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The Making of Opulence Houston

Opulence Houston returns for an even more lavish third year this December. In a city that boasts an event nearly every night of the week, the bar is high for those looking to create their own lane, yet that’s exactly what Brittney Mitchell did. Inspired by New Orleans’ long-running Zulu Ball, the Third Ward native has crafted a unique experience called “Opulence.” Set to return December 9 at Houston’s Ensemble Theater, Opulence has transformed from an intimate event to a highly anticipated black-tie affair, thanks in part to a vibe…

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Gentleman Jack Real to Reel Tour Giving African American Filmmakers The Platform They Deserve

While last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy helped launch a national discussion about Hollywood’s lack of diversity, others have taken the issue into their own hands, choosing to change the narrative by writing and telling their own stories. Now black filmmakers are taking the issues into their own hands, thanks in part to initiatives like Jack Daniel’s innovative “Real to Reel” series, a nationwide competition created to highlight rising African-American directors. Led by Power star Omari Hardwick, Jack Daniel’s Gentleman competition is quickly turning into a platform for emerging filmmakers. “I am…

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America’s Diversity Gets Reflected in New Disney Films

The creator of the magical world of Disney, like many other figures in American history, Walt Disney was a complicated soul. An entire generation grew up with Mickey Mouse and company, as the Disney name expanded into a global brand. But despite the success, the brand has not been exempt from criticism, thanks in part to racist characters and tired stereotypes once seen in hits like 1941’s Dumbo or the blatantly offensive, Songs of the South. By the time I’d discovered this as an adult, like countless others, I’d already fallen in…

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Friends, Admirers Gather at Rice to Celebrate Pimp C’s Trill Legacy

“Do you need help?”  Clearly I did. Not only had I foolishly worn heels, I’d parked on the opposite side of Rice University’s sprawling campus. As I searched for the Rice Media Center, a student offered to help, leading me to the building as we made small talk about the reason the city had come out in droves. A legend was being honored. “Pimp C is speaking tonight? He’s the one from UGK, right?” For a moment I was taken aback before reminding myself that even a duo as legendary…

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Recap: Drake Brings Charity To #HAW With Houston Celebrity Basketball Game

In a weekend that featured everything from two packed shows to a pop-up shop, Drake‘s third Houston Appreciation Weekend still managed to squeeze in a little time for charity with the Houston Celebrity Basketball Game. Last Sunday, the city flooded into Texas Southern University’s HPE Arena for a celebrity basketball game benefiting the TJ Ford Foundation, Prince Complex Foundation and Sure Thing Inc. Houston’s own Kirko Bangz did the city proud, dropping over 25 points in the first half alone. Also in attendance were Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Olympic champion Simone Manuel. #InCaseYouMissedIt: EZAccess TV has you covered. Twitter: @EZAccess…

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Buzzfeed Asked 27 Questions And Gave Us 27 Shades of Struggle

Despite what some may believe, there is no “national spokesperson” for Black Americans. Not Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or any other name that typically follows statements like “I don’t see them screaming ‘Black Lives Matter’ when it comes to black on black crime.” It’s why figures like Hilary Clinton doing the “dab” was unnerving for some, as too many individuals make the assumption that “knowing Black culture” consists of nothing more than learning popular phrases or dance moves. It’s why we’ve grown fiercely protective of how minorities are portrayed in…

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Exclusive: Empire’s Newest Latina Star, Jamila Velazquez, On Her Romance with Hakeem and Music Career

With a face that’s hard to forget and an infectious personality that’s even harder to ignore, actress Jamila Velazquez has appeared on everything from Law & Order: SVU to ABC Family’s Twisted, all before she’s turned 21-years-old. Her profile has only brightened in recent months after joining the cast of Empire as Laura Calleros, instantly catching the eye of Bryshere Gray’s character Hakeem. While we weren’t able to squeeze out any spoiler alerts (sorry!) during a recent chat, we got the chance to talk about everything from her Season 2 debut to…

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Building An Empire: “Why DJ Mr. Rogers Deserves To Flex”

“Coming from Dallas we was fans of Watts and Screw so tough. We had never heard nothing like that and we just always listened to it. Then I came to PV and I got to see the culture and how much that music meant to the people out here. At that time that’s all we listened to. I wasn’t a producer first, I wasn’t a club DJ first; I learned how to chop and screw before anything else. That was the first thing I learned how to record,” – DJ…

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Mannie Fresh Shares The Game With Young Emcees: “Don’t Be Afraid To Go Left”

There’s no denying the impact that Mannie Fresh has had on the game. Recently the super producer teamed up with a group of students from Workshop Houston in order to drop a little knowledge about the industry, inviting the crew to the Beat Summit headquarters in Houston. The in-studio session was a special treat for the kids, who are currently learning the basics of production, engineering and writing/recording their own songs as they prepare for a local concert called, “Small Hands, Big Dreams.” Offering some advice he explained, “Don’t be afraid to go left when everyone…

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Straight Outta Compton: How The West Coast Changed The Game

While New York will forever be touted as the birthplace of Hip-Hop, it was the West Coast that would forever change the genre, creating an entirely new sound that would later be crowned as “Gangster Rap.” Once full of potential, as scores of White Americans fled to suburban havens far removed from the streets, cities like Compton began to crumble, as the hope of the 60s was slowly replaced by the complacency of Ronald Reagan’s administration during the mid-80s. In its place gang violence and brutal interactions with law enforcement…

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