Concrete Rose: Six Rising Entrepreneurs From The Garden State

Concrete Rose: Six Rising Entrepreneurs From The Garden State

Over time, I’ve found that there are many people like me who work behind the scenes.
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To know me is to know that I am from Jersey. I am not from New Jersey. I am from Jersey. It’s one word pronounced with six y’s at the end. To know me is to also know that I love the entertainment industry. As a child, I begged my mother for piano lessons after hearing Alicia Keys play the keys. From there, I wanted to dance like Chris Brown, rap like Pusha T and ultimately, I ended up writing poetry. Through all of my evolution, I ended up behind the scenes. I ended up planning poetry events, concerts and ultimately, writing about it on websites like this. Over time, I’ve found that there are many people like me who work behind the scenes. Despite being overshadowed by trends and on-stage talents from nearby cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore, Jersey has produced backstage talents that often get overlooked by the general masses. Being a proud Jersey native, I’m not cool with this. I want my Jersey brethren to get their credit, so here are just a few names of people who work behind the scenes to make the entertainment industry what it is.

Steve “Steve-O” Carless

You may not know his name, but you definitely know his work. In his ten plus year career, Carless has worked with Big Sean, YG, Young Jeezy and 2 Chainz. Not to mention, he was the A&R for my favorite rap album of 2016, Darkest Before Dawn by Pusha T. However, his success is not a surprise to anyone. Carless got his start by working with the legendary Neptunes production crew. It’s hard not to be great after learning from Pharrell.

Eddie “Shy” Timmons

Eddie “Shy” Timmons is a songwriter and producer who is now signed to Sony music. He is most known for his work with Fetty Wap on his smash hit, “Trap Queen”. He continues to work with Fetty Wap, as well as rising artist, Bianca Bonnie.

Neil Dominique

He’s another name you may not know, but if you’ve been in your feelings lately, you may know his client. He goes by the name of Bryson Tiller. Dominique hit the jackpot in the music industry when he signed on to manage Tiller almost two years ago. With an artist like Tiller on his resume, it’s safe to say he’s got more W’s in the near future.

David Ali

Once again, here’s a name you may not know. Before venturing out to Cali, this music mogul was a native of the Garden State. Today, he is an alum of Interscope Records who founded his own entertainment group entitled “Above Ground”, which is the home of west coast rapper, IAMSU, and the HBK Gang. To top it all off, he has the pleasure of managing R&B songstress, Kehlani.

Karen Civil

The Elizabeth, New Jersey OG is notorious for being pretty much everywhere in Hip-Hop culture. From working with Meek Mill to J. Cole to Drake to Nicki Minaj, she’s pretty much anywhre there’s a story. Her website, KarenCivil.com, has garnered a major following as her, Live Civil, brand continues to grow and grow.

Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins

Hailing from my home county of Somerset County, New Jersey, Brandon “Jinx” is an editorial producer for the lifestyle brand known as Complex. Only in his 20’s, Jinx has done it all from working at Mass Appeal to interviewing Wale. He’s a rising star that could be coming to a TV screen near you one day soon.

Gary Vaynerchuk


Let’s be clear, Gary Vaynerchuk was not born in Jersey, but he was raised in the Garden State and got his business start in Edison, New Jersey. Vaynerchuk is the author of six books, early investor in Tumblr, the founder of VaynerMedia, which provides social media and strategy services to Fortune 500 Companies like Pepsi and the former owner of the $50 million dollar wine retailer known as the Wine Library. Vaynerchuk is also the self-proclaimed future owner of the New York Jets.
Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

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7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

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I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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