I thought I was an old soul, and that I knew life,
but then starting the real life,
I figured I am completely new.
– Yeal Naim
In the tiny fractions of a second, in which they had to plan their escape, it was not prowess of an athlete, that initiated their go-to plan, but it was the mind’s imagination that shifted into high gear, devising a plan and transmitted signals to all parts of the body – in a neurological chorus of song – places, everyone take their places, as they were needed to deliver a once in a lifetime performance. – Controlled by Our Imagination
from Sacramento California
from Lumber City Georgia
Nashville Recording Artist Lance Stinson
I just finished up my New England tour and I am finally back home in Southeast Georgia. It was a lot of driving and not a lot of sleep, but what an amazing tour!
Being from the south, which is known for its strong country music roots, I was surprised when several of the Twitter fans started requesting me to come up north and play. At first, I thought, “country music up north”? Once we started researching venues and found there was a huge interest in country music and several places wanted to book me, I was like… why not? Then of course, I had several friends and family ask about how I would handle the “rude yankees”…lol. So honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect making the long trip from Georgia up to Massachusetts. I just knew that I was gonna give them one hell of a performance and show them how it’s done down in the south.
I have to say, I never met one rude person the entire tour. What I do know is that these guys love country music!! It was such a rush being on stage and having the chemistry and interacting with the different crowds. I love seeing fans sing along and some even knew the words to my music!
From Sunderland, Worcester, Boston and down to Bristol, RI, I had such an open arms welcome from the patrons of the various venues, it was quite overwhelming.
Overall, the New England tour was a huge success and we are currently in the process of putting together another tour for late fall. I look forward to making the trip again up north and meeting my fans!
from Denver Colorado
Newlyweds Clifton & Marla Davis
Thank the Lord for sending me my Angel Marla J Marion!” I call her MINE MARLA! We met when I was at a low point in my life to say the least. A low point with a slow and steady decline to my demise like a frantic struggle to get out of quicksand was my struggle to get out of the life of drug distribution and drug use. We went from Audi’s, jewelry, and Ralph Lauren to pawn shops, pipes and bus passes. Fast money can easily turn into a fast prison sentence or an early grave.
Life for us now consists of working a 9-5, bible studies, dinners at lone star steakhouse, browsing book stores and libraries and taking the kids to the park. It hasn’t even been 6 months since my life has change. And as some of us know the sweet taste of devil’s pie leaves a long lasting after taste and a craving that can never be satisfied so I still carry with me the temptation to use and distribute. My job, family and the goals I’ve set for myself keep me focused and excited for my future. Having an entrepreneur spirit leads me to explore a world full of opportunity that will lead to my happiness and financial freedom Lord willing. So the question to myself remains WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?
from Fort Mohave Arizona
Illustrator James D. Foster
From 10 p.m. to dawn, it was a refugee camp for myself, punks and teenage runaways who either missed curfew at local youth hostels, or were kicked out altogether. Fresh off the boat from California, homeless at ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’ in the most brutal winter to strike Chicago in a century. Seeing Carl smiling at me with what remained of his shattered teeth, always put things in perspective(a sporting gift some West Side street kids gave him with a baseball bat, along with breaking both his arms and putting him in the hospital for two weeks years before we met).
Things could always be worse, and he never complained about anything, asked for anything, nor had anything rotten to say about anybody all the years I would know him. “Wassup,” adjusting his piles of Hefty bags filled with his unknown belongings so I could sit down on a neighboring stool at the stretch of counter. Laying down my secondhand periodicals next to him. Chicago Suntimes, Chicago Tribune, Windy City, and the Reader to pass the time until morning. Hands frozen, nose red and running, I warmed my dead fingers about a large cup of bad coffee.
Before I could even tell him the good news, the mumbling riffraff exploded into its nightly theatrics. “SON OF A BITCH, YOU DON’T GET TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!” A big bellied girl with tiny hands cut the smoky air, Lurching over, tossing her cup of coffee at the balding man’s face. “HEYHEYHEY” he bellowed. Another youth picked up one of the little gold aluminum ashtrays, flicking it at the frumpy stranger in her defense, spraying a puff of ash and butts off the man’s chest “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS YOU OLD FAT FUCK!!!” The middle-aged fellow repeated ‘Hey Hey Hey” again and again towards the rising youths all around him. “I just said that she shouldn’t be smoking when she’s pregnant! C’mon, she’s almost due” reaching over, she made a haphazard attempt to slap his chubby face; But the fake woodgrain table and her baby ripe belly made such an act preposterous. With that failing, she spat on him instead. He stood back, frozen and dumbfounded. A thin Middle Eastern employee behind the counter, joined his shrill voice to the fray; Phone already in hand, threatening to call the cops.
