Release Sept 7 2022 | Vol32 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Energy! Each volume is a tabletop collector’s item and Vol32 is no different! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @theblack_nificent by @kundi_da_creative. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “What Emergency, the Film, Taught Me about the Value of Upbringing” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, The Got Damn Sauce; our highlighted Hair Feature with Debra Hare Bey; “Solo Travel: Finding Community In Solo Travel” by dCarrie; “Good Vibes Only is Bad Vibes” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Conjuring Worlds — Exploring Afrofuturism in Education” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 32 contributed photo story, “Energy;” Fitness Highlight, Allyson Felix – Life After Olympic Track Retirement; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Chocolate Chip Cookies; “All People Who Are Strategic Are Collecting Intelligence” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; “Last Poet Daveed Nelson Re-evolves As Gg4”; Featured Art Piece by Micah BlackLight; Comic Appreciation featuring “Kishi and the Island of Dreams” by AnimeHipHop; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Jun 7 2022 | Vol31 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Colors! Each volume is a tabletop collector’s item and Vol31 is no different! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @chrissythevocalist. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: ““Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” Explores Devotion and Relationship” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, Stop The Deregulation of the NYS Natural Hair Styling License; our highlighted Hair Feature with Debra Hare Bey; “Solo Travel: Who Am I Outside of My Blackness?” by dCarrie; “Heart and Mind are a Power Couple” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Sankofa — Go back but don’t forget to also go forward” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 31 contributed photo story, “Colors;” Fitness Highlight, Rose Rollins Rocks Long Slow Exhale as Head Coach Abernathy; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Black Bean Quinoa Burger; “Use Credit to Pay Off Debt While Building Wealth in 7 Steps” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; “Healing With Hugs or Softcore Prostitution?” by Jehriko Turner; Featured Art Piece by Craig C The Artist; Comic Appreciation featuring “Kishi and the Island of Dreams” by AnimeHipHop; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Synopsis: Set in the high-stakes world of women’s college basketball, Long Slow Exhale stars Rose Rollins, Lyric Bent, Josh Lucas, and Ian Harding. The drama follows J.C. Abernathy (Rollins), a successful Head Coach of a competitive women’s college basketball team who finds herself in the middle of a potentially career-shattering sexual abuse scandal. As she tries to find the truth among the many secrets she uncovers, she has to make hard decisions that will affect her, her family, and the team of female athletes who all rely on her.
If you’re not familiar with Rose Rollins, let’s bring you from under the rock and get you familiar. Rollins is amazing as head coach, J.C. Abernathy on Spectrum Original’s smash series, Long Slow Exhale. Taji Mag had the pleasure to enjoy a brief chat with Rollins about her time as Coach Abernathy.
Taji Mag (TM): Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about J.C. Abernathy?
Rose Rollins (RR): Where do I start? She is a very complicated woman. She leads with strength. Obviously, she’s gotta whole lot on her plate that she kind of effortlessly handles until she’s just blindsided by so much at once, so many issues and a major scandal. So it kind of throws her off her game. And, she’s compassionate. She’s flawed. She makes a few major mistakes, but I think that the most important part is not about the mistakes she makes. It’s what she does and how she goes about remedying and correcting those mistakes and redeeming herself. I think that’s important, you know, it’s how you take accountability for what you do in life.
TM: Absolutely! How did you prepare for this role? Were you able to speak with any other women head coaches?
RR: Cynthia Cooper. To be exact! Yeah. She was with me every step of the way and I couldn’t imagine it being anyone else. It was actually quite intimidating, especially on game days, where she’d be like, “all right, this is how you do it. You do this. Yo, yo, yo, come here.” You know? And I’m like, how am I supposed to do that?? That’s not what I’m going to do. I actually intentionally had to create J.C.’s dynamic that was a lot different from hers, just so that I don’t get in my head about how miserably I’m failing at what she’s doing. So I chose to do the exact opposite and that’s a true story!
TM: That’s actually excellent though, you did an amazing job! Were there any other challenges in preparing for this role that you came across?
RR: Yeah, just, um, the rawness in certain moments. The true honest moments that J.C. has. You can’t play those moments unless you are truthful in your own truth. That’s really hard to do sometimes because you know, human nature, we like to hide, right? Or we like to show you what we want to show you, but when you’re forced to be like, here I am, here’s my truth, it’s scary as hell. So that was definitely the biggest challenge.
TM: What do you hope the audience will receive from watching Long Slow Exhale?
RR: That you are heard, you are seen. We are fighting for you. Don’t be afraid to stand up. Your time is now.
Kevin Wallace is a model and aspiring actor who keeps it fit. | @1KevinWallace | #FitBlackTatted
What inspires you to stay fit?
Seeing the results after the work I put in, most definitely, and definitely the compliments I may receive. Taking your body to a level it has never been was always something that inspired me and continues to do so.
What does self-care look like for you?
Well, peace is definitely a part of my self-care. Exercising 5 days a week, eating healthy, and staying focused on the next project is my routine, always.
What does your diet generally consist of?
At the moment, all plant-based products, but previously I would just eat lean foods. No pork, no fried foods, maybe a few cheat days here and there, but majority clean, healthy food.
In your opinion, what does it take to build a healthy self-image/worth as a Black man?
Clean and professional appearance. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, and less stress.
What is one thing about the fitness culture that you enjoy and one thing that you would change?
I enjoy the result but hate the work!!!!!!! That’s simple and plain for you! But far as us as the fitness culture, everyone motivating each other is the main thing I enjoy. I would change the laziness of people that wares off on others.
What is one exercise that you love?
Abs, definitely. It works on your back and your stomach.
What’s an accomplishment that you’re proud of?
Becoming the face of Haagen Dazs Ice Cream.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Watching tv and movies, searching YouTube – being noisy, riding motorcycles, and actually hanging out with my friends.
Where can people join you on your journey?
People can join me on my Instagram to follow my journey! My Instagram is @1kevinwallace.
Release Mar 7 2022 | Vol30 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Grounded Earth! Each volume is a tabletop collectors item and Vol30 is no different! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @justhalo_. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Aunjanue Ellis, One of the Best to Portray Black Mothers” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, Earth’s Pot Kisses Your Taste Buds; our highlighted Hair Feature with Debra Hare Bey; “Solo Travel: You’re More Prepared for Solo Travel Than You Think” by dCarrie; “Paper Can’t Hold A Marriage” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “And how are the children?” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 30 contributed photo story, “Grounded Earth;” Fitness Highlight, actor, Kevin Wallace; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Hit Meh Walnut Burritos; “3 Tips For Lowering Your Grocery Bill” by Naomi Bradley; NURILENS Eyewear Prioritizes Eye Care Maintenance, Wombilee Menstrual Pads are Helping to Combat Unhealthy and Unprotected Wombs; Featured Art Piece by Craig C.; Comic Appreciation with Concept Moon; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Today the 53rd NAACP Image Awards announced 16 nominations for Warner Bros. Television Group including some of our major favs, Queen Sugar, created for television by Emmy® winner/Oscar® nominee Ava DuVernay, and All American, from executive producer/showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll. They are both up for the Outstanding Drama Series category.
53rd NAACP Image Awards Warner Bro Nomination Highlights
Queen Sugar has received six nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and acting nominations for Rutina Wesley (Nova Bordelon), Dawn-Lyen Gardner (Charley Bordelon West), Kofi Siriboe (Ralph Angel Bordelon), and Bianca Lawson (Darla).
All American has received three nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, an acting nomination for Daniel Ezra (Spencer James), and writing for Nkechi Okoro Carroll.
Acting nomination for Anika Noni Rose received an acting nomination for the series Maid.
Director Cierra Glaude received a Breakthrough creative nomination for Queen Sugar.
Complete list of Warner Bros. Television Group Nominations
QUEEN SUGAR (Warner Bros. Television/OWN): 6 53rd NAACP Image Awards Nominations
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Dawn-Lyen Gardner
- Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Rutina Wesley
- Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series: Kofi Siriboe
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Bianca Lawson
- Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television): Cierra Glaude
ALL AMERICAN (WBTV/The CW): 3 Nominations
- Outstanding Drama Series
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Daniel Ezra
- Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series: Nkechi Okoro Carroll, “Homecoming”
MAID (WBTV/Netflix): 2 Nominations
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special: Anika Noni Rose
- Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television): Quyen Tran
THE REAL (Warner Bros. Unscripted Television/Syndicated): 2 Nominations
- Outstanding Talk Series
- Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble: Garcelle Beauvais, Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai Jenkins
TED LASSO (WBTV/Apple TV+): 2 Nominations
- Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Ashley Nicole Black, “Do the Right-est Thing”
- Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Leann Bowen, “Lavender”
THE VOICE (Warner Bros. Unscripted Television): 1 Nomination
- Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series)
Often, when a gifted person becomes famous and has a child, society waits to see what talents the child develops and if they mirror their parent in any way. iNTeLL, the first-born son of U-God from the legendary rap group, Wu-Tang Clan, definitely doesn’t disappoint. It’s arguable that his pen and cadence may even outshine his father’s (which is all we really want as parents anyway), but iNTeLL never misses a beat to homage to his pops (and uncles). 2nd Generation Wu is led by iNTeLL with other Wu spawn, PXWER (son of Method Man), and features SUN GOD (son of Ghostface Killah) and Young Dirty Bastard (son of Old Dirty Bastard). Taji Mag went to Staten Island to chat with iNTeLL about his motivations and future.
Taji Mag: How did you discover you have bars?
iNTeLL: When I was 13-years-old, my best friend told me after hearing my poetry.
Taji Mag: You are multi-disciplined, list off some of your talents outside of rapping and acting.
iNTeLL: Painting, photography, melting wax on canvas, organizing, curating, executive producing.
Taji Mag: How was 2GWU conceived?
iNTeLL: It was conceived once I was conceived. However, it started in 2019 after my production company, Intellectual Entertainment, did a joint venture with the independent label, Dock Street Records. I then had the space and funds to cultivate the idea into a reality.
Taji Mag: What are some of your accomplishments that you’re most proud of? (Brag a bit lol)
- I’ve Collaborated with Method Man, Inspectah Deck & Masta Killa from the Wu-Tang Clan. I’ve Collaborated with Snoop Dogg, current president of Def Jam Records. I’ve Collaborated with 88-Keys, whose work on DONDA is Grammy nominated.
- Established my own Production Company
- Established my own independent music label
- Landed Placement on Peter Rosenberg’s, of hot97, debut album
- One of My Hip Hop Idols and Lyrical Mentor from afar, Lupe Fiasco, referred to me as “Royalty”
- I got to do a song with Del The Funkee Homosapien, another one of my Lyrical Mentors from afar
- Have had Several Songs played on the Radio, FM & Sirius Satellite
- Received Over 1million Streams on a song
- Created 2nd Generation Wu which will be remembered forever Alongside WU-TANG CLAN because WU-TANG is Forever For The Children.
Taji Mag: Verzuz is allowing us to see our Hip Hop favs put on full shows in their 50s, how are you preparing for longevity in your health and wellness?
iNTeLL: Method Man started Tical Athletics, I’m bout to go to the gym with him and only drink seamoss.
Taji Mag: As the sun of U-God, do you feel pressure to carry on the Wu legacy? Why or why not?
iNTeLL: I did in my teens, but got over that early because their shoes not even the same size for me to be trying to fill them. I decided to use their soul to build my own shoes and walk my own path. A Legacy Branched out from a Legacy. Hip Hop is a Tree, not a totem.
Taji Mag: What gems have you received about/applied to the game from any OG WuTang member?
iNTeLL: Take your time.
Let them hear you.
Taji Mag: What have you discovered from your journey that you would pass on to a potential 3rd Gen Wu member?
iNTeLL: With Art, There are no rules.
Stay connected with iNTeLL at @gftd.iNTeLL! Check out his music below and tell us what you think in the comments!
Website: Lets Make Music | Together
Release Dec 7 2021 | Vol29 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Wata! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @Honey.Scarlette captured by @TheOneWillFocus3. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “SPIKE: A Collection of Movie Photography With Contributing Photographer, David Lee” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, MAKEDA Maska-Fleurs by FLORAFFIA©; our highlighted Hair Feature with the Moriri project; “Solo Travel: Now That I’m Outside, Here’s How I’m Managing My Travel Anxiety by dCarrie; “A Simple (But Not Easy) Formula for Freedom” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Pedagogy in a Pandemic” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 29 contributed photo story, “Wata;” Fitness Highlight; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Creamy Dream Pasta; “Eugenics & Economic Depravity by the Numbers” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Around The Way Girl Da Remix by Kaloni Cush of Seven Essential Creates; Featured Art Piece by @CraigCTheArtist; Comic Appreciation; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Sept 7 2021 | Vol28 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Fire! This volume’s cover features features the #SlayBells of @Queen__Reinvented. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James is a Music Love Story” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, Lady M Mannequins; our highlighted Hair Feature with Debra Hare Bey; “Solo Travel: Audacious Adventure” with Ty Vaughn by dCarrie; “The Value of Values” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “The Childhood Challenge” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 28 contributed photo story, “Fire;” Fitness Highlight, Dorian DuBois of EFitBrand; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Savory Veggie Flatbread; “What Banks Don’t Want You to Know” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Featured Art Piece by @TheOneWillFocus; Comic Appreciation with INFINITUM by Tim Fields; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Oftentimes, viewers of shows like The Voice and American Idol wonder what happened to the contestants after the show. The Voice has a solid Country following so a few of their artists are able to chart, but what about everyone else? I had a wonderfully candid conversation with The Voice season 12 winner, Chris Blue, where we discussed what he did after the phone calls stopped and the excitement for his current projects. If you haven’t yet, check out his recent release, Moon, on all major platforms. See the full Video interview below.
Taji Mag (TM): What do you feel is the difference between this project and your previous projects?
Chris Blue (CB): I think for this one, it’s something people have been asking for. People have been asking for Moon, essentially, since I finished my time with NBC. It was a journey getting them here but now they’re like ‘thank you, finally, this what we’ve been wanting and we gon blow this thing up’… and that’s what they’ve been doing! So I think that’s what’s different. Back2TheFuture was a great song because I felt like I needed to say something, I needed to have my imprint on society, but as far as my musicality and my art and my VISION… Moon, to me, is it. It’s that cross between what’s new and the respect of what I have to what’s old. It’s old school/new school. You’ll hear influences of the Weeknd, Michael Jackson, and you get to the end of it and it’s like where’d this Afrobeat vibe come from? The reason I did that was because I’m still learning about my heritage, I’m a descendant of the Jamaican-Caribbean-African heritage. I’m really digging into my ancestry now. I was like maybe THAT’S why I love curry chicken…
(TM): Did you feel like you couldn’t produce the same type of artistry during your time at NBC?
(CB): Yea… I mean… Yea. I feel like I was somewhat restricted on what I could do. My first anything as a solo career happened on NBC. I wasn’t out here grinding grinding grinding before that show. So when I won and got the accolades, the money, and the deal, it was great, I get to do what I want to do. I’m telling people now, I won but at the same time I lost because for about 2 years, I think, I realized like I’m losing myself. I’m losing who I am. I’m losing Chris Blue…
(TM): Was there a lot of outside influence on who they wanted you to be as an artist.
(CB): There was. There was a lot of influence on what they wanted because, again, it’s a business. A lot of people have to remember it’s the music business. So that word business sometimes outshines the music in most cases, especially when you’re dealing with other people and other people’s money and they have to figure out how am I going to make my money back? So when you start to see this is trending and this is what most people will like and this is selling, let’s reshape and redefine you and make you fit this. The issue with that with me is and was I’m not that. I’m me. I can only do me well. I can’t do that well. So I lost. I lost a lot of confidence in myself. I lost a lot of belief. Because I’m not becoming that, the telephone stopped ringing as much, my emails weren’t blowing up, I wasn’t getting as many messages on Instagram, and everything just started to collapse. I was just like well maybe I wasn’t that good… It messed me up in a lot of ways, so much that my family started to feel the effects of it. My mom just sat me down one day and was like you’re changing. I was like dang, what you mean by that mama. That was one of the defining moments for me that brought me back. If I’m gonna do music, I gotta do it my way, I gotta do what I love and I can’t do it to spare feelings or to pacify anyone else.
You can’t sustain living a certain way that’s not conducive to what you want to live like. You can’t do it. It don’t work. You’ll wake up every day hating yourself. You’ll become the perfect example of the person who wakes up to the 9-to-5 job that you hate.
(TM): Makes note of how I’ve watched contestants change from the beginning to the end of the show to fit cookie-cutter molds and that, by the end of it, I’m just skipping through each episode to see who they chose as the winner.
(CB): It’s funny you say that. I had to learn this as well. The American public ain’t stupid. Y’all are not dumb. You watch artists on them shows and you be like ok dope, they this, they that, but ya’ll know, nah, this is show. Some people have to be reminded it’s a show, right, so the expectation that as soon as you come off of a show like that you’re supposed to just blow up… I didn’t realize that going in. That’s a TV show. They have to do what’s best for them. It’s on me to get out here and actually work and grind and build. I tell people, I wish… If could do it all over again, with the same result (big smile), I would. I would go in thinking like an artist. I wasn’t thinking like an artist. I was some green, wet behind the ears, new-to-this-thing singer. I wasn’t an artist. I just want to sing. Put me on the stage, give me a microphone, let me SANG, let me do what I do. If I could go back and do it again, I’d have my team in place, I’d have everything ready to go so that by the time they said and the winner is I’m ready to use that launching pad to actually launch off.
(TM): What else are you working on now? I hear you’re doing a docuseries?
(CB): Yea so ya boy just got a leading role in a docuseries that we’re getting ready to shoot next month at a studio in Atlanta. So I’m excited about that. The role I’m playing is a guy who I feel like is me right now. Everything this bruh is going through, that’s ME. Everyone feels good about this docuseries, It’s real. It’s raw. It’s uncut. You’ll see a lot of truth a lot of reality. I believe highly in putting things into the atmosphere, when you put things into the atmosphere, God’s ear, he hears.
So happy that Chris Blue is stepping into his true artistry and exploring multiple avenues of his creative genius. Click here to stream Moon. Follow Chris Blue on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Stay tuned for more updates and real conversations.
Click below to watch the full video interview.