Beyoncé and Kirk Franklin: Two Performers on Opposite Ends of the Game who Know Something About Turning-up the Heat on their Dreams

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It’s been only a few days since Easter and the temperature is already turnt-up. Not so much the air outside but the buzz around town and on social media after Beyoncé pulled another surprise album drop. This time it’s a ‘live’ recording from her recent Coachella Festival concert set, with a remix on a classic.

Her version of the old Frankie Beverly & Maze track ‘Before I let go’ is setting records and exciting fans. She even caused another ‘breaking of the Internet’ with dance challenge videos to the track. Then as if to follow that with even more madness, her Lemonade album is now streaming worldwide on all platforms.

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That’s the story from the R&B/Pop side of the game. And then there’s Kirk Franklin who’s going from the studio to the road with his 13th album along with a U.S. concert tour. He’s already made waves and set records as a gospel artist. He’s even got Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ on the case to help bump his streams.

Beyoncé and Franklin are two performers on opposite ends of the game who know something about turning-up the heat on their dreams. Since Bey had to skip her previous Coachella performance the year before due to the ‘baby bump’ many were looking forward to her bringing a world-class stage show.

She’s the first black female artist to headline the event. Franklin’s the first gospel artist to have a music video on MTV. Their journeys have had bumps in the road where they reinvented themselves a time or two. Their performance side is lit, their biz side is legit, having taken their dreams through the phases of:

  1. Formation

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One takeway from the Homecoming show on Netflix is that Bey handles the details from the creative to the expressive sides of her performances. As an artist, she’s thinking about her craft in the band as much as she’s thinking about herself as a brand in taking her dream from conception to mass distribution.

  1. Resolution

There’re probably three key times in the year when people use the calendar to help propel their dreams or other social agenda. Whether it’s because the ‘new-year rush’ is over or the career thrill is gone, people will use Spring time or early Fall to make a kind of dream resolution for taking things up a notch.

  1. Correction

Most dreams go though an ‘up and up’ phase in building clout. Then something happens that becomes a setback or shift in strategy. Beyoncé and Franklin have had moments where the business caused them to make adjustments or life caused their dreams to make slight course corrections as planes do on autopilot.

  1. Appreciation

It took three years for Beyoncé’s decision on releasing the Lemonade album to all streaming platforms. This will give fans a greater appreciation for her work. Not as if the Beyhive wasn’t already on board with her music archive. But fan appreciation is sort of the best ‘tell’ of the impact of someone’s dream work.

Sometimes a dream takes a while to come into formation or full view. Other times it happens right before our eyes as we’ve seen with these two artists. To fans, Bey is like an angel and they show her major appreciation. While Franklin wants his dream to be like a gospel soldier for the ‘MHG – Most High God.’

Tip: Sometimes a dream takes a while to come into formation or full view. But when it takes off it goes from conception to fan appreciation.

Talkback: What’s the difference between a fan club and the Beyhive?

Tracks: Shaggy ft Rayvon – Angel – https://youtu.be/XWJrPzAUzAs

Destiny’s Child  – Soldier – https://youtu.be/qFJ3VKnwmJw

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Steph Curry and Jennifer Lopez Give Fans the Best Feeling for Stepping-up Their Game and Living Their Best Life

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Lots of celebrations getting ready to happen over the next couple weeks. The office parties will have a little more ‘workplace buzz’ than usual. In college sports, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced. But another winner, 9-year-old Riley Morrison, recently got the attention of NBA star Steph Curry.

She wrote a letter to Curry asking why she couldn’t find his sneakers in girls’ sizes. After making a quick check with the manufacturer, he got back to his young fan with great news. His response was good enough for helping her get those shoes. But he also threw in a few surprises that made for a nice story.

Another kind of story, maybe a ‘second act’ version, is what we see in the latest project by Jennifer Lopez. Lopez might say it’s never too late to bounce-back from a breakup or get a breakthrough after a setback. Curry and Lopez give fans the best feeling for stepping-up their game and living their best life.

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Whether it’s the letter from Curry or lessons from Lopez on living your dreams, they know what it means to be on a winning team or star in the show. There’re some things you might have to do more of. There’re some things you might have to do less of. And there’re some things you might have to do ‘more or less.’

Curry wanted his young fan to see in real time that he heard her concern. He took a few steps to make it right. And he gave her more reason to work on her game. But even beyond the playing court, the office or the workplace of the day, Curry’s letter was good advice for young and old on how to:

  1. Fear less

Someone once said “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Curry saw that in his young fan. Clearly, basketball is a major love for her. It probably fires-up her world. Why wouldn’t you fear less when something you love lights-up your soul, brings heat to your game and energy to your grind?

  1. Limit less

So what Curry did was have his shoe company update the website to show ‘boys’ sizes versus ‘girls’ sizes. That small change took the limits off who could order those shoes. Curry wanted her to see that if they can take those limits off the website, she can also take any limits off what she could achieve.

  1. Dream more

Lopez might see herself in that little girl. She’s been in showbiz from the TV screen to the Hollywood side of things. Her latest project reminds us that when we dream more good things can happen. Curry sent a similar message to Riley in his letter by giving her first-dibs on the next release of his sneaker line.

  1. Party more

He even invited her to a special Women’s Day celebration next year. He plans to have her attend the event and maybe even get prime seats at a home game. They say no good deed goes unpunished. But Curry’s good deed will likely light a bigger fire for his young fan to go on and celebrate even more.

Some might say there’s no party like a holiday party. Curry’s seen a few parties in recent years as back-to-back NBA champ. Lopez has gotten quite a few awards across film, music and television. She knows a good party makes the journey more fun. They’re ‘game’ about having no limits and living their best life.

Tip: When it comes to living your best life, those who fear less tend to dream more and those who limit less tend to party more.

Talkback: How’d you feel if Curry or Lopez singled you out for a party invitation?

Tracks: Usher ft. Young Thug – No Limit – https://youtu.be/3w0yqAdJ1iY

Beyonce ft. J. Cole – Party – https://youtu.be/XWCwc1_sYMY

Taraji P. Henson & Tyler Perry Give It Their All to Produce an Epic Movie Project like ‘Fatal Attraction’

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Who was that little girl at the recent Art auction? The viral video showed Blue-Ivy Carter sitting with her celebrity parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z at a charity event. She placed a bid on a picture of Sidney Poitier that had folks laughing. It even caught Tyler Perry’s attention since he wanted to have that picture.

Perry told the story during media rounds for his upcoming movie Acrimony which stars Taraji P. Henson. The movie’s title turns out to be one of the most online-searched words this month. Perry teamed-up with Henson for this epic project because he envisioned her as the ‘black Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.’

You can imagine what it was like filming this movie in eight days. Word has it that the universe was created in seven days so this project may be of epic proportions coming on the heels of Easter. Henson also returns to the TV screen as Cookie on Empire for which she’s still about doing big things.

What it takes to be epic is a story Perry and Henson know well. In the professional world it’s about knowing your ‘main thing’ and supporting it with your favorite ‘sides’ or side-hustle. Think of it the way you enjoy a meal. There’s the main thing you’re good at and the supporting side-skills to round-out the work.

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Perry and Henson have used their talents to land bigger roles, raising their market appeal to a higher level. In addition to working with the OWN Network, Perry has signed production deals with other outlets. It’s like an alphabet soup of TBS, OWN and BET. Their inspiring stories are rich in the success mix of:

  1. Faith for the next mountain to climb

Perry recently shared how the Black Panther movie was one of the many showbiz projects shot at his Atlanta studios. The site was an old military base that’s been transformed into ‘Hollywood South.’ How do you go from ‘dead to alive’ in any aspect of career, biz or life? Perry might say it takes mustard seed faith.

  1. Passion for the next road to travel

There were times life presented Perry and Henson with options for the next road to travel. It might be a new project assignment, a new lane in business or a new lease on life. They’ve found the passion for the next road to travel and even for the road less travelled. That’s a choice people make to become epic.

  1. Savvy for the next dollar to make

Perry shared how he was watching TV news and heard the word ‘acrimonious’ used in a certain context. He decided to look up the meaning. Then the light bulb went off in his head to put a different spin on the word for his movie title. Professional savvy is about using a skill or applying a concept in another context.

  1. Smile for the next advice to give

Sometimes when comedians tell jokes they do it with a straight face. There’s a certain seriousness that adds to the punch line. There’re also times when the impact is best made with a smile. Perry and Henson have a way of doing the same when sharing their stories with a little advice thrown in for good measure.

Maybe that’s what was memorable about Blue-Ivy placing her bid. From the looks on her parents’ faces and hers as well, folks weren’t sure if she was serious or playing. But Perry had his mind made up. Like his Madea role, he was seriously-funny about getting his hands on the picture and landing it with a smile.

