Say it ain’t so: The recap

Welcome back Kings and Queens! It’s a new year and J.APP and AB are coming with the new flavor. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the first podcast of the year, then ya girl got you! Lets dig into the word real quick.

If you’ve been on social media, your favorite blog may have reported the words Tennessee judge, Wayne Shelton, made about blacks being more effective at killing each other than the KKK. Well this comment sparked some conversation and even some heated debates. In the podcast, it shined a different light on Judge Shelton’s perspective and may have even opened my eyes on the matter. J and AB took it deeper than the surface and brought up the immense amount of self-hate within the black community. It’s no secret that black on black crime has been one of the biggest issues surrounding the black community since crack hit the scene in the 80s. Being a native of Dayton, OH allowed me to not only agree on their comments about how residents of our native city treat each other, but also how their actions caused the demise of a once thriving African American suburb. Our disposition as a whole has been off FOR YEARS and the cycle only continues. J threw in a piece of wisdom from David Banner about us African Americans needing to treat ourselves as Gods and I couldn’t agree more. To quote the amazingly, talented Erykah Badu: “If we were made in his image, then call us by our names.” A reference to blacks being the replica of God’s image, therefore, solidifying Banner’s thoughts. If you don’t believe them, go to your nearest library and start your research. Trust me, it gets deep, I’m just doing the recap.

The conversation flowed into the influence that music has on black culture, and most importantly how our music, specifically hip-hop, shapes our lives and other cultures. Imitation is definitely the greatest form of flattery, but some races take it to the next level. As mentioned in the podcast, we are the undisputed influencers of today’s culture. While we’re on the subject of music; there’s no way they could skip over the topic that has filled Beauty and Barber salons, living rooms, social media posts and podcasts all over the states: Robert Kelly. Images of R.Kelly and some of his victims have been plastered on blog sites and personal pages due to the highly-anticipated Surviving R. Kelly docu-series on Lifetime. A shit storm followed the airing of this 3-day long series recapping the physical and mental abuse Kelly bestowed upon women of all ages, with the youngest allegedly being 15. Both J and AB agreed that R. Kelly should be locked up for his actions, but the topic wasn’t about Kelly’s indiscretions since neither host tuned in. The discussion examined whether or not Mr. Bump and Grind’s musical catalog can be separated from his actions. Though, R. Kelly has many skeletons he now has to face thanks to Lifetime, his music is another story. The man who introduced us to 12 Play in the 90s has survived 3 decades in the biz with these allegations hunting him in the shadows. His talent is undeniable and there aren’t many of us who can hear “my mind is telling me nooo” without finishing with our greatest impression of the remainder of the lyrics. He not only shaped and engineered 90s R&B, he also did it without knowing how to read or write. The kings mentioned other offenders, like Harvey Weinstein, and the inequalities between the way he is being portrayed in the media as opposed to Kelly, which is highly noticeable if you’ve been paying attention. The energy around this topic has shifted R&B fans to a place where they are questioning themselves. I know I haven’t parted ways with him on my playlist, but I am giving him the side-eye for sure.

If you want to hear the full scoop, make sure you look it up on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud or Stitcher. You can also shoot us topic suggestions for the podcast and give your feedback. USE THAT COMMENT SECTION.

Want to read more from me? Make sure you come over to my blog and check it out! http://www.findingmycrown.wordpress.com

Royalty

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As the Season Kings get ready to close out the year we would like to reflect on what happened and what’s to come! As we focus our attention on reaching out to the different facets of people to collect stories and moments that can pave the way for artists, athletes, and people in general. We want our listeners and followers to be engaged with our content by apparel, podcasting, and personal interaction as we host different events.

Welcome the new Kings/Queen on the block!

For many years hip-hop has been the catalyst of sculpting the culture into what it is today. The fashion, sports and television industries are funneling trends in hopes of positioning themselves on the right side of the movement. Although there are many outlets that are looking to promote their views on the current waves in hip-hop; Season Kings/Queens is aspiring to build a brand that gives you unbiased perspectives with an authentic feel. If you don’t believe me, let me introduce you to the new wave.

