Thursday, June 30, 2011

Supra Indy Pack

Supra Indy Sneaker Pack
Today Supra presents their new Fall 2011 Indy Pack. The pack consists of TUF Society, TUF Skytop and the TUF Vaider. Featuring a tricolor color scheme, with all three featuring a tough canvas upper, perfectly matching the tonal outersole and laces. The drop comes just in time for the 4th of July celebrations. All three sneakers are now available in stores.



-Is(Smile)-

Out Of My Head Video - Lupe Fiasco x Trey Songz


-Is(Smile)-

House of God, By: Slinkachu

Slinkachu shows us his latest installation, House of God, seen in the streets of New York.

-Is(Smile)-

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Individuals

Individuals often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doin it... But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ask Men: Big Sean Interview

Big Sean Interview
"When you’re a trendsetter instead of following the trends, you really don’t give a f*ck about anything." 

At 16, Big Sean grabbed the attention of hip-hop kingmaker Kanye West by freestyling for him at a local radio station. West later signed the budding rapper to his G.O.O.D. Music collective. The Detroit native has since built up a significant musical repertoire, working with notables ranging from Drake to Lupe Fiasco, as well as a reputation for a diverse signature style. He’s as comfortable dressing up in Marc Jacobs suit separates as he is kicking back in Air Jordan sneakers. On the eve of his debut album Finally Famous (6/28 on Def Jam), Big Sean talked to AskMen about Motor City fashion, (never!) retiring his hoodies and raiding Kanye’s salivation-inducing closet.

 

Big Sean on his personal style


Sowmya Krishnamurthy (SK): You've dubbed your personal style the "reincarnation of a Detroit player." Define what this means.
Big Sean (BS): A Detroit player is somebody who sets trends and is on top of their game at all times. Detroit players bring a certain style to the game, like fur coats -- I’m rocking a pink mink fur coat in one of my new videos -- and just foolin’ and having fun.

SK: For those who may not be familiar, explain what makes men's style so unique in Detroit.
BS: For me, personally, Detroit is a melting pot for everything. We get the best from the East Coast, West Coast and down South. Being in the Midwest, you get the best of all worlds and add your own flavor to it. It’s just a certain soul that Detroit has from [legendary hip-hop producer] J Dilla to Motown.

SK: You exude both casual and upscale looks really well. Explain how you strike a balance.
BS: Sometimes I feel like putting on a blazer with just a T-shirt. Sometimes I feel like putting on, straight up, a Christian Dior suit. Sometimes I just like rocking tank tops and sh*t like that. It’s really just about how you feel -- your style is just an extension of you. When you’re a trendsetter instead of following the trends, you really don’t give a f*ck about anything and just do what you feel.

SK: What one item in your closet can't you live without?
BS: Probably my Rolex. I love my Rollie! I think it’s just classic.

SK: Are you a sneakerhead? How big is your collection?
BS: Hell, yeah! Probably a couple hundred pairs. They’re all over the place, though. I have some at my Mom’s house in Detroit, I have some in L.A. and I have some in suitcases, chillin'.

SK: How do you organize and categorize your sneaker collection?
BS: They’re kind of everywhere. I need to do that, preserve them. I waste a lot of money buying the same pair of shoes.

 

Big Sean on lessons from Kanye West


 SK: Your mentor, Kanye West, is undoubtedly one of the most fashionable men in music. What have you learned from Kanye style-wise?
BS: I’ve learned that whatever you want to do is cool. I think that’s probably the biggest thing that I’ve learned from him about fashion. You always have to remember that you’re an icon and whatever you do is going to be remembered. Can your look be immortalized? Jimmy Hendrix’s boots are in a museum; what will I have to put in a museum?

"You don't have to wear big-ass throwback jerseys all the time. "
SK: What effect do you think Kanye's bold fashion choices have made on hip-hop. Have they raised the bar for rappers?
BS: I think Kanye brought a whole new style to the game, and he made it cool to be yourself. You don’t have to wear big-ass throwback jerseys all the time. You can wear polos. I think he opened up the gates and was like, “Yo, man, it’s cool that you want to dress like this.”

SK: If you could snag anything from Ye's closet what would it be?
BS: Probably the whole closet. There’s so much sh*t in there that it’s really hard to pick just one thing. He has hella, hella, super-crazy, ridiculous amount of clothes.

 Big Sean on men's fashion today

 
SK: With this album, your style seems to have evolved to include more tailoring and suiting. What advice do you have for young men who may be hesitant to trade in their collegiate, 20-something wardrobe for something more refined?
BS: Man, don’t be scared! I think it’s fresh when you can alternate and rotate your style. You can put on a suit and look fresh, you can put a tank top on and look fresh, you can put a button-up on and look fresh, and so on and so forth.

