Premieres February 5, 2021 – JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana! Watch the trailer now!

JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana – a documentary film series by Leslie Cunningham. Produced by TRIBES Entertainment.

The glorious legend of Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana, a so-called Jig Show that endures racism, segregation and immigration laws to become popular in the 1940s through the 1960s. See the brown-skin showgirls and meet the brave African-American showman who left an extraordinary legacy despite the insurmountable odds against him and his dreams. Produced by TRIBES Entertainment. Visit jigshow.com.

View the best TRIBES issues in digital format free

View TRIBES‘ best issues in digital format free! 

About TRIBES magazine – Born out of necessity in 2004, TRIBES came to life as self-sustaining artists across the Triangle area (NC) generating trends in music, visual arts and the printed word were calling out for a voice. Soon, indie artists, musicians and writers from around the world came to rely on TRIBES as a platform for showcasing their talent, and TRIBES’ loyal community of readers came to depend on TRIBES magazine for the freshest stories shaping the future of urban entertainment and culture. Read more.

TRIBES Magazine: Issue 35-Spark Africa, on Amazon

Special “Spark Africa” collector’s edition in print or on Kindle on Amazon!

TRIBES Magazine: Issue 35, Special Africa Issue

In this special issue of TRIBES, join us as we head to Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leon, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and S. Africa to meet musician and activist Nneka raising awareness around big oil business, natural resource exploitation, and state corruption in her hometown of Warri; Hip Hop Activist, promoter, and journalist, Buddha Blaze co-founder of Spark Africa to generate and unify Hip Hop communities across the African continent; Sister Fa- Female MC and subject of the documentary film, Sarabah, on her mission to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) practices in her Senegalese homeland; and, MAMA AFRICA, Miriam Makeba, and her peace and humanitarian work during and after the fall of apartheid in her native South Africa.

Order this Special Collector’s Edition on Amazon! 

These individuals, and the other artists and activists to grace the pages of this Spark Africa edition, teach us that through intensely personal, substantively relevant expressions of art and culture, we become infinitely connected and limitless beings with voices amplified for the work of improving our world. In this issue, love, and as a means for revolution, reigns supreme and thus, we welcome you to the TRIBES Magazine SPARK AFRICA Issue. May your heart’s light illuminate the darkness! (Published Spring 2012). 

Get more issues in print or digital! 

TRIBES Magazine announces the final issue – #37

STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINE OF URBAN MUSIC, ARTS AND CULTURE

After 13 years, TRIBES magazine has published its final issue – #37.  Born out of necessity in 2004, TRIBES magazine came to life as self-sustaining artists across the Triangle area of North Carolina were calling out for a voice.

Armed with the power to sniff out creative talent and star-making spirit, Leslie Cunningham, the magazine’s creator and editor-in-chief, robbed from the commercial rich and gave to the media-starved with a goal of giving to those determined to share something of themselves and their experience, a platform- a page from which to speak their ideas, an opportunity that for some artists may never come again.

Voted us “Best Online Zine” in 2009, and “Poetry Magazine of the Year” in 2010.

Over time, indie artists, musicians and writers from around the globe came to rely on TRIBES as a platform for showcasing their talent, while TRIBES’ loyal community of readers came to depend on TRIBES for the freshest stories shaping the future of urban entertainment and culture.

For more than a decade, TRIBES stayed ever-committed to showcasing the countless, lessor known (but no less prolific) independent artists across the globe as they pioneered expression and made essential noise in their communities.

Purchase TRIBES issues in print and online.

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Each issue of TRIBES throbbed with the beat of music, hip hop, politics, visual art and photography, and bursted with articles, poetry and personal narratives authored by a winning team of entertainment journalists, artists, and social critics. In the archives of TRIBES, greats like Damian Marley, India.Arie, Tyler Perry, KRS One, Dead Prez, Ludacris, and so many more, have been featured. Still, the heart of TRIBES was, and will always be, with the self-sustaining arts. View past issues. 

A special thank you to the many editors, writers, artists, photographers and poets who have contributed issue after issue, year after year!  

  • Dasan Ahanu, Writer
  • Dialo Askia, Writer and Editor
  • Brett Chambers, Photographer
  • Emanuel Cole, Photographer
  • Patricia R. Corbett, Editor and Writer
  • Keith Davis, Contributor
  • Sandi Freeman, Executive Editor and Writer
  • Alana A. Jones, Executive Editor and Writer
  • Nichole Martin, Senior writer
  • Gabriel Rich, Writer
  • And so many more!

Collect your copies! Visit our store to order past issues in print and digital format.  

Learn more about TRIBES Entertainment. 

HAYTI! The Hippest Black Film Festival in the South Just Got Better!

By Leslie Cunningham, filmmaker and TRIBES Team

If you haven’t noticed, Durham’s Hayti Heritage Film Festival (HHFF) is bringing something fresh and new this year and Bull city film lovers are taking notice! I’m a longtime fan of the annual festival which is one of the longest-running Black film festivals in the country.

I’m damn sure proud of radioman Marc Lee, who dedicated his talents to making the festival happen year after year during Black History Month. Since I’ve been making film, Lee has definitely supported my work. In fact, my first documentary MI, A Different Kind of Girl, premiered at HHFF in 2012.  I remember when my female subject started taping up her breasts and transforming into a male on-screen and several of the festival goers got up quickly and walked out! A few minutes later, the audio got really low and we couldn’t hear parts of the film. I was mortified! Still, Lee invited me back again in 2014 to screen a work-in-progress of my current doc Jig Show | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana; and again in 2015 to premiere my experimental short doc, Funding Aumont Whitaker.  We also did a Q&A with the film subject and the packed house at the Hayti just loved it! If I haven’t said it enough, Thank you Marc Lee for helping me to kick-start my filmmaking career!

SDF’s Lana Garland taking HHFF to new heights

Lana Garland – Filmmaker and SDF Program Director

HHFF just got LIT! Lana Garland, a filmmaker and program director at the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) has taken over the festival’s programming and planning for 2018 and the film lineup is popping with an array of classic Black cinema, cutting-edge docs, fictional shorts and features, and an opening night reception! This year’s 24th season goes down February 15th-17th and is sponsored by SDF, Flourishing Films, Be Connected and a few other heavy-hitters helping Garland to make this a phenomenal festival year! The must-watch films are Stefon Bristol’s sci-fi short, See You Yesterday, executive produced by Spike Lee and Isaac Green’s Beyond All.  My dude Ricky Kelly, a really amazing filmmaker in Durham,  is also screening his new doc Black Beach/White Beach, check out the trailer at the topI can’t wait to see it and I am so proud to be a part of Durham’s film community! Checkout the lineup of films and come out and support the Hayti Film FestivalSee you in the audience!

INSPIRING BEAUTY: Ebony Fashion Fair Runway Show, Raleigh, NC

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Inspiring Beauty: Ebony Fashion Fair Celebrating 50 Years! October 2017. Photos taken by Emanuel Cole Photography. Visit the NC Museum of Art to learn more- http://ncartmuseum.org/exhibition/inspiring_beauty_50_years_of_ebony_fashion_fair

Feature Event: PURPLE FREEDOM: BREAKING THE CYCLE RETURNS Saturday Nov 4th, Durham, NC

Purchase Tickets Here.

Back by popular demand Saturday November 4th, 2017 StandUp-SpeakOut of North Carolina, A Healing Through Arts Production Presents Purple FREEDOM: Breaking the Cycle. Purple Freedom: Breaking the Cycle is a poetic monologue highlighting the long-term impact of generational abuse with an emphasis on teen dating violence, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and mental illness. The event is a fundraising event for SUSO-NC’s operating program budget. All proceeds will support SUSO-NC’s programs and services. Not advised for children under 10 years of age.

Purple FREEDOM: Breaking the Cycle

“She stood in silence too afraid to walk away, too afraid to speak and too afraid to leave. She knew that any word she would utter at this moment would leave her black and blue and she was tired. Tired of crying. Tired of fighting, Tired of living in the walls of shame, guilt, and fear. These days it seemed God didn’t hear her silent cries, so she sat there taking verbal hit after hit after hit until her body and mind became numbed to it”.

Tamika Green always dreamed of her Happily Ever After, beautiful home, good husband, smart and healthy children, and a life she could be proud of. On the the outside looking in Tamika has it all, she has a loving husband who is a successful business owner, active father, good looking,charming, and God-fearing man. She has her handsome son, they call him “the ladies man” he’s athletic, popular, makes good grades, and destine for a spot with the NBA. She has a good job, great friends, and a life her friends say they envy. But behind the pictured perfect life, beautiful home, beautiful family, and her Godly demeanor , Tamika has learned to mask the deep rooted secrets that hold her captive in an abusive passive aggressive prison. Her fight for freedom will lead her down a journey of generational abuse connected through cycles of trauma and revolving doors of pain. Her faith will be tested, her life will be threatened, and her world will come crumbling down on her. The life she once knew will all seem like a dream, but Tamika will soon learn in order to break free she has to dig deep and uproot the core of the pain. Breaking the cycle will not be easy, but healing is necessary for FREEDOM.

StandUp~SpeakOut of North Carolina (SUSO-NC) a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides advocacy and therapeutic support through Art Therapy for children and teens who are victims or witnesses of domestic violence and or sexual abuse. For More Information or to become a sponsor of this event please email info@susonc.org. We have a sponsorship packet available to meet your budget. Inquire today. Visit http://www.susonc.org.

Purchase tickets here.

Feature Artist: Stefflon Don

Stefflon Don

Rap with wicked, dancehall-inspired wordplay

STEFFLON DON

(bbc.co.uk) – It’s this conviction that has earned Stefflon Don, aka Stephanie Allen, a reputation as an emphatically real MC. Her inventive rhymes and wordplay have already caught the attention of rap and grime fans alike, proving that this bilingual mum-of-one and self-described “girl with the blue hair” is a force to be reckoned with.

Steff attributes her straight-talking attitude to her diverse upbringing. After moving to Holland aged five, she enjoyed a liberal childhood in a richly multicultural environment. Eight years later, she returned to the UK with a view of the bigger picture: that there was a world outside of London. Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/5NrB84dPnSZ5LdwGxYSM0Kk/stefflon-don

Spill: Stirring the Evolution and Freedom of Black Women Unleashed

Spill: Stirring the Evolution and Freedom of Black Women Unleashed

By Patricia Corbett

On January 20, 2017, I was invited to a gathering of women at Duke University to hear Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Dr. Hortense Spillers engage in a conversation based on Dr. Gumbs book, Spill. Hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies department, the timing was both brilliant and serendipitous. Receiving this invitation of the date of the 45th presidential inauguration was most welcomed and indeed highly anticipated. It is a rare treat to be a part of a discussion about a book and then to witness it reimagined as a performance piece. The discussion entitled, Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity in Conversation and Performance, was the antidote to an otherwise challenge to one’s intelligence and sensibility to watch the news of the day unfold. The poignant dialogue about intimacy, practice, and protest became a perfect prelude to the first performance of Spill by SpiritHouse, a local Durham theater company.

The Spill performance was robust and sometimes schizophrenic. Black women unabashedly ‘spilling’ emotion everywhere. The play managed to capture the reality of the black woman’s burden, pain, confusion, and her transcendent ability to claim herself amid the madness both self-inflicted and inflicted upon her. The performance was so intriguing that I wanted to know more about the incantations and the revelatory mix of words that created rifts of struggle and freedom that push back against a society that diminishes the value of black women.

