Deans List Tour First Annual Award Show | By: Megan Felix

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Santos Party House, a well-known venue in the heart of Chinatown (NYC) made history on October 18th after housing the first annual award show for the Deans List Tour. Outside the club, a line filled with nominees, peers and supporters awaited entry past the black velvet ropes, into one of the dopest red-carpet-themed experiences, that the underground realm of NYC has probably ever had to offer.

If you were searching for the typical BET drama and VMA shadiness, Santos was clearly not the place to be, because the atmosphere sparked nothing but support and respect for all those who were nominated, awarded and recognized. While Dj Blackout set the mood throughout the night on the ones and twos, the ballot presented accolades for Best Spoken Word Artist, Best Dancer(s), Best Comedian, Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Producer, Best Group, Best Female Hip Hop artist and Best Male Hip Hop artist.

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Along with the award ceremony there was some unforgettable performances given by R.Q.TEK, She Real, Born Free Music Group, Zeyi, ONSM@SH and many others to rap up a very special night. Who else to thank but Mr. Deans List Tour himself, Scott Morris, Mor.Bookings and D2LAL (Destined To Leave A Legacy) who constructed and brought to life the entire extravaganza. BLACK Magazine would like to send a warm congratulations to all the winners and artists who were recognized for their hard work and success, we’ll be looking forward to next year.

See all that the Deans List Tour has to offer by visiting the Official Website: DeansListTour.com

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Between Black Youth and Law Enforcement | By: Emeka Ezeokoli

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It was a case of racial profiling, prosecutorial misconduct, and evidence tampering by police and prosecutors that falsely implicated 5 Black and Hispanic youth from Harlem for a crime against a female jogger that they did not commit in 1989. Those young men came to be known as The Central Park Five. Today, violence against Black youth by law enforcement continues to be a problem with young victims of police violence like Cleveland pre-teen Tamir Rice. If you don’t know the name Tamir Rice, then surely you’ve heard of Aiyana Jones. If you’re unfamiliar with the name Aiyana Jones then maybe you’ve heard of Dajerria Becton. All of the aforementioned are names of unarmed African-American youth, 14 years and younger, who suffered the misfortune of being victims of police violence with seven-year-old Jones (in 2010) and twelve-year-old Rice (in 2014) having encounters with police that sadly turned fatal.

Dajerria Becton, is a young girl who while attending a pool party in McKinney, Texas this past summer, found herself prostrated in the yard of a local resident, her body and innocence trapped beneath the knee of a gun-wielding white cop by the name of Eric Casebolt who forcibly detained her for being “non-compliant” (read not docile enough for his liking); her humiliating and degrading public castigation by police being broadcast all over mainstream news media. Instead of enjoying a memorable summer moment to reminisce over in the future with friends and classmates, she involuntarily became the latest brown adolescent face of police victimization that went viral. Similarly and more recently, in the small town of Round Rock, Texas, an unarmed, calmly composed 14-year-old Black male school student is filmed being grabbed by the neck and slammed to the ground by a police officer. All of these incidents, whether resulting in fatal or non fatal injuries, should implore us to challenge the relationship law enforcement has with Black youth that has been tainted by corruption, abuse, sexual assault, and even murder. A relationship that has much too often been fractious, contemptuous, devoid of trust, and characterized by unsolicited violence. Even when Black youth encounters with police don’t get physical they are much too frequently imbued with hostility.

So what has been done or what can be done to ameliorate relations between Black youth and rogue cops? New York City has a program called Cops and Kids designed to smooth over relations between local law enforcement and children in communities of color. NYPD also has a program called Summer Youth Police Academy. But beyond these programs which can come off as public relation ploys or propagandistic palliatives that do little to eradicate institutional violence as practiced by police, and considering the reality of our current situation, it would be best for us to inform Black youth of how to  respond when forced to interact with police and to help instill greater confidence in them by equipping them with the legal tools and knowledge necessary for interactions with law enforcement figures.  As adults it is imperative that we learn about organizations like PROP (Police Reform Organizing Project) and Cop Watch NYC and that we push for greater methods of police accountability so as to at the very least work towards eliminating the culture of indemnity that allows police to commit abuse against the civilian populace with complete impunity. Any discussion dealing with police brutality that does not include a push for greater accountability via more punitive measures for police is cutting corners. At the very basic level there should be arrests, charges, and jail or prison time for cops that abuse anyone but especially children.

