Friday, November 20, 2009

Love

“You are all geniuses, and you are all beautiful. You don't need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are. Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.”


-John Lennon

Make your mark

"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you."
-Maya Angelou

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Abnormality?

Within this beautiful maze of Hip Hop culture there are many deeply rooted ills, I wonder does anyone notice.

For many years rappers have not only stepped up their game with the admittance of smoking marijuana but they've also advanced with the promotion of the substance in their music. There are a few who couldn't get through a song without talking about getting high if their life depended upon it.

Some believe being high takes away the stress while others think smoking the sticky puts them in a creative mode allowing them to get in touch with some higher level of consciousness.

Although many may smoke in the rap game, many don't.... so don't be fooled.
As an mc entering the game you should know, "SMOKING WEED IS NOT A PREREQUISITE". Don't get hung up trying to be cool and create another problem for yourself. Be YOU. And if you do smoke, challenge yourself and detox. Anything in excess can stand to be put to rest for a while.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Honestly Speaking

Ok, so the CMA's were on tonight. For those totally unaware CMA stands for the Country Music awards and might I add Darius Rucker won for Best New Artist. Probably means nothing to you but this is a long time coming for an African American to win at the Country Music Award.

As of late, with the dying sales of Hip Hop and R&B, I can't help but form a theory as to why the entire music industry isn't suffering. Let's take country into consideration and I believe how country music stays relevant and selling units is because the record labels market cross generationally. It's as simple as that. They aren't as strict with their radio playlist either. The station boasting the hottest in country music will play what's new but will also play older material from veteran country singers, cause guess what? they know it's still HOT. The bottom line is the whole genre pays respect to the foundation. That's what's missing from Hip hop and R&B. We'd be unstoppable if we had a united front.

As far as labels go when marketing Hip Hop and R&B they are truly missing an entire generation or even two. As a matter of fact the old structure of the major record label has got to be one of the most ass-backward systems I've ever seen. They don't want to completely submit to the download and rightfully so for a few reasons.
1. They feel a loyalty to their manufacturers and distributors (with the download neither is necessary). They've formed such a bond that even seeing TOWER records slowly go out of business didn't even make them re think their plan. Labels still paying an outside company to manufacture and distribute to stores that are no longer in existence? Doesn't really make sense at all.
2. Really hard to track sales due to the stealing and swapping of music.


The deal is if the labels some time ago said "we're going to create sites that can actually sell our roster's music", they'd be way further along in the game. Can you imagine Def Jam selling their artist's music only from their site? That would have been bananas!!! Imagine all the money they would have saved. OH but they need the shareholders to give LOTS of money for preparation of a cd release so they must keep all of the things in place to actually justify why they need LOTS of money....lol It's a joke because everything has just gotten too damn expensive. Something like this
1. radio play can cost anywhere from 25k to 300k (to make you believe it's a hit)
2. a super producer's fee (one that guarantees a hit, or at least the label feels so) 100k
3. video production can range 250k to 500k
4. then more and more and more and it's all RIDICULOUS!!!

All of this to create lots of smoke and screens to make someone believe "you can't live with out this song" or somehow "your life would be much better if you bought it"...HA!

The problem comes in to view when they are marketing kiddie Hip Hop in hopes of kids and teens going to a store and buying a cd. Most kids download which means the generation that still would buy a cd from Target or Walmart are being overlooked. There isn't a label willing to spend money marketing adult Hip Hop which is bananas because they are the very ones with the extra cash to do so.

Instead of a true lover of Hip Hop being able to enjoy new music by their favorite artist they have to go to an R&B oldie station or listen to Backspin where they are warped back in to time.

Let's get smart, choose and support the Hip Hop that means something to us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

DJ MC LYTE







  







I am truly a lover of all genres of music. Reggae I learned to love from Brooklyn. My downstairs neighbor was a Jamaican dj and he played all the hits for me in the 80s. The building would rattle from the bass of a Pinchez song. Disco and Soft Rock I picked up from mom. R&B I got from my uncle and my mom, groups like Rick James, D-train, The Ojays, Teen Marie and many more. Hip hop came by way of my cousins in Spanish Harlem and that is where I got wind of Kurtis Blow and the Furious Five. Bottom Line is I LOVE music and so here you have a little bit of THIS and a little bit of THAT!!! Courtesy of some of the best musicians the art form has to offer!!!

Music makes the world go round!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Calling all WRITERS



ASCAP's Rhythm and Soul Team 
Presents... 
The Creative Side of Music Publishing



Come meet the creative forces behind the music industry's major publishing companies.


Tuesday, November 17th - 6:30pm
ASCAP Building, 5th Floor
One Lincoln Plaza, NY, NY 10023



Moderator: Sam Taylor

Director, Rhythm & Soul Creative - ASCAP

Panelists:


Leotis Clyburn

(Senior Director of Creative, EMI Publishing)

Jessica Rivera

(Senior Director of Creative, Universal Music Publishing)

Al "Butta" McLean

(VP of Creative, Kobalt Music Publishing)

Walter Jones

(Manager, Sony ATV Music Publishing)

Ryan Press

(Manager, Warner Chappell Music Publishing)


Free and Open to the Public

Teachers Please fill out survey






I am hosting a weekend retreat for teachers in the near future. A dozen teachers will be sponsored by yours truly. Please take a moment to fill out this survey to win the opportunity for a 2 day seminar and gain information that will last a life time!!!
Click Here to take survey



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Learn how to STUDY




What is Study Technology?

Study Technology (or Study Tech) is a learning system that produces a greatly improved result when used exactly (by "Technology" is meant methods of application to obtain a specific result). L. Ron Hubbard developed Study Technology to help students truly understand what they study and essentially learn how to learn. Study Technology is the basis of all Applied Scholastics programs and teaching methods.

Study Technology consists of tools and techniques teachers can use to improve the learning rates of their students. It can be used by students to improve their ability to understand and use the materials they read and study.
Study Technology is not a collection of study tips or memory tricks, but rather a system of learning how to learn. Using Study Tech brings about an understanding that results in the ability to apply what one learns at school, in one’s work and in life.
Study Tech is something new in the field of education. It is the spearhead to a bright new world of understanding and achievement, and it forms the basis of the success of all Applied Scholastics educational programs.
for more info click here

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't Believe it!!!




I''ve heard "Black People" still find it extremely taboo to fall prey to anit-depressants and all their adverse affects. Well hallelujah for that!!! As Black people we've been oppressed, suppressed and all of it leads to depression. Momentary failures would lead someone to not feel their optimum self.  We've encountered everything under the sun and so why would this be a time to start popping pills that may lead to
sleep deprivation,constipation, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, irritability, abnormal dreams, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, decreased sex drive, dizziness, diarrhea, increased sweating,impotence (erectile dysfunction), suicidal thoughts or behavior, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, hostility or aggressiveness, engaging in unusual or dangerous activities, restlessness or inability to sit still, extreme elation or feeling of happiness that may switch back and forth with a depressed or sad mood, other unusual changes in behavior, confusion or mental changes, a rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, blood pressure changes, an irregular heart rhythm, overactive reflexes, fever, sweating or shivering, shakiness, seizures, coma, feelings of a rapidly or forcefully d=beating heart (known as heart palpitations), a high fever, easy bruising or bleeding, Low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia), signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
unexplained rash- hives - itching - unexplained swelling - wheezing - difficulty breathing or swallowing -
oh but there's more- yawning, hot flashes, delayed ejaculation, lack or orgasm, nose bleeding, increased LDL cholesterol....

So now with seeing all the side effects to this drug, which I might add most drugs of this nature will have you more tripped out than you were before you started them. You can only imagine what a nasty tasteI had in my mouth as I visited one of the most popular sites geared toward people of color when I saw an advertisement for this drug.  Who the hell are they kidding? Do not be fooled, tricked or hoodwinked. And yes I might get flack for this later with haters blogging and such but you'll know it's because I aim to give the truth always. I love my people and never want to see any of you become the victim of a vicious game where when playing with fire all one can do is burn.

Terms like Bipolar, ADD, ADHD all exist for one reason only, and thats to introduce to a drug to a new patient and have them hooked for life.
I found this bit of info I think is vital from Helpguide.org

Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?

You’ve seen it in television ads, read it in newspaper articles, maybe even heard it from your doctor: depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that medication can correct. According to the chemical imbalance theory, low levels of the brain chemical serotonin lead to depression and depression medication works by bringing serotonin levels back to normal. However, the truth is that researchers know very little about how antidepressants work. There is no test that can measure the amount of serotonin in the living brain – no way to even know what a low or normal level of serotonin is, let alone show that depression medication fixes these levels.
While antidepressant drugs such as Prozac increase serotonin levels in the brain, this doesn’t mean that depression is caused by a serotonin shortage. After all, aspirin may cure a headache, but it doesn’t mean that headaches are caused by an aspirin deficiency. Furthermore, many studies contradict the chemical imbalance theory of depression. Experiments have shown that lowering people’s serotonin levels doesn’t always lower mood, nor does it worsen symptoms in people who are already depressed. And while antidepressants raise serotonin levels within hours, it takes weeks before medication kicks in to relieve depression. If depression were due to low serotonin, there wouldn’t be an antidepressant medication lag.

And once you've started....


Antidepressant withdrawal

Once you’ve started taking antidepressants, stopping can be tough; many people have withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to get off of the medication.
If you decide to stop taking antidepressants, it’s essential to taper off slowly. If you stop abruptly, you may experience a number of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as crying spells, extreme restlessness, dizziness, fatigue, and aches and pains. These withdrawal symptoms are known as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome is especially common when you stop taking Paxil or Zoloft. However, all medications for depression can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms

  • Anxiety, agitation
  • Depression, mood swings
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Insomnia, nightmares
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness, loss of coordination
  • Stomach cramping and pain
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Tremor, muscle spasms
Depression and anxiety are also common symptoms when withdrawing from antidepressants. When depression is a withdrawal symptom, it’s often worse than the original depression that led to drug treatment in the first place. Unfortunately, many people mistake this withdrawal symptom for a return of their depressive illness and resume medication, creating a vicious circle.
In order to avoid antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, never stop your medication “cold turkey.” Instead, gradually taper your dose, allowing for at least 1-2 weeks between each dosage reduction. This tapering process may take up to several months, and should be monitored under a doctor's supervision.
And lastly...


Antidepressants and suicide risk

There is a danger that, in some people, antidepressant treatment will cause an increase, rather than a decrease, in depression. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all depression medications include a warning label about the increased risk of suicide in children and young adults. The suicide risk is particularly great during the first month to two months of treatment.
Anyone taking antidepressants should be closely watched for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Monitoring is especially important if this is the person’s first time on depression medication or if the dose has recently been changed. Signs that medication is making things worse include anxiety, insomnia, hostility, and extreme agitation—particularly if the symptoms appear suddenly or rapidly deteriorate. If you spot the warning signs in yourself or a loved one, contact your doctor or therapist immediately.





