Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First of Many CR2 Promotion Events!

Many were in anticipation for a Takeover Pt. 3 that had so many prominent HipHop stars on one ticket! CR2 Promotions pulled it off successfully! Beginning the show with an around-the-way songstress, getting Indy's Young Zay and Georgia's Ole E, then ending it with a paper plane and Nex Generation special. Special thanks to the incense vendor and to the opportunity to have a Victoria secret gift card raffled. Its tons of fun when CR2 is involved. Look for the next show from them May 1st.

Friday, April 22, 2011

State of the City Address

"(Cincinnatians) We don't lsy down, we don't give up.", exclaimed Mark Mallory. I'm not even from Cincinnati, but I felt inspired to do anything I want to do. Mayor Mallory gave the State of The City Address at the Duke Convention Center last night. When you used the sentence "In these economic times..." I was going to begin to put on the bored face and slouch in my seat. Then he puts a positive spin to the sentence. "In these economic times (or through similar times)..." P&G started their company,Union Terminal built their structure by the stock market, and the Carew Tower and Great American Insurance buildings were built. In these economic times:

3CDC is investing $200 million into revitalizing Over The Rhine
$42 million Horseshow Casino in the northeast downtown
$128 million Streetcar system

Cincinnati has acheived:
Muralworks has employed youth to draw murals on buildings and structures
Revamped a recycle program
Cincinnati Public Schools graduation rate 51% in 2000 and now is 80%
CityRama built 28 homes in Northside

All of this in these tough economic times.

Every great leader or invention went through opposition. If you want to see something great come into existence, do your utmost to get it done. Don't listen to the naysayers. Don't lay down. Don't give up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Valuable Businesses on Vine Street

I am in a Writing for Social Change class where we are analyzing the media and corporations' dealings and perceptions that they give of Over The Rhine (OTR). Over The Rhine has went through its years of cultural change and uprising(s).

Yet there's an untapped and hidden beauty surrounding OTR and the evidence is in those who have and are looking to invest in the neighborhood. As a small business owner, I understand this need for capitalization and went on an adventure to see how the present businesses are handling things.
The pictures above with an art gallery feel are from the Switch Lighting & Design, LLC. Drew Dearwester and Bertie Ray III opened Switch in 2008. They service and consult personal and commercial clients throughout the region and from New York City to San Francisco on modern lighting. Mr.Bertie Ray III contributes the success of his business to the location he's in. Learn more about Switch at

The man I am pictured with is named Terrance Heath. Heath is 51 years old and is on his third attempt to obtain his GED. He believes he is going to get it this time because of his tutoring he's received through Power Inspires Progress (PIP). PIP also employed him at the Venice on Vine restaurant and trained him how to be a server, dishwasher and cook so he can gain employment after his 12-14 month stint with the program. As I take a bite into my well prepared, steamy hot steak hoagie and share a joke with the employees, it was hard for me to imagine the people working there had employment barriers. They are having a fundraiser event on May 6th from 5:30PM to 9:00PM. PIP definitely gives power to the people, so I will definitely be in attendance.

In my class, I seen the media portray OTR as place unfit for travels. Yet, I have come to feel an elegance and sense of community in OTR that makes you forget the woes of this world.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

J-Skillz Bday Bash!

Who else can bring out Hi-Tek, Jai All Day, Remedy and other great artists and chefs (Damian Smith, we see you!) The infamous J-Skillz thrown a birthday bash filled with free gifts and free food that would make Oprah smile! Many are highly anticipating the release of Bozo 2, and the bash was to remind us that the album is coming soon. I don't know what it is about that Crack Sauce that has us coming back for more...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OTR Activism Realism

You won't see Claudia Fatimah Peery-Smith's name in a history book. Yet that doesn't take away what she did for her community and what responsibility she has given the future youth. She was a resident of Over The Rhine (OTR) neighborhood in Cincinnati from 1986 to 2001 and even did previous activism work for OTR in the 1970's. On a Sunday in March where the sun is very generous, guest interviewer Kelly Clark and I had the opportunity to have a sit down lunch with Ms. Peery-Smith. She went into the history of OTR, a place where the German immigrants worked and lived. Prior to WWI you had to be able to speak German to work in the community. As time moved on an influx of Appalachians came. Then African Americans moved in while the immigrants moved out towards the suburbs. Ms. Peery-Smith gives the federal government credit for giving funding towards section 8. The OTR had so many apartment buildings due to the previous German factory owners building them for their workers to live in. Section 8 seemed to benefit more so the landlords then the residents. The name of the game is capitalism. Since the people moving into the Section 8 property weren't given chances for ownership then it was easy to get rid of them.

We engaged in discussion about the uprising in OTR in April 2001. Media has portrayed it as being something similar to when wild animals escape from the zoo. Yet Peery-Smith brought out the glory moments. Her eyes seemed to glaze as she spoke of the triumphant moment when the community took a City Council meeting into their own hands and made City Council realize they meant business. She seemed to relive the moment where during the uproar she escorted the reporters into a safe space in the wall so that they could observe safely all that had arose.

Her tone softened as she spoke of what the future may hold for OTR and other neighborhoods like it. She believed the telling her story and instilling positive change in the youths will guarantee that the future can be taken care of.

Are you doing what you can to make a positive change in the world? Or are you leaving it to chance?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


John C.K. Fisher joined the NKU NAACP tonight to educate ones on how to stay protected in the workforce and in society. Mr. Fisher is a Field Supervisor at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The topic of employee discrimination became an issue to the Northern Kentucky University NAACP because of someone in the community wanting justice for alleged discrimination in the workplace. Mr. Fisher informed the organization the ways you can be discriminated and how not to practice discrimination in the work environment. The segment ended with a video concerning the history of different ethnic and racial groups coming to America and starting their life over in spite of being poor and discriminated against. To be educated is to be empowered. To become active in the NAACP or learn more about protecting Human Rights you can contact or

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Word on DevonshireSmith

The most advice I received when the family knew I finished high school was go to college. Basic, right? The how-to apply, how-to act or how-to cope speech was never given. Well Michael Griffin and Blanche Pringle-Smith want to change the perception and your game plan that you have in terms of your or your children's higher education. Together these two have thirty years of experience in the educational world. Their company, DevonshireSmith endeavors to help urban communities, educational institutes and nonprofit organizations reach their full potential. On this rainy April 9th, a group of us are given the real low down truth about preparing for college and how to achieve graduation. With statistics they show that in 6 years only 48% of Hispanics and only 42% of African Americans are graduating college this information is dully needed. DevonshireSmith has another session on how to be a minority on a predominately white campus on May 21st. You can follow this company on twitter @devonshiresmith and press "like" on facebook on their DevonshireSmith Diversity and Education Solutions page.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kreative Connektionz Shyning in Cincinnati

Kreative Connektionz was an anticipated dance duo that was the highlight of the Time to Shyne Talent Showcase in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 7th. They were also the ones with the positive feel behind the show. It was hosted by First Lady and Streetz (of Beige Team). Acts and guests included: First Lady, Kreative Connektionz, Jai All Day, NeX Generation, The Beige Team, Yon Li, Wyte Gold, Skandal da Ruckus Man, A. Dre Deshawn, and many more. Kreative Connektionz consists of Devante Hines, 19 and Ebony aka Laylaa Jones, 21. Devante hailing from New York and Ebony from New Jersey just want to broaden the horizons in Cincinnati with their talent. Both noticed a tendency of certain Cincinnati dancers to do "one style of dance" and for the people to have a dislike of outsiders. The dynamic duo doesn't seem to mind the rigidness of their new Cincy home, they just will continue to show their high version of fashion and eclectic dance moves. Catch them again at Dirty Jacks on April 21st 10PM.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shawty Lo doing it big for Cincinnati

Shawty Lo remarked"I've been arrested 28 times and been convicted 4 times....that's why it's good to be here." This statement was even more validated by his asking of the crowd to come closer, and then urging to have the lights come on so that the fans could get quality pictures with him. Anticipation was high for the D4L member at the lounge spot called Cabo's in Cincinnati, OH April 2nd. Cabo's, a venue meant for karaokes and suede couch V.I.P. sections, built a boat like dock platform for Shawty Lo to perform on. The platform wasn't sturdy enough to hold Shawty Lo and his entourage, he still gave the crowd his all. His performance reminded us why he we bumped heavy his street anthems "I'm Da Man", "Foolish", "Dunn Dunn", and many others. His strong statement at the beginning of this was a prelude to his "Feels Good to Be Here", where he states "he musta done something right". That statement is worth agreeing to.