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CEO/CHAIRMAN: Curtis Stokes CEO: jasmine W. Stokes CEO: jasmineAshley W. Stokes PRESIDENT: Cleveland VICE-PRESIDENT: Jeremy Golphin PRESIDENT: Ashley Cleveland MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Tiah Coffey MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Tiah Coffey Reshika Renee Reshika Renee

contributing writers contributing writers Curtis Stokes Curtis Stokes Ashley Cleveland Ashley Cleveland

6 6 j.WILS


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One day, I went searching for Love in the Temple of the past. I exchanged every piece of common sense I had in the bank of my mind for a rickety Time Machine. I set the course for the Past and zoomed off to search for Love. When I arrived at the location where the Temple was supposed to be, I found nothing but rubble, dust, and a few unrecognizably eroded statues. As I stood there in bewilderment and despair, a haggled rogue appeared suddenlt from behind one of the statue rembrandts. "Those who search for Love in the Temple of the Past will only find a place to feed your sorrow and increase your longing. The only thing that is ever to be found in the Past are crumbling relics of your Wanting. Return to the Present. That is the only place Love can be searched for and can be found in a tangible state."

Moral: Don't go mucking through the past searching for what was. It is only in the present that what you want can actualize within the heart.

6 @wild_thevision

J.Wils is an aspiring producer/MC/engineer (triple threat) who is beginning to turn heads in the world of Hip Hop. Hailing from Charleston SC, the Southern bred artist surprisingly brings a more traditionally “Northern” style to his music with his smooth flow and the boom-bap/soulful instrumentation incorporated in his projects. In the words of J.Wils “Hip Hop is powerful; it’s a gift that has changed my life. I just want to influence others like those who have embodied it thus far have for me”. Wils mentions his biggest influences are J.Dilla, Nas, 9th Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, and Common. In late 2011, J.Wils released his first project “Fashionably Late” primarily to prove to himself his potential and secondly for the enjoyment of his friends and colleagues. However, the project began to grow a substantial buzz on college campuses and throughout the city of Charleston, SC; motivating J.Wils to progress and push the limit. A few weeks after the release of “Fashionably Late”, J.Wils linked up with Ife Ekpenuma, Chief Executive Officer of Audacrease Entertainment Group, at the 2011 ColaCon: Hip Hop/Comic Convention and exchanged contact information. Shortly after, the artist linked up and started working with the newly rising conglomerate and its MC’s including: Knormal A+, The Kid (K.i.D. Mimic), and FlameFlizzo.

In late 2012, Wils released his highly acclaimed project “Food for Thought”, a nonetheless thought provoking body of work coupled with smooth instrumentals giving listeners nostalgia of the 90s Hip Hop era. Since the release of “Food for Thought”, Wils has been featured on a number of online radio shows, magazine articles, and blogs recognizing his potential and his inevitable come-up. Most recently, Wils released his first instrumental project titled “125th Street” to showcase a little more of his producer side. “125th Street” is a smooth and jazzy collection of beats that contain samples from some of the greats. It’s an excellent project to rhyme on, but even better to just vibe to. With his reputation growing steadily, we can only wait in anticipation for the release of his LP, slated to drop late this year, entitled “Homecoming”. According to Wils, “I just want make music that has purpose. I want to make Hip Hop music that doesn’t need to be defended, but more so, help people recognize the beauty in REAL Hip Hop.







