Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2016

ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue66 (August 2018)

Why Bungalow Heaven stands as Pasadena's most significant neighborhood

Pasadena, California. A nation leader in historic preservation. Lets forget tha fact that Bungalow
Heaven is home of ThaWilsonBlock, today's source for the city's local music scene. According to the City of Pasadena and a federal registry, Bungalow Heaven stands as arguably tha most significant neighborhood in Pasadena, CA as far as architectural preservation is concerned. Dating back between 1888 - 1929, tha 16-block neighborhood was developed with one and two-story residential homes. Fast forward to the late 1980's, Bungalow Heaven has impressively managed to sustain and uphold it's intrinsic value.

Most bungalows built in Bungalow Heaven were during the Arts & Crafts period of the early 20th century. Because there was growing demand for industrialization during this period, tha individual craftsman had to hone his/her own creative skills. The typical bungalow is one-and-The Gamble House is the most prominent example of Arts & Crafts architecture in Pasadena,…

5 Inspirational Sports Movies Your Kids Should Watch

Movies are a great way to send a message. Whether for good, bad, or plain ol' entertainment, you can count on Hollywood to deliver. But, even though explicit movies have their respective audience, Hollywood manages to bring us inspiration through films like Coach Carter, Freedom Writers, The Blind Side, etc...

In tha early-mid 2000's, I've noticed a trend of inspirational movies hitting tha box office in January. More times than not, tha inspirational flick usually has to do with some type of sport. Personally, I think it's a great angle. Tha dynamics surrounding sports and how they are played demonstrate values and principles that are useful in everyday life. Team work, dedication, humility.

In today's world, children don't stand a chance. Please excuse my figurative speech, but the negative influence of mainstream media is not giving our children viable options. They need something that encourages them to work IN their best interest. This is why it's go…

Teena Marie's Legacy Lingers in Pasadena's San Rafael Neighborhood

Although the Ivory Queen of Soul and Rick James protege wasn't born in Pasadena, California, the fact that she lived off Laguna Road right here in Pasadena's San Rafael neighborhood means a lot for the local music scene.

As you think about what Pasadena has been to the County of Los Angeles, you can only imagine the type of things that have transpired on the local music scene with Hollywood being so close. Pasadena has been known as a place Hollywood comes to when they are trying to keep a low profile. Even so, it's also a place Hollywood shoots a lot of their highly esteemed TV Show sitcoms, movies, commercials, and more.

But, let's get back to Teena. It has been no secret that she passed away in her Pasadena home on
December 26th, 2010. Teena was one of the many famous musicians who made some type of establishment for themselves in Pasadena, California. So, what does that mean for the local music scene? Well, let's take a look at who she was and …

DENA Artists send shout outs @ BringingItTogether November 2016 Free Artist Photo Shoot

Artists and members of the community who attended the #BringingItTogether November 2016 Free "Never Understand" ft. Imani Akil off of his latest project Beautiful Struggle mixtape,
Artist Photo Shoot sends shout outs on video. Like Bing Bing said in
"Now, we bringin' it together, and can't nothin stop us, take pictures in any weatherWhether, tha weather is wetter or better than ever..."

ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue46

ThaWilsonBlock Magazine's 46th Issue features #BringingItTogether November 2016 Free Artist Photo Shoot (Official Photo Album) + 734 Coffee + Exploring the Intersection of Hip Hop & Social Justice + Dave Chappelle + Snoop Dogg + Colin Kaepernick + A Tribe Called Quest + Mos Def + Mark Whalberg + Taffey Champion Exclusive Interview + A Father & Son Explore Latino Culture Through Photography + An Asian Student Society Responds to Racism with a Riveting Photo Series + so much more...

Nipsey Hussle talks Hip Hop in LA, Compton, Long Beach, & Inglewood

“My music is influenced by L.A. culture,” Nipsey says. “L.A. hip-hop is so different, it’s so diverse. Out here it’s like funk-inspired, it’s like ‘70s skating rink-inspired at times. It’s Zapp and Roger-inspired, it’s house party era-inspired. The production is like West Coast, ghetto rap music.”

Besides detailing the sound of the music, Nipsey also drops names of the artists who have come out of Crenshaw. “Music-wise, Battlecat is from over here. He’s probably one of the biggest names to come out of [Crenshaw District],” he shares. “Kurupt, when he came out of Philly, he ended up coming to this community and being embraced and really showing love and building a bridge over here also.”

Compton’s impact on hip-hop is recognized by the “FDT” creator too. He goes on to mention the influence of Compton rappers including YG, Kendrick Lamar, N.W.A, The Game and Dr. Dre. “I think Compton got a unique culture also,” Nipsey states. “Kinda like Crenshaw, it’s different over there. They got th…

Rain Couldn't Stop DENA Artists from #BringingItTogether in the November 2016 Free Artist Photo Shoot

After the success of the #BringingItTogether October 2016 Free Artist Photo Shoot, Mistah Wilson &
Percy Johnson were excited for next month’s event. This time, they put a little more love into it. With only a couple of weeks to make it happen, they went out to get a photo backdrop with the logos of ThaWilsonBlock Magazine, Percy’s Portrait Photography, and a hashtag of #DENA to represent where the movement is taking place.

Before the October 2016 shoot, the news was forecasting rain on the day of the event. That would be tragic since everyone is meeting up outside in McDonald Park. As the day grew in, it was almost cancelled. Mistah Wilson decided to go along with it and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. For the next event, the news forecasted rain. Mistah Wilson decided to call the weather’s bluff. But, this time, the weather was for real.

After much preparation and money spent to put this event together, we were expecting a much bigger turnout than the first one. On…

Q&A w/ SoCal artist Khriz-Z about the Advantages of being a Bilingual Rapper

Mistah Wilson: Honored to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock
Magazine. What you been up to?
Khriz-Z: I've been well. Just focusing on music, work, and family. Everyday I’m one step closer to success.

Mistah Wilson: For our audience reading this, could you give us a quick background on yourself?
Khriz-Z: Well, I was born in Mexico City. I came with my mom, to the U.S.A, when I was 10 years old. Now I’m 22 years old. In between those years, I lived in a couple of cities. Pomona, Corona, Riverside, Colton, and San Bernardino.

Mistah Wilson: You came thru tha #BringingItTogether October 2016 Photo Shoot @ McDonald Park. How was tha experience?
Khriz-Z: I had a good day at the photo shoot. I met new artist and it was a good experience. I enjoy being able to go and expand my work all over the SoCal.

Mistah Wilson: Tell us about what led you to become an artist.. 
Khriz-Z: Since I was 13 years old, I would always be writing lyrics, poems, quotes, etc. I enjoy…

Author Taffey Champion's writes a Must-Read Fantasy/Romance

Taffey Tawanna Champion is a small-town girl, born and raised in Greensboro, GA, educated at GTCHS in Greensboro, GA and further educated at Elon College which eventually became Elon University. This is the university where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She excelled in writing as a young child; even earned merits and won awards for writing ability, including a “Passport to Excellence Award" plaque for Best Essay. Reading and writing also were Taffey’s first loves before drama and music, which of course, came after.

Before, during and after college, Taffey became a world traveler, even electing to live in London, England for one semester whilst studying at Elon University. She traveled several times to Paris, France at this time. Taffey also met and encountered celebrities in London, England which served to make her experiences even more special. Added to her world traveler status, she lived in South Korea for a short interval. This experience, including he…

Manyang Reath Kher launches 734 Coffee to Empower People of Sudan

Manyang Reath Kher is nothing short of genius! Against all odds, tha young striver survivor continues to evolve into tha inspirational figure he's known to be. Through the Humanity Helping Sudan Project, Manyang Reath Kher has been doing some amazing things to bring awareness and sufficiency to the Sudanese region. From the #Feed50k campaign to Donate-A-Prayer, HHSP is proving to have a sincerely genuine concern for the displaced refugees who are/were victims of war.
In a climate where refugees are often times categorized with the stigma around 'immigrants', it's challenging to hear tha voice of those who advocate for them. However, in this case, with Manyang's compelling story of adversity & triumph, he has clearly broken through tha spectrum. And Today, he is raising money to empower the people of Sudan through a new and exclusive coffee that is actually harvested in African soil.
Let's not forget, South Sudan is tha world's newest country. With that…

Mildly Disturbing Images of Gang Life in Early 2000's Brooklyn, New York

The career of the photographer known as Boogie is as diverse as it comes. He's known for shooting athletes like Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt and soccer star Mario Balotelli for high-profile companies like Puma and Nike—but he's also published six monographs that focus on the harrowing street culture of cities such as São Paulo and Belgrade.

Boogie was born and raised in Belgrade, and grew up around cameras; his father and grandfather were both amateur photographers. He didn't take an interest in the art until his country descended into war-torn chaos in the 90s. At the time, photography helped him to distance himself from the living hell around him. Boogie credits witnessing the turmoil in Serbia as the catalyst that defined the subject matter he'd continue exploring throughout his career, which gained steamed once he started shooting in Brooklyn.

In 1998, Boogie won the green card lottery and moved to New York. He worked all kinds of odd jobs to survive, while still sh…

Street Photography Of 1980s New York By Jamel Shabazz

At this point, who doesn’t want to go back to the older days? Well today Jamel Shabazz, a Brooklyn-born photographer does that with his latest collection of photographs. Today we get a look at some Street Photography Of 1980s New York By Jamel Shabazz. This brilliant and eye-catching collection features the style, the camaraderie, and culture of the era, which found the emergence of hip hop taking root.

The images showcase the style, the attitude and more of the city while providing an eye-catching look at the process. Speaking about his images, he shared with Vogue that “During the era of conscious rap and hip-hop, artists like KRS-One or Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, it was about culture, so I saw a lot of racial pride, I saw people wearing traditional African garments, kente cloth—celebrating their history and culture”. He went on to state “I thought that was a very interesting time. It wasn’t about a lot of the bling that would take place later on in the 1990s. People wore clothes…

10+ Stunning Animal Portraits By Ukrainian Photographer Sergey Polyushko

Sergey Polyushko is a Ukrainian photographer whose portfolio includes everything from architecture and fashion to commercial and street photography. His beautiful and intimate animal portraits are perhaps his most eye-catching works however.

From domestic dogs and cats, to wildlife such as ducks, squirrels, and even an exotic caracal, Polyushko's pictures are as playful as they are captivating. Whether he's snapping squirrels in the snow while they're out foraging for nuts, ducks basking on golden sun-tinted waters, or curious cows looking for their own personal close-ups, the photographer, who has over 40k followers on Instagram, has mastered the art of bringing out the very best in each and every subject he chooses.

Here's a list of some of our favorites.

Snoop Dogg responds to Colin Kaepernick after "praising" Fidel Castro

Snoop Dogg just put Colin Kaepernick in his dog house, calling the San Francisco 49ers quarterback a hypocrite for protesting social injustice while praising late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and advising he choose between football and his ongoing National Anthem protest.

"He's sort of kind of hypocritical in so many words because he's pushing this, but at the same time he’s giving credit for this and this is the same abuse that [Cubans] been taking" the rapper said. Snoop Dogg added, "So it makes you hypocritical to be able to speak on this topic and that topic."

The "Lay Low" singer was referring to Kaepernick's recent comments about Castro at a media event ahead of the 49ers game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.


Mark Whalberg on Actors & Politics: "It just goes to show you that People aren't listening anyway""

In this particular election cycle, celebrities were more politically outspoken than ever. Between Chrissy Teigen trolling Trump and Susan Sarandon going hard against Hillary Clinton, opinions were flying fast and furious for many celebs. However, Marky Mark himself thinks that actors and other Hollywood types should keep their opinions to themselves. In a recent interview with veteran oriented magazine Task and Purpose, Wahlberg was pretty harsh on outspoken celebrities...

Read Quote & Full Article

Exploring The Intersection Of Hip-Hop And Social Justice

To understand the awesome shared history of hip-hop and activism you have to acknowledge that while music can shine a light on injustice, it can’t, on its own, heal the wounds of oppression. We’re not all waiting for that perfect anthem to save the day. The one that effortlessly samples from the heartache and the anger, the resiliency, and the mistrust, and maybe even the wilting hope found in the black community.
It’s important to recognize that while hip-hop is its own entity, it’s still just a part of a greater movement when it comes to speaking out against those injustices. Nothing and no one can stand alone in this fight.

People have long tried to reason with oppression. They’ve tried to shout at it, thrown bottles at it, cursed its name and lit the streets on fire beneath it. Hip-hop is on the right side of things because it’s about thought and emotion, not a violent action. It is inspirational and it can galvanize. It can open people’s eyes and reach them in a wa…

Pasadena Hip Hop Charts: Top 10 (as of 12/2/16)

Rey Avalon finally releases California Blend 3.0 "Originality was the key with this one"

Southern California Independent Artist, Rey Avalon, releases his 3rd installment of his creation, the “California Blend”
series, which features sounds, soul, and groove, on his take of what California sounds like. In this Project you hear sounds from various genres including : Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, R&B, Oldschool Pop, Reggae, and many more! This version comes more advanced, hence the (3.0), and not (Vol. 3) or (Part 3). 
The addition of Electronic in the project was exactly what took this album to the next level with the modern sounds, vocals, drums, and claps. Rey Avalon was also a big part of the production on this album producing 7 of the tracks.
“When you are able to take full control of the music, taking an idea, then making the beat, writing the lyrics, and engineering, it gave me a very powerful feeling. Basically a lot of the album came from me, my mind, spirit, & soul. Originality was the key with this one and I just went in the studio and did wha…