Monday night is usually Monday Night Football and an occasional glance at the loose cannons that refer to their lives as normal on reality TV. October 6th, however was something else. It was one of the beginning stops of @karencivil “Be You and Live Civil College Tour”-something I was patiently waiting to attend. Although my desire was to come, due the tragic passing of my uncle Monday afternoon in a boating accident, my soul was uneasy. I was torn between seeing the inspirational Miss Civil or licking the wounds my heart was experiencing. My mother had previously lost her father in February and now her older brother’s body was finally recovered from the Gulf. My obligation was to be with her wherever she was, but something toyed with my spirit. Finally my brother came to me and told me to go… I needed to be there because it was something there for me to hear. He couldn’t have been more correct.
I arrived late (something I never do) missing the maven Miss Civil. Disappointed I sat in Melcher Hall with my best friend in tow. I wanted to hear her words. Civil’s resume is impeccable. I became familiar with Civil a few years back. I believe it was XXL ( maybe Source) that introduced me to Civil. She was once an intern for DJ Funkmaster Flex and leveraged her success into building a digital presence for some of the hottest acts including YMCMB artist, Lil Wayne.She has her marketing division- Always Civil Enterprises and lifestyle brand- Live Civil that encourages all to follow their dreams. Civil’s unrivaled work ethic and innovative ideas has made the cultural artige the go-to guru and pioneer in the landscape of today’s industry.
@mrmelsmith took stage. Smith is the promotion genius responsible for breaking acts such as the Geto Boys during his career at Rap-A-Lot. Signing on to work with Bad Boys, Smith love for music translated into the force that created the brand we ( those of us old enough to remember) of Bad Boy. His last move to YMCMB is when his efforts caused the world to focus on Wayne. Think “Fireman” and Wayne’s relentless work ethic on the numerous projects he released and appeared on. @jjonthemic of 97.9 the Box followed. The philanthropic radio personality spoke on her realization of wanting to be in radio at age six. She took attendees on the journey from running out of money in college, interning and subsequently landing a job elsewhere before the station she interned at allowed her the opportunity to be on air. She has worked alongside industry vet Wendy Williams and now takes her experience to inspire others. The “I’m Me Tour” is an effort to leave a positive impact on the youth.
The Q& A was priceless. When asked how do you keep your name clean by the event’s host, Civil replied ( paraphrasing) ” I get more business done with my legs closed than opened…I am here for business”. Mel added to be mindful of who you associate with while JJ drove the point of integrity home. Civil stated that she isn’t concerned with how others view her. If she allowed her self to be fed with those opinions she can starve by the same token. It isn’t how others view you. It is how you view yourself. In all that you do, BE YOU.
I came there broken from the tragedy of the day, but when I left, a sense of peace was over me. I felt empowered. The panel was open, honest and real. There wasn’t any stories of ease and privilege. There were stories of passion, determination and dedication. Each person crawled before they walked. They were the interns and flies on the walls before they became the heavy weights they are in the industry many trade their morals to be in. If you aren’t familiar with Karen Civil, Mel Smith, and JJ on the Mic, get familiar with them. I am grateful to Civil and @affiliated_clientele for bringing the tour to Houston. Make room in your schedule to attend something that is life challenging. Click here to see if the tour is in your city. You may see a familiar face or two. I did.