Sunday, December 15, 2013


Pittsburg is known for being a hard working steel town as well as for the baseball team The, but it's also know known for producing many talented musicians including Manny Emmanuel Deada, who is helping putting his hometown on the music map. Born and raised in the town, Manny got his start in music by performing in a school musical, which later lead to him honing his singing and songwriting skills by studying many legendary R&B and New Jack Swing icons including Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, New Edition, Guy, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Jodeci. He later became a member of the R&B group Crave which scored major hits in their hometown, before he was tapped to become by Hip-Hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky to become their third lead singer, where he became a household name and performed on the group's self-titled album and their hits "Tipsy In Dis Club" and "Say A Command" as well as performing on 106 & Park and with H-Town and Snoop Dogg. The talented singer is now hard at work pursuing his solo career with his solo debut which is bound to be a hit. I was grateful for the talented down to earth performer took time to chat with me via email about his start in music, tenure with the musical horny toads, and the importance of the media showing love and respect to "thick gals."

Da-PROFESSOR: This is Ra Shawn Da-Professor interviewing Singer/Songwriter/Musician and former Pretty Ricky lead singer Manny Emmauel DeAnda. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to interview you. Let the viewers/readers know who is Manny Emmanuel DeAnda.

EMANUEL: Thank you bro, My name is Emanuel, former lead singer of legendary local group in Pittsburgh Crave and also platinum selling R&B group Pretty Ricky

DA-PROFESSOR: Cool. How are things been going for you bro?

EMMANUEL: Things are going well. Working hard on all of my new projects. I just released my first solo mixtape/album called Cuffin Season Volume 1. It's available on iTunes, Amazon, Samsung, Google Play and anywhere else you can buy music online. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Alright. Tell me how did you become involved and interested in singing and playing piano?

EMMANUEL: I've been singing since at least the age of 8 and my first performance in front of a crowd was in 3rd grade and I played the part of the cowardly lion in The Wiz. I was scared out of my mind but I did it. Since then I was extremely interested in music. I actually just picked up playing the piano about 5 years ago, so over that time period I've taught myself how to play some things. Now I'm entering the production phase of my career. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Which singers influenced you and what was it about them that grabbed your attention?

EMMAUNEL: I grew up on Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway. Then later on I became inspired by guys like Keith Sweat, Teddy Riley and Guy and Blackstreet. Jodeci, Boys To Men, New Edition, Johnny Gill, Musiq Soulchild, Bobby Brown and R. Kelly. These guys were all unique in their own way and the thing about them is they are all so soulful. I was born and raised in soul music. I love it. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Interesting. You were also a member of the Singing group Crave, how did you become a member of that successful quartet and what hit records did you record?

EMMANUEL: Crave was started after we appeared in the movie The Temptations which was filmed in my old neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We just decided to keep it going and found monumental success from our hard work and assistance from MSE Management group headed up by Big D. 

DA-PROFESSOR: I Learned that you was very popular in your hometown and received many awards and honors for your songs

EMMANUEL: We had 3 #1 singles at radio in our market, which at the time was unheard of especially for local artists. We broke down a lot of barriers and accomplished a lot of things like getting a proclamation of Crave Day and receiving the key to the city. It was very gratifying for us and it helped us achieve more along the away. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Fans know you as the 3rd and final lead singer of the Hip-Hop/Soul group Pretty Ricky. How did you become the musical horny toad's lead singer?

EMMANUEL: Lol well they came to town for a show with Trey Songs and heard us bumpin at radio. They brought us down to the venue and had us open up for the show and it was over from there. That show turned into a tour with them on the Late Night Special tour, then a trip to Florida to start recording an album. After I went solo and left Pittsburgh, I joined the group in 2008 and we dropped a self titled album Pretty Ricky in 2009. 

DA-PROFESSOR: When it came to perform with them did you feel any pressure of being their new lead singer?

EMMANUEL: There is always pressure to be the best you can be in any situation. Even as a solo artist there is an immense amount of pressure. But I always handled myself like a professional and made sure I was well prepared for everything. From shows to interviews to appearances on 106 n Park, etc. 

DA-PROFESSOR: You did your thang vocally and lyrically on their self-titled album. Some of my favorite songs are Say A Command, Tipsy In Dis Club, Menage A Trois, Doggy Style Lap Dance and Black. What were the inspirations for those songs?

EMMANUEL: Sex, um love making, making babies, lol. Whatever you want to call it, but that's what inspired most of PR's music. 

DA-PROFESSOR: I love your solo performance on "Downtown" which has a mixture of Classic Soul, Jazz, Gospel and a D'Angelo, Prince Keith Sweat vibe. What prompted you to use those vibes on that song and did you play any instruments on that track besides sing?

EMMANUEL: Well that was planned because we wanted to showcase my vocal ability and come from a more soulful angle than just another slow sex record. And all of the production credit has to go to the man we called Doc. My productions are coming very soon. 

DA-PROFESSOR: You also had the opportunity to perform with R&B Legends H-Town, Snoop Dogg and Jodeci. What was it like sharing the stage with those musical iconic legends?

EMMANUEL: It was surreal just to be on a record with these legends. Such a blessing. I can say that I have done a song with these greats and I have everlasting memories of doing the H Town grind with H town on stage while performing Knocking The Boots. These are experiences that i will treasure forever. I also have a song with Keke Wyatt and Bone Thugs and Jackie-O as well. 

DA-PROFESSOR:  After the group released the mix-tape, many had believed that the group was going to work on solo projects and reunite for the album Bluestarrs, but we later learned that the group had disbanded. I like to know had the band disbanded for good? What happened between you and the group and who came up with your former stage name Lingere?

EMMANUEL: PR will always be PR. No matter who is singing the songs. But it was time to go in another direction and I am very thankful to Bluestar and Pretty Ricky for the experience, it was a great ride. Actually Baby Blue came up with the L word lol.. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Wow. Now you're recording and performing as a solo artist and using your original name. How does it feel to be performing solo and doing the music you love?

EMMANUEL: It feels amazing because I finally feel like I'm giving my listeners the REAL me. It's a complete blessing to get another shot at this. 

