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|Tue, October 25, 2011 at 12:12 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Former youth reporter for entertainer and rapper Common's Common Ground Foundation creates uStyleu, a magazine to combat low self image, the acceptance of not being perfect and loving the skin you are in. Chloe Graham grew wary of images in magazines that didn't look back at her. She created a magazine that all young adults can relate to. The fashion spreads not only feature up and coming designers, photographers, models and entertainers, but each photo spread has a social message like body image, interracial dating, confidence etc.Matteson, IL (PRWEB) October 25, 2011 uStyleu Mag was created to provide fashion and a voice for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 using bold fashion spreads to tackle socially conscience issues like race relations, weight and eating disorders.
According to Chloe Graham, uStyleu’s 17 year old editor-and-chief, the magazine covers issues that occurs everyday in schools and on college campuses.
uStyleu features real people, emulating real life in fun fashion spreads. “uStyleu’s concept is a perfect combination for me because I love fashion, and I’m very respectful of other’s opinions even if I don’t agree with them.” “If a subject matter is relevant to our readers, it’s important to uStyleu,” Chloe says, “The elements you will never find in uStyleu Mag are hate and disrespect,” she added.
The first issue of uStyleu, released in July, 2011, featured light-hearted fashion spreads promoting self confidence and inner beauty. The current issue plows deeper with more mature relatable subject matters for uStyle’s targeted age groups like interracial dating and the popular media’s limitations based on a person’s weight and appearance. Regardless of the subject matter, uStyleu’s goal is to create fashion spreads that are fashionable, uplifting and fun shown with dignity and positivity.
uStyleu features local Chicago area students, aspiring models, designers, photographers, entertainers and writers who are interested in expanding their portfolios or just want to have fun. Funding for the magazine is provided by organizations interested in sponsoring a “Fashage” (a uStyleu term meaning Fashion with a Message) and ads from advertisers.
After the first issue published, uStyleu received over 200 emails from young adults, teachers and organization leaders thanking uStyleu for featuring normal people with flaws. The magazine is saying its ok not to be perfect, but on the road to improving ourselves, it doesn’t hurt to look good, feel good and set your own definition of fashion.
Chloe Graham is a high school senior and spends her time working part-time at a local bank and is currently regional president of Top Teens of America, a youth organization promoting community support, leadership and services. With TTA, Chloe loyally participates in the Lupus, Breast Cancer and MS Campaigns yearly and volunteers her time in senior citizen communities, community clean up initiatives and food pantries.
From the ages of 12 to 14, Chloe worked as a youth reporter for rapper/entertainer Common’s non profit organization, The Common Ground Foundation. Chloe has interviewed noted people like poet Nikki Giovanni, entertainers, Will.i.am, Musiq and other well known entertainers and sport figures. The former director of Common Ground Foundation, Jodie Blum inspired and supported Chloe to create uStyleu Magazine. Common told her to not to look at what she does as a hobby, but as an entrepreneur. Chloe ran with Common’s advice and created uStyleu Magazine.
uStyleu is currently available to purchase on-line at http://www.ustyleu.com or at MagCloud.com, keyword uStyleu. Contact us at contact(at)ustyleu(dot)com to sponsor a “Fashage Magazine Spread”
Teresa Grahamcontact@ustyleu.com708-638-2175Email Information
|Thurs, October 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Grammy Award-winning Outkast rapper Big Boi will avoid jail time on drug charges in Florida if he passes several drug tests and performs community service, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The Atlanta-based rapper, whose real name is Antwan Patton, was arrested in Miami after leaving a cruise ship in August. Authorities accused him of having drugs including ecstasy and MDMA powder, according to an arrest report.
In court on Thursday, the 36-year-old rapper accepted an agreement that could lead to the two felony drug possession charges he faces being dropped.
Big Boi will be required to report to court for monthly drug tests for three months, the Miami prosecutor's office said. He must complete 30 hours of community service and donate $2,000 to charities.
The charges will be dropped if he remains drug-free and stays out of trouble for three months, but will be refiled if he does not meet all the conditions, according to prosecutors.
Defense attorney Richard Hersch said Big Boi was eligible for the judicial monitoring program because he has a clean record and does not have a problem with substance abuse.
"There's no admission of guilt that is involved with it," Hersch told Reuters.
Outkast was formed by Andre Benjamin (who later became known as Andre 3000) and Patton (Big Boi) in the 1990s with a distinct brand of southern-influenced hip hop music. The pair scored several hits over the years including pop song "Hey Ya" from 2003 album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
(Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Cynthia Johnston) @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Faceboo
|Mon, October 03, 2011 at 12:22 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - At an historic African American Episcopal Church in Charleston, the Mt. Zion Spiritual Singers keep alive a century-old tradition -- singing unpublished Negro spirituals passed down orally and accompanied only by hand clapping and foot stomping.
"We call it the Charleston clap," Alphonso Brown, leader of the 18-member group, told an audience during a recent performance for a festival of African American culture. "It's an art form."
Brown said he formed the group more than a decade ago after hearing a performance by the local, mostly white, Society for the Preservation of Spirituals.
"They were so good, it made me mad," he said with a grin. A music educator and organist, he also owns and operates Gullah Tours, a tour company focusing on the history of black Charleston residents.
Dressed in suits, hats and shawls, members of the group recreated the African American "praise house" meetings of the early 20th-century rural South in the sanctuary of the Mt. Zion church, whose congregation first formed in 1882.
"This style of music would never have been done in the 1930s or 1940s in a church like Mt. Zion, or any elite black church," Brown said during a rehearsal.
"It was considered raggy music, slave songs," he said. "It was done in rural parts. They were singing the same old songs that slaves and free blacks sang before and after the Civil War. Slaves made them up. They had creativity. They didn't have the manuscript paper to write them down."
In call-and response style, with natural harmonies and improvised shouts, the choir performed such songs listed in the program as "Hab yuh got 'lidgun" (Have you got religion), "W'en dah tray'n cuum 'long" (When the train comes along) and "O Zyunn, Wah de mattuh now?" (O, Zion, what's the matter now?).
They sang in Gullah, the language developed by West African slaves brought to Charleston starting in the late 1600s and preserved on South Carolina and Georgia sea islands.
Gullah, a word believed to come from Sierra Leone's Gola tribe, also describes the speakers, often descendants of those slaves who brought their rice-growing skills to this coast.
The language is still spoken by some, including Brown. He grew up going to Tuesday- and Thursday-night "prays" meetings, as he said it was spelled in the old days.
"Tuesday night, prayer meeting," he said. "Thursday night, experience night, where you sing a song and testify."
Singer Sylvia Murray, a retired nurse, said: "When you sing these songs, you get a feeling. What was going on when this song came up?"
Sometimes, "the songs get to you," Brown said.
"We had a situation with a fellow named Kevin one time. Kevin sang his song and he got the spirit. I get up and shake him and I said, 'Hold it together, Kevin. These people ain't paying no $15 to hear you get the Holy Ghost.'"
The group performs around the Southeast, at conventions and festivals. Some members also sing in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, which will tour Ghana in March.
They are area natives, with the exception of Hezekiah Kithcart, 81, a retired Army linguist, who moved to Charleston years ago from Gastonia, North Carolina. @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Faceboo
|Thurs, September 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper T-Pain is known for using the Auto-Tune pitch corrector, which disguises off-key singing and allows for perfectly tuned vocals, and for all those who want to sound like him, he has a microphone for you.
T-Pain told Reuters that when others started referring to his signature style as "The T-Pain Effect," he quickly trademarked the term and went to work to create a brand.
In August, his "I Am T-Pain Mic" hit retail stores such as K-Mart and Toys "R" Us, which might seem strange to some for a man whose rap hits include "Bartender," "Buy U a Drank" and "I'm 'n Luv (Wit a Stripper)". But T-Pain says that when he first offered a voice-modification app for iPhones in 2009, he learned very quickly that he was missing a demanding market.
"A lot of kids don't have cell phones, (so) in order to reach everyone, I'm taking it to where it can be a toy," said the Grammy-winning artist and producer. "They sell out every week. This was far beyond my expectations."
The "I Am T-Pain Mic" uses a voice modification technique where users record songs against a selection of beats, which then modifies their voice for the playback. The microphone also comes with a USB plug to download and share recorded songs.
"We've got add-on packages coming," T-Pain said. "There is going to be video camera you can use with it. We have speakers going on right now and a deco pack to decorate with. We still haven't dropped the special edition ones, which will have more production and be an even better working (microphone)."
The rapper is by no means the only artist to use Auto-Tune. Back in 1998, singer Cher used it on her hit song "Believe" and over the years, many others artists have adopted it, although most refuse to admit it. In fact, with pop acts doing more singing and dancing on stage, Auto-Tune has become almost a music industry standard.
