🗣🎙 YERRRRR CALLING ALL LOVEBIRDS! Dev here. Hopefully you guys who are in relationships don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to express your love and appreciation for your significant other. BUT that’s not why I’m writing this post! On a frigid February 3rd in Boston, I finally got to collaborate with THE one and only Jessicah Pierre on a project. I was grateful to have her act as my fake bae for this collaboration, sharing many laughs throughout the process. For 4 hours, she endured through my awkwardness and one shouldn’t have to deal with this level of awkwardness for that long so I tip my hat to her 😂. We were honored to have THE impeccable Alex Joachim provide us with the vision. The end result is a look book that is worthy of being published on major platforms. Jessicah, along with being the President and CEO of Queens Co., is the creator of her eponymous political, motivational, and fashion blog Jessicah Pierre. She is a living personification of what a boss lady is. Alex is one of the best creative directors in Boston and is my personal favorite creative to work with. I’ll go as far to say he’s the best period, but I’m biased since I call him a brother. All of you reading this right now will do yourselves a great disservice if you don’t take a look at their work.
So Jessicah and I noticed a lack of collaboration between artists and creatives in the city of Boston. When she pitched this idea for us to work on a look book together, I never hesitated in my affirmation since we’re both equally passionate about working with like-minded individuals in order to create something awesome. We both like to dress up well and take pictures. This all seemed like a no-brainer.
Now to you couples, if you’re stepping out for Valentine’s Day, please save all of us the corny matching fits and spice it up! Your style should always reflect your personality and I’m certain your significant other will love you for it. People, stare into your significant other’s eyes and shower them with compliments. Talk about her hair, the way his shirt contours his body, the way he or she smells. I tried to do that with Jessicah, but I’m way too awkward for that 😂. We happened to choose outfits that worked well with each other without sufficient consultation beforehand. From our plaid pants, her stealing my beret, and doing simplicity so effortlessly, we had comments ranging from “when’s the wedding” to “y’all look damn good”. Jessicah had a plethora of folk shower her with compliments, and deservingly so. Just look at her!
For a lot of couples, Valentine’s Day is just another day where they can go out and stunt. For a night where you can go out and stunt with your #1 fan, it’s dope to pull out the big guns and wear clothes that you have never bought or worn before. For instance, I had been looking for a red overcoat, trench coat, or peacoat for years and at Zara about a couple of weeks ago, I happened to stumble upon the gem you see me wearing. I lucked out as it was sold out online and who knows if any other Zara up in New England had it in their stores. Plus it was in my size. I’m sure I won’t wear this coat much just because of how loud and extra it looks. But that’s an example of showing out. With a statement piece such as this loud, red overcoat that has me looking like an army general, you don’t need to overdo the rest of your outfit. At the end of the day though, wear whatever your significant other is going to want to pull off of you anyway 😈🌚.
Details on what Jessicah wore are detailed on her blog, Jessicah Pierre. So make sure you check them out on there! And don’t forget to subscribe 😉.
Here are the details of each fit that I wore:
- Vintage Boatneck College Varsity Sweater – Bobby From Boston
- Plaid Pants – Zara
- 3 Button Shirt, Slim Fit – Reiss London
- Peacoat – Ralph Lauren (Denim & Supply)
- Converses – Comme des Garçons
Fit #1 “Extra”
- Love Her. T-shirt – Define Style Exclusive (DSEDetroit)
- Red Overcoat, Military Style – Zara
- Black Turtleneck – Zara
- Black Cropped Dress Pants – Zara
- Dress Slippers – DARA Shoes
- Black Beret – Goorin Bros.
- Shawl Collar Blazer, Slim Fit – Reiss London
- Button-down, Slim Fit – Banana Republic
- Basic Bowtie – The Tie Bar
- Pocket Square – The Tie Bar
- Cube Lapel Pin – Bobby From Boston
- Plaid Pants, Carrot Fit – Zara
- Chukka Dress Shoes – Cole Haan
- Overcoat – ASOS
For those that know me, they’ve known my style to constantly change and switch up, sometimes in an instant as I can act on impulse a little too often. Some think that I am too engrossed in certain brands… which isn’t too farfetched! I’m sure there are guys reading this right now who agree that as a men, shopping can be very expensive since there’s an obvious difference in quality amongst different brands. For example, it isn’t easy to find a stylish pair of dress shoes that can last a long time for a low price, unless you have a hookup or strike a crazy sale once in a blue moon. This is definitely true for women as well, but I’m speaking based on my own perspective. Yet with places like thrift stores, Nordstrom Rack, eBay, and many others that I can name, all hope isn’t lost for men to find decent clothes and shoes for low prices. Maybe that’ll be a future piece for The 4 Eyed Gentlemen to write about in the future…😏 As a side note, I’ve tried to make a concerted effort in limiting the amount of logos people see on my clothes and make my wardrobe a bit more streamlined. I’ve been somewhat successful, but I’ve got a ways to go.
Shoutout to the couples out there getting ready to stunt on folks in the next few days. Spice your outfits up and bring the flame wherever you both go. Those who have nobody, don’t even sweat it. Go out and stunt on couples who can’t dress as well as you can! Your fit could help secure you a bae that evening, but no guarantees though! Get your haircuts, get your beard butter, get your hair laid and face beat. Take showers and don’t leave your house ashy. Everyone be great this year for Valentine’s Day.
P.S. 🗣 BOOK ALEX FOR YOUR NEXT PHOTOSHOOT. Head to his website here.
This is Dev, 1/2 of The 4 Eyed Gentlemen, signing off.
So I’m so glad to be an official curator of the 4 eyed gentleman. Dev and I decided that it was time that I reignite my writing side and nothing better than to do it with this post.
“Trust your dopeness. “
I started off this year by reminding myself of who I am. The world will try so hard to make you doubt yourself, the worries of the world the pure foolishness of the world. The newspapers, social media and not to mention the biggest enemy of them all. YOURSELF. You can be your own best ally or your own worst enemy and I refuse to be my own enemy so I started saying this mantra a few years ago. TRUST YOUR DOPENESS.
You’re dope and you’re wonderfully made. As a husband and father of two amazing boys I have to take a step back and look at my life and be like “yo, your life is dope. Your wife is dope, your kids are dope and you’re dope.” I’m not asking the worlds permission to be dope. If I’m waiting for this insane world to tell me I’m dope I’m a lost cause. So I remind myself especially around my birthday that I’m dope. And I say it over and over. I walk in my own swagger, it’s not for you to like, it’s for me to like and we’ve gotta start thinking that way. Why would I not like myself?
If I don’t like me how do I expect anyone else to like me and if they’ve met me and don’t like me I can’t let it affect me. Jay-Z said this line “what you eat don’t make me s**t” and it’s very true. I tell my kids every morning that they’re dope because I don’t want someone else to tell them they’re less than and they start believing that. they are beautiful and wonderfully made in God’s image and last time I checked God don’t make mistakes and God is DOPE. so I trust my dopeness because I trust God. So let this be a year where you start trusting your dopeness.
From My Desk to your hearts.
TRUST YOUR DOPENESS
Happy New Year guys! I’m 20 days overdue, but it doesn’t matter! It’s 2018 and I’m happy to be going through the year with all of my friends, family, and all of you reading this currently. Now that I’ve gotten that little introduction out of the way, let’s get down to business.
🗣🎙ATTENTION ALL BEARDS AND BEARDETTES, this post is for you! Yes, I’m including any women who have a beard out there. I’m all about equality!
In continuing, us folks up North are in the dead middle of one of the chilliest winters many of us can remember. It was only a couple of weeks ago that we had low temperatures as low as -10 degrees in Boston. I remember wearing a ski mask and maybe 15 layers of clothes since the windchill was around -35 degrees. Spring won’t feel like spring around here until probably early May. By then we may have already experienced our first summer-like day and spring disappears without a trace. But for most folks, especially people of color such as myself, winter zaps the moisture from our skin and hair and rattles our bones with chilly temperatures and wind day in and day out. The strongest shea butters and the best essential oils are necessary to preserve our hair and skin throughout these next 2-3 months.
In my opinion, one redeeming quality of winter is that I can try out different hair and skin products that will retain moisture, promote hair growth, and helps me know what works best for me. Earlier this month I was privileged to have connected with Victor Ukatu, the founder of Malumé, in order to review for his beard butter that just became available to the public on January 1st. Malumé promotes several ideologies. The first of which is Community in which “A good life is reflected through the community you keep.” In any setting, whether it is the friends you keep, family that you hold dear to your heart, the coworkers that you work with, the network of individuals that you know in the city you live, a strong community is everything. In communities where people of color have coarser beards than everyone else, Malumé has assumed its role to make beards feel, look, and grow better. The beard butter has used natural products that addresses the needs and health of its communities’ beards. Essentially, Malumé serves as a reflection of the user himself. Or herself.
It also promotes the qualities of Family, Fatherhood, and Brotherhood. Finally it promotes Tradition in which “Tradition is a guide.” Malumé creates its products using family recipes that have been handed down for generations. There are no artificial ingredients or harmful chemicals in the contents of its beard butter, great news for all of us with coarser hair types. Here are some of the main ingredients in the beard butter:
- Argan Oil – promotes healthy hair growth and acts as a great hair conditioner.
- Coconut Oil – provides growth, contains antioxidants, acts as a conditioner and helps stop dandruff
- Jojoba Oil – antibacterial. treats overtly dry hair and skin. Stimulates hair growth.
- Mango Butter – contains nice amounts of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants. It moisturizes the skin, which promote healthier hair follicles and healthier hair growth.
- Shea Butter – also contains vitamins A and E. It helps soften the beard and seal in moisture. So it’s great to keep your beard a little damp after washing your face or showering.
- Cocoa Butter – everyone knows about cocoa butter. It moisturizes your skin and eliminates any ashy part of your face where your beard grows, which will promote healthier growth.
- Honey – an emollient, which means it seals in moisture and reduces breakage, which is a main reason why beards and hair grow slower.
This beard butter has plenty of other natural ingredients that won’t do harm to your hair or your face. In my one week of using this product and applying it to my beard twice a day when I wake up and before I go to bed, I’ve noticed that I don’t itch my beard at all. This is all despite how unforgiving winter weather can be. I’ve used different combinations of products and oils in order to eliminate that sensation to always itch and I wasn’t always successful in finding what was right for me. Once I would find what worked for my needs, I would usually forget what I used, what oils I mixed, or it would end up being too expensive. The product itself goes on my skin and beard gently and gives my beard a nice little shine to it. It also possesses a faint smell, but it’s pleasant and smells like oats and honey. The most important problem I wanted to address was breakage and whenever I do itch, I notice how seldom hair will fall out.
This has been an excellent week of using this product and it has become the only product I use on my beard, other than an extra application of shea butter when moisturizing my face. Victor Ukatu has really done well in creating this beard butter. For those looking to purchase this product, head over to www.malumebrand.com and enter in this promotional code: LJHBNH. This slashes 10% off your order until 12 AM on January 31st! So buy as many as you want for your dad, brother, son, boyfriend, sister, aunt, uncle, mother, grandmother, and whoever else you know that has a beard! Make sure to follow Malumé on its social media platforms to stay tuned to new products that come out and support another black owned business looking to strengthen our communities.
Until next time… Dev, The Four Eyed Gentleman, signing off.
Malumé: A Reflection of You
Quite possibly the biggest black event this year, aside from Carnival weekend, took place on December 15th, 2017: the 30th Anniversary Ebony Winter Gala. Last year’s Gala was the first one I attended and I constantly brought up how I planned to go back to this year’s Gala, possibly annoying some of my close friends in the process. I stepped up my game dramatically in the fashion realm and made dozens of new friends, while strengthening current friendships, over the year. This event is where people, primarily black folks, come in their best outfits and hairstyles that they’ve had all year in order to network and show out. Food and drinks were in abundance, several themed music rooms were open for people to enjoy good vibes, vendors were selling their products and advertising their businesses, and there was even a guest performance by Next, the famous R&B trio responsible for classic hits “Too Close” & “Wifey.”
There seemed to be a color theme as hues of red and purple were the dominant colors in many outfits. Clearly, I was also buying into that theme. Regality, royalty, and excellence permeated Hynes Convention Center in Copley as people really came dressed to impress.
This year I had the pleasure of having my friend Brittney, seen with the slit-leg dress in the gallery slider, accompany me as my date for the night. She had never been to the Gala before and I was happy she got to experience it for the first time!
My outfit here consisted of:
- A velvet shawl-collar blazer from Mango
- A pair of velvet slip-ons featuring an embroidered 💯 emoji from Dara Shoes
- A J. Crew tuxedo shirt
- A Tiebar basic black bowtie
- A black cummerbund
- Gold accessories including a watch, lapel pin, and a pair of cufflinks
I’m unsure of what brands Brittney wore that night but doesn’t she look amazing?! What’s awesome about Brittney is that she has a blog post as well! You all should definitely check her out by clicking on her corresponding link at the end of this post.
I had the pleasure of seeing many of my friends and acquaintances that night. I was so preoccupied with enjoying my night, and experienced slight inebriation, that I didn’t get to capture many pictures with friends or see everyone that I wanted to. Nevertheless, those that you see pictured in the sliding gallery are few of my closest friends I have, including my blood sister in the short, blonde cut! Three of them are also creatives and have their own websites, businesses, and blogs. Be sure to check them out in their corresponding clickable links!
Until the next post, Dev: The Four Eyed Gentleman, signing off.
Brittney: Morgan Mused
Merlyne: Lyne P. Erie
Lauren: Lo Elle’s Lookbook
First it was modeling, now it’s musicianship. Am I trying to be the Dev Of All Trades? Maybe… But here’s the deal. Earlier this month I joined my first general band in Boston called the Perfect Example Show Band. It is a 9 piece ensemble that focuses on playing all the dopest cookout, wedding, 70s & 80s dance music, and all the other tunes your mama and your mama’s mama can recite lyrics to. This time last month, I was studying in preparation to take the GMAT early next year with the intention of pursuing my MBA in Finance start in the Fall of 2018.
I haven’t ditched those plans, but they’ve been put on a brief hiatus as I take on different projects and make myself more malleable with what life throws at me.
Not many people know that I have been drumming since I was 2 years old. I started in the church and continue to play for church to this day. It’s a passion that will never die as God has given me the talent to edify Him and help advance His kingdom. Making people dance and move their body to good music will forever make my day. My brother, father, and all my uncles all play an instrument or sing. So clearly it runs in the family. I didn’t really start taking music seriously until I turned 15 and even then I was focused on finishing high school, getting my degree in Economics, and securing a 9-5, which had stifled the nurturing of my talents and made me unable to expound on my creative persona. Graduating college has given my mind more clarity than ever. When I was in school, I didn’t want to just do well for myself and my future. I also did it to please my parents. I will forever be thankful for them helping to push me to do well in college and graduate with a degree. But I never got to focus on many things that I was awesome at that truly made me happy. With college gone, I have more time to breathe and start exploring different possibilities with my career and my life as a whole.
I believe that God had this in the works from the beginning because everything seems to have fallen into place over the last few weeks. When I was in school, I adamantly said how I would love to join a band and start performing outside of the church. I was given the chance to start last month when I played for a fashion show charity event that assisted in helping the islands that were hit by endless hurricanes, including my own island Dominica. Under extenuating circumstances, 5 other talented musical artists and I formed to create the tentatively named band Lovely People. We served as the entertainment for cocktail hour and it was amazing to see my friends and strangers alike loving what they were hearing. My friend Omari served as the bassist and asked me if I would be willing to be a fill-in for his band Black Owned, led by singer Jenny Jones, at a show at Darryl’s in Boston the following week. Performing live at Darryl’s had been a dream of mine for a few years and I was amazed it was finally going to happen.
