Cedric “Whoa Boi” Collins, was raised in the most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Englewood. Despite all the crime, violence and drugs that saturated his community, Whoa Boi wrapped himself in his music. At the age of seven, Whoa Boi was playing the organ and drums for his neighborhood church. This fixation and fascination for music quickly grew as Whoa Boi grew from just merely playing instruments, to producing and writing music of multiple genes.

In late August of 2013, Mr. Whoa Boi won the Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes National Championship in Miami, Florida. He went head-to-head with champions from 16 other cities nationwide performing their own original songs live and in front of a live audience. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Whoa Boi dropped his very first mixtape “Englewoodvilla”, which included his hit single “Chi Raq.”   ChiRaq is a moniker given to Chicago used to describe the violence in his hometown. The song ChiRaq received national attention. 


Mr. Whoa Boi, or Whoa as he’s affectionately called by friends and fans, is also the Ceo/President of his own independent label, PladBoy Entertainment Inc. He and his artist make not only music for you to dance and party to, but he also paints socially conscious portraits of life, injustice and love. The self-proclaimed voice of the voiceless, tackles matters such as black on black crime, police brutality, child abuse and a plethora of other relatable topics that are considered taboo, but many deal with in silence daily.

Mr. Whoa Boi’s talent doesn’t just stop at music, he also acts. He spent four consecutive seasons on the Emmy winning Fox television show “Empire”, where he was a core cast member playing the head of Lucious Lyons (Academy Award nominated actor Terrance Howard) security. Whoa Boi has also starred in several independent films such as: “Lil Ceaser”, “Roseland”, “The Walk of Rufus”, “A Masquerade Trapp” and Paramount Pictures/Singles Film and Music’s upcoming film “United Nations.”

In a society where we are plagued with pandemics, rumors of war and violence, it is pleasing to know that there are still artists like Mr. Whoa Boi, to not only speak our truths, but to also grant us reassurance that we can and will overcome our adversities through perseverance and love.

Get ready world… Whoa is coming!

GO BANG! Magazine: Growing up in the infamous Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, have you witnessed anything that had a major effect on you personally or professionally?

Whoa: Growing up in Englewood wasn’t for that faint at heart. I’ve literally watched family and friends murdered in front of me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Although Englewood has gained a negative reputation over the years, not everything or everyone coming from there is bad. How would you describe Englewood to someone not familiar with it, to shine a positive light on the neighborhood?

Whoa: Englewood, although it has the moniker as “the worst neighborhood in the city” when it comes to crime, is a beautiful place with beautiful family oriented people, beautiful parks, several landmarks and a host of talent.

GO BANG! Magazine: Performing as Whoa, your stage presence is magnetic. How would you describe you style, your sound and your mission?

Whoa: My style is gritty, grimy, smooth, yet melodic.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re not only gifted on the mic, you are also a musician and producer. Please tell to our readers about your skills as a keyboardist, drummer and producer.

Whoa: Well, it all started in church, where I learned how to play the organ, drums and bass/lead guitar.

GO BANG! Magazine: Many of our readers may recognize you, from not only being a Hip Hop performer, but also from tv and the silver screen, as a regular on Fox television’s hit tv show “Empire” and several Billy Ray Valentine films. How did you get started in acting and do you have any upcoming roles that you are pursuing?

Whoa: Acting was something that kinda just fell into my lap. In 2015, I had a performance at “Tailgaters” (a popular nightclub) in Bolingbrook, Illinois. After I got off stage, I was approached by two gentlemen and a lady whom asked me if I had ever acted before and at that point I hadn’t. They took my info down and called me the next morning asking me to prepare a one minute monolog for an audition that took place the following Monday. Having no idea what a monolog was, I first researched that and chose a Samuel L. Jackson scene from the film “Pulp Fiction.” I literally drove my family crazy for the next few days rehearsing (lol.) To make a long story short, I got the part and played on the show for the next four years. It was a surreal experience that opened the door to many other great opportunities.

GO BANG! Magazine: The subject matter of your music is not the same ole same ole that we’re used to hearing. You tackle real life topics that many artists avoid. Why do you choose to tackle those topics and what do you hope to accomplish by doing so?

Whoa: I believe what cones from the heart reaches the heart, so I make sure I am aware of all socially conscious topics. Music isn’t just about partying, dancing and bobbing your head, its an outlet to reach, teach and console. Music is a universal tool. If used the right way, can change lives. So I’m extremely careful on my content.

GO BANG! Magazine: Chicago has quite a few Hip Hop artists that have made it. Who are some of the artists that inspire or motivate you, whether or not they’re from Chicago?

Whoa: Kanye West, Common, Crucial Conflict, Donny Hathaway, R. Kelly, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Rakim, Nas, DMX, Young Jeezy, Shawnna, J. Cole, to name a few.

GO BANG! Magazine: Since the Covid-19 outbreak, violence in Chicago has increased drastically in ALL neighborhoods, especially carjacking and retail theft. Why do you think that is?

Whoa: Well, whenever there’s pandemonium, there’s (gonna be) a sense of anarchy, panic, etc. So when a neighborhood is already impoverished and lacks opportunity, there’s crime, violence and chaos.

GO BANG! Magazine: The Entertainment industry can be a dog-eat-dog world, especially the music industry. What advice would you give to someone that may be thinking about entering the music industry or acting field?

Whoa: Stay true to your craft, stay to yourself and never give up. Also, educate yourself in the music business. Never leave your fate in the hands of others.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are the CEO/President of your own independent label, PladBoy Entertainment Inc.. Please tell our readers about your label and some of your artists.

Whoa: Well, PladBoy Entertainment is a melting pot of talent, that isn’t just limited to music. Incorporated in 2012, we have a slew of poised and polished talent: Julian T. Allen aka as Tha One @julianallen (Actor/Model/Singer/Emcee/Dancer), Tony Gramz @omg_its_tony (Battle rap extraordinare, emcee), Lil Whoa (Emcee/Actor/Singer) @spg_woooski, Medusa Savage @medusasavage738 (Emcee/Actor/Model), Hakeem Pittman aka Savage Pitbull (MMA/P.B.E Sports), and my business partner Joshua “J Swag” Womack. We stand firm for our artist and prepare them for the business. It’s not artist development as far as performing. We educate them on how to read contracts, in the proper way, to get music published, copywritten, etc..

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, please tell our international readers what you are working on or have planned for the future.

Whoa: Currently, I’m filming a movie called “United Nations”, directed by Billy Ray Valentine, slated to drop Christmas of 2022. I am also working on my album “I AM LEGEND”, slated to drop first quarter of 2022. I AM LEGEND includes features from Cold Hard of the legendary Rap group Crucial Conflict and K-Ezzy Grease of the legendary group The Mercenaries. It’ll also include Tha One, Tony Grams, Lil Whoa and Medusa Savage, all members of the PladBoy Entertainment roster.

“The Walk of Rufus” drops in April of 2022, where I play Theodis Jones, younger brother of Rufus Jones. Theodis is a livewire and will pop off at the drop of a dime. In this movie, the Jones brothers are trying to go legit with their family business, but all doesn’t go as planned. If you like gangster flicks, you’ll love this. All together, I have four movies dropping in 2022.

Lastly, I’d like to thank you for this interview, especially with this being such a prestigious publication. I’d also like to thank my family and fans for being the fuel that drives my passion.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re welcome brutha. It’s my pleasure to shine a light on you. That’s the purpose of GO BANG! Magazine!


For touring updates visit my website. https://mrwhoaboi.godaddysites.com/

For music follow me in Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5y46mq70os9Fgpd3s1nug5?si=zCpBNx8rTE-o96RG4dfIJw&utm_source=copy-link

You can follow Whoa on social media:
@mrwhoaboi (Instagram)
@gowhoaboi (twitter)


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo credit:  Clayton DeLa Chappelle


Nigel Ridgeway aka TREW has a love for DJing that began in grade school when using two tape decks to spin basement parties. TREW’s main aim is to weave a common thread through seemingly disparate genres. Drawing inspiration from the early 1980s NYC art/music world, he believes no genre is off limits and no collaboration too outlandish. Honing his chops with the east-coast Rave & Hip-Hop scenes (Baltimore/DC), it was Chicago’s wealth of musical and architectural history that pulled him westward. “Like most kids back then, I thought ‘Percolator’ was a Baltimore club track. Once I found out the truth, I knew this is where I was meant to be!” he exclaims. Soon after, he quit his corporate job, cashed in the 401k, and invested his life into music.

Since landing in the “Windy City”, TREW has performed or held residencies all across Chicagoland. He’s played stages at West Fest, Spring Awakening, Do Division, Taste of Randolph, and North Coast Music Festival. He has been lucky enough to perform with artists like Snoop Dogg, Mayer Hawthorne, People Under The Stairs, Keys N Krates, Nightmares On Wax, Mint Condition, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Jeremiah Jae, Bobbito, House of Pain, Van Hunt, Jneiro Jarel, Devin the Dude, Bonobo, Cut Chemist, Quantic, Currensy, Afrika Bambaataa, MF Doom, Mos Def and dozens more.

When not DJing, he co-owns Ground Lift Media – a digital marketing company, he’s 1/2 of the DJ/Production duo Altered Tapes, owns and operates Heat Rock Records, and is deep into vinyl excavation, having amassed thousands of rare Soul, Funk, Disco, and Jazz records. This is a hobby/obsession he shares with the world via his Miyagi Records Shop.

GO BANG! Magazine: Where did you grow up and where do you call home?

Trew: I grew up on the east coast, in and around the Baltimore/DC area. But, I’ve lived in Chicago for 23 years (Jordan!) and for a while now, Chicago has felt very much like home.

GO BANG! Magazine: When did you first become interested in the music industry?

Trew: Well, I don’t know that I’ve ever been interested in the ‘industry’ per se, navigating the business and politics side of things, but I’m a 100% fan of making a living from my craft(s)! How I first became interested in music itself is an entirely different story though. The way my Mom tells it, I was heavily into anything musical from a very young age, toddler style. What I remember however, is my first electronic instruments and getting into cassette tapes.

Once I learned you could record onto cassettes, it was over! My debut ‘mix’ was made using songs from the radio. I was a huge fan of ElectroPop 80s and Freestyle – Nu Shooz, Taylor Dayne, The Miami Vice theme (lol), Expose, Giorgio Moroder, Newcleus, Shannon – so that was the vibe for those early mixes. At some point, it wasn’t enough to just listen to the music, or make a mix… I had to do the thing I loved so much.

On that first keyboard, I was a beast playing “Greensleeves” and making weird tracks with the ‘Rhumba’ drum accompaniment. Or replaying the simplest melodies I could figure out from songs like “I Need Love” by LL, and “Lean On Me” by Club Noveau. What really changed the game though was getting my first drum machine…a little Yamaha four-pad electronic thing. I was and am still, a percussion guy and have owned mannnyy different drum machines. That, along with a set of 1200s has been the most consistently present pieces of gear in my studio over the years.

GO BANG! Magazine: Growing up, you liked the sounds of House music and realized that it originated in Chicago. Soon after learning this, you relocated to Chicago. What is it about the sound of House music that attracted you?

Trew: It was good dance music, plain and simple. “Perculator” was my gateway drug because it was constantly played by Baltimore club and Rave DJs. At that point in my music discovering journey, everything was informed by what I was hearing from Rave DJs and on the late shows/college radio. Honestly, I hadn’t even really discovered the depth of Disco yet, so once I got here House started to make much more sense. What I definitely understood is Chicago is a music town. Not as in, everyone enjoys music (although that’s probably true!), but genres are created here. Movements are created here. So, between the allure of House music / DJ culture, and visiting a few times a year for Jazz & Blues Fests, I knew I wanted to be here more than I wanted to be there.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a DJ/Producer, what type of events have you worked and what type of production do you do?

Trew: My production style is as varied as my musical tastes. I’m currently making a lot of Dancehall / Reggaeton influenced remixes of classic Hip-Hop and 90s RnB, and some Steppers too. If there’s a common thread through it all, it’s that I love to use samples.

As far as performing, I’ve worked with artists in most all genres I enjoy. Definitely grateful to be able to perform / produce multi-genre and not be pigeon-holed! To even have the opportunities to be on stage with these folks, I’ve worked my way onto lineups. Let’s see… Bone Thugs. I earned my stripes that night I think. It was at House of Blues, and I was supposed to only be the opening DJ, but the lead-in band decided they wanted to go on early. This boggles my mind to this day. What an opportunity lost! Anyhow, I ended up being direct support for BTNH. Everyone at HoB was already salty about the high drink prices, and was getting impatient… So when the curtains came up and they realize it’s me and not Bone, I knew from that moment I had my work cut out.

Quick side note, if anyone reading this was at the Doom / Mos Def concert at Congress many years ago, you know what the vibe was like before Doom appeared. I remember we were awaiting his truck at the stage door inside the green-rooms. We were hoping he’d show, but also wondering if maybe he’d be the supervillain that night. A local MC had to take the stage next. I’ll always respect Qwel for how he handled himself, getting 4,000 angry Doom fans to come to an almost complete silence and put their focus back on the music. So that night at HoB, I like to think I was able to channel a bit of that Qwel energy.

Everytime the crowd erupted, chanting ‘Bone, Bone Bone!’ I hit them with a track as a reminder of who was on stage. I’ll never forget that night and lesson. My nerves are wrecked, no matter who I’m performing with. The exception was probably People Under the Stairs (RIP Double K). These guys were so utterly genuine about feel-good music and wanting to rock an old-school-vibe Hip-Hop show. It was tough to feel anything but excited about wanting to do the same. Plus, their crowd is easy. They come ready to GO.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a DJ/Producer, you are also a businessman and an entrepreneur. Can you please tell our readers a little more about your businesses Ground Lift Media, Altered Tapes, Heat Rock Records and Miyagi Record Shop?

Trew: Short version, they’re all related to music. When I moved here, I was the weekend resident at SubT for a good six years. But, as soon as I lost that gig due to the changing neighborhood, I realized I hadn’t put in the proper work building myself, the TREW brand. I should have been putting a value on the party I’d created and the dollars I was bringing in. Most importantly, I hadn’t built strong enough connections with the patrons I’d met during that time. I forgot to make an email list, which is now why that’s the first thing I do whenever beginning a new endeavor. Definitely won’t make that mistake twice.

But anyhow, lesson learned. I dove into marketing and design, because as most DJs know, DJs aren’t just DJs. They’re a 10-person team all-in-one. By working in any one of these roles – promoter, designer, website builder, street team manager, etc – I was able to bring together a decent resume and rep that allowed me to branch off as Ground Lift Media. This is currently my event marketing and brand strategy company. We focus on contracted Street Level marketing these days, but there was a time when we mainly did concert production. Along with my production partner and friend Patrick Grumley (Cold Grums), we produced dozens of large-scale concerts and events over the years. I’m proud to say we did Mayer Hawthorne’s first-ever show in Chicago, which was a sold-out heater of a night at Darkroom.

All my other projects focus around the tangible aspect of music. I release remixes as Altered Tapes with my buddy Marco Jacobo (Maker). Just two years ago, we began an all-remix 45rpm vinyl label which is distributed globally as Heat Rock Records. Most recently, I launched a record shop, Miyagi Records, in the summer of 2020. That’s my baby at the moment and I spend much of my time now digging for vinyl, making road trips, and slapping ads wherever it makes sense. (haha)

GO BANG! Magazine: Recently, you had an event at The Silver Room in the eclectic and trendy Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. Please recap that event for our readers and explain why it is important to you to support local small businesses.

Trew: This event series was attached to Miyagi Records and came about via a conversation I had with Eric (Williams) at The Silver Room. I recently set roots on the south side with my beautiful and brilliant partner. Part of the reason for moving here was to bring everything that I do culturally, to the south side. Miyagi is still in startup mode and we setup shop at our pop-up and wherever else that will host us.

I’d always admired Eric’s work as a community business. He was the first person I’d hoped to work with in Hyde Park. The Record Store Day series ended up being a happy coincidence since we both wanted to produce something cool for the celebration. So over the course of two events, we hosted 10 DJs, two live performances, and eight local, indie record dealers. The overall goal was to bring some light to these sellers and give people live music again! I’d say it worked.

Well enough that we’ve expanded the event into the Chicago Vinyl Connection. This is technically a record show, but it’s more about bringing together the vinyl-loving community in Chicago. My production partner on this one is Grant Crusor of South Rhodes Records. This was another happy coincidence. We both wanted to fill a void in the world of record shows. To give businesses help they need, while also bringing a community together.

To finally answer your question, I support local and small because that’s who need it and that’s also who I am. What Miyagi is. Chicago is a big city, and the south side is whole world. We need all the help we can get!

GO BANG! Magazine: GO BANG! Magazine see’s that you like a wide variety of music genres including Rave, Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Disco, Jazz and House. On an average night, when you’re trying to chill, what songs would most likely be found on your playlist?

Trew: When I’m at home just listening to records, it’s all about Jazz. I’m a big fan of 60s Soul Jazz stuff and 70s Fusion. I was introduced to Jazz via reading cassette tape liner notes, looking at which songs were sampled. Then a good friend gave me Herbie Hancock’s ‘Headhunters’ album. Things just got out of hand from that point. 70s Spiritual Jazz is my all-time chill soundtrack though. Stuff like Alice Coltrane, Nathan Davis, Phil Cohran, or The Awakening. But most importantly, New Jack Swing & 80s/90s Slow Jams will always make an appearance at some point!

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a DJ/Producer, you have a musical style / sound that identifies you. How would you describe your sound, as far as a DJ and producer?

Trew: As I mentioned before, I’m big into sampling. So that definitely influences my sound. But if I had to describe it as a whole, I’m just trying to make soulful music with dope drum programming, except when I make Drum and Bass. That’s 100% me trying to work out some feelings. Most everything I made last year was Drum and Bass or related.

Nowadays, I’m channeling Island vibes because my band Guayabera Unlimited has been on hiatus since Covid, and the Islands are where I’d rather be this winter.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you were not involved in music, what would you be doing?

Trew: I’ve thought about this in depth many times over the years. I even thought about it this weekend. The answer is always: I have no idea. This is it. I’ve tried working in my other passions (Engineering, Architecture, and Interior Design) but they all felt like jobs. And without fail, while working these jobs, I constantly had music on my mind. It’s the one thing I’m able to do, day in day out. No question, and so far, it’s been great. I’ve seen the world, met and worked with some amazing talents, and have found a way to make feeding my record collecting addiction a full time thing 🙂

GO BANG! Magazine: COVID 19 has hit the world hard. How has it affected you and how are you dealing with it.

Trew: Well, outside of the bigger lessons about humanity I’ve learned, it basically killed my performance schedule and tour plans for 2020. But on the flip, it finally gave me the time and space to focus on launching Miyagi Records and doing more A&R work for Heat Rock Records. That’s where I’m seeing my future. I still love to perform, but I’m more particular now and only do it when the gig is right. I don’t see that changing once things actually return to a state of normalcy.

I feel that Arts & Culture has helped and is still helping save the world during the pandemic, when they are one of the most affected industries. Also, I think this is only one of many trials to come for the world. I want to be prepared to do all I can to help where I can. So overall, I’d say Covid has made me more focused and ready for action.

You can follow Trew on ALL social media platforms @trew3000

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Phote credit: Power Quevedo 


Julius the Mad Thinker (JtMT) is a dynamic producer and must-see international DJ talent. Since the age of 17, Julius has worn many hats while distinguishing himself in the dance music industry. He is a true visionary with infectious energy and amazing music.

In 2009, Julius and business partner Jenn Hurst bridged DJ entertainment with unique travel concepts to co-found MCH (Mi Casa Holiday – www.micasaholiday.com).

In 2012, MCH achieved sold-out status, and since has evolved into the most exciting travel and music community in the US.

In 2017, Julius produced his debut album “Perspective.” It has been described as “an album of epic tunes for the dance floor, ranging from soulful vocals, deep to the classic Chicago sound. A wide array of variety and substance”- Osunlade”

Julius’ reputation for uniting music communities and launching premiere DJ music events has attracted worldwide acceptance and respect as well. His most recent event production to gain international awareness is Mi Casa Holiday (MCH).

He is also affiliated with YourPassion1st. It is an international coaching & mentorship platform focused on helping under-resourced young adults overcome adversity and earn money in the area of their passion.

Through art, music, entertainment, sports, and culinary, YourPassion1st envisions a world where all young adults are inspired to find, define, and follow their passion into the workforce. Young adults in under-resourced communities are challenged in achieving their dreams due to a lack of resources, support, and inspiration. We help young adults succeed through project-based learning, as they learn their value, build their confidence and recognize their innovative instincts and hidden talents.

Our Workforce Readiness Workshops, Festivals, & Events are transformative, collaborative, and entertaining, while our podcast series captivates listeners. You’ll hear a cross-pollination of fresh perspectives, layered with empowering stories from industry leaders and everyday people who have overcome adversity to follow their passion. Ultimately, we believe that inspiring young adults will cause a ripple effect, transforming families and improving communities, while influencing the next generation of youth. Your support helps create life-changing experiences.

Stay tuned and be ready to experience the next wave of JtMT!

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised and call home?

JtMT: Elgin, IL, but I consider Chicago my home, as I’ve lived in the city since 1993.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you first get involved in music and when did you know that you wanted to be a DJ / Producer?

JtMT: My music Journey started as a kid helping my mom clean the house every Saturday listening to soul music on a big stereo/record system with disco lights in the speakers (lol).

However, the broader story is that I was bored in the suburbs, so I bet my cousin that I could get 500 people to go to a party at my house. I figured that there were at least 500 people in a town of 80,000 that were bored like me.  So after pleading with my mom, she finally let me throw a party under two conditions.  One, I had to write a business plan and two, if I were to make any money, I promised to give spending money to my sister for her (high school) senior trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  So, I wrote the business plan, was able to get 605 people to the party, and was able to give my sister $500 for her trip to Mexico.

My sister went to Mexico, had the time of her life, then came back and eventually convinced the company who set up her trip (IS Tours formerly USA Student Travel) to hire her on as the youngest student organizer in that company’s history at the time. I went on throwing parties, and along the way started to disagree with the order of songs that our DJ (DJ Beauty) was playing. I became persistent and kept asking him to try, (DJing) until August of ‘94 when I was finally able to sync the beats successfully. The record was Joey Bertram’s “Energy Flash” and I’ll never forget that feeling, and how it inspired me to want more.

So, my sister had 20 + years of travel and hospitality and I had 20 + years of DJing and event production, when in October of 2009, we merged both concepts to create Mi Casa Holiday Travel and Music’s Community & Boutique Events Service.  Along the way I always tried to stay ahead of the curve which led me to start producing music and music videos and then eventually an album in 2017. (Perspective)

GO BANG! Magazine: Why did you name yourself “The Mad Thinker” and how would you describe your sound?

JtMT: Actually, I didn’t name myself. I was a creative director and executive producer of a local hip-hop group named the Rec Center, and we were deciding on producing our first music video for our album “Lonely People”. There were 10 MC’s, our main producer, my brother from another mother, DJ Emmaculate, and I. Everyone described their ideas about what the video should be, and I was the last person to speak. After I laid out my vision, it was total silence when “Luck” (MC Bad Luck) in a soft spoken voice said, “the Mad Thinker” (www.themadthinker.com). It felt right, so I embraced it!

I refer to my sound as Global Soul House music. Afro Cuban rhythms meet Electronic sounds through a rollercoaster of emotions.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being an international producer/DJ, you are also a businessman. Please tell our readers about your music & travel event known as Mi Casa Holiday (MCH).

JtMT: Family, Music, Paradise…We curate, and you celebrate! Ultimately, MCH (https://www.instagram.com/micasaholiday) is your personal holiday with the best music, entertainment and the coolest, most inspiring people from around the world. The name Mi Casa Es Su Casa (My house is your house) was a reflection of my sister and I’s diverse upbringing, and holiday is a reminder that taking time for yourself is mandatory, hence…Mi Casa Holiday. The MCH concept was an extension of 3Degrees Global, a previous groundbreaking event and promotional network founded in Chicago (1999). If the world was supposedly separated by 6 people, then we believed that like-minded individuals had to be separated by only 3 people. 3Degrees was Friendster, Myspace, Facebook before their time and we used the concept to bridge the Chicago House music scene each Wednesday from October of 1999 -2007, and we still produce special events to this day.

That event grew so fast that in addition to our weekly Wednesdays, we started producing monthly events in San Francisco, New York & DC, and also big holiday tour events. However, there was one 3Degrees event concept l that we never executed, and it was called the Global House Project. The idea was to take our community to an exotic location. After years of frustration with the unwillingness of nightclubs to invest in new talent, decorations, to sound, to renovations, the fragmentation of the winter music conference, friends and I traveling around the world to hang out, meeting other artists and promoters who were looking to do something new and fresh, and my sister’s annual plead to do a travel event, it all led to producing a weekend in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in October 2009. Since then, we’ve produced MCH events in Costa Rica, Cuba, US & Mexico. Everyone should experience MCH and Rediscover Amazing!

GO BANG! Magazine: You are also part of an international coaching & mentoring platform known as YourPassion1st. Explain what it is and why you are a part of it.

JtMT: YourPassion1st is an international coaching and mentoring program that inspires young adults to overcome adversity and through art, music, entertainment, sports, and culinary, empowers them to follow their passion as an entrepreneur or leverage their skills to excel in the marketplace.

During the pandemic we decided to produce a live virtual event like many others. However, I will never just do something for the sake of doing it. Therefore, we took our event production hats off and put our tv network hats on and envisioned a week long, 24hr/day cable channel where Mi Casa Holidayers from across the world could display their passions, talents, and most importantly connect at such an important time. I was incredibly excited about this idea because we were essentially building a new product, but something was holding us back. We realized that we had yet to identify a cause that resonated with our idea, when one day, a post came across my Instagram feed that read YourPassion1st. Instantly I was like wow, there is a nonprofit based on passion. This can’t be real. It touched me for a few reasons.

First, the one rule in our household growing up was that we had to have passion for whatever we decided to do. Second, their approach made so much sense. As opposed to force feeding young adults a specific path, instead meet them where they are most interested and equip them with the tools to develop their skill set and inspire them to follow their passion. Third, through MCH, we created an event called Exprésate (express yourself), which targeted young adults to showcase their talents, from Dance, Art, music, skateboarding, murals, fire dancers whatever…. Lastly, through entertainment, young adults have shown us how they’ve influenced the older generations, and through my involvement I’ve learned quite a bit about near peer influence which is about young adults impacting the next generation.

So, after meeting the founder Chris Thomas, we seamlessly integrated his workforce readiness music festival vision into our MCH virtual event, and the MCH community helped to raise over 10k for the YourPassion1st organization. I was incredibly inspired after the live event, where there were 150 content contributors from 19 countries where we generated over 25,000 streams. After the event, I got involved and helped redesign the program, along with the addition of integrating young adults from Brazil and South Africa. This year, our program participants are producing 5 events that will air during the 2nd annual MCH Virtual Weekend + Workforce Readiness Music Festival November 10-17. (https://www.yourpassion1st.com/)

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years, you have had the opportunity to perform with numerous well-known DJs and talent. Is there anyone or any event in particular that stands out as one of your most memorable?

JtMT: There are so many, however, I’ll never forget Keven Saunderson booking me to play the main stage at Detroit Electronic Music Festival thanks to my friend Monica Lockett.  Or when my friends Priti, Monna, the 3Degrees crew & the late great Frankie Knuckles surprised me and he played with me on my birthday.  Or when Lil Louis personally called me to book me for his CPR event in Chicago, the first time that I ever played in New York through Body & Soul’s John Davis, and Blaze’s (Josh Milan & Kevin Hedge) came to hear me and were dancing all night.  Playing all night with one of my favorite DJ’s of all time, Louie Vega at Cielo, all of the late night Mi Casa Holiday Mexico sets (starting at 4:20am).  Sharing the bill with legends like the last Paul Johnson, Terry Hunter, Tony Touch, Joe Claussell, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Dixon, and Heather.  The time I played the same club in the Philippines as Tiesto, but more interesting than that, playing on this insane sound system for my good friend Christopher Andrew’s destination wedding, and the first person on the dance floor was Tiesto.  Or the event that really catapulted my name around the world, when Large Music’s Jeff Craven asked me to open the main room for Large Music’s first ever Winter Music Conference event in Miami with Dennis Ferrer, Kerri Chandler, Jask & Roy Davis Jr, and asked me to also wanted me to close the back room which ended up getting me to New York and then later around the world.

I’ve been blessed and I feel like my schedule is about to get hectic as I still get the same responses that I was getting 20 years ago, which is people asking me “how do I not know about you, and where can I get more?!”

GO BANG! Magazine: Just recently in August, 2021, we have lost a few prominent DJs due to Covid and other health issues. Many of us haven’t had the time to even grieve. Did you know any of these DJs and how has their deaths affected you.

JtMT: I’m still processing all of them, especially my friend’s DJ Paul Johnson (Chicago), and my friend Reese (Miami). They both had so much spirit, it’s hard to believe. Unfortunately, there have been many amazing friends who were taken too soon like my friends Voodoo Ray (NYC) & Kweston (Chicago) pre-pandemic.  I’m less affected about how they all passed, rather the fact that they’re no longer physically here. I think when someone has impacted you, it’s your responsibility to help live out their legacy in the way that they inspired you, so that is what I am doing. I believe that It’s important to understand that no day is promised. Therefore, live your life to the fullest, open your heart and open your mind in a world that thrives off of friction.

GO BANG! Magazine: How are you dealing with the Covid pandemic, pre-vaccine time and post-vaccine times, and how has it affected you or your business?

JtMT: I’ve vowed to not lose any friends regardless of where they stand. It’s disheartening to see so many people pointing their fingers at others when they don’t know nearly as much as they think they do. Especially when they are pointing fingers at people who have previously and consistently brought joy into their lives. It’s sad. The world is made up of complicated issues, and I hope the dance, music, and arts community will be strong enough to respect one another’s journeys and conclusions versus pointing fingers or worse, supporting segregation. Yes segregation, because that is exactly what’s coming if people don’t get their acts together. Art, Dance, music, comedy, it’s up to us to be strong and open. If we can’t come together, then it’s a wrap.

GO BANG! Magazine: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

JtMT: Traveling around the world inspiring people.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you weren’t a DJ/Producer/Businessman, what would you be doing?

JtMT: Probably a consultant and/or motivational speaker.

You an follow Julius The Mad Thinker on ALL social media;






Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo credit:  Kevin Corbett


Songwriter, Producer, Vocal Arranger/Producer, Recording/Mixing Engineer, Videographer, and Visionary are a few of the hats Tyrone Corbett wears to accomplish his goals in the entertainment industry.

He studied Commercial Music at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va. and has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years.

Tyrone has worked with artists from DK Khaled and Diddy’s TV show, The Four, ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’; artists signed to Wyclef Jean, Kay Gee (Naughty by Nature) and Diddy’s ‘Making the Band’, as well as artists signed to Clive Davis’ J Records, Bad Boy and Def Jam. His work has attracted the attention of record executive, Vince Herbert; producer, Daryl Simmons; legendary songwriter, Carole Bayer Sager; and super producer, David Foster.

In 2020, Mr. Corbett pitched songs to a variety of well-known artists including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Brandy, Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Wilson, Kem and Joe.

“As a singer, I’ve had the great opportunity to work with some of the industry’s top Jazz and R&B artists”, says Tyrone. The list of esteemed artists includes Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway, Onaje Allan Gumbs and many others. With these veteran artists, he’s toured nationally and internationally.
Additionally, Tyron has developed a unique ability to work in all genres of music and has a diverse catalog of songs, including releases in R&B, Pop, Gospel, Jazz and Country. His discography includes having worked on a #1 Billboard R&B/Hip Hop album as an engineer, while also providing background vocals on a Grammy winning Folk album.

“I am passionate about music and the artists I work with.” “Music is my life!”

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised?

Tyrone Corbett: Richmond, VA

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you first get started in the entertainment industry?

Tyrone Corbett: My father use to take my brother and I out and stand us on a shoebox to sing as an opening for his community work in activism.

GO BANG! Magazine: When did you get that first “big break” in the industry, where you had an opportunity unlike any other before, up until that point? Please describe it and how you felt.

Tyrone Corbett: My first professional break started during my collegiate tenure as I had a band that opened for artists like MTUME, Miles Jaye, The SOS Band and others. It was an exciting time to be able to share the stage with those I had revered.

Several other big breaks came along my musical journey. As a background singer, working alongside Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway, Norman Brown, Will Downing, Phil Perry and others was another milestone for me.

Later on, being invited to LA to meet songwriting legend, Carole Bayer Sager (Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch) and super producer, David Foster (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Toni Braxton) was an incredible milestone as well. As a result of my relationship with Carole and David, I was introduced to Babyface and Daryl Simmons.

As a songwriter, having Lady Gaga record one of my songs has been the absolute highlight of my career, but getting a song recorded is still not the same as getting a placement. There are many factors that are out of the songwriter’s hands, but cutting through circles that big is still an incredible achievement. My fingers remain crossed that the song gets released as I’m not looking for the moral victory. 😉

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve worked with several famous artists over the years. Is there any artist that you would love to work with, that you haven’t as of yet?

Tyrone Corbett: I’ve worked artists signed to Clive Davis, Wyclef Jean, Kay Gee (Naught by Nature), as well as artists who were on American Idol, The Voice and Diddy & DJ Kaled’s tv show, The Four, Ali Caldwell, Anwar Robinson and “Big” Mike Lynche are a few of the artists I’ve worked with.

As a songwriter with an eclectic body of work and large catalog of music, I have songs I’m shopping for artists like Arianna Grande, Beyonce, as well as Andrea Boccelli, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and others. My work covers R&B, Pop, Gospel, Country and Jazz. I’m always swinging for the fences, so any (and all) of those above are on my radar for song placement.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a multi-talented artist, you are a songwriter, producer, vocal arranger/producer, recording/mixing engineer, videographer and visionary. Of all of the talents and skills that you possess, which do you enjoy doing the most, and why?

Tyrone Corbett: I really enjoy everything about creative process as a whole, so wearing all of those hats are actually exciting and enticing to me, but I think songwriting still sits atop the list as I love telling a story and seeing how it is related to by the listener. I love taking the listener on a journey.

GO BANG! Magazine: The music industry is totally different now, as far as the type of music that is popular and the stars that are doing the performing, in comparison to the “good old days” of music. How would you describe the difference in the industry now, in comparison to let’s say the 90’s or 2000’s?

Tyrone Corbett: The music industry as a whole has evolved…in some ways good, and in others not so much. Recognizing that having a great song or even having a great team can have staggering limitations is sobering, but understanding that evolution can’t be fought is the key to forward movement. There was a time when a great song got you in the door and further, now it’s “How many views do you have?” Networking is still a constant though and a necessity.

Lastly, there is also something to be said about the “good old days” sometimes just being “old days with good memories”.

GO BANG! Magazine: What advice would you give to someone that is trying to get into the “behind the scenes” part of the entertainment industry, the technical or creative side, not the performance side?

Tyrone Corbett: Learning your craft remains high atop any list of advice offerings I have. Obviously though, for someone just starting out, ones skills will be lacking. The advice I give is to pair yourself with someone who can take your game to the next level. Never be afraid to acknowledge your short-comings, as that is the key to overcoming them.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are capable and talented in several genres of music including R&B, Pop, Gospel, Jazz and Country. Who are your favorite artists in each genre?

Tyrone Corbett: Here they are, in the order of genres listed:

R&B: Chris Brown
Pop: Arianna Grande
Gospel: Yolanda Adams
Jazz: Lalah Hathaway
Country: Dan and Shay/Rascal Flatts

GO BANG! Magazine: Who is your overall favorite entertainer, producer, and songwriter? It can be one person or several people.

Tyrone Corbett: This is a difficult question to answer as I love different things about different artists and genres of music. Having said that, I tend to stay with older songwriter / producers because of the longevity of success they have had in the entertainment industry. Considering that, LA, Babyface, Daryl Simmons, as well as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are amongst my favs.

GO BANG! Magazine: Carrying on the legacy is something that parents want their children to do. I’ve seen you work with your son during the interview that you had with me. Your son seems to have great knowledge of the videography industry. Tell our readers why it is important for you to teach your son the business.

Tyrone Corbett: Having my son work alongside me is the best part of my day. He is talented in music and videography. Teaching him a skillset(s), while also spending that additional quality time, is truly invaluable in my opinion. I remain open and supportive to whatever choices he decides to make career wise, but providing a hands-on experience will prove useful with whichever direction he decides to go.

GO BANG! Magazine: On a personal level, I can tell that family is important to you and you include your son in your business operations. Can you tell us a little about your son, who is somewhat a miracle?

Tyrone Corbett: We found out at birth that my son has a catastrophic brain illness called Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). He is considered both the worst case in the world and the most successful case on record. The ongoing procedures to cure him have as much of a detrimental consequence as the illness itself, as leaving him untreated will cause an aneurysm/stroke, but the repeated treatment to sustain him can cause blindness, mental retardation, paralysis and or death. We were told to anticipate 10 years to life of brain procedures and 25 years later we are still on that course. Saying it’s been difficult is beyond an understatement, but I am grateful that he continues to flourish despite this devastating illness.

Go Bang! Magazine: Looking towards the future, what do you hope to accomplish businesswise, and what would you like your legacy to be?

Tyrone Corbett: I continue to be vibrant in the creative space and have a number of projects at hand…songs and music video releases, I am working on a video interview series, as well as a documentary of my life in music while contending with my sons’ catastrophic brain illness.

In terms of legacy, I’m a southern boy, so I continue to do the work so that my family is proud of me. That’s all there is for me.

You can follow Tyrone by logging on to his website

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo Credit: Anthony O. Studios


I got started in Entertainment through modeling, at the young age of 11. Slowly though, I took a liking to working behind the scene, rather than being in front of the camera. So, a few years later I decided to study photography to further my knowledge. I was also interested in managing models, which would give me the opportunity to help them reach their dreams, as I did mine.

As of today, my work has been displayed in various formats, from websites to billboards for companies. In the future, I plan on moving on to larger projects and productions for larger businesses. I also plan to book my models in more commercials and photoshoots as well.

Anthony says, “My goal is to give back to the community and help them as much as I can.” He continues, saying, “Look out for me, Anthony Oliver and Lights Out Entertainment! “

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised?

Anthony Oliver: I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.

GO BANG! Magazine: How and when did you get an interest in the Entertainment field?

Anthony Oliver: I grew an interest in the photography field from when I use to model at the age of 11. I used to get frustrated waiting for photographers to take my photos, so I bought a camera and started to learn photography myself. My mom helped me out a lot and so did my dad. They both supported me big time and I found a love for being behind the camera rather than being in front of the camera.

GO BANG! Magazine: What was is about modeling that you liked and why did you stop?

Anthony Oliver: What I loved about modeling was the confidence it gave me. Being on the runway and being in front of the camera gives you a confident feeling like no other.

I didn’t fully stop modeling. I just don’t do it as much. I feel like I’ve had my time in the spot light of modeling, now I want to capture other people’s moments and give them the spotlight. However, I do hop into frame every once in a while.

GO BANG! Magazine: You also manage models. What exactly do you do for the models and how do you recruit your models?

Anthony Oliver: Yes, I do manage models and what I do is teach them about the industry and help to build them a portfolio. My models don’t give money up front. I always tell my models “I don’t get paid until you get paid!” That pushes me to do my job. What that means is that when my models are booked, I add on a percentage to their price for me and the rest goes to the model. I do not touch it, it goes directly to them. I don’t want to take my models money that they worked hard for. I’m here to help others build and make money together, rather than digging in their pockets before I’ve done any work.

I recruit models by having modeling calls each year when my models contracts are outdated.

GO BANG! Magazine: What exactly do you love about working behind the camera, as a photographer?

Anthony Oliver: The one thing I absolutely love about being behind the camera as a photographer is the joy on people’s faces when they see the photo. The fact that I can make people that happy and create beautiful memories to remember forever makes me feel proud and I feel like I’ve done my job correctly as a photographer.

GO BANG! Magazine: What type of photography do you like; fashion, architectural, nature, animals, etc., and why?

Anthony Oliver: When I first started, I really loved boudoir photography. The reason being, my clients were women who lost weight or wanted to do it as a gift for their husbands. It was various heart-felt moments when my clients didn’t feel too confident. But then out of nowhere, there was this confidence boost and they always loved every photo. I just liked the fact that I could make someone feel comfortable in their own skin and not care what other people thought. But as of today, I would say I like doing product photography because products aren’t late to their shoots and they sit still.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also an entrepreneur. Can you tell our readers about Lights Out Entertainment and what your company does?

Anthony Oliver: Recently I’ve rebranded to Anthony O. Studios for photography, videography, and model management. I do currently still own Lights Out, however that is the name of my fragrance line. Anthony O. Studios covers every photography need. I also offer video packages and models that my clients can choose from for any projects they plan to do.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve been quoted as saying, “My goal is to give back to the community and help them as much as I can.” What exactly do you want to do for the community, is there any community in particular, and have you started that mission yet?

Anthony Oliver: When I say give back to my community, I mean holding photography classes for kids that find interest in it at a young age and helping those who aren’t as fortunate as I am. I have put this into effect already. I started in the beginning of the month of August 2021. My business put together a “feed the homeless” movement and this December we will do a coat drive as well as toy donation to orphans.

GO BANG! Magazine: In the future, I know that you want to grow bigger and have larger projects. Is there any company or person that would be your “dream project” to do a shoot for?

Anthony Oliver: I would love to do a production for the rock (Dwayne Jonson) and his products Teremana (Tequila) or ZOA (Energy drink) because they are both products that I have tried and personally like.

GO BANG! Magazine: 2021 has been quite a year, especially after going through 2020. We’ve experience Covid, #BlackLivesMatter, a new president and a NEW variety of the Covid virus, the Delta variant. How has the past two years been for you and are there any events in particular that stood out the most over that time period?

Anthony Oliver: Honestly, I would say COVID has been one of the best things that have happened to me from a business stand point. Reason being, the lockdown gave people a reason to be on their phones 24/7. I took that as an opportunity to promote myself and get the word out through social media. But, from a personal stand point it was very hard because even though I knew it would lift up and I could go outside and explore new places again at some point, I just didn’t know when and that’s what bothered me, just not knowing when.

You can follow Anthony on IG @anthonyostudios

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Many thanks to everyone who supported and participated in Part 1 of our RSD / One Year Anniversary celebration! Despite a short burst of heavy rain, we couldn’t have asked for a better day for digging 🙂 If you missed the event, check out the recap here, so many good records were waiting to be found!

Part Two is coming up soon (July 17th) and we’ve got another stacked lineup of live music, vinyl only DJ sets, and record vendors waiting for you! Featuring a live performance by Megiapa (3pm)

Saturday July 17th, 2021
@ Silver Room
1506 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL

Featuring thousands of records, new and used, in all formats and genres, from local, independent record dealers!

Miyagi Records (WE WILL NOT BE VENDING AT THIS EVENT) | South Rhodes Records | Beverly Phono Mart | Jaytoo

Live Performance by: Megiapa
DJ Sets by: K.Max, Uncle El, La Queen, Shazam Bangles, & Trew

Free to everyone, all ages welcome! Come say hi and grab a record or 2!

Video courtesy of Obama Foundation/YouTube:

President Obama met with South Side Chicago business owner Eric Williams, founder of The Silver Room and the upcoming Bronzeville Winery.

In conversation, Eric talked about his passion for creating opportunities in his own community and President Obama discussed ways to leverage the expected boost in tourism from the future Obama Presidential Center to help small business owners like Eric.

To learn more about the Obama Presidential Center, visit http://obama.org/the-center

Musicbed SyncID:

Eric Williams comments courtesy of The Silver Room

“It was an honor (and surprise) when I was contacted by The Obama Foundation a few weeks ago and told the President wanted to speak with me. He acknowledged the positive impact the Silver Room has had on the Hyde Park community and greater South Side as a whole and wanted send a personal thank you. We also talked in length about small businesses and how the Obama Presidential Center can play a role in supporting entrepreneurs on the South Side.”

“I’d like to thank President Obama and The Obama Foundation for their commitment in seeking allies and partners to insure the Obama Presidential Center will have a positive impact in our community.” – Eric Williams

Photo credit:  Chloe’ Wallace


Tanisha “FaceByGrace” Conley, is a multifaceted entrepreneur, licensed esthetician based out of the Chicago suburb of North Chicago. Affectionately known as “Grace,” she was engulfed by the beauty industry at a very young age. It was just as difficult then as it is now to try and not focus on every detail of the face, from brow shapes and finishes, to the texture of skin and makeup during simple encounters with people. She began doing makeup for family and friends while in high school.

In 2012, Tanisha added “Entertainment Management” to her entrepreneurial resume, which became a great networking tool as a makeup artist. She’s worked with Reggie Wells, who was Oprah’s makeup artist for over 20 years, Demi Lobo and Red Carpet for the Soul Train Music Awards. Tanisha has also taken classes with renowned celebrity makeup artist Reny Vasquez (Vanessa Williams, Brandy) and Sir John, whose biggest clients include Beyoncé (Coachella) and Mary J. Blige.

In 2015, she received her estheticians license and it’s been a purposeful journey ever since. “IAmFaceByGrace” Makeup Skin and Body was official! In 2018, she decided she wanted to be a part of a team and learn more about the beauty industry so I joined Ulta Beauty as an “Arch Expert” at their Benefit Brow Bar.

Shortly after, “HoneyGirl Brows” was founded by her daughter Vavi and herself. New scheduling allowed Tanisha to offer brow service to her local community, one day a week. She’s now expanded those services, and offer laser free hair removal, body waxing, facials, and chemical peels for women and men. She also offers two special services, vajacials (pubic facial) and honey buns (butt facials).

In 2020, Tanisha stepped outside of her comfort zone and launched her own skin care line of products. Although she loves make-up and freelancing as a make-up artist for many years, her passion for skincare is eminent. She’s intrigued by the components and ingredients in products and what it takes to maintain and achieve healthy skin.

Tanisha is so fascinated with anti-aging. “I feel like the bridge to beauty…enhancing what God graced women and men with. I am so happy to be able to share my products with the world.”

GO BANG! Magazine: What originally attracted you to the entertainment industry?

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: I’ve always had some type of attraction to the entertainment industry. It wasn’t until my oldest son (1 of 3 creatives) was graduating college, that I jumped into managing with both feet and it has been a journey ever since.

GO BANG! Magazine: What does an Entertainment Manager do and why did you decide to become one?

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: As an Artist Manager, the focus is the success of the client. Managers play a key role in helping shape the career of an artist, from marketing, booking gigs, to planning album releases and touring.

I birthed three creatives, so in my head they were going to be my main focus. I was going to manage my kids. I genuinely have a soft spot for the youth and wanting to help them anyway that I can. Word spread about what I began doing as a manager. I started out with a nice size roster of young new talent. I loved it, but it became a bit overwhelming, having so many starting out while learning more about the industry. I wouldn’t change anything because I met a lot of great people and learned a lot.

GO BANG! Magazine: One of your clients musical career in particular, Justin Ruff, has been on the steady rise. What is it about the Justin Ruff brand that keeps you supporting and managing him?

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: Justin Ruff is such a unique and super-talented individual. I’ve seen Justin’s growth as an artist and I am very proud of him. He is definitely in his own lane. His work ethic is undeniable as a singer/songwriter. Justin spin on R&B infused with his love for Jazz and Hip Hop. I have not heard anyone like him. Over time, Justin and I built a great working relationship. I will always support him. I’m so excited about Justin’s new music. Be on the lookout for it. You can find him on social media @JustinRuffMusic.

GO BANG! Magazine: What drew you to the beauty and skin care industry?

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: The Beauty Industry had me hooked at a young age. I have always been fascinated with makeup. I started doing makeup for people when I was still in high school. I was just passionate about how a great makeup application can enhance one’s features and make them feel good as well.

When I got older, my skin began to turn on me. I had acne flaring up like a teenager. In my frustration, I went to esthetics school to figure out how to cure my own skin issues, which fueled the fire for this new found love, “skin care.” Today my skin is beautiful. I work hard to maintain a youthful look. I want to encourage your readers to know that with commitment to a great skin care routine, you will see results.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please explain to our readers what an esthetician is and when you knew that you wanted to professionally pursue it as a career.

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: An esthetician evaluates the condition of the skin, determine which treatment will be best for that skin condition, and skin goals of the client. The question always asked, “What does your best skin look like to you?” That gives an esthetician an idea of where to start.

Once I graduated from esthetics, I felt deep down inside I wanted to pursue esthetics professionally. I love the connection I have with my clients and how I make them feel after a service.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a Makeup artist, I’m sure you have witnessed people’s lives transformed after your artistry on their face. Please describe one example that stands out the most.

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: Makeup can definitely transform anyone. I have had clients who had lost their eyebrows due to chemotherapy. As I educate and guide through on how to recreate the best look for them, these clients share their journey with me and how they won’t let and didn’t let cancer win. The happiness and the smile on their face is so heartwarming, after I finish and hand them a mirror. I’ve cried tears many times. Nothing compares to that.

GO BANG! Magazine: Congratulations! “IAmFaceByGrace” has been in business for six years. Please describe how difficult or challenging it has been to successfully run beauty and skin care businesses.

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: Thank you so much! There have been some challenges. Having to decide what my main focus would be was challenging. For the longest I struggled with what services I would offer and what products to offer, when my ultimate goal was to create my own formulations. Also, having the right location, making sure I have the proper liability insurance, and follow esthetic guidelines as far as client care. If I could turn back the clock a little bit, I would do some things differently, like not second guess myself. Just Do It!

GO BANG! Magazine: With “HoneyGirl Brows”, you joined forces with your daughter as a co-founder. Please explain why it was important for you to work with your daughter in business.

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: My daughter Vavi is one of my biggest supporters, and I am hers as well. We attended esthetics school together. She is passionate about the beauty industry. While I perform my craft mostly with wax, Vavi uses thread to shape brows.

We both, as entrepreneurs, felt it was time for the mother/daughter duo to link up. Brows are that one thing we really connected on, although she has so many other talents and is successful as an artist (canvas/mural), as well as a tattoo artist. It was important for me to work with Vavi because it gave me an opportunity to observe my kid and interact with her in a different space. It also allows me to stay connected to a different demographic that I may not have had the opportunity to reach. Vavi actually came up with the name which is very sentimental to me because my grandmother called me HONEYGIRL.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is some advice that you could give to our readers to help them in achieving healthy skin?

Tanisha “Face By Grace”: First I will say healthy skin starts on the inside. Drink water too! Second, cleanse your skin every morning and every night. Add a toner and serum to your routine. Use moisturizer and SPF during the day and moisturize before going to bed. I recommend you exfoliate, use masks, and peels weekly. I definitely suggest you get a facial done by a professional, at least twice monthly, if not more. As I stated before, staying committed to a good skincare routine will result in great looking beautiful skin.

IG: @1facebygrace
IG: @IAmFaceByGrace

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram

“From Miss Gucci to Mizz MeMe to the infamous FoxXxy!”











GO BANG! Magazine: When did you first get that spark in you to want to learn to DJ?

Meme Hughes: I first got that spark back in 2008. I was meeting so many people at the time. I was just hosting, throwing and promoting parties and I tried it a couple of times and was discouraged. Years later, it fell on me as I was doing my show because some of my guest DJs did not want to play my intermission music, so I was forced to play my own to keep the show in its format. Once I started doing a show on CYBERJAMZ in May 2010, I pretty much started then.

GO BANG! Magazine: What was it about the House scene that made you want to be a part of it as a young teenager?

Meme Hughes: It was the music and the people. To this day, throwing events and being a part of other events, I love to see people dance and have a good time.

GO BANG! Magazine: You and I grew up in the same South Shore neighborhood in Chicago and know many of the same people. DJ Steve Poindexter and John Hunt formed Gucci Promotions and you were a part of it, as Ms. Gucci. This was your foundation and beginning in the Entertainment industry. How did this time in your life influence the woman that you are today?

Meme Hughes: It brought me joy. I learned so much from them and I took that knowledge with my own twist and made it something different and great from a woman’s point of view. Watching them, it just seemed like things flowed because even though they had people they looked up to and learned from, most things for them came naturally from using their own ideas and moving in their own way and I am like that. I have taught myself most things from doing research and reading to experiencing blessed ideas. I say blessed ideas because they come out of nowhere and I just do it.

GO BANG! Magazine: Gucci Promotions was the foundation for several people, who later became great DJs of today. Is there anything that you would like to say to Steve Poindexter and John Hunt that you can share here with our readers?

Meme Hughes: I would like to say thank you and I love you guys forever! You were a part of my youth and didn’t realize how much you taught me and raised me to be the lady that I am today.

Thank you John Hunt!
Thank you Steve Poindexter!

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve had the opportunity to share the turntable stage with several prominent DJs over the years. Is there any DJ or DJs in particular that you want to DJ with or any events/venues that you’d love to spin at?

Meme Hughes:OMG YES! Everybody knows how much I Love Louie Vega! I would love to open up for him and it doesn’t matter where it is. To open up for him would be epically incredible! Is that even a word? LOL

I have played locally in many places from north to south of Chicago, places that I’d never imagined that I would play at. It’s been a super incredible ride!

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some of the DJs that you admire or who inspire you, past and/or present?

Meme Hughes:I was crazy about Frankie Knuckles. He did parties for Gucci Promotions but I first heard him when I was 14 at the Power Plant. I got in twice, but the third time they got me at the door. I was not old enough to get in at that time, but I did get that club experience at an early age. I like Ron Hardy too. His energy was atomic! I was around Pharris Thomas a lot. He was amazing. Watching Terry Hunter and Gene Hunt grow… these were the young men that I used to watch when I was younger, even though I am older than them. The Fantastic Four (Celeste Alexander, Khrisse Henderson, Kenya Lenoir) SheJays back then, let young women know that they too can play music too, just as well as the fellas.

I taught myself how to play and I am still learning. The learning never stops with all the different equipment that is used these days. It’s never ending education.

GO BANG! Magazine: Your talents range further than just being a DJ. You are also an entrepreneur, owning Mizz MeMe Management & Promotions. Please share with our readers more information about your business.

Meme Hughes: Mizz MeMe Management & Promotions was formed in 2007. I was hired to promote their events. I would go “old school” going to different parties and promote with flyers and small banners as well as host them. As time went on, I got into booking different talent for parties. This only lasted a few years, because I got my hands into other things.

GO BANG! Magazine: Then there’s even more talent flowing out of you, being an internet radio host. Tell us more about “The Deep Dis”, “Jus Muzik” and “Cyberjamz.com.”

Meme Hughes:I first started being a radio host with Chicago House Radio (Lloyd Dev) which was an “up and coming” radio station at the time (2009). This started me on my journey to radio. I always knew I was different and I do love radio. I was asked to do a show “The Deep Dis” with two other co-hosts, Noshaluv and Mike Hott. Every Tuesday night at 8pm, we would discuss and debate the music scene here in Chicago, along with a guest DJ playing music after our discussions. It was great and we did that for about a year. I woke up one day and said, “I want to do my own show.” I had so many ideas and I just put them into fruition.

January 18, 2010, Jus Muzik (The Show), was born. I would invite DJs from all over the city to interview and play a set. At the time, I was using a free LIVE streaming site called Stickam.com that became very popular at that time for many. I taught myself the ins and outs of audio/video. Jus Muzik W/MizzMeMe was the #1 Internet Radio Show for three years, reaching over 100,000 viewers in its first six months of airing.

As I was growing, I didn’t realize the growth. I was just enjoying doing it, as well as the music education that I was presenting with all genres of dance music. People from all over the world were tuning in faithfully every Monday night at 8pm. I had people telling me that I was part of their Monday night football regimen, with Mizz MeMe on one screen and football on the other.

Sammy Rock owner and founder of CYBERJAMZ was one of my many viewers who loved the show, reached out to me and asked me to bring Jus Muzik to CYBERJAMZ. I was so honored because at that time Sammy Rock and CYBERJAMZ was the hottest station moving with all dance music broadcasters. Everybody wanted to do CYBERJAMZ, so for me to get a prime-time slot on his station was everything. The way my show was formatted and the way the broadcasters were on CYBERJAMZ, I was a little timid about bringing my format to his station, so I switched it up and just played a 2 hour set. At that time my mixing was not the greatest but my programming made up for it. He pretty much let me be me and I taught myself to mix just by doing his show.

It was great to be encouraged so much and the east coast gave me much love and nickname “The FoxXx That RoxXx the BoxXx.” Right after, I changed my name to FoxXxy in credit of Greg Gray who was already a programmer and one of the first to do shows when the CYBERJAMZ station was growing. FoxXxy came from me doing my shows on CYBERJAMZ. I did two shows a week for years, Monday nights, producing my own show and Tuesday nights Jus Muzik on CYBERJAMZ.

GO BANG! Magazine: More recently, you launched “Jus Muzic Radio.” This accomplishment places you in a class by yourself, being one of the only African American women to own an internet radio station. Please tell us about the station and describe to our readers how that makes you feel.

Meme Hughes:As I said before, I have always felt different from others. I wanted to take this show to other levels, knowing that years ago dance music mixes were taken off the FM dial for a long time. I wanted to bring that back, but with a new flavor and that was internet radio.

I started the station back in 2014 with 15 broadcasters on another free LIVE streaming site which took more than I could even imagine. It was put on hold for a bit and now Jus Muzik Radio has an actual seven page website which is growing, but still needs a lot of work to be where I feel it should be. I am honored and pleased to know that I am the first African American woman to build an internet radio station, bringing some of the best and up to date music there is. I am still in the growing process and looking forward to the future.

GO BANG! Magazine: You also are passionate about teaching, mentoring and giving back to the community. Please describe some of the things that you do, for the love of your people.

Meme Hughes: I love music. I feel that every time I play a set, even if sometimes it’s not received, I am teaching. The radio station is a platform for people to express their talent. Whether you want to add to your resume, give knowledge with your view (talk), express your knowledge of music (broadcaster), Jus Muzik Radio is the platform to help you live your dream and add on to your future.

My future plans are teaching and mentoring some of the youth who are interested in becoming talk/music show host, as well as having pop-ups to spread the word in the community and giving back with different functions to bring the neighborhood together in unity. I feel that it is important that people who love music and have the talent, to be able to express and show their talents to the world. I feel that I have a platform just for them.

GO BANG! Magazine: Are there any projects that you are currently working on that you can share with our readers?

Meme Hughes:I’m still growing and building the station. There will be an annual festival coming at the end of July. “Jus Muzik Radio’s 1st Annual Festival” where there will be music all day for the community. We will be also celebrating our first year anniversary in September as an actual radio website. Then there’s Breast Cancer Awareness in October, Thanksgiving Food giveaway in November and a Clothes & Toy drive for the children in December.

Stay tuned…

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

Meme Hughes:It was so scary, but I have learned to cope and just continue living and accomplishing my goals and dreams safely.

Peace & Blessings to everyone and Safely Social Distance.

Thank you so much!

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re soooo welcome!

FOLLOW MeMe Hughes AT:
MeMe Hughes/FoxXxy Email: jusmuzikradio@gmail.com
FoxXxy Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/foxytriplex                                                                                                                                Jus Muzik Radio Group Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jusmuzik                                                                                               Jus Muzik Radio Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/JusMuzikRadio                                                                                                    FoxXxy Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jusmuzikradiofoxy                                                                                                                  Jus Muzik Radio Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jusmuzikradio                                                                                                         Jus Muzik Radio Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jusmuzik_radio                                                                                                        FoxXxy MixCloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/FoXXXy/                                                                                                                               Jus Muzik Radio MixCloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/Jus_Muzik_Radio/                                                                                                  Jus Muzik Radio SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jusmuzikradio



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Emmett V. Nicholas


Music is one man’s expression to the world. As a DJ, we convey that message to the masses.

Greg Gray was exposed to a variety of music at a young age. Growing up in the ‘70s, Disco, R&B, Funk and Blues were the foundation from which his love of music would be built upon.

Greg started playing records at age 12 and has been playing ever since. As mixing became more popular in the ‘80s, Greg began to take DJing seriously. While in high school, the mixes he would hear at parties turned him on to the music scene. With his DJ crew, Greg began playing at high school events and house parties. “We weren’t old enough to get into the clubs, but we would get tapes from some of the older heads who were regulars there.”

When asked about his style, Greg would say his style of playing music was influenced by Frankie Knuckles (R.I.P.), Ron Hardy (R.I.P.), and Farley Keith. “Farley’s skills on the tables were unmatched when it came to DJ tricks. Ron Hardy was awesome. He could play for days on end, cut after cut after cut. I was a Box-Head (Music Box regular) until I met Frankie Knuckles. I was fortunate to spend two summers as an intern at Frankie’s club the Power Plant while I was in college. I give much love and respect to Frankie because he showed me how music could touch a person’s soul.”

As president of the Attic Music Co. (AMC), Greg was able to establish himself in the industry as a DJ, sound engineer, and business owner. Armed with a crew of DJs, Greg and his AMC crew provided complete package of DJs, sound equipment, and producers at a moment’s notice. As one of the founding members of the Nu Bang Clan/Nu Bang Collective, Greg was recognized as one the 100 Most Influential DJs in Chicago. Live musicians, percussionists, tribal rhythms, broken beats and electronica are all a part of his musical sets.

As a DJ, Greg has played in a number of venues around the country and overseas. In addition to Chicago, Greg has played clubs in New York, New Jersey, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, Baltimore, as well as Manchester in the UK to name a few. In addition to his travel schedule, Greg has hosted a live 3 hour mix show every Wednesday night on Cyberjamz Internet radio since 2005.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you first get interested and bit by the DJ bug?

DJ Greg Gray: I would say around 1975-76. My older cousin would make tapes from the stereo and play them. I liked the response he got from that. I wanted to get that same response from people.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe the DJ Greg Gray sound to our readers and what separates you from other DJs?

DJ Greg Gray: My “sound” is all over the place. I grew up in Disco, lived the House years of the 80s, found new music in the 90s and never looked back. I have a diverse playlist from Classics to Tech-House. What I feel separates me from other DJ’s is my ability to cross genres fluently while I am playing. I can go from Soulful to Disco to Deep to Afro seamlessly. Good music is good music. Why can’t I play it?

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are your mentors, who inspire you and who motivates you?

DJ Greg Gray: My musical mentors were Frankie, Ronnie, Farley and Lee Pearson. I studied under Frankie for a few years during the Power Plant days. Frankie taught me how music can touch people. We have the power to impact lives through music. Ron Hardy was a master at what he did. Ronnie was unafraid to take risks and somehow he would make that shyt werk!!! Farley was the DJ everyone wanted to be back in high school. He knew all the tricks, could scratch mix and all that stuff. He was unmatched in that arena. Lee Pearson introduced me to the Classics. He has been a mentor for most of my DJ career. We still sit and talk today about where the industry is headed, how we as DJs fit in and what’s next on the horizon. He is a great friend.

What inspires me? Music inspires me. Let me catch a tune that grabs my attention, I wanna play that! I also get inspired when I hear a DJ play a blazin’ azz set. It’s not to try to out-do anyone, not at all. A hott dj set will make you want to get up and connect to that vibe and want to be a part of it!

I am motivated by the people who support and love what we do just as much as I do. We are a community of House music lovers who convene to share our experiences on the dance floor. I am just honored to be able to share what I love with like-minded people.

GO BANG! Magazine: While you were in college, you had the opportunity to spend two summers interning with the late and great DJ Frankie Knuckles at the legendary Power Plant. Please describe how that opportunity came your way, what you did as an intern, how Frankie treated you and lastly, what you learned from that experience.

DJ Greg Gray: I was home for the summer in 1984. I was in Importes Etc. buying records. I met Craig Loftis, who was the sound engineer at the Power Plant. I was bugging him about what type of equipment they were using. He invited me down to check it out. I fell in love with 1015 (Power Plant). They couldn’t keep me outta there. I was helping out running some speaker wires, Frankie asked Craig “Who was that?” Craig said I was “the summer intern.” My primary duty was to help Craig with the sound system repair/maintenance and provide support to the lighting system. On party night, my job was to monitor the door to the DJ booth.

Working with Frankie was a once in a lifetime opportunity, you just don’t realize it at the time it is happening. I have learned so much just from observing how Frankie played such as, when do you bring in the mix to get maximum WOW factor? I got to see how music can really touch people and allow them to release their energy on a dance floor. That is what we DJs are always looking for. That energy from the dance floor when we drop something that’s hott and the crowd goes crazy!!! That’s what we live for!!!

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re not only a DJ, you’re an entrepreneur, as president of Attic Music Company (AMC). Please describe AMC to our readers as well as your role in the business and the goal of the company.

DJ Greg Gray: I started the Attic Music Company (AMC) back in 1991 with my business partner, Olumide Olupitan. AMC is essentially a musical consultant company. We provided DJs, performers, sound engineers, event planners to clients in the Chicagoland area. I manage the day to day operations of AMC and our other ventures. These days, AMC is more of a parent company. As we continue to expand globally, AMC will still hold the reigns.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also one of the founding members of the Nu Bang Clan/Nu Bang Collective. What exactly is this organization and who are some of its members?

DJ Greg Gray: Nu Bang Clan and Nu Bang Collective are both networks of DJs, artists, dancers, planners, and performers. Originally, we were 10 DJs here in Chicago who liked to play the new soulful music at the parties. We took the name because we were a “Clan” who like to “Bang” the “Nu” music. We currently have members in the US, Canada, Jamaica, UK, South Africa and Japan. We are striving to become a global entity.

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years, you’ve worked with quite a few well-known DJs. Are there any DJs that you would love to work with now that you haven’t?

DJ Greg Gray: Sean Ali, Terry Hunter & Eric Welton, Jihad Muhammad, Big Logan

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve experienced the House community as a DJ, from various cities of America and abroad. Could you please describe the House scene here in Chicago and compare and contrast the scene to other locations you’ve been?

DJ Greg Gray: As for other cities I have traveled to, I would say there are a lot of similarities. A lot of cities are saturated with DJs now. There is a lot of new competition out here now and they are getting some looks too. There are DJs who appear to get all the work in each city. There are vinyl vs. digital debates in each city. We are all passionate about our craft and we are expressive by nature.

The difference I see is that when we visit a city, we are only there for a day or two. We do our thing and then we are gone. We had a good time and we left. We didn’t get bogged down in the conversation about “how dead the scene is here.” We were too busy rocking your party to notice!!

GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe how you incorporate live musicians and percussionists in your musical sets.

DJ Greg Gray: If the percussionist is someone I know or have worked with before, we pretty much have a good understanding of each other’s boundaries. I will strip back a few of the songs so they can get some solo time. I don’t need a bongo solo over every song I am playing. I will give you some space to get loose and do your thing. Let’s compliment, not battle each other.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

DJ Greg Gray: I have been doing my best to stay safe. Trying to find a little piece of happiness to connect with and share with the world.


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram