____ Bada$$ ____ ____
La Havas Has It All
Chicago’s Chosen Few ____
KID CAPRI CHANCE THE RAPPER PRO ERA NIGEL SYLVESTER VENUS X
BADA$$ Good Behavior by Christopher Harris
FEATURES Premiere Issue Summer 2013 16 LA HAVAS HAS IT ALL
London’s new leading lady has a golden voice that will soon captivate the entire world. By Megan Guard
32 THE VIBE Q: KEVIN POWELL
The man behind VIBE’s first few cover stories has always been an activist first, journalist second. By Christopher Harris
22 GOOD BEHAVIOR
36 THE BACH HAUS
30 JUST KIDDING
40 TO WIN IN THE CITY OF WIND
Hip-hop’s number one draft pick is skipping high school to head straight to the pros. By Christopher Harris
The world famous Kid Capri knows a little something about hip-hop and how exactly to bridge the gap with younger listeners. By Megan Guard
23-year-old Ryan Bach is a California based artist designing his dreams in NYC.
Amidst the violence, a chosen few rappers are providing he soundtrack for their city. By Shannon Powell
DEPARTMENTS CONTRIBUTORS 6 START
just a Word by Terry Carter Jr.
Big Moma is more than a gay rapper. Illuzion is the next great dynamic duo and Arinde has a dillema.
Reviews: Justin Timberlake, Fantasia
Retro releases from NIKE, REEBOK and PUMA
Find out more about about the summer’s biggest blovkbusters.
Check out the latest G-Ride: The Chevy Corvette Stingray
VIBE Magazine by Jermaine Hall
FASHION 42 HOT TRENDS
Featuring stylist Stephen Christopher and Chandra from FashionIsGret.com by Christopher
44 ‘RAGS TO RICHES’
Akoo’s Summer 2013 Lookbook, featuring the cast of Black Ink Crew.
Founder Quincy Jones Editor-in-Chief Christopher Harris Managing Editor Megan Guard Music Editor Terry Carter Jr. Design Director DJ Larsen Content Producer Shannon Powell
Shannon Powell I’ve always been passionate about music. As a child, my parents played everything from Marvin Gaye to 2pac and Lauryn Hill, so my infatuation was inevitable. Then I discovered my love for singing. I studied artists’ performances and became obsessed with their stories. In high school, I realized that I was a pretty decent writer. My teachers affirmed that I was more than that. I was good. When I got into the top journalism school in the country, Northwestern University’s Medill School, it all became so real. I decided that somehow, some way, I would incorporate my love for music with my skills at writing and the rest is history.
DJ Larsen What more can I say, I’m just a Jersey kid with a ton of goals and dreams I want to accomplish. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals and working for VIBE was one of my greatest accomplishmens (other than graduating college) and now the only things left to do on that list is to perhaps own VIBE and play in the NFL. As time passes, we’ll see if I eventually accomplish those too. #wishfulthinking
I am... Mr. Carter. The 21 year old Beyoncé enthusiast who loves to write and make people laugh. Born in Brooklyn but raised in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, I have seen many different slices of life. My perception of the world is truly three dimensional. I have always been able to convey that POV through words. I’m a firm believer that you are only as good as the work you put in, so I always give my best in all endeavors. I realize that my road to greatness has only just begun but, it’s been a thrill to include VIBE along for the ride. Megan Guard At a young age Megan Guard developed a knack for forward thinking. Her interest in Journalism did not happen by surprise or lack of intent but she found her love for writing by the age of 11. At the age of eighteen she set out to fulfill her adolescent dreams and made her way back to her birthplace in New York City, majoring in Communications at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. . Megan Guard has blogged for the young Hip Hop blog The Masked Gorilla and also contributes to a small magazine production founded by a few college students, Varie Magazine. Only flipping through her older brothers VIBE magazine subscriptions as a kid.
START Just a Word By Terry Carter Did you flinch at the sight of reading that word? Or did it read like just another lyric in your favorite rap song? The use of homophobic lyrics in rap songs are still heavily prevalent. There is a stigma related to what hip-hop represents. Violence and derogatory statements have been connected to the egotistical masculinity, needed to survive in the notoriously gritty rapsphere. Then there's Frank Ocean, the man who brought a new stream of consciousness to the world of hip-hop. The Odd Future affiliate dropped a bomb when he courageously revealed that his first love was a man. A first in history for a black man closely connected to the world of rap music. It was a real game changer. Everyone, from R&B legends Beyonce and Brandy to hip hop heavyweights Nas and Snoop Dogg, were forced to address the topic of homophobia in our society. The issue is no longer being kept in the closet. Hip-hop is the art of expressionism, a universal language of raw honesty and bold truth. But, when you spew discrimination against someone who is honest about who they truly are, it diminishes the essence of what hip-hop is at its core. Rappers like Tyler the Creator using the word faggot as an insult and Cam'ron with his "No Homo" slogan, promotes the idea that homosexuality is taboo. They suggest that hip-hop operates from a place of hatred and intolerance. Tracks such as “Criminal,” by Eminem, where he raps “my words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/ that’ll stab you in the head/ whether you’re a fag or a lez/ Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest/ Pants or dress - hate fags?/ The answer’s yes” and Lil Wayne’s infamous “Go DJ” line, “You homo niggas getting AIDS in the ass/ While the homie here tryna get paid in advance”, shed light on the deeply rooted idea that homosexuality and hip-hop can not coexist. It seems almost ironic that a genre of music where artists are able to express their self from a space of pure creativity and liberty are unable to open their minds to the fact that gay people are exactly the same.
Have we become desensitized because we’re accustomed to hearing degrading terms in hip-hop? Is this the new normal? Calling a female a bitch or hoe and calling our own brothers and sisters niggers. (See: niggas) What will we do as a culture to end the rampant ignorance in our community and our music that we love? Is anybody brave enough to fight the good fight anymore or is it just a dead horse that can’t take another beating? That answer, of course, lies within you.
NEXT BMX Rider
Nigel Sylvester “Just having influences near the city, I’m constantly embracing those influences all the time. There’s no other bmx rider in my lane right now, so I’m planning to fully give the people something they never expected. Of course, skateboarding is huge right now but bmx is just as important and I feel like I’m going to be that voice to change the game. My whole perspective and what I’m doing is just different - as far as the companies and brands that are sponsorring me, and the tricks I’m doing,”
“Growing up, I didn’t have that many options as far as what I was allowed to wear and be like. As I got older, I strayed away from the typical urban lifestyle. I didn’t wear True Religions.
You start to ask yourself what about fashion and what about art and what about different kinds of music? Why can’t I listen to that? People have these stereotypes of what Latinas from the hood are supposed to be like. We’re supposed to be thugged out. Inevitably, we are going to be who we are because of where we’re from but we need another way to express ourselves. I run parties and I sweat and I run around and I DJ, I can’t be in heels all day.
