Thursday, November 26, 2015

Help Baltimore!

Check out this Meetup with Central Maryland Volunteers

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Code in the Schools: 3rd Annual Game Jam

October 3rd was the start of the 3rd Annual Game Jam hosted by Code In the Schools. I attend this event and thought it went very well. It was very exciting and informative to participate with all the talented young coders. The level of enthusiasm from the participants made it very enjoyable experience for everyone. While observing the process some of the kids took to create the games was unbelievably incredible. Some groups used storyboards, some just jumped right into the process to make the games right from the start. While there had been first timers (myself included) there had been previous participants that attended. 

All in all, I think Code in the Schools organization is doing an excellent job of engaging more inner city students into the wonderful world of coding. Here are a few pictures I took from the experience.

Instructions in Unity

Starting a new project with one of the students.

Students and volunteers

All the students working on their Games

Me Volunteering

If you would like to volunteer, donate or  just check out the program visit code in schools website by clicking Here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Code In Schools

I love to hear about children who are interested in computer science and coding. It is not everyday that you hear about it or even at all. In Baltimore there is a specific group that is helping this along. Code In Schools is a non profit that provides training to students who want to learn coding. Their mission is simply to bring quality programming classes to under-served and under-represented youth of Baltimore City. 

While I am an avid volunteer, I look forward to volunteering especially when it is related to the technology field. Growing up in Baltimore City, I was not exposed to programming at an early age and wish I could have been. My first real experience with computer science was in my high school computer science class. From that point on I knew what I wanted to do as a career path. So to see so many children coding is heart-warming to say the least. 

Coming up, I will be volunteering for their Game Jam, it's an event in which Volunteers and students get together and create a game using Unity or Kodu game development software. The event will be Oct 3 and last form 8-6pm with an awards reception at 7pm. This should be an all around fun time for both volunteers as well as students. 

If you would like to help and/or volunteer in any way Please visit there website:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MID-WEEK MIX UP:Brace Saga - #RetroFuture

#RetroFutureEP has official dropped. This is an 8 track EP that gives you the ability to visualize the musical component worthy of recognition. (if you pre-order the cd you received 3 bonus tracks)
Check out the interview with the Artist.

Dion: Alright let’s kick this off with your first track, Badder, Now this song to me is a statement out the break. "Who wants it badder?" I can say you clearly want it. With this EP what was your goal, the end game for you?

Brace: First off thank you for having me. The goal for the #retrofutureEP was to make a hood musical like the Wiz, but in a hip-hop format. I’d got to thinking to myself, “ I would love the visuals to be this elaborate cabaret look, but still hood enough to bump down the street.

Dion: So you have a track entitled RetroFuture same as the EPs title, was it your intent to make this your single for the album?

Brace: I wanted to make Police State the single. I’d already had the name idea for a bit there. I had been looking into a form of art called retrofuturism, and I wanted to hear it. The more research I did, I eventually came up with Wild West motif for the song, and I just ran with it.

Dion: On the same track you have a line, “If you think Kanye a dick, you ain’t seen nothing yet." I had to laugh at this line by the way it just catches you off guard. Kayne is known for doing and saying crazy things but he is very intelligent. He makes great points sometimes. But what did you mean by these lyric?

Brace: I admire Kanye West’s intellect seeing how he can use practical logic opposite mad genius and get these working products out of that. It’s impressive. I studied that to figure out how to turn my level of genius or creativity into something else. I mean why not? Innovation is often held back by the fear of similarity, but similarity can bring progress if it’s worked with enough.

Dion: Ok so I definitely have to point out my favorite song at this point! SpaceTime! I think this is your single, the hit. The beat is laid back but in-depth at the same time. The lyrics just push the song over the edge. Plus I noticed the switch towards the end. The trumpets and the back ground "tick tock" set the song on a perfect visual. It has so many layers. What inspired this song?

Brace: I had this idea of 1945 Roswell New Mexico. It’s shot in black and white. There’s a colored only nightclub, and this space-ship crashes through the roof, and green women get out. I really wrote this one for the visual. I was sitting there thinking that would look so cool if I could shoot it.

Dion: I want to turn our attention to 2 songs on this EP that address issues that are going on now. You have 'Police State' and 'Primary Colors'. Let's talk about 'Police State' which I believe depicts a vivid encounter with a police officer tell me about this scenario, what was your basis from your perspective?

Brace: I was thinking of the mechanics of how songs work. People tend to shy away from the truth, especially when they can’t form a solution that works. But this is still something we need to talk about in terms of where our country is going as far as social maturity. People like love songs and certain vibes because they feel like this environment where things happen. I put the idea together thinking to myself “If I do a love song about police brutality, people might accidentally listen before they fight the truth off.” It’s a different approach, and maybe not the best, but it’s too early to call.

Dion: And 'Primary Colors'? You really went in on this track. You address many issue that are going on in the Black and Brown communities that are effected literal lives. You stated "America's more like Apartheid" and “Community leaders they reneged, and then side with our oppressors", this is very evident in what's going on today and the Medias' portrayal of black and brown communities. Can you give me your views on what's going on?

Brace: We hit terminal velocity. Essentially the wealth gap established by the business practices of the 20th century have lead to a relapse. We should be space age, but we can’t even trust skin color. It’s a cruel trick of those in power…. They have the poor fight each other for what’s left after they take their cut. The rest breeds resentment, hostility, ignorance. Our growth has been effectively halted in our communities because we lack purchasing power and localized stability. In the case of blacks in America, it doesn’t help that we aren’t responsible for our own publicity. I would love to hear more about young people graduating college, pursuing their dreams, but we hear about murders so often now. It’s not because there are more murders necessarily, but there are more cameras than ever, so nothing goes unseen. I just wish that was enough.

Dion: Now to round it out, 'Let the Beat Go' this is a happy upbeat song. Kind of Loungy, right? I dig the flow on this. Is this your laid back party joint?

Brace: I wanted to write the ultimate last call song where everybody hooks up and leaves on a good note. The night I met my fiancĂ©, this song played on the radio called Love Ballad by LTD. It was so beautiful. I want somebody else to meet the love of their life while my song is playing. That’s like a moment that I wish I could be there for, but you know….

Dion: Brace this EP is legit! I enjoyed listening to it from front to back then back to front again. It's on repeat. What can we expect from you in the future?

Brace: I’d like to do a follow-up on this project. I’m thinking it would be nice to put together a nice lounge jazz joint. Something with a Sinatra Nancy Wilson feel to it. But more modernized.

Braces' music can be found:

Amazon & iTunes Store - Brace Saga

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Girl Develop IT! Baltimore

I love this group! I really do!
Here is why this is an awesome thing to have.

When I was growing up you didn't have that many women around that new coding or in the tech field. Call it my enviroment or just a lack of access or lack of opportunity. Either way you look at it, It wasn't quite there. Girl Develop It! Is an Organization that allows Women (and men, they are not biased based on the name) Come together and connect through technology.

I just recently went to a meetup were I met people with varied backgrounds. Either they had a ton of experience or none at all. They also worked in other fields as well but are looking to expand their coding skills.

For me this is a much need outlet to have others that do the same thing that I like to do and know what they are talking about. The phrase "Use it or lose it" applies greatly to the technology field. If you don’t practice your coding essentially you're going to forget it. Coding has one essential throughout each language. Structure and syntax. If you understands these you can essentially learn any of the languages.

Girl Develop IT! Has volunteers that organize the events for each chapter. They make each event relevant and unique as well as friendly.

I look forward to attending in the future! These events in the future.

Friday, August 7, 2015

What phone should i get?

It's that time again, we all know it. Sometimes we look forward to it and other times well we just don't want to let go. For me it is about that time again. I have to upgrade my phone, although it is a good thing well I am not that interested in doing so. My current phone which is an LG G2 is still working fine without any major issues with the memory. But there are some draw backs to this phone. One of the biggest draw backs so far is that the battery tends to overheat! A lot! It was an issue before but now it is very much so an issue. When playing mobile games or just perusing Facebook it will cause the phone to and over heat. I love technology and is always excited by the new phones and tech that comes out, there is one thing I don't like is having to deal with my cell phone provider.

So it is coming down to the crunch time and I have to make a decision of what type of phone I should get. I am still a fan of LG and also like the look of their LG G4. I don't want to skimp on the bells and whistles as I use the phones features a much as I can. I like to find hidden gems and use them to their fullest potential. Samsung is up there as well and I think they have a good front runner as well. I am not against the iPhone or anything I just don't like the way it looks as far as functionality it seems to me, very basic looking. Not saying I won't ever get one just not at this point.

So this leaves one question for me to figure out what phone should I get?

Friday, July 31, 2015


Ever wonder what would happen if you had a genius writing music you could actually listen to? Ever wonder why the music today has no point and or substance to it?

I have pondered these questions more times than I can imagine. As far as I am concerned the music we have today doesn't have anything to offer except repetitive beats, "Cat in the Hat" lyrics, and everyone trying to sound different but sounding the same. There are a few artist that I will absolutely listen to on a regular basis to get out of the contrite "music" that we hear today on the Radio.

One of the best in my opinion is Brace Washington. There are several things you can definitely get out of his music. We have the witty & intelligent banter of the Lyrics, imperialistic beats, and diversity of topics. Braces' current LP Retrofuture is a delight for the ears. When you listen to it you can visualize the music or the story that the music tells rather. Braces' other projects are exceptional. BWI: the Travelers Mixtape & Before Heaven, After Suicide in my opinion of course, is a description of a way out into an prominent future.

