This time last year I was confined to my queen size bed, legs elevated, hating everything about life. I was pregnant, but I was sick, hurting, and too emotional to be around the public. It was sad. The year before that I was preparing to get wasted out of my mind. Planning a party in my loft for any and everybody who saw the Facebook post, I bought liquor, food, and some other things wanting to give people I barely even knew the time of their life. It’s so funny, how two separate years, showed me two very different people. There was the excessive party girl who would go so hard that she couldn’t keep her eyes open. She was so reckless and so ready to give up most of the time, on one hand. On the other hand, just last year I was forced to sit back and focus on what was truly important, my children, my husband, my life. It’s not until I was FORCED to sit my tail down, did I see… how much my life was really worth. I pray that nobody ever gets to the point of being forced, but if they do, I hope that they take the time not to wish they were somewhere different, but to capture the lesson being put on them at that very moment. Glory! Because most of you don’t even realize, don’t even know… I wasn’t even supposed to be here. Therefore, I’m thanking God everyday that I could see today.
I’m celebrating my birthday and I want you to celebrate with me. This Saturday, I’m having a very chic and fabulous Day Party in Richmond, Virginia’s Shockoe Bottom. We will be at Island Bistro (1726 East Main Street) from 5pm to 9pm. This is a Networking style party dedicated to celebrating all of us making major moves in the New Year and collaborating with each other. Mingle and mix with a diverse crowd of individuals who value, love, life, art, and family. I’m giving my celebration to you. It would be nice not to work an event for a change, but to sit down and talk candidly with the people I’m inspired and motivated by.
Island Bistro (Shockoe Bottom)
1726 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219
February 23rd, 2013 5pm -9pm
Network, Mingle, Party, and Chat w/ I’esha GaptoothDiva
Brought to you by the Queen of Marketing, Mareesa Dawn @1marketingqueen
DashA’veri Vintage and Thrifted Redesigns is having a sale! I’m giving all my supporters and friends 35% off on all items until Saturday. Despite the fact that everything is already low priced, because who doesn’t want style for practically nothing, I’m giving you a b-day gift from me. So get your daughter something, your cousin, your friend, or yourself, it’s all on sale. DashA’veri also offers delivery and pickup for those of you located in the Richmond Virginia area, so don’t worry. We will get it to you! Check out the site and buy whatever you want. New stuff every month, but this sale only last for a limited time.
I’m so excited to be 25 years old for the 3rd time. Don’t worry about the math on that, just celebrate with me. I hope to see you this weekend, but if not we have all year long to shake things up. It’s our time!
“Fuck This Shit!”
A phrase I so easily could have said, looking down at the monster I created. I’m sitting here wondering why I continue to do this. When your heart isn’t into it anymore, why keep going. If you feel uncomfortable, stifled, limited, or taken advantage of… what is the point?
There comes a point when you have to be honest with yourself and with that, more honest with the world. You can say you’re going to do it, but when do you really start? Do you want to know what honesty gets me? Honesty brought me to today. Today where I have realized while bringing in child number two, I have managed to lose more “friends” than I can count, have not spoken to my parents since Christmas, and I’ve almost spent half the year of 2012 in bed due to health complications. Honesty made me say what I felt, rather what I thought people wanted to hear. Honesty made me stand up for myself, something people assume I do all the time. Honesty was sitting on my shoulder screaming in my ear, “B*tch! You don’t deserve this.” While I contemplated whether or not I was just tripping, or were people truly taking advantage of me.
On the other hand, being honest with myself has helped me see the snakes in the grass (Good Lord, there were so many!). It has helped me to find out who I truly am, got me closer to God, and finding purpose, fulfillment and life in the little things. Doing what is not “me” is so uncomfortable today; you can almost see the hives form on my skin when I lie. I must admit this is scary for me. The drama, the excitement, and the abundance of money, friends, and flashy things made me think I was on cloud nine. However, after a year of letting all of that go, it’s clear that all those things meant nothing after all.
I now require certain things from every relationship I have, things that I am prepared to provide to someone myself. If those requirements are not met, it’s nothing for me to bid farewell, no matter who it is. I no longer sit and ponder, “Will they hate me if I say/do…?” I don’t minimize the blessings in my life anymore, proudly flaunting the goodness that my creator has provided. I no longer fear whether people will hate and attempt to destroy what is mine, because that is no longer my business. Whatever happens, I realize I am protected, because what is for me is already mine.
Most importantly, I have decided to make some changes with my business. What I crave, what I love, and what brings me so much joy (enough to leave everything I worked for since I was 20 years old), almost seemed to make me sick. The idea of feeling pressured to do what was not my style, to be someone else, and to stick to what I despised made me not want to touch the keyboard at all. Fear was a common feeling, not wanting to be boxed into any one category. Nevertheless, I conducted interview after interview, putting emotion into it only half of the time. Did I care? Yes, I did. I hated myself for working on projects I didn’t like, not wanting to stifle my opportunities. I loathed posting conversations that I could care less about having, because of hope that someone would gain something from it. Let’s be honest, some of these people were about as inspiring and motivating as the ads on the GRTC. I hated it! I decided I will no longer push my self, healthy or not, to do anything that I don’t love.
During this time, a true friend came to me and asked what I thought about certain things. Not realizing the point, I went on a tangent about various topics that truly concerned me. Then I was interrupted with that light bulb, the effect my friend wanted me to get. This website is named after the very person who is meant to inspire. No it’s not about hip-hop 24/7, no it’s not about fashion labels and the latest in mediocre “let’s keep up with the joneses”, but it’s real. Why don’t I ever talk about what I know, what I love, and what makes up who I am? Occasionally I find artist, retailers, and business that I would be proud to stand by. It’s so rewarding to discuss their journey and their skills. However, if every other day I water that down with an independent artist, who for the most part doesn’t even appreciate the time it took to talk with them, then what the f*ck am I doing? Nothing.
I’m tired of GaptoothDiva Radio. Period. I’m tired of feeling like a groupie for a bunch of people who are just waiting on someone else more established for an interview, so they use me as practice. I’m tired of listening to the same artist, only with different names who all are fighting to be that one crab that gets out the barrel. I’ve lost my mind with this craziness. It’s not every artist, but most independent and underground artist have put a bad taste in my mouth that I can no longer chase with that same old feeling of “we’ll support anyone with ambition”. I will just continue to be a fan of the ones I like/love, but no more wasting time with online radio. If it’s not related to fashion, art, or creativity other than their freaking songs, I just can’t.
I don’t want a bunch of fake friends in my network, just sucking up ideas and gems. I can’t stand it. If people truly don’t like you, you would think they would unfollow you, lose your info and move on. That is not the case. They follow you and see what your doing, then try to tell people that you know negative nonsense. I see them. When the time comes to address it, I will not hold my tongue. Professionalism is important, but standing my ground is not a character trait I will let go. I will strike when I’m ready, until then I allow them to have fun.
My personal life is no exception. I remember a while ago, people saying this thing about having a hand full of close friends. I’ve gotten to that point and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve included family in that bunch as well. I have a strict policy now: I don’t deal with ratchet ass people under any circumstances! I don’t care how long I’ve known you, if we’re related or what. It’s important to me that every relationship is mutually beneficial, so if I’m lacking – I’m packing, simple as that. I felt like a rude b*tch at first, some described it as having my nose in the air. When you’re fed up, what are you supposed to do? I had a phone full of contacts of people I didn’t care to talk with. I was throwing parties and inviting people to my home that I didn’t trust. I was giving good advice to those who wasted it. Life shouldn’t be that complicated.
I don’t know if it’s the new baby, the year off from everything I thought I was, or the freedom/solitude of realizing that my real family was what I made it, but I’m removing the proverbial gag order. I’m speaking up and speaking out about what truly sits in my heart, what boils my blood, and what I think people deserve to hear. I’ve already faced people talking behind my back, artist writing diss tracks about me and my features and exile from the only relatives I have in this state. What more can I lose? My website should be my sanctuary to open up about what I really want, not a catalog about who’s who in Richmond, Virginia. Although I will talk with some creative people and feature those I love, I don’t want it to be solely based on anything but me. I’m putting myself first, after all that’s why I paid for the domain name. I am fashion, culture, and commentary, so why do I allow other people to motivate my audience. I’ve loved, lost, gained, found, sought after, and completed things that only a few people have come close enough to realize. Should I waste precious space talking about what everyone else is working on, or should I share some of my own testimony? I think I want to share, I believe that’s my right.
I thank God for the realization and the close friend that helped me get there. It’s not enough to be an amazing person, if you only keep that part of you hidden behind closed doors.
Look at this as being me…. Truly uncensored.
During our interview with Lord Infamous, we had an abundance of comments related to why he chose to call himself “Lord Infamous”. It wasn’t about the music, his testimony, or the interview as a whole, but something as trite as the fact that he named himself identical to a former Three 6 Mafia artist.
What’s in a name? I understand first hand the importance of being original and always checking before creating to ensure that no one else has said, done, or created what you are about to. However, with billions of people in the world, how can we really be sure? An idea is generated in our head. We are apart of a small community of people where we are, despite what the internet will make us believe. If someone decided to name him or herself that, I always ask about the significance behind the choice.
He is a truly talented individual. He has educated himself on several instruments (Drums, guitar, percussion instruments, piano/keyboard, organ, etc.). He has learned to master songwriting, production work, engineering, directing, and rapping/singing. In my book, that could qualify him to be described as infamous, especially if you consider his age and back-story. Something we discussed in the interview, and what no one who commented seemed to mention, was that he mentioned he has mastered these things, still having a thirst to learn more. Having mastered his craft and being willing to open his mind to new opportunities, has made him realize he is a LORD at his passion. This means he has mastered it and is great.
Who are we to judge him by his name?
Was it the interview that left you boiling with hate, was it the music that disturbed you, or was it the fact that you have a problem with anyone being named after someone else. I though the focus was misplaced. With everything this young man said he goes through, with all the work he puts into his dream, and how much people adore him, it doesn’t matter what we call him. His name is Brandon to those that love him and truly know him. How many of those are walking around?
I was taken aback by the amount of anonymous emails and comments left, because it goes to show that although our aim is to motivate, we still attract ignorance. I wish him nothing but success and pray that the people who check us out get that we are beyond this.
No matter what you decided to call yourself, it’s what you answer to that makes you who you are.
We decided to share how things are going with the baby and the changes we have experienced since being pregnant. There is nothing easy about bringing life into this world, especially when you were busy doing other things and didn’t plan it at all. LOL
However, we are so blessed and can’t wait to “evict” our darling bundle of joy from my womb. However until then, what better way to ease the frustration then to vent to all our supporters and friends.
Thank you so much in advance for choosing to be a babysitter…
We Love You!
“Pink and Zebra print, just a few of my diva addictions…”
– I’esha GaptoothDiva
I was asked to participate in this Ladies night event in support of the Fan Free Clinic and HIV prevention. I was so D.W.I (down wit it) and couldn’t wait to party with my “Cunt” Divas in the LGBT community. Hosted by Rae Berryman and Alvion Arnell Davenport, they brought in the fierce pink glamour, setting the tone of fashion for the evening. Ladies were asked to wear pink, pearls, and/or pumps. Although some hardheaded beauties mingled their way into the door, the atmosphere was still beautiful and eclectic.
With a mix of diversity, gorgeous décor, and what appeared to be refreshing drinks (wink); I saw not one depressed face in the building. Everyone was enjoying himself or herself to the fullest. It was a nightlife event like no other, as performers reigned over the stage, captivating the audience and judges. There were even impromptu performances from such partygoers such as Sydney Ellese, who split her pants due to all the excitement. I laughed until my stomach hurt, and danced until my ankles swelled. It was beautiful.
Cunt used to be a term of offense, meaning a woman was a bitch or simply unpleasant. However, in the LGBT community, where the fabulous just can’t live life on the “half-empty”, the rules have changed. Now “Cunt” means you are fierce, working it, and doing your damn thing. Being glamorous and on top of your game were the rules of engagement for Sunday’s event at Godfrey’s. However based on the outcome of the “Cunt” contest, it wasn’t just about what you wore, but the attitude you brought to the table. The most gorgeous girl could have the crowd visually, but she needed to pull at their need to support a “bad chick” as well. Which is why, our winner was a truly unexpected surprise to us all, but entitled nonetheless for her fearless and bold demeanor. I was pleasantly in support of the audience decision, it takes courage to step up in front of everyone and show how proud you are in yourself.