I was DJing at a Fashion Week party and it just so happend that was the day the Egyptian revolution started. I don’t see the difference between a Nicki Minaj track and the Egyptian revolution. They’re both on the news, they’re just on different circuits for different people. So, I just try to bridge that. It’s not that weird, for me it’s natural.”
I’m and I’m an alternative artist, entrepreneur and attorney. I love music like crazy and I been doing this since I was six years old and I been going hard for the past two years. How would you describe your style of music? Its so difficult to describe it because it’s always transitioning back and forth and there’s different things I am trying but I would put it in a substantive hip-hop kind of alternative vibe. Its definitely under the umbrella of hip-hop even though you may see me get a lil’ melodic on a track. Besides music, is there anything else you would like to do? I am a full-time entrepreneur and I own a health food restaurant chain. I also am an attorney. What should we look out for from you in 2013? My goal is to release a new project by the end of each quarter. I have no end date in mind for the series (and I don’t plan on making one anytime soon), so I will just keep releasing these album-minis until further notice.
is a company we own. Salomon and I are two individual artists that work closely together. Me and Salomon linked up when we were 17 and started making music and building this company called The ILLUZION together. We run a gallery with some friends from high school and we’ve been able to utilize that to have our own events and book ourselves as artists.
How would you guys describe your style of music? Joshua: My sound is conflicting because at times it can be dark and mellow and then at times it can be loud and vibrant. I have a big influence from 90’s rappers. Just unique flows and good lyricism. I have that east coast sound/vibe. Salamon: I just vibe on sounds that is original and personal. Just being real with where we are right now, emotionally and mentally. Being influenced by nature and taking those influences and putting it in our music. It’s very heartfelt. Where do you see yourself musically in five years? Salomon: Endless possibilities. I see myself continuing to produce art and create leverage. Joshua: In five years I’ll be making a living doing what I love. And hopefully I’ll be able to influence the world in the way I want to; with people who are open minded. Salomon: Five years from now will show the results from the hard work that we are putting in now.
Where do you see yourself musically in five years? Salomon: Endless possibilities. I see myself continuing to produce art and create leverage. Five years from now will show the results from the hard work that we are putting in now. Joshua: In five years I’ll be making a living doing what I love. And hopefully I’ll be able to influence the world in the way I want to; with people who are open minded. Besides music, is there anything else you would like to do? Joshua: Visual arts has always been a passion so everything in that area are things that are in the works for me. I also DJ and write for other artists. As far as the business, establishing our own label and building up The ILLUZION as it’s own brand, as well as a philosophy and way of life is our top priority. What should we look out for from you two in 2013? Joshua: This year we’re going to be releasing our album The ILLUZION, so look out for that around August or September. We also have a big show coming up, May 26. It’s our own event showcasing our work and the artists we associate with.
NEXT Big Momma
I’m , I’m from Florida and I’ve been rapping since 2006. I’m a gay rapper but I don’t really like to use that title “gay rapper” because I feel like it will put me inside of a box so I just say that I’m a rapper who is gay. .How would you describe your style of music?
Besides music, is there anything else you would like to do?
I would say I’m kinda gritty. I can be trap. I can get something going for the clubs. I can talk about relationships. I’m mixy with it. I can do any type of genre I’m feeling.
I went to school for fashion design. I like building websites and I’m trying to get into the acting thing. My sister is an actress so I might team up with her and get into that. I know I can do it if I put my mind to it.
Where do you see yourself musically in five years?
What should we look out for from you in 2013?
Five years from now, I see myself being a household name. Everything is coming to me fast and it’s funny because I have people say ‘You haven’t performed on stage but people know you.’ I’m just going to keep rapping and enjoy every moment.
I just released my third mixtape, Mommie Dearest. You can check that out online. My first single is called Creepin’ and I’m gonna drop that around October. I’m working on my debut album. I’m gonna bring something different to the table. The name of this album is called The Plague. I’m going to test the waters. I’m dabbling into new sounds and coming up with this genre that I call ‘Horror Hop.’
La Havas Has It All iTunes album of the year, sold out tour and a stunning UK voice. What else can a girl ask for? by Megan Guard
Nowadays, comparisons begin to happen when a new artist has acquired a vast amount of Youtube likes, shares, reblogs and when they’re frequently referenced in the “similar artist you may like“ section on Last FM. “Nothing like Corinne Bailey Rae or Andreya Triana, but we all have similar hair.” A humble affirmation, that serves as a brief biofor the latest London bred lovable songstress. It’s hard to believe there was a point in time, where Lianne La Havas didn’t know she could sing well. When her close friend ditched her for the “cool girl’s club” in primary school, Lianne would put her lyrics to the test and sing for the cliques acceptance.
After participating in school choirs up until high school, it became inevitable that music was her calling. She spent the early part of her career being modest, bagging the plan to finish school and become an art teacher, after just two weeks. In the beginning, she remained behind-the-scenes, singing back-up vocals for close friend and fellow vocalist, Paloma Faith. That was two EPs ago. Now, it’s her turn. Her solo North American tour has concluded but Lianne remains front and center, basking in her newfound, worldwide attention. “This was my first time getting to see different parts of North America that I don’t get to visit often,” said Lianne, still dazed by the unrestrictive acceptance she’s continued to receive by her American fan base.
“I was humbled by the reaction in some of the cities where they knew my music word-for-word and were not shy in singing with and even to me. It can be quite intimidating and it is thrilling to walk out on a stage, with that kind of reaction.” Lianne has turned Internet accolades like one million views on Youtube for the song “Lost & Found,” into a solid fan base that has sold out each of her stops on tour. The heavily trafficked track, boasts the little lady from London, pouring her heart out over the four and a half minute visual. “You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself/Unfold me and teach me how to be like somebody else, “ she sings, as she takes down her curly hair and runs through the abyss of an empty warehouse. Her haunting lyrics are written from the experiences of very self-awakening ,yet rather painful relationships. Her voice knows how to evoke that bedroom blues - either turning a memory of your ex into an extremely self-fulfilling moment or a cringing thought you’d like to keep off in a faraway distance.
“You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself/Unfold me and teach me how to be like somebody else, “ she sings, as she takes down her curly hair and runs through the abyss of an empty warehouse.”
