Since last I posted, SO MUCH HAS GONE DOWN – from DIVAS to DADDY!
http://youtu.be/DYghWCBasyo Motown the Musical,Monifah Carter, and the LIFE OF RILEY have been crossing paths a lot lately - in recent weeks at: Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE WITH Patrick L. Riley. http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/4/2/something-to-talk-about.html. A few weeks after that at Monifah Carter's R&B Divas: Atlanta PREMIEREPARTY in Harlem at The Corner Social: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/4/23/soul-out-loud.html. AND THIS WEEK at my home away from home when it comes to on-camera pop culture analysis: Arise Entertainment 360 with my friends Lola Ogunnaike and Shannon Lanier - both of whom I want to congratulate as CentricTV will be syndicatingArise360 in the Fall (an announcement made recently at the Ziegfeld Theatre for the BET UPFRONT 2014 - the last project on which I worked for recurring clientBET (TV network) Creative Services). Monifahappeared on this same edition in which I analyze the Tony nominations for 2014 - including a host of surprises, celebrations, and upsets! SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to my girl Anika Noni Rose and everybody at A Raisin in the Sun (1961 film): BROADWAY. Though Denzel didn't get the nod, the show is still an AWESOME, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED impression for The Great White Way. "ROCKY" WINS or could win! ALSO: We didn't get to mention Audra McDonald whose turn as LADY DAY may garner her a SIXTH TONY AWARD -a grand-slam record breaker, if she's victorious. Here's a link to my most recent Broadway round-up with ARISE several weeks back: http://youtu.be/AijZZeZgFkQ. We talked NEW MUST-SEE BROADWAY SHOWS! Last year, I predicted the TONY AWARDS nominations:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTd5S1wKUs0. A few weeks prior to that, I was on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 to talk BROADWAY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDxfe-hG_aY. In the aforementioned ARISE 360 Broadway segment, I predicted the iconic Cicely Tyson would be nominated for her role in Broadway's "The Trip to Bountiful". And she was!! YAY! So, they played that clip and referenced my prediction the following day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuJEs6ruin0. I was again on ARISE recently to talk GATSBY: the book, the film(s), the blueprint on hip hop! HERE'S THE LINK:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBT9mSmfmCo. TWITTER handles for the day include: @themonifah for MONIFAH CARTER! And @thetonyawards for THE TONY AWARDS! CONGRATS to all the nominees - including "After Midnight" - currently featuring Vanessa Williams as guest vocalist. Fantasia is coming back! And Patti LaBelle; Gladys Knight, and Natalie Cole have JUST been announced for the summer. What a line-up!And for the telecast, which will be hosted again (a fourth time) by Hugh Jackman who took a selfie of us a few months ago. Speaking of Broadway (as she starred on The Great White Way this past summer), recurring client "The Wendy Williams Show" has booked me to work on a project this week. Look for it on the show next week! Stay tuned... and as always THANKS FOR EVERYONE'S SUPPORT OF THE LIFE OF RILEY!#billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay
I’m proud to have been working this past couple of months with recurring client BET! It was the BET UPFRONT 2014 for which I got the chance to work with the Creative Services team there on the video and art/design presentations. From the big screen of the Ziegfeld – home of most NYC WORLD PREMIERES, was a treat to see my work! The clients and advertisers seemed pleased! Afterwards, all gathered at The London for a post-set. Among many at BET Upfront '14, Brandy and MC Lyte were among them – ushering in BET’s upcoming programming – including: 1. 8th season return of “The Game” (all of the cast was in the house); 2. Real Husbands of Hollywood is coming back; 3. Being Mary Jane (the cast is finishing up filming the season finale now); 4. Sunday’s Best; 5. 106 & Park; 6. There will be three new scripted shows – including Diggy Simmons show “The Start Up” in which Diggy stars as a young entrepreneur. He and his crew who explore the city, love, etc. - with Teyana Taylor in tow; 7. “Gone Gospel” is a reality show hosted by Kirk Franklin. Secular artists come together for GOSPEL BOOTCAMP. The winner wins $100k; 8. A new game show, Got Game. Three men will go on dates with a woman in disguise and they have to depend on ‘their game’ and not looks to win their prize date over; 9. Three original movies will premiere: a) Let The Church Say Amen, directed by Regina King, tells the story of a preacher and his family as they face life’s challenges. b) The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is the black version of the Nutcracker. Raven Simone will appear in the film. c) Book of Negroes is the a six part mini series, with Cuba Gooding and Louis Gossett Jr; 10. Centric’s Programming includes:
According to Him and Her
Read Between the Lines
Arise 360 (the show on which I am a recurring pop culture analyst)
Soul Train Awards
Centric Comedy All Stars
–Centric will also air The Wendy Williams Show, The Talk and the Queen Latifah Show.
