So FN Dope Magazine Issue #8

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PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley

PHOTO BY: Christopher



hat’s good! Thank you for your interest in So FN Dope Magazine. We are a brand new magazine based on the West Coast looking to make an impact in the entertainment industry by highlighting music, performance, and the entrepreneurial spirit of independent artists, all across the country. Our staff constantly spends countless hours scouring for dope content to feature including, but not limited to, new music, music videos, artwork, interviews, comedy, models, live performances, photographers and bloggers. In other words, we are always looking for new content for our digital magazine as well as our website. It is going to take dope independent artists like you to help build our brand, but it will also take magazines like us to give indie artists a platform to be heard. We would love to feature your music, videos, mix-tapes, photography, artwork, as well as set up interview arrangements for future issues of So FN Dope Magazine. Let’s work together and leave our mark on the industry to show the world why we are So FN Dope!

DISCLAIMER: Here at So FN Dope Magazine, we have done our best to provide content that is up to date and correct. However, changes may have occurred since the content was submitted that may affect the accuracy of this issue for which So FN Dope Magazine holds no responsibility. The views and opinions of our contributors are not necessarily shared with So Fn Dope Magazine or its staff nor are we liable for their views and opinions or how they may be interpreted.


FOUNDERS / Editors in Chief Walter Michael Welch Jr. Corey Norwood Sr. Director of Marketing and Advertising Servon Moss Director of Arts and Entertainment Ashton Francois CONTRIBUTORS Wendi Nicole Artistry T1VISUALS SRGK STUDIOS The Makeover Paris Eaden Myles JB & Benny Blue Review Curve Brows Caravan Film Crews Unique Image Entertainment On The Avenue Apparel Shadow Promotions YXCVLI Wairehouze Entertainment Seven Cognac Mr. HIGHCLASS Designer Telley TEAM PRETTY BEAST UNFAZED COVER STORY RAQUEL “PRETTY BEAST” MILLER CREW Photographer: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien Hair : Paris Monique Make-up: Wendi Hardiman Stylist: Mr. Highclass & Designer Telley FEATURED Denisia Aina Brei’Yon Raquel Miller GUEST WRITERS Miss Ikonic Ikonic Music Blog Dr. Avis Foley Cover Photographer Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien Contributing Photographers T1VISUALS







TOP 7 ALIVE OR IN HEAVEN: FEMALE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS written by special guest writer Jia “Miss Ikonic” McMillan-Shipley of the Ikonic Music Blog.

DOPER THAN MOST Check our this inspiration article on ‘Excellence’written by our special guest writer Dr. Avis Foley

DOPE QUOTES Stay Positive! Dive into some inspirational quotes both the past and present from some very influential people in entertainment


DENISIA Bounce music is back and it looks like Denesia is making sure it is here to stay. Check out her article on page 22.


AINA BREI’YON Check out Chi-Town’s hidden gem as she talks about her influences in music and how and why she feels record labels are limitations.


RAQUEL “PRETTY BEAST” MILLER Check out our interview with professional boxer Ms Raquel Miller as she gives us an in depth interview about her life in and outside of the ring.















he year 2018 has finally come to a close! This year has certainly been an exciting one. Going into this year, we set some very specific goals for So FN Dope Magazine and we are proud to say that we have hit every one of them. We would like to send out a shout out to all those who contributed to the success of the magazine this year. You all know who you are. Also we’d give special thanks to all the individuals who were on the cover of each issue; David Banner, PJ Morton, Omar J. Dorsey and also Ms. Raquel Miller who happens to be on the cover of this special all

Corey Norwood Sr. Co-Founder So FN Dope Magazine

women’s issue. This particular issue marks our eighth since we have started the magazine and we thought it would be only fitting to do something for the ladies by dedicating this entire issue to women who possess characteristics that we all love. STRENGTH, INTELLIGENCE, BEAUTY, TALENT, PERSEVERANCE, DETERMINATION, are just a few of the qualities that these women possess. Please take the time to read their stories. Each of them gives their own unique account of their lives and how they came to be the successful women that they are today. Thank you all for allowing our readers to briefly peer into each of your lives. The impact will be far greater than you will ever know.


INTELLIGENCE, BEAUTY, TALENT, PERSEVERANCE, DETERMINATION, are just a few of the qualities that these women possess.”


Walter M. Welch Jr. Co-Founder So FN Dope Magazine








Billie Holiday (Singer, Songwriter)

Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan, was a jazz and blues singer who rose as a social exhibition in the 1950s and her poignant voice is still considered to be one of the greatest jazz voices of all time. She’s most renowned for her controversial single “Strange Fruit” an emotive ballad about the lynching of a black man released in 1939 as a song but


he music and entertainment industry would be nothing without the audacious female souls that spearheaded its evolution. The entertainment industry, at times, appears to be male dominated and although females might be technically outnumbered they are not out-done. Women have commanded attention and notoriety in the entertainment sector from Billie Holiday to Cardi B. The few and the proud, females are the Marines of the music and entertainment business as we know it. The following list highlights female entertainment moguls from then and now.

by Jia ‘Miss Ikonic’ McMillan-Shipley

originally composed as a poem written by teacher Abel Meeropol and published in 1937. Lady Day faced racism, violence, prejudice and injustice due to her valiant decision to sing a song with that degree of intrepid lyricism during such a chaotic and discriminatory time in our American history. She made her true singing debut in obscure Harlem nightclubs and the fervor for singing beamed through Holiday like none other. She was a star. She was also a drug addict, an abuse victim, domestic and sexual but she was truly one rebellious soul. Billie led the trend of thoughtless doings, merely being herself regardless of onlookers. In such a judgmental era her soul was freed by music although her body was trapped under the perils of substance abuse and poor decisions in friends. Why is Lady Day in the top seven female music and entertainment industry influencers because she was gallant, timeless, fearless in her career and she helped pave the way for woman like her to make music, to be a black woman singing in Carnegie Hall, to travel during that era with an all-white band and to keep her personal demons at bay long enough to make her one of the most celebrated jazz singers of all time.




