Alberto Cretara: Naples, LA FAMIGLIA, Farinella, NYC, “2 Pizzas & A Mic”

Naples is known for its pizzaioli; less so for its hip-hop and graffiti artists. Alberto Polo Cretara happens to be all of the above. Alberto and his partner Howard Estrin, decided to bring to lower Manhattan a very high quality product – Farinella: Italian Bakery Pizza & Panini.

He started LA FAMIGLIA, which is comprised of MCs Polo (Alberto Cretara), Sha-one (Paolo Romano), and DJ Simi (Simone Cavagnuolo). La Famiglia is the oldest established hip hop group out of Naples, Italy. They are considered one of the most instrumental and influential groups in the development and growth of the Italian Hip hop scene which includes not only, music but other urban art forms such as aerosol art/graffiti and breakdancing. Vol. 1 (2005) & NAPOLIZM Vol. 2 (2009): The first two authentic compilation of Napolitan rap, recorded in Italy and published in the USA.

Still Life: Hat Entrepreneur/Designer, Marc Jacobs & Running a Business

 Meet Frenel Morris. The entrepreneur designer behind Still Life. Since 2006, the Still Life flagship store has been home to an eclectic range of original designs- envisioned and tailored to perfection-by creative director and owner, Frenel Morris. Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Still Life provides each client with custom hand-crafted pieces. An on-site seamstress ensures that each product is carefully assembled in a timely manner with keen attention to detail.

THE CAST: The Couple Behind A Punk/Heavy Metal Inspired Clothing Store

 Meet the entrepreneurial couple behind NYC’s The Cast. He is from New Jersey. She is from LA. Together they are leveraging their passion for Punk & Heavy Metal into a collection of tshirts, denim and vintage clothing. They have a great following. For example, I was told many times by other small businesses on NYC’s lower eastside “you should film the rock-n-roll couple and their store.”

Djehuti Ausar: Sound Engineer,GURU, Wu Tang & Spiritual Enlightenment

 We talk about what a sound engineer is? How he and wutang got a deal? GURU? Spiritual Enlightenment? Black Jesus and Djehuti Ausar of Wu-Tang/Harlem 6 are in june 2010 issue of XXL speaking on their life and friendship with Guru. “I AM DJEHUTI AUSAR, AN ANCIENT KHEMETIC BEING OF 4500 YEARS AGO THAT HAS RETURNED TO EARTH DURING THIS SPACE/TIME CURRENT TO ACHIEVE SELF-ENLIGHTENMENT AND AID THOSE THAT ARE LOOKING TO ACHIEVE THE SAME.”

Dinosaur Hill Toy Store: South Dakota, Pre-School, East Village & Butterflies

Pamela Pier founded NYC’s Dinosaur Hill 27 years ago. From South Dakota preschool teacher to a NYC toy store owner, Pamela has got to be one of the kindest people in NYC I have met. Remember, I randomly walk into small businesses in NYC. “We are committed to purveying handmade wonderments, toys and clothes that challenge the mind, please the eye, and stimulate the senses.” Dinosaur Hill

Hakim Green: Young Genious, Hip-Hop Education, Newark Entrepreneurship & LIFE

 Say hello to East-Orange,NJ born Hakim Green. Entrepreneur, A former School Teacher, Member of Channel Live and now Executive Director of The FOR LIFE INITIATIVE . I spent the day with Hakim in Newark witnessing his passion to stem gang violence. (FLI) is a non-profit organization committed to advocacy, awareness and education. FLI’s vision is to advance a national series of sociopolitical movements to reduce increasing incidents of youth gang and gun violence. Our efforts through “The Initiative” are to motivate and mobilize indigenous communities to take a proactive approach to reducing homicides, serious injuries and other negative consequences of gun violence occurring in neighborhoods throughout America. FLI’s mission is to advance a national series of sociopolitical movements to reduce increasing incidents of youth gang and gun violence.

Joan Morgan: Poetry, Salsa, Jamaica & 3 Interpretations

Joan Morgan. Entrepreneur. Writer. Mother and loved and admired by many including yours truly. Joan was one the first people I met in NYC back in June 1992. This story was filmed at Joan’s Spur Tree Birthday soiree with 3 of her girlfriends sharing stories and qualities about Joan. Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and author and a provocative cultural critic. A pioneering hip-hop journalist and entertainent writer, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice before having her work published by Vibe, Interview, MS, More, Spin, Giant and numerous other publications. Formerly the Executive Editor of Essence and one of the original staff writers at VIBE, Joan Morgan is the author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost — a fresh, witty, and irreverent book that marks the literary debut of one of the most original, perceptive, and engaging young social commentators in America today. Her work appears in numerous college texts, as well as books on feminism, music and African-American culture. She is currently teaches “The History of Hip-Hop Journalism” at Duke University.” So that’s what I do. Here’s a bit about who I am. I’m a Jamerican girl, born in hills of Westmoreland Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx whose been lucky enough to carve out a career writing about the things I care about most: among them hip-hop culture and the lives of black women. I have an amazing kid whose wit, courage, kindness and heart inspire and humble me everyday. I’m a New Yorker, a city girl through and through. I love great restaurants, stilettos, a good mojito and fine wine but I live in the country so I can hear myself think. I write from my office overlooking the river with my dog at my feet. All things considered its a pretty good life.

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