SK: Speaking of which, is there an age when men should finally retire the fitted hats and hoodies?
BS: Nah, man! If you want to be 50 years old and wear a hoodie, do it, man. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. I think it’s all about your comfort zone. That’s what’s most important. F*ck what people think. I might still like the same hoodies I rock now when I’m 60, and I don’t want want to be looked at like a d*ckhead. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people wanting to wear hoodies when they’re old or whatever!

SK: You seem to always have a grasp of what's new and upcoming in fashion and accessories. So tell us, what's the next untapped brand we should be checking for? Now would be a great time to shout them out.
BS: The next untapped brand you should be checking for. Let me see. Let me see.  TI$A , Diamond Supply -- all that stuff is pretty good. A lot of people rock TI$A. They’re on the come-up for sure.

-Is(Smile)-

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Contest

bombay 01 curatedmag Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Contest
For the second year, Bombay is running the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series contest. In inaugural form, the program generated over 1000 entries, each vetted by judge Russell Simmons. Twenty winners from 2011 will feature at the Artisan Series finale during Art Basel Miami, with 20 more feature in an upcoming coffee table art book. The grand prize winners – 2 artists – will be exhibited at Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Arts Gallery in New York City.

Fancy a crack at the contest? Submit your original artwork here.

Shown above are the 2010 winners. 
My Art Work is Here, Vote For Me !!!



 -Is(Smile)-

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classic Boot

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classic Boot
New to the Converse Fall line, the All Star Boot celebrates the outdoors and honors Converse’s beginnings as a rubber company, originally making boots and shoes for outdoorsmen. Inspired by the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star shoe and with the classic moc toe detailing of work boots, the All Star Boot also features the familiar Chuck Taylor midsole, outsole and leather patch. This shoe has thick boot laces and is crafted in either premium nubuck leather or a combination of waxed canvas and leather.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Classic Boot
-Is(Smile)-

Tristan Thompson (4th Pick) in A Suit By PBB At The 2011 NBA Draft

The Suit Tristan Thompson Wore To The 2011 NBA Draft Was Made By "Q" From Paper Brown Bag Clothing...
What Tristan Said About His Suit Before The Draft... To the Canadian Press: "Let's just say that my colours will go with any team in this draft."
He called the suit "well fit and clean" on espn first take the next day.
Commissioner (David Stern) Congratulating Tristan
Blessed
Tristan & His New Teammate Kyrie Irving (#1 Pick)

-Is(Smile)-

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Foods To Increase Libido

Increase Libido
  • What You Need To Know
  • Believe it or not, celery contains a hormone that turns women on.
  • Avocados are incredibly good for you, and they increase libido.
  • It was just discovered that fenugreek, an herb, is an aphrodisiac.

    Fenugreek gives a whole new meaning to "some like it hot." Before, we knew it as an herb that spices up curries, but a new study found that it increases libido, as well. But we're not suggesting you and your woman consume handfuls of the stuff. So I compiled a list of some more common foods that also do the trick.

    Here are 11 foods that will provide the essential fuel to spark your sexual appetite and increase libido.

    1- Celery
    While celery may not be the first food that comes to mind when you're thinking sex, it can be a fantastic source food for sexual stimulation. This is because it contains androsterone, an odorless hormone released through male perspiration and turns women on.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Celery is best eaten raw. Wash and cut some, and munch away.

    2- Raw oysters
    This is one of the classic aphrodisiacs. Oysters are high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production. Oysters also contain dopamine, a hormone known to increase libido. Also, the experience of shucking a raw oyster is erotic. Try incorporating it into your foreplay -- feed her and have her feed you. The slippery taste sensation and the mere act of shucking should get you both in the mood.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Scrub the shells thoroughly to get any dirt or bacteria off. Pry them open and place them on a bed of ice, squeeze some fresh lemon onto them if you like, and then start shucking away.

    3- Bananas
    Bananas contain the bromelain enzyme, which is believed to increase libido and reverse impotence in men. Additionally, they are good sources of potassium and B vitamins like riboflavin, which increase the body's overall energy levels.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Place them on a dish in various states of "undress" and have your lady slowly eat some for you. Then gobble yours down and get to work.

    4- Avocado
    The Aztecs called the avocado tree "ahuacatl," or "testicle tree." While avocados can indeed look like that body part, they contain high levels of folic acid, which helps metabolize proteins, thus giving you more energy. They also contain vitamin B6 (a nutrient that increases male hormone production) and potassium (which helps regulate a woman's thyroid gland), two elements that help increase libido in both men and women.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Cut one in half, scoop out the insides with your fingers, and then get your woman to lick it off.

