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.
On the surface everything seems easy but behind the scenes it takes work and the heart of a hustler to get things done! #TheHustle will follow the busy lives of people that make things happen. Everyone says “Oh anyone can do that!” until they actually have to do it themselves! Peek in as Mr. Openyonated and the Blue Lady discuss #TheHustle
Mr. Openyonated and Mizz Wallace return for another episode of let’s talk about sex! JayeBlue joins in on the conversation! Stay tuned !!!!
We don’t have to operate with a crab in the barrel mentality! We can all win if we work together! Mr. Openyonated has a dose of encouragement for you!
What is manhood? What separates the men from the boys? What characteristics should men of valor possess? Author Marco Anthony takes us on a journey to break it down using Job 31. Everyone is familiar with The Proverbs 31 Woman but, what outline does God leave for the man? Now before you say “oh this book is only for religious people!” I will tell you that even though the bible is being used as a template the lessons are universal. In addition, why wouldn’t you want to check out some lessons from one of the best selling books of all time? The book contains 14 guiding principles that if implemented promise a life of self control, strong relationships, and focus! The book definitely has some gems in it. I believe that there is nothing new under the sun but it can be packaged differently to appeal to a different audience at a different time. I really enjoyed to book, it caused me to examine my life practices and take an inventory of what was working for me and why it isn’t working. If you are ready to go on a journey toward being a better man this book is definitely a read that you want to add to your library. You can connect with the author on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/marcoanthonyloves/ and on Instagram as @marcothpoet The book is available on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Job-31-Man-Marco-Anthony/dp/1540670236/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501036195&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=a+job+31+man+marc+anthony