“It’s that selfless moment, where you realize you have sacrificed so much to where you almost lose sight of who you were,” says Lianne. Other tracks on her debut album like, “Forget” (a track penned for an ex-boyfriend who dumped her) and “No Room for Doubt” (written with Willy Mason), also portray her very undeniable autobiographical journey. She declares that her music is written about all kind of relationships: significant others, friends, family and strangers. “I like to draw from my expe riences,” she says. “I have to be inspired by living before I can even think about writing.” She prefers not to write on the road, so these past few months on tour have been about pulling together new mate rial for her next album. “I was able to really soak in my recent travels, where I’ve come from and all of the experiences that have made me into who I am today,” she added. “I think I’ll have plenty to write about on my next album. “ At the age of eigh - teen, Lianne became a multi-talented instrumentalist. She would recite poetry over her piano and
write songs over the guitar. Her parent’s relationship with music heavily impacted Lianne at a young age. “He [her father] introduced me to artists like Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. My mother would always play Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill and Michael Jackson around the house while growing up.” Her taste is a bit more contemporary but totally eclectic. She cites Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, Everything Everything and Laura Marling as her go-to artists, while she’s on the road. “I love what I do, I’m blessed and fortunate in that I’m able to wake up and do something I truly love and I really want to just enjoy the now,” she says. Her career continues to catapult forward but her grind has only begun. Her ultimate goal: Continue making music that her fans love. I like that the music industry is so open to new and emerging talent,” she confessed. “There are many people with different experiences and inspirations, and I think embracing these differences can only help. I hope that anyone who has a chance to hear my music, can walk away with something or at least feeling like we shared a moment.”
GOOD BEHAVIOR by Christopher Harris
“I was more of a smart ass in school, I was a bad ass intellectually.”
Within its multi colored hallways crowded with music, art, dance and theater majors, Brooklyn’s Edward Murrow High School contains a glass enclosed bulletin board that enshrines the names of close to forty former students. Pupils, who at one point filled the very same metal seats as one another to acquire as much education as they could. The Beastie Boys’ MCA responded to Adam Yauch in class, during the same time he began to rhyme with Mike D and Ad- Rock. Nikkita “Lil Mama” Walker raised her hand in response to present for attendance checkers before dropping out to sign a lucrative recording contract with Jive records. Even a teenaged Jean-Michel Basquiat managed to balance his homework with his salvation for art, for two-years as a scholar at the theatre concentrated high school.
Each of these accomplished students’ twelve point font names, are written in the middle of neatly cut out golden stars that are stapled onto the bulletin. The exalted fixture’s title reads: Our Alumni Stars. Around 3pm on the other side of Brooklyn, down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass
18-year-old Jo-Vaughn Scott is being photographed alongside his three cronies, whom all aspire to become intricate parts of music’s most controversial genre. The crisp wind from the East River chills them as they pose in one of their hometown’s most historic districts. The aspiring rappers bear grim facial expressions, despite acknowledging their time is being spent better outdoors, than it would be within the crowded classrooms of Murrow. Scott decided to forgo his senior year of high school and opt into taking classes online – more conveniently to focus his efforts on his budding career as Joey Bada$$ -- hip hop’s number one draft pick. “I got sick of class, so I started making classics,” he boasts in rhyme, venting the choice to pursue his dreams over school. While, the latter has yet to be proven and debated upon, his tunes were trendy enough to entice his own half rapper, half business man hero, Jay-Z to propose a multi-million dollar record deal. As the recently appointed creative director of Echo, Bada$$ is involved with the revitalization of the urban streetwear
brand that placed a large red rhino onto garbs for young adults in the 90’s. All of these tasks seem to have altered Bada$$’ educational route to the point where he is no longer taking any “specific” classes. His mind is ahead of that and he wishes to bypass the whole education system he says. “I love knowledge, I love learning.” But after his mother became unemployed and began to struggle, his desire to sharpen his rap skills strengthened in order to aid his family. “My mom’s was working two jobs. When the recession hit, that hit us hard, she was unemployed for two years, that’s when I really went into grind mode I was like ‘yo I really gotta make this happen’ I don’t want to see my mom work this hard.” Bada$$ has a distant relationship with his father, who moved out when he was five-years-old. His dad’s choice to remain in his life, has quite possibly provided Bada$$ with one of the most significant gifts of his adolescent existence. “If it wasn’t for my pops, I probably would’ve never even started recording. It was that one Christmas I asked my dad for the mic. and he got that for me,” he says.
“That’s how I made 1999, off that microphone.” His father’s present, helped spawn one of the most eminent bodies of work to be released in 2012. As fans and critics digested the visuals for his first single, ‘Survival Tactics,’ and spent their summers marveling over the 90’s reminiscent fifteen tracks - Bada$$ had received enough incentive to tip the scale in favor of dropping out of high school. Composed with shrewd lyrics, songs like ‘Righteous Minds,’ ‘World Domination’ and ‘Hardknocks,’ flaunted a 17-year-old prodigy and his friends eloquently rapping about cafeteria conversations and societal woes. The boys had successfully selected one of the options, too often looked upon by urban youth as a way out of their circumstances. “There are a lot of guys that have aspirations to hit it big [at Murrow] in dance as well, says John Kivney, Bada$$’ American history teacher at the Bedford Stuyvesant school. Jo-Vaughn, he calls him, ‘wasn’t complacent, he wanted to go out there and make a name for himself.’ “I was more of a smart ass in school,” Bada$$ recalls. “I was a bad ass intellectually.” He admits to being a bit of a class clown but popular amongst his peers. Excelling academically hadn’t been a priority of his since middle school, where he says he was consistently on the honor roll. “By the time I got to high school, I realized all you need to do is get by and it was like what are you over achieving for?,” he says with a grin.
Surprisingly, his teacher reaffirms his decision to skip school and the real world buffer, known as college to head into the hip-hop game, where new artists are praised every time they garner an insuperable amount of internet clicks. “Of course as a teacher you want to push academics, but if you know where your talents are at the age of 18, a traditional high school setting may be a restraint,” Kivney says. “You don’t ever want to hinder anybody’s ability to excel at life.” The navy blue and orange striped bucket cap Bada$$ wears isn’t for warmth. It covers his coarse medium length afro puffed hair, which he envisions resembling soul singer Maxwell’s matted twists from the late 90’s. Syracuse University is written over the orange stripe and Bada$$ acknowledges after he is through with the snap shots, that the school was once on his radar of possible colleges to attend – upon graduation.
words were oxymorons and that a progressive era was unattainable. Kirk Knight, CJ Fly and A La Sole, along with Bada$$ are each ready to discuss the future of their eighteen member collective. The ensemble of rappers, producers and creativetypes mostly began in the Flatbush borough of Brooklyn. The group was assembled by Jamal Dewar and “Dirty Sanchez,” after the two befriended each other in school. Their vision to assemble a roster of talent, became a reality as each member bought into the plan. The friends would often freestyle with one another in front of their classmates in the auditorium. Dewar, who rapped under the pseudonym Capital Steez created the name Pro Era for the group, believing the two words were oxymorons and that a progressive era was unattainable.
