Category Archives: Community Development

Mutual Aid

… and at one moment, the whole world stopped. Some might say it was
progressive, or that we knew it was coming, but not me. For me, it just
stopped. This grinding halt gave us no time to get our footing, and even less time to prepare. There was no time to stock our cupboards and refrigerators, to arrange childcare, to set up a fleet of homeschooling teachers, or even to have enough money in the bank. It just stopped. I mean, what are our plans in the grand scope of life itself?

So, what more is there to do in this moment, but lean into this dramatic
pause, into our worries, our fears, our questions, our feelings, and our
anxieties. And then, lean into one another. Yea. Take a deep breath here. How, during this time, can we find solace in each other and resist the urge to retreat? Look. Retreating ain’t gon save us. Retreating won’t keep us safe. We: you, me, our communities will.

In this time, we call on each other for peace, for a zoom chat, a cup of
rice, and for that beloved, deeply valued roll of toilet paper. We call one
another for a moment to cry when the children have gone to bed, or for help with teaching that damn schooling at home packet teachers frantically copied and sent home. We lean on the friends and family members we wish we had more time to speak to when we were so on the go. We check in on their wellbeing and offer love. We breathe with them.

We call on our bloodlines; our many, many lifetimes of Ancestors who experienced various epidemics and crises and survived. We are proof of their survival. We call on the Earth which has known many rotations of survival over billions and billions of years. We are proof if it’s survival. We touch the grass, we feel the wind, we hear the birds. All proof of what it means to survive. We also honor the spring equinox. It is proof that seasons change, and they will this time too.

In this time, you owe us nothing but your survival – not a completed school assignment, not a checked off task list, not a spring-cleaned home… survival. And for all of you essential workers, we say thank you. For every member of our community who is battling with this virus, we offer healing energy. We extend our love, and our positive vibes to you all and your families.

Not one of us is alone. We have each other. We keep us safe. We are the
mutual aid.

#MutualAid, #CoronaVirus, #COVID19, #Community, #Ubuntu
#WeKeepUsSafe #SafeCommunities

#AroundLA: As One Charity & Comfort LA presents One Love Art Show feat @iamslimgus [11.23.19]

Join my boy Augustus Clark better known as DJ Slim Gus this upcoming weekend, Saturday, November 23rd from 7-10PM at the Comfort LA Inglewood location as some of his photography will be showcased and then auctioned off for charity!

Proud man… I never had my photography featured in an art show before, but all that changes THIS SATURDAY!

It’s FREE to attend, RSVP LINK BELOW! ALL PROCEEDS will be donated back to the young Queens & Kings in Jamaica and Ghana for a week of camp. In the words of Slim Gus himself, “I’m honored.”

RSVP here: One Love One Charity Event 10.23 @ Comfort LA Inglewood

Flagrant City Spotlight: A Therapeutic Sit Down With So EZ about Sangria5, Therapy Hour + Therapy [Interview]

Back in July of this year, a good friend of mine, Malcolm Edwards, who goes by the rap moniker name of So EZ, released a dope album entitled Therapy.

If you’re local to Los Angeles, you may have stopped by, or at the very least, heard about a fire ass day party event called So EZ Sundays that ran from around the end of 2016 and 2018 that used to be held at the Comfort LA downtown location (food is amazing by the way)!

He got the juice (Sangria5), no seriously that’s his Sangria brand that would sponsor the parties and he’d sell bottles and cups at almost every function. A couple DJ homies and royalty from my hometown of Buffalo, New York – which is where I crossed paths with this Cleveland, OH creative cat, even stopped through and blessed the wheels or were in attendance at some point: DJ Slim Gus, DJ TJizzle, DJ Tiger, Venzella Joy & Vidie. What a time to be in Los Angeles the fun was guaranteed, the weed was always lit & the feels were cozy. We even met Teddy Ray Comedy at one of the parties it was that type of kickback turn up vibe. Cool as fuck. Dope as fuck. Historic as fuck.

