We Like Him Archives

IGW initially launched in 2009 and I have had the opportunity to interview some amazing men. Check out these We Like Him features from days gone by:

Tank   Corey Coleman  S. Poitier     Chef Desmond Fannin     Howard Robertson      Jack Daniels

Chef Desmond Fannin 2     Devin Crutcher     Dr. Bobby Myers     Master P      Royce Morgan

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Tank AKA Daddy!!! 

Published June 2011

TankI appreciate what women have to offer a lot more. What they have to go through to find their womanhood based on how they interact with their fathers. My goal has been to make sure that I am the example. I am the starting point for what they (my daughters) will look for in a husband…

Since, R&B sensation Tank released his first albumForce of Nature in 2001, he’s been an unstoppable force. His latest album, Now or Never, has people yearning for “Sex Music” and in a state of “Emergency.” In addition to penning hits for himself, Tank is known for being the mastermind behind several chart-topping songs for a plethora of other artists such as Jennifer Hudson, Omarion, Jamie Foxx, Keri Hilson, Pleasure P, and Letoya Luckett,.
The General of R&B, Mr. Man Candy and my personal name for him, Tankalicious (If you’ve ever seen this man lick his lips you know exactly why I call him that!!!) is quite proud of another title he wears….Daddy. And although he has received many accolades for his musical talent, Tank’schildren Jordan, Ryen, Zoey and Durrell, Jr. are undoubtedly his greatest accomplishment.

While visiting Memphis to play and perform during the Heal the Hood Celebrity Basketball Game, Tank, a divorcee, was kind enough to give IGW a quick but special interview for our Father’s Day “We Like Him” segment. And yes we do like him but who wouldn’t like a sexy, intelligent man who values his children and is capable of singing them and his woman to sleep with the sweetest of lullabies.

Tank2IGW: How old were you when you first became a father?

Tank: I was 24.

IGW: How old are your children?

Tank: 10, 6, 3 and 3.

IGW: Really? Twins?

Tank: I wish.

IGW: Oh, wow! What’s your definition of a good father?

Tank: Most importantly, a father who is there. There are too many fathers missing. The influence. Seeing a man around makes a big difference.

I Love Being A Father……….

IGW: How did fatherhood change you as a person? 

Tank: I have three girls and one boy. The girls came first and having girls definitely made me look at women differently. I appreciate what women have to offer a lot more. What they have to go through to find their womanhood based on how they interact with their fathers. My goal has been to make sure that I am the example. I am the starting point for what they will look for in a husband and in their marriage.

IGW: As a father who is also an entertainer, how do you find a balance between the two? I know you do a lot of traveling. 

Tank: There’s really no balance at all. You just kind of go with it. I try to integrate my music and my kids all together, when possible. I have them at the show standing backstage dancing and laughing and afterward we go eat. I pick them up from school when I can. I help them with their homework. We sneak it in. There’s no set schedule. You have to always find the time to be there for them.

What are your favorite things to do with your children?

Tank: Go to amusement parks and real fun places like Chuckie Cheese and stuff like that. I like to play the games, too. It’s exciting for me as well.

In your opinion, what are a father’s greatest fears? 

Tank: For me, it’s that I wouldn’t be there enough. I always had a father growing up so I didn’t miss that part but I know a lot of people who didn’t. I see how it affected their lives. They are lacking in some things. I want to be there as much as I can to have a good influence and impact on my children’s lives. I make sure they know they are a priority for me.

IGW: Ok. Last question is about your music. I love your latest album Now or Never. So what’s next?

Thanks. I’m working on a new album that will be out in November. It’s called Savior. The “Celebration” remix with me, Trey Songz and Chris Brown and my new single, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is out right now. There’s a new TV show called the “Protector” with Tisha Campbell, I’m featured on that. I have more movies coming. We’re on a roll. There’s also a tour at the end of the summer. Kelly Rowland and I are trying to put that together right now. We’ll see what happens.

IGW: Thank you for your time, Tank.

Tank: My pleasure.

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Corey Coleman: Some Things Are Worth Waiting For

Published 2011

Corey Coleman“There are two things that will always change a relationship and those are sex and money. When those things get involved relationships get very, very different. With the absence of the physical aspects you are left to just deal with that person.”

I first met Corey in young adult Bible study. He and his girlfriend Kenia, who is now his wife, were attending the class. One day our teacher asked all of the virgins in the room to stand up. At least four people stood up and Corey was the only male. I thought to myself, WOW that’s not something you see every day. It became obvious during our interview that he was definitely a man after God’s own heart. I appreciate his willingness to share with my readers why he made the decision to save himself for marriage and why he was more than worth the wait.

IGW: At what age did you make the decision to wait until marriage to have sex?

Corey: I was 13. I was at church and I was sitting on the back row listening to a sermon. The pastor was going in-depth into what fornication was and the fact that sex outside of marriage was against the will of God . It was probably one of the most depressing day of my life as a 13 year old because at that point had been paying close attention to what the media, TV, your friends present sex to be. It’s kind of like alcohol…when you get 21 you can drink. Sex was something you could do when you got older. I was thinking now I gotta wait even longer!

As I did more and more studies on sex, I got a good understanding of how God views it. You get the understanding that it’s more serious than we make it out to be. Here I am coming up in the 80’s where AIDS is now being talked about and teen pregnancy seems popular. Those things kind of helped the situation. There were other things that came into play. I love my grandfather and my dad was one of eleven children but there were also about 10 or 11 other children born outside of the family. My dad had to go to school with some of those kids. So looking at that, I was like this is serious. I didn’t want any children. I didn’t want any diseases. I looked at other men I knew who were now divorced because of adultery. I saw the ugly side and I realized that this thing isn’t as glamorous as how they make it seem in the movies or TV. It comes with real consequences.

As I got older I heard more. I attended different Bible studies. I tried to look at sex the way God looked at it. I still wasn’t having sex and I found myself on a course to get it right. It took much, much prayer and being preoccupied with a lot of other things.

IGW: How did it affect you social relationships once you revealed to others that you were still a virgin and you were saving yourself for marriage?

In high school I really didn’t talk about it and I didn’t get a whole lot of questions but in those relationships the young ladies usually thought it was a good thing. Most of us knew what we were supposed to be doing but most of us weren’t practicing it.

IGW: So, you didn’t feel any pressure to have sex?

Corey: I didn’t feel pressure. For a guy it’s a little different. The pressure doesn’t come from females. You may get it from other guys. But my group of friends, they didn’t pressure me. They didn’t even ask about it. It wasn’t until I got to college that it became a topic. I attended UT Chattanooga and colleges, depending on the campus, can be like mini hotels. You’re all over the place. You have freedom from your parents. Some people don’t know how to handle that and just wild out. Some people ended up going home early because it.

IGW: Some people feel like college is your sexual enlightenment years.

Corey: And that’s unfortunate. That’s one of those things that the world puts out there. Sow your oats. Do your thing because at some point you’re gonna be married and then it’s all over. So many people buy into it–that you can decide later to clean up your life and of course you can, but look how much time and hard learned lessons went on before they change. Then, I was also in a fraternity. I’m a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and still being a virgin is uncommon in a frat. I guess you could say people looked at it as an oddity, but they respected it in the end and that was the thing that always kind of helped out from the human side. From the spiritual side, I always tried to remember that I was doing what God would have me to do. But there were also those [women] who sought after me because of it.

