Rocky and N.O.R.E. reminisce about Harrisburg


A$AP Ferg (left) and Rocky at State College in 2011. Photo by Leon Laing.

The A$AP Rocky Drink Champs interview aired on May 12. During the interview, both Rocky and co-host N.O.R.E. mention their link to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Rocky once lived here, but N.O.R.E. talked more about his experience at the state capital. Continue reading ‘Rocky and N.O.R.E. reminisce about Harrisburg’

Famous writer visits neighboring state

Nikole Hannah-Jones. Photo by Leon Laing.

After earning the Pulitzer Prize for The 1619 Project last year, Nikole-Hannah Jones is having a banner year in 2021, too.   

Time magazine named her one of the most influential people of 2021. And today, her highly anticipated book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” hits the bookstores. “Born on the Water,” a book authored by Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson will also be released that day. The 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” Continue reading ‘Famous writer visits neighboring state’

Friend of Midtown

Kota the Friend (left) and Drew Tyrell. Photo by Leon Laing

By opening his first brick and mortar store in Harrisburg next week, rapper Kota the Friend is the third-famous Brooklynite to have ties to Harrisburg. Old Dirty Bastard and Michael K. Williams also have links to the city.

Kota will hold Fltbys Weekend in Harrisburg. Fltbys (pronounced Flight Boys), located at 263 Reily St. in Midtown, is a hip-hop and skate clothing line created by Kota in 2008. The rapper said he was inspired by Pharrell Williams’ Billionaire Boys Club clothing brand.

“I love how original he was,” Kota said about Williams.

Continue reading ‘Friend of Midtown’

Kanye collaborator visits area

Malik Yusef. Photo by Leon Laing.

When Lancaster-based rapper Terian Mack recorded at a studio in California, he would also forge a relationship with Malik Yusef, a music industry heavyweight.

Then on Sept. 8, Mack held a listening party for his upcoming album Independence Day at Tellus 360 in Lancaster. Mack told vigoronline that he’ll drop the album soon; the release date is tentative. Yusef and Rockie Fresh are some of the celebrity features on Independence Day. Continue reading ‘Kanye collaborator visits area’


Michael K. Williams (left) and his sister Michelle Lomax-Chambers in Harrisburg, Pa. Photo by Leon Laing.

This never-before-seen photo of the late Michael K. Williams is one of my favorites for a number of favorites for a number reasons: I took the photo with my Minolta Maxxum 7000, a film camera my dad gave to me. This marked the first time I met Williams — but because he has ties to my hometown of Harrisburg, Pa. — it wouldn’t be the last time. And I took the photo during Barack Obama’s town hall meeting at The Forum on March 30, 2008. Obama would go on to become the first black president of the United States.

Continue reading ‘MKW and ODB’

Stop Asian hate

Patty Kim. Photo by Leon Laing.

On March 16, a white gunman killed eight people in Atlanta. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. Coincidentally, State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, participated in a town hall forum about racism a week prior to the shooting. Kim is of Asian descent. Continue reading ‘Stop Asian hate’

Diversity in the art community

Reina 76. Photo by Leon Laing.

In a recent PennLive story, Reina 76 says she wants to make local art exhibits more diverse. Continue reading ‘Diversity in the art community’

One year ago: Post Malone

Post Malone. Photo by Leon Laing.

On February 22, 2020, I covered Post Malone in concert in Hershey, Pa. The show, which was at full capacity at the Giant Center, was the last major event I covered before the pandemic forced a shutdown on the entertainment industry. I miss cover those major concerts.

Bullseye stays on target with its success

James Lattanzi (left) and Carson Perlaki. Photo by Leon Laing.

During the pandemic, the two Harrisburg-based malls continue to struggle, but Capital City Mall in Camp Hill still thrives. Bullseye Sneaker Boutique represents one of the mall’s newest stores. Continue reading ‘Bullseye stays on target with its success’

Sanders, who spoke in Hbg., receives promotion

Photo of Symone Sanders by Leon Laing.

On Nov. 29, Symone Sanders received an early birthday present. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris named Sanders senior advisor and chief spokesperson for the Vice President.

Sanders celebrated her 31st birthday on Dec. 10.

On Sept. 30, 2017, Sanders, gave a lecture in Harrisburg. The Harrisburg Chapter of The Links Inc. held the event at the National Civil War Museum. I didn’t attend the lecture, but a source says Sanders delivered an articulate speech. Before receiving her promotion, Sanders served as senior advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign, was a commentator on CNN and worked as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders. Continue reading ‘Sanders, who spoke in Hbg., receives promotion’