“People could see there was a bright future for us,” recalls Fly, who often opened the doors of his home for the group to unwind. “Honestly [it was] our aurora, the way that we Kirk Knight, CJ Fly and A La Sole, did things. Some of us cut classes along with Bada$$ are each ready to some of us didn’t. We had to do discuss the future of their eighteen what we had to do.” member collective. The ensemble of rappers, producers and creative- The culmination of their auditotypes mostly began in the Flatbush rium antics would be two compiborough of Brooklyn. The group lation mixtapes. The Secc$ Tape was assembled by Jamal Dewar and was a brief teaser for Peep the “Dirty Sanchez,” after the two beAprocalypse, where each member friended each other in school. Their of the gang would showcase their vision to assemble a roster of talent, lyrical ability on the 17 track ofbecame a reality as each member fering. Songs like “School High,” bought into the plan. The friends proved that Bada$$ was more than would often freestyle with one anjust the captain on a varsity team. other in front of their classmates in Although, the project wasn’t as the auditorium. Dewar, who rapped regarded as Bada$$’ solo endeavor, under the pseudonym Capital Steez the squad was able to garner the created the name Pro Era for the services of renowned DJ, Static group, believing the two Selektah.
Two days after the mixtape went viral, Steez spontaneously commit suicide, leaving the group he had founded bemused. Everyone from fellow rappers to fans and the media weighed in on who the militant mindset teenager was and why would he take his own life. Other than a cryptic tweet left on his Twitter page the night of, there were no clues. Pro Era has carried on his legacy and vision of forming an even larger assembly, composed of fellow Brooklynites, The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies. The super-group known as Beast Coast, recently trekked across the country on a twenty-four city tour sponsored by Echo and Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound. “Beast Coast is just us being a beast at what we’re doing,” Knight explains, shrugging off any symbolic significance. “It’s us going so hard, west coast has best coast, east coast - beast coast. It flows.” “Native Tongues, that’s the new Beast Coast,” Fly chimes in. “It’s like the same thing happening again.” As the sun begins to settle, Bada$$ removes his DGK sunglasses from off his eyes, commenting that the skateboard brand shades add “swank” to his appeal. His other accessories – a miniature stud in his left ear, three Northskull beaded bracelets on his right wrist and a gold four-finger ring that reads “Ish” across the knuckles. He walks away for a bit and begins to peer at the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.
“Shit, the way I see my future is like different stages of different levels of ascension,” he says, still observing the borough’s landmark. “I don’t plan on overstaying the hip- hop community. I’ll be here as long as people want me here. Music is in my heart it’s in my passion. With the whole Echo thing, I hope that takes me far, maybe I can be the creative director of Nike one day. That’s just where my head is. I just want to keep going up. Maybe the clothing thing will put me on the next fashion stage. Maybe the rapper thing will get me to a movie role, acting, whatever… I just want to keep building up, I don’t ever want to do the same thing for too long.” His lofty aspirations hardly coincide with the anticipation that surrounds his debut album. Co-signs from veteran producers such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Q-tip have Bada$$ feeling like the coolest freshman in his class. The album title: BadB4d$$ [pronounced Bad before the money] is a sly play on words and his alias, which concludes with those trendy dollar signs. The project Bada$$ says, won’t have too many features other than his Pro Era team and a more mature version of himself. “I just feel like I’m bossing up,” he says in regards to his growth and stance on reaching adulthood. “I’m stepping up to that platform, holding it down for my team and just being the face of it. I like the way that I’m going about it.”
The expectations are elevated for the removed high school senior. Bada$$ has circled a date sometime during the fall to release his first album. The grades aren’t in yet on the project but Murrow High school’s raved about music program, may have provided Bada$$ with the tools he needs to pass the test. His favorite subject used to be astronomy, the natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects. Becoming a star has always been on his mind.
“I don’t plan on overstaying the hip-hop community. I’ll be here as long as people want me here. Music is in my heart it’s in my passion.”
2013 seems to be the year of the retro’s, a.k.a. the re-release. Here are a few kicks making a strong comeback to a sneaker store near you.
Leading the surge of re-releasing kicks is Reebok. Adding to their onslaught of retros - such as the Pump, Classics and the Answer 1, is the Reebok Shaqnosis. Cop these so you can relive your favorite Shaq moment! Retail price: $125
It would be a crime if you went through summer without grabbing a pair of Vans Vault Prison Issue LX. So before you end up being placed behind bars by the fashion police, make sure you get your hands on these Vans. They’re available in an assortment of colorways Retail Price: 134.95
One of Nike’s oldest models, the Nike Waffle Racer is set to make a splash this summer. Forty years after its initial release, the waffle racer is ready to re-enter itself into the world of fashion. Retail price: $60-$110 - DJ Larsem
Make sure you get your popcorn ready. We’re not trying to quote Terrell Owens but this Summer there is a long list of most-see movies that range from action packed, car-flipping, bullet dodging, planet invading, macho man flicks to the fairy-tale love movies that’ll leave viewers in tears. This summer will be a good one for movies and we at VIBE have provided you with several reviews of the top movies hitting the big screen.
Fast & Furious 6 (May): The hype surrounding Fast & Furious has been everything including that and in the 6th installment to the movie franchise, the crew -- who usually are on the other side of the law –- are called upon to help nab a rival gang. This should be an interesting story line, considering they spent the first 5 films eluding law enforcement.
Iron Man 3 (MAY): Tony Stark is at it yet again. Since this the last Iron Man film we can expect a whole lot and more from Iron Man and his state-art-of-armor. Rumor has it, Iron Man will be facing his toughest foe, so viewers can definitely expect to see a few battle scenes that’ll leave them wanting another installment
The Hangover III (May): The Wolf Pack is at it again but there is no telling what is in store with these guys. The crew is at it again with another humorous flick of their classical nights and hopefully this can be another iconic turn-up session.
300: Rise of An Empire (August): Adding to a laundry list of sequels, prequels and additional movie installments is 300: Rise of An Empire. The epic war flick is sure to be filled with more gore and blood as well as bang for your buck.
The Wolverine (July): Wolverine has always kept his distance –- even from his own crew, the X-Men. The anti-social super hero can now scowl and show off his shinny claws all he wants in his own new flick scheduled to drop mid summer. - DJ Larsen
[G-Ride] Waiting for the right car to ride in style, without ending up with an extremely lighter bank account? The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe is set to debut in the third quarter of 2013. The Stingray has been a part of the Chevrolet family since 1953 and and has been turning heads ever since. This tire-screeching behemoth has grown in size annually. Speed, style and power are the emphasis during its production. The car that has become known as an old man's toy, has a starting price of $51,995 [including $995 in delivery charges] The price is drastically less than Nissan’s Supercar GT-R and Audi’s R8, and Porsche Cayman. Under the hood, the Stingray has everything the Porsche 911 Carrera S has to offer, except for its $98,900 price tag. With a 6.2-liter V8 engine, that produces an estimated 450 horsepower, the stingray’s motor is even faster than the 400 horsepower Carrera. At the fraction of the price of a Carerra, the stingray is a steal.
