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Urban Sounds - Artist John Hairston-Spoken Word Artists

Mo Stegall’s book helps you achieve “Against all Odds!”

New Flavors for the Year!

Jan 2011

Founder/CCO Carey W. Digsby Strategic Planning Stephan Jackson

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Editor Mr. Urban

Assistant Editor Leslie Digsby

Urban Tymes Media Charlotte NC

Contributing Arts Editor Keysha J Hall Marketing/Public Relations Dana Sidberry Motivation Mktg Sales & Promotions Darrell Perry James Valentine To Subscribe to Urban Tymes Magazine Contact us at:

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Contents: Editor’s Notes Pg 5 Diamond of the Month: Dani Pg 6 Flavors of the New Year Pg 8 Mo Stegall’s “Against All Odds” pg-10 Urban Sounds Pg 12 Fashion & Swagger: pg-14 Spoken Word Artists: Lyrical Verses Keith Horton pg18

Artist John Hairston Jr. Hip Hop Surrealism pg 15

Letter From the Editor 2011, A New Year, A New Vision‌ Another year has passed, and as I look back on reflecting what we have accomplished and so many individuals that we have met along the journey, I can only wonder what will 2011 bring? The Charlotte area has grown considerably, and so much talent and businesses have come to this area and strive to carve a niche into it. It is truly the best time to lay down the foundation for up and coming entrepreneurs, and because of this we know that we too must adjust and grow. So I welcome this new year. A year of greater opportunities, a year of prosperity, and a year of maturing. To businesses that want to make that impact, we welcome your patronage. For organizations that need assistance, we humbly submit our abilities to you. And to our Urban Tymes family, we thank you for another year together!

Diamond of the Month: Tara dani kitchens-cook

“Dani” Our January Diamond of the Month is a prolific spoken word artist here in the Q.C. She can be direct, in your face and tell you like it is. Then she can speak and form images and scenes that her audience can be all too familiar with. When talking to her, she will tell you, at first she was a bit shy and hesitant about the road she travels now. But listen further and you hear joys and pains, love gained and love lost. A voice that does not sound meek and hesitant, but a voice of a strong sister tempered with a beauty that energizes you. What else can be said about this diamond? Come to an event she’s at and find out. She’s an author, a mother, a poet, and as real as can be. Simply put, she is Dani.

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Flavors of the

New Year

A new year brings new flavors for many to enjoy. As we at UT brought in the new year, these are some of the wines that we tried, and enjoyed, and recommend that you should try too!

Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Chardonnay This lusciously opulent wine has all the richness without the excessive oak and butter that characterize most California Chardonnays. Wonderful aromas of baked apples, pineapple, vanilla bean, cream and cinnamon are prominent with undertones of brown sugar, fig and melon. There is a kiss of orange blossom aroma in the background. Flavors of caramel apples and creme Brule are balanced by hints of stone fruit and a crisp, mineral finish.

Mark West California Pinot Noir Enticing aromas of strawberry and raspberry with barrel notes of caramel, vanilla and baking spices. Oak aging rounds out the palate and gives the wine its body. The wine drinks of deep, concentrated raspberry, cherry pie with a touch of cola berry. The wine shows juicy fruit texture and subtle oak. (UT Review: Smooth and velvety flavor. For those that like a red that is not overpowering and oaky.)

Verdi Spumante (UT Review: This sparkling spumante has exciting flavors, from apple, raspberry, peach and the original Verdi spumante. Great for celebrations!)

Barefoot Moscato Full of the flavors of juicy peach and ripe apricots, this wine has citrusy hints of lemon and orange. (UT Review: This type of wine, made from the Muscat grape, quickly becoming a must have at home. The sweetness is loved by women, and is a versatile wine for desserts, white meats, and sipping as well!)