Unlike most new brands, Season Kings/Queens has constructed a dream team that most take years to piece together. The two visionaries, J.APP and AB, are the creators and hosts of the Season Kings podcast. Through riveting interviews and genuine conversations with their guests; these two have morphed barbershop talk and witty interviews to formulate an ear gauging podcast like no other. With hopes of taking the podcast’s likeness to other media platforms and the fashion industry, J.APP and AB are definitely setting the tone and operating on an unparalleled level.

However, a brand is only as big as the team behind it. With the right network, J.APP and AB were able to stitch together a team that will catapult the Season Kings/Queens name to the next level. There’s Ronald Applin, also known as Kwaze, who specializes in photography is hoping to bring an aesthetic that will connect to listeners on an intellectual level. Veit Parker, fashion liaison and trend-spotter, plans to bring the Season Kings/Queens logo to life in fashion form with his vast amount of experience and expertise. Then there’s me, the girl behind the words and newest member to the group. I’m working towards bringing you a lady’s point-of-view on topics that will bring forth discussion about fashion, social issues, sports and rap
culture. Together we’ll bring you the flavor you didn’t know you were missing that is SeasonKings/Queens. Peace.

Large Professor

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(1) For people that don’t know you, who is Leroy Long III?

  • “According to my social media accounts, I’m a husband, a youth ministry leader, a mentor, an engineering professor, blessed, artistic and determined lol. I try to learn something new and laugh each day. Overall, I’m trying to fulfill my God-given purpose in life and make a positive impact in other people’s lives.”

(2) What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your career as a University Professor and how have you overcome them?

  • “I’m still in the early stages of my career but so far I’ve faced challenges such as being the only Black professor in my college and one of few in my field. Another challenge has been trying to find collaborators and funding for my research. To overcome these challenges, I’ve tried to find mentors who are professors, network at professional events, work strategically to make positive changes and be proactive but patient with my career goals.”

(3) At what age did you know this would be your career?

  • “I never dreamed of being a college professor when I was growing up and even when I was an undergraduate engineering student. While getting my Master’s degree, I started to see my career as a potential path. I was in my mid twenties and well into my PhD program when I began to seriously consider becoming a college professor.”

(4) How much of your success has to deal with your faith and relationship with God?

  • “Potentially, all of it. It definitely took faith to pursue my dreams. I also developed a close relationship with God in order to succeed despite academic challenges, fear, and institutional racism.”
  • Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (5)Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

(5) Do you feel there were any challenges going to a public high school?

  • “Yes, systematic racism has a large negative impact on predominantly Black public K-12 schools like the ones I attended in terms of staffing, resources and academic success. Schools have become resegregated based on race and class. Curriculum isn’t always culturally relevant or taught by teachers who can identify with minorities. Local tax dollars support public schools so poor communities have schools with limited class offerings, books and technology. Lastly, poor kids can’t concentrate on learning if they are hungry and struggling to survive.”

(6) Is it important to have a mentor while in school (high school and beyond)?

  • “Yes, it’s extremely important to try to connect with someone who looks like you, has similar cultural experiences and has accomplished what you want to achieve.”

(7) Was there anyone that helped you along the way to becoming a professor?

  • “Yes, it took a village. My mother taught me the importance of working hard, valuing education and believing in myself. Other family, friends and classmates provided encouragement and support. I also had great teachers like Bonnie Porter, Kevin Fowlkes, Toni (Painter) Mims, and Desiree Nickell. Lastly, I had professors who inspired me to go into the profession such as Dr. Ruby Mawasha, Dr. Manoj Srinivasan, Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn and Dr. James L. Moore III.”

(8) What advice would you give a student still in high school aspiring to enter into STEM/Engineering professions?

  • “Have confidence in yourself, be resilient, seek help early and often, dream big, and learn about pioneers in the field who look like you. Try to take calculus, physics and chemistry in high school as well as a programming or drafting class. Join clubs that involve robotics or other STEM topics. Learn to create an app for smartphones. Volunteer in the community and try to get internship or co-op experience.”

