2015 #AOCFest: Art Of Cool Festival (@TheAOCProject) Review: The Top 5 Coolest Features (Video)

2015 Art Of Cool Festival (@TheAOCProject) Review: The Top 5 Coolest Features #AOCFest (Video)
 

The 2015 Art Of Cool Festival is now down in the history books as another epic and memorable Art Of Cool event. This year’s festivities took place April 24 through 26 in downtown Durham, NC.

Art Of Cool is a 501(c)(3) jazz-presenting non-profit based in Durham. The company has been producing extra fly events in Raleigh-Durham for the last two years. One of their earliest kickbacks, which was also one of my favs —Thursdays At The Stack —no longer take place. It’s all good though, because since then the Art Of Cool has gone on to bring some of the best music artists/shows (Bilal, Goapele) and music education events (Start Of Cool) to the area.

This year’s Art Of Cool Festival included paid and free music shows, a food truck jam, jazz brunch, a blend of technology/business programming plus more. Shawty, there was so much going on, by Sunday I was wore out.

In this review, I count down the top five coolest features of the 2015 festival weekend. If you’re debating on attending 2016’s Art Of Cool festival, curious about the city of Durham or want to know what’s it like to attend a music festival here, be sure to watch the entire review through to the end.

Y’all can watch the 2015 Art Of Cool Festival’s Top 5 Coolest Features video after the jump!

Run That Back:
3 Cool Carolina Music &Cultural Events To Check Out This Summer.

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#RapOnTheRun: 2015 Raleigh Rock N Roll Half Marathon (@RunRocknRoll) Race Review (Video) #RunChat

#RapOnTheRun: 2015 Raleigh Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Review (Video)
 

The Rock N Roll Half Marathon Series came to Raleigh, NC this past weekend. It was the second year for the event in the Triangle. Earlier this Spring while training for the 2015 Tobacco Road Marathon (which was to be my third full marathon), I ended up having to cut back on mileage. At that point, I was already conditioned up to 16 miles and didn’t want the training to go to waste. Tobacco Road’s half marathon was already sold out (I heard that they sell out every year) but the Raleigh Rock N Roll Half Marathon still had slots, so I decided to sign up.

The Raleigh Rock N Roll Half Marathon was my sixth half marathon, but first time running in a Rock N Roll series. In this race review, I give my thoughts on the event. The recap includes general feedback on the course, race expo and overall race experience. I also share thoughts on how the Rock N Roll Half Marathon compares to other locally-owned and produced half marathon events.

Y’all can watch the 2015 Raleigh Rock N Roll Half Marathon race review video after the jump!

Run That Back:
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#RapOnTheRun: Red Maca Review For Running, Energy &Endurance (Video)

#RapOnTheRun: Red Maca Review For Running, Energy &Endurance
 

I first read about red maca last year on Instagram. Red maca is a root that is grown in the Peruvian mountains. A couple of vegan athletes I follow on the ‘Gram had mentioned using red maca as part of their sports training and for endurance. I also noticed a few vegan chefs talk about using the root or powder version in their cooking and for extra energy. From that point I was curious and did some searches on the web to learn more about this root.

Those who were using red maca for sports training noted how the root seemed to increase their endurance, particularly for difficult training sessions. One thing I wasn’t able to find in my searches is if anyone had used red maca for running, specifically marathon training. So I decided to experiment to see if the root would help improve my endurance for long runs. I also wanted to see if red maca would give me some extra energy.

Of note, I believe folks should always check with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplements (natural or otherwise!) into a regimen. I think this is especially important if you have a medical condition or take medications.

Y’all can watch the red maca review for running, energy and endurance video after the jump!

Run That Back:
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Today In Carolina Hip Hop History: March 2, 2009 Mica Swain (@MicaSwain) Releases ‘Ms. Swain’

Today In Carolina Hip Hop History: March 2, 2009 Mica Swain (@MicaSwain) Releases 'Ms. Swain'

Today in Carolina Hip Hop History, Mica Swain released Ms. Swain on March 2, 2009.

Mica Swain released Ms. Swain on the 2nd day of Women’s History Month (March). The album was her second project and came out on her self-owned record label, Backwoodz Muzic Inc. Mica Swain hails from Plymonth, NC.

Ms. Swain was a true album with original music. This was no ordinary mixtape with rhymes over popular industry beats! Five of the thirteen tracks had also appeared on Mica Swain’s first album Product Of Da NC.Her first mixtape was also titled Product Of Da NC but it is not to be confused with the album, as the mixtape included totally different music.

At the time Mica Swain released Ms. Swain, there were not many other female rappers from North Carolina. Shelly B, Rapsody and Lil Buna were the names most people tuned into Carolina hip hop knew about. One thing that set Mica Swain apart from the rest is that she sang in addition to rapping.

A good amount of the production on Ms. Swain was handled by DJ Barry Bee and Manifest. By 2009, DJ Barry Bee had established himself as one of the more known DJ’s in NC. Physical copies of his mixtapes could be found all over the state. DJ Barry Bee produced “Dope Boy Magic“, one of the biggest hits off of Ms. Swain. The album also included a feature from Rico Barrino, “She Got It”. Other jammin’tracks off Ms. Swain were “Gimme Dat Ducee”and “Mulah”. One additional notable is “Your Property”, which featured Jamla Records’ Heather Victoria.

As 2009 went on, Mica Swain continued to make a name for herself throughout the South. By the end of the year, Mica Swain landed in the studio with Waka Flocka Flame. The two came together and created one of her biggest hits to date, “Body Talk“.

Mica Swain’s most recent work is “The Back Side“, which came out in January 2014. The track was to appear on her album Swain’s World, which has not been released to date.

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