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Diosa... Our Very Own

Urban Beauty with Sonovia

Alexander “Amazon’s Best Selling Author” 1


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Letter from the editor...6 Meet our staff...10 Spring into the Good Life...16 Co Wshing….21 Real Sex Talk with D Queen...28 Deszion Star Design...35 Empowerment...41 It’s Not Support, She’s Your Child...49 4


Diosa a Reaal Life Urban Beauty...52 Stand Up & Accept Your Greatness...64 The Urban Alter...70 Wu Quiz...74 Save the Father, Save the Son...76 Sexual Expressions...80 UIM’s What ‘s Da Word Mix-Up...82 Six Ridiculous Relationship Double Standards...85 Ask Emiaj...93 UIM’s Author Showcase featuring: Daddy Rich….98

Conversations with Sonovia Alexander...112 Sistas Representing Well on TV...118 UIM’s Under trhe Concrete: featuring: Pyrex Pacino, DramaTik, & Randy Gill….123 Who’s Who Quiz...137 The Invicible Nine...141 Poetic Justice Joint...145 UIM’s Friends and Fami Speak Their Minds Forum...152 U Conn Huskies Dominate the Big Dance...156 Men Stand Up!!!...158 5


Dear Readers, Whew! (Wiping sweat off of my forehead). This was the most difficult issue we've ever put together. I mean we had to jump over hurdle after hurdle to bring you our newest edition. But, we pulled it off and I hope you enjoy what our layout designer and our dedicated team of writers have assembled for your entertainment. Over the past couple of months you have seen some changes and there are more to come. We are going to continue to evolve to serve the needs and desires of our audience. I can't wait. Next month we will have a new look and a new format. We're going to break Urban Image down into sections so that you'll know what to expect every month. Be sure to check out our blog and read the interesting articles posted by our bloggers. We are working hard to bring you up to speed on current events and the hottest celebrity news. We want to be your source. Urban Image is the people's magazine. It's al

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ways about you. Contact us; info@UrbanImageMagazine.com if you have any questions or comments. And look for our Anniversary issue next month. It'll be a year since our re-launch last may, and we're going to celebrate! Peace and Love,

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My name is Richarh Aswanu AKA Daddy Rich. I am the CEO and founder here at Urban Image Magazine and GangstatLit. Writing is not a phase in my life, it defines who I am. I’m a man on a mission. I want my freedom! This is why I write! I have been locked down for 8 years but have published 3 books thus far. I have my own style that separates me from other authors. I created Urban Image to serve as a publication you can be proud of. It is our aim to dissolve the negative stereotypes associated with the “Urban Community”. We will inform, educate, entertain and inspire our readers. In addition to providing you with thought provoking content, Urban Image Magazine will showcase talents who haven’t had the opportunity to reach mainstream media outlets. Urban Image Magazine was founded as a life changing movement for all that are involved in our mission. We are a stage for those without a platform to have a spotlight. Published to be accessible online, this magazine is designed to serve as a catalyst to success, a place where you can network with likeminded people who are in pursuit of their dreams. 10

Hello, my name is Denetra “Queen GangstaLit” Key better known as D Queen or Boss Ladii. I am the president here at Urban Image. I am a mother of three and also a 15 year nurse by profession. I also am our magazine layout designer… so I hope you enjoy my art. There are some topics that arise in life that strike a cord with me and I will write on those issues. My articles and blogs are to shed light on issues that are dear to my heart! I apologize in advance if I offend. But my pieces are based on my opinion. Our opinions reflect that we are individual children of God. One promise I can make is that I will report on the topics of my choice in as accurate fashion as I can. I welcome you to leave your comments good or bad in regards to my work. I actually appreciate it! Your views give me insight. Thank you for visiting our page. While your here please take the time to browse around and look at our past magazines and blogs. Thanks again and God Bless!


EmiajAhdai is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is our Fashion and Arts Blogger, our Managing Editor and recently promoted to Vice President. She is currently working on her first novel, and is a contributor to LAID: Young People’s Experiences with sex in an easy access culture. She brings us a unique look on love and relationships through her Single and Ready to Mingle blog and her column Ask Emiaj. This little woman wears a lot of hats but she has a big heart. You would never believer that she started out just blogging with us in her spare time. She believes in hard work and dedication will pay off in the end. Look for her name among the stars.

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KIMBERLEY R. JASPER was raised in Jamaica Queens, New York and still describes herself as a true

New Yorker through and through despite currently residing in Humble, Texas with her family.

After self

-publishing her first novel, she is now fulfilling her purpose and passion as a writer.

From horror

fiction with a mystical twist to erotic thrillers, this author can do it all with well-seasoned finesse. 12

Angela Williams is just now beginning to explore the possibilities opened to her. She is an avid reader who sometimes lets her imagination run wild. A lover of animals she shares living space with two dogs and a cantankerous cat. No stranger to being told what can’t be done she tries to empower those around her. She believes that you’re never late for your dream, you always arrive right on time. At the present time she is residing in Chesapeake, VA and working on a book of poetry.


Comedian Marc Howard has preformed stand up comedy for over 20 years. Originally started in his home town of Washington DC, and won a big competition in the area Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in his 1st 2 years. He later moved to New York City to test his talents and grow as a comic, he performed at the Apollo, and the variety show Uptown Comedy Club in Harlem as well. A year later Marc took his talents to the Pacific and moved to Los Angeles in 93. Since then he's been a veteran of BET's Comic View, HBO Def Comedy Jam, & Comedy Spot on TVOne. Been seen on Martin, in feature film Tears Of A Clown starring Don DC Curry. Marc has also done voice over work on a the It's Your World that was featured for years on Tom Joyner Morning Show. He has performed across the globe doing comedy clubs, colleges, and theaters. He has performed for our military local and abroad. Areas such as Kosovo, Iraq, and Afganistan. Now he's adding writing to his Patrice “Lyrical Passion” Rivers started her writing career at an early age of nine. With her vivid imagination, she started writing short fiction stories, then as years passed, her love for poetry took a full effect at the age of fifteen. Writing has always been a part of Lyrical Passion and believed that it was a gift from God. To seal the real deal, she published her first book, “A Collection of God’s Word and Motivation” in May 2012. As Lyrical continues her passion of writing poetry and stories, she hopes to succeed in what she does as an author, poet and blogger. Her second book “Lyrical Passion Tears from my Inkwell” was recently published November 2013. She now is working on her third book entitled “My Journey with Sickle Cell Disease” which will be released 2014. She was temporarily a blogger for Nlistic Media Soldiers sharing the beauty of her poetry, but now Patrice currently blogs and is a senior writer for Urban Image Magazine where she posts for the Dating and Relationships blog and is committed in submitting articles every month that covers various topics of interest. She is also a blogger for Black Bloggers Connect and a columnist for Pen’Ashe Magazine. 13


Devin D. Coleman is an a u t h o r, p o e t , a n d p u b l i c speaker whose work embodies the art of turning tragedy into triumph. Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, D e v i n ’s l i f e t o o k a n u n expected turn while he was a student at Florida A & M U n i v e r s i t y. A n a c t of poor judgment landed him in prison his senior year causing him to squander what he worked so hard to accomplish. It was during this time that Devin chose to redirect his life through harnessing his talent for writing. He subsequently published his first volume of poetry titled Prisoner to Poet: Thoughts of an Incarcerated Soul. Upon his release, Devin went on t o c o m p l e t e h i s e d u c a t i o n a t E d w a r d Wa ters College in 2008 graduating with a 3.7 G PA i n O r g a n i z a t i o n a l M a n a g e m e n t . H e h a s s e r v e d h i s c o m m u n i t y i n v ar i o u s w ay s b y utilizing his skills and passion for civic engagement. Most recently Devin served as a Community Organizer for Florida New Majority; a Social Justice Organization that focuses on organizing and equipping comm u n i t i e s a c r o s s t h e s t a t e t o ex e r c i s e t h e i r collective power for fairness and equality among Floridians. He also served as contributing poet for Promoting Purpose Magazine as well as a blogger for Urban Image Magazine. D e v i n ’s m i s s i o n i s t o e n c o u r a g e a n d e n lighten youth in an effort to prevent them from making similar mistakes he once did. He is currently working on his sophomore publication in order to continue to share h i s s t o r y. 14


When it comes to writing editing and proofreading, Tiff’s Editing Café stands proud! Tiffany (Dishman) Jasper, a Chicago native, from the Englewood Community raised with both parents and two brothers. A blessed mother of two children and leader of her world, continues to be passionate about her craft and the online business that she is building. Receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2001 and a current graduate student of Organizational Leadership at Argosy University, Tiffany was also formerly certified as an Early Childhood Education teacher in Chicago and has returned to the classroom in North Carolina. A decade of writing and editing has now encouraged me to continue expanding my company’s services to creating professional letters, media kits, bios, proposals and press releases while completing the edits for college applications, dissertations, essays, personal statements, website content, poetry, books for children, blogs, and more! This online concept has allowed Tiffany to reach clients across the globe and attain collaborations that are ongoing. Tiffany focuses on long-term business relationships that have landed her clients, small collaborations and contracts with online and magazines and publishing companies across the globe with many more on her radar. The sky is the limit; and to think, Tiff’s Editing Café began as a hobby but has become my business and my joy! It can be done and her new journey has just begun. Now, your turn! 15


Spring has officially hit us. I know I am not the only who is more than happy. This winter has been nothing but horrible. I promise if I never see another snow flake, I am ok. As soon as spring breaks we will more than happy to have a break from the cold. This list will contain some essentials for the spring time, and some of my favorite items. 1)Pedicures: Since this starts the season of open toe shoes, a pedicure is absolutely essential to one’s life. You can slack off during the winter months due to the cold weather. So women do not, but for those who do it is now time to take some time for your feet. Now I know some of us are on budgets. That is understandable.

Here it is a do it yourself (DIY) Step 1: Remove Polish Step 2: Cut and File Nails Step 3: Soak your feet Step 4: Take care of cuticles

Step 5: Scrub your feet Step 6: Moisturize Step7: Polish toes Step 8: Finish your pedicure

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2)Light Colors (pastels): I am a lover of pastel colors; you can give me a soft pink or mint color any day. The wedding season is about to start soon so adding a nice knew length dress to your wardrobe would not hurt. I actually just found one at Forever21.com for only 13.80. Talk about staying within the budget. You can always add a pop of color with a pastel, and it really doesn’t have to be a dramatic color. With the pink soft pastel you can add a caramel brown belt and shoe to it with the accent of a brown clutch. 3)Floral/ Geometric shapes/ graphic tees and MORE I have always been a fan of graphic tees. I have plenty of them to show for it. The one that has captured my life would have to be the face tees, (Marilyn Monroe, Biggie, etc.) I love these tops with vintage stone washed jeans or even a high-waisted skirt. You can also do a basic graphic tee from Old Navy for 9.00 with a cute tennis skirt with a blazer. Yes ladies tennis skirts are everything. Vintage clothing is in at this point. I just purchased a floral body-con dress again from Forever21.com . This dress has ž length sleeves with an open criss-cross back. This dress can be mulitipurposed, just based on the shoe you wear. A cute Ked can be by day, and nice wedge or sandal by night. 17


4) Headband/Hair Care: Head accessories are in. I am naturalista and rock my natural hair all spring and summer long. You can spice up your hair just a little bit. (Flowers, scarfs, wraps, etc.) Since I am natural I am going to actually try a protective style for the spring. I will be getting braids.

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CO-WASHING: THE METHOD TO END THE MADNESS By: Deszion Nasir

Chime Edwards 21


Okay, so like I promised, this episode I'm going to talk about co-washing natural hair. One of the biggest mistakes us curlies can make is by over-shampooing our hair, which can strip our hair of the oils we're working so hard to put back in it. What to do, what to do? This is where co-washing comes in. With co-washing, you're adding moisture to your hair, cleansing and detangling it without the harsh stripping we've gotten used to while either relaxed or simply trying to figure out why our natural hair is so dry a day or so after wash day. What is co-washing? Co-washing is short for “conditioner washing,” or cleansing your hair with your favorite conditioner instead of shampoo. I believe the actual term was coined by Curly Girl Method creator and author of Curly Girl: The Handbook Lorraine Massey. Textured hair has a natural tendency to be drier than straighter hair types. The natural oils created by the scalp have a harder time navigating the twist and turns of curly hair. Massey suggests that all conditioners have a small amount of gentle cleansers and that conditioners can and should be Co-washing is becoming so popuuse more than shampoo to clean curly lar that hair product companies are ofhair. Co-washing is a part of the no-poo fering co-washing cleansing conditionmovement. ers along with gentle sulfate-free shampoos. As a curly girl, I have experimentA curly girl has to take all ed with co-washing with regular condimeasures to ensure that curls stay hytioners and co-washing conditioners. drated. A “no-poo” hair regimen that You can read a full product review of consists of regular co-washing can cre- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Coate beautifully nourished waves and wash Conditioning Cleanser here. Becurls. Some even believe gentle cleans- fore you start, here are five things you ers can prevent split ends and other hair should know about co-washing: damage. 22


Watch Those Ingredients If co-washing is a regular part of your hair regimen, stay away from silicones. Many of these ingredients are easy to identify on product labels: look for ingredients ending in cone. Many silicones are synthetic additives that are not water-soluble, making them a little bit harder to wash out without harsh detergents. The end result is yucky build-up on your hair and scalp. Co-Wash As Needed Depending on your hair and other factors, such as your schedule and the climate, you can co-wash as frequently as you like. Keep in mind that your hair is the most fragile when it’s wet. Be careful in styling, and allow your hair time to dry completely before washing again. There is a such thing as over-conditioning, so pay attention to your hair’s feel. If it’s spongy or even mushy, you’re overdoing it. Clarify Occasionally With A Sulfate-Free Shampoo This is an important step that some people skip. Your hair and scalp still need a gentle shampoo to adequately cleanse. When I skip the shampoo for too long, my scalp itches like crazy. I recommend shampooing weekly or bi-weekly in addition to regular co-washing. 23


Co-washing Is Not For Everyone If you suffer from scalp conditions such as dermatitis, co-washing occasionally is okay. But a strict no-poo regimen could make this condition worse. Also, depending on your hair type, you may not see the benefit of co-washing. If you have oily hair, a shampoo is needed to remove excess oil, as co-wash can add extra oil to the hair. A Co-washing Cleansing Conditioner Might Not Be Enough I feel like including the term “cleansing” or “cleanser” on the bottle of co-washing conditioners can be a little deceiving. There are certain properties that shampoos or cleansers have that are absent from some co-washing conditioners. For example, many shampoos are formulated with a low pH. The acidity of shampoo raises the hair cuticle, making it easier to remove dirt and product buildup. Shampoos also have detergents that clean the hair and scalp. Some co-washing conditioners exhibit some of these properties, but not all, so check labels for what you want.

