Posts tagged with "armon hayes"

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

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Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit projects to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.

This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.

The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others. 

In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.

As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.

Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives. 

The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.

Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.

Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.

Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.

Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.

Chapter 5: Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.

Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.

Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.

Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.

Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.

Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving. 

Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.

nature illustration

Cleancult – redefining clean

By Armon Hayes

Truth be told, the cleaning industry has a dirty little secret—it’s not so clean after all. In order to fix tomorrow’s problems, we must fix today’s cleaning model. Many green cleaners don’t actually clean, and conventional ones often contain unhealthy chemicals. That’s where Cleancult comes in. 

Based in Puerto Rico, Cleancult is an eco-friendly brand that understands its duty to the Earth and its unique environments. Cleancult has products you will absolutely love and can feel good about incorporating into your routine, all the while minimizing your carbon footprint. From liquid hand soap, to laundry detergent, to dish soap made of effective cleaning power charged by nature’s finest ingredients, Cleancult keeps things clean, sustainable, non-toxic, and GMO-free. 

If you make the switch to Cleancult, you will eliminate 44 pounds of plastic waste each year.

Redefining powerful ingredients led to their signature, coconut-powered CocoClean Technology. Citric acid instantly lifts stains and tough odors without leaving behind toxins on your clothes. The plant-based formula of their hand soaps harness the power of coconuts and other biodegradable elements for a clean that’s uniquely tough on grit and grime, but gentle on your skin and our earth. The Lavender essence liquid hand soap is a gamechanger, now that frequent, vigorous, 20-second hand washing is necessary. An essential blend of aloe vera gel, olive oil, and coconut oil cleans and moisturizes your hands, leaving them feeling renewed. No worries, the same holds true for the Grapefruit Basil dish soap

The Home Bundle is the perfect package to get started, especially in a mosaic motif. It includes vibrant-colored, easy dispensers that will dress up your kitchen sink and compliment any bathroom decor. Their reusable glass bottles are shatter-resistant, rubberized but stylish, and guaranteed to be with you for the long haul. 

Cleancult has revolutionized every aspect of the cleaning process, from its ingredients to its packaging, to its performance to its shipping. Other cleaning products, even eco-friendly ones, use a lot of plastic that clogs up our homes, landfills, and oceans. An innovative refill system makes it easy for you to clean sustainably with 100% recyclable packaging made in the USA and carbon-neutral shipments. If you join the free recycle back program, Cleancult will take care of it for you, refilling your bottles and recycling your cartons. 

Everything about them comes back to one idea, redefining clean. Recyclable, paper-based milk carton refills means you can be eco-friendly in between cleans. Formulas with a little elbow grease that actually do the dirty work in your home without creating any more waste for the planet. Ready for a new cleaning routine? You can tailor every membership to your unique needs by choosing what you want, offering flexibility on shipments, and even pitching in on your recycling. 

Curate your very own clean routine with the products you need, delivered on a schedule that works with your lifestyle, because a brighter tomorrow starts with a smarter today.

A Very Sperry Fall

By: Armon Hayes

“A wet deck was such a dangerous thing” said Paul Sperry.

Sperry is the story of an iconic American brand. Fashion and sustainability has been rooted within the brand since 1934, when Paul Sperry fell off the deck of his sailboat. He set out to design a non-slip boat shoe, which led to the birth of an array of styles that would accommodate lifestyles and seasons to come. For men, women, and children, he inspired everyone to find common ground.

Inspired by his dog’s grooved paws, which never seemed to slip, he carved grooves into a rubber sole then glued that to a canvas upper. The lugged rubber outsole with molded Wave-Siping™ known as the mother of invention provides no-slip traction. It has become an iconic American shoe, with partnerships in style with artists like John Legend. As of late, in celebration of 85 years of Sperry’s iconic and true innovation, and preparing for the fall season, I highly recommend their Avenue Duck boots. It serves as the quintessential item for a forever changing environment.

I chose the tan/brown, which fits true to size built with essential features and quality materials to provide comfort and sure footing in any conditions. Therefore, I spend less time worrying about the climate while spending more time enjoying each experience in #sperrystyle 

Ready for anything, the Men’s Avenue Wool Duck boot is moderately priced at $109.95 and is available in Tan/Brown, Grey/Black, Olive/Brown and solid Brown. Four options thoughtfully designed with contrasting wool details adding texture and durability to such a fashionable shoe.

Key features include:

  • The lightweight duck boot that’s ready for anything. Looking for variety, also try the Saltwater Duck boot for Men, Women’s &Kids.
  • Waterproof EVA shell and premium wool upper keeps feet dry and warm in wintry conditions.
  • Non-marking, lugged rubber outsole with molded Wave-Siping™ provides no-slip traction.

So, no longer will you let cold temperatures and stormy skies stop you from embarking on your next journey. Take on the elements in Sperry boots designed to withstand wet weather and rugged terrain. So, you can worry less on how to keep it chic without shuffling aside your needs or, of course, safety. 

#LIVELOVELUBBOCK

By Armon Hayes

Let’s face it: we’re all reluctant and concerned to begin traveling again. Nonetheless, the world is doing its part, implementing tactics and precautions to combat the coronavirus during the reopening process. I encourage you to stimulate your mental health; what better way than to consider exploring during a weekend getaway. Take a trip out of town or stay local, depending on your comfort level. I challenge you, especially in times of heightened anxiety and isolation, to welcome new adventure and engagement. 360 Magazine, on behalf of Geiger & Associates traveled to Western Texas to experience all that the city of Lubbock has to offer.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas;” cliche as it sounds, this experience nevertheless made a grand impact. The three-day media tour refocused the lens of the “new normal.” Hopeful yet cautious lodging at Arbor Hotel & Conference Room, hospitality reminiscent of grandma’s house welcomes you with each encounter. Our first time in Texas offered a glimpse of what’s to come from a revitalized city that’s rich in spirit and overflowing with promise. Each day of our travels filled were filled with culture and inspiration: tours through local wineries, fine dining “Texas style,” and an inspiring visit to the cornerstone of the arts district.

Wine

Believe it or not, Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the US. Nearly 90% of the wine grapes in Texas are grown from the high plains, surrounding Lubbock. This robust main ingredient has been the means for families and will be for generations to come. For entrepreneurs like Steve Newsom and Tommy English, owners of English Newsom Cellars, their winery was our first stop. I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Newsom for a tour of their efficient facility and occasional event space, all while wine tasting, of course. Easy going and well-versed on the history of wine and business, Steve’s passion for their product controlled from dirt to glass is ideal. Finding ourselves newly indulgent in wine during quarantine and cultivating a palette, during 360’s visit we enjoyed the distinctive Picardan and Roussanne, while a personal favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon for its woody chocolate notes.

Having undergone a tremendous renovation, Burklee Hill is family owned. The Hill Family is the charming family which owns this vineyard, winery and bistro. Shortly after the pandemic hit, the operation was forced to close, but has since undergone a resurgence. The tasty lunch spread prepared was curated with wine pairings and included a sampler of various aged cheeses and premium cut Italian meats, collaged on a wood slab cutting board. Nestled with nuts and fruits, it made for the perfect Happy hour snack. Rightfully so, Burklee was featured in Texas Wine and Trail magazine. For its trendy and pristine interior, its spot is one to consider for hosting wedding celebrations for its Cathedral stature. As part of the revitalization of downtown, they are reaching new audiences by growing grapes on the Texas High Plains since 2002 on land farmed by the Hill family for five generations.

Like any successful business “focusing on what does well” says Kim McPherson makes entrepreneurship sound simple. Owner of McPherson Cellars, also known for being the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant in the 1930s. Restored, it is located in Lubbock’s depot entertainment district and has been transformed into a world class winery. What started as experimental vine planting in the 1960s, Kim’s father Clint “Doc” McPherson began growing grapes and by 1971 the winery became a reality. Doc was a founder and pioneer of the Texas wine industry, and the family business is respected as such. The cellar blossomed into a small but thriving operation focused on sustainably farmed, expertly crafted, small-batch wines exclusively from the backyard of the Texas High Plains. The renowned James Beard Foundation has twice nominated Kim as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer” category. McPherson Cellars wines have been recognized and awarded in several international wine competitions, as well. During these times, the future is thriving online through e-commerce allowing individuals to purchase on their website. Yet, visit them in person for a lovely patio view and a taste of wine that has won over 600 medals in state, national and international competitions.

