Inspiration is found everywhere and differs from artist to artist. For some, staying confined within the walls of a studio helps with focus and the creative process, but for Robert Harris, the process is a bit different. it .

“I didn’t want to share my artwork with anyone,” Harris said on VIMBY. He said his art felt too personal to share with anyone. However, after talking with another artist, he changed his mind and now wants to share what he feels through his art. Harris paints LIVE. Sometimes he’s in a gallery painting with others, and at other times he’s on the sidewalk painting by himself. No matter where he is, he loves painting for the world to see.

New York has returned to it’s rightful place, at the forefront of hip-hop lately. The resurgence, is a much needed one. In the era of hot beats, repetitive hooks, and mumble rap, lyricism tends to get lost in the shuffle. Subject matter still exists, but they are usually pretty basic. I don’t want to sound like a hip-hop purist, and I know that party and “turn up” music has its place in the culture. It just seems like it’s taken over, and due to this some of the best artist and their work gets overlooked. Even in the somewhat absence of New York rap artists, a few “Kings of New York,” have remained relevant in their own right. From Hov, to Cam and even Ma$e, it’s been a real blast from the past. Not to mention Dave East bringing the heat for the new school.

Recently, a pair of kings decided to join forces for an album. Fabolous and Jadakiss, finally got it done after a year and a half of anticipation. The microwave era is responsible for the nullification of the phrase “highly anticipated” when it comes to music. They expect artists to put out new material way more frequently than the generations prior. This puts so much pressure on artists to put out albums, EP’s, and mixtapes sooner than they would like, when they should really let the pot simmer for a bit. Well Jadakiss and Fabolous have had this joint project boiling for quite a while. I know the microwave generation expected it to happen as quick as the Future and Drake collab, but trust, the wait was worth every minute!

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It’s a proven fact that African-Americans experience disproportionate rates of marijuana-related arrests. The recent success of decriminalizing marijuana laws, has led to economic profit. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and it currently enjoys the lowest rate of drug overdoses in Western Europe according to the Washington Post. There are many benefits in the decriminalization of marijuana, such as a boost in the local and national economy. There is less of a strain on taxpayers if marijuana possessors are not jailed, and the industry also creates jobs. Last year, marijuana sales made $6.7 billion according to Bloomberg News.

However, the Washington Post reported that marijuana possession arrests were higher than any other violent crime arrest in 2016. This is where Hope Wiseman comes into the spotlight, she is a advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana and African-American rights. Wiseman will be the youngest African-American dispensary owner in the United States. Her goal is to aid African-Americans affected by the war on drugs through her company Compassionate Herbal Alternative. CHA is a medical cannabis company that includes Mary and Main, a Maryland-based cannabis store.

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Remember twisting and turning a kaleidoscope to see all of the magical designs, shapes, and colors when you were a kid? Imagine recreating those peculiar patterns onto knitwear, cottons and silks, to fit anyone’s sense of style. The Missoni brand is distinctive for its bizarre and colorful designs that have been worn by people of all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes for almost sixty-five years.

An Italian couple named Ottavio and Rosita Missoni started a knitwear shop near Rosita’s village in 1953 with the dreams of making it big in the fashion industry. With the support of Anna Piaggi, fashion editor, and collaborations with French stylist Emmanuelle Khanh they were able to launch the Missoni brand in 1958 in Milan. The Missoni brand is now comparable to some of the world’s leading fashion and design labels like: Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Fendi. The same year the Missoni brand was launched, the couple’s third child, Angela Missoni, was born. Angela, now an adult, is the couple’s youngest child. She just celebrated her twentieth anniversary in September as creative director for Missoni, after coming on board in 1997. The New York Times interviewed Angela in Milan, Italy while celebrating her major milestone.

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Breakout acting roles are crucial. The first appearance on the silver screen sets the tone for an entire career. It’s hard to shake first impressions. O’Shea Jackson Jr. suffers from the same issue that many of his peers face after a seminal breakout role. Recently, he emerged on the Hollywood scene by starring in the critically-acclaimed biopic Straight Outta Compton. O’Shea reenacted his father’s early years growing up in Compton, California and becoming one of the biggest names in the hip-hop and rap industry. O’Shea’s carefully chosen film roles and meticulously measured steps towards fame and fortune have cemented him as one of the most talented and versatile up-and-coming stars in Hollywood.