*Seven-speed manual transmission. *Eight-way power-adjustable seats *Carbon fiber hood *Carbon fiber removable roof panel (coupe only) *8-inch infotainment screen *Rearview camera *Bose nine-speaker audio system with satellite radio *Bluetooth *An auxiliary input and a USB port *Keyless entry with push-button start
- DJ Larsen
JUST KIDDING Megan Guard bridges the gap with the mix-master himself
I’ll be the first one to admit, I’m a ‘92 baby whose childhood made way into a solid portion of the new millennium. But this has never deterred my knowledge in the good word of hip-hop. While I was kicking it in a pair of pull-ups, some of the most recent God’s, I mean “greats,” were raising hell and paving the path for the artists we’re listening to these days. The culture of hip-hop has undoubtedly undergone a metamorphosis time-and-time again, since its birth from the heavily impoverished streets in the South Bronx. Hip-hop today, breeds a culture of new life and re-generation. While many of us were claiming we lost our beloved genre for a while, DJ Kid Capri was here to experience and witness every era of it. Capri was one of the many pioneers who grappled his way to the forefront of the hip-hop scene.
Kid spent much of his earlier years bringing the house down in the club scene and discovering the economic benefits of creating mixtapes. Many MC’s caught onto the wave soon after. When hip-hop fell into the hands of the money making investors, it became easily accessible to the public in the 21st century. The underground era came to a steady halt making the genre, no longer the black sheep of the music industry. It’s easy for the characteristics of hip-hop to become disillusioned by this factor. “I’m watching a lot of MC’s dumb they shit down, that’s how it’s looking,” the 46 year-old DJ expressed. “That’s the scary part of it. Dudes like Method Man, Redman, those are landmark MC’s but you don’t hear their records on the radio anymore. LL just put out ‘Take It,’ I haven’t heard that on the radio and that’s a hot record.”
With the heavy rotation of the “The last twenty years, we watched same five or six hit songs hogging it go from underground to A Tribe radio stations, many people are Called Quest music,” he says. From able to forget the classics that gave A Tribe Called Quest it went to Puff hip-hop its original sound. It’s a era, from Puff era to dirty south testament that hip-hop has become music, just like anything else, things suppressed by the imagery of the change. Times change, people media. This attractive lifestyle, porchange, nothing lasts forever.” trayed for listeners has appealed to all walks of life.
The urban culture has been glamorized under the branding of masculinity, a lot of fine women, power and wealth. How could we forget the term “bling-bling” that was part of everyone’s vocabulary? [Thank you Cash Money]
“How do you not know who you’re sampling from? How do you say Biggie is old school? It’s because you’re not educated, you’re moving so fast,” he says. “If there’s a balance, you hear everything. The same way you should hear Lil Wayne you should hear KRS1, the same way you hear Jeezy you should hear Big Daddy Kane, the same way you hear 2 Chainz, you should hear Rakim and it develops a balance.”
Ownership is the only way to go, that’s the real path to freedom. It’s funny back in the day, Russell Simmons was saying that to me. I was like what does he mean? What was your experience at VIBE like? It was incredible. Most of us were in our twenties when Quincy Jones partnered with Time Warner to launch VIBE in September 1992, with the test issue that has Treach on the cover. Naughty by Nature, was one of the biggest groups in the country at the time. It’s similar today. What were you doing before you got the chance to work for VIBE? I had been freelancing for a few years. Back when I was in college, I didn’t even have an internship, I don’t even think I knew what an internship was back then. I just started hustling when I was still a student in college. My intension was to be a news reporter, I had no notion that you could actually be a music journalist, I didn’t know. I was very serious about the news and social justice issues and I still am obviously, the work that I do in the communities. Was there anyone that was influential in bringing you on board? Harry Allen, who was affiliated with Public Enemy, asked me around 1990 did I write about music and I lied, I said ‘yeah.’ He hooked me up with a woman named Danyell Smith who would later on become the Editor-in-Chief
She was in the Bay at the time, at the San Francisco weekly. That was my transition into music journalism. How did your upbringing help you contribute as a music journalist? I grew up a hip-hop head. I used to be a b-boy, a dancer, and a graffiti writer. My nickname is Kepo1. I used to tag that on walls, all over Jersey City, where I’m from. Hiphop was always there but I didn’t know that you could actually write about it. You had a very interesting relationship with arguably one of the best rappers ever in Tupac, how did that begin? I knew that I was interested in him because I had seen Juice in ’92, I had been following his music and I knew his background because keep in my mind I’m an activist so my background when I was in college was activism. I went to school with Sistah Soulja. The Shakur name, was a name I had heard many times in the community, so, I was like I’m interested in this dude because he’s saying something and he’s bringing stuff. Who knew he would become Tupac and it would be VIBE that would document everything that happened with him right up to his death basically?
What would you say your favorite interview is that you conducted for VIBE ? Well Death Row was interesting because I had vowed to stay away from Tupac after that. I was begging them to give me.. I don’t thik I ever did a cover story on a woman, a female artist at all. We had talked about me doing Envogue, I was interested in TLC, some of the big groups of the 90’s and that kind of thing but we got a call from George Price who was the death row records publicist saying ‘we’re ready to give you guys everybody if it’s a cover story, we was like everybody, they said everybody.’ I immediately got on a plane to LA , this was right after Pac got out of jail . I literally drove through the desert to the California love video shoot. So I was there when they were doing all the mad max movie stuff. The famous scene on mtv when Pac was counting the money saying he’s rolling with Suge and Suge is standing there Is that your favorite? No, everything that I write is my favorite. You seemed to always add the social aspect to your interviews, I know you said you had that sort’ve history at Rutgers but what inspired you to make sure you asked artists specific questions
about their effect on the community and society? I’m an activist man. I’ve been an activist since I was 18 years old. There was no way I was going to erase that from who I was. You got to understand before I got to VIBE magazine I was involved in an anti-apartheid movement at Rutgers University, like I said I went to college with Sista Souljah, she was a couple years ahead of me we were taking over buildings at Rutgers University. We were in marches, we were in protests, we were organizing in Jersey, in New York, we actually created a national organization for black youth and students back in the day, we were doing teach-ins, we created the freedom rides down south to register voters, we were connecting with students in the carribean, in Africa, wherever man. That was between the ages of 18-24 for me, that was hardcore so by the time I got to vibe it wasn’t like I could erase all of that out of my brain like it never happened. What I was doing was figuring out a way to incorporate my social consciousness, my political consciousness into the work I was doing and I definitely fel thtat hip hop and I still feel this way, Chuck D said it best from Public Enemy hip hop is black people’s CNN and it is. What makes for the perfect cover story? You gotta have the perfect storm. I’ll take you back, spring of 1993. We’re in the VIBE magazine office. 205 Lexington right around 32 or 33 st. we were going around the table and we were asking everyone who they wanted to write about, when it got to me I said I wanted to write about this guy named Tupac
Shakur and I had a whole folder, all kinds of stuff and people were like, umm, I’m not sure, no one really knows him, the movie, duh da duh. Boom, Tupac gets arrested. About a week or two later, they came back to me. The perfect storm was I was prepared I had done my research my homework, the perfect storm was, I had gone to a music conference called jack the rapper down in Atlanta , Georgia and I met Tupac, I went up to him, I just put the seed in his head. In fact, a woman named Carla Radford who worked at VIBE, she ended up being VIBE’s special events director for many, many years she was one of the best events producers ever. She was an assistant at that point, she went up to Tupac and tapped him on the shoulder, because she’s bold like that she said ‘yo you need to meet Kevin Powell.’ Pac looked around he said ‘yo, you my dog, I had your back when you was on MTV the real world,’ because I was on the first season of the show. He was like I had your back dog, and it was bugged out to me because it was like here I am respecting him for who he is and he’s respecting me for who I was and so that was a perfect storm and then unfortunately he got arrested because he automatically became a national figure instantly. If you know anything about hip hop at that time via ice cube or ice t its almost like the media jumped on anything rappers were doing it became a way to say look at these dudes man. That was the perfect storm and so the editors came back to me and said are you still interested in interviewing Tupac, I was like hell yeah and boom Tupac is on the cover in a straight jacket and it was so like crazy. Everytime we put him on the cover it was so like crazy because he became that
figure, that dude for the next three years, culminating with the Death Row cover, that was the peak of all of it. Unfortunately, the other so called perfect storm or storm I don’t want to put the word perfect in front of it, was the whole east coast west coast stuff. When I started interviewing Tupac, none of that was going on but by the time we got into Death Row it was all that kinda stuff happening so people were waiting eagerly for the next VIBE like what’s going to be in the next one. VIBE at that time, became the fastest selling pop culture magazine in magazine history. A lot of it had to do with all of those storms that we were talking about. We were just in the right place at the right time. Tupac had actually said to me I wrote it in one of the articles, he wanted me to be Alex Haley to his Malcolm X and of course you know me being an activist, I said you know what? I want to be Malcolm X too so what you saying homie? That’s what makes the perfect cover story. It was a combination of timing and being prepared and luck, sometimes it’s just pure luck man, you can’t predict some of this stuff happening. Malcolm X and of course you know me being an activist, I said you know what? I want to be Malcolm x too so what you saying homie? That’s what makes the perfect cover story. It was a combination of timing and being prepared and luck, sometimes it’s just pure luck man, you can’t predict some of this stuff happening. So it’s more so about the perfect storm and intangibles than good writing and good editing? And being prepared. You have to do your research, my practice when I was at VIBE I always thought ahead
about things I wanted to write. To this day, I am very detailed in my research. Like if it was Snoop, I was doing thorough research so you better believe I knew who Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Doggy Dogg was by the time I sat down with him I had his whole background and I never wrote questions down. I would do the research. I would absolve all the stuff and the way I did interviews was I would sit down and I would let it be organic and wherever the conversation went I just went with it. How would you describe success now at this point in your career? I don’t have a career that’s number one, probably when I got fired from VIBE in 96, I was like up there’s the career. It’s a life journey man, when you start using words like job and career you start putting yourself in a box, it’s very limiting man. In my adult life, since I was 18 years old, I’ve been a substitute teacher, I’ve been an instructor in a Saturday program at NYU, I’ve been a journalist for VIBE magazine and many other publications, I also ran for congress twice in New York city. I’m a public speaker so it’s not a career, it’s a life journey that has many chapters, that’s the way I look at it. I just think it’s a much freeer way to define stuff. Success is relative man. But for me as a leader because that’s what I am in 2013 as an activist, success is kind of empty if it’s not about the success of an entire community. It’s not just about me. If I stop today, 11 books, articles all over the world, speaking all over the world, I just did a ten city speaking tour of Japan, last year. Last fall I did a speaking tour of Nigeria. I’m on the phone with people
today, talking about a speaking tour in South Africa. I’m doing a speaking tour Thursday through Monday in Toronto, Canada. So individually yeah, Kevin Powell what a life you’ve had but I don’t look at the world like that, I look at it like how is Brooklyn doing? How is Harlem doing? How is the Bronx doing? How is Los Angeles doing? How is Jamaica doing? the point of being on this planet at the end of the day is not your name being on the cover of a magazine, its not you had x amount of cover stories in VIBE or that ive had x amount of cover stories in Rolling Stone, Esquire and Ebony I’m happy about all of those things but its like what the heck did you do to help other people man?
“Tupac had actually said to me, that he wanted me to be Alex Haley to his Malcolm X and of course you know me being an activist, I said you know what? I want to be Malcolm X too so what you saying homie?”
B O C H H A U S Photogrsapher: Sarah Kjelleren
The first time I was introduced to Ryan Bock’s art, ‘An Infiltration of Bock,’ bags ornamented the walls of a Brooklyn gallery, in the middle of Bushwick. They were nothing more than brown lunch bags, decorated with wide eyes, lazy eyes, big eyes, small eyes; Forget the Smuckers logo that sits proudly on the rear of each paper bag, it’s a simple marketing scheme, that has somehow attached his name to these makeshift masks. “They’re so funny,” he laughs, sitting cross legged on the floor of his large bedroom turned art studio. “It’s such a simple, sort of iconic item, I’ve also been sending them to people I know all around the world. There are people in Tibet taking pictures.” If you sift through the Bock man’s “Bashful Bag” project live on Tumblr, sure enough, there are people snapping pics from Australia to the rivers in the island of Laos. Culture has always influenced Ryan’s work and even through his simple, yet ongoing bashful bag series, Ryan brings that to life. “My dad is from South Africa and we’ve always gone back there every couple of years and that’s like a huge influence- just seeing Africa and seeing the traditional art,” says Ryan. “You put a mask on and it’s almost like that mask possesses you and changes how you interact with people and how you deal with things. That also plays into the bags as well- it’s the cheapest, easiest way you can wear something over your face and be blind too, which is the best part.” There is art everywhere, Ryan Bock art, traded art, masks, paintings, you name it. “One thing I do have is a lot of stuff,” says the 23-year-old California born artist, while maneuvering through a collection of carefully completed black and white print drawings, unintentionally stashed under a few books. Born with a pencil and a paintbrush, Ryan Bock has always been drawn to the art world. When the young Bock moved from New York City and began attending an arts high school in Dallas, Texas, he was finally forced to depend on one medium. Consider him a jack of all trades. While adults were advising him to stick to one craft growing up, Ryan, inspired by theater, film, and painting, wanted to do it all. “Theater is something I’ve always done in school and I just kind of decided I wanted to do art instead,” he confesses. “I’m always thinking about how could I push beyond like a flat painting or drawing, how could I extend the feeling?”
