December 6th, 2013
As I strolled into the venue extra early (before most people), I peeped the inside of the venue. Rose Bar is big enough to have a chill event like this. With enough space to fit a few people, but not too big so the situation becomes overwhelming. The bar is for events. Comfy seating and serene candles lit up the place to make it seem subdued. I must say that Rose Bar can feel relaxed when necessary.
Once the people started coming through, I began to notice familiar ATL musical players and mainstays. Gorilla Zoe rolled through in his black attire and iced out chain. TJ of TJ’s DJs made his rounds. And we would all expect Playboy Tre and Scotty ATL to show up on the scene. As time progressed, it was sizing up to be a noble night for ATL hip hop.
Even more interesting is how people presented themselves. Many of the patrons were smartphone/camera ready for the sake of social media patronizing. Between the plethora of Lebrons, Oreo Jordans, meggings (men leggings) and sagging pants with name brand belt buckles, you had people actually enjoying themselves. Then again, it would be pretty hard to not have at least a decent night when there was an open bar. Eventually, the marijuana smoke hit the air and it was going to be a musical night. This all made way for the grand entrance of B.O.B himself.
As soon as B.O.B stepped into the place, there was no time wasted on greeting the man of the hour. As I took pictures for people, spilling some of my cranberry-and-vodka down my sleeve in the process, I noticed that most people showed nothing but love. Even the scantly clad-body-paint women were in great spirits. After working the rounds in the bar, B.O.B began announcing his assortment of songs for his upcoming album (Underground Luxury).
From what was given, many will see that B.O.B is more concerned about “making good music”:
- “All I Want” – this track seemed to have plenty of integrity to it. Yet, it is meant to be a “true to materialism” type of song. More than anything, you will get to hear his voice recorded.
- “One Day” – with B.O.B behind the boards and DJ Toomp providing the drums, the man formally known as Bobby Ray reminisces on his days of being raised. Candler Road has helped make his personality. Now, he just needs to find that balance.
- The Future assisted “Ready” smells like a club banger.
- “Back Me Up” – pretty hard track. That is all I need to say about it.
- “Wide Open” – This track is something for the ladies. And if anyone wonders anything, they should rest assured that the ladies love this particular song.
- “Cranberry Mohawk” – as dreamy as the soundscapes became on this song, they lyrics by Bobby were still raw.
Regardless of the amazement of people seeing Wiz Khalifa in his Pyrex gear, it can be said that B.O.B wants to show the world his efficiency. Many times in the past, B.O.B had to worry about making a “balanced album” still close to his mixtape roots. After the first two major releases, there has been an industry concern of Bobby keeping it “Decatur” and not being so “pop friendly”. What B.O.B worked to do was have an album that is honest, street wise, and hard hitting all in one. For the most part, Underground Luxury will be just fine.
More photos can be found on STACKS Magazine’s Facebook page!
Special thanks to TJ Chapman’s team for the invite!
Over the weekend, rapper Yo Gotti stopped through Atlanta for an album signing and club appearance. As you know, his first studio album “I AM” is currently in-stores and Yo Gotti has been on the road for months promoting the project.
This Saturday, November 29, he stopped through DBS Sounds (in Riverdale) to greet the fans and show love. STACKS Magazine was onsite to capture the moment as the Memphis-native autographed copies of the album and took pictures with his supporters. Here’s a few pics from the in-store:
The in-store was hosted by Streetz 94.5FM.
Exclusive: RHOA’s Cynthia Bailey Talks ‘Carry-On Baggage’, Bar One’s Foreclosure & Why You Must “Do Your Research” Before Starting A Business
As a one of the stars of Bravo’s hit reality show “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, Cynthia Bailey is no stranger to the spotlight. She became one of the most sought after African-American supermodels, gracing runways and editorial spreads worldwide. With her caliber of beauty and poise, many would be surprised to know that she’s a small-town country girl from Alabama. Cynthia’s escape from the backwoods to the bright lights is a testament to her tenacity and desire to use her talents to help other women entering the industry.
From New York to Atlanta, Cynthia is now a household name that manages to jungle her role as wife, mother, television star, and businesswoman. When she’s not taping for RHOA, she oversees the daily operations of The Bailey School of Fashion. In addition, she continues her entrepreneurial efforts with the opening of Industry Studios along with hubby, Peter Thomas.
Speaking of the two, Cynthia and Peter also penned their first book. ‘Carry-On Baggage: Our Non-StopFlight’, is a relationship book that reveals the “real” about their union. Most viewers of the show have seen them hit a few rocky spots. Whether it was Cynthia’s family not approving their marriage to their ongoing financial disagreements, the couple has spared none. They’ve also had to rebuke several allegations made in the media regarding a pregnancy and the pending foreclosure of their Atlanta-based tapas lounge, Bar One.
Throughout it all, Cynthia has been a soldier. At a point in her life where she’s not afraid to speak her mind, she remains a class act while throwing “shade” with style and subtlety. Her overall presence is impeccable. Thus, she was selected as the first celebrity to have her own signature doll in conjunction with the The One World Doll Project (www.cynthiabaileydoll.com).
Recently, she hosted a fashion and beauty show at Walmart on the southwest side of Atlanta. At the event, I had the pleasure to meet Cynthia and find out about her new book, her business ventures, and what was really going on with the Bar One’s existence.
On Peter and Cynthia’s new book…
The book ‘Carry On Baggage’ Peter and I wrote it. It is about our life and our relationship. How we got together. How I moved from New York City to Atlanta. How we ended up on the show ["Real Housewives of Atlanta"]. It is not an advice book. It’s more of us just telling our story. We got married on the show, a lot of people knew of our whole relationship from the show. You guys (the viewers) been through the ups and downs with us…the highs and lows. And, I feel like you guys only really get to small parts of our life. The book was a great opportunity to give you guys the full story – the back story of who we make it work.
On their new facility across the street from Bar One…
Industry Studios, which houses Derek Blanks Photography, The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, and also Peter Thomas Entertainment. So we just located to a bigger space and it’s huge and beautiful. I think you may have saw it on the first show (episode of Season 6) with the all-white party. That’s Industry Studios. I’m still doing my pageants. I’m still doing the model search. We have the book out. Peter has Peter’s Brew Coffee. Bar One is still doing very well. We are also opening up a Bar One in Charlotte, NC. So, you know we’re working.
On being an African-American woman in business, what type of advice would you give to young girls that want to get into modeling, fashion, or entertainment? What are some key things they should know?
I think one of the key I should tell anyone that is trying to get into the entertainment business, is DO YOUR RESEARCH. Make sure you have some kind of knowledge to even…by the time you get to someone like me, I need to feel like you are serious about it. Really make sure this is what you really want to do. No one wants to waste a lot of their time talking to someone who is on the fence. So, decide what you want to do, then do your research. And then connect with the right people that can help you get you to where you’re trying to go. But, have it together before you get to me because we don’t have to fool with you. [Laughs]
On the rumors surrounding the foreclosure of Bar One…
Oh, we are definitely having some issues with Bar One. It has nothing to do directly with Peter and I. Peter pays the rent for Bar One every month. But the landlord was not paying the bank. So there’s some issues going on. We pray that’s all going to be worked out in time. So just pray for us. We’re working it out. But again, we were doing what we was supposed to be doing. Life happens…
You can catch Cynthia Bailey, on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” Season 6, every Sunday night at 8PM EST on Bravo TV!
Exclusive: Michelle Williams Gives Riveting Performance in Decatur, GA & Reveals Plenty During Press Meet-n-Greet
Michelle Williams, one-third member of the popular girls group Destiny’s Child gave an incredible performance at the Atrium House of Hope in Decatur, GA. Michelle performed two songs from her new highly anticipated 2014 gospel album Journey to Freedom. Not only did Michelle perform her first single “If We Had Your Eyes” and “Fire” but she also shared her story and appreciation for everything God has blessed her with.
Michelle Williams, a native of Rockford, Illinois, began her journey in the church. She jokingly shared with the audience that she attended services at minimum 3 to 4 times a week. She gives credit to her humble beginnings because it made her the humble and ambitious woman she is today.
Her professional musical career started after she left college to pursue her dream and was offered to tour and sing background with R&B vocalist Monica. She later auditioned for the group Destiny’s Child in 2009 and the rest was history. Being a “church girl”, Michelle stated that she was criticized by many but she understood that her gift was from God and as long as he understood she would continue to persevere. She stated that she became happier and more content in her life after she realized that she couldn’t make everybody happy.
Michelle also stated that she has a solid foundation which has allowed her to stay humble and grounded even with all the fame. In addition to her music, she has had the opportunity to star in TV and Broadway in such plays “Aida” and “The Color Purple” just to name a few. When asked would she ever pursue film, she stated that she wanted to be able to focus on one thing at a time and take all of it in before she decided to jump into other ventures.
Michelle is most thankful for having the opportunity to share her gift and talent with the world and the people she loves and adores such as members of the Destiny’s Child and family. She is super excited about the holidays and most of all the good food that comes along with it – she made special reference to the candy yams minus the marshmallow’s. (laughs)
Exclusive press meet-and-greet with Michelle Williams:
“When Jesus Says Yes”
“If I Had Your Eyes”
Journey To Freedom will be in-stores early 2014.
Special thanks to Majesty! Public Relations for the invite!
Article written by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Photo Recap: ATL #WalmartOnCascade Treat Customers to Beauty & Fashion Showcase, hosted by Cynthia Bailey & Middleman Fresh
This past Saturday, Walmart continued its celebration of their recent opening in southwest Atlanta. Located off Cascade Road, the superstore hosted the Atlanta Beauty & Fashion Show which showcased trendy-yet-affordable fashion and beauty products sold in Walmart. The event allowed customers the chance to see selected merchandise be modeled during an exclusive runway show. The celebrity host for the occasion was none other than “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star, Cynthia Bailey. In addition, celebrity wardrobe stylist , Robert “Middleman Fresh” Flood co-hosted the event and used his expertise to style the models in Walmart’s fly fall fashions.
Cynthia Bailey and Middleman Fresh are no strangers to the beauty and fashion industries. Middleman is a 20-year styling expert whose work has been seen on numerous runways. Also, his work has been showcased on Style Network’s “Big Rich Atlanta”, BET, and on the Soul Train Awards. After spending many years gracing national and international runways as a supermodel, Cynthia Bailey traded the runway for television and has been a fixture on Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” for several seasons now. She’s also the founder and owner of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion and co-author of a new book “Carry-On Baggage: Our Non-Stop Flight”.
The Atlanta Beauty & Fashion Show was a great event for the community. While customers were treated to Walmart’s new fall trends, surrounding beauty stations were available for people to get make-up consultations and free giveaways. Local Atlanta radio station V-103FM was also on the scene to capture live on-air moments from the event.
Check out a few photos from the event:
Photos from the fashion show:
Beauty and cosmetic companies represented at the Atlanta Beauty & Fashion Show were Ambi, Iman, Zuri, Milani, EDEN Bodyworks, Strength of Nature, and Chatham.
For more updates on this Walmart location, check them out on Facebook at http://facebook.com/Walmart3741 .
To view our full photo gallery for the Atlanta Beauty & Fashion Show, click HERE.
Special thanks to AW Media Group for the invite!
The Ratchet Report: Simon Cowell & Lauren’s Son, Alec Baldwin & Wolf Blitzer’s “Freeloader” Comment On Obamacare
Definition of Ratchett in the Urban Dictionary: A hot mess
Stay away or you will pay Simon Cowell….
Simon Cowell is on the other end of the judging panel. Former American Idol judge now X-Factor judge and pregnant girlfriend Lauren Silverman can finally live their lives but possibly at a high cost. Divorce settlements between the mother of Simon Cowell’s pregnant girlfriend and her ex-husband Andrew Silverman are all settled but the clauses are definitely something nobody saw coming. Lauren will be paid 3k a month in child support however her 7 year-old son cannot be around Cowell until 2015. If Lauren violates the clause she can be find a $50,000 penalty. The settlement also states that the son of Lauren and ex-husband Andrew can only refer to his biological parents as “mother or father”.
I guess Simon won’t get the last word this time but he’s cool because he got the girl!
Alec Baldwin on the defense about alleged anti-gay slur….
Academy Award winner Alec Baldwin from movies such as Beetlejuice, The Departed and The Hunt for Red October was filmed in New York threatening a reporter and using anti-gay words. TMZ released a video of the actor allegedly calling a reporter a “c^^ksucking F@#”. Baldwin later went on Twitter denying all allegations and even threatened to sue TMZ for releasing the video and suggesting that he even used those words. Baldwin went on record stating that he did not use the word “F@#” instead he used the word “Fathead”. This is not the first time Baldwin has been in the news for his outburst back in 2011 he was thrown off an airplane for refusing to turn off his phone while playing Words with Friends.
Being in the public eye you have to be careful because you are always being watched and Baldwin has been in the industry long enough to know better. On the other hand, I totally agree wanting to finish his game of Words with Friends, that game is as addictive as Candy Crush.
CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer speaks out about Obamacare….
Blitzer sounds off about Obamacare and its recipients. CNN reporter since 1990 Wolf Blitzer has hosted shows such as “The Situation Room”, “CNN Newsroom” and previously “Wolf Blitzer Reports”. Apparently, Blitzer made a comment earlier today calling those who can’t afford to pay for health insurance “freeloaders”. Earlier in October, Blitzer made a statement on CNN about glitches in the healthcare websites stating, “They had three years to get this ready. If they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them, delay it for a year, get it ready and make sure it works.”
It’s amazing to see how the television people we support and grow to love for what we see on TV truly feel about their supporters. I know we all have freedom of speech but we should also hold people accountable and take a stand against those that frown others.
This week the “Really Award” goes to the Alec Baldwin. Alec has been in and out of the news for his crazy outburst for years for his racist or anti-gay slurs. You would think he would have learned to either: 1) be careful of what you say or 2) own your comments. There’s only but so much damage control.
Submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
DTLR and Converse has joined forces to present a once in a lifetime opportunity to aspiring rappers. DTLR locations surrounding the east coast are hosting freestyle battle competitions in search for the next hip hop star. The contestants will each battle for a chance to win a one-single recording session at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in New York. Battle MCs who are hungry for their big break are all welcome to showcase their talents (women and men).
The competition kicked off on October 25 at Security Square Mall in Baltimore, Maryland. Next stop was in Atlanta at DTLR’s Camp Creek location. It was there that STACKS Magazine was on deck to witness the artistry first hand. Over 50 young men and women attended the event. Hot 107.9 FM’s Beestroh and female DJ Sweetbox Jones hosted the battle competition. Each contestant got the opportunity spit their hottest 16 bars in hopes of moving on to the next round of the competition.
After several rounds, the Atlanta competition ended up with three final contestants. They all gave it their best shot but in the end there could only be one winner. An unknown rapper by the name of “Roy” killed the competition and is on his way to New York to compete against the other winners from the five participating cities.
Here are few photos from the event:
The next three stops on the freestyle battle train are Washington, DC (Nov. 8), Country Club Hills, IL (Nov. 15), and Richmond, VA (Nov. 22). For more information on how to sign up to compete, go to www.dtlr.com.
Video coverage of the final three freestyles can be found on our Instagram page @ STACKSMag!
Photo Credit: Jonathan Herring, Live & Direct Media
Winsome Sinclair, 25yr Casting Director, Launches New ATL Office, Talks The Film Business & Gives Valuable Advice to Young Actors [Exclusive]
On Tuesday, October 29th, Winsome Sinclair, an established and well-respected casting director from New York, held an exclusive launch party and personal birthday celebration at Bar One Tapas Lounge. The event was to kick-off the new office placement for Winsome Sinclair & Associates here in the Atlanta area. Many of her industry friends came out to celebrate this special occasion. There were plenty of drinks flowing, dancing, and networking among Atlanta’s entertainment insiders and industry veterans from the East Coast and other parts of the U.S.
Partaking in the festivities were Debra Atney (Mizay Entertainment), Nicci Gilbert (Singer/”R&B Divas”), Yung Joc (rapper), Ramona Debreaux (V-103FM), Peter Thomas (Owner of Bar One/”Real Housewives of Atlanta”), and many other industry movers-and-shakers.
Winsome Sinclair is part of a recent wave of film and television business owners that are moving into the Southern market. With Georgia’s fast growing film production industry, many job and tax-incentive opportunities have opened up that will help keep the economy strong. As such, Winsome Sinclair & Associates will join the directory of other companies that will create jobs for the African-American and Latino communities. Sinclair and her associates already have a list of planned events for the Atlanta area that will promote excellence and business know-how. One in particular is the The Blueprint Series.
The Blueprint Series is business acumen. We bring in accountants. We bring in people to talk about doing taxes, investing, wealth, because we don’t want to see them make that mistake. You may have great fame. But, if you can’t sustain yourself, then you still have an issue and it will affect your work. So, we teach them the business of doing business better because it’s 10% show and 90% business. And, we ride that home.
It’s a family thing that we do. My brother is a CPA and an attorney. So he comes in and teaches that course and helps them be prepared for where they are going. We will launch the Blueprint Series in Atlanta in January.
As a 25-year film and television veteran, Sinclair definitely has the knowledge on how to create an opportunity in the film industry. While many young adults choose to use a 4-year institution as a gateway into the entertainment field, others make the right connections and hop right on in – many times as interns. Because college courses and opportunities for minorities were rarely offered back when Sinclair started, she was lucky enough to join Spike Lee’s camp. Through experience gained while working with one of the best in the business, Sinclair began to pay-it-forward to other young interns.
I will definitely suggest a Business course. As far as being a casting director, this is my 25th year going into the industry, so there was no course when I was in school. What I have done though, for the 25 years I’ve been doing this, I make sure every job that I’m on I take on an intern. So I can train somebody else to do this because no one is teaching “our” people to do this. Coming up in Spike Lee’s camp, that’s one thing that Spike stressed, he wanted the department heads ALL look like him. So, he took good care of us in that way. And I pay it forward in the same way. Actually, in 2009, we launched a production company called Legacy Media Group (LMG). LMG is composed of myself and the people who interned with me over the years. We got together and started to things for ourselves. So, I’m really proud of that.
To be a casting director, you have to have an eye for great talent. Sinclair has proven that she is one of the best and has a long list of film, television, and video credits to show for it. In the past 25 years, she has collaborated with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and John Singleton, casting principals and extras for the films Amistad, Malcolm X, Waiting to Exhale, She Hate Me, Inside Man, Too Fast Too Furious, Black Snake Moan, Cadillac Records and Precious, among others. Her most recent projects include For Colored Girls, Violet & Daisy, and the recently released remake of the classic Sparkle, starring the late Whitney Houston.
Her repertoire is quite impressive. But, with it she shares her knowledge so others too can excel in this business. One thing that she is most fond of is helping actors and actresses reach their full potential. As a casting director, she sees first hand where improvements can be made. Therefore, Sinclair stresses the importance of being confident as an actor. Sometimes she says “confidence” is the very thing that hinders people from doing their best in the audition room.
I love smart actors. You need to have your lines and have your lines memorized if possible. But, you always got to come with a headshot, a resume so we know what you’ve done – what kind of work you’re used to. And just…I teach another course called “Start Owning Your Audition Room”, and that’s how to give actors confidence – because you have to walk into that room like you already own it. If you walk in apologetically or not strong, it will hinder your performance. As a casting director, I try to teach actors that I’m on your side. If you look good, I look good. So, I want you to be the best you can be because then my director will hire me again. [laughs]
It’s that simple.
Sinclair also gives hope for future actors or newbies that are found off the street. She credited Spike Lee as being someone who made it his duty to find actors with less experience (or none at all). It is raw talent that can captivate the audience in ways a well-trained actor or actress can’t do. But, although she love working with smart actors, she also loves to discover new talent.
Winsome Sinclair understands her job is to make others dreams come true. She’s been committed to that for 25 years and has no plans on stopping. With this new location in Atlanta, the sky’s the limit for her and her team.
For more information on Winsome Sinclair and/or Winsome Sinclair & Associates, visit www.WSACasting.com or contact her via email at email@example.com. You can also follow her firm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @WSACasting.
Special thanks to Raychelle LeBlanc, of SheNotes for the invite!
Pusha T has been hyping this new album up since he appeared on Kanye’s track “Runaway”. Then again, that was the true emergence of Pusha T the solo artist and not ½ of The Clipse. He threw a test press of what he had to offer with his earlier mixtape Fear of God and Wrath of Caine. As cool as it was, it did not show his true potential to make undeniable music. Still, with previous releases of tracks like “Nosetalgia” and “Money On The Boards”, Pusha’s buzz was hard to eclipse.
After a few good thorough listens to My Name Is My Name, it can be easily said that Pusha T is going extremely hard.
What I like the most is that he reaches for his own lane. Instead of hearing production from Pharrell all over this album, you get a bevy of producers to give him a different sound. The throwback era sounding “Numbers On The Boards” is easily an audible treat due to ominous production. The Kanye West and Hudson Mohawke produced “Hold On” gains plenty of punch from the auto-tuned wailing and piano driven loop. When you actually get to hear Pharrell, you got either the off-beat sounding “Suicide” or the dry dopeness in “S.N.I.T.C.H.”. The biggest strength of the production is the detour off the beaten Pharrell path that Pusha T took.
Regardless of the diverse production, Pusha T still keeps his hands to the gravel (i.e. he continues to go hard). With tracks like “Nosetalgia” and “King Push”, there is no doubt about where the lyrics will be the majority of the time. With “King Push”, he has lyrics like “vultures to my culture/exploit the struggle/insult ya/they name droppin’about King coppin’/never been a foot soldier” booming through the ears. In comparison, “Nosetalgia” has him being extra flippant on the mic with “started off as a baby face monster/no wonder its diaper rash on my conscience/my teething ring was numbed by that nonsense”. Seeming no worse for wear, Pusha T still have the abrasively arrogant and agile lyrics that got him where he is today.
Pusha T achieved three main things on this album. For one, he proved that he could make a comprehensive project without all of his production coming from Pharrell. Another feat he achieved is holding on to his own personality and not conforming. Even bigger than the previous achievements is the fact that his album is purely dope. With all those things going for him, there is little doubt that listeners will have any problems with the name Pusha T.
When a new artist comes around who can reach national and global audiences, something should be said about that. Well, this South Carolina-born singer is doing just that and is on his way to becoming the next household name.
Evin Gibson has spent the last several years honing in on his craft and mesmerizing listeners with his fusion of R&B and pop. His initial project “Life in E-Vision” was release independently and proved that anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it. He sold over 5,000 copies on his own and through various online music websites was able to create an international fan base. Evin has traveled to many places like Japan and Germany to spread his talents. He’s been invited to open up for Sunshine Anderson, Jill Scott, and even legendary R&B crooner Freddie Jackson. In addition, his singing abilities and heartfelt songs even reached the attention of his hometowns neighboring state of North Carolina, in which he received a nomination at the North Carolina Music Awards for Best Male R&B Artist.
Evin also had the experience of singing at the BET Experience and at a premier event for the television show “The Game.”
As an artist for Str8Wired Entertainment, his team is moving full steam ahead with his next project. Evin’s talent can’t be denied and his pretty boy looks is just the icing on the cake. If you haven’t heard of him before now, now it’s time to listen. STACKS Magazine’s staff writer, Abner Jackson II, recently spoke with the singer about his influences, what’s going to separate him from other artists, meeting the late Whitney Houston, and his future plans.
When did you realize you wanted to become a R&B singer and was there any artists whose work influenced you the most?
I always had a passion for music growing up around a lot of musicians and church. My family being so soiled in music…when I started listening to a lot of the old school records that were played by family and a lot of the new school records that were current growing up. I felt like I would take the instrumentals and make my own music to them and make my own songs to them. I did it to almost every song came out and had my own version for almost every song that came out and I decided this is something that I really want to do. I wanted to take my sound and expand it. I started making my own music from that point. It’s something that happened and throughout the years always been a part of my heart. Being able to do music now, is a dream come true. Artists that inspired me? No set artist inspired me. I listened to all the greats from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, En Vogue, Boyz II Men…a variety of artists. So, I don’t have one set artist that inspired me. I just love great music.
For our readers who have never heard of your music, how would you explain your sound to them?
My music is R&B, pop, and with a core of good music. Basically, it’s a sound that is clean that talks about love, life, and experiences people go through. It’s a sound of great story, memo flows, basic R&B and pop, good music – it’s really hard to describe besides good music that touches your soul and relate to things you go through in your own life.
What makes your style/image as a male singer different from other young male artists?
I’m not trying to become someone I’m not. I’m just trying to put positive clean music out there for the public. I like to put a little bit of imagination. Music lacks imagination sometime nowadays and music sometimes lacks that imagination. I don’t like to come out and say exactly what the song is about, I like to put it so everybody can relate to it. Put their own story to it. My style is being true to me and what makes me happy and making sure I have a message in what I do. That’s my style and I don’t think a lot of people have that style. I think people lose their message sometimes. I’m a person who talks about message and love, not drama.
How did it feel to open up in concert for Jill Scott, Freddie Jackson and Sunshine Anderson?
I feel like to open up for any major artist is an accomplishment and it’s also one of those things you have to make sure you on point. It can be kind of scary. People came to see the artist. They came to see. You have to give it your all with everything; rather for the major artists I open up for or I’m doing my own show, I give it my all and try to keep it on that level. I can have fun and my audience can have fun. It’s always great to meet new people and explain yourself to new people. It’s always a wonderful, wonderful feeling anytime you get to do what you were born to do and love to do. It’s a great experience.
In your bio, it was mentioned that you performed at the BET Experience and during The Game’s premiere. How did those opportunities come about?
Anything I’m able to perform at is through my label Str8Wired Entertainment. They are able to get me into a lot of places and do a lot of things that expose me to a lot of people. They are doing a very good job at that. So, I’m really thankful for them, my publicist, and I’m really happy to have a good team around me. They see the opportunities where I fit in. They get me out there and if they like it, they get me to be a part of it. I’m just happy to have that team around me.
When you’re not in the studio or performing, what do you do in your free time?
I like to chill, relax and I’m a father. I love spending time with my kids and I’m a hands-own father. I love being with my kids and being a good dad. Teaching them and having fun with them basically. Watching movies…I’m really just a simple guy. Like to have fun, like to relax, chill, be with my kids and family.
What is your biggest accomplishment, thus far, in this field of work?
My biggest accomplishment in music, well there are quite a few musical landmarks that happened in my life. One particular thing that happened (that I’ll never forget) is meeting Whitney Houston, which is someone I always looked up to and I always thought was one of the greatest voices of all time. Getting to meet her in life through music and being able to meet her is a moment that time stood still. She is a musical icon and there are so many things that has happened to me that I been blessed to be able to do. From getting my songs on the radio, video on MTV, having a record number one on the radio station, being able to go to Japan and tour, having my CD sell overseas, etc. They are so many different accomplishments. But, being able to give back and being a part of a lot of the benefit concerts is some of the greatest things I enjoyed.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
I see myself doing the same thing I’m doing just on a larger scale reaching a bigger platform. I see myself really spreading the message of love and not so much of war and on the radio and do music. Having a good time and of course being respectful. I can see myself bringing a new platform of music back and teach kids through music and inspire others through music. Basically, just doing what I love to do and growing and touring and having a great time. Life is all about a great time right? Having a great time and being true to who I am, inspire people to follow their dreams, because that’s so important. When you in these positions to reach people, it’s very important that you be a good example. You show them life has its ups and downs. We all go through stuff, at the same time anybody can achieve anything. When you see people making it big, it does not mean you can’t make it big. It just means go out there and do it. I want people to get that message from Evin Gibson, my life and from what I been able to accomplish coming from a small town. Branching out and doing things very few get to do. If I can do it, anybody can do it. That goes for anybody in any field and not just music. I really want that message to be conveyed through what I do. This album I got coming out, I want people to be able to realize that is the message from that album, basically.
Watch Evin Gibson’s latest video “Instant Fire” below:
To learn more about this talented artist, visit www.EvinGibson.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvinGibson and on Facebook @ EvinGibsonMusic.
Special thanks to Jakeem Smith, of Jay Productions!
A1 Records boss, Rocko, has been investing a lot of energy into a new artist called Bloody Jay. Apparently, Rocko sees something in him that’s unique and what the game is missing. Well he’s not alone. Many others agree that Bloody Jay’s different. From his rap cadences to tone of voice, he has the talent to become one of the hottest out of Atlanta. Moreover, one of the hottest in the game…period.
Hosted by DJ Scream, Bloody Jay’s newest mixtape ‘Blatlanta II: Brazy’ shows his growth. The 16-track project include features from Trouble, Rocko, Young Thug, Kevin Gates and Gangsta. Production credit goes to Tripp Da Hit Major, Will A Fool, Ferrari Smash, Chase N. Cashe, Superstar Jay and Few Beats.
This week, the Bloody Jay hosted a mixtape listening session this week at 255 Tapas restaurant in Atlanta. You can download the mixtape now at Livemixtapes.com. Here are a few photos from the event:
Photo Credit: Jonathan Herring, Live & Direct Media Group
Our boy Windsor Jones is back with another installment of What’s Goin’ On TV. This time he’s in the studio with A-1 The SuperGroup. Their song “Everywhere We Go” is blazing in Atlanta and is spreading nationwide.
This footage captures A-1 and Windsor chopping it up and laying down a few tracks. Video features cameos by DJ Kutt Throat and Ray Forte on the boards.
Check it out…
I don’t know what others have to say, but I am still getting used to the idea of all this “movement” between venues. When I first started frequenting the A3C, everything (and I mean everything) was in ONE area. Nowadays, you have to drive around here and there, hope that you can find parking, and make sure that you are at the right spot. It can be a hassle. In short, attending the A3C has become more work than usual. That still doesn’t keep the festival from being as entertaining as possible. It is just that you are torn between travelling around the city to see as much as possible and staying in one spot for most of your day.
Thus, I picked the Variety Playhouse for my first night. And I must say that I am glad that I made that choice.
Rockness Monstah: for anyone looking for that rap that hearkens back into the “95 Era” of things, then you missed a treat. Rock held nothing back when he hit the stage. The majority of the crowd was more than happy to peep him do his thing on the stage.
Skyzoo: forever the agile wordsmith, Sky did nothing short of go through some hits that all his fans were familiar with. Plus, when he hit us off with that Range Rover Rhythm, I knew it was over from there. Oh, and please believe that other performed tracks were just as potent. Adding a live horn player to the mix and you have something more acoustic than ever. But you will see in the videos.
Jean Grae: I personally think she should become a comedienne. However, since her rap demand still remains strong, I can understand her desire to perform for hip hop crowds. She was either cracking jokes or coming with dope rhymes. Peep the video to see what I am talking about.
Bonus: Pharoahe Monch!!!
With all of this said, the Variety Playhouse had some acts for you to enjoy. That is, unless you weren’t an “underground hip hop head”. Then you probably thought they sucked. Otherwise, I would suggest that you watch the videos and peep out whatever it is you missed out on.
To see more video footage of this Variety Playhouse showcase, visit (and subscribe to) the STACKS Magazine YouTube channel HERE!
EXCLUSIVE: Ebony Steele Spreads Message Of Hope Through #STEELESurviving Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
Ebony Steele, co-host on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and FOX TV’s “Dish Nation”, has embarked on a nationwide crusade to assist women in coping with breast cancer. Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Ebony knows this is the perfect time to use her own stories of strength to encourage other women who are battling the disease.
STEELE Surviving – Ebony Steele Tackles Breast Cancer Month is a campaign launched to promote the use of social media as a platform for women who are dealing with breast cancer. Ebony kicked off the campaign with an official launch on October 4 at Dr. Heavenly University and will continue on throughout the end of the month.
The use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (with hash-tag #STEELESurviving) allows Ebony and women all across the U.S. to communicate daily, in which most cases is needed. These women are then able to keep an open dialogue filled with uplifting words and educational information.
So much has to be said for the courage and tenacity of women that have gone through breast cancer. No two breast cancers are alike. Everybody’s journey and everybody’s story is different. So what I wanted to do is take an opportunity to recognize some of those women that may have gone through breast cancer. Not even that, maybe people that haven’t gone through it but are pushing towards ending breast cancer and helping women to live longer and survive. Hence the name (my last name), STEELE Surviving and we just decided to launch that this year. We talked about it over the past couple of years. But, we just felt like the time was right.
Ebony’s own fight started right around the time she became a host on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. In 2007, she received the news from doctors that a lump was found in her breast. As anyone could imagine, life for Ebony instantly changed. But, she says that she’s thankful that her darkest moments were short lived.
I think the darkest moment is something that happens repetitively. It’s when you think of…say if your life may be compromised or something may happen. The darkest moment for me is thinking about my family. I think in the beginning when I was first diagnosed, it was a pity party. But, it ended up with us turning it into an “okay, we got to do this” because of my mom, my dad, my sister, my family. I never looked at it as “this way it’s me fighting for them.” So, I think “each one teaches one,” and at the same time, it’s something that I’m going through too. I don’t want other women to have those darker moments – or at least dark because they will come – but just so that people can have that little grain of hope and light to know that the work that they’ve done and pushing through it, is definitely something that should be rewarded.
For many women that battle breast cancer, trying to figure out how to mentally deal with everyday life is challenging. Some women fall into deep depression and/or become anti-social. Some find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook, especially if they have no true support team. Luckily, Ebony contributes constant prayer and the “listening” ear of her family as two factors that helped her cope with cancer.
First of all, just pray. Constantly stay in prayer it is a must. Then [what I said the support team that I had around me] just consistently being that support for that person who is going through it, for example, and listening to them. Everybody’s support is going to be different. In my experience, a lot of times people assume you’re going through breast cancer. I had to tell my mom at one point [and we still laugh about it] when she would do this baby talk, “Hey, how are you?” I said, “Momma, don’t treat me like I’m sick. I know it’s a process, my hair done fell back. I know I look like your baby again…literally a newborn. But, don’t do the baby talk.” So, I think listening to the person that’s going through it and seeing where they need it because some people want to be left alone. Some people want to be treated normal. Some people want to take short disability. Whatever “support” that person needs, just have those ears wide open to listen.
According to statistics, there will be an estimated 230,000+ new cases of women with breast cancer in 2013. Many of these women will need not only mental support, but also financial support as well. With the Affordable Care Act being a hot topic, it is confirmed that breast cancer patients will obtain some coverage. But there will be others who will not be financially able to afford insurance. In those instances, Ebony suggests that they reach out to various organizations (local or national) to find assistance.
From the standpoint of medical costs (I can only speak for myself), I am someone who is truly blessed. I happen to be working. I happen to have a good job that provided insurance. Also, know that some women that go to the emergency room for their prenatal care when their pregnant just because. Hopefully, with the Affordable Care Act and everything that Obama is doing with ObamaCare, they will try to make it easier for everybody. I do know that chemotherapy is covered and that if people would like to go under that or radiation. I think everybody is still figuring out all the nicks and knots with that whole thing. But, I think that there are organizations (i.e. non-profits). This [STEELE Surviving] is regional so it’ll be different for everybody else. But, I think that for those who do have insurance that they should get their mammograms. Don’t take that for granted even if it covers it. For those that don’t have it, find the means through some of the local organizations; some of the sister organizations and Hairfinity 50K (that’s a group that’s doing stuff), Susan G. Komen of course, but just to find some of those that can help people.
No matter the obstacles encountered while suffering from breast cancer, it is important to stay uplifted. This is why Ebony stresses the importance of having a support system. It is the personal stories shared by these women that fuels Ebony’s spirit and willingness to push on for breast cancer. Knowing first-hand the level of commitment it takes, the STEELE Surviving campaign is just her way to keep the cause at the forefront of our minds and celebrate the people that make every road travel all worth it.
Well, I definitely don’t want to forget about the strides that we’ve taken in breast cancer. I see, like, the future is bright. In any way that people can put their commitment to (as small as women doing their self-breast exams to the husbands, the fathers, the sons that love the women in their lives), their mothers, your daughters, your sisters, encourage them to do that. Men should do it as well too. It’s definitely a low number of incidents. But a little over a thousand men will get breast cancer every year and will be diagnosed with it, which lets you know that we’re definitely making strides. So we got to keep looking forward not forgetting about what we’ve done in the past. I think they say, “When you’re driving, there’s a reason why the front windshield is bigger than the one behind you.” I think that where we’re going is much bigger and better and hopefully with all of the push with everybody wearing pink in October. I love to see the NFL and even the little league football teams are wearing the pink. It lets me know that people here understand us and let’s not give up hope.
The STEELE Surviving campaign tour continues with the Women of Atlanta Charity Fashion Show (Thursday, October 24) and the Classic Soiree & ‘The Classic Afterparty’ during the Magic City Classic weekend in Birmingham, Alabama (Oct. 25-27).
To stay updated on this campaign and other future initiatives, follow Ebony on Twitter @EbonySteele. Feel free to leave comments or encouraging words of support by using the official hashtag #STEELESurviving. Her website is www.EbonySteele.com. Please visit the website for information on upcoming dates and venues.
Special thanks to Ebony Steele, Brandsway Creative, and AW Media Group!
2 Chainz & Fiance’ NaKesha Ward “Strike Out for Domestic Violence” @ T.R.U. Foundation Charity Event [PHOTOS]
On Sunday evening, T.R.U. Foundation, Inc. hosted their charity bowling event “Striking Against Domestic Violence” at Metro Lanes and Games in Atlanta. Georgia. The event was held in honor of Atlanta area victims and families affected by domestic abuse. Several local celebrities, radio hosts, and friends came out in support of the cause. Striking out a few pins were Lil Scrappy, Bambi, Hot 107.9′s Mz Shyneka, Zaytoven, Cap 1, Hot 107.9′s E.T., Coco Kiss, and Lil Chuckee just to name a few.
T.R.U. Foundation founder, NaKesha Ward and her fiance celebrity rap star 2 Chainz was onsite to fellowship with the attendees and give more insight on the organization. Back in 2011, a close cousin of Ward’s topped the headlines after suffering a tragic death due to domestic violence. Korean Bowden lost her life to an abuser after receiving multiple stab wounds. Her abuser also committed heinous acts towards Bowden’s three daughters (ages 12, 9, and 2) which included rape and kidnapping. The devastating blow that was dealt to Ward’s family was one of the main reasons she established the T.R.U. Foundation.
“After this tragedy, I felt my calling from God was to reach out to people in the community and make a difference in the lives of others.”
In addition to the organization’s commitment to help victims of domestic violence, poverty and dismal education are other mission-driven areas the T.R.U. Foundation focuses on. To assist individuals in learning the necessary tools to create a better life, the T.R.U. Foundation provides career and money management related programs. If you are interested in learning more about the foundation or to make a donation, please send inquiries to the following:
T.R.U. Foundation, Inc
P.O. Box 1233
Fairburn, GA 30213
Below are a few more pictures from the bowling event:
To view more photos from the “Striking Against Domestic Violence” event, visit www.FREDDYO.com.
Looks like every had a fun time. It’s good to see fellow Alabama State University alums doing great things for the community. Way to go NaKesha and 2 Chainz!
Exclusive: Princess Digital Confirms New Crime Mob Album & What She’s Up To Now + Video “Lose Myself”
In 2004, a hot new group hit the scene. They tore up the radio stations and clubs with a highly energetic song “Knuck If You Buck.” The group (then known as Crime Mob) consisted of four males and two females. Not trying to out-do their male counterparts, Princess and Diamond possessed a quality that demanded audiences to watch and listen. This star quality and rapping skills sent the girls and the rest of the group on to a substantial level of musical success. After the group’s 2004 self-title album release, the six of them recorded another project in 2007 (Hated On Mostly) with lackluster success. The group eventually broke up.
Despite having internal issues and record labels, several members continued to pursue their dreams on their own. Princess Digital (as she is now known as), for instance, did not allow these circumstances to stop her. Since the group’s dismantling, Princess Digital has released several mixtapes throughout the years (i.e. Dirty Pop, P.S.A., Mixed & Destroyed 3, and Hiatus). We recently caught up with her on the red carpet of T.I.’s “Peep Show” Birthday Party to find out what projects she’s currently working on.
For starters, Princess Digital revealed that she and her former cohorts are working on a new Crime Mob album! This is great news to their fans. It’s been awhile since anyone has heard music from them as a team. However, Crime Mob did perform at the Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash this year to great reviews. Unfortunately, it was said that Princess did not perform. But, she is working on Crime Mob’s new project and also on a solo album.
Outside of the music game, Princess Digital has entered the acting world. She’s set to star in a stage play with Juanita Bynum. Also, the Lifetime Network recently featured Princess Digital on the show “Double Divas.” She appeared on Season 2 Episode 14 where she allowed the Divas to style her for an upcoming video shoot. Check out that episode HERE.
It is clear that Princess Digital isn’t stopping anytime soon. She’s talented, smart, and still a young woman that can work in different facets of the entertainment business. Music is her first love, therefore, she continues to write for other artists. But, she has her eyes set on the beauty industry as well. She will soon release more information regarding a new lipstick and hair line.
Over the weekend, she released a new video for “Lose Myself” which is definitely pop inspired. Although we’re not sure how her U.S. fans will respond, this tune should receive major play overseas. Strategically, this is a good plan for Princess Digital…spread the musical talent around to various genres. Ultimately, this will generate more revenue lanes. Princess Digital is keeping her finger on the pulse, bossin’ up, and we like that.
Watch her latest video “Lose Myself” below:
Show your support and stay updated on her latest happenings. Follow her now on Twitter @PrincessDigital !
For the 3rd year in a row, the city of Atlanta hosted a local talent showcase in the city’s Woodruff Park. The hip hop festival coincided with the annual BET Hip Hop Awards show. The festival gives underground artists the opportunity to get their shine on.
This year, What’s Goin On TV captured the event which included shout outs from radio personality Red Dredd, rapper 4-Ize, and Sean Teezy. Also, there were a performance by rapper Yung Tone and a hilarious freestyle battle between rappers Duval and a little kid name King Roscoe.
Check it out…
The Gourmet Footwear’s Fall 2013 Croc Pack is now released to the masses. The Croc Pack was derived from a sit-down meeting between Founder, Greg Lucci, and platinum hip hop recording artist and CEO of CTE World, Jeezy. The fall lookbook includes the Cinque 2 LXL and 35 Lite MP, both made from imported, Italian crocodile.
The concept for the lookbook took on an organic transparency. Both Lucci and Jeezy wanted to capture the true feeling of an environment not forced, which is why the photos throughout the lookbook were taken during a dinner meeting at one of Atlanta’s top Italian restaurants (owned by chef GIO).
“When we come to Atlanta to collaborate with Jeezy the first thing we do is call GIO and have the private table in the back of his restaurant set up. It’s during these dinners that we tend come up with our best creative ideas. We’re not focused 100 on business. We’re rapping about family and the neighborhoods where we grew up. It’s those discussions that inspire us and allow us to visualize where we want to take our collaborative efforts.” – Greg Lucci, Founder of Gourmet.
The idea for the Croc Pack culminated after the initial partnership between Jeezy and Gourmet. The shoes in this special collection were originally chosen by Jeezy in June 2013. At the time, the shoes were only samples and not the final product. Once the final production of the shoes were available, Jeezy and Gourmet decided on these two favorites as the centerpieces for the Fall 2013 Croc Pack.
To see the Croc Pack lookbook, click HERE.
Gourmet’s slogan for the Fall 2013 line is “Masters of Material,” an ideology derived from the wide range of fabrications sourced from all over the world that provide depth and a unique look to its shoes. In addition to the Italian crocodile, other materials used include: imported, Italian snake skin; butter-soft, water resistant wolverine suede; imported, Japanese ultra-suede by Toray; and cork printed leather.
For additional information, please call (813) 966-4314.
K.I.P. Ent brings two of the hottest acts in the city to Red Train for B.E.T. weekend. A-1 The Super Group and Losie perform their hit singles “Everywhere We Go” and “Roger That”. Brought to you by What’s Goin On? T.V.
Clifford “T.I.” Harris celebrated his 33rd birthday this past Saturday in Atlanta. The “peep show” themed birthday bash was one of the highlights from the BET Hip Hop Awards weekend.
The party was held at the 200 Peachtree Street event facility. The chic affair brought out many of Tip’s celebrity friends, family, and fans. Of course, the Grand Hustle family was in attendance to partake in the festivities. Business partner Jason Geter, Hanna King, Clay Evans, B.o.B., Young Dro, Big Kuntry, MacBoney, Spodee, Doe B, Mitchel’le, and comedian Lil Duval were in the building. T.I”s boo Tiny Harris was there too along with Shekinah, and Pretty Hustle’s group French Kiss, Ryan Cameron, DJ Holiday, and Nelly.
STACKS Magazine was on the scene to capture the who’s who in attendance. Celebrities and local socialites who came out to support The Kang were singer/actress Brandy Norwood (who sung a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday to Tip), Tyrese, Jennifer Hudson, Mimi Faust and her boo Niko, R&B singer Sammie, Sean Garrett, Princess (formerly of Crime Mob), Bola, Shay Johnson, Rocko, Nicci Gilbert and daughter Brandy-Lynn, D. Woods, Monyetta Shaw, Dice, Keisha Knight-Pulliam, Tony Rock, Erica Dixon, KeKe Wyatt and her husband, Lil Fate (DTP), Tameka Foster-Raymond, Funky Dineva, Michelle Brown, and many more.
Check out a few photos from the red carpet:
The most interesting aspect of T.I.’s birthday party was the peep show boxes that were placed throughout the room. It was very unique in that each box showcased a different concept (i.e. College Girls, Magic City, Body Painted chicks, Tattoo girl, Dominatrix girls, etc). Each of the boxes were picturesque and visually appealing. It definitely added a different element to your average birthday party. Also, the dance girls that were randomly placed and walking throughout the room was an added pleasure to many of the guests.
The only downside to the evening was the fact that the birthday boy himself showed up late. So, he wasn’t able to party as long as many of his supporters wanted him to. With that said, he bypassed the step and repeat outside the venue and slid straight inside the party. Longtime industry friend Sean “P. Diddy” Combs also made a brief appearance. By the way, T.I. was clean as hell in his maroon blazer. Several of the Grand Hustle family also was dressed to the nines like Dro, Lil Duval, MacBoney, etc.
Here are a few photos from inside the event:
To view the full photo gallery, click HERE or visit our page on Facebook.com/Stacks.Mag.
Special thanks to MusicBusinessPolitics for the invite!
Tuesday, September 24, Atlanta’s Museum Bar welcomed music lovers for a special album release party. Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson has combined their talents to create a new reggae album.
Yes, reggae. Sounds strange doesn’t it…given the fact that neither one of them are known to sing that genre of music. But hey, talent is talent…right?
Anyway, the ‘9INE‘ album release party brought out many supporters and celebrity friends. STACKS Magazine was on site to get exclusive photos from the event. Check out a few of them below:
’9INE’ is now available on iTunes. In case you need a preview of what to expect from their new album, check out “Promise” below and let us know what you think.
The concept of televised paternity testing and its outcome is taking a new turn. For years, we’ve seen an overabundance of exploitation of dead-beat fathers and mothers raising kids on their own. Even after the DNA results determine a child’s birth parents, these shows never give viewers a broader picture of what happens from that point on. As viewers, we wonder if the lives of the kids and the parents were actually transformed. Is the father back in their kids life full-time? Is the child being financially taken care of? Are the families functioning properly now? These questions and many others often run through our minds. Well, finally daytime television is offering a law abiding-scientific (but therapeutic) solution to paternity issues. Some of these “unknowns” is now being answered. Also, families are receiving real life tools to assist them while transitioning into these new parental roles.
“Paternity Court”, which premiered on September 23, is revitalizing how DNA testing is used in the family dynamic. The appointed expert judge that is presiding over the dysfunction is Judge Lauren Lake.
We’ve seen Judge Lake make guest appearances on various television shows and news programs. Now, she’s putting her 20 years of professional experience in law and family counseling to the test. As judge on “Paternity Court”, Judge Lake has encountered a wide range of stories that she believes will change our perception of what a paternity show is. To get a better understanding about the show, I recently got the opportunity to speak with Judge Lake.
During our phone conversation, I found out what viewers should expect from “Paternity Court” and what she plans to bring to the courtroom television that’s different from the norm. Check out what she had to say:
How will this show “Paternity Court” differ from the others?
We are very different. First of all, the obvious reason is because we are in a courtroom. So, right there, the decorum of our show is very different. As a judge, I’m running a courtroom and not a service. So, as people come in with amazing and incredible stories, and they have colorful personalities and their animated, I can appreciate an animated person…I am animated. I make it clear when I’m going to act a fool though. So, that entire basic set-up of our show is different. But where our show is different, most importantly, it adds the legal component into the paternity issue, which I don’t think we’ve seen yet. We not only answer people’s paternity questions in terms of the DNA science (“are you or are you not the father?”), but we also deal with issues of “are we siblings” – siblings-ship paternity tests. Is my deceased son the father of a particular child? Meaning, is this my grandchild.
We see so many shows and maybe their views are different when it comes to paternity, but people will be surprised at how many familiar legal cases involve an issue of paternity. So we are dealing with those types of cases as well. In addition to the legal component of our show, after they get the DNA evidence I talk with them about their legal rights and legal ramifications, further I empower them with that knowledge. Now that we know the truth, now that you understand how the law relates to that truth, what are you going to do with it? What are you going to do going forward? I don’t have people walk into my courtroom and I just give them an answer to just go on back to dysfunction. I want them lead my courtroom different than the way that they came in. If they came in lost or they came in with guilt, if they came in with shame or they came in with dysfunction, or they came in angry, then I want them to leave with a better understanding of those feelings and tools to move forward so that they can live a better life.
So it sounds like with “Paternity Court” we are going to see more compassion in comparison to other shows…
Absolutely! It’s about compassion. It’s about empathy. You’ll be surprised when you hear a young woman say my mother told me there could be 13 men that could be my father. You know, you hear the title and you say, “What?” That’s ridiculous. That’s ratchet. That’s unacceptable. But then you listen to the mother get to talk about that she didn’t know who her father was. Then you see the cycles are repeating themselves. When generational curses repeat themselves, they get worse not better. By the time the mother speaks, you may have started off thinking she’s a straight villain, and by the end of when she gets done or when I get done with my fact finding mission, you begin to understand how a human being that is lost can find themselves in an infallible situation. Even though it doesn’t “right” or “wrong”, you still have a better perspective of how she got there. Sometimes perspective is the missing piece that stops us from moving forward. Even when we have the truth, we need that perspective of the truth. In my courtroom I don’t know the answer either. So when I’m sitting up there, I’m asking people questions like “well wait a minute, why do you have doubt as to whether or not this child is yours?” Tell me, I don’t understand that. I’m honestly asking because I don’t know the results. I learn the results along with the party.
As the judge, you listen to both parties, what are the key factors you use to determine your ruling?
The main key factor that we deal with is the science. Our tagline is “She’s the judge, DNA is the jury.” We say that because in our courtroom the DNA is the jury. In a regular court of law, when there’s a judge and jury seated in the courtroom, the judge manages the court. But, the jury gives the decision. The judge can take the testimony but the jury is the one that gives the verdict. That’s how our courtroom works. I manage the courtroom. I ask the questions. But at the end of the day, it’s that DNA evidence; it’s that test that’s going to give us the verdict…which is the answer. Then from there, as when as judge of the court I am able to talk about the legal implications and responsibilities and then give them tools of empowerment to move forward.
Have you already started filming?
Yes. We are almost halfway done with the first season.
What are some of the other crazy cases that have been filmed thus far?
We got a case where a young man has thought he fathered the baby he grew up with for 30-something years, was his dad. He gets to a family picnic and overhears some murmuring that it may not be and he has to confront his mother. The reaction in the show is emotionally charged to say the least. It’s unbelievable. The feeling the pain of this young man is unbelievable. Sometimes I sit and I fight back tears even as the judge. They laugh at me because when I come off the bench and I close the door and I’m walking back to my chambers, I’m fanning myself with the case file. I fan my eyes because I’m trying not to mess up my makeup because I know we got to go into the next case. And I know this is a television show so I got to keep it together. But, I’m almost in tears with some of these cases.
Another shocking thing we had…a young child (ex-gang member) find out that he was a father and you see all of that armor, all of that fake bravado toughness it peels away throughout our show. The next thing you know this young man is standing there in tears and telling me about how he doesn’t even know how to be a father. He doesn’t know because he’s never seen one or had one. It almost broke me down just talking about it. So, it’s those kinds of situations where people walk into our courtroom. It’s a lesson to our culture because we judge books by their cover. People walked into our courtroom and we immediately put a label on him. He isn’t any good. He’s a deadbeat. He’s a villain. Sometimes you listen to the woman for a while and say “wait a minute” now you have had a part to play in the mess too. “Paternity Court” is not just about judging men. It’s about empowering families and identifying where both parties went wrong in a situation.
From the cases that you filmed this first season, do you see more cases where people are looking for the fathers or vice versa?
Surprisingly, we have seen a multitude of cases on various levels. We got cases where the actual child, which is now a grown adult, is looking to find out who their father is. We have questions where husbands and wives, as a litigant, and the husband is questioning the child that’s born within the marriage is his. Grandmothers coming and whose son has died. There is a child out there and they want to know is this my grandchild. We’ve had cases where young woman have terminal cancer, she just wants to know before she passes away is this my father. We have so many situations. We have mothers who are bringing their sons on talking about whether they are good fathers. It runs the gambit.
Is the taping based out of L.A.? Yes.
But, the guests come from all over the U.S…
Yes. Our litigants come from all over the country.
What was your deciding factor to become a television judge?
The deciding factor was the project. When my executive producer called me about this project, he said “Paternity Court.” Instantly I thought to myself, “oh okay, well what does that mean.” I know what it means, that we would bring paternity cases to court. But, I wanted to know further know what is this project about. When he sat down with me, he said he want to bring a responsible approach to paternity. I want it to be set in a courtroom setting and I want families to have a place where they can air out these paternity issues and receive the type of empowering information that they need. I believe you’re perfect for it. He’s watched me over the years as a legal analyst and as a life coach. He’s watched me do all of my various careers on television and things. So, he said I think you’re perfect for it because you can bring the legal aspect. But most importantly, you can bring the empowerment aspect.” That’s why I chose to do it. He allowed me to bring everything my 20 plus years of professional experience have taught me; advising and counseling people and families, individuals, teaching them how to live life limitlessly. Teaching them how to overcome obstacles and be courageous enough to begin again.
As much as people talk about people who get paternity results on television, on our show we are very courageous people that could just as easily stayed home and kept it a secret. It isn’t any part of TV worse than coming on and revealing your deepest darkest secret unless you can’t hold it anymore because you know it is destroying you. What I love about our courtroom as well is we’re that last stop before a lot of people have to deal with the court system at large. To be honest, people can be overwhelmed by that. Financially draining, it’s exhausting, it’s stressful…people have to hire a lawyer then you have to take off work to go to court. So the court systems in our country, it’s overwhelming. We provide a place where families where: a) without the financial issue, b) the time frame is swifter. They are able to get their paternity test, get their answer, get the help they need from a psychologist that’s on site or the resources in their community that can help them further. Then what we do is hopefully help families so that they don’t have to go to the next step. I can go to a father and say it is determined that you are the father, which means you are now financially responsible for this child under the law. You can either voluntarily say you’re going to do it. Or when you go back to your home state, you can expect the state court will come looking for you and you will have to pay.
What I can encourage people to do is work this out between them. Sit down and talk about it. I tell fathers too, if it isn’t you and you find out that you are not the biological father, you are entitled to visitation. Not just under the law, but you’re morally obligated to this child. So we talk about so many things in our courtroom. We are able to address so many issues as it relates to families. As I said, it is help empower them and bring them together.
Can an individual who is over 18, go back and sue for unpaid child support?
Ok. Several times that has happened in our court already where the father did not know the child was theirs. They weren’t on the birth certificate. Sometimes the mother hadn’t even told the father. Other times the father just denied it. But there hasn’t been any DNA testing. At the point that the DNA test has come out and it’s confirmed that the child is his, yes, he is responsible for support for that child from that point forward. But, the majority of those cases are from the birth of the child. That’s not something that the jury of the court would compute. That is a state level issue within their own state. All states are different in terms of compute and handle the collection of child support. What I often tell the parties are its better and it’s possible to talk about it among themselves. Have that young woman add up how must does it cost. How much do I owe you? I often let people know if she states $7,800 thus far raising this child, and now it has been determined that the child is yours, it is my ruling that you owe her $3,600. I am able to give what I believe is a legal ramifications associated with this ruling. If the mother wants to move forward in her home state, that’s her right. It’s her call. What our show is non-binding mediation.
As far as other African-American female judges we’ve seen on television, have they paved the way for you? Do you think it is your job to continue to legacy? Or are you on the show trying to carve out your own lane?
I think this is definitely a show that was born that was certain shows that were successful in their own genres. We understand and appreciate that the court ruled daytime show is a powerful type of programming. We respect all of the judges that have come before us and what they brought to day time. In addition, we know that shows like “Maury” that address paternity have made paternity in the forefront of a lot of the viewer’s mind. However, I do believe paternity court is a new lane. It is a new approach to very important familiar issues. The combination of paternity in a courtroom setting is truly, as you’re going to see when you see the show, it is not just empowering for the litigants. But, for the audience at-large, there are issues that all people will be able to relate to when they watch these litigants tell their stories. Even if you know who your father is and know who your mother is, you still relate when a mother-in-law is in the middle of her son and daughter-in-law’s marriage. She’s questioning whether or not do the child is really her son’s. That’s when I have to say you’re all the way out of your lane. You’re all up in theirs and that’s not acceptable.”
As a mother you have to learn how to step out of a situation. Even a viewer at home that may feel like, “oh I’ve never had a paternity issue in my family? I haven’t had anyone that’s had a paternity issue,” they can sit down and say yeah I can see that mother-in-law is a little overbearing. Or maybe I’ve had that situation before with a boyfriend or with a husband. Or maybe I’ve been that person. Maybe I’m a little overbearing in my son’s or my daughters relationship. So, I think people can relate to the family issues that are going on in the courtroom everyday they are relatable. I relate to almost every story. There is something about the story I can relate to.
What do you want the families or women in general to take away from it? Is there a bit of advice you want to give?
I want people to understand that family is our fundamental building block. It is where we all launched. The simple premise of knowing who you belong to, knowing who your mother is, knowing who your father is, knowing who loves you unconditionally, knowing who you belong to, it’s some people take it for granted every day. I know I do. We have to recognize that there are lots of people in this country that are missing that puzzle piece. That missing puzzle piece is causing damage to their spirit, to their soul, to the way they move forward in life. It is affecting their relationships. It is affecting their ability to process disappointment, treatment, and breakups. It’s affecting so many things. Ultimately, I want people to understand that we all have a responsibility if we truly want to live our best lives – to get together that courage. To face the truth of whatever it is we need to face the truth of. Then upon finding out that truth, make the decision that we’re going to be better for that truth. That we’re going to go forward in our lives now knowing what it is we need to know and empower ourselves to do better and to do more. That’s what I try to do each and every day in the courtroom. When people come in with shame and secrets, and doubt, miscommunication, anger, and dysfunction, we try to talk through it. I try to get people to dialogue and talk about it. You can’t change something that you don’t talk about.
For individuals who don’t want to go on television to share their stories, what can they do if they are in that predicament and want to find out who the father is?
Absolutely, everybody is not going to want to come on “Paternity Court.” We of course have advertisements and if you need or want help through this court, you can call our number and reach out to us. But for those people who don’t want to do that, what I think our show serves is, as encouragement to do something. There are various ways that you can go. There are home kits. There are various ways that you can execute paternity testing nowadays. The most important thing is getting yourself to the point that you’re ready to know the truth. And knowing that that test and the answer to that test could be the catalyst for you to be able to strip yourself of the shame and guilt and the secret and to be able to move forward. Also, for some people who are not even at the point where they can even take a test, some people out here they don’t know their father. They don’t even have anyone to test, you understand. This is where a lot of young people are in this country. I think the show serves as encouragement that your seeking out your truth is important and to never let anyone minimize it. Never stop looking, never stop trying and to not give up.
Michael Martin is from the old school ideology of believing in dreams coming true. A true expert in personal photography and model portfolio design, Michael is a true leader among his generation. Michael has the undying drive and dedicated heart that puts his creativity in a very unique place. He would be best described as a photographer after his clients heart and all of that shows in his work.
How long have you been a photographer for and when did you realize you wanted to become a photographer?
This makes my 18th year doing it shooting for people and all . But I’ve been a photographer all my life. I was shooting one full year after my mother was killed and it has been my medicine every since .
How do you get great picture quality and is much editing required?
To much is given much is received. Great quality comes at an even greater price. More than much editing is almost always required. These days everything is digital so you have a chance to fix it and make better right then and there. So yes editing is a large part of the photography process these days .
Any advice you would give aspiring photographers and what type of classes are needed to become a photographer?
My only advice is to shoot what you love. Classes only teach you how to hold a camera. Your passion teaches you the art.
What are the biggest challenges you face on a daily basis being a photographer?
Well I would have to say that for me that would be trying to be seen and get the work that you know you’re worth getting. Photography has become so saturated. To where everyone who’s anyone is now clamming to be a photographer. So that challenge is to keep trying to remain and be different.
What is your favorite photograph and why?
My Favorite photograph is one of many. But one that reaches out to me and touches my heart the most is the one that sits in my living room a image of me and my mother , brother and sister a few years before she passed. I was 7 when she was killed and I get to see her everyday even when I know she’s not here. So in all truth that is my favorite image I have ever had owned, and seen, because even though my mother has went it . That image allows me to see her ever day..
Here are a few samples of Michael Martin’s work:
You can follow Martin’s website link, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at:
http://vimeo.com/24081827 (the one thing I love to share)
https://www.facebook.com/MrFirstImpression (personal page)
Interview submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Back in August, Gourmet Footwear and Jeezy announced their partnership during a day long celebration. The two held a private event showcasing the Gourmet Fall 2013 collection at Wish Boutique in Little 5 Points. As you know, STACKS Magazine was on deck to capture the moment and give our readers a first-hand look at the shoe line. [READ: Event Recap: Young Jeezy Celebrates Partnership w/Gourmet Footwear # Wish ATL]
Later that evening, the celebration continued at Vanquish Lounge. Peep this quick recap of their collaboration below:
Fast-forward, the partnership between Gourmet Footwear and Jeezy has soared. Most recently, Greg Lucci enlisted Jeezy appear in a video shoot that will showcase the brands Fall 2013 shoe pack. The shoe pack will feature imported Italian crocodile printed leather on the 35 and Cinque shoe styles.
Stay tuned and check out their products by visiting www.gourmetfootwear.com .
S/O to Nicole Kasak, of Kasak Media, for the info!
A new group of soon-to-be reality stars were all blue carpet ready last week at the Museum Bar in Atlanta. The event was for a new show they are starring called the “The New Atlanta.” Executive Producer, Mona Scott-Young, hosted the private screening along with the entire cast which includes newcomers Javon “Vawn” Sims, Africa Miranda, Emily Lipman, Alexandra Dilworth, and Tribble Reese.
The television show will be based around their lives as the ”next generation of the city’s trailblazing young professionals who are hungry to achieve their dreams and find love as they struggle to resolve heartbreaks from the past. Aggressive in both their professional and personal lives, each hopes to make their mark in the cutthroat industries of fashion, music, event planning and business while taking advantage of Atlanta’s hot social scene.” (Bravotv.com)
It will be interesting to see how Mona Scott-Young and her team will carve out an uniqueness with this show. With it being several more reality shows based out of Atlanta, it is unclear if the viewers will appreciate The New Atlanta or just chump it off as being redundant or played out. Nevertheless, hopefully the cast members will make the best out of this opportunity.
Check out these exclusive photos from the event:
“The New Atlanta” premieres Tuesday, September 17 at 10/9c. For more photos, please visit us on Facebook!!
Photo Credit: Jonathan Herring, Live & Direct Media Group
Event Recap: Tamar Braxton’s Album Signing & Q&A @ DTLR; Talks New Christmas Album + Book [Photos & Video]
On Friday, September 13, Tamar Braxton had her Love and War album signing at the D.T.L.R.-Camp Creek store located in East Point, Georgia. After fans piled in to have their albums signed and snap a photo or two with Tamar, the reality TV star/singer sat down for a brief Q&A with Atlanta’s V-103FM. During the Q&A, Tamar talked about her album, bad experiences, becoming a mom, and being serious about your craft. “Practice and stay in you lane” is also a bit of advice that Tamar gave for people trying to reach that impossible dream.
I, Abner, asked Tamar what should we expect from her upcoming Christmas album and ‘Love and War’ book.
“The ‘Love and War’ book is not named after the album. The ‘Love and War’ book is a relationship self-help book. I tell you my story, my whole career before I met Vince and then Vince tells you his story and then we tell our story together, it’s very interesting,” stated Tamar.
“My Christmas album I’m so excited about it; it’s very romantic. Everything that I’m doing right now, because where I am in my life, is very kind of “relationship” driven. Because “Tamar and Vince” the first season means so much and writing the album Love and War. Everybody spirit was on the love side, but sometimes love can feel like war. That’s why I have all this relationship stuff coming out, it means so much and thank you so much.”
Tamar Braxton’s Christmas album is scheduled to come out in October and her ‘Love and War’ book will hit shelves in November of this year. In recent news, Tamar’s Love and War album debuted Number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and Number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart selling over 114,000 copies. In October 2013, Tamar will be performing on the “Made To Love” tour with John Legend.
Tamar has a very bright future ahead of her along with a great album. She will be in the spotlight for a while.
Check out a few photos from the in-store event:
For more photos, please follow us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/stacks.mag !!
Recap article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Models Basketball League is set to begin their new 2013-14 Basketball season. Last season they played 50 local games throughout Atlanta and opened up for five Atlanta Hawks games at Philips Arena. MBL opened up for Atlanta Hawks games against the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies and a playoff game against Indiana Pacers. This upcoming season the MBL will be playing road games when the Hawks travel to Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and other cities
MBL is looking for new models for this season, models range from 18-35 years old that are established models or pursuing model opportunities. Models Basketball Player Tabatha McCullum stated “I really enjoyed my first season being one of the many MBL Players. It wasn’t all about the modeling for me, it was more so for fitness and fun to help maintain my health. Also, I met some really great strong independent women who is about business and making their future even brighter”.
Models Basketball League was started in 2010 by Justina Ugwudi. Follow Justina on Twitter @Justshupier !!
To find out more about MBL visit their website http://www.modelsbasketball.com.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Gocha Hawkins, celebrity stylist and owner of Gocha Salon, hosted very special “night out on the town” recently at bar One Tapas Lounge in Atlanta.
On July 19th, Gocha and her staff presented their 2nd annual “Pretty In Pink – 2013 Makeover” event. The event is held each year to honor those in the Atlanta community who has survived their battle against cancer. This year, three women were selected to receive a full day of beauty and VIP treatment.
Starting off, Fleesa, Quinetta, and Tiffany received full hair and makeup makeovers courtesy of Gocha Salon staff. Afterwards, the ladies got jazzy and paparazzi ready for their very own photo shoots with one of Atlanta’s top photographers. For the finale, the women were chauffeured to bar One for a private social mixer where the ladies two-stepped to the sounds of a live DJ. VIP guests were also treated to alcoholic beverages and tapas.
Gocha Salon presented each of the ladies a special gift and flowers in honor of their strength and positive spirits.
Other attendees at the event were Chanita Foster (Beyond The Game Foundation), Jamie Foster-Brown (Sister 2 Sister Magazine), Carlton Morton (assistant to RHOA’s Cynthia Bailey), Gloria Hankerson, DJ M, Lisa Cunningham (producer), Crystal Renee’, Kayla Freeman (celebrity photographer), Ms. Bels (STACKS Magazine), and many more.
Photo Credit: D. Divine Photography & Kaylathrualenz Photography
True R&B has been on a major comeback for a few years now. Several of the men who helped usher in this soulful music were in Atlanta this weekend to promote their latest project, 3 Kings. T.G.T, also known as Tank, Ginuwine, and Tyrese, invaded the DTLR – Camp Creek Pkwy store on Friday, August 16 to meet fans and give out autographs. Many fans (young and old) came out to congratulate the threesome on their many accomplishments and the new album. Atlanta radio station V103FM was in the building along with personality Kendra G, who presided over the meet-n-greet.
3 Kings will be released on Tuesday, August 20th. The album features the fellas doing what they do best…giving incomparable vocals with a classy touch of lust and love. The 17-track CD showcases the gentlemen in their fullest capacity, all on their own with no big features. However, Tyrese’s alter-ego, Black-Ty, pops up on the first track “Take It Wrong” and on “No Fun” rapper Problem spits a few bars. So fans, you can expect nothing but T.G.T. for the most part. Check out the official tracklisting:
1. “Take It Wrong” featuring Black-Ty:
2. “No Fun” featuring Problem:
3. “Sex Never Felt Better”
4. “I Need”
5. “Next Time Around”
8. “Weekend Love”
9. “Lessons in Love”
14. “Running Back”
15. “Burn Out”
16. “Tearing It Down”
17. “Our House”
Here are a few photos from the T.G.T. event:
To view more photos from the event, go to our Facebook page (@ StacksMag) or visit our online gallery HERE!
Photo Credit: Jonathan Herring/Live & Direct Media Group