Tip: When it comes to doing big things in 3 days, 8 days or the rest of your days you might need a mix of faith, passion, savvy and a smile.

Talkback: So who was it that bit Beyoncé in the face?

Tracks: Kirk Franklin – Smile – https://youtu.be/Z8SPwT3nQZ8

Stokley – Level – https://youtu.be/phOiiWL_Ljg

Chadwick Boseman and Beyoncé: Their Personal Expressions for How Hopes and Dreams Can Find the Path to Greatness

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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The anticipation is building for the next release from MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the latest Super Hero character known as the Black Panther. Lots of celebs got to see the first screening in person. The reviews have been filled with superlatives as if it’s a preview for going from block to blockbuster.

Then of-course there’s Beyoncé and her Grammy-chic appearance. She wasn’t up for any awards but as usual made an iconic fashion statement. Boseman plays the role of king in the upcoming movie. Beyoncé rocks the title of queen in pop culture. But it’s their personal expressions that deliver creative excellence.

The Black Panther storyline has themes that make each character’s greatness come alive. Whether it’s in action-moves of a super hero, amazing plays in the Superbowl or breakthroughs on the field of dreams, the path to greatness comes alive in two success modes, Lifestyle and Lifetrack. They make things pop.

Boseman and Beyoncé have used these on the path to greatness. For Boseman it’s taken a few roles that weren’t crossover but were a stepping stone. For Beyoncé, it’s in her creative relevance and how she goes from ‘nothing to something’ artistically. Their amazing work sends chills or makes you wanna chill.

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Who they are, what they do and how they flow are the sum total of how they express themselves. It’s the combination of their creative excellence and creative relevance that make them special. When things come together it’s like magic which might explain how their success keeps rising to the ceiling.

Over the years my dream has gone through a few climbs from sun-up to sun-down. Feedback from others has helped to tighten things up. The magic for writing this blog has gone from good to better. But the playbook that Boseman & Beyoncé have used on becoming their best seems to go something like this:

  1. Conceive and go from zero to breakout move.

Boseman and Beyoncé have different stories for how they’ve built their movie/music careers. One thing common to both is first seeing themselves doing what they’re doing now. They conceived it in their minds-eye and visualized it in their imaginations. Then after a while, things went from zero to breakout move.

  1. Believe and go from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

The space between what they visualized and what they delivered is in how they believed in themselves and in what’s possible. This helped Beyoncé go from singing in her living room to performing on the world stage. Not every dream goes that big. But dreams take you from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

  1. Achieve and go from bottom-stack to top-rack.

Every time you achieve something there’s usually a lesson and a lift. The lesson comes from looking at the ups and downs to get there. The lift comes from seeing where you are compared to where you once were. Maybe that’s why Boseman’s big screen roles and Beyoncé’s showbiz journey are so exciting.

  1. Receive and go from nomination to coronation.

Beyond the obvious star power, some think the movie should get nominations for the creative costumes, special effects or music soundtrack. Well just like in the movies, character development and creative genius have meant a lot to Boseman and Beyoncé. It’s taken them from nomination to coronation.

We celebrate them for making us want to sing, dance or feel like kings and queens. We emulate them in striving to better our game or biggup our name. Their hopes and dreams have found the path to greatness not by chance but by a playbook for creative brilliance that has helped make them famous.

Tip: Creative brilliance in your career grind and life dreams needs creative excellence to make you awesome and creative relevance to make you special.

Talkback: How will Boseman’s new role in Black Panther help better his game or biggup his name?

Tracks: Kanye West – Amazing – https://youtu.be/PH4JPgVD2SM

French Montana – Famous – https://youtu.be/LNHkxOU7zz8

Eminem and U.S. Soccer’s Christian Pulisic Bring Their Star Power and American Dream to a New Level of GB – ‘Game Bonafide’

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Wait, how’m I gonna start this blog? That’s a question that gets asked every week. With so much to write about in celebrity pop it’s a matter of bringing the right vibe. It makes sense then how Eminem would start his freestyle rap that way. For him it’s a case of lyrical content with the right touch of street cred.

When it comes to US Men’s Soccer star Christian Pulisic some say he’s got next. Not in the rap game but as the face of the game. It’s true, professional dreams in the biz world don’t all take rap skills or great foot-work. But there’s usually something that moves star power to a new level of GB – ‘Game Bonafide.’

That’s kinda what went down with Eminem’s rap cypher on the BET Awards. Some think he’s on a comeback after being off the radar for a minute. He’s not retired, he’s just re-wired. Maybe this says something about what happens when your flow gets bumped. Things either become a hit or take a hit.

In political terms it’s said that after a good debate performance a candidate is likely to get a ‘bump’ in their poll numbers. It usually means more people are feeling the message or the messenger. That happens in how they might make a strong point or deliver a wow-like performance.

Folks are raving on social media how Eminem did that. He brought strong points and a wow performance that left memorable moments. He even shows how to move your career track or biz dream forward by having a spinoff of your vision. Shady hasn’t let his mojo get stumped or his mass-appeal get dumped.

It’s interesting that his rap cypher is called ‘The Storm.’ That’s a metaphor of-course for the current political climate. But it might also be how Pulisic and his teammates are feeling after not qualifying for the soccer World Cup. If they could have even pulled-out a draw in the match they would have advanced.

Soccer federation honchos are probably looking at how they’ll ‘right the ship’ after the disappointment. It’s like when a biz dream or project team goes through some kind of setback. Who knows if it’s just a matter of taking care of the little things that has had Eminem staying low. But now he’s back for another go.

One of the biggest setbacks in my dream journey was while hosting a community radio show on a college station. It was in year five as things were coming together. Then one morning some dude shuts down the power while I’m on air. It was where I not only took a hit but decided I was no longer gonna take that..

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Pulisic might be having a similar ‘sick feeling’ right now. The sting of disappointment is sometimes felt for a while. But there’s something that happens in those down times that moves things from the brink to a place of clearer think. Plus, it’ll pave the way for Pulisic to bring more edge to his game as with Eminem.

In pro sports you hear players being sent down to the minor leagues or brought up from the practice squad. Those who’re sent back have things to work on while those brought up are ready for the big-times. But along the way you’ll either take a hit or become a hit especially when you put your dreams on the line.

Tip: As you upgrade the flow in your career or dreams you’ll either take a hit or become a hit.

Talkback: How’d you describe the edge that Eminem or Pulisic bring to make them ‘Game Bonafide?’

Tracks: Beyoncé ft Jay-Z – Upgrade U – https://youtu.be/6nr8hPnZfMU

Pitbull ft Flo Rida, LunchMoney Lewis – Greenlight – https://youtu.be/R7xbhKIiw4Y

Anthony Davis and Lebron James Were the Ones Shining at the NBA All-star Showcase #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

It’s another birthday year for Michael Jordan who turned 54. In many eyes he’s the reigning all-time best in NBA play. Fans hoped to see some of that at the recent All-star game as things went jazzy in New Orleans. While the game had some folks sighing, Anthony Davis & Lebron James were the ones shining.

Post-game chatter is overall play was a joke. According to USA Today even Kyrie Irving chimed in saying “It’s all in good fun, but I definitely think that, if we want a competitive game, guys will probably have to talk about it before the game.” It’s things people talk about to bring ‘more game & less lame’ to the office.

The all-star showcase features athletes who know what ‘good-better-yes’ looks like and what winning feels like. It’s where fun is plenty, boos are rare and thrills are high. Plus in the days of Jordan & Magic we’d see how pros excel in stepping out of their heads and into the zone by having a picture of the goal.

Some sports analysts wonder if that mindset is getting lost in the fat-check world of the league. What many remember and point back to is how in the Jordan era athletes would work hard and play smart to get the best out of their effort. They’d give us lots of dunks but not slack-off on playing a complete game.

Cheers were heard when Durant and Westbrook connected on a tag-team score. Then we saw the high-fives. If for nothing else, the best plays in a game or at the office are those where players bring it as go-getters and team players. Maybe next time in L.A. Irving says ‘let’s groove’ they’ll picture it like pure gold.

Groove-Track: Earth Wind & Fire – Let’s Groove – https://youtu.be/Lrle0x_DHBM

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

Another b-day for air Mike. Turned 84, no 54 psyche! For many he’s the real MVP. All-time best in scoring spree. True fans hoped they’d get. A game where players would sweat. Things were jazzy in Pelican town. Lots of celebs hung around. Some folks were kinda sighing. But Davis & James did their shining.

Past-game chatter on overall play. It was a joke is what some say. Even Kyrie Irving chimed-in a bit. On looking for good fun and no sh**. For all-star game to come alive. Players gotta show-up with no jive. Talk before tip-off makes it good. For ‘more game & and less lame’ like they should.

