Tag Archives: creative

Matty Wood$ – Good Morning (Official Video)

Staying true to being one of the most consistent rising artist out of the midwest, Matty Wood$ of St. Louis releases the highly anticipated video for his single “Good Morning”. The single didn’t make the newest project “I’ll Be Fine” but the track was too hot for him not to drop. Shot in the Mountains of Denver, Colorado Tyris Films & the rest of the 2200 Camp came together to create their visual display. Be sure to check out The Backwood Bandits newest visual “Good Morning” and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

RAIN. – The latest EP from Jay Wood

As fun as it is to pretend like the clock striking 12:00 is a magical moment of renewal… it’s highly likely you’ll be scribbling out 2017 and rewriting 2018 for the next three months. So before we get too hasty, let’s get hip to a recent EP release from a fearless up-and-coming rapper: RAIN. x Jay Wood. (listen here on soundcloud)

The forecast for this project (meteorological pun aggressively intended), features artists like Femdot & fellow Freesole artist Chulo. Not to mention, obtuse beats with versatility, an agile flow and direct lyrics describing the reality of a young black artist clinging to his faith and sanity amidst the chaos. While the delivery is clutch and charismatic, its the authenticity that seals the deal. This EP will grow on you.

Speaking of growth, the Midwest music scene is undeniably doing just that: growing in confidence, support and reach. Adding to the momentum is a one Jay Wood a.k.a. “Wizzle”, the young rapper out of Chicago boasts a unique voice, contagious passion and lyrics that you can’t ignore or minimize. (Think – lunchroom cypher spontaneity, spiked with the bitterness of  adulthood and the awareness of the narratives he’s expected to fall into. Think – teriyaki sauce, familiar, sweet, but deeper than just that. Opaque brown and thick consistency, fun but heavy.)

You get the point. Now let’s go through the 8 tracks, dropped just this December, together and peep his inspiration for each.

  1. FAITH.  You can’t prepare yourself for the intro, so just let it happen. An alien invasion opens after landing and out comes – no, not a purple monster with tentacles, but “Wizzle” with clear cut confidence and a killer hook. Suddenly, the invader sounds less alien and more like one of your own voices in your head. His inspirations: Faithful x Common, T-Shirt x Migos. Listen.
  2. SOMETHING TO GIVE. A personal favorite. The rhymes are stacked and the sound will put you in a trance if you let it. True Jay Wood style and variation and an almost unbearable familiarity in the track’s content. You’ve been there. His Inspirations: Stoney x Saba, All Falls Down x Kanye West. Listen.

  3. DESTINY. (feat. Christian JaLon and Oliv Blu) A cool interlude that sounds just how stepping into those pools that don’t have stairs but actually slope down like a beach, feels. Inspo: You Can’t Stop the Rain x Loose Ends. Listen.
  4. RIGHT NOW. (feat. Chulo and Femdot) The title fits like a glove, this song is as much a hype track as it is a call to action. Phonetics and emphasis are dancing with each other and each of the flows present are distinct yet complimentary. His Inspiration: Roc Boys x Jay-Z, Like My Style x 50 cent. Listen.
  5.  JESSE WHITE. (feat. Ajani Jones) Funky tones like a droid from a space movie meet an equally sporadic style as Jay Wood spits the real seemingly in every octave, with Ajani Jones coming in with heat. The quirks of the song fits the artist, like the 8 ball cap perched on top of the iconic mane. His Inspiration: Like a Pimp x David Banner, Modest x Isaiah Rashad. Listen.
  6. MILKNHONEY. A vibe I’d call damn near the best remix of the Charlie Brown song, in the best way – trust me. The steady message is layered and intentionally obstructed. Whether lyrics come from your voice of reason or a crackling megaphone, the song supplies both force & direction and the sweet title almost hides the true danger of our desires.  His Inspiration: The Commander x Kid Cudi,  Get Out My Way x Alex Wiley. Listen.
  7. STREETLIGHTS. A quick blunt report of the overlooked grind and what cultivates behind trendy culture, in the reality of the shadows. Inspo: BON x King Louie. Listen.

  8. LET HIM IN. The track is gentle and smooth with the kind of hooks and ad libs that makes you feel involved. Part of the appeal is not only Jay Wood’s ability to befriend you through a speaker but also there’s encouragement and hope. Humble hunger and real thoughts make the track all the more relatable.  His Inspiration: All of the Lights and Stronger x Kanye West, Immortal x J. Cole. Listen.

Find Jay Wood on Twitter and Soundcloud or mobbing with a family of artists to a stage near you.

Full Circle. As a country, and maybe even as a human race, 2017 comes to a close with some horrendous memories politically, huge societal failures and almost comical gaps in accountability. While the general team record is hot trash, if you’ve been paying attention the year has been full of exponential growth in areas like sexual assault awareness, climate change and of course, in music. To be specific, Hip Hop and R&B (after flirting with senseless chaos, demonic glorification and gassed up vine wannabes) has evolved and thrived this year. Whether it’s because we need more music to cope with the impending nuclear war, or because people are beginning to fight for themselves and support fellow creatives, taking advantage of the digital age – it’s hard to say at this point. The result is infectious growth (ew, not the best word choice but you know what I mean). We often forget how much impact personal growth can have.

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Shout out to Jay Wood and all the artists putting real life into their craft and not letting a bunch of sheep in suits, uninspired parents or dream killing teachers crumple their destiny. Shout out to the artists multitasking and going to get that thing.

Growth is not defined by an A+, a piece of paper or worldly success but successful learning. Learning from pain failure and frustration, from love, tears and laughter. Countless artists and misunderstood individuals forget that being stuck in pain means you are in prime position for growth, if you fight for it. The music you love, like RAIN. come from those spaces and the minds we take for granted and forget to explore. If you don’t make music, make something. Make an effort to grow, and support those around you who are doing the same. If you need  inspiration check out Jay Wood and the Freesole (soundcloud page) fam.

Thanks for visually digesting my word collage. Listen to RAIN. again and plot your next move. Grow.

Making His Mark, In Marker

His hashtag is searchable, with almost 5,000 hits on Google in half a second. His art covers his walls and crosses timelines across the country. Celebs and artists alike have been eyeing the handiwork of 22 year old, Travon Greer a talented Chicago artist with a passion for sharp shapes and Sharpies. His work features Egyptian, Oriental and pop culture icons and themes, bright and glow-in-the-dark colors, and mesmerizing hand drawn patterns. Greer features the greats from Kanye to the ancient goddess Isis and back to Kid Cudi. His work is hard to miss, and if you’re sleep now, you won’t be for long.

(Shmay) Q: When did you start drawing and why?

(Travon) A: I would say I started drawing my freshman year in high school. I took an architecture class in which we had to draw out floor plans and random other stuff, but that wasn’t really drawing to me. I started my style of drawing in 2013 when I was at Kansas State. I started drawing to help relieve me of stress, it was just something that eased my mind when my thoughts were clouded.

One of the most admirable things you can notice about Greer as an artist, just by scrolling through his Media tab on his twitter (@xTRVONx), is that he is consistently producing work. As simple as it sounds, consistency is what separates talent from success and progress.

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Q: What motivates you and keeps you focused?

A: The thing that motivates is the satisfaction of finishing a drawing. The process of putting my thoughts and feelings on paper soothes my soul for some reason. Its a great feeling to be able to show people the type of imagines and ideas I have in my head.

Q: Who is your favorite artist and what does it mean for you to be one?

A: My favorite artist in any field is Kid Cudi. I have a bunch of favorite visual artists like Basquiat but its too many to narrow down. At first, I never thought of myself as an artist, I just wanted to be able to represent my thoughts on paper because its easier to me than talking. It means a lot to be an artist because you can just be expressing yourself and without knowing, you can be inspiring people to be creative as well.

