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Smokie Norful - Dear God (Live) 


It feels so good to make it this far

And I didn't think I could take it so long

There were days I wanted to quit

I said surely this is it but I held on


And I watched as so-called friends turn and walk away

It hurt so much I didn't have words to say

But even when my day turns to night and nothin' seems just right

Lord, I thank You for, for my life


For my life, Lord, I thank You

For every victory in You I've seen

And all the moments I know it was You who kept me

So I thank You for, for my life


And I watched you take my family from there to here

And when times where a lil' rough, God, I know You were near

And the moments I thought I'd fail, I was reminded of your nails

So I held on


And if I never live to see another day

There is nothin' I would change or take away

I've had so many ups that they far outweigh my downs

Lord, I thank You for my life


I realized some didn't make it

I could've been one of the ones who lost my way

And there was times, Lord, I knew I almost went crazy

But I'm still here with my life


It may not be all that I hope for

And every dream has not yet been realized

And to see Your face one day, God

I know it's all gonna be worth it


So I thank You, thank You for every mountain, every valley

God, everythin' You brought me through, thank You

I know, I know it was You

Just wanna take the time to say thank You Jesus, for my life

This song ‘bout had me driving off the 110 South as I was going to San Pedro this past Sunday. It says so much of what I feel inside as I am managing this L.A. living for which I am most grateful as it’s a good thing to work on a project you believe in. And even if – in my case – I’ve had to trek cross-country to hold onto it (and I have to dig even deeper into my pockets and my core to maintain my West Coast temporaries alongside my East Coast life back home), I know that I am covered and protected and supported by something and – surely – SOMEONE BIGGER THAN me.

The evidence is in MY LIFE: I am working – through likely February - on a team (as field and story producer) to bring Dubose Production’s “MONICA: STILL STANDING” to life (It premieres Tuesday, October 27th at 10:00 pm). I am also EXCITED that I am a contributing reporter on the "We Dream A World With an African American President in The White House" in the current issue of ESSENCE Magazine (Starting on p. 156, brothers - several of whom I interviewed - examine how the image of Black manhood is evolving). I’m getting lots of cool feedback! Please check it out!


Meanwhile, I’m having a blast inside my blog’s partnership with Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in the promotion of “Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities,” an original exhibition on view through December 5, 2009. (Spelman Museum Tour) As a Morehouse Man, I consider this collaboration with my 'sister alma mater' a total honor.

The exhibit 'Undercover' (detailed in the attached documents) examines the social implications of race, gender, and disguise. And the Museum emphasizes works by and about women of the African Diaspora (and well-known, mid-career, and emerging artists are a part of this exhibit - detailed in the attached documents).

But to put some POP in the effort, the marketing team sought me out to ask some CELEBRITIES and FRIENDS in my social network (and representatives of CELEBRITIES and FRIENDS in my social network) some questions - the responses of which I’ll be sprinkling into my blog next week… as well as the exhibit’s website.

 Look for fun responses from Spelman celebs like my girl Bridget Bland (of “Harlem Heights” fame) and TV actress Sharmell Sullivan Huffman; and others like NBC Digital Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo; soul singer Ledisi; style expert Michaela Angela Davis; DIVA Sheryl Lee Ralph; and many more. BY THE WAY, WHO IS YOUR ALTER EGO? 


Mariah Carey - ribbon (studio Version)


It's only been 20 good minutes since I kissed you

Come back boo, I miss you

Wish I had 20 million hours to caress you

And undress you, to be continued

Boy you, you don't know how it feels when you whisper in my ear

Boy you, you give my body chills whenever you are near


And boy I got your lovin' on my mind

I got your lovin' on my mind

You got me wrapped up, packed up

Ribbon with a bow on it


Sometimes we argue and we fight

But they better know that that's my baby

You might even think he cute

But everybody knows that I'm his lady

Every time you see us, we super fly

So proud he's by my side

He knows I'm ride or die

You don't know how we roll

Holla at your people

Boy you, you don't know how it feels when you whisper in my ear

Boy you, you give my body chills whenever you are near


Got ribbon with a bow on it baby

Boy you don't even know the things you do

I could spend my whole life with you


I got your lovin' on my mind

Baby I could spend my life with you

It's been 20 good minutes since I kissed you

Come back boo I miss you


Okay, so Ant played this new Mariah chestnut from her “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” and – like Janet’s “With U” from “20 Y.O.” – he’s declared this "our song". Of course, the crier that I am, the tears poured down my cheeks as I took him to the airport last week when he was here for DIVAS: SIMPLY SINGING. (Truthfully this long distance doesn’t feel like it’s getting better. But now we have something to look forward to as I am going home for my birthday and Thanksgiving before returning to L.A. to complete the two months of post-production on MONICA).