Dining

Lubbock is expanding into a dining destination: from Spanish tapas and locally sourced dishes, to the traditional chicken fried streak and Chilton cocktail. A simple cocktail, pure as the West Texas sun, this drink is tart but refreshing. Make it yourself: 1 lemon, 1 1/2 oz Vodka preferably Lubbock’s Pinkerton Vodka. If not, Tito’s will do. Don’t forget the bubbles, Topo Chico or club soda of your choice. Legend has it that a Lubbockite known as Dr. Chilton requested this beverage at the local country club, and thus the staple drink was born. Inspired by the thriving art scene, the transformation of the city with color and creativity has also translated to its dining experiences.

What better breakfast than pies in Texas! Cast Iron Grill will satisfy your sweet tooth with their homemade pies. So good, locals know that they are sold out if they don’t order a pie before noon. Our guilty pleasures were the Cherry Banana split, the Millionaire, and the Texas delight! Satisfying to the sweet tooth, but not overpowering. In this current moment, baking has become an act of joy Clearly, owner Teresa takes after her pies: she is a treat to whomever she meets. An infectious big smile, with charm that will keep you coming back. She’s most proud of the growth of her ministry. Starting with 55 seats, she now has seating for over 200 at a time. She has learned that ministry doesn’t only apply to church. It happens every single day at the CIG, serving comforting pies and meals of the heart.

For a pick me up, look no further than Monomyth Coffee, a friendly and inviting craft coffeeshop. Started by Randell Jackson and his brother in June 2019, the first-time business owners are adapting to a pandemic. On a mission to make people happy, the brothers write quick encouraging notes on coffee cup sleeves for guests. In light of reopening, tables are monitored with marker mats indicating whether they are clean. Locals and the university community share this downtown converted antique shop, a gathering place for all kinds. A bright atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a morning brew with cozy seating arrangements. The iced latte w/ almond milk and gluten free peach cookie were the best selections to start a morning on a day full of travel.

For lunch, craving BBQ we visited Evie Mae’s who has been listed as a top 10 best in Texas Monthly. After Arnis, the owner, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and became Gluten free, it became necessary for them to prepare all of their meals at home to avoid contamination. Ahead of the curve, now all sides at the restaurant are served gluten free. Satisfying with comfort, Evie Mae’s is named after his daughter and started out in Arizona with an electric smoker on the patio. A chef at heart, Arnis took on the challenge of making his take on the reverse-flow to perfect the cooking process. Affectionately called the Black Pearl, it was completed in February 2014. “We want people to like the sauce but not be what they come back for” says Arnis. Holding tightly to the secret, we did learn it consists of three recipes, and the based is coffee. Serving pounds of certified grain feed angus daily, ribs tender to the touch, and smoked sausages, all cuts are prepared in the Central Texas style.

Arts

If you ever find yourself in Lubbock, Texas be sure it’s the first Friday of the month. Why, you ask? Lubbock is home to the first cultural arts district recognized by the state. A trail of fine art galleries and print studios to enjoy, as well as food trucks to complete the experience on these first Fridays. We delighted in exploring the trail despite it not being a First Friday, nonetheless it proved educational and inspiring to unearth a cultural area dedicated to the arts. A creative myself, I found the Charles Adams Studio most intriguing. It is an inclusive environment that is mutually beneficial for working artists, curators, galleries and students. The successful collaboration has led to four live-work studios open monthly, on the first Friday of the month, allowing visitors to connect with individual artists.

While visiting the cultural district, I encourage you to learn about Rock N’ Roll and a pioneer of the genre, Buddy Holly. Lubbock’s native son, there is a tribute center at The Buddy Holly Center which features a chronological exhibition on Holly’s life and music. It features Holly’s Fender Stratocaster guitar, glasses, stage clothes, photographs, letters, tour itineraries and much more. If that wasn’t enough, a documentary film on the life of the entertainer and his impact on the Beatles, the Rolling Stone and worldwide is available for viewing.

Places of Interest:

Buddy Holly statue & West Texas Walk of Fame: Formerly located in front of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, it is now located in the park on the northeast corner of 19th and Crickets Avenue, named after the band Buddy played in. Witnessing the bronze statue coming in at 2500 pounds, it is notable for its strong presence and the jubilance it brought when it was unveiled September 5,1980.

Lubbock High School: Where Holly attended from 1952 to 1955 and where he wrote an autobiography near the end of his sophomore year; “I have thought about making a career out of western music if I’m good enough, but will just have to wait and see that turns out”. After graduation in 1955, the school features a small exhibit in the main hallway that includes Buddy memorabilia.

Buddy Holly’s Home in 1957: 1305 37th Street where he and his family were living when “That Will be the Day” became the #1 record in the country. If visiting, simply drive by and please do not impose on those living in the home now.

Lubbock Entertainment / Performance Arts Association is proud to announce that the community vision for the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Science is now becoming a reality. The Buddy Holly Theatre was built to accommodate and become a cultural hub of Lubbock while being the cornerstone of downtown revitalization. Expected to open Nov/Dec 2020, it is meant to become an inclusive event space for all acts of life. Furthermore, it hopes to fuel the economy for years to come. The hard hat tour explored the luxury suites and amenities that will be available but were delayed due to COVID-19.

Art and culture permeate throughout the city of Lubbock. The Public Art Program at Texas Tech University was initiated by the board In 1988. Yes, there’s an app for that, with the intention to enrich the campus environments and extend their educational and artistic mission. The Texas Tech public art collection features over 100 items displayed by some of today’s leading artists. It was named one of the top art collections in the US by the Public Art Review. The Agave Dreams piece in particular resonated with me because of the positioning and the color of choice of the figure; navy blue, kneeling and tending to the earth. Part of the biology building, standing 10ft by 12ft long, Agave Dreams was created by Julian Voss-Andreae in 2015. Completely made of triangles, simple but complex, it encourages us to question our attitude toward nature and web of life. A fulfilling viewing experience to anyone interested in art.

In the heart of Lubbock, Texas you’ll surely be smitten at the unmatched hospitality the “Hub City” provides. A pioneering spirit will certainly have permission to live and love Lubbock.

American Cancer Society charity digital pop up for MCM illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

MCM x ACS

By Armon Hayes

On Wednesday, October 14 MCM and style architect Misa Hylton will go LIVE promptly at 10:55am from Soho for an exclusive virtual shopping event. An RSVP only experience for their partnership with the American Cancer Society; together they fight relentlessly for a world free of Cancer. This year, I was welcomed to support the first-ever virtual shopping event, hosted by iconic stylist and MCM’s Global Creative Partner, Misa Hylton. With intense purpose, she inspires us by remixing her vision with functionality. Provided with live updates leading up to the event via text, coupled with the means to interact and shop look-book in a touchless society.

How it works: 

Request desired favorites with SKU and await an invoice by email to complete transaction. 20% of proceeds from sales of this event will be donated to support the ACS. The 30-minute live event will feature MCM’s Fall 2020 pink assortment. At 11am the full assortment preview will begin, followed by a Q&A from Hylton. Qualifying orders will additionally receive a gift. Misa will style six looks on-model and show different ways you can wear these must-have pieces. With the goal being to shop to one’s content, if you ever needed a reason to shop until you drop, this event would be it. No trick, but certainly a treat for a cause we all know and are too familiar with. For those survivors and current fighters, their families and community warriors stand proudly with them through the fight despite at times feeling hopeless. This month in particular creates a driving force within me. Currently, I am approaching the five year anniversary of Liam Maurice Fields; my cousin who transitioned during his fight with leukemia. Only a child and here for a short time, it’s often the smallest things that are the most impactful. 

MCM and the American Cancer Society are providing an opportunity to join the fight against cancer. Funds raised through the 2020 campaign will assist cancer patients in a variety of ways, including:

Education: The American Cancer Society educates the public, providers, community members and employers regarding cancer screening guidelines.

Advocacy: The American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM, the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, advocates on behalf of cancer patients at local, state and federal levels (including access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for insured and uninsured individuals).

Research: The American Cancer Society has dedicated over $4.9 billion dollars toward cancer research since 1946.

Service: The American Cancer Society provides cancer information and support through its 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345 and online at cancer.org.

MCM is proud to participate this year with innovative concepts in these times. Last October, MCM’s pink product campaign raised over $20,000. The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. The coronavirus pandemic has brought challenges for cancer patients worldwide, but cancer hasn’t stopped and neither has the American Cancer Society. Together, both organizations are committed to moving us closer to a world without cancer and appreciate the support from supporters, clients and friends. 

About The Host: 

Misa Hylton’s global influence can’t be overstated; she reaches +3.1 billion people worldwide through her relationships and collaborations with networks and publications, celebrities and brands. She has the admiration and ear of today’s biggest household names in music, entertainment and popular culture. She continues to revolutionize fashion at various levels – collaborating with luxury fashion house MCM as Global Creative Partner, styling private celebrity clients, featuring as a commentary subject in two documentaries on music epochs, leading a new generation of creatives at her Misa Hylton Fashion Academy and instructing professional studies courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Misa continues to transcend categories by constantly redefining modern style.

BLXST RELEASES NEW EP

By Armon Hayes

In celebration, BLXST held a properly social distanced and invite-only listening forum last night in Santa Monica. During the friend & family event, the artist and producer shared his highly anticipated release, No Love Lost, out now! The EP, from the West Coast rapper-singer-songwriter under Red Bull Records, is an expansive and emotive collection of music inspired by past relationships and his hometown, LA. The EP is filled with instrumentation that fills the track with raw emotion—a vibe reminiscent of the legendary Nate Dog, and is accompanied by a four-part cinematic series of videos to bring the project’s overarching narrative to life.

No Love Lost’s quintessential West Coast vibe will be perfect to cruise to for a long time to come.

Imagine your windows rolled down, the sun shining while your speakers are on blast. Blxst’s sound fits right in—fluid musicality slides through the pocket between R&B and Hip-Hop seamlessly, complimented with just the right amount of swagger.

The EP has an edgy attitude and slick soul lyrics that will appeal to all ears and generations. Starting with the release of his latest single, “Overrated,” Blxst speaks on love’s risk and the expectations that we and society place on relationships unexpectedly not living up to our idealized expectations.  “Hurt,” on the other hand, is a mirror of life experiences, and specifically the processes of overcoming obstacles and what we learn from said trials. 

Blxst is a multi-hyphenated, multi-threat talent. He initially earned notoriety for his production work and collaborations with artists like Kendrick Lamar, YG, Mozzy, G Perico, Eric Bellinger, Bino Rideaux, and more. His recent singles, including “My Emotions” and “Slip & Slide (feat. 1takejay)”, garnered praise from DJ Akademiks, Bibi Bourelly, TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson, and more

Bio
No Love Lost Trailer
“Overrated” Video

Socials–
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak for 360 MAGAZINE.

360 Magazine Marches on Washington

By Cassandra Yany × Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Recently, our team journeyed to Washington, D.C. for the National Action Network’s Commitment March. The August 28 march marked 57 years since the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech. According to the National Action Network’s website, the goal of the march was to advocate for comprehensive police accountability reform, promote participation in the Census and motivate voters to cast their ballots in the upcoming Presidential election.

The National Action Network was founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991. With nearly 100 chapters nationwide, the civil rights organization works in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. to achieve “one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression or sexuality.”

The trip from New York to Washington, D.C. was made easy by taking Amtrak’s Acela service. Despite the higher price point, the Acela is newer and less crowded than regional trains. The express train eliminated the burden of tolls and stopped in only a few cities, arriving in D.C. after about three and a half hours. It can be stressful to travel right now, so it was a relief to see how clean the train was. The quiet car, basic free wifi and outlets on board provided the perfect environment to research and write articles on our tablets. We utilized our extra time to discuss with one another and prepare for our coverage of the march and our days in D.C.

The café offered coffee and various snack options, and the sliding glass doors made it easy for us to walk through the cars. The reclining seats were comfortable and allowed us to rest before our trip. There were also sections of four seats for those traveling in a larger group. Each passenger could bring two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds, and two carry-on bags weighing up to 50 pounds at no additional cost. Amtrak is currently offering reduced fares for two to six tickets purchased together where riders can save eight to 45 percent.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

Luckily, we were able to call Amtrak in advance to ensure we could carry on our folding bicycles. With limited parking available in the city, electric bikes served as a great mode of transportation for many protesters. E-bikes such as the DYU Smart Bike and a custom scooter from Good Vibe Gliders were an affordable alternative to renting a car, and made covering and participating in the march much easier.

The Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks started early Friday morning. Participants marched through the National Mall, many carrying signs remembering those whose lives have been lost in acts of police violence. Others displayed “Black Lives Matter” on flags, shirts and masks.

Some participants created street art during the event, voicing their support through their work. At one point, a number of demonstrators stood together in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Washington Monument. Marchers reached the section of 16 Street NW that has become known as “Black Lives Matter Plaza” around 3:30 PM before dispersing for the day.

Organizers of the march upheld COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. The National Action Network placed multiple signs throughout the National Mall encouraging social distancing, and took marchers’ temperatures as they entered the area. Face masks were distributed to people who did not have one, and visitors from high-risk areas were urged to join virtually from their homes. There was also a testing booth on site, as reported by WUSA 9.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

The march was co-convened by Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. Among the thousands of attendees who gathered on the National Mall were the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Jacob Blake. Many members of these families gave speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, along with lawmakers from across the country. These congressmen and women pushed for legislation that would address cases of racial injustice.

Though she was not present, Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris shared her message to marchers via Twitter. In her speech, which was played at the event, she said, “…if we work together, to challenge every instinct our nation has to return to the status quo, and combine the wisdom of long time warriors for justice, with the creative energy of the young leaders today, we have an opportunity to make history, right here and right now.”

Yolanda Renee King took the stage to address the crowd, standing where her grandfather had led March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a video posted by CNN she said, “We stand and march for love and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream.” She then led a chant of “Show me what democracy looks like; This is what democracy looks like!”

Friday was also the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s murder. The 14-year-old was lynched and thrown off a bridge while visiting family in Mississippi. He was abducted after “allegedly whistling at a white woman,” according to ABC 7 Chicago, and his body was found mutilated in the Tallahatchie River. Till’s family never received justice, as the two men responsible for his death were both acquitted. Till’s murder helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. Civil rights leader and former congressman John Lewis wrote that “Emmett Till was [his] George Floyd” in a New York Times essay that was published on the day of Lewis’ funeral.

The trip provided a meaningful experience to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as time to see local relatives. 360 President Vaughn Lowery visited his uncle Leroy Lowery, the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, who raised over $120 million for the Stone of Hope.

Leroy Lowery is the son of the late Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped Martin Luther King, Jr. establish the Southern Christina Leadership Conference, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Leroy Lowery attended the march with his father in 1963 and stated on Friday, “to see that we have to march [again] 57 years later is deflating.”

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

The Leather City

By Armon Hayes

Superheroes are as custom as their outfits. Living in a world where versatility and luxury are never compromised, The Leather City is the destination where craftsmanship meets your leather desires.

Amazingly stitched pieces of premium quality are seamless when it comes to design. Rooted in heritage, The Leather City proudly represents over 22 years of leather goods at their most polished.

The pop culture partnership with the Canada-based company comes at a time when we all could tap into our inner “superhero”. From Black Panther to Deadpool, Superman to Batman and Captain Marvel to Nightwing, The Leather City’s superhero jackets let us embrace the spirit of our heroes at a time in which our world could use a few high-powered individuals battling for justice.

Building bridges in Africa and Dubai, the high fashion brand diversifies its efforts to further its commitment to heritage. The Leather City doesn’t just make jackets. These pieces are leather artwork lined and designed to cater to extraordinary lives, and the zipper closure jacket is premium to its smell and tailored fit.

The Leather City is following these superheroes with a goal to protect, though not against aliens, supervillains and evil gods. They are providing workers with items like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and soap to counter the spread of COVID-19 and keep their customers safe.

Shades by Saint Owen

Pressure225 Q&A for 360 Magazine

Pressure225 Q&A

By Armon Hayes

Pressure225 offers refreshing perspective and a  distinctive voice. Emerging thru the rubble of battle rap, the sound of no regrets, leaving it all on every track. 

Rapper Pressure225 released his visual debut for his song “I give you everything,” has an upcoming EP To Die For, and is just coming off of a monumental win in a freestyle rap battle.

The Bronx native’s career is growing with the momentum of his victory as HOT97’s Top shelf freestyle winner. Pressure spits his way to the top of rap battles and music charts with the wit and cadences of a budding force in Hip Hop. My first encounter with Pressure225 was at SOBS where I worked closely with the new artist as he prepared for his performance. Today, I caught up with the lyricist for a Q&A for 360 Magazine and learned how his charm translates from the stage and into real life.

What new projects are you working?

I’m currently finishing my new EP titled “To Die For.” Every time I say the title it feels off, to be real. But it’s a story. You would have to tune in to understand the concept behind it.

I try to make all my projects based on a theme and this one made me dig deeper than any of the other projects I worked on. To try and summarize, it’s about letting go of what you love. In my eyes, that is music. “Is this something I love where the sacrifice is worth the reward?” I’ve been working on this so long, the stress of the independent grind I just had to ask myself, is it to die for? Listen in and it will translate deeper.

What inspired your new music and video for “I give you everything?”

“I give you everything” goes back to the theme in the music. It’s a revolving door behind the questions I have for my passion. It’s almost like my insecurities speaking. I also felt like many people can relate. How much of myself can I give to the craft before I fall down? I wrote the song in 20 minutes and it was the first song I recorded with the homie @madamixes. I’ve always recorded my own projects but this time I felt that I needed to give that responsibility to another ear. It worked out and by taking the opportunity I learned so much about recording in the new streaming era.

The video was shot by @ezrugonalez, and, to be honest we had no big plan. It was like a run and gun video that he made work. His vision behind the camera is crazy. We shot it in Dumbo, Brooklyn and Ezru gave the direction and I gave the performance.

How do you respond to critics who treat battle rap not as a mainstream vehicle?

I love battle rap. Battle rap is the purest form of rap. It’s raw and performed in one shot as a 9-minute performance done in three rounds. It doesn’t get more real than that. There are big time battlers who make $70-80k a battle. I wouldn’t say battle rap is not mainstream but big leagues like @urltv, who are backed by the likes of Drake, are definitely taking it there. If you come up in battle rap it can open gates to new opportunities for sure.

Describe your music in one word?

Unpredictable.

As the winner of episode 4 of Hot 97’s Top shelf, what are your biggest takeaways?

Networking is key. Listen and learn from the people you meet, take advantage of the rooms you are in. I met some good people behind the scenes who handed me game that I hold on to till this day. When I get my shot for @funkflex freestyle, I will show out for sure lol.

Artist you hope to collaborate with?

My dream list is very New York. Jadakiss, Fab, Nas, but if we are talking more active I’d say J. Cole, Kendrick. I also really like Griselda Records, Westside Gunn, Conway, and Benny for bringing rap back to New York.

How has quarantine life been for you as a new independent artist?

As for independent artists, all we ask for is free time to work on the craft. We as a whole have never been in this predicament. For myself, I can say I took advantage of that time. I am more aware of the steps I need to take on my journey. I made some investments and now I am looking to drop the projects I worked on during quarantine.

What are your thoughts on rap culture seemly more inclusive?

Its a love-hate thing. I love the fact that rap culture has come this far. I hate the moments I step back and know when it’s being patronized. I’m a guest in Hip Hop and it saved me; I will always be on the front lines to keep this culture growing.

Who are your top five rappers?

I don’t have a top five. It’s the age old question and I’m so deep into rap that my mood changes too much to pick five. But, I do have three that will always remain, that’s Jay Z, Big, and Nas. But, I may change that later.

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