Radio legend Herb Kent “The Cool Gent” dies at 88

Precise and Herb Kent “The Cool Gent”

The iconic radio legend Herb Kent passed away in Chicago at the age of 88. Kent’s leendary career has spanned over four decades and his voice has become synonymous with Sunday afternoons in Chicago radio. Herb Kent helped launch the careers of such R&B artists as The Temptations, Minnie Riperton, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson. During the turbulent ‘60s, Herb was a prominent voice of Civil Rights era using his broadcast platform. In 1995, Herb was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. His radio home V103 released a statement concerning his passing.

“Herb Kent passed away on Saturday evening. No words can express our great sense of loss. Herb was an iconic talent, who for nearly 70 years entertained millions of listeners in Chicagoland and around the world. His passion for radio and work ethic was second-to-none as Herb worked to the very end, by hosting what unexpectedly was his final V103 broadcast on Saturday morning.

Herb leaves a legacy of thousands of entertainers he helped boost, community causes he impacted, and as a former instructor at Chicago State University, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge with hundreds of students.

We are so thankful for the privilege of working alongside such an historic figure as Herb Kent for the past 27 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Herb’s family, friends, and loved ones.”

We spoke with radio personality Mike Love of Soul 106.3 in Chicago about what Herb Kent means to Black radio and radio in general.


Mike Love, Herb Kent, George Daniels and Steve Silk Hurley – Photo courtesy of Mike Love

“Losing Herb Kent for us old school radio jocks and fans of old school radio is like losing your favorite artist…Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Prince. He’s absolutely irreplaceble. He was an iconic personality from a time when Black radio was everything to black people. His physical presence will be missed but his influence will live forever. He said.


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‘Birth of a Nation’ – I walked out feeling everything but happiness 


Photo Credit: Instagram @thebirthofanation

Birth of a Nation was not going to be on my list of must see movies. I made a judgement off of emotion and loyalty to the women in my life that I would not go and see it, based on the information that was exposed about the films writer and director Nate Parker. It felt like the right thing to do. A woman committed suicide for many reasons we do not know, but this specific situation had to add to her agony. I feel for her and her family and anyone who is enduring the type of pain that would cause them to take their own life.

Ultimately as the movie moved closer to release I examined my position. I could not allow my emotion from experiencing a film that is so important to who we are. So on the same day that the first Black president was raising funds for the election down the street from Kanye’s Saint Pablo tour I decided to go and see the film with no reservations.

The film begins with a vision, The vision is placed in folklore, religion and ancestry. Nat Turner is destined for the journey that he is on. The film then becomes another slave movie, except this time you know their will be accountability on the part of those unleashing pain and suffering on anyone with Black skin. It happens and I find myself unfulfilled as if it was not enough. Watching interactions with overseers and slaves run parallel to the interactions that Black people are having in 2016. It’s eye opening, sobering and not surprising. I’m not sure what I expected. I left the theatre feeling everything but happiness. As I walked out of the doors of the Chatham theater I felt empty, angry and sad. In the background I hear murmurings of “Look at what our ancestors went through, and we still moving backwards.” The brothers I lock eyes with are speechless. What did we just watch. What are we called to do, who can we trust?

I’m glad I decided to go see the film in spite of the controversy that surrounded it. It shook up a reality inside of me. A reality that must be addressed. What are we willing to die for? Now is the time to straighten out our backs.

Nat Turner should be honored, as a man. A man who decided it was time to do something. Now, what do we do?


Please comment below. Let me know what you think.

