Check out scenes from the latest edition of Epic Night Open Mic. Epic is hosted by Kells The Artist & Prolific in a comfortable space for artist to broadcast their talents, Come Blaze the mic & be apart of an Epic Experience Every 2nd Friday 2237 South Michigan Chgo, IL
How well do you handle situations that have the potential to totally throw your life off track? Some people fold under adversity, some survive and then there are those who soar! Elia S. Qasim AKA EQ steps center stage to bring you his first studio project “Emotional Intelligence” He is a part of the At Ease Poetry collective but this project allows him to stand in the forefront and tell his own story. For those of you who might question what Emotional Intelligence is have no fear the project opens with an explanation and it will give you some insight as you listen. First off I will say that this work will bless people’s lives and help them through rough patches. Elia seems to be following the trend of being a transparent man and openly shares his life with those who will listen. This is important for a number of reasons however the most important reason is that there are so many men suffering silently without anyone to talk to, feeling like there is no one who can empathize with them and that no one cares. I was automatically pulled in when EQ began sharing his story with “Head On.” He’s performed this piece before but when you sit alone with it takes on a deeper meaning. How can you go on when you’re hit head on with an attack? EQ gives you an answer to that question. EQ also shines on “Beauty” where he models how a man mentally should be thinking about a woman in addition. We also get a look into Elia’s work life which seems to be another emotional load that needs to be carried and managed appropriately. I came out of the project realizing that even though you don’t see people’s stories on the surface everyone has one and they are equally important. This project is a testament to those who fight through their challenges and make it to the other side. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel for every man child that has had Pandora’s box ripped open by someone who had more experience. This album is hopeful and very necessary! Keep in tune with EQ by following him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/elia.qasim?ref=br_rs , his artist page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EQPoetry/ and on IG at @eliaqasim
Who will rise from the ranks to declare themselves as a champion and capable of rallying the troops to victory? Not everyone is capable of shining in battle but, Jeronimo has stepped up and laid claim to be the one who will loosen the Gordian Knot. I remember years ago when Mama Brenda Matthews made the statement that poets are street prophets and would be instrumental in reaching the masses to inspire young people to do great things. I feel that the Gordian Knot is setting the stage for BIG things to happen not only for Jeronmio but for those who align themselves with him and follow his lead. He has put together a great project with HUGE pieces. This comes off as a statement cd, a portrait is being painted and in it Jeronimo appears to be a giant. The interludes included seem to provide evidence that he is who he say he is, someone who is sought after on many occasions. The features on the project seem to strengthen his case. The project includes features from Black Heaven (Solace Souls), Darlin Mikki (Team At Ease), Amber M Whitted (Solace Souls), Muva The Creator, K Love, Sohje and LeftLane E. These aren’t just features, they are major contributions to the project and will totally blow you away! There is enough lyrical dynamite on this project to level a skyscraper. Jeronimo’s style is a mixture of rap and poetry and it’s a good marriage arrangement. Summer of 2017 has definitely been the Summer of poetry albums in Chicago and The Gordian Knot stands tall and does not disappoint. Make sure you grab a copy !!! To follow Jeronimo’s work make sure you add him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JERONIMOSPEAK and in Instagram @jeronimo_speaks
When you are experiencing a piece of art you are literally walking through the subconscious of an artist. “Hood Raised” AKA Ollie Woods takes us on a journey with his latest project Jotted Gems. The thing that makes this project so special is that it’s his first book and he is crossing over to eldership. The added bonus to the project is that it has an accompanying soundtrack. If you are familiar with Ollie’s work you will know that he is very passionate about his craft. If you’ve ever been to any of his productions you will know that he is also transparent about his life. With Jotted Gems you get a closer look into his mind. Much of the material in his book was written while in reflection on sleepless nights where sparks of creativity turned into flames. You will get to see a man that has looked himself in the face and acknowledged his struggles. You will see a man that has endured tremendous loss yet still found the strength to pour love into his children. You will see a man that has experienced hurt and questions whether he can trust again. You will see a man that has navigated through life and arrived at eldership. The fact that he has allowed himself to be transparent is a major contrast with what men are taught to be especially Black men. You will also experience what has brought joy to his life while on his journey. It’s a great combination! The accompanying CD is the icing on the cake. It includes the lovely voice of Mahogany Brickhouse host of Back of the House Poetry and members of Team At Ease Poetry. One of the themes that I feel runs through the project is the enormous task of being a Black man. There are challenges that we endure that other people do not. Ollie has successfully over come many of those challenges and is able to lead and mentor others. Now this project is not all serious, it includes the signature Hoodraised Swag that Ollie is known for! The art of seduction and wordplay runs though the entire project. Definitely something that you need to get your hands on. To stay in tune with Hoodraised make sure you follow him on Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/HoodRaisedMentality/ his personal page https://www.facebook.com/ollie.h.woods?ref=br_rs and Instagram at @Hoodraised As always follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and follow our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Openyonated/
