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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.

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Film Crews

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FOUNDERS / Editors in Chief Walter M. Welch Jr. Corey Norwood Sr. Director of Marketing and Advertising Servon Moss Director of Arts and Entertainment Ashton Francois CONTRIBUTORS Timeless Music Productions Logostix Graphic Design Hype-Radio.com JB & Benny Blue Review Inkk Junkies Tattoos Curve Brows Ron Jones Unique Image Entertainment Unusual Suspects Clothing Shadow Promotions YXCVLI MIC2U Wairehouze Entertainment Amar Khalil Over Deliver Entertainment Poetry of Time Shop Amplify COVER STORY PJ MORTON CREW Christopher Horne Interviewer: CeCe Chapman Videographer: Chuck Mula FEATURED Taura Stinson Quincey White Cover Photographer Christopher Horne Contributing Photographers YXCVLI Caravan Film Crews

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CONTENTS

PHOTO BY: Christopher

Horne

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APR / MAY 2018

REGULARS

FEATURES 12)

TAURA STINSON Check out our exclusive interview with the sensational, grammy nominated songwriter, Taura Stinson as we talk about her recent successes as well as her newly released single.

22)

QUINCEY WHITE Check out this artist on the rise, Quincey White as he talks about life growing up in South Central Los Angeles, as it relates to his most recent project “The 7”.

46)

PJ MORTON Get to know the amazingly talented, soul artist PJ Morton as he talks to So FN Dope Magazine about his Grammy nominated project “GUMBO”, his role in pop band Maroon 5 and his love for his hometown of New Orleans. .

10)

SFND REVIEWS See what some of our very first interviewees are up to now. You won’t believe how far they have come in a year’s time.

32)

PUNCHLINEZ Check out these classic punch lines from some of our favorite hip hop artists.

36)

42 )

WHO’s LIT AF IN 2018 See who is living their best life here in 2018. Check out this short list of entertainers who are clearly leaving their mark in monumental ways.

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

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SFND REVIEWS

I

f you ask us, we can confidently say thi hip hop is still alive and well. He keeps one dropping after K.O.D. should mak

SFND REVIE DRAKE

NICE FOR WHAT

A+

Definitely a SUMMER ANTHEM and quite possibly the SONG OF THE YEAR!

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CARDI B

INVASION OF PRIVACY

A

I must admit we were surprised that this album was as dope as it was. We were expecting for the radio singles to be the only hits on the album but we stand corrected. Honestly felt like this project was solid. Our favorite joints are “Drip” ft the Migos and the joint she did with YG called “She Bad”. Overall a dope project. Can’t wait to hear more from Cardi in the future.

NICKI MINAJ CHUN-LI

B-

We like the Chun Li record but we can’t say that we love it. It’s not a classic Nicki joint but it definitely something that will be hot for the moment.


SFND REVIEWS

is is J. Cole’s best project to date. This is a prime example that real s getting better and better. This project sets the bar in 2018. Anyke sure they are coming with some HEAT!

EWS BALL GREEZY BAE DAY 2

A

Been rocking with Ball Greezy for a minute and he definitely didn’t disappoint with this album. Bae Day 2 is a certified hood classic and just as good if not better than his previous project, Bae Day. They loving it and he’s creeping up the charts too.

A+ J. COLE - K.O.D. TINASHE JOYRIDE

B

This album was cool… It was a little different. Definitely pushing the envelope musically. We can tell she catching the next wave. We feel it though.

YFN LUCCI

RAY RAY FROM SUMMERHILL

C+ This entire album was kind of “meh”. Although most of the production was incredible, but couldn’t help but feel as if I had heard it before. Maybe it was the monotonous melodies or the flow that sounds a bit familiar. Just wasn’t feeling it.

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FEATURE

TAURA STINSON

EAST OAKLAND This next artist has already made quite a name for herself behind the scenes writing songs for some of our favorite singers. Her skill with the pen has won numerous awards and her songs have also been nominated for Grammys and Golden Globes. It is always a pleasure to interview artists who have seen success on that level. Check our interview with the beautiful and talented Taura Stinson as she gives us a peek into her life as a singer / songwriter.

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S

FND MAG: First of all, we want to say how much we appreciate you for interviewing with us and sharing with us this part of your life and career as singer/songwriter.

TAURA STINSON: I’m honored, thank you! I am so proud of you guys. So many speak of changing the scope of media, but you all are actually doing it. Obviously, there is a shortage of black voices…thanks for doing your part to close that gap. SFND MAG: We know you pretty well here at So FN Dope Magazine as you have written articles for us on several occasions, but please let’s give our audience an opportunity to get to know you a little better. Tell them a little about yourself and where you are from. TAURA STINSON: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in East Oakland, California. I always mention the “East” part of Oakland, because it’s such an important part of the city. It is rich in culture, unapologetically black and the part of the city that raised me. It also hasn’t been gentrified and I don’t think that’s a mistake. It’s also the place where I had my first kiss and wrote my first song. I started writing as child who filled up blank books with adult sized dreams. By the time I graduated High School, I moved to NY to record an album with a group that I started along with Brely Evans in High School. Our record was not a commercial success, but I developed skills and grew as a songwriter there. Soon after, I copenned my first multi-platinum song for Capital recording group, DRS. The song was called “Gangsta Lean aka This is for My Homies.” Following that, I started the scenic route that eventually landed me where I am now. SFND MAG: We couldn’t help but notice that you have written songs for and

