Top 5 Songs for Summer 2k15 | By: Jazmine Abner

The weather is getting hotter by day, lets make sure your airwaves are up to par. These are the top five, “must have at your annual summer barbecue” hip hop songs for the upcoming summer:

679- Fetty Wap ft. Montana Buckz

Paterson, New Jersey’s own Fetty Wap is the next groundbreaking hip hop artist. His unique sound & female anthem “Trap Queen”, which peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 has solidified his spot for the summer. Check out his summer banger  “679”

Bum Bum- Kat Deluna ft. Trey Songz

Trap N*****- Future

Future has been keeping busy since the beginning of the year. His visual project “56 Nights” has kept the streets bumping and his name buzzing. Hits like “Commas” will keep him in this summer’s limelight.

Post To Be REMIX- Omarion ft. Dej Loaf, Trey Songz, Ty Dolla Sign & Rick Ross

Omarion’s strong comeback single “Post To Be” is remixed and revamped for the summer. His album did quite well considering his break from the industry. Dej Loaf and Trey Songz provide us with catchy melodic verses while Ty Dolla Sign & Rick Ross utilize their signature flows. Check it out !

Milly Rock x 2 Milly

Brooklyn Rappers Milly Rock & 2 Milly has the east coast rocking on every block. The catchy song and Brooklyn dance has went viral and is expected to be this summers New York anthem! Hit play & Milly Rock with us for the summer.

What are some of your favorite summer bangers? Leave your comments

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Matt The Violinist: The Next Big Thing | By: Krista Bryant

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Many people have heard of the name Matt Silvera but really don’t know the kind of talents that this man possesses. Matt is a well known DJ, dancer, and violinist. The Bronx native turned to music at a very young age and used it as an outlet to steer himself away from any forms of negativity, being that it was such a prevalent factor in his community where he grew up. Matt, who goes under the moniker “Matt The Violinist,” has made a name for himself throughout New York City as a violinist by mixing popular songs from different genres with a classical vibe.

He is known for playing classics songs like Ex- Factor by Lauryn Hill, If I Ever Fall In Love by Shai, as well as tapping into his heritage, playing reggae songs like Weh Dem A Do by Mavado, and pop songs from Iggy Azalea, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and many more. He has performed for different colleges such as John Jay College, York College, and many others within the big apple as well as in other states.

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You can find clips of this young prodigy on the Apollo where he has performed a number of times. Calling him a hip-hop or classical violinist would just be the tip of the iceberg of what Mr. Silvera can do. Matt has a motto that he lives by which is “Music is a powerful tool that brings people from various cultures and walks of life together.”

Check out Matt The Violinist‘s official website & on instagram.

DIY Makeup Ideas for Summer 2015 | By: Jacklyn Thudd

I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of buying expensive cosmetics, especially when there are so many ways to create your own using household items and ingredients from the kitchen. DIY (Do-it-yourself) ideas are some of the coolest and easiest crafts you can create on a budget, and what girl doesn’t like inexpensive makeup? These are five standout ideas you can try for the approaching summer:

D.I.Y Matte Top Coat

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A matte finish is sophisticated and classy. It removes that glossy shine from your nail polish while promoting a fresh pastel-like look. Matte can create a very clean and mature style that is sure to turn a few heads. With just a pinch of cornstarch and a drip of your favorite clear top coat, you can achieve that matted look all the ladies are dying for this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D.I.Y Edible Foundation Powder

The biggest con of powder is that is causes clogged pores and sometimes if it’s too heavy, it causes makeup to drip and stain clothes after being in the sun all day. Creating your own powder helps you experiment with what works best on your skin, and most of all products that are breathable.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.08.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.11.54 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.06.08 PM First, gather some Raw Cocoa Powder (tint based on skin tone), Gluten Free Arrowroot (or cornstarch) and some Virgin, Non-processed Coconut Oil (or an oil gentle enough for your face)

Mix 4 tbsp arrowroot with 1 tsp cocoa powder to test the color in a small bowl. Blend the mixture until all the lumps are gone. To reach your desired tint, continue adding cocoa powder.

Young Woman Applying Foundation --- Image by © Image Source/Corbis

Young Woman Applying Foundation — Image by © Image Source/Corbis

Try smearing a tiny bit on your cheek because the tint may appear lighter or darker in the bowl than it does on your face.

Next, add a couple of drops of coconut oil (or your oil of choice).This will moisturize the face and add glow.

Remember that a little bit goes a long way. I recommend using a powder puff instead of the brush because a “wiped” look creates a better made up face than a “dusted” look.

Though this foundation doesn’t last as long as store-bought powder, it takes away the shine, evens the complexion and it’s edible!