 DA-PROFESSOR: Cool I noticed your last name is Latin. What is your heritage and nationality?
EMMAUNEL: DeAnda, I am of Mexican background. My father Lupe DeAnda passed in 2010. RWG pops. My mother is a southern gal with roots in Tennessee and Atlanta Georgia. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Cool on to your solo joints. What was the inspiration for Thick As F**K?

EMMANUEL: That was just a quick remix for the ladies. S/o to Wayne and 2 chains. the women are always the motivation.. 

DA-PROFESSOR: That's wassup bro. There are many brothers who love thick ladies over skinny ones. Something the media doesn't show or acknowledge and if there are movies featuring thick ladies they're always portrayed as ghetto uneducated and undesireable.

EMMANUEL: I think that all media outlets need to give more respect to the "thick ladies" in the world. There is beauty that comes in all shapes and sizes. I love thick gals. 

DA-PROFESSOR: You recently released the single Batter Up which is dedicated to the Pittsburg Pirates. What inspired you to pay homage to them and do you think they will use it as their theme song in the future?

EMMANUEL: Well I am a huge baseball fan and the Pirates will always be my favorite team so it was a no brainer. And we are hopeful that the record gets used in the future yes. There are possibilities of that happening. 

DA-PROFESSOR: How is the music scene in Pittsburg?
EMMANUEL: The music scene in Pittsburgh is overflowing with talented and inspiring artists. I just hope the industry takes more notice of our talents in the upcoming future. Pittsburgh has influenced a lot of the music community. The west coast wouldn't be the same without the Pittsburgh influence. Now the whole world is getting touched by the Burgh. I'm proud of that. 
DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the opportunity to work with any artist mainstream who would they be (name as many as you like).

EMMANUEL:  I'd say R. Kelly first and foremost. Musiq Soulchild, Missy Eliot, Pharrel, Teddy Riley, Tank, Timbaland, Wale, Miguel, Trey, Usher, Keri Hilson, Faith Evans. I mean this is like a Christmas wish list lol. But I could go on forever. 

DA-PROFESSOR: You recently reconnected with Ambition and the other members of Crave. Are there plans of ya'll reuniting to record and perform and tour in the future?

EMMANUEL: Ambition is on my new album with a song called Lonely Place. It's a great record for the ladies. Crave has some things in the works as well. 

DA-PROFESSOR: We recently losted many legends including Michael Jackson. How did his death affect you as a performer?

EMMANUEL: I was crushed when we lost Michael. And Whitney as well. With all of the mystery surrounding each of their deaths, it makes you think deeply about life and the music business and how things can get tragically out of hand. 

DA-PROFESSOR: We also lost Soul legend Teena Marie as well. What did you think of her as a performer and how did her death affect you and the industry as a whole?

EMMAUNEL: Teena was a soulful legend. Her soul spoke to you on each one of her records. I grew up on her music as well and it hit me hard too. I just wish that we could all live forever in the physical, but legends like herself with live forever through the arts. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Many were and still shocked at the unexpected death of Disco Icon/Songwriter Donna Summer who lost her battle with cancer. How did you think her loss affected the industry?

EMMANUEL: I believe plenty of people were affected by her passing. She also was a legend. it's hard to see people leave this planet. 

DA-PROFESSOR: You was born and raised in Pittsburg, what was it like growing up there and from your presepctive, what is about guys from Pittsburg that makes them interesting and makes ladies want to holla at them?

EMMANUEL:  Pittsburgh will always be home for me. It's a great city. Even though it's small, this city has so much character and that's what I believe attracts women and people in general to us. We have our own style and we have this fire in us because we are a blue collar city. We work hard for everything out here. S/o to the entire city.. 

DA-PROFESSOR: How do you feel you're gonna continue make an impact on the music industry? Do you plan on pursuing any acting modeling or having another business venture in the future?

EMMAUNEL: Like I said before, it's a blessing to have a second chance in this business and I plan on making the most of it. 2014, lets GO! I plan on using this music that I create to get into everything in the future. Especially tv and movies. That's the other side of the game I want to go into. 

DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

EMMANUEL: In the next 5-10 years I see myself still working hard with an even more intense focus and grind towards new and bigger goals. 

DA-PROFESSOR: When you're not performing and recording what do you on your free time?

EMMANUEL: In my spare time i'm doing research online studying human life and art and music and politics. I'm also a teacher of music and arts in a few different schools here in Pittsburgh. I feel it's my job to give back to the youth and the community. I want to be one of the leaders to guide the youth in the right direction. Through my program "Say Something" headed up by myself and my music and business partner Akil Esoon, we are saving the youth through the arts. It's a pure blessing. 

DA-PROFESSOR: What advise would your give to aspiring singers and writers who want to pursue a career in the music industry?

EMMANUEL: Take yourself serious, take advantage of every opportunity placed in front of you. Work hard towards your music goals everyday, get the right management in place and just work tirelessly recording music. It's your body of work and the quality of your music that eventually gets you the shot you're looking for. Do business the right way and you will receive success. 

DA-PROFESSOR: I'd like to thank you for taking time to allow me to interview you bro. It's greatly appreciated. Strive for Excellence.

EMMANUEL: Not a problem, thank you for the opportunity! S/o to my entire team, MSE Management Group, the city of Pittsburgh, WAMO 100 and everybody else involved with the Emanuel project! thank You!! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013



For the past 25 years, Grammy-Award winning Pop/Dance Singer/Songwriter/Producer Jody Watley has been serving up dishes of great music that had her fans empowered and dancing, and she gives as a great fulfilling dish with her latest single "Night Life" which is blazing up the charts, and getting lots of positive feedback from fans and critics who commended her on releasing a great song in the digital cookie cutter age that music industry is at and for giving it a retro-Disco feel great vibe. Written and produced with Julian & Raphael Aletti and Count Da Money, the single has a great timeless sound that will have everybody dancing and enjoying themselves. The ingredients of this single are the horn section and strings that gives the tune a nice funky soulful Disco vibe. Another set of ingredients are the lyrics and Jody's vocal's performance where she sings passionately about having a great time without any problems as well as showing her classy and sassy side during the bridge of the song.

I love the nightlife
Don't matter where you're from
A worldwide Phenomenon

Wack it
Just wack it out
Wack it
Just wack it out
And turn
Wack. Wack.
Now walk it out.

That's another ingredient the song has-Jody telling her Gay fans to get loose and pose and walk like they're modeling on a runway and in a ball as well as shouting out various cities and countries around the world.
You know when you're fixing up a dish and you have that secret ingredient that gives the dish an extra kick? Well Miss Jody added one-having Gerald Brown Shalamar's original lead singer join her on the track making it the first time they recorded together since 1978, and let me tell you Gerald Brown still sounds excellent after all these many years.

Miss Jody's new single gets a 25 rating, and it goes to show that Iconic legends are still capable of making that's timeless and makes people want to dance and have fun.

This review is dedicated to the memories of Don Cornelious and Dick Clark both who provided outlets for music lovers to dance and show off their moves on television.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Towards the end of August, Rapper Flash Gotti had sent me a link to his song that he was releasing, and after finally listening to it a few later, I love response from you." I was shocked and impressed with his bold and outspoken personality, which makes him one of the hottest rappers to burst onto the Out Music scene He became interested in music hearing his cousins play Hip Hop Icon 2Pac's music and it was then that he became interested in rapping after also listening to Biggie Smalls, Aaliyah, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes and Michael Jackson, he lists as his main inspiration for recording. The Sexy Rapper had just released his highly anticipated mix-tape which has already gotten great praise from fans and fellow Out Rapper I.K.P. who gave positive feedback on the sexy rapper's FaceBook page with comments such as Hot and Realness. Well I had a chance to interview the rapper via email where he spoke about his mix-tape, growing up in Chi-Town, response to shady haters who think that he shouldn't use (too much) profanity in his lyrics and his feelings on being an Out Rapper.

Da-Professor: This is Ra Shawn a/k/a Da-Professor interviewing Rapper Flash Gotti, who's repping Chicago. Thanks for the interview. How are things going?
Flash Gotti: What's up!! and nothing much just trying to get by in this realm we call life .

Da-Professor: So let the viewers know who is Flash Gotti? 
Flash Gotti: I am very bold yet laid back á honest person and as real as they come , also I'm áa rap/hip hop artist who was born and raised in Chicago ill. with a story to tell threw music, I am music and music is me! so if I go today or tomorrow I'm forever in mp3 form , oh and also I go by the stage name Flash Gotti lol .

Da-Professor: Cool. You have an interesting stage name. How did you come up with it and what does it represents?
Flash Gotti: o wow lol the name flash came from the word flashback I one day was trying to come up with something cool and different for a rap name lol i went by flashback at first then i said no that's not it so i wrote the word flash down and went on a last name search lol I searched names for weeks !! until I went to bed one day and the name popped up in a dream, but the name represents me fully it fits me I just thought it was meant to be. 

Da-Professor: How did you become involved in music and which artists influenced you?
Flash Gotti: Music has always been around me sense i was a kid. My cousin's used to blast Notorious B.i.g ,2pac and No Limit/Master P. threw out my grandmothers house , we used to play video games with music blasting, get drove to school same thing , go to sleep to it, my cousin's i used to watch rap battle each other. It has influenced me ALOT because I feel music can be whatever you want it to be its your story your leaving on earth forever . á2pac Biggie, Lil Kim, Big Pun, Lisa Left-Eye Lopes from TLC , Missy Elliott Aaliyah áand áMichael Jackson are artists I look up 2 á, mostly like old school music /artists because I think there timeless and going to be remembered forever .

Da-Professor: What was it about those artists that grabbed your attention?
Flash Gotti: oh its sooooo much there all legends no matter how u look at it , and they were/are very original and influenced alot of artists 2 day. they all changed the game in there own way. Lil Kim is very bold to me from her lyrics áto her fashion, her voice /raunchy lyrics got my attention because she was very honest same with biggie and 2pac, Big Pun. I jus love his delivery and Left-Eye and Missy I loved how fun and funny they came across áand Aaliyah and Michael j. was angels 2 I cant explain it i just have a soft spot for them álisa Left-Eye lopes as well.

Da-Professor: You're an Out Rapper. What made you decide to perform as an Out Rapper and have you found any challenges being who you are?
Flash Gotti: Well I'm a very honest person anyway so if I was told to be a str8 artist I would not be me, I would be i think fake which is NOT cool, plus i love that im different type of artist i was never one to follow the crowd i like doing my own thing and being me. And no i have not went threw a challenged yet because I'm a open book to everyone, and people respect me for being real with everythang and I love it .

Da-Professor: You just dropped your mix-tape and it's hot! What prompted you to name it Black Listed and who did you work with?
Flash Gotti: Oh thank you!! People I worked with for this mixtape are Swanny River, Skinny Blaze , Booder Quarnelius ákleva b , Elmo, Evon the music bully, Bruno & Sheena . I gave it the title black listed outcast ambition because in some ways being gay in this world u have it the hardest! For just being you on a everyday bases which makes us as normal human beings blacklisted from the world in general, a outcast from your own family all because u want to be yourself,and if your artist u have 2 sometimes act str8 to be famous ! Basically put on a show like your str8 when behind closed doors your not..which is not what I am about at all ...no bueno! lol.

Da-Professor: I love the single "Old School." What inspired you to write that song and to homage to the Hip-Hop pioneers who paved the way for many of today's rappers?
Flash Gotti: Old school is the first track I recorded for the mixtape. I wanted to pay homage to those who inspired me greatly. It was only right in my eyes.

Da-Professor: Another joint I like is Cum Talk (You Sexy Til I Nut). What was the inspiration for that song and what made you decide to add an Aaliyah song to it?
Flash Gott: Thats one of my favs as well, and the song is about basically your super horny and the person you would not normally have sex with thats been trying to get with you looks sexy that day and yo cum is brainwashin / controllin u to go over there and basically do it with this person and after u nutt your like ...wait wtf was I thinking?? lol somebody could sexy as hell to u at that moment your cum is átalking to but as soon as u nutt, there sexy disappears, leaving u on your way home thinking '' I should of just stayed home and jacked off '' lol I thought nobody really did it be4 and its relatable á,the Aaliyah song added to it is '' rock the boat'' I just thought her voice would be perfect . And I was right. 
Da-Professor: Position=Freak is one of my favorite joints. I love when you rap about loving a kat with a big butt and timberland boots as well as how you like to please and be pleased in sexually and in the bedroom. What inspired you to be open lyrically and sexually?
Flash Gotti: Well just me in general i just like hearing / seeing peoples shocked reaction to explicit songs like that lol because they tell me its bold and raunchy ábut they love it at the same time. taking a dare to say what i want inspires me, áthe feeling of '' yea sure did say it and what?'' I just love it.

Da-Professor: My all time favorite joint is Fatally 87. I played that song 8 times already. What inspired you to rap over the G-Dep classic "Special Delivery?"
Flash Gotti: lmaoo wow 8 times lol but yeah its a favorite of mines as well. I just always LOVED that beat its a classic beat. I said this will be perfect to just flow all the way threw to the end. My mind set for that was it has to be hot and different from the original song I said I have to go off on this song go clean on in lol and I think i did . 

Da-Professor: Another favorite is Stop (Think About It) which deals with homophobia and crime. What inspired you to record a song with a positive message?
Flash Gotti: The killings of young kids, hate all over the world inspired that track, gang crime in our community's, the news, and many other things in this world. I just said wow when is this all going to stop it was also showing people / the listeners im not jus all about being explicit , I care 2.
Da-Professor: In additinon to rapping and writing, do you plan on doing any acting, modeling and touring in the near future?
Flash Gotti: I want to do acting /modeling hopefully touring as well but my radar is on acting and modeling.
 Da-Professor: I have to admit you're a sexy guy (Sexy As Heaven). When people find out you're a Gay Rapper do yo get the why you gotta be gay and a gay rapper question?
Flash Gotti: Wow thanks (licks lips like precious) I would get a damn u would sound better rapping about chicks or oh my god u like dudes? wow. why? lol.

Da-Professor: You was born and still reside in Chicago. What was it like growing up there and  tell me from your prespective, what is it about Chi-Town guys that makes people wanna holla at them?t
FlashGotti: It was hard for me in Chicago , I grew up in da hood , I mean one day u see a gang member da next u hear they got killed, from missing school cuz there shooting on the block to every other week randomly having the door kicked down cuz my cousins was gang members, to hearing ''GET DOWN THEY SHOOTING!'' ..to coming home from school on the bus n hope u dont get shot or killed i stayed/grew up in a bad area , a area that if u wore the wrong color u get jumped or if your fitted cap was turned the wrong way u got beat up. People love us for our accent to swag to the sex appeal, most Chicago dudes say what they want and say how it it and is str8 thugs from the area they grew up in. so yea Chicago that place to be if u wanna hood boy because u learn to have tuff skin here or else.

Da-Professor: Chicago has also gave birth to many talented musicians including Jody Watley, Minnie Ripperton, Da-Brat, R. Kelly, Chaka Khan, Kanye West, Twista, Marvin Yancy and the late Don Cornileus. How does it feel to be from the city that produced those talented Icons and how do you feel you're gonna add to their musical legacy?
Flash Gotti: It feels good!! áthe brat was/is friends with one of my cousins I didn't know who she was younger I came up stairs from my room and she and my cousin and his friends was smoking and drinking . lol I feel like my music well be my voice forever...for people if somthing happens to me, i will touch somebody and be remembered weither its jus in Chicago or to a few friends my legacy will will live on. 

Da-Professor: Earlier you posted how many shady people tried to criticize you for cursing and being raw on your CD. How important do you feel it is for you to be who you are lyrically and vocally?
Flash Gotti:  Its very important but not just for me for EVERYBODY to be themselves i hope to inspire people to be themselves...being different is being a leader in my eyes . people told me to do this or they don't like me saying this...but i was told to be myself and say how i feel my words on the mixtape is my truth and my story not there's , why edit yourself for another person your just going to be sayin '' dang i should of just did it or said it'' so yeah its very important to be who you are in general.

Da-Professor: There are many hetero Rappers and Singers who be cursing on their records and interviews too.
Flash Gotti: Yes but if a person who is attracted to the same sex express sexuality on a song its seen as nasty or gross but str8 artist do it all the time .

Da-Professor: For the past year, many Black Famous Athletes, Singers and Actors came out including Jason Collins, Frank Ocean and Rayen-Symone. What do you feel about them coming out and how do you feel it will impact the Black Youth and adults who are into sports deal with their sexuality?
Flash Gotti: Well I feel its good and all that they came out, but my question is why do a gay actor /singer ect. have to announce to the world there gay to begin with? its crazy it should not effect anyone because them being gay or bi does not effect there work or anything they was gay be4 they announced it and if they didn't noticed it be4 it shouldn't matter.

Da-Professor: I've noticed how while there many in the community who supports the Out Rappers and singers, but there are many who complain about the lack of artist who represent the community, yet they don't support them. How do you feel about the kids who contradicts themselves and how important is it for the community to acknowledge and support their own?
Flash Gotti: You know its funny because , they support artists when they come out , but a out artist thats already out gets no support i find it very funny and dumb to be honest.

Da-Professor: If you had the chance to work with any artists Mainstream and LGBT, who would it be. Name as many as you like.
Flash Gotti:  Hmm all the artist mainstream i want to work with has passed on sadly like Aaliyah 2pac Biggie and so on ..... but alive i want to work with Lil Kim, Missy Elliot , Kelis, eve Kendrick Lamar producer Timbaland ,Pharrell lgbt artist : Foxxjazell Last O and a few others that i cant think of. 

Da-Professor: Many were upset at the outcome of the Trayvon Martin trail. How did it effect you and how important is it for Blacks to know that despite having a Black President in the White House that they can be subjected to racial profiling despite their sexual orientation and the areas where they live at?
 Flash Gotti: Well sadly it didn't because crimes like that goes on EVERYWHERE in the world , and its very important because ..nowadays people are worried about the wrong things basically brainwashed to the wrong things to worry about there more worried about celebrities then whats REALLY going on around them , the color of the president skin means nothing the color of yours does that's the difference. 

Da-Professor: We've lost many famous Icon including Michael Jackson. How did the loss of M.J. affected you and how important is it for fans to honor his musical legacy?
Flash Gotti: omg I cried sooooo much over his death man i felt as well as others like i lost a family member , his legacy lives on he was a music icon and the true definition of the word legend he was most def ahead of his time and everyone elses time after lol. U wont get another M.J. he was one of a kind. 

Da-Professor: We also lost rapper Heavy D who worked with M.J. on the classic "Jam" How important is it for those who listen to Hip Hop to learn about his contribution to Hip-Hop.
Flash Gotti: He had a big impact on hip hop! words cant say what he did for hip hop because he's a icon. If a person does not know who he is they need to do there research now! 

Da-Professor:We also lost Disco and Gay Icon Donna Summer. How important is it for many to honor her legacy and contributions to music?
Flash Gotti:.Another icon! and original talent people should keep her legacy alive and they will shes a icon and truly missed for me she was another talent lost but will forever live on threw her music.

Da-Professor: TLC and Beyonce each sampled Donna's debut classic Love To Love You Baby for their hits I'm Good At Being Bad and Naughty Girl. What do you think of them sampling her classic for their hits?
Flash Gotti: I think its fine its keeping her legacy in a way alive. 

Da-Professor: How do you feel you're gonna make an impact on the Out Music Industry and with the LGBT Community?
Flash Gotti: You know idk exactly.... but what i do know is i will make a impact on somebody's life i promise you that. 

Da-Professor: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Flash Gotti: I see myself known by more people and a person that people will look at and say wow i wish that was me. 

Da-Professor: What type of guys you like and what do they have to bring to the table beside their looks and sex game?
Flash Gotti: i like honest confident guys, u have to have ambition a drive to wanna be somthing outta life , basically a leader.

Da-Professor: What advice would you give to a person who wants to pursue a career as an Out artist
Flash Gotti: Be fearless, be a leader ,be yourself no matter what! in this industry u have to be the best at what u do , know your hip hop history an most importantly try to stand out from everyone if you do that your already different or weird but remember its better to stand alone then to follow a crowd cuz guess what u follow the crowd and the person who's different well be gettin the most attention, áoh and one more thing ....STOP COMING IN THE GAME DISSING THOSE THAT CAME BEFORE YOU! CAUSE THAT DOES NOT WORK ...AT ALL. diss records go nowhere and nobody wants to get introduced to u coming after a known artist its a turn off to your new fans and the person u diss will just ignore it anyway so dont waste your time cause they are not bothered u trying to get known not them , u burn bridges you will need later on . trust me .. so yea dats about it oh i almost forgot whatever u do ...... you better GO HARD OR GO HOME ! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


For years, Hip-Hop artists have been dubbed, Kings, Queens and The greatest. Well Out Rapper I.K.P.s name fits him royally. Also known as The President, the Brooklyn-born-Virginia raised artist is known for his versatile flows, lyrics, mellow yet masculine voice and his positive, laid back yet out going energy and personality which makes him one of Out Music's many loved artists. The President released his first EP which showed his poetic flow, but he showed his fans that he could be versatile and get open with his hit "Super Hoe" with fellow Out Rappers Splash T and Loco Ninja, which was only a sample of what he had for his fans; In January he released his mix-tape which further displayed his talented and his ability to work with other artists. He also did production on Singer Da Quan J Motley's current CD as well. The President spoke to me via email about his career.

Da-Professor: What's up President how are things going?

I.K.P.: Been feeling very inspired lately, more than usual. This year has given me a lot of experience that I hope to share in my art.

Da-Professor: Cool Tell the viewers about your name King of Positivity how did you come up with it and what does it mean?

I.K.P.: I.K.P. was something that struck me spontaneously.  The Infamous King of Positivity, which is what it stands for, combines everything I want to represent as an artist. It came from putting together 3 things; the word ‘infamous’, which is a synonym for ‘notorious’ as in The Notorious B.I.G., one of my key inspirations in striving to be larger than life; ‘King’ which was inspired by T.I., another one of my inspirations and his constant references to the meaning of being a “King”, something that commands respect through actions, and since I have to be the King of something, I chose to be the king of Positivity because I feel it’s necessary for me to represent that as lifestyle and a state of mind that can bring personal freedom. When I became infected with HIV in late 2006, I needed to find a way to take back the power that the infection inflicts on millions of others and myself, converting it into something that could empower others.

Da-Professor: Interesting. How did you get into music?

I.K.O.: I come from a musical family. My father plays sax. My older cousins loved hip-hop and their aspirations influenced me to try it.  Music helped me get through my most troubling days when I felt like I couldn’t connect with anyone else.

Da-Professor: Which artists influenced you and how?

I.K.P.: In the beginning I was influenced by Biggie and Missy Elliott, even when it wasn’t exactly cool to like Missy and because people didn’t consider her hip-hop. But the fact that she was from my area of Virginia made her and Timbaland real champions to me and they showed how to think outside the box.

Da-Professor: Cool interesting. You have various types of flow which has a mixture of spoken word to spitting hard and your music has different genres from Jazz to Hip-Hop, Dance, Rock and New Wave. How important is for you to be diverse and versatile vocally musically and lyrically?

I.K.P.: I think it’s very important to bring as many skills to the table so that I can operate in different worlds. I want to be just as accepted at a dance club as I would be at a jazzy open mic event and I want people from different walks of life to find some connection with me.

Da-Professor: You're also a Gay and Out rapper. Have you had any challenges being an Out Musician?

I.K.P.: I would say not yet.  I don’t think I’ve had much trouble because I haven’t yet cracked the level of exposure I’d like to see. But I anticipate any and all challenges.