(Singer, Songwriter, Spokesperson, Model, Actress, and Fashion Designer )

What makes you legendary as a musician or entertainment aficionado is your impact. Selena impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands through her music, style and vivacious personality – she was an effortless star, no doubt. Born Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, she was more than just a singer but a songwriter, spokesperson, model, actress, and fashion designer. Fittingly titled the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and

TOP 7 fashion made her one of the most notorious Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century. Most people have seen her movie and tragic demise but even in her short time on this earth she made a colossal impression and although she’s departed her music remains. More than a pretty face, Selena was an international movement, a voice to be reckoned with and positive light that still shines bright today.


was a white woman with a soulful voice thus paving the way for artists like her to emerge. She not only blurred cultural lines but reaffirmed that music is indeed the universal language and all races are open to sing whatever genre they see fit. She didn’t just sing soul music, she was soul music, the living embodiment and her legacy gleams through even after her death. There will never be another Teena Marie.

Missy Elliot

(American Rapper, Singer, Dancer, Songwriter and Record Producer)


On,” “Work It,” “Lose Control” and “Gossip Folks” she’s revolutionized the genre we know as hip-hop. With the aid of frequent producer and music paragon Tim “Timbaland” Mosley she’s cultivated hit after hit. Furthermore, she’s a walking living business tycoon who retains full control over her music, productions and visuals. She’s still cooking up tunes as we speak and doesn’t plan on letting up anytime soon, for music artistry has no expiration date. She’s leaving an imprint on the music industry that will last in and out of time through her songwriting, idiosyncratic style, years in the game and relentless grind.

Lil Kim (American

Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer, Model and Actress)


Teena Marie

(American Singer, Songwriter and Producer) Teena Marie, what a voice! If we’re talking mothers of soul, Teena Marie rests congruously in that bloodline. Her lack of melanin didn’t stop her from being one of the greatest soul singers of all time equipped with one of the widest vocal ranges the world has even heard. The voice that sang on many hits such as “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” to the classic “Square Biz.” With a mentor like the legendary singer, songwriter and entertainment mogul Rick James she was destined to be an icon. Teena

Missy Elliot, the first female rapper to be nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is nothing shy of a living legend. When discussing women of music industry eminence you have to harp on Missy - a fashion trailblazer, fabled musician, dancer, producer, songwriter and all around creative. A five-time Grammy Award-winning artist, she sets the tone for what it means to be an efficacious woman in the entertainment sector. With hit singles such as “Get Ur Freak

Lil Kim, without a doubt, transformed the genre of hip-hop for female rappers. Her raunchy, blunt content, fashion-forward flair and wild style amid her being under the tutelage of legendary teacher and frequent collaborator the late, great Biggie Smalls gifted her a wealth of knowledge we all could only dream of. The Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn native grew up hard but channeled that strife into her music and longevity. With over two decades in the



game amid still creating new content she’s literally a living archetype of musical infamy from her earliest works like “No Time” all the way to her most recent works like “Nasty One.” With her breakout single “Player’s Anthem” in 1995 Lil’ Kim was introduced to the world and although she’s taken a hiatus or two she’s remained rather consistent. As an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, model and actress she’s multifaceted and well-seasoned in the most sought out industry in the world. Her sexually explicit content and valiant demeanor made her a target for naysayers but still she perseveres. She will be regarded as one of the best female rappers of any generation. taken a hiatus or two she’s remained rather consistent. As an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, model and actress she’s multifaceted and well-seasoned in the most sought out industry in the world. Her sexually explicit content and valiant demeanor made her a target for naysayers but still she perseveres. She will be regarded as one of the best female rappers of any generation.

Queen Latifah

(American Rapper, Songwriter, Singer, Actress and Producer) Queen Latifah, the notoriety and stardom is already present in the lining of her name. The New Jersey native rapper,


songwriter, singer, actress and producer represents some of the best parts of our hip-hop and African American culture. The lyrical and creative activist presented herself to the world with her debut album, All Hail to the Queen, sold more than 1 million copies, and the single “U.N.I.T.Y.” earned Latifah her first Grammy Award. Furthermore, she’s not only a musical genius but an acting chameleon with successful roles in classic movies such as “Set It Off,” “Beauty Shop” and recent works like “Girls Trip.” Her evolution as a woman makes her truly iconic from fierce MC to Covergirl model to businesswoman she’s a walking inspiration. To reside in the top seven, it’s not only about your catalog but your influence. The “Wrath of My Madness” MC helped spearhead the use of the term “Queen” for all women alike but African American women especially. She defined the term for what “queendom” meant to her. From her empowering lyrics to her vital acting roles and business acumen – she’s a living, breathing, still flourishing – legend.


an obvious star and an inevitable addition to my list, will forever be a musical prodigy and mass influencer. Most regard Beyoncé as our female Michael Jackson and there could be no truer statement. She’s more than just a singer but truly a performer. A Beyoncé performance is more than her merely singing on a stage but a full out show. The singer, songwriter, actress, model, entertainment and business guru has dipped into myriad musical genres from soul, to pop, to hip-hop and country thus multifaceted doesn’t even begin sum up her reach. Married to one of the greatest rappers of all time, Jay-Z, a mother, an influencer of great proportions, an amazing performer and a hustler, most of all, the Dangerously in Love star represents the epitome of the modern day woman. With 22 Grammy’s under her belt, current tours and recent albums we know that her reign still persists. Each of these creators are exceptional beyond compare, one of a kind and unable to be replicated. It’s because of that, that they fall into the categories of my Top Seven Alive or in Heaven. Rather



an early demise or a present pulse each of these women will go down in history as the best at their crafts. These are women of strength. Women that faced adversity, abuse, hate, societal and industry turbulence but still they prevailed. What makes you top of your class is not always your grades but your hustle, your impact, your aptitude, your attitude and your idiosyncrasies that make you stand out. Rather you live in the U.S or Germany or Africa or India you know these artists and if not sooner or later they will grace your ears, television, magazine or Forbes List.





