Category: Entertainment

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! 

 

LINKS:

 

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:

 

#OpenSourceReligion

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.

 

Nowtopia

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!

Russell Simmons To Make Hip-Hop Musical, The Scenario

Russell Simmons is and always has been a guiding light in hip-hop. Those days are far from numbered as hist latest venture involves the next big hip-hop musical. The Scenario, which Simmons announced in 2015 will pack three decades of hip into a run of performances later this year. Naturally, Mr. Simmons paired with Def Jam’s parent company Universal Music Group to create the musical in order to cover rap’s rise to international influence due to the labels catalog of legendary artists.

Russell wants the experience to be for everyone from kids in the hood to the sophisticated theatre goers who frequent the theatre. If you’re interested in seeing the film, have no fear as technology will be used to push the boundaries of Broadway production. You’ll have a chance to interact directly with what’s going on up onstage. So far we can expect tunes by Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kurtis Blow, The Sugarhill Gang, and more.

 

Cool&Well-Dressed Presents: Dacom Worldwide’s “Good Smoke”

Fresh off the release of their all-female playlist flameshit3.m3u, Cool&Well-Dressed is back with an exclusive single! This time around, C&WD linked with NC-based rap group Dacom Worldwide to bring us “Good Smoke”. Produced by Dre Rodner, “Good Smoke” tells the tale of why the rap duo indulge in 4/20 festivities on the regular. Roll one, spark it and reflect on life as you listen to “Good Smoke”. Be on the lookout for flameshit4.m3u (Prelude To The Funk Edition) coming soon.

Cool&Well-Dressed Presents: Brassious Monk’s ‘Heavy Coat’

BrassiousMonk, multi-faceted artist from Raleigh, delivers a surprise visual for his song, HeavyCoat.
What’s darker than casting your own shadow…

Grungy and dark, rightfully purveying the message of the track…

A boastfully bold statement of self sufficiency…

When making art, no matter the medium, use a HEAVY COAT…
With projections by visual artist, Blaine Wyatt Carteaux (Coolboy 36) and co-direction by King Phill and Parker Liam Harris, the vision was completed. With the final touches from Cre8ive Mix Media, a rare VHS was created.
Brass is an avid jack of all trades; from lighting up stages all around the state with his raps, to performing self-produced beats at local beat shows, to designing merch that can be spotted on all social scenes.

 

HeavyCoat will be featured on a Monk’s future project, an EP entitled “Working”.

And check out his last EP, the BrassExpansionEP, aka BEep on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Social Media: @BrassiousMonk on Twitter, @MonkBrass on Instagram

Connor McGregor Relinquishes UFC Title

According to the UFC, Connor McGregor ha relinquished his featherweight title after it was announced that light-heavyweight title contender Daniel Cormier will bow out after suffering a torn abductor in his groin. This occurred right before the the UFC 206 fight card. As a result, the UFC was forced to promote the co-main event for that night, which will take place on December 10 in Toronto. The featherweight fight between top 145-pound contenders Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will become the main event, while an interim title will be given to the winner.

That’s A Wrap: A Q&A With Cylla Senii On The Success of Hit Web Series, “Situationships”

Our generation doesn’t necessarily have the dating thing figured. Regardless of the era, anyone in their early 20’s probably had a complicated love life but it seems Millennials have a knack for making this a bit more complex than necessary. After all, we “talk” instead of officially dating someone; and depending on the person a “bae” is more of a concrete title than it appears.
Cylla Senii took our approach to love, and spun it into a show that depicts our struggle between finding happily ever after, and enjoying our youth without being tied down. Situationships is overdue, yet right on time. We spoke with the up & coming producer and director about how the show came to be!
Give us your full name, age, hometown, and current place of residence

My name is Cylla Senii. I’m 25. I’m a Pisces. (I love my sign.) I was born in Queens, New York and raised in Warner Robins, GA. My current place of residence is New York City.
 

Where did your love for directing and producing come from? Are there specific moments that influenced you to follow a path in media?

My fascination with directing and producing started during childhood. I have always loved storytelling, had a vivid imagination, and always knew that when I got older I would pursue a career in film, acting, and entertainment. I grew up watching the classics, performing in theater, and watching every Disney movie possible. I watched movies and shows that inspired me and encouraged me to be creative, and I also grew up in a home that embraced and celebrated the arts. All of these factors influenced me to pursue this career path that I’m very passionate about.

 
What steps did you take to gain experience in the field. From education to producing your own series, walk us through those building blocks.
 
At the University of Georgia, I majored in Advertising while also studying heavily in Theater, Film Studies, and the Music Business. From there, I interned at the likes of Huffington Post, Sony Music, and CBS Sports Network to broaden my understanding of the entertainment, media, and television industry. 
 
