Friday, June 29, 2007


Ok, so this was my first time coming to the BET Awards. As you may know I was nominated for BET J’s Cool Like That Award, along with Gerald Levert, Brian McKnight, Musiq, and Elizabeth Withers. Now in all honesty I didn’t think there was a chance in hell in me winning. Especially with Gerald Levert (one of my heroes) recently passing away, and me being the only independent artist nominated period. *stops to scratch his head* Well only moments after stepping onto the red carpet I found out that Gerald won. I quickly said a prayer thanking God for sharing Gerald with us, and giving me this opportunity. The entire experience was humbling to say the least, so lets start from the top of the day.
We walk into the radio remote room. This room pretty much had every big radio station in the country set up in there, and artist ranging from Neyo, Fabolous, Bow Wow, Tank, Unk (Walk It Out), and the new rap group A BAY BAY going from table to table doing interviews. Being my hotel was super far away I was already dressed in my midnight chocolate suit and power red tie. Damn it I was trying to make a statement. Well I went from table to table promoting myself, and the movement to whoever would listen. Some were far from interested, and did the interview staring at the major artists who were coming up behind me. But most were professionals and did their homework on me. Some even had my records already, and knew all about the stuff we had been doing. It was so intense that I got my yearly headache during the process. Hours later when we were finished I stood at the door, taking it all in, and considering how it would all pay off.
We hit the red carpet. It is hot as all outdoors. My shirt under my suit instantly was soaked from the sun, as well as my nervousness. Shawn was looking absolutely beautiful, and I was the luckiest man to have her by my side thru this. So I took her by the hand, and we stepped on the first marker for the photographers. Would anyone be interested in shooting me I thought? My answer was sent thru the numerous flashes over the next couple of minutes. We had to move fast because Common, and Swizz Beats were right behind us. Then we did the camera interviews. Once again it felt good to have certain interviewers sprinkled through out the line who knew about me and what we’ve been doing. All in all, every interview went great, and I enjoyed that whole process.
4:30-ish PM
We head to our seats. What a beautiful stage. Wow this is going to be exciting I told myself. We had great seats. The 11th row(which was actually the 6th), and next to rappers, models and singers. All of our pictures sucked. I mastered the art of photographing the back of everyone’s head as they passed. Nic Cannon, Beyonce, Rihanna, 50 Cent, you name it I got the back of their head. The lights went out and Shawn and I were like a kid in a candy store. Half way thru the show, Elsa (my publicist) came and got me to go back and do more press and photos. During this time I missed 50 cent performance, the Gerald Levert tribute, as well as the Diana Ross tribute featuring my wife.. I mean Erykah Badu. No worries. I was here to work and promote my music and our movement. I was about to take questions from the press in their room backstage, until I was bumped out the way for T.I. I was more than willing to wait. Not out of fear of getting sucker punched or anything. (Read up if you don’t get the joke.) Hell I wanted to see what he had to say just like the rest of the people in the room. He didn’t say much thought, and before you know it I was up there doing my song and dance again.. I made a plate of food in the publicist room (thanks again Elsa), and then made my way back to my seat. And just in time to see Public Enemy do the James Brown tribute, which they rocked. That might have been my favorite part of the night.
The show is over but there is still more press to do. Most people are unplugging their equipment, but some we missed were willing to do quick interviews with me. Damn my feet hurt. I cant imagine what women go thru. Hmmm, maybe I should’ve worn my dunks.
Finally in the car, and headed to the after party. Now any one who knows me, knows that I am not a club cat. I spend most of the year in clubs performing, and when I am not singing I am far far away from them. But this is business and we have a brand and a movement to represent, so we go. Its cool.. There’s more food, a few more hands to shake and cards to exchange. We actually have another party to hit so we circle the party a few times and then head for the door.
Our names are not on the list for the next party, so we cant get in. Thank you Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Hahahahaha… Its time to retire for the night. Our driver is a real nice guy. He was an older brother with 6 kids, and a wife of 25 years waiting at home. He picked up the right group tonight, cause he will be home earlier then expected.
Real talk. I know I work hard at what I do, but I really don’t know why I was lucky enough to have this honor. Before I go a second further I just want to say I appreciate everyone who has supported me over the years. I pray I continue to make the right decisions, and do what’s best for the thing that has helped me so much thru life. And that’s music. I love it, I know you love it, and we love each other because of it. I gained a new hunger while out in Cali. I got close enough to the fire to feel the heat, but not lose my life to it. Its time we take this business by storm, and I am going to set the bar even hire for myself and the people that I work with in this business. On you mark, get set, GO…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


So Shawn and I are on a plane headed home from Jamaica. Wow what a trip. I performed at Michael Baisden’s Island Jam at Hedonism. If you know anything about Hedo, you know that it’s a wild and buck naked trip. I honestly can’t lie. I was worried going there. No telling what could happen. Ive never performed in front of naked people before. Hahahahaha.. Well it sure did get wild, and some people at times were naked, but everyone had a great energy and spirit about them. Most only knew of me thru Michael’s generosity on the radio, but they showed me crazy love and bought a ton of cds that I snuck thru customs. (insert grin…) As well I had the opportunity to share the stage with Rahsaan Patterson, Hill St Soul and Elizabeth Withers. They all did great. My highlight was Rahsaan rendition of Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride.” It was great to spend some time with Rahsaan and actually pick his brain some. He seems to be a real private person, but his spirit and what he offers is genuine. Oh I have to add this as well. When we were finished performing and Michael Baisden was thanking the crowd, K-Ci Haley from Jodeci (who performed earlier that day at the pool party) came onstage and wanted to sing. Do you know Michael turned to him and said, “Nah can’t do that. This stage was for my B-side artists.” He then turned and walked away. That impressed me.
The night before our performance was the comedy night hosted by Bill Bellamy. Not only was he funny, but Shawn and I shared a great conversation with him about the balance of marriage, careers, etc.. That’s a brother I’ve always respected, and our convoe only added to it. The funniest guy of the night to me was Rudy Rush. He’s a radio DJ in Dallas. Yo he had my stomach hurting. Rodney Perry and Ron G were funny as hell also. Plus they were real cool brothers. Last but not least I have to big up my man George Wilborn. Not only is his spirit genuine, but he has to be one of the naturally funniest people on the planet. He’s a testament to have dedicated you have to be to this game and how true talent can’t be denied.
Okay now lets touch on the wild stuff. Shawn and I actually discussed the trip before hand. We figured there would be too much nakedness for us to be all tunnel vision. I’m sorry if a fat butt comes walking by it was gonna be hard not to look. And there were some things Shawn may have had a problem looking away from as well. Well let me tell you some of them people aint have no business out there showing the stuff they were showing. There was a banana eating contest. Put your minds in the gutter to get the picture. There was the human sundae, which was probably the wildest thing Shawn and I saw out there. But naked twister and some other wild stuff was on the program. Hahahahaha.. I enjoyed myself, and as soon as this plane lands im going to church to get baptized again. I think I did well enough to be invited back. Will I go you ask? (insert grin)

Monday, June 4, 2007


Ok so my nephews stayed with me the other night. My oldest nephew, Jevon is a big Lebron James fan, so they watched the game over here. Well sunday morning we hopped in my car in hunt for a Nintendo Wii. Well that dag on thing was sold out everywhere, but thats not what i wanted to write about. While driving I told Jevon to plug his MP3 player in so we all could hear it. Well the first song he played was "Lip Gloss." Now this isn't my favorite hip hop song of all time by far, but i respect it. Especially after seeing how my other nephew Jaden was dancing in the backseat to it. Hey i guess this is today "Men In Black" or something. My only problem with the song was when she started singing. I wish i was in the studio to advice her thru it better..
Ok, so here is where it gets tricky. He played a mixture of songs. Most of them being hip hop. Well Fat Joe's "Make It Rain" comes on, and though all the curse words are edited out, I cant help but wonder if he should be listening to this. Does he know this is a song about paying strippers. He's 11 so maybe he sees it differently than the 33 year old who has been to Magic City before. Well Jim Jones' "Ballin" comes on soon after. Damn should I say something. I ask myself what did I listen to when I was 11 years old. I listen to hip hop just like him. Run DMC, Slick Rick, Dougie Fresh, Rakim. Sure there were curse words and they probably weren't bleeped out, but those songs weren't the main stream radio songs. Well "La Di Da Di" had some lyrics my parents wouldn't have approved of, but for the most part the song subjects were ear friendly. What hip hop today is ear friendly for the younger generation that loves hip hop? I guess "Lip Gloss" isn't that bad of a song after all.