(9) With the current state of America, how can we as African Americans help change the perception of acquiring a PhD? (In school for too long, unattainable goal, too expensive, etc.)

  • “We have to understand the benefits of having a job that provides autonomy along with the opportunity to research topics of interest and help others. We need to use technology and books to gain inspiration from the experiences of African Americans who have obtained a PhD such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, W.E.B. DuBois, Carter G. Woodson, Michelle Alexander, Inez Beverly Prosser, Gloria Blackwell, etc.”

(10) Will the Cavs win it all this year? (Had to ask haha)

  • “They will definitely make the Finals. If they are healthy and develop chemistry with the new roster I think they can win it all again. LeBron James is still the best player in the league and one of the greatest players ever so I wouldn’t recommend betting against him.”

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Disclaimer: “My answers represent my personal opinions and they do not necessarily represent those of my employer.”

My Suit, It Should Thank Me!

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(1) For people that don’t know you, who is Jelani Bilal?

  • “I am a man on a never-ending quest for knowledge whether it be scientific discoveries, basis of religion or how to be a good husband, son or father.  In my quest for more knowledge my favorite question is not the typical “why” but rather “how”.  This question has benefit me greatly both personally and professionally.  “Why” can get you a very philosophical answer but how gets the job done when technical understandings are needed.  Understanding HOW my wife wants to be loved because I already knew “why”, I knew that we need love in whatever facet to obtain happiness.  Understanding HOW to be a leader because without one, direction, motivation and support is almost always lost.  Understanding HOW to communicate your thoughts to ensure your message can be effective as possible not just why it was important.  Although I am not a teacher I like to share the knowledge I have obtained over the years from others and my own experiences in hopes that it will help those that I’ve shared this information.”

(2) When did fashion become important to you?

  • “Fashion got really important to me in middle school because…girls.  GIF you have ever heard the famous song by Jay-Z and R. Kelly you already know why.  The clothes and shoes was how you would turn heads when you walked into the classroom or at a basketball game when there were girls from other schools there.  Around this time, I really started paying attention to what rappers were wearing in their videos.  They all had women climbing all over them and it wasn’t like I could rap so the next best thing is to dress how they did.  This was back when Enyce, Akademiks, FUBU, Iceberg, Tommy and Avirex was poppin’.  But all that was way too expensive for a middle\high school child with no job and my parents were not droppin’ $100 on jeans for someone who’d soon grow out of them.  So, the fashion was attractive but I had to find pieces that fit my style so I could make the clothes look good.  I’d rather say my attraction was to the style and not so much the fashion.  But I was a victim of jeans and shirts 3-4 sizes larger than what I should’ve been wearing.  One of me and my boy’s favorite spots to go get a new outfit was Henry’s on 3rd street in Trotwood.  We’d go there and get new velours before the city-wide Turnabouts, FUBU shirts for Fly City and whatever fake chain, glasses and hat that matched our outfits for the Black Cultural Festival.  Not to mention they sold church deacon, Steve Harvey, wide-leg, 8-button suits which I had one of. Thinking back, I’m glad I grew out of all that.  Style is much more important than fashion to me.”

(3) What does fashion mean to you?

  •  “Fashion to me means “trending”.  I don’t like to look for fashion I think in terms of styles.  To me style is an extension of my personality.  Style can be an expression of mood or a representation of where you want to be.   Style is crazy important in our culture especially when incomes aren’t always shopping spree friendly.  Anyone can go buy a pair of Louboutin loafers and think they’re doing something.  I can take that same $1,400 and get 15+ separate outfits and make then all look better than just one pair of shoes.  Finding your own unique style is like finding yourself.  The confidence your style brings is unmatched.  I have an eye for styling clothes and it’s not about the trend it’s about the person.  Anyone can buy a brand it’s up to you to make it look good. Fashion can have you looking crazy if you just wear it because it’s in a magazine or because of the brand.  Style is not the clothes, style is what you do with the clothes.”

(4) What goes into choosing a business causal outfit? Is it more about looks, feel, or the occasion?

  • “The occasion generally dictates the dress.  Business casual can mean some different things in various places and settings. People try to give you fashion do’s & don’ts but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  First find out what is acceptable under the “business-casual” title in that atmosphere. If you’re unsure about any of it you can never go wrong with a white shirt and dark pants and hard bottom, leather shoes with a matching belt.  No polos, boat shoes or jeans until you know this is acceptable.  Sticking with this rule you can never miss.  My business casual is what I described but with a tie and usually a patterned shirt instead of a plain white one.”

(5) Have you ever made a fashion mistake where you thought the outfit you wore would be a good look?

  • “I have several times but we’ll leave tall tees out of this.  A few years back I bought a Navy pin striped Ralph Lauren single breasted suit and made the mistake of just listening to the sales guy who was a heavy-set older gentleman.  Nothing against him but he was dressing me in what he thought looked good on him.  I tried it on a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe the salesman let me buy that suit.  It was classic cut, which is the roomiest suit fit you can buy.  The waist on the jacket was wide even with tailoring, the sleeves were wide, the pants legs were straight and wide and made my feet look small and I wear and 11 1/2.  I wore that suit to many occasions and though it was fly but taking it out of that suit bag I just think what a waste.  The material is very high quality (Super 100 wool) because it’s Ralph.  Since that purchase my style has changed and I use my tailor each time I buy a suit, blazer, pair of pants or any other item that could look better with a custom fit.”

(6) What would be your advice to someone shopping for a suit? Is it more about the price tag, name, or material?

Advice for shopping for a suit.

  • Understand your body build.  Skinny, Slim, Average, Athletic, Tall., Heavy of Round understanding your body will help find what looks good on you.  Generally, I recommend a slim fit suit because a slimmer more custom silhouette comes standard but everyone isn’t built for that.  If you can’t go slim go with a modern fit but stay away from classic if possible.  Classic-fit suits require too much post-purchase tailoring and tend to be very wide and baggy even if it is in your size.
  • Next rule is to get measured and find your size.  Your dress shirt size will give you a hint of the range you’ll need or you can check YouTube on how to measure yourself or have someone at the store do it.  Size sizes go by chest size and length.  The chest size is the number on the suit and is followed by a letter S (short), R (regular) or L (long).  Once you know your size, try on several brands of suit jackets and blazers.  I say try several because your size in multiple brands will not fit the exact same.  If buying off the rack your jacket will come with matching pants.  The pants are usually sized by subtracting 7 inches from your jacket size and come with an unfinished hem.  Because I wear a 42R the pants that come with my suits are a 35 waist.  The pants are usually too big and require the waist to be tailored.  And the unfinished hem means the pants will need to be hemmed to your specific length by a tailor.
  • “Find a brand and size that fits your back and chest the way you want it.  So how do you know a suit fits? “
  1. “There is no bunching or dimpling in between the shoulder blades under the collar.  This part of the jacket should lay smoothly across your back.  The width of the jacket across your back from shoulder to shoulder cannot be changed unless the manufacturer was very generous in leaving extra material.  Even then, widening or narrowing the jacket across the shoulders is one of the most expensive alterations you can get and not all tailors will perform this alteration.”
  2. “The most important part to me is the shoulder fit.  IF the shoulder doesn’t fit do not buy it either that size, that brand or that cut is not for you.  The shoulder of the jacket should not come to a peak, bunch or dimple.  This is a sign that the jacket is too small or too big.  The shoulder of the jacker should curve naturally over the shoulder to the arm.  I find it difficult to find suits with shoulders that fit me well because of the size of my arms so I go for jackets with a more natural shoulder (less padding).  This is a challenge for all athletic builds but there are brands like Banana Republic and Saks that carry suits with natural shoulder profiles.”
  3. “Buttoning the jacket.  Buttoning the jacket should not be a struggle.  IT should button easily and there should be no sign that the button could pop off if you breath out.  The waist should be comfortable and not too tight.  If the waist is too loose but the shoulders fit you can have it tailored to shape the jacket.  This is an easy job and most if not all tailors offer this service.”
  4. “Lastly the sleeve length.  This goes back to the S, R and L lettering that I spoke of in the jacket sizing section.  When you go suit shopping wear dress shoes and a dress shirt representative of hoe you would dress in a suit.  This will help you get the most accurate depiction of the true suit fit.  The shirt is important because it acts as a marker for the length of the jacket.  Your jacket sleeve should expose ½ inch to 1 inch of your dress shirt underneath.  If too much more is shown it looks like your jacket is too small and if none of your shirt is showing the jacket looks too big.  The good news is that the sleeve length can also be altered easily if need be.  One rule to keep in mind is if you need an alteration it is much easier to remove fabric to make sizing smaller but near impossible to add fabric to make something larger.”

