Video: The Gilded Crown

The Gilded Crown — Eva Marcille
directed by Walid Azami
music by Lissie (Everywhere I Go)
styled by Jennifer Austin

...that's all

Kanye... The Musical? Fair Suck of the Sav!

Apparently, a pair of Sydney University students put together a satirical story of Kanye West's rise to fame. As expected, it will feature his music, but will also include original scores. The director, Philip Rosser had this to say about his work:
“This is a story of a struggle against the man to become the man. It’s about a guy who took a shot at the throne and didn’t miss.”
I'm kinda bummed I don't live in Australia, or have the money to fly out, because this seems really cool — despite its ridiculousness — especially because it's a two-man show. They've established a Facebook event for it — there's more info for you to check out. Here's to hoping they post it on YouTube/Vevo/Vimeo.


Error in the MLK Memorial? This is Embarrassing

This Sunday is the dedication of the new Martin Luther King Jr Memorial here in DC — it's a really big deal considering the individual and because it's the first memorial to a Black person on the National Mall. A group of my aunts, cousins, and I went this past Wednesday to check it out; it was quite a sight, made me feel really proud inside. The site overlooks the Potomac river, and the set-up is very clean and sleek... it's beautiful really. I plan to go back at night at some point, it's even better then I've been told. Anyway, this isn't about that; I came across a Washington Post article by Rachel Manteuffel which makes light of a particular error in the monument. If you click the pic above to enlarge it, you'll notice a quote on the side that reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” This didn't really strike me as anything to furrow my brow over [see what I did there] but Manteuffel instead points out that MLK never actually said that, but rather something a lot more detailed; in turn a lot more humbled and profound. Click after the jump for my commentary, I suggest reading the article first though.


Video: Rusko Identity Festival... + Rihanna???

Rusko — IDENTITY Festival '11 — 8.19.11

So it would seem Rusko threw caution to the wind and gave fans at the Camden, NJ stop of the Identity Festival a taste of an (until now) unreleased track by Rihanna in which he obviously produced. The audio in this recording is so unbelievably clear — I'm pointing this out to say, there's no way you can't hear how this will be an amazing single for RiRi. She has already alluded to a future re-release of her album Loud with added tracks; similar to what she did with Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded. I can only hope there is new music coming from Rihanna soon — though I'll admit, there really is no rush; I still find myself grooving to A Girl Like Me, Music of the Sun, and Rated R.



Models: New Faces, Emma E. (Le Management)

Emma Estrup Løw, Strawberry Blonde, Green, 5′11.5″, Le Management
full name, hair, eyes, height, agency

[Images via MDC]

Music: "Thursday" - The Weeknd

1. Lonely Star
2. Life Of The Party
3. Thursday
4. The Zone (featuring Drake)
5. The Birds Part One
6. The Birds Part Two
7. Rolling Stone
8. Gone
9. Heaven Or Las Vegas

>> Download <<

I'm patiently waiting for this mixtape to download so I can give it a proper listening to... expect some form of commentary to be added later today. The Weeknd is the truth... fck what you heard.

eta: So I've gone through this mixtape up and down, back and forth, shuffled on repeat — it's definitely a step in the right direction for Abel Tesfaye, the man behind The Weeknd. Where is first mixtape House of Balloons sounded like a champaign chronic nightcap, his newest, Thursday, sounds like an acid trip (a depressing trip, not so much a let's rage kind of trip). The emotions of his first mixtape are still very much present here, but instead of pining for the woman, he's already had her and now doesn't know what to do with her. Young Money golden boy Drake makes an appearance on the track "The Zone" (pause; this song is oh so sexy... just have to put that out there), no big surprise considering how much he hypes The Weeknd. Drake vocally jumps rope in his verse, riding the music, adding a nice bow to the narrative built. What I like most about both HoB and Thursday is that they have such precise arrangements and such a mood where each song just sort of blends. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying all of his songs sound the same, I'm saying the feel of the album is very cohesive — making it perfect for ambient music when placed on shuffle for hours at a time. This man is really trying to establish himself before making any major industry presence it would seem — HoB already garnered a lot of positive reviews, and Thursday is sure to do the same; but still he has a third mixtape on the way, Echoes of Silence. All I can say is, download and enjoy.


Video: Got 'Til It's Gone - Janet Jackson (ft. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell)

This little gem from way back in '97 came across my screen via Tumblr and all I can say is #FantasticMan. The video is set in an apartheid South Africa (so late 60s early 70s) and features just so much Black excellence I can hardly contain myself. Reading up a bit on its accompanying wikipedia article, I've discovered the J Dilla connection, and his response remix [apparently he produced the song, but wasn't appropriately credited]. Check out that remix down below... that little play button, yah, that one. Enjoy the wonder that is Janet Jackson (not to mention Q-Tip and a very brief glimpse of Joni Mitchell), enjoy the production talent that is J Dilla in both tracks, and check out Alek Wek making a very subtle cameo as well.

"Got 'Til It's Gone" — The Ummah (Jay Dee's Revenge Remix)

Leaving with One New Idea... For the Better

"How can we humanize the gender roles so that young men are raised to understand that they have all human qualities? We've had the courage to raise our daughters more like our sons, but fewer of us have had the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. Those so-called feminine qualities are only the qualities you need to raise children: empathy, patience, flexibility, compassion. They're present in every man just as they are in every woman." -Gloria Steinem [A 21st Century Feminism]

This is my Go-To quote for nearly every essay/paper I've had to write for my major within Women's Studies [between the two colleges I've attended] — it's so true, and it opens to an even deeper discussion about the socialization of children about gender. I was first introduced to this speech by Gloria Steinem during a Jan Term course entitled "Women and Madness: A Sociological Perspective of the Female Mind." I was so fortunate to hear her speak and to meet with her (that's my fellow P.Inc [Peace Incorporated] co-founders and I in the photo above). Ms. Steinem is without a doubt one of the wisest souls I've ever met. Her talks are discourses, instead of lectures, a tool which enables her to touch on controversial topics without alienating her diverse audiences. After the jump is an audio recording (it will auto-play) to the talk which originated this quote... in her words, 'leave with one new idea... for the better."

Transformers x Steven Meisel (W Magazine Sep 11)


Models: Linda Evangelista, Karen Elson, Guinevere van Seenus, Jamie Bochert, Raquel Zimmermann, Jessica Stam, Candice Huffine, Aymeline Valade, Fei Fei Sun

[Images via W Mag]


The September Issue[s] - My Favorites

It's that time of year again — Fall is just around the corner, and if you haven't already begun getting your closet in order, all of our favorite international publications are letting us know what's "IN" for the season. I've compiled a list of my favorite covers for your viewing pleasure... check them out after the jump.

*** I swear I'm not showing M+M favoritism ***

Music: "Good Night, and Good Luck" (Soundtrack) - Dianne Reeves

1. Straighten Up And Fly Right
2. I've Got My Eyes On You
3. Gotta Be This Or That
4. Too Close For Comfort
5. How High The Moon
6. Who's Minding The Store?
7. You're Driving Me Crazy
8. Pretend
9. Solitude
10. TV Is The Thing This Year
11. Pick Yourself Up
12. When I Fall In Love
13. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall
14. There'll Be Another Spring
15. One For My Baby

>> Download <<

I was introduced to this soundtrack, or rather album (for the sake of this post), through a blog I've mentioned before: Whiskey & Cigarettes. A couple of my friends are involved; they are just a posse of music enthusiasts who posts whatever they feel is worth sharing. It's so interesting they would post about this album, and that I would stumble upon that post — it speaks so directly to my whole #FantasticMan "swag" [yah, I had no better word for it]. Dianne Reeves' voice is so slow and sensual over top of the blues and jazz arrangements. This definitely has me pining for a taste of a time not of my own — not to mention, want to watch the film it's featured in. Now, like Edward R. Murrow, I bid thee, "good night, and good luck."


Video: Black & White // Silence & Noise

Two men with exceptional tastes and amazing approaches to minimalism — Terence Koh is an artist in ever sense of the word, you've seen his work even if you aren't familiar with him. I admire his vow of silence, it really makes his StyleLikeU video that much more profound. I contrast that with Sonny Groo, a stylist and editor of Mykromag. I love his dedication to mixing high and low; he openly admits 80% of his closet comes from H&M. Though his style doesn't rest on only black, it does contain a certain weight where Koh's style feels very light. Both men have such effortlessness with their wardrobes, and an understanding that fashion doesn't have to be loud to make a statement. Placed side-to-side, there is a message of simplicity which has me super inspired... I need a fashion shower.

TV: Sex And The City... The Beginning

Rumor has it, or rather not so much rumor anymore, that Sarah Jessica Parker has agreed to help produce a SATC spin-off based off the Candace Bushnell book Summer in the City — a prequel to the original. While apparently there had been talks to produce a film version of the book, SJP apparently found tv to be a wiser route considering the less than favorable critiques of SATC2. The rumor part comes in with its casting; four young hollywood names have been tossed around more than a few times to play the four trailblazing women. Elizabeth Olsen (yes, that one) is to play Carrie Bradshaw, Blake Lively as Samantha Jones, Selena Gomez as Charlotte York, and Emma Roberts as Miranda Hobbes. While this seems like quite an interesting turn for the franchise, I'm puzzled by the arrangement — natural fan reaction, I feel as if I could have casted this better. I would shuffle these girls around a bit: Emma as Carrie, Elizabeth as Miranda, Blake is fine, swap Selena for Hailee Steinfeld (if only she was a tad bit older).

IDK, how do we feel?

Will & Grace... saving lives one laugh at a time.

>> How Will & Grace (and Jack and Karen) Saved My Life <<

A friend of mine submitted a Op-Ed piece to Salon.com's "Saved by Pop Culture" open call and was highlighted on their site. His piece describes his personal journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance through the scope of the former NBC sitcom Will & Grace. His natural charm and honesty drips from the words in this piece — an enjoyable glimpse into this man's struggle and triumphs. I know I'm talking his essay up a ton, but if you knew him in real life, you would be just as proud as I am. I've tumbled this in the past, but I came across it again today; it felt appropriate. The link to his article is up above... it will direct you to his blog. Oh, and as a side-note, Kaleb (the friend), is one who I would label #FantasticMan — jsyk.

Video: Yoü & I — Lady Gaga

Our Lady of Gagalupe awaits thy arrival after the jump...

Models: New Faces, Louis Mayhew (RED)

Louis Mayhew, Dark Blonde, Green, 6'0.5", RED NY
full name, hair, eyes, height, agency

[photos via MDC]


BYT: Jill Scott

Here's yet another review I've recently done, this time for Philly's main Diva Jill Scott. She brought along Anthony Hamilton, Mint Condition, Doug E Fresh, and DJ Jazzy Jeff for the ride — she created a sort of contained Block Party; the music* went through a sea of hits from 70s/80s/90s (*DJ Jazzy Jeff played DJ — #redundancy). This woman holds almost as high a seat in my court of musicians as Beyoncé, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear her live. Click the image to check out my review.

eta: I forgot to mention, forever fierce songstress Mya was in attendance as well.

[Image via MetromixDC]

BYT: Darwin Deez (Round Two)

I'm going to just out and say it, forgive my lapse in journalistic integrity but for Darwin Deez' second stint at DC's Black Cat, I didn't actually witness any of their performance. I, in not too many words, left early — well, okay, I was ejected. The first time I saw them, they were charming, albeit gimmicky; I'm confident not much had changed with their formula if the photos are any indication. I heard parts of the opener, Caged Animals, they were moody, very much in keeping with the emotions of summer; but nothing spectacular. Turning to Darwin Deez, if you're wondering how I was able to (for lack of a better word) BS an entire review, click the photo above for my imagining of what that night may have been had I not been review.

[Photo via Farrah Skeiky/BYT]

Video: Otis - Kanye West & Jay-Z

That's All.

Video: Beyonce - Roseland Ballroom - NYC

The most coveted concert tickets this year sold out in a matter of 22 seconds, you can imagine my frustration. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, my Queen Diva Supreme, took the stage last night for the first show in her "Night of 4" residency at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Luckily there was footage of the opening night, and not poor footage either — so as I mourn my missing of such an amazing opportunity, you all can enjoy her performance after the jump. It's so funny to me how "hood" Bey's gotten since being married; she has such a different swagger now when she performs — don't get me wrong, no one's complaining over here. She goes in on "I Care" and "1+1"... all while sitting down mind you; in other words, she takes a major dookie on all of your favorites.

eta: unfortunately many of the videos have been removed from Youtube, but what I could scramble remains after the jump.

eta2: check out what Jay-Z had to say in a recent interview.

[audio clip courtesy of MartianLeaks]

Video: IT. IS. ON.

My only hope for this cycle is that these girls have learned something during their time away from the show about the industry; how very real [and unglamorous] being a working model can be. I'll try my best to reserve judgement until this premieres in the Fall; but I'd like to make it quite clear that I'm upset at the exclusion of that bi-racial butterfly Jade (she had much to say about that btw here and here). Check out a break-down of who's on this season after the jump... though it's no secret at this point.

Photo: The Fray


It's been a while since I've updated, and I feel it necessary to explain where my focus is currently directed. Work has dominated my time, followed by my internship, followed by friends & family. Personally, I have been seriously exhausted by it all, but am very thankful to actually have a full schedule once again. As summer winds down, I'm getting back into school mode, blasting through what should have been my last year in university. Every year I adopt some new consciousness, I don't know why, my only explanation is self-imposed self-improvement... it's all about evolving people; staying stagnate is no fun. With that said, this fall is all about the "Fantastic Man" – he is very much pulled from the late 40s, early 60s. I've taken to simply hash-tagging media that speaks to this theme, so keep your eyes open for it (like the above image for example).

[Image via Jak & Jil]

Books: The Book of Job[s]

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Previously titled "iSteve: The Book of Jobs" has received a new release date: November 21st. Being a total MacHead, this authorized biography of Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs (the first of its kind mind you) has me extremely excited. The man has been very cooperative with the publication of this biography, going so far as to not leave any topic untouchable. I'm sure there is much to be said about the journey to success of the man behind the world's most valuable company. If this book does well, it's pretty likely that a film adaptation will soon follow — Steve Jobs is as enigmatic as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and we know the latter spawned The Social Network (2010). Pre-orders are currently being offered through Amazon's bookstore; ignore the release date, the November date is the most recently updated.

eta: the back cover and binding images have been released...
"The cover," writes Isaacson in private e-mail, "is the Albert Watson portrait taken for Fortune in 2009. The back is a Norman Seeff portrait of him in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh, which ran in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The title font is Helvetica. It will look as you see it, with no words on the back cover." [Fortune/CNN Money]