Aaron Mike’l Johnson, also known as Knormul A+, is a poet turned hip hop recording artist. The aspiring star was born in Cleveland, Ohio July 27, 1990, but now resides in Simpsonville, South Carolina. His style is one of versatility, but he bases his music from personal life experiences. A+ has recently been fully endorsed by Fresh Ink Clothing, a clothing company based in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Knormul has also been co-signed by the skate/clothing/ shoe company Osiris Shoes. At this time, he has released his street album ‘Knormul’ which is now available on iTunes. The release date was November 23, 2012. Production on ‘Knormul’ consists of beats done mainly by Zeli Beatz (@ZeliBeatz on twitter) & the artist himself. His recent single is self-produced hit "Weekend Alcoholic". Video to be shot by HD Dreams coming very soon. He started his journey to stardom with the independent record label Crestland Boy Records in which he was not signed to. Leading artist Alexander “King A.T.G.” noticed his talent via Facebook notes of poems, and recruited A+ to the hip hop industry. The record label merged with another entertainment group, Grind Mode Entertainment, and became what is now known as The Grand Empire Mizfit Gang (TGEMFG). This integration brought many opportunities to the table, such as performing and meeting other artists in the local area. One July 8, 2011 Knormul A+ had a show in Greenville, SC he invited his friends to come out and show support. One of the people, he invited; Ife Ekpenuma came to his show and saw his potential and star power. About two weeks later, they had an in-depth conversation about hip-hop, business, and what Knormul A+ wanted to do with his music. Knormul A+ decided to make him his manager and when Audacrease came into existence (incorporated on November 4, 2011), Knormul A+ was the first signed artist to the label. A few weeks later he dropped his highly slept on mixtape: The Retail 2 which showed his versatility, flow, and witty word play. On August 24, 2012 he released his debut album Knormul (which was produced by himself and Zeli Beatz) and it became available on I-Tunes on September 14, 2012 Knormul A+ has had various interviews from several online blogs to USC campus to SCSU campus to other radio stations in New Jersey. Knormul A+ was recently featured on The AnR Watchlist Music Sampler Vol. I which has been on the front page of Datpiff and on various music blogs and websites. He will drop his latest project: The Retail III: Osiris And A Greenie Beanie on June 28, 2013. Knormul A+ plan on performing at the Fleet DJs Conference July 28th in Charlotte, having a listening party/performance at BlueTile Skate Shop in Columbia, SC, and hopefully with his fans and supporters help perform at A3C in Atlanta in October. Knormul A+ is definitely a hip-hop artist with a brand, a vision, and a work ethic that people will want to pay close attention to.








13 kingcarternc @kingcarternc instagram@kingcarter itunes: kingcarter

14 DO yOU CONSIDER yOURSELF A MOGUL? No I don't consider myself a mogul yET, but I will be!! So I guess u can call me a mogul in training!!

WHO DO yOU CREDIT yOUR MUSICAL CAREER TO? I credit my music career to GOD!!! GOD and GOD only

KInG CARTER, TEll uS ABOuT SOME Of yOuR MOST RECENT WORK? My most recent work is Crazy and unlike anything typical, it’s musical and soul-touching but its all dope, its King Shit and I know y'all will love it!

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR KING CARTER? ARTER? The future holds nothing but better times, big money, bright lights and more King Shit

WHAT CAN yOUR FANS LOOK FORWARD TO? My fans can look forward to me growing As an artist and as a businessman, by consistently putting out great music and building my brand, they can also look forward to knowing me as a person not just as an artist as they listen to me tell my life story through my music

HAS THE MUSIC INDUSTRy CHANGED yOU IN ANyWAy? WA WAy? The music Industry has just changed me in the way of making me smarter and more aware of my surroundings and the folks around me! I know what and who not to be around and that snakes and leaches come in all forms!!!

DO yOU HAVE ANy WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO ANyONE TRyING TO REACH THEIR GOAL IN THE MUSIC GAME? Do the work and GOD will do the magic!!! As long as you put GOD 1st in everything you do!!!

15 The Westside of Charlotte, NC escorted “King Carter” into the hip hop world. Being the leader and consistent face of his hood, the nickname “King” was the best way to describe the rising NC hip hop star. Music came very natural to Mr. Carter from an early age. At just the explorative age of eleven, Mr. Carter created a bond with music that would grow indefinitely. Once he reached the age of fifteen, this art of versatile hip hop was without a doubt, the “chosen one”. Through the common likes of Carter’s peers, a rap group was formed including Mr. Carter. Before long, his high sense of individuality and unique talent bracket repelled the “group formula”, and Mr. Carter became distracted by the crossroads of life, “the streets”. It was just four years ago when King Carter decided that he would no longer put his natural talent on the back burner. His mind was completely made up; it was music or nothing. Mr. Carter began to take his music career’s maturity to a new and major level. All of Charlotte, NC would know of Mr. Carter sooner than expected. One might think that such a creative lyricist would use the common tools in the lab, such as pen and paper, but King Carter has the exact opposite skill. Without touching a pen and pad in five years, Mr. Carter prefers his flows to come directly from his head. “I flow better that way”, you’ll hear Mr. Carter quote when asked about his speedy creation of music. Just as King Carter predicted, the entire city of Charlotte was very aware of his music and its movement. Immediately Mr. Carter took his personal key to the city’s music industry and introduced “The City Council” rap group project to the Queen City fan base. His goal was to unify the city’s well known and respected rappers: S-Dub, Bettie Grind, Royal Tee, Sony Rich; and himself (King Carter). This plan was sure to create an explosion of new viewers from outside his city, and even outside his state, but just as man group projects end up; the idea didn’t work out. King Carter continued on his solo plight to hip hop history. Beating a total of twenty five felonies in three years, staying honest and making music by describing how he feels seemed like the “correct” way to go about Mr. Carter’s journey to stardom. That is exactly what King did. Hit hot hit single “She Bad” took over the airwaves of Charlotte radio sooner than expected. “The Circus is Over” Mixtape, hosted by the east coast’s historical DJ Chuck T, satisfied the fanbase craving for Carter-ology as well. When DJ Chuck T went up on stage to accept an award at a past DJ Core Retreat award show he stated “King Carter is the future of music.” Not just a rapper, Mr. Carter resides as a business man, being the Co-C.E.O. of his independent record label Young South Ent.

King Carter’s “No Choice” album put icing on the rappers career, produced by very well known Konvict music’s producer, Tim Walls (AKA Krazy Figz). Not only did King Carter put the NC rap game in a chokehold after the album was released, he gained much kudos from the producer legend. “Carter recorded his whole album without writing anything down, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do once he entered the booth. He is by far one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with.” As of today, King Carter still remains in the royalty bracket of Charlotte musicians. The “She Bad” remix featuring Ricco Barrino can be heard all over the radio as well as venues across the city and NC. The talented vocalist, Verse Simmons, linked up with Mr. Carter and he now resides on the hit single “Buy U a Round”, along with national artists Jim Jones, the Game, Juvenile, and Jermaine Dupree. Verse Simmons also graced Mr. Carter’s own single “Keep Pushing”, and the two artists go on tour with each other beginning in April. Media presenter “Showcase Magazine” placed King Carter on their cover, and the powerful and beastly rap artist continues to impress the eyes watching. With lots of mixtape features, Mr. Carter’s mission is far from complete. Knowledgeable creator of “Keys to the City Map” , a map that highlights all of the places to go during Charlotte’s annual CIAA tournament, this young rapper/ businessman consistently displays that he’s a “Boss” with “Boss Intentions”. Follow Mr. Carter by using the traditional sources of social networking @KingCarterNC and visit his website at . You don’t want to miss out on this intelligent hip hop’s artist journey to the top.


Stephfon is an emerging new artist that is creating a major footprint on the R&B scene. Coming from a musically inclined family, Stephfon began singing at the age of eight. Growing up watching his mother perform as a professional singer and dancer, Stephfon has developed a style of music that will have a significant impact on the pop and R&B culture. As a young artist, Stephfon was influenced by music from Usher, Ne-Yo, R. Kelly, Tank, and BlackStreet. Wanting to create his own sound, Stephfon started writing his own songs at the age of thirteen naming his first song "Not Quite A Man." Throughout his early teenage years Stephfon performed in local talent shows catching the eyes of producers and record label executives across the country. He was introduced to Track Boyz producer, Joe Kopel, who produced his first radio single "It's True" that was played on local radio stations. Motivated by his achievements, at the age of eighteen Stephfon set a clear path to increase his exposure and enhance his craft by entering into national talent showcases sponsored by Ne-Yo, Janet Jackson, and Diddy. In 2010, Stephfon moved to Charlotte, NC where he continued to work with producers to create his signature sound. Stephfon's big break came in 2011 when he was selected out of thousands of artists in the North and South Carolina areas to participate on the "Pride of The Carolinas" compilation. The "Pride of The Carolinas" featured Stephfon's nationally released single "That Guy" which debuted in February 2012. With the success of Stephfon's single "That Guy" he was signed to a record deal with E-One. Stephfon has grown musical over the years and with that growth he has had several opportunities to share his melodic voice, including be featured on several songs on the 'Interracial Dating In America' soundtrack which is available now on ITunes. Currently, Stephfon is putting the finishing touches on his Album, Rhythm & Me. The first single of off Stephfon's album, "Famous" is currently playing on radio. Stephfon is preparing to go out on tour to share his love of music with his fans. id664338045?i=664338047

