Complex Candle Company

ComplexCandleCo_Logov1_Border

[Rewind] So you know that Entrepreneurial Network I blogged about recently? I didn’t mention that the online bakery, Tiny Tastries, owned and operated by my then girlfriend was a business sparked from this idea.

[Fast Forward] My wife and I had a non-traditional pop-wedding on April 1, 2016. It was a practical, small scale  wedding where we made our own decorations and favors. Little did we know our candles would be such a hit! We received compliment after compliment about how “damn good they smelled” and everyone demanded to know where we purchased them. I knew right then and there what our next endeavor would be! Our second brainchild, The Complex Candle Company, was born.

Yeshi_Recep-82.jpg

Check out our Etsy page (in a few days, it’s currently under construction!) and see what all the rage is about! We bet you fall in love with our all natural soy wax candles, made in small batches to ensure quality. Choose from our hand selected fragrances in our 4 and 8 ounce size options. We also offer wholesale pricing including exclusive labeling options.

We hope our Complex Candle Company opens doors and extends opportunities to partner with other local entrepreneurs as did Tiny Tastries.

Checkout our most recent write up on

APW (A Practical Wedding) here!

Advertisements

You Will Have Sadder Days

Check out Sad Pitt’s Sadder Day Tee’s & Hats!

I can’t even afford a haircut and that shit drives me crazy. Its 2016 and i’m miserable. Why? Because i’m still not succumbing to my very own desires. I let my fears and insecurities scare me into difficult-to-exit situations. I let my addiction to escapism suffocate me to the point where I can’t afford a haircut and see an ugly person in the mirror. I’m not content and i’m not where I want to be. Not financially, physically or emotionally. And it’s all relative. I won’t live like this for life. I wonder what straw will be the last.

[written 5/30/16]
And this is just a reminder to myself. I wrote this 2 weeks ago and I can almost laugh at it now. It was a real, true and honest moment of being down and out. It may explain why i’ve been feeling SO anxious lately, in a good way. I’ve been super motivated and reclusive, reading and writing on a consistent basis. I’ve been busy making my vision of building a brand a reality. I’m trying to unplug from the dead end social media outlet and try different ways of applying my creative genius. So here’s your reminder Yeshi. You will have down days, but don’t give up!

The Entrepreneurial Network (of Like Minds)

cmplx

So, I have this vision of creating a directory of entrepreneurs. That simple.

Everybody has needs, everybody has skills. Why not be the connection? I have a shit ton of talented friends. Some have work experience only, some have advanced degrees; others, like myself, have all that plus a mind full of ideas! Together we make up an enterprise. It doesn’t make sense that we are all under paid, under appreciated, and most of all under developed because of the lack of opportunity.

John Henrik Clarke first sparked this idea. He says Black people should be more self sufficient and provide what we need for each other. Start simple, we all need socks and drawers. Then go on from there.

Everyone has a respective skill set; just need somewhere to apply it. This seems so simple, but it must not be because i’m not familiar with anything of the sort. I could just be overlooking the fact that every business started as an entrepreneurial endeavor among friends. One example I can think of is a record label. You have a team of folks who all have a role in the end result. You have the engineers, the producers, the artists, the graphic designer, etc…

I want to create this network but I need more like minds. Who will be our target audience? What separates us from those that already exist in our place?

This idea solidified when I was a member of a message board forum “SGGDC” which stood for “Strictly Go-Go DC.” The site was built and maintained by members and hundreds of familiar people would visit this site on a daily basis; it was our twitter before twitter. In fact, twitter is what sent SGG packing.

The members slowly but surely left the board for their timeline. We discussed everything from “smash or pass” to deep philosophical debates about The New World Order. Music careers were supported and launched from this community forum.

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’

 

Big City, Small Dreams?

dc

When you’re from a small town, you dream big. When you’re from a big town, you dream small. Why? Because in a small city you know there’s more to be achieved. In a big city, everything has been done already. So it seems.

Just a thought. It all depends on who you ask. I could have it all backwards. “Life is all a matter of perspective.”

The leading quote is inspired by a group of individual creatives I look up to. They all currently reside in New York City by way of: Flint, Moncks Corner, Atlanta, Miami and Oklahoma City. As a child, I wanted nothing more to move to New York. My aunt lived up there and every time I went, for more reasons that NYC being NYC, it felt like I was in a movie.

Now what if my quote were true? Because clearly, some individuals I speak of defied those assumptions. But how? (By moving to a big town duhhh!) Why? (because of your quote, dummy!)

I don’t know if it’s because i’m on a high from seeing two of my absolute favorite acts live this week or if i’m just really, sincerely at the end of my working-for-other-people rope.

It gets harder and harder every single day to get up, drive over an hour to work, sit in an office full of fucktard reject misfits (myself included?), do a damn good job at MY JOB, do a damn good job at OTHER PEOPLE’S JOB, twirl my pen, make tea… just to clock watch and sit in another hour of traffic. (At least I can listen to my got damned podcasts in peace in my vehicle.)

I scroll through social media outlets and realize how much of a culture it’s become. If you don’t have anything of substance to promote or sell … then you’re just on there reaching. You’re being fake outraged. You’re perpetuating a fraudulent lifestyle that has you looking ridiculous outside of your circle of followers.

(I wonder if anything I typed up there would get me fired?) (I low-key want that to happen because life begins at the end of your comfort zone). (The only reason i’ve been overworked and under appreciated these past 6 years is because i’ve been afraid to take any worthy risks). (Plus that means somebody is actually reading my shit). (I real live need  my job though because i’m not about that indigent life; I have a wife and we have a child to raise). (Even though all of this is grammatically incorrect, I wonder if that question mark belongs outside of the parenthesis like this)? I digress.

ssdc

I come from Silver Spring, MD. Where I come from has both the Big Town, Little Town feel. D.C. is a stones throw away. Because the seat of government is here though, our whole area reeks of corruption. The dreams here are cut short by seeing politics play out, firsthand. The filthy rich and powerful ride the Metro alongside the desolate and impoverished. The way D.C. is being gentrified and “cleaned up” is astonishing. I have mixed feelings about gentrification. I’ll touch on that some other time.

And then all of this begs the question…. What happens to a dream deffered?

mlkdv

(Again, please don’t fire me. I need to earn your money to fund my dreams so I don’t end up selling ass and crack down by the Shrimp Boat.)

The Freestyle Approach

It’s a known fact that both Mr. Shawn and D’Wayne Carter don’t write their music. They kind of freestyle and do a copy & paste, patchwork kind of composition. I’m thinking about adopting this approach to blogging.

[Real Quick] I want to acknowledge how i’ve evolved and am okay with being called a blogger. Meh, it is what it is. I was once totally against it though. It held certain connotations that i’ve since gotten over. I touch on that in my Schoolboy Q post. Now back to balling.

So I get caught up on being a “perfectionist” and making sure things come out and are perceived correctly. I start to concern myself with grammar and sentence structure. OH MY GAWD. That’s tiresome and it’s damaging to the type of creativity I posses. As much as I love school, reading and writing essays (I sincerely and genuinely do – I graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors in undergrad and a 4.0 in my Master’s program) I absolutely hate rules, regulations and structure. I can follow them. But I don’t want to. This has stopped me from doing a number of things. Like securing scholarships that I certainly could have. I’ve always been told that I was a good writer, but because I was to be judged by others, who may not like me and my radicalism, I was always like “fuck it.”

So, like my last post “Constant Compromise in the Age of Black Creativity,” or something like that, I decided to – at the very moment I have an idea i’d like to blog about – BLOG ABOUT IT. I said to myself “stop letting it simmer and stop forgetting how you felt right in the moment, the very motivation for the post to begin with.”

Ideas deferred fester up like a sore and run. I’m not letting that happen anymore.

Word to my favorite Bus Boy & Poet.

Constant Compromise in the Golden Age of Black Creativity

Image result for you can get with this or you can get with that

Th.Ur.Di. is a testament to black youth having to constantly compromise. This is a result of being a victim of modern-day colonization. The inspiration for this came from firing up the N.W.A.P. podcast entitled “Was February the Best Black History Month Ever?”

