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Cubilas The MPC Whisperer

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If you are a fan of Hip-Hop production then you know the letters MPC. the MPC has been a staple in hip hop production since the 80s and have gone through many models. the current crop of MPCs (MPC X, MPC Key 61, MPC Live/Live II, MPC One) are the most technologically advanced models with what amounts to mini computers inside. they van be expanded with SSD drives and sd cards, and have built in vsts and expansions. the cool thing is these can also be loaded with custom expansions and right now the leader of the custom expansion game is a small company called Cubilas. coming on the scene a few years ago, Cubilas provides custom sounds from other instruments and samplers converted especially for the new generation MPCs. from Korg to Yamaha, Cubilas curates the sounds and gets them right.

Cubilas says is a passion and labor of love to come out with these expansions (there are new releases constantly) and being a producer himself, its always challenging to push the envelope.

you can check out Cubilas on his website or check out his store or follow him on Facebook

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Award Winning Entrepreneur Mama Sue Taylor Talks Being A Cannabis Pioneer & Resource For The Elderly Community

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Sue "Mama Sue" Taylor

Sue Taylor “Mama Sue”, is a pioneer in the space of wellness and cannabis. Breaking barriers as the first black woman to open and operate a dispensary in Berkeley, California, she has been featured in Forbes, CNN, ABC7, Black Enterprise, MSN and several other publications sharing her incredible journey through cannabis. As she is one of the most influential women in cannabis she continues to utilize her platform to debunk any negativity surrounding the healing plant. As a mother, grandmother, entrepreneur, and advocate, Sue Taylor has made it her mission to be a resource to the elderly community through her Mama Sue Wellness tinctures and series of educational events.

I had the pleasure and honor of speaking with Sue after she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from Grammy Award Winning singer Erykah Badu at the 2024 Women in Cannabis Awards. Check it out below.

Sue Taylor Interview

What does it mean to you being a cannabis advocate and how did you get your start in the cannabis industry?

Sue Taylor: If someone had told me 17 years ago that I would be working in the cannabis industry I would have never believed them. I did not choose this, it chose me. My son lured me into the business by convincing me that this is a way for me to have my spiritual wellness center that I have always wanted and that intrigued me. I saw that it was needed because of how I took care of my body when I began to age and I knew the pharmaceutical approach wasn’t working way back then. As I said yes to work with Cannabis, I was actually scared and frightened by it due to the movie Reefer Madness. People in my generation were always told weed was a drug and it was always black people or hispanics and the weed devil and a lot of craziness.

This deterred my generation from cannabis because we simply do not break rules and it was deemed federally illegal. As an African American woman you know there is a stigma around us. I am already judged for being a black woman and I don’t want to be judged again! Being black I am judged everyday even still to this day, so to be taking on something that is extremely stigmatized was scary. But when my son told me I could have my Sue Taylor Wellness facility, I said okay let’s give it a try. Even though I was scared, I knew it was something I had to do to improve the quality of my life. If your dream doesn’t scare you a little bit your dream is not big enough. I was so scared but I was not willing to give up, which has allowed me to live my dream in real time.

Not only are you a cannabis advocate but you are also a pioneer. Can you share with me your vision for your Farmacy dispensary as you are the first and only black woman to own and operate a dispensary in Berkeley?

ST: The journey to opening Farmacy Berkeley was not an easy one. It took us 17 years to get things going. However, I was granted a permit to open Farmacy Berkeley because I had a special niche. Mine was geared to the needs of seniors. I also did my own lobbying to the city council and the mayor. I did it because we really didn’t have the money to do it and we are not equity people. We used our family’s money to get things accomplished. I had another key component Brittany that I want to share. When I went in, they could see that I genuinely cared for humankind. It wasn’t about me. And it really wasn’t just about cannabis. I just saw cannabis as one tool to help people. My pioneer work has helped with the stigma that surrounds cannabis. Recently I received the Lifetime Achievement at the Women in Cannabis Awards for my advocacy work and have also received an advocacy award from Oaksterdam University.

I have been very successful at helping to eliminate the stigma because I don’t fit the mold. I’m a former Catholic school principal. I am also a commissioner on aging. I was the commissioner on aging for Alameda County, where Farmacy Berkeley is located. On top of that, I am certified by the state of California to teach the cannabis program to nurses and help them obtain credits toward the yearly certifications that they need. I’ve had that certification for five years or more. It’s amazing to do that. It has been quite a journey for me. I have also been successful simply because I genuinely care.

When we opened up Farmacy Berkeley, we were open for one month, then the pandemic stopped everything. They sent all seniors home because people were afraid I was going to get covid. So we went away from it and then came back. But before I really got into business, I was teaching seniors. I had a community room where I would educate seniors free of charge, just come in and talk. I even did meditation classes. I did a lot of things there as well. Then that all stopped because of the pandemic. But I want you to be clear on this, we were opened up after we got the license.

How did Cannabis change your life?

ST: When I saw the way cannabis was positively impacting the lives of everyone around me that I was working with, that’s when I became open to cannabis. When I started off, I would not touch it, I was simply just doing the work. But after time, people kept coming to me saying that they were no longer using canes, wheelchairs or medication anymore. Seeing the progress in those people, I began to change my mind and became open to cannabis to help with pain or to help me sleep.

I started to think “maybe my son was right this whole time”. I thought he was on drugs, but when I found out what he was doing things changed. He was attending Oaksterdam University learning the entrepreneur side of cannabis. 17 years ago, there were only dispensaries for medical patients and only three in the Berkeley area making the rules a lot stricter. Its incredible how much growth there has been in the industry and the opportunities it’s presenting in helping others, especially seniors. I continued to do the work, myself along with the many hardworking individuals in the cannabis industry see the benefits of being in the business.

What is your mission for helping the elderly connect to cannabis as you have your Mama Sue Wellness products that are specifically geared toward seniors?

ST: Those products were made with love for a group of people that most people have forgotten about. This means everything to me to be able to have wellness products that cater to my demographic.

Seniors mostly come to cannabis for two reasons, because they can’t sleep or they’re in pain. Thats what each tincture was crafted to help with, we have a sleep tincture made with high CBN and CBD and an extra strength tincture which is high-CBD to help with aches and pain. And we have more products coming very soon. These were made with seniors in mind, but I think I might have more young people using the Mama Sue products for sleep and anxiety because the relief tincture, you could use that during the day and still function. They won’t get you high.

What has it been like working with Glass House Brands?

ST: I’ve been a part of Glass House, for a little over 4 years. What many people don’t know is that in the process of building Farmacy Berkeley, we ran out of money. That is when Kyle, Graham and the Glass House team came in, we became partners and they put up the remainder of the money to help build out the dispensary to my specifications. Glass House also helped me develop my tincture products that I’ve always wanted, Mama Sue Wellness. They aligned with my values and are doing things right, that’s why I chose them.

I’m grateful to be part of the Glass House team, they really support my mission in helping change the stigma around cannabis. As a Brand Ambassador we work together to put together these educational events, I travel to our different dispensaries where I get to speak and answer questions for local seniors one on one.

You mentioned your Mama Sue products and how they’re kind of more so geared toward the senior community. What do you feel like is the most important thing about wellness when it comes to cannabis and debunking these misconceptions?

ST: To begin, it depends on the group of people you are talking to. For instance, when me and my fellow cannabis advocates needed to get something done as a cannabis group going up against the city and state, they would always suggest sending me to speak on the group’s behalf. They thought it was like some magic or something, but let me tell you what it was, Brittany. I looked at the cannabis industry and I looked at most of the people who were in that industry at that time. They looked like stoners. I did not. And I was not. And I made a conscious decision that every time I was representing cannabis, I would look like a lawyer. And that’s who they met. They said, oh, you are in the wrong place, lady. I said, no, I’m here for cannabis. I didn’t fit the mold. Brittany, when they looked at me, I didn’t fit their perception of what people who used cannabis look like. Does that make sense?

I know that recently you and Dreka Gates got a chance to connect, can you share the synergy and connection you two ladies share?

ST: It was amazing. It was one of my most amazing ‘Plants Over Pills’ interviews because we connected on so many levels, so many levels. I’ve never met a young person like that, that’s spiritually evolved like her, because she’s young, you know she’s young, she’s only 37. And we just talked like we knew each other. Wait till you see the interview, it’s on the Glass House YouTube channel. I’ve never conducted an interview like that before. The camera crew was saying, oh my God, they were amazed at how easily we connected, and we just kept talking and talking. We connected on such a high level, we’re both spiritual people, we’ve been through a lot, we believe in plant medicine for healing, and she’s now even opening her first dispensary in Mississippi. Dreka talks about all the challenges she went through to secure the permit. We had trouble in California and we’re the most progressive state there is, I can’t imagine Mississippi. We bonded over all of that, opening our first dispensary and our vision to expanding that into our wellness facilities.

What has been your experience with pills versus plants for healing?

ST: They tried to give me a pill during the pandemic. I’m a spiritual person, and I had anxiety and was having difficult nights of sleep, had so much fear, all that kind of stuff. So, I went to my doctor and she prescribed me pills. I said, you know, I’m not a pill taker. But for some reason she insisted that I just take it. So I took the pills home, I looked it up and researched them before I popped anything. You know what it said on the bottle, they were to help with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia! I called her immediately and relayed my findings to her. You know what her response to me was? Why are you questioning me? You are not a doctor. She said, I give that to all my patients that have anxiety. You know what my response to her was? “I am not all your patients, and I don’t take a pill for anything. You know that I don’t take a pill to manage my health so why would you give me something for schizophrenics? I am not schizophrenic.” So that was it. I had to start looking out for my own health, and wellbeing.

I always make this disclaimer, pills have their place. Pharmaceuticals are not bad. They are not bad for people who need them. Pharmaceutical drugs were made for temporary use. If you get into a car accident or going into operation for eight hours, yes pills are helpful. But most people are using pharmaceuticals just to manage their day to day lives. Like with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, with even anxiety.You start taking pills for an operation, then you have high blood pressure, then 10, 15 years later, you’re still on those same pills and more. That’s not okay. We have to stay educated about our health and thankfully, our younger generation are getting better at understanding that. The younger generation just doesn’t take what people tell them. You guys research everything. I have three sons so I’m surrounded by all the young people all the time and they keep me sharp.

I just met another guy, he’s gonna open up a wellness facility because everybody is seeing the light, popping a pill is not going to get you healthy. If anything, it’s gonna deteriorate your body because it’s all about the money. Pharmaceutical approach to healthcare. They give politicians money so they continue to push pills on us. We have to look beyond. We have to think for ourselves and find more natural ways to heal and care for bodies, mind and spirit.

Brittany, as I look at your beautiful face today, with that beautiful skin, that beautiful complexion, you have to go within and do what’s best for Brittany. I don’t care what the doctors try to tell you. Trust yourself first, always.

To learn more about Mama Sue Taylor and her journey through cannabis, follow her on Instagram at @suetaylorwellness.

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Dreka Gates Talks Holistic Healing In Beauty Wellness & Cannabis

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Dreka Gates Wellness & Cannabis

Trailblazing in her rite, celebrity entrepreneur Dreka Gates has taken a seat in the C-suite in multiple industries including beauty, wellness, and holistic spaces. And that’s just on a Monday. By Tuesday, Gates is opening doors for people in the cannabis space that look like her.

She is making history as one of the first African-American women to open a dispensary in the state of Mississippi opening its doors this spring. While on Plants Over Pills with Mama Sue and Glasshouse Brands and rounding out Women’s History Month, the duo also appeared on a massive billboard in Times Square on March 30. Celebrate with me as, I am honored to spotlight, Dreka Gates. Check out the full interview below.

One-On-One With Dreka Gates

Onthesceneny: As you are big in the beauty and wellness space, how important is wellness to your overall well-being?

Dreka Gates: Oh my gosh! Health and wellness are at the top of my list. I always tell people as long as I’m happy I’m good. I don’t care about anything else.

ONY: Now you talk a lot on your platform about holistic healing and your holistic lifestyle. How did you get into that?

DG: Growing up I always felt like I was a healer to some extent. I don’t mean a healer in the sense that I go and put my hands on people but I feel like I have a gift. Like I’m very in tune with my body and nature and using nature to support my whole body wellness. When I graduated from high school, I went to school to be a doctor. I thought that was the route for me to take. But it wasn’t. Two years in I dropped out and became my husband’s manager. I don’t manage his music career at this time.

I also had surgery at 20 years old, due to having big breasts. So I had a breast reduction because I was like a toothpick with big breasts haha and it was causing problems in my shoulders. When I went to the hospital, these people nearly killed me. It was supposed to be an outpatient surgery. I ended up having to stay in the hospital a couple of days because they had punctured a lung or something crazy. Ever since then I kind of sworn against ever going to a doctor or a hospital setting, like ever again. That experience kind of just pushed me more so into the natural, holistic way of just being. It’s something that’s just been with me since then.

ONY: Someone that inspires you, would be a lady by the name of Mama Sue. Do you mind sharing with us about you guys this bond and connection?

DG: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. Just talking with her and meeting her for the first time, I honestly felt like she was a much older version of myself. It was kind of surreal. It was like, wow, this is what you’re gonna be like when you’re here. It was amazing talking to her. She was just like pulling me in. I call it being in my psychic space. Mama Sue is all up in my psychic space. She was all up in my brain, literally just like pulling everything out. I’m like, oh my God, talking to her was like sitting and having a conversation with myself. It was just amazing and beautiful. We just have this connection, like on a deeper, spiritual level. It’s like we already knew each other before knowing each other, you know? So it’s very beautiful and super inspiring.

ONY: Now as we continue talking about wellness, you have your own wellness brand, Dreka Wellness. What was the driving force for you to create your Dreka Gates Wellness brand?

DG: Wellness that’s always been with me. But being in the music industry and doing the work that I was doing, like, I never ever, ever had the time to do it. So like in 2018 and 19, I started working on formulas, but it was like, I just didn’t have any time to put into it. And then COVID hit. So we weren’t touring, we weren’t doing anything. So that gave me the opportunity to finally dive into it and bring it to life, which is what I did.

That has been such a beautiful journey because that stuff excites me. Like, I love sharing, just like stuff that I’ve created and tools that I’ve learned along the way to help me to stay in that space of being well, and balanced. I love it because it’s a platform where I’m able to just share all of my tips and tricks or secrets and tools with everyone.

ONY: Making time for what you are passionate about is so important. Now, one element of your brand is that everything is plant-based. Now, how did that come about?

DG: Okay, so my thing is, I do use the term plant-based. I do not use the term vegan because I’m not a vegan. I don’t subscribe to that anymore. I’ve done that lifestyle, but that’s not it. It didn’t lead me to being as healthy as I am, now that I live a balanced lifestyle. So plant-based is the majority of my products and the power that the plants hold coupled with the power that we have within ourselves is the basis of my brand. Like you can achieve anything. There is nothing that I feel you cannot heal that your body can’t heal with the support of plants.I realized the magic in the plants. That’s the premise of my company and my lifestyle. I consume mostly plants. I still don’t eat a lot of meat. There’s a lot of power in plants.

ONY: Now we’re talking about the power in plants. Let’s talk about the magical plant Cannabis. I went to cannabis college, so I am very knowledgeable just as far as how it’s healthy for healing. What inspired you to wanna open up your dispensary in the state of Mississippi, especially being the first black woman to do so?

DG: For me, it’s all about bringing this knowledge to people who don’t know anything about it. Down south in Mississippi, we’re in the Bible Belt. It’s bad if you’re having sex, meanwhile everybody is having sex. How’d you get here? You know what I’m saying? It’s bad. If you’re smoking marijuana, it is a plant. Like what exactly are we tripping about? You know? So it’s my goal to destigmatize it and to bring them a much safer alternative because so many people are addicted to opioids. They don’t know any other way. They are scared to get hooked on drugs, but it’s like you’re already hooked on drugs. Like, let me show you something much safer. Let me show you this much safer alternative that eventually one day you’ll probably be able to grow yourself, you know?

But for now, I’m able to provide this for you and show you how to use this properly, and what it can do for you. My goal is to educate people and show them a better way of being. That is so important to me! I have someone close to me who was on antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain, and they’ve never in their life smoked or consumed marijuana until I introduced it to them. They are no longer on antidepressants or in chronic pain and strictly consume cannabis to ease the pain that they experience in their bodies. For me, that is a miracle. This is someone who doesn’t even drink and who is clean as a whistle. So if I could do that with this person, surely I can convince other people to consider, you know?

ONY: You have your farm to be honest, you remind me of Kelis because of your influence in the entertainment space, especially music, and how you’ve been able to utilize your platform to bring more awareness and attention just to a healthier, more natural lifestyle. How did you go about acquiring a farm and raising your kids on the farm?

DG: Back in 2007 and 2017, Kevin and I purchased a farm. We had zero intentions of living on this farm but it was just going to be a place of retreat for us because I mean, we were spending like 80 to 90% of our time touring from city to city, country to country. Like our lives were like nonstop. So we’re like, okay, we’ll get this farm. This is a place where we can go and kind of just like ground and get back to ourselves and recharge. At the end of 2019, I did an ayahuasca ceremony. Afterward, I got this download and it was like, what the hell are you doing? I’m going to need you to get out of California and go to the farm. That was like this very loud, clear message that I received. I looked at him and I told him, I was like, look, I’m going to the farm you can come or you can stay here. And he is like, well, you’re not leaving me here. So he came with me and the kids and we all went to the farm and then covid hit during our move.

It was like, wow, like this couldn’t have happened at a better time. It has honestly been amazing. I flourish, the kids have, and he has as well. We have become much better beings just by being on the farm. Like I intend to spend the majority of my time there. We travel a lot because we’re in the entertainment industry. Um, but that is like home base. And that’s where we get to like I said, like recharge and just like ground and balance out and get back to ourselves. That’s forever home.

ONY: That’s incredible. Now another space that you’re pretty big in, is beauty. I mean, your skin is just incredible. You know, a lot of times I’ve seen people say, you look better without makeup. Can you share any beauty tips with us?

DG: It all starts with taking care of your body as a whole. Your skin is gonna tell you what’s going on internally, you know what I’m saying? It’s going to tell you what’s going on with you spiritually, mentally, and physically. So for me, it is just about taking care of my body as a whole. I do drink tons of water and I also know my body, like I know myself and what she likes. I know what she doesn’t like, and I make sure that I’m working with her and fueling her with the right things and not putting anything into my body that my body doesn’t like. I just use my skincare products. I developed them for myself and now I can share them with the world. But yeah, like just keeping your skin clean, keeping it moisturized, and giving your body what your body needs are my beauty tips.

ONY: For someone who’s looking to get into a better, healthier lifestyle, more on the holistic side, what advice would you give them just to kind of get their start?

DG: One thing I am very intentional about is finding affordable ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle because this is what helps me to stick to it. Like I know that this is what it is, so I have to follow it. Getting things like the food allergen testing done is super important. That alone is gonna get you on a different path, you know what I’m saying? And I do that every three months because our bodies are constantly changing and evolving. So it’s like you have to stay on top of that stuff, you know? But at the same time, like if you can’t afford it, start paying attention to your body. Your body’s gonna tell you if you eat something and then you have gas and bloating and things, nine times outta 10, you shouldn’t be eating that. You know what I’m saying? Or if you eat something and then you notice that you start getting acne, you probably shouldn’t be eating that. That is where I would start first with food and start just paying attention to my body. Start small. That is my tip because I feel like that is a major trigger for a lot of people. I think that is a great jumpstart into being more whole and taking care of yourself.

ONY: I appreciate you utilizing your platform to bring awareness to someone even like me who, you know, is on this journey every day trying to get healthier and inspire others around me. I’m always like, here, eat this. They, as long as you’re gonna eat it, you don’t even know what it is. That’s why it’s scary. So you need to know what you’re eating.

DG: To touch on that. Any box, bottle, I don’t care if you put it in front of me the first thing I’m doing is flipping it over to the back immediately. I’m trying to see what is inside everything, I don’t care. It can have the prettiest picture on the box. I’m picking it up and I’m flipping it over like I need to know what it is.

ONY: I appreciate it as this is Women’s History Month. I’m so glad I’m able to celebrate with you. You are making history, you are a trailblazer. Um, and again, thank you so much for using your platform ’cause you are changing people’s lives and you know, your story, your brand is very needed. So thank you so much.

To learn more about Dreka Gates’ endeavors in the beauty, wellness and cannabis industry, be sure to follow her on Instagram @drekagates and visit her official website here.

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TappedApp creates a new AI to have a record label at your fingertips.

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Brace yourself – a revolution in the music industry is coming. TappedAI, the world’s first AI-powered record label, is poised to overhaul the status quo and catapult independent artists to success.

Brought to you by Tapped App, the trailblazing platform shaking up entertainment, TappedAI represents an unprecedented fusion of technology and music. With its arsenal of futuristic AI tools, this fiercely artist-centric label is about to change the game for indie musicians.

TappedAI was created by visionaries John Naylor and Ilias Anwar to smash the barriers holding back unsigned talent. For too long, major labels have silenced emerging artists lacking the money to fund competitive teams and marketing budgets. But no more.

TappedAI arms indie artists with the infrastructure, insights and support needed to thrive independently. Its artificial intelligence systems empower musicians to make data-driven decisions about branding, content strategy, and audience targeting – catapulting careers to new heights.

This virtual team provides the comprehensive guidance historically reserved for chart-topping acts:

Manager – Oversee career strategy and daily operations
A&R – Discover talent and develop creative vision
Marketer – Lead branding, promotions and growth
Graphic Designer – Craft visual assets and merchandise
Publicist – Shape an iconic artist image
Stylist – Curate looks for photoshoots and performances
Lawyer – Handle contracts and business affairs

But unlike labels seeking to dominate creative direction, TappedAI amplifies the artist’s vision.

The revolution is here. As TappedAI disrupts the status quo, a new era is dawning – one where technology blows open doors for independent artists. With this label-defying label, the next Adele or Ed Sheeran won’t get left behind.

TappedAI is set to ignite a movement where indie musicians shape their futures. Its seismic impact will ripple through the music business. The question is not if, but how quickly this AI-powered juggernaut will transform the landscape. A storm is brewing.

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