Troubl wants you to know that ignorance people, is not bliss. Do you know who your “frenemies” are or that Non-Hispanic blacks ages 19 to 24 are at a much higher risk of being infected with HIV than young people in any other racial group? Find out all about these and many more thought provoking topics on this site that we’ve recently become captivated with. We’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you decided to stop by.
The TROUBL Fam: troubl.org
Q: When did you officially launch TROUBL?
TROUBL, as an idea, came to us in 2000. All we had in the beginning was a name. Most of us were in college at the time so we had to get that straight before anything else. From the time we developed the concept to the time of its official launch in November 2007, we were educating ourselves—and we still are. That’s something we will never stop doing.
Q: Why did you name the website TROUBL?
Actually, TROUBL is not just a website. It’s a brand, an information brand. Remember those smart kids that got kicked out of class and spent a lot of time in detention, that’s TROUBL. Now, let’s get this straight: we’re not talking about those kids who were just got kicked out of class for “foolery.” We’re talking about the kids who were bored by the curriculum and questioned what they were taught. Because, as you know, our school system is inadequate. TROUBL represents the positive change initiated by the people like RFK, Ghandi, Bruce Lee, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sidney Portier and others. They were considered trouble by the “Powers that Be.” We are simply redefining what it means to be trouble. TROUBL is defying the people who profit from your ignorance. It’s educating yourself. And it’s doing it in style. We are creating a culture where it is cool to be in the know and think critically.
Q: Your about us section reads, “Realize there are people who don’t want us talking about the issues. It threatens their authority. But fuck that! We live the issues; and our destiny is wrapped in the knowledge we gain. Our friends are fighting the wars. Some are serving time. Others are in college. Politicians ignore us. The media distorts us. Police harass us. Schools neglect us. Still, we’re very aware of the world around us—and not because we’ve followed the curriculum. We read our own books. We let our favorite songs teach us. Because we understand the media’s power to shape the world, it’s our weapon of choice. But our values go much further than a traditional news organization’s. We create language. W e make art. We hold ourselves accountable. TROUBL started with a dollar and a dream. This site is a conversation. If the schools don’t want to teach us, we’ll educate ourselves. If politician don’t want to hear us, we’ll scream louder.” That’s very powerful. Why did you choose to make TROUBL a platform for cultural conversations and issues?
The internet is a powerful tool. Low barrier for entry. The rules are casual. And you have a global reach. It’s also a valuable educational tool. Classrooms tend to have too much structure for some people. That makes learning “corny.” If you think something is corny, you don’t interact with it.
Q: We must admit that we are addicted to TROUBL, not only for the thought – provoking content, but the visual stimulation. Do you design all the visuals for the site? And do you think it’s important to have well designed blog/site and why?
We do all the design. Design is integral to our brand. We are smart with style. Why can’t your reading glasses be hot? Why can’t it be sexy to read a book? Why can’t Steve Urkel get none? (LOL) For real though, creativity, freshness, style are all related. TROUBL is a stylish intelligence. Being smart should be apart of your swag. Understanding the world around you should be apart of your swag.
Q: Love the tagline “Fresher than PBS“. So what makes you fresher than PBS?
We are education. We’re breaking the rules. Education is not just received in the classroom. Why can’t people learn from examining the shoes they wear? We have a segment called “Kicks,” where each featured shoe pertains to critical information. We can learn from everything. There’s knowledge in clothing, music, video games, all the things relevant to young people. PBS has always been about teaching young people and they have a good model. But, many young people today don’t watch PBS. We grew up on Sesame Street. We’re simply drawing Big Bird in baggy jeans and fitted caps, because it relates to the young people today. Can you tell me how to get…how to get to Trouble Street?
Q: Who all is a part of the TROUBL family?
Johan Thomas, Founder/Editor
Hubert Bennett, Writer/Lead Editor
Ronnie Barron, Lead Marketer
John Heywood, Technologist
Sanders Trent, Sales
Paul Holyfield, Sales
We’re all from California originally, but were spread out now. Half of us are in NY the others in L.A. We also have a staff of writers and contributors. And, of course, all the other TROUBLmakers of the world.
Q: What makes a website/blog fresh and relevant to TROUBL?
Any website or blog that is smart and culturally relevant. Any website or blog that speaks with the language of our generation. Sites that are forward thinking and innovative. Sites that inspire conversation and teach.
Q: Describe the type of person that most likely would dig TROUBL?
Someone who’s not afraid to be “outside the box.” Someone who is intelligent with their style, creative with their language, and likes to read. Someone who likes to exercise their brain and “pop-off” at the club.
Q: Out of all the TROUBL posts, give us the top three that could serve as a introduction those unfamiliar with the flow of your website?
Three posts can’t really represent TROUBL. But, these are some of our favorites: Hoodsnacks, which is a reoccurring segment; Leaders of the New School; and The Standard.
Q: Why should someone bookmark TROUBL on their computer or add it to their daily reading list?
Because there will always be an intelligent and interesting conversation for people to get involved in. Or, even if you don’t want to leave a comment, you can still gain something. TROUBL is a place where you can laugh, cry, vent, think, and learn.
Q: When you’re not writing for TROUBL, what are some other sites that you visit?
Grungecake Crisis, Hypebeast, Adbusters, Nah Right, Corporate Takeover.
Q: What’s next for TROUBL?
We are going to keep working hard, doing what we do online. We are expanding our offline presence into fashion and preparing to introduce technology that will mesh the worlds together . After that we have some tricks up our sleeve that we’re not ready to expose.