Poet Mz. Conception Brings the art of ​Open Mic to Jamaica Queens | By: CookTP


When you think of open mics and poetry events, Queens, New York is not the first borough you think of (let’s be real). However, there are talented voices there that want their words heard and deserve a spot in the spoken word community without having to travel an hour and a half to do it.

Latisha Coleman also known as Mz. Conception, feels the same and made it her mission to bring that love of spoken word to the borough. The 22 year-old poet hosts a monthly open mic at the Afrikan Poetry Theatre in Jamaica, Queens.

“It’s open to the public,” she says. “We want to open up to the (Queens) community.” The free (yes, free!) open mic is every second Friday of the month and is the only open mic in the borough of Queens. Poets come with various messages, and simply want to share their words and support other performing artists.

Mz. Conception is also have a poet and has many endeavors currently in the works with her own writing. Conception is currently in the process of publishing a collection of poetry titled “Poetic Destiny.” This will be Conception’s first published book and will be followed by a series of novels with various themes including relationships (“Don’t Close the Book, Turn the Page”) and a compilation of personal writing (“A Story Behind Every Smile”). Her poem “Girl Smile” that will be in the published poetry book is currently being turned into a visual short film and will be released before the end of this year.

Mz. Conception aspires to spread the open mic to other areas of New York, however she says she wants to “set up a foundation” in Queens before extending to other places. With visionaries like this in the spoken word community, we may see a new wave of fearless writers and poets looking to follow in such large and passionate footsteps.

Learn more about Mz. Conception and her writing at http://www.poeticdestiny.co and visit the Free Expression Open Mic at the African Poetry Theatre every second Friday of every month for heartfelt poetry and (for fellow poets) honest support and feedback.

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Briana René: Inspirational Creativity Ignites | By: Nelson Tirado III


In a world where a cold shoulder is the norm, it’s difficult to realize there would be a person in this new generation who would strive to make a difference. However, there is one person who is standing up and out, breaking the silence, and her name is Briana René. Only 17 years old and born in Brooklyn, New York, she is using her love for life, art, poetry, and music to influence the people around her for the better as she began singing at 4 years old, and poetry at 8. Words to describe her would be “aspiring,” “ambitious,” and “soul-searching” as Brianna enlightens others through her a heat-warming positive aura, beauty and beautiful mind, funny and wise character, and mental stimulation. She is an overall young Moesha of sorts with a “good vibes only” innovative mindset. We had the distinguished honor to interview Briana René:

BLACK: What inspired you to write “Afraid to Love” and “Education,” and are there any underlining meanings you wanted your audience to know about?  
The inspiration behind “Afraid to Love” was to express everyone’s fear of vulnerability with the wrong person. On the other hand, “Education” is pretty intense and powerful where I give the people the truth. Knowledge is power.

BLACK: Who showed/taught you how to write poetry and/or singing?
I was taught how to write poetry when I was in the 2nd grade. I wrote acronyms, haikus, diamanté, and limericks. When I got older, I wrote one poem one day, and since then continued to reveal my talent. Furthermore, I began singing at 4 on my own. I feel it was God’s gift to me. Growing up, I was in choir, live performances, and church to help build my voice.

BLACK: What challenges do you face when writing?
 I used to get writer’s block and get upset when I didn’t write. Now it’s much easier because I love writing and it’s more intriguing when I’m in a bad mood to create poetry.

BLACK: Where would you like to perform your pieces of poetry?
I would like to perform my pieces of poetry at BAM one day or events that are really popular to get my voice out there.

BLACK: Will there be any projects/upcoming performances in the near future?
I hope. I’m focused on school right now and it’s been hectic so I don’t really have time to do much with my singing. However, I wanted to go to the studio and record. Then, with my poetry I would love to get promoted for poetry slams.

BLACK: How do you see yourself in the future fulfilling your purpose as to influencing the people, and the world around you?
  I see myself as an innovator because of my keen mind and eccentric behavior. I want to create a different vibe to create peace and help the homeless. When I enter college, I wish to continue with my talents. I would major in Vocal Performance and minor in Creative Writing. I would love to get a master’s degree in vocal performance and go on from there. I really love what I’m blessed with. Since I was little girl, I always said I wanted to be a superstar like Beyoncé or Rihanna. I would reenact music videos. I’ve always being told that I have star potential which is my biggest motivation. I won’t stop until I achieve and excel in life.

Education by Briana René

Having an education is serious
If you don’t let your mind enhance
You will have no chance
Learning and knowledge is respected
Not something that needs to be neglected
In America you should know what is expected
Become a televised robot to the societal standards of something that’s pathetic
When you pick up a book
You make others jealous
We both know when two strong minds collide
One wants to defeat
And the other wants to win
It’s a competitive and crazy life we’re born in.

Afraid to Love by Briana René

​ We’re scared of lonely
Scared of what would make us love with fear
Fear of someone not being there
Neglect is the biggest scare
Yet we rather have people hurt us and love those who aren’t even there
Surprisingly the truth be told, everything that glitters ain’t gold
And love is like a symphony that we wish to be a beautiful epiphany
To create with the mind a fantasy
A king and his queen
We want to dwell in everlasting love
However, we have to love ourselves before we can love someone else.




Terra Kati: A Musicality-Breaking Innovator | By: Nelson Tirado III


Twenty-four year old Singer, and songwriter and member of F.A.N.G G.A.N.G, Terra Kati is breaking the technicality of music through her organic and animated voice. Her sound is rebellious, yet recognizes the current state of Hip Hop, calming and yet ambient showcasing her versatile capabilities. Her backstory stems from being birthed from Earth itself, and thus journeying through new locations and thoughts through sound every two years at most in hopes to finding her purpose through her adventures, and discovering the true meaning of peace within oneself and others around her.

In Terra Kati’s latest adventure, the listener finds her in Queens, New York where the most up frontal location for culture and diversity is found which allows her to experience all sorts of individualism, rebellion, and innovation at her front door. One of my favorite tracks is “Find A Way,” and “Run With You—” coming from her “Terra Kati (Earth Music)” body of music as she states within,

“If I was your soul I’d bless you while you sleep, wrap you up in colors and caress you while you dream. Never you’ll forget I’m the one to shadow clouds and learn to take high. The one who wants to show you to your inside. Baby do I make you alive?”

​ This is set as a prelude to her untitled EP on its way to debut early 2015. Want to hear more? Here is the link to all of Terra Kati’s latest hits: TerraKati

Also Visit the F.A.N.G G.A.N.G website for more info on Terra Kati: IamFang



What is Love | By: Megan FeliX


Dive into the warmth and fuzziness (as Thewildhoneypie likes to call it) of “Pillar of Salt” in I Am Love’s lead single on the self-titled Album that is said to release January 20, 2015.

Joshua Christopher, Will Whitmire and Kris Jackson certainly know where the heart lies when it comes to noble music and there’s always something distinctive that derives from the merged gap of two popular genres of music. Similar to the sound of Arcade Fire, I Am Love has taken their folk-rock flare on tour from San Francisco all the way to the city that never sleeps, NYC (Click here for tour tickets).

“We make music to inspire people to be their highest selves, to know that they too can create,” says vocalist/guitarist Joshua. And it’s true! Starting off as a folk-gypsy band I Am Love has made plenty of changes including the transformation into a smooth indie ensemble, talk about coming a long way.

To feel the love and get into the groove of awesome music visit:


And check out their Music Video for “Ghost in the Hallway”:

Phylicia’s Closet: Fashion for the Holidays


Holiday style: In my opinion, a great color pallet for the Thanksgiving holiday includes camel, cream, black and other dark but rich colors such as burgundy and green. For the girl who loves to be “dressed up” adding some sparkle, fur and a red lip can go a long way.


Thanksgiving fashion: For the woman whose comfort matters the most. Cozy tweed sweaters and jeans can work really well together. To make the look a little more festive, add heel booties and chunky accessories.


The relaxed man’s holiday look: this is a classic yet comfortable look for the holidays. Even though converses can make any look casual, adding a button up and knit cardigan really adds sophistication.


Jazz it up for the holidays: this look is all about being funky yet well dressed! Not all men are fans of fedoras but kudos to the men who can pull them off. They really add an extra touch that can totally change up a look.



Quanna Keeps it Real on EP “Q” | By: CookTP


As much as we love our Nickis, our Azaleas, and our Iggys of the world, sometimes you need to turn the radio off and put your headphones to the streets for a new flavor in your ear. Emcee/singer Quanna MC is a gifted young woman who keeps it real and cute on the mic. The self-proclaimed “New York transplant” from Savannah, Georgia has a sound that bangs against speakers and demands your fully deserved attention.

Quanna’s music comes with an air of honesty and sincerity, a quality that is running dry in the mainstream music industry. On her latest EP entitled “Q,” Quanna gets really real and introduces her audience, the old and new listeners, to her life wrapped in crafted lyricism and tight beats. The project sparks with personality and spunk and tells a “coming-of-age” story that many young women can relate to. The project is a lyrical memoir. Quanna gets girly on “Crush” sampling Lil’ Kim’s 1997 single “Crush on You” and delivers heartfelt bars on “Hurtin” when that love comes crashing down. Her turn up, anthem-like tracks “Bossin” and “Like Me” gets the ladies hype and feeling bossed up.

It takes a talented rapper to balance multiple sounds, but being the artist she is Quanna handles the challenge with grace. The emcee’s music effortlessly jumps genres, from Southern Trap influences to R&B and Hip Hop. Her versatility is one to be admired and aspired by from other artists looking to reach a wide range of audiences. Q features artists that compliment both of Quanna’s Southern roots and her New York love, blending sounds to create one sonically cohesive project.

Quanna MC performs all over from New York and New Jersey to Texas and her home state of Georgia. Stay caught up via her website quannathemc.com and see her tear up stages and get a taste of her realness.