So FN Dope Magazine Issue 14

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QUESTIONS EVERY ENTREPRENEUR SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN DEVELOPING THEIR BRAND

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GRAMMY WINNING SINGER /SONG WRITER

JACKIE’S BOY JUST MIGHT

“DO IT AGAIN”

WITH NEW SINGLE EXPRESSIVE ARTIST

SABRINA HOWARD

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BRILLIANTLY RESPONDS TO SYSTEMIC RACISM ONE MASTERPIECE AT A TIME

WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: TEDDY LABISSIERE WARDROBE STYLIST: AMANDA MASSI

PRETTY RICKY’S

SPECTACULAR SMITH SHARES HIS PERSONAL JOURNEY FROM TEENAGE HEARTTHROB TO MULTIMILLION DOLLAR TECH CEO


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Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

BE FLY... BE ORIGINAL... BE SO DOPE...

FN


® FOUNDERS / Editors in Chief

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hat’s good! Thank you for your interest in So FN Dope® Magazine. We are a fairly 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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Walter Michael Welch Jr. Corey Norwood Sr. Director of Marketing and Advertising Servon Moss Director of Arts and Entertainment Ashton Francois CONTRIBUTORS The David Banner Podcast Axum Kulturally Appropriate Creative Beauty Boutique Hype-Radio.com JB & Benny Blue Review Mixed Behavior Caravan Film Crews Status Sparkling Wines Braidlux Addicted To Results J Davis Brand Shadow Promotions mweaton.com Tree Hugger S.T.A.B.L.E. COVER STORY SPECTACULAR SMITH FEATURED Spectacular Smith Jackie’s Boy Sabrina Howard GUEST WRITERS Chayo Briggs Maranda Joiner Queen Ke Merc B Williams COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Teddy Labissiere CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Derrick Hicks Evan Doheny Griff Griffin D’artagnion Winford Kendrick Davis Prostock-studio/ Adobe Stock VIDEOGRAPHER Ulises Garcia WARDROBE STYLIST Amanda Massi MAKE-UP ARTIST Verohna James Barron

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MAGAZINE

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MERCENARY CHRONICLES 2020 has been hard for all of us. Merc B gives us some helpful tips and encouraging words on how to cope during these extremely challenging times. JACKIE’S BOY Check out our exclusive interview with Grammy winning singer / songwriter Jackie’s Boy as he talks about his remarkable journey in the music industry.

SABRINA HOWARD Meet Sabrina Howard, an incredible Southern artist whose masterpieces have, motivated, inspired, and promoted change in the community by tackling the tough issues involving racial division and social injustice in America.

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WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT From mistresses to sidepieces and sugar daddies. Let’s take a deep dive into some of the causes of infidelity to find out the real reason why people cheat in a relationship.

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

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WHEN BRANDING ASKS: What’s In a Name? Find out how significant a good name really is in business as Brand Strategist Maranda Joiner gives helpful tips to budding entrepreneurs.

SPECTACULAR SMITH From music entertainer to full-blown entrepreneur, Spectacular Smith has been making waves and gaining the attention of the heavy hitters in the tech industry. Check out our interview with him and hear his story on how he has transitioned from a member Pretty Ricky to the CEO of an INC 500 company, Adwizar.

FIRST LADIES OF FLORIDA Hot new music! Check out how these two female Florida artists are making a name for themselves in 2020.

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Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

Blazer: Mysterious by NPN / @mysteriousbynpn Silk top: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Silk scarf: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

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FNDOPE

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MAGAZINE® EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

SPECTACULAR page

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LETTER FROM THE FOUNDERS

Letter From the Founders

EXPLORING UNKNOWN TERRITORY

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ccording to Google, the number 14 represents an intense energy that needs to be properly directed otherwise it can be destructive. The number 14 is a unique number, which is associated with knowledge, travel, and exploration of unknown territory. This really stood out to me as I began to write this letter, especially the part about exploring unknown territory and properly directing your energy. We are surely exploring unknown territory in this time of societal seclusion. Our energy only has two options; negative or positive and we chose the latter. I was asked after our last issue “How are you guys making out with this pandemic going on? I know it has to be tough especially for you guys”! If you could have seen my face. LOL! My answer to that was, “TOUGH makes calluses!” This pandemic has made us stronger and made our grip tighter as a company. It is inevitable that change must happen. How you respond to it makes you So FN Dope® or NOT! I like to say, “Everybody wants to be a butterfly, but nobody wants to be a caterpillar”. This pandemic has forced us to embrace the caterpillar stage more than we would normally. It allowed us

Corey Norwood Sr. Co-Founder So FN Dope Magazine

to really focus on the importance of our Why! We are humbled and honored to work and collaborate with some of the DOPEST journalists and artists in their respective fields. This issue is filled with people whose WHY’S outweigh there wants. Spectacular Smith is a prime example of properly directed energy. This Artist, Entrepreneur and Visionary has a rags to riches, rags to riches (Yes I said it twice) story you do not want to miss. Also featured in this issue is a young lady by the name of Sabrina Howard that proves there is power in her paint and she is blatantly evoking conversation of resolution through art. Also in this issue Jackie’s Boy, a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter that was once known as a street performer is now driven to become a household name. Our goal has been and will always be to give a platform to The Fly, The Original, and The So FN Dope®. Special thanks to everyone that helped make this happen and contributed to this issue. If you are reading this on any platform, we humbly say “Thank You” for your continued support and reading LOYALTY. If you’re not So FN Dope®, then what are you?

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

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ISSUE # 14

SPECTACULAR SMITH Cover Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Blazer: Mysterious by NPN / @mysteriousbynpn Silk top: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Silk scarf: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

AVAILABLE ON WWW.SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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MERCENARY CHRONICLES

MERCENARY CHRONICLES: WITH

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Article by Merc B. Williams

t’s so much going on in the world I have no idea where to start. I most definitely hope all of you are safe and your families are safe as well. Like we’re seriously in an entire pandemic. Who’d have thought I’d be wearing a mask and not stealing from somebody. Lol. Just kidding. No but seriously these are wild and crazy times right now. Wildfires. Hurricanes. Shootings. Police brutality. Climate change. Trump(*insert eye roll*). Election season. The first woman VP on the presidential ballot AND she’s BLACK. Breonna Taylor’s killers still haven’t been arrested....Sigh. Sports are back and in the fight for social injustice with all of us.(well except the NFL. I don’t trust them. That’s for another post). It just really seems like every month of 2020 has been one long year in itself. I’ve deleted and rewritten this so many times because I’m sure I, like everybody else is just overflowing with a multitude of emotion at this time. So this time I just felt compelled to encourage y’all. We can all use it during these times. Myself included. Between furloughs, losing friends and family during these times, not being able to perform on any stages it’s been rough. But as always we will get through it and come out better for it. I truly believe that. Anyway I hope this lifts you and your spirits. Y’all stay up, stay blessed and stay free! And WEAR YOUR MASKS!! Y’all share that...

1. You are enough. 2. You’re more than a conqueror. 3. What’s for you is for you. 4. You have not because you ask not. 5. Everything you need is already inside of you. 6. The universe is waiting on you to be what you’re supposed to be so somebody else can get their breakthrough through you. 7. You don’t need permission to be great. 8. Do the work. The rest will take care of itself. 9. Do not get weary in well doing. 10. Love yourself. Unconditionally. 11. Freedom is the goal. Be free. 12. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. 13. Logic over emotion but still allow yourself to “feel” 14. Acceptance over understanding. 15. Peace is paramount over all things. Protect it at all costs. That is all. Love y’all. -Merc Photographer: Derrick Hicks IG: @carlynphotography

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FEATURED

JACKIE’S BOY

Photography: Evan Doheny

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Our first artist has already made quite the name for himself. He has carved his own unique path through the music industry as a song writer and has worked with music icons such as Madonna, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and many others. As an artist, he hopes to achieve the same level of success if not more. Check out our exclusive interview with Grammy winning singer/songwriter Jackie’s Boy.

SAVANNAH , GA

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FND MAG: Jackie’s Boy! What’s crackin my brother? We appreciate you for taking the time to interview with us. We are sincerely sorry about the delay. We were hoping to get to interview you a lot sooner, but the affects of COVID-19 have thrown us all a little off track. Hopefully things will level out here soon. How you been? JACKIE’S BOY: I’ve been great, all things considered. Yes, this is crazy times but this too shall pass. I’ve been working from home recording in the studio, doing interviews and having great quality time with my family! SFND MAG: We certainly are excited about this interview. Just reading your bio alone is nothing short of amazing. You have achieved so many accomplishments over the years. It is not often that we get to interview someone with so many accolades. Before we get into that, tell us little about yourself and how you got into the music industry. JACKIE’S BOY: Thanks so much! I really appreciate that! My name is Carlos Battey also known as Jackie’s Boy I am singer/ songwriter I got into the industry as a street performer singing in my hometown in Savannah, GA and then I moved to LA and continued street performing in Santa Monica. After 5 years I was noticed by an A&R who loved the talent and got offered a chance to write for Flo Rida and that went on to become my first top 5 record on the billboard charts! SFND MAG: Over the years, you have worked with a lot of artists... As a singer/ songwriter, do you find it difficult to choose which songs you will keep for yourself and which song to make available for other artists? JACKIE’S BOY: Yes, I do sometimes especially when it’s really good! [LAUGHS] But honestly, a song speaks to me and there a gut feeling I have when I know it’s for me. SFND MAG: You’ve worked with some of the most iconic artists in the industry

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from Chris Brown, to Madonna, to Justin Bieber, Tyga, and 50 Cent. Do you feel any pressure when working with such huge artists? JACKIE’S BOY: In the beginning, I was very nervous wondering if I was good enough then over time I began to trust in myself and the gift God gave me. SFND MAG: Now, we know you are an artist as well. We checked out some of your music and You have a hot record out right now man entitled “Do It Again” featuring Shawn Stockman of legendary R&B group Boyz II Men !!! Crazy dope record!!! What was the inspiration behind this record? Could you tell us a little bit about how this record came about? JACKIE’S BOY: Yes of course. The song happened by me reaching out to Shawn on Instagram. Crazy right? He commented on a video I posted and then I told myself send him a message to see if he wants to do a song and I did. Best decision I ever made he responded and said he would love to! We recorded in LA at my studio. The song was done in 30 minutes, and he recorded his part in 10 minutes! A true professional and a wonderful soul! SFND MAG: Love everything about the song. Can we anticipate any visuals or music videos to accompany this record? JACKIE’S BOY: Yes, I can’t wait to show everyone the video. I am very excited about it! SFND MAG: Is there a full length album in the works? If so, what is the name of the project and when can we expect a release? JACKIE’S BOY: Yes, I am working on an EP to release in October. I haven’t come up with a name yet, but when I do y’all will definitely know! SFND MAG: You have a successful career in music as a singer/songwriter. We have read that you have been nominated for a Grammy four times and you even won one. What was that experience like winning a Grammy for your contributions as a songwriter?

“But honestly, a song speaks to me and there a gut feeling I have when I know it’s for me”. -JACKIE'S BOY


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“I am one of those people who is shocked by everything. So to have the career I’ve had so far is mind blowing to me. ” -JACKIE'S BOY

Photography: Evan Doheny

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JACKIE’S BOY: Winning a Grammy for my participation in a song (Madonna “Revolver” ft Lil Wayne best-remixed recording) that I wrote still feels surreal. I am one of those people who is shocked by everything. So to have the career I’ve had so far is mind blowing to me. SFND MAG: It’s 2020 now and music is constantly changing. R&B music in the traditional sense has taken a backseat to a more simplistic and melodic version of hip-hop. As a songwriter, is it easy for you to adapt to the different styles of popular music today or do you prefer to stay true to the more traditional forms of R&B? JACKIE’S BOY: I think for me I find comfortability in both because of me being a songwriter and always adapting to new styles. I have developed a sound myself called “Progressive Soul” that shows the beauty in traditional R&B mixed with modern sounds of today. SFND MAG: What advice do you have for aspiring singer/songwriters that have dreams of having a career in the music industry? JACKIE’S BOY: Consistency and accuracy always making sure you are consistently writing, singing, and making the best music of your life! SFND MAG: How can our readers reach you on social

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media?

JACKIE’S BOY: You can find me on all social media outlets under the name Jackie’s Boy SFND MAG: We always like to ask this question to those we interview. If you could name one person whom you think is So FN Dope, who would it be and why? JACKIE’S BOY: Prince!!! I am a huge fan of his work and his ability to be authentic no matter the situation. He truly is someone I aspire to be musically. SFND MAG: Once again, thank you so much for interviewing with us. It has been a pleasure. We definitely wish you much continued success my brother. JACKIE’S BOY: Thanks again for having me I am truly honored and I love y’all platform. I wish you continued success and bountiful blessings!

“I have developed a sound myself called “Progressive Soul” that shows the beauty in traditional R&B mixed with modern sounds of today”. -JACKIE’S BOY

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FEATURED

SABRINA HOWARD

For our next artist, the word talented is an understatement. Her masterfully made works of art are breathtaking to say the least. Not only are her art pieces skillfully crafted, but they go beyond the paintings themselves and tap into the very fabric of the hardships and pains of racism and social injustice that has plagued our country for hundreds of years and still today. Check out our interview with Sabrina Howard and see how she uses her gift of painting to articulate exactly what many in the black community are feeling about racism, police brutality, and social injustice in America.

JACKSON, MS

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FND MAG: What’s up, what’s up, what’s up Sabrina? We cannot thank you enough for agreeing to interview with us. How have you been holding up in the pandemic?

SABRINA HOWARD: I am holding up quite well actually. Despite the current crisis going on in the world right now I am surprisingly busy. That’s a good thing! SFND MAG: Please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from and a little about what you do. SABRINA HOWARD: I am a native of Jackson, Mississippi and the mother of four burgeoning creatives. My oldest son is a tattoo artist, next to him is my musician who has written and recorded a few hip-hop songs. My two younger children love to paint and create alongside mom. After high school, I decided to pursue a career in art. I earned a bachelor’s degree in communication design and illustration from the Atlanta College of Art in 1995. After graduation, I worked as a web designer for IBM interactive and a graphic artist for BellSouth advertising and publishing in Atlanta. While there, I also completed two Murals, one of which was located in Peoplestown. In 2002, I returned to Jackson Mississippi to assist my parents during their golden years. Since returning home, I’ve worked as a webmaster and graphic artist for Jackson State University’s Mississippi Urban Research Center, as an art and computer teacher, and as freelance graphic designer. I am currently a fabrication laboratory tech with Cooperation Jackson. Two art exhibits displaying my work are frozen in time here in Jackson Mississippi. The most recent is located at the Community Production Center in West Jackson and commemorates Hurricane Katrina and Black August 2020. The Municipal Art Gallery in Jackson currently houses “The Artworks of Sabrina Howard,” a solo exhibition featuring a mix of mediums and subject matter. I also have pieces featured at the Arts Center of Mississippi, as part of a combined show, called “How We Fly” with two other FLY black female artists, Adrienne Domnick

