My exclusive interview with @iLLAwtf now available on HYPE MAG

iLLAJ.DopeVol.2.500
He went from Illaj to iLLA and just like his name his music has developed, evolved one might say. “Cranberry Vodka” was just a glimpse of what is inside this artist and with this latest project which is the follow up to ‘Dope’ Vol. 1 it’s a little different this time around. You may have caught him on the hundreds of mixtapes he was featured on, in The Source Unsigned Hype column or on your local radio station but this next phase of life he says that his focus is of a different energy. The past crept up on him just when he was in negotiation with EMI for a possible distribution deal. Currently locked up in Oregon, iLLA knew his fate and went hard working on music with those closest around him to make sure that his fans had something new to listen to while he was away. One guy he teamed up with was Grammy-nominated Baby Paul aka BPZY.  We have seen his single “Team Friendship” featuring Kendrick Lamar spread like wildfire on the net since it dropped last week. There is talks of an EP coming towards the end of summer beginning of fall from Team iLLA but I caught up with him via email to ask him a couple questions regarding his latest work and circumstances. Let’s see just what he had to say…
 
How did this music come about on Everything Gucci and how did the name/title come about?
 
iLLA: Well the music came about from about a year span of recording a bunch of new music. I worked with several different producers getting different sounds and ideas together. I was sending BPZY tracks the whole time so he could ‘capture the moment in real time. I had been going to pre-trial for the past 2.5 years so I had a lot of emotions and feelings about the matter that was coming out in my music. It’s hard to explain really but a lot of frustrations and anger towards the situation I had gotten myself involved in ya know. But the title arose out of the positive things that came in my darkest hour. Despite all the BS I was going through legally, and still going through I guess, I still had great people around me that encouraging me to keep going. They heard the growth in my music and mental, encouraged me to keep recording and to not let this situation get the best of me. A simple stumbling block thats gonna show my character if anything. So at the end of selecting the music this song came about that Bpzy and co-producer BeatFanatik produced called ‘Everything Gucci.‘ It’s a showboat party song, but in the grander scheme of things that’s really how I’m feelin. Yes, Gucci is a clothing brand, but around my way we like “it’s gucci” like everything is good ya know? So that’s what I’m on, doin my time, dealt with my case, my son is doing great, my team feels better and stronger than ever, my people are behind me, so I’m feeling good. I’m see all yall soon, very soon, so I ain’t trippin, we gucci, but I do appreciate the love and support 100%!
 
You released Team Friendship featuring Kendrick Lamar that seems to be doing well virally, what was the motivation behind it and how much was from personal experience?
 
iLLA:  Yeah, first off I wanna say that was such a random pick up. I jacked the hook, but once I heard it I was like yeah! That’s really how I’m feelin, need this in the catalogue even if it will only be a mixtape track. Personal experience lol… shit all of it was from personal experience! Like I said the pre-trial was a bitch. All the cats/friends that was their in the limelight when shit was goin well seemed to fade like mist you feel me. Shit i thought I was trippin like damn… seemed like you a good friend just a week ago. But shit, thats how the game go. Everybody wanna be part of the upswing, like I know that nigga, and we been down forever. Then when reality hits and the times get tough ain’t nobody there to really help a nigga through. Thank God for family and REAL friends ya know. That fake shit can miss me 1000 times! Time tells all and I’m def gonna remember who was there and who wasn’t, I’m thankful for the experience though, cause you never really know until the shit happens to you.
 
What is your favorite part of working with Baby Paul and how long have you worked with him?
 
iLLA:  Man Baby Paul (aka BPZY) is my NIGGA! I know he doesn’t like that word for various reasons, but I mean that in the best way. I’ve been working with him off and on for shit… like 5 years or so. We originally met in his studio in NY. I was out there with my old management bangin out some shows and livin large… . We connected in the studio, this freakin guy had platinum and gold plaques just chillin like an old pic of the fam or somethin lol. I was like holy shit… what did I just step into lol. But he sucha cool easy going dude you would never even expect it. Anyway, we connected immediately and just stayed up on each other ever since working closer and closer as the years went on. The past couple of years have been magic though. He’s been feeding me STUPID HOT beats and making my job very easy. Once I hit this case though is when his true colors came out. It was a f’d up time in my life and out of all the people who proclaimed to be so down for me and what I was doing Bpzy shined like the North Star for me. It really helped guide and mold my process during this time and help me see through the thick fog that was surrounding me. Needless to say a true blessing to have this man in my life, NO HOMO lol. Anyway good dude, stand up dude, and my favorite part of working with Bpzy is his enthusiasm and perseverance. Nothing like it in the world as far as I can tell.

illa-BP

 