with some of the largest names in entertainment from Rafael Saadiq to Mary J. Blige just to name a few. How does it feel knowing that songs that you’ve written have impacted the lives of millions of people through these powerful vessels? TAURA STINSON: Yes, it feels good have a career paved with many gems that I have had the honor of working with. I just love music and writing it. Sometimes I have written for amazing people that no one even knows, and I love those songs too, but working with people that have a platform is equally rewarding. Because I write mostly for film, people are not as familiar with my work, but honestly, I am just blessed to do what comes naturally for me, for a living. SFND MAG: 2017 was big year for you as a songwriter. You won an HMMA and a Critics Choice Award for a song entitled “Jump” you cowrote that was featured in a documentary and another song you co-wrote entitled “The Mighty River” performed by Mary J Blige was even nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy award for Best Original song. What was the process like when writing these two songs? TAURA STINSON: 2017 and 18 have been a whirlwind! “Jump,” reads like a motivational letter to self, because that is partly what it is. When it won the Critics Choice Award, I felt as accomplished and proud for the girls that inspired the song from the movie “Step” as I did for myself, Laura and Raphael. Mighty River surprised us all because we woke up one morning with news of the Golden Globe nomination and boom, life changed for a season. I was enormously happy for Mary and Raphael and couldn’t wait until the Oscar noms were announced. When that happened, I knew that it was God. I had prayed to Him since I was child and He had to remind me in the biggest way that HE IS MY SOURCE. The processes for both songs were very different. In fact, they all are. Some start with music and end with lyrics; while others are collaborative efforts from start to finish. Raphael and I have a rhythm since we have written together forever and on both songs, that was the nucleus, but

the post work was equally as important. Darien Dorsey arranged Mighty River and played various instruments on both songs and Candace Coles sang background vocals with me on both as well. It feels like we broke some code. I’m still pinching myself. SFND MAG: After the songs were complete, did you already sense or have a feeling that these songs at least had the potential to be nominated for awards? TAURA STINSON: Definitely with Jump. In fact, I thought that it would be nominated for an Oscar. I can’t wait for someone to license it or remake it. I would love to hear Brandy sing it. Fantasia too. Cynthia Erivo did an incredible job on the original but I can only hope that this song has nine lives. SFND MAG: Let’s switch gears a bit and talk about career as a singer. You have a new single that was recently released entitled “Gossypium Thorns (Freedom)” by Rafael Saadiq and I must say that it is nothing short of amazing! What was your inspiration for this particular record?

"I am just blessed to do what comes naturally for me, for a living."

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FEATURE TAURA STINSON: Thank you! We wrote it specifically for the TV show, Underground, so it was inspired by Harriet Tubman, the lion, the goddess, the supreme force, the light bearer and truth speaker…Araminta Ross. Before Raphael asked me to write for that episode with him, I was visiting family in Birmingham. Oddly enough, I had strange urging to visit a Cotton Field and I am so happy that I did. It was pivotal moment in my life. Days later, I was in the studio and the title came to me as soon as we watched the clip. Gossypium is the flower that is Cotton. So, in addition, the song was inspired our ancestors. The line that resonates with me most is “You can’t cage a spirit that is the wind.” That was whispered to me in Alabama on that cotton field. SFND MAG: As a singer/songwriter... (A very good one, by the way) How do you usually determine which songs you’ve written to keep for yourself or to send to other artists? TAURA STINSON: The song is always first. I don’t normally release music, so it’s never a tug of war for me. SFND MAG: Are you planning on releasing an album here soon? I’m sure anyone who has heard “Gossypium Thorns” is anxious to hear more. At least I know we are! [Laughs] If so, do you have a release date? TAURA STINSON: Maybe with Artpeace again or possibly connected to a film. I’m not sure. I just love writing and that has been my focus. I’m currently finishing up a film project, scoring a TV show with Darien Dorsey and writing my next book. SFND MAG: Being that you are well connected in the industry and that you’ve obviously have a network of friends and associates in the entertainment business, do you find it easier or harder to make a name for yourself as an artist? TAURA STINSON: My goal has not been to make a name for myself as a vocalist, but as a songwriter, it gets better when you don’t give up. I have considered it many of times but staying the course has