Da-Professor: I loved your debut singles The Poetry of Color and Let It Be Known. What were the inspirations for those songs?

I.K.P.: For The Poetry of Color, I’ve always felt like more of poet, if not a traditional rapper because there’s a level of class attached with a “poet” as opposed to a rapper. That type of song got me love at open mics and with more mature crowds for its sound. I think rap is a form of poetry and I love using words to draw comparisons and paint pictures. Let It B. Known was inspired by listening to Ice Cube and drawing from his energy and the grooves found on his records. I caught wind of Katy Perry’s single “I Kissed a Girl” at the time I wrote the song and was a little mad about the fact that it felt like girl-on-girl action was way more accepted that guys being romantic, even if guys tend to objectify women. I was going for the principle though.

Da-Professor: Your single Super Hoe is one of my all time favorites. It reminded me of Kid-N-Play's Last Night, UTFO's Roxanne Roxanne. What made you decide to go with those vibes, what prompted you to work with Splash T and Loco Ninja on that song and will you film a video for that song?

I.K.P.: I’m a fan of Boogie Down Productions and I thought that record would be fun to do and it would be the type of record to make me more memorable in people’s minds. I knew Loco would fit because he brings a certain edge that I liked a lot. Splash T was one of the first performers in the Out Hip-Hop world that I saw perform and her stage presence had me hooked since then.  When I made the Super Hoe record it was only right to bring her in. Anything’s possible as far as a video is concerned.

Da-Professor: Another thing I loved about the song is how you discuss insecure women who be so quick to jump on Gay and Bi-Sexual men who they think are trying to flirt with their men when in reality it be their man who be the ones flirting. What inspired you to address that in your song?

I.K.P.: I witness a lot of drama with people in relationships. House parties, personal experiences pushed me to vent on that subject matter. I’m all for defending the person you are in a relationship with but insecurities just don’t look cute. This something that I see a lot in the gay community as well as straight community.

Da-Professor: You also recorded your version of Boogie Down Productions' classic My Philosphoy What prompted you to give that classic a new twist and why is that song a Hip Hop classic.

I.K.P.: Being a fan of B.D.P., My Philosophy was always a record I wanted to cover.  It’s a timeless record that is a prime example of raw rap music at its finest. The album it came from By All Means Necessary was the fire that lit the inspiration to record and produce my first album.

Da-Professor: Another favorite is Bully. Many people especially in the LGBT community are constantly bullied, but when they fight back, they get repriminded by cops for defending themselves. What prompted you to record the song and how important is it for the LGBT community to not tolerate disrespect by ignorant ass homophobes?

I.K.P.: If it’s something I want people to remember me for, its for telling them to fight for what’s right whether it be for yourself or others.  Be the one that sparks the conversation and starts a movement. We need the attention on that. It’s the same as when Blacks had to defend themselves from racist whites in the days of segregation. 

Da-Professor: You know I loved your joint Torch Light Up (Live)! I loved the live feeling on that song. What made you give that song a live feel and do you plan on releasing that song as a single?

I.K.P.: I wanted to have a song that I could do on stage with a live band. I had a great time producing that.  It allowed me to flex my production muscles to pull it all together because I had never put a record like that together.

Da-Professor: You recently finished shooting a video with Out Rapper Kaoz for your single Check Mate. What was it like working with him and how was it working in Minneapolis the city that put Prince, The Time Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis on the map and did you see Jam & Lewis while you was there?

I.K.P.: I think I did see Jam & Lewis at Mall of America! Then again it was so many people there….

I had the best time working with Kaoz and having him in the video was a dream. I respect him a lot for what he does in his city and his community. He’s a ball of energy, all we did was crack jokes.

Da-Professor: You're family is from Honduras. I like to know what is your ethnicity? Black or Latin or both?

I.K.P.: We are Caribbean Latin. We got the best of both worlds. There’s no half anything because we essentially Caribbean Black people due to our ancestry and culture and Latin by nationality.

Da-Professor: From your perspective what is about Black Caribbean men that makes people wanna holla at them?

I.K.P.: There’s a lot to like about Caribbean Blacks!!  I would venture to say some are physically fit from spending a lot of time outside and lifting things like canoes and playing sports.

Da-Professor: Besides rapping and writing do you have any other projects you're working on?

I.K.P.: I be in the lab producing for other folks mannnn….. I love music. I’m in bed it all the time.

Da-Professor: If you have the opportunity to work with any artists mainstream, independent and LGBT who would it be?

I.K.P.: I would love to work with Kanye West, Timbaland, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. How sick would a record like that be?

Da-Professor: Many were affected and upset at the Trayvon Martin verdict with George Zimmerman getting off. How did you feel about the verdict and how important is it for many Black and Latinos Gays to realize that they can be victims of racial profiling despite their sexual orientation?

I.K.P.: I felt like the verdict was a failure of the justice system to the family and it reinvigorated conversation about race in America like nothing else.

The whole thing with Stop and Frisk is that it’s effective to an extent. If it helps keep the guns of the street and the drugs out of the neighborhoods then that’s where it should end.  If it comes down to sexual orientation, then its time to re-evaluate the true intentions of the policy.

Da-Professor: Sadly we lost many talented legends during the past couple of years including Michael Jackson. How did his unexpected death affect you and the industry?

I.K.P.: We won’t ever have an icon quite like M.J. in our midst because he was a once in a lifetime deal. There’s no amount of words that can truly explain the impact he had on so many generations of people all around the world. It’s a crime shame that we don’t get to see him progress pop culture further and embrace the new generations of pop artists but he will absolutely not be forgotten.

Da-Professor: We also lost Hip-Hop Legends Heavy D and Miss Melodie. How did their deaths affect you and the Hip Hop industry and how important is it for the new generation to learn how the impact they left on  Hip Hop and how important is it for them to be honored?

I.K.P.: They were Hip-Hop pioneers that paved the way for a lot of what we see today. It’s always important to embrace what the past was and the contributions Heavy D and others have made while still looking forward.

Da-Professor: We also lost Whitney Houston as well. How did her death affect the industry and how important is it for fans to honor her legacy and not blame her ex-husband New Edition co-founder Bobby Brown for her issues and drug use?

I.K.P.: Whitney Houston had a voice unlike any other that has influenced so many that came after.  I think it affected the industry greatly. Her death left a void that can’t be filled. People have to realize that there’s more layers to our pop stars and role models than what we see on TV and read in the news. You never know what’s going on in the minds and hearts of our celebrities and so it’s not anyone’s place to judge them for things we can’t see or things they can’t defend themselves from.

Da-Professor: The world was hurt and shocked by passing of Disco Icon/Songwriter Donna Summer. How do you think that her death has many fans still in shock and hurt?

I.K.P.: She’s a terrible loss in the music world. I think fans and admirers will be hurt from her leaving us so soon for a long time.

Da-Professor: Both TLC and Beyonce Knowles each sampled her classic Love To Love You Baby for their hits I'm Good At Being Bad and Naughty Girl. What did you think of them sampling her classic for their hits.

I.K.P.: I thought those were excellent interpretations of that classic song. I’d have to say those records by TLC and Beyonce are among my top favorites by them, if not more because the Queen of Disco’s spirit lives in those records.

Da-Professor: Donna had also worked with Hip Hop producer JR Rotem on her last album Crayons. What did you think of her recruiting him to work with her and what did you their work on the album track The Queen Is Back?

I.K.P.: I thought that was a great move on her part to explore new sounds and that record was dope. Well produced by JR.

Da-Professor: Last summer R&B Singer/Songwriter Frank Ocean revealed that he was bi-sexual and his first love was a man. What did you think of him coming out and do you feel that many in the community will start to show support for the Openly and Out Singers and Rappers who's been representing the community for years?

I.K.P.: I thought it was very respectable and admirable that he chose to be honest with his fans about himself. It will be a slow process before more R&B and Hip-Hop stars come out about their sexuality but from what I can see, the opportunities are opening up everyday with more celebrities in the Black community like Raven-Symone and Jason Collins opening up and sparking the debates.

Da-Professor: What do you want fans to get from your music and videos?

I.K.P.: I want people to be entertained first, then I want other artists to be motivated to seek out the other talented individuals in film to put out higher quality material.

Da-Professor: How do you think you're making an impact on the music industry and the Out Music and LGBT Community?

I.K.P.: I just want to be remembered as someone who was daring and challenging people’s minds and ideas about who we are an what we can be. I don’t believe I fit the common stereotypes of what a rapper LGBT or otherwise are, so I’d like to show that just like my influences have showed me, it’s OK to look different and think different.

Da-Professor: What advise would you give to a brother who wants to pursue a career as an Out artists?

I.K.P.: Don’t be scared to fight for the right to be accepted as you are and question everything.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


When I purchased Novelist Armani Williams' debut novel "Scandilious" he gave me a warning; the book was going to be hot with lots of hot scenes, and he was right. Not only was the book hot, it was great (the book was so hot that I had to rush out the train station and into my apartment to cool off). Born and residing in New Jersey, Williams' original goal was to pursue a career as a singer or actor, and it was while he was taking a youth community drama course where the instructor asked the students to write stories, and after his story got positive feedback from the instructor, he continued to hone his skills, which is paying off in a big way. His debut novel has gotten great reviews and fans are eagerly awaiting the release of his upcoming novel "Harlem Boyz" which will further display his pen game. Armani spoke to me via e-mail about his writing, acting and avoiding stereotypical characters in his writings.

Da-Professor: Hey bro how are things going?
Armani: Things are good. Thanks for reaching out to me.

Da-Professor: No problem. So you're about to drop your second novel "Harlem Boyz" this fall. Are you excited?

Armani: Yes I am very excited to release my second novel. A lot has happened between releasing "Scandalicious" and releasing "Harlem Boyz" so the fact that I can release another book makes me very happy. I'm more than excited. I'm over the moon! 
Da-Professor: What can readers expect from "Harlem Boyz?"
Armani: Folks can expect an honest story about the lives of four black male best friends who happen to be gay. It gives you a real glimpse at the lives of these men as they experience life along with their careers, family lives, love lives, and the bond they have as friends.                                                           
Da-Professor: Interesting. How did you get involved in writing?
Armani: Writing found me when I was ten. I was in a drama class down at Newark Community school of the Arts and the teacher was a college professor. A man by the name of Professor Stewart. He told us we were going to write plays. I was terrified. I didn't know anything about writing. But when I went home, an idea hit me about a woman who was on drugs who found out she was pregnant and wanted to deliver a healthy baby so she went to rehab. I always seemed to write about things that were much older than me. My mother still has the original draft I wrote in her photo album. 

Da-Professor: Which authors inspire you?
Armani: I have been inspired by a lot of authors but I have to say every time I read a book by my favorite author Carl Weber, I get super inspired to write. I love his work.

Da-Professor: I have to admit you was right when you told me them book was hot. I read it on the train on my way home and I'm glad I got home in one safe piece (if you get my drift lol) What was the inspiration for the story?

Armani: Wow! Eight times? That's awesome. Thank you for that. I'm glad you enjoyed it that much. The inspiration came from my listening to a lot of NYC hip-hop radio jocks and the crazy calls they received from listeners. And a lot of things people suspected was happening in the entertainment industry. It was birthed out of a lot of "What if" situations and my imagination just ran wild with it.

Da-Professor: I love how you had all the characters being college educated, college graduates and professional. What inspired you to have the characters educated and not all ghetto?

Armani: I can't say it was a conscious decision to make them that way. It's just kind of how the story unfolded. I think my being in college at the time had a lot to do with it.

Da-Professor: One of the things I also loved was how you had Teddy's wife Tameka not being the typical basket-ball wife and having a college degree and career as working in real-estate. What prompted you to write her not being the average stay at home wife and having something to offer besides her looks and pussy?

Armani. I wanted to show that she really did hold him down off the court. Even though she was a stay at home wife, she wasn't stupid. She had a degree of her own, helped manage his finances, was his real estate partner, and kept a lot of things together for him. I think it was important that she be more than his beautiful wife, I wanted her to have some sense. In other words I didn't want her to be a bird.

Da-Professor: It was a great move. Athetles nowadays want a woman who's gonna bring more to the table more than their looks and pussy. Another aspect is Teddy's secret relationship with rapper L.Z. an Hispanic rapper. What prompted you to write Black and Hispanic story line?
Armani: LZ was Black and Hispanic. At the time I wrote the book, there was a Hispanic man I had a crush on. I worked for an after school program at the time and I forget the little boy's name but I certainly remember his father's face. One of my co-workers and I used to drool every time he came to pick up his son. (Laughing) When I created LZ, I saw that man's face. 

Da-Professor: Your book had 2 twists that made the story hot and added mystery to the story. Teddy's wife Tameka having an affair with L.Z.'s girlfriend and Tamika catching Teddy making love to her brother Andre who comes on to him.What prompted you to write Tamika having a chick on the side, and will you write a future story line with Andre in it?

Armani: It added a little more spice to the story for Tamika to be having an affair of her own. And it really made it sizzle that she was to having an affair with another woman. And Andre definitely could show up in one of my future books starring in his own story. You never know. Stay tuned.

Da-Professor: One of the main aspects I loved about the book is how you had Teddy's parents, sister and her Jamacian fiancee support Teddy showing that there are many fathers who do support their gay sons. How important was it for you to show that not all fathers are homophobic?

Armani: I wanted to show that there are fathers out there who accept their gay sons. It can be real. 

Da-Professor: Many readers have given you positive feedback on your book. 
How does it feel to have support from both the GLBT and the Hetero communities?

Armani: It really means a lot to me that people from all different walks of life enjoy my work. That's so cool. Being human is really what unites us all. 

Da-Professor: Cool. If you're book was to be made into movie, who would you like to play the

Armani: The only person I have mapped out in my mind is Jennia Fredrique as Tamika. Everyone else I would leave up to whoever handles the casting to find. 

Da-Professor: In addition to writing, you're also involved in acting as well. Do you have any upcoming projects?

Armani:  It's funny you ask that. In the last 12 months I've been cast in three different projects that I either walked away from or was released from. I also had some auditions where I would make it to the final round of auditions and I would be cut at the last minute. I didn't even think about it until time had passed that all of those things distracted me from my writing. I honestly couldn't do both things at once. My future as an actor at this point is still undecided but I am having fun writing and releasing books. So that is where my focus is. 

Da-Professor: Do you have any plans to write movies or television sitcoms in the future?
Armani: I am definitely tempted to write movies and series but not at this very moment. After "Harlem Boyz" drops in fall 2013, I have its sequel and another book I am working on called "Jerzee Loverz" to finish. So in the words of Kelly Price, I'm booked. LOL! 

Da-Professor: Many were shocked and pissed that Zimmerman got off for killing Trayvon Martin. How did it make you feel to know that he got off and how important is it for Black and Latin Gay males to know that they can be the victims of racial profiling despite their skin color and orientation?

Armani: The Trayvon Martin verdict broke my heart. My heart ached for him and his family. For the first two days after the verdict, I remember being furious. Incensed even. And I felt so powerless. You would have thought he was my little brother. I really hope this is a wake up call to the world that racism is still very alive. I think this goes beyond being gay. It has to do with the unfair targeting of black men and boys worldwide. We all have to watch our backs. 

Da-Professor: You're from New Jersey? What is about guys from New Jersey that makes people wanna holla at them?

Armani: Our swag is addictive.  What can I say? LOL! 

Da-Professor: You're from the state that produced many talented acts like Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Faith Evans, Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, Derek Luke and Frank Sinatra. How does it feel to come from the state that produced these talented acts and how do you feel you're gonna add on to their legacy?

Armani: Don't forget Tisha Campbell and Lauryn Hill are from here too. It feels great honestly man. I feel like I come from very good stock. Whitney, Dionne, Queen Latifah, Naughty by Nature, and Faith Evans are all actually from the same hometown as me. East Orange, NJ is where its at! 

Da-Professor: Many were shocked at Whitney's passing? How did her death affect you personally?

Armani: I was devastated by Whitney's passing. Being that she is from my hometown and I have been a fan since I was a small child, she felt like a family member as crazy as it sounds. It's funny though, my dad's side of the family went to New Hope Baptist Church in Newark with Cissy and Dionne before Whitney was born. My father sang in the youth choir together when they were kids. My grandmother directed the youth choir too. So my aunts actually when Cissy came to the church and became the minister of music. But yes, Whitney was my girl and I still play her music. 
Da-Professor: Many fans are finally stopping blaming her ex-husband New Edition co-founder Bobby Brown for her drug usage. What did you think of their relationship and their duet "Something In Common?"

Armani: I think what Whitney and Bobby had was real love. It was sadly tainted by their drug use but I truly believe they loved each other. And "Something in common" is one of my favorites. 

Da-Professor: We also lost singers Teena Marie and Donna Summer as well. How do you think their loss affected their fans and how do you think they made a great impact on music?

Armani: I had great respect and admiration for Teena Marie and Donna Summer. Both ladies had amazing voices and were trailblazers. 
Da-Professor: During the past year, many Black singers, athletes and actresses including Frank Ocean, Akill Patterson, Jason Collins and Rayvone-Symone came out publicly. How do you feel seeing more Blacks in R&B and Hip-Hop and Sports coming out and how do you feel it will make an impact on Black youth and adults who are struggling with their sexuality?

Armani: I think it will start the conversation and make people more cmwillo think it is.

Da-Professor: How do you feel you're making an impact on the book and acting industry and with the GLBT community?

Armani: By just being who I am. I only know how to be me. 

Da-Professor: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

Armani: Living somewhere peacefully with the man I love who loves me back in a beautiful home. Happy, successful, and living my life like its golden. 

Da-Professor: I also see that you're very business-minded. How important is it for people entering the industry to be business-minded?

Armani: What one first must realize is that this is a business before it's anything else. And if you don't stay on top of the business side, you will get taken advantage of.