Friday, July 30, 2010


Did you really think that "Reppin Your Borough" would only last one WEEK? She's So New York has been built upon loving the city that never sleeps. We couldn't possibly come up with enough material to cram about the Big Apple, so we've decided that it's only right to make "Reppin Your Borough," a permanent staple on the pages of SSNY. Stay tuned, it's only just begun!!

Are YOU your borough's representative? We want to know your style, your hangout spots, your restaurants, your local music and more! Help us inform the rest of the world and reinforce the notion that New York City is the place to be!

Book Corner: Aliya S. King's Platinum

By: ND McCray, Music Editor

Culled from an article in VIBE about the wives, girlfriends and lovers of hip-hop rap stars, Aliya S. King’s debut novel PLATINUM (Simon & Schuster, $24.99) reads more like an E! True Hollywood Story than fiction.


Alex Maxwell is a freelance writer (secretly) engaged to an up-and-coming rapper, whose latest assignment is to interview the women who are involved with hip-hop heavyweights.

Beth Saddlebrook is a white girl married to “Z”, a rapper past his prime --who she’s been with since the age of 15. They have three kids, one on the way; but only one child respects her, while her husband deals with his own demons.

Beth’s best friend, Kipenzi Hill is a multi-platinum selling R&B singer-songwriter who has worked in the music business since she was a child, and now she is ready to retire and live happily ever after. Thing is: she’s in a relationship with Jake, one of the hottest rappers alive; yet he refuses to publicly acknowledge their connection.

Ras Bennett, the super-producer married to a fashion designer gives his wife everything and twice more; but all she wants to give him…a child.

And then there’s Cleo Wright, the video vixen who’s about to throw shade in all their lives. All in all, Platinum is fast-paced, dramatic, and salacious; it’s a perfect read for hot summer days and nights. But have a drink afterwards; because you’ll definitely need it!

Platinum is in bookstores now!

 Know a book SSNY should read? Let us know! Send your recommendations to besonewyork@gmail.com!

He Say/She Say: Can Friends With Benefits transition into successful relationships?

The battle of the sexes is nothing new, but does marital status and sexual orientation cause us to think differently? Welcome to He Say/She Say!

Every week, She's So New York asks a series of questions on a wide range of topics including race relations, sex, finance, politics, entertainment, relationships, and more. The weekly panel consists of opinions from single and married gay/straight men and women who are willing to give their unabashed opinions.

Today they're answering the Question:
Can Friends with Benefits ever transition into successful healthy relationships?
Read their take and let us know what you think!

They Say:
(From Left) X.D. and Archer
Oh the cutty buddy. What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice whom to..uhh..beat. Friends with benefits can be a tricky subject. When it comes to love and lust, it’s easy to confuse the two. Sometimes our bodies make a connection so deep and passionate that it seemingly can emulate an enduring and everlasting love. When it comes to ever having your cuddy buddy turn into something successful and long lasting, wethinks not. This week, Archer and I had a brief discussion on the matter. This was the outcome.

X. D. So...do you think friends with benefits can turn into something long lasting?

Archer: I don’t think it will work because relationships that are based on or have foundations of physical interaction can leave the relationship susceptible to other relationships that have deeper connections to enter the dynamic and break the bond that you have made.

X. D.: Agreed. It’s so easy for us to confuse love and lust. You know?

Archer: A physical connection can be really strong -- a primal instinct. It’s how we’re attracted to someone initially. However its the mental, spiritual and emotional bonding that out weighs the physical.

X. D.: I can dig it. Sometimes sex is just sex. That’s all one could possibly have in common with someone else.

Archer: Right. The longest relationships prioritize physical connections as last leaving the connections less tangible to the forefront. Often times people are stimulated more than mentally. I mean, If you can find someone that does everything that’s great but until then....

X. D.: True. It’s all in all a bad idea. I’ve heard of stranger things happening when it turns out to be a good thing, but I just don’t buy it. Friends with benefits can also leave one person in love while the other just in lust. That can never end well, either. Let’s just hope people take heed and understand that there is a huge risk in turning a friend with benefits into a relationship.

Who they are: X. D. and Archer are the driving forces behind The XDexperience. Both in their 20s who recognize that there is more to life than wallowing in life. As residents of Brooklyn, Archer and X. D. are in constant pursuit of all things positve, progressive, and, well, fabulous. Follow them both on twitter! @Archerismyname @TheXDexperience

Pamela Jackson
She Says: Friends with benefits CAN have successful relationships. Most relationship that I've had has been started this way. A 7 year relationship I had started off as friends with benefits and despite us no longer being together, we are able to continue being friends. In my perspective, friends with benefits is the best way to get to know someone for who they really are. When you are just dating someone they try to put their best foot forward - you usually don't get to know the true them until it's too late. Now, a friend with benefits has nothing to hide, they are at their realest moment because you're just the friend that provides them with pleasure. Then from that point you can grow knowing who the person really is. Friends with benefits form into the most beautiful relationships in my opinion. Who She Is: Pamela Jackson is the President of "Seeds to Flowers," a Brooklyn based non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping teenage girls from the inner city learn the positive choices life has to offer, essentially teaching them to grow from girls to women. She's also a LPN and student.

Rhaleek Walker, Sr.,
He Says: This transition depends entirely on communication and the level of the relationship with the friend. I firmly believe that life was intended for partnership and that a successful relationship is the one thing that people really do want. Contrary to popular belief, these relationships are the best way to transition into relationships. You share, talk and form a bond because of the style of the relationship. It only makes sense to transition. Anyone who says that they'd prefer sex without attachment as their only source of contact with the opposite/same sex clearly does not know themselves. Intimacy is crucial for any human being to flourish in all areas of their lives. Money doesn't quell loneliness nor does success.  Who He Is: Rhaleek Walker Sr., is a married father of two boys and a supervisor for ABM Janitorial Services. He is an avid sports fan who enjoys spending time with his friends and most importantly, his family.