We believe that music is suppose to be timeless but of course you will have a few trendy songs intermingled with classic music every now and then. Tovi Khali’s “French Quarter Style” is one of those albums that you can place into the timeless category. Her style is definitely not a cookie cutter production, it’s unique and stands out. The use of instruments on her project give it an energy that is missing in the current musical climate. Her voice is relaxing and can make you jump out of your seat at the same time. Openyonated.com had the opportunity to attend her listening party and we were not disappointed. This is the second time we’ve seen her perform at The Promontory and it was another great show. The event was hosted by Storie Deveraux who as always did a great job with the energy that she brought. Their combination is definitely genuine and they shine on stage. Tovi’s project stands on it’s own two feet and would be appreciated by any serious music fan. I personally think that many artists rush projects out too fast and don’t spend enough time fine tuning. This album is definitely fine tuned so make sure that you grab your copy. Visit her site at https://www.tovikhalimusic.com/ and her Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/tovikhali.info/ As always follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Openyonated/
Openyonated.com had the opportunity to attend Ada Cheng’s “Not Quite Solo” show at the Women & Children’s Book Store the last feminist bookstore in the country located at 5233 North Clark on August 14th. This was my first time attending one of Ada’s show, I met Ada at a “Healing Corner” event and she graciously presented at a career fair at the school that I work for. A couple of weeks before attending Ada’s show I had the opportunity to meet with her to discuss show business, blogging, storytelling and life in general. First off I must say that she has a wonderful spirit and is very insightful and knowledgeable. She is also former professor at Depaul University and a wealth of knowledge! The timing of Ada’s show is perfect because the topics that she covers are all currently being discussed in many circles. Through her art of storytelling, she shares with us her experiences as someone who emigrated to the United States and all of the challenges that were included in that. She dispels many of the misconceptions that many people have of people who are not natives to the U.S. and the challenges and fears that they deal with. One of the things that stood out in her performance was the fact that many people are forever reminded of their “Alien Status” even after they become citizens. She tackled the topic of what is home from different perspectives, addressed challenges that many people from the LGBTQ, Black community, and women deal with in our society. After the show she engaged with her audience about how they felt about many of the things that are going on today and how they affect us. I am glad I made the choice to attend Ada’s show. It was eye opening, relevant and much needed. She created a safe place where people felt comfortable about talking about not so comfortable topics. If you want to follow what Ada is doing be sure to check out her webpage http://www.renegadeadacheng.com/ and follow her on Twitter at @RenegadeAdaCheng As always you can follow us on all social media @MrOpenyonated
Hip Hop has become one of the most powerful mediums in popular culture. It is an ever evolving genre that changes as new artists continue to put their individual spin on it. Those from the “old school” typically say that the new music is garbage and those from the new school say that the “old heads” don’t get to say what “real hip hop is. Personally I tend to like music that is timeless and you can enjoy at any moment. I think that International Maverick is one of the those artists that creates music that can stand the test of time. His projects never come off as following a trend or a fad. He seems to have an ear for music as evidenced by his use of sampling. The content is thoughtful, relevant, relatable and does not appear to be something that is thrown together just to make heads bob. It’s kind of like grown folks hip hop without being considered “square” I like the way he rides the beats on his music. His voice sticks out in a good way, kind of reminds me of AZ. At Openyonated.com we are always excited to view his new visuals and listen to his new music because we know that it’s going to be a quality project! To keep up with International Maverick subscribe to his You Tube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/MrMav81 Follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/internationalmaverick/
Take a look at his latest visual!
Openyonated.com had the opportunity to see the “Beast Woman” show at the Prop Theater located at 3502 North Elston. It’s a showcase of phenomenal women from various backgrounds with a diverse set of talents. Check out our coverage from the show!
Openyonated.com had the opportunity to experience Back Of The House Poetry for the first time and it reminded us of a kickback of friends gathering to shoot the breeze. The theme of the event was “When Men Speak.” It was hosted by Jeronimo & Kent Wade of Solace Souls. The event is sponsored by Mahogany Brickhouse and did not disappoint! There were a lineup of men who definitely brought the heat in addition to open mic participants. Take a look at some of the footage from the show and make sure that you follow Mahogany Brick House on social media to stay in tune with what she is doing.