1/2 on A Baby : Noa James & Lesa J [a MMXLII original web series]

This week we have something new – “1/2 on a Baby,” the latest series from MMXLII (pronounced “mix-lee,”) the brainchild of Ted Chung, co-founder of Stampede Management and Cashmere Agency.  MMXLII’s name, the Roman numerals for 2042, represents the year that America will become a minority majority country – one without any ethnic majority.

With “1/2 on a Baby” we want to see what that change means for real people.  We’re finding people who have come together, in spite of, or maybe because of, their differences, and asking them the questions that are hard to ask but too important to be ignored.  What does it mean to share a life, a company, or a vision with someone from a totally different background?  How do you overcome those differences?  What do you gain from them?

We start our series by posing those questions to rapper and music promoter Noa James and his partner Lesa.  Noa and Lesa couldn’t have come from more different backgrounds – he didn’t find out about his Haitian background until the age of twelve. She’s one of the few American speakers of Lao, raised by a tight-knit Laotian American family.  Today the two live and work together in California’s Inland Empire  where they organize and promote the weekly Common Ground,   as well as numerous shows in Pomona. Lesa runs the  Brick to Ya Face blog, and Noa is part of the Black Cloud Music label. Next year the two will be married at Paid Dues.

At MMXLII Noa and Lesa’s story got us thinking about the different structures of different families, and how those differences play out in people’s lives. We’d love to hear what you took away from their relationship.

Shout out to Noa & Lesa for lending themselves so gracefully to this candid exercise.