If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.


Syleena Johnson is one of the bonafide soul singers of our generation and a true R&B Diva that has maintained a penchant for great music since the late 90s. Her musical diary in the form of her Chapter releases have been stacked with hit songs since the original Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness was released in 2001. Now with a new label, Blakbyrd Music, Syleena releases her sixth installment of the series, the true to life Chapter 6: Couple's Therapy. While she has grown in her years and through her experiences, the quality of music remains grand. An overall review just wouldn't do here, so we decided to deliver a track by track review of Syleena Johnson's Couple's Therapy.


Singer/Songwriter, Destiny ‘Adia’ Andrews was born in St Louis, Missouri but I’d say she hailed from Huntsville, Alabama. She calls herself a mutt when trying to describe exactly where she’s from, as she grew up all over. But “Huntsville is home” she insists. That’s where all her close relatives and her late grandmother – the most important piece to her puzzle—were from. Admittedly, She should probably come with a warning sign, one that reads “slow down, no assumptions just yet!” If you don’t know, Adia is a Gospel singer but not the average.


Following both the somewhat lackluster albums, No Mercy and Trouble Man, T.I. returns with Paperwork, a 15 track project that is essentially the second in a trilogy of albums from the Atlanta emcee - the first being Paper Trail, released in 2008. There are high moments and low points on Paperwork that ultimately allow for T.I. to showcase that he deserves to remain among some of the greats. Paperwork is intricate to the point where there is a sense that there were different personas at play in the studio. Pharrell executive produced the album, and that is a characteristic he has displayed in his previous trips in that role.


A ‘talented triple-threat that no one saw coming’ is the best way to describe new artist, Luke Christopher. With a collection of mixtapes floating around, Christopher has gained a fan base of followers calling themselves #TMRWGANG. He keeps them engaged by releasing a new song every Tuesday on his SoundCloud and #TMRWGANGTUESDAYS has already received over 2 million plays. His latest mixtape TMRW TMRW Pt. 2 can also be found on SoundCloud featuring contributions from Asher Roth, Baily, Shlohmo and Banks to name a few.

