Mister Triple X At #ArtHeartsFashion | @MisterTripleX @ArtHeartsFashion

Mister Triple X At #ArtHeartsFashion | @MisterTripleX @ArtHeartsFashion

This is the fashion show that I wait for every single season.

Philanthropist, Mister Triple X designer and Art Hearts Fashion founder Erik Rosete dominated the Art Hearts Fashion show and never disappoints with his high-end street wear with an edge for the inner rock-star in all of us. Yes, you too! This season, along with the flash and flair, Rosete brings celebrity Italian models Andrea Denver and Andrea Melchiorre to the runway and for a little more pizzazz, the collection features L.A.M.B. Eyewear by Gwen Stefani.

Launched in 2011, Art Hearts Fashion events are a leading platform for artistically inspired emerging, celebrity and couture designers to showcase their collections in a contemporary fashion week setting. AHF events have been held coast to coast as a national showcase for designers to participate in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles Fashion Week. Participating designers can be seen on every major Hollywood celebrity including: Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, and countless more. The platform is unequivocally intertwined with the causes and organizations it supports.

Art Hearts Fashion is leading the way in combining fashion and philanthropy by raising awareness and funds for great causes all while celebrating the art of fashion. The runway shows presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and this seasons shows are dedicated to their #KeepThePromise campaign which highlights AHF’s mission to provide access to treatment to the millions living with HIV.

@ArtHeartsFashion | @MisterTripleX

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Dot Demo – “Me” | @DotDemoMusic

Dot Demo – “Me” | @DotDemoMusic

Bronx born and bred, Derek Ward grew up in the borough that gave birth to rap. This was both a blessing and a curse, as he was raised in unforgiving streets that fostered stories of events that a young boy should never live through. Through his lyrical gift, Derek transformed to Dot and began telling his stories the best way he knows how. Rapping since the age of 13, Dot later evolved to dot Demo, or Demo for short.

His early skills were heavily influenced by R&B and Hip Hop artists such as Erykah Badu, Tribe Called Quest, Black Moon, J Dilla, Jay Z and The Bronx’s own Camp Lo. Through his rapping, networking and philanthropic ideas, Demo has created what he describes as a “regime” that includes himself and several other new and upcoming artists that all share the same vision. Dot describes his style as a melodic flow that uses verbal acrobatics to create colorful imagery for his audience to bring “the 90’s in the thousands”.

Now, Dot Demo is one of Hip-Hop’s best-kept secrets. But thanks to the good folks at RevoltTV, the cat is completely out the bag. With the industry waking up to the sleeper pick of the decade after a great premiere party at Revolt offices, the Bronx prodigy has dropped another gem on the road to his sophomore release, O.B.E. (Outer Body Experience), with the new video for “Me” which premiered on Revolt’s The Gate last night.


Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and tune in to Who Came First: The Outta Control Radio Show Mondays at 8PM on Bushwick Radio! Be sure to watch out for The Miss Independent Show with yours truly on 100.1 The Heat!

Ryu – “The One” | @therealryu

Ryu – “The One” | @therealryu

When a lion roars, the jungle stops and stays completely still. Whether it’s out of fear, whether it’s surprise, or out of sheer respect, only the beasts of the wilderness know. In Hip-hop there has never been a more dominant, more ferocious roar commanding that same respect and instilling that same terror in the fragile listener than that of Public Enemy’s Chuck D. Thus, it was only natural Divine Styler sample Chuck D’s infamous count down for Ryu’s third single aptly titled, ‘The One.’

‘The One’ – third single from the debut solo album Tanks For The Memories out everywhere this Friday September 9th – is pure braggadocio at it’s finest. Hard-hitting, bold boasting that Big Daddy Kane would be proud of as Ryu dances effortlessly riding the Divine Styler track with soon-to-be quotables like “Never sweat a recession; if dough is outta the question, I could still be pullin hoes in the clothes that I slept in.” And the nostalgia laced “V8’s under the hood, bad bitch in the front seat; baby my name’s Ryu so you must be Chun-Lee.” Ryu is undoubtedly out to claim the throne of Los Angeles Rap royalty.

The video to ‘The One’ is a simple reference to going back-to-basics; a rally-cry for L.A to get back to the grassroots of what makes the cities Hip-hop scene so formidable. It opens with a freestyle – “I’m what your favorite rapper wants to sound like: biting my style but can’t even get my growls right” – as Ryu cruises the streets from the San Fernando Valley, a neighborhood walk-thru to a warehouse which plays as a soft homage to humble beginnings – playing parties for the neighborhood where he was honing his skills, and the areas that made him and groomed him as a man.



Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and tune in to Who Came First: The Outta Control Radio Show Mondays at 8PM on Bushwick Radio! Be sure to watch out for The Miss Independent Show with yours truly on 100.1 The Heat!

Rohan Da Great Speaks The Real on #PhoneTap | @RohanDaGreatMC

Rohan Da Great Speaks The Real on #PhoneTap | @RohanDaGreatMC

After a string of successful single releases starting with “SMYK” with Dani Deahl, which sparked a multiple city tour based on the single racking up over 500,000, downloads and streams in the EDM market, Brooklyn native Rohan Da Great continues to capitalize off of his growing buzz. His radio-friendly singles, “Only One” and “Stop Now?” have made Rohan’s second home of Joco North Carolina and their radio outlets stand up and take notice as he has been in consistent rotation on 104.5 FM Surge Radio on the J.Romelle Morning Show and on 92.1 The Choice FM.

Rohan’s debut solo project, The Real, is a 7 song EP is a memoir of sorts. Over the course of 30 minutes, Rohan Da Great touches on the topics that are important to him: real things. Rohan speaks on his personal experiences and gives his views on life itself. The real life subject matter ranges from love, both good and bad to death, struggle, optimism, and society’s ills as a whole throughout the project. Singles like “Rule The World” were stapled into the book of good music as a prelude to the EP as Rohan picks up where he left off.

I sit down with Rohan as he speaks of his project, his legendary father, Curry Don, life and love on this episode of #PhoneTap.


Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and tune in to Who Came First: The Outta Control Radio Show Mondays at 8PM on Bushwick Radio! Be sure to watch out for The Miss Independent Show with yours truly on 100.1 The Heat and Pinx TV coming to a channel near you!

Veronica Talks Leaving Disney Roots Behind On #PhoneTap | @beingVERONICA

Veronica Talks Leaving Disney Roots Behind On #PhoneTap | @beingVERONICA

Former child starlet Veronica has left her Disney roots at 18 to independently pursue her passion as a future pop star. Now 20, bubbly and full of life, Veronica is beginning to turn heads, creating her own lane. Her single, “What Happened”, fused with pop, R&B and EDM elements, gives the song a flair of its own. She is happy to say that she is in control of her career, just the way she wants it.

I sit down with the Canadian native as we talk about her single, making an exit on the child star life and just some plain old girl talk on this episode of #PhoneTap.


Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and tune in to Who Came First: The Outta Control Radio Show Mondays at 8PM on Bushwick Radio! Be sure to watch out for The Miss Independent Show with yours truly on 100.1 The Heat and Pinx TV coming to a channel near you!

#HipHopIsUniversal A Conversation With Knightstalker & Le First | @StalkinSeason @LeFirstOfficiel

#HipHopIsUniversal A Conversation With Knightstalker & Le First | @StalkinSeason @LeFirstOfficiel

Knightstalker and Le First are two emcees from Berlin, Germany who present their collabo-album,  Foreigners. Although the two being born and bred in Berlin/Germany, performing in foreign languages is one of the reasons for the album’s title. Despite commenting on their status within the German rap scene, the two lyricists also tackle personal topics as well as recent political and social issues that are not just local but global issues.

With Knightstalker and Le First rapping in English and French respectively, Foreigners is already a bilingual effort but the numerous guests add even more international flavor by performing verses in German, Russian and Polish.

I sit down with the duo as they speak more on Foreigners and tackle more on the issue of hip hop.

When did you fall in love with hip hop?

Le First: When I was 12 or 13 years old, I already listened to a lot of rap music from Germany that, lookin’ back at it, wasn’t that dope. But I remember one song that really caught my interest: a classmate made a presentation about Eminem and played the track “Under the Influence“ by Eminem and D12.

Knightstalker: When I started my first year in high school, I also began playing basketball. On the playgrounds we went, at least one guy had a boom box with a self-made mixtape or better yet compilation with’em. And by this time, everyone over here at the playground was bumpin’ that first Method Man album ‘Tical’, especially “Release Yo’ Delf” and “Bring The Pain”. And those two joints been blastin’ out of these boombox speakers for hours on repeat. And by that, I really got into HipHop music. I copped Wu-Tang album after Wu-Tang album and from that I learned about the labels and connections to other crews and began really getting into the music and the culture at last. The first concerts, ciphers and so on followed and the rest is history.

How is the hip hop scene in Germany?

Le First: It’s getting better over the last few years. Since 10 years, this is the first time that I can tell you that the German rap scene is on a better level than the French rap scene for example. Before that it was vice-versa. Right now, you have a scope of different rap-styles that are quite nice; good street rap, good conscious rap, good fun rap and so on. At the moment, I really enjoy German rap and its scene, even if I am not really a part of it because I rap in French.

Knightstalker: I totally agree although I’ve never been that much into German rap music, except for a couple local and befriended acts but I really dig that the scene itself is still evolving and that there is a lot of good stuff happening lyrically as well as creatively and sound-wise. I still don’t really feel like I’m a part of the scene due to the language barrier and a different focus ‘n attitude.

How did you guys come together to form this duo on Foreigners? How did you come up with this project’s name?

Le First: We know each other since 2009, in 2010 we dropped the ‘Lost in Translation EP’ that was really appreciated by the German public. So after our solo projects, we decided to drop a collabo-album.

Since we both rap in a foreign language, Me and Knightstalker are mostly getting ignored by the German rap scene. We are treated like foreigners even if though you can read “Nationality: German” on each our IDs. So we decided to choose this project-name, plus we come up with a lot of political stuff that describes how people that the system considers as “foreigners” are treated and oppressed by the system.

Knightstalker: Yeah we met around 2009, recorded our first collaboration soon after which evolved into an EP a year later. Since we clicked from the first moment on, it was just natural to record a full length album together. We share a lot of political and social views and even if we differ, we can still combine both our opinions and make it work on a track. And as Le First already said, the name ‘Foreigners’ has two meanings for us: First of all our position within the local HipHop scene and second of all that we are all “foreigners” somehow and in every country of the world foreigners somehow get oppressed in a certain way. So we combined that HipHop-representin’ type of attitude with our political views.

Tell us a little more about the Foreigners album.

Le First: It was a hard way, we started recording in 2011 before I went to actors-school. Then during my studies, we continued, shot the first videos as well as pics for the cover art.
Yeah and 2016 it is finally here! We had personal und study-stuff to do during the years and we are still proud that we realized this project, because it is unique. A French and an English rapper from Germany on one album. To me it’s the essence of HipHop; no matter where you come from, which language you speak, which religion you believe in, HipHop is a universal language.

I‘m doin‘ a rap-workshop with a few refugees from Iraq, that don‘t speak German, or if they do it’s still very elementary, but we are freestyling together, going to the studio to do songs. HipHop brings cultures together and this album is one of the best proofs.

Knightstalker: Well, we have producers from all over Europe on this project as well as guest verses in all types of languages; you got English and French bars of course but also German, Russian and Polish verses on there. And all that represents who we are and what we stand for. Add that to a lot of political raps and social commentary over diverse production and you’ve got the ‘Foreigners’ album.

Are there any new emcees that you like to listen to? Anyone you would love to work with?

Le First: I thank Knightstalker that sometimes he shows me new stuff from the States from time to time, because I’m not really into it any more.

A friend of mine showed me MHD from France, he‘s doin‘ “Afro-Trap”, I loved it and in Germany, I can only recommend you to listen to our friends MeSt One, Makaber, Damion Davis and Liquit Walker. I would love to work with Raf Camora, for me he‘s the best rapper here in Germany; French and German lyrics, doin’ all kind of styles, being really ambitious and musical. In France, I would love to work with Youssoupha and Method Man is still one of the best in the U.S.😉

Knightstalker: I don’t know if these guys can considered to be “new” emcees but I dig a couple guys that hold up the flag for New York city as it’s still my favorite town regarding HipHop music. I mean cats like Timeless Truth, Spit Gemz, Starvin B, Your Old Droog, Hus Kingpin ‘n the Winners crew. As for collaborations, I can honestly say that I already had the chance to do tracks with some of my favorite emcees like Meyhem Lauren, Maffew Ragazino and Reef The Lost Cauze for example but if I could make a wish for a collab it would involve two veterans: The GZA on a Godfather Don production. That would be sick.

As you can see the style of hip hop changing over the years. What is your hones opinion on the state of hip hop? Do you see it evolving?

Knightstalker: Well, right now a lot of people and especially HipHop purists be like “HipHop is dead”. And honestly, since I’m a 100% percent connoisseur of 90s HipHop music, no matter if it’s from the East, like NYC, Philly, Boston and them or from the West (Bay Area, L.A./Long Beach, Sacramento, San Diego) and the South (Houston, Memphis, New Orleans/Baton Rouge and Miami), I felt the same way for a short little moment…but then I realized that exactly all that change and diversity is what HipHop music is all about. it was just like that, straight from the beginnin’ in the late 70s, the early and late 80s, the whole 90s and everything right after: there’s been good rap shit and wack rap shit. And you always had to dig a little deeper to find the real gems, no matter past, present or future. That’s what I still love about our culture: it’s evolving, diversifying and growing all the time. With that said, I see a lot of really wack people droppin’ stuff but also a lot of dope music being released nowadays. It always depends on one’s very own perspective and how one judges the music. No matter what era or time frame you choose…it’s easy to keep it simple: there’s dope shit and there’s wack shit…and that ain’t changed…it’s been like that ever since…but in my personal opinion, I hope that real lyrics and lyricism keep on surviving…because that’s the essence of HipHop music! And I’m proud of our culture as a whole and even more proud to be a part of that special episode in mankind’s history!

