Songs used as inspiration for this article: “Lose Control,” “Let it Go,” “Turn Da Lights Off,” “Free Yourself,” “So Gone,” “Lady Marmalade,” “Where My Girls At?”, “Never Been,” “WTF,” “The Rain,” “Work It,” and “One Minute Man”
For over three weeks I’ve been struggling to create the Missy Elliot experience article for TALKTOCHELYNN. I’ve switched writing locations, times, etc., but I still couldn’t shake the writer’s block for this section. Then I had a dream which propelled my imagination, soul, and ambition to another level of creativity. I had my sound engineer mix 30-second snippets of more than twenty Missy Elliott tracks. I finally found an excellent location in Fort Lauderdale at the W Hotel on Beach Boulevard. As I entered my suite, my cousin sent me a text message which read: “Missy’s music is a journey that never ends.” She was right. Missy’s voice, lyrics, and musical vision are timeless. I drop my bags down and slide onto the Corinthian leather chaise lounge and relax for a few minutes before I start the writing process for Missy Elliot’s Eternal Universe. I load up the unique mix my engineer produced of her tracks and throw on my signature Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, ready to suspend myself in the sounds of Missy.
The first track that comes on is “Lose Control” featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop. The energy of this record is crazy! The instrumentation is blended perfectly with the melodic flow of all the artists. Funny thing is (being that I’m a black guy), I can’t even dance, but this song gives me the illusion that I can. The beauty of Missy’s sonic genius is her ability to capture raw emotion fused with a different delivery formula. Missy has her language, and when it flows over the track, you get hits like “The Rain” and “Sock It to Me.” I kicked my shoes off and poured a small glass of Effen Vodka, changing the track selection to “Hot Boyz.” What’s so dope about this track is every thug, college girl, stripper, white-collar guy, etc. can get behind it as “banger” certified. Right now “Hot Boyz” is on repeat and its sound is so vintage 90s. Missy understands the perfect balance between risk and reward in music. People that possess a higher level of intellect or God-given traits push the envelope beyond normality and create new boundaries of excellence. Missy Elliot is a 20-year-plus trailblazer in the world of music and entertainment. When I stream songs like “One Minute Man” and the pulsating beat erupts from both of my red Beats Pill speakers, the futuristic waves of sound completely mesmerize the entire room. The Missy effect is like none other, and she always invokes high amounts of fantasy to leave listeners saying “WTF.”
When I go back and review the journey of Missy Elliot, her dedication and calculated path highlights sheer brilliance. Melissa Arnette Elliott (born July 1, 1971), better known by her stage name Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott or simply Missy Elliott, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Elliott embarked on her musical career with all-female R&B group Sista in the early 1990s and later became part of the Swing Mob collective along with childhood friend and producer Timbaland with whom she worked on projects for Aaliyah, 702, Total, and SWV. In 1997 following several guest appearances, she launched her solo career with the release of her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which spawned the hit singles “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and “Sock It 2 Me.” The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut for a female rapper at the time. Her subsequent album Da Real World (1999), produced the singles “She’s a Bitch,” “All ‘n My Grill,” and the top-five hit “Hot Boyz.”
With the releases of Miss E… So Addictive (2001), Under Construction (2002), and This Is Not a Test! (2003), Elliott established an international career and followed with the hits “Get Ur Freak On,” “One Minute Man,” “4 My People,” “Gossip Folks,” and “Work It,” the latter of which won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance, and would eventually go on to win her five Grammy Awards and sell over 30 million records in the United States. Elliott is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum for her 2002 album Under Construction.
In the early 1990s, Elliott formed an all-female R&B group, called Fayze (later renamed Sista), with friends La’Shawn Shellman, Chonita Coleman, and Radiah Scott. She recruited her neighborhood friend Timothy Mosley as the group’s producer and began making demo tracks, including the promo “First Move.” In 1991, Fayze caught the attention of Jodeci member and producer DeVante Swing by performing Jodeci songs a cappella for him backstage after one of his group’s concerts. In short order, Fayze moved to New York City and signed to Elektra Records through DeVante’s Swing Mob imprint, also renaming the group Sista. Sista’s debut song was titled “Brand New” and was released in 1993. Elliott took Mosley—whom DeVante rechristened Timbaland—and their friend Melvin “Magoo” Barcliff along with her.
All 20-plus members of the Swing Mob—among them future stars such as Ginuwine, Playa, and Tweet—lived in a single two-story house in New York and were often at work on material both for Jodeci and their own projects. While Elliott wrote and rapped on Raven-Symoné’s 1993 debut single, “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of,” she also contributed songwriting duties, credited and uncredited, to the final two Jodeci albums Diary of a Mad Band (1993) and The Show, the After Party, the Hotel (1995). Timbaland and DeVante jointly produced a Sista album entitled 4 All the Sistas Around da World and completed in 1994. Though videos were released for the original and remix versions of the single “Brand New,” the album was shelved and never released. One of the group’s tracks “It’s Alright” featuring Craig Mack, did, however, make the cut on the soundtrack of the 1995 motion picture Dangerous Minds. But by the end of 1995, Swing Mob had folded and many of its members dispersed, but Elliott, Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, and Playa remained together and collaborated on each other’s records for the rest of the decade as the musical collective The Superfriends.
After leaving Swing Mob, Elliott and Timbaland worked together as a songwriting/production team, crafting tracks for acts including SWV and 702, but the most notable of them was Aaliyah. The pair wrote and produced nine tracks for Aaliyah’s second album, One in a Million (1996), among them the hit singles “If Your Girl Only Knew,” “One in a Million,” “Hot Like Fire,” and “4 Page Letter.” Elliott contributed background vocals and guest raps to nearly all of the tracks on which she and Timbaland worked. “One in a Million” went double platinum and made stars out of the production duo. Elliott and Timbaland continued to work together for other artists, later creating hits for artists such as Total (“What About Us?”, 1997), Nicole Wray (“Make It Hot,” 1998), and Destiny’s Child (“Get on the Bus,” 1998), as well as one final hit for Aaliyah, “I Care 4 U” before her death in 2001. Elliott began her career as a featured vocalist rapping on Sean “Puffy” Combs’s Bad Boy remixes to Gina Thompson’s “The Things That You Do,” (which had a video featuring cameo appearances by Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy), MC Lyte’s 1996 hit single “Cold Rock a Party” (backup vocals by Gina Thompson), and New Edition’s 1996 single “You Don’t Have to Worry.” Combs had even hoped to sign Elliott to his Bad Boy record label. Elliott also wrote the bulk of Total’s second and final album Kima, Keisha, and Pam and Nicole Wray’s debut Make It Hot (both released in 1998).
When I meditate on the 20-plus-year career of Missy, her path of excellence is a pure urban legend. Songwriter, film/television producer, philanthropist, public speaker, culture shifter, born visionary, and any other title you can think of, she embodies all of them. Imagine taking seven years off and your first single goes to the top of Billboard. Who does that? Missy! Not only does she defy the rules of music, but she transcends the visionary boundaries of modern television. I flip open my laptop and go to YouTube to watch the 2015 Superbowl performance of Missy Elliot. It’s amazing to witness her impact on the world’s largest sporting event. She commands every second of the halftime show and is totally in sync with the moment. She moves across the stage like it’s 1998 and she looks incredible. The crowd is moving in 100% unison, and it’s like the world was waiting for her return. The electricity she generates during the Superbowl performance is classic Missy. Missy is a musical rainbow—whenever she appears the entire world illuminates. Through ups and downs, sickness, rumors, and everything else you can think of, she has never compromised her integrity or brand. Watching Katy Perry dance and bounce to “Get Your Freak On” is reflective of the influence of Missy Elliot. Her videos and visual genius transformed the landscape of visual production. Her futuristic delivery remains unmatched even in 2016. Again, she is the only female MC with six consecutive platinum albums! Everyone from Jay-Z to Katy Perry understands the sheer dominance and impact of Missy. There will never be another artist that dares, stares, pushes, and destroys boundaries like Ms. Elliot. The musical gods anointed her a long time ago. Missy Elliot is dark-skinned, she’s not a size zero, she’s not using another guy to make her hot, and no guy was “writing” her lyrics in the background. Missy is the most versatile and fundamentally sound artist in hip hop history. Writing, producing, visual implementation, lyrics, musicianship, etc. I turn back to the track “Hot Boyz” and pour another shot because I’m so lit right now! Front desk staff of the W Hotel have already warned me about the noise, and I’m the only black guy on this floor. I’m analyzing over twenty images of Missy Elliot on my coffee table, and I can see her entire journey before my eyes. Missy Elliot’s life story is undeniably beyond normal, and her superstar humility is matchless. Missy’s affinity for her “family” (not fans) is 100% authentic with no preservatives! One of the largest online digital radio networks, EAE Radio, has been the beneficiary of Missy’s support via social media and beyond. EAE Radio for the past four years has shared Missy’s music, viral visions, and more via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and at some of the largest nightclub venues throughout the country. EAE Radio continues to ride shotgun with Missy from the Superbowl to her next #1 Billboard hit single. We love you Missy, and your art is truly reflective of your life. So, I will leave you with these words: the world will always be Missy Elliot’s “Eternal Universe.”
“FRIEND OF MINE” BY KELLY PRICE
“THE THINGS YOU DO [BAD BOY REMIX]” BY GINA THOMPSON FEAT. MISSY ELLIOTT
“HONEY” BY MARIAH CAREY
“SUMMERTIME” BY BEYONCÉ FEAT. DIDDY
“BREAKDOWN” BY MARIAH CAREY FEAT. BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY
“MO’ MONEY MO’ PROBLEMS” BY NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
“LOVE @ FIRST SIGHT” BY MARY J. BLIGE FEAT. METHOD MAN
“LET ME BLOW YA MIND” BY EVE FEAT. GWEN STEFANI
“CAN’T NOBODY HOLD ME DOWN” BY PUFF DADDY FEAT. MASE
“CAN’T LET HER GO” BY BOYZ II MEN
“ONLY YOU” BY 112 FEAT. NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
“NEVER LEAVE YOU” BY LUMIDEE
“I’LL BE MISSING YOU” BY DIDDY FEAT. FAITH EVANS AND 112
“SPENDIN’ MONEY” BY R. KELLY
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY” BY NEW EDITION
Puff Daddy ft. Busta Rhymes and The Notorious B.I.G. “Victory,” No Way Out
Puff Daddy ft. Carl Thomas, Ginuwine and Twista “Is This the End,” No Way Out
Puff Daddy ft. Foxy Brown “Friends,” No Way Out
“Niggas Bleed,” “Notorious Thugs,” “Another,” “Playa Hater,” “Nasty Boy,” “You’re Nobody (till Somebody Kills You)” from the album Life After Death
Brian McKnight: “You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time)” from the album Anytime
I’m sitting in my living room listening to the album Personal Conversation by Case (S/O to Case, your music is the perfect tempo for creating a classic article) and watching one of my favorite TV shows, Jeopardy. The “cool factor” of Jeopardy is even if you don’t know the answer it’s super intriguing to find out the real truth of the question. When I research all of the “true” classics Stevie J has produced or contributed to I find myself in another episode of Jeopardy. Hidden genius is a beautiful quality because it doesn’t seek attention, superficial attraction, or its own interest; the motivation is fueled by passion and relentless ambition. The characteristics of Stevie J are a perfect blend of God-given vision, gargantuan inner drive, unflinching confidence, and an ounce of insanity. Okay, I love Case but the Red Berry Ciroc is kicking in so I fast-forward to “Can’t Nobody Hold Us Down” off the No Way Out album. Normally when you hear a sampled song it doesn’t reinvent itself, but that’s part of Stevie J’s secret formula. Stevie J has an amazing ability to complement a track with an untraceable production approach and signature melodic finish. The footprints of legends can only be followed and not duplicated and that’s why his trademark sound will and must be publicly declared. I’m so amped right now! Music is the soundtrack to life and when “VICTORY” comes on, so many visions and thoughts are racing through my mind. I’m pacing through my condo like I’m in the ring of a championship fight.
