Hip Hip recently had a birthday. It is now 40 years old. It has evolved, mutated, and grown over the years. Hip Hop isn’t just music, it’s a culture and has become such a dominant force that its influences can be seen in many products and services. I grew up in the Golden age of Hip Hop. I can remember vividly songs and videos from Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, Roxanne Shante, Biz Markee, Yo-Yo to name a few. I attempted to make rap songs and was glued to the television when new videos were released. I recently attended Mic Fest at Subterranean for the second time. It’s a cool venue, they have decent food and a chill atmosphere. I had to opportunity to hear a couple of artists perform with different styles and deliveries. I always lean toward music that takes me back to the era of when there was more story telling in hip hop but I realize that there are different styles. I tend to stray away from anything that is too cliche, or is the normal I have money, cars, women and there was a little of that there. There were a few gems in the line up as well as a couple of songs where I said I’ve heard this same kind of song a million times just by different people. What was missing from the set was a female artist. I’d like to see some female artist vibe with the men like they did in the golden years. Overall I enjoyed the set. I would encourage anyone throwing their hat into the ring to stay away from what everyone is doing, its been done over an over again and people want something different. Time to breathe new life into hip hop and that can only happen by steering clear of the norms. That’s my 2 cents.
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I love music. I really, really love music! Any time I get an opportunity to see a local artist perform live I am there. Last night my ears we treated to a siren names Erin Sedalia. It’s actually not the first time that I heard Erin sing, my first encounter with her was at karaoke night at The Mirror Project. When you attend karaoke your greatest fear is that someone who actually knows how to sing gets on the mic. I was blown away by her voice the first time I heard it. Erin’s voice is not the only thing that makes her special. We live in an entertainment industry when bad acting divas reign supreme. Erin is a diva but she is a diva in a good way. She has a humble spirit, always is pleasant and has an infectious smile. Last night’s set was awesome. she treated us to a few cover songs as well as material from her forth coming album. One of the songs that took us in was her song called PK it was a hand clapping foot stomping joint that would make any lover of music go in! I really look forward to Erin releasing her full album. If you want to treat yourself to her sweet sounds be sure to add her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/erin.sedalia?fref=ts and on Twitter. @ErinSedalia
Check some of her Youtube videos out
Listening is a very important skill. The old saying is “God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk.” I’m sure that everyone has heard that line before. We live in a world where we are constantly communicating. Our methods of communication have expanded vastly over the course of a few years. Social media has only amplified just how much and how loud we talk. There is more talking which means we need to do MORE listening. One of the most important lessons while taking my life coaching classes was learning about the need to listen. People say so much that we rarely catch simply because we are not listening. Sometimes people say things that they didn’t mean to say or that they were not aware of saying. Freudian slip is the term used when people say things that they really did not mean to say out loud; I call them heart spills. The heart(mind) holds all of our wishes, dreams, insecurities, fears, likes and dislikes. Heart spills can be good or bad. Sometimes our heart spills good things like I love you, I miss you, or I’m sorry. Sometimes our heart spills out bad things like I hate you, I wish you would go away, etc. Being a good listener will enable you to pick up on heart spills and help you to navigate more successfully in life. I’ve always been observant and it has served me well. I encourage everyone to look and listen more so that you don’t miss important information when someone spills their heart in your presence. Has anyone ever had a good heart spill in your presence whether it was good or bad? How did you feel about it? What action did you take?
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We are always in times of transition, we transition from newborns to toddlers, from toddlers to adolescents from aldolenscents to teens , teens to adults. We are always evolving and changing. There are many people going through transitions during this time of the year. Some people are transitioning from elementary school to high school, some from college to the work force, others from being single to being married or vice versa. One of the most important questions to ask ourselves as when going through transitions in our lives is what is the next step in living out your vision? Some important questions to ask yourself are: What is my next step? Where do I see myself going? Some people have a clear path of where they are going in life while others simply have no clue. Today is the day to create a vision for your life. It’s time to start putting a plan together for your success. Why do we need a vision? If we fail to make a plan we truly are planning to fail! No king or queen has won a battle or conquered an adversary without a plan of action. Proverbs 29:18 states “for lack of vision my people perish”. If you don’t know where you are going you are bound to get side tracked while you wander aimlessly with no clear direction.
