Category: Culture

Learning the Art of Cool: A Recap

I’ve had some interesting experiences like I’m sure others may have had as well. There was that one time I skipped my senior high school trip to go to the Bahamas with a girl, who is like my sister, I had known since 2nd grade. Another time, I got to see Paramore AND No Doubt in concert with one of my very best friends. Oh, and after my junior year of high school, my mom sent me to the Pre-College summer program at the University of the Arts in Philly. That was the place I learned (mostly) what I enjoyed doing.

But even with all of those amazing experiences and opportunities, I still crave more. And that’s where my homie Phill came in and told me about The Art of Cool Festival; the event was held in Durham, NC, April 28-30 this year. The festival is another piece of the Art of Cool Project, a nonprofit organization helmed by jazz trumpeter Albert Strong IV and Cicely Mitchell, DrPH of Al Strong Music Productions. Their ultimate goal is to be a place of creativity and diversity all the while preserving, or even introducing, jazz-inspired music.

And this year’s lineup had me two-stepping with excitement. In addition to Common, a slew of local, talented artists, and Rakim performing, the King of Funk George Clinton was also be in attendance. I was thrust into a world of some amazing music, different from my already extensive catalog, and I had never felt more excited. This was also the very first festival I’d ever been to.

Friday night started with a few minutes of trying to find my friend and then a short walk to the Pinhook where Raleigh-based hip-hop group, Kooley High, was putting on a show. I had never heard of them prior to that night but their music and their energy were enough to get me hooked. They worked the crowd well and even managed to make us all laugh. The DJ was on point as well, and I managed to get some pretty cool shots. After a couple of drinks and attempts to find food, I headed back to the Pinhook to catch the performance of Stella Santana, daughter of music legend Carlos Santana, who has a beautiful voice. Her songs were soulful and it almost felt like she wrote them just for you.


The following day was no short of opportunities to network or learn something new like when I attended a panel discussion celebrating and highlighting 30 years since Rakim dropped one of his most influential albums, Paid in Full. Combat Jack, 9th Wonder, and professor Mark Anthony Neal talked about everything from how the album influenced them to the new music of today’s generation and how they aren’t familiar with a lot of the classics. I have to agree, sometimes I don’t always rock with the new stuff and I always feel compelled to play some of the music I grew up on, but Combat Jack pointed out something I think most of us tend to forget; we never really try to give the music of this generation a chance. We’re quick to write it off or force what we think is the best down their throats and wonder why they don’t care for or really respect what’s come before them.

I’ve gotta admit, it was a hectic weekend but it was an experience I’ll never forget.

For more info on the Art of Cool Project or any of the artists mentioned, check out their websites below! 




Moogfest 2017 Recap (Conversations)

Moogfest was incredible; I’m so glad I had the chance to attend this year. I actually shot Moogfest last year too; got to meet Rome Fortune and saw some dope shows. For those who aren’t familiar, Moogfest is “the synthesis of music, art and technology.”

By day, Moogfest is a platform for conversation and experimentation. This mind-expanding conference attracts creative and technology enthusiasts for three days of participatory programming in Durham, North Carolina. By night, Moogfest presents cutting-edge music in venues throughout the city. Performing artists include early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant garde experimentalists of today.”

Moogfest was a fast-paced, information-filled, thought-provoking four-day journey filled with mind blowing conversations, stimulating workshops and astounding live performances.

During the stint of the bull city-based festival, I attended five intellectually broadening conversations: Talib Kweli’s dialogue with The Atlantic’s David Graham about the nature of media in the age of the Trump administration, a discussion on the future role of religion in the scientific age, a Sci-Fi reading from collectives Afrofuturist Affair and Metropolarity, an exchange about the creative process between recording artists’ Lafawndah & Princess Nokia and a hilarious recording for Hannibal Buress’ live podcast featuring Flying Lotus.


In Conversation With Talib Kweli

Photo By King Phill

Knowledge; supreme knowledge. I felt so empowered just from listening to this man speak. Kweli gave us some extraordinary wisdom during his talk with David Graham and touched on many topics that most black people in America could relate to.

Here’s some footage from Kweli’s conversation in Moogfest’s Day 1 Recap:



Photo By King Phill

A real eye-opener. This one wasn’t for the religiously weak of heart. The speaker touched on the positives and negatives of practiced religion. He even gave a chance for attendees to defend their own belief systems.



Photo By King Phill

This was my first experience at a Sci-Fi reading and I can honestly say it was captivating. The tales read during Nowtopia were all stories that most millennials could find a relation to. From readings about online role-playing relationships to real life issues; it was dope.


Masterclass: Lafawndah & Princess Nokia

Photo By King Phlll

Sadly, Princess Nokia showed up a little late, but she more than made up for it with the great insight she gave about her creative process. Listening to Lafawndah and Nokia discuss music and their development was really inspiring.


In Conversation With Flying Lotus

(So I don’t have pictures from this conversation because the lighting was super trash from where I was at; forgive me)

If anyone tries to tell you Hannibal Buress isn’t funny, they have a fear of being real with themselves and aren’t your friend. It was just funny as hell. Hannibal, Fly Lo and Tony were all playing with synthesizers that would distort their voices during the podcast recording. When the episode drops, I’ll definitely update the article with a link to it for you guys.

Get Ready For Moogfest 2017!

In 2016, Infinite had the opportunity to cover the Durham, NC-based technology, art and music festival Moogfest via our social media; this year we’ll be doing the same! From May 18th-21st, Moogfest will be going on in downtown Durham including more than 300 musical performances, daytime workshops, conversations, masterclasses, film screenings, live scores, durational sound installations, and interactive art experiences.

Image Cred: Moogfest

Moogfest is the synthesis of music, art and technology. Since 2004, Moogfest has brought together artists, futurist thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, scientists and musicians. By day, Moogfest is a platform for conversation and experimentation. By night, Moogfest presents cutting-edge music in venues throughout the city. This mind-expanding conference attracts creative and technology enthusiasts for three days of participatory programming in Durham, North Carolina. Performing artists include early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant-garde experimentalists of today.

Image Cred: Moogfest

With numerous themes ranging from Black Quantum Futurism and Hacking Systems to The Future Of Creativity and Techno-Shamanism, Moogfest provides an array of dope programming that anyone could fall in love with. Flying Lotus, Talib Kweli, Princess Nokia and NC natives Professor Toon and Pie Face Girls are just a few of the music performers the Infinite staff are excited to see this year out at Moogfest. Make sure you get your tickets for Moogfest this year here; don’t miss out!

Image Cred: Moogfest

Here you can check out the full schedule for this year’s Moogfest: Moogfest 2017 Schedule

Follow us on social media (@InfiniteDotCo on Twitter & Instagram) for live updates during the festival!

Hope to see you guys out there!

Talk That Talk With James Whitner

Host Fly$hade Ray sits down at the Round Table yet again with Royal Company. This time we’re Talkin’ That Talk with no other then, Mogul in the making Entrepreneur “James Whitner” owner of The Whitaker Group: Social Status ( 5 location Fashion Boutique Chain) , A Ma Maniere (Atlanta based Luxury Fashion Boutique) & APB (South Carolina Location for Luxury Fashion) . James “Jay” Whitner, sits down LIVE during Jordan Brand “Gotta Shine” Pop up shop Hosted By Social Status at the Roun’ Table to discuss his Journey in the Fashion industry as a business man and Boutique owner since 2005 he’s been taking the east coast fashion scene by storm. Jay tells countless stories of business ventures and relationships with people such as Roc nations Emory Jones, Roc99 Kareem “Bigs” Burke, Nike’s Kenney Moore & friendly fashion competition With KITH Sets Ronnie Fieg . This Episode is what i do Talk That Talk For..#TTT

CreativeNC: An Introspective Look At Creative Culture

Filmed from 2014-2015, CreativeNC is a documentary that sheds light on what it’s like to be a creative in a country fueled by industrial ideals. What is a creative? Do society and our educational system stifle creativity? What’s it like to build a career and find success as a creative in an area that lacks industry? Producer and Director Dev T. Smith answers those questions through the lense of North Carolina through interviews with the state’s standout creatives at various points in their careers. After debuting the film at the Smithsonian-affiliated NC Museum of History, along with panel discussions and keynotes about creative/entrepreneurial development; the film serves as the linchpin for a yearly festival dedicated to building industry and uniting creatives below the Mason Dixon line.


Rhymefest To Turn Kanye West’s Childhood Home Into A Community Arts Incubator

Rhymefest is keeping the mission of DONDA alive after purchasing the childhood home of Kanye West.  His plans are to turn it into a positive outlet for the youth. Rhymefest intends to convert the residence into a “community arts incubator,” with plans of a state of the art recording studio, a curriculum space for Donda’s House, and a south side music museum.



Stain Recreates Classic Bad Boy Records Moments with Hey Arnold! Characters

Stain, a 30 year old artist from Indiana, has a special connection with pop culture and his artwork reflects that. As an avid music lover, he’s channeled this admiration and appreciation into amazing art. In the gallery below, he’s used characters from the 90’s classic – Hey Arnold! – to recreate some of the dopest moments in Bad Boy Records history.

To see more of his talent, head over to his Instagram account today, check out his website, or contact him at! View the gallery below!


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5 Tips for Crowdfunding Project Success

You’ve finally found a hobby or skill that you love to do and can make money with, BUT you don’t have the resources to get started. This is a pretty common obstacle when one decides to become an entrepreneur of sorts. With sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and RocketHub. Using sites such as these do come with a risk; there’s a possibility that people may not donate and your project goes up in flames before it ever truly got started.

These 5 tips will help mold your project and create the right kind of promotion for it. With these suggestions, your crowdfunding project should definitely be a successful one.

1. Know your audience. 

Knowing your audience will help make marketing your crowdfund project easier because you’ll be identifying their needs, communicating with them through their most-used platforms, or targeting your audience through demographics important to your project.

2. Use as many visuals as possible.

Crisp, clear photos or videos of your product or service are important staple to any crowdfund or social media project. Using photo and video will show potential customers exactly what they’re getting, if there are any other options (color, size, etc) available, or any rewards you may promote.

3. Make rewards count.

People will back your project if they love it, but they’ll love it more if they feel they’re being rewarded for helping you. Come up with ways to offer rewards that won’t zap all of your project money.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Keep your backers comfortable about giving you their money by using clear, concise communication. Post updates of the project’s progress and inform backers of any parts of the project that relate to money. Even include updates when the project itself is finally completed or when you’re ready to launch your project for the world to see.

5. Take it offline.

Hosting an event about your project is one way to begin a successful crowdfunding campaign because it shows backers and potential customers that you are trustworthy, it will also make you appear likable and approachable. If people can hear the passion and excitement in your voice or your actions, they’re likely to be excited about the project as well.



Test these tips out and tell us how your crowdfund project went or send us some tips of your own!


Karl Lagerfield To Open Hotel and Restaurant Chain

Designer Karl Lagerfeld is now adding hotelier and restaurateur to his résumé. Earlier today, the Chanel and Fendi creative director announced his plans to pursue his own brand, titled Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts, which will include members’ clubs, restaurants, and residential buildings all under a licensing agreement with Brandmark Collective BV. The Kaiser is no stranger to the business, having dipped his toe into the hospitality pool before when he oversaw the design of a large hotel in Macau, China and the lobby space of a Miami condo building. He has also lent his creative prowess to the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Sofitel So Singapore, and was commissioned to design two suites for the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. This announcement follows his recent launch of a $2,850 USD art supply kit and a collection of wedding rings.


Jay-Z Uses Illustration To Explain How The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail

The War On Drugs has disproportionately targeted blacks and Latinos since the late 80’s. To date, we’ve incarcerated more people than any other country in the world. That includes China, Iran, Cuba, and Russia. Countries that the United States has the nerve to deem regressive. Most of the sentences are mandatory, sometimes life sentences for petty crimes like possession. Here, Jay-Z breaks down the concept of the epic failure that is the War on Drugs.

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