What do you get when you mix champagne, green juice and good people? The Juices For Life Brooklyn Anniversary event. For many years I’ve imagined the perfect celebration. It would involve refreshments that delight plant eaters, alcohol imbibers alike. Sometimes I want to sip veggie juice and a glass of bubbly in the same place. Last night, Adjua, Styles P., Angela Yee and DJ Envy made it happen at their Juices For Life Brooklyn Anniversary event.
For me, some of the highlights of the carefully curated evening included, the bubbly, the building, the positive energy from the crew and guests, the dancing, the selfies, the spicy vegan empanadas, and of course, the green juices. I saw people sharing wellness advice with each other. I even discovered a juicing newbie in the crowd, and got him all hype to make drinkin juices a habit.
I’ve given advice to friends, family and some of our favorite emcees on how to eat well. I know how much our collective saying: “each one teach one” matters. I know how fast good info can spread if we take care to share it with our friends, families and people with influence. Good info can save a life.
Similar to the climate during some of Hip Hop’s golden years, it seems there’s a renaissance happening that aims to rekindle the popularity of the edutainment and community-minded spirit of our beloved culture. From Styles and Adjua’s healthy juice talks and candid interview about their daughter’s sexuality, suicide, emotional health, and more–to Envy and Angela holding court on the breakfast club with finance gurus and mental health advocates–it’s clear that this collective crew wants to broaden the minds, hearts and health of hip hoppers, low income earners and other groups of people who could stand to learn more about how food functions as fuel for the body and mind.
There are many reasons why I’m moved by the celebration of this Juices For Life anniversary. Since a young age, I’ve been on a quest to listen to my body and reconnect with whatever my ancestral DNA tells me my body wants to eat. Plants became one of the staples for me. Being raised to give back, and to “tell a friend,” I make it a point to share info on wellness whether it be Byron Hurt’s Soul Food Junkie film, the Hood Health Handbook, my own juice recipes, or more personal essays, like the hip-hop community health reflection I penned after Sean Price was laid to rest.
I had a juice habit already but the first time Lord Finesse took me to the Bronx Juices For Life location, I knew The Lox were onto something special. They were running their business in a tradition I recognized. A tradition similar to the Rastafarian style of serving healthy food while educating the community and providing a place to convene and talk that multiracial, racial justice, solidarity talk on any given afternoon.
They say real recognize real and love is love. Looks like the Juices For Life owners are trying to show us exactly what real love, and good business sense look like when they are combined.
Want more merch? Check out The Realness tour gear site collaboration at: http://550xcormega.com to pickup everything from limited edition Cormega skateboard decks, to hoodies, prints and short-sleeved tees.
Reflecting on his life inspired by art, music, fashion and travel, Charnier Corey created Leisure Life NYC to provide creative business professionals aspirational living with an edge. I dropped by for the Ruse x Leisure Life NYC mural unveiling and t-shirt release jammy jam. The back yard was so cozy.
An inside, the store offers meticulously curated selection of vintage clothing and accessories, mixed with their in house brand. The physical space is a reflection of the products they sell; the room pulsating with a classic, intellectual feel. The vintage pieces and main label pieces have stories. The space has stories. Charnier has stories. Visit the shop to hear some.
Leisure Life NYC Address: 559 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 | Phone: (347) 725-3167
Comments Off on MC Lyte and More at the WEEN Awards for Women in Entertainment
When my friend Fee suggested I attend an award ceremony in her place, I received a note from Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, the co-founder and chair of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN), a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and enhancing the image of women in entertainment, while providing mentoring to women and entrepreneurs. Nonprofit work and women’s empowerment? That’s right up my alley.
I thanked Fee and Valeisha for transferring the ticket, chose an outfit and made my way to the WEEN awards. There, I bumped into Chuck Creekmur, who I know through a mutual friend. We hugged and discussed the scene as Sabrina Thompson kicked off the event.
Chronicled below are key takeways from some of the ladies. But specifically, the compelling words of MC Lyte rang in my ears long after I left the WEEN Awards. I’d never had the pleasure of being in the same room with this woman, but I’d heard great things about her from my friend DPA. Let me tell you the woman is a walking magnet for positivity. You can feel it in her presence.
Seated with poise, Lyte watched as the legendary Cheryl “Salt” James introduced her to the crowd. So long was Lyte’s list of accomplishments, the crowd laughed when Salt admitted she might not make it through four pages worth.
Lyte, stepped up to the podium in bejeweled stilettos. Smiling at the crowd, she explained the importance of knowing your worth and pursuing all of your gifts no matter what avenue it leads you down. “I am a trained speaker, a DJ, a host, an emcee and more.” she said. “It is so important to have multiple revenue streams. That is what I teach young women.
Before I ever got voiceover work yet, I knew I could do it — so I didn’t wait for someone to come to me. I went out and took voiceover classes. I prepared for my success so when the job came to me – I stepped right up and knew how to do it.” She encouraged the crowd to maximize their moneymaking skills.
“I like to say I’m like water. When there’s a blockage, water always finds a way over, up and through.” The crowd looked on, clearly inspired. “It is so important that we have organizations who stay around and they only stay around through your support. Thank you.”
Fresh off of a flight, a smiling Lil’ Mama took the stage to introduce one of her mentors as an award recipient. She commented at length on the pride she felt at having financial planner Lynne Richardson and MC Lyte as mentors and managers. One thing stood out — Lil’ Mama’s attire! Clad in destroyed denim, a winter hat and a glittery denim jacket, she stood out in the cocktail-attired crowd. “I knew Lynn would ask me why I’m not dressed!” She said. “But I came dressed as myself. I have a flight to shoot a scene in L.A. right after this. I just couldn’t miss the chance to introduce Lynn.” Lil’ Mama’s spirit shone brightly in that moment. It’s clear the mentorship she gets from Lyte and Richardson is impactful. She was a delight.
Straight-talk is Lynn Richardson’s calling card. She thanked Lil’ Mama for the introduction and told the crowd, “Lil Mama really does have to fly out on a plane to shoot a scene. She’s doing so much and I’m proud of her. She did come dressed as herself!” Lynne went on to salute Valeisha’s hard work in founding WEEN and then described her commitment to no-nonsense financial education. “I tell women if the bag costs more than you can keep inside it — don’t buy the bag!” The crowd laughed along with Richardson, who clearly has the interests of women at heart and makes that central to her finance tips. She left quite an impression.
Known as a trainer to the stars, Jeanette Jenkins surprised the crowd by telling a story about the day she fired one of her early clients. She stepped up to receive her award and said, “When I got into business, the first thing I taught myself was the financial side of things. In fact, as a consultant I was advising a man on finance and he told me he didn’t know why I was doing it. He said I’d never really make it as a financial planner. I returned his check and made that his last session.” Jeanette told the crowded room there will always be people like that. If they can’t respect you, remove them from your space. They do not deserve to be around you. The crowd roared in agreement. So did I.
Check out more photos below.
Sevyn Streeter accepts her award.
Valeisha Butterfield-Jones and her co-host told the crowd more about WEEN’s goals.
“We drink wine too!” Sadat X proclaims as he raises a glass of the signature wine he created with partner Will Tell. The Brand Nubian rap veteran and “True Wine Connoisseur” has taken his irreverent wine-appreciation web series from the Internet to street in the form of a red blend.
Tonight, Sadat X and Will Tell launch their Riesling, delightfully named ‘The Middle Finger’ at Bed Vyne Brewin Brooklyn.
The wine is available from purveyors all over New York City, including Blue Ribbon Bakery, Black Label Wines on West 20th or via the grape-soaked lushes themselves, online. Keeping up with Sadat X is harder than finding the wine, due to his nonstop touring, but the Internet makes even that possible, too. Follow him @SadatX on twitter or instagram to stay current on his music, tours and wine escapades.
As you sip, stream my favorite episode of True Wine Connoisseurs, featuring the Chocolate Boy Wonder Pete Rock, a fast food pairing from emcee Vast Aire and a choice review from Fi-Lo in which he compares the effects of a particular bottle of wine to “running with The Blair Witch Project.”
True Wine Connoisseurs
Riesling Release Party in Brooklyn
DJ Evil Dee on the Turntables
Friday, August 29, 2014
7:00 PM – 2:00 AM
370 Tompkins Ave (corner of Putnam)
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(A) or (C) train to Nostrand
Tonight is a big night for art, music and culture enthusiasts in Brooklyn. Check out the Schedule.
July 5, 2014
Visit Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the discounted admission price of $10 (regularly $15) during Target First Saturday.
Add your mark to sidewalk chalk drawings led by The City Kids, and hula hoop away with members of Hula Nation.
Matuto fuses Afro-Brazilian beats with folk and bluegrass.
Curious tales from Brooklyn’s history are told by a local historian. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, 120 min.). On the hottest day of the year, on a street in Bed-Stuy, racial and social tensions meet head-on, with tragic consequences. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.
Sketch from a live model to learn the art of figure drawing. Free tickets (330) at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.
Filmmakers Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest discuss their Brooklyn in 3,000 Stills project. Bring your smartphone and contribute to a crowd-sourced portrait of Brooklyn. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.
Talk and Music
Michael July on his book Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair. Co-hosted by Malik Yoba, and Michaela angela Davis. Anu Prestonia of Khamit Kinks leads a natural-hair show. Book signing follows.
In his only NYC-area summer show, Blitz the Ambassador blends African popular sounds, vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics. Opening set by DJ Ushka and DJ Beto (iBomba) at 6:30 p.m.
Erica Watson hosts a showcase of hilarious female comedians. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.
Remember “Move Ya Body”? R&B duo Nina Sky performs their biggest hits.