Category: Life & Times

#WeekendVibes 12.2.2016

It is only the second day of December but word on the street is this will be a crazy month for music. Several highly anticipated albums like Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, Drake, and J Cole, are all due to drop this month. We are going to hold you guys over as best as possible in the meantime with the continuance of #WeekendVibes. With news that the one and only project baby is finally home, what other way to start the weekend than with Kodak Black’s, “Purp?'”

Last week Gucci Mane and Lil Uzi Vert teamed up to bless us with ‘1017 vs The World,’ and from this, we were introduced to “Changed My Phone.” This song is the perfect example of what you would expect from Uzi and Wop. Honorable C N.O.T.E. went absolute nuts on the beat and it almost feels like the classic Radric Davis flow is settling back in.

Gucci has co-signed a number of artist throughout his career and the prison sentence definitely didn’t stop him. He came home ready to work and has collaborated with some of our favorite freshmen already. Before ‘1017 vs the World,’ Gucci and Lil Yachty went ape shit on ‘Bentley Coupe,’ which is also featured on this weekend’s playlist. Yachty is also due to drop an album this month!

Check out the playlist below and listen to some of the other artists featured on this week’s #WeekendVibes playlist. Follow us on SoundCloud and submit your music submissions to us at info@infinitemag.net

#WeekendVibes 10.28.2016

Everyone is stoked about setting the clocks back and getting an extra hour this weekend. Make sure you catch this week’s #WeekendVibes playlist as we go back to save time! This week’s selection is kicked off with Canada’s favorite trapped out Michael Jackson, none other than Roy Woods. Fresh off the release of his album, Waking at Dawn, the OVO signee teamed up with Ty Dolla $ign and 24Hrs for a song titled ‘Only You’. 

About a month ago LA’s Hugh Augustine presented us with ‘Nights on Replay.’ The laidback tune features seducing vocals from Syd of The Internet. You might recall Hugh from Isaiah Rashad’s ‘Tity and Dolla’ track featured on the very successful album, ‘The Sun’s Tirade.’ We have a feeling that soon the people will wake up on the kid.

Cali and Canada have definitely held it down on this week’s playlist. Yet, Atlanta still reigns and has continued to steal the shine on each #WeekendVibes playlist. ThouxanBandFauni dropped ‘Karma’ earlier this Summer and if you haven’t heard it yet, you should definitely catch up. Other Atlanta artists featured this week include EarthGang, UnoTheActivist, and Playboi Carti. Be sure to subscribe to our Soundcloud and check out other tracks from the artist featured.

Mental Health: Black America’s Elephant in the Room

“Black kids have to figure it out. We don’t have rehabs to go to – you gotta rehab yourself.”-Percy “Master P” Miller

 

There’s something familial about the Black experience in America – small gestures, language, and family characteristics often make us feel like despite being strangers, we know each other. “The look” you give another Black person in public while some nonsense is occurring or “the nod” men give in passing, for example. You know what I’m talking about. While it’s true every household is different, and experience determines a significant proportion of our perspectives, many things attributed to Black culture are understood and recognized by most of us. “You feel me?”

The revolution is actually being televised – and tweeted – helping to raise awareness regarding issues in our communities. However, this constant exposure to the unjust slaughter of Black bodies comes with consequences. Race-based trauma is not an issue we can neglect. Social media has allowed strangers to grieve together and support each other. The mask of social media makes people more comfortable. It’s become a safe place for people to reveal what troubles them – for free. So what’s the issue? Why is mental health (MH) still taboo in African American communities?

One of the most recognized aspects of Black culture is the role of religion. Contrary to popular belief, Christianity was practiced before the Europeans “taught” our ancestors what it was. If you ask your great (or just grand) mother, you can damn near pray away anything, including issues related to MH. However, millennials are slowly beginning to challenge this myth, despite the backlash and unfortunate reality that circumstances may require one to do just that. Initially, seeking The Bible for guidance, clarity, or hope was the only option we had. Our options have increased immensely, but the idea of thinking someone can treat your problems “better” than God is foreign to us traditionally. Our ancestors developed this dependency on Christianity to rescue them from the cruelty of the world and did their best to raise us to believe that we should too. To seek an alternative method of treatment for anything troubling was (and still is) disobedient and frowned upon. Ignorance surrounding the existence of psychological disorders and symptoms promotes this attitude. Trying to maintain the stereotype that Black bodies are indestructible promotes this attitude. Avoiding uncomfortable conversations and what people in the community may think of you/your family promotes this attitude.

I cannot address this issue without mentioning that it can vary by gender. For women, it isn’t uncommon to be raised under the impression that there will be no man (or woman) to take care of you. This doesn’t mean your family believes you don’t deserve love, or there are no good (wo)men out there – it’s the reality that you need to be prepared for whatever the universe grants or withholds from you, including a partner. In certain jurisdictions, regulations were put in place by the government that forbid women (not only Black women) on state assistance to have a man living with them. If it was discovered there was a man in the household, funding for the children was cut under the assumption the man was providing support for those children, whether he was their biological/legal guardian or not. The man-in-the-house regulation was ruled contrary to legislative goals of the Aid to Families of Dependent Children program in 1968. Unwilling to risk being homeless or not having enough financial support to take care of their families, Black women were forced to be cautious of their romantic relationships. It became instinctive to take care of things alone because there was no choice. This responsibility, this demand to be everyone’s savior (the Sisterella Complex), left little room for addressing MH related issues. Black women couldn’t afford (literally or figuratively) to be depressed, emotionally exhausted, or mentally drained. It’s the sacrifice many Black women make today, because our communities depend on us. It’s fascinating and equally heartbreaking to observe how frequently Black women unconsciously place the burdens of others on their shoulders. It’s like we’re wired to consider what we need last.

 

Men suffer similar adversities. It’s their responsibility to provide strength, love, money, emotional support and everything else the women in their lives request. Hyper masculinity is more prevalent among Black men in comparison to other races. “No homo” after complimenting each other and even refusing to use certain lenses on Snapchat is often due to the belief it’ll tarnish their manhood. “Boys don’t cry” is another barrier to believing that men are allowed to be emotional, vulnerable beings. For decades Black men were forced to witness their wives and daughters be sexually exploited and there was nothing they could do about it without risking their own lives. It was (and still is) known that Black men are stripped of their masculinity in order for white supremacy to exist. In order to compensate for the loss of manhood over decades, Black men naturally felt they had something to prove. They raised sons who they taught not to whine, cry, or express themselves, unintentionally stripping away their right to be human. Many men once believed it was possible to “beat the gay” out of their sons. Fourteen years of my life were spent surrounded by White males who normalized homosexual-like jokes in casual conversation, jokes I knew would never fly in a circle of Black males because they “ain’t with that gay shit.” The definition of masculinity is so fragile among Black men words like “sus” had to be created. The belief that MH issues are a sign of weakness prevents Black men from confronting them.

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Lastly, I’ll address education and similar environmental factors. In most Black families MH isn’t discussed because nobody knows anything about it. How can you offer to help when you don’t recognize it’s needed? Disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD are overlooked because not only are most families unaware of the symptoms, but they are unwilling to accept that these issues affect us. It is common for relatives to associate psychological distress with White people – yet according to the US HHS Office of Minority Health, Black teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than their White peers. In addition, MH providers are usually middle-aged White women. Women who we would never expect to begin to understand our lifestyles. Regardless of upbringing, there’s typically a language barrier – how and why should I expect you to help me if you don’t even understand the content of our discussions? While MH is striving to combat this issue and minimize this gap, it’s much easier said than done. Trying too hard to be “culturally sensitive” comes with a number of limitations that can make the therapeutic journey more difficult than it should be, often leading to misdiagnosis. Therapy also comes with a price, and many insurance companies refuse to pay for services not affiliated with a diagnosis. This places a heavy burden on professionals – they can either provide services pro bono or slap a diagnosis on your health records that’ll follow you for the rest of your life and possibly lose their credentials due to ethical violations. Most recently we’ve discovered not only is it life threatening to sell CDs, wear hoodies, ask for help after a car accident, or forget to use a turning signal, but calling police during a crisis could lead to death as well (Alfred Olango). Most people aren’t trained to sustain a crisis, so calling 911 has always been advised. It should also be noted that violent behavior during a psychological crisis is not present in majority of cases. Unfamiliar with the antecedents of psychological crises, Black people ultimately find themselves at a crossroads when MH issues hit the fan and rapport with law enforcement is absent.

As the MH field continues to grow, the stigma surrounding psychological disorders and discomfort is slowly lifting. One conversation at a time, the dialogue is changing. “I aint crazy!” is turning into “I think I need to see someone.” Millennials have made it clear we’re not willing to continue the cycle, and we’re refusing to allow our families to fall victim to the misconceptions surrounding psychological well-being. Unification via hashtags like #YouGoodMan and #MyDepressionLooksLike are just the beginning of a societal revolution. It’s okay to not be okay. Black minds matter, too.

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Cool&Well-Dressed Presents: AUTHNTC: As I Overcome

The way I found this brand was crazy, man; real universal alignment shit. I had been looking at AUTHNTC, the Las Vegas-based streetwear brand, for a while. A couple months ago I hosted a listening party for my homie Caterpillar Jones. He’s from North Carolina, but he’s also lived in Vegas. While we were at the listening party, we started talkin’ streetwear (cause that’s what fresh niggas do), then AUTHNTC was naturally brought up in the conversation; I took that as a sign that I needed to reach out. One thing I love the most about AUTHNTC is the brand’s identity; they really care about their image and it’s apparent. In this interview I got to speak with Miah M., Co-Owner of AUTHNTC, about their popular “God The Plug” design, their recent pop-up shop, their level of exclusivity with limited pieces and a couple other dope topics.


King Phill: Are you guys fairly new or you’ve been around for a couple years?
Miah M.: I wouldn’t say we’ve been around, nor would I say we’re new. We’ve been at it for four years now, but only now are people getting to know us and are we getting more exposure.



King Phill: Did you guys come out of the gate with that identity we spoke on earlier or did it take those four years to really build out and craft an identity for Authntc?
Miah M.: We wanted the brands image to come naturally. We wanted it to be personal and reflect our own lives and likings. I wouldn’t say it took us four years to craft our identity; it took us four years to try to master our identity.



King Phill: I can’t put a distinct finger on the identity of the brand, but I love it; Authntc puts a certain energy in the air with it’s pieces. What do you feel the brand’s identity is?
Miah M.: You’ve seen that guy who knows how to skate really well, but knows how to dress really well too? Let’s just say a skate rat who’s wearing Saint Laurent or whatever; that’s Authntc. It’s where the street/urban culture meets the couture/luxury culture.

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King Phill: It looks like the “God The Son. God The Father. God The Plug.” design garnered a lot of attention for the brand; all the pieces with that design look pretty ill. What’s the concept behind that design?
Miah M.: Thank you! Many might not know, but I come from a religious background; I grew up in church. Over the past year, I’ve realize God is the plug. Not only have I seen him grant prayers in my own life, but I’ve herd of many people thanking him for what he has done. The holy trinity is also one that many are aware of when it comes to Christianity. It just felt right putting the two together when we were creating the design.



King Phill: What’s the concept behind the “As I Overcome” collection? Where’d the name come from?
Miah M.: As I overcome, is prayer. “Help us overcome the trials and tribulations in this life. For this is the land where we dance with the devil. As I overcome, let me be the wolf who leads wolves not a pack of sheep. For this is my prayer, Let us come into the palace to rest… we have become nothing but damaged goods.” It’s a prayer for help and guidance to overcome; that is where the name of the capsule collection comes from, “as I overcome.”
King Phill: How did the Pop-Up Shop & release event go?
Miah M.: Our recent pop up/event released went well! A good amount of people came out and showed love. It was very humbling for us!

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King Phill: Nice, the setup looked dope on Instagram. What imagery were you going for with that installation?
Miah M.: Thank you, I appreciate that! The installation was conceptualized to hopefully duplicate the same environment that a person would see if he or she visited the courtyard of a mental institution. That explains the TV set up, chess board game in the middle of the room and hand-painted pieces such as the “counting days” piece.




King Phill: I’ve also noticed Authntc hasn’t released any collabs. Are there any on the works or you guys just plan to not do any?
Miah M.: Yes, no collaboration projects yet nor do we plan to do any soon. Right Now we are concerned on personal growth.



King Phill: A lot of brands take that route; it’s always important to get yourself straight before you throw anyone or anything else into the equation. Are you open to collabs in the future?
Miah M.: Of course! Donnie and I always talk about collaborations and the brands that we want to work with; it’s just a matter of time and planning.



King Phill: How do you feel about producing limited quantity pieces versus larger quantity pieces?
Miah M.: My co-owner Donnie and I always frowned at looking like everyone else. Finding yourself wearing the same thing as someone else just makes you feel less “cool.” Producing limited quantities helps produce the cool, exclusive factor in someone’s style. There is a greater value in exclusivity than in the mass produced.

 

King Phill: I definitely feel you on that. What are some of the most exclusive pieces you’ve released? I saw this ILL Native American skull vest on your IG; looks crazy.
Miah M.: Thank you! The “Dead Man” BDU Vest has not released yet! More info on that particular piece will be out soon to the public. All of our collections/releases are released in limited quantities. The most exclusive releases we had yet were the “God The Plug” coach jacket and our hand distressed & painted BDU jacket. We got so many people asking and emailing us if were going to restock anytime soon and we said no. 

 

Explore Millennial Dating with ‘Situationships’

Situationships is a new web series that focuses on the ups, downs, twists, and turns of dating as a millennial. 

In Episode 5 of the enticing web-series, Situationships, things heat up for Robyn and Tarryn. Damian is back up to his old tricks, Alyssa continues to plot revenge while Jasmyn and Adrian catch up. After running into each other, Melody and Jaden have their first date. 

Check out episode five below!

Ladies, Miki Agrawal’s THINX Underwear Is Giving Your “Period Panties” A Makeover

THINX, co-founded by NYC social entrepreneur Miki Agrawal is giving your “period underwear” a makeover. Those dark colored not so sexy undies you don’t mind ruining if you don’t successfully make it through the day are getting a face lift. Their patented technology keeps you clean and dry, while absorbing up to two tampons worth of liquid. Yeah, you read that correctly.

THINX provides you with the power to feel confident you won’t have a leak. Available in nude and black, with affordable prices ranging between $28-34, you’ll no longer need your unreliable panty liners. These babies can be popped in the washing machine and worn again. No more thrown away panties. No more avoiding white pants and skirts. No worries, you can trust it. Time Magazine named THINX, one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2015”.

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Truly inspired by her own period horror stories and the stories of women worldwide. Miki created these cute undies in all of your favorite styles to serve as a backup or substitute for your feminine products. Doing even more good for womankind, each THINX purchase provides training, jobs, and access to reusable pads for women in Uganda through partner organization, AFRIpads.

It was a task for Miki to find time to change her tampon, while zooming around the city running several restaurant locations. Then an incident with her twin sister left them in the bathroom, rinsing a bikini bottom in the sink, thinking “what if there were underwear that actually helped women out during this time of the month?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 5.57.49 PMAfter researching, she found herself in shock. New iPhones roll out every few months and we constantly find tech savy ways to do nearly everything, yet only 3 major 20th century innovations have been made in feminine hygiene. 1921- the tampon. 1969- the adhesive strip was added under pads. 1980s- the mainstream menstrual cup. Why was no one better catering to the female period experience?

During a 2010 trip to South Africa, Miki had the opportunity to meet a group of young girls and found out many of them miss a full week of school each month they are on their periods-sometimes leading to them dropping out. In America, we may be subconsciously taught to be embarrassed about our periods, but in other countries, women are often considered “unclean”, shunned, and isolated during theirs. Even more unfortunate, while many women complain about how products on the market barely get us through, women in under developed areas can’t even afford the very products we complain about. Miki heard stories of women using newspaper, plastic bags, and pieces of mattresses as poor pad substitutes.

Her dismay that women worldwide were still being so inconvenienced by a natural monthly occurrence that’s been happening since the beginning of time brought her to this solution.

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THINX launched in 2015, not only to reinvent our feminine hygiene products, but on a meaningful mission to remove the taboo surrounding the menstrual cycle. Now women can have one less worry on their minds while out running the world. While, women in Uganda and Sri Lanka have access to pads, education, and jobs.

THINX represents empowering women around the world, by not allowing your period (or anything else in life) hold you back. Your period is not gross, embarrassing, or shameful. It’s natural and is actually the way your uterus stays healthy enough to birth new lives into this world.

Shop and learn how THINX works, get period facts, plus watch a short film about the period exsperieces of Miki, celebs, and others at www.shethinx.com