Pictured: So EZ, BuffaLowe (Rhonda Jane), Chan showing some Dirty Logan & Good Ol’ Dank love at So EZ Sundays 1 Year Anniversary event in 2017 at Comfort LA.

Chan & BuffaLowe (Rhonda Jane) at So EZ Sundays 1 Year Anniversary event in 2017 at Comfort LA.

Chan of Good Ol’ Dank & Comedian Teddy Ray

Pictured: Vidie, DJ TJizzle, DJ Tiger, Venzella Joy, DJ Slim Gus, BuffaLowe, So EZ + Sangria 5

Getting back to the hot, 10-track summer release by So EZ, Therapy.

This project is very raw, eclectic, upbeat and passionate. EZ decided to take us on his personal journey as a young Black male attending therapy sessions via his music.

A few of my own personal favorite songs off the album are listed below.

BuffaLowe’s Picks off Therapy: Go Live feat. Jimmy Hustle, Pray For the Gang and All My Niggaz.

The outcome of this album was pure bravery, genius and innovation. Laying it all out there and being so relatable to so many others who can’t express these thoughts or feelings.

Fast forward to now, in November, almost 5 months later, Therapy has taken on more of a prominent role in all facets of So EZ’s life.

Read our exclusive interview below to learn more about the reception of this album, upcoming events and new merchandise with So EZ!

BuffaLowe: How do you feel about the overall reception regarding the release of your most recent project “Therapy” that came out in July!? What feedback have you gotten from listeners and fans?

EZ: The response from my album Therapy has been dope. I pay attention to the details. I don’t have the greatest streaming numbers but the overall response from this project is more than I could ask for. When you have people say things like “bro I felt like you was talking to me on that track” or “your music helped me when I was going through a tough time”, “Your project made me think about going to therapy.” What more can I want?

EZ: I used the project to let out emotions and feelings that I didn’t know how to verbalize in a conversation. If you listen to the project I’m rapping but everything is saying something. My words are speaking, the instruments are speaking. Sometimes the instruments are screaming.

I go to therapy and have an amazing Black woman as my therapist but I needed this project to free my mind of a lot of things. My ultimate goal is to help more men feel more comfortable with talking about their issues, especially Black men. We deal with so many things that we classify as normal, but it’s not.

I want people to realize that just as much as you go to the gym for your physical appearance or strength we need to do that much maintenance on our minds. I could’ve named the album anything but I thought Therapy made the most sense. My thought was maybe people will see the word “therapy” and it might make them say “maybe I should try it”.

BuffaLowe: I’ve seen you began facilitating more mental health workshops lately. What is Therapy Hour and why did you start this particular event?

So EZ’s Therapy Hour at Comfort LA Inglewood last month in October 2019

EZ: I began going to therapy in March 2018. It helped a lot – Therapy Hour is an event I created that takes place at the new Inglewood Comfort LA. It’s two hours of conversation facilitated by Krystyl Wright, L.C.S.W doing journaling and mindfulness exercises that are fun and challenging.

I wanted to create something where people could come together and realize they might not be the only people going through the shit they are going through. Therapy Hour is somewhere people can write their thoughts down.

Sometimes I feel it’s easier to do these things with a group. I want people to build the habit of taking care of their mental health. We aim to provide people with information on finding a therapist as well. Especially Black people who are looking for a Black therapist. We are still building information and resources. It’s is not, however a substitute for therapy.

BuffaLowe: When is your next follow up Therapy event?

So EZ: The next Therapy Hour event is next week, Thursday, November 14th from 7-9PM at the Comfort L.A. Inglewood location! The address is 902 N La Brea Ave Inglewood, CA 90302.

I got merch dropping before the end of the year hopefully (Laughs). It’s been a two year process trying to get it right. But we’re at the finish line. I’m a true creative I’m not dropping shit until I’m 97% satisfied because I’ll never be satisfied. Content yes but not satisfied. If that makes any sense and I’m dropping another album this coming summer.

