Fantasia and DJ Khaled tell Fans How They’re Keeping Their Game Strong and Fame from Going Wrong

The list is in (or out)! As word on the winners are announced, some folks are glad to come out on top. Well it depends on whether you’re looking at the election results or the MTV EMA’s. Candidates in political races usually give their acceptance speeches while award winners get to hold their prized statue.

In the case of the upcoming America Music Awards (AMAs), the list of nominees is out. Word is that Lizzo will be performing on the big stage. She’s been nominated in the Best New Artist category. Also expected to make a showing is Selena Gomez. She’s back in the game with a new attitude and market appeal.

Hot on the charts are two artists among our hit list of music biz players. Fantasia and DJ Khaled give us their take on how they stay relevant. Fantasia who’s best known from her days on American Idol, has released new music and settled into having a family life outside of the glitz and glamour of showbiz.

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For DJ Khaled, it’s always been about sharing ‘major keys’ to his brand identity. He started spinning records for the ‘Miami Vice’ scene and now he’s a top-rated music producer. In recent interviews and posts on social media, they tell fans how they’re keeping their game strong and fame from going wrong.

Her new album recently jumped to the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B list with a concert tour in the rollout. His latest collabs feature artists who have their own standing in the game but who’re ready to produce crossover hits for the charts and movie soundtracks. They keep stirring-up their skills with:

  1. Passion

Think about how television is a way to tell-a-vision. The shows we watch go from vision to script to passion. That may be one way how Fantasia and DJ Khaled keep fans wanting more. Sometimes their music is like soul-vision as they put vision to lyrics and music on a track with a stirring in rhythm & soul.

  1. Path

For them, the paths taken have been different, but the results have been similar. Hot music, awards lists, excited fans. It’s more than just going down some money-making path. It’s also about creating a lit-path. They’re likely to share some life-notes from their journey to bring more light to the passion within.

  1. Purpose

When you see Fantasia on stage, she’s like a next-gen Patti Labelle. When you checkout the music from DJ Khaled he’s like a next-gen Quincy Jones. Similar passions to how they affect the game. But how they affect everyday life itself is more about living with a higher purpose beyond themselves.

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  1. Peace

There are some artists who seem to make news for all the crazy reasons (not calling any names). Maybe they’re still trying to find their peace. For Fantasia and DJ Khaled there’s lots of blessings to go around coming out of their sense of peace. It keeps them in a state of rest when things bring stress.

The AMAs will air on TV during the weekend before Thanksgiving. Lots of artists will be in the building hoping to rub elbows and up their cred. Fantasia and DJ Khaled may have special seats up front. But even if they don’t their passion for music will keep them on a path where they’re thriving and winning.

Tip: The path taken for more exciting times is filled with passion, purpose and peace by how you tell-a-vision your dreams and stir-up your skills.

Talkback: If you’ve seen the nominees for AMA Best New Artist, who’s your pick?

Tracks: Mary J Blige ft. Nas – Thriving – https://youtu.be/98YJEr9NaXc

Jay Rock – Win – https://youtu.be/ZPFnwgsTOWM

Jay-Z and Serena Williams Achieved Some New ‘Firsts’ That Have Taken Them from the ‘Hood to Showing They Could

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There’s a battle brewing in the music biz that has Billboard Chart watchers counting streams and bundles. Those are the new benchmarks that artists and their management companies lock-in on to push music sales. It seems the standard is still under review so who’s album is #1 is not simply just a click away.

Back in the day Jay-Z didn’t have that problem. He started out selling albums the old-fashioned way. Some might say he started out from the bottom and now he’s on top of Forbes’ Hip-Hop list of highest earners. With a billion dollar empire, he’s the first rapper to reach that money mark.

Serena isn’t doing too shabby either. She recently became the first athlete to make the Forbes list of richest self-made women under 40. Her fortune isn’t tied to just earnings on the court. She’s got her hands in other Venture Capital investments as well as gigs in fashion and sports that crank-out the ‘Benjamins.’

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After his days dealing on the streets, Jay-Z jumped into the rap game. His early work featured a song where he said, “I’m not a businessman,’ I’m a business, man!” That’s something he’s proven over the years with his stake in liquor, sport management and the Tidal streaming service.

So now with the Forbes list selections and social media mentions, they’ve reached a new level of star power (as if Jay wasn’t already ‘Hov’ in the eyes of many). This summer Serena will be gunning for her next ‘first’ on the tennis court. It’s the journey “from the ‘hood to showing they could” which reminds us of:

  1. Hidden Potential

An HGTV show with the same name looks at a house to see how a makeover can pull-out its hidden potential. Maybe that’s what Jay-Z saw in himself when he went from the streets to dropping beats. He did a career makeover based on some sense that he had hidden potential waiting to be unleashed.

