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Magazine‌ is the publication that celebrates the diversity and talent that surrounds us daily from a positive perspective. Featuring the best of the best via the arts,entertainment, luxury, lifestyle of professionals and more. Reaching various consumers across the country and overseas, our editorial content, promotion, and brand extensions communicate this ideal to the masses. For interviews, advertising or additional questions or comments:

magazine@urbantmedia.com or urbantymes@hotmail.com

Photos submitted by

Contributing Writers:

Silvio Suarez Angela P Moore UTMedia Nathan Caskey Photography

Bianca Warren Latise Howie Teka Rose Kisha Green Angela P. Moore Carey Digsby Michael Snell

Guest Editors: Renee Digsby Tangi Watts

U.S. & Internationally Loved!

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FEATURES

THIS MONTH’s

A few photos of our POWER COUPLES of the QC: Photos by Silvio Suarez pg

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The Ivey’s Hotel: A Boutique Hotel Reviving Charlotte History and Setting the Trend pg

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JULY 56 12

ESSENTIALS Teka’s Take: Power Coupling 101- pg 10 #OURVOICES featuring Bianca Warren: Do You Hear Me Now? Plagues of the Black Community pg 12 URBANITY

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Fashion & Style: Learn How to Rock a Linen Suit- pg 48

Music Rap Pioneer Jalil Hutchins of Whodini Talks Music, Life, and Upcoming Projects pg 56 Steve Dalton & L.S.O.C releases new project! pg 60 Music Mogul Mathew Knowles New Group, BLUSH Talks New Music & Reality Show- pg 62

Food & Wine Tyme: The History of the Literary Treasures with Po Boy pg 66 Kisha Green: Dropping Wisdom for up and coming authors pg 52

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CONTENTS 7/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Top 5 with Kisha Green pg 53


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ESSENTIALS

Teka’s Take On…

doesn’t always have a dollar symbol on it. Sometimes success is experience, growth and knowledge. Possessing those tools place power couples in a space where they can create something profitable from it. Summer is officially upon us, and your girl is pleased as Couples seeking to leave a legacy behind will teach pie about it. Beautiful weather, long days and warm others how to do the same – creating a wealth of nights motivates people to get up get out and get knowledge and spreading positivty while doing it. something. Some feel this is the best time to remain “un-cuffed”- opting to be sexy, sinMarriage at times can be difgle and ready to mingle. Other ficult enough all by itself. folks such as myself find the sumCombining businesses, charmer romantic as hell. You ities, children and more are and your special someone going just some of the roads Power out enjoying the sultry, southern, Couples must navigate. The summer nights is key to good sumcouple that can do this sucmer lovin’. July is the perfect month cessfully and still emit love for this, especially following wedtowards one another are the ding heavy June. The brand new couples that tend to touch Honeymooning Power Couples are your heart. Fastened togethdigging their newlywed heels all the er in prayer and constantly way into summer fun; watch how uplifting each other is what many people you know end up with powers couples in training April babies…I’m just saying. should aspire to. A partner that nurtures you as an indiBut I digress. vidual, and fuels your dreams and passions is the This months issue is all about Powvery support system power er Couples. Power Couples have couples have in place conbeen in existence for eons, shifting stantly. Not a “yes” man or and changing through the ages – woman, but someone who adapting to what we consider a will be honest and real with power couple to be today. Some you. These types of couples believe power couples are the Pasare the ones that seem to produce the most success. tor and First lady of their church; followers of the Word and the ultimate example of what it is to be led in love No couple is perfect; we all have our days whether we through the path of the righteous. Some feel the celebconsider ourselves a power couple, or just a regular, rity couples are the Power couples of our era…filthy no-frills couple that just happens to love each other rich, fashionable at every click of the paparazzi camervery much. The basis of every relationship should inas, iconic idols to model yourself after no matter how clude love, honor and respect. Support each other unself-deprecating they may actually be. Sweeter notions conditionally and love each other triple that. And if you of today’s power couples are those that want a marwork well together, you too may just be the next power riage like their parents had- together for years, still couple in the making. But no matter what you do…love madly in love and overall…they just seem to work. We love! came up through an era of highly publicized power couples over the years, both real-life couples and fictional ~Teka Rose characters that some would swear to this day are real. I Urban Tymes Contributing Writer believe the truest Power Couples are the one similar to the beautiful people selected for this month’s issue. I Let’s Get Social! Facebook.com/TekaRose | am seriously being completely unbiased by the way. IG: @ImTekaRose | Twitter: @TekaRose

Power Coupling 101

I feel what makes a Power Couple Powerful- is their ability to grow, learn, teach and persevere. Success

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#OURVOICES

ESSENTIALS

Do You Hear Me Now?

Plagues of the Black Community

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By: Bianca Warren What's going on? What's going on in our Black communities is the question. Unfortunately, we have become so consumed with our own lives and the latest trend; to the point where we've turned a blind eye on young children and adults who commit suicide. So addicted to celebrity drama, we forget to reach back to a community that once instilled values within its neighborhoods. We have become so consumed we send our children away from home because society has told us at 18 they are grown, only to come home with a degree that will mean nothing in a few years according to Yahoo news; or it take a little longer than usual to finish an educational path they started. We've turned a blind eye on our village, we stopped nurturing our community who taught us to doctor our families, and govern our streets.

you want fresh ingredients from the market, its white owned. In North Carolina, Black-owned businesses make up 34 percent of business ownership. In today’s society, the racial wealth gap has crippled our Black communities only to build barriers that keep low-income AfricanAmerican communities from enjoying economic success. The median wealth of white household is 20 times that of African-American homes. Another attributing factor of low financial literacy in the Black community is the lack of resources that leads to income inequality and poverty. If we had more financial education in schools, there would be a better understanding of emergency savings, budgeting, knowledge of mortgage investments, and credit.

In September of 2016 it was reported that Black home ownership was “Endangered” and much lower than the national rate during the Great DepresThere are several issues that plague sion. Many African-Americans strugthe Black community: financial literacy, gun violence, low education oppor- gle to obtain affordable housing, and it has been a major problem since the tunities, and low political inclusion. housing crisis of 2008. With a deficiency of mortgage investment The Black community lacks support, understanding, the housing crisis left which makes it that much harder to coexist in a world that doesn't care to thousands of homes to go into foreclosure. This left more than 59.2 percent see the African-American community thrive. We are lacking financial literacy of African-Americans to rent. skills that would allow us to compete The ability for a Black family to be with other races. There once was a able to afford a home is also tied into Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Ok. Rural the rates of unemployment and the areas were very poor in the 1920's, median of income that is brought into however, an entire town made up of the home, which by average is only African-Americans lived very well. $43,300; compared to a white When segregation kept them away, household of $71,300. During the it's brought business into the black Obama administration, unemployment communities. They learned, through was at 50 percent in the Black inner adversity comes success from those cities. That’s striking. With Africanwho believe and nurture the belief. Americans making up 13.1 percent of We’ve lost the concept of “Buying Black” because truthfully, it’s extreme- the United States, 22.6 percent of those people have been long-term ly difficult to find black businesses unemployed. With figures like that within the Black community. AfricanAmericans have issues with the ability resting in our Black communities, you can imagine those inner city families of obtaining necessary loans and are not meeting the average median other requirements. Meaning, if you need braiding hair it’s more than likely of income. It seems like if the black community was given its 40 acres, the being bought from the Asians, and if mule would only come with three legs.

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African-Americans are less likely to work in fields that offer pensions and retirement plans only disenfranchising the likelihood of our Black families having retirement security.

ago Zaevion Dobson was a football standout in Knoxville, Tennessee. He won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, not for his performance on the field, but rather, his selfless act to shield two girls from an onslaught of bullets. His humility made national news, but couldn’t shake the Black community enough to stop killing each other. Instead we must hear news on a frequent basis about the next person that has died at the hands of a gun. Recently in Salisbury, NC, the city erected a billboard that bears “Who Killed Ayanna Allen.” This billboard is proof of the injustice we as a Black community put on ourselves when we do the opposite of uplifting one another. Ayanna was an innocent seven-year-old who was lying in her grandmother’s bed when she was hit 20 times by bullets.

Eight months after a young man was released from prison, he became part of the statistic that says; you either end up in jail or dead living a street life. Eight months after being released from If policies were enforced to create and enhance prison without proper rehabilitation, he has befinancial education in schools while offering free financial programs in our communities; we would come a victim of a systemic barrier that doesn’t be knowledgeable there are many financial tools support former inmates in their transition back into society. He becomes proof that within his to the road to financial stability. We would also have a better understanding of credit and the pur- neighborhood, the lack of job opportunities for pose of financial institutions so that we could pre- felons, and the lack of community support there was no way he could’ve attempted a better life for vent limited or no access to credit with higher his family. rates of low credit scores, create universal savings accounts, and have a better hold on our own Gun violence is at a 30-year low, conversely, but economic success. how can we know that fact to acknowledge it and Gun violence has gotten so bad that it’s trending build upon it, when every day you hear about a on social media! It has also become a $13 billion shooting? When you turn the radio on you hear songs that include gun violence in the worst ways big money business. imaginable. In 2014, 14 percent of black homes reported gun ownerships, but I can recall a “Hood Mannequin Challenge” in which there were at least 15 people in the video and everyone had a gun! What have we done to ourselves, and why can’t we break the cycle of Black-on-Black death by guns? Recent statistics show the spike in gun violence amongst African-Americans is due to street violence with an emphasis of the violence being gang related. Just as there’s an increase in gun violence within the streets; there has also been an increase in Black gun ownership according to the National African-American Gun Association (NAAG). While the National Rifle Association (NRA) has made efforts stop illegal gun purchases, they’ve made it much easier for mentally ill people to purchase guns.