I also have the best beverage in the world called Sangria 5. Stop drinking that weak ass dry wine the sister-in-law you don’t like make and drink Sangria 5 for the holidays! (Laughs).

BuffaLowe: You right about that EZ, You right about that (Black Dynamite tone)!

Follow @sangriafive on IG!

Sangria Five is Good Ol’ Dank Approved

Please be sure to take a moment to follow So EZ and all of his brands on Instagram!

@iamsoez

@soezsundays

@sangriafive

@comfort_la

Around BuffaLowe: S&J Foundation presents Let’s Talk About Mental Health [5.29.19]

I learned about this event by way of my girl Adri V’s Instagram story last week. Jamil Crews, who kindly honored myself and several other nominees in October 2017 at the 4th Annual 30 Under 30 Changemakers Awards, is hosting a mental health forum and I strongly encourage anyone who can attend to go!

Hopefully our resident Buffalo blogger Marielle can make it to this so we can share the information provided on a later post!

It’s time to have some real conversations about Mental Health.

Jamil Crews assembled some really dope speakers to talk about mental health as it relates to people with learning disabilities. Those disabilities can take a major toll on your mental health and he wants to help you learn to manage it.

Karl Shallowhorn from Community Health Center of Buffalo is coming in to speak. Karl himself has dealt with having mental health issues, and has now dedicated his life to helping those manage their own mental health issues.

Janielle Mckoy, who is a fashion producer, is coming all the way from Toronto to speak. She had to learn to deal with having dyslexia, and she’s going to talk about that.

And a person who really doesn’t need an introduction, Danielle Roberts from the YMCA will be on hand to speak as well. Danielle is truly passionate about the community she serves and she’s going to talk about a lot of the great programming coming out of the Y to help people with learning disabilities.

It will be hosted by the very talented Yasmin Young from 93.7 WBLK – The People’s Station.

They will also have free mental health screenings on site.

So let’s talk with J and #BreakTheStigma!

Powered by The S&J Foundation

RSVP here:

Sandjfoundation.org

Around BuffaLowe: Tyson Cuts Barbershop Grand Opening [6.4.19]

Buffalo! You are cordially invited to help celebrate the Grand Opening of Tyson Cuts. Master Barber Joseph Tyson has been cutting hair in the city for several years and he wants to welcome you to his own space!!!

When: Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Time: 12pm

Where: 259 Carolina Street Buffalo 14202

Free Food, Games & Music!

Any talented, professional barbers looking for a job?! Come out on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 to 259 Carolina Street, 14202 with your resume/portfolio, call Joe at 716-828-5007 or on Instagram at @_cutsncuffs_!

Klassic Kacy presents Teach Speech: A Parent Workshop – Atlanta [6.22.19]

Parents, guardians and caregivers in the Atlanta, Georgia area, you are warmly invited to come out to an interactive workshop dedicated to educating adults on how to help expand their children’s speech and language skills at home!

The event will take place on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 and will be two hours long, from 9am to 11am located at Greater Community COGIC 406 Roswell Street NE, Marietta, GA 30060. Please see below for registration information!

Register here: TeachSpeech.eventbrite.com

Please be sure to share this event with someone you know that can benefit! Also make sure to follow her on Instagram @klassickacy and subscribe to her YouTube channel: Klassic Kacy!

Around LA: Keep It Vertical Closet Grand Opening [3.9.19]

Come out on Saturday, March 9th, 2019 in Los Angeles from 1:00 to 3:00pm to help Jhoe, owner of the uplifting lifestyle brand, Keep It Vertical , celebrate both her new store’s grand opening and her birthday!

There will be free cake and champagne! This fabulous and fun event will be hosted by Amber O’s Lip Service, food will be available for purchase by Chill Eats.

Media and photo booth will be done by Milk It Media!

Also, the Keep It Vertical Closet will carry Flagrant City Apparel from the Rhonda Jane site, in-store! Make sure you stop by and support young Black entrepreneurs!