We’re Not So Different: Music Video To Benefit Autism


“It takes every color in the spectrum to make the world glow bright.”

The colorful, positive and vibrant visuals of this music video says it all. No matter what side of the spectrum you’re on, we are all affected by Autism. Singer/songwriter Cassandra Kubinski released her song, Not So Different, and the message embodied throughout the track is captivating and transcendent among different cultures. The empowering piano-driven song is about coming together through differences, learning and helping each other, along with looking beyond the surface of Autism. It was written following the Autism Speaks Walk and it’s purpose is to to motivate, inspire and encourage.



Not So Different has grown in popularity via YouTube, and seeks to raise $1 million in sales for Autism Speaks and other Autism organizations. In raising awareness about the cause, the CDC has also stated the number of children on the spectrum has increased up to 1 in 63 from 1 in 82. 


Celebrities who have also supported the cause (and are featured in the video) include NY1 Anchor Cheryl Wills, “Real Housewives of NJ” star Jacqueline Laurita, and many more.

The song is available for purchase via iTunes and Google Play. Proceeds from the song go towards Autism programs.

Please join the cause in supporting Autism!


“Love speaks in a million ways, and in the end we’re not so different.”

Education is Key: Power Behind the Machine Music Panel in Beverly Hills

                           

The Power Behind the Machine Music Panel during the BET Awards Weekend was a knowledge-infused experience where developing artists and musicians heard insights from several music business leaders in the industry. Held at Crowne Plaza in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the panel’s central theme was enlightenment and education: about the community, about an artist’s musical brand, and about the ever-changing music business. The panel was held to benefit the Challengers Boys & Girls Club Foundation. Event Coordinator/CEO of HustleGurl Entertainment Helecia Choyce noted the importance of keeping a positive work ethic, attitude, and having the inner city youth involved with extra-curricular activities and networking opportunities.

Some of the panelists included executive Talent Scout Mike Robinson, who in his career has also worked diligently to create a platform for the urban youth community.

“At the end of the day, it’s about keeping yourself relevant.”, says Robinson.

Other panelists included President of Urban Network Digital Arthur Miller. Miller stressed the importance of having an education while in the music industry, becoming knowledgeable on streaming services and having showmanship during live performances. His advice on live performances was to focus on “visuals first, lyrics second, and vocals third.”

Hip-Hop psychologist Dr. Niama T. Malachi shared her background that led her to her passion to empower communities and build a rapport through the studies and influence of Hip-Hop music. She Dr. Malachi, who also released her book, Hip-Hop State of Mind, provided some encouraging words of wisdom.

“If the doors aren’t open, it’s all about timing. It may not be your door right now, so don’t force yourself into that door.”


Booking Agent Don Adams of the DBE Agency shared his experience working in the touring side of the music business, and dropped some key gems about having success in the industry.

“People want to be a part of things that are already moving. People want to see who’s doing things for themselves. Respect is earned, not given. You have to earn your respect. No one is going to give anything to you.”

The final panelists to speak were Darrell Andrews, Director of Partnerships at Omna Media and Sr. VP/Label Liason of Bungalo Records Leo Rogers. Andrews mentioned in order to gain success in the digital age as new artists, monetization of videos is also key. Utilizing social media as a source of marketing and having a strong YouTube presence is also essential as an independent artist. 

Robert Leo Rogers, who started in the music business as a DJ and later worked with artists like Toni, Toni, Tone, kept the conversation about technology going and suggested merging and embracing the digital culture within music. Rogers also provided advice for singers and musicians who don’t release their music based on the fear of having their intellectual property stolen.

“Don’t hold your records at gunpoint. Don’t ever hold your music hostage.”

For more information about Rogers and his longevity in the industry, check his bio out here:

Stay tuned for upcoming celebrity interviews from the Power Behind the Machine panel!

If Music Be The DJ Mix of Love: Top Recommended DJ Software

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What’s a family get-together without good food and good music?

Now that Memorial Day Weekend is approaching, it’s time to get ready for those cookouts that reminds us summer is near. At a barbecue last weekend, my uncle who’s a DJ brought nearly all his equipment to my backyard in order to blast the freshest sounds my entire family (and the block) would enjoy. In the midst of doing his mixes, he showed me some of the cues he used on his American Audio VMS2 Turntable to transition smoothly from one song to the next. I was completely intrigued by his extensive and eclectic library of music! 

To get this incredible music blowing out from the sound systems, the software that was most acclaimed included Serato Itch, Scratch Live, and  +ScratchPro.