No matter where you are in the United States we can all agree that there has been a spike of gun violence within our black communities. Death by guns has peaked at 82 percent. Just two years

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The NAAG provides a platform for black gun owners to receive education on their rights while pushing their community agendas. They’ve stated since the election of Donald Trump, their membership has increased as well as gun sales


It becomes challenging to satisfy the need of police forces mirroring the neighborhoods they serve and protect. From Mecklenburg County to Rowan County there is a deficit in police officers. There’s a decrease in the desire to be a police officer. It has become a challenge to fill these Nonetheless, the monetization of gun violence for positions because the lack of qualified applicants. Those who show interest are unable to progress political gain is why it becomes very difficult to because of their criminal past or they’re financialanswer the questions of how we can be the ly unstable. In Charlotte, community colleges atchange our communities’ need, when the crime that occurs within it is profitable for other people. tempted to provide a solution for unqualified applicants by offering a Basic Law Enforcement Gun violence acts as catalyst that negatively Curriculum. However, they couldn’t fill enough affects a family’s economic development and seats to move forward with the courses. The education. If political gain has hindered our streets, we must push to continue to educate our absence of motivation within our Black communities continues to hold us back from attempting communities the importance of voting, not only better opportunities for ourselves. for the presidential election, but also for all elections. In doing so, we can place the proper peoThe desire to learn has to be nurtured, in order ple in positions to carry out agendas that are in for a person to want reap the benefits of what an our best interest. education can provide. Unfortunately, in our inner cities, the learning environments do not foster a Low political inclusion has impeded our black place for a child to have the best education. Studcommunities. ies show that for a child to receive the best education, they need to have at least five African-Americans reached historic numbers for the 2008 & 2012 presidential elections. The result consecutive teachers who can provide a good learning haven. Think about your school years. was the African-American community had a Can you actually say you’ve had at least three person in the highest political office that could good teachers? If so, were they consecutively in relate to their community issues. Now, fast foryour life? Our schools get treated like ugly duckward to the 2016 election, where the Black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years lings: they aren’t provided with up-to-date books in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 and other resources and teachers aren’t provided with adequate teaching supplies. The quality of after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012. teachers has dropped immensely due to the small salaries provided for a job that requires so On the local level, five percent of African-Amerimuch. Instead of bridging our achievement gap, it cans seek office. If you take into consideration continues to expand. how the lack of Black votes effected the 2016 Presidential election; you can translate that same resolve in our local offices. A lack of Blacks in our Not only fighting what our schools systems have local offices also lead to low numbers of African- suffered the past 30 years, on top of state tests Americans in our community police departments. that doesn’t sufficiently showcase what our students have achieved; we must battle a U.S . government that has employed and backed a An increase in Black political inclusion can lead Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who has to communities working more effectively with no formal knowledge of the task force she leads. their local police departments. The reputation of DeVos speaks about “Transformation” and “Expolice officers has been tarnished due to the up pansion”, but has planned to eliminate $1.2 billion rise in police brutality within the Black communidollars in after-school programs, $2.3 billion to ties. It seems the police departments lack reduce class size and teacher development, and empathy for the Black community that is then cut the Public Service Loan Forgiveness reflected by how they are treated by civilians. Program. How can our Black children compete in Children have always been taught to respect a world that has treated them so unfairly from the authority figures. Nowadays, they must learn an moment they begin school? entire new protocol to behave so they don’t become a victim at the hands of the police. Black The culture of our schooling has changed drastipeople within inner cities walk with a fear of police in their own neighborhoods. If Black children cally. It went from being a school of discipline growing up saw police who looked like them and where a child adored yet feared their teachers. were treated like they are somebody, there would Teachers were valued while students were nurtured. Nowadays, school continues to nurture, be respect given. however, in inner city schools they have become to blacks, Hispanics, and members of the LBGT community. A direct fear of from recent terror threats and threats within our own community from what the media portrayed has people feeling the need to want to protect themselves.

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home providers. There is such a disconnect between teacher and students that schools have become a place where students can receive two meals they might not have received at home, and also a place for them to exercise their independence. Students have a hard time focusing in school when their home lives aren’t the best conditions. The society we live in focuses more on working to support your family, and leave less time for parents to focus solely raising their children. In recent years there has been an up tick in pregnancy rates.

resources hinders our ability to concentrate on career paths that will be needed in the future.

We have made many progressive strides from the civil rights era until now. With our highest achievement being a Black man in the oval office, being able to witness an African-American family live in the White House in our lifetime is monumental. We have to continue to nurture our youth within our black communities so they too can see amazing strides by people who look like them. One organization based out of Salisbury, NC that has done an exceptional job of training our young men and women is Rowan County reported 170 pregnancy cases in 2015. African-Americans made up 55.4 percent while Hispanics Great Women and Men United. The founder Cheriel Dye has a great chemistry with the Salisbury community, and were 76.4 percent of pregnancies. One school reported 50 pregnancy cases. Schools have become so equipped offers diverse events that cater to all ages; from reading programs for young children, to young women and men with supporting these cases, and offer programs that could assist the students. However, many of the students mentorship programs. refuse to take advantage of them. It takes special adminWe must continue to reach back to our youth who are istrative staff members to support these students to encourage their participation. Many of these staff members misguided by a “what is our history” and current “Trends” says they should be. no longer exist because of budget cuts, and the lack of support they receive. Our schools access to essential

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URBANITY

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The Ivey’s Hotel Embracing Charlotte History Elevating The Boutique Experience By Carey Digsby

older traces of Charlotte’s history giving way to new high rises buildings and apartments, it was refreshing to see a company come in and retain some of the city’s history via the name synonymous to uptown and structure.

The Ivey's Hotel features 42 luxury guestrooms, which occupies the first and second floor of the building. It also has a cocktail lounge, private meeting and event space and a Library Lounge exclusive to guests of the hotel. The hotel’s room options have city views, superior atrium and balcony suites that overlook North Tryon Street. During the visit, to step out onto the balcony and be right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of North Tryon, but then to reside back into elegance of the room gives the guest the Originally a department store that debuted in 1924 best of both worlds. 5Church Restaurant is the by J.B. Ivey, it was the center of upper level shopping exclusive provider of room service, and their culinary downtown in Charlotte. As the years rolled by, the flair is an excellent pairing to the atmosphere that department store gave way to various vendors and The Ivey provides their guests. Upon entering, we the luster of this building diminished and closed in and other guests were warmly greeted by the Guest 1990. In a city which is growing exponentially, and Hailing as the ultimate boutique experience, The Ivey’s Hotel located at 127 North Tryon Street is positioned to be the type of hotel that does not follow traditional, all too common atmosphere that many “big box type” hotel provide travelers. The Ivey’s Hotel exudes a charm and elegance that one would experience during travels overseas in Europe, yet with modern amenities and flair.

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“we are bringing in that local flavor, and I think when people travel here they expect that in a boutique, they expect that influence.” Experience Experts of the hotel, which was impressive to say the least.

the décor to actually what we are serving’ Montagna says.

Janal Montagna , Director of Sales and Marketing for the Ivey’s Hotel states, “Some companies want that comfortability between their brands, that’s their goal. Our goal is not that. That’s the true meaning of boutique, pulling in from the local businesses or small companies. “This is evident as the hotel has pastries from Amelie’s French Bakery, coffee Boquette Coffee, both located in Noda and available in the Library Lounge. “That’s kind of cool that we are bringing in that local flavor, and I think when people travel here they expect that in a boutique, they expect that influence. They have a unique experience when they come to Charlotte, they already feel immersed in Charlotte and why Charlotte is different and the hotel is different, and that’s what it is.”

I noted during the interview that the decor of the Ivey was very unique, a beautiful blend of antique and modern, “yes, a juxtaposition between the two” state Montanga. “There’s a European like influence, a lot of the 1920s-1930s Parisian magazines and newspapers that we’ve blown up in the hallways, and even in the rooms we have a lot of Parisian maps and different European influences. I think we wanted to offer something different that Charlotte hasn’t seen. What was also pointed out during our visit to the hotel was the “clock face” artwork and clocks seen in the rooms and other parts of the hotel. “The Vice President of the company Brett Krueger is a huge fan of clocks” Montagna says. “He has brought in many antiques from one woman who is an Asheville based artist. He brought her in to do the clockwork that you see in the rooms.” During our interview, it was also noted that the vice president collected many watch faces from antique watches and created the “clock face” artwork that is throughout the hotel.

The MRK Collection also consists of two other boutique hotels: The Marlin Hotel located in Miami Florida and The Windsor Boutique Hotel in Asheville NC, each drawing from the local influences and people to create a unique experience for visitors to the hotel as well. “From

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URBANITY From the arrangement of the pieces to the hanging of each frame, again the uniqueness and attention detail is paramount to those of The Ivey Hotel. Throughout the hotel are 400-year-old reclaimed French oak floors that were refurbished from a French winery, the exposed brick, custom-designed lighting fixtures and bespoke furnishings by Nick Alain. The MRK organization spared no attention to detail in the overall look and feel of this hotel, which goes back to the statement Janal Montagna’s previous claim: to provide a truly unique experience to every guest that stays, “so each visit here is truly different!” she states.

were so honored to have them walk through and see what we have done here!” This marked their stamp of approval for all the work done to the historic building and the excellent service given to each guest staying. The hotel has also kept with the history of the Ivey’s brand and connection to the history of Charlotte the conference room was named the “Tulip Room” because of JB Ivey’s love of gardening and flowers, and his favorite flower, tulips. This also ties into the Tulip Terrace Restaurant, which all the debutantes went to before or after shopping. Also Sophia’s Lounge, named after the wife of King George III, is beautifully designed and intimate. From our initial visit, this area is sure to become a hub for visitors and uptown patrons as the premier lounge location.

The history of the building is well known, but many may not know that upon the completion of the hotel, the Ivey’s family visited to see the legacy the Ivey’s name and the The Ivey’s Hotel truly has succeeded in redefining luxury unique atmosphere and customer service that they established here in Charlotte still resonated in the hotel today. “We travel stay in the QC!

