Diary: Geneviève Mame Kodou Dieng

From True Laurels: The Overseas Issue. The zine will be available in our online shop Monday, April 20th. 

Genevieve Mame Kodou Dieng

Genevieve Mame Kodou Dieng

I just got my graphic designer diploma. I’m half French, half Senegalese. I always had a passion for drawing and never stopped since I was able to hold a pen and express myself on a piece of paper. I love how it always let’s me capture moments and the faces of life. One of my largest influences comes from the comics universe. I've always been fascinated by drawers like Druillet, Moebius and Crumb. My work reflects these influences both in my pictures and drawings. I just spent a month in Senegal doing a documentary on my family. What’s important for me is to share my work as it is made of the people for the people.

GMKD is my artist name : Geneviève Mame Kodou Dieng. I promised my dad to never forget my African roots so I have put my African name on my nickname! I love Martian stories, and stories about space, that’s why my emblem is a spaceship. For me, people like Erykah Badu, Sun Ra, Bad Brains, Funkadelics, The Cramps, Sex Pistols, The Specials, and so many more are kind of comics characters for me. That’s why I love to  find special people for my pictures. People who remind me of a comic world!

Senegal is fantastic for that because everybody reflects the sun and it shines in their smiles. Everyday I was so happy to see happiness and colors, especially for the spectacular pink and orange natural light flashing from the sunset.

I’ve taken a special interest in religion in Dakar These souls or these mystic spirits, demonstrations (appearances) of the deceased or animal divinities, can act on the tangible world...in a beneficial way or not. It is thus advisable to dedicate worship to them. So by definition: faith in the soul and in the future life, correlatively, faith in guiding divinities and subordinate spirits; it can characterize extremely diverse societies, situated on all the continents.

I’m a total fanatic of Japanese artists like Takeshi Kitano, Hayao Miyazaki, Suehiro Maruo, Wong Kar Wai and Katsuhiro Ōtomo as well. I love how they put a lot of colors with all this beautiful perfection. Since I was born I always dreamt to be a nice witch and fly on the GMKDIZ (my imaginary world). One day I will jump on my drawing and I will fly into the page of all the comics from this world!

All photos are taken by Genevieve Mame Kodou Dieng, a French-Senegalese multidisciplinary artist. Follow her on Instagram.

Diary: Al Rogers

Photo: Keem Griffey

Photo: Keem Griffey

Days seem longer when you broke but when the money flows time flies, spend a little bit and have fun, right? It's a 50/50 chance with me every single cent goes to my music but when you haven't mastered your craft sometimes even your passion can be frustrating. I remember growing up my brothers had me in this fiend’s house in Essex. I might’ve been 14-15 and although it's just hitting me, they were serving and had me in a crack house--the experience was real. My mother tried keeping me away from trouble as much as possible coming up and all I could think about was a dollar. Sometimes we reflect and learn from those who we love and I can recall looking up to my brothers until I found some sense. Until this day I still have a major respect for them they let me know at a early age life isn't always easy and not to let my mother spoil me and give me a foolish notion. Hell, I just got the message from my homie Lb to give y'all this piece I guess the cop cars outside my window inspired it who knows why or who they're out there for. I talk to my boy Ryan a lot about what moves would be wise to take so that I can prosper, one thing he said that hit home was that I should leave Baltimore as much as possible to share my message. Isn't it so easy to lose faith? And finding hope can be underwhelming but when you know your direction I guess the work you put in will help guide you. These are all tangent thoughts so forgive me if I'm like a bouncing dodge ball in closed quarters; maybe not the eat analogy but fuck it. In the year 2013 I said some things I'd accomplish that I didn't although some things came surprisingly and this year has still been one of the better years since I started this journey. I had a misconception of what fear was but now I truly understand the idea of fear not existing. So failure doesn't get under my skin like it once did I'll get to where I'm going regardless of the time it takes. Hey I found love this year as well it's been a pretty rough couple of months but worth it when someone inspires you to make pretty awesome fucking songs as a musician they're definitely a keeper haha. I'm not the best with this whole love thing. The few times I've tried it’s bit me in the ass. Those playboy days have been numbered before they started. Yo I hate to sound corny but my mama tells me I am all the time so don't mind me, btw mama is what I call my shorty. You know when you close the door on one issue another one always presents itself and the second I lost sight of fear a new problem arises—"anxiety " I'm at odds with that fucking word. It's not about time though, it's about me being anxious to find the right sound for this next project because right now it's good but it's everywhere. I'll get on top of that though before y'all mothafuckers even read this. My mother has had me on some real grind mode shit lately she got me this little part time gig with the MTA so I can continue paying for my music she supports my dream 100% now that's love. Growing up my family called me Baby Al because I am the youngest and well I'm a Jr. That will also be the name of the next project "BABY AL" It got a ring to it right?

Follow Al Rogers on Twitter: @ALROGERSJR


Diary: Buffa7o

Photo: Keem Griffey

Photo: Keem Griffey

Sometimes I sit and think to myself "am I so great?" or does everything suck so much that I'm able to feel this way.

I digress, but I am never put at ease with everyone's onslaughts to be the most original. I find happiness in the smaller and sometimes the finer things of life. Despite my poisoned mind, standoffish personality and attachment to individualism, older people I've met say I give off a hippie vibe. Also due to the massive amounts of marijuana I smoked up, earning me the name Leafy Lo. I started this whole rap experience by jacking for beats and making homemade video recordings of me spitting on Facebook. My friend Curtis discovered these ancient artifacts, passing them on to BlackZheep Dz thus earning me a spot with the 7th Floor Villains. Prior to these recent events I grew up all through Baltimore moving every school year due to my mother's financial instability. This caused the streets to claim me for its own, transforming my promising potential into probable potential.

All in all, I live and lived my life vicariously through others while still playing my vital position. I hate hate hate an unjustified hater so for those who hate with no debate for goodness sake consolidate!


- Buffa7o

Follow Buffa7o on Twitter: @Buffa70

Diary: The GTW

Photo: Ryan Lyons

Photo: Ryan Lyons

Days seem to blur together for me, not having a traditional job takes it's toll on me when it comes to time management. Most days i'm pretty busy working on what I need to do for my career, and other days I push stuff off because I realize that everything I do is on "my time." It's not a good habit and it's something that i need help breaking.

When I was a bit younger creating was way more fun most of the time than it is now. Now, it's fun only 75% of the time, which isn't bad but that other 25% contains procrastination, doubt, fear of my life, and a nagging girl who requires of me more attention paid to her. I'm finally at that stage of my artistry where one step on the ladder towards what I see as success for myself isn't celebrated like some super bowl party. True, I'm not used to having drunk goth chicks, online feminist, prepsters and hood chicks mingling together at my shows. I was more used to either or, separately. Seeing this clash is really cool and it gives me confidence that if I do whatever it is that I like, peeps would dig it.

Chigeria, umm, what can I say about this? It's definitely the name of my upcoming album and It's definitely a clash of everything i'm going through right now. My Jolly boy, Edgy Boy, Innocent boy sides all rolled into this global mix of sounds and feels. My family members somewhat smirk at the term "Chigeria" since I wasn't as enthusiastic about my background as I am now. Being a caramel skinned Nigerian in Chicago with the name James King growing up Honestly was a bit easy. I didn't experience much name calling or teasing about my name like most of my fellow Naijamericans did. ( yes, i'm just making up words here).

I pretty much just skated through grade school like a head arse with my Phat Farm jeans and Rocawear track jacket completely oblivious to the fact that the culture i had at home was pretty cool (even though i lived in Nigeria all of 5th grade). It wasn't until my freshman year in High school where I developed some type of genuine tolerance and pride in who I am. I started my first job at Abercrombie and met the coolest Sri Lankan kids ever, They were like speaking their language openly which I think was called Sinhala. I was pretty much like "F - IT " after experience that whole other world outside of my school. I started coming to class wearing abercrombie jeans with air force ones and west african print shirts on occasion. It was tacky, but fun. I spent my whole 4 years in High school experimenting with whatever I was into at the moment, sonically and aesthetically.

It pretty much shaped me up to be who I am today, A full time musician that draws and plays dream league soccer on my iPhone during my free time. I also tried to apply to Home Depot for some spring cash but I haven't heard back from them yet. Hopefully they hit me up before I head on tour this fall or something. <3

Photo: Ryan Lyons

Photo: Ryan Lyons

Follow The GTW on Twitter- @THEGTW

Diary: Chrissy Vasquez

&nbsp;Photo: Keem Griffey

 Photo: Keem Griffey

Today I realize that I'm not like many people. As I've been told my entire life by many people. I'm similar to my music, my music is me. Different...astranged...created off earth. Where ever I go, my music goes with me. Journeys written into a melodic tune. It flows in my head through times of melancholy and when I feel joy it takes off into my body. Wave length. Taking off in to outer space. Let me go so I can free my mind. I swing my maschete full of treble cleffs, eight notes, do...re....me's...fa's...and sorrows. I'll blow you away baby, blow you away. Chrissy Vasquez. That's what they call me. I smile. As well, I'm hesitant. As I step on stage. The tune plays, I sway my hips and range my vocals with my hand. Strange voice. Numb and glazed. They didn't expect this, did they? Capturing pictures of the essence. Fifteen minutes...only fifteen minutes. Fifteen fucking minutes.

As they applauded, the noise filled up the room. The smell of drunk, the smell of fucked up...I still smelt a scent of love.

Love is universol. Love is all you need.

...

I grew up...without love. I grew up, with heartaches. The house on Rogers Ave, living bottom under the crack addict on top of us. I struggled. I've seen more than you think. You'd think the only thing I'd be witnessing in a child stage is the frog pad, and cartoon figures on the televsion screen. I knew what guns were before I even seen one, I knew what fear was because I scent it. I knew what pain was. It was all around me. Mami don't cry, I will protect you. The cops knocked the door down...

Love...love.........it's out here. Mami...do you hear me? Love...love.

He blacks out.

Follow Chrissy Vasquez on Twitter: @CHRISSYVSQZ