Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Peaked at # 1 on the R&B Charts December 15 1990

In 1990, the members of New Edition had pursued solo projects that became very successful, and everybody was waiting for what Ralph Tresvant was going to delivered and would it be a hit. He delivered a classic, smooth flowing mid-tempo ballad "Sensitivity" which became an instant classic and a hit with the ladies and fellas. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the song has great beats, percussion, and showcases Tresvant's ability to sing lead, background and harmony, which can be heard in the call and response he has with himself. The lyrics are also timeless about letting a woman know that there are men who can provide them sensitivity.

"Don't need a man that will give you money
Come on let you show you what need honey
(I got what you need)
Don't need a man that will treat you funny
You need a man with sensitivity
A man like me

This song still gets spins on radio and it showed that Ralph had nothing to fear; he came out with a classic that showed that he the capability to shine as a vocalist and that everybody can use a man with sensitivity

Friday, November 26, 2010


"71 years old and a survivor"
Arturo Ranger-Austin

When Rock/Soul Tina Turner appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in February 2005 to promote her greatest hits CD "All The Best," she was asked if she would ever resume touring again. Turner said that if she didn't want to give a show that wasn't so great. Well three years later, Tina had everybody excited when she announced that she was coming out of retirement, and once again she showed the world that age is just a number, and she could still rock with the best of them.
Fans have loved Tina for her voice, looks, and her trademark legs, but many love her for her ability to beat the odds, and take risks, and by doing so, she became one of the industry's most love, respected, and admireded legends, and this story celebrates her golden anniversary.
Tina was born on November 26, 1939 in Nutubsh Tennesse as Anna Mae Bullock to the late Floyd & Zelma Bullock as the youngest of two sisters, who were forced to live with several relatives due to her parents' fights, with Tina spending time with her grandparents and a white family, who provided her the love she lacked from her parents and a neighbor names Ms. Blake, who introduced Tina to the Penecostal church, where she quickly fell in love with the how the congregation honored God by dancing and singing, to the point where she became a member of the choir.
"It was fun to me" Turner wrote in her memoirs "I, Tina." So much more exciting than the Baptist chruch I knew back in Nut Bush. Here I was, dancing and singing, for the first time. It was wild." Turner's mother and church members noticed that how strong her singing voice was, and they noticed her ambitions to be an actress.
"She had a great voice then" Tina's late mother added in "I, Tina." "She would go to the movie, and if it was a musical, she would come home and sing the songs and act out the parts that she remembered seein'."
When she wasn't in church or in school, she was picking cotton and berries, something that many Blacks had to do and hated. Tina hated it to the point where she would dream about life outside of the cotton fields. Shorty after her 16th birthday, Tina's mother had asked her to join her and her sister Alline in St. Louis to finish high school, and as soon as she arrived, she was amazed at the number of Night Clubs that were around the city, and she soon found herself spending nights at The Emperial and The Manhattan, where she watched singer/musician Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm perform, and give the mic to a girl to sing, and like many Tina wanted to get on stage to showcase her voice. Ike was reluctant, but that didnt stop Tina.
"Many times other girls has stood up to sing and I knew they couldn't as well as I could. Even before my voice was fully developed" Tina said on "Behind The Music."
One night when her sister declined to sing, Tina grabbed the mic and performed the BB Kings classic "(Darling You Know) I Love You," and blew everybody in the club away, Including Ike, who couldn't hold his composure.
"I heard this voice come out the speaker and I said 'wow who's that? I looked around and saw it was that little girl out front and I was like Damn! She can sing!" Ike said on "Behind the Music." "Her voice was really raspy and really didn't sound high pitch like a girl. I liked it."
After that "Little Ann" as she was called at that time began to perform with the Kings of Rhythms performing at clubs, bars and college parties around the midwest, receiving rave review from the fans, who flocked to see them.
"That was the beginning of my local stardom. He was a really nice person at that time. We were like brother and sister" Tina said of the early stages of their relationship.
"That was the relaronship we had, and that's what we projected onstage" Ike added. "Two buddies. Two good friends."
During the course of their friendship, Little Ann had learned that Ike had wrote and produced for other artists, who had left him when they became successful. Little Ann decided to be loyal to her friend.
"I said to him if we ever got a hit record Ike, I won't leave you like the others" she said on ABC in 1993.
"I meant it."
One of the fans who was captivated by the duo was singer Bonnie Bramlett, a White music lover, who was part of the duo Delanney & Bonnie and an one time member of the band.
"That was around the time I firsr saw them, and it was devestating" she added in Turner's memoirs. "I thought she was the greatest thing I'd ever seen in my life. She made me cry-yes I stood there and cried like an idoit. I knew right away that that was what I wanted to do, too. And I wanted to do it just like her."
Wanting to become more that local singers, Ike had the band go to the recording studio to record a song he wrote called "A Fool In Love" which he originally recorded for a singer names Art Lassiter, who didn't want to pay him, so Ike had asked Little Ann to record the song, and once she stepped to the mike, the band watched her make history. Ike had sent the demo to several record companies, including Sue Records, who told Ike to keep Little Ann's voice on the song.
"I was gonna erase her" Ike revealed. "That was the intention, and when she got to the part when you're screaming 'hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Wow! They (the excutives) said don't erase her. Keep her!"
Ike secured a deal with Sue Records and when the record was released, Little Ann was shocked to learn that Ike renamed the Kings & Rhythms The Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
Tina was grateful for the opporunity, but she didn't like how they relationship went from being brother-sister to romantic and she didn't like his controling ways and affairs he was having with several women, so when she told Ike she wanted out of their relationship, Ike responded with violence.
"I had no place to go" Tina said on why she stayed with him.
In addition to Ike, Tina had also was a mother. Tina had a son with former saxophonist Raymond Hill and in addition to the son she had with Ike, Tina was also raising Ike's two sons from his relationship with ex-girlfriend Lorraine Taylor, who gave the boys to the couple to raise.
The duo had other hits that followed including "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" and
from then on Tina had performed with Ike doing a series of one-nighters all around the U.S. performing at Juke Joints, Bars, Clubs, and theatres including New York City's famous Apollo and The Howard in Washington D.C. often sharing the bill with many acts, including Gladys Knight, who Tina gave her first make-over.
"If you think Tina can put on a show, you ought to see her apply foundation, not to mention blush, eyeshadow, and mascara" Knight wrote in her memoirs "Between Each Line of Pain and Glory." She arched eyebrows I didn't know I had, and created cheekbones where there has only been cheek before. By the time she put down the eyeliner pencils, I didn't recognize myself."
Knight's face wasn't the only thing she gave a make-over; she had changed the face of music with her singing and dancing. While most females at that time wore long gowns, Turner work short dresses that displayed her trademark legs, while she and the background singers The Ikettes, performed routines that were energetic, and sexual, that had females emulating and men watching. One of those men who were watching was legendary producer/songwriter Phil Spector, who had created a string of hits for the Ronnettes using his trademark wall sound. Spector had co-wrote a song called "River Deep, Mountain High" and once he saw Ike & Tina perform at a television show, he knew that she was the one who would do a great job, so he approached and paid Ike $20,000 for the use of Tina's voice; with one condition, Ike was not allowed to enter the studio, and when Tina heard the song, she was estastic because she had been yearning to do something different musicwise.
"I loved that song. Because for the first time in my life, it wasn't just R&B-it had structure, it had a melody" Tina wrote in her memoirs. "You see, Ike would always have me screaming and shouting on his songs-selling them you know?"
Like the public, the inprisoned producing legend noticed and prasied Tina's unique singing voice. "He had told me I had an extremely unusual voice, that he never heard a woman's voice like mine, and that's why he wanted to record me."
"Tina just symbolized to me the best what I needed at that time" Spector said.
The song was released in the spring of 1966, and despite glowing reviews, the song peaked A # 88 shocking, Tina, Spector and critics who felt that the song should have been a bigger hit, and while others were disappointed, Tina saw it as a acheivement, because it showed her that she had the capability to sing other forms of music, and she could do things on her own. "I never sung like that before and I wanted it. And now it's a classic." While the U.S. didn't pay the song any mind, U.K. listeners and artists loved it, helping push the song to # 3 in Britian, and receiving an invitation to tour the U.K. with The Rolling Stones, who became great friends with Tina, who gave the group's lead singer Mick Jagger how to dance. It was also where Tina felt appreciation, love and comfort, as well as learning that the European fans (Both Black & White) appreciated great music and that she didn't have to limit herself musically, and Tina decided to do that by getting Ike to include Rock songs into their reportiore, which gave the band new life, and an larger fan base, who loved seeing her perform The Rolling Stone's "Honkey Talk Woman" and The Beatles "Come Together" and "Get Back" but the duo would hit the jackpot when in their 1971 rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's classic "Proud Mary" peaked at # 4 on the Pop Charts, becoming their first gold single, and earning Tina her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Duo. The success of the single earned them slots on The Ed Sullivan Show, Soul Train, The Sonny & Cher and it also got them more bookings outside of the chitling curcuit. The success also prompted Tina to start writing songs, and in 1973 her self-penned tune "Nutbush City Limits" became a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and reached # 2 in Great Britian making it the last top 40 hit she would have with Ike, who had developed a serious addiction to cocaine, which made him more abusive towards Tina, who nearly died of Tuberlosis due to Ike's refusal for taking time off from performing and recording in his newly built recording studio. By then Tina had began to look for a way out, and in 1974, Ike's short term secreatary named Carol Dryer had introduced Tina to Buddishism, which gave her comfort, and strength she been looking for.
"I found that when I chanted the words, I felt different, I felt better, I felt lighter about things" She said on Vh-1.
It also had frightened Ike to the point where he freaked out to the point where he asked her to removed the candles from their house. She did, but she continued to chant whenever she got a chance, and she saw doors opening for her. She appeared in the movie musical "Tommy" and later appeared on co-star Ann-Margret's television special, but Tina hadn't was still searching for a way to leave Ike. On July 1st, 1976, the duo was headed to Dallas Texas to kick off another tour, and while many were preparing to celebrate Independence Day, Tina decided to celebrate as well. Ike had started another fight, but this time Tina decided to inform her husband that his days of mistreating her was over. When they got in the limosine, Ike struck her and she told him Alright I told you I would stay with you adhelp you through this period but no more licks." When Ike struck her again, Tina fought him back.
"It sure felt great" she said of how great it felt fighting back.