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been key to my success. SFND MAG: Who have you collaborated with on your music and name someone you would you like to work with in the future? TAURA STINSON: I love collaborating and love working jumping the confines of genres. That said, I am excited cross-pollinating sounds and experimenting more. My mind if more focused on working with directors and writers that inspire me like Ryan Coogler, Ava Duvernay, Lena Waithe, Shonda Rhimes and up and coming creative’s too. SFND MAG: Last year among your many other accomplishments, you also published a book entitled 100 Things Every Black Girl Should Know, which undoubtedly made a huge impact on little girls of color all over the country. You also have written for a number of magazines including Oprah Winfrey’s “O” Magazine and even our publication as well. You are truly a Jack-of-all-trades. What else can we expect from Taura Stinson in 2018? Any other ventures or endeavors outside the realm of music that we can look forward to? TAURA STINSON: I am a brand ambassador for O magazine, but I have not written for them before. Thanks for being prophetic. That is goal of mine. Without zero promotion, 100 Things Every Black Girl Should Know received an “In the Margins” book award and I was as proud of that as I am for being nominated for an Oscar. Since then, I have learned so much since it was released, so my expectations for book two is even more exciting. I am writing it every day and truly enjoying the process. I can’t wait to share. In addition to my impending second book, I am looking forward to being heavily involved in all aspects of music for Film and TV. Carolyn Richardson, my long-time friend and veteran music supervisor (former Music Supervisor for The Insider and Entertainment Tonight) and I recently started a company called “Our Music Department”. In addition to original songs and score, we also offer music supervision and consultant services. I am so looking forward to sinking

my heart into that. I know that’s within the realm of the music business, but it’s a lot different from what I do now. SFND MAG: Do you have any advice to other aspiring singer/songwriter/ authors out there that may have hopes of getting their foot in the door to pursue a career in the entertainment industry? TAURA STINSON: My advice is not to give up. You never know what is waiting for you around the bend. Also, as I get over, I am learning that nothing weighs heavier on your heart than regret. Do it scared. Don’t find your self-regretting the chances that you didn’t take. The other thing is to be good. That sounds simple but sometimes we need a reminder. Karma is real and God sees you, so always be integral. Always do what’s right and never snuff someone else’s light, thinking that it will make your light shine brighter. Things take time… stay in it and build on being better at what you do every day. SFND MAG: Taura, thank you again for giving us a bit of your time. We sincerely appreciate this. TAURA STINSON: Thank you guys! I wish you all the absolute best! SFND MAG: Before you go tell everyone where they can pick get your latest single and reach you on social media! TAURA STINSON: My single is available everywhere that digital music is sold. Twitter/TauraStinson Facebook/TauraStinsonOfficial Instagram/TauraStinson TauraStinson.com


FEATURE

"The song is always first. I don't normally release music, so it's never a tug of war for me.

"

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

QUINCEY WHITE

SOUTH CENTRAL L.A.

Our next artist is truly a diamond in the rough. His talent is certainly undeniable however; it is even more refreshing to come across an artist who has mastered the art of storytelling in their rhymes. Without a doubt, he has done just that. Listening to his latest project “The 7” was definitely and experience. His ability to paint his reality so vividly through song left us wanting to hear more. Check out our exclusive interview with hip-hop artist Quincey White.

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S

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

FND MAG: Quincey White! What’s good my brother. We thank you for taking the time to interview with us. This is greatly appreciated. For our readers out there who may be just getting to know you for the first time today, in a nut shell tell us exactly who Quincey White is and where you’re from. QUINCEY WHITE: Quincey White is an Artist out of South Central LA, Athens Park to be exact. Also a father, son, brother, someone who is very family oriented and so deep in his craft that he took a risk to rely his whole life and well being on making it as an artist. SFND MAG: For you, what was it like growing up in South Central L.A.? QUINCEY WHITE: Growing up in South Central LA was nothing like seeing it in the movies only because it was in real life. Watching a movie, you can rewind, push play, stop, and fast forward. In real life, you can’t. The gunfire, gang violence, police sirens, helicopters, cocaine, prostitution was all something I’ve seen with my two eyes. I’m happy to have made it out alive and it made me a tough individual. SFND MAG: As a youngster, what role did music play in your life? At what age did you realize that music was something that you wanted to pursue? QUINCEY WHITE: As a youngster, music was very important to me, I always listened to music that related to what I was going thru at the time. Whatever was in my playlist at the present moment was like the soundtrack to my life. At 14 years old, my father picked me up from school and the radio was playing, what was playing on the radio? Some trash… I told my dad “I can do this” my dad replied, “Do it then!” I sat quiet and said to myself

“Maybe I will.” That’s where it all started. SFND MAG: Who were some of your major music influences while coming up as a rapper in Southern California?

"Growing up in South Central LA was nothing like seeing it in the movies only because it was in real life." QUINCEY WHITE: My major music influences were Tupac, Nas, Jadakiss, Eminem & tons of oldies that I grew up on that I heard my parents playing as a child.

