Dannie B; A Man of Many Talents

Dannie B is artistically-inclined individual in every aspect, from songwriting, to playing instruments, and even his familiarity with videography. He considers himself a storyteller. I had the opportunity to sit down with him to learn more about his background.

 

Danii Gold: Being a man of many talents, how did you start off in all of your talents ?

Dannie B: It started in high school, I was a curious person. I just loved trying out different things. So during my senior year, Me and my friends would have rap battles every morning before school and one day I had this idea to record it. My mom had just got a digital camera and I decided to records the rap battles. Once I had the footage, I decided to edit it into a film. So that’s was the start of my video experience. And then I started getting into photography senior year as well when I wanted to take pictures for my senior memory book.

I actually began considering myself an artist in college when I started studying creative writing and so I had to transition to that from computer science. My counselor asked me why would I want to change my major and I’m thinking, “she’s supposed to be encouraging me to follow my dreams.” After I spoke with my parents, they said they trusted me to make my own decisions so that’s how I got into creative writing. Then my last semester at Flo Valley is when I got into the poetry club and started writing for the school newspaper and pretty much got into whatever writing that I could.

Photography came about when I interned at KDHX. I was a writing intern and pretty much a music journalist. My manager asked me for pictures one day instead of sending out separate photographers so I started taking a few pictures for articles. At the same time, I became further interested in photography by traveling and by meeting a group of black photographers at UMSL. Those experiences grew on me then I gradually transformed into a photographer.

My love for music comes from my childhood, I come from a family of musicians, my mother’s side was gospel singers. On my dad side, my grandfather was a gospel singer, then I had a uncle who was a touring musician and played with a bunch of major acts. Music was always there but it wasn’t until the middle of college when I had this spark to do it professionally! For a period of time, I did a mixture of poetry and guitar playing at open mics, then over the years I started playing for a couple of different bands and pretty much grew as a musician from there.  To sum it up, I had all these individual influences that sparked my curiosity to get me into doing all those different things. Originally, I wrote poetry to music and then I got the idea to become a songwriter. I wrote my first original song last fall.

Danii Gold: So do you play instruments as well?

Dannie B:Well, when I was in grade school I started off as a percussionist but when I actually got into music more seriously, I started playing the guitar, which is my main instrument. Then I went on to play bass and piano.

Danii Gold: Out of all of your talents, which one is your favorite one to do?

Dannie B: I kind of go through seasons. So for the past year I’ve been doing a lot of music and instrumentation with other people, and doing poetry. I’ve been kind of dormant with photography and haven’t done a lot of it in the past couple years but I am gradually getting back into it; every 3 to 6 months I go through a cycle with all my talents. But I spend the majority of my time on music so that’s my favorite right now.

Danii Gold: What do you like to write about when it comes to poetry and songwriting for instants love, feelings, etc?

Dannie BMy genre is love intimacy and romance so the vast majority of my work deals with that. Whether it’s the typical boy meets girl or being in a relationship and going through things or just teaching in general.

Danii Gold: While you were doing photography what kinds of images did you like to capture?

Dannie BWhen I first started off I did a lot of travel work. My big entry into photography started when I studied abroad in Amsterdam and that’s when I was fascinated by all the buildings and architecture and bicycles. So I got into travel photography, and when I went out of town somewhere, I would try to take pictures as much as possible. I did a lot of street photography, like walking downtown and seeing people as they are and things happening. Then I got into protest photography and was contracted with SEIU, Service Employee International Union in 2013, which was before Ferguson. So when Ferguson actually happened, I was doing a lot of protest photography and I knew a lot of people that were activists and organizers within it. What I learned with shooting protest, there is a flow to it.

Danii Gold: Do you have a favorite musician/someone who’s inspired you ?

Dannie B: Definitely there are all these different types of aspirations like as a guitar player, my favorite has been Chris Martin or Johnny Buckley from Coldplay. John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even 70s soul like Earth Wind and Fire, Ohio Players and Heat Wave.

Favorite Photographer; I like Ami Vitalie, she’s a shooter for National Geographic and she focuses on pandas. When it comes to film, I am a huge Ava Duvernay fan. She’s my favorite right now. In terms of individual films, I am obsessed with Intersellar, it’s directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway.

Danii Gold: Do you consider yourself an artist or a creator?

Dannie BKind of a mixture of both but I do find myself more so an artist. I’ve come to that decision because I do work in marketing and PR and that’s a creative field and I’ve come to realize that a creative is someone who creates for the sole purpose of monetizing their work or their work being part of an advertisement. Whereas an artist there is something deeper and more meaningful and monetization isn’t the first thing that is on their mind. So I straddle the line, but I feel in spirit I’m definitely an artist.

Danii Gold: What are other talents that you still want to explore?

Dannie B: The next thing I would like to get into is acting. The idea of putting on a façade and playing a character is cool.

Danii Gold: What is end goal?

Dannie B: My end goal is to have a solid body of work or bodies of work long after I stop doing what I’m doing that can inspire and influence people. That is the main drive behind what I do is being an inspiration whether it be teaching something to people that didn’t know something or inspiring somebody to do something that I’ve done or that they want to do for themselves. So the end goal is creating something that I believe can be value to other people and give them hope and inspiration.

As far as projects go, Dannie B is working on a music project that he can place on a digital platform. He’s already done a written poetry project and a photography project so, he says this is one of the things he hasn’t done yet.

Make sure you follow him Instagram for music updates and when he’s performing at a local St. Louis spot. @DannieB224

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Ye Album Review

Kanye dropped his 8th album this past Friday and despite his crazy antics, his album is good. From addressing him being bipolar, to dedicating a song to his wife Kim and his daughters North and Chicago. YES, He’s been on some crazy shit lately from saying slavery was a choice to picking Whitney Houston’s drug infused bathroom as the cover art for Pusha T’s album that he produced…BUT, dude does have talent.

The Album Cover

His wife Kim (Kardashian-West) tweeted out that he JUST captured the cover art for his album Ye on the way to the listening party, literally hours before. That’s cray cray. I mean, the album cover really isn’t anything too crazy but the fact that he did it last minute just show his brain is very sporadic lol.

The Tracklist

“I Thought About Killing You”

It isn’t a secret that Kanye has some mental health issues, and specifically he came saying he was bipolar, so the first song on the track is “I Thought About Killing You.” I know….it sounds strange but in that song, some can debate that he was talking to and about his self. It literally says “Today I seriously thought about killing you, i contemplated, premeditated murder–And i think about bout killing myself and I love myself way more than I love you. You only care enough to kill someone you love—Sometimes I think really bad things.” Like I said, He could’ve been talking about someone orrrrrrrrrr he could’ve been talking about himself.

“Yikes”

In this record, he talks about some… yikes shit lol.  Pretty much how life can get hectic and specifically his personal life. He referenced  Russell Simmons getting #MeToo’ed. Then he talks about himself in third person–“See that’s why I fucks with Ye” and says that his bipolar is his super power, which is a good way to look at it to keep a positive mindset, Dude is something else.

“All Mine”

 The title is self explanatory and just women in general, from Tristan (Khloe Kardashian baby daddy) cheating on her. The production on this record is dope AF.

“Wouldn’t Leave”

Kanye addressed the “Slavery Was A Choice” statement and pretty much said he could’ve said worse. All in all, he stands by his statement. BUT on the flip side, he says his wife, Kim Kardashian-West. I like how he speaks of Kim in this song, as annoying as she can be at times, but he stated that she stuck by his side while he was battling his demons, and she could’ve left him but she did and she’s appreciated for that.

“No Mistakes”

Kanye sampled Slick Rick “Hey Young World” in this song, along with having legendary singer Charlie Wilson on the record and even Kid Cudi, whom he has an album coming THIS FRIDAY June 9.

Ghost Town”

This is probably my second favorite song on the album. Kid Cudi comes back on this record singing the main chorus saying he’s been trying to make you love him but everything he does is not good enough; that’s pretty sad. Then, a young singer by the name of 070 Shake comes in on the outro of the record talking feelings of being a child and doing childish things like putting your hand on a stove knowing it’s hot, but to see if you still bleed or even hurt in general. But she also references being free saying “And nothing hurts anymore, I feel kinda free.” To me, that symbolizes having so many feelings to the point where you have to numb yourself to it and when you’re numb to certain things, it doesn’t bother you anymore. Then, sometimes you have to snap out of the numbness and see if you still have feelings, hence, putting your hand on a stove to see if you still bleed, to see if you still feel pain and have feelings. (kinda deep, I know) lol.

Lastly….

“Violent Crimes”

Long story short, this is dedicated to his daughter and it is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics are clear and self explanatory:

“Don’t grow up in a hurry”

“Niggas is savage, niggas is monster, niggas is pimp, niggas is playas, till niggas have daughter”

“I see women as something to nurture, not something to conquer”

Ye pretty much views women differently after having two daughters. He had Ty Dolla $ign hitting some vocals on the chorus too and brought 070 Shake from track 6 on this records, singing towards the end. I can’t relate but I can definitely tell where he was coming from and I respect him for that.

Overall

I love the album. I haven’t listened to a full Kanye album in a while because he’s been an asshole for a while now and even though this is the worst time to listen to his album but I was curious and I’m glad I listened to it. I STILL don’t agree with his way of thinking and antics but he is a talented artist, without a doubt. I mainly loved the slow melody tracks on this album. Him being bipolar affected his album in a positive way because with him battling his crazy thoughts is what made the album sound so dope.

I give him 4.5 stars…only because of his slavery comments, maybe even 4 stars lol. But I fucks with this Ye album.

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What are your thoughts??

 

EXCLUSIVE BWxnda Interview

I sat down with one of my good friends and a talented artist about his music, being a solo artist, moving to a different coast AND new music he has on the way. Check out my BWxnda interview below. 

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Wale, “It’s Complicated” & “Self-Promotion” EPs Back to Back

Wale has been on a roll with dropping these EPs (extended play) lately. In Mid March, he dropped the EP It’s Complicated that had 4 songs on it, including “Black Bonnie” featuring Jacquees, which I absolutely LOVE, it’s more slow melody EP. Then yesterday he dropped Self Promotion., which is more hip hop based with a splash of slow melody. Not only did he release these two EPs two months apart but he just released a whole album last April, Shine. I guess he figured, he gotta stay relevant and by that, he’s dropping back to back EPs.

I respect that he’s independent and that sound is different than other artists to me. There “may” be artists who have his same flow but I believe he is the first to do so with poetic words. It’s Wale’s delivery that makes his music different and as a artist/rapper, he can express his feelings in a poetic flow without sounding like a punk lol. 

What are your thoughts about Wale dropping these back to EPs?

Comment below!

Art Appreciation: Andy Warhol

Featured Image Credit: artlife.com

I know this is a random post since I don’t blog about art but I’m currently in school and I’m taking digital art design classes and I’m doing a project on Andy Warhol. Ironically enough, today is his death anniversary!

Today marks 31 years(1987) that Andy Warhol passed away from complications of from surgery to remove his gallbladder. He was famously known for Pop Art but early in his career, after he graduated from art school, he went straight into commercial art working with Glamour magazine. He illustrated shoes for them and then branched off into Esquire magazine, which tailored to men shoes. 

warhol shoes
credit: lustinfashion.com —Glamour  illustration
men shoe war
credit: lustinfashion–Esquire illustration

It wasn’t until 1962 when he created the concept of Pop Art, which was the mass production of commercial good, creating his first BIG piece, The Campbell’s Soup Can: 32 canvas. He DID NOT create the original label instead reinvented it as a piece of art. 

Image result for andy warhol campbell soup
credit: arrestedmotion.com

 

Another famous painting by him was the painting of the Coca Cola bottle: 

Image result for Andy Warhol Coca-Cola (3) (1962)
credit: crystalbridges.org (1962)

And a famous Marilyn Monroe painting, but it was created after she died.

 

Image result for Andy Warhol Gold Marilyn Monroe (1962)
credit: art.com
Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol
credit: learnodo-newtonic.com

Along with other paintings such as 8 Elvises, Big Electric Chair and many others. In the 1970’s, Andy went on to publish books and went into film, producing 60 films, including some being silent. He was a band manager for the group Velvet Underground, 

He has painted and photographed celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Jones, AND Jean Michel Basquiat. He collaborated with Basquiat on a photoshoot of the two called Paintings. Even though the art piece did not become successful, the two had developed a close friendship and can be scene in countless photos together.

credit: sleek-mag.com; “Dos Cabezae”
credit: twixnmix.tumblr.com; 1984
Image result for jean basquiat and andy warhol
credit: vulture.com

 

Image result for jean basquiat and andy warhol last photo
credit: widewalls.ch

Andy lived a successful life and will forever be recognized for his contribution to Pop Art, a creative producer, a writer and a friend.

 

Image result for andy warhol
credit: newyorker.com

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://lustinfashion.com/2015/11/11/when-art-meets-fashion-andy-warhol-illustrations-for-fashion-magazines-1951-1963/
http://www.sleek-mag.com/2017/09/06/warhol-basquiat-bromance/

 

 

 

Black History Fact: Eartha Kitt

Todays Black History Fact is about Eartha Kitt. She was the original singer of the Christmas hit “Santa Baby” and was the first Black Catwoman in the Batman and Robin series in the 1960s.

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Eartha also played in Boomerang as Lady Eloise, Madame Zeroni in Holes and the voice of Yzma in The Emperor’s New Groove which won her an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production. She’s been on television and in movies since the late 1940s (uncredited).

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Credit: Blavity.com

Eartha acted in films up until a year before she passed in 2008 from colon cancer.

May her recognition live on and may she Rest In Peace.

Grammys 2018: Who SHOULD’VE Won

I tuned in to the Grammys last night and I was happy about the performances buuuuuut disappointed at some of the wins.

For instance, I LOVE SZA, so of course I was rooting for her to win at least 1 out of the 5 Grammys she was nominated for, ESPECIALLY for Best New Artist, but for some reason….Alessia Care won. Alessia’s definitely been active in the music scene for about three ish years, versus SZA who’s been dropping low key EPs but had a BOOMING year in 2017. For the Best R&B performance category, even though SZA was nominated, it was a given that Bruno was going to win because…well he’s Bruno.

Image result for bruno mars gif

For Best Urban Contemporary Album category, that was a toughy,  but I don’t think The Weeknd should’ve snagged that one and I listened to that album. I would’ve gave it to at least Childish Gambino, even Khalid and especially SZA. When you think about it…why wasn’t Kehlani’s SweetSexySavage album nominated under this category. I definitely LOVED that album and I had never listened to any of her music prior to that album. Also, why the helllllllllllllllllll wasn’t Heartbreak on a Full Moon nominated. We ALL know that Chris KILT the album. Yes, it was a lengthy album but well-deserving of a Grammy The category for Best R&B Album was a given because Bruno was in that category but I feel like 24k Magic wasn’t all R&B. It had funk in it, which is cool, but I feel like they put him in wayyyy too many categories.

Image result for chris brown shrug gif

The Best Rap Performance was given to Kendrick Lamar for Humble, but he was in competition with Cardi  B for Bodak Yellow and Migos for Bad and Boujee. I would’ve been happier if one of the two won. Kendrick also won Best Rap/Sung Performance for Loyalty, Best Rap Song for Duckworth AND Best Rap Album for DAMN.  Of course I’m glad he won, “For The Culture” but damn…literally; Cardi, Migos and SZA could’ve snagged an award from those categories.

I will say that I liked Kendrick’s performance, it was dope AF. Ri Ri was shaking a lil something and my girl SZA sang one of my favs “Broken Clocks. Childish Gambino performed some song, and his vocals were on point! And OF COURSE Bruno & Cardi KILT their performance of Finesse Remix.

Overall review of the awards: good performances, not so good winners.

Danii Gold out ✌🏾