Some of my favorite tracks by Brace are:

Baggage - Traveler's Mixtape
Dollhouse the remix - Before Heaven, After Suicide
Broke Boy Blues - Before Heaven, After Suicide
Police State - RetroFuture
SPACETIME - RetroFuture (This one is my favorite!!!!, It’s the HIT!)

RetroFuture official drops August 18th and Pre-Orders on iTunes on August 4th. Braces' music will be downloadable on music streaming medias such as Amazon, iTunes, Jango, & Soundcloud (except for Spotify). You can get your physical copies by clicking below to buy! There are only a limited amount. This album is worth the purchase.

Brace talents are not limited to just music. He has ventured into the realm of scripts, directing and acting. If you want to find out more, Check out his site or on facebook (Brace is also on other media platforms as well):

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MID-WEEK MIX UP: CJ WILLS: The Unpopular Mixtape

The Unpopular Mixtape has released. This is a 10 track mixtape with a bevy of lyrical content and interesting musical accompaniment. Lets see, CJ weighs in on his work.

Dion: You just released your mixtape titled The Unpopular. I can definitely relate to that title. How did you come up with that Title?

CJ: The title was super easy to come up with for a few simple reasons. 1, I truly don’t care for most people outside of my social circle. Naturally that makes it hard to get people to take you serious as an artist If they don’t know you, but I figured what better way to let people know who I am and what I can do than to put out one of the dopest mixtapes of the year?

Dion: There are about 10 tracks on this Mixtape. How did you select which songs to feature?

CJ: Man, truthfully I had about 17 songs I could’ve put on there, all brand new. I’m always working on something music wise because there’s so much to be inspired by! But I only wanted to do around 10 so people wouldn’t be overwhelmed with my voice, but at least they can get a good idea of my range of skills.

Dion: I have to say off of this particular mixtape I think 'Wayout' is definitely your single. It speaks to the hustle and determination you have for what you do. What was your inspiration for this track?

CJ: It’s gonna sound super unorthodox, but my motivations for this song were “Mighty Mouse”, WWE’s Adrian Neville, and the chip on my shoulder that comes from having all the skills to be a multi-platinum selling artist but the networking and marketing skills of a mom and pop tire shop lol

Dion: I know you mentioned before that you created all your own music, lyrics, & create all your own art as well. Do you enjoy doing all the work yourself? I mean it is a lot of work to produce 10 tracks with all 3 components Do you think you will get a chance to have anyone in near future working on this with you or is this your creative process?

CJ: It’s a lot of work, but that’s what I want. I want people to know that I, a grown man with a wife and two daughters, full time job, and a host of other artistic endeavors; I want the world to know I’m doing this all by myself. Anyone who offers help will not be turned away, but I’ve wasted enough time in my life waiting for people to come to my aid that I finally said screw it. I don’t need your expensive studio time or your overpriced overrated beats. I am a TRUE artist from start of the track to the art for the track, it’s all me.

Dion: You are gifted. I have to say we get a full range of your talents on this mixtape. On 'Against the Wind' You are singing as well as rapping. Do you prefer one style over the other? By the Way this track is very Melodic the Guitar is soothing.

CJ: Being honest I prefer singing to rapping because it comes to me more naturally than rapping does, but it also depends on the beat and the direction for the song. I’m versatile enough to just go where the music tells me to on some Pocahontas type stuff lol

Dion: Let's talk about 'Revolution'. That is one of the more upbeat faster tracks. I actually listened to this one during my morning workout. It is a motivational track for me. Was that your intent for this particular track?

CJ: Exactly what you said. This track is all about motivation. Fallen people, underdogs, luck is for losers, I won't let you steal my light, all of these lyrics invoke the underdog to punch the opposition square in the nose and look him in the eye as he goes down. Apply that to the workouts, to your job, to school, or to the devil. Hell, apply it to whatever you need, bottom line, no one pushes me around. I WILL make it. And when I do, I will stand on top of my mountain and laugh at the speed bumps that tried to slow me down.

Dion: 'Arizona Girl' and ' Kiss me like a bad girl' those are like your romance tracks on this mixtape? You mention on one of the tracks that you are married. Was your wife the inspiration for both songs or did you right them specifically for her? Both the tracks are definitely for the romantics.

CJ: As a married man there’s only so much “adventuring” I can do (lol) so all of my tracks about love are inspired by my wife in some way shape or form. I mean, I can’t say any other chick inspired them right? Lol just kidding. But seriously though, my wife would kill me. lol

Dion: Now that the mixtape has dropped, What can we expect next?

CJ: More videos, more open mic shows, more collaborations, and more art. Until someone comes around with the means to make some things change for me musically, I will keep doing what I been doing. Making good music, and praying that people listen to it. Word of mouth is 85% of marketing nowadays, so I need to somehow build that.

CJ has a show coming up on August 7th, if you're in the AZ area or just want to support him and his artistry, grab a ticket or a couple on. Tickets are $11:

Friday, May 29, 2015


I get very excited when I hear good music. Now a days we have artist that sound exactly the same and I can't tell there music apart from the next guy. Imagine my surprise when I came across CJ Wills or CMD if you will. He is an Arizona artist (way of Baltimore).

I had heard a few of his songs before but didn't REALLY listen to the music.So when I happen to be scrolling my Facebook page, I saw one of his other songs he had done "Way Out". I clicked and LISTENED. Really Listened. As I listened I could only think, "this is different and fresh.". At that point I listened to all the music he had posted on SoundCloud. I enjoyed it! It wasn't your run of the meal artist.

My curiosity was peaked and I reached out to CMD:

(Conversation has been edited to reflect more of an Interview Style)

Dion: First I want to say I really enjoyed listen to your songs that you have up on SoundCloud. Positive, up beat and refreshing Honestly. I didn't really expect that I am not saying that as a slight or anything but seriously I have listened to a ton of local artist and it all sounds the same to be quite frank. I didn't get that with your music. So its appreciated to hear something that's worth listening to!

CMD: Thank you very VERY much! My goal has always been to push myself to make enjoyable and relatable music for all ages. As a christian and a father there's a limit to what I'll release.

Dion: Your write and record all your own music correct?

CMD: I do, I make all of my own instrumentals and compose my own beats, write, arrange, sing, rap, and edit all on my own.

Dion: What type of equipment ( just a general description will do) are you currently using?

CMD:  I actually have a program I found years ago called Fruity Loops, I'm currently using version 12. I record all of the music on a free downloaded program call Audacity, then I edit all vocals there, export it as a wav file, and I'm done! Then I make my own artwork for each song as well, sometimes I just post a simple pic, but I draw and do Photoshop as well.

Dion: Can you play any instruments?

CMD: I can't play any instruments confidently lol I am in the beginning stages of guitar (acoustic) but its rough to find time to focus on learning with having a full time job, a family, and many artistic endeavors already.

Dion: What music are you listening to now?

CMD: My biggest inspirations right now come from bands Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon, and Ed Sheeran. As far as hip hop, I love Lupe Fiasco, Childish Gambino, and with soul music I all over Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, and Lauren Hill

There is a certain level of appreciation for an Artist who is doing it all by themselves. There is a level of dedication that has to come with the artistry. While most just sit back and enjoy the music, there are the few whose grind hasn't stopped. CMD has definitely been working in this realm.

Now to my favorite picks:

Arizona Girl
Way Out
Hatin' On Me
I Am the greatest
TEN Feat. Layah Sade
Check CMD out on SoundCloud and the Newly Released Stamp of Approval Mixtape:


Friday, May 15, 2015


Music is the universal language.

Everyone loves some form of music, whether it be rap, gospel, hip hop, neo-soul, country or hard core Rock. Every once and a while I like to talk about some of our local artist trying to make a name for themselves. Anybody who has listened to any type of hip hop or rap knows it originates from your environment and from your experiences. With that being said, I want to showcase one young man that has a mind to make it in the industry that already has lots of heavyweights reining supreme.

I have history with this artist, actually family history, and have watched him grown from goofy kid to an evolved young man Working 2 jobs, going to school, and working on his full time passion. It takes a lot for a person to stay true to their first love. I believe Jay aka FACE has done this very well. Despite many who doubted what he was capable of, he has overcame the critics from this city and beyond.

Growing up in Baltimore wasn't and isn't easy. There are tremendous factors that are stacked against you from poverty to lack of guidance. Well Jay aka FACE has decided to take those factors and turn them into motivations. Being an Artist was an early goal that seemed like a distant dream. At this point it has become a reality that could rival some of our industry counterparts.

Nothing comes easy to a person who wants to succeed.

Now the mixtape that he has put together is pretty straight forward. It gives you what any mixtape you want to bump on your way to the club, work or home. Definitely "BALDUMORE" music that we know and love. Word play in each song is variable and on par with what we like to see in mixtapes. He has plenty of features from other artist on this mixtape such as Tattedupleo, Smitty da general, 1General Beatz, Jay NewTron, and 3-D. Each artist brings their own style to the songs they are featured on. ( please forgive me if I leave anyone out that worked on this project) The beats are indicative of a true mixtape anthem.

Each song has a different feel to it. Personally I like a few of a the songs on there that I play on repeat. A couple to watch out for and listen to in my opinion is:

No Way ft. 1General Beatz

Talkin Bout ft. TattedupLeo & Jay NewTron

Never Fold ft. 3-D

Still Love me ft. TattedupLeo 

For this young man I see collaborations and success.

Check out the entire mixtape on SoundCloud:

or on datpiff: