Art, Beats + Lyrics in ATL (Event)

PrintThere’s several reasons we’re pumped for this edition of Art, Beats + Lyrics, but mainly 1) The free spirits compliments of Gentlemen Jack and 2) Our family, Diwang Valdez, will finally unveil his “The Happy Rapper” photo series.

Trust us, you’ve never seen some of your favorite artists in the candid, jovial way that Diwang has captured them. Y’all can expect an interview with Mr. Valdez about “The Happy Rapper” in the near future.

Thanks for the heads up, Fadia Kader! See y’all tomorrow in West Midtown! First drinks on us. Ha!

10 the Hard Way w/Oni of +FRESH.i.AM+ (Story Preview)


True story: I was once paid $80 for a snapback.

Before you get to thinking, let me tell you a little something about this purchase. For starters, the hat itself is pretty plain, black, simple. From there, things get pretty interesting. Six white stars, hand-stitched onto the cap go around in a circle and on either side of the adjustable clasp are “+” signs.

This modern style marvel was created by +FRESH.i.AM+, and as the production leader, Oni has literally bled (and been burned) in helping build their wearable art movement. Before we give you her story, Oni was kind enough to do 10 the Hard Way with us.

Childhood hero:  My mom.

Worst job ever had: I don’t think I’ve had a “worst job.” When I have a job I appreciate that I have it. It could be worse. The worst job I’ve ever had is not having a job.

Favorite book: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.”

Dream vacation: Space.

Biggest pet peeve: When people say, “I could care less,” because it’s the opposite of what they mean and they don’t get it.

Artist you look up to: M.I.A.

Spirit animal: Unicorn.

Scares you most: I’m working on not having phobias, because when you give something fear, when you give something negative energy, you’re giving it powers. When I do find a phobia it’s my goal to just face it.

Favorite leisure activity: I like to be outside in nature, chilling, maybe reading a book.

The best part about life is: You can do anything if you set your mind to it. As long as you know the rules and you know how to break them, there’s nothing that’s really stopping you except for yourself. Once you realize that, the sky is the limit.

Photography by Kelsey Ryan

Messrs R/R Launches Official Site and Online Store


“A boy makes his girl jealous of other women. A gentleman makes other women jealous of his girl.”

For some of y’all out there, being a gentleman is easier said than done. Fortunately, for those looking to at least dress the part for the distinguished life that they preach, there are the Atlanta-based style minds behind Messrs. R/R. The fellas just launched their official website and store.

I first caught wind of these guys about a year ago through my YBN fam, and are proud to see the progress they’ve made in that period of time. Whether you’re looking to accessorize with their double wrap tack bracelets or bold enough to pull off some of their Ghanaian floral print pocket squares, then Messrs. R/R. are probably the designers you’ll want to get acquainted with sooner rather than later.

I’m personally looking forward to investing in some of their Arash belts and vintage t-shirts. Where’s my Sugar Momma?!

SMKA Presents The Hangout: A3C Edition (First Leak Download)


Those SMKA boys are at it again. A week or so ago my brother 808 Blake sent me this track “How Much” with Boldy James, Problem and Jarren Benton joining forces. Blake wanted my early thoughts and I told him something along the lines of this was, “Chief Keef meets Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz meets A$AP Mob,” to which he replied, “that was spot on!” Don’t take it from me, you can check out the track below.

“How Much” is the first leak from The Hangout: A3C Edition mixtape. In collaboration with Revolt TV and the aforementioned A3C Festival, SMKA booked the legendary Stankonia Studios here in Atlanta. The idea was to get some of the best up and coming music talent to connect, vibe and make tunes for the rest of us to enjoy. After three days, almost 30 artists and 12-hour recording marathons, the first release is now upon us.

The Hangout: A3C Edition features production from SMKA’s 808 Blake and Kato, as well as Prolyfic and Kamal of RadioActiveKids. Other artists include Chuck Inglish, Forte Bowie and Scotty ATL. The Hangout: A3C Edition will be released on Tuesday, October 29.

You’ve Been Noted Relaunch

YBN LogoJust in time for the most wonderful season of the year aka Fall, the family over at You’ve Been Noted have relaunched their site. Gone are the days of their humble, Tumblr-hosted beginnings, and onward we march into the brave new world of

Check out their site for all things fashion, culture and music in Atlanta, and be sure to peep the men’s style pieces penned by yours truly. 13thflr’s own Kelsey Ryan is the Co-Founder and Creative Director. Side note: She looks damn-good in anything gold. Gon’ head and note that!

That new logo is pretty clean too. Cheers to YBN!