Monday, May 18, 2015
Pheaturing Young Stella
Hello, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? So, kids, did you graduate? If so I have to say congratulations on getting through the easiest part of life. Even though you're now highly educated, don't dismiss the advantage of dressing a little slutty for job interviews. Alright, what is going on? Barack Obama is announcing a ban against the federal government providing military-style assault rifles to local police departments. This sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I can't imagine how a police officer is supposed to enforce jaywalking statutes without a semi-automatic Zastava M70AB2 rifle with a pistol grip in his hand. Nine people are dead, 18 are injured and another 165 are behind bars after a massive brawl between three rival motorcycle gangs broke out in a Waco, Texas restaurant yesterday. Chains, knives and guns were all used as the melee spilled out into the parking lot and police became involved. The really sad part of all this is that it is likely to give the town of Waco a bad name in the public eye. Senator Lindsey Graham just announced his intention to join the other 374 members of his party who are seeking the Republican nomination in 2016. "I'm running because of what you see on television," he explained to the press. "I'm running because I think the world is falling apart." That's silly. The final "Mad Men" episode wasn't that bad. Speaking of... AMC's groundbreaking period drama series, "Mad Men"... the story of one man's decade-long journey through life and love en route to creating the world's most iconic television commercial drew to a close last night, leaving heartbroken fans thirsting for a show equally as cool and refreshing.
People across the country continue to debate whether or not a comedian should be able to go on television and tell the kinds of jokes that they personally do not like to hear. This time, it's because of Louis C.K.'s controversial monologue on "Saturday Night Live," which touched upon issues of racism, child abuse and other topics that should never be spoken of in public, lest they become real. Who saw the Billboard Awards last night? I started watching it hoping the Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekends Billboard would win, but no such luck. Look at it though...
Anyway, last night at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Taylor Swift won 8 awards, for a career total of 20 Billboard awards. She broke Garth Brooks's record of 19 wins, so now she's the top artist for the publication who tracks top artists. Wins on wins on wins. Taylor Swift is sort of crushing it lately. Her bitchin' new video blurred the lines between music and cinema, she's got a new boyfriend, plus she's just a really good person. Taylor is so popular Disney is re-releasing some of their classic animated movies replacing the princess with Taylor. Check it out...
Okay, I'm a New York Giants fan, so it makes me laugh about this whole Tom Brady-Patriots-deflated football deal. I promise though, I'll make one more joke about it. Did you see the new book Tom Brady wrote?
Haha. Okay, I have one more... but that's it. Did you see they are coming out with a new TV show this fall about the whole thing? No? Check it out...
Okay, there you go. I just hope the Giants don't have any drama next season. Okay, in yesterday's entry I made a joke about the new Oreo's that are coming out and I showed this...
Haha. A lot of you corrected me saying that's not Oreo's, that's M & M's. You are right. So, let's try this again. Did you see the new Oreo's that are coming out?
I might have to try them. There. That's done. As you know I live in Florida and there's some stuff that happens in Florida that doesn't happen anywhere else. That's why I started a pheature called...
This is one of the most bizarre stories I've seen in a while. Cheryl Treadway is a mother of three from Highlands County, Florida. She got into an argument with her boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, which escalated until Nickerson was threatening her with a knife. The two argued all day, and when Treadway attempted to leave and pick up her children from school, Nickerson grabbed her. He took her cell phone and wouldn't let her leave unless he accompanied her. Back at home, Nickerson continued to deny her access to her phone or computer, preventing her from contacting anyone. Treadway feared for herself and her children, and had become a hostage in her own home. Out of desperation, she hit on an idea. She was able to convince Nickerson to let her have her phone back just long enough to boot up the Pizza Hut app and order a pizza. He was watching, so she couldn't call or text for help, and she knew he would take the phone back as soon as the order was placed. So she placed it. Treadway ordered a small hand-tossed pizza with pepperoni, but before she submitted it, she wrote a plea for help in the comments section. The workers at Pizza Hut were shocked when they saw it...
Store manager Candy Hamilton told "Good Morning America," "I've been with the company for 28 years and I've never seen nothing like that come through." She and her co-workers immediately jumped into action, calling 911. Police were dispatched to the house, where Treadway met them on the lawn holding her baby, and explained the situation. Nickerson, for his part, locked himself inside with the two other children and didn't want to come out. Lieutenant Curtis Ludden told WFLA, “His first words were, of course, 'I'm not coming out because I know I'm going to jail.'" After 20 minutes, police were able to convince Nickerson to come out peacefully. The children were taken to safety, and he was arrested. He's now facing multiple felony charges including aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, false imprisonment, battery, and obstruction of justice. Police believe he may have been high on meth at the time of arrest. Even though everything worked out, this is still a chilling story. Knowing the Internet, I'm sure people will attack Treadway for becoming involved with an abusive psycho like Nickerson and putting her children in danger, but the truth is that it happens to people every day. One day, your significant other seems like the best thing that's ever happened to you. Then the warning signs of abusive or unstable behavior appear so gradually that you don't realize you're in trouble until they've penetrated every aspect of your life, and you're too scared to act. That's the abuser's M.O. So don't be too hard on Cheryl Treadway. It could have been you resorting to a pizza app to save your kids. And for the record, she did save them. She's a hero.
