r.O.b. Spotlight

Photo by Rita JohnsonName: r.O.b (Realist One Breathin’)

Age: 25

Occupation: “Making my dreams a reality.”

Mixtapes: Higher Learning: The 90’s Tape Hosted by Don Cannon (2011), CircaXVV (TBA)


Has worked with: Don Cannon, Curtis Williams (Two-9), Dee Goods, Dom O Briggs, and more.

Imagine being told as a child that you wouldn’t even live to see the age of nine. For r.O.b, or Realist One Breathin’, the breathing complication he was born with was destined to end the artist’s life at a young age. Three open heart surgeries later, the 25-year old rapper is alive and prospering well throughout his music and his career. Often compared to J. Cole and influenced by artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, r.O.b has been working harder than many upcoming artists will ever work. With the delivery of his upcoming mixtape CircaXXV set to be released before the end of the year, the rapper also has his previous tape Higher Learning: The 90’s Tape in his collection, hosted by renowned producer and DJ, Don Cannon. The 90’s Tape stands as r.O.b’s tribute to the decade that made him first fall in love with hip-hop and consists of his own original lines over classic beats such as Outkast’s “Elevators”, Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.”, and even NaS’ “Represent.”

An enthusiastic and animated performer, r.O.b has recently been taking over the Tri-state area in shows such as The Come Up in Jersey City, the Well Done Festival in Brooklyn, and even the Hybrid Festival in Philadelphia. “Besides that I’ve recently performed at Tammany Hall for the “Def Punk Society” show, Public Assembly for “First Look Sessions”… I think they don’t want me back there after that one I was jumping on speakers and all that plus I bring my own bottle of beer in, but what’s a performance without entertainment?”

While we wait for r.O.b to release his mixtape CircaXXV¸ the New York rapper drops his visuals for his first single off of the tape, “Hometown.” His next visual will be for the song “Impaired Vision”, directed by Larry Arace who also shot his video for “H.O.C (Heart Of The City).” Speaking on his upcoming mixtape, r.O.b states, “It’s a great complete body of work that I am so proud of. I’ve finally reached a point where I’m in complete understanding on who I am as an artist and where my music is headed, really excited for the people to hear it.”

To stay updated on information about r.O.b such as his upcoming performances or when he’ll release new music, make sure you follow him on Twitter (@FuturisticRO) and log onto his website (http://iamfuturistic.com).

Editor: Ms. Zilla


Rita Johnson (Photo 1)

Mixtape Review: Baby Face Killa

“Hit the block, dressed in white, same Bo Jackson Nikes call my partner Mike, copped a pint, put fo’ in my Sprite 55 a line, that’s aight cause I’m ’bout that life” raps Freddie Gibbs on his newest installment of his mixtape series Baby Face Killa (B.F.K). Freddie Gibbs is one of the newest members of Young Jeezy’s label CTE (Corporate Thugz Entertainment). Prior to this, he was featured on one of XXL’s Freshmen freestyles which showcased his skills to more of an audience and grabbed their attention immediately. That one bar is exactly what he represents, the street life. He has the flow of an early 90’s rapper which makes this mixtape even more epic not just because of the beats, but also how he seems to change his flow on each beat and still keep the same 90s flavor on it.  I’m astonished at how he resurrected the Gangsta Grillz series. Not only does he give you that gangsta feel mixed with a chill vibe, but his verses throughout the mixtape are cold and gritty and it opens your eyes to the real problems we close out in the streets.

  1. B.F.K (Prod. By M80) – This Intro AUTOMATICALLY gets you interested in the mixtape, gangsta sh*t at its finest.


  1. Still Livin’ (Prod. By DJ Skikuhbush) – I’m still livin’ like a dope  dealer, finger on the trigger I ain’t takin’ sh*t from no n*gga.” That basically sums up this song and how it gives you an insight on his life.


  1. The Diet (Prod. By Cylla)- “I’m on that diet I gotta stay hater free.” Chill song man, one of those tracks you can just sit back and bob your head to. The chorus is very fresh and catchy which is a plus.


  1. Money, Clothes, Hoes (MCH) (Prod. By Feb 9)“Last time you gon’ see a muthaf*ckin bad guy like this again n*gga.” He is exactly right, his style is not to be matched. There are not many street guys left like Gangsta Gibbs to listen to.


