Song Performed by Motel Connection featuring Khary WAE Frazier Music Composed, Arranged and Produced by DJ Pisti of Motel Connection Lyrics by Khary WAE Frazier Song featured on Motel Connection’s ‘Vivace’ album 2013 visit www.motelconnection.net to buy the song and album
Sounds make up the music . . .The music is the songs . . .
And the song … the songs is lifestyle, what we do and who we are . . .
and for me . . . it is Life . . . the style and way it’s right
Those-that-are-taking-control-of-their-own-reach Go with the flow As it rolls Through the mold Don’t oppose The unknown Cause its worth all the gold As our compass will show We’re in motion for more Through the beats and the notes This the freedom of soul VERSE ONE
When you listen – you can hear the reasons believing
Everything you heard has a meaning for keeping
Silence in the pocket and pieces with speeches
this a platform to reach them and teach them
// so I got to speak on it, and Be on it
Take a stance and never leave on it
With melody and a message
Through the head knod hope you can get the essence
In the key of life songs as a reference
Mind on my money, hearts in my efforts
// . . .As I do it like this
You may wanna dance as words see fit
Kind of different, . . .different what I spit
This is a canvas for a brush with big
Death, Life, Love, and is
Speaking on now rights wrongs I did VERSE TWO
Man I’m known for the truth
In these words . . . I can speak what I do
So my crew keep it loose
Ties worldwide on the block like you
And I don’t think nothing of it
A blessed man humble a lost one becoming
Fools have eyes bigger than their stomach
Gotta control what does and doesn’t
. . .Dimes come dozens
wanna change up what was that wasn’t
. . .(Now) Ain’t that something
I live in the now cause reality is constant
. . .As the world keep spinning
Misunderstandings make us seem different
. . .As the fears draw distance
Why I see myself and in a world that isn’t
My father is a CPA. For over 30 years he’s developed an entrepreneurial practice focused primarily on developing computer programs that handle tax, accounting, manufacturing, and staffing needs for businesses. Along with developing this expertise my father has built the practice of Greg Frazier CPA with long standing relationships of individual, corporate, and non-profit corporate tax return clients.
In 2003 he offered me an opportunity to work along-side him preparing tax returns. To learn tax preparation I attended Lewis College of Business for Accounting, and H&R Block’s tax preparation course.
After attending H&R Block’s tax preparation course in Southfield MI I worked a tax season at H&R Block in Northland Mall. While working at H&R Block in Northland Mall, I learned the amount of money jobs paid annually. Teachers, fast-food workers, retirees, plant workers, and retail sales people all had me preparing their taxes. Truck drivers stood out to me. Everyday I’d find some guy my age wearing Girbaud jeans, Timbaland boots, and Champion hoodies earning over $40,000 a year. I was jealous of every one of them.
In 2003 my passion was in hip-hop music. When I saw guys my age dressed in hip-hop earning $40,000 annually I easily made a decision to become a truck driver. This was against my father’s better judgment. I finished out the 2004 tax season working for H&R Block. After tax season I worked part-time at Pizza Hut in Dearborn Heights MI delivering pizzas. Earning the $2,500 down payment for trucking school from minimum wage work is one of the most disciplined acts I’ve ever accomplished.
Completing trucking school I learned how to operate an 18 wheeler. I got my CDL/ Hazmat driver’s license (I still have it today; it’s my worst case scenario life circumstance). I began working for Werner Frieght Trucking based in Ohio. I worked for Werner for 3 months, and returned home. Upon returning home I was hired by Dairy Fresh Foods.
Dairy Fresh Foods is a local food distributor founded in Highland Park MI. Dairy Fresh Foods is now based in Taylor MI. Monday to Friday I drove to Taylor MI beginning my day at 5:30am. I generally wrapped up my day at 5:30pm. The traffic usually added an hour or two to every work day.
