ZINE JANUARY 2018 | ISSUE 01
ODD MOJO | DELIVERY BOYS | LUKE BAKER
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.
WHERE DID THE NAME ODD
"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?Â 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.
aÂ 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
6 TIPS FOR LOOKING AT ART:
ART BY AMBER SHEMESH
BY NANA GONGADZE
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. WeÂ 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
at a museum.
#1 SLOW DOWN
#2 GET CLOSE AND NOTICE DETAILS
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
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
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
#3 GET FAR AND NOTICE THE BIG PICTURE
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.
#5 NOTICE WHAT STRIKES YOU
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
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
album, NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES.
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
NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES features
speaks to a population N.E.R.D connects
other RnB and hip-hop favorites such as
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
"THE COVER ART FOR ALL THE SINGLES HAS STAYED CONSISTENT, BRIGHT AND BOLD" "Don't Don't Do It" featuring Kendrick
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.
BROCKHAMPTON: NOT YOUR AVERAGE BOY BAND
CONCERT REVIEW BY SASHA JONES
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.
DELIVERY BOYS BYÂ NEAH GRAY
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 "
CURATED BY SYDNEY HAMILTON
"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
LUKE BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY
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
MARCELA ROYO CULTURE BLOGGER
SASHA JONES ASSOCIATE EDITOR
AMBER SHEMESH MULTIMEDIA BLOGGER
CAMILLE SERY-BLE ASSOCIATE/MUSIC EDITOR
JOLENE CARTER VIDEOGRAPHER
DANIELLE GERMAIN OPINION & LIFE EDITOR
SAMANTHA JAFFE PHOTOGRAPHER
SYDNEY HAMILTON CREATIVE WRITNG EDITOR
AMANDA MOLLOY MUSIC CONTRIBUTOR
JENNA CALDWELL MUSIC & CULTURE EDITOR
MADELEINE HARRISON VIDEO EDITOR
SOPHIE AUSTIN CREATIVE WRITING BLOGGER
ELEANOR MENDELSON SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR
BITOTA MPOLO COLLEGE & LIFE BLOGGER
ZENOBIA NICOLE SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR
INSTAGRAM: @THEPHAZEMAGAZINE FACEBOOK: PHAZE MAGAZINE PHAZEMAGAZINE.COM