PHAZE Magazine

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MEET ODD MOJO PHOTOGRAPHY AND CREATIVE DIRECTION BY NEAH GRAY, SASHA JONES AND CAMILLE SERY-BLE INTERVIEW BY SASHA JONES HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING MUSIC AND WHY DID YOU START? A: I've been rapping for about five years now, since I graduated from high school back in 2012. I was just doing it for fun back then, but in 2014, that's when I started taking it serious. I started rapping because it was fun to just play around on beats acting like a rapper. Then I met my friend Tyler; he was in a group called Kool Klux Klan and just hanging around them all the time and going to their shows really inspired me that I can be out here too really doing big shit. So, I just started and rapped about shit I went through. It really helped me get through depression and still does.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU? A: Working my nine to five job is where I get most of my inspiration from. Sometimes when I get to work I get depressed or sad because I hate that I'm there, but I always

cheer myself up by telling myself I won’t be here forever, so it kinda pushes me to make sure that comes true. So, I [turn] the frustration of me being at work into a song to make something good out of the situation. I listen to a lot of Kid Cudi, Vince Staples and a lot of classic hip-hop songs because they talk about the struggle they went through which is inspiring to me.


"oddfuckingtaco" and came up with "oddfuckingmojo" because I thought that would get their attention then make them want me to be with Odd Future. I eventually took the curse word out of my name and just kept "oddmojo" and people just started calling me that when they seen me at events. I was going by my actual name ‘Mahogany' as my stage name, but surprisingly a lot of artist already had that name so I just kept "Odd Mojo" since people [had] known me as that already.

MOJO COME FROM? A: Well the name kinda built off my family calling me "MoMo" all the time, so I've always liked the name Mo. I was obsessed with Odd Future back in my high school days, so for some odd reason, no pun intended, I thought it would be cool if my social media name had the name "Odd" in it. Then I became obsessed with Taco Bennett, but that's a whole other story. Long story short, I copied off Taco's Twitter name

DO YOU THINK THERE ARE ENOUGH FEMALE RAPPERS RIGHT NOW? A: No, I feel like it's a lot of female rappers out here, people just don't take us that serious sometimes and us not being unified will probably make it seem like we aren't out here when we are. That's all gonna change though, because I have a plan...

BEING FROM THE DMV, WHAT IS THE DMV TO YOU? HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOU? A: The DMV is D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to me. Some people hate putting Virginia with the DMV, but I don't mind because I travel out Virginia almost everyday to shop, go to parties and see family. It's just three places that I call home. Go-go’s and carry-outs are a part of the DMV and that's a part of me. When I'm broke, or got the munchies, I know I can count on Eddies Carryout, and you can only find that in the DMV. Sometimes I like to reminisce about the past and remember me being at the D.C. Star with my cousins choppin and clappin down. Those good memories are stories to me that I like to rap about, so just thinking about shit like that influences me to wanna be back in that happy place again and share it with the world.

YOU'RE ALL ABOUT “CHANNELING YO MOJO.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? HOW CAN OTHER PEOPLE CHANNEL THEIR MOJO? A: “Channeling Yo Mojo” is about you realizing everything is about the come up. The come up is coming up mentally, physically and financially. The only way to come up is to get your mind right. Having positive thoughts and understanding law of attraction. If you believe you can be what you want to be, it can happen. You just have to tell yourself, and to me that's “Channeling Yo Mojo.” The Mojo is you, the real you, so just be yourself. My new music video to my single "Make A Way" is a great introduction to my second EP Channel Yo Mojo. It's a diary I created musically on how I was trying to find myself through music and how I channeled my mojo through my journey. I have some dope features on it with some of my good homies, and I definitely have some more fire visuals on the way.

AS A FEMALE RAPPER, HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR IDENTITY HAS INFLUENCED YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR GROWTH AS AN ARTIST? A: I dont think being a female rapper really influenced my music and growth as an artist. I think being a female rapper showed me that I have to come twice as hard in this industry and to do it myself if I don't have help. But fighting with my depression, trying to overcome it, has influenced my music and my growth as an artist. I feel like dealing with that through my music helped me find myself and helped me find my sound as an artist.

I FEEL LIKE THERE'S A HUGE UNTAPPED HIP-HOP, RAP, IN GENERAL MUSIC SCENE IN THE DMV. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER MUSICIANS THAT ARE TRYING TO BREAK-THROUGH? A: Yes I totally agree, I would say just keep going to the local events, meeting other musicians like yourself, build a name for yourself by going to these open mics or throwing your own event. Stay humble and build relationships when you network.


a playlist of up & coming women of color in R&b curated by eleanor mendelson

Jorja smith "on my mind" art by cloud cruiser

ray blk "chill out" art by fugly arts society

nao "in the morning" art by thaddeus coates

abra "no chill' art by regina eik orradottir

sza "drew barrymore" art by friday oba

h.e.r. "focus" art by emma rgt

kali uchis "tyrant" art by julia's art gallery

princess nokia "kitana' art by sarita




EDITED BY SYDNEY HAMILTON Looking at art is paradoxically

curatorial art writing and how

simple yet difficult. Of course,

little art history education the

just running your eyes over a

average person ever gets growing

painting or sculpture is the

up, the struggle is very

easiest thing in the world, but

understandable. We have all

many of us find viewing art,

stood before an artwork and

especially in museums,

thought, "Okay, what am I

complicated and intimidating.

supposed to be seeing?" The best

Considering the complexity ofÂ

way to understand artwork,

however, is to train yourself to

art that really interests you,

really look. Just like any other

instead of trying to run around

skill, it is something that you can

and see everything, while not

improve with practice and the

seeing much at all. Also consider

proper guiding questions. In that

grabbing a map or talking to

spirit, here are six tips and

museum staff. They generally

techniques that all of us - from

have excellent knowledge of the

your average Joe to a wannabe

collection and are there to help

art historian - can use to better

guide you. Ask what the "must

guide ourselves in those

see" pieces are or where to

hallowed gallery halls. Keep

locate your favorite styles, and go

them in mind next time you are

from there.

at a museum.



This is the most obvious tip,

What I always do is walk right

and therefore the best place to

up to the work, close enough

start. Researchers say that the

where I can pick out individual

average person spends 15 to 30

brushstrokes and tiny textural

seconds in front of a piece of art,

details (providing there is no

and I can’t say I blame them.

barrier keeping me a certain

Museums can be huge,

distance back). Being really close

crowded and overwhelming,

allows you to get a sense of the

especially with how many works

artist’s hand and the labor that it

there are.

took to create the work, as well

It would be impossible not to

as to pick out the sometimes

skim over most of a collection

microscopic, but often delightful

while you wander. You will see

details included.

that in order to take advantage

Take a moment to imagine

of them all, you will need a solid

the artist’s process and picture

amount of time. It is worth more

their materials. Notice the finish

to spend a thorough amount of

of the paint. Is it varnished and

time with the types of

smooth to the point where

brushstrokes are invisible, like

are lost, and what visual energy

the work of an Italian Old Master

becomes more apparent? How

like Leonardo da Vinci or

does the framing and hanging

Raphael? Is it bumpy and rough,

(best appreciated from some

and does the thick impasto paint

distance) affect how you view the

application have an almost

work? Notice any unity, or lack

structural quality, like a Van

thereof, and consider what the

Gogh? Think about how this

implications are of the artist’s

affects the energy of the finished

choice with that.

work. Just make sure you don’t get too close where you bump your nose against the art museum guards typically don’t look kindly upon that!

#4 READ PLACARDS AND SINAGE This may also seem obvious, but take a moment to glance and


take in the information on any

This is one of three distances

you who the artist is, where they

at which I like to view an artwork

are from, the material used in

- next to being up very close, and

the work, its date and perhaps

at a neutral viewing distance of a

information about its donor or

few feet. Just as getting up close

what collection it is part of. This

and personal gives you a sense of

information may be meaningful

a work’s smallest details and

or meaningless depending on

medium treatment, taking a few

your knowledge of the particular

steps back and looking from a

artist or era given, but context is

distance gives you a sense of the

extremely important to help

overall composition, or

make sense of an artwork.

arrangement of visual elements.

Take at least a moment to

Notice any lines and shapes

lean on your knowledge of

that run through the work. How

history and consider what was

do the colors change slightly as

happening in the world, in the

you look from afar? What details

country, where the artist was

signage or labels around an artwork. A typical label will tell

working. This can have either

established in art historical

very little bearing on the

canon as “Good And Important”-

ultimate meaning of a work or it

we either forget to, or feel too

can be key to understanding it.

intimidated, to check in with our

But what a particular society at a

own impressions. Take a minute

particular time saw as worthy or

to take stock of what strikes you.

important to document in

What do you like about the

artwork always tells us

artwork, and what you don’t?

something about it. Consider this

Consider what emotions the work

interplay to deepen how you

conveys and how it makes you

think about a work not just as an

feel. To deepen your personal

art object, but as a document of

experience even further, carry a


notebook or open the notes app

More and more museums are

on your phone and write down

adding additional signage to

your favorite pieces, or pertinent

their exhibition spaces these


days in order to give viewers more contextual information about the artists and movements of their works. Take a moment and take advantage of them, as well as brochures or audio guides, if you have them. Background knowledge always enriches the viewing experience, and helps us feel less left out in the cold when looking.

#6 LIMIT DISTRACTIONS Take your visit to a museum as an opportunity to briefly unplug and focus your attention on what is directly in front of you. Think of the museum as an oasis in a loud world where a million things are competing for your attention, money and time.


It would be hard to argue these

I often think - especially when

gallery can be the ideal place to

we are looking at a very famous

decompress, relax, and take in

artwork that is firmly

some culture. It is one of the

days that most of us are not simply overstimulated. A quiet


places these days that is almost

Much like literature and

completely devoid of screens.

music, art is one of those things

Appreciate that by leaving yours

that can be consumed in a

in your pocket or purse for a

passive, shallow way - just a

little while.

glance can give you the idea. But

Also, try to keep your photo

it is so much more rewarding

taking to a minimum. It is

when you put in a little effort

tempting, but it disrupts other

into your looking. Next time you

people’s viewing experience as

are at a museum, use these six

well as distracts from yours (I

tips, and hopefully, you will be

always recommend going to the

on the road to discovering just

gift shop and getting a postcard

how much more.

reproduction of a work if you really want to keep it with you they’re usually at most a dollar or two). I will, however, make an exception for listening to music, if that helps keep you focused on the artwork instead of the sometimes distracting ambience of surrounding museumgoers. I always recommend something neutral or instrumental like classical music or natural sounds; your favorite music streaming app is packed with playlists.

y t s a N o c Ri w a s h in g t o n , d .c .

it ph ot os by ne ah gr ay ed

ed by is ab el la lu cy

R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y R ic o N a s t y

THE FACE BEHIND NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES By Neah Gray Edited by Danielle Germain If you haven't already, it's strongly

self-titled album, and stands for the full

recommended that you listen to some of

name of the band N.E.R.D. "Lemon,"

the tracks off of N.E.R.D's fifth studio

featuring Rihanna and produced by


Pharrell Williams, was the first single

Released on Dec. 15, the rock band trio

released for the album on Nov. 1, 2017. The

consisting of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo

song was a hit as soon as it was released

and Shay Haley came back with nothing

and marked N.E.R.D's first ever Billboard

short of a well produced album. However,

Hot 100 chart position with a peak ranking

the most exciting aspect of NO_ONE EVER

of No. 65. After a seven year hiatus, the

REALLY DIES that we can't get over, is the

group began advertising in October 2017

bold and eye catching artwork for both the

and many fans speculated the newest

album and singles.

project from the American hip-hop and

NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES is their first

rock band. This fifth studio album

embodies all the spark and funk the group

with her tongue sticking out. Many people

had back in the early 2000s. With bright

wondered who was the face behind the

yellow cover art and a grungy yet simple

cover art, with some speculating that the

concept, this reintroduction of the band

tongue belonged to Miley Cyrus. Believe it

caught the attention of old and new fans.

or not, the tongue isn't Miley Cyrus, or

Not to mention, who doesn't like a feature

someone you'd normally guess. The album

from the fashion and RnB icon, Rihanna?

cover art also came about naturally, and


speaks to a population N.E.R.D connects

other RnB and hip-hop favorites such as

with well.

Andre 3000, Gucci Mane, Wale, M.I.A. and

Kit Keenan, a New York City native and

Ed Sheeran. The last two singles of the

freshman at the USC School of Cinematic

album were "1000" featuring Future and

Arts, worked on a team with four other


artists to complete this project. When it

Lamar released on Nov. 29 and

came to the shoot, her face and the grills

Dec. 13, 2017. N.E.R.D kept the same

were both impromptu ideas.

template of taped over letters and song

Kit's friend and photographer of the

titles in the right bottom corner. The cover

cover art, Erik Ian asked her to stop by

art for all the singles has stayed consistent,

while shooting for the album. "He was

bright and bold.

shooting a bunch of L.A. kids for it and was

On Nov. 22, 2017, N.E.R.D released the

like stop by for the shoot," Keenan said.

final cover art and tracklist for NO_ONE

"The idea for the shoot was supposed to be

EVER REALLY DIES. The cover art features a

really centered around youth culture, and

woman with aluminum foil grills

the foil is kind of like f'ed up grillz. They

ended up liking the photos he did of me so they went with those." After the album released, Keenan also posted a photo of her tongue sticking out while holding the album near her face. Ian, Pres Rodriguez, Todd Tourso and another artist with the Instagram handle @phisqueezy, were all credited for working on this project for N.E.R.D. Keenan expressed gratitude for the shoot, stating, "I love how the photos came out. Erik is a really talented photographer and I'm happy I got to help him." Rodriguez, a freelance art director in New York and Miami, also enjoyed working on the project. While sharing the cover art on Instagram, he stated "It's happening! December 15th. The whole team on this project have [been] amazing. Been feeling extremely fortunate to have gotten to work on this". It's clear that the producers, the band, the featured artists and the creatives behind the artwork all put in time and dedication to the execution of this album. Although it's been seven years, N.E.R.D reminds us that RnB, funk, rock and hiphop can never go out of style.



They may be a self-declared boy-band, but BROCKHAMPTON showed that they are anything but the average post-OneDirection-Era group at their show in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15. Originally formed by rapper, song-writer and visionary Kevin Abstract in 2015, BROCKHAMPTON now consists of 15 members with talents ranging from performing, producing, photography and web design. Most impressively, not one of the members is over the age of 24. The group has released one mixtape, two albums (SATURATION I and SATURATION II, (released 11 weeks apart) and are now selling out venues on their first nationwide tour. BROCKHAMPTON’s rapid rise to fame may lie in their ability to connect with their audience. From jokes about Abstract’s sexuality and his coming out to unaccepting parents, to yelling “fuck you” at the crowd, BROCKHAMPTON understands what it’s like to be a teen, mainly because they are teens. Even though BROCKHAMPTON draws influence from Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar and Justin Timberlake, their sound is original. It is, at times, reminiscent of 90’s gangster rap, but they do not force themselves into traditional molds of masculinity. Overall, BROCKHAMPTON creates a shared space of inclusivity and emotional acceptance. They passed out water bottles for audience members to air-sip, and opened up mosh pits throughout the concert. The 15 members of BROCKHAMPTON are doing hip-hop their own way, and they’re doing it well.


How was the group formed and why did you decide to call yourselves Delivery Boys?

GOLDWOOD:Â "We are actually modeled after the original Akatsuki, the group formed by Yahiko, Nagato and Konan on the ideals of bringing peace to the world without the use of military force. You see, the NYC music scene is wild fractured, and we formed this group with the idea in mind that we could unite this city through music, love and understanding. And the name came from the fact that me and Max were both working Delivery jobs at the time."

Who are some of your inspirations?

LOSTBOY: "My biggest influences have been Chief Keef, Lil B, Aaron Carter, MF Doom, Nas and Biggie"

How does your location in New York impact your artistic lens and process of making music?

YGB: "I feel like being in New York leads you to getting the O.D. diverse range of things that you can draw inspiration from. Everyone from New York seems to be doing something, and when you continue to see growth around you, it pushes you to grow more. Musically, our sound is a mesh of so many sounds that may or may not have originated in New York, the same way New York is a city of people that may or may not have originated from there. We stay tryna collaborate with local sounds that have as much to offer us as we have to offer them, and we make our music for people that just need something fresh in their ears. N****s be doin' the same shit, that could never be us."

What has been the most exciting song to work on to date?

NOTRUST: "Pissed Off was super exciting for me as the producer because my end was so hectic. Due to some wild complications with another producer, I had to come up with a brand new beat for the already finished vocals the day before we dropped it. It was a crazy high pressure situation because I only really got one shot to make something good. It ended up being a really great fit for the vocals though. In fact, and a lot of people don’t know this, Tyrin wasn’t even going to be on the original cut of the song. He wasn’t feeling the original beat but when I made the new one he was like, “Oh word, I can definitely vibe with this” and hopped on the song. Recently though, the most exciting stuff has definitely been working on my and Tyrin’s joint album “NoTies” which will feature all the Delivery Boys. Every time we get in the studio we’re jumping around losing our minds about how much we love the project so stay tuned for that!"

What're some big plans Delivery Boys has in store for 2018?

MAX GERTLER: "Imagine 2017 but leveled up. Crazy videos, big name collabs and some of our best music to date. We're gonna have seven songs drop in the next three months, along with NOTRUST and Tyrin's "NoTies" album."

What's a message you have for aspiring artists who want to grow & put themselves out there?

TY: "The most important thing is to never give up or doubt yourself because everyday you're only gonna get better. Any chance you get you should collab with other artists cause no matter what the style or genre of music, their fans could become your fans and, trust me, Delivery's coming up, but we still have a long road ahead of us. Just know that we keep grinding every single day."

na n o d a M y b " y a id l o "H ars e p S y e n it r B y b " g n "Anticipati r e m m u S a n n o D y "Bad Girls" b n n y L l y r e h C y b "Got to Be Real" d r a W a it n A y b " l "Ring My Bel s s o R a n ia D y b t" u "I'm Coming O on s p im S a ic s s e J y b "A Public Affair" en h s u R e ic tr a P y b " "Forget Me Nots st e W e y n a K t. f e l l te Es y b " y o B n a ic r e m A "




"Blow" by Bey once "Birthday" by K aty Perry "Greedy" by Ar iana Grande "All for You" b y Janet Jackso n "I Will Survive " by Gloria Gay nor "Best of My L ove" by The Em otions "Boy Problems " by Carly Rae Jepsen "OLLA" by J hene Aiko & TW ENTY88 "I'm Every Wom an" by Chaka & Lew Khan


INTERVIEW BY SAMANTHA JAFFE When did you first realize you wanted to get involved in photography?

Describe the moment you knew it was something you wanted to pursue.


I started taking photos when I was about 11 on my parents' digital point

and shoot camera. Probably a cheap Nikon one or something. I guess from

there I just did it more and more and eventually got my first "real" camera,

which was a Pentax K1000. Ever since I've been shooting on film, which has

been almost three years now, I've been taking photography more seriously.

What photograph or photography project has meant the most to you?

A: I didn't really do many organized or planned "projects" before I got to

college. Since I've been here, though, I've been working on a zine with my

friend Nick. It's gonna have my photos, his photos and feature a couple

guest artists. So I guess that's something I'm pretty invested in right now.

What is your favorite thing to shoot? Why?

A: My favorite thing to shoot is definitely people. I love the

way different people look; everyone has a different face and

body shape, which is mindblowing to me. Lately, though, I've

been super into cars and architecture. I live in Georgia

currently, and I'm obsessed with the style of architecture

here and in the South in general. Also, the cars here are

amazing. There could be an old, rusty pickup truck and a

muscle car sitting on 30" rims parked on the same block.

What do you like to convey through your photography?

A: I want my photos to be beautiful over anything. Usually if I

accomplish that, I find that the photos speak for themselves

in their own respective way. I just want the audience to look

at my photos and be amazed in one way or another.

Where do you see your life and career in five years?

A: In five years, I'll be a year out of college (hopefully).

I'd love to have a job in London or New York, which, I

know, sounds like every other starving artist these

days; regardless, I'd love to live and work in a big city.

I would love to work for a magazine. i-D is my favorite

magazine, and to work for them would be a dream.

What, and who, are your inspirations?

A: Frank Ocean is my biggest inspiration. Even though I don't make music, I look up to Frank and hope I can one day

be as cool as him. It's hard to explain. He almost doesn't seem like a real person to me. He's just the epitome of

cool. Aside from Frank, my biggest inspiration is my best friend, Max. His clothing brand, Kong Regime, is so sick to

me. Everything he puts out is amazing. Oh, he takes photos, too. His style is so crazy. I always go to him for advice

on photos or other work, even though his style is very different from mine.

What are some issues you care deeply about?

A: I wouldn't consider myself a social activist by any

means, but I stand up for what I believe in when

necessary. I'm a big proponent of equality; I think

everyone should be treated the same no matter what.

Except Trump. Fuck that guy.

How would you recommend people interested in

photography find ways to get involved?

A: This question sort of ties back to the iPhone

photography question. If you want to be a

cinematographer, photographer, writer, whatever; just

start doing. Start writing in the notepad of your phone.

Start taking videos and editing them on a free app.

Start taking photos and posting them on Instagram. If

your work is tight, then people will recognize that, even

if all you have is a smartphone. Don't let lack of

equipment stop you from doing what you love.

A NOTE FROM THE TEAM PHAZE is a series of media art platforms dedicated to highlighting rising artists and current conversations in music and arts. Our goal is to bend and expand how we value and discover art by fostering a community that delivers intersectional content, new perspectives and equal exposure to both known & unknown artists. PHAZE brings together those who have a love for art and those who inspire, create and dig deep into their passions. On behalf of the PHAZE Team, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us since our launch in September 2017. Big or small, your support means a lot and we would not be able to do this without you. We hope you enjoy our PHAZE ZINE: Issue 01 and stay tuned for more amazing content and artists in the years to come. Thank you. Sincerely, The PHAZE Team NEAH GRAY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

















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