Monday, August 31, 2015

Big Hop Exclusive—Youth Speaks Celebrates LGBTQ Youth with “Queeriosity” Showcase By Shelah Moody

                             Poetry literally saved Trey Amos Life

                                                         Trey Amos

Growing up with her brothers in Nashville, TN, Amos felt out of place. As the only girl child in the family, she felt uncomfortable in the dresses and stockings that she was made to wear to church and other outings. In a world where masculinity and femininity were strictly defined, Amos wanted to participate in the activities that her brothers were into and wear what they wore, but she not allowed to. It was a struggle, she said.
“I’m southern born and raised yes, ma’am,” said Amos. “I’m a long way from home right now. A southern upbringing is very structured and very specific. It leaves little room for creativity. During my adolescent, I was kind of put into a box.”
Amos said that her parents were unaware of her emerging sexual identity.
“I think that has a lot to do with the geographical location and religion and a number of other things,” said Amos. “(Homosexuality) was something that wasn’t really accepted in my household. But now, I am happy to be older and have positive relationships with my family in regard to identity. The transition has been beautiful. My relationship with my mom has grown tremendously and I think it has to do with my writing. She sees how far it can take you and how much it can five you. Having a child being successful in the world and doing something positive is what she cares about now.”
After relocating to the Bay Area, Amos found Youth Speaks, a forum for young artists, at age 17.
“Being exposed to 500 other people who thought like me at a Brave New Voices festival was empowering,” said Amos. “The bug bit me, and I never stopped. Now, I am in a position of creating spaces that transformed me when I was the same age.”
On Friday June 12, young artists from around the Bay Area who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender participated in the “Queeriosity Performance Showcase, presented by Youth Speaks and the National Queer Arts Festival at the LGBT Center in San Francisco. During the Queeriosity Performance Showcase, singers, dancers, musicians, poets and visual artists presented their work, which touched on themes of otherness, alienation and self- acceptance. The Queeriosity Performance Showcase is an annual spoken word and performance event dedicated to young people who are reshaping the conversations about sexuality, identity, and community.
Amos, now a Queeriosity Performance Showcase alum and poet mentor read her hip hop inspired piece, “This Color Brown” (See link
“Being a person of color and a person who identifies as “queer,” the importance level runs neck in neck,” said Amos. “I want to speak for people of color and speak out against police brutality and other injustices. “This Color Brown” is meant to shed light on how people who look like me or have the same skin tone as me are viewed in the eyes of the law and the court system.”
The Queeriosity Performance showcase was hosted by co-curator and lead facilitator, Indira Allegra, who led a six week writing workshop. Each year Youth Speaks facilitates a writing and performance workshop that explores how self-identified LGBTQ youth develop a deeper awareness of their sexual identities while celebrating their queerness. A small group of youth applied, and Youth Speaks reviewed their application. Allegra described the program as an interdisciplinary representation of poetry which integrated visual arts live music and dance.

                                             Indira Allegra and AmyEspiritu

I’m really pleased with the way that the youth were able to really step into that place of risk and that place of vulnerability to be able to create work,” said Allegra, who is also an acclaimed writer, performance artist, visual artist and winner of the Jackson Literary Award.
I feel like, not only is this a writing workshop to create work, it’s really about professional development,” said Allegra. “As an artist, I can’t create work that lands in other people’s experience if I’m not vulnerable myself. I feel like this king of emotional training is valuable, and we have to get it started not at the beginning of their careers.”

                                                                      Ash Phillips

One of the 2015 Queeriosity Performance Showcase’s rising stars, poet Ash Phillips, who identifies as a “genderqueer poet,” spoke of the challenges faced by transgender youth: having a hard time shopping for clothes, people placing bets on which body parts you have and the fear of walking into a public restroom without being reported or attacked.
You wonder why I cry when people ask, ‘are you a boy or a girl,” said Phillips. “I’m neither, or maybe I’m both. Or maybe I don’t know and maybe it wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t f-----g ask.” In closing, Phillips proudly called the names of all of the members of the transgender community that we lost this year.
You weren’t killed by black and white; it was pink and blue that took your lives. (See link .(See link

For information, go to

Sunday, August 23, 2015



If you’re into electronic dance music the dynamic duo Disclosure is definitely a group to check out. These two brothers from Reigate, Surrey in England came onto the music scene with their singles "Tenderly" and "Flow" in 2012. On June 3, 2013 their debut album “Settle” was released and nominated for Best Dance/Electronia Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. I must say that I’m not really into to electronic dance music but Disclosure really started to change my mind. My favorite thing about Disclosure is that they are very experimental. They release tracks that sound incredibly different from the one before. Disclosure has some of my favorite artists featured on their songs like, Mary J. Blige, Kwabs, Gregory Porter and Sam Smith. Here are a few of my favorite songs “Omen ft. Sam Smith”, “Disclosure - Willing & Able ft. Kwabs”, “F For You ft. Mary J. Blige” and “Holding On ft. Gregory Porter”.


Friday, June 5, 2015

BIO: 3Fifs (Three Fifs) is a St. Louis, MO born hip-hop artist who, as opposed to simply making music, aims to make history. Since releasing his first full-length project “Birth of a Nation” in February of 2013, Fifs has gone on to earn several accolades: his debut single “Castro,” which featured west coast emcee Mistah F.A.B., went on to receive rotation on more than 40 radio stations worldwide; his follow-up single “Danny Bonaduce” was featured in over 100 blogs, the video was aired on MTV’s RapFix, and the former TV star himself featured the video on his website and radio show; and his single “Jim Crow” was was acknowledged by industry vet Tory “Flossy” Harrelson as being “extremely original.” In addition, 3Fifs was nominated for “Freshman of the Year” at the 2014 SLUM Fest hip-hop awards, and in May of 2014, became one of only 14 US hip-hop artists chosen to showcase at the Canadian Music Week, performing live at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Toronto. Following his international acclaim, 3Fifs relocated to Atlanta, GA to expand his reach. After hearing his music and viewing his music videos, Mike Love (formerly the Senior VP Program Director for Cumulus Media, now CEO of Bluetag Media) decided he had to work with the rising star. “You have the potential to turn this game upside down. Your style is unique, your music is high quality, and you have the sense to know how to make it all work.” – Mike Love Over the course of the past year, 3Fifs has withdrawn from the public eye while working on his new release “The Runaway LP,” a very personal testament about his journey since he decided to pursue his music career. To be formally introduced by the single “Blind the Sun,” Fifs promises fans a true evolution in his music from every aspect while they l ook at and listen to history in the making. #MakeHistory Single: Blind the Sun Written by: Kenneth Kelly-Hart/3Fifs Performed by: Kelly-Hart/3Fifs, Lydia Jackson/Lydia Lyon, and Garrett Julian Produced by: Tag Team Productions (Atlanta) Recorded/Mastered by: Amond Jackson, Salem Psalms Studio, Atlanta, GA Mixed by: Justin Pardon, Castle Hill Studios, Atlanta, GA Links: Fan Email: Booking Email:


Monday, May 18, 2015

The Tall Black Guy

DJ Michael Ealey ask me if I heard of the Tall Black Guy. I said no but the name is cool. When I listened to his “Mix #1” and “Mix #2” I was hooked and became an instant fan. I like the groove. You can hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” laugh in it. The artist he has rapping on it, is spitting serious knowledge about the Motor City. His “Mix #2” is also amazing, it’s so smooth.
Terrel Wallace (aka Tall Black Guy) hails from Detroit, Michigan. His music is Jazz, Hip Hop, Funk, Neo-Soul and Motown all mixed into one beautiful sound. Tall Black Guy’s mixes and music transcends several categories in music. It doesn’t matter if you listen to Hip Hop, Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Neo-Soul, Funk, Trap and Dub you hear all of it in his music. I have to say, I can groove to his music all day, playing in the background. If you never heard of Tall Black Guy check him out on Streetwise Radio, I guarantee you will become a fan. Streetwise Radio brings you the latest and greatest artist known and unknown for your listening pleasure. You can listen to Streetwise Radio on iTunes, MyGen365, Pandora, Live365 and Athena365.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


By. Amero

Here we go again[in my DMX voice]! I'm back in school and hate it! Why
did i sign up again?? SMH.. Well i am a very busy opinionated person and i
kinda like being an out of the box type person. It seems to fit me well and
naturally. Often i get the ‘that was out of left field’ comments and I'm used
to it but when it comes to Coultrain forget that a box ever existed. The
St.Louis born artist shatters any preconceived notion of musical genre of
categorization. Coultrain is indeed a talent (are you ready) he is a
drummer, visual artist and singer/songwriter. Oh and a poet. I wonder does
he do tuneups too. But on a serious note Coultrain is worth the ticket price.
Using words to paint pictures by using complex metaphors.
His first lp was self released in 2007 named ‘Adventures of Seymour
Liberty’. The fictional character Seymour Liberty would be a continuing
subject across for other releases.Coultrain would tell the story of the
character blurring the lines between imagination and autobiography.
Coultrain’s latest work ‘Side Effect of Make Believe;Divided for Love's Sake
is on fresh selects label and is out now. Check out ‘Kiss of Death’ which
shows his wordplay.Please dont ask me why his album titles sound like a
Johnny Depp movie series “Pirates of the Caribbean;Curse of the Black Pearl!!
LOL. But they are long and thought out so i guess you will have to
listen to figure it out. One thing's for sure Coultrain does not lack creativity
and you can forget about him being predictable. Coultrains albums
continue where the last one left off so its as if he’s one part novelist and
one part alternative R&B artist. You can tell from his wardrobe that he is his
own man trying to create a lane for himself and clearly succeeding. The
Coultrain is most definitely off the tracks but moving at a fast pace. If you
wann lend an ear come and check out Coultrain and other artists at or