127 North Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202 T: +1 704 228 1111 | E: Info@theiveyshotel.com http://www.theiveyshotel.com/

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URBANITY “If you want to go fast, Go alone. But if you want to go far…. Go together” African Proverb

POWER COUPLES O

e h fT

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Some people use the term “Power Couple” loosely or only bestow the honor to intangible idols- leaving the thought of actually becoming a power couple well out of their reach. Others THINK different. That differential thought process is what separates a power couple from the average joes. Chris Clay and Terri Avery embody that different thought process and have built their own space in the realm of Power Couples. Their humble demeanor's may have you thinking they’re just “one of us”; but the conviction that resides just beyond their hellos will immediately let you know they are also so much more and about their business. Both, fiercely respected and revered in their professions: Chris is the President at Internet Broadcaster Alliance, owner of Nusoul Productions, Consultant and Announcer for iVybe Radio and Producer for Platinum Vybe Recordings. He has kept his hands full in his 20 plus years of Broadcasting, programming, music and film experience. While Terri’s equally impressive career as a Broadcast Media Professional, Radio Programmer, Operational Manager in multiple markets, On-Air Talent Coach and Instructor, who is also a published Author, is just as expansive.

Chris Clay & Terri Avery Interview By: Teka Rose

Their professional paths crossing more than once, is truly serendipitous. This power couple gave me a chance to chat with them and I was instantly smitten by their regard for each other. Their faith and respect is clearly the foundation this relationship was built on. Throw in loving looks, incomparable business acumen and tons of expertise in their respective fields…you’ve got yourself one of Charlotte’s most well-known and respected Power Couples. Teka Rose: So you know I must begin with the obligatory “couple” questions…How long have you been a couple?

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Terri: *smiles and giggles* we just celebrated our ten year anniversary on June 23rd. But we’ve know each other for almost 25 years.

those benchmarks in place gives you the opportunity to get focused. A relationship needs time to be refueled, to be inventoried, from my perspective.

TR: How did you first meet? Chris: We were both in radio, and I’d met and admired Terri for her programming skills and I asked her for a job and she told me I wasn’t ready yet. And then, she began working for a record company, and I was still programming so she had to work me on a record. And it was my get back to say “well I don’t like those records/ I don’t think they’re ready yet” *laughs* and we initially built a relationship there. But then she was gone, and I was later hired to do a film for HBO and they wanted to do a premier in Charlotte and after hearing Terri was in Charlotte - we called and ended up talking to each other, I did the screening in February and in June we were married. I uprooted my life and moved to Charlotte.

TR: Was it always easy? Chris: It’s been easy for me, because when someone respects your grind it’s easy. But if something work related comes up, she gets it. And she is the same way, it’s not all about me, its not all about her, its balance. Sometimes even with balance there's some lips stuck out…but its not sleep on the couch material. TR: Work or Play? Chris: For her play Terri: Play for sure Chris: For me it’s 50/50. I love what I do- I would choose play, but I’d miss what I do. Terri: I can hang at the beach and not care about it at all, even though I love what I do….but still, I’d just love the opportunity to love what I do

TR: So…who approached who? Chris: I don’t know, she was calling a lot Terri: Noooo, it was the chemistry, it was the right time Chris: No. she was calling A LOT. Terri: *laughing* No, we’d spend 2-3 hours on the phone Chris: Well, when you say pursue- we were pursuing each other (Terri agrees) TR: Tell us about what makes you a Power Couple Terri: I think it goes back to our radio background, I was married before and he was married before, and I was married to someone who couldn’t understand the aspect and demands of the business. Chris knows the industry and isn't bothered or intimidated by it. And same with him, I know he’s in the zone working, making music and I get that. Chris: To have that flexibility where I can be in my space with not having to be worried about her tripping. I think we feed off of each other a lot and bounce ideas off of each other. The move- if you will is just somebody that supports and can build with and it just kind of works. I'm not afraid to say anything to her. I think it works because it’s hard to find. To be able to find that is worth its weight in gold. TR: How do you balance your work/life schedules together…it seems as if it comes naturally? Chris: No it doesn't. SHE is a planner. Our Sundays are regroup days, and every Friday is date night. Having 25/ Urban Tymes Magazine

while I play. TR: What advice would you give to aspiring power couples? Terri: Respect, always respect number one. Chris: Pray. Terri: Pray! Chris: Together. Terri: YES! Everyday. Chris And learn to take inventory and ask the hard questions…people fluff each other, you gotta ask the hard questions. Terri: And don’t be afraid of the answer. Chris: Whatever it is, communication is the key but you gotta have God. Cause the devil is mad busy- no matter how much money you got or where you come from, the devil is busy. TR: What continues to drive and inspire you to do what you do everyday? Chris: Passion Terri: Family Chris: I think that family becomes more of the focus and you want to have them comfortable, I find joy when I can sit back and watch my family enjoy themselves and knowing we helped make that happened. That’s my passion. The reverence this couple holds for each other is awe-inspiring. Wise beyond their years in not only their careers, but also in love and life, it’s no wonder why Chris & Terri are considered a Power Couple. Their chemistry is palpable, and with God & love leading the way; their future is written in the stars.


LMH-Keisha, did you stay in contact with him because you felt he was the one who got away or was he just an These two people command attention without even say- amazing friend? ing a word. Prior to interviewing this absolutely amazKeisha- “Definitely a little of both. When you get that ing couple, I had never met them before. Now mind one love, you just know. William was the one, and you, my office is extremely busy, but when these two somehow I just knew it.” walked in the room, I just knew. When you first meet this dynamic couple, you are struck by their amazing LMH- William, we share a mutual friend and she told sense of style and how well they complement one another. Keisha Harding’s hair is perfectly coifed and her me a little of the backstory between you and Keisha. Share with the world, how you knew Keisha was the skin is flawless. William Harding is a tall, dapper man who wore a custom black suit and white shirt, but no tie. one. William- “It is really a great story. I met Keisha years Although his tie was missing on this day, the significance of something as small as a tie, would play a ma- ago a club in DC. I threw this big party for my friend, Chad. Now, at this party, we had two full VIP sections. jor part in him fulfilling the scripture, “He who finds a We had it roped off, bottles of champagne, strawberries, wife, finds a good thing.” Believe me when I tell you, and plenty of women. I am kind of laid back with talking Keisha Harding is truly his, good thing. After I introto ladies, but I’m definitely the guy who can fix everyone duced myself to them, I asked them to make themelse up. My role that night was to make sure my friend selves comfortable while I gathered my materials. had the time of his life. I would tell security to go get Before coming back, I observed the two of them from certain girls and let them through the ropes, so they across the room. I don’t think they were conscious of could hang out with my boy. Now, out of the corner of my presence or maybe they were just so engaged with one another, everyone else seems to simply fade away. my eye, I see Keisha. She is gorgeous. At first, I was By Latise Howie

William & Keisha Harding The Harding Way- Trust the Process Either way, what I witnessed was William Harding taking pictures of his beautiful wife, the two of them laughing and joking together, hugging each other every few minutes, and Keisha Harding taking care of her husband. I was witnessing The Harding Way, live and in color. I’m thrilled they took time out of their busy schedules, to share their love story in a very real and transparent way. LMH- Share with the readers how long you’ve been married. William- “We’ve been married 5 years, but we have known each other about 16 years. We dated for about 18 months, but due to distance and other constraints on the relationship, we decided to part ways. I lived in West Virginia, at the time and she lived in the Maryland/DC area. I had a growing practice and was so busy we just decided to part ways. It was amicable, but we did split nonetheless. But even after we broke up, Keisha always stayed in contact with me. She would send me messages for like holidays and birthdays to just stay in touch and I appreciated that.”

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going to bring her up for Chad, but I looked at her, then looked at Chad and thought, no way! She came in and we hit it off. We talked all night long! She originally told me her name was Michelle. I got her number and call her the next day. When she answers, I say, of course, Can I speak to Michelle? She said, who is Michelle? Keisha had forgotten her club name! At this point in the interview, I feel like I am talking to some old friends. We are all laughing so hard at William telling this story. I continue to observe the pair. They are sitting side by side, but Keisha is gazing at her husband and smiling from ear to ear. William is softly touching her leg and thanking her for reminding him about key details of the story. LMH- Keisha, How did you forget your club name? Keisha- “Girl, I don’t know! But after that we talked every single day!” William- “Fast forward to several years later- Keisha and I continued to see each other off and on. It was inconsistent. I saw other people over the years and so did she. It was like when she was with someone, I was single or vice versa. One day, 8 years later, she sent me an email out of the blue, which read, ‘I will always love you.’ At first, I thought it was spam! I responded by asking a question that only she would know the answer


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URBANITY to. When she responded, I called her. I told her I would be in DC that same weekend and I wanted to see her, so that we could really talk. We went to dinner and talked about why we seemed to be like two ships passing in the night. But, we quickly realized this could be the real thing. She said something to me that impressed me… Tell her what you said, Keisha.” Keisha- “I told him that I loved him and I knew I wanted to marry him, but I also knew that he might not be ready. However, I was willing to wait because everything was about timing. I also had to remind of “The List”! William- “Oh, yeah, I had this list we discussed years ago, but the crazy part is, I had completely forgotten about “the list” , however, Keisha had not forgotten. The list consisted of me not wanting more children, not really wanting to be married, and not wanting to see the world, because I did not fly.” LMH-Ok, William, “the list”, definitely was substantial! But no flying? Seriously? Keisha- “Right! For me those were deal breakers all those years ago. I knew I wanted to be a wife, I only had one child, so, more children was important, and I wanted to see the world. So, in my mind, this would not work. But, it is funny what time will do to a person. Over time, both of our views changed and we realized how much time changes things, over dinner that night. But the no flying thing was crazy, because he drove everywhere! Miami, LA, Vegas…you name it, he would hire a driver and go!

It took about two week but I learned! We went to dinner shortly after that and I gave him a box. When he opened it, it contained two ties. When we got home, I asked him to sit on the edge of the bed and close his eyes. I opened the box, lifted his chin, and tied his tie.” William- “It was the most perfect bowtie, I’d ever seen.” Believe me, I could go on and on about this fairytale love story. I could tell you about the proposal, when her best friend Keeta and William planned a dream proposal at the spa. William had the masseuse leave the room and he finished the massage, ending the session on bended knee. Or, I could tell you about the time he and Keeta planned a whole wedding on the beach, in the Bahamas to surprise Keisha for their 3rd anniversary. (Every girl needs a best friend like Keeta, btw.) While their first wedding was a beautiful rooftop gala affair, Keisha only did that because she wanted her grandmother to attend. Her grandmother was ill and the flight would have been too much for her. William admired her sacrifice and never forgot it. He would spend year two, planning her dream wedding to be executed in year three. Or, I could tell you how William has inspired Keisha to write a blog called, Love Conquers All. No matter what I tell you, William and Keisha are the first to admit marriage is work. Blending a family is work. Sacrifice is work. However, if you are in the room for one minute with these two, you see how effortless their love is…

LMH- I’m an author, so book titles tell me a lot. If your marriage was a book, what would be the title? Keisha- My title would be, 4 the Hard Way. I’m curious to LMH- William, I have to ask? Was it a fear factor? know his because we didn’t talk about it.” William- Absolutely! When I look back, I could kick William- Mine would be fashioned after my wife’s blog, myself because I wasted a lot of time driving everywhere. Love Conquers All. I also liked Can You Stand the Rain? If it hadn’t been for Keisha, I’d still be hiring drivers. William- “After we realized the list was a non-factor, LMH- I absolutely love you two! Ok, last question, what is things started to move pretty quickly. Keisha would fly your advice for the couple thinking about marriage? back and forth to Charlotte and we would spend time Keisha looks to her husband, he smiles, and she together. Keisha finally asked me a very important answers, “I am going to quote Carrie Bradshaw and say, question, which was, what she could do for me, which I if you are not ready for that ridiculous, inconvenient kind couldn’t do for myself? Honestly, it was as very difficult of love, give it time. Even if you think it’s taking longer question to answer. Both of my practices were flourishthan what it should… Trust the process. Take that “ining and I could pretty much live my life the way I wanted. between- time” to learn about you, so you can know what But, now, I wanted to be married. Time just changes it takes to love that person. Marriage is beautiful, but you. After careful thought, I called her and said, I need marriage also can be ridiculously inconvenient! I love my someone who knows how to tie my tie. Not just any tie, a husband, but sometimes when he is home, I could shake bowtie. See, even after all these years, I never acquired him! But, as soon as he leaves, I immediately miss him this particular skill. I knew she didn’t know how to do it, and I can’t wait until the end of the day, to see him again. because she had a daughter and she didn’t have a We love, what love is, but also, what love is not. reason to need to learn.” What works for you, may not work for us and at the end LMH-Keisha, what did you think when he said that? of the day, it’s okay because we know that we are doing Keisha- “Girl, I said, ‘That’s it?’ I’m about to jump on things, our way… The Harding Way. YouTube, grab some girlfriends and learn how to do this!

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“it’s okay because we know that we are doing things, our way The Harding Way.” 29/ Urban Tymes Magazine


Eli & Tip KEATON

JONES

We Got a Beautiful Thing…Goin On! To be in the industry and able to still find time to connect with your spouse, can be challenging at best. So try doing it managing a successful singing career, consulting and mentoring womenpeneurs throughout the U.S. Building a media publishing company, writing, and raising two young children. Oh and also keep in constant communication with your older children. Eliah Keaton and Tip Jones are energetic, confident and positive in every way. When you see the two of them, you see polished and professional individuals. But when you really look at them, you see the love that exudes from them!

URBANITY

CW: How did you meet? Eli: We met at a restaurant in Noda called Highland Mills Cafe. She was there with a black movie group. I was just chilling having a meal. I wasn't supposed to be there because their movie group had reserved the spot. Let’s just say that i knew someone that was working there at the time.

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CW: You both work within the “people realm” as entertainers and entrepreneurs. Describe the typical day for you? Tip: The typical day is not unlike other married couples with children, actually: Early wake ups by our 10 month old and 5 year old, school and daycare drop offs, day jobs, kid pickups, evening dinner, housecleaning, putting kids to bed, and shuffling to our home offices to start or finish our entrepreneurial projects. We work outside the home and from home to create the life and legacy our children's children can be proud of! Eli: Yes! Kids, emails and phone calls. Lots of multi-tasking: working together to make sure that one of us is always available to give our undivided attention to our children.


relationship.....it’s never a burden or does it feel obligatory. We understand what sacrifices have to be made for us to work and We accept the Why We have to make them. It’s bigger than US. Just a normal day up at the crack of dawn and sleep when we pass out...lol...That's a day in the life at Keaton Manor. CW: Eliah, at many events you do, we always see your family right by your side. How important is that? Eli: I couldn't do it without them. I have struggled since childhood with severe anxiety disorder. However when the lights come on I'm fearless. Off stage i'm a different person. I'm really more introverted than people might think. My circle is really small. My ability to compartmentalize and overcome my issues is largely in part to the support and energy i get from my family. I would run through a wall for them. So seeing them or having their support means everything because I'm doing everything for them. CW: Tip, do you find that you both tend to feed off each other’s creativity? Tip: Yes and no. We are both entrepreneurs which lends itself to a mutual understanding of what it takes to achieve on very high levels. My husband creates in his head first. What the world hears later is the result of what appears to be hours of seclusion. Since we have separate work areas and our work habits differ, "feeding off" doesn't occur in its outward form. Just knowing he understands and supports my need to develop programs, create events, and coach Womenpreneurs has been perfect for me. CW: You both make the family unit seem so easy. Has there been any challenges balancing work and family life? Tip: HA! Often, we are forced to choose between sleep and time together; story-time or preparing for a major project at work; cooking or quality time; Saturday family naps or doing the laundry. Balancing work and family life is an art I believe most get the hang of just in time for their children to leave for college. :-) 31/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Eli: Fam...listen...It's NOT!...LOL...We have challenges that every family has, even more so. It's just that we have chosen our paths and we don't make excuses. We both knew what we were getting into from the beginning. Our biggest issue has been TIME...Never enough hours in the day it seems. However when we I focus on the where I'm leading my family to and not what I'm going through. I get really humbled that the Father has chosen me to steward such amazing people. My love outweighs any inconvenience fam. CW: Being a busy couple in business, how do you find the balance for just the two of you? Do you get creative, have date nights, share! Eli: We try to have date nights, but we have a baby so it's been tough for the last 10 months. Sharing simple text messages to each other, and with a lot of the travel, Skype has become our friend! But doing thoughtful things for one another, we enjoy just cruising, riding, looking at houses. Car window shopping, things that don't require reservations. So for us it really is the simple things. Every now and then I grab her by the hand and we do this little dance to this imaginary music like we are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers...lol Tip: Seriously, we have struggled to make time for "us" but that's when we call on our devoted mothers to hold down Keaton Manor so we can have a date night and quiet time together. My favorite time with him is when we drive around, joke and talk. We enjoy thrifting, delicious healthy fare, and car shopping which allow us to be cost-conscious and out of the house all day! I'm planning some fun and romantic trips for us in 2018. It's time for us to see the globe as a couple and a family. CW: Explain to our readers (each of you) what it means to have such a supportive spouse. Eli: I've answered this question in countless interviews and my answer has never changed. You can do more in 9 months, 9 minutes even with a person that is with you and for you than you can in 9 years with someone who's just along for the ride. Tip: It means he gets me! I'm quirky and as he states, I have exacting standards. He no longer complains about those characteristics. Instead, he recognizes my primary love language, loves me in his authentic way, and ensures I know how much he genuinely likes me!

To see this amazing couple’s work, visit :

http://gannypie.com/


Herb & Felicia Gray: By Latise Howie

Love Personified

Late one afternoon, my family and I were making one of our mad dashes to buy groceries at Walmart. As soon as I walked into the store, I noticed this beautiful person, carefully checking out the produce, while answering questions from a mini version of herself, who sat in front of the grocery cart. Without knowing who I was, at the time, she looked up and gave a radiant smile and then proceeded to the checkout lane. My son commented on how pretty she was and I told him her name. Saying her name singularly, sounds odd, though because she and her husband’s name are most often mentioned together. Like Jada and Will, Oprah and Stedman, or Jay-Z and BeyoncÊ.

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Herb and Felicia Gray’s names have become synonymous with philanthropic work and outstanding community service. Their Golf Classic has become one of the premier events of the summer, in the Queen City. The Grays are probably one of busiest couples in the Charlotte area. Herb Gray believes in service and shows it by his involvement with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, YBM Leadership Alliance ,as well as, serving on the boards for various organizations around the city, including the Urban League of the Central Carolinas, Harvey B. Gantt Center of African American Arts, and Livingstone College, just to name a few. Felicia Gray is a Systems Engineer at Bank of America. She works tirelessly with her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., the prestigious Links International, and countless other charitable organizations. But listening to her, clearly, her most important job is being a devoted wife and loving mother to their daughter, Bailey. The Grays are the definition of a contemporary “power couple”. I sat down with Herb and Felicia to talk about their intriguing life together and here is what The Grays had to say: LMH- Since we are focused on love and relationships, let’s cut right to the chase and talk about the importance of making intentional time with one another. What does intentional time look like at the Gray’s house? Felicia- “I’ll answer that by giving you an example. I’ve been involved with an extremely demanding project at work, while at the same time, pulling together the finishing details to the Gray Golf Classic. Not to mention, being Bailey’s mom. While, it is not unusual for Herb and I to be invited to events to attend over a weekend, last week I told him that I was so ready to get dressed up and hang out with my husband. You know, spend some quality adult time together. It had been a hectic week and I was just looking forward to simply hanging out with him. Another thing, having a baby changed our lives tremendously. We definitely have to be more intentional about dating, spending time talking (without the baby in the room) intimacy, or just lying in bed and watching our favorite shows. She is preschooler now, so, she has to be the center of attention! I think it’s very important to find something you both love to do and then maximize that quality time together.”

nearly everything together, it is funny to see people’s reactions when we are a part. LMH- I would think they automatically assume something is wrong or try to read too much into the slightest thing. Herb and Felicia- (in unison) “Exactly!” Herb- “But we understand the responsibility and we don’t take it lightly at all. We just want to be a positive example of what a good marriage looks like and we have a really good marriage.” LMH-What advice would you now give the 2007 Grays? Felicia- “That is a really good question. When we got married, we were in our 30’s. A lot of our friends were already married and had children. We were married seven years before we had a child. Our marriage is different from our peer group, because while we have been together for a long time, we have only been married 10 years. We watched some relationships come and go, and we were committed to above all else, making sure our marriage worked, no matter what… You asked which couple we looked to pattern ourselves after…the answer to that is, no one. We understand that every marriage is different. My parents have been married for 50 years. They are the only ones that could possibly fit that criteria, so to speak. Having said that, they are the example of what to do, but also what not to do. We married in a different time, a different era from them. They married in the 60’s. My mother was a stay at home mom… however, I work. I had to take those lessons she taught me and tweak them so that they worked for me and my family. I would say, don’t try to make your marriage like anyone else’s. Do what works best for you.” Herb- “Like Felicia said earlier, you have to find things you enjoy together. Felicia and I love all of the work we do together, mainly because it’s something we are both passionate about.”

LMH- We spoke a little earlier about how Bailey changed your life, Herb, what are your thoughts? Herb-“She did! She changed our lives a lot and for the better. We already had a great life, but having her made me understand that it was more to life than just LMH- Does being a power couple put pressure on us now. We have someone, who now, depends on us the marriage? Is there an unrealistic expectation for every single thing. She enhanced our marriage beplaced on your relationship? Herb- “Well, we do realize that people watch us closely. cause she is the most important person to both of us. Especially because we are out together so often. They Everything we do, we do it with our daughter in mind. watch your body language with one LMH- Let’s change gears for a second. Most maranother and just how we interact overall. We underriages go through difficult times. Has there ever stand that we are in somewhat of a spotlight, so it been a time that made you want to call it quits? makes us protective of one another. We tend to be a Herb- “I can honestly say that we have never wanted little more guarded, which I think is natural based on to throw in the towel. I don’t think either of us think this not knowing everyone who knows us. way. We got married and knew that making it work Felicia- “When we are out, we have to, in a sense, manage people’s perceptions. So we are always going was the first and foremost priority. Felicia and I talk about everything and make decisions together. We to conduct ourselves accordingly and because we do

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compromise and talk, a lot. Felicia- “Herb, I agree. I have never once thought about walking away, because that was not my thought process going into the marriage. We are not perfect people, we just make sure we always consider the other person.” LMH-Very well said… I just love, love! LMH-Okay, Last question... If your marriage had a theme song, what would it be? Herb and Felicia- “That is a good question! Herb- “Felicia, what do you think about Mariah Carey’s – We Belong Together? Felicia chimes in and completely agrees…

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Herb and Felicia Gray accept the responsibility of their power couple status and what that means to those who may be watching. They are the personification of loving your mate intentionally and with purpose. Listening to them complete each other’s sentences, laugh at each other’s jokes, and support each other’s opinions, was in a word... BEAUTIFUL. They are grounded in each other, family and life-long friends. Simply put, their love is powerful, insightful, and strong. They are the epitome of what today’s generation refers to as, #Relationshipgoals.


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Demario Mcilwain and Dawn Nicole are truly a force to be reckoned with in world of entrepreneurship and marketing. As both have been in the world of music and writing, the two merged their already flourishing businesses into a single entity “What’s Your Secret Sauce? ™” But it did not stop just there. Currently the two have focused their energies to help couples in business to become successful "couplepreneurs."

ment over a contract took our communication to an abrupt halt. It's funny now when we look back. UT: The work you both currently do is to really help "couplepreneurs" find their strengths and maximize their abilities. How has that been for you? Dawn: More than just founders of “What’s Your Secret Sauce? ™”, we are daily super users of our Secret Sauces which aids in growing our business and

DeMario Mcilwain & Dawn Nicole Their approach to this is infectious, and encouraging, but we at Urban Tymes had to ask the two what is their “secret sauce?” Balancing work, family and play daily UT: You have to share how the two of you met! Demario: We met some years ago in a local recording studio when Dawn Nicole was at the prime of her music career as a singer and I [Demario] was working as a music producer. Let's just say, while here might have been some initial chemistry, a disagree-

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romantic relationship while teaching coupleprenuers to do the same. We bring a unique set of skills to the table allowing our clients to experience the best of both worlds. UT: Collaboration is important; do you find yourselves stronger in what you do when working together? How would you say it brings out the best for each of you?


Dawn: Demario is a Soy Sauce, meaning his Success Factor is Speed - Critical Thinking who connects dots quickly, while Dawn Nicole is an Unagi Sauce, meaning her Success Factor is UniquenessAn innovator who offers her clients the leading–edge thru more creative solutions and the best new-ideas, first. This potent mix of Soy and Unagi sauces (i.e. Speed and Uniqueness) is a GREAT mix for us and comes from two very successful and different past life careers. Demario is a world traveled, self-taught musician and I am a published author, playwright and director of two critically acclaimed stage plays. Our music and fine-arts background is now coupled with business acumen, entrepreneurial edge and strategy insights that harmoniously blend together to give people the power to be the music amidst the noise of commonality through Discovering their Secret Sauce! Our clients benefit most by this because they end up with customized in-demand brands that Opens more doors in less time, Creates Raving Fans and Gets them paid what they are worth.

we gave somebody hope who might not have had any. As a result, we've been moved to introduce a series of our workshops for couples called 7 WAYS YOU SHOULD BE GETTING PAID RIGHT NOW DOING WHAT YOU LOVE, launching in Charlotte, NC on Aug 24th, 2017. UT: Last question. Work is important, to build a brand, to help others. But share with our readers the importance of couples’ quality time outside of the brand. Demario: This is the MOST important. Couples' time outside of work is the key. We have times

UT: So what special projects do the two of you have going on at this time? Dawn: We're excited about rolling out the "7 Ways To Get Paid Right Now Doing What You Love" tour this summer across multiple states. We also have been very focused on providing business tips and ready to use information during our daily Good Morning Success show on Facebook live. UT: We love the statement that you made about your business, which you stated is “a lifestyle.” Explain that to our readers Demario: We love telling people that when they see us out, or see us live on our talk show "Good Morning Success", that they are witnessing an extension of our actual relationship. In other words, we are like this with and without the cameras. It’s a candid view of our reality. UT: What has been the greatest result of your work with up and coming "couplepreneurs"? Dawn: We would say the way our show, "Good Morning Success", has blessed other Couplepreneuers making them realize that they can in fact work together in business. We'd like to believe that

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periods where we know work will consume our week if we are working on an intense project. Equally, there are other times that we stop the clock at 3 or 4pm, or take a nice long walk and discuss no work at all. It's a balancing act that starts with you'll never have everything balanced at the same time. Couples don't have to wait for our workshops, they can discover their Secret Sauce now by going to www.whatsyoursecretsauce.com to take their free assessment learning what their greatest success factors.


Brandon & Judith Brown The Lover & The Giver Single Saved and Serious began as a way Christians could meet, fellowship and find better ways to live as Christian singles. Its founder and CEO Brandon Chuck Brown has spearheaded this organization for years, holding meetings, special events and much more. Judith Wilson Burkes, President of SSS, saw the vision and focus of the organization and quickly joined to help elevate its mission. Years later, Brandon and Judith has taken their work and relationship even further: going Facebook live and sharing with the world their union in marriage! 38/ Urban Tymes Magazine


CW: You have to share how the two of you met! Brandon: We met online through Facebook at first. Then I invited her to my Birthday Cookout, and we've been tight ever since. Judi: Yes, I went to this birthday celebration not knowing anyone, not really knowing him, since we had only talked casually on Facebook. He came down to meet me at my car, then ran off to bring back two of his cousins, like he was scared to be by himself with me!

coordinator/administrative person. He sees in me what I barely see in myself.

CW: Share one amazing trait about each other. What do you love about your spouse? Brandon: She is so supportive, very supportive. She supports me in everything I try to do. What I truly love about her is her patience. She is so patient with the way I conduct myself, my thought process, the way I operate. She was so patient with me when I needed to talk about CW: What was it that let you know Brandon, that she my hurt and my pain from my past, where most women would have walked out or gotten tired hearing me talk was the one? Brandon: When she would not leave me side. I tried to about the same thing. She was such a great listener during the process. run her away but she wouldn't move. Judi: The amazing trait I love about him is his drive. I don't know anyone who dreams so large, but then gets CW: The work that you both do, does it ever up and puts in the hard, menial, sometimes difficult work challenge the two of you Judith? Judi: YES!! In the beginning, we would have the craziest of making it happen. I love that he can motivate me with brain-storming sessions. He has a very strong vision for his energy to keep going through obstacles, limited budSSS, and I tried to bring organization and administration gets and setbacks. It is simply amazing to be able to lean on that strength of character. to that vison. To be honest, we bumped heads more in the beginning than got along. Also, he is usually always CW: Every day you both share with social media ON. He wakes up posting, thinking of new ideas for events, reaching out and connecting people, etc. Some- your thoughts and your lives, any words of encouragement you would share right now with our readtimes, I just want to veg and watch an old movie. ers? Brandon: Don't listen to anybody outside of God and CW: Collaboration is important with what you both your spouse/significant other. Don't let anyone take do. How would you say it brings out the best for control of your relationship and your marriage. Stay each of you? prayed up and if you don't have a relationship with God, Brandon: I bring the ideas and she executes them, so find a way to come to some type of agreement with Him. after she executes the idea, what brings out the best in Always encourage each other as much as possible. me is, I see her operate in the plan and I can just go along with it with no worries. So, basically, I pressure her Judi: I have a motto and it is "reach, reach, reach for your goals." Don't let anything; life difficulties, money to create the idea, and that pushes me to come up with issues, lack of support, etc. keep you from putting in the bigger and better ideas. work. Don't get discouraged at time passing by. I am Judi: Yes, we do feed off of each other. He is a brilliant living a dream life with the love of my life, and I never idea man! For him, there is no box, no limit. He leaves thought I would get here, but I never gave up hope. that to me, but then, challenges me to break the boundaries and barriers to success. I have gone above and beyond what I've ever done in the past as a project

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Tone-X & Yolanda Belser Grown Folk Business Right Here! By Bianca Warren/Carey Digsby Anthony Tone-X and Yolanda Belser are such a standout, beautiful couple. You can’t help but to see the attraction and admiration they have for one another. As we interviewed the chic couple I couldn’t believe they’ve been together for almost twenty years. They are truly a unique couple who makes twenty years of love look easy! Yes, we are sitting with yours truly….it’s history in the making! The man himself.. ….Tone x! Aka Tony Handsome, Aka, Uncle Tone. The man, the myth, the legend! And the woman, the power behind the throne, Miss Yolanda Belser! Yolanda: I like that!!! UT: So first question, readers want to know….How did you two meet? Was it fairytale? A match made in Heaven? You must share! Tone: Comedy Zone! Yolanda: It was comedy. It wasn’t fairytale, it was comedy. It was a fairytale within comedy. I mean he didn’t ride in on a white horse; he rode in on the stage, on the mic! Tone: It sounds good, I was on stage, I saw her go to the bathroom! She had on some brown pants, black boots, and her walk was incredible. So I was like that’s one of the sexiest walks I’ve ever seen in my life! And I know everybody is like looking at the walk too, the walk is distinguishable. So when she went to the bathroom I asked someone: “who is that?” They were like: “that’s Yogi!” I was like:

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Yolanda: Well I’ll start and let him finish or piggy-back off of me. One of the biggest things I’ll say about our relationship is our friendship and our communication. We were friends when we started our relationship. We weren’t intimate until almost ninety days into our relationship. So we got a chance to talk, we got a change to build on one another. He got the chance to know what I like and what I was looking for, and I got a chance to know what he was looking for. I think that was a big piece of it, the glue, to our relationship. Because we didn’t just come in off of a physical attraction on that end, we came in from a connection, mentally, and physically of course, but mentally as friends. Tone: Well said! Yolanda: Thank you baby! He showed me how a grown man is supposed to treat UT: That’s what we were about to ask! you. At the beginning of our dating, when I would go Tone: I was just going to be a cool cat on the radio and open the door, he would say, “don’t you open that that she was just going to be cool with. I was going to door. Don’t you touch a door when I’m around!” “If be a “friend with benefits!” there’s any man around you, don’t you touch that door. Yolanda: That’s what I wanted. You stand there until they open the door period!” I was like wow; my man is telling me this! Not my Dad, but Tone: But we she started talking to me, that’s where my man is telling me this! He would just give me she messed up! Grown man conversations, she became intrigued. And I did too! Put it to you like this, the cards, just because. It wasn’t my birthday or anything special. He would listen to me talk about a perfume I first time we went out to dinner, I was like, “let me cut liked; he would go and ask one of my roommates what your salad up for you.” size shoes I wear, just romantic stuff! Yolanda: Yes baby! (smiling) Tone: That was like world shaking! UT: What are some keys to a successful relationYolanda: He cut my salad and my meat on my plate! ship? Tone: That was social media before there was social Yolanda: I don’t know what the key to everyone else’s media! I was like, ain’t no guy cutting up your salad successful relationship, but some of ours are commubefore you eat it? They’re just let you bring the salad out and you eat it? Once I saw that I was like it’s over. nication and friendship. When you know how to talk to your partner to build into them helps the dynamic. This is basic gentleman’s etiquette, and I’m winning! Tone and I have a wonderful relationship this is my It’s over. I put that half court pressure defense; see if best friend. Not only are we married and have a pershe can handle the ball. She had to call a time out sonal relationship, I like to hang out with this man. I man! She’s been calling a time out for the past ninelike to go eat with this man. I like to laugh with this teen years man! Yolanda: I was in a phase in which I wasn’t looking for man I like to kick it and chill with this man like he’s one a relationship. I was a hair stylist, working with clients, of the girls. from celebrity clients to local clients, and I met a lot of Tone: Well first I’m not one of the girls. I don’t like to do what the girls like to do… What’s your anchor? people in the industry. I was tired of the games, so What’s your anchor holding on to. If you take an anwhen I met him(Tone) it really was all about ok he’s chor and drop it in the middle of the ocean and it can cool, he’s got great conversation, but he also has the hold a cruise ship. So, what are you holding on to? “Freaky Tuesdays” at the Comedy Zone, I want to go there so I’m going to get tickets. Bu again like he said, You have to find out something you can drop your anit was the conversations and the approach that he took chor in because there’s no quick fix for a relationship. You’re going to have problems. You’re going to have with me that was different than any other man that I negative energy come into the fold, but what’s your have met. From the celebrities to the athletes, enteranchor? What keeps you liking her more than you lovtainers, whoever it was, he really made me feel inclusive, like his attention was really on me, even though I ing her? It’s easy to love it’s hard to like. Loving is going to the mall. Liking is going to the mall and holding might have met him in a room crowded full of people. her hand while you’re walking in the mall, it’s different. So I saw something different about him, and like he said his conversation. He really took it to another level. It’s all about your mentality. “what does she do?” They replied “she does hair.” So when she went back, I watched her, and I said I’m going to send her a note and tell her to meet me after the show, behind the Comedy Zone. If she comes to meet me after the show, it’s a wrap! And she came, so I was like..”listen, I host on Wednesday night in Greensboro, you wanna ride up there with me? And she was like cool, and I was like if you get in this truck…and ride up 85, your life is about to change! It did! Yolanda: Yep! Tone: It changed man. So you know, still in the game. But it wasn’t even supposed to be like that, that’s not what she really telling you!

UT: What is the key to keep it fresh, to keep in new?

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UT: When you hear about the word sacrifice and you talk about relationship, what key does that play in the give and take of a relationship? Yolanda: You have to learn how to play your position. I know when I need to be the wife; I will step back and let him be the head of the household. When there are times when I need to step up to the plate as management as the businesswoman in his career I know how to do that as well and play your role at the proper time. Sometimes you have women with strong personalities. Tone: That goes back to who taught you. I always say tradition will get you killed. If you haven’t had any kind of structure then that’s what you go with. One of the major problems with relationships is because females get their roles from television and social media, which is a microcosm of the reality of a relationship. It’s the ability to agree to disagree. To sit and talk to this amazing couple, we totally forgot we were interviewing, and just started vibin! There’s a reason why this couple is so loved, and why they love each other so deeply. Their relationship is rooted in friendship, respect and the understanding that each one must grow so both can grow stronger together!

Call 844-9YSPROS (or)844-997-7767 FB Chat: @YSPro1 yolanday2mgmt@gmail.com http://www.yspros.com/

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Carey & Renee Digsby TR: Was it love at first sight, or was there some work involved? Renee: When I first saw Carey… I knew that he was going to be my husband! He probably thought I was crazy. I guess I just felt like he was the one for me…and the Lord answered my prayers and chose him to be my husband. Carey: I was thinking we were just dancing partners and friends. But over time I saw more Very rarely, is that’s what’s advertised or in Renee. She was there when many others portrayed in the media. But Urban Tymes & Musiek Magazines’ very own Carey Digsby took people were not, and that really touched my the time to open his home up to readers for this heart. powerful issue and introduce us to the TR: Tell us about your businesses and amazingly beautiful woman in his life…Mrs. Power moves. Renee Digsby. Together they’ve shared some Carey: Wow…we do quite a bit! From the of the magic that makes others watch them in awe. A side we don’t often get a glimpse of be- multiple magazines we publish to Bowties on hind the business of Urban Tymes, but one that the Fly; a business actually started by our we are thankful to be privy to today. Many know youngest son that we work with him on that of this inspirational husband and wife team, but provides customers stylish flipable bowties, lapel pins and pocket squares. Renee also they’re both so busy we were able to catch up with them to get more insight to their back-story. works with many women on how to love their natural hair, and the creative styles they can A Mother and Father dedicated to their embrace. To walk with her and women stop her wonderful children, entrepreneurs in Editorial, and then conversations start up about hair, and Publishing and Fashion; Carey and Renee natural products and embracing your beauty Digsby embody the true definition of a power really amazes me about her. I’m always called couple. upon for guest speaking and special events to help uplift and motivate our youth. Yes, we stay Teka Rose: How long have you been busy, but we try to do everything in a positive couple? Carey: We met each other and were friends in way with everyone we come in contact with. the beginning, but have been together for 23 TR: How do you balance your work/life years. Dating for 3 of them and married for 20. schedules? Renee: I just do it - coming home and TR: How did you first meet? Renee: We met at a local club spot named Side scheduling everything around our youngest son who is now preparing for college (Clemson), I Effects. It was a spot me and my girlfriends find time to make sure that home is taken care would go to on Saturdays. I saw him there of before getting involved in anything else. My hanging out with his college friends. family is important to me! Carey: It’s interesting. But I think what helps us TR: Who approached who? is our communication. For example, I try to tell Carey: Well… Renee approached me first to Renee when I have interviews, photo shoots dance; we danced, laughed and had a great and meetings to help build the brands and time! From there, when we saw each other at consult with businesses . But I also make sure I the club, we would always make sure we find out what her schedule is first. By doing that, danced with each other!