Okay, today's guest is a hip-hop artist or rapper... I'm not sure which, whose single "Twerk That Work That" is available on iTunes. Yep, that's the real title. Please welcome to the Phile... Young Stella.
Me: Hello, Stella, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Stella: Thanks for having me. I am doing great.
Me: First of, should I call you Young, Young Stella, or just Stella?
Stella: I usually end up being called Stella from everybody I encounter so you can go with Stella.
Me: You are young, right? How old are you, man? And is Stella your last name or first name?
Stella: I am young but I am not getting any younger. I'm 28 and Stella is just my stage name.
Me: Where are you from, Young? You don't hear the name Stella to often in America. It's more of a British name.
Stella: I'm from Charlotte, N.C. British name though? I had no idea that was a British name. I didn't name myself after the female name "Stella" I named myself from the word "Stellar". Which means star or like a star. It also means a great performer or entertainer and I love to put on a good show when I perform.
Me: Ahhh. Is rap big in North Carolina, Stella? Or in Charlotte? For some reason I would think country was. Do you know a lot of hip-hop and rappers who live there?
Stella: It is very big all throughout N.C., not just Charlotte. It's so big that it makes you wonder what's holding N.C. back from taking off in the industry. I know the reason but that's a different story. I wouldn't say country is real big in N.C. It's the country here but country music isn't too big here. I know tons of artist who live in Charlotte and surrounding areas because I have a recording studio that they come to.
Me: You worked with a rapper named J-Face, right? Is he from N.C. as well?
Stella: Yes, I worked with J-Face multiple times. Yes, he is from N.C. too.
Me: By the way, if I had a rap name it would be Plain White Rapper. What do you think of it?
Stella: Nowadays you have to be unique to make a impact in this industry. If people see your name is Plain White Rapper then they will most likely think you have plain rhymes and tend to pay you no attention. BUT, at the same time you could get attention from depending on how you approach an audience because a lot of people pay attention to things out of the normal.
Me: Now, I know there's an east/west rapper rivalry. And I couldn't tell you which rapper was from where. I think Snoop Dogg is from the west. Where does North Carolina fit into this? The East I am guessing.
Stella: No, that rivalry was a long time ago that been over and N.C. was not involved in it. New York was involved in it.
Me: Speaking of rappers, who did you grow up listening to?
Stella: I grew up listening to Missy Elliot, Pastor Troy, DMX, Eminem, and Faboulous. There is many more I grew up listening to though. I always loved all different kinds of artists.
Me: I interviewed rappers and hip-hop artists in the past, and spoke to a few over the years, and I am always corrected on the differences between hip-hop and rapping. To me, it's the same. Do you consider them the same, Stella? How would you describe your music?
Stella: Hip-Hop is about real life situations, inspirational music, music that will get you through your day. Rap is just people that rap about anything and everything. it doesn't have to be inspirational. Rapping about money, cars, girls. So I do not think they are the same. As far as my music goes I have my hip-hop type tracks and my rap type tracks. I mix it up, I cant stand being one dimensional.
Me: I have to ask you about your fans. Do you have both black and white fans?
Stella: Yes, I sure do, I have a huge mixture of races because I have a very universal style.
Me: Let's talk about your music, man. When you go into the studio, do you know what you are going to rap about before hand, or does it come free flowing when you are recording?
Stella: I usually write my music before hand but on occasions I come up with music off the top of my head depending on how I am feeling.
Me: Are you currently working on an album now?
Stella: No, not at the moment. I'm just working on mixtapes at the moment and trying to get a lot of exposure.
Me: I have to ask you about the song "Swag-O-Matic". What does that mean? How can you tell if someone has swag?
Stella: "Swag-O-Matic" means somebody who has a automatic swag. Like you don't try to look good, you don't try to make people compliment you. You get fresh and look good on a daily basis. Automatic swag. You can tell if somebody has swag if their fashion is looking good and by the way they carry themselves.
Me: Your music sounds very commercial, Stella, I don't hear any swearing. Is that something you don't do on purpose?
Stella: Good question, I be thinking nobody notices that I don't swear in my music. Yes, that's my choice on purpose. I believe that I can make good music without cursing and it's going very well for me so far. Something else that sets me aside from every other artist.
Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Stella. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wanna. Take care, be safe, and continued success.
Stella: Thanks for having me. You can check me out at facebook.com/youngstella you can get to my other social websites from my official website which is youngstella.com.
Okay, I have to say some interviews are easy and the questions just come out, others... well, are a little bit harder if you know what I mean. With that said thanks to Young Stella for the interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Tony Smith from Gone Dead Train. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker