The 3rd Female Hip Hop Honors Awards

The Underground Girls Of Hip Hop will bring down the house at the 2014 Female Hip Hop Honors, on September 13th at the Warner Grand Theatre in Los Angeles. This amazing event brings the best of the best in Female hip hop past, present & future together, for one legendary night.

Underground Girls of Hip Hop’s founder and owner, Shylise Simpson, established the Female Hip Hop Honors to recognize the women in this business in an official and symbolic manner, whom she felt did not have the proper platform. She is now proud to say they are now in their 3rd year, and continue to break the rules of convention. Underground Girls of Hip Hop keep their ears to the street every year, for those incredible records released by independent labels and artists. While recognizing the Indie artist, we also continue to honor the ladies of hip hop that paved the way.

The Female Hip Hop Honors is an opportunity for the ladies of hip-hop to come together, and celebrate the beauty and spirit of the female presence in this genre. This event serves as a night to celebrate the culture and the essence of their craft The audience and media on hand will join us in acknowledging the female emcees of the past and present that have made a difference in hip-hop. Throughout the night, we will also give awards and acknowledgment to those who are making strides in the industry today.

This year’s 3rd Annual Female Hip Hop Honor Awards will be hosted by in-demand Comedian Melanie Comarcho (Melanie Comarcho: Hello!, First Sunday and Woman Thou Art Loosed) and the funny man Rodney Perry who has appeared in such television/film projects as (Bounce TV’s Original Stand Up Comedy Show Off The Chain, The Mo’Nique Show, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Who’s Got Jokes?)

More About the Honorees

This year, we will honor a few of the most dynamic women in hip-hop. Our first honoree receiving the Hip Hop Pioneers Award, is Oaktown’s 3.5.7,, a female rap group formed by MC Hammer in 1989. They enjoyed success in the late 80s and early 90s. The ladies were well received by audiences that knew them as part of Hammer’s former posse.  Oaktown’s 3.5.7′s album, Wild & Lose, did well on the charts and eventually went Gold.

Our second honoree is accomplished Hip Hop Icon Da Brat, who will be honored with the “Lyrics For Life Award” for her remarkable lyrical skills, and her undeniable mark on women in hip-hop. Da Brat  is a Grammy-nominated rapper and actress. She was the first female solo rap act to have a platinum-selling album.

The Lifetime R&B/HipHop Achievement Award will be given to the wonderful Michel’le (TVOne’s R&B Divas Los Angeles) for her overall career in music.  She has made songs that we will never be forgotten, and she continues to amaze as she moves forward in her career.

We will also honor Charli Baltimore with this year’s Unstoppable Woman Award. Charli Baltimore is a Grammy nominated emcee, who has appeared on millions of records sold world wide.  She’s also has worked most notably with the Notorious B.I.G, Irv Gotti, Ja Rule, Ashanti, The Game, and countless others.  Charli is the current Vice President of BMB Records, and is still releasing relevant music today.

This year’s Humanitarian Award goes to Doreen Broadnax, also known as Sparky D,  known for creating a record that challenged the supremacy of former Queen of Hip Hop, Roxanne Shante.  The newly acquired manifestations of her hard work would, however, ultimately serve to propel Sparky D into a life of drugs, poverty, and prostitution. In her early twenties, she became addicted to crack, and her rise to the top of the hip hop mountain became an even quicker descent. Sparky D would eventually transplant herself to Atlanta, Georgia in 2004. Newly freed from her drug addiction, she became re-acquainted with Christ. She created a non-profit organization called, ”The Treasured Togetherness Program,” and now teaches and promotes positive messages throughout various communities.

A few of our past honorees are Roxanne Shante, Suga T, Shawnna, Queen Pen, Michel’le, Lady Of Rage and Kimberly Rivers-Roberts.

