The ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’ segment is something I’ve always wanted to do on #OTDHipHop but never made it consistent. The first homegirl I featured was my friend Tiana G, who was studying abroad in South Korea last year. The purpose of WCW on this blog is to showcase the strong and amazing women in my life and give them a platform to say what they want to say in a safe space. Also, as a female in the hip hop community myself, this is my way of giving women a platform to be themselves. Lastly, women inspire me in many ways and I hope by sharing some of their stories, I am able to help empower them and shed light on things they care about.
Jehzan: Your Instagram has certain rules, especially when it comes to "cyber-bullying" or disrespect. What inspires you to keep sharing your message via "provocative" or "sexual" photos despite the backlash from account users or the platform itself?
Ebone: I like the image of myself. I have always loved being sexy. I know that I am, I can't hide it on a bad day. Sexy is not a look or certain way of dressing. I just happen to like to be nude or dress proactively. I've become passionate of sharing that with other women because society has created a world that hates a confident, strong, and sexy woman who controls her own sexuality. Rape culture is a real thing and needs to be reversed.
Jehzan: Do you do other things in the community to promote your message?
Ebone: Currently I just speak to women and I’m very vocal with the women I come in contact with in life. In the near future, myself and an acquaintance along with other women in my community are planning to do outreach in schools for young women to help build self-confidence.
Jehzan: Aside from music, you and your wife actually run a business. How is the body/relaxation business going?
Ebone: It is going well actually. I am taking the business on the road this summer and will be selling body products on upcoming YDP's tour. And I’m excited to grow and expand. The cannabis side came from experimenting. I needed oils for myself and they worked so well I decided to sell them for a cheaper price than the cannabis clubs do.
You might've seen Ebone in my music video "Morning Vybez," which was directed & edited by her wife and my good friend YDP.
Shouts out to this week's #WomanCrushWednesday Ebone!!
I personally look forward to seeing how her message/movement grows in the near future, as well as all the work her and YDP put in with music and those awesome homemade body/relaxation products!
If anyone is interested in purchasing their bath bombs, you may follow Ebone via Instagram @iluvmyskin or contact her via email.
Welcome back to a new season of #OTDHipHop blog! Bringing you music, fashion, & street culture from around the world ON THE DAILY! To kick us off, I wanted to do something a little different because me and the homie Young, Dedicated, Proper (YDP) recently released our debut collab PALM TREEZ EP. We just wanted to take this time to share with you, some background about us and this new project.
The both of us first met at Team Backpack’s 2015 Mission Underground event, which was held in Los Angeles. Over the past 2 years, the two of us have watched each other’s grind and bartered between each other such as promotion on this blog and YDP’s videography and artwork services. Last December, I flew to the Bay Area (where YDP currently resides) for a brief trip, and we got to work on my two music videos “Morning Vybez” and “Ghost,” of which YDP was the head director and visual producer for both projects.
2017 started off on a high note for both of us, with our music grinds keeping us busy as well as with our families. We started brainstorming about doing a collaboration EP, something we both saw as an opportunity to put together each other’s fan bases and resources. We have very similar messages, personalities, and overall creative and entrepreneurial vibes. Soon after, YDP created the EP cover art along with the artwork to the project’s first single “Jammin” (Prod. By Tower Beats). We dropped that track on Bob Marley’s birthday in February. Initially, this project was supposed to drop on 4/20 but a major incident put a brief hold on it.
My dear friend YDP and her family suffered a terrible loss due to the tragic death of her sister, Rashanda Porter-Franklin. Respectfully, YDP and her family needed time to grieve and take care of the situation, and of course a proper funeral service for her late sister. Nothing can replace Rashanda, but YDP and I decided in late April to move forward with our project. We recorded the track “Money,” in loving remembrance of Rashanda. So far, the track has gained quick popularity amongst our listeners and is a top played track from Palm Treez.
Going forward, we got embroidered hats and hardcopy CDs for sale. A portion of the proceeds from the EP and merchandise sales will go to help aid Rashanda’s sons during this transition and healing time. On top of that, YDP and her wife have taken the role of parents to Rashanda’s sons. All in all, the PALM TREEZ EP is about the productive stoner life, getting money, and smiling through all of life’s good and hard times. We hope that our listeners are able to merge together as we continue to build community surrounding our message. Peace and love from Hawaii to the Bay. Lastly, special thank you to all the producers and engineers who helped make this project come to life.
PALM TREEZ IS OUT NOW ON ALL DIGITAL MUSIC OUTLETS.
Jehzan Exclusive & Young Dedicated Proper (YDP)
Growing up in Bernal Heights and Noe Valley, J. Quest was exposed to hip hop’s elements of graffiti, breakdancing, dj-ing, and emceeing all around him. A true 90s kid, it is evident that J. Quest’s style is very much 80s and 90s, classic hip hop/rap influenced. Although he loved hip hop culture from a young age, it wasn’t until he moved to Honolulu, HI at age 16, that he began to participate more heavily as an emcee. “Living in the Kaneohe and Manoa areas, really shaped my use of *pidgin in my raps and honestly gave me a deep sense of my Asian roots & local culture that I present today in my music,” said J. Quest.
While in Hawaii, he connected with a long time family friend named DJ Kutmaster Spaz. “The first time I ever got on the mic in Hawaii was back in 2002/2003, at Kutmaster Spaz's album release party, and there was an MC battle for a cash prize at the Pali Golf Course, said J. Quest. He also states that he used to catch rides sometimes with Hawaii Hip Hop OG Big Mox, who at the time ran street cyphers under the freeway (in the parking lot near the infamous Ice Palace skating rink). J. Quest also mentioned how he used to call-in to Jus Bone’s “Got Rice?” show on KTUH radio. Furthermore, he met longtime Hawaii entertainer Lina Girl, while taking classes at the University of Hawaii Windward campus who then gave him a contact to record some of his first demos. He stated, “San Francisco gave me that ‘blue collar meets the streets vibe’ but if it wasn't for moving to Hawaii as a teen, I might have been yet another statistic shot down or crippled or locked up for keeping up and trying to ‘keep it real.’”
I recently wrote a track-by-track review of J. Quest most recent EP Son of a City Worker, which was released in 2016. While I believe his overall flow and delivery can be improved, J. Quest’s songs and lyrics definitely showcase the mind of a grown man, in tune with his various identities. One of the songs from Son of a City Worker is called “Hapa Boy,” inspired from the term *hapa, which in Hawaiian generally refers to being mixed. The song speaks on the struggles and strengths J. Quest has experienced, and how he uses music to express and share his identity. “I am a hapa boy, Chinese /Portuguese on my mom's side & Croation on my dad’s,” said J. Quest. Unfortunately, his parents separated when he was 9, but gained a father figure when his biological one wasn't around. He stated, “My father figure is a big Hawaiian growing up in San Francisco and my mom and I eventually moved to Hawaiian our own. So Hawaii’s unique local culture has always played a big part in my life even before I moved to the islands- from speaking pidgin, to my taste for food, and taking off my sneakers before coming in the house, very Asian and Hawaiian influenced like Hawaii’s culture is.”
Photo Credits: Young Dedicated Proper (YDP)
Music & lifestyle blog curated by JehzanExclusive.
Featuring artists & music from around the world, by way of Honolulu, HI.
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