Meet Chio — The Multifaceted Dancer That Killed the Milly Rock

Get to know the girl in the pink bodysuit that killed the Milly Rock and gained traction for her online dance videos.

– A Chio Interview.

Chio joins Cashmere in the Nexus to talk about her multi-talented childhood and life after going viral.  Similar to Almonte, Chio is a young renaissance woman. She describes herself as a ‘whirlwind of art’ being an alto saxophonist that studied dance and acting in college. Chio even went to the same African dance program as Cashmere in Brooklyn’s Restoration ART Youth Academy with legendary Baba Chuck Davis as her primary dance choreographer. New York really is a small world when it comes to artistry.

Chio’s transition to becoming a music artist

Chio recently teamed up with the producer of hip hop’s iconic hits “Ether” and “Pop Champagne” Ron Browz. “Candy” is Chio’s break from her serious tonality in previous tracks. She talks about embracing a more fun, vibrant aura. Something her fans “can dance to.”  It’s great to see Hip Hop’s icons empowering the next generation of music as she describes Browz to be “in tune with social media–” a primary platform for most young indie artists.

Pressures to stay relevant and being an ‘inspiration’

As Instagram’s new algorithm ghosts accounts from the explore page that don’t have 10% engagement rate, the pressures to keep your clout pushes on. And Chio describes the pressures to pump out daily content being ‘odey.’

“I wanna give you content, but… I got a life.”

The idea of giving up your real social life to unlock the full potential of your online social media presence is pretty haunting. Especially when the internet holds you to a higher moral standard just because you’re popular.

Chio humbly rejects the idea of being an inspiration. While she finds herself “not perfect,” it is that very fact that makes her relatable to the fans that look up to her. Fans don’t look to idolize a saint but to find guidance in someone they can relate to. Someone that is flawed yet still pushes themselves to grow.

It’s hard for artists to get a grasp on the fact that they are leaders. People literally follow their every move. And even people just minding their own business like Target Bae (Alex from Target) develop online followings they’ve never even asked for.

3 Signs You’ve Won An Argument

You already won the argument.

But how would you know?

Many of us continue going down the rabbit hole after we’ve already won the argument. Maybe to feel good about ourselves. Maybe because we’re being manipulated into thinking our point hasn’t been made clear. Nonetheless, here’s 3 ways to know if someone is bluffing to cover up their loss:

  1. “It’s just my opinion.”
  2. “Ad Hominems”
  3. “You just want to be right.”

Three Qualities of a Valuable Employee

Yo, bro. Eric needs to know three qualities that make him a valuable employee.

Co-directed by @Cvshmere

Featuring @CallMeJinzo

Featuring @Issa.Me.Bruh

Artists Are Being Robbed by Venue Owners

Venue owners are laughing their way to the bank while artists continue to work for ‘exposure.’

Artists and venue owners fight over crumbs in New York City. Painters. Rappers. Singers. Stand up comedians. Poets. Musical theatre performers. The over saturation of desperate artists rushing to New York City opens a huge market of victims just waiting to exploited. Event organizers recruit artists to perform shows for free in the name of ‘getting exposure.’ And if they have a good turnout, they promise to book them again… for more free shows.

And that’s how the incessant cycle of doing free work usually is.

You think, well I love what I do anyway so I don’t mind doing it for free. Eventually it’ll pay the more popular I become. 

But, no. You don’t. Petty bourgeois capitalists like organizers hustling free labor will pay you as little as they can get away with. And as long as you are willing to work for free (since you don’t see doing something you love as work) they will exploit your ambitions. I’ve seen entire $50 ticketed, for-profit shows where rappers perform and the organizers take all the profit.

Here’s an example formula:

  • Venue owners charge organizers a rental fee up front.
  • Instead of hiring promoters to sell tickets, organizers recruit performers and even the DJ to perform for free and tell them to get their friends/family to support their show. The family/friends of the performers think their dollars are supporting the artists. But of course the organizers are paying their artists in ‘exposure.’ Oftentimes these events have no one important in the industry besides the friends and family of the artists
  • Organizers sometimes incentivize the performers to invite more people to the show by giving them a referral bonus.
    – Example: You get 4 dollars for every 20 dollar ticket you sell(a 20% commission). This word-of-mouth marketing pretty much does all the work for them. Organizers don’t even have to pour money into marketing besides a digital flyer performers can harass their friends with in their DMs. Now the performers are doing the job of a promoter.
  • Some events are even pay to perform. Not just cheap open mics trying to pool money for venue costs. But big price tags y0u’d see in beauty pageants–without the prizes– like charging artists $400 dollars just because some radio show execs will be watching you.
  • The show happens. Maybe some friends forgot to use the promo code and now the organizers don’t even have to pay for unaccounted referrals.

It makes sense that the artist gets a royalty  of the profits if they refer many people. However, this referral commission shouldn’t replace up-front payment for the time & skill it takes to perform. They’re performers. It’s their job to perform and entertain. Not to sell tickets.

Give me my damn money.

Scarlett Johannson’s popularity encourages casting agents to book her. However, they still have to pay for her on-screen performance up front. Not get her to do the job of desperately telling her fans to buy tickets while her pay is held ransom.

In the case of hip hop, organizers are responsible for recruiting performers they know are popular in the venue location and gauge what the turnout will be.

If an event organizer doesn’t even invest money and take risks ahead of time, what does that say about their faith in their event? They have no faith in their own value. They want the success of the event to rest solely on the backs of the performers. If the event flops, it’s okay because they didn’t pay the performers anyway. If plenty of people come, they walk away with most of the money. Or all of the money. Plenty of artists perform even without a commission bonus 100% pro bono. The work of the artist in this petty bourgeois capitalist scheme is reduced to a mere popularity contest.

And I’d be damned if I paid for an Uber to take all my DJ equipment to some guy’s crappy venue without an advanced payment for my labor.

What about the poor little ol’ venue owner that pays for everything?

Sure venue owners pay large costs in overhead, rent, inventory, etc. Boo hoo. That’s the risk of a business. Even McDonald’s pays workers for their time and labor(even if they steal the profits). McDonald’s sure doesn’t tell their workers to go beg their friends to buy a McDouble in order to be paid. Why are practices like these given a pass in the entertainment industry? Because it’s okay to exploit free labor as long as the worker likes their job? Artistry is work.Talent honed into skill. If you can’t afford to pay your workers and make a profit, you shouldn’t be in business. Period.

Artists. Get your sh*t together and stop putting up with this nonsense. Hustlers are gonna hustle. It’s up to the disenfranchised to liberate themselves of their chains. Don’t let yourself be a cash cow. Learn the game. Negotiate your rates with assertion. Collaborate with other honest artists. Make your own show. Whatever you do… please don’t think you have to ‘pay your dues’ by making these venue owners richer.

When the Chinos Get Your Order Right

Jinzo just copped some Chinos in East Harlem.

And the Chinos made sure to make the sesame chicken extra crispy just how he likes.

Black people love the chinos. There’s one on every other block in our neighborhoods.

Watch @CallMeJinzo bust it down.

 

 

Why I Bought a Cinema Camera — Unboxing the C100 Mark II

With so many affordable 4K options in the DSLR & Mirrorless market, why buy a cinema camera?

After years of contemplating what camera I should own, I decided to buy a cinema camera.

DSLR’s cameras have been an amazing low-budget option for aspiring filmmakers for the past decade. Especially with Technicolor’s FREE Cinestyle profile ‘hack’ that gives your Canon T3i  more dynamic range for a film look. More recently, Sony has been killing it with their affordable mirrorless cameras like the Sony A6300, boasting specs like 4K video resolution and slow motion 120 fps in full 1080 HD quality. S-Log is also a flat profile similar to Technicolor’s cinestyle that allots more room for post-production color grading. All for under 1,000 dollars. So does this render cinema cameras like the $3500 dollar Canon C100 Mark II with only 1080 60/fps obsolete?

Hell no.

Specs aren’t everything.

Look. I’ve gotten my hands on plenty cameras. From as humble as an Olympus T-100. To the Canon C500. Especially the top-notch iPhone’s F/1.8 lens with 4K 60FPS and Slow motion at 1080p 240 FPS. Sound fancy right? Already better specs than the dusty old $20,000 dollar C500 that only lets you record n00b frame rates of 30fps and no 4K. Womp womp. But specs aren’t everything. There’s a lot more science to image quality than just resolution. The 4K craze has been a marketing ploy to sell everyday consumers things they don’t need. Worse than when people obsessed over megapixels in cheap digital cameras. I cringe standing in the middle of a Best Buy seeing people awed by these on-screen 4K vs 1080P comparisons on 50-inch televisions… and seeing that the major selling difference are things like saturation, HDR, sharpness, and a whole bunch of other things that aren’t even pixel resolution. Looking at 720p footage of your favorite movie shot on film will look infinitely better than if they shot it in 4K on an iPhone. For obvious reasons.

As an online-based video content creator, having a 4K camera is about as useful as a bachelor’s degree is to a magician. It looks better on paper than it does in practice.

I can zoom in 4x while editing without losing quality. That’s about my only noticeable perk when using a 4K camera vs a 1080p one. For big-time cinematographers that screen on IMAX, it makes a huge difference. But here’s the thing. Big budget productions just rent cameras anyway. Being a poor filmmaker means the choice to own a camera is a commitment you should take as much time as you would to decide to marry someone. Buying a camera body only to sell it for half the price in a year or two is not resourceful at all. Especially with the rapidly growing technology and planned obsolescence that encourages consumers to treat pieces of equipment like stale chewing gum. I’m young yet old school. I want something that will deliver for a long time that feels good.

Yes. The feel of a cinema camera does make a difference.

And size and weight of a cinema camera. The light, run-and-gun feel of DSLR’s are a game changer for small filmmakers. Especially when you don’t want to spend thousands on steadicam and gimbal stabilizing devices. Cranes. Sliders. Rigs. Gear is usually cheaper when it’s used to handle lighter cameras. But there is such a thing as too light.

If you’re a fan of the handheld look, you will have less control and more shakes when your camera’s body is the size of your palm. Things feel a bit flimsy and definitely sketchy when you rent heavier cine lenses or even telephoto lenses for Sony’s mirrorless cameras. In extreme weather conditions, I don’t want to feel like the wind is about to blow away my camera. And all the physical buttons on a cinema camera allow me to skip the hassle of touch-screen nonsense in the cold. Audio and video ports right on-camera just make life easier during both production and post for a one-man crew. Cinema cameras are built for video. As opposed to being photo cameras that just so happen to have great video menu settings. So of course the practical limitations of DSLR and mirrorless cameras tally up heavily.

Credibility.

Saying you have a cinema camera has a similar effect as saying you have a 4K television. It just sounds and looks better to clients when you are shooting professionally. I’ve seen astounding results delivered on a Sony A7S II and the Canon Mark III for both commercial and film. Sure. It’s about the sculptor. Not the tools he uses. But that doesn’t stop clients from asking, “What kind of camera do you use? Does it shoot 4K? Should we rent a RED?” And to be fair, there is a significantly more noticeable difference in Sony A7S II vs RED dragon footage than the difference between 4K and 1080p. Behind the scenes photos look way more impressive to the standard consumer’s eye when you’re selling yourself as a cameraman. It’s always about the look. Including the look of the person behind the camera.

Without a doubt, you can make a great film on an iPhone. You can make a great film on anything really. It’s the impact of your story on your audience that determines the greatness of the film. The gear is just there to make it easier for what you are trying to achieve as practically as possible.

It always boils down to your personal needs. The Canon C100 cinema camera is what I need. I can count how many times I would really use 120 FPS slow motion footage. And my target audience isn’t watching 4K footage on their smartphones on the train from work. But they can definitely tell the noticeable difference in dynamic range.

Here’s the LINKS for my cinema camera gear:

Also check out this great video about picking a new camera:

‘Broke Rappers.’ I Don’t Do Free Shoots. Period.

No if’s. No and’s. No but’s.

Oh boy. The relationship between ‘broke rappers’ and actual broke video producers.

Or producers of any kind. Graphic designers. Web designers. Engineers. We’ve all had a run-in with a selectively cheap artist that brags about their lavish lives in their music. Then turns around and low-balls you for your services. ‘Broke rappers’ are usually not broke at all. Just dudes with f*cked up priorities and no respect for artistry. And an over-inflated sense of self.

Tell them to kick rocks. They probably won’t do it while they wear their new Balenciaga’s.

Sure there are genuinely starving artists that will actually barter some of their services for yours. And there’s nothing wrong with respectfully admitting, “this isn’t something I can afford right now. Hope to work with you in the future!” and keep it moving.

But.

See what we’re not going to tolerate is someone devaluing our work and saying “can you lower the price” just because. A friend-of-a-friend discount.

I can’t walk into Best Buy and use an Instagram shout-out as a form of currency to buy a camera. So what makes you think you can pay someone in exposure for a skill that took a lot of time and money to develop?

Let’s take a step back. There are actual broke rappers.

Working video in Hip Hop is an interesting beast different from weddings, commercial, or film work. Probably the most fun you’ll have as a creator. Oftentimes gigs that are most fun tend to pay less. Especially in a genre that is literally the voice of the underprivileged. Artists turn to Hip Hop to express socio-economic hardship. They will make music by any means necessary. And sometimes being resourceful means hustling others into doing free work for them. I come from a place where my friends would pool money together from their 9-5 jobs and invest in an entry-level DSLR camera. Then just shoot it themselves. We didn’t even know what ISO was. We were just dedicated to learning by experience and doing what we could. But we definitely weren’t contacting professional-level producers that we knew had high rates to try to lower their prices… especially not offering to pay them in “exposure.”

Producers aren’t charging you these prices because they want to scam you. They do it because its how they keep the lights on. It’s how they’re able to afford to maintain their equipment and keep doing what they do. Video is especially important in boosting a music career. No one will take you seriously if you invest thousands in looking good or even on hours of studio time but won’t invest in the visuals. If you really can’t afford to pay a professional, study the craft and do it yourself. Don’t burn bridges by disrespecting the value of other artists.

Logan Paul is the Mascot of Selfie Culture

Logan Paul Suicide Video. The media’s new scapegoat for a worldwide sin.

Let’s be real about the Logan Paul Suicide Video.

Selfie culture existed long before the term “selfie” was a thing. Documenting everything from violence to natural disasters to famine. All in the name of “awareness.” But were we really unaware that these things existed? There’s a fine line between news and entertainment. But they’re not mutually exclusive. Gossip is both news and entertainment. As well as controversial sites like Best Gore that pride themselves in spreading the good news about all the dangers in the world. To spread awareness.

Do we need more ISIS beheading videos to know they happen? A month’s worth of footage of trapped bodies under cement after an earthquake? 17 Years’ worth of media coverage to know how bad 9/11 was?

Why are you even watching a video of me reacting to Logan Paul’s reaction to death? There’s articles everywhere to read what happened. But you want my opinion. It’s entertainment.

Was Logan Paul wrong?

Well. Duh. We can unanimously agree that Logan Paul’s actions at Aokigahara were disgusting. However. He is the low hanging fruit when we have a conversation about what’s wrong with humanity. This is the perfect moment to see ourselves in his tremendous flaw.

Plenty can guess what happens in a place called “Suicide Forest.” We know what content we will indulge in when we read a headline like, “Youtube Star Logan Paul Captures Suicide in Vlog.” But we still click anyway. Morbid curiosity? Mind numbing entertainment? Who knows.

Everyday tragedies have become a spectacle for us to indulge in. Even when someone decides to end their lives to get away from it all, the very same kind of person they’ve loathed is in their face with a camera to make sure everyone can see them against their will. The privilege of being able to capture a moment has made us desensitized to this same moment. Then addicted. Obsessed over capturing everything before the memory fades. A birthday boy on walking an endless winter, clamping onto the ribbon of a helium-filled balloon. Paranoid that he won’t even feel when it slips between his gloved fingers. He can only watch in awe what he couldn’t feel. The balloon our fleeting humanity.

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