  1. The Hard ft. Dana Williams (Prod. By Feb 9) – This is one of my favorites. It has that old school flavor to it, the beat is chill and he mixes up an old school vibe with his mix of that gangsta feel.


  1. Kush Clouds ft. Krazie Bone & SpaceGhostPurrp (Prod. By SMKA)“Mo murder mo murder, in the tahoe with my burner (Yeahhhhhh)!” Love this song, his flow next to Krazie Bone’s is an instant classic! Wasn’t a fan of SpaceGhostPurrp’sverse, just seemed to bore me.


  1. Walk In Wit The M.O ft. Dom Kennedy (Prod. By Cookin’ Soul)“She addicted to them d-boyz, talkin’ that street slang they keep that d*ck up in her 2 feet in a deep game.” This is one of those ‘bob your head and listen’ type joints, it’s just their description on why it will always be ‘money over women.’


  1. Bout It, Bout It ft. Kirko Bangz (Prod. By Cookin’ Soul)“She said what about breakfast but a n*gga like me too restless.” An upscale beat along with Gangsta Gibbs’ free flow style and Kirko Bangz auto tuned verse. This song gives one message: Keep grinding through whatever and trust yourself.


  1. Krazy ft. Jadakiss & Jay Rock (Prod. By Statik Selektah) – You already know with Jada on the song it’s already a classic, well that exactly what it feels like. The lyrics are strictly based on money, drugs, streets and life.


  1. Stay Down (Prod. By DJ Dahi) – This is also one of my favorites. It’s the most gritty track on the album and includes Gibbs spitting about the life of a street n*gga.


  1. Boxframe Cadillac (83’ Deville Mix) Ft. Z-Ro (Prod. By Futuristiks) – One of those ‘drop the top back and go 2 miles per hour so everyone sees you’ type of joints. It’s just a chill song and makes you want to hop your ass in a Cadillac and feel the breeze!


  1. Middle Of The Night ft. Wayne Blazed – This is probably my least favorite song but it’s still decent enough to listen all the way through. Just a basis on the women of his world.


  1. Go For It ft. Young Jeezy (Prod. By Bobby Kritical) “Now b*tch scream if ya p*ssy clean!” One of those hype, club songs but Jeezy gives that spice to it along with his known ad-libs. Freddie keeps his verses up to pace with his dope boy flow and attention grabbing verses.


  1. On Me ft. Problem (Prod. By DJ Fresh)“Till the day I die, f*ck hoes and smoke tree.” DJ Fresh produces a slammin’ track man, Gibbs switches up his flow and he shows why it’s on him.


  1. Tell A Friend ft. Curren$y (Prod. By Izzo & Matterafact) – This could literally be one of those 90’s classics. It has the feel to it and Curren$y just adds excitement to it, love it.


  1. My Nigga ft. G-Wiz, D-Edge & Hit (Prod. By Cookin’ Soul) – This is probably the coldest song on the mixtape and is exactly how a 90’s cypher would sound with a chorus.


  1. Seventeen ft. Young Jeezy & Slick Pulla – It all began at seventeen, the track name explains the whole song.


  1. Every City ft. YG (Prod. By DJ Mustard) (Bonus Track) – A bonus track that Gangsta Gibbs  spits on. It’s a cold freestyle off the “I’m Different” beat by 2 Chainz if anyone is familiar with that.

Baby Face Killa is definitely one of my favorites this year. Gibbs gives you that cold, gangsta feel I’ve been waiting for.  His flow is unmatchable and he continues to amaze me with each mixtape he puts out. Jeezy has a great artist under his belt and even though his music is gritty and based around the streets, I doubt he will ever go towards mainstream success. With the help of Jeezy and many other big names he has been featured with, Freddie Gibbs might just be the next big thing when it comes to Gangsta of the Year.


Author: Zeke B.

Letter From the Editor

Hello Readers!

For some, moving into a different setting or making some unplanned life adjustments can be uncomfortable at first. There are new people, new places, and perhaps some new lingo. One would have to get used to new neighbors or colleagues,  maybe a new time schedule or time zone, and it’s all so frustrating. All of the changes are overwhelming and unbearable. I’d imagine that if someone was experiencing this, they would want to return to the people and places he/she is used to.

Granted, “there’s no place like home.” However, change is necessary and, believe it or not, good for the soul.

“How can we live if we don’t change?”

This week, I challenge you all to keep a steady routine. Don’t change anything; you are on a set schedule for 24 hours for seven days. That means your bed time is your bed time. You can’t go to sleep at 8 p.m. one night, 9:30 p.m. another night, midnight the next night, and 8:45 p.m. the next night. It has to be 8 p.m. every night (or whatever time you choose). Same goes for your lunch break, the time it takes you to get ready in the morning, and you can’t go to any meetings or work unless it’s at the same time in the same place with the same people everyday. You’re going to have to post-pone that break-up, or hook-up. You can’t change radio stations if a commercial comes on. You can’t take a random road trip. You can’t go to a party unless it’s the same party at the same place every day. You can’t switch playlists when you get tired of hearing the same songs over and over. Having options for dinner isn’t allowed and you can’t have snacks throughout the day unless you’re going to have the same snack everyday. Watch how annoyed you become then.

Okay, I’m exaggerating; my point is: people often complain about change not realizing we change all the time, no matter how small or how large the change is. Embrace change; when change arrives, it’s usually for the best.


Raena S.





F*** School

Ok, so let me start off by saying that I’m not saying that you kids shouldn’t go to school. I’m also not saying that school isn’t important in life. All I am saying is that personally, I just wish that I had what it took to move these chickens and make a living dropping simply constructed 16’s about it. And if you have no idea what that means, that was just a cool way of me wishing I could sell drugs and rap about it. Gucci really making it look way too cool. But the thing is though, it’s not even college I realized is completely useless to my life. It all started long before then…

Why have I went through 12 years of life sitting in a desk way too small for me, only to still not be able to do half the things that Belizean children can do in the 3rd grade? Why am in my 3rd year of college and still not smarter than a single 5th grader in the country? (F*** that TV show by the way.)

So I’m not saying that high school was a waste of time . . . I’m just saying that high school was kind of a waste of time. Just think about it, since you’ve graduated, exactly how many people that aren’t related to you have inquired to see your diploma? A possible job? Nah son, not a single soul has. I know. I lost mine like a year ago and nobody has ever cared. Not even me. Completely useless. Just nice to show off to your jailbird cousins.

Exactly what is math? I mean I know what it is, but it evolved wildly over the shortest span in the history of life. Geometry. Statistics. Calculus. All completely irrelevant to any activity I do on the daily. I still have yet to see any of that on a single job application. It’s not like these girls out here going to give me a pop quiz or anything. “I mean yeah I like you and I want to give you my number, but first, what’s the length of side C if A=B-“ That’s never in a million years going to happen. As long as I can count to ten, multiply by 12’s and know how to subtract and divide, that’s all I’ll ever need to know in life.

Swagic Johnson

Women in Literature: The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour

My end-of-summer reading choices was inspired by The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour. The tour was a multi-author, multi-city celebration of strong women in literature. This was the third and final year of the tour, which was created by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. Melissa celebrated the launch of a new series this fall, while this summer Kelley ended her adult series.


Book Review: 13; Author, Kelley Armstrong

The Women of the Otherworld series comes to a close with 13. The final book pays homage to all the characters introduced to the reader in this world. As the main narrator Savannah is the anchor of the story.  However this book belongs in part to everyone we have come to know in the Otherworld universe. We spend time with Elena, Paige, Eve, Hope, Jaime, Cassandra and the men who love them. We see how far everyone has come, the evolution of their lives, but all folded seamlessly into the framework of this current crisis.

And it is a crisis. The action is almost non-stop. The danger is very real. The emotions are real. The dramatic moments make your heart stop. The emotions evoked by the reader serves as testament to how deeply connected fans feel to these characters and their lives.

Armstrong weaves together so many threads from so many of her previous books. We see all the major players that have shaped the series. Some, I never thought we would ever see. Some I thought we had seen the last of. They’re all connected by our core cast of characters either by blood, by friendship or by feud.

Wonderful finale to a brilliant series!


Book Review: Carnival of Souls; Author, Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls plunges you into a dark world full of danger. A society that engages in all that is wicked while hidden behind masks at the Carnival of Souls. A world where caste and power controls the masses, but there is a chance to break free in the death matches. This is a fun, dark read with many paranormal entities that are exciting and original. Do you dare to enter into the Carnival of Souls? A world filled with seduction and brutality?