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WHO IS DENISIA? New Orleans is full of musical treasures hidden in plain sight. Enamored with her city, this beautiful songstress is truly that, A Creative, A Trailblazer, a Musical Pioneer that has earned the right to be mentioned amongst the greats! WHO IS DENISIA ? This moniker will soon be laid to rest as DENISIA has not only become a local legend in New Orleans but is turning into a household name nationwide. If you don’t know WHO DENISIA IS , YOU BETTER ASK SOMEBODY! Check out our exclusive interview with Denesia!






EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW FND MAG: One of our founders is from New Orleans and he is adamant about supporting the talent in his city! With that being said, who is Denisia?

DENISIA: Denisia is a very versatile laid back but Grand individual and artist. SFND MAG: Where are you from? DENISIA: New Orleans SFND MAG: What high school did you go to? DENISIA: I’m not proud of my high school that my parents had me to attend [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: Are you single? That’s a good question. DENISIA: What’s Good???? SFND MAG: Do you come from a musical family? DENISIA: Yes, my dad is a musician and all of my siblings sing! SFND MAG: I was reading a review on iTunes and someone made mention that they “have been rocking with you since the beginning “what was the beginning for you? Where did Denisia the singer/ songwriter get her start? DENISIA: I began singing at open mics all over New Orleans... then onto promoting singles... and opening for other artists. SFND MAG: Would you say your rendition of Adele’s “Hello” was an “IT” moment for you? It was the thing that made people really start to take notice nationally? Why do you feel that song did numbers on the internet as it did? DENISIA: Yes definitely a big “IT” moment for me! Adele is an amazing artist and she only blesses us with her presence ever so often and I really feel she created “Hello” for me to remix [LAUGHS]! It was all divine timing and the world latched on to it!

SFND MAG: New Orleans is a city with a rich and colorful musical backbone that is heavily male dominated. Do you feel being a female artist you have to do more than the average artist to get respect and notoriety? DENISIA: Hmm... No, I don’t believe so. I’m from New Orleans but I want the WORLD, so I feel if I continue to stay true to who I am and my art, it will be respected by those it’s meant for! SFND MAG: We are in the era of the internet … Do you feel pressure to have a bigger social media presence, to do more performance videos,and to put out more music via the internet to stay relevant? DENISIA: Yes definitely! I believe social media is our friend and in 2019 I plan to do an even greater job at promoting new music and new visuals consistently maybe even weekly [LAUGHS]! SFND MAG: Let’s go back a little … In October of 2015 Grammy nominated artist Tamar Braxton album drops and you receive your first major placement for “Love It” then a month or so later your rendition you Adele’s “Hello” goes viral …”Dat Beat”, your voice, that sound takes the airwaves by storm! What is your world like at this point? DENISIA: My world currently is in a creative space I’ve been doing shows nonstop but I’ve also been recording new music and meeting new fans almost like every day and just a whole lot of new and great opportunities that I’m excited about for the new year! SFND MAG: I can’t help to notice Hasizzle The Voice Of Bounce music rocking with you tough. How instrumental is he in what you do? DENISIA: Hasizzle is very very much so a part of my life and it’s even more exciting that we share musical experiences together but we’re actually real friends [LAUGHS]. We talk like every day and creating with him is always exciting. SFND MAG: “The Morning Beat” who’s idea was that? I see it’s picking up speed


and not going to lie me and my team be lurking every morning looking for what you’re going to do next. I be dipped out all at work … [LAUGHS] DENISIA: The morning Beat is something that I created after doing something similar with someone else a few years ago. You can totally look forward to new morning beats in the New Year with a lot more talent as I intended it to be from the start to network and connect with as many artists as I could! SFND MAG: Since what I would call your break out year in 2015, you have graced the stage and opened for the likes of Lloyd, Tank, Melanie Fiona, Lyfe Jennings, Kendrick Lamar and PJ Morton just to name a few as well as performed at a host of events. What has your performance experience been like? Do you have any moments that stick out as memorable? DENISIA: One of my biggest memorable moments I would have to say was when I took this stage at essence new and next up artists performance segment in 2018 and I had the chance to bring my city and my culture to a huge stage with thousands of people jumping in excitement to see me I don’t think I’ll ever forget that SFND MAG: Since you’re the “Dip Queen “explain to the readers what “dipping” means and what you mean when you refer to “Dat Beat” DENISIA: Yes I am the dip QUEEN ! [LAUGHS] But dipping is just the way that you feel the music you can step to the left then step to the right and you have to bounce all at the same time but it’s really when you hear like your song and your hands go into to air and your knees kind of bounce & buckle at the same time that’s dipping. SFND MAG: You have been smashing singles and killing features this past few years but your last full album was in 2016 “HIM.” First, let me ask what was the meaning behind HIM? I cannot help to think the album was written about a certain HIM.

" I'm from New

Orleans but I want the WORLD, so I feel if I continue to stay true to who I am and my art, it will be respected by those it's meant for!" --DENISIA




" I definitely feel like I'm blazing the trail and I'm going to stay on it ." -DENISIA






DENISIA: Him was my baby it was my first full body of work and of course it was totally about one particular him at the time that I think that I was in love with. Maybe I was infatuated with his ways because it was different and not that great but his effort to act as if he wasn’t as connected to me as I was to him at least I thought I was that’s what really intrigued me but it was clear that we felt the same way about each other. I just had a hard time expressing myself so I figured I do it through music and I did on his birthday [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: Secondly, when’s your next full project because “NeWay”, “Anybody” and “Everything New” got us vibing out here something serious? DENISIA: Those are definitely some of my favorite songs and you will be getting visuals for them but my next fall project will come out in 2019 but I will be releasing new music sooner than you think! SFND MAG: What is your writing process like? Do you have a writing team or is it just you, your thoughts, and experience bleeding out your pen? DENISIA: When I feel the beat, I just start humming melodies honestly... then I think subject matter and then create from there. Or if I’m out and about I freestyle randomly and just send the voice memo to my producers SFND MAG: I see you didn’t have to many features on your last album; ONE to be exact! Is that something supporters can expect on your future projects? DENISIA: [LAUGHS]! Definitely was a more personal project and more of a release for me but I don’t plan to have features in the near future! SFND MAG: You took home “Best Female” R&B/Pop/Soul and “Best Live Performance “at the 2016 NOLA Awards, Congratulations, by the way. What was it like receiving two awards of this caliber in front of your real peers? DENISIA: I don’t know. I was kind of freaked out because I was just excited to perform and I got to perform you know, so my regular music and “Hello” but when I won I kind of ran to the stage


honestly so it was really exciting for me and especially for both of those categories that I work so hard for. SFND MAG: New Orleans is known for a lot of things but R&B/POP&SOUL Female Artist it is not, do you feel like your blazing the trail in that regard? DENISIA: I definitely feel like I’m blazing the trail and I’m going to stay on it and just keep creating dope and amazing things with people who have the same vision as me and show the world what female R&B pop Soul bounce is like from New Orleans. SFND MAG: Bounce music is becoming more of a household name. There are a lot of artists giving the sound it’s just due now. I really believe that it’s the start of something amazing! Big Freeda and Fuse TV have put a bright spot light on it , PJ Morton (member of Maroon5) constantly incorporates bounce in his records , Of course Beyonce is getting in formation along with Drake dropping “Dat Beat” every time you look around and I must say you are a huge part of making that happen as well. What do you want people to take away from our sound (New Orleanians) and “Dat Beat ‘? DENISIA: I do believe in the past few years I have played a part since the success of hello with “Dat Beat” But I want people to respect it I want them to know that is just our culture adding on to great music to make you feel good to make you feel free and it just enjoy the moment when you listen or experience our sound. Our sound is like gumbo you have no idea what’s really in it but you love it and you always want more. SFND MAG: We feel its So FN Dope when we see women of color come together and doing things for their community …Tell us what inspired the Denisia / Supa Slumber situations? I have a big heart for children and for young girls and watching young girls in my city that look up to me I realize we don’t have enough events where they can hang and confide in some of the popular women that they deem as successful and because of my own personal experiences I’ve felt it was a need to use my platform to Connect more with young ladies

growing up in New Orleans and Supa is like a sister to me so when I gave her the idea she was all for supporting me and joining because her beliefs are the same.

SFND MAG: Why is it important for you not to just be from the city of New Orleans but to be for the city of New Orleans? I feel like New Orleans has been put down so much and there’s so many talented and gifted treasures here in the city and that’s why I try so hard to put on for my city and to not forget where I’ve come from while I travel the world making my dream come true. SFND MAG: If you could give advice to little girls out there who look just like you and come from a similar background, who wants to become an artist, what would it be? DENISIA: My advice would be to believe in yourself love yourself and trust yourself and make sure that anything you put your hand to God is a part of it and you can conquer the world! SFND MAG: Before we go, we ask everyone we interview to give us another artist, person, place, or thing you feel is SO FN DOPE and why? DENISIA: I think PJ MORTON is dope I think he’s done an amazing job at creating his own lane and yet being reminiscent of one of the greatest artist to ever live, Stevie Wonder, but it’s also an added bonus that he’s from New Orleans and he carries at Swag around the world with him! SFND MAG: Where can people find out more about Denisia? DENISIA: My website will be up at the top of the year but for now, I’m always on Instagram @whoisdenisia I do my best at responding to everyone and Twitter and Facebook I’m always there!







DOPER THAN MOST Make sure that a doper version of yourself emerges as you continue to grind. Always challenge your highest self. Because you were put here to serve a greater purpose, understand that you have no time to waste. Time is of the essence. Every second counts! Every minute counts! Every hour counts! EACH DAY COUNTS! Keep this in the forefront of your mind as you execute your dreams and inspire others.

IN ORDER TO REMAIN DOPER THAN DOPER THAN MOST efore 2018 ends I MOST, UNDERwanted to personally commend you for pressing STAND THAT… towards the mark despite any strife YOUR LIGHT IS that you may have come up against BRIGHT AND NO this year. For those that inquire about where your super power comes from simply inform them ONE CAN that you are just DOPER THAN MOST! But what does that mean? This means DIM IT that you understand that your power lies



in your perseverance! You intentionally move fearlessly on your purpose path and this is what sets you apart. God has blessed you with unique gifts that are specific to you and your purpose in serving others.

