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October 29, 2010

Fresh Friday...Warm Wear.

For Him: Plaid Code.

A friend of mine had a birthday gathering this past weekend (shoutout to @JWillia83 ) and I happened to catch a whiff of some of his cologne.  Literally, myself, and most of my other girlfriends, stopped dead in our tracks and asked to smell the bottle in his possession.  Armani Code for Men Eau de Toilette is absolute BLISS for your sense of smell.  The sweet and musky aroma is perfect for warm nights by the fire or a romp in the frost bitten outdoors.  The prices are relatively reasonable and the line even carries deodorant, after shave balm and after shave lotion.  Ladies, do yourselves a favor and buy yourself the ladies version (Armani Code for Women Eau de Parfum) and cop a bottle for the man in your life.

Armani Code Eau de Toilette
1.0 oz - $37.50 USD
1.7 oz - $57.00 USD
2.5 oz - $70.00 USD

To purchase, visit:  www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com 

RocaWear and I have never really clicked, that is, until this fall.  When the line announced a complete re-haul of its previous image, I knew Jigga man must've commissioned nothing less than the best.  I moseyed on over to www.rocawear.com and peeped the latest.  While the women's line isn't really my cup of tea, I noted the brand shifting to a nice look for fall and winter 2010 with the men's collection.  I love the low key flannel look for men this fall, and paired with jeans and boots, pea coats or bubble vests, the look is comfortable and timeless.  Check out the looks I pulled below and hit up www.rocawear.com for more purchase worthy items.

 Victory Plaid Shirt
$78.00 USD

Chiefs Plaid Shirt
SALE - $37.49 USD

For Her: Let It Snow...Or Not.

Where I'm from, Minnetonka Moccasin's are a necessity in the months leading up to and during the time of year when old man winter takes us all prisoner.  The boots, made of sheep skin, deerskin, padded insoles and high density rubber, are guaranteed to keep you warm and cool at the same time. 

While everyone may not live in the tundra that is Minneapolis, moccasin's can be made fashionable anywhere from the bright lights of Los Angeles to the streets of NYC.  Pairing any of the styles below with belted dresses, sweater dresses, and even skirts and off the shoulders sweaters would give a hip/boho feel to an otherwise ordinary fit.

Check out a few fashionable Minnetonka Moccasin ideas featured in Elle, Vogue, InStyle, and more by clicking HERE 

(Above and Below)
Women's Suede 5-Layer Fringe Boot
$97.95 USD

(Above and Below)
Women's Suede Woodstock Boot
Available in Tan, Brown, Dusty Brown and Black
$79.95 USD

Women's Suede Calf Hi 3-Layer Fringe Boot
Available in Brown, Black, and Grey
$89.95 USD

For more information or to find a licensed dealer in your area head to:

The military-inspired trend is all over the racks this year and I noticed a key piece in the Express 2010 winter collection.  Express tackles a nice classic trench and adds flair with a tiered bottom, belt for a cinch at the waist, and accented shoulder epaulets for a flawless finish.

(Top and Below)
Tiered-Bottom Wool Trench Coat
Available in Camel, Green Brier (top), Ivory, Light Heather Gray, Navy, and Pitch Black
$198.00 USD

To shop online, sign up for coupons or to locate a store near you, head to www.express.com

Happy Shopping!




October 22, 2010

Fresh Friday...Nerd Time.

For Him: Keep It Nerdy

The cool kids over at Nerdy Fresh (you may recognize them from our 8/5 Fresh Friday feature ), have released a Fall 2010 line chalk full of new dopeness for your body.  Please note, girls can rock the fresh too.  I've purchased the "Fresh Teddy Crew" and I will be working it with a nice pair of skinnies and skyscraper black heels. So, enjoy the new-ness. Get your shop on.

*NERDY-FRESH ANNOUNCEMENT: In honor of their Fall line, Nerdy Fresh is offering FREE SHIPPING (that's $20.00 off y'all) on ANY Fall 2010 order you place (US Delivery only) from October 18th - October 30th.  In addition, the Nerdy Fresh summer collection is 50% off.

Check out the deals at www.nerdyfresh.com

Follow the Fresh on Twitter @IAMNERDYFRESH

Fresh Teddy Crew (Grey)
$45.99 USD

The Beautiful Death Tee (Black or White)
$29.99 USD

The J-Walker Polo (Red and White)
$34.99 USD

The Mondoe
$45.99 USD

For Her: Fly Time.

I absolutely am enthralled with watches.  They make me blissfully happy and are right up there with my passion for shoes.  That, my friends, is major. Therefore, when I saw that my favorite brand, Michael Kors, introduced a slew of new timepieces, I figured my fellow fashionistas and accessory bandits (and the men who love us *wink*) would be interested in a few of my favorites. 

While the Kors brand is slightly pricey, they are quality pieces that last and are under excellent warranty.  If you make this a splurge, you won't regret the purchase.

To check out more of the selection click on over to www.michaelkors.com

MICHAEL KORS Over sized Acrylic Watch in Purple
(Also available in: Pink, Blue, Yellow, Tile Blue, and Red)
$195.00 USD

MICHAEL KORS "Horn" Jet Set Watch
Made with Cream, Mother of Pearl material.
$195.00 USD


Peace. Love. Fresh.



October 19, 2010

Strictly Truth...And Now This Message from K. Masenda.

"Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

"Amendment 15 - Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified 2/3/1870.
1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Far be it for me to pretend to know it all about politics, but one thing I’ve learned over time is the power of your voice, and the responsibility that comes with being able to vote. The midterm elections tend to be overlooked, with folks usually deciding to come around only for the presidency, but anyone with knowledge of how The Game works will tell you how key it is to make sure you take part in not only what’s going on nationally, but also in your state and local elections as well.

People who love Brother President want to believe the man can save the world, but he’ll be the first one to tell you how important it is to keep up with what’s going on right now. According to CNN’s Election Center page, 37 states will elect governors; ballots will be cast for 435 seats in the House, as well as 37 seats in the Senate. Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat isn’t anyone’s business, but yours. The important thing is making sure your voice is heard.

Early voting has begun, and the best way to make sure you don’t have to deal with the madness of Election Day is to go ahead and get the process out of the way by going to your polling location and voting now. If you choose to wait until November 2nd, feel free to take your ipod or Blackberry, turn on some jams in your headphones, and wait a while. Who said music and politics can’t be intertwined?

Be Easy.

*Chan.Lo. Note: I know you all look forward to Strictly Truth posts and I felt it necessary to take a moment and reflect on just how blessed we are to operate under democratic principles. Voting is essential to keeping these principles alive.  Know the people reppin you, because trust, they'll know what they're doing on your behalf whether you voted for them or not.

   Peace. Love. Knowledge.



October 15, 2010

Fresh Friday...Skyscrapers, Windbreakers & Air.

For Her: Fevers and Cold Water

I recently peeped Angela Simmons and Raven Symone in shoes that can only be described as pieces of skyscraper perfection. The Necole Bitchie article caught my eye and the designers pieces enticed me to buy.  Fever Shoes by Natischa Harvey have become a bit spendy since the overwhelming demand skyrocketed however, the pieces are FIRE.  Take a look at the "Tiff" above and below and check out the beauty on my to purchase list.  "Said" is an interesting take on the classic black pump. I love the spiked detail on the toe.  Also check out "Raven" and "Monica" by visiting www.fevershoes.com/style/

Visit Fever Shoes on Twitter @FEVERSHOES

"Tiff" - Fever Shoes by Natischa Harvey
SALE - $275.00 USD (Preorder)

 "Said" - Fever Shoes by Natischa Harvey
$79.95 USD (Preorder)

In the summer, I began to get my blazer game up for the fall.  I absolutely LOVE different patterns and styles that can be interchangeable between work and play.  The Chanel blazer Beyonce rocks in the picture above is a perfect example of how to pair uptown sophistication with casual chic.  Unfortunately, we cannot all afford the $1,500.00 price tag that comes along with this fabulous jacket. BUT. Coldwater Creek (which I always assumed was a store for *ahem* elders) shocked the daylights out of me with their collection of jackets.  The boucle jackets add nice touches of color to otherwise drab pieces and the patterns on the tweed would definitely be beautifully paired with skinnies and a pair of FEVER shoes. ;).  Take a look below and check out http://www.coldwatercreek.com/ to purchase and/or find a location near you.

