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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!

 

 

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Upcoming Book Signing for A Thug’s Redemption at Horizon Books

January 21, 2013 A Thug's Redemption  No comments

I think this flyer is beyond DOPE! I wanted to spread the word about my book signing a little more effectively than I've done previously with just using word of mouth, Facebook and Twitter. I know I am a visual person and will most times remember something if it is shown to me in a captivating way. I was hoping to achieve that with a flyer promoting my next book signing which is going to be on Friday February 8th 2013 at Horizon Bookstore locate in the Gallery in Center City Philadelphia. This book signing will be from 4p-7p and I am so excited. I tried designing the flyer myself, but for some reason, my creative juices just were not flowing this time. I made an announcement on Twitter that I was looking for a graphic designer that could turn me out a FABULOUS flyer and I was beginning to get flooded with responses. I mean my mentions were on FIRE! I'm a first come first serve kind of person. I began looking through those who were prepared to direct me to their website where I could view their work and was very impressed with 22 Media Lab. They had just the kind of style I was looking for. I immediately responded to them, we exchanged emails and withing two hours, they turned out this fabulous flyer on the left of this post and I cannot wait to get my hands on the posters and flyers so I can begin passing them out on campus and as I commute to and from school to spread the word even further about my book signing. You can't deny the flyer is pure dopeness. So if you are looking for a graphic designer for flyers or even a book cover, hit them up on twitter @22MediaLab and let them know Yani sent you. I promise you will not be disappointed in their work.

So I hope as many people as possible can make out to my book signing. Show up and Show out. It is definitely an Urban Fiction Affair! Philly Support Philly!

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My first interview: 5 minutes, 5 questions with Joey Pinkney

October 14, 2012 A Thug's Redemption  No comments


I'm so excited to have done my first interview about my novel "A Thug's Redemption" with Joey Pinkney! This entire process of producing and promoting my book has been such a fun and fulfilling journey and experience. But to see an article written about me and my work and even more rewarding! The questions that Joey asked me were great and I felt it gave people the opportunity to get to know "Yani" a little bit more, as well as inform people about my novel, A Thug's Redemption, as well as make readers aware that I am here. Here is a little sample of the interview, 5 minutes, 5 questions.

JP: What sets “A Thug’s Redemption” apart from other books in the same genre?

YA: “A Thug’s Redemption” doesn’t glorify drugs, sex and the violence that has plagued inner city Philadelphia. This is a young man who was caught up in the streets behind a poor decision that he made and he was trying hard to make amends with his past. (read more)

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “A Thug’s Redemption” getting out to the public?

YA: I believe the keys to my success would be for me to make myself more socially available. I’m so used to being closed off and staying to myself. In order for people to know about “Yani”, I need to mix with the people more by promoting, advertising and blogging. (read more)

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “A Thug’s Redemption”?

YA: I get flashes. That may sound weird to people. I could be sitting somewhere like on a train or at work and all of a sudden, I’ll see something happen in my “creative mind”. I start writing from there. (read more)

JP: What’s next for Yani?
YA: More writing. I’m constantly writing every day. I have seven more novels in my head now that I am trying to get into print. I’m writing 2 books at the same time: “A Thug’s Redemption 2: Jamal’s Return” and “Obsessive Intimacies”. (read more)

To read the full article by Joey Pinkney, Click Here!

If you enjoy reading or if you are an author looking a little exposure, I strongly recommend Joey Pinkney. He is professional, courtesy and a delight to work with. You can also follow him on Twitter as well. I want to thank Joey for the wonderful article. And I want to thank all of my readers for their continued support throughout my journey! Thanks for reading! PEACE!!

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Feature Friday: Uptown Crown- Prime City

