Posts Tagged ‘music’

Hey folks,

It’s Friday!

Making this short…today marks a year since my Cousin Prince passed away. I’ll be posting a blog post later on about how today went but in the meantime here is a short piece I wrote which has also been featured on the blog, Hill Street Viewz written by Sean Hill. I also posted a new Prince Tribute Video on YouTube.


April 21st, 2016 is a day I’ll never forget. That Thursday morning, felt like so many other tragedies: Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and countless others. It was devastating and left me shock like so many people who had heard the news about the loss of the Legendary Artist known as Prince. A month later, I made an amazing discovery that changed my life. I did some research on ancestry.com out of curiosity and discovered Prince was my fourth cousin on my Dad’s side! Apparently, I had come across a branch in my family tree that seemed to be forgotten for years! While the discovery was exciting it was also heartbreaking in that the one person I would love to share this with isn’t here.

Since then, I have gotten in touch with Prince’s friends and members of my extended family.  We all miss Prince and being able to talk and remember him has helped. My Dad’s also a musician and like Prince, has worked with various people in the industry. I’m in the process of putting together a documentary based on my research. I hope by sharing my experience that it inspires others to do research on their ancestry and family history. I miss him and often think about how things might’ve been had I learned we were related sooner. It is heartwarming to know so many people love him. My cousin has inspired me in more ways than one and being related to him is something I cherish.  A year later, the loss is still hard to deal with. Last April, the world lost someone many consider a brother, friend, hero and mentor. For me, it was my cousin. In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about who I am, where I come from and that I’m one of several people who shares the same blood as the legendary Artist known as Prince. Quoting Brian McKnight’s song and one of my cousin’s greatest hits, after this Friday, I might dry my eyes but without a doubt, this won’t be when one last dove cries…




“All 2gether”


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Hey folks…

Last night the American Music Awards aired on ABC.

Though the show wasn’t anything to write home about, the highlight was that Purple Rain won Soundtrack of the Year, exactly 32 years after the movie was released in theaters and became a box office hit and the album sold 20 million copies. The film and album are what helped my cousin to become a household name.

But anyway, here’s a short piece I wrote that I wanted to share…grab yourself a kleenix tissue…you’re going to need it! I’ve titled this piece…

U and I…


The year 1066 is where our family history begins. The Nelson, Carmichael and Clark clans of England, Scotland and Ireland once had a seat of power, some were Chiefs and Lords, others held the title of the oldest Royal clans to rule over their homelands.  600 years later, these three families sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of a better life away from the hardships of their former home. As time went on, more and more of them left the highlands and coasts of the United Kingdom for the Eastern seaboard of America. These families eventually spread out and headed South. 100 some years ago, our ancestors crossed paths in the states of Alabama and Louisiana. Some born as slaves or children of masters. After years of hardship and long suffering, they were finally free!
Eventually they went their separate ways, some remaining in the South, the others headed North to Minnesota. Generations later, they’ve all since passed on…you came before me and I’ve missed you since you’ve been gone. For years, I knew I was different but unbeknownst to me, you were out there and felt the same way too. If only I knew, somehow, somewhere there was someone like me whose looks and personalities were nearly identical to my own.
Your uphill struggle against those who set out to break you down, gave me hope that one day I too will overcome my own battles and rise up like you did. There are those who are skeptical and doubt we are related but I see it every day as I learn more from those who knew you.

I miss you day to day, but the same blood that runs in my veins will always stay.

Though we were miles and years apart, there is no distance between loved ones and their hearts.

All these years I have walked through the streets of LA, the Bay Area, Vegas and New York City, not knowing that during any of those times, there was a chance we could meet.
This time last year, you were still here…If only I knew what I know now, I would have contacted you…somehow. As days go by, I remind myself there’s a place for you… not in a heavenly atmosphere but on a paradise Earth, whenever it gets here.

