March 31, 2011

Throwback Joint: Got 'til It's Gone by Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell

Not only is this a great song but the video is absolutely beautiful as well; it’s easily one of my favorite music videos of all time. Everything from the color scheme to the clothing to the cinematography is pure brilliance. The deeper meaning behind this video is brilliant as well. According to Wikipedia, the setting of the video is during the apartheid in South Africa. Although this period in South Africa’s history was a time of great racial tension, segregation, and violence, the people in this video look so happy and free. I find this contrast to be deeply inspiring; it shows that even when times get really hard, you are still able to create your own happiness! Enjoy the video :)

March 28, 2011

People You Should Know: Shayla Cox

I strongly believe that we were all born with talents; every single one of us has some sort of special gift, whether we realize it or not. Some people are fortunate enough to recognize their gifts early on in life while others won’t discover their callings until later. However, when we discovered our gifts/will discover our gifts is not what is most important; what is important is what we chose to do with those gifts once we recognize them. World renowned writer Maya Angelou once said; “I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it.” So how will you use your gifts? Will you take your talent of writing poetry to an open mic night and perform in front of a crowd or keep your gift hidden between the pages of your journal? Will you use your beautiful voice to touch the hearts of many or will you save your songs for the shower? Will you display your photographic genius to the world or will you just keep those images hidden away in a file on your computer? You were given your talents for a reason; they are meant to be embraced and cultivated not shunned and neglected. Embracing your talents wholeheartedly takes dedication, hard work, and often times even courage. That is why I have so much respect for those who are able to discover their calling, take their talents, and to turn them into something beautiful, tangible, and fruitful. It is this attitude of entrepreneurship coupled with a love for one's work that allows one to create something bigger than oneself. I feel that Shayla Cox exemplifies this entrepreneurial attitude which will undoubtedly destine her for success. Shayla Cox is a Brookyln, NY based jewelry designer & creator whose self titled jewelry line is nothing short of incredible.

How long have you been making jewelry? What initially got you interested?
 My initial interest came from a documentary on Beatrice Wood. She was a part of the DADA art movement, but then later became known for her pottery. I felt really connected to her and her work. The opportunity to learn this skill presented itself and I learned to throw on a wheel (yes, like in creating pottery/vessels, as well as experimenting with free form shapes. I have always had a thing for statement necklaces and about a year ago I decided to fuse those interests.

Do you make all your pieces by hand? How long does it take to complete one piece?
 I do create every piece by hand. As far as the time it's a process. I like to say 3-4 weeks to be safe. Anything can happen to a piece during the process, and I try not to get too attached to anything until it is completely done!

Are you currently in school or have you graduated? What is/was your major?
 I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and majored in International Fashion Merchandising.

Do you feel that the major you chose prepared you for owning and running your own business?  
At first, I questioned if I went into the appropriate major because upon graduation and for a few years afterwards I always felt too "creative" for my corporate roles. However, they were great learning experiences and now that I have a collection of my own I definitely feel as though I have a better understanding of every level of the business.

Is your jewelry making a full time job for you or do you have another job as well?  
Shayla Cox Ceramic Jewelry is my focus and receives the majority of my attention, but I freelance/consult as well.

What inspires your designs?  
I observe and absorb everything I see. The outcome of my work can be very tribal; I do love to collect images of peoples from around the world. There is so much beauty, say in a village that has little contact with the Western world. I also have a love for the fusion modern/old world architecture and interior design. And lastly, with my experience in Visual Styling/Merchandising I am constantly scanning someone's look for negative space...wondering what I could put in the space to take it to the next visual level.

 What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your journey as a jewelry designer? 
So far, I have definitely had to learn to trust in a team, and know that I can't do EVERYTHING by myself (as an only child it's my natural inclination). For New York Fashion Week, my team and I did a presentation everyday at Lincoln Center...I couldn't have done it without them. It was a lot of work, but it was a success and I am forever grateful to them.

 If you could give someone a quote to live by, what would it be?
 "Everything you can imagine is real." -Pablo Picasso...I try to live by this everyday.


Make sure you watch these videos of Shayla’s jewelry presentations which took place during Fashion Week.

I am so taken by the unique shapes and captivating colors in Shayla’s jewelry, it is all so effortlessly beautiful. These statement pieces will definitely add something special to any outfit. I also greatly admire the initiative Shayla took in creating her own platform to display her jewelry during Fashion Week. It is that type of tenacity and passion that turns dreams into realities. Thank you so much Shayla, you’ve got that good good!

Make sure you check out the Shayla Cox Jewelry website by clicking (here).

March 24, 2011

He's Got That Good Good: Hanif Castle

Hey lovely people, I hope you guys are ready for another ‘He’s Got That Good Good’ feature! Just to let all my newest readers know, every other Thursday an individual who I feel exhibits a praiseworthy sense of style is featured. Today’s stylish individual is part of an initiative called Avid Courtesy League, a collective of young men whose goal is to “promote general yet classical style for men”. This movement that is happening within the realm of men’s fashion, especially fashion amongst young men, is quite amazing. 

Hanif Castle from Paterson, NJ

What do you do?
I'm a full-time student at Delaware State University

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Prep, vintage, modern military

Where are your favorite places to shop?
Thrift stores

What is the one article of clothing you couldn't live without?
I can't live without my bracelets

March 22, 2011

Songs I Currently Have On Repeat

Here are some of the songs I just cannot stop playing nowadays. Some are fairly new, some are quite old. Just click on the little play buttons and/or the songs and they will play in the little media player located in the bottom left corner of your screen. If the songs do not play, just refresh your screen and try again. Enjoy :)

Frank Ocean is a gem I discovered last month thanks to my boys over at Hypstercult. If you aren’t familiar with Frank, you can read up on him by clicking here. Nostalgia, Ultra dropped back in February and has earned Frank some much deserved attention. It is, perhaps, some of the most refreshing music I have heard so far this year, I really like it. Not only are the vocals on point, but the lyrics have so much depth as well! I encourage you all to take advantage of the free download of the album. Just click the picture!
There Will Be Tears by Frank Ocean

Shuffering + Shmiling by Dead Prez feat. Fela Kuti, Jorge Ben Jor, Talib Kweli, Bilal & Positive Force

I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li

Always Love You by Theophilus London

Beautiful Skin by Goodie Mob

 I love this song so much! Between the beautiful sound of jazz music and the beautiful sound of Mos Def’s singing, I’m in heaven.

I just discovered these renditions of Dilla beats a few weeks ago. I really like the way the songs Fall N Love and Players were broken down and electro-fied a bit. Very cool.
Players (Willy Sunshine Remix) by Feelin' Music

March 21, 2011

A Lil' Inspiration As We Transition Into Spring

Spring is here (supposedly)! The area in which I live is currently undergoing that annoying transitional period between winter and spring when Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind. This past Friday it reached about 76 degrees but right now as I write this post I can hear hail hitting my window so I am not fully in spring mode yet, unfortunately. Because of this, I am currently looking for inspiration for the upcoming spring months while keeping the current chilly weather in mind. It’s not warm enough to run outside scantily clad quite yet, but one is still able to introduce some nuances of spring into one’s wardrobe.

 Enjoy the following visual stimulation provided by STREETFSN.

One of the trends that I am noticing and loving is vibrant colors paired with neutrals

I’ve got the neutral part down but I really need to start introducing some color into my wardrobe. What will you be wearing as we enter spring?

March 15, 2011

Prototype 3010: A Short Film by Jesse Boykins III

This is absolutely beautiful. One of my favorite singers, Jesse Boykins III, recently released a short film for his rendition of Andre 3000’s song Prototype. The song also features the ever so cool MeLo-X & poet Trae Harris. Not only did Jesse do an amazing job singing the song but the video is absolutely gorgeous as well! Enjoy :)

March 13, 2011

People You Should Know: Moruf

Hello my good good people! Today’s ‘People You Should Know’ feature is quite special because I will be presenting you all with an immensely talented individual. I had the absolute privilege of interviewing someone who I believe are the most talented up-and-coming rapper I've listened to in a very long time: Moruf. This young man is nothing short of inspiring; the fact that he are out in the world chasing their dreams and working endlessly at his craft is something that moves me deeply. Nas wasn’t lying when he said the world is yours. If you dream big and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. It is up to us to claim ownership of our destinies. We were all born with the tools of success, we just have to put them to use.

The things that strike me the most about Moruf’s music are his flow, his lyrical content, and his choice of beats. The manner in which he seamlessly weaves storylines filled with riveting rhymes and witty wordplay over the soulful sound of clapping drums is mesmerizing. Moruf’s style of music is right up my alley; I am a huge fan of Slum Village so I was more than thrilled to hear some of their beats on his awesome mixtape entitled Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live. There is so much depth to his songs; I hear hope in his music. It's definitely something you can vibe to. I also appreciate the fact that his music stays true to what I would consider pure hip-hop: poetry to a beat. Like I always say, if you took a rap song and stripped away all the background noise and was left with the soulful sound of spoken word, you’ve got some genuine hip-hop. That is exactly what Moruf's work is; he is straight soul, no chaser.

Here are a few of my personal favorite tracks from Moruf (click to play)Love JonesSlumdogPeach Gone BadCanon

How long have you been making music? What initially got you interested?
I’ve been making music for the past 2-3yrs I would say. I always had a huge interest since I was young; started off singing in my middle school choir. I always wrote raps but I would say that’s making music. I actually started recording songs about 2-3yrs ago. The no riles factor within creating is what interested me. I love the fact I could say what I want over a beat and people would appreciate it.I'm a lover of music first before just hip-hop. I love oldies: Anita, Marvin, alternative, Theophilus London, Little Dragon, The Beatles…but hip-hop was something that I thought I was good at so I decided to give it a try.
Are you in school or doing any other type of work? If so, how do you balance these other activities with your music?
Yes, I attend Kean University in Union, NJ. Lord willing, I shall be done soon. 1 more year 8) And yes, I do work as well. Radio, a little part time gig. In all honesty, almost every day I’m busy from music, class or work and if I’m not doing either one I feel as though I’m not doing enough so I try to be balanced as possible when it comes to the timing. I feel I was born to keep myself busy…for now at least. It’s apart of the grind I would say.

How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop? Do you think it's dead?
Hip-hop isn't dead; THE RADIO IS! The best music nowadays is not on the radio which really sucks. Everything is pretty much the same. It sucks how the radio nowadays doesn’t give new artists a chance but rather has the same 10 artists playing in a cycle ALL DAAAAAY! AND WHAT REALLY SUCKS IS THAT AT THE JOB I WORK AT, I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE RADIO ALLL DAY.

Who are your favorite hip-hop artists?
Jay Electronica, Mos Def, Talib, Madlib, Quasimoto, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye, J Dilla (as a producer & MC), Andre 3000, Pete Rock, Baatin (Slum Village), Melo-X
I love your mixtape, Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live because I get so much of that feel-good, soulful, genuine hip-hop vibe from it. In an age where most rap music is very commercial, what inspired you to stay true to a very conscious brand of hip-hop?
I don’t know to be honest. This is something that I just felt. I didn't think "hmm, I wonder how the radio would feel about it"; I simply felt right and the homies agrees as well so I put it out.  I get that question a lot. I don’t know, I’m just myself within the music so by me not trying to sound like anyone else I guess it all works out for the best!

March 10, 2011

She's Got That Good Good: Christina Caradona

Hi guys! I hope everyone’s week is going well so far. For today’s ‘She’s Got That Good Good’ feature, I present to you a very cool young woman who was born in New York but raised in France for most of her life. I’m an avid reader of her blog which documents her fun & fashion filled life. Without further ado, here is..

Christina Caradona from New York

What do you do?
I’m a model/blogger

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Alternative, edgy, preppy? It’s hard my style is so black and grey sometimes.

Where are your favorite places to shop?
I've been super big with online shopping Nordstrom and ebay. Otherwise I tend to shop at Top Shop or Barney's (when they have sales!)

 What is the one article of clothing you couldn't live without?
I have these August 15th army boots that are perfect for any outfit! I love them.

March 8, 2011

Throwback Joint: This Woman's Work by Maxwell

This is one of my favorite songs to sing in the shower because I know the noise of the water will drown out me attempting (and failing) to hit all those high notes. Please watch, reminisce, and enjoy!

March 6, 2011

Check Her Swag

I received an e-mail this past week requesting that I do a post on the celebrities and/or public figures whose styles I love the most. Since I haven’t really done such a post yet, I gladly obliged! Here are 6 women whose senses of style I simply adore. Not only do I find the ways in which each of them dresses to be utterly inspiring and deliciously dope, but I also admire the manner in which each of them carry themselves. They wear their clothing; their clothing does not wear them. 

     Fashion Editor for Wonderland Magazine..

Celebrity Stylist..

Editor-at-Large of Pop Magazine..


Model, DJ & Actress..

Vocalist of the band, Noisettes..

Which celebrity and/or public figure’s style do you adore the most? Leave it in a comment!

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