Because of your unwavering commitment to excellence you now know that when you are chasing purpose, grinding isn’t optional. You have put in long hours, faced great disappointment at times, and sacrificed on levels you never knew existed. Many instances you felt like giving up, but nevertheless you continued to press on. All opposition has been viewed as opportunity and you have learned how to celebrate your stumbles. You have made up in your mind that you deserve to live your best life and that requires true discipline and steadfast dedication. You are investing in your dreams now, to live the life that you deserve.

Let your light shine so that others can do the same. Dedicate yourself to being the change that you want to see in the world. Dedicate yourself to excellence at all times. Dedicate yourself to purpose… relentlessly. Make those that have come before you proud. As you move forward know that they are literally behind you pushing you towards your destiny. Your vision is the vehicle for your dreams. Always buy into yourself AND the vision. On any given day, you can massively change the direction of your life. You are ultimately doing yourself and others a disservice if you don’t pursue your purpose. There is only one you. You only get one life. Do you know how powerful that is? Pursuing your purpose is a choice. Believing in yourself should never be an option.


Your journey will pose difficulty but you must move forward. When you pursue God’s dream for your life, you are going to run into delays. God uses those waiting periods to prepare you and test you so that you can face whatever is coming in the next phase of your faith. While we think nothing is being done or progression is being made, know that God is working behind the scenes to manifest your dreams. When you decided that you wanted to pursue your goals you knew that there would be obstacles. But always remember that he who is not courageous enough to take rational risks will accomplish nothing in life. When you lack courage it’s easier to conform. It’s easier to accept defeat. It’s easier to become complacent. Your faith, fearlessness, and follow-through must be the foundation that your achievements are built upon! You compete with no one. When you compete with other people you judge yourself based on their values and metrics. Of course, life itself is a competition, but it’s NOT a race against anyone else. The real journey should only be against you and your potential. When you compare, you compromise your purpose. Determine your success by comparing your accomplishments to your capabilities. Your service is the key to success. Your mission is to help those in need through your gifts. It is never and will never be about you. During the times when you feel like giving up think of those they didn’t give up on you. Understand that it is your duty to serve others! In 2019, I encourage you to continue to relish in the route of your progression! Carry forth the experiences that are going to inexplicably change your life. Always remember that you are more than just dope. YOU are doper than most. Dr. Foley








DOPEQUOTES “Hard days are the best because that’s when champions

“Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God gave you the talent, you should go for it. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s hard!” – Aaliyah

“When I dare to be are made.” powerful – to use -Gabby Douglas my strength in the Be honest, bruservice of my vision, tally honest. That then it becomes less is what’s going to and less important maintain relation- whether I am afraid. ” ships. -Lauryn Hill – Audre Lorde “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou 40- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM - NOV / DEC 2018

DOPEQUOTES “You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.” – Josephine Baker “Success doesn’t come to you…you go to it.” – Marva Collins “You can’t focus on the bad thing, you have to focus on getting through it.” - Ciara


“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

“We need you to roll up your sleeves. We need to get to work. Because remember this: When they go low, we go high.” — First Lady Michelle Obama “The times may have changed, but the people are still the same. We’re still looking for love, and that will always be our struggle as human beings.” – Halle Berry NOV / DEC 2018- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -


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Some people work hard to achieve things in life, and there are some people who stumble upon success by accident. Then there are those who are simply destined for greatness. This next artist is just that. She refuses to accept the title of being merely a rapper or a singer but prefers to embrace the title of a creator. Her unique voice and style coupled with her astounding production is enough to leave any music lover asking for more. Meet Chi-Town’s Aina Brei’Yon.




FND MAG: Aina Brei’yon. What’s good? We cannot express to you how much we appreciate you taking the time to interview with us! We are grateful that we could put this together.

AINA BREI’YON: I feel that labels are limitations, and there are so many artists that are being pressured to fit the image and sound of a particular label they were assigned, or assigned themselves. You can’t fully express yourself with those types of limitations. I create whatever I feel. I can’t apply rules to that. I know that feelings change, minds change, desires change, and that life is one hell of a roller coaster ride. I need to express whatever I’m feeling whenever and however I choose to.

AINA BREI’YON: Thanks for having me!

SFND MAG: So, you are currently resid-

SFND MAG: We have been following you on Instagram for about a year now. A friend of mine actually put us up on your music and we have been fans ever since, but for our readers tell them a little about yourself and how you got started in the music industry. AINA BREI’YON: I appreciate that a lot! Well, I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I’m the ninth of 10 children. My journey in writing started at the young age of nine. I actually started off writing poetry to express myself. I didn’t put my writing into action musically, until the age of 13. I was a part of two indie labels before I decided to branch off, and do my own thing. I’ve been blessed to open up for a few well-known artists. As of right now in my career, I have full creative control —music production, recording, mixing, mastering, and writing. SFND MAG: You previously went by the stage name Temper3K9! What was the reason behind the name change? AINA BREI’YON: I outgrew Temper, and I wanted a name that was more appealing to the masses. Especially, the fact that I’m considering branching off into other fields like, a clothing line, fragrances etc... I just felt that Aina Brei’Yon was more appropriate and welcoming than Temper. SFND MAG: We recently read that you refer to yourself as a creator... You prefer not to label yourself as a rapper or a singer etc... How important is it in today’s industry “not” to categorize yourself or allow others to categorize or compartmentalize your talent or craft?

Music saved my life." ing in Los Angeles but you are originally from Chicago. What was it like for you growing up in the Chi and how did it influence your music? AINA BREI’YON: Every one of my experiences shaped me. Chicago was a huge


part of that. I spent most of my life there. I grew up in Roseland. That’s the hood [LAUGHS]. My strength and resilience came from that place. Music saved my life. Being able to write about certain things actually prevented me from engaging in certain activities. Music was how I released my frustrations, instead of taking it out on others. I use to have a bad temper. I still do, but it’s tamed now. I forgot to mention this earlier, but battle rapping on the block is actually how I started in the music industry. This is where I started gaining attention for it. SFND MAG: At this point in your career, what do you feel is the most challenging thing about being in the industry right now and why? AINA BREI’YON: I feel the most challenging thing is me. I get in my head about how the industry is portrayed. That energy seems to be off, and most times, I don’t want any parts of it. This is why I remained independent. Getting people to get behind someone that is not doing what is trendy at the time, is a little hard. Most of the people in the world are followers. They like what the masses like, even if it is not likeable. SFND MAG: As an independent artist in 2018 what is the single most important piece of advice you can give to others aspiring to do what you do? AINA BREI’YON: The most powerful advice I can give is to NEVER give up. Stay focused, and understand that you will receive a lot of NO’s, but it will eventually get to that powerful YES that is going to change your life forever. Those no’s are your yes’s. Just view them as a filter. Some things you’re just too good for, so God removes them. You just can’t give up. When they say no, tell yourself YES. Not everyone is going to rock with what you do. Especially, if you’re authentic and different. You have to rock with you at all times, and never give up. SFND MAG: As an artist who identifies as being a lesbian do you feel that message that you deliver in your music is more relatable to the LGBT community or do you feel that your music can be enjoyed by all?


"I feel that labels are limitations, and there are so many artists that are being pressured to fit the image and sound of a particular label they were assigned, or assigned themselves. "

PHOTO BY: Christopher



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" I wanted to reassure those women that they embody the type of beauty that'll never fade."


ON THE VERGE AINA BREI’YON: When I write, I don’t think about a particular audience. They’re just my thoughts and experiences. If people can get out of their own heads about what I am, and just focus on the music. My music can be enjoyed by all.

I wanted to reassure those women that they embody the type of beauty that’ll never fade.

strategic. With The Black Lion buzzing in the streets right now, what will be your next move?

SFND MAG: What are your top three songs off your album and tell us why they mean the most to you?

SFND MAG: Let’s talk a little about your latest project “The Black Lion” What was your inspiration behind this album?

AINA BREI’YON: (1) I Wish You Knew—I wrote this one with my sister that passed away, in mind. She allowed a man’s opinions of her to drive her in a state of depression, that’s eventually what led to her demise. (2) Sometimes — I like this one because I’m pretty much saying that I’m flawed but still worthy. (3) I’m Goals— I like this one because most people view others as their goals. I’ve grown a lot as a person and I think it’s safe to say now that I am Goals. I admire myself, and commend myself for being resilient and unbreakable.

AINA BREI’YON: I can’t talk about my next move as of yet, but I am definitely working on a few things. I’m more excited about this journey, than the actual destination. That’s what it’s all about to me. Just stay tuned.

AINA BREI’YON: It’s the same approach I take with every project I put together. I write whatever I feel, and I don’t put pressure on myself to have a particular structure or aim. What I get from the Black Lion album, is all types of feels. It’s fun, informative, motivating, ghetto [LAUGHS], and warm. SFND MAG: You really put it all out there on this album. You literally left no stone unturned. Your song “Naked” is one of our favorites. This song was your response to Ella Mai’s song Naked. What was it about her song that inspired you to respond? AINA BREI’YON: Actually, I was already writing a song called “Naked” when I logged on to YouTube, and stumbled upon her version. It was the same concept, and since I was already in that mood, I decided to make my version a response to hers. SFND MAG: Did she (Ella Mai) respond back? AINA BREI’YON: [LAUGHS] No. That’ll be dope though! SFND MAG: Do pretty girls really make you nervous? (LAUGHS) If so, tell us why... we really like that song by the way! AINA BREI’YON: Thank you! Yes [LAUGHS]. Especially since I moved out here to LA. I’ve run into a lot of pretty women that were empty. Nothing more to them outside of what was obvious. I guess it’s more of a concern. I wrote that song because most people have the wrong impression of what beauty is, and the “beauty” that they’re banking on will fade some day. Society pushes PHOTOof BY: Michael W. itEaton this standard “beauty, ” and leaves a lot of other women feeling undesirable.

SFND MAG: We noticed that you are also the CEO of 3K9 Productions. The production on this project is really dope! Did you produce any tracks on this album? What other producers did you collab with to complete The Black Lion Album project? AINA BREI’YON: Thank you! Out of the 18 tracks, I produced 17 of them. My guy from the UK, Vidorra, produced the Nahdi track. SFND MAG: Do people tend to compare you to other artists in the industry... say maybe Young M.A. or SYD? AINA BREI’YON: Only straight guys that pretend to like masculine lesbians or never did music prior to the breakout of Young Ma. [LAUGHS] Outside of that, I don’t really get compared to many artists. Not any I can think of at the moment. SFND MAG: Who do you consider to be your greatest competition in the industry right now?

SFND MAG: Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years from now? AINA BREI’YON: I don’t do well with time. [LAUGHS] I’m more focused on what’s happening now. I’m sure the next 2 to 3 years will be exciting, but I’m not worried about it, nor do I think about it. SFND MAG: You have any other upcoming projects in the works. What can we expect in 2019 from you? AINA BREI’YON: As of now, we’re planning “The Black Lion Experience tour for 2019. That’s something I can discuss. Outside of that, I’ll be putting in a lot of work. SFND MAG: How can your fans reach you on social media? AINA BREI’YON: They can look me up at Aina Brei’Yon all across the board —YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram, Facebook, etc... SFND MAG: Before you go, could you name another artist that you think is “So FN Dope” and tell us why? AINA BREI’YON: Slim Jenkinz, Jimmi Montana, Tracii Haze, Bizzy Monroe, Tremendous...the list goes on and on. I don’t want anyone to feel any type of way [LAUGHS], but there are many that I do enjoy. They’re just unique, and have their own style, and super passionate about their craft.

