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Addiction Rehab Centers: How To Choose The Ideal Place To Recover

Addiction rehab centers are changing as rehabilitation practices for alcohol and drug addiction have evolved significantly over the past few decades.

More and more people are opting to go to rehabilitation centers instead of trying their luck with an in-house treatment program. This is because rehab centers offer a lot of benefits, and if you need it, here is how to choose the right place to recover.

Locating the right addiction rehab centers

The first step is to locate the nearest rehab centers. The Internet can be very helpful in this regard. You can search your area and find the one that can work for you best. If you live in Florida you can use RecoveryDelivered in Florida or some other treatment center you like.

The location of addiction rehab centers also matters a lot because the most important thing about treatment is your support system.

You need to be supported by family and friends in order for your rehab program to work well. Thus, it is better if you select a center that is close by, so you can get support from family and friends.

addiction rehab center

Quality of treatment

Another essential factor to consider while looking for an addiction rehabilitation center is the quality of services offered there. It’s not just about choosing someplace or another, it is about selecting the best addiction rehab centers that will offer you all the required things that would help in your recovery process.

Though every reputable and certified center offers similar types of services, some might differ on their quality and level of expertise. You should also check if they have highly experienced staff members. The staff is the other major deciding factor when deciding on a rehab center. 

Before hiring any member, the center should conduct detailed interviews so that they can select the right person for the right job. 

Cost and financing

The cost of rehab is another important factor. The cost mostly varies with the location, services offered and quality of treatment. You should also check if they have different payment options so that you are flexible when it comes to financing.

Although many companies offer free initial consultations, you need to remember that this is just a marketing ploy used by these centers in order to attract more clients.

You should always contact them for detailed information about their services before meeting them face-to-face. It is also critical to verify whether the center offers a money-back guarantee. 

Reputation and trustworthiness are important when it comes to addiction rehab centers

It is very significant that you choose a rehab center with an excellent reputation and without any negative reviews from past clients. This way you can save yourself from therapies or treatments that might not work for you or may even be harmful to your health.

It is also essential that you make sure the center has quality staff members and certified rehab counselors. You can do more research on these aspects of treatment before making a final decision. Additionally, make sure the place provides round-the-clock care so that there are no safety issues during your recovery process.

Once you have done your research and found a rehab center that matches all the above-mentioned criteria, it’s time to make your final decision. You should get in touch with this center and see if they offer services that meet your requirements.

If they do, then you can proceed with further arrangements. So, don’t worry, just follow these simple steps, and you will manage to find the best rehab addiction centers that fit your needs.

pizza pusha

Who is Pizza Pusha? The NYC GOAT curating a new kind of experience

“I’m a smoker, I’m a nondrinker, I like to eat…,” says founder of Stoned Pizza Chris Barret aka the Pizza Pusha.

Born and raised a New Yorker, Chris Barret, also known as the “Pizza Pusha” is revolutionizing both the cannabis and pizza industry with his Stoned Pizza concept.

Check out Stoned Pizza’s website. (click here)

stoned pizza founder
Pictured Chris Barret | Photo Courtesy: @img.mos

The concept is simple, combining two iconic staples of New York City, pizza and weed. Barrett’s vision became a growing reality in 2017 with the establishment of Stoned Pizza.

We took a moment to talk about his growth and tour his headquarters. 

Barret’s headquarters reflected his personality. It was an upscale, yet inviting multi-level and multi-roomed building where the Pizza Pusha worked, slept, and played. My partner and I were patted down and checked by his security before we proceeded with the interview.

We conducted the interview upstairs. The Pizza Pusha paused his music and sat in front of a large red neon sign that said “Either light up or, leave me alone.”

He was listening to a song off Jay-Z’s American Gangsta Acappella album. continuing to smoke his cigar, he answered all our questions with confidence and experience.

He spoke to us with the utmost respect and made us feel like guests in his home.

pizza pusha
Pictured Chris Barret | Photo Courtesy: @img.mos

After our interview, Pizza Pusha gave us a tour of his headquarters where everything happens. He took us downstairs to his office and next to that was a room, where he hosted all his events and entertained celebrities’ dinners.

He showed us the room where people who work closely with and for him conducted their business. We walked into one of his videographers editing a party video at HQ, featuring Styles P, Havoc, Dave East, Fetty Wap, and more.

The energy was casual, yet everyone had a role to fulfill and work was getting done. We went into his bedroom where Pizza Pusha introduced us to Coco, his one-year-old Bengal kitten, and showed us custom air forces designed by Sole Legend Customs.

Coco’s presence made the headquarters feel more like home.

With so many competitors already in the NYC cannabis and pizza market, Barret had to work smart to overcome these challenges.

Barret began by ambitiously taking to Instagram to serve his creations to big shots and celebrities who would be interested in his product. Not long after Stoned Pizza would be a success, making deliveries all across NYC.

“It wasn’t rocket science. I just had a good product that I knew that celebrities would want,” said the Stoned Pizza Founder. “Most of the celebrities I worked with within this company I didn’t know them before, some I did but the majority I didn’t.”

Stoned Pizza is more than just a service serving products to celebrities. Now with a brick-and-mortar store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Stoned Pizza serves locals and visitors an elevated food experience.

thc restaurant
Pictured Chris Barret | Photo Courtesy: @img.mos

For only  $100, guests are treated to a 2-hour food tasting experience consisting of a 3-course meal. This experience is introduced with an appetizer, featuring a salad and THC-infused garlic knots they call “Ganja Knots.”

Moving on to the main course of mouth-watering THC-infused pizza and chicken lollipops, topped off with an assortment of three flavored gelatos and lobster tail.

The Pizza Pusha is taking a step forward, representing how far cannabis can be incorporated into New York and how the perception of the community has changed over the years.

“This last Mothers Day we had a girl, she was about 20 something, and she came with her mother, who was like 40 something, and her grandmother who was like 60 something… This was the dopest thing and they all had a good time,” said Barret. 

infused thc restaurant
via Instagram: @pizzapusha
FBF Mothers Day 2021 ❤️ #3generations 💨

Over the years Barret and his team have ultimately created an inviting community for food lovers and cannabis enthusiasts.

This elevated community composed of artists, celebrities, and everyday people is growing every day. Barrett’s legacy as New York’s Pizza Pusha is all about growth. Growth of community, business, and public perception of cannabis 

”I just created an environment where I would like to go, and I know it works for other people”, said the Pizza Pusha.

“Food is a connector, cannabis is a connector, and the work well together.”

Founder of Stoned Pizza Chris Barret
Sony Michel

Sony Michel shakes up a billion-dollar market with PWRFWD

PWRFWD and Sony Michel have made it to the Solana blockchain…

To commemorate his first year in LA, Sony has once again chosen to team up with PWRFWD, the athlete-to-consumer marketplace, to release top-shelf physical and digital products that let fans engage with Sony and the broader PWRFWD community.

This is the NFL star’s first NFT project.

sony michel nft
Pictured Sony Michel

What’s an NFT again?

Advancement in technology increases at an incredible rate every day.  Cell phones, computers, and the resource that is online digital world is constantly evolving on a daily basis. 

There are more and more careers that can be done remotely and elements of life are becoming more and more efficient.  The most recent innovation the internet has blessed us with, are called NFT’s.  

nft definition

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token.  An NFT is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain.  A blockchain is a digital form of a ledger. 

An NFT exists on the internet and can be anything from a photo, audio, video, basically anything digital.  What makes it special is that when it is an NFT, it has what is essentially a certificate of authenticity. 

An example of this related back to the world in real life would be something like the Mona Lisa.  Although there are several photos, duplicates, etc, there is only one official, and authentic version.  

Bored Ape NFT

Currently, artists and musicians are taking advantage of this technology, but we have barely seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the utility it can provide.  Many artists are favoring selling their work as NFTs vs tangible products. 

In the past, for example, a painter would have to sell their work for a fraction of what the seller would end up flipping it for.  But when they sell as an NFT, because it is authenticated and recorded on the blockchain, they can receive a royalty every time it is resold.  


Not only is there a value in terms of collectibles or memorabilia, but it could also provide exclusive advantages.  For example, a business could release a limited amount of NFT’s that are essentially like a “VIP” card and say when in possession, the owner will receive a discount on all purchases.  Another unique form of NFT is called “ZED run”. 

On this platform, you can use Ethereum (a cryptocurrency) to purchase racehorses.  Each horse is an NFT that you can both sell, race, and breed.  When you win races, you are paid in Ethereum.  This is great because the value of Ethereum has gone from $775 on January 1st, 2001, to $3767 on December 31, 2001.  

ethereum price

Cryptocurrency isn’t the only thing that has been bullish the past few years.  It took the world a few years to recognize NFTs but the NFT market over the course of the past three years has been exploding.  In 2019 the trading volume was $8.6 million. 

Eleven days into 2022, the volume is over $2.3 billion dollars on OpenSea alone, which is an online marketplace for NFT’s.  

Celebrities have also been embracing the NFT world.  Jay-Z, Serena Williams, and Logan Paul have all purchased NFTs for upwards of $250,000 dollars. 

Sony Michel’s entry into the NFT world

Los Angeles Rams running back, Sony Michel, is not only patronizing NFT’s but he is also releasing his own.  To commemorate his first year in LA, he is launching a limited edition drop of NFTs. 