He was born in the early 90s in Los Angeles. He grew and matured during the height of 90s and early 2000s Rap and Hip-Hop. Both he and his younger brother Kareem or whose stage name is Doughboy currently rap. Jackson goes by the name of OMG (Oh My Goodness). At the young age of 18, Jackson and his brother began touring with Ice Cube after appearing on the “I am the West” album. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly Jackson loved music and performing, “When I was 18, me and my older brother actually started performing with him on stage a lot. We were in Japan and we were in Australia, and I was having people in the audience tell me how my father’s words influenced and pushed them to become — one man became a doctor — lawyers. All these people listened to his words, and it fueled them to live their lives.”

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I was a senior in high school when I discovered the sultry, enchanting and commanding voice of a singer from London. The songwriter, bass, guitar and piano player still holds my attention eight years later. Lianne La Havas is one of the most refreshing 21st century musicians I have encountered, her style of music is jazzy, spunky, and fervent.

Havas’ father is Greek and her mother is Jamaican, her background, life experiences, and skills, heavily influence her music. At a young age, she began singing backup for Paloma Faith, a popular English singer-songwriter and actress, while her father, a jazz musician, taught her to play piano.

Watching guitar lessons on YouTube got the adept artist to learn the guitar on her own when she was eighteen. Since she was raised by her grandparents, the eccentric musician named her guitar “Miss Connie,” after her grandmother. Havas believes in being true to herself, and not conforming to the pressures of society. She speaks about the importance of individuality rather than success in an interview with Coupe De Main:

“True success is getting closer or getting to that pure expression in your music and all of it, how you dress, or how your videos look, or your artwork. All of that is you, so for me if I could do that I would feel successful. But also to be remembered for the right reasons, in my opinion the right reason would be because I was a nice singer and I wrote nice songs, I would like to be remembered by that.”

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Before Nanette Lepore became the fashion mogul she is today, she was a nine-year old girl sewing floral bed sheets together into a gown for her neighbor. Pairing her design with matching face paint and a beaded choker, Lepore persuaded her neighbor to pose in the front yard as she held up a handwritten sign that read:

LEPORE

Even back then she was forward-thinking,  inspired by beauty and excelled at marketing. Today, she’s all that and more.  With a well-known and established brand, a highly revered reputation and a net worth of $16 million, Lepore has made more than a name for herself. But beneath all her fame and fortune is the same girlish ambition that inspired her in the first place: a desire to make beautiful things for beautiful people. Known for bold colors, exquisite prints and a feminine flair, Lepore’s gypsy-like designs are beautifully bohemian.

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His paintings are eerie, and complex in nature, the content seems to haunt your mind. With a semi-abstract style and thick layered paint, it creates rich contrasted hues. Ryan Hewett, a South African painter, breaks the boundaries of human’s distinguished features and rigid outlines. The faces in Hewett’s paintings carry a significant moodiness that is characterized by the large swirls of paint. That complex moodiness has captivated people from all over Europe and South Africa.

The South African artist started painting at the age of twenty two, and has painting for the last twelve years. He started with pencil drawings and has evolved, much like his paintings, into a well-known artist. Quite often his paintings are sold within days of opening. The painter’s work has been displayed in various galleries around London and South Africa. In Arrested Motion, a platform that features different types of artists, Hewett described his elaborate work process:

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Usually a story of triumph and courage is left to the professionals at Disney. One exception is the real-life tale of Marchelle “Tig” Tigner, a black woman who chose to be a survivor instead of a victim of her circumstances. Marchelle is the owner of Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction. She noticed a lack of female representation in the gun community and felt compelled to couple her military background with her passion for women’s self-defense to teach women effective shooting and firearm safety.

After overcoming a sexual assault, Marchelle decided instead of owning a “victim” status she would become a “survivor” and vowed to help one million women be prepared in the face of danger. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Marchelle travels around the country teaching women the fundamentals of firearm safety, shooting and dispelling the myth that women only want pretty and colorful weaponry. 

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Women face many conflicts in the sports. They are often underpaid, underrepresented, overworked and objectified. From the rise of sexual assault allegations to the physical and mental strain from competing, being a woman in sports is a tough job. However, no one makes this tough job seem easy like Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. She made history after becoming the first Muslim-American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a Hijab in 2016. The illustrious member of the United States Fencing Team sparked many conversations about Muslim women in sports and most importantly in America.

US Ibtihaj Muhammad reacts competing against France’s Cecilia Berder in their womens individual sabre qualifying bout as part of the fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on August 8, 2016, at the Carioca Arena 3, in Rio de Janeiro. / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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