Yo, the sun don’t shine forever
(You can turn the track up a little bit for me)
But as long as it’s here then we might as well shine together
(All up in my ears)
Better now than never, business before pleasure
(The mic is loud, but the beats isn’t loud)
P-Diddy and the Fam, who you know do it better?
Timeless music! How did Stevie J know what to add or cut from this sample and then make it work? Success has different outlooks, but the ingredients are always consistent. Stevie J hears a sound only he can ascertain and develop. When he enters into a studio, the room feels, smells, looks, and resonates with an ambrosial atmosphere. Every great performer, athlete, and entertainer has this creative arena within their mind which enables supernatural results and unfathomable heights of phenomenon. I just finished listening to “PAIN” and “Is This the End” blare through my speakers like a hip hop symphony. Ginuwine, Twista, and Puff Daddy own this track like it’s a birthright and it flows like a sonic motion picture in HD. Who could make death sound so good? Stevie J! The overall instrumentation and sonic delivery of this track are matchless in this current era. My adrenaline is wearing off a little, so as I sit my Red Berry Ciroc self down, I flip over to the track “HONEY (Bad Boy Remix).” This universal track connects with every race, gender, and hater! Jadakiss rips it from the beginning, Styles P supplies his signature gritty undertones, Mase provides the perfect god-flow finger roll, Puff is simply being Puff, and Mariah is like Cool Whip—she’s good on top of any dessert! Stevie J’s behind-the-scenes influence is visible throughout each verse, hook, string, chord, and baseline. Stevie J is James Worthy on the fast break and nobody finishes better. Who can make a pop record cross over to the streets better than Stevie J along with the Hitmen production team? Stevie J understands the language of music and that’s an inborn, God-induced gift. Possessing the ability to coordinate seven instruments simultaneously, manage sound, tones, voice inflection, intonation, and most importantly artistic chemistry. I stop and do 100 quick push-ups to get my blood flowing and raise my adrenaline. I switch to “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” from the ten times platinum Life After Death album. Once B.I.G. said:
Uh, uh, B.I.G., P.O.P.P.A, no info, for the, DEA
Federal agents mad cause I’m flagrant
Tap my cell and the phone in the basement
My team supreme, stay clean triple beam lyrical dream
Man, need I say more about this classic record that Stevie J was a part of during the meteoric rise of Notorious B.I.G.? How many producers/people would Sean Combs trust with the music and career of B.I.G.? How many producers possess the patience, instinct, and overall musical acumen to deliver for arguably the greatest MC of all time? (It’s always a toss-up between B.I.G. and Tupac.) Stevie J’s catalog is responsible for the biggest hits during an entire decade and not to mention after the 90s as well. When I think about the song “I’ll Be Missing You” and the impact the record has made worldwide and continues to assist in healing the emotional wounds of people, I often wonder about the state of mind he commanded during those studio moments. Knowing that B.I.G. was recently buried and the entire world was waiting and needed this record for their eternal playlist. Stevie J, Puff, Faith, 112, and Sauce Money engineered one of the greatest songs of unity in the league of “We Are the World.” Everyone in the world felt compelled to mourn and be inspired at the very same moment.
Once again the beautiful mind of Stevie J provided the finely detailed production assembly of emotion, chords, guitar strings, blissful sounds, and undertones of Faith and 112 and made history again. Most people admire, detest, applaud, aspire to, and reject Stevie J every Monday night via VH1. The channel showcases a very small portion of his life. Stevie’s life is a true soundtrack and we’ve only heard a few tracks of it. In 2016, Stevie J will ascend to new heights and release new musical jewels for the world to love again. Stevie J is in the best shape of his life mentally, physically, and spiritually and he’s leaving no stone unturned. Multiple movies, TV shows, business ventures, and more occupy his current and 2016 roll-out calendar. The infamous Stevie J bus has actually turned into a super-ultra RV and more people have come aboard for obvious reasons. When you closely examine his catalog, journey, sound, music production, faith, and God-given talent there can only be one title: LORD OF THE STRINGS.
The entire staff of Popular Magazine, TALKTOCHELYNN, Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show, and EAE Radio salute your legacy and continued grind toward greatness. This article is written by Jonathan P-Wright, chief contributor of Popular Magazine, host of the Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show, and senior writer for Scrilla Guerilla Magazine.
Theme music for this article provided by Justin Timberlake: album The 20/20 Experience; song “Tunnel Vision,” and LL Cool J: album Mama Said Knock You Out; song: “Around The Way Girl.”
The futuristic track “Tunnel Vision” by Justin Timberlake (produced by Timberland) is blaring through the speakers in my hotel suite as I gaze deeply at images of Shay Johnson. The Fontainebleau Hotel always provides me with rare introspective thoughts and exposes the real truth within my articles. Black Cherry Effen Vodka, Yankee candles burning smells of complete pleasure, custom clothing by World of Alfa (Boris Kodjoe’s brand), and Stripsteak cuisine provided by Michael Mina all set the mood for my Shay Johnson experience.
As I casually sip my Effen Vodka, I’m totally amazed by the eyes of Shay Johnson. The eyes are the window to the soul and they reveal a lot if you pay close attention. Shay Johnson’s life is filled with God, pain, struggle, deceit, love, and new beginnings. Most young black TV personalities have their fifteen minutes of fame and never extend beyond that moment. Shay Johnson is a born child of promise.
Deeply rooted in family values and life-sustaining principles, she has managed to avoid common Hollywood stereotypes and create a brand built for the long run. When you listen to Shay Johnson discuss her passion for life and business, her controlled confidence is ultra-electric and creates an infectious vibe. In a dark, crowded room you could still see the fire in Shay Johnson’s eyes and it makes sense why compromising her soul and brand has never been an option.
Since 2006 Shay Johnson has revealed her truth and life story in front of over five million people per year. Reality TV is a very cold and calculated process and very few ascend to the real height of their potential. The open-door policy Shay has maintained with mainstream media has played to her ultimate advantage. The lifestyle of Shay Johnson has forced mainstream media to re-evaluate their views and judgments towards her brand and career.
Even when she’s searching for love before four million people, she never wavers from her inborn instincts and learned values. Since 2006 (almost ten years previous), Shay Johnson has maintained a social media network boasting over 1.5 million people, flourishing business ventures, philanthropic initiatives with cancer research companies, and the engineering of a new health-conscious mentality within Young America.
The “cool factor” of Shay Johnson is that she’s never relied on the moment to define her real greatness. She’s always understood her position and how reality needs to be. When people walk up to Shay Johnson on the streets, she’s treated like a well-known rapper from the block. Dudes give her constant fist-pounds and head nods, and of course her body gets the usual full-eye inspection. However, the ladies share their lives with her and discuss how much they admire her on-screen strength and resiliency in this hip hop Hollywood game.
A real queen or empress commands adoration, jealousy, respect, fear, and most of all love from the public. Everything she’s apart of generates an organic chemistry of success and feeds her overall fan base. Every scene you watch of her leaves you mesmerized and craving more. When most people just turn up on reality TV to earn a spot, Shay Johnson naturally adapts her lifestyle in front of the camera without compromise.
I change my song of choice to LL Cool J’s “Around The Way Girl” to match the changing of my mood with the Black Cherry Effen Vodka. These lyrics are sick and define the simple beauty of Shay Johnson in every way:
Silky, milky her smile is like sunshine That’s why I had to dedicate at least one rhyme To all the cuties in the neighborhood Cause if I didn’t tell you then another brother would You’re sweet like sugar with your gangster talk Want to eat you like a cookie when I see you walk With your rayon, silk or maybe even denim It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re in them You can break hearts and manipulate minds Or surrender, act tender, be gentle and kind You always know what to say and do Cold flip when you think your man is playing you Not cheap but petty You’re ready for loving You’re real independent so your parents be bugging But if you ever need a place to stay (Oooh you love me) Come around my way
There are so many unwritten chapters in the life of Shay Johnson. She’s launching her own fitness channel on the OVNIO Cable Network, producing short films, preparing her nonprofit cancer organization, and more. Young, humble, hungry, gentle, and always in beast-mode, Shay Johnson is totally UNLEASHED in 2016!
This article is the sole property of TALKTOCHELYNN, Renegade Revolt, and Popular Magazine and was written by Jonathan P-Wright. Mr. Wright is the host of the internationally syndicated Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show and freelance writer for Scrilla Guerillaz Magazine, Popular Magazine, and ITL Celebrity.
As I sit and listen to the soundtrack of Rocky IV blare through my hotel suite, “No Easy Way Out” comes on, completely electrifying my spirit and creating a new focus for my Terrell Owens article. Terrell Owens defines what every athlete, man, and aspiring warrior dreams of being. Possessing the God-given ability to understand insane versus crazy and knowing the true value of himself simultaneously is a rare combination of brilliance and raw instinct. The world of media, reporters, and general the population may feel they totally understand Terrell, because they’ve had 50 yard-line seats to every game in his life. I personally viewed over 24 hours of visual content of Terrell Owens from post-game interviews to his VH1 reality TV shows and there is never a moment where he doesn’t give you all of himself. His passion for life and for football is reflected in every move he makes and every word he speaks. As I watch his infamous “Tony Romo” press conference where he bares his soul to the world and expresses his true sentiments for his fellow teammate. While most people observed a man crying, I witnessed a warrior bleeding for his tribe and fighting off anyone and everyone in his path.
Different images and moments of T.O. race through my mind as put “No Easy Way Out” on repeat. When you examine every word and angle of T.O., you can’t help but feel his organically electric vibe and hang on his every word. The media has literally fed and profited from T.O.’s veracity, and even though he vilified himself on numerous occasions, his words exonerated the souls of many. To be feared and loved at the same time is rare for most people, but for T.O. it is a natural gift and curse. People with a higher calling in life, born children of destiny, and men of tomorrow follow the road less traveled. Nothing was ever going to be normal, average, or basic regarding the journey of Terrell Owens.
As the lyrics of “No Easy Way Out” continue to vibrate in my eardrums, I visualize Terrell Owens’s childhood in the deep south of Alexander City, Alabama, and how his character, work ethic, and passion for his family were created and molded by his irreplaceable grandmother. Growing up lonely, poor, black, and pre-judged is a formula for instant failure for most persons. However, the uniqueness in every legendary journey is its childhood foundation. He was born Terrell Eldorado Owens on December 7, 1973, to Marilyn Heard, a sixteen-year-old from Alexander City, Alabama. He was raised primarily by his grandmother in Alex City, as his hometown is known. His grandmother was so overly protective of Owens, along with the brother and two sisters of his she also raised, that she did not permit them to leave the front yard to play with other children. Even when Owens received a bike as a gift, he was only allowed to ride it in the driveway or on the sidewalk in front of the house. If the rule was broken, they could expect a whipping. Owens recalls crying as he looked out his bedroom window and watched the other kids playing freely in the street.
Owens’s mother was not absent from his life, but she had to work double shifts at the nearby Russell Athletic textile mill to support her children. His father never played a major role in his life and the beauty of his meteoric rise to fame is that he never allowed the absence of his father to hinder his need to keep family values primary throughout his life. Football, faith, and family have always guided Terrell through his darkest days. Owens was a four-sport athlete at Russell High. He ran track and field, played baseball, and was a talented basketball player as well. He was not even sure that he wanted to devote his energies to football if the chance for an athletic scholarship came—he preferred basketball as his sport of choice. Once, he tried to quit the high school football team before his senior year, but the coach convinced him to stay.
Owens chose to attend the University of Tennessee (UT) at Chattanooga, mostly because the school’s athletic director did not object to him playing two sports at the school. Once again, Owens distinguished himself on the football field with the Mocs, as the UT team was called. He set a single-game touchdown record at the school—four in all—in one 1993 game and helped lead the basketball team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament in 1996. That same year, he was a third-round draft pick by the 49ers, taken eighty-ninth overall, and he was thrilled to be joining the team of his longtime idol in the very same position. But his rookie season was a tough year for him, and he didn’t get much field time. Few sportswriters thought he would become a strong player on the 49ers roster. That same year, Owens was devastated when his friend from high school, Cedric Kendrick, was killed in a car accident back in Alabama.
Terrell would lean on faith, family, and football to guide him through the unimaginable pain. Terrell’s life has always been interwoven with pain, deception, integrity, success, passion, and most of all love. Rarely does an athlete become a polarizing figure throughout the entire world who doesn’t have an off-the-field rap sheet. Terrell Owens has been called cancer to football teams, selfish, self-absorbed, uncontrollable and more. However, he has never been arrested, charged, or even associated with anything remotely negative or criminal off the football field. In my mind for an individual to have millions of dollars, power, celebrity status, access, legions of fans, and more to not have any off-the-field issues means his on-the-field actions are not reflective of his true character. The level of self-control needed in his position is unfathomable for the average day-to-day person. Terrell Owens is one of the most famous people in the world and tortured at the same time. Being at the forefront of truth and freedom comes with a price. Terrell Owens ran up a very high tab and paid the cost for hundreds of restricted NFL athletes who simply “played the role.” Terrell Owens always spoke and lived his truth and never dropped a pass of reality. Even when people see him on television speaking candidly about his hard financial lessons, the web of lies from so-called hired guns and misappropriations of his money from his friends, the general public sees another uneducated, broke athlete. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Terrell Owens is living, preaching, and teaching his truth to the world, and preparing himself for the next challenge. That’s the sheer mastermind of T.O.! He always extends the play on 4th down, no matter how many yards are needed. He’s taken his pain and lessons and created an opportunity of resurgence for his brand.
Everyone knows of his accolades, NFL Hall of Fame numbers, worldwide T.O. fan club, community relations, and public mistakes. The main part of Terrell Owens perception we all need to focus on is his “heart condition.” No one can ever question the motives of Terrell Owens. As his life ascends to new heights and levels of success, T.O. has redefined his pathway in life. New business ventures, Hollywood gigs, corporate commercials, and more keep Terrell Owens occupied in 2015. Once again T.O. has extended the play and entered into a NEW OVERTIME.
The staff of Popular Magazine, EAE Radio, TALKTOCHELYNN, and Renegade Revolt would like to express our love, admiration, and appreciation for the journey and contributions of Terrell Owens. #TO814EVA
Certain people really inspire my soul and enable me to strive harder for things I want most out of life. On a cool, brisk Thursday night in Miami, I’m standing on the balcony of my Trésor Ocean View Junior Suite with Lil’ Kim’s “Slippin” track blaring through my SMS Audio wireless speakers. As I transcribe her lyrics in my mind, I gently nod and cosign the truth within the context of her pinpoint delivery. Trust is the most dangerous and valuable commodity in the world. Kimberly Jones has never had a problem speaking the truth and dealing with the aftermath. Before the Grammys, platinum plaques, diva/icon status, Kimberly Denise Jones was expelled from home and running the heartless streets of Brooklyn. Jones was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the second child of Linwood Jones and Ruby Jones (now Ruby Jones-Mitchell). She has one older brother named Christopher. As a child, Jones attended Queen of All Saints Elementary School in Brooklyn. At the age of nine, her parents separated, and Jones was raised by her father, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. After being kicked out of her house by her dad, Jones dropped out of high school and alternated between crashing with friends and living on the street. I changed the track selection to “Quiet” from her Naked Truth album. The beat is pulsating throughout my suite and I can visualize Lil’ Kim staring into the eyes of her judge without blinking. No fear. Straight Brooklyn! In the early stages of her life, Kim would freestyle with ease and fantasize about having her moment.
