Dirty Thoughts - Balance

Right before the beginning of this year I remember getting a phone call mid-day from my OG ( who is respectively my grandmother, and arguably my favorite person living) asking me randomly had I purchased a calendar for 2018. Being the millennial that I am, and having grown accustomed to programing my life into my handy-dandy (control system) cell phone, I obliviously replied that I had not. She shuffled me off the phone proclaiming that she didn't want to interrupt me any further knowing that I was at work, with a brief, “Okay. I’m going to send you one. Go ahead and get off the phone Baby, I love you. Assalamu alaikum”. With my reply of, “Okay, Grandma I love you too...Wa alaykum as-salam”, she was gone.

A few weeks later I received a package in the mail from my OG, that held not one, not two, but three calendars in it. When I called to thank her, she assured me that I had several places to put these calendars, like keeping the calendars visible would be critical in the year to come. As I further examined what she had sent me I noticed that two of the calendars were the same. One just a miniature of the other. Where one calendar was of Tinker Bell theme ( my favorite feisty little character), the duplicate one showed a cover where the back of a Buddha statue is looking off into hazed picturesque distance, titled, Zen - A Year of Mindfulness. Fitting into my newer growing and needed practices of good karma, I have placed different representational Buddha statues in every room of my residence, to remind me to find peace in all moments. The calendar was theoretically perfect for my decor (which if you know me, you know is critical), so I took it as a win and another little temporal keepsake to remind me of the Grandmother who I often miss so much.

Zen

But what I didn't know is that beyond making me think of her and it looking absolutely gorgeous in my space, what she had sent me was a list of words to reflect upon in a 30 day cycle of life. Each month a new word would appear. As I turned the page it would trigger actions or subjects that I then became conscious of as I would walk past the calendar each day. Words like January’s “Love” or April’s “Focus, June’s “Inspire” and August “Serenity”. I would often find myself mining through my placement in life that month and how those words would appear in my experience. I indeed, became mindful of what those words truly meant to me.

As this months word is “Balance”, I have noticed what a balancing act my life has become. Especially since this month I have introduced a new job into my routine, while carrying on my “Black & Hooded” aspirations, and of course filtering my growing obligations as Editor-in Chief of CopyWrite. The balance has become a critical part of staying afloat, where scales tipping too far in either direction creates chaos, not only for me, but for all the other things, that by default, depend on me. . . But even deeper than that, it becomes survival in every way that the word is expressed.

It is this word, more, than all the other words that have appeared on the calendar this year, that is the most striking to me. Often when people inquire about my goals in life I always follow through with a statement that includes balance and/or stability. Where it is something I am continuously searching for, I am always one pebble (or five) short of true symmetry, making me in the past doubt if it will ever be a goal accomplished.

I write this to say it is in this month, as conscious as I am to it’s meaning then ever before, that I have stopped trying to search for balance but actually have been letting balance find me. With that, opportunities have been knocking. I am more satisfied with my journey and all those things that have thrown me off my game are solving themselves because I have no time to toil with unnecessary situations, confrontations, or other negative things that I can not control. As my focus has shifted to be more proactive than reactive, even in my lowest days I smile because I see that the fulcrum that is my life, shall pivot in the direction that ensures I never truly fall but become more flexible to my own needs, no matter what outside gravity pulls at me.

I am here, I am “woke” and I am now very certain that my grandmother ALWAYS knows exactly what I need.

Some gifts are priceless.

/Dirty



Meet the NEW Intern, Carrie Mahone

We have reached out to the community to find an intern to become apart of the CopyWrite Family. For fall 2018 we will be adding a vibrant new “Journalism” focused intern to our #SQUAD, who stood out with her creative video application, impressive resume, and pop of personality.

Say what’s up to Carrie!

Carrie

Carrie Mahone, 22 – born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She attends UW-Milwaukee and will be graduating this upcoming December with her B.S. in Journalism and Communication. However, she’s not your regular journalist. Carrie’s vivacious personality, and inquisitive mind aligns with her passions of natural hair, urban culture, positivity and creativity. Right now, she is looking to build her resume within the Milwaukee community to lead her experience into bigger markets like Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago. Furthermore, Mahone, is setting her sights to carve out her own lane into the entertainment industry and make her mark. 

Be looking out for her as she explores the local & all things Urban MKE!

/CW

Snapshot Press Release: More Than 100 Womxn (Interview w/ Corey Fells)

Women have been described as mysterious creatures that have been bound to human forms, whose stories transgress most laws of nature, exposing a magic that we call life…

Or that's what you should think!

Even as majestic as we hope the world will see us, there are stories that as women we carry and each nuance that defines us tells a piece of that story.

Corey Fells, a photographer from Milwaukee has released the entirety of his 100 Womxn project to be exhibited at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (205 Veterans Ave. West Bend, WI) showing from October 13th, 2018 to January 13th, 2019. The exhibit showcases 97 images of Black & Brown women (equalling 100 women photographed) in front of a morphing background of foliage that transition throughout several seasons in Milwaukee, like a continuous narrative that celebrates the diversity, majesty, and inspiration these women hold. He sat down with CopyWrite to discuss how his project is more than 100 Womxn, but more like 100 ways to impact our community.

CF: “Its story of individual Black & Brown women. It was about allowing them to express stories about their relevant stance in the community and a stance here in Milwaukee. Some of these stories overlap. Some are completely opposite, and some are exactly the same. This just allows people to understand that. . . As a society, we overlook woman's perspective. That's why I made this about women and only about women. Even within the title, the X is used to symbolize this has nothing to do with men, except for the fact that I (as a man) took the photos.”

Underlying the story of these women lays the story of Corey & the relationship between him and his late mother “Pookie”. Many media outlets have interviewed Corey about this project and have described it as just a simple homage to his mother as photos of women. But what they failed to report is how the process of taking these photos fill a void in his understanding of women, parenting, cultivation, and sense of self that Corey is trying to grasp.

CF: “So a lot of the questions that were prompted by me to the women while I was taking their photos, were questions about their moms, about their parents, siblings, and how they feel in relevance to that.”

His homage to his mother was always covert. It is the process of taking these photos were Corey has received insight into who women can be and has allowed women to speak their truths, in a midwest city that is often overlooked. The nuances of asking gives these women the agency to tell their story, and reveal their true perspectives.

CF: “In the beginning, I took pictures of 10 women I chose because I knew other women admired them. I couldn’t just take pictures of people in my family or something like that because it would seem disingenuous. So I chose women who I didn’t know anything about which made me have to force the conversation between myself and them. I couldn’t just assume anything. I can't say ‘hey this is who you are.’ I had to have this dialogue. I really wanted this to be something for me to learn and kind of get over. Because after my mom passed, I didn’t have that frame of reference and understanding of what a woman was. So these conversations are very genuine. Some of them I didn't even take a photo for the first hour of us standing and talking because it was just a genuine flow of authenticity between two people.”   

Strategically, he asked me a question, flipping our interview into a discussion where he turned his photo taking methods into a conversation where my female perspective was just as vital to the narrative as his own thoughts.

CF: “How do you feel about women here in Milwaukee?”

CW (Lexi): “I feel like women here are amazing. I think only as of recently they have been able to express themselves in a way that is unapologetic and that is being accepted. What it means to be a woman here is definitely different, especially for Black & Brown women. I, myself and I think more women are starting to use their platforms to help cultivate our communities. I think it's dope, that we not just women but we are our craft, we are our story.”

He then asked questions about my personal power struggles in my successes as a woman of color, where I shared my arsenal on how to combat with the woes of a patriarchal system, after I clued him in he returned to his point:

CF: “These stories and these type of self-reflections help me. After I looked at this project, I realized that I’m getting older, life is going to happen. I want to have a daughter. There are going to be times when I have to explain to her certain things. I can pull different references from these stories and say, I heard something from these women. . . That may help me deliver that better or understand her better. I don’t want to be narrow-minded.”

