Life is Living Oakland: A Free Celebration of Urban Life (Oct. 8)

It’s that time of year again for the LifeIsLiving.org annual festival and celebration of Urban life through Hip Hop, intergenerational health, and Environmental Action.  I had a chance last year to participate with my internship Bay Localize so this is definitely an event you wouldn’t want to miss.  A few crowd pleasers like Quest Love and Bay Area’s own Ryan Nicole will grace the stage as well as exhibits from urban gardening to HIV testing, visual and hood games. See you next week, Sunday October 8th from 11- 6 pm @ Defremery Park in West Oakland 🙂

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TheSeKondElement – What Would You Be Like?

Check out new music from Journalist, poet, and emecee TheSeKondElement also known as KAMMZ theACE.  Her song entitled, “What Would You Be Like?” derived from a tumblr post where he friend reference the popular book Eat. Pray. Love. Here’s an excerpt:

“Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.”

Take a listen to “What Would You Be Like?” and share your thoughts in the comment box below!

For more on TheSeKondElement, her radio show and more music visit www.Team2e.com

LoveBrownSugar & GabiFresh Curvy Girl’s Guide to Fall

Shout out to Essence.com for the post their latest Curvy Girl Muse with Gabi Fresh and Christina Brown.  Check out these fashion bloggers 5 Fall Must Haves… You don’t have to be curvy to agree on these key staples for when the new season.

  1. Cropped Pants (check)
  2. Silk Blouse (check)
  3. Statement Jewelry ( I need more!)
  4. Leather Jacket (check)
  5. Satement Wedges (all I wear!)

Visit full article here . . .

A Must See: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

This week I went to see Black Power Mixtape 1976-1975 at the Shattuck Cinema and it was definitely a powerful and knowledgable evening of history.  This documentary was created by a Swedish filmmaker by the name of Goran Hugo Olsson who came to America to seek out change, progress, and document the movement that will forever go down in American History.  Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Stokely Carmichael were amongst the few interviewed on never before seen footage.

Schools today still can’t give the real message or the proven words of Black Power without stepping out of your comfort zone of the history books and into the real world of African-Americans.  I honestly didn’t know too much about Stokely Carmichael, but that his beliefs of non-violence were similar to Martin Luther King Jr. In the documentary, you have a chance to capture his character and philosophy through an interview with his mother. He asked her questions where she seemed to show passive comfort to racism and he gently fired back with more questions that gave her a since that her answers, “because I’m black” were not acceptable to the human race.

The footage of Angela Davis in jail shows another perspective of activism and the message she gives about her upbringing and how growing up in Alabama, has shaped her beliefs is powerfully illustrated in this interview.  Although at times I wish it were a bit more graphic and gave further explanation in some scenes I’d give this film 4.5 stars!

The commentators, Talib Kweli, Kathleen Cleaver, Harry Belafonte, and Erykah Badu, spoke of the leaders and time period and also shared their personal thoughts about the black political issues of 1967-1975.

I highly suggest that you go see this while it’s in selected theaters because it will definitely provide a wake up call for our generation.  Check your local listings here & do share your thoughts!

New Embassador Musiq Soulchild debuts “Yes” to Susan G. Komen “Cure Circle of Promise” (Video)

Last week, R&B singer Musiq Soulchild was announced the newest embassador for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Cure® Circle of Promise.  The movement is designed to help black women from around the world fight breast cancer. Featured is his official video for “Yes” off his latest album MUSIQINTHEMAGIQ, where he tells a story about a man support his girlfriend as she fights breast cancer.  If you have a soft heart like me you will literally shed a tear watching this video.  I appreciate Musiq’s activism on fighting for breast cancer and all the outreach and support will definitely change lives.

For more information on Cure® Circle of Promise and how you get involved visit here.

 

Afro Chick’s Pick: The Good Sin x Late (Album)


What do you get when you mix the Good and the Bad? A dope artist by the name of “The Good Sin”, who knows how to put life experiences, dreams, and his evolving career into great music.  Born Kellen Herndon from Seattle, Washington, He began pursuing his career as an artist at the age of 18, where he’s created his debut “Read or Not” Mixtape, and his latest project “Late” which was released in February of this year.  The production of this 9-Track album is very unique and shows the difference aspects hip hop.  I was immediately drawn into the jazz, spoken word vibe making his lyrics clear and precise.  It’s always refreshing to understand the artist’s direction and as I writer I could follow his theme. I had a chance to ask him a few questions so in his own words. . .
What is your inspiration behind your latest project “Late.” ? How did you come up with the concept/songs? Is there a theme?
Late was me and my producer 10.4 Rog’s first all original project. We wanted to create a project that took a feeling and stretched it out thru all the other emotions that initial feeling had me going thru. Late was that feeling. In life people will always say you’re Late at this or that. But in all reality you are where you are at that moment because that’s where you’re suppose to be and that’s where God has you. The theme is basically about “doing you”. There will always be outside influences to the way we operate but in all that we’re still individuals who have to stand on our own within Gods time for us. 
Who are your favorite artists/producers that you look up to? Gain musical inspiration from?

I grew up off of Scarface, Jay-z, Outkast, J Dilla, Eminem, Kanye, Vitamin D, Dj Premier, Nas, NottZ, Busta Rhymes. A lot of people. Bilal, Common, d’angelo, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu. There are too many to name. O yea. Tribe too. 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to pursue their careers?
Stay true to your story. Make what is relevant to you. Create your own lane. Follow your heart and don’t be driven by money but by your vision.

You can listen to the full length album here and if you like, download it on the link below =)

Oh, and here’s the visual for “Bad About You”

“Young, Black, and Amazing” – Advice from the New Essence Editor-In-Chief

I’ve always read the editor’s column of Essence magazine, but it was brought to my attention (from my mentor Rachel) how beautiful and brown skin representin’ the new Editor-In-Chief is, Constance C.R. White.  Not only is she representing women of color in the print industry, she’s rocking her fro loud and proud.  It’s always a surprise to see new faces, new management, and new writers in your favorite magazine but her work has been well received and I really appreciate it.

This month’s issue discussed all aspects of black women power.  In her column entitled, “Young, Black and Amazing”, I was not only reminded how amazing it is to be black woman but she gave some great advice for us twentysomethings.  It’s really hard out here and through dissapointments and challenges we face when establishing a career its always good to have a support system of powerful black women to look up to. Constance White is definitely a powerful black woman to look up to and so her advice month hit room for me.

She listed 15 things a YBA should know so here are a few:

1. Ask yourself, what do I want to be doing at 40?

2. Make a plan and work it. You can tweak it along the way.

3. Reach out. You don’t have to do it alone. We’re here for you.

4. Save a little bit every week, even a single dollar

5. Don’t accept negative things others say about you. If they have an observation, tell them to make it constructive

6. You are responsible for your actions

7. Video dancer is not a profession.

“Whatever you dream, there is a Black woman who has done it. You can do it, too.”

You can follow her on twitter @CWhiteEssence and of course he column monthly on Essence 🙂

Theophilus London x Cole Haan Limited Edition Buck

On Tuesday (September 13th), Theophilus London teamed up with Cole Haan to bring you limited edition blue suede buck. He claims his fashion inspiration comes from his dad’s closet and I believe it.  This Brooklyn based MC has hit the ground rolling setting his own style and share with us great music. If you are local go check him and the shoe premiere out at the NY location Cole Haan Soho on Prince Street. I’ve had a pleasure to see him live and he’s quite the character.  I’m glad he’s able to expand as an artist not only in music culture, but the fashion scene as well. Fellas, blue suede?

You can check out his latest video for “I Stand Alone” off the debut LP Timez Are Weird These Days.

Afro Chic’s Pick: Keracare Hair Product Review

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you are kicking off your productive week and speaking of productive, I haven’t been so proactive on my natural hair care posts. Although my regimine has been the same all summer I tried a new shampoo and condition from the Keracare Hair Product line; Hydrating Detangling Shampoo and Dry & Itching Scalp Conditioner.  I received some very positive results so I’ve decided to share with y’all. Below are the product claims and then of course my spill.  If you have any feedback do share with us in the comment box below =)

Hydrating Detangling Shampoo

KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo is a beauty bath for hair that produces a rich lather as it lightly conditions and cleans hair. pH-balanced and excellent for relaxed, permed or color-treated hair. Contains natural botanical extracts. Decreases interfiber friction. Repairs trichorrhexis nodosa (damaged areas along the hairshaft) and fly-away split ends. sImproves cuticle alignment. Concentrated formula.

Benefits
• Moisturizes hair as it conditions hair for a healthy-looking appearance and feel.

• Removes excess oils from hair and scalp without over- stripping hair.
• Helps minimize hair breakage.
• Seals hair cuticles as it repairs damaged hair.
• Superior detangling for easy wet and dry combing.
• Leaves hair soft and shiny.
• Economical to use.

My Claim:  Before washing my hair I had used a lot of gel based products on my hair for a couple of weeks so this shampoo was very succesful at cleaning my hair with only two small lathers.  I liked the smell of it, although it was not enough for me.  I loved to smell my hair for a couple of days so I was kind of disappointed.  Overall the shampoo made it very easy to detangle when it came to my conditioning process.

Dry & Itchy Scalp Conditioner

The technologically-advanced KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Moisturizing Conditioner is the first product of its kind to effectively combat a dry and itchy scalp. Actively relieves itching. Rehydrates and rebuilds fibers’ outer structure to help minimize hair breakage. Gentle enough for frequent use on relaxed, permed, color-treated or natural hair.

Benefits

• Moisturizes, cools and soothes the scalp.
• Regular use helps prevent dryness, itching and flaking before it starts.
• Promotes healthy-looking scalp and pliable hair.
• Superior detangling for easy wet and dry combing.

My Claim: If you are like me and workout a lot the sweat always tends to kink up my hair and tangles it up when I wear my twists so I was very pleased with the results of this conditioner.  I applied a small amount to my hair and after 5 minutes I combed it through from the roots to the tip with ultimate ease.  Not to mention the cool feeling soothed my scalp, it felt amazing.  I think I gassed it up enough, you get my point. lol