I change the track selection again to the song “Durty” and Lil’ Kim starts off saying: Lil’ Kim stay hot pull up with my nigga in the 80-foot yacht man this hatin’ don’t stop
Real recognize real you studio gangstas kill me
I know my vet’s in the game got to feel me
‘Cause from the gate I brrrr-raaa down the door
Like Eddy Murphy, I gave it to you raw
Two-piece bikini, Fendi mink draggin’ on the floor
Kim been the first lady since I dropped Hard Core
A lot of these hoes livin’ vicariously through me
‘Stead a doin’ them, they’d rather do me
Watchin’ them is like a Broadway play
Sittin’ next to the Queen is the closest they’ll ever get to Brooklyn
Why y’all frontin’ you know who the best be?
I’m the reason why the game so sexy
Tha originator, tha trend creator
Bitch, you dun know you haffa respect me
I’m so lit right now from that intro verse! How can you not treasure the words and unapologetic flow of the real Queen Bee? Purely undeniable.
Jones attended Sarah J. Hale Vocational High School for two and a half years. Many of her friends also went there and she would often skip school to hang out with them. Since her schoolwork wasn’t being completed, the decision was made for her to transfer to Brooklyn College Academy to finish her remaining year and a half of school. It was the same school that fellow rappers Nas and Foxy Brown also attended. While struggling through her personal life, Jones met The Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace), who was a key figure in both her personal and artistic life, particularly once Wallace had gained popularity and influence through his relationship with Bad Boy Records.
In 1994, B.I.G. was instrumental in introducing and promoting the Brooklyn-based group Junior M.A.F.I.A., which included Jones, who was only nineteen at the time. The group’s first and only album, Conspiracy, was released on August 29, 1995 and debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 69,000 copies in its first week of release. Three hit singles came from Conspiracy: “Player’s Anthem” (peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart), “I Need You Tonight” (No. 43 R&B, No. 12 Rap), and “Get Money” (No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 R&B, No. 2 Rap). The RIAA certified Conspiracy gold on December 6, 1995. “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money” were certified gold and platinum easily.
Lil Kim performs on stage at the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California.
In the middle of the wolf pack, Lil’ Kim was still the lone wolf and the world was now taking notice of her gift. After a year with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Jones began a solo career by making guest performances on R&B albums and recording her debut album, Hard Core, which was released in November 1996. The album debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a female rap album at that time, and No. 3 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums, selling 78,000 copies in its first week of release. Hard Core was certified double platinum by the RIAA on March 14, 2001, after having been certified gold on January 6, 1997, and platinum on June 3, 1997. The album’s lead single “No Time,” a duet with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart and was certified gold by the RIAA. The following single, “Crush on You,” reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the rap chart. A remix of the album’s track “Not Tonight” saw Jones team up with Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Left Eye of TLC. The song was part of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence movie Nothing to Lose, nominated for a Grammy Award, and certified platinum. Lil’ Kim is the definition of self-made. On June 27, 2000, she released her second album The Notorious K.I.M. The album marked a new image and revamped look for the rapper. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, selling 229,000 copies in its first week. It was certified platinum by the RIAA four weeks after its release. Kimberly Jones survived the sophomore jinx and her success continued to exceed all public expectations. In 2001, she teamed up with Christina Aguilera, Pink, and Mýa to remake “Lady Marmalade,” which was originally written about a bordello in New Orleans and performed by the group Labelle (which included diva Patti LaBelle) twenty-five years earlier. The song was recorded for the Moulin Rouge! film soundtrack, released in April 2001, and stayed No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. The song also went to No. 1 in fifty countries around the world. This was a big accomplishment for female rap, as well as for Jones, who scored her first No. 1 Hot 100 hit and became the second solo female rapper in history to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. “Lady Marmalade” also garnered Jones her first Grammy Award.
Caliente, blazing, and scorching are just a few adjectives that detail the level of demand and attention Lil’ Kim garnered during the early 2000s. She created an entirely new path for today’s MCs, both female and male, to follow: the freedom of expression in sex and music. Lil’ Kim never allowed anyone or anything to control her visual presentation or audio message to the world. She forced the hand of millions during the Grammys to accept her now infamous purple pasty, and even diva/icon Diana Ross issued a physical cosign at that moment on stage. Givenchy, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and more have acknowledged the feisty, fearless, and sexy Brooklynite as the Queen of Hip Hop Fashion Culture. The sheer influence of her persona is as infectious as the melody in the Dr. Dre track “Nuthin But a G Thang.” Lil’ Kim forced mainstream America to realize that black women can be portrayed as sexy, be sexual role models, run an empire, and not be labeled as shameless or a “hoe.”
I change the track selection for the last time to “Last Day.” An emotional, prophetic, and lyrical masterpiece. Legendary epic rhymes read like this:
Besides God, what the fuck should I fear?
The only one could stop me is that chick in the mirror
I built my career on blood, sweat and tears
And I’m still here, gettin’ stronger each year
‘Cause what don’t kill me could only help build me
I guess all that dirt just made me more filthy
If being loyal’s a crime, then I’m so guilty
If you was missin’ a spine you’d still have to feel me
Some came and went but your girl is everlasting
‘Til the day I’m gasping
And niggaz droppin’ tears on my Versace casket
And I’m reunited with Big like, “Nigga what happened?”