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“’I’m just here for the ladies” was the message hit making sensation Christian Ward A.K.A Yung Berg delivered when  I had the chance to speak with him amidst several busy appointments. Echoing inspiration used by some of the greatest poets of our time hit making super star Yung Berg’s inspiration when it comes down to why he does what he does and so well is simple, beauty.  And just like any true mid-western he was more than ready to chat it up with me about his passions, upcoming projects and what sets him apart from the rest.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, how you doing man?
I’m good, good, chillen with this bad sweetheart in a peach dress next to me. How are you today?
I’m doing good as well, I see your out and about so I’ll get down to it. I know your 24 now and have been in the industry for about ten years, but what made you want to get into this business? How did you know rapping was what you wanted to do?
I really started getting into music about the age of 13, maybe 14. Before then I was all about basketball even though I’m only 5’6 with shoes on LOL. I was very heavy into ball playing and traveled to different camps around the country but eventually my love and passion for music took over. I remember the first album  I was listening to when I decided music was for me was Nas’ Illmatic and I started to focus more on music.
Most artists have a defining artist that inspires their style and they strive to be like, would Nas be that person for you?
Nah, my personal style of rapping developed through what I was about and I’m just here for the ladies you know. He’s great and there are other talented artist I’ve listen to but I’m just here to turn the ladies on you feel me?
Cool, now I can definitely see what inspired your new single “Sex in the City” of which you have a video out for now. So are the ladies your only inspiration behind the music? Are there any inspirational movements behind the music?
Well as a producer and an artist I try to follow my passion wherever it takes me and just feel the vibe of what I’m doing.  If I’m doing a verse for Ray J then it would be more tailored for him but if Im writing something for Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl then it would be a whole different type of record. But the music that usually hits my albums are for the girls because that’s what I like.
Speaking of your work with others, I understand you co-wrote on Diddy’s Album Last train to Paris since your album was released back in 2008. What else have you been up to since then?
Well after my last album release I wanted to take some time and work on my behind the scenes talents. A lot of people didn’t know that I produced my albums and wasn’t just another regular rapper put into a situation so I wanted to take the time and fall back and let my peers and everybody else know that what I was really bringing to the table. During that time I got to work on so many different projects such as  Jim Jones new stuff, Ray & Brandy’s new project, and Diamond from Crime Mobb’s new project which have all made me better as an artist.
Now that your back what’s new with Mr. Ward? You’ve released the new single so is it safe to say there’s a new album coming out soon?
The next Mix-tape that should be released soon is actually called Mr. Ward and it’s a very strong project with so many features on it.  It’ll include everybody from Soulja Boy and Ray J to Brisco and will connect so many dots to what happened in the public eye. For example people know of the beef I had with Brisco and now they’ll get to see him spit on my tape and that that’s all squashed. And it’s sort of like my biggest coming out party and being able to celebrate with so many talented individuals.
I like the idea of that a celebration or party for your music, are there any other ways your celebrating this return?
Yeah there’s a competition I’m hosting now called 72 Hours same as the first single from the mix-tape Mr. Ward and what will happen is all of my female fans can go to my site on youtube.com and upload their video of why they want to spend 72 Hours with me. Once they do that I’ll go through and choose a winner and they get a first class round trip ticket to LA and stay in a suite while spending time with me doing my day to day things and outings. Something like an appreciation for being a fan.
Sounds cool, I’m sure the lucky lady will have a blast; however this reminds me of a reality TV show. Somewhat like Ray’s looking for love show would that be the case with you?
LOL, I’m not looking for love or anything like that it’s just a treat for my fans, though I might have a show coming soon. I’m in talks with Ray J about doing something like that but its definitely not anything like “For the Love Of”, I’m only 24 years old and not really focused on that sort of thing now just taking care of business, No if I find the woman then that’s different but for now it’s just business.
And in order to take care of business I’m sure  you must have to go above and beyond just making music to continue to be successful, you yourself have been dubbed having the entrepreneur spirit starting your own production team and several other ventures.  Would you say that’s accurate?
Hell yeah, man you can’t just be a regular artist now a day’s people will take advantage of you and lock you into deals where you making five dollars and they taking half of it. Understanding the biz on all spectrums is empowering. Something I want people to understand is what contributes to my entrepreneur’s success is that I’m making things happen and I’m so young. There are people in their early twenties like me who are trying to make it and I want to show them that’s it’s possible to do it.
Having accomplished so much at a young age couldn’t have been easy, what keeps you going through those rough times?
Honestly, people telling me that I can’t do sh*t. There were a lot of naysayers and proving them wrong makes it all worth it. And then me being from the Southside of Chicago and making it all the way here is inspiration in itself everyday to keep going forward.
And if you could spread that motivation around to the next generation of music super stars, what would you say to them?
Man, whatever you doing and passionate about just stay down with it. If it’s a girl or your career or just something you like to do just stay down. Nothing is going to be easy and not everybody is going to like what you’re doing so just stay down with it until you make it.
Cool, Thanks man for speaking with me and imp looking forward to your upcoming projects, I already have “Sex in the City” on my iTunes!
My Dog! I appreciate your time brother!

“’I’m just here for the ladies” was the message hit making sensation Christian Ward A.K.A Yung Berg delivered when  I had the chance to speak with him amidst several busy appointments. Echoing inspiration used by some of the greatest poets of our time Yung Berg’s inspiration when it comes down to why he does what he does and so well is simple, beauty.  And just like any true mid-western he was more than ready to chat it up with me about his passions, upcoming projects and what sets him apart from the rest.


Parlé Magazine: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, how you doing man?

Yung Berg: I’m good, good, chillen with this bad sweetheart in a peach dress next to me. How are you today?

 

Parlé:  I’m doing good as well, I see your out and about so I’ll get down to it. I know you're 24 now and have been in the industry for about ten years, but what made you want to get into this business? How did you know rapping was what you wanted to do?

Berg: I really started getting into music about the age of 13, maybe 14. Before then I was all about basketball even though I’m only 5’6 with shoes on LOL. I was very heavy into ball playing and traveled to different camps around the country but eventually my love and passion for music took over. I remember the first album  I was listening to when I decided music was for me was Nas’ Illmatic and I started to focus more on music.

 

Parlé:  Most artists have a defining artist that inspires their style and they strive to be like, would Nas be that person for you? 

Berg:  Nah, my personal style of rapping developed through what I was about and I’m just here for the ladies you know. He’s great and there are other talented artist I’ve listen to but I’m just here to turn the ladies on you feel me?

 

Parlé:  Cool, now I can definitely see what inspired your new single “Sex in the City” of which you have a video out for now. So are the ladies your only inspiration behind the music? Are there any inspirational movements behind the music?

