PATRICKRILEYHEADSHOT2.JPGWELCOME to "The Life of Riley" which will include periodic chronicles of pop culture and possibilities that flow out of Patrick L. Riley's day. That's me!!! Through blogging (and soon some other technological features on which I'll keep you posted as they launch), I will pull experiences from my busy life to entertain and inspire all of you. Through this site, I will share my observations and insights. 

Some features to look forward to:

1.) "PATRICK'S POP UP(DATES)" will feature stories from pop culture, music, theater, fashion, and the entertainment industry at large. 

2.) "The Life of Riley" will also introduce a "take-a-look-at-your-life" section (READ: sort of an advice column), where I will help readers come up with their own questions and answers around what "ways of being" are working (or not working) to have them acheive their respective goals and live their best lives. This section is called "WHO YOU BE?".

3.) Additonally, there will be a free-flowing, organic section called "TESTIFY" from which I will pull from my own life's journey to share and hopefully inspire. Some of the fare may be new musings and experiences. Other times, I may pull from my journals and past sharings to shed light on some uncomfortable truths that I've experienced and that may perhaps play a role in healing someone else's wounds as the real-life experience did for me. From my experience of covering 9/11 as a freelance journalist to courageously coming out (as gay) to my family, "TESTIFY" promises to move those who choose to read it.

4.) And a section titled "PR" (like my initials, but also like "public relations") will include press clips from any coverage I get. 

5.) And anytime pictures or video can support an entry (in the blog, and perhaps in the subsequent podcasts, my space, and website), those visuals will keep things aesthetically enrolling. That section will be called "MY TUBE".
Patrick L. Riley


into fall


EXCERPT:  - Friends of Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley, Miss Keke Wyatt and her hubby Michael are expecting Baby #8! She INSTAGRAM'd it! CONGRATS TO THEM! OH! AND WE TOO HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE SOON! STAY TUNED... #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack


Was fun to see a great mix of my friends at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2014-15 Season Opening Party – featuring music from The Rodriguez Brothers, signature cocktails and a buffet dinner. Always a good time! Be sure to check out its offerings this season:


After that, Ant and I met up with his sister friend Sabrina – in town for the Urban World Film Festival with her client Michael Jai White (whose #falconrising is out and screening this weekend). We popped by SILVANNA to see friend Victor Wyatt’s group British Dependency before we all went to 67 Orange ( for a late night bite of some of the best food in Harlem courtesy of 67 Orange owner Karl Franz Williams. Many popped by to say HI! The next day, we all gathered at NYC's Refinery Hotel rooftop. It was Ant, his Denver sister Sabrina, her client Michael Jai White, MJW's son Devin, buddy Bobby Roache, and Bobby's FAB eyewear for a pre-celebration of Michael Jai White’s Urban World Film Festival presentation of his new film #falcolnrising – co-starring Laila Ali. Bruce Leroy AKA Taimak was in the house - #uwff! #lastdragon


It was also my FAV nephew Noot's BDAY set – at Wined Up - in NYC! He's 26! Lawd! Happy BDAY Herman L. Riley III! AND MY GIFT? – a pair of the CLUBSTER! AND HOW MUCH DO I LOVE that my friends (AKA family) are as emotionally invested in my nephew as I am, hence coming out to toast him for his birthday (He's like my son! LOL!). THANKS ERN AND PAULA! Y'all are the best! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO


Great times with Mairie Ame Raxy, Elisabeth Blix Lie, Ivonne Velasquez, Carl Nelson, and more for END OF SUMMER COOKOUT! This, before Beyoncé and Jay Zon HBO with Brian Henderson and Nikita Stewart! FUN SATURDAY!


  • ·         Shout out to Dr. Libby Lewis for hipping me to Gabrielle Denise Pina’s “LETTERS FROM ZORA: In Her Own Words” – Directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks with Original Music by Ron McCurdy… and STARRING Vanessa Bell Calloway! You can check it out October 9 – 26 at the Tony-award-winning  Crossroads Theatre Company:
  • ·         It’s MORE SCANDALOUS THAN 'SCANDAL' and written by MY FRIEND Stanley Bennett Clay! It’s his controversial and award-winning play RITUAL Off-Broadway. And you can get tickets now! (866) 811-4111
  • ·         SAVE THE DATE and make your reservations for LEON & THE PEOPLES LIVE in HARLEM!! My buddy Leon and his band will be performing at Ginny's Supper Club at The Red Rooster Harlem! ALL THE INFO IS HERE:


The Jillian's Peak Premium Web Series Fundraiser this upcoming Tuesday: Jillian’s Peak Fundraiser is a FREE event. Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution toward needed resources. This event is an organized effort to gather funds for the filming of Jillian’s Peak first episode and a trailer. The funds raised will go towards production cost to include but not limited to; equipment rental (lighting, sound, cameras, monitors, computers, clothing, location filming), film crew & actors salary, Pre and Post production, editing, & travel expenses. It is because of your support and help that we can bring quality LGBT programming to mainstream media. Please fill free to ask about our Corporate Sponsorship Packages at To find out more about our web series, please go to our website at There will be a special live performance by the cast, at 7pm and a “meet and greet” afterwards. Also there will be a silent auction and raffles. All attendees receive a great take away bag from our event. Do help us to reach our GOAL.


Leslie Lohman Museum Prince St. Project Space

127-B Prince Street

New York, NY 10012

(At Prince & Wooster)

Complimentary RSVP tickets here via Eventbrite:


harlem shaking


I’ll share cryptically – for now – that I just wrapped a day of co-hosting an on-line show that is “all about the Benjamins” (a clue, but not DIDDY or REVOLT! LOL!). Instead, it will be something ELSE from THE LIFE OF RILEY that you can see soon! STAY TUNED… and as always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, FOLKS!


UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT! Was too excited to be a part of HARLEM HISTORY as I hosted the Miss Harlem Shake 2014 pageant. One of the #Top 5 --- Ljeoma (PRONOUNCED E-JAMA) --- won! She’s a health educator, PHd student, and blogger. In addition to winning cash prizes and a slew of great SWAG, she raised $1,000 for her charity: Harlem's Children Zone, which I’ve had a the chance to chronicle a few times for recurring client “Oprah”. Ljeoma’s favorite meal at Harlem Shake is the BBQ Onion Burger and the jerk fries. The celebrity judge panel was fierce too: make-up artists extraordinaire Cynde Watson and Kevin McQueen; the debonaire Byl Thompson with CACHE; Broadway royalty and Harlem entrepreneur, Tony nominee Brenda Braxton; dancer/choreographer supreme Manwe; theater icon, storied stage manager of Broadway, Mr. Kenneth Hanson ; and the fiery Farrah Burns AKA The Harlem Chanteuse; and one of my favorite people of all time: the legendary Ms. Vy Higgensen who Founded and heads up Mama Foundation for the Arts. Her beautiful daughter Knoelle entertained the enthusiastic crowd with Minnie Ripperton’s "Loving You". And the sponsors were so great – including: Chatman Cakes, Sober Up, Uptown magazine, Harlem trends, Harlem Haberdashery, Jembere eyewear, graffiti artist Kindo Harper, DjNessdigital ,and more! Special shout out to Musa Jackson whose Musa Jackson Productions booked me and organized the event. And to the Harlem Shake TEAM plus ALL-of-the behind the scenes team-members – most pointedly, owner of Harlem Shake: Jelena Pasic who noted to me the night went beyond her expectations. Congrats to Ljeoma: the 2014 Miss Harlem Shake. abulous Job. See you next year! #MissHarlemShake2014 #Top5 p.s. Ant and I did an after set with one of our favorite couples: Brian and Nikita Henderson. We enjoyed karaoke at Radio Star. FUN!


I love me some Lola Ogunnaike who – along with Shannon Lanier – co-hosts Arise Entertainment 360 where I do Broadway and pop culture round-ups and re-caps + I get to guest co-host with her.

Well, I told her at a recent Kehinde Wiley party that the guest co-host (yours truly) expects to be invited to the baby shower as she has announced to us all (though I knew for a month now) that she and her hubby are expecting their new addition at the end of the year! CONGRATS, LOLA!

And that good news came with the great occasion we were attending: the PREMIERE of a film EXECUTIVE PRODUCED by my friend Lamar Johnson: “Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace” (a MUST-SEE on PBS or somewhere nearby… and MISS LOLA has a cameo! Check it out on  

SPEAKING OF ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360, the full episodes for my last two guest co-hosting stints on ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 are here:  


 ALWAYS A BLAST to GUEST CO-HOST on Arise Entertainment 360 with Lola Ogunnaike and Shannon Lanier:

 Arise News is on TV now in NYC/NJ area - 18 million homes Mon-Fri 2pm on Time Warner Cable #92 & Verizon FiOS #481 plus still on millions of TVs overseas. And it's coming this FALL 2014 to CentricTV - BET Networks. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! XO #ARISE360 #LOR_kehinde #kehindewileyPBS #economyofgrace #aneconomyofgrace #ARISE360 #ARISEENT360



We have to SHOUT OUT Anthony Wayne and his partner Kendrell Bowman (along with their partner, my favorite DIVA Sheryl Lee Ralph) as they unveiled Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical at the Theatre At St. Clement'st. It’s an ALL-MONTH-LONG-AND-BEYOND run – so please get your tickets and come out and feel #MIGHTYREAL!! Several of my FAVs were in the house - including Jamie Foster Brown, Michaela angela Davis, DjStormin Norman, Kendrick Jim Brown Reid, Derrick Hemphill, and more! FUN NIGHT and FIERCE PERFORMANCES!  AND  

 We were too excited when Anthony Wayne graciously popped by our Spring 2014 series of “Billie’s Black Presents All Star Karaoke” with Patrick L. Riley. We had a blast as he gave us a preview of his Sylvester turn before he and I rotated on Miss Ross’ “Upside Down”! BLISS!

 Interview from ALL STAR KARAOKE:





Ernest Maynor & I at Michael Jai White's #falconrising premiere. Anthony Harper's sis Bri Cole's PR for MJW & actor Leon Robinson aka "Leon". Being Mary Jane's Richard Brooks came too! Enjoyed a great dinner at Negril after - also with Charon Richardson of G'wan by Charon fame - and what a great Saturday Night in New York City! P.S. Ern and I did stop by Karaoke One7 for a nightcap. WE JUST HAD TO! LOL!


HAPPY BAIRTHDAY, MALIK YOBA, who produced a project that screens at Urban World Film Festival this weekend in New York City. It’s TONSURE – directed by my fellow freelance writer/producer at BET, FRED BUMAYE and also produced by Savannah homeboy Maurice Marable: 


Enjoyed BET buddy Blair Younger's sister Brandee Younger stellar harpist - at jazz club Minton's Harlem. Anthony Harper and one of my work BFFs Howard Chisholm were in the house too! "PRELUDE" available on iTunes: BRAVO!!!

denver love

Denver love

 Ant and his Denver peeps! WHAT A GREAT LABOR

DAY WEEKEND that included the stunning wedding of 

Ant’s high school friend Vanessa and her husband

 Will in Keystone, CO – a beautiful, two-hour

 drive from Denver. 

Some of Will’s fam came from Germany and they

 were lots of fun! 

Our Denver host with the most – as always – is Jean 
Nicholson who let me tour her FAB consignment shop

 "re: for your home": and

 Of course, Ant’s blood 
fam pulled out ALL THE STOPS for BBQ – including 

some of the best potato salad known to man

 and made by Ant’s awesome mom “Jackie Washington”.
 And I – of course – had to see my babies: Sabrina and

 Brina. And what a bonus that Sabrina’s business partner,

 friend Victor E. Lewis, was also in town and joined

 Ant’s sister Chanel, he, Sabrina, and I for 

HILLSTONE – my favorite, though known to many as 
Roache and FORBES
Special shout out to my little brother in the industry, 

international model Bobby Roaché, who was just

 interviewed by Forbes about his modeling career 

and sunglasses collection and the interview is out.
 Here is the video link of Bobby Roaché's 

 Kehinde Wiley
 Has been great to work with my friend Lamar Johnson - the Executive Producer of 

Kehinde Wiley’s documentary - which – inclusive my 

finite consultation – has gotten lots of good press:

Well, it’s showtime…and the documentary premieres 

this Friday, September 5 on PBS! 
The movie "Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace" follows

 the artist as he steps out of his comfort zone to create a 

series of paintings of women for the first time. 

Kehinde casts his models on the streets of New York and then
enlists Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create couture gowns

for each woman.

 The film traces the artist's process from concept to 

canvas as he reveals to us another side of black femininity.

 Lamar notes it is a celebration of art, style and African-American 

beauty and has been very well-received, garnering several

 festival awards including @SXSW 2014. The film is also an official

selection in the "Run & Shoot” Martha’s Vineyard African-American

 Film Fest. For more info, you can go to 
Kathy Sledge
 6TH The Brighter Side of Day. A musical journey of the

 life of the American icon Billie Holiday. ~
 The full episodes for my last two guest co-hosting stints on ARISE 

ENTERTAINMENT 360 are here:
 ALWAYS A BLAST to GUEST CO-HOST on Arise Entertainment 360

 with Lola Ogunnaike and Shannon Lanier:

Arise News is on TV now in NYC/NJ area - 18 million homes Mon-Fri 2pm on

 Time Warner Cable #92 & Verizon FiOS #481 plus still on millions of TVs

 overseas. And it's coming this FALL 2014 to CentricTV - BET Networks. 

vma emmy 2014

ALWAYS A BLAST to GUEST CO-HOST on Arise Entertainment 360 with Lola Ogunnaike and Shannon Lanier: While Shannon Lanier was in L.A. covering MTV Awards - or the MTV Video Music Awards - and Emmy Awards, Lola Ogunnaike held down the fort.

The 2014 VMAs Red Carpet!

SWV gives all the details on their new Season of SWV Reunited!

Phillip Bloch recaps the 2014 VMA Red Carpet Fashion!

Robyn M Santiago takes us inside the 2014 Emmy Awards "SWAG" Bag!

Us Weekly Editor Charles Thorp recaps the 2014 Emmy Awards!

The cast of God Help The Girl discuss the new film!

Dash Mihok on his role in the hit series Ray Donovann!

Phillip Bloch recaps the 2014 Emmy Awards Red Carpet! 

FYI: Arise News is on TV now in NYC/NJ area - 18 million homes Mon-Fri 2pm on Time Warner Cable #92 & Verizon FiOS #481 plus still on millions of TVs overseas. And it's coming this FALL 2014 to CentricTV - BET Networks. As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! XO #ARISE360



zombie bounce


A diverse sea of my people gathered recently for our beloved Summer Sunday pass-time Sundae Sermon. This week, our Bevy Smith hosted with the MOST! And TEAM Sundae Sermon was led by two of my favorites DJ Stormin Norman and Michaela angela Davis. Here’s to more! Save my space under the tree… #ThisIsSundaeSermon #ThankYou #SundaeSermon 


A WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN NYC! Great to hang with my friends (and our “All Star Karaoke” team), Derrick and Bernice for – first – UPTOWN BOUNCE, a free summer series event – featuring music, Gallery talks, art workshops, breakdancing, summer drinks, and tasty food. DJ Tony Touch brought Great sounds as we learned about graffiti’s influence on hip hop through the City As Canvas Exhibition. We LOVE El Museo del Barrio.


From there, it was CARLA-OKE TIME! Yep! Our ALL STAR KARAOKE faithful Carla Bone celebrates another birthday and PULSE KARAOKE was the backdrop for our industry fam to serenade her. FASHION QUEENS Bevy Smith was in the house along with a host of fab folks – including Ice T’s main groomer Brian Badie and a host of others. FUN WEDNESDAY!


What an amazing time at my friend Nathan Hale Williams’ fundraiser: Love For Passion - Film at Katra! Ant and I are thrilled that Nathan asked us to be on the Host Committee. CELEBRITY GUEST HOST - Desmond Richardson – is EVERYTHING! Though a Tony Award nominee & dance legend, he is must humble and generous with his talents and his time. THANKS DESMOND! So glad he graced us with his presence and gave us a hint of what’s to come with Evidence Dance Company ( Industry buddies Qwynn Dolmo, Nakia Hicks, Joe Mode, Entertainer Buttaflysoul, and BJ Coleman co-hosted. Music was provided by DjPoison Ivy & DJ Audi Mansell.!

FB -

Twitter - @lovepasionfilm

IG - @loveforpassionfilm


 #loveforpassion#fathersandsons #realmendance

P.S. Did Harlem diva Tammy Ford join Ant and me for karaoke and sushi at Yuki 55 after the party? YEP! Perfect nightcap! XOXOXOXOXO


LOVE UPTOWN Magazine! Always good to me!  AND THE BIGGEST CONGRATS to UPTOWN Editor in Chief and my Morehouse brother and friend Isoul Harris who shares: "The debut of @UptownMagazine's 10th #Anniversary #Music & #Style Issue starring @Common & model @SelitaEbanks on #AccessHollywood. Shot on location in the #penthouse suite of #TheWTimesSquare by famed photographer @CliffWatts & styled by #MicaelaErlanger (stylist for #LupitaNyongo). #Fashion #Luxury #Lifestyle #EditorsEye #Aspiration


Last I shouted out my friend PATRIK HENRY BASS (far right), I was moderating a The Greene Space at WNYC/WQXR panel that followed a radio revisiting of Zora Neale Hurston’s celebrated novel Their Eyes Were Watching God from the point of view of Janie’s love interest, Tea Cake: AWESOME to wax philosophical – through a male lens - with Patrik and other great minds on Hurston’s iconic narrative: Well, a HOT NEW SHOUT OUT TO my friend PATRIK HENRY BASS – Essence magazine and Essence Online's own Books Editor and Director of Editorial Projects - for underscoring, in action and excellence, the increasing need for kid books about African American children. On Tuesday, August 26,Columbia Scholastic Press - Scholastic - is publishing The Zero Degree Zombie Zone. The book, for ages 8-12 and grades 3-7 is one of the first to feature four African-American kids (three boys and a girl) in a fantasy setting replete with zombies. It's also my attempt to encourage more African-American boys to read by presenting relatable characters. I am helping spread the word about#ZeroDegreeZombieZone's publication! Please help me! 


Shout out to my Spelman sister Adrianne C. Smith whose budding “Southern Chefs” TV cooking competition shot an array of ordinary self-proclaimed chefs from the South in New York City – living in one 2 bedroom apartment in Harlem for the opportunity of a lifetime by hosting a pop-up dinner for 25 guests including some of NYC’s finest chefs and restaurant owners. I was invited as a tastemaker, but scheduling didn’t allow. But the pix were nothing short of “tasty” and I hope to have a to-go plate the next time (or at the next round of tapings for its inevitable pick-up and re-up). Congrats, my forever-MISS-MAROON-AND-WHITE! FOR MORE INFO,

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