Keep Pittsburgh Dope

Cool Things Happening in Pittsburgh (Vol. 3) by Alex Young

a piece of history - respect to late Mayor of Pittsburgh Bob O'Connor

a piece of history - respect to late Mayor of Pittsburgh Bob O'Connor

Youth and popular culture in the 'Burgh flourishes because the movers are extremely active in pushing their innovation, creativity, community, and business minds. With this, the responsible public creates masterpieces like events or products that residents and tourists can enjoy.

Basically, the following reports on cool things happening in Pittsburgh to look out for.


1. Uptown Florals 2.0 by Makayla Wray

Cheers to this design prodigy. Since releasing a couple custom Nike Air Force 1 back in 2015, Makayla Wray returns to her bread and butter. Wray's Uptown Florals 2.0 are extensions of her "Warhol Flower AF1" and "BLK AF1" projects, Nike's iconic sneaker decorated with flowers. Officially under the "MAW" label, Uptown Florals 2.0 appreciate Swoosh heritage, Wray's ability to craft premium leather goods (the flower petals on 2.0 are calfskin), and "my uproot from Pittsburgh to New York—parallel to the same path taken by Andy Warhol," she says.

Stylistically, Florals is great. Though Wray spends a lot of time in New York, the Pittsburgh native is back in the city often, and she linked with locals model Donovan Green and photographer Preslav for the shoe's visual presentation.

Only 50 pairs of the Uptown Florals 2.0 will be available on July 1 via www.makaylawray.com at 4:12 p.m. EST. [$280]

2. No Joke with Paizley

Do you want to dance? Come to No Joke and be turnt. Paizley, the DJ, will keep the bangers going. The first time I heard Paizley was a year ago at Finesse with EYEJAY. He threw down, and I left the event sweaty. You can have fun at No Joke because Paizley advertises it as "Trap, Rap & Whatever Else." It's lit.

To give yourself fuel for No Joke on Saturday, July 1 at Remedy in Lawrenceville, listen to Paizley's new mix called "Blue Collar" that celebrates the 'Burgh's underground rap and hip-hop culture. "To be something special in Pittsburgh means working non-stop on your own time and with little resources," he says.

Remedy

5121 Butler Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15201

3. Creatives Independence Collection

"Creatives" becomes a way-of-life in Pittsburgh. The brand and slogan honor the people behind great productions. The staple that Cody Baker and Chancelor Humphrey have established in their Creatives Drink party they now transfer into core Creatives garments. The Creatives Independence Collection includes two Champion mesh short colorways and three Champion T-shirt colorways. Each comes with an American embroidered flag. Creatives' range drops on July 4 at 11 a.m. EST and will be available for 24 hours at creativesdrink.com.

4. Summer Livin

Splash around. Enjoy summer. Summer Livin provides energy and feels with food and music at the Highland Park Pool on June 30 from 1-9 p.m. Songbird Sierra Sellers and hot rappers like James Perry, and Lokal Foreners, have performances.

If you miss the pool party, attend LiveFromTheCity's Sun Fest '17 on July 7 in partnership with the 1Hood Media and Boom Concepts collectives. Support a community clothing drive and music.

Highland Park Pool

151 Lake Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Boom Concepts

5139 Penn Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

5. Supa Jefe Tour with Kap-G and J.R. Donato at Spirit

Georgia spits out rappers like faucets spit out water. Up and comer Kap-G, the dude who moans "I just took a flick with your girlfriend," is the latest product from The Peach State and he comes to Pittsburgh on July 10. Some of the city's prime rappers like Calvin Portsworth, Pet Zebra, and Pk Delay open for Kap-G.

Spirit

242 51st Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15201

6. JAILBREAK Festival

jb.jpg
[The] intent is to create strength in numbers by bringing together the diverse groups in this city while having a banging good time doing it.

The theme and date of this event was inspired by Bastille Day, where a mob of over 1,000 people united and stormed the walls of the Bastille prison in Paris, sparking a turning point in the French Revolution.

May JAILBREAK start a massive movement in Pittsburgh that people cannot ignore, an annual festival that brings local talent and local consumers to a big party. Heavyweights Choo Jackson, Benji, Mikey P, Tairey, Slim Tha DJ, DJ Seams, DJ Topgun, and much more entertain the crowd. The underground's best will also be in attendance on July 15 at JAILBREAK. Acquaint yourself with BABYT33TH and 1Geno. Review the entire festival lineup and show up to JAILBREAK for the culture. 

7. InTheRough Features with Geechi P and Yung Mulatto

Here are Pittsburgh's fashion forefather and Pittsburgh hip-hop's creative director. Geechi P and Yung Mulatto respectively move in their own lanes while influencing their peers. Geechi's attention to high fashion and streetwear educates a Pittsburgh public who is behind the fashion curve. Mulatto collects production credits for rappers like Blackboi, and he is the visual connection between artists' image and their music. Both young men are key players in the 'Burgh's progressive society. Learn more about them soon under Life's Goods.

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

412-622-3131

Creatives Ale - A Beer for Every Street by Alex Young

The pair who throws free events with free alcoholic beverages takes the next step in their curated experience. Chancelor Humphrey and Cody Baker of Creatives Drink, the networking function doubled as a party, supply their own beer.

While the Creatives Drink series connects Pittsburgh's youthful generation with local businesses, especially distilleries, crafting their own liquor is a "no brainer expansion," Chance says in an interview on the latest episode of Drinking Partners podcast.

In collaboration with War Streets Brewery, opening soon on the Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh, Creatives Drink offers Creatives Ale. The special red ale is brewed and packaged in minimal quantities and aims to "introduce [the public] to local liquor and beer," Cody says in the podcast. The breweries, distilleries, and wineries that Creatives Drink will work with will handle the alcohol, but Chance and Cody will handle the marketing aspect. Creatives Label controls how people perceive what they drink.

Chance and Cody try to inspire people to do something of their own in addition to offering experiences and products that showcase the best of Pittsburgh.

"If you have an idea just follow the steps to do it," Chance says. "This idea for the Creatives Label is a huge leap in a new direction. Creatives Ale can be and probably will be in bars in three or four months," Cody says.

People can sip Creatives Ale at Creatives Drink 7 (T.B.A.) or at LOCAL on the Rocks, a cocktail competition, on October 6. Also, listen to episode 88 of Drinking Partners podcast with Chance and Cody where the CD duo spill details on their new branch of Creatives Drink, Voyage, which is a party on a yacht with upscale liquor like D'Usse.

War Streets Brewery

1416 Arch Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

 

 

Creatives Live in Pittsburgh by Alex Young

Chancelor Humphrey, Pete Butta, and Cody Baker photographed by  Natalie Coccia

Chancelor Humphrey, Pete Butta, and Cody Baker photographed by Natalie Coccia

The sun brightened Market Square, a plaza in Downtown, Pittsburgh with a variety of eateries, like the place that sells french fries on the sandwiches, legendary Primanti Bros. Corporate skyscrapers such as PPG Place, Tower at PNC Plaza, and the Highmark building surround the square.

People ate, conversed, and enjoyed the beautiful weather at metal tables along the rim of the square. Meanwhile, Cody Baker and Chancelor Humphrey's long strides carried them up Market Street past Market Street Grocery, through the center of the square, and to a table where myself and the two Pittsburgh advocates held a conversation.

The young men wear a contemporary style easily noticeable amongst Pittsburgh's blue-collar fashion. Both dressed in T-shirt and tailored jeans with smart footwear, Baker wore pure, white adidas ultra boost, and Humphrey sported black and white Asics.

Baker and Humphrey's movement together started two years ago when they met at Social Status, a sneaker and streetwear apparel boutique with locations in Pittsburgh's Downtown and East Liberty. They bonded over a love for visual art, photography specifically. Their lenses captured cityscapes, each other, friends, and locals.

To those who support and watch the duo, their actions are a feature film on Pittsburgh's creative community.

Baker's natural ability to create content around what he eats, what he drinks, and what he wears matches Humphrey's desire to photograph attitude, fashion, and life of Pittsburgh style.

Both their brands center around the arts and communal gatherings in the city. Before they met, each had a hand in the scene.

Baker worked at Studio A.M. as star painter Baron Batch's photographer. Also, when Baker first moved to Pittsburgh from Chippewa in Beaver County, Pa., he was employed in the restaurant industry. His opportunity there allowed him to handle social media and visual content for NOLA, Perlé, Poros, Seviche, and Sonoma, all restaurants in Downtown and Market Square. Baker has had galleries around town, like photo exhibition "NINELIVES" which shows humans positioned falling in various scenes set in the city.

Humphrey, originally from Aliquippa, Pa., began with a blog called Radio Chumps to document news in the close metropolitan area. When the project did not gain traction, and he took inspiration from a trip to New York, he shifted his focus to lifestyle photography on the streets of Pittsburgh. His company and Instagram called Keep Pittsburgh Dope showcases local people's businesses, clothes, and events.

You don’t need fifteen hundred followers to get 500 people in a space. You just have to have a good idea.

Now, as individuals and as a team Baker and Humphrey consistently bring many people of Pittsburgh together. They "hold events that inspire people to do something," Humphrey says.

At one point, it was not uncommon to hear somebody from the city say "there's never anything to do." However, young people currently take direct action to change this and give activities for people to do. 

When outsiders say Pittsburgh is a town of yinzers and jersey-wearing sports fanatics that irritates Baker. While the statement is true, there is more to the city, especially creatively. 

"The biggest thing is to do cool shit that will inspire other people to do their own cool shit," Baker says.

CD6 photographed by Alex Young - Illustration by  Lily Valour

CD6 photographed by Alex Young - Illustration by Lily Valour

A positively overwhelming response came when Baker and Humphrey cohesively launched their Creatives Drink series, "three hours of positive people, good music, and free drinks." More literally a party that connects and features the best parts of Pittsburgh from its businesses to its creatively driven residents.

"You don't need fifteen hundred followers to get 500 people in a space. You just have to have a good idea," Baker says. Although, he and Keep Pittsburgh Dope pull from strong followings on social media platforms. Baker swears by Snapchat. He makes a lot of Geofilters and viewers regularly see what he has for lunch. "I'm always in the restaurants... Pittsburgh food is amazing," he says as he sits surrounded by three of the five restaurants he is the social media manager for. Keep Pittsburgh Dope is ranked under "Pittsburgh's Best Instagram Accounts" by Pittsburgh Magazine, and his numerous posts are appealing.

Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, Baker and Humphrey utilize online networks to draw people into a unified space. This advertising skill reaches a diverse range of people, and it reflects in the event turnouts.

Baker hosts monthly the Market Street Block Party along with Market Street Grocery in Downtown. Creatives Drink tours around town to bars, coffee shops, hotels, and more. Nicknamed CD, CD5 was at an art museum called Mattress Factory located on the North Side.

The reason community members love Creatives Drink is because it supports local business and the events have representatives from ambitious and progressive audiences. "These venues are hungry for our generation. They are willing to work with us. They see it on social media, and they need to get in that realm because they need us," Humphrey says.

CD's perspective is welcoming and has an attractive model because the events are free

Having attended CD5, when CD6 opened at East Liberty's Ace Hotel on August 11, 2016, others and I were thrilled. Dancing to music, having a drink, linking with friends, meeting new people, and participating in local experiences are the reasons Creatives Drink is fun.

On a Thursday the event was held, room occupancy numbers became relevant. Inside the former Y.M.C.A. now known as Ace Hotel, Baker and Humphrey hosted Pittsburgh creatives in a 107-year old gymnasium with an occupancy written at 304. After the first hour of the event slated for 6-9 p.m., CD6 reached capacity. Throughout the night multiple hundreds of kids and adults filtered in and around Ace Hotel.

Line outside Ace Hotel for CD6

Line outside Ace Hotel for CD6

This event is the type where you want to check the tabloids to learn of the who's who doing the what's what that were there.

Art car painted by Baron Batch outside of CD6

Art car painted by Baron Batch outside of CD6

While outside taking pictures of the long line of people waiting for CD6 that extended through the gym doors, past the lobby, and onto the street, a blue and red-ish accented Porsche 996 Carrera 4S zoomed by. It was an art car painted by vaunted artist Baron Batch. Matthew DeSantis drives the car around Pittsburgh alerting people of the supercar community and his automotive event, Art and Exotics coming in late August. Rapper Mars Jackson arrived wearing a "Mars Knows" T-shirt designed by the owner of FarESH Brand, Ryan Brown, who also attended. The musician was not the only musical talent in the vicinity. Inside, DILLIS, a.k.a. Moth Boy and Cleveland import DJ Topgun were live. DJ Pete Butta played music all night setting the tone. The youthful crowd was most excited when he played "Antidote" by Travis Scott and "Beautiful morning, you're the sun in my morning babe," from Kanye West's song "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1." Radar picked up art curator Sean Beauford's presence. Advanced marketer Natalie Coccia, or "Nattles," was there to document and support her friends and beauty Athens lured eyes. Magician Lee Terbosic entertained the circle of people who watched his card tricks.

Sounds of a person flying an RC toy plane caught attention. Rather, a drone flew in the rafters of Ace Hotel's gym capturing a bird's-eye view of Creatives Drink 6. "This is a cool party," a guy named Aadam said as he gazed at the flying camera.

Both Baker and Humphrey provide settings where people can enjoy themselves. The best part though is that they bring the whole city out when they do. Baker and Humphrey plan to do more of the same on each Thursday to end August. They will host an Instagram meet-up with Verizon, Steel City Grammers, and more on Hotel Monaco's Downtown rooftop. Market Street Block Party will re-occur on August 25.

Creating their own gathering space for people is part of Baker and Humphrey's long-term vision. "We want to create a space where you can conduct an interview in, where you can have a meeting in, where you can come and work, and find inspiration in," Baker says. Plans are still coming together, but the venue will be dynamic and open a lot, so it is convenient.

"We are trying to build a new identity for Pittsburgh outside of sports. In the creative realm, we are a part of this wave, and we live in the perfect city where the market is not over saturated. 30 years from now we want our names stamped in Pittsburgh," Humphrey says.

From the pair, people learn to believe in their own ideas and have the confidence to present them to the public. The time is now.

[View ITR's photos from C.D. 6 at CreativesDrink.com.]

 

 

 

Drink for Free at Creatives Drink 6 by Alex Young

Cody Baker and Chancelor Humphrey (ends) of Creatives Drink with Lee Terbosic photographed by  Ben Petchel

Cody Baker and Chancelor Humphrey (ends) of Creatives Drink with Lee Terbosic photographed by Ben Petchel

"Leave your wallet at home," reads Instagram captions on Cody Baker and Keep Pittsburgh Dope's profiles as they advertise for their Creatives Drink event.

At Creatives Drink, held on August 11 at Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood, people can attend and drink for free.

"Millennials don't want to spend money. Free is a model to build exposure. It is a way for people to come to your event and then stay," Baker says.

Free has always been the case since Creatives Drink started back on June 25, 2015, at Downtown bar Howl At The Moon. Now in its sixth edition, the CD series is simply described as "three hours of positive people, good music, and free drinks."

Mainly, Creatives Drink is just as much a party as it is a networking event for like-minded individuals in Pittsburgh to connect and share their creative ambitions.

Local entities aid in the environment and provide the alcohol. Boyd and Blair, Escape Room Pittsburgh, Freedom Farms, Market Street Grocery, Spoonwood Brewing Company, and Red Bull's sponsorships make the drinks free. A performance by magician and comedian Lee Terbosic, as well as live music by DJ Pete Butta add entertainment. Additionally, Stage AE and Thrival music festival will give away free concert tickets to select first attendees.

With a goal to inspire and showcase the best parts of Pittsburgh, Creatives Drink works with collaboration. See business owners, designers, musicians, youths, and other driven persons gather publicly as a community.

From 6-9 p.m., Creatives Drink 6 "welcomes anyone who strives to be creative" to Ace Hotel. 

Ace Hotel

120 S Whitfield St

Pittsburgh, PA 15206