All-star showcase of athletic feats. Dudes from local and foreign streets. Those who know about ‘good-better-yes.’ With winning as a way to bless. Fun is plenty, boos are rare. Thrill are high like they don’t care. Plus in days of Jordan & Magic we’d see. Them be in the zone of goals running free.

Sports gurus wonder out loud. If mindset has become to proud. Getting lost in the fat-check digits. But reduced play and passion so midget. When Jordan and them did their thing. It was more than just about the ring. Work hard, play smart the same. Lots of dunks and a complete game.

Cheers heard for Durant & Westbrook score. With tag-team pass and shot on the floor. Then the high-fives made it feel. Like they were keeping it real. Why best plays in game from go-getters. Are like best work at office of team players. Maybe next time before Irving is old. He’ll say ‘lets’ groove’ for pure gold.

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Tip: The best game in town is where team players are set, goals are reached and new victories are won.

Talkback: What are people saying about the level of play at the recent NBA All-Star game?

Groove-Tracks: DJ Khaled ft Beyoncé & Jay-Z – Shining – https://youtu.be/nD92-vOEUG8

Kiiara – Gold – https://youtu.be/sO9cBXRcBvo

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Beyoncé & Adele: Upping Their Game to the Point Where ‘Superstar’ Can’t be Denied #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

This was one of those weekends of back-to-back showbiz glitz. First there was the NAACP Image Awards with the best and the finest in Black culture. Then the Grammys where the party was as they say ‘lit!’ We celebrated Beyoncé & Adele who keep upping their game to where ‘Superstar’ status can’t be denied.

Another such person in that league is Denzel Washington. In his Image Awards speech he moved the crowd in saying “Without commitment you’ll never start but more importantly without consistency you’ll never finish.” They’re great examples of two keys for how skill sells in the story performance tells.

Adele showed us what a commitment to excellence looks like. Shortly after starting her tribute to George Michael she stopped mid-stream and began again. She said she wanted to do justice to the performance. She refused to deliver a half-baked, half-assed, half-stepping performance to her idol.

Beyoncé showed what consistency in excellence looks like. Her performance even with a twin baby swell of her belly, left her fan-club swooning. Her artistry, on stage chemistry and homegirl diplomacy were on the money flawless. Plus, she didn’t let the swell or apparent Album of the Year snub go to her head.

One thing great performers seem to have in common is how they run their own light and power company. At the Grammys Adele said to Beyoncé “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel… is empowering.” Now that’s how skill sells, performance tells and passion like fire sets of bells.

Groove-Track: Jean Carn – Don’t Let it Go to Your Head – https://youtu.be/nXPh-FXTaaY

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

One of those weekend times. With back-to-back showbiz primes. First the NAACP Image show. With best and brightest Black flow. Then the Grammys where the party was lit. And Bruno Mars performance was a hit. Celebrating Beyoncé, Adele and the rest. ‘Upping-the-game Superstars’ at their best.

Another such person Denzel Washington. In that league of major elevation. Image Award speech moved the crowd. As those watching were wowed. Saying commitment needed to start. And consistency gives the finish its part. Great keys for how skill sells. In the story performance tells.

Adele had excellence on parade. Not wanting to throw shade. After starting tribute song. Seems things went wrong. Stopped mid-stream of singing. Began again not winging. Wanted to do justice to the end. For George Michael as a friend. Refused half-baked, half-assed. Half-stepping performance she passed.

Beyoncé consistency on display. She always earns her pay. Even with twin swell in her belly. Had fans swishing like jelly. Swooning on her performance artistry. Chemistry and homegirl diplomacy. On the money flawless like loaf of bread. Not letting swell or snub go to her head.

A thing the greats give. Light & power to live. At the Grammys Adele poured her heart. For how Beyoncé inspired her start. Saying how she’s got mad love. For how Bey fits pop culture like a glove. Empowering us to do more. In how we raise the score. That’s how top skill sells. And passion like fire sets off bells.

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Tip: The marketplace likes how skill sells, performance tells & passion like fire sets off bells of good times.

Talkback: How were Grammy night and Image Awards night good for each other on the same weekend?

Groove-Tracks: Bruno Mars – What I Like – https://youtu.be/CDq15rSoOPc

P!nk – Just Like Fire – https://youtu.be/cqoPyWgXUMI

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST