Feature Event: Art: A Talent Exhibition

img52555f407126a_dec13Toots for Books presents Art:A Talent Exhibition- With Live music from hip hop newcomers KVII and MADE along with comedy from MTV, BET, and the Instagram King’s favorite comedian Eman. The event will also include live graffiti artist, b-boy dancers, mimes and a hip hop cypher that audience is encouraged to participate in. Bring a children’s book to participate in the Toots for Books book-drive. Admission $10. There is no sign up sheet for the cypher just get there early!!! Friday, Dec 13, 2013 9:00 PM EST / doors @ 8:00 PM
ART: A Talent Exhibition featuring KVII / E-Man / MADE at Apache Cafe – Atlanta, GA.  Get TicketsVisit apachecafe.info

Feature Artist: PJ MORTON

1175001_10152189858584918_2017475931_nThe son of fellow recording artist Bishop Paul S. Morton, PJ Morton is a versatile musician, songwriter, producer who has been involved in contemporary gospel, contemporary rock, and R&B recordings since the early 2000s. In 2002, he released an album with his short-lived group Freestyle Nation, and contributed to India.Arie’s Grammy-winning album Voyage to India. During the next few years, he released genre-crossing independent albums such as Emotions and Perfect Song while collaborating with Anthony David, Faith Evans, Monica, and Kierra”KiKi” Sheard; during these years, his biggest success was the gospel hit “Let Go,” written for DeWayne Woods. Morton’s 2010 album, Walk Alone, featured his own version of the song, and he and his father performed the GMA Dove winner for the live release Bishop Morton Celebrates 25 Years of Music. The same year, PJ joined Maroon 5 as a performing keyboardist and background vocalist. The work didn’t slow his solo career; he signed to Young Money and released the album New Orleans — featuring guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, Busta Rhymes, and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine — in May 2013. – Andy Kellman, Rovi. Visit pjmortononline.com.


Watch M.I. On Demand! A TRIBES Entertainment Film

M.I. Film Flier

LAINE BROWN, a spirited and passionate male impersonator born on North Carolina’s rural coast, transforms by taping down her breasts, shaving her head, and studying the masculine performances of today’s most famous male entertainers -to become the incomparable NATION TYRE, show-stopper and ground-breaker for women in drag. Challenged by a desire to please all of those that love her, Nation is on a mission to generate acceptance for women like her. As she pushes the bounds of female gender identity, is there room for a lone performer, to challenge the constraints at work in the African-American and LGBT community in pursuit of fame and visibility on the world stage?


In the new feature documentary film M.I., A Different Kind of Girl, filmmakers, Leslie Cunningham and Alana Jones enter the world of new millennium drag and pick up the torch ignited by documentary films like Paris is Burning to investigate attitudes in their own LGBT and African- American communities about women in drag. In the process, they uncover powerful ideas about female gender identity and sexuality in not only the mainstream popular culture but also within the marginalized LGBT and African American communities where Nation has made a name for herself.

Set in the American South, this thought-provoking film from TRIBES Entertainment uses candid interviews, performance footage, artful b-roll, images of striking green in the Carolina Piedmont and more to bring viewers through the flashing lights into the heart of Nation Tyre (M.I.).  Introducing Laine Brown as Nation Tyre, The House of Tyre, Breyannah Allure, Paris Brooks, Image, First Lady, Hollywood and many more. Featuring music and special commentary by Hip Hop’s hottest female duo, KIN4LIFE.  Purchase on DVD or watch on demand now!  



WATCH THE OFFICIAL TRAILER: A Hip Hop documentary from Italy-based producers, Baburka Production, about the perception of Break Dance in different countries in the Euro-mediterranean featuring  interviews with b-boys and b-girls from Morocco, Tunisia, Poland, Italy and France.  Visit Baburka Production to learn about upcoming screenings.

Watch BIG FREEDIA, the Queen of Bounce, on TRIBES TV!

BIG FREEDIA Shakes Up Durham!


big freedia

Reality TV shows bore me these days, so I wasn’t expecting to like BIG FREEDIA, The Queen of Bounce on fuse. But his lovable personality sold me. I was transfixed by Big Freedia’s passion and excitement for bringing New Orleans’ unique style of rap, bounce and twerk dance to mainstream audiences- and he’s got the whole world watching!

“Excuse, I don’t mean to be rude!” yells Big Freedia as he shakes up cities across the country and abroad, recently making a tour stop in the Bull City (Durham, NC) for the Pinhook’s 5th anniversary event. Featuring a high energy dance troupe comprised of some of the best twerkers and bounce dancers in the world, Big Freedia performed for a packed, nicely diverse audience and took downtown Durham to a whole new level on a Tuesday night! Fun for everyone, Big Freedia’s shows touch a place in all of us that just wants to dance, bounce and feel good!  WATCH THE FULL EPISODE. Leslie Cunningham, TRIBES 

Feature Event: California Music Industry Summit – June 13-15, 2014



California Music Industry Summit, CMIS, coming to Oakland , CA from June 13-15, 2013, is a intensive 3-day artist showcase and 2-day music business convention with panels, workshops, and exhibits. Independent artists from all backgrounds, genres and parts of the country will be given a chance to not only let their music and voices be heard but to take advantage of an amazing opportunity for music education and the chance to learn, network, grow and shine.

CMIS is where creative people connect and cultivate professional relationships that can last a lifetime! Looking for new ways to connect, network and build relationships in the music industry? CMIS is where you most definitely want to be to receive invaluable advice directly from GRAMMY®-Award Winning producers, major/ independent label companies, radio station executives, record label representatives, music supervisors, talent scouts, and more. Past speakers include American Idol finalist LaToya London, GRAMMY®-Award Winning singer-songwriter Betty Wright, GRAMMY®-Award Winning music/audio engineer Phil Tan (Usher, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Timberland, Anthony Hamilton) Leslie Ann Jones (Director of Music Recording & Scoring, Skywalker Ranch) and many more.

Our speakers will provide you with personal one-on-one mentoring, intensive demo plus beats and tracks listening sessions and vocal critiques. Our artist showcases, exhibits, after parties and mixers will entertain you while providing priceless networking opportunities. This conference experience focuses on bridging the gap between artists and entertainment industry leaders. Whether you’re new to a music industry career or a well-seasoned professional CMIS provides an educational and inspiring environment geared towards positive career development.
CMIS— your own personal three-day session in music business education. Visit http://tramaientertainment.com 

TRIBES Magazine free in digital! View Now.



Available in print

Issue 33 - Summer 2012

TRIBES Magazine is distributing its content free via a new digital viewer, PDF downloads and iPad. In the streets and online for nearly a decade, TRIBES has traveled the indy scene spotlighting artists generating the next trends in music, visual arts and the printed word. Today, TRIBES is one of the leading publications covering urban music and arts around the globe.“Best Online Zine (BlackWebAwards, 2009) and “Poetry Magazine of the Year” (National Poetry Awards, 2010), every issue is throbbing with the beat of music, politics, visual art, and photography, bursting with writing, articles, poetry, and personal narratives authored by a winning team of entertainment journalists, artists, and social critics. In the archives are greats like Damian and Kymani Marley, India.Arie, Tyler Perry, KRS One, Dead Prez, Ludacris, and so many more who have been featured. Still, the heart of TRIBES is always with the self-sustaining arts and ever-committed to showcasing the countless lessor known (but no less prolific) artists across the globe as they pioneer expression and make essential noise in their communities. View the current issue now!

Look for future issues in 2014


jeronimo header

“Jerode Rodgers, better known as Jeronimo was born in Chicago and raised in the “Low End” projects of the inner city.  It was here that Jeronimo was introduced to freestyle and battle rapping.  At the time Jeronimo had no clue that practicing these skills would be his gateway art to what would turn out to be his truest and most successful passion the art of Spoken Word.  He began creating Spoken Word pieces in late December of 2011.  Since then Jeronimo has released two Spoken Word EP’s.  Spoken Hip Hop was the first release early in 2012 with extraordinary pieces like 80’s and 20’s.   There was quite a bit of controversy throughout Jeronimo’s Christian fan base because of language used in several pieces.  A remnants of battle rapping days where almost anything goes.  Jeronimo was so grateful of the outpour of love, he decided to create his next EP for his Christian fanbase and kept it clean.  Psalms of the Streets was created and then released in November of 2012.  Over 300 people walked through the doors of the I.C.E. Theater for the event Heirs to the Throne, where Jeronimo held his release and listening event.” Read Jeronimo’s complete bio at http://www.jeronimospeaks.blogspot.com/p/bio.html.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: EVG Rebel – S.H.E (Strongest Human Ever)


“EVG Rebel is a female artist born in Queens, NY and raised in the state of New Jersey. Her love for the arts started early (age 4)  and began with the particualr expression of dance. The high expenses of dance classes left her unable to continue with teaching but never stopped her passion. As she grew older, she took up playing various instruments such as the saxaphone and the piano. Listening to legends such as Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and others as a child helped uncover her secret love early in life for writing music, which stayed with her all the way through her young adult years.”  Read more of her bio at evgrebelnation.com.

Behind the Scenes with LOOSE SCREWS

Go behind the scenes with Loose Screws, the talented new group making a huge splash on the net. Download the new single “NO TOMORROW” produced by Quaid and written by LOOSE SCREWS at  http://soundcloud.com/loosescrews/no-tomorrow.

Feature Video: Gas-Lab & Traum Diggs “Jazz Hop” (feat. Natayla)

A new collaborative project from Argentinian producer/musician, Gas-Lab and Brooklyn MC, Traum Diggs entitled “JazzHop”. Visit http://artistecard.com/jazzhop.



Every Sunday night, Apache Cafe continues the rich tradition of creation, invention, discovery, and revelation in this open forum for spoken word, poetry, musical artists and for any one who care to take the stage in a meaningful way. WORD IS BORN. Every Sunday Night at Apache Cafe in Atlanta, GA.  Doors and Dining @ 7:00PM; Show @ 8:30pm; Admission: $7;  21+ (18+ add $5 to admission). Visit APACHECAFE.INFO.

Best Underground Arts: Bohemian Circus

Words  by Ayanna Guyhto;  Photos courtesy of Apache Cafe
Atlanta Magazine has voted this the best adult art show in the city. Those who frequent Atlanta’s culturally juicy underground happenings are probably more than familiar with Bohemian Circus aka Art Mondays , a weekly event taking place in downtown’s Apache Café. Pull into one of the coveted parking spaces in front of the venue, and you might not realize that behind the flyer-cluttered veneer of the Apache Café, a blissful meditative experience awaits you. It also doesn’t hurt that during the evening you will get a chance to feast your eyes on some very interesting eye candy. Art Mondays is decribed as an “Interactive Art Evening” wherein patrons are encouraged to participate in group figure drawing sessions. Before going to Art Mondays, I was a little fuzzy on how such an event could possibly be enjoyable for more than an hour. But my recent foray into this tempting environment has revealed to me an entire world of nighttime bliss…
The Vibe – If you happen to drop into Apache Café on any other night of the week, you can be prepared for an uncomfortably thick crowd. Getting a table on these nights practically requires a leap of faith (or at the very least, a reservation). But on Mondays, the energy surrounding the club is surprisingly subdued. Upon arriving and paying the cover charge (one which the hosts politely call “donations”) I quickly discovered that despite the reasonable number of people in the room, there were more than enough tables to go around. Furthermore, event hosts have had enough preservation to cover each table with a huge sheet of complimentary drawing paper. To the left and to the right, various individuals had hunkered down at their tables and were deeply ensconced in the task of organizing their drawing materials. I felt immediately, that I’d been sent to a glorious “nighttime daycare” for adults, complete with refreshments and arts and crafts.
The Art  – Art Mondays isn’t all about the drawing. This particular event features many emerging local artists; and their work is heavily displayed along seemingly every surface of the venue. Suffice it to say, seeing the artwork alone is worth the meager donation requested at the door. Once I set up house at my own “workstation”, I began organizing my drawing implements and set to work.

The models themselves are essentially regular people, models who work in various industries and volunteer their services for a good cause. For the most part, one model is featured each evening, a male on some nights, and a female on others. The models are free to augment their modeling with props or whatever artistic enhancements they choose; they assume their position in the middle of the club, which has been cleared to make way for a large modeling platform. Ever so often, they change positions so that artists can have a fresh perspective to work with. I noticed that typically, with every switch, an item (or items) of clothing is removed. But in general, it depends upon the model and how he (or she) wishes to present himself. The nudity is presented in a very tasteful fashion, with models taking on benign expressions as they switch from one various position to the next. It was actually quite refreshing to see a group of men flanking the models’ stage with camera, pencils, and paper instead of lewd grins and dollar bills.

The Event  – What really helps to propel this event into what I like to call a “meditative” experience is the rotation of live DJs who have signed up to entertain and relax patrons as they dive into their artistic journeys. The DJs rotate and spin their own eclectic mixes of audible goodies. It is not entirely odd to float on a sumptuous mix of Metallica, followed up with some old-school hip-hop, blending meticulously into a jazz-laced remix of some obscure Top 40 hit from 1983. In essence, the musical atmosphere created by this solid rotation of DJs is also what helps artists submerge themselves in their own worlds. On several occasions, as I attempted to recreate on paper, the image of an attractive female model, I found myself engaging in some pretty energetic “chair dancing.” In fact, as I sipped my $6 RothschildChardonnay, I realized that for the better part of the evening, I had almost forgotten that there were other people in the room; the environment is just that relaxing. Non-artists need not feel left out during this event. The act of simply observing the happenings (which is what I did on my first visit) is engaging enough that those relegated to drawing stick-figures will still feel comfortable. Apache Café offers a full menu of delectables that extend well past most clubs’ typical fare of chicken fingers and fries. Peruse the menu, and you’ll find items such as tilapia with black bean relish, shrimp or tofu skewers, and a host of tasty coffees, martinis, and other treats. The next time you’re looking for something to do shake off your annoying case of the “Mondays”, it would behoove you to consider taking in dinner and a live art show.

  • Doors and Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
  • Figure Drawing at 7:30 p.m.
  • Live Experimental Music Set at 9:45 p.m.
  • Cost: $5 for photographers and sketch artist.
  • This event is free and open to others before 8:30pm, $5 after, 18+

Visit  www.apachecafe.info to learn more.


LOS RAKAS ON TOUR Summer 2013!


Los Rakas are on tour now! View all upcoming tour dates on: www.losrakas.com/events



ll-hoodie“Two-time Grammy®-winning recording artist, LL COOL J featuring DJ Z-Trip, will headline the “Kings Of The Mic” Tour, a 26-City North American tour to kick off May 23, 2013. Joined by legendary artists Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul, the Tour will kick-off May 23, 2013 in Tucson, AZ and wrap-up in Los Angeles, CA on July 7, 2013.

This summer’s ultimate Hip-Hop music experience, this tour underscores what true authentic Hip-Hop music is based on, with these groundbreaking artists bringing their music to fans across generations. “The Kings Of The Mic” tour will visit 26 cities, including Durham, NC at DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center, on June 16 presented in partnership with the DOME Group, Inc. as part of Cool Summer Nights at DPAC.

“It’s such a pleasure for us to bring some of the most respected legends of Hip-Hop to the Triangle area”, said promoter Sulaiman Mausi, president of the DOME Group, Inc. “Music lovers in the area will love the balanced experience that having a show like this at the DPAC will offer. It’s going to be a game-changer.”

The tour will come on the heels of the release of LL’s 14th new studio album, Authentic, on April 30, 2013 on 429 Records/The Savoy Label Group. The multi-platinum artist returned to the studio and kicked the volume up to create a powerful album that came from his true passion for music and would speak to his fans. Celebrating his 30th year in music, Authentic features the iconic rapper in his element. The Album is anchored by LL’s expressive attitude where his sensitive side is as present as his slicing lyrical switchblades. Authentic comes to life with crazy club jams, tender tracks, personal tributes, and hard-hitting commentary addressing the current hip-hop climate.

First introduced to the world in 1984 as a Def Jam Records flagship artist, LL is the first rap artist to amass ten consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. The multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for most Billboard chart debuts by a rapper. For three decades, LL has continued to influence hip-hop with rap ballads that captivate generations of audiences. Since then, the veteran rapper has evolved his scope of work across entertainment appearing in numerous television and film roles, among many other projects. LL currently stars on one of the consistently highest rated shows on television, the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: LOS ANGELES.” His performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series” three years in a row (2011 – 2013).

As much as technology, business and society have changed since the 1980s, one thing has remained constant: Ice Cube has been a premier cultural watchdog, astutely commenting on, examining and detailing the breadth of the American experience in uncompromising terms with an unflinching honesty and a sobering perspective, as well as a deft comedic touch that has endeared him to several generations of fans. After penning the most memorable lyrics on N.W.A’s groundbreaking songs, including “Straight Outta Compton,” Ice Cube left the group at the peak of its popularity – a move that led him to one of the most successful careers in music history. As a solo recording artist, Ice Cube has sold more than 10 million albums while remaining one of rap’s most respected and influential artists. In addition to a successful solo career in music, Ice Cube is also an accomplished as writer, director, actor and producer in cinema who’s credits include ‘Boyz In The Hood,’ the ‘Friday,’ ‘Barbershop’ and ‘Are We There Yet’ franchises, and most recently ’21 Jump Street.’ Cube is gearing up for several film releases this year as well as his 10th solo album release, ‘Everythang’s Corrupt.’

LLCoolJAnnouncesKingsOfTheMicTourWithIceCubeIn early 2012, Public Enemy kicked off their 25th anniversary by staging a free concert in downtown Los Angeles’ notorious Skid Row. Just a few blocks away at the Grammy Museum, a special exhibit was being installed in their honor. No other group could possibly mark a career milestone quite like this. Every bit as compelling as their startling first single, “Public Enemy #1,” when it was released in 1987, Public Enemy have never stopped urging to fight the power as their artistry meets with unwavering critical acclaim and legions of worldwide fans. Fans that drove their single, “Harder Than You Think,” into the UK’s Top 5 last summer and prompted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct the group in 2013 – their first year of eligibility.

De La Soul is an American hip hop trio best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres. With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band’s debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, has been called “a hip hop masterpiece.” It is the band’s biggest commercial success to date, with their subsequent albums selling progressively less, despite receiving high praise from critics. A measure of 3 Feet High and Rising’s cross-over appeal was the fact that it was voted Album of the Year by NME, a title better known for its taste in guitar-based music. In 2006, the group won a Grammy for their collaboration with Gorillaz on the single “Feel Good Inc.”

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.

Visit: LLCOOLJ.com, IceCube.com, PublicEnemy.com. 

Get Ready for A3C 2013!

footer-sealNow in it’s 9th year, A3C takes place over 5 days in October, at dozens of venues centrally located throughout three closely connected, high traffic, cultural hubs in Atlanta: Old 4thWard, Little 5 Points and East Atlanta Village. 2012 marked the largest and most extensive A3C to date with 20,000+ attendees from more than 45 different US states. A3C expanded to new venues, added more entertainment and networking opportunities and launched new components (Style and Film) to the festival. In addition to music and live performances, A3C encompasses education, film, style, pro-audio, art, technology, gaming, sports, break-dance and more.

Partner with A3C in 2013 — A3C Festival provides an unparalleled platform for artist, products and services to reach and interact with the hip-hop community. Some of the most inventive and influential artists, brands and tastemakers utilize A3C to showcase new music, art, film, technology, equipment, fashion and more. Visit a3cfestival.com today.  

TRIBES Ranked No.1

TRIBES 4 times

Search “Urban Music Magazine” on Google and TRIBES Magazine ranks No.1!

When I created TRIBES magazine at my kitchen table more than eight years ago, I never thought it would grow from being a local indie music and arts publication to one of the world’s leading urban music magazines. Yet, based on Google’s search rankings, TRIBES magazine has done just that! Search “Urban Music Magazine” on Google and TRIBES Magazine ranks No.1!

Check out Google images and TRIBES’ magazine covers are sitting side by side with the top urban music magazines like VIBE, XXL, GIANT and THE SOURCE. Of course, this doesn’t mean TRIBES is making more profit, selling more issues or featuring more top artists than them. We are not. In fact, it’s the complete opposite:

• We currently don’t profit from TRIBES financially. We do it for the love of the many talented unsupported artists and unsigned musicians around the globe. We do it to give a voice to urban expression everywhere. Maybe one day we will see a profit, but for now we feel rich from the gratitude we receive from the many artists we feature.

• Although TRIBES magazine is available for purchase in print on our website, we make our flipbook version available FREE to all our website and Facebook visitors-  and we feature limited advertising in our publication for the sake of our loyal readers.

• We love and respect the many mainstream artists who have worked so hard to reach their success, but TRIBES’ chooses to feature the lesser known, but no less prolific, artists and musicians around the globe who are shaping the future of urban entertainment and culture.

I truly believe success comes in many different forms. Being ranked #1 “Urban Music Magazine” in Google search is great news not just for TRIBES magazine, but for the countless, unheard of artists in the world who, through TRIBES, can finally showcase their talents to the masses.

As we continue on this amazing journey,  I want to personally thank you for the love and support!

Leslie Cunningham, Creator/ Editor-In-Chief

Feature Event: FLYPOET


FRIDAY, March 1st, 2013 – Doors at 7pm – Show starts at three minutes after 8pm @ The Savoy – 214 South La Brea (@Manchester Blvd – Inglewood, CA). Visit flypoet.com.

Bull City re-FASHIONED, a Fashion Show by dtownMARKET

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BULL CITY  rE-FASHIONED, a Fashion Show by dtownMARKET

The purpose of dtownMARKET’s “re-fashioned”  is to give local fashion designers a space to showcase their work, perhaps make a little money and bring local design to the Bull City.  dtownMARKET began in Durham, North Carolina in May 2011 when owner Kala Wolfe of Retrospective Vintage organized a one-time pop-up market for local fashion designers and artists to come together and sell their goods. Today, dtownMARKET isn’t just an event, it’s a community of really amazing people having a good time.To learn more, visit dtownmarket.com.


Photographs by Emanuel Cole and Larry Dixon Jr.


MUSIC TRIBE: John C. McMahan

Text by Gabriel Rich

John C. McMahan is an artist that really loves his craft.  While many may talk about what they’re willing to do to achieve success, few actually make the necessary sacrifices to move forward, toward to the next level of success in the industry.  That’s not a problem for McMahan, an ex-Marine. The struggle is all a part of the journey to where he wants to be- a household name and gospel music artist whose songs grace every gospel radio station in the nation.  And he wouldn’t mind capturing the hearts of R&B listeners, as well.  In fact, gospel music is not where John C. McMahan started out. Before he was chosen for the calling, McMahan was on a fast track in the R&B world, where he was so committed to making a strong impact on the scene that he did shows and engagements while still in the Corps, stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  R&B and hip hop were McMahan’s life and the genres in which he found most of his music influences, in the early days.  Read the full review in TRIBES’ 8th Anniversary Issue. 

Visit justamanministries.com

Get Exclusive A3C 2012 Festival Photos

A3C Hip Hop Festival 2012 photography by TRIBES Magazine contributor Kim Roseberry of She-Driven PhotographyRead the full article about the A3C Festival in TRIBES Magazine’s 8th Anniversary issue now.

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Marty Johnson’s “The Muzic Lounge”

Watch the trailer now:

Text by Nichole Martin

If you live in New York, Los Angeles or the District of Columbia, The Muzic Lounge may be airing in a city near you in the not so distant future. Marty A. Johnson, the creator and host, is started to create a national buzz with his [web-based?] broadcast spotlighting mega music stars and unsigned artists in the areas of hip hop, pop culture, and R&B. Originally airing in Raleigh, North Carolina, Johnson’s Muzic Lounge is now in its sixth season and has already featured some of the entertainment industry’s most notable superstars including Lil Wayne, Marsha Ambrosius, Tyrese, Fantasia, Keyshia Cole, Star Jones and Ray J.

Ray J and Marty Johnson

Johnson, who developed the show concept in 2006, set out to provide “a diverse music television program that featured live performances, music reviews, celebrity interviews and artist showcases.” Most would say he has accomplished this mission. Johnson reflects  “I grew up in New London, Connecticut where the outlet for music was small…I watched shows like Soul Train and Star Search which really made me want to get involved in the entertainment industry.” Read more now in TRIBES Magazine’s 8th Anniversary issue.

Catch an episode of the show in North Carolina on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:30pm on Channel 10 in Raleigh or Thursdays at 11:30 pm on Channel 18 in Durham and Channel 8 in Chapel Hill.   

Visit martyajohnson.com or 718productions.net.  

COVER STORY: THE REAL LAWW, Your Friendly Neighborhood Super Artist

Exclusive interview with TRIBES Magazine – 

Cover Story/Interview by Alana Jones. Photographs by Emanuel Cole Studios.

The Real Laww lives for the expressions on the faces of the fans that come to his shows- the laughter, the head bobbing, the dancing, and raised hands during a performance. The hardest working MC in the Triangle got his fill from local audiences this September at Raleigh’s 2012 Hopscotch music festival.

“Hopscotch was insane,” says Laww. “The claps and love, the daps and hugs,” he thrives on that feeling that comes after a show and, as Laww continues to break ground for area hip hop, appearing at popular venues and events across the state (including the highly anticipate The Art of Cool Project), TRIBES Magazine caught up with the artist to discuss his music, the indie grind, and his unique contribution to the growing hip hop scene, here in the Triangle.

TRIBES: Thanks for speaking with us. Can be begin by discussing your stage persona? Are you a superhero and is there a story behind the tagline “Your Friendly Neighborhood Super artist?”

LAWW: Why yes, yes I am a superhero, faster than a Busta Rhyme Lyric, more powerful than the new Lady GaGa fragrance. Able to destroy tall booths in a single verse. The most humblest person in the history of humbleness like EVER! The tagline derived from me teaching myself how to do everything in the studio. I was able to get my own equipment but couldn’t afford constant studio time. I was already writing and rapping but I wanted custom beats. So, I taught myself how to do that. I wanted my vocals to sound a certain way. So, I taught myself how to engineer. THEN I was able to help others record, write, make beats, engineer and master their [own] mixtapes and albums or singles. Like a super hero, I never really charged for my services because I loved it so much [but] my manager isn’t too fond of that idea.

TRIBES: What is the meaning behind your moniker, The Real Laww (with two ‘W’s)?

LAWW: Lyricist At Work Work because ‘I’m constantly working son- no days off son, sleep is a crutch yo. grind hard and all that good stuff son-daughter! O_o’ But Laww originally was L@w but I couldn’t put L@w on any websites like facebook.com/L@w. It wouldn’t work on the digital market. So, I thought Law but if you google “Law,” a lot of legal stuff pops up. So, freak it [I thought]. Throw in the extra W (I constantly work anyway). It works! What Laww has grown into though is order and unity.  If you come to a show, you’ll see that.  Their isn’t a majority of one color of people or another. Its an even blend of all walks of life.  I’m black (mom) and white (dad). So, I love to see everybody come together. Plus Laww is the beginning of my middle name Lawrence, so it makes it easier for me to remember.

TRIBES: When and how did you discover a love for music and Hip Hop?

LAWW: Music has always been around me, like since the womb.  My grandmother was a lounge, jazz singer out in California. I didn’t know that until recently. My mother, my brother and sisters and I had a group together when I was small, singing at family functions and weddings.  I love all types of music, from my kentucky roots with bluegrass, to classical, jazz to rock, dance to country, dubstep to salsa. I discovered hip hop listening to my older brother’s CD of Busta Rhymes The Coming. The Raw energy, the punchlines, cadence, timing and flow was ridiculous. I was hooked.

TRIBES: Who are some of your early favorites? Can you share an early Hip Hop memory?

LAWW: I just want to represent those folks that may be too busy to represent themselves and would like to be heard and acknowledged for the hard work they’ve been putting in Busta Rhymes was my first. Then while doing research on that [artist], I found A Tribe Called Quest and Da La Soul. My brother got me hooked on hip hop, jazz like Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli. As a grew, I got more into the harder, more edgy stuff like Biggie and Pac, Nas, Jay Z; and then I heard Eminem. That blend of witty punches and storytelling like with Pac and Biggie but with a cadence and delivery I never heard before. Putting words together in a way that is insane, but so mind blowing. [I was] constantly rewinding the tracks.

TRIBES: Have you always had a special way with words? And a big imagination? Where does that come from?

LAWW: I always used to rhyme to remember stuff before i even knew about hip hop. I think everybody did that but I would end up making long songs in my head to remember and retell stories. When I started rhyming, I had a fascination with word play and cadences. In high school, they use to call me dictionary because damn near ever word rhymed WITHIN a line. Although most people wouldn’t even know what I was talking about (and neither did I at times), it sounded great and was fun to just listen to… not even rapping off a beat but still making people bob their heads. Read the full interview in TRIBES Magazine’s 8th Anniversary Issue available in print and digital formats at http://www.tribesmagazine.com.  

Visit thereallaww.com.



Text by Jim Mathers.  Photographs courtesy of Emanuel Cole Studios.

Joining the band & bar hop across downtown Raleigh on a recent weekend in September, TRIBES Magazine hit the streets, for the third annual HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL and found visitors enjoying some of the nations best independent and major label bands as they all converged on downtown Raleigh, NC this September 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2012. A favorite among many exciting highlights in the Triangle music and event scene and perfect welcome to a Fall 2012 concert and event schedule in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill region, the festival, founded in 2012 by the Independent Weekly’s own Greg Lowenhagen and beloved music editor, Grayson Currin, continued its mission with this years showcase, bringing important local bands together with established national indy and major label acts, in a way that exposed them to new partnerships, influences, and audiences, while forging groundbreaking new communities here in the Triangle. Read more now in TRIBES 8th Anniversary issue!

AWARD TOUR: A3C Festival Hits Atlanta This Week

Bocafloja performs live Friday, October 12!

A3C Shines Spotlight on International Artists and Transnational Hip Hop Communities 

Cover Story by Dialo Askia

Hip Hop gave voice to a demographic more apt to musically reach success singing with their brothers or playing instruments with neighborhood friends than speaking about the conditions of their surroundings. Words painted pictures in vast colors detailing everything from the sound of a 40-ounce bottle breaking against the pavement, to a baby’s cry of hunger in the next apartment. A few verses and hooks over break beats became the equivalent of a thousand words.

Initially a whisper amongst those in the know, word of mouth screamed loud enough to span the globe. The international reach of Hip Hop was seen early, as the musical grassroots movement traveled overseas, bearing youth in Japan dressed in the garb of Hollis, Queens.  It became evident to our early rap ambassadors that though foreign audiences didn’t know the words they spoke, their meaning was clear and fans ‘understood’ as they bobbed their heads and listened. It would only be a matter of time before they decided to use their voices as instruments in the same fashion.

“Bocafloja” on the cover

The A3C Hip Hop Festival, the largest music festival in the Southeast, is a 3-day event that takes place in Atlanta, GA at the Masquerade October 11th – 13th.  It will feature over six stages with more than three hundred artists and djs set to perform.  The lineup includes such notable names as Tech Nine, Devin the Dude, 9th Wonder, and Twista, along with many artists with established reputations on the underground scene like Skyzoo and Gods’illa.

With an attendance of over 15,000 in 2011, the A3C festival is heading into its 8th year and that number is sure to increase. This 2012 conference also marks the 2nd year that A3C touts a global con-centration that will shine a spotlight on International artists and transnational hip hop communities like Planet Hip Hop, The Bloom Effect, Nomadic Wax, World Hip Hop, and New Skool Rules.

Best described as an international market where visitors will be greeted by organic, hip hop flavors from across the globe- from Sri Lankan, Ceylon cinnamon to Jerk spices of the Caribbean – and in a cornucopia of languages, the A3C artist lineup is a blend of sounds from nations around the world that is sure to satisfy any hip hop hunger. Representing, among other nations, Chile, Panama, Mexico, South Sudan, and Singapore, this showcase is guaranteed to bring a celebration of culture, heritage, diversity, and a world of talent to attendants of this fall kick-off celebration.

Raka Rich and Raka Dun make up the group Los Rakas. Advancing the hip hop mission of uniting black and latino cultural communities throughout the Americas, this Panamanian-born, Bay area-based duo, redefines the term Rakataka to reclaim the hopes and dreams of citizens of el barrio, as their music traverses the terrain that unites the low rider on Crenshaw Boulevard or the streets of La Mission, the quick feet bouncing on the corners of Lapa, Rio de Janeiro or Panama city, and the lighters in-a-the-air in Kingston, particularly in their 2011 debut EP, Chancletas Y Camisetas.

Ana Tijoux

Ana Tijoux has a style best enjoyed through headphones as you wait for le metro with a greasy slice of folded pizza. Her music is a throwback to a classic hip hop, complete with DJ Premier-esque production, demonstrated best on the popular track ‘Partir de Cero’ off Tijoux’s 2009, sophomore album, 1977.  Already a star in Latin America from her days in the group Makiza and her subsequent solo career that has included collaborations with some of Latin America’s favorite hip hop and pop artists, Tijoux looks to capture a new audience on the A3C stage with her reinvention of classic sounds and homage to the good old days.

Bocafloja, representing for Mexico City by way of California and New York, uses his microphone as a bullhorn to deliver his message of social consciousness, while establishing himself as a pioneer of political and activist hip hop in Latin America.  His music, in the tradition of conscious rap icons like Public Enemy, addresses social and political topics that burn with the power to bring awareness to listeners and inspire fans to spread his message of progress to wider audiences. Bocafloja’s catalog of music is prolific, seven albums deep, and representative of his own growth as a social activist and critic. In 2005, Bocafloja founded QuilomboArte, an organization that uses hip hop as an educational tool to support progressive social and political movements throughout Mexico and Latin America through the medium of urban music and arts.

Los Rakas

While too many young rappers aspire for commercial success by celebrating the worst in us, Emmanuel Jal speaks to the realities of poverty, violence, and war. The answer to trends in hip hop that glorify conflict and relish in images of death, Jal gives us the real story of a youth at battle; of the life of a forced child soldier, of watching friends die, of stealing to eat and loving his country while witnessing the rape of its most precious resources.

Kevin Lester

Kevin Lester rounds out the current roster. Already a success in the daunting task of introducing hip hop to many of his countrymen, (check out “Rockstar” on video. See  http://www.a3cfestival.com for links), Lester will bring an energetic sound and crisp cuts to the A3C stage.

In addition to an incredible showcase of performances from international artists and well-established names in the American hip hop scene, the 2012 A3C Festival will also present a jam packed schedule of panels on contemporary and relevant topics in hip hop and the field of independent music beginning Thursday, October 11, at 1:00 PM and running throughout the long weekend at a variety of festival venues.

Beginning with Festiquette and The League of Young Voters Education Fund Presents #Ignite: Hotlanta, Fiona Bloom of The Bloom Effect is an exciting addition to the panel lineup, hosting a roster of international artists speakers as she shares the wisdom gained over nearly twenty years in the music and entertainment industry. Bloom has run marketing campaigns for Gangstarr, MF Doom, and many others. Her company The Bloom Effect is a one-stop shop specializing in album campaigns, tours, launch parties, premieres, consultations, and digital marketing. She has also opened up opportunities for international hip hop artists that have offered exposure in the States for their work and created partnerships that cross national borders. This panel, as well as the some nineteen others, will allow presenting artists to, in words of MC Shan, “tell you where they’re coming from.”

Whether as a performer or fan, the A3C Hip Hop festival will be a treat and an invaluable manual for every hip hop head. The lineup of domestic and international artists and accompanying panel discussions covering all aspects of the music industry will allow us all to broaden our horizons, to understand ourselves, each other, and the music more completely. We’ll bob our heads and despite the challenges of communication across barriers of language and perspective, we’ll listen intently to every word and enjoy. To get tickets or to  learn more, visit A3CFESTIVAL.COM.

TRIBES Magazine is an Official Media Sponsor for the 2012 A3C HIP HOP Festival. Watch for coverage on our blog at tribesmagazine.com.

Bull City re-FASHIONED, a Fashion Show by dtownMARKET

BULL CITY  rE-FASHIONED, a Fashion Show by dtownMARKET

The purpose of dtownMARKET’s “re-fashioned”  is to give local fashion designers a space to showcase their work, perhaps make a little money and bring local design to the Bull City.  dtownMARKET began in Durham, North Carolina in May 2011 when owner Kala Wolfe of Retrospective Vintage organized a one-time pop-up market for local fashion designers and artists to come together and sell their goods. Today, dtownMARKET isn’t just an event, it’s a community of really amazing people having a good time.To learn more, visit dtownmarket.com.


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Photographs by Emanuel Cole and Larry Dixon Jr.


CELEBRATING OUR ROOTS: TRIBES Magazine 8th Anniversary Issue is here!

TRIBES MAGAZINE CELEBRATES 8 YEARS this Fall 2012 with two smoking hot covers!




The leaves have started to change outside of TRIBES headquarters and as we put this eighth anniversary edition of TRIBES Magazine to bed, the quiet beauty and meloncholy birth of this years’ dying season is an unexpected epilogue to an end-of-summer, music festival season vibrant and alive with creative energy here in the Triangle and our sister cities, like Atlanta.

Fall is here and we honor the changing seasons by relishing in all of the fun we had this September at Hopscotch with new music and poetry contributor Jim Mathers (in Music TRIBE Special Feature: Greetings from Hopscotch, pp 28). We had a blast interviewing our cover artist, The Real Laww (pp 21) after he mc’d one of many unique, new serial events at Motorco Music Hall, the exciting and beloved anchor of Durham’s growing fashion and nightlife on Rigsbee Street (illustrated by Emanuel Cole and Larry Dixon Jr. in the photostory, Bull City refashioned, pp 9).

In Award Tour (pp 14), we celebrate our growth over the years with resident hip hop historian and music editorial writer, Dialo Askia. Introducing readers to the most exciting hip hop festival on the East Coast and a slew of up and coming artists that hail from nations around the globe, you will definitely want to check out his recommendations (on the web at TRIBESMagazine.com and in the ATL as part of the 2012 A3C Hip Hop Music Festival’s October showcase).

For our eighth anniversary, we continue to celebrate our roots, showcasing other artists on the independent grind with long-time contributor Gabriel Rich (check out John C. McMahan in Just a Man, pp 34 and Nikeema Lee’s Upscale Desires, pp 40) and contributor, Nichole Martin, in her interview with Marty Johnson, creator and host of the Muzic Lounge (pp 36).

The scene was on fire this past summer and as the nights come earlier and the sun sets on eight years of TRIBES Magazine, the looking back is bittersweet, like Hannah Sawyer’s reflections in “The City” (pp 44). Here at TRIBES Central, we are unsure of what may come in the future. Yet, the looking back on years of TRIBES Magazine and all of the wonderful support we have received from writers, artists and readers, is good. Thank you for joining us on this adventure and enjoy the issue!

Alana A. Jones, TRIBES Editor 



Bocafloja “Memoria”

“Memoria” narrates a journey of more than fifteen years in which Bocafloja has utilized spoken word and rap music as an alternative platform to communicate and build with communities all over the world. The video was shot in Harlem and Bronx New York by Magee and produced by Nomadic Wax. The project effectively portrays Bocafloja’s journey as an artist and activist, whose final destination is the establishment of an emancipatory experience. Visit emancipassion.com or bocafloja.bandcamp.com.

Catch BOCAFLOJA at the 2012 A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta, GA October 12, 2012.



My Arrival by FLY

Directed: DFRESH @MasqueradeLLC1

FLY Musiq, the multitalented, soulful, lyrically gifted, Atlanta native was born on June 20, 1985. An artist since the age of 5, this rhythmically talented rapper was groomed by her uncle, Derrick Reed, and absorbed a plethora of musical experiences throughout her upbringing. However, nothing touched her heart and soul like Hip Hop, R&B, and soulful Gospel. Therefore, it is no wonder that FLY has the ability to float gracefully between hip hop and soul, crafting a sound that so eloquently combines a smooth tone with rhythmic tunes that, in unison, creates a harmonious sound. She credits Lauryn Hill, Marvin Gaye, Tupac, Common, Nas, and OutKast for influencing the sound of her music. Read more now!



Los Rakas – Bien Ribetiao

Catch Los Rakas at the A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta, October 11-13, 2012


Official music video for “Bien Ribetiao” by Los Rakas.
Directed by Lady Tragik. Shot in Oakland, CA.

Get Bien Ribetiao on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bien-ribetiao-single/id549350920?ls=1.



TRIBES Magazine Celebrates 8 Years: Fall issue coming soon


This Fall 2012, TRIBES Magazine will celebrate 8 years in publication with one of the hottest issues yet, reporting on some of today’s pioneers and venues shaping urban music in the U.S. and abroad. Unlike many entertainment publications that have gone out of print and/or changed formats over the years, TRIBES’ brand has stayed consistent and committed to its initial mission to support and showcase urban expression.

Leslie Cunningham, TRIBES Magazine Creator and publisher

Published by TRIBES Entertainment, TRIBES magazine is one of today’s leading sources for independent reporting on urban Arts & Entertainment.  Available quarterly in print and online in digital formats, every issue is throbbing with music, politics, visual art, and photography and bursting with A&E reporting, creative prose, poetry, and personal narratives authored by an exciting team of writers, artists, and critics. Recently nominated “Poetry Magazine of the Year” by the National Poetry Awards 2012, TRIBES has won “Best Online Zine”  (BlackWebAwards, 2009), and “Poetry Magazine of the Year” (National Poetry Awards, 2010) and has reached millions of readers in print and online annually.

Born out of necessity, one dreary evening in Durham, North Carolina, some eight years ago, TRIBES came to life as citizen artists of The Triangle were calling out for a voice. Already the voice-giver, delivering rags and bullhorns to poets and social activists in the the nation’s capital, TRIBES creator Leslie Cunningham once again answered the call. By day from her desk on the tech floor of the marketing world, Cunningham watched a network of artists and musicians, painters, poets and MCs- collect around her. Her creative force drew their work and it flew into her lap- poems and rhymes, photographs and songs, cartoons and sketches and collages and dancing and essays and more, until Cunningham was overtaken by the collective power of the independent arts. Pen in hand, bobbing eagerly in a sea of blank storyboards, Cunningham sketched an outline for the first issue and, in June 2004, TRIBES magazine was born.

In the beginning, there was no money, only love for community and the desire to support self-sustaining artists generating trends in music, visual arts and the printed word. And for some time the magazine grew in her satchel, held up by the loving hands of friends and artists, fundraisers and contributers, and fans in urban communities who received TRIBES magazine regularly at no cost. Soon, indie artists, musicians and writers from around the world came to rely on TRIBES magazine 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.

In the archives of TRIBES magazine, greats like Damian and Kymani Marley, India.Arie, Tyler Perry, KRS One, Dead Prez, Ludacris, and so many more have featured. Still, the heart of TRIBES magazine is always with the self-sustaining arts and ever-committed to showcasing the countless, lessor known (but no less prolific) independent artists across the globe as they pioneer expression and make essential noise in their communities.

The underground can be a land of muted voices and unsigned talent. With so much to say and do in the arenas of culture and politics, TRIBES is them; and Cunningham’s power to amplify their creative force and carry their work across the globe grows on!  Look for the 8th anniversary issue of TRIBES to come soon. To view the current issue of TRIBES or to stay updated on TRIBES’ Blog, Visit  http:// www.tribesmagazine.com. Questions or comments can be emailed to whatsup@tribesmagazine.com.

A3C continues to expand with more artists, venues and programs!

The  A3C Hip Hop Festival lineup now includes Raekwon, GZA (performing Liquid Swords), Slum Village, Killer Mike and Dungeon Family as well as the 300+ artists already announced. Click here for a complete list of artists. In addition to the live performances, don’t miss:

Visit http://www.a3cfestival.com to get your tickets or to learn more!


Shirlette Ammons – Take a Chance & Get Dressed

Catch Shirlette Ammons at the Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, September 6-8, 2012

Shirlette Ammons‘ is a Durham NC based poet musician whose most recent works include a collaborative album with Chapel Hill based rock band, The Dynamite Brothers called And Lover’s Like. The album includes guest appearances from Justin Robinson (formerly of The Carolina Chocolate Drops), Kelly Crisp (The Rosebuds), Juan Huevos, Greg Humphreys, Yahzarah, Jocelyn Ellis, and Pierce Freelon. Her most recent collection of poetry, Matching Skin featuring The John Anonymous EP was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2008. Read more now at shirletteammons.com .


A3C Hip Hop Festival: competitive prize packages and career-breaking opportunities

Producers, DJs, emcees, and Hip Hop heads from across the country converge October 11-13, 2012 at A3C to participate in a diverse array of events offering competitive prize packages and career-breaking opportunities.

iStandard Producer Showcase presented by Native Instruments and Maschine Oct. 11
Grammy award-winning judges include J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Needlz and Focus
Click here to submit!

Needle To The Record (N2TR) DJ competition presented by Native Instruments Oct. 12 Judges include legendary Kool DJ Red Alert and performances by DJs Presyce, Teddy Two and Shiftee Click here to enter!

Enter the Cypher by IMSARAHWEST emcee showcase and competition Oct. 13 In partnership with V-103’s Greg Street and DJ Jelly Click here to enter!

A3C Film Festival Oct. 11-13 at Plaza Theatre
In partnership with WonderRoot and the Atlanta Film Festival Click here to enter!

Visit www.a3cfestival.com

TRIBES Magazine Summer 2012: SPARK AFRICA Issue. View online now!

Click on the cover below to view this issue in Flipbook format. Get this issue in Print or Digital Download to your mobile device.

In the spirit of ushering in a new summer and preparing to bring this latest TRIBES Magazine Summer 2012: Spark Africa issue to press, the crew at TRIBES Central took a field trip to the Carolina Theatre for a highly anticipated, limited screening of Marley, the new documentary film from Kevin MacDonald chronicling the complete life and works of the international superstar. Immersing his art in the political and socioeconomic realities of life in post-colonial Jamaica and committed to reclaiming a cultural homeland and spiritual roots for all members of the Africa diaspora, Bob Marley was beloved by his fans and peers for his commitment to the work of truth and reconciliation in his music and the love for humanity that permeated his life and work.

In this issue of TRIBES Magazine, join us as we head to Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leon, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and S. Africa by way of Germany and the United States, 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 and various efforts to generate and unify Hip Hop communities across the African continent- Sister Fa– Female MC and subject of the new 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.

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. Celebrate inspired community and the arts with our favorite summer concerts and festivals, write your Spark Africa summer playlist after a visit to our Music TRIBES and find inspiration for new forms of expression in Pierce Freelon’s latest project, Tar Heel Tracks, and Renaldo Davidson’s collaborative, mixed-media work, Black Clown.

In this summer of 2012, love, and as a means for revolution, reigns supreme and thus, we welcome you to the TRIBES Magazine 2012: SPARK AFRICA Issue. May yourheart’s light illuminate the darkness!  

Alana Jones, TRIBES Executive Editor


In an effort to connect with even more fans around the globe, TRIBES Magazine Facebook recently migrated its personal page (which had reached the 5,000 friends max) to an unlimited fan page.  As a result of the migration, most of our “friends” did not transfer over to ” fans” as Facebook stated they would.  And, of course, Facebook is not responding to our help requests, so as we work through this migration issue with Facebook to get our more than 4,000 friends back, we hope you will “LIKE” us on our NEW Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/tribesmagazine  and continue to be a part of our growing social media community.
Thank you for your continued support!  Also LIKE  http://www.facebook.com/tribesentertainment.
TRIBES Street Team