Sunday, December 31, 2017

Flashback 2017

   We are nearing the end of 2017 and I have so much to reflect on. I'm excited for what the Most High has in store for me and I'm grateful to have the chance to remember the most difficult times I found myself in and how he brought me out!

Walk with me.

  December 2016 my significant other and I worked at a warehouse for the store Spencer's. I followed his lead to apply and work the shift despite my strong dislike for warehouse gigs. This would be our third time working together in that kind of environment and unbeknownst to us our last, dealing with temporary services and the inconsistencies encompassed by warehouse employees.

   We learned from mistakes and made new ones that was slowly tearing us apart as friends. When we finally realized our foundation was becoming unstable we both quit the job, threw away the progress we built living out west and started over. The final straw was when I finally got hired in after three years but they neglected to fulfill the documents for my friend. The shade was real and everyone who knew us and our work ethic understood that we were not going anywhere without each other.

   I recently watched a video testimony from YouTube about the most high making a situation uncomfortable in order to make a jump through faith. That video is part of the reason I am writing this post. If I didn't leave that job I would probably still be there today despite my angst toward it.

   Everyone was giving empty promises about our hire date and when my friend would get the acceptance papers but nothing came through. They decided to transfer me to another building as part of my hired in status, which was to happen a week later. We worked the weekend shift. We waited all week for some kind of confirmation from our then supervisor, about my friend. By the end of the shift Sunday I made up my mind to not come back. It was the week before Christmas. All the bills were due and I barely had enough to get my moms a gift.

   When I decided to quit the job, I remember feeling free. Satisfied to have made such a huge decision on my own. My friend had no idea that I was not going back, until that next weekend. He supported my decision to leave a dead end job that was tearing us apart and stunting our growth individually. My parents welcomed me back home with open arms Christmas morning, my bedroom the same as I had left it.

   The end of 2016 was full of negativity, exhaustion and fear to move onto the next phase. Though I had no idea what the most high had for me I trust and obeyed HIS power to never leave my side or put too much on me that I could bare.

   My significant other and I struggled trying to lock down a job to get out of the hole we dug ourselves in. We were fighting almost every other night and threatening the relationship. It's ironic how those promises to not go into the new year fighting, actually carried over in the new year. The phrase, "Life or death lies in the power of your tongue", became the highlight of 2017.  


 We must be mindful of the things we spit out our mouths! What we say has the tendency to linger long after the words escape our lips and I have dealt with the remnants created from the adversity I spoke toward myself and my significant other.

   April 3, 2017 I was blessed with the job I have now and it wasn't what I was actively applying for either. I fished through career builder and craigslist for clerical work because it seem to be the easiest job anyone could quickly get. I eventually went back to any temp service that would see me. I was originally applying for a position with Stericycle. I was preparing to settle again after the first interview. I hated the environment and the quick turn over rate with employees.

   I lucked up and found Anthem was hiring downtown. I was more interested in that position. The company had the flexible hours I wanted as well as an easy commute downtown from my home. I was sure to get that job right?

  Wrong. To be honest, I don't remember when or why or even how I applied with Lowe's. I remember not having an opinion about working for them or if "this was the one." I simply applied. I went to the interview looking and feeling like a bum. The bus ride out to the location was such a long drag and the other candidates were well groomed and hopping in and out of cars with ease; smiling faces and confidence lighting up the space. Meanwhile I'm barely making it through. Stressed out and not writing, performing or visiting open mics to get me through. All I had was the King of all Kings as my guide through the maze.

    Somewhere along the way Anthem fell off the priority list. I didn't hear anything from the interviewer and most of my calls were ignored and stashed away in the "Oh, I'll tell so and so to call you back," pile.

    A month later I was in Lowe's training for repair services. It was extensive and thorough but I stayed focused. During training I had to get up at 4:30 am for an 8a-5p shift. I don't miss those days however I realize now the grind and dedication I dealt with just to make it through.

   I learned to love myself. My best friend and I found books based on self development, black history and building faith to pursue dreams and make them a reality. Besides looking for a good job I've spent all year, "planning my work and working my plan", and I'm proud to say that I believe I am on the right path.

   I had to get back in the habit of writing and rewriting my goals, strategizing a game plan and keeping myself motivated. I learned to use my time wisely and develop skills that had either fell dormant or was out right nonexistent. One of my favorite books I'm finishing up is Bravery written by Adam Kirk Smith. I reached out to him via Twitter and he's actually a cool guy. I hope to one day meet him in person to share his insight with others. Aside from Mr. Smith I now listen to motivational speeches on You Tube by Les Brown and Dr. Eric Thomas.

   In order to change your reality you must change your mind. It's all about perspective, how you look at a certain situation. Is the glass half full or half empty? Are you living or are you surviving? Are you creating your legacy or are you settling with what life gives you? These are questions I had to ask myself this year. To be bold with myself and honestly answer trivial, perhaps embarrassing questions was the beginning to my freedom. Think about it. We put on façades and pretend with many people; coworkers, distant family members, supervisors maybe even with those you consider a friend. Truth is peace comes from within. You have to live with you. You have to deal with the tears filling your pillow at night. You have to deal with loneliness. If you don't like something about someone else, look inward and honestly ask yourself how you would have handled that awkward situation. Even if you would have done it better or taken a less battered road to reach the end mark, hold on to that and prove it to yourself. 