BLAST OFF from PLANET DEFJAM

defjam missy
or should I say the new DEFJAM?
Last night I stopped by the launch party of the new site of one of hip hop’s favorite labels.
From QuestLove to Clinton Sparks the tables stayed lit all night..
SALUTE THE DJS
and the vibe was chill even though it was over 100 degrees outside.
Sponsored by REMY which I saw most drinking out of branded foam cups brought to you by Hiphop Friends and there were some wooden Def Jam iphone cases floating around. I guess nothing for the Galaxy users.. lol
Needless to say….it was great to see old faces, meet some new faces and make new business connects. Even though most I met thought I worked for DefJam I let em know it was all about FemaleFlow! I always find the “vibe” of an event interesting and what makes an event work or not work. Most have no idea what it takes to make an event successful and that goes beyond just a “party”. There is number behind everything. But no matter how good or bad, I always choose to have fun and introduce myself to at least 3 people before I leave.
 ‪#‎stackorstarve‬ ‪#‎femaleflow‬

Beach is better…

beachshort
Beach life…
to me is the best life.
Sand, Sun & Surf
Turquoise jewelry matching the smell of coconut from the tanning lotion.
Walking and listening the creation of God as it ebb & flows over the sand grains mixed with shells.
The ocean is deep.
Full of untold and lost stories.
Full of hidden treasure and lies.
“I see elephant tusks on board of a sailing lady docked on the Ivory Coast. My city is in roar, winding down the road… because this water drowned my family, this water makes my blood, this water tells my story, this water knows it all. Go ahead and spill some champagne in the water, go ahead and watch the sun blaze on the waves of the OCEANS.”
Frank Ocean

Interview with Superbowl Champ Verron Haynes

verron
Straight out of Georgia this retired Superbowl XL winner is a very busy guy serving as a international commentator and tv personality he still finds time to keep it real. Verron Haynes is an active pillar in the community, involved father, philanthropist to his native country of Trinidad as well as breast cancer survivors and there looks to be no stopping this former running back. He was 5th round pick by the Steelers in 2002 NFL Draft and even graced the cover of Pittsburgh Magazine as 2007’s “Most Beautiful People” issue. For you sports heads here is a couple stats before I jump into these questions… from 2002 to 2006, Haynes gained 660 yards on 159 carries (4.2 average per carry) & 3 touchdowns. He also recorded 39 receptions for 322 yards (8.3 average per reception) and two touchdowns. Now let’s see what keeps Mr. Haynes so busy with life after football!
If your parents were to describe you in a couple words/adjectives what do you think they would say?
  Ever since I was a child, my Mother has called me the energizer bunny, always staying busy, positive and excited.
Who was your biggest influence throughout the process of becoming a professional athlete?
  My Father. Uric “Buggy” Haynes who was a professional athlete and served as a Captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Soccer team. Aside from inheriting his athletic ability and genetics, I was able to experience first-hand what it takes to become a professional athlete. My Father taught me to always rise early before your opponent and remain hard-working and determined.
Now I personally appreciate a man that knows how to rock a suit as well as sweatsuit and you seem to do it very well, what is your favorite out of the two?
 Times have changed and people have become very casual over the years. As a kid, I had the perception that men who wore suits were successful and out in the world getting business done. A well tailored suit has the ability to evoke the feeling of eagerness to strive and make moves.
Additionally, it is a great sense of confidence to feel well put together.
for more of my interview with Mr. Haynes go to HYPE MAG

REPOST: 11-11-12 Her name was Sandy

sandy2012
So as you all can see there has been limited posts on here…
I had no electricity or internet for a while but I will not complain
as many more have had less. Shot out to my peoples in Coney Island
who lost everything and I am slowly collecting things to give to them.
The time away has given me an opportunity to break away from the regular life
of social networking (even though I still had twitter and IG on my phone, limited) but
with no electricity, no internet and no phone for a few days definitely puts
life into a dark but very eye opening light.
I am so thankful for the little things in life like my daughter, my health and the warmth of a clean shower… come to think of it these are some BIG things.
Above is a photo of Jersey City the night of Sandy before it hit and there was a scary peacefulness in the air. My daughter and I walked the dog that evening and the winds were definitely whipping things up as trees had already started to fall. The park looked almost haunting and it was crazy to see what was lying in the streets, sidewalks and yards as random things took flight. Nature is a beautiful, amazing thing that can be a little intimidating to say the least.
We are but a tiny spot on the planet…
I pray for those who are still going through the after effects from the storm
XOXO

REPOST: A3C Hiphop Festival 2012

a3c

My flight was nice…cool, calm with no screaming babies even though
I missed the first flight due to extreme partying the night before as I had judged the
Radio Killah Showcase in NJ with the homey Apex of T.I.A.  S/O to Nina Foxx who won!

But needless to say I finessed my way onto the next flight after the next since the first one was full but you get the idea… so the first night in ATL I linked with one of my favorite singer/songwriters
JUNE SUMMERS
who was in a writing session with a fellow writer for a Top 10 artist
(won’t mention names until it gets placed)

a3c bAnd as real friends do we shared in some spirits as my granny would call em and the night was a success as they laid reference to the track and we caught up on old times as well as talked a little business in between the  super spirits of Svedka and Redbull…
GREAT FIRST NIGHT IN THE A! a3c cNext day was Registration for A3C and I had to link up with Tom to finally meet face to face after  a month of back and forth emails and phonecalls. The lines were a little long but they kept the folks moving as the vendors set up and everyone got their weekend passes to one of the larger Hiphop Music Festivals in the city of Atlanta.
Masquerade was the host and main hub of the Festival which included The Guitar Center Stage, Jakprints Stage, iHiphop Stage, Creative Loafing Stage and the A3C Style and Merch Tables with a few food carts in between.
The first day we took in some panels, shows and ran into Dj Crazy Ass Bazarro and Dj Wayneski  who rocked in the RedBull truck and they definitely brought their A-game! a3c d

SwurvRadio was there in full effect with camera and cards in hand as we introduced ourselves to those willing to listen and pause for a station id drop or interview…

Later on we went to check out our homey Dj Majestic aka Skenny Kravitz at Cloud IX which was a cool spot on Peters St. with great drinks and welcoming staff.

a3c eNext day I caught up with the ladies on the Lipgloss & Sneakers Panel brought to you by StupidDope which included A’fra Butt of MTV, Adrift Da Belle, Monie Love, Nikkiya, Ayara Pommells, Tiffany Hardin and Dj Tyger Lilly. They discussed the challenges and strategies of women in music as well as took some questions. It was a great conversation about where we are in the current state as well as what we can do to help change and continue the legacy of our music contributions professionally and personally.  a3c fI always love going to ATL and having once lived there I have built some great friendships and found some favorite spots including the Busy Bee Cafe which I shared with a new friend who flew down from NJ. Atlanta, GA doesn’t have the buzz it once had but there are still some movers and shakers who aren’t afraid to have a good time and maybe even make a little money in the process. a3c g

There is SOOOO much more but a post can only hold so much, right?

Well I can’t tell you everything but lets just say SwurvRadio was there, Missy B partied, took pics, exchanged business cards and has major plans for next year!!

a3c h

The list of artists who came through the A3C Festival is endless but to mention a few…
Rich Kidz, Sha Stimuli, Skyzoo, Big Boi, Dutch Rebelle, Illastrate, Wordsmith, Boog Brown, Frenchie, Fred the Godson, Nipsey Hussle, Snow the Product, Trae the Truth, Vado, Killer Mike, Just Blaze, Nappy Roots, Chino XL, Freeway, Raekwon, Rabbit, Gza, Slum Village, Jus Nice, Yelawolf, Tech N9ne, Lyric Jones, Devin the Dude (who killed it), Mikkey Halsted, King Louie, Twista, Odisee, Speakerfoxx, Apollo Brown, Rapsody & Hopsin!!

HIPHOP
UNITED

JUST A THOUGHT…

old laugh

So I saw this photo on FB
and it got me thinking….
How long have these ladies known eachother?
What were they “smoking”?
Do they laugh together everyday?
What has kept them alive and young?
They look happy, what is the driving force behind the smiles?
I can imagine life long lived if you surround yourself with happiness, peace, joy, good friends and I know many say that weed brings people together but if it is tobacco I just don’t see these women living this long. Needless to say, it must be a beautiful thing to be able to smile after it all with a friend knowing that no matter what happens you are ready to embrace it.
XO,
MISSY B

REPOST: ZULU ANNIVERSARY at SOB’s NYC

herc

Best Dressed of the evening was the father himself….
DJ KOOL HERC
zulu1
SUPA TC aka TC IZLAM aka Founder of Hipstep
was running a muck but had time to give me a much needed hug
and then I got a chance to flick it up with
DJ CHELA
after she rocked the tables to open up the
Anniversary Party
of the ZULU NATION

zulu2

She came out in style
and grace
as she brings her international energy

zulu3

…..
then DJ POWER hit
the tables to
present
Iyadonna

zulu4

and had to get ONE MORE
before he left us
headed back WEST
>>HIPSTEP<< zulu5

I had a great night seeing some of my family, friends, aliens & favorite
hiphop acts like the Cold Crush Brothers who did not miss a beat, lyric or dance move
They talked about catching the Cold Crush Ghost… I believed em after that performance.
Melle Mel gave them a spectular show as Hiphops General in his sharp attire…

Night was hosted by the legendary and strong Queen Ms. Roxanne Shante
and giving prizes to the winners of random challenges like
WINDING A CASSETTE TAPE WITH A PENCIL
and see who finishes first

BUT AS USUAL HIPHOP CAME TOGETHER
and I appreciated being able to again be in the building with some
LEGENDS
like Afrikka Baambaataa, DJ Jazzy  Jay, Fearless Four, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Dougie Fresh, Greg Nice, Joe Ski, Little Fame, Coke La Rock, Rahiem, Fantastic 5, Grand Master Dee, Rodney C, Lakim Shabazz, Whoo Kid, Jazzy 5, Cheryl The Pear, Pow Wow, Johnny Wa, Jazzy G, Cutman LG, Dr. Shaka & one of my favorite people
ZULU JEFF

Fashion. Art. Music