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ft. life philosophies from Zion-I, Phonte, Nneka, Bilal, Nicolay, and some other fancy friends.

FALL 2010

good found picture #1


to the new Veuxdo Magazine, headed by the brand spankin new catch phrase, RE:ACQ! When you wake up in the morning, and you feel the morning sun, and you need to know the wor-- i mean, please do so with a smile, or atleast the thought of a smile, and some peace, a healthy breakfast/morning nourishment, and try to reacquaint yourself with the world. Like, each and every day. Seriously. It will make things more interesting, less dreary, and hopefully we’ll all get a little less ig’nant. Okay chuuch over. Welcome again to the New Veuxdo, hosted by myself, Lala. This will remain your main source for all things thoughtful, dope, slightly interesting, desirable, undesireable, hopefully humourous, and/or relatable, and/or humorously relatable... for all you relentless intellectual hustlers out there.


6__ Shmoozin: UCLA’s 2010 jazz reggae festival 08__ Nneka 14__ Nicolay 16__ Phonte 18__ Quadron 22__ Bilal 26__ photos: Damian Marley 30__ photos: Distant Relatives: Damian Marley & Nas 32__ photos: Q-tip 36__ photos: Raphael Saadiq 38__ feature: Zion-I 56 __ fashion: FroMe2u

48__ Really Good Things you should Think About 49__ Youth Wake Up by Faurche Grenade 50__ The Most Important Issue the World has Ever Seen by Random Abilideze 54__ That’s Deep by Lala Akbar 58__ Ignorance Gets More by Lala Akbar 62__ Reasons to Tumbl


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E A G G E R Z Z UCLA’S JA 0 1 0 2 L A V I T S E F


I already told you guys to get Nneka x J.Period’s drop a few months back. Now I’m gona need you to go try & cop this woman’s entire discography, I don’t care if you can’t understand Nigerian. Nneka is too dope. Not only does she exude an extremely beautiful aura/soul/ intelligence/FACE which had me damn near stuttering at during the interview, but she’s entirely humble, she cares, and she has something to say. Aside from her hand in marriage (or shit, friendship at least), there were many questions left to ask. Hopefully I’ll get to finish this up in the near future. ‘Til then, enjoy.


L: If you had to choose one equivalent to lyricism in effecting change or channeling a message betwixt people, what would it be? N: I would have to say painting. Why is that? It’s very expressive. I paint myself. Really? What do you paint? [laughs] its very abstract. I just paint whatever comes to me, whatever I

you dance with the devil, you converse with the devil, by going to I would love to see what you speak with him on his level, and paint! there you combat him. [smiles] You face your enemy. [It was loud. I don’t think she Yes. You make your enemy fall in heard me, but I was nervous and love with you, and then you capthe guy was making angry faces ture his mind. at me in the background to get me to hurry the hell up.] This sounds like a superb tactic. Anyway, about Heartbeat… I’ve Now, I know you studied Anthroheard you say that you didn’t pology, and being a former Anthink people were really listen- thro major myself, I have to ask, ing to what you were saying, but what was your favourite field of instead minding only the beat focus within Anthropology? and the rhythm and sound of the Evolution. song… But without the beat, your songs would be prose.. in creat- You did Biological? ing conscious music as you do, Yes, Biological Anthropology do you feel it’s more important to create melody to capture the ear I would have assumed it would or words to capture the mind? have been Cultural because of the consciousness and human conYeah. [as she nods & smiles.] To cern in within your lyrics. be honest with you I go for the Well yeah, it was Biological, and words, and then I eventually focus then Cultural. on the progression of the sound. [At this point I thought I’d save the Of course, you know that we live guy a visit to the emergency room in a world where people are very from combustion of the eyeballfocused on the fast pace… the fast sorts, so I had to cut the interview lane, whats uptempo, this shallow, short in a very akward and untimesuperficial way of living… and ly fashion.] that of course is what catches their minds in the first place. So some- How do you feel about being times I have to stop myself… if compared to Lauryn Hill, having you get in too deep, certain peo- worked with J.Period and such? ple will not understand you. And Well. People always compare you. there’s no way you can communi- It’s always about competition. cate. Even if you try, you sit there I know that we all have our own and you’re asking yourself, Why style, and naturally, people will can’t we talk? But then you have compare you, but I think it’s disto stop yourself and realize… okay respectful towards her… She’s so you have polarity, yeah? passionate, she’s a legend. Yeah. Okay. So then you have to stop, and you’re like, Okay. You have to dance with the devil. Good. So

by Lala AKBAR

NICOLAY: MYK BLAUUW: We have Nicolay of the Foreign Exchange chillin at Jazz Reggae Fest. How are you doing sir? NICOLAY: I’m doing wonderful.

at least sonically, from Connected to Leave It All Behind. I know you have the new album coming out in October, so how do you feel like the sound is going to be going into the next album?

M: How do you think the show went today?

