In a world that glamorizes entertainers, I feel we gravely under-appreciate our every day heroes. I’m speaking of those essential workers who, not only risk their lives for us, but carry out task that keep our cities functioning smoothly. We have gotten so used to certain things, that we forget how dire they are to our every day living. Something as simple as…taking out the trash.
We all hate when we miss one trash day. Why? When we forget to put our trash on the side of the road that trash is left behind until next week. Now we have a hassle. We have to deal with flies, maggots, putting bags by the side of the road to possibly rip, the whole nine. That week is terrible. “Look, at my poor yard”, says everyone that misses a trash day. Now imagine missing a trash month? A trash year? That is the life without our garbage men.
Yet, their appreciation still goes beyond their service.; It’s also the risk. It’s already dangerous enough driving in traffic with speeds that can go from 35 to 55mph. Imagine stopping and going along side these busy roads. Especially, in a vehicle as large as a garbage truck, which limits the amount of road that’s safe to be on. Example, a cyclist has no issues driving on the side of the road when a sedan drives by. There’s enough space. Totally different from when a garbage truck whistles by. Think of that limited space every time a garbage man walks the streets while cars impatiently fly by. Sometimes with no regard. I’m pretty sure we have all done it. We all have places to go and people to see. But is it worth the 3 seconds it would have taken to check your surroundings fully? Let’s check some stories.
The dangers most recently hit home for me on September 18, 2020 at 6:38 in the morning. My little sister notified me that my brother was struck by a van while working his route for his waste recycling job. He was struck while in a customers yard. The driver swerved into the yard to avoid hitting the back of the truck. He suffered a cracked skull, orbital fracture (eye socket), fractured hand, broken nose, and lacerations on the front and back of the head. Through the grace of God, he survived. This would be 1 of many accidents in Florida alone. On May 14th, 2020 in Martin County a fatal crashed occurred when a man rear-ended a garbage truck. On March 17th, 2020 a Bradenton city employed was killed in an accident involving a solid waste front-end loader garbage truck. On Feb.12, 2020 a Leon County waste worker was seriously injured after his garbage truck crashed into a tree. On April 5th, 2019 a Fort Myers waste worker was killed when his truck rolled and pinned him against another vehicle. On Oct 23, 2018 two Daytona Beach drivers were injured when a school bus rear ended a garbage truck. Nov.21st, 2018 a 21 year old Palm Coast man was killed when a Waste Pro truck over turned. At least 57 U.S. waste and recycling workers died on the job in 2018, along with two in Canada and 19 more than in 2017, according to SWANA.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency also provides funding through its Jobs Through Recycling program. This program allocates monies to state, local and tribal government agencies for disbursement to recycling companies that meet its criteria, including a minimum 25 percent match of the federal grant.Even with that, you can’t bring a person back after they have passed. You can’t bring their life back to normal once the have been permanently injured. It’s more so about prevention. We, as a community should advocate more for the safety of these workers. Raise the penalties for speeding around trucks, having a speedometer on the back of trucks to show on-coming traffic how fast they are going and,laws stating that cars can only pass given clearance from the workers.
These garbage men have families. My brother has a beautiful little girl. Our cities are cleaner because of their courage. It was rumored that some of the major plagues that happened, centuries ago, were the results of trashed cities. This article is for awareness. Just please be patient when you see these men. Be attentive while on the road. Wait to respond to that phone call or text and, do your Google searches and map searches while parked. Let’s show our appreciation by making the roads a safer place. For those of importance in the city, let’s advocate for more funding to these workers and waste companies so, that they can improve wages and safety for these brave men. Thank you!
First, I’d like to say rest in peace to the legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna aka Gigi. With how crazy 2020 has been, the situation still feels unreal. His loss definitely made me realize my own mortality. Kobe’s dedication to the game was unmatched. The “Kobe Stare” alone spoke that in volumes. The constant day-to-day hustle would make some believe that he wasn’t already at the top of his game. That’s what made him special. His fire. His fearlessness. Kobe accepted all challenges and never shied away from anything. Most importantly, he made people better around he. He pushed people. Even during rough times in his career, he continued to play a maximal effort and continued to be a mentor on and off the court. Thank you for your contributions to the sport and to the people. You will be missed!
Okay, before we get into the topic I’d like to tell you my background as a basketball fan. I want to tell you my favorites and who I grew up on. I came up during the middle of Michael’s career. I can remember watching the Super Sonics, Pacers, and Utah series. I remember how excited my dad was. Literally jumping up and down. The thing that stuck out the most was the infamous shot that Jordan made on Byron Russell. I remember as a kid wondering if that was cheating. The push off. After gauging my dads reaction I rationalized that it wasn’t cheating. I told myself that when you want to win that bad you push the limits. literally. You try everything you can. The whole “succeed as much as you want to breath” mentality. My respect for Jordan grew. Looking back, I wondered how much influence Michael had on the game. Did he get the “Jordan calls”? One thing I can say is Jordan played in the era I loved. A less sensitive era. A era where you could actually beat your opponent up a little bit.It makes you wonder who would be good now a day’s if things were the same. Not to mention this was an era of true big men and less 3-point heavy.
As I matured and developed my own mind, I started to search for people who I admired. Im from Daytona Beach,Fl. So obviously I started off being a Vince Carter fan. I was also a fan of Penny and Shaq. While watching Vince in Toronto I discovered Tracy McGrady. Tracy and Vince played on Toronto together but Vince sort of out shined him. Regardless, I still noticed Tracy and became a huge fan. This led me to follow Tracy to Orlando and then to Houston.
Houston had a bunch of good runs. Just to name a few, these are some of the teammates Tracy had during his time. Yao Ming, Meta World Peace, Rafer Alston (skip to my lou), Shane Battier (the Kobe Stopper), Steve Francis, Patrick Beverly, Trevor Ariza, and many more.
During Tracy’s time there, the Rockets struggled to get past the 2nd round. I feel like the best chance they had to make the finals was their 2005 series where they were eliminate by the Mavericks. We later found out that ex-referee Tim Donaghy was arrested for rigging that series, along with a few others. After this, Tracy struggled to stay healthy. I decided to become a loyal Houston fan even after his departure. I’ve been a Houston fan ever since. I wanted you to know my background so you can know there is no bias in me in any way towards this debate. It’s all logic, numbers and being a fan of basketball.
I have a number break down for this debate but first lets tackle some of the main topics that are floating around in this debate. The difference in era’s, their teammates, the people they had to face, rings, and more. While doing research I ran across an article by written by Jess Unk. He helped provide a lot of those numbers and I want to give him full credit. The purpose of this article was only to add to my unique tally system but I figured why not add all figures so there is nothing left in the air.
