Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Create Your Own Hype!

"I've been waitin on this my WHOLE life! These DREAMS be wakin me up at night!"
~ Kanye West, I Wonder (Graduation, 2007)

The word "hype" is considered an inflated truth or exaggerated, misconstrued story. The word inflated stands out the most. Inflated means full of empty or prententious language. Meanwhile, this offering is to encourage you to "CREATE Hype!" and make it your own. (How ironic)

This year and the latter part of last year, I learned that Hype does not have to be BS. Hype is simply whatever you want it to be. It's your belief system. The thoughts, notions, values, principles, truths that you believe in, you will pub(licize), endorse and co-sign to the next level. This is totally me. When I believe in something, I make it public. I speak about it and I make it real BIG. 

One of the greatest examples of Hype created in the last 12 months was the controversy between Kanye West and 50 Cent's album being released on the same day.  Of course I had my money on Ye. There was so much Hype surrounding the release of the both albums, if you were music lover at all you could not help but to indulge just a little. Well we all know how that one turned out. Ye took the most units in the first week and his hype paid off once again. Why do I say again? (I don't want this to turn into a conversation completely about Ye but...) Again, because Kanye brought attention to himself at his beginnings by making people believe in his talents and gifts simply because he believed in them the most. I've watched Kanye's Driven, Through the Wire, read the articles, heard the rants, blowing of his own horn, etc. However, any one who subscribes to the trends, pop culture and the hip-hop generation can not deny Kanye's affect on all of the above. Kanye has always been his own hype man. When the labels wouldn't do it, he did it himself. When the award shows didn't show love, he created more hype and drama still turning the attention (although negative) to himself requiring more people to dig deeper into Ye.  What's even greater about the hype that Kanye created around himself is that it's totally warranted. He is extremely talented in music and art. He has changed the hip-hop culture for this generation in many ways. 

I have a tendency to down play my BIG stuff,  and hype my "sister" or my "brother's" vision. Kanye's example shows me that we must HYPE our own visions. Getting them out there is our responsibility and at the end of the day, no one but God (and I think that even God can't believe it for you) will believe your vision, dream, or goal as much as you do. God gave you the vision and He will surely bring it to pass...if you believe it can actually come to pass. Kanye believed in his vision when no one else would and more than anybody. Now he has the whole world believing in "Kanye West - Mr. Glow in the Dark." I'm not mad at CHICAGOIAN-GEMINI-TWIN. 

So from now on... CREATE BIG HYPE for your BIG and little DREAMS. When you take a BIG STRIDE, or make a BIG SPLASH don't down play it. MAKE IT BIG, SAY IT LOUD. You're helping someone else along the way believe that they can make their dreams and visions come true too. 

I'm working on tracks with Keith "K-Boogie" Hanns, original member of Wreckx N' Effect. He's cool people with an experienced, comfortable flow. I'm writing songs like crazy for MYSELF (Yes!) and others of course, getting ready to take a highly-recommended class at NYU so I can join the ranks of the BEST to put pen to paper (Smokey Robinson, Lauryn Hill, Eric Roberson, NE-YO). The BEST is on it's way. 
I'm also looking for a live band. If you know of one, let me know! 

Word of the day: Philippians 4:8
Obama '08
Hype-Woman~The Olympian Pen™

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thinking/Creating/Writing Like the Greatest of All Time!

I haven't visited in many months. Once I arrived to their website, I still questioned why I decided today to explore the popular gossip well.
I found my answer in a post about the Greatest of All Time (in my book), Lauryn Hill.

"Lauryn Hill is building up material for a major comeback after giving birth to her five kids - she has song ideas and lyrics scribbled all over her bathroom. The reclusive star’s longtime partner Rohan Marley reveals Hill is as prolific as anyone in the music business, and cannot stop writing lyrics and tunes while she’s on hiatus. He says, “She writes music in the bathroom, on toilet paper, on the wall. She writes it in the mirror if the mirror smokes up. “She writes constantly. This woman does not sleep."

Many people have asked me the reason for the name: Bathroom Freestyle. Although my reasoning for giving this fountain of words that name is on the ride side bar, the question still persists in the minds of some people. However, others get the name right away and understand the meaning behind it. It sounds like Lauryn Hill has the same pattern of thought. Reading this quote above resonated in me like I just won an award for innovativeness...LOL! And one day, maybe my words, writings, songs, lyrics would be as impactful as one of my BIGGEST heros who ever put pen to paper, note to beat, voice to microphone.

Lauryn Hill is undoubtedly my Greatest inspiration. She is prolific, truly a genius with words and their deeper meanings. She's a singer/songwriter/lyricist/mother/actress. I can still remember the day I bought the most expensive cd I've ever owned, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," at Blockbuster in Roswell, Georgia in 1998. It was totally worth $18.99 without tax. I still found hidden, not so obvious meanings in songs like "Tell Him" and "Ex-Factor" ten years after hearing them. The title track, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" resounds in my heart, like I wrote it. That's how personal the song is to me.

It's true that you have to reach your own level, but looking up to the Greats like Lauryn Hill is like looking up to the standard, the Giant of the art in my generation. This makes me want to write, and write, and write until I get right. Here's to Lauryn and her foretold return. Like the many other loyal, diehard fans, I'll be waiting for the Legend to reclaim her stage bigger and better than before.

***Also check out fellow writer Ebonne Jones, "Letter to Lauryn Hill" which also celebrates the 10th year anniversary of "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.," this month. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since the classic was released.***

Word for the Day: Ephesians 2:13

Sunday, August 3, 2008

PREPARATION in Surrender/SURRENDER in Preparation

Preparation means: the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty. Readiness.
Surrender means: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner, b: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence).
How are these words related and intertwined? Currently, I'm in a season of preparation for many things: to be a cutting edge performer, an entrepreneur, homeowner, future wife, future mother, and some others characteristics. Earlier this year, I was in a wilderness season, entrenched in frustration. One of reason for my frustration was due to the many visions the Lord has given me for projects and goals to work towards. As a result, I was trying to accomplish everything at the same time, causing greater frustration, because I couldn't see, hear and think through any of them clearly. As I said before in "REST," I fall short in that area.

Lately, the Lord has been sending me many messages and revelations about surrendering to Him. (I thought I was surrendered to God and His will for my life.) But He showed me that in order to be properly prepared for the things He has in store for me, basically the list above, that I need to be surrendered to His will and His strength in my life. I, Kristen can't get all this done, by myself, but God working through me will accomplish these things to further His Kingdom and purpose for my life.

Recently, the frustration reared its ugly head again. This time my frustration was about wanting to focus only on music and only my music. My question to the Lord was, "Why do I have to focus on music, my job in finance, be an entreprenuer, etc?" Why can't I just work on music, learn about finance (get GREAT with money, develop the mindset for aquiring BIG, LONG wealth, not the money we deal with day to day just to live, and make a couple of meaningful wealth-building transactions), but really just focus on music? (I'll explain later my ideal vision for my future husband, music and our businesses in music and finance! :-) )

The Lord sent a messenger to answer this question today. Refer to the "Parable of the Talents," Matthew 25:14-28. In the parable a master gave his three servants a certain amount of talents (talent is defined as: a unit of value, the natural endowment of a person, a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude b: general intelligence or mental power : ability). In this parable, the talents were money. A quick summation: The master gave one servant five talents, the second servant two talents and the third servant one talent. After a long time the master came to settle his accounts with his servants. The servant with five talents returned to his master ten talents to his master. The servant with two talents returned four talents to his master. However, the servant given only one buried his talent in the ground and returned to his master the one talent that was given to him. His master referred to him as wicked and lazy and gave his talent to the servant who had ten. The revelation from my friend is that we are all given/entrusted with a different amount of talents (gifts). It doesn't have to be money, but sometimes it is. For me its singing, songwriting, encouraging, and one day wife, mother, and businessowner. But I can't even limit myself to these things, because God may add to this list. However many talents we are given not only are we required to do BIG THINGS with these talents, but we must take them a step futher than how they were distributed to us. We have to double them, increase them to bless others. This is completely the answer to my frustration, because I am now resolved knowing that I have MANY talents. I can take the limits off of myself and my BIG, HUGE God and stop using the word can't in relation to things that I have yet to try.

As I get surrendered (horrible english!), free in God I will continue to realize that my frustration comes from trying to figure the process out in my own knowledge, wondering how my time will be evenly divded and how things will get accomplished in Kristen's timelines. Usually the things that stick around and last for a while had to go through an extensive process. They didn't develop overnight. The parable makes it clear that the master returned after a long time to collect his increase. So, while I'm not going to procrastinate accomplishing the things set before me, I can also enjoy the journey and the process until they manifest.

And when someone says to me, "You're doing too much," I will have peace knowing that what they meant to say is, "I admire the talents God gave you and I look forward to seeing you use them in a way that impacts the whole world!"

Rewind: By now you know that I'm CHI bred, ATL refinded, but my parents live in MIA now. I travelled to Miami last weekend for my cousin's 40th birthday on Fisher Island and my brother's 13th birthday. WOW! Fisher Island is completely exclusive. You have to be on a list in order to take the island's ferry across the water to the island. I think the exclusivity of Fisher Island is what's so special about it. Or maybe is the 5 bedroom 6000 sq feet villas on the island available to rent during your stay. Or maybe it's that you don't see many people of color on the island other than in service positions (an there's nothing wrong with, but it's nice to see us enjoying the same luxuries on an equal playing field). Although Harold Ford Sr. and Oprah have residences on Fisher Island, to the common, everyday hard working African American Fisher Island seems a little out of reach. My cousin spared no expense to show us how great 40 looks, and it looks FABULOUS! I have great images in vision to aspire to. (The pics are from the last weekend.)

Have a wonderful week knowing that YOU really can do ALL things through JESUS CHRIST that gives you the strength. Phil 4:13

Word of the Day: Psalm 89:34
No more excuses. Just results (Dr. Toya Greene)