There is an additional component that you need that goes side by side with vision and it is PASSION. Passion is described as any powerful or compelling emotion. Passion simply put is how strongly do you feel about something. How strongly do you feel about your future? How strongly do you feel about the steps that you are taking to attain your goals? If you are not excited about where you are going the journey may lack excitement and it could possibly take you longer to arrive at your destination. It is critical that we are passionate about our relationships with God, our families, both biological and physical and those who we call friends. As you go through life ask yourself “what really gets me excited?” “What would I do for free?” Those are the things that you need to focus on. What would you do with very little motivation? Passion is crucial to get you to the next level of life!!
I love poetry. There are many talented poets in the city of Chicago so every opportunity that I have, I try to check a set out. I finally had the opportunity to attend At Ease Sunday’s. This Sunday in particular was a birthday celebration for Leos and the album release for Ollie HoodRaised Woods. Ollie is one of the founders of Penned Productions and one of Chicago’s most talented and humble poets. I’ve had the opportunity to see him perform at anti- violence rallies, Penned Production events and other events in the Chicagoland area. There is a vast array of poets in Chicago all with different deliveries and skill sets. One thing that has stood out with Ollie is his humbleness. The spoken word scene can be very competitive and if you are really good at what you do it may go to your head and affect your dealings with people. Ollie is very talented, his delivery is great and he has maintained a humbleness about himself and is approachable. The fact that he had such a great showing at his birthday celebration was a testament to his character. His latest project Mind Over Matters is an excellent piece of work. It has something for everyone. The album covers the topics of love and relationships, men in society, fatherhood and intimacy. I was impressed with the production, word play, and you seemed to get a look at who he really is. One of my favorite pieces on the album was the “My Bad” If you have not picked your copy up I highly recommend it. If you want to keep up with Ollie add him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ollie.h.woods and be sure to like the Penned Productions Page https://www.facebook.com/PennedProductions
Yesterday’s lesson in church was entitled enlarge your vision. It was an account from the Holy Bible in the book of Numbers Chapter 13 verses 25-33 where spies were sent out to do a survey of the land that God had already given his people. They were to observe the people, land, agriculture, etc. One set of people brought back a hopeful report while another set of people brought back a dreary report. I learned a couple of things from yesterday’s sermon. First when God has promised to give you something it’s already yours doubt only delays that promise. Secondly I learned that you have to be careful who you are in the foxhole with. No one wants to go to war with a coward! There is nothing like getting into a fight and the person who is suppose to have your back runs or freezes. Thirdly sometimes we dream too small. We choose safe things to go after and we cave to our insecurities. Sometimes you are in the place that you are in because quite frankly your vision is too small or you really just don’t trust God to do what he said he was going to do. The solution is to ENLARGE your vision and recommit to God so that you can fully believe in his promises!!! That’s my 2 cents!!
Have you ever let yourself go physically or over indulged just a lil bit? Well that’s my story I love pizza, lots of it along with cake, chocolate and tons of other things in excess. Too much of somethings just is not good. I’ve reached that point where I have realized that okay enough is enough it’s time to pull it together. Everyone knows I love meeting my Facebook friends in person especially if they are the same in person that they are online, because you know some people pretend online LOL. I don’t know which of my Facebook friends I met Javid L. Jenkins founder of Getting Better Fitness through but it must have been someone who was consistent. Javid has one of those stories that you love to hear. He came to a point in his life where he wasn’t happy with his current weight and he took control of it the old fashioned way and dropped over 100 pounds through diet and exercise. When you have developed something good you of course want to share it and that is exactly what he did. Javid is dedicated helping other individuals change the course of their lives through physical fitness. He has and is currently helping individuals transform their bodies and lives. Today I had the opportunity to attend one of his fitness boot camps and it packed a punch! I’ve used a personal trainer years ago and I got into the best shape that I’ve been in my adult life. When you slack off things happen and when I stopped working out and eating right I fell back into my old habits. Today’s training session was a reminder that you simply cannot slack off when it comes to your health. The beautiful thing about the boot camp was that there were people there from all backgrounds. I felt like I was among family. Everyone that was there was trying to achieve their personal best. At one point my body said “hey you haven’t done this in years what do you think you’re doing” and I was in a lot of pain but like any good trainer Javid helped me through the rough moment and I was able to finish the workout. I would highly recommend Getting Better Fitness to any individual that was attempting to get their bodies together in an uplifting and encouraging setting. If you want to check Getting Better Fitness and its founder out add him on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/GettingBetterFitness https://www.facebook.com/Javid73?fref=ts That is my 2 cents!