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Cast of VH1 Black Ink Chicago light up River North neighborhood

Photo Credit: Juan Anthony

Cast of Back Ink Chicago – Photo Credit: Juan Anthony

The cast of the VH1 show Black Ink Chicago were on a high celebrating their second season. The Old Crow Smokehouse in the River North neighborhood of Chicago was packed with cast member and supporters’ alike ready to celebrate one of the most popular reality shows on the VH1 network. Fans lined up outside the venue to get a glimpse of their favorite cast member. Once everyone made their way inside the party started. The red carpet was the center of attention for a while but one the show started eyes were glued on the many TV screen posted around the establishment.
The second season started off as a recap of the last season that ended with stories of infidelity, new loves and new business ventures. Ryan the owner of 9mag finds himself hiring new artists for the shop because, Phor is focused on his rap career, Van is in boot camp, Kat has launched her burgeoning career as an artist in to the possibility of starting her own shop, Don is having paternity issues and Charmaine is being her usual energetic self.
Chicago rapper King Louie visits 9Mag after being shot in the head and surviving. He comes to get a tattoo from Kat who he considers his guardian angel because of the Owl tattoo by his head that he says protected him during the violent encounter. When speaking with Ryan he asks for Kat and this is when Ryan discovers that Kat has set up shop in an upstairs unit that is not 9Mag. This is a cause for some tension.
All of this drama and tension was not witnessed on the night of the premier as cast members lined the red carpet taking pictures and laughing with each other. It was a night of celebration and an opportunity to watch these highly successful mellinials deal with real life problems.

Take a look at a few pics below.

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Review: Solange earns her “Seat at the Table”


Solange provides a beautiful melancholy an unapologetic strength on her latest release A Seat at the Table. Solange’s writing skills are not a secret to the music industry. Her ability to create pop and R&B hits with ease has established her as one of the most desirable artists in the industry. Her most recent project is an example of her skill. A Seat at the Table  is chock-full of lush vocal and musical arrangements. The depth of the project captures a vulnerability that gives the listener an opportunity to be drawn into the ethereal vibe.

“Cranes in the Sky” a standout track from the project finds Solange trying to make peace and find solace with life’s circumstance. She says “I tried to drink it away, I tried to to put on in the air, I tried to dance it away, I tried to change it with my hair.” Any of us who breathe air have found ourselves in moments where we can’t escape the circumstance no matter what we do. Sometimes we don’t want to feel. Solange attacks this head-on and it makes her relatable and expresses her humanity.

A Seat at the Table is a raw emotion floating in the ether through an angelic voice. It addresses everything from pain, love, independence and freedom. When listening to the project you find that you will be immersed in the mind of an individual who is on a constant journey of growth and spirituality. Production by Questlove, Raphael Saadiq and Solange combine to allow the spirit of R&B to be reborn.

On the interlude “The Moment” one of the features and executive producer Master P says “We have to show the evolution of where we come from, I’m bout to send a message to the world. A Seat at the Table is Solange’s message. The project is sprinkled with life lessons and experiences from both of her parents. You can feel the project mature from the first track to the last. 2016 has been a great year for music. Add A Seat at the Table to your list of must-haves.


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Kanye rushes to his family’s side -Kim Kardashian held at gunpoint in Paris


Kim and Kanye – Photo Credit: Instagram @kanyewestdaily

Kanye West cut his set short in the middle of his set at The Meadows Music & Arts Festival in New York because of a family emergency.

#KanyeWest had to cut his show short tonight because of a family emergency. Hope everything is ok. (#kanye #yeezy #tlop #thelifeofpablo #pablo)

A video posted by NEW ACCOUNT (SPREAD THE WORD) (@thejasminebrand_) on

The Associated Press  has confirmed that Kim Kardashian was held at gunpoint in Paris.

“LOS ANGELES (AP) — A spokeswoman for Kim Kardashian West says she was held up at gunpoint inside her Paris hotel room Sunday night by two armed masked men dressed as police officers.”

The representative said the reality TV star is “badly shaken but physically unharmed.”


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Luke Cage is Hip-Hop AF!



Luke Cage – Photo Credit Instagram: @marvel

Luke Cage is a superhero, he is Black and hip-hop AF! Netflix new series is the latest binge worthy show the streaming service has offered up to the masses. Luke Cage was created by Archie Goodwin, John Romita Sr and George Tuska and is published by Marvel comics.

