Lady Flava’s Review on “Mechanics of a Nigga” by Timothy Hollins

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Challenged My Thinking
 
Mechanics if a Nigga by Timothy Hollins was one of the most challenging books I have read in a long time, maybe ever. I felt like it was a dialogue that I have been privileged to hear but not welcomed to really participate in. From birth I was raised in a predominately black community of Seattle, WA where I attended school, played with and associated with friends and peers that were black. Strangely enough during the late 60’s to early 70’s (the Civil Rights Era) I was accepted in my community because my father is Japanese, I am of Japanese/ German descent. So, with that acceptance, I had no problems coming up. From the sidelines I would hear the conversations from my friends and elders about the word “Nigga/Nigger” and the displeasure that it brought them and in those days it was taboo for a black person to call another black person the “N word.” I understood at a young age that I was not really to have a voice in certain conversations, instead I listened intently with out speaking.

So reading this piece of literature challenged my thinking and more so, challenged how I would respond through writing a review. Do I have the right to have a react and respond? I know that I do.

Mechanics of a Nigga is educational and thought provoking., no matter who the person is that reads it. Addressing the African American/Black Community from an American true history perspective starting with the slave mentality of today, society perception, self perception, rising up beyond this state of oppression to self deprivation and low self-esteem.

It addresses white privilege, enslavement of mind and body with a sense that the writer wanting to push the reader to think about what would “change” look like after a cycle of unchanged history. Now we go from the use of a word “Nigga” being used in a derogatory way from a group of people that claimed privilege over all people, to it freely being used among a group of blacks addressing each other, when the larger demographics of blacks on a national and global do not use this word in addressing themselves. What is the change that is needed, how does the healing begin and what would it really look like a noticeable level and who would recognize and acknowledge an empowering shift.

I challenge you to read this piece and to find your words to describe your experience and thoughts. This piece is for all people. It is for those that are willing to read it with an open mind and to be honest with how you think and feel about to topic posed to us.

I know that Timothy Hollins has written other pieces along this line, which I will be purchasing copy’s to read and review. I look forward to pushing myself in my thoughts and feelings as I dig deeper into this authors mindset as he shares.

Lady Flava
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9 Flava Snaps out of 10

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The Next Movement at Eastside Cannery

October 5, 2017
The Next Movement at Eastside Cannery

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The Next Movement is one of the groups I had heard about when I first arrived to Vegas, so I knew that I wanted to checked them out.  It just so happened that my girlfriends called to say I should come out with them to see The Next Movements show that night at the Eastside Cannery.  I live the closest, so I headed over to secure a table for us and found that the room was pretty much full and I was forced to grab a table to the right of the stage and which was up against the wall.  Although it wasn’t the best view for experiencing The Next Movement for the first time, I wasn’t going to let this stop me from enjoying the show and moving around if I felt like it.  As the show started I decided since I brought my review journal with me that I would take notes, pictures and videos of the night’s experience.

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As I stated, the room was fairly full by the time I arrived at around 8:30pm.  It was an older crowd, who seemed to wholeheartedly enjoy the music and did not hesitate to get on the dance floor throughout the night.  The Next Movement shared a variety of genres from the Classics in R&B, Soul and Blues with some more current pop songs.  It appears that The Next Level knows their audiences well, and catered to what the crowd clearly enjoyed.  Performing the Classics, “Used To Be My Girl” by The O’Jays, “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” by Stevie Wonder, “Choosey Lover” by The Isley Brothers, and “Single Life” by Cameo just to name a few.

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Sam Thomas Jr of The Next Movement is very engaging of the audience and you can tell he is a seasoned entertainer, knowing how to keep the energy high along with his music brothers, Cornell Haywood and Earl Shelby.  Together they display such beautiful harmony showing that they truly are professionals and main objective is to give a great show.
In doing a little research on this group, I see that they were established going back to the early 70’s back in Chicago’s South Side.  Now as a regular fixture to a variety of casino’s in Vegas, they also tour and wow their audiences from near and far.

Get a taste of their flava…

If you come to Vegas or are living in the Vegas area, I would recommend that you come out and experience The Next Movement…Coming to a casino near you!
You can stay updated by following The Next Movement on Facebook or stay informed on show dates by going to their website at: www.thenextmovementshows.com
Lady Flava
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8 Flava Snaps out of 10 Flava Snaps

Vegas Entertainment The Pros and Cons

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As a newcomer to the Vegas Entertainment Scene, I am like a sponge, absorbing what I am privy to witness, while taking notes on how it all works.

There are similarities in the struggles of entertainers, to the indie artists that I have supported over the years.  But then there is a difference in that, most of the entertainers that I know and have come to know here in Vegas, are actually working entertainers.  Most are working on a weekly basis as apart of a group or two, that perform at one of the many casinos on and off the strip.