Portia Walker
What She Says: I have always felt that friends with benefits, if handled in the most mature way possible is one of the best ways to find that person you have been looking for to spend the rest of your life with. Dating from what I've learned, is somewhat outdated. A large majority of relationships that I am aware of, have started off as friends with benefits. But I do believe that there is a misconception with the term itself. Friends with benefits essentially, is someone who you connect with on a deeper level than "wham bam, thank you ma'am." It's more than just the physical connection. This is your companion, someone who has learned your quirks, likes and dislikes. But I do believe that with any relationship, titled or not needs to have a solid foundation in order for anything positive to result.

Sex itself is tricky all by itself, especially when its misunderstood or mistaken for something that its not. Like Cedric said, honesty and communication is key in order for this type or any type of relationship to flourish. How many of us have caught feelings for someone and it wasn't mutual? I've also learned that friends with benefits can never last long before a transition is actually necessary. How long can you bed someone without deciding whether or not to make it official? If you're mature enough, you can still have the friend despite no longer having sex OR you can make the switch to titles and live happily ever after. It's your call.

Who She Is: Portia Walker is the Editor-in-Chief of She's So New York and co-founder of GlammSoNY PR Firm, along with Tiffany Dimanche (bka Glamm CEO) of Glamm on the Go. Portia is also a married mother of two boys.

Cedric Banton
He Says: Damn you Usher, Ludacris and that nappy headed Lil Jon!! May your souls rot in that special part of hell for celebrities and rich folk! Your creative genius has been the spawn of a simply complex question of "Can there be lovers and friends" or better yet "Can Friends with benefits, blossom into successful relationships". I must've went through an entire bottle of wine (Taylor Port) mulling over this question. After I awoke from my drunken stupor I found my answer and that is: Yes!!

Why not? The whole idea of a relationship is two people being friends, best friends in all honesty. Not just the ability to tolerate each other's presence (which most unhappily married couples find themselves doing) but to find enjoyment in each other, being able to be silly and serious when the time calls for it. As well as being one another's confidant and comforter (sounds like Jesus right?). If friends with mutual physical attraction decide to act on it, that's just fine. In black and white its a great notion and should be acceptable in 2010. Its the grey area that puts the complexity into motion. The premise of 2 single compadres hooking up time and again is fine, if they happen to be mature enough to handle the idea that maybe they aren't the only person that their partner is hooking up with (I love the term hooking up, thank you white people, it makes sex sound so clean).

Most of the time those are the ground rules until someone (the woman) decides that they want to change the game. Now if the dude is smitten with you as much as you are with him, then your guy friend has become your boyfriend and you can work the kinks out as you go along - similar to that of one who's dating. There might even be a few pluses to it too, you may already know each others family and friends, and the awkwardness of being acclimated to the other person's life won't be there.

That aspect of lovers and friends is fine and dandy, that's because a fairly descent foundation has been laid without the couple even knowing it. The dark side to the Friends/Lovers realm, is when two friends who are involved with other people make the choice of acting on their physical attraction - not only do you have a complex friendship, you have an affair. Now if both friends are of the Rick James variety (coldblooded), then they can make the choice to actively dismiss whoever their significant other is and endure the tumultuous whirlwind of broken hearts, and petty gossip that follows along with that. That's cool... Not!

I'm sure that there are couples out there that have endured that and still hold hands and walk in the grass til this day, but if I were a betting man, I bet there are more shattered pieces about. Reason being, the foundation that was set was built on lies and deceit. Bottom line, one or both of the friends cheated to get the end result. I don't see how success can be made out of mistrust. Chances are one of the friends will have to begin to question the other person's moves and actions. WHY? Because that persons a cheater, and yes -it should be noted that the person cheated with a friend, so he or she should understand, but that doesn't make them any more honorable. Now unless you're filthy rich or your sex game is comparable to Wesley Pipes and Vanessa Blue then chances are your former friend and new found lover can be swayed by the thrill of something new and uncharted. That is, unless you guys were really even friends to begin with.

That's the real aspect of it all, are they really friends? A lot of times, guys and girls aren't really friends, one person is the shark (the guy), waiting for the his chance to strike. The guy either succeeds or lands in the friend zone until he gets another chance - that too is a form of deceit. But that's a topic for another time. The idea of relationships blossoming from a real friendship is more than feasible. It doesn't matter if you were friends, strangers, associates, enemies, the idea is to have a solid foundation that primarily includes honesty. With that, the possibilities are endless. *Sips wine, spins in chair*.

Who He Is: Cedric Banton is a 28 year old single father and paramedic from Brooklyn, New York. The SSNY staff writer holds a BA in Business Management from Long Island University.

The Panel has spoken!  Now what is YOUR take on the subject? CAN Friends with Benefits transition into successful healthy relationships? Let us know!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One to Watch: DJ Center

By: ND McCray, Music Editor

On a recent sunny afternoon in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, I had the chance to meet up with Brooklyn-based turntablist and producer DJ Center --who toes the line between soulful house and hip hop beatmaker. On the heels of his debut artist release, Everything in Time, we talked about his best DJ set, the evolution of the DJ, and the story behind his name.


She’s So New York: To get us all better acquainted, tell us about your background.

DJ Center: I was born in Romania, bred in New York. I came up with a hip hop background and from there got into soul and the classics. My mentor coming up was a jazz musician, so I have a jazz background as well. I first got in to it playing live situations, being a DJ with other musicians in a live setting; and then using the turntable as an instrument, and doing live production. From there, I cut my teeth right here in Brooklyn in terms of party-rocking, in clubs and lounges and understanding how to work a room. Also I learned to take people on a ride with me. So then I was fortunate enough to travel…I was going out to Cali a lot about 10 years ago, and built with DJs out there and was also picking up influences over there. I also made it to Europe and Southeast Asia as well. Just picking up all these different influences and so I think when you hear my sets now, everything from all my travels and experiences come across now. No longer is it just a hip-hop set or a hip-hop-and-soul set. It is hip hop, soul, jazz, funk, reggae, Latin…it’s all those things because I love music.

SSNY: This segues right into my next question: Because when I listen to your music I hear the jazz, I hear the hip-hop instrumentals, I hear the Latin flavor, but also I hear a lot of different cultures, that said: How would you categorize yourself as a DJ? Do you want to be known as a soulful house DJ or a downtempo DJ, or even a hip-hop DJ?

DJC: I just wanna be known as a good DJ. To me my favorite DJs and the best DJs aren’t put into boxes. They just play music and it’s always different, right. What they do, they are able to read the energy in the room really well and play that set for whatever that moment is, as well as educate the people. So I think at the end of the day, I just wanna be known as somebody who loves music and makes people feel good with the whole palette of the musical spectrum that I have…

SSNY: So what would you say has been your best set?

DJC: I think my favorite and best sets were probably overseas in Europe. I would say Barcelona or London. I’d say that because of the openness and the reactions. I think over here in the States we may have our guard up, we might be a bit too-cool-for-school, have too many cliques going on, even worried about what other people may think [about our musical tastes]. Overseas I feel like the response to music is…and if you put it down right is…explosive. I mean you’re doing these huge rooms and the energy is through the roof and the appreciation is crazy. Though I haven’t been to Japan yet, I hear it’s a similar thing over there in terms of appreciation and just how much they love it. And as a DJ you connect with the crowd, right. What they give you is what you give back, and because you have that energy coming back at you, it makes you take it up a notch.

SSNY: Have you ever had to change your sets because of the energy of the crowd?

DJC: Oh yeah, all the time. I mean you can do your planning but I think when you’re in that moment, that’s really what’s going to guide you.


Dj Center - You Got The Love ft. Gretchen Parlato

SSNY: For the creation of Everything in Time, how did you come to record it and how did you know that now was the time to bring it to the masses? Because like you said you’ve been in the business for 10 years now.

DJC: I think…that’s a good question. I think there’s a natural evolution you go through as a DJ --where you start as a music lover, then you become a DJ; then you expand your vocabulary as a DJ and you get DJ experiences, and the natural step is going into the studio and laying down tracks, because you already have the crazy record collection you’ve amassed. So the inspiration and the influences in your library are endless and you start to get ideas. And there’s a clear relationship between putting together records and having them blend and mix in a live setting and taking sounds and instruments and working with musicians and blending those and having them mix. It’s pretty much a continuation.

Also, I remember being in Amsterdam and the promoter said something that really impacted me. It had to be like 2003 or 2005, and it was after the show and we were having dinner, and he was like what you do here is incredible, when you can come here for one night and rock it and people remember you that’s amazing, but when you produce music and have a product that you leave behind, your music lives on when you’re not physically here. And that moved me, you know what I mean. It was like that makes sense, how do I leave a piece of myself behind, beyond just mixes. So I think that was the start of it. I came home from that trip and I was like I gotta get to work. And three years later, you have Everything in Time.


DJ Center explains the process behind recording the album "Everything in Time"

SSNY: So before that point, you never thought about putting out an album?

DJC: I mean I had worked in different capacities with a group, and we were putting out records, but a solo record that was the first mention. 2007 was when I really started getting serious, built a studio and pretty much dedicated my life to it.

SSNY: So how long did it take you to record this project?

DJC: It’s a three-year record. It took three years from start to finish. When I set off, I thought it would take three months; and that’s why it’s called Everything in Time. Because you can plan all you want, but until it’s ready, until it’s time…

SSNY: There seems to be an underlining thread of positivity and motivation on the album, was that intentional?

DJC: That’s a good question, I don’t think it was intentional, but at the same time…I can say that to me, music is therapy. I think when I’m rocking a crowd I know that it’s therapy for the audience too. ‘Cause they’re probably escaping from their day-to-day and music has that power to take you out of your immediate environment and take you to a higher place. So I think that’s something I always strive for, to make music that can do that and have an effect on people is the goal. I want to make people feel good, and hopefully when they listen to it; it’ll remove whatever they’re dealing with for the time. So I think that was a subconscious intent. And you know just being a positive person and just living your life a certain way, that’s gonna be reflective in every interaction you have, and of course the music…

SSNY: I’m always curious as to what DJs listens to when they’re not working, so what do you listen to in your off time? Like what’s playing on your iPod right now?

DJC: It’s funny when you’re in the club; you’re playing more up-tempo or party music, regardless of the genre. But at home I’m actually very downtempo. I’m very lounge-y in the crib. I’m listening to a lot of roots reggae, like 70s stuff; a lot of downtempo instrumentals, jazz; you know like Coltrane is a steady favorite. I’m listening to a lot of vocalists from overseas like there’s a woman who’s Tunisian, I actually worked with her on my record; her name is Samia Farah. She’s Tunisian, raised in France and sings in French; and I remember she had this jazz-quality in her voice. She reminds me of a French Billie Holiday. Like there’s something really old-school about her, I mean like 50s old school. So she kind of gave me that quality [on the record] and her catalog is bananas too; so I’m bumping her. What we did is cool, but her own stuff is like…dope. But most especially the reggae stuff on production.

SSNY: So this is my final question, tell us about the name: DJ Center.

