Archive | June, 2010

Re-Post!

22 Jun

“……I just hope to have incite conversation and I’ll consider my efforts a success if I can inspire others to unashamedly speak their mind when feeling a sense of displeasure with the  status quo. I remain an advocate for quality Hip-Hop to thrive and dually for egotistical characters within “the industry” to be taken down a few notches.”  – Young H

Get em boy. This beauty of a blog post  by Young H over at Potholesinmyblog just made me very happy this morning. Well written opinion pieces excite the hell outta me……..

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Why is the world ugly when you made it in your image?

22 Jun

Goodness, I’ve been gut-checked.  Music is powerful my friends, of course that is something that’s been understood since man first learned how to communicate through utterances of sound. Since MTV blasted off in 81′ , videos have become an equally powerful component in completing the arc of masterful storytelling. The video for ‘Dear God 2.0’ is one of those pieces of beautifully filmed and poetically conceptualized artistry that sends shivers up and down my spine. It’s something about the cold red glow washing over the streets,  the tattered and stained uniforms of the young stick up kids, Jim James’s melancholy tinged expression, the fluid motion of the outside world floating by as we hitch a ride to nowhere in particular , and the hazy lights going in and out of focus much like the fluctuating sense of security the average human being feels on any given day in this crazy world. All of these elements blend immaculately to create the schizoid ambiance of an introspective city night spent searching for GOD, searching for the beauty in the ugliness………

Tiombe In Nature

21 Jun

I’ve posted about photographer Tone before, as he’s one of the photographers whose work I respect, admire, and look to for pleasure and inspiration. I try not to post about the same person twice, but I’m a sucker for nature shots and these pictures featuring Cubic Zirconia front woman Tiombe Lockhart  in all her shadow-cloaked loveliness are the buisness.

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see more at photobytone.com

California Dreamin…..

21 Jun

 Found these dope photos by RJ Shaughnessy from his set entitled “Oakland”. They struck me because Oakland will soon be my city of residence and I’m more than ready to get out there. I’ve never lived anywhere outside of North Carolina so I figured I better do it big if I was going to do it at all. I had been thinking about making a move to the west coast for a while, about a year,  and I had a coversation with a co-worker in May that changed my life.   See I had put a very precise plan into place that involved me waiting around for another year or two, getting an apartment and saving up money to move. I mentioned something about trying to wait for the ‘right time’ and she says, “You know it will never be the right time as long as you stay, we both know this place is a black hole. Sometimes you just gotta get up and go.” and I thought to myself, “You know what, she’s right.” You’d have to be from my city to understand , but what she said hit home. Don’t get me wrong Fayetteville is cool, the experience of growing up in a military town has been valuable to me. I grew up with kids from all 50 states, of all different nationalities, all bringing a little somthing different to the table. On the flip side, Fayetteville is a place of many stuggles; poverty, violence, racism (despite all the multi-culturalness) just to name a few. My biggest dilemma is that the city just isn’t designed to support someone who wants to grow professionally in the arts or entertainment industries. The biggest vocational opportunities down here are in the armed forces, or any technical field like nursing or electrical engineering. To be honest, the thought of moving so far away from my homebase makes me a little apprehensive but, I believe that risk-taking is a necessity for a life well lived.

INSPIRATION:PHOTOGRAPHER ELIAS WESSEL

19 Jun

I’ve always been a person of extremes, and when it comes to my sense of what impacts me as an artist, I am equally fascinated by both realism and surrealism. To me, fantasy and reality are equally important parts of our humanity. In my world the ordinary is extraordinary, the wordly is ethereal, and I find myself most drawn to artists who exemplify that cohesive duality in their work. With that being said, Elias Wessel is the truth. His photgraphs could double as stills from a dream and that’s what I like about them. They stroke my imagination and play with my perception of that boundary that seperates the tangible and intangible aspects of our wordly experiences.

LIONHEARTED

15 Jun

Fierce: menacingly wild, savage or hostile; violent in force or intensity; furiously eager or intense; extremely bad or severe.

Fierceness, in my opinion, is a quality reserved for women who roar. Jamaican fashion designer Mamayashi would be one of those women. I first came across her fotki album during a web surfing session in 2007 or 2008. For a while, I couldn’t remember her name, but I couldn’t get her clothes out of my head. I finally found her page again not too long ago and made sure to link promptly and properly.  Not only do her clothes compliment the female frame exsquisitely, but they are created from an idealistic and unique point of reference. The influence of her Rastafarian faith and Jamaican heritage is the most striking element to her beautiful pieces. Flowing skirts and halter tops are adorned with inspired images and words like those of visionary revolutionist’s Che Guavera and Marcus Garvey. Tube dresses declare “The righteous man time has come.” Nearly every piece in her catalogue bears a symbolism of strength and grace, from lion heads, which are the most prominent  symbol in her work, to a print of a bare-breasted woman sprouting from the ground like a cypress with the word “RISE” right below her roots. Other favorites from her collections include curve hugging carribean technicolor dresses embellished with marijuana leaves. There’s really nothing sexier than sexy that has some grit to it. Shop Mamayashi here and here. Link up here and here

Tell Me Have You Seen Her……..

10 Jun

I spent the 8 bucks  on Nikko Gray’s debut solo EP Love Seen cause I dig her and I can’t think of a better way to support the artists I dig than putting a lil’ green in their pockets. Due to the over abundance of blogs written by music fans who believe they have the musical knowledge and technical skill to write an objective, informed, and engrossing critique and the dominance of internet piracy; word of mouth and co-signs don’t cut it anymore. Yeah positive press is always a plus but at the end of the day, no matter how much we love what we do, everybody needs to eat and nobody likes to grind for free.  By buying albums from musicians and artists who are true craftsmen we a) place them higher on the charts and push them further up the industry food chain thus turning the tide against regurgetated, standardized, tasteless bullshit execs keep churning out b) show em that they’re not doing this for nothing and c) do our part in helping them generate the monetary funds neccessary to wage war against the machine ie building record labels commited to passion and artistry or filitering that capital back into the communities and initiatives that need it. I find that it’s not so much  about being a part of the machine as it is showing appreciation and reclaiming the integrity of the music industry. The last three albums I bought were Janelle Monae’s The Arch Android, Nas and Damian Marley’s Distant Relatives and Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Pt II and it was money well spent on all counts.  I still get my download on like a mutha’, but I have no problem spending money on people who want to change things through their art, who do it to teach, inspire, provoke, challenge, heal or destroy. Ain’t that what it’s supposed to do?