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I am Strong Island

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i-am-strong-island-02When you think of modern renaissance men, what individuals come to mind? Off the top of your head you might say an actor or filmmaker who can sing, dance, act and write? A musician who has successfully crossed over into film or television? The definition of a renaissance man is defined simply as being an individual who is knowledgeable and interested in a great-many things. DC, something of a legend in the graffiti and hip-hop circles, is very much a renaissance man. I was fortunate enough to chat with this modern-day renaissance man.

In the short time I had with DC, we covered a ton of topics, from his time as a graffiti artist, to published author, to his clothing store and to his latest project – I Am Strong Island.

“I grind a lot. I’m the type of person who’s been involved in the music industry for a very long time and I’ve always been a person who’s been dedicated to helping other artists, helping professionals and giving back to the community,” DC said. “Whether you’re an underground artist or a public figure, whatever I can do to help the community’s cause, I try to do that. I’ve always been very community-minded and I’ve always had the opportunity to help people out.”

DC, who’s also the co-author of a fantastic graffiti book entitled New York City Graffiti, thrives in giving back to the community through his various efforts. He also is the proprietor of a clothing and apparel store called Central Station in Baldwin, which is loaded with the latest trends and styles. The store features some of the finest, sharpest graffiti work in the area, and DC’s passion for the art is evident when you chat with him.

“I started a graffiti team called Destiny Children in the mid-80’s, that consisted of three of us,” DC said. “We were from all over Long Island. The makeup of the team was multi-racial, which was great, as we’re three different races coming together, almost by destiny, hence the name. We took our talents, conquered Long Island, the handball courts, bodegas, stores, all over Long Island. Then we moved to the subways in the Bronx, where we took that over, too. We did something like 300-plus trains. We were the only graffiti artists in history to ever do that.”

DC is a fascinating guy. When he speaks, he has a certain level of authority without belittling you. He’s a man of experience and it shows. He measures his words carefully and brings you in with his stories of publishing, graffiti and the community he cares about so deeply.

“I’ve been a small-business owner in the community for over twenty years,” DC said. This is primarily how he stays on top of what the community and those around him need, politically, socially and more. “It’s probably the perfect way to keep your ear to the ground to get a sense of just what is needed in a given location, by having a popular store where individuals can come in, purchase your wares and voice their opinion on what’s going on in the community.

“As I see in the community, there are people who will come to you that have needs,” DC said. “Certain things. People will come to you and tell you about certain things that need to be done. I love helping people out, because I’ve got such extensive roots in the area. I’ve got the connections to help make things happen.”

I Am Strong Island is one of the most integral aspects of DC’s story. The Long Island connection is incredibly important to DC, even to the point where he created a fantastic YouTube video highlighting Long Island’s famous musical roots. I Am Strong Island has expanded into providing a concert series, and rap battles all over the country, through Enj Battlegrounds.

“The rap battle arena has grown immensely,” DC said. “We’ve taken the battles to Cleveland, Vegas, outside of Long Island. Every aspect of what we’re trying to do with the music, with the concert series, it’s all so important to me and my label, Concept Music.”
DC will be keeping busy with I Am Strong Island cigars (by Cohiba), the I Am Strong Island Awards (coming soon), and future releases from his label.

INTERVIEW BY: ROBERT OTTONE

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Dawson Elite Bullies | Standard American Bully Breeder

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Dawson Elite Bullies

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
My name is Christian Dawson and my kennel partner is Michael Dawson. Our kennel, Dawson Elite Bullies, is located in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed.
We breed standard and classic American Bullies. I was inspired when I saw my first bully. I was like, “I need one of my own.” When I purchased my first bully, I noticed a bunch of people doing improper breeding. So I thought I can change this. The result was producing quality companions.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
In the morning, we feed our dogs kibble with coconut oil, and in the afternoon we feed them raw food with coconut oil.

What is your favorite bloodline?
On our yard, we have Gottiline and Razors Edge. We are seeking to incorporate the Mikeland bloodline.

Do you currently show, any of your dogs?
Yes, we currently show our female Krystal, and we used to show our foundation male Koba. Many of Koba’s offspring will be hitting the show ring next year.

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
Just be patient things will work out.

What do you think is the most difficult thing for people in the bullygame to overcome?
Finding a good foundation to start a kennel. A lot of people come into the game thinking, oh I’m going to go buy a male, then buy a female, and then I’ll have grand champion pups. Don’t get me wrong I used to think that too, but overtime I got more educated.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
Be patient, study their bloodlines, and see which ones they want to work with.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
Ron Ramos, because he has given me so many tips, and he is very good at what he does. He is very knowledgeable with it comes to the bully breed.

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments, in 2017 so far.
When our female Krystal took first place in the 9-12 month standard female class, and reserved best standard female at the Allentown Bully Convention 5, which was the first time she showed in that class.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
I want cleaner and more correct dogs. I want the world to know how great the breed is, as far as companionship and temperament.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
At our kennel we focus on building a great dog to represent the standard American Bully. We don’t focus on building the bulkiest dog with the widest chest. All our dogs can function properly, and have great temperaments. We are working hard at elevating the breed.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
I love to fish and play golf.

What motto do you live by?
Be the type of person you want to meet.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
I love Bully Girl Magazine, and think that it is growing more and more everyday. This is a great way to educate people outside of the bully world about the breed. It will also shed light on people that are doing positive things to elevate the breed.

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Iron Bulldogs | French Bulldog Breeder – Germany

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Iron Bulldogs - Germany

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
We are located in Germany NRW Rees am Niederrhein, and our kennel name is Iron Bulldogs.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
We breed French bulldogs. We love this breed, because they fit perfectly into our family. We breed sporty, slimmer dogs, with longer backs, and more nose.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
Our breeders all get the same food. Vollmers Anti-allergy with Reindeer Meat. Our puppies get a little bit of everything – wet food, dry food, meat, etc. This way they get to know everything.

Iron Bulldogs - GermanyWhat is your favorite bloodline?
Of course, our own bloodline is our favorite.

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
Breeding should not be taken lightly. You should always act for the sake of the respective breed. Breedings should be well thought out, and you should have a goal. You main goal should always be health. Breeding costs a lot of time and money.

What do you think, is the most difficult thing for people in the bullygame to overcome?
The most difficult thing to overcome are other breeders, and the envy. You need a thick coat and must make your decision. There aren’t many honest friends amongst successful breeders.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
I’ve already been down this road. Now I have a small selection of breeders, whom I call friends and that I choose to exchange with.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
I do not take anyone as an example. No-one can really look into the cards and you never really know who is genuine. I admire honest breeders who have come to a goal through their long-term work, and have not just bought their way to the top by the work of others.

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments, in 2017 so far.
Most of all this year I am looking forward to our still outstanding cast of our own generation. From this litter we of course will reserve a puppy.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
I would like to see everyone being fair to each other, and see more respect for health evaluations.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
Class instead of mass. Our puppies are a part of the family, just like our breeders. We are very transparent, and maintain very close contact with our puppy parents.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
We don’t have much time for other hobbies besides the dogs and the family. Dog breeding is our biggest hobby. I’m still interested in photography, but only involving the dogs.

What motto do you live by?
Live and let live. One’s life is far too important to deal with the other.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
Bully Girl Magazine has a good approach. They have very interesting and informative content that runs worldwide. Keep it up!

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SoFlo Bullies – Florida

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SoFlo Bullies - Florida

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
Our names are Brian Moore, and Ted Lane of SoFlo Bullies, located in Miami Florida.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
Brian: We breed American Bullies, (pockets,standard classic) and English bulldogs. The first time I saw an American bully was back in 2008, and fell in love with the massive body structure.
Ted: Brian introduced me to the breed showing me different dogs online.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
We feed a grain-free diet using Taste of the Wild, Victor dog food, and some Raw from time to time.

What is your favorite bloodline?
Brian: Louis V Line, Remyline, and Razors Edge.
Ted: Razors Edge and Louis V Line.

Do you currently show, any of your dogs?
Yes, we attend as many bully shows as we can throughout the year!

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
Brian: Stick to what you like and get a mentor to help you out with breeding, whelping litters, etc.
Ted: Do good business. Don’t rush. Take your time, and study your bloodline.

What do you think, is the most difficult thing for people in the bullygame to overcome?
Brian: A lot of people are chasing trends.
Ted: There is a lot of bad breeding. People aren’t studying the bloodlines that they choose to use.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
Brian: Believe in your vision and don’t chase the hot new bully in the game.
Ted: Take your time. Don’t rush! Know your bloodlines.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
Brian: Evans from Pompano Bully Connect. Alex and Jose from Miami Sunshine Bullies. They both have a vision to breed clean and correct bullies, and they answer any questions we have for them. We’re just lucky to have two awesome kennel owners as our mentors.
Ted: 100

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments, in 2017 so far.
Our female Zoe Lady won 1st place at the Southern Bully Bash in Orlando. That was a proud day for us here at SoFlo Bullies.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
Bring back correct, clean bullies and the love.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
Brian: We breed what we like, and we stay as correct as possible. We don’t chase trends.
Ted: We stress being ethical and trustworthy.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
Brian: Just spending time with our families.
Ted: 100.

What motto do you live by?
Brian: Live Life Take Care LLTC.
Ted: The SoFlo way of life.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
Brian: Bully Girl Magazine is a great outlet for our breed. They showcase different styles of bully breed dogs.
Ted: I love the fact that Bully Girl Magazine allows small kennels the chance to voice there opinion.

Thanks from us, SoFlo Bullies. We appreciate you guys!

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