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On the morning of July 27, 2015, I prayed to God asking Him to send me major opportunities that will make a difference in our world. I wanted Him to use me in a mighty way. As I walk in the way He wants me to go, I asked for His guidance in leading me in that direction. I knew I would wait on the Lord, but I had no clue that He was going to answer my prayers that same day when I received a call from the owner, Ryan Hodge of Black Folk Hot Spots Network. The very next day (July 28, 2015), I was on an exclusive press conference one hour call with Tyrese and other media professionals and bloggers.
During this time, Tyrese humbly opened up with a very personal message surrounding his R&B movement utilizing “Black Rose” to make a statement of his intentions to change the game.
“I’m on a mission that is much bigger than me. I’m on a mission that is a little uncomfortable at times. I’m on a mission, in most cases, will benefit others greater than benefiting myself. This is a very selfless move that I’m making on behalf of the state of R&B. I am not superman. I don’t feel like I have a cape on. I’m not doing this for any type of antics. I’m not really lacking in the celebrity public figure department. I’m not lacking in the press or media department. As far as an Entertainer, things are pretty solid in my life and in my world. I think ya’ll know me by now and knowing the level of integrity. Other than my social media engagement and the engagement levels, which has me at about 4.5 billion a month in reach….”
Tyrese made it very clear that he doesn’t socialize on Instagram and Facebook for media purposes, however he uses these God-given stages and platforms to motivate and inspire the world. His form of giving back, other than giving money, is giving away everything that he knows because he’s an inspirational leader for many people that look up to him. Tyrese goes on to say:
“When you have all of these beautiful, smart, talented singers, writers, producers, executives, just creative people in general, all of us have those moments of being uninspired, not being motivated to continue, most of us get caught up in life’s pressures, getting pregnant, starting a family, getting off of your path and losing focus.”
People look up to Tyrese and are inspired by his walk and success. He uses his knowledge and wisdom that God has given him to bless fallen souls that need a lift. He’s not a Pastor. He’s just a regular guy that wants to stay in touch with the common man and common woman to keep them inspired. He has helped many suicidal people that have walked up to him ready to quit, give up and drop out of school, and so on. Tyrese’s Facebook videos, Instagram and Twitter postings keep his followers inspired and motivated to step out of their dark world and come into the light to finish what they have started because God doesn’t count them out. It takes people, such as Tyrese to let others know that He counts them in.
Now as far as music, I’m going to break down very important statistical facts that some may not know.
Tyrese’s first number 1 album is “Black Rose.”
His first number 1 single as a solo Artist is “Stay.” This single was number 1 off of his last album on Billboard for 11 consecutive weeks in a row.
He now has his second number 1 single, “Shame featuring Jennifer Hudson.”
Tyrese is at the top of the mountain, he has a voice, but mainstream radio isn’t listening. Five years ago, when he dropped, “Open Invitation,” the song “Stay” was only played on Urban Adult Contemporary and many Urban Mainstream stations, but mainly living on Urban AC. This is one real example of how R&B is dying. Mainstream doesn’t want to play R&B music, unless a singer is collaborating with rappers. Without radio, the state of R&B alone has no power. Radio is a vehicle used to bring awareness to the messages in music, but R&B artists can’t reach the masses to get their messages across the mainstream airwaves. We all know it’s not a problem for singers, such as Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith and Robin Thicke to be heard on Top 40, Rhythmic, Crossover Pop and Urban Radio stations when they sing R&B Soul, on the flip side, mainstream radio doesn’t give R&B artists of color airplay when it’s all great music. Tyrese wants to know, “Why doesn’t it work both ways?”
“Everything that I’m speaking on, I believe is to benefit the overall state of R&B. I’m putting this issue on blast. If they want to twist my words and make it out to be a rant, an angry black man using the race card and all of these different things, than they are trying to distract the people from the real issue. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I’m talking about facts.”
His solo album, “Black Rose” is very successful and is the biggest album of his career statistically.
“Black Rose” is number 1 in 15 countries as of last week.
“Black Rose” is number 1 on the Billboard Top 200.
“Black Rose” is number 1 on iTunes.
“Black Rose” is number 1 on the R&B Billboard.
This week, “Black Rose” is number 1, its second week in a row.
As of yesterday, the single, “Shame” is now number 1.
Tyrese has created this success independently with his own team of 7 staff members working with his label, Voltron Recordz. They have created a musical experience that fans have been loving. Most importantly, “Black Rose” is making a statement that fans of R&B are still here. We do want R&B back like it used to be when singers collaborated with singers, not rappers. What happened to the good ol’ days when mainstream radio was playing real R&B Soul?
I asked Tyrese the following question:
You poured your heart into “Black Rose” double album, a very personal documentary, and book. How did you overcome the difficulties of being able to reach down within a really deep place in your soul to reveal transparency as it related to these projects?
“I didn’t really have to dig deep. I was already in a deep space. It was just a matter of getting in the vocal booth. That was the challenge. Losing my girl of 5 years wiped me out emotionally. In and out of court fighting for custody of my daughter wiped me out emotionally. Then of course, losing my brother, Paul Walker, my friend of 14 years, the nicest guy you’ll ever know and meet, that wiped me out emotionally. Trying to get me to sing when I wasn’t necessarily in my best mental or spiritual space was very, very challenging. If it wasn’t for this woman named, Isabella Castro, who is my manager, started out as my assistant, now she is the Vice President of my overall Entertainment. A whole lot of people got Isabella Castro to thank, but they don’t know it yet, but they do. She is literally a force of nature. She would not, not let me finish this album. She was relentless. I pushed the release date back about 4-5 times. It’s very interesting to be here. Very, very interesting. It’s like, wow, God knew if I get to that finish line, He had all kinds of rewards, blessings, and opportunities waiting for me on the other side. No one would have “Black Rose” right now, if it wasn’t for His love, that’s for sure.”
At the end of his interview, my emotions were coming on strong as he answered my question. This press conference was so inspiring, uplifting, and it was such a blessing to have the opportunity to speak with Tyrese. You never know what’s currently going on in someone’s life, but God is always on time.
"Black Rose" is on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/black-rose/id1001326731 or Amazon @ http://amzn.to/1IbCc1L
Check out the Official Video, "Shame featuring Jennifer Hudson."
Check out the Official Video, "Dumb S### featuring Snoop Dogg"
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