The young artist graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, found his way back to the concrete jungle and has been making his rounds through New York City galleries since. “People see me and at first don’t expect anything from my artthen they actually see it,” he says. He appears completely at ease by the prejudice he receives, pleased with it, rather- an element of surprise. Two paintings sit planted on the floor. A two part series he has titled The Screen is To Humanity as the Moth is To a FlameThe Flat Screen. Picture it: a humanistic cubism dream soaring towards a radiating white screen. Much of Ryan Bock’s art takes on a darker approach to the human life. Inspired by Picasso, the Brothers Quay, and Lyonel Feininger, Bock has no problem tackling non-conservative themes. In another painting, he has illustrated three pigs dressed as nuns, a piece inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, a Dutch painter whose work is well known for its depiction of moral and religious concepts. It projects a provocative undertone, that is almost a seal your lips topic you’d like to avoid but it’s nearly impossible. “If you see something I’ve made and it makes you question anything, than my job is pretty much done. I’m not a preacher I don’t know the answers, I’m just sort of questioning,” says Bock. “Questioning social norms and art, as the art world.” His creative process continues to evolve. Lately, Ryan spends a lot of time creating messages reflected off of one image. “I’ll find objects and the object will sort of dictate which direction I go,” he admits. “If it’s a door than it’s a portal or maybe something needs to be guarding the portal, something along those lines. The shape is really important too, depending on what the shape says to me, than it will go in that particular direction.” These days Bock is also a visual artist, proficient in stop motion and hand drawn animation. He’s been working on a music video, as his next project. “I try to put myself into situations where I’m struggling,” he says, openly admitting that he often stays away from computer tampering, in an effort to evoke raw emotion through his art. “I try to put myself into situations where I’m struggling and push myself because that’s when the best breakthrough is happening.”
- Megan Guard
TO WIN IN THE CITY OF WIND by Shannon Powell
Summertime Chi is a beautiful sight. The crisp sunset on Lakeshore Drive, families coasting along North Avenue beach, couples hand-in-hand, walking up to Millennium Park. The children sit atop the highest heights on the Navy Pier’s mighty Ferris Wheel, grabbing wondrous views of the entire city. If they look closely enough, they’ll find nestled away in some of the city’s most notorious neighborhoods, the relentless Chi-town go-getters.
The Rapper Raps just make him anxious and acid makes him crazy.
Musical Influences: I’m a big R&B guy. I’m a huge R. Kelly fan. That nigga’s from Chicago and he went to high school with my momma. The first time I knew I wanted to rap, was probably after listening to College Dropout. I decided I was going to be a rapper.I instantly fell in love with it. The first time I recorded, I was super young. I was like 12 or 13. I was ready, got all my shit together and recorded over two songs with Kanye beats. How Chicago has shaped Chance: Chicago’s got a super rich culture. The blues movement, the origins of rock, house music and juke music, so many different genres come through Chicago. A lot of it translates into my music. I’d definitely be a different person if I wasn’t from there.
His Story : I have a different story to tell. I think the reason a lot of people know more about Keef is because that movement was so blown up. I appreciate it because it brought light to Chicago in terms of the music scene, but beyond that, the gun violence efforts they’re making in Chicago and the underfunded schools. I can appreciate that being brought to the limelight. If you listen to my music, I do like to spread a message of fun and love...Every song I want to have a certain amount of resonance and have people take it in and respect it. I can’t necessarily tell you exactly what I want people to take from my music but I want people to listen to it.
Meet Vic Mensa How Chicago has shaped Vic: Ever since I was a kid, Chicago has influenced my subject matter, the way I view a lot of things in the world, what I talk about and the way I talk about it. I view a lot of things in the world since I first started writing and ever since I was a kid, (This kind of sounds really awkward. lol I don’t think the two sentences that I had are long at all and it makes more sense if you keep it altogether as “ Chicago has influenced my subject matter, what I talk about and the way I talk about it. The Difference: I have a voice that says a lot more than a lot of people. I think that my songwriting is a lot more unorthodox, I mean, it’s myself. There’s also a lot of unique styles, a lot of people doing their own thing and I mess with everybody doing that. But, I definitely think I’m better than most.There’s a lot of good shit coming out, but I just think that I’m hotter than that shit!
Meet BJ the Chicago Kid How Chicago has shaped BJ:
The rules growing up in Chicago has done so much, as far as my life and music, they help you out musically-- like keep your mouth closed and you still could remain the coolest guy in the room. The coolest guy ain’t always the one that’s talking to you. Certain rules you kind of get, because of the rules that I’ve been raised by and grew up with, I’ve learned from Chicago. They help you out musically. It keeps you cool. It keeps you being the coolest guy in the room, versus being the one nobody wants to be around. Coming out of Chicago: You’ve got artists like Chance the Rapper, you’ve got guys like me, you’ve got guys like Mikey [Sir Michael Rocks], GLC. Each voice hasn’t been known by the world as a Chicago sound.this is another part of Chicago and you can’t think of Chicago without thinking of me
Meet Chella H Her Story: I’m in the real bitch lane - saying things that others won’t say, talking about how I grew up. A lot of bitches grew up just like me—no father, baby young, momma on drugs, kidnapped thrown in the trunk. That’s just real shit that I talk about and it hasn’t been touched really. There’s nobody that’s coming out with this type of music.
Gang Violence & Music The younger generation is turning up more on the gang side. I guess I’m kinda used to it. When we hear gunshots, it’s like “oh, cut the radio up.” It’s just normal to us. I’m kind of immune to it. When Sosa came out, a lot of [kids] saw how he got on, so a lot of them [are] mimicking what he did. Even if they didn’t do [violent crimes], [they’re] making music about it. They feel like they need to follow [Sosa]. There’s no leadership. Five to 10 years ago, you had leaders over the gangs. It was more organized. Now, all the leaders are locked up or dead, so you just got a bunch of niggas. They ain’t respecting each other. She’s in First Place: I just think this is like the first time Chicago’s really been in the lead. Over the past years, cities like New York, you know Atlanta, stuff like that...they’ve been doing that shit for a minute. It’s just good to know that my team is in the lead right now.