IGW: How did you deal with women? Especially, those who sought to seduce you. 

Corey: By the time I got to college my perspective was more hardened on it. I was of the opinion that I still had to make it. It was almost insulting if a woman came at me like that. I was like, ‘This is what you’re trying to do? You have no interest in me but you want to be the one to say you know Corey, that Kappa who was holding out, I was able to break him down?’ I heard about discussions women had about that. I just felt it was classless if someone tried to do that. I didn’t go for it and thankfully, I was able to see through that stuff.

I hated the perception that I was somehow some saint because I wasn’t guilty of that particular thing. I have a bad temper, and I still have to work on that to this day. People assumed that I was a preacher. I’m not. I wasn’t perfect.

IGW: Let’s back up a little bit. You grew up with both parents in the home. Was this something that your parents encouraged? 

Corey: They did. I was brought up in church. We had a youth Bible study dealing with relationships. All those things helped out and my parents reinforced that. They weren’t on me about. They were very open and honest with me about the reality of sex and abstinence.

IGW: Ok, now you’re in your 20’s. You got through college. You’re in the adult world now. Did dating change for you?

Corey: No, not really. The women are more mature now. Some of them understood my choices and respected it. I had some women who chose not to date me because of it and that was fine. In that situation you’re like, ‘Man. Really?’ but you get over it. There was a certain peace that I had through prayer and studying. I’ve looked at my life and I really haven’t encountered the drama that so many other young men have. I was blessed. I had graduated from college. I had a job that I was doing well it. I bought a car and a house. I felt like it would be a slap in God’s face to get that far and give in. It got difficult sometimes but when in doubt pray. Sex is a great thing but it’s not what we make it out to be. It’s not worth the trouble, the problems, the attachments that often come with it.

IGW: How old were you when you started dating your wife?

Corey: We met when I was 26 and we got married when I was 28. We dated about a year and a half.

IGW: Was it harder for you to abstain once you were in love?

Corey: I only remember having one moment like that. Kenia was really dedicated to living right. She understood where I was in my life and she understood where she was. She was for it. There are two things that will always change a relationship and those are sex and money. When those things get involved relationships get very, very different. With the absence of the physical aspects you are left to just deal with that person. All you can do is let the person know who you are and figure out who they are in order to determine if the two of you are compatible.

The physical component can really mess your mind up. Even something as simple as kissing. My wife and I met in November and we didn’t share a kiss until February. That was my choice. I thought she was beautiful but I didn’t want anything mixing my mind up concerning what I thought about her. She understood and respected what I was trying to do. It was only one time I felt like what I was doing was going to kill me. But I learned to look at it like this…if I can get through today. Don’t look at it like I have to wait 10 years because I don’t plan on getting married for 10 years. Look at it like if I can get by today then, I can get through tomorrow. When tomorrow comes say hey I made it through yesterday. When you deny yourself that physical thing you actually get stronger. People allow themselves to give in thinking I’ll just do it this one time but giving in makes you weaker for the next time.

IGW: What are your thoughts on sayings like you need to try your shoes on before you buy them or what if it’s horrible then you’re stuck with it or any kind of negative thinking like that?

Corey: That’s nonsense. Those are such worldly comments. I’ve seen so many other things the word presented that didn’t pan out. So, the whole try the milk before you buy the cow thing was just lame to me. I had family members who had done that so I didn’t have to look far to see that those statements didn’t hold water.

IGW: Ok let’s wrap this up. What is Corey’s formula for victorious celibacy?

Corey: I would say look at sex the way God looks at sex and that will change your way of thinking. Remember the verse, let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus. If you can shoot towards that He’ll walk with you through it. Once you realize the benefit of doing it His way. Sex is not even negotiable.

Mr. and Mrs. Coleman welcomed their first child Chase Anthony into the world July 18th. Congrats!!

Corey Coleman2

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S. Poitier: The Pastor with R & B Passion  

Published 2010

S PoitierI am a Pastor but I am also a man who experiences life. So often the church is religious but we’re not relating to one another. We are all people who are experiencing life. The scripture teaches us that Jesus wants us to have life and have it more abundantly. I want this CD to speak to the different areas of our lives. It speaks to the kingdom and the totality of life. And life is more than just the church–S. Poitier

Some people were shocked to hear that the Pastor of New Growth In Christ Christian Center in Memphis, TN had decided to record and release a secular R&B CD. However, no matter you thoughts on his decision no one can deny his stellar vocal, instrumental, and songwriting ability. Although labeled as R&B, within the 11 tracks on the “Life & Love” album you will also find a delightfully eclectic blend of jazz, neo-soul, and inspirational music. S. Poitier’s songs beckon the listener to love, dance, breathe, appreciate beauty, and heal—all things he refers to as embracing life.

I was recently asked to do an impromptu interview with S. Poitier. I decided to share it with my readers. You can hear my voice in the background. You can also listen and purchase the CD here.Be blessed!

Link to Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blAZMq8msMg

Link to Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVGiuxf5rXs

The Many Sides of S. Poitier 

S Poitier2

 

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Let Chef Desmond Fannin Help With the Menu…… ,

Published November 2010 

Chef Desmond FanninWe all love good food and I asked Chef Desmond Fannin to return to IGW and grace our pages again with some fantastic dishes. I’ll think you’ll enjoy what he came up with.

First, we just had to get update on what developments have occurred over the past year. If you would like to see his interview and recipes from last year firs, click here. Thanks Chef Desmond!

What have you been up to since our last interview? Chef Desmond: Quite a bit. I am in my second school year now and my role keeps growing. We are introducing more local fruits and vegetables to the students and even participated in National Grass Fed Beef Day – where we served students in all 90 schools local beef from White Oak Pastures in South Georgia. We continue to seek out ways to serve our young generation better food and educate them on where food comes from. It’s a long road, but we are all committed to pressing and not letting the critics nullify the small gains.
On a personal note, I am enjoying marriage and fatherhood while always finding ways to give back to the community. Whether it’s supporting charities such as Real Men Cook and C.H.O.I.C.E.S. for Kids or mentoring up and coming culinarians, there is always something to do.

IGW: That is wonderful! I commend your commitment to educating students through your love of the culinary arts. Okay, it’s that time of they year. What is the best way to keep from getting stressed while preparing/cooking holiday meals. We all want them to go perfectly and our guests to be amazed at our culinary skills. 

Chef Desmond: A glass of your favorite Red Wine. Just kidding – not really. You honestly have to remind yourself that what you are preparing is just food! No matter what it is or how much it costs. And you are cooking for people you love. Relax. Also, remember that you don’t always have to do it by yourself. Solicit the help of family members and friends and make it fun!

IGW: Not everyone enjoy cooking but we all have to eat, what do you suggest for someone who hates to cook but still wants to be able to prepare delicious dishes. 

Chef Desmond: The fact that they want to “prepare delicious dishes” proves that they don’t HATE to cook. They may not like doing it all the time, but there is some type of love there. My wife and her friends do what they call “Girls Night Out”. Once a week, they take turns cooking at each others’ homes. The try different dishes and share recipes. If they happen to find a favorite, they prepare it more than once. It’s all about enjoying the art of cooking with people you enjoy being around. That’s what the holidays and any other gathering should be about.

