Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance “Hustle Hard” Review

By: Isis Nicole

I don’t usually get a chance to watch Fox’s competition show, So You Think You Can Dance, but I did get to see finalist Tadd Gadduang and Season 4 champion Joshua Allen, perform a choreographed routine to Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard,” and it blew me away. I think I was for one, impressed by the mixture of masculinity and gracefulness on such an aggressive beat. I also loved how their movements expressed the song and it wasn’t cheesy at all. Performances like that one makes me wonder how anyone couldn’t appreciate the arts. If you’re not a fan of dance, at the very least, you can respect the hard work, dedication, and blood, sweat, and tears that are left on the stage. Both of these men did an amazing job. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Father’s Role

By: Ebony L. McCline
A while ago, I wrote a piece, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” in which I described how affected I was by not being fortunate enough to have my father in my life on a consistent basis. I expressed my deep-rooted desire to be a “Daddy’s Girl.” A few years later, as I approach the prospect of having children of my own, I tend to dwell on just how important this same thing may or may not be to my own children, vowing to always keep both parents in their lives. 
I find myself examining the types of households that surround me. The reality is that the majority of African-American families are headed by single mothers, which has unfortunately become the norm. Then, I take a closer look and realize the sheer number of mothers raising boys/young men with little or no help from the fathers. Being the product of this very situation, it concerns me that the cycle is continuing. 
Honestly, even though it's clearly being done, the likelihood of a woman raising a man the same as a good father would is quite slim. As much as little girls need their mothers for “girl” stuff, the same is true for little boys when it comes to their fathers. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely acknowledge the fact that just by having a male figure present (a grandfather, a uncle, or a God-father) may make a bit of difference. After all, it’s still a father figure, right? While this may hold some truth, I can still contend that the love of a father can’t be substituted no matter how hard someone tries. 
To the women of Generation Y, accepting the fact that the father of your child isn’t around is not acceptable. To the men, not being present in your children’s lives is definitely unacceptable and bouncing in and out at your own convenience is even worse. The point here is to break the cycle that has being going on for far too long. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to College Do’s and Don’ts

By: Songine’ Clarke
School is starting again and usually the first few days of a new school year are the most exciting for a college student: new classes, new people, a chance to get involved on campus, and a new year. To start your school year off right, there are some “do’s and don’ts” for college.
Do: Get Involved
Don’t: Bite off more than you can chew.
It’s great to get involved in a school club or two, but don’t stretch yourself too far. Concentrating on your grades and relaxing are way more important.
Do: Go out every now and then.
Don’t: Go out every day.
Definitely go out every now and then to have fun and let loose a little because college can be stressful. However, going out everyday could be a distraction, leaving you tired all the time. So, make sure there is a balance.
Do: Keep your old friends around.
Don’t: Limit yourself and not make new friends. 
Most likely there are a lot of new students at your school. Remember, just like you, they don’t know the ropes. So, they will need your help and most likely a friend. You can be that helping hand and friend to a new student. If you were new, you would definitely appreciate the help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life AFTER College

By: Isis Nicole
As autumn nears, I’m starting to freak out about the start of the semester. After all, it will be my fourth year as a college student. When I was a senior in high school, I looked at graduation as a golden ticket to paradise, with paradise being college, or as I like to call it, my home away from home. 
Now that I’m a senior in college, home away from home seems like the gateway to responsibilities. Bills on top of bills, bank loan denials, career struggles, and less time to catch up on my much-needed beauty sleep. It's weird how you wait your entire childhood to become "grown," but when you get there, it's an entirely different story. Most of your adulthood, your wishing you were a kid again, right? 
However, if you look at the bigger picture, growing up doesn’t have to suck. I’ve seen adults before me make the impossible, possible, and I’ll be damned if I get wrinkles and gray hairs by the age of 22. In my eyes, life after college will mainly be determined by how I make the most out of it. Today is going to be treated like a blessing. I have faith in the evidence of things not seen…don't you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Blake Martin Experience: iCandy Show 2011

By: Mariah Craddick

Before even stepping into the auditorium at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago for designer Blake Martin's iCandy fashion show/dance concert, I had been warned—numerous times.

"Come with an open mind," they told me. "You're in for a 'treat,'" they'd say—with me not really knowing what they meant by it. But by the end of the night, it all made sense.
A Blake Martin show is something so unique and so daring that you might sometimes find yourself wanting to cover your children's eyes--or even your own. Yet still, with everything that takes place on stage you might find it hard to pry your eyes away.
For his show this year, Blake went for a "candy store" theme--though the show, which lasted about three hours, eventually veered off into other directions. Songs like Aaron Carter's "I Want Candy" and New Edition's "Candy Girl" filled the air as models of all shapes and colors sauntered down the runway.
For nearly every segment, or "scene," the models would come out in fashions designed by some of the up-and-coming young designers in Chicago. And if the nearly naked models didn't keep your attention long enough, there were dancers in the background holding it down, making it all come together.

This was probably the first time I'd ever seen someone couple a runway fashion show with a dance concert--and do it seamlessly. That's the genius of Blake Martin. Blake has already garnered quite a following in the Chicago area and will be surely making a name for himself worldwide in the near future. This was also the first show of his that he danced in himself. He came out for the "Vogue" section, hitting the moves harder than most of the other dancers on the stage--truly showing why he's the boss.

Hosted by local celebrity and Chicago radio personality, Demi Lobo, the show did a great job of incorporating audience participation by having dance competitions and runway walk-offs in between scenes. The show ended with everybody on their feet, screaming and shouting their praise. The tireless hours and effort put behind the production definitely paid off and by curtain call, Blake had found himself a seat on the end of the stage, waving goodbye to everyone as they left.

Surely, being the producer/choreographer/dancer/complete visionary that he is--the stage probably feels the most like home to him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Enjoying What's Left of Summer

By: Songine’ Clarke
As summer comes to an end, quite naturally everybody wants to enjoy what’s left of it. These last few weeks should be memorable, right? You want to have fun, but you don’t want to wear yourself out. Here are a few things you can do to make your last bit of summer great.
During these last few weeks, lounge around the house every now and then. Take advantage of being able to sleep in, catch up on a TV favorite show, re-organize your closet, clean around the house, or give yourself a little spa day.
Quality Time
Whether you’re out “painting the town red” or having a small get together at your house, having that bonding time with your friends is essential.  Talking about your summer and what’s going on in your lives is a great way to "de-stress" and have fun.
Do something that you wanted to do
Was there something you wanted to do, but you didn’t get the chance to? Well check out that art exhibit you haven’t got the chance to see, a concert, or see that new summer blockbuster you keep putting off.
Whatever you do just make sure you enjoy your last bit of summer!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Romances

By: Isis Nicole
As a single, young lady, the occasional date is easily becoming a favorite past time of mine. However, summer flings are like water parks that I don’t care to visit. You know how water parks look awesome from afar, they even look fun for those people who aren’t deathly afraid of water. For me, it’s terrifying, because I can’t swim. So, quite naturally, I could drown. The same is true when it comes to summer flings. They are just not my thing. 
The act of falling in love is something that should definitely be cherished and not taken for granted just to occupy a season. It’s easy to become infatuated with someone during the warmer months. The weather is near perfect, their are minimal obligations for some, there’s lots of travel, and during the summer you can be someone else for a short period of time, if that’s your choice. In a sense, the summer is a fantasy. When the weather breaks, reality hits.
So, are seasonal flings intended to stay just as that, or is it allowed to grow into something more when the weather starts to change and the leaves began to fall? I’m pretty curious myself because what happens when these “flings” still have that flame well into the next season? If the compatibility and chemistry is out of this world, must the romance end when September rolls around? I suppose calling it off isn’t totally out of the question if two lovers make their intentions crystal clear. Oftentimes, a summer fling lives off distance and adventure, only useful to ignite sensuality. What a shame and waste of something so good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicago Stylists Featured in Fashion Affair

By: Iya Bakare
On Sunday July 31, guests gathered at Block 37’s Akira in downtown Chicago for a Fashion Affair Stylist Showcase. Chicago native and Akira stylist Aaja Corinne styled models on some of the boutique’s hottest looks for this season. Prior and after the fashion showcase, guests sipped on mimosas as they shopped and took advantage of sales on this season of Akira’s collection. 
The models wore accessories from the lines of two local jewelry designers, Brittany Jett and Deleay Lashay. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Young Entertainers Taking Over the "Business"

By: Songine’ Clarke
Lately, it appears to be a swarm of young entertainers taking over the entertainment business. Most of which are off-springs of some well-known, successful adult names that we are accustomed to seeing. 
There’s Jada and Will Smith’s children, Willow and Jaden, Rev Run’s son, Diggy Simmons, and Usher’s mentee, Justin Bieber. Then, you also have others like "Mindless Behavior" and some child actors who are making their mark like China Anne McClain from "House of Payne," who now stars in her own TV show on the Disney Channel. These are some of the biggest, young entertainers in the industry today. 
These young people are so successful now, that you can’t help but to wonder will their success continue well into adulthood. We all know that there are some child stars who are just that, child stars. Then you have those select few who are around far beyond their years. People like Michael Jackson, Usher, and Beyonce’ are just a few who have had the chance to experience longevity as entertainers.
I think the young entertainer's success all depends on their fan base and their motivation to continue to produce great work. Having great fans that will continue to support their careers is sometimes all that is needed, but the key is to keep the fans interested and happy.