24 SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM - APR / MAY 2018

SFND MAG: We understand that during you career as a rapper you haven’t always gone by Quincey White. What was your previous rap name and why did you decide there was a need for change? QUINCEY WHITE: As a rapper I use to go by DUBB, I decided to change my rap name to my government name Quincey White because my music was so honest and personal there was no need for a alias, and also I wanted to press the “refresh button” so to speak. SFND MAG: Let’s talk a bit about the EP you have out right now entitled “The 7”? We listened to the project several times. If fact it’s one of my favorites right now. I always put it on while I’m driving in the car. Give bit of the back-story behind this EP… QUINCEY WHITE: The idea of “The 7” EP sparked from my old block 127th St. for short we say “the 7” I wanted to tell my story from the foundation of where it all started so I took it back to my roots. My family had the house on the 7 since the 50’s. SFND MAG: You’ve definitely got “BARS” We appreciate true artistry and you definitely have it. What is your view the state of hip-hop right now? Do you feel that mainstream hip-hop has been watered down over the years with popularity contests and gimmicks instead of dope lyrics and fresh tracks? QUINCEY WHITE: Thank you. My view on the state of Hip-Hop is nonexistent, I really don’t pay attention to the mainstream, all the popularity contests and gimmicks don’t apply to me so, me giving that too much of my attention and time is going to take me away from my path and goals so, “F**k em”. SFND MAG: We are especially feeling the “Hollywood” joint on the EP. It’s crazy dope. How did you link up with R&B duo Jake&Papa for the collaboration for this record? QUINCEY WHITE: Hollywood was a natural collaboration; blood couldn’t make me and Jake&Papa closer whenever we all get in the studio its special.


"As a youngster music was very important to me, I always listened to music that related to what I was going thru at the time, whatever was in my playlist at the present moment was like the soundtrack to my life. "

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

"I really don't pay attention to the mainstream, all the popularity contests and gimmicks don't apply to me "

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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"I wanted to tell my story from the

foundation of where it all started so I took it back to my roots."

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Q EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

SFND MAG: Did you collab with any others on this EP? What producers did you work with on this project? QUINCEY WHITE: I collab’d with a few producers; Twin Towers, RodTheProducer, Remixx, Dex, Nash, Rome So Cold, Marc Garvy, Hill, all dudes that are upcoming that have all the talent in the world.

SFND MAG: I can’t help but feel that in this day in age of hip-hop, the art of storytelling is a lost art form. You are bringing it back man. Your stories that you tell in your music are so vivid. For instance, there is one particular record on the EP called “Hope.” Was this based on a true story or something? You painted the picture so vividly we couldn’t help but feel that this story may have had some truth to it. Very sad but powerful story. Tell us a little about it.

having me. Another artist I think is dope is G. Perico because he took a life that was destined to fail and made something out of himself while staying true and authentic.

SFND MAG: How can your fans reach you on social media? QUINCEY WHITE: Twitter @QuinceyWhite

Instagram @iamQuinceyWhite Facebook @iamQuinceyWhite

Website www.QuinceyWhite.com

SFND MAG: We definitely wish you much success. Thank you for being SoFNDope and we look forward to seeing you at the top.

QUINCEY WHITE: Hope is a true story of many Ghettos I just happened to be the narrator. I don’t like to talk about trendy things to relate because trends die out so instead I tell stories everybody can relate to stories no matter what age you are. SFND MAG: Can we expect any other projects from you soon, maybe an album in the near future? QUINCEY WHITE: You can always expect new music from me I may not drop as consistently as others but when I do expect quality. Album will come when the time is right.

SFND MAG: With the way music industry is right now and the emergence of monetization on social media etc… where do you see yourself as an artist in the next 3-5 years? QUINCEY WHITE: Saying where I’m going to be in 3-5 years I would be lying to you, so all I can do is continue to work hard, network and put the best music out humanly possible.

SFND MAG: Once again, thank you so much Q for interviewing with us. This has been a pleasure but before you go, could you name another artist that you think is “So FN Dope” and tell us why? QUINCEY WHITE: Thank you for

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ON THE VERGE

BORN


PUNCH LINEZ

H C N PU 5

3

1 2

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Z E N I L

PUNCH LINEZ

6

W

e felt that it would be cool to relect back on some of hip-hop’s biggest artists and quote some of their most memorable punchlines. You may recognize some of these and some you may not, but you can’t deny that each artist has managed to come up with some pretty clever one-liners. In no particular order, here are six of SFND Magazine’s most memorable punchlines.

“I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man!” Jay-Z

“ Whatever happened to catchin a good old fashioned passionate ass whipping and getting your shoes, coat and your hat tooken.” EMINEM

1

2

“Under 25, living the f****** life, White America said I’d be doing 25 to life/ And just for that imma blow 25 tonight/ You make 25 a year, I make 25 a night.” BIG SEAN 3

“And y’all scared I can tell that I’mma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cause like Sam, I ca’ sell.” Jada Kiss

4

“Don’t ever fix your lips like collagen And say something when you gon’ end up apolog’ing “

“I told niggas when I was 16, that I’ll write a 16 that’ll put a nigga right on the big screen”

Kanye West

Lamar

5

Kendrick

6

4

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WHO’S LIT

SO FN DOPE MAGAZINE’S LIST of HOTTEST ENTERTAINERS WHO WITHOUT A DOUBT HAVE 2018 LIT AF

1. J Cole’s Album KOD hits #1 on Billboard Charts 2. Kendrick wins J. Cole is definitely having a Pulitzer Prize LIT 2018 after his new album K.O.D. dropped in late April. Since then the record has soared in to the No. 1 spot and even has claimed the 3rd largest streaming week of all time, with only Drake and Kendrick Lamar holding the spots above him. With hot records like, ATM, and Motivate it is easy to see why many gravitate to J Cole’s music. And something tells us that we’ll definitely be hearing more from J.Cole in 2018. Look closely at his track listing and you may notice some hidden gems hinting possibly at another album coming soon. But we’re just speculating. You have to determine that for yourself.

This year is definitely one of the books for rapper Kendrick Lamar. Over the years Kendrick has won many awards; 12 Grammys to be exact as well as countless others. However, this year has proven to be a very special year not only for Kendrick but also for HipHop as a whole, as his album D.A.M.N. won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for the year of 2018. He is the first non-classical or non-jazz artist to win this prestigious award. This is a testament that true hip-hop is not dead and that we are still breaking ground with this amazing art form even in 2018.

3. Drakes’ Summer Anthem Drizzy has definitely done it again.

Not only has he given us God’s Plan but also his latest single “Nice For What” has already taken both the radio and internet by storm. This will certainly be one of the hottest records of 2018. As a matter of fact, if you ask us, it will take a lot to top this record. The sample alone by R&B/ Hip-hop queen Lauryn Hill, accompanied by the high energy bounce beat is enough to keep you dancing for the entire summer.

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F A


in 2018

1

WHO’S LIT AF

3

2

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WHO’S LIT AF

6

5

4

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WHO’S LIT AF

4. Chadwick Boseman

This brother’s future is bright. Not only did he pull off being a black superhero, but he did it with such grace and style. Black Panther started the year off with a breaking box office records in the month of February, and was also the biggest solo superhero movie launch of all time, and this was just a few of the records the movie set. Over the years, Chadwick has starred in many other movies playing the roles or baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42 and the godfather of soul, James Brown, in Get On Up, but his most memorable role as T’Challa has people all over the world shouting “Wakanda Forever”

5. Beyonce at Coachella

Queen Bey has proven once again why she is the Queen of Pop. She completely flabbergasted the crowd with a jaw-dropping performance a Coachella 2018. She never ceases to amaze us with her remarkable vocal performances and unforgettable dance routines. This year was no exception, even taking it back to her roots, with an appearance from her former girl group Destiny’s Child and even brings out her megastar husband Jay-Z. Beyonce’ has once again proven that she is still able to take her career to new heights in 2018 and is here to stay.

6. Cardi-B Mania

Cardi B. without a shadow of a doubt has had one of the most impressive starts of 2018. Everything she touches turns to gold metaphorically speaking. From her chart topping hits with artists like Bruno Mars, G. Easy, and the Migos, to her surprisingly entertaining interviews and social media posts, Cardi B has continued to win over the hearts over millions, and by the looks of the reviews on her album Invasion of Privacy, it doesn’t look like that is going to end any time soon.

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DOPEQUOTES “If you’re scared to take chances, you’ll never have the answers.” –Nas

“Life without dreaming is a "Why do we try so life hard to fit in, when without we were born to meaning.”stand out?" – Machine Gun Kelly – Wale “Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.” – Drake 42 SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM - APR / MAY 2018


DOPEQUOTES “You’ve got to always go back in time if you want to move forward.” – Snoop Dogg “It’s hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.” – Chris Brown

DOPE QUOTES

“Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.” – Colin Powell

“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald APR / MAY 2018- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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PJ

MORTO Interviewed by Ce Ce Chapman for SFND MAGAZINE

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ON

NEW ORLEANS, LA

We are not sure if he clicked his heels three times while making this album, but the proof is definitely in the pudding… There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home…..The next generation of musician, songwriters and producer in New Orleans can take solace in the fact that this Grammy Nominated Artist has enough GUMBO for everyone! Check our exclusive interview the exhilarating singer /songwriter, Mr. PJ Morton.

PHOTO BY: Christopher

Horne

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good, how you doing?

FND MAG: Mr. PJ Morton, we want to first thank you for interviewing with So FN Dope Magazine. We are definitely glad to have you. How are you doing? PJ MORTON: I’m doing

SFND MAG: Doing good.

SFND MAG: You know we have a lot of questions for you? [LAUGHS] One of the first questions... I know New Orleans is home for you right? PJ MORTON: That’s right! SFND MAG: Considering that you have been away for over… how many years have you been gone? PJ MORTON: I left about twelve years ago… a little over that. SFND MAG: So a little over a decade? That’s a long time. PJ MORTON: Oh yeah, I was gone. SFND MAG: So, since your back now, how do you feel? PJ MORTON: I feel so good being back. I mean actually… when I left I really didn’t have any intentions on coming back home. SFND MAG: Really! PJ MORTON: No, I didn’t. You know growing up here, for the things I wanted to do, I had to leave. I couldn’t sign to No Limit or Cash Money. I wasn’t a rapper. At the time I didn’t play jazz music, so for my dreams I had to leave New Orleans you know, but the world is so different now. The music industry is so different now and I feel like I can help some artists here with the things I didn’t have so they don’t have to leave I like I did. So, now it

feels good to be back home, I was able to put myself in a position where I found some success. Now, being able to bring that back home to New Orleans is a beautiful thing! SFND MAG: You have your own record label right? PJ MORTON: Yeah. Morton Records. SFND MAG: Tell us a little about Morton Records!