DJC: It comes from…when I think about my relationship with music, and what I want to put forth out there. My favorite music is honesty. You know stuff that doesn’t hide behind anything, facades; or any kind of stigma or hype. I’m talking about Sly and the Family Stone, Donnie Hathaway. I’m talking about real artists, honest artists. And I think I wanted that same reflection in my name. And to me your center is your core; it’s like when you pull away all your layers, that’s what’s left. That’s where the name really stems from. And of course, the double meaning in hip-hop, the DJ is the center; the centerpiece of the foundation. So it has that double play as well.

DJ Center’s solo debut Everything in Time is in stores and available on iTunes now!

Wanna be featured on our "One to Watch," series? Send us your music, bio and photos to besonewyork@gmail.com!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where You Need To Be: Big Onion Walking Tours


Even if you were New York born and bred, Big Onion Walking Tours assure you that you've barely scratched the surface on discovering New York. For a mere $15 and a couple of friends, you and your homies can enjoy an official grand tour of the city that never sleeps. With a wide range of tours available, the adventurous can find themselves exploring the unknown, ranging from Multi-ethnic eating tours, where you explore Jewish East Side, Little Italy, and China Town while food sampling, Historic Harlem, profiling African American history from the heart and soul of Harlem, USA. They have the Gay and Lesbian History tour where you get to witness an intergral place of history, The Stone wall Inn, to the Official Gangs of New York tour where "Murderers Alley" might be a stop on your destinatation. The possibilities to learn something new about the city you love is in your reach for less than a weekly metrocard.

The guys behind Big Onion can also be seen frequently on Toni On New York, Saturdays on PIX.



She's So New York will return with more on Big Onion Walking Tours as we promise to give you an inside look on one of their many renowned walking expeditions!

For more information on the tour and its schedule, click here

NY Movies We Love: Coming to America

God this movie is a classic! Nevermind that Eddie Murphy put Queens on the map, but he clearly lets the world know that it doesn't get any better than a New York woman! She's So New York is compiling the list of the greatest New York themed movies in celebration of "Reppin Your Borough," week! What are some of your favorites? Let us know! besonewyork@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reppin Your Borough: Queens

By: Portia Walker, Editor-in-Chief

Queens.... Where do we begin on such a borough? Home to some of the greatest legends that ever lived, Queens at times is underrated. But for the lover of all things from the Q borough, you can't get enough of Jamaica Avenue, Steinway Street, Queens Center Mall, Ajax Park, Liberty Avenue - the list is endless.

Born and raised in Queens, I guess my assessment of my borough may be a tad bit biased but screw it, we're talking about the home of some of the greatest jazz musicians the world has ever seen from Louis Armstrong to Billie Holiday, that also had enough time to be the resting place for a cluster of hitmakers, directors, actors, world renowned movie studios, and fashion designers. We are talking about Queens here people!

Queens is the largest in area, the second largest in population, and the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States.

Located on the western portion of Long Island, Queens is home to two of the three major New York City area airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. It is also the location of the New York Mets baseball team, the US Open tennis tournament, Flushing Meadows Park, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silvercup Studios, and Aqueduct Racetrack. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

I can remember spending a majority of my child hood navigating through the streets of Queens. Forest Hills (For the train savvy: 71st and Continental on the R train) can take you to a bevy of restaurants, clothing stores, and nightlife. Other places you might enjoy for ethnic fare is Sunnyside, Astoria, Bayside, Long Island City and Corona. Queens has the highest population of hispanic and Guyanese immigrants in this borough, with Jackson Heights and Liberty Avenue (yes, this ENTIRE avenue) being the home of most. 

Even if you're not from Queens, you've heard of the Colosseum Mall. With the 165th Street pedestrian mall leading up to the two floor mall at the end of the block, shoppers have a bevy of choices to choose from. Want a quick and delicious bite to eat? Be prepared to stand in line for a beef patty on 165th street as Jamaican Flavors houses the best patties known to man. Grab a slice of the greatest pizza ever at Margherita Pizza on 163rd Street.

Rappers and singers are normally a fixture at Club Amazura and the various clubs that are aligned along Jamaica Avenue, but if that's not your scene, you can easily find something to your liking on Queens Blvd. With places ranging from hookah lounges to billards, there is always something to do along these streets. Be careful though, as Queens Blvd has earned the 'nickname' "The Blvd of Death," (look it up). Others places you might like? Austin Street.

Looking for something to do with the kids? Roy Wilkins Park (also the home of the Black Spectrum Theatre) is known for hosting some events including the Universoul Circus. In the summer, you can also catch a wide array of concerts for the perfect summer night. Kings Park in Jamaica is responsible for hosting weekly summer performances for kids, courtesy of Cultural Collaborative Jamaica. The Jamaica Arts Center on Jamaica Avenue houses several kid oriented activities including arts and crafts, dance and more. Other kid friendly places? The Hall of Science, Springfield ParkFlushing Meadow Park, Queens Library, Rock-N-Skate at Rockaway Beach and more.

Did I miss something? Care to fill me and the rest of the world in? Send your facts to besonewyork@gmail.com!

July 31 is National Dance Day!

THIS Saturday, July 31 is NATIONAL DANCE DAY!!

National Dance Day is a grassroots initiative that encourages the nation, young and old, to move! Individuals, families, organizations and communities from across the nation come together through their creative expression in dance. Any style of dance is welcome and imagination is recommended in order to get the most out of this celebratory day.


To continue to generate national awareness for dance, a medium of expression and storytelling which, through shows like So You Think You Can Dance, has proven its value in bringing individuals from all walks of life together through a positive platform that has no boundaries and cultivates imagination and passion. Most importantly, the day is intended to promote health and wellness nationwide.

She's So New York is partaking in the festivities! Will you be joining us?


Album Review: Rick Ross - Teflon Don



By: Cedric Banton, SSNY Staff Writer

Recently, Ross has been a fixture on numerous hip hop joints, including Dirty Money's "Hello GoodMorning," and he's also remixed Rihanna's "Rude Boy" and Drake's "Find your Love" just to name a few. The general consensus is he's been crushing these songs. Accompanied by his "Albert Anatasia," big things were expected from Teflon Don. So with the blaring bass of Track 1 "I'm Not A Star," Ross sets the tone of what he attempts to deliver on this album. The hook is simple but highly effective in which he repeats the title and drags it out.

Ross being no stranger to controversy - with a checkered past of being a correction officer that he initially denied (lying ass nigga), now claims to be a Freemason on the song (featuring Jay-Z) where Hov brings life to the song stating his case against the recent attacks of rumors that he's a part of the Masonic Devil worshipping cult. Hov denies being a part of a demonic cult, but doesn't once deny that he's Mason (food for thought). Lines like: "I said that amazing, not that I'm a Mason" will pacify easy listeners, but broken down word for word, he's only worshipping the devil, so take it for what you will.

You can breeze through easily forgettable tracks like "Tears of Joy" ft.Cee-Lo (Side note: where have you been Gnarls Barkley?) where Green vaguely describes the struggle of success and being content.  "MayBach Music 3" ft TI, Jadakiss and Erykah Badu (produced by Justice League) isn't as bad - its pretty much an overdone signature of Ross's representation of "Gangster Elegance." Jada and TI make it much more listenable as well.

The meat and potatoes of the album is tracks 5-9, starting with Kanye West produced "Live Fast and Die Young." Its bizarre hook and tempo is more than just a "808 & Heartbreak" rendition but it should have been Kanye West ft Rick Ross -  Kanye outshines Ross on this song, where he discusses how his falling fame hasn't shaken his egotistical superficial swag in the least. Ross pretty much addresses the usual: cars and clothes while one line toward the end of the song addresses the actual subject matter of the hook.

It's the perfect set up for "Superhigh" (ft Ne-Yo), which could quite possibly be the best song on the album. Ross destroys every verse on this seventies themed track produced by Clark Kent. The Teflon Don paints a vivid picture of what its like to be rich and enjoy the pleasures of what money can give a person. Weaving his way through the sultry sounds of the guitars and bass, he makes it looks easy. Ne-Yo compliments as well as enhances the song perfectly. "No.1" ft Diddy and Trey Songz serves as a alley oop to the 2 hardest songs in the streets.


Rick Ross ft. Ne-Yo - Super High

Ross's ode to "MC Hammer" and BMF crime boss Big Meech (with the song "BMF" both produced by Lex Luger), Officer Ricky takes the life legendary rap star MC Hammer and smites it into the heavy bells and bassdrum of the beat. Lines like "I got 30 cars/whole lot of dancers/ I take them everywhere/ I'm MC Hammer!" pretty much sums up what Hammer was known for before it all fell apart for him. But the song doesn't diss Hammer, it praises the insane life he lived and how he technically paved the way for 'Ballin outta control'. "BMF" (Blowin Money Fast) sounds too much like MC Hammer, but apparently gets a pass not only from listeners who didn't want the last song to end, but also from Meech himself, who's doin 30 to life and loves the song too. Styles P who also is on the song, gives the gunplay Ross talks about, much needed gangsta indulgence. Both songs are too good to ignore.


Rick Ross - BMF

"Aston Martin Music" ft Drake and Chrisette Michelle shouldn't have made the cut on an album like this. Maybe this could've been slotted earlier on the album, but overall it seemed outta place. "All the Money in the World" ft the legendary Raphael Saadiq ends the album on a decent note. If you have the ITunes bonus track, "Audio Meth" featuring Raekwon, then maybe you'd agree that he should've replaced a few tracks with this high tempo Mobb Deep sampled track and good hook (oh well).

All in all, Rick Ross is a smart guy. He clearly doesn't mind being out shined on songs featuring other rappers, and uses them to enhance the subject matter that he clearly lacks in his song content. Teflon Don LP overall? Banger.

Hits: BMF, McHammer, SuperHigh

Misses: Aston Martin Music, Tears of Joy

Teflon Don is in stores now!

Reppin Your Borough: Staten Island

Welcome to Staten Island! This sometimes over looked part of New York, Staten Island can seem like another world from New York City. However, if you look closely and get acquainted

Wikipedia Says: Staten Island is overall the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City. The North Shore, especially the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Park Hill, and Stapleton, is the most urban part of the island; it contains the officially designated St. George Historic District and The St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian homes. The South Shore has more suburban-style residential neighborhoods and is home to the two and one-half mile long F.D.R. Boardwalk, the fourth longest in the world.

Locals will skip the history and get straight to the facts. While the least populated within the tri-state area, Staten Islanders can assure you that there IS more to them than the legendary Wu Tang Clan (although who DOESN'T thank Staten Island for them?)

While some say that the best free ride ever is the Staten Island Ferry, SI also offers perfect summer boat rides for a short getaway.You can always find something to get into on Hyland Blvd and local hangout spots include Martini Red, Rab's Country Lanes, Shooters (formerly Chic N Bones) and Buddha Lounge. The fashion obsessed go to Staten Island Mall for the latest trends, while vintage rag lovers go to Bay Street Thrift, and Everyone Loves Clothing.

Are you your borough's representative?  


Do you know of any facts we missed? Fill us in! We're looking for the authority on all things SI. Send us your info to besonewyork@gmail.com!

Throughout the week we'll be featuring Staten Island event happenings and showcasing the hottest up and comers born and bred in Shaolin! In the meantime, it's only right that we hit you with a classic, courtesy of those SI boys, The Wu Tang Clan:



Are you an authority on everything Staten Island? Let us know!

Laya LaRoché: Staten Island's Finest

She's So New York is celebrating "Reppin Your Borough," this week and first up is Staten Island. Why not kick off the festivities with a taste of swag coming across the bridge? Meet Laya LaRoche.



