I first connected with Darren Rogers in 2018 after sending him an episode of a podcast project I started a few years back (and still have yet to finish…). We’re on separate paths and have the same goal: to make Baltimore a better place. Two years later, we re-connected to talk about the big changes we’ve had in our personal lives, the growth and maturation of our passion projects, and look to the future.
There’s power in a name. If someone with ill intent knows your real name, they can bring misfortune upon you. I had no plans for Bmore Alien (aka Qué Pequeño, aka Station North Sadboi), but as of right now I only know him by those names. Each of those names represents a different aspect of him, as he explains in our talk together. We also talk about why he identifies as Biafran (along with a tragic history lesson of the ill-fated nation), coming up in Baltimore’s music and arts scene, and we talk about the time we were both at the same Nigerian wedding and didn’t even know it.
Music by Mateyo
Photographers are authors. They don’t have typewriters or word processors and their prose is of color, shadow and depth. Sydney is one such author and her camera tells the stories of ordinary people, those on the fringe of society, and the relationships we all share with one another. After a life altering event sparked a vigor in her spirit, Sydney coasted between different creative outlets before settling on and excelling with photography. Listen as she talks about her life in Baltimore, we have a lengthy discussion about anime, and a project Sydney has been thinking about starting for a long while (and one I’d be personally excited to see the end result).
Music by Mateyo
Alanah is a New York transplant, and since at least 5 of my family members did the same thing of moving to Maryland from New York I had to ask her…what makes Maryland so special (besides me living here). Alanah answers that along with a whole host of other questions, like her philanthropy work in Baltimore, what it was like moving from the Lower East Side to Baltimore, why she got put out of school, and more!
Depending on who you ask (and what neighborhood you’re in), you’re either extremely happy or extremely frustrated Brandon Scott won the Democratic primary for Baltimore City mayor. Since his first foray into local politics the Park Heights native has been written off and discredited, and feels immense pressure to perform and be the change he wants to see. Since his high school days as a track star with his extremely competitive teammates, Brandon uses the pressure to hold himself accountable and make sure he leaves a path for those coming after him. Listen as Brandon talks about growing up next to an infamous building in Park Heights, his path to City Council President, stories from the campaign trail, and his plan for Baltimore’s brighter and more equitable future.
Since President Scott and I are fans of Wu Tang and OB4CL, I created an alternate cover for the podcast episode.
i was scrolling through my IG feed between sets at the gym and happened upon Chidozie’s IG acct. He’s more shredded than a julienne salad and his videos show beginner to advanced fitness routines and exercises. Even though he doesn’t live in Baltimore I decided to reach out for an interview because it’s been a long time since I’ve interviewed anyone in the fitness world, and his story is quite interesting. Listen as we discuss Chidozie’s early life, a trip to Nigeria that almost claimed his life, going to school during COVID, and of course, stuff about fitness, nutrition and discipline!
Hailing from the humid, sun baked shores of Florida, McKinley Wallace uses geometric shapes and negative space to empower the black figures he portrays in his work. He describes his works as “mixed media” and has worked on a few murals in the city. While he’s incredibly talented, he knows the key to success is getting down pat the “schmooze” aspect of the art world. Listen as we talk about his time in South Florida, how he came to begin painting black figures in his work, and how those black figures represent a future he sees for his people.
yvngtavo – never
Some interviews and audio I recorded at the People’s Power Assembly in Baltimore on Saturday, June 6th. Over 8,000 people and 200+ cars gathered to march, protest and make our voices heard. We are DONE with the U.S.A. using the police as a state-sanctioned force to brutalize and oppress the public. I may not agree entirely with everything some of the interviewees said but I felt it was important to leave it intact. Ultimately, whatever gets your out of your house and to the protests is a step in the right direction. “The day that the black man takes an uncompromising step and realizes that he’s within his rights, when his own freedom is being jeopardized, to use any means necessary to bring about his freedom or put a halt to that injustice, I don’t think he’ll be by himself.”
– Malcolm X
Art is a representation of many things to many people, and the artist’s journey is different for every artist. Jerome (aka the Groovy Vandal) found art at a young age. Early on he had to get resourceful to complete his wearable art pieces; then, he had to get tough, because let’s face it. High schoolers with opinions are brutally honest, and they had no problem telling Jerome when his stuff sucked. But, they also had no problem telling him when his stuff was dope. It’s the “dope” pieces that motivated Jerome to continue with art, and create a brand identity he continues to nurture and grow with today.
Temple – SwuM ft. bsd.u
If I were a venture capitalist I’d fully fund Amanda Mack’s brand, Crust by Mack. Why? Because unlike SOME PEOPLE who think pie FILLING is the most important part of a pie, Amanda focuses on the ACTUAL IMPORTANT PART of the pie, which is the CRUST. I can’t STAND it when crusts are all flimsy and weak; I need a hearty crust on my pies and desserts. Listen as Amanda talks about the key to a good crust, the lessons (and disguised blessings) she’s received on her entrepreneurial journey, and why one 4-letter F word is as important to her as another 6-letter F word.
eu-IV – Questions