Category Philly Support Philly

My Daughter, Destiny- Little Alicia Keys

June 18, 2013 Philly Support PhillyRespect  No comments

Since late November, 2012, I have been teaching my daughter how to play the piano and one of the first songs we wanted to learn to play was Diary by Alicia Keys. It has a beautiful melody. I knew it would be complex especially since neither one of us can read music. With the help of a Youtube video, I was able to learn how to play the full song as well as her freestyle at the end and then pass the lesson onto my daughter, Destiny who is shown in the video. She picked up on the notes rather quickly. It was almost like the way Nick Cannon picked up on Drum beats in the movie Drumline where he would watch the person's hands to see how he played and then mimic the drum beat afterwards. Because my daughter played so beautifully at my mother's house on her piano, she wanted to try out for the school's talent show.

Destiny is one of those really smart children who unfortunately is picked on. She's a sweet kid, though she is no angel. But her good outweighs her bad. Unfortunately, since she has gotten into trouble a few times, she was already stereotyped as "one of those kids", which is really a shame.  The day of the tryout, her former third grade teacher along with another staff member saw that she was going to be trying out and I guess they expected her to get on stage and dance around acting simple on some "whip my hair back and forth foolishness". And the look of suspicion and doubt on their faces when she said she was going to play the piano was so disappointing. However, my daughter shut them all up. She sat at the piano and looked back at me for my approval and I gave her a head nod to let her know to do her thing. The looks on the faces of the people conducting the tryouts when she broke out in Diary on the piano in a smooth and flawless manner was PRICELESS. I still remember one lady in particular, Ms. Campbell say- "Wait a minute, Miss Destiny has talent! Little Miss Destiny can really play the piano!" Yes, Little Miss Destiny and a lot of other kids are much more than too many write them off to be. Not only did they accept her into the talent show, but they made her the encore performance.

I watched the way the talent show was conducted and what I found to be very disappointing was the lack of respect that the student body had for their fellow peers as they performed. Though nobody boo'ed, thankfully, the talking and laughing while students performed was just sad. And the lack of control the adults including the principal had over those children was even more sad. When I was a student at John F. Reynolds (which unfortunately will be one of the schools closing at the end of the term), my old principal Dr. Harvey was a force to be reckoned with. And when she wasn't the MC of an assembly but Ms. Stuckey was, nobody DARED to utter a sound when someone was on the stage because they didn't want to find themselves on the receiving end of her yard stick. At Pennypacker, the adults put little to no effort into quieting those students down until Destiny took the stage.

Ms. Campbell was sure to quiet the students down and had them give Destiny their undivided attention. She went onto say how she and Destiny had their difficulties and that she never would have guessed that Destiny was as talented as she was. A few students began their chitter-chatter at first but when they heard the first few notes to Diary by Alicia Keys and recognized what she was playing, everyone quieted down and my girl did her thing! At the end she received a standing ovation. Passing through the hallways afterwards, she was given so much praise and when the principal saw me, she gave me a thumbs up.

Seeing the kind of talent that my daughter has as well as some of the students in the talent show is a major reason why we have to invest in our children. We have to show interest in the things that interest them and do our best to let them indulge in various activities to help them shine. If their talent is wasted, or they aren't allowed to tap into that talent, that could be a factor that causes them to fail in life.

Destiny is still playing the piano. Since the talent show, I have taught her how to play Girl on Fire & Unlock Yourself by Alicia Keys. I am also trying to learn Circles by Marques Houston as well as Apologize by One Republic so Destiny can learn those songs as well. Children who are perceived as "bad" really aren't all bad. They just need an outlet, something to do that is of interest to them. Idle minds lead to the Devil's work and that's something we must never forget when raising our children. Below is the video from Destiny's school talent show performance. I hope you enjoy! It's a little shaky at the end because my hands began trembling. Not because I was nervous, but because I was so proud!

 

Read More

Book Signing at Horizon Books in the Gallery-Success!

June 14, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

Female African American Author YaniOh my God! Today was just a little bit crazy. Weird things seem to happen on the days I have my book signings but I refuse to let anyone or anything deter me. My book signing at Horizon Books in the Gallery was yesterday and though it was a success, I must say, the day started off quite weird. First I woke up to a flat tire. Definitely no buena LOL! Luckily, my nephews' father, Byron, who has an awesome magazine PAC Magazine (Photomic Art Concepts), came by and was able to take care of it for me. But as he was finishing, I could see the dark clouds rolling in where some wicked weather was fast approaching. By this time, it was about 8:30am and my book signing was starting at 12 noon. I crossed my fingers and prayed that whatever was about to hit was over before I made my way to the Gallery.
Next, my photo paper seemed to have magically disappeared and I was unable to print my little flyers to hand out to readers who were passing by and/or getting their books signed. The crazy part was, I saw the photo paper all week! Isn't it ironic how something that you don't need at the moment can be right in your face for days at a time but the minute you need to use whatever it is, it's nowhere to be found? Needless to say I was only able to print a handful of flyers. Then it gets worse. As I am curling and styling my hair, I hear this crackling noise. I'm looking around like, "what the hell?". I don't pay it any mind at first, I continue curling my hair until I hear this crackling noise again and then out of the corner of my eye, my curlers start sparking. Seriously...SERIOUSLY! Only half of my damn head was done, it was raining cats and dogs, I was doing long spiral curls and the curlers decided they wanted to start snap, crackling and popping like some demonic Rice Crispies. And there were no hair stores open in my area! So I had to take a gamble. The curlers were already super hot and they heat up rather quickly I unplugged them and proceeded to curl my hair a little faster to get as many curls in as possible before they cooled off. Once they did (don't judge me) I plugged them back in, let them heat up, unplugged them and continued until my hair was complete. I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going to a book signing in the Gallery with a lot of people passing by, looking like Samuel L. Jackson from Unbreakable. Think about it. Yeah...no buena.
So, hair is curled, make-up is flawless books are packed up in the trunk of my Ford Explorer XLT. I'm ready to roll...until I realize my daughter has my umbrella and left me the broken one. Seriously...SERIOUSLY!
I manage to get to my truck and thankfully, while I was in route, the rain slowed down and it wasn't that hot out...at first. I never drive in Center City because that's just madness. So I parked on 7th & Wallace and grabbed my travel "pully" with my books inside and began walking to the Gallery...with the broken umbrella. But thankfully, the rain was barely a drizzle. However, mother nature decided to become humid and by the time I got to the Gallery, most of my curls had met an untimely demise. I could have gotten electrocuted for nothing. SMH!
Nevertheless, the book signing was a success. An old co-worker of mine, Chynell, stopped through to show support and my brother, Victor, came through as well, to keep me company. I was able to get a few pics of my awesome readers and supporters and I can't wait to go down to the Gallery and do another signing. A Thug's Redemption can now be found in Horizon Books in the Gallery Market East. Stop down there and get your copy. And don't forget to leave a review!

 

 

Read More

Video Blog- On the Couch Interview with Philly Hip-Hop Artist Prime City Rap Star

April 2, 2013 Philly Support Philly  No comments

Prime City Rap Star Interview with The Author YaniOn Easter, I had the privilege of doing an On the Couch Interview with Philly native and Hip-Hop artist, Prime City Rap Star. But City is far more than just your average underground rapper from Philly. This talented lyricist is also a graphic designer, photographer, videographer, and has other talents he intends to showcase in the near future. Hailing from the North Philly section of Philly (Blumberg Projects, my first home) City has sold thousands of copies of his mixtape, King of Pressure which can be downloaded on datpiff.com, has performed at numerous venues in and around Philly, markets heavy with the "powerful, privilege and influential" Elite Klass and is definitely someone who should not be slept on. City has also recently launched his own website http://www.ifuxwitprimecity.com/ where you can learn more about his music, his shows and other information pertaining to his skills.

Watch the On the Couch Interview which includes his rap video "DC 2 Intro" and his song "The Moment" from the King of Pressure mixtape. City talks in depth about his skills in and out of the studio, the sit-com that he worked on "Family Business" which will hopefully be airing during the summer on Comcast, (Stayed tuned for more information on that) and we both voiced our opinions on the over flow of rappers trying to hit the scene and gave our take on Beyonce's track "Bow Down" which I wholeheartedly will say is TRASH without a shadow of a doubt. But that's just me.

Check out his On the Couch Interview here

 

Read More

In the Studio With Casttroy-Ammo Video Blog

March 20, 2013 Philly Support Philly  No comments


I was in the studio with Rell from Roadi Band and Casttroy Ammo doing another amazing video. Check out his interview which includes music and a freestyle at the end.







Read More

Hip-Hop Feature and Interview with Philly Rapper Staxx

February 25, 2013 Philly Support Philly  No comments

Recently I've been networking with a Facebook friend of mine and I've had the privilege of sitting down with a really cool rapper from Philadelphia by the name of Staxx who has a very interesting style, is extremely lyrical and very in tune with what is going in today's society and how Hip-Hop has been allowed to perpetuate some of the behavior with this generation. We spoke in an interview about his projects that he has been working on, one in particular that I have taken an interest in, P.A.I.N (Poor Americans In Need) that speaks of the every day struggles in this country. Though Staxx believes everyone in the country who is not in the upper class suffers in their own way, he also believes African Americans seem to suffer the most for various reasons such as lack of resources and adequate education. The project was inspired by Staxx's own personal experience with pain and the struggles he's been able to overcome by letting it all out through his tracks. Check out the interview to learn more about Staxx.

Read More

Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford Reviews A Thug’s Redemption

February 13, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support PhillyRespect  No comments

Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford

The flavorful blog, Hottest Urban Fiction Reviews by Ericka Strafford was kind enough to publish a review for my novel A Thug's Redemption. To read her review in its entirety, Click Here It's always an honor to have someone share their views and enthusiasm about my work as well as help spread the word about this awesome story. Ericka was also kind enough to do an interview with me as well. Read her Author Spotlight on Yani by Clicking Here. Insightful and probing. Her style is indeed refreshing. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Ericka! Peace!

Read More

Book Signing at Horizon Books in The Gallery-SUCCESS!

February 9, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

Young Black Female Urban Fiction Author, Philly Native, Urban Literature, A Thug's Redemption, Anitbeet Productions, Yani, The Author Yani

Hello readers! Recently, I had a book signing at Horizon Books in The Gallery Market East in Center City Philadelphia and I must say it was a FREAKING SUCCESS! I actually almost sold out of all of the copies that I brought with me. I will say though I normally have a flamboyant and live personality, I am not used to approaching strangers even to thell them I am a new author from Philly with a hot new novel. But after a few tips from the young lady who works at the store, I slowly but surely opened up and began approaching people as they passed by and the sales began rolling in. I even had a few of my friends from middle school, Jessica Isom, who is a RN at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Shawn Pendleton, (who I used to have a MAJOR crush on in high-school (shhhhh) stop by to show support. I must say, I was extremely amazed with how the book signing turned out and cannot wait for the next one. Here are a few pictures below of some of the people who purchased A Thug's  Redemption and showed that Philly can indeed support Philly. I seriously cannot wait to do another book signing in the Gallery or anywhere else. Thanks so much for your support! Peace!


Mecca's Unisex Salon and Barber shop's own Shawn "Shizz" Pendleton

A Thug's Redemption Philly Support Philly Urban Fiction Street Lit Black Female Author

Read More

Urban Fiction | Street Lit Novel | Free Giveaway on Goodreads

January 5, 2013 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments

Hello Readers! I've finally had a chance to get my profile corrected on Goodreads.com so that I can be shown as an author on their site instead of just a reader. There was also a minor issue with another author's books showing up in my profile as being my work and of course the old version of A Thug's Redemption from when I was with Publish America still comes up. Please take note that the only A Thug's Redemption that is out right now is the one with the black cover as seen on the left side of this post. The other version is out dated and not in print any longer. A lot of changes have been made from the time that version was out up until this version was published.

Now that everything has been straightened out, I have created a giveaway on Goodreads.com that is from January 4th 2013 until January 14th 2013. There will be 5 free copies given away. I was shocked that within the first few hours that the giveaway was launched, 39 people were requesting it. Before the end of the first day, over 100 people had entered in to win a copy of my book. It makes me wish I could have made more available for the giveaway but that will be worked out in due time. I also thought that I would have been the one to pick the winners of the book giveaway but that is something that Goodreads handles themselves. I think it's awesome how many readers enjoy free urban fiction books and free street lit novels.

I've also been getting a few more reviews on Goodreads and I received another urban fiction book review on Amazon. I was given 4 stars and the reader commented that my book was very saddening, in your face but very very saddening on so many levels. I appreciate all feedback from my readers!

To enter in the Goodreads giveaway for A Thug's Redemption simply visit

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway
A Thug's Redemption by Yani

A Thug's Redemption
by Yani

Giveaway ends January 14, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Feel free to add me as a friend and follow my reviews as well. Thanks for reading! Peace!

Read More

Urban Poetry, Female Lyricist, Spoken Word

December 19, 2012 Philly Support Philly  No comments


I was going through a box that had some old photos from high-school and I came across my old poetry book. WOW! The memories! I was so heavy into poetry back then. I remember one of my old classmates from middle school said to me: "I wouldn't be surprised if you turned out to be a rapper". Nah! I don't think I could ever get into hip-hop/rap. It's too loaded with garbage now. However, there was a poem which I wrote when I was 14 that grabbed my attention as I was flipping through the pages and reminiscing. I was so great with word play back then. I underestimated my talent because to me, it wasn't that big of a deal. My attitude was; so what I could free style. So what I could put words together and make it sound "dope". To me, it was just something I could do. To me, it was a gift and a curse all at the same time because people started to expect it from me. I didn't truly understand what kind of gift I had until I performed a poem that I wrote in 10th grade called "Why Tyrone Can't Read". Being up on that stage and hearing my friends as well as people who had never seen me before a day in their life, cheer for me and then being the only one to get a standing ovation let me know that I had talent and I could go much further than the notebook I carried around with my poetry. But here is one "for the books" so to speak. I hope you enjoy


A Time to See


Have you ever took the time to understand the reality of society?


