Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Trenches: Nate Gill for GQ Style Germany

Models Nate Gill, Daniel McSweeney, & Roy Pratt
Magazine: GQ Style Germany
Photography: Xevi Muntané
Styling: Grant Woolhead

Blogger's Getting a Makeover

Great new features are going to be added to blogger! Yay! I had fallen off with blogging but I have gotten back on the train. Thanks to everyone who follows. I often forget that people read it. Then I will get a new follower and become amazed for about five minutes. haha
Anyway, I plan to launch another blog soon. [More news to come] That one will be sort of a professional outlet. Compose Yourself is more about my love for pop culture.

Check out the video above to see the new improvements coming to Blogger.
Thanks to my good friend over at for the heads up.
Check out his blog. Great stuff.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Icons: The Dancing Queen

Icon: Paula Abdul, Singer/Choreographer

"Everyone is your best friend when you are successful. Make sure that the people that you surround yourself with are also the people that you are not afraid of failing with."
Paula Abdul

Long before American Idol, Paula Abdul had her own stint as an idol. The Grammy winning artist/dance/choreographer had massive success in the eighties and nineties with a string of hits. First discovered by the Jacksons while dancing as a Laker girl, Abdul went on to serve as their choreographer. She worked on the Jacksons video for Torture and helped to shape the dance image of Janet Jackson. During the rise of music videos, Abdul was highly sought after as a choreographer.

Cold Hearted Snake

After funding her own demo, she went on to enjoy success at the top of the charts.
Her six #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her for 5th among the female solo artists who grabbed the number one spot. Abdul's debut album Forever Your Girl took 62 weeks to reach number one. Though it holds that record for the longest ascent to the top, it spent ten weeks there once it reached #1.

Opposites Attract

It's only fitting that Jennifer Lopez has seemingly taken Abdul's place on American Idol. Abdul is one of her predecessors. Abdul's early work spawned the careers of J-Lo and Britney Spears. The jazz inspired choreography of Abdul is what Britney grew up studying as a trained dancer. And the vocal styles of Britney and J-Lo also draw influence from the era that Abdul hailed from. (Of course everyone from Pebbles to Janet sounded similar then). Personal setbacks and public meltdowns have overshadowed her legacy. However, Abdul was the woman behind the whispery voiced dancing diva movement.
[You can see the Britney roots in the Cold Hearted Snake video]

Chris Brown for Italian GQ

Singer Chris Brown
Magazine: Italian GQ
Photography: Kai Z. Feng
GQ Fashion Director: Andrea Tenerani

Looks like Breezy is officially back. After releasing Graffiti prematurely, the smoke seems to have cleared at the public is fully embracing the rebirth of Brown's career. His latest album F.A.M.E. is getting great reviews and is due in stores in less than a week. After snatching up a Grammy nomination for Deuces (the track appears on F.A.M.E. but was originally released from a mixtape) and a high profile SNL gig, Chris seems to be back on top. He has yet to master the art of image rebuilding given his recent twitter feuds and nude photo "leak". However, that seems to be what has solidified his place in pop music/culture. He is human. And his music speaks for itself.

Rihanna for American Vogue

Singer Rihanna
Magazine: VOGUE
Photography: Annie Liebovitz

This cover is stunning! Give me Jessica Rabbit, Miss Fenty. The photos leaked a while ago but I wanted to wait until high quality images surfaced. you go. I think Liebovitz knocked it out of the park with this shoot. However, I must wonder why the girls of cover get put on the shape issue. I may be overthinking it, but it's as if they have to justify putting a woman with curves on the cover. Beyoncé's Vogue cover was for the same issue. And what's funny is the fact that in real life, Beyoncé and Rihanna aren't exactly considered thick girls in the black community. But fashion is art, not real life. Rihanna looks soft and ethereal. This shoot is a stark contrast to the Vogue Italia shoot that was far more edgy.

Behind the Scenes:

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Music: Introducing "King"

When my friend turned me on to King, I was a bit apprehensive. There are plenty of acts out there doing "urban hang suite" music as I like to call it. However, the creativity and beautiful sound of these women blew me away.

The Story

The music video above was made by hand by the girls. The group hails from Los Angeles and is made up of twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and singer Anita Bias. Popular acts like ?uestlove and Erykah Badu have even given them shoutouts. They reportedly write and produce all of their music. I know one thing. I want more! Their EP is divine.

[Check out their Website HERE]

Fresh Face: Rob Evans of Major Models

The Rob Evans train has left the station is at full speed ahead. Managed by Major Models, Evans is the anti-waif and broods masculinity and bulk. His perfectly chiseled physique and strong features have caused the work to come pouring in lately. From the looks of things, he is gunning for top model status. The UK native walked exclusively for Givenchy and is taking the fashion world by the horns.

Model Rob Evans
Magazine: Hunter
Editorial: Evil Boy
Photography: Julian Hargreaves
Styling: Fabrizio Ferrini


Covers: Kat Graham takes on Janet

Katerina Graham
Escapade/Love Will Never Do Without You
Director: Bille Woodruff

Vampire Diaries star Katerina “Kat” Graham released a music video to pay tribute to the Janet Jackson. The 21 year-old sings and dances to her cover of Janet’s early 90′s hits “Escapade” and “Love Will Never Do Without You”. The mashup was produced by Mark Grilliot and Kazual. The video was choreographed by Lady Gaga's choreographer Laurieann Gibson with production by Jaala Ruffman.

Covers: Sam Tsui "Hold it Against Me"

Sam Tsui
Hold it Against Me
[Britney Spears Cover]

Sam Tsui is a Chinese American singer and YouTube sensation. He's making quite a name for himself, even making appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as the Oprah Show. This cover of Britney Spears is stunning. If someone can give heart and soul to a dance track based on a corny pickup line, I can give them kudos. Tsui did an awesome job!