–KeKe Palmer’s new talk show was also announced.
–The network announced a new BET platform (health, image, service) dedicated to the black man, called His BET.
After BET Upfront, Monifah and team asked me to still stop by their premiere. Got another KeKe moment plus some Syleena time. They say they are coming back to ALL STAR KARAOKE sometime soon. We'll keep the mics hot for them! Shout out to Musa Jackson Productions LLC for putting on a FAB set at Corner Social in Harlem last night. My guys Savoy Walker and Mark A Forrest of SMEG asked me on behalf of Monifah to host their event! Because of BET UPFRONT, I couldn’t meet the hosting time. But I’m told my BFF Sidra Smith, NAACP Image Award Winning Producer did a FAB job of introducing the DIVAS! Always a pleasure to see Monifah’s wife Terez – another of my favorite DIVAS! CONGRATS, R&B DIVAS! LOVE YOU ALL! Check out the GREAT TIME I had with KEKE this week: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/4/23/soul-out-loud.html. And we ADORED when our FIRST ALL STAR R&B DIVA came to our OPENING NIGHT: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/4/2/something-to-talk-about.html. #ENDLESSLOVE
DIVAS & AMAZING GRACE – SERVED UP ATL-STYLE
Was n ATL for DAD's 80th BDAY! But more on that in a minute. Dad's before-BDAY festivities included performances from my brother Herman and me for our sister Janice at her "church secretary" appreciation. But LIFE OF RILEY and my dear friends are around wherever I go! So, I had to FIRST catch up with friends - Chandra, her son Gavin, Lamoh, my Audrey, DR. J's beautiful wife Dorys Madden, "R&B Divas-Atlanta"s own and ex-DESTINY's-CHILD-two-time-Grammy-winner Latavia - all at Tijuana Garage for lunch! LOVE A-T-L! XO
Dad turns 80! WOW! All his kids (and grandkid) were in the house at ATL's Paschal's! Plus, other fam, friends, and special surprises! LOVE MY DAD! XO
For those in my world, THE LIFE OF RILEY is about pop culture and possibilities. But I would have NO LIFE were it not for this RILEY. His name is Herman. Most call him Mickey. I call him Dad. And he is all of those names and more inside a shell of character, principle, and work ethic that is unmatched by any of the luminaries and la-la-land folks with whom I get the chance to rub shoulders on the daily. Dad recently referenced that my ambitions were seen early on. I wasn't so sure he was paying attention. But then again, I do re-imagine our regular visits to the public library (remember those?) and I remember that no matter his nudgings for me to consider books on sports and boy stuff, he never stopped me from getting any of the books I actually wanted to read and soak up: celebrity bios, dance/theater arts/Broadway reference books, pop culture, and self-help. LOL! Even at 9 years old! LMAO! And though I also had daily witness to a man of traditions, morals, and mores - just what you'd expect from a Southern, gentle one, I never once felt a complex from him that strategizing and navigating myself inside the realm of pop culture and entertainment couldn't be a way in which I'd make a successful living. And so it is. Additionally, he challenged me. Asked difficult questions. Made thoughtful comparisons. All for the greater good. And his gentle and constructive brand of fatherhood makes me know that all is infinitely possible with a great mix of faith, hard work, and passion. I am who I am today because of Herman Lee Riley and I am SO PROUD to call him MY FATHER! We THANK GOD to still have him at 80 YEARS YOUNG! XO
I'm basking in the glow today of Dad's 80TH BDAY CELEBRATION this past weekend in Atlanta where ALL OF HIS KIDS were together WITH HIM for the first time in a LONG TIME...and his GRANDSON, TOO! So, he says, it made for one of his BEST BIRTHDAYS EVER! Great times notwithstanding, Ant and had to suffer through a flight delay to get back home as he and I have lots of work on cue. With little time for new projects, I couldn't resist an invitation from Robin Stone, Greenhope Services for Women Board member and my NABJ sister and birthdate-mate, to help her out on something special. A few years back, she asked me to host a fundraiser for this agency which works women involved with the criminal justice system who are struggling with substance abuse: http://www.greenhope.org/. THIS TIME, she's asked me to narrate a highlight video on all the great work the agency is doing to help women reclaim their lives, reunite with their families and rebuild their communities. On the ask, my A-TEAM in PRODUCTION stepped in to GIVE A LOT for a LITTLE to this great cause. Today, I'm at my favorite DP James Curry's place, Mindfile Multimedia, to record my VO narration for this project and to screen the bites from the interviews I did at GREENHOPE - excerpts of which will be sprinkled inside of the highlight video which unveils at the annual gala May 14th. Mindfile Multimedia and I have a mutual client in "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" for which we've collaborated on many segments - including recent shoots with Geraldo Rivera, Fran Drescher, and Mel B. But we've done tons of them as excerpted in this promo: http://www.oprah.com/own-where-are-they-now/Oprah-Where-Are-They-Now-Season-2-Preview-Video. Editor EXTRAORDINAIRE Mitch Jacobson is cutting this piece at his CATEGORY 5 STUDIOS: http://www.category5studios.com/! THANKS MITCH! He and I last worked together on WENDY WILLIAMS' MAGICAL WATCH AND WIN from Walt Disney World Resort! PIECE 1: http://youtu.be/n0nWYUq_3KQ; PIECE 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76FBGNfZ7vQ; PIECE 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNMeClGC828; PIECE 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRc0POz-C10. GREENHOPE has been around since 1979. CONGRATS to ALL!
I'd sent out the RIPPLE a few months ago - noting that in the wake of 12 YEARS A SLAVE that FOX Searchlight had another much-buzzed-about, historical chunk of Black history and cinema on its roster: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/3/4/valid-dreams.html. Remember it was my Harlem buddy Tracy Grant who hipped me to her brother in law's new film (He's UK producer Damian Jones of D.J Films). "BELLE" hails from Fox Searchlight Pictures the way that 12 Years a Slave did a year or so ago... and this HISTORIC TALE brings forth yet another story that chronicles the horrors of slavery and what reversals and progressions have transpired in its time. I would be remiss if I did not mention Belle's director Amma Asante http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1392994/ It opens May 2, Mothers Day. Please spread the word! #belle #12yearsaslave #foxsearchlight! Great to meet everybody tonight! And a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to Fox Searchlight's own Cassandra Butcher who always makes sure I'm in the house as well - from our longstanding relationship of introducing the great cinematic fare that comes from her desk often to the National Association of Black Journalists Convention via the NABJ Arts and Entertainment Task Force which I once Chaired --- including many of John Singleton's titles and "Beast of the Southern Wild" and - just last year - '12 Years'. Cassandra! You are the BEST! BFF Carl Nelson and I attended the WORLD PREMIERE of BELLE tonight at New York City's PARIS movie house. Was great to see recently-CENTRIC-syndicated host of one of my pop-culture-analysis platforms ARISE 360, Lola Oguinnake; MSNBC's own and former host of former pop-culture-analysis platform "Don't Sleep" T.J. Holmes (who co-hosted "The View" again today); Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin in the Sun"s Anika Noni Rose (who just did an awesome turn in Lifetime's Terrie McMillan adaptation for "Day Late Dollar Short"); Chenoa and the girls from recurring client OWN's "Love In The City"; my industry girlfriends like marketing guru Jacquie Lee; MISS Monica Bailey; pr diva Katrina Boswell; ABC 7 anchor Sandra Bookman; and a host of others. And my industry fellow fam was in the mix too - like pr maven Theo Perry; MY favorite arts and culture writer Karu Daniels; film critic with the MOST, Wilson Morales; and many more. Please charge to my head and not my heart where I may not have called your name because it was so great to see everybody, I can't remember all. #BELLEMOVIE written by Misan Sagay FUN MONDAY NIGHT! XO
GET READY KARAOKE
After getting the opportunity to host the opening night carpet for MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK1yncqPlOQ), I'm THRILLED to announce this new partnership: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL and BILLIE'S BLACK PRESENTS ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley are partnering for MOTOWN MAY! Find out all the DEETS and how our night last week with KEKE went by clicking here - the latest edition of LIFE OF RILEY: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2014/4/23/soul-out-loud.html. BUT LAST NIGHT was "GET READY" Tuesday where we promoted MOTOWN's catalog as an option for our ALL STAR KARAOKE folks to prepare for #motownmay #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack
A LITTLE EVIDENCE OF THE BLAST WE’RE HAVING:
1. PATRICK GETS READY FOR #MOTOWNMAY W/"I WANT YOU BACK"
2. EPHRAIM & ERIC GET READY for #motownmay with "END OF THE ROAD"
3. PATRICK GETS READY FOR #MOTOWNMAY WITH "GOT TO GIVE IT UP"
Shout out to my ATL homeboy with whom I got the chance to really bond while I spent time in L.A. circa 2009! THANKS DEREK LAFAYETTE! He is currently consulting for The Redland, an eclectic Atlanta based hip-hop duo: think Outkast meets Macklemore and Lewis. They're an edgy, philanthropic group that promotes positivity and individuality... and I hear they are my MOREHOUSE BROTHERS! The Redland has a devout social media fan base and they have a strong presence in Atlanta - the burgeoning entertainment market. Cutting edge director Don Lee shot the "Survive' video. Don is also directing "Love Thief" in LA within the next four weeks. Veteran radio promotions executive, Issy Sanchez (Cash Money Records, etc), is currently working "Survive" at pop radio. Major labels are interested in signing the group. His team is releasing the project independently July 2014. They have distribution through eOne. The group also has a "hot new artist" article that recently ran in the highly coveted music industry magazine, Amalgamation: (please see article link) http://www.amalgamationmag.com/website/amalgamated/discovering-the-redland/ They recently performed at the up South By Southwest convention in March and killed it. They also will be performing at the Urban Network convention in May.
HERE’S THE REDLAND BIO:
Born and raised in the Redlands of Oklahoma and Louisiana respectively, Kose and Earv were naturally inspired to call the music duo they would go on to form 'The Redland.' But once their individual forms of expression crossed paths and began to meld into a dynamic sound that they considered a "state of mind" and a "voice that brings people together,” The Redland transcended the reference of simply being where they’re from to becoming an all-inclusive artistic movement. Earv and Kose, whose collective influences run the gamut from John Lennon and Bob Marley to The Fugees and OutKast (artists known for their culture-shifting musical contributions), met while matriculated at Morehouse college in Atlanta, GA. Atlanta – which they’ve also adopted as part of their origins - and the Southern Hip Hop culture that defined it became fertile ground for the two, individually, to more deeply explore their musical talents. Then those talents collided.
Through either happenstance or fate, it was discovered while in the midst of hanging out with mutual friends that Earv had an affinity for writing and Kose was a capable vocalist and producer. So, the pair decided to play around with creating music together. But what began as playful experimentation turned into production of a unique and compelling sound that deserved to be taken more seriously.
Defined as Hip Hop for practical purposes, Earv’s and Kose’s conscious lyrics and hybrid sound - which seamlessly incorporates the myriad genres they were exposed to growing up - began to take on a life of its own. They began hearing their music played by friends and strangers and seeing it gaining momentum on social networking sites without their intervention. That and the realization that Hip Hop as they saw it was stuck in one gear, hitting the same "I'm richer, can get drunker and can have more sex than you” note is when they began seeing their contribution to the art form as more of a responsibility than “having fun.” Things took off from there and The Redland officially became a “Hip Hop movement born out of the soil,” representing those who desired to hear and be heard.
“We want the fans to feel they're a part of this inclusive group and they have a say in our direction and the type of music we make," they said. "We also try to look at ourselves honestly and really get that across to our audience. We don't let the genre define us, we define our own music and we're just ourselves. We feel like we have something to say, something to make an impact and we feel like it's something that's needed.
The Redland’s new album, Enlightened Contagion - named so out of the understanding of how easily negative things can spread, and how “dope it would be if positivity could spread just as easily,” will be released this July on Redland Entertainment through eOne Distribution.
It is a privilege to announce that I will be honored and celebrated at the Fourth Annual Momentum Honors Gala Fundraiser for Momentum Teens for Leadership. I am holding court with an extraordinary group of people who will be honored that night. This year they are honoring 4 graduates, celebrating Momentum Education's 11th anniversary and Momentum Teens For Leadership's 4th year in existence. There will also be two other awards given - The Momentum Teens for Leadership Teen Possibility Award and The Robin Diane Lynn Lifetime Contribution Award. The honorees this year are: