BLKSUNCHILD: Music in the Paintbrush | By: Jacklyn Thudd

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With just two hundred dollars in hand, a young lad took a trip to New York City in hopes of finding his soul. BLKSUNCHILD, formerly known as Daryle Carstaphen, an artistic young man with a knack for visual art and music was once that young boy. After joining a movement called “CUZIMBLK” in 2013, his outlook on the world of arts was forever reformed.

“My art ranges from Hip-Hop, poetry, photography, illustration and painting,” BLKSUNCHILD told Black Magazine. In the midst of expressing himself through his work, he found a deep love in uplifting the culture of art and “perpetuating the innovative growth of our generation’s blessed creators.”

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In his latest visual piece, BLKSUNCHILD promotes the essence of the Black woman through the ink of an animated pen and a watercolor paintbrush. The creation was an image of a woman embracing her strength and divinity (his overall view of the Black woman). The painting also happens to be a portrait of a close friend who was an active female producer.

To find more upcoming work of BLKSUNCHILD of request a painting visit him on Instagram: @sunisblack

​ And follow his movement: @Twitter.com/blksunchild @Twitter.com/cuzimblk

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‘LeCrazy’ over Lecrae: New Movement on the Rise | By: Nelson Tirado III

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“The system didn’t plan for this.” The notorious line hip hop artist, Lecrae ever announced for his newly, seventh studio album “Anomaly” which was released early September. Co-Founder of the independent record label, Reach Records, and leader of the 116 Clique (a southern hip-hop group illustrating what it means to live in your purpose and finding greater, under dope lyrics and sound). Nonetheless, Lecrae is no beginner when it comes to building tight lyrics, mixed in with quality-sounding beats. It has been the lyrics; however, which has been creating quite the buzz around the mainstream, emphasizing the message of actually discussing real-world, hard-hitting topics such as drugs, suicide/homicides, and addictions, all the while directing listeners of the hip-hop industry to a greater answer.

Don’t let his approach fool you to think he doesn’t know top rap artists in the game as he shouted out Nipsey, Kendrick Lamar, The Game, and the entire West Coast in his “I’m Turnt” single off his “Church Clothes 2” mixtape—his second mixtape showcasing his southern roots, and unique style. Throughout the album, Lecrae speaks of what it means to be an “anomaly,” that is to branch off from what is expected in the world, into a much higher standard. Lecrae raps all of while with style and discussing situations he was in himself, but didn’t define him. The album has also reached Number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 with over 88,000 copies sold worldwide.

​ Check out his top two songs off the Anomaly album, “Nuthin,”“All I Need Is You,” and look forward to finding Lecrae on tour in a city near you.

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La’China B: The College Girl Launch | By: Nelson Tirado III & Tamara Dotson

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On August 17, Black Magazine’s interns Tamara Dotson and Nelson Tirado III visited the Smoothies: The College Girl Launch affair. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Tamara Dotson

I was excited to attend The College Girl Launch and learn more about this event. With just a pen, a notebook, a load of ideas and a few minimum waged paychecks, La’China B. took just a few hours out of each day to invest in project that she now refers to as a business – “The College Girl (by La’China B.)”

I got the chance to speak with the 21-year-old lipstick entrepreneur and founder behind the new Brooklyn, NY based, innovative brand on the rise. This brand inspires many young females around the globe to embrace both the positive and negative experiences in college and to place them into a tube to “wear it” as a symbolic gesture of ambition. She is used to working alone but now has a team and plans to support beauty, confidence, exploration, education, and style within her generation and to pursue a brand that is more than just makeup, but a movement. La’China does poetry and fitness in her spare time as well. I received the chance to interview two of her models for the fashion show. Both of them work for G7 Agency. Meet Asia and Jazmyne.
Tamara: What do you like about the brand?
Asia: I like that that La’China is taking a risk and that the product is filled with everyday colors to wear.

Tamara: How can she expand her brand?
Jazmyne: She can bring more people on board by word of mouth but otherwise I love the way things are going.

Follow these lovely ladies: @Msasiamonique  & @2_clothes_minded.

I also got a chance to interview Ericka, owner of empress designs. The models got to rock her handmade clutches and it was a pleasure talking to her because I know her and purchased a clutch from her. Here’s what she had to say about her purchased lip-gloss from La’China The College Girl line.

