Leon shares his thoughts on love, dignity and his band Leon and The Peoples

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Leon and The Peoples – (Photo Source: Instagram @insideozpodcast)

Leon Robinson is known by the world as Leon and as with other celebrities who are recognized by their first name Leon has crafted a career that is iconic, impactful and genius. Ever since coming to life in Madonna’s controversial “Like A Prayer” video in 1989 Leon has remained  a bankable artist in Hollywood. His roles as JT in The Five Heartbeats and David Ruffin on the VH1 miniseries The Temptations have become cultural staples and stand as an example of his range as an artist.

As of late Leon has been touring with his band Leon and The Peoples and he demonstrates how deep and profound his skills are when it comes to music. I spoke with him recently during rehearsal at 35th Street Studios in Chicago. He explained his staying power, dignity his passion for music and why love is a necessary subject in his work.

What is the origin of Leon and The Peoples?

We are all from New York City. I originally was part of this band called the Young Lions which was a bunch of really great musicians that played with Steel Pulse, Sting, Bruce Springsteen you name it. We were playing cover tunes and I wanted to do original music, so I started my own band called The Peoples about 11 or 12 years ago. Then I had to pull a David Ruffin on them and changed the name to Leon and The Peoples cause we got better gigs. We play a mixture between Reggae and Soul Music and people love the music. We have a good following especially with the women.

We are trying to move the music forward. We sing about thought provoking topics and things that are just fun

Talk about your most recent release Love is A Beautiful Thing

Our album Love is a Beautiful Thing is about all aspects of love. Not just the kind of love where you slob on the same pillow with somebody for years and go through deaths families and holidays and just because you didn’t sleep with them you don’t know where they are in the world. We not talking about that kind of love. We are talking bout the kind of love you have for your brother, your sister you mother you aunt. You made hate them some days but you still love them. We have a song on our new album called “Happy and Sad.” Let’s face it that’s what love does it makes you happy but it sure enough makes you sad, like nothing else in the world.

We have another song called “Beautiful” that has charted on billboard and it’s about telling people in your life that they are beautiful. It could be your mother, your sister your friend your baby mother, just letting people know that you find them beautiful. Not just on the outside but on the inside and letting them know what they mean to you. It’s about how important love is in our lives and not just in the romantic sense. It’s the way we educate our kids it’s the way we make our mark on the world, the love for ourselves and our love for others.

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Love Is A Beautiful Thing Artwork – Photo courtesy of Leon

Why is love the common thread? Why is now the time to stress the concept of love?

Love was an obvious choice for us to talk about on our second record. Love is such a big influence in our lives in general and in my life I have never been in a world or in a country that needs love more than we need love right now. We are in a time right now where we are fighting to have our own dignity. We are trying to keep the things that we thought were commonplace. The love for our fellow man and our fellow countryman is something that is going away and it’s ridiculous. We should be moving forward instead of moving backwards.

When you mention the concept of dignity it resonates. Talk to me about how you are able to preserve your dignity as a Black man in these days.

Keeping your dignity is something that comes from within. I was very lucky to have parents especially a dad who instilled a great deal of pride in me. They always made me hold my head up high and always made me feel good about myself. I was very lucky to have that. So many Black men grow up without fathers, so they don’t have that male figure encouraging them telling they can do whatever they want to, they can accomplish anything they want and be dignified about it. When you don’t grow up with that kind of background sometimes its hard because you don’t have that self love. The first love is the love for yourself and if you don’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else.

One of the songs I had to make sure to ask you about is “Sometimes I Wish I Was Single” The concept of this song blew me away. Talk about your intentions behind this song.

I like to do songs that almost anybody can identify with. One of the things that everybody can relate to no matter how successful a relationship is even if it’s just for 5 minutes out of the day, or one day out of the month or every other day you wish you were single. Not to get with someone else but just to be free to do whatever you want to do without affecting another person. Once I came up with the concept I wanted it to be a love song, so it’s like a love song disguised as a bad boy song. It’s about going back to the days when you first met. There is a lyric that goes “I wish we were single, so we can go back and meet again.” Everyone know the beginning was the s–t, it was before the kids, the house notes and the struggles. Those were the days when you first started feeling somebody and you realized they were feeling you. After being with someone for any length of time you lose a lot of that.

Some people told me couples wouldn’t like this song, but this song is for couples. The chorus mentions all the things I would miss if I were single.

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‘Sometimes I wish I was single” Artwork – Photo courtesy of Leon

The music on the album is heavily influenced by reggae, where does that come from?

We play a mixture of soul and reggae music. In my house my dad was always singing and his favorite singer was Nat King Cole. Motown music and soul music was always playing. I remember when I was 12 years old I heard out a friends window the Natty Dread album by Bob Marley. It was on repeat and I learned it right then and there. I was mesmerized. I hadn’t heard that before. That drum and bass became the back beat of my life. I would hear songs that would be a soul song with the drum and bass of a reggae song. That’s where you get that sexy reggae and that soulful reggae. That music made me want to sing.

You are a cultural icon. What is next for you creatively?

I have so many things going on right now. It’s kind of hard to balance them all. We have a production company called Motion Mob and we produced a short called “Make America Black Again” Its about a candidate named Lamar Johnson who is running against the Trump administration in 2020 with the campaign slogan of Make America Black Again with an entirely white campaign staff.

People have asked me why I made this short film. I consider myself as part of the resistance, but I can’t walk around mad. I only have one life. Nobody in office is going to make me walk around sad. So, I can create something that will make us laugh but also address the issues and the struggle and make it clear that we are against what is going on right now.

I’m also starring in a movie on BET Her during Breast Cancer Awareness month called “Her Only Choice”. It’s a real tear jerker about a woman making a decision between her life and the baby she wants. I also have a TV series that just recently debuted in LA, called “40 and Single”. It’s an international series shot in the motherland in Ghana. It starts airing on UMC on October 18th.

How does it feel to still be relevant after decades in the entertainment business.

That’s one of the hardest things to do in this business. I talk to young acting students and college students all the time about having a career. Right now in this world of social media we have a lot of over night stars, but they don’t have a career. In order to have a career you need to stay relevant you need to stay on people’s minds and consciousness. In order to do that you must keep creating things and doing stuff.

I’ve been very lucky to do memorable work that people want to see over and over again and yet its allowed me to make new work that still captures their imagination. There is no formula for it, you just have to do it.

Take a listen to Love Is A Beautiful Thing below.

-Precise

Check Out Ladies Love Mixtapes by Precise on Spotify

Happy Fathers Day – Love – Life Lessons

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If I am honest with myself I would say that being a father is probably one of the most challenging things to be in the world. Most times Im not sure what Im doing right. I’m kind of learning as I go along, and I always worry if I am imparting some type of life lesson to my children that they can benefit from. Fatherhood is not easy.

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My oldest son called me yesterday he just turned 21 and he said “Whats Up Pops, what you doing tomorrow for fathers day?” I told him I wasn’t sure and that I felt like people really don’t make a big deal out of Fathers day. Then he said “Well if they dont make a big deal about it, Im going to make a big deal about it!” Then we talked some more and ended the phone call as we do most times saying that we love each other.

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It was in that moment that I knew I didn’t have to be perfect. My bank account didn’t have to be bursting the seams. I didn’t always have to have the answers. All I ever need to provide to my children is a sincere and true love. This love is what motivates us to do better.

If we look at Cliff Huxtable (Cosby Show) and James Evans (Good Times) as characters their lives are totally different. One lives in his upper middle class home in Brooklyn. The other lives with his family in poverty in a Chicago housing project. Cliff is a doctor. James is a handy man. These two individuals are from totally different spectrums of life; however the one thing they have in common is the love they have for their children. This love translates into these life lessons that help to shape our children, it becomes our bond.

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So with that I want to say HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all my friends and family out here who are Dads. You dont have to be perfect you just have to be there to share your love.

-Precise

Ladies love Mixtapes by Precise produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder was recognized as one of the BEST RELEASES of 2014 

BUY – LISTEN – SHARE

Precise – Take Our Time (Right Away)

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Take Our Time (Right Away) is the lead single off the most recently released project by Precise entitled “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” with production by Tye Hill, D.j. Thunder and Eddy Lamarre.

The video is set with Chicago as a beautiful backdrop and features actress Morissa Lewis and painter Nicole Malcolm.

Precise cant seem to make up his mind, but he does know that he wants to take his time right away.

Please subscribe, comment and like on youtube and share this video with all of your people. Lets go for One Million Views!!! WE CAN DO IT!!

Enjoy.

-Precise

Buy “Take Our Time (Right Away)” Here

NEW RELEASE! – PRECISE – Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP produced by Tye Hill, D.J. Thunder and Eddy Lamarre

Precise Muzic is so excited to present to you “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” by Precise, produced by Tye Hill, D.J. Thunder and Eddy Lamarre.

“Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” is inspired by LOVE!! This project is a story based on the cycles of romantic relationships, the ups and downs the highs and lows. Precise stays true to Hip Hop culture while providing something relatable that can not be categorized as misogynist or degrading. Real experience for real people.

This is Adult Hip Hop. Play This At Night!

J-Roc, Young J.O and Precise – I Wanna Live – Video

Voice of Englewood is working to change the world.

Give a $5 Gift to Change a Life

Text “crushers” to 501501

Crushers Club is a boxing gym/studio in the heart of the violence ridden community of Englewood in Chicago. The founder Sally Hazelgrove is passionate about changing the circumstance and has enlisted the talent of the young men she works with and the veteran emcee and motivational speaker Precise to help raise awareness and funds for this cause of change and uplifting the community.

They created the song called “I Wanna Live”

Artists: J-Roc, Young J.O and Precise

Produced/Filmed and Directed by Young J.O

We are Restoring The Path to greatness through Crushers Club.

Please Give $5 to change a life.

Text “crushers” to 501501

Sally Hazelgrove and Crushers Club will be featured on the CNN series Chicagoland April 17 2014.

Listen/Download this track to support Englewood 

ALL OF IT MATTERS!

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When I look back over my life experiences I recognize how the pieces fit together as if it were some well constructed puzzle. During my moments of reflection what always amazes me is that when I am in the midst of these experiences I do not recognize how they are shaping me or how they are helping to construct the nature of my journey.

What I have come to understand is that these experiences are neither good nor bad. They are events in our existence that make us who we are. They move us closer to our hopes, our dreams and our destinies.

Qualifying these events diminishes the purpose. We are human and it is not my intention to discount the innate emotions that we feel in moments of great despair and joy; however we must move beyond these emotions and continue to travel with purpose.

Our purpose is to affect this universe in a way that will add to the greatness of this life in this moment and for generations to come.

Do not be discouraged by a misstep, do not be carried away by a victory. We are not defined by these moments.

Our legacy is the definition of our contribution to this life.

Stay Focused, Positive and Productive

-Precise

What do you think? Please share below. 🙂

Buy/Listen to my single “It’s On Me” produced by Tye Hill and Dj Thunder of The Productionix

NYA WE LOVE YOU!!! – Prayers – Positive Energy

I have never experienced this before and I hope that I never will have to again. The idea of one of your children being in so much pain and not being able to do anything about it is unbearable. The thought of loosing a child is unthinkable. Im not sure how I feel right now.

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Yesterday my daughter Nya was admitted to ICU at Lurie’s Children’s hospital and has not been responsive for the past 24 hours. She has had these episodes before as a result of the cancer, however this time its different. We are worried and helpless.

I really dont know what to say or what to do. As a family we are asking that you take a moment and share some positive/healing energy with Nya. We are hoping for the best.

We are currently running a fundraiser for Nya via the give forward website.

Click HERE to donate anything you can. Please Share with as many people as you can.

We are truly blessed to be surrounded by individuals who have giving spirits and we are so grateful.

-Precise

Buy/Listen to “It’s On Me” produced by Tye Hill and D.J Thunder of The Produktionix

An Open Letter to Myself – Greatness!

Whew…This month has been very interesting and challenging. It has been a while since I felt so restless. I feel my passion growing. Im hungry. Im determined. 

The challenge is knowing that this is happening in stages, and for the most part I have no idea how everything is going to unfold. Anticipation, internal frustrations and hesitation sometimes cause me to linger on past failures, and ponder on the possibility of failure.

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Failure is not an option. Lingering in the past and nervous anticipation with respect to what the future holds is a distraction.

EVERY experience is important when it comes to the development of this amazing blessing. Every single person you meet, every one of those times when you felt slighted, each situation when you felt you were treated unfair and those moments when you feel like nothing is going right you have to understand that it is part of the journey. 

You are not here by accident. What you have to offer is important and necessary to the universe. Your energy and vibration add to the rhythm of life. 

Do not despair. Stand tall. Be certain in this moment. Live in this moment. 

RISE to the occasion! Bask in your GREATNESS! 

Stay Focused, Positive and Productive

-Precise

How do you feel? What is holding you back? Feel free to share in the comments. 🙂

Buy/Listen to GO! produced by NSBeatProz

LIVE YOUR LIFE NOW! – Tis The Season

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As I write this I can feel my self breathing and I am grateful. Each breath is a reminder that I am capable of changing my circumstance in this moment. 

During this time of year many of us find ourselves assessing it. We may think about what has gone right, what has gone wrong and what we can do better. Self reflection opens us up to the possibilities of what can be. 

The power of transformation and the ability to be happy rests inside of all of us. We are connected to the universe in a way that will spark change. We have to believe. 

The creator has not given us life in error. We have purpose. We must be bold enough to act on it. Many of us spend too much time focused on the “bad” things. Sometimes we allow negative thoughts to spark an emotion that can leave us stagnant. We have power over these thought. We have dominion. 

I challenge you to love, to project abundance and change your circumstance and the world.

This is my intention going into the new year. I am eliminating fear and doubt and replacing those thoughts with love, good health, prosperity and abundance. 

We have been blessed with these lives to live to the fullest. We should be happy. We should be carefree. We should love. 

Live your life NOW!!

Stay Focused, Positive and Productive

-Precise

What is your intention for 2014? Please share, leave a comment below.

Listen/Buy “It’s On Me” produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder.

 

The Power UP!! – What does your soul look like? – Oscar Grant – Trayvon Martin – Keith Cozart

When it comes to this blog my intention is to share my experience and provide something uplifting and positive for the mass. The past month has been a whirlwind when it comes to what is happening in the news. The way that the news is reported via television and the internet is extremely immediate. Everyone has an opinion as to what is right or wrong. So much of what is reported in sensational and tends to spark discussions that are impassioned and driven by emotion. Generally I strive to stay away from these type of discussions. I am in the process of retraining my mind body and soul. In order to maintain a sense of peace and balance I work to feed myself things that add to the awesomeness that the creator has blessed us with.

fruitvale_stationFruitvale Station is an amazing movie starring Michael B Jordan in the role of Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant was shot on the mass transit platform by an Oakland Police officer while being detained New Years Day 2009. The murder of Oscar Grant prompted riots and demonstrations that ultimately led to the resignation of the police chief and a 2 year prison term for the officer who killed Oscar. The Officer only served 11 months.

After watching the movie I was moved to tears. I knew what happened already however as with many of these type of stories when they are told in 140 characters or less or on the nightly news something is always missing. The spirit and soul of the person who lost his/her life is hardly ever focused on. These young men are loosing their lives. They have families and loved ones. They are human. Michael B Jordan’s portrayal of Oscar Grant reminds the world of this.

OscarGrantandTatiannaOscar Grant and his daughter Tatiana

The release of this movie was timely. In light of George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin but was found innocent because of the Stand Your Ground law in the state of Florida.

I didn’t watch the proceedings up until the last few minutes when the words innocent rang through the courtroom. I was shocked. During the trial I would check my Facebook feed and notice how attention was being focused on Trayvon’s friend, on how Trayvon looked his drug usage and other issues that have nothing to do with why he was murdered. His life was taken and it feels as though no justice was given. He was a young man with his life in front of him. He had family and friends who love him. He was human.

trayvon_martin_dad1Trayvon Martin and his father Tracy Martin

The media is all around us and is embedded in every facet of our lives. It is not some benign force that does not affect change. Used properly it can change lives and change the world. In this shift that is happening in our universe in this moment there seems to be a determined focus on those things that do not promote our good.

More specifically black men are being portrayed as heartless, uneducated and hopeless individuals.

Whenever I tell people I am from Chicago these days I get “The Questions”. They ask me… “Whats going on in Chicago?” “Are you scared for your life?” “Are you going to move?”

Most of these people only know what they are being fed in the media. Chicago is NOT the war zone that people will have you believe. The youth have not lost their minds. They are warriors for change with limited direction. There is a lack of focus as to what is causing this violence. The focus is on the killing and not the change. In the midst of all of this The “Concealed Carry” Law was just implemented in Illinois.

In the midst of this killing among our youth one of the most powerful tools of the media is being used to promote the lifestyle that is adding the dehumanization of black men throughout the world. Poverty is being exploited and our youth who are looking for a way out are providing the mass with what the media wants.

Music specifically Rap Music and the culture of Hip Hop has been hijacked and is being used as a tool drive our young men into free labor. Its not a secret. Its hidden in plain sight.

A portrait is being painted of our youth that is not true. They are not savages. They have SOULS!

chief-keefanddaughterKeith (Chief Keef) Cozart and his daughter Kayden

This is for the world to know. We are living breathing human beings with souls. Our lives have value. 

Refocus our energy on this connection to our soul. We are great and can change this world. Life is AWESOME!!! LETS LIVE!!!  Are you with me?

-Precise

What are your thoughts on this? I would like to know. Leave A Comment, Like and Share this post.

Listen to and Buy “It’s On Me” produced by Tye Hill and D.J. Thunder.