Higher Than I

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“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I;” (Psalm 61:2, NIV).

Everyone goes through seasons of difficulty. We all face challenges and trials. Scripture tells us that in this world we will have trouble, but we can be encouraged today because He has overcome the world and disarmed it of the power to harm us! Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. His ways are higher than our ways, and He has promised to deliver us!

So many times, people feel stuck in their circumstances because they are looking at them from a natural perspective. This natural perspective is limited. It’s small. It’s only a fraction of what’s really going on. But, if we’ll rise up to a higher level, we will see things the way God sees them. We’ll understand His purposes and see the way to victory!

Today, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, Jesus is the rock who is high above your circumstances. When you call on Him, He will be with you. He will lead you and guide you into the higher places He has prepared for you!

Jody K Young

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Birdie Jackson

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Birdie Jackson, a Louisiana native, is a rising rap artist, who always brings differentiating elements. Listening to his album, Life Through The Eyes Of A Gentleman, I could not help but to feel that music has left an indelible footprint on his life. The music that he creates combines creativity and a passion for innovation. I interviewed him recently and here is what he had to say:

> Jody: 1. Birdie Jackson. Tell us about the man behind this name. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
> Birdie: Birdie is a name I’ve had for years so it’s kind of my real name nowadays and Jackson is my birth name so I’m just me. I’m seen as quiet but I would say im just reserved and personal. I’m definitely an introvert. I stick to those things I know well.

> Jody: 2: Where did you grow up? Listening to your music I could not help but to feel that there has to be something that has influenced your style. What are your musical influences and what inspires you?
> Birdie: I’m from Houma, Louisiana. I grew up listening to all different genres of music so I guess that’s why my style is all over the place. I like so much I can’t just do one thing.

> Jody: 3: Can you explain who specifically has been influential in your life? How did you become passionate about music along with this idea of seeking differentiation or separation from the rest of the pack?
> Birdie: I don’t think any one person made me love music. I think it’s just my destiny to be involved in the music process. It comes so natural to me to express my emotions in a poetic form that it has to be a divine purpose to my talent. I don’t try to be different; well I do but the way I do is I just do what is good music to me. I think we all have unique opinions and if we just express ourselves without care of others opinions we would be ok.

> Jody: 4. What kind of identity or image do you want followers of your music to think of when they see you perform?
> Birdie: If anything I would want them to see I’m passionate and I love what I do. This is not a hustle for me. This is love. This is life. I’m honest in my words so I hope they appreciate the game I give them. If they catch it.

> Jody: 5. Was there ever a time that you might have been discouraged or you did not want to be involved in music because you came across a hurdle? Is it always smooth sailing?
> Birdie: Lol actually before the “Life Through the Eyes..” mixtape I said that was my last cd and I was going do something else with my life. Not that I came across any hurdles it’s just after awhile of having nobody truly believe in you and seeing no progress it gets tiresome. I just can’t seem to let it go though. Making a living from music is hard and even harder when people don’t respect it as a “job” because we don’t clock in to work and get a paycheck.

> Jody: 6. What makes Birdie Jackson tick? What are some things you really feel passionate about? What is a repetitive theme you echo in most of your songs?
> Birdie: I want to wake the youth up and make them understand that the world will be theirs in 30 years and what they do today will effect their lives in 30 years. I don’t think people nowadays understand cause and effect to well. It’s like we think we can live forever and drink and drug and have no connection with right and wrong or just morals. When you know better you do better and its not that we don’t know better it’s like we don’t care. Unity. That’s what I’m about. No matter race nor creed. We in this together.

> Jody: 7. Todays music is about colabrations what “hot” rapper out now, you would love to work with on a project?
> Birdie: Nobody actually. If someone wants to work with me I’m all for it but I don’t want my success to springboard off another’s name. I want to gain my respect on my own and if I collab with a “hot” artist I want to be bringing my own steam to the track.

> Jody: 8. Where do you place yourself within the larger world of hip-hop? I’m curious about your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop and the ways in which you are adding new insights to the business.
> Birdie: I place myself as the diamond under the dirt. Once my time come I’m going to be an easy person to spot but in God’s time. Hip hop right now is looking for something to follow. For years Jay Z was kind of the goal line you can say but now that he is on his way out it’s like we looking for the next guy to tell us what is the industry standard of excellence. Just tell them give me some time to get up there. Lol.. but serious.

> Jody: 9. In your opinion, how can hip-hop artists be better role models to the communities that they serve?
> Birdie: They can start by being honest with these kids and let them know they aren’t who they rap to be. These kids grow up wanting to be their favorite rapper unknowing their favorite rapper PROBABLY isn’t who they say they are. They can let kids know violence and drugs really aren’t cool. Education is cool. Being a stand up person is cool. Taking care of your family is cool. Having a job is cool. Everybody is not a ‘hustler’. Pull your pants up. Fix yourself up. Get some manners and make something positive out if yourself. There are enough examples in jail and the graveyard to see the streets aren’t the way out.

> Jody: 10. Are there any current or up and coming projects you are working on? If so please tell us about them.
> Birdie: Yeah I have an album on iTunes dropping this fall/winter entitled ‘Double Cup Memoirs’ Manekinenekopro Records produced fully by DJ Black Panther out of Brooklyn, NY and a mixtape before that called ‘Screwed Scriptures’ hosted by DJ Tru-Blu of The Faculty DJs out of Houston, Texas. These feature B. Nicole, Knowledge Da King and F. Bizzle from the PaceSetta camp, Fame The Ruler, Shomari aka DJ Shamrock from The Faculty DJs, JRocThaPistol, Meredith DiMenna from the band ‘Tomorrow Tomorrow’ and Dorian Phibian from the band ‘Reading’. This is hopefully a busy year for me.

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For Booking he can be reached at bookingbirdiejackson@gmail.com for all inquires on features, music mixing engineering services, and shows.

Be sure to support this young man. Follow him and appreciate his talent.

I’m Waiting

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Everyone goes through seasons of waiting. A lot of times, people just sit back and wait for God to do everything. But, you have to remember to do your part and make preparations. You have to talk like it’s going to happen and act like it’s going to happen. Some people might say, “Well, what if I do this and it doesn’t happen?” But I say what if you do and it does happen? And even if things don’t turn out the way you had hoped, you’d still be better off living your life positive and hopeful than you would to go around down and discouraged.

I love what David said in the Bible, “God, my times are in Your hands.” He was saying, “God, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I know You know what’s best for me.” I’m going to go out today expecting good things. And even if it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to go to bed all disappointed. I’m going to go to bed knowing that I’m one day closer to seeing my dreams and desires come to pass!

Jody K Young

Overcome It

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We all have giants or obstacles that try to keep us from possessing what God has promised, especially in our dreams. We have two choices: we can quit and live in mediocrity, or we can fight and take hold of the victory.

The battle you have to fight today is in your mind. You have to change your thinking in order to possess God’s promises. Start choosing thoughts of faith and victory. Declare that you are an overcomer. As you stand and fight and win the battle in your mind, you’ll move forward and embrace the promises and dreams that God has for you!

Jody K Young

Bnicole DaReason

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The rap game is unleashing its feminine side in full force when it comes to this artist. Save the Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj comparisons. This young lady who goes by the name of, Bnicole DaReason, is certainly on her A-Game. With her sassy yet classy personality, she proves that Thibodaux, Louisiana breeds natural talents that are to contend with. I was overjoyed when she agreed to do this interview spread with me. I’ve said several times that It gives me great joy to see other’s succeed but especially when it is people that I grew up with or went to school with. Check out what all she had to say. Get to know her, love her and then be sure to support her. Bnicole DaReason that is.

Jody: 1. Who is the person Bnicole DaReason?

Bnicole DaReason: A Mother, an artist, a student, a go getter, as well as a quite storm. I play so many rolls, and although it gets hard, I do my best to balance it all. I’m human just like everyone else, even though I may come off like a robot, lol. I actually do find time to get a power nap in here and there, lol.

Jody: 2. What do you feel is the most pressing or important problem in our society now, and do you feel as though your experience as an artist has aided or complicated your involvement in these issues?

Bnicole DaReason: Knowledge, hands down. I know that sounds strange and most won’t agree off the bat, but let me explain. So much of our society now-a-days lack common knowledge and that situation has driven our nation, as a whole, into a hole. I’m afraid for the generations ahead if “power” continues to control the people instead of the people controlling the power. One can choose to complain, but if you don’t know, and or don’t care to learn, then no form of change can be done. One man can’t do it alone. As an artist hopefully I’m aiding more than complicating. Hopefully one can learn from my music such as where I’ve been, how far I’ve come, and where I’m headed. All of that is due to a strong mind and abundant will power. Politics, religion, money, and respect are all in, one way or another, rooted to knowledge. One has to be taught in order to learn. Knowledge is gleaned and acquired through someone else or taking your education into your own hands.

Jody: 3. Right now, who would you look up to? Who do you think is a real game-changer in the music industry?

Bnicole DaReason: I’ve always looked up to the Vets in the game. They keep me grounded by letting me know you can do this for life if you choose. With the right mindset and team backing you, you can go the distance indeed. So many names to name but most definitely Mary J.Blidge, Queen Latifah, R.Kelly, Russel Simmons, MC Lyte, Missy Elliot, Ms.Tee, Jay Z, Nas, the list goes on and on lol. As far as game changers goes, I would have to give that award to Kenntrick Lamar. He is most definitely pushing the bars up a couple of notches before I step through the door and completely flip the script on the game as a whole, lol.

Jody: 4. How would you define the hip hop generation and is it a static movement or something that is always changing?

Bnicole DaReason: Hip Hop is life. It changes as we, as a generation, changes. Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of music that is considered Hiphop that I don’t agree with, but I’m human and I have certain tastes. I enjoy music period. If it’s something I can jam to, I’ll jam. If it destroys my ears then it gets the off button, lol.