As it stands, at least in the most public cases like the incident in McKinney, we see officers resign or get terminated, but rarely get tried, convicted, or sentenced for the utilization of excessive force. Dajerria herself seemed to imply this when she told Fox4 news that “Him [Eric Casebolt] getting fired is not enough”. The argument isn’t that this will be an effective deterrent to police violence, but that people can feel certain that at least there is a system that will hold cops accountable whenever they are found violating the rights of innocent civilians thereby perpetuating an authoritarian culture of policing that has the civilian populace as it primary targets and victims. But where the system has proven negligent, it is the community’s responsibility to defend our children to the best of our ability, and in the words of Malcolm X, to do so “by any means necessary”.

What is the difference between a rapper and a lyricist? | By: Jazmine Abner

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Hip Hop is parallel to religion. Analyze this: every Catholic is a Christian, but not every Christian is not a Catholic. Hip Hop follows that formula as well. Every lyricist is a rapper but not every rapper is a lyricist. A lyricist is a MC (master of ceremony) who embodies the characteristics of a performer, a poet, and a story-teller. The invisible but obvious line that divides J. Cole from 2 Chainz or Migos from A Tribe Called Quest speaks for itself. Anybody can rap but it takes a special kind of artist to be a lyricist. A lyricist specializes in creating words that can be illustrated. They draw these vivid images through sound and paint a picture in out our minds that are never forgotten.

J. Cole’s Villematic stated “…to the college kids, no scholarship starting ya semester. Unpacking ya suitcase, filling up ya dresser” is more soul-felt and relateable than Future’s Same Damn Time where he raps, “…working with a unit try and stretch it to another one, drinking on that active and it taste just like some bubbles gum, thumbing through a check, boarding on the jet, talking on the iPhone, sipping on the Styrofoam.” While both artists are descriptive in their styles, the content is completely different. Though, that was not always the case.

Parental guidance for this video is advised: 

Lets review the timeline shall we:

Rap is Hip Hop but Hip Hop isn’t just rap. In the early 1970s,  Dj Kool Herc’s back to school basement party in the South Bronx became recognized as hip hop’s conception. The 1520 Segwick Ave fiesta incorporated Reggae, Funk, disco, and R&B. Isolating the breaks and scratching the beat with two turntables became more than a craft but a culture. 1970s block parties were popular and Dj’s would use two turntables, vinyls and a mic to keep the crowd moving. This was labeled as “MC’ing.”
Technology was cheap and available so by the 80s, rap became more complex and diverse.  Rappers Delight, which is considered the first mainstream rap song marked hip hops golden age. Lullaby raps weren’t looked down on yet because at the time, that was the only style in existence. “The Message” by Grand Master Flash reflected inner city issues and was the genesis of hip hops role in politics and societal issues. Run DMC, LL Cool J and Def Jam records helped create hip hops braggadocios and materialistic brand.
The 90s delivered gangsta rap to the world which mirrored and sometimes glorified the violent lifestyles of urbanites. The story tellings of Rakim, Biggie, Pac and Nas shifted hip hop in a new direction. It wasn’t all about the instrumentals anymore, your wordplay was used to rate your skill set. Today, hip hop is a capitalistic blend of styles from Atlanta south to New York north to Canadian trap rap. So before we put down the rappers, let’s remember they came before the lyricists. But like everything else in the world, growth and progression is the only sign of evolution. With the current state of music, would you say that hip hop has progressed or digress?
Leave your thoughts below & submit your comments and/or your music to theblackmagazine@gmail.com to get a chance to be featured in the November/December issue.