A portrait of a crown wearing Biggie stares ominously in the background as the story unfolds. Each season is named with a title of a song from the legendary group Gang Starr. The score is brought to you by Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest. WuTang’s Bring the Ruckus” plays in the background as Luke Cage follows the instruction of the song.

The birth of Luke Cage and the birth of Hip Hop happen almost simultaneously. The first issue of the comic appeared in 1972. Although hip hop does not have a cemented date of birth it is well known that it was born in the 1970’s in the ghettos of New York City. The marriage of Luke Cage and hip hop makes sense. They grow together in sensibility with the worlds issues at the center of the show. The overarching theme of the series is the unlimited power of the Black man. This is a theme that was skewed with the advent of Blaxplotation films that portrayed criminals in Black skin as heroes of the community, as they peddled drugs, guns and women.

Cage represents the opposite of this and uses his strength to turn the page on the perception of who he is and who the Black Man can be. A few well placed lyrics and cameos strengthen the authenticity of this narrative. One of these cameos (no spoiler) says “There is something powerful about a Black man being bullet proof and unafraid.”

In 2016 as a Black man it would be amazing to be bulletproof considering we are being shot down with no mercy or consequence. The real superpower is developed when we realize this inner strength and move without fear. How will this Black Super Hero affect the mass? I’m not really sure, but it’s good to have the representation. One thing I do know for sure is that Luke Cage is hip-hop AF and it’s dope.

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Seeing Chicago – 2 Sides

Sitting on Rush street in my 2000 Buick Lesabre watching people walk by and I realize how so many of us are living life so differently. One block from the magnificent mile and the streets are filled with tourists. They see a Chicago many of us don’t see. The beautiful affluent almost regal landscape that promotes luxury and the finer things. I ask myself, what did I miss? What am I doing wrong? I should be enjoying this way of life like everyone else. A man walks by me with a shirt that says “Accept No Limits” and in my mind I take heed.
None of us should be living bankrupt of happiness. It is not a commodity that should be bought and it should not be kept away from anyone and hoarded by the wealthy. It’s a beautiful clear day in Chicago on Rush street and the people are loving it.
Now I’m back on the South Side, the Starbucks on Stony Island and as I get out my car a man who appears to be homeless is staring me down as I walk towards the door. I am prepared to ignore him but he walks past me as we exchange an intense stare then he bends down at the front of my car as if he has found something. I think about saying something but I’m just here to charge my phone.
Starbucks is an oasis in the South Side even though they got rid of the comfortable couches replacing them with bar stools and long tables. I can’t help but think about the vibe in just left sheer opulence only to return to a busy street with a coffee shop oasis. I’ve been transported by way of lake shore drive between two different worlds within the same space.

Precise – Photo Credit: Kahlid Lamarre

‘Son of a preacher man’ plays in the background of this warm Starbucks and the cooler plays a loud hum over the music. Yup, I’m back on the South Side. Back on the side off town that out-of-towners fear. The side of town where the sound of a gunshot is just as natural as the sound of laughing children. The side of town that seems to be neglected by those who have. The side of town where I was born.

I love the south side.

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Jean Grae joins forces with Marvel for Black Panther Soundtrack


Jean Grae a Hip-Hop superhero of sorts has partnered with Marvel and released “What You Came For” The track is epic and is totally fitting for Marvel’s upcoming movie Black Panther written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Grae sounds inspired over the Quelle Chris produced track. This dynamic duo has been churning out some creative stuff lately. I’m looking forward to see whats next.

Jean had this to say about the collaboration with Marvel “The amount of things recently that have made my heart soar are very minimal. It’s been a traumatic, gut-wrenching time. Getting the call to be a part of this project did make my heart soar. Getting a call from Marvel to do anything should do that, and it does—but it’s Black Panther, and Ta-Nehisi is writing it. I can’t think of any other artistic contribution that I would have wanted to do right now.”

-Eddy “Precise” Lamarre