Jody: 5. There’s always something that drives artists. What drives you to make music and what effect do you want your music to have on your listeners?

Bnicole DaReason: Music drives me to do music and that’s my honest answer. I grew up listening to everything under the sun. Rock, Jazz, Hiphop, R&B, Reggae, and everything else; I’ve heard it all. After listening to my music I want my listeners to feel as if they were actually there. Like a fly on the wall. To feel every bar in which is played over the beat that is laced with my reality. Every artist has a story and what sets me apart is that I say what most people want to tuck away under the rug. They don’t call me “DaReason” for no reason lol.

Jody: 6. How did your family respond when you first started in the music industry?

Bnicole DaReason: Well they always knew I had it in me as a singer, but when I said I would be taking my talent to the next level and I would be rapping instead of singing, I definitely got some weird looks as well as responses. Then they heard my music and I have full support now. My music tends to have that effect on people, lol. Of course I have some family that feel like it’s just a pipe dream and don’t understand how close I am but that’s okay. I just keep the faith and keep on pushing on. I’m a winner already because I believed in myself first and didn’t seek approval from anyone other than the most high. I am covered so therefore I am good.

Jody: 7. Is there any advice you’d like to give to young aspiring rappers?

Bnicole DaReason: Yes! Young sisters, as well as brothers, believe in you first. Anything is possible if you don’t make it impossible. Nothing will just come to you either. You must go out and get it. This includes any career field you choose to journey into. This game is really raw and uncut as well, so a strong mind is needed. Understand that in this business it is 10% talent and the other 90% is business. Education is key so pick up a book or hop on the internet and learn the ends and outs of this game. You want to be well versed in publishing to money management, and royalties to management and contracts. You can’t get played if you are on top of your game.

Jody: 8. What’s next for Bnicole? Are there any current projects in the works and if so tell us about them.

Bnicole DaReason: Show after show after show, lol. I’m also working on my next two mixtapes “The Diary” and “No Gimmicks.” You can get my very first mixtape on datpiff.com titled “The Darkroom.” I’m writing R&B/pop music and working with a few up and coming artists. I’m also collaborating with some some established artist in the game so be on the lookout for that. We’ve just completed the “Hattin On Lil Momma” project. It’s a CCWaterBound Production and I’m featured on the song with WillChill from the original CCWaterbound. I’m in the process of completing part III of the Female Cypher of NewOrleans. I’m mixing it up with some really talented ladies as well as an awesome producer named DJ Blak&Mild. He’s out of New Orleans as well. Kush TV is directing and producing them all. Shout out to my home girl Lady Dahlia for putting it all together. Go check out her music and look up the past two cyphers on YouTube titled “Lady Dahlia presents Female Cypher of New Orleans.” I’m also working on a few features with some producers and artists out of Philly. Shout out to ReignMan, Hakeem, and Mecca Bey as well as Birdie Jackson from the Lafayette area of Louisiana and many many more. They are all amazing artist and can’t wait to get it cracking with them. Shout out to my team as well such as PaceSetta Entertainment, Fbizzle Tha Repa, Meezie Lotta, Knowledge, The Prez, Chad Anthony and everybody that’s been a part of the set in general and has been in BNicole’s corner from the beginning. We are working! Also a special shout out to my manager Carl L Triggs. His amazing work ethic is bananas and keeps me on my toes without a doubt. So to all my fans, when you see him, salute him for real, lol. I’m also working on my very first book, it’s in the works so be on the lookout for it in the near future. No title set in stone yet, but it’s coming; no doubt. My mission is to branch off in every direction. Strengthen any weak spots I may have and perfect each craft I decide to run with. So strap your seatbelts and be sure to click it tight because I’m coming; no doubt!!

The DarkRoom

Be sure to support my girl. For booking please see the following below information:

Twitter @BNicolDaReason https://twitter.com/BNicolDaReason

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/BNicolDaReason

Reverbnation @ http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/complete_profile/2578651

and hit up bnicoledareason@gmail.com

Sweet solargirl

O Give Thanks

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O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! (1 Chronicles 16:34, AMP.)

What you dwell on is what you will draw into your life. We can either focus on our problems, or we can focus on our blessings. The question is: do you want more problems, or do you want more blessings?

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you live with an attitude of constant gratitude, not only do you thank God for what He’s done in your life, you start thanking Him for what He will do in your life. You thank Him for opening doors for you in the future. You thank Him for increasing you. You thank Him for bringing the right people into your life. When we say “Thank You” to God for the things that are coming, it’s really a declaration of our faith in Him. It’s like saying in essence, “God, I’m so sure of Your goodness, I’m so sure that You’re working in my life that I’m going to thank You right now for what You are going to do tomorrow!”

Friend, that’s the kind of faith that pleases God. He wants us to trust in His goodness and believe that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He delights in seeing our faith. He delights in an attitude of gratitude. Today, let your faith say thank you. Praise Him throughout the day with a humble heart and watch what He will do on your behalf!

Jody K Young