"The music

industry is so different now and I feel like I can help some artists here with the things I didn't have so they don't have to leave I like I did." PJ MORTON: Well, Morton Records… When I moved home, I intended to do a sneaker store when I first came home. Then I really saw that the same thing that was missing when I was growing up here was still missing in the music industry, so that’s when I started to think of really forming a record label and really trying

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to help out here. Not just artists, not just singers, but also like songwriters and producers and we work on other people’s projects you know. So, it is exciting, it’s still in its baby infant stages but it’s exciting. SFND MAG: Do you have your eye on any particular artists yet that you feel you want to bring on? PJ MORTON: Yeah, I have my eyes on some artist but I really have my eye on some producers as well, so I’ll be announcing some of those real soon. SFND MAG: So, you don’t have anybody signed just yet? PJ MORTON: Noooo! Well, the first thing I put out was my Gumbo album. That really solidified it, we were nominated for two Grammys for that, and that really put Morton Records on the map. SFND MAG: So, you just brought up the Grammys. Let us talk about your Grammy nominated album Gumbo: (Applause) Congrats on the nomination by the way! Take our readers through the Grammy process … Who even notifies you that you are Grammy nominated? Don’t tell us you just get a text message or something like that? [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: No, they announce it on TV then they put it up online, but I got a text before I saw it on TV and somebody said “Congratulations on your nom” you know! First, the members post it on the website the Grammy website, but they also announce it the same way they announce the Oscars and nominations like that. They did it on CBS in the morning or something like that. SFND MAG: Tell us a little bit more about the album title Gumbo! What does that mean to you? What made you call it that? PJ MORTON: Well, part of it was me coming back home and making my first album here in New Orleans and making a hit at home but also I really wanted to. Before that, I wrote a lot of love songs. That was the main thing I usually write, but this time I wanted to write about different subjects because I felt like the


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" I think when you give love in New Orleans you get it back. " .

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world was going to go crazy. President Trump coming in and all this stuff… the racial division… so I wanted to speak to a lot of different things like gumbo. It’s a lot of different things mixed in there. I talk about religion. I talk about racial division. I talk about going through phones. I talk about fake friends… all these different things. SFND MAG: You have encountered a lot of those right? PJ MORTON: Yeah, I have encountered a lot of it, and I’ve seen it and I wanted to put all these different ingredients in this album to make this beautiful Gumbo! SFND MAG: That makes since. So, do you know how to make gumbo? PJ Morton: I don’t. I’ve never made gumbo myself. SFND MAG: Are you serious? PJ MORTON: I just ate a lot of gumbo, but I have not made my own gumbo. SFND MAG: So, who in the city? PJ MORTON: Home! Like… you’ve got to eat it at somebody’s house. She is no longer here but my grandmother had my favorite gumbo. My brother-n-law now has my favorite gumbo. My wife just learned how to make gumbo; she’s on her second pot! SFND MAG: How was the first pot? PJ MORTON: The first pot was good! [LAUGHS] You know what it’s supposed to be you know what I’m saying… [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: It was good… [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: It was good. She did all right … (smiling) SFND MAG: So we waiting on that second pot … [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: No, we’re waiting on that third pot to see if it’s real... [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: That was a good one ... [LAUGHS]

SFND MAG: We’ve spoken to other artist from New Orleans and they’ve used the terms “crab in a barrel mentality” when it comes to support in New Orleans. Do you feel like you have to deal with that? How do you escape it? What is your remedy? PJ Morton: I don’t think it is just New Orleans. I think it’s a lot of places. I think as a people sometimes “WE” as a black people we’ve done that to each other we’ve pulled each other back. I think New Orleans at one time ... I feel like Katrina was a cleansing in a lot of ways! SFND MAG: Really! PJ MORTON: Yeah, I think for all the bad it did, I think it really forced some people out to other places and see other cultures and see other people and then really understand how special New Orleans was and see how other people help people and grow you know…. So, I do think I’ve dealt with that a lot ... I did deal with it less now, I see this wave… that is going on now …that I see of artist and entrepreneurs. I see a lot of people trying to help each other and coming together. I can think of three entrepreneurs right now in my mind that have teamed up and said “Oh you’re doing this over here”... “I’ma support that.” “You doing that. “ Everybody’s trying to help Morton Records. I do think that that’s a part of the culture, but I think that the ideal and the remedy to that is to focus on the positive and focus on the people that are really trying to help and grow because that’s who you want anyway, you know… But yeah, there’s some truth to it. SFND MAG: Considering that New Orleans is kind of city where “we either like you or we don’t” ... Do you feel pressure to produce dope music being that this is your hometown? PJ MORTON: Well, I use to… you know. That’s why I left for so long. It was hard, not just for me. It even took Maroon 5 years to come to New Orleans because it’s such a unique city and such a special place, so I use to feel that pressure, but I think when you give love in New Orleans you get it back. So, when I came home and showed I was a ‘HOME” boy that made it, but also was ready to show love to everybody. I think I got that love back