N: What we have now is a logical next step from Leave It All Behind but there’s definitely a lot of elements from N: It went very very well. You know, ob- Connected in there. We have our own viously the weather doesn’t hurt. People little collection of genres & styles that are already trying to have a good time. we grab a little bit from. I think the There were a lot of great bands before people that love Leave It All Behind us too that warmed them up nicely, so I will really love the album, but I think wanna shout them out. It was just beau- the people that like Connected will also tiful man, I had a great time. I think the find enough to please them, so I’m rereception was really good so I’m happy. ally excited about it. MB: So you & Phonte are coming off the Grammy nomination for Leave It All Behind. Do you think that has any affect on your music going forward, the process you’re using, or do you feel like it’s the same way you’ve been going since day one.

MB: With you, from your solo work to the Foreign Exchange stuff, the visual has always played an important role from your album covers to videos. How do you feel like the visual & sonic connection works as far as your art?

N: I think it’s very important, we play N: I think the only difference is that a very close attention. We have a lot to do lot more people are now paying atten- with our album covers, our look & feel, tion. We’re still gonna do us, that’s what the videos, because we believe there’s a brought us here so that’s what we gotta certain aesthetic that we want to come continue to do until we do grab it. The across. So from album covers to the benefit of having that nomination is that photography, it’s hard to put in words, we know there’s a lot of eyes on us & but that’s definitely the thing that ties evthat can only be a good thing. erything together because music alone is normally not enough, sometimes you MB: You guys had a pretty big change, need to have a picture. Especially some-

thing that stands out a little bit, it doesn’t look like two more cats with some Pitbulls & a BMW. We just try to do something a little different & hope it stands out, & it normally works. MB: Like I mentioned to Phonte, I know you’re really involved with Okayplayer. How do you feel that site’s helped you gauge the audience for your music, since they have both sides of the spectrum, really supportive & really negative. So how do you feel that board’s helped you? N: Well I’m all for the board dynamic. You know, there’s a lot of hate but it’s always in good fun I wanna say. I’ve never really had anything happen negatively for me but I’ve seen it happen to other people. MB: Yea, you’ve always been one of the more responsible posters. N: Yea, I always keep it very clean but I know some people that are no longer on

Okayplayer. Banned if you will. But player community, we’ve done things for us, Okayplayer was pivotal, like like The Roots Picnic which is a part of literally a pivotal moment just because that whole thing. I got mad love for it. it allowed us to expose ourselves to people that were looking for something new. To this day I support the Okayby MYK BLAUUW

PHONTE: MYK B: Sup, it’s Myk Blauuw of Veuxdo Magazine chillin with Phonte of Little Brother & Foreign Exchange. First, I wanna say congrats on the Grammy nod, that was a big thing. A controversy for some people who thought it should of won. PHONTE: It’s an honor just to be in the building bro, I’m happy. MB: It was kind of a big change going from Little Brother to the Foreign Exchange, do you feel that nod validated that change like “this is a successful thing we’re doing here.” P: Yea, I mean, anytime that you’re recognized by your peers. It is good to be validated in that way. When me & Nic first started out in that direction, it was just something that was in our heart. We just followed that creative muse. So to take a chance like that & for it to pay off in that way, it was good to confirm our heart was in the right place all along. A lot of cats like to front like “ah shit, I know I’m the shit” but every artist needs validation to some degree. You can think something’s great but until you hear it from someone else you can never really know because you’re too close to it. So to hear it from someone else was very humbling & we feel very blessed.

MB: And even from the first album Connected to Leave It All Behind it went from a hip-hop sound to a more organic soul sound. Do you feel like that was taking a chance, maybe alienating a certain group of fans? P: Totally. Anytime you take a jump from one genre to another there’s gonna be some flowback, some rolloff of cats you’re gonna lose but I feel it’s worth it for everything to be gained because of that. I seriously doubt that I would be here today at this festival if we hadn’t done Leave It All Behind & done Connected part 2. I’m blessed, I just can’t stress it enough. MB: For anybody who’s followed your career, it’s been a natural progression & not some crazy changes. I know you’re working on your solo album now so do you feel like you’re taking it back to more of a hip-hop sound? P: Well right now me & Nic are working on the new Foreign Exchange record, that’ll be out first in October. Then after that, next year my solo record will come. The solo record is pretty much going back to hip-hop but also will have some elements of soul & R&B in it to. I kinda wanna make my solo album a one-stop shop for people that are fans of Foreign Exchange & Little

Brother or you’ve heard one or the other. I want you to be able to buy the Phonte album & know “alright, I can start from here.” That’s the plan for the solo record. MB: So moving away from music for a second, you’re known as one of the more outspoken artists that doesn’t hold their tongue who just says what’s on your mind. Is that something that, as Foreign Exchange gets even more popular, you’re going to have to tone down? Or do you just plan on being Phonte Coleman… P: Yea, I just gotta be me man. I’m a firm believer that the same thing that gets you to one place is the same thing that it takes to keeps you

there. I wouldn’t have the support of the fans & the strong hardcore fan base that I have if I held my tongue, if I didn’t speak out on & give my opinion on stuff. That lets people know you’re a real person. I’ve just never been really big on giving “PC answers” and stuff, which is not to say every time I open my I intend to offend somebody, because that’s not the case either. I think that’s some bullshit too, to be a fucking attention whore but I feel that artists, our duty is to speak the truth as we see it & speak what’s in our hearts and once you stop doing that I think there’s a price that you pay for it. And that’s just something I’m not willing to do. My goal when I came in this game, I was just like “I wanna go as far as I can being me.” If

that only means 20,000 records, that means 50,000 records, that means 100,000 records, whatever the limit is, if that’s as far as I can go just by being true to myself then I’m cool with that.