IGW: I understand you just started a blog. What can people expect and where can they find it?

Chef Desmond:  Yes, I took a friend’s advice and decided to give others greater insight into my my life as a chef, husband, and father. I will provide a lot of variety in my blogs, from recipes, advice, and thoughts on the food service industry to comical discussions about everyday frustrations, you will find it all here. I invite anyone who is a lover of food and life to follow me on this journey, and see where we end up!

Click here to see recipes for…….

Maple Roasted Turkey

Cranberry & Pecan Wild Rice

Turkey Chili (for those delicious leftovers)

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Howard Robertson: You’d Try to Marry Him If He Wasn’t Already Taken

Published March 2010 

Howard Robertson1“I never wanted a woman who couldn’t operate independently of me. I needed the confidence of having someone who if something happened to me would be okay. She wouldn’t end up in a mental institution, the bills would still get paid and the kids would still be raised properly.”

If you ever see Howard and Beverly Robertson it’s obvious they’re still in love. The two managed to survive living together, working together and raising three children together with their affection and sense of humor still in tact. The two of them can be quite entertaining individually or together. What I noticed while interviewing Howard Robertson, Jr. is that he never once tried to interject his own success into the conversation, and I left plenty of room for him to do so. He has accomplished quite a bit during his lifetime but considers being “CEO” of a successful marriage and helping produce, raise and ready three amazing children as being his greatest achievement.

Howard was more than willing to share a few of the things that have allowed him and his wife, Beverly, to stay together for the past 33 years. Our interview was as much about him as it was Beverly, but as he talked, it became obvious that he took pride in his wife’s accomplishments and allowed himself to revel in them too. I walked away with the realization that he understood that the two of them would not be able to live the life they live, have the delightful children they have or the business they share without one another. So essentially, her successes were his successes and vice versa. And when he was bragging on her, he was also bragging on himself. WOW! I wonder how many other husbands see it that way?

IGW: Why do you think you and Beverly have been able to stay together so long?

Howard: It was supposed to be. The way we were both born on the same street, yet never met until were adults and then we met in Texas at a mutual friend’s wedding. Our great aunts coincidentally, both lived in the same apartment building, exactly one floor apart on the south side of Chicago and had known each for 20 years.  The other commonalities we have, the love we have for each another. It was just destined to be.

IGW: I admit the two of you are great together, but I know it hasn’t been smooth sailing every day. Both of you have strong type A personalities, which works great in the workplace but can be a challenge in a marriage. How did you manage to deal with that at home?

Howard: (LOL) That’s a very good question. We’ve had our differences but leaving has never been an option. We came into this marriage with the mindset that it would be forever. I respected my wife and the attributes she brought to our union. It was no longer all about me.

I also had to do a lot of maturing. I remember once when my wife was out of town and I was left at home with our two small children. I had a 7:30 a.m. meeting and it was 5:00 in the morning and here I was trying to comb Adrienne’s hair and she had a head full of long, thick hair! Imagine me surrounded by barrettes and I didn’t know what to do. I was also trying to get our son, Trey, ready and dressing him was like trying to dress a corpse. He was no help at all. I remember being so frustrated and thinking where is my wife? I’m not supposed to be doing this. This is her job. Then, I had to stop and check myself. My wife worked for Holiday Inn Worldwide and her job took us all over the world. Any hotel we went to we were immediately escorted to our suite and it was always one of the best they had. I didn’t mind enjoying the benefits my wife’s job afforded us so I had to be understanding when she had to work. Also, these were my kids too and it was a much my responsibility to make sure they were prepared for their day as it was hers.

Another thing we implemented was “come to Jesus meetings” where we sat down and discussed the issue. I had a chance to express myself and she did the same. We left with a greater understanding of one another and what was expected. We’ve had several of those.

We also had to learn how we were different and accept those differences. I’ll give you an example, when Bev and I first started TRUST we worked in the office together. Well I am a creative thinker and when I think, I cannot sit still. I have to move around. Bev is just the opposite. She can sit behind a desk and get her work done that way. I used to have a small basketball goal in my office and whenever I was brainstorming I would shoot baskets to help me think. Well, one particular day we had several big accounts we were working on and Bev walked by my office and saw me shooting baskets. She went off. She thought I was playing instead of working when I wasn’t. When we got home that evening we had to have a come to Jesus meeting. She had to understand that was how I came up with the ideas for our clients.  She has her style…I’ve got mine.

IGW: The two of you have three children who are not that far apart in age and while they were growing up you both had very demanding jobs. How did you create balance?

Howard: You’re right. While they were little Beverly was in upper level management at Holiday Inn Worldwide and I was head of sales at WPTY-TV. We both had very hectic schedules and a lot of responsibility, but we also had a very strong support system. My parents and her mother saved us.  I honestly don’t see how people who don’t have extended family to assist them, make it work. Also, Bev and I worked cohesively as a unit. Her job required her to travel more extensively than mine so that allowed me to cover with the kids. We both worked long hours but we made time for our children. It wasn’t easy; our children were very involved in extracurricular activities. Adrienne played tennis, which required lots of practice and travel to get to the matches. All three were active in our church, music, basketball and the swim team. Imagine the two of us at the Jewish Community Center in 95 degree heat, suited and booted cheering (and coaching) the Davis Y’s swim team, which coincidentally was the only African American team competing.  We both had a hundred things to do, but our kids deserved more time than anything else.

IGW: As the president of the National Civil Rights Museum, your wife has a very high profile job. Have you ever experienced any jealousy because of her success?

Howard: No, never. I have always been pleased that she had a position that allowed the world to see the wonderful attributes that I already knew she possessed. My wife believes she can do anything she puts her mind to. She is an innovator, and Bev has always worked hard. When she first came to the Museum it was called The National Civil Rights Museum but it wasn’t nationally known; now it is. The Freedom Awards hadn’t achieved that next level of bringing global icons to Memphis as it now does.  It didn’t have the $11 million expansion across the street. Now, everyone else gets to see how great my wife is and the kind of things she can achieve.  And believe it or not my wife doesn’t revel in the attention her job brings her. She’s actually a pretty unassuming individual, but she deals with the attention because it’s part of her job.

I never wanted a woman who couldn’t operate independently of me. I needed the confidence of having someone who if something happened to me, she would be okay. She wouldn’t end up in a mental institution, the bills would still get paid and the kids would still be raised properly.

IGW: Marriages today don’t seem to even last half the time that yours has. What do you think couples are doing wrong?

Howard: I think they’re punks! They go into it with a bailout mindset and when hard times come, and they most certainly will, they call it quits. Marriage is not easy; it requires time, dedication, cooperation and hard work. Another problem is, unfortunately, too many of them haven’t seen it work. Bev and I both had parents whose marriages lasted long (over 50 years with my parents). A lot of young people today weren’t privy to seeing how their parents interacted, how they worked through adversity and stayed together.  I believe many young men have that bailout mentality because their dads did it. They didn’t have a father in the home so they don’t know how to be a father because they never saw one up close. I’m not all that smart, but I learned quite a bit by watching my dad.

