Star Studded Action at the 10th Annual Queen City Awards 

Despite the cold weather in Charlotte, the red carpet outside of The Community Outreach Christian Ministries was on fire with some the area’s most talented entertainers. The Queen City Awards celebrated its ten year anniversary on Saturday December 10, 2016 with celebrity appearances, jaw-dropping live performances and rewards of some of the most elite talent hailing from Charlotte NC and surrounding areas.

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Exclusive Interview: Lajan Slim of Kayne West’s Label Talks Haitian Roots, Life After Inking A Deal & Voting for Hillary!

By: Nikki M.

Hey Pink Illuminance fans,

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lajan Slim on Tuesday at TCB 5400 Lounge in Charlotte, NC. Lajan is one of the hottest up and coming rapper’s on the East Coast, representing Florida’s Broward County. It wasn’t long into the interview before LAJAN unveiled what all the buzz was about regarding his music. He’s received over 630k views to date from his video release of his hit song ‘Haitians’ on WorldStar this summer.

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{Exclusive Interview} Young Beckham talks signing to Def Jam & single “Birthday Chick”

This past Wednesday during a meet and greet for Def Jam Recordings at TCB 5400 Lounge, located at 5400 Nevin Road here in the Queen City of Charlotte, NC, I had the pleasure of meeting Def Jam’s new recording artist Young Beckham or as he is known in Jacksonville, FL, Young Trap. Despite his busy schedule he made time to sit with me to discuss his newest, hottest single “Birthday Chick.”

Young Beckham aka Young Trapp was born in Jacksonville, Florida where is music career begun in his home. I decided to discuss his humble beginnings and what brought him to this point.


Q&A with Young Beckham

Q. Tolson: Good evening how are you today?

    A. Young Beckham: I am good, just a hectic schedule but it is all worth it to me.


    Q. Tolson: Let’s get started; tell me how your music journey began?

      A. Young Beckham: My journey began when I was 12 years old living in Jacksonville, FL. For my birthday my brought me my first tape recorder and then I started writing and recording songs. It was at 14 when she realized I was serious about my music and purchased my first beat maker called a Magic Music Maker and I began making my own beats as wells and laying tracks of music.

      Q. Tolson: When did you have your first taste of success or when were you recognized first?

      A. Young Beckham:  I released a single early on in my career called “Top of the Line” it took off in the southern markets and that’s when I knew I had to keep grinding to get national recognition.  With this new song “Birthday Chick” being featured on the compilation album “Now that’s what I call Music: 59. It debuted at #5 on Billboard 200 chart.  I am getting a lot more recognition and I am still trying to catch up to the success of the single.

      Q. Tolson: What are some of your first’s with this experience?

      A. Young: Beckham: As a young man in this business, I have experienced my first plane ride; living in Florida was all I knew. I never had a reason to travel anywhere else. With this new situation, I am able to go places I have never been before. I still haven’t experienced my first snowfall and I am looking forward to that. I am still a baby in this world and I am ready to experience all it has to offer.

      Q. Tolson: When can we expect more singles or better yet an album?

        A. Young Beckham: The Def Jam is looking at some time next year for the album to drop, but I currently have a mixtape out called Young Beckham 7/14:16 and I release one every year with the same title and the new year. 7/14 symbolizes my birthday so these mixtapes have meaning to me.

        A. Tolson: How did you become a part of the Black College Tour?

          Q. Young Beckham: With the success of the single “Birthday Chick”, I was able to make the connection through my record company and secure a spot on the tour. It has been wonderful being able to connect with my fans on a more personal and intimate level.

          Q. Tolson: What was the concept of “Birthday Chick”?

            A. Young Beckham: I was in the club having fun and I started seeing that there were a lot of people celebrating their birthday. I started to notice a lot more women celebrating in the club then men, I came up with the hook and verses in the club, and that is how the song was born. I wanted to create a new birthday anthem.

             Q. Tolson: Who are some of the producers and your team that you have worked with on this single and your mixtape?

            A. Young Beckham: My mixtape as well as single was a collaboration between myself and the hot Grammy-nominated producers The Interns, as well as Beast Mode Recordz. It was and always is a pleasure working with them and seeing how they are shaping me as an artist.

            Q. Tolson: Is there any artists you would love to work with in the future production or collaboration?

            A. Young Beckham: Kanye West is someone I would love to work with. He is the complete package; he can lay the tracks and contribute to the lyrics. I hope to make that happen really soon.

            Q. Tolson: What the last thing you want to leave your fans with?
            A. Young Beckham: I want them to know that I am turned up but also a laid back artist. I can be high spirited and make music for all ages to enjoy

            Q. Tolson: How can your fans keep in touch with you?

            A. Young Beckham: On all social media outlets it is Young Beckham and make sure you download my single “Birthday Chick” from all music streaming sites.

            Q. Tolson: Thank you for your time and I wish you much success!

            A. Young Beckham:  Thank you so much!!

            Follow me on Instagram and Facebook:

             @prettyzeta & @scriptdivas  ❤️

            Public Enemy goes off in The State of Brotherly Love

            We had the chance to scratch elbows with legends of hip hop from the iconic group, Public Enemy, after their show in Philadelphia this past weekend. 

            With the recent BLM movement, this performance and tour was able to brige the gap for a younger audience while fueling their day-one fan base with classics like “Fight The Power” .

            We even ran into a special lady from the UK, Monie Love😍

            Good times in Philly when a family affair invades the city!! 

            Stayed tuned and be sure to share the good times with your friends below!

            Leslie Monet

            Theater Arts Review: “Boys To Baghdad” Stageplay 

            Endless entertainment is the least I could say to describe a breathtaking showcase of black theater production, this past weekend in uptown Charlotte.  Written and directed by playwright Rory D. Sheriff of Brand New Sheriff (BNS) Productions, Boys To Baghdad stageplay successfully debut at Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square on Friday July 15, 2016.

            I got a chance to talk with the director about his inspiration for the play, what the audience can expect from the show and how the plot reveres the Black soldiers’ narrative in today’s military arena:

            Q: What was your inspiration for the script?

            Q: Tell the audience what to expect from the play?

            Q: How is the story line relevant to the Black Soldier’s narrative currently?

            Not only did the show bring the audience to tears and hilarious laughter, but we were all pleasantly surprised by a visit from the real soldiers whose characters were so elegantly depicted in the show!!

            As a veteran combat soldier of Desert Storm, Rory has drawn from real life experiences and influence from Spike Lee, Quentin Taratino and Lee Daniels, to produce this remarkable stageplay.  The up and coming writer studied Mass Communications & Business at Temple University and Alvernia College and to date has penned 5 novels, several short films and a music sequel of The Wiz, “Be a Lion” stageplay, which ran successfully from 2014 through 2016 in Charlotte, NC and Reading, PA.

            Among the amazing cast are:

            • Shar Marlin – as Momma
            • Sultan Omar El-Amin – as Huey Shareef
            • Darren D.S. Sanders – as Uncle Lenny
            • Kerra Don – as Tiffany Peterson
            • Jermaine A. Gamble – as Juice/Mark McClain
            • Jonathan Caldwell – as Bug/Private Bailey/Medic
            • Alex Lee Mauney – as Pete/Dustin Pough
            • Rasheed Owens – as Fred/Arah Williams
            • Danius Jones – Dez Laury
            • Rae Styles – Drill Sergeant Wilson
            • Yvette Miller – Telephone Operator/ Mrs. Peterson
            • Hafiz Stokes – as Mark Esposito
            • Tim Bradley – as Colonel Peterson
            • Ericka Cornick – Stage Manager

            We must continue to support he arts.  It helps us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age (America For The Arts, 2014).  Boys to Baghdad embodies this less-than-familiar fact.

            I challenge you to go see a play in your local neighborhood (or while touring another city) and follow this amazing playwright to see when he will be showing up in a theater near you!

            IG: @brandnewsheriff

            Twitter: @brandnewsheriff

            Until next time,

            ♥Leslie Monet

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            Don’t believe the hype

            Emotional overload on social media has catapulted a remarkable amount of individual display of what seems to be idol opinions regarding the country’s backlash on police brutality. After the most recent murders of Philando Castile & Alton Sterling, I’ve realized that propaganda has made its way to the forefront on crisis coverage rather than productivity….in the White House, your house and truth be told, in my own house.

            As an American of African genotype, I obviously feel anguished as I watch public display of unfair treatment by government officials to people who look like me!  But instead of only voicing opinion, I ask myself, what can I do to counter this threat?

            God has blessed me to use words to inititiate thought, and ultimately action of my peers. So I challenge you, my beloved supporters and readers, to link up with your local organized community group to help!! 

            Take a look a some of the strategic ways you can support our efforts to make effective political change to bring justice to the brutal killings of innocent US Citizens.  

            1. Here in Charlotte, NC, CMPD offers a program that allows citizens to get up close and personal with the department. Citizen’s Academy gives you an opportunity to train as an officer. You can ride with police in any area you want and offer feedback on their performance as well.
            2. Financial Boycott: withdraw from patronizing large corporations (collectively) as a benchmark to show your power in numbers. Follow the hashtag #moveyourmoneychallenge to get more details on which small business and banks to patronize as an alternative.
            3. Give back….literally! Make impact in your own neighborhood by simply volunteering your time to serve less fortunate groups (homeless shelter, youth organization, etc). While this avenue is an indirect driver of political change, it is the foundation of building a safe haven for those nearest to you and will generate positive reinforcement to counteract negative stories that saturate the news!

            There are also plenty of civil rights groups nationwide and virally that would benefit tremendously by your donated time and/or support via the web. Look into local NAACP chapters and get moving to make change! 

            Don’t fall for the hype of only voicing your opinion on Facebook or Twitter and subsequently taking no action. The media’s rhetorical approach will leave you mentally drained yet still sitting on the couch or at your desk “lookin lookin” and not doing anything substantial!!! Do something!

            Leslie Monét

            Improve Your Posture & Relieve Your Pain!

            I recently met up with Johnny Moses, owner of Charlotte’s ELITE Posture Performance to redeem my FREE assessment to map out a plan to help me relieve some moderate back and neck pain.  I had a bad car wreck and working behind a computer for hours daily, has resulted in very uncomfortable nights and days…to say the least.

            Johnny is an amazing expert, holding 7 national certifications and invaluable knowledge he’s learned from over 10 years of playing professional basketball internationally!

            Contact him today and set up your free assessment!

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            Paradise in Punta Cana, D.R.

            Ooooooohhh my sweet tooth for paradise was satisfied after my first international vacay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! Check it out first hand…

            I went with family flying from Charlotte, NC on a straight flight (3 hrs) to Punta Cana. We stayed at the Breathless Resort {Adult Only & All-inclusive is definitely the way to go}

            Beach Time!

            soaking up sun

            Dominican Culinary Scene on the Resort was “Magnífico!”, as all the resort staff would describe 😋

            Although our travel was booked during the busy Memoial Day holiday weekend, there was absolutely NO reason to leave the resort or go to the American parties since the resort included a fully stocked alcoholic bar and plenty of gorgeous entertainers to keep us mesmerized 😍

            Including this beauty!

            There’s only so much I could capture with my I-Phone 6, but you have GOT to believe this is a sight to see in person😆

            Contact my travel agent for large or small group bookings: Coaxum Travel Agency LLC

            Until next time,

            Leslie Monét