by antwanm

Building a New Chicago

October 12, 2014 in Coaching Corner by antwanm


All around the city of Chicago construction is going on.  There is construction going on at school campuses, neighborhoods, and expressways. Normally when something is being constructed it’s a mess but the aftermath is worth it. At construction sites you will also see signs that advertise the building of a new Chicago.  In reflection, I thought to myself what is this new Chicago going to to look like , who are the architects and who will benefit ? One could say the “New Chicago” is being built for all of us however that may or may not be true.  Sometimes those who are in positions of authority  do not have the interest of everyday people in mind. We see the results of the elite planning new construction everyday. Public entities like the tollways, parking meters, and public schools are sold out to the highest corporate bidder with politicians and private sector benefitting. Certain demographics  benefit from  initiatives that are spearheaded in City Hall and City council. Many times the average citizens have very little say so in what goes on but politicians run with the promise that I am here to serve the people.  If a new Chicago is to be built ALL stakeholders must have their say so and everyone must be involved. We can no longer sit by and count on elected officials to govern with ourself interest in line. We can no longer blindly throw our money and sweat equity into religious and community organizations that just sit in communities benefitting from being tax free but refuse to invest in the communities. The days of old are gone forever, tomorrow belongs to those who accept responsibility and take charge of their futures. It’s time to STAND UP and add our 2 cents into what we want this “New Chicago” to look like. That’s my 2 cents!

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by antwanm

Lamar Jorden features at “At Ease Sundays” Oct 2014

October 6, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm

by antwanm

Sharon Celeste performs at “At Ease Poetry” Oct 2014

October 6, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm

by antwanm

Ms. Wallace performs at “At Ease Sundays” Oct 2014

October 6, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm

by antwanm

Time is the equalizer!

October 6, 2014 in Coaching Corner by antwanm



There are some things that people cannot do for you simply because they have not arrived at a point in their lives where they have matured in a particular area. Time is the ultimate equalizer! It has the power to mellow people out and even bring them to maturity.  Don’t get discouraged if the people that you love are not in a place where they can give that love back the way you need to be loved. Time  just may bring them to a place where they can offer a deeper love at a different time in the journey!

Coach Antwan/Mr. Openyonated


by antwanm

Touch Inspirational Explosion

September 28, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm

by antwanm

Talk to Me Mondays

August 5, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm


My first time hearing about 3BM was through my friend Jasminum McMullen. If memory serves me correctly, it was at her album release party.  She was sharing some of her influences on the spoken word scene.  She mentioned how grateful she was for the influences of Moe Mentum Garrett and Odyssey.  I’ve been covering the poetry scene for over a year now and one of the places that I said I wanted to experience before the Summer was over was Talk to Me Mondays.  Monday is usually my night to stay at home and relax, I rarely go out and that’s by choice.  I decided to change it up just a bit to experience a set that I’ve heard many talk about.  There were a lot of familiar faces in house, many of Chicago’s most talented poets are affiliated with 3BM.  The first thing that stuck out was the friendly atmosphere, that always helps especially if it’s your first time going somewhere.   Ms. Queen Quisine herself was handling the door. I can’t think of anyone better to greet attendees of an event. Danielle’s smile is infectious! She is always cheerful and warm when I see her.  Moe Mentum Garrett was making his rounds greeting guests and snapping pictures. I think it’s very important that if you are hosting an event you are connecting with people and he did a great job.  It was a rainy evening but that did not put a damper on the energy. The DJ kept the sounds going with classics as well as accepted requests which allowed the audience to participate in setting the mood for the evening.  Odyssey did a great job of c0-hosting the event, he kept the audience engaged, and uplifted throughout the duration of the night. You could definitely tell that this 3BM is a team that works together.   I really enjoyed the performances.  I had the opportunity to hear some poets that I have never heard before and experienced a phenomenal violin performance.  I’m glad that I finally experienced Talk to Me Mondays,  it’s another great set on the Chicago scene.  Check out a clip from last nights event

That’s my 2 cents!!


To check out some of the pics from the event visit

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by antwanm

Loft~ n ~Sound

July 21, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm


Do you remember those days when you kicked it at your friends house ,kicked your shoes off, talked and enjoyed each other’s company? That is exactly how I would describe Drgnflyy’s event Loft ~Sound.  A major component of hosting an event is setting the proper atmosphere and this was executed perfectly! I felt like I was walking into a friends house instead of a traditional poetry set.   It kind of reminded me of a slumber party where everyone had their pallets and pillows laid out.  I asked Drgnflyy what the inspiration for the event was he stated that he just wanted to host a set where people could feel free to share whatever they wanted even if it was a song that they sang in the shower. The features were Isaiah Jones, SouLah and Solo Dwin.  I applaud him on his efforts because from my perception it seemed that everyone had fun with what they shared and everyone enjoyed it.  There was poetry, music and people just telling you what was on their minds!  Of course I cannot forget to mention Mocha Chocolate Productions who continues to host great events in her beautiful space. She is truly a connecter and supporter of artists in our great city. “Queen Quisine” Danielle Barnhart was in the house! They satisfy my taste buds every time! On last nights menu was a burrito bowl that could run Chipotle out of business as well as tacos, cookies and her scrumptious banana pudding! I love the poetry community because they continue to put on affordable and enjoyable events that are an alternative to the club scene.


by antwanm

Marco Anthony releases new single “OMG”

July 3, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm


They always say that the way you start your day determines how you will navigate through it. If that’s true then everyone needs to start their day with songs like OMG. This is a BIG song, you know one of those songs that get’s your adrenaline pumping and makes you want to hop ,jump and shout. It makes us take a closer look at how using a word so loosely takes away it’s significance. OMG is an acronym used  for Oh My God. We often forget how reverent God’s name is because we use the term in so much in instances where we should not.  The song is a reminder of how awesome God is. As listened to the song riding in my car I began to look around and see how awesome God is. The things that we take for granted like the skies, trees animals and some of the amazing attractions that  people visit year after year that declare his glory. I can’t wait to see what else Marco has to offer in the musical arena.  You can download the single on Itunes and other places that sale music electronically. To learn more about Maro and his projects visit

by antwanm

Men of Character, Honor & Achievements

June 30, 2014 in Music & Poetry Blog by antwanm


Off the top of your head give me a positive attribute about a man. Were you able to rattle it off or did you have to say give me a minute? Often times we place people in one general bag. I’m sure that you have heard statements like “all men are dogs”, ” all men are afraid to commit”, all men are deadbeat dads” etc.  Over generalizing is very harmful and does not give those who don’t a particular label a fair chance.  Mocha Chocolate & Robin Bobo of B.O.B.O Enterprises decided to put together a event to talk about and shatter some of the stereotypes that have been placed on men. First of all, they went out on a limb to host such an event. There are not a lot of events focused on uplifting and serving men so for the ladies to put themselves out there they should be commended. Men were treated to manicures by sponsored by entertainer and beauty consultant  Taleatha Wallace. Her students from Truman College willingly clipped, filed and buffed the nails of all of the gentlemen.  The event was catered by Danielle Barnhart of Queen Cuisine. Our tastebuds were treated to mouth watering fried chicken, oven baked macaroni and cheese, string beans and white potatoes, cornbread muffins and finished it off with homemade chocolate chip cookies and banana budding.  The food was delicious and Danielle is always a ray of light when you’re in her presence.  The discussion was engaging and everyone had input.  Some of the things discussed were: men being reluctance to be open, communication, the media role in the perception of men and stereotypes.  It wasn’t all talk we were treated to performances by Ollie Hood Raised Woods, Drgnflyy Laureate, Robin BoBo, Jeronimo, Antonio Monix a member of L.Y.R.I.C and snippets from the play 13 Men a play written by Lashanda Marie.  It was a great event! We need more instances where grown ups can gather and discuss issues that are pertinent to their lives. I look forward to part 2 of this event!   That’s my 2 cents.    To keep up with the talent and planners of this event click at the links listed and make sure you like us on FB and follow us on Twitter @MROPENYONATED

Check out Ollie doing his thing   Robin BoBo  Mocha Chocolate  Ollie “Hood Raised” Woods  Dainelle of “Queen Cuisine” Drgnfly Laureate  L.Y.R.I.C. Mentoring

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