I met with a man that played for Perfect Example Show Band that same night and introduced me to the other members in order to help fill a need they had. They needed a new drummer and I was ready to prove to them that I was the guy they needed. Needless to say, I won them over and now I’m finding myself getting comfortable in a new home with 8 other talented individuals looking to show people a great time when they come and see us perform.
On December 7th, I was on my way to rehearsal via Lyft being driven by a chef named Patxi. He basically said for me to believe in myself because no one else will believe in me more than I will. Whether I am being critical of myself in my playing or in my performances, if I don’t have confidence in my abilities, who else is going to have that confidence in me? We as individuals shouldn’t be afraid to explore our first loves and our talents because we never know what can come about it. I’ve found myself networking with people because of it and landing new opportunities for me to join a band for example. Who knows what other bands I end up playing for. Who knows who else I meet on this new journey. Maybe I become famous! I can’t tell you what this journey is going to be like, but it’s been such a blessing and I can’t wait for what the future holds.
Make sure you look out for me as I play with The Perfect Example Show Band. We play often and soon we’ll be performing around the country as long as we remain consistent. And who knows who else I could end up playing with. Maybe I go on tour! I say this to you to keep dreaming big. No dream is ever “too big” for you!
So it’s holiday season, the merriest time of the year for most families and many couples across the country. Speaking of couples, if you’ve been in a relationship long enough, you’ve more than likely met some of your partner’s family before a major holiday such as Thanksgiving. You’ve at least been introduced to his or her parents if you fall into this category. But for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to do this, a holiday such as Thanksgiving might serve as the first time you get to meet your partner’s family. Now as of November 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm, I don’t have a girlfriend. BUT if I did, I’d make sure to guarantee a great first impression because that thing can make or break how the family views you for a long time. Am I right or am I right?! There’s no guarantee that the family won’t talk trash at all even if you make a good first impression because families do that. “Why is his hair not cut?” “Why did she choose THAT lipstick color?” “Where are his eyebrows at?” “Does her family even feed her?!” Nevertheless a good first impression starts with how people see you with their eyes. They’re likely looking at how you’re dressed, how fixed up your hair is, how clean your teeth are. In other words, you don’t want to pull up looking like a bum your partner picked up off the street.
I will continue as if I were going to pull up to my “would-be” girlfriend’s family’s house for the holidays.
Meeting the family for the first time can be stressful if I didn’t make this clear in the beginning. Your girl is guaranteeing you that there’s nothing to worry about, that the family is friendly, and you’re already loved by everyone. You KNOW that’s a lie. You know the 10 aunts and uncles, the parents, her cousins, and her siblings are going to stare at you wondering “Who the hell are you?” “She couldn’t find anyone taller?” “She should’ve just went for that Jeff boy at church instead.” “He better have a college degree!” “I wonder if he got games on his phone…” I recall dating a close friend in high school and having to meet her Bajan family. Being around her 10 large uncles and her father alone was a little nerve racking because one wrong move and that was probably the end of me! Their hands were the size of my head! But I had to make sure that I was WELL PUT TOGETHER MY GUY! At least make sure your outfit is crisp and well thought out when visiting the family household.
Since the turtleneck is making a comeback, it’s only right to wear one, throw on some nice casual slacks, and a pair of casual shoes like Cole Haan Lunargrand chukkas or Clark’s desert boots. A peacoat or a trench coat is always a good look during the fall and winter no matter the occasion. Here are a couple of outfits that I’d wear if I wanted to make a good first impression to her family.
- “Protect Her.” Turtleneck – DSE Detroit IG
- J. Crew Men’s 484 Stretch Chinos
- Clark’s Desert Boots
- Ralph Lauren – Denim & Supply Peacoat
- Zara Basic Scarf
- Zara Basic Turtleneck
- Zara “Carrot-Fit” Suit Pants
- Cole Haan Lunargrand Chukkas
If you’re bold and want to wear a turtleneck that says “Protect Her.” on it, you may impress the family or they may want to rip your face off. Wear it at your own risk! But sure you look good. But did you brush your hair or get a haircut? Did you bring breath mints and chapstick? Did you at least motion or ask take off your shoes before coming in the house? How firm were your handshakes and how good were your hugs? Did you laugh at all of the corny jokes that her aunts and mothers made? Did you answer everyone’s questions? How close did you sit next to her on the couch? This last one is huge because you know that someone is going to sit next to you and initiate conversation. Always be prepared for spontaneous conversations.
Families smell fear. They’re like sharks when blood is in the water. Don’t be bleeding in the water people. The good thing is that the family must accommodate you as the guest and accept you as the person that your girl, or man, has chosen to be with. Think before you speak, practice good hygiene, be confident, look good and you should be fine. They’ll start calling you their favorite new in-law and ask your bae where you’re at in no time!
Good luck to all of those meeting the family this Turkey Day and stuff your faces! God Bless.
24. The Kobe Year. Man what can I say about the last 365 days other than these might have been the most exciting and tumultuous 365 consecutive days that I can remember. Many people that know me love to tell me that I am dramatic and exaggerate issues out of proportion, but always be able to poke fun at my situations no matter how big or small my issues appear to be at the time. I was always able to face my issues without having to ask for help from anyone. I wasn’t raised to ask for help but to maintain a level of autonomy and keep my issues very mum and out of the spotlight. 2017 was the year where I discovered that it is okay to not always feel like you can do it all by yourself. When the world seemed to be crushing me with no end in sight, God and my network of family and friends helped save me. They gave me sound advice, helped open my eyes, and humbled me. I made it a priority to remain as confident and sure of myself no matter what great or absolutely terrible things came my way.
I believe that I matured faster in year 24 than any other year to date, while boasting an even higher exuberant confidence than even what I’m used to. All of my failures ended up contributing to many more wins and has gotten me to see 25. Without year 24, I would have never began this journey of blogging. Sure it’s hard. Sure it’s time consuming and I will go through trial and error even when I believe that my blog is well established as I speak my success into existence. Nevertheless gaining a higher sense of self-confidence allowed me to share more of myself with all of you and the rest of the world as I grow alongside my blog. Year 24 helped me leap forward in my professionalism, take leaps forward in my musical talent, FINALLY get my license, be even more indifferent and unafraid of what people think of how I carry myself, and appreciate where I am in the moment. Sure I’m not where I want to be, but who is? It’s going to take a lot of work to get where I want and I haven’t been stopped yet.
My favorite part of being a 24 year old was that you couldn’t tell me anything. I did what I wanted… mostly… I still have parents and I have to go make money after all! But I dressed how I wanted, got my nose pierced, got hoop earrings, dyed my hair, and bought clothes that people wouldn’t dare to wear. I didn’t care. If I listened to those who told me “No, don’t do that”, I would never be my own person. As I enter into my prime, people aren’t going to dictate the decisions that I make. I’m my own person. I’ll out carve my own path and dare to be different, God willing of course.
Now about the pictures since you all care about that the most, obviously! These pictures were taken by my friend, and Mr. GQ himself, Jeff Grand. We’ve been meaning to collaborate for a minute and we FINALLY got the chance to do so earlier in November. In Massachusetts, there is a large quarry in Quincy that’s been plastered with dope graffiti that highlights the idiosyncratic vision of those responsible. It’s loud, artsy, and exactly the type of vibe that made our brief photo shoot work. Off of this one shoot I have had with Jeff, he might be one of the best photographers I know personally and you all should DEFINITELY work with him for your shoots, along with anyone else I’ve ever mentioned, worked, or will work with in the future. I don’t put people on with bums so you all will be taken care of! For this shoot I wore the following:
- Vintage College Letterman Sweater (possibly a Michigan sweater, who knows!?) from the thrift store Bobby’s from Boston
- Denim Button-Down from Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Co.
- Tapered Chinos from J. Crew
- Comme des Garçons Chuck Taylors from Barney’s New York
If you all are wondering, yes these lit ass pants have lighthouses on them, hardly a coincidence *dark moon face emoji*. This shoot only just help continue that thirst to get back into taking pictures and consider modeling as a side hustle because I never know what could come about doing it! I leave 24 being a better friend, a better family member, a better supporter, a more determined blogger, a better musician, a hungrier professional, a smarter man, a prouder Caribbean, and a slightly more seasoned adult, yet still the same Dev. Here’s to me not falling into a quarter life crisis. Here’s to being 25.
Until the next post! Later…
Last month when the weather was absurdly warm in Boston, a few of us gathered together to take a few photos to relish in good vibes, wine, pizza, and laughter during a warm Sunday afternoon. I used this as an opportunity to wear this dope sweater that my friend Quontay, more commonly known as Q, created and sold at the Dudley Black Market located near Dudley Station, which you all should TOTALLY go and check out if you live in Boston. Q is the owner of Q Made It. She, as well as other vendors with quality products gather at this establishment, looking to build their brands, as well as assist in building and creating wealth within communities of color. I had visited Dudley Black Market in order to support Q and buy one of her sweaters, which has amazing quality and fits perfectly on my skinny self. You all should definitely support her business, as well as the Black Market. I’ll have links for both businesses at the end.
Going back to this sweater that I wore, I loved how it said “For the Culture” in an exuberant font and I needed a new go-to grey sweater with the weather beginning to cool down. The gold crown was just an added touch that made me commit to buying the sweater in the first place. When I bought the sweater and looked at the phrase, I thought that I definitely embody what it means to be “For the Culture” in the way that I carry myself and present myself to others. But honestly, what does “For the Culture” really mean? Is it a subjective notion that no one really has a definite answer for? Does it have to do with music? With your fashion sense? With how many times you can watch movies like “Paid in Full” or “Love and Basketball” and quote every single line as if you were going to be tested for a final exam? Having such a large range of what “For the Culture” really means, there is a chance that one can be ostracized for not listening to certain music from artists, not knowing certain “black movies” that we all watched growing up, having a different sense of fashion from the rest of what everyone wears. The list goes on and on.
Like for example, if you were to ask me to quote my favorite Drake song, I wouldn’t be able to tell because I don’t really listen to Drake. Does that mean my “black card” is revoked and that I’m not for the culture? Certainly not. I just like different things from other people. It’s okay to be DIFFERENT *Nick Fraser voice*. I got to thinking what “For the Culture” means to me and here’s what I came up with.
Being for the culture looks means that you’re someone who wants to see black people win, that you offer up relentless support for black folk who haven’t been able to win or be well supported since the inception of this country. Support can be divvied up in a plethora of ways and doesn’t have to look exactly like how someone else shows their support. You can support black business, show up to the shows of your creative friends who are looking to take their craft seriously, understand the deep-rooted issues of inequality that has disproportionately plagued us in the United States for centuries, standing up against racism and prejudice, serving communities of color that greatly need help. It is important to note that there are arbitrary caveats when it comes to being for the culture for someone who isn’t black. You’re careful not to offend anyway in your support or interactions with black people since a lot can be misconstrued for disrespect or prejudice. Nevertheless those who consider themselves to be allies for the culture should be supported as well because unfortunately, they can face scrutiny for wanting to see black people win.
Think of what “For the Culture” means to you. You may find it worthwhile to assess what you think it means for yourself and if your network of family and friends agree, or disagree with you. These photos were taken by my talented cousin Dominique! I’ll link her photography pages down below. Brief shoutout to Séanne for gather all of those involved in the shoot, as well as friend and high school classmate Bryanna. She appears in one of these photos. More photos from this shoot will come in a later post.
Until the next post, Keep Calm, and be “For the Culture!”
YERRRRRRRR, what it do y’all!? It’s been a minute since my last post. Writer’s block can be a son of a mother… if you know what I mean.
5 years ago, I started taking a venture into modeling for fun. Take a look at my previous post if you’re curious about how I got started off as “Model Dev”. It was in May of 2012 that I had met one of my closest friends pictured in some of these photos, Nadia Gomes, for the first time in person. Our friend and photographer extraordinaire affectionately known as Chelly Dee was the mastermind in bringing this initial Brownstones shoot together. We had no idea what to expect, but we quickly found out that we were really photogenic and were perfect subjects for Chelly’s start into photography. The shoot was such a personal favorite of Chelly’s that she thought to bring Nadia and myself back together for a 5 year “reunion” of sorts, while I also used this opportunity as an excuse for me to wear these really weird pants. This post is comprised of a few of the photos we took and to compare them to others from 5 years ago. Y’all can witness the glo-up for yourselves!
Really the only difference is I grew a beard… I guess it’s true that black don’t crack
But in all seriousness, I enjoy taking pictures and I hope you all will enjoy them just as much as Nadia, Chelly and I did in taking them. Links to Chellypic and the Brownstones shoots are provided below. Until next time..
For those who have known me since high school, I wasn’t always the confident individual you guys see in real life or on social media. I had my insecurities that I was too afraid to address. A lot of people didn’t know because I would just hide a lot of it so well but there were a few clues that brought my lack of confidence to light. I would never look at people in the eyes consistently when I’d speak. I was afraid to try out new things. I wouldn’t always walk with my head held high or my straighten my shoulders and walk around with a boisterous bravado like I wasn’t afraid to do anything. I’m sure many of you reading can empathize with me and had insecurities of your own when you were younger. It wasn’t until Spring 2011 that I decided to be involved in two of my high school’s fashion events as a senior. Stepping out of familiar territory and walking on a runway where hundreds of eyes were watching, with some hoping for a slip-up or for some to fall, was nerve-wracking. Yet I did it. I felt my aplomb being fortified. And I had fun doing it!
I continued this newfound self-confidence into college and started to do more local fashion shows at school and in the city of Boston. I started doing photoshoot for photographers and for friends looking to create new projects. I continually improved on my style of dress. I improved on taking better care of myself in all avenues of my life. And the first instance of modeling in high school has caused me to become the person most of you guys fondly refer to as “Dev.” Unfortunately I decided to step away from doing this consistently a couple of years ago because I wanted to focus my attention on other areas of my life such as refining my craft as a drummer and finishing my last year and a half of college. Even though I have got a bunch of ambitions lined up over the next several years, I’ve got the time to utilize the right side of my brain more and develop my creative and extracurricular interests. One of these is returning to modeling! I’ve been bugged about it for the last year or so to start considering it more than just a hobby. “Dev! Why don’t you model?” “Dev, give it a try again.” “Dev, you’d be a natural at doing this.”
Hell, why shouldn’t I do it?
Sure I’m not above 6 feet tall, but disadvantages never stopped other people from being great in life. So why should I let my disadvantages stop me? With confidence, a unique swagger, and a little bit of networking, this could become more than just a personal hobby. It could help lead me to new opportunities that even I hadn’t envisioned for myself.
Friday August 5th, 2017 was the day I decided to start considering modeling again as another one of my creative interests. I had the pleasure of working with Boston fashion designer Sharisse Rawlins, Kyaunna, the owner and main photographer of K Fresh Photography, Alex Fort, who handled the video production, and a multitude of other models in Rawlins’ photo project “Unapologetic.” This project was done in order to highlight the rage of millions of Black Americans outraged at the senseless killings of unarmed black bodies by the hands of police officers, as well as the anger towards those who continue to remain silent and ignorant of these events. Rawlins utilized pieces from her clothing line for all of us to wear at a reservation quarry in Quincy, MA. The vibe was great and I felt that urge to start modeling again. Watch out. Model Dev is coming back!
Head to the links below to see the work of all three individuals responsible for the facilitation of this project, as well as the photoshoot itself. A video production of the project will be released soon.
Photo Credit goes to K Fresh Photography.