phone & see. It’s such a great community. A lot of people, it’s not for the faint of heart. I had so many of my buddies like “I hate that fucking site, I’m gonna ring they fucking neck.” I’m like, dude, you just gotta take it for what it is. It’s been MB: So I know you’re a longtime a great site to me, I’ve gotten a lot member of the Okayplayer boards, of useful feedback, I’ve made a lot is there any thread that you re- of connections. I love Okayplayer member that sticks out to you? man. The good, the bad, the hate, the criticism, the love, you know, P: Man, there’s so many. I’ve been we’re like a big dysfunctional famon Okayplayer for longer than I can ily as far as I’m concerned. Shout remember. It’s been 10 years, easily out to Okayplayer, all the peeps in 10 years. I don’t know dude, there’s The Lession, General Discussion been so many. Shit, I’m trying to what up, everybody. think. ScienceFiction made a post called “I Want DJ Drama to DJ My Wedding”, that shit’s classic. Man, I would have to pull em up on my by MYK BLAUUW

QUADRON: This is Myk Blauuw with Veuxdo Magazine here with the amazing Quadron who just came off stage performing at the UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest. How are you guys liking the whole atmosphere here?

outside to look at things as a consultant almost to come in & put a new twist on it, make it new & fresh. I think it’s really good because it’ll help move the genre & help move music. That’s what it’s about, pushing things.

Coco: LA is so laid back, nice & sunny, MB: Are there any artists out now that we like that. People are open, it’s really you guys see put out a song & make you nice. think “Wow, I want to make something now.” Not so much competition but inMB: So you guys have been picking up spiring you to go & create something? a lot of steam with the single Slippin & the album. How do you guys feel about R: Oh yea. how the single has been picking up mo- C: Lots of music. mentum here in the United States? R: All the time C: I don’t know, wow. Little Dragon, we Robin: It’s beautiful. It’s more than we really like them. I like Beach House as dreamed of. It’s a blessing really. well. There’s so much good music going on right now. MB: In the past couple of years there’s R: I think what’s really amazing now is been an influx of foreign acts coming to that it’s so democratic. You can put stuff the U.S. with a kind of hybrid sound of out & you don’t have to necessarily music. Do you think that other countries worry about album sales & you can do have been more open to mixing differ- it for the love of music. There’s so many ent genres & now it’s catching on in the hybrids around that we’re exposed to & U.S.? inspire us all the time & I really think that’s helping music move & progress. R: Yes, exactly. It’s exactly how we look at it also coming from Europe & look- MB: Well that wraps things up here with ing towards the states. It’s kind of that Quadron & Veuxdo Magazine, thank situation where it’s always hard if you you guys very much for your time. grew up with whatever style or genre to look at it from a fresh perspective. R: It was a pleasure. Sometimes you need someone from the C: You’re welcome.

BILAL: LALA: How has switching labels affected your sound? BILAL: Oh, it really opened it up, it’s really allowed me to stretch, you know, they work with a lot of artists, like they put out Flying Lotus. It’s just a good feeling to be able to stretch, that’s what this album’s about.

L: So how do you think it’s changed through the people I’ve met and from 1st Born Second to Airtight’s what not, I’ve been in contact with Revenge? a lot of rock, punk, blues… it’s all impacted me, and it comes through B: What I do, I blend a lot of dif- with what I do. I consider what I do ferent sounds into what I do. It’s now a sort of smashing of genres. really kind of a culmination of all the things that I’ve come in con- MYK B: Being that you haven’t tact with. When I first started out, released a proper album since 1st the only thing I really heard was Born Second, does it surprise you like Classical Jazz, Hip Hop, Gos- that you’re able to do so well tourpel, and Funk, really. But now, just ing? Every show I’ve seen you at

has been practically sold out. B: When everything first went down, it kind of hurt me because we’d be workin’ so hard on the albums you know… But when the internet came, I’d be tourin’ just like I had an album out, so It was cool… that’s what really helped me along.


DaMIAN Marley:

DaMIAN & Nas:


Raphael saadiq:



LALA: Why the change from Zion to Zumbi?

mixes together. Along with that, there’s a definite consciousness here that I feel like when we came out ZUMBI: Well as Zion-I, I was Zion here from Atlanta, people just natuand then there was Amp Live… rally took to our music. I feel like making music together people just we had that kind of message that thought that I was Zion-I, even was out here anyways, it was somethough I would say Amp’s name in thing uplifting. almost every song… cats still didn’t get it. Also the political background and everything gives groundation for L: Right, understood. So where what we do, because I feel like we does Zumbi come from? Who is already had that vibe before we Zumbi? came out here, but when we came here everything all seemed to come Z: Zumbi is a revolutionary leader together as one. The bay has been from when there was slavery in good for really holding true Hip Brazil in the 1800’s. He was the Hop culture. It wasn’t always a big last leader of Kulumbi, which was a thing here, but it’s been going really free territory for slaves, whites, the coo since about the mid-90’s or so? indigenous… basically everybody It seems like there’s always been a who with the slavery system would struggle for Hip Hop in the bay, and go and live free in the Kulumbi’s. that’s another thing that fits us to the Zumbi was the last leader of this T. territory that lasted for like 200 years, they resisted all these Euro- L: What about your roots in Atpeans, Portuguese, Dutch… just lanta? everybody who would try and conquer them they would defeat with Z: Well we were sort of weird in Atguerilla tactics, spiritual practices, lanta too. We just don’t really fit in Capoeira… the box, which, as a youth, I thought He just represents resistance, rebel- was a bad thing. But as I matured lion, staying really true to who you I realized it was much better to be are and holding firm to yourself. outside of the box. Atlanta we got Well to me anyway. I’ve sort of signed to a major label, it didn’t drawn inspiration from him. work out, there were four guys in the group, two of them left do go do L: Dooope. How has your roots in their own thing, started sellin’ dope, the Bay affected your mental and/ one kid moved back to the projor your creativity as an artist? ects… me and Amp just kept makin’ music and we called ourselves Z: I wasn’t born here, but I’ve lived Zion-I. here for a long time. To me, the Bay The vibe in Atlanta was more rootsArea represents cultural diversity, y, like Outkast and all them. And fusions of styles from the East and at that time Atlanta’s hip hop scene the Far East and sort of merges here there hadn’t really blown up yet, it on the west coast, and the Bay Area was like bounce music back in the does it very well. It’s like a place day. So we were there before it was where everything synthesizes and “Hot’Lanta” with everybody like

TI and all them. We were used to this ruff’n’tumble, do-it-yourself type of music making, and we basically just left. When we got here, to the Bay, the independent movement had been up and runnin’ for 15 years, almost. It was like the perfect place for us to come. L: In previous interviews, you’ve described your relationship with, or the channeling of your music as “esoteric.” Explicate, my man. Z: [Laughs] I said that? L: Okay we’ll put it like this: As an artist who is also human, do you feel that esotery or having an esoteric relationship with your audience, or your channeling of music, works for or against you? Z: I feel like it’s worked to my benefit. When I say esoteric, I mean really giving myself space and not trippin ‘off the outside world. It’s more of an internal alchemy type of process. That’s my shit, it’s the music I make, or the music that I helped craft it . I feel like the most important thing any artist could ever give is their truest self, the deepest part of themselves. That’s basically what I’m trying to speak to givin myself that quiet silence that I need to go in, find something unique, and pull it out and show the world. Instead of looking around and getting fascinated by everything around me and being like, “oh, I’m gona do that.” You know what I’m sayin’ man? I’m just tryin’ to do my thing, because there’s everyone else doin’ theirs. L: Speaking about self-seclusion— as a maker of music for the more conscious audience, how do you

find time to write when you’re constantly on the road? Z: I mean that’s the balance of it all— You basically go on tour, take a break from touring to create more music, then you go back on tour. That’s kind of what our formula is at least. So not being on the road and having that time to sit in the studio and meditate, work out, whatever, just stay in a positive state of mind. Whatever you need to do to do that is good, because you could be the dopest-whatever, or -musician on the planet, but your mental state is incorrect, I don’t know how long the success is gona last. I think it’s more important to be happy and feel like you could maybe do a better job than to do a good job and to be unhappy. L: Do you meditate? Z: [Smiles] Yeah.

macharaka’s book? Z: Yeah, I got that book years ago; I always thought it was a good name. I just read it and though it was a good practice. I named it that because… well, I don’t really talk about it a lot on the show, but I like to remind people about how important things that the media or society really encourages, but things that I’ve found in my personal life to be important, like breath. If you don’t have air for a couple of minutes, you die. You can go months without water. Food… you can go without food for… hella long. Air, you need on a constant basis or else your brain dies. Deep breathing and all that, tuning in with yourself is important. So that’s why I named the show that. L: I was thinking about how Yogi was talking about Prana as a vital life force…

L: So with the Science of breath... Z: Yeah yeah yeah… Explain that. L: Do you think that music sort of Z: It’s a radio show I do, there’s also a parallels that? series of 4 or 5 mixtapes. For now it’s just the radio show, though. Z: I mean you know, not totally… I know about Prana, I practiced Tai Chi L: Is the reference toward’s Yogi Ra- back in the day, but I’m not a master

