Melony Hill is proof and a living, breathing reminder that black women are indestructible, and their willpower is infinite. The whole deck was stacked against her, from day 1. But through it all Melony took her traumatic experiences and turned it into success. Listen as we talk about Melony’s contentious relationship with her mother, how the cover of a Playboy got her off the streets, and her advice to aspiring self publishers, and anyone who feels like life has cast them aside. Follow Melony on IG: @strongerthanmystruggles
Back before us millennials had the audacity to think we could be whatever we wanted, there was a time we had computers…with no internet. Hard to believe, but it’s true. What’s even harder to believe, scientists have been tinkering with solar thermal energy since the early 20th century! As technology advanced, so did ideas about solar energy, and government attitudes toward the renewable energy source (climate change deniers notwithstanding). Enter GRID Alternatives; a non-profit that provides solar energy installations to low income families, free of charge! Listen to volunteers and employees of GRID explain why they chose to set up office in the Mid-Atlantic, the valuable experience volunteering has, and why they’re so charged up about solar energy! Follow GRID on IG: @gridmdv
Albatross and Where’s My Jetpack?! – Computer Music All-Stars
Frazier is one of many New Yorkers who came down to Baltimore. A Queens native, Frazier got his education (in more ways than one) at Morgan State in Northeast. He co-founded City of Gods, a clothing and lifestyle brand that’s all about uplift, community engagement and black excellence. Listen as Frazier talks about the brand, coming up in New York, and the time someone got knocked out at an event at the shop. Follow Gods on IG: @godsneverdie and @godsneverdiephilly.
Jay’s a rapper from Baltimore, and my first musical artist as a guest. I met him through another guest, Rob Simmons. Jay’s on the quieter side but if you listen to his music you can immediately tell he’s his best self when he’s rhyming. We talk about growing up in Baltimore, how his older sister kept him out of trouble, and how he moved from producing to rapping. Follow Jay on IG: @saintcooljay
Purple City – Jay St Aubyn ft. Dude Clayy
Flowers have been a symbol for many things over the years and above all they signify beauty. A city with a garden of flowers is a dream Walker Marsh had, and instead of thinking about it he set out to do it. There were a lot of setbacks and failures for Walker, but they all helped build a mindset of resilience and perseverance. Tha Flower Factory is his baby, and he wants to watch it grow into something beautiful.
Game Hen, Enter the Mind’s Eye, Ooo Wee – James Pants
Self reflection can come at any time. For Justin Temple, it comes several times a day. As a yoga teacher and student, Justin believes principles taught in yoga have crept into his everyday life. He thinks it’s making him a better person. Yoga has international appeal but it wasn’t always this way. Two Indian yogis brought the ancient art to the West and now, yoga’s come under fire as appropriation. Justin explains that yoga wasn’t some secret ripped from the hands of its forefathers; rather a gift that one culture gave to the world, and smiles at its spread across the globe.
Mangoes, Right Shake (demo) and Light My Fire – James Pants
I had the mic levels a little too high on this one, so my narration will sound scratchy/gainy. Everyone’s riding their own horse.
C Harvey’s hustle is undeniable. She was a working professional at age 19, but the cold unflinching hand of life grabbed her by the neck and in its own special way told her, “be yourself”. After much hardship including abusing synthetic drugs, C. got back on track and is living her truth. We talk about being chin checked by reality, learning that you really really need to crawl before you can walk, practicing stillness, hard lessons for Baltimore’s arts scene, and taking up space to better the community.
Broken Bells – James Pants
Something Wicked Crawled Through My Window – James Pants
Forbidden Island – James Pants
I’m a fan of The Crown (the other one, not the Netflix show) and every so often when I go there, either Abdu is about to go on stage or he just ripped another set. His presence in Baltimore’s music and arts scene is well known, so I was excited to sit down and talk with him. He told me up front he would know if I wasn’t thorough in my research, so I made sure to do my homework and ask questions that’d get him talking. Hit Abdu on the gram, that’s where you’ll usually find him: @abdu_ali (it might be two underscores).
Banjee Music – Abdu Ali
I, Exist – Abdu Ali
Did Dat(Nu Bmore Club Edit) – Abdu Ali x DJ Juwan
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur nowadays; in lieu of becoming an actor or musician, some of us think it’s easier to build a business or start a podcast that gets wildly popular overnight (it’s not easier). Enter McKeever Conwell. The college dropout turned tech investor started his career at the Department of Defense. By his mid 20s he was making more money annually than most people his age, and even older! Sounds glamorous right? Well as McKeever tells it, there’s a darker side to entrepreneurship, but it can pay dividends if you’ve got the stuff. Follow McKeever on Twitter
“The Dark Seed” – Pocketmaster, off “#010010”
Rest of the tracks by Visager
Chef Green’s always on the move. If she isn’t working a food demo and showing people how to cook vegan and vegetarian inspired meals, she works as a private chef for her clients in the DC area. I met Chef Green at a gallery opening for local artist and previous guest on the pod, Jerrell Gibbs. We talked about meatless eating and though she didn’t convert me, I was interested enough in her story to set up an interview. A Brooklyn native, Green has solidified herself as an accomplished and knowledgeable chef, who shows no signs of slowing down. We talk Ital eating, her travels in West Africa, and the dark side of falling asleep after a big meal of that soul food. Here’s the Wikipedia article about the science behind “the itis”.
“Sweet Potato Pudding Dub” – Red Star Martyrs
“Suede Head” – Red Star Martyrs