October 5, 2012 Feature FridayPhilly Support Philly  No comments


Feature Friday is among us again folks! I get so excited when it's time for me to post these. I was asked by someone why I do the Feature Friday each week. The answer is simple. There are a lot of positive and creative things going on in Philly, and the talent is remarkable. We're always hearing about the shootings, killings, rapings, police brutality and injustices that occur in what is supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love. It's on the news, it's in the paper, it's on the internet and radio. I would like to shine the light on people who aren't letting the negativity over-rule our city and they continue to strive for better. I also do this because it's fun for me and my own personal way of making up for ignoring my calling for being a journalist.
This week, I have the pleasure of featuring Prime City, who in my opinion is a lyrical genius. I watch most of my twitter followers from a distance. But I pay close attention to those who I can tell have straight up talent and I can honestly say Prime City has some raw, lyrical talent. I'm not as heavy into hip-hop as I was when I was a teenager. I feel as though Hip-Hop has turned disastrous and has been flooded with garbage mascarading as good music. The sampling of beats mixed with the jibberish played on the radio in my opinion is NOT Hip-Hop. But when I first started listening to Prime City's songs I said "Hey, I think we have something here." I'm not B.S'ing when I tell you that I literally was in my house HOLLERING as I listened to "DC 2 Intro" and watched the video on Youtube. If someone were to ask "What is Hip-Hop missing?", my honest answer would be: "Prime City. So if y'all asses are sleeping on him, wake the hell up, do your ears a favor and let his music flow through your speakers." His talent is undeniable and it is clearly shown on his latest CD release "King of Pressure" which you can find in Black in Noble on Broad & Erie (Cop up!!!). One of my favorite tracks on there is "My Moment" as I feel as though he touched on a lot of things that some people (not just rappers) just don't have the heart to speak on and I truly dig that. He is apart of the fast growing, popular Entertainment group- Elite Klass along with Kotta Man, (who I am trying to track down so I can feature him as well so if you read this, get with me ASAP. Don't make me shout you out by your government LOL) Bryant Jennings, who was my Friday Feature two weeks back, Relly Rostein and a few others.


I had the pleasure of speaking with Prime City yesterday and he was kind enough to allow me to do a Q&A with him. To listen to our conversation fully, you can either click here, or check it out in the widget on the right side of this blog entry. This was one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a while when it comes to Hip-Hop and I may have to snatch him up again for what I believe may be an interesting debate on what Tupac's views on Barack Obama would be if he were still alive.


Yani: I want to thank UpTown Crown for allowing me to feature him on my blog Philly Support Philly

Prime City: I want to thank you for having me and for reaching out.

Yani: Your stage name "Uptown Crown Prime City" is interesting. Where did the name come from

Prime City: Prime City comes from when I was in high school it was "Prime Time" then I just got a little too old to be called Prime Time so I just changed it up to Prime City. Uptown Crown is a series of mix tapes...my 1st CD is called "Uptown Crown" too which is a continuation of a mixtape so the mixtape was an advertisement for the album...so I figure why not promo the CD name on my twitter name instead of my regular name so that's how that came out

Yani: What inspired you to become a rapper

Prime City: Just everything around me. I just became a rapper from writing down stuff that was going on around me. Ramsquad was one of my biggest influences. One of my early influences were Tribe and Wu...I just wanted to be that voice for people who don't have it so yeah that's the reason.

Yani: How would you describe your rapping style

Prime City: Aggressive but not street aggressive...a lot of times the most aggressive people have the least to say. I've got the street edge but kinda more complex lyrics than, you know, the typical street rapper...I would describe my style as like a '98 street rapper with a rare flare of consciousness

Yani: What do you think of the latest rappers in the industry and how do you feel hip-hop has changed in the last decade

Prime City: From 2002 'til now...it used to be that you couldn't steal somebody's style, you can't steal somebody's swag, you can't take that and run with it. Now it's just like all you have to do is copy somebody else. I would say that originality is at an all time low right now. Even people who say they are original are not original. I don't see too many individuals in hip-hop from then to now. In 2002 we had Blue Print 2, the beef with Jay-Z and Nas was just getting over...that's the biggest thing for me, it's way less originality now than from 10 years ago

Yani: Tell me a little bit about your new CD King of Pressure. Which tracks are your favorite

Prime City: Wow, my favorite tracks on King of Pressure...definitely "My Moment" free style... "uptown finest"...that kinda described my style context...I was going in on it and definitely the Meek Mill intro I wanted to get a street one...it's like 30 hip-hop street sites where I can get a lot of numbers so that was cool. Those were my favorite 3

Yani: On your Instagram, I noticed you post a lot of pictures of people who purchased your CD. Where would you say most of your support has come from with your release of King of Pressure

Prime City: It's been all throughout Philly but I gotta say my neighborhood is backing me 100%  25th Street 25th and Master, Blumberg Projects they all support me 100%. Shout out to 58th street too.

