Photog Love: Nia Mora

It is no surprise that Nia Mora, the grandaughter of Francisco and Elizabeth Calett Mora , is talented. Artistry runs freely and generously through the whole of her family tree. Her father and mother are accomplished musicians and her sisters include Sweetie front woman Ife and model/actress/singer and identical twin Naima,former winner of America’s Next Top Model.  In this series of photographs Nia states that her focus is “….to explore the inner workings of the human imagination, the subconcious, and dreaming states of mind……I had an overwhelming sense in my own life that reality is not what it seems to be and everybody percieves it differently.” Given the fact that she is an identical twin, its not farreaching to assume that her perception of reality is uncommon, her situation is rare. Only one third of twins born in the United States are monozygotic, identical. Having an identical twin could be likened in some ways to an out of body experience. Twins have the unique of observing their physical likeness in ways that most people will never, unless they are having an out of body experience by which they can survey themselves as an impartial observer. With that being said Mora’s perception of reality is tinged with a certain disorientation, a subtle hallmark in the images presented in this set. It is her unique sense of perception and her manipulation of the perception of  her audience that is the most striking thing about her work. Each image jarrs the senses with the conflict between the imagination of the artist and limits of the viewer adding  a layer of tense excitement to the viewing experience. The narrative becomes loose and pliable like the dreaming state of mind Nia refers to in her mission statement. Each frame registers as provocative and unsettling. There is something not quite not right about her imagery yet there is something within it that compels the viewer to look deeper and make peace with the fact that they could get lost.  Double images are an expected component in most of her imagery and there is a strong sense of visual and emotional juxtaposition that lends to the sense of disorientation that confronts the viewer. For example there is an eroticism in the bathtub image that sharply contrasts with the fact that the image is of sisters, or is a digital manipulation of one woman. The image of the woman in blue with her head sticking out of what appears to be a plastic sheet is both morbid and calming as blue is the color of  tranquility and is oddly enough the color of flesh that is derived of oxygen. She looks at once like a drowning victim or some etherel creature poking her head out of a portal to another dimension.  Just like in our dreams, Mora has presented us with images that blur the edges that seperate fantasy from reality and invites her viewer to define those boundaries for themselves.


Hiding in Plain Sight……
January 25, 2010, 1:43 am
Filed under: Life....I wonder... | Tags: , ,

A friend posted this on MySpace and I had to share as the scenes from “Network” in this video were highly affecting to me. The same monologue from the beginning is in the end of “Twinkle”, one of my favorite Erkyah Badu songs off the 4rth World War album.  Are they or aren’t they? Is it or isn’t it? One day we will know the truth…..shut eyes all over are opening

January 25, 2010, 1:07 am
Filed under: Cool ppl | Tags: , , , , ,

I absolutely love, love, LOVE the blogs Wale posts for Honey Magazine. I know beneath their hard exteriors and playboy attitudes most men mask hearts of gold , but I am completely blown away by the depth, honesty, and eloquence with which Wale reflects on love, sex, and everything in between. I tip my hat brotha. And I quote……

“Women, how many men have you met who surround themselves around so many women, they wouldn’t be able to distinguish “the one” if she were right under his nose? I propose the same question to the dudes: Have you ever courted someone and did everything in your power to make her “open her eyes” (Bobby Caldwell x Common)? Yet she still wants to be in the club every other day or she tells you she doesn’t want commitment. That is her trying not to be vulnerable. That is the proverbial wall that can’t be penetrated because even the briefest daydream of #thatthing will send her into shock. #thatthing has the staring role in life’s movie. A nigga may have never experienced #thatthing, but his mother/father/sister/brother/teammates’ experiences may have been enough to instill the fear………”

The hip hop Dr. Ruth perhaps, or maybe the male Alexyss Taylor?

7 questions with: The Emcee Al N. York


It’s been a minute since I’ve been on my blogging. I apologize for the intermission but a girl’s gotta pay the bills you know? The first inteview I did on this site was with a young lyricist out of Florida who goes by the name of Al N. York. He dropped another mixtape the beginning of this month and hit me up with the hopes that I’d post it. I obliged, of course, because the kid’s got talent. He can spit, but he’s also got something to say. It is the balance of lyrical prowess, musical intelligence, substance,and relatability that is most alluring about Mr. York and will endear him to those who love hip hop and respect it as an artform not just a way to get “on”. His new mixtape “The Commercial” does not dissapoint. From the melodic title track in which he lays claim to 2010 being his year to break the glass ceiling to the infectious bounce-worthy “Limelight” which loops a young Biggie proclaiming “…now I’m in the limelight ’cause I rhyme tight” flawlessly into the hook York brings you into his world , the world of a young rapper who is hungry, ambitious and ready. There are a few slight bumps in the road as York slightly dims when in attack mode. Chest puffed and trash talking York still shines, yet his lyricism takes a back seat to his machismo. In my opinion York is at his glowing best when he allows his poetic soul to merge with his sharp tongue, trading quick jabs for round house kicks, allowing his skill to become his greatest force. The verdict: a nice addition to your mixtape collection, plus when he blows up you’ll be able to say “I don’t know bout yall but I been up on him since he dropped……”

HBBNG:  Since we last spoke have there been any big developments that have taken place concerning your music? Have you found yourself garnering more attention in your city since the release of your last mixtape Homeless Millionaire? Have you found more people associated with the entertainment industry checking for you?

AL N YORK: Yes, I have been making a transition from the underground to being known to a lot of the major players in the city. I actually saw one of the biggest promoters in the state who is based in Orlando named Mercedes Streets, she was in a Ace Hood Promo van, I pretty much stalked her.. had her pull over, and handed her the mixtape. Later that week she expressed how much she enjoyed the mixtape. A lot of similar stories, and I feel w/ the release of this new project.. It will elevate a new level.

HBBNG:  How have you matured as an artist in the past 9 months?

AL N YORK: As an artist I always wanna mature. I know for a fact Homeless Millionaire wasn’t for everyone, you’ ll see now the songs are more [well] rounded, and lyrically I always feel I have to improve, plus with me working on more original material I have to perfect my song making abilities, and always strive to improve.

HBBNG: What’s the signifigance of the title The Commercial?

 AL N YORK: The significance is tha length, a commercial is just an interlude or a prequel to the actual show. The commcercial  is only 9 songs, and just like something midway thru my underground career. I think that though its short, its my best project to date. So the commercial is kinda like, ok this is just an interlude in my career, but a strong one.

HBBNG: Artistically, what was your frame of mind with this new EP? What were some of the main influences and inspirations, whether they be situations, emotions etc, behind the creation this new project?

 AL N YORK: Well, urgency.. I dropped ‘Homeless millionaire’ in Jan 2009, it did what it was supposed to do, plus as an artist I knew the sound quality had to be improved cause the people who are in a bigger position to help me, are not gonna accept half ass recording and mixing. So about the beginning of  December I said ‘its time for something new’ started writing the project the 1st week of  December,  finished in 3 weeks, and im super happy [about] the outcome. My mindset, was to just get back out there, new energy for the new year, im still here, and im better than ever.

HBBNG: Who are some artists you’re feeling right now that reinforce your love for hip hop?

AL N YORK: Im surprised I loved Kid Cuddi’s album so much, it was incredible. Wale’s album was dope. 50 cent still being hungry after being so succesfull financially, even though the album didn’t sell, the art was there. Lupe’s new mixtape is amazing. J cole, who wasn’t big when we first spoke, that mixtape is very homeless millionaireish, we have the same steelo.  And a lot of people from my city doin it big are inspiring me not to fall in the back of the pack..

HBBNG:  Let’s say you have a magic Blackberry which has the contact information for everyone in the entertainment industry from rappers to singers to producers to record execs but you can only make one call. Who would it be and why?

AL N YORK: Im making that call to Jay-Z, from that call, you would be able to get in contact with anyone else. Knowin Jay gives an automatic buzz and people will listen off the strength of that co sign.

HBBNG: Finish the sentence: 2010 is my year to?

AL N YORK: My year to quit these 9-5s and make money doin what I love

Download The Commercial

Listen to The Flood/ Noah’s Arc

Me and the Devil

The true artists are coming to take back our eyes and ears….i’m loving it( and no that was not a subtle shout out to McDonald’s). The legend Gil Scott-Heron dropped a new video for “Me and The Devil” of his upcoming album I’m New Here. I’m kind of late but I dig it so I’m posting it…right on

January 24, 2010, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Life....I wonder... | Tags: , , ,

1. WHO will be next? Your cousin, my brother, the young man from across the street?

2. WHAT exactly does police brutality look like? The media wants to used the pc words “alleged” and “accused”  but this picture is all the proof you need that Jordan Miles was brutally attacked at the hands of the police

3. WHEN will we overthrow the system of oppression and violence protected by the badge? Will we ever?

4.WHERE has the honor and integrity of those who are supposed to “protect and serve” gone, or was their ever any honor and integrity in the occupation in the first place?

5. WHY in the hell do 3 grown men need a stun gun, closed fists, and knees to “subdue” one young man who had no weapons in his posession and has no known history of violence?

6. HOW can the three officers in question even part their lips to actually defend what they did to this young man over a bottle of…….Mountain Dew?


I love you Dom

Yo, Dom Kennedy is officially in my top 10 MC’s of all time…already and he hasn’t even really started yet. My mouth dropped when I found out 25th Hour was his first official mixtape and why was Future Street Drug Sounds one of the DOPEST lp’s out last year? Dude is RIDICULOUS, something about him kind of reminds me of Ghostface…I think it’s the way he doesn’t force his flow yet never looses his prescence lyrically. Can’t wait for him to drop an official album. Found this video for “Who Rollin Wit Me” which seems like it came from a work released before 25th hour. His production choices are as dope as he is…..he freaks a sample from”Night Fever” by the BeeGees in this one….ridiculous.

check his site and download if you haven’t already