"I think my hand bounce because I hit so hard." Tina hit, kicked and scracthed Ike all the way to they got to the hotel, and once Ike went to sleep, she made her escape. With only 36 cents and a mobile card in her pocket, she fled to another hotel, asked to speak to the manager, told him her plight and asked if she could have a room and that she would pay him back. The manager gave her a room, placed , security outside her room and gave her some food. The next day, she flew to Los Angeles, filed for divorced, and hid out with friends working as a maid. "I moved from place to place for two months working my way at each one-housekeeping and cleaning, just like I had for the White woman back in Tennessee" she wrote in her memoirs. "And I know how to clean. I didn't have any money. I didn't have anything at all. So I paid my rent by cleaning." When Ike did find her, she had let him know that she wasn't going by his wife or music partner again. In other words, she was moving on without him. During the divorce proceedings, Tina learned that she was entitled to half of their assets, which caused even more friction, so Tina told her attorney to let him keep everything because her freedom was more important than material things. Tina would later get those material things by working hard. Because she had walked off the final tour, she found herself liable for the debts, and instead of crying about it, she handled her resposbilities and launched her solo career by appearing on television variety shows and performing in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Candian Casinos, earning several standing ovations, and a strong conncection with Gay fans, and while the Casinos paid good money, she didn't want to remain a cabinet act for long. That would happen with the help of Roger Davies, the man who became her manager.
"I didn't want to promise that we could deliver" Davies said.
"I knew about the Ike & Tina records, but I didn't know about her as a solo act."
Turner convinced him to watch her perform at a hotel in San Francisco, and he was impressed with the first show, but when he saw the second show was just as good, Davies signed on as her manager, and when he asked Tina what direction she wanted to go in, she informed him that she was tired of singing about heartache, pain and the blues. She wanted to sing ballads, songs about romance and Rock & Roll.
Davies believed in her vision and told her she needed a new band of young energetic musicians, and to eliminate the beaded gowns and long flowing hair. Tina loved the idea and with her new band, she had performed at the famous Ritz Club becoming the talk of the town, prompting the owner to book her again, and it became a bigger success. The night of her performance Rod Stewart asked her to join him on Saturday Night Live to perform his classic "Hot Legs." A few days later, The Rolling Stones asked Tina to open for them during their 3 night appearance at a 20,000 seat arena, where Tina received lots of loves from the crowd. It was that love that made Tina decide that she wanted to play stadiums and arenas. Davies had worked hard to get Tina a record deal, but most U.S. labels weren't interested due to her association with Ike, while many felt that she was a has been, and the ones who were interested wanted her to record R&B and Dance records as well as songs about heartache and Tina told them like she told her manager, she didn't want to be pigeonholed and she wanted to sing Rock and songs about romance, so Davies knowning how the British Market had appreciated Tina had her record with many London- based artists, who believed in Tina's direction, and one of the first songs she recorded was a modern day version of The Temptations' classic "Ball of Confusion" which became an instant hit in England prompting Capitol Records to sign her, but before she began to record, the label went through major changes and she was closed to being dropped until executive John Carter went to the new label's president and got on his knees and pleased, while singer David Bowie told the execuitves that he was gonna spend his first night in New York watching Tina Turner perform at the Ritz. Once excutives saw her show, they kept her and in 1983 Tina released her version of Al Green's classic "Let's Stay Together" which became a top 5 R&B hit and top 20 Pop hit. Impressed, the label wanted Tina to record an album quickly, so she returned to England, and within two weeks, her classic solo album "Private Dancer" was in stores selling around the world making it the third biggest selling album of 1984, selling ten million copies world wide thanks the hits "Better Be Good To Me," "Show Some Respect" and "What's Love Got To Do With It" which became Tina's first # 1 Pop hit peakin at # 1 the same time she first charted with " A Fool In Love" 24 years earlier thanks to her videos being played on New York City Hot Tracks, Friday Night Videos, MTV, BET and Video Music Box. The success of the album earned Tina 2 American Music Awards and 3 Grammy awards, where she won song of the year and became the first female to earn Grammies in the Catergories of R&B, Rock and Pop. In 1985, Tina fulfilled a long time dreamed when she starred with Mel Gibson in the hit film "Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome" and scored another gold single with the hit "We Don't Need Another Here (Thunderdome)" peaking at # 2. She also embarked on a successful tour and teamed with Bryan Adams on the classic "It's Only Love." The following year was a big year for Turner careerwise; she earned an American Music And Grammy Award for her rock single "One of The Living." She also earned a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, released her best selling autobiography "I, Tina" and her multi-platnium follow up "Break Every Rule" which contained the hits "Typcial Male" which peaked at # 2, "Two People" and "What You Get Is What You See." She also earned another Grammy for "Back Where You Started" and embarked on another successful stadium tour, stopping in Rio, where over 100,000 fans showed up, making her the first female to have a successful stadium tour.
In 1989 Tina released her album "Foreign Affair" which Tina served as co-excutive producer and co-produced two of the songs with Dan Hartman including "The Best" which became her signature song, and while the album got great reviews including four stars in Black Beat Magazine, the album only went Gold in the U.S. but did better overseas debuting at # in the U.K. while the follow up singles "Steamy Windows" & "Look Me In The Heart" did well on the U.K. charts. A year later, Tina decided to take a long overdue vacation, and during her time off, she decided to relocate to Europe permantely, and spend quality time with her beau German Executive Erwin Bach, who is celebrating their 24 year together as a live-in couple.
"I'm not in love with the Rock star" Bach said on 20/20
"I'm in love with a human being."
1991 was a another year for Tina though she wasn't touring; both she and Ike were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and she released a Greatest hits album titled "Simply The Best" which in addition to containing her solo hits, it included the classic "River Deep" a new version of her classic "Nutbush City Limits" and three new singles including "Love Thang," "Way of The World" and "I Want You Near Me."
2 years later, Disney had produced the film "What's Love Got To Do With It?" based on her memoirs, with Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne playing the roles of Tina and Ike earning them Oscar nominations, while the film's soundtrack went multi-platnium, scoring a top ten hit with "I Don't Wanna Fight" and earned several awards and nominations, while her American tour grossed millions in ticket sales and while many turned out to see the film, Turner opted not to.
"To be honest Kurt, I hope I don't have to see it" she told journalist Kurt Lorder.
"I lived it. I don't have to see it."
In 1995 Tina was tapped by Bono & The Edge of U2 to record the theme for the movie "Golden Eye" and it became a huge hit in the UK, prompting the label to have Tina do another album and tour. Something she was not ready to do at that time, but once she started to receives songs, Turner decided to have fun recording it and she decided to work with some new producers including Trevor Horn who enjoyed working with the Icon. "It was fun" Horn said on Turners "In Your Wildest Dreams" DVD "I did some more." Turner felt the same thing. "Music changes all the time. It's modern, but it's me." Many critics felt the same and when she released the album "Wildest Dreams," it quickly went multi-platnium overseas and gold in the U.S. due to the hits "Missing You" and "In Your Wildest Dreams" which featured the late Barry White rapping and singing with Tina making it one of the hottest and requested R&B singles of 1997. Turner had embarked on her first global tour in ten years, selling out arenas in Amsterdam, but her career got hot when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, and performed the title track as well as spoke about her life, career, and learning to appreciate her legs in her late 40's. Turner also had Winfrey perform a dance routine with her onstage which helped the Talk show get high ratings while rapper Warren G & singer Adina Howard remade Turner's classic "What's Love Got To Do With It.
1999 turned out to be another year for the Rock Queen. She opened the VH-1 Divas concert performing her classics with Elton John and Cher as well as celebrating her 60th with a television special in the U.K. She also released her platnium album "Twenty Four Seven" and annoucned to the world that she was going to embarking on her last tour. Making the tour special was Turner giving actress/singer Gloria Ruben the opportunity to sing background for her which she did for the first leg of the tour before she hiring Lisa Fischer to finish the rest of the tour which grossed over $100 million dollars outselling N-Synch and Dr Dre. While Tina was enjoying her retirment, many artists have spoke about how much they were influenced by her talent and legacy including rapper Lil' Kim, who listed her as one of her idols, while Destiny's Child had included "Proud Mary" during their 2002 world tour. For their 50th Anniversary special, The Four Tops asked Original Supreme Mary Wilson to perform their rendition of "River Deep Mountain High" while Austrialian group Human Nature asked Wilson to record the song on their 3rd Motown tribute album "Get Ready" as well as asking her to join them on special in their homeland. In 2003, Tina started to reemerge back in the spotlight; she teamed with Phil Collins to the single "Great Spirits" for the "Big Bear" soundtrack. 2 years later she released her double CD "All the Best" which debut at # 2 on the US charts while her single "Open Arms" became a huge hit and shortly after Carols Santana finally released his and Turner's version of the hit "The Game of Love" but the highlight for Tina was when she was honored at the Kennedy Center Award for contributions to music, where many famous performers paid tribute to her with song including Rapper/Singer/Actress Queen Latifah, Rock Lesbian Singer Melissa Etheridge, former Destiny's Child lead singer Beyonce Knowles and Al Green. After spending another two years away from the spot light, the Rock legend decided to take out her heels for another round, and one of the first stops she made was on the 50th Grammy Awards where Knowles introduced Tina to the crowd and later teamed up with her to perform the classic "Proud Mary" making it the most talked about performance of the Grammy's. On Entertainment Tonight, Turner said that the her reason for performing with Beyonce was to thank her for honoring her at the Kennedy Center three years earlier. She also teamed up with long time friend Cher on Oprah and performed some of their hits, and it was there where Tina made a stunning announcement; she was going back on the road, and as always her concert sold out extremly quickly, with many fans longtime and new coming out to see her do her thang including Electronic/Dance artist Baron, who took his grandmother to see her live.The Velocity Magazine Award winning artist told me what it was like seeing her perform the day after the concert. "It’s funny cause like I told you, I took my grandmother, and my grandmother is not much older than her, so I was thinking Tina Tuner at 69 years old performing for two hours, high energy, power I have no excuse (laughs). I have no excuse not to do what I want to dream People have no excuse for not living their dreams and not to be inspired by it; to go out and do what you love. That’s what I took home; I have no excuse not to."
Tina Turner has beated the odds through out her life, and has managed to pursue her dreams and still serves as an inspiration to everybody around the world, who has faced adversity in their lives. She showed the industry that A sexy Black middle-aged women can enjoy her life and doesn't have to be placed in a box. She also showed the world that you can leave an abusive situation and survive, and she also let the world know that being happy is living out your dreams.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Young U.K. Rapper plans to make Young U.K. Rapper plans to make stride with debut single
Since 2007, young rappers like Soulja Boy and The New Boyz have conquered the charts with their catchy hooks and beats. Joining the wave of young rappers is U.K. based rapper/writer Realz, who’s already had a buzz with this debut single “Glowing” which is sure to be an international hit.
Born as Junior Arkele in East London, Realz’s was heavily influenced by Hip-Hop legends 2Pac and Jadakiss’ flow and lyrical styles, and by the time he reached his late teens, he had became a hit in the underground circuit which had many Hip-Hop legends including God’s Gift talking about his lyrical styletalking about his lyrical style and flow, but his big break came when Actor/Rapper Ashley Waters discovered the young MC on You Tube and quickly took him under his wing; the star of the hit films “Bullet Boy” and “Life And Lyrics"signed him to his production company, and has been helping him record his debut album and directed the video to his debut single “Glowing” which was shot in South Africa and is already creating a buzz all around the world.What makes Realz’s single hot are the beats, strings, guitar and horn riffs giving the song a hot Rock, Funk, Psychedelic feel along with the flow by Realz and Waters, and the lyrics that are hot, and inspirational, along with the bridge.Realz’s debut gets a 12 on a scale of 1-10 and it looks like Realz is gonna give the US another hot British Invasion with his hot track.

Realz' single "Glowing" is avaliable for purchase at I-Tunes
For further information check out

Monday, October 25, 2010


Words can't explain how I'm feeling about the recent stories about the Gay kids and young adults who have taken their lives due to bullying, harrasement and lack of support and love for their sexuality. I'm also sad to learn that the recent person to take their live was Party Promoter/Activist Joseph Jefferson, who was found in his Bed-Sty apartment this past weekend.
Many are sadden by his death, but many are shocked and wonder why would he take his own life? Especially since he was well loved, and respected in the community which earned him an award at the 2008 Latex Ball?
I'm not sure what he was going through personaly, but he seemed to have a strong spirit and a good heart and fun sprit.
I first met Joseph when I started attending a support group at POCC, and I would always see him walking around greeting people. A year later, he became the facilitor and we became friends and unlike most faclitators, Joseph always asked for out input, views, opinons and ideas, and he worked hard to grant our requests.
One of the greastest memories was us watching Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi tour on DVD. We had a great time watching her peform as well as the DL Chornicles.He sat next to me and gave me a hug and asked if he could borrow my copy? How could I resist?
One thing that describes his compassion was when I learned that my Gay uncle was found unconcisous in his apartment and had died upon arriving at the hospital.(His death was due to health issues).
I remember telling Joseph about the loss and he along with the other members of the group was very supported. Especially when I informed them that a guy I was interested in didn't show me any support. I recall Joseph DW & J being upset and talking about how shady that bitch was for being inconsiderate. That brought me temporary comfort.
He used to have a joke about me and my choice of men. "I see you like Exotic Dick" he would say to me.
Another thing I recall was me and Joseph speaking about our experiences being Gay men. He spoke about how what him going to the Gay Pride Parade for the first time, the fun he had hanging out and going home with a date for the first time.
He also spoke about his upbring and how his Bajan father would tell him get an education or get a trade.
He had spoke about why he stopped hanging out in the Villiage-his mother was in the hospital and she had wanted him to visit him. He had visited her prior and he wanted to hang out. The night that he hung out in the Vill, his mother had died and her death had hurt him deeply to the point where he refused to hang out in the villiage (except for outreach).
When POCC was on the urge of closing, he had fought to keep the group going and he fought to tried to save 2008's Pride In The City. The pride was canceled, but he I'm glad that he fought.
A few months later, I attended the Latex Ball and was proud that Joseph was honored for his work within the Gay Community and when I went to congratulate and compliment him on his attire he was wearing, he thanked me and told me that he was listening to the CD's I made him while he was getting dressed for the ball. I walked away touched. I almost cried.
Me and Joseph would bump into each other and we would always speak and I never sensed that he was experiencing any pain or drama in his life, which makes this even more sad for me to bear and except.
I would like to say Joseph. You were a cool person with great taste, style and grace. I wish that you didn't have to go so soon. Despite what you may have been going through, you touched many peoples lives and I want to say thank you for the impact you made on others.
I know that you are in Heaven now with your mom and you are being a great service to the Angels in heaven making sure they have Pizza, Chinese and Mexican food from Brooklyn

From your client
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm

Monday, August 23, 2010


I remember when singer/songwriter Jesse-O gave me a copy of his debut cd "Exposure" 4years ago, and after listening to the single "Step To This," I was hooked. I was happy to hear an R&B/Pop Male using male references in his music, and I played that song constantly. Nine months later, I saw the Out Music nominated artist perform, and was blown away with his showman ship, and his ability to captivate his audience with his vocals and dancing. Born in Ghana Africa, and raised in The Bronx, Jesse's began to hone his singing, songwriting and dancing skills at a young age, and during his college years, he continued to develop his vocal skills be joining an accapella group at the college he attended. Upon graduating, Jesse began to write songs for several artists including American Idol Runner up Clay Akin, but decided to pursue his own solo career, and began to perform at various events opening for many hit making artists including Award Winning Dancehall Artist Sean Paul, and was signed to the music label Music Wit A Twist distriubted by Sony Music in 2007, and released his single "I Think I'm Falling In Love" which gained major play on several online podcasts, while the video was aired on the Logo Channel. He also appeared on Njohi's single "Brother." After taking some time off, Jesse-O is back with a new album "Love & Go Crazy" and doing what he does best, give a good show, and he was gracious enough to speak via email about the new phrase of his career, his hot CD and his influences and the situation with his former label.

DA-PROFESSOR: Hey Jesse Thanks for allowing me to interview you. How have things been going and what you been up too
JESSE-O: Things are going great. I’ve been performing consistently. I’ve sold a bunch of CDs on iTunes. I’m having a good time.

DA-PROFESSOR: Alot of people are happy that you finally came back out. How does it feel to be back on the scene.

JESSE-O: It feels really good. I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time. The moment I’d be able to share new music with the world. I’ve been so anxious to do so. And finally I get to. The response has been great so I’m really happy.

DA-PROFESSOR: You did your thang at the Mix tape party during Gay Pride and Black Music month and at the James Saunders Boat Ride. What was it like to perform your new and anticipated single and what was it like performing on the famous boat ride?

JESSE-O: Performing is where I have the most fun so those gigs were great to do. Getting an immediate reaction from an audience..there’s nothing like it.

DA-PROFESSOR: You dropped your album Love And Go Crazy this summer. What was the concept of the album?

JESSE-O: Well the title says it all. I wrote songs about falling in love and eventually going crazy lol…love can make you crazy and irrational sometimes. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that sentiment. Well the album follows a person from the first time they meet someone to becoming serious, to fighting, to breaking up, and to making up..craziness! lol

DA-PROFESSOR: You decided to release the album independently what happend with to the label Music Wit A Twist?

JESSE-O: Honestly Twist dropped all of its artists after the venture, I guess, wasn’t successful as they hoped. I believe one or two acts are still signed including comedian Kathy Griffin, believe it or not. She releases her comedy albums through them. But before she came around they signed 10 new artists to song deals including myself. And as far as I know they got rid of all of us. I honestly can’t tell you for sure why we were all dropped, but I gather it’s because of disappointing sales. It's sad, but I’ve since moved on.

DA-PROFESSOR: You decided to work with legendary producer Tori Fixx How do you linked up with him and what was it like working with him as opposed to producing the album yourself.

JESSE-O: It was great. He is so talented and totally gets me as an artist. And it takes a huge load of to have someone else take care of the production so I can focus on the singing and songwriting, which are the two aspects I love the most.

DA-PROFESSOR: I love the song Island Luv, what was the inspiration for that song

JESSE-O: Island Luv is personal. It’s based on a relationship I had with someone from the Caribbean. We’ll leave it at that lol.

DA-PROFESSOR: Another favorite song of mines is It's Over. I love the lyrics when you refer to the tramp as a piece of trade and trick What inspired you to use those references and do you plan on releasing that as a single and filming a video for that song?

JESSE-O: Thank you. I just felt like using those words. Of course I was giving the gay community a nod with that one. But anyone regardless of their sexual orientation could listen to that song and relate to it. And that’s how I like to write my songs. Give them universal appeal. And if a straight person heard the song and was curious what “trade” meant, I could educate them lol. I have a lot of straight fans which is great because they totally get what I’m doing cause I make the music relatable without compromising who I am. As of now, I have no plans to release the song as a single or to shoot a video. But if enough people request for that to happen, maybe it will!

DA-PROFESSOR: My other favorites are Sober and Keep It Together which has deep and touching lyrics about the struggles that many Gay males go through (depression, wanting to get back with your ex, heartache, trying to maintain insanity and surviving) and it reminds me of New Edition's classic "Can You Stand The Rain." What isnpired you to write those deep and inspirational songs with that vibe and will you release those as singles as well?

JESSE-O: I appreciate that you noticed that Keep It Together is reminiscent of “Can You Stand The Rain”. I actually modeled “Keep It Together” after that New Edition style and the producers’ Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ vocal arranging style. I idolize the work of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I was inspired by things I was going through myself when I wrote those songs. As far as releasing them as singles, that remains to be seen. We’ll see

DA-PROFESSOR: You also collaborated with Rapper Shorty Roc and Alternative artist Baron. What was it like to finally work with those two talented artists and are there any other LGBT artist you would like to work with? It was a lot of fun working with Shorty Roc and Baron.

JESSE-O: Both those guys took the songs to new heights. So that was exciting.

DA-PROFESSOR: You mentioned that your released this cd independtly What's are the pros and cons with being independent as opposed to being signed with a major label?

JESSE-O: The advantage is that you have full creative control, and you can express yourself however you want..But on the flip side, without a major label you don’t have a large budget and are therefore limited in a lot of ways; The extent to which you can promote and the ways that you can promote. Budgets for videos, warbrobe, make up, etc are limited and you have to be creative and find ways to make things work despite the limitations; Pull favors and so on and so forth. Its tough but its great to see things work out and to see your vision come through. As an indie artist, because promotion is on a much smaller scale fewer people know or find out about you. Of course youtube is giving people the capability to reach bigger audiences if they create something original and captivating enough to attract a massive viewership.

DA-PROFESSOR: With the number of openly LGBT artists out doing their thing with their music is it still hard for Gay artists to be accepted and respected? Why?

JESSE-O: Yes its still hard. A lot of our world still doesn’t wanna hear it. Even some gay people don’t care to hear it. “Just give me good music, why does anyone need to know who you go to bed with” they will say. And they are right about on thing; the most important thing is that the music is good. However I think from a place of activism there is something important about an artist being open about their sexuality. The person is making a statement. They are saying “Im here and I’m wonderful as I am, I don’t have to make believe I’m something else to sell records”. I think that’s so important. I think most people, who are aware at all that there is a movement like this, don’t get it. But slowly, but surely, I think we are getting heard, and making a difference through art. And all we need is to make better and better art that people can really get into.

DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to promoting your album you also performed with another group a few weeks ago? Is that another project you do?

JESSE-O: Yes. I am a member of an A Capella group called “One Guy Upstate”..I was in an A Capella group in college and a few of us from the college group decided to put a new group together. We started the group last year and have done a couple shows so far. Its a lot of fun.

DA-PROFESSOR: What can fans expect from your touring?

JESSE-O: Well as of know I can’t say that I’m officially gonna be touring. I have sprinkles of shows here and there and fans can check out my schedule at jesseoworld.com

DA-PROFESSOR: I also see that you have a new set of dancers. When do you look for when it comes to recuriting dancers?

JESSE-O: I look for dancers who look good doing my style of choreography. That’s basically it.

DA-PROFESSOR: I know that you're influenced by many artists from different genres of music? Who are your influcences?

Janet and Michael Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terri Lewis, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Lionel Richie, Brian McKnight, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Timberland, Usher..just to name a few lol.

DA-PROFESSOR: I remember seeing you perform Marvin Gaye's classic "What's Going On." From your opinoin why is that song such a classic and how is it still relelvant?

JESSE-O: The message of that song will always be relevant. Particularly now you look at our world and you can’t help but wonder what’s going on, with matters such as the oil disaster, the middle east wars, etc.

DA-PROFESSOR: Would you ever considering redoing that song along with Brian Mc Knight's "One Last Cry?"

JESSE-O: Maybe.

DA-PROFESSOR: Last year we lost Motown legend Michael Jackson. How did his untimely passing affect you and how do you think his and sister Janet's music are still making an impact on both the hetero and Gay community?

JESSE-O: Like most people I was deeply saddened by MJ’s death. I lost one of the most influential people in my life..That was difficult and strange. And offcourse, Michael and Janet’s artistry are the backbone of Pop/R&B culture. Their influence is universal regardless of the sexual orientation of the people they have touched and continue to touch.

DA-PROESSOR: Which mainstream artist would you like to work with?

JESSE-O: Beyonce and Janet Jackson lol.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are alot of artist who think they can make a CD and video on You Tube but they don't know that it takes more than having good looks and a tight body to be successful. How important is Artist development?

JESSE-O: Well at the moment, I develop myself for the most part. It’s so important to learn your craft. Getting voice lessons, going to songwriting workshops, performing as much as possible to step up your performance game up. As an artist, you can always be better and should always strive to. It's important to also figure out who you are as an artist and work on communicating your uniqueness effectively to the world. All of this is important in achieving success.

DA-PROESSOR: In addition to singing do you plan on writing for other artists and do you plan on doing any acting?

JESSE-O: I don’t have any immediate plans to do either but I’m very open to both!

DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

JESSE-O: Well I’d like to record a third album. I’d like to see my support base continue to grow. I’d like to travel and perform in other parts of the world. Basically I just want to continue to build on what I started and get better and better as an artist.

DA-PROFESSOR: What advice would you give to a gay kid who wants to pursue a career as an open artist.

JESSE-O: I’d say do it! I think its important. Its sets an example. It sends a message to the world that I am ok exactly as I am. I think that’s the main issue with LGBT life. There is a pervasive attitude that there is inherently something wrong with us. I think openly gay artists challenge that notion and help to raise the self-esteem of the collective. Don’t get me wrong this is a process that is not happening overnight. It will take time A LOT of time. But today is a start. And the more artists that are brave enough to be open, the bigger the strides we will make. I would say to any artist considering this path, it is very hard. Pursuing music is hard in and of itself but being open takes that difficulty to a whole other level. Doors will be closed and opportunities taken away. But if you see music as a vehicle for change, go for it!

DA-PROFESSOR: Thanks for allowing me to interviewing. How can viewers contact you and buy your music at?

JESSE-O: Thank you RaShawn..they can go to jesseoworld.com to contact me and purchase my music.

Monday, June 28, 2010


While I was on Facebook this morning a good friend had wrote a post about Chris Brown giving a wonderful tribute to the late Michael Jackson. I gave him a thumbs up and later check it out on You Tube and I was excited. Chris had the moves down packed, but when he attempted to perform MJ's inspirational anthem "Man In The Mirror" he started to break down in tears to the point where he began to cry. He was so overcome with grief that the audience started to applaud and give him love; love that he needs and the love that MJ would have given him despite of the incident that occured with his ex Rhianna.
Looking at the performance I could imagine what the award-winning star was going through; last year his idol had died while preparing to make a comeback, and he was told at the last minute that he couldn't perform due to sponsors and politics and the sentence he received. That had to have been devestating to be looked down upon while other celebrites who had done far more worse than he did (including R. Kelly who co-wrote Jackson's ballad "You Are Not Alone") got several passes. At least Chris apologize for what happen unlike the Pied Piper who still denies what he did to those girls despite it being on tape.
I could imagine Chris feeling sad because he had to wait for a whole year to give MJ who had praised him in his last interview with Ebony Magazine a heartfelt tribute. MJ's music has touched many people and his death still has many fans sad, but for Chris to have personally known and interacted with the Motown Legend has to be too much to bear, and I'm so glad that Chris was finally able to give the King of Pop the heartfelt tribute that he desereved and would have loved.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I still can't beleive that my favorite singer Michael Jackson has passed away.
It's been a year since he's gone to the Motown studio in Heaven and since his passing many people have kept his memory alive by playing his music and remembering the love he provided for many arouond the world
It's hard for me to accpept that he has gone; sometimes I can't say his name in the past tense but I feel his spirit whenever I watch his short films and whenever I see Chris Brown Usher and his sister Janet perform.
I would love for the media to address him by his government name and respect his kids

Friday, June 11, 2010


Bassit/songwriter Marvin Isley died last week after battling complications from diabetes. The talented and suave bassits/songwriter had died in Chicago after battling the disease for many years at the age of 56.
Marvin was the youngest member of The Isley Brothers, who had played bass and helped his older brothers co-write and produce several of their hits including "For The Love of You," "Sensuality," "Don't Say Goodnight," "Voyage To Atlantis" and the classic heavily sampled hit "Between The Sheets."
Marvin was born in Ohio on August 18th 1953 where he was exposed to music by his mother and older siblings Ronald, O'Kelly and Rudolph who was already pursuing their successful career. When his older brothers reached their peak, Marvin had relocated to Teaneck New Jersey with his family and began to play bass. After graduating from high school, he, his brother Ernie and cousin Chris Jasper had joined the older brothers band and later became members of the group making the Isley Brothers a sextet who conquered the music world with their classic albums "3+3" and the classic "The Heat Is On," which topped both the Soul and Pop album charts and released the classics "For The Love of You," "Fight The Power," and the radio hits "Make Me Say It Again Girl" and "Sensulaity." Other hits include "Voyage To Atlantis" "Here We Go Again" and "Between The Sheets" which was the last album to feature the classic sextet. Marvin, Chris and Ernie had left their older siblings and formed their own trio Isley/Jasper/Isley and released their first album "Broadway's Closer To Sunset Boulervard" which showed their Rock side, which sold poorly, due to many of their Soul music fans not accepting them perform anything form of music than R&B, so they retunred to their Soul roots with their classic "Caravan of Love" which topped the R&B charts followed and was remade by UK group The Housemartins, whose version topped the UK charts follow up "Irrestiable Woman." After releasing a third album in 1987, the group spilt and began to pursue other projects. In 1990, Marvin rejoined his older brother Ron after their brother Rudolph decided to retire and pursue a career in ministry four years after the death of their brother O'Kelly and their mother. Marvin started to play electric guitar until Ernie returned making the group a trio who recorded two hit albums "Tracks of Life" and the mulit-platnium classic "Mission To Please" which featured the album track "Let's Get Intimate" which the trio wrote and produced. The album became a hit and introduced the group to younger generation of music and an invittion to meet President Bill Clinton, but almost a year after the album's release, Marvin was forced to leave the group due to complications of diabetes, which sadly resulted in him having both of his legs ampultated. During an interview in 2001, he spoke about his regret of not making his health a priority.

"If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn't have happened," Isley told the Atlanta Jounral Constitution newspaper.

While he was retired, his music was being played on radio and was sampled by several artists including rap group Rottin Razkals who sampled the classic "Caravan of Love" for their hit "Hey Alright."

In addition to his brothers Ronald, Rudolph and Ernie, Marvin is also survived by his cousin Chris Jasper, sister-in-law Elaine, wife, son and two daughters.


Last week the Bowery Poetry Cafe was blessed with a hot performance by many of today's talented Gay and Lesbian and Gay-Friendly performers, who used their God-given talents to help promote the Emerald Cith Mixtape release party, and let me tell you I've never been to a show that was hot, creative and fun. Especially when they had only 15 minutes to have sound checks.
The show began with Kraven Seneca opening with some hot dance moves to the Black-Eye Peas that had the audience cheering followed by Harlem based rapper Infinitie performing her joint "Why U Hating" with Velocity award winning artist Baron who strutted around the room in Jody Watley mode, while Ifinitie brought her hardcore swagger and flow showing people that women can rock the mic without showing skin. Next up was Pop singer Dy'Ari performed his single "The Girl In Me" showing his well sculpted chest. Vocals started off light, but improved during the end of the song which got a great round of applause. While the crowd was socializing, Last Offence grabbed the mic and performed his latest single "Back It On Up" showcasing his flow and showing New York Midwestern and West Coast love. Jesse-O rocked the stage by performing his hit "I Can't Help It" along with incorporating two songs from his newly released album "Love And Go Crazy." What made his performance hot was the duet he sang with a male singer who Jesse showed intamcy with before performing a breaking out of bondage performance with the dancers. Next Dance artist Sir Ben Marx performed his hot dance single Miraclous Phenonamal wearin' athletic sweat suit and rope chain, while rapper Bry'nt rocked the crowd performing a medley of his hits "Dicks Over Chicks (The Slogan) and "Hello Goodbye" on another stage with posters of himself and with a microphone stand before going into the audience and asking the crowd to say 'get money.' Another hot highlight of the show was when Dancehall Ihsan performed her hot single "Jamaican Lady" which had all the guest of African and Caribbean descent grinding and shaking their groove things. A good and great move to show people that there are Caribbean people in the world who are Gay-Friendly and that being homophobic is not cool.
The show ended with Baron taking the stage and performing a remix of his hit "Golden" and expressing his gratitude of the show along with Lynne Rene, who helped coordinate the show.
After the show most of the artist mingled with the crowd and dance to sounds of DJ Stereotype playing hot joints by Janet Jackson, Lil' Kim, Biggie Smalls and other talented artists.

For those who are interested you can download the mixtape for free on this link

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When UK R&B trio Loose Ends emerged onto the music scene in 1985, they captured America by story with their music, lyrics and accent. The group was founded by Steve Nichol, a classically trained musician, who discovered Carl McIntoish at a club and Jane Eugene at a college fashion show.
The trio inked a deal with MCA Records and released their debut album "So Where Are You" which contained the single "Hanging On A String" which topped the US R&B Charts and became a favorite among music lovers, who loved the opening line 'Put your loving arms around me boy." The group appeared on many shows in the US including Soul Train, while their video were in heavy rotation on New York City Hot Tracks.
Their follow up Zarago fared better by peaking at # 7 on the US R&B/Soul charts thanks to the hit "Stay A Little While" which peaked at the top of the R&N/Soul Charts making them the first Black British Group to have two # 1 R&N hits in the US. Their follow up single "Slow Down" became a hit as well and many fans were waiting to see how far the group was going to go.
Sadly they didn't reach their peak. By the late 1980's the group became to have creative differences: Nichol had wanted to experiment with other styles of music while Jane and Carl wanted to continue recording Soul and Pop music so they two left and were replaced by two female vocalists Linda Carriere and Sunay Suleyman, and while the new line-up scored a top then hit with "Don't Be A Fool," many of the fans weren't feeling the new line-up, so they disbanded two years later.
During the late 1990's many Hip-Hop and R&B artists had began to honor the group's legacy by sampling and redoing their songs including Mariah Carey, who sampled the trio's hit "Stay Awhile" for the remix of her ballad "My All" which featured rap duo Pete Gunz and Lord Tariq, while Hip-Hop producer and DJ Pete Rock asked original vocalist Jane and Carl to sing on his single "Take Your Time" introducing the group's music and legacy to a new generation and legion of fans, while having longtime fans excited and anticipating a reunion. Well the trio has plans to reunite soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


While I was typing my tribute to former Temptation lead singer Ali-Ollie Woodson, I decided to whip out my "Emperors of Soul" boxed set and rock The Temptations' classic "Treat Her Like A Lady" a song that he co-wrote with Otis Williams which became a huge hit for the Motown legends peaking at # 2 on the R&B/Soul charts in 1984.
As I listened to his famous riffs, I began to reflect on seeing him.
It was October 1988 and my cousin had won tickets to see The Temptations and The O'Jays live at Radio City Music Hall. She was unable to attend becasue she and her ex had moved into their apartmetn so she gave decided to give them to me and her mother, my aunt Laurtette who like me was shocked to learn that we had front row seats.
I had enjoyed the O'Jays perform, but when the Tempts came onstage, I was excited, Dressed in a Black and yellow sweater, Black linen pants and pattern leather shoes, I was in my seat excited, and my aunt ssid Shawn look at the limo. They had a limo come from under the stage, and when the DJ were announcing the group, I was more excited. Introducing Otis Williams, Richard Street, Ron Tyson and Ali-Ollie Woodson I gagged.
'Whre happened to Dennis" I asked my self as the group performed "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" It didnt' matter because I was in my seat doing the routines amd singing along to the songs (Some I never heard before).
What I remember about the concert was how he performed bass singer Melvin Franklin's parts (Melvin was recovering from throat surgery) and how he enteracted with the crowd. He shocke my hands 5 times and gave me a thumbs up. He was suprsed to see a tall skinny Black teenager in the front row enjoying the sounds of Motown. After the concert me and Laurette went to the stage door to get autographes and Otis came to the baracade and signed my picture with my pen. Then Ali-Ollie came out and told us he would be back. He was escoritng his girlfrind to the limo. (Talk about class)
He came back and signed autographs for the fans. When my aunt pulled out a 20 she told him that was all she had his reply was 'that's alright." Then he took my pictue, signed it and shook my hand for the 5th time.
Welcome back I said
Thansk he said before he left.
It was a blessing that I had the authors of my favorite song autograph my picture (though I can't find it). I almost didnt' wash my hand for 3 days.


Motown Legend and former Temptations lead signer/songwriter Ali-Ollie Woodson died over the Memorial Day weekend after battling cancer. He was 58. Woodson is best known for his Gospel-trained singing and shouting, but he was also a talented songwriter, musician and arranger, who had co-wrote the group's 1984 comeback hit "Treat Her Like A Lady" with the group's founder Otis Williams (See Motown Flashback-The Tempts Classic Anthm for Women October 24, 2009), which is still a favorite among R&B music lovers around the world. This artile highlights his career.
Woodson was born on October 12, 1951 in Detroit Michiagan and like many Detroiters, he started singing at the church choir at a young age. It was singing in the choir that helped him learn apprection for harmonies. By the time he reached his adoloence and teenage years, he became fascinated by the sounds of Motown and a huge fan of The Temptations, who one of the label's and world's most loved, respected and emulated groups of all times. While many of the city's youth would rush to the Fox Theatre to see them perform, Ali-Ollie had the honor of seeing the group's lead singer David Ruffin on a daily basis.
"When I was nine or ten living in Detroit, every evening around dusk, I would see David Ruffin leave his house and go by on his motorcylce" Woodson said in the liner notes of The Temptation's boxed set "Emperors of Soul." I got a thrill out of that."
Shortly after his 19th birthday, Ali-Ollie was hired by Bill Pinkley of the Drifters as a singer and musician, but he his big break came in 1977 when he learned that The Temptations were leaving Motown for Atlantic and were in search of a lead singer to replace Dennis Edwards, the group's lead singer at the time. Ali-Ollie won them over with his pipes, but he lost in the hair department.
"For some strange reason he had Orangish hair, which was a little rough on the eyes" The Temptations' founder Otis Williams wrote in his autobiography "Temptations." "We weren't sure that he would blend in with the Tempt's visiual image, so we passed on him." Ali understood and later became the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes replacing Teddy Pendergrass and later working with various bands and singers and writing songs. In 1983, millions of fans had tuned into Motown 25, and along with Michael Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean." everybody enjoyed the seagment were the Temptations and The Four Tops performed a battle while singina a medley of their songs inlcuding Ali-Ollie, who got more than a thrill watching. On the group's Motown on Showtime special, Ali spoke of how a chill came over his body as he watched Levi sing The Tempt's classic "I Know I'm Losing You."
"As Levi looked and Dennis and sang It's all over your face. Someone's taking your plance, a cold chill came over my body and I was like could it be me?"
The answer was yes. Shortly after the Motown special, The Tempts hwere working on their "Back To Basics" album, when Edwards' personal issues was affecting his performances, and when the group knew that it was time to replace him, Melvin Franklin, the late bass singer had informed Otis that his mother was good friends with Ali's father, and when he informed his mother of the issues they were having with Edwards, she told Ali's father to get in touch with the group, who told him to meet them in Atlanta and when he arrived he didn't have that orangish colored hair anymore. In stead his hair was full of curls. "He done something with his hair, so he looked better." Williams wrote in "Temptations." "Richard asked him to squall for us and he squalled; the audition was over. We told him to be packed and ready to leave for Los Angelas, where we were recording Basics." Though the album was almost coplete, Ali did sang lead on the album track "Stop The World Right Here I Wanna Get Off" which was only a taste of his talent. When the group began to work on their next album, Ali-Ollie not only blessed the group with his vocals, he also displayed his songwriting and arranging talents, which would help The Temptations become more than a singing group. "Ollie was a songwriter, so when Melvin's interest in writing with me declined I paired up with Ollie. His strong suit was melodies; he played several instruments in addition to being a flexible singer" Williams wrote.
Former Earth, Wind & Fire member Al Mc Kay was also impressed with Ali-Ollie's talent. While he and Ralph Randolph was producing the group, he challenged them to be better musicians.
"Ollie challenged me. 'Man you should play piano like this'" Mc Kay said in the Emperor of Soul boxed set liner notes. "Then he went out there and showed me." In the fall of 1984, The Temptation's album "Truly For You" was released to rave reviews and became an instant classic and favorite among the fans and Williams, who with Ali-Ollie co-wrote the album's lead gold single "Treat Her Like A Lady" which became the group's biggest hit of the 1980's peaking at # 2 on the R&B/Soul charts and # 48 on the Pop charts.
"It's one of my favorites and not because I wrote part of it" Otis wrote in the liner note of "My Girl: The Very Best of The Temptations." "It was one of those songs that never seems to fade." The song also showed the critics and young kids who were rocking to the sounds of Hip-Hop, and New Wave that the Temptations were able to keep up with the times without losing their idenities. In fact,the song was so hot that many teenaged boys would sing and/lip-synch this song in talent shows and wound up winning first and second place. While Ali's vocal style was similiar to Edwards, he had the ability to ad-lib amd hit high notes in both tenor and falsetto style. He also had a style look and vibe that connected him with females and males.
"He had this swagger about himself. He was cool. He had a coolness about himself that was really very inviting," Billy Wilson, President of the Motown Alumni Association said.
Ali-Ollie also had great showman ship and a great sense of humor which he blended together in concert. Right before the group would perform, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," Ali would tell the men, 'fellas, I want you to turn to your woman, look her in the eyes and say baby,' and before you knew it, he was sining the opening line of the classic, which would have men shocked and laughing. Right before he performed "Treat Her Like A Lady," he would speak about the ladies needs, and would launch into the classic.
Ali also co-wrote the group's follow up albums "Touch Me" and "To Be Continued.." along with singing on the singles "Do You Really Love Your Baby," "Lady Soul" "To Be Continued,," and "Someone" which showcased his Gospel roots. During his first tenuere with the Temptations they had embarked on a successful tour with The Four Tops on the legendary T-N-T tour and performed on the special "Motown Returns To The Apollo" and on "Moonlighting" where the star Bruce Williams asked the group to perform on his single "Under The Boardwalk" which became a huge hit in the UK and in Europe.
Ali-Ollie was a great asset to The Temptations, but unfortantley, he began to have personal issues and show up late for performances, which would force Otis to confront him about his latness with pep talks in hotel rooms. "I've been around some singing ass brothers and you can hold your own wit the best of them and I'm including David Ruffina nd Dennis Edwards. But if you don't get your act together, you're going to be sorry" Otis told him constantly. In January 1987, he was let go and Dennis Edwards had retuuned to the group, but during the summer of 1988. Edwards left permantely, and Ali-Ollie was given another opportunity and he didn't disappoint. In fact, when the group performed at Radio City Music Hall and at Showtime on The Apollo, the fans were happy that he had returned. Especially when the group performed "Treat Her Like A Lady."
"I had my ups and downs" he confessed in the "Emperors of Soul" liner notes. "But I picked myself up and dusted myself off. I survived." When he retunred, Motown had been sold to MCA Records and under the leadership of Jheryl Busby, the group had recorded two albums "Special" and "Milestone" and scored with the singles "All I Want From You." "Special" and "Soul To Soul" which became a favorite among fans thanks to the video being in heavy rotation on Video Soul. While the latter album wasn't a big hit, it was the group's 50th album and critics had noticed Ali's ability to make a song his own. Especially on the album's single "Hoops of Fire." which he sang to his wife while cutting it. "My girlfriend at the time-my wife now-was sitting in the control room and I looked straight at her. I said baby I love you baby' and sang the first lines.
During his second tenure with the Motown legends, Ali-Ollie was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame and received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The group. In September 1995, The Tempations released their classic album "For Lovers Only" which featured their renditions of classic love songs including "Some Enchated Evening," "Time After Time," "You Send Me" and "Life Is But A Dream" and while the album received excellent reviews, it was a bitter sweet moment for the group. While recording, the group's bass singer Melvin Franklin had died, leaving a void that has yet to be filled, and the lack of promotion and changes of Presidents at Motown forced Ali-Ollie to leave along with a diagnosis of throat cancer, something he would battle for the rest of his life. He was replaced by Terry Week. While the group would gain larger success with the release of the mini-series and it's double platnium album "Phoneix Rising," Ali-Ollie continued to be active in the world of entertainement. He made numerous guest appearances on many televison shows including the short-lived series "Good News" where he played a member of the choir and on The Jamie Foxx, where he played a patient in a mental hosptial and performed "Treat Her Like A Lady" on piano. In addition to starring in several musicals, he also pursued a solo career releasing his music independebtly as well as forming his own group Emperors of Soul with Richard Street a former member of The Temptations and Franklin's cousin for a number of years before joining Dennis Edwards' group The Temptations Revue, where the group won reviews for their performances of "Some Enchantment Evening" and his signature hit. Woodson had also temporarily rejoined Otis' line-up for their 2002 Japanese tour when member Barrington Bo Henderson wasn't able to perform with them due to visa problems.
In late 2008 Ali-Ollie was diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitlaized for many weeks before dying from the disease in Southern California after battling it for 18 months.
Many are sadden by his death including Wilson, who describe him as a cool and caring person. "Woodson was "always a gentleman and always polite and kind to everybody. If we ever asked him to do anything, he never said, 'well, it's going to cost you.' He'd always say, 'yeah, let's go,'" said Wilson
Survivors include his wife Juanita, several children, fans, collegues and Temptations Otis Williams, Richard Street, Ron Tyson and Dennis Edwards who he was blessed to perform with.
Ali-Ollie Woodson was a very talented man, who shared his gift of singing and writing with the world, and he left us with one of The Temptations' biggest hits and favorite songs "Treat Her Like A Lady" a song that will be played for many years and will hopefully let the new breed of aspiring singers know that you have to have showmanship, classy swagger and talent.

Temptation Forever

This tribute is deciated to the memory of Ali-Ollie Woodson.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


As a child watching "Diff'rent Strokes," I loved the show and I was a huge fan of Gary Coleman. Especially when he played in the movie "Playing With Fire."
As I sit back and have "Reflections" about the show, I'm gonna write about things about Arnold's character. Things that many people may have overlooked and didn't observed.

Many remember Arnold as being a wild, crazy and fun kid, but he was also sassy, smart, outspoken, smart and had common sense.

In the first episode, his brother Willis didn't want to live his their new father who happened to be their late mother's boss who took them in at her request. He felt that Mr. Drummond was trying to buy their love and affection with money and fancy gifts. After Willis express how he felt, Mr. Drummond apologized and when he left, Arnold decided to let Willis have it. When Willis told Arnold not to speak to him, Arnold replied by saying is this a word and stuck out his tongue and spat at him.
He also reminded Willis that if their mother was alive, she would have his behind and he told him that he was wrong for being disrespectful to Mr. Drummond who she asked to care of them. He also told him that he wasn't being fair to Momma, Mr. Drummond and him. Willis later apologized.

Another episode comes to mind is when their cousin came to visit the boys and tried to fake an accident to gain money from them When Willis took Arnold upstairs to their bedroom, he tried to break it down what was happening, and Arnold told him about their cousin's plan to rip off their dad.

Arnold was known for snooping into his brother's and sister's business, and when Mr. Drummond told him not to be telling their business, he decided to sneak into their bedroom and hide under the bed with his tape recorder to tape their conversation. He wound up getting more than an ear-full when he learned that Kimberly's boyfriend at the time didn't want his sister to attend a dance with Willis because he was Black.
When Willis' date called to cancel, Arnold spilled the beans that had Phillip, Willis and Kimberly mad. They decided to get even; when the moron came to pick her up, Kimberly strolled the stairs of their penthouse wearing brown make-up that had her date upset to the point where he demanded she change her costume.
Kimberly asked him how did he feel if he was Black. He tried to denied he was prejudice and when Arnold told him he had the proof, he was shocked. Especially when Willis and Phillip told him about himself and when Kimberly showed him the door.

Arnold was also known for giving people a piece of his mind. Especially when his back was against the wall and when he was accused of something he didn't do

One episode was when this bully had asked him to look after his girlfriend while he was away. To save his life, he did everything he could, including paying males who found her attractive and being his outgoing self. She was so impressed that she fell for him and left a letter in his locker telling him that she wanted to be with him. When the thug found out he planned to attack Arnold physically and the next day in school he forced Arnold into a closet, and while Arnold was afraid, he decided that since his back was against the wall, he was going to fight him back anyway he could. Even if it meant coming out with some bruises. It didn't happen. Instead Arnold told him that in order for people to respect him that he had remove that chip from his shoulder and give people the opportunity to get to know him and to stop bullying people. He also told him that he had to love, trust and respect him girlfriend because if he didn't she was going to leave him for somebody else.

Another episode that comes to mind was when a white student who tried to pressure Arnold into drinking. Arnold decided to give in at first, but after a talk with his father, he changed his mind and confronted the kid. who left the bathroom. When Arnold tried to hide the bottle of booze, his teacher came in and assumed that Arnold was the one with the drinking problem so he called his father and ordered them to attend a meeting with the school's drug counselor. He took the heat, but when he saw the kid in the bathroom, he decided that he wasn't going to take the fall, so not only did he confront him, he grabbed the bottle from him, poured it down the drain and told him he had to get help. The kid wound up improving his grades.

During the show, he always had a conflict with a Black girl named Lisa who always thought she was better than everybody. Lisa and Arnold used to but heads and though she was a female, he would give her a piece of her mind. One time he got so fed up with her that he decided to play a trick on her; he decided to tamper with her science project, until he, Dudley and Robbie learned that their substitute Science teacher was her mother. Fearing that Lisa would convince her to give him a low grade, he decided not to, but after hiding under the desk, Arnold learned that Darling Lisa wasn't as tough as she acted. When Lisa entered the class to snitch on the other student's playing in the hallway, her mother confronted her about tattling on other children and causing problems. She also reminded her about the talk she had with her after her father died, and that she needed to focus on school and to look after her younger siblings. Arnold decided to with his evil plan and he felt guilty after the expression on her face after the other students (who didn't like her shady attitude) laughed at her. Arnold later spoke to his father who told her that he was wrong and needed to apologize to her. Arnold tried to speak to Lisa's mother about not being too strict on her. He was rebuffed, so he decided to write a silly story about the love between a frog and it's toads.


Legendary actor/writer Gary Coleman died in a Utah hospital after suffering from a brain hemmorage. The legendary actor had fell in his Utah home and was taken to the hospital where he was at first listed in stable condition, but started to lose conscioness resulting with having to be place on life support. Sadly he never made it and he died leaving behind a legacy. Coleman was known for playing on the hit television show "Different Strokes" as Arnold Jackson, the son of a house keeper, who had asked her boss Mr. Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) to adopt him and his older brother Willis ((Todd Bridges) after she dies. The show had dealt with issues of race, class, and issues of childhood and acceptance, which became a hit along with Coleman's famous line 'Whatchoo talkin' bout Willis?"
While from 1978-1986. Coleman had won the hearts of millions with his comic timing, his acting skills and charm, but while he was bringing people joy, he was dealing with his own pain and heartache,
Coleman was born on February 8, 1968 in Zion Illinois and was adopted by by Edmonia Sue, a nurse and W.G. Coleman rep for a Pharmacy. Coleman was also diagnosed with a
congenital kidney disease caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (an autoimmune destruction and alteration of the kidney), which halted his growth at an early age, leading to a small stature and resulted in him having two kidney transplants and receiving daily dialysis. Shortly before his tenth birthday, Coleman began to start in many commercials, but his big break came when he landed the role of Arnold Jackson on the hit award winning series "Different Strokes" as Arnold Jackson, the fun loving, outrageous and outspoken kid who along with his cool, outspoken and suave brother Willis is adopted by Phillip Drummond a wealth White Businessman and his teenage daughter Kimberly, after their late mother, Drummond's housekeep asked him to look after her sons if anything were to happen to her.
One the show Coleman's character was known for his urban swagger and catch phrase "Whatchoo Talking About Willis?" (He would also say that with other cast and in different situations) and while his character was lively, fun, and full of energy, he did have moments where he would speak his mind about issues that showed "Don't let my looks and age fool you. I do have common sense."
For his role, Coleman became a hit with young kids and received numerous awards and nominations for his role.
In his autobiography "Killing Willis" Gary's co-star Todd Bridges writes about how he and Coleman used to have fun on the set and the close bond they had during the first few seasons. He also writes about how Coleman was the little brother he never had.
While each of the cast had their own amount of fans, Coleman became very popular and began making guest appearances in on many television shows including "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times" as well as many hit television movies including "The Kid With The Broken Halo" with Robert_Guillaume and Thelma Hopkins. He played Andy Lebeau an Angel who was sent on Earth to help kids solve conflicts which later became the basis for the cartoon "The Gary Coleman Show" which became a hit. He also starred in the hit NBC television movie "Playing With Fire" where he played a African-American teenager in the suburbs, who had issues accepting his parents divorce would start fires in his home as a way to gain attention and to express his pain. Many fans and critics praised Coleman's performance in this classic saying that it was a great stretch for to showcase his acting skills by playing a serious and dramatic role.
Coleman had also wrote an episode for Different Strokes where his character was mugged, which resulted in him carrying a knife for protection.
After a 8 year run, the show was canceled, after taking time off to relax, Coleman began to write screenplays as well as making guest appearances on talk shows. He also made a guest appearance on the hit series "227" as a gangster once again winning rave reviews by the pubic, but he had a hard time making the smooth transition from child actor to adult star due to his height, and Hollywood casting directors and the fans refusal to accept and see him as a adult.
"I liked "Diff'rent Strokes" up until about the last three or four years. I was bored," he told CNN's Larry King in 1999. "I was disinterested, and I was jealous because I was missing my childhood and I was missing normalcy. I knew what normalcy was, and I wasn't having it."
In the television documentary movie "Behind The Camera: The authorized story of Different Strokes," the movie detailed the struggles the cast went through behind and off the scene with Coleman's parents being more focused on his career than his physical health as well as Coleman fighting with executives to make Arnold's character mature and deal with issues surrounding teenagers.
Bridges has admitted how his own issues with family and drugs was one damper that hindered their friendship, but in his autobiography, he writes how Coleman's parents (especially his father) was becoming egotistic, making demands and and they didn't like associating with too many Blacks when his fame began to rise.
Todd is on the money; Coleman's mother had tried to petition to court to be in charge of his finances.in 1989, Gary had begun to check his business affairs and despite receiving close to $100,000 an episode, he saw that he had less than a quarter of what he had earned, so in 1989, he sued his parents and business associate for misusing his funds and in 1993, he was awarded $1, 280.000.00, but had to file for bankruptcy a few years later due to legal fees. To supplement income for the guest appearances he began to make, he briefly took a job as a security guard and while shopping for an bullet-proof vest, he was he was arrested for attacking a autograph seeker, who claimed that he attacked her.
In several interviews and court footage shown on the E True Hollywood Story, Coleman stated that when the female asked for his autograph, he obliged and signed his mane and instead of being grateful, she was perturbed that he didn't write a special message and began to verbally abuse him and when he tried to ignore her, she started to get in his face and block his presence and with his height he rightfully became fearful that she was gonna attack him so he punched her.
He pleaded no contest and in addition to receiving a reduced sentence, was ordered to pay her $1,665 dollars. He also had settled a civil suit with a man who he had an altercation with at a bowling alley who took a photo of Coleman despite his objections. The case didn't get too serious due to both parties refusing to speak about the incident that took place in the bowling alley leading the altercation that happen in the parking lot that lead to his arrest.
He also had ran to be the Governor of California in 2003 and while he lost, he loved the challenge and opportunity to focus on the concerns of overs and being able to become an intelligent man.
"This is really interesting and cool, and I've been enjoying the heck out of it because I get to be intelligent, which is something I don't get to do very often," he said in the Associated Press.
Coleman had reunited with co-stars Dana and Todd in a parade in the late 1990's bringing smiles to everybody faces, and when Dana died from an accidental overdose of pain killers in 1999, both he and Todd provided comfort to her son, who died a few weeks ago. Gary and Todd had briefly reunited in the NBC movie documentary about "Different Strokes" where they narrated certain aspects of the show and appeared together in front of Dano's grave.
Gary had also made an appearance on "Divorce Court" where the judge had spoke encourage him and his wife actress Shannon Price to work on their marriage and despite issues they remained married until his recent death.
Many are sadden by the loss of this Icon including Icon Janet Jackson, who played his brother's girlfriend on the hit show. "He left an lasting legacy" the Icon Tweeted. "I know he's finally at peace."
"We are very grateful for all the wonderful support everyone has been extending to Gary's family. Coleman's wife Shannon said in a statement read by her brother. "Thousands of e-mails have poured in to the hospital. This has been so comforting to the family to know how beloved he still is. Thank you so much for all that you guys have done and for the support and prayers that you guys have given us.
In addition to his wife, Gary is survived by his parents, brother in law, cast members Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges, Janet Jackson, Shavor Ross, and Charlotte Rae.
When asked how did he fell about his career and about what people felt about him playing himself this is what he had to say.
"I parody myself every chance I get," he said. "I try to make fun of myself and let people know that I'm a human being, and these things that have happened to me are real. I'm not just some cartoon who exists and suddenly doesn't exist."