Exclusive Voting List of Nominees: Dutch Rebelle, Candis She Is Hip Hop, Cocc Pistol Cree, Ana Baby, Azealia Banks, Lore’L, Snow Da Product, Tiffany Foxx, Honey Cocaine, Brianna Perry, Shelly B, La Femme Nakita, 3D Na’Tee, Young Lyric, SZA, QT Jazz, L-Streetz, Cymphonique, Kanary Diamond, Drama Ganza, Nisha Rockstarr, Nanci O, Natasha E., Felicia Rivers, Mara The Hip Hop Socialite, Lushy Lush, Delaina Dixon, Mrs. Black Dyamond, Natural Red, No Lay, Amplify Dot, Shystie, Brooke Candy, Jhene Aiko and Sevyn Streeter to name just a few.

Log on to (Click Female Hip Hop Honors Tab) for full list!!

The Pampering & Gifting Suite: A luxury Hotel gifting suite in honor of the Female Hip Hop Honors Awards’ nominees, celebrities, and past winners will be available. Also, current and former hosts, honorees, performers, and presenters will experience the gifting suite, aboard the private Yacht “Spirit “, allowing guests to indulge in complimentary pampering services and free gifts from sponsors. The pampering lounge and gifting suite will be presented

Taped at the Warner Grand Theatre on Saturday, September  13th in Los Angeles, the music and influence of each of the honorees will be recognized through performances by classic artists, in collaboration with today’s hottest new talent.

This year’s 2014 Female Hip Hop Honors executive producer is‘s owner Shylise Simpson. Assisting-producer will be Celebrity Publicity and Promotions company MNS Media Group/Strickly For The Promo.

CONTACT: For Media Inquires and Celebrity RSVP, please contact Publicist, Ernest Jackson of MNS Media Group 1-717-472-5346 Email:

Feel free to contact Shylise Simpson for more information on nominees, sponsorship or general inquirers. Email:  or

Web site: 
IG: Femalehiphophonors
HashTag Campaign: #2014femalehiphophonors #femalehiphophonorawards #undergroundgirlsofhiphop #femalehonors 

El Barrio Relief @ El Barrio Pinta

ebp relief

Friends and family are bearing grief for lost loved ones from the East Harlem Explosion that happened on March 12. Hundreds of people are without homes clothes or food. Sunday, March 30th, join artist and East Harlem resident Giannina Guiterrez for El Barrio Pinta! East Harlem Relief Efforts at Camaradas El Barrio.

In light of the recent tragedy in her beloved El Barrio, she dedicating this one to relief efforts: Food, clothing, supplies and donations for the victims and families of those affected will be collected. A $5 Suggested donation and auctioning art will proceed to the efforts as well. So many amazing artists and friends alike are donated some hot work and all sales go to Relief Funds. Now’s the time to own original art, support an artist, but MORE IMPORTANTLY contribute to helping our community members affected by explosion.

Artists: Marthalicia Matarrita, Nelson Host Santiago, Gianna Leo Falcon,Andrew J Padilla, EL David, Ralph Serrano, Sandra Guzman, Ramel Jasir Art, Albert TainoImage Areizaga & Myself.

There will also be Live Art in true El Barrio Pinta!

Fashion by Ralph Serrano, Nelson

Host Santiago, Jai Cruz & more!

**Checks should be made out to: “Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City” memo line: “East Harlem Building Collapse Relief Effort”**

4 for 20$ Raffle tickets for the chance to win gift certificates to local restaurants and nail salon.

We will also be collecting some clothing items and non perishables, but I suggest if you can there is a drop off at La Casa Azul Bookstore.

Festivities commence at 7PM!

Music supply by my Ace, DJ Junior Sojal Fortune & sets by the lovelies DJ Zena Rising & ILe IFe!!!!!

I thank you all involved & those supporting for your contribution Black heart (cards) See ya next Sunday!

- Gianinna Gutierrez

Camaradas El Barrio | 2241 First Avenue | New York, NY 10029

6 Train to 116th Street

Damani Nkosi: The Thoughtful King

Photo: Pascal Kerouche

Every so often, hip-hop bears witness to a voice that has the potential to lead the culture towards a brave new horizon. A voice that rings with distinction and supreme clarity, valiantly shattering stereotypes with each metaphor. With the literal translation of his name serving as the title of his forthcoming debut, Inglewood, CA artist Damani Nkosi is poised to assume this very role with his long-awaited album Thoughtful King. Featuring a stunning supporting cast such as Motown recording artist BJ The Chicago Kid, Grammy nominated R&B vocalist Musiq, Grammy winning producer Warryn Campbell, and Grammy winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper, Thoughtful King boldly raises the lyrical standard while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of contemporary hip-hop’s sonic palate.

Long before his unique lyrical gift attracted the attention of some of the industry’s most recognized and respected figures (Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz, Snoop Dogg), Damani honed his craft as an Inglewood hip-hop hopeful under the influence of groundbreaking artists like NWA, Ice Cube, and LL Cool J. In the midst of his challenging environs, he found a thirst-quenching oasis in music and basketball. For good measure, his father cultivated a profound understanding of the black experience for him early on. From reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X in the third grade to attending an afrocentric charter school, Damani was receiving an integral foundation at the hands of his father.

Damani entered the recording studio to record his first song in 1999. He began vigorously networking and collaborating on the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene. By the end of the decade, the battle rap scene had begun to flourish on the West Coast. Always up for a new challenge, Damani quickly adapted his skills and began to sharpen his lyrical prowess in this arena with the goal of making a name for himself. By 2000, his tactic proved successful when iconic hip-hop producer Dr. Dre invited Damani to collaborate on various projects for his then nascent Aftermath Records imprint. “And that’s when things changed for me.” 

A muse in the studio, Damani relished in the opportunity of being an inspiration for one of the most widely revered names in hip-hop. And it appeared that his stride was unbreakable. The following year, Damani landed a spot coveted by many independent hip-hop artists nationwide – a feature in The Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype column.

In 2001, Damani decided to make moves on his own accord. He was featured on “Hate On Me,” a track from Dogg Pound emcee Kurrupt’s Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey album. The following year, he released the track “Move” featuring Pusha T and Malice of hip-hop duo Clipse. The song became a staple at Los Angeles hip-hop radio mixshows, including the influential 92.3 FM – The Beat, creating a strong buzz for Damani as an up and coming solo artist. “Move” sparked a whirlwind of activity for Damani, all of which was confirmation that he was indeed moving in the right direction.

Following the success of “Move,” Damani entered a period of intense recording. In attempts to find the right sound to achieve his goal, he paired himself with various producers over the next few years. The result was a profusion of mixtapes, starting with 2002’s The Street Album. On the heels of the success of “Move,” The Street Album announced his arrival as a recording artist in his own right and further confirmed his status as an emcee to be reckoned with.

Grammy winning producer Swizz Beatz recognized Damani’s potential as a break out artist shortly after, forging a relationship with the burgeoning emcee during this period. In 2005, Damani met Grammy winning producer Warryn Campbell during his incessant search for the perfect beats. Having had a streak of hits with artists such as Mary Mary, Luther Vandross, and Brandy, Campbell had been looking for the right hip-hop artist to develop.

The two hit it off immediately and set about recording new material. The result was the Congratulations, Playa mixtape. The mixtape’s breakout track “Gotta Stay Paid” was an instant hit in the Los Angeles area, with radio stations such as Power 106 and The Beat adding the cut to their respective playlists. Additional tracks such as “Inglewood,” and “Only In LA” (featuring Dazz from Dogg Pound and Dub C of Westside Connection) also garnered radio spins, helping to vault Congratulations, Playa to classic status on the independent Los Angeles scene. But the mixtape and his collective musical output over the past few years also caught the attention of major labels in New York.

That same year, Damani landed a recording contract with Sony Urban. Under the aegis of Campbell’s My Block Entertainment, However, the victory would prove to be bittersweet. Just as he’d crossed paths with Sony Urban, Damani had begun a metamorphosis of sorts. He had grown discontent with his previous subject matter and was eager to explore the full breadth of his artistry as a lyricist. But balancing what the label demands with what he was compelled to create eventually became a daily struggle. “While I was doing songs like ‘Black Man Stereotype,’ they would come into the studio and tell me they needed something more like what was on the radio at the time. So I eventually gave in to it.”   

Exercising his creative agency, Damani also developed a group called Western Union (also known as Dubb Union) featuring himself, producer Soopafly, and Los Angeles-based emcee Bad Lucc. Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg heard the group and immediately expressed interest in signing them. They appeared on Snoop Dogg’s 2006 gold-selling album The Blue Carpet Treatment. Yet even after recording a full solo album for Sony Urban, it was apparent that his relationship with the company was past its prime. And with Snoop Dogg’s interest in his new group, Damani left the label after a year on its roster and shifted his focused to Western Union.

Photo: Pascal Kerouche

Soon after, the group inked a deal with Doggystyle Records and went on tour with Snoop Dogg as the opening act. Western Union released their debut album Snoop Dogg Presents: Dubb Union on Doggystyle/ Koch in 2008. Damani released a video for his solo track “Here Comes Damani (featuring Snoop Dogg)” in 2010. The video, flaunting a guest appearance from Snoop Dogg himself, was featured on and debuted as the new joint of the day on BET’s popular 106 & Park television program. It was also around this period that Damani began to travel abroad. Visits to China, Brazil, and various European countries served to further expand his horizons and helped him to gain perspective on his life and career.

As part of a natural creative progression he began to notice, his travels began to influence the music he was making. The result was the On Vacation mixtape released in 2011. Skillfully weaving conventional bragging writes with his unique perspective, On Vacation featured songs such as “The International Flow” and “My Soliloquy.” But the mixtape, produced by Campbell, was only a mere hint of how his world travels would eventually alter the subject matter of his rhymes and inform his view of his place in the world. During 2012, Damani entered a self-imposed creative fast. That year, he made the conscious decision to refrain from writing and recording altogether. After pursuing his career goals for a decade, he began to realize that he was changing as an individual. He didn’t feel the same about hip-hop and his art needed to reflect these profound changes. A sabbatical was in order. “I didn’t write one line,” he says of the experience. “I wasn’t inspired by anything in the game. I wasn’t fulfilled. I got tired of the conversation of me bragging about my endeavors. I needed to just get away from it all.”  

With that, Damani packed his suitcase and left it all behind. The contiguous string of jaunts to Berlin, Paris, New York, Switzerland, and Prague that followed helped the Inglewood emcee decompress and see the world through a new set of eyes. Upon his return to the US, he began writing material influenced by his recent travels. The restoration of passion and affirmed purpose that these profound life-changing experiences facilitated is the sheer essence of Thoughtful King.

Over the course of 11 tracks, Damani is reborn as a new emcee moving with intention and focus. Executive produced by Campbell and Damani himself, the album takes listeners on a journey through the soul of a man on a mission to make his mark on hip-hop by speaking truth to power. From the opening track “The Origin,” featuring his own father explaining the literal translation of his name (Damani meaning “thoughtful” and Nkosi meaning “king”), it is clear that Thoughtful King is a work of distinction. The album flaunts a muted live instrumentation aesthetic melded with break beats and guest vocalists, resulting in an expansive jazzy affair with an undeniable hip-hop edge.

“A Man” featuring Young Money artist and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton is a syncopated chronicle of Damani’s wondrous journey through his life and career thus far. Assisted by Musiq and Robert Glasper, the album’s first single “Now That’s Love” is a head nodding ode to how an intangible emotion has such a dynamic effect on life. Helmed by Grammy nominated producer Jairus Mozee, the soulful banger “Rich (featuring BJ The Chicago Kid)” reaffirms that – contrary to popular thought – money indeed does not make the man. “In the beginning of my career, it was all about getting the money, the cars, and the house,” he explains. “As I evolved, I began to understand that the money, the cars, and that house don’t mean anything if your soul isn’t right.”

“Ethiopia,” featuring vocalist Sid Sriram, is a stripped down jazzy affair detailing the stunning beauty and remarkable presence of an Ethiopian woman Damani unexpectedly found himself captivated and enraptured by. One of the album’s most honest tracks, “Through Me (featuring Major)” finds Damani purging his ego with the realization that the life changing favors he has facilitated for others is made possible by the divine spirit – not himself.

 A consistent and engaging effort from beginning to end, Thoughtful King is evidence of an artist embracing growth and fearlessly following a natural progression. A sonic document of a man evolving and coming into himself in a world and an industry of demands, preconceived notions, and expectations. Damani’s journey has led him around the world and back again. And the knowledge he has gleaned along the way fortifies Thoughtful King with an air of truth and honesty that is virtually unparalleled in contemporary hip-hop.

Damani_Now_Thats_Love_CoverArt Now That’s Love out now on iTunes

Follow Damani on Twitter

Kenny Dope feat. Raheem DeVaughn & Rhymefest – “Final Call”


“Final Call” is the second track from producer, hip hop aficionado and one half of the Masters at Work duo, Kenny Dope, who teamed up with R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn and lyricist Rhymefest. This is also Kenny and Raheem’s second collaboration.

Evolving over a 2-year time frame, “Final Call” is a politically correct take on the social and economical stress the country, let alone the world, is facing. it covers all the current struggles people find themselves in. The track is an anthem to all of the iconic black figures in history who has positive messages to send through their music, not only for the African American race, but all races. Rhymefest’s heartfelt lyrics brings it all together and the message is clearly portrayed.

final call

 Final Call out now on iTunes

Custo Barcelona Fall 2014 Collection

Photo: Eric Marillier

Photo: Eric Marillier

Custo Barcelona took all of the colors and prints we’re used to seeing for spring/summer and splattered them onto winter fabrics. Wool, velvet, tweed, and fur were all fabrics found on the runway, while hot pink, purple, and green grazed the surfaces of these fabrics in graphic, tribal prints. 

Long brown coats for men and women, some of the coats in a half solid color and half print were definitely surprising. The bright purple aviators some models wore definitely complimented the summer in winter feel the collection was going for. 

The makeup on models was kept simple, with shimmery ivory shadow on the lids and a soft pink gloss on lips. Skin was kept at a dewy finish. The hair on the women models was completely straight with a middle part and short blunt bangs cut straight across the forehead.

Runway looks now on the Memoirs FB site!

Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2014 Collection


Punk chic is the easiest way to describe Carmen Marc Valvo’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection. All pieces had mixes of textures like leather calf skin with metallic, velvet with leather fitted snake skin dress with a fur scarf, the entire collection was about mixing different elements to create an edgy, yet classic look. 

For the makeup, models wore a shimmery ivory shadow on the centers of the eyelid, while lash lines bared with a wearable graphic liner. Top lids were lined from the outer half and expanded further for a slight winged liner look. Bottom lashes were also only lined from the outer half extending out a bit. The models faces were kept fresh and natural with a glossy, nude lip. 

The hair was very interesting for this show; pieces were attached to model’s heads creating a fringe cut bang but solely focused on the center of the head. The rest of the hair was pulled slick back into a mid-ponytail with hair bands securing the tail to create a stacked ponytail look.

Runway looks on the Memoirs FB page!

Alon Livne Fall 2014 Collection

Photo: Michael N. Todaro (WireImage)

Photo: Michael N. Todaro (WireImage)

Israeli designer Alon Livne is no newbie to the fashion scene. He has worked at the fashion houses of Alexander McQueen and Roberto Cavalli as well as becoming the designer for pop artists such as Beyonce for her Mrs. Carter World Tour and Lady Gaga.

The Fall 2014 collection evokes themes from George Melford’s epic silent film, “The Sheik,” treating themes of early imperialism in Morocco, when the privileged of the world – and their beautiful daughters — journeyed across the sea, armed with trousseaus, on an oceanic pursuit of culture and romance.

This season, Livné takes dimension back to the garment, reviving his fascination with art-nouveau and organic-shell-like shapes, now interpreted into elaborate hand-embroidery and intricate beading. Beaded tassels dripping like icicles swirl around silken sleeves; hand-joined Swarovski crystal headpieces net an elaborate cap; sumptuous silks in shades of rich mauve, amethyst, royal blue and cloud evoke an exquisite meditative state.

Livné’s muse this season is the oldest daughter of international royalty, an enigmatic gentle, graceful vision evoking an alluring combination of intellect and naiveté; sincerity mixed with the curiosity of a blossoming sensuality. Fall / Winter 2014 unveils her cross-Atlantic journey into unexplored lands: new countries, and the embrace of her self-discovery into womanhood.

Check out the Lookbook on the Memoirs FB page!