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Director: Benny Harps Photographer: Jie Zheng Model: Ornelle Chimi


C O NT E NT S Issue 003

Ayana Zaire

Ramon Jamar




Dele Ojo




















DAVID SHARP JR. Editor/Photographer

JIE ZHENG Editor/Graphic designer

ANA MARTINEZ Graphic designer

KESPISEY KONG Graphic designer

JENNIFER AUDIA Graphic designer

RAKEB TEKLEHIWOT Photographer/Journalist



KAILEE VAN PATTEN Journalist/Illustrator






ISS U E S 0 0 2 “This is a painting by my grandmother Margaret Harps. The subject is my oldest brother, Kwame Harps Jr., when he was a teenager. While he was watching TV, she drew a photo of him. She interpreted from that sketch this painting. This issue is paying homage to the young and old generation. With our youngest artist being 13 years old, and the oldest at 92 years old. We believe these artists works will transcend generations.” ­—Benny Harps

ISS U E S 0 0 1 Now on our third issue, we feel a huge leap and growth from where we started from. We are blessed to have a third issue, but more imporantly the team that builds every issue that grew from the original three. Nonetheless, we are still creating a platform to acknowledge the artist of the future and a space for artists to share and creat.

Looking for artists of all medium for the n ext issue and join the team. Send submission to: View the digital print, videos, interview, music, and more at




As if it was the Y2K ERA all over again. Say hello to Tony and Liv. Two creatives from Baltimore, MD that bring a late 90’s Attitude Era/punk rock vibe to the creative world, better than ever. Sick and tired of the fake artist of the world they sing a song that tells them, “FUCK YOU!”

BENNY. Who are you and what do you do? LIV. I’m Liv and I’m a photographer. TONY I’m Tony and I’m a photographer and a creative director.

Illustrration by Hanna Swanberg

B. So how did this all come about, how did you meet and the vision come together? L. So basically we met through Crash, a mutual friend, and we got together. What did we work on first? T. You took pictures of Crash first L. No you took pictures… T. Oh yea of her and her girlfriend L. ...and then we did a shoot with Crash together, and yea we clicked. B. Who started it (DiePoseurs), Tony it was you? What made you want to do that? T. I watch a lot of random old MTV shit and all that, so I was watching a MTV thing on youtube once and it was called ‘Punks and Posers.” When the punk scene first popped off they were dealing with a lot of people imitating the punk style, selling the clothes out of like what we would have as like H&M and Zara and shit and they were have a problem with the real punks vs the posers. And I was thinking now in the art scene today we have a lot of shit dealing with the real artist and the fake artist, what I like to say, the pure kids and the copies. So I was like this would be a perfect time to make a platform of what I find to be pure kids or showcasing our pure style and then it just went from there. I used the poser part of the documentary cause I always wanted

to pay homage to it if somebody ever asked me why. So I just did Die Poseurs, to kill unoriginal people. B. What made you want to get on the same? I see you have the same type of vibe, you literally fit him. L. I think that’s part of the reason, because Tony has been like the first person who I actually wanted to work with and create stuff with. I haven’t met anyone yet that I click with. I tried to before, but it just wasn’t there. We didn’t have the same vision, we didn’t feel the same about things. So we were pretty much on the same page.

it, I was still doing this in 2016. Then out of nowhere I ended up going to school and I learned everything, but before that I was linking with Liv too. That’s when I first me Liv and she would bring a technical side to everything along with helping like “oh you should get that angle” or “you should get the lights like this and the flash like that.” So she helped me improve on technical parts and then soon helped add to the vision and creative direct.

B. Where are you from? T. I’m from Baltimore too, but were from like two different sides of Baltimore. I’m from West Baltimore inner city and Liv is from West Baltimore County

B. So I know you’re a wrestling fan. Is that one of your inspirations as far as being on Die Posuers? L. Yes. I like the attitude era. That’s my favorite era. So definitely, I even told Tony I want to do a shoot like how their portraits were back in the 90s, that type of vibe, I like that a lot. But I wouldn’t say it had a major effect on me.

B. Suburbs vs the hood, T. Yea, I think the things we have in common… It’s not a specific thing, like it can’t be oh we both like punk rock or we both like this and that, but it’s like we both have the same eye for the smallest details. Say if we both grew up maybe watching the same films and stuff like that. One thing that I really wanted to work with Liv for is because when I take pictures, I’m not like a technical photographer. I know what I want and I know how to make it happen. Before I ever used photoshop I was editing pictures for years off Ipicme. I never knew how to use

B. Being where you are from and doing what you did, did you ever get any back lash from it? T. People not understanding, yea. I went to some terrible schools. I started at Pinnacle Middle in Park Heights and I wasn’t all the way into art like that at the time in like 6th grade. By 8th grade that’s when I really started to get into it, but by that time I was a county school cause we moved to the county for a while and I went to Southwest Academy. That’s where everything was openly accepted. That’s where I first seen some of the craziest shit and I’m like oh


kids are into this shit, this is cool I’m not a weirdo right. But then I end up moving back to same kind of areas and that’s where when I took what I felt comfortable doing back there then people do look at you kind of weird. But I’ve always been real outgoing so I never had problems. I would make people accept the stuff I did. I would have some of my dirtier friends, thats what I call them, I would have some of them… I was doing streetwear cause I was real into Bobby Hundreds, he inspired me a lot, and I would have my friends wear little streetwear shit I would make or just promoting brands back then too and they would accept it. I never really had a problem with too much backlash, but I definitely dealt with a lot of what I consider posers now. B. Talk about how the posers effect the craft of art now. You know how you have the designers or the people like “Oh I got a brand.. I’m tryna build it,” and they build it higher off of their following. Then people who stay true to themselves still stay in a box because people are still tryna get them. Some people probably don’t understand ya’ll. It’s easier for me to understand ya’ll because I come from that. I come from that same era. T. When you’re getting into the art here for people who aren’t into it, which a lot people are now, when you’re taking it serious you’re overshadowed quick by… Okay it’s like music. Say you want to find a good song with some content it’s hard to find that. Say you type in rap song or love song, it’s gonna be a thousand ones that pop up that are trash before you find the one you are looking for. It’s becoming oversaturated with a bunch of bullshit and a lot of that bullshit is people who aren’t real artists, who don’t take it seriously. I don’t consider real art “oh you’re talented,” real art is passion to me. A lot of people don’t have passion so it’s oversaturated with a lot of that. Those are the posers. People who are doing shit just cause its a wave now and not because its a true mindset or style to them. And it affects us terrible because we get overlooked for the shit. JIE. Is there a solution to that? T. Uhh nahh. It’s always been trends and shit since the beginning of time. L: The only thing is if you just be yourself, but that’s not really a solution. B: The reason why I made Napizum is because of the posers and the people that get clout because they got dreads or they got tattoos on their face and shit like that. So when you talk to the people that actually love doing this, just love it off the strength



