Honor loved ones while they’re alive

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotional health, employment and survival, it's important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotions, employment and survival, it’s important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

By Carmen Glover

Prince, Maurice White, David Bowie, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews and Glenn Frey are among notables that have passed on from the world of entertainment in 2016 and we are only in the month of April. One striking feature of this year so far is the many deaths that have occurred both in the lives of ordinary citizens and among the ranks of entertainers.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

There have been numerous incidents of mass killings, gang warfare in the inner cities, natural disasters, road rage and disagreements between friends, families and co-workers that have resulted in deaths. Also, data released last week indicated that the suicide rates have increased by 24 percent over the past two decades, which is another area of societal concern. With each death comes an awareness of our own mortality. With each death comes the realization that it is important for us to honor our loved ones while they are alive.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

If there is a family member, friend, or member of your close circle that you have neglected, reach out and reconnect. Your action might be as simple as a telephone call, but make the effort to engage that person in conversation just to gauge how they are doing. Express interest in their well-being, and if your schedules allow for you to meet and catch up, do so. Let the trend that has developed so far in 2016 be a guide illustrating  the importance of honoring your loved ones while they are alive.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Sometimes, closure is difficult when things are left unsaid or potential moments to connect with loved ones are routinely ignored due to the hustle and bustle associated with working, raising families, maintaining our health and enjoying our lifestyles. Yet, with hindsight often comes the realization that we had the power to engage more with our loved ones but we chose not to do so.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Is there someone who you have been meaning to call but you haven’t followed up with that small act so far this year? Has your mind been flooded with thoughts of a loved one but you pushed the thoughts away? Has someone been reaching out to you repeatedly to meet but you offer a myriad of excuses instead? Life is fleeting. Death is final. Take the time today to prioritize family and friendship. Make an effort to keep the bonds of connection strong, durable and lasting.–OnPointPress.net-

 

BREAKING: Musical icon Prince, 57, has died

Prince rocked Saturday Night Live (SNL) to usher in the month of November and Daylight Savings Time.

Prince, who has thrilled fans for decades with his electric style, died this morning at his Paisely Park estate in Minnesota.

By Carmen Glover

Musical icon Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, died at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota on Thursday, April 21, 2016, AP has reported. He was 57 years old.

On April 15, after an intimate performance in Atlanta, Prince’s plane made an emergency landing and he was rushed to the hospital after he complained of not feeling well, according to multiple reports.

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Prince and his famous purple guitar.

Known for his sultry voice, sensuous moves on stage, impressive guitar riffs and his purple persona, Prince has dazzled fans for decades. His death comes on the heels of his protegé, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews, who died earlier this year.

Prince has a monumental repertoire of music including “Purple Rain” which is also the name of a film based on his life, “When Doves Cry,” “Adore,” “1999,”  “Kiss,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,”  “Nothing Compares to You,” and “Little Red Corvette.”

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57. There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time,” Yvette Noel-Schure, the entertainer’s publicist, said In a statement.

Prince

Prince was enigmatic, talented and beloved.

Prince was nominated for Grammy Awards 32 times, walking away a winner seven times. In a statement, Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy said:
“Our GRAMMY family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Prince. Today, we remember and celebrate him as one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time. Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”

Prince and his Third Eye Girl Productions have released new music.

Prince and his Third Eye Girl Productions have released new music.

Fiercely independent, Prince had a protracted period of disagreement with his former label Warner Brothers, when he wanted to be released from his contract. He wrote the word “Slave” on his forehead in protest and changed his name to a symbol until the contract expired. He re-emerged on his own terms, shielding his music from social media and maintaining total control of his writing, producing and marketing. He stirred excitement wherever he appeared and leaves behind a legion of passionate fans, myself included, to mourn his passing. Rest in peace, Prince. You will be missed and I feel blessed that I saw you and Sheila E at Madison Square Garden in 2004 –OnPointPress,net.—

Street Roc: Exciting, versatile entertainers who thrill fans, showcase talents

The Street Roc Label has a cadre of diverse, talented musicians who bring individualism to the label.

The Street Roc Label has a cadre of diverse, talented musicians who bring individualism to the label.

