Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone?!

You may have heard rumors but it's real.
 






     The first images of Zoe Saldana on the set of the Nina Simone biopic are surfacing and here she is wearing an afro wig:


     I am appalled at the fact that they are going through with this. Nina Simone was a dark skinned Black woman. Zoe Saldana is a fair skinned Latino woman. You can argue that Zoe is black and bring up diaspora all you want but that fact is: she looks nothing like Nina. Not only is the appearance wrong, but Zoe Saldana is NOT a singer. What can she possibly bring to this role? Not trying to dis-credit her acting but she is clearly a misrepresentation of Nina Simone, without even considering her roles in "Drumline" and "Columbiana".

    Lets look at other bio-pics such as "Notorious" and "The Jacksons: and American dream". The actor who played Biggie, Jamal Woolard, and the actor who played Micheal, Wylie Draper, were both young actors who had never been in big name films BUT resembled who they were portraying. Therefore there is no excuse for this casting.

   Instead of putting a light skinned girl in awkward make-up and an even more awkward wig, let's cast an actual dark-skinned woman with actual coarse hair, They do exist.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quote

Rare is the union of Beauty and Purity
                                                          -Juvenal

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Urban Twist

    About two months ago my friends and I took part in a photo shoot by the Brooklyn Bridge. The photographer is named Travis Fraser. The theme of this shoot was Hip-Hop, all meanings of the word Urban. Here are a few shots:








You can see more photos from this shoot HERE

GMH

Here's a sappy GMH story but truthful and concise.

    I was on the C train heading home the other day and two high school boys got on the train. They were both little "Hood" and went on to have a conversation discussing gangs. They were talking about rules and being crip and other non sense. Then one of the boys says to the other something along the lines of "F*ck that S#!t !, It's corny". In my mind I said "Yaaaaas". He went on to say "Go to college, get an education; When I come back, I'm gonna drive through the hood and laugh at these Niggas on the streets".

   I was pleasantly surprised by his revelation, I almost shed a year. I think that was mostly because of my own judgement from the second they got on the train, but he proved me wrong. His friend asked him what school he would want to go to, he said either BMCC or a school upstate, which isn't very specific. But in my eyes, it doesn't matter where you begin. I have tons of friends who have gotten/are getting they're associates degree and are moving on to bigger and better things. I almost never here these inner city high school boys talk about college, it was refreshing. Hopefully he can convince the friend he was talking to as well as all his other peers to go to college. and then they will teach younger generations. and then community college will never be an option.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Outfit of the week

     Of course, My outfit from Saturday. It was a great day to go out and enjoy Brooklyn. At noon was the Restoration rocks Music Festival in Bed-Stuy and later that evening was First Saturdays at The Brooklyn Museum. Both very fun, cultural, artistic events. My best friend and I didn't have to travel far. My biggest inspiration for this outfit was the weather. It was rainy and chilly all week but this day was beautiful, perfect Fall weather. So I wore my favorite sweater, favorite shorts, and favorite boots. The socks added for style. I realized that this look had a bit of a vintage vibe. The sweater is vintage, the high-waisted shorts, and grunge-like boots(which is why I used the word hipster). Again, “retro” was not my intention but this look came out great.






First Saturdays!

  The music festival is not where loving Brooklyn's culture ended for us. Ali and I headed to the Brooklyn Museum for their First Saturdays event, sponsored by Target.
    At the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays, thousands of visitors enjoy free programs of art and entertainment each month from 5 to 11 p.m. All evening long, the Museum CafĂ© serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and a cash bar offers wine and beer. Parking is a flat rate of $5 starting at 5 p.m. All other Saturdays, the Museum closes at 6 p.m.

   This month's theme was the 1970's. There were several shows, arts and crafts, and 70's music playing throughout the museum. We arrived around 8pm, walked around the museum, took photos, and did some arts and crafts. At 9pm was the 1970's fashion show. The show included soulful dancers, beautiful women dressed in their funkiest threads and largest afros. The host and star of the shows was the beautiful Raye 6(http://raye6.com/). Raye 6 hosted the restoration Rocks festival last year and is an extraordinary talent. She sang a few Soul classics, and has an amazing voice. They also allowed audience members, who were dressed accordingly, to walk the runway and dance a bit. It was very fun. Here are some photos we took:

Our Host, Raye 6
Soul Dancer
DJ Hi Maintenance
Soul Dancer
Soul Dancer
Trae Harris
Audience Member
Raye 6 with a young audience member

Soul dancers
Soul Dancers
A talk-back wall which allowed visitors to explore their representations of beauty
    Overall, this night was amazing. There were beautiful Black people everywhere. It was my first time at First Saturdays and a wonderful experience.

The 6th annual Restoration Rocks Music Festival

   This past Saturday was the music festival hosted by Restoration Plaza in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. You can see my coverage of last year's festival here.
    This years headliners were Brand Nubian and MC Lyte. They both did a great job. As well as the other performers. Just like last year's event, the streets were lined with vendors selling food, jewelry, clothes, and more. The best part about the street fair aspect is that everyone was from Brooklyn. Everyone's shop/store/organization was located within blocks of the festival. Of course, the artists were all Brooklynites and it was a great day to be proud of who we are and where we come from. 
    I spent the whole day with my best friend, who lives in Bed-Stuy, and we took a lot of photos:

Me, street fair

one of the tables



Brand Nubian

Brand Nubian

MC Lyte!!

MC Lyte

My Best Friend Ali Esteem and I

    Like I said the music was good. There was more of a variety this year, whereas last year was 100% Hip-Hop. Brand Nubian performed their biggest hits(only two of which I recognized) and the whole crowed of 30+ year old black folk was jammin'. MC Lyte's set was relatively short but she also did her best songs and best verses, which included "Rough Neck", "I wanna be down", and "Self-Destruction".

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What does HE have to do with ME?

    Naturally, we compare ourselves to each other. Like the term "Keeping up with the Jones'". Because the people around us are basically all we see, that's what we set our standard of living to. Which is understandable, but now-a-days it has gotten out of hand. The fight for fame, popularity, and out-doing each other is what it's all about. This can easily be blamed on social networking sites.
     Regular routine: You log onto Facebook, you scroll down and see pleasant status updates and beautiful pictures, in your mind these people are living a wonderful life. But their life only looks great to you because of what they chose to show you. Your perception is now skewed. Facebook set a standard of what we think our lives are supposed to be based on what we choose to reveal to each other.We spend so much time on these social networking sites, comparing ourselves to each other.
      If you've suffered from this, just stop thinking of what your life is supposed to be like and focus on how it is. Work on who you are, progress, and grow.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Solange is BACK!

    On the music scene that is. The soulful songstress, hipster queen, and my biggest inspiration(you can see my post about her here) has released a brand new song and video. The name of the song is "Losing you", an upbeat ballad about being confused in a relationship. The video showcases Solange and her funky group of friends fashionably having fun in South Africa. There are also scenes of her dancing in various beautiful outfits. Her group of friends are her real life friends, artists living in New York City who are basically tumblr royalty. One of which being Lizzy Okpo co-designer of clothing line William Okpo.

Here's the video:


     I love this video for various reasons. Prior to watching I hadn't heard the song so I had no idea what to expect. I soon fell in love. The songs melody, message  and just the words are simple yet beautiful. The video doesn't necessarily match up with the story being told but when it comes to cinematography it is great. I enjoyed watching her and her beautiful friends have fun in the motherland. What more could you need?

I was born and raised in NEW YORK CITY

     We as native New York(city)ers tend to take this for granted. Which is natural, for something that has been routine for your whole life to be that normal. But others seen New York City as something so amazing.

     I had this realization a few days ago. I was reading an article on complex.com titled "Soundtrack To My Life: Kid Cudi's 25 Favorite Albums". KiD CuDi, one of my favorite artists, is from Cleveland, Ohio. In this articles he lists his top 25 favorite albums and gives a brief back story as to why he loves each one.
Number 12 on his list was The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die(1994). CuDi said:
I would literally sit back and listen to those guys with my sister and be like, 'Man, this shit is wild.' These are the go-to guys I went to when I wanted to learn about New York. I was growing up in Ohio. It's a whole other ball game where I'm from.
    I was literally in shock when I read that quote. Mostly because I've never felt that way, I've never looked to a group of artists for that reason, and I've never considered anyone feeling that way about New York. I've passed all the neighborhoods these artist have grown up in and to me they are just concrete blocks and brick buildings. But I often have to take a minute and realize how iconic my city is, all 5 boroughs and Long Island. There so much history in the arts, There is a museum everywhere, The Harlem Renaissance, The Bronx is where Hip-Hop culture began HELLOOOOO. This also reminds me of Ice T's recent documentary "The art of Rap: Something from Nothing." A great deal of this film is filmed in NYC. Ice T captured amazing scenery of the project buildings, trains/train stations, and graffiti across the whole city. These are things I see everyday. People from all over the world come to my city, basically, to take photos of my life.

   This is all that motivates me. To push myself as an artist and to represent where I come from to the fullest. I don't if I am ever going to influence and inspire a child form Cleveland, Ohio.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Joey Bada$$

   Ok. I know I'm late, but I just gave the young Brooklyn rapper a listen and he's just as great as all the hype insinuates. Those who do not live NYC area may not understand how popular he is, but all my peers love him. Not only is he in our age group but he's very talented. He sticks to true Hip-Hop which is what we all love. His flow is still very unique and he's not trying to sound like anyone else.
    Joey was featured in complex magazine earlier this year where he shared the kind of a rapper he once wanted to be and who he truly is now. http://www.complex.com/music/2012/05/who-is-joey-badass/

But here's my favorite track on his mixtape: 1999, Snakes featuring (my friend) T'nah Apex

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