Motivational Monday (V.11): Role v. Real

There’s no denying just how philosophical Tupac was. Everything he said had such a deep meaning that it made you think. I read and listen to his interviews all the time and one of the interviews that stands out to me was an interview in 1992 with MTV when he discussed not wanting to be tied to the term ‘role model’ and instead just being real. Hence why this weeks Motivational Monday is titled, ‘Role v. Real’.

“I say I don’t want to be a role model in the song, because if I let somebody put the role-model label on me, that limits me. Because look at those words, ‘role’ and ‘model.’ Both of those are fake words, to play a role and to model, that’s fake. I’m real. Being real, I drink, I hang out, I party — I do things that a 21-year-old does. And even worse, because I didn’t have a childhood, I’m reliving my childhood. I live life to its fullest, I make mistakes, but I do some stuff that some college kids wouldn’t do, because I live from my heart. I have fun. I don’t want to be a role model, I just want to be real.”

 

Everyone strives to be a role model because it’s what you’re supposed to do. Well, that’s what society tells you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to inspire, motivate, and influence the mind of others, but the problem comes in when you’re not staying true to yourself. The problem comes in when the term ‘role model’ casts over who you really are and you begin to live a double life. One is the role model in which you displayed and then the one of who you really are. The real you would never get the chance to shine as you are keeping up the facade of the role model everyone expects you to be.

It all comes down to never diminishing who you are and your attributes to continuously please others. You cannot be an inspiration to others if you cannot stay true to yourself. I never thought of the words ‘role’ and ‘model’ being fake until I heard this interview. This is what I’m talking about as far as thinking deeper into what Tupac was saying. If you cannot stay true to yourself, how are you supposed to tell someone to do the same? There are a lot of role models and then there are people that are just real.

I want to strive to be me. If I help and inspire someone along the way fine. In becoming a role model you end up conforming to the expectations of others instead of your own. Work on continuously becoming a better you. All those inspired by you will then follow suit.

Tupac, The Musical: ‘Holla If Ya Hear Me’

140108-tupac-musical-holler-broadwayThis is NEWS to me that a Tupac musical is in the works. In fact previews begin on Monday (June 2nd) at the New York’s Palace Theater and will run until January 2015. Check out three of the songs below that will be featured in the musical: ‘Holla If Ya Hear Me’, ‘California Love’, and ‘Unconditional Love’.

The songs don’t sound HORRIBLE, but they also don’t have the hardcore swag that Tupac embodied. Again this is NEWS to me that there is a Tupac musical.

Click here for more info on the show.

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 13

On February 13, 1996 two prolific albums were released: The Score All Eyez on Me.

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The Fugees was a trio made up of Pras Michael, Wyclef Jean, and Lauryn Hill. The Score featured 17 tracks and included hits: ‘Fu-gee-la,’ ‘Ready or Not,’ and the Roberta Flack sample, ‘Killing Me Softly.’

The album awarded the trio with two Grammys at the 38th Annual Award show for Best Performance by Duo or Group (‘Killing Me Softly’) and Best Rap Album.

Across the coast, 2Pac released his 4th studio album, All Eyez on Me through Interscope/Death Row Records. It made history as the first solo dual-disc hip hop album being releaed as 2 CDs and 4 LPs. It became his second album to top both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

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The album sold 528,000 in its first week and within two months the album was certified 5x platinum by the RIAA. By 1998 it was certified 19x platinum and in 2011 album sales had surpassed 5.8 million in the U.S. The first half of the album featured 14 tracks with hits ‘2 of Americaz Most Wanted’ (w/ Snoop Dogg) and ‘I Ain’t Mad at Cha’ (w/ Danny Boy) & ‘How Do U Want It’ (w/ K-Ci & JoJo). The second half featured 13 tracks.

Although his life and career were cut short in the fall of 1996, 2Pac has sold over 75 million records and made a name for himself not only as an artist, but as an actor and noted public figure.

Then & Now Thursday (V.4) — Music to Acting

There are not many artists that have successfully made the transition from music to acting and vice versa. I will be highlighting those that have and discussing a few that have not lived up to the hype.

LL Cool J began his career in the mid-80s with his debut album, Radio. He was known for his Kangols, tone body and his signature of licking his lips. He was also one of the first rappers to merge R&B and Hip Hop and got a lock of flack for it during his time, but now that trend is a hit. Over the course of his 20+ year career he has released 8 studio albums and 2 compilation albums in 96 and 09 and has won 2 Grammys along the way.

His acting career began in simultaneously with that of his rapping career and starred in minor roles and took his talents to TV starring in the show, In The House, in 1999. He has gone on to appear in several other movies such as: Deep Blue See, In Too Deep, Deliver Us From Eva, Rollerball, S.W.A.T., and others. He returned back to TV as a star on the NCIS spin-off, N.C.I.S.: Los Angeles and has been there since 2009. He’s also been the Grammy host for the past 3 years as well as the Grammy Nominee show host.

Jamie Foxx began his career doing stand up in the late 80s and landed his first huge role on In Living Color in 1991 where he remained for 4 years. After his time with In Living Color he released his debut album, Peep This. He did not dwell so much on the album and went back to acting and appeared on TV shows and movies here and there before landing his own show, The Jamie Foxx Show in 1996. During that time he appeared in movies such as: Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, Player’s Club, Ali, and more.

The turning point in Foxx’s career was his starring role in Ray in 2004. This role rejuvenated his career in a way making him more assessable to roles other than comedy. He won an Academy Award for his role and released his second album, Unpredictable, that same year. Foxx juggled both music and acting and won a Grammy alongside Kanye West for ‘Golddigger’ and won a Grammy for his solo work in 2010 for his hit ‘Blame It’ featuring T-Pain. Foxx is currently back in the acting world and recently starred in the hit, controversial movie, Django Unchained and will be appearing in upcoming movies The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, and Horrible Bosses 2.

Grammy award winner, Will Smith, is more so best known for his show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, than anything else in his career. Aside from acting, Will was a ver popular rapper in the 80s becoming the first to win in the first Grammy award in the Rap category alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1988. His acting career has him 4 Golden Globe and 2 Academy Award nominations. He’s starred in movies: Independence Day, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, Ali, I Am Legend, and more. He starred alongside his son Jaden, in the Pursuit of Happyness and starred in movie series Bad Boys and Men In Black.

There are other artists who have done the transition successfully such as Jennifer Hudson,Tupac, Aaliyah, Tyrese, Ludacris Justin Timberlake, etc.  Aaliyah and Tupac’s lives were both cut short, but they both were very impressive on the big screen and musically.

You even have the Disney stars that are doing too bad for themselves such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus.I have realized that the transition either works or it doesn’t and it’s more so men having better chances with landing roles than women.

Beyoncé is one to me that he acting chops don’t seem as organic and natural. She’s such a perfectionist it seems like she tries really really hard, some times too hard. I’m not saying that all the movies she’s been in were horrible, but I think that she’s a better performer than she is an actress. All of the movie roles she’s taken on has been with her singing primarily minus Austin Powers in Goldmember and Obsessed.

There’s more, but those were just some that always stood out to me that could juggle successfully both acting (TV/Movie) and singing.