Who Says Everyone Can’t Win?

April 8, 2016 in Coaching Corner by Mropenyonated


Who says everyone can’t win? I remember back in the day when  crews were coming out and one would blow up then they would make the way for other acts to have their turn. If one ate everyone was eating until the next person popped off.  Some of us are so full of ourselves, so full of our talent that you can’t tell us anything. Everyone wants the marquee, everyone wants their name in lights bump the rest of the crew. No one wants to play team ,no one wants to uplift the first person out of the gate which is why it is so hard for everyone to win. Who is in your crew that has the most marketability & talent? Surround that person ,build that person up so that they can lead the way and open the doors then prepare the next person and duplicate. Sounds simple doesn’t it? In theory it is but some of us are so jealous of each other so afraid of someone being bigger than us that we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. So are all the crabs in the barrel just gonna die because they are constantly pulling each other down? It’s time to start putting aside our egos and truly building. Is everyone gonna keep faking it or are people going to bind together so that they all can make it?

If we want our communities to change

April 5, 2016 in Blog by Mropenyonated

3D rendering of a forming puzzle with the word Community

3D rendering of a forming puzzle with the word Community

Just had a thought, sometimes it seems we put more responsibility on law enforcement and government officials to keep our immediate neighborhoods safe. Many of us knowingly ignore those who are participating in criminal activity but expect someone else to do something about it. At what point do we take responsibility for our own communities? Have you taken a look around your community lately and observed who there is actually doing anything to make it better? Are you one of the people involved in making it better or are you just locked into your house saying how horrible things are?   Are we still waiting on someone who does not live in our communities to ride in and save us? If we don’t show any interest in changing our communities why would anyone else?   Tackling problems  of this nature isn’t easy and can sometimes be dangerous but if we want better places to live aren’t some of us going to have to do something? We know that there are those who live among us that are wreaking havoc but why do we continue to let them do so? Do the people who want to destroy  outnumber the people who want to live in peace or is that just an illusion reinforced by what we are taking in via the media? If we want true transformation in our communities we are going to have to be the ones of the frontlines not the president, the mayor or the police.

Kells Presents “Abnormal”

April 5, 2016 in Music & Poetry Blog by Mropenyonated


Most of the messages that we hear in music are pretty much the same, it’s like a broken record everyone is talking about the same thing which is why I was pleasantly surprised with the Abnormal mixtape.  Once upon a time ago hip hop had a message, it made you think but it was replaced by tales of selling dope, anthems of girls shaking their asses and how many named brand clothes a person was wearing.  Kells brings us hip hop that makes you stop and say hmmmm. It’s motivational music and it makes you think.   I popped the cd in on my commute to class after a long day and a few trials and it lifted my spirits hip hop rarely does that anymore. This is the type of music that we need to bring back especially in the climate that exists in many of our inner cities.  The content is not the only good thing about the cd, Kells flows well over the beats.  I’ve had the opportunity to see him perform on many occasions and his in person persona matches his product. In the hip hop arena most acts tend to be a bit arrogant but you won’t experience that with Kells he is a down to earth guy.  The cd has a recurring theme of empowerment,  trust and faith in a higher power to be successful.  My favorites are Poem Cry, and Manifestation.  It’s definitely worth the purchase so make sure that you grab a copy for yourself and someone you want to uplift. His official album release is Thursday April 14th at Poetic Thoughts Thursdays 5840 West Madison in Chicago at 7pm.  Keep up with Kells on Facebook at Markell Kells Thompson and IG at KellsTheArtist.

Team Work

April 1, 2016 in Coaching Corner by Mropenyonated


There is a saying that goes “Teamwork Makes the Dream work.” When the wrong mixture of people are together the dream can become a full blown nightmare.  While we don’t want to be surrounded by a team of yes people we also don’t want a team of people who are constantly at odd with each other.  It’s important that team members be in sync with each other so that they can achieve their goals.  When everyone on the team has a different focus and agenda it can easily turn out to be a disaster.  One of the most important components of a successful team is making sure that the line of communication are open.  The lack of communication is often the root cause of problems on teams.  In addition even though teams exist it’s equally important that individual needs are met, everyone must be getting something out of the effort. Whenever there is a superstar and everyone is not shining there is always an opportunity for jealously to step in.  Teams can be wonderful as long as everyone is playing their part.  Whenever the weight of the load is not evenly distributed among team members problems arise and members may feel like they are doing more than the other and not being compensated based on what they are putting in. Many of us have had the opportunity to work in team settings whether it was for a school assignment, or some other kind of effort. What are some of the things that made your experience good or bad?  Share some of your experiences with us. Follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and like our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Openyonated/?fref=ts


March 30, 2016 in Coaching Corner by Mropenyonated


We are creatures of routine.  Doing the same thing at the same time with the same people on the same days makes life easier for most people.  Typically when you ask people to disrupt their pattern problems arise.  Why is it that some people are so resistant to change?  Why don’t people want to venture out of their normal routines? There could be a multitude of reasons why we don’t like to change but change is very necessary to stay on top of what is going on around us.  Of course there are a few things that never change like the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons, etc but, change is constant.  When we fail to embrace change when it’s necessary we can make things harder on ourselves.  When someone insists on spending a significant amount of time with people who have shown that they mean them no good they are damaging themselves because they don’t want to change.  When a person refuses to change their diet and physical activity even though it has been identified as the root cause of their health problems they are damaging themselves.  If we refuse to change when it’s necessary we are taking part in  self sabotaging behavior.  Initially change can be hard but in the final analysis it’s definitely worth it. Identify some areas that change would benefit you, put a plan together, find some accountability partners and get on the road to a new you. That’ our 2 cents on the matter. Follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated.

It’s the little things that make a BIG difference.

March 26, 2016 in Coaching Corner by Mropenyonated


We live in a world where it’s normal to make GRAND gestures. Nowadays companies are even inventing holidays to keep the cash flowing but, you don’t have to put on a BIG production to let someone know how you feel about them or to celebrate a special day. We typically wait until the holidays to give people tokens of love and let them know that they are being thought about. You really don’t have to wait until someone’s birthday, anniversary to let them know how special they are to you. You don’t have to wait until Christmas to give someone a gift, you can do it anytime you want. In addition you don’t have to spend tons of money, small things and gestures say a lot and can pack a BIG punch.  Washing someones car, doing their laundry, cleaning their home, doing  yard work, etc are small underrated things you can do to show people you are thinking about them. There are also very inexpensive items that you can pick up from local vendors that are very moderately priced that people will appreciate.  Next time you’re thinking about breaking the bank to show someone how special they are or to celebrate a special day, think about how you can make it more intimate and meaningful by going smaller. That’s our 2 cents for today.  Follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and like our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Openyonated/

Activity does not always equal productivity.

March 26, 2016 in Blog by Mropenyonated


We live in a world of busy people, countless numbers of people are multi- tasking everyday in an effort to get ahead. I personally am always on the go, running here, there and everywhere. We can become so busy simply doing something that the something that we are busy doing is not always getting us to the next level. For example, I attend a lot of local events gathering information to blog about, getting the word out about cool people and things but I had to ask myself “does being everywhere really do anything for my company?” Does my activity equal to productivity, are my numbers growing? Is my brand more recognizable ? Taking a good look at your activity and the results it gives is crucial to success. We often mistake being busy as growth but sometimes it’s just being busy. I encourage others to take a look at what they are doing and if it is actually giving the desired results.  That’s my 2 cents on the matter.  Follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and like our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Openyonated/?fref=ts 

Children are not little adults.

March 23, 2016 in Blog by Mropenyonated


Does anyone remember the term latch key child? If you have forgotten the term the Urban dictionary has provided a definition: A minor, left at home unsupervised while the parents are out or away; also called latchkey. Well many parents have taken the term to a different level in 2016. I have never seen so many children who are on their own in so many ways.  Many parents are emotionally unavailable to their children. They are consumed with their spouses or partners, their friends, their jobs and their social lives. When parents are so consumed with their lives their children are starved emotionally and often look for love in other places  sometimes dangerous places. Many children prepare their own dinner on a daily basis or even worse have their major meals provided at school or community organizations. This is the case in many instances where the home may receive food subsides in the form of food stamps. Last time I checked a lot of government assistance is provided because the adult has children to take care of.  So many of our youth have been put into adult situations by the adults that are suppose to be making decisions for them. To make the problem even he structure of the extended family is not what it used to be so children are truly on their own. So many people often say the children these days are terrible but can some of them help it if they have been raised by terrible parents? Children are not little adults!  So what’s your opinion on this hand off parenting?  Follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated and like our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Openyonated/?fref=ts

Darlin Mikki “Hustla’s Wife”

March 22, 2016 in Blog by Mropenyonated


Darlin Mikki paints pain beautifully! She  is normally behind the scenes making things happen as management or playing a supporting role on the At Ease Sunday team. Many people have heard her spit at various sets around the city but I don’t think they have saw her this stripped down.  I first heard some of her new material at the Spotlighters show.  I was floored because it was raw, gritty and didn’t have a filter. You could actually visualize what she went through in a piece about her father.  Hustla’s wife is a look into the life of many women who we know. I’ve know these women who she presents to us, they are my family and I’m sure the family of others.  Darlin Mikki takes you on an emotional roller coaster with her debut.  I could just be a sap but certain pieces had me in tears and those are the poems that I had on repeat. This look behind the veil is refreshing because we normally see Mikki working background but it’s time to take her place in the spotlight.  My favorites on the project are “Hustla’s Wife” and “Other Being”  Make sure you grab a copy of Hustla’s Wife. That’s our 2 cents make sure you follow us on all social media @MrOpenyonated and like our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Mr.Openyonated/

Kai Love “Little Star”

March 22, 2016 in Blog by Mropenyonated


March is filled with new releases from many Chicago artists.  I had the opportunity to grab a copy of Kai Love’s new release “Little Star.” I’ve seen Kai at various spoken word sets around the city and she is sweet as be! They say good things come in small packages so don’t let her size fool you because her project is not pint sized! Kai’s cd is a mixture of sensual energy and Black Girl Magic.  I didn’t know that she sung so it was a pleasant surprise to hear her mix her poetry up with melodies. Simply put it’s a fun listen. When she isn’t teasing your senses with, she is flowing. I really love the cd, it’s produced well and the content gives you variety.  If I had to pick a couple of  favorites on the project it would be the empowering piece “Black Girl Magic”, “Love from Un” and “We Are One.” You’ll also enjoy “Come See Me.” with it’s reggae inspired feel.  I can’t wait to see if Kai Love brings some visuals from the project.  All around it’ s a solid project. That’s my 2 cents, follow us on all social media at @MrOpenyonated

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