First and foremost, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who played a role in supporting Concrete Cakes. 2012 has been a great year. We published plenty of great content, threw some dope events, built some great relationships and most importantly, in our first full year in existence, we learned a lot. I can only hope you’ve learned something from us.
Our overall goal is to promote the idea that you can do what you love and get paid for it, hence the phrase, “having your cake and eat it too.” We’ve featured all types of artists, entrepreneurs and wrote some great editorial content, all for the purpose of pushing us a little closer to reaching our dreams. This post is a special two part feature in which we recap the most notable/influential posts of 2012. This is NOT necessarily a “Best Of” series. I take pride in everything we post so picking which posts were the best is like choosing which of your kids you love the most. The posts that make up this list were chosen because they paint the best picture of the mission and progress of Concrete Cakes.
Again, thank you all for your support and make sure you stay engaged in 2013 because we have so much more to show you. Peace.
20. HUSTLER’S AMBITION (Spa East, Mark Madness, Imani K. Brown)
One of the main themes of Concrete Cakes is the story of the underdog rising to prominence, against seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s easy to lean on the ideal that all you have to do in America is set a goal and work hard and the doors of opportunity will magically open. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Much of a person’s success (or lack thereof) is attributed to inherent characteristics like family socio-economic status, race, gender, etc. So when someone who was dealt a disadvantaged hand rises in spite of their circumstance, it deserves to be noted.
AMERICAN DREAMING: MARK MADNESS AND THE WATERVIEW LOUNGE
- Markeem Kendall aka Mark Madness, is the CEO of Madness Enterprises which is comprised of the luxurious Waterview Lounge, Madness Studios, MK Properties and The Stop The Madness Foundation.
- Markeem was potentially facing three to six years in prison for the sale of drugs but was given probation instead. With his second chance, Markeem decided to invest the money he had saved up into Madness Enterprises. The Stop The Madness Foundation is the non-profit arm of Madness Enterprises with a mission to provide positive creative outlets for children.
- To see the full feature click the link: http://www.concretecakes.com/mark-madness-waterview-lounge/
THE ART OF COMFORT: SPA-EAST
- Spa-East is a full-service day spa located in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, PA
- Owner Samiyyah Staten left the comfort of her nine-to-five after giving birth to her first child to pursue entrepreneurship. Samiyyah had to pursue her dreams with the added struggles that come with being a young African American woman while balancing her duties as a wife and mother.
- (Updated 3/2/14) Click the link to read her story and see the massage tutorial video: http://www.concretecakes.com/samiyyah-staten-anasa-day-spa/
IMANI K BROWN: SOLE ARTISTRY (TATTOO)
- Imani K. Brown is an African American woman tattoo artist located in Washington, D.C. The tattoo industry is known for racism AND sexism so for Imani to overcome these obstacles and thrive deserves recognition.
- In our feature, we shot video of Imani doing a LIVE tattoo and ask her about thriving as a Black Female tattoo artist. Photos included.
19. THE SPINNERS (DJ R TO DA IZZA, DJ RICOCHET, DJ AYEBOOGIE)
Concrete Cakes is unapologetically bias towards the hip-hop culture because of how it embodies stubborn progression and the fusion of art and business. So naturally, we have a love for DJ culture which is the foundation for all things hip-hop. In 2012, we had the pleasure of featuring some of the city’s dopest up-and-coming DJs.
DJ R TO DA IZZA: 3 STACKS
- 3 Stacks is easily one of the best mixtapes of 2012, as it mixes 97 minutes of your favorite material from the one and only Andre 3000. DJ R to Da IZZA’s ambition is on full display with this project.
- Full feature and download link: http://www.concretecakes.com/dj-r-to-da-izza-3-stacks/
WHO’S THE DJ? DJ RICOCHET
- DJ Ricochet is the official DJ for Philly MC, Chill Moody but he’s built his brand on crowd control. In our interview with Ricochet, he tells us what makes a good DJ and showcases his mixing skills.
- Full Feature Link: http://www.concretecakes.com/dj-ricochet/
DJ AYE BOOGIE: BOI STOP, YEEEN NO DJ!
- DJ AyeBoogie is one of the youngest up-and-coming DJs in Philly but also one of the hardest working. He’s built his brand on giving the crowd a little bit of everything. Having studied the styles of almost every dope Philly DJ from Jazzy Jeff to young greats like DJ Ricochet, AyeBoogie has been able to create a style that’s unique while maintaining the integrity of his craft.
- Full Feature Link: http://www.concretecakes.com/dj-ayeboogie/
18. HOW TO THROW SUCCESSFUL EVENTS
In today’s entrepreneurial landscape, hosting events has become an integral part of a brand’s marketing efforts. It’s a great way to personally interact with your constituents while having more control over ROI. Contributing Writer Kathryn Epps, is the owner of event management firm, Event-Chic, LLC and in this article she goes into detail about what goes into successful event planning. It’s a must read if you want to keep your crowd happy while staying within budget.
Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/how-to-throw-successful-events/
17. FUNNY BUSINESS (CLINT COLEY AND LAWRENCE KILLEBREW)
Concrete Cakes covers every form of art and has a deep affection for the art of comedy. Along with DJing, Comedy is probably the most difficult art form to master because your success is based on entertaining very uncompromising audiences night after night. In 2012, we had the pleasure of featuring two of the city’s brightest comics, Clint Coley and Lawrence Killebrew.
Clint Coley Link: http://www.concretecakes.com/clint-coley-stand-and-deliver/
Lawrence Killebrew Link: http://www.concretecakes.com/lawrence-killebrew-comedian/
16. “A LITTLE BIT OF LIGHT” MUSIC SERIES (BY AMY CAVANAUGH)
I love good music as I’m sure most of you do too. Though what constitutes good music is the subject of never-ending debate. Yet, most will agree that music is at its best when there’s balance. Since the radio seems to play the same 7 songs over and over again, there’s no way you’ll find your balance there. Luckily, the internet allows us to search for that balance at our own leisure. Contributing Writer, Amy Cavanaugh has taken it upon herself to shed “a little bit of light” on some musical acts you may or may not have had the benefit of coming across. From Hip-Hop and R&B to Jazz and Alternative, the 2012 “A Little Bit of Light” series has something for everyone. Enjoy.
AKO THE CHEMIST: http://www.concretecakes.com/ako-the-chemist-broken-glass/
KHARI MATEEN: http://www.concretecakes.com/khari-mateen/
RANGE DA MESSENGA & HEZEKIAH: http://www.concretecakes.com/range-da-messenga-and-hezekiah/
DENITIA ODIGIE: http://www.concretecakes.com/denitia-odigie/
DAVE GHET & BREAK BREAD PROJECTS: http://www.concretecakes.com/dave-ghet-break-bread-projects/
15. “ART CLASS” VISUAL ARTS SERIES (BY KATE TROWBRIDGE)
Another important theme for Concrete Cakes is Master Your Craft. We feel that too often people fall in love with the idea of being a “self-taught” artist. Not taking anything away from artists who truly taught themselves a craft from hours and hours of trial-and-error, but receiving professional training is ideal if you have the resources to do so. With formal training, you’ll learn how to master the basics which allows you to have better control over how you manipulate the art form to fit your unique perspective. Temple University Student and Contributing Writer, Kate Trowbridge decided to showcase the artwork of students from the Tyler School of Arts at Temple and to discover the pros and cons of being a professionally trained artist.
Click the link to see the “ART CLASS” VISUAL ARTS SERIES by Kate Trowbridge:
14. NO SYMPATHY IN HIP-HOP
In 2012, we were fortunate enough to highlight some great hip-hop acts and a great hip-hop publication in RHYME STREET. When I say, “great hip-hop acts” I mean that these acts combined lyricism, great production and stage presence. SK and Writtenhouse were perfect examples in 2012. And RHYME STREET is highlighted as a media brand based on quality journalism and the original series, RAW THE BREAKDOWN which chronicles the actual lyrics of Philly’s top MC’s. Enjoy.
BEHIND THE MUSIC: NO SYMPATHY (S.K. AND WES MANCHILD)
IT WAS WRITTEN: WRITTENHOUSE AND THE ART OF STAGE PRESENCE
RHYME STREET: BEATS, RHYMES AND JOURNALISM
13. A STEP TO THE LEFT (EMILY YOUCIS, SHANINA DIONNA AND CAMILLE SAFIYA)
In a world where so many people are playing an everlasting game of “me too,” it’s refreshing to see artists who go out of their way to be different. Not only is it refreshing to the audience but it’s necessary for the artist if they want to increase their chances of being seen and having their artwork highly valued. We’ve had the pleasure of featuring some truly unique artists in 2012 and the three we’ve highlighted here are great examples.
ANIMATED DEBAUCHERY: THE ARTWORK OF EMILY YOUCIS
SHANINA DIONNA: PICTURE PERFECT FLAWS
CAMILLE SAFIYA: SHARE HER WORLD
12. HOMEGROWN STARDOM (JADE ALSTON, MPIII, TYE JAMES, CHILL MOODY)
The music industry is very competitive and in a city with so much talent, it can be difficult to break through the concrete. This year, we were able to post ORIGINAL CONTENT of some musical talent that we believe have a great chance of reaching the national stage. Of course, the list here is not a conclusive list of the talent that’s poised to breakthrough but more like the tip of the iceberg. You’ll see much more in 2013.
JADE ALSTON: NO LONGER SEARCHING
GIMME THAT BEAT!!!: MPIII PRODUCTIONS
TYE JAMES: THE NAIV EP
CHILL MOODY: #RFM THE REHEARSAL SESSIONS
11. ASK THE PROS (SLICE COMMUNICATIONS, AT MEDIA, ADURA SANYA, SEED PHILLY)
The concept is simple. If you don’t know, you’d better ask somebody. And who better to ask, then the experts? Finance, Marketing and the General Start-up Process are all vital facets of entrepreneurship. This year, we stepped up our game and met up with some of the city’s best companies in these particular areas.
THE ROAD AHEAD: STARTUP ADVICE FROM BRAD DENENBERG OF SEED PHILLY
- Brad Denenberg is the founder of Philly’s leading small business incubator, Seed Philly. In our feature, Mr. Denenberg speaks on common misconceptions about entrepreneurship and how to avoid failure.
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/brad-denenberg-seed-philly/
CUTTING THROUGH THE NOISE: PR TIPS FROM SLICE COMMUNICATIONS
- Staci Bender and Cassandra Oryl are the owners of Slice Communications PR and Social Media firm. Over the past five years, they’ve been able to establish Slice as the go-to-firm for Small to Mid-Size businesses looking to run great PR and Social Media campaigns.
- In our feature, Staci and Cass discuss the best practices and common misconceptions about PR and Social Media Marketing.
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/slice-communications-pr-tips/
ADURA SANYA & iFLIP ACADEMY (REAL ESTATE INVESTING)
- Adura Sanya is a young Real Estate mogul in the making and the owner of iFlip Academy, an educational program for people interested in real estate investing.
- In our feature, Adura briefly goes over his background, misconceptions about real estate and how he can teach you how to do what he did.
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/adura-sanya-iflip-academy/
YOUNG, GIFTED & MARKETABLE: BRANDING TIPS FROM AT MEDIA
- Antoinette Johnson and Tyler Westnedge are the owners of the full-service branding agency, AT MEDIA DESIGN located in Old City, Philadelphia.
- In our feature, Antoinette and Tyler discuss the differences between marketing and branding and offer some tips of how to effectively brand your company for long term success
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/at-media-marketing-branding/
Stay tuned for part 2 of our top highlights of 2012 where we give you the top 10!
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(Posted by Garron Gibbs)