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Hip hop history, Q&A with NFTR's Chams and more

HIP HOP HISTORY: Mr Play took a trip to where it all began

NEW YORK, NEW YORK was lit last week! I was out in the Big Apple and made it out for DJ Norie’s birthday bash! I dropped some Mr Play vibes in FREQ nightclub for the celebration and received a warm welcome. Shout out to the family, friends and associates I connected with in NYC, it was great seeing you all.

I even made it down to a pre-season NBA match. It was a close one but the NY Knicks just about beat the Brooklyn Nets! Guess who I bumped into at the game? The legendary Notorious BIG’s daughter T’yanna Wallace – this young boss lady ambitiously and successfully owns and runs Notorious Clothing. Big Poppa is surely proudly looking down from heaven!

NOTORIOUS: Mr Play and Biggie Smalls' daughter T'yanna Wallace

You can call me a hip hop geek, but I couldn’t be in NYC again, and not make it to the very spot that marked “The Home of Hip Hop” – 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx since renamed Hip Hop Boulevard. The story goes that on August 11, 1973, DJ Kool Herc, a building resident, was entertaining at his sister’s back-to-school party, and tried something new on the turntable – he extended an instrumental beat (breaking or scratching) to let people dance longer (break dancing) and began rapping during the extended breakdancing – it was the emergence of hip hop!

Speaking of legends, on a sad note we had news of a major loss to the basketball and Brixton community – Uncle Jimmy Rogers from Brixton Topcats died at age 78.


The local hero was responsible for setting up the Topcats and mentoring thousands of Brixton youngsters. He lost a six-month battle with cancer on Monday October 1. His expert coaching skills led to some high profile players emerging out of the ranks of the Topcats at the Rec. The most celebrated is the NBA star Luol Deng who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Team GB players also flourished under the coaching of Jimmy, including Eric Boateng, Justin Robinson and Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Although no longer officially coaching, Jimmy remained on the sidelines at the Rec right up until that final season, still giving encouragement and sharing his knowledge. We will miss you Jimmy. May your soul rest in heavenly peace.

Q&A with Chams

Chams, an ambitious and inspirational business woman, took some time out from her busy schedule to tell us her story.

SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR: Chams (Photographer: @dean_nos and stylist @_feliciabrown

Q: Who is Chams?
A: A serial entrepreneur, host on Not for the Radio (NFTR), director of Face4music model agency the UK’s leading curve/ethnic model agency, partner at Good Soil VC, partner at Klout sports and influencer agency and partner at Goal Digger Power Circle, a female empowerment movement focused on aiding women’s growth in business.

Q: How did you get started?
A: I got started by social media, I used it to create awareness of my services and built up the reputation by delivering on promises. Me and my best friend Lina worked hard to prove that our services were indispensable. We quickly became a go-to for ethnic and curve models. Seeing Face4music model agency grow gave me a hunger for business I wanted to share my experience and knowledge with other women so I set up Goal Digger. I recently partnered with a dynamic duo Antonia and Nikesha.

The more I learned about investment and the bigger my network grew I started to look into venture capital (VC) investments. And so when approached by my Good Soil partners, Ashley Thompson Maccarthy and Richard Mensah, to partner with them and Orla Enright to build an investment fund focused on providing financial support to fast growth pre-seed and seed stage companies with diverse owners in Europe and sub Saharan Africa. Finally I set up Klout, a sports and influencer agency, and partnered with Mark Rudderham as I saw a gap in the market for branding of sportsmen – and a huge growth in the newly emerged influencer market. My years of experience at Face4music lent me skills and accolades to be able to bring this project to life.

Q: What made you to decide to start a modelling agency?
A: I’m a 5”3 woman of colour who is on the larger end of a size 12. Back in 2005 there was little or no reflection of the “real” woman. We found that the models that were provided by conventional model agencies defined a very specific measure of beauty and we wanted to redefine that. We initially approached the top agencies in the UK to see if we could work with them on bringing more curve and ethnic models to their roster, however it wasn’t as big a “hot topic” back then and we were swiftly turned away. So we decided to go it alone and build something from the ground up.

Q: How best would you describe yourself?
A: I would definitely describe myself as a “goal digger”, as driven, playful, loving and human.

Q: If you had to choose between presenting or running an agency, which would you pick and why?
A: I love hosting NFTR it’s such an honest platform that I feel privileged to be a host alongside Posty, the CEO of GRM Daily and Duane Jones, the founder of Renowned. It has also opened up so many opportunities for me, which I am extremely grateful for, however, if I had to choose, running the agency would come first. It’s not just a career, it’s a means of changing the face of beauty for generations to come – it’s about legacy.

Q: Are you currently working on any new projects?
A: I am working on lots of new projects at the moment, Good Soil being one of them

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
A: In the next few years I see myself as a global figure with a huge investment portfolio, and a legacy for changing the face of diversity in business and beauty.

Q: What advice do you have for individuals who are interested in working in the entertainment industry?
A: Get started, research your craft and don’t focus too much on what others are doing, just set a plan of action and most importantly act on your plan.

Q: Where can we find you?
A: You can find me on Instagram and Twitter at: @chamsface4music, @face4music model agency, @goaldiggerpc and @goodsoilvc and on NFTR.

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