An NYC Survival Guide for Eager Young Professionals

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An NYC Survival Guide for Eager Young Professionals

Sup fam! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been trying to ya know… casually focus on adjusting to my new life in New York City. Wild. Anywho… I’ve picked up a trick or two on how to maintain my sanity in this literal concrete jungle. So let’s jump right into it, 5 things I’ve learned from living in NYC:

#1: Navigation, Navigation, Navigation

I have NEVER in my life realized the importance of not only being aware of your surroundings but at least LOOKING like you know where you’re going. There’s nothing worse than being in a crowd of people and trying to figure out which corner of which avenue to be on, while your Apple Maps is playing with your life. 

If you haven’t been to a specific place before, it’s important to type in the subway and walking directions, and screenshot them before leaving, so you don’t have to worry about draining your battery or not having service. It might sound like a lot and unnecessary, but trust me, you don’t wanna be that guy bumping into people because you were too lazy to mentally navigate your trip before leaving. It also helps to have a buddy with you. Two heads are always better than one.

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#2: Fake it ‘til you make it.

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The more I’ve talked to industry professionals and very successful entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that literally NO ONE knows what they’re doing. They can have 20 years of experience in their field, but still are taking each day one step at a time. 

I got the chance to talk to my mentors at Shake Shack HQ about how even though they had been working for a good amount of time, that they still aren’t sure where their career will take them or what their end goal in life is. And I think this is very important to consider. IT IS OKAY if you don’t know what you want to do, as long as you are trying and moving forward. 

Every work-related experience is experience regardless. So take every lesson, learn something from it, and figure out how to translate that into an invaluable transferrable skill, even if it’s just stepping out of your comfort zone to ask a higher up to coffee. Just trust the process, and learn to be proud of your journey.

#3: Keep your eye on the prize. Period!

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Moving to New York wasn’t exactly a seamless transition. I was very anxious about moving into my little apartment, having a completely new roommate who I’ve never met before, starting over in a new industry, and just finding my way around.

Aside from praying a lot and receiving pep talks from my mom, what’s helped me keep everything together is remembering why I came here. Even though I’m not 100% sure what I want my profession to be, I know what I’m capable of and can envision what I want my future to look like. It’s hard living in this huge city sometimes, but appreciating where I am, and motivating myself to accomplish my personal goals is what keeps me going. 

#4: New Yorkers do NOT care.

Yo… okay this is self-explanatory. Even though there are so many different kinds of people in this city, the one similarity everyone has is the complete disregard for what’s going on in the environment around them. Now this can be a good and bad thing. I mean, hey, everyone minds their business and keeps it pushing. However, it can be a pretty startling concept to someone who’s not from the city.

You could be in the middle of a breakdown on a subway full of crowded people, and everyone will be RAY CHARLES to the b.s. On a lighter note, it makes it easier being whoever and whatever you want to be. Honestly, if you woke up one day and wanted to wear a Power Rangers costume, you probably wouldn’t get the attention that you thought you would. It would be just another normal day for any seasoned New Yorker

#5: Learn how to center yourself in any situation

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This was a HUGE one for me to learn, and I’m still working on it. Coming from a quiet suburban area where the only morsel of noise was from my labradoodles barking, to moving to the city that literally never sleeps, was a shocking transition for me. Whether you’re on the subway, or walking on the sidewalk, you are almost always surrounded by a crowd of people. Personal space? TUH. We don’t know her?

And because of this, it is absolutely imperative to know how to mentally reel it in on command. I’ve seen my share of disturbing instances during my travels in New York, but it’s all about how you handle a situation. If you obsessively play something over and over in your head (like I do all the time) or react in a way that will throw of your energy, it will only make the situation worse. 

The best thing to do is to put yourself in a state of almost meditation, so you can mentally remove yourself from your physical environment. Kind of like when Aang meditates and communicates with the spirit world, even though his physical body is still present. Too nerdy? *clears throat* Ok moving on.

OR you can just use my favorite tactic and put in your headphones. Boom easy peasy. Problem solved.