In the meantime, we do what we can to stay amused respectively. Last week, my dear friend Zabrina (BET PR) called me in the 11th hour with a ticket to attend The Fox Reality Channel's 2009 REALLY Awards - chockfull of reality TVs best - including nominees and presenters Tiny & Toya - from the Dubose production family of which I'm apart these days a la "Monica: Still Standing" and "Frankie & Neffe". Also in attendance: Vivica A. Fox (host); Paris Hillton; Hugh Hefner; Claudia Jordan; Ray J; Hammer; Antonio Sabata; American Idol's 'bikini girl'; Nikki Hilton; Kim Kardashian; ATL Housewife Kim; Aaron Carter; Eric Roberts; Lorenzo Lamas; Melissa Rivers; Lance Bass; and more! After party was at AREA in West Hollywood.

Ant got to see PRECIOUS – a sneak peek of which I plan to see in the coming days here in L.A. Ant says it brought him chills and tears… and still haunts him throughout his days since he saw it. He says Mo’Nique should – for sure – win the Oscar.

My friends – new and old - have been there for me over these last days here in L.A.:

Got to connect with high school best friend Maurice Marable recently at Four Seasons (Beverly Hills). He was in town directing the new campaign for the new season of HBO series “Big Love”. Turns out he also directed Monica's campaign for BET. We are collaborating and didn't know it (since the content producing team is different from the ad campaign folks is even different from the crew that does the title sequence, who I just found out is my AUC brother Randy). We LOVE the synergy though! LOL!... and of course, the chance for Maurice and me to catch up as we're still quite close, but don't see each other often enough with our respective busy-ness.

Afterwards, connected with friends Brian, Li-Ling, and J for Fashion Week party at The O Hotel in Downtown L.A. And did I mention that Brian accidentally dropped my camera? Soon to be replaced. Meanwhile, this file photo of Maurice and me will have to do. http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/3/4/-weve-come-a-long-way-baby.html

And in the wake of a stressful Friday (date changes on L.A. project and assignment tweaks), my friends Brian and Kelly called me off the cliff and out (on them) - starting with Zanzibar in Santa Monica. Then, friends Derek & Keith asked us to join them at Dragonfly. And from there, Denny's (after Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles was closed). GOOD FRIENDS (and sponsors) can protect us from the damage a fall can do.

From that moment, friends Derek and Keith invited Brian and me to a rooftop set in Downtown L.A. yesterday. Good folks. Good food. Afterwards, Derek and I capped night off - briefly - in WEHO. Another spot to which he took me is La Velvet Margarita Cantina. On this night, I jaunted over to Tony & Scott's place to taste Scott's father's pound cake & Tony's red velvet cake. Love my friends for providing me cheap and/or sponsored comforts as I manage my East Coast/West Coast situation.

And to cap off this most recent weekend, many headed to Brian's San Pedro digs for a cookout (and more football! LOL!). And then, Derek, Keith, and I enjoyed an evening at THE ABBEY – all in a weekend.




Everybody look around

'Cause there's a reason to rejoice you see

Everybody come out

And let's commence to singing joyfully

Everybody look up

And feel the hope that we've been waiting for


Everybody's glad

Because our silent fear and dread is gone

Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully

Just look about

You owe it to yourself to check it out

Can't you feel a brand new day?


Everybody be glad

Because the sun is shining just for us

Everybody wake up

Into the morning into happiness


Hello world

It's like a different way of living now

And thank you world

We always knew that we'd be free somehow

In harmony

And show the world that we've got liberty


It's such a change

For us to live so independently

Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully

Just look about

You owe it to yourself to check it out

Can't you feel a brand new day?

Well, it should be no news that President Obama is being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! Go Obama! Yayyy Peace! Since my Diana was the featured performer at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway last year (Diana Ross - Supremes Medley live at the Nobel ...), of course I’ve been wondering who would be the featured entertainment this year. Ross has a show ready as she just performed in Amsterdam for two sold-out shows (30,000-seat arena) for the Symphonica in Rosso. This spectacular is an annual concert series that years prior featured Dutch artists Marco Borsato and Paul de Leeuw; and her former and fellow Motown mate and duet partner Lionel Richie. The show was BIG – featuring many costume changes; the 40-piece Symphonica in Rosso-orchestra; dancers; and Diana’s amazing voice and catalog – including Netherland favorites like “Ease on Down The Road”. And one of my favorites: “Brand New Day” (also an homage to her ‘Wiz’ co-star Michael Jackson) -






Meanwhile, “CALL TO THE OBAMAS? MISS ROSS is workin’ it… and notwithstanding a diaper change to her new grandbaby boy… could serve the world yet again with a sparkling performance of Nobel worthiness…”. Just saying…

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    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - "LORD, I THANK YOU FOR MY LIFE!"

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