Shit, got drastic, I missed you with a passion
By now they should realize, I’m not the average rap chick
Ain’t nuttin’ they could do now to stop my shine
This is God’s plan, homey, it ain’t mine
When it’s my last day, then it’s my last day
But until that day you can’t take away
How they scream my name, how I pimp this game
Critically acclaimed until my last day
Kimberly Denise Jones is pop and hip hop royalty in every aspect. The “GHOST” of Notorious B.I.G. she is and will always be. Even during her twelve-month incarceration, her rainbow of influence beamed through the walls of the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia and even the Brooklyn Bridge smiled at one point. Her infamous G status is certified in every borough in NYC and the streets are always on standby if anyone wants to rumble with the Bee! I named this article “The Endless Royal Reign of Lil’ Kim” because on June 9, 2014 at 9:58 a.m., she gave birth to Royal Reign and the dynasty continues. With her legacy and star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame impending, the birth of Royal Reign ensures the next generation will forever know and understand the Naked Truth of Kimberly Denise Jones.
The staff of TALKTOCHELYNN, Million Dollar Mindset, Popular Magazine, In The Loop Magazine, SVMarketingsLLC, and Renegade Revolt salute your grind, sacrifice, legend, and most of all dedication to empowering the culture. We would love to have you as a guest on the Million Dollar Mindset Talk show! #BEICONIC32
Article was written by Jonathan P-Wright (Host of the Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show). This article was exclusively written for Popular Magazine & The Talk To Chelynn Network
King of New York
John Gotti issues
You coming to party
Bring those Bugattis with you
Let’s hop on this jet and go to Marnie Crystal
But bring that silk suit from Armani with you
You can roll with money making
There’s an army with you
But back in the states
On 8th when you come through
Nigga, bring a mufuckin phone
With you I’m talking whips
I’m talking bitches
You can see the picture
You ain’t gotta take the picture
Spend the money nigga
Nigga you can’t take it with ya
They hatin’ on ya
Cause they can’t make it with ya
So they stand there and they try to fake it with ya
No rings, actin’ like the Bulls and the Lakers with ya
Go ahead nigga, get some paper with ya
Forty mules and a acre with ya
MSG front row, MGM front row
All I do is get bitches, get money, want more
I’mma make it with ya, let that ciroc flow
These are the lyrics to his track “Harlem” from his MMM sonic motion picture. As I mentally digest his signature sound via Apple Music and my Beats Pill, I smile gently because I can feel myself within his voice. “Harlem” is a distinctive reminder of how “Puffy” and his Hitmen production team changed and influenced pop and hip hop culture forever. When I hear “Two in the morning, flying through Harlem, I’m the flyest nigga in Harlem, I ain’t got no problem with money, money’s a problem,” and the sounds of the motorcycle engine racing on the beat, it feels like a studio session with the original Hitmen production team in 1997 Trinidad. Puffy has always made people physically recognize his artistic vision. A born visionary, no one creates visual pathways like Combs—no one is even within striking distance. Puffy makes the feeling of pain seem vital and the thrill of success inevitable. You can’t put a label on his music; only he can do that himself. MMM is the sound of Badboy and this sonic motion picture re-creates the hustler’s blueprint for 2015. Puffy understands that perfect energy blended with natural talent equals greatness and I feel the true beauty of his work is his ability to capture the emotional spirit of a track and then enmesh his trademark visionary fingerprint. I’m writing this article in the back of my chauffeured Maybach 57 and I instruct my driver to hit Collins Avenue on South Beach as I examine the entire body of MMM.
The track “Everyday,” featuring the incomparable collaboration of Jadakiss, Styles P, and Pusha T, embodies the ultimate recipe of God Flow gumbo. When Jadakiss releases his lyrical championship combo, it reads like this:
Theme music to the Godfather trilogy
Yeah, I just do it for the thrill in me
Come through and facilitate the facility
Walk out on a tab, they try billing me
Caught a plug on a diesel, that’s from the Philippines
Start asking yourself “damn, how good is he
To make it look so simple?” but how could it be?
Specially when the work is enormous
Proper preparation, perfect performance
Never let ’em over-exert your endurance
A liability really can hurt your insurance
This is the hustler’s thesis
Money accumulates but the product decreases
All types of weed, coke and hashishes
Move it without touching it, telekinesis
Jadakiss will always be T5DOA in my eyes, and on this track he reinforced his Yonkers hustler’s spirit and gave the new youth a glimpse of what their lyrics should represent.
I take a shot of DeLeón Platinum Tequila and instruct my driver to speed up as Styles P’s verse on the track evokes hip hop youth during the early 90s. The humble and calculated legendary poet voices his truth by saying:
Pray for the sight and light pot
Death is certain and life’s not
If I’m in the booth then you know that the mic hot
If I’m in a cyph, who could tell what I might drop?
My context complex
I’m just playing god in the devil’s contest
Are you cursed or blessed when you take your last breath?
With your first one, let me dumb down, get the verse done
Walk with the angels and demons, I’m not the first one
Soul’ll be out of my body before the hearse come
Dig me, then you’re used to the witty
Old soul, I was here when Medusa was pretty
New York nigga, roof of the city, I’m in the coupe looking pretty
I got work, I still move with the biggie
Playing 10 crack amendments, it’s never a lack of hammers
This is called painting the picture without a canvas
Whoa! The last line of his verse expresses the point that only a few MCs can wear the crown. Styles P’s crown is custom-made.