Wulp, that’s all I got for ya today. Thank you to my fellow Adfellows Sky and Gabby for flicking me up during our lunch break. Stay tuned for more posts!





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Lex & The City: A Millennial's Guide to Dream Chasing

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Lex & The City: A Millennial's Guide to Dream Chasing

     Hey fam, so it's been a while. A lot has been going on; I mean 6 planets are in retrograde AM I RIGHT?? Heh. Anywho, I've been extremely ECSTATIC because I've gotten the opportunity to move to New York City and live my best Carrie Bradshaw-esque life.... or something like that. 

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    A friend of mine (shoutout Wadnes the goat) introduced me to a program called AdFellows x Verizon, where 30 recent college grads from across the country are selected to work at different creative/marketing agencies for 8 months. Live right?! When I heard that I got the job, my heart jumped out of my chest because I have been dreaming of being back in NYC since I interned at Complex 2 years ago, and it's finally happening!

     Anywho, enough about me. Here's some advice for going after your dreams and manifesting your true desires. Your thoughts are powerful. They turn in to words, which turn into actions, so be careful what you wish for and GO AFTER IT. Check out my 4-step guide below... ya know if you want.

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1. You have to sacrifice your old life for your new one.

         So what do I mean by this? When you want something totally new and fresh, you're going to have to remove old habits, jobs, and relationships. It might be painful to let go, but it's necessary to receive what you actually want. But trust me, what you rid yourself of, will be replaced with something even greater in your new chapter.        

2. Outgrowing friendships is NORMAL, and sometimes necessary.

          Woooh. This is a tough one that I've been struggling A LOT with over the past year or so. Friends from high school and college may seem like the most important people in your life, but when relationships become toxic, it's important to relinquish them. Although your best friends seem like they have your best interests at heart, remember, everything has a catch. Be mindful of the energy you keep in your circle. Friendships can be harmful too yall!

3. Remain your most authentic self.

          OkThis one might sound cliché, but it's very important. One of the reasons why I got the job is because I was myself in the interview. I was cracking jokes, being my awkward self, while also being confident in my talents and abilities.

         When you are presented an opportunity like a job, a gig, etc. don't try to front like you're something that you're not. I think that's a big issue in our generation. Everyone wants to flex like they have it all figured out. Spoiler ALERT: no one does. We're all broke and trying to figure it out, so don't lose who you are trying to impress others. Just do you boo boo.

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4. Boss up or get bossed around.

           This one is self-explanatory. Basically, it means DON'T BE SCURRED. In order to be the true boss that you are, you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone, contact people that you wouldn't usually reach out to, and create opportunities for yourself. I think as millennials, we are used to being handed certain opportunities. But the real world isn't like this. You're going to have to make that phone call, check on that venue, and look up that certification to separate yourself from the rest. 

      I know this might sound scary or overwhelming, but trust me, we'll all have to go through these phases eventually to get to where we really want to be. Just look at it as door-opening growing pains. I'm not saying get these tatted on you or anything, but definitely keep these in mind when you're on your journey. And remember, God got you always. Just breath, and keep going. 

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     Thank you Nandi for the amazing photos! Follow her on IG @heymsnandi.

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Clout... But on a Budget

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Clout... But on a Budget

       Are you in desperate need of some clout? Do you find yourself suddenly needing to learn how to become an influencer because that 9-5 isn't quite hittin' right? Well hunnie, this blog post is for you. Here is an infallible "5 Step Guide to Living Your Best Manufactured Cyber-Life"

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  1. ALWAYS keep at least one accessory in your outfit from a brand that had zero popularity 3 years ago, but is now skyrocketingly overpriced.
  2. Location is KEY. Find a colorful wall somewhere to take your photos (preferably in a progressively gentrified area).
  3. Do the absolute least in your array of poses. Minimalism is always best. Right?
  4. Place your main focus on aesthetic. Trust me nothing else matters besides how the post looks.
  5. Lastly, be totally different online that what you're actually like in real life. We STAN for a good catfish. 

