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Bodega Bamz drops gems about immigrants in hip-hop on ‘Inside My DNA’ podcast

When Bodega Bamz first started rapping in 2009, he took a vow that he would neither follow trends nor compromise his authenticity just to fit in.

Bamz carries his pride and faith on his chest, literally. His inspiration, his fashion, his lingo, and his persona all thrive off his deeply rooted Latino culture. Bamz is a proud product of his heritage.

He continues to display his cultural authenticity through his second studio album, P.A.P.I., (Proud And Powerful Individualz) which features the voice of his father Placido de Rosa.

The E 119th Spanish Harlem native allows his father to kick off the album with a simple, yet strong message, where he dedicates the project, “to all proud and powerful people.”

Certainly, this album is a timely arrival and stands as a response to the national political climate currently rife with anti-immigrant and anti-black rhetoric.

Recently Bamz sat down with Jesús Triviño Alarcón and Adelle Platon of Inside My DNA, a bi-weekly video podcast on Tidal. On the mic, Bamz opened up about his new album P.A.P.I.

Bamz weighed in on a variety of topics and spoke on the inspiration behind his new album. The DNA of Bamz is worth reviewing.

“The story of immigrants isn’t told in rap…The average man in America thinks that Latinos are slaves. They think that we just here to work and I’m trying to change that. We don’t reap the benefits from the work that is put in. To me, the word immigrant means hard worker and resilient. Immigrants built this country. Immigrants need to be respected. Being an Immigrant needs to be honored.”

Where’s the lie Bamz? This isn’t just narrative, it’s facts. Immigrants, for the most part, have been and continue to be a major staple in the contribution to the economy and development in American society.


Immigrants come from all walks of life, even though the languages and cultural customs share similarities and differences, the one thing that all immigrants identify with is “The Struggle.”

Bamz felt that the majority of people in this country are immigrants and by placing his father’s immigration card on the album cover he wanted to relate to the people who identify with the struggle of being a stranger in a new nation.

“I saw that no one has ever used an immigration card as an album cover before”

Bamz is a product of his environment who has lived the life and through his experiences, he has gained wisdom from the streets. Still, his father wanted him to be a superintendent and didn’t want him to become a rapper.

His father pulled up to America in 1979 fastly learning that he had to work hard in order to chase the American dream. Bamz said,

“Drug dealers on the corner portrayed the image of a jefe. I learned how to be a boss on my own. I learned lessons while living on the streets to trust no one and never give up.”

During his interview on Inside my DNA, Bamz also addressed the TanBoys movement.  The movement was influenced by Big Pun and Fat Joe during their Terror Squad days and the cultural group brings a fresh young feel.


To Bamz, Tan Boys is a worldwide thing, not just a “rap thing.” The group is dedicated to any Latino who’s proud and powerful. Any Latino who’s not a hater and any Latino who’s about uplifting their culture.

“The TanBoys movement is a movement of Latinos who are proud and powerful individuals who want to put our culture back on the forefront of this music. It’s a group of niggas tired of being referred to as ‘that Spanish nigga’ and tired of being unappreciated.”


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On the album P.A.P.I., Bamz delivers buzz-worthy records like “Broke,” “Clout,” and “Jefe” and with Lil Eto being the only feature on “Uncut.”

Titles like “Proud & Powerful” and “Band-Aid” come off as the deeper singles. “Proud & Powerful ” really let the SMILF actor boast his pride about his heritage and lifestyle while “Band-Aid” is more of an emotional single that reflects his feelings about his current relationship status.

Overall, P.A.P.I. is a great follow up to Bamz’s last project Sidewalk Exec (2015). If you haven’t heard the project do yourself a favor and stream it on all of your latest platforms.

Great things are in abundance for Bamz and his camp. Look for Bodega Bamz in a city near you as he and Smoke DZA hit the road for the Money in The Bank Tour. Stream P.A.P.I. below.

The Champion Mindset of LeBron shows us all how to think like a King

Frederick Douglas once said, “A man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.” But in this day and age, how do you define greatness? What does greatness look like? Why does everyone chase it?

Unless you were born into wealth, we all start from the bottom, period. That’s the one thing most of us have in common. The road to success is never easy either. We must go through the mud to get it, be mocked, hated on and often times misunderstood.

In every industry, there is a universal process that everyone goes through to achieve success. Some people push through and endure to the other side while others often times fall short by giving up.

The process of achieving greatness is always consistent too. First, there are humble beginnings, then your breakthrough, a major setback to overcome and then that moment of clarity where you declare that yourself worthy of success.

The mindset of a successful athlete is no different and for champion LeBron James, he declared himself worthy at 16.

For 15 years the transcendent LeBron has put the city of Akron on his back (even when he was down in Miami) and has carried the hopes and dreams of a city that has seen very little success on a national scale. But growing up idolizing MJ, LeBron has been chasing the ghost of greatness since he’s stepped foot on an NBA court.

Three championships and four MVPs later, LeBron is still chasing greatness.

But one has to ask why is LeBron so great? What separates him from the rest of the other superstars in the league? One word: mindset.

LeBron James has the mindset of a King and the heart of a champion, which translates on and off the court. LeBron may have more years in the NBA behind him than he has ahead, but he also knows that he’s never too old to keep learning.

When it comes to making off the court, it’s hard to find a busier athlete than LeBron. Between a billion dollar lifetime deal with Nike, starring and producing in Hollywood films, and even educating the kids by creating new schools in the area, he truly doing those extra things that truly make you great.

LeBron always had confidence in his abilities and the future of his brand. At a young just 19, he had the audacity to walk away from $10 million deal from Reebok while he was still in high school! Where they do that at?!

Since then LeBron has built one of the most impressive business portfolios in all of sports as he’s proved his mindset doesn’t just apply to the court as an all-around player. He’s able to take that drive to business too.

The bottom line is that it all starts with self. First, you have to establish the goal it is you want to achieve and executing that by overcoming anything in your way.

Just look at what LeBron has built with all of the pressure in the world on him. Not bad for a kid from Akron, Ohio.

Pletzinger is the futuristic brand making eco-friendly fits for the people

One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. One man’s loss is another man’s profit. One man’s trash is another man’s fortune. Are you catching my drift?

Wilfried Pletzinger is literally living by these idioms and not only is this perfect timing for him, but also for the fashion world at large. But

Pletzinger is not your typical fashion designer.

Taking up designing in the mid 90s, Pletzinger’s form of fashion derives from the eco-friendly “upcycling” technique, which was considered a small trend that very few designers in Berlin dabbled in at the time.

His earliest “upcycled creations” pay homage to mid-90s Berlin clubwear scene, which gained worldwide popularity, reunified Germany, and redefined the techno and eurodance genres for a decade.

But for the eco-conscious Pletzinger, his inspirations go beyond the vintage or copycat style, his infatuation with sports, music, sci-fi films, modern architecture, and the art of creation are his strongest motivations.

Kristian Donaj

Fashion upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the ability to create an object of greater value from a discarded object of lesser value. It is the process of transforming by-products, useless, or unwanted products into new materials of better quality.

This helps create a better environmental system, which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility, which can be seen as an alternative trend against fast fashion.

Pletzinger shows his ability to weave pieces of fabrics in a whole new story, while inviting the owner to add their own personal narrative.

Bringing the integrity of the basic fabrics to life by taking original pieces from 90s sportswear to create wearable fashion, with a refined personality and a futuristic sex appeal. Demonstrating that even sometimes the most monotonous object can be turned into a sophisticated ensemble. It’s a sort of “sporty futurism” if I had to give it a search description.

Kristian Donaj

Pletzinger’s fashion sense has been on the scene for sometime now, after some successful years in Stockholm, he moved back to Berlin in 2011 and opened a studio.

Soon he found himself doing several shows overseas at the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week, Copenhagen Fashion Week, the Alternative Fashion Week in London, and more recently in 2018 during February’s NYFW at the Stewart Hotel.

I was fortunate to catch up with the innovator himself, who was wearing a New York Rangers Jersey while sporting a pair of joggers made from an Adidas sports jersey, to seek some sort of insight as to who he is, what his motivations are, and what will make his brand Pletzinger a staple in the fashion world.

Peltzinger enjoys the thrill of taking an item, breaking it apart and creating something enchanting. While some think upcycling seems fun, according to Pletzinger it’s hard work:

“The point is that people respect my concept and respect my clothes but to upcycle a product is much more work than to sow something new. And most people are not willing to pay the higher cost, so I sell my products at a lower value so yes upcycling is fun but not that satisfying after a long while.”

According to Pletzinger, the inspiration for his latest collection he went diving into the realm of science fiction:

“For my newer collection i was inspired by sport, modern architecture, and futurism, which is reflected in the material the patterns and prints are highly detailed and hopefully not too long I wish to see my clothes on the Red Carpet”

Although Pletzinger is in the business of sustainable fashion, his goal is to stay original and not copy or follow the trends of mainstream fashion. He provides some words for any aspiring fashion designer on the come up:

“Be different, don’t try to copy other designers, and do not copy mainstream fashion, because there is no conquering them they have such a huge system of production and as well the mistreatment of people so it is not wise to follow in their steps.”

Take a look at his latest collection displayed at NYFW, which looks like something straight out of a spaceship.

Pletzinger is a breath of fresh air in the fashion industry.

There will more to come from Pletzinger and his futuristic aesthetic, his work is truly something worth taking a look at. He is providing socially and eco-conscious, highly-detailed designs with the consumer’s wallet in mind.

Surely in the next couple years, more brands will adopt his lead and buck retail in order to deliver their product in a more efficient and consumer-friendly way, all while maintaining an eco-conscious approach.

Watch for more of his collections to hit runways this year.

Why the NFL paying players to stop protesting is just a charade

The NFL and the Players Coalition has reached a $90 million settlement to assist in player activism, donating to causes “critically important to African-American communities.”

Yet the player protests are still not resolved and many players are left unhappy with the decision.

Eagles safety Michael Jenkins and free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin founded the NFL Players Coalition as a solution to solve the ongoing dispute between its constituent parties and the NFL owners.

Since then, players have been working together to dispel the willful blindness that is being demonstrated by a majority of the NFL owners, the majority of its fans, and sponsors. For most of us we all know that the NFL is all about their bottom $$$$$ line.

49ers safety Eric Reid says he’s no longer a part of the Players Coalition and is speaking out against the move because he feels that it is solving nothing.

“Malcolm did text me this morning asking if we would be comfortable ending our demonstrations if the NFL made a donation,” Reid said Wednesday.

“At that point, that was the last straw for me. He had a conversation with the NFL. We agreed that multiple people would be part of the conversations with the league so it just wouldn’t be him. He didn’t stand by his word on that. At no point did we ever communicate an agreement with the NFL to end the protest.”

Reid, who is former teammates and good friends with the man that began the whole movement, Colin Kaepernick, says that Kaep was kicked out of the coalition.

Reid isn’t alone in his decision to leave the Players Coalition.

Chargers tackle Russell Okung and Dolphins safety Michael Thomas all announced on Tuesday they have withdrawn from the group as well.

There’s clearly a feeling that the coalition is unsatisfactory amongst certain players with the way things got handled Thursday. Truth is, this whole thing has been about the bottom line. $100 million sounds like a pay out.

Basically telling NFL players “here’s a 100 Million reasons why you should find an alternative cause that somehow doesn’t affect both our bottom lines.”

Jenkins and co. are perhaps thinking about finding a solution to the way the protests are being handled.

On the other hand Eric Reid and others don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm, with good reason. I mean what does a $100 million for charity do for the issue at hand?

Reid states,

“It hasn’t been brought to ownership yet. It’s not real,” he said. “I give kudos to the NFL for wanting to step up and help us with regard to systemic oppression. I question their intent behind it. I personally think they just want the protests to end because it’s hurting their bottom line.”

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Jenkins says that the cause remains the same but Reid maybe feels that no amount of monetary value can solve the issues that exist in America. This battle stretches far beyond monetary gain.

But Reid is now claiming that the donation is nothing but a charade. Despite risking his career and potentially being blackballed by the NFL, just like Kaepernick, he told Slate via CBS Sports,

“In the discussion that we had, Malcolm (Jenkins) conveyed to us — based on discussions that he had with the NFL — that the money would come from funds that are already allocated to breast cancer awareness and Salute to Service.

“So it would really be no skin off the owners’ backs: They would just move the money from those programs to this one.”

The injustice of disenfranchised groups in our society, particularly for the African-American community, is not just going away.

Reid’s party wants to end systematic oppression and give back to disenfranchised communities, which in all is a good deed, the disagreement is how to go about doing it.

Jets linebacker Demario Davis seems to have no issue with how the coalition is handling things stating that,

“The Coalition has been a very solid group, as far as I’ve been concerned,” Davis said.

“Everything’s been positive. Talks between leadership, which is Anquan and Malcolm, and ownership, and it’s been very positive. We hope we make leeway in the negotiations and how we can get things done the best way to help the community.”

Maybe there is a long term solution to this, maybe there isn’t, but the short term solution for now is a $100 million to a charity of choice.

But does this throw all the progress and impact from the protests down the drain?

The confusing, sad, and ironic end to Eli Manning’s career in New York

The only QB that’s never lost to Brady in a Super Bowl has started 210 consecutive regular-season games for the Giants. You could make the case the he’s the best/worst QB of all time but for Eli his magic number is 119.

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After Ben Macadoo stated that they will start former 2nd round pick Geno Smith this Sunday vs Oakland making Smith, the first black quarterback to ever start in Giants history in the Super Bowl era.

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The decision came after a discussion with Head Coach Ben Macadoo in which Eli Manning was given the option to start but instead Eli elected to sit. Eli states via ESPN.

 “Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play,” Manning said. “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can.”

Eli’s decision, will end his illustrious streak of 210 games. Eli’s first start came Nov. 21, 2004. 10 years ago against the Atlanta Falcons.

With Eli’s streak somewhat over, the Giants are now facing LA Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, the same guy who the Giants traded for Eli on draft day back in 04′. Who he’s never beaten (0-4). Lots of irony cake for everyone in this story.

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Not to mention that the Giants are 2-9 recording one of their worst seasons in franchise history. But to be fair the team has been plagued with injuries up and down the depth chart, so maybe a streak isn’t top of the GM’s priority list at the moment.

With the off-season looming evaluating every position moving forward is key, with just 5 games remaining perhaps sitting Eli could benefit him in the long run.

With that said could this be Eli’s last season as a Giant? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. His time in New York will definitely be evaluated on a Hall of fame status no question, but what could be next for the 2X Brady killer?

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Another Manning’s return to Mile High is not totally out the question.

I mean the Broncos aren’t necessarily having a Super Bowl type season either with a record of 3-8 and currently on an eight game losing streak. I’m pretty sure they won’t completely rule out the 36-year-old vet who not to mention, is a 2X Brady Slayer.

Come Sunday we’ll see if this decision prevents chalking up another L in loss column.

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Donald Trump has finally met his political match in LaVar Ball

After arguably one the most hilarious and unexpected interviews of 2017, I can honestly say that I am now a proud supporter of BBB.

Although you’ll never catch me dead in any pair of ZO2’s, LaVar Ball definitely has my support in terms of advocating for his brand and what it represents after he went on CNN and refused to acknowledge Trump played a role in helping his son LiAngelo leave China after a shoplifting incident.

Behind the smoke and mirrors of LaVar Ball’s antics and outlandish commentary on certain topics I believe LaVar Ball knows his bottom line and knows exactly what he is doing.

Let’s get away from the sensation of things for a bit and look at the LaVar vs. Trump situation for what it is. That this is just one huge PR move for both parties.

For LiAngelo, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill they are just caught in the middle of a situation that I believe they definitely will regret for a short period of their lives.

For LaVar this is just another opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Big Baller Brand (BBB) is attempting to reign among likes of the major corporations like Nike, Adidas, Under Amour, and Puma.

In order to compete with these massive companies, you gotta have two of the major key components of brand awareness; publicity and controversy.

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According to Mark Cuban via TMZ Sports:

“On the real, they are so much alike,” Cuban said. “Because Donald will say what he needs to for PR and to be talked about, and so does LaVar. Donald doesn’t apologize for anything, neither does LaVar. LaVar knows if he apologizes, there’s nothing else to talk about. If LaVar doesn’t apologize, he’ll be in the news all day every day and the president will end up having to talk about him. What’s better for Big Baller Brand?”

And who better to point this out other than Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a minority stake holder in a plethora of business ventures. Safe to say Cuban is hip to LaVar and Trump’s tactics.

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I believe when it’s all set and done we will thank LaVar Ball for what he is doing for himself and moreso for his family. We can all agree that LaVar Ball can be a bit extra at times, part of me wants to believe that this is just who he is by nature.

And the other part believes that he is doing this to simply promote himself, his kids, and his brand. Which isn’t necessarily bad, in terms of brand awareness it’s a win/win either way. But my question to the people would be… Is his unapologetic and abrasive attitude beneficial or detrimental to his business in the long term ?

I’d say for the most part that he definitely benefits off the media. LaVar Ball is betting on himself and when you bet on yourself you’re willing to put it on all the line. You’re willing to challenge the status quo and challenge those who will take unsolicited credit for something that they may or may have not done. Allegedly. Which brings me to Trump.

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Once again Trump has outdone himself, and i believe he has met his match. Trump is proving day in day out how insecure he truly is.

He wants the validation of the common people so bad that he is willing to take credit for something he may or may not have involvement in.

Did Trump play a part in the liberation of LiAngelo Ball and his fellow teammates? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

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But the fact that Trump took his talents to Twitter to ask for public gratitude from LaVar Ball shows how much he needs that validation in order for his sack to drop, which is not at all surprising.

The president even went as far as to call LaVar a “poor man’s Don King” this morning on Twitter.

At this point Trump is in love with this reality show he and his heard of sheep have constructed, Trump is giving the media headlines, narrative, and sensation. Lavar Ball is aware of this and is not about to bend the knee to the powers that be.

Could this be the beginning of a long stand off between two ego driven parties? Or could this just be a huge roll out for a Trump vs. Lavar Ball at Wrestlemania 34?

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Find out all the answers next time on the next episode of America

Dipset Back: The Diplomats comeback is what the world needs right now

Once upon a time The Diplomats ran Harlem. Their influence has cultivated the swag, looks, and sound of some of your favorite rappers we all know and love today.

The Diplomats were true pioneers in the mixtape game and through their underground street DVDs they became stars.

Established in 97′ by Cam’ron and Jim Jones, and most known for their classic Diplomatic Immunity albums, the Set has always been infamous for their innovative and divisive style.

From Juelz Santana’s signature bandanas to Cam’ron’s antics along with his all pink clothes and Laffy Taffy range to Jim Jones aka Capo’s elegant production and smooth grown man swag on tracks to Freeky Z, J.R. Writer, and Hell Rell adding that extra umph, Diplomats are one of the most seminal rap groups of the early 2000s.

The Diplomats have never failed when it came to delivering some of the most absurd, yet hilarious lines.

The group never held their tongue off the wax, dissin’ everyone and their moms, including the most memorable moment delivered by Cam when he appeared on the Bill O’Reilly Show with Dame Dash. You can take The Diplomats out of Harlem…

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Dipset has also introduced us to other prolific acts in music like Max B. For those who don’t know who Max B is, I suggest you do some research.

A few words won’t do him any justice. He was basically a trendsetter and pioneer of his own swag and sound what we know today as “The Wave”.

And Dipset has always been a true grassroots movement for the people of Harlem and beyond, becoming true icons of the community.

Flash forward to present day and the dynamic group has set aside their interpersonal troubles to once again return to the booth to bless us with a brand new track called “Once Upon a Time”, produced by Heatmakerz. The record is filled with heavy gospel soul samples, resembling the group’s sound back in their prime.

Cam and Jimmy are the only two members that appear on the song. Peep it below.

Jimmy’s swag on this track is business as usual. Jimmy executes his smooth confidence on his verse and explains how he arranged a $80,000 private jet flight from LAX to NYC to meet with Jay-Z to sign a million dollar deal in February with Roc Nation, which of course involved some of the most expensive wine and spirits.

“80 for the jet that meet with Jay and then I flew back (facts)
The Ace of Spade they put up on my tab, a extra two stacks
Signing my deal, they asked if I would sign for a mil’ (for what?)
I ask them why would I do that when I already signed for a mil (you hear me?)”

Meanwhile, Cam’ron puts his pen to work delivering a tight rhyme scheme while expressing his love for the Set, his ever-flourishing lifestyle, and reminiscing about the time when Dame Dash had to put hands on Harvey Weinstein on the set of Paid in Full.

“Long live the Set, glory glory hallelujah
Welcome back to the hallway loiterers
I made mills off the white girl, I exploited her
No disrespectin’ the ladies, word from my team (why)
That’s the reason Dame smacked Harvey Weinstein (pervert)
On the set of Paid In Full, y’all gave him hell about it
Some foul shit happened once, Capo, tell ’em about it”

It’s safe to say the Set is back. This track does give me somewhat of a Diplomatic Immunity feel and I’m hopeful for more Dipset tracks on the way.

Assuming with the release of Cam’ron’s new project The Program this all could be part of the roll out for a new Dipset album who knows? *does ye’ shrug*

As the months continue to fly by we’ll keep a keen eye on what is to come next for the illustrious rap group. You can listen to their new track “One Upon A Time” on iTunes or the streaming platform of choice. Shouts to Harlem.