The Leather Jacket

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Letter From the Editor


Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water. Sometimes family will betray you quicker than any stranger could. Sometimes your kin prove to be no type of kin at all.

If you’ve ever found yourself questioning whether or not your family is truly your family (the “ride or die”, “I gotcho back!” type of family), then maybe it isn’t. It’s so easy to let go of a friend or lover who betrayed you, but family? That’s a whole ‘nother category on its own. Before I continue, I want you all to know that I don’t advocate the separation of families and I don’t condone holding grudges or breaking family ties over “stupid stuff.” However, I will say that not all family units are happy or healthy family units, and if one ever finds his or herself to be in an unhappy or unhealthy environment, then that person should “leave the nest” and never look back. For instance, someone living in an abusive home.

Someone I am very close to has grown up being abused in so many ways. Once she confided in me in regards to her childhood experiences, I had a new found respect for her. Interestingly enough, I would’ve never expected her to go through everything she had gone through; she is always happy, always wearing a smile and she has a warm, genuine spirit. After finding out that she had been verbally, mentally and emotionally abused by her mother, physically abused by her father and step mother, teased and bullied at school all while being ostracized by the kids in her old neighborhood, I was speechless. Not to mention, her extended family constantly put down her dreams and ambitions, and constantly called her out of her name. Needless to say, she doesn’t communicate with them anymore no matter how many times they attempt to make contact with her, and I don’t blame her.

The only reason I’m telling this story (or paraphrasing, rather) is because she has already begun to tell it and I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. I’m keeping her identity withheld, for now at least; I feel it’s best if her identity is revealed by her means.

The point I’m trying to get across is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to stick with a “family” who mistreats you just because you all are tied by blood. If you are trying to achieve something and those family members are hindering you, let them go. Listening to their harsh words is poison to your soul; that’s not healthy. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, uplift you and support you.

Exclusively yours,

Raena S.

P.S. “Love yourself FIRST and MOST.”

Is There HOPE?

First semester is over and grades are in. Did you perform well in class as expected?

HOPEMost college students face the challenge of maintaining a high GPA throughout the semester, not only for passing purposes but to keep HOPE alive. For those who are unaware, HOPE is a scholarship provided to college students in the state of Georgia. Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement throughout their high school career and graduated with at least a 3.0 or above, and continue to maintain a 3.0 or above while in college. The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending a HOPE eligible college in Georgia.

After talking with some students on my campus, I learned that it is harder than it seems to maintain a 3.0 or better, and once you lose HOPE, it’s difficult to get it back. Sophomore, Brianna Jones, told me of her experience with the scholarship.

“In high school I was an honor student and maintaining my grades was an easy task. Coming into college, I thought it would be the same, just a little different. First semester wasn’t so challenging but second semester I began to slack off and in return I lost my HOPE scholarship. Now I’m paying for school out of pocket and it’s difficult to maintain.”

College is about experiencing life and expanding your horizons, but the one task you can’t forget is exactly what you are there for. Not only is it about fun, socializing and freedom, but you have to put forth hard work to get to where you want to go in life.

Georgia’s HOPE scholarship covers around 85% of a student’s tuition and is awarded to fewer students as the years spent in college progress. If awarded the HOPE Scholarship, wouldn’t you want to keep it?

Author, Rina E.

Spotlight: Alkebulan

imageName: Alkebulan Williams

Stage Name: Alkebulan

Age: 22

Occupation: Music Artist/Music Producer/Studio Engineer

Mixtapes: Luna EP, Ankh, Nibiru, Panther + Fox EP

Positivity is easily one of the strongest vibes one can feel while listening to the sounds of New Atlanta rapper Alkebulan. Not only is the young artist talented in regards to his rapping abilities, but his production skills bring a new and unique sound to his music. With an apparent spiritual connection to his music, the style of Alkebulan’s music is as one-of-a-kind as it gets. “My subject matter touches every facet of the black community. Whether it’s about partying or on a militant tip, it hits home. The beats I create are artsy to me. I combine other genres like post dub-step or electro with modern Hip-Hop. My flow is intricate, syllabic, full of vivid imagery, and smooth.”

While many listeners might recognize him as the voice of the infamously catchy hook for Two-9’s single “9”, many might not be familiar with the goods he’s hiding in his solo work. With four tapes out and even more features on the tracks of artists such as Curtis Williams and Miloh Smith, Alkebulan’s talent far surpasses his verses on these songs. Stand-out tracks such as “Recognize A God” featuring Jace of Retro Su$h! and “Know You” featuring ForteBowie and Rome Fortune, both featured on his Ankh tape, are still no comparison to the verses he lays on his collaboration Panther + Fox EP with soul singer Makeda.

Since the age of 12, Kebu, an alias he goes under as a producer, has been inspired to express his creativity through beat-making and later rapping. “Creating music eases my soul. It also aids me in bringing people together in a positive manner.” Outside of the previously mentioned artists, Williams has also worked with talents such as Key!, Childish Major, FKi, MoneyMakinNique, Alexis Glenn, Ceeno and more. His inspirations range in artists from the soulful Lauryn Hill to prominent acts such as Public Enemy and Outkast. Performing alongside Two-9 at performances in Atlanta (A3C Hip-Hop Festival) and New York (CMJ Music Festival), Alkebulan has also performed at various concert events across the city of Atlanta.

With the news of Alkebulan’s talent spreading like wildfire, the young visionary is not only making moves for himself but also for his career. After dropping the video for his Nibiru single “Ankh”, Williams plans on releasing an independent album entitled Coup D’etat sometime later this year. Along with this, Alkebulan will be opening for Atlanta’s own Cyhi The Prince at Asylum on January 29th. To check out his music and stay updated on upcoming music releases, events and other announcements, make sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his official website.

Twitter | @Alkbln

Music |

Website | [Click the album art to go to the next tape]


Editor of Music, Giselle B.

Need A Good Oil? Look No More!

photo (7)Any of the Palmer’s brand hair care products would be wonder items to put in your beauty cabinet.  However, a product that is better than fabulous is the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil. This spray is for those of us who love high quality products but aren’t made of money. The conditioning spray oil contains organic virgin olive oil with vitamin e, which is very healthy for the hair. I love the oil because it is light weight and has a light fresh scent. Even though the spray is light weight, do not over use because the hair to become too shiny. This product is great for all hair textures and can even be used on weave. I love this product because it is so versatile. It can be used on relaxed and natural hair. I personally wear a partial weave so I use the conditioning spray on the front of my hair to give it some shine and keep my natural hair healthy. You can purchase this product at any local beauty supply story or Wal-Mart. I purchased mine from a beauty supply store and the price was 6 dollars. It is best to spray on right before you begin to style the hair so it can sink in and moisturize your entire head. Also, you should spray the hair at least 1 foot away from the hair. I really don’t have any cons about this product except if you spray too much, the hair can become too oily. Other than that, if you are looking a high quality product that is cheap to put in your beauty cabinet, this product is for you.  Just spray and go!

By Chasity Edwards

Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam: ‘A’ For Effort.


As you may know from previous articles, my favorite foundation is currently Iman’s Second to None Stick Foundation.  Unfortunately I ran out and it is not particularly easy to replace.  So I had to settle for something else.  As I paced the aisles in CVS, Maybelline’s Dream Nude Airfoam caught my eye.  This foundation is supposed to give a flawless finish while feeling light on your skin.  It’s a light coverage foundation and comes out as foam.  I have been using it for about a month and I can’t say I like it.  Here’s why.


The pump is out of control.  I always end up squeezing out too much foundation.  There’s no way to control how much product comes out and sometimes it spurts out and gets everywhere.

The foundation looks horrible before it settles.  It just looks caked on and pasty, also really orange.  So you don’t want to put it on and run out the door.

After a few hours or so the foundation starts to look bad.  Particularly with me after a day of classes I notice the dry spots on my face are ten times more noticeable.  I don’t know why it does this but I usually end up washing my face, moisturizing then reapplying the foundation.  However, no one wants to worry about doing this in the middle of the day

Still, there are some things I like about this foundation.


The foundation is actually very lightweight as the advertisements claim.  I always forget I have make-up on.  It’s a great foundation for the summer time.

After the foundation settles and before it starts wearing away, it looks really good.

This foundation works until I can get my hands on some more Iman Foundation but, I’m not impressed.  It’s okay but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you already have perfect skin.  Good idea Maybelline, but the product needs some improvements.

Editor of Health & Beauty: Brandi Giles

Are You Deciding To Go Natural? Read About My Natural Hair Journey: From Relaxed to Natural!

There may have been plenty of times when you wanted to go natural but decided not to.   Well, going Natural can often be challenging. Sometimes, it can be hard to believe that your hair will grow past a certain length!!! All my life I have been relaxed it wasn’t by choice it was actually by FORCE! You see my mother always did my hair and in her salon, if you’re hair is too tightly coiled to comb through then you DEFINITELY need a perm. Being relaxed never bothered me until my senior year of high school. It was then that I noticed my hair was dry, always breaking off, damaged, and just out of control. So then I started to wear weaves and I love weaves but every now and then you just want your natural beauty to show. Last summer after reading many blogs and watching many vlogs on natural hair I then cut my hair into a short cut because I was not very confident in enduring the long natural hair journey. My short haircut was nice but I still was not satisfied with my hair appearance; it was still relaxed and even shorter. It wasn’t until July of 2012 that I was really ready and I cut off all my permed strands also known as the BIG CHOP. Although my hair was already short the experience was still a big step for me.

It is now January, and I am six months natural. It has been a wonderful experience and it has taught me patience. There are so many styles and different things you can do with natural hair. I normally get protective styles like braids, weaves, or even wear wigs to help my hair grow out more quickly. I love wearing turbans as well. I feel like many young women can go natural and just embrace their natural beauty. A lot of young people today are afraid to go natural because of what society will think, but actually who cares.  Going natural is something that takes patience and it’s something that you have to REALLY want to do. There have been plenty of times when I was ready to put a perm in my hair over these six months, but ladies if you have started the journey please continue. There are tons of wonderful products you can use and tons of new ideas to try. Healthy hair is the best hair! So stop being scared, beautiful queens, if this is something you have wanted to do, Do it now!!!


My transformation! From relaxed to natural!

There are two products that I love to use besides deep conditioning my hair every other day and they are:

1. (Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel.)  -You can find this product at your local beauty supply store. I normally get mines from Sally’s Beauty Supply and the cost of it is 4.99-5 dollars. This product helps hold my hair and also defines my curls and gives them a great shine and texture.

2. (Shea Moisture Curling Soufflé’) – This product is found at Target and the cost is normally 10-12 dollars. I especially love this product because I have thick hair and this product helps my curls to be even more defined and silky. So if you have more of a thick texture of hair, I recommend the curling soufflé to give you hair that extra touch of curliness.

By Shanicia Hill