Do not co-wash with a deep conditioner If you are intending to regularly co -wash your hair (3 times or more per week), do not pick a conditioner labelled as a deep conditioner or intensive mask. These tend to contain a higher proportion of ingredients that stick to the sur 24


face of hair and give softness for example behentrimonium methosulfate. This is not to say that these ingredients are bad, it is simply that the conditioner is formulated for less frequent use and you can cause build up to form by reapplying it constantly without using a shampoo in between. A simple rinse out conditioner with the same ingredient is more likely to work better as it is made for more frequent use and therefore formulated to be lighter and easier to wash off. Use your deep conditioner when you feel your hair requires additional care. Consider your environment and

lifestyle Regular exercisers who sweat heavily may find that shampooing on a daily basis is too harsh. Conditioner washing is a perfect solution for them. However, if you live in an area of high pollution or your work brings your hair into contact with a high level of dust or dirt, you may find that a co-washing routine actually makes your hair dirtier as hair conditioner has a tendency to attract and bind particles. Finding a mild shampoo may be a better alternative instead of adopting a co-wash routine.

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Many people out there do not know the difference in the types of STIs/STDs out there. I've decided to enlighten you our public with a three part series discussing the different types and how they are treated. Although all of these diseases can have a life altering effect on a person. There are some that are more serious than others. I call these the "lifers" because there is no cure for these and once you contract them for life! This particular category of STD's is Viral Infections. To me these are your only true sexually transmitted diseases. The difference to me between a disease and an infection is the fact that with an infection you can take medicine or a treatment and you are cured. A disease follows you for the rest of your life.

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The most serious of these of course as we all know is HIV (which by the way stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, This disease manifest into the well-known life taking virus AIDS. HIV was made famous when mega basketball legend Magic Johnson was diagnosed with it in 1991. At that time HIVB was thought to be a disease that was primarily contracted by homosexual males. SOOOOOO no true.

that same line on many before you. Which make him at high risk for the disease) Then tell him I bet yo ass gonna feel all them needles they have to stick in yo butt when you catch the virus. Then get up and put your clothes on! He is NOT the one. Don't compromise your safety ladies.

Effects of AIDs

Now AIDS has become the leading cause of death for African American women ages 24-40. It is spread through blood and body fluids. It is wise to be tested every six months for HIV to be safe. The only way to ensure that you do not become infected with this deadly disease is through abstinence. But if you insist on getting you a piece the second best way to prevent the spread of HIV is through safe sex. That's right y'all...so strap it up! Every time your man complains that he can't feel nothing with a condom on ask him if that's what he tells all the girls. (Cause I bet he has used 29


The next virus I want to discuss with you all is Genital Warts. This disease is also known as HPV. It is reported that nearly every person who is sexually active will at some point in their lifetime contract this disease. Now that's deep... HPV is the disease that is responsible for cervical cancer in women. If undetected and untreated cervical cancer can be life threatening as well.

face. Once infected with HPV even if treated you are still infected with the virus. It is important for sexually active females to go for regularly pap smears for early detection of this disease. Though not a cure the Gardasil shot is recommended for teen boy and girls before they become sexually active as a tool of prevention for certain strands of this virus.

This disease is spread through skin to skin contact with an infected person. Genital warts is a trickster of a disease. They may or may not appear on a person's outside genitalia. So just because you do not see them does not mean they are not on the inside of a females vagina. People can also be carriers without actually having growth of external warts. Which means they can give you a gift that keeps on giving without ever having to pay the price themselves.

As with any other sexually contracted disease the only 100% way of preventing it is abstinence. However condoms are the closest thing to protection for the sexually active. Inspect your partner's genitals. Use those head shots to really give you knowledge. If there is a bump on their genitalia it's more than likely not a pimple. Get up and put your clothes on...Do not pass go....WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Don't get caught slippin on yo pimpin...They are not the one.

Warts are treated by freezing or burning them off of the skins sur-

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On to the next one>>>>>>>>>Herpes- I'm gonna start this one off with a did you know...

if there actually has to be an active outbreak. Damn more gift giving...The jury's still out on it. But hell I wouldn't risk it either way if I were Did you know that the herpes virus you. Though Herpes is another one that causes cold sores is the same of our "lifelong friends" its outbreaks can be controlled and even one that causes genital herpes? This is a fact! Years ago there were suppressed with medications called antivirals. Just because one may not two viruses Heroes Simplex I and Herpes Simplex II. Well "herpes" is a have actual outbreaks they are still bad boy so it decide to mutate into infected with the disease. one big strong virus. So now two be- There are more viruses but I think I comes one- "OH how sweet." Well hit y'all wit enough knowledge for this issue. I invite you to go to not really in this case any way. CDC.gov and check this stuff out for Now fellas if she has a cold sore or yourself. Until next time be responsiyou have ever saw her with one you ble, be safe, take care of you and better keep it in yo britches and re- most of all "Wrap it up!" sist that temptation of getting you knob slobbed. Have you ever noticed that most of the time its women who get cold sores? I don't have any scientific fact on that, it's merely an observation. I'm just saying...kind of mysterious hunh? Herpes is also spread through skin to skin contact with an infected person. However there are split opinions on

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Herpes

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ARIES Lowered vitality is possible this month, dear Aries, if you're not honoring your need for extra rest. It's not the time to push yourself too hard with your ruler, Mars, retrograde in your opposing sign and several planets moving through your privacy sector. You're in great need of some form of escape, but choose any escape routes wisely. Relationships are complicated, although connections with family are likely to strengthen in March. Buried problems can surface in partnerships, and resolving them can seem complicated. You may choose to retreat from the pressure and stress. Family and home life can improve. This is a great period for spending more time with loved ones and for efforts to make your home life more comfortable. You 35

don't need the stress of major renovations, but small improvements can make a big difference. TAURUS Reviving old interests is possible now. Editing, correspondence, learning, writing, and sharing are all favored now. A previously hard-to-grasp subject can become clearer. You could receive good news from friends, or you might feel inspired by something you learn. A learning opportunity may also be in the offing. There can be some tricky matters revolving around work or health matters to deal with, however. Energy may not be at its best for work and health routines, and you could be feeling sluggish or bored. If so, it's likely more about waning emotional energy motivation and inspiration - which


impact your physical vitality as well. Even so, your reputation with those in authority is likely to be strong. There may be a revelation of sorts about a relationship around the Full Moon on the 16th. GEMINI Career developments grab your attention this month, and unexpected events trigger new directions. A more creative direction is likely, and you'll find that it suits you very well. Intuition is beginning to play a strong role in your professional life. Brand-new initiatives are not favored generally speaking with Mars retrograde until mid-May, but this doesn't mean projects should be suspended or that you shouldn't work on plans for new endeavors with a launch date later on. In fact, this is a strong period for editing, refining, and finetuning work. Some of you could be feeling a little stuck creatively speaking. Romantic interests are tied to friendships and group activities this month, but your social life in general can be quite complicated. Some challenges can surface in a romantic relationship or in relationships with your children this month and next. Avoidance is a strong tendency right now, but not advised. It's time to make some changes in your approach. Health programs or routines may need changes. 36

CANCER There can be educational or travel opportunities for many of you, and there can be renewed interest in, and commitment to, health improvement programs . You could be feeling especially happy and healthy, optimistic, and more confident, and that your goals are in reach. Others are likely to find you inspiring. Generally speaking, people are seeing you in a good light. Tricky energy is with us now that Mars is retrograde (until mid-May), however, and for you, this can be experienced with family, authority figures, or involving domestic affairs. Watch for passive-aggressive behavior. Patience is necessary now. Love is also a little difficult to understand in March. This is not the best time for single people to begin a long-term relationship LEO Responsibilities on the home front can be daunting, and finding the time to run errands and handle paperwork may be a challenge. There can also be some disagreements with siblings, neighbors, or acquaintances. Some of you could experience delays or challenges with education or travel plans. Strong energy is with you for partnering and love matters, however. Mercury moving direct again through your partnership sector until the 17th helps you to resolve any conflicts logically and rea


sonably, and Venus traveling through the same sector from the 5th brings charm and affection into the picture. At the same time that Venus moves into your partnership sector, Jupiter, the ruler of your creative, romantic, and fun sector, begins direct motion. Chances are very good that you will attract pleasant people or interactions into your life.

retrograding Mars. There can be some confusion, misunderstandings, and possibly resentments surrounding finances and ownership matters.

VIRGO While you may not feel in charge, it's a good time for learning more about the people in your life. You are growing towards a more spiritual or idealistic approach to your relationships, and this is especially prominent this month. Watch that you don't put too much faith in something that is no longer viable, or give so much that you forget your own needs in the process. If the scales are tipping too far towards a partner, the Full Moon on the 16th will bring the problem to light. Even so, a partner and friends have important and practical feedback for you this month. Putting your heads together can produce solutions to problems. Watch for struggles with money or values with your solar second and eighth houses affected by 37

LIBRA It’s time to pick up your sleeves and get down to work this month, dear Libra. You'll have the most success if you bring more creativity to your daily routine or work. Work matters increasingly come into focus, and you could be feeling especially competent and effective in your professional life. Even so, overall, you are likely feeling more introspective. It's not that you lack confidence, but you tend to need to look within for answers. Questioning your plans is likely, and in fact quite necessary. The temptation to push ahead with personal plans is strong, but circumstances could have you feeling stuck. Watch for temper tantrums they are unlikely to go over well. You'll be at your strongest if you tame impatience and work on projects that need fine-tuning or completion rather than adding more to your plate.


SCORPIO

for the time being

Although there is tricky energy with us this month, dear Scorpio, it can also be a whole lot of fun at times. Romantic opportunities abound all month. Getting in touch with your “inner child� is easy now. Your thirst for adventure resurfaces after a period of hesitancy with Jupiter's direct motion on the 6th. Saturn's retrograde in your sign can help you to loosen up a little.

CAPRICORN

SAGITTARIUS With Mars retrograde until mid-May, your social life can become complicated. A lover or friend may be distant or in a phase of rethinking matters. Friendships, in general, require more care this month and next. Misunderstandings can be frequent and complications can arise. You might also take this time to re -assess your goals, romantic life, group associations, and friendships. From the 5th, your ruler, Jupiter, begins direct motion, and slowly but surely, you're regaining your confidence and faith in life. The spring and summer should find you in a more outgoing and positive frame of mind. Curb spending as much as possible this month, and avoid lending out

There can be helpful neighbors, siblings, and classmates in your life this month. You can benefit greatly from counseling, sharing your thoughts, and brainstorming. Work requires more strategy and patience, as well as a lower profile. This is not the time to push. You may be experiencing delays and assorted slowdowns. Try to steer clear of differences of opinion and other conflicts that threaten to be too public or unprofessional. Work on improving skills and fine -tuning your work. Family life can be tricky at times, and you may be dealing with moodiness and resurfacing of past problems. Manage your time carefully this month. There can be a tendency to procrastinate and to avoid important responsibilities. AQUARIUS

The 3rd, 10-11, and 31st are strong for enhancing or attracting a close partnership. Creative projects could bring financial reward in the second half of the month. With Saturn turning retrograde in your career sector and Jupiter turning direct in your 38


work sector, you're focusing less on getting ahead and more on improving skills and tending to details. In the long run, this attitude works better for you, as you're focusing more on loving what you do and taking the pressure off performance. Love relationships tend to be smoother overall in March, and your personal appeal increases with Venus in your sign from the 5th. When it comes to love, you have been under the radar for awhile as Venus spent an unusually long time in your privacy sector. Now that Venus has "emerged" in your solar chart, your charm is more noticeable, and others seem to take your needs and desires more seriously.