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Usually the other way around, Jhene has heart eyes for these xTRVONx originals.

 

 

Some very important people are falling in love with what Greer is producing.

 

Q: Is there a reason marker is your go-to medium? Interested in any others?

A:  I use sharpie because it was the only thing I had to use to add color to my pictures, when I first started drawing. I know there are way better markers to use than sharpie but I’ve used sharpie for so long I just prefer them now. I do want to experiment with painting though, I feel like once I teach myself how to paint I can really create some crazy art pieces.

Q: Egyptian themes are heavily present in your work, what else inspires you?

A: Besides Egypt, I get a lot of inspiration from music. Artists like Kid Cudi, Kanye and Travis Scott inspire me to push my creative boundaries.

Q: Favorite musicians? Who’s currently on your playlist?

A: Kid Cudi, Travis, The Underachievers, Chance The Rapper etc. And I’m listening to Thouxanbandfauni right now.

Q: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to take their art seriously or follow in your footsteps?

A: The advice I would give other artists is keep creating and never stop. The more you draw/paint the better you get. Once people start to see your progress, more opportunities will open up.

Q: Do you have a goal for your work/art/brand for this summer or this year?

A: One of the main goals I have this year, is to get involved in more art shows. I’ve only been in 4 art shows and that’s not a lot at all but I’ve set myself up in some up coming events so I’m already off to a good start.

Speaking of  events, for any Chicago readers or those who can make the trip, you can catch more of Travon at the Art, Mimosas, and Pancakes Exhibition on July 8th, at Mad Art Gallery in Chicago.

Art is an individual’s documented reaction to existence
– Chance the Rapper

Check out more of Travon’s work by stopping by his website or following him on twitter and peeping his hashtag (@xTRVONx and #xTRVONx, respectively). His work has been distributed on shirts, rugs, prints and he’s been commissioned for album art featured on Apple Music. Hit him up for commissions and orders, RT, and support if you can. On top of dope music opinions, event updates and more of his work, Travon has even in the past had a couple giveaways of his most popular prints.

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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!”

 

 

 

ANWAR

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Q & A with ANWAR…Shmay talks with the man behind the deep voice and strange tunes.

Q: How would you describe your sound?

A: I would say unorthodox? Unpredictable?

I have no clue how I am going to deliver sounds on my next beat, it’s all in the moment. I only have 8 songs on my page so far & I would say each are boldly different. I use different voices often so it’s just no telling what’ll come out. I love slow old school vibes though so sometimes shit is very slow and sometimes it’s upbeat.

Q: What do you want people to think when they hear your music?

A: I want them to think about whatever I made the song about, or feel what I was trying to portray, listen to my song Pussy Slayer and you can feel/hear all the dogs/men feigning for their next female conquer.  

Q: What’s next for your hair?

A: Eh, I’m leaving it for right now just to continue growing, I expect to make it all one color again in the far future.

Q:  Favorite artists?

I’ve had plenty favorite artists before but right now I don’t have one to be honest, my all time is Kanye though, the MBDTF album is my life goal, to be in that music heaven, I fuck with Abel’s sound as well, Trilogy changed my life for real.

Q: How does modeling compare to music?

A: Well I don’t even really model, I’ve just been taking photos with my friends for years, I still don’t take as many as I should, I just hate the norm of the same poses same fits, same way of uploading, so it looks like I take it hella serious when that’s just how I like my photos & how I’ve been doing it.

Q:  What inspires you?

A: What inspires me? Hmm, beautiful ass music and a beautiful ass female inspire me, those will get/keep me going through life.

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Q: Last song you listened to?

Last thing I listened to.   emboidered sailing jackets by rosegoldwall1e https://soundcloud.com/rosegold_wallie/emboidered-sailing-jackets

on #SoundCloud

Q: What is your dream collaboration?

A: Right now my dream collab is a song with me & Abra, I feel like my deep voice behind her sweet voice would be epic as hell.

Q: So what can we expect coming from you next?

A: “More videos, pictures & music, all I have to offer to the world”.

 I think different is an understatement when it comes to Anwar. His music reflects that unpredictability he has, he’s not just one person- each song showcases a dynamic personality and view. He has an eye for what’s dope, beautiful and abstract for sure. His music can be kinda eerie, sounds from another dimension, but the lyrics bang and it all comes together in a unique way. In between the songs, you can catch him killing the instagram game, flaming up with other EF feature Matty Wood$ or having intricate battles with Tim the cat on the snap.  

Trina Rager.. Hi-C, Highlighting Creatives

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You couldn’t tell just by looking at her, standing a sweet petite 4’10 and sporting a smile that is equal parts sunshine and quirky familiarity, but this chick packs a punch. When I met Trina, I reached out after seeing her sleek powerful pictures on my instagram timeline and we quickly made plans to shoot downtown within the week. I am a total rookie, I was nervous even just to DM her. Professional and polite and relatable are words I would use to describe my first impression of her from the internet to picking her up on the southside to us finding decent parking downtown; she made me comfortable. And just as quickly as she made me feel it, it wasn’t long until I realized I was working with a gifted individual. Any traces of hesitation and indecision were scooted off center stage to make way for a fiery passion and wicked eye for angles, architecture and color tones. She is powerful behind the camera, and made me feel like Tyra Banks’ pale niece. However, don’t be fooled, power and direction from behind the lens is not all there is to her.

 

I asked Trina what it means to her to be a “creative” and she explained how complex it really is and how it affects who she is. On a personal level, she attributes mental health and being misunderstood to drive her to reveal emotions through the camera and her models, that otherwise she couldn’t or, per usual, most people don’t take the time to listen and feel her. Her passion has spread out from herself, and by her definition being a creative is also a way to inspire others to take that leap. Trina also attributes personal growth to her journey as a creative, as her photography became a service she developed herself as a business woman and created a personal professionalism and standard of ethics which not everyone has.

 

Her advice she wishes she could tell the younger Trina or any new photographers-to-be is that “nothing is handed to you”. She has this concept down. Trina is a grab the opportunity out of the air kind of gal, but also someone willing to reach out and create networks for herself. Another thing she had to digest as a photographer is that people will always compare your work to others, and she’s learned to accept and absorb those things. A firm believer in collaborations, Trina hopes for all creatives, in St. Louis or otherwise, to start banding together instead of creating or feeding off of animosity.

 

 

On the topic of St. Louis, Trina is loud and proud and observant. 314’s time is coming, and she is going to be a part of it. Making moves, like the go-getter she is, while we talked Trina dropped the news that she’s going to New York soon. Traveling and investing in herself she has even bought a deadly cool film camera. Beyond photography, this girl is w o k e. Something super admirable about her is on her photography insta (@trinarager) is that her captions range from minimalist to full fledged, uncut rants as her fire comes out once again. She believes in fighting the wrongs of the world, learning about other cultures and snapping on those who deserve it. For all around updates, check out her website trinarager.com, you get a taste for her ability to connect with her models and her killer eye. Keep an eye out for her this summer STL and don’t sleep or hesitate to contact her for a collab. I’m so glad I met her, she’s one of a kind.

RY

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St. Louis graphic design artist Ryan Dickson aka RY. Brings his own style and creativity to his pieces of work. Earning a degree in graphic design RY has been taught by great artist and his work is very consistent.

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His artwork is reflective of his commitment and drive to perfect his craft. RY can produce stunning business cards and impressive logo designs. Also turning headshots and action photos into his own virtual reality.

Receiving appreciation posts and shout outs for the work he has done on famous artist such as Rae Sremmurd and St. Louis’s own Smino, RY can create art that is unique and special for each customer. He has displayed and sold art locally at First Friday and other artistic events. Recently invited to Chicago’s popular art show Pancakes & Booze, RY has begun filling customer’s homes, offices, and other art filled places with his customized pieces. Check out RY’s artwork here .