the men’s ISSUE
Jussie Smollett LIVING HIS DREAMS & BUILDING AN EMPIRE OF HIS OWN
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Lentheus Chaney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Clorissa X. Wright MANAGING EDITOR Dennis Malcolm Byron LIFESTYLE EDITOR Clyde Anderson FINANCE FEATURES EDITOR Brice Esso STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Ish Holmes STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Carlton Powell DIVERSITY FEATURES EDITOR Dr. Rondrick Williamson HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR
FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE! @urbanluxmag ÂŠ Urban Luxury Media, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher Urban Luxury Media. The views expressed in Urban Lux Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. The registered office of Urban Luxury Media is 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093. All information contained in the magazine is for information only and is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Urban Luxury Media cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such format. Readers are advised to contact manufactures and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Urban Luxury Media a license to publish your submission in whole, or in part, in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Urban Luxury Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Published four times a year by Urban Luxury Media, LLC 4565 Kent Road Atlanta, GA 30337
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Photography by LEE JONES
THE MEN’S ISSUE WITH EVERY ISSUE of Urban Lux Magazine our offices are
I decided to zero-in on style, cultural inspiration, awareness
buzzing, phones are ringing, staff is jet-setting and e-mail boxes
and empowerment—just a few of the things that make great
are overflowing with ideas.
And while planning this year’s men’s issue I initially thought
This issue breaks the mold with the first-time national
about the types of gadgets I would curate and bring to life
feature on Empire star, Jussie Smollett. The multi-talented
with words and glossy pictures. I’d planned the perfect fitness
star opened the door and let us in on who he is outside of the
photoshoot and even discussed menus with a nutritionist that
hit Fox Network show. Within the other pages, we chose to
would encourage men to fuel their bodies in preparation for the
display stories of love experiences, lifestyle, art and fashion
summertime strip down—all great stories in their own right.
from the male vantage point.
Then something shifted—the idea of celebrating men and their
Get lost in these pages that follow and learn the language of the
great works shot to the forefront of our focus and stayed there.
URBAN LUX man.
~ Lentheus Chaney
1: SHERILYNN MARILYN
4: DARCY HARRIS
2: NICKI SALCEDO
5: DIRK DURAN SMITH
3: AMELIA PAVLIK
6: BRICE ESSO Originally from Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Brice is currently based in Atlanta. With portraiture being his strength, Brice doesn’t skimp on the means to express it in areas such as fine art, fashion and advertisement. His work was published in many local and international magazines. Some of his earliest fine art has been recognized by Vogue Italia. @IamTheARTificer
With a beauty, image, and cosmetology educational background from Atlanta Technical Institute and an airbrush certification from EPRO international beauty school, Sherilynn Marilyn has twelve years of hands on experiemce and a passion for the beauty/fashion industry that shines through her spunky personality, and finished work. @SherilynnMarilyn Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and creative writing. She is a two-time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart© Finalist. Her debut novel, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS, is set in Atlanta, and she writes a weekly column called Intersections for Decaturish.com. She lives nearby with her four children, husband, and a cat. @NickiSalcedo
As a freelance writer and editor, Amelia has a weakness for all things fitness and wellness. Her “spare” time is spent writing about a range of lifestyle topics for regional and national magazines, teaching everything from cycling to resistance training classes, and trying out the latest spa treatments and boutique fitness classes for her weekly blog. Learn more about her editorial and fitness experience at @fitbelleatl.
Luxury interior designer and lifestyle maven Darcy Harris has quickly gained industry recognition for her sophisticated palate and inherent style sense. Darcy’s design philosophy is based on her inimitable ability to blend fashion-forward trends in residential and corporate spaces with flawless appeal. @VIPRoomDesigns Dirk’s life’s purpose is to coach business professionals in all aspects of managing their career. As a Professional Career Coach & Registered Corporate Coach for 15-years, he understands the recruiting and hiring process from the decision maker’s perspective which results in offering guidance looking through the lens of the decision-makers versus the individual. @AGentleman955
LUX MARKET WATCH
Pacinos The Barber
10 LUX INSIDER Cigar Etiquett
12 DIVERSITY 50th Anniversary of the Selma Marches
13 FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
What are People Saying About you?
Groom & Bloom
20 STYLE Miller Bynum Design Consultants
22 CULTURE A Man Without A Door
24 COMMUNITY Family Food Fest Atlanta
26 FEATURE Jussie Smollett
31 LUX AUTO 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS400
32 LUX DESTINATIONS The W Fort Lauderdale
34 LUX LOVE
What A Man Wants
36 LUX ESSENTIALS Natural Skin Care for Him
37 PULSE Testicular Cancer Detection
38 ECONOMY Is She a Gold-Digger? ON THE COVER: JUSSIE SMOLLETT
Photo: Mike Quain Photography
the men’s ISSUE
Jussie Smollett LIVING HIS DREAMS & BUILDING AN EMPIRE OF HIS OWN
LUX MARKET WATCH
ERIC “PACINOS” THE BARBER CREATIVE EXTRORDINAIRE
Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
Gold Series Shave Set Stand | $34.99 Grooming Elegance Creme | $30 (as a set with the Grooming Elegance Pomade) Revitalizing Shave Cream with Tea Tree Oil & Oat Beta Glucan | $14.99 Pre- Shave Oil with Tea Tree Oil & Lavender | $13.99 After Shave Balm with Chamomile & Colloidal Oatmeal | $15.49 Grooming Elegance Pomade | $30 (as a set with the Grooming Elegance Creme) Gold Series Styling Shears | $59.99
ACINOS THE BARBER is known worldwide as a self-made master barber stylist, product innovator and educator for the Wahl Clippers corporation.
