Category Archives: Media

“Conflicted” Movie Review

Thick grey clouds hung in the sky as the sunset on an intimate crew gathered outside a discreet DIY venue. West Side Gunn Day was winding down to a close and it was here I had the pleasure of attending a private viewing of the long awaited and highly buzzed Griselda movie “Conflicted”.

Conflicted is  a crime drama movie that occurs in some fairly present time in Buffalo, NY . I LOVED that this film was told by Black voices and captured through the lens in which they were experienced. Conflicted was directed by AK. Reed  stars and was executively produced by Benny the Butcher, J Holiday, Adiyon Dashalon and Michael Rapaport- a mostly Buffalo crew y’all !

Conflicted does contain violence/ harm against Black Men and Black Women – please be advised as you read further . I will not, however divulge details as I don’t want to give spoilers!

Conflicted pays homage to a history of storytelling that is uniquely done by Black Men. In the 90s and early Millennia , many rappers crossed over into film telling their own stories on the big screen . Conflicted is giving me early Master P and Cameron film maker , Belly, Juice type of vibes .

In “Conflicted” we follow the lead character , Hunter as he re-enters society after serving five years in prison . I appreciated the choice of direction of Hunter’s first 24 hours back to Buffalo. The sequence of these scenes incited feelings of warm nostalgia in the audience that could be felt as people laughed and agreed with the characters on screen . “Conflicted” addresses topics we, Black people , in our own community experience and aren’t ready to talk about yet . There was the gun violence yes, yet they went the additional layer to how PTSD affects not only the victim and their families.

It is so important that we hold this truth about how the trauma of gun violence transforms our community when we are actively working to build a future that is a systematic alternative to the police state we are currently living in. In the film the police nor state address the emotional distress or safety concerns of the characters. The characters do not express any desire for them to do so either. In fact, they devise resolutions to situations each exposing more about their beliefs of justice. This film brought back familiar questions I’m often left toying with like:

 ‘How Do we define justice?’

‘How do we hold people accountable when harm happens?’

And “How are we healing ourselves?” 

Silence fell on the audience at the accurate depiction of Rape Culture perpetuating itself in an all too familiar scenario. The portrayal of the events , or women in this film for that matter- depicted how society has influenced the ways in which Black men have learned to be in relation to Black women and the desperate need for that to change. I found myself desiring more from the women in the film, who often served as comic relief or comfort. I felt their characters came off two dimensional leaving much of their personalities to be filled by the imagination of the audience. 

Buffalo culture seeped through this film so effortlessly. I enjoyed the sprinkled cameo appearances of Buffalonians throughout our the film. And yes, a hilariously accurate La Novas scene, well placed to interrupt the serious tone and showcase some of that Notorious Buffalo culture -Something that I am excited for so many Buffalonians to enjoy!

I feel deeply honored to have been able to experience a Buffalo story on screen in our hometown . And proud that Buffalo Kids are now on a platform to be seen and heard by all .

Conflicted does not have a public release date as of yet . Stay tuned to Griselda for updates on this!

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!

I Felt That Shit: The Power of Art & Uses in the Movement

In a dimmed room Eve rose from the front row with her poems in hand then began speaking. Her words bore life to worlds I never seen but through her knew, she shared who she was that was hidden beyond view of who stood before us of her childhood scars to her travels; then she read I don’t want my baby to be a hashtag. Her voice spoke the fear that I had never said aloud, the  joy and pain I have as I watch my son grow was hers too and the sobering knowledge of what this country can do. As her pace speed up saying what I had known to be true, tears swelled and wetted my cheeks by the way she had captured a black mother’s pain so beautifully. That was the first time I watched her perform a set, and the first set that I had seen in my adult life that had hit me so hard to inspire me to action. At nine months pregnant with a four year old and trump presidency on the horizon, I hungered even more to be the change I wanted to see, if not for myself for my family. Now as I reflect back on my origins to organizing I realize how important radical art was to becoming a part of this movement.

Art is one of the main uses of propaganda- in film, television, visual arts, music, theater and literature because of its undeniable power. When we interact with it, listen to, see it, we resonate with art on a level of shared experiences within the audience and artists.  Which is The purpose of art: to incite emotions- whether they are true or not doesn’t matter as long as the intended audience got the message and felt that shit.

Back when black folks first were “freed” from slavery, films like ‘Birth of a Nation’ were created to affirm the fear white Americans had towards black Americans and that in order to preserve the sanctity of white people that there was a need for the KKK. Moving forward Jim Crow the popular character of a minstrel show, a musical show of the 1830’s that featured white entertainers in blackface, became the slang term for the racist laws that kept the caste system functioning despite the end of slavery.

In the midst of this prominent misuse of art was the rise of black entertainers that portrayed their truth and reality in this country in what is now known as The Harlem Renaissance. Artists like Zora Neele Hurston reclaimed African American Language in their literature as a radical act of personifying black folks for generations to follow. Fast forward to the civil rights era Nina Simone, James Baldwin and Maya Angelou were popular artists that stand out for being vocal about their distrust of this country as black folks and their desire to be free through their art.

To now- Beyoncé shutting down the 2016 Super Bowl performance of Formation in Black Panther inspired regalia then later released visual album that incorporated the work of past and current black artists. Kendrick Lamar that same year used his Grammy performance to showcase that slavery never ended, but shape-shifted into the current prison system.

Their big names drew more attention to the calls of action of Black Live Matter/ Movement for Black Lives than the media had intended to cover. Black artists of the past and currently living understand the responsibility that their talent provides relief to their audience and is a preservation of their time period- the beliefs of that era, the shared feels and experiences with it.

To all my artists’ friends You Matter. Your work Matters. History will thank you for your contributions.

To honor y’all I will be starting an appreciation series dedicated to the talented black and brown artists that are killing shit and those who are working in the movement!

Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Festival Review 

The inaugural Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Festival kicked off its event with an amazing blues performance by Zuri Appleby, best known for playing with Nick Jonas as his bassist and closed with the anticipated performance of Venzella Joy, best known for playing with Beyoncé as her drummer. These famous Buffalo natives performances got the crowds excited and secured the heightened energy throughout the Festival. 

Beau Fleuve was held at the Buffalo Riverworks, a new and unique venue for an festival that was quiet the same.Upon entrance to the venue, there was a restaurant and bar with a large open space that would be used as an Exhibit Room featuring art exhibits, fashion art, speaker series and vendors. 

Along the back wall there was an entry way down to an arena that offered space to two main stages ,the river stage, more vendors and a stair case that lead to the silent disco located on a stage above the middle of the two main stages. 

On these three stages every art form imaginable was on display: all genres of music from country,Hip Hop, R&B, Neo Soul, Jazz, Indie and more, dance, spoken word, and live performances by painters & barbers. 

Amidst all this talent performers often found themselves competing with each other for space to be heard by their audiences. The amount of talent showcased at this event was astonishing and at time confusing.

 From the festival goers I had the pleasure of speaking with they all wished there was an event program given upon entry detailing the time/location of each performance to ensure they didn’t miss certain sets, but were also optimistic that by next year’s festival these minors kinks would be worked out.

Some of the highlights of the night were the Neo -Soul performances from Drea D’Nor and Lindsay Niccs that drew some of the largest crowds. We Stole the Show and The Pit Dance Crew raised the energy of the crowd as they interacted with festival goers within their sets. But above all, it can be agreed upon that the Silent disco was a definite favorite. 

Upon arrival to the silent disco stage each person is given special headphones that can switch from the three different dj’s mixing on the stage in front of them, these headphones would light up the color of whatever station they were currently listening to. The liveliest time of this was during Truey V’s set where crowds swarmed in circles dancing out to current and classic popular music as well as tunes from Buffalo’s own underground scene.


My personal favorites of the festival were the youth performances, the food, and the overall vibe of the festival. 

The multitalented set performed by the students from Buffalo Center of Arts and Technology was both beautiful and refreshing to see the amount of talent these youth possessed, what they were capable of when given creative freedom and a platform to showcase it. The indoor restaurant offered a delicious twist to the traditional Buffalo Chicken Wings with their Duck Wings rendition, which is meatier than their fellow feathered friends but with all the great flavors of a buffalo wing ! 

Festival goers were all in high spirits and friendly creating a welcoming family friendly environment. There was a strong sense of community among the artist that were mostly all Buffalo natives, their support of each other’s crafts extended beyond their performances, but also to their growth and accomplishments. 

I can go on about the wonderful experience I had at this Festival, it was truly a unique celebration. A celebration of a new Buffalo were artists are given not just space to showcase their craft and perform but a community that fully supports them.  

I look forward to attending next year’s festival and hopefully seeing the work of many other artists from the Buffalo & Western New York area. 

The Phoenix Identity Group Noiz3 Vlog Series w/ Tiffany Winter [Coming Soon]!

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The Phoenix Company is blessing the community with Alcohol Industry insiders courtesy of Tiffany Winter. Winters, known as part of Black Ink Crew, is teaming up with The Phoenix Company to present all you need to begin or amp up your business. From new brands to market to tips from entrepreneurs and lifestyle ambassadors already in the game, the vlog will feature major keys to flourishing in the industry. They’re even sharing signature mixed cocktails! So if you love to drink, love to get people drunk, or want to get paid to do both be sure to check them out!

You can follow The Phoenix Company on IG to keep tabs on the vlog and be sure to follow Tiffany to see what other insiders she shares.

Last but never least… take a shot for the homies! ❤

Venzella Joy Joins the Big Screen! [FILM]

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Venzella Joy takes her rightful place on stage as she joins the cast and crew of Pitch Perfect 3! The Buffalo native is already well-known as the drummer for Beyoncé, but now she’s expanding her talents to the movie screens as well! There’s a lot of buzz surrounding what PP3 is about, but either way fans are excited to see Venzella shine in every way possible. Break a leg Ms. Joy! (Or don’t…? That saying is tricky…)

Follow Venzella on IG to keep up with her progress and future projects! Wish her luck and check out this article for insight on PP3!

#AroundBuffaLowe: Drea D’Nur – Spirit of Nina [FEB 24]

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Visual Artists. Jewelers. Sculptors. Illustrators. Now is your chance to showcase your talent. Drea Dnur is looking for new and possibly undiscovered artists to showcase their skills for the Spirit of Nina Art Exhibition at Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, New York. Don’t waste time doubting yourself and miss this opportunity. Show the world what you have to offer and make a change for the better. Let your creativity flow! Want in? E-mail Drea at DreaDnur@me.com for more information. And may the odds ever be in your favor.

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Join Drea D’Nur in celebrating Nina’s Birthday 2 days before the Kleinhans Show! She will have a special 1-day exhibit and Drea will be screening ‘The Spirit of Nina In Buffalo’ Mini-Documentary as well!  FREE and open to the public! Special thanks to Burchfield Penney Art Center and Buff State’s EOP for sponsoring this celebration!

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Flagrant City Spotlight: Convos w/ Friends by Produced By Girls [SHORT FILM]

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Nowadays it seems more and more people are discovering they suffer from depression. Though it may seem common, it doesn’t make the condition any easier to deal with and power through. Creatives, innovators and visionaries always seem to be victims of depression, and most use the void as a means of inspiration. This is precisely what Elyse Fox has done in her short film entitled ‘Convos with Friends’. In the film, Fox shows how friendship, music, and travel aide her in fighting her demons so she can continue to bring necessary art to her viewers.

You can watch the short film below.

Conversations with Friends. from Elyse Fox on Vimeo.

And read a few words from the creator herself below:

“New year, cooler tings! Thank you all for viewing/sharing #ConvosWithFriends. We’re so excited about the conversation the film has ignited. With the release of the film many amazing women have been reaching out for advice/answers regarding life, womanhood, depression (etc) We want to create a place where we can discuss freely and anonymously. PBG presents ‘Sad Girls Club’ email sgc@producedbygirls.com to chat with us XO<3″

Don’t forget to follow her on IG

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#AroundLA: Trap Karaoke – Los Angeles [JAN 20]

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Has it always been your dream to be a rap star?

Spent hours envisioning your crew on stage entertaining a full house? Maybe you’re looking for a new activity for your drunken alter-ego to conquer? If you’re in the mood for a fresh, fun, experience then check out Trap Karaoke, where members of the audience get to set the pace.

Wanna let your friends know? Share the event to your Facebook and get the word out! Bring your squad and show the city how you have a good time!

Get Tickets Here!

Stay in the known by following Trap Karaoke on IG