Just Justice on “Kick Back with Stacks”

Standard

Check out Just Justice on Kick Back with Stacks on www.waen.tv.  Thursday November 17, 2011 at 8:00pm.

“I gave up the war on public perception years ago; the battle of integrity is what I’m training for as of right now.”

Words of a man first and an artist secondly, Jamar Allen aka Justice was born in Nash County, NC on August 1st, 1982 and was raised mostly in the small town of Zebulon, NC.  At a very young age due to what he considers “predestined circumstances”, Jamar began a nomadic journey over virtually all of the United States.

 “By the time I was 16 I had a son, a criminal record, frequent flyer miles and a passport,” he jokingly states.

At a young age, Jamar wasn’t influenced much by what was considered secular music in his home growing up.  He was raised by a single evangelical mother who was adamant with a strict regime of bible study, Friday night services, and mandatory Sunday worship.  His artist were limited to the likes of Shirley Ceaser, The Mighty Clouds of Joy,  and The Clark Sisters.

“I wasn’t really into music growing up.  I heard my dad could sing and people talked about that and his ability to play instruments but I didn’t actually see that for myself until I was a lot older.  Music was actually the furthest thing from my mind.  My sister was and still is vocally way far advanced than I was.  She lead several songs on the choir…me on the other hand cried and pouted until I eventually quit,”  he says with a mild chuckle.

“My son was born when I was turning 16 so my teenage years were brief to say the least.  They quickly merged with adulthood and very long period of growing pains and exercises in bad judgment.  With an early influence of mainly Tupac, DMX and of mostly rappers, the appreciation of music and arts in general began to snowball.  I spent time in Reno, NV with my older cousin and out there it wasnt a lot of rap.  It was more alternative, soft rock, country etc. so I adjusted.  I even remember this radio I had when I was younger that only picked up 94.7.   I think it was in Raleigh, and that was a country station,” he laughed.

His variety of musical intakes is evident in his music.  Songs such as “She Wants” and “all I got” from the yet to be released “learned behavior” album, exude a more compassionate side of the artist atoned as Justice. 

“I sing and I rap. I honestly wanted to be a singer simply because of the ladies.  That point-blank period,”  he says strongly with a slight smirk.  ” I  mean who wouldn’t want the admiration of every woman?  Right, so that’s why I started singing.”

He soon learned that the vocal challenges of being a singer were rather uphill for someone with no prior training or singing experience.

“It was hard but I got to where I could hold a note.  Kind of bob Dylan like, like I’m no Jennifer Hudson but I can keep your attention long enough to get my message across.”

 He had to. Why?  There were no singers in the initial circle of associates that he recorded and worked with.  He found himself molding into a rapper.  As his passion grew so did his ability. You can see that growth and ability in songs such as “time to go”, “trouble” and “so cold” from the reasonably anticipated mix tape appropriately titled “Panic Button”.

Reggie Stacks – Ghetto Heaven

Standard

Reggie Stacks is an up and coming writer who just released his latest book, Ghetto Heaven.  I had the honor of interviewing Mr. Stacks to find out the details behind his new book.

First, I want to say congratulations on your new book. I found it a very interesting and entertaining read.

Thank you very much and I’m very honored to be a featured guest.

So  tell me about Reggie Stacks. Who is the man behind the book?

Hi I’m Reggie just your everyday regular Joe.

What was your thought process when writing this book?

That I found my new million dollars!!  Naw seriously I just set out to make it the best read I could.  I knew I was tired of reading the same ole same and thought my story was one to be read.

The lead character Curtis is a complex individual, to say the least. What or who was your inspiration for him?

Curtis is that dude for real.  I have to say honestly I was my own inspiration behind Curtis my alter ego.  I share a lot of experiences with Curtis but I wanted to portray him as above life character but down to earth and real at the same time.

Curtis, Mario, and Jessy seem to have a familiar love, hate, protect relationship. Were their characters based on family or friends in your personal life?

I think those characters accurately portrayed the real life persons that they were based on.  Mario was my want to be me, hardheaded, in training nephew.  Jessy was my partner in crime. Of course for the books sake I’ve changed names and incidents made them more fictional but yes they are characters from my personal life.

You explore the world of sex trafficking in this book.  How do you think your female audience will react to the way you portray women as property?

