It was my first time at Sneaker Pawn in Harlem, an exclusive spot that’s more than just a sneaker store. I climbed the steps to the brownstone and met rapper Trip Lee upstairs where we took a seat on a bench surrounded by sneakers and sports gear. What a great setting to just kick it! We chopped it up discussing his new album Rise, the journey that led him to choosing his passion of music and much more!


Growing up in Sacramento, Victoria Monét started writing her own songs at a very young age. She comes from a musical family, so one might say that she was born to be a singer. Monét admits that it was a natural fit for her and she’s been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember; getting her start in the church.  She's come along way, now signed to Atlantic Records.  October was a big month for her as she was featured on two tracks on T.I.'s latest album, Paperwork.  She also made her iTunes debut with her own release, Nightmares & Lullabies Act I.  She is more than just another female singer that will be here today and gone tomorrow, Victoria Monét has all the makings of the real deal.  We caught up with her for the full story, before the breakthrough.


Joe Budden was never supposed to make it this far. Whether it was from the drugs or the streets, he probably should've been down and out somewhere. Once the music industry took hold of him that was only supposed to be one more powerful force that would eat away at him and leave for dead. And Def Jam surely tried. Looking back at where he started, it’s a wonder that he's still here. Had it been today's industry, he probably would've succumbed to the politics, but thankfully he's been in it since 2003. Hip-Hop aficionados are grateful for his time in the spotlight and for his Mood Music lyrical diary entries as well as his “emo” rap forays.


Lil’ Mo
emerged on the music scene in the late 90’s lending her voice to hits like, “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliott, “Put It On Me” and “I Cry” both by Ja Rule. Still it was her breakout single, the 2001 “Superwoman pt. II” that helped solidify her name is music circles. The Fabolous assisted song led to the release of her debut album, Based On A True Story, garnering her tons of fans. With her success came the drama however, including an incident in San Francisco where she was attacked with a bottle of champagne and required 20 stitches. There also came industry beefs with some of the same people she found early success with, most notably Ja Rule.


If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.



 
 

 

 


The name Meesha Mink stands out in urban fiction like no other, simply because it speaks to the uniqueness and creativity of it's owner. After making her debut in 2008 with the well received, Desperate Hoodwives, Mink has continued to release page turning quality both as a co-author and with her individual works. Her latest book to make a mark on readers is Kiss The Ring, a modern day Foxy Brown type story, about a woman on a mission to avenge the death of her son. Released in August, it's the first book of her latest series and a dynamic read for lovers of all genres. We interviewed the author to discuss the series, the state of urban fiction and much more. Check it out here...

Read more: Meesha Mink - Bow Down To The Pen Game

You may recognize her from Chris Brown’s "Excuse Me Miss" video, or from turning the pages of XXL Magazine.  You may even be familiar with her by reading the daily blogs and seeing what her name is being tied to. Most certainly, those who tune into Love & Hip Hop New York recognize her name, face, and attitude. In this interview, reality star Erica Mena opens up about some of the things she’s been through, and all that has gone into making her the person she is today.  Recently releasing her debut book, Underneath It All, a book detailing the struggle of building herself up from an abused foster child to who she is today. In our interview Erica Mena discusses the process of healing from what she experienced as a child while giving solid conversation about her relationship with DJ Envy, her feelings towards bloggers and raising her six year-old son.

Read more: Love & Hip Hop's Erica Mena Goes 'Underneath It All'


She went from writing for Fortune 500 companies to becoming an author and self-publishing her first novel, Claiming Jeremiah.  Author Missy B. Salick takes time from her busy schedule of working and raising two children to discuss her past work as well as the release of her debut novel. Claiming Jeremiah, electronically released April 6th describes the story of a young woman, Jordyn Sims, who deals with her own personal struggles while going through the process of adopting her nephew, who was abandoned by her sister, Tori.  A story Salick is all too familiar with, considering that she recently adopted a foster child she took into her home while still in her mid-twenties.   In this interview, Salick discusses her love for writing as well as her passion for foster children.

Read more: Author, Missy B. Salick Discusses 'Claiming Jeremiah' & Passion For Foster Children


When you engage in conversation with a poet, you might expect passionate words coupled with vivid imagery and wild metaphors. I had the chance to speak with 
Market of Dreams, author Ololade Siyonbola to discuss her career in poetry and her migration from Nigeria to the United States.  I was very surprised by the genuine truth and realness Ololade brought to the conversation:  a conversation spoken with truth, love and passion.

Read more: Ololade Siyonbola - Finding The Best in the 'Market of Dreams'


When I received the assignment from my editor, Mr. Kevin Benoit to interview a author who had the inside story on how a woman can fix her relationship in one minute, I simply said to myself, “Fascinating.”  I immediately thought of all my favorite childhood fairy tales where the princess finds her prince charming and they fall madly in love and live happily ever after, without a care or worry in the world.  Then I snapped out of it and reminded myself, this is real life, most women end up kissing their fair share of frogs, snakes, and dogs before they find their "Mr. Right" or even come close to finding a potential mate that has some of the characteristics that they desire. I simply could not wait to speak to the love doctor himself, Mr. Jay Fleming-Smith.  Here is a look at our full interview.

Read more: The Love Doctor: Interview with Jay Fleming-Smith, Author of 'Fix Your Relationship in One Minute'

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