For over 15 years heâ€™s carefully honed his craft as a platform artist, expanding his reach to A-listers like Jay Z, Kevin Hart, Sean Combs and Ludacris. Pacinos brings education to you on the go through complete instructional tips, educational videos and more through the Pacinos apps available on iTunes and in the Android Market. For additional tips and information please visit pacinosthebarber.com.
LUX INSIDER 10
CIGAR ETIQUETT Story by DENNIS MALCOLM BYRON
IGARS have become a cultural phenomenon, ranging from mobile Cigar lounges to cigar themed events. In an interview with one of the most renowned authorities in the nation, El Primer Mundo CEO Sean Williams discusses cigar etiquette and prophesies the trends we should look out for.
URBAN LUX: One of the most popular questions that seems to surface regularly especially amongst novices is, When do you take the cigar’s band off during smoking sessions?
larger it gets. It’s hard to maintain the proper balance between the wrapper and the filler with the larger ring-gauge cigars; it seems that consumers are starting to realize that and are gravitating more to classic sizes.
SEAN WILLIAMS: When you’re enjoying a cigar, there’s no hard and fast rule on whether or not you should take off the band. One thing to keep in mind is that the band actually serves a functional purpose. The band can protect the cigar from oils or scents on a person’s fingers. If someone has just washed their hands with a heavily scented soap or used a scented hand cream or lotion, then that scent can be absorbed by the wrapper on the cigar and affect the aroma and flavor of the cigar. I typically remove the band once I’ve smoked the cigar down two thirds of the way so that I don’t burn the band.
As for the current biggest buzz in the industry, regarding the happenings with U.S. and Cuba relations—as the U.S. loosens the screws a little, Americans are able to legally bring in Cuban cigars in very small quantities. We are a long way away from having Cuban cigars on the shelves here in the U.S., but the prospect of this happening will increase the overall interest in cigars, which will be a good thing for those who enjoy the hobby. Until then, there are some incredible cigars currently on the market today for everyone to enjoy. From the novice to the seasoned aficionado, you’ll have no problem finding something that fits your palate.
Now that’s smoking science! Okay, when do you ash a cigar? A cigar should not be excessively ashed; you certainly shouldn’t thump the foot of the cigar to knock the ash off. Take your time and enjoy the cigar. Let the ash get to at least an inch or so before lightly tapping the foot on the ashtray. If your cigar won’t hold at least an inch of ash, then you’re smoking the wrong cigar. In the end, regardless of the label or the ash, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy the cigar! Speak! With so much going on the cigar industry including the surfacing rumors of Cuba getting in the U.S. market, what trends or fads do you see in the future? This is a great time to smoke cigars. There are some terrific sticks being made today. Larger cigars have been hot for a couple of years now. For many, it has been the bigger, the better! Much to my delight that trend is starting to cool a bit. You tend to lose complexity and nuance in the cigar’s profile the
Before we conclude, tell us what your esteemed brand will be doing this year and beyond. Thankfully, 2015 has already been a busy year, with no letting up. I recently took over distribution of my brand after a short distribution arrangement with another cigar company; so I have several special release projects in the works. I’m currently working on a really cool cigar project called Larceny with Eddie Ortega. I’ll also be working with Sosa Cigars on a project that I’m really excited about. I’m working with them in developing a cigar to commemorate the brand’s 50th anniversary. In addition to my core lines such as Epifania, La Hermandad, and Costa Fuerte, I’ll also be releasing my 10th anniversary cigar later this year. Look for more El Primer Mundo news by visiting elprimermundo.com, and Sean (@primermundo).
“We The People” The 50th Anniversary of the Marches from Selma to Montgomery Story by CARLTON POWELL
three and a half year old boy living in Hawaii being raised by a single mother along with the help and support of his maternal grandparents, Barack Obama, I suppose wasn’t thinking much about what was happening some 4,355 miles away in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. A civil rights march for the rights of Black men and women to vote was taking place. It would be the first of three attempts to march from the west side of Selma to the east side across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, which would lead them to the state’s capitol of Montgomery—to stand in peaceful solidarity and protest injustice on the capitol’s lawn. WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America. The aforementioned is the preamble of the United States Constitution. This would be the premise for which the marchers and supporters of the Selma Voting Rights Movement would stand on. I would assume a young, future president had no idea that five decades later he would be standing at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge commemorating the anniversary of an event that helped pave the way for his current reality as the first Black President of the United States of America. As he was introduced by John Lewis, whom shouted with passion and of pride to the crowd estimated at 40,000, “…if you had told
me 50 years ago that I would be standing here on this bridge introducing the first African-American president, I would say you are crazy…you are out of your mind.” Needless to say, his introduction electrified the crowd! With a handshake and endearing embrace, President Obama thanked Congressman John Lewis and took to the podium to deliver what many called his most powerful and poignant speech to date. During this address, he offered a more honest history of who we are and could be as a nation. Users of social media who shared positive reactions to his remarks and applauded his address on the historic civil rights moment and its present day significance reflected praise of his speech as excerpts of his speech were trending throughout the day and over the remainder of the weekend. “What they did here will reverberate through the ages,” President Obama said. “Not because the change they won was preordained, not because their victory was complete, but because they proved that nonviolent change is possible; that love and hope can conquer hate.” There were many powerful and impactful moments of the president’s speech, but what really resonated is that just 50 years ago, a group of citizens, whose ancestors helped construct the landscape of this country, did not have the right to vote. Particularly in a region where slavery was a primary source for the wealth and privilege of American society in this nation. I reflected on the fact that the industrial revolution was based on cotton. Cotton produced primarily on plantations where slave labor camps were housed, prominently scattered about the very region that they were
being denied rights of citizenship. These are the offspring of those whose blood, sweat, and tears enrich the soil on which they stood, asking peacefully for the right to be considered equally and counted as citizens of the United States. I thought, “What a struggle and symbol of courage and perseverance of a people—my people.” Many years later, the march across the historic bridge would be led by a Black president and his family, former President George W. Bush and his wife, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, John Lewis and Amelia Platts (a pair of the original organizers of the Selma march), along with many other government officials, clergy, celebrities, visiting and local citizens. Witnessing Amelia Platts Boynton-Robinson, now 103-years old being wheeled across the very bridge on which she had been beaten unconscious brought on overwhelming feelings of pride and dignity. The image was powerful; it was indeed a testament to the change and progress that has been made in this country. The 50th anniversary of the epic marches was filled with electricity, inspiration, tales of heartache and courage, and the true story of how a handful of ordinary Americans helped to change the course of history with their grace, their peaceful action, and their bold belief in the true spirit of this country. We are eternally grateful and we salute you, the heros and sheros of the Selma Voting Rights Movement!
FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT YOU? Story by DIRK DURAN SMITH | Professional Career Coach
hat words or images would you use to describe the following persons: Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Donald Trump. The words you chose and images conjured up in your mind are not by accident. Each of these individuals has a carefully crafted “personal brand” that identifies who they are, their value proposition and target audience. Value proposition is the promise they’ve made to fulfill a specific need for an intended audience. Their individual brand highlights explicit skills, knowledge, and abilities that set them apart from competitors. Thus the brand has been comprehensively developed, clearly established and consistently executed. Whether you realize it or not, you too have a personal brand. It is what people think about you by the mere mention of your name. As the individuals named above, your brand should also be developed by you and not occur by happenstance. It should be authentic and establish you as an individual with a high level of expertise in your chosen field. Keep in mind your brand also extends to things such as physical appearance, written and verbal communication, interpersonal skills and management of your social media presence. Companies and individuals are constantly vying for attention and having a strong brand is essential to being noticed in today’s extremely competitive world.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
A personal brand is a genuine creative narrative that gives a clear, concise and consistent message about what you’re about, your area of expertise and what sets you apart from others. The essence of a personal brand depends a great deal on constructing a short but strong narrative (brand statement) that tells a compelling story. Why a story? It is simple. People have a tendency to remember stories. Think about your favorite movie for a moment. Why is it your favorite? Most likely it’s because of the story it tells. Your brand should do the same by telling your story in a way people will remember you.
WHY IS A PERSONAL BRAND SO IMPORTANT?
Business is conducted between people who perform mutually beneficial transactions by exchanging goods or services, primarily, for financial gain. As such, having a captivating brand that highlights your expertise and value will increase the chances someone will want to utilize your expertise and conduct business with you.
CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Creating an impressive brand requires a great deal of self-reflection and soul searching by first, deciding what you’d like your value proposition (brand) to be. Begin by reflecting on the following questions: 1. What do you want to be known for? Become an expert in it. 2. What are your mission and ultimate goal? 3. Who is your target audience or who needs someone like you? 4. What four words would you use to support your brand? (E.g. Innovative, strategic problem solver, quantitative skills, results-oriented, relationship builder etc.) 5. What differentiates you from others in your field? 6. What is your unfair competitive advantage? These are things that come so easy to you that it’s “unfair” to others who may have to work hard to do the same things. By answering these questions, you will have the information you need to begin developing your brand and brand statement. Once you’re comfortable with the brand you create, it’s time to be noticed! Become active on social media platforms that support your brand. Be clear, concise and consistent and deliver the same branding message throughout social media and face-to-face networking. Each activity you engage in will continually heighten your brand awareness as the President of your own company of one. Here’s to your career success! “Be Your Own Success Story!”
GROOM & BLOOM MODERN CUT
Creative Direction & Photography by BRICE ESSO Models: BLAKE BALLARD, CARL KEITA, DAVID LASSO, JONATHAN LASSO & DIRK SMITH Styling, hair and makeup by SHERILYNN MARILYN
or centuries hair has been the adornment of women. How it’s cut, how it’s colored and how it makes her feel is all done in the name of style and fashion. Today’s modern man has evolved to appreciate the strength and power that comes along with the individualism of hair. From the roots of the hair on his head to the stubble on his face, hair styles and fashion go hand in hand in a man’s world as well. Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY
FULL BEARD - BALD
Miller Bynum Design Consultants take Atlantaâ€™s interiors to the next level! Story by DARCY HARRIS
hat makes a man’s signature style? Is it the way he wears his clothes? The car he drives? His hair cut? Or is it the layout of his domicile?
The design authorities at Miller Bynum Design Consultants have the antidote for any design-challenged space. Their company has grown from a successful design consulting business into a brick and mortar storefront, Rite At Home—the only African American male owned furniture boutique in Atlanta’s competitive design industry featuring new, consigned and custom home furnisings. “We as designers have to approach each client as if we’re their personal home stylists. Every detail is taken into consideration when picking out the perfect furniture piece for that space. It’s like accessorizing their homes layer by layer. Fashion plays a big part of the colors we choose and the textures of the soft furnishings. We create a lifestyle for our clients!” -Milton Miller Their combined 25 years of experience and innovative approach has thrust them into the upper echelon of consulting for entertainment and corporate entities nationwide. They instinctively know that if a man likes luxury cars, he’ll dress modern and edgy—making him a perfect customer for a theatre room or wine cellar Man Cave redesign. Each Miller Bynum project results in one-of-a-kind representation as they take a laser focused approach, layering a room with different elements and textures in a design customized for the space.
REFRESH YOUR BACHELOR PAD LIGHTING: play around with dimmers. Turn up the lights for poker night with the guys or turn them down for an evening dinner with someone special. PAINT: find a drab wall and give it life! Painting an accent wall adds an instant pop of color to any room and will draw attention to the artwork you’ll add later. RUGS: small or large, they add texture and can make a sterile room feel more cozy.
“Our job is to transform you and tap into your personal style and how that will reflect on how you live. We show our clients visual images and see where their eyes travel. Trends definitely play a major part in how we transform a client’s space. Shapes and lines are important details in furniture and placement in the home.” -Lamont Bynum
ACCESSORIES: when placed properly, books, pillows or personal items add flair and personality. Having a great sofa is awesome, but dressing it with a good set of pillows can drastically change your lounging experience.
It’s easy to see how they’ve cornered the market on incorporating interiors and fashion. Fusing style and personality is what they do best! Check out their DIY home enhancing tips!
ARTWORK: shop for things that tie into the color scheme you’ve already got or build a room around a great painting. Even your personal photography becomes a work of art with the right frame! SEATING: entertaining is even better when you’ve got ample and comfortable places for everyone. Make sure that you’ve properly measured the room before you shop for a nice piece at Miller Bynum. Also, when arranging your room, make sure that all of your guests are facing a common area—it’ll ensure that everyone is included in social convos. For more information on elevating your home design please visit millerbynumdesign.com.
A Man Without a Door
“The artist, like the writer, the architect, the politician, cannot approach his work without creating from his own perspective. Innately, there is a piece of the artist in each of their paintings.”
“Painting in detail recreates the beauty of the watch and also captures the emotions and the history that belongs to each watch.”
Most recently, watches are the centerpiece of his artwork. He has discovered that the beauty of watches is enhanced by the personal stories of the owners.
Story by NICKI SALCEDO
may have studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design, but he calls the entire world his home. He’s lived in Atlanta, Texas, Michigan, Portugal, Croatia and Greece. Others might look for inspiration in their travels, but Miller cultivates a spiritual and cultural connection to each place. Connections are his inspiration.
“Each city, each country, each person provides an alternative perspective on life and beauty and purpose,” says Miller.
The same could be said for his artwork. Each piece, a hand-painted watercolor, provides a different perspective. He is known to the world as Sunflowerman, a name as delicate and optimistic as the illustrations he creates. Sunflowerman uses watercolor as his medium and focuses exclusively on menswear fashion as his muse. He captures a picture without a camera. He sees the clothing, the style, the watch, the shoes, but through his own unique lens.
But for Sunflowerman it isn’t like drawing a map. “It makes sense to paint the watch in full detail. I hope that there is a personal and artistic touch to each painting. Leaving a painterly flair on each piece gives it a life of its own. It’s representing a thing, a history, a story, but it is also an individual creation.” He adds, “I do love watches, but what I love more is the watch community.”
The 100 Watches Project showcased Sunflowerman’s talent and his connection to the timepiece community. Each illustration is a piece of high art. The detail and unique touches evoke feelings. The viewer contemplates both time and the age-old accessory. “I owe it to the watch and the watch community to take care in each painting,” he says. In addition to illustrations created for magazines and boutiques, Sunflowerman’s projects included Book-Page Paintings. A combination of watercolor art on actual pages from old books. “For the Book-Page Paintings, I look for books that will give context to the image. I match menswear with Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, maps, dictionaries, or mathematics.” He paints on his personal collection of
vintage books. “It’s all about nostalgia, about longing for something that isn’t around anymore, something that we wish we could attain.” Sunflowerman wants the words and paintings to meld, “The paintings then become more than just the picture, it is about the story underlying the painting. Both work together to create a visual narrative about the menswear and lifestyle.” Later this summer, we can expect a book called. “The Aesthetic Guide for the Dapper Man.” This look-book contains brands from around the world. Each illustration features different menswear fashion bloggers. Fashion will continue to be his inspiration no matter what the future holds. “The paintings become more than just the painted picture, it is about the story underlying the painting. Both work together to create a visual narrative about the menswear and lifestyle.”
Matthew Miller, the Sunflowerman, has his own unique lifestyle. He says that he is an open book. “I spent three years without a door.” He is an artist who loves fashion, literature, watercolors, and watches. For the sake of art, we hope this door stays open. For more on Sunflowerman go to sunflowerman.com where you can see videos of his watercolor illustrations as they are made.
FAMILY FOOD FEST ATLANTA | A Multicultural Father’s Day Affair
Story by CLORISSA WRIGHT
2015 marks the launch of the first inaugural Family Food Fest Atlanta—on Father’s Day at the beautiful Georgia Aquarium.
Tailored around celebrating family patriarchs of all cultures, this event is the first of its kind; bringing together fathers and families of every ethnic background symbolizing unity within homes and on a greater scale, the community. Founder Diane Larche´, who produced and branded another successful food tasting organization for 14 years is excited to present this new celebration of Atlanta’s diverse population of fathers on their special day. “Over the years of producing events, I’ve witnessed hundreds of cooks and volunteers donate their time and effort to create a fun, family-oriented experience,” she said. Hosted by television and radio personality, Egypt Sherrod (of HGTV), joined by award-winning WSB TV reporter Tom Jones and RHOA’s Peter Thomas, this Father’s Day will be filled with amalgamation, love and relationship building—all in the name of dad. A special day to remember for months to come.
Everyday dads are welcome to join in the fun and flaunt their culinary skills alongside professionl chefs like Chef Idris Muhammad; celebrity chef and Executive Chef at Lenox Square’s Neiman Marcus Café and Chef Duane Nutter; Executive Chef at One Flew South restaurant at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. There will also be a tribute to the late Chef Darryl Evans by his protégés. In addition to sampling dishes prepared by over 100 professional and selfproclaimed chefs, guests have full-access to a health pavilion, a kids entertainment zone and live performances by jazz, hip-hop and R&B artists. The Georgia Aquarium is one of Atlanta’s most prominent attractions and is the perfect location for a fun charity event celebrating fatherhood. Not only pleasant to look at, it also provides an enjoyable learning experience for mom, dad and children alike. Esteemed sponsors are WSB TV Family 2 Family Project, Georgia Power, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Waffle House. Honorary chairpersons include Congressman John Lewis, WSBTV’s Tom Jones, film producer Roger Bobb, Michael Ross of MHR International, Chris Watkins of Eat Drink Repeat, Michael Anderson; SVP of Georgia Power, Carlton Williamson; SVP Waffle House, filmmaker Autumn Bailey Ford and Urban Lux Magazine’s own Lentheus Chaney. “Our production team believes that people who have supported and followed similar events would like to know that the money raised benefits people and organizations in the local community. We are committed to employing local staff and making sure all of the charities that benefit from the event provide services in the metropolitan area.” To sign up as a cook, volunteer or to participate as a sponsor, please visit familyfoodfestatlanta.com.
The Crystal Ball Foundation
“Enhancing the lives of students through mentorship, leadership and scholarship is our mission.” ~ Edward T. Robinson-Carroll, Co-Founder
JOIN THE CRYSTAL BALL FOUNDATION FOR THE 2015 ANNUAL CRYSTAL BALL SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 2015 HILTON ATLANTA AIRPORT Visit crystalballfoundation.com for more information. URBANLUX
FEATURE - JUSSIE SMOLLETT
LIVING HIS DREAMS & BUILDING AN EMPIRE OF HIS OWN
Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY
There is something to be said about the fulfillment of oneâ€™s dreams and it be witnessed by millions of onlookers.
Family, friends and fans proudly watch a young man living a life where talent meets humility with a passion for equality and a desire to better his community. Nicknamed #AmericasBoyfriend by the masses on social media, this is just a portion of what makes the man, Jussie Smollett. ~ continued on page 29
Photography by MIKE QUAIN URBANLUX
FEATURE - JUSSIE SMOLLETT
“I’ve grown so much and have gone through so many more things to sing and write about. These will be my stories and I’m excited to share.”
~ continued from page 26
ROWING up in a large, talented family with three brothers and two sisters, Jussie’s road to stardom began the day his older sister Jazz announced her desire to play Rudy’s best friend on the long-running sitcom, The Cosby Show.
Jazz called and stalked NBC studios but nothing became of the seven year old’s efforts. Their mother initially declared that the children could not be in show business but eventually gave in and allowed them to join forces with a professional modeling agent in New York. That relationship flourished and lead to nationally run commercials and once the family relocated to Los Angeles, movies became a part of the equation. There was never a fight for attention amongst the siblings, Jussie explains, “It was such a nurturing environment that we grew up in that we knew we were all worthy of happiness and success.” Jussie praises his mother for their stable upbringing, “We are not perfect but she raised really strong kids and that is a testament to the person she is.” After appearing together for one season on the ABC sitcom, On Our Own, the Smollett clan ventured off and delved into individual interest and projects. During his time away from acting, Jussie worked regular jobs as a bartender, a waiter and dressed up as a clown for children’s parties. He also traveled while developing his skills as a musician. Although passionate about both, unlike acting, music was flexible and easier to work around. “Even in those moments when life comes knocking at your door and you have to get a real job, it still didn’t change the fact that music is something that you can do anytime. Day or night, late or early, you can always make music or write a song but you can’t always audition.” Music then afforded him an avenue to act full time and as an independent artist he was able to get out of the everyday hustle and bustle of 10-6 and do what he dreamed of. In 2012 Jussie released an EP album, The Poisoned Hearts Club, and returned to acting with the leading role in the comedy-drama, The Skinny. He later guest starred on The Mindy Project and Revenge. His dreams more so solidified the day he read the script for the musical drama series, Empire. “I immediately jumped on Instagram and direct messaged Lee Daniels and said, I know you get this all the time but I act, I sing, I write songs and I’m Jamal Lyon in more ways than one.” Jussie woked hard to prove that he deserved to play the role that seemed to be tailor made for him. He auditioned for casting director Leah DanielsButler and then met with Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire’s creators. “I went in [to audition] seven different times. I sang X Factor by Lauryn Hill and I had to perform Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Lee and Danny took me through the ringer—and it paid off.” Empire debuted on Fox on January 7, 2015 to an estimated 9.90 million viewers and quickly grew in popularity each week. The two hour finale aired on March 18th to an estimated 33.44 million viewers.
The real life drama of Empire is enthralling with an almost all African American cast. Many noted critics have stated that the phenomenon of a show is “changing the game.” “When it comes to the shows characters and their lifestyles, people think that it’s so extraordinary that this show exists but the reason why it’s changing the game is because it’s making the extraordinary be the ordinary.” Jussie feels that “...it’s very powerful to tell this glamorous story with the soap-opera ness of Dynasty but with the truth of what’s really happening in our society today.” If not for acting or making music Jussie would be a world-class chef. He is quite confident in his culinary skills and boasts, “I make a mean macaroni and cheese but I also make a mean gumbo and Étouffée. There is not a lot that I don’t know how to make.” This Renaissance man believes in leaving his community in better condition than when he found it. Since the age of sixteen he has worked with the Black Aids Institute for which he is now a board member. The Black Aids Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute’s Mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. Jussie continues his philanthropic pursuits as a new member of the organization, Sankofa. Sankofa is a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte that enlists the support of today’s most celebrated artists and influential individuals in collaboration with grassroots partners to elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and promote peace and equality. “It’s an honor to work with someone like Harry Belafonte to attempt to make the world a better place. I love the fact that he and Sidney Poitier live their lives in such a way where they have found a way to remain relevant as artist but not lose their voice as activists. These people use their platform for the betterment of humanity and that’s pretty dope to me.” With all that he has experience thus far and all that he has yet to accomplish, Jussie is quietly planning his very own empire. He admits to having a deep interest in politics in addition to being behind the camera as a director one day. “I look up to Lee way too much to not want to learn as much as I possibly can from watching him, John Singleton, Debbie Allen, Mario Van Peebles and Anthony Hemingway. All of these incredible directors that I get to work with on a weekly basis, they inspire me.” Now an inspiration in his own right, Jussie recently inked a record deal with Columbia Records. “I’ve grown so much and have gone through so many more things to sing and write about. These will be my stories and I’m excited to share.” And we can’t wait to listen! The dreams of @JussieSmollett, to be continued...
Photo: Kat Goduco
S W I M AT H O M E
“I’ve had my Endless Pool for 14 years now and still love it!” – Ann T., San Anselmo, CA
90% of Endless Pool owners surveyed told us that they still dip in at least once a week … even after 10 years!
20,000+ Installations since 1988!
For swimming, exercise, therapy, and family fun, the Endless Pool is simple to maintain and economical to run. Plus, it fits almost anywhere – indoors or out, in new or existing spaces – for year-round convenience.
For your Free Idea Kit, call
SEEING RED WITH PLEASURE Story & photos by DENNIS MALCOLM BYRON
e love automobiles, including all of the latest luxury models hitting lots across the world. We had the pleasure to experience the driving capabilities, technological enhancements and striking exteriors of the all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS400 coupe graciously dressed in their signature Designo® Cardinal Red. Let’s go on a visual ride and discuss the wow factors that will make this car the one of the most revered in the auto industry. At first sight, the exterior brings to thought an elevated hue of red only the most fashionable would flaunt for a night out on the town. The signature Diamond Radiator Grille, 19-inch, twin five-spoke wheels, power folding mirrors, multi-beam LED headlamps with active curve illumination (they automatically adjust at turns), and sleek body frame collectively further solidify its refined classification. The interior décor boasts plush black semi-aniline leather (to help maintain the hyde’s natural sheen), black ash wood trim, and a stylish dash showcasing the on-board navigation. Another feature we really appreciated was the surround view camera system—an undeniable safety feature. The driving experience left nothing to be desired thanks to its 3.0 liter V-6 Biturbo engine roaring with 329 horsepower and 7-speed automatic transmission complimented by shift paddles; active parking assist; Distrotronic Plus with steering assist; and active multi-contour driver’s seat which actually embraces you during cornering. Even with its power, the CLS400’s combined 24 miles to the gallon becomes even more pocket friendly with the ECO start/stop option which temporarily shuts the car off during extended idling to conserve fuel. Starting at $65,990 with Bluetooth and numerous safety features included, buyers have the option of adding the Harman Kardon sound system with Dolby 5.1 ($1,610); premium package ($6,900); parking assist package ($1,290); and driver assistance package ($2,800) are highly recommended to deliver the most optimal driving experience. Ultimately, whether standard or enhanced to the max, the 2015 CLS400 effortlessly reaches the URBAN LUX standard—and then some. For more information, visit MBUSA.com.
Sand, Sun, and Sass The W Fort Lauderdale Story by AMELIA PAVLIK
ith the tranquil ocean breeze blowing against your cheek you settle into your swank poolside lounge chair overlooking the turquoise waters of the Atlantic. It’s a perfect South Florida day. You take a sip of your mojito, and think to yourself, “Life is good!”
mind. And with direct flights from Atlanta to Fort LauderdaleHollywood International Airport (flight time clocks in at just under two hours and the airport is a six mile drive from the property), it’s a perfect destination for a long weekend in paradise.
Welcome to your getaway, the W Fort Lauderdale, a resort where whatever you want whenever you want is a state of
Here are a few reasons why we think a visit should be added to your to-do list:
SLEEP From sweeping views of the Atlantic and Intracoastal, to cushy pillow-top mattresses, to sexy peek-a-boo showers, the W’s 517 rooms and suites do not disappoint. Many of the sleep spaces offer balconies and all offer at least partial views of the water. Plus, you’ll enjoy goodies including an iPod docking station, Bliss Spa bath products, and a Mix Box (think cooler cousin of the mini bar) for any snack attacks. If you’re feeling like splurging, book one of the Mega Ocean View rooms that offer up two balconies and a soaking tub with a million dollar view. EAT Hungry? No worries. If you’re looking for something simple, the W Cafe, open 6-11 a.m. daily, offers up options ranging from yogurt parfaits to pastries. (BTW, complimentary coffee and tea are available each morning in the property’s Living Room.) Those in search of a more substantial breakfast can head to Steak 954 and order one of the amazing Eggs Benedict options (we recommend the short rib version) or the vanilla French toast. Grab a cheeseburger or grilled veggie wrap for lunch poolside at WET Bar. And then head back to Steak 954 to indulge for dinner. Meat lovers will be overjoyed by the extensive steak selection. For those searching for something lighter, there are plenty of fish and alternative entree options. SWEAT After putting away all of those calories, you may want to take advantage of the W’s many options for squeezing in a sweat session. In addition to a fitness center equipped with everything from treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes mounted with LCD TVs and iPod docking stations to boxing stations, guests can take advantage of daily complimentary beach boot camp and yoga classes. There’s a class format for every type of exerciser, including Shred Beach Boot Camp, Beach Cardio Sculpt, Beach Bliss Yoga, and Zen Yoga. RELAX For lounging around in the sun, the beach is a quick walk across the street. Or just chill at one of the W’s two infinity-edge pools. Take it to the next level and head to the hotel’s spa, Bliss—where the name says it all. Enjoy a mani or pedi, a Blissage, a Fabulous Facial, or a steam shower in the women’s or men’s locker rooms. And save room for the snacks and hot tea (the brownie bites are delicious)! Another R&R option is to have your hair tended to at the Ted Gibson salon, which is located on the property. Whether you’re in need of a trim or a blowout for a sexy South Florida night, the salon has you covered. PLAY If you feel like venturing off the property, there’s plenty to do around Fort Lauderdale. For example, check out Funky Buddha Brewery, the largest brewery in South Florida, and enjoy one of their signature beers in the Tap Room. (FYI, the Bob’s Backyard brew is pretty tasty). For dinner, stroll over to Las Olas to Fork & Balls and try out the meat (or veggie) ball inspired tastes. Or you can just head next door to S3 Restaurant and enjoy the steak, sushi, and seafood-focused menu and a refreshing cocktail by one of the fire pits on the patio. Round out the night by hitting the dance floor at the W’s Whiskey Blue or grab a cocktail and relax on the Living Room’s patio while listening to the DJ work his music magic. For more information, visit wfortlauderdalehotel.com.
W H AT A M A N WA N T S
Story by NICKI SALCEDO
The truth is, if you ask eight men what they want in relationships, you’ll get eight different answers. Dr. Alerte and Frank Gateau partnered with Jickael Bazin, DJ Fadelf, Rae Holliday, Kel Spencer, Pervis Taylor III, and Zangba Thomson to complete this project.
I was very excited to read “Single Man, Married Man.” As a avid reader and romance writer, I love to read about love. I’ve been married for fourteen years—and I’ve got beautiful kids to prove that romance has happened once or twice in my past.
Kel Spencer reflects on the impact his parents have had on his point of view. Simple kisses and a playful attitude are paramount to his philosophy. “There are far too many children who have never and will never experience scenes like these.” He’s thankful that his parents modeled a healthy relationship.
This book was very different. “Single Man, Married Man” is a book penned by eight men. While there was no happily ever after, it is a book about hope. The premise allows each man the chance to share his perspective for finding lasting love.
But things aren’t always perfect. DJ Fadelf has learned that from his own relationships. “Now I don’t let the day end without reconciling the issues in my relationship.”
he new relationship book, “Single Man, Married Man” brings together eight New York men from eight different worlds— single, married, engaged, and divorced—as they answer questions and share their unique insights about love and marriage.
Story by LAMAR DIXON
Pervis Taylor says that in the past he always had to be right. “So much so that I was wrong. I realized that it came from a hurt place of not having my voice heard.” This particular insight is the type that these authors believe is at the heart of their book. Taylor adds, “There are stages and cycles to a relationship—even in marriage.” Now in relationships, he chooses battles differently. “Not everything is that serious.” Flexibility is the key in relationships. “My mother and father’s relationship taught me about compromise and perseverance. They both taught me about forgiveness and letting go of grudges.” “We actually didn’t read or see anyone else’s contribution until the book was complete. We didn’t want anyone to compromise their thoughts or opinions,” Alerte says. Even though eight different men shared their perspectives, he feels that “working on this project confirmed my thoughts that men want a partner.”
Jickae Bazin says, he has “become somewhat passionate about studying and understanding what truly makes those long-term relationships survive the valleys and hurdles.” He is a divorced, single father, now back in the dating pool. He maintains a positive outlook on relationships. “Cupid hasn’t struck yet, but I’m not dodging any arrows either.” Writing this book together required the same relationship skills they all highlighted in their personal stories. Each author respects the perspectives of their counterparts and their views on what men want in a relationship. Alerte says, “One of the best parts about writing this book to me is the fact none of the other authors were able to read any other sections of the book until the book was published. That made Single Man Married Man real, which was our goal. We are not all going to agree on certain parts, but we all continue to respect each other as men. We wanted to show the world men can work together.”
Gateau says, “I think the book would be a great first date discussion.” Alerte believes that “people who want to get better will get better. It’s a choice that an individual must make daily.” He’s happy to see that his friends are reading the book with their respective partners. “This process has helped me reevaluate myself and has better prepared me to recognize when I’ve found what it is that I am looking for.” Reviews on SMMM range from, “Brutally honest” to “Hilariously funny” to “Sexist.” Either way you look at it, there’s subject matter galore and you won’t be bored flipping the pages. The authors have been overwhelmed by the response to their book. Their website is a continuing resource for those who enjoyed the book. Find out more at singlemanmarriedman.com.
THE POLISHED GENTLEMAN STANDS OUT! Story by SHERILYNN MARILYN
natural skincare being one of the hottest trending topics worldwide, have you noticed that men are becoming more refined? With a little help and research from Google and friends, here are a few easy Do-ItYourself recipes tailored for men.
MOISTURIZING FACE & BODY COFFEE SCRUB: 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons coffee *various essential oils optional as substitutes for olive oil Exfoliates, tightens, and conditions your face and body.
SHAVING CREAM 1 cup shea butter ½ cup coconut oil ½ teaspoon Jojoba oil 25 drops bergamot essential oils Skin is left soft, smooth, conditioned and you get a close shave.
SENSITIVE SKIN CLEANSER: 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil 1 tablespoon raw honey 1 tablespoon baking soda The best natural cleanser, especially for sensitive skin.
ARE YOU AT RISK? Story by DR. RONDRICK WILLIAMSON
ESTICULR CANCER is the most common cancer in men
ages 20 to 35. The condition is not age-specific however and can be diagnosed in males of any age, including infants and the elderly. Although the topic of testicular cancer is not commonly discussed, it is one that deserves attention, especially because the testicles are responsible for producing sperm and producing male hormones. This type of cancer occurs in the cells of one or both testicles and according to the American Cancer Society, approximately 8,430 new cases will be diagnosed in the United States this year alone. With evidence of an increase in testicular cancer in the United States, it is estimated that 380 men will die of the disease. While uncommon, it is believed that 1 in 263 males will develop testicular cancer in his lifetime. The good news is, testicular cancer can be treated successfully.
The question could be raised, ‘Am I at risk?’ Risk factors include a family history of testicular cancer, HIV infection, body size, an undescended testicle, prior personal history of testicular cancer, carcinoma in situ (group of abnormal cells) of the testicle and being a Caucasian male. Scientist speculate that even if someone has one or more risk factors, it’s impossible to discern exactly how much the risk factor(s) contribute to developing the cancer. Presently, the cause of testicular cancers is unknown.
The best time to do an exam is during or after a bath or shower and the appropriate way to perform a testicular self-exam includes: > Examining each testicle separately < > Holding your testicle between your thumbs and fingers with bot hands and roll it gently between your fingers < > Looking and feeling for any hard lumps or nodules or any change in the size, shape or consistency of your testicles < One inconsistency you may find on routine examination is one testicle being larger than the other. This can be a normal finding. One testicle can be larger for reasons other than cancer. If one testicle seems abnormally larger than the other, consult your physician to determine the exact cause— sometimes it’s simply an enlarged vein. Examining your testicles regularly will allow you to become familiar with what is normal for you and what is different. If you should notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your physician immediately.
Like other forms, testicular cancer can be detected in its early stages. Most times, the first symptom is a lump on the testicle or a swollen testicle. In other cases, are not symptoms do not occur until the disease has reached an advanced stage. It’s recommended that a testicular exam be included in general physical exams by your doctor, but all men should routinely self-examine once per month after puberty.
I’M NOT SAYING SHE’S A GOLD-DIGGER, but... Story by CLYDE ANDERSON
often hear from my single friends that it’s hard finding a good woman. I guess to put it in context it really depends on what you’re looking for and what you define as “good.” In these conversations they usually express, “Women are only looking for one thing.” While it also may be true that some men are only looking for one thing our female counterparts may be searching for another. There’s a good chance that the woman you are attracted to is only attracted to your wallet. You may be thinking, if women do really choose men because of the size of their bank account, shouldn’t men be thankful and not upset about it? But the question becomes, why would anyone want to date someone who is with you solely based on materialistic possessions and what you can do for her financially? The odds are that the relationship won’t last long. When a guy is being overly generous with his money and buys expensive items to impress a woman, in a sense, he is saying to her, “I’m not good enough for you so I will use money to compensate.” Here are some tips to help you navigate the landmines of a gold-digger:
Watch out for the professional dater Her agenda is to enjoy as many social, recreational and culinary opportunities as she can, with no strings attached, while she bides her time, looking for the “real” Mr. Right. You will recognize this because she is more interested in the location of the date and activities of the evening than getting to know you. Plan a date on a budget Consider a first date at the zoo, picnic in the park, coffee shop, a long walk by a body of water or working on an artistic project together. The ideas are limitless. Taking her to dinner on the first date puts you in the same category as the others that came before you. Taking the time to be creative shows your uniqueness. If she seems bothered, bored or withdrawn, she may be there just for the cash. Don’t think money will get you out of the “Friend Zone” Some men in their own neediness and desperation for love will dig deep into their pockets in hopes of being romantically involved with a woman who has made it clear that she only wants to be friends. He mistakenly assumes she’ll change her mind if he does things for her. It’s very difficult to get out of this zone and nine times out of ten money isn’t the answer. If she begins to talk about the other guys in her life or
hasn’t allowed you to kiss her and it’s been a month, keep it moving. 90 Day Rule? There is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting to have sex. However, if you get the feeling that you have to pay before you can play, this is a red flag. The right woman for you will indeed make you work for her virtue but won’t set a condition of buying expensive gifts in exchange. Gentleman, not all women are like the ones described above but there are some that adhere to the gold-digger practices. You must take it upon yourself to open your eyes and read the writing on the wall. You’ll save yourself time, money and headache. Visit Clyde Anderson, Economic Renewal Specialist, at clydeandersononline.com.
Published on Apr 1, 2015
This issue breaks the mold with the first-time national feature on Empire star, Jussie Smollett. The multi-talented star opened the door and...