“First they love you, then they hate you, then they love you again.”

-Jay Z “Meet the Parents”

There is probably no other fitting way to describe Jay-Z, and the way society treats its own heroes. This was the intro to one of my favorite Jay-Z songs, “Meet The Parents,” back in 2001. In hindsight, it’s an accurate depiction of how we love to seepeople rise to the top, just to watch their downfall. Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is unfortunately going through one of those hate filled phases. 

Sustainability? Check. Luxury? Check. 

Who says a clothing brand can’t do both? Where some might think sustainability and luxury are mutually exclusive, New York-based ready-to-wear and accessories designer Gabriela Hearst is here to show you they are not. She is a staunch believer that “sustainability and luxury should not be competing concepts.” 

Sex, lies, and a guinea pig. While this concept may sound outrageous to some, for those who have seen “Fleabag,” Phoebe Waller Bridge’s BBC/Amazon Prime series, it’s not too out of left field. Mixing lovable, albeit unnamed, characters with screwball storylines, the British actress/writer/director now finds herself as one of the most coveted names in the industry. 

Trying to portray the intense relationship of a mother and a daughter dynamic as the primary subjects for a piece of art has been a feat explored by numerous artists. However, Lithonia, Georgia teen, Arantza Peña Popo managed to successfully create a beautiful display of this affection for Google’s Doodle for Google competition. 

When many of us think back to our first experiences with love or relationships, we picture the child-like crushes we had. Some of us, like myself, might have been dramatic enough to even write about those crushes in our diaries. As we get older love and relationships begin to change, these pure and innocent infatuations turn into passionate intense connections. Relationships can lead to toxic situations with people who made you believe in love only to show their true ulterior motives. No one may understand this better than Iranian-Swedish artist Snoh Aalegra

Styles have spread throughout the world, catching the attention of millions. Several brands have been successful in their own ways, especially Italian-based brand Moncler. They have continued to be a pioneer in the world of high fashion, and their newest collection “Genius Born Crazy” has found a new and exciting way to keep their fans hooked.

What does country music look like in 2019? For some it’s the ethereal country pop songs of Kacey Musgraves or the classic Carrie Underwood revenge ballad “Before He Cheats.” But for fans who envision a handsome, Christian boy-next-door singing about trucks and beer, their guy is Thomas Rhett. 

If art is visual poetry then contemporary fine artist Shanequa Gay is the Virgil of the 21st century. She has her paintbrush on the pulse of the people. Embedded into the essence and fiber of her work are stories of community. An Atlanta native and alum of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Georgia State University, a key element of Gay’s multifaceted work is hybridity. She told Georgia State University Magazine that, “Atlanta culture as a whole is a hybrid, and as Americans, we’re all a mesh of things.” 

One of the most cited statistics, Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll uses when explaining his work with fellow inmates in San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California is the fact that 90% of crimes committed are money related, yet only 1% of the programs targeted towards imprisoned and newly released people pertain to finances. Using the merger resources allotted to him in prison libraries and newspapers, Wall Street has been able to transform himself from an illiterate teenager with a criminal past to an expert financial advisor and investor with national recognition from MoneyWise, Market Watch, and CNN, and a financial educator in San Quentin with his spearhead financial literacy program, Project FEEL.

It’s not always easy to see the kinship and connection between greats of the past and the greatness we hold within ourselves. But in her works, R&B vocalist and Pushcart literary prize nominated poet, Jamila Woods challenges herself and her listeners to see that connection and to empower themselves through their legacy. This Chicago native has dedicated her art, both literary and musical, to paying homage to people who made her existence possible.