Meet Kayla Robinson, the Teen Who Made Frank Ocean’s Powerful Panorama Tee via Green Box Shop

Green Box Shop creator Kayla Robinson (l); Frank Ocean (r) [photos via mtv.com]

by Hilary Hughes via mtv.com

Since launching Green Box Shop in 2016, social media has played a huge part in how Kayla Robinson, 18, runs Green Box Shop: She heavily relies on Instagram and Twitter to promote her line of T-shirts bearing progressive, all-caps messages, and she’s found inspiration for some designs by connecting with people online and checking her feed, too.

A couple of famous fans have snapped up Green Box Shop shirts — including Zendaya, who posted an image of a Green Box tee on Snapchat before saying she’ll snap up a few shirts (or all of them) herself — thanks to their popularity on these platforms, and it was one of these well-known customers who let Robinson know that Frank Ocean was rocking one of her shirts for his headlining set at the Panorama Music Festival on July 28.

“Well, Jessica Williams, she DMed me,” says Robinson of the moment she realized her shirt was about to go viral. The star of The Incredible Jessica James and former Daily Show correspondent has been a Green Box shopper for a minute, and was all too eager to share that Ocean was broadcasting Robinson’s WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN YOU COULD JUST BE QUIET? design to a thousands-strong crowd.

“She texted me in all caps, all excited, like, ‘FRANK OCEAN IS WEARING ONE OF YOUR SHIRTS!’ I was like, ‘That’s not true! You’re lying!’ I didn’t believe her at first, but then she sent me some pictures, and I was like, ‘That’s crazy.’ I just started freaking out. I just remember doing something in my kitchen, and I just immediately started running around.”

Robinson’s reaction is completely understandable given the intense surge of interest in Green Box. During a typical week, Green Box sees a daily average of 50 orders. On July 29, the day after Ocean’s set, Robinson says that 3,500 orders were placed (though not all for the shirt he wore, specifically); an additional 1,000 orders came in before this article went to press on July 30. That means that Green Box sold ten times what they typically do in a week in a single day thanks to the exposure Ocean provided — and it also means that Green Box has a chance to give back more than they already do.

For Robinson, the focus of Green Box has always been more about freedom of expression than about fashion, as she launched the company to sell tees with activist messages she’d actually wear (and raise money to fund her yoga teacher certification in the process).

“I never really had an interest in fashion — you know, as in being really trendy or fashionable,” she says. “I was already in the phase of tie-dying a lot of shirts, and so I decided to put my ideas on shirts and sell them to raise money. I first started doing this through GoFundMe, and then the business grew. It basically came from a passion of speaking my mind and tie-dye.”

To read full article, go to: Meet The Teen Who Made Frank Ocean’s Powerful Panorama Tee – MTV

Meet Cat Frazier, the Woman Responsible for Animated Text – the Hottest GIFS on the Internet

Cat Frazier (Photo courtesy of Ms. Frazier)

Cat Frazier (Photo courtesy of Ms. Frazier)

article by via John Walker via fusion.net

As the internet continues to streamline itself down to an increasingly uniform, minimalist aesthetic, many young people are pushing back against all that sans serif black on white. One of those young people is Cat Frazier, a graphic designer from Oakland who just might be the patron saint of this retro-maximalist aesthetic movement.

You might not know Cat Frazier by name, but I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen her work. The 24-year-old is the creative genius behind the Animated Text Tumblr, where she creates intentionally tacky-looking gifs of rotating text that occupy some tonal void between “Feeling Myself” and “Teenage Dirtbag.” Aesthetically, the gifs—each one requested by a follower—look similar to the kind of animated welcome banners you might have seen on someone’s personal web site circa Y2K. (Maybe your own?) According to Cat, that GeoCities feel is totally intentional.

“My background is in graphic design, where you’re told to make it clean, make it pretty, make it legible, and make it generic so it appeals to a lot of different people,” Frazier told me over the phone. “But the internet I grew up with—like GeoCities and Myspace and Blingee—was always really personal, as tacky as it was. You didn’t need a degree in design,” to claim ownership over your corner of the web, she explained, and that empowerment-through-DIY is something she wants to bring back with Animated Text.

Cat, who works by day as an instructional designer for California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company, says that the point of Animated Text is not so much the retro-’90s aesthetic itself, but rather her “relationship with the followers.” Every gif was specifically requested by one of her fans, so she sees each post as a collaborative process, rather than one where she’s the “keeper of the keys” or whatever.

Thinking back on that “Rihanna/Azealia Banks stole seapunk!” moment from 2012, I asked Cat if she was worried about being cool-hunted out of commission by larger brands. “I see a lot of clothing sites [use my gifs without attribution],” she told me. “But it doesn’t upset me… It’s, like, more power to them! Someday, I hope to see an entire internet of animated text.”

Cat Frazier/Animated Text

Cat Frazier/Animated Text

Animated Text’s follower base has grown substantially since its launch in 2012—thanks, in part, to a crucial March 2013 reblog of a “ur not gucci lol” by Frank Ocean. While more followers is obviously a good thing, Cat says that one particular problem keeps coming up.

“Literally everyone assumes I am a straight white man,” she said. That’s why Cat started posting pictures of herself along with the Animated Text gifs in recent months, to “prove I am female, that I am black, that I am gay,” and not that unholy trinity of falsely presumed neutrality: straight, white, and male.

By injecting more and more of herself into the Animated Text project, she became more and more comfortable with being vulnerable on the internet, something she did not expect when she was designing ostentatiously disaffected gif mantras like “lol nothing matters” or “blog the pain away.” That newfound comfort with being vulnerable online also inspired Frazier’s latest venture: Ask Cat, an “advice column for the smartphone age” that you can submit to by texting 510-962-9372.

To read more, go to: http://fusion.net/story/263103/animated-text-cat-frazier-ask-cat/

NYT MUSIC FEATURE: Can the Weeknd Turn Himself Into the Biggest Pop Star in the World?

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The Weeknd (Photo Credit: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum, The New York Times)

The scene backstage last November at the American Music Awards, that annual gathering of pop perennials and idiosyncratic arrivistes, was carnivalesque: Niall and Liam of One Direction toddled about trying to snap a picture with a selfie stick, while Zayn, their bandmate at the time, smoked coolly out of frame; Ne-Yo was there in a leopard-­print blazer two sizes too small; Lil Wayne was wandering around, alone, wearing absurd shoes. In the middle of it all, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, remained calm, slow ­motion to everyone else’s warp speed.

Allergic to these sorts of scrums, he found his way to his trailer to hang with his friends, five or so fellow Canadians, all of them art-goth chic, wearing expensive sneakers and draped in luxurious, flowing black. Tesfaye, 25, was dressed down by comparison, in a black corduroy jacket and paint-­splattered jeans (Versace, but still). He stands 5-foot-7, plus a few more inches with his hair, an elaborate tangle of dreadlocks that he has been growing out for years, more or less letting it go where it wants. It spills out at the sides of his head and shoots up over it, like a cresting wave. Casually, Tesfaye did some vocal warm-ups and sat indifferently as his underutilized makeup artist dabbed foundation under his eyes and balm on his lips.

Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. the Weeknd, at his apartment building in Toronto last December. (Credit: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times)

He’d just had his first flash of true pop success: ‘‘Love Me Harder,’’ his duet with Ariana Grande, the childlike pop star with the grown-up voice, cracked the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. He was scheduled to make a surprise cameo here at the end of a Grande medley. Until that song and, in a sense, that moment, Tesfaye had been a no-hit wonder: a cult act with millions of devotees and almost no mainstream profile.

When Tesfaye came out from the shadows midway through Grande’s performance, the crowd screamed. For two minutes, the singers traded vocal riffs and unflinching eye contact, Grande playing the naïf and Tesfaye the aggressor. The performance was quick and sweaty, and seconds after it was over, Tesfaye was already speeding for the exit, stopping only for a quick embrace from Kendall and Kylie Jenner. When he reached the parking lot, a yappy talent wrangler for an entertainment-­news show sensed an opportunity and asked for an interview. Tesfaye gave him an amused half-smile and kept walking. ‘‘Hey!’’ the guy shouted in desperation, fumbling for a name before landing on the wrong one: ‘‘A$AP Rocky!’’ Tesfaye turned his head and said, ‘‘C’mon, man,’’ arching an eyebrow, then picked up the pace.

Even though he had just performed for an audience of millions, Tesfaye was still, to many of them, a total stranger. When he began releasing music in 2010 — murky Dalí-esque R.&B., sung in an astrally sweet voice, vivid with details of life at the sexual and pharmacological extremes — Tesfaye chose to be a cipher. The only photos of him in circulation were deliberately obscured; he didn’t do interviews. His reticence was an asset — fans devoured the music without being distracted by a personality. Their loyalty was to the songs and, in a way, to the idea of the Weeknd. He was happy to stay out of the way.

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LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for August 2015

by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor

by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor

It’s August, and summer is almost over, but I’m always on the hunt for fun entertaining things to do, read, watch and… enjoy! Here’s a few listed below:

IN ART

August 25th October 27th

Muse by artist Mickalene Thomas

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This gorgeous book is at the top of my list. It explores Mickalene’s inspiration of African American female beauty and identity through her photographs. We get lots of inspiring 70’s-themed shots. http://mickalenethomas.com
UPDATE: The release date of this book has been pushed to October 27.  To pre-order via Amazon, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Mickalene-Thomas-Photographs/dp/159711314X
IN SPORTS
August 31st

U.S. Open

serena

Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Serena will compete in the U.S. Open and may just make make tennis history.
IN TELEVISION
August 5th
Mr. Robinson
NBC premieres Mr. Robinson starring Craig Robinson as a musician (lead singer and keyboardist of the funk band Nasty Delicious) who takes a job as a high school substitute teacher to pay the bills. Craig is moved to inspire the kids.  This sounds like a pretty cool premise promising lots of laughter. http://www.nbc.com/mr-robinson

July 30

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L.A. Hair star Kim Kimble

Thursdays, catch the new season L.A. Hair on WE tv with celebrity stylist Kim Kimble and her staff. Famed hair stylist Jonathan Antin reappears this season looking to break into the lucrative world of wigs and extensions. http://www.wetv.com/shows/la-hair http://kimblehairstudio.com

IN CINEMA
August 7th

Fantastic Four
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Michael B. Jordan joins Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell as four young outsiders who acquire superhuman abilities after a trip to an alternative universe. Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAgnQdiZFsQ

August 14th

Straight Outta Compton

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. The F. Gary Gray-directed film about the revolutionary rap legends N.W.A. is steadily gaining rave reviews. Click here for the trailer: http://www.straightouttacompton.com/#/

IN MUSIC

August brings us Erykah Badu!

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Click for tour dates: http://www.livenation.com/artists/41646/erykah-badu

August 10th

Future

future

Future at the Observatory, Santa Ana CA http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/future-aug-10

August 12th

Earl Sweatshirt

sweatshirt

Odd Future member and solo artist and all-around talented guy begins his second leg of the U.S. world tour this month and I can’t wait to see him! http://earlsweatshirt.com

He will also be appearing at the Low End Theory Festival with Flying Lotus on August 8: http://www.shrineauditorium.com/events/detail/275496

August 21st

Method ManThe Meth Lab

Method Man

It’s been a minute since Method Man has released a solo effort. He’s done tons of collaborations but this will be the first album he has put out in a decade. This 5th solo effort proves to be worth the wait.

August 22 -23rd
FYF Festival
FYF fest
Los Angeles-based annual festival featuring music performances from indie and alternative bands. Frank Ocean, Morrissey and Solange are among the many premiere acts.
August 28th
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
Finally! The highly-anticipated album is coming out this month.
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August 30th – September 7th
Burning Man
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Explore the annual festival in the Nevada desert…features great d.j.’s, parties and communal harmony. http://burningman.org

Beyoncé Reveals Artistry, Herself on “Beyoncé” (REVIEW)

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Beyoncé pulled off a coup late last Thursday night when she released a terrific self-titled “visual album” – containing 14 songs, each with an accompanying video – straight to iTunes with zero advance warning or fanfare.  The record is expected to easily top the weekly album chart despite being released midway through the stanza, and according to Apple, the album had already sold more than 800,000 digital copies by Monday morning. Not only does Beyoncé rank as the year’s most accomplished and engaging mainstream pop album by a rather laughable margin, but its calculatedly shrugged-off release strategy can’t help but read as an imperious kiss-off toward the singer’s competitors for the 2013 crown — Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and even her husband Jay Z — all of whom worked up gallons of sweat and employed every eyeball-grabbing trick in the book to move their product, only to be upstaged by Beyoncé’s abrupt digital data-dump.

“I’ve been climbing up the walls, ’cause all this shit I hear is boring,” she sings on the album’s second track, by way of explanation. “All these record labels, boring.”

Of course, like Radiohead’s “name-your-price” release of In Rainbows in 2007, this is the sort of trick that can only be pulled off by an artist who has already spent decades tirelessly feeding the publicity machine, and it’s unlikely Beyoncé’s December surprise will “change the music business” any more than Radiohead’s did. Competition is Beyoncé’s lifeblood, and coming off of the commercially disappointing 4, it’s easy to see this as a gauntlet thrown down. Far more personal, confessional, and flat-out filthy than anything the singer has released in the past, Beyoncé offers some striking windows into the star’s personal life, while audio archival snippets from her early years shuttling between beauty contests and kiddie singing competitions are sprinkled throughout, hinting at the lifetime of rigorously maintained perfection and pageantry to which much of this record is a reaction.

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Beyoncé Breaks iTunes Records, Sells 828,773 Albums in Just Three Days

PHOTO: Beyoncés visual album broke iTunes records after its Dec. 13, 2013 release.

Beyoncé’s visual album broke iTunes records after its Dec. 13, 2013 release.
(iTunes|Getty Images)

Of course, the fact that the album was available exclusively through iTunes and not via any other digital music service helped push along the sales. Additionally, fans couldn’t buy single songs for the usual 99 cent price; instead they were forced to buy the whole album for $15.99.  The album, however, included more than just 14 songs. It also came with 17 videos. You could watch only 30 second snippets of each video clip on YouTube. Called Beyoncé’s first visual album, it also included tracks from her husband Jay-Z, R&B singer Frank Ocean and rapper Drake. Another big draw? The closing track, “Blue,” features her daughter Blue Ivy in the video.

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New Orleans Jazz Fest to Feature Jill Scott, B.B. King and N.O. Native Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If there’s a theme to this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it may be living legends.  Headliners include B.B. King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Hall and Oates and Fleetwood Mac. There’s also a cast of modern-day hit makers such as The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, Kem, the Dave Matthews Band and New Orleans native Frank Ocean.

Over the next two weekends, fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be treated to traditional jazz as well as rock ‘n roll, Cajun, gospel, blues, hip-hop, funk and zydeco.  “The way the talent fell into place this year, it became a very special year for us,” festival producer Quint Davis said. “It’s Jazz Fest, but it’s also B.B. King, Willie Nelson. It’s Ben Harper. It’s Hall and Oates. We ended up with probably the greatest living proponent in each kind of music we feature here.”

In all, about 5,000 entertainers will play the festival on 12 stages. The first weekend is Friday through Sunday, and the following weekend starts Thursday, May 2, and lasts until Sunday, May 5.

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