First, lets talk about the era’s. It would appear that Jordan played in a tougher era. It was a gladiator sport. Blood wasn’t uncommon. His competition was Reggie & the Pacers, Bad Boy’s Detroit, Shawne Kemp & Gary Payton (Sonics), The end of Magic’s career, Mail Man & Stockton (Utah), Shaq & Penny (Orlando), Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bougues and Alonzon Mourning (Hornets), Charles Barkley & Charles Oakley, Tim Hardaway, John Starks & Patrick Ewing (Knicks), I mean the list goes on and on. Not only were these guys super competitive but they were very physical. This is one disadvantage Jordan had.
Yet, on paper, Jordan actually played in a weaker era while LeBron played in a weaker conference. In retro spec, the league had expanded during Jordan’s era. A total of 6 teams were added. Hornets in ’88 first playoff appearance in ‘93, Heat in ’88 and first playoff appearance in ’92, Magic in ’89 and first playoff appearance in ’94, Timberwolves in ’89 and first playoff appearance in ‘97, Raptors in ’95 and first playoff appearance in 2000, and Grizzlies in ’95 and first playoff appearance in 2004. Jordan played in a leagued that had got saturated with a bunch of new talent from players, coaches, and owners. Not very much experience.
Here’s a list of Hall of Famers Jordan faced vs LeBron faced. This includes future potential Hall-of-Famers.
Jordan – Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Gary Peyton, John Stockton 2x, and Karl Malone 2x. Jordan played against 9 Hall of Famers during his championship runs
LeBron – Tim Duncan 3x, Tony Parker 3x, Manu Ginobili 3x, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Kevin Durant 3x, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard 2x, Steph Curry 4x, Klay Thompson 4x, Draymond Green 4x. LeBron has faced 30 Hall-of-Famers during his championship runs.
LeBron, however, was believed to have played in a weaker conference. In the 14 seasons LeBron played on the East the West had more total wins in 13 of those seasons. On the contrary, the East has won 8 out of 16 championships since LeBron has played.
On the flip side, you can also say that playing a a tough era was an advantage for Jordan. Actually being able to be physical. In LeBron’s era, you can’t even sneeze on a person without it being a foul. This has changed the game as we know it. The true big man is disappearing and the three-point game is steadily growing. Along with that, you have the flopping. LeBron gets a lot of criticism for this. In my opinion, I think it’s just high basketball IQ. He took a change in the game and had enough awareness to make it work for him. It takes high basketball IQ to premeditate or to react to something, in real time, to exaggerate a foul. Or to exaggerate contact so the ref can make the proper call. Whether people like it or not, that’s a skill.
Back to the physical side. LeBron is huge guy. He is 6’8 250 lbs and was rumored to have gotten up to between 275-280 lbs. Compared to Jordan being 6’6 216 lbs. LeBron could have definitely thrown his weight around on defense if he played in Jordan’s era. If you want to gauge his toughness that’s up for debate. This is one of the things thats hard to judge being that you wouldn’t know how each player would have done had they played in the other’s era. I will admit, most people believe Jordan would have done crazy numbers in LeBron’s era.
Next, we’re going to talk about teammates. It would seem that Jordan had the better teammates. Think of it this way. Imagine if LeBron had Rodman, Pippen, and Steve Kerr on one team at any given time. It wouldn’t even be fair. LeBron definitely had a tougher road when it came to help in his early career. He played 7 years in Cleveland with little to no help. He even took that team to the finals. Afterwards, he played with Dewayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Although great teammates, Wade was slightly past his prime. He wasn’t the same Wade that won with Shaq. He had suffered injuries. I liked his second Cleveland team 2nd Cleveland team was definitely his best team. JR Smith, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Krover at one point, Shumpert, etc. Though they were champions, even doing the infamous 3-1 comeback against a team with the best record ever, I still think this team had no chance against the Prime Bulls. Rodman’s relentless rebounding, Pippen’s dominance on both sides of the court, along with Jordan’s dominance on both sides of the court would have given the Cav’s and the Heat major problems. Some would say his Heat team was the better team, it’s all opinion.
Yet, on paper, LeBron actually played with the better teammates. Jordan only played with 1 All-Star (Scottie Pippen 6x) while LeBron played with 6 All-Stars (Ilgauskas, Mo Williams, Kyrie Irving 2x, Chris Bosh 4x, Dwayne Wade 4x). Jordan played with 2 Hall Of Famers (Pippen & Rodman) while LeBron played with 3 (Shaq, Wade, and Bosh). A lot of people would argue that this is a skewed outlook but we can’t go against solid facts.
This can be looked at in different ways. Like did they play with these people in their primes? Did every teammate deserve the credits? You can decide.
When we get into numbers, it gets a little tricky. We have to be transparent about it, though. People want you to consider that Jordan went to college when LeBron didn’t. This changes the longevity of the player and the time you get to achieve certain numbers. Also, Jordan left twice. One time to play baseball and another time, we found out later, was a premature retirement. Some say it was because his father passed and he wanted to pursue baseball like his father wanted. Some rumored he was told to get away for awhile because of gambling issues. These were all speculations and we never will really know.
I must say that these things aren’t LeBron’s fault so you can’t really hold it against him. You have to credit LeBron for taking care of his body and staying dedicated for as long as he did with little to no issues. I also believe Jordan had less to prove, so it was easier for him to leave when he felt like it. LeBron had a bigger chip on his shoulder. They kept dangling the “no ring” issue above his head. Jordan’s beginnings were quiet and under the radar. He had the chance to become who he was without being judged. LeBron came in with huge expectations, being a high school phenom. People don’t mention that Jordan was swept in the first round of his first three playoff trips. When LeBron went to get the ring he got the “Oh, he switched out” talk and the “He needed help” talk.
As far as loyalty goes, I’m not sure if it can be compared. LeBron switched teams but some may argue that Jordan switching sports was bad. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because of the situation surrounding it. He stayed loyal to the Bulls and we have to honor that. We won’t count the Wizards because the circumstances were totally different. The “needed help” argument is kind of ridiculous. Most champions, besides people like Olajuwon & Houston, the first Curry/Warriors reign (before KD), and maybe the Pistons who only acquired Rasheed Wallace, built teams. Even the Bulls recruited their arch nemesis Dennis Rodman in order to win more championships. LeBron was far from the first to do it. The only difference was they made a big deal out of it with “The Decision”. Back in Jordan’s era it was called “trying to win”.
As far as actual numbers, that is tricky also. Although, Jordan leads some categories LeBron has a better variety of leading numbers. This makes LeBron the better overall player. Jordan seems to be the better scorer and defender statistically. LeBron seems to be a more efficient scorer and a better passer. LeBron also is better at the 3pt line while Jordan was the better at the free throw line.
