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Contributors #swaggadigital magazine.com 10 SWAGGA DIGITAL MAGAZINE

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PHOTOGRAPHERS

RON FULCHER: (pgs.18-21); (pgs.36-47); (pgs.22-23) (p.16); (pgs.36-41) (pgs. 44-47);(pgs. 54-63;66,68-71,72-79) (pgs.84-91) (pgs. 98-99); (pgs. 101-103; 104) Back Cover ERIK EYE CATCHER: pgs.(24-28) DESI ARNAZ: pgs. (91-97) DOUG BIRNBAUM: pgs. (80-81) FLOYD D. HOBSON: pgs. (29-35) STEPHANIE AQUINO SMITH: pgs. (64-65)

WRITTEN WORDS

MLK MEMORIAL REVIEW: STUCK BETWEEN THE CONCEPTUAL AND LITERAL  BY: PHILIP KENNICOTT HIP HOP: WHERE’S THE BEEF? BY: MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH

AN AMERICAN’S EXPAT’S TAKE ON THE U.K. RIOTS BY: BONNIE GREER MENTAL, PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, STABILITY IN A TIME OF DESPAIR BY: TERRON J. COOK

ART EXPRESSION GEISHA DECODED Art by Denise Humphrey Pgs. (48-51)


SPECIAL THANKS

DANIEL SUDAR JOSEPH DOMINGO ACTA NON VERBA TUAN TRAN LIZ VALASHINAS ROSS VENABLES TINA NGUYEN

FEAT URED MODELS JOHN LOPEZ  pictured (p.10-11); (p.40-41) BRITTANY DAWN, AMINA JONES pictured (p.18-19) BRITTANY DAWN, AMINA JONES, CHRISTINA DOUKAS pictured (p.20-24);AKACIA SLOAN, AMINA JONES pictured (p.24-25); EZEKIEL SMITH pictured (p.36-39) FRANCESCO CARDENAS pictured (p.44-45) MATISSE ANDRE GHOLAR (p.46); HUGO LOPEZ (p.47) KYLE MUSIK pictured (p.22-23) EUGENE KARDASH/ANGELINA FIRESTEIN, TRAVIS AVILES, NIC CALEB, JUAN-CARLOS GUZMAN VINCENT ALEXANDER MORROW, ROBERT COSTIDO JUSTIN BASILIO, pictured (pgs.91-96) KELLINA BROWN(pgs.52-53)  REYHAN HAKKI (pgs.62-63); (76-77) BARKU TARPEH (pgs.78-79) STEPHON RICHARDSON (pgs.97-98); SAXTON PITTS (p.87); ZHANEL ALI (pgs.73-75); FILIP KHARON (pgs.68-71); LUKE HEIL (pgs.84-86) LILENE FRENCH (pgs.29-35)  COVER PAGE TRAVIS STANSBERRY (Pgs. 55-60) KATE WEBSTER, (Pgs. 64); ASHLEY QUICK, (Pgs.65)

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BREA SIMPSON ACCESSORIES: BREA SIMPSON LATIYA GHOLAR-ABDULLAH OXFORD WAY CLOTHING DANIEL SUDAR JOSEPH DOMINGO ACTA NON VERBA TUAN TRAN


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ROCKING THE BAY

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MLK Memorial review: Stuck between the conceptual and literal By Philip Kennicott

Even the 30-foot-tall statue of King, an early version of which prompted the Commission on Fine Arts to fret over its “confrontational” stance, imposing size and “Socialist Realist style,” is turned away from the main entrance. King, who was plenty confrontational in real life, now looks off to the West, toward where F.D.R. sits in his equally controversial wheelchair. But there was no symbolism intended in that, according to executive architect Ed Jackson Jr. There are ample places to sit, and if the trees survive to maturity, there should be shade, too. Once inside the plaza, the view across the Tidal Basin is delightful, and from the outside, the two halves of the mountain frame views nicely. Thus, the mountain adds something that the Tidal Basin has never really had before: A gate, or front door, which invites you in. If there were better mass transit to this site between 17th and 23rd streets SW — where designated parking will be limited to handicap spots and buses — it would make an ideal start and end point for a loop walk around the basin come blossom time. Like too many memorials, however, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is stuck uncomfortably between the conceptual and literal. The concept, originally developed by the San Francisco-based ROMA Design Group, focuses on the Mountain of Despair, two massive, roughly arch-shaped granite bookends, and the “Stone of Hope,” which contains a statue of King, carved by the Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin and shipped from Changsha, China. The “stone” is meant to look as if it has been pulled out of the arch of the “mountain,” and is turned slightly so that visitors first encounter a quotation by King, “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope,” before they encounter King himself. The stone of hope turns out to be derived from a rather violent allegory of political conflict and tribalism. The line is from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered in Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. It was apparently based on an image from the second book of Daniel, in which the prophet interprets one of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. Nebuchadnezzar envisioned not a mountain, but a massive idol, or image, with a head of gold, arms of silver and thighs of brass. “As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces,” says Daniel, prophesying the downfall of the old order.

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More than 180 new cherry trees have been added to this four-acre wedge of land between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the bridge that crosses the northern edge of the Tidal Basin, keeping the space green and ensuring that the white necklace of blossoms that delights the world will be unbroken come spring. Except for a wall of green granite covered in quotations by King, and two main statue elements that represent a “Mountain of Despair” and a “Stone of Hope,” the memorial is a low, pleasant plaza that integrates quietly into the landscape of West Potomac Park.

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The new memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. turns out to be a relatively modest affair. A stoplight on Independence Avenue SW announces the entrance, where a fan-shaped entry court leads to a 30-foot-high portal of carved stone. The memorial faces inward, away from the Mall, with planted earthen berms and trees obscuring it from many angles.


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BRANDING & STRATEGY

MARKETING MANAGER | PETER RICCI GRAPHIC DESIGN ~ CREATIVE SERVICES | SDM PUBLISHING CO. PHOTO EDITOR ~ ART DIRECTOR | RON FULCHER/ JACOB HANSON HAIR-MAKE-UP CONSULTANT | SANDRA SMITH COMMUNICATIONS & PR | ARCHIE BRUMFIELD

DIGITAL MEDIA DEVELOPER | RONALD MINOR WEB DESIGNER | RON FULCHER ONLINE HD VIDEO | SHANE STINAR

CREATIVE CONTRIBUTORS PHOTOGRAPHER | FLOYD D. HOBSON EQUIPMENT RENTALS | CALUMET PHOTOGRAPHY CONSULTING | ARCHIBALD LEE MODELS | LOOK MODEL AGENCY | JE MODELS | FORD MODELS PHOTOGRAPHER | DESI ARNAZ PHOTOGRAPHER | JACOB HANSON PHOTOGRAPHER | STEPHANIE A. SMITH PHOTOGRAPHER | DOUG BIRNBAUM PHOTOGRAPHER | ERIK THE “EYE CATCHER:” PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE | ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

SPECIAL THANKS THE COLLECTION CHARLESTON PIERCE BLOOMINGDALE’S S.F. SFFAMA SFBA FN

COVER PAGE TRAVIS STANSBERRY ©2011 RON FULCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Published Bi-Monthly Printed in the USA In Print | Online | On Your Mobile | On Your Ipad All Rights Reserved ©2009-2011 SDM PUBLISHING VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT www.swaggadigitalmagazine.com NEED TO SEND A LETTER TO EDITOR? information@swaggadigitalmagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION? subscribe@swaggadigitalmagazine.com SDM | SEPT ~ NOVEMBER 2011

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VOLUME 2, NO. 8 | FALL 2011


What’s Inside this Issue FEATURES 28 | MLK: MEMORIAL REVIEW 29 | EVERYTHING IS BLACK 48 | GEISHA DECODED 56 | COVER MODEL TRAVIS STANSBERRY

SEPT - NOV 2 0 1 1 Volume 2 Issue 08 C O N T E N T S A D V E R T I S E M E N T

FEATURES 72 | MENTAL, PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, STABILITY 88 | IN THE MIX, ON THE CATWALK 103 | HIP-HOP WHERE’S THE BEEF?

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FIND US ON FACEBOOK FACEBOOK.COM/SWAGGADIGITALMAGAZINE PUBLISHERS NOTE

This issue is dedicated to my mom whose courage, strength, tenacity and love has been a rock for me in the production of this issue. There were so many people who were instrumental in the production of this issue, and I could not possibly name them all in this writing, but I just want to thank all of you and you know who you are for assisting me with this issue. Many thanks to all of the wonderful and talented models, MUA’s, and Hair Stylists. Reproduction of any material within this publication, in whole or in part is, prohibited without expressed consent of publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party of the information, claims or ads herein to include errors, inaccuracies or omissions. By advertising the advertisers agree to indemnify the Publisher against all claims relating to or resulting from said advertisements.


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Mental, Physical, Spiritual Stability, in a Time of Despair By Terron J. Cook

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The unknown is such an exciting, exhilarating, dark, pleasantly thrilling, anxious place to be, in mind, body and spirit. Clarity is something we all seek and find solace in and is also something we, at times, take for granted. What exactly is it that this type of reality does to us, with regard to an elevated level of discomfort? Is it self-induced, or are these emotions and set of thoughts valid? A few years ago, when our nation’s economy took a turn for the worst, things seemed so bleak, daunting and the lives of many law-abiding, honest, good, quality citizens lives, they had worked so hard for, were stripped from them, right before their very eyes. What’s worse is that many of these individuals are obligated to their spouses, as well as their children, only for some of them to lose the one thing that meant so much to them; their very own spouse/family.

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The many painful realities taking over our nation, one by one is surreal. With so much rhetoric with these politicians, leaving little, to no control for the average, everyday working individual(s), one cannot help but venture to pose the question: “Is this the end of all this was once good, or is there hope?” YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE IT THERE’S MUCH MORE THAN HOPE! With such much turmoil, not only within our nation, as well as our economy, there is an inimitable amount of opportunity/possibility wrapped up in what many deem to be failure, or a lost cause. Many blessings come in the form of various things. Now is the time to dig deep, to manifest great things, to dig deep into our very own Spirit, and find that drive, that strength, that new-found faith to go and make new things happen. What many individuals do not realize is that we all have an entrepreneurial spirit/drive within us. Suffice to say, many individuals simply dream of being their own boss one day, while, in the wake of such tragedy with our nation’s economy, many individuals have taken a great leap of faith, and actually made it happen! This is no small feat. You see, in most cases, it takes tragedy to for us to find the greatness deep within. Embarking upon a new mental, physical and spiritual path can be rather daunting, as it is foreign territory, there is no clarity and there are so many variables involved. Like anything else, it takes faith, proper planning, and a strong manifestation. I recall twelve years ago, when tragedy struck my very own Life, in ways that are truly unimaginable. Without going into grave detail, the events that took place were things that could’ve easily made me throw in the towel, give up, completely and take my very own Life. However, I decided to try a new way of thinking, embark upon a new spiritual path and to begin a healthier diet and begin getting more exercise. Many of us do not have the good fortune of being taught just how much power we have over our lives, through proper mind, body and spirit discipline. We tend to leave our lives to “chance,” never realizing just how much powers rests within the palm of our hands. Once I make the commitment and dedicated my Life to a new set of thoughts, a completely revamped attitude, changed my entire diet, and began to exercise on a regular basis and gave more credence to the atmosphere, the earth, mankind and myself, I noticed how rapidly my situation/circumstances changed. You see, there is this thing operating in our lives, each second, of each day; this is called The Law of Attraction. We are inviting many things into our lives; good, bad and indifferent, unbeknownst to us. We also do not realize the ability we have to “manifest” anything and everything we want into our lives. We’ve been taught wrong, from day one. Manifestation and The Law of Attraction go hand in hand and could never, ever be denied. When speaking of these very basic, yet, powerful concepts to others, I’ve received mixed reviews, yet, I always get the sense that no matter what comes out of peoples mouths, that they know deep within, these concepts MUST be true. How could they not be? Have you ever noticed when you “hold” a thought, allow it to linger, or “think” of something, it comes to pass, almost immediately! It’s actually sort of scary, yet, it’s real! So, will in these very uncertain times, will you be a “victim,” or find it within yourself to create the change that maybe you’ve needed all along? Find the opportunity in the midst of tragedy, of uncertainty. While I firmly believe, especially in the wake of so much technology at our fingertips, things will never be the way they were, we are in a position to literally do anything. The only thing stopping us is “US.” As the old saying goes: “Be the change you want to see in the world and watch it take flight!” It’s extremely contagious! When we pay forward greatness, blessings come tous tenfold. Be good to yourself and those around you. Think clear, positive thoughts and speak positively, clearly and concisely. Whatever it is that you seek, that you desire, put it into the atmosphere. Why leave things to chance, when you can make things happen? Peace, Love and continued Light. FOLLOW TERRON ON FACEBOOK @ FACEBOOK.COM/TERRONCOOK; facebook.com/pages/Premonitions/105108469519881


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HIP-HOP: WHERE'S THE BEEF? THE MAINSTREAMING OF HIP-HOP CULTURE RUINED ONE OF THE GENRE'S DEFINING TRADITIONS: THE BATTLE. BY: MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH

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There was a time when "beef" among rappers captivated hip-hop fans. In 1986, when KRS-One released "The Bridge Is Over," taking aim at his Queens, N.Y., rivals MC Shan and Marley Marl, it not only jump-started his career but also became a staple in any DJ's repertoire. Other beefs, such as Roxanne Shante vs. UTFO, Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J, Ice Cube vs. NWA and more were integral in building the culture and produced timeless records. Hip-hop was a competitive sport, and microphone supremacy was won on wax. Fast-forward a few decades. On the heels of the release of the much hyped Jay-Z and Kanye West track "Otis," the second single from their anticipated collaborative album, Watch the Throne, rival emcee Game went on the attack with the quickly put-together "Uncle Otis." According to Game, the song, which features barbs like "n--gas think they coldest, but n--ga you just the oldest," was just about him having fun. For the fans listening, it drew exasperated sighs and expletives. It's not 1986 anymore. The more hip-hop stars such as Jay-Z and Ludacris spend time hobnobbing with the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the more the potential benefits of being involved in a battle of ego and machismo with Lil Wayne or Young Jeezy start to dwindle. West has less incentive to respond to Consequence's recent attacks when he's courting invitations to Fashion Week in Paris. As the world more readily embraces hip-hop, hip-hop embraces less of itself. Rappers are nothing if not business-minded, and they are more conscious than ever that keeping their stock prices high depends on how acceptable they are in "polite" society. Dissing rival emcees and crews doesn't fit into a sound business plan anymore. Battles have become a niche market that continues in small venues, but emcees with corporate record deals and endorsements will rarely engage. This is what 2011 hip-hop looks like. But for a large portion of today's adult hip-hop fan base, their first musical memory is of feuding rappers. The infamous East Coast vs. West Coast beef, led by the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the 1990s, was a polarizing and dramatic moment in hip-hop's history that ultimately turned violent and resulted in the deaths of two of rap's brightest stars. For a time afterward, beef slowed down, with many emcees working to mend their differences and work together to show unity. Aside from the LL Cool J vs. Canibus feud in 1998, the period after Biggie's and Tupac's deaths was relatively beef-free. But hip-hop is built on ego and is distinguished from other genres in part because rappers took their disagreements and channeled it into their music. They couldn't stay away from beef too long, and in 2001, two more heavyweights battled for the right to reign over hip-hop as king. Jay-Z and Nas had traded indirect shots toward the end of the 20th century, but they soon let the undeclared war become real, releasing the eponymous dis tracks "The Takeover" and "Ether," respectively, in the fall. They had fans on the edge of their seats. After Jay-Z and Nas proved that the animosity didn't have to spill over into the streets, it gave the rest of the hip-hop nation the all clear to beef at will. No one exploited this opening more than rap's biggest troublemaker, 50 Cent. The rapper started his career making enemies with his 1999 record "How to Rob," in which he named dozens of fellow emcees and detailed how he would go about robbing them. He was forced into a rap sabbatical after being shot nine times in May 2000 but picked up where he left off when he resurfaced in 2002. His highly publicized but often one-sided feud with chart-topping rapper Ja Rule helped propel 50's popularity while turning public opinion against Ja Rule and effectively ending his career. But 50 didn't stop there. In the next few years, he released a dis track for pretty much any rapper with a record deal, his main targets being Nas, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Cam'Ron and former protégé Game. It wasn't just 50 Cent spreading the disharmony, though. From 2002 to 2006, if one were to diagram the known feuds among rappers into a flow chart, it would have been more frustrating than the debt-ceiling debate. Among those involved in notable battles were KRS-One, Nelly, T.I., Ludacris, Lil' Flip, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Styles P, Eminem, Jermaine Dupri, Dr. Dre, Jim Jones -- and the list goes on. Everyone was beefing with everyone, and the market became oversaturated with beef. After a while, the fans started to find it petty and little more than a gimmick used to generate buzz when an artist was preparing to release a new project and push sales. Interest in the increasingly mundane spats between rappers waned tremendously. In 2009, when 50 Cent (again) went on the offensive in an attempt to curtail budding star Rick Ross' appeal, Ross simply ignored his way into a victory. Newcomers Wale and Kid Cudi got into a war of words that started in the pages of Complex magazine and dissolved within a matter of days. Then late last year and into the beginning of 2011, Lil' Kim set her sights on the red-hot Nicki Minaj and left everyone within earshot asking, "What's the point?" Is this a sign of hip-hop "growing up"? Maybe. But it's more the result of the law of diminishing returns: The more beef consumers are provided, the less appealing it becomes. As hip-hop has become more ingrained in pop culture, it has continued to lose its edge and sense of rebellion. Working together on collaborations yields bigger exposure and profits than releasing dis tracks. The loss of beef is a casualty of hip-hop's success. Of course, this could change, as culture is wont to do. This is hip-hop, after all, and as Big Daddy Kane once warned: "Sucka MCs, it's a must that I dis you."▲


OON OUR RADAR

Books & Culture

One Day It'll All Make Sense Common, Adam Bradley Common has earned a reputation in the hip hop world as a conscious artist by embracing themes of love and struggle in his songs, and by sharing his own search for knowledge with his listeners. His journey toward understanding—expressed in his music and now in his roles in film and television—is rooted in his relationship with a remarkable woman, his mother, Mahalia Ann Hines.

Each chapter begins with a letter from Common addressed to an important person in his life—from his daughter to his close friend and collaborator Kanye West, from his former love Erykah Badu to you, the reader. Through it all, Common emerges as a man in full. Rapper. Actor. Activist. But also father, son, and friend. Common’s story offers a living example of how, no matter what you’ve gone through, one day it’ll all make sense.

THE TANNING OF AMERICA

The business marketing genius at the forefront of today's entertainment marketing revolution helps corporate America get hip to today's new consumer-the tan generation - by learning from hip-hop and youth culture. "He is the conduit between corporate America and rap and the streets-he speaks both languages." -Jay-Z "It's amazing to see the direct impact that black music, videos and the internet have had on culture. I've seen so many people race to the top of pop stardom using the everyday mannerisms of the hood in a pop setting. It's time to embrace this phenomenon because it ain't going nowhere!" -Kanye West. When Fortune 500 companies need to reenergize or reinvent a lagging brand, they call Steve Stoute. In addition to marrying cultural icons with blue-chip marketers (Beyoncé for Tommy Hilfiger's True Star fragrance, and Justin Timberlake for "lovin' it" at McDonald's), Stoute has helped identify and activate a new generation of consumers. He traces how the "tanning" phenomenon raised a generation of black, Hispanic, white, and Asian consumers who have the same "mental complexion" based on shared experiences and values. This consumer is a mindset-not a race or age-that responds to shared values and experiences, rather than the increasingly irrelevant demographic boxes that have been used to a fault by corporate America. And Stoute believes there is a language gap that must be bridged in order to engage the most powerful market force in the history of commerce. The Tanning of America provides that very translation guide. Drawing from his company's case studies, as well as from extensive interviews with leading figures of multiple fields, Stoute presents an insider's view of how the transcendent power of popular culture is helping reinvigorate and revitalize the American dream. He shows how he bridges the worlds of pop culture, brand consulting, and marketing in his turnkey campaigns offers keen insight into other successful campaigns-including the election of Barack Obama-to illustrate the power of the tan generation, and how to connect with it while staying true to your core brand.

The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place Hill Harper, Author

ONE DAY IT’LL ALL MAKE SENSE

THE WEALTH CURE

The perennial New York Times bestselling author helps readers discover how to put money in its place and use wealth-building as a tool for joy and fulfillment. Hill Harper is uniquely poised to guide readers through tough times and offers bestselling advice for reaping the rewards of a truly happy life. With The Wealth Cure, he does more than that: He presents a revolutionary new definition of wealth, motivating readers to not only build financial security but to also achieve wealth in every aspect of their lives. Using his own journey as a parable, Harper inspires the reader to evaluate their values while explaining the importance of laying a sound financial foundation and how to recognize the worth of your relationships and increase the value of your interactions with the people in your life. Drawing on his personal recollections and true stories from family and friends, Harper helps readers begin to see money not as a goal but as a tool that provides freedom for following their passions. The keys include investing in yourself, tapping the resources you need, and taking responsibility for how those resources are used. Far from a get-rich-quick primer, The Wealth Cure brims with inspired wisdom for building a lasting bounty from the experiences, loved ones, and achievements that really matter.

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In One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Common holds nothing back. He tells what it was like for a boy with big dreams growing up on the South Side of Chicago. He reveals how he almost quit rapping after his first album, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, sold only two thousand copies. He recounts his rise to stardom, giving a behind-the-scenes look into the recording studios, concerts, movie sets, and after-parties of a hip-hop celebrity and movie star. He reflects on his controversial invitation to perform at the White House, a story that grabbed international headlines. And he talks about the challenges of balancing fame, love, and fatherhood. One Day It’ll All Make Sense is a gripping memoir, both provocative and funny. Common shares never-before-told stories about his encounters with everyone from Tupac to Biggie, Ice Cube to Lauryn Hill, Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela. Drawing upon his own lyrics for inspiration, he invites the reader to go behind the spotlight to see him as he really is—not just as Common but as Lonnie Rashid Lynn.

The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy


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Swagga Digital Magazine Fall Issue 2011