J T - The 20/20 Experience
Nobody makes drug use sound classier than Mr. Suit and Tie himself. Justin Timberlake begins ‘The 20/20 Experience’ with "Pusher Love Girl", an intoxicating number that creeps into your bloodstream and sets the mood for the rest of this musical addiction. Logging in at eight minutes, Justin let's us know from the start, that he wants to take us on a journey. An extravaganza worth the seven year wait. Timberlake's signature "Suit & Tie" anthem never gets old. Laced with a fresh verse from the Jigga man himself, this instantly feels like a classic. By the third track, Justin demands you to get out your seat and dance. "Don't Hold The Wall" he orders on the Bollywoodstyle beat. Blending a mix of pop, hip-hop and Middle Eastern influences, this infectious track has international appeal. Let The Groove In" begins with a tribal-like chant, then breaks into a lively mix of instruments to get even the stiffest foots tapping. This song literally jumps off of the wax and comes to life. The showy tune, which would fit perfectly in a Broadway play, begs to be performed in front of an audience. From the title "Spaceship Coupe" it seems like this song would have a futuristic sound, but it's actually far from that. The laid back R&B melody taps into a 90's style love ballad. The Girl" is immediately catchy, mainly because of Justin's chameleon ability to pull off this retro 60's swing sound. "Mirrors" is possibly the best track on this album. It’s Timberlake’s happy ending to "Cry Me A River.” Justin serenades the reflection of his heart. He's clearly smitten in love and not afraid to show it. “The 20/20 Experience” is polished with elegance, thanks to the mastermind that is Timothy Mosley. One flaw from the man who brought sexy back is his lack of profound lyrics but lucky for JT, he makes up for it with his too-cool-for-school confidence and silky smooth vocals. A few moments are reminiscent of his previous solo albums, “Justified” and “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” And that's where he plays it smart, keeping his signature sound, all while creating something cutting-edge. Like fine wine, Justin proves to get better with time. - Terry Carter
Fantasia - Side Effects of You
Sometimes you have to lose to win again. If anyone is a testament to that, it’s American Idol Season 3 champion, Fantasia Barrino. Life hasn’t always been a fairytale for the gospel soul-R&B singer. She shares the lessons she’s learned from her string of heartaches, on her new album Side Effects of You. “Lighthouse” sounds like a page ripped straight from Fantasia’s personal diary. The southern belle flexes her rapping skills, reminding her biggest critics that she will continue to shine bright— like a lighthouse. “If I Was A Bird” finds Fantasia longing to take flight away from a relationship undeserving of her love. The self-reflective lyrics, fit perfectly over the violin driven arrangement. “In Deep” is a beautifully written ballad about unconditional love. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, when it comes to love, Ms. Barrino wants it all. “Change Your Mind” forms its own genre of Rock & Blues (see: Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” meets Pink’s “So What”) Fantasia promises to put it down so good on her ex flame, he’ll forget why he left in the first place.
Fellas, don’t think winning over her heart will be that easy. You got “So Much To Prove.” “If you want this lovin’/ Imma need about 100 more reasons/ so before I just let go/ show me why you so special,” Tasia schools listeners on her rules of love. On track seven, she gives her man a deadline to “Get Right.” This funk-soul tune is full of energy and attitude that would fit perfectly on Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Fantasia calls on Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott to talk their shit on “Without Me.” A read to every deadbeat ex they’ve ever dated. These independent women ponder on the trap infused R&B beat “Where would you be/ Without me?” Elliott delivers a classic verse reminding us why she’s missed. The songbird took a risk sticking to only one producer for her fourth LP but the reward is a solid body of work worth the gamble. Side Effects of You is Fantasia’s sassiest, most playful, yet assertive album to date. Even on her signature heartbreak love songs, Fantasia is no victim. Here’s to Fantasia finding the strength and confidence to win, again. - Terry Carter
Chandra – designer, fashion blogger, and CEO of FashionIsGreat.com
TRENDY Stephen Christopher – Stylist, designer, and fashion blogger
When it comes to fashion, knowing what to wear or how to put it together can be a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for a way to revamp your wardrobe, or just achieve a hot look for a night out, a helping hand is always a good thing. These style extraordinaires don’t just love fashion, they live it. Below, they offer up some tips, tricks, and rules of thumb that you can incorporate into your summertime look “Style is something you can’t buy, that can be created. It’s a voice of your own, in this “Confused men, wearing a world that makes you stand skirt or leggings is too much. Everything that your favorite out from all the rest.”- Chanel celeb or designer does, is not for everyone.” -SC “If you love it, I think you should “wear it, regardless of the trends. Heel-less shoes or anything with excessive use of “A good watch is classic, spikes can go.”-Chanel universal and ladies love it. It’s a stylish accessory.” -sc
Photographer: Colin Thierens Stylist: Sigourney Salley Clothing (All AKOO Brand)
Sassy (Right on Girl Tee)
Puma (Hot Box Tank, Scavenger Cargo Shorts)
Oâ€™shit (Super Sunglasses, Hammock Shirt, Black Ivy Shorts)
Walt (Black Flag Hat, Summertime Tee, Grind Shorts)
I don’t think the book is going to go away. The audience is going towards digital. The magazine is sort’ve a marketing tool. One of the things print does, is it allows people to read stories in long form. Magazines contain lengthy, quality pieces. People are able to consume 10,000 word pieces in print format, easier than a digital platform. VIBE has lasted twenty years because we’ve done a great job documenting the culture. It’s more than hip-hop. We put the culture in perspective and deliver the hot shit people need to know. I’ve chosen to broaden the perspective of the book because that’s what the music listener is now. They listen to everything, hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock, they mix-match.
My favorite issue was Foxy’s first cover because two stories [I remember] were really well done. Danyell did a good job getting into the physche of Foxcy and she painted a really nice picture of her. Jay’s first VIBE issue is another one I enjoy. He and the author, Dream Hampton already had a great rapport. I remember Dream asking Jay if he had ever killed anybody and in Jay’s usual witty humor he goes ‘if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.’
words by Jermaine Hall
My favorite issue to work on was my first Juice issue, featuring Eminem and Dre on one cover and Puff, Ross and Janelle on the other. That was the first time anyone got Dre and Eminem together in over ten years. We were alble to get an update on ‘Detox’ and the Eminem story talked about Eminem’s problems with drugs, which he had never really expanded on. The Puff, Ross, Janelle cover just made a lot of sense. The Puff portion is the only story I wrote as Editor-in-Chief. I chose to do it because I had so much interatction with Puff. I really feel like I know that dude and what makes him tick. If VIBE was a person and I had a chance to say something to him/her I would say, ‘do you ever regret not putting Madonna on the cover?’ I feel that I know VIBE. I know it pretty intamitely, there are very few questions about VIBE I don’t already know the answers to.