COVER COVERARTIST STORY so I don’t really feel the pressure anymore. It’s just enjoying myself... Really, this is my home so I don’t even look at it as business in that way I’m just home. I am just here with my family. SFND MAG: So, let me ask you this. We know you are both Maroon 5’s band mate and then PJ Morton “the artist”! Is it difficult for you to find a balance between the two, how do you balance everything? PJ Morton: I mean, I’m me… you know... I me whether I’m in Maroon 5 or by myself or writing for somebody else or producing for somebody else... I mean I don’t turn into two different people. I am myself all the time, so it is not something I’ve got to keep separated to be happy and I think all of those pieces are a part of me. They make me who I am. The hardest thing is just trying to find time to focus on the solo stuff sometimes and then focus on the Maroon stuff. I try to do the best I can and still try to be home with my family. SFND MAG: That was my next question when do you find time for PJ the artist and daddy and hubby. How does all that work? PJ Morton: (Smiling) Well, it’s challenging… you know, because sometimes I would like to be home. Most of the time I’d like to be home more than I am, but also have to be able to provide for my family and give us the life that we have. I have to be gone. It’s just the nature of my job. Some people don’t have to be gone for their job but I’ve got to travel the world and see all these people… you know. I mean, so it’s a blessing, but it’s also a struggle sometimes… I mean, we were gone 6 months basically last year, so I was only home basically half the year broken up in different ways, so it’s challenging but I’m thankful for my family for understanding, and really just being rock star kids and a rock start wife. [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: We have heard you mention that you get really inspired when you’re in London. What is it about London? PJ Morton: Well, I guess that British Invasion [LAUGHS] my mom use to

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COVER STORY always tell me about when the Beatles came to America and the Rolling Stones so I think that Britain in general was a place of creativity and I felt like it was someplace I always wanted to get to... I wouldn’t say it’s my main place now, but when I was younger I was definitely was a place I wanted to go to be inspired and find that; whatever they tapped into. SFND MAG: What does New Orleans do to you? What does your hometown bring out of PJ? PJ MORTON: Ummm… New Orleans brings out the freedom and the not care attitude. What I like about New Orleans; it’s our blessing and our curse, is that we don’t care what everybody else is doing. SFND MAG: Right! PJ MORTON: We’re like… “This is what we are doing” so we don’t care what you’re doing and sometimes that’s to a detriment because sometimes you need to care what’s going. But, the good thing about that creativity is you get to focus on what makes you happy and try to find what’s DOPE to you as an artist as oppose to in L.A or New York where there is a lot of noise and a lot going on whereas here you can just lock in and figure it out. SFND MAG: We couldn’t help to notice on your new album... PJ MORTON: Gumbo Unplugged Yeah SFND MAG: We noticed a heavy dose of PJ in the writing credits on your album. Do you ever have moments where your writing something that was intended for yourself but you are as this would be a fire Maroon 5 hit or vice versa? When is your writing Maroon 5 and when is it PJ? PJ MORTON: Well, I started in this business as just songwriter before I was an artist. I didn’t want to be an artist at first. I got my start in gospel music at first, but then when I moved… India Arie and Monica and Jagged Edge and Ruben Studdard; so I was songwriter first so I’m use to writing for somebody else and putting myself in someone else’s shoes and writing for them. There’s a time when I say I’m working on PJ stuff. This

is what I want to sing… that’s my voice, but when I’m writing for somebody else I put myself in their shoes and I kind of become a different person, you know… I become who they are …I know how to separate it. SFND MAG: One of our favorite songs on the GUMBO album is “Claus-trophobic”...am I saying that right?

" I felt like

everybody had their opinions of what I should be and what music I should make , how I should look , what I should sound like and to me it felt like; I felt like all these ideas were making me claustrophobic." PJ MORTON: Yeah, “Claustrophobic”. SFND MAG: What inspired this song? We feel like it is super relevant to the state the industry is in! PJ MORTON: Well, I wrote it my last couple years living in California, when I felt like everybody had their opinions of what I should be and what music I should make , how I should look , what I should sound like and to me it felt like… I felt like all these ideas were making me

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claustrophobic. Like they were all just packing me in and trying to box me in and you know. “Claustrophobic,” I call it like the artist anthem because from a creative standpoint the idea is to be free. Be yourself and not to let other people try to define you and that really what “Claustrophobic” is about. SFND MAG: A couple of our other favorite songs are “Religion” and “Go Thru Your Phone”! “Go Thru Your Phone” sounds personal … [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: Ooooo Yesss ... [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: What was that about? PJ MORTON: Well, it’s really about a man being happy and not wanting to see something that may make him not want to be in the relationship. You know people say you go looking for something … SFND MAG: You’ll find it! PJ MORTON: You’ll find it right! I think that if your happy and everything is cool and y’all don’t have any issues; I’m not going to go…I mean besides the fact that your personal property, your personal space (smiling) but aside from that even if it is .. I do not even want to go through it because if I am looking for some then, some then something is probably wrong already. I don’t want to see it. I want to find out another way! I don’t want to find out by going and look myself! SFND MAG: If it just surfaces! PJ MORTON: Yeahhhh! SFND MAG: You’re hurting your own feeling. PJ MORTON: Yeah, like going to look to hurt my feelings…; that are just me. You look like you been through some phones huh? [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: I’ve been through my share ….[LAUGHS] I’ve learned , I feel the same way… you know ,I don’t want to hurt my own feelings. PJ MORTON: It bit you huh? It bit you! [LAUGHS]


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PHOTO BY: Christopher

Horne

PHOTO BY: Michael W. Eaton

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" I really wanted to make an album that could help people for years."

PHOTO BY: Michael W. Eaton

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COVER STORY SFND MAG: Yeah, then there is this whole process. PJ MORTON: Yeah, then that’s a whole can of worms. SFND MAG: Some of our readers may not know that you are a PK (Pastor’s Kid). You’re the son of Bishop Paul S. Morton. We hear deep gospel roots in your music, from your piano and organ chord progressions to your melodies. Do you ever feel like maybe you should have been a gospel artist / musician, or do you feel like God has placed where He wanted you to be? PJ MORTON: I feel like I am doing God’s work doing what I am doing I mean of course as a songwriter I’ve written many gospel songs for people. As an artist, I never felt like I was supposed to be a gospel artist. SFND MAG: Yeah? PJ MORTON: No, I feel like it would have limited me. I wanted to talk about more than just God. When I was younger of course, there was a lot of pressure about that. First about not being a gospel singer, but then not being a pastor and not following in my dad’s shoes and being a preacher, but I knew that God had a different plan for me and I just stuck to that and I think other people could see that it was God plan. SFND MAG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? PJ MORTON: Well, I really want to grow as a businessman even outside of music. I’m going to continue to make music. I definitely want Morton Records to be much bigger in 5 years and some artist to be as big as I am and out there “repping” New Orleans and “repping” this culture. I definitely want to see a whole wave of this industry in New Orleans on the map in 5 years, but even outside of that; you know… developing New Orleans even New Orleans East where I grew up. I see me building a lot more in this city in 5 years. SFND MAG: So basically, as far as business you want to do property development.

PJ MORTON: Yeah, property development and anything that can help the culture like really build it up. I grew up in the East when the Plaza was “poppin” and it was a great. SFND MAG: Right! Rubenstein Brothers … [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: Yeah, all of that stuff was amazing out there and I’ve seen how it’s gone down even before Katrina but even worse post Katrina. I feel like being a leader in the community and someone who grew up there his whole life I want to definitely do my part to get it back “poppin.” SFND MAG: Ok let me ask you this too, I know you have been gone a lot traveling, being a husband, being a CEO, being a father, in what ways do find time to give back? PJ MORTON: Well you know I think with the tools I have in music it’s a lot of the ways I want to give back. Like I did the songwriting seminar in New Orleans where I taught some kids how to write songs, how to make songs.

your audience exactly what they want to know I really enjoyed today PJ I laughed a lot and it’s great to finally meet you. PJ MORTON: It is good to meet you, YES! SFND MAG: Ok so we brought you some Gumbo, so let’s see if its better then Kortni’s… [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: That second pot… [LAUGHS] Let’s see what we got! Oh, you putting your rice in? SFND MAG: Yeah, do you eat it with rice? PJ MORTON: Oh yeah! It’s the only way! SFND MAG: You know some people don’t eat it with rice! PJ MORTON: I don’t respect them. I judge those people! SFND MAG: The people who don’t eat Gumbo with rice? PJ MORTON: Yeah I judge em… [LAUGHS]

SFND MAG: So basically, you’re feeling like you are giving our youth tools to generate revenue…

SFND MAG: See, now that’s something else we found out about you … [LAUGHS] Is it better then Kortni’s?

PJ MORTON: Absolutely!

PJ MORTON: Whoa… I don’t know what that means… [LAUGHS], but it’s good though, It’s the real deal...yeah!

SFND MAG: That’s DOPE! PJ MORTON: Yeah I mean that’s the ideas... because that was the only thing that was missing when I was growing up. You could learn how to play and instrument in New Orleans that’s like second nature. Everybody can play, you know, but what they weren’t teaching me was how to write songs, and what publishing was, and how to be a producer and an engineer in music. So, those missing pieces are what I want to teach so the next generation is able to bring that here! SFND MAG: PJ, thank you once again for this amazing opportunity to sit down with you. This has truly been an honor. I really enjoyed this interview. PJ MORTON: Me too! SFND MAG: You really get it! You give

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SFND MAG: It’s good but not better then Kortni’s ... [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: Uhh uhh (mouth full of Gumbo shaking his head no) SFND MAG: [LAUGHS] PJ MORTON: No indeed … “No this ain’t better than Kortni’s … it’s good though!” SFND MAG: Thank you for being SoFNDope PJ! PJ MORTON: Thank you!


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So FN Dope Magazine Issue 6  

Welcome to another issue of So FN Dope Magazine. For our sixth issue we’re taking you guys back to the deep South to the city that city neve...

So FN Dope Magazine Issue 6  

Welcome to another issue of So FN Dope Magazine. For our sixth issue we’re taking you guys back to the deep South to the city that city neve...