The platform he is using to release both his digital and physical products is called ‘PWRFWD’, an athlete-to-consumer marketplace. 

“I love what PWRFWD is about and I’m excited to drop my product in such an innovative way.”

-Sony Michel

In order to make this come together, Sony partnered with graphic designer and former Washington State football player Dallas Hobbs. 

The collaboration they were able to come up with produced an abstract representation of Michel sporting a set of horns in front of a royal blue cityscape.  

“We’ve got the buildings and palm trees in the background to pay homage to LA, but the centerpiece is Sony.”

– Dallas Hobbs

Where innovation meets sports


Ultimately, the collection is a nod to the Rams running back’s reputation for physicality on the football field. “When I look at the concept,” said Michel, “it reminds me of my running style. That’s me, always focusing on yards after contact.” 

NFTs will be minted on the environmentally friendly, low-fee Solana blockchain to make it easier for fans to participate. The drop, which goes live on Friday, January 14 at 9:00 a.m. EST, will consist of three tiers: 

Unique: Auction winner will receive a heavy-cotton tee and accompanying signed NFT that unlocks access to attend athlete-led creative sessions, win tickets to games, receive VIP passes to PWRFWD events, and more.

The winner will also be invited to participate in a future Sony Michel PWRFWD creative kick-off session, receive a curated package of TWO_SIX gear, a personal message directly from Sony Michel, and autographed memorabilia.

There will be one available (auction ends January 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST). 

Rare: Holders receive a heavy-cotton tee and accompanying NFT that unlocks access to PWRFWD’s private Discord community, early access to all future PWRFWD NFT drops, and entry into a lottery to win Sony Michel autographed memorabilia. There will be 50 available. 

Limited: Holders receive an archival print and accompanying NFT that unlocks access to PWRFWD’s private Discord community. There will be 100 available. 

Through PWRFWD’s partnership with Encore, the rewards platform for fans built on the blockchain, fans will be able to earn rewards by completing athlete-specific challenges.

Top scorers on Sony Michel’s challenge will win free products. Terance Mann of the Los Angeles Clippers and Zia Cooke, a star basketball player at the University of South Carolina, both have PWRFWD drops scheduled this January as well. 

To learn more click here.

6 unusual celebrity books you may not have heard of

If you’re a big reader, then you’ve probably read celebrity-authored books in your time. Just about anyone who’s ever appeared in a movie, or played a professional sports game has their own dedicated book, it seems.

Yet some of them break away from the traditional ‘all about me’ narrative. These celebrity books cover other topics, some interesting, some downright crazy.

If you feel like learning how top celebs play poker, losing yourself in a dystopian landscape, or simply feeling like an eight-year-old again, then let the following famous writers show you the way.

Serena Williams – The Adventures of Qai Qai

When Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter, she found it tougher than any tennis match she’d ever been in during her career of over 1,000 matches. The star said that she nearly died due to complications following an emergency C-Section birth and was bed-ridden for six weeks. 

The trauma has made her appreciate life in a new way, and much of it includes precious time spent with her daughter Alexis Olympia and her doll Qai Qai.

The child loves her doll so much that Serena decided to write a book about her, one in which the toy takes center stage and embarks on a series of adventures. Qai Qai even has an Instagram account (run by Serena) and has accumulated a large following.

Who knows, if Qai Qai is half as energetic as her sporty creator, then we might see a sequel or two soon. 

Molly Bloom – Molly’s Game

The thing that sets traditional poker, roulette, and blackjack apart from online casino games are the characters you meet around the table. Former professional athlete-turned-poker host Molly Bloom met so many she decided to write a book about them.

But it wasn’t just regular players that you find in any poker room: Molly’s clientele happened to be A-list celebrities, including Leo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire – many of whom made fascinating poker players. 

Maguire, for example, had a desire to win at any cost, according to Molly, and was often mean to her and other players. At one point, the pot stretched into millions of dollars, which made for a white-hot atmosphere. 

Molly had already had an interesting life as a professional skier before her spell as a high-stakes host, but this memoir hits new heights. 

Kendall and Kylie Jenner – Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia

Watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, with all of its strange moments, feels like peering into a dystopian future for many people; so much so that two of its biggest stars decided to write a novel about a futuristic world.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner write about two young heroines, twins Lex and Livia Cosmo, based on themselves, who embark on a series of adventures in the fictional city of Indra. It’s a future in which the Earth is dying, forcing cities to be self-sustainable. 

While the theme might be topical, the plot doesn’t make much sense, according to reviews. Still, if you’d like to see how well reality TV stars can write, then this might be the celebrity book for you.

Tyra Banks – Modelland

Tyra Banks made her name on the most prestigious catwalks on the planet in a career that began at the age of 15. She’s experienced many highs and lows in that time, some of which she channels through her character Tookie De La Cremé in Modelland

The plot focuses on Tookie’s time at model boarding school, where she meets models of all shapes and sizes. After several trials and tribulations, they form a bond as they attempt to change the school’s repressive nature. 

The celebrity book has been described as ‘warped’, ‘nonsensical’ and ‘tacky’ by critics, which suggests that we might not see many more literary efforts from Tyra or, at least, ones worth reading.

LeVar Burton – Aftermath

As Lt.Commander Geordi LaForge in Star Trek, LeVar Burton is used to acting out scenes set in the distant future. His 1997 book Aftermath deals with a more immediate future, though – in fact, one that’s already passed.

In the novel, the USA of 2019 has just suffered a huge earthquake, economic depression, and an assassinated black President, which has caused the second civil war in the nation’s history. It centers on four characters, all flawed personalities, who have the potential to save the country. But can they do it?

Fans of science fiction may enjoy reading this book, which portrays a world disturbingly closer to this nightmarish scenario than 25 years ago. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Mycroft Holmes

Did you know Sherlock Holmes had an older brother? Mycroft Holmes isn’t talked about anywhere near as much as his famous sibling, but he does appear in several of the detective’s novels

It’s something that intrigued NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabber; so much so that he decided to write a novel about this ‘older, smarter character’, who works in the highest levels of the British government as Secretary of State for War. 

Kareem was keen to show another side to the character shown in the original Sherlock novels, which might appeal to celebrity books fans interested in a different take. 

Adrian White’s photographs are a powerful reminder of Black existence

Adrian White is a photographer originally from a small town in North Carolina called Stanton’s Burg. White’s photographic process is one that mainly consists of documentary and portraiture photography.

As he moves back and forth between California and North Carolina he creates phenomenal imagery surrounding memory, family, and history and its relation to the Black experience.  

Photograph by Adrian White

Moving through his work is very much traveling through a shared experience, our practices meet where White’s use of archival imagery comes into play.

Through his film, ‘White’s Only’ you can view some of the ways White uses his family archives to explore concepts of preservation, and at times loss. Certainly, a film one should spend time with.  

White also has a way of capturing a moment that feels steady and the works that he creates will hold viewers far into the future. He regards his work as a living breathing archive that his decedents will be able to view and interact with. This act of preservation is once more a prominent concept in his practice.  

While speaking with White I felt this overwhelming sense of familiarity. Though it may be our Southern upbringings that made me feel connected to him. Nonetheless, his work calls to mind a quote I came across in 2020, “Black People exist in the future.”

White’s work exists in this space of radical remembrance. The photos we collect as Black people are connected by the oral histories we share, and his work pays homage to that tradition.  

Adrian White
Adrian White

Working in a new environment

Adrian White: Presently, I’m working on a project here in South Central LA where I do street photography and portraits on the street. Also, when I go home, I always try to document what’s going on in my small town. 

Jade Rodgers: The work that you’re doing in LA, is it random individuals that you’re working with?  

AW: Yes, I started in the Crenshaw and Inglewood area. That’s kind of what I do, I walk up to random people. There are quite a few shrines up for Nipsey Hussle. That’s almost like my base of operations and I branch out from there. 

 JR: How did you get started in photography?  

Photograph by Adrian White

AW: I went to an HBCU, North Carolina Central University. While I was there, I linked up with one of my homies from Trinidad. His name is REM, and we had a TV show together. I would say that was the start, even though it wasn’t photography, per se, it was video. The TV show was us going around and talking about what was happening on campus. There was a humorous element associated with it. Then from there, I went on to the military. I was a combat photographer, so I document documented everything that the US Navy had going on. I was in Haiti after the earthquake, that huge earthquake. So, I saw a lot of crazy things and travel the world. How I got my start in photography through the military. 

JR: It’s already stressful to be a photographer. In certain situations, especially documentaries. Did you feel as though it was hard to make images at times? Or you just were on orders? And you were doing what was asked? 

AW: They’re hard in the sense that they put you in tough situations sometimes. They’re also telling you what to go out and shoot. So, in that sense, it was easy, but yes, you’re absolutely in tough situations. How would I say it? It taught me how to problem-solve. That’s something that I carry with me now. How can I get into a particular place? How can I document this thing? You know? So, it’s a skill that I’ve carried on to the present day. 

How Adrian White found photography

JR: What was your draw to fine art photography? After the military did you think this was the best path? Where did you go from there? 

