Atlanta’s Season 2 Trailer

Kinda related, mostly unrelated: At the top of 2017, I told my guy Ugi that it would be my Gambino year. Why? Because 2016 was an amazing one for Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover. He released Atlanta‘s first season, which was widely acclaimed. He put out funk-soul album Awaken, My Love!, which was as beloved as the show and spawned hit single “Redbone.” And he had his first child. That’s a well-accomplished 12 months.

In 2017 I got married, started a new job as Digital Editor at Flaunt Magazine, and set into motion some things that’ll come to be this year. A good year, for sure.

I’m looking forward to Glover’s new season of Atlanta, coming out in March. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the start of another big stretch for him.


MOCA’s Jeff Koons Short

If you’re like me, you have an intimidating amount of tabs open on your web browser. A baked chicken recipe here, an NY Times article there. A pair of Levi’s you want to buy. A Fashion Week Street Style gallery to peruse.

In an attempt to wipe them clean, I rediscovered this documentary short MOCA did on Jeff Koons that I probably meant to watch last Fall. It’s a goodie. I remember going to an exhibit of his on a date and damn-near being more enamored with his art than the girl I came with. I’d later come back again, alone. There’s just something unique about his work that encourages exploration. I either lose myself in thought when I see his stuff or I’m floored by the audacity of its existence. Sometimes both. Give this a watch while I tackle some of these other tabs.



Congrats to Dap’

How do you make Harlem even more fly? Give Dapper Dan his own Gucci boutique. Congrats to a legend.

Writing About SZA and Recovering from Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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SZA | image by Sage c/o RCA Records


Hey there. Want to read this thing I wrote about connecting to SZA’s music, being a recovering ugly duckling and happily making it to a confident place? Yeah? Well, here you go.

SZA Wished to be ‘Normal,’ But Like This Writer, She Did Much Better

One of the things I love most about my job is when I get to connect my life experiences to art and this was one of those times. My wife and I went to SZA’s concert in September. Prior to it I had been excited to see her live. Her debut album Ctrl was one of the year’s best. It’s narrative is one of a young woman finding herself in her world and feeling like she wasn’t enough of the things she admired in others. I tend to connect with artists who experienced what I’ll call an inferiority complex, feeling that they lack in blatant and not so obvious ways.

In my formative years, I was a skinny kid with glasses and jacked up teeth who envied the cool kids, but never managed to be one. I wasn’t invited to one birthday party or sleepover, nor did I do anything more than hug a girl that I crushed on back in high school. Nerd City, y’all. Population: me. I’m sure there were people who felt like me around. But just as the teenage experience for those who are quite far from Mr. Popular status is portrayed in the movies, it felt like an immensely lonely one.

Since then I’ve grown a bunch and become a person that I’m super happy with. And if you’ve heard Ctrl, it seems SZA has, too. When I first went to her show, I had no plan of writing the piece that it became. At first I wanted to make my story for Flaunt exclusively about her. But as we watched her perform, hearing the things she’d say between songs, I knew I’d have to write something that included me.

I don’t want to spoil your read by telling you why, so just go for it. Thanks for letting me share.



Nike Air Force 1’s 35th B-Day and an Interview with Five Dope Designers

One of my goals when I joined Flaunt this summer was to work with brands that I’m a fan of. Throughout my career, I’ve mostly been a proper music journalist. But towards the end of 2016, I was blessed with opportunities to do a load of stories that connected music and fashion for Billboard. And now that I’m with Flaunt, I’m either writing or editing pieces that are fully fashion-oriented.

Nike’s Air Force 1: Stomping On Broken Glass, Bad Luck Be Damned

This year Nike celebrated the 35th anniversary of their Air Force 1 and use the birthday to give the white-on-white sneaks a fresh look via the lens of five premiere streetwear designers and influencers: Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Acronym’s Errolson Hugh, Roc-a-Fella Records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Just Don’s Don “Don C.” Crawley and musician Travis Scott. I’m a huge fan of each of them and spoke to the guys for the piece.

Building a relationship with Nike was also a big 2017 goal as well. I’m super excited to share the fun stuff we at Flaunt are working on in 2018 with them thanks to this story and the foundation it laid.  But in the meantime, check out my chat with the fellas. One of my favorite anecdotes in there comes from Biggs, who had a hilarious way of ensuring that his Airs 1s stayed clear of dirt and being stepped on in NYC streets back int the day. This is another one of my favorite interviews from my 2017.



Backstage with Charlie Puth

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Charlie Puth at Los Angeles’ Staples Center (July 12) | photo shot by David Romo

Here’s one reason why interviewing celebs and people who are interviewed often sometimes sucks: Their guards are especially heightened and they’re used to enduring awful “journalists” who ask mundane, unenthused, or worse, thirsty questions.

Among my goals as a question-asker is to make interviews feel more like conversations. Comfort is key. But even more than that, understanding that the best way to get a good conversation with essentially anyone is to actually care about the subject’s being and craft—not who they’re penetrating or some click-bait-ey topic of the moment. Fortunately for me, I spend the bulk of my time talking with creatives.

Charlie Puth Has More Heart and Soul Than You Know

So when I sat down with pop singer Charlie Puth after watching him rock at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles, I asked him about what I had just witnessed: Here’s this guy who’s known for super poppy songs and hooks like the one here alongside Wiz Khalifa—the most YouTubed music video ever.

But throughout his set, he sounded super soulful. So I asked him about where that came from. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise. And from there came a great conversation. Give it a read. I wasn’t a sucker journalist, maintained my integrity and you, the reader, get a good read. It’s one of my favorite interviews from this year.

Bill’s House

Not sure when it happened, but this guy is one of my favorite journalists and, not coincidentilly, works on my favorite news magazine: 60 Minutes. His crib in Harlem is straight life goals status. I don’t know which I appreciate more–that he’s an OG Black man living well in America or… Nah, that’s it. His view is dope and all, but I really love seeing us enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Keep rocking, Bill.