PISCES You spend a lot of time making others happy, but this month is about you there's no reason to feel guilty about a little self-interest, which can do you good right now. Feelings, desires, and wants tend to be more private than usual, however. While you're more outwardly confident and active, you are keeping some things quite private. There is a lot going on behind the scenes. Some of you could be struggling with addictions, fears, and unusual desires. Watch your money closely. Lending and borrowing may not bring desired results at this time. A favorable negotiation or agreement benefits you

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Empowerment: My Story of Life’s Struggles

I wanted to do something different; to share my story as a strong woman for all of these years. To finally be able to speak about my feelings when it comes to being a women, low selfesteem, depression, stressed, mental problems and men issues. The reason why I’m coming out because I want others to see and read what I’ve been through and some might be able to relate to this. Yes I’m an author, poet,

blogger, columnist and writer and I’m always on my grind, but deep down inside I’m hurting and I’m still going through. As a woman we got to stay strong and at times when I really want to give up and stay “Forget this! I’m going to give up hope!” But I just take a deep breath and think about my dreams and goals I will be throwing away. To be honest and I’m going to keep it real with you, I’ve thought about suicide so many 41


times! Ever since high school I was hav- and as I still go through that same issue ing these thoughts. now, it gets frustrating! I didn’t have not It was over stupid stuff that didn’t make one single boy take me nor ask to escort me to my junior and senior prom and sense, but I got some sense knocked back into my head. The low self-esteem that really did hurt me a lot! I asked two gentlemen from that I experienced my church but started in high they were playing school because I games! SMH was always this short skinny chick who always wished to be thicker. Man that bothered me a lot because I noticed men back then liked a girl who was thick with a big butt and breasts and I didn’t really have that. I felt ugly during all of my high school years because I wore braces, I was dark and on top of that I was skinny. Back then I didn’t think too much of fashion and being that I lived in Hawaii, all the “brothas” wanted the non-black chicks who were pretty with long flowing hair. I’ve always had an issue with being boy-crazy

I always thought there was sometimes wrong with me because boys didn’t notice me too much. I was always asking myself, “Do I seem too desperate? Was I pushing myself on them?” This seems true and because I wanted to experience real love and a real relationship, I found myself taking risks that could be challenging. I always had a thing about fitting in and because I didn’t felt popular, I felt depressed and sad most of the time. Because I felt I wasn’t loved. Ladies this may sound horrible and yes it was for

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not proud of a lot of things I’ve done in my life let alone the harsh and cruel things I said to people and I know God is still working on me because I have a lot of work to do. Relationships aren’t a joke these days because the generation has

me, but we all experience some type of depression and low self-esteem in our lives. No one is perfect, but we all have to learn not to rely on a man for happiness. And that’s what I tried to do for so many years! I’ve been in denial for so long that it has messed up my mind and I get defensive when people say certain things. I just don’t like what people have to say because I’ve always had a rough life only because I made it rough. I mostly the cause of the drama and baggage in my life and although I’m

changed and so have men! It’s not like when our parents were dating back in the day, now it’s crazy as heck! But it’s important to find happiness within ourselves instead of relying on the world. And that’s what I’m still learning right now. Also with my trust issue I have with people and men, it isn’t easy trying to deal with people without me thinking they are playing me or not trust-worthy. When you have been hurt so many times in your life, you stop giving a damn about certain things and people. You have no more room in your closet for BS and you just want to be able to have peace and a clear conscious. There are a lot of people I hate and have bitter thoughts against be43


cause I feel they are bad people or bad influences and I’ always trying to keep my wall up. I know this isn’t good, but I just have to forgive myself. This has always been hard for me; to forgive myself for the wrongs I have done to people. I’m not saying they deserve it, but when people piss you off, you do want to get even and take revenge! All these life lessons should be a wakeup call for me. And for those of you that are experiencing the same

things that I am going through, then don’t give up! Things in life can be hard and sometimes we just want to throw our hands up and say “I’m done!” But God throws stones our way to see if we are strong. And the fact that I don’t have “real” friends, I feel lonely at times and it really gets me down and I start feeling emotional. A lot of men tend to not care about a woman’s feelings because some of them don’t have the patience to deal with stuff like that. So when I tend to cry, I make sure no one

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hears me. It gets to the point that when I’m crying, I feel that no one cares and understands my true pain. I never really opened up to people, so when I’m having my moments, I tend to shut people out even my parents A lot of people have told me to write things down when I’m feeling down, but I just write or vent through my poetry. That’s the only remedy I know to get out the negative thoughts out of my system and to express my true feelings.

ple. Every time people would say positive things about me, I never knew how to take it because of my guilt I have inside when I treat people wrong. So we all have things we aren’t proud of in our lives, but we just have to learn from it. It’s not going to be easy at times, because you still going to feel stressed, worried, depressed, sad or frustrated, but just inhale the good things in life and think about the visions and dreams that you are trying to reach.

Life isn’t about trying to be perfect, but it’s about making mistakes and trying to learn from them. Everyone isn’t going to like everything you do, but learn to surround yourself with positive people. I can be guilty of this at times because a lot of people used to say negative and nasty things about me so I tend to dish out negativity towards peo-

So whatever you do in life, just remain strong and never give up hope! Even though I still am going through my issues, I’m still trying to be a strong black woman! Even though I still am going through my issues, I’m still trying to be a strong black woman!

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“It’s Not Support, She’s Your Child” By: Tiffany Jasper

When we think back, some of us planned our children and some of us were (or not) so pleasantly surprised that there was a baby on the way. We plan, we dream and we prepare as much as we can about who our new baby will look like, when he or she will be born or if we will be buying pink or blue. Years ago, there were no ultrasounds to know the gender of the fetus or assist with the care of the fetus and mother like you can presently. We just wanted a healthy baby, right? As we know, the cliché of the American Dream consists of a husband, wife, daughter, son, puppy and white picket fence happens to some and doesn’t always come to fruition for most. Many times the family of four plans or dating couple decreases to one parent raising the children with all the responsibility of child rearing and the financial responsibility that comes along with it. Coparenting is a duty of both, mother and father; and yes, there is a financial piece that must be involved. I’m still unclear why this issue remains a “sting to the butt” for some parents. I won’t even go into the 49


importance of financial support for children because at this point in our lives that should be evident. However, child support is an issue that needs to be constant, intentional and addressed with those who might be blinded by the necessity of it. Just a few thoughts on the topic: ---It is laughable that these cases even reach the courts. Both parents should be able to agree on an amount and be prepared to re-visit the discussion as the children grow, join activities, medical issues arise, etc. ---Parenting should be the premise of the relationship between the parent and child (not necessarily the money) However, the relationship should trigger the notion that taking care of the children in every way possible is vital. ---Not using children as a pawn. Many men are built to provide and protect and if he feels unable to contribute he may choose to not be involved altogether. The relationship between a parent and a child is priceless. Let’s not use the children to force that financial hand (that is where child support comes in). Let the court handle the money requests and avoid the constant drama. ---Men, if you know you have a child by a shady woman, volunteer the child support proceedings to the proper authorities. Anything given for your child outside of the child support system is seen as a gift. Let your financial efforts play out in the eyes of the state you re50

side. This way the games she plays are worth zero. Then you (both) can get back to raising the children. ---The verbal battle about financial support is so unneeded. Both parents know how costly it is to take care of children and even more so if only one parent is contributing. If you are unable to come to an agreement, then by all means, use the child support system as an enforcer. It is so crucial that we spend more time on building relationships with our children; no bad mouthing the other parent(s), not giving yourself too much praise which can be a sign that the other parent is not as valuable and allow the children to see their parent for who they are. They will soon understand who plays what role in the parenting game (trust me). Through it all, you will make it. Remember, there are plenty of us who are going through the same situations and are making it with peace of mind; both mothers and fathers. Pray for wisdom, strength and clarity and keep moving forward. Amen.


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Diosa... a Real Life Urban Beauty By: Richarh Aswanu and Denetra Key

Have you ever met someone who’s not only beautiful on the outside but you can tell from their your first encounter with them that the beauty is truly internally grounded. Well from our first encounter with this magnificent diva we new that her spectacular spirit, determination and hard work were going to get her far. We had to make her our own and now Arise Media is proud to present to you GangstaLit's very own urban Beauty Arnetta Badd aka Diosa. UIM: Hey Ms. Lady, how are you doing today? Arnetta: Hello I am doing wonderful it's a new day and a chance to do everything I did not get to do yesterday.

Arnetta: I knew I really wanted to Model when I attended beauty school, I think the defining moment when I realized that I really wanted to become a model was when I had my first hair and make-up competition and I UIM: So tell us, when did you know? loved the rush it gave me of walking What was the defining moment when on the runway in front of a huge audiyou realized that you wanted to mod- ence and I loved being a display for el? the theatrical 52


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and outlandish make-up and hair ide- 2010 from Beauty School, and a couas the artist came up with. ple goals I set for myself when I graduated were to get my three L's which UIM: I hear you're in school for are My driver's license, gun license, cosmetology, what other goals and Hair License I have two out of have you set for yourself? three and I am working on the final Arnetta: Yes actually I graduated in one which is my hair license. 54


UIM: What are your future aspirations? Arnetta: I have a lot of future aspirations I would really love to be a leading actress in an action packed film or love story, I want to write my autobiography and have it published for the world to see, I also would love to act in a play on Broadway, and another aspiration of mine would be to go back to school I'm not sure what I want to major in but I know I want more schooling in the future. UIM: With this new era of scandals and sex tapes, how do you feel women are represented in the fashion industry? Arnetta: In this industry I feel that women are treated as objects and toys, with this new era of everyone releasing sex tapes and videos I think that it's hard for people to be original, people see that all it takes for you to become famous is to release a tape of you doing something that everyone does behind closed doors, I feel as though the industry glorifies and promotes women as sex symbols and if that wasn't true why don't they blast on social medias when a celebrity graduates school or opens a new business in the community? Because sex sells nothing more or nothing less. UIM: Speaking of sex tapes, what do you think of Mimi Faust's video? Arnetta: All I can do is laugh at Mimi Faust and I say that because as much stuff she talked about Joseline and making jokes of her being a prostitute and a hoe how does she think she looks hanging from a shower rod she sold her sex tape for money so what does that make her? and also I

feel like she put that sex tape out in retaliation to her ex Stevie J maybe as a way of getting back at him for leaving her I don't know but either way I feel like she needs to get it together she's told old for that . UIM: It seems like people will do anything for fame. In your opinion, how far is just too far?

Arnetta: You know what nowadays what people do for fame dose not shock me anymore everyone wants there 15 minutes of fame weather you're a suicide bomber hijacking a plan or Mimi Faust hanging from a shower rod the question is, is there anything people will not do

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for fame or money.

Arnetta: Honestly I have many favorite designers I love anything artistic UIM: What are your favorite style and futuristic but one of my favorite of clothes to wear? designers I would have to say is TomArnetta: This is a hard question I love my Hilfiger only because I grew up fashion and I love feeling beautiful in wearing this particular designer in the whatever I wear but If I had to limit it 90s. down I would say my absolute most favorite style of clothes to wear is any- UIM: What do you put on when you want to feel extra sexy? thing with spandex I love that extra stretch it gives me and the way it fits Arnetta: When I want to feel extra sexy I like keeping it simple so I wear and hugs my body. a nice camisole and boy shorts this UIM: Who is your favorite design- outfit is perfect for relaxing but yet sexy enough for a little extra spice er? when needed. 56


UIM: What are some of the things you like to do at home, when you're spending time with your son and your man? Arnetta: Some of the things that I like to do when I am at home with my family is movie night, my son has become a big fan of eating popcorn so we will pop popcorn and watch movies together and just enjoy being a family. UIM: What do you love most about being in a relationship? Arnetta: What I love most about being in a relationship is the commitment between us and knowing that you can put your full trust into someone and you never have to question their loyalty to you also I like the fact that I have someone who understands me it's kind of like having a friend with benefits if you know what I mean.

put a strain on your relationship? Arnetta: At times yes my career does put a strain on my relationship because we all know that being a model in the industry part of the job is traveling and making events and different appearances throughout America so UIM: I hear from models alot that being in a relationship I have to comit's hard to maintain a relationship promise and realize That I cannot be because most men feel some kind everywhere because I still have obliof way of dudes drooling at their gations at home but we woman. Does your career choice 57


manage to make it work for a healthy Arnetta: The type of qualities I look home life. for in a man is how will be I treated by him believe it are not but first impresUIM: What's your definition of true sions are everything so that's really love? what I pay attention to while first Arnetta: My definition of love is some- meeting someone, I also like a man thing everlasting something that is felt with intelligence and a sense of humor, but cannot be seen like the love you I love to learn new things so any man have for your unborn child, I also that can teach me how to fix somethink that love is a form of expression thing or show me something new defiand it can be shown through many antly gets a plus in my book, and acts of kindness or simply between the know it's the simple things that make love of husband and wife something me happy like spending time or just that is internal. calling to check in on me. UIM: What kind of qualities do you UIM: What are some of the things look for in a man?

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that turn you off in a man? Arnetta: Some things that would turn me of about a man is him being a cheater or a dog or the type who live multiple lives and cannot be honest with themselves and what they really want out of life, Another turn off is the multiple baby moms men seem to think its ok to have, another turn off is a man who puts his boys and the streets before his family and children I would have to say those are some of the biggest turn offs for me. UIM: Let's switch gears real quick. I'm sure our male readers (and

some of the females too. Lol!) agree that you are beautiful from head to toe. But what do you feel is your sexiest body part? Arnetta: Lols thank you for the compliment and I think that if I had to choose the sexist part on my body I would have to say my skin and I say my skin because growing up as a young girl I was told that I was unattractive because of my skin complexion but now as a women it seem as though I can't stop receiving compliments on my skin I kind of feel like the Black Swan in many ways.

UIM: So we see that you are the model for GangstaLit and that you are featured on the Snitch Killer covers. Was it easy for you to get into the role of a dominatrix? Arnetta: Yes it was very easy to get into the role of a dominatrix and I say that because I just envisioned myself acting out a role and being in character so it was really fun to shoot this look. UIM: Do you feel like you take a dominant role in your relationship? Arnetta: No I can honestly say I am not the dominate one in my relationship I can play that role from time to time but for the most part I pretty much leave that up to my Man after all you men are the more dominate species of the human race . UIM: What's your idea of a perfect night with your mate? Arnetta: A perfect night for me and my mate would consist of a phoneless, uninterrupted evening with 59


just the two of us on a nice quiet beach, sipping wine and eating the finest foods underneath the stars and later a nice Jacuzzi dip that sounds just perfect to me already . UIM: Do you find it hard shuffling between being a mother, mate, model and being in school? Arnetta: I'm not going to lie and say that its easy trying to balance all of these different titles because in order to keep everything flowing in an orderly fashion they all deserve and require their own separate amount of attention but if you're like my two year old he demands attention from me whenever he wants it so you know it's just more about making as much time as you can so nothing or no one is neglected.

that you can do anything and never let anyone tell you differently. UIM: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers? Arnetta: Yes just how I am making my dreams a reality so can you it all started with a dream for me and then I conducted a plan and stared coming up with different ways to bring me one step closer to my Dreams, never give up on what you truly want out of life and live your life for you not the way people expect you to live. UIM: Hey Ms. Diosa, thanks for the interview. Is there any one you would like to shout out at this time? You are truly an Urban Beauty, I'm sure our readers will be seeing more of you.