Tamara: How do you like the product?

Ericka: I like the feel but thought it looked better a shade lighter so I only put a little bit on.

Tamara: I agree. How do you like the event?

Ericka: It’s a little hot but overall good and nice DJ.

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You can follow her on Instagram at @empress_designs
Hope to attend more events in the future to support a brand that has a great purpose.

 

Nelson Tirado III

 

CEO of The College Girl Cosmetics, La’China B. has a creative inspiration, which comes from the belief of being “outside-outside” of the box. She said she has been seeing feedback from many groups, and aspires to create a “rippling effect” within certain areas and colleges. Nonetheless, she has been appearing in poetry groups in Brooklyn, and found leading cancer walks and fitness classes with her team within the community. I’ve asked if there will there be any “high focused” projects such as lipstick creams for different majors, classes, and/or colleges. She hinted a slight possibility, but of course to be unannounced of any concrete details.
Interview with Star-Asia Johnson, La’China’s Personal Assistant for 3 years
Nelson: What do you like specifically about La’China’s brand?
Star-Asia Johnson
: I can relate to her because I am also a student, and I had to drop-out because I couldn’t afford school. She shows people that we can do anything, and the college life is like a brand. They don’t teach students in high school how to actually live in reality. They don’t teach them how to do income tax, etc. I really like the idea, for girls who don’t know where to go.


Nelson
: How do you see this influencing the community?
Star-Asia Johnson: The line influencing the girls from 18 years, basically teenagers from 14-18 years old. Because when you go to high school, you just don’t know. You’re new to everything. She teaches things that can actually help you grow.

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Nelson: How have you seen La’China grow? Have you seen a moment where she was struggling to where she is now, and the feeling of that growth?
Star-Asia Johnson: I’ve been with her since high school. She was always the girl that was in the hallways going to class on time. She is dedicated to her work…but she has grown a lot. She’s more humble and she’s more stable. She’s more grown. She was immature because she was mad because of school, but she’s more humble.
Nelson: What is the number one element of the line you would like to see succeed? Whether it is expanding, entrepreneurship, a cause, or anything?
Star-Asia Johnson: I think expanding. Because the way she talks about it—it can go really go far. It’s more, like a clothing brand, school, getting kids involved with reality. I think entrepreneurship and sponsorship. She can really go far, and I support it.

Guest Interviews
Nelson: What do you like specifically about the brand?
Kortney: I like her brand because she found a way to capitalize out of a very unique situation. She turned the college experience that she had, and what it wouldn’t be like and turned that into a way for her to express her passion cosmetics. She really was able to tell a story behind her line, and not a lot of people do. She had a unique experience overall to build this cosmetic line—it’s different from the others, and that is why I support her and the brand.
Akua: She went out of the box, and didn’t sticked to the basic colors. It really is out there and pops, and has a lot of bright colors.
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Nelson: How do you see this influencing the community?
Kortney: She gets involved in a lot of things and the community. She does cancer walks with some of her girls, fitness classes which is a big thing in the black community—staying fit. That’s her way to reach out to the community, and allow them to join her in a positive way.
Akua: Her product is very urban whereas she’s from an urban community, and is able to appeal to the girls in the community. It also shows them that you can do other things than just standing around. She didn’t let her surroundings define who she is, and to go out the box, start her own name.
Nelson: How have you seen La’China grow? Have you seen a moment where she was struggling to where she is now, and the feeling of that growth?
Akua: When I met China she really had a shy personality. But I see her in that growth, independent woman who know what she wants, and goes for it.
Kortney: I agree [with Akua’s comment]. I actually didn’t meet her until after the college experience. But like she [Akua] in school she was a very great dancer, and in overall she was a very quiet person. So for now to see her do this, you can tell she has broken out of her personal shell—to really step out there and do this, is really an amazing thing to do, and she’s really put all of that to the side (the quiet and reserve person) and does what she has to do to get her line out there. She’s very goal-oriented and very ambitious. She’s doing her thing—I’m not mad at her, she’s doing her thing.
Nelson: What is the number one element of the line you would like to see succeed? Whether it is expanding, entrepreneurship, a cause, or anything?
Kortney: I would definitely say for her to expand into other markets and cities. For what Akua said, right now it’s like a very urban product. She reaches into a lot of urban communities and urban, young women that respond to her product. But I would like to see her reach to other communities in all the boroughs. I would like to see her in Manhattan, Staten Island, wherever. First, it’s just Brooklyn. She’s taking the proper steps to get there, and I feel like right now she’s really confined to this area. But I would like to see her expand into the entire New York too. She’s making her way. She keeps doing events like this [regarding the product launch], cancer walks, and getting her name and exposure out there, she will gain that market. That’s what I want to see for her, because she has a really great line. I feel like right now it’s confined in one area of New York.
Akua: She [Kortney] really took everything that I wanted to say. I definitely feel like the business partnerships that will eventually take her into stores. Maybe like a high-end type of store, Sephora. For instance, you see Sephora has a product with a lot of colors which can help expand her line as well.

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The minute I walked into the room, I felt as though I had transferred from a street in Brooklyn to a room filled with glamorous pictures of women dressed to the nine. With refreshments being served, to furniture decorated accurately fit for a young, ambitious woman on her way into her dream career—it sure did feel like a Friday night with today’s top hip-hop and pop hits in the college suite. As the event was underway, CEO of The College Girl Cosmetics, La’China B., walked my way with a graceful aura, which can spark a goal-oriented dream, or two. I took the opportunity to speak to her until she began the successful fashion show—with flawless and effortlessly looking models as students all dressed and prepared for academic success under the newest line of matte lip creams, “Smoothies.” After the fashion show, I had a chance to speak with the models who all agreed that they loved the new line, and excited for how long-lasting and colorful each cream of the line brings to the table as La’China B. raffled off a few of them while many more lined up to buy. Overall, I loved the theme of the brand as a whole, and the confidence the new line brings for the young generation of women, eagerly looking for a leader, who La’China B. is, as a cosmetic trendsetter with many more dreams to fulfill in the near future.

 

BLACK would like to thank La’China B. and the whole team for inviting us to such an awesome event.
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African Americana: Reintroduction to 90s Kid Retro | By: Michele Robotham-Smith

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The worlds of music and fashion are quickly changing, but just as the box braid and maxi skirt have found their ways back onto our heads and into our closets we’ve recaptured a love for the 90’s retro music. Black Magazine interviewed the group African Americana on their take of ‘90’s kid retro stuff.’ The group consists of Tommy Superior, and Alex & Her. The two men were gracious enough to allow Black Magazine a few minutes for a quick interview.

Black Magazine: What is the story behind African Americana?
Tommy Superior: The project consists of Alex & I. We started in Macon, Georgia in 2011 because we felt there was a need for something more in music. Songs that are not restricted by a genre, but rather formed naturally from ideas, visuals & vibes that is in our realm.

Superior went on to note that “classic cyberpunk fiction, the internet, and foreign cult films have inspired the band” and their sound. As of now the group has relocated from Georgia and now operates primarily in New York, which is a pleasure to Superior, as he is a Brooklyn Native.

Black Magazine: Who are Tommy Superior and Alex & her?
Tommy Superior: [At the age of 23], I’m a guitarist, singer, song writer/producer & all around artist. I grew up in NY and have always been surrounded by music since my birth. My father worked at Viacom/MTV and my mother worked at Sony Entertainment

Superior was exposed to popular names in the music industry from a young age. He’s hobnobbed with the likes of Michael Jackson, Lillo Thomas, Salt-N-Pepa, and 50 Cent to name a few. At the age of 15 he moved to New Jersey and attended Columbia High School, the Alma Mata of Lauryn Hill and SZA. He moved to Georgia and received a “crash course in blues guitar from some of the greats like Robert Lee Coleman & many others ranging from artist that played/recorded with Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers & Lynyrd Skynyrd”.

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Alex & Her: I’m an artist, son of retired designer and graffiti artist. Being a visual artist and designer myself is my way of living up to their name. My musical roots started with Rap back in 2006. The name is ambiguous, no one knows exactly who “Her” is. Some believe it to be an ex-girlfriend; some say is the universal euphemism for Hip-hop. I met Tommy in 2009. We had a mutual liking of anime, gaming, comics, which we take our inspiration from. The rest is history.

Black Magazine: What’s the next project for African Americana?
Alex & Her: We’re working on all sorts of stuff right now. Just fleshing out ideas and getting as much new material as possible. It may all be on one album or broken up into several small albums.

Alex & her went on to assure us that the project will be good, with visuals to accompany it. Superior added that African Americana is working on a short movie that will incorporate the songs from their upcoming project. He noted, “There will be a lot more live instruments on this release and like I said, our sound incorporates our environment. So us being in NY some songs will sound a little different from our previous release, but will still have the great vibes that fans have come to love from African Americana.”

As for past projects, Superior said, “Our most well received project to date has been the video for our 1st single “Halloween In July” which was directed by Alex and shot by our good friend JayRosay who works with Grand Hustle.” He went on to add ‘Halloween in July’, received “well over 50,000 views, but was removed after some personal issues with one of the participants. It’s back up now, but hasn’t received quite the same turn around.”

Black Magazine would like to thank African Americana for their time for this article. Black cannot wait to see what African Americana has in store for us.

​ Please check out Halloween in July, we here at Black Magazine believe that you, our readers will really enjoy it.

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FKA Twigs: The New Cool | By: Zainab Floyd

FKA Twigs: The New Cool | By: Zainab Floyd

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Baby hair curls, eerie soulful vocals, insanely compelling beats, and a British edge stacked against one another in one big punch this is FKA TWIGS for you.

Born as Tahlilah Debrett Barnett, FKA twigs began as a dancer, dancing in music videos for singers such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and Tiao Cruz just to name a few. The singer-song writer appeared on the I-D magazine and gained a lot of attention for her wide eyes, and gelled baby hairs. Many people were fascinated by her, and were very much interested in what she did.

Her I-D magazine cover could be one of the very reasons of why many were cringing to know her, and so the world typed her name in YouTube, and discovered eerie, uncomfortable, interesting, and beautiful music videos from her album EP1 in 2012, that she debuted on BandCamp.

Her latest album LP1 her voice is soft, sexual, and haunting. In particular her song Lights On reveals moments of honesty, and rawness. Each song reveals something new about her or her subject she is singing about.

She has pushed the boundary setting trends, and distinct beauties in music again.

SAMPHA: Voice Engulfed By Love| By: Zainab Floyd

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Can you imagine a soothing, soulful, and deep voice against a beat that is euphoric but with a sinful, and desirable appeal to it? If you can imagine it, it is definitely SAMPHA bringing this image to life.

Each word he sings brings a raw emotion that, music lovers can easily connect with.

Sampha Sisay was born in South London. His love for music rooted as a young boy, when his father would by a CD every week after work and each time he’d come home, there would be a new artists to listen, and learn from. The youngest of five brothers he’d sit in his small bedroom and produce beats instead of doing homework, it was a way to pass time, and a get away.

​ What was then seen as a hobby, or to pass time while he’d sit in his room after school: the gift to produce, and write music has given him the opportunity to collaborate with Drake, Solange, Jessie Ware, and SBTRKT which he has glittered his magic touch on each track.

In his recent EP’s Sundanza, and Dual each track gives us a unique and fresh edge, which keeps on the tip of our toes never to expect a blast of new color.

His fans wonder which route he’ll take in his next album/ EP. Hopefully he keeps to his roots, but will continue to go against the grid in a new innovative way.

Juliette Jules: New Teenage Sensation| By: Megan Felix

Juliette Jules: New Teenage Sensation| By: Megan Felix

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Folk and acoustic is how you would musically describe the voice of 16-year old Juliette Jules. But when we’re talking from a descriptive point of view, only one word can be used, heavenly. According to her manager, Peter Karroll, the first time he heard her sing, “Was an incredible moment to experience.” With a voice more powerful than the norm of an average teenage artist, Jules has used her gift to tell tales of love, friends and family. Her background in Opera singing and classical music shines through the melodious hums of her fender acoustic guitar and the vibrations of her harmonious vocal cords.

​In her new EP, Juliette Jules – Black Crow EP that released on her birthday, Jules set the bar with a track list of five unforgettable tunes. The EP opens up with a soft folk-pop number, “Johnny Was.” The song is made up of a guitar and piano blend sitting behind a gentle voice. The song also holds a similar feel to the second song on the EP, “Black Crow,” which is a bit more emotional and the exact reason the EP is named just that.

Juliette Jules has reinvented the music of the 60s and 70s and made it more modern than ever before. Will she be the next big thing? Only one way to find out!

​Visit her journey below:

Soundcloud

Bandcamp