It's been a long time coming, this Dom Marcell-PopDust interview. The Puerto Rican born, New Orleans raised, and Wall Street groomed singer, writer, and dancer started on his musical journey years ago, placed it to the side when he felt that he wasn't achieving success at a pace that made sense, and then picked it back up when he was prepared for the life of an artist. An infusion of caribbean, latin, and New Orleans Bounce sounds, Dom Marcell's music is his DNA. Here is his story.

"Ask somebody else about my credentials"

Dom went to an arts school for elementary and high school. He made the decision at 17 to attend college and pursue his music career simultaneously knowing that it was a big task. He majored in business and communications, recognizing the importance of combining his right and left brains, the artist with the analyst. Duality follows him wherever he goes, which makes sense for the Gemini who double majored in business and communications while in college. While in college, he made sure to stay connected to the entertainment world, interning at some of the world's biggest media brands, HBO and Atlantic records, to name a couple. When music didn't happen for Dom in what he considered a timely basis, he decided to shelve music and concentrate on his studies. A three year law and MBA program was his solution.

"At the end of the day, you have to be realistic too, you have to give yourself milestones."

Maybe it's the business major in him, but all of his goals have clearly laid out plans–complete with timelines and milestone checks varying in length of time. I guess that detail and thoughtful consideration is not only what transforms them from dreams into plans, but what makes Dom the artist so successful. Marketing strategies, building a useful team, operating as a product, and fielding candid feedback are all a part of his executed roadmap to success. How may artists do you know that conduct focus groups to determine the "viability of the music"? Yeah, in the words of the incomparable Jay-Z he's not a business man, he's a business, man.

"I just don't go into something blind because I know I invested time and money into my JMBA...but music is a startup company."

You can't help but notice the level headedness he approaches his career, especially for an artist and creative. He parlayed his business and law degrees into his music career, trademarking and copyrighting his business entities associated with his music. How did he know it was time to pick up music again? An interesting question, to which Dom provides a thoughtful answer. After doing everything the right way, he was not satisfied with his life. While this was the dream route for many of his peers getting asked to come back to his investment firm and getting a business degree and his law degree still didn't bring him that happiness. What did was, songwriting. Interesting because when i asked him to choose between singing and songwriting without hesitation he chose songwriting. Songwriting led to the first song he recorded, DTK. He hadn't heard himself in years, and after the most important test in determining whether a song was hot or not, the car test, he failed it. He let the song sit on a shelf, came back to it as he became more comfortable with his voice, and then played the finished version for friends.The follow-up, Unique, is an affirmation that he was the person he thought he was, and not who people told him he was not. It was the song version of his reality. He was capable, accomplished, and talented.

Peep the whole interview , where he also encourages us to tell our friends that they aren't on the right path. Constructive and honest feedback is necessary. Watch us practice how to tell your friend he's not as talented as he thinks he is in the episode of Popdust Presents below.

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Sports

Un-BALL-levable! The Ball family debuts their own show

SPORTS | BALL IN THE FAMILY Ep 1 Recap: Thinking LaVar Ball is crazy is a common first impression, but nothing compares to the love he has for his family, and they for him.

"If you're a good loser then you must be good at losing."

This is how 15 year old LaMelo Ball is introduced to viewers in the opening credits of Ball In The Family, a reality show style documentary on the now infamous Ball Family. Thursday, August 30, 3017, the first two episodes of the series debuted on Facebook, and to say I was intrigued is an understatement. See, I've always loved LaVar Ball. Since the loud-mouthed visionary and father of three uttered his first boastful sentence in front of a camera, I connected with him and his sons, rooted for them, and defended them. While others saw a man that would destroy his son's career before it started, I saw a father with a plan–the typecast of a father that is under-represented but ever present. He wasn't meek, he didn't walk around with his eyes cast down and a humble smile, he didn't leave his opinions to the "experts". Nah. The eldest Ball boasted about all three of his sons, compared them to the greats, commented on every single thing basketball related, and when it came to his family, he was the expert. LaVar Ball has a special makeup, passed down to him from his own father, that also came together to form Matthew Knowles (Beyonce and Solange's father), Richard Williams (father of Venus and Serena Williams), Joe Jackson (Father to the first generation of famous Jacksons, including Michael and Janet), and maybe even your dad. It definitely was passed down to mine, which is why I recognized the Balls as part of my tribe. While their methods may be unorthodox, they are visionaries who see the world in their children, and lucky for them, their children listened. Though ecstatic, Lavar is not surprised with the success of his family, "I expect all of this to happen...Speak it into existence every time."

Ball In The Family: Episode 1- Bittersweet Victory

The first episode starts off with a family introduction. Somehow five people are all weighted equally, the three Ball brothers, their mom Tina Ball, and the patriarch, Lonzo Ball. "They were born to go pro", LaVar says as the episode cues to a flashback of Papa Ball's appearance on First Take with Stephen A. Smith with Stephen A. Smith in March. "I'm concerned your mouth may get in their way", Smith shouted to Ball. For as loud and proud as LaVar is known to be, I hope to subtly serve crow the same way he does to Smith, in my own documentary while using a doubter's words to launch into a series that shows I am exactly who I said I am, as I told you I would be. To be fair, comprehending why Smith doubted LaVar is not obscure. In a world of fake news and instant gratification, Ball didn't have the receipts to match his hyperbolic claims. But see, Smith hasn't been around this type of father, I was raised by one. LaVar didn't need receipts, he had all he needed. Like a prophet in the wilderness, Ball held onto his vision of the promised land, convinced his family that the only things they required in life were their talents and his vision, and held onto his faith. Sure it seemed crazy, but Ball was used to crazy being a common first impression. His most faithful teammate, his wife, thought he was crazy when they first met.

"I don't care if your eye is on the side of the face…"

The story about how LaVar and his wife, Tina, met is a perfect example of self prophecy and persistence. He met Tina, told her he was going to have her in some kind of way still to be determined and she waved him off. Though LaVar likes to compare himself with Jordan on the court, he was most like Jordan when courting his wife. He was turned away, stuck it out, she put him on the team, and then he formed a team primed and ready for threepeat championships. A vibrant Tina recounted how LaVar told her that they would have all boys pretty early in their meeting. Another prophecy fulfilled. Tina learned early that if LaVar wanted something, it would be his, even when it came to her parents. LaVar's in-laws admit they didn't accept him immediately because he was Black. He didn't back away, he didn't pressure them, he focused on the plan. Tina was his girl, as he affectionately calls her. They were going to have all boys, Laker players of course, and they would be a team.

As the show takes us behind the scenes of Lonzo's NBA draft, the Ball matriarch has a stroke that leaves her life hanging in the balance for a few weeks. Still not fully recovered, her parents recount the story with fear, but her sons recall their mom's journey with strength and confidence, something else they evidently got from their father. A few tears are stifled, three red faces go blank for a moment, but they clear up almost instantly like a summer storm. They know that they their mom will be ok, and step up as the household changes to accommodate her recovery. This is one of several times you are thankful the boys have LaVar as their father. The Compton native steps up emotionally and physically while his wife deals with her own recovery, constantly checking in on her when the family is away and reminding his sons that she is always with them. As Tina watches the draft from their house in California and the Ball boys are all in Brooklyn on draft day, LaVar reminds them that her spirit is there with them, "She hasn't missed anything since they were kids. Everywhere they go she is there."



"We believe our dad's master plan and we will do anything to make it happen."

LaVar and Tina have three sons, Lonzo(19), LiAngelo (18), and LaMelo (15). Lonzo and Melo have been featured heavily in the media over the course of this last year, seen to some as the puppets in LaVar's circus. One episode of this show easily dispels this myth. Lonzo knows his dad, his character, and accepts the fact that his quirky ways and unshakeable spirit can be seen as abrasive. He doesn't mind, and even makes fun of it in public. It's his dad that helped him get this far, and Lonzo won't stop listening now because the media speaks out against his way, "We believe our dad's master plan and we will do anything to make it happen." Because of the master plan, Lonzo is a Laker, and Melo released his first shoe today, MB1 by Baller Brand. While Lonzo is the calm and humble big brother, taking fame and the road from college to pro in stride whose only unforgiveable flaw is denouncing Nas for Migos and Future, Melo is baby LaVar. Loud, proud, and ready to perform. Gelo plays into his birthright as a middle child so far in the show. We don't know much about him other than he looks up to his big brother while being a role model for his little brother and according to his father, he too, is going to be a Laker. Only time, and more episodes will tell.



Brittiany Cierra is an entertainment and travel journalist and On-Air host highlighting where culture, music, film, television, and current events intersect. When she's not writing about people, places, and things, she's speaking about, dancing on, or marketing them. Follow the journey on twitter and Instagram.



FILM & TV

If it's not you, who is it then?

TV RECAP | In Season 4, Episode 9 of POWER, the chickens have come to roost.

"The only good thing about the good old days is they're gone." -Dick Gregory

[Note: While I have a signature of weaving some of my favorite songs into everything I write, this recap uses Dick Gregory quotes as headers. On August 18, 2017, one of the most prolific, thought provoking, and hilarious men left this earth after 84 years of learning and teaching. Rest In Peace Dick Gregory.]

Season 4, Episode 9, "That Ain't Me"

"Love is man's natural endowment, but he doesn't know how to use it. He refuses to recognize the power of love because of his love of power."

So here we are. Tariq and Ghost basically have a second chance at life, maybe third for Tariq, and it looks like he has had enough of being a whiny, unappreciative teenager unable to grasp the concept of familial loyalty. He is finally ready to go to Connecticut and escape the thug life his parents sold all those drugs to keep him out of. With Ghost in the background teaching his son how to live a double life, Tariq passes an interview for Choate. Ghost tells him he is becoming the man he always wanted him to be, the best version of him. It's clear that Ghost had no idea how far, yet how close he was to really understanding Tariq in that one statement. In the car, Tariq uses this time with his father to get ahead of his own crime-filled life as an accomplice in a robbery turned murder. He does this "clever" teenage mind trick where he masks his situation with future co-conspirator Brains as curiosity for his Dad's situation with Kanan. He wants to know how to get a killer off his back, and his father reminds him that one can't go down without them all going down. This gives Tariq all the confidence he needs in dealing with Brains. Things are coming full circle, as Tariq is starting to be more like his father every day. It's funny, at this very moment the two have exactly what they want out of life, love of their family and a new start, yet there is this ominous feeling the peace is short lived.

Silver and Angela have more in common than they think in this newest episode of Power.Photo Courtesy of Starz

Speaking of family, it seems Angela's sister, Paz, heart softened a little this episode. As they stand over a bloodstained couch, Paz says she's glad Mike is dead and does not care about the money anymore, she just wants Angela to live her best life. Angela pretends to admonish her sister, meanwhile, we all know that Sandoval's death was orchestrated by Angela. Still, it seems that Angela has everything she always desired, peace, her sister's support, and her job back. We know this won't be enough. We know that she wants more than her previous position, she wants a promotion as Head of Criminal. It looks like the job will go to Mak, but you never know what they are thinking in the Power writer's room.

Tommy talks to Teresi, thanking him for handling the Sandoval problem. As payment, Teresi says he wants to meet his son. Tommy points out the fact that he is a felon and can't visit him and Teresi drops the bombshell that Kate has evidence that Teresi is his biological son. Tommy can get the evidence, Teresi can get the visit. From the very first episode of the series Tommy has shown how important family is to him, so much so that he made a psuedo-family to fill the void. It will be interesting to see how the two families fare if he ever has to choose between the St. Patricks and Teresi.

Tasha (Naturi Naughton) telling Tommy (Joseph Sikora) that she's ready to go legit in Power Episode 409Photo Courtesy of Starz

Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten."- Dick Gregory

While Ghost is running the streets of Queens trying to bring reality to the man he portrays to be on camera, we learn that Ghost also wanted to go to Choate. He felt like the lack of opportunity is what kept him in Queens, and is grateful that even though another young girl in the neighborhood was afforded the opportunity while he was not, they both ended up successful. We know right away this young girl is Angela, and the skeptic in me feels like this is code for "I miss you". Councilman Tate leaves the interview to service the community, stopping to talk to corner boys, and I can't help but think he's dirty. I know I said this in the episode 7 recap, but you can't clean the streets without getting dirty, especially in politics. There's some connection he has to the streets that I've been impatiently waiting to get revealed for weeks now. In the meantime we watch him get Ghost more stakes in Stern's company. Now, I like money, but I know it's never free. Hopefully Ghost is not so caught up in the facade of being Robin Hood that he forgets this lesson as a businessman.

Remember when Tasha was still pretty immature and didn't understand the purpose of Ghost going legit. Well, one affair, jail time, a kidnapping, and a lawyer who does karaoke later, she wants to get out of the game herself. She says her reasons are purely for her well being, but you can't help but think it's mainly because of her love for Silver, who she still keeps kissing in her house like her two kids, imaginary third, imaginary mother, and estranged husband do not live there. While Silver comes over to drop off some of Ghost's things from evidence, Tasha let's him know she is thinking of expanding the hair business. As soon as she says the words invest Silver lets out an emphatic, "Not it!" and Tasha ensures him that she plans to use Ghost's alimony check from the divorce she has yet to file. Is it just me, or is everybody counting their chickens before they hatch? Except Silver. He said he doesn't have any chickens so don't ask.

Tommy (Joseph Sikora) loses his last dealer, and later Dre (Rotimi), all according to Dre's plan.Photo Courtesy of Starz

"When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It's not enough, but it helps."- Dick Gregory

Tommy wants his birth certificate and Kate keeps playing like he hasn't killed a redhead he loved for betraying him before. He starts breaking her dolls when she refuses to tell him w here to find the documents. Kate thinks this is her same son she will be able to give a weird mouth kiss to, ask for coke and then go on her way. Nah. Tommy let's her know he killed Holly, and she instantly shows him the document which reveals a little more than any of us were prepared for. Teresi was not only at the hospital, but Tommy is a junior, and Teresi wanted to take Tommy to live with him. All of this time Tommy has been creating family in the streets and what he really wanted he had a possibility to experience. Pissed is an understatement. Instead of killing his mom, he opts for that other white girl, cocaine, and takes his car back from his mother. The same car that has a tracking device on it. Yup. Tommy is a mess, his mother is a liar, and Dre and Cristobal set fire to a million dollars in drugs to kick mission "Everybody Leave Tommy" into gear. Coked up Tommy quells his band of drug dealers for the time being and fires Cristobal, while telling Dre that he will kill his "David Blaine looking" self. Obviously I enjoyed that line, because it's kind of true, and I need to know if that was improvised.


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Meanwhile another pair of fatherless men are about to have their heads blown off because Ray Ray heard about the robbery gone wrong. Ray Ray kills Brains and Big Country but not before finding out Tariq was also at the scene of the crime. He goes to Tariq's school the next day dressed as officer friendly and Raina tells him Tariq is absent. She then goes home and warns Tariq. This is where I get frustrated. While Tommy and everyone else never had fathers to protect them, Tariq has three killers willing to die for him in Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan. But Tariq is an idiot, and tells Raina to keep it a secret and she obliges. I'm not sure who is the older twin, I'm assuming Tariq, but he's also immature and a coward. Both come out in full force by the end of the episode.

"The most difficult thing to get people to do is to accept the obvious." -Dick Gregory

Tasha tells Tommy she's going legit. Another heartbreak and betrayal for the quickly unraveling Tommy. He then asks Lakeisha for help cleaning money. I was proud of Lakeisha this episode. She told Tasha earlier she was going to stop this pattern of dating men that did not put in effort (is she moving out of New York?) and instead focus on taking responsibility in who and how she chooses men. And here comes Tommy, with a sob story about his liar mom and needing clean money and thus, needing her. Y'all, our girl Keisha finally did something right and pure for herself and told Tommy she wasn't built like that. "I ain't even built like that. It's not me." I felt it in my soul. Tommy then went on to find someone else he could convince to give him the money, Ghost.

There's a scene of peace in the St. Patrick household. Hope they enjoyed it. Tommy comes in high, telling Tariq to protect his sister from boys at the dance. Foreshadowing at its finest. Tariq def doesn't listen. Then he basically tells Ghost that he needs money for what he and Kanan stole previously. Tommy is an emotional and high mess, gets physical with Ghost, and blamed Ghost for messing up his life. This is ironic because we find out that Ghost didn't go to Choate because he didn't want to leave Tommy. Here they part ways to live their two separate lives, Tommy as a failing drug king pin and Ghost as the recipient of a wrongfully accused award, or something like that. It is here we find out that Ghost and Angela probably aren't through, Angela receives the promotion, and Tate is not as clean as Ghost wanted to believe (because, duh).

"The world is fed by greed." -Dick Gregory

Now for my favorite part of the episode. Mother-loving Kanan is back, my favorite anti-hero since Neegan in The Walking Dead. Y'all know my love for Kanan goes deep and he looks a little thick so I'm ready. He is too, just not for me. Kanan has been betrayed by a young boy trying to be a drug lord before so he is prepared for the hit and sees all the signs. He kills the two would-be assassins and you have to wonder if he knows it was Dre or if he thinks it was Ghost trying to settle the score. He lives so we will find out next episode.

Tommy visits his father and tells him he wants to meet the family. It's Tommy so it's probable the family here is criminal and not his cousins. I think this means the mob, which is strange because Tommy has everything he needs to re-up but he does need fire power for his war with the Jimenez. Teresi wants something out of Tommy, we aren't sure just what yet, but we know he will oblige to make his son happy. The very thing that Kate tried to prevent, losing her son to the Teresis may have just happened.

Now for the scene you all have been waiting for, the school dance. Tariq and Raina attend the dance, his schoolmates are saying goodbye, and Tariq, now a codeine addict is meeting up with his girlfriend to get some more lean, or so he thinks. Turns out the girlfriend is Ray Ray's cousin and Ray Ray is waiting to kill Tariq so that all loose ends are clipped in the candy robbery turned murder case. Question,when did Ray Ray become a cop or a real player in this street thing? Tariq is a true dummy until the end, and instead of running into the school, runs into a locked fence. No worries, Raina is here to protect him as usual, and loses her life standing up for her brother as he cowers in the background. For what is sure to be a pivotal scene in the series, it was actually underwhelming. This could also be because no matter how much you tried to avoid it, the spoiler was all over social media. Because Tariq is an idiot, I wonder will he even tell who killed his sister, or let Ghost think it was Kanan. Ideally, Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan cleaning up all the mess that was made is what I want to see.


Brittiany Cierra is an entertainment and travel journalist and On-Air host highlighting where culture, music, film, television, and current events intersect. When she's not writing about people, places, and things, she's speaking about, dancing on, or marketing them. Follow the journey on twitter and Instagram.