    5- Almonds (or nuts in general)
    Almonds are a prime source of essential fatty acids. These are vital as they provide the raw material for a man's healthy production of hormones. Additionally, the smell of almonds is purported to arouse passion in females. Try lighting some almond-scented candles to encourage her mood and snack on some (but not too many) yourself to store up energy for your performance.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Eat them raw (with no added salt or sweetness). Or, crush some fresh almonds and sprinkle them on your salad to get the energy you need.
    "Aside from the fact that it is the surest way to a woman's vagina, chocolate also contains theobromine -- an alkaloid -- that is very similar to caffeine."

    6- Mangoes, peaches and strawberries
    What can be more fun than sinking your teeth into a drippy, sticky-sweet fruit? Probably doing that as a prelude to (or during) sex. All of the above fruits and their shapes, textures and succulence are erotically suggestive and can be fun to use amid foreplay. Try dribbling the juices over your bodies and licking up the residue as an erotic game. It makes for a great (and tasty) way to discover each other's bodies.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Peel the mango, cut the peach and slice up some strawberries, and feed your woman while she's giving you oral sex.


    7- Eggs

    Although not the most sensual of foods, eggs are high in vitamins B6 and B5. These help balance hormone levels and fight stress, two things that are crucial to a healthy libido. Eggs are also a symbol of fertility and rebirth. Some people will eat raw chicken eggs just prior to sex to increase libido and maximize energy levels. But all bird and fish eggs contain B6 and B5.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Have some caviar and (a bit of) champagne during your fun or gobble down some hard-boiled eggs beforehand.


    8- Liver

    A good source of glutamine -- a cellular fuel for your immune system -- liver may indeed increase a slowed-down libido. Granted, it's not the sexiest of foods, but if you add it to your basic diet, your body -- and your lady -- will thank you for it.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Try frying liver up in a pan with some onions, spices and olive oil to make the taste more agreeable.


    9- Figs

    These are high in amino acids, which are believed to increase libido. They can also improve sexual stamina. Furthermore, the shape of a fresh fig and the sweet, juicy taste are two tangible aspects that are highly pleasurable to the human senses.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Feed her some fresh figs and let the juices run all wild while you're both getting revved up


    10- Garlic

    Yes, you might need to stock up on some extra breath mints, but it'll be worth it. Garlic contains allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow to the sexual organs. As such, it's a highly effective herb to help increase libido. If the odor just won't work for you -- or you can't stand garlic -- you and your lady can always take garlic capsules instead.

    How to enjoy this libido food: Well, chances are you can't enjoy garlic and sex simultaneously, so take some capsules and get it over with.


    11- Chocolate

    Aside from the fact that it is the surest way to a woman's vagina, chocolate also contains theobromine -- an alkaloid -- that is very similar to caffeine. It also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical believed to produce the feeling of "being in love." So, when your woman talks about how good chocolate makes her feel, there is some science behind it. In addition, dark chocolate has a massive amount of anti-oxidants, which are great for the body in general, as they help maintain the immune system.

    How to enjoy this libido food: From chocolate bars to chocolate fondue, as long as it's chocolate, you and your woman will be in for a tasty session.

    start eating & munching
    Now that you know what your body needs to perform at its peak, head down to your local supermarket or corner store, and fill your shopping cart with all the ingredients you need to make sex that much better.

    -Is(Smile)-

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“Pretty on the Inside” Curated By: Erik Parker and KAWS

parker kaws 01 curatedmag Pretty on the Inside Organized by Erik Parker and KAWS
Paul Kasmin Gallery hosts this week’s “must attend” opening this week with the unveiling of Pretty on the Inside, a group exhibition curated by Erik Parker and KAWS.
Paul Kasmin Gallery presents the exhibition Pretty on the Inside, organized by Erik Parker and KAWS. This is the first time that the two artists have collaborated to organize an exhibition. Pretty on the Inside includes works in a range of media by seven American artists: Todd James, KAWS, Tony Matelli, Erik Parker, Joyce Pensato, Peter Saul, and Karl Wirsum. At first glance, these artworks challenge the viewer through their visual intensity, but upon closer inspection, they reveal an inner beauty. Many of the artists included make ironic or subversive works, hijacking the language of cartoons and comics to both celebrate and criticize contemporary culture.
The show runs from June 23, 2011 to August 19, 2011.

Paul Kasmin Gallery
293 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10001

-Is(Smile)-

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

RareInk “Ice Cube” Print Series

cube 01 curatedmag RareInk Ice Cube Print Series
In collaboration with Ice Cube, RareInk has announced a new series of prints that deliver music fans authentic, original autographed work. “Expanding the interaction with fans of my music by offering limited edition, signed artwork that they are able to share and enjoy with their friends and family is something I feel my fans deserve,” said Ice Cube, who in addition to being the RareInk’s first artist will serve as the company’s strategic advisor.  “With RareInk, music fans now have an online destination for unique, autographed art that they know is real.  Not only does RareInk create amazing pieces of art that bring my albums and songs to life but a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Minority AIDS Project, an organization I have worked with over the past two decades.”

The first series releases on June 22, 2011.

-Is(Smile)-

Jay-Z & Will Smith On Men In Black 3 Set

Big Willie got a visit from business partner Jay-Z on the set in Battery Park.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Pursuit of Cool – Video Teaser


THE PURSUIT OF (COOL) - TEASER from R+I creative.

From the same people that brought you the short documentary ‘Influencers’, here's their their latest work, entitled ‘The Pursuit of Cool’.
“From the schoolyard kids to the marketers everybody wants to get close to the cool guy…so what defines cool? R+I Creative presents “The Pursuit Of Cool”, a short series about hedonism, sharing and meeting cool people with stories.
Featuring: Coltrane Curtis, Michele Savoia “The Tailor”, Ron Grant from “Ron grant & Friends” at The village Underground…”
I will of course (inshallah) keep you posted on the release of the full length documentary.

-Is(Smile)-


Friday, June 17, 2011

Russell Simmons x Lupe Fiasco Have A Discussion [Part 2]

Lupe Fiasco: "We Actually Have The Blood On Our Hands" [Part 2]

After yesterday's tremendous response to the part one of my conversation with the gifted Lupe Fiasco, I now present to you part two.  Look forward to your comments:
 
Lupe: But I think, you know to be honest like for me I think that the conversation is the issue that I’ve always had with America. To me the American government is second or third in the context of it. The corporations are definitely second but the people are first. I think the people have to understand that they’re conducive, that we actually have the blood on our hands. As much as we try to put that off on the politics or the politicians or the corporations or the military, we’re conducive on it because we silently agreed to it. Then we actively finance it because we pay taxes. So I always said that voting is cool. It’s theater but the actual meat and potatoes and the reality of it is you pay taxes and your taxes finance those drones and pay for that foreign policy and pay for the research programs and pay for all that stuff for international diplomacy and blah blah blah. So I think that the education I think that needs to be had and the idea that the alternative is worse I don’t necessarily agree with that. I believe that when you look at Obama I think it’s even worse-er because people idealize him to be better and you have better doing the same as the worse. It’s almost doubley worse because you’re supposed to be the guiding light, you’re supposed to be the guy. No matter what people thought of you… the only reason I agreed with Obama was because he was black but I had no any type of inkling that he would be any different from any politician for one he was trained in the Chicago machine which is the most corrupt political entity on Earth. When you come down to the nuts and bolts we have two consecutive governors one is in prison right now the other they’re deliberating his future right now in one of the courts in Chicago and Obama comes from that world. I already knew from stand up that it was basic politics but the only reason I agreed with it is because he was a black man. With him being a black man I immediately held him to a standard of other black presidents. I immediately held him up to the standard of Robert Mugabe and the better which was Nelson Mandela. If you’re gonna be a black president and you’re gonna stand up for something and you’re gonna stand up for the oppression and the quiet oppression that exists in the U.S. then you need to be like Nelson Mandela.

If you’re not stepping in the wave and fighting the fight that Nelson Mandela fought as it relates to the United States of America and the oppressed people here whether they’re white, black, Asian what have you and how we are the big stick in the world and how that relates to our domestic policy and domestic education relates to our foreign policy and the way we treat the rest of the world then I can’t rock with you. He doesn’t really have a polarity to me he doesn’t really have negatives and positives to me other than that he’s black and he’s black but I also have Nelson Mandela as somebody who looked back toward oppression and so to be a president and stands up and becomes an international figure and wins Nobel Peace Prizes. You can’t win the Nobel Peace Prize and then do a surge in Afghanistan. You can’t do that. The one thing that I respected George Bush for is that Bush was a gangster and he did what he said he was gonna do – go kill the dude that tried to kill his daddy and that’s why I respect him. I don’t honor him but I respect him. It’s the same thing with Barack Obama. I respect you because you’re black and we came from the same place and the only reason that we’re here is because we’re slaves. Well not him particularly because he can trace his roots back to Kenya and his mother was white but for me, the black man in America, the only reason I’m here is because I’m a slave. My ancestors were slaves. I don’t want to rehash the history but just from my political understanding I don’t look at the alternative as worse I look at what the alternative needs to be is the people.

Russell: Now see the only thing I take exception to is that you’re a little bit of an idealist by saying that and something that’s not practical about that in my opinion I just left a prison just now. I left a prison yesterday as well. I’m speaking to the prisoners. I’m fighting for prison reform. Half those people who are in there are for drugs. Some of those kids lack opportunity, education, all these problems. You say the battleground is the budget it’s the president’s rap right now and on the surface it sounds okay. If somebody’s gonna cut education in the inner city where you have 80 kids in a class in Detroit. If you can’t subsidize that by taking some out of the army, some little bit out of the army… the mother who’s a teacher and the father who’s a cop are sending their kids to a school with 80 kids and that kid’s not gonna graduate because only 46 or 48 percent of those kids are gonna graduate anyway so now we know they ain’t gonna graduate. A middle class loses the battle to survive and continue to have a middle class black family. If they don’t address that, if there’s no subsidies for those educations then no matter how corrupt or backward the machine in Detroit they’re gonna need some money so they can make those classes back to the sizes they were and 46% of the boy will graduate out of school instead of 28 or whatever. So little things matter a little bit and it’s a little bit idealistic.

Lupe: Well so you just don’t think I’m a pure subjective person, to add some objectivity to my statement, to my thought process I consciously battle against the ideal versus the real and you have to have both they dance together but the reality of the situation is, the pure reality, is that if we really wanted to educate then we would. There’s no reason why the Harvard canon of books. Whatever black lawyer or black doctor that you know many of and I know many of or a professor or a graduate who read a specific set of books in Harvard or a freshman course in Harvard there’s no reason that those books, the same books that they read, that a regular person in the hood shouldn’t have access to those same books and those same canons. I asked Professor Cornell West I said give me your list of books that you teach in your class, and it’s the same books that you can get at the library and anywhere else, so I can have same amount of intensity of education and the way that you structure your courses so I can go to the people who are never gonna have it who go to the second class or third class high school or even the kids who… are at the high school where they only come to school to go to lunch…

How do we supersede that? How do we go past waiting on a subsidy in a school system that’s archaic and that’s broken? Your schools were made to send people into a manufacturing world that which no longer exists and that’s still teaching that. So even those kids who are in those schools in Detroit are being trained in a system that’s 60 years past its time. So even when they do come out they’re cut off at the legs because the education that they’re getting is archaic compared to the rest of the modern world. So how do we supersede that in my own way? So if it's about education and about books and about critical thinking then give me the canon and I’ll go buy those books. Lupe will go buy those books and I will go set up a reading program and all the kids who are willing, because there has to be a willingness as well from the actual individual, those who are willing to come on and understand this and take pride in this and take advantage and supplement the education that they’re getting with this higher level of education because it’s really just reading and writing then let’s do that. That’s assistance too. That’s gonna happen whether it’s a Republican, a Democrat or an anarchist in the White House. I’m gonna do that regardless.

So when I say “the people” I’m talking about you, me, Barack Obama, people doing things that may have to (require) sacrifice financially but for the most part it’s not even that much of a financial detriment in comparison to what we spend just on waste or what we spend on phone bills or on cable bills and for stuff that we really don’t need if you really look at the cost of it and how much you can actually get for free if you actually just go out and do it. And give people access to the things they can really use as opposed to giving them access to things that we think they use which is in itself is an ideal. I was just watching CSPAN last night for four hours me and my mother watching them debate the cuts they were taking out of the 2012 bill for agriculture and food safety and you should’ve seen the programs they were hacking out of there just on a whim. One minute we want 1 million dollars for this and 2 million dollars for this and well nah at the end of the day they didn’t care about food stamps they didn’t care about people hungry the word of line from the politicos and politicians there was that we don’t have the money. Like “we don’t have this we’re a broke government, we need to supplement this with spending” it was always some ideology about the government and patriotism and of the American Dream and things that don’t really exist. So for me even though I stress these high minded ideals its backed up and based on practices and tested in reality. You know I’ve been to Detroit I’ve been to the high schools. I went to the gangstas and crack sellers in Detroit and politicking and trying to learn from everybody so I can have that ideal and that reality and what I’ve learned in my studies and my travels around this world is that there’s certain things that you just can’t wait on. You can’t wait on Obama you can’t wait til the next election because now we’re in election mode. Obama is trying to raise a billion dollars for his next election. Like dog why are you even shooting commercials when you could be taking 10% of that billion dollars that you’re trying to just give right back to CBS and give right back to ABC. Why don’t you give $100 million to Detroit? But he’s not gonna do that so those things, those kind of hypocrisies are the face of what’s going on. Look at the system a really different way because that’s $1 billion real dollars that’s not idea dollars. The only reason he went to Puerto Rico whatever the political, get the Puerto Ricans on the mainland to vote, he raised a million dollars while he was there! For four hours he went and did an event, a fundraiser at a hotel in Puerto Rico and got a million dollars for his campaign! I guarantee you he did not take that million dollars which he got a check for at the end of the night before he jumped on a plane and went to wherever he went, I bet you he did not go to the barrios in Puerto Rico and say “hey here’s some books! Here’s a million dollars to go pay for this or pay for that” which he can because that’s his money going to his campaign not going to government not going to anywhere else. I agree with what you’re saying you can’t be completely idealistic but at the same time you can’t negate the reality of the situation that we’re living in.

Russell: Listen it’s gonna take education and it’s gonna take individuals like you who are gonna point out hypocrisies and its gonna take people who are educated and sophisticated about our policies to change them or to fight against the corporate influences in different cases and there’ll be presidents who are gonna need people who push them to do some of the right things and make some shifts and limit the lobbyists’ power and all of these things so your voice is an important one in this way. I just want to make sure that when I frame this I frame this as you are a patriot trying to fix your country. And that you see these things, and as an artist if you don’t point them out then you aren’t a true artist. You want to tell the truth and so these truths that come out of your mouth and come from your experiences and your perceptions. Some people will be very optimistic and try to make sure that we get the best of the choices available and they’ll just say that the world is flawed just like we know there’s suffering, there’s corruption. But they’re gonna try to be optimistic about it and try to push for the President. At the end of the day you make this country better and your words make this country better and also remind me to think and don’t let the surface blow me over because all the things that you say that are true that standout have to be part of the dialogue and we cannot ignore the suffering we’ve caused and the footprint we have or the abuse we’re promoting when we are. But at the same time that optimistic guy who wants to make sure that we have the best choice and know that it’s an imperfect world. The best thing I think we can do right now is make sure your voice is heard and make sure black people vote and I still believe black people should vote and every progressive voice should hear everything you said and digest every word. I appreciate you and your time.

Lupe: Thank you.

-Is(Smile)-

Martin Wittfooth “Red Soil”

martin witfooth 01 curatedmag Martin Wittfooth Red Soil
Released in an edition of just 15, Martin Wittfooth’s “Red Soil” print is available through Paper Tiger. The New York-based painter deals in realism, though his subjects pull from beyond the scope of everyday life. “Red Soil” is no exception, and within the 16.25″ by 25″ print Wittfooth’s delicate and layered brush strokes are apparent.
-Is(Smile)-

Balance

Look For Intelligence and Judgment and, Most Critically, a Capacity To Anticipate, To See Around Corners. Also Look For Loyalty, Integrity, a High Energy Drive, a Balanced Ego and The Drive To Get Things Done...
-Is(Smile)-

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Russell Simmons x Lupe Fiasco Have A Discussion [Part 1]

By: Russell Simmons

I created GlobalGrind a few years ago for moments like this. Lupe Fiasco, one of the great poets of his generation, made some comments that didn't sit well with a lot of people, when called President Barack Obama a "terrorist." I decided to reach out to Lupe to give him a platform to further explain why he felt this way and discuss the overall state of our country, our politics and the world.

This is a transcript from our conversation.

Russell: Lupe, it is good to speak with you. I heard there was a lot of talk about the comments you made a few days ago about the President, and I wanted to give you a chance to further discuss your thoughts. I respect you as an artist and a poet and I think your opinion is important to the national discussion on where our country is going. I kinda understand that some of our foreign policy has been very hurtful and sometimes we do things that are not conscience. I didn’t really think that Obama was any more aggressive about our business interests or America’s interest in terms of the foreign policy then of the previous President, and in fact, I believe there have been changes under this administration that have been really good, like his speech in Cairo or ending combat operations in Iraq. So I just want to get clarity on your words so I can send them out there and that people understand because America in the past has made some horrible choices. Our footprint on the necks of people around the world is not really understood by the American public. When you think about 300,000 or whatever number of innocent Muslims we killed in Iraq, or when you think about some of the choices we’ve made that have hurt people but we only count our dead in Iraq. We don’t count theirs. We don’t know the amount of Islamophobia the country exudes and we say things like “we’re going on a crusade” and these things are scary...What do you think?-

Lupe:  America was based on a hypocrisy and what we had done is basically an extension of that hypocrisy. I think that the Constitution was a hypocrisy in the sense that the same way you look at somebody like Glenn Beck as a hypocrite. On one level I agree with a lot of stuff that Glenn Beck says — this is to give you context for me and where my statements come from — I agree with the ideals that he speaks about when he talks about family values and when he talks about taking care of your own community. He talks a really good wholesome kind of game. The problem is, he’s not talking to anybody but white people. It’s really just the intention and the context of it. So there’s a certain level of hypocrisy that exists in America. And it started back from the constitution and all the people who wrote the Constitution and everything that they put in there it was good game, but all those people had slaves. The majority of the people had slaves or were sympathetic to slaveholders or were direct recipients of money from slavery and things like that and had businesses that dealt with plantations and people that had slaves. There’s a certain level of hypocrisy that existed from the inception of this country all the way up until today and we’re really just facing the remnants.



My issue and what I try and do is expose that hypocrisy but expand the conversation to make it honest. To make the conversation honest so it speaks to everyone so people become educated to those things.  So for me it boils down to everything that America does. It’s foreign policy is very hypocritical, it’s very backwards. We don’t count the other bodies, for us the war is one-way. And they’re not even wars of attrition, not even honest wars. They're not wars that were like wars that were fought 200 years ago or wars that were fought a hundred years ago. These are wars that are based on business. These are wars that are based on “let’s build these drones and we gotta try this technology but we need to make sure it works so we need to at least kill X amount of people so we can prove the value of this particular project that we spent 40 billion dollars on” so to speak. And you multiply times how many things are going through the Pentagon military industrial complex.