-Enjoy Enjoy--

Oftentimes we hear that small still voice urging us to do something, and we ignore it because it’s not what we want to do at the time. But God has a way of changing a heart, and that’s exactly what happened in this case. According to Mo, “I dreamed about being a lot of things as a kid, but an author wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t my


sire to write a book at this time. The book was originally going to be a memoir, but God spoke to me and told me the three things that should be in the book: power steps, triumphant treasures, and poetic language.” God confirmed His word by having a stranger email Mo those three things and state the book should be released before the end of 2010. The book is a quick read because once you start; it’s hard to put it down. It’s written in Mo’s signature style comparing wisdom and wit to educate, encourage and empower the reader to take an honest look at themselves to effect change. Packed with ten power steps and thirty power pills, it’s a roadmap to help you fulfill your destiny. I love the scripture references and

Mo Stegall ~ Utilizing His Testimony to Help You Revolutionize Your Destiny by Keysha J Hall Mo Stegall, the multimedia sensation who has swept the nation with his I Can Be Empowerment campaign, can now add “author” to his growing list of accomplishments. His new book Against All Odds: I Can Be 10 Steps to Revolutionize Your Destiny has been well received by critics and consumers alike. This isn’t just another self-help book filled with the usual fluff, but a serious book causing the introspection needed in order for true change to occur.


treasures (Mo’s personal stories), which give you a glimpse into his background. This is

critical be-

cause it enables you to forge a bond with the author through a shared experience. This is not your typical self-help book stating you need to buy this or that to empower yourself. By reading and performing the interactive tasks, you will learn how to transform your thinking, which will lead to life changing actions, yielding a new and improved YOU!!!! The power steps serve as a blueprint with power pills to foster introspection. The power pills reinforce the power steps, and are easy to understand and relate to. The poetic language section ties nicely to the book and gives you a sense of Mo as a poet.

He took great care in deciding what should be

designs, but Mo chose the 2nd one because “it

included and the placement to ensure maximum

spoke volumes.” He loves it and believes people

effectiveness for the reader. He adds, “I looked at

will identify with its universal appeal.

what the audience would more relate to. It boiled

In order to get what you desire in life, change is

down to like vs. love. I had to get away from what necessary and that change must begin with I liked and what people would love so they could

YOU!!! Mo adds, “I want the book to plant seeds

get the most out of what they read.”

of change in people’s lives. I believe people want

As a person who is making life changes person-

change, desire for change, but don’t realize it

ally and professionally, this book was timely. As I

starts with self. The change won’t take place

read it, I devoured the content and interacted

unless they change their mentality. I am the way I

with the book, writing notes, comments and ques- am now because my Mom initiated change in my tions in the margins. It helped to encourage me

life. She told me even though I lived in public

when I felt my progress wasn’t where I thought it

housing, there was more to me than that. She

should be. It also helped to narrow my focus in

sent me to affluent neighborhoods to partake in

terms of developing my business and providing

activities that showed me it’s not about where I’m

practical advice for expanding my vision to take

from (physically), but where I’m at (mentally). That

my business to the next level.

experience helped to shape my worldview. Peo-

Mo is in the process of scheduling a book tour,

ple want change, but don’t get it because they

which will be in non-traditional places. This will

haven’t changed their mindset.”

enable him to interact more with the readers and

The only constant in life is change. It’s just a ques-

share the message of the book. He wants “to have tion of whether it’s for better or worse. You can’t in-depth conversations about his journey, what he’ change others; you can only change


s learned and how he’s applying it. He wants to be Mo shared his testimony to show how he overable to help people, impart something that trans-

came adversity. His story will leave a lump in your

forms their thinking and actions to help people

throat and footprints on your heart. Use this book

become what they were called to be.”

as a tool to facilitate the change necessary to not

The cover art should tell a story before the book

just survive, but thrive as you achieve your goals

does as a means to entice the reader to want to

and revolutionize your destiny.

read/buy the book. The cover art for this book,

Contact Mo Stegall

which depicts a man jumping over a hurdle, is the perfect metaphor for overcoming life’s challenges. It was designed by Trippett Graphics ( ) based on listening to Mo’s speeches and his radio show, Talk About It Today, reading power pills, and speaking with him about his vision. They submitted


Urban Sounds Eric Benet “Lost in Time” His new album “Lost in Time” is certainly a refreshing must have going into the new year. While listening to the album, memories of the late 70’s and early 80’s flowed to mind, when music was energetic, upbeat and full of life. One cut on the album “You Just Make Me Feel Good” had a brotha bouncing at the desk for the full track! Many of the cuts are reminiscent of songs from do wop to soul to now. I definitely appreciate Eric for taking us on a trip through timely music. Grab this for your collection!