D.I.Y Blackhead Removing Strips

Blackheads are icky! They’re mostly found in the T-Zone area of the face. They are simply tiny impurities peeking out of the pores in your face accumulated from built up bacteria, but unlike whiteheads, they’re a lot harder to remove. Here’s how you can make your very own blackhead removing strips:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.57.06 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.57.45 PMGet one tablespoon of clear unsweetened gelatin powder and one table-spoon of milk.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.59.06 PMIn a bowl put 1 tablespoon of milk and sprinkle a tablespoon of gelatin powder bit by bit. Mix well until you obtain a coarse texture and place the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds at medium heat. Dip your finger in the mixture and coat your problem areas with it. Leave the strip to dry for 10 minutes and gently peal it off.

On the strip, you will notice blackheads and impurities that were removed from your face. This is one of the fastest ways to get rid of blackheads.

D.I.Y Crayon Lipsticks

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This homemade makeup item is one of my favorites. By simply mixing your desired crayon color and a spoonful of coconut oil in a bowl sitting in a pot filled with water on a medium heat, you can create a variety of your own colors. Check out this tutorial below:

D.I.Y All Natural Mascara/ Eye Liner

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Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.27.05 PM  Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.28.12 PMFor this cosmetic item you will need 3/4 tsp beeswax, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, 1/2 tsp of shea butter, 2 tsp aloe vera gel and 1 capsule of activated charcoal. 

Place beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and aloe vera gel in a double boiler on a low heat, break open the charcoal capsule and mix till there are no lumps. Use a funnel to transport liquid into a tube and let it cool at room temperature.

You can purchase mascara sticks and angle brushes from your local beauty supply shop to apply and achieve any look you want.

Hope you summer is full of crafts and joy. Say bye to those toxic store-bought items and say hello to ingredients you know and love.

 

 

Cries From West Baltimore Post Freddie Gray | By: Emeka Ezeokoli

Police detain a protester during clashes near Mondawmin Mall after Freddie Gray's funeral in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Several Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday in violent clashes with young people after the funeral of Gray, a black man who died in police custody, and local law enforcement warned of a threat by gangs. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz - RTX1AJEU

Police detain a protester during clashes near Mondawmin Mall after Freddie Gray’s funeral in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Several Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday in violent clashes with young people after the funeral of Gray, a black man who died in police custody, and local law enforcement warned of a threat by gangs. (Photo Cred: REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

Gilmor Holmes is a public housing development comprised of mostly three and four story low rise apartment buildings located in West Baltimore, Maryland. This section of the city has been an emblem of minority marginalization sheltering many of the city’s most economically disadvantaged residents. It also has the unique distinction of being the most recent site to host the public lynching of a Black male on American soil.

The killing of twenty-five year old African-American man Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police is America’s most recent example of police brutality publicized through mainstream media. The response on the ground from the people has been one of pent-up outrage and righteous indignation. The political response to symptoms of social oppression is almost always one of “law and order” resulting in the quick passage of draconian laws for quality of life offenses and heightened police surveillance in underserved communities of color. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposed city curfews while Maryland governor Larry Hogan called for the deployment of thousands of police officers, the National Guard, and declared a state of emergency. But for most of the residents in West Baltimore, their “state of emergency” preceded Hogan’s declaration by several decades. Every bit of protest action, from the rock hurling and car fires to the peaceful demonstrations and marches, was symptomatic of a community that has long wrestled with police violence and the inherent complexities of existing under a system of perpetual surveillance, street harassment and racial profiling from paramilitary police units.  Sadly, the most overt expressions of righteous indignation were misinterpreted by many as senseless, lawless, misguided and counterproductive and therefore gave way to the abhorrent and condemnatory language employed by politicians and media personnel alike in describing the protestors and their actions. In a press conference governor Hogan described those engaged in acts of civil disobedience that resulted in property damage as “thugs”. US commander in chief Barack Obama referred to them as “criminals and thugs who tore up the city”. Echoing the sentiments of the governor and president, Mayor Rawlings- Blake focused on “rioting and looting” as well. This awful characterization of demonstrators and protestors perpetuates the dehumanization of residents in a community already rendered insignificant by means of economic policy, political negligence, and systematic subjugation. They are no longer people with legitimate grievances. They have been cut down to “rioters” “looters” “criminals” or “thugs”.

A man throws a brick at police Monday, April 27, 2015, following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A man throws a brick at police Monday, April 27, 2015, following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (Photo Cred: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The recent emergence of details surrounding Gray’s death have introduced new dimensions to this tragedy. Baltimore states attorney Marilyn Mosby’s recent announcement of criminal charges against the six officers involved in Gray’s death seems to have shifted the political response and many new facts regarding that day have emerged. Mayor Rawlings Blake has now turned her attention away from the protests and onto the police by calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the Baltimore Police Department as it did in Ferguson, Missouri under then DOJ head Eric Holder. Reports that Freddie Gray’s death was self inflicted have been refuted by 22 year old Donte Allen who was on the other side of the divider in the police van that transported him and Gray. That the cops were criminally charged and will be tried is great but one might caution against premature celebration as indictments are one thing, securing convictions are another, and appropriate sentencing or just punishment yet another. Also, it begs the question: can substantive, structural, systemic change be acquired from within? Only time will tell.

 

Lip Sync Battle: The New Craze | By: Krista Bryant

Lip Sync Battle is the hottest show on network television and it airs on the Spike network every Thursday at 10 pm. This show has become so popular within the few weeks it has aired. Hosted by Grammy award winner LL Cool J along side the beautiful Chrissy Teigen as the colorful commentator, the duo brings the comedic factor that television has been missing.

Lip Sync Battle is centered around your favorite celebrities who let the audience and fans alike explore their funny side while going toe to toe in two rounds of epic lip syncing to prove who’s the best. Some of these performers included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, boxing legend Mike Tyson, actor Terry Crew, and TV personalities Jimmy Fallon, Michael Strahan, and many more celebrities.

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The first round includes the basic lip syncing techniques to get the crowd going and the second round is where the performers have to prove themselves to the audience where by pulling out various props to take their performance over the top. For example, in the third episode it was Anne Hathaway vs. Emily Blunt. The two actress picked amazing songs, but it was Anne who stole the show with her rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”. Anne had a wrecking ball as a prop on the stage and was swinging on it as Miley did in the video.

The performers are free to choose whatever songs of their liking and the best performance will be voted on by the audience. The winner of the battle not only receives the championship belt but they also receive their bragging rights. This is a fun show with a competitive edge that just gets you hooked. It is something that will be around for a long time.

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Jacklyn’s Closet: We Love Our Natural Men Too!

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As natural girls, we get so caught up in trying to find hairstyles that show off our curls and kinks that we forget, a lot of our men are natural too. And for some, it takes just as much patience and maintenance to achieve masculine yet trendy looks. Here are three awesome natural hairstyles for men:

The Natural Fro: (Photo Cred: Lecoil & Latest-Hairstyles)

Dandy Lion Exhibit  Alexander 10/29/10 Photo by Jamala Johns naturally-curly-style-for-a-black-man

In my opinion, this look became very popular in young men of color when Corbin Bleu made his debut in the Disney film, High School Musical. Ever since then this style has been rocked by so many guys all skin-tones, races and ethnicities. It’s funky, yet suave and sure to pull the heart strings of any lady.

This style can be done with hair ranging from 3a-4c, check out Jacklyn’s Closet: Top Hair Regimens For All Natural Hair Types to learn your type.

To achieve this look depending on the density of your hair, you can do a number of things: Cornrows, twist outs, gel, bantu knots or a simple wash and go. For a twist out, part hair into 4-6 sections with a peak comb and separate with hair ties. Start with one section, part into smaller sections to begin your two-stand twist, each section should accumulate 10-30 twists. The size of each twist determines how big your twist out will look. If your curl pattern isn’t as coily in the front, feel free to cornrow the front and two-stand twist the back as shown in this photo below:

cornrowsThere are also curling gels and custards that can be used to achieve the same results such as:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.13.36 PMShea Moisture- Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk (Walmart, $10) By Applying this non-rinse moisturizer you can style damp or towel-dried hair.

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Kinky Curly- Curling Custard (CurlMart, $17) For best results use on wet hair, smooth from root to end then scrunch.

Feel free to use these products while doing a twist-out, cornrows and bantu knots.

Locks of Love: (Photo Cred: LiveLaughLocs & MenWithLocs)

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Locs have been around for a very long time and were first made popular by Rastafarians in Jamaica. Today, locs are still worn for religious (or spiritual) purposes, but a lot of men wear them for the fashion. There are free-form styles as well as neatly twisted styles, each very time-consuming but filled with love and appreciation for natural hair and the beauty of its versatility.

There are a number of methods to begin your journey, and I say journey because to some, locs represent a path that is taken when learning about hair and self love. Here are two videos that include the most popular methods, Two stand twist and Interlocking:

The Frohaawk

The Frohawk is a pretty simple style and can be done by simply taking a trip to your local barbershop. There are so many ways you can alternate this style to give it your own touch which includes, dying the hair, cut designs along the sides, doing a twist out when the frohawk grows longer, etc. Don’t be afraid to get creative and play with your hair, Here are a few styles to try:

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Hightop Fade (Photo Cred: Menhairstylesclub)

Lets take it back to the 90s when every guy was rocking the hightop fade. This is a funky fresh look that any guy, any age can wear to any occasion. Try it out!

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New Music: Fabolous: “All For The Love” ft Dj Clue | By: Jazmine Abner

One of Brooklyns finest, Fabolous released another #FridayNightFreestyle for the week. He’s been on a roll for a couple of months doing covers to some hip hop classics from the 90s. The clever wordplay and smooth metaphorical track is the eighth freestyle of the project.

The Dj Clue remix to The Lox’s “All For The Love” features innuendos to the #KylieLipChallege, and Ice Cube and Christ Tucker’s infamous  Friday pose on the cover art.

The rapper released his sixth studio album The Young Og Project this last Christmas, he also has another bundle of joy on the way with his longtime girlfriend Emily B. Last week he took us back in time with the visual release of “You Made Me.”

Click Here to hear it out the freestyle and leave your thoughts.