I have spoken to many artists who feel that the fans overseas embrace fondly of the culture than in the States. In your opinion why do you feel that is the case?

Le First: And some German rappers will tell you that they see it the other way around.
At first, I think that in Germany, you have a totally different past, historically – and also HipHop wise. People from every culture and religion come together to break, spray, rap … to do HipHop together, what is the essence of HipHop to me. I had the impression that in the states due to the political and social problems concerning Black and Latino people it is not the same kind of community. In the states black people still get oppressed, there are still ghettos … this is not the case here in Germany. Even if some rappers won‘t tell it, but we don‘t have ghettos or racial segregation in Germany. Or at least by far not as much as in the States or in France.

What is next for you guys?

Le First: We will drop a mini-album by the end of 2016 / beginning 2017. I‘ll drop my solo next year, it‘s called “Dekaden” (Decades)

Knightstalker: Right before me and Le First will release that mini-album, I’ll drop a brand new single with some of my idols from back in the days, KC Da Rookee and Kinzmania (Pure G.O.D. Manifested & P.O.T.), part of one of the few groups (Kinzmen Clikk) rappin’ in English over here in the 90s . They dropped some stuff that was way ahead of their time and they’ve been a major inspiration ever since. And I’m also preparing the third volume of my ‘Kept In Perspective’ EP series with US-American producer Falling Down who produced for acts like Inspectah Deck, Killarmy, Buddha Monk, just to name a few.

Any shout outs?

Le First: To everybody who supports us! Thanks to everybody who worked with us on this album! And to the ignorant German HipHop media (and also to rap.de, although they been the only exception because they showed some love)😉

Knightstalker: A huge thank you to every single person that supports us and our music. We really appreciate the support. And to everybody that keeps ignoring our music for any given reason: you’re missing out on something mad fresh!

You can pre-order the Foreigners album, dropping September 12, on Bandcamp. In the meantime, check out the visuals to their “Le Produit De Berlin” remix featuring fellow lyricists Furious, Demskut, Yaswa, Vecz, Fonz, Rhobbin, MeStOne, Somis & Mischkonsum.

@StalkinSeason @LeFirstOfficiel 

Follow Shamika Sanders on Twitter and tune in to Who Came First: The Outta Control Radio Show Mondays at 8PM on Bushwick Radio! Be sure to watch out for The Miss Independent Show with yours truly on 100.1 The Heat and Pinx TV coming to a channel near you!

OWN’s Queen Sugar Delivers Highest-Rated Two Episode Debut | @queensugarown

OWN’s Queen Sugar Delivers Highest-Rated Two Episode Debut | @queensugarown

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Queen Sugar delivered the highest-rated two-episode debut in network history. Queen Sugar, from award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) and executive producer Oprah Winfrey, averaged a 2.7 million total viewers over its two-night premiere.

Based on the novel by Natalie Baszile, the contemporary drama begins as Charley, a savvy and spirited woman living an upscale Los Angeles lifestyle, returns to her family home – an 800-acre sugarcane farm in the heart of Louisiana – when her father has a stroke. There, she reunites with her estranged siblings Nova and Ralph Angel, who are each navigating their lives and love relationships. Together, they must learn to rely on one another as they inherit the family farm and attempt to rebuild both the land and their relationships.

The expansive cast includes Tina Lifford (Parenthood) as Aunt Violet; Omar J. Dorsey (Ray Donovan,  Selma) as Violet’s much younger boyfriend Hollywood Desonier; Dondré Whitfield (“Mistresses”) as trusted Bordelon family friend Remy Newell; Timon Kyle Durrett (Single Ladies) as Charley’s husband, pro basketball player Davis West, Nicholas L. Ashe (The Lion King – National Tour) as Charley and Davis’ teenage son, Micah; Greg Vaughan (Days of Our Lives) a local cop and Nova’s lover, Calvin; and Ethan Hutchison (The Path) as Ralph-Angel’s son, Blue. Additionally, Emmy and multiple NAACP Image Award-winning actor Glynn Turman (The Wire) guest stars as Bordelon patriarch Ernest; Henry G. Sanders (Rocky Balboa) recurs as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of Ernest’s, Bianca Lawson (Rogue) guest stars as Ralph Angel’s ex-girlfriend Darla and Marycarmen Lopez (From Dusk ‘Til Dawn: The Series) as Blue’s elementary school teacher.

Tuesday’s premiere episode of Queen Sugar became Tuesday night’s #2 cable telecast for women in OWN history across all key measures.

Catch Queen Sugar every Tuesday at 10PM on OWN.


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