Jenesis Magazine Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Party and Hennessy by Alex Young

Jenesis Magazine covers

Jenesis Magazine covers

Jenesis Magazine, Pittsburgh's "word up" publication, will celebrate their 10th anniversary on April 1.

"How many people do you know have done something good for 10 years?" Thomas Agnew, Jenesis' publisher and managing editor, said to his Instagram story.

Encouraging a community is the fruit of Jenesis' thorough work. The magazine's commentary has supported many different artists across the country. Jenesis was present to document the ascension of Pittsburgh legends like Mac Miller, Girl Talk, and Wiz Khalifa. Agnew's curiosities, as well as those of the interviewers and photographers who have contributed to Jenesis, have generated conversations and imagery about heroes like rappers Smoke DZA, ScHoolboy Q, and photographer Cam Kirk.

Dive into years of feature articles, interview clips, and day-in-the-life videos on Covet the print editions with iconic covers-- Wiz December 2009, "Deal Or No Deal."

Thomas Agnew signed copy of Issue 56 with Smoke DZA & vibe pin

Thomas Agnew signed copy of Issue 56 with Smoke DZA & vibe pin

10 years of documenting creative human life deserves a thank you. Jenesis has placed the spotlight on a lot of people by giving them words, stages to perform, and wall space to display. Boom Concepts, an event space under Jenesis and D.S. Kinsel's umbrella, hosts progress-makers and problem-solvers. Events like the Women's Focus Group Forum and the magazine's content detail progress-makers and problem-solvers.

Agnew and his team are Pittsburgh historians who have seen the city grow and nurture ambitious individuals, such as local business owners like Daniel Childs of Chromos Eyewear or rising musicians Choo Jackson and Tairey.

So when Jenesis Magazine celebrates their 10th anniversary on Saturday, a lot of people should attend their party at Boom Concepts. Not showing up is like not attending your grandma's 100th birthday party. People should want to express their gratitude for Jenesis taking responsibility to appreciate other artists' work and showcasing it to larger audiences.

The anniversary party kicks off at 10 p.m., and DJs iB Rease of Ohio and Wave Matthews of New York will offer hip-hop selections. Free Hennessy, a staple at Boom, spills from 11:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.

Show up for Jenesis, support their culture.

Boom Concepts

5139 Penn Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Sense the Culture at Senseless by Alex Young

Rome and Javed of Senseless - photograph by Alex Young

Rome and Javed of Senseless - photograph by Alex Young

"It's a barbershop vibe," Javed said of his Pittsburgh-based clothing store, Senseless. He owns and operates Senseless with his equal, younger brother Rome. An attention to community adds to the store's curated shopping experience.

The last time I was at Senseless, Linwood, a local hip-hop artist, stopped in with his crew to chop it up with Javed, who is also a figure in the 'Burgh's rap community. Moments later, Rome's Tidal music account displayed on the TV in the back of the shop next to Kermit the Frog's Supreme portrait, ill beats from Kendrick Lamar's new "The Heart Part 4" played to fresh ears. We talked about Kendrick sending shots at Drake, stopping the Canadian's momentum.

Senseless' atmosphere works for streetwear consumers and as a spot to hang out with people who can relate to each other. "People like us, people that respect things," Javed said.

Shelf at Senseless

Shelf at Senseless

Additionally, vintage apparel and premium brands, like Guess, Jordan, and Supreme, attract informed shoppers. Casual run-ins with creative modern mavericks, shop talk about sub-culture heroes like vintage wear miners Round Two, and overall appreciation for popular media and entertainment makes Senseless a destination for youth in the Steel City.

Taste with clothes and taste with music go hand in hand. Pop culture, bro.
— Javed

Natives of the Hill District, 22-year-old Javed and 20-year-old Rome began pushing their stylish tastes with sneakers. Throughout their teenage years, they sold retro Jordans on eBay and Instagram. Their online inventory made Javed and Rome relevant clothing vendors, and their interests in hip-hop from the '90s and early 2000s made their clothing selection much more refined.

The brothers had the idea for a brick and mortar store in the late spring of 2016. Authenticity features as Senseless' best asset to complement their clothing collection.

"We aren't in it to make money. We are just trying to change the culture and bring something different to Pittsburgh," Rome said. "That money shit is going to come and go. We want the connections, knowing people around the city," Javed continued.

People who frequent or follow Senseless become familiar with a local network of like-minded people. Javed introduced me to some members of his Serene rap collective when songs from Retrorosser and Jet hit in the background during our initial interview. The store's Instagram account features various photos of proud buyers of hip clothing. The photos clearly identify Senseless' youthful target market.

"You gotta understand the market and create a melting pot for other artists," Javed said.

Another way how Senseless capitalizes off the young market is with their prices. "If you don't shop with us you don't have any sense," Javed said. "No store in the city can beat our prices for what we offer." Don't be senseless and buy thousand dollar Yeezys from other consignment stores in the 'Burgh when you could get them from Senseless for a few hundred. "We don't want to play with anybody's money," Rome said.

While Javed and Rome conduct smart business sense, they are role models for young black minds in the city because they prove to individuals that "we can own shit," Javed said. By owning their own business, they advance the mindsets of "normal niggas our age who come through the store and just think we work here."                  

Although the boys find a sustainable business at their North Side location, they are looking to move the Senseless storefront to areas like Downtown, East Liberty, or the South Side. They want to attract larger foot traffic and have a larger space to host events that would complement the future Senseless Records.

For now, Javed and Rome can hang their hats on creating an atmosphere that connects people with real appreciations for popular culture. "Everybody looking for Senseless," Javed said.


901 Western Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15233



Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Vibes x Spring Break by Alex Young

Ashley Graham - photograph by Miss Chelsee

Ashley Graham - photograph by Miss Chelsee

“First off… VIBES!”

Previous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Ashley Graham made it very clear what was most essential at S.I.'s Swimsuit Vibes event that took place in Houston, TX on February 17 and 18 at Post HTX, which was also the venue for art and music festival Day For Night.

And indeed, Vibes were at an all time high.

With nearly 1 in 4 Houstonians born abroad, Clutch City is known for not only Bé and DJ Screw, but also for great international heritage.

Houston's international qualities made it an obvious choice to host this year’s S.I. Swimsuit Vibes, an event that showcased chefs and a S.I. Swimsuit Rookie Class that showed us how beauty can truly be found all over the world.

The S.I. Swimsuit 2017 Rookie Class, which consists of 7 models, represents 6 countries:

Bianca Balti (Italy)

Kelly Gale (Sweden/Australia)

Lais Ribeiro (Brasil)

Mia Kang (Hong Kong)

Vita Sidorkina (Russia)

For many of the models it was their first trip to Space City, so they certainly enjoyed the sensational hospitality.

Time Inc. teamed up with DIRECTV™ NOW, Edge, Lexus and Smirnoff and VisitHouston, to bring attendees an array of free and ticketed events. Free autograph sessions featuring the S.I. Swimsuit models, and live culinary art demonstrations hosted by Cruising Kitchens and some of Clutch City’s finest restaurants were accompanied with two Red Carpet events with shows from performers, like Miguel and Diplo. Also, Houston has over 8,000 restaurants and 24,000 chefs. #UltraHighResolution chef, Johnny Bling was in attendance chewing on the other carats you floss.

Miguel at S.I. Swimsuit Vibes - photograph by Miss Chelsee

Miguel at S.I. Swimsuit Vibes - photograph by Miss Chelsee

Since Spring Break is here, we urge you to eat swell while indulging in #openbarhenny on those white and blue ocean sands. Buttery avocados and lime squeeze on your ceviche is only what’s best for your ‘Sol’…I prefer caipirinha’s myself. If you prefer Mallorca or Mykonos as your destination of choice, try this Vegan recipe for your aguacate. Remember to show how you truly #LoveYourSwimsuit that you spent countless hours shopping for online. It looks amazing by the way.

Special thanks to the staff at Rogers and Cowan for their help and engagement as a liaison to the ITR staff!

Aris Tatalovich's Moment as a Fresh Phenom and Designer by Alex Young

Donovan Green wearing Aris Tatalovich - photograph by Julian Ranallo

Donovan Green wearing Aris Tatalovich - photograph by Julian Ranallo

Fashion, in the name of progress, offbeat-cool, and community, works and inspires many in Pittsburgh's creative sub-cultures. People like Makayla Wray and John Geiger have stretched their talents beyond the 'burgh's city limits to find footholds in the fashion industry as skilled designers of ready to wear garments.

Aris Tatalovich, an 18-year-old native of Beaver County, Pa., is next to prime himself and his eponymous fashion label for authentic creative audiences worldwide.

Attending the YEEZY Season 5 casting call for New York Fashion Week, styling young rappers like Famous Dex and Kodie Shane, and sitting on the radar of youth icon Ian Connor, Aris is having a moment as a fresh phenom and designer.

Focused on his outputs, Aris has created a spring/summer range, and he has begun pre-orders for his "Missing Pieces" backpack collaboration with Malachai Spivey of New York. The designs and the people who influence the presentation of Aris' designs are impressions of the now youth culture that fuels contemporary media.

For instance, Pittsburgh artists Donovan Green, Julian Ranallo, and Kobe Swank model or photograph the pieces in a way that localizes the current styles that Aris plays on.

The lookbook for Aris' spring/summer collection highlights two-tone green and yellow slacks, knives and compact duffle bags with utility straps, the straps being a concept that carries over to the "Missing Pieces" backpacks with Malachai.

Upon the release of Aris' projects, it would be special to see him become a more relevant figure in popular fashion and lifestyle.

Changing Pace in Atlanta by Alex Young

Lyon - photograph by Alex Young

Lyon - photograph by Alex Young

"Atlanta, the city of the trap." 'Trap' references drug trafficking and a sub-genre of hip-hop.

Lyon a 23-year-old Atlanta native, and musician describes the city to me this way because he represents one of the alternate sounds that resonates from the A's music community. Lyon's rap is intentional poetry that offers soul and a change of pace to a city where there is more to talk about than fast drug lifestyles and strippers.

Listen, though, there is a sexy and luxurious coolness to urban life in the Southern city. When you hear and watch "Bad and Boujee" by Migos, a rap group from Gwinnett county north of Atlanta, understand new money is in the hands of thousands of people who worked hard to establish their success. Childish Gambino's hit show "Atlanta" theatrically displays the vibrancy and regularity of the city's cultures.

Still, Lyon is not sold on the glamor. He describes Atlanta's progressivity as "bittersweet" because black excellence runs rampant and so does the disenfranchisement of Atlanta's black people. Issues like gentrification take advantage of black people and have taken precedence since the construction of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

But, what makes Atlanta rich are the opportunities available to people of color. Black people encourage each other in Atlanta and the communities support a diverse group of inhabitants.

"It's a melting pot here now. You get different tastes from everywhere," Lyon says.

People are able to thrive and make Atlanta a place where both white people and people of color coexist fairly. Southern hospitality welcomes everybody and keeps the Georgia city humming.

Additionally, the rising success in Atlanta is an inspiration, and music is a definite area that ATLiens find success in.

Atlanta's musical heritage has roots in the church, Civil Rights movements, and the streets that run the clubs. ATLiens and Rappers Outkast, Gucci Mane, and T.I. speak to the different lifestyles that reflect through songs in hip-hop. Likewise Lyon represents the breadth of tastes amongst the new talents in the city.

Lyon's personification precedes him when we talk on a Sunday afternoon at Ponce City Market, an ex-department store built in 1926 that now functions with restaurants and commercial shops. I understand his style upon the previous discovery of Lyon's SoundCloud bio, "Just tryna bring soul back to the city," it reads. The stark contrast to tone that Lyon's rap presents against people trying to "turn the club up," as he says, creates a conversation.

