Season 2

Season 2 Wrap-Up

Ronald and Donte’ reflect on the podcast up until the last released episode and what happened in life in between. 

D’Wayne Edwards

D’Wayne Edwards is the founder of Pensole Footwear Design Academy, located in Portland, OR. He’s spent over 30 years in the industry, from working with Tupac and Biggie at Karl Kani to working with the GOAT, Michael Jordan. After spending 10 years working at Jordan, D’Wayne decided to start a school for footwear designers to help the next generation and has established one of the top schools in the world for Footwear Design. Donte’ not only got to learn under him but interview him for the podcast. Listen as Donte’ and D’Wayne talk about the journey that led D’Wayne to Portland.

  • 0:30: The Beginnings
  • 3:58: Baseball Cards to Sneakers
  • 5:10: the Reebok Design Competition
  • 7:30: Fast food to Footwear
  • 12:05: Footwear meets Hip-Hop
  • 15:33: The Advent of Sity and Skechers
  • 16:58: The Transition to Nike/Jordan
  • 20:41: Meeting Jordan
  • 23:33: The Nu Retro II
  • 24:21: Melo and the .5 Series
  • 29:33: Designing Signature Jordans
  • 31:29: Innovation and “The Experience”
  • 37:11: Founding Pensole
  • 45:28: How to Attend Pensole
  • 47:30: The Future of Pensole
  • 51:53: Bringing Industry Technology to Pensole
  • 54:07: The Favorites

Blake Thomas

Blake Thomas is one of the best freelance photographers on the wrestling circuit. He has worked with the likes of; Mia Yim, Veda Scott, NXT’s Nikki Cross and Baltimore Legend, Ruckus. Over the years, he’s also gotten into management and production for different leagues across the nation. Ronald and Donte’ catch up with Blake to talk about his story and ultimately striving to work for the WWE.

  • 9:21: Power of Friends Motivating Friends 
  • 10:33: Humble Beginnings 
  • 14:20: The Evolution of Love for Wrestling
  • 21:45: What Makes a Good Wrestling Match
  • 31:40: Watching the Growth of Your Friends
  • 35:42: The Importance of Supporting Friends
  • 44:52: Burnout 
  • 47:15: Who’s Next in the Game
  • 51:50: Attending Youtube University
  • 55:29: The Favorites 
  • 1:03:02: The BRNDD 10

BRNDD Live: BCMakes Series for BCPL

Baltimore County Public Libraries invited our hosts Donte’ Cotton and Ronald James to host one of their Inspire Nights to talk about BRNDD, how they started the podcast, what’s it like being a creative and what challenges they faced, and what makes them successful. 

Pierre & Jamyla Bennu

Pierre and Jamyla Bennu are the owners of Oyin Handmade and Exit the Apple. This New York couple migrated to Baltimore over a decade ago and have been a thriving part of the scene ever since. Jamyla being the brains behind Oyin’s natural products and Pierre being an all-around artist, the two have an amazing story. They were fortunate enough to celebrate their 18th anniversary sharing their story with us.

  • 9:35 18 years, 18 years!
  • 12:52 I make stuff; I do art
  • 15:09 discovering of Fullness of self
  • 21:44 The Creative Process
  • 25:32 What is Oyin Handmade
  • 31:00 Shea Butter Twitter represents
  • 37:03 Ethics and Integrity
  • 42:26 The Dream Hammer
  • 46:30 The Original Netflix
  • 48:28 From New York to Baltimore
  • 53:21 Exit[ing] the Apple
  • 1:02:20 The Culture Ambassador
  • 1:05:14 The birth of Bennu
  • 1:08:23 the Growth of Oyin and Exit the Apple
  • 1:17:25 Hip-Hop is like Buddhism
  • 1:21:46 The BRNDD 10 & Favorites

Exit the Apple Socials

Oyin Handmade Socials

Ivan Martin

Ivan Martin is a Duval, FL transported to Maryland via the Navy. He’s a working comic, teacher and Festival founder. He’s done shows up and down the sea board and has had some great experiences with other rising comics such as Quincy Jones and Jordan Rock. Ronald and Donte’ talk to Ivan about his journey as well as his upcoming Baltimore Comedy Festival!

  • 4:10: I’m happy…and broke
  • 5:56: What was your 1st hit joke?
  • 10:39: Stepping into new comedy territory
  • 16:50: the Hypocrisy of Black Comedy
  • 21:01: the importance of a good crowd
  • 27:06: The love of the art
  • 29:56: Morality in Success
  • 34:42: Young Gifted Niggas
  • 38:49: Technology and live comedy
  • 44:38: Hecklers
  • 47:37: Enjoying contemporaries
  • 48:46 Baltimore Comedy Festival
  • 55:22: How media covers Baltimore Comedy
  • 58:10: Meeting Comedian Quincy Jones
  • 1:02:59: The BRNDD 10
BRNDD 10 Playlist

Dino Hatfield(of Baltimore Sneaker Show)

Dino Hatfield has become a pioneer in the age of sneaker news. He has broken numerous stories, from the Yeezy 650 first ever leaks to the Jordan 8 releasing and informing the world a whole year before it’s release. He has taken his social platform and set himself apart from any other outlet available. With the help of his team, 7 years ago, he also established Baltimore’s Premier sneaker event, the Baltimore Sneaker Show. A show with so much buzz, that Under Armour has given the event its own shoe collab. Donte’ and Ronald sit down with Dino and break down all this and more.

  • 3:45: How’d it Start
  • 8:00: The importance of Safety and Insurance
  • 13:54: First show that almost didn’t happen
  • 20:50: The Culture of Collecting
  • 27:42 The Rise of Sneaker Twitter
  • 31:38: The Evolution of Sneaker Copping
  • 34:57: The Art of Storytelling & the Rise and Fall of Nike SBs
  • 39:22: Galaxy Foams and the Peak of Sneaker Hype
  • 40:38: Baltimore Sneaker Show x Under Armour
  • 48:26: Confidence x Research = Success
  • 52:04: The end of the Under Armour beef
  • 55:23: 7 for 7
  • 59:00: The Power of Nike: Fusions vs. Countdowns
  • 1:05:12: Kanye’s influence on Sneaker Design
  • 1:10:42: Supreme and the Era of Collabs
  • 1:19:19: Being First vs Being Right
  • 1:21:30: Dino vs. Adidas
  • 1:38:26: Dino “the Scammer” Saga
  • 1:39:36: Dino Vs. Nike
  • 1:42:55: The Sneaker News to Trump all Sneaker News
BRNDD 10 Playlist

Ericka Blount Danois

Ericka Blount Danois is an award winning author who has worked as a staff writer, editor, freelancer, and stringer for a number of publications including: Spin, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, and The Source. She also has written a non-fiction book on the history of Soul Train, entitled, Love, Peace and Soooooouul! The BRNDD hosts caught up with her to talk about her career over the past couple decades; from interviewing Pac to meeting former Cuban President Fidel Castro. 

  • 15:01: Behind the Scenes of All Eyez On Me and Rooming with Benny Boom
  • 23:40 Journalistic fairness and the story behind Little Melvin
  • 29:45 Working for Vibe and Covering Nas before illMatic
  • 38:32 Writing for the Legendary Source
  • 41:38 The world of Freelance Writers
  • 44:29 Writing Love, Peace and Soooooouul!
  • 51:25 the Transition from Traditional Print to Digital and Blogs
  • 54:26 Black Comedy
  • 1:02:15 Unsung Stories and Charlie Murphy
  • 1:08:28 Sports Figures and 30 for 30
  • 1:11:52 Interviewing Fidel Castro
  • 1:17:18 Fake News
  • 1:23:00 Where Were you When Prince Died?
  • 1:30:41 The Impact of Love Peace & Soul
  • 1:32:28 Advice to Upcoming Writers; is it still fun for you?

Sam(of Sam Styled You)

Sam is is a business owner, mother, wife and creative director, all of which she is successful with. She She owns New Vintage by Sam, an apparel and accessories company, Sam Styled you, a personal styling company as well as her mommy blog, Dressed in Motherhood. Coming from a corporate background, she decided she needed more to feel fulfilled in life. Join Ronald and Donte’ as they talk with Sam about being an Entrepreneurial mommy and how to handle it all. 

  • 5:40 – The Psychology of Self Image
  • 8:32 – The Transition into being a business owner and its Difficulties
  • 11:42 – The balance of Motherhood and Business
  • 16:36 – Movies that inspire Fashion 
  • 18:44 – Indie is the Wave of the Future 
  • 21:02 – Music and How is Spurs Daily Inspiration
  • 26:30 – What is Dressed in Motherhood & advice for Entrepreneurial Mommies 
  • 34:30 – The Importance of breaking Societal Norms & Black Love
  • 41:30 – The Favorites
  • 45:11 – Get Out, The Commercialism of Black Culture, & White Mediocrity
BRNDD 10 Playlist

Dressed in Motherhood

New Vintage By Sam

Kalilah Wright(of Mess in a Bottle)

Kalilah Wright is the founder of mess in a bottle. A company that makes inspirational shirts and packages them in a special bottle. The brand has been going strong a little over a year now and has even been recognized by the likes of Mark Cuban.


Brian(of Creative Culture Lifestyle)

Ronald and Donte’ are back for Season 2 with a 2-hour premiere! Creative Culture lifestyle is a brand started by Brian in 2016 that focuses on black males’ beards with a line of natural care products. They’ve been featured on news channels from Baltimore to Philly, sold in several beauty supply stores across the state of Maryland and their online presence is ever-growing. This year, Brian be launching his non-profit H.U.S.T.L.E.R. and all that and more is discussed in this episode


BRNDD 10 Playlist