n honor of the spirit of St. Louis, INCLUSIVE aims to present a message of collaborative comradery. The pieces that were crafted for this art exhibit at St. Louis-Lambert Airport are collaborations between 5 St. Louis Artists and Gloria Mills of ART-BAE.com. By reflecting the colors of the St. Louis flag and the materials that built the city, these pieces aim to remind travelers that St. Louis is comprised of inclusive communities. Be it a person who is traveling nationally or internationally, the artists aim to create pieces that welcomes travelers to their permanent or temporary home in St. Louis, Missouri.
Glo(w) of ART-BAE.com has plucked some of the freshest sounds from the St. Louis independent art scene. This myriad of feminine voices and sultry productions has formed the ultimate bouquet of PINK MAGNOLIAS.
As an entrepreneur, Jizoo creates his own fragrant incense sold exlusively under the moniker “The Good Vibes Dealer”. All the layers of being are covered by his paternal protection: eyes can feast on images of black familial strength, ears can soak in the sounds of sunshine, and nose can smell the goodness that connectivity can bring.
History wasn’t always preserved in written texts. Word of mouth and oral traditions are community staples that has brought together tribal members in unity. Similarly, hip-hop cyphers have allowed artists to trade urban folklore and connect with the masses
Written by Glow | Trailer embedded
It is not ideal to be colorblind. With color comes culture. Each ethnicity that exists globally contributes to the many flavors in Earth’s stew. Each perspective grants a voice within the continuous conversation revolving around humanity. The more these conversations occur, the more understanding is found. As we navigate through global systems of oppression, it is imperative that we seek understanding from one another.
Until we all are free, none of us are.
Within the Black Community, conversations revolving around race and systematic oppression occur frequently. Many aspects of black people’s identities are linked to racism in America. Since the founding of the country, blacks have always been considered less. This ideology still permeates every layer of America’s structure. Presently, conversations revolving around police brutality serve as evidence of the unequal distribution of power and influence. Since slave catchers turned into policemen, black people have suffered at the hands of the law. Black suffering has become the law. Members and allies of the black community have long since known these truths. However, many Americans have not acknowledged the reality: “Racism is as American as apple pie”. The first viral proof of police brutality surfaced after the beating of Rodney King was recorded by a neighbor. This video divided the city of Los Angeles and the nation. We are still divided in many ways, specifically on the ramifications—and even existence of—racism.
With the release of LA92, Directors TJ McKay Martin and Dan Lindsey are continuing the dialogue revolving around police brutality and race relations in America. While neither director identifies as activists, Martin acknowledges that this work is a form of activism. Using only archival footage, the directors crafted a humanizing depiction of the events leading up to and following the Rodney King beating. By including the perspectives of the Korean Americans who lived near and owned businesses in South Central LA, Martin and Lindsey erased barriers and promoted inclusivity. Black American history is American history. Every form of oppression that exists has a ripple effect. Each community is made better by caring for the happenings that occur in the communities that surround us. Their artistry crafts a story that observes humanity without politicizing the work. Instead, the documentary follow the structure and movements of a symphony. “If we can look at our work, we are humanizing the people. We tried to not create caricatures of them,” Martin explained. “It’s like a mirror. Look at us. And now how do we engage from there?”
Tune into National Geographic Sunday, April 30 at 8pm CST to watch this moving piece of work.
Follow the directors on Twitter at @tjmckaymartin and @dan_lindsay.
To be a leader is to be fearless. Only true mavericks are able to fly both above and below the radar. Emcee, producer, music arranger, and purveyor of cool Black Spade reminds us that success and fame are not mutually exclusive. There is no blueprint, only inspiration.
Written by Glo(w)
Few bodies of work can make heads nod collectively. Whether you prefer a head tilt or a full bop, good music makes you move. Good music makes us in sync. Such was the case at the listening event for "Pink Sky Paradise". This production led and vocal assisted EP was created and arranged by Vaughn Vibes. Representative of "the journey", listeners traveled through space and time from emotion to logic, from learning to understanding, from the average blue skies to a pink skyed paradise. Blending a plethora of sounds that mimic peace, Vaughn Vibes has proven he has a magical touch. Check out the full project when it is released to the public April 4th via Soundcloud and Bandcamp. *Updated to include embedded link of released EP. Listen to the project in its entirety below.
1: "Treasure (featuring Arshad Goods)- This song is liquidy smooth. Each chord is nourishing like water. The combination of ethereal production and perfectly prosed lyricism (contributed by Arshad Goods) creates the perfect mixture of soul-filling hip hop and spirit-led melodies.
2: "Life Like (featuring Zado)"- Can you imagine what trembles were created the moment the air met earth? The bass present in Zado's voice is like an earthquake that brings forth the garden of Eden. The production grabs your attention and the lyrics make you want to learn each line.
3: "NoGood4Me (featuring Taylor Kaye)"- Taylor has the kind of voice that makes ears perk up and listeners attempt to find the source. She doesn't have just a sweet voice. Her voice has depth that extends beyond range. While the production builds and reconstructs new worlds within 3 minutes, Taylor's Voicd whispers the navigation as you travel.
4: "Waiting4 (featuring Arshad Goods and Taylor Kaye)"- It's a truth that the male and female together represent God. Contributions from Arshad Goods and Taylor demonstrates balance personified in sound. In case darkness seems near, light bending synths woven into the arrangement lead you back on course.
Follow Vaughn Vibes on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud @VaughnVibes.
Stay up to date with all latest releases at vaughnvibes.com.
blkswn is the map, and Smino is the navigator. When listening to this body of work, Smino's impeccable writing grants faith in the direction the music is leading you.
"Have you ever seen stars in the ceiling all alone in your bedroom?" Bloom and her enigmatic voice are bound to lead you to new worlds filled with passion-fueled pleasure.
It takes the fearless to live out their dreams. ODE TO THE PIONEERS explores the trend setters and taste makers of St. Louis, MO.
This is a reminder of the revolution. With music that is both forward-thinking and reminiscent of the best of music's past, Michael Anthony provides the soundtrack to the new black renaissance.
Written by Glo(w)
I remember when I felt my first heartbreak.
The end of that relationship led to the beginning of the unbreakable union me and my best friend have developed. I cried in the parking lot of our church, and she told me a highly offensive anti-semetic joke (no, I will NOT repeat it here). If you know me, you know that though my smile is bright, my sense of humor is sinister. I simultaneously laughed and wiped tears from my face. I felt joy clothed in midnight magic begin to erase the figments of a love that never was. Me and my best friend barely knew each other, but I knew she was an asset to my life the moment she introduced laughter as a path to healing.
This is how I felt all night at Dragun's EP release.
Each song and interlude sounds like excerpts from a diary found at Heartbreak Hotel. You would think people would sit in mourning as they listened to Dragun's vulnerability embodied. Instead, bodies contorted into sacred shapes with arched backs and winding hips as we danced in that familiar, feminine way. Eric Donte weaved through the crowd, officially serving as the unofficial MC of the evening. I listened to Dragun's secrets. I witnessed her painful truths and we all felt the same joy.
Dragun is an artist I grew to love due to my infatuation with who she is as a person. She is a reminder that art lovers want to connect with the artist, not just an empty body of work. And for that (and her flawless dutty wine) I am forever grateful.
The EP will be released today via Soundcloud.
Take a shot and follow the artist on Instagram and Twitter @Draguntales.
Written by Glo(w)
If I have learned anything in my years of living and loving, it is that creative people feel too much. Creatives embody the beauty of the world through their craft. And at the same time, when the proverbial shit hits that ever turning fan, creatives feel the deepest, mourn the longest, and prevail through the purest form of pain. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by individuals who understand their calling and continue to walk in their own truths.
This year, I’ve watched, wide-eyed, as friends and lovers continued to create: even though mental illnesses crept around corners and attempted to block their paths; even though death defied time and ended the lives of loved ones; even though adulthood aimed to crush every childlike hope and dream. This year, I watched as faith was placed in the twilight zone and given a never ending test. And I watched all of the creatives around me soar above any standardized scale of strength. I witnessed fear blossoming into freedom.
And that is why we create.
Thank you for feeling. Thank you for letting these feelings guide you. And thank you for using your ART to heal—yourself and others—BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE.
Written by Glo(w)
Nina Simone first declared it is the job of the artist to reflect the times. To embellish this already definitive statement, I believe it is the job of the artist to lead the masses to the future. That is the mark of a true innovator, a true creative. Innovation is not a solely attributed to those who are able to capture the images, sounds, and words of the current wave. Innovation requires the artist to push the culture forward, to serve as a soothsayer whose sole purpose is to lead all those with creative intent down the path of tomorrow. The ability to combine modern sounds with a true sense of newness is rare.
Chicago producer Monte Booker seamlessly creates the perfect afrofuturistic soundtrack. There’s no wonder why he has entered the realm of production dieties (Soulection) all while remaining the productional force behind music collective Zero Fatigue. Mixing ethereal, electric sounding synths with classic R&B chords, peppered with hip-hop bass lines, and sprinkled with traces of mechanical tinkering, Monte Booker has created an entirely new sound. His productions dare the listener to remain silent, to remain seated still as if the music was not directing them to a closer connection to the divine. No matter the season, these sounds embody the now and gives glimpses of tomorrow.
Close your eyes, prepare to leave the stratosphere, and get into this Monte Booker mix.
Written by Glo(w)
Genres may very well become a thing of the past. Today, hip-hop and R&B are no longer separate entities. Both genres have borrowed musical elements from each other, so much so that they are no longer distant cousins but fraternal twins. It is now common for rappers to take a stab at singing over saucy productions and for true vocalists to croon melodically over trap beats. Folks from St. Louis know all too well the thin line between rapper and singer. After all, it was Nelly who rapped in his classic sing-songy way. Whether Smino took his cues from the fellow St. Louis native or not, he is a true representation of a mesh of genres done right.
Picture this: it’s any old random weekday and some crazy lady with an obnoxiously huge, curly afro is driving haphazardly by you. You both reach a red light, and she is unaware of her driving skills—or the lack thereof. You roll down your window in an attempt to get her attention (translation: flip her the bird for the one time), but her music is so loud and her soul is so stirred, nothing can redirect her focus. That crazy lady driving: that was me the first time I heard Smino (shout out to old babe in the red Prius). I’m sure it was the divine alone who kept me safe as I zoned out and sat on the sun’s front stoop listening to this new artist everyone was sharing on my SoundCloud feed. Perhaps it was the music that blessed me with safety. That’s what Smino’s music does: it creates safe spaces. The production of his songs, many of which can be credited to Monte Booker, makes us comfortable with not knowing. It’s hard to know when the next drop will rattle your bones and send a tingling sensation down your spine in preparation for slow swaying or quick footwork. Coupled with Smino’s words, the sound relates to the young black experience and makes it cool to be vulnerable and reserved, to be extraordinary and normal. His music personifies cannabis-infused love reminiscent of early undergraduate years (“Raw”). He’s unashamed as he lets us know about his need for his lover (“Kreme Brulee’”). He pays tribute to all of the tragedies that have plagued the black community by way of police brutality (“Oxygen”). His music reminds us that even good guys have problematic fuck-boy tendencies, but also reminds us that we are all problematic as even the most conscious sister turns freakho to the sound of his voice (“Ballet”). His music is all encompassing. Every element of sound most can agree upon is present. And the best part? Smino never fails to put on for his city. #314
Pull over and zone out to a taste of this talent from St. Louis.