As the story of women unfolds, morphs, and shapes our image in the same way the leaves change colors and fall from the vines in the hope that in the next season new ones will bloom in the 100 Womxn project, Corey hopes that this exhibit can be the blossoming of greater things.

CF: “My plan is to hopefully use this project as the concept for a panel discussion that starts here in Milwaukee and then moves over to other universities around the country. Mainly HBCUs.”

Even though the project has made an impact on Corey in positive ways, and has documented Black & Brown women, who have historically not been mused in such a reverent way, as he has chosen to exhibit it digitally and now physically in a museum, he is at the criticism of the viewer, who often have a perspective of their own.

CW: “Now that you are putting your project on public display, what does the outsider think of this work? What has been said?”

CF: “It’s funny that you ask that. I was actually looking through my Twitter, and you know Twitter is a place where people are highly opinionated. . . . [ a snippet of the project was released as a clip on an outside source] so there where people around the world that were just kind of like ‘I guess white women can’t be inspiring.’” (Say Word????) “Yeah! Or ‘This is very eclectic...’ with quotation marks, ‘. . . group of women.’ However, that just made me think about civil rights and reference that to women's rights...which everyone knows that the women's rights movement was more about white women's rights. So it was like ok, let me relate these things. It just makes perfect sense referencing the past. It really didn’t matter [ what they said]. I don't really care to make this a thing that is meant for anyone else. I just want to make sure that when I do create something I send it out to the people that do have the most knowledge about it.”

In other words, speaking as a woman of color writing this. . .White women, this one, this time, is not about you! Please have several seats. Your comments are insulting to the process and the agency that Black & Brown people don't have the right to be inspiring, MAGICAL, and relevant without you! *Flips Hair*

Even in the reference to the process of 100 Womxn, Corey sat down with many of his female friends to ask them their thoughts on the idea he was cultivating to do a project on women. He admits that the women he asked were highly opinionated and turned down many of his ideas because they were subpar, focussing on the nuances of detail that actually matter.

(He actually said they called them stupid. . .but let's just act like they said subpar Lol)

Men have been speaking for women far too long. It is important to know that as a photographer capturing a subject that exists outside his photos Corey has voluntarily admitted that he can not see all and know all from his perspective as a man and has allowed for women to help him develop this project far beyond their aesthetic value but actually for their expertise.

CF: “That was one of my biggest fears. I didn’t want anyone to think I was exploiting women.”

Actually (randomly) being one of the women captured in this project, I can firmly say that I don't feel exploited because of the agency I was allowed as a participant, and how he has used my photo and my story as a part of a narrative that is bigger than myself; a part of cultivating culture.  

“Culture is a huge thing that I want to push out, really dive into, and allow people to express.”

After this exhibit, Corey is slated to do a project with the Milwaukee Art Museum, involving the youth of MKE. He is eager to make an impact by way of photography, noting that this is beyond him, and he trying to do his part by using his own skills and talents.

CF: “There is a gap between the older generations and the youth, and how they help them. Many of my peers are doing their things, and I’m just trying to find my way of doing that. . .It helps build up what the culture of photography is really all about.”

Next year he will be leaving to go to San Diego for military duty. His contribution to the creative scene and youth development by way of photography is what he hopes to leave as his legacy and contribution to Milwaukee.

CF: “My godfather always told me, before you leave anywhere you always make it better then you had it. I don't want to leave here and that's just what it is. I don't want photography to stop. I don't want momentum to stop. I don't want photographers to think you just upload to Instagram and it ends. Make it tangible. Allow people to see it and be integrated within the community.”

That's the true art.

Make sure you go check out the 100 Womxn exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art this fall & reflect on what these women actually mean. We are more than what meets the eye.

Lexi for /CW

See This Post in Snap Press Release Here


Chloé - Outta My Face ( Feat. Chay Milan and Frances King)

Today's submission comes straight from one of our Chi-town neighbors, Chloé.

“Outta My Face” featuring Chay Milan and Frances King has that soft but punchy production that Chicago is known for. With wispy undertones, “the ladies pay homage to those summer vibes riding with your crew or a side piece in a cool ride”.

We love to hear the ladies come through with some witty bars & attitude! #WeSeeYou

As we break away from those summer nights (it just feels so far away *tear*) and get straight back to business, lets put this track in rotation!

Oh and yo... “Back up out of my face” lol

/CW

*Now Available on All Major Platforms *

Vincent Van Great x Dana Coppa - A Tape Called Fresh (Album + Videos)

Freeeesh indeed! “Sppshhht. Houston we have visuals!”

We have been anticipating  “A Tape Called Fresh”, the two sided album presented by Vincent Van Great & Dana Coppafeel. As we said in our press release “On To Greater Things” post Van Great’s Summerfest performance, the project would be coming giving light to the old vibes that SAFS Crew/ Unifi members are known for and some new explorative sounds that may get you going.

"This album has been split into two sides for your listening pleasure. Side A hits the classic heavy hip hop/rap sound VVG and Coppa are known for. Side B is the more melodic/smooth tunes. These songs should introduce fans to the new sound and style VVG is molding for his next solo album in 2019. Tracks 1-5 Side A - features from YoDot, Mammyth, and Blizz Production from Vincent Van Great, White Russian, and Charley Cooks. Tracks 6-10 Side B = Smooth Shit -Showcases All Vincent Van Great production with a feature from VVG's backing band Ninja Sauce"

With nostalgic visuals, a dope cover from Ryan Butts (who was a featured artist in CopyWrite Magazine issue 6), and the production that Van Great has been perfecting, this one is sure to pull some new fans in and keep the current fans engaged.

Okay, so we are a little bias. As Dana Coppafeel & Vincent Van Great have been on our radar since forever, we will not review the album but instead let you, the audience digest how fresh you think it is.

What we will say is that as society has moved away from the hot 16 and the melodic production, these kinds of projects make us smile and remember where we came from.

Take a listen & take a peek, and for sure if its fresh let us know what you think!

/CW

Jabee & Thelonious Martin - As it is in Heaven (EP re-release)

Not sure if we like the visuals but we like the #BARS.

Re-releasing their collaborative ep's "As it is in heaven", and slated to release  "Deliver Us from Evil" this late September, OKC's Jabee and Chicago native Thelonius Martin, have submitted the banter we may look forward to in the weeks to come.

Get you some Hip-Hop and enjoy the flow.

(Click iTunes link Here)

/CW

Fashion Friday - Poppin' At the Pop-Up

Happy Friday to our readers!

Listen, most of us had a short week thanks to the holiday and THAT means....ITS ALREADY FRIDAY!! Fashion Friday that is.

 
In case you missed it (I’m judging you lol) last weekend Copywrite sponsored a pop-up shop event where the style inclined members of our city were welcome to come shop with some local retailers and cop some dope merchandise. Also, you guys had a chance to come meet the minds behind Copywrite and a few featured artists from issue 12....not to mention you could have bought your copy! (Ok I’m done rubbing it in. Lol)

31648E42-85D2-4D74-8397-DE22B56F26F6.jpeg

Say hello to Zhané who came through and walked away with these killer shades from Distinctive Designs by Tomira! Zhané said she felt like she could throw these glasses on and be out the door with the fierceness on overload. I dig em!
You guys can follow Zhané on Instagram @zhaneezy!


Special thanks to Miss Tomira for having us and letting me style with her clothing and fly accessories! You can check out her merchandise on Instagram by following @myddbt !

Until next time Milwaukee!

/Jacob

Joe Quinto - CINEMASONIC (EP)

CINEMASONIC !!!

Your locals have been working. Joe Quinto wraps up the summer with his recently released project ‘CINEMASONIC’, a harmonious four-track EP, with features from Shle Berry, Jayne Joyce, and Genesis Renji.

Palatable rhymes, soft beats, and crisp deliveries. Joe Quinto has allowed us to consume the new wave of music quality coming out of the city.

Our favorite track:

X-Ray: For its song structure and vibey delivery. We Likeeeeee! (Lets add it to the CW Approved Playlist)

Some EP’s are just not a big enough sample, but this is a perfect blend to keep us on the lookout for more of Joe’s work. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Available on all Listening Platforms

Spotify 

iTunes 

BandCamp

/CW

Luke Maillefer - Milwaukee Fireworks Go Big

We know that summer is damn near over and we will miss it. So to commemorate all the fun, the festivals, and the moments we wish we could forget ( Hahaha) we have a video that is sure to "spark" some memories.

Check out Luke Maillefer's video of the dramatics we call fireworks from the Urban backyard we call MKE, 'Milwaukee Fireworks Go Big'. From the basic boom to the, "Now you know that shiz is illegal" it was an eventful fireworks summer. 

Happy Labor Day & see ya next summer!

/CW

Syn Thoughts... CW News

I’ve always been told that I have this super power.

The power to make everyone around me instantly feel comfortable to be their true and authentic selves; whatever that is. To face fears with an open heart. To be as goofy or as bold as you want to be. To be as creative as you need to be and to believe, even at a moment, that in the end everything will be better.

I don’t know if I believe my super power really exists. But I do believe that you’ll never know exactly who you inspire.

CopyWrite has always been one of my biggest inspirations.

It was started with love in an apartment on 22nd and Wells (Shout out CAMPLife & Basement Underlying) where creativity and hard work was as fluid as rhymes, vinyls and trips to the 7 Eleven. It introduced me to the most influential, loyal and most hardworking people I know, and it gave me the opportunity to take the things I’m passionate about and work to see it come to fruition.

It also gave me and my graphic design a needed boost in aesthetics.

Like have you ever seen Issue One? https://issuu.com/copywritemagazine/docs/issue_one

Do you even know what the old CopyWrite logo looks like?

Hahaha… Growth is a beautiful thing.

 

I say all of this to announce this….

I’ll be stepping down as the Creative Director of CopyWrite Mag.

 

As a leader, sometimes you have to learn when it’s time to let go and now it’s my time.

As I reminisce on all the stories I could tell about CopyWrite, I feel so humbled and proud that it is what it is today. That our vision and our mission has been noticed by the people in the city and we have accomplished our goal to “tell the stories that need to be told and always showcase the unrealized artistic potential throughout our community while doing the things we love.”  

This will not change my support for CopyWrite as they move forward as a company and I hope that if you love me, you will continue to support my legacy as a founder by continuing to support the local and respect the Urban.

 

To my Co-Founder: Thank you for trusting me with the longest homework assignment in the history of homework assignments. Hahaha. I know you’ll continue to keep the mission alive.

To my Team: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For believing in Lexi and I. For sharing your creative minds with me. For being my friends, my family and the best contributors and collaborators a girl could ask for.

To Milwaukee: Thank you for being the inspiration that we needed.

And finally to anyone who ever bought/read a magazine, submitted a song, wrote an article, modeled for our fashion spread, helped us or came to an event, was a #WCW, shared an event, or even an idea: I love you. I appreciate you. And I can’t wait to celebrate CopyWrite’s 50th anniversary with you (because I’m still in there.)

 

Love & all things Urban,

Syn

 Photo cred by CW shooter Mahdi Gransberry (AKA Goat and FreakishNerd) 

Photo cred by CW shooter Mahdi Gransberry (AKA Goat and FreakishNerd) 

P.S. If you made it this far, order Issue 12 here: https://squareup.com/store/copywritemag

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