Now, let’s talk about finals record. This is where I use my unique pointing system. I’ve never seen this broken down the way I broke this down. The reason why no one broke it down this way is because their logic is “nothing matters unless you win it all”. It’s clear that Jordan has the better finals record. You can’t take that way from him. Yet, on average, was Jordan the better winner? Jordan gets the credit because people say “Well, every time Jordan went to the finals, he won”. My counter point was “Are you counting the times he never even got to the finals?” This has to count for something. If you’re going to count it this way you have to consider that LeBron made it to 8 straight finals. I don’t think people understand how difficult that is to do. Let alone being to 9 total finals over a 16 year career. Thats %56.6 percent of his career making it to the top show. If you don’t count his injury season that number is %60. Micheal made it to the finals 6 out of 15 seasons. Thats %40 of his career. If you minus the Baseball year that’s %42.1. To take it even further, if you minus his baseball and Wizards seasons that number would be %50. Granted, the point is to win it all. You still have to put in account the average winning seasons and playoff advancements. So, yes Jordan won every time he got there but didn’t accumulate more advancements than LeBron.
I understand why people say Jordan is the G.O.A.T. It’s not just about numbers. It’s his reign, his dominance, his presence. His free throw dunk. His “Air Jordan” feats and spectacular finishes. These types of things made him a moral champion. A people’s champion. My only problem with this is people negate logic to defend this notion. Even go as far as trashing LeBron. It makes me feel like people aren’t fans of the sport but more so fans of teams or individuals. Another thing I can’t understand is the rate LeBron, as an individual, when it comes to finals losses but never mention the times others never even made the finals. Lets give an example.
Curry‘s finals record is 3 out of 4 appearances (%75). He’s made it to the finals 4 out of 11 seasons (%36). Tim Duncan won 5 out of 6 appearances (%83). He made the finals 6 out of 19 seasons (%31.5), Kobe finals record 5 out of 7 (%71.4) and appeared 7 out of 20 seasons (%35), Wade 3 out of 5 appearances (%60). and appeared 5 out of 16 seasons (%31.25) . LeBron has the lowest finals record with %37.5. Yet, he spent %50 of his career in the finals. If he makes it this year that number will be %52.9.
To conclude, Jordan has a better finals record and more rings but that doesn’t make him the better winner. If you tally when each player was eliminated from or made the playoffs overall, LeBron is superior.
Based on the number of teams admitted to the playoffs, if you are knocked out in the first round, you could be ranked at 16th at worst and ninth at best. That ranking goes up to eighth and fifth during the second round. If eliminated during the Conference Finals, you could be ranked fourth at worst or third at best. Losing in the Finals obviously means you are the second best team in the league. Below is a listing of the rounds LeBron and Jordan were eliminated in during the playoffs.
Jesse Unk – HowTheyPlay.com
“So while Jordan has a higher percentage of being the absolute best, he also had a higher percentage of being one of the worst teams in the playoffs. LeBron has a much more consistent stream of winning throughout his career, even if it wasn’t winning the championship.” – Jesse Unk
I found a unique tally system. I created a point system based on making the playoffs, how far they made it, making the finals, and winning the finals.
This is how I break down the numbers to tally, on average, who won more. This will be based off wether they made the playoffs, how deep they went into the playoffs, and did they win it all. I take those numbers and divide it by the number of completed seasons. This number will give me a average of how much a person actually won through out their career.
Make playoffs – 1 Point Conference Finals – 3 Points Win Finals – 5 Points
I tally the accumulated points for that season and give you a number. If you win the finals, the 5 points is considered a bonus to the 4 points you get for making the finals. So 4 plus 1 bonus point. You don’t get 4 plus 5.
Once I tally each season I will add them all up and get a number. I will then dived that number into the number of seasons the person played and get an average number. This will tel me their win average over their career when it comes to playoffs. I’ll start with Jordan.
Jordan (15 seasons)
Season 1 – Made Playoffs (1) – Swept by MIL – 1 point
Season 2 – Made Playoffs (1) – Swept by BOS – 1 point
Season 3 – Made Playoffs (1) – Swept by BOS – 1 point
Season 4 – Made Playoffs (1) , 2nd Rnd (2) | L (1-4 DET)- 3 Pts
Season 5 – Made playoffs (1), 2nd Rnd (2), 3rd Rnd (3) | L (1-4 DET) – 6 Pts
Season 6 – Made Playoffs (1), 2nd Rnd (2), 3rd Rnd (3) | L (3-4 DET) – 6 Pts
S 7 – Made Playoffs (1), 2nd Rnd (2), 3rd Rnd (3), Champ (5) | (4-1 LAL) – 11 Pts
S 8 – (Repeat) | (4-2 POR) – 11 Pts
S 9 – (Repeat) | (4-2 PHO) – 11 Pts
S 10 – (Return after baseball #45) Playoffs (1), 2nd Rnd (2) | L (2-4 ORL) – 3 Pts
Without Baseball, Wizard’s, or LeBron’s Injury Season
Accumulated Points – 84 Pts 108 Pts
Total Season Win Average – 7 Pts7.2 Pts
Before I give you my summary of the chart I’d like to address the “clutch” factor. When most general fans think of being clutch, they think of making the big shot. In actuality, being clutch is much more. Being clutch is your numbers increasing when your team is against the wall. Times when your team is facing elimination. Or when your team are put in a position to eliminate a team. Here are some of those numbers.
LeBron vs. Jordan Clutch Statistics
Field Goal %
Free Throw %
Michael Jordan Career
Jordan Eliminating Opponents
Jordan Facing Elimination
LeBron James Career
LeBron Eliminating Opponents
LeBron Facing Elimination
As you can see, LeBron went above his career averages when faced with decision changing games. While Jordan, for the most part, declined. LeBron, Though heavily criticized for not taking big shots, improved his numbers throughout the games, which just as important if not more important.
I want to address the obvious. Things I know people will say. Things such as “It doesn’t work that way. You don’t get credit for losing. It’s either win it all or nothing”. Which I would have to disagree on. First reason being is because you use LeBron’s Finals record instead of just saying he won 3 championships. You can’t pick and chose win losses matter. If we are going to use losses lets use them all. See who really is the better winner. Second, in my opinion, if none of these things mattered then there wouldn’t be a playoffs. They would simply take the top teams from the East and the West after the regular season and let them go straight to the championship. Each series is individualized. Different strategy to win based on the opponent. Different levels. Its totally different being the 8th seed playing against the 1st seed. Contrary to being the 5th seed playing the 4th seed. The roads are different.
Even if you still take this away from LeBron. You say “Sorry, these numbers mean nothing if you don’t win it all”. I say, cool. Let’s take away the team accomplishments and judge them as individuals. No LeBron hater would dare to look at those numbers. LeBron has surpassed almost every total stat number.
Jordan’s has something that LeBron can never take from him. He changed the game like no other. He became a staple.Im surprised they never considered making him the new logo. What Jordan did for the game is beyond numbers. I think this is why people fight for Jordan so hard in the G.O.A.T debate. I understand. Though, I still don’t understand why you have to disrespect LeBron to do so. Be a fan of the sport. Be healthy for the sport with legitimate sports dialect.
I’M NOT A LEBRON FANATIC! I’m simply a fan of the sport. Which I can’t say for most. Some people seem to be more fans of individuals and teams. This is why I feel they have built up so much anger for LeBron. He has shattered so many legacies. I did this article because I was frankly tired of the LeBron disrespect. The man has accomplished so much. If you ask my opinion, LeBron is the G.O.A.T. The reason I call him the G.O.A.T has more to do with his off court contributions. His courage to speak on racial injustices. Building a school. His representation as a honorable family man. No scandals. Even after being told “Shut up and dribble” he continued to be a voice. To me, that’s worth more than anything on this list. This is just my opinion but I feel MJ took a safer route. I feel like he is in a lot deeper than LeBron so he takes more of a political route. What ever contributions he made, he did it discreetly. He decided to stay quiet. LeBron risked it all and I have to honor that.
Any way, this was fun. Who do you think is the G.O.A.T.?
The first thing Bev wanted to be very clear about is that this was NOT a hobby
Hobby?? No…more like passion work. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely started out as a hobby, but it soon became something that I felt led to do as often as I could. My imagination hasn’t let me rest since I began.
– Bev The Creatress
Bev was raised by a single father along with her two brothers. She explains the sometimes she wanted to find her feminine side under the tomboyish ways. It was easy for her to just blend in with her brothers while playing sports, playing video games and wearing t-shirts & comfy shorts. Although, deep down, she wanted to find ways for the pretty young girl within herself to be expressed outwardly.
At the age of 13 she finally discovered a way. She started to cut up and hand sew her own clothing. Thus, the birth of “Creatress”, which is a feminine version of “creator”. She found her way of expression and femininity at the same time.
Bev expressed that she may have gotten her creative boost from lack of resources. Growing up her father encouraged her to be as creative as possible with the things she had and never let the lack of money discourage you. This is exactly what she did. Like a concrete grown through the pavement, she made a way to find beauty out of an impossible circumstance.
At the age of 17 it was clear that she wanted to transition from hobby to business. She chose fashion as a major and it was off to the races! She prided herself heavily on making 1 of 1 clothing. Something that gave people an exclusiveness and helps combat insecurities. Her style of choice was predominantly “street couture”. It’s a mixture of street wear and couture clothing. Her own little niche.
” When someone has a hand in creating what they will sport to a very important event or time in their life, it truly transforms them and I am so grateful to be a part of their journey! “
– Bev The Creatress
During her college stint she went on a mental journey that explored her spirituality and knowledge of self. She paired this with a strong sense of awareness and cultural pride she grew up with (Afro-Carribbean) and let it translate into the fashion. To her, it’s more than just ethnicity that makes us special.
“I love all that makes us diverse within the African diaspora…yet we have cultural universals that connect us, from the inside out and that can never be overlooked. I KNOW that my divine spirituality and creativity is one in the same and it grows strong each and everyday I allow it to flourish.“
Bev The Creatress
During her time in college she had to get an entirely different motivation. Working and going to school in Miami, a place where it is beneficial to be bilingual with Spanish and English, proved to bit a bit of a set back. She started to notice that she would passed up on for jobs, contracts, and potential endeavors because she didn’t speak Spanish. Lucky, Bev was raised tough. She took on the challenge. She didn’t let it slow her roll. She is proud of her resiliency and says that no hardship is worth folding for!
Her most prestigious award came during her 6 year employment with Universal Studios. Her job there was to help design costumes for marquee events and park attractions. A team of employees within the Entertainment section of the company held an award assembly called “The Woody Awards”. Employers included in nominations were people such as performers, fabricators, technicians, escorts and more. Bev took home the award for Excellence in Costume Fabrication and Makeup Artistry. What made the honor even more rewarding was the fact that she doubted she would win because she wasn’t the popular one in the bunch. This honor sealed her confidence. to be credited by a professional platform spoke volumes as far as where she felt she stood within the society of artist. She felt solidified, in a way.
I asked Bev “What do you want from this”? Her response was so selfless that it was art within itself
“I just want to encourage others to allow their creativity to flow, whether that is through music, poetry, dance, painting, inventions etc. It will connect you closer to the Source, the original creator within that is bigger than anything we can fathom. Lessons and understanding will grow when you begin to think holistically, recreating yourself each and every day. Nothing is forever. Energy is always moving and changing. “
Bev The Creatress
Bev is very grateful to be surrounded by great mentors, colleagues, and creative friends. They really lift each other up and vent when things get tough. She loves the human experience and expresses that ” ‘ish happens “. Thats why she loves to be around open minded people and are willing to understand everyones journey.
If you wish to reach out to Bev the Creatress she can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bevthecreatress on Instagram and Facebook.com/bevthecreatress
She offers custom clothing services, different levels of sewing and craft classes, and ready to wear clothing for sale.
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.
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!
In 2014, New York lost Eric Garner to the hands of police. Eric Garner was put in a choke hold by NYPD for allegedly selling unlicensed cigarettes. A crime that doesn’t hold a death sentence. Yet, this was the outcome for this father and family man. After protest, marches, and constant pressure it seemed things started to change. Fast forward to 2020, in Minneapolis, a man by the name of George Floyd would meet a very similar fate. It makes us wonder what will it take to truly get a change. To actually feel protected by police instead of uncertain. But before we dig deep, I’d like to point out an interesting observation that will show an uncanny and underlining truth about the state America and how it may have intensified.
Daytona Beach,Fl held a peaceful protest led by Rell Black, a pivotal young man in the city’s moral & educational development along with being an important voice when it comes to injustices and black culture. Rell was apart of a large team that visited Houston,TX to deliver essential goods after the devastating hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Even recently, Rell held a beach clean up the day after large crowds flooded the city for Memorial Day Weekend. This is only two of many examples that shows the extremes Rell has gone to to impute change.
I found the peaceful protest as they approached Beach St & ISB Blvd. As I approach I noticed a man jump out of a truck from the passenger side; a white man. The truck carried a boat behind it and the boat carried a huge Trump flag. The man snatched the flag off his boat and put it inside of the truck before he passed the protest. At first it didn’t make sense to me. How does that even correlate to the situation and why would he want to hide a Trump flag as he passed a protest about a man being killed by the police? It hit me later. As I sat in the median on ISB Blvd, to get a unique vantage point take a photo, a man drove by in a white pick-up truck flicking off the crowd of protestors. It sort of hurt my feelings to know that someone, who could potentially be my neighbor, had such harsh feelings towards the situation. As I stared at the truck while it passed guess what sticker he had stamped on the back of his truck? A Trump sticker.
Before I give my opinion I’d like to point out that the protest was one of the most beautiful protest I’ve ever seen. It was diverse. It warmed my heart to see that it wasn’t just a black and white thing. Some people just want what’s right and see the obvious inequalities. Social media and the new age of technology definitely intensified situations that would have ultimately gone unseen or unheard. Which brings me to my earlier point. In order for a man to hide his Trump flag as he passed a protest about a black man being killed by a cop, yet again, says to me that he felt that Trump flag held a deeper meaning. Which was that it fueled racism and the death of George Floyd was fueled by racism. Which is a very sad sentiment towards the state of this country. I mean, if the country’s leader made racist feel more comfortable what does that really say?
Despite this saddening observation this protest gave me great vibes. There was so much passion there. So much love. I was proud for our city. I’ll be honest, I was discouraged moments before I joined the protest. Wondering how things could actually change. This protest gave me a new outlook. A new motivation. We’re definitely lucky and blessed to have leaders such as Rell Black, along with other great leaders.
The picture above is Rell Black being carried away by ambulance after having his foot run over. It happened moments after a man yelled, “They’re trying to hit us with their cars now!”. Yet, the look on his face isn’t troubled at all. It seemed that we are used to being resilient during times like this. This is the strength I felt.
This scene happened after I left. When I was there things were pleasant. I had a photoshoot to do at 1pm so I left the protest early. Some of the protestors said that they had been marching for hours already when I arrived around 12. My photoshoot ended around 4pm. I went to WAWA on the corner of ISB Blvd and people were still out protesting. I was literally amazed at the perseverance they had towards making sure this message was heard. Despite the heat, despite the discouragement, despite the rage from racist, they didn’t let up. The beauty of some people is something to really awe upon, at times. Big shout out to Kale Cafe (116 N Beach St, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114) and the entire family for handing out cold smoothies for protestors to drink.
Don’t be confused. I started this article off rough because I wanted you to understand the resilience of our people. George Floyd can’t get anything from us physically now. But his family still has to push through in this tough time here on Earth. This is why it is so necessary that we have situations such as these peaceful protest. It is to constantly remind the people that we can’t let up. The moment we ease up is the moment they feel they can do as they feel to us. But the people show resilience every time. If you don’t believe me, just go back to Rell’s picture above moments after his foot was crushed.
Thank you to all the people that dedicated their time for this moment. Keep the fight alive and continue to apply pressure!
The official film premiere for “Da Story B4 Da Glory” kicked off Saturday July 13, 2019 at Griffin Cinemas. The sold out red carpet premiere was hosted by Ashley Akins and Jay Harris. The fans packed the theater to show their support, even Rodney McCord, the Mayor of Griffin was in attendance. The event was a great accomplishment for the cast and crew, our hard work definitely paid off. The premiere was followed by a screening at O’Riley’s Bar in Decatur, Ga. After the film debut, Diamond P had a chance to get up close and personal as an interview was held with the cast on her talk show “Da Diamond P Experience”.
“Da Story B4 Da Glory” is now available for streaming onAmazon Prime and Tubi. Put this on your list of must see films. I was apart of the production and I still sat in the theater in amazement, laughing at Kash and wanting LT to get a life! The narrative of the main character will keep you in tune with his plan to stay focused while some of his choices will make you think other wise. With each step BG takes he will face another dilemma, when he finally heads in the right direction his past comes to haunt him. The biggest lesson taken away from this film was the ability of your life choices to alter your path and the lives of the people around you. This is definitely one that will keep you interested and waiting for more.
I was honored to be apart of this project, as I co-produced “Da Story B4 Da Glory”. I commend Director Jabari “Leylo” Crowder of Lovizionz Multimedia for his film production. He has a unique style and the ability to bring forth visuals that capture the audience. I went into the production open minded and left with great insight. Special thanks to my co-producer Caitlynn Silvius. She was so patient while also being an AD, not to mention she wore it all with a smile. Brandon Gaston of Dale Drive Intaprize was a young but a mature Executive Producer. I commend him on being professional and diligent. This is literally HIS Story B4 Da Glory! Many thanks to the entire cast and crew with special mentions; Chuck White, Ernest Ross, Pete Driver and Tru.
For promotional bookings please contact Keidra Ponder at email@example.com
When you see a person with an amazing physique your first reaction is always to drop your jaw in awe. Why so? Think of the first thing that comes to mind. Dedication. Will power. Discipline. Even obsession, in some cases. These types of things don’t come over night. In fact, A lot of people who work out often still may not have the incredible physique that a bodybuilder has. The lifestyle simply takes more than an hour at the gym every day. It’s a complete lifestyle. Eating habits are different. Recreational activities are different. This type of life takes a firm choice. You can live a healthy life without being a bodybuilder. So why choose to be? It can be something as simple as seeing Schwarzenegger in a movie, being bullied as a child, or even a singular situation. Maybe you had a eureka moment. All I know is when I see it, I give my instant respect. Like a salute to a general in command.
When I first saw Diana, the first thing I thought was intimidation. Not towards me but in general. I’ll tell you why. Women’s athletics is still a growing spectacle in all categories of sports. I’ll give you an example. The first bodybuilding competition was held around September, 1901. However, the first women’s bodybuilding competition wasn’t held until 1979. Nearly a century later.
The push away from the stereotypical house wife role, to “We can do it, too!”, came during and after World War II. Even though women had already started fighting for rights around the late 1800’s, the public campaign came around the 1940’s. Since most the men were at war, woman had to show that they had what it takes. Even when society tried to keep them boxed in. This push has elevated to the incredible stature that it is today. Watching women such as Serena & Venus Williams dominate tennis, or watching Amanda Nunes destroy the UFC women’s division has definitely been a treat.
(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)
I even asked Diana does she think she intimidates men at all. She responded, “No, in fact, I think it makes them approach me even more. I think they love the discipline aspect of it.”. This is that part that definitely intrigued me.
So what actually drove Diana to sculpt her body into this amazing physique? There may not be a definitive answer but she did tell me an interesting story about a scar she had on her arm.
As I gazed at every unique muscle on her body I noticed a scar on her left arm. You can almost miss it in pictures if you don’t look closely. Being a journalist I always want to hear the inside scoop, so I asked her about the scar. She responded,
“That’s where most of my insecurities really came from now that I think about it. I hated that scar and I would hide it all the time. It lowered with my self-esteem a lot. I broke it in a freak accident when I was around 9-10 years old. I was high up on a swing and fell off. My elbow hit a rock and broke it. My elbow that is. Now a days I embrace my scar. I’m not embarrassed about it anymore and I tell the story with confidence. It makes me unique and I like that.”.
(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)
This simple rock story may be the reason that she is rock solid today. Mentally and physically. Her life started off pretty normal, though. I mean, besides the fact that she was home schooled. In fact, she was home schooled from kindergarten to middle school, which she explained was a “huge culture shock”. Diana was into athletics early, as well. She played basketball throughout her school stint and was a stand out player. After graduating from Bloomfield Tech in 2009 she attended Iona College on a full scholarship.
After a stand out rookie year, where she was the runner-up for rookie of the year, she slowly started to lose steam. She exclaimed that she has always been a shy person with low self-esteem. She believes this is the reason that she slowed down.
“So here I am, a D1 player who didn’t go pro or go overseas like “I’m supposed to”. I felt like a failure and had no choice but to look for work. A year later I decided to join a gym. I missed being active. I hadn’t realized that playing basketball year round was keeping me in shape and the sudden stop would make me lose it a little. I didn’t eat healthy, I drank, partied, and was overall unhappy. I was lost and beat myself up for years for not perusing a professional basketball career like most D1 players do. For 3 years I went through tough hardships that included relationships, self-esteem issues, health issues, and more. I was tired of living with no purpose. I needed a change.”
Around 2018 is when she regained her flame. She decided to challenge herself and compete in a bodybuilding show. She said she had it on her mind for 2 years before she actually took action. She didn’t feel like she was 100% focused and was nervous about doing something that would put her in the center of attention. Then she remembered the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. This led to Diana hiring a personal trainer and eventually a nutritionist. After 4 weeks on their plan she picked a show to compete in. She told herself no more hesitation, it’s go time!
She practiced posing in the mirror after she finished doing Lyft, which would be around midnight. She also followed her coach’s meal plan with precision. In July of 2018, merely 4 weeks after she began her training, she entered a Natural Organization called the INBA PNBA. There, she won first place in Figure Novice and Figure Open. Crazy right? This woman was determined! This expedited success came from a determined work ethic. Diana says she wants people to push pass the thought that they are “too busy” to push towards things they want.
“My typical day, before my first show, would be to wake up at 5am to Lyft. Then I train. I go to work and after work go back to do Lyft. Afterwards, about midnight, I head to gym again to practice posing. This routine is almost everyday.”
Later that year, Diana became certified in personal training and holds two pro cards in Figure and Physique. She has since competed in 8 shows over the course of 2 years.
Her most recent victory came Nov.16th at a big show In Las Vegas with the INBA PNBA, The Natural Olympia. She placed 3rd overall and was named the National Athlete of the Year by the same association. Seeing this amazing feat in such short time said a lot about her determination. When a person falls in love with athletics it requires a totally different kind of commitment. It’s a life style change. This brings some much fire out of people. It also makes you think more of your over-all health. A strange observation I made throughout the years is that the majority of people maintenance their cars better than they maintenance their bodies. Diana noticed herself slipping and not only bounced back but became something much better than before.
( Above Coach Marc Tauriello & League President Denny Kakos)
“In the end, it all started with me just wanting to be active again. The gym became my happy place. It became an outlet for stress and distractions in the world. Never be afraid to fail, for failure is apart of success.” Diana expresses.
“Bodybuilding is an extremely tough sport, physically and emotionally. Despite it’s difficulty, I find myself loving every bit of it. There are a lot of highs and lows. Especially dealing with the strict diet. Can you imagine eating the same thing every day for months on end? The temptation to cheat is unbearable at times. You might as well forget about having a social life during the preparation. It slowly diminishes. Through all this, the workouts only get more intense. I love this mode, though. I can sense that’s it’s challenging me physically and emotionally. Anything that pushes me in this way, I feed off it. Just like in my basketball days. The fire I got when we played a tough team. When I missed a couple of shots but was determined to bounce back. Even when I made a bad play and had to sit on the bench and reflect on how to improve. I love all of that. What I love the most about this sport is that it taught me a lot about nutrition. I will continue to eat healthy, have balanced meals, and diet naturally. I am a stronger woman today because I took a chance to go for something I wasn’t sure I was ready for, and made myself ready.”
(Photo Cred – Marty Gottlieb)
Here is a list of placings Diana has had throughout her career as a bodybuilder.
2018 East Coast Classic – 1st Figure Open , 1st Figure Novice
2018 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s – Pro Debut , 1st Place
2018 Natural Olympia – 9th place (world) (17 competitors)
2019 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s Classic – 3rd place
2019 Eastern USA Pro-AM – 1st Pro Figure , 1st Women’s Physique (Earned Pro Card in women’s physique)
2019 The Nationals – 1st place in Physique pro debut
2019 Muscle Beach International – 1st in Pro Women’s Physique
2019 Natural Olympia – 3rd Place , National Athlete of the Year
Diana would like to credit her Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coach Marc Tauriello (Extreme Gym, Nutley,NJ) for her outstanding success thus far.
Today, Diana is still a full time bodybuilding and has plans to continue to have ground breaking success. She works and a personal trainer in between time. Congratulations on all of your success and keep striving for greatness!
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 .
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.”
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
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.
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.
“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”.
All our lives we’ve been taught that too much sun is bad for us. We’ve been taught about how cancerous it can be. How hot it is. The list goes on. Yet, we are hardly taught the benefits of the sun.
As of recent, I started sun gazing. It is a practice that has been dated back since ancient times. It’s a practice where you stare at the sun during sun set or sunrise. Most people might say “Wait, isn’t that harmful?”. Well, contrary to common belief, if done correctly it actually has great health benefits.
If you think about how plants use the sun then you can further understand how we can also. As children, we were taught about photosynthesis and how plants turn sunlight into food. Green substance in producers that traps light energy from the sun, which is then used to combine carbon dioxide and water into sugars in the process of photosynthesis Chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis, which helps plants get energy from light.
This same process is essentially the same in how melanin works for us. If you never noticed, which I’m sure you have, only fair toned people get sunburned. That’s because they don’t have enough melanin to protect them from harmful UV rays.
Although these processes are very similar chlorophyll can withstand a higher dosage of UV rays. Plants sit under the sun light all day with minor to no harm. That wouldn’t be the same case for humans.
Why we should have plenty of chlorophyll (green plants) in our diets.
Studies have proven that chlorophyll, in its various forms, has been proven to fight carcinogens in the body and reduce cancer risk. It also helps detoxify the liver and can expedite the healing of wounds. On top of all that, some have attributed improved digestion and weight management to a chlorophyll routine.
(site Megan Madden , Verily Mag)
Follow my Youtube channel in the link below for more natural healing remedies and tips.
Meet Venus Tutu! We stubbled across her after the picture below went viral!
Of course curiosity flew around wondering how in the world did she manage to do it! Most women are concerned about how their body will bounce back after pregnancy. Their bodies endure so much between weight gain and the stretching of the skin. So I asked Venus what her post pregnancy secrets were. This is what she revealed.
Venus was born in Liberia but moved to the states and was raised in Philly. She had her first child at the tender age of 17
“It was a drastic change for me, especially from my native background beliefs. Due to me having a baby so young and out of wedlock I became an outcast to my family. I went from having a roof over my head to being homeless/sleeping in laundromat bathrooms. I was still in high school, raising a baby with no knowledge of how to do so. I struggled a lot but my son kept me sane and pushed me to better both of our situation. He’s literally my life.”
Being so young, Venus felt like her body didn’t suffer much. She bounced right back into shape. She humorously replied “My breast didn’t get the same memo”. It wasn’t until her second child where she actually started to take fitness seriously.
Venus explains that after her second child the “gym” was a trending thing at the time. It just so happens that it helped her stay in shape. Her wanting to workout in hopes of bouncing back after pregnancy didn’t happen until after her 3rd child. She explains how she focused on foods she saw the best weight loss results from
“After my 3rd baby my snap back wasn’t as quick. I still had some weight left on me. Once I noticed that I started going to the gym more and changed my eating habits(not entirely). I also discover the foods/drinks that made me drop pounds in days”
Venus’s grandmother birthed 14 kids and her body was amazing afterwards so she feels a lot of it had to do with genetics mixed with hard work. She says she loves her body. She lives to show it off as much as she can. She inspires the be a model at some point in her life.
Her latest test was recovering from having twins! Especially since the previous child wasn’t even a year old yet.
This took a real tool on her over all energy levels. She’s explains thats the hardest part about staying in shape,at this point, was simply getting up.
Venus understands the struggle of parenthood. Especially being a single parent. These are her words of advice.
“Take them kids with you ! Find a gym that has a daycare center inside and go workout ! Most mothers want to workout but can’t due to them not having anybody to watch their kids. So find a gym that has a daycare center and go ! You may not see results in days or weeks but don’t give up ! Pick certain days to work on certain things and stay consistent! You know it’s working when it hurts. Pain should encourage you even more! Build up your confidence and kick ass when you’re working on your body goals ! Please don’t go to the gym just to post pics on social media…focus on the goals you set”
If you want to reach Venus for business inquires contact her at
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Outside 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.
I had the opportunity to speak with the Primetime Gamechangers’ Assistance Coach, Houston Cadette. Like many good men, he is an active father in his little athlete’s life. This an eight on eight spring tackle football team composed of energetic 9,10 & 11year olds. The Coaches William Bell and Bobby Candidate are very passionate about their players, often offering assistance to the parents who can’t afford the fees.
The Coaches have started a gofundme page to rally contributions for the players. As we know it’s many talented individuals who just need that little bit of hope to keep them going, please donate to their campaign. Your donation will go towards the player’s fee of $160.00 for needed equipment such as; jerseys, padded pants and pride packs consisting of team shorts and shirts. Assistant Coach Cadette said, “We really want to make this a great experience, looking good makes you feel good and feeling good helps you play good.”
Click the link below to donate to the Primetime Gamechangers equipment and uniform drive;
Gospel Artist and Aspiring Actress Shauna Ti’er was born March 23, 1976 in Jacksonville, FL. She was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida and started singing at the age of 5 in her local family church, New Mt. Zion Baptist. At the age of 12, she landed the lead role in a school play where her acting and singing talents were displayed. She has always loved to sing and share her gift with people.
Even at a young age, she learned to love the art of music and was inspired by several known legends in the industry including Shirley Caesar, Helen Baylor, the Clark Sisters, and also R&B sensation, the late Whitney Houston to name a few. At the age of 15, Shauna Ti’er was offered a very unique position as a Special Teen Advisor for Fashion (STAFF) with JCPenney. During this time, she was afforded the opportunity to showcase her modeling talents and began to blossom as a performer at that point. She started to write music and really began to develop a deeper love for her craft as a music artist.
In 1996 she moved to Atlanta, GA and another chapter in her life began. She was blessed to become a praise and worship leader at a local church, where God began to really show her his plan for her life. During this time she wrote a gospel play that was showcased in several churches around the local area. In 2016, after writing many songs, she felt compelled to move forward with her career in the entertainment industry. She was blessed to be signed with NTM Group, under the management of Shanita Brown, after which she released her first single in March of 2017, titled “Lord You Are Worthy”. The single was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Will Neal.
After 21 years of different roles in the kingdom and even a few seasons of falling away from her beliefs, she never lost her faith in God, nor her desire to serve him wholeheartedly by using her gifts. In March 2017, God commissioned her and her family to move to Harrisburg, PA, where she is now a member of the Bridge of Faith Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Sheila Harris. Shauna Ti’er is now in full swing using her God-given talents by singing, acting, and speaking/teaching as requested! She has completed the video of her single that will be released in early June of 2018 and is now working on an EP with new music to be released in the spring of 2019.
To contact Shauna Ti’er or for booking, please contact Shanita Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keedie’s Corner recently caught up with artist Devinci during his performance at Day Dreams in Atlanta, Ga. He was the headliner for The RnB Network event and he gave a sway performance of his latest songs. The atmosphere was vibrant and the partygoers were lively as the lounge gave off a whimsical effect. Press play and enjoy Devinci’s story, stay tuned for more exclusives with artist and entertainers in the near future with Keedie’s Corner.
We sat down with business owner Sarah Sanford of Fine Wine Enterprises at one of her bartending gigs. We were able to get an interview in, in between Sarah making drinks and assisting patrons at Sidiq’s Bistro. She had such a beautiful smile while her eyes gleamed of joy as she spoke of Fine Wine Enterprises. It’s evident she has crafted the art of customer service and she puts love into her work. Continue reading as we tell Sarah’s story.
What is your hometown? Give us some background on you as an individual.
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. I moved to Atlanta right after Highschool on a partial academic scholarship. I started to meet different people get invited to different parties. I wasn’t much of a drinker but I made good cocktails. So instead of bringing dishes to the cook-out, I was the one who would bring the drinks.
Where did you receive your education?
I went to Life University in Lowell, Ga. then I later transferred to Kennesaw State University. I was forced to leave school due to my appendix rupturing. I went back home to New York to heal and when I returned I started my company and a fulltime job with Delta Airlines. So college yes, a degree no, but I studied Psychology.
What material did you study to gain knowledge of your craft?
My mom used to host a lot of parties back when Mike Tyson was fighting. We used to have card parties, boxing, and Superbowl parties. She used to make punch and that’s where I learned to create different cocktails. I crafted her style and I took over.
When and where did you start your company?
I started my company in 2015 here in Atlanta, Ga. I took my time and did my homework before I went to work. I didn’t rush out into corporate America or to a bar. I wanted to create my own lane and start my company. Instead of spending money going out to eat and buying clothes I saved my money. I was working for Delta Airlines at the time, little by little every paycheck, even if it was just five dollars I would save something. I didn’t take out a loan to start my business, I planned for it.
What is the vision behind your cocktails?
I make my cocktails with the working people in mind who don’t have time to go to the store after work every day. The ones who want something prepackaged at home. I don’t make them super strong for the quote-unquote alcoholic, but they are a nice wine down beverage after a long day. I make drinks for the people who like the feeling of alcohol but not so much the taste.
What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome in the food and beverage industry?
I didn’t want my drink to fall by the waste side in liquor stores as just another wine cooler. I’m not too keen on distribution, I take pride in custom beverages and services. Another obstacle is my own people of color. Everyone wants to sample and get a deal, no one wants to pay for my product. Once they do purchase a drink they are satisfied customers, I’ve never had someone bring back a drink they didn’t like. Getting people to happily spend money on my beverages as they would a retail product at times becomes a hassle.
What are some of Fine Wine Enterprises highlighted achievements?
Well, I was very impressed, my first time as a vendor at Atlanta Indie Market. I completely sold out with a few hours left to vend. The crowd was so impressed, now they look for me at the Indie Mart. I have bartended events for Killer Mike, Faith Evans, The Dungeon Family, Big Boi and many more.
What is the current status of Fine Wine Enterprises? Any upcoming events?
We are currently hosting pop up shops at barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors, it doesn’t matter. Where ever you’re hosting an event and need drinks I’m there. I plan on being at the Atlanta Indie Market this Fall. I’m always at Sadiq’s Bistro 3762 Campbellton Rd. SW Atlanta, Ga 30331 6 days a week bartending, so you can always get a drink from the pretty brown Queen behind the bar.
What direction are you taking Fine Wine Enterprises in the future?
I would like for Fine Wine Enterprises to be a full-service event planning service where we would handle all your party needs. All you would have to tell me is the day of the event and your theme, I will be able to find the venue, the catering, the bartender and of course my drinks. I would like to also have a sprinter van to stay mobile and venture out to different events. I would like to provide the full mobile party experience where you come aboard and wine down.
What are some unknown facts about your company?
Hmmm, let me think…… Maybe the fact that I’m really not a drinker, the only time I drink is when I’m drinking my own drinks. I don’t know if it’s a fun fact, but it’s a fact I have Crohn’s disease. It hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, I’m sick every now and again, but I can’t let sickness stop me from doing anything. I’ve had it since I was 14 and I’m 35 now and I’m still getting to it. And I’m a saver, I save all my change and its usually a couple hundred dollars at the end of the year. Being a business owner is not cheap!
Who are some of your influences in the business and in life?
My Dad, he is an ex NFL player, he played for ten years. I am the oldest of three girls, he has no sons so I chose my college major because of our connection. My father is very hands-on when it comes to my events, he is always supportive. He doesn’t drink but he will sit at the bar and have a cranberry juice with me. Definitely, Oprah, I admire women who are in business. Also Killer Mike’s wife, Shay Bigga, she’s a true businesswoman!
Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our readers?
Your face card is more important than your name, that’s where your support comes from. When you have a plan in motion you also have to learn how to save money. A business is not going to take off in the first 3-5 years typically, so you have to plan for those occurrences. But all in all the sky’s the limit, there are no ceilings!
Do you have any networking partners you want to mention?
I would like to thank my silent business partner for believing in me and trusting my vision. I would like to thank Killer Mike and his wife Shay, they’ve allowed me to do events at their barbershop, he respects the hustle. He told me, “When you get your business together call me.” that meant I’ll help you but you have to help yourself first and I definitely appreciate that. Anyone who has booked Fine Wine Enterprise for an event, I thank you. To all my friends and family at Delta Airlines who continuously buys my product, I thank you.
If you are interested in booking Fine Wine Enterprises for your event or following the movement see the links below;
Sanaa Lathan gives a raw and riveting performance in the Netflix original movie, Nappily Ever After as Violet Jones. The film is centered on a black woman’s quest and inward journey for self-love. The audience is most certainty in for a bumpy ride as they go along with Violet, peeling back the many layers that make up a black woman.
Based on the introduction, this movie may seem like theperfect chick flick melodrama, where the successful woman gets the perfect man. However when Sanaa’s Violet receives a tiny Chihuahua, instead of the marriage proposal she had everyone expecting. The movie stops becoming a love story based on a man and a woman, intoa love story about falling in love with oneself.
There is quite a bit to unpack in this film, but all the messages are delivered and imbedded in a way that is both impressionable and relatable. Violet’s image obsessed mother Pauletta, played by Lynn Whitfield. Gives life to the stigma that black women and girls’ hair must acclimatize to European standards of beauty, in order to be considered attractive.Even if this means having your mother come to your house in the middle of the night while your man is sleeping. To put a flat iron to your head, that sizzles with ever pass. Causing not only damage to your hair but also underlying psychological damage,just for you to return back to bed before he wakes. Giving the illusion that the first thing he sees in the morning is what he thinks is perfection.
A bit extreme, but an actual representation of the lengths woman go in the black community, by sacrificing and manipulating themselves to maintain someone else’s standard of beauty. This film gives women of color the opportunity to look in the mirror and start embracing their true authentic selves. It took Violet multiple identity changes before the clippers came, where she was able to finally start stepping out of the box that she and other woman like herself, had been placed in for so many years. Violet experimented with different hair colors, lengths, and styles, and with everyone she adapted a new persona.
When the time came for the big chop Sanaa Lathan opted out of utilizing a bald wig cap and took the plunge for real. In an interview with CNN Entertainment, Lathan stated that she was in a place where she was ready to do the big chop. Lathan went on to tell CNN about her role, “It came in my life at a time I was kind of rethinking beliefs and desires, and actually my hair was a big part of that,” she said. “I felt like it was definitely the stronger choice, it was committing to all she (Violet) was going through.”
The transformation that developed on screen was empowering and emotional. Violet begins mentoring the young black daughter of the single father. That owns the hair salon where her natural hair journey began to take root. Through Violet and young Zoe’s relationship, you can see the same challenges that Violet faced as a little black girl, coming of age in a society that constantly puts an emphasis on appearances. This particular kinship on screen makes this a perfect film to sit down and watch with adolescent black and brown girls. It could positively impact their outlook and ideas of the meaning of beauty.
Nappily Ever After unifies women of color by paying homage to the natural hair movement that continues to grown day by day. In the movie we have a women re writing her own narrative, while we also have woman and girls all over the world that have the courage to do the same. There is a strong connection between hair and identity in the black community and we take pride in our roots, literally. The film is liberating and affirming;yet it is important to understand that thisis not a call only to black women, but a call to all genders and ethnicities. To begin defining themselves on their own terms, and re defining this thing called beauty to be all-inclusive and unconventional.