Let’s Talk ‘Games People Play’

BET has done it again. They created another hit show that actually has a purpose. I loved Boomerang and can’t wait for a new season. Being Mary Jane was the shit too when it was aired regularly and Games People Play is another relatable series.

The Characters

The show stars Lauren London, who plays Vanessa; Sarunas Jackson, who plays her husband Marcus; Jackie Long, who plays Marcus’ best friend, Kareem; Parker McKenna Posey, who plays Laila, a side chick; Karen Obliom, who plays Nia, Vanessa best friend; and the Instagram funny influencer Kendall Kyndall, who plays Nia’s friend and messy coworker. 

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Background Information

What makes the show realistic is the fact that some professional sports players cheat, specifically in the show NBA players. In the show, Marcus cheats on a Vanessa and she catches them mid-act, and puts the paws on her. The girl somehow ends up dead and the show is at the point of figuring out if Marcus or even Vanessa had something to do with her death. Marcus cheats again, this time with Laila and she subliminally posts his body parts on Instagram. Vanessa finds out and decides to get her revenge. Nia is a celebrity blogger and her job wants her to write a story about Laila even though it may jeopardize her relationship with Vanessa. Marcus’ friend Kareem used to be as good as Marcus when it came to basketball but didn’t perfect his craft long enough so he’s kind of seen as Marcus’ sidekick or even his shadow.

No Double Standard

I like how the writers make the show realistic with Vanessa cheating back on Marcus. Yes, she cheats back y’all and AS SHE SHOULD. This man publicly cheated on her and he’s in the midst of getting back in her good grace and “saying” he’s not going to cheat again. Whether Vanessa believes it or not, she got her revenge back by cheating with an old friend. There is no double standard here. Nia, her friend, did not judge her. Marcus doesn’t know…yet but I hope he finds out so she can throw it in his face.

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Career or Friendship

Choosing between work and friendship can be tough at time. Of course money pays the bills so you would want to pick your job but friends who support you, your decisions and lifestyle is something you don’t want to take for granted. Nia has to tread lightly when it comes to her career as a gossip writer and her friendship with Vanessa, who has a cheating husband and his business stays in the media.

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Living in Friend’s Shadow

We’ve all been in a position where we’ve followed instead leaded, gone with the flow, let our friend take the shine and be great. In the last episode, they gives us some history on the start of Marcus and Kareem’s friendship. They were college roommates and both on the basketball team. Kareem was starting and Marcus was going to be riding the bench. As time went on, Kareem was slacking (for bets and money reasons) and that gave Marcus the time to shine. He went pro while Kareem…didn’t. Instead Kareem became Marcus’ alibi for everything when it came to Vanessa, plus some! In the second to last episode, Kareem realized that he was living in Marcus’ shadow and didn’t want to cover for him anymore. He noticed his worth and realized that even though he didn’t go pro, he can do other things with his talents. This is a good lesson of, if you and a friend are both experts in a craft one becomes better than the other, and makes it further in life, that doesn’t mean neither of you has to live in the other’s shadow. That just means that you can fully support one another while pursuing your path in another direction.

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This show is a must-see. Not only is Lauren London in it, but Kendall Kyndall is hilarious, Karen Obliom is my fav, Sarunas is FINE and BET needs support to keep putting relevant content on their network. 

What are your thoughts on the show? Comment them below and let me know!

 

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KV The Writer Talks Being An Artist and Laughing Through Heartbreak

I got the chance to interview a very talented artist from St. Louis with DELUX Magazine, whom I write for. Check out the interview below.

St. Louis artist KV Thompson, also known as KV The Writer, is more than just that. She sings, raps, writes her own music, and she’s even a published author. KV been writing since she was a kid and with that she’s perfected the skill.

KV’s recent project is about a guy breaking up with her at an ice cream shop. With her getting her heart broke, she channeled her hurt into her music, a full blown EP titled Love Sucks. DELUX was able to talk to her about her transparency, her talents and being an artist here in St. Louis.

DELUX: Being an artist comes with practice or it’s a natural thing. How do you start out singing?

KV: I honestly don’t consider myself a singer (lol.) I think of myself as a songwriter that tries to deliver songs the way I think they should be delivered. Sometimes that requires me to sing. Other times rap. I just try to bring songs to life the best way I can. My producer/engineer is the one that makes me into a singer.

DELUX: Were you hesitant on being so transparent about getting your heart broke?

KV: Not at all. I laugh at myself a lot, including when I get my heart broken. Of course, at the time, it wasn’t very funny, but after a while I would look back and laugh at myself about all the weird and ridiculous situations I found myself in.

DELUX: When dealing with getting your heart broke, did it change your perception on dating during these times versus 10 years ago?

KV: I can say 10 years ago I knew nothing about dating or what it meant to be your full self while in a partnership. 10 years from now I’m sure I’ll still be learning about how to form a romantic partnership with another person. I would say getting my heartbroken was a much needed lesson on love and attachment. It made me realize that we don’t own people, even the ones we love. People are free to walk out of your life for whatever reason. We have to appreciate the moments and seasons they are in our life, and don’t try to hold on to something past its time.

DELUX: How long have you been singing and who is the inspiration behind your sound?

KV: I started really developing the sound I have now about 2 years ago. I pushed my pen by writing songs every day for a whole year. During this time, I experimented a lot. I played around by writing songs for different genres, started practicing making melodies, and played with my voice a lot. I guess what inspires my sound is just being true to me. Whatever I feel like should come out, I do that.

DELUX: Your song “Crazy” is dope with you rapping and singing? There are only so many female artist that does that such as Nicki Minaj and even Lauryn Hill. With you having talent in both, would you consider yourself a singer, rapper or an artist overall?

Check out her response and the rest of the interview HERE

Make sure you follow her on IG @KVTheWriter

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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

[DELUX Mag] DJ sheBEATZ Talks Being a Woman in the DJ Industry

A few weeks ago, I was granted the opportunity to interview a talented Dj named sheBEATZ and she is a WOMAN, which is still kind of rare in the DJ industry.

Read below my interview I did on DELUX Mag with DJ sheBEATZ below:

The DJ industry is huge, but female DJs are rare to come by. St. Louis has just a few of them and each of them bring something different to their mix. DELUX got the opportunity to talk to one of the few female DJs, sheBEATZ, about her love for music, the male dominated industry, and the level of support there is in the DJ industry.

DELUX: How old were you when you first fell in love with music?

DJ sheBEATZ: I was probably like 5. My parents used to throw basement parties and my dad had a set up of two cassette players. So I could load like four songs and fade the volume–he showed me. I did that for years and I began making mix CDs, making sure the songs fit whatever theme I created. I’ve played instruments and I’ve danced all the way through high school. I stopped being so active in the arts in college but I would always jam out to my old CDs I made in high school.

DELUX: What inspired you to do music/become a DJ?

DJ sheBEATZ: Music is what inspired me to DJ. My love for it. Also, while I was in college I was trying to find a medium. I went into journalism because I thought I wanted to write about it, I got into radio because I thought I wanted to talk about it, and then finally after grad school and going out in STL, I realized I NEEDED to play it. STL was missing my vibe, so I decided to fix that.

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DELUX: What do you think sets you apart from other DJs?

Check out here response HERE

http://deluxmag.com/dj-shebeatz-talks-being-a-woman-in-the-dj-industry-the-support-among-other-djs/

Read the full interview at the above link and SHARE IT!

Danii Gold out!! ✌🏾 ✌🏾 ✌🏾

It’s Women’s History Month!!

March is dedicated to Women, specifically the history they’ve made. Women have came a long way from not being able to work, to having low-class jobs to being CEOs of companies. For black women, the struggle has been even more real. History is STILL being made with black women being the “first” to be in a high position of power. BUT it’s been said that Black Women are the top entrepreneurs AS WE SPEAK, and are continuing to grow!!

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This month, I’ll be highlighting women who’ve made history or just women who simply need some shine.

Speaking of highlighting women, Paper Magazine released their cover for their March issue, which included Black Women in Hip Hop. It included interviews from artists such as Saweetie, Dreezy, Rico Nasty, City Girls, Yung Miami, Melii, Malibu Miitch, Bali Baby, Bri Steves, Kamaiyah, Cuban Doll and Asian Doll.

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Shout out to Paper Mag for doing it for the culture. They should have had Kash Doll on the cover too. How do y’all feel about the cover? Also, who are your favorite women who’ve been doing they thang? (Besides Michelle Obama)

Comment below and let me know!!

Danii Gold out ✌🏾 ✌🏾✌🏾

Kehlani While We Wait Review

Kehlani blessed us with some music over the weekend “while we wait” for her to give us a full album after she gives birth to her baby girl.

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To me, this “mixtape,” as she calls it, gave me more of a 90s R&B vibe, as clichè as it sounds. This project reminded me of her SweetSexySavage album, which was my first introduction to her. She talks about love, relationships (good and bad), and A LOT of relatable situations on this While We Wait project.

Kehlani started off the mixtape with a feature from Musiq Soulchild titled “Footsteps.” She explains that when she walks away from a relationship when she’s mad, she expects her significant other follow her, leaving footsteps for him to do so.

“Too Deep,” is a relating song to both men and women. It’s about having a side thang and things are getting too serious, “too deep” between the two of you. Y’all arguing when y’all shouldn’t be because it’s just a sex relationship. It’s becoming too much to keep the “relationship” going.

“Nunya” is exactly what it sounds like lol, none of your business. It’s about a guy who she used to be involved with and he wants to know what’s going with her because he lost her and he still cares. Welp, WE’VE ALL BEEN IN THAT SITUATION, men and women, on both ends. He/she lost you and they know it and they still tryna keep up with you to see who you’re involved with now.

Another relating track is “Morning Glory” which is; if a guy accepts you at your best when he goes home with you at night then he needs to accept how you look in the morning, at my morning glory. It’s like a one night stand song lol.

The fifth song “Feels” is about a person who you diggin and they got you feeling them, giving you feels and making you all sensitive inside.

“Nights Like This” is about thinking about your ex on random days, wanting to text them, etc. Then you think about all the good that can come from hitting them up. THEN you think of all the lies they told you and how they’ll get your hopes up again, like they always do. RE-LATE-ABLE. You already know the BS that this person is on but you miss the good moments, then you start getting involved with the person again and they let you down again. 🗣🗣 SPEAK THAT KEHLANI!!!

On the sixth track “RPG” featuring 6lack, which is really “Show Me Your Love” is about having your partner show you that they love you and care. You may complain about them not touching you enough but they correct it, you tell them that they don’t compliment you enough and they correct it, and etc. This song is about communication to me, about talking and listening to your partner and correcting your actions.

The next song “Butterfly,” I’m still unclear on. It’s a beautiful song but I can’t really decipher it, maybe YOU can and comment your thoughts below lol 😬.

The last track “Love Language,” is about knowing what your partner likes as far as how they like to be shown that they are loved. Kehlani says she “wants to be fluent in your love language.” That’s beautiful, it’s like she wants to know what you like and execute it! Some people like gifts to show that they are loved. Some like that their partner listens to them and surprises them with non-materialistic items. Some people don’t care what their partner likes but more so what they are good as when it comes showing their love for that person (selfish 🙄🙄).

Any who, I liked this “mixtape;” I like the different positions she spoke from, like being the cheater in a relationship but also being the one catching feelings, to even being the one who has moved on from a relationship.

What are your thought about her new music. Comment below and let me know!

Also, congratulations again to Kehlani on her pregnancy!!

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Danii Gold out !! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

Featured image: dbknews.com

August Alsina Forever And a Day EP Review

It’s been a while since August Alsina blessed us with a collection of music and might I say, I was ver excited when he dropped it.

It’s no secret that he was battling a lot, from collapsing at a concert and dealing with health issues, to becoming addicted to prescription drugs to recently losing his sister in law to cancer and having to take care of his three nieces. August has been through a lot, from the broken relationship with his mother to losing his brother to gun violence. He channels his pain through his music and blesses us with it.

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His newest EP “Forever and A Day” talks about love, pleasing a woman, and just being there for her. The sound is sensual and sexy. He does a lot of background vocals which is unique AND he threw a couple features on there.

To break down each song; The Ep titled intro “Forever and A Day” song is about loving a woman (or a man, for the women) for forever and wanting to keep that same love for forever.

The second track “Be Love” expresses the want of being there for a woman (or whomever) and wanting to give her the love she deserves. AIN’T THAT SWEET!! 🥰🥰

The song “You” featuring Keith Sweat, is one of my favorites, especially the background vocals. This song is a love making song, and he says it in the song lol. He has Keith Sweat in the chorus and August ironically adds the line “Who can fuck you like me? (Nobody) And who can give you what you need? (Nobody, baby)”

Control” is self explanatory; it’s about not being able to control yourself around someone you’re involved with. August got Ty Dolla $ign on this one to help with the chorus, another enjoyable hit.

The fifth track “Secret” is about someone bringing out your sensitive side and you don’t want them telling anyone because it’s not part of your normal character. But he also says it’s not that big of a secret because it’s hard for him to hide that fact he’s in love with this girl.

“Go” is so sweet to me; it’s about not wanting to see your girl leave and telling her that y’all can do whatever she wants to do, as long as she stays. The translation is “Just say go and we’ll go.”

The song “Lost,” is about getting lost….in sex. Just getting lost in the moment that’s filled with kisses and hitting spot 👀 👀 okay August!

August closed out the EP with the last track titled “Us,” which is about you and your significant other only having each other, “All We Got Is Us.” Everyone has heard of that saying before, whether it’s in a relationship, friendship, or just yourself on some ‘Me, Myself, and I’ type ish.

I will say that the songs were short and were literally between 2-3 minutes. There weren’t any bridges in the songs, just verse one, pre-chorus, chorus, verse 2, pre-chorus, chorus, then the song ends. Short and sweet to say the least.

I enjoyed the EP, because it was nice hearing a collection of work by him. He last came out with a joint project with Cassius Jay in 2017, but before then, his last actual album was “This Thing Called Life,” which I REALLY enjoyed, came out in 2015. I hope to hear more of his music and an actual album because he is talented, FINE, and he has a lot to speak about.

Have y’all listened to the album? If so, what are your thoughts? Comment below and let me know!

Danii Gold out!! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