She made a cheap mockery of his accent, as her troupe always did when he called them out. Regardless, she grabbed up her shapeless backpack, yelling more than asking who was going with her into frozen night. Only the kid who tossed the ashtray took her up on her request. Showering the room and everybody with their curses and middle fingers raised, storming out the door, across the parking lot, then vanishing altogether into the Arctic Hell. “I went in for an interview today,” I spoke proudly, “start on Monday.” He gave me another shattered smile. “Welcome to the grind,” returning to his crumpled crossword, magnify glass in hand, stooped over just inches from the type written words like he always did.
from Sacramento California
from Lagos Nigeria
Celonacharles Okpere Iphy
Here we go again! As I invite you all further, into my life and existence, I am really trying my best to sounding relaxed and interesting but I guess I should be clear on one fact; “I WON’T STAY PREDICTABLE”. I have chosen to give plenty of spice to this show but that would be within truths on a life with plenty huge twists and turns, (an advise from my fans). I deliberately picked this challenge and also deliberately want to come out tops, that’s why I would, inevitably lead this train to places of ‘plenty surprises’. So if you knew me before, or know me now, or never knew me at all; you should know; this one man’s every response to a given challenge/contest, would never be relied upon to be consistently identical. This time we headed to a scene, that rejuvenates childhood memories and then to a place my soul really craves to understand.
Charles grew up being always close to the football pitch that ground has always and still is a place of comfort, an arena to letting-out, forgetting all and focusing on team work. I really think football shaped that part of me that’s always hungry to express and take bold steps. I guess it’s from that game I began to absorb core values, values like; evolving at every given chance, amongst a few other core values, but the most important of all values soccer has given me, would be regarding family first, at all times. Family is the core of all my values. It’s where I found the undiluted love of a mother, tough love from a father, genuine love from your siblings and infinite love from the rest of my extended family, which includes my very wonderful virtual friends. Charles has practically tried “falling in love” but I guess that’s one ‘task’ you have to take tutorials for, ‘cos it never works out the way you plan. Apparently, it seems you don’t plan “falling in love”, as I feel it just happens to you. I ‘desperately’ look forward to the day when the only thing that ignites a ‘perfect’ relationship between me and a woman is tied around the words we share.
I look forward to that day when two souls calling out to one another, two hearts beating in the same direction, with a salient whisper of longing that bridges one essence to another. I want to want a woman, not because it gratifies my ego and longing for “show offs”, not because my lady is outwardly beautiful, but because her very presence invites my matured ability to loving. I want to touch her with my heart on my sleeve. I want to be involved in that chemistry that is pure and true, but also having an essence for continuity, all sorted out, with plenty of love’s liquid lava flowing from the heart to the genitals to the great beyond, in a love-struck world. A relationship, experienced as a spiritual practice, a devotional expression of our God-self, dying to all inept ability of planning a perfect relationship. For all I want is something natural and pure.
from Baton Rouge Louisiana
Kenderick Lil Ken Johnson
Since joining the Neighborhood I’ve begun to touch a new audience musically, from “Like a Bird” which was my first music review inside the neighborhood to “Keep Putting It Down” the most recent track” The fans support of my song “Dreams” that dropped on my last mixtape “Better Days” was my inspiration for writing the song! To know that people enjoy listening to my music motivates me to keep going each & every day. I’ve had many obstacles in my life I’ve had to overcome, but I’ve never allowed the bad times to stop me from moving on! I owe it all to God, who has blessed me with the gift of word play, so I use it positively to motivate the world!
If you’ve never heard “Keep Putting it Down” take a listen & thanks in advance for your support! My new mixtape “Lost In a The Muzik Vol. 1” will be dropping soon at the end of summer or early fall. Meanwhile, I’m about to get my day started with breakfast and work on my practice plan for tomorrow’s practice, then its back to the music. From coaching on sidelines to the studio booth, my jobs never done. There are still lives to touch daily and that drives me to keep working, you all be blessed!