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Teachers and Students



Applied Scholastics International is a non-profit, public benefit organization formed in 1972 by educators from colleges, universities, and both public and private schools.
The mission of Applied Scholastics International is to provide effective education services, training and materials to educators, parents and students to enable individuals to learn how to learn and become self-motivated lifelong learners.
Our training programs and continuing education courses provide teachers and educators the skills and strategies they need to teach students to overcome study barriers and learn how to learn. Applied Scholastics has trained more than 100,000 teachers and educators in Study Technology who in turn have educated 28 million students in Study Technology.

The Applied Scholastics network comprises over 800 schools, literacy and training centers and tutoring groups in 67 countries in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
Based on L. Ron Hubbard's extensive educational technology, Applied Scholastics programs enable individuals to handle the literacy and education of the children and people in their communities.
Want more information? click here

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tommy and Friends







Every Monday Tommy gathers up all his friends for a football celebration at Pins in Studio City, CA. If you're ever in the area drop in to see him.  Always surprise celebs in the house. $20 at the door.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bossy

I've been really thinking about the dynamics of relationships and just wanted to throw a few things out there. Ride w me if you can and if you can't, abort ship now!!

If you've ever cheated in the relationship you are now in
A) it will never be the beautiful union it can be
B) you will never trust because you can't be trusted

Ok, so if you're still reading and you fit the profile, you got some courage so let's keep rockin'.

Come clean! Have a sit down and make it right. The key is when you've cheated you no longer stand your ground with anything. Your man/woman can now walk all over you without reason because you're too scared to stand up with all that guilt you're wearing.

Take responsibility for your relationship and if ain't worth you being honest and faithful....get out!!!
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Flavor for Fashion


Once upon a time there lived a small time designer who cut expensive bags up for a living and revamped the fabric to create extremely stylish clothes for extremely eccentric artists.  Everyone stood in line and paid big bucks to have their wardrobe sewn before their very eyes. If the outfit called for extravagant measure it could take a while before you could pick your items up. I'm sure if you look back in the hip hop history books you will find many of mcs and djs dressed in this type of gear.  Eric B and Rakim for instance wore suits made of black velour, leather and Gucci emblems. 



Meet Karl Kani who once played assistant to Harlem's own designer Dapper Dan.  Since starting out in the mid 80s Karl has gone on to have many internationally known clothing lines.  Most recently he created a line that was disappointingly short lived called LIVE.  I was fortunate enough to visit him at his showroom and studio in Los Angeles, CA. I was given a couple of pairs of jeans and about half a dozen t shirts.  I love the feel and look of both the jeans and the tshirts however most will never experience the touch of LIVE.  I'm not sure what became of LIVE but Karl Kani undoubtedly moved on and is currently working on yet another unforgettable line.  When one exude talent and style the way Karl does there's never too much time to sit idle. Kudos to Karl and much success always.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moments of a lifetime



I met Doug E Fresh sometime after hearing his music.  His energy was unforgettable and I was definitely inspired by his style and work ethic.  Still he is one of the hardest working men in show biz performing at least 250 days out of the year on stages all over the world.  He is truly the world's greatest entertainer!!

What I adore most about my friendship with Doug E is our long talks.  If Doug E and I pass one another in a hallway of a hotel before a show it's guaranteed we are both going to be late.  It's not often in this biz I can speak to someone so candidly and freely about whatever.

The most memorable moment I have of Doug is him calling me immediately after he had heard me as a guest on a radio show.  We were both in the midwest sharing a performance bill with a couple of other artists.  He heard the show and called me right away.  We talked for moment, catching up and then he asked out of the blue, "Were you upset with anything at the radio station?" and I said, "No, why?".  He waited for a second and I could tell I was in for something and he continued, "well if you're happy to do the show let the listeners know."  I totally got it, just from those few words.  What Doug was saying was to relax and let the listeners in radio land know that I had a personality but most of all that I was happy to be there in their city and that I was going to do my best to give them a great show. From that moment on I dropped the stern Brooklyn hard rock mentality to truly be myself and if that involved being goofy from time to time so be it.  I really lightened up and began to gel with the people who were buying my music and supporting my concerts.

I thank Doug for calling me that day because he didn't have to.  I thank him for keeping it true and loving me enough to hit me up like a big brother and tell me exactly what he was thinking.  He put years on my career by sharing those words with me.  That's a village.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MY Birthday

Throwbackkkkkk!



On October 11th a few friends and a lot of family showed up in Miami to help celebrate the occasion and while most thought it had to be the big 40 for such an event, it still was not...lol. But when that day comes, I'm sure all will know ).

This shot was taken upstairs in the VIP section of Live. Just before this pic Mario sang a beautiful happy birthday to ya girl!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Throwback!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Little bit of FAITH

Faith Renée Evans was born June 10, 1973. She is a singer-songwriter, record producer, actress and author. Born in Lakeland, Florida and raised in Newark, New Jersey.

Evans moved to Los Angeles in 1993 for a career in music business. After working as a backing vocalist for Al B. Sure, she became the first female artist to be signed to Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment label in 1994, on which she released three platinum-certified studio albums between the years of 1995 and 2001.

What is stated above is certainly told in her new memoir entitled "Keep the Faith" but then there's so much more. Faith keeps us invested in the read just by keeping it so damn truthful. In this book she lays it out and apologizes for nothing. I personally love her courage and her extreme work ethic that has gotten her to where she is now. Great read.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Congratulations From The Recording Academy President/CEO

Dear Recording Academy Member:

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee considered our major legislative initiative, The Performance Rights Act. As I've written to you many times before, the bill closes the "corporate radio loophole" and makes terrestrial radio play by the same rules as Internet and satellite radio by compensating the performers of the music they play.

It's been a long road to get here, with many Academy members testifying before Congress, flying to Washington to lobby, and sending literally thousands of emails. Last week, we asked Academy members from the states of key Senators to weigh in with their support. Hundreds of you did, and your voices were heard loud and clear--the Committee voted to APPROVE the measure.

With May's successful House Judiciary vote behind us, today's vote was the final committee action before the bill can be considered by the full Congress. While there is much work left to get final passage, today's historic vote marks the most significant progress on a nearly 80 year quest for performance rights for artists. Congratulations on this important victory and a special thank you to the Recording Academy members who called their Senators in the past week.

Kind regards,
Neil Portnow
President/CEO
The Recording Academy

------Original Message------
From: Member Services
To: Lyte
ReplyTo: MemServices@grammy.com
Subject: Congratulations From The Recording Academy President/CEO
Sent: Oct 15, 2009 10:07 PM

Dear Recording Academy Member:

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee considered our major legislative initiative, The Performance Rights Act. As I've written to you many times before, the bill closes the "corporate radio loophole" and makes terrestrial radio play by the same rules as Internet and satellite radio by compensating the performers of the music they play.

It's been a long road to get here, with many Academy members testifying before Congress, flying to Washington to lobby, and sending literally thousands of emails. Last week, we asked Academy members from the states of key Senators to weigh in with their support. Hundreds of you did, and your voices were heard loud and clear--the Committee voted to APPROVE the measure.

With May's successful House Judiciary vote behind us, today's vote was the final committee action before the bill can be considered by the full Congress. While there is much work left to get final passage, today's historic vote marks the most significant progress on a nearly 80 year quest for performance rights for artists. Congratulations on this important victory and a special thank you to the Recording Academy members who called their Senators in the past week.

Kind regards,
Neil Portnow
President/CEO
The Recording Academy


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Changes

I truly believe our ability to change at a moment's notice will determine how successful we can become. When one becomes rigid and afraid of the slightest change is when the downfall is near. It's called being prepared for whatever changes may arise and having ample time to restructure the plan so that it benefits YOU.

As a child I was forced to do many things against my will like having to wear dresses with lots of frills and things, lol. I remember having to eat foods I wasn't fond of like squash, chicken livers and turnips...yuck. NO child should be forced to eat the likes of eggplant, zucchini and avocado!!

In any case I sum it up to this
Many of us hold on to old ways in fear of change and handling circumstances in a new way. We let opportunities slip by because we find it difficult to adjust. I think we do it because for so many years in the past we were told what the changes would be, when we would make them and what would happen if we didn't. Let's not let fear stop us from making the changes necessary to living a fuller life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Candid interview written by HHS Atlas

Hip Hop Sisters started back in 2006. So, for the past three years I've been "Rockin' Wit' The Best" (Had to get a song quote in). It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with this legendary MC. In business I've had many questions, but it has been difficult to keep the fan in me at bay. I was trying to figure out the best way to ask those "fan" questions I had without looking too corny. So when she said she would grant me an interview for the HHS I jumped at the chance to ask.

AtLas’: You were Lana Moorer long before you were MC Lyte. What is your earliest childhood memory?

MC Lyte: My earliest childhood memory is probably refusing to wear a dress for Easter.
We were going to Playland in Rockaway, Queens with my uncle and he wanted me to wear a dress. He had a real problem that day because he was unsuccessful.

A: Speaking of childhood memories, how did you get the scar on your forearm?
I noticed it at the meet n greet

ML: Detective AtLas’ (lol). A glass window; I thought I could stick my arm through what appeared to be a broken window and I didn't see the broken glass that remained in the frame

A: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard yourself on the radio?

ML: Yes. I was delivering packages as a messenger at the Graybar Building and heard it playing in their mailroom

A: I noticed that your early work rarely had a hook, usually lots of scratching or sampling your own voice. Was that intentional?

ML: Paperthin and what else?

A: Lyte as a Rock, 10% Dis…

ML: With Paperthin it was written before I heard the beat. I had a rhyme book and everything from the first album was from that book. So I just sat with the producers and fit the rhymes to some of their tracks. I didn't write hooks then. 10% had a hook. BEAT BITER DOPE STYLE TAKER, TELL YOUR FACE YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A FAKER.

A: Oh yeah... I meant cappuccino and Cha, Cha, Cha.

ML: Yeah those were the days when the lyrics meant so much you didn't even need a hook. People wanted the hook to be done so they could hear the lyrics and now it's just the opposite.

A: Do you still have clothes and jewelry from then?

ML: Yes I do. My Nefertiti earrings. My jeans with all the graffiti on them. Lots of leather outfits. I almost got into tax trouble because they didn't believe I spent that much money on leather. Then I went back and took pictures of them all and they released any intentions.


To read interview please click below

http://hiphopsisters.ning.com/profiles/blogs/atlas-chats-with-the-lyte

Saturday, October 10, 2009

STUDIO 54


A great piece on the infamous nightclub Studio 54.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Make it hot!!!

A nice smile goes a long way

This blog is all in love

To put it simple and plain more folks oughta brush their teeth a little bit harder and a little bit longer.

Teeth are in the top five when it comes to making a good impression. Ask anyone and they will openly admit you lose major points with teeth that look like you just tried to bite a plate. And if your joints happen to be on tilt at the very least make sure they are brushed and clean.

Ladies and gents pls we must carry floss in the purse or the car, nothing like some stinky broccoli chilling in between a tooth and a a hard place, lol. All joking aside, if you haven't been to the dentist in the last year, get rid of that fear and get your butt down there for a thorough cleaning. Every six months some people make the decision to not go and wind up with cavities and disease, simply put YUK MOUTHS.

Also if you are unhappy with your teeth there are all types of ways to get a new smile. Braces, retainers, caps, bridges and dentures. You name it...they have it! Do your investigation and find out how to get a brighter smile too , it'll take you places fa real!!

All in love-AIL
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OOPS

Monday, October 5, 2009

Brandy







WOW, seems like just yesterday I saw this young lady slowly take the world by storm.  She turned radio out with her debut record and hasn't stopped since. Word has it she is in the studio working on a new project and I am overjoyed with the thought of her taking the game once again.

In this video she takes us from the restroom in front of the mirror straight to the pews of the first row at church on a Sunday morning. GO HEAD GIRL, WE LOVE YOU!!!

Young Talent

I see young talent wherever I go and there's never really enough time to impart all the knowledge that I'd like to. So here I will state a bit of what lingers in my mind regarding young talent.

First and foremost is to acknowledge that the game isn't easy.  If it were easy not only would everyone do it,but everyone that did it would be great and not only that they would be extremely successful. It's about staying power! If it doesn't happen for you within a certain amount of time will you walk away? What if it's right around the corner? What if you're big break doesn't have plans of arriving until times get radically difficult? Guess it won't matter then because you would have given up by then, or maybe not.

This blog is to send a kind reminder to all those young talented artists...when you get in the business for the right reasons and you stay for the right reasons, you are bound to see success.  Make your reason about the love for the art. As long as you are doing what you love you will never grow tired.  You will never run out of steam but instead while your big break is waiting to happen you will grow and become even greater than you are now.

Stay humble
Stay focused
Stay true and do what God meant for you to do ....YOU

Sunday, October 4, 2009

MR Magic



I have to tell you all how truly blessed I feel to have lived during the era of hip hop where Mr. Magic had the greatest impact. He, Red Alert, Chuck Chillout and Marly Marl had NYC on lock. Well at least on regular radio. On the other end of the spectrum I cannot forget DNA and The Awesome Two who held down the am dial.

Mr. Magic and Dj Marley Marl made many Friday and Saturday nights special for me as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Everyone knows most hip-hop took place up in the Bronx and Harlem.  In Brooklyn it was mostly Reggae/Rockers music up and down the streets of Utica, Church Avenue and Flatbush.  It took a while for Brooklyn folks from the 90's to really care about hip-hop because all that was on their minds were Pinchez, Shabba, Barrington Levy and Supercat.

Meanwhile I sat in my bedroom with my boom box tuned into 107.5 and 98.7 Kiss. I switched back and forth trying to capture something on cassette that I had never heard before.In fact the beginning of my record 10% Dis that voice who hear actually belongs to none other than Mr. Magic.  We sampled it and used him to christen what we will probably go down as one of the most talked about dis records in history.

To hear Mr. Magic open and close that mic became a weekend tradition.He enlightened us all with bringing us the music that spoke to our souls. Rest in Peace my brother forever!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Therapeutic ART at WORK



COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis

Jazz on the Grass


The Jackie Robinson Foundation announces the 4th Annual JAZZ on the Grass benefit concert scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 2009 at the home of supporters Lynne and Oz Scott in Sherman Oaks, California. Approaching its fourth year on the West Coast, JAZZ on the Grass has secured the distinction as one of Los Angeles’ most premiere and exclusive events. Thanks to the incredible support of corporate sponsors, a dedicated host committee and loyal attendees, JAZZ has become the Foundation’s signature West Coast event. To date, 94.7 The Wave, American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, Broadway Federal Bank, CBS, City National Bank, DLA Piper, ESPN Zone, Hennessy, New Era, Nordstrom, Pepsi, Save the Date and UCLA have all signed on to support this affair. To learn more about how your company can support JAZZ on the Grass or for information on how to purchase tickets, please contact the Western Regional offices at 213-330-7726

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ART that AMAZES!!

SAND WORKS



Kseniya Simonova - Sand Animation (Україна має талант / Ukraine's Got Talent)
I've never seen anything like it in the world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Throwback!!!!




This video brings back so many good memories. It was a time of innocence and loving the hip hop. It wasn't about the music business, it was about creating and not letting anything get in the way of a hit song!!


I remember the first time I saw Brandy on television. It was an interview where she told the audience that she was going to be the first to have her own show and her own album. She actually spoke it into existence. She was co-starring on a show called Thea as on the siblings but she quickly ditched that and became a star of her own series called Moesha.


Brandy then came with back to back hit albums. The golden child of the 90's is now working on a new record and we are all delighted to hear.

REvamp yourself!!

Have you been thinking that what you've been giving isn't enough?  Have you had thoughts lately that you want to be different, look different and feel different? You can change it all but it won't mean a thing if it's not from the inside out.

Meaning, we all know when we've gone out side the realm of behavior that's acceptable. We know when we've purposely done things to get even because our feelings were hurt.  We know when in the past we've acted impulsively and didn't take someone's feelings into consideration.

All of this stuff matters especially when we know.  It's easy to cause a lot of stress and pain when we're not aware that we have the power to leave an effect wherever we are present.  But when we know and don't move to be different and correct the bad we've done, then all hell breaks loose.  We become unhappy with everything and everyone. Time to take a look in and change the thing that can be better. Once that takes place and it may involve calling a few people to apologize we can start on our way to seeing a clearer and make the changes we so want to see on the outside.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sickle Cell Anemia





Ke ke Shepard is dedicated to raising money and helping those with Sickle cell Anemia. This year her fundraiser took place at PINS in Studio City, California where celebs and friends took to the alley to bowl for dollars. I was on hand to dj and others in the house were, John Witherspoon, Theresa Randal, Dawn Lewis and long time couple Sally Richardson and Dondre Whitfield.