Arnetta: Thank you so much for sitting down with me and Yes I'd love to give a special shout out to Daddy Rich for having faith and seeing the potential in me. I want UIM: What would you tell someone about living out their to give a Shout out to my family, fiancĂŠe and baby. Happy 2nd dreams? Birthday Arshawn Mommy loves you, and shout out to my fans who Arnetta: The best advice I can are supporting my movement. I give to someone striving and plan on bringing the heat this reaching for their dreams is to summer and showing you the reanever give up on them you only son you fell in love with get one life to live so make the most of it and follow your hearts Diosa in first place. desires and become whatever it is you want to be in your life believe 60


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STAND UP AND ACCEPT OUR GREATNESS By: Angela Williams

KINGS Thutmose III: Pharaoh of Egypt 1504-1450BC Affonso I: King of the Kongo 1506-1540AD Sunni Ali Ber: King of Songhay 1464-1492AD Taharqa: King of Nubia 710664BC Behanzin Hossu Bowelle: King of Dahomey 18541906AD Shaka: King of the Zulus 1818-1828AD King Mansa Musa: Malian King 1312-1337AD King Ramesses II: Pharaoh of Egypt 1279-1213BC Amenhotep IV: Pharaoh of Egypt 1352-1336BC

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QUEENS Cleopatra VII: Queen of Egypt 69 -30BC Tiye: Nubian Queen of Egypt 1415-1340BC Queen Amina: Queen of Zaria 1588-1589AD Hatshepsut: The Ablest Queen of Far Antiquity 1503-1482BC Nandi: Queen of Zululand 17781826AD Neferatari: Nubian Queen of Egypt 1292-1225BC Nzingha: Amazon Queen of Matamba, West Africa 1624-1663AD Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewya: Gold Coast circa 1900 Queen of Sheba: Present day Ethiopia circa 1000BC

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World’s First Known Black Genius Imhotep circa 2650

we really were. The history that they n no way am I ashamed to admit I like to tell has been told over and over don’t celebrate Black History month. It again. Unfortunately, with each retellis not a true depiction of who we are. ing it becomes shorter and vital inforBasically, it’s a white washing of who

I

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mation is glossed over or not accurately reported. The struggles and obstacles are minimalized and in doing this those that report our history show us as insignificant little blips in the annals of history.

other, our rights and our freedom. We ran countries that we help to build into nations to be respected and revered. We constructed great architectures that have survived the test of time to still exist. Culturally, people are still benefitting Constantly we are fed a diet of nega- from what our ancestors did. However, tive stereotypes. Black men are seen as the history we’re given neglects to tell aggressive, lazy, irresponsible, criminal us this information. They would have us minded, trying to screw anything that believe that we we’re savages, Cleopatra was blue eyed and white, Ramesses has a vagina, not too intelligent and many other negative stereotypes. Black had an olive complexion and George Washington was our first president women are seen as angry, cold, man when in reality he was the eighth. They hating, sexually loose, looking for an EBT card, section 8 housing, expecting love to lighten out history. taxpayers to support them and their The heartbreaking truth is we have children, weave wearing, neck rolling, been told, since our first ancestors unloud and a multitude of other negative willingly landed here, that we were less descriptions. It’s sad when society be- than. We have been convinced that helping one another is a waste of time lieves the worse about us, but it is even because they aren’t going to help you. sadder when we believe that nonsense The whole purpose is to pit us against about ourselves. each other so that we are weak. The big Somewhere down the line we forgot fear is that once we remember from we came from greatness. Centuries be- whence we came, and then we become a danger. Once we become unified, we fore we were literally thought to be become strong. Once we become beasts of burden we were Kings and strong, we effect change. Once we Queens. We came from a long, long line effect change, we erase boundaries. of leaders, movers and shakers. Intelli- Once we erase boundaries, we destroy gence flows through our DNA. We come from warriors willing to fight for each 67


limitations. Once we destroy limitathan and finally stand up and accept tions, we break the chains that hold us our greatness. down. So, the challenge for us is easy….. either we live as Kings and Queens or as niggas and bitches. We can make the decision to honor our ancestry and live and act regally OR we can decide to honor the haters and live and act as if we’re less than. Let’s finally remember who we were, who we are and who we will be. Let’s get up from being less

***Side note: If you aren’t familiar with the Kings, Queens, Genius and President, then research them. The information you get may make you stand a bit taller and help you realize that we as a people are great. Greatness is where we came from and where we are destined to return.***

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The Urban Altar “I’m Waiting On God” By: E.N.Joy

“I’m waiting on God?” I can’t keep count of how many times I’ve heard people say that. I’ve come to realize that a person doesn’t have to be a Christian, or even a believer for that matter, to use that line as an excuse. Yes, that’s right I said it; an excuse. Granted, there are those who are honestly waiting on God for direction in reference to their goals, dreams and what their next move should be. As the song goes, “Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes God does just want us to be still; get out of His way and allow Him to do His thing. But like Jackie Chan said in the Karate Kid remake: there is a difference between being still and doing nothing. So why do so many people use the saying, “I’m waiting on God,” as an excuse-an excuse to do absolutely nothing?

were going to sell more copies than they could imagine and top the most authoritative bestseller’s list in the country. It can be done. It has been done; several times over. But let me just ask this one question: Now that God has told them everything they and their book are going to do, what are they going to do to ensure that it happens? Let me guess… Wait on God?

While folks wait on God, others trying to achieve those very same goals and dreams are out there grinding, hustling, making things happen, putting in work. They are researching, they are networking, they are socializing, they’re attending conferences, they’re putting on conferences, they’re blogging, writing articles, press releases, they’re touring, they’re doing newsletters, magazines, etc... They are doI’m sure I could cover a multitude ing what ever it takes to make someof areas in which man has used the line thing pop off. as a crutch, but I just want to use for When a person is hungry, they example, authors; both aspiring and don’t wait for the fish to swim up, vet authors. Sure God told them to knock on the door and happily go jump write that book. Sure God told them into the frying pan. They have to go that they were going to be on talk out and work to get it. You don’t work, shows and radio shows all over the you don’t eat-that’s biblical, baby. So country. Sure God told them that they 70


God is trying to tell us something right there. It pains me to see people who think that they are making great strides toward accomplishing their dreams simply because they did a lil’ somethin’. Again, using authors for example; so they wrote the book. Okay, so then they got copies of the book printed too. That’s all good. Because you see, putting a plan into motion is a wonderful first step, but once the wheels are in motion, what good does it do to just sit back and watch them spin? It’s like trying to get white teeth; it takes more than just screwing off the cap to the toothpaste. Taking off the cap is the easy part. The easy part with trying to accomplish dreams and goals is to start it in the first place. And sometimes that’s even hard for a few of us. But enduring is what’s going to allow a person the opportunity to actually live the dream. Sometimes living a dream, pardon the irony, means not getting any sleep (or enough anyway). Sometimes all nighters are required when a person want something bad enough. Anyone who follows Author E N Joy knows my saying: There is a big difference between doing the best that you can do and doing ALL that you can do. What counts the most in striving toward dreams and goals is what is

done in the in between stage. What is the person going to do in between starting something and finishing it? If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times; the message is always for the messenger first. I’m guilty of putting plans in motion and not seeing them through. I own about a dozen websites to prove it. Yeah, I had big plans, ideas, goals and dreams. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to go back to them and finish what I’ve started. I just found myself setting too many fires but didn’t have enough wood to keep them all burning. Sometimes we want to be the jack of so many trades when we haven’t even mastered one. Prime example is the author who can barely write, push, market and promote their own book, then the next thing you know they’re publishing other people’s stuff. On a scale of one to ten, their own work is barely pushing a seven in quality, yet they sell someone else the promise of making their book a ten. I know a lot of people are out their doing just that, and this isn’t a shot at anybody. But they should take note of people like the music producers who stay behind the scene honing in on the craft, making sure the proof is in the puddin’, and then they come out and do their own thing…or vice versa. What would Lil’ Wayne had looked like putting on Drake and Nicki Minaj hadn’t he proven himself first in one way

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or another? Before a person goes treading other waters or in someone else’s water, they have to make sure they can swim first.

shouldn’t look at someone else who’s doing the dang on thang and start hating their glory when we don’t even know the half of their story. We somePutting in work in any business is times see other people living out the goals and dreams we, too, have set for essential in order to achieve the deourselves, and we get envious or just sired outcome-in order to reach the outright jealous and hateful. We want level in which you’ve decided is your what they have but we don’t want to own personal success. Look at music artist, how some of them rehearse all go through what they had to go through to get it. We don’t want to day, perform all night and then don’t even get to go back to a hotel and lay work for it. We don’t want to lace up their head down. They’re on the tour the gloves, get in the ring and fight for it. bus heading for their next gig (and that’s after spending a few minutes I’m not saying that everything is a fight signing autographs and thanking the or a battle. Believe me, I hear people fans who help make living their dream say quite often, “If things fall into place possible). and happen too easy, then something ain’t right” or “If the devil ain’t trying A lot of times people step onto to stop you, then it ain’t of God.” I the scene, out of nowhere it seems, don’t speak that into my life or any othand others around them think it was er person’s life. And even though I “luck” or “instant success.” Half the time we have no idea all the hard work, don’t believe that people should opersleepless nights, living in cars and going ate under the assumption that God without meals these people had to un- doesn’t want them to have anything dergo. And most importantly, people unless they have to fight for it, I do believe that for anything God has promhave no idea of how many doors got slammed in their face, and the cuts and ised a person, He wants them to meet scrapes from crawling through the win- Him at the promise. He wants that person to do something. He wants to help dow that they have to prove it. We 72


them reach their heart’s desires, but He also wants to see them helping themselves.

they can and doing ALL that they can.

If the best a person can do is sit around and wait on God in order to If God says He’s going to bless reach their dreams, then it might be a you with a Cadillac, you don’t just long wait. So even though we may stand around waiting on the Cadillac. sometimes think that we are waiting You go get your license, but first you on God, truth is, God is actually have to study the manual that tells waiting on us. you how to drive. You look into insur- This is BLESSEDselling Author E.N. Joy ance coverage. You get a job so that sounding off and reminding you to you can afford to fill it up with gas, “Stay blessed…because you already otherwise it’s just going to sit there are!” If you have any comments reand do nothing. Are you allowing garding this article or any of my past your dream to just sit there because Urban Altar columns, please feel free you are doing nothing to make it to email me at enjoywrites@aol.com manifest? I know, I know: I can hear and visit me at some people now saying, “I’m doing www.enjoywrites.com. You can also the best I can.” What I have to say to find me on Facebook at Author E N that is there is a big difference beJoy. tween a person doing the best that

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"Wu Quiz" 1) Who was the first member of Wu-Tang to drop their solo album? 2) What Samurai flick inspired the Gza's album, "Liquid Swords"? 3) What is the shaolin Monks name who founded the original Wu-Tang? 4) How many MC's does the Wu-Tang consist of? 5) What is the name of the album dropped by Method Man, Raekwon and Ghostface in 2010? 6) How many albums has Ghostface released? 7) What comic book hero does Ghostface share an alter ego with? 8) What comic book hero does Method Man share an alter ego with? 9) What member of Wu-Tang founded, "The Grave diggaz"? 10) What member of Wu-Tang is credited with popularizing the Mafioso theme in Rap Music?

10) Raekwon 8) Ghost Rider 9) The Rza 6) Eight 7) Iron Man 4) Nine 5) Wu Massacre 3) Zhang Sanfeng 2) Shogun Assassins 1) MethodMan Answers: 75


Save The Father Save The Son By: Devin Coleman

. It seems as of late, saving the young black male has risen to the top of the

"Stand Your Ground", and an outcry for mentors/role models for these

national agenda in light of recent young men that are so desperately in events involving black male youth and the need of guidance. One thing that I the loss of life that has garnered nahaven't heard but has definitely rung tional media attention. Communities and organizations are scrambling to find a cure to this rising epidemic of

out in my mind is to ‘save their fathers’. It is the father's duty to guide, provide, and nurture the child. A fa-

young black males having a target on ther is supposed to be the protector. their back, whether it's the school to Has anyone thought about bringing prison pipeline or him to the taRoughly 7000 blacks are death by gun vioble? lence (vigilante or black on black). There have been

murdwered each year and 94% of In ideal circumthe time the murderer is another black person– Bureau of Justice Sta- stances parents will go the extra tistics.

countless marches, mile for their meetings and demonstrations centered child. Meaning, they will usually hang around what can be done. As a mat- in there when everyone else is at their

ter of fact, this dilemma has even wits end and wants to cut a child off. reached the doorstep of the White In this era it seems as if there are House touching the heart of President many barriers in place which prevents Obama causing him to give a heartfelt fathers from playing the role they are speech about the issue. bound to play at the birth of the child. Various solutions have been proposed Far too many homes in the African ranging from the reform of the "criminal justice system", repeal of

American community are single parent homes. 76


The women for the most part have been doing there best to provide eve-

thers as the mother makes an attempt to compensate for his absence. The

rything that the children in these homes need. Yet, given it took two people to

kids loose an in-house role model which means they begin to search for one outside of the home.

Though Blacks make up only 13%

make the This could be entertainers, child, I be- of this nations population, they athletes or other men in account for 50% homicide victims their environment or comlieve it

takes two – Bureau of Justice Statistics. munity to raise What happens next? These that child. (Understanding that many young men go through various stages youth have grown up in single parent as they try to "find themselves". homes and attained some level of suc- These stages could range from rebelcess). lion, withdrawal, or looking for the Why are fathers absent from the identity they lost in the wrong places.

home? Unemployment, prison, and The streets have a voracious appetite what I assume is fear of responsibility and will eat our precious young men has played a major role in running up with its deceptive appearance of these men out of their opulence. 1 out of 3 black males born tohomes. It is a cycle and They go in day are expected to be incarcersome people feel it is an inunder the

ated in their lifetime-NAACP

tentional one. When the fafalse illuther leaves home for whatsion that ever reason, stability leaves with him. they will be the one that makes it; not The immediate impact is that income knowing on the other side for the leaves with him. Unintentional con- overwhelming majority is death or the sequences are the woman losing her penitentiary. At that point, society in support, comfort, and in some cases some ways writes them off making it this leads to bitterness towards the fa- hard for them to get back on the right 77


ment and housing opportunities. In essence they are denied everything

erful it would be to allot some resources to empowering these fathers

that would potentially put them on stable ground. Where have we seen this before? In

to save their sons. That would serve so many purposes. It would show that the mistakes of youth aren't an end

the lives of their fathers and grandfa- all. It would reinstate the father into thers. This didn't just begin over the the sons’ life, and it would give the son last few years. It's been happening his identity from a source that will

for many years. That's why we are able to see so clearly where that road will lead them. There are many thoughts and resources dedicated to

have unconditional love and continued support. Save the fathers and you'll have a greater chance at saving the sons’.

saving the youth. Imagine how pow-

African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the 2.3 million of the incarcerated population. -NAACP

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Sexual Expressions With Dezion

HIM: Yeah, I was talking to other females, but I didn't sleep with none of them. The only reason I even got distracted by other females is because SHE makes me not want to be around her with all her complaining. She won't admit that she's part of the problem. HER: I don't complain. I'm not stupid, either. I caught him cheating before. Now I'm supposed to just believe he's only taking numbers? Why is he doing it? If I make him so miserable, why doesn't he just leave?

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Mmmph, mmph, mmph. There's a whole lot of drama and delusions going on here! Let's get down to the nittygritty: my dude, if you cheated before, and she took you back, you've got to expect a certain amount of suspicion is going to come your way for a while. That being said, do you REALLY think it's smart to be getting numbers from other chicks? Accepting a number implies intent. Don't you have any male friends to talk to? If she's got you that frustrated (some of it you've GOT to understand) then this relationship is probably going to have to end. You can't get rid of your frustrations this way. If your woman is part of the problem, cheater-like behavior isn't an excuse to act stupid. You're just giving her more ammo to stay mad.

Miss Lady, look. If you don't

trust him, why did you stay with him? Yeah, he did a bone-head move, but you stayed. If you stayed, then that is implying forgiveness. You can't forgive him and stalk him, nag him, worry him to death. You could have left, too, you know. What you can't do is punish him forever. Did you ever stop to think you could be driving him away with your behavior? Did a breakdown in your relationship influence his cheating in the first place? The act of cheating is only the fault of the person doing the action, but the cause of it can be caused by the both of you. If you really want to work this out, you're gonna have to listen. Not just TALK, even if you don't like what you're hearing. If you don't wanna go through all of that, it's probably best you take your leave before you end up on SNAPPED.

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Zac Efron and his bodyguard would be ideal subjects for this controversial DVD collection. 1)IDSENT 9

__ __ __ __ __ __ __

8

2)RELUEEIS

__ __ __ __ __ __ __

2

3)ALMFIARI

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

34

4)ETGAHIRP 6

7

5)OBPSIY 1

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

5 82


Answer:

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ! Answer: Bum Fights! 83


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SIX RIDICULOUS DOUBLE-STANDARDS IN A RELATIONSHIP By: Kimberley Jasper

There are obvious deal breakers for men and women in relationships: too clingy, unfaithful, immature, high maintenance, etc. Although both men and women can display any one or more of those, there are some doublestandards that men have that could potentially ruin a relationship. Men do it all the time, but if a woman displays that same behavior, it’s not as easily accepted. Here are just a few double-standards that men are sensitive to, yet do all the time themselves. 85


1.TALKING ABOUT THE EX

He gets annoyed when you talk about your ex, yet he is talking about his past conquests all the time. On one hand, it’s good that he feels comfortable enough with you to share anything, but on the other hand, it’s all one-sided because he gets annoyed if you even mention your ex. My advice is to leave the exes out of the relationship altogether. If he can’t shut up about her, maybe he isn’t over her and the same goes for you. Even if you’re just telling an innocent story about a memory, just save it for the homies. Learned a valuable lesson from an ex? Great. Keep your mouth shut and you won’t have to add your mate as the latest. 86


2. WORRYING TOO MUCH Could be that he’s a pessimist or it could be that he just worries too much, either way, he can do it and you can’t. You assume there are ten hidden meanings behind every one thing he says and question his silence. He has a need to fix things so if you’re a worrier, he becomes one. He will feel as if has to constantly be on damage control and that can make him a bit edgy and most men don’t want to deal with that. On the other hand, women have the same need as nurturers and don’t want to see you worrying either. Try discussing issues and problem solving together, it will make both of you feel as if you are actively involved in the solution and the relationship.

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3. RAISING YOUR VOICE Many men have a no-yelling rule that they seldom apply to themselves. They raise their voice and it’s authoritative, you raise your voice and it’s war. There is an unwritten rule that you must never raise your voice and if you break it just once, you’re out. Some guys have no tolerance for yelling because all they hear is the sound of their mother’s voice. Just a clue for the guys, we hear our fathers so don’t you do it either. Speak lovingly to one another or not at all, it is okay in sensitive situations to exercise your right to remain silent. 88


4. BEING IGNORED IN PUBLIC You got to a party with him and he disappears, leaving you alone with the other wallflowers while he makes his rounds. At the same time, if you ever leave him alone at a party, it’s a real problem. Men will usually make a much bigger deal out of this than we will and will never admit to wanting to be the center of attention. When they do it, it’s “being social”, but if we do it, it’s “flirtatious” and could get you left at the party. Get to know his friends well

enough that you will enjoy yourself just as much whether he’s at your side or across the room.

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5.

PROMISCUOUS PASTS

He’s been with more women than you care to know about or that he can even remember, yet he frowns if you have to use more than one hand to count. You’ve never cheated on anyone, and you were always safe about your health, but you got around in your day. For some men, this is a no-go and a deal breaker. It doesn’t matter how respectable and nice you are now; they just can’t handle a woman with a reputation like that. Rare is a man like Wiz Khalifa who can see the diamond buried deep in the coal and accept a less than stellar past. When a man wants to bring you home, he wants you to be as saintly as his own mother. No man wants to picture their mother as a sexual being so they unfairly project that same expectation onto you. 90


6. YOU TELL YOUR FRIENDS…ANYTHING You think it’s harmless, but for some men, what happens in your relationship from the most innocent to the most private, is all confidential. Some men feel completely betrayed if they hear you saying one word to a friend about your relationship even though they have the same types of conversations with their boys. As women, we have a need to connect and communicate, to talk it out. Most men run from the “talk” so we have it with our girlfriend.

Believe me fellas, you are lucky not to have to hear every conversation we need to have. Don’t be so quick to run or shut her out when she wants to talk, hear her out and maybe her friends won’t be so privy to what you deem “private”.

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Dear Emiaj,

I want to let you know I appreciate you even taking time out of your day to even read my message. I have been dealing with some craziness lately. I read on your Facebook page that your best friend is male; so is mine so I had to write you. This guy is everything that anyone could ask for in a friend. He is caring, sweet, and just all around good man. He is now in a relationship with someone and I am oh so happy for him. Who wouldn’t be happy for their friend who has found love? That is not the issue. The issue is the woman he is in the relationship with. I haven’t met her yet and I am not even sure if I want to at this point right now. She has been saying some pretty mean things about me. She has even gone as far as to email me and tell me to stay away from him. I love my friend more than anything in the world. He has been with me through everything. I just don’t understand how she can just walk into his life and try to change everything? I want to tell him what is going on but I don’t want to ruin the happiness he has found. Please help me to figure out this situation. “True friend lost” 93


Dear “True Friend Lost”, This is what I do and I will take all the time of the day to spend with my readers. My heart goes out to you in more ways than one. I say that because I have been there and done that. It didn’t feel good and that feeling is one that you never forget. Friendship is a piece of life that not every person understands. If you call this man best friend then you should be able to talk to him and tell him what is going on. Real friends listen. You don’t have to like this young lady; you have to love your friend. It is very hard to find true friendship; you can still work on that. Now let’s talk about her. After you talk to your friend; see where that goes. If the stupid stuff doesn’t stop then sit her insecure tail down and talk to her. Let her know you are not the one she has to worry about. You have been in his life for a long time and you plan on being there for the duration. Let her know you are not involved in their relationship. You have been there for other relationships and those women haven’t had one issue with you. She is just going to have to learn that you are there period. These type of women make my head hurt often. As I said before I have been there and done that. I remember when I got the call. My friend calls me and says we can’t be friends anymore because his girlfriend said so. I told him that I am forever his friend and that I will always be there but I will respect her wishes. Once I hung up the phone I cried and I cried and I cried some more. The other part of my heart had left me and I could feel my soul leaving me. I believe I cried for about a hour or so. Then I received another phone call. It was him. He began with an apology. He told me why he was put to it, I simply asked him to put her on the phone. When she got on the phone she wanted to explain. Yes I let her talk, but once she was done I said what I needed to say. I let her know I am the least of her worries. I lived over a thousand miles away in another state. The fact that she would come between us that said a lot about her. I let her know I looked forward to meeting her and hoped she would come with him home on a holiday. Our friendship stayed intact but not the way we wanted it to. Talking once week moved to talking on the holidays and birthdays, and the occasional text to see how the other maybe doing. 94


When friends enter into relationships; our friendships shift. We have to understand that they have something new that they are into and will take time to nurture. You still have to be that friend that they need. The good thing about true friendships; you can never tell time has passed when the conversation is going on. You pick up right where you left off. Just talk to your friend; it will work out. Emiaj Dear Emiaj,

Let me first say, you are awesome! My life for the last few months seem like it life has become complicated. To be completely honest it is not of my own doing. I recently reconnected with an old college friend through Facebook. We had not seen each other in over ten years. I figured there was nothing wrong with catching up to an old friend. As we were doing this whole catching up thing he tells me that he has gotten married and was actually in the military now. Being the person I am I sent him a congratulations on everything. I am going to make this long story a short one. Here is where it gets complicated. He recently let me know that he is still attracted to me, and that he has feeling for me. I am not even sure really how to feel. On my days that seem like they are never ending he is the one who seems to make me smile. He can sense when something is wrong. The crazy thing about it is the man I am even seeing doesn’t even notice. I feel like at some point we are going to cross a line. I need so much help right now. Emiaj please help me!

“It’s Complicated” 95


Dear It’s Complicated,

My oh my! You are right it is complicated. There is so much here. One I think the both are missing something in your relationships. The whole catching up did a little bit more for the both of you. I am not sure how the conversation has went and what you all are talking about now. I do realize that he is filling void for you. The things you look for at the end of long hard day is not there. Then on the other side you might be doing the same for him.

I think you two might want to cool it before the seemingly harmless conversation goes too far. When I say too far; the conversation can go very far left towards sex. He has already said that he is still attracted to you and still has feelings. I am thinking after seeing you everything that he once felt came rushing back. I also feel like you could have been the one who got away. I have been there and lived that life. I know you are thinking “What if”. What if we could have really been something? This is a very dangerous ground since he is already married. My suggestion to you is this; leave it at the friendship. If you really want to just be friends with this man that is about it. I hope that you are thinking of any other options because it can get really tricky. Talk to the guy you are currently seeing and let him know to step up his game. If he can’t even tell when you are having a bad day then something is wrong there. Tell him to tune his ass into the show called you all’s relationship. If that doesn’t get better after a conversation then find your way away from him. Things really don’t have to be complicated. They will work themselves out. If it get worse then please reach out to me again. I truly hope you find some peace behind it all.

Emiaj

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Beware of the Snitch Killer By Daddy Rich Review by Emiaj Ahdai

Anytime I sit down to read book, I am guilty of reading the back of it to see if I can predict the story line and where it would go. From the beginning, I seriously found this book suspenseful. The entire time I wanted know who was killing all the informants. There were so many twists and a turn that I could not put it down until I knew what was going to happen. This is probably where you will say I am a little dramatic but when I found out who the killer was I threw the book across the room. Yes Daddy Rich’s book caused a reaction. “Beware of the Snitch Killer” is a story about to two brothers on different sides of the law. Bryan Wilkins is a decorated task force detective and his brother Ryan Williams is a recently released from jail drug dealer. They 99


were both groomed to be in the drug game until their uncle came up with a plan. One would go to school and become a detective while the other took on the family business. They vowed to eventually get their uncle out of jail. The thing was it was going to take money, big money to do so. The brothers worked hand in hand with one another. While Bryan was feeding Ryan information about what the task force was doing, he was also taking the drugs off the streets and putting them right back in through his brother. They say beside every great man is an even greater woman. That came in the form of Nichole, Ryan’s wife. This sister held him down for five years while he was locked up. Not only did she hold him down but she entered into the drug game so that she wouldn’t have to struggle. On the outside she was just a regular woman working a normal nursing job, loving what she was doing. On 100


the inside she was cold blooded and took no mess. With the help of her childhood friend Alexis she was able to make a name in the strip clubs with the strippers providing her with a clientele that kept her money flowing. This money allowed here to see her man be freed from jail with the right attorney. This led me to question how much of a down ass chick am I? Would I stop my life because the man I love is locked for some reason? I still haven’t answered that question, and I don’t think I ever will unless faced with that task. I can say that this book was a roller coaster ride that I never wanted to get off of, then I heard a rumor that there is a second book. Holy Moses count me in to read the next one. This book has love, sex killing, gangsters and more. I couldn’t put it all in this review so you have to read the book to see what I am talking about. I give this book Five Stars.

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Conversations with Daddy Rich By: Emiaj AhDai

Emiaj: So what have you been up to since the last time we talked? Daddy Rich: Well, I've been working hard on Dark whispers. It's a shocking look into the cult and the influences it has on today's music. It's weird and creepy but entertaining. I did a months' worth of research before I started writing. I also just finished up my first screenplay. I wrote it for our own resident comedian, Marc Howard. It's called "Full Custody". It's about a standup comic who had a one night stand 9 years ago. Then suddenly, a woman he barely recognizes shows up on his doorstep with a bad ass little boy. It's hilarious!

E.A.: I saw the “Kitty Licker� cover, what was the thought behind the cover? I know there was a little controversy behind it. I saw nothing wrong with it.

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D.R.: Kitty Licker is all about sex and licking the kitty. So, when you see the cover and the title I wanted everyone to understand what the book is about off the top, oral sex. The controversy was stupid to me. We got reported on Facebook over and over because people thought Sapphire didn't have any panties on. I guess at first glance you think its pubic hair between her legs. But naw, she has on a pair of black lace panties. Next time they'll be hot pink or somethin. It got to the point where Denetra had to design an alternate cover. Some women don't want people to know they're reading "Kitty Licker".

E.A. How did you come up with the concept for “Beware of the Snitch Killer�? D.R.: Man, back in 2005 I was on the phone with my cousin Trigg. He's an O.G. He told me that he wished he could just turn into a ghetto super hero and run around killing all the snitches. In 2009 while I was on the lock-up unit. (somebody told that I had some weed) I woke up one morning with the whole plot in my head. Beginning to end. I wrote around the clock for four weeks. I only took a break from writing to eat and take naps.

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E.A.: I heard there is a part two, do tell? D.R.: I can't say too much without givin away the secrets to part one. But I will say that it picks up right where the first one left off. I'm not really a fan of sequels, they usually don't turn out too good. So, I worked on part 2 for two years to make sure it's tight. Some people even say it's better than the first one. E.A.: Have you ever experienced someone being disloyal? D.R.: Hell yeah, in so many different ways. But I'm assuming you mean have I been snitched on? Yes. Every felony case I have (3) and the one that was dropped, has an informant attached to it. I mean I have transcripts, court documents, the deals the C.I.'s cut with the prosecutor and the whole nine. Alot of people, falsely accuse people of being informants without proof. I have proof. E.A.: How do you feel about snitches? D.R.: First let me make sure everybody understands what a snitch is. A snitch is not a law abiding citizen. They break the law, but they can't handle the consequences of their own actions. For real, they get caught and tell. They get out of jail for free, get caught again and

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tell on somebody else. They're the scum of the earth. In late 2003, I was arrested for having one tied up in my bathtub. I bonded out and eventually pled guilty to a lesser charge. They ran that time consecutive to what I'm serving now. E.A.: Do you have a woman out there holding you down like Nichole did Ryan? D.R.: Yes, I keep one. If you can't take me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best. Too many women roll out with their dudes while they're out there gettin money and spending it on them. You wouldn't believe how many of them leave their men. Not only do they leave, alot of them run off with the money. E.A.: How much of this book was real life experience?

D.R.: Alot of it. Art imitates life. There's alot of me in R-Dubb. I used to be with Nikki. Chimurder was my bunkie for real. He's out now. H.B. is home now. I did a year with J-Dogg in E-unit. Rest in peace. He was shot in his sleep last year in South Bend. I know Alexis, Ayzia and Armani. I know firsthand what it's like to have informants coming at you left and right trying to set you up. I experience the pain of being locked up without hearing from the peo-

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hurts. The drug game is a dirty game. It might look good from the outside looking in. But please don't get it twisted, there's nothing glamorous about this shit. I'd advise people to stay away from it. Read about it and that's it. I'm done with it. I'm legit from here on out. E.A.: If like in the book and the tables were turned and your mate had to do time, would you hold them down? D.R.: Now see Emiaj, you're tryin to get me in trouble. Naw, real talk. I'm a loyal dude, ask anybody that knows me. Most definitely I'd hold her down. Lawyers, commissary, whatever she needed, she'd have it. But I'm gonna keep it one hundred. Could I go 5 years without sex, willingly? Hell naw, somebody would be gettin it. But she'd never know about it. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but I'd respect her enough to keep it from her. E.A.: Have you ever thought about taking the story of Uncle Nook and telling it?

D.R.: Until I read your question, I never thought about it. You know Nookie's heyday was in 1976. So, if I write it, it'd be a blaxploitation flick. Can you dig it baby? E.A.: Out of all your characters which one had

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to be your favorite right now? D.R.: I'd have to say Sasha. She's a baaad bitch. In every sense of the word. I'm in love with her. Ya'll haven't met her yet. She's black and Columbian mixed. Is that normal for an author to create a character and fall in love with her? E.A.: Who is an author you would like to collaborate with right now? D.R.: Yes. You, Deszion and Kimberly Jasper. I reached out to all the "heavy weights" they don't take me serious. They think I'm bullshittin. Oh, and Perry Forrest. Urban Image, you hear me? E.A.: What was the last book you actually read? D.R.: Tough question. I don't want to be negative. I'll say that I wasn't impressed. E.A.: How are you continuing this story? D.R.: Well, Snitch Killer part two continues on with the story line. See, you tried to trick me into tellin it. You asked me this question at the beginning and then gonna try to slip it in at the end. Lol! Have you seen that movie? "I'll never tell". E.A.: Tell us what you are getting into next?

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D.R.: Well, I'm going to get Black & White ready for release this fall. Then, I'm going to try to get "Ron Rico" (The sequel to Sasha) finished up. In the meantime we're going to keep Urban Image Magazine poppin. And God willin', Marc Howard will be filming "Full Custody".

E.A.: Wait there is a book called S "asha" ? D.R.: Yep. (smiling) E.A.: What is it about? D.R.: Aw man, Sasha is about...see. I don't even know where to start. First you gotta understand who her daddy is. Her daddy is Ron Rico, a drug kingpin living in Marion, Indiana. He was just a mid-level dealer until he fell in love with Sasha's mother, Maria Chavez. Maria wasn't involved in the drug game. But her father, Caesar is heavily connected with the Columbian drug cartel. Once Caesar figures out that his daughter's husband is dealing cocaine, he gives Ron Rico 30 kilo's as a gift. He wants the best for his daughter. The book opens in 1986. Ron Rico is gone to pick up the cocaine from his father in law. He left his right hand man Big Nate to guard his family from a rival drug gang called the "Indiana Posse." Somehow, Maria ends up dead. Nate got shot in the leg and makes it

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Rico what happened. Ron Rico comes back and kills everybody. That's just the prologue. Fast forward to 2010. Ron Rico is retiring from the drug game after 25 years of hustling. But, he gets locked up and charged with 3 counts of murder and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Sasha is 25 now and she smells a snake and a rat. Long story short, she takes over her father's business by force. She rules the dope game, having men crawling to her, begging to taste her forbidden fruit and to get plugged in with an endless supply of cocaine. Unknown to Ron Rico and Caesar, Sasha has been moving 200 kilo's a month for years. There's so much to the plot it's unreal. E.A.: I think I am ready to meet her‌ D.R.: I don't know Emiaj, Sasha doesn't hang out with women too much. She is a ruthless killer and a drug dealer. She stabs most of her male victims in their eyes as they perform oral sex on her. She murdered one of her boyfriends on a crowded dance floor in Florida for "cheating" on her. Note that I said "one of her boyfriends." E.A.: Tell me a little bit about Black and White. D.R: We always think white dudes don't have a story. They get 30-40 years for slangin meth

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the same way we get 30-40 years for slangim crack. So, I take you back to 1995. And I tell you a story about a group of black drug dealers and a white, redneck crime family called the Millers. The thing they have in common is; they're dodgin the same dirty ass cop. Dick Westwood is hell. He smokes meth and plants dope. He doesn't follow procedure or use warrants. He makes up his own rules as he goes along. I mean he catches teenage girls out drinking. And if they perform a sexual favor or two, he'll let em slide. He's off the chain! E.A: I thank you for taking time out of your day to chat with me, hopefully I will get to read more very soon.

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Sistas Representing Well On TV..... By: Marc Howard

I like a few shows on TV, and two of them are Scandal starring Kerry Washington, and Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union. The stars are 2 wonderfully talented actors in Hollywood that happen to be African American. They are both beautiful women, and I won't lie my 1st thought in watching the shows is that they are so fine. I had a crush on Kerry, not on Gabrielle although she is all that. They're taken now, by a couple of brothers whom I respect from a distance too, so out of respect I won't fantasize and..... well you get the point. Some misinformed men think that Scandal is a "chick show," but I don't watch chick films or shows. Just not my thing, I like quality though and that's what these show are. I like action, and I like some erotic steamy sexy shows that these 2 are. Now I see some hating going on about the lead characters role on the shows. Mostly on Scandal's Olivia Pope, a lot of women don't like that she's the President's mistress always giving it up whenever he wants her. Basically being the side hoe as I hear it. It's also 118


controversial that she's turned down a brother to stay with the white man who's the Prez.....I don't think it's a bad look though, and trust me the Ole Skool in me doesn't like to see fine ass sistas with a white boy, but times have changed and the interracial couples on major network TV has been brewing. Now as a man in Hollywood looking to get a sitcom of my own, I can appreciate the show, because the complexity of the character's life makes for a lot of layers to continue to write provocative and challenging episodes that keeps the audience guessing. Anyone who follows the show can't deny that. What you must recognize is that she stays composed through all the chaos

that transpires around her life, business and personal. Throughout she handles her business, and basically with the demanding schedule she has, and the miracles she pulls off she deserves to get it whenever and from whomever she chooses, and if you're going to be the side hoe why not be a side hoe to the most powerful man in the world. I mean you're either the man, or you're screwing the man. I know some side hoes to the manager at McDonald's trying get a free hot apple pie. So quit hating and let that sista represent, it may not be a popular way, but it's not an unrealistic way and therefore it makes it more authentic. The funny part is the white women in the show-The 1st Lady, and

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the Vice President look crazy and weak. him out he stayed after her and she gave in. She wants him, but is still Now as for Ms. Mary Jane, she's porcaught up with her former man. Who is traying another career woman who's moving on and it's affecting her. The managing her career in a VERY cut throat business, be a supportive person funny part is that she acts with him the way guys do when they're bullshitting a to her family who has major dysfuncwoman. tions, and try to have a sane personal life. A real challenge for a women with a I can't necessarily support the thought high profile career. Now what's complex of such actions, but again people the for her is she's looking for real love, but point I'm making is that these are just scared to embrace it. I missed the 1st TV characters. I think for women to season, and I am going to get caught have a real problem with the way ficup, but I'll get caught up. Now the com- tional characters of black women are plaint now is that she's knowingly being portrayed I'm just curious.....I sleeping with a married man, and even know that you may want your daughthough her initial reaction was throwing ters to see a positive representation of

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our women on the mass media, but if you're watching Basketball Wives, Love and Hip Hop, and The Real Housewives of any city then you ain't shit. You need to be checking yo self-cause you are definitely wrecking yo self. These are women who have chosen to portray their real selves in a manner that's worse that a Jerry Springer or Maury show. If you didn't know these "Reality Shows" lack one important thing.....REALITY.

These are women being extra and creating events to be around each other and creating reasons to act like simple minded fools who are the worse representation of any woman much less African American. So I choose to embrace what's real. Women who are acting out a role, for our entertainment purposes. Not some untalented people acting like buffoons for attention, people watch it, because they're so insecure with themselves that they need to see others suffer to validate their sad selves. Think about it people......

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Oshy

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Leemai

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Ty Wilson

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H Black

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Tyler Noel

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JL Love

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Gary Michael Turner

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Shun Ward

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Jamiel Aossey

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Dramatik

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Yung Durtty

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T.A.Y.E.

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Adrian Lau

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Apex

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KDbluegrassent

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Big Binky

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J-Ink

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Golden Boy

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V.S.

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Black Sinatra

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Keyz

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Pyrex Pacino

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Yank D

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Rich Coleon

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Ponedollaz

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Necro

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J. Domanque

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Majestic

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Artise 124


Q&A wit Pyrex By: Richarh Aswanu

Urban Image Magazine is a platform for those on the underground grinding for success. We love to shine the light on independent artists out there who are climbing to the top. I was inspired as I read the bio of Ja-Raun Thomas. I identified with his struggles and how he used to visit the hood while staying with his grandma. We've traveled down similar roads in our lives. I understand his transition from the streets to striving to make his mark in the music industry. So, all the way from the grimy kitchen's of the ghetto's across America to the independent music charts; let me introduce you to Pyrex Pacino... Richarh: What up bruh? I can tell by your name that you must be some sort of chef or somethin. What's your favorite dish you cook using a pyrex jar? I used to make butter cookies myself.

so actually my favorite dish would have to be collared "greens".

Pyrex Pacino: What's good fam first off I would like to say thanks for contacting me. I actually came up with my name because I feel like I deliver crack (music). I think of the beat as cocaine and when you put that inside the Pyrex you get crack. My expertise actually use to be marijuana that's why you always hear me campaigning my #Team448 because a lbs. is 448 grams,

R.A.: In one or two sentences, describe your music, your sound.

P.P: My music is what I've experienced by what I've been through, seen, and been around. I had a good upbringing two supportive parents and all that but I chose to go my own way and it made me the man that I am today. I consider music to be my psychiatrist I can vent when I'm in the studio that is why a lot of my music comes off so aggressively.

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R.A.: I noticed that you've shot videos for alot of your singles working with Mitchell "Mitch Why" Yount from Michigan. Have you ever thought about bursting into independent films?

P.P.: I would actually get into to some filming that's sort of like a hidden talent that I have so getting into films is definitely on my list. R.A.: So, what was it like comin' up in "The Woo"?

P.P.: It influenced it a lot because you P.P.: The "Woo" is actually short for get to see more so you it gives you "Wood Street" I saw and did many more to talk about, and not only that I things out there, that's where I made gives you more of a insight on how my first drug transaction. Back in my these streets are because I'll be one to day we was all tight but its a lot differ- tell you if you can get it west it get back ent now I call it the "Stone Age" cause it east with it you can not LOSE. was at least 15-20 niggaz out there with R.A.: One of my favorite lines from 8ball is "...3 1/2, you ain't affiliated if you have to ask." Pyrex is your sacks and everybody could get they name, you were formerly called the "The Chemist", rocks off, it was never a dull moment you have a song "In the Kitchen" and you did a bid out there. in the Michigan Correctional Facilities. How has R.A.: How has living in different parts of the country your journey been, transitioning from the streets to your carrier in music? influenced your music?

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P.P.:I mean what I been through is my music so its not so much a transition as it is that I need to stay focused and stay out to make this music because going in and out I can't go no where. I don't gotta continue the lifestyle I was living to rap because I done already been there and done that so when you get my music you actually listening to me thinking out loud.

P.P.: I have a few things I am working on now my artist Chyna Doll is preparing her mixtape now. I have a mixtape I recently released called #First48 and that's available for free download on datpiff.com

R.A.: What's one thing you regret most about the life you had in the streets?

P.P.: The only thing I regret is not getting out when I should have, I had enough money to quit and a legit job that paid well, I let the grind control me I didn't control it. R.A.: I smiled when I read that you refer to your Grandfather as "Grand daddy" because that's what I call mine. Describe how he influenced who you are today?

P.P.: He just always ways taught me to be me and stand up for what I believe in, he was one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth. R.A.: What do you have coming up in the near future? 127


Law Towns Finest By: Larrod Evans

East Massachusetts is no stranger to Hip -Hop. Since the early nineties, some of it's illest artist have produced memorable material. Following in his predecessors footsteps, Lawrence Massachusetts own DramaTik has emerged to be a great. Richarh: What's good, how's life been treating you?

where I am, of which IM still not fully satisfied, shouts to Indie charts for holding me down over all these years they been good to me. They give a great outlet for artist to be heard and to also shine where there wouldn’t be any other chance to shine. I’ll stay at #1 till someone takes it!

R.A.: I've always been a fan of the music DramaTik: Life is good now, I’ve finally up your way. Artists like 7L & Esoteric, find what makes me truly happy in this Mr. Lif, Akrobatic, Scientific (RIP) and the late Great Guru (RIP). Do you feel world and it definitely reflects in my any pressure to "carry the torch"? music now. Family, Love, security, Health, music…all the main things we D: Whoa! How you gonna leave EDO G’s strive for in this world. Life is treating name off that list? LOL No Not at all beme well. cause there’s so much talent out our R.A.: Congratulations on your success. way its ridiculous, other MC’s have How does it feel being the #1 Hip-Hop stepped up to carry the touch before me and laid a wider path for us to get artist on the indie charts? thru…Krumb Snactha, Reks, TermanoloD: Feels good, I’ve put in a lot of hard gy, Big Shug. Now there’s a new wave work, sacrifice and dedication to get me of artist with so many different styles 128


and personas, it’s a pleasure to watch. You will see a surge of Mass MC’s poping up everywhere. Forget the touch we carrying flamethrowers LOL R.A.: Speaking of local artist, I recently saw Reks murda the backroom on 106&Park, what's your relationship with him? D: Ahhhhh Reks aka Mr. Reks aka Corey aka Reksito(my own personal Name for him) I’ve know Reks since a young teen in Lawrence aka Law-town. The place

where the best MC’s in Mass is Bred( I know I’m might catch some flack for that) I’ve had the please of watching Reks grow from a teen to the incredible MC that he is today. Even as a young man you could see the power and strength in him; he was a community activist, a poet, he help the youth of our city and always strived to be better. Even then you could see he was destined for greatness. You could see his hunger for the music… shit we even

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battled once (yea he handed my ass to me) He’s made me very proud to watch him grow the way he has. We still cool and work on music he and there we have some stuff in the works, here’s one of our latest joints we did for the Law-Towns finest CD I organized last year : Law Minus Order- Reks ft Ghetto & DraMatik prod Ez Dred https:// soundcloud.com/dramatik978/lawminus-order-reks-ft-ghetto Its free download

R.A.: Using three words, describe the style of your music. D: Real, Heartfelt, Out of the Box R.A.: Who are some artists that you would like to collaborate with?

D: There really isn’t many but Id have to say KRS-One…he’s an idol of mine, Immortal Technique, Cuban Link, Other than that I try to reserve myself with the collabo’s , I think Artist should shine on there own not off other artists, but I R.A.: I was born and raised on the East do lots of local ones with up and comCoast and can relate to moving around. ing artist, for pay of course a brother gotta eat! How did your journey from state to R.A.: What's your take on the state of state influence you? D: “Now I’m gonna show you how the Hip-Hop right now? East Coast Rocks”- KRS-One. I was privi- D: Ahhhhhh the almighty State of Hipleged and bless to watch Hip-Hop come Hop Question…Well Since you asked…I to life in its humble beginnings… from still hold Record labels DJ’s and the Jersey to Boston to Philly and back to Boston; I think it’s been a blessing to be influenced by all these area…and though I never lived in NY I’ve spent time there and been influenced by NY MC’s as well. You can hear it in the music. I’m a golden age MC, in new age world. I guess it was meant to be for me to come when I did. I’m a boom bapish, revolutionary, pure bread, intelligent thug, who’s been thru hell and back, hence the name DraMatik. “Now I’m gonna show you how the East Coast Rocks”

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radio for the garbage being played and brought to the for front… Dope MC’s suffer, wacked MC’s prosper and the Youth pay for it, usually after a few years things change but we been stuck

derground MC, they stay stuck on the main stream artist and look to make money off Underground MC instead using they clout to push DOPE MC’s it’s pathetic and sad. Shouts to the real DJ’s who do they thing with the Local and underground DJ…ever DJ should have one Underground artist they push, and as always thank God for the under ground. Hip-Hop would be nothing without it! R.A.: What upcoming projects can we expect from you this year?

on stupid for ages now. I can go on for hours about each one of these components individually but I wont…it’s a cycle of stupidity Labels sign half ass Artist who they can control, pay DJ’s and radio stations to play them. Then you got the worst Offender the underground DJ who free from the Labels and Radio fuckery. Instead of hold this music and culture down and supporting the Un-

D: I have a few… Gonna finally drop Tha X-Periment album which is a Collabo Project I did with Long time friend and Producer the Multi Talented GC Classic’s. That will be out in July(Just waiting on that Krumb Snactha track to finally the album… there’s a lot of good Hip-Hop on there, We X-Perimented with a lot of stuff. In late November I have a project called The Re-animator where I take some of the Best song of all time and make them into Hip-Hop. Ant No sunshine, Careless Whisper, Hello, Beautiful Stanger just to name a few… And that New W.O.L.V.E.S Cd will be out around that time we don’t have a date for it yet but it will be a winter release. Also the Independent Movie A Sea of Green www.aseaofgreenmovie.com/ which will be a Hip-Hop all Star event , written , produced and Directed by My

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Brother MySter DL, that Movie will be dropping in August You Need to check the Trailer https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZI40DX3-KyU

R.A.:We can also see you in the upcoming movie starring Denzel Washington, "The Equalizer." Did you get an opportunity to meet him?

R.A.: You've got director credits for Krumb Snatcha's video and you're making some noise in the movie scene. How did you get started?

D: No personally I didn’t, I wish! But I was able to be on set with him at the same time, just being in that setting alone was electrifying… Being around D: I’ve always had a flare for acting and someone with such Star power can be very inspiring. directing. I’ve directed and came up with every concept for all of my video’s R.A.: Concerning the creative process, always think out of the box… It’s all how does making a song and shooting a about knowing the right people at the movie correlate? right time… Plus an acting agency helps D: Very Similar…just like in the booth a lot LOL! Keep ya eyes open I have lots of stuff in the works. when you have a chance to stop mid

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better you also have that same chance in Acting. You can re shoot the scene to make it better. So I find them very similar.

well for us Shouts to Justis Hype and Amar…right now everyone is cool and we are also connected to Protect ya Neck Records with My Brother Jimmy R.A.: The recently released "Warlordz" Kane...the ties are still there and relajoint was released on Wu-Tang Manage- tionship are solid… We also have the New Label “Mind Power” headed up by ment. What's your relationship with Krumb Snatcha and Justis Hype as well them? he getting his Multi Taksing on Shouts D: We had a very nice opportunity to To Mario… nothing on the table right put that CD out with them. It did very now but you never know where that 133


New W.O.L.V.E.S CD gonna land. Wink Wink!

before you respect where this music came from and take pride in your lyrR.A.: Tell me something your fans don't ic’s…respect the music so it can respect you too! know about DraMatik. D: I’m heavily involved in my community; I dedicated my life to helping at risk Youth. I ran a Youth build Program for over 6 years to help young adult acquire their GED and get some Carpentry training and maybe post secondary education. I’ve organized community events and am a Father before ANYTHING. I also like to Bake LOL SHHHHH!

R.A.: I appreciate the interview yo, don't be a stranger and halla back at us soon. D: Will do! Thank you for the opportunity and spot light its much appreciated.

R.A.: What advice would you give an aspiring MC? D: Become a man and finically stable before perusing a career in Hip-Hop…Be true to who you are as an person so it reflects in your music. people will right thru you if you fake… also study and learn the HipHop that came 134


A Music Review By UIM’s Lyrical Passion Herself ...Lady P By: Patrice Rivers

“You got me saying “MY MY MYYYY MY MY MY MYYYY” How can you forget the legendary Johnny Gill? Well step back because his brother, Randy Hill is stepping up to the plate and fulfilling his talented brother’s footsteps. Randy Gill is an RB singer songwriter record producer and advocate for RB music. He is a member of the successful mid-1990s RB group II D Extreme which includes the members D’Extra Wiley and Jermaine Mickey. He released his first single “Cry No More” back in the 1990’s. Listening to some of his songs, you can tell his brother and him share the same interest. Some of his songs “Deeper,” 135


way up from being apart of a male group to a song writer and now writing his own hits. Ranking number 39, Gill’s hunger for music has gotten him working on a solo project called Gillology.

“Mary me,” “If I could,” and “Ready for me” are some of the hottest tracks Gill has produced. His great taste in lyrics and background music can have a couple role-playing the finest action of sex. I mean what lady wouldn’t love Randy’s music? Everyone has different taste, but this manager has worked his 136


"Who's Who?" (Match the Wu Members to their nickname)

1) Ghostface Killah Jamel Irief

1)Wally Champ

2) Maximillon

2) The Gza Golden Arms

3) Rollie Fingers

3) Inspectah Deck Wally Champ

4) Jamel Irief

4) Masta Killa Bobby Steels

5) Iron Lung 5) Method Man Maximillion 6) Unique Ason

6) Ol' Dirty Bastard Rollie Fingers

7) Lex Diamonds

7) Raekwon Iron Lung 8) The Rza Unique Ason

8) Bobby Steels

9) U-God Lex Diamonds

9) Golden Arms

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In 1993, nine warriors emerged from the streets of Shaolin and relentlessly attacked the rap industry. Their triumph revolutionized the culture of Hip-Hop and solidified them as one of the most consequential groups in music history. We're all familiar with the cliche', "love at first sight" and those of us that believe in it's power can recall it's effects effortlessly. However, this was "love at first hearing." My boriqua cousins, Billy & Steven (they're really Puerto Rican) reppin the BX were playing host for the holidays and an introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan became my gift. A few weeks earlier, moms blessed me with Snoop's "Doggy Style" and Too Short's "Get In Where You Fit In". But, she confiscated both tapes after hearing the lyrics so I was back in business! "M-E-T-H-O-D Man" came boomin out the box and reminiscent of ever other "classic", this music junky was hooked. The ill drum pattern and piano riffs with this raspy voiced MC flowin like water over rocks was crazy! Unfortunately, the track was featured on a mixtape, so it became an appetizer. Not too long after the holidays, I relocated to upstate N.Y. and eventually experienced the main course of the Wu craze that overtook my surroundings. The Rza, Gza, Ol'Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Masta Killa, Ghostface 141


Killa and Inspectah Deck were undoubtedly the illest group of artist ever assembled. You had nine MC's that were as different from each other as a tiger and a dragon. Enter the 36 cambers was the critically acclaimed debut album that would catapult them to superhero status. From "Protect Your Neck" to "C.R.E.A.M." to "Can't it be so simple", the Wu unleashed a distinct sound that became instantly recognizable in Hip-Hop. The Rza was like a mad scientist in a lab, but with keyboards, records, and drum machines instead of beakers and test tubes. "Black Mozart" combined soulful samples, deadly drum patterns and geniously incorporated dialogue from their favorite kung-fu flicks. "the Game of Chess is lke a sword fight/ you must think before you move." These old classics became popular again. The film companies began re-releasing and the craze was ignited. Fast food, weed and Kung-Fu ficks became the perfect combination around the way. The Wu was in full

effect and the W emblem was similar to the iconic Ford logo and the Coca-Cola bottle, you saw it everywhere. Each member began dropping solo albums and it seemed as each one topped the previous. We started debating on who was the nicest member of the Wu-Tang Clan on a monthly basis. To this day, I'm still torn between all nine members. The Rza brought out the best in each MC by creating an internal competition within the group.

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the martial arts imagery, video game culture and the pure rawness that these shoguns displayed. They provided a voice to my interests and taught me that I was a warrior myself. Today the Wu is as strong as it's ever been. In the midst of a new era where commercialism is the norm, these swordsmen continue to cut their way into the culture. With a new Their wordplay was gritty, visual, precise 20th anniversary album; "A Better Toand full of wisdom. Over Rza's complex morrow" scheduled for a summer reproduction, they were unmatched war- lease and several members still releriors on a verbal battlefield. Their influ- vant, the Wu-Tang Saga Continues... ences began with music and soon transformed into fashion, slang, movies, comics and philosophy. Everything they touched was executed with precision like the swinging of a sword. Each member was equally equipped to hold his own, but together they were invincible. coming up in the 80's, I could relate to 143


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My Secret By: Denetra Key

Do I tell you my secret? I fear I may regret For the love I have inside Surely will not die

Though your response may break my pride I see you when I wake In my dreams as I lay I need you everyday Becoming closer in every way But fear that knowing may

Just push you away I love you with the deepest depths of me Pray in my arms One day you'll be If only finally I can share with you All the love in me. When I take the leap We both will see That on the wings of a cloud you were made for me Written for Nhea

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"Beautiful Soul" By: E. Ahdai

It doesn't matter what her outside looks like It's her soul you want to know Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder Behold beauty defined You have to get inside her mind Into her inner most thought See the quality of her heart She will enhance your senses With those new sense, you will find that she has a Beautiful Soul You can say that she is hot but you are only looking at her body You can even say that she is pretty, but you are only looking at her face But when you say she is beautiful you have ventured into her soul With untainted pure actions She has this light that most men can't resist She makes them feel as no other woman exist When she is somewhat like the rest but, She is sweet by nature Always willing to nurture Her love for life shines through Now please don't think she picture perfect She is not perfect by any means She has flaws too

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Her course of her perfection starts at her heart Truth be told To someone she is the ideal But you won't know until someone keeps it real Oh my what a beautiful soul Look past her outside Look with in Yes she has pretty eyes Even a very pretty smile But honestly would you like her if through her eyes you found an Ugly soul She has a heart of gold This you shouldn't have to be told Because it is the mirror to her soul Get to know her a little more Or maybe you should have just done that from the start Instead of trying to spread her legs apart That is not the way to her heart Make a right at "Simple Thing Avenue" And left at "It Matters to Me Lane" You will run into her beautiful soul It will make her smile And when she smile The world continues to turn Without that smile we all would be lost And because of one you or someone who tries to steal her soul You would miss out on her Beautiful Soul 148


"Say You Been Hurt" By Coreyx Wofford Unity is what we have For life we'll be together So time can not provoke us what we share is infinite It's deeper than what we see There's no need for no I love you's Cause love cannot be seen I'm conscious of what is here Hear the prophecy that I speak Feel the glory of Allah Then you'll know that my love's unique The highes heights are gained By reaching the greatest depths You and me ain't temporary Together we'll climb these steps My ability to unfold Baby girl you make me whole My willingness to grow old You're the wrinkles within my soul Our past is no conception I'm Adam and you are Eve The reason I am breathing Involves you faithfully You're the teacher of our humanity Making my journey deep The reason that I have sanity Making my life complete So, baby you now I love you From your attitude to your mind Last but least Yo' body is like my rhymes And you say you been hurt!! 149


BREAK THE DAMN CHAINS By: Angela Williams This was written after the execution of Troy Davis. I couldn’t do anything, but I had to let my words speak for me. BREAK THE DAMN CHAINS! How many more must die before we open our eyes and really see what is happening to us? We are an endangered people and only a few care. Imprisoned by the drugs created to subdue us into a complacent haze. Imprisoned by a welfare system that was founded under the guise to be a helping hand, Only to have the disguise torn away to see the truth of it being a hand holding us down. Imprisoned by a society that pits us against each other as they sit back and wait for us to annihilate our own. Dissuaded by those in power not to seek knowledge and to remain puppets in their show. BREAK THE DAMN CHAINS! Open your fucking eyes and realize we will never get justice until just-us start fighting for it. Stop selling the toxins that kill us. You're only making a paltry fee to execute your kin. 150


don't give a damn about you, yet infect you with deadly poisons that riddle your body with death filled bombs. Stop getting impregnated to have babies born into modern day slavery to be used by the welfare system as part of the downfall and not the uplifting. BREAK THE DAMN CHAINS! This is not what our ancestors fought for and lost their lives. Stop being complacent and living in fear. Educate yourself and embrace knowledge. Realize your power is in your knowledge. Change happens with blood, sweat, tears and knowledge. Teach the babies freedom isn't free and to always be vigilant and on guard for injustice against just-us. Lift your head up and see the power you possess. Look around and see your brothers and sisters in chains. Break your chains and help them break their chains. We must stop being a pawn in society's systematic elimination of us. The time has come for us to band together as a cohesive unit standing tall, dignified, equal and strong. If one of us dies, then we all die. Take back your freedom.

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UIM’S Friends and Fam Speak Their Minds Forum: Question: FINISH ME OFF::::: MY First WHIP {Car } was a _____________.

Urban Image It was a "73" FORD MAVERICK I got in the 10th grade I never DROVE....But I did listen to the RADIO....LOL

Emiaj AhDai A 4 door 99 saturn my paw paw bought it for me

Urban Image Emiaj AhDai my auntee got the same model got 220,000 miles on it and won't drive nothing else ..2012 cadillac just dusty in the driveway..lol

Urban Image Well Damn Charlene Braithwaite- Lovett..lol

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Charlene BraithwaiteLovett 1994 Audi


Charlene Braithwaite- Lovett Rofl yeah in 1992 lmaoo! Emiaj AhDai It was a good car... That car went everywhere....I traveled a lot in college

Urban Image Those saturn were not to be wrecked caus it'll look like a hole in a wall..nothing was bending in just puncturing

Stephen Rodriques car on the 'E' train

Emiaj AhDai Never wrecked traded it later on in life

Benjamin J. Patterson 2001 Pontiac grandam

Urban Image Benjamin J. Patterson those grand am's are good highway cars it's like it be saying "Let's go out of town today

JaMilla Parker 4 door blue temple or tompaz I can't remember junior year in college u saved my ass off lol 153


Charlene Braithwaite- Lovett Couldn't tell me NUFFIN

Charlene BraithwaiteLovett What didn't I have? I didn't have $$ to fix that mofo when it broke down!!!

Urban Image Classic...it cost a grip that's the only downside

Author Deszion Amani Nasir honda civic..those are some darn good cars....

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Urban Image Dont tell me u had a sunroof??

Urban Image LOLOL Charlene Braithwaite- Lovett

Sonya Davis Pontiac Grand Am, she was black and I called her "Ill Nana.....lol

Penomolee PenEnt Arsenal A 1978 Cutlas Supreme, cocaine white, with chrome flake and chrome shoes with the money green guts and swivel bucket seats. God I miss that car!! R.I.P. Christin

Charlene BraithwaiteLovett There's an A8 with my name on it , in my immideate future

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UConn Huskies Dominate the Big Dance...Again By Antione Barber

"May I have your attention please", said Shabazz Napier when asked about his feelings of their tournament run to the national championship. In 2011, the UConn was placed on a 2 year post season ban. This ban was due to the lack of academic achievements. The NCAA investigated and made the decision to restrict the Men's basketball post season based on its graduation rate. Mr. Shabazz Napier, (the tournament's most outstanding player) partially accredited their victory to the ban. He later added that it help them build the "togetherness" and "toughness" they needed. The ban came along with the notion that they would also lose their general. The legendary hall of fame coach to be

decided to step down because of health issues. Who would be the permanent coach to replace Jim Calhoun? What would our commitments do? How many students would transfer? After these questions; UConn decided to replace Calhoun with a former NBA journeyman point guard and former assistant, Kevin Ollie. He had more to worry about than his limited coaching experience. He had inherited a team with players who are accustomed to competing for championships. Instead of listening to critics and naysayers, he embraced his position and stepped up to lead those young men. Mr. Ollie told those players that they were on a 2 year program to rise back to the top.

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On April 7, 2014 just like a movie script, the UConn men's basketball team returned to its place at the top of national supremacy. Kevin Ollie became the third AfricanAmerican head coach to win a nation championship alongside Steve Fisher of Michigan and Nolan Richardson of Arkansas. What a way for Shabazz Napier to go out! The 6'0 point guard has left college basketball the same way he entered; a national champion. He led his team with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals to become the Most Outstanding Player. In 2004, we witnessed history as the men and women of UConn took the national

championship. Ten years later on April 8, 2014 they once again accomplished this feat when the UConn women's basketball team led by Brianna Stewart. She helped her team win the national championship over the undefeated Notre Dame, joining Baylor to go 40-0 and win a national championship. Brianna lead her team to back to back titles and gave coach Geno Auriemma his 9th national championship passing Pat Summit for the most in history. Brianna pitched in 22 points and 9 rebounds and was named most outstanding player alongside her alumnus, Shabazz Napier. UConn has reclaimed its dominance and made its students party like rock stars. Until next time...

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Men, Stand Up!!! By: P.J. Fleming

Real quickly, take a stroll with me down memory lane. Taking a trip to a time where men were the main care providers for their household. To a time where mothers used to say, “Wait until your father gets home” and it meant something. A time where men respected their woman, acknowledging that she was a part of him; honest with his woman, because they were a team; responsible for his family and their growth and direction; compassionate for their cares and concerns; tolerant with their different personalities and the trials that comes with it; and, a man who was unwilling to compromise his integrity.

men by direction, discipline, and leadership of their father or some type of male figure. Fathers played an intricate role in their children’s lives, and grandfathers laid the foundation. In those days men exuded certain values and lived by a certain code which they passed on to their children and even their children’s friends. Bringing truth to the saying “it takes a village to raise a child “

Today, times has changed so drastically that it is hard to see what use to be, in midst of such an ugly environment that we live in today. It seems like eons ago since men lived this way. The right way, and our youth that is coming up in midst of such ugliness, never fully mature to possess good desirable traits During these times boys grew into that a man should grow to possess. 159


These tools that may be classified as societal entertainment are improper learning tools for our youth. However, we can’t blame them from taking it in especially if it’s all they have. They adopt the profane language, and disrespect towards women as some sort of fad. A message the lack of direction by a man. Our that has transformed into, you is not youth is learning from tools such as pro- cool if you don’t use it to. fane rap music. Now, let’s not get this When I was coming up there misconstrued. I love a good rap song was certain language that was used, like most people. However, I am at an and certain language that was not. Speage where it is just entertainment for cifically speaking, the word “Bitch”. That me, an age where I know better and not word was commonly used between conso easily influenced. But, when it comes versations with women. When a male to a young mind that is being molded, if called a female a bitch, it was taken and there is no one there to show them any meant as disrespect. When a man called another man a bitch, bodies different, it becomes ideal. Our youth are learning from movies that are classified as entertaining, which exudes disrespect and improper values. These are just two examples of detrimental learning tools that I’ve listed; however, if the full list were given it would be quite extensive. 160


dropping. Today, the word “Bitch” has been turned into a term endearment. Young males today call each other so many bitches in the course of one conversation it makes no sense. With the incarceration rate on the rise, there are not too many positive male figures around to combat the negativity that is evading these young minds. Take a look at the news and it is easy to see chaos, with our youth barely into teens committing some of the most heinous acts of violence without a care in the world. It is even shameful to say that most that are lucky to live past the age of eighteen become sys-

tematically conditioned to accept the inevitability of prison. Statistical reports show the increase in violence in the United States during the late 1980s until today is due primarily to an increase in violent acts committed by people under the age 20. Public rhetoric has labeled our youth today- the entire generation- as “super predators’. This labeling occurred in response to an outrageous number of murders committed by very young youth. This “super predator” label suggest that today’s youth are out of control, beyond redemption, and have little to no regard for human life. In 2000 California voters increased the range of offenses for which juvenile offenders as young as the age 14 will be tried as adults. This voter passage highlighted a call for aggressive steps to be

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under control. This is why they continue to get younger and younger coming into the prison system with football numbers for sentences.

day. Collaborate bad entertainment, with a bad neighborhood, and other factors. Mix that with a lack of direction, you are sure to get an undesirable result.

This is an article to expound Withon the values men out men stepuse to live by, in ping up into the role in which they were created to which it seems they no longer comprebe the head of, our youth quickly blend hend today. Values such as; respect, honesty, responsibility, compassion, tolinto the color of their surroundings. erance, and integrity. This article goes Wandering around lost with no direcas an encouragement to the males tion‌ they conform. They conform to the similarities in thinking, mannerism, whom eyes may land on the words that I am expressing from the heart to take priorities, talk, the first step in beand opinions coming something of this corrupt more, in an and decaying attempt to break society. In the the cycle that has end falling vicgotten out of contim to the dettrol mainly in the rimental cycle urban community. that is destroyIn my next addition ing our comto Men, Stand Up‌ munities towe will explore 162


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Urban Image Magazine April/ May 2014 Issue  
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