Yani: If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry at this time, who would it be

Prime City: I honestly never thought of this question but it would have to be Pusha T. Even though I'm not as big of a drug dealer on a track as Pusha T, Our styles...our voices...he's probably the most similar to me. If I had a track with him on my album, it would definitely be my favorite one. I haven't even heard it yet but it's dope in my head.

Yani: How has hip-hop impacted your life

Prime City: It's kept me from doing a lot of dumb stuff. I knda always knew this is what I wanted to do. Just having a goal and a purpose just kept me out of stuff that my friends around me were getting into. Of course I've done stuff that everyone else has done but for the most part I just stayed in my hip-hop lane. It's definitely kept me away from the BS. That's like the most important thing...Even if someone doesn't become a hip-hop super star, they're staying out of the way. So that's what it did for me.

Yani: I listened to "Lean with it" freestyle and "DC 2 intro" & loved those 2 tracks as well as the videos. Is it easier for you to free style without a beat or do the rhymes come easier with a beat

Prime City: It depends on the setting. If I'm in the studio, then (it's) the beat but if I'm on a street corner then I don't need a beat. I don't want anything I just feed off of the raw energy. What we talked about what's missing, (from hip-hop) that element is missing. I don't think too many of these dudes can sit on a street corner and give you 40 odd bars out of no-where.

Yani: I have to ask this question because it never gets old and I personally like hearing other views on this topic. Tupac Vs Biggie, in your opinion who was better than who

Prime City: With them it's like playing with fire because you can't say too much about either one of them but you know, I'm just honest. Growing up, it was no comparison because I was more into the lyrics so there's was no comparison, Biggie was hands down better. It used to be to the point where I just didn't get it. I remember stopping a whole classroom. I used to live in L.A... it was my 11th grade year and I stopped the whole classroom by saying Tupac wasn't that dope. Even the teacher just started breaking it down. I mean, I changed the whole thing from Math to Tupac just saying Tupac wasn't that dope. So you know how it is on the West Coast but, as I got older, I just loved a lot of stuff that 'Pac stood for and that really transitioned into his music too, I'm like- he was dope all this time. My favorite is still Biggie but I definitely got love and respect for Tupac

Yani: Do you feel as though hip-hop is part of the reason for the dysfunction in this upcoming generation or is it a part of the ongoing violence and sexual promiscuity

Prime City: Maybe the mainstream hip-hop...I mean of course the hip-hop culture has a heavy influence on whatever it touches and it's all over the world. But how can I say that when...hip-hop is in the suburban neighborhoods but nobody is being killed there. They love Gucci Mane and Rick Ross just as much as they love them in the 'hood. I think it just comes down to your circumstances. People look at stuff and don't break it down like it should be...you can say it's been 300 murders but they're not looking at the cause...when somebody gets killed for something, that's an individual thing, not that it doesn't group into a big thing as a whole but...still I'm not looking at it like hip-Hop can hypnotize people into being a bad person... the biggest thing that hip-hop has is over seas and they're not having any of those problems...So no...I can't say that

Yani: How has your talent as a rapper, producer progressed since you first began

Prime City: I've just been getting progressively better...knowing that I don't know everything is probably what makes me what I am. I never ever settled for anything so if I'm in the studio and I hear something...say I use a new plugin that I just got off of the internet as Im engineering a track, I'll go back and make all of my other ones like that...just improving everyday and then looking back saying "I'm way better than last year." It's just a day by day, (process) getting better each day

Yani: What advice would you give to a younger male hoping to get his foot in the door to hip-hop

Prime City: Know somebody. I don't like selling that "work hard" dream to people. Like "work hard and you'll get there". Yeah, work hard because it's hard work involved. But you've got to network. I remember I was looking at this thing and it was about money...the guy on there, it was like this brainwashing thing about how you can get it but he said something that makes sense. He said "where does your paycheck come from?" your paycheck comes from a person and their paycheck comes from a person so network. Get out there and know somebody...it's hard work but you gotta get out and mess with the people. Around the time I had the CD coming out, I had to go and hit the streets and mess with the people. Get in the right circles, that positive energy and you will track the right thing.

SHOUT out to "Reek, Charles LV, Lady Lyric, n Leel Mamba from Elite Klass Sports! For more information on Prime City, you can follow him on his Twitter. Check out some of his awesome videos as well as his music on his Youtube Channel. As I mentioned, he is apart of the Entertainement venue,

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