For you disk jockeys who wouldn’t mind popping in a CD once in a while for that persistent song request, I would recommend Scratch Live. A favorite among many club DJ’s, this software includes several easy-to-use knobs that allow you to efficiently use different reverb effects, scratches (hence the name) and blend that new Will.I.Am tune with +Chris Brown  and +Nicki Minaj‘s record. You’ll be “feelin’ yourself” after the crowd “loves more” of your DJ skills!

Next on the list is Scratch Live’s sister software, Scratch Pro. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option to play CD’s but its design is so manageable even a DJ with a mix and a dream can bring the club to life. 

For those DJ’s who like to keep it simple without all the functions, Serato Itch is the way to go. This all-in-one software allows you to mix your digital collection of hits from Top 40, House, Hip-Hop and Soca. If you want to switch up that +Pharrell Williams– +Usher mix with some oldies, be my guest. Serato Itch keeps it simple.

Whether you’re at a family cookout, wedding, club or baby shower, these software will surely give way to the crowd-pleasing hits. 

If you’re looking to make your Memorial Day Weekend memorable, head on over here for special deals on DJ equipment, and more!

  

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Tanning of America: Documentary Screening at the Paley Center

“Hip-Hop gave us a platform where we all see the world similarly…” – Rev. +Al Sharpton

Hip-Hop became the ‘soundtrack to the streets’ and not only evolved as a genre and culture, but a movement. It was a pleasure and an honor to sit in a room filled with visionaries, trailblazers, and pioneers of the music and entertainment industry as the discussion of the influence of Hip-Hop culture took place at the Paley Center for Media Thursday night.

If you thought last night’s premiere (Part 1) of the documentary series was mind-blowing, the next parts will truly enlighten minds about the growth of Hip-Hop and its socioeconomic influence, and many of the tanning figures such as +Oprah Winffrey, +Eddie Murphy  and Bill Cosby who changed the face of mainstream America. In case you missed it, Part 1 of the 4-part series shined a spotlight on the rise of blaxploitation films, Bronx being the birthplace of Hip-Hop and how the tanning of America started to penetrate the culture during era of the 1980’s.

The moderator for the heated panel at the Paley Center was co-anchor and Editor-at-large of Oprah Magazine, Gayle King. The panelists included FUBU Entrepreneur Daymond John, Hip-Hop Pioneer Fab Five Freddy, Reverend Al Sharpton, rapper Nas, and founder /CEO of Translation, LLC and author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, Steve Stoute.

Guests including Jerry Seinfeld, editors from Ebony Magazine, and Harlem fashion stylist Dapper Dan were some if the many figures who gave their input during the panel’s Q&A. With an introduction from the creator of the Video Music Box himself, Ralph McDaniels, the discussion provided a lens on how Hip-Hop developed as a critical influence in politics, mass media and dug deeper on the interesting distinction between rap and Hip-Hop music.

“Hip-hop is Sugar Hill Gang…Rap is an easy song laid over a drum machine…”

“Hip-Hop makes your world expand…and then there’s rap.” – Nas

“With hip-hop you celebrated who you were. You could be yourself and be alright.” –  Reverend Al Sharpton

“Hip-hop is still developing as an art form…” +Steve Stoute 
Some of the later topics discussed in the panel included the usage of the N-word in Hip-Hop and its context, and also that the beauty in hip-hop lies in respecting the artists in who they were and the stories of the streets which they conveyed.

“It’s a misnomer to reduce hip-hop to one word…No one knows where to draw the line of the word N**** in Hip-Hop.” – Rev. Al Sharpton

Catch Part 2 and the rest of the 4-part series airing tonight until Thursday at 11pm only on VH1.

Check out the rest of the photos from the event. 

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Whoopi Goldberg’s Daughter Alex Martin Celebrates Fab 40th Birthday Bash

To kick off Mother’s Day weekend, Alex Martin celebrated her 40th Birthday with her mother,  +Whoopi Goldberg at the Bowery Hotel on Friday night. The stylish event was filled to the brim with taste-makers and celebrity guests in the music, fashion and entertainment industries. Friends new and old alike including reality stars Love & Hip-Hop’s Tahiry, Basketball WivesJennifer Williams and Po Johnson of Lala’s Full Court Life also showed love and support for Martin.

Many fashion moguls and celebrity stylists including ANTM’s Nole MarinFashion Queen’s hairstylist Derek J, Beyonce’s stylist Ty Hunter, and +Wendy Williams‘ Glam Squad were also in attendance, just to name a few. 
The theme of the bash was glamorous fun, and the decor was elegant, chic with pink flair. Guests also enjoyed a special complementary cocktail, the “Alex Martin” and danced the night away to the marvelous sounds by DJ D Nice. Everyone was also in good company at the dessert bar which decorated with delectable treats from Tres Chic Cupcakes and an elaborate 40th Birthday cake!

Whoopi Goldberg was very proud of her daughter and will also be producing a new family-centered reality series through her company, One Ho Productions and 44 Blue Productions. The show is set to highlight the tight-knit bond of the family, Alex Martin’s personal and professional journey, and coming together through daily challenges under one roof.
Special thanks to the Creative Jenius Agency for planning an incredible event! +creative jeniu

Check out the pics below, courtesy of Kolin Mendez Photography:

Host/Personality Freddie B & CEO of Creative Jenius Agency CJ

Fashion Stylist Nole Marin

Rae Holliday & Mecca

DJ D Nice

Derek J & Alex Martin

MC Roxanne Shante

Host/Comedian Freddie B

Author/Coach Dee Marshall

Makeup Artist Karen Dupiche & Whoopi Goldberg

Alex Martin, Miss Lawrence, and Whoopi

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5 Tips to Keep Being on Track for the New Year

                        



Now that we’re already into February, we’ve all asked ourselves, “Where did the time go?” It seems as if the months felt like days, and weeks felt like minutes! In case you’re biting your nails trying to jot down some realistic resolutions (or slacking on your current ones and want to start fresh this month), here’s some tips to stay focused and be confident!
Tip #1: Reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far, then do more!
Think back on all your achievements in 2013. Although we get so caught up in the daily tasks in our lives, it’s always good to take a step back and count your blessings once in a while. Believe in yourself that you are able to raise the bar and accomplish so much more! This is only the first step to achieving more success that lies ahead.
Tip #2: Forgive Yourself!
Ok, so you may not have snagged the perfect job you wanted yet or aced that interview. There’s always an opportunity to start fresh & new and to get back on track! 
Tip #3: Turn the negatives into positives.
To be your own boss, having a positive mind is crucial to achieving success. The same energy you put into complaining and worrying about something is the same amount of energy you can use to bring proactive and working towards getting it! Don’t let your mistakes consume you. Accept them, learn from them and let it go.
Tip #4: Prioritize!! 
Most of us attempt to accomplish all of our duties in one day, then get discouraged when we don’t get to all of them. Figuring out what is most important on your schedule will allow you to set a specific time frame each day to tackle those responsibilities. 
Tip #5: Know your worth!
If there’s something you know you’re passionate about and you don’t value it, who will? Knowing your skills and talents will enable you to figure out exactly who will help you along the way. Don’t just settle for any busy body to take advantage of what you were put on this earth to do. Own your craft and know your value.
Once you consider these tips, opportunities will start opening up for you like never before. Let me know in the comments below how you’ve kept track during the New Year! 

Life As We Know It Panel & Being Mary Jane Private Screening in NYC

         
Tuesday night was the season premiere of Mara Brock Akil’s new TV Series, Being Mary Jane on BET, and everyone at home was the edge of their seats! To celebrate the premiere of the show, a special screening was held at the Crosby Hotel and was sponsored by OraQuick, the at-home oral HIV Test. +being mary jan
The exclusive event welcomed industry guests and editors to engage in an intimate Life as We Know It panel discussion about African-American women and relationships. The panel was moderated by TV and Radio Personality Jacque Reid and featured Dr. Rachael Ross, noted Relationship Expert/Blogger Demetria Lucas (Blood, Sweat, and Heels) and actress Robinne Lee who plays the wife, Avery Daniels, on the series.
The intriguing panel took a deeper look on specific topics affecting Black women in the community, namely situationships, the harsh reality of having an affair without any means of exclusivity. Another interesting topic was the debate on whether men or women were more likely to cheat. 
The informative discussion also included a deeper analysis of Mary Jane’s character, where she desires to have a balance of career, family and intimate life, yet like many women find themselves trapped on the web of insecurities, pressures, and consensual sex. 
“Women need to do very well for themselves and their career.”- Said Robinne Lee. 
During the discussion, Dr. Rachael Ross suggested creative ways to abstain from sex before a date and highly encouraged getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases both while dating and being in a committed monogamous relationship. The panel ended with the fabulous women sending a positive message of women coming together as opposed to being competitive with one another.
“Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.”
Visit for more information on http://www.whatsworthknowing.com/women
Special thanks to Wish Factor, Oraquick, and BET!