Did or did they not change their name to Nerds With a Podcast as opposed to Negroes With a Podcast? If they did, I would both be understanding and both bothered. This entire post begs the question:

“Who/what/when/why/how does the phenomenon happen where a group of podcasters would change their identity from Negroes to Nerds?

Like, why is the Weeknd making so much popular mainstream music as opposed to all the molly popping music that I loved him for?

Image result for the weeknd

I feel like the identity of Negro is a thorn that belongs in “they” side. Nerds would be the compromise. And being a “black nerd” is a dilemma in itself. Again begging the question –but why?

This particular episode goes on to say how we are A) currently living in the golden era for black creatives… B) How black media is born of trauma…C) we’ve never been able to be ourselves or tell our own stories until now because D) technology has lowered the bar and “everybody is just running over that shit now.”

I don’t feel like i’m extroverted enough to  become as successful as I could be. I also don’t feel like i’ll kiss enough ass to excel in the capacity I envision. This also stems from not having access to capital for a myriad of reasons.

The Shark Daymond John appeared on the Breakfast Club this morning to promote his book “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.”  I’m going to purchase and read this book because I feel like there are some gems in there. Daymond didn’t compromise. I wan’t to be inspired by his struggles.

Check out their podcast and comment below, let’s dialogue. Let’s build!

Th.Ur.Di.’s Take on T.L.O.P. – Masterpiece, or Nah?

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.01.01 PM

I feel like Pablo when I’m workin’ on my shoes
I feel like Pablo when I see me on the news
I feel like Pablo when I’m workin’ on my house
Tell ’em party’s in here, we don’t need to go out

Kanye is the G.O.A.T. as far is Hip-Hop production is concerned – debate yourself. I’m not here to review this album or to stan/cape for Ye (ok i’m lying) … he’s my OG! What i’m going to do is tell you my favorite & least favorite tracks on The Life Of Pablo, in order. Here is what I like and what I don’t care too much for. Here’s nothing:

TLOP.png

***** TOP 5 ***** 

30 Hours

This is my favorite track because Ye is spitting. Not only is he spitting, but he’s intertwining humor, satire and real life  into a witty monologue. “I wake up, all veggies no eggs / I hit the gym, all chest no legs.” Shit like that. I’m not extremely proud of this, but Nelly was by far my favorite rapper going into high school. Like, I went to his concert with my then girlfriend and everything. So the “Andele andele, E.I. E.I., uh oh” and “it’s getting hot in here, that’s all that I know” siced me (made me extremely excited). The bars about the 3 star hotel, Double Tree, Not the Aria, Waffle House, ‘don’t start with me’. Dope. “You was the best of all time at the time though.” Shit like that. I love how Ye spit this “I remember rapping for Jay and Cam, young producer just tryna get his flows off / I remember being nervous to do Victoria Secret til I pictured everybody with their clothes off.” I like how wordy the second part of that bar is, it flows. “.. i’m driving with no winter tires in December, Skirt, skirt, skirt like a  private school for women.” Bars like that. When he uttered “help me out 3 stacks” .. and 3 stacks helped him out .. i’ve never heard anything greater. I love how Ye is freestyle flowing at the end, I ALWAYS freestyle at the end of Ye tracks. Always. So I felt a connection. That’s why he’s my OG. He’s confident enough to show the process. And who doesn’t understand that 30 Hours is a play on 30 Showers? Gotta love Ye!

Highlights

This is my second favorite track because Kanye is extremely brash, rude and overly confident. I love that shit. “I bet you me and Ray J would be friends / If we ain’t love the same bitch.” Overall I just like the fun, upbeat cocky flow. “I’m a shift the paradigm, I’m a turn up every time.” Ye uses his celebrity to advance himself, as he should, and to challenge corporate structures. Whoever thinks Ye has sold out is tripping. No sell out is going to say “advice for all my niggas, impregnate Bridgette / so when she have a baby, she gon’ make another nigga.” There are far too many quotables on this record. The Dream (I typed the Game originally, LOL) is blessing this track with his vocals. “I need every bad bitch up in Equinox  / I wanna know if you’re a freak or not.” Apparently, Bob Saget fucks with Highlights too.

bob

Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2

I fucks with this track because the production is Trap Rooted. It changes the direction of T.L.O.P. I love how aggressively Ye sings here. This is my introduction to the new dude Desiigner; I was sure he was Future until I saw the “Panda” record all over my timeline. I have no idea what Desiingner is saying, but sonically, it sounds good. Definitely a banger.

Famous

I’m not sure how this is number 4 because I really, really like this song. It’s a testament to how good T.L.O.P. is (again, debate your mother nigga). Honestly, FSMH2 & Famous could be interchanged. I think the way  Ye opens up FSMH2 gave it a 1 up. However, the little Sister Nancy “Bam Bam” sample/remix catapults Famous up there too. Rihanna sounds so damn good on Famous. Too got damn bad ANTI bored the fucking shit out of me. I hope it grows on me, but anyways. Can’t deny the bravado behind the Taylor Swift sass (FDB). I’m team Yeezy. “I be Puerto Rican Day parade floating / The benz Marina Del Rey Coasting.” I can’t get enough of his luxury rap. Shouts to Nina Simone, too.

Ultra Light Beams

Now don’t get me wrong… I 100% understand how GREAT Ultra Light Beam is. It’s like Kid Fury said, probably the best song on the album. I wouldn’t argue. I can’t get enough of the little girl… DAS IT! Chance KILLS it. Kelly Price KILLS it. The Dream KILLS it. Kirk Franklin KILLS it. I’m not a Christian and that’s probably why I’m not drooling over this track, it’s really churchy. But I enjoy every bit of it and I fucking FEEL when that choir (or whatever) sings in unison. It MOVES me. The Dream has one of my favorite singing voices; him and Jeremih can sing virtually anything and i’ll get my life.

***** 2nd Tier*****

FML

Unlike most of my contemporaries, I like the Weeknd. Lol. He is very much singing like, well, The Weeknd and I must say I enjoy it over Mr. West’s production. My favorite part of this song, much like Famous, is when the musical sequence (trying to sound like I know what i’m talking about here) changes. The sample used this time is Section 25’s “Hit.” I have no idea who those folks are and this is what I love most about classic hip-hop producers; their ability to take something old and make it brand new. “See before I let you go, one last thing I need to let you know / you ain’t never seen nothing crazier than, this nigga when he off his lexapro.” This may come off as facetious, but I think otherwise.“I’ma have the last laugh in-the-end (Indian) / cuz i’m from a tribe called Check-A-Hoe.” This song is Ye showing his vulnerability, “revealing layers of his soul.” This was originally in my top 5, and honestly probably should be in place of FSMH2. But 9/10 i’ll play FSHM2 before I play FML even though FML is the better song, overall.

Father Stretch My Hands 1

Kanye is a fucking fool. Models, bleached assholes. Like forreal?! I understand how this can be off putting to some, but this exemplifies what I adore about Ye. He is an artist, period. Don’t censor him. Also, i’m a big believer of if you believe it, if you think it, if you conceive it … it can’t be “wrong”. When genius’, indigos, deep thinkers, etc… say things like “We are Gods” – what we mean is we have the ability to think AND create. That’s Godly. We don’t expect you to get it. Carry on.

Real Friends

To me, this is a continuation of Welcome To Heartbreak (808’s) where Ye is being introspective, reflecting on being absent from peoples lives who matter to him. It’s about tarnished friend/relation-ships. I can relate; I feel like a deadbeat cousin sometimes too. And a deadbeat friend. Hearing these sentiments help me cope with being an introvert. An introvert who yearns to create, to shift paradigms and to simply be FREE. I didn’t like Ty Dolla $ign for a long time. I now appreciate the texture he offers on tracks like “Real Friends.” He kind of has a reggae flow when he sings, I like it. This song is refreshing, a polar opposite to the other side of Kanye I love. Do you see his Dilemma? I do.

No More Parties in L.A.

I opened up the post with my favorite line from this entire project. Is it THEE best line? Nah. But it pretty much sums up Kanye’s underlying existence. It’s so good and so timely. Kanye is always current, never wasting words! Fuck! Who hasn’t watched Narcos? Who wasn’t rooting for Pablo?!?! Who is willing to deny Kanye is a creative Genius, to the likes of a Pablo Picasso? I think the title (No More Parties) is another way of saying “I don’t seek your validation anymore Hollywood, i’m creating the standard over here, you might want to come fuck with me.” It’s Ye making the industry compromise and respect his genius. If they don’t fall in line, it’s “back to our regularly scheduled programming, of weak content and slow jamming.” 

*****Last***** 

Feedback

The beat behind Feedback is kind of corny. “I  can’t let these people play me /Name one genius that aint crazy!” is the best part of this song. This sounds like it was a Yeezus reject. It’s catchy. But corny. “Hands up, we just doing what the cop taught us.” Yeezy being timely again. “I be saying what I feel at the wrong time.” Facts. “Fashion show in Gotham, I need another costume / PETA mad cuz I made a jacket out of possum / Awesome, Steve Jobs mixed with Steve Austin / Rich slave in the store picking cotton.” This has to be a Yeezus throw away. He should have put it on there instead. Kanye just flossing on this song, defending himself against the negative feedback he receives. He said it himself “I’m the ghetto Oprah” and gives out proverbial furs, jets and big booty bitches to “audience members.”

Waves

“Step up in this bitch like, i’m the one your bitch like.” That’s just the wave. I don’t really care too much for this song, to be honest. Chris Brown collabs here, nothing to write home about. I wonder if when Ye finished this he liked it so much we wanted to change the album name to Waves. I’m glad he didn’t, if that was the motivation. This song is just ok. I wanted the album’s title to remain Swish! And this cover art would have been dope. HOWEVER. After rocking with T.L.O.P. it’s almost a masterpiece (stan mode fully activated).

Wolves

This joint is very Michael Jackson-esque. Must I say, it is so very nice to hear Miss Frank Ocean!!! Damn I miss her voice!! Frank, COME THROUGH! This is more like a chant as opposed to a song, and that’s one reason it’s so low on the list. It’s dope though. For sure. I thought the whole Wolves concept was something him and Drake would create from. Did he switch it up and use Frank? Or is he throwing us for a loop, hoping we’ll forget about the Drake shit and just hit us with it. I feel like this has some kind of biblical frame of reference i’m unaware of. “Cover Nori, in lambs woolSurrounded by, these fucking wolves.” Am I right?

Fade

I think I think too much too. I wrote a rap “I think I think too much and I feel too little / That’s why I roll these leaves with the trees in the middle.” So immediately, I felt a connection with this song. I love how the “rock the boat” flow is used here “i’m gon work the middle / til it hurt a little.” Owww! I love how this songs feels. It’s bouncy, its like an 80’s feel. I think, I was all of 1 thru 3 years of age in the 80’s, fuck do I know lol. I just know it’s from a different era where another genre of music was considered popular. This was in the last category, but it got moved up to 2nd tier. I realized I just hadn’t listed to this track as to why I didn’t care too much about it. It’s more musical than lyrical. It’s nice. Shout out Post Malone!

postye

*****Least***** 

Freestyle 4

I like the effects Kanye puts on his voice here, he is a master at manipulating sound  and using his own actual voice accompanied by auto-tune as an instrument. I actually woke up and found myself reciting the lyrics and playing this first in the morning. I think this is Ye showing he can make the kind of music that’s on the radio, easily. This freestyle is funny, vulgar, flagrant. “What if we fucked at this vogue party? Would we be the life of the whole party?” Uh..

I Love kanye

Like. Whatever. I’m not even sure exactly what the title of this is (maybe I should download Tidal lol). The Old Kanye? I Love Kanye? It’s an acapella fresstyle  where Kanye is kind of poking fun at himself. Up and coming producers have taken his vocals and laid their beats behind them. The one I heard from Key Wane? Wasn’t very impressive. By the way, if Kanye releases TLOP in the hard copy  format- I’M COPING IT. For the record.

Silver Surfer Intermission

This is just an intermission, so it’s nothing to write home about. We are well aware of the “beef” between Wiz and Ye prior to this dropping. I’m sure this was just used to clear the air, to squash all beefs and to show the comradery among rap stars. Max B didn’t say anything quotable or too “wavy” so this intermission is just meh. Again, it’s a timely milestone marker for us 10 years down the line.

Low Lights

This song is like the Pep before the Ultra Light Beam rally. It’s meh. It’s another church inspired spoken word segment. It fits well into the project, but I could live without it personally.  The fact that highlights follows this track is funny to me. It’s like Ye is intentionally putting tracks in this order, pairing (using my concept) dilemmas. The raunchy, brash records next to the thought provoking, classic joints. This interlude could accompany Jesus walks, in the sense of just because i’m not “your” version of Christian, doesn’t mean i’m any less Christian than you.

Facts

Now I don’t think this song is to be taken seriously. It’s a throw away track and here simply to antagonize Nike execs. Ye is just being Ye, being controversial while simultaneously sticking his middle finger up at these corrupt ass corporations. I honestly could have done without ever hearing this song. Part of me wishes he left it off the album, but it’s timely. In 10 years we’ll be able to remember exactly what the environment was to influence such a song. Just like the Freestyle 4, Ye is showing he can make any kind of rap music. His content is like an Olympic Swimming pool. It’s luxurious, has several of it’s own lanes, it’s shallow, it’s deep – and regardless if it’s used for exercise or recreation, it’s undeniable. It’s recognizable. It’s all inclusive.

You did it again Mr. West. Another 1.

Thank You.

 

Meet Me @ The Crossroads

 

c/o @Raheem_Devaughn’s Twitter

Th.Ur.Di. explores current events from the Contemporary Black Young Culture’s perspective.

Let’s face it, black culture is under attack. It’s up to us to reverse the divide and conquer among us. We must put our differences aside and holistically repair and recapture our true essence. This must be done while not compromising what makes us, us. We yearn to create a cultivating, just environment allowing us to develop into full humans with healthy emotions and expressions. These expressions encompass a large spectrum of lifestyles. “Uncommon Sense,” “Ratchet Righteousness,” “Black Twitter,” “Black Lives Matter” and the like were ubiquitous terms in 2015; Th.Ur.Di. is here to capture the underlying spirit.

We are all products of our varying environments, connecting through the 5 elements of Hip-Hop and Criminal Injustice. Our art exhibits an unspoken bravado and comfort zone where we fully express our plight, artistic abilities and complex lifestyles. This is all accomplished while navigating through a modern-day colony. Hip-Hop is one of the few conceivable economies where we have opportunities to  create and control, but we have to take back ownership! Even if it means war!

The Th.Ur.Di. spirit contains the contribution of martyrs as well as the ink of scholars; this is our battlefield.
Th.Ur.Di. delivers contemporary perspective from the Crossroads of Urban/Black Culture. Discussions are placed within their proper historical context for accurate analysis. Also featured on Th.Ur.Di. will be responsible critiques of Hip-Hop and other genres of Black Art. Artists will be held accountable for their creations, products and services offered for consumption. Projects will receive thorough and honest review of content.

Why does Th.Ur.Di.’s opinion matter? Because the contributors are actual stakeholders of the culture. Its up to us coming of age in Hip-Hop to repair the commercial damage and move it forward.

Crossroads: Sexuality, Demographic, Nationality, Education Level, Single Parents, Married Couples, Religion, Spirituality, etc…

Lets connect with actual artists, entrepreneurs, creatives, producers, bloggers, activist, etc… To provide expressions from the entire spectrum of Contemporary Black Culture. I want to capture this spirit locally, nationally and internationally. I want to capture this from the middle class, the elite and most definitely those residing in the inner-city.

I’m going to need your help, this is the foundation. Let’s build upon it.

Behind #BlackGirlMagic!

feb-cover-gif-240_0

Photo Credit: Dennis Leupold

Th.Ur.Di. celebrates this trio of magical misses; Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, Teyonah Parris and Yara Shahidi. These young ladies are certainly soldiers in the war between contemporary black culture and traditional mainstream customs. Be sure to keep an eye and ear our for these ladies who are destined to become household names.

Johnetta Elzie, better known by her infamous twitter handle @Netaaaaaaaa (that’s 8 if you’re counting!) exhibits Black Girl Magic by being on the front lines of social activism in Ferguson. Teyonah Parris, the face of Spike Lee’s Chi-raq, spews her Black Girl Magic as an accomplished actress. She’s most recognized for her role in the popular AMC drama, Mad Men. Yara Shahidi, who you may not recognize as the cousin of legendary Hip-Hop artist Nas, is also a stunning actress. Yara’s Black Girl Magic contributes to the success of ABC’s hit sitcom Blackish.

Also included in this special Black History Month issue of Essence Magazine are emerging activists and looming stars: Bree Newsome, Jessica Byrd, Zendaya and Aja Naomi King, among others. Who isn’t necessarily mentioned, though deserves just as much of a spotlight, is the journalist who captured this story.


Bené Viera

I was introduced to Bené Viera as I learned of the Black Girl Magic cover story. Her success is an inspiration; it may very well be why i’m writing at this very moment in time and space. During my period of obsession, I became fascinated with the back story. Interviews serve as a source of inspiration, part of why podcasting will be vital element of Th.Ur.Di. We need constant inspiration and motivation from our peers and role models. Especially from those tales of triumph. Bené agrees.

On her Facebook page, she posted her humbling experience in landing her very first cover story. The icing on the cake was her having no idea this would be the outcome of a simple invite to a photo shoot. Bené had recently been laid off from “yet another job” and figured she had nothing to lose, being freshly unemployed. She had the time, so why the heck not.

The two-day shoot turned out to be for the “Shondaland” piece where Bené had the opportunity to observe and interview multiple actors and actresses. At one point, Shonda peeped her jotting down notes and, from one writer to another asked “what you doing;” they shared a chuckle. This was an acknowledgement of comradery between writers among all the “glam in the room.” It’s very well known that being a writer is among the most non glamorous aspects of entertainment. Bené expresses how at the time of receiving this assignment, she had declared herself “done” with the industry. She pushed herself to take advantage of this opportunity and praise Jah for that!

She wrote this Facebook post for women like me. Those who teeter on giving up on our passions and dreams, accepting the mundane 9 to 5 lifestyle. She encourages us to “keep dream chasing.” So that’s what’s happening here. I’m doing the work!

I agree with Yara verbatim…”being a part of this reemergence of a movement both pro-diversity and pro-woman is the best part of being a Black girl.”

Know What’s Necessary

I used to want to know it all. Now.. I just want to know what is necessary. Know-it-alls end up under a lot of pressure. Pressure means stress. My ultimate goal is to live stress free. The real kind. Not the pretend, “talk about what I hate all day long” stress free. But the, “why are we even discussing this..?” stress free.

I go back and forth everyday with “what I want to be, what I want to do” .. it’s all relative but i’m learning a lot about myself. Like, maybe I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Questioning every thing until I realize “nothing really matters.” Do what makes you genuinely smile.

Allison Seymour is a news anchor for Fox 5 here in D.C. and the other day during a broadcast she said something along the lines of “my dream is to have a paycheck every 2 weeks..” I feel you sister. By any (safe and ethical) means. Safe and ethical doesn’t always mean legal. But that’s another story i’ll get into on Th.Ur.Di., Blog.

I’m learning that, I am a hustler. That’s the mentality I have. And not a shady hustler, but an honest hustler. That means doing what’s necessary to get shit done, without stepping on any undeserving toes. I chose my words wisely.

I like to be alone. Or with my fiancee. Doing shit that “niggas” do. Smoking trees. Listening to loud music. Counting cash. Going shopping. I have to stop fighting these urges to “do better” and do what I want. I only have this 1 life to live!

Most things are about aesthetics to me. Dress it up and make it real for me baby.