       If you follow these 5 steps, you'll be a clout guru in NO TIME. Lol just kidding. All jokes aside, I've been wanting to shoot with Nandi, @millimetervisuals for some time now. There's this super adorable mural in Hyattsville Historic District that one of my favorite bloggers, Ann Wynn, and her team painted for the sole purpose of flicking it up. So why not cop some visuals?

      I decided to put my own modern spin on 90's style. You can never go wrong with all black and a contrasting accent color. Since I'm frugal... or at least try to be, I made sure that some of these items were under $20. Outfit details below:

  • Shoes: Public Desire
  • Pants: Fashionnova
  • Top: Discount Dance (this is an old high school dance team uniform lol)
  • Fanny Pack: Urban Outfitters
  • Sunglasses: I forget! But I got 2 pairs (pink and black for $25)

           All photo creds go to the brilliant @Millimetervisuals aka Nandi. Make sure you follow her on IG!

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Renwick Gallery: The Art of Burning Man Exhibit

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Renwick Gallery: The Art of Burning Man Exhibit

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      Hey Fam! Do you like larger-than-life sculptures that make you question how their existence is even humanly possible?? Well, I have somewhere you should check out. I decided to go on a little solo-dolo trip to Renwick Gallery to see the new "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" exhibit. When I say it was INCREDIBLE..... I felt like I was in some type of fantasy-immersed dream world.

        On top of that, each part of the exhibit represented the different intersections of human interaction and our inner inhibitions. As hundreds of people walked in and out of the gallery rooms, I immediately felt a rush of togetherness in spite of my lonesome. I've been to Renwick Gallery a few times before for its other attractions, but I've never seen this many people for one single exhibit.

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       The pieces had a magnetizing effect on the spectators. Of course the millennials were taking selfies and quick boomerangs to spice up the Instagram story. But the sculptures captivated you and transported you inside the mind of the artists. Themes included the intersectionality between radical inclusion and isolation, radical self-expression and leaving no trace, the list goes on. 

         Although, the sculptures were absolutely gorgeous, many of them were based off of dark themes. The oversized sculpture of the woman with her arms reached and back arched, almost as if she was performing a movement in ballet, was made after the artist, Marco Cochrane's, best friend was sexually assaulted. The sculpture represents "demystifying the female body" and portraying the "feminine energy and power that results when women feel free and safe." Deep right? 

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         This exhibit was not only visually enthralling, but it was inspiring to see how the artists were able to portray topics in today's society in such a powerful yet beautiful way. Each room of the exhibit took you into another world. Almost like you were advancing to different level of Super Mario Bros with each doorway you stepped into. 

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          It was nice to see people of all ages there to admire these amazing pieces. It's always beautiful to see people of different backgrounds, sizes, shapes, and colors come together for one purpose, even if half the people are only there to take selfies. I definitely got a lot out of the exhibit and will be going back a few times before it closes FOR SURE.

          Make sure you guys take a trip to Renwick Gallery sometime, you won't regret it. The exhibit is open until September. You can learn more about the exhibit on Renwick Gallery's blog, and enjoy the photos and recap video below!

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I Pick the Brain of Hyperrealist Ken Nwadiogbu

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I Pick the Brain of Hyperrealist Ken Nwadiogbu

   Hey Fam! If you haven't had the chance to search the hashtag #WeAreNigerianCreatives, then what you doin?? While you're looking, you might come across the incredible works of Nigerian Hyperrealist artist, Ken Nwadiogbu. What's hyperrealism you ask? Well, it's basically when an artist replicates a segment of reality, usually a photo, through pencil, paint, ink, etc. 

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     I admire hyperrealists, so as soon as I saw Ken's work, I knew I had to reach out to him for an interview. Ken is very humble and down to earth, which was shocking since his pieces are the opposite. His breathtaking drawings are all done in pencil. If you can only imagine the patience it takes to even finish a corner of the paper! Sheesh.

    Check out my conversation with Ken below. He drops gems about society's take on hyperrealism. Also don't forget to follow him on twitter @kennwadiogbu and visit his website www.kennwadiogbu.com.  

I believe the society always speaks. It says A and B. And it’s our job to listen. Not only listen, but to reply. That’s how I get inspired. I listen. I hear. I watch. I perceive. Then I reply.
— Ken Nwadiogbu

How did you get started with art? And what drew you to the hyperrealistic style?

During my diploma days, I met a friend of mine drawing the Dean of the University of Lagos at that time. Instantly I knew there was more to art than doodles on my note books, hence, I began to research. Research turned to obsession. Obsession turned to love.

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What is your process like? Do you take the photos yourself and replicate them? Why do you prefer pencil as opposed to colored utensils?

After the brainstorming of the concept, I get a model and take a picture of him/her. The essence of the picture is not to replicate them but to use them as a guideline to create even something much more real than just a photograph, as well as add more elements to make it a lot figurative.

The art world is full of paintings, so I'm practically trying to burst into that world with a black and white feel, to give an essence to pencil, rather than it just being a skeletal form before the creation of a painting.

What is your opinion on the common perspective that hyperrealism/photorealism isn't really art? 

Hahahaha. Everything is art. Hyperrealism can be a stretch to becoming a skillful and talented form of art, but that doesn't make it "not art". If anything, I think it adds more value to whatever narrative or presence the artwork should possess.

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How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

Roughly 3 weeks to a month. My works are a bit scarce.

What has been the hardest image that you have recreated? And why?

I think it should be Lost Consciousness I. The reason for this is because of the presence of the plastic bag; something different from the regular face.

Where do you draw your inspiration? And how do you know which image to choose? 

I believe the society always speaks. It says A and B. And it's our job to listen. Not only listen, but to reply. That's how I get inspired. I listen. I hear. I watch. I perceive. Then I reply.

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NONICH House: From UMD to NYFW Runway

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NONICH House: From UMD to NYFW Runway

      Hey fam! I got the opportunity to interview Damar Bess Jr., who is one of the three co-founders of the amazing up and coming streetwear fashion brand called Nonich House. He and his partners, Rodrick Campbell and Henry Blanco had humble beginnings at The University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and in no time got featured at New York Fashion Week and on Highsnobiety. This company is inspiring for any entrepreneur and dreamer out there. 

      Check out the interview below. When I tell you Damar was DROPPING GEMS! okuurrr! You can check out Nonich House at their website https://nonichhouse.com/ and on Instagram @Nonichhouse.

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How did Nonich start? UMD fam outcheaaa lol

Lol yeah go Terps and everything. But we started Nonich my first year at UMD. I actually was running another very small streetwear brand at the time, me and a partner had a fall out with that so one day I just decided that I wanted to make full on clothing pieces from head to toe, so me, and my friend/business partner that I’ve known for a long time, Rodrick, started Nonich with me. We just had the ideas and then went for it full speed not taking no’s ever!

What do you consider as your brand identity?

Nonich first and foremost is about making standout pieces of clothing. We call them subtle standout pieces. Clothing that look amazing and people will stop to talk to you about but ultimately at the end of the day they aren’t extremely loud and off putting. Then right after the clothing comes the layers of Nonich.

We are a group of men that want to help our communities out at all times so that comes off in our brand. We want to uplift people while still always innovating within the industry. We just really like creating dope stuff in all mediums but want to let our supporters and fans know that you can still be dope and not be a pretentious asshole like so many people in the creative fields. 

How would you describe Nonich House’s style?

The base is a mix of Japanese streetwear, Americana, and Western European outerwear. Then from there we just really get inspired by all things around us from Music to movies, politics, and religion. We may even come up with a capsule collection for an artist we really like lol. Who knows, we ultimately just always design what feels right at the moment.

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I love the use of pastel colors like pinks, and light greens. Do you draw inspiration from any specific designers?

Nope we try to stay away from taking any ideas from other designers. In the social media age of course you see all this information and trends that sometimes shake your thought process subconsciously but at the end of the day I like to design with all of my media off and just let me mind flow on its own until I think I’ve made magic!

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What was it like being featured in NYFW S/S 18?

It was amazing and very eye opening. It was so cool to get the love from everywhere during and after our show with with our completely packed house but at the same time we really learned about fashion, about the bad side of fashion. The nose high up in the air side. It was a very elitist situation and old boys club.

But next time we plan on Doing it the right way all by ourselves. We want the models and the attendees to have fun and feel a part of the Nonich family. We aren’t above anyone as people and we plan on keeping it that way no matter the success we may or may not hit. 

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Who is your ideal client? What celebrity would be the perfect match for your clothing line?

My ideal client is someone who appreciates this art of clothing and is willing to try something new, and that’s the only criteria. Not rich, not famous, host those things.

And a perfect fit celebrity is probably someone along the lines of Travis Scott, Kanye, ASAP Rocky, Skepta, Pharrell. I feel like those are people that we aesthetically match up well with. 

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs and people who are starting clothing companies? 

Have honest people around you, have people that will tel you if your stuff is not up to par. The number one thing I see is talented people making bad products because no one was there to push them, and then that ends up in you wasting time and money. And then that also allows you to be honest with yourself.

Being an entrepreneur is the most rewarding when you are transparent with yourself and grow everyday. Once you unlock that then your opportunities are limitless and just know that if being a successful entrepreneur was easy then everyone would be doing it so just know that for you to make it you have to believe that you’re special and you have to show that with your hard work. 

Also last thing, just be a good person at the end of the day, humble yourself from the beginning and it will exponentially raise your potential in the long run. And at the end of the day just have hella fun on your business. If you don’t love it and don’t love the process then it’s probably not the right thing for you.

 

 

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Lowkey Media Interviews Me on its "Find Your Thrill" Segment!

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Lowkey Media Interviews Me on its "Find Your Thrill" Segment!

       Wassup fam! Over the summer I was asked if I could be interviewed about my artistic process, and of course I jumped to the opportunity. I'm usually the one asking people if I can interview them, so it was cool to be on the other end of the spectrum. I sat down with Brandon Loftin, the creator of Lowkey media, and he asked me a few questions about what it means to truly be yourself in this world of everyone trying to be picture perfect. Check out the video below! And don't forget to follow Lowkey Media on IG and Twitter @lwkymedia.

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Nabor's Debut Project- REFRESH

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Nabor's Debut Project- REFRESH

    Wassup Fam! And Felíz Año Nuevo! What better way to start off the year than with some FIRE music? Brand new Las Vegas-based artist and dear friend of mine, NABOR, dropped a new album called REFRESH. Vocals, lyrics, production? BOMB.

     Now what is Refresh you ask? What's different about it? Well, Refresh is an easy listen. You can listen while doing homework, meditating, pregaming with friends, the whole 9. A lot of songs nowadays take away your attention with meaningless lyrics and overpowering beats, but Refresh is the opposite. 

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     Comprised of only 6 songs, this project takes you on a melodic and refreshing (no pun intended) trip through your conscience. Deep, yes I know. You get songs about relationships, the tribulations and inner thoughts accompanying experimenting with drugs, and becoming a new person/entering a new phase of life. Refresh takes you through the mind of not only Nabor, but also any early 20's something being dropped into adulthood.     

    Sooo I asked Nabor a few questions about his project and artistry, and this is what he said:

Me: What’s your favorite song on the album and why?

Nabor: If I had to choose one, it would be “Favorite Type” First of all, it was a last minute addition and it was a replacement for another song. And it’s something I’m attached to, [also] the song is about someone. *nervous laughs* But the way the song came together in the studio was so swift.

Me: What was the scariest thing about releasing your album?

Nabor: The scariest thing about releasing my album was definitely putting yourself out there and exposing yourself because other people can see your thoughts and what you’ve been going through, which is scary. But I also feel brave at the same time. 

Me: What do you want your listeners to know about Nabor?

Nabor: Nabor is going to be a surprise in 2018. I have a lot of little things coming, definitely more music with different fields. Growth. I want them to know I’m pretty cool man.

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      I'm not going to rap too much because the music speaks for itself, so be sure to download and listen! You won't be disappointed. Refresh is available on Apple Music and Spotify. And follow Nabor on Instagram @NewNabor and watch out for some new features from this amazing new artist!

      

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Issa Fall Look!

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Issa Fall Look!

      In celebration of Thanksgiving break, I decided to throw on a cute fit and take some fall flicks. Why not right? Outfit deets you ask? No? Well I'm tellin ya anyway. Trench coat -> thrifted. Top -> Forever 21. Skirt + Shoes -> Zara

     Thank you @Fullershoots for the pics! Don't forget to follow @PerpLEXdCloset on IG!

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Interview with Keon Hill Creator of DreamBigDC

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Interview with Keon Hill Creator of DreamBigDC

     Hey guys! A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to sit down with Keon Hill, a DMV native, who has created a brand called DreamBigDC. The business' aim is community outreach and encouraging the youth that the sky is the limit and to Dream Big. He set up his headquarters in his garage just after being inspired by Kevin Plank's story, who you may also know as the creator of Under Armour. Keon plays a big role in the community as he speaks at different elementary schools, hosts panel discussions, and has created an annual 3 on 3 tournament which doubled as a clothes drive to donate to local charities.

     You thought this was all he does? Think again. Keon also has a clothing line to accompany his brand. He has an array of hats, t-shirts, and sweatsuits (that he's rocking in the video). The clothes are displayed in our interview so be sure to check it out. Keon is definitely one of the most genuine people I have met. It's important to see entrepreneurs in our generation create to inspire and encourage rather than chasing "clout."

      Keon is having a pop-up shop at his headquarters in Suitland, Maryland on November 24th from 12-4pm. Make sure you pull up! You'll definitely see me rocking some DreamBigDC gear in the near future. If you are interested in ordering Keon's clothing line or have questions regarding his brand, you can contact him at keon.hill3@gmail.com. Also, follow him on Instagram @KeonHillDB.

     Here's our interview! Don't forget to like and tell us what you think! And big thank you to @Fullershoots for the videography! Enjoy!

 

     

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Black Doesn't Mean Poor: My Issues with Public Policy Education

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Black Doesn't Mean Poor: My Issues with Public Policy Education

        What's up fam? Okay so I've been fed up the past couple of weeks at school. You wanna know why? Well, I am a kinesiology student in the school of Public Health at the prestigious University of Maryland and all that jazz, the ol' razzle dazzle and such. This is my final semester, and I'm more than happy to graduate... trust me, but I've found my mindset and beliefs straying further and further away from what is being taught at school. 

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       So what's the problem?

       In lecture, I hear time and time again, that African American people have the highest rates of mortality and the highest risks of developing of diabetes because of our tendency to have a "low socioeconomic status." *eye roll* That's real easy to put in a graph, huh?

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       I think a lot of studies, especially ones addressed in my course of study, are guilty of mass oversimplification of a bigger issue. It always comes down to, if you are black, that means you are probably poor, which means you live in an unstable living condition, which means you have a low socioeconomic status, which means you have a disease, etc. etc. the list goes on.

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      Many articles fail to mention WHY black people are living in such poor urban areas in the first place. During the industrialization era and post-emancipation, black people migrated to urban cities to find work. However, white people often felt uncomfortable working side-by-side with black people, so it was very common for black people to be pushed to the outskirts of the city, thus being alienated, creating areas that we know now to be "the hood."

       But by overlooking this fact, many professors at school perpetuate the simplified thought that if you are African American, it equates to being poor. There has never been a time in class that I've seen a study of a black person with high socioeconomic status or inversely a caucasian person with low socioeconomic status.

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      Then we encounter the problem with gentrification, which is when people from suburban areas, mainly white, move into the hood, and then magically all of the facilities that are needed to fulfill a healthy lifestyle are implemented. A.k.a. if black people live in the hood it's dangerous, but when white people move into this same area, hospitals are built, gyms are opened, there are grocery stores, suddenly it's safe. And then we see the health disparity increase even more.

      As a black woman from one of the most affluent black areas in the country, I think that it's insulting to always have this idea shoved into my face. We should stop being so quick to jump to conclusions as to why black people, for example, happen to have the highest rate of diabetes, as we should pay attention to the more complex issues, like the upstream values of policy, and why exactly black people are put into these areas of certain cities in the first place. Yes, in the hood, there are very few accessible grocery stores and well-lit areas so that people can walk for exercise safely, but WHY?

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      It's very easy to point the finger and say black people are lazy, or black people don't eat healthy enough, but often times in urban areas they literally don't have the access to the resources needed. And when white people come in and "build up" these areas, the black people that were initially forced into these areas can't even afford the facilities that are being built. So the cycle continues to be perpetuated but never adequately addressed, especially in the education system.

     I think in a lot of policy classes that I'm taking we should spend less time emphasizing the fact that black people have the highest rate of diabetes but should focus more on the upstream issues as to why this is. Instead of having 500 students turn in papers that say black people means having low socioeconomic status, (when in actuality, the highest rates of poverty in the country are from white people), the more complex policy issues should be addressed, and plans for change should be implemented. And that's that on THAT.

    And thank you @Fullershoots for the amazing photos.

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Dynamic Dance Team's All-Nighter Performance

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Dynamic Dance Team's All-Nighter Performance

     Hey guys! Over the past weekend I performed with a hip-hop Dance Team I'm on called Dynamic, which is dope as hell might I add, at the annual All-Nighter show at my school. We worked really hard on perfecting the set, so I hope you enjoy! The choreographers were mostly alumni from the team including Ollie Sangster, Minilik Addis, and Devin Seldon as well as our directors Jordana Grigsby and Danielle aka Pep. 

       Check out our throwback 00's set. I'm sure you'll see a jam you used to bump to back in the day. Be sure to follow Dynamic on IG @UMDynamic and subscribe to the youtube channel! 

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Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Line has the Beauty Industry SHOOK

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Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Line has the Beauty Industry SHOOK

         On September 7, 2017, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty launched her make-up line Fenty Beauty, which hit Sephora shelves across the world. What is so special about Rihanna’s line? Well, Fenty Beauty has forty shades of foundation, which is exceedingly more than the other competing lines. Whether the brand is high-end or extremely affordable, controversy has circulated about the neglect of dark-skinned women being accounted for. 

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          There are many reviews on products that are supposedly inclusive and marketed towards all people, but it is clear that most make-up lines only put two or three dark shades to meet the quota. However, Rihanna took things into her own hands and decided to solve the problem herself.

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         The shades range from “100” being the palest to “490” being the darkest. In Sephora stores everywhere, the darkest shades have been sold out the most. This gives market research and insight into why having dark shades in a makeup line are so important. Hmm.... so much shade yet so little at the same time. 

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         Rihanna’s line focuses on enhancing the natural skin and giving it a sun-kissed glow. She pays attention to the individual varieties of women, and caters to each one with this inclusive line. Many people don't realize that there are more than just red and yellow undertones, there are blue, purple, green, etc. and Rihanna definitely demonstrates her knowledge and passion for this through the plethora of shades. 

      With her affordable prices and extensive color theory repertoire showed through this line, Rihanna is definitely on her way to being a major brand in the beauty industry. Badgal RihRih strikes again. I'm definitely a fan, can't wait for her to drop lipsticks and eyeshadows! *Breathing heavily*

(all photos sourced from the @FentyBeauty Instagram)

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Aaliyah Inspired Shoot with "Louie Gwapo"

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Aaliyah Inspired Shoot with "Louie Gwapo"

      This week, I had the pleasure of collaborating with a photographer named Luis Dominguez aka "Louie Gwapo." When I asked for the concept, he sent me a few pictures of Aaliyah and I immediately knew the direction he wanted to go in. People tell me I look like her quite often. I don't see it, but hey I'm not complaining. Rest in peace baby girl.

      The shoot was cool. Despite the stares and being catcalled, I really enjoyed getting to know Louie. I asked him a few questions about his brand and the inspiration for his style. And this is what he said:

      "I have been doing photography for a little under a year. I started off taking pictures with someone else's camera and got really positive feedback so I decided to invest in my own. I'm a music producer first (been producing for a little over 5 years).

        I like to consider my self as someone who can do a little bit of everything. I would say my music plays a big part in my photography. I always try to correlate my pictures with sound. I would describe my style as urban/street photography. I get a lot of inspiration from music video directors director X, Hype Williams. In the future you should look out for more videos from me, I'm in the process of putting together some really unique visuals."  

    Check out some the pics below! Don't forget to follow him on IG @Louiegwapo

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My Feature on Hello Joche's "What's Your Why?"

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My Feature on Hello Joche's "What's Your Why?"

       Before the semester ended, my POPPIN roommate decided to interview me for her segment on her youtube channel HelloJoche. The segment is called "What's Your Why?" which is a series dedicated to highlighting young entrepreneurs and influencers on what drives them to pursue their endeavors. 

       I was flattered to be the first person featured on her segment. We talk about everything from why I started my brand and business to my interests in music. Check out our interview and be sure to follow Joche on IG @hellojoche and subscribe to her youtube channel @hellojoche as well! Enjoy the vid!

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Photos from My Shoot with TheBruceAllen

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Photos from My Shoot with TheBruceAllen

      An up and coming photographer in the D.C. area, Bruce, and I collaborated on a "bad gal" themed shoot a few weeks ago. I also did a quick outfit change into a button-up Ralph Lauren shirt (thrifted of course) lol. Check out some of my favorite shots below!

       Sidenote: the red outfit I'm wearing was made by yours truly! More looks like this will be sold soon at my first PopUp Shop PerpLEXd on August 19th! Thanks again to Bruce and be sure to follow him on Instagram @TheBruceAllen. 

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Turning a $4 Sweatshirt into a 2-piece Fit!

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Turning a $4 Sweatshirt into a 2-piece Fit!

      Wassup fam?! A few weeks ago, I went on a slight thrifting trip. I wanted to find a few pieces that I could transform into full outfits. I got the inspiration from a picture of Kerrueche that was circulating Twitter. I thought her look was fly as hell and relatively simple to make myself. 

      Up and down the seemingly endless aisles at my local thrift store, I decided to hop into the men's section. I found several oversized hoodies that I thought would be perfect for my project. I copped the first XL navy hoodie I could find, and dipped. 

       To be honest, turning this hoodie into a two-piece was very simple. I literally tried the hoodie on once, measured out where I would cut it and made sure that the bottom half would be long enough to cover my butt (big-booty probs). And taadaaa a new fit!

       The skirt portion of the sweatshirt needed to be taken in a little bit so it could fit my waist, but that was pretty simple. I just used a few safety pins to do the trick. Definitely try to sew if you're handy with a needle and thread.

      All in all, I love this look. It's summer time so I probably won't be sporting this fit unless there's an unusually chilly day. But I think it was a success, and I'm definitely going to be thrifting more to come up with new projects so stay tuned!

      You will also be able to find great pieces at my upcoming pop-up thrift/art event later this summer. Cop trendy fits for the lowwww at PerpLEXd! More details coming soon!

Photo cred: @nxnsx (Nonso).

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DMV's Juice Bruns and LordxBusiness at Ottobar in Baltimore

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DMV's Juice Bruns and LordxBusiness at Ottobar in Baltimore

      I got the pleasure of sitting down with Juice Bruns and JT aka LordxBusiness before their show last week at Ottobar in Baltimore. We talked about everything from how they got started with music to Juice's experience working with one of J.Cole's producers. I appreciate them so much for having me. Enjoy the video! Always remember to chase your passion. 

      Be sure to follow them on IG: @JuiceBrunsMusic and @LordxBusiness and on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/juicebrunsmusic and https://soundcloud.com/lordxbusiness

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