There is such a wonderful work ethic that I have witness, with a commitment to putting on a high quality, polished show.  Of course, some might come back to me with a cutting eye on this and I do know there is always exceptions to the rule.  I would say that these Vegas entertainers and musicians know that the shows they are apart of, can make or break them in opportunities and frequency of depositing a check into their bank accounts.  I am going to call the entertainers I speak on, Indie Entertainers and I will explain why.  The great entertainers that I am connected to have a hustle so strong, that their ear is always perked to hear of opportunities for better exposure and making money.  It doesn’t mean that they are not wanting to be committed to a group and or project, it means that they need to make money to survive and many groups do not have the ability to hold a person without a guaranteed paycheck coming in every week.  So, you may see one of your favorite entertainer or musician one week in one group, and then in another group the following week.  Of course there are times that someone is just not a good fit, and that causes the change in faces, which is common on this industry.

I have sat in on some rehearsals when time has permitted and I appreciate these experiences, to see and hear the raw and unpolished sound, as they work through the kinks, to that top quality sound and look as the final product is brought to life.

You might wonder if I have changed my interest to entertainers from indie artists, of course that is not the case.  I knew that I had to make a move to a location where I could grow in exposure and opportunity for myself, to then be able to open up doors for the indie artists that I believe deserve the opportunity to be seen and heard.  Many of the entertainers I presently know are also indie artists with projects that have released and they too struggle gaining recognition for their individual music and sound.  Cover Songs pay the bills.  So my fight is for them also…to provide a platform for them to gain exposure for their original music.

For the purpose of this blog, I want to encourage you can come out, and you can pretty much experience these great talents any day of the week in a variety of venues from casinos on the strip, to casinos around Vegas and the outlining areas.  Many times the shows are free or very affordable.  Come out and experience the sounds of your favorite music from the past and present.  Your presences helps to create more and greater opportunities for these talented Vegas talents.  You are apart of their success.

The hustle is real but in Vegas their is opportunity for the right person, talent along with being in the right place at the right time, and being aligned with the right people.

Entertainment

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Lady Flava’s Journey To Vegas From Seattle…A New Beginning

Flava News3 months ago I arrived in Vegas, ready to experience a new beginning to my life.  Leaving Seattle after going through double knee replacement surgery and rehab, along with adjusting to a new life without my father…I was ready to experience life as Lady Flava full-time.  It was an easy decision since my daughters are adults now and ready to experience life without their mom around, but my hesitation was leaving my grandbaby behind.  My girls love Vegas and we are only about a 2 hour airplane ride away from each other, so I do anticipate them coming down for a visit, as I will return home from time to time.

May 2, 2017 I loaded up my car and headed on a journey to Vegas all by my lonesome, by choice.  The feeling of hitting the highway was so liberating, so freeing.  I did not know what I was heading into, but my faith was strong and I knew that God would see me through.  The travel went well, my car ran fine and as I stopped along the way I checked in with my family and loved ones.

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May 3rd, late in the afternoon, I arrived in Vegas…When I saw the Stratosphere in the distance, tears came to my eyes and I knew I had arrived to my new home, my new life. Making the needed phone calls and arrangements as to where I would stay…Go worked everything out from start to finish.

I wanted to jump out there and was ready to be Lady Flava right off the bat, but God had other plans for me and slowed me down, bringing me to reality.  I really needed to chill, adjust to my new life in Vegas and find a place to live along with get a part-time job to supplement my income.  First I was offered a beautiful condo at an affordable price, then I was hired for an on-call job as a healthcare sitter…right up my alley. Both blessings came from people I was connected to prior to moving to Vegas.  You cannot tell me that these blessings were nothing but God’s doing.  Now to really settle into my life in Vegas.  I found that things moved slowly and now looking back, they moved in the right direction and speed that was meant to me.

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I began a journey of taking care of my health and well-being. getting in the pool which was right outside my door and establishing a healthy eating regiment.  Learning to live on my own, which was something I had never done and found to be exciting and so unfamiliar.

Things did not go as I had hope when I arrived, but it never stopped me from feeling extremely blessed.  All my needs were being met and I needed to learn the art of being patient.  What it came down to is acting me finances and making sure that I did not put myself into debt beyond what I financially could afford to be easily.  I was and am so determined to be smart with my money and bills.  So getting everything set up for Lady Flava and Lady Flava News is coming along slowly.

It feels great when I have the opportunity to work on a project in Vegas as Lady Flava. And my colleagues outside of Vegas, remind me regularly to never forget my purpose in moving to Vegas.  My dream goal is to put on an Indie Artist showcase and weekend event 3-4 times a year.  I am coming to accept that I will need to raise the money myself to get this going, when I had really hoped that I could encourage my followers and artists I support to help build the financial foundation together. Although I have raised over $800.00 towards it…$500.00 came from Unity Through Arts Exchange, some from my father before he passed and then from followers.  I had hoped to host my first “Flava’s Lounge” this fall but between my work and life I have not had the opportunity to get out to network and view any venues.  Several people have assured me that it will happen but it will take some time to really get my feet wet in the Vegas scene and to be come family with venues, areas, promoters and such.  This is where, patience on my part is so important.

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One of my goals now that I am living is Vegas is to become a know and respected show reviewer.  I am really excited about taking on this challenge as I write about my experience at what I hope will be a variety of shows within my circle of entertainment friends and those I am do not know.  I am all about the experience from Talent, to Production to the overall Experience.

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One of the biggest goals for me once I am comfortably able to afford high speed internet, I want to get back to doing my radio shows.  I miss interacting with artists and reviewing music to play on my shows.  Indie Artists are my ultimate passion and my reason for moving to Vegas and the foundation for my life as Lady Flava , The Indie Artist Cheerleader.

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I will get back to doing a variety of radio shows that will continue supporting a featuring a variety of indie music and art forms.  In doing my shows, I am hoping this will only be the start to opening up doors and opportunity for the artists I choose to support.

I will also get back to my Lady Flava News Consulting and Couching business.  I love exploring with a client where they presently are with their career as an artist and where they want to be.  Then helping them create a plan of action on what it will take to get there.

So much I have planned and always working towards getting there myself. One step at a time…accepting the process with patience and grace and never ever ignoring my blessings and always taking time to give thanks.

My journey is just beginning and I am enjoying the process as it unfolds.

Taking care of myself, preparing for opportunity, stacking my money and building my Flava Brand in Vegas.

Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement.  The best is yet to come!

Lady Flava

PS: I celebrated my birthday here in Vegas and was just thrilled with the people that came out and had such a great time at In-A-Fect’s show at Fiesta Rancho’s Cabo Lounge!

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My First Entertainment Experience in Vegas Was Rhythm Nation

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Rhythm Nation is a highly sought after band around Vegas into New Mexico with a huge following that will travel around Vegas to see them perform.  From the leadership of Steve Owens, the founder of Rhythm Nation to the Music Director, Skip Rice you will experience a very high energy and fun time.  At times you will experience guest musicians or don’t be surprised when a fellow entertainer who has come out to support, will be called up on stage to sing a song or two.   I have seen them perform a few times and I always leave with a feeling that I just experienced a “music family” from the group itself to those faithful fans.

You will experience a variety of cover songs from this group from the classic Motown sound to a variety of R&B/Soul to Pop.

Check out Rhythm Nation’s rendition of, “Rock Steady” by The Whispers

 

One of Vegas’ in demand singers is a member of Rhythm Nation, Mr William Jordan Jr belting out a variety of songs such as, “Because I Love You”

 

And then there is Ressa (sp?) ….this young lady is clearly one of the favorite features of this Rhythm Nation group…People from the audience will stand right in front of her when she sings a solo and be in shear awe, showing nothing but appreciation for her talents.

Get a taste of Ressa with her rendition of “At Last”

 

Rhythm Nation is one of my all time favorite experiences in Vegas.  They have a set foundation with the following musicians and singers:

Steve Owens on Percussion

Skip Rice on Bass Guitar

Kharon Haley Harrison on Drums

along with Vocalist Ressa and William Jordan Jr.

Then you will usually be surprised with a guest Guitarist and Keyboardist.

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You can catch Rhythm Nation at a variety of locations in Vegas on a regular basis.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Lady Flava News Reviews” 9 Flava Snaps out of !0.

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Tre’sure and Dreamstone at Eastside Canery in Vegas

Tresure and Dreamstone

Coming from Seattle and hearing Tre’sure’s name on social media and sensing he and his band will put on a great show,  I was not disappointed.  Clearly Tre’sure and his band, Dreamstone are seasoned musicians/entertainers giving a show of true professionalism and showmanship.  They shared a variety of cover songs that kept the dance floor packed and the audience singing.  All had a great time the night I was in attendance.

Putting on 3 sets of very high energy and topnotch performance set after set….Tre’sure and Dreamstone soon became one of my ultimate favorite Vegas shows that I will attend over and over when time permits.  From the quality musicians and background singers who can hold their own on solos, to the overall visual experience was very appealing to the eye.  The color coordination and and uniformity I found to be apart of the Tre’sure/Dreamstone experience.

Sharing the Tre’sure/Dreamstone experience with songs like:

Have A Good Time

Single

Just A Little Bit

Maria Maria

Rock Steady

to name a few.  Check out this video that I took of “Ain’t No Stopping Us”

 

From the visual, to the sound and production from start to finish…Tre’sure and Dreamstone put on one of the BEST shows that I have experienced in Vegas thus far.  One of the sweetest things that Tre’sure does, is to have all the birthday people come out on the dance floor as he sings to them and gives them, “Tre’sure Bears” as gifts.