Marriage is a beautiful thing when it’s right and it works. Two people working effectively as a unit. Parenting was designed to be a two person gig.

IGW: I know this month’s segment focused on women being able to have it all, but do you think you have it all?

Howard: I know I do. I don’t say that from a position of boastfulness. I have been extraordinarily blessed to make a living doing something I love in a business environment that’s mine and to have someone I like and love to share it. Bev and I also have three very cool human beings with our DNA we get to share it with and now a new generation, our granddaughter Addyson, to share with. I’m a very happy man. If it all ended tomorrow, I would die knowing I have lived an amazing life.

Beverly, Howard, Granddaughter Addyson and Daughter Adrienne

Howard Robertson2

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Jack Daniels Is Mr. Tell It Like It ‘Tis  

Published 2010

Jack Daniels“Women need to get a little more conscious and courageous about asking a man where he stands in life. What’s wrong with asking a man what are your plans for us? Where do you see us? How do you see us and being genuine about it. That’s not pushy. That’s not bossy. That’s not demanding. That’s simply saying, I’m a part of this and I want to know where we are.”

Jack Daniels is a therapist, motivational speaker and author. In 2009, he published his first book, “The Man’s Handbook for Choosing the Right Woman: Understanding Our Relationship Roster and What Makes Men Afraid of Settling Down.”  It was designed to help men understand that their problems with women aren’t because they don’t understand women, it’s because they don’t understand themselves. Men and women have found the book to be quite helpful. During our interview, Jack was open about the flaws men have, but he was also open to pointing out the mistakes women make when trying to find the love of their life. It got a little lengthy, so I’ll let you start reading now.

IGW: What made you decide to write “The Man’s Handbook”?

JD: I was tired of reading articles and listening to commentary about what a man wants, what a man needs, and what he requires from a woman’s point of view. So, I thought it was important that I address it from a man’s point of view and educate men about why they do some of the things they do in the context of a relationship. Since I’m in the helping profession I always want to encourage the growth and development of us as a culture and us as men.

IGW: Do you think a woman can do anything to make a man ready to settle down? 

Absolutely not. Change comes within. You can’t wave your magic wand and make someone the way you want them to be. It’s a woman’s job to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. It’s a man’s job to explore every component that comprises his character, meaning that until a man has explored, expounded upon and experienced all of the elements that help make up who he is, he will never be fully ready to commit.  Identity equals intimacy. Until you understand who you are and what comprises you, you will never be able to commit yourself to a full fledged relationship.

IGW: Well, what is a woman supposed to do in the interim, while men are out there doing all this exploring?

JD: (Laughs) I’m not saying he’s out sowing his royal oats or anything. In relationships women do the same thing, exploring who she is. Women just tend to do it a little bit differently. It’s nothing more than us trying to develop our sense of what we like, dislike, need, require and want. Women mature a little bit faster and think they know what they want sooner as opposed to men who haven’t been conditioned as much to want the exact same thing as a woman.

Women say okay, I went to school, got good grades, got a job and now it’s time for me to get married and have babies. That’s what many women have been conditioned and trained to believe and think but that’s not all the time true, which is why you have a 50% divorce rate. So many people are getting married or pushing the idea of marriage before their time and before they have taken the time to get to know themselves. I’m completely for marriage but only when it’s with the right person and at the right time in your life.  Until you know yourself, you will never be comfortable or able to tell someone else about you and expressing that is an important component of any relationship.

Jack Daniels Book CoverIGW: Your book talks about women falling into five major categories what are those categories?

JD: Please keep in mind that these categories don’t pertain to all people. The categories that I’m suggesting help men understand how they interact in the context of relationships. It was simply an example. I use an analogy of basketball because men totally understand sports. So what I said was if our relationships were a basketball team, all men would know who would be on their starting five roster. Men know what position they would play, where they rank and which one has the most marriage potential but may have a difficult time choosing the right one.

  1. First, there’s your first round draft pick who is probably young, inexperienced and hasn’t really been in the game too long. She’s a rookie. She doesn’t really know too many things about life.
  2. There is your franchise veteran, who is like your older woman who teaches you a lot you didn’t know about the game, but she’s a necessity for the team because she’s stable and nurturing. She’s probably been around the block a few times. Maybe she’s divorced and has a couple of kids.
  3. Your superstar, who is like your ideal player. She has an excellent highlight reel and she can do no wrong. She’s a woman who you really want to be with, but you’re not ready for. She also teaches you about ego and how it’s okay to put it down and be vulnerable.
  4. Your point guard, who is like a reflection of the coach on the floor. She mirrors your images, does some of the things you do. She thinks so much like you she can finish your sentences. She’s you in a skirt.
  5. The all around athlete is capable of taking little snippets of everyone on the team. She’s the hustler. She doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. She has an all around perfected game.
  6. Now there’s a sixth person coming off the bench. She is someone you put in the game when one of the starters isn’t acting right. She’s the freak of the week or the booty call.  All men have them or have had them at some point in their lives.

Those positions do not mean men are dating those women simultaneously or concurrently. It’s simply to say that, that’s the range we can have in relationships that help categorize our true character. We don’t necessarily have to have all those people but usually, if we could put all those people together in one person we would do it.  If we could find that person, she would probably be the one. It’s not to say that we need all of those positions but what happens is when there is a lack of one of those elements, we think is vital, men will go hunt, search, and seek her because all his wants needs and requirements are not being met. So, he is going to try to find someone else. Again, unless he’s secure with himself and knows himself, he will never be fully ready to commit to a lasting, healthy, long relationship.

IGW: So how can women use that info to their advantage? You know a guy has these categories of women. You may even know which one you fall into. So after you figure this out what next?

JD: A woman needs to have a plan. Women need to get a little more conscious and courageous about asking a man where he stands in life. What’s wrong with asking a man what are your plans for us? Where do you see us? How do you see us and being genuine about it. That’s not pushy. That’s not bossy. That’s not demanding. That’s simply saying, I’m a part of this and I want to know where we are. Once you know what category you fall in. Once you know what his needs, wants and requirements are you can kind of evaluate whether or not you will be able to meet his expectations. If not, you need to tell him to kick rocks and move on.

Women make the mistake of getting with men who don’t know themselves. If they don’t know themselves how can they tell you who they are? But women say, “he just needs time, I’ll stay around and hopefully he’ll come around”. He may not be available to commit to you. He may not be available to you spiritually, mentally or physically but because he’s convenient many women settle for a piece of a man. I’m telling women, don’t settle for that piece. You want the whole thing and when you start to realize you deserve the whole thing you will be a lot better off.

Make the conscious, cognitive decision to ask about where you stand with a man instead of waiting for him to reveal it to you. If you find out his intentions are not good, it’s your job not to stand there long. It’s time to move on and find someone who is better suited and more importantly, ready to give you the things you want.

IGW: Good advice. Okay, let’s switch gears. You recently went to Atlanta and moderated a discussion based on a report by ABC News that there is a shortage of eligible bachelors in the black community and black women aren’t’ getting married. How did that go and what’s your conclusion on that theory?

JD: What a lot of women don’t know is they originally tried to do that story in New York but kept running into women who where in happy relationships with black men, so they went to Atlanta. I don’t think that there is a shortage of black men. I go to Atlanta quite often and I see an abundance of men—in every club or social setting I’m in. I’ve also gone around the country and have seen them other places too.

There were about 250 people in the room with about 55% women and 45% men. Now, what the men in the discussion pointed out was the selection process of women is often unrealistic. I’m not telling women to lower their standards but what I am saying is you probably need to stop saying there is a shortage and start saying there is a shortage of men who meet your criteria.

The conversation was very interesting because what you had was a lot of men who were saying, “Hey, I’m ready and available but I can’t find a woman who meets my criteria because so many of these women are materialistic, egotistical and superficial. So many of them have no essence or substance to them and the only thing they are looking for is the wrong things in a man.” A man is not measured by what he’s bringing to the table financially. He is measured by what he has on the table spiritually, mentally and emotionally and some of those things are forgotten about. Ladies, after you start listing all of these things ask yourself how much of that has to do with him as a person and his ability to love you and treat you well. A lot of men and women don’t match up because our standards and criteria are flawed.

It was an interesting debate and the men won. There was nothing women could say when you have a room full of men who are saying I’m not gay, I don’t have bad credit, I got a good job, I own my house and I’m willing to commit to someone and I can’t find a woman who is interested. The women couldn’t say they can’t find a good man when they were in a room full of them! (laughs)

IGW: Just because they said they were good men that doesn’t make it true! (laughs)

JD: What I’m saying is there was a room full of men who were willing to stand up and say, “I’m tired of playing games. Why can’t I find a good woman that meets some of my criteria and standards?”  Maybe they were lying but maybe there are a lot of women lying too. Do they really want to settle down or do they want to get as much as they can get in a relationship? It was a good conversation.

To learn more about Jack Daniels, visit his website at www.press-pause.com. You can order the book at www.themanshandbook.com.

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Chef Desmond Fannin Makes It Delicious!!

Published 2010

Chef Desmond Fannin1“Everybody wants to be an entertainer or an athlete and that’s all they think about. I want to let them (young people) know that culinary arts can take you many places you never thought you would be able to go.”

I don’t know a woman alive who doesn’t love a man who can cook and Desmond Fannin’s culinary skills have taken him to faraway places and in the presence of fortune 500 executives and world renowned dignitaries. He was selected to assist with food services for Coretta Scott King’s funeral and provided private food service for hip hop pioneer and fashion mogul Russell Simmons during the 2006 Hip Hop Summit. This husband and father of two even got the chance to flex his culinary muscles on the new TV show, “The Chef’s Wife”. Chef Desmond was gracious enough to share his story with us and a few of his favorite recipes. Feel free to incorporate them into your holiday meals.

Education:  The Art Institute of Atlanta, Associate of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts
Hometown: Atlanta, GA (still resides there)
Age: 30

IGW: How long have you been a professional chef?

Chef Fannin: Technically, I got my first chef’s job in 2003. So, about six years. My first professional cooking job was for the Weather Channel Headquarters and my first executive chef position was at the United Way Conference Center here in Atlanta.

IGW: When did you realize you were good at cooking?

Chef Desmond: When I was 15, I was working at Ryan’s Steakhouse here in Atlanta. I started in the front making sodas and cleaning trays but all my friends were in the back. I told my manager I wanted to come in the back and have fun at work too. He told me I needed to learn how to cook to go back there. So, I did. Within a year, I was cooking steaks and other things and I fell in love with it. My manager at my next job at International House of Pancakes encouraged me to go to culinary school. About four years later I went.

IGW: I read your bio and you have done quite a bit. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?

Chef Desmond: I was selected by the company I work for, Sodexo contract services, to be one of two American Chefs to represent the U.S. in Paris, France during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. I was there for 12 days. That has been my greatest accomplishment on a large scale.  I also cooked for Bishop Eddie Long for 9 years and that was a really good experience as well. He actually helped put me through culinary school. I was his personal chef and I would cook for any family and guests they had after church services. Periodically, I would cook something and take it to his house.

IGW: Where are you working now?

Chef Desmond: In July, I took on the role of District Executive Chef for Atlanta Public Schools, which is a huge job. I oversee the culinary marketing, purchasing and menu planning for all 88 schools–breakfast and lunch, feeding 50,000 students a day. We have been able to introduce a fine dining class for some of the elementary schools, where we teach them proper place settings and proper manners at the table. I’m also working with my chefs to introduce a lot of different foods to the lunch menu. I want to give them a view of the world through food.

IGW: What are some things you would like to accomplish in the future? I read you were a guest chef on the new cooking show “The Chef’s Wife.” Would you like your own show?

Chef Desmond: I definitely would like my own show. I want to be the Russell Simmons of food with my hands in a little bit of everything!

IGW: You want to be a culinary mogul? (LOL)

Chef Desmond: Yes! (LOL) I want the show, cooking apparel line and anything else they can stamp my name on. I’m not sure if I want a culinary school or a program but I want to be able to introduce the culinary world to our young people–especially, in the African American community. Everybody wants to be an entertainer or an athlete and that’s all they think about. I want to let them know that culinary arts can take you many places you never thought you would be able to go. Personally, it took me to Paris. I always wanted to go to Paris and because of what I do for a living I was selected to go. Same thing with Disney World, we couldn’t afford to go when I was small but my occupation took me there. There are a lot of different things that culinary arts can introduce you to.

IGW: The reason you’re here is to provide my readers with some ideas for delicious holiday dishes, which you have done. Now, please tell us the secret to creating a great holiday meal?

Chef Desmond: The secret is preparation. You have to put some thought into it way before anybody else is thinking about it. The best meals come when you really think about what you’re going to prepare—what foods, what spices you’re going to use, how are you going to make it different? You also have to make sure you have enough time to prepare it, even if you have to start two days before to make it come out right. To me, that’s the secret to making a great meal.

Chef Desmond Fannin Favorite Recipes

Cranberry Crusted Breast of Chicken with Cranberry Apple Relish

Sweet Potato Biscuits
 


Georgia Peaches Foster
  

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Devin Crutcher: Making It Without the Band

Published September 2009 

Devin Crutcher“Diddy pulled me to the side and said I wasn’t the one he wanted to send home….He also said he could understand why they picked me because I was one of the ones he was looking at.”

In 2006, Devin Crutcher was one of thousands of contestants vying for a spot on music mogul Sean “P Diddy” Combs’ Making the Band 4, season three. He was on a mission to find young men who could sing and dance well enough to jump start the resurgence of the boy band. Armed with extreme talent and God, Devin selected the moniker “Swagger” and was given the green light to move to New York and stay in the house with 19 others who had also survived the grueling audition process. Unfortunately shortly after he got there, he fell victim to Diddy’s decision to let the contestants decide who would be next to go home. By a majority vote they selected Devin and his dream of making the band died that day. One is left to wonder if they selected him because they were threatened by his talent. However, slowly but surely others were eliminated and the five guys who remained now make up the R&B group we know as Day 26. But Devin’s dream of being a successful recording artist still lives on, and he’s working every day to make it happen.

IGW: What are your thoughts about your experience with Making the Band 4?

Devin:  My experience was actually pretty good. I know it was an opportunity that most people don’t get. I met a lot of influential people in the small amount of time I was there. I met Diddy, Joe, Michael Bivins, Laurie Ann (choreographer) and several members of the Bad Boy staff. And I got to meet a lot of people I would have never met as far as the other singers in the house. They were guys from different cities who shared the same interests and dreams as me, and we were in the same house getting to know each other. I have nothing negative to say. The experience was pretty cool.

IGW: What were your thoughts after you got voted off?

Devin: What happened on TV was not how it actually happened. I didn’t find out who voted me off until I saw it on TV. The judges, vocal coach, Laurie Ann all gave me a lot of compliments. So, maybe the other guys thought I was a threat. I was hurt because I felt like I could have made it further in the competition if they hadn’t done that. After I got voted off, Diddy pulled me to the side and said I wasn’t the one he wanted to send home but because of the decision he made to let the guys in the house decide, he had to let me go. He also said he could understand why they picked me because I was one of the ones he was looking at. He wished me the best and told me to keep pursuing my dream. I was hurt but it is what it is.

IGW: Have you heard from Diddy since the show?

Devin: I’ve heard from some of his people, his producers. Actually, me and the guys in Day 26 are still friends. We talk ever so often. They performed at Euphoria earlier this year.

IGW: So what are you doing now?

Devin: Since the show, I have opened up my own club called Euphoria. It gives me an on-going platform to display my singing live. Also because of my affiliation with the show, I have been able to be the opening act for artists like Fantasia, Dave Hollister, Raheem DeVaughn and Chico Debarge. I’ve had several artists call me to befeatured on their songs—Yo Gotti and Gyft, to name a couple. I’ve been working with the producer Drumma Boy and had the opportunity to write a couple of songs for Usher’s new album. I’ve also ghost written for some artists right here in Memphis, while working on my own album. I’m constantly being asked to perform, whether it’s at Euphoria or an outside event. I’m on my grind.

IGW: When do you anticipate your album coming out?

Devin: I am trying to have it out by fall 2010.

IGW: Why so long? That’s a year from now!

Devin: (LOL) It’s because I’m doing so much. It’s hard to focus on my stuff. Right now, I’m focused on the writing. There’s more money in writing than there is in me singing. I have about seven songs done and I want at least 12 -13 on my own album. Maybe I’ll be able to get it out sooner.

IGW: Your first independent album, Sounds of Seduction was full of sexy love songs. What kind of music can people expect from you on this one?

Devin: The upcoming album will be a little bit of everything. I have love songs, dance songs and awareness songs. It’s something for all ages and every mood. If I had to describe my sound I would say neo-soul/old school with a drip of R&B. I’m pretty much into the old STAX type of groove.

IGW:  I’m glad you said that. How has your background influenced you? (Devin’s grandmother, Bettye Crutcher, used to write for STAX Records and penned Johnny Taylor’sWho’s Lovin You and The Staples Singers’ Respect and Smiling Faces.)

Devin: My grandmother has had a big influence on my songwriting. Talking to her and other STAX legends helped groom me. She told me to put my emotions into every song, tell a story and relate to your audience. The songs a person remembers are the ones that bring back memories or have a phrase or something in it they have experienced. Also, a person can only feel it if you feel. That’s the best way to get your passion and vision to resonate with others. Before Isaac Hayes passed, we had a long conversation about my singing ability and songwriting. He gave me some great advice as well. STAX has been the roots of my musical growth.

IGW: What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned in the industry?

Devin: Never give up. When obstacles come your way you can’t say forget it. I’ve had a lot of doors closed in my face but God always made a way. Even with Making the Band, I actually got cut initially. Music producer Brian Michael-Cox called me back and had me try out again. Then, I got put on the show. Never say never because if you want it, you’ve got to make it happen.

IGW: Not everyone knows this but you stutter. Has your speech impediment ever proved an obstacle for you?

Devin: Wow. Nobody has ever asked me that. The only time I really stutter is when I’m nervous. Ever since I was a little kid people have been like, ‘Dude you sing so good but you stutter when you talk.’ (LOL) It’s gotten much better over the years. As a child it was hard for me to speak at all. I took speech lessons and those helped. I don’t let it stop me. If I slow down, relax and talk, I don’t stutter.

IGW: I asked that question because we all have something that could hold us back if we let it. Some people are self-conscious about their looks and others have a physical disability. Some people really can’t sing but because they gave it everything they had they ended up getting a recording contract. We all persevere through something on our way to the top. You’ve got to stay motivated! What is the ultimate goal for Devin Crutcher?

Devin: The ultimate goal is to actually have my album out and it be a success. I want to have the opportunity to be on stage at the Grammy’s, MTV Awards, BET Awards–what have you. I want my peers to say, ‘You did a hell of a job on your album.’ I want the world to know who I am and to know my music.

UPDATE: Since this interview things have really taken off for Devin he travels regularly to New Orleans, Houston and other cities to perform. If you would like to keep up with him, join his Facebook Fan Page.

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Dr. Bobby Myers Wants To Crack Your Back

Published October 2009 

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 “The higher the heel the more pressure you’re putting on your back. I suggest two inch heels or lower but for women who prefer higher heels be sure to give your back a rest.”  

 

Business:  James Chiropractic 3 Locations in Cordova, TN and Memphis, TN (Raleigh and Whitehaven Communities)www.jameschiropractic.comYou would be surprised how important the health of your back is to several other parts of your body.  Visiting the chiropractor has been known to help with asthma, allergies, headaches, sore legs, pregnancy pains and more!  Each time Dr. Myers and I talk I learn more about myself and my body and how to better maintain my health. I decided to allow him to share that same knowledge with my readers. So, I introduce to you Dr. Bobby Myers.

IGW: How long have you been practicing?

Dr. Myers:  Over seven years.

IGW: Why is visiting a chiropractor in addition to your general practitioner important?

Dr. Myers: The difference between the chiropractor vs. a medical doctor is we are looking at the patient from a holistic, natural standpoint and how we can improve the body’s functions. A lot of times people who come to us are on a lot of medication. Our job is to try to wean them off medication so they won’t be so dependent upon it. We help to improve nerve function as well. Every nerve in your body goes to an organ no matter if it’s to your eyes, your heart, your liver, spleen, pancreas—you name it. A lot of times when those organs aren’t functioning properly it’s because those nerves are being pinched because your spine is out of alignment and it’s putting pressure on that nerve. Usually, when you go to a doctor after they diagnose you they write you a prescription and you’re gone. We offer a lot of procedures to help reduce inflammation in the body and muscles in order to help facilitate the healing process.  They include muscle stimulation and we also use ice. We try to reduce the need for surgery and medication.One of my big accomplishments when I first got started was a mother who brought her two year old in to see me. The baby was very bowlegged and the doctor wanted to break both his legs and reset them. The mother came in crying and asked me to look at him. I did and started the child on a regiment that included adjustments, muscle work on the shins of the legs and making sure the baby didn’t cross his legs or sit on his knees. Six months later, the mother took her baby to the doctor and the doctor said the reset was no longer necessary because we had straightened the child’s legs out so much. My overall goal is to be more preventive in the acute stages. Here at James Chiropractic we offer wellness tips, teaching patients about their bodies and foods and nutrition so they will know how to maintain and improve their health.

IGW: What are some of your wellness tips?

Dr. Myers: One that I tell men is to stop carrying their wallets in their back pockets. This causes lower back pain in reference to pain radiating down the leg and affecting their sciatic nerve. If they’re driving while sitting on the wallet it can cause pelvic instability and unleveling with one side of the pelvis being higher than the other–throwing the body totally off track. As for my ladies, wearing heels frequently for a long period of time fatigues the muscles in the lower part of the back causing it to be tight and in constant spasm. I suggest women reduce to a lower heel height or come out of the heels every other day or every two days to give your back a chance to relax.

IGW: Is there such thing as a too high heel?

Dr. Myers: Yes there is. Think about it this way, when a woman is carrying more weight in her chest area or in her stomach because she’s pregnant the muscles she is using to carry the weight are in her back. The same thing relates to the heels. The higher the heel the more pressure you’re putting on your back. I suggest two inch heels or lower but for women who prefer higher heels be sure to give your back a rest.  Also, everyone should drink plenty of water. People think we should drink 6 – 8 glasses a day but you should actually drink half of your body weight in ounces. Let’s say I weigh 200 lbs. Half of my body weight is 100, so that’s 100 oz. To figure out how many glasses that is divide it by eight. So that’s 13 or 14 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Now, if that person takes medication, smokes, drinks coffee, soda or alcohol they need to drink an extra glass. The heat also dictates how much water you should drink. Heat is very serious because most of your muscles are made of water.  A lot of my clients who are having a lot of headaches, cramps or stiffness just need to drink more water because they are dehydrated.

IGW: Now, you once told me my shoulders were uneven from carrying my purse on the same shoulder all the time and suggested that I switch it to the other one often. Is that common among women?

Dr. Myers: Yes, it’s very common but pain in the legs and lower back from wearing heels is more common.

IGW: Now one of things chiropractors are known for is giving adjustments. More commonly known as cracking the neck or back, what are the benefits of an adjustment?

Myers: Adjustments increase flexibility, reduce adhesions, reduce recovery time, reduce chances of injury and help the body relax and repair itself.

IGW:  You also said that chiropractors can help with allergies and sinus problems. How so?

Dr. Myers: That’s actually why I became a chiropractor. I love playing sports but I developed really bad allergies and asthma. I had several different kinds of inhalers and was even getting shots in my arm. It got so bad I couldn’t continue to play outside sports because I was frequently having allergy attacks, but I still had a love and passion for sports. While at Christian Brothers University, I became the athletic trainer for the athletes. My senior year I did my thesis on alternative care focusing on asthma. During my research, I found out more information on chiropractors and decided to shadow a chiropractor by the name of Dr. Rush Robinson. I had an asthma attack while I was shadowing him. He laid me on the table and starting palpating my spine. It was real tender there and he gave me an adjustment. I haven’t had an asthma attack since. At the time, I had been offered several scholarships to medical schools but after that experience I knew I wanted to be a chiropractor.

IGW: Oh my goodness that’s amazing! How often should someone see their chiropractor?

Dr. Myers: It depends on the patient’s history, goals and their condition. We have some clients who come in as often as once a week. But those are generally athletes who are on a wellness regiment. I have a married couple who is 74 and 72 years old. They just finished riding their bike from Washington, DC to Pennsylvania and back. They also play golf and do yoga twice a week—they’re very active. How often someone should see their chiropractor should be determined on a case by case basis.

To make an appointment at James Chiropractic call 901.752.8883.

**Tip:  Ladies, the Whitehaven location contains a spa. Dr. Myers told me that lots of insurance companies will pay for spa activities if they are done in a doctor’s office. Anyone need a massage?

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Master P: Music Mogul Gives Back To Memphis

Published August 2009 

Master PPercy Miller (Master P) has been credited with revolutionizing the music industry for the independent artist.  He shocked the world with his business savvy when he signed a  straight pressing and distribution deal with Priority Records, allowing him to keep the bulk of the money he made within his company No Limit Records.  He then worked hard cranking out numerous hits for himself and several other artists (Silk the Shocker, C-Murder, Mia X, Lil Romeo, etc.), while building a major music empire. As founder and CEO of No Limit Entertainment, at one time P. presided over a conglomerate of businesses that included No Limit Records, Bout It Inc., No Limit Clothing, No Limit Films, No Limit Sports Management, PM Properties and Advantage Travel. He was also ranked 10th on Forbes Magazine’s 1998 list of America’s 40 highest paid entertainers with an estimated income of $56.5 million.  P. Miller’s brand continues to evolve through his new Take A Stand Records label. The initiative is the only recording label committed to signing and promoting hip-hop artists with a responsible image and lyrics. He’s also dedicated his time to communities through P.Miller Youth Centers, his P.Miller Food Foundation for the Homeless and more. He recently launched a new family-friendly television network, BBT, Better Black Television.

The past two years, P. has chosen to make Memphis one of the recipients of his generosity. His Living the Dream Foundation and the Memphis-based Heal the Hood Foundation have joined forces to enact change within our youth by presenting positive events and concerts for them and their families to attend. In April, they held the first Living the Dream Telethon in which more than 15 acts converged on the Memphis Cook Convention Center to perform, raising over $50,000 for youth programs in Memphis.  There is more to be done as he returns to The Bluff City for the P. Miller Basketball Camp and the 2nd Annual Let the Kids Grow Celebrity Basketball Game, June 13, 2009, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Wooddale High School gymnasium, 5151 Scottsdale.

IGW: What made you become involved with the Heal the Hood Foundation and this Celebrity Basketball Game?

P: It’s about the kids and the community and senseless crime. I feel it’s a lack of education. Nobody is influencing the kids to do right. When I think on my life I was once these kids and I had opportunities on both sides—being dirt poor and to be wealthy. I understand what it took for me to get to where I’m at.  If I could give some of that back to these kids in the community and all across the country—in the urban and suburban communities. It’s more to life than sports and making music. Education is the most important thing you can have. Without education you are lost. Even if you make it as an athlete or entertainer, without education you can lose it quickly and you’ll be back where you were searching for a second chance.

The P. Miller Basketball Game is all about the kids and the Celebrity Basketball Camp is just to get the kids exposed to some of the positive things that are happening in the community with positive people. Instead of them having negative role models they come out and meet these guys and say they want to be like Penny Hardaway or Romeo, he’s going to college. This game is just the beginning. I’m going to do this all across the country for inner city kids so they can develop ideas and have vision and understand the possibilities that are out there. It’s not just about basketball. It’s about the game of life. Once you understand that and prepare, educate yourself and work hard you can win.

IGW: You mentioned your son is in college now. It’s easy for Romeo not to go to college because he’s already been working and making a wonderful income.  Why, as a parent, was it important to you for him to continue his education?

P: We’re trying to break that cycle of illiteracy and non-education in the black communities.  We want to break that cycle of coming from a family of poor sons and build wealth. Rich white people send their kids to school so they can learn how to make more money. So, from this generation on you’ll be able to look at the Millers and say Master P started it all and now look at his family and where they have gone to now. Somebody’s gotta make that change. Even in my music, I said for me to take it to the next level in my family I had to make a change. If I’m going to guide my son I have to show him that I’m going to be responsible. When you look at African American fathers in hip hop you hear people say we don’t take care of our kids and we’re selfish. We want to change that and have people saying that even though they come from the streets and they come from the hood they understand family values. They’re also setting goals and they’re going out and making it happen. We need to build generational wealth.

IGW: Being an artist, a producer and all the other musical accomplishments you have how important is it for artists to take better ownership of the lyrics they write? Some people say it’s just entertainment but many youth take it to heart. 

P: It’s not just entertainment because if you’re not exposed to what’s right, you’ll think  being in a gang, drugs, violence are cool.  It’s not. I was in a gang ten years. When you’re in a gang you think it’s cool the first two or three years because you’re making money. But you don’t understand what’s going on. It’s a dangerous lifestyle. People get killed and if you survive and you have kids you begin to wake up and be more responsible, even with your music. Especially, if you have a daughter, mother, grandmother.  They’re listening too—you don’t want anyone calling the women in your world names. So why would you want to talk to someone else’s like that? I’ve changed and I’m taking it like this, I’m not gone worry about what other people think. Somebody has got to take a stand and I’mma do it. If the kids was able to follow me with the negative music I did I know they can follow me saying pick up a book. I’m gone get the hood to read now. People will be able to say he started out on the wrong side but he cleaned his act up. People change their lives all the time. I want the kids to know there’s nothing wrong with making a change. Especially after you’ve been exposed to something better.

IGW: So, are you sorry for some of the music you put out?

P: I’m definitely sorry for it. I’m not ashamed of it, but I’m sorry. That’s all I knew at the time but I learned better and I was able to make sure my son don’t do it.  I can’t take it back but what I can do is guide my kids to be better and guide others too. Show them the right way. Follow what I did the right way. I am a good business man. I was able to make money….follow that.  But when I put out negative lyrics don’t follow that. You don’t follow everything people do. You have choices in life. We have to teach our young people right from wrong and encourage them to make smart choices.

To get more information about the Let the Kids Grow Celebrity Basketball Game visithttp://www.livingthedream1.org.

I would like to give a personal shout out P’s partners in this event and all of the other wonderful events they have held— Ladell Beaman, Executive Director of the Heal the Hood Foundation and Percy T., Founder of the Positive Influence Foundation.

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Royce Morgan Is the Sexiest Man in Memphis

Published July 2009

Royce MorganName: Royce Morgan
Age: 28
Education:  Ridgeway High School and University of Memphis

According to an overwhelming number of WHRK/K97 radio station listeners, Royce Morgan is the Sexiest Man In Memphis.  The on-line competition was held in late 2008, and he beat out over 90 other men for the honor. When we met for this interview I could immediately see why.   I would have to say my favorite features were his lips, thick but perfectly groomed eyebrows and his smile.  Royce has been employed as a quality assurance expert for a major communications company for the past seven years.  He enjoys his job and has been known to surprise his co-workers with breakfast from Chic-Fil-A  and other edible treats. You could say his second job is maintaining his physique. Royce works out five to six days a week! He’s very proud of what he’s been able to accomplish, but he doesn’t take his looks for granted because Royce hasn’t always been so fit.  He may actually be one of Memphis’ “Biggest Loser’s.”  As a youth, Royce was overweight and about ten years ago he decided he had, had enough and went to work shedding the pounds. Little did he know that his hard work and dedication would lead to him being named the Sexiest Man InMemphis. Humble and a gentleman, you can’t help but be happy for him. Keep reading as Royce talks about his life since receiving the SMIM title and what’s next on his agenda.

IGW: What made you decide to enter the SMIM competition?

Royce:  I was driving and heard the announcement. I thought about entering it and asked a couple of people what they thought. My friends encouraged me to do it, so I sent my picture in. The next thing I know I’m in the gym and my cousin texted me and asked if I entered. I told her yeah and then, she told me I was already in the top five. I was kind of surprised because I wasn’t on there with my shirt all off and oiled up like a lot of the other contestants.  I lost my position a few times but always managed to get back in the top five. When it was almost over Big Sue (K97 Radio Personality) called us all in to the station for an on-air interview. Three of us showed up and I won. It felt good. It’s nice to know somebody other than my mama was voting for me. (laughs)

IGW: How has life changed for you?

Royce: People recognize me from my pictures when I’m out.  I had a woman come up to me in the gym the other day and tell me I was finer than a mother*%#@^! (laughing).  Some people are very nice when they approach me and others get a little weird. I’ve been offered concert tickets. I’ve been asked out on dates by women and men, and I am far from gay. People have hit me up on the Internet and asked me if they can meet me. I’m like…I don’t know you!

IGW: Do you ever take them up on their offers?

Royce:  No. I prefer to meet people out in public.  If I see a woman I like, I’ll go over and strike up a conversation to see what she’s talking about. Then, we’ll go from there.   It’s still kind of weird to be voted the Sexiest Man In Memphis, but I’ll take it.

IGW:  How would you describe yourself?

Royce:  I’m kind of shy. Laid back, cool, easy going and easy to talk to….very approachable.  I’m a nice guy but don’t try and test me. I can show you better than I can tell you! I’m also a dork at heart. When everyone else is at the club, I’m at home doing laundry or on the computer…probably on Facebook.

IGW:  Now, I know you like to get out and do some things? What are you hobbies?

Royce:  Of course the gym. I like to spend time with my family. I enjoy movies, amusement parks, bowling and swimming. I’m also into sports. On Sundays I watch football, basketball or whatever is on. I like pro wresting too.  Oh, and concerts—I’m big on music.

IGW: How have you changed since winning SMIM?

Royce:   Winning has motivated me to stay looking my best!

IGW:  Have you always been this fit?

Royce:  No, as a child and a teen I was overweight. That also drives me. I’m 5’11’’ and at my heaviest I weighed 250 lbs. I now weigh 165 lbs.

IGW:  WOW! Was being overweight hard for you? I know kids can be mean.

Royce:  Sometimes. I remember one time I was at the fair and a kid told me to go chase a cheeseburger in front of everybody. It’s funny how life changes because now when people from my childhood see me they can hardly believe it’s me.

IGW:  That’s quite an accomplishment. What made you decide you wanted to lose the weight?

Royce:  I got tired of being fat and I wanted to be healthier. So, I started working out and eating better.

IGW:  Congratulations on your success. So what’s in your future?

Royce:I’ve modeled in the past but since the whole SMIM thing I’ve been looking into modeling and acting more seriously. I’ve had a few offers but none of them have actually come to fruition. I’m also thinking about motivational speaking. I would also like to do what you used to do.  I think I would enjoy broadcasting.

IGW:  Now, I know the ladies will want to know if you have a girlfriend.

RM:  No, not at the moment.

IGW:  WHAT? The Sexiest Man In Memphis is solo! What are you looking for in a woman?

Royce:  A Christian woman. Someone who has her own beliefs and goals.  A woman who is strong willed but not too overbearing.  To quote Neyo…The kind of woman who wants you but doesn’t need you.

IGW:  And what do you think is the best thing about women?

Royce:  I love the whole women’s intuition and insight thing. The kind of women that can size you up quickly and who can tell you what you’re thinking before you say it.

IGW:  Interesting. Before I let you go answer this for me…. Do you think you’re Sexy?

Royce:  Yes. (laughing)

IGW:  Why?

Royce:  I’m a nice guy and I treat people the way I would want to be treated. There is nothing sexier than that.

 

 

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