The individuality of a woman's personality,


A strong man trying to control his sexuality,


Black people coming up in the world of technology?


But instead my people are blind


And don't take the time to recognize


The strength in the minds of both you and I


It's a time to see...


Us walking in the shadows of hell's hottest fires,


Searching in ourselves to find that true desire.


Putting our lives on the line so that we can inspire,


That decreasing generation on a real live wire.


Do the right thing so your purpose in life doesn't expire.


Let the truth be in YOU instead of YOU being the LIAR.


It's about time to see...


That cause and effect in your life is your own,


Step up to the plate, take charge of your throne.


If you see a homeless man, it won't hurt to throw him a bone.


Instead of abortion, keep your babies, bring them home.


Nobody in this world or in life should be alone.


But if you can't respect your mother, then you need to be on your own.


So open your eyes and SEE!


I think of all of the poems I wrote in high school before I suffered a ten year writers block, the one above is my favorite. I have not written a poem in so long but hopefully one day, when I am just sitting down without the daily hustle and bustle, chasing after my children (lol) breaking up fights between them, cooking and cleaning, I will be able to pick up where I left off. I wrote that when I was 14. Imagine what I could do now... Thanks for reading folks. PEACE!!!

Read More

Book Signing at Black & Nobel

December 15, 2012 A Thug's RedemptionPhilly Support Philly  No comments


Yesterday was such an awesome day for me!! I did a book signing at Black & Nobel and though it was a small crowd, I am grateful for those who came out to support. I'm mostly grateful to my older sister, Sharmon, who has come out and shown support throughout the most part of this process. Since I have first started on this self-published journey, I am beginning to see who is supportive of me accomplishing my goals and realizing my dreams and who is not. I do not let it bother me because I know sometimes that is just the way it is. When a dream is only a dream and briefly talked about, some people only talk with you but don't really believe in the dream as you do. When plans are put into motion to realize that dream, the "crabs in a barrel" mindset comes out in full effect. But when the dream is realized and becomes more than a dream but a beautiful reality, the band wagon hoppers quickly try to climb aboard. I'm only interested in those who genuinely support me and those wish me nothing but good things. With that said...


I have been doing a lot of networking for my book. While some choose to promote in clubs, parties and social gatherings, I know with my lifestyle it is just not possible for me to go that route. So I chose another route. I reached out to a few authors, bloggers, editorial journalists etc and imagine my surprise when Omar Tyree (author of the best selling novel, Flyy Girl and For the Love of Money) responded to an email requesting a copy of my debut novel, "A Thug's Redemption" so that he could give me a review! I could not contain my excitement when I saw his email in my inbox this morning after taking my math final. When I say I was a HUGE fan of his as an adolescent, I am NOT lying. I saved his email of course. Getting a reply from him meant more to me than anyone could possibly imagine.


I also received a response to my press release from an editor at BlackNews.com who read the prologue and chapter one to "A Thug's Redemption" and LOVED IT! Here is what he had to say

Yani, I have downloaded what you sent, and just scanning through it I like it. So much so, that I will publish the first chapter in four parts in Black News... I see great potential in you as a storyteller. You go, girl!

I could not contain my excitement! There was one more response that I received that contained the biggest news and proposition for my book. Though I want so badly to reveal exactly what that is, I must remain quiet until all of the details are worked out. But this is just letting me know that I am moving in the right direction and 2013 is going to be a GREAT year for me!


Lastly, I finished "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return last Thursday. Let me just say for those who have read the first one, you are in for one hell of a ride with this one. Non-stop action, plot twists at every turn and an ending that will have you holding your breath until the very last sentence. I'm normally not a fan of sequels because too many have been disappointments such as "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Nightmare on Elm Street 2", "Halloween 2". "The Crow: City of Angels". The only exceptions that I can think of is "Aliens" and "The Godfather 2". My take on sequels is; if you cannot out do the first one, then don't do it at all. If you cannot leave your target audience totally satisfied, then you are not doing it right. For those who are yearning to know what is next for Jamal, here is a sneak preview of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return


That is all for now. Thanks so much for reading! Peace!

Read More
1 2 3