Dairy Fresh Foods is a family based business run by Joel Must. The influence of the family and Jewish culture were very prevalent throughout Dairy Fresh Foods. Dairy Fresh Foods facility was organized with freezer warehousing, refrigerator warehousing, dry-good warehousing, and truck docks. Drivers worked days, and warehouse loaders worked nights. Every morning at 5:30am (before summer’s sun rise) I generally picked up truck 2548. (FYI: the summer of 2005 the music I was playing was Mike Jones, The Game’s Documentary, and Mariah Carey’s Emancipation of Mimi. I’d be in my truck turning down Mariah Carey’s ‘Shake it Off’ at red lights in the fear of being laughed at by others in traffic).
Dairy Fresh Foods relates to Detroit internationally, because Detroit has a diverse mix of restaurants and markets. My first day working at Dairy Fresh Foods I delivered food to Hamtramck MI. I was trained by Anton. Anton’s family lived in Hamtramck. His parents were first generation immigrants from Croatia. Seeing the way Anton related to the store owners in Hamtramck MI made me feel out of place. It was the opposite of ‘Perfect Strangers’ (1980’s television show I loved as kid). Miles away from my Detroit neighborhood was a world I knew nothing of. The markets in Hamtramck were filled with spices, foods, meats, and snacks I’ve never seen. Most notably in Hamtramck was a mix of chocolate candies from different European nations. German, Romanian, British, and French chocolates all have specific tastes I learned to understand.
While delivering food for Dairy Fresh Foods, I believe I went in every grocery store within a 50 mile radius of Detroit. As expected the Middle Eastern markets of Dearborn had a unique flavor. I remember many of the Middle Eastern markets keeping a stock of fresh dates, raisins, and nuts. The restaurants bought many of the premium cheeses that Italian and Greek restaurants carried as well. This commonality is sensible being that the Lebanese, Italian, and Greek restaurants all were founded in the Mediterranean.
The well known Mexican influence throughout Southwest Detroit had me delivering loads of cheeses, rice, and lard in Southwest Detroit. Dairy Fresh packaged 80lbs bags of rice and 40lbs blocks of Muenster cheese which stocked Xochimilco’s, Armando’s, and Mexican Town restaurants bi-weekly. All provide great food and service. I found my favorite Spanish restaurant in the Metro-Detroit area to be Mexican Fiesta on Ford Rd and Telegraph in Dearborn Heights MI. The Alvarado family that runs the restaurant was very kind, and always supportive of me.
Unique markets that specialized in specific food also exist in the Metro-Detroit area. Oak Park MI has a number of store fronts catered to Jewish cooking. The baked goods from all of these stores are exceptional. If you ever have the chance to buy an asiago bagel from a Jewish bakery I urge of you to enjoy the pleasure.
Troy MI, and Madison Heights MI, have a mix of Asian markets carrying mixes of sauces and spices. Today Sriracho is very popular. I’ve used and known of this Sriracho hot sauce for years, because of these Asian markets.
The most interesting thing I observed delivering food was the way markets were kept dependent upon neighborhood. Naturally there were disparities due to wealth of the residency, but also in types of foods as well. Traveling the throughout Michigan closer to Mackinaw I found the farm based markets used the cook trend that’s brought Whole Food’s to prominence. Cooks managed stock and prepared meals for families. The markets in Birmingham MI were different than those in Ann Arbor MI. Comparable in regional wealth Birmingham carried larger stocks as opposed to the smaller store front feel of the Ann Arbor markets.
I believe the most well kept market I traveled to was Westborn market in Dearborn MI on Michigan Ave. The store manager was from Trinidad. He was the most observant, concerned, and thorough market manager I met while delivering food. Every delivery to Westborn market in Dearborn required a series of checks. Also in this process I witnessed the wash, care, and keep of vegetables, fruits, and produce. Other markets I remember being well-kept throughout the region were every Hiller’s market, Honey Bee market in Southwest Detroit, and Western Market in Ferndale MI.
Dairy Fresh Foods also carried unhealthy snacks. Liquor stores and party stores stocked up on jug juices, freeze pops, and pork rinds. Stores carrying these items were usually in the most impoverished neighborhoods in the region. The liquor stores in Detroit MI’s: Brightmoor, Mack & Bewick, John R & 75, East McNichols; Inkster MI; and Pontiac MI (far from Auburn Hills MI) all carried tons of jug juice. Jug juices are the small plastic juices with the wheel barrel design flavored by color as opposed to taste. These red, purple, green, and orange juices are found on the bottom shelf of soda pop refrigerators in liquor stores.
It would be such a duality to begin the day in Dearborn Heights MI, travel to a farm in Midland MI, and close my day on 7 mile and Hubbell in Detroit MI. In delivering foods I saw how similar people and cultures are. Also I had the chance to travel Michigan.
Michigan is a very beautiful state. I encourage everyone to visit Alpena MI, Traverse City MI, or Sault Ste Marie MI in the summer and/or fall seasons.
I believe Metro Detroit is a segregated region culturally for many reasons. Overall I feel people find a level of comfort in who and what they are use to. This segregation has developed world’s of cultural experiences with restaurants and markets. If you’re willing exit your comfort zone you can experience great food throughout Metro Detroit. I challenge everyone to visit a restaurant of the world based in Detroit.
FYI: I’ve often been asked about the cleanliness and safety of markets throughout the Metro-Detroit region and what markets I suggest buying food from. As a standard I believe you should not buy vegetables, fruits, or meats from any store with a Lotto machine.
If Detroit were Heaven has changed my life. For years I’ve always felt like my mind was over populated and scattered. “If Detroit were Heaven” has given a focus for my hip-hop art that I’ve always thirsted for. “If Detroit were Heaven” is an album, project, and presentation. Thursday June 5, 2014 at 6pm I will be presenting “If Detroit were Heaven” at 5eLement Hip-hop Art Gallery at 4605 Cass Ave Detroit MI 48201 in the Unitarian Church (enter through the Red Door). Cinetopia International Film Festival is producing the presentation through the Michigan Theater and the Detroit Film Theater.
The ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ presentation is a lyrical analysis of my Detroit story. I use four of my songs to provide my interconnected story of my relationships with my father Greg Frazier CPA, Attorney Milton Henry, my grandmother Mary Lee Brown, and co-founder of Focus: HOPE Eleanor Josaitis. The songs featured are an untitled unreleased record about my view of Detroit today, ‘It’s So Fresh’ which covers my relationship with my family, ‘Snowflakes Shine’ is about Eleanor Josaitis, and finally ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ which is my historical perspective of Detroit. These songs are featured on my upcoming album ‘If Detroit were Heaven,’ to produced by Ian Sherman.
For me ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ was about making songs and taking them places where I haven’t gone before with my music before. Writing the album alone inspired me to commit to balance each song. I challenged myself to write songs that are conversational, uniquely styled in pace/ tempo, music driven, and have my own sense of wit.
This project fulfills intrinsic goals for a collaborative team that made “If Detroit were Heaven.” Eric Campbell, Mark Mastropietro, Ian Sherman and I have all committed to bringing the vision of ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ to life. This mix of music blends with images, interviews, graphic design and quotes to make an eclectic film. The film is photomentary. A collection of photography by Mark Mastropietro combine with archives of the Michigan Citizen Newspaper. Ian Sherman collaborates as the music producer and engineer for the work. Eric Campbell is the producer of the score and interviews for the project. This makes ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ an artistic expression!
“As We Proceed … To Give You What You Need” Sean Combs on Notorious BIG’s ‘Who Shot Ya’
Detroit is Different getting a lot of love thanks to all of you. It’s only getting stronger I welcome you to join the journey as it develops.
This month’s theme is ‘Detroit Worldwide.’ For over 300 years Detroit has had a mix of impacts from the world. America’s most densely populated place for Arab Americans is here in Dearborn MI. The Polish and Bengali presence in Hamtramck MI is a world to it’s own. Detroit is Different (pun intended) because we make up a very dynamic mix of cultural, social, and experiential backgrounds.
Connected to this very subject is the Cinetopia International Film Festival that I will be presenting at this week. Cinetopia is an international film festival screening 110 films between Detroit and Ann Arbor from Wednesday June 4 through Saturday June 8, 2014. I will be presenting ‘If Detroit were Heaven.’ This is an interpretation of my Detroit story told through an analysis of my hip-hop song lyrics. I share the unique connections my songs have to my relationships with my father Greg Frazier CPA, Attorney Milton Henry (RIP), my Grandmother Mary Lee Brown (RIP), and the co-founder of Focus :HOPE Eleanor Josaitis (RIP).
This will be at 5 eLement Hip-hop Art Gallery located at 4605 Cass Ave Detroit MI 48201 (inside the First Unitarian Church enter through Red Door located off Forrest Ave).
‘If Detroit were Heaven’ is a free event that starts at 6pm and is welcome to all ages.
JUNE 2014 Detroit is Different ‘Detroit’s Worldwide’
Detroit is Different content is released weekly on Tuesdays & Thursdays
TUES JUNE 3, 2014/ ARTICLE: COMING ATTRACTIONS
THUR JUNE 5, 2014/ MY DETROIT STORY: Driving a Reefer Truck
TUES JUNE 10, 2014/ WAE MUSIC: “Go”
THUR JUNE 12, 2014/ BACKGROUND & BREAKDOWN: “Go”
TUES JUNE 17, 2014/ AROUND DETROIT: Taste of Ethiopia/ Twisted Shamrock
THUR JUNE 19, 2014/ 7 O’CLOCK SATURDAY STORIES PREVIEW: TBA
SAT JUNE 21, 2014/ 7 O’CLOCK SATURDAY STORIES: TBA
TUES JUNE 24, 2014/ DETROIT IS DIFFERENT PODCAST: TBA
THUR JUNE 26, 2014/ WHAT IF …: Detroit hosted the 1968 Olympics
In 1972 Motown Records officially moved from Detroit MI to Los Angelos CA. The move was primarily based upon Berry Gordy’s (Motown Record’s Founder and President) interest in the movie industry. The success of the most lucrative record label ever carried on. Performers like Rick James, Teena Marie, Lionel Richie, and Boyz to Men added to the legacy. Films such as ‘Lady Sings the Blues,’ ‘The Last Dragon,’ and ‘The Wiz’ expanded the legacy. Here is my take on if Motown were to stay in Detroit.
1972 was a pivotal year in American, Black, and Detroit history. The honorable Erma Henderson (RIP) was elected to her first term as a Detroit City Council member, Angela Davis was acquitted of murder, and Richard Nixon was re-elected as President of the USA. The pulse of the people (I believe) was charged up from a politically active close to the 1960’s. The Vietnam War, murders of: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; Malcolm X; and John F Kennedy, and rebellions (or riots) in Detroit, Boston, and South Central respectively changed the course of American history. This time is characterized best in Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ album.
The 1971 release was Marvin’s interpretation of expressing a relationship between consciousness, spirituality, and artistry (read the album notes which have Gaye’s letter to the Lord). The commercial success of ‘What’s Going On’ changed the imagery of the clean and friendly Motown Records artists, and music.
Motown records shelved ‘What’s Going On,’ for years as Marvin Gaye performed most of the album throughout Detroit in places such as Baker’s Keyboard Jazz Lounge. Experiences like this would have been abundant with the new music from Motown records in the 1970’s.
The foundation of the Motown sound was built on the production of Holland-Dozier and Holland, Barrett Strong, and Smokey Robinson. The 1970’s ushered in the styles of Norman Whitfield, Clay McMurray, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, and Rick James. The changing of the guard in production brought Motown into the Funk. This matched Detroit’s political Black power structure developing in the 1970’s. Anchors like Ed Vaughn, Judge Claudia Morcom, and Congressman John Conyers were all setting their respective marks in Detroit. Funk mirrored the ‘take now’ attitude. Beginning music on the down beat captures the ears of a listener. Mayor Coleman Young’s 20 year reign in Detroit matched that spirit.
The gregarious demeanor of Rick James creating a record like ‘Street Songs’ is meant for Detroit. Detroit’s 1980’s prominent sports figures embody the Rick James spirit. Kirk Gibson, Isaiah Thomas, and Tommy Hearns (Motor City Cobra with the Jheri Curl and slow jab) are loved and hated. This individuality represents the ‘vs the World’ mentality Detroiters needed. After the rebellion in 1967 Federal and State funding due to the city of Detroit dwindled (this is a focus in Coleman Young’s autobiography Hard Stuff). Businesses, jobs, and educational programs subsequently vanished as well. I feel Motown records would have kept a social identity, and shared the America’s disparities through music.
The big opportunity of Motown staying in Detroit would have been in film. As Motown began producing movies the cinematic interests of many young Blacks would have been drawn to Detroit. Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Pam Grier, Samuel L Jackson all studied and started their careers in the 1970’s. Films require huge staffs, facilities, and budgets which would have given Detroit assets.
Finally, Motown staying in Detroit would have led to ‘Motown 25’ being held in Detroit. Michael Jackson performance of ‘Billie Jean’ during ‘Motown 25’ is the greatest television performance the world has witnessed. That would have been fitting for the Fox Theater.
Detroit is Different featured Music for May of 2014. My podcast guest was Carolyn Striho. Carolyn is a musician, vocalist, song writer, and passionate performer from Detroit. Her work has won many Detroit Music Awards and traveled the world.
On the Podcast we discuss her passion for music. In the conversation Carolyn Striho shares about traveling the world playing music, writing the song ‘Enchante’ inspired by Eastern European music, and surviving cancer. Carolyn also thanks her band featuring her husband Scott Dailey (guitar). This is a fun and inspirational conversation. Join in and listen. Click Play below
The Podcast features three songs from Carolyn Striho: ‘Enchante’ and ‘Word Attack’ from her 2013 album release of ‘Word Attack’; and ‘Honesty’ from her 2009 album release of ‘Honesty.’ Carolyn will be performing next at Callahans in Aurburn Hills MI at 7PM.
Music is a universal language. As a hip-hop artist I’ve performed with many acts. Carolyn Striho is one of the best! Her stage presence, and feel on stage is pure passion. Her music, show, and energy are AMAZING.
We originally met recording Paul Mile’s “Motown is Our Town.” The song featured Detroit Music Award winners, nominees, and legends. After the performance Paul Miles suggested Carolyn and I work together. Soon after she invited me to feature with her at Northern Lights Lounge, and Taste Fest (back when it happened in Detroit, and it was Taste Fest). I invited her to perform at the “Hot Summer Nights Music Festival” I hosted at Focus:HOPE in 2009. She wowed the stage. This relationship of trading stages has carried on for years. Two years ago I think we performed our best set at “Arts, Beats, and Eats” in Royal Oak.
Being that I’m featuring Music this month on Detroit is Different Carolyn Striho is a perfect guest for 7 O’Clock Saturday Stories. Her journey in life and music are intriguing. I welcome you to join us as we talk about her passions.
7 O’Clock Saturday Stories hosted by Khary WAE Frazier featuring Carolyn Striho
Saturday, May, 24 2014 7PM at Le Petit Zinc Restaurant 1055 Trumbull Detroit MI
FREE EVENT ALL AGES WELCOME, Come Join Us for this Podcast Live recording
Once a 16 year-old playing in punk bands in the seediest venues of Detroit’s musical underbelly, including fronting the well-known and celebrated art/punks The Cubes, this classically-trained pianist and self-taught guitarist has since played Lollapalooza, Italy, the UK and Japan. Being both a friend and musical colleague of Patti Smith, Carolyn has the distinction of being one of the few invited to perform at the prestigious Meltdown UK Festival (2005), curated by Smith. There, Carolyn opened for Steve Earle and shared the stage with the likes of Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor, Marianne Faithful, Yoko Ono and others of such celebrated musical calibre.
Yet with all of the musicians Carolyn has collaborated with in the past, even when fronting bands whose music she composed, and even when close to signing record deals — something, somehow, always seemed to elude her from properly claiming the spotlight … until recently.
Perhaps it was keeping a sort of level head while her bandmates chased their rockstar dreams … some of which have succeeded, others, tragically fallen … but three college degrees later, a helluva lot of perseverance and that unique blend of Detroit heart, soul and elbow grease have earned Carolyn recent accolades of Detroit Music Award nominations and awards, an honorable mention in the Billboard Magazine’s Songs of the Year (2009) for the cabaret-style crowd favorite, “Enchante,” and the 2010 Detroit Music Award for “Outstanding Rock/Pop Album of the Year” for “Honesty.” In 2012, Carolyn and band were honored with the Outstanding National Indie Artist of the Year in Detroit. She has been featured on National Public Radio, garnered regular airplay on radio stations on the East Coast and Europe, and continues to be invited to some of the most prestigious festivals throughout the Midwest and overseas. Carolyn was a DJ and is a proponent of all music, always. Now Carolyn’s work with guitarist Scott Dailey and her full band continue to attract even more attention.
Metro 37 Studios is one of the best recording studios in Metro Detroit. Producers Ryan Arini, Matt Dalton, and Kevin Sharpe all collaborate creating a dream space for musicians, vocalists, recording engineers, and music producers. Matt Dalton was the founding member of this collective in 2005 (it was originally built in 2002). Notable artists in hip-hop (Machine Gun Kelly, Ma$e), hard rock (Trans-Siberian Orchestra , Hawthorne Heights), and metal (Madam X) have all worked at Metro 37 Studios.
Ryan Arini and Kevin Sharpe joined the studio in 2008. Arini is a musician (guitarist), vocalist, audio engineer, and fan of music. Sharpe is a musician (key player) and world renown audio engineer. In 2008 Arini’s band (Hell Rides North) won an ‘89X Battle of the Bands’ competition for $10,000, and album recording at Metro 37 Studios. Sharpe at the time was the live engineer for the band. Upon visiting Metro 37 Studios (for the recording of the album) Sharpe and Arini joined the studio as partners.
Arini is my connection to Metro 37. In 2011 we met at the Detroit Music Awards (URGE ALL MUSIC ARTISTS, BUSINESS PEOPLE, AND PLAYERS TO GO). Arini has a humble and practical approach towards life that carries over into his music, recording, mixing, and mastering. I feel likability matters in many business realms, but in a recording studio it’s essential for artists, producers, and engineers. Arini’s band (Hell Rides North) has released albums in 2008 and 2012. The band has been together since 2003 (great sign for any band). Currently Arini is making a solo project that blends many alternative and acoustic styles. It will be released later this year. Hear his music. Below I’ve posted Hell Rides North’s version of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence.’ Arini recorded, mixed, and mastered the song (he’s formally trained and certified by Fuil Sail University class of 2003).
CLICK PLAY: “Enjoy The Silence” from Let The Wicked Burn by Hell Rides North. 2012. Metal.
“The advantage of a recording studio over home recording is you don’t have to do all the work yourself in painting your audio picture,” Arini. I’m next up working with Arini in June on a project to be released in November. Metro 37 is offering all Detroit is Different guests a deal of $45 per hour of studio time. I encourage all of you that are interested in working in a studio, looking for a good studio, or want to try something fun to visit. Call (586) 549-2879 and/or visit Metro37 and get your discount.