(7) Where does your motivation come from?

  • “My motivation comes from my father.  He always dressed nice for church and when he and my mother would go out.  He would make the simplest suits fly and when he got dressed up his swag would jump to 100.  HE taught me about suits and tailoring, how to tie a tie and how to shine my shoes.  All skills I still use today.  As I go older I appreciated those teachings even more and not have added that inspiration to my own style.  I like the way my style makes me feel.  I enjoy the compliments my wife and I get on our dress when we are on dates from passersby.  I also like to give inspiration where I can. IF I see someone struggling with a decision in the store on what to get of feeling like they cannot fit anything I try to lend a hand because I know what the feeling is like once you find something that suits you well.  And ultimately, I just like to look good.”

(8) What are the challenges in dressing others?

  • “The challenges are majority of the time budget and body type understanding.  People do expect to buy a suit off the rack and wear it that day but do not account for the tailoring that is required to make it look good.  I pride myself on being a deal finder but there are some instances where you do not want to skip on quality and that sometimes calls for a higher price.  Also understanding what looks good for one person may not be the same for them.  So, it’s my job to find something for them not what I like or what GQ said wear.  I can’t put a bodybuilder in a slim fit Topman suit and I can’t put a slim guy in a classic Ralph Tuxedo.  I have to customize the look for them and everyone so far has been happy with the outcome.”

(9) Do you see a different challenge from men’s clothing to women’s clothing in choosing their clothing?

  • “Yes, men do have it much easier than women it seems because men have tops and bottoms.  Some type of t-shirt or button-up and bottoms which are pants or shorts.  Women on the other hand have blouses, tee’s, cami’s skirts, dresses, pants, short, jumpers, rompers plus tons of other variants.  I would say the ability to mix and match is about the same and women definitely have more options which comes with more complexity.  Pinterest has been a big inspiration for my wife’s outfit ideas and it helps limit the stresses of the daily work outfit choosing.  The overabundance of options is what I think makes it more difficult for women.”

(10) What are your favorite sneakers and dress shoes to wear?

  • “Favorite dress shoes are Cole Haan.  Nike comfort with classic style and exceptional quality.  They do an excellent job with all their leather goods but the innovative shoe styles go unmatched.”
  • “Favorite sneakers are LeBron’s.  I love mid-top and high-top sneakers and right now I’m feeling the all Anthracite Lebron 14’s.  Comfortable, lightweight and stylish.  Can’t want to see more colorways of the 15’s.”

Jelani(1)

The Land or The Last Stand

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The Cavs are deep and I mean really deep but can they put it together. Isiah Thomas can be pivotal to LBJ leaving or staying. With his hip injury, Kyrie bolting to Boston, and uncertainty pertaining D.Rose production. There’s a lot riding against them, but what overshadows all of that is the Cavs have the best player in the world! 💪🏿🏀

Nellzo – Survival Of The Fittest 🥀💔🙏🏾🔥🎥 (New Video Alert)

360D96F7-A27F-413C-89F7-9283F4486E83Artist: Nellzo

Song: Survival of the Fittest 

Photographer: Jasmine Tranai

Videographer: LG Plaga

Dayton’s own Nellzo who now resides in North Carolina is an artist who’s not only a conscious lyricist but also a trend setter in making moves. Sit back and listen to his new single/video “Survival of the Fittest.”