Berg:  Well as a producer and an artist I try to follow my passion wherever it takes me and just feel the vibe of what I’m doing.  If I’m doing a verse for Ray J then it would be more tailored for him but if Im writing something for Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl then it would be a whole different type of record. But the music that usually hits my albums are for the girls because that’s what I like.


Parlé:  Speaking of your work with others, I understand you co-wrote on Diddy’s Dirty Money album Last Train to Paris. Since your album was released back in 2008. What else have you been up to since then?

Berg:  Well after my last album release I wanted to take some time and work on my behind the scenes talents. A lot of people didn’t know that I produced my albums and wasn’t just another regular rapper put into a situation so I wanted to take the time and fall back and let my peers and everybody else know thats what I was really bringing to the table. During that time I got to work on so many different projects such as Jim Jones new stuff, Ray & Brandy’s new project, and Diamond from Crime Mobb’s new project which have all made me better as an artist.

 

Parlé:  Now that your back what’s new with Mr. Ward? You’ve released the new single so is it safe to say there’s a new album coming out soon? 

Berg:  The next Mixtape that should be released soon is actually called Mr. Ward and it’s a very strong project with so many features on it.  It’ll include everybody from Soulja Boy and Ray J to Brisco and will connect so many dots to what happened in the public eye. For example people know of the beef I had with Brisco and now they’ll get to see him spit on my tape and that that’s all squashed. And it’s sort of like my biggest coming out party and being able to celebrate with so many talented individuals. 

 

Parlé:  I like the idea of that a celebration or party for your music, are there any other ways your celebrating this return? 

Berg:  Yeah there’s a competition I’m hosting now called '72 Hours' same as the first single from the mixtape Mr. Ward and what will happen is all of my female fans can go to my site on youtube.com and upload their video of why they want to spend 72 Hours with me. Once they do that I’ll go through and choose a winner and they get a first class round trip ticket to LA and stay in a suite while spending time with me doing my day to day things and outings.

 

Parlé:  Something like an appreciation for being a fan.Sounds cool, I’m sure the lucky lady will have a blast; however this reminds me of a reality TV show. Somewhat like Ray’s looking for love show would that be the case with you?

Berg:  LOL, I’m not looking for love or anything like that it’s just a treat for my fans, though I might have a show coming soon. I’m in talks with Ray J about doing something like that but its definitely not anything like “For the Love Of”, I’m only 24 years old and not really focused on that sort of thing now just taking care of business. Now if I find the woman then that’s different but for now it’s just business.

 

Parlé:  And in order to take care of business I’m sure  you must have to go above and beyond just making music to continue to be successful, you yourself have been dubbed having the entrepreneur spirit starting your own production team and several other ventures.  Would you say that’s accurate?

Berg:  Hell yeah, man you can’t just be a regular artist now-a-day’s people will take advantage of you and lock you into deals where you making five dollars and they taking half of it. Understanding the biz on all spectrums is empowering. Something I want people to understand is what contributes to my entrepreneurial success is that I’m making things happen and I’m so young. There are people in their early twenties like me who are trying to make it and I want to show them that’s it’s possible to do it.

 

Parlé:  Having accomplished so much at a young age couldn’t have been easy, what keeps you going through those rough times?

Berg:  Honestly, people telling me that I can’t do sh*t. There were a lot of naysayers and proving them wrong makes it all worth it. And then me being from the Southside of Chicago and making it all the way here is inspiration in itself everyday to keep going forward.

 

Parlé:  And if you could spread that motivation around to the next generation of music super stars, what would you say to them?

Berg:  Man, whatever you doing and passionate about just stay down with it. If it’s a girl or your career or just something you like to do just stay down. Nothing is going to be easy and not everybody is going to like what you’re doing so just stay down with it until you make it.

 

Parlé:  Cool, Thanks man for speaking with me and I'm looking forward to your upcoming projects, I already have “Sex in the City” on my iTunes!

Berg:  My Dog! I appreciate your time brother!

 

 

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About The Author
George
Author: George "Fable" Robinson
As a writer, George” Fable” Robinson continues to garner readership through his unique style of conversational word play and expressive yet educational delivery. Having crafted everything from interviews, articles, and poetry to social commentary he continues to prove his versatility when it comes to journalism. He hopes to one day build a following that knows him not only for his work but for his passion within music, arts, and entertainment.

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