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J Dilla’s legacy preserved in the Smithsonian

James “J Dilla” Yancey, the late Detroit music producer whose stardom has grown globally since his passing in 2006, is headed toward enshrinement in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, announced the news at the ninth annual “D.C. Loves Dilla” event on July 17. The legendary hip hop musician will be represented in the museum by his MPC beat machine and his cus ...

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Poetic Menace continues to revive hip hop culture

Poetic Menace struggled as a Detroit recording artist for over 20 years. The independent MC has gone from the highs of being on stage in front of a packed room and holding his own vinyl record in his hands, to the lows of self-doubt and a music industry rigged against him. But his self-proclaimed marriage to hip hop would not allow him to break free without trying harder to grow with the culture. Today, Poe ...

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Tarot and Tea divines brighter present for Detroiters

Nefertiti comes from a long line of spiritually precocious people. Her grandfather was a spiritualist. His son, a jazz musician, also had the gift. “He used to touch people’s hands and tell them about themselves,” Nefertiti says of her father. “(But) he was frustrated because he had to work a factory job. No one would take him seriously about his spiritual gift. It got to a point where adults would ask him ...

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The Shed is ‘so Detroit’

Akwamu and his apprentice, Tresvant Wallker, 18, capitalized on the trend and designed "IAMSODETROIT" T-shirts. Entrepreneur Kwasi Akwamu is so Detroit he designed T-shirts from a trending phrase on Facebook among Detroiters. Two days ago, Facebook users in the metro Detroit area (and those who used to live here) began posting phrases showing their community pride. "I am so Detroit...." flooded many users' ...

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Brightmoor to Beijing

Help the efforts of Kyle Baker, Jr.; Tanay Floyd; and Lashay Pearson to raise $13,000 to fund their trip. Emerging out of an abandoned garage in the Brightmoor community on the west side of Detroit, the Brightmoor Woodworkers began to make handcrafted wooden signs both as a community service project and as a business. From summer 2011 to the present, the Brightmoor Woodworkers have created and installed nea ...

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Bankruptcy judge to Detroit EM: What are you doing to help with water shutoffs?

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes, in court Tuesday, instructed Jones Day law firm, the lead restructuring attorneys in the city’s bankruptcy case, to return to the afternoon session with a report on what their former partner Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is doing to aid people who are having their water shut off. ...

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New Orleans brass band defied tradition to keep it alive

Traditions in New Orleans brass bands run deep. Fusing European marching standards with African polyrhythms in the 19th century, this musical practice gave birth to jazz, which continues to proliferate into new styles worldwide, including hip hop, funk and afrobeat. But with that august legacy comes a certain rigid orthodoxy. In 1990, Lumar LeBlanc was playing snare drum in the legendary Harold Dejan’s Youn ...

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Thrift on the Ave: Redefining women’s fashion resale on Cass Avenue

Amidst a steadily rejuvenating Cass Avenue in Midtown Detroit, Thrift on the Avenue has become a local hot spot for shoppers on the lookout for a fashion fix with a quaint boutique experience. More comfortable than a typical thrift store, this independently-owned shop specializes in quality resale dresses at an affordable price. “We wanted a really good price point, but we wanted to provide a different expe ...

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Detroit pastors demand stop to water shutoffs

A group of Detroit pastors held a press conference July 3 calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to put a stop to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s aggressive water shutoffs in Detroit. “We have three demands,” Pastor Maurice Rudds told the Michigan Citizen. “One, create an effective affordability plan (for low-income residents); two, place a moratorium on the water shut offs; and three, restore service to those residents ...

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WATER: City officials quiet on shut-offs; DWSD dysfunction victimizes many

Although Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr promised citizens that emergency management would mean improved city services, their program of water shut offs has left thousands of residents without the most essential service: water. Citizens who lined up outside the west side DWSD payment center, July 8, told stories revealing DWSD’s dysfunction more than the customers’ delinquency. DWSD reports ...

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