Embroidered Jacket
$119.95 - $129.95 USD

Printed Tweed Jacket
SALE $38.99 USD

 Matka Jacket
$119.95 - $129.95 USD

Paisley Riding Jacket
SALE $48.99 USD

For Him: Crooks and J's.

I was introduced to Crooks and Castles by a friend of mine and I noted their interesting take on gentlemanly comfort.  I'm a fan of men and cardigans and Crooks provides a wonderful blend of sophistication and style.  Take a look at the Fall 2010 cardigan I peeped that is available exclusively via http://www.karmaloop.com/ 

*Psssst! Make sure you sign up for Karmaloop's mailing list and receive an additional 15% off your purchase!

The Vultures Sweatshirt Cardigan
Crooks and Castles
$108.00 USD (via Karmaloop)

Also check out the Fall 2010 Crooks and Castles line at: www.crooksncastles.com

The Jordan brand is THE sneaker staple in the shoe world and I couldn't think of anything that would appease my male readers more than a feature on one of the latest shoes to be released from the prolific brand. The Air Jordan VII Premio Bin 23 is the latest staple of the Premio Bin 23 Collection. The colorful African tribal design makes reference to the early 90’s when the AJ VII was first released (bet you didn't know I knew that huh?) :). Just as previous releases in the collection, each shoe is individually numbered and comes with a shoe tree.

 Air Jordan VII Premio Bin 23
(Not yet released)
Retail Price: Unknown


Peace. Love. Fresh.



October 13, 2010

Press Play...Play Nice.

1.) “Dueces (remix)” - Chris Brown
(ft. Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, Rick Ross and Andre 3000)
We’ve all heard the original by now, but this remix hits. Hard. Every verse is dope, and I can’t even pick a favorite, because all the featured artists go IN.

2.) "Christian Dior Denim Flow" - Kanye West
(ft. Kid CuDi, Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks and Ryan Leslie)
Yeezy seems to be doing no wrong, lately. This is, yet another, dope record. If you can’t get enough, check out “Lost In the World”, ft. Bon Iver, too. Hotness.

3.) “10 Seconds” - Jazmine Sullivan
Ok. So, Ms. Sullivan digs down deep into her soul with this record. She tells it just like it needs to be told. I feel it. I respect it. I love it.

4.) “Haterade” - Gucci Mane (ft. Nicki Minaj and Pharell)
This track is featured on Gucci’s newly released album, The Appeal – Georgia’s Most Wanted. Pharell and Nicki add just the right touch to an, otherwise, potentially typical Gucci record. With a smooth beat and some biting lyrics, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

5.) “With You” –Lil Wayne (ft. Drake)
This record gets my vote for hottest track off Weezy’s most recent album, I Am Not A Human Being (released last week. Cop it, if you haven’t). Lyrics are nothing short of genius, per the usual from Mr. Carter. Listen close!

6.) “Let’s Get It In” - Lloyd (ft. 50 Cent)
There have been mixed reviews about this Lloyd/50 collabo, but the vibe is dope, and I can appreciate the fact that it’s not your standard “baby maker”. You be the judge, though.

7.) “Waiter/The 5 Senses” - Jeremih
Speaking of “baby makers”, this one’s a little more typical. Slightly reminiscent of Raheem Devaughn’s 2008 hit single, “Customer”, this track has the ability to take your mind all kinds of places. I’d say it’s a real good look for Jeremih though, who just released his second album, All About You, last week. Take a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

8.) “Hell Of A Night” - Dorrough

This man may not be a lyrical genius, but he DOES know how to get you noddin’ your head and movin’ your feet. Another classic Dorrough jam, right here.

9.) “Right Through Me” - Nicki Minaj
Ms. Harajuku Barbie’s debut album, Pink Friday (dropping 11.23.10), is one of the years most highly anticipated solo discs, so it’s no surprise that each of her records has to reach a certain level of dope. Nicki peeps into the minds of many females and delivers an all-too-familiar message on this one. Penetrating lyrics and a beat you gotta force out of your brain? I’d say it’s the perfect recipe for another Young Money hit.

