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PCC student leads ghost tours

PCC student leads ghost tours

By SHANA ROSE

It’s a dark, brisk night on Congress Street. Tucson’s night owls and partygoers are out and about, drinking and socializing.

Over by the Rialto, a small crowd gathers around Robert Owens.

Owens, a 22-year-old Pima Community College student, works as a tour guide for Spirit Expeditions.

The Oregon-based business hosts ghost tours nationwide. Tucson enjoys the company’s top ratings on Groupon, thanks to guests who give positive feedback.

Owens grew up in Florida as a Southern Baptist and said he believes in ghosts.

The political science major wouldn’t call himself a history junkie, but is very interested in the historical aspect of the tours.

“First and foremost, this is a ghost tour,” Owens said. “What I see when I do these tours is you can’t really talk about the ghosts of a place if you don’t talk about the history of the place also. The two often tie together.”

Owens is a one-man operation. He designed the tour route, chose the destinations and did extensive historical and urban folklore research on the locations.

He takes guests to the most talked-about spots, such as Hotel Congress and The Rialto, and to places without much buzz, like the Scottish Rite Cathedral and the Pioneer Building.

Owens owes his job to a friend who is chronically unemployed and always looks up postings on craigslist. His friend approached him, saying, “I found the perfect job for you.”

After calling, wrangling a Web interview on the fly and getting hired on the spot, Owens has been guiding believers and skeptics since December 2013.

Owens doesn’t plan on leading ghost tours as a career but for now he enjoys his part-time job for the income.

He also juggles two other jobs, all while attending PCC full time.

Owens interns at U.S. Rep. Ron Barber’s office, working with the case management employees. He also serves as secretary on the board of directors for a Tucson horse rescue operation, Heart of Tucson.

The ghost tours attract a variety of guests.

Recent participant Linda Himmel is a winter visitor from Wisconsin who found the tour on Groupon. Himmel said she came more for the history but had fun with Owens’ spooky stories.

“I think our tour guide, Robert, is very well versed on the history and what he’s doing,” Himmel said. “He’s been a Tucsonan for 16 years, so he knows the town and he’s obviously interested in sharing the information.”

Himmel said she and her husband had been to the Rialto and Hotel Congress, but had never visited the Fox Theatre or Scottish Rite Cathedral.

“I would highly recommend that people do this tour,” she said. “If they think they’re going to hang around Tucson, it’s interesting to find out the history of downtown.”

Her husband does not believe in ghosts and she is a skeptic, Himmel said.

Owens respects his guests’ varied opinions.

“With these tours, I try to keep an open mind with everybody’s beliefs,” he said. “For me, it’s as much about the history as it is the ghosts.”

His primary goal supersedes both aspects.

“Above all, it’s about people leaving with a smile and having a good time,” he said. “That’s what I’m most interested in.”

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Robert Owens ends his ghost tour across from Hotel Congress. Owens, 22, is a
full-time Pima Community College student who works three jobs.

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Body Love challenges beauty ideals

Body Love challenges beauty ideals

By JAMIE VERWYS

Unjust ideals of beauty have been projected onto women all throughout history. Every day we are exposed to the idea that we must look a certain way to be beautiful or just accepted.

Until we all move forward and put the emphasis on positive body image, this dangerous projection of what beauty is will continue to imprison us in self-doubt.

The Body Love Conference is challenging social norms and encouraging women to love themselves, no matter their shape or size.

The event is the first of its kind, offering a full day of workshops, classes and activities to foster acceptance of all body types.

The event was founded by Tucson blogger and plus-size model Jes Baker. On her blog, “The Militant Baker,” she writes on positive body image and strives to help women break through society’s misguided standards of perfection.

Baker welcomed guests into the Grand Ballroom at the University of Arizona on April 5. Each attendee was handed a blank name tag with a line to fill in what they loved about themselves.

“That’s a hard topic,” said Amy Kuchard, who travelled from San Diego for the event. “Obviously we are talking about it today. I think I’m beautiful because I’m independent and self-sufficient. About my body, tough, I love my tattoos.”

Within the ballroom, participants mingled with one another in an environment cultivating safety.

Local organizations advocating equal rights, body love and sexual abuse treatment set up information tables. Planned Parenthood and The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault were among the groups, and gave away free condoms.

Throughout the day, 35 speakers from all over the nation held a variety of presentations and classes.

The activities ranged from light-hearted to serious topics, mirroring the ups and downs along the path to empowerment.

Local dancer Ida Tapper of Don’t Blink Burlesque taught some sexy tips of the trade in a beginner’s burlesque class. She challenged her students to accentuate both their favorite and least favorite features with confidence.

Keynote speaker Tess Munster received a standing ovation after sharing her personal story of perseverance. Munster is a plus-size model, makeup artist, body image activist and blogger from L.A.

As a teen, she was subjected to bullying and continued to face hardships as she began to pursue her dream of modeling.

“I had been told my entire life I was too big, even at a much smaller size then you see in front of you today,” Munster said. “The tentative attempts I had made perusing modeling had all been met with the same response; ‘Too big and too short.’”

Munster has since been featured in many international publications and was named one of the Top Plus Models by Huffington Post and Vogue Italia.

“It’s your body, don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t worthy of being loved by you and by others, and don’t let anyone tell you how much of it you can show,” she said.

Plans are already in motion to continue the Body Love Conference in the future.

“I think it turned out really well. I wasn’t expecting around 500 people to go,” volunteer Emily Carlisle said.

“It’s really exciting to see that amount of people since it’s our first time,” she said. “Hopefully next year we will have more international people coming.”

Body Love is an event that has planted seeds of change, and if we learn to love ourselves for who we are we can lead a happier life. Let’s focus on keeping our bodies healthy, rather than obsessing over pounds and clothes sizes.

For additional information, visit bodyloveconference.com.

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Jamie Verwys/Aztec Press
A burlesque performer, The World Famous Bob, (in black top and red skirt, with microphone) leads a discussion on self-confidence at the Body Love Conference. One participant teamed with Bob in an exercise about personal heros.

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Jes Baker addresses the audience while hosting the first Body Love conference April 5 at the University of Arizona. Baker is a blogger, model, and advocate for positive body imagine and mental health awareness.

 

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Global Art Project celebrates 20th anniversary

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Global Art Project celebrates 20th anniversary

Editor’s note: This regular feature explores topics discussed in past issues of the Aztec Press.

By SIERRA J. RUSSELL

When Katherine Josten formed the Global Art Project 20 years ago, she was a Pima Community College instructor seeking a way to unite people from around the world.

Her idea began to take shape in the spring of 1994 as she worked with fellow artists and collaborators to organize the first Global Art Project.

Within six years, the project had grown to such an extent that Josten decided to resign from teaching to dedicate more time to the nonprofit organization.

Josten said it was a sacrifice because she thoroughly enjoyed working with students and faculty at PCC for more than a decade. However, she was ready to commit to the growing vision.

GAP takes place every two years and continues to expand its reach. Today there are 87 countries involved, with recent additions including East Timor, Bulgaria and Peru.

The process involves participants from around the world who submit a piece of art that represents their image of peace and unity. Josten and fellow coordinators handle an assortment of mediums.

Approximately half of the submissions come from children. They are typically collected by the end of February, and exchanged near the end of April to coincide with Earth Day.

The Aztec Press interviewed Josten about GAP in 1994.

“It’s a perfect way of expressing that we are all one,” she said. “It’s also a way for all people to connect, by putting an idea in the physical form.”

GAP’s aim is to connect participants from one household to another. It begins by pairing participants, typically based on the geography and age of contributors. The size of a group may range from two to 2,000.

Each participant creates artwork and displays it locally in coffee shops, libraries or anywhere the artist deems suitable.

The artist then exchanges with another contributor as a symbol of connection and peace. Artists are encouraged to include a photo and/or personal note for their recipient. Recipients can display the artwork or take their newly acquired gift home. A digital copy is stored in the GAP Art Bank.

There is no official exhibit scheduled in Tucson this year.

Josten recently spoke with Arizona Public Media about the project’s evolution. She said GAP has become more involved with schools, ranging from kindergarten to the graduate level.

Many teachers find participation to be a valuable tool that demonstrates the importance of self expression and global harmony.

“Peace is so needed, especially at this time when there is so much change going on,” Josten said. “We can’t find peace within this world until we find peace within ourselves.”

Josten encourages anyone interested to start planning for the 2016 exchange. Organization will begin in 2015.

She admits that even with 200 regional coordinators, administration of such a vast program can be a hassle.

However, when Josten sees the works submitted and hears the stories of their creation, her enthusiasm is renewed.

For more information about future submissions and upcoming events, visit globalartproject.org. Information is also available at facebook.com/GlobalArtProject.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Artist Maggie Matthews sent this painting from the United Kingdom to Tucson. The local recipient displayed the art in the Downtown Library.

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Stacc Styles anchors Optic City All Stars

Stacc Styles anchors Optic City All Stars

By MICHAEL ANDERSON

Neither Stacc Styles nor Greg Sacks are Tucson natives, but both rappers are proud to call the Old Pueblo home. Their band name, Optic City All Stars, refers to Tucson’s position as an internationally important manufacturer of optics.

Styles, aka Aaron Tacker, was born in Conroe, Texas. He bounced around the west as a child before settling in his adopted hometown and graduating from Amphi High School.

“I’ve been here the most; Tucson’s home,” Styles said. “Tucson is home for sure.”

His partner is Greg Blackman, aka Greg Sacks, who was born on Long Island in New York, but moved to Tucson in 1996 and is a Sabino High School grad.

“As far as being an MC, I am Tucson, period,” Sacks said. “End of discussion.”

Sacks started rapping at age 16, and become serious about it at 26. He credits promoters Black 1 and Shaun Harris with getting him started. They also provided his most memorable hip-hop moment, opening a sold-out show at the Rialto for Nas, Ice Cube and Tech N9ne.

Styles, 30, started rapping when he was 12, but things took off when he helped form the CCS Crew in 1999. The CCS Crew is a cornerstone of the Tucson hip-hop scene despite seemingly constant obstacles and lineup changes.

The driving force behind CCS Crew in the early years was undoubtedly Joseph Hernandez, aka Wobbly Pop. Wobbly Pop wrote beats, produced, promoted and in general was according to Styles the “glue” that held the Crew together.

When Wobbly Pop passed away in 2005 the rest of the Crew was devastated, and it took them two years to recover.

Even in death Wobbly Pop obviously remains the inspiration for Styles and the CCS Crew, and heartfelt references and shoutouts to him appear frequently in the Crew’s later works.

The CCS Crew released four full-length albums, the most recent of which is 2011’s “Mental Currency”. In 2013, Styles and Sacks formed the Optic City All Stars, one of five projects that Styles is currently involved in.

Besides Optic City, Styles performs as a solo artist with Sacks as his hype man, and still performs with the CCS Crew. The current Crew is composed of longtime members Styles, Jersey, Crookyd and Fat Tony.

A spinoff called Cultivate Creative Sound has the same lineup, except with new singer Aimee Grindhouse replacing Fat Tony.

Styles also records with Jersey as Tustoned Kids, who are releasing an album April 20, but seems most excited by Cultivate Creative Sound. He describes them as sounding like the “Black Eyed Peas with balls.” All of Styles’ projects fall into what he calls “high energy hip-hop.”

“It’s not mainstream but it’s not underground, it’s just high energy hip-hop, it’s our own thing,” he said.

Away from the stage, Styles exudes a mild mannered boy-next-door quality. That all changes when he grabs the microphone. Onstage, he transforms into a maniacal dynamo, exhibiting seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm.

He has a distinctively raspy voice, and effortlessly switches tempos and delivery styles from slow and ominous to his trademark lightning-fast “chopping.”

Local fans and promoters appreciate his skills and versatility.

Sic6 Music owner Han Yi said Stacc lives hip-hop.

“Being a chopper takes a lot of skill and his name says it all,” Yi said.

Styles and Sacks are gaining notice outside the music scene as well.

They attended the Academy Awards in March as emissaries of SiO2 Inc., a local glass art and fashion company. SiO2 partners with Sasquatch Glass, which sponsored an Oscar party.

SiO2 President Jonathan Russell, who also sings for local rock band Stands With Fists, and Vice-President Patrick Jones took Sacks and Styles to California.

While there they partied with such luminaries as Too $hort and Sebastian Bach, and rubbed shoulders with other stars such as Bradley Cooper and Ed Harris.

Despite their success, The Optic City All Stars, and Stacc in particular feel like “outcasts” in the Tucson hip-hop scene.

Styles blames the phenomenon on some of the local promoters. He says that many of them don’t want to properly compensate acts that have achieved any real success, preferring to take advantage of younger artists who will perform for nothing or even pay for the privilege.

“That’s hurting the Tucson scene because your respected and talented artists aren’t getting heard now,” Styles said.

Sacks agrees.

“They don’t want to acknowledge that we’re still relevant, but when their ass is against the wall, they call Stacc,” Sacks says with a grin.

Sacks admits that he’s probably the reason for their status as “Tucson outcasts,” and he regrets that it impacts Styles.

“I rub some people the wrong way, I understand that,” said Sacks, “but to see somebody like Stacc who’s put in so much work since ’99 not get his just due is BS to me.”

One group of people who are giving Styles and Optic City their just due are the local hard rock bands and fans, namely Stands With Fists, Animus Divine, and A Fall to Break. Styles “high energy hip-hop” blends well with the intensity of hard rock shows and the rock fans have really embraced them.

Styles is currently working on several recordings and has two shows scheduled for April.

 

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Photo courtesy of Greg Sacks/Optic City All Stars
Optic City All Stars Stacc Styles, left, and Greg Sacks hang out in Venice Beach, Calif., a day after they performed at a Def Jam New Years Eve show

 

- Upcoming Events:

April 18: A Fall To Break CD release party hosted by Stacc Styles and Greg Sacks. Club XS 5851 E. Speedway Blvd. Doors 5 p.m. $10 Details: 247-3588

April 19: 420 at Mr. Head’s. 513 N. Fourth Ave. Stacc Styles, CCS Crew, Monstrosity, Stands With Fists, more. 7 p.m. No cover 21+ Details 792-2710

 

- Upcoming Releases:

April 20: Tustoned Kids CD. www.facebook.com/pages/Tustoned-Kids

Spring/Summer 2014: Cultivate Creative Sound EP. www.facebook.com/pages/CCS-Crew

Upcoming: Stacc Styles solo album. Lead single “Eye of the Dragon” available on itunes. www.facebook.com/pages/Stacc-Styles

Upcoming: Optic City All Stars mix tape “G.L.O.B.S.”   

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BEST BETS: Spring brings enjoyable flings

Compiled by Jamie Verwys

In a state known for blistering temperatures, any day under 100 degrees provides reason to rejoice. Enjoy mild weather before the summer heat wave hits.

UA Spring Fling:

April 11-13

Spring Fling returns to the University of Arizona east mall as it celebrates 40 years of carnival rides, food and entertainment.

Hours are 4-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $5.

Details: springfling.arizona.edu

 

International Film Festival:

April 11-27

Arizona’s largest film festival takes place in locations throughout Tucson. Its home base is The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.

The festival screens documentaries, features and shorts from all over the world. Film buffs can also enjoy parties and workshops.

Visit the festival website for a full schedule.

Details: filmfestivalarizona.com

 

Earth Day Festival:

April 12

Celebrate Mother Nature at Tucson’s 20th Annual Earth Day Festival. Guests can participate in hands-on activities, view exhibits and watch a parade with floats made from recycled materials. The free event will take place at Reid Park from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Food venders will be onsite.

Details: tucsonearthday.org

 

Spring Bike Swap:

April 13

If you get your kicks on the pedals of a bicycle, shift your gears over to the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s spring swap meet. Admission is free. Find bargains on bike parts and mingle with the cycling community from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on four blocks centered at Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street.

Details: bikegaba.org

 

Pima County Fair:

April 17-27

The county fair has been a highly anticipated event for 103 years. Visitors can enjoy attractions, rides, exhibits, art, food and live music. On weekdays, the main gate opens at 1 p.m. and the carnival begins at 3 p.m. The fair opens at 10 a.m. on weekends. Closing times vary but the fair runs until at least 11 p.m. each night. The fairgrounds are located at 11300 S. Houghton Road. General admission costs $8.

Details: pimacountyfair.com

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BY THE NUMBERS: Movie Records

Compiled by Jay Becker-Norman

$410,729,663

Worldwide revenue for highest grossing film so far in 2014 – “The Lego Movie.”

 

$226,117,069

Amount of money “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)” made in its opening weekend.

 

4,163

Number of movie theater showings of “Catching Fire” on opening weekend.

 

$600,788,188

Domestic box office gross for “Titanic,” the highest ever.

 

$4.35

Average ticket price to see a movie in 1995.

 

$110 million

Production budget for “300: Rise of an Empire.”

 

$65 million

Production budget for the predecessor, “300.”

 

11

Oscar wins, of 14 nominations, for “Titanic,” tied for all time for a single film.

 

$534,858,444

Domestic lifetime gross for “The Dark Knight.”

 

$17,338,755

Opening weekend gross for “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.”

 

Source: boxofficemojo.com

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TOP TEN: Parody movies of the last six decades

BY WILL WILLCOXSON

With recent releases such as “Scary Movie V” and “The Hungover Games,” the spoof genre has traveled far from the classic age of comedy gold. Here are my top choices for best parody movies.

 

10. “Monty Python and the Meaning of Life” (1983)

Perhaps known for its raunchy clips and jumbled-up sketch storyline, the film is divided into the stages of life, such as “the miracle of birth,” “growing and learning”, “fighting each other” and “death.” Some memorable scenes include a morbidly obese man eating until he literally explodes, a World War I platoon celebrating a soldier’s birthday on the frontline and a musical number entitled “Every Sperm is Sacred.”

 

9. “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (1982)

This film featuring Steve Martin parodies the dark film noir era of the film industry. The clever aspect is the “Collage film” segments of the film, which contain compilations of real movie scenes spliced together with the Martin scenes.

 

8. “Galaxy Quest” (1999)

This film is a parody on science fiction, primarily “Star Trek.” The movie stars Tim Allen as the leader, Sigourney Weaver as the communications officer and unofficial sex symbol and Alan Rickman as a catchphrase-spewing alien sidekick. The extra twist is that the characters are actually actors who are part of a space show, but they are forced to embrace their characters and defeat the forces of evil.

 

7. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)

This film parodies the zombie film genre. It stars ordinary characters oblivious that the world around them is slowly converting into a zombie-plagued wasteland. The characters and the story are so ridiculous it is hilarious.

 

6. “History of the World: Part 1” (1981)

The film is a parody on history. It goes through the Stone Age all the way through the French Revolution. Along the way, the film openly makes fun of the characters and really makes you enjoy the history lesson.

 

5. “Spaceballs” (1987)

The film is also a science fiction parody; this time the target is “Star Wars.” With memorable characters and a hilarious script, the film will give you a ludicrous approach to an already preposterous story.

 

4. “Monty Python and the life of Brian” (1979)

This Monty Python film parodies the followers of religion, and has some very hilarious jokes that at times come out of nowhere. Like a space ship saving the main character from a fall while running from the Roman Empire.

 

3. “The Great Dictator” (1940)

This movie is Charlie Chaplin’s greatest masterpiece. This film was released during the peak of World War II, and parodies fascism; particularly Hitler. At the end of the flick, the main character gives one of the best movie speeches of all time.

 

2. “Airplane!” (1980)

One of the best known parody films, it is perhaps the silliest of them all. It stars Leslie Nelson as a pilot as a plane is at risk of crashing. The crew goes through hilarious measures to save the day in the most sophomoric ways possible.

 

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

This film parodies King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, and features one of the most recognizable scripts ever written. Ask anyone who has seen this film to give you a quote and they will have at least ten.

 

Some staffers can’t believe “This is Spinal Tap”  is not on the list. What movies would you add? Comment at aztecpressonline.com.

 
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Horoscope

By LOC TRAN

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Your ability to accomplish schoolwork without being a devoted procrastinator has driven you in the right direction, Aries. Keep doing what you’re doing and you shall succeed.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Let me give you a hint, Taurus: he/she is not interested. Move on and stop moping around looking for someone to feel sorry for you.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

It’s no secret how much you love to talk. Do us all a favor and be quiet for once. It’s not as hard as you think. I believe in you Gemini, I do.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Your exceptional personality has gotten you far in life. Keep up the good work and it will take you exactly where you want to go. Don’t let anyone steal your outstanding sparkle, Cancer.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Everything comes easy for you, Leo. You’re one of those people who is annoyingly good at everything, but it’s not a bad thing. Take pride in that natural talent of yours.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You’re wasting time, Virgo, and it’s showing big time. Better start picking up the pace or you’ll soon be drowning in your sorrows.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

No one knows how to accomplish a goal like you do, Libra. That hard work in the gym is really starting to present itself. Here’s to achieving our dream bodies.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Your snarky remarks are starting to really turn others off. Nobody’s perfect and that includes you, Scorpio. Haven’t you heard of treating others the way you want to be treated?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

It seems as though your relationship is on the verge of a break-up, Sagittarius, but trust me, it’s for the best. This is not the time to be upset. In the words of Drake, YOLO.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

To go to the gym, or to stay home? That is not the question, Capricorn. Maybe you should have chosen a different New Year resolution, you slacker.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

It’s people like you who make the world a better place, Aquarius. Your care and effort to always see the positive is inspiring and refreshing to us all.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

You feel like giving up, Pisces, but now is not the time. Keep pushing and accomplishment will be here in no time. No one likes a quitter.

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APRIL FOOLS’ BY THE NUMBERS

APRIL FOOLS’ BY THE NUMBERS

Compiled by Shana Rose

1392*
Year of first April Fools’ Day

800**
Number of deaths caused annually by pranks gone wrong

112*
Fake body parts purchased annually for pranks

$7,000*
Annual amount spent for elaborate pranks

30**
Percentage of people who quit their jobs as a prank

12**
Percentage of women who use pregnancy as a prank

22*
Percentage of the population that has never pranked anyone on April Fools’ Day

69*
Percentage of fake advertisements on display

6*
Number of celebrities who faked their own deaths in 2013

2***
Average number of pranks pulled every hour

Sources:
*The Internet
**Your mom
***Who cares?

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Local rapper brings heart back to beat

Local rapper brings heart back to beat

By SEBASTAIN BARAJAS

Local hip-hop artist and fashion enthusiast Preez Magnificent, 23, tailors his music to fans but stays true to his tune.

From his humble border-town beginnings in Bisbee to the lyrical crusade he undertook to promote love, and protest SB 1062, this rapper knows words can be double-edged.

“Yo, words can be used to create or destroy. Sometimes I feel like politicians play us with words that have no meaning like ‘debt ceiling,’ isn’t debt negative?” Magnificent said. “It’s an oxymoron, like downstairs ladder.”

Fed up with the tempestuous drama that engulfed Arizona after representatives presented the “religious freedom” senate bill and over-priced lattes, Preez sprang into action.

The artist says that the amount of inequality and turmoil in this world inspired him to write a new album titled “Local Love and Protest.”

Magnificent blends his border-town beats with calm Jamaican reggae and Cali hip-hop. His goal is to break down musical and social borders while constructing the greatest album to come out of Arizona.

Producer J. Wildcard, 23, is Magnificent’s counterbalance and brings to the table an eclectic range of superfluous style of sounds. Wildcard is a man of many hats, but tries to avoid hat hair while in the studio.

“I was a thespian in high school myself, and after coming out to my parents I knew I wanted to do musicals. That evolved into creating music,” Wildcard said.

“Sometimes I have to remind my partner-in-rhyme that we’ve got to make it about the people.”

One of the tracks on the album, “Come Out Da Closet,” tells the heart-wrenching story of what it’s like to live in fear of coming out from the shadows. Preez hopes to inspire those who live in fear to step out of the darkness.

“I say just come out to the light, except for my albino homies,” Magnificent said. “I advise they probably avoid it.”

Empathy is one of the many tools Preez uses to spit fire into the mic. The cascade of his lyrical flow is enough to dazzle listeners into pondering life’s quandaries, but according to Wildcard, music is not Magnificent’s only endeavor.

“Preez has his heart in the right place, but he fancies himself a fashion designer lately,” Wildcard said.”
Magnificent is an amateur designer but hopes to go pro with a line of fashion and accessories for all.

He is heavily influenced by sports driven fashion and is currently developing the world’s first line of sports maternity wear.

“Yo, just because your lady is pregnant doesn’t mean she can’t look sexy in a Suns jersey, and I can make that happen,” Manificent said.

“Local Love and Protest” will drop worldwide on April 1.

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Preez Magnificant displays his love for equality in Downtown Tucson. (Sebastian Barajas/Aztec Press)

 

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STOMPING GROUNDS: Circle K is king of convenience

STOMPING GROUNDS: Circle K is king of convenience

By ANDREW PAXTON

Its 3 a.m., you are hungry, thirsty, and tired. Your car also needs a quart of oil, your cat needs food and there is a new movie on DVD you really want to see.

Why isn’t there a store on every corner of Tucson that can solve all those problems while only slightly overcharging in the process?

Well, there is. Circle K, located about a half mile or less from where you are currently reading, has everything the average consumer needs with only a modest markup. But how can you put a price on convenience?

By enabling consumers to purchase 144 oz. sodas and lukewarm hotdogs while pumping 40 gallons of fuel into their SUVs, Circle K is an embodiment of the America lifestyle we all know and love.

Dante Hicks, who has worked in convenience stores for more than two decades, explained the exciting life of a Circle K clerk.

“I have been robbed at gunpoint twice this year so far, and I get to eat all the nachos I can handle,” Hicks said.

“Hey, did you pay for that candy bar?” he yelled as a 13-year-old kid ran out the door. “Man, I’m not even supposed to be here today.”

Randy Lyon, who has been standing in front of a Circle K asking people for spare change since 2008, said he wouldn’t panhandle anywhere else.

“People that come into the store almost never spit or curse at me, unless it’s a hot day, which it usually is,” Lyon said. “But the Reptilians haven’t found me here yet, so Space Jesus must be happy with me.”

“I answered your questions, now where’s that 50 cents for beer you promised me?” he added.

So the next time you need some late-night munchies and are too impaired to drive to a fast-food restaurant, stumble on down to your local Circle K.

Buy some Slim Jims, the biggest ICEE they have, and tell the clerk a random life story as you pay with quarters.

You will fit right in.

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Circle K stands as a beacon to weary travelers seeking a port in the storm. (Andrew Paxton/Aztec Press)

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Creed resurrects music

Creed resurrects music

By JAMIE VERWYS

Where were you when critically acclaimed rock geniuses Creed unleashed their monumental single, “With Arms Wide Open”? Ask any true music aficionado this question, and not only can they tell you the exact spot, they can tell you how many times they listened to it on repeat.

“I remember I was flipping through the telly,” the legendary Paul McCartney said. “When he rose up his arms and unleashed that powerful voice, I knew. This was the bloody future of rock and roll.”

“The Beatles never could have reached those heights. It was a humbling moment of self-realization,” he added, tears running down his cheeks.

A global cry of joy will shake the music world like a thick guitar riff on April 1 when Creed releases their new masterpiece album and allows their fans to bask in its glory.

“Creed the Redeemer,” a 50 track tour de force, is like some beautiful migraine slowly beginning to tingle in your frontal lobe until it’s a full blown, pounding ache throughout your soul.

Take the impeccable energy of The Rolling Stones, extraordinary vocal range of Christina Aguilera, Kanye West’s irresistible flow and imagine that in the flawless body of Beyoncé.

That almost comes close to describing “Redeemer,” but there are no words or descriptions grandiose enough to sum up the impressive, awe-inducing volume of work.

“Open Your Arms Wide Now,” the first single, is the power ballad of the future. It is clear the band has mastered every genre of music.

Elements of folk, surf rock, pop, jazz, punk, hip-hop, and metal all build into a maddening chorus.

From the brilliantly crafted chaos, Stapp’s voice bounces through like a plump and smiling cherub.

Many of today’s most prolific music critics and entertainers were so moved by Creed’s opus they retired after one listen.

Rapper T.I. tweeted, “I just wish this track was longer. Twenty minutes wasn’t enough.”

U2 singer Bono said, “I haven’t cried that hard since the last time I looked into the face of a starving child. I am a failure.” He then ran off screaming into the void.

Creed has accomplished what would seem an impossible feat with their new album; somehow they have topped their own greatness.

In a recent reader poll by Rolling Stone Magazine, Creed was unanimously named, “The Band that Will Save the World,” and named front man Scott Stapp, “The Ultimate Boy Next Door,” crushing Harry Styles from One Direction by a three-to-one margin.

Scott Stapp has redeemed the unwashed masses and given us all a reason to dream again. We have been reborn through Creed.

Prepare yourself for the album of your life; prepare to cry tears of joy; prepare yourself, if you can, for the monumental artwork called “Creed the Redeemer.”

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Arizona governor changes tune

Arizona governor changes tune

By DAVID J. DEL GRANDE

Arizona governor Jan Brewer has decided to resign from her position, effective immediately.

Brewer was sworn into her governorship January 2009 after Janet Napolitano resigned in order to become the Secretary of Homeland Security. Brewer has apparently mimicked her predecessor but in a contrasting pursuit of a music career.

“I’m so over politics or dealing with discrimination guised as laws and drawn-out, stab-me-with-a -spoon legislative meetings,” Brewer said. “Right now, music fuels an uncontrollable fire in my creative loins.”

Brewer became governor when Arizona was facing the second largest budget deficit in the U.S., which was partly caused by Napolitano’s ill-fated campaign promise to lower temperatures in the desert state.

Through fiscal conservancy, such as not letting state employees take showers and limiting their restroom breaks, Brewer slashed Arizona’s $1.6 billion projected budget gap down to an estimated $303,497 shortfall in five years.

One of Brewer’s latest victories in championing the people of Arizona came on Feb. 26, when she decided to veto SB 1062.

As her last legislative action, Brewer courageously enacted SB 1200, which mandates that all state employees learn a basic DJ skill-set by the close of this year.

“After those long special sessions Jan and I would talk about the results, but also about our hopes for the future,” said Andrew Wilder, Napolitano’s DJ-turned-communications director. “Naturally, I would play some music that is really speaking to me, but I certainly had no idea my tunes would affect Jan the way they obviously have.”

Brewer said now that she has been introduced to electronic dance music, there is no turning back to a high-pressure desk-job. Dubstep has apparently taken complete control over Brewer’s soul and she plans on running things next year in Miami.

“I have come to a point in my life where the only thing I want to veto is some muppet DJ’s track selection,” Brewer said. “By this time next year, I will not be rolling out legislation, I’m gonna be rolling out massive dubplates at the Winter Music Conference.”

Although Arizona’s former leading lady is about to get dirty, Brewer said her greatest literary inspiration, Mark Twain, will ground her in an honorable class.

“The first day I actually heard Dubstep, my soul pulsed with a blistering new frequency,” Brewer said. “But that twisted sound conversely brought me back to Twain’s most poignant words, ‘The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.’”

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Pima growers go international

Pima growers go international

By MICHAEL ANDERSON

After scoring a historic upset at the National Indoor Championships, The Pima Community College Hydroponics Club is headed to the 2014 International Cannabis Cup in Holland.

The club took home the gold medal after defeating more celebrated teams from Oaksterdam University, the University of Colorado, and Harvard Medical School.

The Nationals were held in Denver on March 15, and were won by PCC’s entry “Pima Paralysis,” a hybrid of “El Chronquistador #2” and “Tombstone Tombstone.” The silver medal went to Harvard Med School’s “Medicinal Madness” and the bronze to Oaksterdam’s “Oakland Haze.”

PCC’s team was a longshot, but it appears that a combination of increased Border Patrol activity and competition from medical marijuana dispensaries has started a hydroponics renaissance in southern Arizona.

Buzz Yeager, PCC hydroponics club president, agrees.

“I’ve got to give props to the local growers, they’ve really stepped their game up recently. ‘Tombstone Tombstone’ is out of control, and blended really well with ‘El Chron,’” Yeager said.

The captain of the defending Oaksterdam team, Mylo Jorgensen, was surprised by the results but had no complaints about the judging.

“We thought we were going back to Holland, but we got complacent. We’re going to have to go back home and develop a new hybrid if we want to compete with Pima and Harvard in the future,” Jorgensen said between coughs.

Head contest judge William Jefferson seemed pleased with the unexpected showings by the upstarts.

“It’s good to see some new blood winning the contest. We really enjoyed the body high that you get from “Oakland Haze,” but “Medicinal Madness” and “Pima Paralysis” really were the stickiest of the icky,” Jefferson said.

“Pima in particular blew our minds and we wish them all the best in Holland,” he added, flashing a thumbs-up and a toothy smile.

The International competition will be held in Amsterdam on April 20. In order to raise funds for the trip, PCC’s team will be holding a joint bake sale with the Recreational Chemistry Club on April 1, on each of Pima’s campuses.

The Recreational Chemistry Club is raising funds for their annual trip to Disneyland. They seem to have been inspired by the Hydroponics Club’s victory.

“All we usually do is explore the Magic Kingdom in altered states of consciousness, but now we’re thinking about entering some contests to see how our creations stack up with other clubs around the country,” said chemistry club Beth Gonzalez.

The 2014 National Psychedelics Competition will be held in San Francisco on July 30, with the International Competition to follow in Zurich, Switzerland on Nov. 1.

Both teams are proud to represent Pima and hope you will help them reach their destinations. More information about the bake sale is available at 555-3784.

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Hip-hop holograms haunting Pima

Hip-hop holograms haunting Pima

By SHANA ROSE

The creators who brought Tupac “2Pac” Shakur back from the grave at Coachella 2012, San Diego-based business AV Concepts, will soon be bringing their “Dead Hip-Hop Tour” to Pima Community College.
The tour is sponsored by Andre “Dr. Dre” Romelle Young and is scheduled to make stops at universities and colleges that are adding hip-hop classes to their curriculums.

The hip-hop and rap legends will be making a stop at Pima on April 1 at the Proscenium Theatre, West Campus at 7 p.m.

The Tupac hologram will be joined by other deceased stars including the Jason “Jam Master Jay” William Mizell, Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Tyrone Jones, Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and Aaliyah Dana Haughton holograms.

“After re-establishing myself at Coachella, I knew had to keep it going,” the Shakur hologram said.

“I can’t believe what the music game has come to after I left. ‘Bitches love Sosa’ this, ‘Wonton Soup’ that. We’re coming back to save hip-hop and rap,” he said with a glow.

PCC will be adding HIP 101 and 102 in Fall 2014. Classes will be taught via Skype by some of hip-hop’s influential artists, all personally picked by Dr. Dre.

HIP 101 will be taught by Clive “DJ Kool Herc” Campbell. The class will be covering basic knowledge of the four elements of hip-hop: rap or “MCing,” turntablism or “DJing,” break-dancing and graffiti art.

HIP 102 will be taught by Joseph “Grandmaster Flash” Saddler and this class will go more in-depth with DJing and MCing.

“I’m shocked that Pima would even offer classes like this,” sophomore Kevin Johns said.

“This has nothing to do with my physics major, but I don’t care. I think our generation needs to be reintroduced to this genre.”

Angelica Pickles, an intern publicist for Dr. Dre, agrees.

“Dr. Dre wanted to reinfluence the young generation of hip-hop heads,” Pickles said.

“What these kids are listening to now is garbage. We are hoping that students aspiring to be artists in the music industry will take what they can from these classes,” she said.

Dr._Dre_at_Coachella_2012_cropped

Dr. Dre is bringing his “Dead Hip-Hop” Tour to PCC on April 1.

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