So when I make the statement about Obama being a terrorist it was funny because somebody had did it … on one of the blogs or one of the news pieces or one of the internet sites that actually ran with the story or re-put it out, one of the people in the commentary related the whole situation to Osama bin Laden right? And Osama bin Laden was the unquestioned head of Al Qaeda, he was the mastermind, he was a financier, he was a politician, he orchestrated things for Al Qaeda and what have you but Osama bin Laden wasn’t a suicide bomber. He wasn’t a soldier. If he was a suicide bomber he would be dead because his first mission there would be no more Osama bin Laden. Other than the time that he spent in Afghanistan, as far as we know he was never the one running in to the supermarkets shooting people, he was never the one running into the mosque shooting people, he was never one at the roadside setting up IEDs, he didn’t fly the planes into the buildings or anything like that. He was the mastermind, the financier and what have you. And some instances the way Al Qaeda is set up there’s certain things that Osama bin Laden probably didn’t even know about that was occurring all throughout the Middle East, all throughout North Africa and in the U. S. as well. So he’s a terrorist even though he never really did a terrorist act.

So they related it to Obama and they said well Obama is kinda in the same light. Every President before him and every President that comes after him that still pushes aggression first. Whereas Obama never killed anybody. Him himself. He doesn’t know how to fly a stealth fighter. He never piloted a drone from a hundred miles away and dropped a bomb on a wedding or a birthday party. But at the same time too he should receive the same amount of credit for those actions of the people that are under him and the organizations that he heads. He should receive the same credit and the same title that Osama bin Laden gets. What’s the difference between somebody walking a bomb in strapped to their chest into a wedding full of innocent people or a bomb coming from a stealth fighter two miles up and coming into the roof into a wedding full of innocent people? What’s the difference? At the end of the day you’re killing innocent people. So for me it’s — and that’s from somebody else that was from somebody spectating and commentating on the situation. So as long as they can inspire things like that then I feel that it’s a just and a real honest and critical conversation that we’re having right now. It’s inspiring this type of thought, for people to start thinking critically about what’s going on. I can sit out and fully — ya' know if it was in a political context and we sat down and had the real political discourse and I went and quoted all of the books I read and documentaries I’ve seen and the knowledge and the numbers and the statistics that I have — I can explain why what when and where to a tee. But in the state that we live in and the way the media’s run and the way the internet works I’m at the mercy of the soundbite and I’m at the mercy of the attention span of 140 characters on Twitter and things of that nature. I think there’s a certain level of hypocrisy that this country was founded on and I’m just kinda trying to find out the effects of it now. If that makes any sense?

Russell: The idea of these promises we founded this country on and to the extent that you want to make a more perfect Union, this dialogue has to be had. If we have foreign policy that is driven by corporations in some cases and sometimes it hurts innocent people and we could’ve made choices that are more compassionate then your dialogue is necessary and maybe your soundbite is how the dialogue begins for some people. Are you concerned that having this discussion is gonna affect your career?

Lupe: Um … yeah! (laughs) but I don’t think it’s gonna be in a negative way because I’m thinking ten steps ahead. I’m not thinking … I’m thinking of the effects of this, who this is gonna speak to, who’s gonna react to it, who’s gonna be against it, who’s gonna be for it. But I’m already thinking 10 steps ahead. I’m already thinking about and already have in place the — Fox News, Bill O’Reilly just did a … he just called me a pinhead on his show last night for the remark and lied and said that he reached out to get me on the show.

Russell: What I was saying is I think what occurred with Fox News or whoever else is gonna try to use this as ammunition against Obama for whatever the political purposes are.

Lupe: Or whatever the GOP candidates or what have you right? Use it as another sound bite alongside Obamacare to just put the hoopla up in the midst. And I think what happened was is people once they start to do that and they Google who I was and then they see the context of why the question was even asked in the first place was based off the song “Words I Never Said” then it’s “oh if we put this dude on, everything that he talked about is gonna come out and he’s really talking about us too."

Russell: Can I say something that I hope will put it in context? Because I don’t think your career is at risk at all. I mean you have music, you’re a poet you say things that are on your mind and people applaud you for them and they’re truthful and they listen to them more intently. Most of the people who buy your records are progressive thinkers and will listen to you but let me put it in the context of, and you see if it's ok. What I believe is that what you’re saying is American foreign policy is in many cases pushed by corporate greed, pushed by abusive lifestyles to make everybody continue to be comfortable and sometimes exploit innocent people across the globe for the betterment of the American public. They think betterment, you know most times we don’t need the shit we fight for. I don’t care if it’s the shit on the ground, the cell phones, or if it’s the oil or gold or whatever it is we’re stealing or taking from other countries. What you’re saying about American policy is that everybody should be first more educated so they can push their politicians to make better choices a and stand up to the kind of sideways rap they can give us while they do sometimes really hurtful things. Americans are not aware of the hurtful things that are done “on their behalf”. But for the record, you're saying that American foreign policy has always been, and more recently more and more been, whether it's the lobbyists or the corporations or the business interests or the support systems that make this government stand on this legs. You would say that you may not like Obama, but the alternative is worse. Cause you know that I have proudly supported this President and I believe in him and I want people to be inspired to vote. I have to go out and work my ass off to make sure that a foreign policy that could be more disastrous than George Bush's is not implemented and more people are not abused — if we got a Sarah Palin or a Michelle Bachmann or a Mitt Romney ... damn. Is that a fair assessment?

CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR PART II

-Is(Smile)-




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Hug Chair - By: Gabriella Asztalos

hug 01 curatedmag The Hug Chair
Gabriella Asztalos designed The Hug Chair to allow for, and create, intimate interaction. Based on the spherical shape of a hug, the chair is a uni-body construction that leaves two seated people comfortably situated face to face. It’s an eye catching piece that can elegantly fit into any room with high ceilings. There are several color options, but Asztolos’ design works best when kept to simple configuration.

-Is(Smile)-

Nixon “The Milk Collection” Chromacoat Watches

Nixon-'The-Milk-Collection'-Chromacoat-Watches
Nixon introduces “The Milk Collection,” an attractive new addition to their Chromacoat line of watches.
“The unique and advanced applied finish, deemed Chromacoat, with “chroma” meaning purity of color and “coat” being the applied coat on top of the steel IP plating, Nixon’s Chromacoat is designed to age with the owner. Through normal wear, each and every watch with this special finish will mature with age showing the owner what a life well lived will look like, creating a completely individual and custom version of the watch.”
The 51/30. 42/20, Player, Small Player, Kensington and Scarlet are all represented in this exclusive make up which starts as a rich, white and wears with age to reveal a unique gold layer undercoat.





-Is(Smile)-

Fabolous Rocking Paper Brown Bag in London

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Check The Full Video Of Fab in London Here...
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

REFLECTIONS: KAWS “A Sweeter Version of Death.”

REFLECTIONS KAWS REFLECTIONS: KAWS A Sweeter Version of Death.
Your favorite tunes have never been the same since New York artist KAWS hit the scene.  His twisted versions of what could have been Bugs Bunny, SpongeBob or Mickey Mouse, are now recognizable KAWS characters that sport his trademarked XX’ed out eyes.  The characters appear in his exhibitions, in parades and pasted over some pretty prime advertising spots.  In an ongoing video series called REFLECTIONS, KAWS gets the chance to explain his choice of canvas and his beginnings as a street artist.

Take a look at his REFLECTIONS interview video directed by Matt Black below and gain a new found appreciation for the unconventional artist.  See more of his works at his internet home – HERE.



-Is(Smile)-

Nasty - Nas

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NASTY (Produced by Salaam Remi) by Nasir Jones

Monday, June 13, 2011

“Arabesque 2: Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia” Book

arabesque 01 curatedmag Arabesque 2: Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia Book
Forthcoming from Gestalten, Arabesque 2 explores the latest graphic design trends coming from the Middle East. With a young generation of designers engaged in promoting a new identity for the region, the moment for inventive manipulation of local visual convention and the international style is now. Edited by Ben Wittner and Sascha Thoma, the book features graphic design, logos, editorial design, and illustration by young designers and activists from Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.

The preface is written by John Martin, co-founder of Art Dubai.


-Is(Smile)-

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mos Def for Union x Mark McNairy

Union’s good friend Mos Def dropped in for a visit yesterday at their LA store and grabbed a pair of shoes from the latest Union x McNairy collabo. The black and blue shoes suited him so well that they decided to head over to Feal Mor to shoot some flicks. They’re even calling them “Blue Beys” now.

-Is(Smile)-

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five Reasons Why Allah Uses Problems

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how Allah wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.
 
Here are five ways Allah wants to use the problems in your life:


1. Allah uses problems to DIRECT you.


Sometimes Allah must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is Allah trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”


2. Allah uses problems to INSPECT
you.


People are like tea bags…if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has Allah tested your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about you? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.”


3. Allah uses problems to
CORRECT you.


Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove…. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship.. .. by losing it. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.”


4. Allah uses problems to PROTECT you.


A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious.. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but Allah intended it for good…”


5. Allah uses problems to PERFECT you.


Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. Allah is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to Allah and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems…they help us learn to be patient.. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust Allah more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.”
Here’s the point:


Allah is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it.
 

But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

“Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way”

-Is(Smile)-

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