Often Tymes people ponder what a beautiful, loving and positive marriage may look like.

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I find I can take on other things and allow her to do what she needs to do without worrying. TR: Was/ Is it easy to manage, or a struggle everyday? Carey: It’s manageable. Do we have times of schedule conflicts, yes. But that’s when we get creative and show how together we can accomplish anything placed in our path!

Carey: Understand that your biggest fan and truest critic is your mate. Take what they say seriously and use it to grow. Many things Renee has shared with me, really has placed me in a better place today, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Know that you can build something amazing with that special someone!

TR: What continues to drive and inspire you to do what you do every day? TR: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? Carey & Renee: We would say God, family, and the ability Renee: (thinking) Hmm, well we will be empty nesters, to help others when possible. Our parents set forth the enjoying our granddaughter visiting and our sons keeping in standard to be a blessing and not a problem. To love others touch. Most likely traveling and writing about our visits, and and each other! helping others! Carey: Yes! I look forward to not just building the magaCarey and Renee continue to give selflessly of themselves zines to be bigger- but to hope that we can bless others to family, friends and strangers alike and are a major through our hard work. inspiration within the community. They have been the invisible conductors behind some of Charlotte’s extremely TR: Work or Play? impactful community events, all while running a home, a Renee: Play! marriage, raising their children and remaining focused on a Carey: Work hard so we can really play!!! much larger picture. The positivity and light that surrounds them is contagious. An intelligent couple with deep-rooted TR: What advice would you give to aspiring power cou- work ethics; Carey & Renee Digsby are everything a true ples? power couple should inspire to be. Renee: Always communicate with one another. Have each other’s back. Keep God first, and believe and support each For more information, visit: www.urbantmedia.com | other’s dreams! www.musiekmagazine.com 46/ Urban Tymes Magazine


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URBANITY 48/ Urban Tymes Magazine


waist of the pants. The reason for this is to avoid looking too boxy: go too loose around the shoulders with the jacket and you’ll put yourself at the dangerous of looking like a Miami Vice extra– the shoulder-pad look is a By MS Bespoke definite no-no! Light linens look good on most body-types if Linen suits are essential summer wear. done correctly. If you’re lucky enough to be They’re light, airy and comfortable – not to tall and slim then the complete suit with the mention, they look fantastic. Cream is peraforementioned fit will look great no matter haps the most versatile color when it comes what. If you’re a little wider around the waist, to linens; they can look smart; they can look you might consider a nice fitting open jacket casual; you can wear a linen suit as one or with a dark polo-shirt and a pair of jeans for a you can split it up and rock the jacket with a more casual look. Having said that, the full pair of dark jeans and a white tee for that linen suit can be worn a little baggier and still summertime-suave look. The possibilities are look presentable just remember to watch out endless. for creases and maybe avoid buttoning the jacket up if it feels too constricting. Linen-cotton is particularly nice as the cotton softens the slightly rough texture of the linen, meaning you’ll feel as good as you look when At Michael Snell Clothiers, we utilize the best you’re out and about enjoying a nice summaterials and offer superior workmanship mertime cookout; or an outdoor wedding; or and quality. We specialize in providing beeven a day at the office. Linen has a timeless spoke tailored menswear to include overquality: synonymously harking back to the coats, vests, waistcoats, tuxedos, dress good old days – the swinging 60s or even the shirts, trousers, and footwear. Our highly ratroaring twenties – whilst still being a fashion- ed customer service will ensure satisfaction able and modern choice of attire here in to the gentleman with the most discerning 2017. taste.

Learn How to Rock a Linen Suit

Accompaniments Lightly colored linens go nicely with darker shades of shirts, shoes and belts. Why not try a dark denim-blue colored shirt with no tie and a couple of buttons open? Coupled with a pair of dark brown suede loafers, this outfit will appear casual and approachable whilst retaining just the right amount of gentlemanly grace and decorum; a brown – to match the shoes – leather belt will top this look off. Another option is black shoes – maybe even oxford lace-ups – with a black belt if you want to be a tad smarter but beware: blacks and browns do not mix very well.

Body-type & Fit For linens, you’ll want a pretty snug fit, especially around the shoulders and the 49/ Urban Tymes Magazine


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URBANITY

With Kisha Green

Literary Treasures

Every day in the African American Publishing industry or as I have affectionately referred to it as, Hoodbooger Publishing, on Facebook you have either an author claiming their publisher did not pay them, an author who is mad at a promoter OR someone claiming their work has been stolen. RESEARCH!!! Google is your friend and a tool that should be utilized as much as possible. It is so disheartening to hear these horror stories but more so irritating when you ask did they research and or check references and they proudly say no in some cases. First, BEFORE signing a contract with an indie publisher, READ the contract and if you do not understand any of the verbiage used, consult an attorney or even a paralegal to assist you before you sign your book rights away for the sake of a pretty book cover and the promise of becoming an Amazon Best Seller. Ask them how long have they the publisher been in business? Do they require your book to have a copyright? Can you Google the publisher's company? What's their online reputation? These are all things you need to research BEFORE signing a contract. It's highly unrealistic to believe that you can sit on Facebook all day not being productive and then cry your publisher is a crook via Facebook when royalty time comes and you have not made anything more that $10.

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Secondly, if you are seeking promo, research the promoter and ask for references. STOP just going by a few people saying yeah, you should use them. If they are advertising exposure, check and see who their audience is; How do they plan to promote your book? Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on what promotion means; it is not spamming a book ad in multiple Facebook groups all day. Think about it do you see James Patterson or a Stephen King book link in any of those groups? Lastly, you MUST protect your work. The Library of Congress, (www.copyright.gov) is your friend and for $35 you can protect your work. Copyright is the first step AFTER you type THE END of your manuscript. In closing please note that with bad business practices, it makes it very hard for professionals like myself because we then have to prove our worth, so stop being fooled by the smoke and mirrors. Sadly enough the Internet makes it very easy for nobodies to become instant somebodies overnight via the World Wide Web,so BEWARE. At the end of the day, you have to take the initiative and stop being lazy and RESEARCH, because you owe it to yourself. Be encouraged and know that books ARE truly a business!


These are some buzz worthy books! Each month Kisha Greenbrings further enlightenment to reading by featuring 5 phenomenal books plus one extra (1 will always be a nonfiction or one children's book) for you to learn more about and add to your personal library! July’s Top 5 ● Safe With Me by Stephanie Nicole Norris ● The Ink Masters' by London Starr and Honey Bee ● Silhouette of Our Love by Yasmine Davis ● Onyx by Navi' Robins ● Betrayed by Love-Adorned by Lies An Anthology

Reading is truly Necessary!

5 THE

Top

With Kisha Green!

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Author Latise M. Howie

The Chronicles Trilogy

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URBANITY

MUSIC

Rap Pioneer Jalil Hutchins of Whodini Talks Music, Life, and Upcoming Projects By Angela P. Moore I had the pleasure of interviewing Rap pioneer, Jalil Hutchins of Whodini, and we chatted about the group's music and upcoming projects. Whodini, the 80s rap pioneers known for their good humor songs, "One Love", "Magic Wand", "Friends", "Freaks Come Out at Night", and "Five Minutes of Funk", still performs occasionally, and decades later their music can be heard on Rap, Pop and R&B radio, especially during old-school mix shows. Whodini (Jalil & Ectasy and DJ Mell Starr) will perform at the "Back 2 the 80's" concert on July 8, 2017, at the beautiful Wolf Creek Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, performing on this hot ticket includes Hip-hop legends Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Force Md's, Chubb Rock, Troop, and Hi Five. Music lovers from across the country will attend the soon to be sold-out event, put on by Promoter Jeremy "JD" Hill.

bred some of the most phenomenal rappers in the genre's history. In fact, groundbreaking albums were coming out in the 80s, and the era became known as the "Old School Era" around 1979-1985, and in the late 80s, the "Golden Age of Hip-hop". During this period, hip-hop was used as a form of social protest, and artists addressed social issues. Back then, the trio consisted of vocalist and main lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, a.k.a. Ecstasy (who wore a Zorro-style hat as his trademark); and DJ Drew Carter, a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee. DJ Drew Carter is no longer with the group. In a recent interview, Jalil opens up and discusses everything from music to the highs and lows of the group's career.

Angela: So, Jalil, tell me what has Whodini as a group been up to? It's been awhile since we've heard from you all. Are you all performing overseas or what? What are you working on right now? “I put on these shows so that fans of good music can Jalil: Living life at this age, we hardly go over to Euhave a place to go down memory lane with the artists rope. That might change the end of this year. With whose music may have been a soundtrack to and/or these books in front of us, things may change. We blueprint for certain areas of their lives. I am, some- are working on a couple of books. We are working times, able to take out a moment to look at how on storybooks on our road stories and another book much the crowd is enjoying themselves, and smile. on the significance behind our top songs. I’m very thankful for my team,” says Hill. Whodini, a Brooklyn, New York-based trio, was formed in 1981. The group came out in an era that

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Angela: So, is the focus for Whodini at this point mainly going to be on concerts or are you work-


ing on new music? [The group's last album was 1996's "Six."] Jalil: For the most part we have a new writer. After the books come out, we may do new music.

Jalil: Everything... Road stories...

Angela: I read someone where that you don't like to listen to music anymore. Is that true? Can you expound on that? Angela: If Whodini was to be remembered by just Jalil: Somewhere in the mid-90s, I just changed. I one track, Jalil, which track would you want that think it was 1989 when I got away. When they played to be? with my money, I started tripping. About 1996, I Jalil: "Friends" was the biggest seller, technically. came back. I don't know what happen to me. All of a The 90s, that time just wouldn't go away. I'm torn be- sudden, I didn't want it around me anymore. Unfortutween one song. nately, I'm in that same mind frame. I don't have one piece of equipment in my house. I have a couple of Angela: What about "Freaks Come Out at spots that I do listen to music. I may be feeling crazy Night"? Wasn't that a big hit? and want to go hear music from the Dirty South. I Jalil: "Freaks Come Out at Night" was a flop accord- may go to a dark joint and hang out for thirty minutes. ing to the book. They let it die on the track at 70. We made "Freaks Come Out at Night" happen by still touring. It didn't go anywhere. It was stuck on 70s. We changed it and it the record got stuck in the Win- Angela: When you do listen to music, whom do ter shuffle. It came out in the winter time. you listen to? Jalil: I check out a little of these young boys. I don't Angela: You're working on an autobiography. shut my ears off everywhere. I listen to J. Cole, TygWhat kind of stuff is going to be in there? ga and Lil Homie Quan. Some of them have some 58/ Urban Tymes Magazine


nice word play. It causes our generation to shut our ears a little. Some of them are coming around. When I look at Kanye and Jay, they still like old heads -- more acceptance. I really don't like their style. I like the young boys.

Angela: What can your fans expect at your upcoming show? Jalil: We're gonna do our thing. We will be rapping, scratching and a lil B-Boy. It' gets harder and harder. It not always easy to create. It's just a blessing to be a part of something this long. We thank the people for holding us up this long. When I was young, this was what I prayed for. At that time, it was hard to go national. We appreciate the people and the blessings. Whodini -- we're the group that help Hip Hop grow up. We also bought other things to the conversation.

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We're much older now. We're taking this house tonight. I got to wait to see how I feel when I get there. Angela: What's next for you guys? Jalil: I look forward to our show in Atlanta. It's a southern-packed card. It's really a 90s atmosphere here. When Kane goes to work, he goes to work. Doug E Fresh goes to work. That's a heavy 90s crowd for Southern music. Angela P. Moore is a journalist based in the Atlanta area. A passionate writer-and-photographer-atheart, she freelances for local and national magazines. She pens articles on celebrity profiles, art, music, business, travel, entertainment, health, self-help, and consumer-related issues. ###


MUSIC

URBANITY

Steve Dalton & L.S.O.C Steve Dalton & L.S.O.C is back with a powerful single entitled Heal The Scars. The single speaks to the police brutality epidemic that’s running ramped in our country’ says Steve Dalton. “ I penned the song because I saw first-hand the effect of the situation in my city September 2016. Charlotte was declared a state of emergency. The national guard was deployed to restored order. As an artist, we can be the voice of the people in a time when they feel that they have no voice. So I felt obligated to provide an answer. It was as if the lyrics were downloaded to me from God. And the song was birth.” The passion and conviction Steve Dalton speaks on this project is evident in the listening of this single. “As Christians we cannot walk around with blinders ignoring things that are taking place in our world. We have a right to be socially aware of all types of injustice whether it be racial, spiritual, economical, etc. The Bible is not only filled with David’s vertical worship songs, but there are horizontal encounters in it as well such as murders, government issues, adultery claims, etc. Jesus himself hung out with prostitutes, even present 60/ Urban Tymes Magazine

day, politicians come to our churches to push political agendas. So not only is it okay for us to sing about HIS Love, but at the same time it’s also okay for us to speak out about injustice, i.e. world issues, using the message of HIS Love to let people know that all men are created equal.” To learn more about the group and their latest project, visit: https://www.facebook.com/leviticus.charlotte https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lsocharlotte


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MUSIC

BLUSH Music Mogul Mathew Knowles New Group, BLUSH, Talks New Music & Reality Show By Angela P. Moore

Blush's Reality Show is set to hit the air late 2017 or early 2018. Angela: Your debut album, “Old School Hip-Hop Past, Present, and Future” is filled with upbeat and mid-tempo tracks and fiery rhymes and hooks reminiscent of the 90s hip-hop era. What inspired the new single “Work” and how did it come about?

June is Black Music Month and hip-hop's newest trio, Blush, is busy bringing that old school 90s hiphop sound back to music lovers. The Houstonbased, edgy and talented group consists of two passionate rappers, Sunni and Bunni Ray, and soulful vocalist, Tali.

Tali: We were working on creating something that went against the grain. Something that brought back that dancing, Salt-n- Pepa feel. We used BLUSH to inspire it all. We wanted to touch on relationships because they are really important, and they really take a lot of work to make them successful.

Managed by music mogul Mathew Knowles, father of global superstar Beyonce' and Solange Knowles, and former manager of the mega successful group, Destiny Child, the talented group has some large shoes to fill. Blush's old school, hip-hop sound has been compared to groups such as TLC, Destiny's Child, and Salt-n-Pepa. With years of preparation under their belt, these strong, independent ladies say they are ready to take on the world.

We wanted to express the Women’s Empowerment Movement because we are all a part of it, and we are experiencing it.

In a recent interview, the group shared their goals, upcoming projects, and their latest music and video.

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Angela: Why do you feel that it is important to convey the message about the LGBTQ community with your new single? Sunni: I think it's important because I feel it's a lot of people out there living their life, and I am a firm believer in people being themselves. It felt good to start being true to myself. You can be the best you. For a long time, I felt I was being who


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my mother wanted me to be and society wanted me to be. That was not being true to myself. Once you come in tune with yourself, your confidence increases and you know it is okay to be who you are. The moment I came out the LGBTQ community embraced me. There was a certain glow that accompanied that. I'm still becoming more and more open. I'm still in the beginning stages of coming out. My family, friends and everybody in the community and on our team are so supportive. Even the director embraced it when doing the video. We're three females going places. That's the story I wanted to tell. Angela: Ladies, what sets you apart from other groups? Tali: The fact that we are the first female rap trio with a vocalist. We are two rappers and one vocalist. Angela: What would you say is different about your style? Blush: We have a hip-hop sound, and we are sisters. As women, we are sending a message together, not just in it for the music.

Angela: Two rappers and a singer, how do you all coordinate the rapping and singing without crossing each other? Tali: It took years of practice. I was the creative one. Bunni has spunkiness and sex appeal and she brings the energy. She has a mid-tone. Sunni is our spokesperson - high voice person. We help each other bloom. We're very big on going to each other. We live together, so I know we feel each other. Bunni: Tali is the creative person. She arranges the music. Angela: So, ladies tell me how you went from being independent to being discovered by Mathew Knowles. Blush: Through a showcase. We went to a showcase and were a feature on the showcase. Mr. Knowles seen us perform and gave us some feedback and we went back and did what he suggested and we performed again. He signed us after the third showcase. We went through artist development. He's always believed in us from day one, and we completed two years of artist development.

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Angela: You all are being managed by Matthew Knowles, how does it feel being managed by Mr. Knowles? Sunni: It's an honor to be working with him. People know his accomplishments. He's been involved in a lot in 25 years. Our goal is always to be progressive. We have goals as a group and an artist. Even though we're planning for next month and next year, we're working on small goals. He teaches us how to spark deals and endorsements. He's always dropping knowledge. He's like a father to us. We're humbled and blessed to be in his presence. It's going to be bigger. Angela: Who is some of your dream artists to work with? Tali: Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Chance The Rapper are amongst the artists that we would like to collaborate with and a lot of other artists. The type artists that you could make history with are the type of artists we want to work with. Angela: What can your fans expect with you upcoming Reality Show? Bunni: It's a docu-drama. The reality show is actually pretty cool. We are giving our fans a sneak peek into our lives. You will get to see us and look into how we live. Angela: What areas would you all like to make an impact? Blush: Unity amongst all girls… Feel good music…. We want to impact the children because they are future responders of the industry as well. We are very big on the type of music we create and the visuals we put out there because we want them to be able to sit down and watch it. We felt that we got a stamp of approval from a maledominated lane when Mystikal had us on the track, Cinderella. We would like to start doing different type charitable groups. We are really good on building women and their confidence level. We want a foundation. Angela: What were you doing before you guys joined the group? Blush: Rapping… free styling… but mostly we were young and in school. We all had our different ways that we were introduced to music. Angela: Oftentimes when women get together and live together, there are relationship issues. Tell us about your chemistry. How do you all get along? Do you all experience drama?


Blush: We live together and are real upfront with each other. So we connect very well. The whole living together experience helped out with that. We have gotten to know all about each other from that and have great chemistry. We keep the lines of communication wide open, so we all have a clear understanding of each other’s feelings. We believe in firmly making things work. Angela: What do you want your legacy to be 10 years from now? Blush: We want to be the best girls group in the world. There are no other girl groups doing what we are doing and we want to have that type of impact. Blush: We want people to remember that we were true to our self, raw and organic. We want people to look back on us and remember how we made them feel. That's what our music is for -- to make you blush. We want to be the best girls group in the world. There are no other girl groups doing what we are doing and we want to have that type of impact. Angela: Wow! Ladies, thank you for your time. Good luck with your career! Blush: Thank you!

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Be sure to follow Blush on Social Media: Twitter: @Officially_Blush Instagram: officially_blush Website: www.officiallyblush.com Mathew Knowles' Music World Entertainment: www.musicworldent.com Check out their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/officiallyblush Check out Blush's latest single, "Work": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS5Aj2jjkho Check out Blush's Video, Cinderella ft. Mystikal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXu950OnRbo Angela P. Moore is a journalist based in the Atlanta area. A passionate writer-and-photographer-at-heart, she freelances for local and national magazines. She pens articles on celebrity profiles, art, music, business, travel, entertainment, health, self-help, and consumer-related issues.


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