By Carmen Glover

An enterprising group of youthful entertainers who cemented a strong bond of friendship while growing up in the Bronx, New York, the birthplace of hip hop, is poised to storm the music scene from their dual base of operations in Atlanta, Georgia and New York City with a plethora of musical offerings under their music umbrella, The Street Roc Label LLC.

Inspired by genres that span reggae, hip hop, R&B and Rock & Roll, the ambitious musicians are passionate about their craft and determined to make an indelible mark in the music industry. Despite having their own unique styles, they are also following in the footsteps of other memorable groups such as Ruff Ryders, which was helmed by DMX and the Fugees, which paved the way for explosive careers for its members Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel.

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With NWA’s biographical film, “Straight Outta Compton,” dominating the movie theaters this past summer and industry buzz building about upcoming releases chronicling the career of Snopp Dogg, sometimes known as Snoop Lion, the Street Roc roster mates see a viable path to carving out a competitive niche for themselves in the industry and solidifying their reputations as serious, conscious, hard-working, savvy musicians and budding entrepreneurs.

But, just like the 1985 blockbuster movie “Krush Groove” told the story of hip hop trendsetters Russell Simmons, Run-DMC and LL Cool J, and enigmatic musician Prince set the stage for independent producing when he left Warner Brothers after a public spat, the Street Roc team members are determined to have ownership of their work and shape the trajectory of their careers, a lesson many musicians fail to learn until they have lost all their earnings to extravagance and flash.

Kristoph Francis developed the name for the record label and takes great interest in the success of all the artists.

Kristoph Francis developed the name for the record label and takes great interest in the success of all the artists. His demo, “Critique Me,” was released in 2014.

Kristoph Francis, 23, one of the label’s co-founders, created the name for the company based on reactions to his childhood musical performances and because the name, Street Roc,”has a nice ring to it.”

“I came up with the name when I was in high school because everywhere we went we had the streets rocking,” he recalled. Francis, who played the Congo drums in church at age 11, describes the drums as instruments that infuse all of his musical repertoire. “When I’m making my beats, I think of the drums because they give me my music sense,” he said, explaining that his cousin plays the bass drums for reggae singer Capleton, who is known for introducing the element of fire to his extraordinarily spectacular shows.

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The Street Roc Label is poised for takeoff after releasing mixed tapes “Divine Adolescence,” in 2012 and “Too Geek’d For The Streets,” in 2013.

Francis said he was influenced to pursue a career in music by Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, his stepfather and a host of artists, including reggae crooner Sanchez, who came around the family often during Francis’ childhood. Meeting Young Jeezy and M.E.M.P.H.I.S. Bleek, who signed Francis’ book of raps, piqued his interest and fueled his drive to hone his musical skills.

As he puts the finishing touches on a mixed tape, which features singles such as “Back Home” and “It’s All Yours,” Francis reminisces about the day he showed his grandmother his homework, which posed the question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Francis wrote “a rapper,” which elicited much consternation and the response: “You can’t be a rapper,” which caused him to internalize his dreams until his adult mind was capable of developing a plan of action to aggressively respond to the tugging of his heart-strings and live his musical truth.

Kristoph Francis is focused on creating beats and taking the label to the fans.

Kristoph Francis is focused on creating beats and taking the label to the fans.

While also having an interest in music, the experience has been somewhat different for Francis’ brother, Malcolm ‘Dolo Pierre’ Jackson, 25, a co-founder of The Street Roc Label. Jackson combines his experience as an actor, songwriter, producer and musical artist to create a career path that is boundless in scope and richly textured with layers of possibilities.

“A lot of my musical and acting experiences come from the church because my mom was heavy in the church and I used to try to join her on the choir and they would let me sing,” he said, a thespian in his own right.

Malcolm "Dolo Pierre" Jackson delivers range as a multi-talented songwriter, producer, actor, musician and performer.

Malcolm “Dolo Pierre” Jackson delivers range as a multi-talented songwriter, producer, actor, musician and performer.

Citing reggae legend Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley and iconic entertainer Michael Jackson as his two greatest influences musically, Jackson strives for range in his music.

“I’ve done reggae, hip-hop, R&B,” he said, while explaining that all of the artists represented by the label “take pride in writing our own lyrics.”

Malcolm "Dolo Pierre" is looking forward to releasing a full album early in 2016.

Malcolm “Dolo Pierre” is looking forward to releasing a full album early in 2016.

Jackson, whose musical talents gained an audience when he participated in the chorus in elementary school and the band in middle school, said that being raised in a household with ‘musically inclined’ parents made a huge impact on his sensibilities.

“Music developed naturally and soon I wanted to record,” he said.  As he continues to follow his heart, Jackson said that he plans to release an EP of “all original music early in 2016,” and strives to achieve the taste of success, which, for him, is “the look on everybody’s faces telling me that nobody has any question about my talents.”

Kristine "Phresh" Walker is the lone female on the label and she cherishes her role as a deep thinker.

Kristene “Phresh” Walker is the lone female on the label and she cherishes her role as a deep thinker.

Kristene “Phresh” Walker, 26, spent the first seven years of her life in the Bronx before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, where the other members of the label gradually transitioned.

“Once we all came down to Atlanta, it solidified what we were trying to do,” Walker said, describing herself as a thinker.  “I think a lot and I want to bring a lot of thought back into music because back in the day it was more about lyrics and I’m trying to bring it back to that and integrate the message back into music and the rhythm,” she said.

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Walker, whose musical interest was awakened at age 13, also performed in church as a child. A solid artist, who sees her role as akin to Lauryn Hill with the Fugees, is striving to awaken “a more conscious and cultured element to the current crop of music, like Erykah Badu and Missy Elliott.”  For her, being a member of the Street Roc family is comforting.

“The team plays a big part because us being together pushes me to create something that never existed before,” she said. As she continues to promote her mixed tape, “Loud Silence,” which debuted in April 2015, she is also busy working on new music. “Being able to influence others and have a say, gives me a high and pushes me forward,” she said.

Lavar "Stiff Tha Godz" Stiff, is creative and entrepreneurial, a solid combination for success.

Lavar “Stiff Tha Godz” Stiff, is creative and entrepreneurial, a solid combination for success. As he promotes his mixed tape “High Times,” he utilizes concepts he learned while completing all but one semester in undergraduate studies in Business Administration. He hopes to complete his studies soon.

Lavar “Stiff Tha Godz” Stiff, 28, another of the label’s co-founders, was enthralled when he first saw Tupac Shakur having a merry time on MTV in his classic Dr Dre-produced hit “California Love,” followed by a video by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

“When I saw Tupac in ‘California Love’ I knew I wanted to be a rapper. He inspired me and MTV opened up a new gateway for me,” said Stiff, who was 8 years old at the time. “I started acting like I was on stage, like I was performing.”

Once the music bug hit, Stiff began to formulate a plan to make his dream become a reality. But he realized that he was also interested in the business side of the music industry so he enrolled in college and completed three and a half years of a degree in business administration.

"High Time" is an ode to marijuana and its impact on society.

“High Times” is an ode to marijuana and its impact on society.

“As far as entrepreneurship, I was influenced by Master P because he came from nothing to become one of the first Black millionaires just from doing rap. I’m an artist. I write music, I rap and I helped put the label together by forming the foundation,” Stiff said, while explaining that he has a lot of different things that he would like to accomplish, including learning to play the guitar. “For the future, I’m interested in film, movies and incorporating them into the musical aspect, like Michael Jackson and his long-form videos,” he said.

For a fledgling musical entrepreneur who did not grow up around much musical influence, Stiff nonetheless developed an eclectic taste for music and an admiration for genres including reggae, hip-hop, old school R&B, Rock & Roll and Blues by the incomparable B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Yet, Stiff celebrates marijuana each chance he gets and lauds the herb on his recent EP, “High Times,” which was released on September 23 2015, at https://soundcloud.com/stiff-tha-godz/sets/high-times.

Devon "D.O.C" Riley, the youngest member of the label, is eager to make his mark in the industry.

Devon “D.O.C” Riley, the youngest member of the label, is eager to make his mark in the industry.

The youngest member of the group, Devon “D.O.C” Riley, 21, looked no further than two hip hop legends as a template for inspiration.

“Nas and Jay-Z influenced me because they are able to express themselves and the way they deliver their lyrics, they have something to say,” he explained. Riley developed an ear for music from his father, who is a DJ. “I was exposed to music at a young age. I felt the music. I used to be more on the reggae side but as I grew I dabbled into different types of music because I don’t want to be put in a box. My focus is to get people to understand both types of music—-reggae and hip hop,” he said, pondering the musical landscape.