I sent Dr. Gumbs the following questions and knew once I began reading Spill, that I would want to explore more of her 21st century black feminist terrain. For now, a brief Q/A with Dr. Alexis Gumbs based on her discussion, “Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity”, the SpiritHouse performance, and her new book, Spill: scenes of black feminist fugitivity.

How is Spill and act of intimacy, practice, and protest?

Spill came out of my desire to be with the archive of Black women’s literary and the critical work of Hortense Spillers, one of the Black feminist theorists who has influenced me the most as a scholar.  I wrote it as a daily practice of being with the tradition that produced me without having to explain it or sell it right away.  I wrote the passages in Spill early in the morning, like about 4 or 5am which is before my fear wakes up (my fear wakes up at about 8am most days).   So yes.  It is intimate because I wrote it from a vulnerable place, and because it addresses intimate violence.  It is practice because it was my daily practice for more than a year, and now it shapes my ongoing practice of activating Black feminist brilliance in public with my communities.  And it’s protest because Black women’s freedom requires a completely transformed world.  Everything must change. Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Feature Event: That’s The Joint, 5/8, Pinhook, Durham, NC

The UGC presents “That’s the Joint”, Monday nights at The Pinhook! Join us as we take the traditional Monday night “open mic” to a whole new level. Comedy, live music, MCs, producers, talent showcase….I’m giving you a chance to show off! I’m excited about this one y’all!
For ALL submissions, please email: respecttheculture7@gmail.com. Venue Information: The Pinhook, 117 W. Main St., Durham, NC, 27701. www.thepinhook.com.

Artist Spotlight: U.K.’s Nadia Rose

It was the 4th quarter of 2015 when the 23 year old,  UK rap starlet, Nadia Rose dropped her 2nd underground viral hit ‘D.F.W.T‘ after already having had a first with the track ‘Station‘. The single that’s been heard on every UK based urban radio station across the nation was shortly followed by Nadia’s third track ‘BOOM‘, which has been a regular feature on BBC Radio 1’s “INMWT” (In Music We Trust) playlist.

Since then the records received rave reviews & regular airplay from popular DJ’s Semtex, Mista Jam & Annie Mac. The video regularly plays on popular music channels such as KISS. Since becoming Sony Music Group‘s latest signee, (under the subsidiary Relentless Records), it’s needless to say that Nadia Rose is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with within the UK music scene.

With a string of sold-out live performances under her belt performing alongside acts such as Section Boyz, Anderson & Paak, major brand endorsements from Adidas, G-Star, Beats by Dre, DKNY and a co-sign from R&B Superstar Alicia Keys, Nadia is clearly raising the bar for female rappers in a scene typically dominated by men. Read more. 

facebook.com/nadiarosemusic

Poetry TRIBE: Everything Worth Fighting For

Everything Worth Fighting For

By Dasan Ahanu

There is a joy that comes with seeing

groups of children playing

in an open field

A twinge in your gut that comes

when passing a sun kissed testimony

in tattered clothes

holding court on a corner

A smile that forms

when a phone call affirms

that hard work has placed

another snapshot of black excellence

where the world can see

An affirming head nod

that says that

in a room of obstacles and expectation

we belong here

There is the pride

that beams at youthful recital

Cheers that accompany

athletic achievement

A hug that starter pistols

the next glorious gathering

of friends

Laughter that chronicles

The best of times

Tears that fall

During the worst times

These are the moments

that let us know that there is

so much worth fighting for

I know a cadre of will

talking bout toppling institutions

and dismantling systems

of oppression

in the back room of a church

2 prayers from a liquor house

Down the street

from a school named after an optimist

Around the corner

from a complex

considered an eyesore

with low property values

that has birthed more blessings

than bastards

These dedicated rebels

are planning demonstration

Coordinating childcare

Identifying roles and tasks

Building capacity with a passion unmatched

Their discussions are a joyful noise

These are the visionaries

who know that there is

so much worth fighting for

See there is promise

wrestling with purpose

in a classroom

during the late hour

They are inspired by the tales

of ancestors before

Searching for victory after

They came with questions

and are leaving

with a focused strategy

This is where developing minds

seek greater understanding

past professors and syllabi

Together

Here

careers and families

are distant actualizations

of a tuition paid journey

Today

Today is where they sharpen

their skills at crafting

a wonderfully sculpted

happy ending

Tomorrow

They will march and demand

Pushing administration

to consider that dorm rooms

are not margins

That the blueprints of their future

should have etchings

from their own hands

They are everything worth fighting for

There are neighborhoods to reclaim

Lost lives to honor with resilience

Names to say

Legacies to build

Ancestors to invoke

Text to review

Positions to be held

Stories to be told

Lessons to be learned

Insight to be passed

Programs to be developed

Work to be done

My God

Don’t you feel it?

Can’t you see it?

There is truth clotheslined

along the horizon

Hung by angels

who want us to see

what this world is meant to be

There

drying by the light of the sun

is woven inspiration

covered in the tears

of those who left

before the battle was won

Sitting in your house right now

is a mirror

with an honest tongue

and a glimmer in its eye

Waiting to have a

Heart-to-heart conversation

with you

It has a message to deliver

in familiar clarity

A promise to make

A revelation to share

A desire to let you know

that if you take a look there

that it can show you

everything worth fighting for

 

Get the Spring 2017 Issue of TRIBES Magazine

 

Dr. Alexis Gumbs’ SPILL

Spill: Stirring the Evolution and Freedom of Black Women Unleashed

By Patricia Corbett

 

On January 20, 2017, I was invited to a gathering of women at Duke University to hear Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Dr. Hortense Spillers engage in a conversation based on Dr. Gumbs book, Spill. Hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies department, the timing was both brilliant and serendipitous. Receiving this invitation of the date of the 45th presidential inauguration was most welcomed and indeed highly anticipated. It is a rare treat to be a part of a discussion about a book and then to witness it reimagined as a performance piece. The discussion entitled, Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity in Conversation and Performance, was the antidote to an otherwise challenge to one’s intelligence and sensibility to watch the news of the day unfold. The poignant dialogue about intimacy, practice, and protest became a perfect prelude to the first performance of Spill by SpiritHouse, a local Durham theater company.

