Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Media Pioneer: Brandon Greene of VividNUrban Online Magazine

New Media Pioneer: Brandon Greene of VividNUrban Online Magazine


VividNUrban Magazine is a magazine built for the Urban individual. Whether that individual is a musician, politician, teacher, athlete, doctor, athlete or any of the other tens of thousands of occupations that exist…VividNUrban has something for them. We hope to education, spark dialogue, and build the bridge between the gaps. We are Las Vegas premiere Urban Arts and Culture Magazine. Through commentary, and interviews we hope to establish relationships that will allow Vegas urbanites to explore collaboration opportunities in and out of the city. We hope to find not only beat makers and MC’s but promoters, organizers, teachers and DJ’s. We hope to serve as the voice of our constituency and speak truth to power in ways that are not only entertaining and thought provoking but showcase the Vivid light that shines through the urban life.

Q: How did VividNUrban Magazine come about?

A: VividNUrban came about as a result of me becoming frustrated with the existing media in my city of Las Vegas. I was an artist before I was a journalist and I have watched for years as artist after artist struggled to get the attention of the media and radio stations. Since I have degrees in computer graphics and film and I am currently pursuing my masters in Journalism and Media Studies, I decided that I would make my own lane and stop asking.

Q: VividNUrban was recently known as The V Magazine what caused the switch to the new name?

A: I typed V Magazine in a Google search engine to see if I showed up and discovered that there was a magazine in New York of the same title. I also decided that my focus would not just be music and Vegas but all the facets of Urban Culture including education, politics, community etc. Plus many times when you hear Urban you think rap. But there is a vitality that exists in Urban Communities and I wanted that light to shine so I made the V, Vivid.

Q: VividNUrban is known as the Las Vegas Premiere Urban Arts and Culture Magazine. How do you branch out to other things outside of Vegas on the site?

A: I am a member of the Hip Hop Congress, The Hip Hop Journalist Association, and The Association of Black Journalists. I am also still a hip-hop artist and graphic artist/videographer so I really just leverage the relationships and networking that I have to do on a constant basis to develop relationships with the members of my organizations and their cities/universities. It is my hope to eventually have writers in all metropolitan areas, which will make VividNUrban a snap shot of Urban America, it’s problems, discussions of solutions, and the art that emerges in the confusion.

Q: What are some of the new features that VividNUrban offers since it switched from the V Magazine?

A: VividNUrban is now a fully faceted site, offering history lessons in the “This Day” segment. Offering a look into the artists creative process in their own words in “In the studio” as well as discussions and articles on politics, education, and community issues. Here in Las Vegas I am a founding member of The Publishers Incubation Network (PIN) which allows me and other publishers to write and share articles with each other, sort of making us brother/sister publications.

Q: As digital media continues to take new norms all over the internet, what merits and downfalls do you see with this?

A: I think if it’s done right the internet publications are definitely beginning to hold their own and gain credibility. Major news organizations are scrambling to find qualified people who can take the old print mentality and convert in to the web. This is opening up incredible opportunities for young adults like myself, enabling us to start our own instead of having to be turned down by employers who love our education but are not willing to give us that entry level position. The downfall is that many print publications will be folding in the next couple of years, and that is very sad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Music Feature: Phashara

Chicago, IL
Genre: Hip Hop / Rap, Urban

Phashara (emcee & beatmaker) is the balance between aggressive golden age hip-hop and progressive melodious modern hip-hop. His style of vocal delivery is strong while his lyrical content is rather introspective and thought provoking. Phashara’s brand of vivid & soulful hip-hop is a throwback to a time when lyrics, chopped samples and drums that boom and bap were standard Emcee issue.

Phashara (pronounced fah-shuh-rah) born to an afroed soul cat & sophisticated lady, Phasha spent the 1st couple of years of his life in Chicago’s Martin Luther King Plaza on the west side of Chicago. His Mom & Dad both sang with reputable choirs and gospal acts, his Uncle is a Jazz Trumpeter. Needless to say, the musical influences in his life were many and varied. “I can remember hearing Rappers Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang and The Breaks by Kurtis Blow when I was like 4 or 5 years old. My Mom would play those joints all of the time. But I’d also be like “Ma play this…” holding up the Minnie Ripperten joint where she has the blue jean coveralls on with the ice cream cone. So I really grew up listening to Hip-Hop and Soul music. Soul and Hip-Hop are like the sound track to my life” he says of his early influences.

Check Him Out:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Christina’s Lucky 7

7 Urban Social Networking Websites you SHOULD be on in 2008!

1. XXL Block Talk
XXL Block Talk gives members the opportunity to post their own blogs and profiles, also gives daily updated videos of artists interviewed in the magazine. This site is great because it gives members the chance to connect with “the global hip-hop community.”

2. Block Savvy
Block Savvy is a one-stop shop where you can do all your online business - communicate with friends, build social networks, play games, import photos and videos from and, even import your profile data from MySpace. Created by former Roc-A-Fella Exec Damon Dash, you will frequently find exclusives available to members like Jim Jones own Byrdgang Channel.

3. Allhiphop is the most widely read Hip-Hop entity in the world, reaching millions of unique visitors per month. has been delivering daily news alerts to music industry tastemakers and hip-hop lovers two-way pagers, cellphones and email addresses since 1998. The Allhiphop community forums offer an excellent place to discuss entertainment, have collective arguments, and musical conversations, and showcase your own talent.

4. Reverb Nation - Designed for artists. Deep, empowering stats and information on your fan base help you make decisions on where to tour and how effectively you are growing your business. Keep your page up to date and export pieces of it to other sites - imagine only having to enter shows one time for all your web locations! And GREAT WIDGETS GALORE!

5. Facebook will be rolling out artist pages VERY SOON and you should not miss out on this! Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you. Upload photos • get the latest news from your friends •post videos on your profile • tag your friends • use privacy settings to control who sees your info • join a network to see people who live, study, or work around you (and you can promote show here too!)
Friend Christina: Search For: Ariel Publicity / Christina Duren

6. BlackPlanet
BlackPlanet is the largest online community for African Americans. It is your online source for African American news, community, technology, culture, music, entertainment, and more. is your place to meet and connect with African Americans around the country. Chat or post photos and videos to share your black experience. Look for other African Americans who are sharing theirs—even if you’re searching for news about what’s hot in music, fashion, sports and events or looking for the buzz in music, business, politics and trends.

And Luck Number #7.. RapSpace
RapSpace is the world's first and only broadband hangout for the hip hop community. It gives members their own personal online video recording studio and can lay down your rhymes to our beats. With talent scouts surfing the site artists can showcase their skills and be discovered.


This list is a gift from Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR:
Creating Affordable Music Publicity & Internet Music Promotion Campaigns that place artists on Internet Radio Stations, Social Networking Sites, Podcasts, Online Magazines, Blogs, Vlogs, Audioblogs, Zines, Music Directories, Video Sites & Lifestyle Sites. We also handle tour publicity for
musicians on the road.

Sign UP for our free bi-monthly newsletter Sound Advice and get more free
bonus materials at our site.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Music: Young Chris - "Never Die"

I've become obsessed with this song :)

If Young Chris isn't the new Jay-z I don't know who is.

Eventhough there has been alot of debate on who is taking who style with Young Chris and Jay-Z but all I can say is Jay-Z is the King of it all so thats where I stand.

Here is Young Chris's new video "Never Die" - He is still repping the ROC hard Roc-a-fella needs to really thank him and Kanye for keeping Roc-a-fella relevant

Monday, June 16, 2008

Free Mixtape: Sha Stimuli "While You Were Sleeping"

You might recall us doing a little write up on Sha Stimului a little while back. Now he's back with the fifth instalment of Sha Stimuli and DJ Victorious' mixtape series "12 Mixtapes In 12 Months", this time around he's hitting you all with collaborations with artists like Maino, Torae, Kel Spencer, Sic Osyrus, Royce Da 5'9", Jae Millz, Sam Scarfo, Murda Mook, Ras Kass, Grafh just to name a few. Look out for the next mixtape in the series dropping later this month!

01. Gotta Get Mine (feat. Jaz-O)
02. Its A Massacre (feat. Tools & Pumpkinhead)
03. O.D. (feat. L.G. & Jae Millz)
04. Go In (feat. Shabaam Sahdeeq & Haph of The Ranjahz)
05. That's How We Do (feat. Cash Kittens)
06. Rocking Wit The Best (feat. Flash Da Biskit)
07. I Dont Care (feat. Maino)
08. Who? (feat. Sic Osyrus)
09. Save The Day (feat. Torae & Kel Spencer)
10. We Are Here (feat. Chaundon, G.O.D. & D.V. Alias Khryst)
11. Hershation (feat. Hershe)
12. 125 Grams (feat. Joell Ortiz Ras Kass Grafh & Gab Gotcha)
13. Rock On (feat. Famoso)
14. Style Changer (feat. Royce Da 5'9")
15. Never (Remix) (feat. Scarface)
16. Exercise U (feat. Gucci Mane)
17. Lords of Flatbush (feat. Q Da Kid & Marz Money)
18. This Is Life (feat. Cory Gunz)
19. S On My Chest (feat. Sam Scarfo & Straps)
20. That's Right (feat. Nickelus F)
21. Say I (feat. Sam Scarfo)
22. Dead Ringer (feat. Murda Mook)


Friday, June 13, 2008

New Artist Feature: Michael Lynche

Michael Lynche
Genre:Pop, Hip Hop / Rap, R&B, Urban, Soul

Listening to Michael Lynche is like hearing the whole of black music in one artist. Existing in the space between soul, modern r&b, funk and hip-hop, his music somehow ties the tradition together while placing his own unique stamp and personality on it. And in the tradition of the greatest artists, he sings (and raps) his truths straight to your face, with no apologies or hesitation and a commitment to excellence above all, making him an exceptional young artist on the rise.

Michael Lynche is a new hop artist best described as a cross between Gnarls Barkley, Outcast and R. Kelly. Part soul machine, part booty shaker, part baby maker. His high-energy sound is called the "Dirty Blues" where gritty southern soul meets dirty south hip-hop.

Check out some of his songs on

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can anyone please Janet Jackson anymore ?!!?!?!

So her new CD "Discipline" on Def Jam was released on Feb 26th. First single "Feedback" had mediocre results and then WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THE CD AFTER THAT.

Can anyone please Janet Jackson anymore ?!!?!?!

Read her most recent interview with SOHH to see what Janet had to say on why we haven't heard anything from her after her "Feedback" single

Here is an excerpt:
“That’s pretty difficult to say, only because of the record label at this point. We started off with “Feedback” and the label and myself haven’t quite seen eye to eye since the “Feedback” single so they’ve kind of basically stopped all promotion. I’m trying to figure out a way to say this, but just to say it and to be quite honest, they just stopped all promotion whatsoever on the album so I don’t think you’re going to hear another single off this album.”

“I just want to let the fans know because I’ve been reading a lot what the bloggers have been saying about the record and not hearing it on the radio and stuff like that, so I just wanted to let them know where things were as well and where it was all coming from. I’ve heard people talking about me not coming to Europe in support of the record just to let them know that it was definitely in my heart to go to Europe and to support this album but it’s about teamwork, it’s not something I can totally do on my own. Unfortunately things have turned out the way that they have with the differences between the label and myself, which we have been having for the most part from the beginning. So I just want to tell them again thank you very much for all the love and all the support and I they understand the entire situation and I’m really excited to see everybody on tour. I’m really looking forward to that it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

I'm kind of re-thinking things and maybe say its Janet and NOT the label anymore. I guess third label is the charm lol.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This isn't the Nas that I Know :(

Is everyone geeking out on this new "Kanye West" phase. This isn't the Nas that I know :(. You can check Nas out in the new Complex Magazine.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Media Pioneer: Vonnie “Honey” Woods of the Honey Soul Blog

New Media Pioneer: Vonnie “Honey” Woods of the Honey Soul Blog

Honey Soul Blog
“Anything great always starts with love,” says soul-music aficionado Vonnie “Honey” Woods, whose means of expressing her sincere, simple passion for the music and its artists, has grown from a small mailing list about new music finds, to an internet show called Soul 2 Soul (,, a morning radio show called Honey Soul’s Sunrise (90.1 FM, KPFT Houston), and, a site that receives visitors from at least 15 countries, including the U.K, Canada, Netherlands, France, Sweden, Japan, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Jamaica, The Philippines, Brazil, Germany and Austria. The site has ranked as highly as #15 of out 198 million “soul music” searches on Google, and it has been referenced and/or acknowledged by Prince’s official site,,, Capital Records,, AOL Black Voices, and Philadelphia Weekly - all in only two years.

Q: What is the story behind you actually starting Honey Soul Music Blog?

A. In 2004 I started an email list to share something that was very close to my heart, music. I'd search online for music that had elements of what I listened to growing up and was not being played often on radio. I call it soul music but it really is any meaningful music that you can feel. One day I stumbled across something I had never heard of, blogs. I loved the personal point of view and at that time I couldn't find many that talked about soul music. In October 2004, I started my blog, Honey Soul Music to share my passion for soul music. It grew into much more than I could have planned or imagined.

In 2005 I started asking artists for interviews. I recorded them and posted them on the blog. It seemed like a natural evolution and because this was about nine months after starting the blog I jokingly say this is when Honey Soul was born. Traffic increased dramatically and others started to take notice of my relaxed and conversational style. Soon after labels and publicists started contacting me to interview their artists. The icing on the cake is that I've been recognized as a tastemaker and an authority on soul music, been referenced on other sites from AOL Black Voices to and landed some opportunities to do local and internet radio. In 2007 won a Black Weblog award for "Best Music Blog." Plus I've had the honor of interviewing some of my music idols like Chaka Khan, Maurice White, Ron Isley and Teena Marie as well as talking to some of the most gifted, up and coming new artists. Talk about living your dream. I'm blessed.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you've faced as a blogger?

A. My biggest challenge has been finding balance. Things change so quickly on the internet and everyday there are more who do the same things you do. Remaining fresh, relevant, different, creative, and maintaining motivation can be a challenge. There is also a unique balance between sticking to your roots, the things that made you successful and growing. Yet through it all I want to remain a valuable and useful source for both the music lover and the artist. Ultimately there is a balance between doing what I need to do versus what I want to do. I've learned not to take it all so seriously. I remind myself why I started the blog, for nothing but the love of music. Anything else that stems from that is a blessing and the mistakes and missteps have been learning lessons. It's always a matter of perspective.

Q: How do you go about choosing which CD's you are going to review?

A. We receive quite a few music submissions from artists, publicists and labels. We also get recommendations from our readers, DJ's, promoters, friends, and fellow bloggers. I select albums that I personally like or that I think our audience would enjoy. They are CD's that in their entirety evoke a certain feeling or emotional response because that's what I feel soul music does best. We are also fortunate to have a talented group of contributors who discover new music on their own and write great reviews.

Q: As far as bringing more traffic to your site, what are the two best tips you can give other bloggers?

A. My best tip would be networking and that takes several forms. Network with other bloggers, your audience and those in your field because word of mouth is wonderful for building traffic. Network by joining social media sites, online communities and forums if for nothing else than leading traffic back to your blog.

I'd also suggest building traffic through sources that don't originate online. While they are great ways to build traffic through search engine optimization there is nothing like building your brand the old fashioned way, face to face. If you've got access to social and business events in your area use it. Pass out business cards and make contact with other movers and shakers. Recently I've added blog contributors. Not only is it a great way to give back by allowing them to spotlight their voice to an established audience but it can also bring new eyes to your blog and it gives your audience a fresh, new perspective. Be consistent, be patient and take chances on something new. Nothing worth having is easy to get and it certainly doesn't happen overnight.

Q: What song is continuously playing in your ipod right now?
A. Although I have favorite artists (Prince, Dwele) and favorite songs of the moment (like Jill Scott's My Love), I rarely listen to anything on repeat. Because of I'm lucky to always have a steady flow of new, exciting music. Contrary to what you hear on commercial radio these days, for me there never seems to be a shortage of good music.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jermaine Dupri Makes NO Sense Sometimes....

I've kind of gotten hooked to Jermaine Dupri's You Tube Channel. He's been pretty consistent with posting videos at least once a week

One video that caught my eye was the video he posted on May 28. He is back in NY at Def Jam doing an interview with Forbes Magazine and I think his answer is HORRIBLE.

The video is a bit long because he also does a premiere of the new 9th Ward video "New Orleans" which I think is a bit too much violence in it :(

To view more pf JD's videos you can view his You Tube Channel here:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Media Pioneer: Cedric Shine of the Notes of this Native Son Blog

New Media Pioneer: Cedric Shine of the Notes of this Native Son Blog

Notes of this Native Son blog brings you a daily dose of songs and messages from author Cedric Shine. Written by a motivated young black man who is dedicated to giving our voices a platform to speak from!

Q: A lot of the writing on your blog is very uplifting. What inspired
you to start the Notes of This Native Son Blog?

A: Honestly, I have always had a passion for writing but in the past I was hesitant to share my writing with other people for fear that they would judge my writing style and how I convey messages. I started out on my myspace where I would let my thoughts fly, but there wasn’t too much traffic there. Earlier this year I began writing spiritual messages titled “Pardon me” every morning and sending them out to close friends. The small list grew to over 100 people rather quickly and the responses I would receive were so uplifting and motivational that I felt selfish for not having an avenue to share those responses with the other readers. Thus I created Notes of this Native Son so that there could be an interactive community that would be spiritually connected and serve as a support group for others who wanted to explore their spiritual side without being judged.

The Harlem Renaissance was a time of creativity; there was literature, music, politics, spirituality, dance and other types of expression that characterized the intellect and creativity of the people. Notes of This Native Son is inspired by such a time period and I hope that as young artisans we can inspire a resurgence of creativity in our own communities. The site also serves as forms of expression for some of my close friends whose writing has been featured on the blog; Nightday, Maat, Rums, and Jazz are all people who have posted pieces on the site that have added to the overall movement of something different that we are trying to accomplish.

Q: Is there a specific audience you are trying to reach?

A: Honestly, if you go to the blog on any given day the only thing that will be consistent is the Pardon me message, the Quote of the day and the Song of the day. Other than that the Notes of This Native Son can not be pigeon holed into one category because I believe we as people no matter what ethnicity, gender, or spiritual background are truly too dynamic of a people to be placed into closed jars and labeled. We have many different interests and thus there are several different niche groups that are represented here on the World Wide Web. One day I am all about the political scene, the next day I am very focused on music because I love music and feel it leads as a soundtrack to our lives. But then there are social issues, funny youtube videos, you name it and I will post it if I feel it relates to me as a person, or offends me and I want to have an open dialogue with the rest of the internet about it. So I cannot say that there is a specific audience that I am trying to reach because the people who give me the most feedback about the site come from a plethora of backgrounds. Their one commonality is that they are all searching for knowledge of self and like to be well informed about assorted issues. Whether that’s Lil Wayne sipping syrup, a Confucius quote, or institutionalized racism and how it affects people and their surroundings, people really just want to absorb knowledge.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you've faced as a blogger?

A: The biggest challenge I have faced as a blogger is also the best challenge because there is an enormous amount of blogs on the Internet. All of these sites have different content and many of them can be extremely creative but I think the ever-growing amount of blogs can saturate the market so much that you feel like a grain of sand on a 7-mile beach. So I think the biggest challenge is staying relevant and trying to encourage a culture of bloggers and blog viewers to check out something that is not celebrity oriented but more so caters to their unique and individual ideas of expression.

Q: On your blog you feature a song a day. How exactly do you choose which songs fits the day?

A: The song of the day is a reflection of how I am feeling at the moment. Sometimes they are influenced by the spiritual message or the quote of the day. Other times I like to bring an artist who is less mainstream to the forefront and acknowledge their talent. For instance last week I featured Bad Boy recording artist Janelle Monae and tons of people hit me up saying that they really liked her music and appreciated her sound. That brings joy to my ears or eyes when I am reading such an email because often artists are judged on everything but their art.

Q: As far as bringing more traffic to your site, what are the two best tips you can give other bloggers?
A: I think being involved with communities of bloggers is extremely beneficial. I am a member of and I think that as a community my affiliation with this spectacular group of bloggers has doubled my traffic and allowed me to network with other bloggers. Also, I think finding a balance between your own creativity and topics that are hot topics that people will want to read about will encourage more readers to browse through your site. We have to learn to take advantage of all avenues whether it is search engine optimization or networking with a revolutionary idea like your own where we can be featured via an Internet pr site, like Ariel Publicity.