q&a with rapper, fat trel of maybach music group

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SHORTLY BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON APRIL 1ST, DMV rapper Fat Trel dropped his newest mixtape, Gleesh. The eponymously-titled mixtape is Trel’s first release since signing to Maybach Music Grouplast November and a long-awaited one at that. It’s been almost eight months since the Slutty Boyz co-founder released his last mixtape, SDMG, and fans waited with bated breath to see what the Maybach rookie would come up with next. And Gleesh—thank the rap gods—does not disappoint. Trel still sounds like Trel, despite his upgrade from unsigned to signed artist. He still reps his hometown of D.C. and his love for the ladies hasn’t diminished in the least. LikeSDMGGleesh is chock-full of guest artists with features from fellow Maybach signees Wale,Rockie FreshTracy TStalley, and the man himself, Rick RossTrel’s iconic rough-around-the-edges, trunk rattling sound is still preserved in Gleesh, just with a little more polish and a little more pizzazz. Perhaps the The Washington City Paper put it best when they said, “Gleesh is like a new, upgraded model of the same vehicle.” RESPECT. talked with Fat Trel about the making of his latest mixtape and his relationships with fellow MMG artists. Read on below.

RESPECT.: Your newest mixtape, Gleesh, dropped yesterday. Have you gotten any feedback from fans or know how many times it’s been downloaded yet?

Fat Trel: I haven’t checked the stats recently. We dropped it at 11:35, so at about 12:35, we had 42,000. But other than that, I really ain’t too caught up on the stats, you know? I know my peoples was waiting. I know my fans was waiting. I know they wanted it, so I ain’t really caught up on the stats. We just gave the people what they wanted, you know?

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The Ballad of Super Niggs


Brio Pop Magazine

LINWOOD YOUNG GREW UP IN A TINY, RURAL TOWN in the heart of Maryland. He lived there with his mother and two brothers in a trailer connected to his grandmother’s trailer next-door. Neighbors were scarce, but of trees and poisonous snakes there were plenty. For fun, he played in the woods and listened to rap and hip-hop music. In fact, that’s pretty much all young Linwood listened to until the fateful day when the antennae on his radio snapped off.

Static engulfed the airwaves, obliterating transmission of every nearby station except one: a brand new Top 40’s station that played everything but rap and hip-hop. Now, since this was the ‘90s, poor Linwood had little recourse other than the radio. There was no Pandora or Spotify, YouTube or Soundcloud. His only alternative was a tape (yes, a tape) from his older brother that featured tracks from Grammy nominees in 1996, so he gave it a listen. And, as he says, his “head cracked open.”

For the first time in his young life, Linwood heard music the likes of which he’d never heard before. He listened to Hootie and The Blowfish and Joan Osborne, Alannis Morrisette and Seal. “It was like a gift from the heavens or something,” he says. “I quickly fell in love with it.”

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brad elterman: the original teenage paparazzo

brad elterman


THROUGHOUT THE SEVENTIES AND EARLY EIGHTIES, Brad Elterman made a name for himself photographing candid, evocative photos of both counter-culture and mainstream icons. He photographed Joan Jett flipping the bird while backstage at the Whiskey and Robert Plant as he kicked a soccer ball in Encino. He shot The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, as well as Alice Cooper and David Bowie. He took photos of Madonna and Michael Jackson, and even Muhammad Ali and Brooke Shields.

Elterman was seemingly everywhere and always at the right time, until the mid-eighties when he simply stopped. The photography industry had changed, as had the music and cultural scene, and Elterman lost interest. After over two decades of keeping a low profile and focusing mainly on his business ventures, Elterman returned to photography in the early 2000s.

Though the people in his photographs have changed, his focus has not. Elterman’s photos are just as raw and edgy as they were in the seventies and his passion for photographing musicians and avant-garde artists remains unchanged. In the last few years, he’s snapped photos of everyone from Mac DeMarco, The 1975, Sky Ferreira, and Tyler The Creator to Jared Leto, Kris Kidd, Sandy Kim, and even Paris Hilton. With his upcoming show at Milk Studios in Chelsea later this month, we thought we’d take a moment to catch up with the prolific culture chronicler and shine a light on some of his most memorable photos from the past 30-something years. (Click here to read more)

The Replacement

Rep. Derek Kawakami on his first days in the legislature

–Published in The Honolulu Weekly on April 20, 2011–

qnafeat-the-replacementRep. Derek Kawakami was appointed by Governor Abercrombie earlier this month to serve as the replacement for former Rep. Hermina Morita, who was assigned to Chair of the State Public Utilities Commission. Though still relatively unknown in the state political arena, he has been involved in local politics for the last seven years, serving on the boards of the Kauai County Council, the Kauai Island Utilities Cooperative and, most recently, as president of the Hawaii State Association of Counties. After less than a month in the office, Kawakami is already vice chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, Housing Committee and Water, Land, and Ocean Resources Committee.

As the legislative season draws to an end, the Weekly decided to check in with the representative to get to know this dark horse once and for all.

You’ve now officially been a state representative for nine days. How has it been?

This quote has been used around the capitol, especially with the freshman, and it describes the experience as “drinking water from a fire hydrant.” So coming in late into the game, and this is really late, it’s almost been like drinking water from Niagara Falls. The information has been overwhelming but there are so many people here with open arms and they are willing to share the manao very openly and freely. Because of that, I’ve been able to keep up as best as I can.

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5 Occupy Oakland Campers Speak About Why They Joined The Protest

–Published on on October 24, 2011–
(Co-written by Brittany Schell)



There used to be grass here, but it didn’t last long―not after the bodies started multiplying and the make-shift community started growing. Now the space is covered in mud and heaps of hay. And a runaway pancake that slid off of someone’s blue-plastic plate. And a stray sock, and a boardwalk of planks. And feet. Hundreds of feet. This used to be Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, but not any more. Welcome to Occupy Oakland.

The camp has been occupying the plaza in front of Oakland’s city hall since October 10, when a group of protesters decided to replicate the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York City. The demands of the movement are broad, but focus largely on economic inequality: one of the mantras chanted often by protesters is, “We are the 99 percent,” implying that the nation’s wealth is concentrated among one percent of Americans.

The entrance to the campsite is littered with signs that read: “Let’s end a system prone to corruption and try again,” and “Bail out the people, not the banks.” Visitors walk by a community garden box growing chard and rosemary, then squeeze past the cluttered dish-washing station and a noisy line of campers waiting for a free meal before winding their way into the depths of the tent city on improvised wooden walkways with names like “Endism Road.”

On a hot Sunday afternoon, in and around a sea of tents in varying sizes and colors, there are snowy-haired elderly women, hippies with dreadlocks, street kids in baggy pants, optimistic college students and a few children running around. Here are excerpts of conversations with five of them.

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