Alex Melnick

Alex Melnick has 7 articles published.

The Unstoppable Power of Rihanna

in Entertainment/Uncategorized by


It seems like April is the month of Rihanna! Here’s a brief rundown of what RiRi has been up to this month!

Work has been at no.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for nine weeks, thus  putting her past  the Beatles for most weeks spent at number one! She’s also at third most ever singles that got to spot number one!


She’s also killing it in the makeup world. Last week, Ri signed a 10 million dollar deal with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s imageKendo division for her own makeup line called “Fenty Beauty by Rihanna.” Don’t get too crazy- the line is out in Fall 2017.  Rihanna also coached a gay fan come out to his family last week, and also was in Tribeca’s opening night doc The First Monday and by all reports stole the show. Go Rihanna go!






Class is in Session: Prof

in Pop Culture/Video by

This July 2nd, a bunch of tweens and teens will be getting on their skinny jeans and eyeliner because Vans Warped Tour is coming to Orlando!  If you have some free time, you actually should go too to see weird quirky Minneapolis rapper Prof. Sing-songy, upbeat, and hilarious, Prof would be perfect to listen to while drinking a beer in the sun.  Imagine if The Butthole Surfers and Sublime had a baby, and that baby had mad talent for finding soundbites to go with his rap hooks. It’s goofy, it’s fun, it’s good music.  Prof in 2012 was named one of Minneopolis’s best rappers and this year has been chosen to perform at much of Warped Tour’s 2016 run. Check him out.



The Grand Collab: An Interview with Sandra Quinlan

in Articles/Business/Entertainment/Events/Interviews/News/Pop Culture by
Photo by Sandra Quinlan

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Grand Collab. Perhaps you’ve been to Will’s Pub  in Orlando’s Mills 50 District on the last Sunday of the month. But do you really know what the Grand Collab is? We sat down with Sandra Quinlan, one of co-founders of this multi-genre explosion event to find out more about the greatest music showcase in Orlando that our readers might be missing.

The Loud Lifestyle: What is The Grand Collab?

Sandra Quinlan: The Grand Collab is a multi-genre showcase that my friend Chris Mendez (aka DJ Cub of the VLA) started back in November of 2014. The shows are held periodically (generally on a bimonthly basis, but sometimes at different intervals) at Will’s Pub and feature 5-6 musical acts. Local emcee Lauren ‘TKO’ Rohan is our awesome host and DJ Cub is our resident DJ. We also occasionally feature live visual art or the occasional vintage popup shop by Dayglo Diva.

TLL: How did you come up with this idea?

SQ: Cub came up with the name for the event and the concept was spawned following a show I put together featuring Cub’s former band Deaf 2 the Industry, Lake Worth punk band Everymen, and local hip hop trio Table for Three. That particular show was held at Uncle Lou’s and we were stoked that the varied bill was so well received by the audience as a whole. It was after that show that Cub and I decided we wanted to collaborate to form a showcase that would bring a variety of different musical genres to the table, and consequently a variety of different listeners to the audience.

Art by Nico Suave, photo by Sandra Quinlan

TLL: Why do you love hip-hop?

SQ:  Given that both Cub and I are both big hip hop fans, we knew it was important to incorporate that into the Grand Collab on a very consistent basis. This is why we’ve made it a point to include at least one hip hop act per showcase. I love hip hop for a variety of reasons, but I feel the strongest reason is because it is both an empowering force and a communal one. As for it being empowering, hip hop has long provided a voice for those society might have otherwise tried to keep voiceless. Like with punk music, hip hop is the voice of the underdog. It has the power to teach, inspire, empower, or just make you dance. As for it being community oriented, hip hop is far more than just a musical genre- it is a culture that Afrika Bambaataa of the Zulu Nation is credited with breaking down into five different elements: DJing, Emceeing, Breaking (b-boy/girl culture), Graph Writing (graffiti artists) and Knowledge. I have a ton of respect for this culture and feel it’s important for the Grand Collab bill to feature hip hop artists who haven’t totally lost touch with this culture.

TLL: What is the best part of the Grand Collab?

My favorite part of the Grand Collab is its ability to tear down the invisible walls that tend to separate music lovers from good music because of the generally clique-y nature of most music scenes. Don’t get me wrong, these so-called clique-y music scenes are beautiful in their own light, as they often bring about this homey sense of belonging among likeminded audience members. I just think it’s important to expand your horizons and expose yourself to different types of music from time to time. In doing so, you can become more open minded and also experience the offerings of other types of music. What is the worst part of it? Honestly, I think the worst part of it is the fact that our show has always been held on a Sunday night. While I truly believe the Grand Collab is one of those Sunday night gems, if you will, convincing people that our showcase is more appealing than a lazy Sunday at home can be extremely tricky.

TLL: What’s your ultimate dream for it?

SQ: While the ultimate dream for the Grand Collab is something myself and Cub are still in the process of cultivating, my current dream for the Grand Collab is for more people to realize its potential and come out to the shows. As with any showcase, the Grand Collab could not exist without an audience. My dream is for the Grand Collab to be an event in which music lovers of all walks of life can connect over good music (and good drinks, of course).

Check out Grey 8’s!

in Uncategorized by

Grey 8’s are  a Miami garage rock band, and bring with them not only the hazy Miami sunshine but all the Miami noir. They sound alternatively menacing and like you’re soaking up the sun on South Beach.  It’s cheerful ear candy for the cynical.  The band consists of  Danny Burns (Guitar/vocals), Dres David (Drums), László Piringer (Bass) and they cite their influence from the Delta’s Bukka White to Iggy Pop.  It’s easy to on paper write off the Grey 8’s as another SoFlo indie band but the Grey 8’s are distinctly different due to László’s Hungarian born sensibilities and the warbly, ominous vibes.  They’ve also played and collabrated with rap groups. Catch them playing in Orlando sometime, or give them a listen when you’re in the mood to wear all black while walking on the beach.

The Dosti Music Project

in Business/Dance/Electronic/World/World by

Every spring, The Atlantic Center for the Arts ( Located in New Smyrna Beach) brings together ten applicant musicians from the United States, India, & Pakistan  to take part in The Dosti Music project! This fellowship  gives its participants the resources to spend a month creating hybrid music and going on tour together to share their unique cultural fusion sound.  The music  that results from fellows ranges from folk to hip-hop to traditional Pakistani instruments and old school Indian pop music and is recorded on a CD released each year!

The Dosti Music project is an initiative of the United States Embassy in Islamabad, and is produced by Found Sound Nation. It is now in its second year. The fellowship focuses on how music can build bridges and overcome  help fear of others different from you. It’s a novel concept: beat-making as diplomacy. This project is so cool because it puts people like Pakistani producer Bilal Khan in the same room with people like NOLA saxophonist Aurora Nealand and Indian singer and women’s empowerment advocate Mirande Shah.

We really encourage Orlando rappers to apply for the 2017 cycle in a few months! It’s a great opportunity that will connect you to
people and really help your game! What could be better than a blending of cultures to make crazy beats?

Women’s (Rap) History Month!

in Lifestyle/Lists/Music by


Happy Women’s History Month, Loud Lifestyle readers! This is my favorite month of the year! To celebrate, I’ve created a playlist about one of my other favorite things: female created rap & hip-hop. Women often get left out of the annuals of rap history ( Hello, Welcome to Compton movie) and female MC’s often fail to receive the accolades their male counterparts are often afforded. That’s messed up, and to try and fix some of that messed-upness: Here’s an awesome playlist.

I also want to put it out there that this playlist and article is by no means a definitive list! These ladies are just my favorite ladies, and are by no means the whole pantheon of female rap heros. I hope if anything, this playlist inspires you to dig deeper into rap & hip-hop and start listening to and for who often gets left out: Women.

For example, take Boss. (Born Lichelle Laws) A 1990’s gangsta rapper, Boss released a Russell Simmons produced truly excellent debut album. Then, she never released a CD again. You see, it turns out Ms. Laws lied about her entire backstory and was actually a private school upper class kid. She was embarrassed, to say the least. Boss later moved to Dallas and became a radio DJ and has a few mixtapes and collabs floating around.

Alright, so maybe Boss isn’t the best example of Badass Female MC’s. What about Eve?

Copyright: Amarpaul Kalirai
Copyright: Amarpaul Kalirai

Philly native Eve actually is the woman who can do it all: actress, holds the first Grammy win for a rap song ever, international jet-setter, and is also a fashion designer. Eve also played a character named Rosa Sparks in the movie that sparked a thousand girl-crushes: Whip It. For that, she’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

On the topic of women who I don’t know if I want to be or be with,  I just heard that The Lady of Rage is apparently going to star as herself in a movie about the hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound. I’m always excited about anything she does (even her role on The Steve Harvey show)  because The Lady of Rage is arguably one of the best female rappers to have ever existed. I cannot recommend her 1997 CD Necessary Roughness enough.

Photo from Angel Haze's official Facebook
Photo from Angel Haze’s official Facebook

I noticed as I wrote this article that when I think of great female rappers, women who got their start in the ‘90’s come to mind. One hand, this might be because I’m a relentless ‘90’s music nerd but on the other hand it might because misogyny in the music industry has a way of perpetuating itself throughout the decades. There’s need to be more hype about young female rappers. Sure, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, M.I.A, and other superstars are in the spotlight right now and what seems like always (and rightfully so) but there are absolutely equally as talented rappers from the millennial generation too.  Like Angel Haze.

Angel Haze hails from Detroit, is a self-taught speaker of Tsalagi, and did not encounter much of the secular world (due to being raised in a cult-like church) until she was 16 years old.  A queer agender person, Angel Haze infuses her perspective into her work to create an entire world in her tracks unlike any other rapper. Similar to Angel Haze in their outsider status is Awkafina. A Queens native, Awkafina is humorous and irreverent. Her personality and is unmistakable and comes through the strongest when she talks about the experience of being Asian American & a rapper.  Finally, a hip-hop group that is perhaps most close to my heart is Heart Streets. I’ve been listening to Heart Streets since the day I started college and now as I transition out of school Heart Streets has become even more meaning-filled to me. I love their retro chillwave sound and I love feeling like when I listen to them, I’m listening in on a time machine taking me to the past, different presents, and futures. In a way, that’s what listening to female MC’s and artists means to me: listening in on collective female history. Happy Women’s History Month, y’all!

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