Where your journey ends, is where I hope mine begins. You set a great example that I’ll never forget. Every day I think of you as I try to keep it together, but there are moments that still get to my heart. You and I are alike in more ways than one, if only you were still here, we could talk face to face. The story of our ancestors is one I’ll gladly tell. From the coastal highlands of the United Kingdom to the cotton fields of Alabama and Louisiana and the front gate of Paisley Park; our family has come a long way. One hundred years and four generations later, the journey’s not over yet. Our family has a rich history that many have yet to know. You told stories through your music and there’s one more that is still unsung. I look forward to writing that story in memory of you and hope it will help ease the pain of missing a chance to walk with you in the Purple Rain…

Purple Rain-Best Soundtrack American Music Awards 2016.

Thanks for reading.

See you on Wednesday!

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Hey folks,

Wanted to share one of my latest projects.

It was raining yesterday so I decided to work on a video.

After Sheila E’s performance at the BET Awards, I thought she deserved something so I spent 7 hours(not including breaks) working on this video. Every shot was done frame by fame using Windows movie maker.

The video features several photos of Prince and Sheila E and some video footage. All of it is set to the song ‘I believe in You and Me’ sung by Whitney Houston.

I made this slideshow with Sheila E in mind, focusing on the friendship between she and Prince.

Link to video:

The 2 of Us: Prince & Sheila E.

In case Sheila E happens to read this, I hope you enjoy the video… great job on your tribute at the BET Awards. You put blood, sweat and tears into that performance. I can tell Prince was your heart and wish you the best in your projects. Hope to meet you in person one day!

See ya on Monday!

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Hi All,

And it’s Monday!

Watched the BET Awards last night and I must say, this was one of the best award shows I have seen in a long time.

However, I must confess, no words can express the mix of emotions I felt while watching in my living room. Talented people such as Jennifer Hudson and others honoring Prince with a tribute that would have no doubt brought tears to his eyes had he been in the audience. But what made watching the awards rather hard for me had to be the fact the very person being honored with a tribute is also the one whose blood runs through my veins. Prince was honored at the 2010 BET Awards and also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

But Sunday night’s program had its share of comedy, drama and highlighting what Blacks have achieved this year.

Jesse Williams’ speech was  truly inspiring. With the conflicts involving Black residents and law enforcement making headlines in recent years in addition to the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, Blacks are trying harder than ever to make changes for people of color.

As a Black person myself, I never thought I’d experience this level of adversity in my adult life.

Sadly, humanity has been divided by racial differences since ancient times. From powerful empires conquering other lands to modern day brutality and other hardships in school, the job site and daily life as a whole.

I have seen and experienced quite a few of the issues that effect people of color first hand.

But, enough of that for now.

Tracy Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson kept the night entertaining with several comedy sketches throughout the award show one of which included Anthony asking Tracy the question:

“Why are we dressed like the White people in Roots?”

The icing on the cake was the final performance by Sheila E featuring Jerome Benton from The Time and many of Prince’s former band members. Sheila E went to great lengths and poured her heart out on stage.

I found myself in tears by the end of her tribute. Prince was truly her heart and it’s certainly clear as day that Sheila E loves him.

She deserves some recognition for her hard work… Black Girls Rock Awards, anyone?

In all honesty, this year’s BET Awards was over the top!

While I have not been able to attend any of the Prince events that have been held in Los Angeles, New York City and Minneapolis, I hope something will come along in the future or that Paisley Park becomes a museum.

For anyone that was at the BET Awards or participated in the Prince tribute. Great job!

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hi all,

And it’s time for my annual To-Do list. I know the year is half over but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to make up for lost time. Anyway on to my list:

Work out a decent routine schedule for my writing, art and other projects.

Enter more writing contests

Purchase needed Art and Writing Supplies

Complete the first drafts for my scripts and other writing projects

Sell artwork on eBay

Self-Publish one of my stories

Register scripts, treatments and pitches with the Writers Guild

Make demo DVD of video projects

Burn Story Soundtrack CDs

Send writing samples to Comic con, Twitter and Facebook contacts

Attend Long Beach Comic Con

Host Crowdfunding page for a writing project

Go to the L.A. Zoo

Raise butterflies

Attend one writer’s group meeting.

Take a screenwriting class


And that concludes my list, will report my status within the next few months as I check off my list.

Off to go celebrate my folks’ 34th anniversary.

See ya on Monday!

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Hey folks, it’s Monday….

Well, without further delay here’s one of my Black history month posts.

This is a follow up to one of my posts from last year, Music of my Heritage, which can be found here:


This next post features more music from my library:


Woza Mfana- Hans Zimmer

The Penny Whistle Song- Hans Zimmer

This next song, I’ll be honest, I’ve had moments where I can’t listen to it without getting teary-eyed. It’s one of the few songs that actually makes me cry at times:

Mother Africa- Lebo M. & Hans Zimmer

Seventh Heaven- Dreamcatcher

Another song that makes me choked up. This was the only clip I could find that uses song. I first heard it in the movie Invictus and loved it. The song can be found and downloaded on Amazon.com.

The Crossing(Osiyeza)- Various Artists

Here’s the lyrics and their translation:

O Siyeza, o siyeza , sizofika webaba noma

(we are coming, we are coming, we will arrive soon)

O siyeza, o siyeza, siyagudle lomhlaba

(we are coming, we are coming, we are moving across this earth)

Siyawela lapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama

(we are crossing over those dark mountains)

Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka

(where we will lay down our troubles)

Will post more music in a different post.


See ya on Wednesday!




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Hey folks,

If anyone asks about the title of this post it’s based on a trademark some TV shows do prior to showing a preview of an episode airing the next week. Example: “Next time on the Family Crews…”

Previews like this are not only entertaining to watch but it also gives viewers a look at what’s coming up next. For me it’s leaves asking: “Come’on! what happens next?!”

The mark of a great storyteller… always leave them wanting more!

Some friday this was… well for me at least. Was out earlier today and boy was it hot!

Enough about that…

Anyway, this Sunday marks my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. 🙂

Still trying to think of something to do for them. Though my Dad and I got my Mom some flowers which she loved. 🙂

Hopefully with my brother and sister’s help the three of us can come up with something.

Aside from that I’ll be heading to L.A. next week!

Will post about how things go when I get into town.

I’m also working on a few things related to my writing.

In other news, Lebron James’ animated series, “The Lebrons” the premiere party was held in Los Angeles, CA earlier this week on May10th. Also, a soundtrack for the show has been released! It is now available on Amazon.com and Itunes, just run a search under the keyword : “The Lebrons”

Want to know if I’ll be getting the soundtrack?

Yes, I will, eventually. Like the show, I’ll do a review on the soundtrack as well.

Found yesterday that the new Nintendogs + Cats game isn’t compatible with the other Nintendo DS systems, including the model I have. 😦

No problem, for now I’ll just get a different game that will work on my Nintendo DS.

This is one other thing I might not have mentioned on this blog.

While animation, comic books, and games such as those made by Nintendo are considered to be “Kid stuff” teens and adults also have an interest in these subjects. Adults develop a majority of the popular animated TV shows, movies as well as comicbooks and games that are around today. Infact, comics have been around since the 1800s when newspapers started printing strips. Classics such as Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, Marmaduke and Dennis the Menace just to name a fw are some of the most popular strips around. One of Comic-Con’s themes last year was the Peanuts 60th anniversary!

Some of these strips have also have cartoon series and movie adaptations.

I even call my beagle Rudy, Snoopy once in a while.

Anyway, I will post about how things go this weekend as well as my trip. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for the next episode of the Lebrons.

 In the meantime enjoy this hilarious Golden Girls clip.

The Golden Palace- Have a nice day!

See ya on Monday!

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