open minds

open minds 18



PeNz Q Dot Cash

Dee Mill$ Mikey


Rommel Alleyne Jr., also known as ‘PeNz’ is from Charlotte, NC. Rommel is 18 years old. He is a Rap/Hip-Hop recording artist and he started recording music in the 8th grade. At the age of 13 he found a love for music and hasn’t stopped making music since then. Rommel’s friend Quan gave him an inspiration to break into the Entertainment Industry when Quan released his So Far So Good EP last September. Rommel is influenced by Rappers Curren$y, Wiz, Gucci Mane, ASAP Rocky, Jay-Z, Tyga, and Eminem. What makes Rommel aka 'PeNz' different from any other artist is that he truly likes to think outside of the box. Rommel’s lyrics and rap skills are different; they make him stand out as an artist. In the next five years Rommel would like to take his talents to another level in the Entertainment Industry by perfecting his craft. He’s hoping that his dreams will come true bringing more money, a successful album, and loving fans. Quan Cokley also known as Q Dot is from Charlotte, NC. He is 18 years old. Quan is considered as an artist that decided to be in the Entertainment Industry because music was always his passion. Quan grew up in a Single Parent house hold and seeing the struggles of life flows out in his music. Quan’s everyday inspiration is his mother and he can’t wait to be able to take care of her because she has taken care of him for all of these years. Quan knows how to relate to everyday life and that’s why people love him. In five years, Quan would like to be a multiplatinum selling artist and he wants to start a record label. Some of Quan’s musical inspirations include Jay-Z, Biggie, Kanye West, and Usher. Cash Kennedy is from Charlotte, NC, but he resides in York, SC with his family. He is a 19 year old Producer and Rapper. You can hear Cash’s work on 70% of Open Minds projects. He has perfected his craft to become one the hottest and youngest Music Producer/Rapper that is up and coming. Cash is considered different from a lot of music producers because he has his own sound. He likes the fact that he would rather stand out instead of just doing what everyone else think is hot at the time. Cash started producing music at the age of 16 and he is inspired by Kanye West. In five years he sees himself as a Platinum Music Producer. Dee Mill$ is from Charlotte, NC, but resides in York, SC. He is 19 years old and the twin brother of Cash Kennedy. Dee Mill$ is all about his fans, he started making music and received a lot of feedback from his city. In five years Dee would like to be on another level in the Music Industry with his same friends now. He would also like the luxury that comes with being in the industry which is nice clothes, cars, money etc. Dee Mill$ inspirations comes from living life to the fullest with no regrets and expressing it all though his music. Michael Potts also known as Mikey is from the Southside of Charlotte, NC. He is a 19 year old writer, rapper, poet, and public speaker. Mikey grew up around music with his Father being in a Jazz/ Beach band and his brother has also rapped. Music was always around him so there was no other choice than to be a part of it. Mikey comes with a unique sound and the way that his lyrics flow are phenomenal. Mikey is directly inspired by Lauryn Hill, Maya Angelou, and his favorite singer is Miguel. In five years, Mikey would like to be a well established artist, respected as a poet, and as a business man in the Entertainment Industry. He wants to make his brand the biggest of his generation.