Laya LaRoché is a 20 year old Singer/Songwriter raised in Staten Island, New York. She has come from a very artistic family which has flowed through many generations. Laya has been singing her whole life. Her musical influence has come by her father, who was a Theatrical Performer. She has also been influenced by her mother who is a well known Visual Artist. Singing is Laya’s passion but, songwriting is more.


Monday, July 26, 2010

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Album Review: Keith Sweat, "Ridin Solo"

                                                    

By: ND McCray, Music Editor

With a nationally syndicated radio show on WBLS here in New York, a new hit show "Keith Sweat's Platinum House” ( featuring Dru Hill) on Centric, former Wall Street stockbroker turned singer-songwriter and producer Keith Sweat brings us another round of his signature pop-R&B love ballads on Ridin’ Solo.

You have to respect the guy, he’s been producing albums and discovering artists for over 20 years now, so he’s well aware of what urban listeners expect from him: seductive R&B ballads. His 10th studio album covers that arena quite well. Though the first single “Test Drive” featuring fellow crooner Joe is urban enough, it’s the gritty “Hood Sex” (heard below) that makes us remember “Freak Me” by one of the other groups Keith discovered, Silk. Nonetheless, this album will probably produce plenty of spring babies.



Other recommended tracks: “Famous” and “Tropical”.

Other releases you might like: Al B. Sure, Honey I’m Home and Joe, Signature.

Talking Glamm With the Glamm CEO: THONG & ANKLE CUFF SANDALS

Get comfortable! Flat sandals are definitely still a fashion favorite this summer and we found some great examples of the new sandals: Make a lasting impression and feel your feet at the end of the day lol!

Here are the main flat sandal trends I have observed:

 Gladiator Sandals

 Thong Sandals



 Ankle Cuff or Ankle Wrap Sandals

 Metallic Sandals

 Bold Colors

 Accessorized Sandals

 Integrated Jewelry

 Ruffles

 Sandals that combine (almost) all of the above
Gladiator sandals are clearly still leading followed by ankle cuff sandals. I personally love those two because they can add a masculine element to a sometimes too feminine Girly girl summer look. Try to style a short floral ruffle skirt with a simple fitted white or black shirt and wear a pair of flat ankle cuff sandals, it will instantly give your look a bit of an edge(and we all want to subliminally be the BAD girl) and cause attention.

Then, try the opposite with the more delicate, jewelry integrated or flower accessorized flats and a pair of distressed denim shorts to add a feminine touch to a casually rebellious outfit.

When wearing bold colored sandals stick to simple colors for your clothes (white or black for example). How about a white linen mini-dress combined with those pink gladiator sandals?

While in the past I personally wouldn’t wear flat shoes for a night out, now flat sandals are certainly apart of an evening outfit for me this season. So have fun out there and always remember: be creative and be GLAMM at ALL times!

Love and Fabulosity,

Glamm
She's So New York is asking the question: What are YOUR top 5 music videos that represent New York to the fullest? Send your answers to besonewyork@gmail.com! Spread the word: it's all about "Reppin Your Borough!" this week on She's So New York!

She's So New York is asking the question: What are YOUR top 5 movies that represent New York to the fullest? Send your answers to besonewyork@gmail.com! Spread the word: it's all about "Reppin Your Borough!" this week on She's So New York!

Hello All!!! After a brief vacay, She's So New York is back to business! All this week we are "Reppin Your Borough!," From Brooklyn to Staten Island, we are highlighting where YOU live and what makes living in the tri-state area the place to be.

As stated on wikipedia, New York is the most populous city in the United States, and the center of the New York metropolitan area, which is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. A leading global city, New York exerts a powerful influence over global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion, research, education, and entertainment.

But besides the facts, we know New York as the beginning of life for the transplants who move from cities, states and countries to live in the Big Apple. We are immigrants, the sons, daughters and legacies of immigrants. This city that gives and takes, loves and hates - cultivates dreamers and believers of the American dream. If you were born and raised here, your loyalties to the city that never sleeps is everlasting, no matter where you go.

We are The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. No matter what language you speak or where you rest your head, everyone knows the slogan: "If you can make it here, you CAN make it anywhere!" This is New York baby, where only the strong survive.

She's So New York will be providing facts and essential borough staples, highlighting events, fashion, music, dance, art, restaurants and more! If you haven't fallen in love with New York City like we have, we'll ensure that you do once this week is over.

Are you your borough's representative? Can you give us an exclusive guide on your stomping grounds? We are looking for recommendations, pictures and more! Send us your info to besonewyork@gmail.com

Friday, July 16, 2010

Introducing: He Say/She Say

The battle of the sexes is nothing new, but does marital status and sexual orientation cause us to think differently? Welcome to He Say/She Say!

 Every week, She's So New York asks a series of questions on a wide range of topics including race relations, sex, finance, politics, entertainment, relationships, and more. The weekly panel consists of opinions from single and married gay/straight men and women who are willing to give their unabashed opinions.

Today they're answering the Question:

"What is the current state of relationships in 2010? Have we lost the tools to having successful relationships? Who/What is to blame? What can we do to change it?"
Meet the panel and read their take! Agree/Disagree? Join and Discuss!

He Says:
The other day I was at home watching Fatal Attraction, the 1987 movie starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in which Douglas plays a lawyer who cheats on his wife while she's away for the weekend. The major problem is, he cheats on her with the craziest woman (Glenn Close) on the planet who goes on this mission to make herself #1 in his life by any means necessary (boiled rabbit and all).

I was 5 yrs old in 1987. That was a generation ago -  practically 2 generations ago, and the dynamics of relationships between men and women have not changed at all. The world around us has changed drastically, but the nature of the sexes hasn't. If Fatal Attraction had been made in 2010, the idea of him trying to solve this problem without his wife knowing for 3 quarters of the movie would be nonsense. Everyone knows his wife would've learned about his cheating within the first 10 minutes of the movie via facebook, twitter, or any other social networking site where cheaters are dumb enough to get caught on. THAT's what has changed: access to info - but the nature of us as a people hasn't.

People have been cheating for years, and have been doing their best to get away with it. Back in biblical times, you'd have to ride a horse or camel for 2 days for your next rendevous with a whore from a brothel. But even before the aspect of cheating, its always been the idea of men and women putting their best foot forward in the relationship when they 1st meet each other, only to have the truth be revealed months or years later. Some people swear up and down that they don't lie about their likes and dislikes and what ground rules are made in a relationship. But I tend to disagree.

If someone wasn't lying or omitting from the start, then the divorce rate wouldn't be so high, and there wouldn't be a need for match.com or the police. I mean hey, which guy is gonna come out on the 1st date and say "Yea I hit chicks from time to time, but only if I think they derserve it". Lies and omission is all apart of the games people play, whether when they 1st meet someone or in long term relationships. Personally I feel women have lying encoded in their DNA, and the art of omission has been passed down through the years.

Why are they so good at it?! If a man could lie like a woman, you'll have a nuclear weapon. Women lie about sex partners, sex acts, money, age, and guys friends. I honestly don't know what to believe when it comes most women. Let's be clear: I do blame men for most the downfall of relationships( due to default by stupidity and sloppiness). But the skeletons that women pack up and leave with in a relationship is truly ridiculous.

All in all, it's simple:  If I like you, and I trust you, I'll open up to you and give all that I have. Just PLEASE don't fuck it up, because I will use all of these vehicles to ruin your life. I bet you wish they were still boiling rabbit huh Tiger?

Who He Is: Cedric Banton, a 28 year old single father, LIU Graduate and paramedic from Brooklyn, New York

She Says:
In my opinion, everyone wants to be in a relationship. Humans need contact. If we could take an anonymous poll of what people really want, I think they may admit a return to the 1950's-- don't take away the strides women have made, but a return to the basic relationship structure that provided security. But in 2010, we feel like we have to play it cool, like nothing bothers us and we're fine with friends with benefits. There are two extremes I've noticed from my "people studies" -- there's the casual sex/friend with benefits or there are so many people deciding to be celibate and then complain about it incessantly while projecting a holier than thou attitude for being celibate (and not always by choice). As a result of so many people choosing celibacy, people who are comfortable and thrive in open-relationships are vilified.
Technology is bringing everyone together while making relationships much more superficial. When is the last time you've been on a date and didn't check your phone or actually take a call while you were with your date? Nothing is special or "just between us" anymore. Folks tweet about their dates sometimes while they're on the date, passive-aggressive Facebook statuses put folks on blast for what they're not doing or can't do well in bed-- stuff like that. So I think all that destroys trust and stops people from allowing themselves to be vulnerable and true to themselves and their significant other. There's an audience 24/7.

Who She Is: Abigail Ekue is a writer who encompasses the inner workings of the human body and psyche; she explores the human experience of being and the body—health, fitness, nutrition, psychology, emotions, relationships and sex—through her writing. Her erotic short story collection The Darker Side of Lust was published in December 2009. Abigail has shared her work at the erotic showcase, UrbanErotika as performer, producer and curator, at ArtErotica, Freak Nasty and Abiola Abrams' Kiss and Tell Reading Series. When she’s not writing, she’s creating with her body. She has worked with a number of photographers as an art and erotic nude model to promote positive body image, sensuality and a sex-positive attitude. September 2009 marked the debut of her dildo photo exhibit, Man. Toy., in New York City. To view her writing portfolio, information on her upcoming events or latest projects visit http://www.abigailekue.com/

They Say:

During the Summer, love fills the streets of every borough in our fair concrete jungle. Couples hand-in-hand in Central Park, a man and woman sharing a kiss at a coffee shop in DUMBO, two gay men sharing an intimate moment in the East Village…it’s all a part of the mysticism that is the quintessential “summer love.” After summer fades, autumn brings out not only different colors in leaves, but in people too. Can these relationships that we fostered over these last few months last? Do successful relationships even exist in 2010? The answer is simple: Yes.

There are plenty of readers who disagree and are looking for an answer or something or someone to blame for such cynical thinking. Here‘s an excerpt of the conversation we had while writing this article to shed some light and insight.

X.D.: The reason why people don’t think they work, in terms of dating in New York, I believe has a lot to do with the idea of relevance. New York is a fast paced and trends driven society where things come and go so quickly that most people have incorporated this mind set into their intimate relationships. People need to understand that one cannot expect things to change if they don’t!

Archer: I think the media has a lot to do with the lack of successful relationships. Many of these “looking for love” reality shows and faux celebrity couplings for publicity purposes have impacted our society in such a way that people treat relationships as if it for the camera.

X.D.: It’s about how you measure success, too. Some people measure it by the amount of orgasms they have in a night. sips tea

Archer: Serial dating is a part of it as well. Some people cast their net out so far that they don’t give any person enough of themselves to get a firm grasp of their compatibility. Thus leaving them where they started, alone.

X.D.: A lot of people are stuck in the past, you know? How can you work on the future when you keep looking back? Let go!

Archer: Yes, baggage will hold you down. Some people don’t even have a past but the unknown terrifies them. You know what they say, fear and hurt breeds hate and resentment.

X. D.: AMEN!

Archer: The solution is following one’s instinct and not some blueprint that society has packaged for mass consumption. Stop attempting to model your relationship after Will and Jada’s, Angelina and Brad’s even your mom and dad’s. No two people are the same therefore no relationship is the same. Be willing to get hurt. These are cliché but they make sense; the bigger the risk the bigger the reward or lose, live life for today, hope for the best and prepare for the worst, hope for everything and expect nothing. Incorporate these into your lifestyle and you will live a more stress free life.

Who they are: X. D. and Archer are the driving forces behind TheXDexperience.com [http://TheXDexperience.com]. Both in their 20s who recognize that there is more to life than wallowing in life. As residents of Brooklyn, Archer and X. D. are in constant pursuit of all things positve, progressive, and, well, fabulous. http://www.thexdexperience.com/ @Archerismyname @TheXDexperience
She Says:
As a happily married woman, obviously I believe that successful relationships do exist in 2010. BUT let me make this clear: Relationships and their success rate depend entirely on the people in them and if they WANT to make it work. Everyone has heard the saying "If someone wants to be with you, nothing and no one can stop them from being there." And its true!

I have had my fair share of AWFUL relationships but what I learned by watching my mistakes and the people around me is that we've lost the fundamentals: dating, chivarly, tradition - you name it, most people don't know it or don't believe its necessary to have.These days its customary to have a bed buddy more than it is to have a boyfriend/girlfriend and if you do know someone in a relationship, chances are you hear more drama than love making! Of course we know that baggage, trust issues, self esteem issues all hinder relationships from taking the next step. But for a relationship to thrive, I think its important to know yourself within, man or woman. Be clear about the things you want for yourself, and never sell yourself short that you'd rather be unhappy with someone than happy all by your damn self.Essentially, we all share the same issues.

I don't think its enough to blame one sex over the other for the lack of successful unions. While one person can make or break a relationship, the most important thing to remember is that it takes TWO people to make it work - no one person should do more than the other in order for you two to survive. Keep your friends out of your business, communicate and BE FRIENDS with your mate as well as lovers. Build and dream together. PRAY!

The Panel has spoken! But what do YOU think? Have a question you want the panel to answer? Send your questions to besonewyork@gmail.com!
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Your Summer, Your Way: Popsicles Done Right!

By: Flossie Alexander, Fitness & Nutrition Editor

The first thing that I wanted to say to you wasn’t about popsicles. However, it is 4 a.m. as I write this sitting here preparing and planning for the day, and I was thinking how hot it has been and how great it would be to have something cold. Being a mother with seven children and very health minded now, I am always on the look-out for healthy items or recipes that I can tear apart and remake healthier. One of those delicious delights I found was from one of my clients. It is very fun to see a person blossom and really get fired up about healthy choices.

Summer Delight by Michelle – Wichita, Kansas

1 small can of frozen orange juice

2 Bananas

1 small can fresh apricots

1 large can crushed pineapple

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 or 4 tsp Sweet’N Low

Blend in blender and freeze in muffin cups or popsicle trays.


Be Healthy Every Day, You Are Worth It!

Enjoy!

Talking Glam With Glamm CEO: Your Summer, Your Way (MakeUp Edition)




Being attentive to the latest make-up trends will not only benefit you as being trendy, but it CAN'T be topped on any given day! 2010 summer makeup ideas are filled with individuality and style and match the season perfectly as summer exudes excitement ,joy and electricity, characteristics which help install very good mood factors:


The retro inspired makeup trend is based on pastels, vivid colors that bring sheer happiness such as green, blue, purple, orange and pink. Whether electric or soft these colors will help you enhance your natural beauty and make you look like a breath of fresh air.

Don't be afraid to combine different colors to get a more funk-a-licious look as long as you have a great sense of color coordination, making sure the colors work well with each other.

Keep the eyelashes simply coated with a brown or black colored mascara for an elegant look as you don't want to over do it and your cheekbones enhanced with a delicate shade of your favorite blush. To complete your look apply a nudelipstick or lip gloss and look fabulous!

Another great way to enhance your beauty is using a vintage style makeup with a little bit of a modernized twist. Attracting attention to your best facial features has never been easier than with this style of make up as the eyes and the mouth are a women's most seductive weapons so these are the facial features you will have to give most of the attention to.

For example: apply a soft shade of eyeshadow such as lavender and a bloody red lipstick on your gorgeous lips, top your eyelashes with one coat of mascara and you will look fabulous.

The softness of the eyeshadow will be balanced by the boldness of the lipstick so you will have a glammed makeup look in an instant. One thing that should never ever be forgotten and a thing that will always make your makeup stand out is the base.

Concentrate to receive a flawless skin complexion using makeup as there are a variety of cosmetic products available today on the market. Make sure the cosmetics match your specific skin type and that they are applied properly to receive a flawless appearance. Nothing can top gorgeous looking skin and paired with great makeup one can look outstanding.

Glamazon MakeupTip: Test your skills and learn how to apply the makeup to suit your needs and you will most definitely be bombarded with compliments from men and women alike.

Be inventive, be creative, and most importantly be YOU! Hope to see you looking fab on the streets of NY!

Love and fabulosity,


Glamm

Your Summer, Your Way: Shape Up NYC

It's another wonderful day to be a Fabulous New York woman!

Summer is here along with the dread of feeling less than fabulous with less clothes on. She's So New York wants to stress the importance of maintaining healthy habits and not just for the purpose of fitting in those short shorts. It's important to maintain a balanced diet and regular excercise as it helps with maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit.


 

"Shape Up NYC," a FREE program catering to all in the Tri-state area, was created to provide New Yorkers with accessible free fitness classes in locations across the five boroughs. Starting May 17, Shape Up NYC classes are taught by expert fitness instructors with varied programs to choose from, including aerobics, yoga, pilates and zumba. No pre-registration is required, so just find the location in your neighborhood and start to Shape Up today.


For more information and where to find a location near you: http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_things_to_do/programs/shape_up_ny/shape_up_ny.html


We'll see you on the beach ladies and maybe in a class near you!


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