Happy Belated King

Little somethin for my godson Elijah and a little girl named Corinne

[Verse 1:]
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots I give a holler to my sisters on welfare Tupac cares, if don't nobody else care And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot When you come around the block brothas clown a lot But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up Forgive but don't forget, girl keep your head up And when he tells you you ain't nothin' don't believe him
And if he can't learn to love you you should leave him Cause sista you don't need him And I ain't tryin to gas up, I just call em how I see em You know it makes me unhappy When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy And since we all came from a woman Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman I wonder why we take from our women Why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it's time to kill for our women Time to heal our women, be real to our women And if we don't we'll have a race of babies That will hate the ladies, that make the babies And since a man can't make one He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one So will the real men get up I know you're fed up ladies, but you gotta keep your head up

Keep ya head up, oooo child things are gonna get easier Ooooo child things are gonna get brighter [2x]

[Verse 2:]
Aiyyo, I remember Marvin Gaye, used to sing ta me He had me feelin like black was tha thing to be And suddenly tha ghetto didn't seem so tough And though we had it rough, we always had enough I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules Ran with the local crew, and had a smoke or two And I realize momma really paid the price She nearly gave her life, to raise me right And all I had ta give her was my pipe dream Of how I'd rock the mic, and make it to tha bright screen I'm tryin to make a dollar out of fifteen cents It's hard to be legit and still pay tha rent And in the end it seems I'm headin for tha pen I try and find my friends, but they're blowin in the wind Last night my buddy lost his whole family It's gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity It seems tha rain'll never let up I try to keep my head up, and still keep from gettin wet up You know it's funny when it rains it pours They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor Say there ain't no hope for the youth and the truth is It ain't no hope for tha future And then they wonder why we crazy
I blame my mother, for turning my brother into a crack baby We ain't meant to survive, cause it's a setup And even if you're fed up Huh, ya got to keep your head up


[Verse 3:]
And uhh To all the ladies havin babies on they own I know it's kinda rough and you're feelin all alone Daddy's long gone and he left you by ya lonesome Thank the Lord for my kids, even if nobody else want em Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I'm sure And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more Cause ain't nuttin worse than when your son Wants to kno why his daddy don't love him no mo' You can't complain you was dealt this Hell of a hand without a man, feelin helpless Because there's too many things for you to deal with Dying inside, but outside you're looking fearless
While tears, is rollin down your cheeks Ya steady hopin things don't all down this week Cause if it did, you couldn't take it, and don't blame me I was given this world I didn't make it And now my son's getten older and older and cold From havin the world on his shoulders While the rich kids is drivin Benz I'm still tryin to hold on to survivin friends And it's crazy, it seems it'll never let up, but Please... you got to keep your head up


ARTE: Sunday Vibes = Noah Purifoy = Leon Thomas = Papillion Art

Still tripping out over one of the best exhibitions in the history of art, the Noah Purifoy show at LACMA will change your life.







ARTE: Black Lives Matter

Henry Taylor gaves us some pins that were given to him by David Hammons at the recent Noah Purifoy opening at LACMA.  We were instructed to give these away...stop by the gallery to get yours.



ARTE: Lex Brown x American Flag

Lex Brown performing American Flag at Redcat



I'm in the "The Art of Living" summer issue of CALIFORNIA HOME+DESIGN speaking about an artist to watch...hint, we're already watching him! Read about it HERE



LA Times gave Andre D. Wagner a favorable review!

By Leah Ollman

Andre D. Wagner is a young photographer with an old soul. He shoots black-and-white film and prints his pictures, by his own hand, on a scale (11 x 14 and 16 x 20 inches) that, these days, is conspicuous in its modesty.

The intimate size matters. It matches the tenderness of his approach toward his subjects, mostly fellow residents of Brooklyn. Wagner practices a quiet, lyrical kind of humanism that comes straight out of the traditions of mid-20th-century street photography and the social documentary photo-essay. "Tell It Like It Is," his show at L.A.'s Papillion, is invigorating.

Photography excels at showing us what we can't see -- motion too fast, views too distant or specimens too small for the eye to perceive -- but it also shows us what we don't see, realities made invisible by familiarity, veiled by bias or strategically suppressed.

Wagner's work comes out of his respect -- awe, even -- for the value of ordinary lives playing out in ordinary ways. His focus on African Americans in his community affirms that value, pithily summed up by the meme Black Lives Matter. Wagner's pictures help correct the record, flesh it out. They serve as counterbalance, antidote to injustices perpetrated in the realm of representation.

He shows us older women out shopping, little girls having a laugh on a stoop and little boys in playful camaraderie, mothers with their kids on the bus, a shoeshine man on a break. Nothing of conventional consequence happens during these interstitial moments, but meaning is vested in them and Wagner's keen eye seizes upon the rich, spontaneous choreography of gestures, shadows and signage perpetually staged on city streets.

He homes in on the exquisite visual dynamism energizing even the quietest of scenes.

Consider his picture of three young boys sharing two seats on the subway. The station is a blur out the window, and fragments of bodies on either side frame these innocent souls in their gleaming white T-shirts, hands folded on their laps. Two succumb to motion-induced slumber and the third sits silently observing. Their heads align like adjacent frames in a stop-motion photograph. Wagner edits out all but the bottom word, "History," in the poster mounted above them, as if to acknowledge the ever-present bearing of the past on their unknown future.

American flags crop up everywhere in these pictures -- on shirts and patches, in the hand of a pensive girl at a meat counter, on the exterior of a subway car whose window frames the sober, level gaze of a black passenger, echoing Robert Frank's powerful photograph of a segregated trolley in the '50s. Along with the lucid beauty and honesty of work by Roy DeCarava, Helen Levitt and Gordon Parks, Frank's "The Americans" is a clear antecedent to Wagner's work.

Wagner hasn't so much "sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film," as Jack Kerouac wrote of Frank, but his everyday epic, too, is dense and necessary, an affirmation that everything -- and everyone -- matters.



In theaters June 19th! DOPE, is a super fresh film written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa.



The Great Discontent magazine featured Andre D. Wagner in their third issue, The Possibility Issue. Andre Wagner is currently in our solo exhibition, American Survey Part II "Tell It Like It Is." The The Great Discontent quotes Andre, "..Ive dedicated myself to noticing what everybody else is missing. I show people what the world actually looks like. Street photography is so special because it's about capturing everyday moments. It's not produced." You can find out where to buy a copy or order online HERE 



Kanye West recently spoke at the Golden Tremble Fashion Show at L.A. Trade Technical College





ARTE: Correspondence by Citizens of Culture

Very honored to be the cover girl for issue 2 of Correspondence Magazine by Citizens of Culture...a site I have great respect for.  You can find out where to buy a copy or order online HERE



February James, an artist from Washington D.C. living in New York City was featured in Brazillion publication, AMARELLO. You can find out where to buy a copy or order on line HERE.

"...In a way my work is an ongoing body of self exploration. Painting all the things I'm running away from and all the things I'm hoping to become."



Kenturah Davis' conversation and photoshoot for the Crenshaw/LAX metro line. She is one of the 14 artists selected to create site-specific, intergrated artworks. Those who reside, work or maintain a significant connection with Inglewood are called to be a part of history as the subjects of the drawings that will develop the Florence/La Brea Station.


ARTE: We Must Risk Delight

Kenturah has the entire Narratives I-IV series included and on view now in a group exhibition taking place during the Venice Biennale.

We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles

@ la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015

Exhibition Dates: May 9 - November 22, 2015

Magazzino del Sale No.3, Dorsoduro 264, Venezia, Italy

Presented in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia

We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is an exhibition that presents, for the first time on the international stage, a group of exceptional contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work makes Los Angeles one of the most exciting hubs of creativity in the world today.
           We Must Risk Delight is inspired by the poem A Brief for the Defense by a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry finalist, Jack Gilbert. In his viscerally visual poem, Gilbert calls on humanity to recognize every moment of delight even in the most ominous of impressions. By slicing through the somber depictions of the world we live in with sharp and vibrant moments of joy, the poet presents an irrefutable case for our happiness as being our most requisite expression of freedom, not in spite of the cruelty that is a part of our world, but because of it.     
           A work of art represents the artist’s vision of the world and, when embraced, it can be seen as a way of making a world. The artists presented in We Must Risk Delight will give the audiences of the Biennale Arte 2015 an opportunity to discover the city of Los Angeles through the kaleidoscope of its creative community, while also encouraging us all to risk delight and celebrate the act of creating as humanity’s pathway to joy: both within ourselves and in the collective world around us.

We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is being presented as an official Collateral Event of the 56th manifestation of la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015.

Presented Artists:

Brandy Eve Allen                   Tanya Batura                    Jamison Carter                      Carolyn Castaño
Robbie Conal                         Kenturah Davis                Amir H. Fallah                        Alexandra Grant
Margaret Griffith                    Sherin Guirguis                Ben Jackel                             Mark Licari
Rebecca Niederlander             Stas Orlovski                   Natasa Prosenc Stearns          Tony de los Reyes
Frank Ryan                            Shizu Saldamando           Carole Silverstein                   Alexis Zoto



ARTE: I Like It Like This

Samuel Levi Jones and Derek Fordjour both have work on view now in NY at Sotheby's S2 Gallery.  I Like It Like This is a collaborative exhibition with musician Drake. Samuel Levi Jones has this piece titled Brutality while Derek Fordjour has a painting titled Concatenation.

"Today, musicians rap about painters and commission artists to design their album covers; in the same vein artists look to music as inspiration for their paintings. Influences flow in both directions to create a fertile creative environment, producing some of the most resonant and profound artistic output in American history.

I Like It Like This, presented by S|2 in collaboration with Drake is a celebration of influential Contemporary black American artists. Grammy winning artist Drake has provided musical curation by selecting songs to accompany highlighted works in the exhibition."



ARTE: Call It Off

we all been there.



Intrigued by relationships and mesmerized by storytelling, Wedgeworth’s studio practice is informed by both the personal and the collective memory. By mining these memories, excavating narratives from her own experiences and collecting narratives gathered from gossip, oral history and popular culture, she examines the connections we make, as well as, the internal and external responses or consequences of these connections. It is the intersection where the story-telling and the image-making meet, that she employs painting, sculpture and video to investigate memory and madness.

Lisa Diane Wedgeworth lives and works in Los Angeles.





ARTE: Marilyn Mosby

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