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Anuel – Dallas TX – Nov.9th

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Puerto Rican Artist Ponce Solo

Bienvenido, today I will be talking about what has inspired me as an artist and where I will interview other artists, art students, and people involved in the art world in the coming months. I am always touched and empowered by the stories of artists and powerful people in the art world and I wanted to use this opportunity to get to know what inspires others. For this first installment, I’d like to give credit to a few of the artists that have really impacted and inspired me. I started my interviews with my dearest friend and fellow Boricua, Ponce Solo.

Please Meet Ponce Solo:

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First and foremost, I respect the privacy of my friends as many of them may prefer to be anonymize. Let me introduce him to you my friends. Ponce Solo, was born in Michigan and reborn in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He is a Montana-based artist that focuses his talents and his endeavors for the grater good of helping our people in the on going recovery in Puerto Rico, as well as our brothers and sisters in other countries around the world.

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What I love about Ponce Solo’s artwork is that it is wearable art, I like how he smoothed the edges of objects within his work and how subtly he shifted the tonality of light. After exploring more of his work, it’s refreshing to see how unafraid he is to leave paintings with texture and how he leaned towards abstraction in repeating creations. His colors are bright and so is his mind, as he’s amazing with abstract expressionism.

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“I’m learning just how relaxing painting can be. And finally taking some time to paint one for myself, I started with respect to my roots. And the balance of nature.” – Ponce Solo

In his own words,“I recognize my artistic talent is a gift that I did nothing to receive, so I use it to help others whenever I can. I also, believe art to be one of the purest forms of non verbal self expression. I have so much to say and feel it’s better seen than heard.”

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“I may begin a painting with an idea of the direction I want it to take but I have found that painting is more of a dialogue between the artist and the work. It is best to listen to what a painting has to say rather than force upon it my preconceived notions of what it should look like.”- Ponce Solo

 

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(Picture Above: The Guey Taino with the resistance flag in the background)

“The great thing about these projects is that I’m also learning as I go. So much about our ancestors and culture that I never knew. Every time I research for a project I’m always filled with wonder.”- Ponce Solo

A Quick Back Story On A Few Of Ponce Solo’s Pieces:

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This hat for me is a truly inspirational piece. I have family in the BX in NY, a lot of our people live in Nuevo York. To me this represents our Nuyoricans. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term a Nuyorican is a portmanteau of the terms “New York” and “Puerto Rican” and refers to the members or culture of the Puerto Rican diaspora located in or around New York City, or of their descendants.

“This was undoubtedly one of my most challenging pieces, but in the end I am very happy with it and I don’t mind saying happy with myself as well. I took inspiration from a picture I found on the Internet, as well as from the artist @sketzii who’s miniature paintings are truly amazing. So this is my interpretation of the Brooklyn Bridge and NY skyline. I did something different and added the Taino sun on the cap, as I didn’t want to mess with the scenery. And I added La Garra del Diablo on the button to show roots. From PR to NY, roots and culture. La bandera I painted into the word RICAN because why the hell not??? It goes perfectly there.”- Ponce Solo

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Using the reference pic he found, he started with the Cemi. Heres a little background… The Cemi stone, with its three cardinal points, is a fundamental symbol in the Taino religion. Many Tainos name the three points “Yocahu Bagua Maorocoti,” which is another word for the Creator, Yaya, as represented by the world’s indigenous peoples at the time of the coming of Guamikinas (the European “covered people”).
1)On top of this sacred mountain peak, in the turey (sky) of the four directions, resides Yaya – the Creator, whose name means that which has neither beginning nor end and which has no male ancestor or creator.
2) Coabey, is the underworld, the place of the dead. Here resides Hupia, the spirit of the dead. The face of Guayaba, the Chief of Coabey, is represented here.
3) The land of the living. Here resides Goiz, the spirit of living people.

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He had a lot of fun painting this one, as it is very vibrant and has a feeling of energy and life. Here’s a little background on the Puerto Rican Vejigante… The vejigante is a folkloric figure who’s origins trace back to medieval Spain. The legend goes that the vejigante represented the infidel Moors who were defeated in a battle led by Saint James.

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To honor the saint, the people dressed as demons took to the street in an annual procession. Over time, the vejigante became a kind of folkloric demon, but in Puerto Rico, it took on a new dimension with the introduction of African and native Taíno cultural influence. The Africans supplied the drum-heavy music of bomba y plena, while the Taíno contributed native elements to the most important part of the vejigante costume: the mask. As such, the Puerto Rico vejigante is a cultural expression singular to Puerto Rico. The mask of the vejigante is known as the Careta. Made from either papier-mâché or coconut husks (although I’ve also seen plenty of masks made with gourd), it typically sports a fearsome assortment of horns, fangs and beaks, and are often polka-dotted.
peanut logo design Unique Vejigantes de Ponce Puerto Rico Poster design Copyright © Joanne Photos
Vejigante is an amalgamation of two Spanish words: vejiga, or cow bladder, and gigante, or giant. The name refers to the vejigas that the characters carry with them. The bladder, which is dried, inflated, filled with seeds and painted, is the trusty weapon of the vejigante. During the Ponce Carnival, the largest cultural event in Puerto Rico and an annual stage for the vejigante to strut his stuff, the characters will happily walk among the crowds, chanting, singing, and whacking random passersby with their vejigas. (Don’t worry, this is not a violent or painful experience … at least, it’s not meant to be!) The banter between vejigantes and the crowds is all part of the fun.

Support The Cause:

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Ponce Solo holds fundraisers with 100% of the proceeds going to the people. If you are interested in a hand painted hat for a good cause, DM him on Instagram and lets get you one! He’s all about Unifying the tribes, there is strength in numbers. The indigenous people of these lands have to get together and realize that we are all one people separated by imaginary borders and centuries of colonization.

Anyone interested in donating, even if you don’t want a hat, please donate to the link at the bottom of this page. Extend your hand to someone in need. The universe will thank you for it. One love mi gente. Together we rise.

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Step Up 4 PR by making a contribution and sharing this campaign with your friends, family, and social media network.
Your donations will be used to purchase:

•MPOWERD Luci Pro Series Outdoor 2.0 Solar Lights with usb/phone chargers 12.50 each Thanks to our charitable partners.
•Sawyer Point One Water Filtration Kits (filter up to 540gallons/day for up to 5yrs) 13.95 each Thanks to our charitable partners.
•Solar Powered Generators $2,500 each. If we purchase 5 solar generators the vendor will donate 5 generators.
•Food (Depends on the size of the community) we go food shopping in PR for the various barrios we visit.
•Hygiene/Wellness/Sanitary products(We’re sending out additional shipping containers to PR filled with supplies)

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Gracias for reading this article about my dear friend and fellow Taino, Ponce Solo. Please be sure to check out his Instagram to check out more of his creations and also click the link for more info if you’re interested in donating for a great cause.

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Muchos Gracias!

 

 

 

Link For Donations:

https://www.gofundme.com/stepup4pr

Follow On Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/poncesolo/

 

 

History Of The 4th Of July

Did you know New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States and that three U.S. presidents died on July 4?

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The Fourth of July – also known as Independence Day or July 4th – has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

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During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

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The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

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Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

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Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (such as the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people.

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Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, a long weekend to gather with relatives or friends. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.

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Finally, Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”; “God Bless America”; “America the Beautiful”; “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”; “This Land Is Your Land”; “Stars and Stripes Forever”; and, regionally, “Yankee Doodle” in northeastern states and “Dixie” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

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Anuel AA

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Meet Anuel AA. Bryant Myers. Larry Over. Almighty. Unless you live on the island or closely follow the Puerto Rican rap scene, chances are you may not recognize the names of this new wave of trapstars. One name that’s garnered visibility over the rest is Anuel AA, whose digital popularity extends further than Puerto Rico. His videos on YouTube have reached upwards of 20 million views, while features on tracks like De La Ghetto’s sex jam “La Ocasión” have racked up nearly 200 million hits. You may not have heard his name, but the numbers don’t lie. Anuel’s popularity and fame have earned him a net worth of $3 million.

Anuel AA, the viral Latin trap artist who was infamously arrested in 2016 on gun charges, is reportedly back in federal prison. In June 2017, the Puerto Rican rapper was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, after police found on April 3, 2016, he was arrested after leaving a nightclub called Tabaco & Ron Lounge San Juan, located in Santurce, Puerto Rico along with two companions, when the police stopped the vehicle in which they were walking and at first sight the agents saw firearms. At the time of the arrest several weapons were confiscated: a Glock pistol model 23 caliber .40, a Glock model 30 caliber .45 and another Glock model 19 caliber 9 mm. In addition, in the Auto found 9 loaders for guns and more than a hundred bullets. At the time, he was set to serve his sentence on the island’s Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo.

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The artist had been found guilty of possessing the weapons even though he did not have any with him when he got into a car in which two co-accused went to look for him to go with him to a presentation. Now he will have to spend three years in supervised freedom and fulfill some 300 hours of community work.

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Here is the Anuel AA that I know, Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago comes from a family in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Anuel was born in 1992, being the son of a musician and business man, Jose Gazmey who was vice president of Sony Music in Puerto Rico. The son of the musician Jose Gazmey, he had music cruising through his blood right from birth, it could be said. So Anuel did have a musical background that helped him develop a passion for music. He studied at Colegio María Auxiliadora in Carolina PR. There in course of his training and was showing a strong interest in music. Colegio María Auxiliadora is a private school located in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Is a co-educational catholic school belongs to the school system of the Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico; being the most large from their schools.

 

Anuel AA, is way much more than just a celebrity, musician, or business man he is also a family man and father to one. Anuel is very private about his family life which is to be respected. He is a loving father and devoted family man. Currently, sad to say he is separated from his family due to current unfortunate circumstances but soon will be reunited. However, he recently was able to reunite with his mother on Mothers Day this year. The singer of Trap, Anuel AA, who recently left prison, publicly asked his mother in an emotional writing. Through an Instagram account, Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago, the artist’s first name, shared an image of him with his mother and a message in which he asked for forgiveness for all the suffering he suffered.

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Here his writing:

I love you mommy, sorry for all the pain I made you go through and for the suffering that you lived because of me … I never realized that if I had my life locked I made the sentence day by day with me suffering until they caught me and I saw you crying in court … I LOVE YOU LIGHT OF MY EYES !!!!!!! Happy mothers day my life !!!!!!! But I never leave you alone again !!!!!!!! Thanks for never leaving me alone !!!!!!! I love you!!!!!!! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE MOTHERS Q GIVE UP LIFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN !!!!!!! THERE IS NO MORE CUTE NA IN THIS WORLD Q THE LOVE OF A MOTHER !!!!!!! ????

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There is an interesting story about how Anuel’s career took off. He had collected more than twenty thousand followers who had subscribed to his Sound Cloud account where he started uploading his music. So he had quite a lot of fans even before he became famous and released his debut album.

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Anuel AA started making songs between the end of 2010. In 2012 he started recording at Maybach Music. Beginning to gain popularity in 2014 in Puerto Rico and the United States. At the beginning of 2016, he became known worldwide with the song “The Chance”, which in 2 weeks recorded more than 2 million visits on the YouTube page. The rapper and American businessman Rick Ross, hired him for the label Maybach Music Group, also a label of French Montana. He is also hired in the company of singer Ñengo Flow, Real G4 Life.

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Anuel AA first gained notoriety for his violent and sexually explicit lyrics, and for positioning himself as one of the leading figures of the thriving Latin trap movement. Since he was arrested in 2016, the rapper has cultivated his fan base under the #FreeAnuel movement, releasing new music, selling merchandise, and racking up millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. He recently appeared on Spiff TV’s “Thinkin’” with Future and Bad Bunny, as well as the remix of Chris Jeday’s “Ahora Dice” with Cardi B and Offset.

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The Puerto Rican rapper made headlines last month when rumors of his imminent release swirled. In mid-May, it was revealed that he had relocated to a halfway house and reunited with Ozuna and producers Chris Jeday and Yampi.

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It seems the relocation was short-lived. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate Locator, which offers public information on people convicted of violating federal laws, Anuel is no longer stationed at a residential re-entry center; the database lists his location as Miami FDC, a federal detention center in Downtown Miami. Local outlet Metro PR reports that Anuel AA’s attorney Edwin Prado confirmed the news during an interview on TV show Dando Candela.

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He reassured that Anuel was complying with the requirements of his halfway house program, and reiterated that his release date (July 17, 2018) remains the same. In an email to Remezcla, Prado confirmed that Anuel’s return the prison was “not related to any conduct or violation during the time he spent [in the] halfway house. It seems to be related to conduct while he was in prison or security reasons only [the Bureau of Prisons] can confirm.”

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May 9, fans swarmed Instagram claiming Anuel AA had been released early, as reported by popular urbano site Rapetón. Fans claimed that the mother of Anuel AA’s child, Astrid, posted an Instagram story with the text “Salió puñeta,” suggesting the rapper had been released from prison, though some fans claimed the account does not belong to her.

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Anuel lives by one motto (or one hashtag, if you will): “Real hasta la muerte.” He refuses to steer away from explicit content to make anyone feel comfortable. He’s going to remain true to himself. “We’re either with God or with the Devil, and I don’t make Christian music.”

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In Anuel’s own words,“I’m the only one making money without having songs on the radio.” And even though he isn’t one hundred percent mainstream or even one hundred percent loved in Puerto Rico, he assures, “When Daddy Yankee retires, the one who will sit on the throne is me.”

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