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Hairfeenz Chicago’s Very Own Tamika V.

Hairfeenz, an online hair extension boutique that provides quality hair extensions in a large variety of lengths and textures. They cater to Divas who love to keep up with the stylish trend in hair extensions, offer good quality hair and reasonable prices. Hairfeenz feel you shouldn’t have to break the bank to look good.
They offer 100% virgin hair in Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian, Mongolian, Indian and Filipino. Offered in straight, body wave, loose wave, deep wave and curly with lengths ranging from 12 inches to 30 inches),also carry lace closures, frontal and 360’s in lengths ranging from 10 inches to 26 inches to match every texture. They offer all of the textures in Remy and carry a large selection of 100% Virgin hair full lace and frontal lace wigs. Ceo’s Tamika V. and Feen has been killing the business since 2015. Shop with them at www.Hairfeenz.com

Had some questions for the Ceo Tamika V.

What made you want to be apart of the hair business?

Over the years I have spent a lot of money on hair extensions.  Being a female who suffers from Alopecia I have always been self-conscious of my hair.  After realizing how much money I had to spend to cover up my thinning hair, I decided I wanted to help others like me and those who really invest in their hair by being able to offer high grade quality human extensions at an affordable price.

How long did it take for you to get your brand off the ground?

I started my brand in 2015 and over the years I have worked hard at being able to provide the very best quality of 100% Human Extensions.  I tried many vendors before finding the vendors I work with for my product.  Being a person who is so familiar with extensions, I wanted to sample the different vendors myself to determine if the quality of the product was good.  It took a lot of time and money, but I am proud to say I have worked with the same vendors for the last 3 years.

Where did the name hairfeenz come from?

When I decided to launch a website, I wanted to get my best friend on board as a business partner.  He is a male so he really had no knowledge of hair extensions.  His neighborhood name is feen so when I came at him like “hey bestie we can call the business hairfeenz” He got super excited and jumped on board that same day.  Plus think about it… its really catchy LOL

Do you guys specialize in man pieces?

Unfortunately, we have not branched out to the men units yet, but I am, very excited about being able to offer male unites in the near future.

What do you feel about competition?

There is plenty of competition in the hair game and what I tell people is research pricing and read reviews to help determine the best products.  I feel we need competitors, so we can show the world what makes us different from others.

There are many hair vendors in the game, so I want to know why should they shop with Hairfeenz?

I’m passionate about hair because it has become such a big part of my life even before the business.  I’m the type of person who doesn’t feel at my best when my hair isn’t done.  I refuse to offer hair that I wouldn’t wear myself and I only wear the best of the best.  I feel the biggest competitor I face are stylist who also sell hair.  These stylists are able to install the hair and give you the overall look and that great, but I also tell people be mindful because a good stylist can make some terrible hair look great.  Its what they are trained to do.  I am not a stylist so what I share about my experiences with my brand and our quality is straight from the horse’s mouth.  I give it to you straight no chaser LOL.  Side note we are also one of the only sites to offer 6 different strands of hair (Brazilian, Filipino, Peruvian, Indian, Mongolian and Malaysian)

If you can have a celebrity to be the face of Hairfeenz who would it be?

OMG it would be my BFF Beyonce.  Ok fine she’s my BFF in my head, but I feel her beauty, class and grace mirrors what I see for my brand.  Hairfeenz is about quality and investing in yourself and I feel Beyonce has become an ICON not only for her talent but for her reputation of being an amazing human being.

What do you have coming up?

Well the relaunch of the site happened a few months ago and I just plan to work really hard on marketing.  We will possibly participate in some vendor events this summer and I will keep that info updated on social media.

Describe being the owner of Hairfeenz?

Its amazing to create a brand and it feels even better to nurture it.  I feel we have come a long way but I know we have a long way to go so I will say it is very exciting.

Where can they find you on social media?

@hairfeenz on IG and FaceBook.

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What In The Figgity?! [ Niques’ Crown Jewels]

As the last hours of the year tick away and we begin to bring in 2019. Quarters2Commas and Straight Official are happy to shine our light on NiquesCrownJewels.

IG: niques_crown_jewels

Nique, an Independent Jewelry Consultant, has a growing base with an increasing inventory. Niques Crown Jewels offer exciting, glamorous jewelry for only $5 catering to just about every culture while maintaining a safe and appealing product.

FB: Niques $5 Bling

With multiple series in the collection, NCJ offers other elegant type pieces for the true bling queens at heart. Not only targeting the woman, Niques Crown Jewels also has a selection for men that compliments any style just as well.

Nique also offer the opportunity to join her team and learn how to be a Bling Boss! Don’t miss this opportunity in 2019! Look out for her and have a Happy New Year !

Thank you and stay tuned in 2k19 as Straight Official and Quarters2Commas bring you the figgity right to your face about music, sports, gaming and more!

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The Quest Chronicles: Relationships in 2018

RELATIONSHIPS!!! Boy have they changed over the years. From the way men court woman, to the importance of a relationship status, to playing with emotions as if they don’t matter.

This is an ongoing topic so I with tease you all with a few highlights & please feel free to comment afterwards.

There’s a hashtag that circulates all over the internet including memes which states ” Relationship Goals (RG’s)”.  RGs are ideals, lessons, values or experiences to aim for in your intimate partner relationship. Instead of being unattainable, it should be inspirational.  RG’s varies from Barack Obama & Michelle to Jay-Z & Beyonce & one of my favorites Papoose & Remy Ma just to name a few. Who wouldn’t want to be a power couple? Beside couples, when referring to values & lessons I ask you, what are your RG’s as a single person? What’s are you RG’s as a couple? ( Please Comment Below)

Throwback: I remember when a man use to approach a lady he found attractive and would ask her out on a date then start courtship to see if things can go any further between the two. Many don’t even know how to ask a woman out properly anymore. How many of us have heard, “What’s good with you? What’s up? You tryna get up?  Netfix & Chill perhaps?”  It became so bad, guys don’t even bother to ask for phone numbers anymore. They ask for your Instagram name. This can’t be reality. I met a man at a lounge a few months ago, we conversed for a while and when he asked for my phone number, it was so foreign that I was turned on. How refreshing was that? What is social media doing to our culture, our society, our relationships? Living in the world of “Trending” is not looking so good. But let me shout out the men who were taught right, who still have old fashion values, who still have respect for woman, who still court. Everyone has not been brainwashed by the negativity of today’s society.

Ladies, you are not exempt from these behaviors because many of us have been not playing our parts neither.  This topic I shall go further in dept at another time so please stay tuned.

Taking it back to relationships: I remember being asked on many occasions, how important “titles” are when it comes to relationships. To me personally, I believe they are very important. In a way, it’s a sense of security in ones mind. If both parties agree to not have a title but a clear understanding to what’s entailed when it comes to their as I say “Situation-ship” then they’re fine. On the other hand, without proper communication & just going with the flow, problems have a possibility of growing. If I’m playing the role as a girlfriend without a title TECHNICALLY he’s not mines. If he wanted to talk to other females or date them, can I really get mad if we didn’t decide what this is between the two of us? Communication is key!

Like I stated earlier, this topic is broad and I can go on forever. I appreciate one of my readers suggesting that I speak about this. Keep them coming! There’s so many things I can discuss & break down so let’s have some fun. Comment below your feedback on the topics I spoke about above as well as give topics you’ll like me to address. Keep in mind that I will soon bring my blogs to my up & coming podcast & radio show. With that being said, you all have to continue to follow me to keep up with all the latest!

This is the Ms Gotta Love Me herself, it’s T-Quest Tuesday & you’ve just best Questified!
Show love by  sharing & following me on all social media at TQuestGLM

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[MODEL] Tizita Zerihun is Miss Queen Ethiopia

Tizita Zerihun is an international model and humanitarian from Ethiopia. We met through a mutual friend on social media, Kate Citrone
Tizita Zerihun has participated in many fashion shows, television ads, magazine works and entertainments and international pageants.
Tizita knows that modeling is a powerful means to educate, help and change peoples lives.
The more successful I become, the more inspired I will be. – Tizita Zerihun
Tizita’s main goals are to become one of the best international models and help people who are poor and underpriveleged. Tezita Zeruhin wants to see kids basic needs fulfilled such as having a proper education.
I want to see gender based violence stopped. I also want human rights of my people to be respected and protected. – Tizita Zerihun
For me beauty is ones pride, success, kindness, reaching out to the poor. – Tizita Zerihun
Contact Tizita Zerihun on Facebook searching for betymodel@gmail.com or by her user name Tizita Zerihun Betty Hammer.
She also told us that her best photo shoot was for ZOMA magazine in London promoting an Ethiopian cultural dress.
Accomplishments
 Educational Background – EGSEC in 2010C
Work Experience and Achievements –
Miss Addis Ababa 2012 – Miss Culture – Miss Ethiopia top 10 finalist – Miss World Ethiopia Online top seven finalist in 2015 – International Human Right Commission Youth Ambassador 2016 – Miss Queen Ethiopia in Pakistan 2016 – DDEA Humanitarian Award USA 2017 – Certificate from Addis Ababa Women’s Federation in Community Mobilization – Certificate from Addis Ababa University Female Student’s Association – Ms Hammer and Miss Jinka Children Ambassador – Certificate of Award for Peace, Trust Building and Sustainable Development 2016 – Certificate of Award from Mice West Africa Forum & Expo in 2017, Accra, Ghana – Certificate of Award from Culture Tourism Government communication in 2018. – Certificate of Award in contribution to sustain good culture in 2018. – Certificate of appreciation from Ethiopian Community in Dubai in Participating on Fashion show in March 02, 2018. 
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[Entertainment] Cardi B to appear on “SNL”

Cardi B is scheduled to make her debut on Saturday Night Live in April. SNL has announced she will be the musical performer for the long-running sketch show’s April 7 episode. Cardi will share the spotlight with Black Panther star ChadwiThe “Bodak Yellow” hitmaker was excited about her upcoming SNL debut, sharing the news on her Instagram account. Cardi asked her followers if they’d be altering their weekend plans to watch her.
“APRIL 7th SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE!!!” she wrote. “Who finna not go to the club to watch Bardi on tv?!ck Boseman, who is scheduled to host the episode.Cardi has been the headlines of late due to pregnancy rumors. She and her fiancé Offset have denied the rumors, but a recent report claimed she’ll be close to seven months pregnant when she performs at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

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How to cope with a preschooler with a behavioral problem?

There is no manual given to parents on how to raise children. Raising children is a difficult task, but we prepare ourselves the best we can. As parents mentally prepare ourselves for the behaviors that pre-teens, adolescents, and even young adults bring. We think about the mood swings, back talk, emotional outbursts, and attitudes. Parents would never imagine an early learner to behave that way. We would never imagine a small child behaving in such an outrageous manner. What would you say if I said, “It all starts when they are young.” When it comes to differentiating between normal and abnormal behavior problems, it’s important to know a bit about child development. What’s normal for a preschooler, isn’t normal for a teenager. Early learners exhibit these behaviors earlier during their preschool years. The key to correcting these behaviors is to start early. Those same behaviors cause influxes in academic progress. Children with behavioral issues tend to have harder time with their academic/studies. 

If you have noticed your child becoming a slight bit more emotional or aggressive at home or in school, this is a sign there is a problem. Children whom have behavioral issues tend not to follow rules, directions or expectations. Redirecting them will take more time than most. You will see that they seem to turn to aggression when not satisfied by an outcome. Depending on the age, they maybe more negative in their vocabulary. They many ignore and dismiss requests by others. Children exhibit behaviors that they don’t understand with anger. This is why it is vital to tackle these behaviors early. If redirection and correction are not enforced effectively the behaviors may evolve into more complex ones. These are more difficult to correct and may even require additional help and services.  

For parents at their wits end, behavioral therapy techniques can provide a roadmap to calmer, more consistent ways to manage problem behaviors problems and offers a chance to help children develop gain the developmental skills they need to regulate their own behaviors. 

According to Kids Health, behavior problems in children often stem from frustration or anger that children cannot resolve on their own. Behavior problems can be solved with patience and understanding as it takes time for children to learn how to deal with situations that lead to bad behavior. There are many activities that parents can use to motivate children to think about their bad behavior and choose alternate ways of dealing with situations that cause such behavior. Misbehavior that interferes with your child’s education may indicate an underlying behavior disorder. Getting sent out of class, getting into fights at recess, and difficulty staying on task are all potential warning signs. An example of poorly defined behavior is “acting up,” or “being good.” A well-defined behavior would be running around the room (bad) or starting homework on time (good).  

At the first sign of abnormal behavior there are a few things you can do. Begin with understanding what your child’s needs. Examine their physical needs and their emotional needs. Venting anger is an important way to help children learn more effective ways to work through their anger, instead of turning to aggression. Parents and family members can help children with creating physically safe ways to get their anger out. Physical activities like gymnastics, exercise, dancing, or sports are all physical activities that can help deter bad behavior.  Health professionals recommend to schedule time to be active for both children and family as a way of helping with ongoing bad behavior. Sports like karate, wrestling and even track are excellent activities to burn off energy and keep stress down.  

When you meet these needs in positive ways you are redirecting the negative behavior. This prevents future occurrences from happening. Begin to focus on the four basic triggers of negativity. These triggers: Freedom, Fun/Excitement, Acceptance, & Empowerment. A trigger is a thought about a situation that leads to an inappropriate response to that situation. A child having behavioral problems within these triggers has strong feelings about one or more of them.

   Giving your child positive reinforcement for being good helps maintain the ongoing good behavior. Positive attention enhances the quality of the relationship, improves self-esteem, and feels good for everyone involved. Positive attention to brave behavior can also help attenuate anxiety, and help kids become more receptive to instructions and limit-setting. 

A great way to prevent behavior problems is to strategize ways with your child’s teachers. Just having to sit still during class is a big challenge for some children. The teacher may be open to letting your child move around or do other activities. Teachers can set up conferences that include you, your child, and an advocate. Collectively you can create a plan about how to make school go well for your child. Such plans are called behavioral plans enforced by the teacher and the school. 

In conclusion, parents must maintain a clear and healthy communication with their children. Behavioral problems/issues can be managed and controlled. Establish a level of consequences and awards. Please do not confuse consequences with punishment. Not all consequences are created equal. Some are an excellent way to create structure and help kids understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, while others have the potential to do more harm than good. As a parent, one can consistently use consequences, that will make all the difference. 

 

 

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[FAMILY & PARENTING] SHOULD I GET MY CHILD TESTED AT AN EARLY AGE?

Have you noticed unusual behavior in your child?

Have you notice an increase in aggression?

Are the following things occurring in your child:

Mood changes & Irritability-Emotional Skills

Inability to focus- Social Skills

Speech delays- Language & Speech Skills

Physical delays-Gross Motor Skills

These are all signs of a possible developmental or learning disorder. As parents we tend to look at our children and stipulate that nothing is wrong. We ignore the small signs and dismiss them as typical child like behaviors. The idea that our children may be delayed in a developmental aspect frightens us. I am here to clarify and debunk those beliefs.

There are warnings signs that can help parents be more aware of what is developmental appropriate and what is a sign that specialized attention is needed. In today’s society there has been many who believe that getting a child tested is inappropriate and premature. I am here to tell you it isn’t.

The most important and powerful thing you can do as a parent is observe.  Observe the way your child plays, moves, speaks, and interacts with others. Take note of different behaviors/actions you have never seen before. Research studies have confirmed that parents are reliable sources of information about their child’s development. When observing have fun with your child. Play is the best way to pinpoint if there is a need for help of any kind. When observing you child remember that children develop differently. All children hit the same developmental milestones, but they hit them at different times in their progression. NO two children will hit their milestones identically. It is important to remember not to compare your child to another. Every child is unique.

Another important step is to keep an open communication with your child’s caregiver. There are other people in your child’s life that are important factors. If your child is cared for by a relative or nanny, it is important to get their opinion. Nowadays, most families pay for a daycare or an early childhood facility. It is important to stay in communication with all the staff that comes in comes contact with your child. These individuals will be your secondary eyes on your child’s progression. Things like crawling, speaking, walking, feeding, and play interactions are items that can help support your need for specialized help. Be a good listener and acknowledge the feedback. Always keep in mind children hit their milestones at different times, so don’t stress.

When a child goes into a preschool setting, people are more steadily aware of changes and needs. In most states, the preschool divisions are called Abbott programs. These are mostly state funded preschool programs geared to helping children develop a firm foundation for their academic lives. The days normally run from 8:30am to 2:30pm. This is about a six-hour school day. It is very similar to a regular school day. These programs help children progress but equally help parents with ensuring that children are learning the basic fundamentals. Noticing children with some social/emotional delays is more readily available. Often your child’s teacher will notice the first symptoms of a specific learning disability. Parents may also notice symptoms that are different from those the teacher sees. That’s why it is so important for teachers and parents to share notes on the development of a child. When you enter a preschool setting, there are more resources available to you. There are the teachers input, assessment (ECRs, Literacy/Math, & referral), PIRT (Preschool Intervention Referral Team), family advocates, and Community & Parent Involvement Specialists.

Another important aspect is confiding in your pediatrician. Maintaining a good healthy relationship with your pediatrician is an excellent resource. Parents who are aware of developmental milestones can observe their child and inform their healthcare provider about any concerns they may have about their child’s development. Pediatric healthcare providers can provide parents with milestone checklists to track their child’s milestones at home. Healthcare professionals play a critical role in monitoring children’s development and identifying problems as early as possible.  They monitor the child’s development at each visit. At the office they may periodically screen your child with validated tools. These tools identify any areas of concern that may require a further examination or evaluation. Your healthcare professional can ensure that more comprehensive developmental evaluations are completed if risks are identified. Children aged 0-3 years can be referred to early intervention programs.

Early intervention programs are services who give specialized support to children and families in the early years (from birth to school entry). Children 3 years and older can be referred to special education services for assessment and services.

Making a decision on having your child tested is a big deal. It is a decision that will in fact change their lives. The more involved you are with your child’s progress the better you are at advocating for them. Make sure you have collected enough valid evidence. Put together all the referrals, observations, and assessments.

Re-read all the information. You are now ready to make a cautious decision whether to test your child. The more you know about the evaluations, the more prepared you’ll be to advocate for your child. You’ll also be better able to explain to your child what to expect and help them understand their own challenges. Kids develop at different paces. Your child may gain some skills later than other kids or have some skills that are advanced for their age.

 If your child isn’t meeting many of these milestones, consider speaking with your healthcare professional to seek an evaluation.This evaluation will look at his/hers skills and document the results. There are a number of ways you, your pediatrician and even his preschool can work together to help boost their skills.

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[Model Spotlight] Presented By FLEET PHOTOGRAPHER @J_da_Photog

Photographer: J Da Photog
Makeup Artist: Zeta Banx
Hair Stylist: Zeta Banx
Wardrobe Stylist: Zeta Banx

Name: Zeta Banx
Age: 25
Nationality: Black
Born/Raised: Philly, PA
Zodiac: Aquarius
Height: 5’1
Measurements: 34-24-35
Website: Onlyfans.com/zetabanx02
Social Media Links: Ig: @IAmZetaBanx SC: @ZetaBanx
Favorite Quote: Don’t just be grate, be grateful!

For those just seeing you for the first time. What can you tell us about yourself? I’m very friendly, like to have fun, and enjoy being wet.
What sets you apart from other models? I been modeling for over 17 years, from pageants to runway to commercial to urban n videos.
Sometimes modeling comes with a lot of baggage. Do you feel that you’ve been misperceived? No, I think I represent myself very well and I’m not interested in who thinks differently.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years? To have an accomplished business and working toward a family
Have you/or would you ever consider mixing business with pleasure? No
If you were looking for a relationship what type of person would spark your interest? I like a person with a great personality, beautiful teeth, good head on they shoulders and knows what they want.
What are the three most important things in your life? Family, Health and Work
If you could only choose one person, who is your inspiration and why? Marilyn Monroe, she G.O.A.T.
If you could change 3 things about yourself, what would it be? Nothing I love who I am and my growth.
What would you say is your best feature and why? My smile it shines even in the dark lol
What is playing in your (iPod, iPhone, Android, music device)/Favorite song (currently)? Post Malone Patient
How do you get into character for a photoshoot? I like to listen to music and think of if the camera was my man
What’s something that most people would be surprised to find out when they actually meet you? I’m short lol, it never fails.
Before we go do you have any last words? Thank you for letting me be apart of something great and thank you for everyone that supports me

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Let’s Talk About Haven: Soul Singer Renee Dion speaks to DJ Layne Luv

How do you really interpret being a fan of an artist you know personally? And how does one explain that fanship when you are involved in the inner circle of the artist movement within that city? Can one speak objectively without bias? I’ll try my best. I came to know of this female sultry soul singer by way of a poet I used to date. From her introduction, I grew to know of all of the players within that artsy scene from Wali Crowder (poet), to B Jazz and The Liquid Crystal Project to DJ Krate Digga (eclectic DJ) to Lawrence Lemon (dancer extraordinaire). But around 2011, Columbus Ohio was buzzing by the release of Eric Roberson’s Mr. Nice Guy. Of course the city of Columbus has an adoration for the grammy-nominated singer, but the talk was more that of his generosity, almost an ode if you will, to the place that continues to give him so much love. Roberson included most of the artist aforementioned on his project, and from there I started to hear more and more about the songstress they call Renee Dion who was also a feature on Mr. Nice Guy.

With each project released, with each live performance, I became more of a supporter of Dion’s movement. Even witnessing her sing the national anthem for our 44th president Barack Obama was nothing short of amazing. In 2014, she dropped her project Moonlight off at my radio show, and my crew at the time and I were blown away at the maturity of her sound. We played every track for the entire show. By that time Dion was gaining momentum on the music scene….then all of the sudden “POOF” she disappeared. For a year and a half I would see her appear at a few music events around town or see her with her students from my window at that bank I was working at. (she was a school teacher at a school next door). But still no spark of music until around the end of October 2017. I started hearing from her chief supporter (her husband) she had a project coming out. He showed up at the club passing out her project to all the DJ’s but I was on the set and by the time I got done, the project was sold out. I ended up having to wait for the release date to hear it, and believe you me it was worth the wait. Haven put me in a trance from the first track I played.

I’m the type of person that believes everyone has a path and I follow good energy, so when I heard that my long time friend Jonathan Baker helped out on a lot of the arrangements for Haven, it made perfect sense why I was drawn to this project. Baker is an extremely talented genuine guy. I also felt that Dion was coming from a personal place. She’s a private person, but if you follow her life on social media and in real life…you know she’s in love and she’s been in love for quite some time. A story that is very rare in this day and age. Dion and her husband Artist Eric Jefferson don’t do it for the vine either, their love story is real. Those that listen to Haven can feel that story in the songs. So if you are in love, looking to be in love , or you just simply have questions about it…you can use Haven as to what that looks like.

I caught up with the songstress and I wanted her to break down some key elements of this masterpiece. Without further adieu …..Renee Dion…..

SO: Hey Renee, considering I just interviewed a musician you know well Ill Poetic and him taking 10 years to finish his project, and knowing it took you a few years to complete Haven, explain how difficult the process is to bring about a project with the musicality both of your projects possess.

RD: Oooh wee! (laughs to self) well after Moonlight I sort of hit a brick wall and I had to ask myself the question all artist get to a point of asking. Do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to let this go and just stop? I then made a decision, and with my mouth I told my husband…”I’m done with music” and from there was an almost immediate shift in my life from health problems to personal relationships.. things were just off. Speaking to that, I learned that when we abandon our purpose and what God has given us to do, things will shift and things can change until we find that path again. So as I stated, I was going to walk away but something kept bringing me back to it, and more and more I began to  find inspiration. I was finding inspiration everywhere, from listening to my best friend T. Wong evolve to lyrics just coming to me out of no where…and I started thinking to myself like “Are we done?” So my husband and I turned one of our bedrooms into a recording studio and I began to tinker around, and from that, the creativity started flowing …like if you ever saw the movie with Bruce Leroy …I had the glow (we both crack up) but when I started to show these songs to Jonathan (Baker) …first of all this man is truly talented, but I truly love his musicianship, so when he began to add his musical flavor, that’s when Haven started coming to life.

SO: If I could give this album a positive critique, you sound the most confident on this album than your previous projects. Songs like Uno (I really like that song btw) have your signature sound, but you can also hear growth and confidence in these songs. What made the difference on you taking risk vocally on this project?

RD:  I would say, when you take ownership and responsibility from other people’s hands, no slight to any other producer I’ve worked with…but once I had to sit in this studio and hammer out these songs myself, and I had to figure out production nuances and truly trust myself to express what was coming from my heart, I would say the confidence to elevate happened organically from those experiences. If you really want to know who Renee Dion is…Listen to Haven. 

SO: Considering we’re saying goodbye to 2017…We had a number of bare-your-soul albums from music’s royal family The Carters. 4:44 setting the tone for truth in music. Listening to Haven you can hear these songs coming from a real place. Did your husband inspire those songs?

RD: Well, honestly speaking the entire album is about him. But it’s also about me, my relationship with God and my relationship with people. When it comes to my music, I’m attracted to really beautiful sounds, so sometimes the music can stand on it’s own and overshadow the lyrics based on the sounds I prefer. However on this project, if you stripped the production and listened to just the words, you’ll hear my vulnerability, my fears, my questions and me dealing with myself. I’m still continuing to learn how to be a wife, and my husband is still learning to be patient with me as I find my way, as I am with him and these thoughts are what come out in the music. Life is about continual self discovery.

SO: It seems like your songs speak to women in love or looking for love. In a time where trust in relationships is a rarity and often times scary, what would you say to those women looking for love in 2018?

RD: Wow that’s a deep question and loaded hahaha but I’ll try to answer. I’ll say this to my single women waiting for love. Don’t lose your affection, don’t lose your vulnerability by being guarded. What do they say, “you can’t receive a blessing with a closed fist”, so you have to remain open to love no matter how great the potential of you being hurt again. With each experience there is a lesson until you reach the destiny God has called you to reach. The problem lies for most people is that they look to all sorts of media like Facebook and Instagram and the wrong outlets for guides to relationships. However that is so far from the truth of what love really is.

Listen, people look at my husband and I funny because wherever they see me they see him and vice versa. If he has a showing I’m right there, if  I have a singing engagement he’s right there as my No. 1 supporter. And it’s not based on a level of insecurity. Our presence is a sense of protection in this crazy world. Furthermore, we enjoy each others company. I sometimes go to events and there are married women and men showing up to events by themselves and wonder why they get involved in single activities. Don’t get me wrong our marriage is still work but it’s less work when you work at it and stay in tune with your significant other. Recognizing and dealing with things when things are off are another way to build strong relationships. But people have to be willing to let go of pride and ego to accomplish that. Communication is Everything. Eric is my husband and I protect him and his art just like he does for me…that’s the best advice I can give Layne.

SO: Where can people purchase your music and what events do you have going on right now?

RD: So they can purchase the music on iTunes and we just did Healing Haven and The Black Infinity a few days ago but those events and more are the many things to come in 2018. Just follow me on Instagram and Twitter under @ReneeDionMusic and please visit my web page reneedion.com

SO: Thank you so much for spending the day with us. Haven is definitely a instant soul classic.

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@FleetDJs

@StateOfHip_Hop

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Master Class: Duane DaRock by DJ Layne Luv

Napoleon Hill goes on record with his book Think And Grow Rich telling the reader the very day he was sent on a mission to seek out the most successful people in the nation at that time, and develop a formula for how they became that way. The proposition was set by steel giant Andrew Carnegie. The two things I took from that fateful encounter is that successful men act quickly and change their minds slowly. 2nd, is belief,  will take you further than you can ever imagine. My point is, had Napoleon Hill let the knock of opportunity pass him by, by not recognizing a jewel (opportunity) handed to him from greatness, he might have robbed the world of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time inspired by his book. In July of 2017, in a conference room in Raleigh North Carolina, filled with DJ’s and radio personalities, I also felt the knock of opportunity when I heard the story of Duane DaRock…as told by Duane DaRock, and my journey has not been the same since. When he told the story of being homeless, I was at the time on the verge of being homeless and I didn’t know how I was going to get to North Carolina, let alone eat while I was down there. But one week before his breaking point…his life changed. One chance meeting with a legendary rapper solidified his place in music history. Ladies and Gentleman… Legendary Producer Duane DaRock.

SO: Mr. DaRock, so glad you could join Straight Official today. When you spoke at the Fleet Music Conference this past summer, you had something different to say vs, just talking about the music business itself, you wanted to drive home positive energy and vibrations. What made those things the forefront of your message?

DD: Well I’ve known about the power of vibration since I was 4 years old and the gift that came with that was being in tune with the vibrations of the universe and whatever you think about you bring about. The game changer for me was when my grandfather died when I was 12, that’s when I jumped in the music business which makes 32 years being in the music game. I will solely accredit the things I’ve accomplished in this business based on it being all about positive energy, good vibrations.

SO: So where did determination play a factor in your will to make it in the music business?