Photography by Adrian White “Dionne in Cotton Field”

AW: When I got out of the military, I went on to Brooks Institute of Photography. It was a world-renowned institute specifically for technical photography and commercial photography. I was there and I was one of the only Black faces there. One time in my class, one of my professors really challenged me. It was then when I said to myself, there are a lot of black photographers out here doing this. What would I say to the world? What would I communicate to the world? I think that’s when I decided I wanted to be a fine art photographer. I do commercial photography a little bit, but I feel like my focus is mostly on fine art. 

JR: Do you feel as though it’s easier to communicate your thoughts through fine art? 

AW: I created tension in my work, as an extension of my thought process. For me, photography is easier than talking. 

JR: When it came to learning about the history of photography, you’ve already recognized that you were the only black person in this space. Did you feel that the history itself made you want to tell black stories even further?  

Influence of Black Photographers of the past

AW: I think it was my introduction to Gordon Parks. I started to study Park’s work and I thought that he was a self-made photographer. His work was beautiful. I read a few of the books on him and saw how he just threw himself out there. He told people that he was a great photographer when he didn’t know anything about photography yet. If he could do it, I should be able to do it, too. I really don’t think I figured it out until a little bit later, from my own history.

At least when I first started photography, I was trying to take pretty pictures. I think that’s kind of played out. I tried to figure out a way where I could tell my own story. The deeper I went the more of my own story began to surface. I look at the camera as a weapon or tool. So, I’m always walking around with it. What can I say with this thing that I got in my hand? 

JR: Gordon Parks is also a favorite of mine. Also, in your work especially your use of the archives. I get a sense that some of the people in your photographs are family.

That it’s important to you to highlight that personal story and history. In what ways do you feel like you use the archives? Also how important is that in the work that you share. Versus work that you might do commercially? Also, for family photos do you find that you keep some to yourself? 

Photographed by Adrian White

AW: The first time I was introduced to photography was through the family photograph. My mom dusted off the family album, and she opened it up. She started to tell stories, because I mean, as photographers, that’s really, really what we are, right? We’re all just storytellers. Now I try to connect it to how can the archives and my contemporary photography work hand in hand. 

That’s how I started that project, down in North Carolina called Pickled Memory, where I put old family photographs in the jars with corn syrup and tried to get my family to interact with them. I’m not just talking about those old family photographs. They tell stories that even contemporary photography can’t duplicate, all the different layers on top of each other. 

When Dreams become reality

JR: That concept and those photos are beautiful. Pickling a photograph and trying to preserve something where maybe that person or place might not exist anymore. That was just such an intriguing body of work. Could you talk about that project more?  

Photographed by Adrian White

AW: That project started as a dream. One night, I had had a dream about what if you put photographs inside of a jar, and bury those photographs? When you’re really in touch with your entire process and trying to figure out how am I going to do this? Why am I going to do this? What am I going to do? You come up with some interesting ideas. My family probably looked at me like I was weird a little bit. Put the photograph in a jar and you want us to dig a hole and put them in it?

They did it because they believed in what I was doing. It also turned into this fun thing especially interaction between my nieces, nephew, and my sister. They still talk about it to this day. Burying the photographs in the ground and putting the eggs on top of the photograph. It looks almost like a burial site.  

JR: Watching “White’s Only” and seeing the process of burying was a bit sad for me. When I viewed the film, I was listening to your nieces talking in the video. Asking these questions like, why are we doing this? What is this for? For me, that amplifies the feeling of, we’ve already put the images into a jar. We’re already preserving them for some purpose. Now the aspect of burying that just added another layer for me. Especially the aspect of preservation. I really love your work. I really do. 

Photographed by Adrian White

AW: Thank you so much. I really appreciated it. 

JR: I was very curious about how you came up with that idea. The dream wasn’t something that you had repetitively or was it a one-off dream? 

Photographers…Keep a journal and write down all your ideas

It was just a one-time dream.

– Adrian White, Photographer

AW: Though in graduate school I walked around with a journal all the time. When you write down everything. You tend to come up with an idea. If you come up with an idea you should always write it down. It stuck out to me because of that. I still walk around with my journal, but everything is accentuated when you’re in graduate school because you’re just trying to figure things out. I ran with the idea and thought, let’s take these photo photographs to see what that looks like. 

JR: I love and respect the way you focus on black stories. Could you speak about visibility as it relates to blackness and how you engage with the history in the contemporary? I know you’ve made images that exist in the realm of creative activism. I’m curious to know your relationship to these sorts of images. 

Photograph by Adrian White

AW: I think my images do several things. I feel like I document but a lot of my images focus on my family too. I’m creating more images for the family album. I’m creating a place in history. I also feel like for so long, black people weren’t being shown in galleries. We didn’t see the stories of black people. As I said, Gordon Park was one of the first photographers, the first black photographer, anybody ever told me about. I wanted more representation; I needed more representation. 

Why were photographs that showed pictures of people like my nieces and my nephew and my sister, mom, and dad? Why weren’t they in galleries? It’s all about representation and visibility. That’s the cool thing about the camera, that the camera is all about visibility. I walk around the earth with that camera, I’m showing you what I see. So, it’s almost like an autobiographical journey. Wherever I go, you can see what I see. 

Working at a Protest…Think about ways to protect your Subjects

JR: Well, your images tell a story, and it’s clear where your focus is. The Black Lives Matter protest images that you sent over. I really love the way you address anonymity and protecting the people that are involved in these protests. Could you talk about what it’s like making images in that space? When do you decide to cover up faces or not?  

AW: I remember the dialogue that was going on at that time. We’re out there on the street and everybody is saying, you can’t show who’s at the protests because the police might come after them. That they could be arrested. I decided to add an extra element to it. By covering up everybody’s faces. The crazy thing is the people that were jumping on the cars and all that a lot of them were white people. Yes, a lot of white people. The black dots on their faces were so you couldn’t really tell who they were.

I remember a conversation that I had at one protest. People would come up to us and basically say, we’ll take care of this part we’re trying to protect y’all. We don’t want you to do the nefarious thing, like, we will take care of y’all, we’ll do that part. A lot of times when I was out there, I would put headphones on, and I would listen to a soundtrack that would get me in a particular space. I felt like that opened my eyes a lot more I was able to see things that I wouldn’t typically see because of the soundtrack that was going on in my head. 

protesters photographs
Photograph by Adrian White

JR: Personally, when I go to protest, I’m usually super attentive to my surroundings. Did you feel as though the music at all hindered your awareness? 

AW: I feel like it heightened my other senses in a weird kind of way. I was paying attention to everything more. Of course, I couldn’t hear things, but I could see better. That was the whole point of me being out there to see

JR: I think a lot about the way protests are portrayed in the media. Oftentimes incredibly violent, and people running the street but it’s not always that either. We’re all there for a reason from mourning or simply annoyance and displeasure at the state of things.  

AW: Yes, every protest is different. I’ve been to some violent ones I’ve been shot by rubber bullets, but some are very calm. Some are simply us standing here together. So, every protest is different. It’s kind of weird in that way. I know exactly what you mean. It’s always the negative stuff that is portrayed in the media. 

protesters phtographers
Photograph by Adrian White

JR: It’s really frustrating at times though I would love to talk more about your image Sankofa. The woman in the water wearing a mask, I was intrigued by the title because of its meaning but also just how beautiful the image itself is.  

Creating Photographs in the Present that Reflect the Past

AW: That’s a performance artist that I worked with. Her name is ISIS and was taken off the shore of New York. What we were trying to recreate was the massacre that enslaved Nigerians committed when they were brought over from Africa (Igbo Landing Mass Suicide 1803).

They killed their slave masters, and then they all committed suicide. We went out to the water, and it was very cold it was in the winter. Sankofa is about looking forward to the future but also remembering your past. The two faces that are evident in the image are prominent.

The mask is looking in one direction and her face is looking in the opposite direction. She’s from Rwanda even though we were we were focusing on Nigeria the mask is Nigerian. 

Photograph by Adrian White

JR: Oh, wow. I’ve never heard that story before. Thank you for teaching me that.  

AW: Yes, they wanted to have control over their lives they didn’t want to be controlled by slave masters. They would prefer to just kill themselves. 

JR: You’re also a photo professor, right? 

AW: Yes, I teach at California Baptist University and Santa Ana College

JR: What are some important histories of photography that you feel your students should know about? 

Photograph by Adrian White

AW: The main thing is that photography is autobiographical in a way that people don’t quite understand. A lot of people just go around making pretty images. I think the stories that we tell are way more important than pretty images. Since we have Instagram now and Facebook, Tik Tok all these platforms have a lot of mimicking and copying. Sometimes you just need to close your eyes and figure out who you are, and what you’re trying to say to the world. I think that’s just more important. 

JR: Yes, absolutely. It’s hard for some when you’re constantly viewing images online. You may start to think, oh, maybe I should be doing that. Then I’ll get this type of recognition. I think you must ask yourself, what are you doing it for?  

AW: Absolutely. I feel like I’m trying to be in conversation with people that aren’t even born yet. More so family members that aren’t even born yet. Especially when I’m not on this earth anymore. I want them to still be able to look at my images. Oh, I didn’t know I had this relative. I didn’t know about this thing that happened here or then. That my uncle moved to California, and he was the professor. He did this and he did that project in South Central LA. These are all things that I want to happen when I’m no longer here. Where I can have this body of work that even though I’m not here, I want my legacy to persist. I want my images to persist. 

