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Dead Prez's Stic.Man On Why Hip-Hop Can Be Healthy Without Losing Its Swag

"If we grow up in communities that invest or embrace health, then more people will begin to talk about it."

Hip-hop fans may know stic.man from the hip-hop duo Dead Prez. What they may not know, however, is that the lyricist is also a purveyor of holistic living who aims to bring healthier choices into the urban lifestyle.

After a painful experience woke him up in regards to his unhealthy habits, Stic made sure to use his platform to not only keep up with better choices, but to also inspire his fans in the hip-hop community to do the same. With his wife, he started a lifestyle brand, RBG Fit Club, dedicated to “a street smart approach to healthy living” through five basic principles. The brand also spawned a record label division to amplify his “fit-hop” genre of music.

The Toyota Green Initiative coalition member spoke to VIBE at the Broccoli City Festival about the importance of hip-hop promoting healthier habits, as well as a bit about “fit-hop” and the RBG Fit Club.

VIBE: What inspired you to living life with a more holistic approach?
Stic: Long story short, I woke up one morning with gout in my left leg. I had been drinking, smoking, you know, hip-hopped out. So much stress, no rest, all of that. My ankle swole up and I went to the doctor, and he was basically like "I'mma put you on medication." My lady was like "you know, plants heal." The blessing in disguise was that I healed gout totally, naturally, through my diet, I got into kung-fu, became a long-distance running coach. Years later, seeing the value of taking responsibility just because of something I wanted to share with my platform.

What were some of the things besides drinking and smoking that you had to cut out?
Whoppers [Laughs], you know what I mean, cheap foods. It was tough, but the most important thing was my perspective. A lot of my early focus was what I'm against, and my perspective changed to what I'm for, and just being proactive. That's what helped me see. Instead of complaining, in a lot of ways, there's a few things I needed to do to make a difference. Once you do all of that, if you have a complaint, you'll make a complaint, but you should spend most of your energy trying to make a difference.

Has a holistic approach changed the way you approach music or the way you make music?
Yep. Most people know me from Dead Prez, but my favorite album that I created was called The Workout. It's 14 songs of a genre I like to call "fit-hop." It's where I brought those two worlds together, all of my holistic health experiences and my passion for hip-hop and real lyricism. Since that record, I stopped saying "n***a" in my music, I don't use profanity. It's still street, but it's proactive. I recognize the experiment they did on water. Dr. Emoto, a guy from Japan, he found out that if you speak different words to water, it reacts in either asymmetrical, beautiful ways, or dirty words. I said 'okay, I'm gonna test that,' and since then, my music has more context.

Tell me a little bit about the RBG Fit Club?
It's like "Red Black Green," or "Reaching Bigger Goals." RGB Fit Club is our holistic platform. We wanted to inspire people to be healthier. We have five principles: knowledge, nutrition, exercise, rest and consistency, and we focus on holistic health, which is health, love, hustle and play. Today, I'm a running coach, archery instructor, life coach, Qigong practitioner. My wife is the president and she's a nutritionist and a chef. We take all of our various practices, and we try to put it in action steps and bite-sized things that people can do, and share it with our brand. Whether it's online, workshops...we just did a workshop at the Kennedy Center last week, so we out here making contacts.

There's also a "fit-hop" playlist on the site. Who are some of the artists that you'd find on there?
Coach Nym is the newest artist on our RBG fit-hop label, you'll find him there. We also curated songs from classic artists who are already established, but when they were talking about health in certain songs. O.C., he's got a great workout song. It's packed! Nas, Snoop, there's so many different people, even Lil Wayne is on there.

Who are some of the artists today, the younger artists, who you enjoy watching motivate younger people to be smarter in general?
You know who I like a lot? I like Willow Smith. I think she's brilliant, sharp, edgy, and a leader. She's also an archer, so we've got that in common [Laughs]. I like Kendrick Lamar, I liked his new album. I really, really did. There's a millennial movement of very intellectual but also tangible minded people. Dynamic, they're experimenting how life can be lived in new ways, so I find myself following a lot of the younger crowd.

How else do you think music contributes to having a healthier lifestyle?
You know, the vibration of the music, everything is vibration. When you hear music at certain BPM's, some content, it creates chemical responses, even though consciously, we might not be aware of that, subconsciously, it does it. BPM's get your heart going, and certain ones calm you down. It's the same thing when it comes to when we listen to things around you. It goes into the subconscious even more. You have to be mindful of what you're listening to, because it affects our thinking long-term.

I don't know if you know, but Future's "Mask Off" is one of the hottest songs out right now, and the first three lyrics in the chorus are "Percocet, Molly, Percocet." How else do you think that hip-hop can embrace a healthier way-of-life?
[Laughs] right on. I'll tell you in two answers. One, we created for the first-time ever, a new element in hip-hop, we got it ratified. The 10th Element of hip-hop, which is health and wealth. Part of our work is to help hip-hop claim that part of its heritage. It started out as a healthy alternative to violence and disenfranchisement. That's what hip-hop was. But I think the job of the community is to invest in a healthy culture, because the rappers are coming out of communities of poor health, so we can't look at rap and isolate and blame it or expect it to be something higher than the community. If we grow up in communities that invest or embrace health, then more people will begin to talk about it. In the meantime, we make healthy the new gangsta, and our music is still strong, it's still got the bass and the 808 and everything that we like for the energy, but instead of putting Hennessy on top, we put green juice on top and balance it out.

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Beyoncè Shells Out Ivy Park Goodies To Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland And More

We're less than 24 hours away from the full release of Beyoncè's Ivy Park collaboration with Adidas and fans are beyond ready, thanks to her brilliant orange box preview.

The entertainer and businesswoman gifted her family and celebrity pals with treasure trunks of goodies. From Solange to Yara Shahidi, celebs shared pieces from the collection on social media this week. Adidas announced its multi-year partnership with the mogul last April, making history in the process. The singer is the first black woman to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand. Bey took the steps to own the brand entirely after her initial collab with Topshop in 2016 by purchasing the shares of Phillip Green after sexual harassment claims were filed against him.

“It’s a dream come true to re-launch IVY PARK as the sole owner,” Beyonce said in a statement. It’s her first collaboration with adidas but not her first time building buzz for a product. The legend cleverly shared the mysterious orange boxes in all shapes in sized to her friends, thus creating quite the conversation on social media.

Ivy Park is also creating bigger conversations in the corporate world. According to a November research note by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ivy Park's sales can slowly surpass Kanye West's Yeezy line.

“In-line with adidas approach on other franchises, we would expect there to be a low volume, high priced launch ... to create brand heat and in the following years the brand will likely become more democratized,” the note says.“Initially, Ivy Park will be smaller than Yeezy, but Ivy Park has the potential to be larger, if managed properly,” says Matt Powell, a senior footwear analyst at NPD Group.

We love to see it.

See the celebs bask in their Ivy Park glory below.

Tina Lawson

 

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I love this couture beautiful Orange IVY PARK Adidas dress thanks @beyonce. @ivyparkadidas @ivypark. @beyonce. @dougspearman

A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on Jan 12, 2020 at 1:27pm PST

Reese Witherspoon

 

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Thank you, @Beyonce for the #IvyPark swag!

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:28pm PST

Janelle Monae

 

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Thank you Bey for these @weareivypark pieces ! And a special thank you for my new hide out where I’ll bey escaping my duties . S O proud of you ! Luhhhhh uuuuu @beyonce swiiiipe ☄️

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on Jan 15, 2020 at 10:35pm PST

Hailey Bieber

[email protected] unboxing her #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/Y3rcxIDhCe

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 15, 2020

Kelly Rowland

[email protected] unboxing her #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/vGqwwnZrnl

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 16, 2020

Yara Shahidi

 

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ADDIDASXIVYPARK PEEK

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on Jan 10, 2020 at 11:41pm PST

Scottie Beam

 

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Check my instastories to see what Beyonce SELECTED for me. Lmfao! Thank you so so much @weareivypark @beyonce ✨ THE INFEED PHOTO IS COMING!

A post shared by scottiebeam (@scottiebeam) on Jan 17, 2020 at 6:48am PST

Ellen DeGeneres

Thank you, @Beyonce. I love my big orange box. Your new clothes are really cool too. #adidasxIVYPARK @adidas pic.twitter.com/ecTxZ5o0CG

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 15, 2020

Missy Elliott

Thank you so much @Beyonce I am soooooooo humbly grateful you are a GEM! Lol the box was so big I was scared to open I thought a whole human was gonna jump out but this FYE sis #IVYPARK I LOVE IT! pic.twitter.com/hJbrfDWvXL

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) January 16, 2020

Diplo

[email protected] unboxing his #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/D2BKKVzLBw

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 14, 2020

Zendaya

Zendaya has gotten her Ivy Park box....#IvyParkXAdidas #IvyPark #adidasxIVYPARK #adidas pic.twitter.com/fLYdYAVyWn

— Yoncé Headlines (@YonceHeadlines) January 15, 2020

Kim Kimble

 

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Thank you @beyonce @weareivypark @adidas for this drip and I’m going to buy some as well

A post shared by Kim Kimble (@kimblehaircare) on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:07pm PST

Rita Ora

Rita Ora out and about in her Ivy Park x Adidas wear. pic.twitter.com/hFt4OQjE4v

— Beyoncé, Period! (@ourhermitage) January 16, 2020

Quincy

Diddy’s son, Quincy, also got a box of the upcoming Ivy Park/Adidas collection, officially dropping on the 18th of January, 2020 pic.twitter.com/rUJOWgy2l4

— Beyoncé, Period! (@ourhermitage) January 12, 2020

Cardi B

 

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That new @weareivypark bomb

A post shared by Cardib (@iamcardib) on Jan 13, 2020 at 10:15pm PST

Laverne Cox

https://twitter.com/BeyLegion/status/1216405687862988806

 

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#mood4eva in my Adidas X IVY Park ... #mood #TransIsBeautiful @adidas @weareivypark @beyonce #DisclosureDoc

A post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on Jan 16, 2020 at 12:00pm PST

Michelle Williams

 

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Looks coming soooooooooon!!! “I GOT IT” by @rickydillard is appropriate! @beyonce @weareivypark @adidas!! Ok bye for now!!

A post shared by Michelle Williams (@michellewilliams) on Jan 16, 2020 at 2:03pm PST

Solange

Solange getting the Ivy Park x Adidas from her sis pic.twitter.com/G2bRO2lTYc

— | IVY PARK X ADIDAS ON JAN 18th (@beysarayonce) January 15, 2020

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner got a Ivy Park box...#IvyParkXAdidas #IvyPark #adidasxIVYPARK #adidas pic.twitter.com/79LGysUZBp

— Yoncé Headlines (@YonceHeadlines) January 17, 2020

Keke Palmer

 

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why do i feel like the whole planet earth is going to wear ivy park? — #beyonce #beyoncé #queen #queenb #yoncé #rumiandsir #rumiandsircarter #rumicarter #sircarter #blueivy #blueivycarter #jayz #jayonce #beyonceandjayz #thecarters #sashafierce #beyhives #beyhive #beckywiththegoodhair #ivypark #ivyparkbeyonce #weareivypark #ivypark2020 #2020 #beyonce2020 #beyoncephotoshoot #beyonceoutfit #flawless

A post shared by (@bivyslife) on Jan 17, 2020 at 4:36am PST

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Dutch Lingerie Designer Accused Of Stealing Rihanna's 'Savage x Fenty' Show Concept

They say nothing is new under the sun and while fashion has reminded us of this over time, some inspirations are hard to ignore.

On Monday (Jan 13), Dutch designer Marlies Dekkers revealed her new 2020 collection with a gathering of dancers, a viral rapper and a very familiar stage step up that has fans of Rihanna's Savage x Fenty collection outraged.

The show bears a striking similarity to Rihanna's Savage x Fenty show which took place in Brooklyn, New York in September 2019. The presentation took a lot of creative risks as dancers, models, actors, and rappers walked throughout a Romanesque stage set with plenty of stairs to include moments for elaborate dance numbers and performances by Halsey, Normani, Big Sean and Migos.

As visuals from the Marlies Dekkers show made their way to social media, fans quickly pointed out the similarities. For one, the stage set up is slightly familiar as white stairs and antique rounded Roman door openings were presented on the stage. The similarities in creative concepts continue with groups of dancers wearing Marlies Dekkers lingerie as artist Famke Louise took the stage. Colors that divided segments also seem to be featured in the show. To make things more awkward, a mix of Rihanna's "Rude Boy" was heard during the show.

Savage x Fenty 2019: 

Marlies Dekkers 2020: 

DID THEY JUST LITERALLY STEAL THE SAVAGEX CONCEPT? pic.twitter.com/VuObKhINHO

— ✨ (@marleyaq) January 14, 2020

Every one is a suspect @marliesdekkers #ss20 #fw20 pic.twitter.com/YZ8RIP5zkC

— tanja neckebroeck (@TanjaNecke) January 13, 2020

Dekkers has yet to comment on the comparisons. Dekkers launched her collection Undressed in 1993. Sold in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Paris, Bangkok, Berlin and Moscow, Dekkers brought the brand to the US with a show in New York in 2008. Guests included a young Solange, Kelly Rowland and Usher.

Meanwhile, Fenty x Savage has released new looks featuring Joan Smalls and Paloma Elsesser. The collection is a sweet ode to Valentine's Day with Rihanna participating in the fun as well.

 

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A post shared by SAVAGE X FENTY BY RIHANNA (@savagexfenty) on Jan 6, 2020 at 2:38pm PST

 

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A post shared by SAVAGE X FENTY BY RIHANNA (@savagexfenty) on Jan 14, 2020 at 11:33am PST

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Greg Alders

Jay-Z Rings In 50th Birthday With Limited Edition D'USSÉ Cognac

It's Jay-Z Day and that can only mean one thing–an endless streaming party for the music mogul. While you're jamming to Reasonable Doubt on Tidal or enjoying the re-release of his discography on Spotify, you can also be on the lookout for D'USSÉ's latest release.

D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire is a cognac produced from a single barrel in France where the brand's other popular expressions like D’USSÉ  XO ($199) and VSOP ($50) are made. The difference, however, is the resulting cognac was aged in a single oak cask with a single eau de vie. This is a treat for spirit enthusiasts since most barrels are blended. Jay had a chance to sample the rare batch with Maître de Chai (Cellar Master) Michel Casavecchia a few years ago, making this release one to remember.

Jay has given out 50 bottles of the batch to his closest friends and family but fans will be able to score the batch during the 2020 holiday season. Since there was only one barrel made of D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire, this will make it a pretty hot commodity next year.

Jay-Z became a partial owner of the spirits brand over six years ago as well as the full owner of premium Champagne brand Armand de Brignac. The Distilled Spirits Council by way of Fortune reports the brandy/cognac market is the place to be with the spirit selling 6.4 million nine-liter cases last year–a 12% increase from 2018's sales.

“The inimitable liquid of D’USSÉ 1969 Anniversaire showcases how the centuries-old traditions of the house continue to stand the test of time,” Global Brand Ambassador Sullivan Doh tells VIBE. “Once the barrel is emptied and bottled, there is no way to ever make this exact liquid again - and that is something we felt was worthy of honoring such a cultural icon.” 

If that wasn't enough, the flavors of the special batch are rich in walnut, hazelnut and candied apple. “Its aromas have now developed into an exquisite eaux-de-vie from the Château de Cognac, with characteristics unique to this exceptional batch,” Casavecchia adds. “Upon the first sip, it reveals a distinct potency with powerful, woody notes and a long stewed fruit finish, with a touch of leather and cigar box.” 

Be sure to scoop up the limited edition batch when it hits a store near you.

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