AINA BREI’YON: Nobody because I don’t compete. I feel that every real artist that actually creates, is unique in his or her own way. Everyone has their own glow and lane. SFND MAG: Being a successful independent artist has to be extremely NOV / DEC 2018- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -







Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? – 2 Pac YOU FIGHT LIKE A GIRL has long seen it’s connotation of humiliation and discouragement. The term has since adopted a stance of strength, confidence and empowerment thanks to women like Raquel Miller. Female Boxing is on an upswing and the “Pretty Beast” wants to be one of the reasons the respect level for the women that put it all on the line is at an all-time high. Check our our exclusive interview with Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller!!!


PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley




FND MAG: Raquel Miller, What’s good we hear you want all the SMOKE! [LAUGHS] From what we can see, with your pretty impressive Pro Boxing Record 7-0 with 3 KO’s, you have Beauty, Brains and the Hustle and a Grinder mentality. Why boxing? Do you come from a boxing family? RAQUEL MILLER: Honestly, anyone that knows me knows that I’ve always been a fighter for as long as I can remember. It’s something that has always come natural to me. I grew up as a tomboy playing all the sports and I’ve always been very competitive. On top of that, my mother loved boxing and Tyson fights were a big thing in my household and seeing Christy Martin on the undercard lit a spark in soul and really started the fire. SFND MAG: Do you remember the first time you put hands on somebody and said to yourself “Self, I can make this a profession”! Do you remember the girl’s name? [LAUGHS] Did you win? RAQUEL MILLER: [LAUGHS] The very first fight I had I was 5 years old and in Kindergarten and this little boy liked me and he kept picking on me and he and I got into a shoving match one day. I thought it was over but little did I know he told his big sister who was in the second grade to come beat me up after school [LAUGHS]. She came right up to me after school and slapped me right in the face [LAUGHS]. I ran home and told my sister and cousins. They all threatened to beat me up if I didn’t fight her the next day after school. Needless to say the next day after school I avenged my lost ran up to that girl and windmill her for about 10 seconds straight [LAUGHS]. That was not where my love for boxing started [LAUGHS] but from that day forward, I wasn’t running from any fights! But truthfully, it’s been a gradual fire that has continued to grow no matter how much I try to ignore it.

SFND MAG: Are men intimated by you? Is it hard for you to date? Does your man need to know how to fight or you got it covered? [LAUGHS] RAQUEL MILLER: I think some men are intimidated because they can’t separate who you are from what you do. Like… I’m a woman first and a fighter second, I don’t want to be stronger than you, tougher than you or anything of the sort. I want him to be able to separate the two and be confident in who he is. Basically, shoot your shot with confidence [LAUGHS]. It can be hard for men to date me because a lot of them won’t/ don’t understand a fighters life. The lack of being able to party, drink, or even sex at times can be a deal breaker for some and I respect that not all men will be able to hang ;). Does a man need to know how to fight to date me? Ummmm yes I want to know you can hold us down if needed but does he need to know how to box? No. SFND MAG: You’ve been labeled “The First Lady of San Francisco Boxing” What does it mean to put on for your city? RAQUEL MILLER: It means everything to me. That’s my home soil and I represent it every day especially every time I step in the ring. I represent the part of San Francisco Bay View Hunters Point to be exact, that’s not celebrated or talked about in a world-class city like San Francisco. People tend think it’s all tourism and roses when San Francisco is a really rough place depending on what side of the city you live. So for me boxing wasn’t just something to do for me it was my way to turn something negative into positive a way to create a platform for myself while doing something I was naturally good at. Growing up where I’m from, fighting was a survival tool. So, this is my way of showing my hood, city or anyone from an underprivileged area anything is possible. You have options as long as you believe in yourself and put the work in there’s really nothing you can’t accomplish~ SFND MAG: We read that you had a trainer that made you feel very uncomfortable once upon a time and his inappropriateness discouraged you to the


point that you thought as a woman boxer you wouldn’t be taken seriously. So, you quit! My first question is what made you come back to the sport? What advice would you give a young lady that may encounter the same adversity as a woman in the sport? RAQUEL MILLER: Yes, unfortunately, that did happen to me and it was sad and discouraging to say the least. I had to come back to the sport because for onem, I’m not a quitter for two I’m not going to allow someone else male or female to decided my destiny or tell me what I can or can’t accomplish. I also had to come back for other girls like me. Who will show up to gyms and want to be taken serious and not judged only based on them being female. SFND MAG: Is boxing all about “The Package “and by that, I mean do the more marketable fighters get the shots and TV time. The charismatic, flashy, talkative, good-looking fighter or does the talent outweigh it all? RAQUEL MILLER: I think it comes down to a mix of both yes being attractive helps but if you can’t actually fight that’s only going to take you so far. Being a big talker will sell tickets and have the fans ready to see you win or lose but you have to back it up when it’s time to. Ultimately, I think having a combination of both is the best look, but I can’t stress how important building your own brand is. No one will ever push you and believe in you like you believe in yourself! SFND MAG: In boxing, the training is probably one of the most grueling training in any sport. How do you prepare for a fight? RAQUEL MILLER: Training is definitely tough you’re usually in training camp between 6-8 weeks, which means long days filled with 2-3 workouts per day. It is always a mixture of drills, conditioning, mental sharpness, and overall just preparing for war because it is a sport like no other. You’re training to win by any means and someone is training for the same against you. SFND MAG: Who is your favorite fighter to watch and or study past or present






“I also had to come back for other girls like me. Who will show up to gyms and want to be taken serious and not judged only based on them being female.” --RAQUEL MILLER






“I’m for sure more than just an athlete! ” -RAQUEL MILLER

PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley


and why? What have you learned from watching them? RAQUEL MILLER: Great question! I think I always learn from the greats I have my favorites for sure but I don’t have just one. Here’s a few of my all time favorites Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali and Lucia Rijker. I study them all often at a different times and you learn different things but I think overall. The most important thing I learned and admire is how hard they worked just dedicating hours and hours strictly on their skills and honing their craft. SFND MAG: Women were allowed to competitively box for the first time at the Olympics in 2012 and you were there! Can you describe your feelings being a part of the USA Olympic Team at the 2012 games? RAQUEL MILLER: Yes, that was an amazing experience to be able to be a part of history. I got to go to London with team USA as a sparring partner and at the time, I had only been boxing for a little under two years. Overall, I was just happy to be there and witness history and to see so many women from all over the world representing our sport was amazing. It motivated and inspired me so much. SFND MAG: Business over Boxing can often be confused with ducking an opponent why do you think that is? RAQUEL MILLER: I think people don’t really understand how the business side of boxing works. You make decisions as a team and everyone has to be on board from the fighter, manager, and promoter. I could be ready to fight a girl but if my manager wants to hold off and wait or strategically move in a different direction at that time I have to listen and respect that if that plan makes more sense than the plan I had. So, the short of it is boxing is a business first and if you have a good team behind you they are always going to push you to make the smartest business moves. SFND MAG: Female boxers often undervalue themselves while laying it all on the line in the squared circle $1,000 and $2,000 fights when male boxers are getting that 10x over! Is it the boxer’s fault

for not knowing her worth or do you feel it’s her team’s fault for not instilling the value of the fighter? RAQUEL MILLER: I think it is a bit of both and its sad honesty because women train just as hard as the men do if not harder because we feel we have more to prove. In my opinion it is important for women to stop being afraid to stand up for themselves and start demanding more for their skills. Her team should be fully supportive of this and be pushing for the same things too. Better contracts, more money, and more visibility. I also wish women fighters supported each other more. It is enough room for us all to shine. SFND MAG: You are more than just a boxer for sure. Tell us about your Non Profit – Ladies In Power, and new athleisure line Pretty Beast? RAQUEL MILLER: I’m for sure more than just an athlete! I want to leave more than boxing behind as my legacy. I’m a boxer, nonprofit cofounder, community leader, and entrepreneur. My sister and I started Ladies In Power a mentorship based program geared to help girls transition into adulthood teaching them self-confidence, healthy eating/ lifestyle, mental health, financial literacy and more. We’ve been incorporated now for a little over 10 years and were growing. Currently looking for partnerships, donations, and volunteers for more information, they can check out our website at The Pretty Beast athleisure line will be launching this month and I’m very excited. I will be starting small with tracksuits, hoodies, t-shirts, and hats. The products will be available on my website launching soon I will also post links on my social media accounts where you can purchase. SFND MAG: How much impact does social media have on the sport? Do you feel pressure to have to post workouts, fights, media events, community events etc... to gain popularity and notoriety? RAQUEL MILLER: Sometimes yes! Social media is definitely important for your brand and building and keeping people updated on what you have going on. Honestly, I’m not really a big social


media person but I’m working on being more active and I’m in the process of developing a web based reality series with me and my close friends so people can get a look inside our lives and learn more about me as a person inside and out of the ring. So stay tuned for details! SFND MAG: What are you listening to in your headphones or in the gym when you’re working out?

RAQUEL MILLER: I’m currently bumping a little Ace Hood, Mistah Fab, Lil Baby, Meek and Nipsey Hustle. I’m a grinder and hustler and grind music does something to my soul. My close guy friends and teammates laugh and tell me I’m a boy trapped in a girl body because [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: I’m sure it’s a bunch of little girls who are growing up just like you grew up and are constantly being told they can’t or they won’t because their a girl , what advice to you have for them. RAQUEL MILLER: Walk in any door with your head high and the determination to be BEAST at anything you do and willing to work, so hard they cannot ignore you period! You belong; you can and never let anyone dim your light! You were born to shine and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish or do. Believe in the power of you! SFND MAG: I’m going to say some names give me the first word that come to mind! • BAY AREA – RAQUEL MILLER: Home •

Claressa Shields –


DiBella –


Fight Like A Girl –


Maricela Cornejo –




PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley


COVER STORY PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley

PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley




“No one will ever

push you and believe in you like you BELIEVE IN YOURSELF” SFND MAG: When is your next fight and where can our reader go to follow up on the “Pretty Beast”? RAQUEL MILLER: Next fight is pending now but it’s looking like February for a title and TV. time! I’m very excited and can’t wait until it’s finalized so I can release all the details. In the mean time,

you can follow my journey here: Website: (Lunching soon) Instagram: @ms. raquelmiller Twitter: @ms prettybeast Facebook: Raquel Miller RAQUEL MILLER: Lastly, thank you so much to the amazing team at So FN


Dope for taking the time to get to know who Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller is and allowing me to share my story. It means everything to me and this magazine is very special to me and my very first cover with many more to come.


“I want to leave more than boxing behind as my legacy.” -RAQUEL MILLER

PHOTO BY: Omar “YXCVLI” Zapien STYLED BY: Mr. Highclass and Designer Telley




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