The Spill performance was robust and sometimes schizophrenic. Black women unabashedly ‘spilling’ emotion everywhere. The play managed to capture the reality of the black woman’s burden, pain, confusion, and her transcendent ability to claim herself amid the madness both self-inflicted and inflicted upon her. The performance was so intriguing that I wanted to know more about the incantations and the revelatory mix of words that created rifts of struggle and freedom that push back against a society that diminishes the value of black women.

I sent Dr. Gumbs the following questions and knew once I began reading Spill, that I would want to explore more of her 21st century black feminist terrain. For now, a brief Q/A with Dr. Alexis Gumbs based on her discussion, “Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity”, the SpiritHouse performance, and her new book, Spill: scenes of black feminist fugitivity.

How is Spill and act of intimacy, practice, and protest?

Spill came out of my desire to be with the archive of Black women’s literary and the critical work of Hortense Spillers, one of the Black feminist theorists who has influenced me the most as a scholar.  I wrote it as a daily practice of being with the tradition that produced me without having to explain it or sell it right away.  I wrote the passages in Spill early in the morning, like about 4 or 5am which is before my fear wakes up (my fear wakes up at about 8am most days).   So yes.  It is intimate because I wrote it from a vulnerable place, and because it addresses intimate violence.  It is practice because it was my daily practice for more than a year, and now it shapes my ongoing practice of activating Black feminist brilliance in public with my communities.  And it’s protest because Black women’s freedom requires a completely transformed world.  Everything must change. Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Introducing Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

By Patricia Corbett

A Black Woman Speaks of Art, Identity, and Ancestry

I’ve known Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi personally for more than 10 years. When she granted me this interview after two years of interaction only via social media, I was ecstatic to hear her warm and spirited voice again. As we shared pleasantries we segued into a transcendent interview that far exceeded my expectations. There was something different about Lady Dane. Something powerful. She exuded her usual colorful confidence, but she was so vividly clear about who she is and her walk in the world. Our conversation was mixed with a landscape of emotion. We laughed and cried. Lady Dane was no longer the little girl who years ago auditioned for my play. In our absence from each other, she waded into the deep ocean of identity and emerged the female embodiment of who she had been all her life.

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author, Teacher, Choreographer, Oracular Consultant, Priestess, and Advocate self-described as an Ancient zz Priestess of Mother Africa. She is a force in the world of art, trans advocacy, and the spiritual realm. Her art and passion for issues that impact trans people globally is a testament to a legacy handed down, cultivated, and inspired by her family and the ancestors. Allow me to introduce to you Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi.

“My father is Nigerian and my mother is Cuban and Indigenous. I come from a family of performers. They were loud and talkative. My Mother and her sisters sang. So I was expected to sing. I was very introverted. I read Langston Hughes and history books about Africa and America. I would write my own books and poetry. I was told I needed to be smart and educated. If I want something I had to fight for it. Nothing would be handed to me.” . Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Feature Event: Sexy Dancer: A Burlesque Celebration of Prince, April 29, Durham, NC

Dearly Beloveds, we will gather on April 29th, 2017 to get through this thing called life.

Garden of Delights has assembled a cast like no other to celebrate the life of the Purple One, His Royal Badness, the Artist Forever Known as Prince. So bust out your Diamonds and Pearls, put on your Raspberry Beret, and drive your little red Corvette down to Monkey Bottom Collaborative for Sexy Dancer: A Burlesque Celebration of Prince! https://www.facebook.com/events/436462123357566/

Starring:
Caza Blanca
Jo’Rie Tigerlily
Lottie Ellington
Murphy Lawless
Kayy Lovely
Rebel
Ophelia Hart
JoRose
Sally Stardust
Miss Blue Bell
Zadora Zaftig

Doors: 9 pm, Show: 10 pm. Tickets on sale now!!!  https://www.facebook.com/events/436462123357566/

Art: PHREE, Swept Away to Uncharted Territories

By Leslie Cunningham

Freedom can only be achieved when we stop resisting and accept our lives as an accumulation of our experiences and the connection to our ancestors. This is what Dina Mccullough’s art represents to me.

Primarily known for creating mixed media installations and sculptures, Dina is a 47-year old African American self-taught contemporary artist who revels in making multi-dimensional spaces of speculation, imagination and human experience. Her work “The Free Wall”, a multimedia work of copper, plaster, clay and tile that depicts slaves and their lives, is now in permanent collection at the Myers House in Albany, New York.

Originally from Philadelphia, Dina didn’t choose art, it found her at a time when she was embracing sobriety, melting wax for candles, and putting the pieces of her broken life back together at Extended Stay outside of Atlanta. “Before I found out who my real father was in 2015, I felt like something was missing in my life,” shares Dina. Today, under the moniker Phree Spirit Abstracts, Dina creates what she wants, without restraint. Provocative, confrontational and at times obfuscous to ingest all at once, Dina’s art mostly addresses issues around feminism, politics, and history, putting her in the ranks with of other bold expressionists such as Kara Walker and Xaviera Simmons. Dina says she was inspired to create “The Free Wall” after reading the story of a reburial project that honored 14 African slaves after 200 years. “After reading about the Schuyler slaves, “I wanted to celebrate they were finally getting a proper burial.”

An offering to the ancestors, Dina’s latest work is called “The Scales of Injustice”. In this work, Dina sheds light on the torture and pain experienced by African women during slavery. What started out as an art piece about slave blocks has morphed into a beautifully disturbing multimedia installation comprised of six women who are impregnated with cotton, coffee, rice and indigo – products that highlight how these commodities fueled America’s dependency on slave labor. In her art journal, she writes:

Over four hundred years ago,
we were beaten kidnapped, murdered and raped
the most fervent prayer was our children could escape
the land of the free
of tobacco, rice, indigo, cotton
no life mattered
our essence was forgotten

In Scales, Dina uses heavy chains for hair around a mold of her own face on each model. “Throughout the process, the ancestors spoke to me. They didn’t want to be seen as slaves, they were African queens who deserved to be honored and respected. Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Visit phreespirit.com.

Black Art Don’t Dance No More

A Review of Dasan Ahanu’s Everything Worth Fighting For: An Exploration of Being Black In America

Words by Michael Herriot

Blackness was once a soft spot. A vulnerability. Black people have always been strong, but “blackness” was once a collective Achilles Heel. It was strong enough to withstand a middle passage and resilient enough to bellow slave songs of freedom, but it whispered when “Massa” came around. It looked up to the heavens, but cast its eyes toward the floor when White women walked past. It stood up for freedom, but simultaneously sat on the back of busses.

But Blackness is armor now. It is frustrated and unsmiling. Lately Black art has reflected this. It is unflinching obstruction with arms folded. It is the defiance of fist raising and unapologetic noncompliance. Any art labeled “conscious” or “woke” has become grizzled and hard. Works like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly,” Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me or Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric find their beauty in the sour matter-of-factness that stares you in the eyes and dares you to…whatever. Black art don’t dance no more, all it does is hiss.

…we’re all just balloons
Strung to existence on earth
but desperate for the heavens.

When I received a copy of Dasan Ahanu’s Everything Worth Fighting For: An exploration of being Black in America, I didn’t know what to expect. Although I knew him as a spoken word artist, I was also aware that he was a scholar and researcher of hip hop holding the Nasir Jones fellowship at Harvard. I knew he was an English professor and had sat in one of his workshops on the fundamentals and contextual literary devices used by–wait for it… Lil Wayne, Beyoncé and Kanye. I didn’t know if Everything Worth Fighting For was a work of scholarly critiques, an autobiography, or a series of essays. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a collection of poetry examining Blackness from a unique perspective.

Everything Worth Fighting For is Black-skinned but not scowling. It shares the pain and the forlorn wistfulness of the Black experience without feeling hopeless. It is Blackness, once wounded, and still pink from peeling off the scabs–healing but not yet healed. What sets it apart from a lot of art that explores the Black existence is that he doesn’t contextualize this actuality as existing in a White world, he simply writes of existing, which makes this collection extremely human.

The poetry begins with personal fragments of Black lives that lay bare hope, sorrow, joy, and despair. It is the syrupy reminiscences of passed-down wisdom in “Grandfather’s Parable” that instills confidence but reminds that “the devil is watching. Read the full review in the Spring 2017 Issue 37.  

Visit dasanahanu.com.

The Art of Cool Music Festival April 28-30

American rapper, actor, film producer and poet joins to the 2017 festival lineup

By Derek Ross 

The 2017 Art of Cool (AOC) Festival just got cooler.  In partnership with the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), the two organizations announce the addition of Golden Globe, Academy and 2-Time Grammy award-winning rapper/actor/film producer/poet, Common as part of the official lineup for the 2017 AOC Festival taking place in Durham, North Carolina on April 28-30.

Common will perform on Saturday, April 29 during the festival weekend at the DPAC.  Tickets will be available beginning Friday, December 16, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.  The AOC Festival VIP Pass provides fans with access to purchase exclusive premium seats to see Common perform. The AOC Festival VIP passes can be purchased at www.AOCFestival.org.

In addition to Common, the AOC Festival VIP Pass also includes two-day access to all Club Pass venues; no waiting in line; and access to the VIP Sunday Brunch on Sunday, April 30 with a special performance by The Hamiltones.

Revive Big Band

Fans can also experience the festival by purchasing the 2017 AOC Festival Club Pass that grants two-day general admission to: Carolina Theatre, The Armory (with a sonic and lighting makeover), PSI Theatre, MotorCo, Pinhook. Club Pass holders can add on a ticket to see Common at the DPAC. Details available at www.AOCFestival.org.  An official ticket is required to attend the Common show at DPAC.

“Partnering with DPAC to add Common to an already exciting lineup for the 4th installment of AOCFEST is a true testament to the growth of not only Art of Cool, but also the audience for Black American Music in the area,” states Cicely Mitchell, President/Co-founder of The Art of Cool Project. “This truly is an honor and privilege to present such a world-class musician in one of the country’s best performing arts centers.” Single performance tickets to see Common can be purchased at DPACnc.com, Ticketmaster, or The Ticket Center at DPAC.

The three-day AOC Festival, a remixed experience of the Black American Music Festival, features forward thinking jazz, alternative soul and mature hip hop in its mission to expand the audience of jazz as well as innovative thought. In addition to Common, the legendary Godfather of Funk, George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic, will headline the Durham-based nonprofit’s 2017 AOC Festival.

Rakim

Also, joining the 2017 AOC Fest lineup with a unique performance with a full backing band will be legendary emcee, Rakim; producer/disc jockey, Just Blaze; Grammy Award winner Anthony Hamilton’s background vocalists, The Hamiltones (Exclusive VIP Brunch); saxophonist/vocalist/producer, Kenneth Whalum; jazz trumpeter and composer, Theo Croker; emcee, Goldlink; singer/songwriter, Nao; singer/songwriter, JMSN (pronounced Jameson); vocalist, R.LUM.R (pronounced ARE-LUM-ARE); singer/songwriter, Alex Belle and singer/songwriter/guitarist Isis, St. Beauty; trumpeter/composer, Marquis Hill; jazz drummer, Makaya McCraven; drummer Marcus Baylor (Yellow Jackets) and his wife, vocalist Jean Baylor formerly of Zhane, The Baylor Project; and more to come.

The Art of Cool Festival will also present two marquee showcases as a part of its performance lineup: Revive Big Band: A Journey Through the Legacy of Black Culture with Igmar Thomas and the Revive Big Band featuring special guests; and Ropeadope: The Next Wave featuring saxophonist/rapper/Grammy winning ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ producer, Terrace Martin and The Polly Seeds; trumpeter/composer/producer, Christian Scott; Snarky Puppy drummer/producer Robert ‘Sput’ Searight’ of Sputnik; guitarist/composer, Matthew Stevens; Snarky Puppy keyboardist/producer/songwriter, Shaun Martin; and Erykah Badu’s band, RC & The Gritz.

George Clinton

Last year’s AOC Fest hosted over 8,200 music lovers, and 60 bands and presenters in 10 venues with an economic impact projection of $1.9 million for the city of Durham. To purchase passes for the 2017 AOC Festival or for more information about the AOC Project and its programming and events, visit www.AOCFestival.org.

About Art of Cool (AOC) Project

The Art of Cool (AOC) Project is a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the state of North Carolina and operating in Durham.  AOC has been presenting live jazz and educating the local community about jazz since 2011. Co-founded by Cicely Mitchell and Al Strong IV, the AOC has three flagship programs: Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), StArt of Cool Jazz Education (Start of Cool), and Innovate Your Cool Conference (IYC).  For more information about the AOC Project and its programming visit, www.AOCFestival.org.

Straight Outta England: Lady Leshurr’s Wig Snatching Shade!  

Lady Leshurr

 

By Gabriel Rich

I hold it down like a Snapchat
Go over your head like a snapback
Uploaded a pic, double tap that
And your flow’s so old, granddad (bruh)

 

 

Lady Leshurr is a busy woman these days.  The UK banter rap queen is making the power moves many people thought she would be making in 2013, when Leshurr made her presence known on the U.K. Hip Hop scene.  The Birmingham, England native recently completed a successful US Tour, wowing audiences in New Orleans, Atlanta, LA, Miami, and New York and she recently inked a deal with a major label.  A much-anticipated debut CD is now in the works, with Leshurr working with producers like Scott Storch and Timbaland.

Oh Jesus, oh Lord, oh Jesus
A couple of snakey friends just Adam and Eve’d us
And there’s no debate on who’s better
I’ll turn a man to a girl like Bruce Jenner

Smart, clever, resilient, and talented, the woman born Melesha O’Garro, has faced her share of setbacks, from turning down a deal with Atlantic Records to having someone she saw as a friend try to derail her career. Read the full article now in TRIBES Spring 2017 – Issue 37! 

Vist facebook.com/ItsLadyLeshurr.

Dip Diver: Making Waves and Paying Homage to Hip Hop

 

Dip Diver: Making Waves and Paying Homage to Hip Hop

Interview By Leslie Cunningham

I hope you can swim or at least back stroke, because this article is meant to be read under water. I am seriously excited about Dip Diver, a peculiarly masked Chicago duo making waves in the underground scene with beats and rhymes that pay homage to some of the big Hip Hop fish. I’ve known Dialo Askia as a talented music journalist who has in the past added some dope words to the pages of TRIBES. In one feature article, he wrote about Nowenen, the genius behind This Day Amine. So, when Dialo and Nowenen decided to come together to create Agua Lung, I couldn’t wait to listen and learn more.

Dip Diver

 

TRIBES: What is the meaning of the name “Dip Diver”?

Nowenen: We come from freshness and always being dipped in Lo, Woolrich, Wally’s, Diadora, Bjorn Borg, Fila, etc.  But we also come from having knowledge of self, being right and exact studying math, science, man, woman and child, etc. The term dip dive dates back to the song Superrappin’ by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, and that term has moved on from Puba and Lakim Shabazz to Organized Konfusion to Wu Tang.

TRIBES: How did Dip Diver get started?

Dialo Askia: Nowenen and I have been writing verses for years, though not concentrating on rapping. He suggested we do an album. To do it properly we had to craft our own sound to be sufficiently in our own lane. We created our first CD with the intention of no one outside of ourselves and immediate circle hearing it. It made its way outside those boundaries and the consensus was “do another one!”

TRIBES: How is the Dip Diver sound created?

Dialo Askia: There is no set structure. Sometimes Nowenen and I brainstorm ideas to come up with concepts. Sometimes we come up with ideas individually and present to the other. We work on the music together. If one of us loves a track and the other is on the fence, we don’t use it.  If we aren’t both like “That’s it!” we move on. Most interesting is how we write. We never write together, but still seem to stay on the same page. We often times reference the same things in a song. For example, “Deen” is a song where we’re each conversing with a woman. Somehow we both reference gluten-free. We’re in sync.

TRIBES: What was happening in your life that inspired the tracks on “aqua lung?”

Dialo Askia: Everything and anything. Inspiration came from everywhere at all times. I was having breakfast on vacation saying a rhyme about the food. It made the album.

Nowenen:  When we went to record, my mother had passed away, and in my sorrow for her absence, I was thinking, “Wow, she won’t be able to witness this freshness.”  Read the full interview now in the Spring 2017 Issue # 37. 

Visit dipdiver.bandcamp.com.

TRIBES Magazine’s New Editor

PATRICIA R. CORBETT

Introducing TRIBES Magazine’s New Editor, PATRICIA R. CORBETT. Patricia is an artist, award-winning playwright, advocate, educator, published author, personal historian, editor, and entrepreneur. Patricia’s passions are art, community service, social justice, and education. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, Plainfield, VT.
Among her many accomplishments, Patricia was the recipient of a 2017 RVA Unsung Black LGBTQ Community award from Diversity Richmond. She is featured as a Virginia artist in the Sinister Wisdom 104 Lesbian Rising: Lesbian Feminist Art in the South. She served on the DC Black Pride Board of Directors and two years on the Community Planning Committee for DC Capital Pride. In 2014 she received the DC Black Pride Welmore Cook Award for outstanding community service. She is a recipient of a 2007 Individual Artist Award in playwriting from the Maryland State Arts Council for Fall of the House of Snow. Patricia has been awarded the Banks-Koegel Commitment Award from the Youth Pride Alliance in Washington, DC. Learn more. 

The British Ladies of Hip Hop

 Lady Leshurr

Stefflon Don

Paigey Cakey

Nadia Rose

Get the Spring 2017 Issue 37 Now! 

TRIBES Magazine Launches the Spring 2017 Issue

CLICK COVER TO VIEW! 5 DOPE COVERS!

TRIBES MAGAZINE SPRING 2017 ISSUE # 37

View Free Online This Week Only!

Editor’s Intro by By Patricia R. Corbett

When publisher Leslie Cunningham approached me about relaunching TRIBES Magazine after a five-year hiatus, I accepted without hesitation. Working for a re-emerging, but well-established magazine is incredibly exhilarating and challenging. In 2017, artists all over the world and in our own backyard of Durham, North Carolina are challenged to maintain their art practice amid political and social unrest. Having recently graduated with my MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, I too am bound to transcend, witness, and create alongside my sister and brother artists while witnessing chaos at home and abroad.

As the new Editor of TRIBES, my goal is to maintain the original luster of the magazine and to develop content that reaches a wider audience. All original sections remain intact with only a few minor changes to accommodate expansion. We remain committed to highlighting the east coast underground art and culture scene, but readers will notice a seamless shift to covering national and international artists and various mediums that speak to a variety of audiences. I am pleased to be a member of the TRIBES staff. Together we will discover, explore, and share art making from around the globe.

CLICK COVER TO VIEW! 5 DOPE COVERS!

The contents of our upcoming issues represent the struggle, pursuit, and the embrace of identity, language, space, and sound. To begin, we are giving a shout out to four British women breaking ground in hip hop music. You will discover the artistry of poet Dasan Ahanu as he expounds on Everything Worth Fighting For: A Exploration of Being Black in America, the peculiarly masked Chicago duo Dip Diver and their homage to hip hop, Dip Diverbrilliant commentary based on her book Spill, the witty shade of UK Hip Hop Queen Lady Leshurr, and trans artist and author Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi’s embrace of art, identity, and ancestry. As Editor, I am honored to sit in the presence of these artists and introduce them to you through the pages of TRIBES. Special thanks to the writers and contributors who went underground and across an ocean to excavate this powerful art.

Welcome to the reimagining of TRIBES Magazine. Whether you hold the magazine in your hands or soak in the vibes through your monitor, may the stories, words, lyrics, poetry, and photographs contained within these issues, inspire the artist in you! Enjoy!

VIEW NOW!

 

Artist Spotlight: THE INTERNET

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THE INTERNET began as two people – Syd and Matt. Syd taught herself how to record, engineer, and produce at age 15. She also sings, imbuing every song with a sultry, mellifluous, quiet power. Matt produces and plays synths. She’s now 23; he’s now 26. Like all post-modern relationships, the duo initially met on Myspace in 2008, only to meet in-person three years later.

THE INTERNET have released two albums previously – 2011’s Purple Naked Ladies, and 2012’s Feel
Good. THE INTERNET branched off from the Odd Future collective and started their own band in 2011. Syd had been writing music since she was small; she put this on hold to become OF’s DJ and producer, and picked her songs back up in 2011 to make her first full-length album with Matt.
Read more.

https://www.facebook.com/TheInternetMusic/

Watch Finding Aumont Whitaker

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FINDING AUMONT WHITAKER
A short documentary film by Leslie Cunningham

At age 22, Dina learned her real father was a postman from Compton, California. Her mother told her he was married and she shouldn’t interfere. Dina didn’t. Left with three assumptions- he either didn’t know about her, he didn’t want her or he didn’t love her, Dina convinced herself she was her father’s unknown child.  More than two decades later, when Dina finds her siblings on Facebook, she sets out on a trip across the country to surprise them. An emotional journey filled with sorrow, love and laughter, Finding Aumont Whitaker will uplift hearts and bring families closer together.  Run-time 11:41 minutes. A TRIBES Entertainment Film.

Finding Aumont Whitaker -Trailer from Leslie Cunningham Films on Vimeo.

Visit www.findingaumont.com.

TRIBES Magazine Pioneers Entertainment

tribes-magazine-summer-2012-issue

Available on Magcloud and Amazon in Print or Kindle

Independent Publication Continues Mission to Give Voice to Urban Expression
TRIBES Magazine, the wildly popular urban arts and entertainment periodical, is back with new issues guaranteed to be the best ones yet! Created in 2004 by Leslie Cunningham, TRIBES is one of the leading urban publications online today. Named Best Online Zine by Black Web Awards in 2009 and Poetry Magazine of the Year by the National Poetry Awards in 2010, TRIBES has featured many entertainment icons like Tyler Perry, Damian Marley and KRS One. Still, the heart of TRIBES magazine is always with the self-sustaining arts.
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TRIBES is committed to telling the stories of the countless independent artists across the globe as they pioneer in entertainment. Every issue of TRIBES throbs with the beat of music, politics, visual art and photography, and bursts with writing, articles, poetry and personal narratives authored by a winning team of entertainment journalists, artists and social critics.
TRIBES Magazine is currently available four times a year on Amazon.com and MagCloud.com, content web-services which enables TRIBES to share its brand story worldwide in print and digital formats, including Kindle. To view the current issue of TRIBES magazine or to stay updated on TRIBES’ Blog, Visit our website at http://www.tribesmagazine.com.

TRIBES is seeking visual artists, poets, writers, musicians and photographers interested in showcasing their talents. Questions or comments can be emailed to whatsup@tribesmagazine.com.

Watch Real T@lk – All Def Poetry x Da Poetry Lounge

Watch the piece inspired by Outkast, Welfare and the State of Florida circa 2014. #RealTalkRaps #RealTalk

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2016 A3C Music Festival Recap

DAY 1: Cee-Lo Green, Killer Mike, Troy Carter, James Andrews, Kelechi, Dave B, Scotty ATL And More Shined At “Hip-Hop’s Annual PilgrimageCee-Lo Receives A3C Cultural Influencer Award At Welcome To Atlanta Dinner

With expertly curated panels and mentorship sessions, live podcasts, showcases featuring some of the best new talent and the “Welcome To Atlanta” dinner, sponsored by ChooseATL, the first day of A3C offered attendees a taste of everything the festival plans to offer over the next four days.

Troy Carter 1

A3C partnered with SMASH’D Labs and Comcast to present a conversation about the intersection between Tech & Culture with industry vets James Andres, Troy Carter and Marlon Nichols. Following the panel, Troy shared how impressed he was with the conference.

Following the full day of panels and interviews, A3C partnered with ChooseATL for the Welcome To Atlanta dinner, which drew a crowd of government and industry luminaries, including Atlanta mayoral hopeful Michael Sterling. During the evening, A3C presented international star, Cee-Lo Green, with a Cultural Innovator Award, while Killer Mike received the 2016 Social Impact Award.

We’re Back: New Issue Coming Winter 2016

Dear TRIBES Magazine community, our hiatus is over and we’re back with a new issue coming Winter 2016 guaranteed to be the best yet! After that, you can enjoy fresh, new issues four times a year available in print on Amazon or digital format on magcloud!

TRIBES Magazine Summer 2012 cover

Now Available in Print on Amazon! 

Created in 2004, TRIBES Magazine is one of the leading urban arts and entertainment publications online today. Best known for showcasing indy artists making noise in their communities, every issue of TRIBES throbs with the beat of music, politics, visual art and photography, and bursts with writing, articles, poetry and personal narratives and authored by a winning team of entertainment journalists, artists, and social critics.

Named “Best Online Zine” by Black Web Awards in 2009 and “Poetry Magazine of the Year” by the National Poetry Awards in 2010, TRIBES has featured entertainment icons like Tyler Perry, Damian Marley and KRS One, and so many more. Still, the heart of TRIBES Magazine is always with the self-sustaining arts and ever-committed to showcasing the countless independent artists across the globe as they pioneer in entertainment.

TRIBES is seeking visual artists, poets, writers, musicians, photographers and more interested in showcasing their talents. Email us at whatsup@tribesmagazine.com.

 

Motorco & Art of Cool present BILAL

71-atxxlMOTORCO & ART OF COOL PRESENT BILAL, Monday, November 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm, Durham, NC. A classically trained vocal veteran, Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, which boasted the popular single “Soul Sista.” The follow-up, Love for Sale (2006), was shelved but leaked entirely online yet was well received to fans and music critics and has become an underground classic. In the following years, Bilal has collaborated and performed with some of the industry’s most prominent artists including, Beyonce (Fighting Temptations), Common (Like Water for Chocolate, Electric Circus, Be, Finding Forever), Jay-Z (American Gangster), Erykah Badu (New Amerykah Part One, New Amerykah Part Two), Robert Glasper (All Matter), Boney James (Better With Time), Musiq (Soulstar) and The Roots among others. He also covered Radiohead’s “High & Dry” for the 2006 Radiohead tribute, Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads. Bilal also appears in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.  This one night only performance goes down at the Motorco, 723 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham, NC 27701.  Get tickets here –  http://www.motorcomusic.com/event/1343623-bilal-durham/

POETRY VS. HIP-HOP – Friday, July 15, Durham

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POETRY VS. HIP-HOP 

DURHAM NC EDITION. CHOOSE A SIDE! FRI, JULY 15, 2016, DOORS: 9:00 PM / SHOW: 9:00 PM, THE PINHOOK DURHAM, NC. Learn more now.

 

Stalley Live!

Feature Event: Underground Sound 2015

 Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Brooklyn, NY.


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Push It Pull It

FEATURE ARTIST VIDEO “Push It Pull It” by Hatty Keane (U.K.)

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BGM- Despite only being 20 years of age, U.K.’s Hatty Keane has more experience than most, completing over 500 shows since signing to BGM at the age of 16. This incredible work ethic has seen her support heavyweight artists such as Rudimental, Ellie Goulding, Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran,Wretch 32, JLS (19 Date Arena Tour) and Wiley. Hatty’s sound is the product of talent and hard work, and her determination has led her to collaborate with some topline writers and producers including Luigi ‘LUGO’ Gonzalez (Janet Jackson), Luney Tunez (Rihanna), Si Hulbert (One Direction) andHank Hughes (Naughty Boy, Emili Sande), shaping her sound to guarantee club night mayhem.

Watch more videos at www.hattyofficial.com or Like www.facebook.com/hattykeanemusic .