“Mr. I “

Headlined by the new single " No More," , Ronald Isley releases his first solo album entitled Mr. I Guest appearances include T.I. ( " Put Your Money On Me" ) and the Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Year after year, he still puts out hits that are timeless.

Kels has done it again!”Love Letter” brings that all too familiar flavor that R. Kelly brings, paired with the old school be bop and Motown sounds that mama and daddy grooved to, as seen in “When a Woman Loves.”and “Love Letter.”

Teena Marie: An Incredible Legacy. When I first listened to Teena in the early seventies, my first thought was wow, this sister can sing! Not the ”‘’sister term that everyone normally thinks of, but the fact that this woman can really sing. Much as she believed as should we all, music has no color, or limits. And because of that fans will remember what was said in those lyrics, and the passion that she had while singing. R.I.P Teena, We will truly miss you princess.

Men’s cufflinks -The Perfect Gift Idea Author: Stanley Lewis Looking for a romantic and impressive gift for your partner? We all know how difficult it can be choosing a gift he will remember you for. Men’s cufflinks are the perfect gift solution. With such a large variety of designer cufflinks available today, be confident with your selection. Designer cufflinks are perfect worn with both casual and formal wear and add pizzazz to any outfit. Be certain with each wear he will remember you and your perfect gift idea! Choosing the right cufflinks can sometimes be a tedious task and with the extensive variety of high quality designer cufflinks available, making the right decision is often difficult. The easiest way to choose the right gift for your partner is to buy a style that is classical in both quality and design. Silver cufflinks and handmade designer cufflinks are the best choices. Buying a quality cufflink that not only looks impressive but is of a high standard is important. When buying silver cufflinks look for the all important Sterling Silver Hallmark as a sign of authenticity. Silver cufflinks are available in a range of different designs and sizes. If you are searching for a unique design, select designer cufflinks which are handmade and are of limited edition. This adds value to the appeal of the cufflinks. Nowadays, men’s cufflinks with precious and semi precious stones are highly fashionable and if selected correctly can add color and style to your partners outfit. There is never a better time to spoil yourself than now and investing in a quality pair of handmade silver cufflinks is the perfect way to do so. Add style to your wardrobe and impress your partner by creating a timeless style statement.

When investing in men’s cufflinks remember to treat them with the respect they deserve. Storing silver cufflinks correctly is important. Prolonged exposure to air and moisture can tarnish the silver. Look for rhodium plated silver cufflinks when shopping as the rhodium plating helps prevent tarnishing. For cufflinks with precious or semi precious gemstones, extra care needs to be taken. Wash with mild soap and water and polish with a soft jewelry cloth. Strong chemical solutions should be avoided as it can damage the stone and lead to scratches. Apart from men’s cufflinks, quality men’s accessories also make the perfect gift solution. With careful selection, luxurious silk scarves, designer socks, artisan silk ties and other such accessories can also make the perfect gift. About the Author: The Stanley Lewis Collection of gentlemen' s accessories is a compilation of the finest and most exclusive men' s fashion accessories in the world. Uniq uely designed, all product is Made in I taly by the world' s most respected craftsmen and includes a superlative range of men' s designer neckties and colorful designer socks.

Visual Artist Spotlight

John Hairston, Jr. ~ Creates Hip Hop Surrealism to Brand His Signature Style

By K eysha J Hall John Hairston, Jr. is a visual artist whose work I fell in love with at first sight. After seeing his work on Facebook, I befriended him, followed his shows and viewed his ever increasing catalogue. After repeatedly visiting his site ( to view his art, I decided it was time to get to know the man behind the paint brush. Born in raised in Charlotte, John has always had the desire to “make stuff with his hands & be creative.” He was inspired by his grandfather, Samuel Augustus Rouson, Sr., a painter who died when he was in 2 nd grade. An avid learner, he excelled in his academic pursuits and graduated from Independence High School and UNC-Charlotte. The consummate perfectionist, he practiced a lot and had teachers to help him fine tune his work. Never one to shy away from constructive criticism, John adds, “I do things through trial & error, but I’ve never been afraid to call professors for help or to bounce an idea off of them.”

If you’ve ever seen a Hairston painting, you know it has a distinctive style. I was drawn in by the hip hop influences and bold colors that are reminiscent of my childhood. John describes his style as “Saturday morning sugary cereal hip hop surrealism. It’s my life experience told on canvas. Whatever I grew up seeing, doing, or listening to (hip hop and soul music) influenced my art. There are also elements from comics, graffiti, and video games.” His work features robots and kids as opposed to people to make it more universal. John says, “Robots are like people because they can be trained to do and feel anything. Each piece has a story. There’s depth and meaning behind the choice of characters and colors in John’s work. Some of my favorite pieces feature Medusa, a lady with a snakes as her hair, wearing a tank top and looking sexy. I’ve been drawn to those pieces because I see conflict: the strong, beautiful girl vs the snakes, which to me represents the enemy. According to John, “Medusa represents anxiety for him and anything that makes other people nervous.” His work is like a journal entry written on the tapestry of human hearts and has universal appeal. He’s taken things digested through the years to convey his life experience, which everyone can relate to because it’s a shared human experience. Art is subjective, and ten people looking at one painting will see ten different viewpoints because they’re viewing it from the lens of their personal experience and the condition of their heart. Although something visual draws you in, it’s the personal connection that forges a bond with the artist and art enthusiast. John’s work is different from other artists in his ability to pay homage to his roots as an African American man and the nuances he brings to each piece with elements from his childhood. He uses splatter, expressive brush strokes, and fluorescent colors paired with earth tones for contrast. He says, “I like to use colors associated with fun I had as a kid. Bright shorts, fluorescent fat laces, neon lights, graffiti colors (primary vs. fluorescent) were a part of my life. K ids are colorful characters with a lot of energy that reflect what I saw growing up. The girls have huge, fluffy, kinky heads of hair and the boys have short, curly afros.” His recurring themes, panda bears, white shell top Addidas sneakers, thick gold chains, and boom box radios add to his signature style and showcase his love or hip hop. He also paints curvaceous women because “that’s what I like.”

John is a vision to watch when he creates live art at events. He began creating live art at UNC-Charlotte. He tried it, and then became more comfortable doing it with practice. He is extremely focused, and his passion for what he does in evident in each brush stroke. His attention to detail is uncanny as he incorporates subtle elements from the event that make it a memorable experience to observe. With each completed work, he pushes himself to do more with the blank canvas. He likes live art because “it gives people watching an idea of the process of creating art. This creates a bond between the artist and viewer that might not ordinarily exist. Painting live you feel the pressure of getting the work done because people are waiting to see the completed work. My goal is to complete the work, and not have to answer the question of “What’s that supposed to be?” Now I can defend my art and feel comfortable selling work completed at events. I like to be around people when painting. I’ve only gotten choked up (really emotional) when I painted in front of my college professor because he’s the person who taught me what I know and he brought so much out of me. ” John’s influences are as varied as his music tastes. From infamous painters John Michel Basquiat, who is his favorite painter of all time, and Norman Rockwell, to Jackson Pollack (splatter effect), Ernie Barnes, Justin Bua, cartoon character Jim Myfood, and subway art cartoonists & graffiti artists, he draws from artists who paint with passion and conviction, but have their own unique style. Their influences weren’t just artistic, but humanistic as well because John loves not only their art, but their life story told through it and their commitment to developing their craft and portraying the human condition. According to John, “John Henry was a man working against the machine, but it ended up killing him. As a black artist, I have to remember that regardless of what people say, why I think people like me, I can’t let that go to my head.” The art industry, like many others has been influenced by the advent of technology. Technology has helped with mass production of art and given birth to artists who create art using the computer. Social media has enabled artists to share their work and interact with fans to solidify the bond with them. This has helped artists gain a sort of celebrity status, which has superseded their artistic endeavors. For some, it’s more about the person, and less about the art. As an artist, John believes “Regardless of who the person is; the art is the bottom line. It shouldn’t matter what I look like, wear, eat and places I hang out, it’s about the art on the wall. Everyone wants to have this larger than

life persona. I’m from the era where I think like an underground rapper and believe you do what you do and be great at it. Using K RS-1 as an example, it doesn’t matter what he wears because he can rock the mic without question! If your heart is in it and you truly care about what you’re doing, then that’s the most important thing.” John offers sage advice to aspiring artists, “I’ve been painting for close to thirteen years, and I’m not where I want to be. When I complete a task, my priorities change and I’m never satisfied with myself. You have to work at it; it’s lots of sleepless nights. You feel like you’re being taken advantage of, but it’s all for the greater good because when you fall, you learn from it. Confidence is a huge part of art. Y ou have to develop a thick skin, but still remain passionate about your art. Y our art is your story. Only you can create work coming from your heart and soul. To learn what works and doesn’t work requires a lot of trial & error. It’s not going to happen overnight. Anything worth having doesn’t happen overnight. No substance from overnight success and shock value. It’s not about blowing up; it’s about building a rapport with the audience and surviving off your art. It’s not about the destination, but the journey. Success is going to happen, but it’s gradual so you have to stay at it.” John will keep busy this year with a plethora of projects to showcase his talents. In September Baku Gallery will featured an exhibit entitled Jago Rockwell, which is based on the work of Norman Rockwell. There are two pending projects his work will be featured in: Burn H ollywood Burn with Antione Williams and Song of the South: The Retelling of Briar Bear, Briar Fox and Briar Rabbit (dates TBA). In addition to the exhibits, he’ll continue to paint live at events, and create amazing words of art for the new season. John wants to thank all of his fans and supporters who have encouraged and motivated him through the years. “Thank you to everyone who has purchased a print or an original and attended his shows. It means a lot and I appreciate it.” To contact John to purchase art, schedule an interview or for bookings: 3

Miss Urban Carrie Bradshaw Oh My!!!!

Urban Carrie Bradshaw ( a.k.a 'Lena J) is both a columnist and cartoonist, check her out here or her blog @

Water and Wind

Can We Try Again? It’s raining… The drops tap my window pane Like the memory of you Taps my heart Why did we have to part Couldn’t we have made us stronger Face time could replace time For I know we could have held on longer Loving you is like Exchanging my soul for yours So when you felt pain No longer along will you endure Every photo of you Beckons me to embrace the feeling Swallow the pride Walk to your door Request that I come inside God knows I tried Yet we all know I’m not perfect Having you in my life Made my flaws bearable Because you loved me Don’t tell me what to do For I already know It was never about my words But what I was able to show Baby don’t go… talk to me.. Can we try again… ©Lyrical Verses

Sounds of my heartbeat color my mood with steel resolve, even as I collide with walls in this maze called life. Compass in my backpack Buried under other’s opinions, and expectations; Unchecked ego, and toxic relations. Lost under years of saving face before saving ass and pseudo orgasms from mental masturbation. A master at imagery painting the perfect picture for you to see, ‘ til I became the type to believe my own hype and my dark secrets became secret to only me. Blue white city lights at night have a way of exposing you. The streets are hungry for tragedy, and irony; Like greeting my brother with " peace" with poison in my pocket to distribute to my community, or luring ladies to my lair to awaken in empty beds despite their nakedness next to me, or poison in my pocket becoming MY means to deal with society. Script flipped from me doin’ the city to the city doin’ me. ……Then God smiled on me Humbling me by feeding me my own existence. Navigating misdirected persistence. Shredding my blood stained canvas forcing me to start anew. Filling my palate with the colors of water and wind. Placing in my bed pure love, pulling an Angel from her womb. Intoxicated no more except by God and his blessings, and his pardon of my transgressions. Blue white city lights inspire me The only opinion that matters is his .......... of me © 2 0 1 0 Keith Horton

Urban Tymes In the QC!

Coming Soon!

Urban Tymes Jan 2011  

Urban Flava baby! Featuring Mo Stegall, Artist John Hairston, Lyrical Verses, Keith Horton and our Diamond of the month- Dani!

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