Turning the Church Up: An interview with Brittany Shontel

When you think about religion you usually don’t associate it with being "lit". Some people don’t think of it being fun at all. Brittany Shontel’s mission is to bring the fun to the word of God. A former club surfer, Doughboyz Cashout stan, and avid twerker have turned her energy into making her and others walk with Christ lit.

What is Pretty Lit Ministries?
A three-part ministry that includes tees, a podcast and outreach. It's for the people like myself, who love Kendrick, but can worship to Kirk. A ministry for those who know they need God, but don't know where to start, or they feel like they aren't in a place where God wants them the way they currently are. Pretty Lit Ministries is what I needed 5 years ago.

What were you doing before Pretty Lit?
I had a ministry called Pretty Girls Praise, from 2013-2016 - but I wanted to expand beyond women, so I changed it. Before that, I was living my life. I loved partying, going out, drinking, etc. I wasn't really involved in anything, I was just existing.

You are a huge fan of music, what artists inspire you?
Kendrick Lamar. He is my number on inspiration in music. I love how is unapologetic about who he is, and his relationship with God has always been mentioned in his music. I think that's why I love him so much. He's planting seeds in people's hearts without forcing the word on them. That matters - I pray I can get to that point, where I can truly be me while still shining God's light. I also love how private he is - sometimes I overshare, and it comes back to bite me, then I think like "dang I should've taken the Kdot approach on that and keep it to myself." Lastly, his growth was not overnight. I recently saw him at the palace, and all I was thinking was jeez - the last time I saw him was at Chene park & now He's in an arena like this. Perseverance.

I love PartyNextDoor - not only does he make amazing music for himself, but he's behind so many songs people love (Wild Thoughts, Work, Sex with Me) - and unless you look into it you would not know. You don't always have to be the face of something to shine. It motivates me to be okay with being behind the scenes.

I also love Lecrae, Cardi B, & Kirk Franklin.

How do you incorporate music with Pretty Lit?
Mostly on my podcast, Pretty Lit the Podcast. Every week we do a Righteous & Ratchet Song of the week. It's our way of introducing our listeners to new music. I believe in having a healthy balance -and I also believe God can speak in whatever way He best sees fit. The entire theme and vision for my last conference "Take Flight" was given to me while I was listening to Kanye's TLOP.

What inspired you to start a podcast?
My Executive Producer & Boss Friend, JG. He saw a need, and thought my ministry could fill it. I did not want to commit to a podcast and I told him no, several times. But eventually I saw what he saw so I said yes. I am so happy I did.

How do you hope to impact the world?
I've never thought about this. I pray my impact is positive - I want people to desire to shine brighter after meeting me. I hope to have my entire generation eager to pray, not only for themselves but for others. Most importantly, I hope my life impacts people to do what God has called them to do. I've done some things, seen somethings, & said some things - and NONE of my actions dimmed my light nor stop my purpose from being necessary for others. I want others to know - that is the same for them.

Do you receive criticism from other church people because of your high energy ministry?
Probably. Never to my face though...isn't that how it always is though? People hate that I say Righteous & Ratchet and use the word "Lit". I see the tweets and IG post. I don't care - I have to do what God tells me, and if I move in a way he hasn't instructed I have to deal with that from HIM. My ministry is for specific people, my mother has told me that since I decided to step into this - so I try to walk in that on a daily basis.

Where do you see yourself in a year?
Interesting... My first thought was engaged - but I am not ready for marriage just yet. I want to be in a position to give more - more love, more money, more of God, more experiences, etc. I see myself helping my Elise with her purpose, I see myself assisting my friend Sha'lyce in finding a building for her business idea. I see myself with the Dani, Breezy and the Peoples Choice interviewing Lecrae, and Sarah Jakes Roberts for Pretty Lit the Podcast. Prayerfully, I'll be less petty, a LITTLE less ratchet and a LOT more righteous.

Watch: Official Video for Rico Nasty’s Key Lime OG

“Keep that bitch on a leash or keep that bitch from round me”

raps the elaborate and colorful Rico Nasty aka Tacobella. The cute and spunky raptress is not here for games and will pop off on anyone. Key Lime OG’s simple beat and Rico Nasty’s energy and lyrics create a perfect song to hype you up to.

Check'er out below!

BbyMutha – RULES (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

The Black Marge Simpson — The Hoodrat Aphrodite

BbyMutha is a refreshing listen in a world full of similarities. This hip hop queen reminds me of Chyna White and Gangsta Boo form 36 Mafia. She gives you a classic southern cadence and lets you know the rules when fucking with these niggas. Her style is fresh, her flow is original, and her message is worth hearing.

Listen to her latest single “Rules” and fall in love.

Billionaire Sophia x Good Mornings

A lot of the music I hear lately is a 90s redo or the same style of everything else on the radio, but Billionaire Sophia’s Good Mornings single sounds nothing like you’ve been listening to. With sweet raps and even sweeter vocals this song and video makes you tap into your alternative side. The good vibes from this song will make you bump this every time you awake. Check it out below.

Art in Motion: Interview with Ambreia Stephens

Art comes in many forms: sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography and more. Most artists seldom stick to one form of art to express themselves, like Ambreia Stephens. This young lady is an amazing painter and has started her journey in tattooing. Her work has been showcased at The Baltimore Gallery, Riopelle Studio, Lithouse, and more. Incorporating her love of portraits, the human body, and her unique outlook she has been able to make a mark and will continue to blaze a colorful trail.

When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

I  decided that I wanted to be a full-time visual artist in December of 2015; it was right after a rocky breakup and losing a good job. Art is what kept me afloat that winter, been at it ever since...

What made you start tattooing?

I wanted my art to be a lasting impression. I want people to take it with them wherever they go..

How is a body different than a canvas?

Your canvas is alive and responsive so that always adds fun to your project! Your time is also limited when working on human canvas compared to leaving a canvas and returning to it at your leisure.

Who or what inspires you?

The city and my creative peers inspire me to be honest. You can find art everywhere in almost anything and that is how I get out of my creative slumps most of the time. Simply leaving the house, seeing people and the atmosphere helps. Working with Krissy The Butcher has definitely been a life changing experience as well! She is so full of life and creativity, it’s hard not to be inspired by her!

What is your role with Art with a Spark?

I'm the head instructor at Art With A Spark. My job is teaching people of all backgrounds that art can be enjoyable, whether you are a beginner or a Basquiat! Also, who doesn't like a smoke friendly paint class?

What has been your biggest achievement?

Being able to travel with my art has been one of my biggest dreams! So having the opportunity to be able to tattoo in Los Angeles for the Ladies Of Ink Tour has been an absolute blessing.

Where do you see yourself in a year?

Happy, healthy and expanding my brand in all ranges. Collaborations with more like-minded artists, more community functions, and Urban Truth Projects. Progression is always the goal. I'll still be tattooing and painting so I'll be traveling more to share my gift with people all over the world.

Layna Lavish x I Do

Layna Lavish is a Detroit beauty with matching bars, booty, and attitude to keep you enticed and make you a fan of hers. Her latest release “I Do” is just in time for the summer. Telling these bitches they can’t do it like she can, this is the perfect song to get ready to before you’re about to kill em at the club. After listening to this track I definitely kept repeating “I be making em mad. I be making em mad.” Whenever you need to feed your ego, play this track!

As Nasty As She Wants To Be: Cupcakke the Rapper

Coming straight from Chicago at the tender age of 19, Cupcakke has become an internet rap phenomenon. She has been traveling the country performing at sold out shows, going viral for her vulgar captions under her pictures and tweets, has over a million views on Youtube, and created a cult following.

I saw a video of hers called "Ace Hardware" where she spoke about her trials and tribulations as a child and other children and became interested. I quickly learned this female raptress not only rapped about empowering women, but she raps about police brutality, LGBTQ rights, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

 

With quotes like "I used my period blood to dye my hair" and "Beat this pussy up like Sharkeisha". She is definitely an acquired taste. She wears bold colors, a different hairstyle every week, and dances to the beat of her own drum. She dares to challenge the stigmas being "ladylike" by being crude, fearless, and hardcore. She speaks to crowds of people who typically keep their naughty thoughts in their head.

Check out her latest project Queen Elizabitch