  1. Game Skills

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Serena started out playing tennis with her sister Venus. This wasn’t the normal sport for kids in the ‘hood. But with her father’s help, she practiced and practiced until she developed some impressive game skills. Now she’s got her eyes set on becoming the winningest Grand Slam player in tennis history.

  1. Dream Path

How do kids in the ‘hood hope to make it to the “big leagues?” Well sports and music have been paths many try to travel. But for those who’re gifted differently, the dream path is another option. That’s where you know there’s something inside of you, itching to come outside of you and be experienced by the world.

  1. Purpose Lane

Serena and Jay are not only on their dream path, they’ve found their purpose lanes. For Jay it’s his criminal justice reform efforts. For Serena, it’s her advocacy for women’s rights and other civic issues. Their purpose lanes have put them in the spotlight beyond what they do in the studio or on the court.

At this stage of their careers, they have no reason to be clout-chasing. They’ve shown themselves as proven winners and ‘Super Citizens.’ If we could get inside their heads and hearts we’d probably see how they used game skills to put hidden potential on a dream path and purpose lane with blessings returned.

Tip: Inside the heads and hearts of winners is a formula for success and evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for counting their blessings.

Talkback: Was Jay-Z really the first Hip-Hop billionaire or does that title belong to Dr. Dre?

Tracks: Brand New Heavies  – Dream on Dreamer – https://youtu.be/FB8nIGKbpJY

Koffee – Toast – https://youtu.be/p8HoEvDh70Y

Flow Nation: The Secret Sauce for Love, Luck and Living Large That’s Got More Flava. Get Some Here!

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What do Kevin Hart and Steve Harvey have in common? They made their names in comedy. How about DJ Khaled and Charlamagne Tha God? They made early waves in radio. But there’s something else they all have in common: ‘finding flow.’ It’s the thing that gets us up in the morning even if we don’t know it.

Over the past year or so they all published books telling their story of love, luck and living large. They might have taken different roads to glory but seem to share a common theme of going from humble beginnings to becoming pop culture icons. In a sense, finding flow got turned into their awesome sauce.

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So what does this really mean in the regular world? Whether it takes an alarm clock (or not) to wake us up, the thing that gets us up and moving is the idea of powering our flow. This could be growing in areas of ambition, taking social action or experiencing life’s moments of adventure and pure satisfaction.

That’s certainly the case when you read the stories of Harvey, Hart, Khaled and Charlamagne. Plus they shared personal examples of getting a ‘heavenly assist’ from someone along their path. They got a break in a phone call that was unexpected, an opportunity that was unheralded or situation that was unscripted.

One of the lessons in their stories on powering flow starts by putting passion where your mouth is, purpose where your heart is and pain where the truth is. Things we give voice to most or face up to tell us who we are, what we love and care about. These become stronger from a place that’s close to the heart.

The way they handled setbacks as well as my own story are reminders that finding & powering flow can happen from a brush with failure or a stroke of faith. In my case it was from hosting a radio show on a college station. While I was on air someone decided to pull the plug which interrupted the broadcast.

At that moment I decided not to fight back but to go way back and apply a stroke of faith. This made me learn more about the ‘Joseph story.’ His dream helped me see my own gifting and calling. Sometimes finding/powering flow means appreciating the people, places, pitfalls or pathways that confirm your story.

In these major keys we realize how not to let mistakes or other people’s human faults be our halts. Each of the icons has a story to tell of how they changed their luck, made a buck or got a relationship unstuck. Through the ups and downs they were simply trying to turn flow into reaping the good they would sow.

We enjoy artists when they perform with flow-motion. This brings together ‘lyrics and groove’ in a way that rocks. It’s fun when athletes at work or play get to deliver flow-magic. We cheer them for how they inspire us towards greatness. That’s the feeling we can hope for each day from living large in a flow nation.

Imagine how a brook becomes a stream or a stream becomes a river that leads to the ocean by finding flow. Or as a car goes from zero to 60 on the highway it finds its flow with the rest of traffic. Powering our flow takes us from zero to 60 or from feeling less to feeling worthy in the low or high tides of life’s ocean.

Tip: “Powering your flow means putting passion where your mouth is, purpose where your heart is and making things pop where your genius is.”

Talkback: What person, place, pitfall or pathway has helped (or is helping) you go way back to walk that tightrope and power your flow?

Tracks: TLC – Way Back – https://youtu.be/ibR0rYNMJpI

Janelle Monáe – Tightrope – https://youtu.be/pwnefUaKCbc

Ice Cube & DJ Khaled Just Achieved New Dreams, Here’s How They Did It! #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? (Or Just Fun!)

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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 was the first weekend in the official start of summer and things got hot! There were so many events from coast to coast that had stars in the building. There were Awards shows and other spots to choose from that were happening. Even Ice Cube and DJ Khaled achieved new dreams with their latest projects.

In launching this new 3-on-3 professional basketball league, Cube told USA Today’s For The Win “When I saw Kobe score 60 points in his last game, I knew that guy can still play basketball…and there’s no where I can ever see him play again.” Cube saw an opportunity to fill a void, serve a niche & roll the dice.

After giving it more thought he went with the 3-on-3 idea which is how most basketball pick-up games are played. Even though he was starting from scratch with the idea, he decided to recruit former NBA players who’re now retired. The concept has some buzz with strong attendance after the first weekend of games.

While that was happening on the East Coast, Khaled was mixing it up on the West Coast with a new album release. His social media feed was blazing with clicks and pics from some of his promotional pit stops. With Cube and Khaled you see their vision catch fire as they approach their dreams like pros.

What really stands out for both of them is how they make the situation special. Khaled gives nods and props to his production team and music collaborators with his Another One lingo. Cube lets players wear their street-side nicknames on their jerseys. It’s the way they make things funky, fun and catch feels.

Groove-Track: Tracie Spencer  – Make it Funky – https://youtu.be/IJsStCDbq-s

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

First summer weekend start. Weather pretty much played its part. Things in show biz got hot. With so many events to hit the spot. Awards shows and so much more. Some things began as early as four. Lots of stars in the building to see. How Ice Cube and DJ Khaled let dreams come to be.

Launching new 3-on-3 pro hoops. Giving USA Today his dream scoops. Saw Kobe retire after scoring 60 in last game. Knew he could still do more with his fame. Why not see him play again. If he’s still can shoot jumpers when. A way to serve a niche, fill a void. Roll the dice for the retired and unemployed.

After thinking things through a bit. Cube thought his idea could be a hit. Most pick-up games happen the 3-on-3 way. That’s how most kids learn to play. Starting from scratch to move it along. Cube adding his own rhymes in a Hip Hop song. Concept has buzz from fan support. To see who still got game on the court.

That was sort of the East Coast swing. While Khaled on West Coast doing his thing. Mixing it up for his album release. Grateful for the fan love piece by piece. Social media feed blazing with clicks. Streaming music previews and promo pics. Many see their vision catch fire. Living their dreams about to go higher.

Something to make them standout then. The situation makes things feel like a ten. Khaled gives nods to his production team. Adding props for his collab-ready dream. As Another One helps him see more green. And stay front and center on the scene. Nicknames on jerseys to make it funky, fun and feel teen.

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Tip: Achieving new dreams might involve filling a void, serving a niche and making the right pitch.

Talkback: What’s it going to take for 3-on-3 to become a regular part of the sports scene?

Groove-Tracks: Big Sean – Bounce Back – https://youtu.be/go76oq9KI-o

Calvin Smith ft Pharrell & Katy Perry – Feels – https://youtu.be/ozv4q2ov3Mk

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

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

Taraji P. Henson, DJ Khaled: Two Among Many Who’ve Had a Career Year For Sure #BigTimeUniversity

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

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” 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 ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

Lamar Jackson takes the Heisman award for contributions to his Louisville team. He beat-out four other finalists to join football’s best-in-class. Then there’s DJ Khaled & Taraji P. Henson who’ve been white hot this year even before the Christmas special. They’re two among many who’ve had a career year for sure.

According to Yahoo Celebrity Khaled told ET earlier this year “I feel like people can relate to me because we all go through wins and roadblocks and passion and pain and it’s a vibe.” Khaled and Henson might have different experiences but they could share their 4 keys on going from hidden figure to six figures.

For Henson’s latest role in the movie Hidden Figures she plays the true story of Katherine Johnson, a math whiz who worked behind the scenes at NASA. It reminds us of times we’ve had to go from scared to bold. The long-and-short of it is being able to fess-up our truths before we can bless-up the world.

If Khaled’s Instagram tells us anything, he did it with an eye on having more life. It’s the way we step-up to a cause or live-up to our dreams. He’s been busy raising his rap impresario game while sharing his keys for success. Even Drake gave Khaled props with gold plated keys for him and his new born son.

So Henson’s missing from the Golden Globe nods. Was it a snub or a slight rub? Khaled’s got his first #1 album Major Key on the Billboard 200. Their journeys line-up with the quote “Things are going to get in your way but whatever you do never stop showing-up.” Keep runnin’ since God can save the best for last.

Groove-Track: Will Smith – How Da Beat Goes On – https://youtu.be/s435h8Xc-wE

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Lamar Jackson takes Heisman award. That’s big and makes him man-a-yard. Louisville teammates gotta be happy. Teasing him kinda feels sappy. Beating-out four other jocks. As college football’s best-in-class stocks. There’s Henson & Khaled who’ve been white hot. Before Christmas special or career top spot.

As told by Yahoo Celebrity note. Khaled on ET that he’s not yet GOAT. But feels like people can relate. With wins, roadblocks and things on the slate. Passion and pain has its own vibe. Khaled & Henson might pitch their own tribe. Giving 4 keys on going from hidden figures. To top billing and major six figures.

Henson’s latest role you see. Movie Hidden Figures history. Plays true story of math whiz. Who was part of NASA biz. Reminds us of what it takes. When fear gives us the shakes. Go from scared to being bold. Like winners of days old. Long-and-short is simple to say. Fess-up your truth, bless-up the world any way.

If Instagram is where he lives. Snapchat is where he gives. Wanting to have more life. For him the fans and cool wife. In how he’d step-up after a pause. Or live-up to dreams and a cause. Busy raising his impresario game. Then came more fortune the same. Even Drake gave props with gold keys in his name.

So Henson’s missing from Golden Globe list. Snub or slight rub the gist? Khaled with first #1 album reach. On Billboard 200, listen for his speech. Their journeys taking different roads for sure. But lines-up with idea close to the core. Things get in the way but no matter what. Keep runnin’ as God has your lot.

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Tip: The key in moving from hidden figure to top billing is making sure your work and life make a killin’.

Talkback: No Golden Globe for Taraji: Snub or a slight rub?

Groove-Tracks: Kim Burrell – I See a Victory – https://youtu.be/zM_ngicKTqU

Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/96kIL2GV27I

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

DJ Khaled & Nia Long Keep Turning Heads by How they Make Things Pop on Screens #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” 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 ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

The Snapchat King was in the building. Well, maybe that wasn’t quite how it was said as DJ Khaled attended the White House Correspondence Dinner. He posted pics with other celebs who brought the look. It seems Khaled and actress Nia Long keep turning heads by how they make things pop on screen.

In discussing her body of work Long tells Uptown Magazine “No matter what level you’re on in this industry, you’re expected to be excellent. Being excellent—when the material isn’t—can be challenging.” They reflect on 3 things people own that give them the right stuff in PPM – passion, purpose and moxie.

Khaled might poke fun at the idea that Nia has been at it for a ‘Long’ time. She takes pride in owning a sense of balance, inner beauty and bringing excellence in her work. That’s all good when talent shows up and passion goes in. They’re using passion to grow talent the way an investment account grows money.

Even with the many roles she’s played over the years Long has a knack for her lane. Khaled has been driving his lane in hip hop too. But these days it’s his ‘street nuggets’ that have people talking. They remind us of how going to the next level is less about making excuses and more about building stories.

That might explain why he attended the event with media empress Arianna Huffington. He said he used the time for “talking mogul talk.” Long and Khaled work at being a master at the game and living the life they were made for. It’s a case of when talent shows up and passion goes in then greatness shows out.

Groove-Track: Vanessa Williams – The Right Stuff – https://youtu.be/m3Urr8J3RYQ

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

The Snapchat King was in the building. Took a break on social media winning. Maybe not quit how it was said. But DJ Khaled brought his cred. As White House Correspondence dinner guest. There among celeb’s best. He and Nia Long keep turning heads. Making things pop on screens & rap spreads.

Talking ‘bout her body of work. Tells Uptown Magazine about showbiz perk. Keeping it excellent is what people expect. A challenge in what script might reflect. Showing the 3 things people tend to own. As they go from youth to being grown. To have the right stuff in PPM rating. Passion, purpose & moxie breaking.

Khaled might say Nia’s been around ‘Long.’ But not yet singing her swan song. She takes pride in balance and inner beauty. Excellence in work her duty. All good when talent shows up big. As passion goes in for a jig. Passion to grow their own talent tune. The way investment takes money to the moon.

With many roles she’s played so far. Long has knack for her lane like a car. Khaled driving his success in hip-hop too. Posting pictures from his music studio zoo. These days his ‘street nuggets’ got people talking. Reminds us how next level stories sends excuses walking.

Might explain the event invitation. With media empress Arianna Huffington. Used the time for “talking mogul” stuff. Wearing shiny jewels in his sleeve cuff. Khaled and Long as masters of their game. Living the life made for their name. A case where talent shows up right. As passion & greatness show out tight.

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Tip: Having the right stuff is a case where you get to bring more than enough of yourself.

Talkback: What’s a memorable ‘street nugget’ from Khaled or favorite movie role of Nia Long?

Groove-Tracks: Major Lazer – Light it Up – https://youtu.be/e7eZUGB9HKU


Santigold –
Can’t Get Enough of Myself – https://youtu.be/WM71W6eI34w

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