Lyon at Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Lyon at Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Soul has affected Lyon all his life. If not for the drums in church or his involvement in the school band, Lyon says his mom is a big reason why warmth and musical instrumentation influences his music. She chose the stylings of George Benson, Al Green, and Marvin Sease to play for her son Brandon, who listeners and readers know as Lyon.  

However, in the city of the trap, it's been a challenge for Lyon to trust his soul in the rap scene.

"I was doing trap music for awhile. I was doing the whole auto-tune vibe, all of it," he says. "That was high school, though, early high school. People wanted me to do that. Friends would hear me play around on a beat and say, 'Yo record that!' It was bad."

Besides, mainstream media has a fascination for trap music and how it occurs in the Atlanta neighborhoods. The trap is a real lifestyle and occupation that disenfranchised people support to better their livelihood. Rappers from the trap make it cool. But, the exposé and promotion of the drugs and violence that coincide with the trap can be damaging to the reputation of African American culture. Atlanta rappers like Future or 21 Savage, as exciting as their music sounds, sensationalize gangster ways of shooting people, selling drugs, and counting stacks of money.

ITR: If you as an artist talk about doing drugs or gunning people down, how do you feel responsible for what happens in the communities?

Lyon: I feel responsible. Essentially, kids are supposed to idolize their parents. But that's not the way it is. We love celebrities. I'm not 'gonna tell a kid to go do something. You see what drug abuse has done to all of us and in black music period. Look at all the greats, we are strung out.

The narratives are "beating a dead horse" and shows like "Noisey Atlanta" by Vice Media distort the dynamic qualities to Atlanta as people's attention focuses on the trap.

"You're happy to see brothers doing anything besides kicking in someone's door," but drugs are "not all that's here," Lyon says.

While sober, Lyon urges other rappers to "think about what we could do with the power."

Though the scene is "turn up" now, Lyon has gained confidence knowing that more empathetic music styles find audiences too. He enjoyed seeing artists like "Raury come up" in Atlanta, and naturally Kid Cudi is a major influence on Lyon as well.

Currently, Lyon becomes relatable to publics through his music because he is not afraid to be himself. "Be weird. It's 2017 and it's OK to be weird," he says after referencing how he was the only one of his friends who rode skateboards.

Thoughtfully, Lyon's songs mean "life is bigger than us," he says. "I want it to be about the music, not me. I want the music to speak for itself [and] things people are afraid to embrace."

Since learning how to make beats in the fifth grade and starting rap in high school, "Paper Planes" sits as the only mixtape on Lyon's SoundCloud page. The song "Greenlights (+peerpressure)" means the most to him because it reflects upon his trying personal moments.

With entertaining and expressive lyrics, nostalgic and passionate scenes feature in Lyon's imaginative work.

So many coveted rhymers know that they lying to us. They dishonor their occupation, but, honestly, honesty wasn’t obligated from the jump. But, I ain’t mad at y’all because after all the whole generation was raised on Adderall and G.T.A. I wonder how many cheat codes I need to keep me safe. I wonder how many lost souls are ‘gonna see the day.
— Lyon in "Greenlights (+peerpressure)"

Cuts like "Fxckschxxl(rest.)" set expansive themes, and Lyon's tone challenges listeners to think beyond what society sets on our plates. He wants people to feel motivated beyond "school or your job," he says.

Ultimately, Lyon's next music output will be his debut project, which fans should look for later this year. He calls his 2015 "Paper Planes" tape rushed because he had lost his job at that time two years ago, and he will "put more time into the debut's production." His newer tracks like "Wake Up" supply groove to his affectionate words.

Despite the community's attention on the "turn up" trap music, Lyon hopes to find a niche to perform in front of. "The vibe is there," and areas in Atlanta like Little Five Points, Edgewood, Cabbagetown and Midtown could support his act. "Atlanta has always been supportive of the artists. People throw mixtapes through your window. We got that pull," he says.

