Category Archives: Memoir

​”New Edition” Memories by Zhana Roiya


I can remember being on the NE Heartbreak tour….singing with the opening act Al-B-Sure!  We usually left the venue before the headliner hit the stage cause not only was the hotel not close to the venue but, the bus taking us back to our hotel left right after we performed.  

On one occasion the hotel was walking distance from the venue I stayed to watch not only Bobby but NE.  Bobby was so electric…commanding the stage and whipping the crowd into a frenzy.   He was Dynamic.  But when New Edition hit the stage………I saw something that caused my jaw to drop.  These boys or men were so polished and clean in their delivery I could barely move or tear my eyes away.   Brook had them so Polished and suave.  When “Can You Stand the Rain” come on.   A set of 4 mics came descending from the rafters right into their designated spots of each member as soon as it hit the marks they hit their moves as soon as the first note fell.  The lighting designers were so magical as they set the dreamy mood. With sparkling LED lights everywhere. It was set in midnight blue.  I could watch that show every night and not get bored.  Even the musicians were so on point.   

I was saddened to know that Ralph had a separate tour bus from the  other members and no longer spoke once off stage and that Bobby and the others also were at odds. Security kept them well away from each other.  I remember being threatened with being fired from my gig if I rode on any of their buses (I wanted to get to my home town faster to see my parents and our bus was leaving so late that we would have gotten there way into the night where Bobbys bus was arriving by early am)  It was for the best looking in hindsight… that bus was probably out of control.  Our group always had a very family vibe.  I love the crew who worked with us they always looked out for us girls and  Partly in fact that the guys in our band let it be known that The singers were all to be treated with respect or face the wrath of our musicians who tolerated no nonsense or disrespect from any of them towards us we were like family..sisters to them. (thank you Kaleb, Spanador) It was a magical experience for me.  I learned a lot and I came away with great memories.

Zhana Roiya
———

***—>> To Read Part 2 of:

“New Edition” Memories by Zhana Roiya

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(Epub Ebook)

[1,065 words]

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Watch “Half Past Autumn: The Life and Work of Gordon Parks”

How A Fisherman Taught his Son Life Lessons

Up before the crack of day
the light has not yet fallen on the ground outside.

That does not mean—
the light inside the house
is out.

Here, up early—earlier 
than most 
men, women, & children…

Two Men–one old–one young
make the final preparations.

Today they will provide for the family
Today they will fish for the family meals
Today they take their destiny in their own hands.

Many days, months, and years
The young boy has seen his father
at the table going over bills,
and at the same time
looking aggravated,
frustrated…knowing all the time
his money 
is already spent 
before payday…

Credit limits full 
at the local grocery stores
loan sharks coming around
even before the designated payback date
1/4 on the dollar…You know how it goes
Car note, Car insurance, 
Phone bill…
You know how it goes.
The story is the same everywhere.

Here in this early morning hour

While most people sleep
The Old Man stops in the mist of all these preparations,
and grabs his son’s shoulder as he tightens the fishing line firmly onto the hooks—
Looks straight into his son’s eyes,
and says, “Today son,
we go to provide
for the family like
The Men of Old Africa.
The days when men were men
The days when men would go over the earth
as God would have them do
Not asking for anybody’s permission
Not paying interest on loans
Not going to the store to get food,
But going to the oceans, lakes, rivers, streams,
and land like God expects us to do.”

The Old Man tells his son,
“pass on what you are seeing, hearing, and doing
Now as men, women, and children sleep.”

He tells his son,
“Always have a trade
Always stand up for Yourself, Your Family, & Our People.

Fish in God’s Rivers are free
when you catch them yourself…
no tax, no credit,
forget all that my son
No cost 
Take this example, and reproduce this…
this independence in every way possible
Make yourself independent my son…

Use your brains and talents to make your own destiny.

Be a Man.”

KT
7/25/2005
jewels4dmind.com

Listen to Author Dr. Patricia Wingard Carson Interview on Freedom Train Radio

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* Listen to Audio Playback of Freedom Train Radio Interview

Barber Shop Tales–Old Man ButterMilk–Drop Bars in Rap Battle

Old Man ButterMilk challenged some young cat d other day in d Barbershop. He & his partners was in there rapping they behinds off, beating on wood benches, spitting bars & everything.

Old Man ButterMilk walked right up among em, & said:

“Look here young fellas, I want d hardest rapper among y’all young gits. Imma break u off a lil sumptin sumptin. I wanna do one of dem dare, what y’all young people call it…..uh, uh, uh Rap Battles against you.”

Smooth G stepped forward. And said well, “Mr. ButterMilk, I’m d hardest Rapper in here. These jokers my lyrical sons, trying to grow up & b like dey daddy, U feel me?”

Old Man ButterMilk said “Alwright den, young fella, lets do it, I’m going 1st.”

“These jewels lift d brain 2 d stars/I got a whole factory full of candy bars/don’t know if Chocolate yo flavor/just wondering if u went to d otherside/many of our people trying 2 hide/getting a leg up in d American Dream/while illusions fade/bustin them jokers down d seam/Imma M-60 machine gun/when I spit/mindless jokers run/I jewel drop in my sleep, just 4 fun/transformed 2 d eye of d tiger/stealth mode/battle champ/these lyrics here/make yo mouth clamp/what can u do wt somebody like me/float like a butterfly, stang like a bee/tap you in d mind & eyes so many times/u see 3/dumbfounded 4 days/tornado watch/–no good/d way I hit d dome/–make soldiers of light dat rebuild d hood/—/–get at me Git/–remix–same thang next time/–spank u cross my knee lyrically…I’m d original OG (Original Gangsta).

KT
12/25/2011
jewels4dmind.com

Watch “The Great Debaters” –Based on Melvin B. Tolson’s Life & Wiley College Debate Team

* HEAR “Michael Ramsey” (A Poem) from– “A Gallery of Harlem Portraits” by Melvin B. Tolson

Watch “KINK – A NATURAL HAIR DOCUSERIES (EP 1)”

Watch “Jewel Dropping by KT (Jewels4dmind)–3 Poems”

Watch “Chi-Raq Interviews w/ Nick Cannon and Teyonah Parris”

Listen to: “Jewel Dropping & Freedom Rocking-Poetry Collages”

CLICK THIS LINK TO LISTEN TO: Jewel Dropping & Freedom Rocking-Poetry Collages