Though many artists often criticize Auto-Tune because it masks reality, T-Pain defends it saying the biggest misconception is that performers don't really have to be able to sing when they employ it.
"That's the furthest from the truth," he said. "Your voice may sound better, but you still have to know music. You still have to know how to write a song. You can't just use Auto-Tune and have a hit song. It only corrects the pitch but it doesn't give you a singing career."
The rapper is by no means the only one selling a microphone using voice modification technology. The makers of Bratz dolls have one, too, but T-Pain says he is not bothered by the competition.
"I don't care," said the rapper, who turns 26 years-old on Friday. "People will figure out which is better. I'm pretty sure there's no grown-ups buying Bratz toys to get that mic. I have no problem."
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte) @yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Faceboo
|Thurs, September 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. was released early on Thursday from the federal halfway house in Atlanta where he finished up an 11-month sentence on weapons possession and drug charges, a prison official said.
The 31-year-old Atlanta entertainer, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was assigned to the halfway house for the last month of his sentence after being released August 31 from a federal prison in Arkansas.
But shortly after arriving in Atlanta, the rapper was returned to a prison there because officials took issue with his luxury bus ride from Arkansas, his attorney said at the time.
Prison officials believed T.I. was conducting business on the bus, according to attorney Steve Sadow, who told Reuters that information was provided to show them that wasn't the case.
T.I. was transferred on September 15 back to the halfway house, where like other residents he was allowed to leave for approved purposes such as going to a job or a doctor's appointment.
On Thursday, T.I. "basically checked out of the halfway house for the last time," said Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The rapper was sentenced in October 2010 to 11 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation on federal gun charges after he was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drug ecstasy.
It was his second stint behind bars in three years.
T.I.'s career began as a rapper in 2001, but he then branched out into other areas of the music and film industry, finding success both as a producer and actor.
Cable channel VH1 said last month that it had teamed up with the "Got Your Back" singer for a 10-episode series that will follow his readjustment to life outside prison and the making of a new album. The series is due to premiere December 5.
By David Beasley | Reuters
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton
|Thurs, September 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
After four years of performing, three critically acclaimed mixtapes, and one false start launching an album, Jay-Z protege J. Cole finally released his debut CD and one day later critics were raving.
The Los Angeles Times cited Cole's "slickly inventive beats" on the record, "Cole World: The Sideline Story," and said that the 26-year-old "sounds assured of his skills" even when rapping alongside Jay-Z on "Mr. Nice Watch."
As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait and that seemed to be the case on Wednesday for Cole, who was the first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label when it was founded two years ago.
The title of North Carolina rapper and producer's major label debut makes light of the waiting game he's played since 2007 when Cole released his first free mixtape online.
Cole and his label even prematurely released a music video for the song "Who Dat" last summer in anticipation of his album's release, only to delay the record.
Now, that song does not even appear on the new album but critics seem to have hardly noticed.
Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B-plus and said that while "bigger names in hip-hop have released albums this year ... few trump this debut."
Allhiphop.com offered 8 out of 10 stars and called Cole "an artist that we are certain to be seeing and hearing a lot more from in years to come."
Among his peers, singer Drake, who joins Cole on "In the Morning" tweeted: "Great album from a great team." Rapper Wale chimed in on Twitter by posting a photo of himself holding up two hard copies of the CD.
Cole told Reuters in a recent interview that the album balances different styles and lyrical content that reflect his meticulous approach toward crafting music.
"Like some rappers have, on my debut I could have gone super commercial," said Cole of the album, which features appearances by Drake, Missy Elliott, Trey Songz (who appears on the single "Can't Get Enough") and, of course, Jay-Z.
By Sabrina Ford | Reuters
(Reporting by Sabrina Ford; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte
|Mon, September 26, 2011 at 2:32 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
To: ENTERTAINMENT AND FILM EDITORS
Contact: Hollywood Film Festival, 1-310-288-1882
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, are pleased to announce honorees that will be recognized for their achievements at the festival's Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 24, 2011.
Academy Award-nominated actor Christopher Plummer will receive the "Hollywood Supporting Actor Award," for "Beginners," actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be honored with the "Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award," for "50/50," actress Jessica Chastain will be honored with the "Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award," for "The Tree of Life," "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help," and "Take Shelter," and actress Felicity Jones will receive the "New Hollywood Award" for "Crazy Love."
"It is extraordinary that all of these honorees have contributed their talent to such high quality films, and it is a great pleasure to honor them for their work," said Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the Hollywood Awards Gala.
The Hollywood Film Awards Gala launches the awards season. In the past eight years a total of 73 Oscar nominations and 27 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Awards.
The 2011 Hollywood Film Festival has also announced they will honor the cast of "The Help" (Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O'Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel) with the "Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award," Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Editor Stephen Mirrione, Production Designer James Murakami and Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar at their annual Awards Gala. In addition, Gore Verbinski's "Rango" will be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, along with additional honorees to be announced in the coming weeks.
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER
Christopher Plummer has long been one of the most respected actors in theater and film. In 2008, Alfred A. Knopf published Plummer's memoir, "In Spite of Myself," which became one of the most acclaimed autobiographies of recent years. He has also written for the stage, television, and the concert hall.
Mr. Plummer's first film was Sidney Lumet's "Stage Struck," with Henry Fonda and Susan Strasberg. His notable movies since then have included John Huston's "The Man Who Would Be King," in which he portrayed author Rudyard Kipling, Anthony Mann's "The Fall of The Roman Empire," Guy Hamilton's "Battle of Britain," Sergei Bondarchuk's "Waterloo," Nicholas Ray's "Wind Across the Everglades," Robert Mulligan's "Inside Daisy Clover," Robert Wise's Academy Award-winning "The Sound of Music," opposite Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards' "The Return of the Pink Panther," with Peter Sellers, Daryl Duke's "The Silent Partner," Bob Clark's "Murder by Decree," in which he played Sherlock Holmes and for which he won the Genie Award (Canada's Oscar equivalent) for Best Actor, Jeannot Szwarc's "Somewhere in Time," with Christopher Reeve; Nicholas Meyer's "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" and "Inside Man," Taylor Hackford's "Dolores Claiborne," Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkeys" and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Ron Howard's Academy Award-winning "A Beautiful Mind," Atom Egoyan's "Ararat," Douglas McGrath's "Nicholas Nickleby," Jon Turteltaub's "National Treasure," Gary David Goldberg's "Must Love Dogs," Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana," Terrence Malick's "The New World," Michael Schroeder's "Man in the Chair," for which Mr. Plummer was named Best Actor at the Palm Beach International Film Festival; and Michael Mann's "The Insider," as Mike Wallace.
For his portrayal of novelist Leo Tolstoy, opposite Helen Mirren, in "The Last Station," written and directed by Michael Hoff
|Mon, September 26, 2011 at 7:13 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Self-produced artist Rick Britto brings a fascinating new concept to the music audience by offering them to grasp the concept of complex musical conversations in the form of intellectual music with his CD "Conversations with Eric & I" in addition to backing that up with producing a contemporary jazz CD to show his musical versatility.New Bedford, MA (PRWEB) September 26, 2011 Rick Britto is not a new comer on the jazz scene. He is an established multii-facted instrumentalist, recording artist, educator, producer, publisher, ajudicator, clinician, web designer who is an innovative composer that created an intellecutual form of music that is designed in a fashion for the avant garde audience.
Rick's latest recording projects "For Your Love" with featured vocalist Joani Taylor and "Conversations with Erik & I"with Erik Van Dam, released on the TrineArc Music label in 2011 are being featured this week on The Jazz Network Worldwide social network.
"It's hard to keep up with Rick, he's so talented in so many facets that his mind is constantly creating. He has his hand on the pulse, not only with his impeccable teaching abilities but has the wherewithall to produce it, perform it and execute it all with a confidence that opens your ears to new musical horizons" says Jaijai Jackson, creator of The Jazz Network Worldwide.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most original jazz releases of the year. Conversations with Erik & I is a unique experiment, two saxophonists engrossed in discussion, one that is told through the sounds of the instruments. The gentlemen in question are Rick Britto on tenor sax with Erik Van Dam on tenor/alto sax. Together they argue through the outré sonic landscapes created by their playing or sometimes even chill with a laid-back groove. The results are provocative and never predictable, high-I.Q., edgy jazz at its finest. ~ All About Jazz
Rick has performed with artists from jazz to R&B and Popular music including being double billed with such jazz notables as Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Rosemary Clooney, Dave McKenna, The Artie Shaw Band, The Buddy Rich Band, and Count Basie's Orchestra to the The Drifters and The Tuneweavers to Tavares and Queen Latifa.
As a well known jazz educator from the New England area and graduate of Berklee College of Music, Rick found a home as a faculty member at both the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Wheaton College instructing private lessons for saxophone and jazz piano, directing music ensembles and teaching Jazz Theory and African-American Music History.
He's enjoyed working with artists as Karl Berger, Santi Debriano, Harold Jones, Freddie Redd, Kate McGarry, One O'clock Jump, Royal Hartigan, Wes Brown, Armsted Christian, Jim Robitaille, Semenya McCord, Marcelle Gauvin, John Harrison, Chris Poudrier, Bruce Gertz, Dave Zinno, Herb King, Kenny Wensel, Lou Columbo, Frank Wilkins, Alon Yavnai through his current performance schedules.
Britto truly believes in younger students by assisting band directors for both New Bedford and Old Rochester Regional High School Bands. He has also adjudicated many concerts, clinics and competitions in school districts in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Owning a recording studio, Saurus Studio, affords him the opportunity to produce numerous projects for radio & television as well as engineering, recording and mastering recordings for many local artists. His back to back releases "Conversations with Erik & I" released in June 2011 and a Contemporary Jazz CD entitled, "For Your Love" released in August 2011 were both recorded in his studio.
Rick digitally restored and mastered old recordings for "The Music of South India" published by Prof. Matthew Allen of Wheaton College for Oxford University Press and scored music for "Jazz Consciousness Music, Race, and Humanity" by Prof. Paul Asterlitz for Wesleyan University Press.
In his spare ti
|Fri, September 09, 2011 at 7:03 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
WASHINGTON (AP) — After growing tired of watching stereotypes of people of color on U.S. television screens, Issa Rae created her own vision of reality with "The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl."
The Web-based show follows J, played by Rae, and her mishaps and successes in work and love.
"The Web series came about because I really didn't see anybody like me on the screen, nobody that I could relate to," said Rae, the show's producer, writer and director. "There's just so many limited archetypes for black females in particular, and just people of color in general, and it's frustrating to look at the screen and only be able to relate to people like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, people who don't look like me."
Since the series first posted online in February, the debut episode has garnered more than 240,000 hits. Subsequent episodes have received more than 100,000 hits and 1,000 viewer comments. Nearly 17,000 people are dedicated to the show's Facebook page. Rae said she and co-producer Tracy Oliver are packaging "Awkward Black Girl" as a half-hour comedy to sell to a cable network but are strongly thinking about keeping it online to build the audience and maintain stronger contact with viewers.
"Social media is what made the show honestly," Rae said. "Had it not been for social media, this show just wouldn't have been what it is today. I couldn't have done this 10 years ago."
Susan Fales-Hill, who produced and wrote for the long-running NBC situation comedy "A Different World," called Rae's work fresh, incisive, and non-stereotypical.
"She is showing an educated, African-American woman leading an integrated life and a professional woman with friends of many different nationalities and backgrounds, and just trying to make her way," Fales-Hill said.
She said Rae's guerrilla approach to TV making is brilliant and an inspiration to veterans in the industry like her.
"A lot of us came up during a time when there was a studio system, more jobs and you came up through the ranks," Fales-Hill said. "So for us, it's a culture shock. ... I find it very liberating that she has created her own show. She's definitely making a lot of us think about how we can do things and how much more aggressive we should be."
Rae, 26, born Jo-Issa Rae Diop, created the concept for the show two years ago while on a public theater fellowship in New York. A Los Angeles, California, native, she didn't know anyone in New York, and that provided many awkward experiences. After returning to the West Coast, Rae gathered a few friends to help her begin shooting the series with her own camera equipment in January.
"I knew if I didn't shoot it myself it was never going to get done," said Rae, who attended Stanford University and the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.
Rae recruited her friend Andrew Allan James to star as A, her annoying co-worker and admirer. The diverse cast now includes J's best friend CeCe, an Indian-American, played by Sujata Day, and her love interests White J, played by Lyman Johnson, and Fred, an African-American, played by Madison T. Shockley III.
"Diversity is important to the series just because it exists in my life," Rae said. "In real life, I do happen to have a Bengali-American best friend."
As the show's fan base has grown, so has its production. By episode four, Oliver, who plays J's co-worker and rival Nina, joined in as a producer and helped pull together a full crew for the show. The episodes grew from about four minutes to 12.
After episode six, Rae and Oliver, former Stanford classmates, realized they could no longer afford to fund the series. Rae, on a temporary worker's salary, said she could not cover the 12-hour-day shoots and production costs.
The two had received a couple emails from people offering to donate to the show, so they decided to start an official campaign for viewers to donate through the online fundraising platform Kickstarter.com. By the end of day one, Rae said