and like they would die for shit like this, that’s what Napizum is for. Cause you don’t get that anymore, that vibe that I get from y’all. J. Your style, the punk style, what do you want to do with that once you’re in the mainstream? T. It just happens that it’s punk style. It’s not intended to be punk style, It’s just what we like. If we’re thinking of styling somebody we’re gonna dress them like what we appear to be. It fits into the mainstream world because it’s what their marketing. If you go into whatever store you’ll see leather jackets with handwriting built into them or people buy jeans that are already destroyed. Tony and Liv at the same time: Dirty boots! T. One thing that I noticed, it’s the small things. I love teen vogue magazine, but I hate um.. L. Vogue T. Nah I don’t hate Vogue I like Vogue too. Nah I’m saying I love teen vogue but I hate how they use… For example it was a shoot of Bella Hadid laying in a twin sized dirty bed and like a punk theme and I’m just

“It’s becoming oversaturated with a bunch of bullshit and a lot of that bullshit is people who aren’t real artists, who don’t take it seriously.”

Sandasoru, Jeison, Menyelek, Pixie

thinking why don’t they have a real person who does that, lay in that. I think that’s the difference, how you separate what we do. J. It’s your authenticity. T. Yea you can tell what’s real and what’s not. L. Like who’s trying to hard to fit what’s trendy now. T. But we’re not just doing punk pictures. We also do like high fashion, abstract in a way sometimes. B. Do you guys have any plans for the brand in 2018, the new year? L. We were talking about the magazine T: I don’t want to talk about the magazine but I do want to say 2018, films. We gonna become fuckin filmmakers all 2018 so that’s the wave. We’re still gonna do a lot of shoots, but even if its a 10 second clip, I would rather that even if it’s just cinematography than pictures. Because you can’t capture everything you want to capture in a picture. I might just want somebody popping gum in her classroom. I’d rather have a video than a picture. More films… were doing that concept though so don’t think about copying that [laughs]

J. So ya’ll didnt really like New York and that’s like an art center, what do you think about Baltimore blowing up as a art center? What’s the potential out here instead of moving to New York? T. I’m a dickhead imma tell the truth. I don’t like a lot of shit, I don’t like a lot of people, but the art scene in baltimore is just as lame as it is in New York. It’s a lot of cool people. Menyelek shout out to him that’s our brother L. Shout out to Benny T. Yea shout out to Benny. Everybody that knows we like them they know because we interact with them. These kids are very pretentious and fake deep and it makes me mad. I don’t care imma talk my shit cause that’s what I do. L. I’m just gonna mind my business… T. I don’t like the whole “this is my art and you gotta like it or imma cry in a instagram video for 10 seconds” type shit. And that’s what a lot of kids are now. Maybe I’m older, I’m 23 now a lot of these kids are 18 - 17. But as a brand if you are a follower be a fucking follower. We need you to survive, you gotta buy our shit you gotta follow us. We need those impressionable minds but

at the same time I would like to see more creative, original… original to a fault. L. Individuality. T. Yea individuality. That’s the word. J. Do you think people now get too offended by stuff they see? Is that why sometimes they don’t understand it L. Oh like Cunt. T. Yea so we made some shirts that said ‘I love cunts’ on em and we wanted to give them out for free to consignment shops, but they just turned us down because of the word cunts on it. Which I found weird. One time I did a nude shoot at my house. I live with my parents and they came home and they saw the work online and were so mad because it was a nude shoot that we captured in the house. I hate fucking politically correct shit too. So I do shit thats not politically correct on purpose. We are young people. I’m not gonna water myself down to please others in any kind of way, positive or negative.





Pamela Ong It’s crazy how fake everyone on social media actually

And like why the fuck do we care? And why do we

is. So many influencers and youtubers and even regular

continuously fall under this illusion when we know

people flaunt their “riches” and “success” and for some

that it’s not even real? And maybe, its because we all

stupid reason we care about all that shit. We crave

secretly wish our lives were like that too. I just can’t

it. We literally have our phones in our hands all the

understand why we refuse to see right through it all.

time and even keep it beside us at night. All so we can

Cause like one minute, someone is posting about how

check what’s new on our feeds as soon as we wake up.

they are so in love with their significant other, when


we all know full well that the day before they were just

Social media is actually full of hypocrisy. It turns us

ranting about how the person they’re with continuously

all into hypocrites really. I don’t think anyone is really

treats them like trash. Yet, they still stay. Isn’t insanity

exempt from this. We all can’t even imagine our lives

doing the same thing over and over again but expecting

without it. Cause on the other hand of it all, there’s so

a different result? But I guess, I’m no saint here either.

much information and inspo. Like half the stuff I like

I mean, literally just yesterday, I posted a pic of myself

are things that couldn’t be found without social media.

where I looked good cause I was feeling insecure and

Okay, maybe not half. But like fashion and funny

frustrated with my own life. I try to put up this front.

