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Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. Inspired by photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks, he was marvelled with their documentation of the African American community.
In 1980, as a concerned photographer with a clear vision, he embarked on a mission to extensively document various aspects of life in New York City, from youth culture to a wide range of social conditions. Due to its spontaneity and uniqueness, the streets and subway system became backdrops for many of his photographs.
Ultimately, his goal was, and still is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture. In the past two decades, he has had over two dozen solo exhibitions, including “Men of Honour”, “A Time Before Crack”, “Pieces of A Man”, “Represent”, "When Two Worlds Meet”, “Back In The Days,” and “Seconds of My Life,” which have been shown around the world, from Argentina to The Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and throughout the United States.
I first met Jamel in 2009, after learning about the evolution of his photography online (through my friend and colleague, Che Kothari), and developing a sense of respect for his use of the art form.
Over the course of the last eight years, I have had the honor of learning from, collaborating with and building with some of Toronto's most talented artists and community leaders through the Remix Project and also through Manifesto (which is otherwise known as Manifesto Community Projects).
Collaborating with both organizations has definitely helped me to curtail the fears and daunting existential dilemmas that most creative individuals experience. Furthermore, since 2007, being amongst like-minded members of Manifesto and the Remix Project always reminded me that I was not alone and that I should always dream big and follow through on those dreams. Watching both organizations evolve from their humble beginnings has been impressive and I am grateful for their creative energies and hugely positive impact on Canada's arts community and marginalized youth populations.
With that said, this article is a congratulatory post to my friends Gavin Sheppard and Che Kothari (along with their business partners Ryan Paterson and Drex Jancar along with the rest of their respective organizations).
"The Hip-Hop Fellow" is a 78 minute documentary following Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder's tenure at Harvard University as he teaches "The Standards of Hip-Hop" course, conducts research for his thesis and explores Hip-Hop's history, culture and role in academia.
It's tragic when the world loses an iconic and influential figure like Nelson Mandela and it's even more tragic when clueless people comment about it on YouTube.
The hilarious Dead Parrot-produced video featured below is a reconstruction of a conversation between YouTube users Sudasha Patel and SGOR2047 (from the video "Nelson Mandela Is Dead -- Official News").
As far as my personal experiences with modern technology go, very few things have annoyed me more than using the internet in China.
In one of VICE's recent podcasts, Reihan Salam sat down with Jason Q. Ng, author of "Blocked On Weibo" -- a book which examines the keywords blocked on China's most popular and influential social network, Sina Weibo.
Below, I've featured a short documentary on Toronto's own Director X by Grolsch Film Works (along with X' 2013 reel).
The documentary piece follows X and investigates his evolution as a director and how he has educated himself over the years, as both a professional artist and philosopher.
The short documentary also investigates the hyper-sexuality of pop culture (especially within music videos), the evolution of the music video industry, the social media revolution and more.
As an act of goodwill for his fans around the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger recently recorded himself performing some of his most famous lines from a variety of Hollywood classics.
Acclaimed Hip-Hop journalist, Elliot Wilson recently conducted a great interview with Jay-Z on behalf of Sean Carter's "Life And Times" and in addition to his own series of Hip-Hop journalism known as "The Truth".
The kid in this video will restore your faith in humanity.
There are many factors to consider, but Michael Jordan has apparently ended the debate on who the greatest basketball player of all time is.