Worth the Mention:
“Already” - Pleasure P
“Good Girls” - Juelz Santana (ft. Jay Bezel)
“5 Senses (remix)” - Jeremih ft. 50 Cent

Happy Downloading!

(visit Elena on Twitter @elenamariep ).

October 12, 2010

Strictly Truth...Rahtards?

I realize that for some of you the title to this Strictly Truth may be somewhat offensive, however, I find it rather funny seeing as it related directly to the picture above so...sorry.

Strictly Truth has been a venue for us to pose questions that illicit thought and provoke new insight on topics that are conducive to growth.  I was on Twitter one day and I noticed that people have been truly taken with the youtube sensation "Shawt Bus Shawty" (click the link to view the short), so much so that its already received upwards of 8 million hits and is being imitated by young kids around the country.  The mock depiction of contemporary artists: Waka Flocka Flame (Waka!), Gucci Mane (brrrr), OJ Da Juiceman (ayy!), and everyone's favorite possible drug addict, Soulja Boy (SOULLLGERR), is not only a hilarious spoof but, more alarmingly, strikingly parallel to the artists individual work. This all begged me to ask the question:

Is Today’s Music making The Kids Dumb?

Peep the weigh in by K. Masenda below...and challenge yourselves to think outside of the short bus. Again, my apologies for the pun.

Peace. Love. Truth.


Today’s artists face a listening audience that opens them up to more scrutiny than ever. Sure, there was a time when artists were on the scene five, ten, 20 years ago and beyond, but those artists didn’t have to worry about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or any other media dissecting them like a science project. In those days, it was mainly about if their music was any good. While they had to answer questions, comments, and concerns about quality and integrity, it didn’t come in droves and in waves like it does in this day and time.

We see artists now who not only make music, but they have to live within the microscope of the music and the persona behind it. Dare them to try to sell it as entertainment, which some artists do. Some artists will be quick to tell you they are selling a character, or a lifestyle, and therefore, their music should be viewed within that scope. The counter, from detractors, is that kids are being exposed to it, and they lack the capacities to differentiate between fantasy and reality. While that last statement might be true, something has to be said about a person’s role that has the ability to deter kids from listening to it in the first place; that is, if a detractor’s concern really is about the kids.

For example, I was ten years old in 1992, which also made me 11 years old in 1993. Two albums were released in those years that were seen as toxic, debilitating, and destructive to not only the youth, but overall society by their detractors, opposition, and people who also said they were concerned for the youth being exposed to them. Those albums were The Chronic and Doggystyle. When they came out, I was young and impressionable and saw how cool the videos were, how cool I thought Dre and Snoop were, and how dope the lyrics were, even though I had little idea of what they were talking about. Despite my perception of them, my folks weren’t having it. Not only was I not listening to their music at home, I wasn’t allowed to listen to it in the car, and I certainly wasn’t allowed to own the albums. Their logic was I was a child and they weren’t going to allow me to be able to listen to their albums, no matter how much I wanted to.

They weren’t blaming Snoop, Dre, Death Row, or Interscope for their involvement in making albums like theirs. They weren’t ever holding them to some idealistic standard or standing on some philosophical perch about what’s right and wrong. They simply said that I, as their son, wasn’t allowed to listen to them, until I was able to get their album with my own money and until I was of age, and wouldn’t you guess it? I didn’t listen to either of those albums until high school, despite them being released when I was in the sixth and seventh grade, respectively.

Yes, times have changed, and kids have access to resources that kids my age certainly didn’t have in our time. However, the point remained that when an adult, in this case my parents, said no, that meant no. If there is a concern that some of today’s artists are poisoning the kids and making them dumber, then whose responsibility is it? I think artists should take some of it, but there’s also an understanding of how the game goes, and to be totally honest and 100% real, one of my boys says it best: the music we grew up on is way more destructive than what the kids today are listening to. With that said, my energy isn’t so much fueled toward the artists, because artists will always do what the majority of their base wants them to do, even if it is making music that some of the listening public isn’t crazy about, or outright despises. Instead, it will be geared towards adults to make sure they take proper measures to keep the exposure to a minimum. That is, if their genuine concern is about the kids.

Be Easy.

October 4, 2010

Mixtape Monday...Listen With The Spirit.

Flesh & Spirit - Micah Seth

With this second installment of the Dallas Mixtape Monday series, I had difficulty in deciding whom to profile.  There is so much untapped talent in this city that pin-pointing my favorites has become a slight struggle.  However, my decision was made instantly after hearing Micah Seth.  I stumbled upon his music after seeing him perform a few months ago.  Micah Seth's vocals are nothing short of intrinsically beautiful.  He has a tremendous gift vocally and his style is reminiscent of Adam Levine of Maroon 5. 

Flesh & Spirit is the first mixtape I've brought to you that isn't available for free download however, I'm willing to bet that the $5.00 price tag would be well worth it to those who value supporting artists who set themselves apart.  Though the disc only has five tracks, each is wonderfully produced and contains lyrics worthy of multiple listens.  

To listen to snippets of Flesh & Spirit and to download the disc, visit Micah Seth on ITunes and make sure to follow him on Twitter @MicahSeth

If you still need some convincing to shell out moola, check out this free song for your listening pleasure:

"Is This Love?" feat. K. Frank - Micah joins another local Dallas standout on this joint.  Definitely nod-worthy.  You'll play on repeat. The sample of "Chasing Pavements" by Adele adds a nice dynamic and makes for more of a surprise when compared to the beat present in the body of the track.

*Note: K. Frank is also an artist to watch.  If you get a chance, check out his blog: http://www.longlivethelame.blogspot.com/

Check out www.micahseth.com to listen to "Is This Love?"

Happy Downloading!

Peace. Love. Music.



October 1, 2010

Fresh Friday...We ♥ Vintage.

For Him and Her: Snapback in Time.

Vintage Deadstock - Minnesota Vikings Snapback
$65.00 (Karmaloop)

Anyone who knows me (and probably anyone who has any kind of conversation with me 10 minutes or longer) knows that I've been a Minnesota Vikings fan since I made my way out of the birth canal. Really. :).  Seeing that it is the season of the pigskin, I wanted to make sure y'all were decked in fresh to support your favorite squad.  Nonetheless, when I spotted this vintage snapback brought to us Vintage Deadstock I knew I needed it in my life.  The detailing is probably the best I've seen because Deadstock provides caps from original manufacturers and the selection of professional football, basketball, and baseball teams (plus, collegiate powerhouses) is second to none.  Prices are pretty cheap if you go directly through the Vintage Deadstock site (click the link above).  Their selection on Karmaloop is a bit pricier, however, there are more options.  Enjoy the items I pulled beneath the fold and check the links to order. 


Vintage Deadstock - Chicago Bulls Snapback
$75.00 (Karmaloop)

Vintage Deadstock - Texas Longhorns Snapback
$45.00 (Karmaloop)

To see the selection and purchase checkout Vintage Deadstock and Karmaloop 

For Her: Quilt Chic.

During a bit of retail therapy I spotted the Marc Jacobs, Westside Duffel Bag above and I loved the new take on a vintage quilt pattern classic.  I did not, however, love the price tag.  At $1,150.00 (yes, that is a comma), this bag shall stay right on that shelf but, a girl can dream. :). 

Thus, I was on the hunt for something similar when my Just Fabulous account presented a just fabulous replacement.  The "Grace" pictured below is available in black, red, grey and mustard (I opted for classic black) and is fitted with a delicate quilted texture and chain straps that are incredibly elegant.  The spacious interior and fold-over snap closure make for the perfect blend of functionality and style.  I'll probably utilize this with work attire or pair with jeans and a blazer for a more polished casual look.

The only downside is you must register online for the Just Fabulous membership club in order to purchase, however, the price beats the inconvenience.  Check out images of "Grace" in the various colors and click HERE to register for Just Fabulous.

Just Fabulous - Grace (in Black, Red, Grey, & Mustard)

Happy Shopping!

Peace. Love. Fresh.