We meet Characters of The City who enter Marchosias’ Competition to fight to the death. Emerging triumphant results in a place in the elite ruling caste, and for Aya and Kaleb, two of the main characters, this is the ultimate goal, though for very different reasons. In the human world, the sensuality of the carnival and the grittiness of the daimon-filled City are left behind to introduce us to Mallory, a girl whose guard is permanently raised thanks to her ever-vigilant father. When Mallory’s path crosses with Kaleb’s and Aya is forced to connect with the human world more than she would have liked, the characters soon find themselves forced into precarious situations, with the war between witches and daemons at the heart of it.


Marr builds a deliciously sinister story that thrives of the pulsating atmosphere of the carnival at the centre of The City. With the lavish descriptions of the different coloured masks and the harsh implications of the illicit acts associated with them, the carnival is, as described, a swirl of masked pleasure and violence. Immersing myself into the daemon realm was as thrilling experience and Marr handled the world-building here incredibly well. While much of the story unravels under Marchosias’ rule in The City, Mallory has her fair share of the narration in the human world. The transitions between the two worlds, and between the alternating perspectives, was seamless. Carnival of Souls, was a great beginning to what is sure to be a wonderful series.


Author: Lisa Lunney

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Line

          I decided I wanted to try out a new product line about a month ago.  I wanted to try something that would specifically help with frizzy hair.  Frizzy hair had been a problem I experienced over the summer with my real hair and weave.  I had previously heard good things about Garnier Fructis and decided to buy their new ‘Sleek & Shine’ line.  This all includes shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, deep treatment, and a styling serum. (I couldn’t find the deep treatment therefore I haven’t tried this product yet.)  Commercials and advertisements say that this system is supposed to tame frizzy, dry unmanageable hair and is supposed to last three days.  I used the product on my year old virgin hair, to give it a good test.  I also used the product on my real hair.  Now, let’s get to the specifics.

Shampoo & Conditioner:  Usually shampooing my hair leaves it feeling very dry but not this one.  The bottle says it contains apricot and argan oil so this is most likely what made a difference for me.  I felt like I didn’t even need to use conditioner afterwards.  My hair felt very soft and moisturized, oh, and clean!  It also worked well for my weave.  My year old virgin Brazilian hair looked brand new and it didn’t leave any icky residue.  The conditioner also did everything it was supposed to.  The shampoo and conditioner work together to really tame the frizz and also moisturize your hair to the core.  I give them both an A.

Leave In Conditioner:  I used the leave in conditioner as a moisturizer in most cases.  With my real hair I used it on my leave out when it started to show signs of heat damage.  Also when I was in between sew ins I used this product when I twisted my hair up at night.  On my weave I used it when it started looking really rough.  This is a GREAT product if you use it for these purposes.  It can really save you from a bad hair day.  Honestly, I don’t find myself needing it a lot.  So you can probably do without.  Still I give it an A. (P.S It smells PHENOMENAL!)

Anti-Frizz Styling Serum: This is by far my favorite product from this line.  I use this every morning.  I use it when flat ironing my leave out; it gets it nice and LAYED.  I use it when flat ironing my weave also.  When you have a wavy or curly textured weave sometimes when you flat iron or curl it, it looks very frizzy.  Not with this! It doesn’t weigh down your hair at all and it leaves your hair smelling so good! I give this an A++++++++++!

The entire Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine line gets an A from me.  It does exactly what it says it does and smells like fairies and unicorns.  My natural texture is 4C.  I plan to relax soon so I’ll update on how the product line acts with my hair relaxed.  My hair is my hair and what works for me may not work for you however; I strongly recommend this product line to anyone who wears weave.  It will leave your weave looking fresh without looking weighed down.  If you have tried, or plan to try, this line please let me know about your experiences!

Editor: Brandi Giles


Picture 20: http://www.heyitsfree.net/2012/05/02/free-garnier-fructis-sleek-shine-shampoo/

Picture 21: http://freebiesbymail.org/garnier-fructis-sleek-and-shine-free-shampoo-and-conditioner

Picture 22: http://www.drugstore.com/garnier-fructis-style-sleek-and-shine-intensely-smooth-leave-in-conditioning-cream/qxp378092

Picture 23: http://hair.allwomenstalk.com/excellent-products-for-frizzy-hair/7_garnier-fructis-sleek-and-shine-anti-frizz-serum/