However, there were some salty “fish” in the building. Interestingly enough none of them volunteered to participate, nor qualified to stand on stage. It goes to show that with any amount of positive vibe in one place, there will always be one over-weight hater in a cardigan two sizes too small who lacks self-esteem. I allowed the comments to fall, hoping that the more motivated people outshined the nonsense, which was definitely the case. I went to each participant, even those who did not make the final round, to thank them for stepping up to plate. Being a “diva” isn’t about anything materialistic, and this event proved that cocky arrogance means nothing, when you have a room of people who support self-esteem.
Between the beautiful cupcake display and balloons, and the music that made everyone move, this event truly proved to be a success. Not only were they able to raise money for the Fan Free Clinic, but they were also able to provide Free HIV testing to over twenty individuals. That is so amazing. It is vital that people know their status and understand the importance of STD prevention, and this event was to ensure that the Fan Free Clinic could continue to make that possible in our community.
Overall, I had a great time. I was sober, but laughed so hard I forgot I had nothing to drink. I danced almost forgetting that my pregnant belly shaking might wake my unborn son up, and I looked fantastic doing it. It was a great night out for me. I sincerely enjoyed partying with a purpose.
For more information on how you can support the Fan Free Clinic, check out www.fanfreeclinic.org/
Also, if you are interested in enjoying a fabulous brunch on Sunday with LIVE performances or just want an amazing night out, check out Godfrey’s Restaurant and Nightclub at www.godfreysva.com/
To see MORE photos from the evening, that may include people you know, be sure to check out our Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline
For more of the BADDEST CREATIVE MOTIVATION, follow me on Twitter – @GAPTOOTHDIVA
Our beauty of the Week I'esha Hornes aka The Gap Tooth Diva. One of the 804's Hottest personalities does it all. She host an online radio show
www.blogtalkradio.com/GaptoothDivaRadio where she interviews authors, artists and anybody making moves in the 804 and beyond. Her website www.gaptoothdiva.com is pack with culture and commentary on social issues. The sexy model is an inspiration to all women .
Tuesday’s interview with Nikki D. Made me think about so many things. I thought about how so many people use their environment as an excuse. They want more out of life, want more out of their dreams, but they allow their family, their living situation, and their friends convince them into another direction. Nikki D. is probably from one of the most rural areas of Alabama, a place more country than any guest we ever had on our show. No one can legitimately say that they have made in the entertainment industry directly coming from Daleville, Alabama. However, through all that she is determined to get her music heard, and live her dream. It’s also inspiring to know that she wasn’t born into a family doing anything closely related to music. She is overcoming, she is pushing on and despite the obvious obstacles, and she still wants to do what she can.
I know that Nikki D. isn’t one of the most popular people doing music, and I know everyone isn’t too excited about Alabama or its independent music scene. My intention is for you to hear her story and be motivated. We have people to our left and right, who may be satisfied with what life, is throwing their way. Nevertheless, when you have dream or aspiration, it’s imperative for you to press on diligently and live your best life. I can’t stress enough how hard it is being surrounded by people who dreams don’t exceed earning that bi-weekly paycheck. How hard it is to be related to people who have given up on the hope that their adolescent ambitions can still be achieved because they’ve lost faith in themselves. However, when you rely on your own faith, nothing can deter you from what is rightfully yours.
This particular interview has some distorted audio, sorry about that. Even so, you can still hear it and be motivated by it. Thank you so much for your support.
I swear I didn’t want to join the bandwagon and post something about the Trayvon Martin case. I’ve already expressed my feelings towards this injustice on GaptoothDiva Radio and via twitter. I’ve already prepared my letter to be sent off to Florida, and prayed for justice for his family. However, after the recent opinions of Geraldo Rivera on Fox and then Sean Anthony of FlowofWisdom, I was compelled to ask the question. Are we walking stereotypes?
Geraldo expressed that he felt that Trayvon’s hoodie contributed to him being shot just as much as Zimmerman did. Surprisingly, shortly after that Sean Anthony posted a video saying that he totally agreed with Geraldo. Although Sean Anthony went into more detail about young men in the black community, specifically sagging their pants and dressed like rappers on television. I agree that it has become out of control with young men sagging their pants. It’s degrading and disgusting to see men walking around my neighborhood, cuffing the front of their jeans trying to keep their pants from falling, when all they have to do is, pull the damn things up. However, my disdain for this dress code is only because it looks disgusting, not because it could potentially get those men shot.
I never thought to myself, “Oh my god, he might rob me or kill me, because he has on a hoodie and sagging pants”. It never once occurred to me that only those in hooded shirts and sagging pants rob people. Every time I ever been attacked, abducted, or endangered, these individuals didn’t appear to be threats, thus making it easier for them to get close enough to me to attempt harm. Although, I’ve always agreed with Sean Anthony in the past, I can’t justify that what we wear could make us look like a threat to the next person. I feel like what we do, is the important factor. If our behavior is threatening or if our movements imply danger or harm, it doesn’t matter if we are wearing a prom dress or a full camouflaged ensemble, it’s not about what we wear.
I’m sick of feeling as if people (of any generation) have to dress to make others comfortable. It has always been a pet peeve of mine, to hear that your voice and talents are going to be unheard unless you fit the mold of what society wants to see. As a former employee of a corporate environment, I took pride in my tattoos and dress style. I was informed by my older colleagues that because of how I looked I would never be promoted to the next level. Although my skills and knowledge made me qualified, they didn’t want to promote someone who resembled the clients we served. Nevertheless, I was promoted due to my perseverance and ability to talk myself into getting my way, which eventually led me to be one of those, very few that the clients were able to relate to. Even though I was able to overcome that hurdle, there were an awful lot more that I wasn’t willing to jump over, which led me to letting that opportunity fall. It is because I choose to be myself no matter what, is why I strongly stand by people dressing and being who they are.
If you look at a man and see sagging pants, du-rag, and the stereotypical “thug” attire, do you see a potential threat? On the other hand, do you see a man dressed sloppy? When you see a woman with a dress two sizes too small and her cleavage out, do you see a slut or whore? Alternatively, do you see a woman just seeking attention? Are you stereotyping people based on their clothes, or are you basing your opinions on their actions, and what they say?
It so funny that during the video with Sean Anthony, the young man went on to explain why he himself wasn’t in a suit and tie that day, and how someone looked at him as not being as successful. However, based on what he said and how he presented himself, I saw nothing but positive things. Now if he spoke in a manner that was portrayed as a “thug” or gangster or if he behaved like a criminal then I can understand why an opportunity would just overlook him. It wasn’t about what he had on for me.
I really don’t condone the sagging pants or “thug” looks. I often remind my husband not to wear his du-rags out of the house and teach my son to always keep his pants up and wear a belt. My intentions are for my men not to look sloppy and unorganized, not because I fear them being shot or killed for being misinterpreted as criminals. I like a clean man who takes pride in his attire, but I don’t assume that every man that doesn’t is a threat to me or mine. The idea that we need to educate more men on how to look when they leave the house, is an excellent effort. However, to teach people that they need to dress to make other people feel comfortable with their existence is not only stereotypical, but also insensitive to self-expression. I’m educated, tattooed, and very much an ambitious businessperson. If any one ever said I looked like a hood-rat or “ghetto” because of my tattoos or my style, I would just assume they were small minded and ignorant. By judging a book by its cover, even if we are the same race, we take the very thing that makes us unique from each other and use it as a negative.
I don’t agree with the point that Trayvon’s hoodie made him susceptible to being a victim of murder because I’ve seen men of all races wearing hoodies and never had the urge to shoot them, or call the police. Period.
Black men should not have to dress a certain way in order to avoid being targets for ignorance and stereotypes, no matter who said they should. Murderers wear sweater vest and ties, too. In addition, ignorance comes in even the most prestigious packages.
You can dress to make the person next to you more comfortable if you want to, but if a person is full of unjustified stereotypes and hate, they are going to be that way regardless.
I’m off my soapbox…. God Bless.
**I don’t condone pants sagging on anyone, nor do I agree that its “apart of our culture”. It’s sloppy and unneccessary and unattractive. However, if one chooses to dress this way, I do promote free self-expression.
A year ago, I decided to make some drastic changes in my life. A super expensive party turned epiphany made me realize that everyone that smiles in your face, attends your events, and “likes” your comments on Facebook, may not really “like” you. I was bitter for a while, but I got over it. I got over the idea that I may have been a people pleaser. My desire to make everyone around me feel comfortable, feel at ease, and feel like they’re having fun, made me into my own worst enemy. I stayed in relationships with friends that didn’t have my best interest at heart. I dealt with family members that were even worst. I tolerated those conditions, with the fear that I would ostracize myself and end up alone. Needless to say, I was stupid!
After discovering I was pregnant with our second child, I finally saw what I’ve been overlooking. True happiness isn’t manifested through your false friendships and relationships for the sake of being alone. True happiness is those connections that you have where you don’t ever have to worry about being alone. Yes, I have friends online, but those relationships aren’t guaranteed to be personal or everlasting. Most often, I’m just a number to someone. That’s the truth that many people don’t realize themselves. Did it hurt to know that some of the people I actually considered friends; were just online profiles and nothing more? Of course, it did. However, now that I’m not clouded by the idea that I have a larger circle than what I did, I can now rest in the notion; I don’t have many people to please.
I’m more honest with myself, which in turn has made me more honest with everyone else. I’ve indicated my relationship expectations and my plans and goals for the future, and it gave me so much optimism in these past few months. Those people who couldn’t handle my honesty and straightforward ideals have eventually fell by the wayside. I only make decisions that I’m one hundred percent comfortable with, rather than constantly compromising for others without any regard to myself. I once feared being seen as boring and too mature. Nevertheless, at a certain point in your life, you have to let go of that misconception, and hold on to what you believe in. I’ve lost friends, but I gained new ones that I have never even thought were possible. I always believed that your friends were the people you could do/say anything with, at any time, good or bad. However, most of the people that fit in that category in my life didn’t care to whom those bad things were done… even to me. Real friends can handle when you say you’re not comfortable with something they did or said, and family should too. Relationships shouldn’t be destroyed when you speak up for yourself, they should get stronger.
Being in this vulnerable place in my life and carrying around a new baby that was definitely a surprise to us, has indeed made me emotional. Although scientifically those emotions are rampant, I’m thinking with a clear head. I’m another year older and bringing another life into this world. The most important things to me today are totally opposite than what they were before. I’m blessed to have a wonderful husband and a fantastic son. This is my family. My business is to inspire and motivate, not party and be wasted with my “friends”. My friendships are valuable to me; therefore, I can’t afford to allow anyone to hold up a spot that they don’t sincerely want. The family I was born into isn’t the family I have to tolerate. Even if I love someone, it doesn’t mean I should let them hurt me, emotionally, physically, or anyway else. By putting my integrity first, my faith foremost, and my foot down, I’ve found peace in a completely new way.
Yes, my circle is indeed smaller. There is no list of people knocking on my door weekly anymore. My phone doesn’t ring half as much as it used to. Nonetheless, God has shown me that I have more than so many other people, often more than what I need. I’m less stressed out and more focused on what’s important. I’ve taken in some moments of life that I didn’t realize I had. I’ve learned new skills and I’m excited to learn more. Most importantly, I’m not keeping myself up at night worrying if “such-and-such” is happy/satisfied/content/or appreciative of my decisions. I’m finally so happy!
Therefore, when you think all your friends have turned their back on you. When you believe that, your family is gone. When it seems like no one is going through what you are, and somehow you are all alone… thank God! It’s a blessing.
This past Sunday, I attended a fashion show event benefiting VCU Alum and all around amazing person, Lindsay Ess. Lindsay was diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease while attending college here in Richmond Virginia and pursuing her degree in Fashion Merchandising. However, through much dedication, faith, and perseverance, she was still able to accomplish quite a lot and inspire so many, despite complications causing the amputation of both her lower arms and legs. Lindsay Ess is the epitome of “overcoming one’s obstacles no matter what”, something far too many of us take for granted.
Although she was diagnosed, she managed to become fully involved with the fashion community by educating and facilitating various charity fashion shows. She is an example of how you should continue to work towards your dreams and live your life no matter what, because eventually all of your dreams will flourish in front of your eyes. In September 2011, Lindsay received a double hand transplant in Philadelphia, a dream of hers since her diagnosis.
I’ve only been introduced to Lindsay briefly during her Don’t Hate Celebrate Fashion Show with the Gay Community Center of Richmond in 2010. This show really inspired me and made me feel grateful for all the little things that we often overlook. It was then that I truly got a sense of what it means to grab life by the balls, and do what brings you joy. To see her for the first time, living her dream and doing what makes her happy, motivated me to my core. Although I don’t know her personally, I could not pass up on the opportunity to attend this benefit event and support in whatever small way I could.
This event was set up in such a lovely way, from stage to presence. It was an immaculate presentation. During the event, I was getting a formal vibe. This was something not indicated in the invitation, so I couldn’t help feeling a little under-dressed. The fashion designs from some very talented designers were the highlight of course, being adorned on some of the most adorable models I’ve seen in Richmond in a very long time. These were some of the most talented young people, and it was such a pleasure to see the designer’s work and watch the models work the runway. In addition to the fantastic clothes and jewelry, we were also entertained by Susan Greenbaum and Ameera Lewanna, a treat to break up the runway show.
My only concern during this amazing event was the tone. Often through out the show, the guest that I invited had to confirm with me, that the beneficiary of such a wonderful celebration did not “pass away”. I was shocked, checking my program continuously to verify for myself. The way the hosts were speaking, the presenters talked in past tense, and the crowd seemed so stern and focused, it did have a “funeral-like” vibe. Granted, I did not know any of these people personally. I just did not want to assume that RVA Fashion lovers and experts are somber and straight-faced, especially since this was a moment of celebration and love.
The producers of the events wanted to support a motivator, an inspiration, a teacher, and a friend. This was so amazing that they were able to raise over $3, 000 to help her. Because of this, I wanted to see more smiling faces, hear more excitement at the beautiful creations walking down the runway, and cheer that we all have come together for such a phenomenal person and purpose. Although it was quiet and not as riveting as I would have liked, it truly was a great event and for an especially great cause. I’m sure Lindsay is going to deeply appreciate it and bask in the notion that she has a truly gifted group of friends that care for her deeply. A blessing, I’m sure she already knows.
A special shout out to the producers of the event, the models, the performers, hair and make-up, and all of their sponsors.
You can continue to donate to Lindsay Ess via the invitation link
for up to the next week (information given during the show).
To see more photos from the event, check out our Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline
There is an abundance of talented independent artists in the world. All of them want free promotion on blogs and internet radio shows that cater to their niche. There is right way to get your music featured, and of course, there is a wrong way. I explain in the video the right way to get your music featured that not only gets you the opportunity to have your worked displayed across various platforms, but also maintains your credibility as being professional and educated on the business portion of your music career. Not everyone has a team of publicist and marketers that can get their information out there to the masses. With this video, you should be able to promote yourself with little to no effort, the proper way.
for more inspiration and motivation follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
To be featured on GaptoothDiva.com or GaptoothDiva Radio, submit your information to GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com
After attending the 1st Annual Hair Battle Royal in Richmond, Virginia (at the Showplace) and hosted/created by Mario Lee with some fantastic assistance by none other than the RVA Queen of Marketing, Mareesa Dawn, I was blown away. Although this was his first Hair battle competition, the event showed a dedication and jubilant ambition that many of our veteran promoters don’t display as often as they should. He thanked every single person for showing up, an appreciation that was hard to go unnoticed. He catered to the public, his supporters, and all the people who assisted in putting this effort together, rather made them feel like they were lucky to even get in the door. He insisted upon the crowd showing their support for everyone, not just the individuals they came to see, although at times some were resistant, his efforts were not unnoticed.
The event did not go without some kinks here and there, however the positive attitude he brought with him from the first moment compelled you to give him the chance he deserved. With the help of Ms. Dawn, the two kept it interesting and fun, no questions. I was asked to be one of the judges on a panel that included Ms. Community herself, Clovia Lawrence and a New York Stylist and Promoter by the name of Hustleman. Both of whom I met for the first time that evening, but laughed and conversed with as if we knew each other for a while. I really enjoyed myself and the show. I learned a lot about people and perception that evening, a few details I’m so excited to share with you. Now during my hiatus, I promised myself upon my return I would be a specific as possible, detailed thoroughly, and as honest as God will allow. If some of these lessons pertain to you (as the reader), please don’t take it personally. Just realized that your details (or lack there of) did not go unnoticed by me or anyone else, whether they openly say so or not. Expect for someone to keep it real.
1. Being late to a show/competition that you are in (and I mean seriously late) always shows. No matter how good you may be, people can tell a rushed job and performance versus someone who is calm and already knows they have the prize in the bag.
2. Be careful who you are rude to! You never know if the person you are eye-balling, rolling your eyes at, whispering about, or basically hating on, is the person to bring you to that next stepping stone. Choose not to be a bitch, until after the person as offended you. You aren’t anybody worth making everyone jump through hoops to get a cordial attitude out of, no matter what the mirror told you this morning.
3. Fashion shows, hair shows, creative events as a whole is your opportunity to showcase your unique and eclectic fashion choices. So don’t get upset at the girl who decided to show her creative/sexy side and you chose jeans and a t-shirt. Be inspired and stop hating!
4. You CAN clap and support groups that you did not come to see. It’s not illegal or against any rules. Just because you friend, cousin, or stylist is there, I’m sure there are plenty of other talented groups that deserve your accolades. This is not a gang war, show some love all around.
5. You can not use babies and small children to cover up a sloppy performance… period. Many people are distracted by the adorable faces and sassy dance moves of young people, I happen to not be one of them. Although all kids are cute and cuddly in their own way, if the performance is disorganized, sloppy, and just plan wack… you will know.
6. Creativity can get you a long way in life. No matter the level of expertise you have, if you showcase the limited skills you have in the most creative way possible, you will leave people mesmerized. Don’t worry about what you don’t have, use the heck out of what you do!
7. Participation does not go unnoticed. People can tell when you put your all in something, when you approach the stage fearlessly compared to your competition. Don’t get loss in the sauce.
8. Don’t let your friends down. You only hurt yourself when you flake out on your group, no call-no show, and bail (physically or mentally). That’s just something people don’t forget, ask the winners of this competition. They could have been affected by the shady person who left them hanging, but instead they went even harder and stronger to gain the respect of the crowd and the judges. This attitude made them $2,000 richer in the end *snap*!
9. Never be afraid to be honest. Someone made a comment about not saying certain groups were lame or lacking skills, because their family members may be listening and be offended. Going so far as to say they might want to retaliate after the show. I laughed at the idea of getting into a fight because I was doing my job, which was judging. In life, we have critics. There are people all over who feel we don’t deserve the seat we sit in. However, if you live according to what other people respond to, then you are weak. Period. Constructive criticism shouldn’t be taken as a threat, but as a blue print on how your fans, supporters, and even your haters may see you. You dissect what you need and you move on, don’t stress and damn sure don’t brawl.
10. Everyone has to start somewhere, but as long as they start – that’s all that matters. You may not have all the money, the networking connections, or the support that some people have, but if you don’t step out into your dream somehow and someway, then it will never happen. Mario showed that he had a big vision and he was destined to carry it out. He learned from the first experience and vowed to make the needed changes for the next go round. He didn’t fuss about what went wrong or what people said, but promised bigger and better the next time. He displayed and attitude that most of us could learn from. We can’t impress everyone, all the time, but what we can do, is do something. Whether the masses cheer or not. Because he was so positive and driven, he got all the support he needed, which was the coolest thing of all.
I wasn’t able to take a whole lot of pictures because of my capacity as a judge, but I did take a few for this post. Please be sure to like us on Facebook as we gain more inspiration and motivation to hit you with.
To contact Mario (Hair by Mario Weave Master) hit him up via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for weaves, up-dos, and quick weaves. He also offers classes and information on weave which are filling up fast. Check him out on Facebook under Mario Lee
The Annual Hair Battle Royal has a page as well –
for more photos and event updates
Also contact the lovely and incomparable, Mareesa Dawn VA Marketing Queen who ensured the word got out about this event. She is amazing and always on her grind, so don’t sleep, cause it seems she never does. She is on Facebook at Mareesa Dawn
Examples of other Hair Shows & Competitions…
SOPHISTICATE’S BLACK HAIR AT THE BRONNER BROS.SHOW! -
It’s been a crazy year and from what my horoscope tells me, it’s going to get even crazier next year. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate every single one of you rocking with me for so long, it’s a blessing to have the support of great people. I’ve enjoyed my work with GaptoothDiva.com, GaptoothDiva radio, GaptoothDiva TV, and all the other projects that I’ve touched. I can’t wait to embark on some new things and make you all more motivated and even more inspired.
If you’ve been under a rock for the past couple of weeks, my best friend/husband and I just found out we are having our second child next summer. Believe me, with all the work I’ve been doing, that was the last thing I expected to happen, but we are excited nonetheless. More children, means more abundance, so like I always say #bringiton. I just warn you all who are super busy in your dream chasing, to avoid sex on the floor if possible, because that’s how we were caught up. Ok, enough with the TMI!
We are the process of expanding our brand and coming up with some new ideas to share with you all. Since we’ve been married for almost ten years, yes, I did say that, so expect some stories from our relationship that may help you down the road of finding and maintaining love. I feel so blessed these days, and when you got it good – you should share how you did it for those who need it. Now, we aren’t any Steve Harvey’s over here, although I love him dearly, but we have it right the first time and want you to do the same. Therefore, that should be fun for the 2012 New Year and I can’t wait.
For all my fashion and Beauty heads out their, expect to see more of that on the website as well. I will still keep http://www.FYourStyle.blogspot.com as my outfit post location, but I want to share with you some great unique and often handmade things I find from RVA and all around. The music will still be here also, but geared with more intense interviews and better artist. If you know anything about independent artist, they are a lot. I don’t want to saturate the game with interviews with every Tom, Dick, and Yung Harry, so we will be more stringent on who gets interviews and why. I want you to be inspired, not annoyed.
Gaptoothdiva.com is going to include more of my own life lessons that I’m learning. I’m not perfect, so I feel like people need to hear from someone like them. I don’t pretend to be some infamous socialite with nothing going for me but my sexual assets. Although I love my body and my style, I have much more to offer you than that. I want you to gain something that you can apply to your own lives, through interview with fantastic people, through events that I attend (substantial events), through advice and tips, and most importantly, through experience. That’s what I’m good at and that’s what I believe we need.
So, while I spend the next two weeks wrapping this final big project, spending quality time with my loving and supportive family, and trying to desperately to come up with non-ghetto baby names, I want to tell you all how much I love you. I love your ambition and you ability to overcome your present by always looking to the future.
1. Stop hating on human being with no super powers; if you have faith then you will get your chance.
2. Stop creating garbage and stuff you think the hood wants to see. Our work should be from the heart.
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Do YOU for a damn change!
4. Start having a purpose. Write down your purpose and look at it everyday as a reminder. Why are you doing this?
5. Pursue at least one new thing that you have always wanted to do. Live with no fear of failure. However if failure happens, don’t let it break your stride.
6. Stop exploiting ourselves for attention and public discussion. I’m tired of seeing naked chicks on my timeline, especially ones with children.
7. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Consider what vices may be limiting your potential. Many of you love weed, these days a lot of you, but don’t indulge so much that you stop your dream before it even starts.
8. It’s ok to have a family and be in love. Don’t live so much in the public eye that you forget that you have a real life and real responsibilities. Fame is a goal, but fortune is a privilege.
9. Be honest to yourself and others. They say the world is going to end. I don’t want it to end with bullshit in my mouth… period!
10. You never know who you are going to inspire, so don’t discount your fans no matter what age, shape, or background they’re from. Talk to everyone and support anyone, your next leg up might be from the unexpected.
11. Stop trying to be a bandwagon success. Don’t do a Busta Rhymes and get signed to every new hot label, or jump on the next lap of the most successful person you know. Create your own lane. At the end of the day, you’ll have fewer checks to write.
12. Don’t discriminate or make false accusations, get you info straight. Twitter people are famous for listening to their timeline and not doing their own research. If you saw on your TL that Obama did something, go check your facts before you comment. Stop listening to the grapevine.
13. Fall in Love. With all this hard work and grinding, it so refreshing to have someone that can hold you, tell you you’re doing great, and even give you a truly honest opinion. I break bread with those that loved me when I was starving. There is nothing like true love in your life.
14. Include your kids. I need to adhere to this more. My son is the biggest motivation of why I do most of this. I should have him involved more, and you all should too. People like to see that they can relate or that your life is inspiring. Not everything has to be glitz and glamour, but real reality (not Kardashian reality) is entertaining.
15. Never quit! This year has had its high’s and lows, believe me. However, I don’t regret anything, except being more open about it. I shut down for a while. I was worried and anxious most of the time. I should have spent more time enjoying the ride. You may not always have money, friends, and fly clothes to go out to events, but you still have vision. Keep going in your dream. Don’t let obstacles get in your way, no matter how big or small. After everything is said and done, you can look back and really talk about what you made it through. It will be hard, no doubt, but nothing worth having ever came easy. This is your dream/goal, who going to check you, boo (*Sheree voice*)???!!!!
I hope you are inspired to make some great changes for the New Year, because I definitely am. I can’t wait. While I’m busy working on these things and doing the family thing, I may drop a few videos here and there, so stay tuned on www.Youtube.com/GaptoothDiva and be sure to subscribe.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today” – James Dean
I love to share what the talented people around me are doing to make their dreams and passions come true. Everything isn’t for everyone, but the overall message is the same. To get what you want out of life, you have to get up and go get it. Some of us work harder than others, and some of us know more than most. But the truth is, if you’re not sharing what you know instead of just saying you don’t like something, then you are just as much of a failure as the ones you judge. Check out these videos, network with these people, and share your love, support, or knowledge. This is the Baddest Creative Motivation!
- The videos were created by, @NoNameNoBrain
These videos speak to the grind of a lot of independent artist in RVA (Richmond, Virginia) and around the country. Artist taking the day to write rhymes and herbally elevate their minds, while their nights spent rocking stages at local night spots, trying to make a name for themselves. Most would criticize that it promotes something that people are not willing to admit publicly, but I just see a desire to make it. Hard work is a relatable track and Jo Casino is a talented artist for sure. Many comparisons come to mind based off this song, but to throw any obvious names out there would be trite. He is carving a lane out for himself w/ this project and @NoNameNoBrain did a great job on the video. My favorite part was watching the hours go by as he wrote and smokes more than half the day away. Lmao #goodtimes
This independent hip-hop artist from Miramar, Fl by the name of Uzi, has a lot of energy. the song definitely had me pop-lockin in my computer chair. I love any track that entices people to dance. However with all that said, where the chicks at? Dance music = Girls. Even I know, you have to have at least one girl in the video when you got a song and people dancing in it. Your homeboy did a great job dancing and shit, but c’mon… No females? Then I needed more scenes. Seeing three dudes getting hype in the dark, was only fun for the first minute, then it was like, that’s it? The concept was hot, but it’s like everyone decided they were too lazy to do other shots in other places. At the end they promoted the chick that cornrowed his hair, but I never saw his hair because his ass was in the dark!! Nice track but the video was seriously hurting me.
Suggestion: Do a alternate video like the artist above that includes some chicks, so we won’t give you the side-eye bruh, and tell the Director to add additional scenes. Other than that, you have a good song that I only want to hear, not see.
To have your video featured on GaptoothDiva.com, email me at GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com with video info, link, and director credits.
So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been slowly trying to change the format of the website and what we discuss on the GaptoothDiva Radio and GaptoothDiva TV. Although, I love all of my guest and our features, I started to feel like my goals and intentions were fading into the background and I wasn’t happy with most of my finished work. I’m secretly a perfectionist, so if you heard this already… it’s because I said it already. LOL.
Anyway, I started to get sick. A feeling that most of my close friends are familiar with, considering how much I push myself above and beyond. I should have been born a Virgo, the way I grind. When I couldn’t keep up with Prince A’veri (my son), when I couldn’t go a whole day without some type of mid-day nap, and when everything seemed to taste like shit, everyone stunk up my nostrils, and my weight loss resulted in my stomach expanding even further, I immediately knew something was wrong.
My silly ass didn’t think it through all the way when my period was severely late, nor did I notice that I couldn’t move as fast as I used to. Because of my health (especially in the winter), I just assumed I needed to slow down before I had a seizure. Something I have been avoiding since the late summer months and doing well with, by the way.
On Thanksgiving, I wore this super fitted cheetah print dress that I thrifted and was so excited to wear. I had been losing weight, so I was thrilled to finally show off my shape. However, once I put the dress on my stomach was sticking out so bad, I didn’t even want to leave the house. Boonie suggested I throw some spanx on. I usually only do this when I’m bloated, so I suddenly thought “I must be coming on my cycle soon”. Maybe all that stress, tiredness, and fatigue will go away once my menstrual appears. I put on three pairs of spanx just to be on the safe side, needless to say that was the most excruciating evening I can remember. On Black Friday, I woke up feeling like I could vomit any minute. Boonie had sprayed household cleaner in the kitchen and the smell creeped into my nose. I was beyond angry with the symptoms I was experiencing because I hate when anything slows me down. Still not thinking the obvious, I walked around miserably all day thinking I was going to catch the flu. I wasn’t until that night it hit me…. Could I be pregnant?
Many people don’t know that I’m a avid family woman. I have a beautiful son and a wonderful husband/best friend that I’ve been with since I was a kid. My business doesn’t really put a lot of focus on my personal life and I don’t really talk about it outside of my close friends. I don’t like assumptions, and I don’t like being put in a box, so the idea of being pregnant never really crossed my mind, until everything started to fall apart. Freaking out, Saturday morning we decided to buy two test just to be sure. Just like life is so ironic, here I was pregnant! I’ve been pregnant for a couple of months and didn’t know it. I hadn’t planned on it at all, as I did the birth of my son, A’veri. This was an unexpected situation that I not only didn’t consider but didn’t think would ever happen. It’s been 4 and a half years since I gave birth to my first born, I wasn’t even sure if I was up to the challenge.
My life became very different since then. I’m a totally not the same person and I was scared out of my mind. I’m working on my dreams at the moment, I’m creating a better life for my family, I’m making contacts, and operating a business, where does a pregnancy and new baby fit into that?
Since I discovered that I’m pregnant, I’ve been having some extremely vivid dreams. These dreams are an indication that very little will change. I had a thought that made me cry about losing my fan base, about losing my hard work due to the demands of a sensitive pregnancy. However after a little prayer and a lot of faith, I realized that if people truly supported me, nothing would change. I’ve never been the type to live my life for others, what you eat doesn’t make me shit, nor is anyone offering to pay my bills, or cook my dinner. Honestly at first, the word blessing did not come to mind. I work in an environment where glamour and partying is a priority to everyone around me. A life of freedom and fun pursuing your dreams is most important versus family. I want to live my dreams as well, but it means more if my son can witness my grind, so he understands that nothing of substance comes without any hard work.
I’m excited and anxious. Not only am I bringing this new person into our world, but I have a new network of people to share this experience with. Am I the average pregnant woman? Hell to the Naw! You already know that. I’m off the chain, no amount of morning sickness or tender breast is going to change that. I’m still working and I’m still the GaptoothDiva. This blessing has made me see that my reality is just as fantastic as any other, just more honest and more upfront. So I’m asking all of my friends, fans, and supporters to pray that I’m having a girl. I’m tired of being the only girl in this house and it would be nice to not have to get dolled up by myself.
I appreciate all of your support and to those that feel my pregnancy is too… down to earth for them. I’m sorry you feel that way, and peace out. I can’t live for you. I’m excited., this is a blessing, and God never gave me anything I couldn’t handle. My family is growing which according to the word means, more abundance is coming. Congrats to Boonyevilla for planting that seed. Now it’s time to torture him for the next seven months. Let’s go.
Follow me on Twitter at @GaptoothDiva
Turkey day is the Day after tomorrow, and we all know what that means. It means family togetherness, lots of food, and an opportunity to put your Christmas wish list on the table. For most people, it won’t be all hugs, kisses, and cranberry sauce, so GaptoothDiva Radio’s I’esha GaptoothDiva and Boonyevilla are going to give you some great tips and advice on how to handle this year’s Thanksgiving drama. We want to motivate you to not stab your long lost cousin or that uncle that just got out of jail, in support of family love and inspiration. Listen as we tell stories from past thanksgiving dinners, and how we plan to bring the love and blessings back to the table.
The perfect prototype of an enterprising person, Yung Damon! is successfully emerging amongst a generation of trap rappers, blank music, and blah music with crafty lyrical talent like no other in his class. Growing up in Savannah, GA Damon was isolated from rap music. Restricted from the vulgarity and profanity of rap, he instead listened to R&B greats like Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Tevin Camplbell, Brian McKnight. In spite of the early exposure to classics like “Footsteps In The Dark”, his sharp writing ability was actually recognized and applauded in school when given poems and short stories as writing assignments. In 2003, he began to rap as a hobby with his [younger/older] cousin, JR. The two would challenge one another’s word play, freestyling over downloaded instrumentals or songs on the radio. “I was better than he was… he stopped rappin,” says Damon as he thinks back. “My work ethic was stronger too, so when I realized I had this skill I started trying to make something more of it.” It’s this non-stop hustle mentality that motivated Yung Damon!, also known as Fly Deezy, to study and practice with a committed dedication to perfecting his craft.
Thirsty for creative inspiration that stretched farther than the all too familiar street life he observed on a daily basis, Dame exposed himself to diverse genres of literature and movies, allowing him to verbally illustrate hood life with a unique rhythmic cadence, quick wit, and clever sense of humor. With a grind stronger than a steel mill, the budding rapper eliminated the dependence of others and began schooling himself on engineering music so he could lay down tracks whenever he felt the need. “Once I learned how to count and stack bars, make hooks, bridges, it took my writing to a more professional level. Then he got out of control with it… recording like two or three songs a day!” Dame says. His hard work ethic and dope tracks caught the attention of his brother-in-law, Melvin, who stepped in to assist with making headway in the music industry using his former marketing experience and industry connections. Their efforts scored a meeting with the ill producer Ninth Wonder to discuss producing tracks for Yung Damon. This then lead to an opportunity MCs dream of. Wonder connected Yung Damon and his manager at the time with Jay-Z who just happened to be in Atlanta during the time of his famous comeback in 2006.
On a search for fresh, new talent Jay-Z ear sampled Dame’s music. Recalling Hov’s response, Yung Dame says, “He kind of smiled and said I reminded him of a young Jay-Z.” With confidence, energy and much heart, Fly Deezy forged ahead, performing at more than 30 shows in many of Atlanta’s most popular venues; Club Crucial, Royal Peacock, Scores, Throw Backs, and was even selected to showcase the Sweet Auburn Festival. In 2007 the late Savannah, GA rapper of Hellaflow Records, Bugga, was impressed with Yung D’s material after visiting his myspace page and reached out to him. They kept in touch and in 2009; Bugga took Dame under his wing. Bugga groomed, worked on his image, and managed the business side of things then began their collaboration on a mix CD release. The untimely and unfortunate death of his mentor months later affected Damon immensely. After a 4-month break from writing, Screwww, CEO of Hellaflow, reached out to Yung Damon! To pick up where he left off, more determined than ever, he headed to Atlanta and recorded 60 songs over a one-month period. “Bugga’s death made me go harder, I went back to the lab to revamp the mixtapes and added more tracks that I felt would help keep Bugga’s legacy alive.” While in the ATL, he was fortunate to record among influential artist like Young Jeezy, Lil’ Boosie, Boo Rossini, Young Buck, Blood Raw, JW, and more. Yung Damon! has opened up for many acts such as Webbie, Yo Gotti, Bun B, Juvenile, Travis Porter, Lil’ Ru, Mac Bre-Z, Future and Dolla Boy of Playaz Circle. Now Yung Damon! has emerged from the lab and has hit the pavement hard – dropping early releases, flooding the streets with promotional CDs, underground mixed tapes, and lining up performances – all to create a buzz for the long anticipated drop of his first self-released album Exclamation! Set for 1st quarter 2011. Yung Damon! was the feature artist of the month (August 2010) on Hotmusicspot.com. He is featured in the unsigned hype section on Digimixcast.com. In addition, he is featured on blog sites such as crunkshit.com, pyrexmuzik.com, wordofsouth.com, ink-drop.net, greenhitz.com, tindeck.com, iseepassem-sav.blogspot.com, hiphopup, hiphopmixtape.org, lyrical accountant, CanHipHop and more.