 

Gotham City is DOC's take on the nuances and mysteries of New York City lifestyles.

“Gotham City” is D.O.C’s take on the nuances and mysteries of New York City lifestyles.

Riley, who is very interested in scary movies and hopes to find ways to integrate that interest into his music, is currently savoring success with his new song “Gotham City,” which is available on iTunes.

“People have different views looking out on the world. Music is the way people express themselves and I’m working on a project on duality, to use music to explain everything,” he said.

Alexander “Spazz’ Momon, 26, rounds out the crop of label mates, who function like family by nurturing each other’s independent projects while collectively investing in the success of the label as an entity.

Alexander "Spazz" Momon, is refining his compilations so that he can release his full album on November 1, 2015.

Alexander “Spazz” Momon, is refining his compilations so that he can release his full album on November 1, 2015. His single, “Bon Jour Mary” appears on the “High Times” EP.

“We all went to high school together and we have different styles. My musical style is more energetic and technical, like Busta Rhymes, Eminem and DMX,” he said. After careful thought, Momon, who also holds down a job so that he can pay his bills while building his musical career strategically, explained that he has “been influenced by pioneering rappers such as Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J.”

“My dad put me on to them and Wu-Tang Clan and my mother used to work in the music industry,” he said, revealing that when he first heard Rhymes’ “Dangerous,” at age 11, he was so captivated by the animation and high-octane flow that he would sneak home early from school to listen to the song over and over. Like his label mates, Momon is hard at work compiling an EP.

“My mixed tape will be ready on November 1 but I recently released the single “Bon Jour Mary” on the “High Times” EP,” he said. As he charges full speed ahead with his musical career, Momon has one objective: “I want people to understand the struggle, the triumph and the love for music,” he said.

As the multi-talented entertainers on the Street Roc Label LLC pour their efforts into a distinctive musical repertoire, they create individual projects and bring new artists along the journey to prominence. While they contemplate organizing a Street Roc tour, the label mates expect to soon hear the sweet sounds of success reverberating from coast to coast and across the globe, as they finally get their career recognition and financial rewards.

Learn more about this prolific, dynamic group of musicians and what’s next in their careers at StreetRocMusic.comOnPointPress.net

Prince rocks Saturday Night Live while Chris Rock delivers comedically

Prince rocked Saturday Night Live (SNL) to usher in the month of November and Daylight Savings Time.

Prince rocked Saturday Night Live (SNL) to usher in the month of November and Daylight Saving Time.

By Carmen Glover

Musical icon Prince treated his fans to an electric 8-minute set on Saturday Night Live (SNL) on November 1, ushering Daylight Saving Time with a cool, hip jam session that has no equal.

Taking the stage initially on the keyboard, Prince performed four songs from his new albums “Art Official Age,” and “Plectrumelectrum” with 3rdeyegirl, creating history at SNL, where singers usually perform a two-song set only. At 56, Prince delivered a set that was smooth, effortless, entertaining and sheer fun. And yes, his fans wanted more! although they were just happy to see him in any venue, at any time, for as long as he cares to perform.

Chris Rock hosted SNL, while Keenan Thompson had various skits and Prince performed an 8-minute set that was too short for his fans.

On Nov. 1, Chris Rock hosted SNL, while Keenan Thompson had various skits and Prince performed an 8-minute set that was too short for his fans.

After headlining the EssenceFest in New Orleans this past July for the Independence Weekend, Prince epitomized perfection, longevity and superior talent as he belted out songs while doing double duty on the keyboard and then his trademark guitar. His smooth delivery is hard to emulate but is exemplary for anyone who desires to enjoy a rich, successful and relevant career in the music industry.

Chris Rock got off to a slow start but got some laughs with comedic material that was a bit mundane for his reputation. Nevertheless, it seemed as if Lorne Michaels, SNL’s longtime producer, found every black entertainer who serves SNL in one capacity or another, to showcase on the episode. Who can recall another episode of SNL that featured six black entertainers, including four black men, on one episode? It seems as if having The Purple one as the headliner resulted in riches far beyond the scope of his musical repertoire–OnPointPress.net.