The Jam – Episode 9 w/ DJ R-Tistic

On this episode we have DJ R-Tistic! A Cali native, R-Tistic has been making a name for himself spinning at all the most popular clubs in LA and even being the main stage DJ for Paid Dues 2013 and Rock the Bells 2011. Before DJing, his first passion was being a producer. R-tistic tells us how he got his start in production and becoming one of the in-house producers for Black Wall Street, which is the crew and label of rapper The Game. Florida A&M is where he first began DJing and making a name for himself. He tells us how early on he saw the importance of research in being a DJ. One of his biggest moments came recently when he won the 2014 McDonald’s Flavor Battle judged by DJ Clue, Spinderella, Just Blaze, and DJ Element. R-tistic’s claim to fame also comes from his extremely dope and highly ambitious West Coast timeline mix. That mix spans West Coast Hip Hop from 1981 to 2012. 500 songs in a little over an hour. That’s a DJ you have to take seriously!
Other topics include: Juvenile, The Thong Song, New Orleans, songs that must die, limitations in Pop music, drama from the McDonalds battle, hustling, and music technology.
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Culture Connection – You Should Know Them!

Have you ever stumbled upon a YouTube video via social media that made you say, “Wow, I’ve never heard of her or him?” Yeah? Me too! I love the internet for its unfailing ability to drop us all into the rabbit hole of never ending research, funny videos and ubiquitous “10 things you need to know about being the best you” or is it “5 habits of highly successful people” who can keep up? The point is every day is another opportunity to discover something or someone new online and today is no different.

This week on Culture Connection we introduce you to 7 artists and organizations you should be aware of.  I promise you,  these folks will surely give you Culture Vulture street cred!

Kehinde Wiley- Is an artist whose work must be experienced in person.  I’ve seen his colorful, stately portraits of young men of color. Massive in their presentation and yet oh so intimate in your presence, Wiley’s subjects stare at you as if they’ve been purposely enshrined as a reminder that their existence in the world is to never be forgotten.

Shana Tucker- Will change how you categorize a soul singer.  In fact she categorizes her uniquely lush warmth of tone and impeccable musicianship as Chamber Soul. Currently the only African American woman in Cirque du Soleil’s Ká,  you’ll quickly fall in love with her music like I did!

Universes– On the verge of their 20th anniversary, New Yorkers and Americans alike owe a debt of gratitude to this fearless ensemble for their passion for telling truths of voices that seem to be left out of mainstream conversations. Universes is simply a beacon.

Azure Antoinette- When you’re referred to as the “Maya Angelou of the millennial generation” what more is there to say. Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to some and present to others a poet for our time.

Imani Winds- Considered to be the premier wind quintet in North America, this ensemble of all hues of black, brown – genders, female and male- boasting a quality of sound only described in one word, exquisite!

Jeffrey Page- A name you should remember and never forget. One of the most gifted dance artists in the performing arts and commercial dance world, Mr. Page has a resume that is impressive to put it lightly.  Fela! The Musical, Beyoncé’s go-to choreographer, “So You Think You Can Dance” Emmy Nominee and recently choreographer for Tony-nominated Violet starring Sutton Foster.  Like I said never forget!

Sphinx- When your tag line is “Transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts” you had me at “hello!” The Sphinx Organization is the truest of American organizations. Founded by violinist Aaron P. Dworkin “to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of Blacks and Latinos in the field,” I dare you to not be impressed by the indelible impression being left by this awe-inspiring institution.

That’s it for this week! Please remember to “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until next week, Peace!

Brother Malcolm

The Brown Girl Hour with T & KC: The Only Child – Pt. I

Listen in to this episode of The Brown Girl Hour as T & KC chat with Letitia from The Pisces Life podcast about their experiences growing up as only children. Topics include relationships with our parents, myths about only children, friendships, talking to adults, sharing (or lack thereof), and being spoiled. This part one of a two-part podcast. Enjoy!

Culture Connection: 2014 Spring Arts Preview

I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.            -Langston Hughes

I don’t know about you but spring has to be one of the greatest moments we experience as human beings. It’s the time when we say good riddance to the cold of winter, the literal the figurative (praying hands clasped for those East Coast and Midwest folks, your winter sometimes over stays its welcome) and hello to a world of re birthing beauty in nature, longer days, approaching summer and yes the Spring Arts Preview on Culture Connection!

Spring this year is March 20 – June 1 and there is much to be excited about here in Los Angeles but also across the country and the globe. While we here at Culture Connection usually lean towards shedding light on local events, I encourage our Culture Connection faithful to tell us about other events happening in your region. Feel free to leave a comment with a shout out for an exciting cultural event in your hood and we’ll be sure to give you a shout out next week!

So without further ado I present to you Brother Malcolm’s picks for the coolest must see, hear or go to events of spring 2014!


March 12- 30 Paul Robeson at the Ebony Repertory Theatre is a must see event! Starring two time Emmy award winner, and Broadway star Keith David, Paul Robeson is a trip down the life of the iconic humanitarian and artist activist of the same name. Robeson challenged the America he called home and was once adored by only to become an expatriate because of his uncompromising stance on injustices in 20th century America.

April 9- 19 Peter Brook/ Théâtre Des Bouffes- Du Nord: The Suit is another opportunity to see a stunning piece of theatre. The Tony and Emmy Award winning legendary English director Peter Brook brings his brilliance to UCLA’s Freud playhouse in what can only be describe as a tour de force production! Du Nord: The Suit is a tragic tale of betrayal and resentment as a scorned husband takes out his anger, pain and frustration on his wife.

Set in apartheid-era South Africa, Brook’s innovative staging integrates live musicians performing African melodies and Schubert lieder. The original novel The Suit, written by Themba, was banned in his native country as he was exiled during apartheid.


March 27 Imani Winds featuring Simon Shaheen: Zafir Project will be a highlight of the spring season for me. Considered North America’s premiere wind quintet, I first heard this exquisite group of black musicians in New York almost a decade ago, where they forever changed my life.  Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaboration and inspirational Outreach programs. Check out this YouTube video of the ensemble.

May 12  Welcome to Dillaville Tour I’m sure there are more than a fair share of J-Dilla fans out there which means you probably should not miss this tribute to him. Slated to perform at LA’s own, El Rey is Bizarre Ride Live (featuring Slimkid3 & Fatlip formerly of The Pharcyde) & Slum Village. 

May 31- June 1 Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I have two words to describe this concert, happy treasure.


Now- July 20 Fútbol: The Beautiful Game is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) intriguing look at football and its significance in cultures around the globe. I’m particularly excited that Los Angeles native and Yale School of Art graduate Kehinde Wiley is featured in this thrilling examination of the world’s most popular sport. Don’t miss it!

Now- Summer The California African American Museum (CAAM) has several noteworthy curated exhibitions worth taking the whole family to visit. Of particular note is A Memoir in Movement: Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder and QUESTION BRIDGE: Black Males. Both exhibits left me speechless with an artist’s divine ability to present black humanity as just that, human. The best part is admission is complimentary. Do yourself a favor and go!


March 27-30 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Nuff said.


April 5 The KJLH Women’s Health Forum is critically important and a must attend for all who desire to learn best practices for physical and mental wellness. Hosted by beloved radio station Radio Free 102.3FM, this year’s theme is A Beautiful Outside starts with a Healthy Inside! and ain’t that the truth. Chock full of opportunities for screenings, speakers and important health information this is a mandatory event for all the Culture Connection ladies! The event is free and online registration is open till March 28. Carpe diem!

That’s it for this week! Please remember to make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until next week, Peace!

Brother Malcolm


It’s The Jam! Episode 5

In this episode we talk with our special guest, Zo! Zo is originally from the great city of Detroit. He started piano lessons at a very young age and grew up in a very music loving family. From there he went through a bunch of twists and turns going from musician, to athlete, to musician again. He tells of how he met Phonte of Little Brother/The Foreign Exchange, and how he became a part of the Foreign Exchange collective. He also speaks on life as a former music teacher to becoming a full-time musician, tour life, and great insight into how he and Phonte created “Zo & Tiggalo Love the 80s”. He also gives the story of why he and Phonte remade a song that (I think) must stop being played.
Other topics include: Detroit culture, baseball, instruments going extinct, family reunions, chicken, hot sauce, The Jones Girls, 2×4 pieces of wood, grits, Ohio, EPMD, House Shoes, and West Coast influence in music.

The Brown Girl Hour

T was under the weather so listen in as KC is joined by Kai Love and Letitia, the ladies of The Pisces Life podcast for part one of a two-part discussion! Topics include influential “brown girls”, domestic violence, and abuse in relationships.


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