Funeral plans are still pending at the time of this writing

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


When I spoke with singer/songwriter Christopher "Ambition" Myers, I was extremeley impressed with his maturity, intelligence and humility. Important qualities that will help him maintain longevity along with his vocal talents.
Born in Pittsburg, Ambition became interested in singing after listening to his mother's copy of Boyz II Men's debut classic "CooleyHighHarmony," and from then he began to practice and hone his craft on a daily basis. He later became influenced to dance after seeing Ginuwine's video, which lead him to become part of a break dancing crew that performed in Miami and Texas, but he's remembered as 4Play the second lead singer of the Hip-Hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky, replacing original vocalist Pleasure P, and helping the group score two hits with "Cuddle Up" and "Knocking Da Boots" but he had grown tired of the group's controlling ways (they wouldn't allow him to conduct interviews), so he decided to leave, and rebuild his career by collaborating with Rapper Choze, completing a novel and working on his solo debut.
"Things have been going great" he said from L.A. via telephone
"Working with people who has my best interest."
When asked which singers inspired him to pursue a career in music, his response was "I love Usher. Boyz II Men. Doesn't get better than that. Justin Timberlake. Take 6. Anybody who can do harmony." There are stories about singers being discovered signing in church, at talent shows and on street corners, but Ambition was discovered singing karoke, by his former manager, who told him that he needed to work with him. In addition to singing, Ambition had also became involved with artist development, but his big break came when he was tapped to replace Pleasure P in the Miami-base Hip-Hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky. "Actually it's funny. I do artist development and a group I was working with was Crave" he says of how he first became affliated with the musical horny toads. "I was putting their shows together. They got signed to Bluestar Entertainment (and) shortly after, Pleasure P left the group.
Ambition's manager had told him about the auditions, and he wasn't interested, but his manager was persistant saying it would be a great opportunity for him to gain exposure. Two months later, Ambition received a phone call from the group's rapper Diamond Blue at 11'o clock that night asking him to be fly to Miami to audition; the next day. He was told to be at the airport at 7 the next morning and to bring a weekend's worth of clothes since he was going to be flying back home the following Monday. He nailed the audition and got the gig.
"I left that morning and didn't come back for a year and a half" Ambition says of him getting the gig. "We started recording. We had to go on tour. We had to film videos."
In addition to the videos, they group also filmed a BET special introducing Myers to the fans as their new lead singer, but it wasn't as his original stage name. To capitalize on his powerful and sexy voice, looks, and chiseled physique, he was Christined 4Play (See Sexy Musical Horny Toads Finds New Member And Continues To Crank Out Good Music June 4th 2008). Being the new lead singer of the group brought him and the group a new legion of fans, but there were many, however, who though respected and admired his talents and looks, had refused to accept him as the group's new lead singer, while some refused to give him a chance saying how they liked the group with Pleasure. Myers totally understood the fan's feelings about the situationm and he went all out to connect with them by chatting with them online and greeting them on tour with hugs, hand shakes, and photo opts. His humility and spirit helped him have a better connection with them.
"(Well) when I joined the group, I didn't plan to outshine Pleasure" he says considering the fact he and Pleasure were cool with each other during the group's 2007 "Late Night Special" tour. "He was the only person who spoke to me. Me and Pleasure were cool."
The fans and critics finally accepted him when the group released their version of H-Town's 1993 Soul Train Award winning hit "Knocking Da Boots" (See Sexy Horny Toads Remake Classic Love Song July 18th 2008). Fans got the opportunity to hear his smooth tenor and his ability to sing falsetto. "It was crazy just seeing the people's reaction. Everybody took it very well" Ambition says of the response he got whenever he would perform, the song live. "It was crazy. I don't think I ever listened to a song that long" he said about the number of times he listened to the original version in order to do a great job.
The fans and critics began to have expectations for the group's album "80's Babies", but there were constant delays, and stories about the group adding another singer to become a quintet, but when the group released it's single "Tipsy In Da Club" they noticed that Myers had left the group leaving many to wonder what was going on the Pretty Ricky camp.
Myers says that he and the group had conflicts over material, money and the same situation that Pleasure P had gone through had transfered to him.
"First thing they're all brothers, and their father run the company. There was a physical altercation. That situation had to be canceled." Myers didn't talk most about the altercation due to legal issues.
Shorty before he departed, Lingerie (who's original stage name was changed) another Pittsburg native was recruited to join the group, and before becoming a member of the group, he was a member Crave, the group that Myers was developing.
"They signed Crave and they released the other two members" Myers says of the other dramatic event that took place in the Pretty Ricky camp, along with them posting a rumor on the internet that said Myers was killed in a motorcycle crash.
"Me and Lingerie were close. He was one of my closet friends."
Many fans are upset at the group for posting that rumor, and while Ambition is upset, he doesn't hold it personally against his former friend citing the rapper's manipulation and controlling ways for his behavior along with the little bit of money their giving him.
After leaving, the current line-up lost it's distribution deal with Atlantic Records and after signing with Tommy Boy Records, they released their self-titled album, which hasn't done as their first two gold releases, and while the group is at the cross roads, Myers is starting a new chapter in his life and career.
"I can build myself up. I'm doing alot better than when I was with them totally."
Myers returned to Pittsburg, and started to use his original stage name Ambition, which was something he named himself at the age of 11, when two of his childhood friends, who were singing at the time pulled out the dictionary and started looking for names. When Myers saw Ambition, he knew it would be a great name to match his personality.
"It goes with my personality. I try to stay as focus as possible. I've never tasted any alcohol. I never did any drugs. If you want to be an artist the partying and all can come later. I'm in LA and there are models who are so gorgeous but they're working at KFC to make a living."
Being focused has paid off; the singer scored a hit with Rapper Choze on the hit "Bad Boy" which features the hook that he wrote in only three minutes. He's also collaborating with Tino Courely, another talented performer from Pittsburg, who's single "Diary" is getting lots of airplay and positive feedback on You Tube and Facebook.
Pittsburg has produced many talented performers including singers Phyliss Hyman, Shanice Wilson, Shirley Jones, Bobby Vinton and actors Lamaan Rucker, Michael Kaaton and Sherrie Johnson, when asked how does it feel to come from a city where these legends were born and raised, Myers says he feels honored.
"It's definetely an honor. There's so much talent in the city."
He's also completed a novel about a Ninja in Pittsburg, who's seeking revenge for his family who was murdered. Ambition writing a book based on Japanese culture? Yes!
The singer also became interested in Japanese Culture at the age of ten while studying martial arts.
"When I was ten years old, I studied Ninjisto with Raymond Anderson. I studied with him for ten years. I admired Japanese culture."
He's also working on his solo debut, which he says is going to be a mixture of Dance with R&B and lots of harmony in the background.
"I'm trying to write seven singles. I wanna give everybody their money's worth."
When asked where does he sees himself in the next five years, he says he sees himself with five # 1 singles two Grammys, and doing a song with Boyz II Men.
"I would love to do a song with Boyz II Men" he says. "I actually met Boyz II Men on tour. I talk to Wanya from time to time. I would also like to work with Justin Timberlake. Of course Timberland. Pioneers in the game."
Ambition paid the Motown Philly legends the ultimate compliment and tribute by redoing their classic "Please Don't Go" with music and accapella that can be heard on his my space page.
"My favorite is Please Don't Go" he said when asked what was his favorite songs by the Motown legends.
"That was the first song that make me wanna sing."
Many fans were pleased with his rendition of the song including group member Wanya, who loved his version of the group's classic
"I let Wayna listen to it and he love it. It's the biggest compliment."
Following the tradition of sharing and giving advice to aspiring entertainers, Ambition is still involved with artist development, which is something many performers need in order to have successful careers.
"It's very important. You need to know what you can do. Everybody doesn't have to be an Usher dancing. As soon as you hit the limelight, you're a star."
His advice to those wanting to enter the recording industry:
"The only thing you can do is surround yourself by people you can trust. The music industry is filled of snakes. Study. Read books. Study very hard."

To check out his music go to www.myspace.com/ambitionthekid