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and Talemekia Brice. I also have a dope earring line called “The Heritage Collection.” The line features bamboo earrings shaped as continent and state combinations. One of the popular designs is of Africa and an inside contour of the state of Mississippi along with other southern themed icons. SFND MAG: First of all, we have to say how amazing your work truly is. I remember the first time I saw you paint live. It was a truly amazing experience to see how you create. You have a true God-given talent. When did you first take interest in creating works of art and making it a profession? SABRINA HOWARD: From a very early age, I’ve always known that I would exist as a professional artist. The desire to create and share my art with the world has always been a huge part of me. In high school, I was interviewed by a local newspaper and I remember saying that if you found a job that you love, you would never have to work a day in your life. I definitely love what I do, but it’s more than that. It is who I am. I enjoy sharing my ideas, receiving feedback and creating conversation with the things that I create. SFND MAG: We have noticed that many of your pieces have very strong ties to the struggle of African Americans in this country. Living in the South, how important is it for you to create strong images that evoke emotions of our suffering and inequalities in this country that we are still struggling with in 2020? SABRINA HOWARD: Nina Simone (page 33) once said, “How can you be an artist and not reflect the time?” Being a creative living in the south, I feel it’s extremely important for us to reflect what’s happening around us. Our art should be reflective of the current issues and struggles within our communities, so they evoke conversations surrounding resolutions to these problems. Ideas are born through imagery, thoughts, and ideas. I am simply elated that I could fulfill my creative desires and make a living by visually communicating my ideas. The unfortunate thing about some of the pieces that I have created in the past is that they are blatantly still relevant today.

I hope and pray that we one day come up with what will break this cycle of inequality in racial and social injustice. SFND MAG: With all the recent uprising, protests, and riots against police brutality and systematic racism do you feel inspired even more so to create, express or articulate the feelings and emotions that many of us are feeling in these times? SABRINA HOWARD: Yes! Again, I feel that it is very important that my art evoke conversation about the issues that are plaguing our country. One of my most recent pieces is titled “Everything Hurts.” It displays a portrait of George Floyd and in its background, you will find the American flag that is just black and white where the stars appear to be flying away. There is also imagery of burning cities as well as raised fist. The piece’s title expresses the pain that is currently building from living through a serious pandemic where lots of lives are lost as well as having to deal with recurring struggles of our black community. SFND MAG: Where do you typically get your inspiration from to create these masterpieces? SABRINA HOWARD: Right now, my inspiration has evolved from my constant challenge of creating resolutions to our current issues. SFND MAG: Now, we follow you and keep up with you on social media regularly and there have been a few instances where your content has been removed by either Facebook or Instagram for being too controversial. I personally didn’t think that was the case. I actually think it is ridiculous that they removed it, but how does it affect you, knowing that your artwork is being targeted and removed because the platform feels it could potentially spark negative emotions in others? SABRINA HOWARD: I feel that blocking those particular pieces from promotion is another hard example of systematic racism. One painting that was blocked titled “Power and Peace” was yet another creative response to a resolution to what’s happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. The piece was a positive


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Photography: Griff Griffin

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OBAMA FOREVER by Sabrina Howard

answer to what we need or how we need to exist. I think it was the explanation of the piece that caused it to be flagged. This was the statement that I posted underneath the painting: As we stand for justice and racial equality, we must find peace in these sensitive times. Those who feel threatened by Black people must find a way to peacefully exist with us. As we stand, let’s find peace with what we’ve been through. There is power in peace!

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SFND MAG: So you typically like to use blank canvases or do you prefer to find an interesting medium to paint on? SABRINA HOWARD: I love to create using interesting mediums. I consider myself to be a recycle artist meaning I repurpose materials and found objects to create my pieces. The majority of my pieces today are created using repurposed canvases that I assemble into abstract platforms and then create on top. I’ve used fabric remnants, staples, nails, adhesives, and random found objects.

However, I do typically use blank canvases for my portrait commissions. SFND MAG: Explain your reason behind using other objects for your masterpieces. SABRINA HOWARD: Someone once described my pieces as a finding beauty in chaos. I feel that’s the perfect description of my creative process. If I had to describe the uncertainty of this year, 2020, I would use the current state of the world as the progress of the paint and colors colliding together eventually


FEATURED maturing into a carved out beauty. In the final, we will see its purpose. The world is my canvas. SFND MAG: If you had to choose, which would be your most favorite piece you’ve ever painted and why? SABRINA HOWARD: “Higher” (page 27) is one of my favorite pieces right now. I was able to capture the essence of NIPSEY Hustle sculpturally with mixed media. The piece is 6’3” tall and is saturated with metaphors surrounding

There is this one piece that I created live during Synergy Night, a local open mic event in Jackson, Mississippi. One night after painting live, a lady approached me inquiring about the piece that I had created three events prior. She recounted the night that I painted the piece and explained that I gave away a similar piece the week before. After giving her the price, she quickly retrieved the necessary funds, paid me, snapped a quick photo, and basically disappeared. I didn’t catch her name and I never saw a post of her or the piece on social media. Later, I posted an image of the painting on Instagram

his life. I assembled the canvases as an abstract cross while illustrating Nipsey with arms stretched. An actual bullet pierces the hand where blood is shed; a soulless Puma completes the piece at the bottom. I love this piece because I was able to explore the physical and metaphorical meaning of the Cross by constructing it with the canvases while marrying it with the Jesus like remembrance of Nipsey Hustle and the legacy and impact he made on his community using brands and colors while speaking of the looming gun violence that’s silenc-

ing Kings.

and was bombarded with inquiries and offers for the piece. I wish I had gotten a nice clear shot of it before it left me. Documentation is very important!!!

fellow creative. I was probably one of the last black people to watch the movie Black Panther. During this viewing time was also when Obama delivered his last address to the nation as President of the United States. I jokingly commented, “What if Obama pulled down his lip at the end of his speech rather than dropping the mic, revealing his WAKANDIAN lineage.” I was challenged to paint this idea with a twist. My answer was to design a piece featuring my signature building up of canvas frames, draping them in an African garment with a blue-collar button down shirt and paint-

SFND MAG: Let’s talk a little about some of your artwork. Could we talk about one of your pieces called “Obama Forever”? This is an interesting. Tell us about this and the back-story behind this piece of art? SABRINA HOWARD: The creation of “Obama Forever’’ (page 30) was sparked from an animated conversation with a

SFND MAG: Are there any pieces that you’ve have either sold, auctioned, or given away that you regret letting leave your possession? SABRINA HOWARD: I have given away more original pieces then I’ve sold. Some of the pieces were given away by choice because I wanted that person to enjoy the piece.

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FEATURED Photography: D’artagnion Winford

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the Wakandian secret identity. This piece is also reflective of two men of honor in my lifetime, Barack Obama and my dad, Robert James Mallard. The clothing that I used was one of my dad’s corporate blue dress shirts and a section of fabric from an African outfit that he would always wear around Black History month. SFND MAG: Next we’d like to ask you about the piece with Lady Justice as a black woman, holding the balance in the slip knot of a noose, with her

mouth taped shut with an inscription of “Breath” on it. I believe this is the one that was flagged on social media. Tell us a bit about it and where your inspiration derived from this one. SABRINA HOWARD: “System Repair” was started as a live painted piece. I finished the piece in my studio adding the noose and stitching the rip. This piece was born during a Black Lives Matter heightened occurrence after Eric Garner was killed by the New York

Police Department. If you look closely, you will also find a tear near the top of the kinky hair where there is a threaded needle still left in place after an obvious stitch or attempted repair has been made. The symbolism here speaks of a repair that has been performed but did not “fix” the problem. Some things just cannot be repaired, I say. The noose represents those many cases that are supposed to be JUSTICE but JUST IS NOT! FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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FEATURED In some cases win or lose, someone gets “hung.” The tape over the black Lady Justice screams of recurring racial and social injustices that have happened and are happening in real time. SFND MAG: You once told me an interesting story about one of your paintings. Tell us the story behind “Pretty Wings.” SABRINA HOWARD: An “Intimate Night with Maxwell” was definitely a night to remember. I candidly mentioned to someone that I’d dreamed of painting live to Maxwell’s song, “Pretty Wings.” Maxwell’s tour was scheduled to make a stop in Jackson, Mississippi during the fall of 2018. Someone from the local radio station reached out to me after hearing about my seemingly outlandish idea of performing live art at a Maxwell concert. After the conversation, I decided to create a custom piece to present to Maxwell at a scheduled meet-and-greet. Fast forward, I’m standing in line with this piece I constructed out of canvases, adorned with feathers in the open areas accenting a loose portrait of another established musician, Katt Rockell. The thought of releasing this piece to MAXWELL and him possibly leaving it on the tour bus started to really tear at me. While some of the other fans waiting were primping and preparing for the

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greet, I was stressing over this beautiful piece being lost. I walk up with painting in hand and greet Maxwell. He asks if I created the piece and I say, “yes.” His bodyguard then screams from across the room and warns him that I plan to take it back with me. Maxwell nicely snatches the painting from me, says, “This is MINE!” Afterwards he asked for a hug and we snapped a few shots. The concert starts and the first song is, “Pretty Wings.” [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: What advice would you give to young aspiring artists that want to pursue a career as an artist? SABRINA HOWARD: Just Do It! Follow your heart. Once an idea is born, it is our responsibility to share that nugget of information with the world. What you have to share may be that one idea someone needs to experience to get to their next level. SFND MAG: How can our readers reach you on Social Media? SABRINA HOWARD: I can be found on Instagram at sabrinahowardart and on Facebook at Sabrina Howard. My work can also be found at www.sabrinahoward. com.

SFND MAG: Once again, thank you Sabrina 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? SABRINA HOWARD: Shekayla Shinholster is So FN DOPE! I met her on Instagram after she commented on a post of mine and we later had a conversation about various art related topics. She often told me that I inspired her. The truth is, She is my inspiration! Shekayla has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, where her fetal muscles and joints did not develop properly resulting in joint deformity. She does not have use of her arms or legs but this didn’t stop her God given gift. Among other talents, she paints exceptionally with her mouth. Shekayla has defined the odds and continues to amaze me everyday! I’m enjoying watching her growth as a young lady and artist! check her out on Instagram @shakeylatreasures SFND MAG: We definitely wish you much success and look forward to seeing more of your work. SABRINA HOWARD: Thanks for inviting me to share on your SO FN DOPE platform!


®


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

WHY DO People

CHEAT? H

ave you ever wondered what compels a person to cheat? The reality is, people will cheat for many reasons, and a new study published in ‘The Journal of Sex’ research found the biggest reasons why people are unfaithful; a lack of sexual satisfaction in the relationship. A panel of researchers conducted a survey of 495 adults with an average age of 20 who were asked if they’ve ever cheated in a relationship and if so, what was their motivation. Since the survey was non-specific questions, researchers grouped the responses by commonality to find that there were 77 separate motivations for infidelity. Among all the reasons given, the number one reason as to why people cheat was due to the unsatisfied sex, they felt unloved as if their partner did not care enough to make them feel satisfied. In fact, 77 percent of the responses either explicitly stated, they fell out of love; while the motivation came from the person feeling unloved. Shula Malamed, relationship coach, stated the lack of love could mean the person felt a lack of appreciation or playfulness from their partner. On the other hand, a healthier approach to deal-

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Article by Chayo Briggs

ing with these issues would be to build stronger communication skills with the domestic partner. Shula, warns that the word ‘love’ is a verb, meaning it requires action to keep the relationship growing. In any intimate bond between people, love needs to be nurtured, replenished, and not taken for granted. So, the lack of love in the relationship is the biggest motivator to cheat, but is this the only reason? Some other studies reported that infidelity showed over 10% across adulthood, with a peak of 20% occurring for couples in their 40s. Those who discover their partner’s unfaithfulness regard the experience as “shattering” and believe that it signals the end of the relationship. Then only if the relationship is going to recover, the cheating partner must admit to being remorseful. Now, something odd is the couples who face an affair but don’t get divorced are happier in their marriage if they remain together. The action causes them to build communication skills thereby, strengthening the bond. However, both parties must be committed to making the relationship work. In some cases, strongly held religious beliefs might prevent partners from seeking a divorce causing some deep-seated resentments to grow. However, couples

use their religion to help get through the difficulties of dealing with the infidelity said they found ways to handle the affair much more effectively. In summary, by recognizing that infidelity is a symptom of an unhappy marriage, can lead to increased intimacy. The second most common reason was the desire to have additional sexual encounters. Now, many of the studies found that people were reluctant to admit their lust for additional sexual encounters. For example, one man in the study stated that he felt he needed more sex in his life to reward him for performing well at his job. Some other common reasons are a situational reason. For example, “I was at


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

admitted a big motivator. A third of people admitted to saying they just wanted to have sex. In general, the study found men were likely to cheat for variety, then women.

Personality type also played a role in why someone chose to cheat. For instance, people with commitment issues were more motivated by sexual variety while hopeless romantics cheated because of a lack of love and commitment. But overall, experts say it’s important to know that being cheated on is not your fault. Regardless of what someone’s reason for cheating at the end of the day, it is about them and not you. A small tidbit in the current societal situation is there are three zodiac signs more likely to cheat post-quarantine. Astrologers say if you are worried about your partner cheating, look at their birth chart. Photo by: Prostock-studio / Adobe Stock

a club and got drunk.” Over 70 percent admitted to alcohol being the actual reason. If you’ve heard that excuse it’s time to look deeper at some underlying cause to the affair. The action may be is more than just they don’t love you, or want out of the relationship. As a matter of fact, those may not have anything to do with the situation. “In general, cheating does not necessarily parallel to the love of one’s partner,” family and relationship psychotherapist and author, Dr. Fran Walfish says, “If the person cheated only one time, and demonstrates genuine remorse, regret, empathy, and apologizes, the breach of trust can be repaired with two willing partners.” Another valid reason is to boost their

self-esteem. As people age and loose quote, ‘sex appeal’ they need to find someone who makes them feel alive and young once again. The need to boost their self-esteem was a big motivator for 57 percent of people. Although, this is just one of the more common. “They consciously or unconsciously are feeling insecure and use the seduction and conquest of an extramarital encounter to feel good about themselves,” Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, relationship therapist and founder of the online relationship community. One of the less common but highly confessed reasons is out of anger; maybe they fought with their partner and want to get even. The study showed 43 percent

It can be easy to give your partner a lot of time, love, and affection when there’s nowhere to go, and you’re stuck inside the house. But once quarantine is over, some people may have a hard time staying monogamous, especially when their partner isn’t around to monitor their behavior. For example, astrologer Clarisse Monahan says, “if someone has Jupiter (the planet of expansion) in opposition or square to their Venus or Mars (the planets of love and sexual desire), that person is more likely to seek out other people when they’re in a relationship.” The next category is people with planets in fire signs who tend to higher sex drives and get bored easily. According to Monahan, their partners need to be on their toes which helps keep them looking to someone else who can fulfill their desires. Neptune in the seventh house of relationships; meaning most time green pastures are on the other side of the fence. They can easily get tempted by other options, especially if their relationship isn’t going well. Gemini on the other hand, gets a bad FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS mark, when in fact they just get bored easily in relationships. “It’s a dual sign, represented by the twins, meaning they exhibit dual personalities,” Monahan says. “You neverknow just quite what you’re getting with a Gemini.” The sign is also associated with The Lovers in the tarot, which always represents choices. A common outcome is whether you should stay or stray. According to Monahan, “Gemini still has Venus blazing through their sign until August 8, which means love and desire will be on their mind 24/7. After being unable to go out during quarantine and their birthday season, they’ll be looking at making up for lost time,” One of the other zodiac signs that can tend to stray is cancers because they will be feeling a little more nostalgic about past relationships. Although they love playing house with their partner, the state of the world can leave them feeling unbalanced and overwhelmed. The last but certainly not the least is Sagittarius who is the most adventurous sign among the zodiac. Along with a bit of a reputation for being into anything new and shiny. Due to their natural personalities, they tend to have jobs or careers that deal with traveling. It opens the door for more opportunities to cheat.

in quarantine so they’ll be “on the hunt for trouble” even more so than usual. If there’s one thing a Sagittarius can’t stand, it’s boredom. If they’ve been feeling too much monotony in their current relationship, they’ll be more susceptible to cheating post-quarantine. In summary, communication is the key to any successful relationship. However, that does not make it immune to infidelity. So, talk to your loved one. Even the briefest infidelity can inflict major damage, but healing is possible, especially with the help of couple’s therapy. Although prevention is far preferable. Be savvy, not naive. Stay clear of situations with any of the above risk factors. Exit early from situations that trigger initial sexual feelings. If you must continue to interact with a highrisk individual or in a high-risk situation, protect yourself. Yet many couples are reluctant to talk about infidelity for fear that even mentioning the term might invite this dreaded phenomenon into their world. Discuss your concerns with the one you love; listen appreciatively if your loved one shares concerns about a potential affair. Honesty is generally the best policy; working as a team to keep your love safe benefits you both.

According to Monahan, they’ve spent the past few months cooped up Photo by: Prostock-studio / Adobe Stock

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Even the briefest infidelity can inflict major damage, but healing is possible especially with the help of couple’s therapy.



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DOPE QUOTES

DOPEQUOTES

“Love is a “You got to grow up and positive effect. mature when you see Love can never you’ve got something going have a negative for real.” -Offset effect, only a positive effect.” “Resist your fear; fear will never -Ziggy Marley lead to you a positive end. Go

your faith and what you “Failure is a great for believe.” -T. D. Jakes teacher, and I think when you make “I never look at it mistakes and like I’m wasting you recover from them and you treat money when I’m them as valuable buying gold.” learning experi-Big Sean ences, then you’ve “Look at people for an got something to example, but then make sure to do things your share.” way. Surround yourself -Steve Harvey with positive people.” -Queen Latifah 42SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM - FALL 2020


DOPEQUOTES

“Hip-hop is not one thing!” -Lil Yachty

DOPE QUOTES

“Well, hip-hop is what makes the world go around”. -Snoop Dogg

“The worst part of success is, to me, adapting to it. It’s scary”.

-Kendrick Lamar

“I think a number of the leaders are, whether you like it or not, in the hip-hop generation. And when they understand enough, they’ll do wonders. I count on them”. -Maya Angelou

We don’t want to wait on someone to hire us and give us a check. We want to create our own opportunities. -Nipsey Hussle

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A culturally inspired lifestyle brand which creates products that simplify the organization of personal items while on the move. #compartmentality -thestablegoods.com


Inspired by the Creative. Created by the Inspired.

www.thestablegoods.com


BUSINESS

WHEN BRANDING ASKS:

What’s In a Name?

By: Maranda Joiner

This is not the move when it comes to growing your brand. When you are trying to build brand awareness with an audience the goal is to be memorable and relatable. “Sag3Babii4Life” is not only hard to remember how to spell, but when you think five years ahead in your career is this really how you will want to be known?

B

randing as a creative or artist is important. It is just as important as branding for any other type of organization or business. Yes, branding as a creative entrepreneur may come as a bit of a challenge in many ways, especially since it is a personal experience. But branding as an actor, musician, comedian, or any other type of entertainer is a must in order to maintain success. Which is why every creative entrepreneur should ask themselves these questions:

?

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1

Photography: Kendrick Davis

How do you see yourself? Be honest and say “I am...” and “I am not...”

2

How do others perceive you? Get feedback from friends and via social media. Ask the question: Can you name one to three adjectives you would use to describe me?

3

Most importantly: How do I make people feel?

Being real with these questions and receiving helpful feedback can go a long way in developing your brand as a creative entrepreneur. But so can something else: your name. I know this is random but, let’s talk about it for a minute because I see this a lot. So many creatives are using nicknames with complicated spelling on social media.

Let’s look at it another way. Pretend social distancing has just ended and Cheronda is ready to get out the house and hear some live music with her crew. And it’s just their luck that you and your band are one of many performing at a local festival. You have been stuck in quarantine hell as well and you hit the stage and kill it. The crowd is lit, Cheronda and her crew are vibing as they fall in love with your original music. The next performers hit the stage, the crew throws back a few more drinks and they end the night on a high. She wakes up the next day remembering your vibe and goes to look you up on Instagram eager to follow. But there’s just one problem, she can’t remember how to spell your name and after several attempts she gives up and goes to get breakfast. Sag3Babii4Life has lost a potential fan and download opportunity. People do not naturally desire to work hard to consume the things they love. We want to have the quickest path as possible to personal satisfaction and when the task is to complex most of us move on to the next thing. For you, the budding creative entrepreneur, it’s best to keep your name simple and easy to remember. Don’t become so creative with the spelling unless it makes sense to your brand.


Now that your name is straight let’s talk about how your brand should come across on social media platforms, and how can you engage with your targeted audience. Here are some things to consider: Know the platform that fits your face.

1

Have a presence on the big four: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube.

2

Know what platform you shine and have the most engagement on.

3

Know your audience in the most detailed way.

?

?

?

BUSINESS

?

?? ?

There’s something else that creative entrepreneurs need to keep in mind when engaging with their targeted audience on social media: the 80/20 rule. What is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule means 20% of your consumers are loyal and committed to you. Period. The other 80% are simply curious, have come to your account because you are giving a discount or they’re looking for a discount. It is so important that you don’t change your brand or services to cater to the 80%. Your job is to make sure that you are engaged with your 20% target base. Nurture them and think about what need you fulfill for them. What value can you bring them with your posts or content? Think about what they will gain from each post. Always be talking to your 20% so that it can grow.Twenty percent is the new bae and it’s your job to keep bae happy.

?

Photography: Kendrick Davis

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COVER STORY Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

SPECTACULAR SMITH From sold out arenas of screaming female fans to board rooms and business meetings with high profile clients, our next artist has certainly made some power moves. He has definitely been playing chess and not checkers. See how member of Pretty Ricky, Spectacular Smith, made his transition from a Platinum artist and entertainer to a business saavy entrepreneur and CEO of Adwizar.

MIAMI, FL

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S

COVER STORY FND MAG: Spectacular Smith! What’s good my brother. We are so glad to have you. We appreciate you for doing this interview. We have actually been talking about this moment for quite a while, and we are glad that we could make it happen. We know that these are crazy times we are in right now especially with Covid-19 and all of the restrictions that are in place. When we first reached out to your people, we had the option to do this interview virtually or in person and we were told that you would like to meet in person. For us, we thought that was dope. Just to have this energy exchange with meeting face to face is big for us, so for you to bring yourself and your staff out to be here amongst us bro, we definitely salute you for that. How have you been holding up throughout this crisis? SPECTACULAR: Well for me, I just feel like, I have been preparing for a long time, so when things like this happen I’m already prepared. When you are ready, you don’t have to get ready. When this happened, I just took advantage during the time while everyone else was panicking. It was a cakewalk to me. When it happened, I basically made sure that everything was correct in terms of staffing and that everyone was working remotely and good with the system around them, so I didn’t have to worry about that. In terms of marketing, it was already set up, based on all platforms so there was no bottleneck on that end in terms of marketing abilities. I built the company up to scale, so as everyone else is trying to figure it out, I already had the plan ready to go. I was just ready. SFND MAG: No doubt! So… before we get into the business side of things, we want to backtrack a little. PRETTY RICKY. We are going to start there because, for us that was the start when we recognized that these dudes were stars. Talk about the group. We know that prior to Covid-19, the Millennium Tour was popping, and that y’all had some other things in the works. Is that still some-

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thing that you guys will still be moving forward with? SPECTACULAR: Yeah, when this whole thing happened, it was a little in the gray area with the whole Millennium Tour thing. We did not know if we could do it or if we couldn’t. We did the last show in Carolina and we had to stop it from that show forward. That is when people couldn’t be in close proximity with each other and had to do the social distancing thing. A lot of the concerts were packed out or sold out so we had to push it back to next year, but it is still happening. The great thing about concerts is that you are committed to it, unless you buy the refund package where you have pay the extra money just in case something happens. [LAUGHS] So, it saved the ticket sales, it is just a matter of finding the right time. We tried to do it sooner, but all the Covid stuff is still going on so we pushed it to next year so hopefully by that time we can make it happen. SFND MAG: That is one of the things we’ve always wanted to ask someone who is in the entertainment industry currently. Obviously, we know that it has affected touring but for entertainers who make their living from shows, how great of an impact has it made. Could you elaborate on that? SPECTACULAR: Man, like I said. I don’t get affected by much because I don’t depend on one source of income. I have been preaching this a while to artists. That is why I even got into this whole social media space because I saw that it was a huge opportunity in terms of monetization when it came to artists, because they have this massive platform that they didn’t know how to turn into money. So by me understanding that in these artists being on these labels and having one hit, they gain millions of fans. The next record flops and they get dropped. But you just did all the hard work. You’ve built your fan base. Now it’s time to monetize. What can we sell those people? They bought the music from you, but what else can we sell them? Let’s not build a one-legged stool. That is what a lot of these artists are doing. They build a one-legged stool. They want merch, they want shows, and they want streams, but

there is way more than that. If you look at the icons, the G.O.A.T.s, Jay-Z, Master P, Diddy, and I’ll even throw Kanye West in there. All these guys are hugely successful but not from their music. Music is just a stepping-stone, but when you stop there, that’s when you fizzle off. Everyone that we are still consistently talking about today is not because of their music. I’ll even throw Rick Ross in there. He literally started the franchise thing and now he can still consistently be relevant though his business ventures even if his music doesn’t sell. He still will be relevant in that world. He is becoming a mogul as a businessman. He does his thing in music but now the next phase of his life is, how can I become this billion-dollar man? SFND MAG: Being from the entertainment business, we always felt that people didn’t understand the business part of it. Many just wanted the fame. Some saw a certain lifestyle on TV and made up in their minds that this is what they wanted to acquire. So in hindsight, we realize that there were a lot of one-legged stools, however this is mainly because information is not usually shared amongst peers in the industry. For instance, I am from New Orleans. I’m from the hood. My mentality is growing up was very different. I didn’t want to share information I wasn’t going to tell you who my plug was. Whatever the information was I was going to keep it to myself. So when we got to the industry we naturally kept our circle so small that we didn’t want to give away any secrets. We didn’t want anyone to be more important, until we got older and growth started to happen. As part of your background, we know that “your ol boy” as y’all say in Florida, was a street dude. So I’m sure that he instilled some of that mentality in you as well. Now being in a business where you feel your “network is your net worth” and you want to give away this information to help others thrive and be successful. How did your upbringing change you and shape you into the person you are now? SPECTACULAR: Well, you’re right. My father is a street dude. It is “The game is to be sold, not told” & “Never introduce them to the plug” but as I started to get around more wealthy people I realized that was the trend. Once


COVER STORY Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

Blazer: Mysterious by NPN / @mysteriousbynpn Silk top: KimiaArya / @kimiaaryasilk Silk scarf: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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COVER STORY Silk top: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Silk pants: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

my mentality changed by seeing the way that the wealthy were moving, I was like “Yo, we’re doing something wrong.” Once I realized the more you give, the more you get and tapped into that reciprocation rule then all of a sudden you start to see our culture grow faster, but until we change that mindset, it’s literally divide and conquer to ourselves. If I have something that I know I see you struggling with and I decide not to help you because I feel like you’re either going to one up me or you’re just going to outgrow me then guess what? I’ve really hurt myself. The reciprocation rule says that if you end up 10x-ing off whatever I gave you then you’re going to want to give that back to me plus more, but we don’t understand that because we weren’t educated on that. That’s just on a psychological level, but the reality is the more you give, it’s actually a benefit to everybody. No matter what you say or what you do the more you benefit, the more I benefit. If you become a person that’s on the top of the world based on resources I gave you then at some point in time you’re going to talk about how I helped you out and the people that hear it may want to

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do business with me and might want to help me. It may not even come directly from you. The universe figures out a way to give it back to you. I just realized that I was moving the wrong way, and once I started getting around the wealthy I realized that this is what I needed to do. If I want to be wealthy, I’ve got to move like the wealthy. If I want my culture to come up, then I have to take what I have, my access, and my abilities to network or get information to get back to everybody else, and my whole life changed when I started that. I started to see people grow around me. I started seeing people that were close to me grow and guess what they did? They came back to me said “Aye yo Spec. I can help you with this…” and then I started growing as an individual also. So…something for everybody. SFND MAG: So let’s talk a little bit more about that transition. Obviously, we know that you were with Pretty Ricky and ya’ll sold hella records, but at some point, probably because of what we were just talking about with the lack of transfer of information or something like that, it bottlenecked and fizzled out. When

that happened, what were you left with? Let’s talk about your transition from that point to where you are now. At what point did you say that you were going to do something different and totally left field from what you came in doing and transition from entertainer (“Grind On Me” Spectacular of Pretty Ricky) to full on entrepreneur being recognized by Forbes and INC 500 etc…? SPECTACULAR: You know, actually music was transition. I was always in business since I was in the 3rd grade going door to door selling $10,000 worth of candy. My mom would get her friends to help me while she sold Avon crystals. I would get these candy bars out and take them to school and turned $10,000 only to get a bubblegum beeper and a yo yo. [LAUGHS] I’m like “Yo… I ‘m not a dummy… I just got robbed... So at that point, I realized that I couldn’t count on working for anybody. I worked hard. I did what I had to do, and turned in $10,000 worth of candy, and they played me. So ever since that point, I realized that I had to work for myself. Until this


COVER STORY Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

--CRESS WILLIAMS

Silk long sleeve shirt: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

day, I’ve never had a job. I’ve always worked for myself. Even my dad was like “Yo, y’all ain’t working for nobody.” I’ve always been a hustler from day one. I’ve always been a person that wanted to turn one dollar into two dollars and figure out ways to solve problems. Like kids being hungry in class. I figured I could help them out and I could make money. So I started making forty five dollars a day selling candy and the school realized I was making so much money that they put vending machines in the schools. So, I’ve always been the trendsetter. Even at 13, I would look at TV, and my brother brought this up at my birthday last year, but he recalled me saying “ What if they made it to where you could just pause the TV and rewind it and come back and watch it later?” No one understood what I was saying. When I was 16, I was like “Yo…What if we could take all groceries and be able to deliver it to people’s houses? Now, I’m in a position where I can take action on my vision because at 13 and 16, I couldn’t do that. Everyone that I was talking to didn’t understand where my mind was. They looked at me as if I was crazy. So that is how it all started. It’s the same way with monetizing celebrities and influencers social media channels. I was doing that way before people knew what an influencer was. [Creating Brands from scratch] Now I’m old enough to do it. So just to answer your question, I have always been an entrepreneur from day one and music was something that I was forced into. I never wanted to be a musician. I was forced to be a musician. They made me rap. They made me be in the group. SFND MAG: It turned out pretty good for you though. [LAUGHS] SPECTACULAR: That’s is what is crazy about it. That’s a lesson in general. When you don’t go looking for it or you’re not desperate for it, it comes to you. I was never desperate for it. I was just having fun. I was hungry for it because whatever I do I’m going to put 110% into what I have going on. So, it made sense for me to go hard. It takes the same effort to be a six than it does to be a ten. So I may as well be a ten at all times. FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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COVER STORY

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Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron


COVER STORY SFND MAG: When we look at you, the word “VISIONARY” comes to mind. You are someone who can see a void in something and want to fill need. So looking at the things you are doing we see you filling those voids. In the tech industry, normally people who look like us don’t get the first shot, because that is not what they are used to. We read in one of your interviews that you felt like “They would always go with the white dude in the suit.” They wouldn’t give you a shot. That could be discouraging to keep getting “No” after “No.” At what point did you feel like you belonged here?

back to the drawing board and figure out what could I have done differently. What can I upgrade? What could I do better to sharpen my tools? Once you get that, then you come back and all of a sudden they are like “Wow, I can’t believe I passed up on that?” The same people that saw Oprah and told her “Nah, you’re not good for TV”… “No”… “Fired…” Now, what has she become a billionaire from doing?

SPECTACULAR: Well, I always feel that “No’s” are a temporary “Yes.” You can tell me “No” all day but persistence takes away resistance. If you keep at it, sooner or later that “No” becomes a “Yes” and it’s like anything in your life. For instance, if right now you type something in Google you may not get the answer you want, but if you type the right thing in to Google then that’s when your golden nugget shows up. You realize that all I had to do was add this in the front or add this to it. The other way you were coming at it, was just the wrong way. That is why you are getting the “No.” Or maybe you’re just not ready for it yet... I believe God makes no mistakes, so if you are in a situation and you get that” No” you just have to go

SFND MAG: So… your company is Adwizar! Let’s jump right in to it. We’ve been hearing some crazy numbers floating around about this company. We see that you were in the Inc. 500. We believe the numbers were somewhere around 1,600% growth in 3 years. When you started Adwizar, did you know it was going to have this type of growth?

SFND MAG: Television! SPECTACULAR: Exactly!

SPECTACULAR: For me, I just knew I was solving a problem. How well I solve that problem predicts my revenue and how much impact I make. It wasn’t easy for me because like I said, nobody believed. To them I was just a guy dancing around on stage, humping on shit. There was no one to take me

seriously. They would take the meeting, but they wouldn’t take me seriously. By me understanding that, I had to go back and become better. Read more. Do more homework. “Why are they not taking me seriously”? “Is my approach wrong”? “Am I saying the wrong things”? “Do I have the wrong representation”? “Are the things they are seeing online not adding up?” “What is it”? Then I’ll adjust, analyze, and go back at it. In terms of Adwizar, it was transitions. I had to make a bunch of pivots because Facebook knew what the hell I was doing. They were like “Yo… I’m Uncle Sam. I need some of that. Y’all over here making millions off our algorithm and platform we aren’t getting any of it.” So what they did was started repositioning themselves to count us out. If you say certain key words, it would lower your reach. If you post this type of article, it would lower your reach. So once the ai started calculating what we were doing, they “cut our water off,” but I saw it coming. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when. Some of our competitors that bring in 45 million a year, a million dollars at payroll got their water turned off. When they turned my water off, I had three other faucets that they didn’t even know about. So once they did what they did, did, I already had my pivot ready, which is a service-based business.

Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron Silk long sleeve shirt: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

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COVER STORY I took the same thing that I was doing for the celebrities and started doing it for the everyday fortune 500 company and everyday entrepreneur and started helping them build their followers and monetize. I realized it didn’t matter who I did it for. It could be a parody account, a fan account, verified accounts, unverified accounts, or everyday average person. I knew the formula worked. It was a proven blueprint that I could literally sprinkle on whatever and turn it into gold and that is what I was doing. Once I pivoted to the service based business, it started booming even more, but the caveat is that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I had jumped into a whole other industry that I knew nothing about. I had to literally self educate on everything that I learned. That is when I started to get my mentors and coaches and reading books and doing all these things because I did not want to fail. I think I had 25 employees at the time, I had payroll, and I had my family. I was like “I’m not losing. I’m not taking an L.” I had to do what I could to learn this fast so it was like literally building a plane while I was falling at 100mph, and right before it hit rock bottom I pulled it up and that’s when things started taking off for me. SFND MAG: We heard you mention being self-taught, but also in this type of structure and environment we have heard you mention being mentored as well. Who are your mentors and what have they done to shape Spec? SPECTACULAR: Well, I didn’t start being mentored until about four years ago, but throughout my whole journey becoming one of the fastest growing companies in America and learning service based business and customer service, basically everything that could potentially take you out, I learned that by myself. Once I got to a certain point I realized that I did not have to do this by myself. When I realized that and I saw that success leave “bread crumbs” I realized, I could just follow that person. Not only could I follow this person’s breadcrumbs but I could also get him to guide me and coach me. I don’t have to go and play the game by myself and go win a championship. I can have Pat Reilly right there to help me out. So as being the number talent I realized that I needed some help and guidance even though I’m Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan or whomever, you still need that Pat Reilly. I decided to get me a Pat Reilly and my mentor is Jeff Hoffman of Priceline.com. That guy is amazing man. He was the guy that taught me humility. I didn’t really understand it until I met him. It all started when I spoke for the first time in Hawaii, nervous as hell, and they actually booked him too. So when they booked him too I was like “Oh crap. This is the first time I’m going to speak and my mentor is going to be here to see it.” He is a professional speaker. So he coached me up on that... I was still nervous as hell. [LAUGHS] I was cussing everyone out like “Leave me alone. I’m trying to focus.” [LAUGHS] I went and spoke and killed it. After that, we had dinner and we were sitting at the table. This was literally such a humbling moment for me. So now the organization that we are in, Entrepreneur Organization (EO) is hosting this event, and we are sitting at the round table. There was a person sitting next to my mentor talking boastfully about his own company saying he was doing like 20 million. He then looks at my mentor and asks. “What do you do”? My mentor politely replied. “You ever

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heard of Priceline.com.” and the guy responded “Yes I just used it to get here.” My mentor says,” I created that.” [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: [LAUGHS] Wow that is crazy. That’s going to humble you really fast. SPECTACULAR: So at that point my mentor gets up and scans the table and notices that I’m eating and that I don’t have anything to drink. He asks me and my girl “Spec, are y’all good. Do you need something to drink? It was like 20 feet away. He came back with water and everything. So at that point, it humbled me so much because if this billion-dollar man can get up to get me some water because I looked thirsty. Looked thirsty. I was actually good but the fact that literally he got up and walked twenty feet to get water and napkins for me. At that point, I realize that I’m never too good for anybody. I don’t care who you are. You could be a bum on the street, or you could be the CEO of Disney. You are going to get the same respect from Spec. SFND MAG: That is super dope! We are the same way. So we are going to switch gears a bit. We are going to play a quick game. We are going to say a word and want you to tell us the first word that comes to your mind. The first word is INTEGRITY. SPECTACULAR: Well, integrity for me is about what you do when nobody is watching. It’s one thing to do something in front of the public, but what are you doing when nobody is watching you. If someone drops a thousand dollars, would you pick it up and say, “Yo, excuse me, you dropped a bag or are you like Yo, no one saw that, let me pick that up God sent me a blessing.” You know. Put that foot on it with the drag back. [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: [LAUGHS] Ok... next word. What about “GRUMPY CAT” SPECTACULAR: Grumpy Cat… I would say. I had fun one day. It was awful. [LAUGHS] SFND MAG: [LAUGHS] That’s dope. We looked at Grumpy Cat and were like that’s crazy. Just the whole parody account thing and even the monetization. Who taught you about that because that is not something that many people knew about growing up? Who got you on that train? SPECTACULAR: So there was a guy named Matty J. This is when I realized how great incentives are. One thing that I was taught is that if you give someone enough motivation and you incentivize them to do it, you can get that person to do whatever you want. You can do whatever you want because they are incentivized to do it. So this guy literally was incentivized to recruit me and by him being incentivized to do that I ended up learning this system that I could monetize with. They already had a technology system that I could grab a link and post it and make money per click. Realizing that I already have this part of the car complete, which is the body of the car, now let me just find the engine, and once I found the engine it was game


COVER STORY over. So now at this point it just, how many cars can I get, and that’s what every parody account was for me. By the time I was finished I had a whole car lot because I knew that is what I needed to drive the revenue. The more followers I had the more revenue I could make and the more influential I am as a page the more people would want to click on my links for me to make money and to have an arbitrage there where I sell ads against the traffic and just do traffic acquisitions. SFND MAG: You mentioned earlier in the interview about having multiple streams of income. We are seeing it everywhere. We see it in the book you wrote. We see it in Spectacular Academy. Tell us a little bit more about these endeavors and other streams of income that you have. SPECTACULAR: So everybody talks about having multiple sources of income, but nobody and I mean nobody tells you how and what is the correct way to do that. As a culture, we think that we have to be the CEO of five different companies but the reality is you have to just find, the right team to invest in and you have to make your main thing, your main thing. Whatever that is going to fuel it, then you take that money, in order for you not to pay taxes, and go and invest it. Then I invest it in teams and people that I believe in that I know are going to flip that money. So if I invest in you, or I invest in this or that, I could be part owner, get this much, and dump it into brands that I believe in. So instead of me having a million and one companies that I manage, I have a million and one companies that I’ve invested in that you manage and I still get paid but I don’t do any work. All I have to do is advise. The next thing in terms of how I believe you should do business is; I think everything should integrate. So if you see Adwizar, it will be integrated into me being a celebrity. I know other celebrities, so I know I can get the meeting even though it took seven “No’s” before the “Yes.” Once I did that, that integrated into me having a business model where now, I am having the everyday entrepreneurs that needed my help as well. Then I took that and integrated it into a school now because now people can’t afford to pay me price. My company now has a waiting list until next year. I’m not even taking anymore clients. I’m literally turning away clients. I’m giving my students clients. I took that model and instead of doing it for the people. I’m going to teach them exactly what I know how to do and what my team does. I’m going to teach you how to fish. One thing about me is that I hate giving away fish. I don’t want to give nobody fish. If you come to me and say you need help. I’m going to say, “Grab your fishing pole. Let’s go to work.” That’s how I work. You have to make sure everything is integrated and it has to make sense from Pretty Ricky to Adwizar to the school and from the school to the book. Through Pretty Ricky, I have 90% female demographic and I’m in a relationship so guess what? I can be a big brother to you to give you this game. The average relationship for millennials, 80% don’t make it past the second year. So how can I lower those odds? That’s what made me create a relationship book. I mean I have so many things down the pipe. I mean I’m literally just getting started. I have so much to come. SFND MAG: That’s dope. Tell us someone that in your life or

business or personal life or in music who you feel is So FN dope and why? SPECTACULAR: That’s a great question because there are so many people who I think are dope. Honestly, I like Diddy right now. I think what Diddy is doing right now is powerful. The way he is doing Black News. We feel like we are not getting the right news to our people and everything is filtered so in order for us to be all on the same page we need the right news outlet so we can get the right information. It comes though this filter and we often get fed a bunch of garbage versus it coming straight from us no filter. I also love what he stands for in terms of the culture, and everybody has their past, but it’s about what you are doing now. Everybody has things that they’ve done that they are not proud of but it’s about how you come back from it and how you’ve change your life and the things that you are doing right now to move the culture forward and just being an awesome person. I just think that he is doing some great things and the businesses that he has built are perfect blueprints to follow. SFND MAG: Listen man, we thank you for the interview. Spectacular Smith you are So FN Dope! SPECTACULAR: No doubt! Listen. I want to say this too. Anyone who wants to talk to me you can text my number 786-6611224 and if you want to join my free training, I would definitely say just text #masterclass.

“You could be a bum on the street, or you could be the CEO of Disney. You are going to get the same respect from Spec”. -Spectacular FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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COVER STORY Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

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COVER STORY

Top: ASOS Design / @asos Pants: Paisley & Gray / @paisleyandgray Shoes: Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry FALL 2020- SOFNDOPEMAGAZINE.COM -

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Photographer: Teddy Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews Wardrobe Stylist: Amanda Massi Makeup: Verohna James Barron

Silk top: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Silk pants: Kimia Arya / @kimiaaryasilk Shoes: ASOS Design / @asos Ring: LMJ Jewelry / @luvmyjewelry

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REVIEWS about the need or desire which is a type of vulnerability I can appreciate.

THE

FIRST LADIES OF

FLORIDA Article by Queen Ke

W

henever you hear about Florida there’s some malarky about our state. Despite what Charlagmne Tha God says about us Floridians we aren’t all crazy. Of course, we’re known for all of the tourist attractions, but we have the talent here as well. There are two artists that I’ve discovered who I think are dope their names are Nemchel and Tierra Traniece. I had the opportunity to speak with the ladies. Check out my chat with Tierra Traniece, if you don’t have her on your playlist add her ASAP! Ms. Tierra Traniece is from Miami, Florida; she’s a rapper. The way she attacks music is refreshing. It’s a nice mixture of trap soul, Jill Scott, and Erykah

Badu. I felt all the vibes when I listening to her tracks. I always want to know the state of mind while they were writing a particular single. “Fool Me Once” is a single that spoke to my spirit! I don’t one woman who hasn’t had their heartbroken to the core. I’m talking about the type of heartbreak where you’re just ready to stunt on that f&$# boy. Like bossing up in the best way, losing those inches, getting those degrees, etc.

Nemchel is a Haitian born singer from Vero Beach, Florida. She’s a rapper and singer who plays the guitar as well. Talk about talent! Now, she has a song for every mood! Some artists are only good at making depressing music, happy music, etc. When I listening to the catalog there is a song for every vibe. A lot of artists don’t have versatility like that. Most artists are known for their signature vibe. So, I can appreciate the fact that she hasn’t pigeon-holed herself. She has a song called “Don’t Feel Right” that’s a track for when you want to be in your feelings. Then there’s her get money song called “Need It” when you want to get your hustle on. After speaking with both of these ladies they’re currently working on music. Follow their socials so you’ll be in the know. I personally can’t wait for the projects because I like what they’ve put out thus far. Here’s Nemchel’s website: www.nemchel.com and her IG is nemchel. Here’s Tiarra Traniece’s website: www.tierratraniece.com and her IG is tierratraniece. For more dope musical finds follow Queenke2008. XoXoxo, Stay righteous, prosperous Queen Ke NEMCHEL

Victim of a Heartbreak

Another single that I liked is 90’s RnB, it’s was a testament to the type of love a woman craves. Men know to chase a woman yet they forget to date us. They forget about courting and all the things it took to get us. She spoke

TIERRA TRANIECE “Fool Me Once”

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