The DeLeón Tequila is putting me in an ultra-hyper mood and my aggression increases. I ask my driver Romello how’s he doing and he smoothly replies, “8 more than 92,” and smiles at me through the mirror.
Pusha T’s verses have a crazy way of making me feel like I grew up selling drugs with him in Virginia. He’s the immaculate version of “rawness without mistakes.” His verse on “Everyday” pushes the boundaries and provides the final edgy touches for balancing out the track. Pusha T is Kobe-like on this final verse, and his truth reads like this:
They say I’m overrated when they weigh in
The fish outgrew the pond that a nigga play in
It’s like a blowout but the starter just wanna stay in
When you rap about the shit you simultaneously weigh in
I’m tryna find peace for the love of my brother
Who dodged the white powder, I couldn’t, I’m covered
The price of blood diamonds is killing our cousins
While high blood sugar just killing my mother
Two bezels later and another Porsche
It’s midnight, the sunrise leather says the Devil Lost
Daytona wing at the dealership
Drug money in the back office, get the peeling shit
Wooo! I ain’t never been platinum, nigga
Yuugh! Every car since was platinum, nigga
Wooo! More liquid than you rapper niggas
Only Mister was a blacker nigga
Colour purple on the label
Off-white all over the table like a sable
Sniff, when your curse is your gift
Your nitch get deported like Arizona rich, he’ll be back
Man, when Pusha T says “more liquid than you rapper niggas,” I can feel his booth energy all the way on South Beach. Pusha T never needs to compromise his lyrical direction or apologize to make his voice heard. The MMM sonic motion picture feels like the ’98 Bulls championship victory: Like Jordan did Byron Russell with the infamous hand push-off, Puffy had to do the same with the current state of music—push off and hit the game winning shot again! Michael Jordan said he only counts championships and Puffy only counts platinum hits.
We should never question the seamless brilliance of Sean John Combs and wonder if he still has the Midas touch. When you examine his run in the game, nobody has impacted pop culture and redefined the role of black success like Combs has. His bucket list started November 4, 1969, and he was destined for everything from launching Bigge to running the NYC marathon to being the most watched billboard in Times Square. Puff Daddy NWO2 may be your last album, but your HITMEN production will last forever. Music marks time and MMM is another phenomenal moment in the history of hip hop. Mr. Combs, I’m glad you’re alive. #GODSENTYOUHERETOINSPIREANDTEACH.
This article was written by Jonathan P-Wright, a contributor for Popular Magazine and host of the Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show with TALKTOCHELYNN and EAE Radio. This material may not be reproduced or distributed without proper credit granted to Popular Magazine and TALKTOCHELYNN.
The primary objective in chess is to checkmate your opponent’s king. When a king cannot avoid capture then it is checkmated and the game is immediately over. The game is considered a draw when the player to move has no legal moves and his king is not in check. The life of Lord Daze has been one hell of a chess game and his king has remained unchecked. However, like any good chess game, all of his previous moves have come with great sacrifice, pain, and triumph. His humble and calculated tone is the perfect cover for his lion heart and relentless spirit. Lord Daze’s life has always been on two strikes with no plan B and his best moves are always created during the moment. The concrete jungle of NYC is brutal and survival of the fittest is the true street-code.
During the early years of Lord Daze, he countered the usual terrors of the inner-city ghettos and experienced loss, despair, missed opportunities, physical pain, and more in the heartless streets of the Bronx. Lord Daze has always possessed an uncanny ability to instantly connect with people when meeting them in person. When you look into his eyes it’s easy to become lost because his soul beams through his retinas. The energy that follows him is electric and causes anyone to listen, consider, believe, and follow.
Lord Daze has been an uncontrollable force in the underground world of entertainment since the early 2000s. Labeled “Mr. Most-Wanted” by his music peers and fellow executives, Lord Daze has been featured on Cocaine City Vol. 6 & 8, blasted on HOT97 by DJs Camillo and Envy, and was the first underground artist to create and release his own magazine imprint to allow underground talent to have a voice. Daze’s superior skill of transitioning between corporate boardrooms to underground nightclubs is a rare talent. The balance between understanding the streets and being in the streets is something most entrepreneurs originating from eat-or-be-eaten environments can never fully master.
In 2015, life for Lord Daze is organic, riveting, sleepless, inspiring, and most of all relentless in the pursuit of a greater tomorrow for his team. Scrilla Guerillaz Magazine & Entertainment is an unconventional and fearless business model designed to disrupt, alter, change and inspire the next generation of executives, dream-chasers, visionaries, creators, and rebel leaders of change. Scrilla Guerillaz Magazine is a written soundtrack for the lifestyles of celebrities, the guy from the block, the girl next door, the dreamer in college, and the kid standing atop his Bronx project building and planning his NYC takeover!
The journalism of the magazine is matchless and pushes the envelope of humanity and pop culture worldwide. Each article highlights a unique story and journey of an individual, company, or movement. Scrilla Guerillaz Magazine is another piece on the chessboard of Daze’s life and like always, his king will remain unchecked.
The entire staff at TALKTOCHELYNN, Popular Magazine, Renegade Revolt, Emansangels, and SVMarketing, LLC salute your grind and movement in 2015! #ICONIC32 #BEREADYFORTHEMOMENT
WATCH THE NEXT GENERATION OF KIDS DANCING TO MISSY ELLIOTT IN NEW ‘WTF’ CHOREOGRAPHY VIDEO
Some of Missy Elliott‘s most iconic videos feature kids dancing to her always shimmy-worthy songs — so it just makes sense that a whole new group of dancers would add some choreography to her comeback single, “WTF.”