Chicago has been synonymous with gun violence for a very long time. The stories you hear about the Windy City have always been told by outsiders, though. You know, the people who’ve never hung out at the 31st street beach during summertime  time Chi, or the people who don’t know that there’s a difference in the mild sauce you get from Harold’s, and Uncle Remus opposed to anywhere else.

The negative imagery that surrounds the city is depressing and scary, but that’s because it’s being told by people who aren’t from Chicago. Emmy Award-winning writer and Chicago’s very own, Lena Waithe, has fought tooth and nail to bring a more humane depiction of the city we Chicagoans love so much, with her drama series “The Chi.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Composed of outerwear for women, men and kids the Carhartt brand has been dominating the retail industry for almost 130 years.  They carry something for everyone, including accessories like wallets, gloves, safety glasses, caps and knit hats with many colors to choose from.  They even carry dog beds. With very affordable options, there’s no way a shopper wouldn’t be able to find something they like.

Established in 1889 Carhartt has been able to make a name for themselves.  In 1910, Carhartt was able to expand to multiple cities in the United States as well as Canada and Europe.  Because Carhartt supported the war during international conflict, several facilities were able to create uniforms for the U.S. military during World War I.  Coveralls for soldiers and support personnel were produced along with jungle suits for Marines in the Pacific and workwear for women on the home front entering factories, during World War II.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

“I want people to know who I truly am…,” says Bebe Rexha on her official website, beberexha.com. After listening to Rexha’s candid lyrics, memorable voice, and provocative beats, we want to know more about who Rexha truly is too.

A self-proclaimed “Bad B*tch,” Bebe Rexha empowers others through her honest song lyrics and her powerful voice. The songstress/ record producer finds inspiration for her edgy, sultry style through nineties R&B music and modern pop. Rexha’s debut album, Expectations, draws from her own experiences with bad breakups and fake friends to inspire others with her candid lyrics and her hypnotic beats. This album marks her own personal growth through the hardships and turmoil in her personal life.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Jazz is one of the few genres of music that has withstood the test of time, both with listeners and music critics. Colombian-born multi-instrumentalist, Jay Rodriguez, has been composing and performing music consistently for over 40 years. The musician also known as Hernan Ramiro Rodriguez-Sierra, began playing the clarinet at the age of 7 after moving to New York City. He later picked up the alto saxophone and the flute. The musician furthered his instrumental studies with Tito D. Rivera, a famous Cuban saxophonist and clarinetist. He also studied with musicians like Joe Henderson, Phil Woods, and Joe Allard.

By age 15, he was playing lead alto saxophone with Tito Puente, a famed musician, songwriter, and producer.  “I’d be coming home at 6 o’clock in the morning, then going to school. That was my childhood and I don’t regret it,” said Rodriguez on his official website jayrodriguez.com. After spending his high school years in performing arts schools, Rodriguez began making music professionally.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Just four months after leaving her dream job, Georgia Dawkins celebrated the release of her first book, Everybody Knows: The Power of Being in Position. Although she’d only been the Producer at Sister Circle Live (a daily talk show on mission to inspire and empower black women) for seven months, she knew it was time to move on. “The entire process was just so spiritual. God had been telling me [to leave] for months, but I was afraid,” she told me as cars zipped past the coffeehouse with the same zeal and purpose she had in her eyes. “Afraid of failing. Afraid of being broke and afraid of what people might think,” she explained. But when I saw her again just two weeks later as she sat in front of an excited audience at The Vault Art Gallery on April 22, 2018, reading excerpts from her memoir, there was no fear, failure or poverty to be found. Instead, there was purpose. The very purpose Dawkins has been chasing her entire life.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

Can you imagine walking into a museum and seeing a canopy made of 150,000 Australian native flowers? What about a suspending display of 8,000 flowers hanging from a gallery ceiling, or 30,000 flowers in a Berlin museum to welcome the spring season? Those things may seem extravagant, but that’s because they really are. Rebecca Louise Law is an installation artist based in East London who develops art exhibits with decaying flowers.

“The complexity of flowers as a material fascinated me,” said Law, in a 2016 interview for CNN Style. “I think because they are ephemeral and a challenge, flowers have kept me on my toes. They’re really difficult to work with.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

How can anyone forget that stunning dress Beyoncé wore at the 2014 Grammy Awards? She looked absolutely gorgeous in her white lace mermaid styled dress. Her dress had a simple flower design that simultaneously added a layer of sexy to her look by exposing her back and elegantly showing off her beautiful complexion and curvaceous shape. It wasn’t a look that most of us could pull off and it wasn’t a gown that just any designer could put together. This one-of-a-kind look is the work of designer and child prodigy, Michael Costello.

Costello was a contestant on season 8 of the popular design competition show, Project Runway. He was also a finalist on Project Runway’s All-Star Season. Unlike most contestants of competition shows, Costello’s fame has exceeded past 15 minutes. Costello is making his mark in the fashion industry and within the next 10 years it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is ranked with fashion kings such as Donatella Versace, Michael Kors and Giorgio Armani.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

If you’re a woman looking for clothes designed to accentuate the female form, Mrs. Susie Cave is someone you should pay attention to. Cave’s collection, The Vampire’s Wife, features many long “flowy” dresses and skirts that emphasize femininity and delicacy. The collection’s name derives from an unfinished novel by Cave’s husband, Nick Cave, front man of the band Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The novel details the relationship between a muse and the creative process, Mrs. Cave is a muse for her husband’s writing.

“Nick wrote a book called Vampire’s Wife that, in the end, he decided not to publish. He said: ‘Well, why don’t you use that as the name?’ The book that Nick was writing, it was sort of about me – not exactly me, but about his idea of me. I don’t know if it’s really who I am exactly, but it kind of works,” Susie Cave said in an interview with fashion blog/shopping website Matchesfashion.com.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

In many ways, Kelly Durette’s illustrations look as though they could easily fit among the pages of a fashion or bridal magazine.  The women she draws are exquisite, eyes focused, with hands grazing the curves of their cheeks.  Yet there is one distinct difference between Durette’s women and the ones that often appear on the covers of Vogue — hers are not among the living.  The curls of their hair are held in place by decorative bones, skulls and tissue are exposed by a decaying face, and their lips are cracked with age.  Durette has taken the looks of models and flipped them, emphasizing macabre elements to both challenge and promote the beauty of her subjects.

The Ontario-based, self-taught artist has often had her work categorized in the “Day of the Dead” genre.  Of course, the skulls and balance of bright tones through primary and colored pencils speaks to a certain aesthetic.  But Durette’s focus transcends the popular style by having a particular focus on the anatomy of her subjects. She tells the alternative art magazine Creep Machine, “I have always been fascinated by medical illness, anatomy and what happens to the body after death.   It’s not meant to be creepy, but rather to draw these beautiful women and add a touch of the macabre without losing the overall sexiness.” Consequently, her work generally inspires a realistic feel, as opposed to the painterly qualities of many “Day of the Dead” pieces. Durette’s work literally feels as though its subjects are decaying; the pinks of the muscles can be seen past the paling skin.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

“Musicality in hip-hop is sort of a lost art, and Common always used real musicians. It’s keeping real music alive at a time where most people aren’t.”

-Robert Glasper

Glasper, a rap icon, legendary pianist  and Common’s new group mate  almost perfectly puts into words how some of us fell  in love with the intricacies of our favorite artist’s music, in conjunction with the way they deliver heartfelt lyrics.

Common has always been credited with delivering some of the most soulful and powerful music for the culture. So teaming up with longtime friends and legends in their own rights, Robert Glasper and drumming icon Karriem Riggins, was the perfect way to yet again breathe life into the artistry of rap and hip-hop.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us