Editor’s Note: Aaliyah’s Significance

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The singer Aaliyah


Being that I have been under the weather literally (Isaac) and figuritively, I have been reduced to being confined to my computer even more than usual. I was reminded yesterday that August 25th marked the anniversary of the passing one of R&B’s most influential icons from the 90s. My Facebook newsfeed was inundated with pictures of the songstress that I once and always will find hypnotically alluring and indescribably beautiful. It has been 10 years since Aaliyah passed away and fans are still posting original handsketches and paintings of the singer.

What caught me off guard was a question posted by Complex magazine, which I believe was intended to be more of a conversation piece than a profound statement or anything incendiary in nature. As an avid listener of Aaliyah, I automatically go on the defensive when anyone challenges her contribution to R&B. The question that Complex magazine posed was: “Would Aaliyah still be famous if she were still alive “(something along those lines). I couldn’t even bring myself to comment. Not that it was really that offensive of a question, but mostly because if anyone commented after me challenging my opinion, it would have been a debate- a drawn out debate.  So instead, I have decided to take to Worthy to do my part as a fan of Aaliyah.  Instead of just answering the question, I will write as a fan who is still effected by her music and inspired by the personal legacy that she left behind.

For me, I remember the singer standing out in a sea of oversexed R&B songstresses looking undeniably young and comfortable in her petite frame and humble physique. Behind an angelic voice that song lyrics that seemed to astutely describe the generation of the time, was an individual who seemed to be completely comfortable with who she was. She didn’t have the coveted wide “hips for days” and the overflowing bosom that guys always seemed to be chasing after. She rocked sweats that always seemed to swallow her. And with a humble bosom and all -wore tight fitting tops that celebrated her petite frame. She was simply Aaliyah not appearing to compete with other belting R&B singers. She knew her voice and she stuck to her style in an industry where a singer would pick up any trait to remain a factor. Aaliyah’s choice to maintain a signature sound conveyed volumes about her personality. Small in physical stature she appeared to have a firm opinion on who she was and who she wanted to be. To someone like me, who regarded the creative minds that created and/or song the songs that I loved as heavenly remnants who walked the earth, Aaliyah was as close to unique as anyone could get.

For me, she was the first public figure I looked towards to accept that my appearance could still be alluring and mysterious. I didn’t have to have the body of Tyra Banks or any other woman that I found myself wishing I could look like. I didn’t need to stock pile on make-up to be beautiful and every article of my clothing did not have to be painted on.

I look at artists today and I still see the influence that Aaliyah had on them. Ciera’s style as comfortable as she may have been in sweats when she first came on the scene- will always be compared to Aaliyah. Whenever I see Solange Knowles or Rihanna adorned in a midriff of any kind, I will always think of Aaliyah and wonder how she would’ve worn it. Good grief even Drake’s tracks feature the singer’s melodic voice.

If she were still here, I believe there would’ve been a place for her music and her presence. Even with fans being as fickle as we can be sometimes. Aaliyah was the poster child for girls of all shapes and sizes who were trying to be comfortable in their own skin. For me, Aaliyah was the first person who showed me that all women have their own unique beauty, which makes them worthy. Everything about her image in the industry was signature. She had a signature sound that stayed with you days after hearing her songs, it always seemed like she had a signature personality that was mysterious and inviting all at once and there was her signature look.

Her life, although it was too short, left its mark on the world and the people in it. Especially with someone like me. She is remembered just as much for her music as she is for her beauty. She defined a style that most women and artists still aspire to today.

Much Love,

Ju’lia Samuels

A Fly Affair Nation: Creative Expression At Its Finest

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Founder of "A Fly Affair Nation" Jabian Sutherland photographed with two models

“Fly Affair Nation” is an up and coming company in Miami that is establishing it self as a one stop shop for Miami fashion and music enthusiasts. One thing that really stood out at a recent show the company put on at the Viceroy hotel in Miami is the unique take on style. The founder and CEO of the company Jabian Sutherland said in a recent interview that he would define the world of fashion as a constant and independent movement. With such an innovative outlook on the world of fashion and creativity, it is understandable why Sutherland went on to say that he is noticing that the Black community has become more open with their definition of style. Jeans no longer have to fall way below the waist line. Men are embracing a more tailored and customized look that is both refreshing and daring. 

Model photographed for featured designer Gorgeous Bridges clothing line "Illectrick" Photo Credit: Mark Masters


Another model photographed in "Illectrick" clothing. Photo credit: Mark Masters.

“A Fly Affair Nation” is also tackling the world of music and video production. It is believed that with time this company will blossom into a one stop shop for all creative needs. The show which took place on August 3rd was also a local platform for South Florida based designers: Michael Durham and Gorgeous Bridges to showcase their talent and love for fashion. Both lines embraced a side of style that is gradually emerging to the forefront of fashion within the Black community. Ripped tye dye jeans, spikes and pins and most importantly psychedelic make-up- were the key ingredients needed to conjure up the perfect fashion fantasy.

The general concensus over at Worthy Magazine is simple: “We would like some more, please.-” Here’s to hoping that they keep more coming.

Tell us what you think about show and make sure you stop by “A Fly Affair Nation’s” Web site.


Ashton Kutcher To Play Steve Jobs

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The new projects seem to keep rollin in for Ashton Kutcher. According to reports, Ashton is slated to play the brilliant mind that was behind the success of the unstoppable force known as Apple. Ashton will be playing the late Steve Jobs in an upcoming film entitled Jobs. The film will chronicle Jobs life from his hippie days to his final days as the CEO and co-founder of Apple. Shooting for the film will begin in May which is when Ashton will be on hiatus from Two and Half Men. Additional details will emerge as filming commences.

I Am John Wayne Short Film

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I am John Wayne is a short film that has been quietly acquiring awards upon awards for the creative story that it tells and the beautifully artistic way that it is shot. The short film has won, the Grand Jury Prize for best narrative at the Hammer and Nail film contest, and it has won a Steiner Studio Award.  The film is literally described as “a lyrical portrait of “Taco” a young black cowboy struggling with the death of his best friend.” The film lends a hand to broadening the perception of young black men. That alone makes it worthy of being featured, but it manages to be more so much man than a statement. The film has an amazing story to tell, and it is all delivered in a way that makes it almost impossible to tear your eyes away from the screen.

I am John Wayne is the brainchild of budding film maker Christina Choe. She began her career as a documentary filmmaker and has screened her short docs “Turmeric Border Marks” & “United Nations of Hip Hop” at numerous film festivals worldwide. She has received funding from New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Brooklyn Arts Council and Canada Arts Council for her projects.

Enjoy Part 1.

I am John Wayne from Christina Choe on Vimeo.

Choe recently received an M.F.A from Columbia University for writing/directing, and is currently in development for her first feature.


The Extended Status Update: Getting Old But Staying Young

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By: Morgan Collins

“I got washed and dressed before noon on a Saturday, so if I do nothing else for the day, I know I accomplished something.”


Today, I patted myself on the back for getting up and dressed before noon on a Saturday, an anomaly for me. No, it’s not the same as getting up early to volunteer with charities benefitting homeless children with rare cases of glandular cancer, but somewhere there’s a trophy with my name on it. “Morgan Collins: Relatively Early Riser.” Back in college, Saturdays were reserved for pajamas and movies. The only physical exercise I did on those days involved digging through the sofa cushions to collect wayward pieces of Apple Jacks. It was my day off. My day of rest, but on the sixth day. Hallelujah, amen.

Now, at 23, there is no rest. My day job as of right now is not my dream job. After the 9-to-5 and on some days the 3-to-11, my real work begins. On Saturdays I have to go back to the drawing board no matter how much I’d like to spend it in an Internet wormhole of Wikipedia pages and Netflix movie marathons. I have resigned myself to the fact that I am getting older and, therefore, must take on more responsibilities. I guess I should have realized this during college, but I went to The University of Florida—everything was just a blur of humidity, football, and dudes in alligator costumes clapping their hands together incessantly.


In a way, my life is just one of many random moments on the universe’s ticking timeline. Aren’t all our lives like this, just blips on God’s radar? I suppose wherever I am at in this act of my life won’t change the ending, just how I get to it. But despite the inevitable, death and taxes, I still try to hold on to my idea of youth. Parties and bullshit. Pajamas and cereal. Silly and childish, maybe, but just my way of sticking it to The Man, whoever he may be.

Letters From Birmingham


Everyone’s favorite American Idol Winner-Ruben Studdard is set to release his fifth album! The Album is titled, Letters From Birmingham. The recently divorced balladeer had fresh and raw emotions to share on his new album and the 13 track CD is filled with his emotional memories. While the album can’t be called a cathartic release it is powerful and fans should be pleased. Release date is set for March 13th 2012!

Check for the incredible first single and video “June 28th” as Ruben delivers his true to life soul story!



Shahs Of Sunset


Ryan Seacrest brought us Kim Kardashian, then Denise Richards, Khloe and Lamar, and now Mr. Seacrest has blessed the world with the Shahs of Sunset. The new Bravo TV series will follow yet another elite-and fabulously wealthy, social circle. The twist this time, is that they are PERSIANS! Reality TV has joyously, blown the privacy windows off of African American culture, Italian American Culture, Housewife Culture, and even Southern Culture. Persian culture is largely unknown to most Americans. While SHAHS might immediately strike viewers as shallow and vapid, the Bravo show could be seen as broadening our collective cultural awareness. Ryan Seacrest could be the ultimate cultural ambassador, as the impresario of edu-tainment. However, it’s unlikely that such lofty goals are on the minds of Bravo’s producers. The SHAH’S OF SUNSET, is yet another opportunity to show, relatively young and hot people living an opulent and outrageously fun lifestyle. They spend money like it doesn’t have to be earned. They drink and party like livers are replaceable. And that’s what America wants to see. It is an utter escape from the hum-drum, consequence filled lives of most Americans. The show features characters like Golnesa, Dubbed The Persian Princess. She personifies beauty and excess. She’s the show’s gorgeous spit fire, looking for the love of her Persian Prince. Mike Shouhed is the show’s player-with issues. The consummate bad boy, lost his very rich shirt in the Vegas real estate market, but is working to rebuild his Persian empire. Asa Rahmati – the Persian gypsy, is the show’s artistic cast member. She breaks the mold of her community and challenges the taboos of her culture by (GASP) DATING OUTSIDE OF HER RACE (seriously, this is still a big deal in some communities?)! Challenging ALL of the traditions of Persian culture, is Reza Farahan-an openly gay real estate mogul, who longs for love-and more money. Mercedes and Sammy wrap up the cast as (yet more) real estate moguls. The show, follows all of their exploits and is likely to be a very entertaining ride.