Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

The Greens | A Growing Influence

the greens outside imageColumbia, MO is a dusty town spread out between hills and vast forests, parks and farmlands. Smack dab in the center however, is the University of Missouri.

Mizzou, home to SEC athletics and the occasional white frat scandal, is an unlikely but incredibly live ecosystem for creatives, especially those that fall into marginalized groups. It is generally accepted that the black undergraduate population is essentially comprised of 4 large groups of students: those from St. Louis, those from Chicago, those from Kansas City and those from anywhere else on the globe.

This concept is not to be used to reduce these students to their geographical origins, but to shine light on what this generation of Midwest creatives is doing in this small town. A campus collection of poets, rappers, designers, intellectuals, DJs, artists, activists, fashion icons, researchers, movers and shakers, leads to communities built to support these creative pursuits. Not only spoken word clubs, rap groups, orgs and events – but entire businesses.

Enter: The Greens

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The Greens Logo

The company and brand is much more than tops dripping in sauce and hot hoodies that spread like wildfire throughout the campus. The Greens is a sacred space. We spoke with representatives on their team to find out more.

“The Greens is a creative boutique that doubles as an art curation space. This means that fashion and art goes hand-in-hand here at The Greens.”

The initial impression is that this is a clothing brand. But wait, there’s more…

The Greens has two sides to it, the first being the successful clothing line and the second being a flexible and dynamic, curated art garden of sorts.

“On the fashion side, we market ourselves as a high-end streetwear brand. Our focus is on cut-and-sew pieces, giving us extreme freedom, creativity, and custom-ability with our garments. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and want to deliver quality to our customers.

On the curation end, we hail ourselves as a space where creatives of all kinds can come and be inspired. We like to think our space as a “blank canvas” that can be transformed at any time. During our day to day operations, we serve as a boutique, but the space can be completely flipped at any moment and built out into an in-house installation or collaboration with an artist that fits the brand.”

A radical spin on student run businesses (that puts the original logo company I started at MU to shame – I might add), The Greens is a blend of shop and support system. Not to mention an inspiration showing dreams can be realized and capitalized on, right in the middle of Missouri. Yes, just around the corner from hazardous Rock Quarry and a neighbor to Columbia favorite Heidelberg, sits an art-oasis-meets-retail spot that came into fruition due to the diligence of actual Mizzou students.

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An STL native, Marquise White poses with hometown hero, Smino. The slant rhyme rap guru holds up a dope Smi-inspired top.
The concept came to Marquise White and Curtis Taylor Jr. years ago. Both men have been deeply involved on campus during their respective times at Mizzou and both have their passions and focuses. Quise is notorious for excelling at his personal goals, busting fits and pushing the envelope to pursue and declare his style, while Curtis is more focused on the art side and has extensive photography and videography projects under his belt, not to mention a legacy in the making.

 

The two have officially been cooking this idea up since 2015 and with that, I had to ask how they took their first steps to get here.

 

“There has been so many steps to get us to this point, but we think the first step was building a solid foundation for us to stand on. That means defining who we are, what our mission is, and how we could accurately translate this dream and passion into a living, breathing entity. When we established that, everything else kind of fell into place for us. Now, seeing people wearing our clothes and ordering from all across the nation has been super surreal but shows us what happens if we continue to stand behind our mission.”

The clothing has taken off, the store is immaculate and has undergone updates and constant changes and the word is spreading.

To see the full transformation of the space visit The Greens on Instagram here.

The Greens is currently and rapidly expanding its team and has new products and events in rotation to support and connect artists and the community. They emphasize working together and note how crucial Mizzou and Columbia as a whole have been in helping make this happen.

I asked them about their motivation as they continue to grow The Greens.

“We have the opportunity to take everything we’ve learned thus far and pour it into The Greens. What’s dope about that for us is that we are simultaneously pouring into everyone who interacts with our brand as well. We opened this store with the intent to give back to the people. Whether that’s giving people a platform through collaboration or giving people the blueprint and inspiration just by having a space that was opened by two young, black men.”

This aspect in particular is what inspired me to reach out and learn more about the brand. So many times the young, extraordinary and ambitious are told or taught that certain risks are not possible for them or not worth pursuing. It has never been a better time as a young creative to learn, plan and GO! Create, broadcast, brand and build – you don’t need to have a brick-and-mortar space to make an impact or start. I myself am greatly inspired by what this team of people are doing and creating.

“We wanted to be an example to say that all of these things that we typically think are out of our reach are very much so obtainable with the right people and direction.”

And regarding the origins of The Greens creators and St. Louis, there is tons of gratitude and plans to give back to the city, be that with a shop or through service. St. Louis’ support of The Greens is something they won’t ever forget or lose gratitude for.

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Follow The Greens on social media @thegreensco (click here for Instagram and Twitter) to stay up to date on clothing drops, performances, events and more. 

Read on for more on Marquise White, co-founder of The Greens.  Continue reading The Greens | A Growing Influence

Boominati Worldwide: STL Producer named Top Songwriter of 2017 for Q1

We’ve all heard it before, “Metro Boomin wants some more nigga,” “If Young Metro don’t trust you I’m gone shoot you,” or my latest favorite, “It’s luh Metro on the beat.” It’s gotten to the point where you know any song with one of these tags is about to bang. Your favorite rapper probably has had him on their project and it was probably that rapper’s best song on the tape. The super producer hit the ground running a few years ago and has picked up the pace to start off 2017, giving himself​ another notch on his heavyweight belt.

According to Music Business Worldwide, Young Metro is the top songwriter in the US for the first three months. The study basically gives out points for every song that cracks the Billboard Hot 100. Metro has the most points, contributing to nine Hot 100 hits, five being in the Top 10. 

On top of all this success, Metro has announced the launching of his record label, Boominati Worldwide. He’s already dropped some heat with his new label– “No Complaints” featuring Drake and Offset. 

So next time you feel like this man is damn near on every song, slap yourself because you been sleep for nearly the past decade. This Midwest mega-star has already stepped into elite status in this music industry and plans to make his name Worldwide.

Check out some of the hits that placed Metro above Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran as top songwriter below, along with his new single “No Complaints”. 

XXL 2017 Freshman List

Every year XXL releases a list announcing the next wave of rappers that are next up. Along with the list announcement XXL also drops freestyles and interviews from each artist and provides them with a great amount of exposure. XXL has predicted the success of many rap stars like Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, and Travis Scott by adding them to prior freshman lists. This year XXL freshman class includes; Kamaiyah, A Boogie, PNB Rock, XXXtentacion, Madeintyo, Playboicarti, Amine, Uglygod, Kap G, and Kyle. I think XXL did a good job with this list, although I believe NBA Youngboy, Montana of 300, Rich the Kid, Famous Dex, YFN Lucci, and Blac Youngsta could’ve easily been on the list as well. Every year a new list is dropped there is always controversy on who should have and who shouldn’t have made the freshman class. There are a lot of good artists right now especially in the music streaming era, and it’s hard to include them all on the list. Whether you agree with the choices of this year’s list or not you should check out each artist, and wait to see if any blow up in 2017.

 

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Where’d You Go To Highschool?

 

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My name is Melinda Oliver, but I go by Young Yogi Mel. I grew up on the West side of St. Louis city, and I’m the creator of Young Yogi Youth Project in St. Louis City. 

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Young Yogi Youth Project seeks to teach teens kindness, healthy coping techniques, self-discipline, and respect for themselves and others. Through the practice of yoga, meditation, and mindful activities, we encourage young people to commit themselves to their own self-betterment and to be kind to others while they work towards theirs. I work with 30-45+ students 1-2 times a week at Vashon High School. 

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Essentially, what I’m doing is combating education inequality in the inner city with yoga and meditation. Education inequality is when kids who come from low-income neighborhoods receive a lower quality of education than kids who live in more affluent neighborhoods. Property taxes and income taxes from residents in every district are used to fund schools Poor neighborhood = Poor schools. This type of funding is disproportionately hurting minority students and inner city students.

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Photograph by: Jerei Camp

Education is the great equalizer. It opens the door for knowledge, opportunity, and a better quality of life. Robbing a child of his/her access to equal education is damn near like robbing them of their future. Education inequality issue manifests itself in a number of ways: Lack of funding/resources, poor faculty retention rates, “militarized schools”. My kids are coming from high poverty, low income neighborhoods and a lot of them have difficult home lives. They’re already frustrated. They’re already on edge and rightfully so. Then, they get to school and nothing is better. They lash out. They fall behind. They fight. They drop out. They’re up against problems you wouldn’t believe, and they’re not even adults! It’s mentally taxing, it’s spiritually hurtful.

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What I found was that I couldn’t’ take my student’s out of their situations, but what I could give them a place inside of themselves where they could go to heal. Yoga and meditation are scientifically proven to relieve stress, create a sense of calm/peace, promote focus, and lead to better decision making. Being a teenager is already hard enough. My program is focused on manifesting inner growth that could eventually lead to outer growth in self confidence and performance in school.

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Besides Young Yogi Youth Project, I am working on creating a youtube channel teaching videos online and a lifestyle blog where I speak on living a positive, peaceful life for the modern day urban millennial. My ultimate goal is to make yoga and mindful living accessible to all communities because I believe in it’s power to change mindsets and therefore, change minds. 

Be sure to stay up to date with Young Yogi Mel and all her future endeavors by following her on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @Youngyogimel  for all three accounts.

Tiger Drunk & Driving?


Golfing guru Tiger Woods was arrested around 3 a.m. Monday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence. Woods has since been released and it is said that it was unclear whether he tested positive for drugs or alcohol.  
Police say they noticed Woods “driving erratically all over the road” which gave them reason to pull him over. No other details were immediately available, but lets hope Tiger gets through this. 

Summer Selections – Vol 1.

Summer May not have officially started on the celestial calendar, but as this month closes to an end, here are a few tunes to try out to get you through that shift, pregame to, and fit the vibes of those hot, sunny drives.

  • Young Hot Thotties  x Dan Murray

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    This 2016 jam, available on Apple Music and here on Soundcloud, is by Virginia
    birthed, ATL reppin’ Dan Murray. In this interview with The Perfect Play, Murray states, “Everyone has that cocky side to them an I’m just open about it and like fuck it – being cocky or conceited is okay if your intent is good. I’m a pretty ass nigga blame my mom & dad not me so shit I’m going to brag about myself – why not you know.” It’s my current go-to solo drive song whether I’m feeling myself, the weather or I’m just back on my bullshit. Bump this track here on Soundcloud or stream on Apple Music, and thank me later.

  • XO TOUR Llif3Lil Uzi Vert

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    All my friends are dead, push me to the edge.” I know, I know – not exactly the fun message you think you’d want to hear when taking advantage of late nights and chasing thrills, but you’d be surprised. While perhaps lyrically disturbing, this Uzi track is currently placed eighth on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Don’t knock it till you try it, this tune is a guaranteed to be played at some functions if you havent heard it already. Check it out on Apple Music or here on Soundcloud. Prepare yourself, after party staples like Carti’s Magnolia and GoldLink’s Crew, you may find yourself in Uzi’s dark space (and you might like it).

  • Everyday We Lit (feat. PnB Rock) YFN Lucci

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    Lucci claims this collab between the two came organically when just vibing in the studio, running through beats. However it was birthed, this track certainly captures the attitude many share this summer. A highly requested bop on college campuses, its got a sound that carries it beyond the seemingly played out topic. So, how lit does it get you? Peep the original on Apple Music or the remix featuring Lil Yachty and Wiz Khalifa here on Soundcloud.

  • Lemon Pon Goose (feat. Jean Deaux) x Smino
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    The beloved STL native dropped this single in 2016 around the same time of the underappreciated release of the blkjuptr EP and its been sitting pretty in my “Songs to Whine on my Future BD” playlist ever since. (I wish I was joking). Infectious beats and the sultry feature of Jean Deaux (a dope voice known to roll with the Pivot team in the Chi with fellow up-and-coming-artist, SABA).  Listen on Apple Music or via Soundcloud here.

  • RAF (feat. A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert & Frank Ocean) x A$AP Mob

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    The Mob has done it again with this fat collaboration with a specific request of the listener. Originally, a preview was flashed by A$AP Rocky in January under the name Please Don’t Touch My Raf  and more recently an alternate version aired on Frank’s Beats 1 Radio station Blonded earlier this month. With such a diverse set of artists, it’s impressive how cohesive it comes together and how consistent the sound represents Rocky and the Mobs usual ambiance. From Carti’s adlibs to Frank’s variations and stresses, the song is art just as much as any Raf Simmons original. Available on Apple Music and you can hear the preview on Soundcloud here

 

More Summer Selections coming your way next week. Enjoy your flight. 

College Kitchen

Don’t let this pretty face fool you; this girl will definitely get her hands dirty. That is, in the kitchen, of course! Merryck, a native of Los Angeles, California, is a student at the University of Missouri and operates a catering company, College Kitchen.

When she is not heating things up in the kitchen, she enjoys watching old movies and trying out different restaurants around town.

 

What is college kitchen and how did it start?

College Kitchen is a company that literally started with a Sunday dinner. I enjoyed cooking for my friends every week, breaking bread and just sharing each other’s company.  Now it is a full-service catering company that supplies quality food to the Columbia community.”

She began March of 2016 selling $6 plates to students on campus every Friday, which slowly made people curious about her business. From there, she became the word around campus. “I’m very active on social media so people started wondering what we were going to make every week and even wanted to preorder. Because of that, we were able to start preselling our menu online. People started to ask us to cater and that’s really when things took off. We aimed to provide affordable options that look and taste good. “

Merryck’s passion for cooking is inspired by her family, specifically, her mom and aunt’s. Watching her aunt in the kitchen, she did not fail to pick up her family’s cooking skills. Her mother owns a bakery and clearly this is a trait that runs in her blood. Learning how to cook and make sauces from scratch as a child, she continues to implement this in her food. “Every College Kitchen sauce/item is actually made from scratch with fresh ingredients” she states.

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“Taylor Garner and Sierra Mckie are really the heart and soul of College Kitchen. Taylor works as the manager and sous chef. She knows all of the recipes, which is a really big thing for me. She helps manage are budget for catering orders and assists me with creating new recipes and adding items to our menu. Sierra works as the head of operations. She makes sure our cooking space is completely spotless and that we have everything we need for an event (i.e. utensils, plates, catering materials). She also is our pastry chef. I come up with recipes for new desserts and she masters them. Each person plays an integral role in making sure our events are a success!” –Merryck

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“At the moment, we have so many options. We’re trying to figure out if we want to hone in on one specific area whether it be catering or opening an actual restaurant. I would love to have a storefront and still provide catering on the side. Wherever I go after graduation, College Kitchen will come with me. It has become a part of me and I would love to see where I can take it. Los Angeles has become a hotbed for foodies like myself. TrapKitchen LA is one of my biggest inspirations and watching how far they have come, I really think the sky is the limit. I don’t plan on changing the name but I have considered simply using the abbreviation. That way, people have to ask what the story is behind it!”

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From learning how to cook at such a young age and developing her talent and passion of cooking into a growing successful business, Merryck has no limit to where she can go! She is striving young black woman who is determined to make a name for herself. She is the definition of a #GIRLBOSS

Contact for our services

For catering, email eatcollegekitchen@gmail.com or message them on Instagram (@collegekitchenmizzou) and Twitter (@ck__mizzou). “We do provide specials on Sundays with some of our popular menu items. Keep up with our Twitter for further updates!”