Commendations for Pittsburgh Winners by Alex Young

Familiarize yourself with those up for Commendation here. See who won the Commendation polls for best of Pittsburgh above or below.

Familiarize yourself with those up for Commendation here. See who won the Commendation polls for best of Pittsburgh above or below.

Commendations show appreciation for the productive and progressive communities in Pittsburgh.

Specifically, these Commendations acknowledge people in the 'Burgh who produced consistent content and who was worth recognizing in particular lifestyles such as art, music, or products for the 2017 calendar year.

We received 26,922 total Commendation votes by InTheRough readers. The polls closed on January 2, 2018. However, many more votes were submitted up until the Review Party for Commendations on January 12, 2018. See where the best of the 'Burgh finished in the polls.

The nominees for Commendations were selected based upon the articles about Pittsburgh life that featured on InTheRough. Known achievements, creations, and events determined nominees too. Winners had the highest vote total shown in parentheses.

While the nominees and winners of the Commendations receive praise from, those who attended the Review Party at Senseless on January 12 also received a physical award. Geechi P attended the event to receive his Most Stylish Commendation. Art Like Us walked away with the "Teenie" Award for Best photographer, and the Lokal Foreners accepted the award for Best Music Artist on behalf of the late Yung Mulatto. Additionally, DJ Femi braved the severe ice storm and proudly took home Best DJ. By the time the Review Party had ended, Senseless placed their Commendation for Best Shop on their top shelf. It was fitting to have Art Like Us photograph pieces of the night after his second ‘best photographer’ award for 2017.

Ultimately, understand that ITR still grows and works to push an honest commentary about an authentic scene. The Commendations for peoples' best work of 2017 represent research and appreciation of contemporary culture in Pittsburgh. There's always more to learn from the communities in the Steel City and elsewhere, so 2018 is about broadening our horizons and exposing a new cast of heroes. It matters to be thorough and accept all feedback to improve the 2018 Commendations.

Familiarize yourself with those up for Commendation here. See who won the Commendation polls for best of Pittsburgh above or below.

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Stillers Post Season 02 by Maxwell Young

Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

The third Stillers collection, Post Season 02, is now available.

The motivation and anticipation surrounding the Stillers' playoff hunt is palpable as we ready ourselves for number seven.  We're fighting for our football family and brethren this year, playing in the spirit of Mr. Rooney and in the strength of Ryan Shazier.  

Playoff demons stemming all the way back from 2002, and made painstakingly fresh thanks to Week 15's heartbreaker at Heinz Field, will be exorcised in Foxborough, Ma.--20 years since the last time the Stillers were able to knock the Patriots out of championship contention.  We will get seven before they get six.


'SteelSpeed' is inspired by the change of focus and precision that occurs in January and February.  We're no strangers to playoff football--it is expected--but the pulse of the locker room becomes elevated and the roar of Stillers Nation becomes much louder on the stairway to seven.  We have kicked into hyper-drive.

Post Season 02 is a collection of sweatshirts and sweatpants designed and screen-printed by InTheRough staff.  Green sweats and the re-purposed 'Eye' logo made popular by our 'Enjoy the Goods' t-shirts solidify the collaboration between Stillers and InTheRough, for they are one and the same.  Post Season 02 would not be possible without Quaishawn Whitlock, the technician and artist behind the atelier--Artist Image Resource Inc.  Thank you also to Justin Berk, Lanie Edwards, Alex Hersh, JR Walker, and Alex Young.

Stillers sweats are available for purchase individually or as a set here.  May they bring good fortune in this year's hunt for a seventh Super Bowl title.

Stillers bend, they don't break.

Review Party for Commendations by Alex Young

Press Party for the progressive and youth people of Pittsburgh

Review Party Photos via Rieko Copeland and Charles "Teenie" Harris

Review Party Photos via Rieko Copeland and Charles "Teenie" Harris

InTheRough writes to cover news stories regarding lifestyles like apparel and music. Topics include culture so the ITR articles speak to more than just art and creativity. Life is in the text, and all that life hits the pavement on January 12, 2018.

At Senseless's spacious showroom, InTheRough, along with Jenesis Magazine, will Commend a community of people in Pittsburgh who move and shake, create and incubate. The Review Party for Commendations 2017 celebrates the energetic, different, and young voices of the city with drinks and new music you have fun with (sample the crazy playlist below for a taste of who we play). Allow the party and Commendations to stand for a culture based on fair representation and an enjoyment of creations and practicality.

5124 Penn Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

10 p.m. - 2 a.m.

free entry | drinks provided

DIY Arts Scene, Uptown Art House on NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show by Maxwell Young

Uptown Art House founder Jamal Gray joins The Kojo Nnamdi Show. 

Photograph by Mark Williams Hoelscher

Photograph by Mark Williams Hoelscher

In the arts community, DIY ('Do-It-Yourself') spaces are integral to the prosperity of the artists and sustainability of the collective conscious. Homes, warehouses, breweries and repurposed restaurants along with their dedicated collectives support the advancement of creatives and organizations in the spheres of activism, art, and music.  These aren’t new refuges.  There was Club 57 in New York City--a haven for Keith Haring and other starving underground artists.  And we can't forget about Warhol's Factory either; the scene was just higher profile given the benefactor. These cultural hubs where people appreciate art and music, uninhibited by society’s parameters are alternatives to the traditional gallery spaces and concert halls where consumerism, popular/mainstream culture, and big business take precedent.

On Tuesday, musician Janel Leppin, Arts Editor of the Washington City Paper Matt Cohen, and Jamal Gray, founder of Uptown Art House joined The Kojo Nnamdi Show on NPR to discuss the DIY arts scene in Washington, D.C.

The independent arts scene in the nation’s capital has been nurtured by DIY venues including Rhizome, Paperhaus, Electric Maid--a legendary punk rock venue--Uptown Art House, and many others.  The problem due to gentrification and rising rent prices, though is that these venues struggle to stay open for a sustained period of time.  You may have heard of, or better yet, been to Art Under Pressure, Bohemian Caverns or Union Arts where District culture flourished.  Unfortunately, however, these historic landmarks no longer exist--extinguished for swanky redevelopment projects.

Listen to the perspectives of Janel, Matt, and Jamal as they speak with Kojo about the impact of the DIY community preserving Washington's heritage, and how it’s changing nationally.

Hot Takes

+  "Art spaces reflect whatever we're going through at the time." -Jamal Gray

+ "Money is speaking louder than art in D.C." -Matt Cohen

+ "DIY is about cultivating and incubating artists to be able to take their work to the next level." -Jamal Gray

+ "If we could have some sort of rent stabilization, so we could have a place that stays put for more than five years..." -Janel Leppin


Still Saaling by Alex Young

Miles Saal September 17, 1996 - November 30, 2017

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Miles Saal created a family in Pittsburgh. "He was Pittsburgh's biggest supporter, and he wasn't even from here," Ian Welch said. Miles made the youth and creative scenes in the city tighter by connecting people with different people. Miles gave love and respect to everybody because that's what humanity deserves. "He saw something in ourselves and brought it out of all of us to make the scene great," Welch said.

Miles was selfless. All of the work he shared under his Yung Mulatto pen name proves how selfless he was. "He had his fingers on everything," Cap Jazzo said. He doodled so many of the talented artists in the 'Burgh who do cool and progressive things. Literally, Miles drew all the people he knew who made music in the city and drew them on coffee sleeves. He detailed community in his zine, Pittsburgh Hip Hop Vol 1, and with all the work he did in album art and the beat production with musicians like Akono Miles, blackboi, Benji, Mars Jackson, and so many more. The music mix he helped Reviving Real create was so thorough in capturing the city's hip-hop scene. "Miles had taste," Noah McDonald said. When I think about his work, I see how he wanted us to relate to one another.

He saw something in ourselves and brought it out of us to make the scene great.

No one gave more support to this community than Miles and he wasn't even a Pittsburgh native. A New York-born and Jacksonville raised person had to teach us something about our own city, that we discriminate the support we give to each other. We pick and choose where, when, and who we want to support like everyone's hard work doesn't deserve that. The saddest part is now we'll all wake up and unite even more in the way Miles was showing us all this time, but he won't be here to feel that gratification knowing he gathered us together and we won't be able to hug him to thank him for it.

Find solace in everything he left behind because that is Miles' legacy. It will be a pleasure to see his creations live on as they do now, and more of the work he produced before he died. Miles gets credit for so much now and more in the future because, without his links to relationships, we'd still be stuck unwilling to leave our own worlds and adventure in someone else's.

Tune in: Nappy Nappa Live on Adult Swim by Maxwell Young

Tune in 10pm

Tune in 10pm

During the 1970s, the District of Columbia proudly bore the moniker "Chocolate City" as it was the first majority black city in America.  With respect and admiration, Southeast rapper Nappy Nappa looks like he's coming straight out of the Chuck Brown Go-go.  He's been spotted wearing his trusty, white Nike Blazers, Kangol hats, berets, zipped up (or down) track jackets, and most confidently, bell bottom pants at the local scenes like Uptown Art House and Backbar.

Nappy Nappa boasts credits including The Washington Post and The Fader, as well as featuring in ITR's 'Sounds of D.C.' playlist.  This evening he adds another, performing on Adult Swim's Bloodfeast live stream, a daily show "exploring the mind through perspectives on art, sexuality, psychology, spirituality, and relationships."

Nappy Nappa stopped by 'Rough' for a brief performance. Photographs by Maxwell Young

Nappa's 30 to 45-minute set begins at 10pm and is being broadcast from Atlanta.  Fans of the "rawdog" can view the show by downloading the app here.

Rapping, "I done spilled mumbo sauce on my 993s in the CFP/Dawg, I'm too D.C./Said I'm too D.C," there's no telling what homegrown aesthetic Nappy Nappa debuts for the internet.  Tune in and support the national push.  

Watch This Cool Skateboarding Video Part by Rage Club by Alex Young

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"Welcome to the Club" by Cleveland based clothing company Rage Club at its core is an entertaining video with parts of skateboarding. It's much more though because the skaters' antics and dedication to hitting tricks, paired with the crazy tracklist that DJ TOPGUN lined up is hype. The footage by Thomas Netkowicz shows the Club skaters in California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania skating city-scape terrain.

Authentic youth and skate culture stack up here. The kids aren't wearing Thrasher Magazine shirts for nothing. Zay Jones tries to jump a 21-step staircase six times. He keeps injuring himself and keeps going, "legendary." There's crazy, painful looking fails throughout "Welcome to the Club," but credit the degree of tricks. Everything is tight when the beats drop and skaters like Cris Lesh, Kevin Perez, Jalen Willis, and more land tricks. TOPGUN, the creator of Rage Club, features in the part along with pieces of Club clothing, such as a long-sleeve, hat, and "FDT" shirt.

Photo by @_philms

Photo by @_philms

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Additionally, the entire project has relevance in Pittsburgh because the video has parts filmed in the city and it debuted at One Up Skate Shop on East Carson Street last Saturday, Nov. 4, and DJ TOPGUN is active in the 'Burgh's hip-hop scene. He's brought Cleveland artists, like Shawn K, to rock out here in the 412. Rapper Choo Jackson attended the "Welcome to the Club" debut.

Watch and follow the Club. Tracklist at 16:03.