videos. Cause the internet is honestly and truly the best

We all try to put up this front. You want everyone to think that you’re some kind of bad bitch. That you’ve moved on from the hurt people have caused you. That you’ve moved on from the hurt that comes from believing the lie, that is social media, has caused you. We all kind of just try to trick ourselves into thinking our pain or our unhappiness or our anxieties don’t exist anymore because we want others to forget it too. And it’s funny cause even though everyone else forgets about it, you still don’t. Then one day you snap and just explode at your friend, all because they wont fucking unfollow someone you hate on social media. And like, are your friends supposed to hate the people you hate or are they free to choose whoever they want to be friends with? Cause to be honest, I don’t really know anymore. It’s all just so stupid and juvenile. Has the basis of friendship really been reduced to who you do and don’t follow and who those people interact with? Also another thing, why do we creep the people that we have beef with and then get upset about seeing their perfect life that they’ve presented on their social media? You suddenly feel compelled to call out how fake it is, when we literally do the same fake shit on our own profiles. 11 NAPIZUM

for dank memes. And that’s what keeps us hooked, I

yet, we all continue to do the exact the same bullshit.

guess. The illusion that social media is a resource that

Hanging with people who match our “aesthetic” even

we can’t live without. It’s funny how we think we’re

if it isn’t who we really are. There have been so many

past all the middle school shit when the only reason

times when people who I thought were my friends

you would hang out with someone is cause you thought

would just comment on my pics but wouldn’t even

they’d make you more “popular.” And honestly, there

bother to contact me in real life to hang out. I find it all

were so many people I’d hang out with who had me

kind of changes the way we act with one another too.

acting a type of way that really wasn’t me at all. And

There are so many times where you’re hanging out with a friend and they’re on snapchat the whole time. Trying to create this perfect picture of what they want their life to be. When in reality, you’re both just sitting there while they’re on their phone, while you awkwardly attempt to make some kind of conversation with them and really its to no avail. I feel that social media has made us more anti-social in a way. The days of actually having social skills seem to be long gone. And really who needs it when you can just slide into anyone’s dm’s? Honestly, I just feel like so many people are wrapped up in the whole social media thing. And they’re kind of just caught up in presenting this image of themselves that isn’t true. I just think people have to start being real and honest with themselves and call out the bullshit when they see it.






Malik Cotton

Ayana Zaire

Ayana Zaire visits us from the future to share pieces from a post work society, while bringing awareness to our current environment. This multimedia artist bases for her work in extensive research, where she then chooses from which material fits, ranging from textiles to peformance art. Her “Your Satisfaction Is Our Future” project is exactly for you to determine, what our future is.

JIE. Who are you and what do you do? AYANA. I am a maker preparing us all for a post work society. I use art, design, technology, and craft practices to carry out that mission — but principally, I am a maker. J. What is “Zaire Studio”? A. Zaire Studio is a craft practice utilizing art and design as communication tools. J. What is the significance of the monochrome palette you use in your clothing? A. My design process is as follows: 1. I start with a point of research that is of both personal and social relevance. 2. The design decisions are completely informed by the research. I choose the materials and textiles based on the preliminary research. 3.The chosen materials, based on the research, inform ultimate shape and technology of the object. Based on the research, I ask questions like...Do I want to champion drape or lines with this fabric? Based on the research, do I use “binder clips” as closures or the revolutionary “button”? Keeping in mind the historical relevance of every material.

I think the resulting monochromatic palette in my first collection was subconscious. When designing I only have visions of shapes and utility, form and function. I don’t think or care about color when designing. But, in the future I want to. I want to explore color as a possible utility. Although, in my image making process I only photograph people of color in my work because they are a huge part of my research. People of color being present in images while wearing my garments functions as another point of illustration for my research. For my first collection, “Your Satisfaction Is Our Future”, I was researching the concept of labor within capitalism with a focus on working class black folks and women. The only necessary presence of color was informed by the research, and they were the people I photographed in the garments. I guess that’s the significance of the monochrome palette.

Satisfaction Is Our Future” project. I can’t remember exactly how or why but back in 2016 I had this idea to make a couch out of chain link fencing and PVC pipe. I think it could be because I remember being surprised at how cheap PVC was and on a separate occasion I remember looking at a chain link fence and thinking to myself...” That is fabric”. The chain link fencing and PVC inspired the piece’s identity as an exploration of leisure in a tumultuous political environment. The work statement reads: “The Couch” aims to interpret a reality where discomfort is the new normal. Leisure is punishing. To be idle is to pretend to be okay with the unbearable thing you sit in. With this sculpture we ask, where does one hope, rest, contemplate, lay, when there is no comfortable place to “sit” in the world? With regards to performance art, I am tremendously intrigued and I and researching it for my next collection.

J. I see you branched into performance art. How did “The Couch”, 2017 come about? A. “The Couch” was a part of the “Your

J. What story are your works telling? A. You tell me.



Your Satisfaction Is Our Future Collection, Imondre Anaïs by Ayana Zaire

“When designing I only have visions of shapes and utility, form and function.”

J. What do you have planned for Zaire Studios? A. I think about changing the name a lot, taking myself out of it. But I ultimately want this project to evolve into a research institution investigating ways to transition out of capitalism through the teaching of research, art, craft, and design practices. J. What are your inspirations? A. Family, books, and art I don’t like. J. How does your family/friends keep you grounded? A. My family has always supported my dream of hoops as well as my journey in life. Basketball has created a bond/brotherhood with my teammates, especially those that I have played with for more than 10 years. J. What is your background/upbringing and how does that partake in your art now? A. I am black. I am a woman. I was raised baptist. I was raised in Prince George’s County. My legal last name is Cotton. All these things are the foundation of my identity as a maker with a focus in textiles.


J. What do you value? A. Healthy relationships. J. What’s your creative process, especially working in different media’s? A. In design, I research, choose material based on research, and choose final form and function based on material. In technology, I hone in on the problem I’m trying to solve, see what resources are available to solve the problem, then collaborate with folks who could help. In art I think, then do.

The Couch (2017)

A reluctant couch potato. Is laziness luxury? Unemployment is not my utopia. Insufficient funds isn't fun. This couch isn't comfortable and this potato is craving better soil.

performance work by melriah photographic works by ayana zaire cinematic works by samson binutu motion picture edit and direction by ayana zaire









AN UPSETTING ILLUSION: Gender And Racial Stereotyping Through Reality Television

JORDAN HARPER The rise of reality television is quite amazing and hard to ignore. With the creation of any show comes criticism, and with black women being at the forefront of many of these successful reality shows, people, specifically black women, are judging what they see on television and labeling these shows as damaging to the world’s view of women of color: Although many of these shows do feature African American women, critics often argue that these shows are a disgrace to the community, full of bickering women who are more obsessed with their labels than one another. In a time where women of color are peaking out through the bushes of oppression and rising to the occasion, Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop,” two of the highest rated reality shows in history, are garnishing the most attention for their drama filled representation of black women in society. Upon its premiere in October of 2008, there had never been a show like Real Housewives of Atlanta on television. The first season of the show featured socialites Nene Leakes and Kim Zolciak, and NFL wives and ex-wives Sheree Whitfield, DeShawn Snow, and Lisa Wu. Nene’s loud and boisterous character was reality television gold and of course, entertaining, but it wasn’t an accurate representation of black women worldwide. Unfortunately, the show made it seem as though all black women did was bicker with each other instead of uplifting each other and came with the label that all black women were loud and rowdy. It’s important to put the times in perspective: when the show premiered in 2008, Barack Obama was on the campaign trail along with his intelligent wife Michelle Obama and a month later, he was elected the first African American President of the United States. This put a sour taste in the mouths of some people, and the birth of RHOA only added fuel to the fire with stereotyping black people. Fast forwarding to today, the show has shifted from the housewife’s moniker, as Kandi Burruss is the only cast member married, the rest are divorced or have never been married. 23 NAPIZUM

The show has also shifted to heavy topics such as lesbian rumors, drug and rape allegations, and who built the best house. Producers have altered the show from following socialites in Atlanta to casting women who can throw the lowest blow or throw the best shade. One could argue that these women have sold their souls for a check, and that their lives are no longer private and secrets are no longer secrets. The issue of representation is presented, as the majority of the women, sans Phaedra Parks, have never obtained a college degree, something that black elite women usually have. Alex Hawley explained that, “Because they do not have the right lineage and education or the right comportment, the women of RHOA seem like outsiders. The women, in an attempt to fit into the Black elite without the necessary lineage, overcompensate by engage in conspicuous consumption.” Overall, the representation of black women on The Real Housewives of Atlanta isn’t the prettiest sight, but what people must realize in order to get passed this notion is that reality television is entertainment and heavily produced. Production crews follow these women for months out of a year and capture the most exciting moments and put them into roughly 20 hours a season. The reality of affluent black women isn’t what is represented by RHOA and stereotyping based off of a show is damaging to a community as it offers inaccurate and heavily edited depictions. Mona Scott Young’s series Love and Hip Hop documents the trouble in love its cast experiences as they navigate the terrain of relationships and careers in the hip-hop industry. It overwhelmingly perpetuates stereotypes of people of color through a narrow lens of Black masculinity and femininity. Unlike RHOA, most of the women involved with this show aren’t married or divorced; they are simply dating the cast members or are sexually involved with them. The level of violence of Love and Hip Hop continues to make black people look bad. The sad reality is that the Love and Hip Hop franchise was built off of fighting and disagreements, normally involving drama over a relationship whether romantic or just friendly,

between women. The men on this show are supporting characters and rarely get into fights or arguments with the other men in the cast. There has always been a stereotype of women being “ratchet” and unruly, and this franchise only feeds into the stereotype: the women were invited to create negative images of themselves as a result of the nature of hegemonic masculinity. The stories are produced in a way that women are pitting against other women because of a man for the sake of entertainment. The nature of this has produced a highly rated reality show that puts women in a disheartening light. Instead of showing the entrepreneurial spirit of the women or the cast supporting each other, each episode features a verbal or physical altercation and the show is an hour full of drama that lacks positivity. The cast of Love and Hip Hop must also be put into perspective. The majority of the women are strippers/exotic dancers with a handful of the women claiming themselves to be music managers intertwined with the cast. In order to be cast on this show, you must have some type of involvement with a man, whether that be in a committed relationship or a “one-night-stand” and drama must be served on a platter. Interestingly noted, if a cast member doesn’t bring drama to the show, they are quickly edited out and/or replaced. Love and Hip Hop essentially depicts that women are used as objects for entertainment and ratings, while the men sit back and collect money as supporting characters to the catty women. Women have always had to deal with sexism, but black women have to deal with sexism and racism in society. The characters on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop aren’t necessarily helping to eliminate the stereotypes of black women in society, but instead feeding the stereotypes. Sadly, there is no stopping these reality shows that portray black women in an untruthful light unless people stop watching them entirely. Many refer to these shows as escapism, but it’s important to ensure it’s irrelevance in black women’s personal lives. Unfortunately, there are a section of people who will look at these shows and let it fuel their preconceived notions

on African American’s and black women alike and in society today, that is very dangerous. At a time where black women are excelling into high places, the reality TV industry decides to focus on ratchet behavior and extreme cattiness between women of color. The conversation about the distortion of black women in particular on reality television opens the doors to a new conversation on negative stereotypes within the reality television community in general. This ultimately presents female characters in a more sexualized manner by the media in an effort to gain the attention of someone in a certain setting, with a greater focus on physical appearance. The most upsetting thing is that some people, especially young people, look up to television for identity development: they use television to find out what all the “celebrities” are doing, how they get guys/girls, and to find out the new lingo. In addition, it seems like people are okay with being a reality star for income instead of obtaining a trade certification or a college degree. In retrospect, the illusions that reality television portrays are damaging to the upcoming generation. The paradigm of reality television must shift to show real people doing real things to encourage a culture of progression, particularly in the underrepresented communities. Gender stereotyping, and stereotyping in general, must also be washed away as we move into the new age of media. Let people be there true selves on television – they are bound to be more relatable than ever.






sHORTY’S NEWSLETTER if you were the president what is the first thing you would do?


Aiden i would lower taxes

Christian i would help people part of DACA


Aiyanna i would let people follow you

Marian i would let people visit the white house

Kenna i would make everyone be friends



i would stop the war

J.R i would give money to poor people







Dele Ojo

Left Handed Michael Jordan with longer hair. Dele Ojo, a ball player who grew up in Damascus, MD is a talent far beyond his peers. A legend in the GOODMAN LEAGUE, and a mentor to the younger players of his city. He made a mark in this world with his experience and loves to share his experience by using his “BothEnds” Training sessions. “YOU REACH, I’LL TEACH”

BENNY. Who are you and what do you do? OJO. I am Dele Ojo,Born in Washington D.C. Grew up in Takoma Park and Damascus md. A father, a basketball player/trainer and an employee of Montgomery County Public Schools. A real genuine, loyal person that enjoys life. B. Tell us about your journey to where you are now. O. As far as my journey with basketball, I always dreamed of playing professional basketball. I feel that I accomplished my goals because I have played professional basketball in the US as well as other countries.

Rene Osman

B. What was your up bringing like? O. I grew up in a two parent household. My father is Nigerian and my mother is Jamaican. My father taught me the value of hard work at a young age. I watched him grind for our family working multiple jobs to provide a stable home. Also i was taught at a very young age to compete at everything i do and take pride in it.

B. Talk about balling in high school and your mindset at the time. O. In high school I was a late bloomer so I was smaller then most. I played with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself and show that I could run with the best. B. Any inspirations? If so why and how do you compare their game to yours? What do you take from them? O. I have a few inspirations but not all are basketball players. Football was my first love growing up. Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Michael Jordan, Nick Van Exel, Kobe Bryant, Bruce Lee and Mohammad Ali were some of the greats who inspired me. The most important thing I took from all of them is their work ethic in wanting to be the best.

“I played with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself and show that I could run with the best.”

B. Music choice. Before a game what’s in your headphones? O. My choice of music before games are Jadakiss, Backyard Band (Go-Go), Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Pac, Styles P and Wu-Tang.


B. Talk about The Victors and how that got started since you were in the foundation of it. O. The organization was started by Anthony “Gumby Williams, Tavares Cooper, and Reggie Winkfield. I was the team captain and leader of the team.

B. Talk about going overseas to play ball, and why you stopped. O. It was a fun experience to be able to play with different player from different countries. I met a lot of great basketball players as well as great people that became my friends. After the birth of my daughter, I decided to play professional ball in the B. How does your family/friends keep you states. I wouldn’t say that I stopped because grounded? if the right opportunity is presented, I may O. My family has always supported my still consider going for it. I’m still an active dream of hoops as well as my journey in life. ball player, in shape, and ready. Basketball has created a bond/brotherhood with my teammates, especially those that I B. What is “Both–Ends” and why did you have played with for more than 10 years. start it? O. Both-Ends is my brand and the name of B. What advice can you give a young high my training company. Anyone who knows school kid who wants his future to be ball? me as a hooper knows that I play both ends O. Advice I would give is to keep your of the floor, 94 feet, the whole game. My grades up because this will prevent you logo is an image of me guarding myself. from going to the top schools with the Defense if an important aspect of the game. best sports programs. Also, its important Offense scores points but defense wins to always be humble and listen!! There are championships. I wanted to be able to share people that have been there and want to my basketball knowlege and skills with up help you be successful in life. and coming player. This is why I started Both-Ends Training.








Ramon Jamar

If an renaissance artists were a film photographer in the new age, his name would be Ramon. Ramon Jamar, a film photographer born in Camden, NJ seemed to create a lane for himself. Doing it unconsciously, he creates some images of his muses in the nude in a way where it grabs your attention instantly. His use of settings and black & white film stays with the viewer.

BENNY. Who are you and what do you do? RAMON. Man....That’s a very difficult questions to answer to be perfectly honest. I think like a lot of people, my instinct are to reply with some relatively accurate broad-stroke generalizations about myself; giving you answers I think you and other people might want to hear to make me sound more interesting. I’d like to tell you that I am smart and talented, but that would just be feeding into a self-serving bias. Only providing you with small parts of the whole. But the truth is none of us are just one person, but many people in one. I don’t think I even know myself completely. Which is why this is difficult question too answer. However, the things about myself, that I am most proud of, are being a husband, father, and friend. How I earn a living wage isn’t what defines me. Then there’s photography, which is why we’re really having this discussion right LMAO! Well, I’m a film photographer, mostly medium format which means only 10-12 shots per roll. I no longer even own a digital camera. I love shooting film; there is no previews to distract you. It allows you the freedom to focus more on your subject

and really be in the moment. B. Where are you from? R. I was born in Camden, NJ a predominately African American community. But after 4th grade I attended school in a nearby town, Maple Shade a predominately white community. I hated the change as a kid, but my mother felt I’d get a better education in their school system. My grandmother lived there, so my sister and I stayed with her during the week and went back to Camden on the weekends. To go from a classroom full of kids that looked like me to a classroom where it felt like all the kids looked at me, was hard at that age. But I was lucky enough to meet friends in the apartment complex my grandmother lived in, friends I remain close to still today. Most of my friends were the other black kids that went to the school; when you’re a part of the minority you tend to gravitate to each other for support of one another. It was in Maple Shade where I first experience racism; to hear a pick-up truck drive by and scream out go home nigger was just something I never experience before.

And unfortunately it happen enough that I developed thick skin. But not everything was all bad. As I got older I adjusted to the community, got involved in sports and began to make other friends and I can say I had a pretty cool childhood. B. What do you get out of what you do? R. I took up photography as a creative outlet to my otherwise demanding job. When I discovered film photography my interest or hobby became a lifestyle, it became my passion. Creating images, especially portraits, gives me the opportunity to connect with people. I think it’s the process of shooting the portrait that I most enjoy; getting to know my subject. When I photograph someone often times it’s just us one-on-one. I rarely work with a team as I prefer a more natural visual aesthetics. There’s something special about two strangers coming together to bring a vision to life. B. Why do you shoot models nude? R. I’ve done several interview and this question is the most consistent. I wouldn’t call myself a nude photographer; the vast majority of the images I create of people are not nude at all. But when a photographer does shoot some nudes, it seems to become


“Nude portraits are honest and raw; no clothes to define, sell, or categorize the person.”

the focus of their work. The idea of using nudity as art has been around for thousands of year; unfortunately our current culture tends to sexualize all nudity no matter the intent. While I’m not opposed to images that are sexual, sensual, or provocative in nature, I just don’t think nudity in general should be automatically sexualize, but normalized. It’s actually pretty disturbing; we’ll promote violent games and movies, shit parents will even allow their kids to play and view this content. But show a woman’s nipple and all hell breaks lose. I do enjoying creating nude images ofwomen; to me the female form is art. In my opinion nude portraits are honest and raw; no clothes to define, sell, or categorize the person. B. So how did photography start for you? R. Honestly, I think social media played a part in it. Some of my online friends started getting into photography and posting pictures and talking about the cameras they were using; I think I got curious. This was


back when I was working in the Middle East and traveling a lot. I thought it would be cool to have a real camera to capture some of those moments. Because I’m mad frugal, it still took me like 6 months to buy a camera; I asked so many questions of my friends as I was confused as to what camera to buy. I didn’t know anything! Once I decided on a camera I had to learn how to use it, thanks to Youtube and hours of watching tutorial, I began to get the hang of it. It’s one thing to shoot automatic, it’s a completely different beast to shoot manual. As I started taking travel photos I slowly began to fall in love with creating images. I’d watch tutorials for hours on light and composition. It became somewhat of an obsession! I wanted to know and learn everything about photography. But it wasn’t until I watched a documentary about photographer Vivan Maier that I found film. Her story was amazing. I started researching her camera and how too shoot film. A few months later I purchased a film camera and it wasn’t long before I sold my digital camera and lenses and now I only shoot film.

Jessica Renee, Nyasha, Nora Rosenburg

B. Why did you choose film? R. I think film makes me a better photographer; not because the format is better or worse than digital, but because the process of shooting film works best for me. And at the end of the day, a photographer should use the tools that works best for him or her to achieve their vision. The benefits of shooting film is probably its limitations. I think it was Orson Welles who said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations”. When you shoot film there is no preview screen and often you’re limited in the number of shots you can take. You’re forced to slow down a bit and think about each shot. These limitation allows you more time to interact with your subject and can push you creatively. It’s a bit cliche, but I love the look of film; it’s hard to describe but you know it when you see it. I prefer not to use preset to emulate film, but shooting the real thing, with it’s flaws and all. There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of having to first develop your film to see what you’ve created.

B. Where do your concepts come from? What inspires you? R. I get inspiration from old photography boks, movies, music, and often just from day dreaming about different images. When you get into photography you start to pay attention to all types of light. No matter if I’m in my living room or driving down the road, I’m always thinking about different ways to create an image. B. What advice could you give the artist that’s in the same line of art you are in? R. While I don’t personally consider myself an artist, I do believe photography is a form of art. But regardless of labels, it’s the persons passion for their art that drives them to create. Don’t lose that passion. Don’t allow followers, likes, and comments to define your art. Do continue to work on your art everyday. And do stay true to your art.




Mo del : Ki y on a C . Ma ke u p: P ri sc e l i a Wo n g S t y l i s t : D a r r e l l K o h




TRACKS: Awake Alive (That’s A Bar) Come to Life Starstruck Line It Up I Know You/ Cannot Wait

Today, rappers are showing constantly that being an artist in this time calls on you to be well equipped in other things outside of the music; branding and being media-savvy are some. East London Rapper Lancey Foux is easily making his way to crossover stardom in the US by being a product of traditional UK rap and being able to bring his modern rap influences into his music. He’s very confident how he can knock down doors for future UK artist explaining to A Nation of Billions, that his goal is to “inspire a nation of kids who aren’t drawn to the sound and culture of the classic UK scene”. When you hear Lancey’s music, yoh hear his admiration from the likes of Sam Bowie and Prince to Future and Young Thug.



TRACKS: Purple Ape Marsupial Superstars Gas Mask

Sahbabii has probably had the fastest emergence out of all the artist in this spread, and the most commercial appealing. Originally from Chicago, Sahbabii moved to Atlanta’s Ninth Ward to be close to his dad and there he picked up his urge to rap. Atlanta is embedded in Sahbabii’s sound, from his beat choices to his lyrics and melodies; listen to “Pull Up Wit a Stick” and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Sahbabii has gained the attention from the likes of Young Thug, Drake, Ian Connor and more, while trying to stay out the way and to himself. But it won’t be long till people really recognize his wave and make it hard for him to continue staying out of the attention.

PROJECTS: Tales of Tacobella Sugar Trap 2 TRACKS: Hey Arnold Glo Bottles

DMV’s own Rico Nasty is a new voice out of Prince George’s County, making her way on the scene as a bubble gum rap superstar. Rico is another female artist who can easily gravitate to today’s mainstream rap scene, making songs with an idea of where music can be played and received well. Her rise has been very fast, grasping major attention after her 2016 track “iCarly”. Rico’s sound would go onto draw parallels to Lil Yachty’s with cartoon melodies, lullaby autotuned voice and the heavy 808’s that kick. Her message is nothing but confidence, that exudes in her delivery. Rico has now been thriving in this female rap resurgence and her ceiling continues to grow the more males respect her and females abide by her.



TRACKS: BYF Not Right Twenty Mill The Judge Layed Up

At the youthful age of 15, Smooky MarGielaa showcases the ability to be a voice for the young and the old. His ability to come up with great melodies and paint pictures of being a teen in NY is what gives him the edge amongst the kids. He is the son of Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabate, so music and melody has always run a long way in Smooky’s life, even before playing the Balafon. Being a newer signee to the AWGE collective of the A$AP mob, Smooky is put in a great position to gain all the respect as a young rapper and blow up as the superstar he wants to become.

An introduction to the artist of tomorrow, artist that have gotten some of our attention and deserve some of yours YOUNG TULLOCH


PROJECTS: Mango TRACKS: I Hope You Know Bloom Dancing

Another artist impacting this R&B renaissance is Malik Flint aka bLAck pARty, a singer/songwriter from Arkansas. Childish Gambino is one of the many people that fell in love with Malik’s talent and ear for sounds, first as a producer. Malik produced the track “No Small Talk” for his fellow groupmate Kari Faux”. After several collaborative efforts on Kari’s projects, people started to latch on to the gentleman with the weird name, the vibes that were present were vintage and refreshing of 80’s-90’s funk. His voice is different and it attracts R&B hipsters who ultimately catapult Malik to a point he always saw himself being. Now with Gambino behind him, bLAck has progressively gained a lot of spotlight on his own work and is gearing towards a major breakthrough.


PROJECTS: Hours Spent Loving You The Everlasting Wave TRACKS: Blind Man How Do You Love Me Runnin’ Round

The direction that R&B has gone recently is in its traditional state of true rhythm and blues, bringing that feeling back of music that just feels good. Xavier Omar has been doing exactly that and we never noticed. Formerly known as SPZRKT, Xavier started a career in music under that moniker in 2012, until he switched to his given name cause of the discrepancies of saying it. But even before the name change, his multiple EP’s and guest features highlight a unique singing voice that you can easily pair with who it is. Xavier’s rich soulful vibes and his strong content on real life issues carried him to a point where his music is putting him in great conversation with some other great R&B acts in music.





PROJECTS: Boy Who Cried Wolf When Hell Falls TRACKS: Trap Spot Grim Only the Plug I Trust

Atlanta’s long hold on Rap is seemed it couldn’t be broken, but in recently our attentions been drawn to Miami. One artist to come out is Wifisfuneral. Originally a duo, Wifisfuneral consisted of DJ Skeme and Isaiah Rivera aka Wifisfuneral. The name originated from, “Wifi” for being global and “Funeral” for the passing of a family member. Wifi started to rap on his own in 2014. He released “Light Skinned Trick Daddy”, which was an ode to what Miami represented at the time and began his path to success. A lyricist that can rap from the south is always a highlight, because there hasn’t been many. Wifi uses it to his advantage by being lyrical and also feeding the young Miami ragers at his shows. Wifi takes pride in his live show so cop a ticket to see a show and you’ll become an instant fan .

TRACKS: Thirsty Hoe Christmas Lights Anything but My Ex

For the longest time no one knew the face behind the Soundcloud beats under the moniker “16yrold”; but by the time 2016 hit we knew exactly who it was. An Ohio based teenager named Jerry Cruz first started off with a handful of tracks on his profile, featuring other Soundcloud phenoms that didn’t have much of a following at the time... but we’re well on their way. Every song that 16 drops, he uses his Instagram post as his covers to connect listeners through his journey. Typically in history, the producer was always credited in videos for the great beats they would lace a dope rapper with; 16 did it on his own. 16yrold is now one of the biggest producers in the underground game and has crafted some great tracks with other fellow COHWM classmates like D Savage, Smooky Margielaa, LUCKI, and SahBabii.


TRACKS: Niggalodeon Shit Happens Mumbo Jumbo Toe Jam

In this recent year, Rap music has seen a revolution of talented women creating noise in the rap culture. Tierra Whack is one of those women that brings pure creativity in her work and spreads great vibes and messages. Formerly known for her swift freestyles under the name “Dizzle Dizz”, Tierra created a buzz around her talent and continued to build her sound till she decided to use her given name “Tierra Whack”. The balance of Tierra’s music is a balance of melody and wordy raps that comes out so effortlessly and can be traced to an early act Missy Elliot.




PROJECTS: FREEWAVE EP Son of Sam TRACKS: Dirty Demons No Wok Options

Dubbing himself the “Underground King”, Lucki may have one of the strongest cases for such words. Westside Chicago rapper has been acknowledged as a king since he was 16. Under the moniker “Lucki Ecks”, Lucki quickly created a lane for himself with a sound that consisted his hometown’s own drill music shared with a drug infested tone that packs witty wordplay and effortless rapping. Lucki would later on rebrand himself as “Lucki” and continue to feed what he consistently gives the people, which is himself. Connecting with people cause he raps with vulnerability and about real occurrence’s. Lucki has been able to make his short career seem like he’s a ten-year veteran with seven projects, but his intentions is to still be bigger than what the people champion him as.

An introduction to the artist of tomorrow, artist that have gotten some of our attention and deserve some of yours

PROJECTS: The Black Beverly Hills Ep. Shade Trees TRACKS: Love Me Anyway Marry Say It If You Mean That (It’s like 3:34am)

Consistency is really all you would like from a younger artist and Trapo has been the perfect example of it. Fresh outta’ Wisconsin, Trapo is an artist who believes in longevity and making art with staying power. At the age of 19, Trap is three mixtapes in and is already one of the names mentioned when talking the great Midwest rappers at the moment; mind you he’s only been rapping since his high school years. But although he’s young, his sound came natural to him by trusting his vision. Trapo explained in a Chicago Sleepers interview that he doesn’t listen to mainstream music and is very involved in what he partakes in such as Neo Soul and other sub genres. Listen to the titled track, “Faster”, and you’ll see why Trapo is nothing but the truth.


E W O P E H T T C E J PRO Jesse Chopak

What is power to you? (define power) Power to me is LOVE. As cheesy as it might sound, love has aided me again and again through good times and bad. What is your power? I’d say my power is positivity. I believe in my dreams and in myself. No matter how hard things have been or might get I’m just going to keep smiling and pull through. What are your strength? I’d say my main strength is my ability to find and focus on the best in everyone, despite how others might perceive them or how they might treat me. How can you make a difference with your power/strength? One of my favorite quotes is, “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Mahatma Gandhi I know world peace might seem like a long shot with the current state of things, but I hope that I’ll at least be able to touch people’s hearts and help better the human race anyway I can before I leave this earth.



What is your power?? A person’s power can be their voice. They can use their art (voice) or something else to make their mark in the universe. In this project emphasizes how men can use their power/ strength (whatever it is) to make the world a better place!!

—Rakeb Teklehiwot

Samuel Tekper What is power to you? (define power) Power to me is being able to influence a person or a situation through your specific actions, feelings, or words. I find it truly fascinating when one person can enter a situation and just from his or her words, actions, or emotions can completely change the hearts and behaviors of others. What is your power? I personally feel that I have the power to bring different people together. Not like a matchmaker or anything of that sort, but I believe that I have the ability to bring together people who wouldn’t normally associate themselves with each other. As a result of this “power”, several people that I’ve connected were able to find employment and even build a close network of friends. What are your strength? I am very sociable and I view that as one of my strengths. I like to communicate and get to know other people. I truly believe in the saying that, “It’s often not what you know but who you know that matters.” My social skills have allowed me to make good first impressions on my managers, professors, and peers, and has helped me down the road whenever I was in need of something. How can you make a difference with your power/strength? I personally believe that by bringing people together through music, food, games, and discussion we can truly begin to understand each other and live in harmony. This is the difference I aspire to make not only with my strength and power but with the collaboration of others too.





ANDY YODER Early One Morning (2015)

43” in diameter; wooden matches, cardboard, foam, wood and steel

I’m not sure how the idea to build a globe out of wooden matches came to me, but once it did, I knew right away I needed to mak it. I ended up working on it for three years and using over 300,000 matches. The finished piece weighs over 200 pounds. At first I thought I could simply bulk order matches in a variety of colors, but it turns out they’re no longer made in the United States. It turns out large quantities of matches tend to ignite when they get compressed. An incredibly polite but persistent manufacturer in India was keen to work with me, but the minimum order was half of a shipping container. Instead, I made repeated trips to every Targe and grocery store near my studio, where I would buy all the boxes of matches they had, then clean them out again once the shelves were restocked. To get the colors I wanted, I dipped each match in a mix of acrylic gouache and flame retardant. I began building the globe by cutting a 43” circle of plywood and attaching cardboard half-circles to it, filling in the gaps with expandable foam. Afterwards, I covered it with a skin of rice paper to create a surface to draw the continents on, guided by a desktop globe from a thrift storeOnce I began attaching the matches, however, I ran into problems. The globe was becoming heavier than its interior could handle, and it was hanging from the North Pole, rather than at a 15-degree angle. I also had to figure out a way to fit the globe through the 30” doors 53 NAPIZUM

of my gallery in New York. After taking a deep breath, I took an electric saw to months’ worth of work and cut the globe into sections, reassembling it in two halves with a stronger interior. An inflatable “Earth Ball”, with composite photos of the planet from outer space, guided my choice of colors for the continents. When I started the piece, Hurricane Sandy was hitting the eastern coast of the US, so I added this to the globe’s cloud patterns to mark the date. What I didn’t realize until later was that the hurricane and globe became a self-portrait, reflecting the unexpected breakup of my marriage at that time, and its impact on myself and the family. Having my hands occupied during the hours I spent working on the piece felt therapeutic, and helped me to wrap my head around all the changes going on. At first I saw the globe as having to do with global warming, overpopulation, or political tensions and wars, but as often happens, it ended up being much more personal. When the piece was finished, my son posted photos on Reddit, and the size of the response was surprising. Online articles and photos appeared worldwide, publicity agencies were calling, and a reality television show offered to move the piece to New York. The most unexpected result came recently, when I found a description of the globe in the Guinness Book of World Records. This impressed my teenaged kids, which isn’t easy to do, making it the most satisfying response of all.



Photographer: Merkula Maria Stylist: Thirft Major, LLC Model: Piage Dunleavy, Emma Paterson Makeup: Erica Basha Hair: Glynn Jones




Truth I am the truth Loved by some and feared by others I am the light Or the darkness I am the calming silence Or the raging cry I am the past And the present And at times I predict the future But you You love me to much You hold on to me without question Without reason You should ask yourself why do accept me Why I am not challenged Is it for control? Is it for comfort? Or is it for the satisfaction That you think I will bring I am not the lover which you long for I am the drifter with no home who lays his head where I may and eats where I stay You can try to trap me But you never will For I am elusive For I will escape For I am the truth More than you ever asked for And more than you could ever Handle —M.Jachuku O. Howard


UNTITLED One day we will take over. Not following the laws that apply Fucking up the system A mother will yell out shorty When he’s roaming the streets with the black kids We live to survive shorty says Listening to his own instinct Saying fuck you we make life —ß∑NN¥

La Bendicion Seconds and thirds of Chamomile tea; Obtengo el vaso, I put down my phone. Beberé y beberé hasta que regresas a mi. I stare at my reflection, stare at it blankly. I’ve never been tough, but I’m newly stone; Seconds and thirds of Chamomile tea. No quería, pero te permití A salir de mi alma, tu casa, y nuestro corazon. Beberé y beberé hasta que regresas a mi. I allowed him to take you. He took you for free; I could have seen it coming, I should have known. Seconds and thirds of Chamomile tea. Honestamente, no se si Puedo continuar sin un auténtico connexión. Beberé y beberé hasta que regresas a mi. This is for you, my authenticity— All that remains is blood, bone, Seconds, and thirds of Chamomile tea. Beberé y beberé hasta que regresas a mi. —Jon-Carlo Manzo


She She owns a fragile heart Was broken from the start She’s healed but scarred Gentle but can be hard She fears being alone But she’s living in total isolation She who seeks full attention Found nothing, just left unknown She knows how to truly love Yet has walls around its hub She protects what she has From the things that doesn’t last And she fell in love She flies like a dove Gave everything she has She took the risk and trust And, she’s broken again Heart wounded, stained She who’s delicate now shattered Her fragments is lost in nowhere She hunts her broken pieces Even if she cries through the process Don’t blame her for who she is now Her heart’s broken, it will heal somehow. —Hannah Montañano



Chima Ezenwachi

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