Category Archives: Interview

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

Flagrant City Spotlight: A Conversation with Don! [Interview]

Photo by: Adrian Javon

 

Lowe: First off, I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview with me!  Your visual single “Ok Love” feat. Jon P is beautiful. The vibe is pure and the storyline seems so familiar.  Is it attached to an upcoming project of yours? I’ve only heard you by way of Dirty Logan artist, Dough (Dough Van Gogh). Also, what was the message you were trying to convey in this video?

Don!: It’s truly a blessing to be recognized for my art. I definitely appreciate you for taking the time out to check me out and allow me to promote myself via your platform. Thank you.

“Ok Love” was partly inspired by a friend Kay Hudgins. She embodies characteristics of a women chasing her dreams. I created the song to help motivate women of all walks of life to keep striving and keep going. Continue your pursuit no matter what. I have many friends who can relate too making big moves with little knowledge of what’s to come next. I wanted to be that “keep going” voice in my own way you know. I linked up with Joe P. (Guitarist) who provided the strings and KZA K’ Lee (Producer) who engineered the vision. Together we created a vibe.

The video was inspired by the show “You”. Less stalkerish more admiration. It gives that feel that I see you winning just being awesome and I desire to be close to that type of energy and vibe. It was filmed in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The creative direction of Kay Hudgins and Directed by Mal_2da brought the video to life.

It will be featured on an upcoming  collaboration project featuring myself and Joe P. Produced by KZA!

Watch the video below:

Lowe: If people don’t already know you from singing fly hooks for Dirty Logan’s frontman, Dough Van Gogh, how would you describe yourself and your music style?

Don! & Dough Van Gogh in Washington DC at Rosebar DC for Broccoli Fest

Don!: That’s my Dawg (Dough)! Situations EP featuring myself & Dough and Player Made Vol. 1 featuring myself, Needo Stakkz & Dough is also out now. Check that out!

Situations EP – Dough Van Gogh & Don! Orig. release March 2019
Player Made Vol. 1 – Dough Van Gogh, Don!, Needo Stakkz Orig. release July 2018

Don!: As far as my music I would describe myself as a vibe dealer. By that I mean I create soley off of my vibe in any particular situation. I express myself through melodies. I have a chill cool feel too my music with a background in rap and poetry so it’s easier too construct verses and hooks with clever word play. A lot of times I freestyle it just feels right you know, it’s like the words just come to me and I can’t hear it any other way.

Lowe: When did you first get started singing or when did you actually start taking it serious?

Don!: I’ve been making music here and there for some time now. Dating back to middle school/high school. From a myspace hit (locally), to random songs created in dorm room closets, traphouse studios,  or via bandlab on my phone, I’ve always been into music. I would say a rack of people including My mom, sister, Big Homie Ty, Black, Dough, Kenzo, Needo, Fitts, J Dub, Joe P., anybody I ever had a freestyle session with and Big Ups to KZA, all pushed me to really just stop playing and get more aggressive with the moves.

After hitting the studio to record Player Made Vol 1., I knew the time was now. So I locked in and really worked to define my sound and now I feel I’m at the point where I can just create and push.

Photo by: Adrian Javon

Lowe: I feel that. Who inspired/inspires your art?

Don!: People, society, vibes, moods, anything really. I love just people watching. Everyone has a story. The awesome part of creating is you creative based off of perception. I’m not biased or one sided so when I create I look at all perspectives involved in what I find interesting. For example if I write about flowers I have to talk about the soil, the sun, the weeds everything that makes the flower whole. Paint a picture. Like Dough said ” I spit an image to the bald head” creating a vivid detail of a vibe.

Lowe: What’s next on the agenda for Don!?

Don!: What’s next for me, a lot to say the least. Collaboration projects, shows outta town, more interviews, more artistic energy. I have a lot planned. Right now I’m focused on solidifying myself as a brand. Finishing up “Vibe Dealer” my debut solo EP which drops later this year, hopefully sometime in September.

My new single “Melanin Wonder” is from the upcoming album an drops this month. It’s an, acoustic based collaboration album with Joe P.

Upcoming album Melanin Wonders featuring Joe P.

Just heavy promo real heavy. Like after the club handing out flyers heavy. The biggest thing is to connect with the people on a personal level. Face to face interactions. Social media is a beautiful thing but I want to take it back to that street team type promo.

Lowe: I always say word of mouth promotion is a valuable, yet lost form of hustle. You’re definitely on the right track taking it back to the essence.

Don!: Thank you for the love you’ve shown thus far. It means a lot to me. I will continue to keep the vibes going. Special shout out to all of those who believe in me. Aye Mom we on blogs now, we getting bigger! As always “You know how it go, keep it moving like jeep wranglers in the snow you dig me!”

We dig it Don. We dig it.

Be sure to keep up with Don on Instagram by following him at @taylorport_papi!

BuffaLowe Says: FC Exclusive with ‪Deja Lawson, ‬Owner of Brahma Body Butter [INTERVIEW]

Combing social media on a regular day at the beginning of this month of May, a post on Twitter caught my eye. It was someone sharing a post about some good looking body butter, so I floated around to locate the source of the original tweet and I soon found out, it was Deja’s Brahma Body Butter who happens to hail from my hometown of Buffalo, New York.

I’m huge on natural and holistic health and wellness so I was very curious to learn a bit more about Brahma Body Butter and Deja’s path to start this type of business.

Read our exchange below:

BuffaLowe: First of all thank you for taking time out to chat with Flagrant City.  Please introduce yourself to our readers and followers and let the people know who you are and what it is that you do!

Deja: Hello and thank you for giving me this opportunity to chat with you about my amazing Brahma Body Butter! My name is Deja Lawson, I am 24 years old and I currently live in Buffalo, NY.

I am a full time abstract artist, certified holistic crystal and aura healer, cat mom and body butter maker!

When did you realize you had a passion for a holistic lifestyle and how has that journey to good health been for you?

My love for holistic healing came from wanting to create a better lifestyle not only for myself but for my family and those around me. My mother and aunts have always been into holistic healing, creating creams, flu shots and cleanses all from plants and spices so naturally I was taught to heal others which caused me to be inspired.

Holistic therapy and healing has been around for many years, not only in my family but around the world, and with new products coming out that smell good but were chemical based, I feared holistic healing would disappear or just be another trend, so its something I wanted to bring back for good.

For whom did you create this product and why?

I created my fabulous body butter due to my sibling’s skin reacting badly to chemical based lotions and moisturizers that he had been using, which caused severe eczema.

Why is your product so special, and what ingredients do you use that set you apart in this field?

Instead of opting for another chemical based topical cream to seek relief for my brothers inflamed skin, I decided to reach into my bag of old tricks and knowledge and create a moisturizer that would be safe, chemical free, organic, GMO free and all natural.

My Brahma Body Butter is extremely special, using fair trade Shea Butter that not only gives back to our skin, but gives back to those in Ghana that harvest this beautiful moisturizer, fair trade Cocoa Butter, Hemp Oil, Rosehip oil, Jojoba Oil and mixed essential oils creating a cruelty and paraben free product.

This moisturizer is quite different from other body butters because each jar is blessed with certified crystal therapy, using my personal cleansed crystals placed on the lid of each finished jar, burning sage and palo santo, letting the smoke pass through with pure intentions of love, beauty, healing and relief from all skin issues.

What piece of advice would you offer to other young people pursuing their dream to own their own business?

A piece of advice I’d give to young entrepreneurs creating their own business is to never give up. Ever. If you have an idea and you believe in it then put your whole heart into it, even if people tell you your idea won’t work or you should give up (like I had many people tell me!), keep going.

When your intention is clear and your energy is real, you can create anything you put your mind to. What you think is truly what you manifest, it all starts in the mind…

What’s next in store for yourself and your brand?

What’s next for me, is to keep spreading knowledge and education about living a more natural lifestyle, starting with what we put onto our skin, setting up my products in educational workshops and demos, smoke shops, botanical and black owned businesses.

I can’t wait to create new products through the Brahma Body Butter line, including CBD oil infused butters and much much more!

You’re a girl after my own heart looking to incorporate CBD oil into your butters soon. I’m not sure if you know but I have two cannabis lifestyle brands, Rhonda Jane & The Dope Mom Lifestyle Collective that advocates for the benefits of this plant. Hopefully we can work together and support each other in these endeavors. It was so great speaking with you Deja and learning more about you and your budding business, Brahma Body Butter!

Thank you again, àṣẹ !!!

Right now you can order Brahma Body Butter through Deja’s online Etsy shop here: brahmabodybutter, through her personal Instagram @dejas.photos or her business Instagram @brahmabodybutter!

#womenwithgoals June 2018 Success Feature – Rhonda J. Lowe of BuffaLowe PR, Flagrant City + Rhonda Jane [Interview]

Screenshot-2018-6-20 June 2018

Thank you to Women With Goals for selecting and interviewing me for their June 2018 Success Feature.  Sometimes it’s hard not being recognized for you efforts and strides in your career field, mines being journalism, entertainment media and PR.  It was extremely refreshing to be highlighted and acknowledged, in addition to being able to share my experiences with others.

To view the full interview, please take a moment to visit the #WWG website here: https://women-with-goals.org/sf/rlowe/

-BuffaLowe

Issa Interview: The Othrz

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing the musical duo Reginald (Sir Michael Prince) and Stephon (K- Swift) that are known as The Othrz about their recently released self-titled EP. We talked about their creative processes, inspirations and motivations. Enjoy their insights!

Here’s a quick key so y’all can follow:

Q: Question

K: K-Swift

R: Reggie

 

Q: How did you to meet and begin working together ?

K: We met when we were both 15 years old, have known each other for over ten years and have been working together three years.

R: We wanted to work with more people and were planning on collaborating with other artist but it didn’t work out- that’s how we came up with the name ‘The Othrz’.

Q: what is your creative process?

K: (Our) Creative process to make music is to make people feel good. I pick sounds that sound new and just living in that moment of creating what comes to us.

R: It all depends for me and the feel. I listened to the beat for ‘Don’t let me fall” for four months before writing the lyrics and freestyled “Ride”

K: yea, depends on the vibe.. Quick back story on “Can We” the first song on the Ep:

I went on a date to the Albright Art museum, myself and my date were walking around not feeling anything we were seeing. Then we stopped and looked at this picture I called it “love and cautious” just from feel of its wild colors. When I got home I began working on the beat inspired from it from 8pm to 2am and from 2 am on I wrote the lyrics then called Reggie. It turns out the name of the piece was conversions, which means a place where two places meet and that’s what this was: The correlation of art and music. The beauty of creating something out of no where and having someone years later relate to it. When you creative inspiration in you it comes out randomly.

R: For me it’s speaking your truth. In my life I put people ahead of me but now I need to look out for me. Because if you are not cool with yourself, if you are not right within you not going to be able to relate or be with anyone.“In my arms” was inspired by that beginning phase of a relationship, just when it starts up and being true in that.

Q: What keeps you motivated and going musically ?

K: My passion for music. I like so many different artist of all genres, languages – if it feels good and sounds good. It doesn’t matter to me if people like it, but how I felt making it keeps me going that feeling I have making it and I’m open with doing it. Don’t put yourself in a box. Timberland and Pharrell inspire me, watching them and how they’ve changed, its fun.

R: growing up around the way you see everyone doing the same thing. I didn’t want to grow up and be average. I was surrounded by artists – my brothers, uncles, they all were in it. I looked up to Usher, Michael Jackson, Miguel, I knew and saw that words had such an impact. I cant move or function without music. I just kept pushing, moving and hanging around the right people, like minded individuals.

Q: Any last remarks ..?

K: If Anyone is ready or looking for work, we’re here!

If you haven’t check out there latest EP, check it out Here !

Interview with Lindsey Taylor

Lindsey Taylor is a buffalo native that started Crown ENT back in 2007, and has since then developed and worked on large projects such as Ballin’ For a Cause, and most recently the Beau Fleuve Music and Arts Festival
We caught up with him to see how he feels about his personal growth, how he finds balance between it all, his views on leadership and more. 

M- Marielle ,LT- Lindsey Taylor 

M: How do you feel about your progress over the past decade? – from Balling for a Cause, Crown ENT, and most recently Beau Fleuve Music and Arts Festival. 

LT: I feel good because I was able to show growth over the past year.- that I am not one dimensional, to be able to host multidimensional events, to see how far we come, to be able to inspire young entrepreneurs and creators , to open doors for others and venues. I feel real happy with my growth.

M: Have you been able to fulfill the goals you set for yourself 10 years ? Are you where you projected yourself to be?

LT: Yes. When I started I wanted parties to be the stepping stone into doing a variety of events. I never wanted to be known and labeled as just the party promoter. Crown ENT. and parties were the foundation. I wrote goals down in notebooks – I still find some of them in old notebooks and then I would write an outline for how I wanted to execute it. I’ve been working on Beau Fleuve for two years now.

And I have made most of those, may have not hit it all the way, but to be able to see that can achieve the concept and that it is possible. 

M: did any of those goals change for you ? 

LT: things always change, I’ve wrote ideas down and went a different course with it completely. 
M: How do you focus between your projects and your personal life and family? 

LT: I’m still working on finding balance between life and projects and myself. This is currently my number one goal : to dedicate one day to my family with my phone off, just time to unplug. I’ve been burnt out physically, mentally. 

Constantly working makes your work go stale . 
Like when I took my daughter to Disney World for vacation I was watching how Disney operates: their team, their influence, how they were with guest. 

 

There was a time when something was wrong with our car and before we could go to ask for help someone was there taking care of it . 

M: wow. That leads well into my next question: What is your organizing/ planning process : do you focus more energy into work you team is doing, the work you do yourself, or strive to find balance between both ? 

LT: I’m working with distributing responsibilities to team members and building team members up so that they can be those representatives of myself. 
So that when problems occur people can go to them and they solve it instead of running me for everything. 
I wanted it to be that the answer my team member gives is the exact same thing I would say if asked.- so that if I Lindsey leave my event it would still run perfectly . 

M: How would you describe the impact you’ve had local art scene ? What lasting influence do you want to leave ? 

LT: I have always incorporated music in my events- from party promoting with Crown ENT and getting in contact with MCs and local musicians, balling for a cause I always incorporated music into that as well, I did cyphers for local rappers and over the years I’ve built relationships with a lot of artists. Now I want learn more about new artists and gain more lasting relationships. 
On last influence:

We want artists to be able to come to us and use our platform to benefit all of us, we want to be able to pioneer these ideas. With basketball people are looking it ( balling for a cause) all over the world – we get contacted from teams from Canada and Africa inquiring about it. We want to be the staple representative of this brand. 

M: what impact does your political views and association have in any of your projects? 

LT: I keep politics separate from events and projects. (I) show support in different ways. I don’t center or align with just one political party or candidate. We do have good relationships with some figures that have shown interest and been involved with some of our events. 

  
M: how do you deal with diversity? 

LT: diversity is one of my biggest things. I was born and raised in the city and attended school with people of all different backgrounds. I want to reach a diverse background of people – black, white, Asian, all people. I want to build relationships across all races. 

One of the big things with Beau Fleuve was to have as much diversity as possible, we had country, rock , hip hop, we could’ve easily just did a hip hop show, but I wanted diversity. 
In fact, this past year one of my friends invited me to a country concert and I had the best experience even though I only knew like two song, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to . 

M: What should people be on the look out from you ? Any upcoming projects that you can share with us ? 

LT: We are currently working on the Beau Fleuve Foundation to give back to youth arts, create scholarships and making Beau Fleuve into a Mega Festival 
M: That sounds Awesome ! Any closing statements, last words .. 

LT: Shout out to Rhonda to always being supportive, she’s great. It takes all of us coming together every aspect of media, promoters, artists and working together. Pulling together. 

Salon Talk Podcast – Episode 16: Rhonda Lowe [INTERVIEW]

girls
Arica, Lowe, Fee (pictured left to right)

Salon Talk Podcast – Episode 16: Rhonda Lowe

Have you listened to ya girl Lowe on Salon Talk Podcast yet!?  If not, what are you waiting for!!!???  While home in Buffalo, NY for the Christmas holiday, Flagrant City Boss Lady and BuffaLowe PR CEO, Rhonda Lowe sat down with Arica and Fee the icebreaker for Episode #16 was “how far have you gone in a video/pic or facetime?”  Let’s just say it was a hot and spicy opening!!! LOL. Salon Talk also discussed Lowe’s move to Cali, Cali weed, Burning Clothes, Vandalism and they also Play Over-rated/Under-rated!

Stream the episode live right on the blog here: Salon Talk Podcast – Episode 16: Rhonda Lowe also available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Google Play!

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Be sure to follow @salontalkpodcast @beingrhondajane @buffalowe @flagrantcity  @goodoldank @danktank_official@halfbakedboys @dirtylogan716 on Instagram!

Also be sure to shop RhondaJane.bigcartel.com and BuffaLowe.bigcartel.com and use promo code SALONTALK15 for 15% off your purchase!  Thanks for listening!!!

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