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CategoryArtist in the spot light

Artist in the Spotlight: G.I. Gizzle

By: Keidra Ponder

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While in Atlanta, we had the chance to chop it up with artist G.I. Gizzle. He recently landed in the city to promote his newly released album with Rich The Factor, “Don’t take this Personal”’.  As one of the stops on his campaign tour, we kicked off our first episode with a real vibe.

 

The artist has a record label 1000 entertainment as well as a clothing brand DirtBagz  . He prides himself in being authentic and being a man of valor. His integrity and faith in God has open many doors for him yet he still remains humble and hungry.

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The artist is doing numbers with his hit song “Barcode” Ft. Boosie Badazz and giving those numbers back to his community. You can hear the truth in his lyrics and you can see it in his actions. G. I. Gizzle has a few notable collaborations but plans to put out a solo EP to give the people more of the Grit he is known for. So talk to him, he talks back!

 

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Follow G. I. Gizzle on all platforms:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Apple Music

 

 

From Cloudy Days to Picture Perfect, Alexis Scott – Model

In 1927, a man by the name of Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase, “A pictures’ worth a thousand words”. Despite Alexis’s breath taking looks and stunning physique, a picture simply isn’t enough to describe her fight down glory road. Often times we see that art mostly comes from those with a story to tell. A story which may be hard to describe in words. It may also come from people who’ve been through trauma or pain and have a desperate need to express themselves. Getting people to see beauty from the beholders perspective is the essence of what makes art touch people in a very prodigious way .

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At times, I feel that models may not get the full credit they deserve when it comes to making the firm decision to follow this career path. Putting yourself in the public eye to be judged from head to toe takes great courage and confidence. You have to really learn how to love yourself regardless of what people may say. Some models even try pushing the boundaries of the social standard to what beauty is. Even if there was a time that they didn’t feel “pretty” according to that standard.

Let’s be honest, life has a way of trying to discourage you from being what your heart says you are versus what society expects from you. The movies and tv shows always paints the picture to make it seem as if the underdog is loved. In actuality, the love seems to only come when the underdog gains momentum. Gaining momentum, for someone that has been through tough times, takes day after day of convincing yourself. Uplifting yourself. Staying positive. Defeating odds. Taking leaps of faith. This is the story of Alexis Scott.

Alexis, was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. She was primarily raised by her aunt whom she had a very close relationship with. Her aunt took her in after realizing that Alexis’s mother was battling with a drug addiction. Even though Alexis was never supposed to have unsupervised visits with her parents, the aunt did want her to have some kind of relationship with them. Even though the decision to let Alexis have unsupervised visits with her parents came from the aunt having a tender heart, it ended up back firing. The aunt ended up losing custody of Alexis because of an incident that happened between Alexis and her father. At the age of 13, Alexis made a courageous decision that would send her life spiraling. She decided to speak up about the abuse which came from the hands of her father. Alexis would often spend holidays and summer breaks with her parents. This is when the abuse happened. She built up the courage to tell a best friend that she was sexually abused by her father. What she didn’t know was that the government would take her away from her aunt and place her in foster care. This didn’t seem to make sense to her. Fortunately, she was taken in by her best friends family.

Approximately 6 months after she was taken in by her best friend things started to get a little rocky. The family fell on hard times and ended up losing their place of residence. Alexis, along with her friends family, found refuge with acquaintances, family and friends periodically. Most times having to sleep on the floor due to lack of space. Once again, Alexis had to make a courageous move. She decided to run away and would eventually be taken in by her half uncle from her mothers side. Going through so much at this tender age you would think it would distract a young mind. Even make them resort to crime. I asked her “Do you think being in foster care inspired you in any way?”.

“It definitely did not inspire me. Sometimes I often wondered why I didn’t have a “normal” life instead. The only thing I can say came from this is that it made me eager to get my own place. My case worker always said “You either age out of the system or graduate. That’s the only way out.”

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Her soon to be way out would come, to her surprise, once she learned she was on track to graduate high school early. It seemed that the chaos only made her focus and excel tremendously academically. A complete oxymoron. During her middle school stint, Alexis took an Algebra 1 course along with an English test that would count towards high school credits. That, along with taking some summer courses, started her advancement. Alexis noticed on her own that she had enough credits to advance. When she brought this to her guidance counselor they suggested she duel enroll. Seeing that she was so close to completion she decided to take the advice to duel enroll. After a little more hard work Alexis would be on track to graduate high school at the age of 16.

Her uncle, who she lived with at the time, agreed to let her stay at his home until she graduated high school. You would think that a teenager graduating high school early would be good news. For a teen with no where to go and also not being a legal adult made things a little interesting to say the least. She found a job and saved up money so that she would be prepared if she had to move. Choosing colleges would prove to be difficult. If the college didn’t offer any type dorm or living situation Alexis basically couldn’t go. She wasn’t old enough to sign a lease yet. I’m assuming this problem was the deciding factor in her choosing to attend a local college. Her next battle would be with the court system. She basically had to be emancipated in order to be considered a legal adult. Through an extensive battle she finally convinced the court that she needed to be a legal adult so that she wouldn’t be turned back over to foster care. Also, so she could sign a lease and pursue a college degree in her own place. So while most teenage girls were stressed about boy crushes and fitting in with the “cool kids”, Alexis was living a much more serious life. Though, she hadn’t realized it yet. She was simply relieved to have a place to call her own.

Shy, alone, battered, to say the least. You’d wonder how this timid girl chose something like modeling. Well, she didn’t. She was chosen. When she first applied for the scholarship with a modeling school she was certain that she wouldn’t get picked.

“I was smart…but I had tattoos and no money. I didn’t even think they would be interested. Some how I was chosen and accepted for their scholarship. If it weren’t for me getting accepted I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to go any where and model”

Thus, her modeling career was born

 

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Alexis’s first real gig came from Feroce Magazine. The article was titled “Misunderstood”. The opportunity came from a friend she met at Seabreeze High School. With great help from her husband (and manager) and her photographer Tyler Jenkings, she was able to create a professional presence for herself. With a professional backing she was able to build up enough confidence to pursue modeling full speed.

 

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Life was starting to look promising for the young lady. Yet, it gets better. At the age of 20 her boyfriend of 7 years, Xavier Scott, decided that he wanted to be with her for ever. He proposed to her. They would get married  in August of 2018. It seems that for her the storm had passed and the sunshine has come out again.

Currently, Alexis is a college student and a freelance model. She says that her main goals are to one day walk the run way during Fashion Week and also being picked to star in a major movie role. Seeing what she has overcome so far, nothing is impossible.

It was remarkable seeing how this young lady stayed positive through it all. I asked her did she have any advice for anyone that has endured a rough upbringing but wants to remain positive about the future.

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“Just keep going, and most importantly, get help! Some people are ashamed of what they have gone through or either too proud. No matter how good a person may seem we all need to heal properly. No matter what it is you go through, don’t be afraid to tell someone. I am very grateful for the METOO movement. It is allowing people to speak up more than ever. For those who feel like they won’t be heard, just remember that there is someone, somewhere, that’s willing to listen and help”.

May God bless you on your journey, Alexis.

Special Thanks :

Photographer : Tyler Jenkings

Nail Tech : Sarah Mai

Husband : Xavier Scott

Friends, Family and Followers

Contact Info :

Instagram : @darkskinnedalexis

Facebook Business Page : Alexis Ann Scott

Facebook Manager : Xavier Scott

Rest in Power Nipsey Hussle

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Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur, community rejuvenator, father, partner, and neighbor Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed Sunday in front of his Marathon Clothing store in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South L.A. He was 33.

Even if you’re not a rap fan, it’s worth understanding who Nipsey Hussle was, if only to appreciate his extraordinary instincts for music, fashion, business strategy, and community development.

 

Plus, he was just a good person. “He once gave a pair of shoes to every student at an elementary school in Hyde Park, where he owned a burger joint, a fish market and a barbershop,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “He helped fund upgrades to the campus playground and offered jobs to his struggling neighbors. If someone lost a loved one to gun violence, he would sometimes chip in for the funeral.”

He also helped restore a beloved and abandoned neighborhood roller rink with important ties to the L.A. hip-hop scene. In February 2017, he opened a co-working space and STEM center to help address the lack of diversity in technology and build bridges with corporate partners in Silicon Valley. Thanks to his musical aspirations, he’d gotten the tech bug early – he had learned to use software to record himself. That background helped him think at scale.

In the wake of Hussle’s death, fans are reflecting on his business accomplishments, from selling a mixtape for $100 each to creating a technology hub in Crenshaw. Here are five times Hussle merged the worlds of music and business.

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He sold 1,000 copies of his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 each.

In October of 2013, Hussle was getting ready to drop his eighth mixtape, Crenshaw, for free, when he decided to flip the script on the traditional model and charge for his work. “We were just like, ‘Let’s print it up like a limited edition novelty game, kind of like with video games when you got the extra package that comes with the headset,’” he told XXL at the time, before elaborating on where he got the concept.

“I had been reading a book about what makes people talk about things, what makes things go viral and what makes things contagious,” he continued. “There was an example in this book about a restaurant owner who made a $100 cheesesteak… It made some people curious, it made other people upset, but more than anything it created conversation. And he ended up on the Oprah show, and he ended up on David Letterman talking about this $100 cheesesteak.”

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Hussle sold out of the physical copies of Crenshaw in 24 hours, netting himself $100,000. Among those who bought the mixtape were Jay-Z, who purchased 100 copies to show his support to the young entrepreneur, and Rick Ross, who also endorsed Hussle.

In a 2013 article about the marketing effort, Billboard wrote the following about the campaign that Hussle dubbed Proud2Pay: “While the pricey physical copies were numbered, autographed and included a ticket to a future performance by the 28-year-old rapper, Crenshaw billed itself as more than merely a boldly-priced deluxe edition. Rather, Hussle called the tape the first step in a new patron model, where a few superfans shoulder the burden that artists usually spread across as broad an audience as they can muster.”

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He purchased the strip mall in Crenshaw that housed his Marathon Clothing store.

Nipsey Hussle was killed in an area he was working hard to rebuild. Earlier this year, Forbes reported the rapper and his business partner, Dave Gross, had paid “a couple million” to purchase the plaza, which he hoped to rebuild as a six-story mixed-use residential and commercial complex. In November, Hussle told Fox 11’s Leah Uko the property would include a barbershop, a Creole seafood restaurant and a store where locals could purchase prepaid cell phones, fragrances and more.

In 2017, Hussle opened Marathon Clothing, a “smartstore” that allowed fans to purchase merch and use an app to access exclusive content from him. Back then, Hussle told Billboard his plan was to open additional stores in the “top 10 markets of the United States.”

“This is us trying to disrupt retail, create a theme park for the brand. This is us trying to create a retail network to become vertically integrated,” he said. “This is us trying to super-serve the core with an upgraded experience. This is us trying to fuse hip-hop, fashion and tech… We believe that’s what the Marathon store is. It’s an immature concept. It hasn’t evolved to its fullest form yet. But I think we’re in the process of seeing technology integrated with everything, become apart of the world. So I think that we’re just putting our chips on experience. We think this is where retail is going. So we want to be one of the leaders.”

Hussle also launched a co-working space and STEM program in his hometown.

Last year, Nipsey Hussle created Vector 90 to create links between young talent from impoverished neighborhoods and opportunies in Silicon Valley. Hussle also created the space in partnership with Gross, offering “flexible short term leases, daily passes, monthly memberships, private offices and custom build-outs,” according to a Los Angeles Times report at the time. On another floor in the building is a STEM program open to local children through an application process.

At the time, Hussle said he hoped Vector 90 would provide an alternative to gang culture for young people in his community. “I remember feeling, like, No. 1, what’s the point, and No. 2, maybe I’m tripping. Maybe I’m not even supposed to be ambitious; maybe I’m not even supposed to be thinking this big and thinking outside the box; maybe I should just follow suit,” he said. “That’s a dangerous thing. I would like to prevent as many kids from feeling like that as possible. Because what follows is self-destructive.”

skynews-nipsey-hussle-lauren-london_4627750Outside of the plaza and Vector 90, Hussle was looking to make more real estate investments.

This included partnering with Gross, DJ Khaled and others to partner with an investment syndicate in a bid to acquire the leasehold for the Viceroy Santa Monica, a 162-room luxury, beach hotel.

Hussle always advocated for ownership and entrepreneurship among artists, even after partnering with Atlantic Records to release his Grammy-nominated debut album, Victory Lap.

On Victory Lap‘s Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Dedication,” Hussle raps, “Royalties, publishing, plus I own masters/ I’ll be damned if I slave for some white crackers.”

From the beginning of his career, Hussle was wary of major labels; his first major deal, with Epic Records, ended without producing an album and he’d been independent ever since. So when he announced his Atlantic deal in November 2017, it came at first as a surprise — but the terms, or at least those that were made public, made it make more sense for the typically-entrepreneurial MC. Not only did he retain control over his own work through the partnership with his All Money In company, he retained control over the roster, which remained independent and was not under exclusive license to Atlantic or any other label.

Hussle further elaborated on his business ideology and the importance of creating additional content outside of music during an interview with Mass Appeal, saying, “As an artist, there’s a business model that exists in the music industry to prevent you from having ownership, to prevent you from being a partner in the lion’s share of the profit. The value is created in content, so when I think of us as hip-hop artists, we create content, but we don’t have a wide product line.” With the Marathon Clothing store and Proud2Pay, Hussle was working to change this narrative.

Keidra Ponder of Keedie’s Corner also notes the fact that Hussle was very intuned with his culture and health. He was producing a documentary on the renown Dr. Sebi who has many documented cases of curing people of viral diseases that we currently don’t have a prescription medication to treat. Nick Cannon went to social media to reflect saying, “And I’m gonna say this only for the real ones to recognize. Where you left off, we gonna carry one! It’s a MARATHON, so I’m picking up the baton! Because they can’t kill us all! Spiritual Warfare is REAL and in full effect.” We hope he will keep the dream alive and finish the documentary, as we keep the dream alive by walking the path set forth for us.

shutterstock_1182791518 Via: Live Civil

Photos Via: Instagram & Google

By: Keidra Ponder