Creatives Drink at Carnegie Museum of Art by Alex Young

Chancelor Humphrey and Cody Baker photograph by Ben Petchel

Chancelor Humphrey and Cody Baker photograph by Ben Petchel

There are many dynamic departments of life in Pittsburgh. As young residents of the area, Cody Baker and Chancelor Humphrey prove that "creative" pursuits are worth while entertainment for young people in the city.

Together, Baker and Humphrey brand themselves as Creatives Drink. Their company works to connect the best parts of Pittsburgh regarding people, businesses and alcohol in fun, ambitious environments. Creatives Drink 7 will happen Feb. 9 at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Along with credit for creating a welcoming atmosphere for Pittsburgh's progressive movers, Creatives Drink holds court because they cater to sponsors and relate to market publics drawing them to a central location. Bars, coffee shops and hotels are some of the places C.D. has ventured.

"From C.D. to C.D. I learn something new in every way. The biggest is finding out ways to benefit the sponsor more and more each time, while improving the attendee's experience," Baker says.

Attendees and those who know of Creatives Drink can see growth in the label through the organizations who support the events. Find automotive titan Audi, and others, as a sponsor of C.D. 7 and perhaps see the Audi A3 E-Tron with Creatives Drink text in six different languages on the car's hood. Give recognition to C.D. 7 for happening in the first contemporary art museum in the U.S.A. The Carnegie has done well at attracting Pittsburgh's contemporary community with functions like Boom Concept's silent disco and now with Creatives Drink.

Via @tehbakery Instagram story

Via @tehbakery Instagram story

Baker and Humphrey make strides in different sections of Pittsburgh to be sure their C.D. event represents the best of the city. 

“The most rewarding part of Creatives Drink is branching out to different neighborhoods and meeting new people from all over,” Baker says.

Join a contemporary Pittsburgh crowd in Oakland and enjoy the free experiences at C.D. 7 at the C.M.O.A. from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m tomorrow.

Carnegie Museum of Art

440 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Glow End Theory 003 by Maxwell Young

Between 1966 and 1967, Andy Warhol was the maestro of a series of multimedia shows called Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  The simultaneity of musical performances by The Velvet Underground and Nico, dance and theatrical choreography by the creative regulars of Warhol's Factory, and screenings of the Pittsburgh native's revealing films created a dynamic sensual environment new to performance art.  Glow End Theory, a series of events that empowers and shines a light on the women of color in the art/music scene around D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, is a contemporary version of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia experience. 

Founded by Jamal Gray, bandleader of DC's Nag Champa Art Ensemble, this past Thursday's Glow End Theory was organized by CMPVTR CLVB, a collective of creative acts who influence the DC and New York electronic music scenes through underground parties and shows.  Between the sixteen contributors of CMPVTR CLVB, like Robb Smokes who has done production for lineformation MILF and Quannumthrow who conducted the visual display for the night's event, there are a variety of creative identities expressed in the collective's individual performances. The third iteration of Glow End Theory, with sounds by DJ Little Bacon Bear, Jessicunt, Kryptk and Tomi Yeyo--also a member of CMPVTR CLVB--hit Black Cat on DC's 14th Street.  Meche Korrect, one of the performers from Glow End Theory 002, hosted the show as alem worldwide, Joy Postell, and Alex Vaughn shared songs from their recent projects too.

"The future is women," Vaughn said as she warmed up her vocals.

From the Women's March that unified 470,000 people in solidarity on the streets of  the U.S. capital to an event that catered to the creative expressions of African American women, we must respect and listen to the talents and voices from women's youth.

For a closer look at the female artists who have performed at Glow End Theory, follow their Facebook page or shoot them an email at to be included in their newsletter.  CMPVTR CLVB's website is also a place to explore the images and music of the collective's members.

Stay tuned for details on the next Glow End Theory.

Black Cat DC

1811 14th St. NW

Washington, DC 20009

Photograph by Maxwell Young

Photograph by Maxwell Young