JR: I feel like they will. I really do. I’m so drawn to this image titled matriarch. Her powerful gaze and being situated in nature and in all black. I really fell in love with that image when I saw it. Could you talk about what it was like making that and who that is to you? Also thinking about women as being head of households in our community. 

Photograph by Adrian White

AW: Yeah, I think women have quite a bit of power. That’s my mother. She is a God-fearing woman, who is deeply religious and she’s a mother of the church. We put her in her church clothes, and the photo was taken in our backyard. It’s a body against space and it’s also talking about the history of black people in North Carolina. Which isn’t always that pleasant. I did protest. My mother talked about some of the protests that she was involved in, growing up.

I wanted to make her look powerful. Against that backdrop of the trees, the acres of land that we now have. She certainly looked powerful with that gaze that she’s given me; as I’m looking at her. She’s looking at me. As if to say, yes, I am, who I am. Something else to add to that is, in our front yard. There’s a sign that says 40 acres (about twice the area of Chicago’s Millennium Park) of land for sale.  

JR: That is amazing that you all have land to call your own. Personally, my immediate family hadn’t owned any land until 2015. We still don’t have much, but it’s enough. It’s a great feeling when you and your family can have a space to be. That is a beautiful idea to photograph her in a space. Also, I love the church hat. It reminds me of the days my family and I attended church with our grandmother in Washington D.C. 

AW: Another reason she’s wearing that hat is that she was battling cancer at the time and trying to cover that up as well.  

JR: I’m sorry to hear that, but she looks so beautiful in that photograph I’m glad you were able to capture that moment. Also, I love to hear more about this image of the young boys. (Titled, Four Boys) 

black kids photographs
Photograph by Adrian White

AW: There’s a video installation associated with that project. I was in Harlem when I was at Parsons, right there on Lenox Avenue, and I went to the store, and I got these boys some water guns. I had them shooting at each other. After they finished playing around and I photographed them sitting down. There’s this posture that black men learn at an early age. As if you must communicate that you’re not one to be messed with.

Whether you’re talking about Europeans or talking about outsiders, you got to show people that they can’t mess around with you. There was a lot of posturing going on like the boys are trying to be tough in the image. They did that all on their own. I didn’t even direct them to do it. It’s just this kind of natural thing that happens with young black boys and black men. I mean, you’ve even seen the prison photographs where they try to do the same thing. It’s all about displaying toughness, displaying your dominance. 

JR: Yes, absolutely. I see it. You know, my little brother every day is getting older. I always ask him what are you doing? They’re watching older Black men and men in general. My father has always been one of those men of men. Very macho, and the men the young boys are looking to are from a different era. I see it in that photo, and especially the boy in the middle.  

JR: What projects are you currently working on? Things that you might hope to create in the future.  

black and white photography
Photograph by Adrian White

AW: I’m trying to get deep into the project here in South Central LA. The biggest thing right now is that I’m a black man from North Carolina. When I’m here, I’m black but I’m considered an outsider. I didn’t grow up in Inglewood, Crenshaw, or South-Central LA. 

I’m trying to figure out diverse ways to infiltrate the community. I know that sounds like a weird word choice. Though to create more images that’s what I need to do. So, I can tell more stories. There’s nothing nefarious about that but I want to tell the stories of black people.

To tell stories of people that look like me. A lot of times people will say they can tell when you’re not from their areas. Then they’re questioning what you’re doing here bro? Or why do you want to take photos of me? That’s the biggest thing right now. 

JR: Yes, that is tough. I relate to that so much because I was raised in Georgia. I moved back to Maryland where I was born, and a lot of people thought I wasn’t from there or they could tell. It’s tough to integrate into a community and sometimes to really connect with that community if you aren’t rooter there in some way. Though I always believe it’s important to try and build a community as you make work. It can be challenging. 

AW: You walk around with the camera; talking to people. That’s how you start to tear down some of these walls. After a while, they know who you are.  

JR: Could you talk about these archival images that you have here? What is their relationship to your work? 

AW: I took this class when I was in graduate school called History, Memory, and Trauma. One of the things that I gleaned from that class was how you need to really talk to people while they’re still here on Earth. I feel as though those archival images can be a launching point. If I show a photograph of something or play a song and it makes people talk about their memories.

I saw a photograph and my brother might say, oh, I remember this happened right here. Then my sister might have a completely different story and I’d have a completely different story. It’s almost like we’re comparing notes in a way. That’s one of the beautiful things about those archival images. It shows how perspectival memory is. How I remember isn’t the way that someone else will remember. Which gets us to talk to one another and reminisce  

JR: Absolutely. The archival image as an entry point to memory and history is an important aspect of the photograph. I love that you brought that up and you should certainly add that to your journal if you haven’t already. 

AW: Oh, for sure. I really appreciate you interviewing me. There’s this song called grandma’s hands. Have you ever heard of this before? 

JR: No, I haven’t actually.  

AW: It’s by Bill Withers. In a lot of ways that song works kind of like an archival image. I sent that song to my family’s group chat, and we just began telling stories about our grandmother who passed away years ago. Where I mean, it’s this kind of beautiful, archival image and music that works hand in hand.  

 JR: I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. I saw your photos previously and I really want to emphasize this because the way you work with your family archive is beautiful. Thank you again, when I saw your work, I knew I had to hear more about it.  

How Binghamton Thrifts founder Olivia Le found her love for sustainability

Olivia Le is a senior at Binghamton University who pushes sustainability on campus by using her small thrifting business on Instagram, Binghamton Thrifts.

She studies business administration with a concentration in marketing and is involved with the field hockey club and the student association board on campus.

Twenty years old and from Long Island, New York, Le has built a platform through her passion for thrifting that heavily promotes saving the environment for students.  

Her growth and creation go back to March 2020 and have come a long way.

The inspiration behind Binghmaton Thrifts

“I love thrifting and before I started the business I would find a lot of the pieces that I thought were super cool or super trendy…,” said Le.

She continued, “Or I knew someone else who would love a piece that personally did not fit my style so I would leave it behind, Then I thought about blending that with my love for business, social media, and marketing.”

“I thought that it would be a good way to make some extra money on the side while promoting sustainability.”

– Olivia Le, Binghamton Thrifting
binghamton thrifts
Photo Courtesy: @binghamtonthrifts

“Not a lot of people thrift because it is very time-consuming and people don’t want to go search through a bunch of stuff for a couple of hours,” said Le.

She continued, “So, I thought this would be a great way to make it easier for people to shop sustainably. Websites and companies like SHEIN make buying so easy whereas thrifting has more effort to it.”

Le says that by using Instagram the clothing apparel is placed front and center on her page that creating an effortless feel when shopping sustainably.

In everyday society, individuals are constantly on social media platforms such as Instagram, and it has now become a universal platform to do almost anything! She uses the app to her advantage that has flourished her business.

The blueprint to the thrifting business

“I would definitely say just full sending it…”

“When I started, I did not advertise it or say who I was. I just started following a bunch of people who go to this school and eventually it started to pick up,” said Le.

The founder continued, “That is when I decided to you know to start promoting it on other personal social media platforms, told my friends about it, and told my friends to tell their friends. I just kept following a bunch of people as well because I thought it was the best way to gain exposure.”


pack an order with me! ☺️ ##smallbusiness ##shopsmall ##shopsmallbusiness

♬ Cupid’s Chokehold / Breakfast in America – Gym Class Heroes

Le had a choice to make when it came down to making the best decision for Binghamton Thrifts. “I specifically chose Instagram because other reselling platforms like Depop, Poshmark, and Etsy all take a percentage of your sales and I also know that a lot of college students are not familiar with these platforms.”

“I thought Instagram would be the best to amplify the business because I can keep all my profits as well as gain more exposure especially since my target audience is university students,” she said.

Le takes into consideration the pricing of items basing them on her target audience which is college students. She emphasizes affordability while balancing profits for her business.

Her determination of pricing comes down to the quality and not necessarily the brand.

Where does she cop all this drip?

thrifting business
Photo Courtesy: @binghamtonthrifts

“Besides selling my own clothes, I started selling other people’s clothes as well on my platform,” said Le.

She continued, “I think that helps in terms of keeping things sustainable. People not throwing away their clothes or only getting a one-time use when it can get multiple uses. Once you sell it to somebody else, someone else will love it and wear it. That is one of the biggest things too.”

Le has effectively pushed sustainability on and off of her college campus. She said, “I would definitely say I made a decent mark on campus…

“If clothes don’t even sell I just donate them back to the thrift store instead of throwing them away and hopefully they go to use.”

How do you decide to let go of clothes that don’t sell?

oliva le headscarf
Photo Courtesy: @binghamtonthrifts

“I usually hold onto them for a while. Right now, I still have a decent amount of clothes that I have not sold yet or even posted on Binghamton Thrifts IG page. It just depends whether I feel like I have to do a deep clean or need to get rid of some pieces”

“Someone who does want it can have it without it ending up in a landfill.” 

– Olivia Le, Binghamton Thrifts Founder

So what’s your focus with Binghamton Thrifts?

“Educating people on sustainability, on thrifting, and how much it can benefit the earth…,” expressed Le.

“The big thing right now? I started donating a lot of profits to charities, I’ve done a Stop AAPI Hate fundraiser, a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter, and for RAINN, the rape abuse national network.

She continued, “I’m trying to definitely make more of an impact on society apart from just selling clothes and keeping sustainability consistent.”

“The two majors things is educating people more on the importance of sustainability through clothes, and helping other causes that are important to me…that are close to me”

– Olivia Le, Owner of Binghamton Thrifts

Using her inspiration and passion in creating Binghamton Thrifts

“I just love the fact that you can thrift such unique pieces, which is such a money saver. I really got into thrifting because of my mom. She actually showed me thrifting a while back and I fell in love with it,” said Le.

She continued, “Social media marketing is something I find really interesting so that is a future goal where I can be a creator out of it”

The balance between being a student and running a small business

“At first I didn’t tell anyone that it was me and I wanted to see if my clothes would sell or if it would pick up at all. There were definitely times where I felt overwhelmed, especially with school and having class at the same time because it was intense.” 

“I’ve taken month breaks at times and I haven’t been on it a while now because of school and my extracurriculars, but I am planning to start it up again over winter break and hopefully I still can gain more traction and continue to grow.”

How to cop Binghamton Thrifts?


thrift haul, but make it neutral vibes 🧸🧺☕️ @BinghamtonThrifts on Instagram ##thrifted ##thrift ##thrifting

♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

Simply search the hashtag #CopBinghamtonThrifts and items that are available and have not been sold yet will appear. The posts obtain descriptions, sizing, and prices that are sold on a first come first serve basis!

Check out Binghamton Thrifts (here).

With almost 4000 followers on her platform, and is commonly known by Binghamton University students, Binghamton Thrifts has been an outlet for eco-friendly new fashion finds.

Le reminds us of several aspects by being an inspiration to all by balancing the life of a student/business owner while also creating good in the world. Le has built her business on a well-rounded ground that benefits students, important organizations that create positive societal impact, and people who enjoy thrifting!

Olivia Le and Binghamton Thrifts will be continuing the mission throughout 2022!

Got Coal NFTs? A new way to say Merry Christmas to your fave jerk

When we came across the COAL NFT while searching for Christmas gifts, we didn’t know what to think. Is it a stroke of genius or just another gag gift for the blockchain rich?

We needed answers. So we dug deeper and spoke to the creators. They’ve requested that they remain anonymous for the sake of the NFT project.

More than just an NFT, the COAL EXPERIMENT 001 represents the times we are in. It’s a social trial and what many could call art. But what does it take to hype the NFT community and new crypto adopters to spend .025 ETH and gift their fave asshole a lump of digital coal for Christmas?


What’s really good with giving someone a lump of coal for Christmas?

Where did the idea of giving someone a lump of coal on Christmas come from? There are many theories, that you’ve all probably heard of. The most common thread… coal was given to naughty children on Santa’s bad list.

christmas nft
Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

For those who were finessed by their parents at that gullible age, that folklore tale still rocks with us to this day… No pun intended. One of the most interesting story lines, at least to us, comes from the 19th and 20th centuries. Back then, it was hard for impoverished families to come across coal. Back then a coal stocking stuffer was a come up.

But what are the creators of COAL NFT doing differently?

The conceptualization of the COAL NFT…

While at a holiday party one of the creators came across a conversation of a girl talking about her shitty sister’s boyfriend. After eavesdropping and hearing about how the boyfriend was a jerk finance bro who cheated on her sister, what started as a funny interjection became the spark that ignited the inspiration behind the COAL NFT.

“You should mint a piece of coal and gift it…” said one of the creators that night. After thinking long and hard, the creator would take the idea to his best friend who happens to be an ill graphic designer.

The two would then think through what coal represented and ponder on the old myth: Coal under pressure makes diamonds.

As black creatives the myth resonated with them and with NFTs empowering creatives all over the world, what, if at any time, would be the right time to drop a project like this.

Going deeper in thought they asked themselves these questions: Could it help more people tap into NFTs? What happens when you hold COAL? What does the COAL community represent.

Not giving to much away…

So what happens if the COAL NFT is a success? With 1000 available in the collection on (now 993) the creators of the social experiment plan on using a portion of the money to create a generative NFT. Meaning the COAL NFT could evolve at any moment in time after Christmas.

The update to the smart contract would represent that underneath the persona of every douchebag there is a beautiful caring human. On their twitter they hint at the future by using hashtags #PRESSUREMAKESDIAMONDS.

One creator even said that he would give 25 percent of his earnings to an environmental non-profit organization in an effort to offset the carbon emissions crypto causes day-to-day.

There’s definitely a lot to come from the COAL NFT camp and we’re here for it. Check out the NFT project just in time for Christmas on Rarible for yourself (click here).

Art of a Guest Pass: Cheryl Fox mints years of hip-hop history as NFTs

Cheryl Fox’s work features some of the biggest ICONS in Hip Hop, like that of Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Snoop, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Pharrell Williams, and more. Fox’s connections to the artists runs deeper than commissioned works as some of these individuals are friends who she has met through word of mouth. 

Fox is an advocate of artists knowing their rights. The importance of cultivating a community is strong in her work but also, learning the business behind photography so that she can, and has, maintained a career without representation.  

Cheryl Fox is a Photographer from New Jersey who currently lives and works in California. Fox has been in Cali for about 11 years and has no intentions of leaving anytime soon.

She got started in photography through her father but also took classes in college where she learned to develop film. Cheryl began her college education at the HBCU, Hampton University in Virginia, but later went on to hone her skills at the School of Visual arts in NYC.

Although the work lives in the realm of Fine Art, Fox has found a way to push beyond the boundaries and create her own space for making work. Through her personal relationships, she has had opportunities to work for businesses like HBO, Showtime Key Art, obtained Magazine covers, album packaging, and Ad campaigns.

In terms of authenticity and beauty, I would say Fox has done an amazing job of cultivating a path she can call her own. As a Black woman in this industry, she is a shining example of what faith and hard work can produce.

She has also published a coffee table book titled, “Art of a GUEST PASS,” which exists as a musical memoir of images never before seen of Fox’s personal lifestyle.  

Fox will be dropping her first NFT collection in collaboration with Guilty by Association on Foundation. Which is a creative playground for artists, curators, and collectors who are seeking to experience the new creative economy.

See the NFT collection here.

NFTs have taken the art industry by storm, these non-fungible tokens which are certificates of ownership of a digital product have given power back to creatives.

Allowing them to reach audiences worldwide and share their work with people who may not have otherwise known of their presence in the industry.

Guilty By Association (GBA) helped Fox and does help other underrepresented artists by supplying them the tools to present their physical and digital works to new audiences.

This collaboration in many ways was the perfect platform for Fox to give space to the images that she holds dear to her heart. Such an important relationship to have as a creative to your work.  

This NFT collection is made up of twelve minted images titled “SMOKE”. The drop is a part of her ongoing series of works that will lead up to Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary in 2023.

A drop you don’t want to miss. I had the pleasure of speaking with Fox about her photographic journey and what it’s like to be a non-represented creative making this type of work.  

Who is Cheryl Fox?

Jade Rodgers: How did you get started in the photo industry?  

Cheryl FoxI got started in photography, really through my father, but also, I took a darkroom class and learned to develop film. I thought it was developing that I loved. Part of the class, obviously, is that you must take pictures in order to develop.

I loved seeing the images come to life in the lab and being in the darkroom. Then I started to give the photos away, and people would often say, “Oh my god your photography is so good.” I realized that maybe it’s photography that I love and not just the darkroom. I just started taking more pictures and gifting them. 

When I went back to school, I attended the School of Visual Arts and learned lighting and how to work with a creative team. I thought to myself, oh my goodness, these photographs that I’m taking look like something out of a magazine. From there, I went on to build my own darkroom in my house. Even now I have my own in-home studio…

“I’ve gone through so many distinct phases.”  

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer
sean john
Sean John Billboard Photo Courtesy Cheryl Fox

I went from film to digital, which was not a good ride, because I love film, but then the world changed like it always does. My life changed as well, and I went through a divorce. I was like, if I want to continue to shoot as often then I’m going to have to use this digital thing. You know, film photography is expensive. 

JR: That has always been my dream to own my own studio, especially to develop film. The fact that you were able to realize that is so dope. I love that.  

CF: Oh, good. Yes, you can do it. 

JR: That’s the goal. I mean, I’ve already got my chemicals, I just need an actual physical space.  

CF: Mine was a little corner of my basement that I had built out in my home at the time. I had a handyman come in and build a space that’s about the size of a walk-in closet. I’m not sure where you are, but spaces are tight everywhere.  

JR: They certainly are, and I know it’s going to happen it’s just a matter of having the space right.  

CF: You’ve already envisioned it and that’s the half of it really, is seeing it.  

Refining her skills

JR: I was curious about your background in fine art. Also, your relationship to the categorizing of artists because I feel like your work can exist in several different spaces. What was that experience like going back to school?  

CF: I went back to school specifically to learn about lighting and all that. Though originally while I was at Hampton University, and then to Kean University.

I have my BA in Sociology and I don’t have one in fine arts. On the other hand, my daughter, got her Bachelor of Fine Arts, in photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was like, ‘oh, I’m going to major in photography.’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a layup.’ Do you know what I mean? I never even thought about it when I was in school, that that was something that you could major in. It wasn’t until I went back to learn. 

JR: I get that. Growing up I thought the same thing. I went to college initially for computer science. They don’t often push us towards the arts. The first advice I was given was that if I’m going to be an artist’s I’m going to struggle and that it was hard. I thought that back then, but I sort of feel like it was a lie. It was almost discouraging for me. Simply because I never saw my art as something I could make a living off.  

Finding your lane as a photographer

CF: It’s certainly not a lie, because my entire existence as a photographer in ways, and without representation was hard. I don’t have representation and everything that I’ve shot was word of mouth.  

 JR: Even your work, The Art of a Guest Pass?  

CF: None of that was commissioned. That’s just walking through life. So, for instance, Art of a Guest Pass, I named it that and put this collection together of my music photography.

I named it several things, it’s been the rock and roll of hip hop. I was trying to figure out how to present this body of work.

It was funny because a friend of a friend was at my house. I was working on the computer, and she was laying down on the couch. She said, you know, looking around my house, she was like, you should do a book.

I said, Yeah, I’m working on it. I want to do a kid’s book, and I want to do a book on sports, and I want to do all these things. She was like, you should do a music book. What are you doing with all these pictures? Other than having them on your wall?  

 I have a gallery right now in my house. I just need a bigger house or a bigger gallery because I’ve got even bigger prints. By the same token, I wasn’t even thinking about it, right here in my house is the court. Right?

So, I’m like, ‘Oh, wow, a music book.’ Then the pictures are very personal to me. I came up in an industry years ago, where it was Puff, and Jay Z. Beyond that, it was a little bit of Pharrell. Everybody was just grinding and working, and we would vacation together, spend holidays, go to The Hamptons for the summer, and play ball.

We came up in a way creating culture.

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer
cheryl fox
Sean “Diddy” Combs photographed by Cheryl Fox

CF: While I was there years ago, I had done publicity. I stopped doing publicity and thought to myself what am I going to do? I don’t want to just sit here, so I started taking pictures while I was hanging out over the summer. At some of my friend’s birthday parties I would take pictures. Then all of a sudden these guys became big celebrities.  

 Meanwhile, I continue to take pictures, but it’s just me, my kids would go away. Ever since we got divorced and I moved to California the deal was that they would spend holidays with their father who was still in New Jersey.

So, every Christmas I would spend at the Staples Center watching the game pretty much by myself or whoever I could get to go with me because it’s Christmas Day, right? I have this picture of Kobe Bryant and LeBron from that Christmas day. 

That’s I guess, 11 years old now, but it is an insane image for so many distinct reasons. Both their hands are down the balls extended in the air. Then Kobe and LeBron spoke to each other just before Kobe passed and I don’t know, it’s special for so many reasons. What do I do with that?

I’m photographing Puff, and we’re at clubs, birthday parties four in the morning. I got great pictures, but what do I do with that?

I can’t just give those to a magazine or somebody that doesn’t care about my culture, and my people.

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

They could extort it and just like, do whatever, so I just held onto those images. Or gave them away as gifts, and I would just hold them. 

Thinking outside of the machine

JR: That’s an interesting perspective to have about your images. When we think about accessibility and galleries, especially as Black creatives. Listening to the ways in which these moments are incredibly intimate for you with people you love and value.

How could institutions understand that when they only see it as a commodity. They’re thinking, oh that’s a famous person it would do numbers. You’re thinking outside of that machine and doing it within your means. I think that is just another reason that I love the work you do so much.  

CF: Thank you, Jade. I mean, and for me, as an artist, I didn’t know.

Protect your work, even a picture on Instagram, because somebody is going to grab it, run with it, put their tag on it. 

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

They’re never going to know that it was even my image. Who wants that? No, thank you. Though I would go into galleries because I love images, no matter what. Even before I started to make my own and blow them up. I would always go to West Fourth Street, buy jazz images and frame them and I always had images in my home. 

Even when I was younger, so I knew there had to be a way somewhere in there. When I would go to the galleries, it was a lot of rock and roll photographs, of the white rock and roll guys. 

Rock and roll at that point wasn’t America’s music anymore. It was Hip Hop. Thinking about The Doors and the Beatles and Rolling Stone. I had the hip hop version of these iconic beings. This one gallery, in particular, the Morrison hotel gallery is big on images like that. 

I’d always wanted to show work in that gallery. It used to be on Prince Street, and it was literally as big as a walk-in closet. I thought to myself I should have one picture on the wall in here. I wanted my work to be seen because outside my friends are asking for my work but who else is seeing it?

Finally, I had another gallery, Mouche that represented my work for many years here in Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, unless I did an exhibit, I didn’t get my name on the wall or my image up. 

They’d have two walls of Terry O’Neill’s work, or a wall with Kirkland’s work and I’m thinking you know, can I get a corner? Can I get an image on the wall? My daughter came to me and said, Mom, you have to get another gallery.  

Morrison hotel gallery onboarded me at the beginning of 2020. Literally right before everything shut down. I was so happy, and they’ve been selling prints and with them, it’s 50/50. I make the print and bring it over to them and boom, I never know who my patron is and can never say thank you.

All I can do is sign it and turn it over. That’s why I love the blockchain because the NFT world is like Fine Art Meets cryptocurrency and it’s on a worldwide gallery.

Documented, it’s immortalized forever.

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

That image is now forever credited to me as the creator no matter where it goes, and the world can see it now and it’s protected. I’m like this is fucking insanity. Excuse My French but this is I couldn’t have dreamed anything this amazing.  

The struggle…

JR: That’s incredible, and you know I’m just gaining an understanding of what the Blockchain can be utilized for. I recently sold my first NFT and I felt empowered by that. I’ve personally tried to sell prints in the past. I’m currently a part of a print sale with Diversify photo, that’s as you mentioned a 50/50 split with the artists.

Though that feeling of not knowing who bought the work, and not being able to thank them is a weird thing for me. I don’t know the types of audiences I’m reaching. It’s sort of a disconnect for me, and I believe our medium is about community and it is about making deeper connections.  

cheryl fox photographer
Snoop Photographed by Cheryl Fox

CF: That’s why it is a struggle, and for me, before last week it’s been a gamble. I mean you get a big check, and it takes you a while to get there. It’s not something that is consistently moving every day. Though you’re still young, you don’t have two kids and a divorce. Though it really might not be a struggle for you because you’re already selling.  

JR: It might not, though in terms of financials, I’ll be honest, I am at times. I’ve always been the type of person that just went with the flow. I realized I have a weird relationship with photography these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still love photography, but I think it has a lot to do with the type of work I make.  

CF: I didn’t realize you were a photographer.  

JR: (Laugh) Yeah, I move between a few mediums, but photography and writing mainly. Kulture Hub gave me that opportunity to really explore writing more deeply.  

CF: Oh, you’re like me Jade, my favorite forms of expression are with my eyes and my hands. I like to write too. I write different stories and things.  

JR: Same, I write stories as well, but I don’t show them to anybody.  

CF: Exactly. You know, I mean, you got to hold it close to the chest. We’re still exercising our talent; you know what I mean? Just because nobody else sees it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. 

Wear Entitled

JR: Exactly. Now, I saw that you had a clothing brand, Wear Entitled, can you talk about how that came about? 

cheryl fox photography
Pharrell Williams Photographed by Cheryl Fox

CF: Wear Entitled came about because I wanted to, like I mentioned before, I wanted my work to be seen by people. I wasn’t sure how to do that in the past, with galleries.

My daughter was in school and was also working for brands like Kith and Virgil Abloh at Off White. Her take on street fashion was important to me. She said, Mom, there are people making tons of money off their images with clothes and their images are nowhere near as hot as yours. You’ve got to get involved.

I tried to figure out a way, and didn’t want to do t-shirts, sweatshirts, but thought a jacket would be a nice start. Making some sample jackets I wasn’t sure about sizing. I just knew I wanted the images on the backs of the jackets.

At the time I wanted them to be in Barney’s, Max Fields, or what I thought was the right store. I never made that happen, but I turned around and went to an online method. There was a demand in that, and the world was changing around me by the time, I figured it out.  

I realized I had to hold off on that, I wanted to actualize it and so I started doing a few custom pieces. It was around Puffs’ birthday, and it was difficult because it’s hard sometimes to get celebrities, or men with money, women who have everything, something.

I thought to myself I’ll make a robe, and so I made a couple. As special custom gifts, and I did one for Puff and one for LL Cool J and I wanted to keep it going. 

I’m not a fashion person, if it’s an image great. I know what to do. It’s a matter of what image and what to do with it in fashion. If I could have anyone creative directly on that work, it would be Pharrell Williams. I know that he would be helpful in making that happen for real.  

JR: Even if you don’t feel like a fashion person, I can tell you know what you might want at least. You have the images and can play with them and experiment. I could see your work on a Puffer coat and the image or even part of your image is the overall print. I feel like that would be dope to see your work in that way.  

CF: I’ll think about it and I’m not sure which company. Maybe Alpha Industries? Those green puffer jackets. I’m not a fashion girl. That’s why I would need somebody that understands, the style of clothes, the materials, etc.

Thank you though. I’d love to do jackets too, but I need help. Maybe I could bring in someone from that industry. Someone who at the end of the day they really have their understanding in that area and knows what they’re doing.  

Cheryl Fox drops her genesis NFT collection “SMOKE” on Foundation

JR: Absolutely, someone who is experienced. Also, about your NFT collection drop. How did you get together with Guilty by Association? What was the planning behind that?  

CF: God brought us together. I’m so happy about that because I’ve been looking for someone to help me in the NFT space ever since I heard about them. I want to say back in February.

I did a lot of research and for every person, I met, pretty much I’ll ask, “have you heard about NFTs?” It’s a mixed bag where some have, and some haven’t. One of my very long-time friends, whose kids are best friends with my kid, and I went to college with them. That’s just how close we are, and so we were discussing NFTs, and she said to me that sounds like what Derek is doing.

Derek is one of the partners of GBA and he’s also her cousin. I’ve known him for years, but Derek is like that cousin that’s around, but you only see him every five years or so.

I try to connect with him, but we don’t, and I come back to LA and couple of weeks later. My friend connects us and everything in that first call that he said, is what happened within the week. It became a reality and a month later, I’m going to market and we’re going to drop it.  

A leap of faith…

Since February I had been talking to people who would tell me they’re taking me to market, or I’m representing all your NFTs. I said, slow down, let’s just get one moving and there were so many people.

This woman was cursing out another woman I had never even met with. I thought you know slavery is over, right boo, you don’t own me. Also, no deals have been made.

Though after speaking to Derek, everything he said happened at once. I felt so blessed and that’s why I say it’s God. Derek was talking to his cousin at the same time looking for an artist. I was looking for help and she was able to connect us. I passionately believe that what you’re seeking is seeking you.  

Even before when I went to New York, I met Claude and VSN. I met with Sotheby’s on that trip. I sat with a lot of people about NFTs. When I came back before I met Derek, I made a whole pdf of what I thought I needed to make the book a token. I was going to sell that as an NFT.

I finally had a community and understanding of all the elements needed to launch an NFT collection. 

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

It’s not just the art, you have to have community, and the marketplace on your side. Once I put that together I realized Derek was everything that I put in that PDF. He suggested Foundation and said we’re going to sell all these images at one time. 

JR: What was the choice behind Foundations and not other platforms like Rarible or OpenSea?  

CF: He mentioned OpenSea, but I think it was because his partner Karen is from the New Museum and she’s an authentic Art Girl. So is Derek and they come from an authentic background. 

I feel as though because my work is already sold in Fine Art Galleries. Going with an art focused platform sounded like the most sense. The people that buy fine art are going to want to buy my work. OpenSea and Rarible are more for everyone; I feel like I would be lost in the open sea.  

BACKWOODS & FLAMES (ALMIGHTY JAY) 2020/2021 by Cheryl Fox | Available on Foundation Dec. 15 1 PM EST (click here)

JR: Interesting I didn’t know that about the Foundation platform, it’s important to think about the nitty gritty.  

CF: Yeah, and I was concerned about people being able to find my work, especially those who like to collect art or photographs. At the time memes and profile pictures were the main thing, and I asked myself are they even doing photography?

I also thought that everything had to be animated. It’s like you have these digital assets but now you have to animate them, or so I thought. When I met with Sotheby’s they told me no you don’t have to do anything to it.

Your RAW file is an asset, and so if I scanned a negative or created a digital file, that’s my asset and it doesn’t have to be touched. 

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

JR: I was looking at the images you have available for the collection, and I noticed that you did end up animating some of them. What was the choice behind animating some over others? More specifically thinking about the Jay Z image with the fire. 

SPITTIN FIRE THRU THE FLAMES (JAY-Z) 2011/2021 by Cheryl Fox | Available on Foundation Dec. 15 1 PM EST (click here)

CF: Honestly, I like the animation. May because I’ve sat with these images and had them for song long that I’ve seen them. I thought it would be fun to animate more. My agent Karen (GBA), I essentially followed her lead as the creative in that space.

We played with a couple and ended up animating three. The one of Jay Z, Snoop, and Almighty Jay. I had one contact of Jay Z with the fire behind him, but his eyes were closed. So, I had to find another image and I knew I had one. I dug deep into the chest and pulled that one out. Animating the flames helped me bring that image back to life.  

JR: The fact that you can also use the NFT space to revisit old work and reinvent it. It’s nice to see your work in new ways and it evolves over time that’s a great feeling as an artist.  

Cordae Photographed by Cheryl Fox

CF: That was the beauty of it, that I found in the darkroom at first. How an image just all of a sudden appears, it was amazing to see the images come to life. This is a whole other version of that life. I could make the smoke in one image move and the rainfall in another, it’s fun.

The NFT space makes it light, and you have the freedom to really create.  

-Cheryl Fox, Photographer

JR: Absolutely, I can see that in the choice of images. They are fun and exciting photographs. Could you speak more about the image titled Three Musketeers? 

CF: If there’s anyone that you’d want to smoke with, it’s them three. That’s all smoker’s dream, right? I was shadowing Snoop for a project he was doing.

He had all the boys, and Wiz Khalifa and Seth Rogen were in the trailer just hanging out. I was there and another photographer because I feel like I’ve seen a lot of the photographs from that day run. I kept mine and never really ran them because again I wanted to hold them close.

While photographing them I was trying to get in front because of the way they were standing. I got on top of this countertop and I’m only 115 lb. 5’2. I crunched up into the corner to get that side angle.

All three of them are beautiful, wonderful spirits. I’m not sure if it’s because they smoked so much weed, but it was a good day in the neighborhood over there.

Then my son was like, ‘Mom, that picture has to be an NFT.’ Then Derek agreed, but it was really a great moment. When I went to a movie premiere, I’d seen Seth and was like, I have a sick picture of you and the boys. He was like yes; I think I’ve seen it before. I told him no you probably saw the other versions. 

JR: This is going to be an amazing drop; the collection is amazing, and I can already see it.  

CF: Thank you, I’m praying that it is. Sometimes I can’t even sleep then I’m like I have to get some rest. Wait how was your drop? Where did you mint it? 

cheryl fox
Justine Skye Photographed by Cheryl Fox

JR: I used the platform Voice. I’d previously done an interview with a portrait photographer named Sasha Stavila and he told me about Voice. I figured I would check it out and I looked into the platform and some of the other ones.

So, I took an image from my project CRWN, which is about Black hair care practices as a sight of Black joy and rest. I made that work during 2020 it’s an incredibly important project for me and reflects my experience during that year.

All the loss of life, I really felt like I needed to find a space within our culture and our community to just breathe. I put an image I made using scan photography up on the 9th and it was sold on the 10th. It was an incredible feeling and I’m thankful to the person who bought it.  

CF: That is incredible, and it was a one of one?  

JR: Yes, it was. 

CF: I love that. So, you said Voice? Does that platform let you bid on things or how does it work? 

JR: You have a choice to set a fixed price or bid. You also get 20% back from resells. I sold mine for $500. They’re still in beta but I really like that platform personally.  

CF: Well, that’s good I used to only get 10%.  

JR: I know Rarible gives you the choice to set the percent, I think the range is 0-50% which is a nice option. 

CF: I didn’t know that. I thought it was always 10%. I didn’t even know you could.  

JR: I just found out not too long ago about that myself. Yesterday I was helping a friend mint his first collection and we noticed the choice. I thought that was dope for sure. 

CF: I suppose it varies per platform. I’m curious about the 50/50 split once it hits the market and resells like the marketplace doesn’t get paid again? I wonder about that, but the creator gets a part. 

JR: Well, you know I’m curious about that now too. I was in a Twitter Space earlier this morning and before we got on the call actually. It’s called Black AF on the Blockchain hosted by @shawntelco.

That space was interesting in the way they were talking about NFTs and just helping spread information to Black creators. Some spoke about their struggles outside the NFT space, and others talked about how much it benefited.

Also, just the importance of building community and marketing before you release a drop. All sorts of dope information are being spread amongst creatives. This community was also really willing to support other artists in helping share their work, etc. I was beautiful I was sort of just listening and feeling extremely optimistic about the future of the art industry really.  

CF: Optimism is what the world needs right now. I’m going to have to go find Black AF on the Blockchain because I’m always looking for all the folks and photographers in this space.  

Cheryl Fox speaks on protecting your digital assets

JR: Yes, I think Twitter and Discord are the hubs for these sorts of spaces in terms of marketing and community building. 

CF: Twitter is everything. I’m barely on Instagram anymore. I’m much more interested in what’s happening on Twitter than on Instagram. I’ve had a Twitter since 2009 and I made my first post only a month ago. I never knew how to use Twitter and then the industry uses it, so I have to learn. I used to push posts over there, but it doesn’t really translate. 

JR: Yeah, I’ve been on Twitter since 2011 and it’s kind of weird because Instagram, we’re photographers and it’s supposed to be a photo-based app. It doesn’t really do so well in that regard. 

CF: I enjoyed it for a while and then it turned into a business-driven app. Then my kids were like stop posting pictures of us nobody wants to see your kids. I told them everybody wants to see my kids. She’s like you need to be posting your artwork.

Honestly, I felt that I couldn’t because they’ll steal it. Then half of the portraits I make I have to wait for them to use it because if it’s all over my Instagram then they can’t use it the way they want to. I figured it out I can update the portraiture a year after I take the picture. I’m like, if you didn’t use it by now, guys. It’s gone. I could put it on my website.  

JR: In this era, it does feel like we have to keep a presence on social media. Sometimes folks just post to post things. If you’re posting your work and someone says oh this is dope work, they take a screenshot it’s theirs now.  

CF: It upsets me because I have a large extended family and some of them are well known. If I post a picture of the kids then suddenly, I see another website using it with someone else’s tag on it. It upsets me. My daughter was telling me to just say thank you for supporting my work.

Then every time someone did it, I’d have to comment on that. Though I’m conflicted because it’s like take your tag of it. One time someone I gave an image to someone, and they gave it to another person to make a jacket with. Knowing good and well that I have a wearable art collection that they could have asked me to make for them.

When I sent a cease-and-desist letter to the person making the jacket, the person I knew was like, how dare you reach out to them without reaching out to me to ask me.

Really? How about how dare you send my picture to them and have them make a jacket with it? Knowing good and well that, that was my photograph. Now you want me to reach out to you about it. Get out of here. So that’s why I keep my images close to the chest. 

JR: That’s a crazy feeling. I also experienced a run in with a photographer who tried to steal literally my RAW files. We weren’t even hired to photograph the event we were at. It was just photographing Carnival in Baltimore for fun.

I had my camera, and he had his, but my battery died, and I didn’t have an extra. He told me it was fine for me to use his extra and so I put my SD card in his camera and kept photographing.

Then at the end of the night, he tried to say all the images I took with his camera belonged to him. I was like no way, and I’m not usually the type to call anyone’s art bad but his photos were sort of bad.

When he was busy, I went and downloaded all my photographs onto my hard drive removed them, and then gave him his camera equipment back. At the moment I was so angry.  

CF: That’s ridiculous.

Now that we know our files are worth so much it’s even more important to protect them.  

– Cheryl Fox, Photographer

JR: I completely agree with that, we have to protect our work. Though I would love to hear any words of wisdom for up and coming photographers in the field. 

CF: Other than to keep shooting and keep shooting. The main advice I’d give is to learn the business of photography at the earliest stage possible. Know your rights and when you get that contract to know what you’re signing off on.

Understand usage and where you make the most of your money and know that a buyout, you still retain your own copyrights. You always want to be able to hold your copyrights for your own personal benefit. Then no matter what you can always sell your art because you own it. The biggest thing I’d say is to learn the business while you continue to shoot.  

JR: What’s crazy is in my 3 years at Pratt, I don’t think we’ve ever talked about the business side of photography.  

CF: Many people don’t know and when you get out and don’t have an agent or a rep you’re literally screwed halfway. The business aspect is everything that you need to know. People will try to take advantage of you.  

JR: I really appreciate that, and I know a lot of others will too. 

CF: Absolutely, you’re welcome I appreciate you Jade and I hope you enjoy your holidays.  

JR: Same to you Cheryl thank you for your time. 

Wrinkle the Duck

Who is Wrinkles? NYC’s favorite Duck on the Gram

New York City is home to so many adorable Instagram famous pets that are cats and dogs, however, Wrinkles the Duck sets herself apart from the whiskers and paws with bills and feathers.

Barely even a year old Wrinkles capture the hearts of everyone she meets. Her wings aren’t the only feature that makes this heartwarming bird unique from your typical household NYC pet.

Raised by two circus performers Joyce and Justin, Wrinkles lives a unique life, charming people in person and online. Wrinkles herself can even juggle, much like her owners.

Her Instagram account, seducktive, is filled with exciting adventures that bring joy to your feed. Even saying her name puts a smile on your face.

“When she was little she really liked wrinkles, little folds in the fabric and everything like that, she would constantly investigate and try to them, so we just called her wrinkle eater,” said Justin. “Then we started traveling around then it was like a Wrinkle in time.”

Wrinkles the Duck is a Princess

Wrinkles was hatched a male and biologically has male features, however, she is referred to with she/her pronouns.

It’s difficult to determine the biological sex of a duck until 6 months after they were hatch. Female and male ducks quack differently, but when Justin and Joyce had to register Wrinkles as an emotional support animal, they registered her as a girl.

“All the signs pointed to female, she always given feminine vibes she’s our little princess,” said Justin. “She can be whatever she wants to be”. 

While she loves people and the attention, ducks are still a little socially awkward. That’s not stopping Wrinkles though, she’s making friends across all species of life.

In a community as large as NYC, Wrinkles isn’t the only Duck in town. Her owners are even taking her on little outings and duck dates where she meets other ducks. 

Wrinkles’ Dorothy shoes

“We met different animals she met a bunny, she met a pig and goose,” said Joyce. “We’re still trying to let her meet a couple ducks more regularly and see if we can bring her to the next level of relationship”

Wrinkles made headlines as an emotional support duck, following runners through the finish line in the 2021 NYC marathon in her signature red shoes.

Her shoes are beyond a fashion statement, they’re made of neoprene, the same material used in manufacturing wetsuits for scuba divers. These eye-catching shoes provide Wrinkles protection and prevent bumble-foot common with duck. 

“The red shoes become her signature thing, but she has a whole different pairs of different shoes that we made a bunch of different colors and stuff,” said Justin. “So when she wears a different color people seem to notice”. 

“We try to match it with different events we’re going…”

The NYC Marathon wasn’t the finish line for Wrinkle’s public appearance. This feathered guest of honor has appeared in many different locations such as Tiffany’s, Sloomoo, and other distinguished events.

Her adventures continue on Instagram, making friends and living her best life with her caring owners. 

“When you look at her you just feel better already, it’s impossible to look at her and not smile and feel good,” said Justin and Joyce.

“She always has these little smiles and she always makes us feel great, it’s hard sad or in a bad mood having her around.”  

How Chipz aims to revolutionize gambling and DeFi

Chipz is an upcoming crypto-based gambling platform utilizing blockchain technology to change the way players experience gambling platforms.

With several innovative new features, it allows players to bet on any topic they want, all in a single place. Launching later this month, it has the world of gambling and DeFi on its toes. 

The global gambling industry is worth around 265 billion dollars. It’s an industry that remains popular around the globe, with gamblers often interacting on gambling platforms, making bets, engaging in discussions, and making new friends in the process.

But one issue holds players back. They often need different platforms based on what they’re betting on. Most traditional platforms will focus on a specific niche. Sports, gaming, politics, cryptocurrency. The result? Players need to make a different account for each one. Now a new cryptocurrency is looking to solve this problem with blockchain technology.

What Is Chipz?

Chipz is an innovative cryptocurrency project looking to solve many of the problems faced by modern bettors. The platform allows players to bet on any topics around the globe, from politics and esports to live streams, sports, and cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional betting platforms, it allows users to enjoy the benefits of DeFi-backed solutions that introduce several new exciting elements to the gambling experience. 

The team behind the project includes Joab Garza, an experienced NFT game developer who built the highly successful Tezatopia, and Justin Lally, a key member of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Together with Josh Thompson, they’ve built a team of experts looking to change the gambling world with blockchain technology. They’re also supported by one of the best advisory boards in the world of crypto. This advisory board includes the owner of Golden Knight’s, Gavin Maloof, NFL Star Todd Duckett, DJ Lethal, Jacob Busch from the Anheuser Busch family, and the chairman of Staxos, Nick Wilson.

The project is being developed in Costa Rica and will go live this month with the projects social media campaigns in full swing. So far there has been a significant amount of interest from their audience, who are excited to see what blockchain technology can do for the future of gambling.

Innovation At Every Level 

One of the most exciting things about Chipz is they’re not just making a few changes, they’re taking gambling to a whole new level. On the platform, players can bet with USDC, whilst enjoying a number of several changes that aren’t available on traditional platforms. One such option is stake to earn. On the platform, each transaction will incur a 3% fee, which is placed into a revenue share pool. Investors can choose to stake their tokens in this shared pool and as a result, will earn an income based on the amount they’ve staked. 

Another exciting feature of Chipz is its bookmaking options. Despite being a popular option amongst current players, bookmaking has always been somewhat expensive. Players would often have to pay upwards of $20 a month before they’d even made a bet.

With Chipz, players can enjoy several deals and giveaways that will allow players to enjoy without needing to spend a high % of their earnings. They’ve announced deals as low as $60 for a whole year, as well as lucrative giveaways for players who want to get in early. But get in fast, as they’ve only available until the end of 2021!

The final feature that has bettors excited is the focus on global events. Each year, Chipz will hold a number of events based on major world changes. These could include a change in political leaders, how many goals will be scored in a championship match, and who will win awards at events. 

The CHIPZ Token 

Chipz is an ERC 20 utility token that can be found on Binance Smart Chain, Uniswap, and Pancake Swap. Following the launch of the platform in December, the team has announced they will also make the token available on several additional popular exchanges. 

The token itself also has a unique use that helps it stand out in a crowded crypto market. During a bet, gamers can speculate on its value, allowing them to profit when its value is increasing.

Additionally, the platform also allows players to stake their CHIPZ during a game, adding to the potential reward from their winnings. This exciting feature will allow players to win more from their bets and can be used to make bets more enjoyable. 

Chipz Is a Must For All DeFi Bettors

Chipz is arguably the best upcoming gambling platform in the DeFi space. With a range of exciting new features and a great team building the project, it’s a project that has the potential to completely change the gambling market.

It will launch this December, with a roadmap already planned for mid-2020 and a community excited for what it will offer. Should the launch be a success, Chipz could one day become the number one DeFi gambling platform in the world.