DD: Like I said I knew at the age of 12 what I wanted to do, so I let nothing or no one take me off of that path. So in 93′ I started producing records with the help of a man by the name of Steven Brown. He was a jazz musician. What happened was, I couldn’t find anyone to make beats for me being that I was from the Boston area. So I learned what I could until eventually I became self contained until the fateful day I met Big Daddy Kane. From there I started producing beats for Digable Planets, Kool Moe Dee, Rakim, LL Cool J and the list goes on.

SO: I know the story , but for those that need to hear this, tell the inspiring story of how you met Big Daddy Kane.

DD: Ok so I was homeless. My girl kicked me out and I was bouncing from place to place and I was starving. I was starving to the point my homie said I needed to go get some food assistance. I got all the way there and something came over me and I said NO! I’m dope…I’m dope. I went home to make some rice because it’s all I had to eat….as I’m pouring the rice in the pot, a jar from the cabinet falls and breaks into the pot of rice. I pick out the big pieces but mind you the little pieces are still in there, I literally ate glass that night. This sparked not only a fire but a fearlessness in me. About a week later, I went to the Big Daddy Kane concert on a mission to let Kane hear my beats. I tell the security that I’m one of Kane’s dancers. Security wasn’t having it. So as fate would have it, a fight broke out distracting security and so I ran. I didn’t know where I was running to, but I ran right into the back of Big Daddy Kane. I told him what I did and he listened to the beats. While he’s doing this, I can see security coming to get me. And in true Kane cool fashion. He gives this look to say, “Can’t you see he’s with me?” The very next day I’m in the studio with Kane and I’m officially in the music business. But let’s be clear…I’ve been homeless even two other times after that. I’ve made money, lost it, made it again. It was a clear lesson from God to stay humble. The Lord giveth and he taketh away.

SO: You and Jadakiss seem to have a trusting working relationship. How did that come about?

DD: I met Jadakiss through the actor Duane Martin. I did a song for a movie called Hustle and Heat. Duane Martin and Jadakiss both played in that movie, so through working together, we just kept building until eventually we ended up doing the song Letter To Big with Faith Evans which ended being the main song on the Biggie movie. But let me backtrack. I met Faith one night because I was hungry and I listened to my craving and went to Fat Burger. What I thought was a craving, was in fact that I was being guided by the vibrations. When I saw her, I told her about my studio, she came back and heard a couple tracks and that night I penned the hook to Letter To Big.

SO: What do you say to the theory that people sell their souls to get into the music industry?

DD: First of all, your soul is not for sale, so you can’t literally sell your soul. But I will say that when you go against who you are to gain some sort of stardom or unearned favor, you are then going against who you are morally and that’s why you see the heavy drugs and heavy drinking because some people in the industry have made deals that compromise who they were, so they drink to escape their now reality. You can be in this business without succumbing to the tricks of people trying to tap into your inner core of who you are. But thats why you have to operate on a high vibration so you can recognize and avoid that trap.

“When you link with demonic forces for superficial gain, you go against the will of God and that’s what selling your soul means to me.” -Duane DaRock

SO: Who’s responsible for how you ethically move throughout the music business and keep your integrity?

DD: HAHAHAHA make sure you put this in there. And put my laugh in big bold letter too. There so many artists today that wouldn’t have gotten where they are without the people they shitted on, pimped and played. A lot of ghost writers and ghost producers will never see the light of day. They receive no credit and are getting robbed regularly. But these are they same people responsible for the success you see in today’s artists. A lot of people at the top…stole their way to the top. There are a lot of wolves in this industry, but I consider myself a lion. A Lion moves gracefully and knows it rules that land. A Lion commands and takes what he wants when he is hungry. A wolf plots, plans and preys on anything weaker. A wolf is constantly looking to devour, a Lion attacks only when necessary .

SO: What’s your final word for today’s up and coming musicians?

DD: When you’re tapped in to your inner guidance, it will tell you what you need to do. Stop saying “I’m chasing my dreams.” If someone tells you to “Chase your dreams” smack the shit out of em. Anything you are chasing is obviously running away from you. The words you want to use is that I’m attracting my reality…I am manifesting my dreams. You’re talking about the guy that was homeless three times yet Kevin Hart used my song about struggle to be the main song for his movie. It can happen for you if you believe in yourself. I’m Duane DaRock and I stand by what I’ve said.

@DJLAYNELUV

@DuaneDaRock

@StraightOfficialMag

@StateOfHip_Hop

@FleetDJs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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