Upon graduating, I worked at Bobbcat Films in Atlanta, GA which was run by CEO Roger Bobb, who previously was VP of Tyler Perry Studios. This certainly was a highlight in my early career to have the opportunity to be on set at a major production company run by seasoned producers and directors. The best advice I ever got from him was to never be afraid of producing and directing your own content, and that it’s a wonderful thing to do.
 
I relocated back to New York City in 2014 and started working at Disney Interactive (hello childhood dream!). Following this, I’ve worked at the best ad agencies in the country including BBDO New York and Droga5 where I honed my skills in advertising and production. I am thrilled to be an Interactive Media Producer at D5.
 
Each and every one of these experiences have influenced me to create, direct, produce, and market my own passion project, Situationships. 🙂
 
Where did the idea come from for Situationships?
 
Situationships is a show routed in truth. The story is so relatable, because it’s based off of real-life dating stories that happened to me and my friends. Many of the stories are exaggerated of course and a few are completely imagined, but at its core, the story is meant to be an authentic portrayal of how dating and communication has changed for our millennial generation. It deals with the “gray” area and the “what are we?” area of dating that we all know too well, and it’s meant to start a conversation about it. I think this is something that the show does very well, and it’s why our audience enjoys it.
 
What did it take to bring the idea from a thought to an actual show ready to be filmed
 
It took a lot of planning and dedication to make it happen. At the time, I got inspired by a lot of the funny and interesting dating stories that kept coming up in conversations with the people around me. From there, I got to writing and building my team. Within a few months, we were casting and shooting, so everything happened pretty quickly once I decided to make it happen.
 
How did you go about building your team from actors to production?
 
I built my production team by working with my talented friends who were in the industry. For the actors, we held a blind casting call and had over 4,000 actors submit. I thought this was amazing considering we were a new web show, and I believe it’s a testament to how relatable the content is to everyone in our generation. Finding top talent and providing opportunities for underrepresented demographics on screen was a major focal point of our casting process, and I am very pleased with the results.
 
When did you experience the most struggle while putting the first season together? 
 
Post production and building the audience were some of the more difficult aspects we ran into in season one. After strategizing over several weeks, we were able to successfully distribute the show and reach our audience. I am very thankful for my amazing team who helped us accomplish that.
 
How many views has the series gotten in total, and what does the positive reception mean to you as the creator?
 
As of today, we have over 391,000 views on our Youtube channel. I am so thankful for everyone who has supported this show. This is something I have always wanted to do since I was a child, so to see that I created something that people really enjoy just makes me happy and thankful. I really appreciate the support!
 
What did you do to effectively market the series and get it in front of so many eyes. 
 
We found our audience and our voice on social media, and it really worked. I also have an amazing team that was just as passionate as I am to make the show a success, so it was a team effort.
 
What’s next for the series? 
 
Greatness of course. More content to come in 2017. New announcements will start in January. Stay tuned. 😉
 
Do you have any projects you’d like to put into production aside from Situationships?
 
Yes! This year, I actually produced and acted in another web series called, Mistake, which was created by Nicolette Ellis. It will premiere in 2017! I’d also like to highlight another short I was in called 5knives, which was created by Kar Logan. It will fully air in 2017. Aside from those 2 projects, I have a new dark drama that I am extremely excited about. All I’ll say is that it’ll be a thriller, and I can’t wait to share more exciting content with everyone!

#WeekendVibes 11.11.2016

It’s safe to say that it has been a pretty vent-filled week now that the 2016 presidential election results are in. Protests have sparked across the country and the memes have taken over the explore page. Young America is pretty furious however, it is beautiful to witness people coming together to take a stand against the man that wants to divide us. America is not the only nation with a shady system and agenda. This week we start the playlist with M.I.A’s refugee themed-anthem titled Borders.” The lyrics are simplistic but full of meaning. “Borders” was released last November on her fifth studio album, AIM.

The Indigo and MSFT child, Jaden Smith, is also on this week’s playlist with his Scarfacetrack that was also released last year. The wordplay and delivery on this song are equally yoked and not for the average mind. “Scarface ” is a song of “woke-ness” with several references to private societies, government assassinations, and all things smoke and mirrors. This is another perfect jam for this week’s chicanery.

After all the musical venting, we are going to let Travis Scott Serenade us on his track that didn’t quite make the cut for his latest album, BITTSM. This week’s selections are a bit more trippy than trapped out so sit back and vibe with us. Be sure to follow to our Soundcloud and check some of the other music by artists we featured this week.

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 stain@stainislike.com! View the gallery below!

 

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