“I love makin’ music, it’s a blessing to be able to do it, and I’m thankful that we’ve been able to make it this long. I pray that we can do it till I leave the planet, know what I’m sayin? I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

by any stretch. L: How has your music making progressed from your (cassetteonly!) Enter the Woods to the Take Over? Z: I mean we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned a lot about being professional, ho we wanted to sound, developed a lot as an emcee, expressing my thoughts clearly, my intent, being more poetic, getting straight to the point. But also, I think we’re a lot more fearless than we were back then— actually, back then we didn’t give a fuck about anything, we just made music. Could care less about the radio. But through the process of making music professionally, we’ve been through the process of looking around and being like ohh what’re people doing? Whats cool? We’ve been through that. And now, at this point, I’m back to where I was at Enter the Woods. So its almost like a complete circle going from not caring, to caring, to not caring again. So it’s like re-

learning how to be fearless. Not trippin.

trospective. So far, anyway, I’m sure we’ll have some other types of tracks. But the other record was L: Amp, do you have any heroes? like, BOOM. It’s like our window on the world, Amp: At this point, I definitely re- on what’s happening. The world’s spect people who’ve been doing going through a lot of changes. it independently. In a major way though— Tech N9ne, Atmosphere, L: Commercialization of Hip Rhymesayers camp, Stones Throw Hop— has it helped or hindered? camp, Timbaland… a lot of these guys have stayed relevant over the A: It was destined to happen. Anypast fifteen, twenty years. That’s thing that has that appeal can be really respectful. commercialized. It’s what you do with it. You’re definitely right, L: How is your project with the there’s two sides to it. You can Grouch set for Feb ’11 coming definitely view commercialization along, and how’s it going to be in a positive way, or it can be a different from the last collab? negative thing too. There’s a lot of people who’ve been able to get a A: It’s goin’ coo, we’ve got maybe positive message to a broad base, six or seven songs done. We’re just if they’ve been able to get through gona keep on moving. that small hole that’s been given to them to reach people through. Z: I think it’s goin’ to be a little But then a lot of negative stuff has more emotional, and a little deep- been given out on a mass scale as er. Just from the tracks we’ve done well… so far, and the way it feels thus far, it’s a little more reflective al- Z: I mean, I think commercializamost. It’s personal, very very in- tion in Hip Hop started with like…

the Sugar Hill Gang, so it’s been goin’ down. If anything, the internet has leveled the playing field for artists, producers, anyone in the arts. It gives you the ability to create a fan base, followers, however you want to put it, solely on the internet. You don’t need marketing or a major label to do that now. It can just be a kid in his room, doin’ some dope shit, slap something on the internet, and all of a sudden he’s got a million views and attention from people. It’s definitely leveled the playing field. Without the internet right now, the way the industry is, it would SUCK. It’d just be wack, it’d be terrible… ‘cause nobody’s sellin’ records… A: It’s crazy though because the industry wouldn’t be the way it is without the internet. Z: That’s true. A: Imagine, if the internet hadn’t come out, it would probably be a lot of people sellin’ a lot of albums still.

Z: That might be true A: It still could be the same in terms of what companies are putting out, but it would just be all about your cd’s and that type of stuff. L: Advice for our friends? Z: The first thing I would say is listen to your inner voice, listen to yourself— that’s probably your best idea. A lot of people are trained to doubt themselves. They have that inspired thought, then they think no, that won’t work… let me go do what they’re doing. You know what I’m sayin’? Trust yourself. The modem of your magazine is pretty much it; just take action. In order to be an emcee, producer, an artist, whatever you want to do, just start doing it, and do it well. There’s a lot of people out there who say, ‘that’s weak.’ You don’t necessarily have to take that and say ‘I’m weak.’ Know that there’s criticism, and there’s positive feedback, and neither of them should sway you. Somebody tells you you’re the best

ever, somebody tells you you’re the worst ever… neither of those should tip you over. You have to have enough understanding and faith in yourself. You’re gona do what you do regardless. L: What do you hope manifests from these seeds you’re sewing? Z: [Smiles] Prosperity, joy, inspiration, good ass art, happiness, happy family, like… basic shit. I’m not out to conquer the world at all. I’m out to enjoy my life, do what I came to do and more on. I love makin’ music, it’s a blessing to be able to do it, and I’m thankful that we’ve been able to make it this long. I pray that we can do it till I leave the planet, know what I’m sayin? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

by LALA Akbar

“...just stay in a positive state of mind. you could be the dopest out... but your mental state is incorrect, I don’t know how long the success is gona last.”

gs n i h t d o o yg l l a e r y l k n i h t ( real y l b oba r p d l u o h you s ) about.

Youth Wake Up!!! Seriously. I’ve almost been shot at once. And then just recently on Memorial Day, a gun was pulled at on me, but thank that omnipresence all around us the gun jammed. Can you believe that? What are the chances that the fucking gun jammed. I am fucking lucky, I would’ve been dead right now. But anyway yeah man this shit needs to stop. I hate living around here shit is stupid. It’s like everyone’s mind is stuck in this hood mentality. Dudes need to fucking wake up and realize that there’s way more in this world than the gangs and hustlin. Or robbing people. That’s all these dudes talk about around here. Every time I see someone I know in my hood their exact words are this, “Yo I need a come up my nigga dead ass, I’m comin’ up on somethin’ yo. True story I need bread my nigga, I’ma catch somebody slippin’, word”. Stop fucking robbing innocent people, it’s fucked up! Go get a fucking JOB! Like a normal human being. And everyone wants to shoot someone. What ever happened to just fighting. Dead ass just give me a fair one and whoever wins, wins and that’s it, shit is squashed. But know this is what they tell me. “Nah, nigga fuck that. I’m tired of fighting yo. A nigga stunt on me I’m gettin’ the ratty!” Why? Dead ass you’re going to end

another mans life over stupid petty shit? People need to wake the fuck up and get out of that mind state. And I’m not going to lie, I’m being a hypocrite right now cause I was in a gang and I have done some stupid shit and bad things to people. But I changed because I realized there was more to life than that and I started to use my head. And I realized how much of an idiot I was being so if I could change anyone can. Kill someone because they wear a different color bandana or different colored beads? Seriously? We have to do better. And I know NYC isn’t the only place in the world like this. I know there’s a hood everywhere in the world. But it’s just like come on people. Why? Why does there have to be a hood everywhere. Why are human beings so fucking violent for no reason. I mean I don’t expect perfect harmony but I just understand why we have to go that far to harm someone by taking their life away. Why can’t we just talk it out with words? Or I fuck you up, you fuck me up and we laugh about it later. Are people afraid to get punched?

by Faurche Grenade



by Random Abilideze

Where to begin? First off...

understand why most things happen.

I am in no way attempting to denigrate, marginalize, minimalize, or step on anyone’s struggle.

Don’t act like you’re unaware that humans are often dramatic beings that search for something to be upset about.

That being said, almost everyone has something that they think everyone else in the world should stop what they’re doing to focus on and fix. This compels many to believe that they must guilt trip everyone else into making the world worry about the exact same things they do at the exact same’s a wakeup call...there is no end to this vicious cycle.

I am fairly exhausted from trying to convince people of what they should think is the most important movement or ideology. Most of my pursuits in the last 5 years have been about freeing oneself, but even trying to profess that is a lost cause, for the most part. People are going to do what they do, no matter how eloquently, passionately, or plainly you put it. You can waste your life forcing yourself into the poEvery victory comes with more chal- sition of a martyr or you can go within lenges. Sometimes, people seem ad- and seek serenity. dicted to struggle and are never con- Leading by example is usually strontent with any progress. This world has ger than telling others what to do, but a delicate balance and many of us do that position has definite drawbacks not accept the order of things, (under- (i.e. unrealistic expectations and overstandably) since we can never fully whelming responsibility). Even the

shining beacons fall short, so walking in the limelight is dangerous; even if it’s supposedly to lead others from the shadows of ignorance. You will inevitably disappoint your followers.

In case you think I’m simply expressing these views without factual basis, I’d like to list just 50 national and global concerns that are viewed by varying numbers of people as:

than one horrendous genocide throughout history) Homelessness Human Microchipping Human Trafficking Hurricane Katrina THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THE Immigration Laws WORLD HAS EVER SEEN: Internet Neutrality Iraq War 2004 Tsunami JFK 9/11 Marijuana Legalization Abortion Native American Annihiliation Afghanistan War North Korea AIDS Obesity Alcoholism/Drunk Driving Patriot Act Autism Police Brutality Bailout Package Prison Inudstrial Complex Blood Diamonds Psychiatric Drugs Cancer Racial Profiling Censorship RELIGION Child Soldiers SEX Darfur Slavery (Take your many forms Debt have existed and continue to do so) Dog Fighting Terrorism Endangered Species UFO/Aliens Fair Trade/Child Labor Federal Reserve Scam Bonus Answers: Standardized Testing, Free Trade Gangs, The Mob (s), Gambling, Stem Gay Marriage Cell Research. Genetically Modified Food Global Warming (I just realized that nearly every issue Gulf Oil Spil listed above is directly related to COGun Control LONIALISM) Haiti Hate Groups Health Care “The” Holocaust (There has been more

I am in no way saying that the above listed issues are not important. Some (but definitely not all) of the above mentioned can actually be worked on for visible improvement. I primarily listed this to give both myself and others perspective on what it means to be so enthralled by causes and movements that we lose sight of the grand scheme of things. This is a never-ending rat race. This world of problems and pain will consume you. Everyone has been hurt. We all want the world to improve in some way and feel there is a lot of explaining and revenge to be had, but we will never be universally unified at the same time, unless there’s a worldwide, simataneously impactful event (ie alien invasion, meteor, etc).

sake issues that genuinely concern you and that you can actually do something about; just know that you’re always going to fall short in the eyes of those that see life as a constant series of contests to keep score of. Solidify your spiritual connection and do the best you can, all the while remembering to smell the roses. I originally put Kanye West on this list, to satirically point out how we focus on some of the dumbest things (distractions that have been fed to us by the media). I already know I’ve pissed some people off for reasons I have yet to find out, but I decided to not disrespect the other serious concerns with the humorous inclusion of Kanye...

Frankly, none of these issues and movements Many of these issues are still of major concern are funny AT ALL. Sometimes it helps to use to me, but no matter what one devotes their the device of comedy to open people’s eyes time to, it seems like you’re always wrong and to the stark realities being presented to them, inconsiderate of some other huge issue. Work but many would miss the point and think I’m on your soul and do what you can; this world disgracing topics of actual value. is going to decay and grow with or without you. Thank you in advance to the readers who understand that I am merely making observations Love is the answer. All else is a distortion of and not condemning anyone, “hating”, or atwhat we really need. tempting to discourage people from making a Give yourself a break; you are NOT going to positive difference in their areas of interest. save the world by yourself. I appreciate you taking the time to read this Actually, you are not going to save the world. and thinking before you speak/write, much “Get over it” (as a very high young man re- like I do when addressing heavy subjects like cently told me). this. Before you get even more mad, I mean “get over” thinking you will solve the world’s problems. I’m not saying to completely for-

Peace, Random

“’re always wrong and inconsiderate of some other huge issue. Work on your soul and do what you can; this world is going to decay and grow with or without you.”

I’ve spent the past few weeks sweatin how I was ever gona come up with new deep lifealtering philosophical topics to shower you guys with, but quite frankly haven’t been able to come up with shit. Just when I was about to pronounce myself a dried-up intellectual has-been, I pulled a Keri and was all like, “they say there aint nothin new under the sun, you (obvi) haven’t seen what I’ve done!”

nuggets, off top. 1) I think if I was a bartender, it would be interesting to watch regularly the progression of people from their sobriety to drunkenness, no?

“Brilliant!” you might think. And maybe this is so. But perhaps you feel this philosophizing is a waste of time, and to that I would make another surprising quote by Lauryn Hill circa 2008 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland California, where she unapologetically denounced all fans of her music thus far: “Some of the things I’m bout to share might make some of you a little uncomfortable. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, the perhaps I should find another audience.” Deep. Now I finally understand what she meant.

3) Big Von circa perhaps 2 weeks ago, I’m not sure: “If nobody knows how to Dougie, how we gon teach each other?” You tell me, friends. YOU TELL ME.

2) Nothing is written in stone, except for thinking shit like “I’m about to take a bite out of this sandwich right here” when it’s inches from your open mouth and there are no asshole seagulls or sandwhich thieves in within Now what on earth could be so wild that a 10 yard radius. I mean, it would have to it merited Lala to quote lyrics from a song be your sandwich, of course. And you would that insists that someone would actually be have to be holding it, and you couldn’t be a moved to think that sex was invented by a baby or something who’s mom is doing that rapper in 2010, throwing off all theory and whole airplane crap and you never know if scientific proof of evolution and conception the biotch is accctually gona let you eat it. of mankind, you might ask? Well, to that I And even if you’re not a baby with an airmight say, “quite simple, my Dear Watson, it plane mom, and you’re holding your own is so: the profound suggestion that not every sandwich that you own outright, you never life-altering philosophical dilemma has to be know when some bird is gona fly by and take deep, and not every deep thought has to be a a strategically yet serendipitous crap on yo life-altering philosophical dilemma.” shit.

4) Courtesy of Random Abilideze: “Laugh or Cry.” ….Although this manifests as a simple statement, it also applies to almost every single situation in life. Think about it.

Now that you’ve shared in these personal yet probably (and hopefully) interesting and relatable thoughts, feel free to share your own After you finish googling the reviews and or thoughts, and maybe, some day, you can feedback for such a show by Miss Hill and bestow yourself with the highly merrited Pponder the different inferences that can be card too. taken on by the word “uncomfortable” and “maybe,” come back and share in these little by LaLA Akbar

Kyndra Donelson gave birth to FroMe2u six years ago. An ambitious young woman from a small town in Nashville Tennessee relocated to Atlanta in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. “My homegirl was going to school out there and I needed an escape from what I was doing,” confesses Kyndra Donelson, CEO and Founder of FroMe2U, a revolutionary digital earring company that’s been churning out funky designs since it’s inception back in 2003. “I moved to Atlanta and was just inspired by so many different things, a lot of jewelry, stuff that catered to guys that I wanted to make more feminine,” Donelson recalls. After playing with wood pieces, paint and portraits of hip-hop, fashion and pop culture luminaries, she teamed up with her grandmother and discovered a unique way to create a special kind

of earring. She named them Classics. A wood based, traditional shaped, customized style. It was a rather unusual canvas for abstract art and captivating images, honoring everyone from CoCo Chanel to LL Cool J but it worked well, plus no one else was doing it. “My grandma’s been making jewelry for decades so she pretty much gave me the heads up on the tools and materials I would need to construct what I envisioned. One day, I took 5 pairs to class, just to show some of the girls what I’d been toying around with and by the end of class they were all gone. I decided to keep at it,” her tenacity paid off. Shortly after, FroMe2U began garnering major recognition. The Classics were featured in both the Source and Vibe magazines and spotted several times on MTV.

Hows life goin? Can’t complain, life is good! Tell us a little about your background. I was born in Nashville, TN. Moved to Atlanta in 2003 to pursue my dreams.....and the rest is history!

Store LocationsCherry Bomb, ATL, Wish, ATL, Nobody Jones, LA, ITM Boutique in Lennox Mall, ATL, More stores coming this summer. Collaborations? Just finished a collaboration with a will known artist Chilly-O

What sort of art inspires you? Life- I enjoy all types of art. I love unorganized art, something Working on any other projects? that was not planned and comes Yes, but cant let all the apples out out beautiful. the bag just yet, stay tuned. What made you start making earrings? My first pair of earrings was a pair of Bob Marley classics. At the time, guys were wearing these wooden necklaces with Bob Marley; so I was like let me make something that caters to women. I took a few pairs to class and every girl in the class wanted a pair. Since then, I’ve been making earrings. Where can we get the goods? Twitter: @frome2uearrings Facebook: dopeearrings

Haha, understood. Anything else you’d like to share? Shout out to my partner Freelance! She’s the creative director, without her most of this would not be possible! Also, we also customize earrings so if you want something personal on your earrings we make it happen starts @$50.00 and up send photos or images to for quote! “We make the dopest earrings no matter what.”

By Lala Akbar & Kyndra Donelson

I don’t know if Ignorance is really bliss, but it definitely gets more pussy. I’ve spent the entirety of my conscious life trying to develop an open mentality, free of bigotry, full of as much intelligent thought as possible, a peaceful nature, etc etc… in hopes that I be more enlightened than numerous encounters and experiences with people who, well, aren’t awake – ‘mental sheep,’ if you will. If this sounds like breeding grounds for a plethora of disappointments with the majority of the human race accompanied by perpetual self-righteous, silent commentary on the way others live their lives, insomnia, occasional depression over the thought of never finding someone with whome to share that nirvanic state of esoteric understanding and sexual attraction… you’re right. In my case, anyway.

There is a problem with this situation. In my attempts to achieve happiness through some sort of enlightened mind state, I’ve instead come to a place where my thoughts are working against me. Pretty much the only thing good about living inside my head is that on a good day, I know I’ve got my head on right, I’m a good person with genuine concern for humanity, and I’ve got the ability to find beauty and or amusement in the most minute instances. Apart from that, my mind has turned me into a picky creature. I’m too stuck up to work with people who haven’t perfected their craft or are on the path to do so, too concerned with genuinity to make art for the well-paid masses, too over zealous with creative A.D.D. to stick to one trade or project at a time, too concerned with correct grammar and intelligent thought to befriend those who can’t hold a conversation about something other than shopping or makeup… Which brings us back to this simple statement: “Laugh or Cry.” Silly things can be dealt with either of the two, laughter or anger. There is a level of interrelation with the world perhaps after deep meditative thought: Laughter. While the ignorance involved in the public fascination over viral youtube videos, wshh, capitalistic trends, dissatention to detail, brainwash pandemics, etc. might be disappointing, these things will continue to get more play than not. The loudest voice will be heard, and Ignorance has a speakerphone and bosse system on his side.

This is not to say that there isn’t a plethora of things in the world which are both non-ignorant and gathers rightful attention. But consider these things, and draw some conclusions/nonconclusions: •Atmosphere’s “National Disgrace” •Lil B’s 300 song mixtape •Lil B’s Birth of Rap video •Majority of songs on mainstream radio of the corporate hip hop persuasion •The way that certain lesbian or queer recording artists have chosen to present themselves as straight in order to get more airtime and thus more bread •Systemic conformation for commoditization •The jackass who gets all the ladies •Blackstar’s “Knowledge of Self” •“Your heroes using your mind as a canvas to paint fear” •“Depletion of spiritual wealth” •Aggressive Heteronormativity •Homogenization by law to place the personal comfort of one belief superior to another •Fear of cultural differences causing physical and mental pain •Unforgivable •Keyboard Cat •The concept of Fails •Powerthirst •L.O.L, Smileyface •Suggesting that “Doit inbooty” is a valid thing to make a song about • ...etc

From this and countless other things both helpful and unhelpful to this argument, I’ve decided to henceforth try to Laugh more. While this doesn’t help to dissuade the world’s theoretical vagina from proceeding to carry out said intercourse with ignorance over the alternative, it lends itself to be hopefully a less cynical, more happy, and less-stressful situation. And actually, a friend has helped me to realize, with quite perfection, that “ignorance is permissible, so long as the ignoramus is aware of his ignorance.” So go forth and frolic, my Ignaware friends, be happy, get pussy, and don’t waste your tears for a thing that will never once cry for you in return. Alternative suggestions to Laughter/helpful reading materials, please submit! Alternative suggestions to Laughter/helpful reading materials, please submit to: or !

By Lala Akbar

“Ignorance is permissible, so long as the ignoramus is aware of his ignorance. So go forth and frolic, my Ignaware friends, be happy, get pussy, and don’t waste your tears for a thing that will never once cry for you in return.�

t e g u o y e s u beca e k i l f f u t s o to d > s thi


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Veuxdo Magazine 04 --RE:AQ  

Welcome to the first edition of RE:AQ by Veuxdo Magazine, headed by Lauren Cheung aka Lala Akbar and Akbar Media