Love you for you! Learn from this year, past mistakes and you will go far!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Reader's World

    I found this list in a forum called Book Goals. Many books listed from some of the members are wild and random to me, like what? One forum member has Ann Frank listed as her memoir/journal category. I've learned so much from white people from their interest, style and taste in music, history and random everyday things. I like reading and watching things otherwise criticized by the black community when really we should be more accepting and open minded about what they're into. I've had some eye popping moments about things they find interesting.
   Anyway, I took the time to fill in my list and it was difficult to be honest. Out of the many books I've read I never thought about some of the values in what I was filling my imagination with. Many erotica-noir books are about the same thing just told with a different twist. So, check it out and fill in your own. If you don't have a genre to fill, then you have some work to do!
  • A book you read in school: Of Mice and Men (can't tell you what it's about)
  • A book from your childhood: Goosebumps
  • A book published over 100 years ago: N/A
  • A book published in the last year: Bravery by Adam Kirch
  • A non-fiction book: Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey
  • A book written by a male author: Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
  • A book written by a female author: Coldest Winter Ever: Sista Soulja
  • A book written by someone who isn’t a writer: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: Mark Manson 
  • A book that became a film: Addicted : Zane
  • A book published in the 20th Century: 1984: George Orwell // Green Eggs & Ham: Dr. Seuss
  • A book set in your hometown/ region: N/A
  • A book with a number in the title : 11/22/63: Stephen King
  • A book with someone’s name in the title: Sula: Toni Morrison
  • A book with a character with your first name: N/A
  • A book someone else recommended to you: The Shadow of Your Smile: Mary Higgins Clark
  • A book with over 500 pages: East of Eden by John Steinbeck (need to read)
  • A book you can finish in a day: The Skin I'm In : Sharon G. Flake
  • A previously banned book: Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • A book with a one-word title: Addicted: Zane
  • A book translated from another language: Like Water for Chocolate : Laura Esquivel (!!)
  • A book that will improve a specific area of your life:
  • A memoir or journal
  • A book written by someone younger than you
  • A book set somewhere you will be visiting this year
  • An award winning book
  • A self-published book

Thursday, June 1, 2017


     The genius behind Stepbrothers Three and the song Good Cop/Bad Cop isn't just the idea of two hip hop emcees writing about the popular trend in false civilian killings, but the creativity behind making the song.
      If you love lyrics like me then this song would definitely move you but I'm getting ahead of myself. If you listen to the instrumental behind the lyrics you will find a classic hit to write to. I first heard it back on The Documentary by The Game. I won't get too specific but I fell in love with it the first time I heard it and all three artist blessed that beat with fulfilling content.
       It's been a while since I've felt moved and inspired to write and Starlito has always been my favorite top five artist alive. When I heard Don Trip's Human Torch just on a whim skimming through Datpiff, I thought "OK he's nice." I liked his style and gritty delivery on Money Machine and relaxed flow on Cheers however when I listened to "iHeart Strippers" I thought OK! He got it! Go ahead and dedicate a tape for the ladies in that late night mood. That's when I became a fan of his music but more importantly the way he put words together.
   Making a hit song is a battle in itself because one has to have credibility and a fan base for any of us to say "yea that album go hard." Delivery, charisma and the precise way a metaphor is created and placed together, among other essential factors,on a beat is what's more important - to me anyway. As a poet and lover of lyrics it is imperative that the creation of a song wasn't just slapped together; especially when the song is suppose to evoke feeling. There are times when an artist just needs to be as blunt as possible and I love those tracks but I always anticipate deep rooted, make you think songs throughout and album or mixtape.
   While still following Mr. Free At Last, "kiss my ass" via twitter, StepBrothers was the hot new tape to look out for. Of course I was going to listen. I remember the countdown drop Lito announced during the movie premier of Stepbrothers on FX. Fans were excited and couldn't wait for the free download. Finally he released the tape 12:01 and it was number on twitter trend board!
    I knew Don Trip was featured on the tape but I didn't know how dope it was going to be. Stepbrothers 3rd Song and Life took hold of my soul and I was then a fan of the duo. I was more surprised by Trip's versatility on those songs in particular because I was still new to him. My favorite line that did it was, "pressure bust pipes once the limit exceeds and I'm in it so deep its getting difficult to breathe. I'm a man with much pride and I'm stubborn as can be and I will take it the head before I ever take a knee!" #Truth I was up on my feet like HELL YEA! WHERE MY KING AT SO I CAN KISS HIM ON THE FOREHEAD AND TELL HIM ITS GONNA BE OK!
    Good Cop/Bad Cop. What can I say about this song that isn't self explanatory? The reason I wrote this blog was to extend my gratitude to Starlito and Don Trip for their mastery of the song. But it isn't just a song. It is truth outlined in our society that has highlighted the media more often than ever since 2012. I am at liberty of speaking on this subject however I will not derail this blog post into a political rant (even though this shit ain't new!). I believe SBIII speaks about things in a more conscious way than the former tapes. This song is just one of the songs that inspired the artist in me to keep writing about the devastating trues in this world even when it is unfavorable, which is the best way to make music; telling the god honest truth. Uncut and straight to the point.

Thank you gentlemen for always being your true selves and presenting that on the mic for us all to appreciate.
As long as there are artist that love the true craft of making meaningful music there will always be a rotational growth of new artist to come that were led by example.

ParaLectra Divine

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea

Between April 9-26 the Phoenix Theatre will be featuring a new play 
about a "present-day hero’s quest exploring the lengths and depths
 we must go to redeem history’s wrongs." 
list of events taking place the week of its debut!
Buy your tickets here: vendini 
Tickets are selling fast! 

Jazzy Spoken Word Event !


Back by popular demand we have Mr. Go Hard Himself Brimestone 
bringing Detroit open mic flavor to the 317!!!
Located at 5299 east 38th St
Every Wednesday!
$5 after 9pm
Come out and sign the list!!