YTube Vid of the Week: Young Moose “No Sunshine” Feat. Martina Lynch

Baltimore’s turmoil due to riots and protests for Freddie Gray have blossomed a hefty amount of creative masterpieces from independent artist of all sort. The Internet is buzzing of colorful opinions, many pale and others vibrant, depicting artists’ perception of peace and violence; justice and injustice; and moral or immoral.

I even had the opportunity to vent: Read #OpinionEssay: The “Real Revolution Will Not Be Televised

This week’s YTube Vid of the Week Is from Baltimore Rapper Young Moose.

Many of Baltimore’s youth look up to local independent rappers Young Moose and Lor Scoota, who recently reconciled musical differences in February over disputes of competition at a local rap summit.

Encouraging words from these rappers are expected since so many young people support these artist. We need them to inspire our kids to do better; to seek success and progression instead of lawlessness and turbulence, as the world watched Baltimore Youth as they rioted and looted as a result of police brutality towards Freddie Gray.

“Dumb Dumb” artist scratched the surface of reaching the you by releasing “No SunShine” in honor of Freddie Gray. Unfortunately, I do not believe he took this opportunity by storm. So much more could be done. So much more could be said.

“No SunShine” doesn’t get much praise from me because there’s more to be said than what these children who live in these neighborhoods already know. There are ways to get a message across without stating the obvious of what’s happening in our city’s black communities. We know of what our state’s governmental policies enable and forbid us from doing. We know about the “slums” that blacks have systematically become accustomed to. My concern was for artists like Young Moose to do a bit more, maybe lead more as an example.

I guess, I’m expecting too much in such a short amount of time. Huh?

Where are the programs they’re continuously supporting. As I look at each artists background and choice of brand for their music, I’m a little concerned about outsiders not understanding what’s needed to be said for our city. It could easily be misinterpreted if someone would listen to more of Young Mouse’s discography as his music is majority about drugs and trap life.

We need more “substance.” We need more positive messages young people will enjoy and support.

What do you think? Did you like Young Moose’s “No Sunshine?” Leave your comments below.

Do you think that some children’s toys are too inappropriate for kids to be playing with? Watch “YTube Vid of the Week: Tree Change Dolls” on Doc’s Castle Media.

Life As A Black Baltimorean After The 2015 Baltimore Riots

Waking up on April 28, 2015 was the most surreal feeling I’ve experienced in my 23 years of living. To open up my eyes at the crack of dawn after tossing and turning caused by the Baltimore riots happening blocks away from where I laid my head that night, how could anyone feel any other way?

Two days prior to probably one of the most shocking riots to ever happen in history, I spent 7 hours writing about my frustrations towards the riots in Downtown Baltimore. In opinion essay on Doc’s Castle Media, “The ‘Real’ Revolution Will Not Be Televised. #ILoveBaltimore,” I speak from an emotional standpoint on the ways I believe Blacks should move forward after the major breakthrough of riots on Saturday, April 25th. I’d hope it’d be a message to calm people down from seeking to destroy more of our city as my blog reached over its average viewership.

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My words may have reach quite a bit of individuals but as this week started, I see that my efforts may have not made much of an impact. Monday morning at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, only 5 minutes away from my job, was rioted by a huge group of young people immediately when dismissed from school and lasted for hours that day.

Rioting eventually turned into looting and destroying of historical neighborhoods. People who once had jobs along North Avenue and Mondawmin Mall are now without employment, and as riots made it across East Baltimore later that night, near Monument Street, again around the corner from where I stayed that evening, a senior center was burned down, leaving older people who were anticipating to move into a new home suddenly without one. To top it off, our mayor grounded the entire city. So we have to be in our homes by our 10 o’clock curfew.

Baltimore is a mess. The city I’ve known all my life is scorned from which the world believes is because of police brutality against 25 year old African American man Freddie Gray. But our story is deeper than the surface. It is now that we use everyone’s cameras as a tool to let you in on the scoop.

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Words cannot express how I feel about what happened in my city. I’m not a fan of the media like I once was before, especially as I’ve watched events that day come to pass. There’s a media circus in my backyard reporting from Penn-North subway station, now internationally famous for our CVS that burned down on its corner.

Come on, now! Just the other day I bought a chocolate Snickers bar out of there. I’ll never be able to do that again.

We’re never getting some of those shops back. It’s hard to have hope for the restoration of CVS or any of those other buildings due to the the reputation of reconstruction in Baltimore. We’ve waited YEARS for our government to rebuild the hundreds of vacant buildings and shops damaged from the Martin Luther King Jr. riots in 1968. The only reconstruction we’ve ever seen has been to our pothole infested streets, and I swear, we can’t improve the pavement on Charles Street anymore than it is.

Geeze! Does all our tax money go to that street?!

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In the minds and hearts of many people here, it’s second nature for citizens to want to walk outside to see what’s happening for themselves, rather than to watch the news nowadays. The world’s painted picture on television is far from what we’re experiencing. A trust barrier is broken for many who relied on national news stations to give us the 4-1-1 on events occurring during the week. So the local news and social media is our only best friend during this time.

The media from outside of Baltimore lacks an understand of the type of people who live in Baltimore and the lifestyle that we see on a day to day basis. It’s like the media’s way of looking at us is similar to viewing through a microscope. They’re looking to find where all these horrid problems and rioting behavior could be stimming from. But the people who experience the lifestyle of living in here will always have a better understanding and a better way of explaining what’s going on.

Poverty is one of the hardest struggles a person can try to shake in Baltimore City. With a phrase like “The struggle is real,” which is often recited in Baltimore’s Black communities, it models the hard knock situations we see as being seriously rough to live through. When we say this phrase, almost everyday nonchalantly, we as black Baltimoreans adopt an “It is what it is” attitude, learning to also desensitize and quiet ourselves from what’s really happening. Well, Baltimore’s tired of being quiet now.

People who are publicly judging my city worldwide are failing to understand. Even I feel uneasy each time I come into the realization of what’s happening to us sometimes. Tuesday evening, I walked passed a reporter from Russia and another from London. Like whaaa?! These people don’t even know that just 2 weeks ago I was frustrated from fighting to be heard because of Baltimore’s crab in a barrel reputation.

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Our youth isn’t afraid to make a change. I think of how some of those kids who were rioting were doing so to scream out they were fed up. Some of those kids had no home before they rioted. Some of them go to school everyday to get away from their daily worries of not having something to eat once they leave school. Some of them were angered because they were stranded without transportation to get home due to the police shutting down the bus lines and subways before school let out. (But that’s another mystery in itself I won’t get into.) And I admit, some of them were just following the crowd. But to see our kids act this way, hurts the most because they are innocent. They’re the one’s we’re trying to protect from “the struggle.” But we can’t.

Baltimore needs change and everyone knows now. I’m so proud of us. We made a stand for so many things this week. We’re fighting police brutality, racial profiling & systematic racism, bad publicity and corrupted governmental policies not only for us, but for our entire country, we’re making a statement. My feet are suffering from it and I don’t mind it all. I have a bigger hope for my city, though I may doubt our government’s follow-up as an African American woman who’s part of the working force striving for success and a better Baltimore. But I’m glad to have seen a better side, finally! I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Rest In Peace, Freddie Gray. You’re gone, but you are not forgotten. Your name will be in history books along with our city. Change will surely come for us and our country.

Who You Gonna Call? “Charm City’s Finest,” A Ghostbusters Fan Film

Baltimore is full of talent in all genres. I still wonder why this city lacks attention from the rest of the world when it comes to the arts. We definitely deserve some kind of credit, right?

So what do you think? Is this film worthy of the big screen?

Definitely! For “Who You Gonna Call?” to be independent and locally based, I see potential beyond what it deserves. The plot could possibly be used for a sequel some day. I’d go see it, and I see it doing wonders for feminist if it were to actually become a full film.

“Who Ya Gonna Call?” was found on “Charm City Finest” YouTube channel Zoar Films. Cisco Davis, Jr., the creator of this short film, created it as a project for local film competition 29 Day’s Later Project, and as a celebration for Ghostbusters’ 30th anniversary.

While scrolling through the newly found YouTube channel, I’ve found some more interesting films. Majority of which were short movies and parodies of fan favorite films, like Ghostbusters and Power Rangers. I urge you all to go check them out if you’re into “scifi” goodies.

Would you go see this one the big screen if this was made from a big movie production company? Leave your comments below.

Alissa Feré Takes It To The Field For The Release of 2015 Mixtape “Songs From Da Dugout”

As an insider for the release of my 2015 mixtape Songs From Da Dugout, I decided to give my readers a few snapshots to look at while they wait for my project to drop next month.

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I decided to get a little creative for this release. I thought Why should I leave you guys with only an expected date for my project? I should give you a little more, and maybe some more background to what to look forward to. So I partnered up with my favorite photographer/blogger to give something extra as we wait for my dropping day.

Songs From Da Dugout is a representation of my emotions. Often I feel I’m left in limbo on a lot of issues when I’m dealing with guys. I think lots of women can relate. It can feel like I’m sitting in a dugout waiting to be called on for the next play. It can get restless waiting on these guys, and they should know that I don’t wait very long for my moment.

Women have so many questions that could be left unanswered while waiting on their next call in a partnership; there’s so many expectations that should be fulfilled on the behalf of the man that aren’t met in relationships. I relate to those women because when someone’s left in the dugout, how is anyone expected to win the game? How is anyone expected to conquer the battle?

These brothers got us yelling to the coach like, “Come on. Call me, coach! I’m ready to play.”

The photo shoot was conducted by Briana Ragler of Rebellious Rebel, also known as hip-hop artist Boutzie’. She did a great job. What do you think?

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Look out for “Songs From Da Dugout” dropping in March 2015!

Have you heard “Pleasant Nightmares,” single from 2015 tape Songs From Da Dugout? Check out “Alissa Feré Releases Title & Promo Art For Spring 2015 Project” on Doc’s Castle Media.

Watch behind the scenes of my photo shoot via Briana’s Blog, Rebellious Rebel.

Help a Homeless Brother or Sister Out

It’s been a cold and brutal winter for me. It’s like that for many of us with record-breaking temperatures dropping around the country like crazy. It makes you think it’s another ice age coming. Sheesh.

Temperatures in Baltimore are surprising alone during this week with it expecting to reach 0 degrees Thursday night, February 19, 2015.

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I have to travel home from work in that BS!

In times like these, there lacks warm shelter for thousands of people living in poverty. The Mayor’s Office Human Resources states “It is estimated that there are 2,638 men, women, and children who are homeless in Baltimore on any given night.” That’s a lot of people and to think some of these people are literally out here sleeping in the streets! It’s very saddening.

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There are people and organizations willing to do anything to somehow make a difference in our homeless brothers and sisters’ lives. One person I’ve notice who’s making his imprint in Baltimore is Chonan Bell.

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from Chonan Bell Facebook profile

Bell has picked up a buzz this week as his mission has spread tremendously through word of mouth on social media. He and his friends have taken the initiative in helping put homeless people, who he sees living on the streets, in a shelter, even if that shelter needs be in a tent.

I contacted Bell about the 411 on what he’s doing around our city. He says:

“I don’t know honestly. Lol. I mean…I drive pass people everyday on my way home and it’s cold as h*** outside. I know everyone can’t get into a shelter, nor do they want to go to a shelter, so a tent could provide some type of shelter from the elements even if it’s just rain or the wind.”

You don’t need to know Chonan! You’re doing an awesome act of kindness! We need more people like you around.

Bell leaves room for others who’d like to get involved in what he’s doing, too. He’s picking up and delivering tent orders from people unable to make those frigid runs themselves. Here’s how you can get involved…

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  1. Order a $20 tent online from Walmart.com
  2. Select ship to store for the Arbutus location on Washington Blvd.
  3. Designate Chonan Bell as the pickup person.
  4. Email Bell at Chonanb@yahoo.com to let him know you’ve ordered your tent
  5. You’ve helped someone out!

Also, Ms. Kia Sample, female Baltimore hip-hop artist and 2014 Baltimore Music Awards Nominee, posted two numbers for contact on her Instagram account this week. If you see anyone in Baltimore City or County on these streets during these harsh cold nights, make sure to pick up your phone and dial these numbers. Someone will transport that person somewhere safe and warm out of these inclement weather.

Baltimore Homeless Pickup Number

from Kia Sample Instagram

 

Do you know of any other people assisting the homeless around Baltimore? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out some dope Kia Sample music below.

Midnight’s Kiss by Jason Fotso (@Voice) / 2015 Cinderella

This was a lovely poem I found today scrolling my twitter timeline. I thought I’d share it for some of my daring readers who can’t resist the thought of sweet love during the holidays. Are you bringing in the new years with someone special?

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This poem was written by a boy, who’s tweet caught my attention because of the amounts of reposts he received. He goes by the name of Jason Fotso and has a very simple twitter name, @Voice.

I wish I would have thought of a name that simple.

I’m unsure what the name of his viral poem might be so I named it based off what it’s about. It’s about kissing someone special at the struck of 12 midnight on New Years Day.

I came across his poem this morning and thought to myself how lovely. It was simple, sweet, and something that a person could memorize if they should recite it in their heads while kissing their loved tonight. Then I thought to myself, ‘why did I think about something so corny to do? Do people really do that or did I just think of a scene from a movie?’

Whatever…

This poem was also shared with this photograph of the 1950 Disney’s version of Cinderella to, I guess, mark relation to the line in the poem “Cinderella’s Ball, stops. Kiss her as the ball, drops.” The picture implies how the poem relates to Cinderella’s frisky night out with a prince and how she needed to be home by 12, too.

Well, look at that…

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If you guys don’t already know, Disney’s releasing a new Cinderella film this year. Only this time, it’s not a cartoon. You know how they’re turning all of our Disney classics into movies with “real” people?  I thought they’d leave Cinderella alone since we’ve gotten multiple versions of the story since the cartoon came out! Anyway, this is the perfect time to share the trailer.

I have the suspicion they’ll make this into a film where the woman doesn’t end up with the man, like Disney films Frozen and Maleficent. What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Fashion Forward: Doc’s Spontaneous Vintage Hairdo

First, let me not be rude and wish you all a very Happy Holidays! I hope you all are able to enjoy this lovely season, day by day, with joy as it’s the time of the year that we spend with our families.

Lately, I’ve caught on to a terrible trend developing where people are drifting further away from their families, spending more of their holiday’s on their “solo dolo” tip. For Thanksgiving, I didn’t find too many of my friends with their families this year, and half of my family who would normally be joining me for dinner, had to report to work. Blah! It’s was so off-putting, especially since I had to work, too. I’d like to be with the people I love on the holidays, but whatever. That’s another topic I don’t want to focus on in this blog.

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Earlier this week, I did something rather spontaneous. I got my hair done by someone who isn’t my normal hair dresser. *gasp* I’m pretty loyal when going to a specific person to get my hair done. I’ve gone to the same hair dresser since my elementary years.

But the Monday before Thanksgiving, I woke up upset and started scrolling my Facebook timeline with a mission to find something to uplift my spirits. I can’t remember why I was upset. Obviously it wasn’t that important. Haha.

I had nothing to do for the day; I was absolutely free when I stumbled across a status from a girl I went to high school with. She was asking for a model to help her with a photo shoot for the day.

“What the heck! I might as well.” Thanksgiving was only 3 days away. I thought it was cool to be someone’s model and have my hair done for the holidays. So I replied to her request.

We scheduled a time to meet up at 11 am. She hooked me up by working those talented hands of hers. Then, BOOM! My sexy level turned up by the time it hit 2:30 pm on a Monday afternoon.

Shanae Thomas did my hair in a total of 2 and a half hours! It turned out looking awesome. I had to take some vintage selfies to match my stylish curly bush.

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“Ain’t I cute?!”

Shanea specializes in styling natural hair as she works at natural hair shop Natural Locs Salon, in northwest Baltimore, off of the Baltimore National Pike. She’s been doing hair for a total of nine years, starting in 2006 when her mother no longer could do her hair because of carpal tunnel. Since then, it’s been all about hair; teaching herself how to plait, braid, maintain locs, and furthering her knowledge in hair care by attending cosmetology school.

Shanae’s love for hair has influenced her journey with natural hair.

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For three and a half years, Shanae has been perm free and strutting her fiery red, orange and blonde locs with tremendous pride. She hopes to spread her talents along to others so they may transform their natural manes into something that flares with personality, screams out distinction, and transform into ways they could’ve never imagine.

For Shanae to take on doing my hair without knowing the true amount of thickness on top of this head, I say “AMEN” to her because it’s one hell of a task! Ask anyone who has touched my head. It’s thicker than the corn fields in 1984 horror film “Children of the Corn.” But I’ve been told it’s a playground for a hair stylist. It definitely is not for me.

Shanae explained to me her reasoning for posting her status that Monday morning. She’s focused on building her hair portfolio and needed a model. She’s currently building a portfolio to show off what she can do, and to give her that edge she needs to qualify for hair competitions across the nation, one being the 23rd Annual Official Golden Scissor Awards, home for where the 2014 BOBBI BOSS America’s Next Top Stylist will be announced. The awards will be held this December 7th at the Washington Convention Center in DC.

Shanea added me as one of her hair clients in her renowned hair portfolio. I’m absolutely honored after seeing her extensive lists of clientele on her Instagram page (ShaysNaturalStyles).

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My experience visiting another hair stylist was rewarding. My phone is full of lots of new selfies and I have a protective style that’ll last me awhile. I am pleased! I guess, I should add and scratch off being someone’s hair model on my bucket list, too. What do you think?

Do you like how my hair turned out for the Thanksgiving Holiday? Leave your comments below. Would you like to schedule an appointment, send all inquires to shanae623@gmail.com.

Did you check out my recap of the Boulevard of Chic’s fashion show? Read Lights, Camera, Fashion! Recap of Boulevard of Chic Fashion Show on Doc’s Castle Media.

Doc's Vintage Hair Collage

 

*All photography, except for my selfies, were taken by George Robinson of GRobinsonPhotography*