Fun Things To Do This Fall | By: Krista Bryant

It’s October, so that means it’s fall time. The leaves are changing colors, the air is becoming cooler and Halloween is just around the corner. So why not enjoy this weather before it gets colder outside? Here is a list of things to do this fall in some of the major cities that everyone can have a chance to enjoy.

NEW YORK CITY

New York Comic Con

Jacob Javits Center

Date: October 8th-11th

Time: 10am

Price:$40

Have a chance to meet and greet with your favorite comic book Superheroes and action stars.

 

Village Halloween Parade

Starting Point is at 23rd Street

Date: October 31st

Time: 7pm

Price: Free

Photo Cred: Twitter.com

Photo Cred: Twitter.com

Put on your best, scariest, most creative costume and join the fun of the 30th annual Halloween Parade.

CHICAGO

Disclosure in Concert

Navy Pier, Festival Hall

Date: October 15th

Time: 5pm

Price: $36.50

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Photo Cred: Instagram: @disclosure

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Photo Cred: Instagram: @disclosure

Witness the dynamic brother duo that is Disclosure. Rock out to their hits and enjoy new music as well. Get your tickets HERE!

 

Prost Oktoberfest

2566 N Lincoln Avenue

Date: On-going until the 28th of October

Time: Midnight

Price: Free

 

The best way to celebrate the fall season is by attending at least one Oktoberfest event, so why not at Prost?  This event will have a selection of beers and different food to indulge in.

 

MIAMI

Community Justice Project Launch Party

101 West Flagler Street at History History Miami

Date: October 29th

Time: 6:30 pm

Price: $0-$1000 via Eventbrite

Photo Cred: facebook.com/communityjusticeprojectfls

Join the launch and celebration of a new law firm that is working on advancing human rights and racial justice by providing legal support to those who need it. Get your tickets HERE

 

27th Annual Festival Of Chefs

1 Ocean Drive at Nikki Beach

Date: November 4th

Time: 6:30 pm

Price: $0-$129 via Eventbrite

Be a part of this great night when 27 top restaurants all come together for a good cause and good food. Get Your Tickets HERE

 

LOS ANGELES

Artisanal LA Fall Show

1933 South Broadway at The Reef

Date: October 10th -11th

Time: 11am- 6pm

Price: $14-$20 via Eventbrite

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Buy and enjoy some sweet treats and delicious edible items that will have your taste buds craving for more. Get Your Tickets HERE

 

Twilight 10th Anniversary with Stephanie Meyer

453 S. Spring Street at The Last Bookstore

Date: October 14th

Time: 5pm

Price: $0 -$25 via Eventbrite

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Celebrate the beginning of what would capture our hearts and make us believe in true love forever with Twilight’s creator, Stephanie Meyer. Get Your Tickets HERE!

Environmental Racism as a Public Health Issue | By: Emeka Ezeokoli

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Four years have passed since the last election was held to determine the candidate most worthy of occupying the highest political office in the United States of America. Since then the disproportionate deaths of Black people at the hands of police (most notably the murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and most recently Sandra Bland) became a central issue in a national conversation about race and policing and was the catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement which in turn became the impetus for increased community mobilization around issues like police brutality and mass incarceration.

The youth led movement has been responsible for putting political pressure on 2016 presidential candidates to confront an issue traditionally ignored by mainstream media outlets that disproportionately affects voters from marginalized communities of color. But the concerns of voters from these communities transcend the most overt forms of state sanctioned violence (police brutality and mass incarceration) and include less visible effects of institutionalized racism that are so subtle so as to be nearly imperceptible, but nonetheless have dangerous and devastating implications and harmful generational effects on the community residents and therefore, environmental racism must be addressed on the national stage by any candidate who considers themselves a serious contender for the presidency.

One of the most inconspicuous public health issues facing Black people is the quality of air in urban communities. While global warming predominates the discussion on environmental issues, the effects of what has been termed “environmental racism” has negatively impacted residents in the more resource deprived and impoverished communities in America for decades. As defined on the website http://www.ejnet.org environmental racism is “the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color”. In a film entitled Straight Outta Hunter’s Point–a documentary about a marginalized San Francisco neighborhood in California–physician and community activist Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai delineates the catastrophic effects that high toxicity levels in the air has on the health of Hunter’s Point residents. “One of the greatest risks to this community arises from the potential for exposure to radiation that exists on this shipyard. Additionally there are other toxins like lead, and asbestos and manganese. There are the toxic gases that I talked about, the volatile organic compounds. There’s diesel, there’s petroleum, there are toxins in the environment in the Bayview Hunters Point community that are directly contributing to the high incidents of diseases like childhood asthma, adult respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congestive heart failure, and pulmonary asbestos.” She goes on to state that increased rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer are also byproducts of rising toxicity levels in the area. For this reason, whether its Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson or Rand Paul, or any of the third party candidates, it is necessary for us to demand a detailed and strategic plan for reducing the toxicity levels in the air and water in urban communities of color from all political candidates vying for the national office in 2016.

Elessar Thiessen: A Rainy Week In Paradise | By: Megan Felix

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Canadian singer/songwrtier, Elessar Thiessen always had a thing for music. He got acquainted with his first guitar at 8 years old, and at that moment, his relationship with music grew into a life-long passion. As a jack of many trades, Thiessan spends his day producing music full-time and writing self-written songs at night.

In his newest, full length album “A Rainy Week in Paradise” listeners take a walk with Thiessen through a bag of emotions including pain, fear and lack of self confidence overcome by joy, love and truth. Fortunately for Elessar, his creative process takes notice on all eleven songs from the album which are self-written and produced by him, along with the help of supporting vocals by Catherine Wylee in “Love Dear,” leading vocals by Alexa Dirks in “You Girl” and the mixing/mastering done by Jordan Jackiew.

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Right now, Elessar is working as an independent producer while venturing out on his own musical endeavors but collaborates with Jordan from time to time. His talents has taken him to the production a variety of styles ranging from hip hop to pop. To hear more from Elessar visit:

http://elessarthiessen.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ElessarThiessen

https://elessarthiessen.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/elessarthiessen

https://www.youtube.com/c/ElessarThiessenVideos

https://instagram.com/elessarthiessen/

https://twitter.com/ElessarThiessen

Bitter’s Kiss: Music & Poetry, The Perfect Blend | By: Megan Felix

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Indie Pop singer/songwriter Chloe Baker who goes by the alter ego Bitter’s Kiss, has been making a name for herself ever since the release of her debut album earlier this year. The New Jersey native was exposed to music at a very tender age which played a role in developing a platform to showcase her talents. With over 55,000 plays on Soundcloud and a growing fanbase, you probably wouldn’t believe that Chloe is only a high school student with such a long way to go.

Bitter’s Kiss” the first track on the album, opens up with a fun yet soulful melody that builds behind the sound of drums and guitar strings. The moment Baker begins to sing, she creates the atmosphere for the amount of vocal ranges to come. “Love Won’t Make You Cry” is a heavenly number which pieces strong lyrics with gradual guitar strumming and a strong bass. The poetic ballad speaks on Baker’s idea of good love, a twist on the cliché “love hurts” theme heard in many songs these days.

As you make your way from one track to the next, you begin to see a pattern of journal-like entries transcending off the pages into the speakers. Baker is said to “use songwriting as a diary and a means of exploring her world,” and in “The Rope”, the fifth track on Baker’s album, she tells a personal story as she recalls the suicide of her a late cousin.

Who knows what else Bitter’s Kiss has in store for her listeners. To hear more visit:
Bitterskiss.com

Bitter’s Kiss Facebook

Bitter’s Kiss Soundcloud