Category Archives: Unreleased

“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!

On and On an’ On and On: Afro Spiritualism and Black Millennials

In the January Vogue Erykah Badu will be unleashing a spread that has been long fermenting among black millennials – return to Afro Spiritualism.

In the article released before the hard print, Erykah is photographed kneeling in front of her altar that is covered in crystals, gems, and idols. Her face is serene as her eyes are focused on the crystal she is holding in her hands- looking at this I can feel the connection between the two and her Goddess presence.

There is a meme of this picture sparking a conversation among Afro spiritualist Practicers, that after this January release there will be a wave of crystal toting black magic girls dabbling in spiritual practices making it 2018’s first pop culture trend. The cynical tones about this are concerning since as we all know that have a spiritual practice- that there is enough space for all who want to explore and experience new ways of connecting and spiritual awareness.

There is enough crystals, sage, palo santo, candles and rituals for every black person that’s ready to begin their spiritual practice with it. This is not an erasure of those of us who have been on this journey for a bit longer, more so highlighting that we here and are growing in numbers.

I see this more as an introduction to those who have maybe not been exposed to it or seen it presented in this way, a way that they now feel is something they can actually participate in.

It wasn’t until this past year that I began learning and incorporating more practices that center my ancestry, heightening my own appreciation of myself and my own journey. Learning more about spirituality outside of religion opened worlds of consciousness and connections that I had no idea I had been blind to.

There is a mythology in the black community about African Spiritualism – mostly stemming from Christian religions- that it is “demonic” or carries negative/ dangerous powers. I know this to be true because from my religious upbringing I was taught to never experiment with any of this. For a long time I had harbored feelings of fear and curiosity towards it, until I began to find out Afro Spiritualism truth. It journeyed over the Atlantic in Slave Ships practiced, taught, and preserved by generation to generation to find me here- the power, love, and connection felt from that can’t be compared.

Afro-Spiritualism has always been around, ready to reveal itself to those who are ready to experience it. I hope this spread does inspire people to not only talk about spiritualism but, also experience it in a beneficial way.

Cover art :Erykah Badu at home in Dallas, Texas

Photographed by Mark Borthwick, Vogue, January 2018

Salon Talk Podcast One Year Anniversary Celebration !!(Review)

Over 20,000 listeners, 46 episodes and many special guests later, (one of which is our very own Rhonda Lowe in episode 16!) the past year has been eventful for the ladies at the Salon Talk Podcast and definitely worthy of celebration! 

This one year anniversary podcast party took place at the 9th Ward at Babeville, a snug venue with exposed brick walls and intimate seating around a low platform stage. Dj Mr. Illmatic kept the party flow going before and over the course of the night’s show. 

Kicking off the celebratory live anniversary episode, Yolanda Smilez, comedian and past podcast guest, opened with a raunchy comedic set. Her set was engaging and hilarious take on her own sexuality, the audience’s , and her relationship with the podcast had everyone reeling in enthusiastic laughter. 

When Arica and Fee took the stage the energy was high and emotional as they both took turns recapping their first year together and the success it has amassed . They praised those who have been supportive of their growth and that played huge roles by honoring them with gifts and shout outs.

 

The Salon Talk Live podcast episode featured some the the podcast’s iconic conversations starters with the addition of audience engagement. They addressed popular culture topics like Insecure’s #TeamIssa and #TeamLawrence debate (#TeamIssa over here!) and theories on what will happen next on Power. 

The open conversation with the audience remained after special guest and musician Mickiee Moscoto took the stage from the the icebreaker question to the visuals of her an impromptu twerk lesson with Arica – which was a definite bonus! 

Salon Talk represents blackness in its fullness while highlighting the growth and success within the local black community here in Buffalo. Salon Talk’s one year anniversary is the celebration of black Womanhood: our life, beauty, and sexuality. 

I feel so privileged to have been apart of this celebration and look forward to listening to new episodes every Wednesday! 

Venzella Joy Joins the Big Screen! [FILM]

venzella

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!

Drea D’Nur – Break Me Down [Trailer]

At her performance last Sunday, September 27th, 2015 in Buffalo, NY, Neo-Soul singer Drea D’Nur premiered a 1-minute trailer of her new visual to accompany her track “Break Me Down,” which will be released officially on October 23rd, 2015.   

According to Drea “This video (directed by Wale of Odua Productions) highlights the Spirit of Resilience of our people as personified through powerful dance and rebelling some of the most heartbreaking stories of this past year.”

Photo courtesy of Nathyia Jackson

Drea singing at the Tralf 9/27/15. Photo courtesy of Nathyia Jackson

Watch the trailer below and check out Drea performing later this month in Buffalo, alongside VERSE for their Neo-Soul Tuesdays at DBGB’s on October 20th!

Visit: http://www.officialdreadnur.com

PREVIOUS: Around BuffaLowe – Vibe Fest featuring Drea D’Nur, Truey , Toney Rhodes and more! – Buffalo [7.18.15]

ALSO: Drea D’Nur – Unplugged CD/DVD Release [4.10.15]

Forealists – SuperZero [TRAILER]

The Foreally Reals, better known as the Forealists drop a trailer for their upcoming visual “SuperZero,” shot by BNVLNT.
 
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Catch these cool cats rocking out tomorrow, October 18th at: Buffalo Iron Works! Also, keep your eyes open to the upcoming full release of SuperZeros SOON!
 
Visit: www.forealists.com for more from the band!
 
 

Flagrant City Spotlight: Introducing Aneesa Strings [VIDEO]

I have had the devout pleasure of meeting this beautiful young lady last summer in LA, as I took trips from NorCal to SoCal on weekends where I wasn’t working.  Aneesa Al-Musawwir, born in Oakland, CA currently studies at the University of Southern California, and is an intense bassist, vocalist and ambitious soul.

neesa

As she embarks on the next chapter in her life, she introduces herself to the world.  A Shift In Paradigm will be her first solo, studio album, which will be available for purchase in June of 2014.

For more from Aneesa, please be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter at: @AneesaStrings or her website: aneesastrings.com

[LISTEN] HIGH BEAMS featuring Fernandough The Poet, Michael Jay Hot, Needo Stakkz, GoGev

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First leak off of the Face of the North 2 (F.O.T.N. 2)  compilation.

“High Beams” features verses from SOS artists, Fernandough, Michael Jay Hot, Needo Stakkz and songbird GoGev on the hook. Produced By @MereBeatz

Song will also be featured on all of the SevenOneSix MusicGroups Artist solo projects. Enjoy the stream for now video and download coming soon.

KENZO

SOUNDCLOUD:
HIGH BEAMS