Very interesting I thought I would get more fall back from that but so far I haven’t.  From the interviews I’ve done, book signings, people I have spoken with you are the first to broach that subject.  Makes me think did they really read the book or get the underlining message.  I wanted to bring awareness to this growing problem many don’t realize but like I said no one has mentioned it once.  I don’t know if they uncomfortable with the subject or just missed it.  Either way so far women have been my biggest supporters so…

The character of Lisa seemed to hold a special place in Curtis’s heart, is she based off an old girlfriend or secret crush?

Why do I get the impression you already know the answer to that question?

I have my suspicions, but it doesn’t hurt to ask…lol

Despite his strong ride or die attitude, Curtis seems to open up and become more “human” as the story progresses.  Was it your aim to make him a more likable character to the female readers?

Funny when I wrote this tale I never thought about that it’s just the way the story unfolded.  Like I mentioned before I wanted him to be larger than life but real at the same time.  If you think he became more human as the story was told.  Your opinion will quickly change in Part Two.

How does a man with a love for the extreme fall for someone like Michelle?

What can I say opposites attract!  Lol.  Naw seriously she was persistent.  C’mon now, Curtis was like any other man.  He wanted a respected innocent like lady and a freak at home.  Let’s not forget Michelle was an undercover freak, right up Curtis alley.

The way the story ended leaves a lot in question.  Will there be a follow-up to the book or perhaps a prequel to learn how Curtis became the man he is?

Ghetto Heaven is the first in a trilogy that’s already written. In the follow-up, (Paneili), it will start where Ghetto Heaven ended.  Become the man is in which way?  I thought I went in-depth in explaining that Curtis non-trusting, paranoia ways stemmed from his relationship with Sincere.  In installment 3 readers will be taken back to the beginning.

It will be interesting to find out how Curtis go into the game.   How he became “larger than life”.

After everything you have been through to become who you are today, what advice would you give to others about life and achieving their dreams?

It may sound cliché but I have to say follow your true dreams.  Don’t give up, let life’s speed bumps slow you down, haters deter you and stay persistent.  I wrote the 1st 2 books while still in the belly of the beast.  I had so much negativity around me, in my ear telling me I couldn’t do this.  Even when I had gotten out and told people family and friends that I had written a book I still got told I couldn’t get it published.  I didn’t allow the non-believers to stop me, the nay sayers to crush my dreams when they said no one would buy my book.  I published the book myself and yes its selling people are buying it.  What they didn’t count on was the same motivation and drive I used to propel myself to the top criminally I used positively.  Gotta love that.

What’s next for Reggie Stacks?

Well gotta say I want to spend the next 6 months to a year just promoting Ghetto Heaven.  I have this new internet show I’m doing “Kick back with Stacks” I want to see how far that takes me.  It’s something I never intended or thought would happen so I’m very excited about that. I would like start on my first screen play soon, that’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.  In the mean time travel, do more book signings, and meet my new fans.

Ghetto Heaven is a great read but beware it is very graphic.  Mr. Stacks  is very detailed about the world of sex, partying, and violence.   The details of Curtis’s business is what makes you want to keep reading, just to see how far he will go.  You will not be disappointed.

You can also check Reggie Stacks out on the internet at “Kick Back with Stacks” and also check out his Facebook page, Zo Publishing Presents.

Ghetto Heaven

Standard

Congratulations to Reggie Stacks on his new book, Ghetto Heaven.  I can’t wait to read it and give my review.  Also, congratulations to my sister, Alicia Cannady, on her first editing job with Mr. Stacks. 

Conversations with my sister

Standard

Conversation my sis and I had earlier ..”Why are we so quick to talk about all the bad things someone does, but when they are trying to better themselves no one is quick to talk about that.  No one is willing to buy a book, a cd, a download, or just even repost some of their work, yet you can repost everything else Facebook throws at you. Can’t even get you to come out to an event and show them a lil support…And you wonder why they pass you by when they do make it..#getit2getherpeople”

Why are people so unwilling to help the next person achieve success but always ready to bring someone down?  Is it so hard to support others in achieving their dreams or are we so obsessed that everyone must fail? 

How are we as a people every going to prosper if we don’t help, support, and encourage each other?