Starting a new business can be very exciting and very scary depending on which side of the coin you want to focus on. We live in a capitalist country and those who win understand capitalism. Communities that thrive are full of people with entrepreneurial spirit those who are not afraid to venture out and stake their claim in this life. We should applaud and support anyone that is willing to do so. I am very happy to say that I have attended school with many individuals who are not afraid build their own destinies. I got a chance to visit a new business launched by friends that I attended high school with. The name of their spot is called Cafe Corner located at 2144 W Vanburen Chgo, IL I like the location it’s in heart of the city on Chicago’s west side which is on the come up. There are various development projects happening on the West side so I believe that this was smart business move. The decor was relaxing with earthy tones perfect for relaxing. The menu has a variety of items from breakfast to delicious signature sandwiches, yummy cupcakes and of course coffee, expresso and tea. On my first visit I had the Jamaican Jerk Turkey Sandwich, German chocolate cup cake and a cappuccino all were delicious! The staff was friendly and gave great customer service which is always a plus. In this day and age it’s important that we support new businesses because they are what this country was built on and will be what empowers and jump starts our communities. If you are looking for a nice place with some good eats be sure to stop by, and that’s my 2 cents. Hours 6am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat, closed on Sunday
If you know Mr. Openyonated you know that he loves music. I have a box of my grandmother’s 45’s under my bed. I grew up in a time when music was music and it had substance. Companies took time in developing their artists back in the day but so much has changed. Companies have cut their budgets and don’t invest the time that it takes in developing its artists.Changes in technology and the way that music is delivered have altered the musical landscape and the independent artist now has greater control over his or her project. Gregory Michael Hood is an artist that provides a breath of fresh air in this current musical climate. I encountered him in an Apple Bee’s while waiting on a table with a couple of friends. I’m typically hesitant to purchase music that is being sold outside of a record shop because simply put it ends up as a drink coaster after I listen to the first few songs. On this night I decided to give it another try and it was a good decision. He was marketing his project Only If You Love Me which had more than a few gems on it some of them being the title track , I wanna rock, breathe to name a few. His new offering to the world is Veteran’s Day. It’s another solid contribution to the hip hop world. Some of my favorites are Basketball Wives, Heart of the Armed Forces and Is it her. One of things you will notice about GM and his music is that he is a respectable man in and outside of his music and that he has a respect for God and his fellow man. If you haven’t encountered his music yet I suggest that you take a listen, your ears will thank you.
Check out some songs from his latest project http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/gm-veteransday-veteran-s-day-mixtape.88963.html
Check him out on his Youtube Channel under GM1LOVE
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What motivates you to purchase a particular brand? Does the name of the brand motivate you to spend your money, what about the price point, or does quality give you that extra push to make that purchase? All of those things are important but everyone has that one thing that they like about a particular brand. This evening I had the honor to attend an event celebrating the Llewellyn retail debut at Sheer Delights. First and foremost when I attend any event I look to see if the atmosphere is inviting because no one wants to attend an event full of stuffy, unfriendly or arrogant people. Not too long after walked in, I was greeted by one of the models and offered refreshments and engaged in conversation in regards to some of the pieces that were available and what I was looking for. A friendly face is always a plus when you are attending an event. This was my first time meeting designer Jeffery Hawkins outside of social media and like his online persona he was very nice in person and knowledgeable about his product. Live models were present showcasing pieces from his male and female lines which was a plus and added to the experience. When I got home and tried on my purchase I was pleased with the fit and the feel of the product. While at the event I joked to Jeffery that I wasn’t going to look like the models so I was a little hesitant but he explained that it’s about how the garment makes you feel and as I sit here typing the garment feels GREAT! Llewellyn is one of my picks because the designer is skilled in his craft, he is down to earth which is important in this world of giant egos and the product is made with quality and looks good. That’s my 2 cents. To learn more about the Llewellyn Brand and see some of the collection check it out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Llewellyn/162314823820 and check out the man behind the brand Jeffrey Hawkins as well!