Calling All Rappers: Problem x RapChat #S2Cypher Challenge by Lainney Dizon

If there’s anything I love about Hip-Hop, it’s the style and confidence you create. With Hip-Hop you either have it or you don’t. You either can talk about it or you can bring it. And what’s a better way to show you encompass both than with a freestyle? In celebration of Compton’s own Problem releasing the highly anticipated S2 project, complete with #S2Cyphers interlaced throughout the project featuring upcoming LA rappers including Saviii 3rd, Nick Grant and Rucci. Now, Rostrum Records is partnering with RapChat to turn around the S2 cypher to the fans for an interactive competition that’s off to show who’s really got bars and something to say? Other than bragging rights from being hand selected by Problem and team as the best cypher, the winner will also get flown out to Los Angeles and shoot their own S2 video. Sounds dope, right? Get in the game here.

Peep the full contest info below and Problem’s call for rappers on the rise:

Celebrating My 29th Birthday At Paris! Dreams Come True by Lainney Dizon

IMG_3043 2.JPG

Paris has always been on my bucket list and making it happen for my 29th birthday was a dream come true! We had four days in the city and I wanted to highlight some of the most memorable experiences I had while exploring the Parisian streets. From the pastries (which I can finally confirm now, are REALLY the best) to the fashion, people-watching and historical sites, the magic of the city is definitely something I'll be coming back to again. Hopefully, my future bae will be able to propose to me in this magical and romantic city, because I would definitely say yes. LOL. Without further ado, here's my recommendations for those looking to enjoy a European getaway to the most romantic city in the world: 


My favorite part of Paris is the people-watching. In the restaurants I would even notice that there would be more people on the patio rather than inside of the restaurant: Parisians really enjoy people-watching! In Paris, there's no rush, you truly experience the city and are present in the moment. During sunset, we enjoyed some crepes and wine with the views of the Eiffel Tower. There is a nearby crepe shop across from the fountains, Le Kiosque Des Fontaines, with sweet and savory crepes to enjoy while you're experiencing the sunset. Also, there are PLENTY of street vendors around selling champagne and beer. I would recommend haggling when buying from them, since a majority of them hike up the prices for tourists. I was able to get mine from 40 Euros to 8 Euros, because I'm cheap and a hustler. LOL. 



I cannot even express how necessary it is is experience this river cruise while you're in Paris. I would say this was probably Top 5 most magical moments of my life because I had the whole boat singing happy birthday to me while we were cruising along the Eiffel Tower. We purchased the Marina de Paris Seine River Cruise with 3-course meal through Paris City Vision for 41€ ($48) and it was a major highlight for the trip. For lunch we had a variety of choices including smoked salmon or a tasting plate of four starters. The main plate offered choices of roast chicken leg with parmesan risotto or cod loin fillet with asparagus cream (I'm getting hungry just reminiscing about this perfection). The dessert was also included the lunch which was your choice of all-chocolate sweet, fresh raspberries or a tasting plate composed of three desserts. Of course I had to take some pictures of the perfect plating: 

Exploring and Shopping at Champs-Élysées

For shopping in Paris, shopping at Champs-Elyees is a MUST. It's the Rodeo Drive of shopping in Paris and also has the flagship store of Louis Vuitton! Make sure you also stop by McDonald's for their macaroons. Wow, I never thought I'd say macaroons and McDonald's in the same sentence, but in Paris, it's LEGIT. 

McDonald's France takes their pastries seriously as well. So delicious! 

McDonald's France takes their pastries seriously as well. So delicious! 

Enjoy the views from the top of Arc de Triomphe

I would recommend purchasing your tickets online for the Arc de Triomphe in order to skip the line. You can do that on their official website here.  Tickets are 12€ ($14) and the views are worth it. From the top of the panoramic terrace your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris. Fun Fact: This historical monument was also the key place for major national events including being inaugurated in 1836 by French King, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire.

The view from the top of Arc De Triomphe! So breathtaking! 

The view from the top of Arc De Triomphe! So breathtaking! 

Experience sunset at the Lourve Museum

Lourve Museum during the sunset is magic. Formerly a royal palace, Louvre is the world's most visited museum and houses the iconic Mona Lisa. As with all the tours in Paris, make sure you book in advance! Summer is the busiest time in Paris, and I didn't get a chance to explore the museum, something to save for next time hopefully. Instead, I took this selfie in front of it while my parents were taking a pic: 


Enjoy a rendezvous at Moulin Rouge  

Not got lie, Moulin Rouge the movie, was how I learned my first French phrase and going to it was a special experience! The risqué world-famous cabaret has been around since 1900 and is the top visited cabaret performance in the world. You can enjoy the show or book a dinner and show for a special experience. Definitely one of the highlights of this trip. 


Travel Tips and Recommendations

  • In Paris, hotel bookings go fast during the summer. I would recommend booking 6 months in advance to secure your spot because prices go up during the summer. I stayed at this gorgeous private residence in Maisons-Alfort, France for $61/night (it was about 20 minutes out of the city, but close by to the local subways)
  • UBER is available in Paris! Rejoice! It make it super simple to get around the city. 
  • The hop on-hop off bus in Paris made it easy to get to the main attractions including the Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame Cathedral, Lourve Museum and Champs-Elyees. It's a MUST for easy transportation to all the iconic spots to check out. 
  • Paris is the top city for pick pocketing! Please always make sure your bag is in front of you and do not carry a backpack. I would recommend a fanny pack to be safe. 
  • Paris people are bougie and many of them DO NOT speak English. Make sure to know common French phrases including thank you and where's the bathroom, which were the phrases that were super helpful. Here's a list of common phrases to know

Hip-Hop In Paris

I spent a good amount of my time finding out how big the hip-hop scene is in Paris. I love seeing and experiencing music in other cities, and the variety of music in Paris is eye-opening. Here's my favorite songs I Shazamed:  

Caballero & JeanJass - Toujours les mêmes ft. Krisy

Santana - Alonzo

Thanks for the beautiful memories, Paris! Did I miss anything on this list? If there are any of the beaten spots you'd recommend, let me know below. 


Genius & Dropbox Present Visual Art Exhibit ‘Lyrics To Life’ by Lainney Dizon


The world needs your creative energy.

Music to me is more than just a melody, it's a way of life, a culture and a feeling that can move and inspire others. Art in it's most meaningful form is meant to create and inspire more art. That's why when Genius invited me to peep the upcoming "Lyrics To Life," in collaboration with Dropbox, I knew I had to come through and support. 

"Lyrics To Life," showcases original works of art from renowned visual artists inspired by iconic lyrics across different genres. Among my favorite art installations of the event featured Notorious B.I.G.'s iconic "Juicy" lyrics: 

It was all a dream
I used to read Word Up Magazine
Salt N Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine
Hanging pictures on my wall

Graffiti artist TYPOE remixed old school play block letters to bring viewers into what he described as "a state of childhood. A state where we didn't limit our dreams and our potential. There was less fear and more openness." 

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 9.34.07 AM.png
Photo credit:  Dropbox  

Photo credit: Dropbox 

Fashion designer Peggy Noland interpreted Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" lyrics: 

In this very moment, I’m king
In this very moment, I slayed Goliath with a sling

Peggy highlighted the unlikely nature of success by showcasing a modern day David vs. Goliath scene complete with a Queen scene lips couch and slingshot aimed at Goliath. My favorite piece of this was the colors and vibrant attitude towards the monster. Oftentimes, it seems as creative artists, we think our trials rob us of our joy but it's in the perspective and attitude of our struggle that really causes us to be victorious no matter the situation.  

Photo credit:  Mariafini  

Photo credit: Mariafini 

Plexi Art Queen Melfinia, interpreted Radiohead's popular 1993 hit, "Creep":

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

Melfinia took viewers on a sweet escape with a room themed in the 90's. She explains, "In times of distress I would comfort myself by creating my own alternate reality. In this alternate space that I was able to heal, combining natural elements like plants and crystals, to draw positive energy from.” As an artist, solitude is oftentimes, the greatest thing that helps us recharge and reimagine our vision. This room was a favorite for me because it made me realize how as a kid, I had the space of being able to write in my journal, AIM with bae or just listen to music on my iPod, pre-social media era. There's happiness in stillness and imagination. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 10.18.39 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 10.18.54 AM.png

Other visual artists featured include rapper/filmmaker Amine, L.A-based artist Devin Troy Strother, Mokibaby and Nitemind with lyrics inspired by The Notorious B.I.G., Tame Impala, Nicki Minaj, Sia and Animal Collective. Follow the story across social with #LyricsToLife or visit the interactive art exhibit in DTLA's Art District. 

Lyrics to Life is open to the public from March 2-5. As of this writing, tickets are still available for Sunday, March 4 and Monday, March 5. Check ticket availability here.

The Drop: 2000's Hip-Hop Party Returns February 16 at General Lee's by Lainney Dizon

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.46.22 PM.png

Excited to bring your favorite throwback Hip-Hop party in Los Angeles! The Drop: Best of 2000s Hip-Hop Party returns this Friday, February 16 at General Lee's. We will have special guest DJ Fatlip (formerly of The Pharcyde) and DJ Rico and DJ Mike Sincere in the building! Hosted by Dizon Dreams and Tres Stacks Brand. Have a song request? Comment below! 

Free with RSVP: https://thedropparty.splashthat.com

Shit Nobody Told Me: A Collection of Experiences and my personal story by Lainney Dizon

Women are powerful all on their own, but when they come together to share their experiences they find strength in numbers. Our friend, Jaymie of Bushwick Shop understands this and created a book titled: Shit Nobody Told Me, a series of personal essays where women share with the world all of the things life has taught them about being a woman and how they have survived, overcome, and moved forward through adversity. I admire Jaymie's dedication to creating a much needed platform of honesty and depth. Sometimes, I wish I could go back and tell myself to believe in myself more, to understand how valuable time is and learn to trust God everyday. Life is full of lessons and we need to be more open to sharing our experiences with one another to celebrate our growth and victories. 

Shit Nobody Told Me covers topics including Family, Beauty & Confidence, Love & Sex, Abuse & Assault, Self-Love, Career, Religion & Spirituality and Race & Culture. 

In the second edition releasing this Fall, I chose to cover career. Read my personal essay below where I share how I started my career in social media and music, the doubt I felt in the process, the failures and why it's important to always listen to your heart:   

The year was 1998. Lauryn Hill released Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Hip-Hop was at it’s Golden Age. Later that year, Outkast would be releasing Aquemini and Mos Def & Talib Kweli would be debuting their first album as a hip-hop duo, Black Star.

Lainney was 9 years old and in fourth grade. Lauryn Hill’s “That Thing” was the first Hip-Hop song she memorized word for word. “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem, babygirl. Respect is just a minimum,” she would sing along with her friends during recess. When she came home, she’d play The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album, admiring the album art and reading the lyrics from cover to cover. Hip-Hop began to be a part of her personality, she realized how much it spoke to her because of the lyrics and rhythm. Hip-Hop turned life lessons into songs. It turned something ugly like struggle, into a work of art, and she knew it was something special.

Fast forward, Lainney is 19 and signs up for a Facebook account shortly after being accepted to UC Irvine. She heard great things about the social network and wanted to have a head start making new friends. She was often shy around her peers at school and found it easier to make new friends online. Lainney added everyone in the UC Irvine network and began to spend hours talking to them after she got home from school. When she began her first day on campus everyone in the orientation class knew who she was. This was the first time she began to realize the power of social media.

In college, Lainney had no idea what she wanted to do. She considered being a journalist because she loved the power of words, but her parents didn’t feel like it would be  a good career for her to make a living. It didn’t make sense for her to spend $20,000/year when she was still figuring out her passions, and in her second year at UC Irvine she decided to drop out. Her mom encouraged her to try nursing. Being Filipina, she felt it was right of passage to become a nurse. Her parents sacrificed a lot to give her opportunities she had and she decided to give it a try. She booked a one-way ticket to the Philippines and stayed there for a year to become an L.V.N. It was a good move, because she realized how strong she was independently. That if she can move to another country for a whole year and make new friends and thrive, she can do anything she put her heart into. Her heart was happy after graduation, but something was missing and in the back of her mind she was still thinking about music.

When she came back from the Philippines she began to seriously question her path in life.

“Why would I do something that doesn’t make me happy? Am I really going to let money dictate how I live my life?” She asked herself. Lainney told her sister how she felt, and her sister gave her the confidence she needed: “You don’t need to do something if you don’t want to do it. Listen to your heart, this is your life.” Music had always helped her through the toughest parts in her life, but she didn’t think it could become a career. Afterall, she didn’t want to disappoint her parents, they worked too hard for her to follow a silly dream. She weighed the options in her mind. Sure, nursing would be a good career, but she wouldn’t be happy. She’d be able to pay the bills and be stable, but she would be unfulfilled.

We'll flashback to 2009. An 18 year old Lainney was a freshman at college and she made friends with her roommates in the 201 hall, they called themselves “201 Legends” because their resident advisor mentioned to them that Mesa Hall, the building they lived in, was where legends were made. Past aluminis went on to build businesses, win awards, etc. Lainney and her friends often hosted Hip-Hop dance parties in their hall. These themed dance parties got intense: there were Caution Tape areas for dance-offs, disco lights and everyone always had a good time. Their parties was known as one of the best parties on campus. If Lainney wasn’t on the dance floor, it wasn’t a party. The drive and creativity are there, but they just seem like distractions.

In 2012, Lainney moved to Los Angeles with her sister. Browsing Facebook, she came across a posting for Duck Down Records, a hip-hop record label that had artists including Talib Kweli, KRS-One and B-Real of Cypress Hill. They were looking for an LA Rep, someone who could attend local hip-hop shows and represent the record label and collect e-mails for their newsletter. She e-mailed them on a whim and surprisingly, they hit her back up. From Talib Kweli, Pete Rock to 9th Wonder, she covered all the shows. Making contacts and building new friendships in the hip-hop industry, she began to realize that yes, you can have a career in music. She wasn’t sure where in hip-hop she’d find herself, but Lainney made a promise to herself: She would try.

One night during Rock the Bells, she saw one of her favorite rappers, Nas, perform “One Mic”. He rapped, “All I need is one mic, one try, one breathe, I’m one man.” She was in the front row, surrounded by the crowd, and hearing every echo of that lyric made her heart feel alive. This was it. This was her element. It was as if Nas was talking right to her: “You have one life. Make the most of it.”

Lainney came home to send over 100 resumes to the top PR agencies. She didn’t hear back from one. With Nas’s lyrics still in her mind, she realized she had to do something different to make herself stand out. She put her personality in her cover letter and quoted Nas’s “One Mic”, using his lyrics as an analogy to what she wanted to do with her career: to go further, make noise and hustle. She heard back from one of the top agencies she applied for and ended up getting the opportunity to work with some of the most successful brands in the world. She learned about social media, branding, marketing and the importance of personality and building meaningful relationships.

Lainney realized she can go further, she began to believe in herself more. In 2013, she made one of the best investments she could of made for herself. She went to Miami to cover the first-ever Revolt Music Conference. This was Diddy’s music conference with Revolt TV, and the speakers included the leading music industry professionals. Randomly, she met Roslynn Cobarrubias. Lainney had read about Roslynn through her research reading Billboard’s Top 30 Music Industry Professionals Under 30.  Roslynn was a legend in her eyes and most importantly, she was Filipino just like Lainney. Lainney never saw any brown female like her dominate the music industry the way Roslynn did, and from her example, she realized this: It’s possible.

In 2015, Lainney co-founded Dizon Dreams with her sister. Dizon Dreams is a social media and events agency that specializes in hip-hop parties and marketing for music and emerging brands. Their first client was the iconic Hip-Hop group, The Pharcyde, a referral from Roslynn. The rest they say, is history.

I share this story with you to make you realize, success is not a straight line. You will doubt yourself, you will be confused. It is a part of the journey. The most important thing you have to do is to listen to your heart. Your heart will always tell you the truth. If it’s been done before, you’re capable of doing it as well. Save time for your future self: Believe in yourself NOW. You can dictate your future with your actions. Put yourself in the best possible position you can to succeed, whether that be at something crazy like having a career in hip-hop and social media or something simple like paying the bills on time. Don’t give up no matter how shitty things get, because the ball might just bounce your way one day and if you're not there to catch it, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. 

Lainney Dizon, 28
Los Angeles, CA.
Co-Founder, Dizon Dreams

If you're interesting in sharing your story read the details here or support the first edition of Shit Nobody Told by purchasing the book here. 100% of the profits are invested into the Bushwick Gives grant which awards funds to a woman pursuing her education or entrepreneurship goals. 

Stay tuned for the release of the second edition of Shit Nobody Told Me coming in Fall 2017. 


Accel Radio's Str8OutDaTrunk Featuring Lainney Dizon: Hip-Hop & Marketing by Lainney Dizon

Mic check, one two. Who is this? 

I had the pleasure to join Bankhead and Monte on Accelerated Radio's St8OutDaTrunk to talk about the upcoming The Drop Party and Dizon Dreams creative endeavors in marketing and hip-hop. St8OutDaTrunk is a platform dedicated to featuring entrepreneurs and upcoming artists. The name "Straight Out Da Trunk" is inspired by how back in the day in hip-hop, rappers would sell their mixtape straight from their trunk. The platform similarly is focused on giving the goods to the community and spotlighting people in the industry who are sharing their "mixtapes" or talents with the world. Past episodes include Real 92.3's DJ Carisma, R&B duo THEY and more. 

Funny story: I actually e-mailed Accel Radio last year requesting them to feature one of our artists but didn't hear back. I ended up going to an Adidas event in DTLA and was grooving on the dance floor. Monte and Bankhead were on the dance floor too and I ended up shimmying my way over to them and chatted. They told me about their podcast which is one of the shows on Accel Radio and I told them about my dance parties, and we ended up linking up for this fun interview. Lesson: opportunities are relationship-based. This episode talks about: 

  • How Dizon Dreams first started in marketing and how we found our target niche 
  • How The Drop Party started and the importance of Soul Train lines 
  • My favorite Ja Rule and Ashanti song and why Missy Elliott will always be relevant 
  • The importance of social media marketing for building your brand
  • Knowing the value you bring and stepping up your game with each new client 

Listen to the full episode below. Interview starts at 9:10: 

Thanks for the invite, Monte!