Major Found, Value Not Guaranteed? | By: Nelson Tirado III

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I’ve come from choosing Forensic Chemistry when I was a freshman until changing to a Criminal Justice major by sophomore year for one semester, and then finally became a Writing major with a minor in African American Studies. My mother took me to my first library when I was three years old. I remember stumbling upon shelves stacked with crinkled soft cover fiction novels. It was in that library where I found my favorite children’s books of all time—the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol. I still have my first library card from Lehman College issued Thursday, March 2, 2000 in my wallet (I have a total of three library cards). I have a fond sense of learning, observing, analyzing, and interpreting whatever catches my eye, and arrange them into written form. When you put these experiences, and many more together it’s not that difficult to realize why I would chose Writing as my “end all” major. However, the Writing major, and others across all academic fields are facing a crisis of devalue—a crisis which trickles to the question of whether or not college is worth the effort.

According to Next Gen Personal Finance, not all college majors guarantee a high value financially; however, the value is placed higher by the student’s investment and how personally the major is valued. In perspective, I would state that writing allows me to branch off into many other fields such as journalism, sports, film, entertainment, music and much more. This is so for any major of choice, especially towards the increasing demand for creativity, expression, and strife for change in the black community.

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There will be many opinions; however, you will have to face when embracing the major you so desire. “You won’t make any kind of money or job as a Writing Major” a professor once told me. Nonetheless, I value my major far more than others based upon how impactful it has been in my upbringing. Here are a few tips, tricks, and advice I have found useful in order to not be distracted from opinions and statistics, and focus on giving my major the greatest value it truly has:

  1. What is it that you can’t live without? (It can be from a simple gesture from others to a personal item that motivates you)
  2. What topics of interests surrounds you? (IE: Music, Fashion, Business, Arts)
  3. Would you be able to give back just as much as you received?
  4. Remember the first person(s) who influenced you the most to follow your passion.
  5. Focus on what allows you to be yourself, rather than creating a façade.
  6. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” This old saying helps when you find yourself questioning how ahead you think you aren’t.
  7. Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment honestly. This measures your personality and illustrates what preferences you engage in the most. (I am an INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. Although, I can be extroverted when I want to and in most social environments)
  8. Make sure to be fully connected and engaged with the major you want. (IE: Attend meetings/conferences/webinars, and connect with others in your preferences on all social media)
  9. Engage with others, and allow yourself to be more practical in your major of choice.
  10. Would I be able to function properly if the major I wanted did not exist anywhere at all?

Here’s a clip of Seinfeld being satirical towards the ideas writers have, or is it:

The Great Debaters, Your Righteous Mind:

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The Husel to Stay Relevant

The Husel to Stay Relevant | By: CookTP

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​ What happens when recording artists dramatically change their sound to follow a trend and chase the money? You get Musiq Soulchild’s new persona “The Husel” and an unenthused fan base. A few months ago, rumors sparked about the 37-yea-old singer/songwriter “changing up his style”. No one expected the highly respected neo-soul singer to become a flashy, boisterous rapper.

The recording artist formerly known as Musiq Soulchild is now calling himself “The Husel”. The Husel wears all black attire with jewelry shining bright and a black crown atop his head. The music The Husel creates is nothing near neo-soul, but more so similar to the rest of the catchy, repetitive rap music you’d normally hear on your favorite urban radio stations. This is the sound The Husel was going for: similar to the rest of the current rapper’s out now.

Musiq… I mean, The Husel was created to follow a trend in music because to the artist, the R&B genre is “struggling”. On a recent interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee, The Husel seemed more than a little agitated with how the media is responding to his new route in music. In the video he gets easily frustrated that people are confused and questioning his direction.

“R&B as far as numbers go and the industry, it’s not as poppin’ as it used to be,” The Husel says. “They [the audience] are gravitating towards Hip-Hop that’s more like Pop… I don’t feel like (people who can write real songs, who can move you emotionally) is a top priority.”

The “Dontchange” singer seems to be upset about how his music career swayed over the past years. The last album released by Musiq Soulchild was MusiqInTheMagiq in 2011, which was mildly well received on music charts, selling 33,000 copies in its first week and reaching number 8 on Billboards Top 200 list of that year. However, radio rotation lacked and the buzz of that album died as quickly as it had begun.

Was Musiq Soulchild ever truly about his music? The Husel suggests that R&B is on a downward slope and “lacking”. I do not believe this to be the case. It could be said that the struggling artist couldn’t keep up with the current trend of the genre. He says he feels his music was falling on deaf ears and asked fans that are unsupportive of The Husel character “where were you when my album came out?”

​ It is safe to say Musiq Soulchild simply wanted to be successful. However, when that success didn’t come with R&B, The Husel was born. This type of mentality is what brings down the authenticity of the music industry. There are very few real singers and rappers who remember the ART in recording artist. The industry is saturated with money chasers who are willing to sell themselves for cheap to make a buck and that kind of “hustle” may never be respected.

Phylicia’s Closet: Summer Trends Meets Fall

c900x900I have been seeing this alot lately and while it may not be every man’s favorite trend, i decided to go out on a limb here and give men props for new style inspiration. Dont put your shorts away just yet. In case you love this trend heres how to do it!!

c900x900-1I think most of us know that when it comes to clothing, men are for the most part very simple beings. They are able to mix and match things all year long. The main staple of this look is the denim sleeveless jacket. It can be worn with a button up for a tapered style or a sweatshirt and sneakers for a more relaxed hipster/skateboarder look!

c900x900-2The maxi is not only for summer. Mix it up using fall hues. This look can be a classy but playful work look. The maxi skirt is all about living boldly while the accessories tone the look down a notch!

c900x900-3Crop tops can be an essential in your Fall wardrobe as well. Its all about the details with this look. Pair this perforated crop top with funky pants and statement shoes. Be subtle yet delibrate in your choice of accessories and makeup which will tie the entire look together.

c900x900-4Get festive with this look! Incorporate your fancy summer time shorts into a chic Fall ensemble by pairing it with tights and a blazer. Keep it comfy yet classy in structured flats, accessories to match and the perfect pout!

FOR MORE POLYVORES IN PHYLICIA’S CLOSET VISIT: Theefashionnurse

 

Get Hip to Recording Artist TC-Uno | By: CookTP

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Recording artists are always shouting out their ‘hoods and expressing how much they love to give back to their home communities, but we rarely get to see that effort. Well, that regular storyline is not the case with Jersey rapper, TC-Uno also known as “Musical Papa”. Born Ashton Burrell, TC-Uno is a 22 year-old recording artist who is dedicated to more than just his music. In 2011 during his sophomore year at Lincoln University (Oxford, Pennsylvania), he started a mentoring program in his hometown, Highland Park, New Jersey. TC assists children between the ages of 9 and 19 with homework, SAT preparation, and general guidance through his LIVE Mentorship Program. The program also conducts many charitable events including food and coat drives, Veteran’s Day dinners, and free family photo shoots. Not many artists can say they’re extremely hands-on with youth, however TC has yet to take his focus off his kids.

“The program started with just one kid,” he recalls, “and now it’s about 25.” Especially during his years in college, TC would travel from his campus in Pennsylvania to his hometown in Jersey to mentor the kids every Thursday. Now, being a recent graduate (May of this year) TC can focus a little more on his music and dedicate himself to his craft.

Outside of his mentoring talents, TC puts his heart into his music. His critically acclaimed mixtape Fly Life Volume 1 was well received by music reviewers, DJs, and bloggers across three continents. Big name artists have recognized his drive and love for music by the likes of Wale, Meek Mill, Travis Porter, and Joel Ortiz. Even with his music skyrocketing and allowing him to build a name for himself, TC doesn’t want to gain that “star attitude”.

“I’ve seen artists be blatantly rude to people,” he says as he remembers watching an interaction with another famed rapper and a backstage worker. “I don’t want to be like that. You never know what those people can do for you. You may need that connect one day. You might need t-shirts made and someone you were just rude to may have a cousin who makes tees. You never know. It’s all about reputation.” However, it’s highly unlikely that TC would ever gain that high-and-mighty demeanor. His down-to-Earth vibe keeps him grounded and close to his fans, which quite a few are the students he mentors.

“I switched up what my music was about because I knew they were listening. I was cursing a lot on my old music, but I changed it up for my coming projects.”

TC-Uno’s upcoming album, Midas, is expected to drop late January and have vibes from just about every genre.

“I haven’t added reggae yet,” he admits, “but maybe I can find some space for it somewhere.”  So while TC-Uno is inspiring kids during the day, he’ll also be delivering bangers in the night. He plans to extend his LIVE Mentorship Program to other locations and take his sound global (again).

Stay tuned for TC-Uno’s music, presence, and future endeavors (which also includes a TV series in January) in 2015!

Brentnol Adams: Bringing Flavor from your Ears to your Tastebuds | By: Nelson Tirado III

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Notoriously known as “Chef Papi,” Brentol Adams had an exquisite taste for music and the arts after joining the band when in grade school. Growing up in the Bensonhurst Brooklyn area naturally exposed and influenced him to many cultural themes, backgrounds, and personal experiences. He continued pursuing his passion by becoming a band major for the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. However, he found an innovative way to blend his passion to the uniqueness in his family-owned restaurant, “Two Steps Down—” mastering the craft of cooking by moving up in position, from a dishwasher to kitchen operations manager.

After learning under his family’s wings, Brentnol increased his natural talent, passion, and craftsmanship of cooking under the knowledge of world-renowned mentors and executive chefs, such as Bravo TV’s Top Chef of New York, Brian Pancir whom he highly values his knowledge from. In the video, “Chef Papi” was interviewed on Dre’s House for Chef Brian Pancir’s Chef Challenge. The theme was “New Orleans meets Little Italy, New York,” in which he made a Cajun lobster sautéed with a brown bourbon glaze, dirty Louisiana rice and an Italian risotto with an asparagus sautéed with a sweet bourbon glaze.  Here are a few pictures of his tasteful craft:

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Brentnol Adams currently serves as the Lead Cook for The Players Circle at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Here is more detailed information of the family-run restaurant, Two Doors Down, reviewed by TimeOut New York Brentnol Adams strives for the day culinary students and food enthusiasts will be influenced by his vision of cooking from its soul, and illustrate each dish as a masterpiece.

 

Phylicia’s Closet: Match that Style: Solange

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My favorite celebrity fashionista and style icon is Solange Knowles. She is the epitome of what fashion is all about, taking risks and not “following”trends but instead incorporating them in a way that suits you! Solange’s style is funky yet classy. I like to call her the master of color, prints and patterns. Some might say that many of her looks are fashion fails but I say never! Pattern play is not a fashion faux pas.

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Wear this as a casual weekend look, fun day out or even to school.

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Dont let anyone tell you that mixing patterns and prints are a NO! In fact when done correctly, it can make for a very chic look. Wear one skirt two different ways. The first look works well for a night out with the girls while the second look can be great for work or brunch!

 

FOR MORE POLYVORES IN PHYLICIA’S CLOSET VISIT: Theefashionnurse

Introducing: Phoenix “Last Time” Ft. Bravo | By: Jazmine Abner

Introducing: Phoenix “Last Time” Ft. Bravo | By: Jazmine Abner

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​ Brooklyn’s own Phoenix has released a visual for his debut track “Last Time.” And we’re impressed! The visual tells the story of Phoenix being a chick snatcher & awakening her sexual appetite.

The Flatbush Avenue singer has a tone similar to Jeremih but a style all his own. According to the R&B perfectionist, artists like Usher, R.Kelly & Frank Ocean helped mold his style.

“…These artists are present in my songs as far as the style and tone combined with my unique voice. R. Kelly will always be my favorite singer because he practically raised me and made me appreciate true R&B music. I absorbed so much from him and I plan to bring soul back into R&B, which I feel like it’s presently lacking today,” Phoenix says.

Surprisingly, “Last Time” is Phoenix’s first released video & the feedback is incredible. He is currently working on a visual for his single entitled “I Got You,” which is also expected to be on his debut mix tape “Winter Music.” Check out the video: