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Real Deal Comedy Jam’s FREE Urban Lifestyle Magazine

££’s

worth of vouchers inside!

Tips for starting A

Small business

Hip Hop is dead Has the commercial

success of rap music killed the soul in hip hop?

Reviews events news & MORE FebMag_cs3.indd 1

SEX VS Talent

The sexualisation of female singers issue 03 /// Feb 2011 /// Free

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

Words From the

Editor

B

elated Happy New Year everyone. I’m very optimistic about 2011, I sincerely hope we can all achieve our goals whatever they might be. You can expect more publications of the RDCJ magazine throughout the year plus we’ll be launching the RDCJ Urban Lifestyle Magazine Website. I hope you enjoy this, our first edition of 2011, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s plenty for you to get stuck into. So Enjoy!

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Women’s Fashion: RDCJ Goes 70’s

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Slim in Wonderland

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Tips for Starting a Small Business

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Gallery: Birmingham

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The Last Tour

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People’s Champ

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Hip Hop is Dead

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A Decade of Better Health for Nottingham

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Gallery: Nottingham

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Will-E Robo - The Man Behind the Jokes

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The Gift and the Curse

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Gallery: London

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Fitness: Core Blimey!

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RIP Gary Mason

Sex Vs Talent

The Sexualisation of Female Singers

Thanks goes to.... Journalists Lorraine Copes, Tiny, Dr Kirstie, Gok One-Two, Charley McKenzie, Chrissy MacDonald - Chief Magazine Designer - Janine Bucknor - Advert Designer - Projay - Sales Executives - Samuel Nelson, Damian Blackwood, Sponsors - Mish Mash, Turbo Windscreens, Uplands Auto Centre, NHS Nottingham - Photographers - Krishan Chauhan, Urben media, RaeQKwon If you would like to advertise or contribute in the next RDCJ magazine, email info@rdcj.net or call Nathan 07980795976

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

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ask that you cast your mind back to the biggest selling female r&b singers of the past three decades, and then think about the most successful female r&b artists of today. The main difference has not been vocal ability, dance coordination skills or passion - the most significant difference is clothing, or lack of. We have all read time and time again that music is no longer about just the talent. An artist is a product, which we do not have to like, but have learnt to accept as a reality. I do however draw a line, when constantly being reminded of what Rihanna’s inner thigh looks like or whether Beyonce has an “innie” or “outie” belly button. There seems to be no separation between the talented and the talentless, the rule across the board appears to be, in order for the show to go on (have a sustainable successful career), the clothes must

come off. Which quite frankly it is disappointing more than anything, as what’s nakedness got to do with it? Upon reflection of the music industry over the past three decades, I can think of few female singers who climb to the top of the success ladder, without getting butt naked to some degree along the journey. It has become widely accepted as the norm as a large number of artists start as they mean to go on with nakedness, but when you review Keri Hilson and Ciara’s more recent music videos, who both started their careers relatively conservatively in contrast, they now look as though they are auditioning for jobs in strip clubs. It makes you wonder, what’s next full frontals on stage? As a music lover, it saddens me deeply because artists such as Jazmine Sullivan, who is vocally amazing, has song writing ability

that is second to none, and has two strong albums under her belt, still fails to hit the heights of success that she should. Possibly because of her marketing, but also possibly because she doesn’t fit the “get naked” profile of today’s pop star. Will there ever again be another female R&B artist to reach the successful heights of Missy Elliot or Lauryn Hill, purely based upon talent and not bum and boobs? I sure do hope so for the sake of the music. Does my doctor need to be buff? No, he just needs to cure me from illness – Do get my drift? I will now climb down off of my soap box, and change out of my hot pants and belly top, as I have to go to work! © Lorraine Copes 2011

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Women’s Fashion

w o Me n ’ s F a sh i o n

Warehouse Floral Print Mock Dress

£40

H&M Boot Cut Jeans

£29.99

N

H&M Blouse

£24.99

Topshop Floral Kimono Jacket

£35

RDCJ GOES ew year, new wardrobe! If you’re anything like me, a new outfit is the perfect tonic for happiness. Now we’re heading toward the end of winter, shake up your wardrobe for spring and summer 2011. With so many trends this season we’re spoilt for choice, so for this spotlight I have chosen to focus on one key look. Rewind the clock and get into the grove with the 70’s look, that will be hitting our high streets in a big way. We will be seeing the return of flares, brightly coloured blouses with big bold prints, sexy pencils skirts, and block heeled platform shoes. This season get set to experiment with your look, mix and match away, you can really have fun with it. Choose pretty and prim or festive chic but be sure to team them up with bright accessories and a pair of outsized sunglasses. Take a look at some of the key items that are already on the high street for some style inspiration. Remember where you saw these first, enjoy… by Gok One-Two

River Island Light Denim Wash 70’s Flare Trousers

£39.99

Next Sunglasses

£15

Top Shop Camel Felt Plaited Trim Unstructured Hat

£25

Next Tan Gladiator Espadrilles

£45

Carvela Annie

£140 6

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Carvela Adam Black Courts Platform

£150

Carvela Angle Purple Wedges

£140

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

SLIM IN

W

hen I compared British comedian ‘Slim’ to US superstar Chris Rock, he was more than flattered. ‘I’m so honoured! I can’t wait tell my mum she still can’t get round the fact that I get paid to make people laugh for a living!’ he said. Slim stumbled into comedy by accident, he was a guest at a comedy night and was told by a friend to get up on stage and perform. From that moment he got what he describes as ‘the comedy fever.’ The vibrant comedian has featured on the Real Deal Comedy Tour for years touring around the country. Slim always thoroughly enjoys his time working on the tours and highly recommends the RDCJ show. The award winning Slim is currently tearing up the UK making cities roar with laughter, standing up on stage and talking about what he calls ‘Real issues’ and making the audience laugh by making light of the issues that the audience can relate to; such as work, kids and relationships. In the next few months Slim will embark in his third one-man show called ‘Slim in Wonderland’. On the 16th April he will be bringing this award winning show to Birmingham. Be prepared to expect the usual energy, laugh and madness that you would receive at any of Slim’s past stand-ups. ‘I’ll be speaking about things I’ve been up to since my last stand up, including an injury I received on my middle leg!’ The set will be an hour long and will also feature several comedian support acts. Slim’s particularly excited about performing in Birmingham: ‘I can’t wait to perform in my home town Birmingham. I wasn’t born there, but because of the response I get from the audience, I love performing there. There’s such a strong Caribbean community there.’ To book tickets for the Slim in Wonderland show in Birmingham call 0844 870 0000 or go to www. theticketsellers.co.uk Saturday 16th April at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire. By Charley McKenzie

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Business

Tips foR Starting a

T

ired of working for someone else, the idea of being your boss can be appealing. But not everyone who has entrepreneurial spirit will end up running a successful business. According to statistics, most small businesses fail within the first two years. Turning a dream into a viable business takes research, planning and preparation. Many people jump into their first business venture believing in themselves but they haven’t done the preparation to find out if the business can make money. To turn your dream of being an entrepreneur into a successful venture you must decide whether you really want to run your own business. Not everyone has the personality to be an entrepreneur. You need to be a decision maker with good organizational skills. A positive attitude and sense of humor will help you get through difficult situations. Since you’ll probably be working long hours, having the support of your family is also important. Be prepared to do a lot of research and prepare a thorough business plan. If you’re too anxious to get started, your business may be based on an emotional decision rather than a sound business decision. Ask yourself these questions: 8

• What is the competition doing? • Will people be willing to buy your product or service? • Where is the best location to set up your business? • Has this type of business been tried before? Was it successful? • Is there someone out there (in your community) about to start up the same business? Be sure to ask around or you may end up competing with someone who has the same idea you do and one of you may not make it. You should have money to start your business without relying on personal credit. Having a good business plan will provide the foundation for financial help. When you’ve found the best business for you, be patient and persistent. Most businesses take a couple of years to get established. In the meantime, having another source of income for a while is a good idea. Keep your day job and try the business part time if need be. You will be responsible for all aspects of the business such as accounting, marketing and sales. Many of these jobs can be learned or you can hire someone to do them but you should understand them. Take an evening

course or get a few private lessons to learn the basics. You should be prepared to hire people to do odd jobs, cleaning – whatever you can – so you’ll have more energy and time to spend on running your business. If you try to do everything yourself, you could be bogged down and overwhelmed. Plan to have enough time for relaxation, fun and fitness so you can handle the stress that comes with owning your own business. What’s the point of having a successful company if you don’t have good health to enjoy life? Establishing yourself in a successful business may mean a few trials and disappointments. Believe in yourself, do your homework and your entrepreneurial spirit will lead you in the right direction. Chrissy MacDonald

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Gallery

Birmingham

GALLERY

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

The It’s only right that we dedicate some space in the RDCJ magazine to the last tour, and what a tour it was!

D

I truly believe that The Real Deal Comedy Jam has got the best audiences in the UK

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ecember 2010 saw the Real Deal Comedy Jam Christmas special. The Real Deal Comedy Jam went to 4 cities so this was like a mini-tour for us. It seemed like it had all finished before we got started, which I suppose is a good sign as they say, time fly’s when you’re having fun. We started off in London on Boxing day then went to Birmingham on the 27th, Cardiff on the 28th and finished off in Nottingham on the 29th.

set amount of jokes that they will do. Our fear was, our regulars may not enjoy the show because they may of heard a large proportion of the jokes before on previous shows. So before booking the line-up I had to be sure that the comedians on the bill had fresh material and understood the importance of not doing too much old material.

We decided that we were going to do something different for the festive period. A crowd favourite showcase. The idea was to bring together a line up of comedians that had previously done well on past Real Deal Comedy Jam tours. After days of deliberating we eventually decided on the following line-up Kevin J, Will-E Robo, Slim, Richard Blackwood, and just to spice things up, a comedian that hadn’t appeared on the tour before, Kool Buba Ice from New York. We were a little nervous about this radical move, as just like a singer has a catalogue of songs, most comedians will have a

Alongside Kat, Richard Blackwood is my favourite host. I love the way he handled the crowd and kept the show at the right level throughout. What I love about Richard is that he understands the role as host. He kept all the shows ticking over nicely without eating into any of the other comedian’s time. He did this one joke about recording the radio with TDK tapes back in the 80’s that had me in stitches. Why? Because he took me back to my childhood to Sunday afternoons when my older sister and I used to do the same thing. That for me is the magic of Richard. He takes you to those moments from your past with comedy.

On reflection I think the show was brilliant.

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine Kevin J initially began the tour as our opening act but I soon realised that his set was too strong for that position so he was moved up the order to opening the second half of the show. Kevin is quickly building a reputation within the Real Deal Comedy Jam as a comedian that never loses. To me he is without doubt the find of his generation. I see a really bright future for this young man. My prediction is that by 2013 he’ll have enough material to do the Kevin J one man show. I will be there. #Quoted Kool Buba Ice was the wild card on the bill so it was difficult to predict how he would go down. Some of you loved him some of you didn’t. But one thing I will say is I think he cracked it by the 3rd date of the tour in Cardiff. Kool Buba seemed to have a really strong opening 10 minutes but he seemed to lose the crowd during his final 10 minutes of his set. Will-E Robo was awesome as per usual. Now I’ve seen Will-E perform quite a few times now so in all honesty seeing him again didn’t overly excite me. However, I knew that there were many Real Deal Comedy Jammers who hadn’t seen him, so they were in for a treat. But to my surprise Will-E had changed his whole set so it was like me seeing him myself for the first time. His jokes are not only funny but they’re also physically amazing. I’m still wondering how on earth a human being can become a transformer? Slim to me is our Chris Rock. Big statement I know but that’s how I see it. On tour Slim closed all of our dates with raving reviews. How he isn’t a mainstream household name for me is bewildering. He is the best observational comedian on the UK urban comedy scene and has been for years. His respect amongst his peers is second to none. I’m so glad to see that he is now performing in his own one man show, which if you haven’t already seen is hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed all the dates on the tour. The crowds were awesome in all the cities. I’ve said this before but I truly believe that The Real Deal Comedy Jam has got the best audiences in the UK. If you came to one of the dates of the tour, I thank you for being there, without you there would be no Real Deal Comedy Jam. Thanks for reading my column. Nathan Wilkins Director of JEP Entertainment Ltd

PEOPLE’S CHAMP

S

ince the end of our Christmas tour you all have been voting for your favourite comedian of the tour on the Real Deal Comedy Jam website www.rdcj.net. For me it was really close because there were a few contenders easily four strong contenders. I wont say who I thought was the best, I’d like to stay neutral. Plus my opinion doesn’t really count it’s the opinion of you guys that really counts. OK, the votes have been counted. The Real Deal Comedy Jammers have named the UK’s Chris Rock as the number one performer on the December 2010 tour. SLIM you are the PEOPLE’S CHAMP! People, I think you have chosen a worthy winner. We welcome Slim into the Real Deal Comedy Jam hall of fame. His name will sit alongside the following illustrious names: Kat, May 2009 Tony Roberts, September 2009 Cocoa Brown, December 2009 Kat, Febraury 2010 Littleman, April 2010 Jason Andors, September 2010 and now Slim, December 2010. If you didn’t vote and your favourite comedian wasn’t chosen then you only have yourself to blame. Your vote could have made the difference. So who will be named the peoples champs of our Valentines February 2011 tour? You decide!!

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Has the commercial success of rap music killed the soul in hip hop?

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

I

f we compare the humble beginnings of hip hop culture in the 1970’s, in South Bronx New York, to the estimated $1.6 Billion Dollar industry that it is today, the words that spring to mind are evolution, crossover and cha-ching! It was a culture and music that during the golden age of the late eighties and early nineties, was about innovation, quality, cultural expression, and influence. Having grown up during the golden age, I remember the passion that travelled through the radio speakers, and leapt off the television screen on MTV and The Box. If you were in the game you had a cause, and a platform to share your story, whether that was the realities of growing up in the hood, the struggle, playful word play, or the beginning of the emergence in to the mainstream through the likes of Fresh Prince, and Kid n Play. I suspect that music moguls signing rap artists during the early days had a very different business model to what it is today. The formula for success was not yet thought to be known, and cost of investment was kept low, with a minimal expectation of financial return. Fast forward to this multimillion dollar industry that stands before us today. The genre is still diverse, still acts as a platform for a voice, but the dynamics have changed. The change we see before us has occurred because of the value of genre - it’s basically all about the Benjamin’s. If a music mogul signs and launches a new rap artist today, there are very different conversations to be had, especially about expected financial return. If you were to put your feet in the shoes of a record company boss,

you would probably also be looking at how you could tactically maximise your share of the $1.6 Billion dollar hip hop pie. What we see before us now is a music genre, which still attracts artists and record labels who are in it for the right reasons, but ultimately this is also someone’s day job, income stream, and a gamble of large sums of cash, so there is significantly more pressure involved for everyone within the chain to be successful than there ever was.

lture It was a cu that, and music golden during the bout age, was a lity, , qua innovation ssion, pre cultural ex nce. and influe The importance of marketing within the music business, has recently been demonstrated with Nicki Minaj and Drake. Huge marketing budgets have been put behind these artists, not to promote the music, but to create a buzz, intrigue, and noise around the artist themselves. Which further re-enforces the priority that other factors have now taken over the music itself. In contrast Lupe Fiasco, often described as a throw back from the golden age, had to rely on fans petitioning to get his album released. One of the sticking points for the record company was his resistance to make poppy sounding tracks. Label heads in this instance are expecting little to no return on sales, so what would be the point?

In very simple terms, music moguls need to feel confident that the investment of significant sums of cash, will convert into record sales. It makes you wonder, if they are moguls as their job title suggests? If so, they should surely be able to spot the talent, and create the future trends in music, and not just follow them. Black Eyed Peas are a group who have constantly faced criticism for “evolving” their musical direction from a underground hip hop group to a hip pop phenomenon. One argument says that whilst their former selves were passionate, delivering golden age reminiscent hip hop, this music was not paying the bills or bringing the rewards one would expect for a chosen career. Another argument would suggest that whilst they have changed direction, through evolving their sound, they still create music that they are passionate about. However, now the day job not only pays those bills, it will ensure that they will all live comfortably for the rest of their lives. The soul of hip hop is not dead, there is just not a lot of it left. We have to lean upon artists like Kanye West who brings back the feelings of passion, drive, consistency, quality and pure genius that hip hop artists now tend to deliver as an exception as opposed to the rule. It is sad that it feels to be more like a paper chase than a music of expression, but can you honestly say that if you were part of the hip hop race, you wouldn’t at least try and back the favourite? © Lorraine Copes 2011

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

M A Decade of

Better Health For

Nottingham

any of you guys that attended the Christmas 2010 Real Deal Comedy Jam in Nottingham would of realised that we have fully endorsed One Nottingham’s initiative ‘A Decade of Better Health’. The programme aims to inspire and support the people of Nottingham to make positive changes in their lives in areas such as, Health, Fitness, Diet, and Mental Health. One of the ways in which we felt we could support this exciting programme was to try and inspire people to volunteer to take a leadership role by becoming a community champion. We caught up with Cheral Scott who volunteered after hearing about becoming a community champion at the show. What’s your current occupation? I was recently made redundant from a position as a key worker, working with young people in areas such as education. Why did you volunteer to become a community champion? It was the first time that I heard about Decade of Better Health and it excited me. I myself felt as if I could do with the motivation to become healthier, so I thought by inspiring others I’d be able to inspire myself. What are you hoping to achieve? I have always been very community orientated and can clearly see a need for this programme in Nottingham. If I can be of any help then I’m up for it. Plus as I said before I am hoping this will be a kick-start for my own health and fitness. If I can gain any career development out of being involved then this would be a great bonus too. You mentioned that there is clearly a need for the programme within Nottingham. Do you think Nottingham has a greater need for this project then other cities of similar size? It’s difficult for me to comment on other cities. But I can definitely see the need for this initiative in Nottingham. I think it’s a cultural thing especially specific to girls. I can remember being at school looking for any excuse to not participate in P.E. It’s something that we need to change. Out of the key issues that the ‘Decade of Better Health’ is trying to combat, which

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine one is most inspiring for you? For me personally it’s fitness. However I’m definitely inspired by them all. If we can make small improvements in all the key areas such as fitness, diet, smoking and alcohol consumption, then we’ll be in a better place for sure. To me this is just a common sense initiative, something I’m glad the NHS are spending money on.

If you are from Nottingham and would like to talk to someone about becoming a community champion like Cheral, then contact the Decade of Better Health team on 0115 883 9269, or visit the website www. decadeofbetterhealth.com The Decade of Better Health Programme aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Nottingham by encouraging people to think about their own health and make healthier lifestyle choices. The programme focuses on tackling the five biggest health challenges the city faces over the next decade (smoking, weight, alcohol, physical activity and mental health) and has been developed by the city’s Local Strategic Partnership, One Nottingham, with support from key stakeholders including NHS Nottingham City, Nottingham City Council and the voluntary sector. The programme encourages people living in Nottingham to take the first step toward leading a healthier

life by making a health pledge. By doing this they can access FREE advice and support and find out more about services available locally which meet their needs. Over 6,000 pledges have been made since the programme launched in 2010. The community element of the programme involves people volunteering to become health champions in the areas they live. Working with the local community and health professionals, they develop new, fun and creative ways to encourage people to take small steps to improve their health.

People living in Nottingham can take a positive step by making a health pledge or by volunteering to become a health champion in their community - visit www. decadeofbetterhealth.com or call 0115 883 9269 for more information. The Decade of Better Health Facebook page includes regular updates on the initiative plus information on local services, events as well as competitions and special offers. www.facebook.com/ decadeofbetterhealth

The Real Deal Comedy Jam is supporting Decade of Better Health by using humour to get across key health messages to help Nottingham to become a healthier and happier city. This innovative and creative approach was well received when they joined forces for their first time during a RDCJ event at the Glee Club in December. During the evening over 180 pledges were made and thirteen people expressed an interest in volunteering to become a community champion. Guests were entertained throughout the night with competitions and prize giveaways alongside some top class comedy acts. Nathan Wilkins from JEP Entertainment Ltd said “When I found out about the Decade of Better Health initiative I was more than happy to throw my full support behind it. It’s a really worthwhile cause because when you really think about it, if we haven’t got our health everything else suffers.”

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Gallery

GALLERY Nottingham

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

The man behind the jokes Will-E Robo is quite possibly the most talented comedian never to have been given the big break. Why? This is a question that baffles anyone who sees him perform. He comes, performs, and then like a thief in the night, he’s gone again. So who is Will-E Robo?

When did you first realise you were funny? It was when I made my elementary teacher laugh. I use to be the typical class clown. The other kids in class use to love to be around me because I would make them laugh. I knew I was funny when I was fooling around making my classmates laugh when I noticed that the teacher was actually laughing as well. When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in comedy? I won the 11th grade talent show. Which was a really big deal. I did a performance impersonating Eddie Murphy. At the time for me it was really gonna be a straight choice between playing professional football or comedy. I was a really talented wide receiver but got disillusioned by a lack of opportunities that were put my way. So I decided that a life of comedy was for me. You must be a NFL fan then. What team do you follow? 49ers for me there is no other team.

So what happened next? Well I started working the comedy clubs of my native Washington DC alongside fellow comedians like Dave Chappelle who is also from DC. I then did the Apollo and won it 6 times in a row which is still a record that I am very proud of. In hindsight I should’ve really at that point gone out to LA to do a show called StarSearch which was the show that Martin Lawrence made his name on. It was less hype but more industry. You sound like you have regrets? Nah I don’t regret things I just learn from mistakes. It’s the only way to grow. What is the source of your material? Life. My material comes from everyday life. My brain is constantly working double time. Things come to me and I explore them. My justification for my material is, if it makes me laugh then I know it’s a winner.

What do you do with your free time? I like to workout. I do various things such a Yoga, free weights and cardio. I eat really well and do Yoga everyday. I have a very specific workout. I’ll do 1 hour 30 minutes free weights and then I’ll do 15 minutes cardio. I also like to work on my core body strength. I’m very much into my physical fitness. Which comedian do you admire? I did enjoy watching Richard Pryor, he was crazy. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of seeing him live. What makes you happy? Money, plain and simply. The more money the better. I really enjoyed chatting to Will-E. I’ve toured the UK three times with him on the Real Deal Comedy Jam and can honestly say that I never really knew that much about him as a person, so, for me, this was a really interesting insight. Nathan Wilkins

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Urban Lifestyle Magazine

The Gift and the Curse

V

ery rarely do I read about the realities of growing up as a minority in the country that I call home. One of many of challenges faced is making that decision on where to make a home. Where we live plays an fundamental part in our futures, school, job accessibility and community. I now hope that when I have children that my home will be a home of choice, and of course I would only want the best, but the choice can sometimes come at a cost that we did not plan for. My parents are second generation immigrants from the West Indies, and did not have a great deal financially. I grew up in a diverse community, with people of many different backgrounds. Minorities represented a large proportion of my junior school’s population, where at this stage in life I gravitated towards those who were similar to me. From each stage of my life thereafter from junior school, senior school, college, university and now work - the number of people who were of similar backgrounds to me has significantly reduced. I strongly believe that the early ideas formed about self or who I am, were built through a combination of school, family, community, and home environment. I do not believe that this was something that my parents spent an awful lot of the time to assess, they fell victim to circumstance, and fortunately for my family, the circumstance had positive outcomes, but this is not the case for all. A close friend of mine, had a very different experience, born out of her parents having more choices. They

took a decision during the early years of her life to move to a “nice area” to ensure that not only would they live in a nice house, but their children would have a “good” education in a “nice school”. The reality was that this area was not diverse, so immediately at school came feelings of isolation because no one had any cultural similarities, and consequently she was subject to bullying. Whilst she embraced her West Indian culture, purely through the love for her family members, self hate begun during junior school. Conforming and peer pressure both play parts in all of our lives to varying degrees during our school years. But in this instance, the main cause of distress was something which was not changeable. All of this distress as a consequence of her parents well intended decision to want to give the very best to their children, also raises a dilemma that third generation British West Indian’s are facing, because there could very well be unplanned implications as a result of our well intended actions on where to raise our children.

got through the situation, without resorting to hating herself, was that she idolised her family, and had very positive images of her culture, and a strong sense of family values. In light of her learnings, what we teach within the home will be equally as important as the environment in which we teach it. My dream is for my children to feel comfortable in a room full of all different types of people. Because, firstly they will be comfortable in their shoes, full of self confidence, and secondly I want them to celebrate and embrace difference, and not fear it. The formation of identity is critical for any child, but the challenges faced for children from minority backgrounds is a very different type of challenge, with very different consequences if those ideas on identity and self are not very positive and healthy ones. Being fortunate enough to have the choice on where you build a home is a gift in itself, just be mindful that it doesn’t then become a curse for your children and the identities they form. © Lorraine Copes

What makes this decision ever more difficult, is that there is not a right or wrong answer or a formula that will guarantee that our children will not fall victim to the same identity crisis, that my friend faced. I have another friend who grew up in an area of the Black Country, and went to a school where she was very much a minority, and was also subject to racist taunts on a daily basis. She explains that the reason why she Urban Lifestyle Magazine /// www.rdcj.net 19

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Gallery

GALLERY London

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Fitness

P

ick up any fitness magazine, and you’ll see an article about the importance of working your core. The core muscles consist of five main muscle groups that wrap around the abdomen and back and help to stabilize your pelvis and hold in your guts. Not only do the core muscles give the mid-section a more pleasing appearance, strong core muscles make it easier to do sports and every day activities that require strength and balance. Most people make a critical mistake when they work their core muscles. They only focus in on the abdominal muscle group, while ignoring the rest of the core muscles that make up the torso. The core muscles consist not only of the muscles that make up the abdominal wall, but also the oblique muscles, the pelvic muscles and the muscles that support the back and spine. When most people train their core, they isolate their abdominals

by doing lots of crunches, while ignoring the other critical core muscles. This creates an imbalance that not only fails to maximize core strength but also creates muscle instability. This type of imbalance can lead to lower back pain and sport-related injuries. The core muscles work as a group and to get maximal benefits, you have to train all of these critical muscles. This means doing exercises that target the muscles of the abdomen, the oblique muscles in the sides, the lower back, hips and the upper back. This will not only give you a firmer belly, but it’ll improve your posture at the same time. If you play sports, it’ll also decrease the risk of injuries. There are lots of good reasons to focus in on the muscles that make up the core. The best way to work the core muscles is to take a more balanced approach to an abdominal workout. Instead of just doing crunches,

throw in some squats, planks, side planks, hanging knee raises and bicycle crunches. Take a Pilates or yoga class twice a week to further zero in on the core muscles. Too much focus on the abdominal muscles to the exclusion of other muscles of the core will only create an imbalanced, “lopsided” core – and you won’t get the six-pack abs you’re dreaming of. If your abdominal muscles aren’t as firm and toned as you’d like, turn some of your attention to the other muscles that make up the core. If you’re unsure what exercises to do, get a DVD that’s devoted to core training - or a Pilates tape. There’s no need to get a personal trainer or join a gym to work your core. You can do it at home without special equipment other than an exercise mat. Make balanced core training a part of your exercise routine – and reap the benefits of a beautiful core. Dr. Kirstie

Urban Lifestyle Magazine /// www.rdcj.net 21

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Boxing

Tribute to

Gary Mason 1962 - 2011

...throughout his life he remained bright and optimistic and is still regarded as a true gentleman and a champion

22

I

n January 2011 boxing hit a resounding low point with the tragic death of British boxer Gary Mason, a huge shock too many. The former British champion became a formidable force on the domestic heavyweight scene during the late 80’s, his technical ability, iron chin, along with awesome punching power earned him an impressive record of 37 wins in 38 bouts with an incredible 34 knockouts. After becoming British champion in 1989 he defended his crown for nearly two and a half years wildly regarding himself as a serious threat to the then undisputed world champion Mike Tyson. Mason, a huge figure of a man, was well respected by his peers and although considered one of the nice guys in boxing, often displaying a lot of heart in the ring, his career lacked the flair and excitement it needed to capture the attention of the boxing fraternity outside of the UK, despite being ranked no.10 on the world circuit. Unfortunately for him he was simply around at the wrong time, his name overshadowed by the Bruno’s, Lewis’s and Tyson’s of his era, making him a firm fixture of the “who needs

him club”. As we all know the heavyweight scene in the 90’s was no joke! The minor threat and major ambition of beating Tyson was never to become reality for Mason. In 1991 he suffered his 1st professional defeat and lost his title at the hands of the future world champ Lennox Lewis forcing him into retirement. He remained in the public eye for a while as a commentator for Sky Sports but was dismissed from his post for using the “F” word on live T.V. After fading into obscurity he tried his hand at Rugby Union, then after a failed marriage he took a job as a hospital security guard but got sacked for flirting too much with the female staff. Various other ventures ensued but were mostly non starters and he eventually ended up in the jewellery trade. Gary Mason 48, died after being hit by a van while cycling near his home in South London. He leaves behind a son. It’s been said that throughout his life he remained bright and optimistic and is still regarded as a true gentleman and a champion. R.I.P Gary Mason. By our Boxing columnist TINY

Urban Lifestyle Magazine /// Feb 2011

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. UT W! O L O EL K N S ll O wi t BO ow t w sh ll ou o s ou h g s in e is is nn m a sn i Th n’t m w rd ct fro ondo Do a aw dire in L s i Th mes run co

Due to overwhelming public dem and in association with

present

Danny ‘Slim’ Gray ‘Brave and profoundly funny’

– The Guardian

1 Man 1 Mic 1 Playground

Saturday 16th April 2011 At the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Paradise Place, Birmingham B3 3HG Doors open 6.30pm, show starts at 7.30pm sharp

TheTicketsellers: 0844 870 0000 Or book on-line www.theticketsellers.co.uk

top class entertainment in the heart of Birmingham SlimInWonderland_flyer.indd 1 FebMag_cs3.indd 24

02/02/2011 13:46 4/2/11 12:29:44

RDCJ Feb 2011  

The first edition of the RDCJ Magazine for 2011. Featured stories include subjects such as Does our environment play a bigger part in a Chi...

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