all star Singer, songwriter, producer and rapper, Jarred Jarrod Haynes (born April 19, 1986), better known as All-star, is an American rapper, singer, poet, and business man. He began singing at the age of four, was a published poet at the age of seven, and competed in his first freestyle rap competition at 13. At the age of 18, All-star began to question the way in which he was personifying himself in music. He chose to leave the cliché message of hip-hop (sex, violence, and partying) and write music that reflected himself. He began creating music that he coined life’s music, music which combined his strong Gospel roots with his everyday life. Since then, Haynes has released 5 albums/mix tapes and has recorded well over 1,000 songs while winning countless battles including the King of Albany (two consecutive years) and performing at numerous occasions (MTV’s Rock the Vote Albany, Apollo, etc.). In 2007, Haynes legalized his own entertainment company, White Light Entertainment which he incorporated 2010 under the name White Light Music Group LLC. In the spring of 2009, Haynes found his niche within the Freeski Industry when Salomon Freeski TV released their recap episode featuring an original freestyle from All-star. He instantly became involved in the Freeski culture and decided to travel with his good friend Mike Rogge to the International Freeski Film Festival that fall. There he found himself at home and was able to recognize many similarities between the music and freeski industry. Upon his departure from IF3 he decided to translate these similarities into a rap mixtape focused entirely on skiing which was titled “The urban Segment.” All-star tackled several areas of the industry in this mixtape from a Tom Wallisch themed remix to a song targeted at an entire Ski film company. He followed the success of the urban Segment with the release of his first official album Genre which contained the two popular songs in “SpaceMan” and “IF2”. He went on to do songs for several other ski industry athletes and companies such as South American Snow Sessions, Nick Martini, IGAGE3 and so on. After releasing what All-star views as his greatest song to date in the Salomon Season 3 recap song (Endless Winter) he geared up for the release of the Urban Segment Volume 2. Volume 2 was downloaded over 2,000 times in just 3 days proving that “Ski-hop” is here to stay! Recently All-star has performed at the International freeski film festival in Montreal, BC and Annecy, france. now All-star is preparing to release his newest album “White noise”. To be a Star one must first let his light shine…SuRE!



OVAGROUND MOGUL Ashley Cleveland

Over the past few months Ovaground Mogul has been taking the Charlotte platform by storm. Whether it’s at a routine meet and greet featuring artists such as Deon young or Jarvis or supporting community events such as Power 98’s 28 hour broadcast at The Women and Children’s Shelter Center of Hope. Our mission still stands with one objective in mind “to help”. yes, it’s true that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. When Ovaground Mogul started a little over a year and a half ago the primary focus was to reach anyone that fell into the criteria of Arts, Culture, Small Businesses, and Entertainment, while 1/3 of our proceeds go The American Breast Cancer Society and The Boys and Girls Club of America. However, over the past few months we have gained a new sense of purpose, “The Community”. After seeing such a need and having such a desire to ensure that whatever it is in whatever area that we are here to cover Community events and get the job done. We have enjoyed being able to allow people to gain knowledge and access to events that will enable the Charlotte and surrounding areas to come together as one. you can check out any upcoming events on our website at, instagram @ovaground, twitter @ovagroundmogul.





Ask yourself this question, am I Truly free? That question has been disputed over and over again for years, and for African Americans that question should be taken seriously. We were granted freedom from segregation and slavery yet we as a people still have not come together as a strong united front; instead we destroy, act out, get gangsta-fied with the world or community with which we live in, and get caught up with drugs & guns and violence and end up in prison or worse dead. So what am I saying? I’m saying we need to, as spike lee would say in his films, we need to wake up and fast. We are free, yet we as black men and women are giving that freedom back to the government. Our right to vote, our right to bare arms or our right to live the American dream, the right to be free and happy. Did you know that when you commit a felony; nobody will hire you if and when you get out of prison, so what does one do if you have a family and you’re hungry, bills have to be paid and you want nice clothes and a nice fancy car, well most go back to selling drugs or robbing and stealing and then guess what? They are arrested again and this time it’s the infamous third strike and when you get that third strike they are considered a menace to society. They are also locked up for a long period of time; for some get what we call football years, meaning between 33 to 85 years in prison, like the numbers on the football jerseys. Now, here you are in prison with decades in front of you and nothing but time on your hands, what do you do now? now you are a slave to the system. you no longer require a name; inside you are a number for the remainder of your sentence. Let’s go deeper, let’s go behind prison walls and see the other side; not what it’s like to be behind bars, no, you can see that on A&E. Let’s look at it politically, from the merchants prospective. Manufactures use inmates to further their agenda. Inmates don’t see it as slavery when all they get paid is something like 30 cents an hour or a day, doing a job where if they were on the outside would be paid 10 or 11 dollars an hour. Inmates make license plates, furniture, candles, clothes, farm fish and much, much more. The state uses inmates at their own expense to get cheap paid labor so they save more in their pockets making it even fatter in some cases. To any one reading this especially my young men & women please understand what real freedom is, freedom of press, freedom of speech. A lot of good people stood up in the past so that we could reach goals that before were unattainable. Please take heed and educate yourself, before you find yourself in a situation that you can’t handle and ultimately lose your freedom and peace of mind.







“CEO’s making mega pay while you are barely making minimum wage,” VERSE FROM FIGHT FOR IT

usic 15





ore than music, the Fight for It song highlights the struggles of low-wage workers. It is a hip-hop song with a smooth jazz undertone written by four low-wage workers whose lives have been impacted by poverty wages. Brittany smith, lorgio velez, Adonnis Williams, and Alfred dellahousaye, make up the quartet of vocal activists utilizing their talents to fight against social ills. The group met after joining with the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a union of fast food and retail workers which is demanding that corporations, like Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, subway, dunkin donuts, victoria’s secret, Macy’s, and sears pay a $15 livable wage.

double decker Co., but will be unemployed after the summer ends. he understands that higher wages would lower dependence on public assistance and put more money in everyday people’s pockets to spend locally. lorgio uses his verses to educate people on the direct link of poverty wages and violence. he has lost more friends to violence in the streets of Chicago than he can count on one hand in just the last few years. he is also the youngest of the group whose lyrics spell out the fears of young men of color. lorgio cites his own experience of having few options after high school: join the army or find a low-wage job. Instead of using violence to fight, he has chosen to fight peacefully for dignity, justice, and a living wage.

Brittany smith, a 21-year-old retail worker from Urban Outfitters, sings the melody, “Society has enslaved me and its crazy cause daily it gets harder,” expressing her heart-felt grief working for little pay. Although Brittany works for a major retailer in the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s most profitable area, she only makes $8.75, just fifty cents over the Illinois minimum wage. Early 2012, Brittany faced being homeless because she could not afford transportation, food, and housing on her part-time minimum wage.

Adonnis Williams is currently working at hershey’s, he is fortunate to still live with his mother but would like to be able to make enough money so that he can live independently. This 20-year-old young man has held a number of food and retail jobs in his short employment history. he refers to multinational food and retail corporations that make billions of dollars as, “modern-day slavery.” Their poverty wages and sparse hours force workers to have dependence on both the corporation and governmental assistance.

“CEO’s making mega pay while you are barely making minimum wage,” is the first verse of the Fight for It song spit by 27-year-old Alfred Dellahousaye. He works parttime as a cashier at Forever 21, lives with his girlfriend of two years in Chicago’s Uptown community. he has to choose between paying his rent, utilities, and transportation each month. Alfred dreams of going to back to school. dreams that seem far from his reach because he barely makes enough to provide for his basic needs.

Fight for It agitates listeners to take action by challenging complacent social thoughts that condone poverty wages for workers while CeO’s rake in multi-million dollar bonuses. Adonnis concludes the song by rapping, “make the world hear a beautiful truth.” That truth can only come from the mouths of workers and they hope their lyrics force people to listen to the truth.

Lorgio Velez, a 20-year-old former McDonald’s worker, is currently temporarily employed at Chicago Trolley &

Readers can find the song at: or at the Fight for 15 youtube page http://www.

OGM July/August 2013 Queen City Special Edition  

Ovaground Mogul Magazine Presents Our very first Queen City Special Edition featuring Charlottes own King Carter, Open Minds Music, Stephfon...