I highly recommend for anyone and everyone to come out and experience Tre’sure and Dreamstone Band.  They perform at a variety of casinos and venues around Vegas and beyond.

Lady Flava News Review 10 Snaps out of 10 Snaps

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“FRESH” LVS Enterprises Presents Motown Extreme Review

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This was a highly anticipated show for me as a new person to the Las Vegas area and the entertainment that takes place here.  I had the privilege of attending a rehearsal for this show and found that it was well designed from the vocals, the choreography, script to the overall presentation.  This was just what I took away from experiencing the rehearsal just days before the actual show.  I sensed that the show was going to be amazing.

I sensed the seriousness and commitment that Ausar and Aset Bragg founders and CEO of LVS Enterprises/The Las Vegas Stars.  I understood the needed commitment and dedication that they required from the performers and stage production crew to pull off this exciting and fresh twist to a Motown Review.  With a 12-14 person crew, it was clear that they put the right people together.  The talent clearly was there, but you truly could feel the love and respect that each member had for one another and their individual commitment to the success of this project and show.  It was beautiful to witness. Running through the rehearsal, they ended the evening with a circle conversation and updates, expectations along with hopes and desires of that the outcome would be.

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The night of the show arrived and I found myself so excited to see how they would pull the show off in their studio…Oh, I failed to mention that this great production was going to take place in the AIP Academy of the Arts performance studio, which is also owned and operated by Ausar and Aset Bragg.  I walked into what felt like a small theater. Chairs lined up in rows with club style tables and chairs up front, the stage area was set with microphones,  lighting and the perfect atmosphere or should I say, ambiance.  The people started to come, with those clearly with question on their faces, not knowing what to expect along with those simply settling into their spot ready for the show.  The VIP’s sat up front which included Robert Gordy Jr and his guest, while other Gordy Family members sat in the back.  Knowing Robert Gordy Jr and his guest, I moved up front to sit by them.  This was a perfect move for me.  As the show started, I found myself drawn into every song, the precision of the dance routines and beautiful customs. The best part was watching Robert Gordy Jr’s reaction as he experienced the show.  He was all in by the way he responded to each act.

Here was is the line-up of acts:

Gladys Knight and The Pips

Jackson 5

Four Tops

Diana Ross and The Supremes

Temptations

Marvin Gaye

Which included some skits included throughout the show.

For me the night was magical as each act took the stage and dazzled the audience.  It was not only perfect in presentation but it has what I would call an authentic and organic feel to it, that made it feel fresh and exciting.  Everyone that was in attendance enjoyed the show and greeted the cast afterwards, sharing their excitement, giving their blessings and of course taking pictures.  Their were some young girls in attendance and after the show they took pictures with the young “Michael Jackson” impersonator, which for me gave the feel of what Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 went through as their fan base began to grow.

I was privy to a lengthy conversation after the show with Robert Gordy Jr and of course I had to ask him what his thoughts were of the evening.  Robert was thrilled, he said that it was a fresh twist to a Motown Revue.  Robert Gordy Jr felt is was “fresh and exciting,” giving a true feel to how it felt back in the days of Motown when it was new and growing, taking on the talents of the artist and groups who were replicated during this evening.  With the great talents, beautiful costumes, the energy from the audience and the captivating performance from the Jackson 5 and other performers…it felt like Motown all over again.

Check out the Promo Video for Motown Extreme Review

Within the walls of the AIP Academy of the Arts performance studio, Ausar and Aset Bragg pulled of a topnotch show, with the great talents and a Motown feeling which left those that attended to continue to talk about it way past the night of the show.

Showing how hard work, determination with the right team including Felton Pilate on Production and Stage Manager, Nate Bridewell, along with the committed crew of performers, LVS Enterprises did their thing.  The production was so amazing to the point that people have asked over and over about this show, where is it taking place next and when could they attend a show themselves.

Now the challenge begins, Motown Extreme Review is looking for a showroom to put on this high energy and top quality show.  Everyone who has experienced this production is in agreement that it deserves a showroom on the strip and that they would support it.

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The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross and The Supremes

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Motown Extreme Review Cast with Robert Gordy Jr and Family

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3 of the gentlemen from the Four Tops and Temptation along with the Pips

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Robert Gordy Jr with The Supremes

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Susan “Lady Flava” Koshi with Ausar and Aset Bragg; Founders and CEO of

LVS Enterprises’ The Las Vegas Stars Motown Extreme Review 

As a reviewer, I base my reviews on presentation, production and experience.  I was totally blown away by Motown Extreme!

Lady Flava News Review score is : 10 Snaps out of 10 Snaps

I do advocate for this production to get a showroom or venue and I would highly recommend that all come out to experience Motown Extreme Review.

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