Debuting her highly anticipated freshman project, Frankie Parker is excited about her new-found reception as one of Chicago’s premier R&B singers/songwriters. With such songs as, “Divine Destiny”, “Divorce Party”, and “Hot Pot of Grits”, Frankie Parker combines vulnerability, life lessons, and most importantly love to create “Breezy”. Her currently released single, “Peace, Love, and Wine” was rotated on Chicago’s WVAZ 102.7 FM radio station and has received rave accolades. “This is a hit- an ultimate steppers’ cut”, says V103’s DJ Eric E.T. Taylor. Frankie Parker’s mature lyrics and derivatively vintage voice serves as a promising concoction for a music career full of success and longevity.

“Breezy” is a melodic diary that depicts the emotional changes one faces when dealing with marriage and its challenges. She combines her love for the old school R&B, hip-hop, and spoken word to create a fresh, yet familiar sound. Frankie Parker patterns this musically, semi-biographical journey after one of her favorite albums, entitled, “Here My Dear”, written by Marvin Gaye. “I consider my album to be the long-awaited response to “Hear My Dear”. Maybe when people listen to my project, it will prompt them to take a listen to what I consider as Marvin’s ‘hidden gem’”. Writing nine out of the ten songs on the “Breezy” project, Frankie paints vivid pictures, giving the listener an opportunity to envision themselves as the various characters written in each song. “Hot Pot of Grits”, has brought smiles to women and fear to men. After listening to “Grits”, DJ Neva from New Jersey City, New Jersey stated that “Grits” has, “Actual lyrics that actually have significance. Thank you.” DJ Chuckfresh from Des Moines, Iowa described the single as “smooth and also funny”. “Hot Pot of Grits” was voted as the 2010 number one single for independent artists on the “Marvell Gable Radio Show”. “Breezy” is scheduled to be released during the first quarter of 2012.

Although Frankie Parker is a talented songwriter, she has a natural niche for captivating her audience through her stage performances. Since the age of 4, she has been performing in front of a crowd. She’s performed at the House of Blues, The Grand Ole’ Opry, Close Up II, Northern Illinois University, The Green Dolphin, Little Black Pearl and many other Chicagoland venues. She’s opened for Montel Jordan, Shai, rapper Sweet Juices, the Stellar Awards, and others. In 2011, she took first prize at the Femme Fatale M.C. Music Competition. She creates an experience that allows the viewer to feel every note she sings. “Her show was awesome. She did her [thing] [for sure]…I’m feelin’ this joint”, says Philadelphia’s own DJ Russ.

Frankie Parker’s musical odyssey began at an early age. According to her parents, as a toddler, she taught herself how to change the albums on the turntable. At 5, she recorded her first album with a local community choir. After being involved with the school chorus, band, and several community choirs, she decided to pursue a degree in vocal performance at Columbia College- Chicago. Although she has yet to complete her education, she has applied all that she’s learned to her craft. Frankie has also trained at A&A Music Academy, studying vocal performance there, as well.

Frankie Parker is expected to have a large impact on the urban music scene in Chicago, and eventually the world. She is dedicated to perfecting her craft and continuing to write songs with substance and soul. When asked where she sees herself in five years, she confidently says, “I see myself on tour, with my band, and creating music for myself and others…You know, living the good life!”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nepotism: Alive and Thriving?

Can the American Dream be reached through hard work and dedication? Is that a real question in this society? My answer is, "no". In this country, you have to possess three things to obtain a successful career and financial stability: power, money, and the right connections. Easily, with money, you can buy the power and connections. However, the right connections will take you further than the other two. Knowing the right people at the right time can be your ticket out of the world of poverty. In fact, if you are related to someone with authority, you are set for life if you choose to follow the same career path as your relative. I consider the latter to be nepotism. Nepotism is a practice that has been in existence for thousands of years. Receiving the crown as king or queen because you were born in the family way is an example. Running and eventually being elected to the United States presidency because one's father was elected beforehand is another example that I'm sure we can relate to (Bush Family). We are taught that our legacy should live on through our efforts and offspring. We are also told that the next generation will be better off if they are able to reap what we have sown. Exactly how fair is it that those who have been handed their future wind up receiving and controlling more than what they're entitled to, while the rest of us struggle to create our own? There have been several recent occurrences that have made me pose this question, and I would like to share them with you.

I would like to begin with the scenario that influenced me to write about this today. This morning while at work, I was approached by a young lady who was looking for my manager's daughter. I had no idea that the daughter was on the premises, so I was thrown off a bit when asked about her whereabouts. I discovered that the daughter was conducting interviews for a business that was not affiliated with the company; this was occurring in one of our vacant offices. I had no idea that this was happening, so the first thought that came to mind was that of me turning the visitor away and explaining that there was no one here by the name that she announced. When I was notified that the visitor was looking for my manager's daughter, I escorted her upstairs to find the daughter. Before I knew it, we received more guests who were looking for the daughter. I'm wondering why my manager thought it was appropriate to allow her daughter to conduct a meeting pertaining to a matter that had nothing to do with the company. I imagined my manager's reply being, "Because I'm the boss, and she's my daughter! And furthermore, this is none of your concern." Then I began to wonder what may have happened if I handled the visitors incorrectly. I would've been professionally persecuted for something very personal. Lastly, I began to ponder what would happen if I chose to conduct meetings about my music career at my corporate gig (How sweet would that be?!). Would my manager allow such an event to occur? The answer would be, "no", and I would receive a pink slip with the quickness.

Of course my thinking didn't stop there. I began to think about all this drama with Beyonce and Jay-Z taking over a hospital floor, so that they could birth their daughter privately. I know, I'm tired of this topic too, but I couldn't help but think of them. They were able to shut down parts of the intensive care unit and prevent a father from seeing his newborn, premature twins simply because they had the funds to do so. Now, they have brought this child into the world while simultaneously manifesting the idea that their baby requires special treatment that others can't receive. They are setting this child up to think that ownership of the world can be sought with the drop of dime in the right man's palm. I don't knock them for doing what they thought was best for their child, but at what cost? Why should a decision like that have such an effect on others? Call me a hater, but the act of nepotism in this case has been initiated so early into this little girl's life that if they aren't careful, they might create a monster. This child may one day feel entitled to everything without putting forth any effort to earn privileges. Then what will they do?

Lastly, I thought about Kim Jong Il's son and successor Kim Jong Un. He has been appointed to the highest position in North Korea after his father's passing, but everyone is uncertain of his leadership style. Why, you ask? HE HASN'T HAD TO PROVE HIS LEADERSHIP SKILLS! Why? HE HASN'T HAD TO ANYTHING BUT EXIST! The world is on pins and needles, waiting for him to show his true colors. If he were voted into the position, it may have been a different understanding because the citizens would have had a chance to familiarize themselves with his character. However, since he was simply an heir to the throne, the citizens'opportunity to become familiar with him was bypassed because of, say it with me, NEPOTISM! The question becomes, "How do we prevent nepotism from affecting us negatively?" I believe that it starts with the parents. Parents, there is nothing wrong with providing your child with a healthy lifetstyle and few perks every once and a while. The problem settles in when children are not taught to earn the things that they desire. Presenting their needs and wants on a silver platter is a set-up for disaster. When you're dead and gone, they will still have to live for themselves. If you are blessed enough to leave a fortune to your child, but they are unaware of how to handle what you've left them, your hard work will be a faded memory, and please believe that your money will be lost. Am I completely against nepotism? No. I just think that too much of it can be a major 'spoiler'.