Friday, September 25, 2009

W.E.E.N. in DC




Last year I was blessed enough to have been invited to a lovely dinner in NYC.  I sat with the founding board members Valeisha Butterfield, Sabrina Thompson and Lauren Lake. During that dinner I was asked if I wanted to join the board of what will soon to be one of the more successful organizations developed to help girls and young women. The Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network is a coalition of women of all ages and races committed to supporting, promoting and defending the balanced, positive portrayal of women in entertainment and in society. Without hesitation I accepted the women's offer and since then great strides have been made. 


Tonight I co-hosted the first annual WEEN Awards with BET's Terence J at the Recording Industry Association of America located in Washington, DC.  Enlisted to present were names like Big Tigga, BET's Rocsi & Alesha Renee and Angie Martinez.  An amazing list of honorees were in attendance to receive their award and share words of gratitude.  Those honored included Vivica A. Fox, Hill Harper, Melinda Williams, EVP of Universal Motown Shanti Das, Global HIV Activist Maria Davis and McDonald's Chief Diversity Officer Patricia Harris.  An early WEEN supporter, Kevin Lyles, was on hand to give the closing statement for the evening.  


During the night two young ladies received scholarship funds towards college expenses.  They both currently attend school in the DC area.


The event was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Inc, McDonalds, BET Networks, Amtrak and Madison Group.


All in all it was a beautiful event and please be sure to check for more info at WEEN ON LINE.

Loving what you do

I wonder how is it sometimes the very person who wanted the job now mumbles under their breath about how unhappy they are with the job.

The manager of the establishment, the president of the label, the national director of some global company, all started somewhere doing something that got them closer to the designated spot they now occupy. Most of those who were interns, assistants and low level employees ended on top due to promotions being given to them that they rightfully deserved because of their work ethic and dedication. They went above and beyond the call of duty.

Bottom line, give it your all with whatever it is you do. If it pays, keep it moving and learn as much about the position you're in and the position you want to be in. Discover a way to love what you do! I'd love to hear the success stories.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Saying it was so

I caught wind of an Oprah show that was not what I'd thought it would be at all. Sure I thought McKenzie Philip was going to spill the beans, in detail, about her on and off battle with drugs. I thought she'd even explain her being arrested the day she was to join the cast of One Day At A Time for a reunion on the Rachel Ray show. But what she did spend a great deal of time on was unbelievable.
(SIDEBAR MCKENZIE PHILIPS WAS ONE OF THE LEADS ON A VERY POPULAR 70's SITCOM. SHE'S ALSO THE DAUGHTER OF JOHNFAMOUS FLOWER CHILD GROUP THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS

McKenzie, once a tv super star, had had a consensual incest relationship with her father for many years. She admittedly gave of the info seemingly hoping to have more people with a situation like hers come out an speak openly. She repeatedly said she knew she was not alone with this and felt like there were many more women having affairs with their fathers.

My reason for bringing this subject up is way too often I hear women tell a story of being molested by a family member and feeling as if they had no choice. I want every young girl to know that you do have a choice and every boy for that matter. It is not your fault if you were or are being molested in an on going scenario. YOU can make it out!

If this is YOU, find someone you can trust outside of the family and talk with them. Someone who can help, possibly a counselor or a neighboring clinic. This does not have to be your problem. It is a problem that was pushed upon you. Get free!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dare to be different! BE U

Talent really comes a dime a dozen these days. I'm sure all of us know of someone who raps, sings and produces. We all have a little cousin, nephew, or child that wants super stardom more than life itself. I sometimes wonder if back in the 20's they had lots of talented people or did they keep their longing to be in the spotlight under wraps due to hard times and a fight for equality. Or was it they knew they weren't good enough to hang with the real players of that time.

Whatever it was, it no longer is and everyone and "they" mama wants the shine and the money. Which is all good, but at what price?

The one piece of advice I have continued to give throughout my career is "BE YOU". I say this simply because no one can be you better. God made you and your circumstances so I say flaunt what you naturally have that no one else has the power to be or do.

One of the main issues today as to why a great number of people are unhappy with hip hop is because too many rappers sound alike. So much so it's a bit hard to tell them apart. Of course there are some that bring something different to the game and those are the ones that quickly rise to the top because of their originality. Matter of fact there are only 2 categories as far as I'm concerned, uniquely different (leaders) and mundanely boring (followers).

I say to mcs and producers, while creating your rhymes and beats if you feel it's reminiscent of something you've heard...it probably is. Switch it up immediately!!! Dare to be different! Push yourself to a new place and challenge your works from yesterday!


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Choosing a manager Part 2

4 Do they listen?  You want to make sure whoever you have lined up as a prospect has the capability of listening. If you have ideas and need them bought to fruition you're going to need someone who listens and can help bring every detail to life.

5 Are they patient? Things don't and won't happen overnight. In some isolated cases they do but those are the ones that never last for long.  But for most cases you need a manager who is going to be in it for the long haul.  You want someone dedicated to your movement that won't just jump ship because the storm gets a little hard to bare.

6 Are they honest? Will they tell you when you're shit stinks? When the song ain't so hot?  When you're look ain't hittin'?  When the stardom has gone to your head and you need to come down off of cloud 9 and treat people like they're supposed to be treated.

The bottom line is you need someone in your corner that's rooting for you the way your mama and daddy would. You need someone that has your back that you can say anything to and it will be kept in confidence. You need a partner that understands that they are just as important as you are in this business and that not much will happen without you two, the artist and management being in complete sync. Choosing a manager will be one of the most important steps you take in your career. Possibly the most important, seeing they will move with you throughout the life of your career and will ultimately aid you in achieving your goals and making every dream come true. Good luck!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Choosing a manager

Ok so real talk, there's no right or wrong way to choose a manager, it's all according to how YOU like it. What might work for one artist may not work at all for another.

I would just advise an artist to look at these areas and then make a sane decision.

1 Are they familiar with the business?
If they are great! If they aren't make sure they are the type that wants to learn and doesn't feel like they know everything (those are the worst). At least if they're open enough to broaden their knowledge they may have a chance of eventually knowing all it may take to becoming a successful manager.

2 Are they personable? Meaning can they finesse a situation and have others wanting to work with them? This is very important because most times business will pass through management first and if they suck at communicating there goes your next job right down the toilet. Sometimes managers need people skills, especially if they never had to really confront situations and TALK to people. Artists, this is something to consider if your (prospect) manager is your best friend from the block and your their first client. Nothing with having a life long friend manage your career but let's make sure they're up to speed and can really handle the title "manager".

3 The last thing for this blog entry would be to take notice to how your (prospect) manager speaks to people and how they handle pressure in stressful circumstances. Wouldn't want your manager going off the deep end and then you have to play clean up afterwards. Remember every problem that may arise can be handled quite easily if the intent is to solve and perpetuate.

Tomorrow points 4-6. Happy manager hunting!!
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ADHD???




For all of you who know parents who think their kid may have ADHD, or that drugging kids is ok -- this video may help explain the issue.

"No More ADHD"
More than 4 million children in the U.S. alone have been labeled with ADHD and put on drugs documented by the FDA to cause tics, stunted growth, heart attack, stroke and sudden death.  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Ritalin, Concerta and other ADHD drugs in the same class of highly addictive drugs as cocaine, morphine and opium.
Psychiatric drugging of kids is big business.  ADHD drugs sales alone generate $3.1 billion a year.  Parents need to be informed that not only is the diagnoses of ADHD completely subjective (a child fidgets, stares out the window, forgets his homework and he can be diagnosed ADHD) but that there are non-drug solutions for solving children's problems of behavior, attention and learning.  Parents have a right to this information.
Dr. Mary Ann Block, Medical Director & Founder of the Block Center, and author of No More ADHD is our featured blog/video interview this week: click here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whitney's Strength

This morning I slid into the back of the car for the traffic riddled ride to the Atlanta airport. The driver asked if I'd like to hear the Tom Joyner morning show and I said of course. I know Tom well and I've actually worked with some of his productions as recently as the annual cruise that I participated in this past spring.

As soon as the radio came on I could hear the voice of a soulful Whitney. I'd heard the song several times by now and remembered attending a very private Beverly Hills listening party for the new release thrown by none other than record mogul Clive Davis. The space was packed with radio folks, journalists and anyone else who Clive thought would be vital participants in taking this record #1. I arrived a little late and when I tell you there wasn't a seat in the house...it wasn't a seat in the house.

So while standing, lol I checked the place out. Rich beautiful draping lined the walls. Huge pictures of Whitney surrounded the room and every monitor strategically placed adorned her face. All I could think was, "She's really back".

There are only a few artists throughout my lifetime I've actually exemplified fanatic behavior and they go in this order,
Undoubtedly The King of POP, the legendary all time favorite Michael Jackson. I had the Levi denim jacket with about 30 buttons or more. My bedroom walls were filled with so many Michael Jackson posters it looked like wallpaper.
His album cover for the Thriller album sat on a boom box that collected dust like an unused piece of furniture.

And then came his sister Janet. Rhythm Nation by far was one of the most amazing movements to ever have been set into motion. Even after accompanying her on tour and opening up for her nationwide I'd watch every show and take pics like I had never seen the damn thing.

But I must say the NJ bred female songstress that stepped on the scene with "You Give Good Love" and "Thinking About you" was an idol for me. Having no idea that she was about to become a world phenom and the biggest selling female of all time. I was and am still a huge fan of Whitney Houston and basically she can do no wrong.

As I sat in the car listening to her new release Tom Joyner announced she's coming up live at the top of the hour and I felt the fan arise in me all over again. I felt an overwhelming feeling that almost resulted in a tear. Although the tear never dropped the sentiment was there and I suddenly really really understood what it meant to have Whitney back!!

All the years of having her and then slowly she was gone. I remember bowling with her and a few friends years ago and how much fun we all had and how vibrant she was. Thought I'd see her much more often after that but never again, only on television. Many times after I'd hear her name and think wow, we lost her. If I felt that way imagine how her mom felt, her family, Clive and the millions of fans across the world. I'm getting chills right now just thinking of how blessed she was, is and will be.

There are people who God may put here to make change and then they're are people who are sent to inspire those who make change. Just as I have said to be an mc's mc, Whitney by all means is a singer's singer. Whitney surpassed the expectations of most but certainly that was in Clive's plan from the very beginning. A true star in every since of the word and now she shines again.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

FED UP YET

When is enough enough? I guess enough occurs the day you make the decision life will no longer go down the way that it has been. It's the moment you decide your well being is far more important than anyone or anything.

Enough is when you walk out of the door and rid yourself of ever having to slip up and slam your face against the back of his hand anymore.

Enough is when you step out on faith and know that a life of drugs and alcohol may have been for the generations before you but doesn't have to define YOUR walk in this lifetime.

Enough is when you decide you won't be taken advantage of. The amount of time you've known someone doesn't make it okay for them to use you and never give you something in return, be it family or friends.

Say "Enough is enough" and get your life moving in the direction you should have been headed in along time ago.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grant's Rules to Success

Focus on your dreams and your dreams will come into focus! Know that you always end up where your mind goes! It will be realized in your mind before it is realized!
-------------------------------------------------------
Go for failure!
Everyone wants to succeed,
and no one wants to fail.
The way to get to success is the road less traveled.
The more failures you can swallow,
the more success you will be able to eat.

For more Rules of Success like these visit Grant Cardone.

The Floacist

Just got off the phone with my sister in music Natalie better known as The Floacist formerly a member of the well known group Floetry.  She is back in the mix in rare form as a soloist.  Her style is definitely something the world at large can connect to and she is ready for the world to hear her. Here is a special message from her

Peace, Love and Light 2 All...xx

Over the next couple of months, I am gearing up for the release of my debut solo album, FREEDOM...xx

As a part of the build up, I will be giving away free spoken word piece/peace downloads. And I'm kicking it all off with...

'CIPHER'

Make sure you stay connected, as I will be keeping you updated with all of my movements. Here are a few of my upcoming events:

Plays:
'Bois Don't Cry'
September 5th
14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

'Walk Like A Man'
September 6th
14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

Poetry Performance:
The Arc Theater, DC - September 19th

and I will be a Host at:
Can A Sister Rock A Mic @ Busboys and Poets, DC - October 6th

Stay connected for updates on:
Album launch / listening parties
Promotional tour coming in the Fall!

I am looking forward to reconnecting with you all on the road! Until then, enjoy 'Cipher', and make sure you stay tuned for your free downloads!

Happiness to you...xx
Flo'...xx 



Check her out at her Myspace spot.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Glamorous Life


We all remember the flavor that this woman added to Prince's Kingdom.  Her stick drumming had everyone singing along to her chart toppers like Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre. Of course she is still doing her thing in a major way.  I sat with Sheila and her manager a couple of weeks ago and yes we did talk about music but more attention was put on a foundation they started a few years ago. Please read for more details.

Currently, Sheila, a philanthropist, continues to devote her talents and time to the 
Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF), a charitable organization (which she is co-founder and co-chair) that assists the needs of abused and abandoned children through music therapy. Despite the demands of her commitment to making music, she maintains a heavy involvement in the organization. "There are so many kids who need our help," she says, "And we're trying to help them get their lives together by building their confidence through music and the arts. It's just another way for me to do God's will, another reason for living. I believe we are here to help people in this lifetime. We must give something of ourselves to truly live." Sheila E. and EHF have presented countless events to raise money for the foundation.


A letter from Sheila as told on her website Elevatehope.com



At the tender age of five I was sexually abused by a babysitter. Growing up, I struggled with the shame of my childhood experience, but fortunately I had an outlet. Not until I was an adult did I realize how my exposure to music at an early age assisted in the healing process. Many abused children have expressed a heartfelt desire to involve themselves in the education of music and the arts.
It was evident that I had to do something with what I had experienced for discarded and forgotten children around our country. I decided that it was imperative for me to share God's goodness instead of life's tribulations. Although we go through many, it is more important to share the ups and reveal the downs for a healthy and positive change.
I want to impart strength, endurance, hope, kindness and love to those who feel it is impossible to attain. Sharing my story and offering my help in this process are true expressions of God's love in my life.
In my endeavor, I discovered that many have expressed an urgent desire to involve themselves in the education of music as an outlet. I know, as their families, even society has discarded them, the exposure and education of music and the arts will be a life changing and saving experience. To give to the needs and desires of these children will help enable them to cope with their emotional, even physical challenges.
As a result, my manager and business partner, Lynn Mabry and I launched the Elevate Hope Foundation. She too was sexually abused as a child by a family friend. She shares my desire to assist children, even adults in the healing process. Our foundation is committed to help the needs of those who desire to keep searching for answers, find an alternative to express their pain and work towards enjoying a new life.
If you are one of those who are willing to help, please be one of our "angels" and give. If you are one of those who needs help, begin to talk about it. Pain is only temporary. Your life is yours to live and you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.
We created an avenue on our web site for you to tell your story. A place for you to read about others like us. To be able to give someone hope by sharing a kind word. Please check out ourinspirations.
With your help, we will soon build a Compassion Care Center Of The Arts in the metropolitan Los Angeles Area for children to have a safe place to be educated in the arts, a place to get away and enjoy an afternoon of peace and tranquility, a place where children and parents alike can receive counseling to help them get through their trying times, even the opportunity to learn the very basics in day to day living. This is our desire.
Be imitators of goodness as dearly loved children and live a fulfilled life of love. Thank you for your support and love.
Always,
Sheila E






Mission

Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF) is dedicated to providingabused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts, and funding special services and programs that assist the needs of these children using these fundamental methods.
Co-founded in 2001 by entertainer Sheila E. and business manager, Lynn Mabry, EHF supports existing programs of their beneficiaries through monetary funding and in-kind donations e.g. musical instruments, art supplies, and work stations complete with computers, keyboards and applicable instructional software.
Over 65 percent of our grant dollars will be invested at the local community level. Outside financial support fills a viable niche in light of more conservative funding offered by the federal government.
Foster care systems and outreach programs alike share the urgent demand for funding and unite in this strong commitment to serve the needs of disadvantaged children.


For more info like bio, gallery and a new video visit Sheila E.