violence in Hip Hop. You gotta be able to tell me what’s the violence in Hip Hop. MUTE: As far as the violence in the streets, do you feel like… Styles: That’s the street, that ain’t Hip Hop. You know what I’m sayin? What rapper punched another rapper or shot another rapper, or beat another rapper down? That would be violence in Hip Hop. You know what Im sayin? Definitely the violence needs to come to a halt, but to say violence in Hip Hop, me… I don’t see violence in Hip Hop. Everybody in Hip Hop got security, they not in the hood, they just talk tough on tracks. MUTE: Do you think rap artists talking about and promoting violence in their music has anything to do with the violence on the streets? Styles: I couldn’t really say that because violent music is not what you hear on the radio. That’s not what is on mainstream radio, so I can’t

attribute it to that. Some people definitely want to be gangsters, and all kind of shit, and they listen to Hip Hop. What else they going to listen to? But don’t blame Hip Hop for it. Like, they do as much drugs in the suburbs as they do in the ghetto…if not more. But the cops ain’t patrolling through there trying to arrest nobody, so the crime rate is different. MUTE: Do you think that people are influenced by the violent images that are sometimes portrayed in Hip Hop? Styles: Some people definitely could be. Some people don’t have enough guidance and do get influenced by some things. There are a lot of things to be influenced by though besides Hip Hop, like TV, video games and life in general. Sex, drugs and violence sells man. You know what I’m saying? There’s a lot of people in Hip Hop who don’t do violent rap. I don’t hear their joints being spun on the radio. I don’t hear Dead Prez, Mos, Talib, Common in rotation. You understand what I’m saying? MUTE: I definitely think it’s a higher power that has control over these things… Styles: Yeah definitely, sometimes you gotta look at what it is with your own eyes and use common sense. There’s a lot of positive…all Hip Hop ain’t violent. It’s what they play. It’s what the people want.

Styles P 10

37

MUTE: Do you ever consider the lyrical content in your own rhymes, or do you spit what you feel and leave it up to the listener to decide whether they will interpret your lyrics literally?

painters; you know what I’m saying? You go see a movie right now, somebody gets shot up in it, the actor’s cool, its art. It’s my art to me. To me it’s an artist’s expression. You know what I mean?

Styles: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I do everything. I do hard rap. I do conscious rap. I do hard rap with conscious shit in it. I do conscious shit with hard shit in it. I’m an artist. It’s like a painting…certain painters they paint heads off and all that shit and they’re world renowned

MUTE: Right. Styles: I definitely feel some responsibility and I try to do shit to you know hold that down. MUTE: Balance it out… Styles: Yeah balance it out, like I made “I’m black.” I probably could’ve damn near lost my whole career over that. I could’ve got blackballed for making a song about being black, so it’s real; you have to play the game.

photography by Andre Wright Jr.


Har A

Wr i t te n by D av i d N a z a r i o

M o s t k n ow n f o r p r o d u c i n g “ L a t i n S o u l ”, H a r vey Ave r n e has been in the music business f o r a n a s to u n d i n g 6 2 ye a r s , a n d is one of the most influential p r o d u c e r s to eve r p r o d u c e L a t i n music. B o r n o f Po l i s h a n d R u s s i a n d e s c e n t , Ave r n e wa s b o r n and raised in Brooklyn, New Yo r k w h e r e h e f e l l i n l ove w i t h L a t i n m u s i c a t a ve r y yo u n g a g e . I n s p i r e d by T i to Pu e n te , Ave r n e h a s wo r ke d w i t h s o m e o f t h e m o s t p o p u l a r L a t i n a r t i s t s to d a te , i n c l u d i n g R ay B a r r e t to a n d Ed d i e Pa l m i e r i . S t i l l p r o d u c i n g a n d a l way s o n t h e l o o ko u t f o r t h e n ex t h o t yo u n g a r t i s t , Ave r n e s h ow s n o s i g n s o f s l ow i n g d ow n a ny t i m e s o o n . M : Te l l t h e M u t e r e a d e r s a l i t t l e b i t a b o u t y o u r b a c kg r o u n d . H A : At e i g h t o r n i n e ye a r s o l d my f a t h e r c a m e ove r f r o m R u s s i a a n d wo r ke d i n a swe a t s h o p. During that time a lot of Latinos we r e c o m i n g i n to A m e r i c a , e s p e c i a l l y Pu e r to R i c a n s . Po p u s e d to c o m e h o m e s i n g i n g s o n g s i n S p a n i s h (a n d I ’m n o t L a t i n o, my m o m wa s b o r n h e r e f r o m Po l i s h d e c e n t a n d my f a t h e r wa s f r o m R u s s i a .) B u t I wa s h e a r i n g t h i s s t u f f a n d r e a l l y s t a r t i n g to f a l l i n l ove w i t h i t . Eve n t h o u g h t h e c o n d i t i o n s we r e d e p l o r a b l e , t h e L a t i n o c u l t u r e a n d p syc h e i s to g e t s o m e m u s i c i n t h e r e , g e t s o m e n i c e f o o d , a n d l e t ’s m a ke t h e b e s t o f i t . S o t h a t wa s t h e way t h a t I wa s b r o u g h t u p. I b e e n l i s te n i n g to t h e m u s i c eve n b e f o r e I k n e w w h a t t h e wo r d s we r e s ay i n g; I wa s i n l ove w i t h t h e music. M: Who were some of your mus i c a l i n f l u e n c e s c o m i n g u p?

ey erne

H A : T i to Pu e n te , T i to Pu e n te a n d T i to Pu e n te…. h e wa s t h e o n e . M: What was it about Tito Puente that was so special? H A : H e wa s a o n e m a n r evo l u t i o n . H e g r a d u a te d J u l l i a r d , h e wa s t h e a rr a n g e r, h e wa s t h e c o m p o s e r, h e wa s t h e f i r e i n f r o n t of t h e b a n d… h e j u s t m a d e g r e a t m u s i c . A n d t h i s wa s p r i o r to t h e B e a t l e s , p r i o r to t h e R o c k n’ R o l l r evo l u t i o n . A l o t of A n g l o s we r e i n to L a t i n m u s i c, d o i n g C h a - c h a a n d M a m b o. H o l l y wo o d s t a r s l i ke M a r l o n B r a n d o a n d K i m N ova k we r e a l way s u p a t t h e Pa l l a d i u m , w h i c h wa s t h e Te m p l e of L a t i n M u s i c . N o b o d y c a m e to N e w Yo r k t h a t d i d n’ t t r y to g o to t h e Pa l l a d i u m a t l e a s t o n c e . M : H o w m u c h h a s N e w Yo r k a n d your upbringing influenced your m u s i c?

H A : I t ’s eve r y t h i n g . S a l s a i s N e w Yo r k . O r i g i n a l l y t h e L a t i n m u s i c c a m e out of Cuba until Castro came in a n d c l o s e d t h e d o o r. A f te r t h a t , t h e Pu e r to R i c a n c o m m u n i t y r e a l l y h a d to s t a r t c r e a t i n g a n d t h a t wa s t h e c h a n g e f r o m C u b a n m u s i c to S a l s a . T h e r e’s a b i g d i f f e r e n c e b e t we e n C u b a n m u s i c a n d S a l s a . I f yo u l i s te n to N e w Yo r k S a l s a yo u c a n h e a r t h e b u sy n e s s , t h e c a b s , t h e t r a f f i c, t h e c o n c r e te , i t s d i f fe r e n t t h a n t h e Pu e r to R i c a n S a l s a f r o m t h e i s l a n d s , i t ’s a little more light. M: What was your ultimate goal w h e n y o u w e r e t r y i n g t o m a ke i t a s a conga drummer in your ver y early d a y s? H A : W h e n I s t a r te d p l ay i n g m u s i c a t t h i r te e n , I s t a r te d d o i n g l i t t l e g i g s , my b i g a m b i t i o n wa s…i f I c o u l d m a ke m u s i c a n d n o t h ave to wo r k i n t h e f a c to r y l i ke p o p s , t h a t wa s t h e w h o l e a m b i t i o n r i g h t t h e r e . I t j u s t c a m e; I l i ve d t h i s l i fe w i t h o u t a p l a n r e a l l y. T h i n g s j u s t h a p p e n e d. I ’m n o t s ay i n g i t ’s a g o o d way to g o, b u t t h a t ’s t h e way i t wo r ke d f o r m e .

M : W h a t a d v i c e wo u l d y o u g i v e to aspiring producers and composers looking to accomplish the things that you have in the music industr y? HA: Use all the social media p o s s i b l e r i g h t n ow, c a u s e n ow i t ’s e a sy. Yo u c a n r e c o r d i n yo u r ow n h o m e a n d m a ke v i d e o s i n yo u r ow n h o m e , a n d g e t t h e m o n Yo uTu b e , a n d ke e p p o s ting and get out there. Basically t h a t ’s t h e way i t h a p p e n e d; I wa s a l way s wo r k i n g , s i n c e I wa s a k i d . S o I wa s g e t t i n g i n to t h i n g s; i f yo u d o n’ t g e t o u t t h e r e , yo u c a n’ t g e t i n to t h i n g s . T h e s e c r e t i s to g e t o u t t h e r e . I wa s a p r e t t y g o o d b u s i n e s s m a n by t h e t i m e I g o t i n to t h e b u s i n e s s i n 19 67. I ’m b o r n i n 19 3 6 , s o i n 67 ’ I wa s 31 ye a r s o l d , t h a t ’s k i n d of o l d. M: Do you feel that get ting into the business at that age was an advantage or a d i s a d v a n t a g e? H A : M y g u e s s wo u l d b e t h a t i t wa s a d i s a d va n t a g e . I g ave my s e l f a f i ve ye a r w i n d ow a n d I m a d e a b o u t f i ve a l b u m s i n t h o s e f i ve ye a r s , a n d by 1972 I wa s t h e l e a d e r of a g r o u p c a l l e d t h e C h a k a c h a s . We h a d a b i g d i s c o h i t c a l l e d , “J u n g l e Feve r ” w h i c h d i d a c o u p l e of m i l l i o n , wa s u s e d i n t h e m ov i e B o o g i e N i g h t s , wa s u s e d i n t h e E n to u r a g e s h ow a c o u p l e of t i m e s (we h a d p l aye d t h e A p o l l o f o u r t i m e s t h a t ye a r ) At t h a t p o i n t I h a d a n of fe r to wo r k w i t h U n i te d A r t i s t s to r u n t h e i r L a t i n l a b e l , a n d t h a t ’s’ w h e n I d e c i d e d to u s e eve r yt h i n g I l e a r n e d u p to t h a t p o i n t to wo r k f o r U n i te d A r t i s t s . M : H ow i m p o r t a n t i s i t i n t o k n ow t h e b u s i n e s s a s p e c t before you go into any t ype of career in the industry? H A : I t ’s r e a l i m p o r t a n t . T h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t t h i n g i s t h e m u s i c; i t ’s


HEAD MESSAGE D i d yo u k n ow t h a t H a r vey Ave r n e wa s t h e ve r y f i r s t p e r s o n to g i ve M a d o n n a her first recording contract before she made it big as a pop star in the ‘8 0 s?

photography by Myk s t i l l a b o u t t h e m u s i c, a n d yo u g o t t a l ove i t . Yo u h ave to r e a l l y fe e l l i ke i f yo u d o n’ t m a ke i t t h e n yo u’r e g o i n g to d i e . Yo u h ave to h ave t h a t t y p e o f d r i ve . A n d i t ’s g o o d to d o w h e n yo u’r e yo u n g , w h e n yo u d o n’ t h ave a w i f e , yo u d o n’ t h ave k i d s , a n d yo u c a n f o l l ow yo u r d r e a m s a n d t a ke t h a t chance. M : W h a t d i d i t f e e l l i ke t o b e a par t of a project that would go on to win the first Latin Gramm y ? W h a t w a s i t l i ke t o f i n a l l y be recognized on that grand of a s c a l e? H A : Eve r y t h i n g wa s l i ke t h a t i n t h e s eve n t i e s , t h e f i r s t t h i s , t h e f i r s t t h a t , we we r e l i ke k i d s i n a c a n d y s to r e; i t wa s b e a u t i f u l . L o o k w h e r e I wa s , I to l d yo u my a m b i t i o n wa s to p l ay m u s i c a n d n o t h ave to wo r k i n t h e f a c to r i e s , n ow l o o k a t t h i s . I wo r ke d w i t h p e o p l e l i ke T i to Pu e n te a n d C e l i a C r u z, i t wa s L a L a l a n d . M: What do you feel is the fut u r e o f S a l s a m u s i c?

H A : S a l s a i s h av i n g a to u g h t i m e r i g h t n ow. T h e r e c o r d b u s i n e s s i s i n r e a l l y b a d s h a p e r i g h t n ow. T h e r e a r e n o m o r e r e c o r d s to r e s . Yo u’l l f i n d r e c o r d s i n l i ke a B e s t B u y o r Wa l - M a r t , b u t we u s e d to h ave s to r e s t h a t j u s t s o l d r e c o r d s . S o, I d o n’ t k n ow…t h e d i g i t a l s i t u a t i o n i s n o t g o i n g to s ave u s . T h e r e c o r d c o m p a n i e s s h o u l d h ave b e e n s m a r t e n o u g h to g e t to g e t h e r a n d m a ke t h e i r ow n o n e s to p s h o p p i n g s p o t o n l i n e s o t h ey c o u l d ke e p a l l t h e m o n ey t h a t wa s c o m i n g i n b e c a u s e i Tu n e s i s t a k i n g m o r e t h a n h a l f of t h e m o n ey. T h a t d o e s n’ t l e ave yo u w i t h e n o u g h to p ay t h e a r t i s t , do the production, do the promotion, a n d p ay yo u r ove r h e a d…. M : T h a t ’s w h y y o u h a v e a l o t o f a r tists going the independent route n o w. H A : A n d ve r y fe w of t h e m a r e g o i n g to g e t r i c h d o i n g t h a t , b u t b e t te r to d o a ny t h i n g i f yo u g o t t h e h u n g e r i n yo u a n d yo u wa n n a d o i t . Ta ke J u s t i n B i e b e r, t h a t ’s o n e of t h e g o o d s to r i e s , w h i l e t h e r e a r e t h o u s a n d s t h a t d o n’ t m a ke i t . J u s t i n B i e b e r ’s m o m wa s t a ki n g v i d e o s of h i m i n h i s b a s e m e n t , banging on bongos and jumping around

Jones 10

39

a c t i n g s t u p i d , a n d m e a nw h i l e a l l of a s u d d e n t h e r e a r e a m i l l i o n h i t s , t h e n t wo m i l l i o n h i t s . S o yo u j u s t g o t t a t r y yo u r b e s t; things are changing all the time. I ’m h a p py t h a t I g o t s o m e of t h e g o o d ye a r s . T h e ‘70 s we r e t h e g o l d e n ye a r s of S a l s a , a n d I ’l l te l l yo u w h a t , t h o s e a r e t h e ye a r s t h a t m a d e my l i fe wo r t h w h i l e . I t wa s f u n b e c a u s e we we r e l i t t l e g h e t to k i d s c o m i n g up from nothing. I grew up in E a s t N e w Yo r k B r o o k l y n , w h i c h wa s t h e to u g h e s t n e i g h b o r h o o d i n N e w Yo r k j a c k . We h a d n o m o n ey. I d o n’ t s ay we we r e p o o r, we h a d eve r y t h i n g . M o m g ave u s m u s i c l e s s o n s a n d s t u f f l i ke t h a t . I t wa s g r e a t g r ow i n g u p i n B r o o k l y n , g o o d f r i e n d s…i t wa s all good.


Johnny Nunez

photography by Andre Wright

Johnny Nunez

10

41

Jr.


Written by Erica Roane ‘It’s a secret society, all we ask is trust.” Jay-Z hit it on the money with that statement right there. In the world of Hip Hop, trust is everything. Especially when dealing closely with the media. Luckily, veteran Hip Hop photographer Johnny Nunez has that whole “trust thing” locked down. Personally working with people like Swizz Beatz, Russell Simmons and Dame Dash, he has no other choice but to remain trustworthy. “Once they like you, they trust you,” Nunez states when referring to the host of celebrities that he has worked with. “In order for them to bring you into their world you have to stand for something. Once you show that you’re a good person and you’re very confidential about things they know that they can trust you.” This does not sound like your average celebrity photographer, probably because he is not your average celebrity photographer. You will never catch Johnny Nunez stalking celebs for an unflattering “crotch shot.” Anything else that can be twisted around by the supermarket rag magazines, he takes no part in. Instead, Nunez always opts for snapping celebrities in a positive and natural light. “I tell them not to pose, I try to get them to do natural looks.” Keeping his shots exclusive is something that is important to Nunez. “I try to make sure that I don’t do what the photographers near me do. I will make sure the photographers don’t

get the same shot that I did; however, it happens a lot unfortunately.” Another one of Johnny’s photography traits includes the interesting combination of celebrities he may have in the same picture. “I may pull together Bill Clinton and Babyface. People may not know why I’m doing it, but it makes sense.” Although some of the shots that he sets up may be stolen by others, Nunez’ approach to the celebrity world is in a league of its own. “Sometimes photographers just want the ‘money shot’ and then they leave, adds Nunez. Not only does Johnny get the shot that is adorned by fans, but he takes things a step further. “After I get those [money shots] I then go to the entourage of friends and say, ‘Let me get a shot with you and your friends.’ When you say that it means a lot to the friends. This is telling everyone that the celebrity

wouldn’t be here without their friends, it’s a team effort.” Although a seemingly effortless gesture, everyone enjoys having their picture taken. Furthermore, Nunez and his “kind camera” will be etched in their minds. “Guess what happens?”, Nunez hypothetically asks. “They call and say ‘We just won a Grammy and we need a photographer. Who is that guy that took the picture of us at that party?’” As you can tell, Nunez does not just take pictures, he creates moments and sets the stage for working relationships with people before they even make it. “A lot of times I show much love towards celebs before they become celebs, people like Keyshia


Cole, Lupe Fiasco and Kimora Lee Simmons. When they were not popular or known I would always photograph them.” The love that Johnny Nunez shows to others is nothing short of genuine. He has had the privilege of watching some of our favorite stars rise to superstardom within his own camera lens. “It’s all about who you know when that person is in their humble beginnings and recognizing the reciprocation of that admiration.” He himself is no stranger to a humble start, that could be the reason why he is so aware of the meager start of others who decide to follow their dreams. Ten years ago he was nowhere near as successful as he is now. “I went through a lot of trials and tribulations that led me to doing odd jobs and I was almost homeless,” Nunez confesses. “I kept my faith in God and asked him for an idea, and the next morning photography came to mind.” From that moment on, Johnny Nunez never looked back; somehow, he already knew he would make it at this “photography thing”. “Everything is pre-determined. God has created my successes, and while there’s gonna be failures there, he already said before I was even born that I would be successful if I followed His word.” While Nunez claims that he is not a saint, and will never be one, he is however, a believer. Making reference to the lack of faith present within the entertainment industry, he notes that celebrities need to look towards a higher being as a cause for their success. “I’m at these award shows and these artists are like, ‘I want to thank my manager, attorney and producer,’ they never give credit to God. He doesn’t care about an award show.”  

10

43


photos by Johnny

A l t h o u g h h a r d to b e l i eve , s o m e r e c o r d i n g a r t i s t s a r e a c t u a l l y b e g i n n i n g to o n c e a g a i n e m b r a c e t h e c a s e t te t a p e . L a s t ye a r t h e S m a s h i n g Pu m p k i n s r e l e a s e d a c a s e t te r e p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e i r f i r s t d e m o, while independent ar tists, Of Montreal also u t i l i ze d t h i s r e t r o r o u te . Ta ke a j o u r n ey t h r o u g h s o u n d w i t h u s a s we t a ke a l o o k a t h ow te c h n o l o g y h a s i n f l u e n c e d t h e way t h a t we l i s te n to o u r music.

Nunez

1

1.They replaced the phonograph cylinder as the most popular recording medium in the 1900s, and although they were supplanted in popularity in the late 1980s by digital media, they continue to be manufactured and sold as of 2007. Gramophone records remain the medium of choice for some audiophiles, and specialist areas such as electronica.

2

2 .8-track may refer to: 8-track cartridge, an analog music format recording format popular from the late 1960s to the early 1980s 8-track (multitra reel-to-reel tape used in professional recordin


ack), ng studios.

Dealing with those who lose sight of what it is important is nothing new for Johnny. Remember, he is the one that was there for a number of star beginnings. With that, he often sees celebrities change for the worse right before his eyes. “There are tons of artists who will just look at you and give you a head nod, but you remember when you were still able to say ‘How are you’ to them and now all you get is a head nod, explains Johnny. “I know sometimes the publicists and the management tell the artist not to interact with ‘these’ people,” referring to himself and other members of the media. “But most of the people that are influencing them never knew what it felt like to struggle. They’re trying to keep someone who knows the struggle away from people who knew their struggle,” explains Johnny. He admits that the celebrities he is referring to most likely have good hearts, but they are at times led astray by all the industry has to offer. “It’s like the blind leading the blind.”

  As far as whether or not he continues to work with the individuals, “You have to continue to work with everyone. Despite how they are towards you, you have to tolerate it.” I doubt that Nunez enjoys to work with those who are difficult; however, the rewards he reaps are worth it every time. “I have to decide if I would rather work a factory job or click my finger making a few thousands dollars,” he states. “I would much rather make a few thousand dollars.”   The fact that there are “divas” within the entertainment industry is no surprise. Even though Nunez mentions that some names may not be the easiest to work with, he is quick to point out the ones that are. These are the big names who are appreciative of his efforts. At the end of the day, this is what really matters to Nunez. “Fat Joe, that is an amazing brother to me. Always shows me love, always greets me and gives me the time of day,” he boasts. “Taking out the time on a red carpet to greet the person who can make or break ‘the look’ you and your team worked on all day on should be a given, explains Johnny. Sadly, not many seem to live by that code. On the other hand,

the stars who do are always remembered. “Wyclef Jean, Nas, Kelis, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, these are all artists that really want to know how I’m doing when they see me.” The love from all of the artists that he has worked with has definitely payed off. A few years back there was an article published in the New York Times that highlighted Nunez’ career. According to New Times reporter, Lola Ogunnaike his article gained the most email responses in her history of writing for the coveted newspaper. “Responses such as those only come through for subjects that have left a lasting impression,” said Ogunnaike. Among those who were impressed was the editor of The New York Times, who decided to syndicate Johnny’s story to The London Tribune. Through that opportunity came a host of others for Nunez. “God has brought me to a point where I don’t want to just take photos but I want to show the world the effects of a beautiful photo.”

T h e Ly t r o c a m e r a i s t h e f i r s t c o n s u m e r c a m e r a to r e c o r d a n e n t i r e l i g h t f i e l d w h e n s n a p p i n g a p i c t u r e . I n s te a d of o n l y t a k i n g a f l a t 2D i m a g e , t h e Ly t r o c a p t u r e s a l l of t h e r ay s of l i g h t t r ave l i n g i n eve r y d i r e c t i o n t h r o u g h a s c e n e . T h i s s p e c i a l f e a t u r e m a ke s i t p o s s i b l e f o r u s e r s to r e f o c u s p i c t u r e s a f te r t h ey h ave a l r e a d y b e e n t a ke n .

10

45

I n a d d i t i o n , t h e to u c h s c r e e n fe a t u r e a l l ow s u s e r s to t a p t h e s c r e e n o n a r e a s of t h e p i c t u r e t h a t t h ey wo u l d l i ke to r e f o c u s a n d eve n r e f o c u s a p i c t u r e o n c e i t h a s a l r e a d y b e e n i m p o r te d o n to t h e c o m p u te r. T h e Ly t r o a l s o c o m e s e q u i p p e d w i t h l i v i n g f i l te r s to m a ke a l l of yo u r p i c t u r e s s p e c i a l a n d u n i q u e . A n a d d e d b o n u s of t h i s i n n ova t i ve c a m e r a i s t h e a b i l i t y f o r yo u r f r i e n d s to r e f o c u s yo u r p i c t u r e s o n c e yo u p o s t t h e m o n s o c i a l m e d i a s i te s l i ke Fa c e b o o k a n d I n s t a g r a m . To p u r c h a s e yo u r ve r y ow n Ly t r o c a m e r a , v i s i t: w w w.l y t r o.c o m .

3

4

3. Between the 1960s and early 2000s, the cassette was one of the three most common formats for prerecorded music, alongside the LP and later the

5

5.iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple and launched in October 2001. 4.The compact disc and more specifically, audio compact disc (CD-DA) were introduced in the


LISTEN

LISTEN

READ WATCH

LISTEN

Classic 10

10

10

10

10

Crazy 10

10

10

10

10

Quality 10

10

10

Hot

Album: Allen Stone

Rate Albums

10

10

10

10

10

Playable

Allen Stone

10

10

10

Average 10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

Back ToThe Studio 10

10

Mute It 10

Coming soon

must have Album:

Book: “I’m David Christianity is Goliath: Why Love is More Important Than Religion”

RFM Chill Moody Making quite a name for himself as one of Philly’s hottest spitters, West Philly native Chill Moody will be dropping the deluxe edition to his critically acclaimed RFM album on February 5th. RFM Deluxe Edition is available for preorder now on www.iTunes.com.

by David Nazario

Part self-help, part workbook and part memoir, “I’m David, Christianity is Goliath: Why Love is More Important Than Religion” is an interactive reading experience that will allow readers to gain insight on ways to walk in love in order to realize their dreams and live a more fulfilling life. Search Why Love Is More Important Than Religion on Facebook to stay up to date on the progress of the book.

FREE DOWNLOAD Album: “Sunday Morning: Single on A Saturday Night Pt. 2.”

10

10

10

10


OUTRO add us. facebook.com/Mute-Media-LLC @mutemag

10

47

photography by Theron

Cook

The I nd ecent

special thanks. To everyone who was involved with helping to make this issue, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Outro Thank you for stepping into our Mute Universe to experience another issue of Mute Magazine. Hopefully you had as much fun with this issue as we did! Be sure to look out for our April issue which will feature Brooklyn based band, The Indecent on the cover.


$3.99

Promotional

Branding


Jan 2013 issue